Are Any of the New Apple Announcements Relevant?

On June 8th Apple held their annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) and as usual, there was quite a bit of exciting news that sprang forth from it.

If you would like to watch the video, here’s a link to the quicktime presentation. I’ll warn you though, this presentation is a long one. Not sure if it’s any longer than usual, but it seemed that way to me.

This presentation can broken down into four major areas or topics. They are:

    Macbook lineup is quite impressive. This was the only announcement to the Mac lineup. No new news about any of the desktop or pro units. The 15” MacBook Pro was at the heart of the announcement. Features included new display density, new battery capable of 2 additional hours of life and up to 1000 charge cycles. A faster processor (3.02Ghz), increased memory (ram) capacity of up to 8GB, an SD slot for direct access to the entire SD card family, and improved hard drive capacity.

    All of these new features are available across the entire MacBook Pro lineup; it’s just that the 15” was the showcase model. More details at

    Need a new MacBook?
    Latest Pricing on the MacBook Pro Family

    OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) is still in beta, but it’s been released to developers so they can exercise it some. The official release date has been set for September with a sticker price of $29. This is truly one of Apples best bargains.

    Over 90% of the individual components within the operating system have been improved. One caveat though is that this version will not support any of the PowerPC processors. All that supporting code has been stripped out and now the system is strictly 64 bit – something only the Intel processors can work with. In addition to being faster, it also means the system will have a smaller footprint and take up less disk space. Another benefit of 64 bit technology is that the system will now be able to access more memory and disk storage – up to 16 Billion GB. Yes, you read that correctly. Math functions are reported to be two times faster as well.

    Support has also been added for Microsoft Exchange thru mail, ical, and address book. If you use Exchange at your office, you will now be able to integrate seamlessly.

    I highly recommend everyone running an Intel machine make the upgrade. However, I suggest you wait for a month after the release date to make your purchase. I
    have to upgrade immediately in order to support my clients, but why should you be an early adopter and suffer through the bumps and potholes? A month’s wait is long enough for all the kinks (if any) to be worked out and then you should upgrade.

    Get Notified when Snow Leopard becomes Available

    Safari 4.0 was officially released. It had been in beta for some time. I was testing out the beta for a couple of months and as time wore on, I was using it less and less. As you might guess from this last comment, I wasn’t too thrilled with it. The beta version had quite a few things that I didn’t like BUT, the official release is much more to my liking. It’s much faster and there is some new technology that keeps the software running even if you have one tab or window that’s hung up. You no longer have to kill the entire application to recover.

    There is also a new feature called “Top Sites”. This is a cover-flow view of the sites you visit most often. Cover-flow is a technique borrowed from iTunes where you can view all your music by the cover art of the album or CD. Instead of using it to view your album/CD art - in Safari, you get to view a snapshot or thumbnail of the websites you visit most. You also have the ability to assign the sights you want on this page. This is a nice feature but it’s more eye candy (in my opinion) than anything else. I know of another power user that loves this feature but I prefer to use my nested bookmarks instead. If pictures work better for you than text, you may find this feature fun and useful.

    The update to Safari 4.0 is free and available right now. I wouldn’t hesitate to get this installed when you have the time - you’re sure to see the benefits.

    Safari 4.0 Download

    iPhone was the next big announcement. More than 70% of the entire presentation was given over to the iPhone. Maybe that’s why I thought the keynote address was a bit long winded. I like the iPhone, but it was very obvious that Apple is spending a huge amount of energy supporting this new device. If you listen to consumer and attendee comments, you can understand why Apple is moving this direction.

    There is a general consensus that mobile computing devices (like the iPhone) are the future. I believe this to be true as well. It just seemed like too much iPhone was being crammed down my throat all at once.

    It’s important to realize too, that there was actually two things being talked about with regards to the iPhone. One was the operating system – version 3.0, and the other was the iPhone 3G[S]. The [S] stands for speed. There is both a new operating system (ver 3.0), and a new piece of hardware (iPhone 3GS).

    The new operating system will be available June 17
    th and includes more than 300 new features. Some of the more impressive elements are: Landscape Keyboard, Spotlight Search, Voice Memos, Stereo Bluetooth, Parental Controls, Internet Tethering (using your cell connection to provide internet access on your computer), and my favorite – Remote Wipe. This is where you can remotely wipe the information on your phone (via MobileMe) if it should ever become lost or stolen. To view the entire list and find out more about this update, visit the link: iPhone 3.0 OS Feature List

    Some of the new iPhone 3GS features include: Faster Processor (2X faster), Built-In Video Camera, Voice Control, and Higher Storage Capacity. This is a pretty slick piece of hardware. You can find all the facts at this link:
    iPhone 3G[S]

    So I ask again, "Are any of the new Apple announcements relevant?"