Best Mac Year Ever?

by Derrick Story


Now that we're reasonably sure that Steve is going to speak at Macworld SF, it's time to get the rest of our plans in order for arguably one of the most enjoyable computer shows in the U.S.




As I think about Macworld, though, I'm having different sentiments this year. And I'd like to take a few minutes to run these thoughts by you.




First, Apple is coming off of an amazing year: the broad acceptance of Mac OS X, the iTunes Music Store, truly useful and integrated Apple software, the invigorated partnership with IBM, and great hardware out the kazoo. Too bad the computer industry doesn't allow companies to celebrate the helluva year they've just had instead of demanding what's next. Macworld SF would be a great place to mark the occasion.




That doesn't mean anyone is going to rest on their laurels. New development cycles are well underway at Apple and there will be lots of wonderful stuff appearing up the road. But what about this January? Even the golden goose skips a day now and then.




OK, so much for my magnanimous side. Now here's my problem: I don't like the current state of smartphones. It's crazy to replace a phone every six months, like I see a lot of my peers doing. And to tell you the truth, I'm not really impressed with what I see them using.




The Treo 600 showed some promise; that is, until I noticed that it doesn't include Bluetooth. And it doesn't exactly sync seamlessly with my data. I can pick apart every other device in that space too.




If I had a phone that synched via Bluetooth with my Address Book, iCal, and iPhoto -- and one that was software updateable so I wouldn't have to buy a new one six months up the road, I would buy it. Apple can bring some sanity to this market in the same way they brought sanity to digital music, laptop computing, Unix on the desktop, and consumer applications.




I know my fellow Mac compatriots also have their wishes -- hopefully, some of them will be answered at Macworld SF. But either way, at the end of this tremendous year in Mac computing, I just want to tip my hat to the developers, engineers, middle managers, tech support staff, sales folks, and the patient saints who man Genius Bars across this great land.




You, and hundreds of others who work for Apple, have provided us with one of the most exciting rides in recent computing history. Thank you.




And whether or not I get that phone I want, Macworld for me is going to be a celebration -- for the year we've had, and for good times ahead.





BTW: O'Reilly & Associates are planning lots of activites for Macworld. If you want to see what's going on, be sure to visit our Macworld page.


20 Comments

jschweizer
2003-12-20 03:28:26
Smartphones
Hi Derrick,


you might have look at the Sony-Ericsson T610. It is not exactly a smartphone but it has bluetooth and works beautfully with Panther. Its elegance and usefulness is a good fit for every Mac and will keep (at least) me satisfied for more than 6 months.


Jürgen

anonymous2
2003-12-20 06:23:50
Treo 600 minus Bluetooth
Wow. In a case of Great Minds Think Alike, two days ago I sent an email to Handspring to tell them that the only reason I'm not snapping up the impressive Treo is its lack of Bluetooth/wireless connectivity. To their credit, I received this rapid and detailed response :


Dear James Ramsay (jramsay@easynet.fr),


Thank you for contacting palmOne, formerly Handspring.


We appreciate your interest in the Treo 600. While there is nothing about
the Treo 600 that would prevent it from being used with a compatible
Bluetooth or 802.11 expansion card, we are not aware of any compatible cards
at this time. We do, however, expect to see one released by SanDisk during
2003. For further information about this card, please contact SanDisk
directly. For more information about Bluetooth and the Treo 600, please copy
and paste the following URL into your browser:


http://support.handspring.com/esupport/forms/hsResolutionView.jsp?Resolution
Id=9169&ResType=RESEARCH


If you need further assistance please reply to this email or contact
Customer Care at 1-888-565-9393.


Thank You,
Brett
palmOne Customer Care

derrick
2003-12-20 07:41:14
RE: Treo 600 minus Bluetooth
Yeah, they probably can't come out and say it right now, but I bet you that Bluetooth will be embedded in the next model. But what an oversite in the 600! It's a pretty good looking smartphone otherwise.
derrick
2003-12-20 07:48:53
RE: Sony Smartphone
There's the key right there. Six months later and you're still happy with it :)


Yes, I've heard and read good things about the T610. I edited a review on our own Wireless DevCenter (which is one of my sites here). Todd Ogasawara, who wrote the reveiw and whose opinion I value greatly, gave it a very positive rating. He especially liked the battery life and the performance of Bluetooth connectivity. If it only had a little stronger PDA side, I'd really be tempted.


Good suggestion though, and for many, an excellent choice.

anonymous2
2003-12-20 08:38:39
3650
The Nokia 3650 does all that save the iPhoto sync, which it can't do because iSync doesn't sync anything to iPhoto. But the phone has all the other things that you have asked for.
anonymous2
2003-12-20 10:16:11
P900
The soon-to-be-released Sony Ericsson P900 looks promising to me. It seems to have plenty of features and connectivity, and the Symbian OS it uses seems to be nicely upgradeable.


The Thing that would really make the deal for me is integrated GPS navigation. Here is the christmas list I plan to send santa next year:
Dear Santa '04:
I would like a GPS Receiving PDA video enabled camera phone with bluetooth hot-synching of songs, videos, pictures, contacts, appointments, maps, and files via iSync, an 80GB hard drive, and a shell that won't get scratched if I put The Device in the same pocket as my keys.


I am going to have to be a good boy this year, I think.

adamrice
2003-12-20 12:01:15
Sony Ericsson T610
I recently got a T610 myself. Combined with Salling Clicker, it's like magic. Forget about syncing your address book (which is lovely, yes). Forget about even using your phone as a remote control for your Mac (which is nerdy fun, yes). The real magic is that you can set up your Mac so that when you make/receive a call, iTunes pauses. When you walk away, you can set it up so that iTunes stops and iChat or Proteus sets your chat status to Away (if you're willing to do some macro scripting, I think any other chat app could behave the same).


iPhoto doesn't seem to have a hook for copying images.


The T616 is functionally equivalent but for AT&T. There's a rumor that the other sibling, the T608, may be offered by Sprint.

anonymous2
2003-12-20 13:48:27
Go Apple!
Go Apple! Go Steve! Let's beat Microsoft! The world will be a better place once everyone is an Apple user!


Peace! Joy! Apple! Steve!

anonymous2
2003-12-21 03:42:15
mobile
I recently lost my cellphone, and I'm looking to buy a new one. Does anyone know a simple, relatively cheap cellphone that syncs with addressbook and ical? I don't really need other stuff like a camera or other fluff.
anonymous2
2003-12-21 04:51:54
mobile
You may buy the Sony/Ericsson T68i. It syncs seamlessly via bluetooth. I don't try ICal. May work, want me to check it!?


Greetings,
Jochen

anonymous2
2003-12-22 03:10:29
a nice trojan horse?
Steve Jobs has been asked several times whether Apple would produce a smartphone and the answer has been a simple one: no. The reason they cite being that they fail to see how they could add value.


I say they can, and Derrick touched upon how in his article. Apple could offer the features outlined above in an Apple-branded [no necessarily owned] mobile phone that becomes another route to tie in the iApps: iPhoto for .. well, photos, iCal for meetings & schedules, iTunes for ring tones and Address Book for text messaging et cetera.


Also, given that there's been rumours of a full-blown version of iLife for Windows, this would be yet another revenue stream for Apple, $50 iLife, to use with your brand-spanking new iPod / iPhone .. or both!

anonymous2
2003-12-22 03:18:35
a nice trojan horse? but bigger...
Also, Apple would get to tie in a .Mac account with iSync!


It looks like a win-win situation to me!

anonymous2
2003-12-22 08:32:13
RE: Sony Smartphone

I'm also going to recommend the T610. I used to have a T68i which was good but slow. The T610 is nice and fast, works very well and is firmware upgradeable.


The T630 was also recently released which has a better screen making it easier to view in the daylight.


To keep track of Sony-Ericsson developments http://www.esato.com is a great site.

anonymous2
2003-12-24 07:46:52
What about tablets?
One of the coolest new computing inventions I've seen recently is the tablet PC, especially the models that can function as both a laptop and a tablet.


I have had the chance to play with the Toshiba model and was extremely impressed. If I was that pleased with a Windows based solution, I cannot imagine how thrilled I would be to see a Macintosh option.


The focus of the majority of comments so far has been on smartphones. I am hoping for a tablet mac (or iTablet, perhaps), and I was wondering if many others are waiting for one too.

anonymous2
2003-12-24 08:44:18
mobile
I just bought the Nokia 3650, and am very impressed. It syncs iCal & Address Book, has a camera that can take video clips, acts as a personal voice recorder, and with it Symbian OS, runs java apps. It also accepts an external memory card, so photos can be transferred and stored very easily. Best of all, with a 1-year contract with T-Mobile it end up costing $11, through 1800mobile.com. I purchased a Sony-Erricson T68 about a year ago, and found its reception very poor with AT&T in Washington, DC and Portland, OR, to the point that it was unuseable. My experience with the 3650 has been nothing but stellar.
anonymous2
2003-12-25 20:07:25
Treo 600 minus Bluetooth too bad...
Yep, it would be a sale but for the bluetooth missing. I won't even crank up a phone without bluetooth wireless headset in place. Looks like $500+ to siemens for the bluetooth in the P800 but I would have much preferred the treo 600.
anonymous2
2003-12-28 22:18:07
Sony Ericsson T610
Sony Ericsson did a excellent job on sync with mac and sailing clicker does beef it up enormously.
I had Ti68 and now T610 both sync beautifully with my macs at home and in the office with dotmac. (My wife got the 'old' Ti68 and is sync with my daily with all my dairy and phone numbers ). I do even let the mobile in my pockets.


It is also great fun to send SMS messages from your mac-address book, making and taking calls using bluetooth (you get the name of the caller on your mac screen wow)!.


The mac world is really full of surprise and help in the any day work.


anonymous2
2003-12-28 22:18:36
Sony Ericsson T610
Sony Ericsson did a excellent job on sync with mac and sailing clicker does beef it up enormously.
I had Ti68 and now T610 both sync beautifully with my macs at home and in the office with dotmac. (My wife got the 'old' Ti68 and is sync with my daily with all my dairy and phone numbers ). I do even let the mobile in my pockets.


It is also great fun to send SMS messages from your mac-address book, making and taking calls using bluetooth (you get the name of the caller on your mac screen wow)!.


The mac world is really full of surprise and help in the any day work.


anonymous2
2004-01-13 21:46:25
Treo 600 minus Bluetooth
http://www.socketcom.com/product/BL4800-392.asp, check out this website site if you have not done so. It seems like the specs may match with the Treo.


good luck


hakamy@msn.com

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