Cool new goodies from Apple

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Watching the blog and chat coverage from Steve Jobs’ Macworld Expo keynote this morning. It’s nice to see Apple introduce some things I’ve been asking for – most notably a light notebook (the MacBook Air – 3 lbs, with lots of nice features including being really thin, a mutlitouch trackpad (like the iPhone), and an (exensive) option for solid state disk instead of spinning disk), and the email app on the iPod Touch (though that’s a $20 software upgrade).

The other thing they introduced that I think is significant is location awareness in the maps app on the iPhone (and the Touch). Interestingly enough, they’re not doing it with GPS (since the devices don’t have GPS, which I’ve heard was a decision based on the power consumption of GPS units), but through triangulation of signal strength from cell or wifi base stations. I know that’s an approach that CS faculty here have also been using in their research projects. I wonder if that location info will be available to applications when they release the iPhone SDK next month.

Not a revolutionary set of new products, but certainly some nice incremental progress from Apple.

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