iPad aftermath

TidBITS has a nice photo tour of the iPad launch, including pics of Xeni Jardin, Stephen Fry and some John Gruber amongst other Mac luminaries.

Daring Fireball and Stephen note that the iPad web page rendering is much faster than on the iPhone, presumably due to the A4 processor. I just want to know if it supports more than 8 pages open (which is the limit in the iPhone version of Safari).

Check out the above Stephen Fry link for his most excellent take on the iPad launch, including such gems as:

I’m not advocating dumb gullibility, but it is has always amused me that those who instinctively dislike Apple for being apparently cool, trendy, design fixated and so on are the ones who are actually so damned cool and so damned sensitive to stylistic nuance that they can’t bear to celebrate or recognise obvious class, beauty and desire. The fact is that Apple users like me are the uncoolest people on earth: we salivate, dribble, coo, sigh, grin and bubble with delight.

iTablet iPhone iThingy roundup

Aside from the usual random speculation about Steve Jobs worldchanging release in a few hours time, there have been a few interesting articles recently, namely

I also wonder what the cool feature will be… Mesh networking? Biofeedback? Merging with other nearby devices to form a larger device? Inbuilt projector?
It will also be interesting to see if Apple launches any updates to their 17 inch MacBook Pro as they would probably always have done if they were attending MacWorld this year. Also, I predict an iPhone software update, an iTunes update and a Mac OS X update.
Now, lets sit back and see how wrong we all are…

Musings on Apple’s Next Big iThing

Thinking about the iTablet, iSlate, or iWhateverItWillBeCalled.
For those who haven’t seen it, check out Apple’s Knowledge Navigator from the depths of 1987, a vision that Apple’s been working towards for quite some time now. Note the touch screen interface, and voice control. Not that far fetched from what an iPhone’s voice control can do these days (albeit with less intelligence, and more recognition errors in my experience).

Personally I’m hoping we’ll see more Newton like technologies in a larger screen format. With colour. And handwriting recognition (it’s in Mac OS X, but nobody really uses it. Now why is it there exactly?). And some of the Newton’s drawing and note taking user interface. And of course, with the Internet connectivity the Newton lacked (for the most part)!

Daring Fireball also has Newton musings. I don’t know about John Gruber’s handwriting, but I found the handwriting recognition pretty good, much nicer than Grafitti on the Palm. Plus, you couldn’t easily mix handwriting and drawings on the Palm.
I’m guessing we won’t see a return of NewtonScript though, and probably a good thing given the prevalence of Objective C across Apple’s product line.

iPhone 3GS

From WWDC:

40 million iPhones + iPod Touches have already been sold, 1 Billion apps downloaded in 9 months.

iPhone 3GS – S=Speed, some 2-3x faster, looks like it has the same form factor.

  • Supports OpenGL|ES 2.0 and 7.2Mbps HSPDA
  • 3 megapixel autofocus camera, tap to tell it where to focus, Macro mode to 10cm, better low light sensitivity
  • Also captures video! 30fps, VGA with audio, auto-focus/white-balance/exposure
  • Edit video and send it to YouTube, MobileMe, MMS or e-mail
  • Voice control – “Play songs like this”, “Call Scott”
  • Digital compass
  • Accessibility – VoiceOver, color inversion, zooming
  • Nike+ support
  • Data encryption
  • Instant remote wipe, encrypted iTunes backups
  • Improved battery life, 9 hours of net, 10 hours of video, 30 hours of audio, 12 hours of 2G talk, 5 hours of 3G talk
  • Eco-friendly construction, arsenic free glass, BFR free, mercury free LCD
  • US$199 for 16Gb, US$299 for 32Gb, US$99 for 8Gb iPhone!
  • Available June 19th in US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK
  • Progressive roll out to another 6 countries a week later, no Australian dates yet

iPhone 3.0

  • cut/copy/paste/undo
  • MMS support (later this year for AT&T customers)
  • Search, Spotlight
  • iTunes U now on iPhone iTMS
  • Rent and purchase movies from phone
  • Finer grained parental controls
  • Bluetooth tethering to share connection “Requires carrier support” (ie presumably they just need to allow it!)
  • Safari Javascript 3x faster
  • Support for HTTP streaming audio and video, automatically determine best quality (what codecs I wonder?)
  • HTML5 support
  • Software based keyboard in portrait and landscape
  • Find my iPhone, for MobileMe users shows last known location of the phone, lets you play a sound and send a message, and remote wipe the phone if necessary (to be restored from backup if you find it later).

iPhone Demos

  • Asphalt 5 – car racing game
  • Airstrip
  • Critical Care – Monitor patient vitals via Push
  • ScrollMotion – create digital books for the App Store, download them from inside the app
  • TomTom – turn by turn direction app, and car accessory kit via the Accessory framework
  • Star Defense
  • Plus Network
  • Pasco – sensors for iPhone
  • Zipcar – lets you find a zipcar and remotely honk the horn and unlock the car so you know which one is yours!

This is my iPod, this is my gun…

…this is for fighting, this is for fun.

Newsweek reports that the US Army are using iPod Touches and some iPhones for translation and other purposes. They’re cheap, rugged and many recruits are already familiar with using them.

Could be quite interesting if integrated with DARPA’s locationally aware wiki TIGR.

Not sure if the users get to upload their own content onto them though.

Why I force quit BBEdit

BBEdit and I have a relationship that stretches back some 10 years at least (It still doesn’t suck).

I tend to open lots of new text documents in BBEdit to use as multiple scratchpads. These are titled ‘untitled 1’ through ‘untitled 85’ (currently). In recent versions BBEdit has introduced a scratchpad, but there’s only one scratchpad document, so you have to do all your scratchpadding in the same place, whereas multiple new documents provide some isolation if you’re doing full document search and replaces for example.

Somewhere along the way they added document persistence. So if what I’m working on kills the OS (or Safari beachballs it to death again) and the machine needs rebooting, when I relaunch BBEdit I get my documents back again. When you relaunch, the untitled documents are all there, still ready to be used. Occasionally I go through and close old ones I no longer need.

The problem is, when you quit BBEdit, it asks you to save the documents. And saving them means you have to name them all, and re-open them next time.

But not if you force quit it 🙂 Then they are recovered automatically on the next launch, and you don’t need to think up names for them.

Perhaps they just need to implement multiple scratchpads 🙂

[Edit: What they did add was “Sleep BBEdit” command, which saves the state and Quits. Yay!]

Apple Keyboards available with or without numeric keypads

Whilst browsing through configuration options for the new Mac mini I noticed that you can buy either “Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad” or “Apple Keyboard” to go with it. Obviously you can ditch the numeric keypad if you’re only going to be using it as a media centre PC or something. The Apple Keyboard has the same layout as the Wireless Keyboard.