Just a quick note to say that Garmin has made their Training Center software available for download. Mblog put up a note that says that in order to import your history from the Windows software, you should make sure to upgrade to version 3.2.1 first.
Did I tell you I was really excited about GPS on the Mac in 2007?
I wrote a short bit just before MacWorld (isn’t that iPhone cool? even with the limitations) about how Garmin was going to release Training Center for the Mac. Well, they kept their word and handed out copies at the show. We’re still waiting for the download to be made available, but it should be coming Real Soon Now.
A few days ago, Chet’s Corner on the Garmin Blog let out that they were planning on doing a lot more with Mac support this year. In particular, we should see Mac OS X apps for doing firmware updates on your Garmin gear. It was also mentioned that the POI loader will be made available on OS X as well.
This will be a big deal for Mac users because you will no longer need to find a friend with a PC in order to update your gear to the latest revisions. You will also be able to do some things with custom POI’s that you couldn’t do before. Frankly, this is looking like it’s going to be a good year for Mac users and GPS.
I’ll post about Garmin again as soon as the Training Center download is made available.
I’ve been thinking about how Parallels has said they are working on DirectX and 3D support for their VM software for the Mac. The basic reason for doing this is so people can play games. Sure, there are some other Windows-only 3D apps out there that people want to use on the Mac, but games is where most people would use this tech. So, I’m just wondering… could Parallels package this “special sauce” with WINE and make a compatibility layer for individual programs to run on the Mac? Just think if Parallels could license this out so that a game developer could release a Windows-only game with the WINE configuration files so that it would install and run correctly on the Mac.
I’ve heard all the arguments about how such a proposition might end game development for the Mac platform and I don’t think it matters. For other classes of software, people will want the OS specific hooks that come with a good Mac application – applescript, growl, iApps integration, keychain, etc. But with games, people don’t care about how the software interacts with the rest of the OS – they just want to play the game.
If Parallels can solve the Direct3D puzzle on the Mac, they should buy Crossroads and license out this Mac-compatibility sauce and get a piece of every single PC game sold from here on out.
There’s been a bunch of inventive and off-beat marketing schemes in the Mac software market recently. MacAppaDay is giving away 5,000 copies of one application every day in December. Mac Heist is creating a riddle / puzzle game to unlock a free copy of a few applications each week. MacZot! is promoting an app at a discounted price in a Woot-like model. My Dream App is also a very cool idea.
Nick Santilli wrote about Peddling Software to the Mac Crowd the other day and then followed up on the side effects of these programs to say that he generally buys the software that he uses. I don’t disagree, but I don’t think the story is about how many test drives were converted into “pro” version upgrades or registered users that will buy the next version.
I think this is an interesting experiment in social marketing. Just like Digg and the blogosphere have changed the way that people find the news and stories that interest or entertain them, I think that software marketing will also be revolutionized by ideas like iusethis. I know I don’t go shopping without checking reviews on Amazon first. I suspect that more and more people will buy software based on the community buzz, comments, ratings and reviews they can find on the Internet. Think about every Mac board you’ve ever visited. There are always threads asking for recommendations. Getting 5,000 copies of your app into the hands of people that are plugged into the latest trends in the Appleverse is a good way to help get mentioned in those conversations or maybe show up on iusethis. Maybe someone will write a review in their blog. You get the idea.
Still, I suspect that the most effective marketing is going to be getting mentioned in MacWorld or hitting the front page of Digg, or even landing on Tech Crunch. Even though we talk about the democratizing effect of social software there are still a few large players that generate the most attention, even on the Internet. But, like I said, I think these marketing and promotion programs are an interesting experiment. It would be fascinating to do some Google stat diving a year from now to see if those apps show up any higher in generic searches for Mac software than other similar apps that didn’t participate in the programs.