Apple’s growing list of Macintosh abandonware

“There are basically three kinds of software,” Kate MacKenzie writes for Mac360. “The kind we buy and use, is supported, and gets updated every so often. Then, there’s vaporware, the kind where an app is announced but doesn’t ship for a long, long, time (sometimes never).”

“Then, there’s one that’s more insidious than vaporware,” MacKenzie writes. “I call it 21st century abandonware; software which exists but seems abandoned by the developer.”

MacKenzie writes, “Apple has a growing list of abandonware for the Mac; software which doesn’t get much love, seldom gets new features, and some features are even removed.”

Read more in the full article here.


    1. I think you’re missing the point. Its not stopping support for old versions, its either not updating to keep with the times i.e. Aperture, or updates are downgrades… i.e. iWork, Final Cut Pro X

      1. I think you are believing the haters…
        FCPX is certainly not a downgrade. I am a professional compositor (feature film) and I can tell you (IMHO) FCPX is a total rethink of what an editor is and does. It is truly the next generation of editing software and all (or at least all mainstream) will follow it (though it will no doubt take a few years for them to rewrite & copy it)
        That it was very different and didn’t ship with all the do dads and add on that FCP7 had, notwithstanding.

            1. Loved SC in its day but it has evolved into the awesome LiveCode and has grown considerably. Multi-platform, desktop and mobile, ie. Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux too, and even server. True write once, deploy everywhere! After a successful++ kickstarter last year, they even have a free community version now. LiveCode is all I write with, and no regrets. Runrev com or LiveCode com.

  1. Forget about Mac OS X abandonware, iOS 7 is iOS 6 abandonware. If you term abandonware as a downgrade of pre-existing software, then iOS 7 definitely qualifies as abandonware. If only iOS 7 had half the capabilities and gorgeousness of iOS 6 it would be tolerable. As it is iOS 7 looks like something designed in a kindergarten.

    1. “If I define kidney as aardvark, I can say I have aardvarks inside me!” Do you know how stupid you sound? Changing the definition doesn’t make your argument more valid. It makes you a troll. Now sit down and shut up, or get out.

      (Also, your argument regarding lost functionality in iOS 7 overall is ludicrous, but you … you already knew that.)

    2. You sound like “Stalin’s Cook” from the other thread. Maybe even the same person. People like you are the type of person that Apple does not want or need. Have fun with Android, or going back to iOS 6, which ever fits you most…

    3. Detail the capabilities 6 had that 7 doesn’t. And gorgeousness? You’re obviously the sort of ‘user’ who’s easily impressed by just how much detail the dev manages to get into an app icon, never mind how functional the app actually is. Form over function/style over substance is obviously your mantra.
      For me, it’s the Bauhaus and form follows function, which is Jony Ive’s school of thought.
      Try it sometime, and KISS.

    4. “If only iOS 7 had half the capabilities and gorgeousness of iOS 6 it would be tolerable.”

      lol – and exactly what lack of functionality are you referring to? I haven’t noticed any.
      And as for the look – this is subjective. But the more I’ve used iOS 7, the more I like it. Now, when I look at any of my older devices, iOS 6 looks dated, and old.

      But thanks for trolling.

    5. I agree:

      1. iOS 7 looks like kindergarten. I’m glad I’m still on iOS 6.

      2. There’s a lot of software falling behind as made by Apple. Apple used to go all out on its consumer level software as well as its pro software. Meanwhile, we lamented the lame amounts of RAM, buying from RamJet and Critical, etc. Now the hardware quality is consistently high, but software is adrift at sea.

    6. So sad, yet so true. Judging by your down votes, some voting Apple fanboys have a serial killer mentality that masks, or makes excuses, for their difficult time with reality … 🙂

      BTW, Happy New Year!

      Go Apple 2014!

    7. If iOS 7 was designed in a kindergarten, I want to send my kid there, because that’s the most awesome kindergarten in the world.

      And I just don’t see what’s “gorgeous” about iOS 6. Now that I’m used to iOS 7, iOS 6 looks old-fashioned, practically rustic.


  2. Please bring back iWeb. It is a very easy way to create an impressive website. It has beautiful templates, incredibly intuitive, and great integration with your photo/video library and iTunes. I still use it for my website, though some of the blog features no longer work. I really don’t want to commit to learning Dreamweaver or some other web production application, I just want something I can jump into without a manual or learning guide, and get something out quickly and easily. I have not seen anything else quite as easy to learn and use as iWeb. Why Apple dropped it, I haven’t a clue. But it was one of their better programs that I liked and found very useful.

    1. +1 on this sentiment.

      iWeb is a great resource for the Apple ecosystem with the way that it was integrated into iPhoto, iTunes and the like.

      Just because Apple doesn’t want to host its own servers anymore doesn’t make it not useful to its customers – and its ongoing lack of support for rendering for iPhones (since 2007) and iPads (since 2010) clearly illustrates that Apple’s not at all interested in the “Operating out of My Parent’s Garage” people anymore, unfortunately.


    2. iWeb sites when loaded on Apples servers never seemed to load on Windows PC’s. If you viewed on a Mac all was fine but otherwise not good at all.

      Its a great pity but thats why I ended up ditching iWeb.

    3. iWeb produced some truly frightful code. It was arguably useful for throwing something quick and dirty together but it was no substitute for proper coding. It also perpetrated the myth that web design is just like desktop publishing—drag a few text boxes and images around the screen and voilà. Proper web design is nothing of the sort.


      1. I don’t care about proper coding for something small, simple and quick. iWeb has its place, but I agree, it’s not the tool for creating your corporate identity. But for throwing something together like your kids wedding, new baby, small proprietorship business, it’s perfect. There’s nothing easy about Dreamweaver, or writing hand code, that’s for the experts. My business doesn’t require me to be a master web developer, and I really have no interest to be one. That’s why iWeb was the perfect foil for my limited wants and needs. Just saying!

      2. “It also perpetrated the myth that web design is just like desktop publishing—drag a few text boxes and images around the screen and voilà. Proper web design is nothing of the sort.”

        But… it ought to be. Why should web design be something mysterious and esoteric, that’s only capable of being “properly” performed by (self-descibed) experts in the arcane art of HTML coding?

        As for that coding issue, there was (as I recall) a program (whose name I don’t recall) that would streamline and optimize the code created by applications like iWeb, Dreamweaver, etc., etc.

        1. It’s not mysterious or esoteric—just different. A printed page is entirely static; a web page is not. When was the last time you saw a printed page where you could change the font size? What about web pages that dynamically adapt the layout depending on whether you looked at it on a desktop computer or a smartphone?

          The web is an entirely different medium from print: attempting to shoehorn design methodology from print to the web just leads to tears before bedtime. The web is also an evolving medium: I can now do things in HTML and CSS that were impossible even to conceive of ten or fifteen years ago and no doubt I’ll have to learn new ways of doing things as new features are brought online.

          The arrant assumption that “the web should be just like print” display a woeful lack of understanding of the differences between these two disciplines. It also insults those of us who have spend years learning and honing our craft, and who pride themselves on providing a quality service to our clients. I have no objection to people using these “point-and-click” tools for creating websites—it can be a lot of fun, especially for the hobbyists, but if you really require a professional web presence, then engage a professional.


    4. iWeb was dropped because there weren’t enough people using it to justify the engineering time, and there are plenty of good alternatives on the Mac from other vendors. Check out TypeMetal, Hype, Sandvox, and Coda 2.


  3. Anyone who calls final cut x a downgrade Has some serious problems recognizing innovation and paradigm shift in NLE.
    This article,in general, is supremely shortsighted!

    1. Final cut has previously been use for professional work. The lack of updates over the years and then the release of final cut x with a multitude of missing features has led many professional video editors to look for alternatives. 10.1 brought some relief but its only been out a week

    2. Final Cut X is amazing. So many of the missing features have been put back. And it still retains the creative workflow. Or a workflow that frees you up to be creative. Apple has always tried to give people inspirational tools, not merely utilitarian tools. When X first came out it was missing so many tools that it was impractical to use but now it feels like such a step backwards to use anything else. Patience with Apple usually pays off. Apple likes to tell employees to always assume positive intent when dealing with each other and the public. Assume that they mean well. I think Apple means well too, and as a result they always create the best product…eventually.

      1. “I think Apple means well too, and as a result they always create the best product…eventually.”

        “Eventually” is not good enough. This iteration has put back SOME features into Final Cut. After what is it now — two years?

        Pages 5 is still utterly crippled. As a business user, I cannot wait years for a program to get back to where it ALREADY WAS!!! Pages is a core program. Crippling it and then slowly fixing it is not acceptable. So I use the years-old Pages 4.3. Would have been nice to have an actual UPDATE, after this length of time.

        140 billion in cash. How much would it cost to hire a bunch of good programmers and make all these various programs THE leader in their sector?

        1. Final Cut 7 devotion didn’t happen instantly. Greatness is never instant. Final Cut 1.2 where I started was not nearly as feature rich as 7 came to be. When a creative team reaches eventual greatness, it appears to the world that it happens instantly, but there is a lot of time between starting from scratch and that eventual greatness. I hate hated final cut x when it first came out. I learned and used premiere for a couple years. Apple lost my business. But as far as I’m concerned their gamble paid off. They have my business back and I didn’t lose any business along the way. Now, Final Cut X is my favorite editing software and I think pretty close to great. It’s also a third of the price lest we all forget.

    3. If you think Final Cut Pro X is a pro app you are not a broadcast professional. Fcpx simply cannot be used for pre thru post production broadcast video. Have fun posting your fcpx videos on YouTube. Cool. Your mom is proud. So is your boyfriend. You’ll be a VP soon!

      1. Hi john, I am a feature film (and network) compositor and indie filmmaker. I think FCPX is one of the most amazing storytelling tools on the market.
        You need to stop letting your hate of apple drive your life.
        To real pros the machines & software are secondary to the task, the craft of telling a compelling story. The story and how well you can portray it are what is important, and your ability to do that is what will determine you success or failure as a creative professional. To that end FCPX is the perhaps the best tool I have ever used.

  4. This might explain the article, since this is the author:

    About Kate MacKenzie
    I’m a 15 year Mac user from Brooklyn, New York and have followed Apple since the last century. Read more of my articles here. My personal site, PixoBebo, is all about Apple. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.

  5. What a wonderful manipulator wannabe.

    No clueless Kate, the two questions I would ask of Apple CEO Tim Cook would probably have nothing to do about Apple products. First of all I don’t want to know, I enjoy the surprise and I know that’s what Apple’s about. Secondly, I have a pretty good idea anyway and third I’d be too busy answering Tim Cook’s questions about what Apple’s software evolution (OUI) should be and what should be done about wannabe jouranalists like you. After all water board torture is legal behind the feathered curtain.

    There is big difference conniving Kate between everyone and nearly everyone. So far though you could get away with it as a lot of people probably would like to know what Apple has coming down the pipe but in typical American style you have to attempt to suck the other egos out of the room and go on to implant your idea into everyone else’s mind with the “abandonware” question. It’s your question but the way you posture it, it insinuates that you are doing the thinking for everyone else. I’m sure that works wonders behind the feathered curtain.

    Then passing yourself off as an expert in software, telling us that there are 3 kinds of software. First the kind that gets updated but hey, what’s the name of it? Well Kate? Kate, Kate, crickets chirping Kate. Maybe it’s beyond your comprehension Kate that all software gets abandoned eventually, that’s why there are upgrades, versions 1.0, 2.1, 3.1 and so on. Maybe you should upgrade your soft underwear Kate.

    Then the category you present as vaporware. Gee, when software is announced but does not ship sometimes never, that’s not really software is it. Propaganda and lies perhaps but certainly not software. You should be very familiar with propaganda and lies Kate, you are surrounded by it.

    For the record Kate there are 3 software categories, depending on the parameter you are using:

    Application Software
    System Software
    Computer Programming Software

    I’ll have to stop there, bringing facts into play will certainly hurt your brain.

      1. Or what? I mean if you are making a threat here please put some muscle behind it.

        I’m expressing an opinion. Oh I may have tossed a name here or there, but hey it’s not like I called her KuntKate or anything like that. Plus there were some ideas that I thought were valid points.

        Even more so now with your response of attempting to attack the messenger (me) without evaluating any of the ideas. I guess you just can’t get to that concept, at least at this point.

        By all means though, please proceed though. It’s what I’d suggest to Kate, after all it’s freedom of expression and I would certainly not want to lower myself to a level where I am telling someone what they should say or not.

        1. Well, your opening sentence nicely illuminates your attitude towards the world.

          And if your intent is to put forth IDEAS, why infest them with such belligerence and vitriol? How does that add anything?

          Do you think it is more convincing? It’s not.

          Do you just think you have the right to piss on people because you’re a belligerent jerk? If you aren’t, show us so by writing posts not riddled with nastiness like that one above.

      1. Don’t forget this.

        Once again from the way she puts forth her idea in the article “I call it 21st century abandonware; software which exists but seems abandoned by the developer.”

        She calls it because she invented it? She coined the term? She wrote the wikipedia entry for it?

        She could have wrote it “Then, there’s one that’s more insidious than vaporware and that’s 21st century abandonware; software which exists but seems abandoned by the developer.”

        See, taking her Inflated Mega Super Ego out of the equation makes it suddenly a very nice and rational read.

  6. I thought this article was going to intelligently cover something important. Then it called iLife and iWork applications ‘abandon ware’. <-No they're not. How about sticking to the simple definition of abandonware! Is this article actually about abandoning its own premise?

    ACTUAL Apple abandonware:
    Safari on Windows. Rosetta. iDVD. Front Row.

    1. SHAKE, Apple’s acquired vfx compositing program used in many big films, was also abandoned. It was supposed to reincarnate itself into PHENOMENOM and then dropped out of sight completely. Some of it’s technology may have gone into Motion.

    2. If you were using iLife to make DVDs or web sites, it is abandonware. If you were using iWorks for page layout, it is abandonware. If you weren’t doing anything complex, both are just fine. Unfortunately, quite a lot of Apple loyalists built workflows that were vital to their jobs or daily lives that depended on the deleted features of the two suites. They can hardly be expected to applaud Apple moves that have left them in the lurch

  7. The software abandoned that I miss the most (and least understand why it was abandoned) is iDVD. I understand a great many videos are now simply uploaded to YouTube, but some of us make videos larger than what can be uploaded easily or without paying significantly for online storage. A simple update to the existing iDVD to work with Mavericks would not have been difficult; I’m not even asking for new title sequences. Just update it so it will work.

    People are missing the point about iWork — the update was a full-on rewrite, coinciding with a full-on rewire of the iOS versions so that we no longer had the compatibility issues between OS X and iOS versions. It obviously took much longer than Apple would have liked, but I am disappointed that iWork is still not a complete competitor to Microsoft Office. Apple has a unique window of opportunity to grab significant market share from Microsoft in the office suite area, but seems to not be overly concerned about it.

    1. I think we do get the point. Apple replaced the existing iWork programs with completely new programs that had a different feature set. That was great for people who wanted or needed the new features. We all understand that. Some other folks do not seem to understand that folks who needed the abandoned features are no better off than if iWork had been entirely abandoned. Yes, we can continue using the old version, but only until it stops working, like iDVD already has and iWeb is starting to. At that point, we will have a lot of very expensive (time is money) files that are inaccessible. Since Apple treats its file formats as proprietary, there is no chance that any third party can develop an application to work with those files. For us, iWork is precisely abandonware.

    2. I have been using iDVD 7.1.2 with Mavericks with no issues other than it is slow, using only one core of eight. I agree apple needs to update it but I have found it usable.

  8. Lame article. He just runs through the list of Apple software and complains that Apple isn’t creating bloatware like Microsoft. (I’m paraphrasing)
    Apple is in the middle of foundation building/shifting with much of it’s software. We’ll see the benefits of this for years to come.

    1. Yes, but it hurts. When you take the time and effort to master a program and produce a bunch of content with it, it sucks when the company that made it possible just drops it, like yesterday’s newspaper.

      I guess the only upside is, you don’t end up with ridiculously bloated programs written in spaghetti code like you see from Microsoft.

      In regards to another point, I agree, Apple really doesn’t have to do a lot of work with iWork and several other of its programs, to go toe to toe with MS Office. Mail is not the most full featured email client, and wouldn’t be a great solution in the enterprise, but it already is Exchange compatible. If Apple could add some missing features, and fully integrate Contacts and Calendar into it similar to MS Outlook, you have the potential to create a better enterprise experience than what currently is offered by Microsoft. I guess Apple still really doesn’t care about big business, business!

  9. My opening sentence, in reply to your post is one that I make to someone who tries to tell me what to do, especially in a near threatening manner.

    I put forth ideas in a variety of ways. I’m a long time poster and I have posted many many posts on this site in a diversity of ways.

    With kindness, appreciation, empathy on top of the vitriol and belligerence you have mentioned. It adds to the idea of diversity that humans can express.

    You ask me to show you that I am not a belligerent jerk by writing posts not riddled with nastiness like the one above. I have done so, many many such posts. You would not make such a comment if you had gone through the archives. Heck I’ve even made nice posts to Zune Thang.

    You don’t have to go to the trouble of going through the nasty posts, I’ll be making nice ones as well. You can check out the New Year’s wishes and the Christmas Day MDN headlines as well. I’ve also praised and chastised MDN at times because I can. They are great in allowing freedom of expression.

    Now sir, if you keep your eyes open you will see a diversity of posts not only from me but from those of this MDN community. That’s up for you to see, but if you are blind to those sorts of posts, then that’s your freedom of choice.

    Happy New Year.

    1. Your honesty is appreciated.

      Of the former colonies, I gather that Australia would rank low on your must-see list. What I am lately interested in is New Zealand. Have you been there, and have you insights about its peoples?

  10. Hello hannahjs and thank you for your posts.

    I take it you have read some of the comments I’ve made about that island where I have to endure nothing short of what I consider cultural torture. I’ll pass on those details because your focus of the question is about New Zealand. I have not been there but I’ll share you one of the stories about those people and some of this insights.

    If you want to skip to the conclusion I’d just say “go there”.

    My first insight into the New Zealand people came one day when I arrived very early in a downtown to do some work. I went to a cafe and ordered a coffee from a woman and went outside to read the paper while it was being prepared. A few minutes later I reentered the establishment and an older woman had the coffee ready for me, looked at me for a moment and said quite bluntly: “You aren’t from around here are you?”

    Instantly I was on guard, but kept my cool confirming that she was correct, and that she must have discerned this from my accent. That was not the case however, she did not hear me order the coffee. Curious I asked her how she knew, and she replied that she knew because I was smiling. People in the city never smiled she told me, that’s how she knew I was a stranger. A lovely conversation followed, she was from Greece as was her daughter who had taken my order.

    I was struck by her comment and during the next week I’d venture downtown during my lunch break, sit and watch the people. She was right, during that time I observed people walking around, not smiling, at least not until Friday, where I saw two people together, smiling, a happy glow between them. Quite surprised I approached them, a stranger approaching two strangers out of the blue and had a most lovely conversation with them. They asked me where I was from, an enchanting change from the “you are a loud mouth bloody yank” and variations I had been enduring so far. When I asked them where they were from they told me that they were from New Zealand.

    That an other experiences with New Zealanders make me appreciate them quite a bit. It was a New Zealander, during a professional meeting that told me that I’d never make it in Australia due to their racist xenophobic behavior and that one of my best options was to give up and leave the country. He added that he wished he could leave as well.

    So if you want my opinion go to New Zealand. I’ll add to the benefit of Anustralia that if you are planning to go on a holiday, staying along the coast and the tourist areas go. The country is beautiful, the food excellent and as long as you keep your wallet open you’ll have a great time as a tourist.

    I do hope this helps.

    Thanks for that, I have many fond memories of the New Zealanders I’ve met down under.

    1. What an interesting story! Thank you. It sounds as though charm is not valued by Aussie downtowners. As to my taking a holiday there, it would be to see the rock art, the older the better. The geology is also very interesting. But, your point is well taken — it’s the people, finally, who make one’s experience of a place into a lasting memory. I’m only glad you had some pleasant ones there, to counter match the ones that fuel your forceful posts at times! Cheers. 🙂

      1. I’m glad you liked it. You are right charm, courtesy and politeness are not highly valued from what I’ve seen. They often say that they like to take the piss out of people, and that’s just another way to say that they are bullies. I’ve heard and seen that when they are rude to you, you have to be rude right back to them. I simply could not do that.

        I gather you are checking out places for Rock art, and Kakadu National Park, south of Darwin is a good area. I really enjoyed the time I spend near Darwin, the aboriginals there are very special people. A lot of the continent is sandstone, and there are some lovely examples of that to be seen, both geologically and in many of the buildings. If you like Victorian architecture you are in for a treat.

        There have been pleasant experiences but as I started counting I was coming up with incidents roughly 25-30% of the time when I went out and attempted to socialize. Now they are also sexist so if you are a woman, well I would not go out unescorted, put it that way. You’ll note if you go to Australia that there are yellow syringe boxes in every public toilet you’ll visit. I think that says a lot.

        I know I make some forceful posts about that place and I will continue to do so. The world has little use for that sort of blind blanket hatred and civility and manners go a long long way.

        Let me know what you decide and tell me about your adventures when you come back.

          1. You sure got that right, along with the sand cleaning machines that pick up the syringes off the beaches. Sure helps when you have a substantial number of heroin addicts.

            Funny thing though are those funny almost ultra violet lights in the bathrooms, and I have to say that I haven’t seen them often. Took me a while to figure out what they are for, until some kid told me that those lights are there so you can’t see the veins for injecting. Those poor diabetics going in for their injection, in a bathroom where they can’t see where to inject. Some public safety in that situation. Mind you as I’ve said, I haven’t seen them too often, and it’s not a bad idea in light of the popularity of injectors down under.

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