Well the keynote is over and there were some good things announced. The first big announcement had to do with laptops and was a big surprise. The fairly new aluminum 13″ Macbook has now been rebranded a Macbook Pro and they brought firewire back to the computer. They start at $1199 which I believe is a little cheaper than they were before. Now the white model is the only laptop that is not a pro model.
The next big thing was more info on Snow Leopard the next release of OS X. It was announced that the install is 45% faster and uses 6 gigs less space than the original Leopard OS. I imagine a lot of that is because it looks like Snow Leopard will be the first OS X release not to support older Power PC Macs and only Intel. The other great thing is Leopard users will only be charged $29 to upgrade. I think Microsoft should follow suit by offering the same thing to Vista Users to upgrade to Windows 7 especially where Vista has been plagued with so many issues. Snow Leopard will be available in September.
There was also a lot of talk of OS 3.0 on the iPhone. It didn’t come out today like I was hoping, but the wait isn’t very long. OS 3.0 will be available next Wednesday on June 17th. The two main features I am looking forward to in this OS are copy,cut, and paste and of course the push notification service. The other news is that Tom Tom has created a GPS app now! They didn’t announce pricing, but it will include U.S. and international maps. I’ve been wanting this since day 1 of iPhone release. Tom Tom is selling a kit that is supposed to help the GPS signal and has a speaker/car mount. I’m hoping it isn’t all too costly.
And last but not least a new iPhone was announced. The new iPhone is called the iPhone 3GS. The S stands for speed. This iPhone is quicker at launching apps and has faster data speeds. I imagine it has a faster processor for the apps and I know I had read AT&T were updating to a faster 3G speed, so this new phone would have the radio to take advantage of that. The camera has been upgraded to a 3 megapixel replacing the previous 2 megapixel and now has the ability to record video. The video can be edited and uploaded to youtube on the fly. Another new hardware feature is a compass that can tell you what direction you are going and finally they have added voice control. I think the voice control could be added to older models, but Apple is locking that to the new 3Gs as a way to get people to upgrade. I have had the Say Who app on my iPhone for awhile now and it works very well for voice dialing. The 3GS comes in a 16 gig and 32 gig model and both have black and white colors available. For the people on a budget that still want an iPhone the old 3G 8 gig model is now $99. All of those prices are of course a 2 year contract subsidized price. The 3Gs will be available next week on June 19th.
As of right now I do not see a compelling reason to upgrade. These are nice additions, but nothing drastic enough to make me want a new model. I also believe I wouldn’t qualify for those prices anyway as I am only a year into my contract. I imagine by next year when the next model comes out their will be enough differences to make me want to upgrade and renew my contract then. I’m glad Apple provides the OS updates for free for all old models of iPhones. That was one thing I hated about the Palm Treo range was that you had to upgrade the phone to get a new OS. I’ll have to at least check out our AT&T store to see if people are still camping out for this iPhone.
Images borrowed from www.macrumors.com