For me it was strangely exciting and soporific at the same time. Now that I own quite a few pieces of fruity goodness, I know what works for me and what is rotten.
First of all, this truly Post-Jobs festival was on par with previous. I think the new High Priest, Mr Cook, did a good job. (No pun intended). He does not have the same arrogance/confidence as Jobs, but he clearly loves what he does, not just because he declares it almost tearfully at the end, the love was there at the start.
Apple's strength is the sheer confidence and belief in what they are doing and really crafting their best. The famous Reality Distortion Field is what holds them together and their fans clinging on. You want to succeed? Raise up your RDF! It works, not just at Apple. (Not all the time: See Americal Idol)
Ok back to the harvest.
Pick of the crop: The Mac Book Pro Retina Display
Read the review on Engadget for technical details, I am just giving my opinion here.
Obvious elephant in the room, hard to miss since it is in super high definition. The only selling point I think is the display. It is super high res, less shiny, deeper black. No cover glass, so as to reduce the air gap, just like my year old Nokia N9. Oh sorry, we are on Apple.
Cleverly, Apple did not go the Windows way of making a high res screen for you to squint at microscopic icons. They applied scaling so everything looks normal. Unfortunately older apps will look fuzzy.
The question is does the screen makes up for the difference in premium? I am sure it does for graphic/media industry persons. While I reserve my opinion until I see the real thing, based on my experience on the iPad it is not equivalent to the premium involved.
"Are you blind?!" you may ask, unfortunately the answer is YES!
I just started on my first pair of Progressive eyeglasses, so I cannot truly be stunned by the"glorious" screen. Boo Hoo.
Kudos to Apple for FINALLY adding USB 3 to their line up and not some silly dongle. Give it to them for simply giving a unified USB 3, instead of a split 2-3 ports as if USB 3 is not backward compatible. (Or is it?)
Also they introduced the MagSafe 2 power point. At first I thought it was some ploy to make users buy more accessories, but as stated in Engadget, it helps to keep a wandering USB plug from getting drawn in. Happened a plenty to me.
Interesting but over marketed point: Asymmetrical Fans.
It does show how much care they put into crafting the machine, but frankly I wonder if it makes a difference. They are already pretty quiet.
From iFixit website:
Doesn't it look like a Mayan pictograph/carving in 2012 style? Signs of times?
Oh yes the teeth like battery pack does pack a bite (pun so intended), as experienced at iFixit. Apparently the tech got a shock removing the glued down packs.
What else bites? Well your wallet is certainly going to resemble their logo. It is almost SGD $3000 for the basic model. That puts it well above my comfort zone for notebooks. sorry Tim, my wallet is not worthy.
Silliness of the day: They quietly upgraded the Mac Pro a tinny weeny bit and then peeled off the "NEW" label in Apple Store after a few days. Yes, your followers know it is not new without at least an addition of Thunderbolt port.
The rest of the festival was rather soporific. It was Apple playing catch up and leaping forward at the same time, they copied some features from their competitor, refined it and gave it that Apple touch.
Turn by turn navigation.
Finally it arrived for the iOS and it looks good. Been using one in my N9, but while I hardly need it, Apple's version does include traffic data and alternative routes. The test will be if it works in Singapore, just a nagging feeling it will be very US-centric.
Irony of the day: iOS 6 is going to use a lot of online data, what with Siri and Facebook integration, just when the Telcos here are throttling 3G bandwidth and cutting back on data pocket money.
Apple is "mobilising" their desktop OS, making it more like their mobile counterpart. Smartly they slipped it in a small portions so that they don't alienate the original OS users while making the iPhone/iPad users welcomed. Microsoft is going the wrong way with Windows 8. Currently I am using the release Preview on an older computer and the Metro UI is very jarring when it flips between views while launching Non-metro ready Apps. Microsoft has a lot to do, considering how many old Apps that can run on Windows 8.
Fragmentation or sales tactic
A summary of iOS and iDevice compatibility via Engadget
I don't think it is quite the same fragmentation as in the Android with multiple versions and manufacturers. Here the hardware and software development is tightly controlled by a single company, we all know it is just Apple's way of hinting to their followers," Shut up and give me your money". Will it work with Tim Cook's smiling gentle demeanor? I think with the right recipe, Apple addicts are still a plenty, considering they refocused on 1.3 billion souls.
Last word, I just feel that SIRI is sounding a lot like S.A.R.A.H, did Steve Jobs do a Fargo? Or is he really inside?