Maybe the application demos dragged on a little longer than they could have, but there was a lot to like about yesterday’s WWDC Keynote: the iPhone 2.0 software looks great, from third-party apps to MobileMe support to improvements in iCal; and the new iPhone 3G is impressive, too. As Apple says (and this is the talking point from the keynote): the new iPhone offers twice the speed at half the price. Now priced lower than many other smartphones, I think this will open the floodgates: the iPhone is about to become a mass consumer device.
What I liked best about the announcements, though, is that I walked away from the keynote still loving my iPhone 1.0. Unlike the updates that came shortly after I bought my first iPod, I will get all the benefits and new features of the new operating system, third-party apps and all. My iPhone won’t get 3G, but I’m really fine with EDGE–and I’m not entirely sure I’d be willing to pay $30 a month to get 3G anyway. And while I still think it’s a typo, Apple’s webpage explaining the 2.0 software upgrade to existing Mac users seems to indicate that we’ll get true GPS, too. Is there a hidden GPS chip already in older iPhones just waiting for a firmware update to wake it up? I doubt it, but either way it’s alright with me. While it would be nice to have real GPS, Apple’s location system using cell towers and WiFi routers works really well in my experience.
So Apple has (finally) managed to introduce a really impressive upgrade that doesn’t leave existing customers–the early adapters–behind. We can cheer right along with those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet. Our iPhones may not be the latest and greatest anymore, but they’re still far from obsolete, and the iPhone platform still doesn’t discriminate.