I just watched Steve Jobs’ keynote at Apple’s WWDC 2008, so let me first briefly give my take on the event:
- MobileMe is nothing really new except for Apple’s nice”level of polish”
- the whole lot around the iPhone in corporate environment sucked
- however, the games do look very promising (but you already know that if you’ve been smart enough to jailbreak your device)
- more importantly, the AppStore is a big change in the way software is delivered from developers to users. And by users, I don’t mean computer geeks but real, mainstream users. I’ll write more about that later.
But of course, the anouncement that’s most interesting to us, is the fact that the new iPhone 3G will contain a GPS and will enable auto-geolocating and geotagging. The first application is that the built-in camera will be able to add geotag metadata into each photograph (via the picture’s EXIF metadata). This is really great. You’re going to be able to upload a pic to a CMS on the Web and have it geolocated without even bothering to tell where you are. And the iPhone always asks for your permission to send your position so you shouldn’t have to worry about privacy and safety.
This is also a door wide open for geo-social networking, which is to say, connecting with your friends nearby, which is, after all, what a phone is all about in the first place. The geo-social networking app that’s introduced in the keynote is loopt, lets your friends know where you are and lets you know where they are. It also works as a Twitter-like app, as well as a Geo-recommendation app like tellmewhere and so many others. Which of these players will reach critical mass in this highly innovative - in terms of usage - space is still unknown but the battle will sure prove interesting to watch.
In any case, as Steve Jobs put it, location-based services are going to explode, and I’m not going to contradict that