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Apple's WWDC Unveils iPhone 3.0, OpenCL, Laptop Updates, and More 770

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the one-more-thing dept.
Lots of big news from WWDC today including updates to almost all of Apple's laptops. They added a 13-inch version to the MacBook Pro line, updated the MacBook Air, and added a few new ports to some of the machines including an SD slot and firewire 800 port. Software updates saw Safari 4 launched, OS X updates including threading changes, Exchange support to mail, calendar, and address book, and OpenCL a new open graphics standard. The iPhone got quite a bit of love in 3.0, much of it just confirming older news. Cut, copy, and paste, shake to undo, developer APIs, Cocoa Touch support for text, landscape mode updates, spotlight, and MMS all made the bullet list. You will now also be able to rent and purchase movies directly from your iPhone. Other new features in 3.0 include the much debated tethering ability, allowing you to use your iPhone as a cellular modem (unfortunately there was no mention of AT&T actually supporting this feature, a wonder there wasn't a riot), integrated TomTom GPS navigation, and game features galore. New functionality also allows you to locate your iPhone via MobileMe, play a sound to help you locate it (regardless if it is set to silent), and even wipe your data remotely. The New iPhone hardware updates, "3GS", adds a 3 megapixel auto-focus camera, voice interfaces, twice the processing power, and hardware encryption. The 3GS comes in 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($299), pushing the 3G (which they are keeping on the market) to $99. Lots of other small updates amidst the bustle, looks like another successful WWDC.
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Apple's WWDC Unveils iPhone 3.0, OpenCL, Laptop Updates, and More

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  • Macbook pro (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aereinha (1462049) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:26PM (#28254643)
    Gained sd card reader...lost the express card slot. I want the express card slot back.
  • by Dotren (1449427) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:26PM (#28254661)

    Posting these minute-by-minute conference updates and them appearing on the page backwards?

    It seems like I just read some E3 updates laid out in the same manner last week and now I wonder if that article was from Endgadget as well or if this is becoming a common practice.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:29PM (#28254699)

    So, no iPod Touch refresh?
    Just a software update?

    Very disappointing for those of use unwilling to cozy up to AT&T.
    Too expensive. No real coverage in my area.

  • Good update. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:31PM (#28254727) Homepage Journal

    Not great but good. The $99 phone is the big news the rest of it is just nice. I like the voice controls, compass, and video but nothing is earth shattering. I do think Palm will provide some much needed competition for the iPhone. The difference in a two year contract runs a few hundred dollars and the Pre offers a keyboard which some people really want. If you can not tether on AT&T then it is just a big slap in the face for US customers. I hope Palm/Sprint will enable that feature on the Pre when they see how bent people are at AT&T over it. Now we need Android on some networks besides T-Mobile and we can start seeing a real three way fight.

  • by toppavak (943659) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:41PM (#28254915)
    There's always been a bit of a gap between the $100 (low cost) and the $200 (high cost) smartphones, the Pearl vs the 8820 in blackberry land, for example. With a $99 pricetag the 3G (hardware, at least, the data contract is still damned expensive)is now in line with all of the low-end smartphones currently on the market. With Apple taking a 30% cut on app sales plus a share of the AT&T contract price, it makes sense to push the cost of last generation's hardware down. As much as I and probably a lot of others would love to see a more open platform (Android or Linux, for example) gain ground in the mobile space, this will make it a lot harder to establish a sizable marketshare for the platforms that are more recently emerging into the market.

    Still, Android has a shot to build (and surpass) the app library of the iPhone by moving bottom up in terms of price-point. A large number of low to midrange phones running Android could give the platform the customer base it needs to support a large development community which would in turn help build the platform's maturity eventually leading to advanced smartphones with a large and diverse assortment of apps available. This would be almost the reverse of how the iPhone platform grew: starting out as a premium hardware and service, now working down to cheaper hardware to leverage growing revenue streams from a large app library and contracts from the installed (and growing) base. Philosophically and practically (monoculture is typically a bad thing) I would love to see Android succeed on a large scale in the marketplace but as much as I often disagree with Apple's stylistic choices and UI design I have to give kudos for how well they've executed the iPhone and app store as a business.
  • by mcwop (31034) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:43PM (#28254963) Homepage
    Bashing Windows is fun! Seriously, I love Apple, but must agree that the new OS X update really does not have any new incredible features I am dying for. The new iPhones look cool, and do have some new key features, that make it much more complete.
    ---- The place I think Apple is still blowing it is in the "netbook" space. I will not spend over $1,000 for an Air to just do email and surf the net. In fact I just bought a Dell Mini 12 with Ubuntu for that, and at $500 is much easier on the wallet. No entry here by Apple despite Apple having a Mobile ready OS, unlike bloated Windows (reason why netbooks run XP), which I just do not get. Just do not fully understand Apple's poo-pooing the netbook space. I see a Netbook as a supplement to my bigger system, that I prefer not to carry. The iPhone can do some basic stuff on the road, but the screen is just not big enough for "surfing" the web, and handling documents etc...
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:49PM (#28255047)

    Since most higher-level dSLRs use Compact Flash, I'm a bit surprised they didn't include a CF slot on their "pro" line of laptops instead of an SD slot - especially since a CF slot could've served both CF and SD card users.

  • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:54PM (#28255155)

    Wow! MMS! Cut and Paste! Apple is really pushing the boundaries of computing these days.

    Everyone that bought an iPhone got sold down the river if the best Apple can do is release 5+ year old cell phone features as something new.

  • Re:iPhone fine print (Score:3, Interesting)

    by _Hiro_ (151911) <hiromasaki&gmail,com> on Monday June 08, 2009 @03:55PM (#28255165) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't AT&T let you sign a new contract for a discount on a phone after your 2-year is up?

    I know Alltel, Verizon, AND T-Mobile all do.

    Maybe Apple's website just isn't setup to do renewals, and you have to go to an AT&T store?

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:08PM (#28255487)

    Apple agreed to the app and it was in the appstore for a day, then pulled it without word.

    Under the terms of the App Store program, they can offer or retract an App at will. They're under no obligation to provide an app, or even give a logical reason for withdrawing it. No question it's bad business to not give a reason, but there's no legal issue there.

    They killed the nullriver app because AT&T told them to behind the scenes. Collusion and abuse of monopoly power.

    The App Store isn't a "monopoly" in the US legal sense. If the App store was the only way to buy an app on 90% of the phones in the US, or if Apple had colluded with Google to prevent an App to be shared on either store, then there might be a conversation to be had. In the bad analogy department, you're arguing that Gillette should be sued for a monopoly because it refuses to sell Bic blades.

    The App Store's licensing and content control model is basically identical to how console manufacturers control what games are permitted to be run on their consoles.

  • Re:Front Camera (Score:3, Interesting)

    by teg (97890) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:12PM (#28255549) Homepage

    The software should not be a problem, nor should the camera. The idea is simple, and they know it. They may have just been against having two cameras, or AT&T wasn't prepared to deal with streaming video chats and Apple wasn't ready to deal with increasing the price.

    Or maybe they just thought about how much it would be used.... when was the last time you did a video phone call with your cell? The whole usage scenario screams "awkward". Unlike your screen which sits in front of you, that's not where you normal have your cell phone when speaking.

  • Re:iPhone fine print (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EastCoastSurfer (310758) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:12PM (#28255557)

    I'm with ATT and my 2 years is far from being up. The website told me I would get the upgrade pricing. If you're willing to sign another 2 year contract I bet one of their sales people will work with you. Everything is always negotiable.

  • Re:OpenCL != OpenGL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:12PM (#28255565)

    Though your dig against Apple for their slow to come Java updates is not unfounded, Apple won't be controlling OpenCL. You don't even need to read TFA or TFwiki, your parent poster says it.

    Precisely. Remember, they didn't "control" Java, either.

    Remember when Steve said that OS X was going to be the "best Java platform on the planet"? Well, there may have been some interval in which you could make that case. But if you're trying to run JOGL on a 2008 MacBook, or Eclipse under Java 6, or anything at all under Java 7, you tell me how well it's working out for you.

    I've been a Mac user since 1985, and an OS X user since 2000. Still am. But Apple are building a pretty consistent track record of throwing their weight behind an emerging (or, in the case of Java, "established") standard, proclaiming their superior support, and then losing interest and wandering off in another direction.

    They don't always do so, of course. I particularly hope they don't pull this trick with OpenCL, for a variety of reasons.

  • by weston (16146) <westonsd.canncentral@org> on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:15PM (#28255615) Homepage

    Not everybody does.

    It's one of the things that has kept me from buying an iPhone so far, but really, it's a nicety. It was *particularly* nice to be able to tether through an old Nokia 6820 while I was on a four month road trip across the US a few years ago, and under those particular circumstance, convenient tethering might remain enough of a compelling feature by itself to outweigh anything else.

    But the funny thing is... for most of what I use tethering for *now* (quick email checks, occasional directions, priceline purchases on short trips, spur-of-the-moment amazon purchases)... I can and would pretty much use a well-designed smart phone for anyway. In other words, the phones themselves (not the least of which is the iPhone) are getting good enough that they do what most people would likely use a tethered computer for most of the time.

    This isn't to say another device might not be a better fit for you... personally, I'm still weighing the merits of an iPhone vs a Pre vs an E70 for my next phone. Tethering's a factor, but not a dealbreaker, at least unless I start living a completely mobile life again.

  • by Rayban (13436) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:21PM (#28255733) Homepage

    Correction: In the USA, AT&T is the exclusive provider. In Canada, Rogers and Fido (same company basically) offer the iPhone, officially.

  • by Teckla (630646) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:23PM (#28255765)

    ...introduce a service pack for Leopard priced at 29USD...

    It looked like a lot more than a service pack to me.

    Apple charges an extremely fair price for OSX, in my opinion. Look at Vista Ultimate, which costs $250 retail for the full version, and $200 retail for the upgrade version.

    Apple only charging $30 for the Snow Leopard upgrade seems like an incredible bargain to me.

  • by Eil (82413) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:24PM (#28255793) Homepage Journal

    These mirrors mounted on laptops get really annoying, and I'm not the only one who thinks that non-glossy displays are superior to their allegedly cheaper glossy displays.

    What bugged me the most about these when they came out was that all the laptop makers (especially Apple) hyped it as a cool hip new feature when all they did was remove the anti-glare coating from the manufacturing process.

  • Re:$100 for 16GB?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RudeIota (1131331) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:25PM (#28255817) Homepage

    same thing in an SD card is roughly $20.

    I share your view in a sense, but that's an unfair comparison.

    While I'm sure there's a substantial markup, don't forget they have to integrate this memory on the board which takes up valuable PCB real estate. The memory may also even be of better quality (Think solid state hard drives, where faster, more expensive SLC flash might be used). ... Okay, probably not, but just playing devil's advocate for a bit. :-)

    Regardless, I'm sure it doesn't *really* cost anywhere near $100... but sdcard comparisons are a little unfair.

  • by hattig (47930) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:26PM (#28255859) Journal

    Kills off flash videos on sites that want to cater to mobile users - and once they've done that, they might as well provide the html5 video capability to other users. In the long term, Adobe should worry for the viability of Flash for video delivery.

  • Re:Front Camera (Score:3, Interesting)

    by koiransuklaa (1502579) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:44PM (#28256189)

    no phone in the history of the universe has had a front facing video camera

    Maybe tone down the hyperbole? The Samsung z500 that I bought in 2006 had one already (and it was used already, no idea how old the model is).

    The camera was total crap of course and I still don't see the point of mobile video calls, but that's beside the point: front facing video cameras have been done for quite a while.

  • by ohcrapitssteve (1185821) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:47PM (#28256247) Homepage
    I'm smack in the middle of the Philly metro area, and apparently, AT&T isn't offering coverage enough to suit the features of this phone to me either. Or NYC metro. Or anywhere in America, for that matter, at least for a while. MMS and tethering have been around for years and years, but one won't be ready at launch, and the other was totally glanced over and for now appears delayed without mention of availability time-frame.
  • Re:yeh, too bad... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:55PM (#28256379)

    Barring the fact that Verizon uses CMDA and not GSM for a moment, Verizon would still have to significantly change their operating policies to hope to get the iPhone. As it stands their favorite activity it to neuter any and every phone they offer, so that it only offers a handful of features Verizon approves of. If Verizon got the iPhone, they would be chomping at the bit to disable Bluetooth, turn-by-turn directions, app updates over cellular, etc. This is in stark contrast to how Apple likes to do things, and Apple would never stand for it.

    Sprint would probably be happy to get the iPhone, but they're consistently about 2 inches from death so I'm not sure Apple wants such a partner. That leaves T-Mobile, the only 3G provider with even worse coverage than all the rest. The iPhone would likely crush their underbuilt system in a single blow, not unlike what it did to AT&T.

    The moral of the story is that all of the carriers suck. But for what Apple wants to do, AT&T likely sucks the least.

  • by AtomicDog (168155) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:56PM (#28256399) Homepage

    I, too, don't understand why Apple decided to replace the ExpressCard slot with an SD slot on a supposedly pro-level notebook.

    The ExpressCard slot provided the only high-speed expansion option on Apple's notebooks. Maybe I'd understand this move if there was a docking station available that added other expansion options, but there isn't.

    I do a lot of photography and often shoot gigabytes of raw photos in a single shoot with my dSLR (which uses CF, not SD). Yeah, the sort of work the MacBook Pro is supposed to be aimed at. Besides that, I also do a lot of work with large disk images for the IT work I do.

    Doing such work on my aging MBP is a joy because I have an ExpressCard Serial ATA adapter that lets me use external hard drives without the limitations and overhead of USB, FireWire or ethernet. If I wanted, I could also use the card to connect to an external RAID enclosure at SATA II speeds.

    What good are the performance increases with the CPU, memory, graphics, etc if the only expansion option that provided the quickest data transfer speeds is now gone? Disk i/o will be an even worse bottleneck for me on a new MBP than my old one. No thanks.

    I was looking to upgrade my 2.5 year old MBP with a newer model, but I refuse to do so until Apple brings back an ExpressCard slot or something better.

  • Re:yeh, too bad... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by samkass (174571) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:00PM (#28256463) Homepage Journal

    Apple has never been about the checkbox list of features. There are a lot of other vendors willing to load a gadget full of every button, feature, and gizmo under the sun, and there is a definite market for those devices among a certain crowd. But many Apple customers definitely find value in the deliberation and design Apple puts into their products, and that takes time. I've had an iPhone 3G for almost a year and it's one of the most useful devices I've ever owned. The iPhone 3GS appears to be even better. I don't see the competition light years ahead in usability and integration into my life, so I don't see any reason to switch. Needless to say, I wouldn't switch over lack of MMS.

    Besides, why do folks take the most trivial part of the huge list of features and try to use that as a claim of how backwards the iPhone is? If you love your Android great! More power to you. I like not only the iPhone, but the iPhone ecosystem and I find a lot of utility in it.

  • by Fred_A (10934) <fred&fredshome,org> on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:03PM (#28256539) Homepage

    Seriously, I've only made it a quarter of the way through this thing and I've already come to the conclusion that they could have held this conference with no new product/feature announcements and it still would have been a huge success as long as they bashed Microsoft and Windows 7 for most of it.

    Apple is hip, and its hip to hate PC!

    The only Jobs presentation I've been to was for the unveiling of the NeXT and it already was like that (adjust for Windows/DOS versions).
    Since then I've never managed to look at one of those things in whole. It just looks too much like a cultist rally or something.

  • by Sonic McTails (700139) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:40PM (#28257125)
    Actually, i386->amd64 is an improvement. While you do loose performance going from 32->64 memory addresses (and thus using more cache), you gain more general use registers, which i386 is *greatly* starved (you basically have four that you know are always available, and the a bunch more that may or may not be available for general usage if you know what features the processor supports, and you hand-write ASM, or tune your compiler). Hence the performance increases going from i386->amd64, but no on other 32 to 64 migrations involving the same architecture base set (i.e., sparc32->sparc64 or powerpc32->powerpc64).
  • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Monday June 08, 2009 @06:12PM (#28257627)

    You can get 3G netbooks for $49 bucks, and full 3G laptops for $99 as well...

    The contract con is sad, as people think the Apple iPhone 'phone contract' is the normal for the industry, and it isn't.

    It isn't a full computer but get charged like one, and there are 'phones' out there with just as many features that don't get you locked into the 'data' plan rates, like many Windows Mobile phones.

    I recently needed a new 3G plan for an area that only had ATT service. I picked up a $49 buck netbook with the contract, threw Win7 on it, and have a full computer for what iPhone users are paying for a smaller screen and less computing features.

    If this was just a 'phone' contest it would lose, and if this was a computer/data contest, the iPhone also loses.

  • Re:yeh, too bad... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonwil (467024) on Monday June 08, 2009 @08:26PM (#28259151)

    A number of people who are beta testing 3.0 (officially or unofficially) who were able to convince AT&T to turn on MMS (before AT&T and/or apple put a stop to it) and it worked perfectly fine. So the only excuse is that AT&T hasn't figured out how much they should charge iPhone customers for MMS.

    Or maybe AT&T bought the el-cheapo option when they installed their MMS kit and it cant handle all those new iPhones suddenly sending all those MMSs...

  • Re:-1 Troll (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday June 09, 2009 @06:30AM (#28263363) Journal

    The batteries now have way more battery life, which isn't "worsening" the battery situation in my book. Perhaps you're referring to the fact that the battery is not removable? I don't see that as a major issue. How often does a MacBook Pro user replace their battery?

    Well, my MBP just had its battery replaced; after around 100 charge cycles it was down to 50% of the maximum charge. Apple sent out a new one in a box, I put the old one in the same box and a UPS man came and took it away, all under warranty. If the battery was not removable, I'd have had to post the machine to them. I've done that a few times before. The best time, it was returned three days later, the worst they lost it and finally replaced it two months later. The more bits can be replaced easily by the user, the less chance I have of that happening again.

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