This month I’m going to talk to you about a variety of Apple stuff, their products, their culture and their future.
AppleTV is due for an update and rumors say it’s coming soon. Expect it to include Bluetooth for the remote instead of the current IR system. It’s sure to have the iPad’s and iPhone 4S’s A5 dual core 1GHz processor, and more RAM. What I’m waiting to see in AppleTV, though, is the ability for it to run apps and games, basically turning your TV into a really large iPad. Now that would be cool.
iPhone 4S is out, and it’s the best selling iPhone yet. On the outside it looks almost exactly like the iPhone 4, so all iPhone 4 cases and accessories will continue to work with it. Inside is the aforementioned A5 dual core processor, though it’s throttled back to run at 800MHz, most likely to keep battery life comparable to the previous model iPhone 4. It has a beefed up camera, the Siri personal assistant, and iOS5. Siri is pretty damn cool and I think Apple is going to push themselves and others to really refine voice commands and turn them into a viable replacement for touch on our mobile devices. In other words, the future of how we interact with out computers and handhelds is here, folks, and it’s about time!
OS X Lion is now at version 10.7.2 but my question remains—will Apple ever give me the ability to turn off a few of the things that I don’t like in Lion? That would include Versions, the monochrome Finder icons, the placement of drives and external storage at the bottom of the Finder sidebar, and a myriad of other small things. Yes, I know that there are hacks out there that revert some of these things to their pre-Lion behavior but I want it to be an option in OS X that I can move on to the future or stay grudgingly mired in the past. What can I say? I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Don’t get me wrong, though, progress is good. But changing things just for the sake of change . . . well, that’s a very Microsoft-like thing to do.
What does Apple’s future look like without Steve Jobs is the big question right now, and rightly so. It should be obvious to everyone that Steve was not just the CEO of Apple; in many respects, he WAS Apple. From his sense of style, his extraordinary ability to see the future and guide technology there, to his unwavering sense of how Apple should perform as a company, Steve was the real deal and his importance to Apple the company cannot be overstated. How many other CEOs can you remember that saw such an outpouring of emotion, not to mention press coverage, upon their deaths?
On Oct. 5, the day Steve died, the Apple home page was set to a large photo of a healthy Steve and the words “Steve Jobs 1955-2011.” It remained on the home page until Oct. 20, the day after Apple held a memorial at the Cupertino campus for all Apple employees and beamed to all Apple stores, which closed for a few hours to join in the celebration of Steve’s life.
As I wrote last month in a Boro Mac Shop blog post, after Steve stepped down as CEO:
“I don’t think we’ll see how Jobs’s absence will affect Apple for at least 3-4 years because a company the size of Apple already has their next four or five products in the pipeline. One tech pundit has said that we might even see an Apple that takes more chances and tries different things because there won’t be one man through whom all ideas must flow. Whether that will be good or bad for Apple, of course, remains to be seen.”
On a personal note, I’m sad that Steve is gone, but damn glad he was here. I always thought of him as the Willy Wonka of the tech world—a benign dictator who reigned over his kingdom, churning out wonderful and exciting tools and toys for us, and pushing us all to imagine something greater and showing us how to achieve it. Steve was one of the crazies. He changed things. And he put a dent in the world.
Now that, my friends, is the way to leave a mark.