So, Steve Jobs just concluded his Macworld keynote speech. Biggest news: the iPhone is now official. All I can say is: dang. That thing is going to be awesome. It’s the combination of three devices: a widescreen video iPod (not so exciting), a cellular phone (moderately exciting), and a productivity suite running a full OS (very exciting).
Obviously, what I’m most interested in is the fact that this thing runs Mac OS X. Yes, it RUNS Mac OS X. It’s got mobile versions of Mail.app and Safari, and Jobs claims you can run desktop-class applications on it. Sweet. Sadly, I’m sure that internet access will require the $40/month Internet fee (something I doubt I’d use enough to justify the cost), but there’s good news: it does Wi-fi and Bluetooth. So, given that the places that I would use it also have WiFi access, I’d be set. It’s supposed to make it really easy to navigate and dial people, but I didn’t quite visualize there have only been text descriptions of it. I’m sure the video will be available this evening or tomorrow. It has integration with Google Maps and GPS functions, so it’s aware of where you are. It doesn’t use a stylus, but rather the finger as a pointing device. In fact, it has multitouch, so you can use more than one finger to do gestures and navigate. All that said, the iPhone sounds close to the perfect organizational device I’ve wanted for some time now. Sadly, it’s not cheap at $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB). But it’s not going to be released until June, so I’ve got time to save back my money if I decide I want it.
Apple also debuted their iTV device, now called appletv. Seems nice enough, HD video playback, a 40GB drive, and wireless 802.11n access to a Mac/PC that otherwise serves as a storage device for larger videos. Compared to Tivo’s Series3, which is like $800, it seems a value at $299. That said, I don’t think it’s really worth the money. If it recorded television shows also, maybe.
I was shocked at the lack of a few things though. First and foremost, where is Leopard? I mean, let’s see some new secret features, demos, or at least a release date announced for the thing! There was no iWork or iLife announcements, even though Amazon accidentally linked them on their site. On the iPhone, how automatic is the synchronization with the Mac? Will they sync if they realize each other’s presence via bluetooth? Will it sync over the Internet without requiring a .Mac subscription? Will it sync with multiple Macs easily? How easy is note taking on the Mac? Can I take a note and turn it into a To Do or add it to my Calendar, akin to what was demoed for Leopard? Another biggie is, what about iTunes? They’ve announced that the appletv plays HD video, which implies that HD video would be available on iTunes. Where’s the beef? A number of questions remain.