The news is still fresh (and painful): No Steve-Note at this year's Macworld Expo an no Apple from next year on. Reaction over the intertubes has been fast and in some cases furious. Here's a quick sampling:
Paul Kent of Macworld Expo responded with a non-response, which is probably all he really could do: "We look forward to many successful years of Macworld to come."
Jason Snell of Macworld Magazine (same parent, different company) thinks it might be better for the show: "And yet every year, those same companies schlep out to San Francisco to announce their next big products—and find their announcements completely washed away by whatever Steve Jobs announced on Tuesday morning. Completely washed away."
Jim Goldman of CNBC says the reasons are purely political, not health related: "Apple has been trying to separate itself from Macworld for some time, preferring instead to host its own "special events" a few times a year." (er... um, that sounds more strategic than political, but who are we to analyze people's headlines?)
Jesus Diaz at Gizmodo says Apple has always wanted out of Macworld, but thinks no Steve-note is just one more step on Jobs' road to retirement: "The simplest explanation, following previous events, is that canceling MacWorld and having Phil Schiller to present it is just another part of His Plan. This doesn't mean that he is leaving the company tomorrow, however. it is just one more step towards that goal, as I explained back in October."
And lo, Steve Jobs opened the 7th seal, and there was silence at Macworld.
Apple just made it official folks, Phil Schiller will be presenting the Keynote, and after that, Apple will no longer be attending Macworld, leaving WWDC as possibly the only show big left for Apple and Steve Jobs.
Is this the end of an era, or the beginning of something new? Does no Steve-note mean no Macworld for anyone? What will this do to expectations? And will it make Apple's "special events" even more special?
If you were waiting for a price drop to pick up your own iPhone 3G, now might be your only chance. AT&T is now offering refurbished iPhone 3G's on their website. 8GB's are going for $149.99 and 16GB's can be picked up for $249.99. Of course these prices require a 2 year service agreement.
Sonos is a "multi-room music system" that lets you wirelessly stream music to any "zone" in your house either independently or synchronized together using a centralized controller. And, oh yeah, that centralized controller can be an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Chad, with the help of his friend, gave us a first look at using Sonos with the iPhone in lieu of its traditional controller, and raised some great pros (total iPhone control of all music, in every room, of your Sonos-enabled home) and cons (iPhone relegated merely to control, and not leveraged for the media-powerhouse it is in its own right as well) about the experience. So great, in fact, that when Sonos offered TiPb a limited-time demo to test it out, I jumped at the chance.
Since I'm not a Sonos user, not an audiophile, and not particularly interested in struggling anymore with complicated setup procedures, I thought it would be ideal to approach this from a new-user perspective, and one used to the iPhone ecosystem where things (often) "just work".
This past Saturday Apple posted a new support page, a simple list of all the carriers currently selling iPhone 3G's and which ones are locked and which ones are unlocked. As all AT&T customers know, our iPhone's are locked down tight until the Dev-Team can do something about it. I suppose if you were that desperate and crafty you could use this list of unlocked carriers to get yourself one, for a hefty fee of course... and be sure to know how to speak fluent Chinese if you want support for one purchased in Hong Kong or Taiwan. ;)
What has the MobileMe team gone and gotten us for the holidays? Why, a slew of pre-New Year updates! Specific to the iPhone:
Resolved an issue that could cause some contacts to temporarily disappear on iPhone or iPod touch when syncing with MobileMe over an intermittent network connection; iPhone Software 2.2 is required to take full advantage of this
Improves reliability of new email notifications on an iPhone/iPod touch
Messages just deleted on iPhone, iPod touch, or a desktop mail application now update more quickly on webmail
And, most importantly to Mac users who previously saw the "push" and "Exchange for the rest of us" labels vanish in a cloud of, er... more like 15 min...
For anyone who has been waiting for a software unlock soltution for their iPhone 3G, it looks like you patience will be paying off in a short few weeks. As Dev Team member MuscleNerd stated "Target date is a few days after Christmas".