WWDC 2010: The Good The Bad, and the Meh
As with all big Apple events, I once again find people turning to me for my opinion on the announcements from Apple’s 2010 WWDC. Honestly I can’t blame them, as my opinion is often the only correct one when it comes to such things. I seem to have the uncanny ability to cut through the hype with laser beam-like precision, and somehow categorize the day’s events into one of three categories: Good, Bad, and Meh. Here’s how the WWDC broke down.
iPhone 4. Yes, iPhone 4, NOT iPhone 4G. With this update I believe the iPhone may finally have everything we initially expected the FIRST iPhone to have three years ago. I’m glad to see the addition of the LED flash, although I am not one of those people who feels a cell phone is a replacement for a real digital camera, nor do I expect to use the video chat features as I do not know anyone who will have an iPhone 4 who I feel the need to see when I talk to (with the possible exception of some future Mac Chicks). But I do love the much nicer screen, the iPad’s guts crammed inside, the larger battery, the HD video and the fact that the white model somehow doesn’t look nearly as effeminate as the previous model. The release date of June 24th is also awesome (so close to Father’s Day, Hint Hint), as I was the first one to call it.
iOS 4. Apple appears to be on a little bit of a rebranding spree, and the iPhone’s operating system is heretofore to be called iOS 4 (presumably until iOS 5 comes out). I’m sure there are some things a few nitpickers can still gripe about, but to be honest it appears iOS 4 has more or less everything I ever jailbroke my iPhone for. If anyone cites “lack of Flash” as a missing feature at this point, you’re an asshole. Give it up.
iMovie for iPhone. This looks about as good as handheld video editing can get, which is not saying much, but it still looks like for the patient and reasonably adroit, this could signal the dawn of a new era of horrible, pointless videos made by young, untalented people documenting every pointless event of their boring lives, and then putting it on YouTube. Why is that cool? Well, it’s in HD, and just about everything is watchable in HD.
Safari 5. While not an official keynote announcement, Apple appears to have released Safari 5. Without actually having downloaded it yet I can’t be sure, but it appears to be a good thing. It’s faster, has a new “reader” view (not sure of the real benefit to that), oodles of new HTML 5 features, and most importantly, EXTENSIONS, so we can finally make Safari as slow and bloated as other browsers. I’m actually surprised Apple isn’t shipping Safari 5 with a Flash Blocking Extension by default.
iBooks gets some updates. I don’t use iBooks on my iPad, so I doubt I’ll be using it on my iPhone, but BOOM! There it is in the iPhone iOS 4. It’s cool that it can sync your purchases and progress between devices, and the ability to read PDFS is nice, if for no other reason than it will stop some people from bitching.
iAds is coming along. I know, I know, I put iAds in the MEH category before and some people told me I was crazy, but I’m sorry, I just can’t get too excited about ads, not matter how cool they are (and to be honest, they look about as cool as the annoying Flash ads we all try to block now, they just don’t use Flash). Anyway, if you are a developer looking to make some coin, hopefully iAds will live up to the hype.
FaceTime video conferencing. Despite Apple’s amazingly well picked, pull-at-your-heart-strings moments it chose to showcase the new video conferencing capabilities of the iPhone 4, the actual times I would ever use this in daily life are few and far between, and will be even fewer and farther in betweener until someone I actually know gets an iPhone 4. But for some reason it is something people have either wanted or assumed they should have for years, so I am glad to see it finally arrive. However, as faithful Macenstein reader Jonro points out, “they have video chat in Europe. What’s wrong with using an existing standard?” I’m not sure why Apple chose to create its OWN standard, although I assume it because that’s what they like to do, but they did make it open source, so hopefully it will catch on and we’ll have the option of possibly even chatting with NON-iPhone users in the future.
iPhone 4 only goes up to 32 GB?!?! – This is borderline insane, especially given that the new iPhone 4 is being touted as the be-all end-all handheld HD video recorder/editor. I currently have the 32 GB iPhone 3G S, and granted I have a ton of crap on mine to review, including 3 Navigation apps each weighing in around 2 GB, but still, I am close to running out space, and a bump to 64 GB would have made the decision to upgrade a little easier (although it’s still pretty damn easy).
Apple pretty much announces the Mac platform is dead. Well, Apple didn’t so much come out and announce this as they didn’t come out and announce ANYTHING that didn’t have to do with their handheld devices. Oh well. At this point Mac developers are used to being treated as second class citizens.
So, that’s it. All in all a pretty sweet event for iPhone aficionados, and also a sweet day for anyone who doesn’t yet own an iPhone, and who wants to buy my 3G S. Let me know how right I am in the comments.