My Macworld Expo Wish List

Some people compose Christmas wish lists and send them off to Santa Claus. Instead, I decided to compose a Macworld Expo wish list and send it off to Steve Jobs. Given that these lists probably have about an equal chance of reaching their intended destinations, I thought I'd up the odds by posting my list here:

Hi Steve!

I'm sure you have some great new products getting ready to be unveiled at the Expo. I don't know what they are yet. And that's just as well. I like to be surprised. Of course, that won't stop me from checking the Mac rumor sites. But who knows, they could be wrong. It's happened before. Actually, if you feel compelled to spill the beans to someone, feel free to let me in on all the details about your Keynote. That would be a great surprise. And I won't tell anyone. Promise.

But enough small talk. The main reason I'm writing is make a few requests regarding your planned announcements for next month. I'm not going to be asking for any "next big thing" products. My requests are on a much smaller scale. I understand that it may already be too late for you to make these additions. But if there is any way that you could still squeeze these into your Keynote, I would be most appreciative.

Apple TV. I really like my Apple TV. A lot. For viewing my digital photos and movies -- or for just listening to my iTunes music -- there is nothing better. I also regularly use it to catch up on the latest movie trailers and occasionally even rent a movie. That's why I ask you (with all due respect)...

Get a new hobby. Every time you refer to the Apple TV as a hobby, I cringe. I assume this is just your way of saying that the device is not meeting your financial expectations. And we all know what the future may portend for such products. At any moment, you could announce that it's curtains for the Apple TV. Which, for me at least, would be a shame.

Time is running out. I can already rent movies from my TiVo (with even Netflix movies coming soon). If I didn't already own an Apple TV, this would make it a harder sell. You have to move fast. Find a way to transform the Apple TV into a "must have" device. Make it more of a DVR. Make it more of a Mac. Something. Use the Expo as the launch pad for announcing this transformation. I know you can do it. And, if you still need a hobby, try stamp collecting.

Matte displays. The iMac, the MacBook, the MacBook Pro and now even the new LED Cinema Display all ship with only a glossy screen. Essentially, if you want to by a new Mac in 2009, you have to get a glossy display.

The problem is that I don't like these glossy displays. Actually, I pretty much loathe them. When sitting in front of one, I try to find a position that avoids the annoying reflections and doesn't wash out the display, but I never quite succeed. So please...don't give up on matte displays. In case you think I'm alone here, or that this couldn't have any effect on sales, check out this article by Macworld's Rob Griffiths.

I understand. Many people prefer the glossy displays (you are apparently one of them). You don't have to abandon them. Just give us a choice. Heck, we can get an iPod nano in nine different colors. Can't we at least have two display options? At least for the higher end models, the MacBook Pro and the Cinema Displays? I'm begging you. It's not too late to use the Expo to announce that matte screens are back.

iPhone display out. Speaking of displays...the past few times that I have seen you demo the iPhone, I couldn't help but notice that you were able to show the iPhone's display on the large screen projected behind you. Not just to show a photo or a movie. But an actual mirror of the iPhone screen. That's great. The problem is that you seem to be the only person in the universe who has this ability. How about sharing? I give talks about the iPhone. So do hundreds, maybe thousands, of others. We'd all like to be able to perform this trick. Heck, even if it were just to play an iPhone game on a larger screen, it would be great to be able to do this.

What's the hangup here? We can already connect our MacBooks to larger screens. Why must the iPhone be different? How about using next month's Expo to announce that this feature is now available for the "rest of us"?

Jailbreaking iPhones. One last thing, and it's on the subject of iPhones again. Can you please put an end to this cat-and-mouse game over jailbreaking? For one thing, it's not working. Less than a week after updating my iPhone to the 2.2 software, I was able to jailbreak it (using the latest version of QuickPwn). It worked flawlessly. It's only seems to get easier to jailbreak as time goes by. You're losing. So why not just give up?

Even if you were winning, I'd say give up anyway. What's the big deal? I'm not asking you to officially endorse jailbreaking. Just stop trying to find new ways to block it. Allow it to survive unhindered as a geek tool. That way, I wouldn't have to worry that your next iPhone update might somehow succeed in putting an end to jailbreaking. Use Macworld Expo to announce this truce.

Of course, it would be even better if you opened up the App Store wide enough so that there was no longer any need or desire for jailbreaking. Allow MobileTerminal and other such "under-the-hood" utilities to be downloaded from the App Store. You already permit (sometimes even provide!) such utilities on the Mac. Why not permit them on the iPhone too? I have MobileTerminal on my iPhone right now and the earth is still rotating on its axis. The world has not come to an end. And Apple is still a successful thriving company.

I have a few more things I could request (there's this business about FireWire ports on MacBooks that you may have heard about). But I've taken up enough of your time already. Thanks for listening.