What happens to cross-platform post applications when OSes are less equal?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Steven Sinofsky runs down his take on Apple's 2017 Worldwide Developer Conference announcements in a Medium post. He writes that Apple’s announcements on Machine Learning…

further the gap between device OS platforms (not just features, but how apps are structured) while significantly advancing the state of the art.

On how the iPad will soon be the best solution for day-to-day productivity:

Developers take note, as iPad-specific apps will become increasingly important in productivity categories.

In case you think Steven Sinofsky is an Apple-only commentator who believes they can do no wrong, he spent years competing with Apple at Microsoft. He started there in 1989, going on to run the team developing cross-platform technologies for Microsoft Office in the 90s and ended up as President of the Windows Division in 2009.

For the past 20 years it has been assumed that the Mac and Windows operating systems will have roughly the same features. Features for users to use every day and features for post production application developers to take advantage of.

Where there are gaps or differences in implementation, developers create solutions that work on both sides. Macromedia (in the 1990s) and Adobe created their own cross-platform media control layer to even out the abilities of the Windows and Mac operating systems. Companies that developed their code on Linux workstations had to implement many features not available in the operating system.

Allow me some Apple fanboy-ism: What if one OS pulls ahead? Can Adobe take advantage of new macOS abilities and add the required code to their applications so those features are also available on Windows? Will Blackmagic Design limit the features of DaVinci Resolve to those it can implement on Linux, Windows and macOS?

As Steven says, it is about application structure as well as operating system features. Can Adobe efficiently make Premiere work with macOS in very different ways than it works with Windows? 

Will there be a point where the fact that an application works on multiple operating systems - each benefitting from different hardware ecosystems - be less important than adding features to support evolving post production needs?

That point will come sooner if the ProApps team are able to update Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5 and Logic Pro X to make the most of the new features in Apple operating systems in coming months.