TOMTOM'S announcement of an iPhone navigation app and an in-car kit is proof if it were needed that convergence is alive and well. And everything seems to be converging on the iPhone, the world in your pocket. Manufacturers of gadgets of all descriptions, from pocket calculators to in-car navigators will be examining their marketing plans and asking themselves if people really want a dozen and one different bits of kit, every one with its own charger and accessories, when the iPhone can do everything just as well.
INTERESTING analysis of Apple with or without Steve Jobs on Yahoo Business today. The article, by Gene Marcial, argues that Apple now has a very strong presence, spearheaded by the MacBook, iPhone and iPod, and a solid management team that could withstand even the departure of Steve Jobs. The confirmation that he will return to work before the end of June is seen as icing on the cake. Analysts are now bullish on the prospects for Apple Inc and, of course, the continuation of the old 3G iPhone model at bargain prices will do nothing to dent sales.
RENAMING the unibody aluminium MacBook as the MacBook Pro 13 is a logical and welcome step. Since the launch of the unibody machines it has been obvious that the 13-in model had more in common with the Pro range than with the old polycarbonate white or black MacBook.
But I believe there is more to this can meets the eye and I am surprised none of the other industry watchers have made the connection. The current white MacBook is clearly coming to the end of its life and I believe it will be pensioned off some time in the next twelve months.
This leaves the coast clear for the re-cycling of the MacBook name. What better moniker for the 10-in touch-screen not-a-netbook tablet that everyone agrees Apple are working on?
THE NEW updated operating system for the iPhone will be available for download free from the morning of June 17. iPod Touch users will be asked to pay $9.99.
THE MONTHLY meeting of the London Mac Users' Group this evening coincides nicely with the WWDC opening in San Francisco. Almost all LMUG members are now sitting in the basement meeting room of the Hobgoblin pub in Balcombe Street, Marylebone, with their MacBooks on the table in front of them. Thanks to the Group's free wifi, we are all getting a blow-by-blow update of Phil Schiller's conference-opening speech. With all the rumours that abound before an Apple conference we tend to think we know what is about to be announced. This time, however, there are a number of surprises coming up, including the upgraded MacBook Pro range and a clear September date for the release of Snow Leopard. This, incidentally will be launched at a very attractive price of $29 or $49 for the family pack.
I'VE ALWAYS hated the locking of mobile phones to one carrier. Sure, in many countries, particularly the UK, locked phones supplied under a contract can be extremely cheap. And unlocking of the average phone is simple and costs peanuts; so there are some arguments in favour of locking.
I am also a fan of the Power Support Anti-Glare film for the screen. This is much better, in my opinion, than he crystal cover from the same manufacturer. The anti-glare has a slightly textured surface which does not attract finger marks but makes navigation and touch input more accurate and satisfying. What's more, this is one screen protector that is easy to apply. Getting rid of the air bubbles is easy on the iPhone because the hard glass screen can take more pressure from a credit card, the accepted implement for smoothing. This is one screen cover that actually improves the appearance while vastly improving the tactile feel and preventing smudges.
After two weeks with my new iPhone 3G I agree with other commentators about the limited battery life. A day out and about and I'm down to the last 10% of power. In fairness to Apple, the iPhone is just so handy and useful that I am using it for far longer than any previous phone or PDA. It's a fully-fledged computer, not just a phone. And my old Treo 750 wasn't much better on battery life if I'm being honest.
I am currently testing an auxilliary battery which plugs into the iPhone and can give up to two full charges. The small and neat Power Monkey, which looks nothing like a monkey, is proving to be a valuable addition to my portable arsenal. There are a number of similar devices such as the 3GJuice and the Kensington but on paper the Power monkey has the highest power capacity. It is British designed and you can see details at PowerTraveller UK.
Although the monkey is expensive at £65 it does come with an array of connectors for many mobile devices and a quality carry case. A bonus is a solar-panel charger so, in theory, you can have power wherever you go. I won't hold my breath for solar charging performance in Britain, but I am looking forward to trying out the device when I get back to Athens in October.