WWDC 2011: My thoughts after the Apple Kool-Aid wears off.

Posted: June 7, 2011 in Apple, hardware, iPad, iphone, iPod, Mac OSX, software
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There were certainly a lot of “ooohs” and “ahhhs” during the WWDC keynote June 6 announcing the latest and greatest Mac OS X Lion and the next iOS.   I admit I was impressed and still am, but have a few concerns now that I’ve had a chance to see the video of the keynote instead of just the live tweeted snippets and stills.

First, what about the download only OS X?  As Phil Schiller said ” it’s about 4 gb.  The size of a HD movie.”  Umm, Hello, have you tried to download a 4 gig file wirelessly lately, we have enough trouble  getting a 600 meg iPhone update to download sometimes, trying something almost 7 times the size is crazy.  I think there needs to still be an option to get it on disk, even if it means paying more.  One price for instant download, one for shipping a disk.   That is a marketing strategy lots of developers use and it works just fine.  Imagine how long it would take on dial-up.

we don’t all have fiber to our macs

Along those same lines, one little nit-picky thing.  The price.  $29.99.  I know its a small thing, but couldn’t they just have left it at $29?  That is the price of the current OS, Snow Leopard.  Yes it is a huge drop in the price from the normal $129, but why the .99?  Its like bargain basement shopping where everything ends in .99.   Just round up or round down, and stop trying to seem less expensive.  Besides, doesn’t saying “its $100 less” sound so much better than $99.01 less?

The cloud.  Or to be more Apple about it, the iCloud.  That darn “i” is back again, letting you know its Apple’s spin on a service that has been around for a while that many others have pioneered the way in and figured out all the problems, pits and downfalls.  Basically paving the way for Apple to come in and do it bigger, better, faster – or at least that’s what they will have you believe.  They’ve already tried it a few times with little success.  Remember iTools?  Or .Mac after that, before the current-until-yesterday MobileMe service?  Maybe the new mega-data-centre they built will be the answer for them getting it right this time.  It sure seems like they are going balls-in this time and not just making it a small service that most won’t use.  This time it is embedded so deep it’ll be hard not to use it.  Get ready for crazy data bills for those of us with limited bandwidth and data usage.

iTunes 4.3 available today.  Yeah, if you are in the US, but even though it says on the Apple website that it is available, the link takes you to a download link for 10.2.2.  If you read the fine print, the rest of the world has to wait it seems.

read the fine print, US only for music features

So what else was announced? iOS5.  I have to admit I am very impressed with the changes made to iOS.  Some of the things that should have been in there since the get-go are now making their way into this version, even though it took them 5 attempts to get some of the stuff BlackBerry has been doing for years.

is it an iBlackberry?

Delivery Receipts.  Read Receipts.  Typing notification.  Hmmm, gee my BlackBerry Curve two iPhones ago could already do that.

Don’t get me wrong, its not all negative.  One of the really nice things they changed (that i’ve complained about often to anyone in range) is the fact that updates are now available on the device or OTA as they call it.  Also, there will be Delta updates.  What does that mean?  Basically instead of updating the entire iOS each time, they can patch and fix it instead, so you end up with much smaller (and possibly more frequent) iOS updates instead of a 600 meg download each time they have to make a few changes or patches.

The pushing of messages via the new iMessage is huge for anyone who is multi-deviced (did i just make up a new geek-term there? i think i did).  Being able to carry on conversations or threads when switching between an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch is great for keeping in touch with people when you need to be able to see what was said previously.  Threaded messages, when done correctly are wonderful, and it seems like Apple got this part right.

Add the fact that you can now do your registering of new devices without connecting to a PC, they are definitely pushing towards people using their idevices more, and possibly having more of them instead of being tied to a desktop or even a laptop.  Especially when you bring iCloud into the equation.  If it does in fact let you backup your entire device to the cloud, then you can be fully mobile and not have to worry about loosing everything should your device fail or be lost.

There are tons of new features built into Lion and iOS5 that will make both a must have for any Mac head, and maybe even pull a few more users away from windows.  The changes are too numerous to even list, and quite honestly that wasn’t the intent of this post.  (if you are interested in more, check out Apple’s updated website for all the glossies)  Kinda sounds like I may be sipping the Apple Kool-Aid again so let me close with this.  The latest versions sound like they are full of promise and wonder.  I just hope they are not empty promises like those of most politicians but those of a company that is listening to the masses and responding, albeit slowly at times.


**update:  the update to iTunes 10.3 finally showed up in Software Update, but when checking in iTunes itself, it still thought the most current version was 10.2.2  – I guess maybe it got stuck at the border without the proper papers.



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