This post is going to be a bit shorter than previous years. There’s really not that much to say here. I’ve been following MacWorld for the past decade or so, even before coverage was very good (now pretty much everything is live). Overall I’d rate this one a 5.
Phil did a decent job filling in for Jobs. It did sound slightly like the script was either written for Jobs, or he was trying to sound like Jobs. I’m not sure which. Overall he did pretty good. He’s not Steve Jobs, and expecting him to live up to that is not practical. He did better than most executives do at these events. It was obvious he worked with people who assist Jobs, and likely even got input from Jobs.
A lot of software was released: iLife ’09, iWorks ’09. A few things impressed me, most of it was really not that remarkable. The camera stabilization stuff in iMovie will be welcomed by many, assuming it performs as well as it’s demoed. They didn’t say how well it will do with sub-SD (below standard definition) cameras like cell phones which are becoming increasingly popular. Facial detection in iPhoto is also pretty cool. The precision editor is also something that many people will be happy to see. I never saw GarageBand as more than an novelty app, so I’m not to wowed by the changes.
I’m not sure what to think of this Mac Box Set. The price is decent, but I think almost anyone who is interested in upgrading iLife and iWorks already has Mac OS X 10.5. Those that don’t either don’t care about the latest and greatest features (that’s most of them), or can’t because they use something else that doesn’t work with 10.5. Regardless, I’m not sure how many will really appreciate Mac OS X 10.5 being in the bundle.
17″ MacBook Pro
The 17″ MacBook Pro was obvious since it was a glaring omission last time Apple released the new MacBooks. I’m curious to see the dissection pictures that someone will post over the next few days to see that battery up close. While not “removable” I hope it’s “serviceable” so that you can buy a 3rd party battery online and install it yourself if you don’t want spend so much money and time having Apple do it. Don’t let 1,000 charges fool you. 1,000 charges is actually pretty good, many laptop batteries don’t fair to well at that amount.
The $50 anti-glare option is totally worth it. It’s a shame they don’t offer that on the other models. I think it would be a popular upgrade. I’m not a fan of the glossy displays as I find the matte displays much easier on the eyes.
DRM free finally. That’s not a free upgrade though, it will cost you $0.30 per song. No word what percentage of that Apple gets, and what percentage goes to the record labels.
Pricing is now tiered to $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29. Lastly you can now download music over the 3G network on the iPhone. You can also download over EDGE, but that’s unadvertised. I presume the 10MB limit doesn’t apply to purchased music as it does to podcasts and apps, but I’m not sure.
Missing iPhone Firmware Update
Apple promised push messaging would launch in September 2008. Now January 2009 and there’s no word on a completion date. I previously suspected Apple would at least comment on this delay in hopes of keeping customers and developers from getting to go nuts. Push messaging was being seeded to select developers in the summer. It was originally in the iPhone OS 2.1 beta update but pulled before it went final. It’s allegedly still in the works. John Grubber notes that there haven’t been betas of 2.3, which suggests that the next version will be iPhone OS 3.0. That could still be months away. This could get interesting.
It was obvious they got hacked ASAP. It was also pretty obvious that it was some folks at 4chan pretty quickly.
Lots of software, predictable hardware. This was an evolutionary keynote rather than a revolutionary one. There’s a lot of stuff Apple is overdue to update including the Mac Mini which is painfully outdated, Apple TV, iPhone OS among other things. There’s also Snow Leopard which hasn’t been shown off to much yet.
It wasn’t the keynote itself that was a bore, it was the product lineup wasn’t that of previous years. It’s not to say they are bad products, but that they aren’t revolutionary must-have products.