I’ve come to the conclusion that jumping on the Leopard upgrade bandwagon was the single most worst moment and my darkest hour as a mac user so far. I really should have waited for 10.5.3 or 10.5.4 for that matter before upgrading. There are just so many issues like my computer taking forever to come out of sleep when I require a password on wake up or not being able to input Japanese properly from an external keyboard that’s a different type (101 English ANSI for the curious) from the MacBook’s USB top-case. I’ve got my fingers crossed after filing a couple bug reports that 10.5.2 will turn out to be the Leopard that should have been released to start with. Until then, 10.5 is code-named Leper in my book.
Setting that aside, one of the ostensible reasons that Leopard sucks is that Apple was so focused on building the iPhone that all the key engineers were pulled into the project, leaving less tender loving care for the OS X proper. I’ve been lusting after the iPod touch ever since seeing it on display at the local electronics store. The clincher was definitely the wide screen video and the fact that some enterprising soul at either the store or a customer managed to put third-party applications on the display model. Suddenly, the touch became that much more attractive. I own a regular iPod with all my music and I mean ALL but I was never the walkman sporting type and buying an ipod didn’t change that at all. However, I can really see myself using the portable video thing and also reading ebooks on the go (made possible with third party hacks).
Unfortunately, Apple in their all-knowing wisdom didn’t include Mail.app in the iPod touch though allowing for wifi browsing. Fortunately, third part hacks allow us to install it anyways so I’m even more happy.
Changing the Game
I’m actually undecided as to whether I’d actually buy the iPhone if and when it does come out in Japan. Although it might be nice to have one less electronic device, I know the battery life will take a beating and Apple products never really have a good battery life, especially the iPod line, or even stable hardware for certain early generation products.
However, after using the iPod touch for a while I can really see how they’ve changed the game. Essentially, the touch and iPhone are running a stripped down version of OS X. This is no doubt made possible by the fact that they used UNIX as their platform. The significance of this is that they’ve essentially came out of left field and succeeded in doing what other OS vendors and PDA makers have been struggling to do for decades (not to mention Apple’s earlier efforts) to build a rich but accessible mobile device that can be your computer away from a computer. Of course, Apple is still being sly and keeping them music players or music-playing phones but they come integrated with mail, calendar, and contacts so what do you think?
The amazing thing about the iPhone/touch device is that all the other functions don’t suck. I’ve tried using Sony’s Clie Palm PDA for a while but it never really stuck to me or fulfilled its promise as a PDA. I don’t think the iPhone/touch will be any different but the fact that it’s a phone and/or music/video player ensures that its status as a PDA can be made irrelevant as an investment. At the very least it can be used as a nice browser of your calendar, email, or contacts when your on the go. This is what attracts me to it.
I finally have a way to check and browse emails without having to wake or fire up my computer that also doubles as a video/music player, book reader. It’s really nice. I can wind down in the comfort of my bed to watch a movie before going to sleep, check emails, and/or read an ebook. I can also take it with me on a train or anywhere minus the email checking unless there’s wifi. This is really awesome.
The wifi iTunes store really rocks too. If you own one of these devices I strongly suggest that you check it out. It’s like having a CD store in your hands with an infinite number of samplers to stay abreast of the latest music. I was totally blown away. I wonder who’s actually going to buy music when people can so easily sample the latest tunes and download those by other means?
What’s more is that it’s essentially a little UNIX terminal so I can use it like one in a pinch. Apple really did a great job with this one. It’s definitely one of the best purchases I’ve made and more than makes up for my disappointment with Leopard bugs (not the OS itself). I’ll definitely be spending more time with this device.