gh-powered app developers, who paid $1,295 to attend Apple’s 2009 Worldwide Developer Conference, waited hours in line outside San Francisco’s Moscone Hall before being let in to hear the keynote address. The “I am a PC” and “I am a Mac” guys gave the initial welcome on the giant video screen. Said the PC: “A week with some innovation, but not too much, please. Maybe you could float a few ideas my way?” After a few minutes of the PC’s bumbling, the Mac guy in his cool, unaffected style, simply said, “What PC is trying to say is, ‘have a great conference’.”
Thus began a presentation announcing the latest MacBook Pro, the upcoming Snow Leopard Mac operating system, the new iPhone 3G S, and iPhone OS 3.0 software.
Apple vs. Microsoft keynotes
I’ve been to keynote addresses at both Apple and Microsoft developer conferences, and in both cases the presenters and the audience are enthusiastic. At the Microsoft events, developer tools are championed. At WWDC ‘09, instead of promoting the latest programming features, Apple unveiled the new MacBook Pro and the iPhone 3G S. Thanks to the Internet, Apple is obviously speaking to a much wider audience.
I asked several developers which programming tools were better. The majority felt that it was easier to implement new features with Microsoft’s tools, but that Apple’s tools were superior for creating a strong user experience.
I want one!
We started our publishing company in 1985 and have produced a number of magazines supporting users of Microsoft OS-based laptops, PDAs, and Smartphones. Accordingly, I’ve always used Windows PCs over the years and never used a Mac. Based on the keynote, I now plan to purchase the slim and environmentally friendly MacBook Pro with its gorgeous screen, long battery life, and (for the first time) SD card slot. The fact that it comes with the full-featured and user-friendly Leopard software and now sells for a lower price broke down any final resistance I had.
In this issue we focus mostly on the features found in OS 3.0 and the new iPhone. However, what really intrigues me are the new accessories we’ll start seeing soon. The iPhone OS 3.0 will make it possible to create new accessories that work in conjunction with software apps to add new and impressive capabilities to the iPhone and iPod touch. We were shown several examples of the new “smart” accessories at the keynote. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the accessory demos did not work on stage. The problems caused some awkward and funny moments, but the presentations gave us a vision of possibilities.
Wayne Grant of Pasco attempted to show us how the iPhone can be used to teach science to K-12 kids. He tried to demonstrate a sensor/app combo that was supposed to graphically display the increasing pressure of an inflating balloon. When the demo didn’t work, he pointed to himself and announced that “the rapid increase in pressure is right here.”
Guitar and software company partner
Guitar company Line 6 and software developer Planet Waves demoed MIDI Mobilizer. Line 6’s digital modeling technology is built into its Variax guitars, giving them the ability to produce the sound of an acoustic or electric guitar, banjo, sitar, and more (a total of 25 different instruments). The MIDI Mobilizer app lets a musician connect his or her iPhone or iPod touch to a Variax guitar and amp. Once connected, the musician can use the app to tune guitar strings, load tones, remember settings for a song, and choose different amp effects. So, for example, an electric six string guitar can be turned into an acoustic 12-string, or the tuning of the guitar strings can be changed without even touching the guitar.
Peter-Frans Pauwels of TomTom discussed how iPhone 3.0 features allow the new TomTom app to deliver turn-by-turn navigation on the iPhone and give it the ability to plan the best route for the time of day. While driving, the TomTom app shows your route on screen and gives you with voice prompts for turns. What impressed me most was the optional TomTom Car Kit accessory—a cradle that attaches to the window via suction cups and provides enhanced GPS reception, hands-free calling, and charging. In addition, you can flip the iPhone/cradle into landscape position and play iTunes music through the speaker in the cradle.
We really look forward to providing you with more information about these great new apps and accessories in future issues of iPhone Life.