Apple’s new flagship product, the iPad, was only just released in countries outside the USA last Friday, and I was fortunate to get my hands on one on launch day. Like many Apple products, this one has divided people, with a lot of people decrying it as a device looking for a purpose, a device that falls between two stools (not as portable as a phone, not as functional as a laptop), a device that is stifled within Apple’s walled garden.
Yesterday saw a triple-whammy of sugary Apple gaming goodness: Steam for Mac was released, meaning all the games you own on Steam that are ported to the Mac can also be played there, free. Torchlight was a day-1 release on the service, meaning Ogre (and therefore code written by me) was among the very first on the service. Portal became free (for Mac and PC) Wow. A great day for Mac gaming.
Yesterday saw world-plus-dog in the technology sector glued to Apple’s announcement of their new tablet device, which has now been officially dubbed the iPad. Basically, when you boil it down it’s a super-sized iPod Touch with optional 3G support and a few more apps. Reaction has ranged, as usual, from the ecstatic “I’ve seen the face of God, and his name is Steve”, to “What a useless piece of junk”, stopping at most points in between.
This was pretty interesting; CNet reports that according to NPD stats, Apple has 91% of the retail PC sales in the US above $1,000. Now, let’s add the caveats here: That’s retail PCs. Of course, loads of people build their (desktop) PCs from OEM parts rather than buying a prebuilt machine, so it’s safe to say that these sales are almost all going to be laptops, where Apple particularly shines.
In the grand scheme of things, nothing really very surprising was announced at the WWDC 09 keynote; sure, we got a few hardware revisions and some more specific details on the next version of OS X, but there wasn’t anything singularly shattering about it. And yet, when taken as a whole, I think it was one of the most important WWDC’s yet. iPhone 3GS A speed increase, more memory, better battery life, better camera, addition of a compass so it can know which direction you’re facing as well as where you are.
It’s always fun to watch Apple and Microsoft slug it out in the advertising space - here in the UK we mostly have to do this via YouTube, since apart from a short stint of amusing Mitchell and Webb Apple ads and those pretty bland “I’m A PC” ripostes, we don’t really see the front-line assaults which take place on US TV screens. So I hear that MS have a new set of ads out, where “regular” people go and look for a laptop, whereby they look at the Mac and say “whoah, far too expensive!
Via TechCrunch, Steve Jobs’ first public presentation of the Mac on 24th Jan 1984. And the crowd goes wild 😉 I was 10 years old when this happened, and still using BBC Micros in school, so I guess I would have gone nuts over this too at the time, had I the chance to see one.
I’ve always admired the iPhone purely because of it’s sleek looks and elegant design, but it was encumbered by an excessive price tag, a lack of 3G (which for the price was scandalous), and a ridiculous telco tie-in that meant you could only (officially) use it on O2 here in the UK, which made it even more useless to me since O2 do not operate where I live. However, the new 3G instalment which made its widely anticipated appearance at WWDC 08 is looking much more interesting.
I don’t use my iPod as much as I used to, owing to the fact that I work from home now so I don’t have my daily walk to / from work in which to listen to it. Updating it for the first time in ages I was presented with a lovely “iTunes has detected an iPod in need of recovery” error message, which I thought was odd. Nevertheless I dutifully followed the instructions and performing the recovery, which is a pretty laborious process involving some waiting, disconnecting, rebooting of the iPod and reconnecting, at which point I got the same error.