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June 2011 Meeting Hilights

By Monte Ferguson

All of our attention turned to the recently completed World Wide Developers Conference. It is there that Apple debuts its upcoming tech agenda for the next year. It also serves to signal its broader intentions for the next few years.

We chose to have a hybrid meeting. By that I mean to say that we watched portions of the WWDC Keynote. We would then pause and break out for some discussion of the things that were announced. It sounds cumbersome but its actually quite natural. It gives everyone time to digest the pertinent facts, ask questions, we then find answers and discuss their impact.

Much of our focus was on MacOS X Lion. There had been so much hype built up. It was good to be able to nail down some answers. But it also left us with some questions too. We found out that Lion would be download only. But the upshot was that it would only cost $29. If you don't have a fast connection you can go to an Apple Retail Store and download it there. Or you could download it at one of our meetings. We also found out what the minimum system requirements were. We had a lot of discussion as to the usefulness of some features. But a consensus agreed that the Resume, Auto Save, and Versions features looked really great.

Next up we looked at the upcoming iOS 5. There is a lot to cover. But we only had time for the hilights. The new Notification Center looks awesome. Having one spot to see any status updates is cool and convenient. iMessage looks like it will be a game changer. No more need to pay a telco for sending text messages! Any iOS 5 user will be able to send unlimited text messages, with pics. You just have to do it over WiFi. If you love the iBookstore and like the idea of magazines on your iOS device, you'll love Newstand. Now you can subscribe to your favorite magazines electronically. (Some will give you a reduced or no cost electronic edition if you buy a hard copy subscription.) Reminders was another feature. It looks like something I could see many people using. Of course it's a to do list. But what makes it unique, and an Apple coupe, is that it's also location aware. So say you pull up to the local supermarket. A location aware reminder tells you you need to remember to pick up some important items. For all of you Twitter fans, Twitter is now integrated into iOS 5. That means you can tweet from any app that is fully iOS compliant. Apple counts this as a major feature, we thought it was rather dubious as a major feature, but usefulů.being able to launch the camera app from the lock screen. Now no more waiting to take that precious pick as you log into your phone. Speaking of photos you will have more advanced photo correction tools right on your iOS device.

That pretty covers the overview of the upcoming releases. We also discussed the loss of Rosetta, which means older programs written for PPC Macs will not run. We'll look at that, and other concerns, once Lion is released.

Posted: Friday, July 1st, 2011

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