Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote took place this morning 1,266 miles from my studio in downtown Denver, but through the wonders of livestreaming and Twitter I beamed myself there for the fun. My excitement about the new iPhone 3GS and new iPhone operating system 3.0 kept building and building. I was oohing and ahing right along with the crowd, adding my own HyperTweets to the waterfall of similar postings from around the net. Here are a few of my favorite things:
With the coming-soon Zipcar app, I’ll be able to use my iPhone 3GS to reserve a Zipcar in Cambridge, Mass., from one of three parking spaces all within five minutes’ walk from our house. I could actually do that now, using Safari and the standard Zipcar web site. But with the new phone, when I get close to the Zipcar I’ve reserved, if I have any confusion about which one it is, I’ll be able to honk its horn from my iPhone. And instead of using my Zipcard plastic card to activate the unlocking mechanism, I’ll do that with my phone. How cool is that?
The new compass will be nice, because I have a terrible sense of direction, seldom knowing north from south, etc. And the improvements to the iPhone camera are huge for me, especially the addition of video. I’ve been using a Flip camera and loving the ease of taking good video and plugging the camera into the USB port of a computer for upload. Now the uploads will go directly from my iPhone to YouTube and elsewhere. And I’m going to love the increase in resolution on the still photographs, because I take lots of iPhone photos with my current 3G model and am very happy with the resolution of the results. Longer battery life sounds great, thank you. And voice activation, cut/copy/paste, Spotlight searches of the whole phone – lots to get excited about!
I was already planning to camp out at the Cherry Creek Apple store on June 19th, as I did for the arrival of the original iPhone in 2007 and the iPhone 3G on July 11, 2007 2008. But therein lies a problem.
I tried the Apple Store immediately after the WWDC presentation concluded and was surprised to see I could order an iPhone 3GS for delivery on June 19th, with free shipping. Well okay. I’d sort of miss the scene of a product launch and the long wait with a line of fellow gadget-geek boys and girls. But still, what wasn’t to like about having a 3GS show up here at my Denver home that day? So I began the order process, which seemed simple and elegant, as only Apple can do.
My expectation soured, though, when I saw a message on my screen that informed me I could not order a 32GB phone for $299 until July 12, 2008 – 23 days after the June 19th launch, because July 12th marks the one-year anniversary of the AT&T contract which I began last year when I bought the 3G on the first day it was offered. Grrrr. Nice way to treat your crazy evangelical early adopters, Apple! Depending on the information I’ve seen around the net, I would have to pay either $200 or $400 more to purchase the phone on June 19 versus waiting for my contract to reach a year on July 12. So it looks as if I’ll be waiting and grumbling for 23 days, a day at a time.
It’s all silly and irrational, as a friend pointed out on Twitter. But I confess to obtaining something like real joy from the arrival of these new iPhones. I was at the keynote in 2007 when Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone. It was like being at the creation, and I was convinced the iPhone would change everything. It did. Now, 40 million units later, Apple is changing the game again with the addition of video and all the other features. I’ll wait, no doubt about it. And for the first time I won’t be among those getting the first iPhones. So what? I don’t know. It’s like missing the start of a really great parade. Or arriving late to a tornado. Yeah, I’ll get one. But it won’t be the same.
Steve Jobs never showed up at the Moscone Center in San Francisco today, disappointing many of us who figured he might come off of his medical leave full of health, to announce the new iPhone. That was sad, and a bad omen.
By mid-July I’ll have gotten over today’s roller coaster ride from elation to disappointment, and I’ll be teaching my new 3GS to recognize my voice and open the door of a Zipcar hybrid.
Meanwhile, the new Kindle DX is scheduled to arrive in three days. Amazon likes to surprise us with early arrivals, so maybe it will be here even sooner. What a week!
PS. I want to thank my sister Stephanie for subscribing to this blog on her Kindle for 99 cents a month. This really tickled me and has provided an extra incentive to post more regularly than I have in the past. Welcome, loyal reader! If you have a Kindle and would like to join her, please click here for a free 14-day trial.