June has turned out to be one of the most exciting months for technology consumers with huge announcements from Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Personally I’m excited about all of the announcements and consider them all good news. When you have Tech Titans like these behemoths fighting for my attention – I win no matter which way I turn. I’ll briefly touch on some of the highlights here.
- Macbook Pro with Retina Display
- iOS 6
To be honest, a lot of people were waiting for the iPhone 5 announcement – but Apple did the right thing in my opinion. I love tuning in to Apple events because if nothing else is true, every time they are ready to make an announcement about a new product or feature, it will be ready for the consumer almost immediately. Not the next year, and most times, not even the coming months. It’s a sure bet that you will be able to get your hands on at least one of the items announced almost immediately. If the next iPhone wasn’t ready, then I’d rather they didn’t announce it. I’ve had a chance to compare strategies and I don’t really like Microsoft’s. They are constantly telling you more and more about the coolest new feature or hardware that you can’t buy yet because it’s due to drop at some unknown time. By the time it’s ready, the excitement has died out and you aren’t as excited about it anymore.
What Apple did announce was what I consider to be yet another game-changer. I am by no means an Apple fan-boy, but they continue to crush the competition in-terms of desirability. The Macbook pro line was already arguably the most coveted power laptop, but they went ahead and went bananas on the display. Even if they didn’t do anything under the hood, it would be tough to hold in check the desire to at least see what 2880×1800 looks like. The other iOs 6 announcements were sort of exciting, but necessities if they were going to continue to stay competitive with Android. Turn by turn navigation was a must in light of Google’s magnificent Maps App. Deeper Siri integration was to be expected, and passbook was a welcome addition to iOS’s functionality.
- Microsoft Surface
- Windows 8 / Windows Mobile 8
As I mentioned above – the excitement around Windows 8, in my opinion, was waning a bit due to the fact that it has literally been talked about for around a year or so now. You can download a preview, but I’m not interested in previews. I’m interested in a new product…And Microsoft delivered. Enter stage left: The Microsoft Surface. This product announcement totally took me by surprise. We all know that Microsoft is fully capable of serious hardware, but they’ve been leaving it up to their hardware partners to deliver the goods, and lets just say – some of the products have much to be desired. I suppose Mr. Ballmer had to show’em how it’s done. The Surface is elegant, yet clever, and if it performs, I believe this tablet will be the answer to many people’s desires. It will be for those who want a little higher level of functionality than they can get from the iPad.
Windows Mobile 8 was the next logical step, but it is mildly exciting in the mobile space. What would be more exciting is if they pulled a “Surface” and debuted more hardware, but I doubt Microsoft will ruffle their hardware partner’s feathers too much.
- Nexus 7
- Project Glass
- Nexus Q
Google’s most recent I|O Conference has to have been one of the best keynotes in recent memory. Though I wasn’t there, I was totally wrapped up in the parachuting moment, and the scaling the building moment, and the biking moment! You can see the video here. I think the perspective the images and video gleaned from that vantage point, though not new, will be quite fascinating to look at once Project Glass is released. What’s new is the form factor and ease of use. Google has managed to make that kind of imaging equipment almost apart of you. I’m quite excited to get my hands on that technology. What’s also of note is not just the “look at what I did” but the “look at what I’m doing right now” effect this eye-ware will bring about.
Google also debuted the Nexus 7 which I believe will do quite well. When compared to the Kindle Fire, it’s really no competition. Also Amazon doesn’t seem to have much else, tablet-wise, under it’s sleeve. I’m sure a next generation Kindle Fire is under way set to drop sometime soon, but I doubt it will have as much fire-power as the Nexus 7. Google understood that the real desire of many people who found the Kindle Fire intriguing but not enough to purchase, and that was the desire to have a “sleeper”. You know, an all purpose ride that’s affordable and simple enough, but a beast under the hood. The Kindle Fire was all of that, without the “Beast” part. So I bought one for my mom while I patiently waited. The Nexus 7 will probably be my next gadget purchase simply because of just how powerful and inexpensive this little bad boy is.
The Nexus Q is interesting in that it allows you to control and stream content from the cloud through a Nexus device. But I have to say – at $300 bucks, I’ll probably only get one if it’s a birthday gift or something.
I have to say the best announcement was Project Glass. This device really has opened doors to wearable computing. Though computers on the body is not a new concept, it has yet to be done in a sexy and practical way. That is until now. This has literally brought the future to the present in a way many people dreamed of. Remember Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator? How far away is that now…really? I can imagine tech like that in my lifetime now, and that’s great.