If you want to know whether Apple’s going to continue its remarkable growth in the next five or more years, there’s two things you need to look at: Siri and iCloud.
Kyle makes a very good case for why iCloud and Siri are so crucial to the future of Apple, as a company, and will be key anchor points on all of their flagship products for the foreseeable future.
“I’m standing in front of a Planned Parenthood,” the CNN reporter says, “And Siri can’t find it when I search for abortion clinic.” No, it can’t. It’s not because Apple is pro-life. It’s because Planned Parenthood doesn’t call itself an abortion clinic.
Really disappointed in MoveOn.org and other Democratic organizations bad mouthing Apple. I have a feeling 50% of the people doing it know it's a straw man and they're just using it as an opportunity to push their political agenda, and 50% of those people really are clueless idiots. Either way, they just lost a supporter.
In the bigger picture, this is something that Apple seems to understand time and time again that their rivals do not. Technology is an ever-important part of everyones’ lives, but the only way to make it truly accessible to the vast majority of users is to humanize it. That’s Siri. Google, Microsoft, etc — they all fail miserably at doing this.
There are many good sections that it was hard to quote just a single paragraph. Read the entire article.
Today was Apple's largest simultaneous software rollout, ever, or at least for as long as I can remember. In no particular order, these items were released in the past 24 hours:
* OS X 10.7.2 - adding iCloud support & other fixes.
* OS X 10.7.2 - recovery partition update
* iTunes 10.5 - adds iCloud support and is required for iOS 5
* iOS 5.0 - for iPhone 4S, 4, and 3GS
* iCloud 1.0 - go to me.com to convert your MobileMe account. I highly recommend you read Serenity Caldwell's iCloud article which should answer any questions you may have about the new service and the transition over to it.
* iOS iWork apps: Pages, Numbers, and Keynote - adds iCloud document storage support
* iPhoto 9.2 - adds iCloud integration with Photo Stream
* Aperture 3.2 - adds iCloud integration with Photo Stream
* Cards app - new iOS app
* Find Friends app - new iOS app
* Airport Utility app - new iOS app
* iTunes Trailers app - new iOS app
* Newstand store - new iTunes component to support iOS Newstand feature
* iMessage network - adds support for iMessages in iOS 5
* Safari 5.1.1 - adds iCloud support and fixes bugs
* AppleTV update - adds AirPlay mirroring support & iCloud support
And while not released today, some customers have reported as to already having received their iPhone 4S devices early, despite that they were to be delivered on Friday. As a result, retail customers (not just review journalists) are now making use of the new Siri servers with their new iPhone 4S handsets.
Whew. Did I miss anything? That is an impressive list.
What other technology company has recently pulled off a software rollout on this scale and can report the only complaint from customers has been that downloads were slower than usual (because everyone is downloading the updates currently)?
This is the easiest product review I’ve ever written. The iPhone 4S is exactly what Apple says it is: just like the iPhone 4, but noticeably faster, with a significantly improved camera, and an impressive new voice-driven feature called Siri.
Want to see Siri in action? The Editorial Direction at Macworld, Jason Snell, posted a demo video last night:
This is listed above in the iCloud bullet point, but again, I highly recommend you read Serenity Caldwell's "Getting Started with iCloud". Even if, like me, you feel you are a know-it-all asshole who doesn't need to read anything that begins with the title "Getting Started..." suck it up and do it anyway. Serenity includes a few useful tidbits that even I didn't know about.
Also, today's Talk Show episode over on 5by5 with Dan Benjamin and John Gruber dedicated almost all of its time to discussing iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S.
iPhone 4S Upgrade Eligibility
On the subject of the iPhone 4S: I do not plan to buy the 4S, as I am waiting for my AT&T contract to expire in order to switch over to Verizon next summer (or next fall - whenever the iPhone 5 comes out). However, I did use Apple's "eligibility check" web app to see my upgrade availability status. I was puzzled to find that AT&T won't let me buy an iPhone 4S at the subsidized price until February 12, 2012, despite my having bought an iPhone 4 on day 1 one of its release last year. Marco Arment did a bit of wrote an article on this very subject today. Useful stuff.
Oh, and no sign of iTunes Match yet. Apple seeded iTunes 10.5.1 to developers last night, which has iTunes Match. I was under the impression that iTunes Match was supposed to roll out alongside the rest of these updates. Perhaps this means that there were a few bugs yet to be worked out still. Apple is probably focusing on those now, to hopefully have iTunes 10.5.1 out to customers by Friday (alongside the iPhone 4S launch) or perhaps next week?