Bloomberg has quite tastefully summarised our expectations of what Steve Jobs is likely to announce at this year’s WWDC conference on 6th June. We’ve all become so accustomed to hardware revolutions every 12 months that it comes as a massive heartfelt let down that no such hardware announcements are expected this time around. A new iPad was released earlier this year and a new iPhone is not expected to be announced until Winter this year.
So what can we expect this month? A new iCloud service is probably the most intriguing of rumors due to novelty factor whereby Apple will allow storage of music on the cloud as opposed to the local hard drive. It sounds interesting and certainly has the advantage of removing the need for the tedious backup process. However it also increases reliance on the internet which is generally very poorly featured in the UK in both mobile and terrestrial forms and non-existent on the London tubes. Though Apple pushing forward the performance boundaries of telecommunication networks has and can only continue to be a good thing.
However any investment in cloud technology must at this point be innovative and compelling in ways that currently are inconceivable simply due to the sheer abundance of cloud technology that has come to be over the years and the shameless exploitation of cloud terminology strewn across the internet. Microsoft’s blatant billboards and posters about cloud computing in London tube stations certainly didn’t help as it simply wasn’t clear what they were selling. Yes I know your stuff is on the cloud but so is mine. So is everyone and everything out there. It’s called the internet. At this point I’m so overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of cloud news in the last few years that I’m almost not receptive to anything further in this domain.
The next most exciting piece of news is expected to be about the next version of iOS and Mac OS X (codenamed Lion). Given how long we go between software updates from certain vendors examples being Microsoft and Sun – Apple customers are spoilt in this sense. iOS 5 is rumored to have a new widget mechanism and a new notifications feature and documentation on Lion has been available for quite some time now.
It’ll be interesting to see how Apple approaches the threat of increased competition from upcoming Mango and increasing market share acquisition by Android through both its cloud services and iOS upgrades. Regarding the new handset in September my wishlist would be to make the sim card even smaller, incorporate hardware NFC for mobile payments, increase battery life by making the battery even bigger in capacity and through support of 4G place even greater strain on the UK networks. That’s my rant over. Thank you for listening.
The Apple WWDC 2009 is now over. I had been following it this evening on twitter in real time courtesy of macrumors live. Below is a summary extract from the macrumors live twitter account. Points of note that are relevant to me – I’ll be upgrading to Snow Leopard for $29 in September and I’ll also be getting the 32GB iPhone 3GS June 19th onwards or at the soonest possible opportunity (assuming they allow premature upgrades). If I am not able to get my hands on the new iPhone 3GS I’ll be upgrading to the new v3.0 OS on June 17th for free. As much as I’d like the new 15″ macbook pro it’ll be a while before I can afford it. Apple have now updated their website. Overall great news.
iPhone 3GS available June 19th in US, UK, and 6 others. More come a week later, others this summer. 8 GB iPhone for $99 available today.42 minutes ago from web
iPhone 3GS: $199/16 GB and $299/32 GB for new and qualifying AT&T customers. Available in black and white. Current 8GB avail for $99.about 1 hour ago from web
iPhone 3GS: VoiceOver accessibility, Nike+ support, data encryption, improved battery life (up to 50% on Wi-Fi), eco-friendlyabout 1 hour ago from web
iPhone 3GS: API allows devs to integrate video capture; Voice control for call dialing, iPod playback; Digital compass integrates with Maps.about 1 hour ago from web
iPhone 3GS camera has still and video modes. Video mode: 30 fps VGA with audio, auto-focus, auto-exposure. Can trim video right on iPhone.about 1 hour ago from web
iPhone 3GS supports 7.2Mbps HSPDA data, has 3 MP auto-focus camera with “tap to focus” and improved low-light sensitivityabout 1 hour ago from web
iPhone 3GS announced (“S” for “speed”). 2-3x faster at tasks. Looks essentially identical to iPhone 3G. No front-facing camera.about 1 hour ago from web
iPhone OS 3.0 available June 17th. Free to all iPhone users, $9.95 for iPod touch users.about 1 hour ago from web
More Zipcar: iPhone app can honk vehicle’s horn and unlock car; Line6/Planet Waves: add guitar effects from iPhoneabout 1 hour ago from web
Ngmoco: Star Defense; Pasco: hardware accessories for scientific experiments for children; Zipcar: car-sharing reservationsabout 1 hour ago from web
TomTom: turn-by-turn GPS directions (apps and hardware). Car kit will hold iPhone on suction mount and integrate charging.about 1 hour ago from web
Dev Demos: Gameloft (Asphalt 5 racer), AirStrip Tech (Critical Care medical data app), ScrollMotion (digital books via in-app purchasing)about 1 hour ago from web
Turn-by-turn directions apps supported. Push notifications: alerts, sounds, badges. Now developer demos.about 2 hours ago from web
Reviewing OS 3.0 APIs: in-app purchasing, peer-to-peer connectivity, hardware accessory support, Google Maps available for use by devsabout 2 hours ago from web
“Find My iPhone”: Allows MobileMe customers to locate lost iPhones, send alerts, and remote wipe.about 2 hours ago from web
Tethering via USB or Bluetooth. Supported on 22 carriers, but not on AT&T at launch.about 2 hours ago from web
Cut, copy, paste, undo. Search. MMS in 3.0, but AT&T not supporting until later this summer. iTunes movie rentals/purchases from iPhone.about 2 hours ago from web
Video of developers and customers talking about the revolutionary platform and apps. Now moving on to talk about iPhone OS 3.0.about 2 hours ago from web
Now shifting to iPhone: 1,000,000 SDK downloads, 50,000 apps, 40 million iPhones/iPod touches, 1 billion+ appsabout 2 hours ago from web
Snow Leopard available in September for all Intel Macs. $29 for Leopard users, $49 family pack.about 2 hours ago from web
More Snow Leopard: Grand Central Station/OpenCL harness the processing power of GPUs, Demoing Exchange support for Mail, iCal, Address Bookabout 2 hours ago from web
Safari 4 final version released today on all platforms. Also showing demos of new QuickTime (brand-new interface), Stacks and Expose in SLabout 2 hours ago from web
Previewing Snow Leopard: Streamlined installation, Expose built into Dock icons, Preview and Mail 2x faster.about 2 hours ago from web
MacBook Air update: now starting at $1499, $1799 with 256 GB SSDabout 2 hours ago from web
13″ MacBook now called MacBook Pro: starts at $1199. Same RAM and HD options as 15″ MBP, backlit KB, FW800. All models available today.about 3 hours ago from web
17″ MBP updated: starting at $2499, retains ExpressCard slot, CPU and HD spec bumpsabout 3 hours ago from web
New 15″ MacBook Pro: non-removable 7 hr battery, improved display, SD card slot, up to 3.06Ghz, 8 GB RAM, and 500 GB HD/256GB SSD – $1699about 3 hours ago from web
The most eagerly awaited and hyped annual Apple event – the WWDC – starts tomorrow and, in a similar fashion to every year, they are expected to make ground breaking announcements about their products. Rumours (macrumors, engadget, gizmodo) are that they will announce Snow Leopard, the new iPhone OS v3 and a range of new iPhones with different technical hardware and software specifications. Steve Jobs is also rumored to make a come back from extended sick leave to announce the new iPhones. Let’s admit it – neither Apple nor the WWDC would be the same without Steve. I wouldn’t like to speculate on what iPhone OS v3 will support or what tech specs the new iPhones will feature. However it goes without saying that I can’t wait to hear what they have in store. No doubt that wwdc news will be streamed in real time over twitter (macrumors live twitter), rss and web (macrumors live).
If Apple allow premature upgrades for existing iPhone users then I’m definitely taking the leap and getting the new one – although be aware that any new OS release can be unstable to the point of being unusable as I’m sure most iPhone 3G owners will remember. Having used the iPhone 3G for about a year now I’m beyond any doubt that it is light years ahead of the competition and that RIM or Windows Media have become almost primitive and out of touch with the modern day consumer. If Apple were to incorporate video calling and editing as well as push notifications and a magnetometer, all of which have been rumoured to be in the new iPhone, then that will widen the gap even further. The exclusivity contract with O2 in the UK is also rumoured to be coming to an end in the last quarter of this year and if true then it is great news. I’ll also be purchasing Snow Leopard to satisfy my curiosity but also for the massive performance and weight improvements that it has made since the original Leopard.
As I always say – innovation at the rate of Apple is simply astounding. Rather than recreating what we already have time and time again like everyone else they are one of the few companies that are creating new things and that is the fundamental difference. Anyway, let’s see what happens tomorrow.