Tomorrow’s event

Tomorrow is the “Back to the Mac” event, Apple’s first Mac-centric event in some time. Here’s what I’m expecting:

Apple’s launching a big data center next year, and I expect them to use it. Plan on seeing “the cloud” integrated more tightly with many products.

  • Mac OS 10.7 – Lion: This is a no-brainer…the question is, what will it be? There has been some talk of a bit of interface redesign, with elements of iOS creeping in. I think that is likely, but I think there will be more. I think MobileMe will come free with 10.7 and will be deeply linked into its feature set. Enhanced touch functionality? Hard to really promote that until there is a product ready that will use it. I don’t expect this to ship soon. Winter ’11 at the earliest, probably later than that.
  • iLife ’11 – With more MobileMe integration. I’ve already speculated on the feature set.
  • iWork ’11 – Enhanced feature set, but same core apps. Remember Still in beta. Expect to see this revamped – maybe even web-based editing.
  • MacBook Air – New models for sure. I’m betting on the 11.6″ model. Although people say there will also be a 13″ model, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this gone. Lighter, smaller, cheaper, faster startup, SSD only, better battery.
  • I also bet FaceTime for the Mac will be part of this, but I’m not sure if it will be part of Lion or iLife ’11. Lion makes more sense, but it’s likely to be a ways off. They could release a beta version earlier.

iPhone wireless car audio solved

Here’s the challenge I, and I’m sure many other Americans, face. I have a nice new iPhone 4 with Bluetooth. My car has Bluetooth. But my car does not support A2DP, the Bluetooth protocol that allows you to wireless stream audio to your speakers. No, each time I want to play something off my phone, I have to plug it into the “aux” jack in the car, and typically that means leaving an awkward audio cable dangling in the car when not in use.

At least, that was the case, until recently.

Behold the Blackberry Stereo Bluetooth Gateway. No, I don’t have a Blackberry. Despite the branding, this little (and I do mean little) box works magic.

Here’s the idea. Instead of your phone, you plug in the gateway into your car’s aux jack. You then use it’s mini-USB jack to connect it to your car’s power (there are many USB car power adapters available, but you’ll need to get the mini-USB cable separately). You pair your iPhone to the device, and you are playing audio wireless. It reconnects each time I’m back in my car, so I never need to plug anything in.

The best part is that it works side by side with my car’s Bluetooth. I can be listening to music from my iPhone while using the gateway. If a call comes in, the music stops, and it switches to the car Bluetooth. Once I hang up, the gateway takes over again, and the music picks up right where it left off.

Probably the only Blackberry I will ever own, but still fantastic.