The iPad – First Thoughts

Filed Under Computers & Tech on January 27, 2010 | 24 Comments

These are my very first thoughts having just finished "watching" (or rather reading live blogs of) the event. At this stage I have more questions than answers in some regards, but, I have to say, I'm impressed. This was a tablet demo, what Balmer did a few short weeks ago at CES was a pathetic side-show - a feeble pre-emptive "me too" that's clearly not even nearly enough to compete on quality.

It was great to see Steve set the scene and give us the philosophy behind the device. He basically talked us through Apple's thinking on the space now inhabited by netbooks, i.e. the gap between laptops and smartphones. It was like he was telling us a story, and it made sense. You can't deny that Apple have put a lot of thought into this thing. I'm pretty sure Jobs has been using one of these things for a while, and I think he's really worked out what a tablet needs to be in order to really be useful.

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It Was Only an Apple Event

Filed Under Computers & Tech on September 11, 2009 | 4 Comments

I know it's been a while since Wednesday's event, but I wanted some time to reflect before committing my thoughts to bits. I'm certain that I was disappointed, what I'm not so sure of is why. Was it because my expectations were unrealistically high? Or was it because it truly was a below average performance from Apple? After two days of careful consideration I'm more inclined to believe it's the latter than the former. Maybe it wasn't below average, but it definitely wasn't anything above average.

There was not a single earth-shattering revelation, and worse still, we didn't even get what the most conservative pundits were expecting in many regards. The biggest let-down was the iPod Touch. Apple spent ages praising it, but did nothing of any note with it. It was almost like they were trying desperately to prove to us that we were silly to expect a new version. That, or they had something big planned that fell through, and they did their best to make lemonade from a lemon. Either way, we didn't get the one thing I was most certain about, a real update to the iPod Touch. I was proven right about the retention of the classic though, which was nice (see my full predictions here).

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So, we're just hours away from Apple's "It's only music but we like it" special event. I'm not really that excited about it - but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised. In some ways these Apple events are a little boring because we know what we'll be getting, new iPods. I think it's pretty much a given that we'll get a new iPod Touch with power to rival the iPhone 3GS, and I'm assuming the camera rumours will be true. I'm highly sceptical that we'll get a camera on the iPod Nano though, and even more sceptical that the nano will go Touch-screen. Many people are expecting an end to the classic line, but I'm not. It's too soon. Flash prices have not yet come down enough to sell a reasonably priced 128MB iPod Touch, so I think the classic will stay, it just won't get any serious revamping. I'm not in the market for a new iPod - I have my iPhone, so what I'm more interested in is the other stuff we may or may not get.

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This is not going to be a full rundown of everything that was announced at Apple's 2009 World Wide Developers Conference, not even nearly. It's just my opinions on the things that caught my attention. If you don't know what Apple announced you can watch the Keynote on Apple's site.

Lets start by having a look at how I did on my predictions. I did pretty well over-all, as is to be expected when you don't predict anything too exciting or special, but I did get one very major prediction wrong. I was adamant that there would be no new hardware at this evening, and what did Phil kick off with? New MacBook Pros! That was a total surprise, and not just to me.

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I'm cutting it mighty fine this year, Phil Schiller gets up on stage in a matter of a few hours to deliver the WWDC 2009 keynote, but I still want to get a few predictions in beforehand. First and foremost, I expect this to be a very two-sided affair, iPhone, and OS X 10.6 SnowLeopard. I don't expect we'll see anything else, except maybe, just maybe, a pre-announcement about some sort of tablet device.

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Another WWDC Steve-Note has come and gone, and my predictions were right in some ways, and totally wrong in others. I'd expected the keynote to be iPhone heavy, but not iPhone only! The fact that OS X 10.6 got no more than a passing mention is a little disappointing. As expected, we got to see lots of cool demos of apps for the App Store, as well as a demo of the new features in the new iPhone 2.0 software. The biggest surprise there was how cheap the new software will be for iPod Touch owners, just $9.95! Unsurprisingly, half the planet was right about there being a 3G iPhone, however I'm pleased to have been wrong about GPS. Mobile Me is roughly what I'd expected, but not all I'd hoped for, the lack if iDisk access from the iPhone is disappointing. The continued lack of any sort of access to files for iPhone apps limits what developers can do with the SDK. Un-surprisingly we didn't get a BlueTooth keyboard for the iPhone, or a Mac Tablet. The biggest disappointment of all is that iPhone 2.0 software still seems to be missing basic text-manipulation functions like select, cut, copy & paste, and that Notes on the iPhone still don't seem to sync to anywhere.

[tags]Apple, Steve Jobs, WWDC 2008, WWDC, iPhone, Mobile Me[/tags]

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My Predictions for WWDC 2008

Filed Under Computers & Tech on June 7, 2008 | 6 Comments

It's become a little tradition on this blog that I post my predictions for all Steve Jobs' big keynote events. In some ways this isn't quite as much fun as it used to be because big Apple news tends to leak out these days. In the past making WWDC predictions was much more about imagining what Apple might do, rather than analysing rumours which is really what it's about now. That's still fun, but it's more about logic than it is about imagination.

[tags]Apple, WWDC, WWDC 2008, Developers, Steve Jobs, Keynote, iPhone, predictions[/tags]

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If you're just too busy to sit down and watch an entire Steve-note the good people at Mahalo have condensed it down to 60 seconds for you. The scary thing, it doesn't miss any of the important points!

(thanks to Allison for the link)

[tags]Apple, Steve Jobs, Macworld, Mahalo[/tags]

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Well, another Macworld has been and gone, we have a new stock of Apple goodies to slurp up our disposable cash, and we get to tally our score and see how well we did with our predictions. In some ways this keynote was rather disappointing, so many of the rumours were true! That's the second year in a row that we've had the big news leak before the show. Then you have the fact that there was no 'and one more thing' announcement. On the other hand though, if you just look at what was actually announced it was a very impressive Macworld. There were also some wonderful surprises in the details. Sure, we knew we were getting movie rentals, but with so many studios? Sure, we knew we were getting the 1.1.3 mobile OS X (as I call it) firmware, but we had no idea we'd be getting mail and Google Maps on the iPod Touch! Then we come to the ultra-portable, sure, we were expecting it, but really, I wasn't expecting something quite so thin yet big. So, although there were no surprises in the over-all structure of the keynote, there were some wonderful surprises in the details. Oh, and I did well with my predictions 🙂

[tags]Macworld, Steve Jobs, Apple, Keynote[/tags]

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Next Tuesday Santa finally comes for the Mac faithful when Steve Jobs takes the stage for his Mac World 2008 keynote. Each year I like to make an idiot of myself by trying to predict what santa Steve will deliver for us, so, here I go again! I'm gonna start by putting my neck on the line straight away. I think the focus for this keynote will be home entertainment. I think the reports about video rentals will turn out to be correct and I think there'll be more to it than what has been reported this week. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Apple TV got a make-over and a new lease of life. Some are even predicting that Apple will sell TVs with Apple TV built in. I'm not convinced, but it's possible I guess.

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