Monday, June 7, 2010

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference: Steve Jobs Keynote Highlights

wwdc-100605-1 Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short, runs from June 7 to June 11 this year. Typically, one of the highlights (at least from a news perspective) is Steve Jobs’ keynote, during which the turtlenecked executive takes the stage and talks about upcoming applications and software, new products, and the future of Apple’s platforms (namely the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and Mac OS X).

The focus today was entirely on the iPhone and its ilk – Mac OS X is getting a decreasing amount of love from Apple as the traditional Mac platform continues to be de-emphasized in favor of the company’s new portable moneymakers. Listed below are the biggest announcements from the keynote.

  • The currently iPad-only Netflix app is coming to the iPhone and iPod Touch this summer. It will stream over WiFi and 3G.
  • Farmville is being released to the App store at the end of June. May God have mercy on our souls.
  • Apple revealed the fourth revision of the iPhone, ignoring that Gizmodo covered all of this stuff a month and a half ago (incidentally, this is why Gizmodo was not invited to WWDC this year).
  • Using extensive side-by-side comparisons and a lot of big numbers, Steve Jobs went to great lengths to tell us that the iPhones we’re all currently using are pieces of trash.
  • The new camera on the iPhone 4 is actually reasonably impressive – it’s a five megapixel camera with flash and zoom, and it will record HD video. Maybe my iPhone 3GS really is a piece of trash…
  • There’s an iMovie app coming to the iPhone, which means we can now edit video with our thumbs. It will cost $5, and I assume that it’s compatible with at least some earlier iPhones (though this was not made clear).
  • The iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad operating system is now called “iOS” – at least it’s easier to write than “iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad operating system.”
  • The iBooks app is coming to the iPhone, where it will fight with Amazon’s Kindle app. If you have more than one device with iBooks installed, they will synchronize notes, bookmarks, and your place in the text between devices, as will Kindle.
  • Steve Jobs is trying to get us excited about advertisements with iAds. Sorry, not interested.
  • You can now do video calls on the iPhone. For now, this works only on WiFi, not on AT&T’s ailing network. Since only the iPhone 4 has a front-mounted camera, this feature won’t be implemented on older iPhones.
  • The new iPhone is $199 for a 16GB model, and $299 for a 32GB model. It comes in either black or white (even though it doesn’t matter). An 8GB version of the old iPhone 3GS with the new iOS will sell for $99. All of this goes on sale June 24.
  • The new iOS 4 will be available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, and the later revisions of the iPod touch on June 21. Sorry original iPhone and iPod Touch users! Thanks to forced obsolescence, your phones are now garbage! May we interest you in an upgrade?
  • Apple says they “found a way” to offer the iOS upgrade to iPod Touch users for free this time – iPhone users have always been entitled to free upgrades, but in the past iPod users have been charged for the privilege.

That’s it! See anything you like? Sound off in the Comments section.