iBooks and more
In the yawner of the day, Jobs announced that the iBooks app recently introduced on the iPad will make its way to the iPhone and iPod touch in iPhone OS 4.0 - another blow to Amazon's Kindle. However, as Engadget noted, "Even Steve doesn't seem that excited about this."
Jobs did seem excited, however, to note that since the iPad was introduced last Saturday, 600,000 books had been downloaded from the App Store, along with 3.5 million apps. True to Jobsian form, however, he didn't note how many were free and how many were paid for.
There will be, according to Jobs, 100 new user features in iPhone OS 4.0, supported by 1,500 new APIs. Among the new features that were merely displayed on a Keynote slide and which weren't discussed from the stage were the ability to gift apps, the addition of the Places feature in the Photos app (which the iPad already has), universal spellcheck, changeable homescreen and lockscreen wallpaper (which, actually, Steve did gush about a bit onstage), 5x digital zoom in the iPhone's camera, the ability to search SMS and MMS messages, support for Bluetooth keyboards, CardDAV support, web-search suggestions, CalDAV invitations, nested playlists, and more.
Not every owner of every iPhone or iPod touch will be able to reap the benefits of iPhone 4.0.
The iPhone 3GS and the third-generation iPod touch will get the whole enchilada when 4.0 is released sometime "this summer" - presumably in concert with the next-gen iPhone. The iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod touch, on the other hand, will be able to run "many things," but not all the new features - with the most glaring omission being multitasking.
The iPad won't benefit from iPhone OS 4.0 at the same time as do the newer iPhones and iPod touches. iPadders will need to wait until "this fall" before a version is released for their brand-spanking-new devices.
And the poor ol' original iPhone - the one that was limited to EDGE and for which early adopters paid $599 for an 8GB model in June 2007 - wasn't mentioned at all. ®
In a Q&A after the formal presentation, one brave soul had the temerity to ask Jobs whether Apple had any plans to allow the iPhone to run "unsigned" apps - that is, apps not vetted by and distributed through the App Store. According to Engadget, Jobs' reply betrayed some of the enmity he may still feel for Eric Schmidt's fiefdom, despite the two CEO's recent coffee klatsch: "You know, there's a porn store for Android. Anyone can download them. You can, your kids can. That's just not a place we want to go."
Apple are a special case
Whereas the likes of Nokia, Dell etc. just go about the business of releasing new products every so often without much kerfuffle, Apple make each release into A Big Thing, hyping up their latest and greatest as if it's the best thing since someone thought about taking a knife to a lump of baked dough.
That alone would be sufficient reason to take pot-shots at them, but combined with this is their attitude towards implementing new things - they start off by saying they won't do it because it isn't necessary or because no-one else has done it right, then after everyone and their canine friends have complained about the lack of said thing, they then do a complete u-turn and decide that, after all, they think this thing is utterly wonderful, but only in the exact way that they themselves have implemented it, and continuing to deride all the other implementations of said thing.
And if this self-inflated sense of importance and technological brilliance isn't enough, they continue to impose pretty significant limitations on their end users use of the devices they've paid good money for.
I'll happily admit to owning (and being married to someone who owns) several Apple products, and I've got enough experience of using the iPhone to realise that in many respects it IS a bloody good device, so Apple really don't need to adopt this smugger-than-thou attitude all the time - the iPhone would still sell in the bazillions just on its own strengths, without any need for Apple to overdo the hype machine. But every time Steve Jobs or one of his loyal acolytes opens their mouth and spews forth the latest "we're right, everyone else is wrong" sermon, it makes me want to spew forth something of my own. That simply isn't the sort of reaction I get from the product releases of any other tech company.
Running out of iWords
Just when you thought they could iCreate anything else...ugh.
I know the comments in these articles tend to turn into a complete bash-the-fuck-out-of-Apple fest, but it's these sorts of insipid "features" that just make me want to puke. Why would anyone want to upgrade to 4.0? Because it now has ads?
Any fanbois who can defend the Devil's spawn, please present your arguments in light of this next round of iShit.
The purpose of iAds is to quickly get Apple a foothold in the potentially very lucrative mobile ad market.