So I keep a lot of messages in my inbox. Mail.app on the Mac rolls that way – with lightning-fast searching by keyword in any field, I have a system where I flag messages for follow-up (or now, with Leopard, using the ‘to-do’ flag). Long story short is that I keep *everything* in the main inbox for ease of access along with some project-based smartfolders. When our Exchange system reminded me that I was over the space allocation and with Trotz 2.0 due any moment now, I was doing some housekeeping this afternoon to archive off to my local drive all of my September messages. That left me with 6,666 messages in my inbox. Coincidence? Good thing this didn’t happen on Wednesday – that would have been far too spooky. Of course, having been born on June 6, 1966 (6/6/66) also makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up as well.
So much for the lines. A buddy of mine just called, saying he waltzed into the Lenox Square Apple Store at 8pm EDT and simply asked for and was handed his iPhone. No camping required, which is a good thing, because his wife threatened legal action if any urban camping was involved in his quest for this gadget
Well, I may have to eat my words. First, ZDnet blogger Mary Jo Foley who covers Microsoft reports rumors of ActiveSync licensing to be announced at any time for the iPhone. That means, for those companies who enable this feature on their Exchange servers, OTA sync would be possible for email and calendars on the iPhone – glory be, hallelulia! I want to see Apple confirm this, but this basically blows away the issues around corporate integration. Second, uber-tech writer from the WSJ Walt Mossberg makes an offhand comment in his video review of the device that Exchange integration is possible “if your IT department cooperates by enabling a setting on the server.” Now he didn’t specifically talk about ActiveSync, and may have simply been referring to the capability of Exchange servers to support outside-the-firewall IMAP, but I am keeping my fingers crossed on iPhone & ActiveSync. Mary Jo reports confirmation in both the Times and WSJ on the issue of Exchange IMAP support, but still stands by her report that Microsoft is licensing ActiveSync for the device. And there is an outside chance the gadget fairy may bless me with one of these for testing. Now I’m interested again.
Yesterday marked a major milestone for everyone’s favorite broadband gaming service. Launched back in 2005, Gametap was born out of the concept of doing what Turner Broadcasting has done for other businesses – acquiring rights to libraries of content, then programming that content in new and lucrative ways. Now, with yesterday’s launch, Gametap is adding to that subscription model by offering a rotating selection of free games to play from their web site, as well as simultaneous access to new releases (Lara Croft’s latest). There is now also a direct digital download service where you can download to own games. David Reid, Gametap’s VP of Marketing, sums it up this way:
It’s really hard to explain to someone what 900 of the greatest games of all time in one place means.
My team has been working with Gametap for several months now integrating advertising into both their new and improved web site as well as their new lite and existing deluxe player. It’s been an exciting project – it’s always fun to do work where it involves gaming! And did I mention that there will soon be a Mac client too – said to be by late Summer according to one of the Joystiq articles! Woohoo!
More coverage here:
I think they’ve outdone themselves – the new iPhone (despite the Cisco product by the same name) looks absolutely killer – taking a completely fresh approach to the UI of the mobile phone, and creating a true mashup of relevant technologies. Apple has posted a great walkthrough of the features including their interesting approach to many of these features at http://apple.com/iphone/ – check it out.
Although I need to see it to really understand and confirm, Jobs keynote speech seemed to describe the new phone as less a touchscreen and more of a ‘proximity’ screen – where your gestures, not ham-handed mashing of buttons triggers responses. So from unlocking it (a side to side gesture over an on-screen ‘slider’) to zooming in on webpages or images by ‘pinching’ the area of interest, this sounds like an amazing step forward. It’s super slim – 11.6mm thick, about the width of the Uniball pen I carry around. It’s running some flavor of OSX, so development of applications will hopefully be straightforward. And it includes some very tight integration with Cingular (exclusive in the domestic market for some time to come) in regards to a visual form of voice mail – where each message can be accessed independently, rather than the typical wading through obscure menus. And it includes robust Wifi and Bluetooth 2.0, with some very smart widget integration from Google Maps (GPS of some sort active here), to Weather (location aware), to Stock Quotes. No RSS shown, but I suspect that’s probably not hard to pull off either. Anyway, at a price of most other ‘smartphones’ like by Verizon PPC6700, this is a strong contender. Too bad it doesn’t include an expansion card slot. My only hesitations here are that although it supports IMAP or POP email, getting to my corporate Exchange server is my top priority, as well as the fact that it’s on Cingular, when I’ve recently moved over to Verizon. I may still be drawn to try this out come June. Price is not bad either, at $499 for the 4gb or $599 for 8gb.
Also announced to day was the shipping date (February) and the final name (Apple TV) of the ITV product mentioned here previously. No big surprises there, although it’s now confirmed to include a hard drive (40gb) as well as 802.11n, the speediest of the current close-to-standard Wifi technologies. These features were both rumored over the last few months.
Not mentioned in the Stevenote was the addition of a new Airport Extreme Base Station, shaped to fit squarely below or above your brand-new Apple TV box. See picture at right. The unit is prices at $179, and includes a USB port for shared devices, as well as a hub to connect other Ethernet devices. Obviously, this is also an 802.11n device. Apple has a new feature built in here to provide extended network storage as well. You can connect an external USB hard drive to your network via the USB port, or attach a USB hub to connect multiple devices. Ideal for network-attached storage of large video, image or music libraries or simply for backups.