The iPhone 4 Does Not "Change Everything Again"
I was at a rental house checking out $500k of video equipment (not for my own project -- I wish) when Apple announced the iPhone 4 yesterday, so I forgot it was the day I was supposed to figure out whether my next editing machine was going to be a Mac or a Hac. When I got back home, however, I saw 30 billion posts on the internet about the iPhone -- a platform for interacting and consuming -- and nothing about the Mac -- a platform for creating.
The current-generation Mac Pro has gone the longest it's ever gone without an update (inclusive of its ancestor the Power Mac). I've already talked about filmmakers switching to PCs this year because of Adobe CS5 -- or at least switching from Apple to Adobe software -- so I was pretty certain Apple would announce new products for those of us that make a living using Mac hardware. You know, tools for making stuff, instead of tools for buying music and taking photos of babies (not that there's anything wrong with that). Gizmodo pegged the likelihood of a new Mac Pro at 80%, but instead WWDC focused entirely on the iPhone.
When it comes to the new iteration of the Jesus Phone, other than the usual upgrades (thinner, faster, higher-res), there were a few notable general features -- resolution independence, pseudo-multitasking, three-axis accelerometer -- as well as a few notable video features. Specifically:
And then of course there's FaceTime, which I think of as being less relevant for filmmakers and more relevant for meeting people. In fact, in my opinion the killer app for front-facing cameras is mobile dating. Specifically the Chat Roulette kind -- where you simply click one button to see the next person -- except with geolocation. Instead of clicking "next" and getting someone thousands of miles away, you'll get someone in a 20-mile radius. If you don't "next" them, you can chat for a while and say, "wanna meet?" No filling out profiles and answering lots of questions. Just see if you get along with someone by talking face to face and then go from there (sounds old-fashioned, doesn't it?).
Anyway, perhaps due to my disappointment with no new Mac hardware, ((Or because of my growing fondness for Google's open devices...)) I viewed the Apple hype machine with more skepticism than I normally do. If you're not already sick of hearing about it, here's Apple's extended iPhone ad:
Apple's getting a bit hyperbolic, even by its own standards. When they announced the iPad they called it "magical and revolutionary." It's a big iPhone, guys -- one term will do. The iPhone 4 video above ends with the following statement: "The Retina display. 5-megapixel camera. High-def video recording. A4 chip. Bigger battery. All in a thinner product? This is going to change everything. All over again." Wait, how does that change everything? Universal health care would change a lot of things. Getting clean drinking water to the one billion people in this world that don't have it would change a lot of things. On the tech side, teleportation or time travel would change everything. But a thinner phone with an extra camera "changes everything?" Give me a break, Steve. Or at least a new Mac.