Analyzing Apple's Announcements

There were some exciting announcements from Apple at WWDCtoday! Being a Mac OS X user (though still chugging along with a mid-2007 Whitebook with cracks on the edges and a not-bright-enough screen) and having an iPhone (with dust creeping under the screen), I’m pretty excited about all the new announcements. Here are my initial reactions:

  • New Laptops
    • I really like the idea of built-in batteries. Being a student in college, I’m around power outlets most of the time, but even in class, having this increased power efficiency really helps. I’m not too worried about having to buy extra batteries because I won’t ever be that far away from an outlet. If Apple is going to charge me for $129 for a new battery anyway, I don’t mind getting a longer-lasting (both one-charge-wise and life-time-wise). Though, I have heard good things about Fastmac batteries, which are only $99.
    • The old unibody macbook branded as a MacBook Pro now just makes sense. The lower prices and the (re)addition of a firewire port help to sweeten the deal for potential switchers to the OS X platform.
    • I at first was extremely excited about the price drop of the lowest end MacBook Pro to $1700, but I’m not stoked about the fact that it doesn’t have discrete graphics. Though I don’t do much gaming, having discrete graphics (after going through this horrible experience with integrated graphics only on my Macbook) is important to me. Guess I’d have to go one step up…
  • New iPhone
    • The upgraded camera seems like it would be the one killer feature for me. Having focus opens up many creative possibilities (without resorting to cases and such to provide macro capability).
    • Find My iPhone, in which you can track down a missing iPhone through MobileMe, sounds incredibly awesome (whenever I can fork out the money for MobileMe…)
    • The addition of hardware peripherals to the iPhone platform adds amazing possibilities. Turn-by-Turn GPS at last!
  • Snow Leopard
    • The updates to the Finder seem pretty cool. The Quicklook tweaks look pretty useful (though I admit I don’t use Quicklook much as it is now). I actually don’t hate the Finder as much as a lot of other people do. The one thing I’m looking for is a way to have a 2-pane view in which I could easily copy and paste things (such as dragging to Applications from a disk image)
    • OpenCL, which as I understand it is offloading normally CPU-bound tasks to the graphics processor, sounds like it could be amazing (all the more reason to get a computer with discrete graphics)
    • Text-Expander-like capabilities (predictive text-filling in based on snippets) integrated into the system seems like it could be be very useful.

All-in-all, a pretty eventful WWDC. Going to Google I/O a week ago and experiencing the conference thing (and getting a free Google Ion phone in the process), I would love to go to WWDC next year and see what (Steve Jobs, hopefully) has in store for us.