In the recent turmoil around Apple changing the legalities around development for iPhone, John Gruber posted his thoughts on it. While I agree with many of his comments, there is a rather strange statement, or claim if you will, at the end of his post:
Cross-platform software toolkits have never — ever — produced top-notch native apps for Apple platforms. Not for the classic Mac OS, not for Mac OS X, and not for iPhone OS. Such apps generally have been downright crummy. On the other hand, perhaps iPhone users will be missing out on good apps that would have been released if not for this rule, but won’t now. I don’t think iPhone OS users are going to miss the sort of apps these cross-platform toolkits produce, though.
What the heck? So these games are bad and no one would miss them if pulled off the App Store?
I don’t think its even a necessary to tell why these falsifies the statement of John Gruber. Unity games have many times over been in the top 10 of popular games, and Zombieville USA is constantly high on the lists, bobbing up and down in the top 100.
Now onto the reason of why this even matters to me. The reason I got a Mac in the first place was Unity, before it was released on Windows as well. First I got a Mac Mini to get rolling with Unity. Later on I got a MacPro 8 core xeon, early 2008 model, a really good deal at the time, unlike the more recent ones. Then I got a Macbook Pro for working on the go and use in meetings. I also applied to become an iPhone developer, got the Unity for iPhone license, got an iPod touch 2nd gen and later a 1st gen for testing. Finally I also got an iPhone 3GS.
Unity turned me into a Mac user. I started to like the system for its underlying BSD foundations, general stability, apps such as Quicksilver and other small clever tools, not having any of the system rotting I have experienced in Windows ( that said, I have been told that its a thing of the past with Windows 7 ). I set up LightWave on my Mac, got the Mac versions of any and all plugins I have purchased earlier, got a Mac license of NukeX and have now been considering to get Final Cut Pro.
If the final word in this situation is that Unity will not be allowed for use as a dev tool for iPhone, iPod, and iPad, then I will most likely end up migrating back to Windows, as I have realized, I am not as much a Mac user as a Unity user and developer. If I am a follower of any sort of technology, its of Unity, and not Apple. The quality of Apple products is good, but if this Apple-Adobe pissing contest will cause too much turmoil in my toolbox then I am a outta here… I hope and cross fingers that the widespread interpretation of the recent legal changes turns out to be mostly smoke and little fire. One good thing from all of this is that it has reminded me not to put all my eggs in one basket, hence why I offer interface design, VFX workflow tools, web and graphic design, rendered and realtime 3D for industrial visualization, game design and prototyping.
The best thing for now is to wait for official word from Unity, not listen to rumors or interpretations and go back to GSD (Get Shit Done).