You're likely here reading this blog post because you love your iPhone or iPad or iPod. And, like other Mac lovers, you may be wondering whether Apple will be able to keep it's mojo going if CEO Steve Jobs is unable to return from his medical leave. Yesterday at the Macworld industry forum Jason Snell of Macworld magazine had some interesting insights on this. The bottom line is that Apple is now firmly in the mold of Steve Jobs.
In addition to the Macworld session on the future of mobile devices, another great talk today was by Macworld magazine editorial director Jason Snell on "How Apple Does It" -- how does Apple so consistently succeed in making insanely great devices. It comes down to two things: courage and vision. Apple has the courage to be different -- to come out with a new king of Macintosh interface at a time when other computers used a command line. The courage to come out with a smartphone that did away with the buttons and used a touch screen instead.
The Macworld Expo is happening this week in San Francisco, and naturally much of the event is focused on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The event kicked off today with workshops and an industry forum. The latter was fascinating, especially a talk by Bill Atkinson, one of the original software engineers at Apple. He showed how all the trends suggest that the smartphone is becoming a personal assistant. He imagined a future in which you wear an earpiece that has a speaker, microphone, and camera. Want to make a call? Just ask.
The 10 billionth app was downloaded on Saturday — and it was the free game Paper Glider. The developer, Neon Play, is understandably thrilled with their good fortune. In their press release, they exult at the 1 in 10 billion odds. The lucky downloader is Gail Davis, who actually hung up on Apple when they called to tell her, thinking it was a prank call. "Not interested," she said, and hung up the phone. Not interested in $10,000?
I hate to be a rumor monger, but this seems pretty solid — since the source is the new beta of iOS 4.3. This new version has been sent to developers, and according to an interesting post on MacRumors, it included an image that shows a preview of the wallpaper that one has selected for one's iPad. And right there in the preview are icons for FaceTime, Camera, and PhotoBooth.
H&R Block offers a free app, Tax Central, that gives answers to popular questions, includes a tax refund estimator, and offers a checklist of key filing dates and materials needed. It also has a glossary of tax terms, and, of course, information to contact your nearest H&R Block rep. And there are links to entertaining videos on YouTube that contain useful tax information.
Apple will give a $10,000 gift card to the lucky iOS user who downloads the 10 billionth app. You can see the counter at the link above, with ITProPortal calculating that the download will happen at noon on Saturday. (My question, how would one spend $10,000 in the iTunes Store?
Everybody likes movies, and here's yet another app for streaming them to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The free Movie Club gives you free access to over 60 movies. Naturally, these aren't recent movies, but they do offer early appearances of well known actors such as Robert De Niro, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, and Kirk Douglas. These may be movies that are also freely available on YouTube.
The Internet has buzzing with iPad and iPhone rumors the past two days. Ben Patterson offers a roundup on Yahoo. Perhaps the juiciest is that the new iPad and iPhone will have a faster, dual-core version of Apple's A4 processor — making it possible to power a 2048 x 1536 display. Think 1080p video on your iPhone or iPad. Yes! Other rumors have included tidbits such as: the new iPad, which is expected in April, will be thinner and will have front- and back-facing cameras and Facetime.
The news headlines today are saying that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has taken a medical leave from the company. No information is available regarding the reason, or where he is. The announcement sent to Apple employees said that he'll continue to be involved in strategic decisions and that chief operating officer Tim Cook will be in charge of day-to-day operations. We wish him good health. There is no doubt that his vision has had a remarkable influence on technology. Apple, unlike other companies, doesn't do market research. One man decides what the market wants: Steve Jobs. And his instincts have been uncanny.