Today, Apple held their annual music “September Event.” Among the announcements were iOS 4.2, new iPods (Shuffle, Nano, and Touch), iTunes 10, and a new Apple TV. To begin, let’s get one thing clear. I don’t care about the iPod Shuffle or Nano. They’re basically nothing but generic MP3 players given Apple branding. As for the new iPod Touch, it’s what everyone expected it to be, more or less exactly. That said, I’m still shocked Apple finally gave in and gave it a camera. As for iTunes 10, I’ve sorta lost a bet here. I said it’d be called iTunes X, like Mac OS X and QuickTime X. It seems I was wrong. Once again, I’m shocked. Especially considering the new icon. At first, I thought “The new icon really isn’t all that great and doesn’t really go with OSX.” Then I realized, it’d look great next to the QuickTime X icon. So why not make the names match?
Next up is the new Apple TV. I almost lost another bet here. I said it would be called iTV, however with the assumption that it would be based on iOS, simply because of the current naming of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. And with all the correct rumors about the iPod Touch, and with all the rumors that the new Apple TV would be iOS-based, we can come to the conclusion that Apple would have made the new Apple TV iOS-based, if they could be bothered with the massive (some people I’ve spoken with said it would amount to billions of dollars) cost of licensing the iTV name from some British TV station. Needless to say, spending that much on licensing a name is ridiculous, especially considering the already taken names iPhone and iPad have been shared with Apple for far less. And since Apple must retain its i[Device] naming convention for all iOS devices for the sake of consistency, they instead decided to make an inferior product out of the new Apple TV. For starters, this whole “lack of storage” thing. It means I have to boot up my computer every time I want to watch TV on it. And in my case, this is a massive inconvenience. I have to enter three different passwords on my PC before I even see my desktop. Or, I could install iTunes on my home server and leave it running all the time. But iTunes is seriously bloated, and I’d really rather not. Not to mention, most people don’t have home servers. Then there’s the decision to have it not run iOS. This means no apps. Apple just said that the iPod Touch outsells both the DS and the PSP. Clearly, iOS is a great gaming platform (strangely enough, in opposition to the desktop version of OSX, which has always been considered crappy for gaming, but to be honest, slowly seems to be changing thanks to things like Steam for Mac). If only Apple decided to compete with Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo for the living room gaming market. They’d do great, for numerous reasons. First off, no massive, bloated console. Second of all, no discs. Why do people prefer iOS to an actual portable console? Because they don’t have to constantly swap discs around. They just go to their SpringBoard and select what they want to play. So the new Apple TV does nothing to make the TV anything other than the “idiot box.” It’s still just as dumb as it always was.
Next, and finally (I saved the one that affects me personally for last), we have iOS 4.2. What’s with Apple, the iPad, and “x.2” releases? My theory is they’re actually trying to convince people to jailbreak. Since its release, the iPad has had only two lousy updates that do absolutely nothing. I’m still on the 3.2 it shipped with. The iPad was made to multitask. And if you don’t believe me, you’re only lying to yourself. I like having Wyse PocketCloud (see my last post) run in the background while I’m doing stuff like IRC or Twitter. So what do I do? I use ProSwitcher. When Apple fails to deliver, someone else steps in, but usually with a rather crappy implementation. ProSwitcher tends to be inefficient, and backgrounded apps crashing is inevitable. The developer isn’t at fault here though. He did the best he can without having the iOS source code. However, not all jailbreak apps are “crappy implementations.” If Apple were ever to release a file manager for iOS, it should be almost exactly like iFile. Back to the original topic, the iPad is also by far the most costly iOS device. Mine cost me $500, and some cost close to $1000. So their “world-class service” for this top of the line device involves waiting half a year for an update cheaper devices have already had? Cheaper devices that can live much more easily without multitasking. I said that if Apple includes some truly amazing iPad-exclusive feature in 4.2, maybe it’ll justify their delays. They’ve proven this isn’t the case. They’re adding printing support. Would it be nice? Yeah. Is it worth a six-month wait? Absolutely not. At the most, what they should’ve done was released iOS4 for iPad along with its iPhone/iPod Touch counterpart, then released printing support in a later update. iOS 3.2 is utter crap, and that’s putting it lightly. Everything crashes, no native multitasking, requirement of a configuration profile to use strong passwords, and so on (fortunately, Apple’s finally learned something about security and included it by default in iOS4). The iPad is a great device, and with enough hacks, it’s almost perfect. 9/10. Native folders and multitasking would bring it to 10/10, so why a six-month delay for printing Apple?
Anyway, assuming comex’s usual release timeframe, and assuming iOS 4.2 is released early on in November, one could guess that it’ll be jailbroken sometime in December. If this is the case, I may finally write my Colloquy review and publish it for Christmas. Isn’t it ridiculous that due to Apple’s screwing around, I’ll have waited about half a year just to write one review?