WWDC flashback 2007: OS X Leopard, Safari for Windows, web apps for iPhone

As we head towards WWDC 2016 we're looking back at the last few years of Apple's World Wide Developer Conference and the impact they made — starting with WWDC 2007.

WWDC 2007 was held in its usual home at Moscone Center West in San Francisco, California. It kicked off on Monday, June 11, at 10am PDT with a Steve Jobs keynote — the first since Apple previewed the original iPhone at Macworld some 6 months earlier. To say all eyes were on that state would be a profound understatement. The iPhone wasn't yet on the market and hadn't yet transformed the mobile industry, but its impact was already undeniable.

OS X Leopard

First up, Apple showed of OS X 10.5 Leopard. It wouldn't launch until later that fall — every resource possible at Apple was fixed on getting the iPhone out the door — but we did get to see a new Dock design complete with Stacks functionality, the translucent menu bar, Cover Flow in Finder, and Time Machine, which hoped to make backups effortless for the mainstream. There was also a new Automator, Back to My Mac to access your machines remotely, Quick Look, Spaces for virtual desktops, and more. What there wasn't was Classic Mode. It went the way of the dodo.

Safari for Windows

The Safari web browser, originally exclusive to the Mac and only just announced for the iPhone, was shown off running on Windows. It was probably more about getting WebKit onto Windows for use in iTunes and to provide a way for Windows owners to test web 2.0 apps on that rendering engine. It didn't last long, but in that moment, Apple doubled its cross-platform presence.

Web 2.0 apps for iPhone

And then there were web apps, Apple's "sweet solution" for developers desperate to get on iPhone. That it had been grueling, crushing work to get the iPhone to market, that no one at Apple had the time, much less the energy, to get an SDK done for OS 1.0, was the reality. But the demand was such that Apple believed it couldn't be ignored. Unfortunately, web apps just wouldn't be enough and by the end of the year, Apple's iOS team would once again go through a marathon of sprints to get a native solution in place for the next spring.

Impact

Leopard led to Snow Leopard, Safari for Windows is no longer with us, and web 2.0 apps faded with the advent of the native SDK. Still WWDC 2007 featured Steve Jobs on the keynote stage, following up what was arguably his best presentation ever: the iPhone announcement at Macworld earlier in the year.

It was also the last keynote before the first iPhone shipped, and neither Apple nor WWDC would ever be the same again.

What did you think of WWDC 2007? Share your memories in the comments below!

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

4 Comments
  • I REALLY wish Safari for Windows was still around. Sent from the iMore App
  • Was it the design you liked? Otherwise, it's essentially a Webkit browser, there's a few of those available on Windows now
  • Those were the days.. A more resilient looking Apple. Back then u actually fixed stuff in an OS.. Now days,, more issues just seen to happen out of no-where. Lucky for me, i was still using a PC back then. so i wasn't an Apple type user. Few people also realized internet explorer for available for Mac as well to a point they got rid of it in 2003, long before most would even have seen it in OS X
  • @Rene Such a great find. I love when they're playing around with with the new iChat just having a grand ol' time.