I’m sitting here in fits of disbelief at what Apple has pulled off. As you’ll see, the list of things I didn’t expect was longer than the list of things that I did expect! That’s a best case scenario in my books.
Things I expected which were delivered
- $29 pricetag
- AirDrop, MissionControl, Gestures, Launchpad, AutoSave/Resume
- Per-user screen sharing – You can remotely log in to a Mac with any user account on that computer and control it, without interrupting someone else who might be using the computer under a different login.
- Includes a built-in restore partition, allowing you to repair or reinstall OS X without the need for discs.
- notification centre – swipe from top to bottom for list. tap to view. also appears on lock screen.
- mobile safari gets reader & read it later
- twitter integration – apps can ask iOS itself to access your twitter (ouch for android when new auth scheme comes into play!). “Tap to Tweet” built into many iOS standard apps (photos, safari, maps)
- iTunes in the Cloud
Things I expected which were not delivered
- iTunes in the cloud *streaming* – a lot of people mistakenly believe that because Steve compared iTunes to Google & Amazon’s cloud offerings, that it allows streaming. Not true, and i think Steve glossed over this on purpose. You still have to download the tracks from the cloud to your device, then listen to them. That means your device does need a decent amount of storage. Great article: why iCloud doesn’t stream music (yet) and why it doesn’t have to
Things I did NOT expect, which were delivered
- delta updates to apps means quicker smaller updates (<20MB can be over 3G)
- push notifications in OS X
- mail – conversation view & search by sender, subject & date all in a single input (like google)
- face tracking in photobooth (ok, whatever)
- available ONLY in the AppStore (i thought there would be a ‘buy on disc’ option).
- again, delta updates to apps!
- notifications on lock screen (yay!)
- Newsstand (app like ibooks for zines & papers. new issues download in background for viewing offline)
- mobile safari gets tabs
- new Reminders app – can store lists, assign to location, date, time, etc. Syncs across devices and with iCal
- camera – button on lock screen! faster startup & take pics with volume up button. edit images on device. ae/af lock.
- mail – flagging, fulltext search, draggable addresses, rich text, system wide dictionary service
- split keyboard (new system-wide feature: grab with both thumbs and separate)
- PC Free – SO glad! welcome screen. slide to setup & go. Over the air (delta) updates! Including iOS updates themselves!
- GameCenter – friend recommendations & game recommendations. achievement points. browse friends of friends. support for turn-based games baked into os.
- iMessage?! – BlackBerryMessenger for all iOS devices. Sends text/video/photo/contact/and group chat. Has delivery receipts, read receipts, typing indication, pushed to all devices. Works over WiFi or 3G.
- AirPlay display mirroring
- Sync with iTunes over WiFi
- It *will* run on 3GS! (phew for me!)
- Mac is now just another device, not the hub. iCloud is the new hub of your digital life.
- “Everything happens automatically and there’s nothing new to learn. It just all works.”
- “The Truth is on the cloud” (i.e. the copy in the cloud is the one true master copy)
- iCloud consists of 9 apps: Contacts, Calendars, Mail, AppStore, iBookStore, Backup, Documents in the Cloud, PhotoStream, iTunes in the Cloud
- iCloud is FREE and comes with 5GB of storage for mail, documents, & backup. Photos & music don’t count against your storage limit
- MobileMe was re-written from the ground up for iCloud. Removed all the suckage.
- AppStore & iBookStore have new cloud icon to download apps & music & books you own but which aren’t on this device
- Backup auto-syncs and backs-up your content over WiFi whenever your device is charging – works for all purchased (music, apps, & books/bookmarks/highlighting), camera roll (photos, videos), device settings & app data.
- Documents in the Cloud (Pages docs get pushed to all devices i have pages on – same for Numbers & Keynote)
- PhotoStream brings the cloud to photos. Shows up as an album in Photos app & iPhoto. Pushes to all iOS & OSX devices including AppleTV. iCloud stores each photo for 30 days. iOS devices store last 1000 photos taken, plus any in albums. OSX stores all photos permanently.
- iTunes in the Cloud – anything I’ve bought I can now download to any of my devices at no additional charge. A music industry first. All 256kbps.
- iTunes Match – $25/yr for unlimited storage – will scan your tunes and match it up with those songs in the store. “We give that music the same benefits as music purchased in iTunes. Takes just minutes. If any songs don’t match they’ll be uploaded for you. Anything that’s matched is upgraded to 256Kbps AAC, without DRM.
Things I was Surprised by, which I found on Apple’s feature list pages
- Use Apple ID to authenticate - You can now use an Apple ID to authenticate with another Mac running OS X Lion to start a screen-sharing session. This is perfect for giving others access to your Mac without creating separate user accounts. Simply add their Apple IDs to the list of authorized users, and they can log in with their credentials.
- Merge folders – When you try to combine two folders with the same name, the Finder now offers to merge them into a single folder. This will make Windows converts very happy. No more WTF moments.
- All My Files – Instantly view all the files on your Mac in a single window in the Finder. All My Files gathers all your files — no matter where they’re located — and displays them in an organized view. It’s smart about what it collects, showing only files you commonly open, such as documents, images, and videos, while leaving out system files. If Steve had mentioned this, there would have been some power user backlash.
- When my files AutoSave, where are they saved to? can I choose?
- How do i open a document other than last one i was working on in iOS? Can i browse Pages docs?
- How much will additional cloud storage space cost? what is the maximum? (i want as much storage as Gmail offers)
- Will the cloud match against other people’s uploaded tracks, so i don’t have to upload everything iTunes doesn’t already sell?
- How should I manage my family’s AppleIDs so that our content (photos,mail,reminders,documents,etc) is only synced to our own devices? Right now we all use the same AppleID to purchase everything. I also don’t want my fiance’s apps to auto-download onto my device.
- If you can only download Lion from inside OS X, how can you install it on a new, empty hard drive?
- Lion is a steal at just $29 per household (not per Mac)
- BlackBerry is dead meat. iMessage duplicates the one thing that made people call their BlackBerries “crackberries” – BlackBerry Messenger (aka BBM). The lack of BBM on iPhone is what has kept so many people on Blackberry to this day. Those days are over.
- There’s still room for competition in the “cloud music” space. Amazon & Google’s cloud music lockers can’t compete with Cloud iTunes on ease of use (iTunes Match) or price BUT they do offer streaming, where Apple’s doesn’t. Spotify is still a force to be reckoned with.
- iTunes Match monetizes pirated music. You pay $25/year to store it in the cloud, and Apple gives 70% of that to music labels & publishers. For the first time ever, artists will make *something* when you pirate their music. This will (presumably) also ensure that all your music has proper album art, so your CoverFlow no longer looks ridiculous.
- iTunes Genius is about to get much better – it can now harvest all this info about songs that iTunes *doesn’t* sell, but which iTunes users listen to regularly. That will tell Apple which music to add to the store next.
- Only Apple has anything close to iCloud, and it’s going to keep getting better (ok, linux probably has an equivalent, but who wants to use it & manage it?)
- iOS becoming PC Free will lead to a nice spike in iOS device sales. I know at least 3 people who want iPads, but don’t have computers capable of running the latest iTunes.
- The future of OSX, iOS & iCloud is clear: “login to any apple device and have all your apps and content appear” will happen. Yesterday’s announcement was a huge first step in that direction. It will be the killer feature of OS XI, iOS6 & iCloud2.