TC/Gadgets Webcast: WWDC Expectations, E3 Excitement, And The Death Of The Spec

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Quite a bit hangs on the horizon in the world of gadgets. E3 is right around the corner, as is WWDC (Apple’s Developer conference), and while hardware gets cooler and cooler, the spec does not.

John, Matt and I discuss this and more in this week’s TC/Gadgets webcast.

As far as WWDC expectations go, the debate currently centers around docks and displays. Matt seems to think that a 4-inch display on a Droid X-sized iPhone is in the works, while I’m hoping against hope that a larger display can fit onto the same size iPhone. John, as usual, doesn’t really care. He’s more interested in the docks — rumors are circulating that suggest a microUSB port on the new iPhone rather than Apple’s standard 30-pin connector.

This would, of course, leave hundreds of speaker and charging docks out in the cold, with the exception that Apple releases John’s suggested $39.99 iDong.

We also discussed what we expect out of E3, which amounts to little more than nothing. No new Xbox, no new PlayStation. Basically, we’re getting our hands on the Wii U, which is exciting, but there’s only so much that can be upgraded in current hardware.

Which leads right into our next point: how important are specs?

Matt wrote a post recently harshing on the Nexus tablet for a lack of wireless connectivity, but more importantly, detailing the insignificance of performance testing and specs. To his first point, John and I both own WiFi-only iPads and are perfectly content, whereas Matt needs data to survive.

As far as specs are concerned, we seem to agree on the idea that specs are important in a few select areas, like camera and display. But without a solid understanding of what they mean, and how they can be unrepresentative, they’re just as worthless as a processor clock speed. For example, Nokia’s 808 Pureview 41-megapixel camera doesn’t take 41-megapixel pictures. It rather captures around 40 megapixels of raw data which is then compressed into an incredibly sharp 8-meagpixel image.

In the same vein, display resolution is only a worth looking at alongside display size. The idea is to have a high resolution on a smaller screen. The bigger the display, the less pixel dense the resolution is.

We spent a good deal of this webcast arguing, so feel free to join the fight in the comments.