Well, the Worldwide Developers' conference was today, and after getting home, I finally remembered to look at today's announcements. I've got to admit, I was a little bit nonplussed, based on Apple's web site, it's just a confirmation of the rumors that have been flying around for a few weeks.
The biggest thing is the impending arrival of the iPhone 2.0 firmware. I'm pretty excited about that one myself, because I'm really looking forward to some of the third party apps that appear. The 3G iPhone was there, but I wasn't really feeling it, except that the thing has a flush headphone jack, which made me seriously consider for a moment either selling my existing iPhone or just outright buying the 3g one. Of course, I can get one of the cool little iPhone mic/headphone-adapters for like $20, so that's a better option. In case you don't already know, the details on the 3G iPhone are as follows: $199 for an 8-gig iPhone, in black. $399 for a 16-gig iPhone in black, or a pretty nice looking new white finish, which would match someone's white iPod collection, a white MacBook/iBook, or a white iMac like mine.
The other "important" news is Snow Leopard, which aside from one or two new things that might be considered as features, is almost purely a structural and stability/polishing upgrade. It's expected to be released in "about a year" and I'm expected to probably pay more for it than everyone else at the university. Such is life.
The update about which I'm really the most excited though, is the replacement for .Mac, which has been dubbed Mobile Me. It's touted as "Exchange for the person who doesn't have a corporate server," and the big, all-important thing about Mobile Me is Push, Push, Push. It's got push e-mail, push calendaring, and push contacts, completely (well, cross-platform enough anyway) cross-platform, supporting Microsoft Outlook 2003 & 2007, Apple's own Mail/Address Book/iCal combo, plus the iPhone, of course.
Add to all of that, a standard storage space of 20GB for mail, galleries and iDisk, plus a few other niceties, and you've got a a great, well-rounded set of online services to provide to people who buy iPhones and Macs in the Apple Store. Plus, it works great in modern web browsers, to the extent that the iDisk function lets you sort files just like in finder on a real Mac. (Plus, you can mount iDisk in finder, and map it as a network drive on Windows.)
The biggest drawback to MobileMe is that Apple is still charging for it, but I suppose they've got to make lots of extra bucks somehow. It's still $99/year for an individual subscription, and there are +20GB and +40GB storage options available, for "just" $49 and $99 respectively. Someone owning a MacBook Air might spring for the +40, to have 60 gigs of available space, to back up the entire contents of their little 64GB SSD.
On that note, I do wonder what happened to the Backup app with MobileMe -- will people currently using Backup be unable to continue backing up to their iDisks. I also wonder whether or not Backup will still be available to people who sign up as new members for MobileMe. I'll have to check that out at some point in time.