Wozniak Dishes iPhone 3G, Apple, and Eee PC

With WWDC and iPhone 3G news still making headlines worldwide, it is hard not to think about where old Apple started off. Back in 1976, it wasn’t just Steve Jobs taking center stage. It was him and Steve Wozniak together that gave birth to the first Apple product – the Apple I. It wasn’t too long ago when Woz sat down with me and poured out his heart about where mobile technology and Apple stand today. Knowing he was a huge fan of the first-gen iPhone, I reached out to him to find out what he thought of the unveiling of the new 3G device on Monday. Updated: In an e-mail and phone conversation, I spoke with Woz about the new iPhone, Apple’s business direction, and his thoughts about the Eee PC and other mini-notebooks.  Check out the full interview. “No comments, it seems outstanding. But the exact features and costs are still vague,” he said when asked for his first impressions of the iPhone 3G in an e-mail exchange before our call. “For example, what sort of navigation? Do you just look at a screen and see where you are? (tracking) What sort of AT&T plans? Does 3G cost more? How much? How much international support?” We are happy to report that his questions on the pricing have been answered by AT&T. In response to what the iPhone is still lacking, Woz had this to say. “Most of my list still missing (tethering, full bluetooth support, voice dialing, true navigation built-in, maps and all like Garmin, etc. Also, is it legal to use for voice calls while driving in California? I am planning to use the 3G iPhone as my main cell phone because I believe that the audio will be better. I’ll be in line on 7/11!” You mentioned the things you would like to see added to the device. What, above all, would you have liked to see added? I think everyone has stuff they would imagine and would like to be included from their raw imagination. I have some of those. I don’t like to talk about them that much because I think some are possibly going to come from third parties and possibly from Apple in future. I have a good list, but I also think about all the apps that are currently on the device, like stocks and weather, and all the nice things they bring into my life. Isn’t there just one that sticks out? I would have really liked the ability to tether the phone’s connectivity to my laptop. I use a Verizon card every where I go. You can’t rely on there being working Wi-Fi everywhere. In situations where the Verizon card doesn’t work I use my phone’s Bluetooth to tether and get on the Internet. I wish the iPhone had that capability for when I have to travel. Are you contemplating writing an iPhone application of your own? If I would make an application I would create one for educational use. There is a chance, but I am very busy and I don’t want to start something that you need a certain amount of time to complete. I would need two months time to work on it. So many people are writing applications. I can sit back and enjoy what others do. So you think the iPhone could be a useful educational tool? When I try and think of educational applications they fall into the PDA, or iPod touch category. In fact, I wish there were some updates to the Touch. It’s already thinner and it has Wi-Fi. I would love to see a microphone and a camera added. It could be a VoIP phone and a useful PDA that could make more sense than a complete smart phone. As for the educational applications, I think a device like that is useful for research and could be integrated into curricula. What do you think of mobile Internet devices or mini-notebooks, like the Eee PC? I don’t have one because it hasn’t struck my fancy or needs. I am one of the ones who switched from multiple computers to one full sized laptop. I am not as mobile as a lot of people. I sit there with my iPhone and I think I could try and do more on a small device or I can wait until I get onto my laptop with a larger screen and keyboard. I don’t force myself to live the 24/7 Internet life. Bluetooth headests and everything else can get in the way. To constantly be on your smart phone is an interruption to the people you are with and it’s a social distraction. I minimize it. So you don’t see the need for mini-notebooks? I just feel there are times when you need it to access a bit of information and you can get that on your phone. The rest can wait until there is a full sized laptop. I carry my MacBook Pro 17-inch laptop everywhere I go and I use it when I am in a comfortable place. What do you think of Apple’s entry into Cloud computing? I think that is the most important thing they announced. Apple has made a huge step in allowing people to sync their computers with the cloud and their phones. 3G makes it possible to really get that information at any time. I have mostly everything on the Internet. Would you like to see Apple add more capabilities to the Me.com service? I don’t know if it’s intended to be more than it really is. I think it needs to do very few things very well, and do the important things well. The storage is a big thing for me and it will allow for keeping files mobile. Is Apple making the right steps in your opinion? Absolutely. Especially the incredibly needed steps into the enterprise market. When Steve Jobs came back he said you have to build the right tools and make them rugged enough for enterprise. We didn’t have it back then. We were always telling enterprise to do it our way. So I think that huge advances will come in Macintosh sales with these moves. Just look at how many enterprises that didn’t allow Macs are now letting them in. If you also look at the sheer size of the developer conference more and more people are becoming familiar with the platform. People are going to keep coming up with idea after idea and even the iPhone will be the popular new computer to develop applications for. What are you up to presently? I am working with a bunch of start ups; some are technology related others are working on green materials. I tend to step in with advice and do some consulting. I will wait until one of them starts making a move, so you might hear more details soon. I am also doing a lot of travel for speaking engagements.

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  1. Mike Cane Says:

    >>>In fact, I wish there were some updates to the Touch. It’s already thinner and it has Wi-Fi. I would love to see a microphone and a camera added. It could be a VoIP phone and a useful PDA that could make more sense than a complete smart phone.

    Good thinking! Nice Q&A!

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