Wednesday, January 2, 2008

MW SF 2008 - 1.16.2008

MacWorld San Francisco 2008 is being widely anticipated for what is billed as iPhone 2.0. One web site, Gear Live claims to have obtained an advanced copy of iPhone firmware upgrade 1.1.3 and has posted a gallery of pictures documenting the new features in the operating system.

The upgrades detailed in this video appear meager to slim. One could say this is not a full version upgrade and just a few minor tweaks to iPhone version 1.1.2 and fixes. Gear Live has a Q&A answer board and gallery about this leaked version and most of their answers to iPhone owners questions about improved capabilities seem to be a resounding "No!" or "No, no and no."

Without question, if this is the final firmware release there are some missing features that boggle-the-mind. Number one being, why has Apple refused to program a copy-and-paste ability into the iPhone. Clearly, this simple and basic capability is one users have been screaming for since day one of the iPhone release back in June. Improved horizontal viewing capabilities in applications doesn't seem to be supported. Group email lists and foreign language keyboards are not options

Another swing-and-a-miss is the lack of software giving iPhone users the ability to visit Java and Flash web sites, although this might be an issue involving Adobe developing versions of their software in conjunction with Apple to provide both the network side as well as the client side capabilities to browse Flash sites.

The biggest feature upgrade that people are wating for an answer to is weather Apple will provide the hardware in the new iPhone for 3G as opposed to Edge connectivity. At the beginning of December, a senior executive at ATT "leaked" that Apple would provide 3G on the iPhone in 2008. What he didn't explain was whether 3G would come at the beginning of 2008 or the end of the year.

Some of the changes shown in Gear Live's video documentation of version 1.1.3 would suggest 3G is on its way sooner rather than later since using Google maps is a joke on Edge. As editors of InfoWorld said on their site, using Google maps on Edge is worse than surfing the web on a 14.4 dial up modem. And why would you ever use cell tower triangulation in Google maps in the hybrid view with Edge? You' have to wait a week to know where you are located.

And, the rumor mill has begun, under Apple's looming threats to send their pit-bull lawyers after blogger and rumor sites, we cannot be sure information we are reading is accurate. This is a sadists game Apple likes to play. Apple aggressive prosecution of rumor mills and their abusive treatment of hackers trying to make their deliberately crappled hardware and software more useful to those who buy it, might suggest the Cupertino based company has hugely abandoned the empowering people through technology culture and values on which it was founded.

In some areas of the internet people are speculating Apple is going to make a big Macintosh announcement. As I hinted at earlier (based on no rumor or leak from inside Apple) Apple's technology push, patents listings, partnerships with chip maker Intel, and the direction of their products would suggest that it is going to come announce a ultra-thin MacBook with touch screen technology. That's only a guess but a guess based on what would be smart for Apple to do if they want to continue to propel Macintosh as a leader in the laptop category of computers.

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