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Tomorrow is WWDC…

On June 6, 2010, in Apple, by Brian Huberd

…and boy do I have a lot on my mind before the keynote. So bear with me.

First, let’s talk data plans…AT&T…

For the iPhone: They’ve changed the plans to $15 for 200 meg and $25 for 2 gig. That’s GREAT! I love it! I hardly use more than 200 meg per month, so I can go ahead and switch my plan to that $15 plan and save money. AWESOME!

Except that with the release of iPhone OS 4.0 due this month that Apple is introducing multitasking which will be great for streaming apps to run in the background like, say, Pandora. That’d snap that 200 meg in two like a twig and probably eye the 2 gig data cap with hungry eyes.

Fortunately, those with 3g and 3gs iPhones can grandfather their plan into their iPhone upgrade when they renew their contract and keep their unlimited $30/month data plan. But only if they renew.

Oh, and don’t forget, AT&T doubled their early-termination-fee to well over $300 too!

So instead of working tirelessly to upgrade their network into a first-class cellular network, they’re working tirelessly to make sure their new and existing customers are locked in for at least another couple years. Not that the significant impact to AT&T’s network once people decide to pull down all sorts of streaming information, and the potential for video chats now that we all but know officially of the front facing camera, plus rumors of a Verizon-based iPhone coming out later in the year are making them sweat it out a bit. Who cares about customer satisfaction when you’re going to vacuum up their money anyway?

For the iPad…

If it wasn’t clear enough from the above – SCREW YOU AT&T! Really? Only a couple months of this “amazing price” for unlimited data? Oh, you can grandfather in your existing unlimited plans if you activate before…tomorrow (June 7th), and apparently continue to renew. So if you don’t need unlimited every month and drop the plan, well…you’re up a creek, because once you cancel, you ain’t gettin’ it back. The best you can hope for is again the two gig plan. This may work for some…but don’t count on any heavy duty Netflix streaming unless you can hook up to a wifi hotspot…

Don’t forget the backgrounding that’ll be going on with the iPad as well once the 4.0 software is available for the iPad in the fall. Just a word to the wise to pay attention to what and how much you’re streaming.

Now let’s talk about WWDC stuff.

Clearly the new iPhone will be announced for all to see, no thanks to the losers at Gizmodo (where responsible journalism is just a phrase they’ve heard once…never when someone was describing them). We’ll also probably see a final release date of the 4.0 iPhone software as well for the 3g and 3gs users. Apparently Mac OS X 10.6.4 will be released as well, but I’m sure there will be a new iTunes to work with the new iPhone hardware and software. Maybe some new features, but at least compatibility updates can be expected.

The other big rumor is Safari 5.0′s release. What’s supposed to be cool is that Apple will officially have some sort of real plug-in API like Firefox so you can do Firefox-type add-ons. If so, I’ll switch back to Safari from Firefox. Not that I don’t like Firefox, or really am particularly religious about a web browser, but…that weird Firefox/performance/memory leak issue really is getting old (on every platform), and Firefox isn’t a native Mac OS X application – so (for example) if I right click on a word for spell checking, it isn’t using the Mac OS X dictionary, but the included Firefox dictionary. Why double up the effort? Why not get Firefox as a full, native Coca application?

Yes, I know of Camino, and it’s Firefox’s Gecko rendering engine in the Coca shell to make it a full native application. However, it doesn’t use the Firefox plugins. Which is the appeal of Firefox. To me at least.

No easy answers…but if I can get the suite of Firefox plug ins that I personally use ported over to Safari, I’d be a happy camper.

Oh, and Apple…if you’re trying to show off how HTML 5 is better than a proprietary plug in, don’t lock that page that shows off these great features of HTML 5 into working with your own browser only. I suspect that Safari isn’t the only browser that works with HTML 5 right now. Call it a hunch. If you must, do your usual Apple-y talk of how HTML 5 is great, and now HTML 5 is even better on Safari since it’s sooooo compliant so if something breaks in IE 8 or Chrome people will be warned and will at least be able to check it out with their browser of choice. Just a suggestion…

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