Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reactions to the keynote

Apple posted the keynote address as a quicktime feed. Here are some running reactions as I watch it:

* Office 2008 is the last big app to go native on Intel. For me this isn't true. Quicken is one of the top programs I use at home and its the last holdout on my hard drive with the current version still being Quicken 2007 (I never upgraded from 2005 since they have added very little in the subsequent upgrades and are not a native app). Quickbooks got there a while back but the Intuit folks are even slower than Microsoft if you can believe that.

* Time Machine. I just wish they'd let my big desktop MacPro that has a 1TB external drive attached to act like a Time Capsule. They've limited the Time Machine code to only allow network backup when you have OSX Server or this Time Capsule.

* Multi SMS is cool, but the ability to repeat the SMSs to the same group because of the chat like view is awesome.

* Web Clips -- the natural for me was NewsGator, it was the first I did. None others made the cut so far. 

* Their approach to finding where you are without a real GPS is very cool with Cell and Wifi hotspot technology. I still think it would have been easier (and more accurate) to just slap a GPS in there.

* He glossed over the Lyrics part. It looked kind of ugly as he flew by it. They didn't say how you can get the lyrics attached to your songs. There are cool widgets to do that on the mac, but nothing to automatically add lyrics to all your iTunes songs.

* I was disappointed they didn't add cut/paste to the iPhone or the ability to share contacts with other iPhone users.

* I'm decidedly not interested in the whole TV Show, Movie, AppleTV and Rental stuff. I have my EyeTV Hybrid to get DRM free TV shows for free onto my iPhone or TV. I also have Netflix  and Handbrake to get Movies onto my iPhone (to delete after I watch...). And EyeTV is easy. They also released V3 of their software today which has some nice enhancements (I just downloaded it but can't install until I finish recording yet another Hannah Montana show for my daughter). For those paying attention, I have a PS3 and a XBox 360. With Connect360 or MediaLink for $20 I can see all my pictures, play music and videos. Sure not the DRM protected stuff, but as I said I avoid those.

* They'll take a lot of heat on the rental time (30 days) or finish within time (24 hours). For example, I started a House episode last week while on the elipitcal trainer at the gym. I got half way through and paused. I didnt get back to the gym (12" of snow...) yet and will finish it some day. I have no time limit and my iPhone knows where I left off. It was all free. Free is real tough competition, Apple should learn from Google on that one.

* MacBook Air. I said it before, but the lack of a swappable battery is a real turn off. When on a long flight I use my MacBook Pro as a portable battery for my iPhone. I've got extra batteries for the MacBook Pro so I dont worry about the phone. Now they've crippled my battery source for my portable devices. I don't know about you, but NONE of the flights i'm ever on have that connector you need for the airline connector. The video really shows off how thin the machine is. But you you need to sacrifice to get from 6.5lbs of MacBookPro (and its 15" screen, removable battery, expansion port) to get to the MacBook Air.

* So Remote Disk for the MacBook Air, why don't we get that on the other machines running OSX? I suspect its coming in some update (perhaps in 2 weeks when these ship). Sharing CD drives over the network is something you could do for a long time. I do wonder how you do a fresh re-install of OSX on it without that USB DVD drive...

Thats it for now. It will be interesting to see how the MacBook Air does in the market. I wonder if a MacBook Pro Air is coming?