Apple Technology

Thoughts on Apple’s next announcement

Like every good Apple fanboy,  I’m rubbing my hands with glee at the prospect of new product announcements from Apple next Wednesday. For the first time in a while, it looks like the focus is going to be on the Mac (as opposed to the iPod or iPhone) and may include news on the next iteration of the Mac OS X operating system (10.7? Tiger?) or even new hardware. New 11” Macbook Air anyone?

As I can’t afford any new Apple hardware (see here and here for recent wallet-crippling purchases!), I’m most looking forward to announcements regarding the operating system. In no particular order, here’s what I hope Steve (that’s Mr. Jobs to you) has up his sleeve:

  1. More (and better) integration with the cloud. What do I mean by this? Simply put, I want Apple to buy Dropbox and use it to replace iDisk. Sync my docs and settings on all my computers, and the web, without me having to understand how it all works. I absolutely love Dropbox and don’t understand why Apple can’t improve on iDisk. Maybe their new server farm is linked to this? Also, what about cloud-based iTunes? I’ve got several computers with iTunes installed and I’d like to be able to access the same music, podcasts and TV shows on all of them – without moving files around or dealing with DRM nastiness.

  2. I’d love to see “Facetime” integrated into iChat, as well as an announcement that Apple are opening up the technology to others – such as Skype. My other half has an iPhone 4 and mine is on order, so we’d both appreciate the ability to do video calls from a Mac to an iPhone and vice versa. I’m guessing we’re not alone in this regard. This would mean I could use iChat for family communication and leave Skype for work calls, representing a handy delineation.

  3. I know it’s not core to Mac OSX, but Mobile Me could still do with an spring clean. We’ve just seen an upgrade to iCal on Mobile Me, and a previous update to the Mail service. Both laudable, but also skin deep. It’s still painfully slow to access these apps over the web. I’d like to be able to see all my subscribed calendars on the web, choose which colours they appear in (to match iCal) and, while I’m at it, ensure these carry over to my iPhone and iPad. It’s a minor point, but as someone with multiple calendars (personal, work, sports, doctorate), I need to be able to differentiate them and do so consistently across my Apple devices.

  4. Wireless synchronisation. I have an iPhone and an iPad lying on my desk, next to an iMac. All three examples of cutting-edge tech. However, I need to plug them in to the iMac to move music, comics, books and movie files between them. Why not enable synchronisation over wifi? Right now, getting files onto the iPad (e.g. new books or comics), involves the use of iTunes and a USB cable. Come on, Apple, let wifi take the strain – and let me have the wireless minimalist desktop I’ve always wanted. Remove iTunes from the sync equation and make it the media app it was originally meant to be.

  5. One more thing. Oh alright. Yes, I would be excited to see an 11″ MacBook Air. It could conceivably replace my MacBook Pro (which gets less and less use now that I have the iMac and iPad) as long as the battery life was 5 hours or more, it had at least 2 USB ports. And as long as I can find a buyer for my Macbook.

Roll on Wednesday.

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