Steve Jobs launches iPhone 4

Now you can watch the entire 1 hour 52 minute keynote edited down to just 5 minutes…
(Courtesy of the Ronalds Things channel
on YouTube.)

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJsnqa4yWfA]

A thin, but energetic and healthy-looking Steve Jobs at the opening of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference.

Hot on the heels of last week’s appearance at the All Things Digital D8 conference, Apple’s CEO and patron saint Steve Jobs addressed the assembled masses of developers in the opening keynote session of the World Wide Developers Conference, held in San Francisco’s Moscone Center this week. With the recent bru-ha-ha surrounding the Gizmodo iPhone prototype fiasco, most correctly assumed that Steve would use the WWDC to showcase the latest addition to the iPhone family. However, the keynote weighed in at nearly two hours in length and covered additional key technologies that Apple is introducing.

Although I got the blow-by-blow by “watching” the keynote via engadget’s excellent live blog, I’ll just summarize here and make a few comments. I’ll leave all the details to the plethora of pundits out there and provide a few links to some good, in-depth coverage throughout the post.

So, here’s a quick summary and my take on the announcements…

1. iPad success (some stats) – more than 2 million sold in the first 60 days; for sale in 19 countries by July; more than 8,500 iPad specific apps; 35+ million sold so far (about 17 per iPad); 22% share of eBook sales; PDF viewing added to iBooks App (yeah!!!)

2. App Store update – App store supports HTML 5; 15,000 Apps submitted per week; 95% approved within 7 days; Netflix for iPhone coming this summer; blah-blah-blah (games: Guitar Hero; Farmville) – we’ve already talked about this on softcircus, read Midtoad’s excellent review.

3. iPhone 4 unveiled – As one might expect after last month’s leaks, the latest iPhone is smaller, faster and better than ever. Features include Apple A4 processor (same as the iPad); front facing camera for face-to-face chat; 5 megapixel camera with LED flash; 720p HD video; HiDef 960×640 display; 3 axis gyroscope for 6 axis motion sensing to improve gaming. For all the details, check out Macworld.com coverage and of course the Apple website. Release date in 5 countries – June 24th. I want one!

4. iMovie for iPhone – This looks pretty cool! This app is a scaled down version of the desktop app designed for on-the-go video editing, downsizing and publishing of your previously-mentioned 720p HD iPhone video. You can even bring in still photos and apply the Ken Burns effect with automatic transitions. This looks like a very good adaptation of a desktop product… very usable!

5. iPhone OS 4 – The next generation of the iPhone OS has been renamed iOS4, probably to de-emphasize the “phone” aspect since it’s now the base OS for the iPad and rumoured to be the OS of the next Apple TV device. Some features: Multitasking; UI Folders for apps; Face-to-Face video calling (over WiFi only for now). You can read about it at the Macworld site, and of course Apple. The big news here is that the software update will be FREE for all existing iPhone 3GS and later generation iPod Touch users. Release scheduled for June 21/2010. I especially like the FREE part!

6. Bing search engine added as an option to Google and Yahoo. More evidence of the growing rift between Apple and Google!

7. iBooks now supports PDF viewing in the bookshelf interface… very handy. I don’t care how good it gets, I will NEVER read a book on a mobile phone (but maybe an iPad, if I can get Midtoad to lend me his).

8. iAd – Apple’s mobile advertising delivery system enables developers to make more money from placement of ads within their apps… great, that’s all we need… more commercials! (of course the developers are saying “Great, that’s all I need, more revenue!”)

9. and one more thing… Steve finished the keynote with a real-time demo of the Facetime, the face-to-face chat feature of the new iPhone, likening the experience to a Jetsons’ cartoon. I have to admit, this looks very cool indeed! Currently Facetime is limited to iPhones connected to WiFi networks, saying “we need to work a little bit with the carriers” before a 3G launch. Ah, the future is here – where’s my flying car?

All in all a pretty good keynote featuring a few surprises and some great demos. If you’re interested, Apple usually gets streaming versions of these keynotes on their website within a day or two (now available here). Likewise, iTunes users can subscribe to the Apple Keynotes podcasts and watch this and other keynotes as they become available. If you’re a real Jobs-phile, you might also want to watch last week’s Steve Jobs interview at last weeks All Things D 8 conference. For now, the link is on the video page of their website.

UPDATE: Apple Keynotes podcasts, available for free on the iTunes Music Store, now has 2010 WWDC Keynote.

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