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Macintosh, Mac Apps, iPhone, Steve Jobs, Apple

My Thoughts On The WWDC 2008 Keynote

by Juan on June 11th, 2008

First, pardon me if this is a couple of days late. I spent two days at the hospital and wasn’t able to watch the keynote live. I downloaded it via iTunes today and watched it. Chris posted his own recap of WWDC 2008 Keynote and now I’m posting mine.

To sum it all up in one sentence, I’d say it was ok. It wasn’t mind blowing, it wasn’t bad either. I was hoping for more but I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw. I think over the past years, I’ve learned to manage my expectations.

This keynote was really about the iPhone and it’s ecosystem. Steve kicked of the keynote talking about the sessions of the WWDC briefly. Then told the audience that he would like to talk about the iPhone.

Notable item, Steve is really getting his people more and more involved in the keynote. Taking the time to mention that Scott Forstall and Phil Schiller would be helping him with the keynote. He also mentioned that in another session Bertrand Serlet will give the attendees a peek at Snow Leopard. The next generation of Mac OS X.

What does this tell me? Steve is really starting to transition and allowing people to get used to seeing other people during keynotes. In fact Steve’s time is significantly less during this keynote than past keynotes.

The iPhone 2.0 enterprise software was first to be discussed. This incorporates a lot more enterprise features. Something that will really gain inroads into RIMs market share. Enterprise features such as push email, push calendar, push contacts, global address lists, etc. are now built-in the iPhone. 35% of Fortune 500 companies participated in a beta program that Apple launched for the iPhone 2.0 software. This says that Apple is really serious in getting a significant market share in the business market.

A video was shown featuring enterprise customers. This was cool.

After the video, Steve brought out Scott Forstall to discuss the SDK of iPhone 2.0. He talked about how developers have now access to tools and APIs to develop apps similar to how Apple does and what Apple uses.

The SDK rocks. From the glimpse that was shown it really seems that the iPhone platform is miles away from other mobile platforms. The SDK looks easy to use and allows developers to build applications rapidly with great features.

Scott brought out several developers to demo apps that they’ve built for the iPhone. Sega was first up and demoed their “Super Monkey Ball” game. Ebay followed, demoing their auction app. After Ebay came one of my favorite demos of the keynote, Loopt. They develop apps to help you find friends that are near to you. Combining social networks with location based services. This to me rocks.

Typead, a blogging software was also demoed. Associated Press followed suit with their own iPhone app. Another company that did a demo is Pangea Software which previewed two games for the iPhone. Both of them rock. Enigmo is a puzzle game software. The next game is Cromag Rally. A prehistoric racing game. Both of them use the iPhones accelerometer to control games.

Another cool demo was given by Mark Terry. He developed an app called band. It’s virtual instruments that you can play, program and record music on your iPhone. Nice!

Major League Baseball had a demo as well.

I loved most of the apps demoed, games especially but the one that I loved the most was the ones from Modality and MIMVista. The previewed two apps. Netter’s Anatomy the first is an app for learning anatomy is from Modality. They’re also launching other apps for education after it. MIMVista’s app is about medical imaging software. It gives doctors a powerful tool.

I loved both apps because they have the most potential to change lives by educating people and the other app by making medical information available at the palm of your hand.

The last app was from Digital Legends. They developed a game worthy not only of a phone but a hand held gaming device as well.

Apple also demoed a way to push notifications for apps via push services.

Steve Jobs came back and demoed more business applications that come with iPhone 2.0. The most notable of which are support for iWork and Microsoft Office documents. So you can view Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Word, Powerpoint and Excel files on your iPhone. Neat.

Language support is also now available. That’s the great thing with virtual interfaces. You can do so much more than physical interfaces. It’s all done via software.

Another highlight of the keynote was given by Phil Schiller. Mobile Me. This new service by Apple takes over .Mac. It’s touted as “Exchange for the rest of us”. The demo rocks. This web based services is so advanced that it really resembles a desktop experience. Now the $99 price for yearly subscriptions sounds reasonable. I haven’t seen web apps this polished.

After the Mobile Me demo wrapped up. Steve announced iPhone 3G. Wow. What a surprise! [insert sarcasm here]. Everyone knew this was coming. Still it was great to have it a reality. Things to note is the integration of 3G, GPS, better audio quality, and improvements to the software.

The iPhone is also available in two colors (16GB model). It also does away with the metal back and replaced with a plastic back.

The iPhone featured a dramatic price cut. It now costs only $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) with a plan from a partner mobile provider. Apple also changed the way the sell the iPhone. You need to buy it from the Apple store or mobile providers store. You need to activate there. This will really make it more difficult for they grey market. The good thing is that the iPhone will be available in 70 countries by the end of the year. Most of us will be able to get a legit iPhone soon.

All in all the keynote was ok. One troubling thing though is that Steve Jobs looked so thin and gaunt. Inviting people to speculate that there’s something wrong with his health. This will be detrimental to Apple. Steve is Apple. That’s one of their biggest problems. If something happens to Steve, Apple stocks will take a serious dive. I’m worried. Not because of Apple stocks but Steve is really one of a kind and made Apple what it is today. I pray he’s healthy and the weight loss is just that. Weight loss.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a legit iPhone and to try out all the great apps being developed for it.

POSTED IN: Apple News, Commentaries, Events, Juan's Posts, iPhone

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