I wrote about Apple’s WWDC event. I followed it live on thisismynext. While I followed it my girlfriend was probably a bit worried about me and couldn’t make sense to why I was going a bit mad. Why I got a bit mad? Because it was Apple who hit the bulls-eye. It was Apple who made me go out and mindlessly buy a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 4 and an iPad. Now that is something I wouldn’t think and say, as I pointed out my dislike for Apple on a previous post. So here’s why this event changed my thoughts for Apple.
On June 6th Apple unveiled (well everyone knew what their names were days before but you get what I mean) OS X Lion, iOS and the iCloud. I’d like to start with OS X Lion as I have to admit it’s the one that got me least excited. It’s basically the new cat that will run under the hood of Macs (ps: it’s the new OS). There are some new cool features like multi-touch gestures on the very smooth touchpad of MacBooks. These basically give you a new way to switch between “apps” (wow, even good old “programs” is now called apps), navigating and zooming, which most of us are useful now anyways with touchscreens in our pockets (no love for BlackBerry here, sorry). Other features include; full screen apps which is a nice thing for small screens, mission control which is a multiple screen manager, launchscreen which is basically the iPhone menu on your laptop (Apple sure thinks that screen is useful I guess) and Resume. Now I just have to state my love for Resume. What it does is that it auto-saves everything so you never ever have to hit “ctrl” and “s” at the same time again. Yesterday I was working on something on Photoshop and when I started up my laptop today it was all gone. Sad. Another thing that Resume brings is “versions” which allows you to view the thing you are working on in the timeline. So you get to view the project in whichever state you want. It might be very useful but I have no idea what it might do to your hard disk. But no these are not the reason I wanted to buy a MacBook Pro mindlessly. I shall talk about it soon.
Moving on, the iOS 5. Now this is something that my old and lazy iPhone 3g will not see. So that’s why I wanted to buy and iPhone 4. But what is iOS 5 you say? Well I never thought I’d say this but it a mobile OS that is near perfect. The biggest drawback of the iOS 4 is the notification system that haunts us in our nightmares. It’s horrible. The pop-ups are so 90s. It haunts us while we shoot our favorite Angry Bird, it haunts us while we read our mails. But fear no more because Apple has fixed it! How, you say? By copying it from Android! Well yes, there aren’t a lot of unique ways of putting in a notification system on a smartphone but who is the copycat now Apple.
Anyways, the new notification system gets rid of the pop-ups and lets you see the notification uninterrupted with a cool sliding from top animation. If you swipe down from the top it also takes you to the notification center which is basically where you see everything from mail to Facebook messages.
Another problem with the current version of iOS is the fact that you see absolutely nothing on the lockscreen. Apple also brought a solution to this. You actually see your notifications on the lockscreen and you can swipe over them to get to the app that the notification is related to. So if I swipe over a missed call it will take me to Phone and if I swipe over a mail it will take me to the mail app. I think that’s pretty neat. Another new feature is the small camera button you get near the unlock slide which will take
you directly to Camera. Here I also want to point out that iPhone 4’s gorgeous camera is the most used camera for images on Flickr. Apple has also added some new photo enhancements such as crop, auto-enhance and remove red-eye.
Other cool stuff that iOS 5 brings is full twitter integration which means tweeting photos from your camera or photo app directly, a very cool Reminder app which reminds you stuff as you arrive or leave a certain location which is just mad, new Safari which has tabbed browsing on iPad and a reader function for both iPhone and iPad. Reader basically clears out all the crap out of pages so you’re just left with the text and relevant photos. Gotta love that. There’s also Wi-Fi syncing (hooray!), new mail app and all bunch of stuff which I’m not going to mention. But you can always check them all out at apple.com. Now there’s two major things I left out and I think these are things that makes iOS very special. First is Newsstand. As you can guess it allows you to read your periodicals. But these are not periodicals that has been made for iPad or iPhone. These are the printed periodicals. It sync automatically and you can read you favorite mags and stuff there. Very cool Apple, just made iPad buyable for me. It also might have saved the print industry. The next thing and the last thing I’m going to talk about is iMessages. BlackBerry might not be very popular anymore but in my university “all the cool kid” have one. Why they use that ancient technology? The BlackBerry Messenger. Well, tough luck RIM. iMessages as you have guessed allows you to text for free between iOS devices. They didn’t mention it in the keynote but I believe Apple might also develop an iMessages platform for OS X as well. Tl;dr: iMessages is the BBM killer. I personally have no idea why today’s kids use stuff like BBM when there are tons of other IM platforms but whatever.
The last but certainly not least, the reason why I would buy a MacBook Pro an iPhone 4 and an iPad, all at the same time: iCloud. As you can guess it’s the cool “i-name” Apple made up for it’s cloud service, or the old MobileMe, which sucked. The reason why iCloud doesn’t suck over MobileMe is a couple of new things. First of all music. I have no clear data available in my mind right now but I have no doubt that iTunes is probably one of the most used platform to buy and download songs (legally), if not the number one. With iCloud when you buy an album on iTunes you don’t need to sync your iPhone again. When you open up iPod (now called Music) app on your iPhone it’s there! It’s magic! (see what I did there?) Also another thing with music services of iCloud is that it allows you to match up to 20000 songs, per year, from your hard drive for a mere 25 bucks. Yes, I used the word “match” because instead of uploading your music to Apple’s servers you just show Apple you have the song and it will let you use the version Apple has on its cloud. Now I’m not sure how that will work with pirate songs but I’m sure Apple will work out a DRM solution, seeing that it is Apple we are talking about right now.
Other cool stuff iCloud brings to our lives is documents in the cloud, apps, books, backup, contacts, calendars, mail, basically the usual cloud stuff we’ve been using for a few years now thanks to the god called Google, and photo stream. The reason I separated photo stream from the other “usual” stuff is photo stream is it’s wicked magic. You take a photo on your iPhone and it’s in your iPad immediately. I’m personally not a big photo person but most people are and this will work great for you photo maniacs out there. It’s also of course available on your favorite MacBook. There’s a small drawback though, Apple keeps a limited number of photos on the cloud; that is, the last 1000 photos. This might be a problem but I’m sure it’ll be worked out.
So I covered the major stuff, or stuff I liked if you’d prefer it that way, from Apple WWDC. No it does not make me an “apple fanboi” to want to buy a MacBook Pro an iPhone and an iPad. It makes me a consumer. Actually the fact that I had not bought those stuff previously, arguably, might make me a clever consumer. Yes I still hate Apple’s way of putting things (i.e. the “copycat”) but these product are pretty awesome. But would I buy a MacBook without owning a serious Windows machine? No. Would I buy an iPad? Maybe. Would I buy an iPhone right now? Definitely not. But I said I would right? Why the hell would I change my mind after explaining all those cool stuff on iOS. The reason for that is most new phones are starting to have dual-core processors and 4G connectivity. Does iPhone 4 has those? No. Hope I was clear enough.