MacWorld SF – 2007 Edition

It looks like this is an annual thing for me, so I’ll give it another go. Angela and I are ever-so-slowly making the shift (back) towards using Apple hardware and software in our lives, so I do have quite a bit of interest in MacWorld each year. Plus, it’s nice to watch the stock jump! I’ll live-blog it as best I can from noon until 2:00 EST, so I apologize in advance if it makes your RSS readers go wonky with loads of posts (I hope that doesn’t happen, anyway).

For on-going coverage, you can turn to Engadget or MacRumors.

iTV Apple TV – Apple Lands in your Living Room

Well, this looks great,to be honest. Frankly, this is likely the solution I was looking for several years ago when I purchased a Windows Media Center Edition PC with plans to get a MCE extender for the living room. We bought a Hauppague unit that really didn’t work very well at all in the meantime, and then eventually went to TiVo when they announced TiVo ToGo. Of course, there doesn’t seem to be the PVR functionality on the iTV, which sucks for the short term but as everyone (including our household) move to IPTV, this becomes the solution to have. Download al a carte, use a PC or network elsewhere for storage, and then just network down to the big screen in the living room. Having a (albeit small) on board hard drive allows for some storage but the adoption of 802.11n is going to really make streaming HD video possible (just like you all knew it would).

Shipping next month for $299. Pretty reasonable, given this things capability and the cost of similar devices (that do less).

iPhone – Apple Takes Control of your Pocket

Apple finally did it. Wow.

Well, I don’t know this is as revolutionary as Jobs claims it is, but it is never-the-less very cool (and about time). I mean, I don’t yet seeing this doing what the Apple II did… Still, internet, phone and iPod (real widescreen video, too) is a killer piece of hardware. It’s going to run OS X (or some very stripped down version, more likely) which, if they sell these phones like they sell iPods, will in turn sell many-a-mac. Once people get a taste for that interface, they’re likely going to want it in a PC.

Syncing everything on the phone with iTunes (or whatever it’s going to be called) is great. This can’t be overstated. This is one of the greatest mysteries of how to get more out of a portable phone and the iPod has been doing it right for years now.

Oh, and of course it has a camera. Hopefully better than iSight or the cameras found on the vast majority of cell phones now (especially mine and Angela’s). It apparently has an 8GB drive (solid state or platter, I don’t know which) and that is vastly more than any phone right now and actually would be a lot of music (although not too many TV shows). I can’t tell, but I have a feeling it wirelessly syncs as well (based on display, which looks to have a Airport signal icon). Ah looks like GSM+Edge+WiFi+Bluetooth. Wow.

I gotta say, I want one. Angela is going to want one, too. This provided it doesn’t cost a grand. Looks like that means switching to Cingular wireless, which is a bit of a pain (not that we love Sprint).

Also, Jobs played the Beatles on the iPhone. Let the significance of that sink in for a moment.

Okay, I do have to say that after reading more of this presentation, Apple really is about to release the next generation in mobile phone. What’s more, it’s not a mobile phone anymore but a mobile communications and media device. Few of it’s capabilities are new but the (apparently, as I’ve not used one yet) tight integration is really what makes it next gen. Using an advanced operating system (did anyone really ever think Windows CE, Symbian, or Blackberry was the pinnacle?) to bind several devices together may not really revolutionize electronics, but it is going to bring this to the masses instead of the 1% high end tech elite. Oh, and it’s going to make Apple a mint.

Well, that’s all for me for now. I’ll finish some of these thoughts up on MacWorld ’07 later. There’s things going on today besides Apple and some of you may want to check that out later, as well.

Okay, well, that really looked like pretty much all the news. Apple also released a 802.11n device which looks pretty slick but, as with all their networking gear, is way overpriced in my opinion. They also changed their name to just Apple, Inc., which was a long time coming. However, I’d like to point out one thing that was not mentioned at their yearly shock-and-awe-fest: OS X 10.5, Leapord. I’m really disappointed that they are either pushing this further back or just don’t find the upgrade worth discussing. I’m hoping it still beats the iPhone to store-shelves (i.e. – by June), but I won’t put off buying a computer to wait anymore.

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