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WWDC 08 thoughts

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

Once again Steve Jobs has delivered an impressive set of updates and new products that managed to surprise. We already knew the 3G iPhone was 99% certain to be unveiled, but who would have guessed the price would be $199 and $299? I’m hoping that will convert to £129 (more likely £149) and £179 (again, probably £199) for the UK. If the 3G iPhone is hacked to run on any network as quickly as the original there’s no way I will be able to resist for long.

The MobileMe service answers several requirements I have found recently, and synchronising across iPhone, Mac apps and Outlook is genuinely useful for those of us who have to use Windows at work. Once 3rd Party Developers start building on this there’s no telling what will be possible. 20Gb of storage still doesn’t look very generous for $99/£69 a year, but the rest should make up for it. The web apps look useful, but you will be at the mercy of your ISP. The UK boasts some fast services but the reality is that a 20Mbit connection is swamped by more than one task at a time.

Perhaps the most surprising news for me (after the 3G iPhone price) was the cost of the games. $9.99 seems low for something like Super Monkey Ball that costs several time that on other gaming platforms, even portable ones. This could help Apple make the iPhone King of several markets, Pocket Gaming Console, PDA, Smartphone, GPS navigation, Media Player and Social Networking. Is this the device that takes Apple from being a computer manufacturer to a Consumer Electronics giant?

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MobileMe – what .Mac should have been

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

The last major announcement of the WWDC was the new MobileMe service, replacing .Mac from July. Offering a web interface to mail, calendars and contacts with a familiar Mac app appearance, the impressive thing about this is the ability to synchronise or push information across iPhone, iPod, Mac (ical, mail, address book) and Windows Outlook. Syncing of photo’s is also supported, and Apple describes this as ‘Exchange for the rest of us’. Storage of 20Gb is included. Priced at $99 a year it looks like a much better service than .Mac, and should do much to revive Apple’s flagging web service. More information here.

iPhone 3G: from $199

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

One of the biggest surprises of the WWDC keynote was the price of the 3G iPhone. Starting at $199 for the 8Mb version, with the 16Mb at $299. With the same 3.5 inch screen and a plastic back, new features include GPS and a flush headphone socket. 3G talk time is stated as 5 hours, with 5-6 hours of web browsing, 7 hours of video playback, 24 hours of audio playback and 300 hours standby. The 8Mb version is black, 16Mb is available in black or white. There’s a 3D rotating view here.

The new version will be available from 11th July in 22 countries, increasing to 70 countries over the coming months. From the Apple spec page:

Size and weight

Height: 4.5 inches (115.5 mm)

Width: 2.4 inches (62.1 mm)

Depth: 0.48 inch (12.3 mm)
Weight: 4.7 ounces (133 grams)

Color

  • 8GB model: Black
  • 16GB model: Black or white

Capacity

  • 8GB or 16GB flash drive

Cellular and wireless

  • UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
  • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR

GPS

  • Assisted GPS

Camera and photos

  • 2.0 megapixel camera
  • Photo geotagging
Categories: apple, iPod, photo Tags: , , , , ,

iPhone games priced at $9.99

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

One thing that really surprised me was the pricing of the games announced during the WWDC Keynote. Have paid around £30 for Super Monkey Ball on the Nintendo Wii it seems a steal for $9.99. Looks like Apple are serious about making the iPhone a viable gaming platform. Here’s the list of software announced:

  • Super Monkey Ball from Nintendo
  • Enigmo, a puzzle game from Pangea
  • Cro-Mag Rally also from Pangea, a racing game
  • Digital Legends Entertainmentshowed a 3D game similar to God of War, due in September
  • Ebay app that allows you to do anything you can do through your web browser
  • Loopt, a location-based service for tracking friends
  • A Typepad client
  • Band – virtual instruments and songwriting app
  • Associated Press showed the Mobile News Network, which uses the location aware features of the new OS to pull in local news
  • MLB.com for baseball highlights and live video clips

iPhone V2 Firmware due early July

June 9, 2008 Leave a comment

The WWDC keynote speech has now finished, and the first news is the availability of iPhone and iPod firmware V2 in early July. Free for the iPhone and $9.99 (£6.99?) for the iPod Touch, it boasts the following features:

  • The iTunes app store
  • Apps under 10Mb can be downloaded by Edge, WiFi or iTunes, over 10Mb are Wifi or iTunes only
  • Microsoft Exchange support with push email, contacts, calendars and remote wipe
  • PUSH, a notification service for software developers to allow apps to alert you when new content is available without running in the background and draining your battery
  • Contacts search

I’ve complained before of the charge to iPod owners for the five iphone apps not originally included, but this update adds a lot for your ten bucks. Since this is akin to a new OS version like Tiger to Leopard it seems a small price to pay.