Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (#WWDC) 2009

Chris Brooker
June 8, 2009

wwdc

If anyone follows technology than you know today at 9am PST (1pm EST) was the kick-off keynote where dreams are typically made. This is the conference where the original iPhone’s release date and key features where announced. Last year the  iPhone 3g was anounced. This is typically the one event where you can expect Apple to bring out the big guns.

As always, expectations were increadibly high. However, this year for me, it felt like a major let down. Actually I felt like this was a company wide Service Pack.

Let’s run down the items that were presented today at the WWDC keynote delivered by Phil Schiller;

New 15″ MacBook Pro – minor updates. A hardware Service Pack.

New 13″ MacBook Pro – new model, like a MacBook with better specs.

Safari 4 – Nothing really new. It’s WebKit, they tuned it a bit more.

Mac OS – Snow Leopard – Apple touted this as  next big thing. Really there are only 3 new features and none of them are truly ground breaking. Seems more like playing catch up to Windows; adding better multi-threading, giving control to developers, supporting 64-bit. Typically Apple will charge $129 for and OS upgrade but even they understand there is nothing here and lowered the price to $29. People cheered really loud for this one. You typically get much more in a Microsoft Service Pack for the price of $0.

iPhone Apps – Apple spent an hour of the keynote showing off apps from third-parties. The one that made me chuckle the most was the TomTom turn-by-turn navigation software. Really? this is new? I honestly had this 3 years ago on my Palm Zire 71 and 2 years ago on WinMo. The fact that TomTom was finally allowed by Apple to enter the iPhone is sad. Not something to be cheered.

iPhone 3.0 – They recapped all of the features that we heard about 6 months ago and added a few more. MMS, tethering, notification, voice recorder, global search, copy and paste, A2DP, etc. You know what they are. It’s a list of features that all other phones have that Apple is finally blessing us with. These are really 2 years late guys. Especially MMS.

Find my Phone – This is actually a great service. It will find your lost or stolen phone. Make it ring even in silent mode, locate it by GPS or Wifi, and perform a remote wipe.Then they tell you, it’s only for MobileMe subscribers. Someone should really make this an App for $3. If the SDK gives you the hardware access but I’m not sure it does. Remote wipe should be part of Exchange sync, this is MUCH needed for the corporate world.

iPhone 3GS – The moment we were all waiting for! An exciting, mind blowing upgrade to the iPhone which will make me go running out and camp at the nearest seller of iPhones. I felt really let down. It’s exactly the same ascetically as the current iPhone. There is really no way to tell them apart. The 3GS gets a bump in processor speed, more RAM, more storage,  longer battery life, a compass, 3MP AF Camera with video recording and Voice Dialing. Again, this is just a hardware Service Pack. A good improvement to the 3g but still, it’s just adding the missing features that even my Razor had. Voice Dialing? Finally. Video, Finally. We shouldn’t have had to wait 2 years for these features.

I’ve currently had an iPhone 3g for almost an entire year. This is the longest I’ve had a phone in my life! They typically last 3 months before I replace them with something different. Always searching in vein for a phone that makes me happy. There is still nothing even close.

Apple, thanks for the minor improvements. Microsoft has been much, much more exciting lately.

I love cell phones and want to test your new smartphone!

Chris Brooker
June 4, 2009

palm_2dpre_2dsize_2dcomparison

Hi manufacturers of smartphones, Rim, Apple, Palm, Google, (sorta) Nokia. I’m a huge lover of cell phones and have been through more than my fair share in the quest for the perfect phone. Which inevitably leads me to making a list of all the things I would really like to have in a smart phone and I’m always left staring at an impossible list.

Quick sample of my list;

  • Powerful CPU (Atom or better equivalent performance)
  • Full featured OS. (Multitasking, Full browsing with flash at minimum, ability to install any apps I want without an approval process or having to hack the device, push email is a full featured email client.)
  • OS must remain quick and responsive at all times.
  • Ability to plug in USB devices like videos camera, cameras and external HDs.
  • Non-crippled Bluetooth. Support all Bluetooth profiles.
  • Excellent 10MP AF camera with 720p video recording with a Flash. Support for Bluetooth mics.
  • GPS, Accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, etc (the usual)
  • Large vibrant capacitive touchscreen with a Transflective TFT LCD and e-ink display 4″- 6″? Pocketable.
  • Ability to playback 1080p h.264 video on screen and via Wireless HDMI as well as gfx accelerated flash.
  • Ability to play 3d games and run gfx accelerated applications. (perhaps the entire UI)
  • 2 full days of battery life with actual use.
  • Integration to major social networking sites (Facebook, twitter, etc)
  • Unified messaging framework for SMS, IM, email (Maybe Google Wave can help)

Essentially a full PC designed for a touchscreen with an all day battery that will fit in my pocket.

So ya, an impossible list. I’m tired of carrying around so many devices and all the devices I carry around are small.

  • 11″ Tablet-PC (for computing)
  • Ultra compact HD camcorder
  • iPhone
  • all the chargers and cables (the most weight, just so I can use these things for more than an hour)

I just want to carry 1 device that does it all.

What I’m really asking, to anyone out there listening, is can I please test your new smartphone? I’ve used them all Blackberries, iPhones, Nokias,  WinMo, etc. I’ve played with the Google G2 (HTC Magic). I’d love to try the Palm Pre if it were in Canada and on a GSM network.

Let me test your smartphone.

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