A Whole Lotta Love for Apple’s Little Push

iPhone OS 3The media loves — adores, really, in the “it can’t do anything wrong” kinda way — Apple Computers. And the journalists who gather in Cupertino every time Apple buys a few gallons at Peet’s and a few dozen at Noah’s, are probably not going to stop worshipping any time soon — not at least until the next round of lay-offs anyway. 

Today they did it again. Apple announced version 3.0 of their iPhone firmware — definitely nothing revolutionary, not even evolutionary, just catch-up to the Canadians (RIM) and the Finns (Nokia). It was covered, however, as though the world got a whole new unbelievably cool new toy to play with. The front of the New York Times web site? The Washington Post? For little more than bug fixes?

In the words of Joe Biden, “give me a bleeping break.” (This is my first stab at writing here, so I’m not sure if I can say “fucking.” )

Listen you moronic fools who are having your industry pulled out from under you by Craigslist, Yelp, a bank failure here and there, and an increasingly dumber America: iPhone 3.0 is what iPhone 1.1 should have been.

There are supposed to be something like 100 big changes in iPhone 3.0. Only one of them really matters: Push notification.

None of the others add any real functionality (unless you consider being able to listen to good music over a crappy bluetooth headset a function). 

Cut-copy-and-paste? Really? Is this something you are going to use more than once a month on that slippery little thing you cling to on the train every afternoon? Being able to type a message sideways? (Quick, go  give AT&T two years of your life — this summer you’ll be able to type in landscape mode; hooray!! MMS? Does anyone older than 13 and outside of Tokyo use it? Spotlight on the iPhone? If half of the people who use Spotlight on the Mac on a regular basis use it on their iPhone, then two people will use Spotlight on the iPhone.

But push notification actually changes things. 

It means we’ll actually get an IM client worth downloading at some point (do not bother to buy any of them available on the App store now — the fact that you can’t get an IM from your darlin’ or your other darlin’ on any of them unless you’re actually logged in and using the app makes them all 99 percent useless). It means we can actually get notified in real time as our shares in the American Fantasy continue to dive deeper and as our NCAA choice-to-win-it-all gets beaten on a last-minute shot by a senior who’ll be selling Allstate in 3 years.

It means Apple will finally come close to meeting its marketing claim from when the iPhone was released to a lemming-like crowd almost two years ago: It’s like having the real Internet on your phone. 

Now it’s almost real. The thing will never be really the real Internet until a future coffee-and-bagel party, when Flash is finally announced, and a dutiful Mac-media sends its love again.