For a guy who writes about the Digital Home, I feel a little left out of all this iPhone talk. Not only is the iPhone a "non-Digital Home" device, I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to make it a staple in my home. Lucky for you, I found three ways to do it. Check them out.
1. The next-generation iMac that is fully-equipped with an iPhone docking station. That's right, you heard it here first. I think Apple should release the next iMac with an iPhone dock that would allow you to transfer files and important folders to your iMac or iPhone. Even better, the dock would act as a charging device for your iPhone and would let you access your slick new toy at any time in a window on Leopard. I can see it now: an iPhone icon will instantly appear on your dock and with the click of a mouse, you have access to everything on your iPhone in an interface that is similar to iTunes. Type up documents or fix pictures on your iMac, then save them to your iPhone; it's as simple as that. And who wants white cords hanging all over the place? With a simple snap into the docking station, all of your needs will be met without dealing with wire management.
2. A new VoIP service: The Apple/AT&T cable phone service. Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking, this has already been done. But think about it for a second: you come home after a long day and your iPhone is burning a whole in your pocket. Instead of making cell phone calls that are sometimes shoddy at best, plug the iPhone into your Apple VoIP dock and now all of your home phone calls will be directed to your iPhone. Now instead of using two phones to answer two different numbers, the iPhone will do it all. And from a purely business standpoint, does it seem that far off that AT&T wouldn't go for this? They already control most of the country's phone services, why not tap into VoIP with the iPhone? Knowing that the phone only works with AT&T VoIP service, Apple and AT&T could capitalize on both phone markets. Not such a bad deal. I don't know about you, but having the ability to answer all of my home and cell calls with the same phone would be a blessing.
3. A 42-inch 1080p Apple HDTV featuring Apple TV integration and an iPhone dock. Let's be honest, does this really seem that far off? I don't think so. If you look at Apple's track record over the past few years, it has shifted its focus towards multimedia entertainment and not just computers. Let's take a look: iPod, Mac Mini with obvious intent of multimedia use, Apple TV, and now the iPhone. For anyone who has used (and enjoyed) the Apple monitors, you know that the company knows how to make a monitor, and there is no reason to suggest it can't make an equally nice HDTV. Apple is riding a wave right now and as long as the iPhone performs the way everyone hopes, Steve Jobs could come out and announce a doggy door and people would flock to stores to buy it. But with a 42-inch 1080p HDTV featuring all of the fixings you would expect from Apple, the company can achieve two main goals: find the Apple TV a place to finally make its mark, and incorporate all of the products the company lives by to capitalize on each respective devices notoriety.
The HDTV would be black (or white if you so choose) and would feature three HDMI ports, two component ports and one DVI and VGA slot. It would have built-in wireless for periodic updates and the iPhone dock would fit well on the left of the HDTV. You'll be able to easily access all of your iPhone material on your HDTV while it is in the dock, and syncing between your Apple TV and iPhone will be made possible with the press of a button. Oh, and in case you were wondering, a firmware update will make your iPhone into your very own touchscreen HDTV remote. Not bad huh?
With my list complete, I leave you with this: when Apple releases these three products over the course of the next years, I hope you'll remember who told you about them first and you will give me credit where it is due. And once that happens, this site will no longer be called The Digital Home, it may need to be called the Apple Home, so standby for that one too.