What’s next for Apple?

As the next Apple event approaches, I find myself wondering what may be be up Apple’s sleeve. Rumours point to the iPod Touch being upgraded with the same camera and video capabilities as the very successful iPhone 3G. There are also rumours of a camera being added to one or more of the iPod product lines. I think those are great ideas but I have a few more in mind. Here are some of the improvements I would like to see from Apple over the next year or so.

iPod Touch/iPhone:

increase the hard drive space up to 120 GB
add a firewire 800 connection

iPod Touch:
the addition of a microphone and the ability to record sound via an audio in minijack

Macbooks:

add SD slot

Macbook Pros:

add SD slot to 17 inch
add ExpressCard/34 slot to 13 & 15 inch models


Cloud Computing

How I understand it is that cloud computing uses the internet as a storage and computing device. In other words software programs are housed/stored on the net and people can access them from any computer and use them for word processing tasks, graphic work, building websites, etc. Then people can either save the works online and/or download them to their personal hard drives.

It would be great to see companies like Apple develop the technology even further. Imagine if iWeb, GarageBand, Logic Studio, Final Cut Studio, etc. were also available on the web through an “Apple Cloud Portal”. Apple could charge a per use, monthly or annual fee to use the software. This would expand their revenue base and give most people who have broadband internet connections direct access to some of the best software products around.

It wouldn’t stop consumers from purchasing the products from certified Apple dealers or Apple stores, if they wanted to, it would just add to the overall number of consumers who use the products and become more familiar with them. Another possible benefit would be the demand for higher connection speeds in North America (where they lag behind many of the Asian and European countries with the USA ranking 28th and Canada ranking 36th). The benefits for higher connection speeds are numerous, including better communication between companies, medical and scientific applications (transmission of data, analysis, diagnostics, less time wasted waiting for transmissions between parties, etc.

Other benefits to people using cloud computing would be the development of smaller computer devices. If all software is on the net, then fewer people will actually need large computers, all they will need is a monitor, a keyboard and a hard drive at home and their iPhone/iPod Touch to store their most recent files. Hmm, it sounds like I’ve just described the iMac minus the software…

So what do you think? Does anyone else see cloud computing as a way to clean up clutter of devices and also expand the business of software companies to people who might be curious about but have never used some more of the higher end products from Apple and other companies?

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