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WWDC 2011 Impression

07 Jun

The streaming video is available on Apple’s site now.

1. OS X Lion.
The show started with Phil Schiller talking about Lion and some of the features like gestures and what not. We’ve seen this before. Craig was showing the demo, showing the new scrolling paradigm and the new photo booth app. The focus is full-screen apps. What’s nice about it is how smooth things are. Whenever Craig swiped stuff around, the OS looks just silky smooth, something I like about Apple. Craig also showed the more intuitive mission control for spaces. Not bad, but nothing superbly amazing.
Launchpad is basically iOS-like launcher for OS X. Resume and auto-save seem like basic ideas, but I bet these will require app support for full functionality. Versions has the similar vibe of something that Microsoft is already doing on Windows (shadow copy, previous versions, etc). But obviously Apple is doing it with a lot more flair, with a Time-Machine-like UI and interactivity.
Airdrop is a nice feature, peer to peer encrypted wifi file-sharing. No more trying to find that USB stick. Oh, and also a confirmation that the server “version” will be an add-on, probably via the app store. Available July, but only available via the app store? What about a clean install? As for price, as I predicted, it’s just $30. The beauty is, since it’s part of the app store, it means you just spend $30 to upgrade ALL your Macs. Amazing! No more family pricing and whatnot. Microsoft, take a hint here, how much are you going to charge for Windows 8?

2. Mac App store
Yeah. Apple wants that cut, and at the same time, developers want the sales. Phil was saying how the Mac App store is the number one software retailer (not sure what measurement they are using, but whatever). The biggest change is app updates. Right now, as with iOS app store, whenever there’s an update for any of the apps, you’re downloading the whole apps again. Looks like Lion will allow delta updates. Hopefully this means everytime Apple updates iTunes, I don’t have to re-download the whole iTunes software anymore. 😛

3. New Mail.
Basically Mail on OS X is getting a UI refresh based on Mail on iOS with additional niceties like conversation view. By the way, Craig is just good at demo-in all of these. The way he talked and what not definitely shows you that the whole keynote is well produced, especially when you start comparing keynotes from Google/Microsoft/HP.

4. iOS5.
Scott is up, talking about the typical sales and whatnot. Yadda yadda. iOS5 is the news here. Finally, a revamped notification. The dumbphone-level notification is too silly for a smartphone. Notification Center. What is it? A copy of Android’s notification system. Yeah, it is even invoked by dragging the top bar down, JUST like Android. LOL @ Apple. Lock screen is improved by showing the notification with direct access to the app that got the notification.
Newsstand is just an extension of the iBook store, but for newspaper and magazine subscription. Meh, can’t remember when the last time I read newspaper or magazine. There’s already something better, it’s called RSS feed. 😛
Tighter twitter integration with support for single sign-on right on iOS, and twitter services from other apps.
Mobile Safari is improved with the same reader function like the desktop version. Many websites actually don’t like this as it gets rid of ads and page click. Oh, and full tab browsing for the iPad, with the tabs on the screen instead of having to go to the thumbnails of websites.
Reminders. Uh oh, this doesn’t bode well to some apps as before, you need a 3rd party app. The beauty is the geo location where you can trigger a reminder when entering or leaving a particular location.
Improved Camera app. Now there’s a camera icon on the lock screen of iOS5 that immediately brings you to the camera app. Gee, how did Apple get this idea? *cough*Windows Phone 7*cough*. Even funnier, using the volume button to take picture. The irony here is that Apple took down an app in the past that brought that functionality. There’s also AE/AF lock when you touch the area on the screen, a great feature. Editing is now built-in so no more trying to find a 3rd party apps for simple cropping. Of course, 3rd party devs may not be as happy.
Improved Mail… meh.
And, a split keyboard for thumb typing on the iPad. Hmm, where didn’t we see this very recently? Yeah, on Windows 8. LOL @ Apple.
One of the biggest feature would be PC free. This means no need for iTunes activation (phone can be used out of the box), OTA OS updates (delta, not redownloading the whole OS like before), just like, oh, any other phones out there. LOL.
I couldn’t care less about Game Center.
iMessage (gee, what a creative name), a messaging service for any iOS devices, including iPod Touch and iPad (not just iPhones). If you and your family/friends have iOS devices, pretty much you don’t need any of those IM apps anymore. Oh, and this could mean you can bypass your greedy wireless carrier’s SMS charges extortion. Neat. 😀
Other stuff: AirPlay Mirroring, Wi-Fi sync to iTunes (Finally!). Not mentioned: LED flash for incoming calls/alerts (obviously iPhone 4 only), Smart Playlist sync from iTunes, different tones for voicemail/mail/calendar alerts, emoji, ability to delete songs, and oh, custom vibration patters. LOL. Available this Fall, and still supports the 3GS! Hopefully it won’t bog down the 3GS like iOS4 did for the 3G.

5. iCloud.
Steve is back on stage and talked about multiple devices syncing driving them crazy. Agreed. Thus iCloud as the “hub,” automatically upload and push content from/to all your devices (presumably just Apple devices, meaning iDevices and Macs). Oh, and Steve poked fun at MobileME. Good one. iCloud is going to replace MobileME and available for free (What happens to my subscription?). I think I’m gonna love this, and makes drinking Apple’s kool-aid a bit sweeter with this kind of integration, but since I also have Android, I think I may have to stick with Google services for things like contacts and calendar.
App and iBook syncing, which is crucial to the PC-free idea for iOS5. Also backup to iCloud, and just like Google’s Android, you will be able to buy a new iPhone and once you signed on, iCloud will push down all your stuff to the new device.
Documents in the cloud pretty much syncs your projects from Pages, Keynote, and Numbers via iCloud. Not a new idea, but neat for those that use those apps.
Photo stream, same iCloud syncing for photos. This would be awesome, but how about capacity? Apple is only going to store the last 1000 photos, and only for 30 days. Errr, yeah, what happens after 30 days? What if I want to view it a month or 2 later? You have to save it to an album. Fair enough I guess, but it means it’s still a local copy then. So the iCloud is just a temporary basket, not a true picasa/flickr replacement.
iTunes in the cloud, which basically allows you to re-download previous iTunes purchases on any iDevices. Make sense I guess, and should’ve been a feature from way back when. It also pushes new purchases to other devices. Again, critical for the no-PC idea, but you’re stuck with the iTunes ecosystem. What if you have your own music? That’s the one more thing. Well, Apple is offering iTunes match for $25 a year. Basically iTunes will match your songs to see if it has it in the store. If it does, it uses its 256kbps AAC for the song (wonder how this will work with the recording labels? Will it require the CD? Or can people get matches based on MP3s?). If not, it will upload the track. But then how about storage? Need more explanations here.

5GB free storage for mail and backups, and oh, photo stream is not counted! Well duh, because Apple deletes them after 30 days.
Beta today, and will launch together with IOS5 in the Fall.

so what happen if I already paid for MobileME? And where’s the new iPhone? 😦
Update: I logged in to my MobileME account, and there’s an option to request a refund. Phew. 🙂
So MobileME will officially end on June 30th, 2012.

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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