Having recently posted an article in which I predicted the predictions of various Apple watchers (regarding Macworld Expo announcements) I hinted that I would not be making predictions of my own. Frankly, I foresee too many positive developments on the horizon to even bother. (Fish in a barrel, etc.) It's a commonly held belief that Steve Jobs' 2007 keynote is going to be huge, and I see no reason to disagree with that sentiment. The only prediction I'm willing to make is that most of the rumors will turn out to be true in some fashion. The devil will be in the details.
Despite an overwhelming urge to write about my own expectations and a serious impatience for the moment when Jobs takes the stage, I was all set to curl up into a fetal position until Tuesday in an effort to tough out the wait.
Then, last night, Steve Jobs appeared to me in a vision and implored me to write about the Keynote. Oozing RDF and pulsating with what can only be described as "visible Jedi Mind Shit" he demanded that I spell out my desires for all to read. Maybe it was the creamed spinach I had with dinner, maybe not.
I only have one rule in life: When Steve Jobs appears in a vision -- do what he asks.
In which I do the bidding of Steve Jobs.
Remember, these are not predictions. This is a list of items and features that I hope to see if/when new devices are announced:
First of all, it won't be called an iPhone. Not a prediction -- just stating the obvious.
It's not even a stretch anymore to say that these will appear -- most everyone is certain that Steve will introduce what John Gruber dubs "Apple Wireless". (Sounds good -- simple.) The Wall Street Journal has even jumped into the game and announced that Apple will partner with Cingular. (Guess who is wrapped up in a T-Mobile contract?)
I suspect that the phone (whatever it turns out to be) will get the "one more thing" treatment. The only other device competing for this spot is the iTV (or maybe a long-shot "video" iPod). The iTV is such a definite that unless it has some major heretofore unrevealed feature -- it's going to be discussed early in the Keynote.
If/when the iPhone/Apple Wireless/whatever is announced: My hope is that it is such a device that lovers of do everything smart phones will be under-whelmed and that lovers of dead simplicity will be slightly over-whelmed. No camera? God I hope not. I -would- like to see it tie in really well with my iApps via a paired down Mac OS X interface.
I'll call it: iLife Mobile.
Based on my contract with T-Mobile and the likelihood that these won't be out right away anyway -- I'll likely have to wait on a purchase.
Mike Davidson pretty much nailed my hopes for this device in his recent mikeindustries.com post.
I currently connect my MacBook to my TV via an HDMI cable and I'd prefer a dedicated device for that task. I like Mike's 3 plays or 3 months rental scheme but I think I'd prefer something more similar to my Netflix deal. $19.99 per month would allow me to "rent" up to 10 movies with the count starting over at the beginning of each billing cycle. Movies that I rent (and like) should be purchasable for permanent viewing.
Subscription models for music: Stupid. Subscription models (with option to buy) for movies? Yes please.
Last but most definitely not least: The option to buy needs to move to Hi-Def. Just acceptable quality for music downloads: I can live with that. Just acceptable/below acceptable quality for movie downloads: I'm not buying movies from Apple.
I'm skipping over a lot of possible announcements because 1) I think they're all obvious and I don't have a lot of wants or 2) I have no idea what to expect and therefore I don't know what to hope for or want. (Leopard fits into the second category, updated Macs into the first.)
I've never subscribed to dotMac, simply because I don't think it brings enough to the table to warrant the $100 yearly price-tag. I do, however, use my iLife apps on a daily basis -- excepting those that benefit most from dotMac. (iWeb, I'm looking at you.) I think Apple should continue to sell a standalone version of dotMac at the current price -- because people buy it. I think Apple should continue to sell iLife for $79 as it currently sells -- because some people don't want dotMac. I also envision a Conan O'Brien "If They Mated" package that would bundle dotMac with iLife for $129. That's $50 off the standalone price of dotMac and I think it would sell really well.
As for the iApps: Again, I want higher quality movie downloads from the iTunes store. If not, I'll continue to ignore it. Of course, with iTV on the horizon, I also want more than one studio to choose from. The Beatles catalog would be a really great addition -- and could even steal the "one more thing" slot. Paul McCartney on stage? Not bad at all.
I really hope they've got some top standards guys working on iWeb to improve its output, because I'd love to put together a website and iWeb seems like a great way to do so -- especially if you have a lot of content distributed across various iApps. If the dotMac bundle isn't there, I want iWeb to work better for those of us who don't have a dotMac account.
My biggest hope: Built in Flickr Integration for any iApp which utilizes photos. (iPhoto being the most obvious candidate.) Sadly, Apple plays nice with Google these days, and Flickr is a Yahoo property.
Lastly, I'd love to see a consistent look-and-fell amongst the iApps and the finder in general.
When it is announced that the device utilizes 802.11n wireless Steve better include the following disclaimer: "Those of you who own current generation Macs with 802.11g cards will enjoy excellent performance." (It would also be lovely if I could swap out my current "g" card for an "n" card --but this seems unlikely.)
When (not if) the "iTV" is announced, I'll be sorely tempted to order one immediately.
Again, this is a fairly paired down list of hopes (not predictions) centered around the applications and/or devices that I see myself spending money on. (Octo Macs would be neato -- but guess who isn't buying one?)
Chime in below.