Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary – iPhone OS 3.0

Everything from the iPhone OS 3.0 keynote this morning was evolutionary, not revolutionary. There wasn’t anything announced that would change the game for Apple – nothing like, for example, the Pre’s gesture bar, and the implementation of a curved touch-screen.

But enough of being negative. More of that later ;)

For now, we’ll just take a look at what’s changed. For both developers and users, we have:

  • 1000 new APIs. Huge news for developers, ‘cos it means that they can implement things in new and exciting ways. For example, APIs for streaming audio and video, and also for in-game voice chat.
  • Maps built-in. Previous to 3.0, if you wanted to view a map inside of an app you’d have to exit that app, and load up the Maps application on your iPhone. Now that’s gone. At the heart of the Maps application is an API that allows devs to showcase those maps inside of their own app. No more exits from apps.

Push Notifications

  • Push notifications. They only drop the all-important standby time by 20%, compared to 80+% when you run an app in the background. It’s also scalable to suit the mobile network, which is awesome seeing the iPhone is now in 80 countries, with hugely varying mobile networks. Reason for delay? Unprecedented influx of apps that wanted to use the Push service, which meant that Apple needed to “re-architect the architecture”. Heh. Unfortunately, this means no backgrounding of apps… but you knew that already, yeah? Wasn’t battery life and performance the reasons that Apple introduced Push Notifications in the first place?
  • iPod library access. Means apps can use your iPod library to play music in-game. For example, a radio in EA’s The Sims (coming soon) could play music that you already have in your iPod library. This is a small, but significant feature as it now allows third-party access to the iPod library – something previously unheard of, as traditionally, the iPod library has been restricted to Apple-made apps only.

In-Game Purchases

  • In-game purchasing. Allows users to buy things (extra levels, goodies) in-game. Yet another way for Apple (and developers) to make money. Personally, I’m not a huge fan for paying for something I’ve already paid for, and then paying for it again. And again. And again. It’s goona get old, real soon.

Right – so onto the big guns, yeah?

Cut Copy Paste DemoCut, Copy, Paste

  • Cut, copy and paste. Done, and dusted. Well done, Apple – everyone said they were going to do it, and they have, with no less than one of the most brilliant implementation I’ve seen.

Bring Your Own Maps

  • Core Location for turn-by-turn. It’s coming, alright. Bring your own maps, but it’s coming. Finally, I might add.
  • Farkin’ MMS, haha! People complained, and Apple listened. Support for audio, pictures, location data, all within the standard SMS application. No substitute for bluetooth file transfers, though.

Multiple Photos

  • Attach and send multiple photos in emails. Something else which was highly requested, and another one of those “why isn’t that already in there” features. Good work, Apple.

Landscape Keyboard

  • Landscape keyboard. Across all apps, you can now have the landscape keyboard in your SMS, and in your emails. Awesome. Personally, the landscape keyboard takes up too much room (obscures things above it), but yeah – if it’s there, then I’d probably use it.

Forward and Delete

  • Forward and delete individual messages. Yet another highly requested feature, yet another score for Apple.

Third-Party Accessory Support

  • Dock connectivity + third-party accessory support. For developers and users, this is a huge plus. Imagine a keyboard plugged into the bottom of your iPhone, an FM transmitter with an app on your iPhone that allows you to control it, the possibilities are endless!!

Spotlight

  • Spotlight. Unified search on the iPhone, just like it works on your Mac. Search everywhere, including Mail headers, subjects, bodies, as well as Notes, etc.

Notes Sync

  • Notes sync. Finally.
  • Stereo bluetooth streaming – A2DP. Not avail on the first gen iPhone, though. Another +1 for Apple.

Overall, not bad, Apple. Not bad indeed. Definitely one of the better events to get up for, and one that will send the blogosphere into a frenzy.

I was planning to jailbreak my iPhone, but it looks like I’ll hold out till 3.0 is released. June can’t come fast enough!! BRING IT ON! :D

Personally, I’m hoping we’ll see a lot of tiny improvements not important enough to warrant their own part of the keynote. Like Custom SMS tones, Apple. We’ve got shake to shuffle, judging from the above pic, we’ve got the peer-to-peer gaming via bluetooth (yes, even in the iPod touch, apparently it can be “unlocked” to use the hardware), and we’ve got the copy and paste, and we’ve got the turn-by-turn.

What about all the stuff we didn’t get? At the QandA session, their answer to tethering was “We’re supporting tethering in the client side, we’re building that support in. We’re working with our carriers around the world. We are building that support in.” Sure, it might take 2 years, but it’s coming.

Bluetooth file transfers? I wouldn’t count on it. When the question was asked at Q and A, it stumped the team. Read whatever you want into that, but it’s probably a ploy by Apple. There’s no way they would have NOT considered that to be a very real possibility, esp. with jailbreak apps that do it already.

So… Apple is awesome, and there’s not much more to it. I’m sorry I turned on you when the Pre was released, Apple. :D

Final thoughts – now, about this evolutionary, not revolutionary thing… While today’s releases were certainly impressive, most of the features weren’t entirely unexpected. Amongst the throngs of turn-by-turn, MMS, and copy and paste, there’s nothing that we didn’t think was going to be put in. While 3.0 will be awesome, it’s really just a filling out of all the features that were supposed to be there in the first place, and even then, there are still things missing – tethering, for one.

Think about it this way – how long has the iPhone been released for? How long have people wanted copy and paste? How long have they wanted turn-by-turn? I know people who bought iPhones primarily for their turn-by-turn ability, and those folks are going to be over the moon from today’s announcements, sure. But what about the rest of us?

I guess the question you’ve got to ask yourself is – how does this change the game for Apple? And the answer? It doesn’t. There’s nothing that changes the face of the mobile industry as we know it.

When it was first released, the iPhone was a completely revolutionary device. No other gadget I’ve seen yet has come close to the market impact that the Apple iPhone has (evidence for this is every Tom, Dick and Harry having one in the streets), and I’m not entirely sure that the iPhone OS 3.0 is the one that’ll change the game for Apple.

Impressive? Undoubtedly.

Evolutionary? Decidedly.

Revolutionary? I’ll let you make that decision for yourself.

Comments below. Thanks to Engadget for the images, and to both Engadget and gdgt for their coverage of the event, of which most of this post is based on.

Malaysia 2009 – Part VIII

Right, getting through these photos is proving to be more of a task than I originally thought. Nevermind, nevermind…

So I spotted these mega chup-chups at at the local Penang airport, just as we were going to leave for KL (and, by extension, home).

Thought they were pretty cool. They’re huge – they could easily fit 20-30 chups chups inside them. I didn’t buy one because they were pretty exxy (roughly AUD $20, I’d say), and because I’d have no where to stick it on the plane…

In any case, this has been brought to you by the song of the day, Lollipop by Mika. Where has this kind of boppy music been my entire life!

Here’s another pic of the awesome mega-chups:

Get With The Times!

FeedBurner. Strange name, awesome service.

I’ve added FeedBurner so I can track RSS subscriptions to this site. Sure, it won’t be much (going off the Analytics usage data), but hey – I’m currently reviewing an iPhone app for Can Touch This (more on that later), and one of the things it can do is track FeedBurner subscriptions.

Me being behind the times as I am (and not really seeing the point of FeedBurner), didn’t have a clue about FeedBurner or why it would work for me. Actually, the two reasons I’m using FeedBurner now is that it has the handy ability to track RSS subscriptions, something that previously wasn’t available to me with Google Analytics (as far as I know, anyway), and to actually fill up the iPhone app I’m reviewing with some content, rather than just having a lone Twitter account. Boring! :p

If you want, you can subscribe to the new feed in your RSS reader of choice. I’d be massively appreciative of you if you did, and you’ll have my undying respect for years to come. :D

Thta’s about it. If I’ve forgotten anything, I’ll add it as an “EDIT:” to this post.

Malaysia 2009 – Part VII

Okay, so there’s a lot more images in that folder than I expected. No worries, it just means more posts for you! Here’s another, entitled “Wait, I’ve seen that somewhere! (Part Two)”.

Nazi or Bhuddist?

Nazi or Bhuddist?

Right – so yet more late-night driving. I think this was after my Gramp’s 80th bday party, but in any case, we had seen this a couple of times before.

Armed with lots of photon-capturing devices (read: cameras, iPhone), we went back to take some good photos.

Now, the question remains: what is it? Sure, it’s a swastika, but it’s not for a Nazi party. Nope – if you read the text at the bottom of the image, it says something along the lines of “Buddhist Church of Sitiawan”.

The design of the swastika is actually pretty cool – it’s made out of lanterns which make for an ominous sight at night-time.

Pretty blatant of them to just stick it out there, though, considering how easily it could be mistaken for a Nazi symbol, and it’s not a small sign either, easily being taller than 2m in height, with a couple more for elevation.

Malaysia 2009 – Part VI

Yes, I’m not quite done yet. On my desktop, there’s a folder with blog-able pics from my trip, and this one’s one of them. There’s a couple more to come, so we might reach Part X if we’re lucky (and if I can be bothered).

In any case, the reason I haven’t been blogging lately is because my internet has been painfully slow. You can read all about it here.

So, lets get into it, yeah? This one’s called I’ve seen that logo before, and goes out to all my mates on MacTalk Forums.

Apple Allied Resources

Apple Allied Resources

We were driving along, going from A to B (as you do in Malaysia), and I was looking out the window, taking in the sights (as you do) when I suddenly spotted a familiar logo…

Of course, I whipped out my iPhone, and snapped a picture as fast as I could. My sister was also snapping a pic of something random (I think it was a school bus), but the Apple logo was just too good a photo oppurtunity to pass up…

Of course, now that I’ve taken the photo, you can go ahead and tell Apple to sue the pants off Allied Resources. Unless they’re actually a part of Apple, of course. But that’s unlikely. :p

Comments below.

MacBook: White substance on memory cards or slots

White Substance Image

The white substance is a high-quality lubricant used by factories to facilitate installation of memory DIMMs. The grease will not damage the memory or any MacBook components.

Over time the lubricant may evaporate and become less visible. Future RAM installations will not require additional lubricant.

Note: While the grease presents no potential harm if it contacts your skin, it should be washed off using soap and warm water.

via MacBook: White substance on memory cards or slots.

RAM lube.

I kid you not.

Artist of the Week: Lily Allen

Just discovered Lily Allen. Whoa…

via Twitter / Benny Ling: Just discovered Lily Allen ….

From the Twitter, if you haven’t noticed.

A former-colleague of mine responded to this, btu I don’t think he realised that I was taking about her music, not her looks or whatever… :o

Her style of music (some sort of indie/pop combo that’s just completely awesome) is just exactly the kind of thing I was looking for to spruce up my rather average iPhone music. I was kinda getting sick of hearing the same old crap every day, so change was in order.

I highly recommend that you check Lily Allen out (no, not in that way…). Listen to her music on the iTunes Music Store, and buy it (if you’re so inclined).

Bloody excellent stuff, I say.

Dropbox? lolwut?

What exactly is Dropbox?

Dropbox is the easiest way to share and store your files online.

No complicated interface to learn. Dropbox runs in the background on your desktop.

Sync your files automatically to your computers and the web.

Sign in and access your files from any browser or mobile device.

Sharing files with your friends and family is just two clicks away.

View your photos in a gallery and share them easily with anyone.

via Dropbox – Dropbox Tour – Secure backup, sync and sharing made easy..

Right, so I’ll do a mini-review of DropBox in a while, but for now, here’s a small taster.

Watch the screencast for more info.

Runs on Windows, Linux, and OSX. Free, and you get 2GB storage.

However, if you sign up via my referral link, you get an additional 250MB, and so do I. It’s a win-win!

So if you’re thinking of signing up (it’s free, and you’ll get 2.25GB straight off the bad if you hit my referral link), hit up my referral link. Thanks!

Blogging is painful on 64k!

I let my sister on the internet.

Long story short – we’re over quota, and have been for the past 3 days or so, and will continue to be until the 12th.

Surfing the internet is painful. Reading image-heavy RSS feeds is painful. Downloading 10MB takes an eternity. At the moment, my iPhone’s internet is faster that the internet at my house (actually, it usually is anyway. Telstra have an excellent network.)

In any case, blogging is painful on 64k. Loading pages takes too long. Input lag isn’t funny, either.

The only solution is to write something funky with Ecto, the blogging software for Mac. Thank goodness it works offline.

Hopefully you’ll see something cool here come Sunday night, but no guarantees. K?

7 Must-Have Additions for Next iPhone: iPhone Wishlist 2009

I don’t know how you feel, but I think the world is ready for a new and improved iPhone. Yes, it was the best phone that 2008 brought out but with the likes of the Palm Pre, HTC Touch Diamond2 and HTC Magic about to hit town, the title for Best Phone of 2009 may just go elsewhere.

via 7 Must-Have Additions for Next iPhone: iPhone Wishlist 2009 | Mr.Gadget.

As loathe as I am to post a link from Mr Gadget (bad publicity will do that to your business), almost every reason on this list can be fixed via a software update;

  1. Turn-by-turn – this is fixable via software.
  2. Larger capacity/removable battery – obviously, this isn’t fixable via software.
  3. Cut and paste – this is also fixable via software.
  4. Bluetooth file transfers – this is only half-fixable via software, AFAIK. Needs some sort of blutooth protocol stack.
  5. Multitasking/background notifications – this is fixable via software.
  6. Voice recognition – fixable via software, although I don’t know why you’d want this as a feature. Bloody MS users.
  7. Bluetooth A2DP – provided the hardware is there, this is also fixable via software. We’ll see this feature when Apple release a set of stereo bluetooth headphones.

So folks, what does the next-gen iPhone actually need, in terms of hardware? Shout out in comments.