New Toys

Tuesday is Macworld, meaning Apple will be releasing some new products. I’m pretty excited. The iPhone and “true video” (full screen) iPod are both rumored to be imminent.

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People have all kinds of wild expectations for both, but I think the key to the iPhone will be far more subtle than doing everything for everyone. Apple will make it easy to use with your computer. Companies like Verizon cripple the file transferring features in their phones so that they can charge you $4 for a 30 second clip of a song you’ve already purchased three different ways. They lost a class-action lawsuit over this, but their philosophy is still backwards. It’s my phone, it’s my data, I shouldn’t have to buy some $40 cable to connect the two. There’s still plenty of room for innovation, and hopefully Apple will be the one to pull it off.

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Apple gave away a great audio player, iTunes, completely free. Except that once you’ve used iTunes to manage your 65 gig MP3 library, you just can’t go back to Winamp. And so you buy an iPod. And suddenly that free program made you excited to buy a $250 MP3 player. CNET predicts Apple will do the same thing with the iPhone.Another cool toy is the iTV, which will let you watch all your pirated video on the TV in your living room, just like the iPod let you listen to all your pirated audio.

Anyway, I want a new cellphone and I’m going to hold out and see what this iPhone looks like, if it exists. I don’t use the word ‘need’, because my old phone works perfectly well, but given the looks I’m getting lately when I pull it out I should probably upgrade. The dream of carrying just my cellphone with me, instead of a cellphone, MP3 player, and camera, is so close, yet so far.

I’m a pretty big believer in Apple and always have been (or at least since the original iMac). That being said, I’ve been using an iBook at work (is it even possible for liberal creative types to use anything else?) and I’m really not that impressed. Part of the problem is that I know how to do everything I want to on a PC and I feel like an idiot on an Apple when I can’t get a screenshot or print double-sided paper, but even after I found out how to do those things, they’re still kind of a pain in the ass. To someone who has never used a computer before, an Apple makes way more sense. To someone who has, a PC does.

The other thing I hate about Apple is their new commercials. The hipster represents everything people hate about Mac users and you wish you could reach into the screen and smack the smug out of his face. The format has led to some entertaining parodies, however, such as the one below that pretty accurately compares the PS3 and the Wii and helps explain why the Wii’s kicking ass.

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