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Apple bores at Microsoft-esque WWDC keynote


Most Steve Jobs keynotes are entertaining and interesting. But Apple proved at today's WWDC keynote that it can be every bit as boring and repetitive as Microsoft is at its own keynote events. Consider the following walk-through of today's event, summarized for your convenience:

Jobs: God, we're popular.

Jobs: Yes, Snow Leopard is the next Mac OS X, but we're not going to talk about it in the keynote. It's all iPhone.

Jobs: Lots of people have been testing the iPhone SDK. Unfortunately, none of those people are you.

Jobs: Here's Scott "sketchy" Forestell to show you the exact same "build an iPhone application" demo you already saw back in January. Yeah, we're doing it again.

Forestell (after incredibly long, boring demo): Developers told us they love the iPhone SDK!

David Pogue (quoting Paul Thurrott, apparently): You're witnessing the birth of a [second] major computer platform: Windows and iPhone." He should have added "Wii" as the third. What the heck.

Sega's Ethan Einhorn: We've added all the "classic monkeys" to Super Monkey Ball for iPhone!!

eBay's Ken Sun: We're going to make it easy to use our online yard sale. Anyone?

Loopt's Sam Altman: Seriously, I'm creepier than Scott Forestell, and I wrote this Stalker iPhone application to prove it.

Typepad is going to let you blog from your iPhone! The AP is going to let you get news on your iPhone. Pangaea is making iPhone games. Cow Muisc has an app called Band. will let anyone buy the Florida Marlins from the iPhone. Seriously, anyone. Medical applications??? Make it stop.

Scott: We've solved notifications. But we call it Push Notification Service. Did I mention that Windows Mobile sucks? ("This is nuts.")

TUAW live blog: "Yes, yes, yes!"

Forestell: This functionality won't be available until September. [So you haven't so much "solved" this problem as "thought about it" then. –Paul]

[Note: One-hour point of keynote passes. Apple's stock has dropped $5. A crying woman from Hartford, Connecticut can't remember now why she torched her week-old Macbook. My air conditioner is so loud I didn't hear the phone ringing. Time literally stands still.]

Jobs: We added exciting, secret new features to the iPhone! In fact, these are the secret new features we totally forgot to add to Mac OS X Leopard, but since the iPhone is based on Leopard, we weren't really lying, now were we? These new features—did I mention they were exciting?—include contact search, iWork document viewing (not editing), PowerPoint viewing, bulk delete/move in email,, saving images from email to the iPhone photo library, and … wait for it… a scientific calculator that will no doubt be ripped off from a defunct 1970's calculator we hope you'll never find out about. How about parental controls? We got 'em.

Jobs: iPhone 2.0 software update will be out in early July and will be free. (Unless you're an iPod touch owner, you freeloader. You pay $10.)

Jobs: iPhone Apps Store in 62 countries. Devs get 70 percent of paid apps. Apps that are 10 MB or less can download on cell network. Otherwise, Wi-Fi or iTunes is required. Enterprises can set up private stores.

Phil Schiller: Mobile Me was the worst-kept secret in the history of Apple, so I have to announce it instead of Steve.

Schiller: Mobile Me is "Exchange for the rest of us." Note the "Windows Me"-like logo we're using in honor of his occasion. It's about auto-data sync between iPhone, Mac, and PC. (Thus the dropping of the .Mac name.) Push email, contacts, and calendars. Photos too. Over the air, like a grown-up sync service.

Schiller: Yep, .Mac was a dog, but Windows users are used to poorly-written software, so we expect a big uptick here. Mobile Me replaces .Mac. The six of you still using .Mac can keep your iCabal email addresses.

Schiller: Mobile Me is $99 a year and includes 20GB online storage. See you in early July.

Jobs: Thanks for taking that bullet for me, Phil. You're a true soldier.

Jobs: 3G support for the iPhone was the worst-kept secret in the history of Apple, so I have to announce it instead of ... Oh, wait. Yeah, we're doing 3G. Obviously. Forgot all that baloney I spewed last year about 2.5G being good enough. That was a joke. These aren't the droids you're looking for. And look! I brought cake! It's the one year anniversary of the iPhone! [Crowd completely forgets how lame 2.5G/EDGE is.]

Jobs: Introducing the iPhone 3G. It makes your iPhone look like crap. It is even thinner, has a black plastic back, and solid metal buttons. It has the same gorgeous display, a camera, and a flush headphone jack that actually works with your existing headphones (another Apple innovation). It has dramatically improved audio and, yes, GPS. Did I mention how we basically invented 3G? Seriously, it's way better than EDGE. Way better.


Jobs: The iPhone was way too expensive. Way too expensive. In fact, I wonder why any of you saps bought one of these things. So we're lowering the price. I know, pinch me, right? The iPhone 3G 8GB will be $199. You know, like a real smart phone. Not $599 like a computer. The 16 GB model is $299. Oh, and there'll be a very white model for you translucent types. Think July. As usual. Well, July 11 specifically.

Jobs: Oh, and let me reiterate. While I do think we should thank all you first generation iPhone customers for beta-testing our device, seriously, why the heck did you pay so much for a phone? Geesh.


Did Apple introduce anything surprising today? No, unless you count the price drop, which I previously noted was a requirement if Apple was serious about selling 10 million units this year. Apparently, they are quite serious.

Long story short: I rescheduled the gym for this today? Geesh.

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