The MacWorld keynote in review

by Volker Weber

mwsf keynote 2007

The Steve Show has been slick as expected. Two cool new products, plus a new base station. However, no new Macs, no new Mac software. No mention of iLife/iWork 07 or Leopard. The TV streamer that was preannounced in September made its debut. It can sync one iTunes library onto its 40 gig disk, and it lets you stream content from other iTunes libs on your network. It won't play a DVD and it does not contain any tuner, so it cannot record TV programs. You may buy your favorite series from the iTunes store, but you can't record it from the air. Think about getting a Mac mini instead. At least it's a proper computer which plays DVDs and other sources outside of iTunes.

So the big news was the much anticipated iPhone. I am very impressed by its feature set and the user interface. But I am very very cautious. A touch sensitive display of this size is very soft and delicate. It will scratch like hell, and it will also have a serious impact on the display itself. The thicker the protective layer is, the less you can see in direct sunlight. Unless Apple has decided to make it transflective, but then it would not look as nice inside. There is a serious tradeoff between picture quality and sturdiness of the display.

I have used phones without buttons before, and frankly, I did not like them. I need to be able to do things without looking at the phone, and a touch screen does not provide that. Have you ever used a sat nav with touch screen while driving? Have you tried typing on an on-screen keyboard? That does not work like a Blackberry or Treo. There are also quite some gotchas if you are looking at the tech specs. No storage extension, no UMTS (3G), only 5 hours battery life.

Wonderful industrial and interface design, great feature set. But I will have to wait until I get to actually use it, before I can make up my mind about its usefulness. It won't ship before June, and Europe does not get it before the 4th quarter. Plenty of time to cool off.

Kudos to for providing the best keynote coverage:

MacRumors keynote coverage


Is it just me, or does the iPhone really look just a Zune with rounded corners and without the dorky button? If it came in baby-shit brown it'd almost be a dead ringer!

Scott Hanson, 2007-01-10

Makes you really wonder how Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer reacted while watching the keynote.
Shouting loud? Throwing chairs to each other?
Who knows.. but I can guess how Steve Jobs was feeling last Sunday after the Las Vegas convention.

Probably laughing his head off...

Pieter Lansbergen, 2007-01-10

I am really impressed by the design - both device and UI. But I expect the iPhone to become the hell for IT admins in larger corporations:

- iTunes required for syncing PIM data - no push service for calendar
- iTunes must be installs on user's PC
- Yahoo! Mail account for push mail service
- Cingular as the dedicated provider - at least in the US
- Nothing mentioned of a platform for mobile applications

We'll see if any of these will be addressed .

Arnd Layer, 2007-01-10

@Arnd: Do you saw the Keynote about the iphone? So here is what I read from it:

- iTunes required for syncing PIM data - no push service for calendar
> how about an update, Widget, Plugin, another small App? Remember, it runs OS X.

- iTunes must be installs on user's PC
> Yes, so what?! If I must install an DELL-Sync Tool or an Windows Mobile Sync Tool or on other App...? If you roll-out google earth or another new App. The work is the same.

- Yahoo! Mail account for push mail service
> Yes, Prebuild. But remember it runs OS X. So you can configure your Maill.App yourself. I think its not a great act to take another IMAP Provider of your choice.

- Nothing mentioned of a platform for mobile applications
> Remember "Desktop OS X"

But I thougt it came so as on all other ipod products: we will wait for the next generation...

Henrik Heigl, 2007-01-10


installing iTunes is OK for a single person using his/her computer. It's a different discussion for an enterprise environment. For enterprise use the optimum solution would not have any locally installed application. In this scenario I'd like to have a central server pushing PIM data to the devices. Requiring connectivity to my personal computer in oder to update my schedule (i.e. process invitations) takes away half the benefits of mobile devices.

You quite often mention OS X as the reason for flexibility. We still do not know which parts of OS X make up the iPhone OS. Will it allow OS X apps to run on the iPhone? Will it even allow for Widgets to be freely installable or do I have to load them through Cingular? Will there be a SDK? There are lots of things we don't know yet. The keynote only addressed individual users and this worked very well. Based on this I expect those people to buy an iPhone who can affor it and force their IT departments to support it. This can become a problem for enterprise IT.

And no, I'm not in SF nor have I ssen the keynote stream but I watched Engadget' live blog closely.

Arnd Layer, 2007-01-10

What IRC client is that? it looks far better than Xchat Aqua which is what I use at the moment.

Andy Mell, 2007-01-10

Colloquy. I have zero experience with IRC but this program was recommended to me.

Volker Weber, 2007-01-10

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