WWDC Wrap Up

by Dean Mattson

It’s been a week now since Apple CEO Steve Jobs kicked off the keynote at eh company’s developer’s conference. Overall, I was very impressed. Sure, there’s going to be some features I’m not going to use (Launchpad), but there was quite a bit announced that I’m excited to begin using.

* As an educator, I especially like the idea behind Auto Save. It seems like no matter how clearly I give the directions and monitor that they’re being followed, there’s always somebody in an average class that didn’t save their work or didn’t save it properly. Not to mention, losing everything because of a power failure.

* Personally, I excited about Restore which will save your position in documents when you quit an application and save the applications, documents and windows you have open when you shut down the computer, and will then put everything back exactly what it was when you go back by opening the program or restarting the computer. This seems like it will save me a lot of time. I’m hoping I’ll be able to turn it off however, too. At school, when a student opens up a Pages document, I want it to go to a new document by default, not the place in the document the student who was on that computer the period before was working on.

* I’ve always wished transferring files between computers was easier. AirDrop looks like it will solve that.

* In iOS 5, the problems with notifications seem to be successfully dealt with. Being able to set up an iPad especially is a very welcome development. Also, Reminders looks promising. I’ve yet to find a to-do app which syncs across all my devices and doesn’t end up get hidden away, so I’m going to give that a try once that’s released.

* I was on the fence on whether or not I was going to use iTunes Match or not. Why pay money to keep my music on “the cloud”? I have to download to play them anyway and I’m find with syncing music onto my iPhone when I want to listen to something.

Then it occurred to me: $25 a year for me to be able to back up my entire music collection, even the songs I didn’t buy from iTunes. That’s $2 a month, that’s not a bad deal.

And this is a bit weird but it’s true: I’m hoping I’ll be able to delete a lot of songs from my computer that I don’t really like anymore. No, I don’t want to lose access to them forever – just in case I change my mind someday, which has happened and I end up having to buy the song again. I’m hoping this service will keep the song available to me just in case I change my mind.

* Apple’s hardware may be more expensive than Windows, but wow, when you’re talking about software these days, Apple has gotten very inexpensive. They’re selling the OS upgrade for $29 – for all the computers in your house! That’s amazing. I wonder if Microsoft will lower it’s OS price in the next version of Windows. I can’t believe that they’re not feeling some pressure to drop it. And to be giving all that iCloud stuff away as a free service (except for the optional iTunes Match)? That’s really good news. I just hope they have an education price that’s just as reasonable.