Tomorrow's Keynote Plan and my iPhone Predictions

Well, the big day is finally upon us.  Tomorrow Steve Jobs will most likely announce the iPhone 2.0 with 3G networking and some other neat upgrades.  I am in San Francisco for the epic event and will be sporting an excellent black Daring Fireball T-shirt that says “Your PC is a POS”.

As it happens, I will be arriving fairly late in the morning compared to most everyone else.  There are a few reasons for this.  One, I was not able to get into SF tonight before the Sunday registration closed due to my delayed flight.  Two, I actually just don’t do lines.  Everyone who knows me knows I hate lines.  I even eat lunch at 11am everyday just to avoid lunchtime crowds and the associated lines.  The line for the Stevenote at 10am PDT will be massive.  I know there are some people planning on lining up at 3am.  Um, they are insane.

I will be showing up around 8:30 or so, registering, and then making a beeline for the overflow rooms where they have nice video projection of the keynote in realtime, which is just fine with me.  I don’t really care about seeing Steve Jobs in person; I do care about being the first to know what is going down with the iPhone.  I have a lot riding on this new version and I want to hear perfection tomorrow.  I worked an extra job and a half for the last three months writing an iPhone app that completely depends on Steve Jobs and Apple not messing the iPhone 2.0 up.  So if he says something idiotic like “We’ve decided to scratch the App Store and stick with web apps!” then you’ll probably get to see a lovely news highlight on CNN about some dude vaulting onstage with a Daring Fireball T-shirt screaming “You wasted my tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime, you blue jeaned, black turtlenecked SOB!!!!!”

Right.  So, anyway, I think the iPhone 2.0 is going to be everything everyone is hoping for and more.  My guess is that the following will be included:

  • 3G network capability.  This is a no brainer.  If it doesn’t have 3G, then AT&T has been wasting it’s time and money creating more 3G capacity.

  • GPS.  I’m not 100% certain on this one…they will have location services (it’s in the SDK for sure), but whether the location is explicitly provided by GPS is unknown.  My bet is that it will be GPS and augmented with WiFi data and cellular triangulation.

  • Front and rear facing video camera.  This one is getting to be a stretch.  The front facing video camera will almost certainly be included.  There are so many corollaries to that one inclusion that it merits at least one long blog post from me later.  Of course, if you are going to have a camera that takes videos of your face, why not go the extra mile and make sure it also does the other side, using the screen as a viewfinder?  Seems to me a no-brainer but we’ll see.  I haven’t heard a thing about rear facing video but there are a lot of rumors about front facing.

  • The App Store will not be ready on Day 1.  I can’t really talk about this one because I am still under NDA but let’s just say that I predict it will be pushed out to users in the next 30 days but will not be included in the initial iPhone OS 2.0 update.

  • Thinner design.  There were some flaky mockups thrown around a few weeks back showing a slightly thicker iPhone.  That’s just dumb.  Can you picture Steve-o sitting there in a design review saying “Oh, cool, it’s, like fatter.  Sweet!”  No, I didn’t think so.  Best guess is that it is 3-5 millimeters thinner.

  • More memory.  They gotta bump up the memory on those phones…  I suspect we’ll see either an 8 GB and 16 GB model set or a 16 GB and 32 GB model set.  I’m leaning toward the latter.  Although I will say that the extra memory will be still mostly media use.  My iPhone app takes up 200K.  Oh, and I heard that if they get the memory into the 16 GB+ range, Adobe can deploy Flash on the iPhone.

  • Flash on the iPhone.  See the above prediction.

  • Tethering.  Please, dear God, please let them not forget the tethering so I can ditch the extra 3G account that I already pay for.

  • Full A2DP support.  Currently the iPhone does not support the A2DP feature of Bluetooth which means you can’t get Bluetooth Headphones support, only Bluetooth Headsets.  In other words, no wireless headphones that play in stereo.  Hopefully tomorrow they will announce that they fixed this oversight.

  • A normal headphone jack.  And hopefully they fired the moron responsible for that other thing.  You’ll note, by the way, that the iPhone is the only device with this mistake.  The iPod Touch has a normal jack.

Those are my high confidence predictions.  These are less likely:

  • Red color.  Most Apple product launches of “2.0” or later versions usually include additional colors.  Not sure they will do a lot of colors but I saw a mockup of a red phone and it was awesome.  And besides, my wife needs a differently colored phone so we can tell hers from mine.

  • OLED display.  I heard this rumor early on and haven’t heard much lately about it but switching to an OLED display would significantly decrease the iPhone power consumption.  Everyone knows that 3G is a power hog, saving some juice with OLED would go a long way towards mitigating that effect.

  • Increased battery life.  Another attribute of Apple 2.0 products is that they usually get better battery life, not worse.  Again, kind of a stretch considering that 3G is such a voltage leech but I would not be surprised if they figured something out.

  • iPhone as remote.  It has occurred to me, as a huge Apple TV fan, that scrolling through 50,000 movies using arrow keys is not gonna do it.  Apple needs a better solution for onscreen searching of its expanding movie collection.  A WiFi interface with the iPhone or iPod Touch would be perfect.

That’s about it.  In less than 12 hours, we’ll know the answers.  Time for some sleep.