New basket of Apples
Apple has unveiled updates to its products – plus a new iPhone.
THE APPLE HYPE MACHINE was fired up again last week for its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote, during which product updates were announced across the range of Apple’s products. The event is usually hosted by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who’s on a hiatus for health reasons. Hosting the event in his absence was Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of WorldWide Product Marketing.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro announced at the event comes in at a lower price than the original aluminium MacBook it replaces. It now includes a seven-hour built-in battery, an SD card slot, a FireWire 800 port, illuminated keyboard and other improvements. It’s priced at US$1 499 for the US market.
Snow Leopard, the next version of the OS X operating system and available in September, was shown at the event. Snow Leopard builds support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 right into Mac OS X Mail, Address Book and iCal, so you can use those applications to send and receive email, create and respond to meeting invitations and search and manage your contacts with global address lists, along with other new features and enhancements.
But the star of the show was the new iPhone 3G S, which features faster hardware than the current iPhone 3G, a compass, 3G HSDPA up to 7,2Mbps and a vastly improved three-megapixel autofocus camera with video. Apple will keep the iPhone 3G on the market but has reduced its price drastically.
However, the most significant updates to the iPhone come from an upgrade to its operating system and are also available for older models of the device. The updates introduce a host of new features, including copy and paste, MMS and the ability for iPhone applications to directly address external hardware. For example, the latter could be used in healthcare, where doctors could monitor patients on their phones.
iPhone 3.0 also has a tracking solution: owners can see a map of their phone’s location on the Internet – useful if it’s stolen or lost. You can also send messages to the device that will erase all its data, or make it play a sound, even in silent mode, to help you find it. The iPhone can also be used as a modem for your Mac computer if the network provider in your location allows it.
Vodacom provides the iPhone in the South African market and has confirmed that the device will be available in July 2009.