Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Macworld '08 Keynote - more questions than answers

So, as usual, the keynote was fun to watch, even if you have to watch it tape delayed. His Steveness is, as ever, the eternal showman.

My wife and I have iPhones, and we love them. It's nice to see the new features, which indeed were downloadable before the sun set on the day they were announced. Left un-announced, however, were a few things I'd still like to see support for:

1. GPS over bluetooth connectivity, for up-to-the-second positioning and turn-by-turn navigation. No, I don't want or need GPS built-in to the phone. The current functionality demonstrates sufficiently that it is not really necessary. Perhaps we'll see this in a TBD 3rd party native app when the SDK arrives.

2. Since day 1 I have been unable to make the phone's wifi work with internet connection sharing on a mac. This is a pretty glaring one, Steve. I'm not the only one either. The mac support forums light up with this one pretty frequently.

3. Dinging the iPod touch folks $20 for buying them sooner rather than later seems like deja-vu for us who bought the iPhone on the first day. At least the magnitude of the sting is less.

4. No A2DC profile for the iPod touch or iPhone? We still have to use wires and adapters? Humph.

I have a little bit more ire for the announcement of the Time Capsule. This is nothing more than the existing Airport Extreme with a hard-disk built into it. Steve billed this as a fix for those who found that at the last minute the ability to use Time Machine on a laptop with a USB disk shared from the airport was removed.

So help me figure this out, people. Somehow it's the 480 Mb/s USB interface that's the problem that's going to make it impossible to fix this without buying a new box with the drive built-in instead?

Now, in Steve's defense, he didn't say that this functionality wasn't going to be addressed for existing airport owners, and the new price points are competitive with what the prices of an old gigabit airport, external USB enclosure and drive would be.

Since I work at Netflix, I won't blog about the movie rental or Apple TV stuff. Sorry.

Lastly, though, was something I can't really complain about. The MacBook Air looks like a really fantastic machine. I know exactly to whom I'm going to recommend it. My mom! The 4 or 5 of you reading this who know me well are probably stunned by that, expecting me to name my wife or even myself. Nope. The time is right for mom's old, aging iBook to go. She's needed the optical drive on about 10 occasions, and she could use Dad's in a pinch. But for her, small and light trumps it all. I really think she'll love it. She'll particularly love jumping from a 1.mumble GHz G4 with 640M of RAM to a 1.6 GHz core 2 duo with 2 GB of RAM.

And no, it's not a surprise - I won't be buying it. :)

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