U.K. Mac Expo - a complete bust?
iLounge’s Bob Levens is - in a good way - a cheerleader for all good things from the United Kingdom. Based in Cambridge, he frequently keeps us up to date on interesting developments in Great Britain, and has attended the London Mac Expo for us for the last two years. So when Bob comes back from Expo and says that it was unimpressive to the point of making him consider skipping any future visits, we can’t help but take him seriously. His report from the show follows, but suffice to say, we didn’t feel that it was worth the distraction of posting on the main site. Take it away, Bob.
“I was pretty unimpressed; doubt if i’ll bother going again. This is my whole report, don’t think it warrants any more.
Arriving at the station which serves Olympia, I was greeted by a group of people handing out apples and leaflets. Seemed so nice of Apple to provide a healthy snack for travel weary Expo visitors, but not feeling healthy or hungry, I declined the fruit and just took a leaflet. It turned out to be a Greenpeace stunt - they’d been asked to leave the Expo Hall, and took their message onto the street. There were two ‘activists’ outside the main entrance to Olympia also handing out leaflets and fruit - basically the first people you saw as you showed up for this Apple-centric event. If I’d had my wits about me, I would have asked if the fruit was organic and free from any pesticides.
Once inside the hall, I discovered that there was very little in the way to satisfy the iPod visitor - fewer iPod related accessories present than in 2005, which wasn’t exactly a banner year for the Expo. Many of the big names - the ones listed as exhibitors - were actually bundled together under the umbrellas of resellers, not hosting anything of their own. iPod accessory makers who did have their own stands included Contour Design, Gear4, and a company called iTango, who had a new iPod dock on show.
The dock is basically a plastic shell that holds your iPod USB cable inside - seriously - and gives you a place to dock your iPod while still inside a case. Okay, then.
Gear4 showed up with HouseParty 24/7, a dual-alarm AM/FM radio with a LCD clock display that isn’t wicked bright (the LCD backlight has 3 settings) and a 22-button remote control allowing full access to the iPod and radio. Five presets are available via the unit, and the iPod dock’s on top. It also showed BluEye, which offers a Bluetooth hands-free mobile connection, FM radio and remote control, announced and discussed on the site some time ago. Caller ID on the iPod is a pretty good idea.
It wasn’t newsworthy in any way, but one of the biggest iPod accessory demonstrations was from Nike; it had a large area at the rear of the hall with 3 treadmills set up, as well as a bank of iMacs to demonstrate the Nike+iPod Sport Kit system. You’ve already read the reviews months ago; the only changes were new posters showing the Kit in use with current metal nanos rather than the old white and black ones, already found in Nike stores.
After experiencing MacWorld in San Francisco, the Mac Expo in London comes across as a weak, less than noteworthy show for iPod fans, and I have to ask whether I will be going to next year’s event at all. Bear in mind that it may well be fine if you are into the software side of Macs or using Macs for creative projects, but it is definitely not the place to go to see major new iPod-related announcements, even accessories - a real shame. Last year, Monitor Audio and others brought at least a bit of excitement to the floor, which was just missing this time out.
It says something that the highlight of the Expo was Greenpeace’s ambush, and on the accessory side, perhaps Gear4’s BluEye. Does anyone have the ability to liven this event up a bit?”
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Invoxia adds Amazon Alexa to Triby
- Apple provides more details on new Apple Music API
- Apple Music for Android adds music videos, Family Plan support
- Icahn pulls out of Apple over China concerns
- Apple launches CareKit, with four apps debuting today
- Alleged schematics for iPhone 7 ‘Pro’ show up in Japanese magazine
- Nintendo bringing Fire Emblem, Animal Crossing to iOS
- FBI will not disclose San Bernardino iPhone hack
- Notes from Apple’s Q2 2016 earnings call
- Apple Q2 results: $50.6B revenue, 51M iPhones, 10M iPads sold
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with HomeKit support
- ClamCase ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4
- Brydge BrydgeMini II Keyboard for iPad mini 4
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)