This week Apple held its latest World Wide Developers Conference from San Francisco, introducing to the world the next versions of OS X and iOS, as well as upgrading its MacBook Air lineup and previewing the next generation Mac Pro. For the full rundown, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
At this year’s World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple spent equal time talking about hardware and software updates. The annual event heated up when the MacBook lineup received a healthy dose of upgraded processors and graphics, among other spec bumps. Also, a brand new “next-generation” MacBook Pro was unveiled. Later, the mobile iOS that powers iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches was significantly enhanced with the introduction of iOS 6. For all the details, read on.
The MacBook Air was refreshed with the following spec bumps. The thin-and-light laptop now packs the 3rd-gen Intel Core processors, also known as Ivy Bridge; these dual-core i7s can reach speeds up to 2.0GHz (or up to 3.2GHz with Turbo Boost). Memory reaches 8GB 1600MHz, and graphics can perform up to sixty percent faster. Flash storage has been beefed up to 512 GB and is 2x speedier featuring a 500MBps read speed. The Air also includes a USB 3 port and a FaceTime HD camera (720p). There are two 11-inch and two 13-inch configurations, both shipping today and both starting at $100 cheaper than the previous generation. The 11-inch MacBook Air with 64GB starts at $999 and the 13-inch Air with128GB starts at $1,199.
The MacBook Pro was also refreshed and here are the note-worthy spec bumps. Just like the new Airs, the updated Pros now include the 3rd-gen “Ivy Bridge” Intel Core processors; these dual-core i7 processors reach speeds up to 2.7GHz (or up to 3.7GHz with Turbo Boost). Memory reachers 8GB 1600MHz. Graphics are upgraded to NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 650M (based on the graphics chip maker’s new Kepler architecture), with up to 1GB video memory that is up to sixty percent faster than before. USB 3 is on board. There are two 13-inch and two 15-inch MacBook Pro configurations, both shipping today and they start at the same price ranges as the previous generation Pros. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.5GHz processor speed starts at $1,199 and the 15-inch Pro with a 2.3GHz speed starts at $1,799.
And now we move onto what Apple is branding the “next generation” MacBook Pro. The company says it’s “the best computer we’ve ever made.” In short, what makes this new breed of Pro so special is that it’s made thinner and lighter and it packs a gorgeous Retina Display. You want hard specs, so here they are. This new Pro measures at 0.71 inches thin (a quarter thinner than the standard Pro) and it weighs 4.4 pounds. The 15.4-inch screen is a Retina Display with an impressive resolution of 2880×1800, packing 4x the number of pixels than the previous-gen Pro. With 220 pixels per inch, Apple crowns this “the world’s highest-resolution notebook display.” Lion has been updated to take advantage of the higher resolution; Mac apps like Mail, Safari, iMovie and iPhoto will be compatible, along with others like Aperture, Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Autocad, and the game Diablo 3. Just like they had to do when the Retina Display came to the iPhone, software developers will have to update their apps to make them Retina-ready. Jumping inside, the Pro runs on Intel’s fastest quad-core processors, that is Core i7s up to 2.7GHz (or up to 3.7GHz with Turbo Boost); memory goes up to 16GB 1600MHz; next-gen NVIDIA Kepler graphics GeForce GT 650M; up to 768GB fast flash storage; up to 7 hours of battery life with 30 days of standby time. Across the left-side of the powerful, noticeably thinner lappy you’ll find an SD card slot, HDMI, and USB 3 ports; along the right side there’s a MagSafe 2 port (the new port has been made thinner to fit the design), two Thunderbolt ports, USB 3, and a headphone jack. That’s right, this Pro has ditched an optical drive, FireWire, and Gigabit Ethernet. Apple sells adapters if you require these. Additionally, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display features a glass multitouch trackpad, backlit keyboard, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones, stereo speakers, and a new internal fan system that outputs nearly imperceptible sound. Two configurations of the next-gen Pro ship today starting at $2,199. (Click here for more…)
On Wednesday Apple announced the next generation iPad. No, it is not called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD; it’s simply the new iPad. In addition to updating what Apple CEO Tim Cook calls “the poster child of the post-PC world,” the March 7 keynote also introduced enhancements to iOS, iCloud, Apple TV, and the mobile versions of iWork and iLife. First let’s focus on the most talked about news at hand, the new iPad; then jump after the break to read about everything else.
First and foremost, the new iPad features Apple’s Retina Display technology. They’ve managed to pack four times more pixels into the new iPad’s 9.7 inch multitouch screen than the tablet’s predecessor. The new iPad sports an impressive 2048 x 1536 resolution with a 3.1 million total pixel count (264 pixels per inch) and 44% greater color saturation over the iPad 2. This means that the new iPad contains more pixels than your average HDTV (1920 x 1080)! Packing all of these pixels in a relatively small space means: razor-sharp text, richer colors, and when viewed at a normal distance iPad owners will not be able to discern individual pixels and this makes for a better overall user experience.
Powering the new iPad is the Apple A5X high-performance low-power system-on-a-chip. It serves as a dual-core processor with quad-core graphics. The new chip will help the iPad run faster and support the millions of pixels glaring out of the Retina Display. It will also manage the tablet’s equally impressive battery life. The new iPad boasts the same longevity as the iPad 2: 10 hours of use on WiFi and 9 hours on a cellular network.
The camera on the backside of the iPad has been upgraded to iSight Camera status. It’s a five-megapixel shooter and full HD 1080p video recorder. The camera features backside illumination, f/2.4 aperture, a 5-element lens, a hybrid IR filter, an Apple-designed ISP (Image Signal Processor) that allows for auto exposure, auto-focus, auto face detection, auto exposure lock and auto focus lock, and auto white balance. In video recording mode, you’ll notice video stabilization and temporal noise reduction. On the front you’ll still find a FaceTime camera that takes VGA-quality stills and also shoots video at up to 30 frames per second.
Although Siri has yet to make her way to the iPad, Apple has included a piece of the personal assistant in the new slate. The virtual keyboard now features a new Voice Dictation key (it’s a microphone icon) that translates what you say into the text you want to type. Dictation supports English and other languages like British, French, German, Japanese, and Australian. It’s also compatible with third-party apps meaning you can dictate your Tweets or Facebook status updates if you like.
With the new iPad, Apple has embraced 4G LTE data speeds. Again they are working with AT&T and Verizon to bring these ultrafast speeds to consumers in the US. The new iPad features the most wireless bands ever shipped in a device; check them out: the AT&T model includes 4G LTE (700, 2100 MHz), UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); and the Verizon model includes 4G LTE (700 MHz), CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz). Rate plans can be viewed here. Elsewhere Apple is collaborating with Bell, Rogers, and Telus to bring these speeds to other countries around the world. Additionally, the new iPad can act as a personal hotspot to share its data speeds with up to five devices over WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB. And speaking of which, the new iPad also packs Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
At 9.4mm thin and 1.4 pounds, the new iPad will come in black and white variants and maintain the same capacity and pricing scheme as its predecessor. It’ll start at $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only model and will reach up to $829 for the 32GB WiFi + 4G model. The iPad 2 will remain on the market at one Benjamin cheaper; it will only sell in the 16GB capacity at $399 for the WiFi-only model and $529 for the WiFi + 3G model. The new iPad will release on March 16 in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia. One week later it will come out in 25 more countries making the new iPad the fastest product rollout for Apple. It’s available for preorder today at Apple’s website.
Jump after the break for more on iOS, iCloud, Apple TV, and updates to the mobile versions of iWork and iLife. (Click here for more…)
Hey you Google Music Beta-er. Got an iPhone and feeling left out? Be jealous of your Android-wielding friends no more! Google has brought its music locker service (still in beta, still requires an invite) to iOS devices in web app form. Sure it’s not a full-fledged app that Android users have been privy to for months now, but it gets the job done. On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch simply point Safari to music.google.com you’ll arrive at the new portal that’ll grant you access to your Music Beta song library on-the-go. Use your finger to swipe left and right and scrub through categories like Artists, Albums, Songs, Playlists, and Genres. Cheers!
Apple recently announced that over 15 billion apps have been downloaded from its App Store by the more than 200 million iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users worldwide. Wowzers is the reaction you’re looking for. Apple’s tallied ‘em up, and currently the App Store is now home to over 425,000 apps; additionally 100,000 native iPad apps exist. Thanks to Apple’s generosity the people who make the apps are getting paid, too; Apple has paid developers over $2.5 billion to date (there’s a 70/30 split, the devs receive the smaller sampling, naturally).
Says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing: ”In just three years, the revolutionary App Store has grown to become the most exciting and successful software marketplace the world has ever seen. Thank you to all of our amazing developers who have filled it with over 425,000 of the coolest apps and to our over 200 million iOS users for surpassing 15 billion downloads.”
Jump after the break to read the official PR which contains more quotes from excitable Apple employees.
Today Apple brought the house down in San Fransisco’s Moscone Center where they previewed the latest versions of Mac OS X, iOS, and a new service called iCloud. Quote of the day comes from Apple CEO Steve Jobs who introduced the developer event with this: “If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software in them is the soul.” The next-gen iPhone was nowhere to be found; today was all about the magical software that keeps Apple’s momentum chugging along at great pace. And now without further ado, let’s dive right in! It’s all after the break. (Click here for more…)
Today Apple released the latest version of their mobile operating system–that is, iOS 4.3–one day earlier than expected. Just about coinciding with the launch of iPad 2, iOS 4.3 brings with it all kinds of goodies including significantly increased Safari performance, iTunes Home Sharing, AirPlay improvements, iPad side switch behaviors, and personal hotspot functionality for iPhone 4; it’s all detailed right here. Bug fixes and the like are bundled in too; hop after the break to find a rundown of what’s included. iOS 4.3 is a free download for all GSM iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and third and fourth-gen iPod touch owners. Connect your iOS device to a computer, fire up iTunes, and you’ll be notified to download and install the update.
In related Apple news, their hobby puck has also received a welcome system update. ATV owners will now be able to stream baseball and basketball games through the ether straight to their TVs thanks to MLB.tv and a NBA League Pass Broadband support. These services require pay subscriptions. In addition, Netflix has received 5.1 audio support. Cheers to that!
On Wednesday Apple revealed the next generation iPad. The iPad 2 is very much an evolutionary iterative device. It is faster, lighter, and thinner than its predecessor, packs back and front-facing cameras, and comes preloaded with a new version of iOS. Take my hand and let’s discover everything that makes iPad 2 the next extraordinary tablet, or as Steve Jobs calls it the “third blockbuster post-PC product” joining the iPod and iPhone.
Specs are important to you, hm? Then let’s start there. iPad 2 is faster. It features Apple’s new 1GHz dual-core A5 processor that is up to 2X faster than the A4; it boasts up to 9X faster graphics and somehow still maintains the same low power as the A4. Battery life remains the same at 10 hours with over a month of standby. iPad 2 is lighter and thinner. It is a mere 8.8mm thick, that’s 33% thinner than the original iPad (13.4mm). In fact, it is even thinner than iPhone 4 (9.3mm). It also lost some weight dropping from 1.5 to 1.3 pounds. On the front you’ll find a VGA camera that takes pictures and records video at 30fps; the camera around back shoots video in 720p HD also at 30fps and can do 5x digital zoom. The built-in gyroscope will assist the device in locating itself in space and orientation; higher precision in gaming will result. Last, Apple has hooked up with AT&T and Verizon to bring 3G data to the tablet.
iPad 2 is coming sooner than you think. It will be made available for purchasing March 11 in two color options: black and white (thankfully the latter ships “from day one”, teehee). Pricing remains the same, too; iPad 2 will come in various capacities (16, 32, 64GB) and models (WiFi, WiFi + 3G) starting at $499. After releasing on the 11th in the U.S., the new iPad will make its way to an additional 26 countries (including Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the UK) on March 25.
Learn all about iPad 2′s accessories, iOS 4.3, and new apps after the break. (Click here for more…)
If you are a proud owner of an iOS device today is your lucky day. Apple has finally unleashed iOS 4.2, and it brings oh-so-much to the aging iPad and a handful of sweet features to the iPhone and iPod touch. Here’s the laundry list of new features coming to the iPad: multitasking, folders (you can store up to 20 apps inside a folder), Game Center, and updates to Mail (Unified Inbox, fast inbox switching, a threaded message view). In other words, it’s playing catch up with the iPhone and touch. Also bear in mind that the physical toggle switch on the iPad’s side no longer acts as an orientation lock; now it’s a mute switch, just like it is on the iPhone. The lock has been moved to the dock tray that also houses the iPod controls. With the new update, all iOS devices will gain the ability to find and highlight specific words and phrases on web pages in Safari, select new fonts in Notes, beam video and audio with AirPlay, and print wirelessly with AirPrint. Let’s talk about the latter two new features because they are exciting additions. With AirPlay you can stream music, video, and photos wirelessly from your iOS device to Apple TV and AirPlay-enabled speakers. On the video front, you can only stream files you’ve purchased from iTunes (or managed to convert to make playable in iTunes) and from YouTube. If you try to beam video content from Netflix or the ABC app, for example, only the audio will cross over. Bummer, I know. If you want to print wirelessly with AirPrint, you must own a compatible printer; Apple says HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro, and HP Officejet will be the first to support it. iOS 4.2 is compatible with iPad, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, second and third generation iPod touch, and the latest iPod touch. You’ll be prompted to update the next time you open iTunes.
Right on cue Apple TV owners received the 4.1 firmware update today, granting them the ability to harness the power of AirPlay. That is, of course, if they also own a compatible iOS device.
Last, the MobileMe Find My iPhone feature no longer requires a MobileMe subscription to access and use. Apple has turned it into an app, and it’s available in the App Store today. In case you forgot, Find My iPhone helps you locate your missing device on a detailed map. You can also have it display a message or play a sound to make finding your missing device easier. And if you are forced to give up the search, you can remotely lock or wipe data from the lost device. The free Find My iPhone feature is available for iPhone 4, iPad or new iPod touch (4th generation).
Look after the break for Apple’s PR.
Today Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage to announce a new lineup of iPods, the next version of iTunes, and a refreshed Apple TV. He also talked about the next two iOS4 software updates. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?
iPod shuffle: The redesigned fourth generation iPod shuffle brings back the clickable front-facing ring buttons (play/pause, previous, next, volume up, volume down) and keeps VoiceOver control (it speaks artist and song name, multiple playlists, and battery status in 25 different languages) and the back clip. It now supports playlists and Genius Mixes. The tiny sqaure casing includes the on/off/play in order/shuffle switch, a VoiceOver button, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio and USB charging. The battery holds up to 15 hours of audio playback. The shuffle will be available in 5 different colors (grey, blue, green, orange, and pink). A 2GB model will start shipping in one week for $49.
iPod nano: The redesigned sixth generation iPod nano does away with the click wheel and adds a 1.54 inch (240×240) multitouch display. It adopts the tiny iPod shuffle aesthetic; it’s even got the built-in back clip. It is 46 percent smaller and 42 percent lighter than the previous nano model. To navigate around the iOS-like touch interface, swipe left and right to access different pages of icons, up and down to scroll through lists, double tap to zoom in on photos (there is no pinch-to-zoom), and tap to access other areas. Any time you want to go back to the home screen simply tap and hold anywhere on the screen (there is no home button). You can even rotate the screen using two fingers. You can customize the pages of icons by touching and holding an icon down until it jiggles then dragging it to the desired position. Everything here should be very familiar to iPhone and iPod touch users; it’s all just miniturized. The home screen gives you access to playlists, now playing, artists, and Genius Mixes. Also available is an FM radio, Nike+, a clock, Voice Memo, and access to Photos, Podcasts, Settings, and music categorized by song, album, genre, and composer. The small enclosure includes a sleep/wake switch and volume up and down buttons on top and the 30-pin dock connector and 3.5mm headphone jack on bottom. It also has a built-in accelerometer and supports VoiceOver in 29 different languages. The battery holds up to 24 hours of audio playback. The nano will be available in 7 different colors (grey, blue, green, orange, pink, charcoal, and Product (RED)). 8GB ($149) and 16GB ($179) models will start shipping in one week.
iPod touch: The fourth generation iPod touch gets even closer in design and functionality to its iPhone cousin. The new touch features the same 3.5 inch (960×640) Retina Display, Apple A4 processor, back camera, and front-facing camera, and three-axis gyro sensor as the iPhone 4. The back camera shoots HD (720p, up to 30fps) video that can be edited on the device with simple trimming (included) or with more advanced editing (the $4.99 iMovie app now supports the iPod touch); it can also shoot stills. The front-facing camera can shoot stills and supports FaceTime chats over WiFi with other iPod touches and iPhone 4s. The external buttons and input/output holes remain the same: sleep/wake switch, volume up and volume down, the home button, 30-pin dock connector, 3.5mm headphone jack, build-in speaker and microphone. 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, Nike+, accelerometer, ambient light sensor are still there as well. The battery holds up to 40 hours of audio and 7 hours of video playback. The touch will be available in polished aluminium on black only. 8GB ($229), 32GB ($299), and 64GB ($399) will start shipping in one week.
iTunes 10, Apple TV, iOS4 after the break :: (Click here for more…)
At this year’s QuakeCon in Dallas, Texas id Software co-founder John Carmack revealed that he’s bringing Rage (a first-person shooter that wowed critics at E3) to the iPhone. With the announcement came a very brief tech demo for those in attendence. Get this: the game will run at 60 frames-per-second! All of the lighting, texture, and detail look phenomenal. This game is basically gonna blow away the App Store games competition. What started as an experiment on the Nintendo Wii quickly became an app for the iOS platform, according to Carmack. About two years ago Carmack stated that the iPhone is ”more powerful than a Nintendo DS and PSP combined” and today he is backing that up with this impressive tech demo (it’s embedded above). He says that the demo was running off an iPhone 4 and that the game will run fine on the iPhone 3G and feel best on the iPad (thanks to the larger display). He promises that Rage for iOS will be released this year, before the game drops on major consoles sometime in 2011. It’s about time these games-on-the-go got beefier, more graphically intense, and exciting, wouldn’t you say?