Category Archives: Apple Hardware

Verizon reveals unannounced iOS feature: Wi-Fi Tethering

Personal Hotspot in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Personal Hotspot in iOS. Credit: Engadget

During the Verizon iPhone announcement earlier today, the company revealed that the CDMA iPhone 4 model would ship with “Mobile Hotspot” capability. Verizon representatives referred to this capability as an “App” that would be preloaded, however during hands on testing with the press it was discovered that the Mobile Hotspot feature is actually part of an unreleased version of iOS, referred to in the operating system as “Personal Hotspot”.

Test models being demonstrated for the press earlier today were running iOS 4.2.5; currently the newest version available for GSM iPhone models on AT&T and other carriers is 4.2.1.

Wi-Fi Tethering in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Wi-Fi Tethering in iOS. Credit: Engadget

Other screenshots posted by Engadget show the Wi-Fi tethering feature is an expansion of the existing Internet Tethering feature already available, however the current version of iOS only supports tethering over Bluetooth or USB. Read more

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Verizon gets the iPhone 4

Verizon iPhone

Verizon iPhone

At a small but highly publicized event today in New York, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam announced that Apple’s iPhone will soon be available for Verizon’s 3G network. While Steve Jobs was not present at the event, Tim Cook did appear on stage to talk about the new model:

Tens of millions of customers have purchased the iPhone around the world. Customers have downloaded billions of apps. I am incredibly happy, and I can tell you all of Apple, is very very excited to bring the iPhone to Verizon’s customers.

We’re incredibly pleased to give Verizon’s customers the choice we’ve been waiting for. We’ve designed an iPhone 4 which connects to the CDMA network — and it has all the features that you’d expect.

Read more
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Verizon iPhone event next Tuesday?

Verizon invitation. Credit: Ars Technica

Verizon invitation. Credit: Ars Technica

UPDATE: Wall Street Journal is reporting this IS in fact a CDMA iPhone announcement.

Verizon has been sending out (horribly over-compressed JPEG) invitations to a special event in New York City next Tuesday, January 11th at the Lincoln Center.

The wording of the invitation says absolutely nothing about what they’re going to talk about or unveil, but Verizon Wireless President Lowell McAdam will be leading the presentation. Word on the street is, Verizon is going to unveil a CDMA iPhone 4 at this event.

If this is truly going to be the Verizon iPhone’s public debut, it is curious that Apple isn’t the one holding a special event as they so love to do. However, with the CDMA iPhone being announced in between major refreshes of the iPhone hardware, they don’t actually have anything new to announce, it’s almost assured to be the same iPhone 4 we already know and love, but with Verizon radio hardware inside. Read more

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Starting Friday, iPhone 3GS will be $49 w/2 year contract

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 3GS

Wall Street Journal is reporting that AT&T (but not Apple itself) will begin offering the outdated but still excellent iPhone 3GS for just $49 with a new 2 year contract.

Whether or not this is just an attempt to clear out inventory or sign up as many new AT&T customers as possible before Verizon gets the iPhone, it’s a great deal for potential smartphone buyers who may be considering other Android or Windows Phone devices, or even simple “dumb phones”.

AT&T is expected to lose iPhone exclusivity at some point this year, and rumors are swirling that the arrival of a Verizon iPhone is imminent. Read more

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Jobs: No USB3 at this time

External hard drives have become truly massive; Western Digital, Seagate and others now sell 3TB drives, and Drobo allows up to 16TB of storage to be used in some models.

However, while many of these external storage devices support Firewire or eSATA, many are limited to relatively slow USB2 connections. Some Macs are also limited to USB2, such as the Macbook Air, leaving users stuck with a connection that can only push 30MB/s in an ideal situation. Mac users frequently report even lower speeds while running Mac OS X compared to the same machine running Windows.

While many users can get by with the slower USB2 connection, the bottleneck becomes apparent when large files need to be moved on or off the external drive, or when the user wishes to move all of their files from one drive to another; moving 3TB over a USB2 connection can take almost 2 days. Read more

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White iPhone not coming until 2011

We know some of you were hoping to get your hands on a white iPhone 4 soon, but unfortunately you’re going to be disappointed for a little while longer; an Apple representative has told Reuters that the white iPhone is not coming until spring 2011.

Rumors of manufacturing problems with the white iPhone model have been making the rounds on tech blogs for a few weeks, but it appears that whatever is causing the delay has become significant enough that Apple has pushed the release date well into 2011.

Due to Apple’s annual release schedule for new iPhone hardware, some pundits have voiced concern that there may not even be a white iPhone 4, since the iPhone 5 would be due out only a few months later at WWDC 2011. Read more

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Redesigned Macbook Air unveiled

Macbook Air

Twins

Macbook Air got a complete overhaul today; gone are the slow storage options, the single screen size and the flip out door for ports, in their place we have 2 new models with updated specs and lower prices.

Before we get to the specs though, Jobs made an interesting statement during the presentation, he called the new Air “the future of notebooks”. We could write that off as marketing speak, however an even stronger statement is now prominently displayed on the Macbook Air product page, which you can see below:

Next Generation of Macbooks

Next Generation of Macbooks

The Next Generation of Macbooks. It’s hard to take that any other way so we’ll just say it, Apple plans to replace the white macbook line with these new Air devices at some point in the near future. Read more

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October 20th Apple Event preview

Steve Jobs will once again take to the stage tomorrow, Wednesday October 20th at the “Town Hall” on Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California to unveil a new round of products and technology previews with his infamous headline-grabbing presentation style. What will be announced? Grapevine consensus appears to have a firm grasp of the big picture, but as to the details….

With a few notable exceptions (the small number of people working on certain projects within Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion,” internal code name ‘Barolo,’ force us to sit on details of those projects until after the Event when even if those projects aren’t mentioned during the Event, they will be known to a wider group within Infinite Loop and leaks can no longer be tied so easily to our sources), what we’ve been told by some of our oldest and most reliable contacts in Cupertino comports very closely with the grapevine’s consensus of what to expect tomorrow:

*Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” as hinted by Apple’s logo for the Event:

Apple's Back to the Mac October 20th Apple Event logo

….Lion is a collection of long-standing projects, many of them held back from the Leopard and Snow Leopard development cycles because they were too ambitious and too out of sync with Apple’s priorities at the time to make the cut for those releases. Read more

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Verizon, AT&T to begin selling iPads

Apple has announced that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless will begin selling the iPad in their respective retail stores, starting on October 28th.

AT&T will be selling the 3G model at the standard price points of $629 for the 16GB version, $729 for the 32GB version, and $829 for the 64GB version. Because the iPad 3G service provided by AT&T is prepaid with no contract, there is no discount for purchasing the device directly from AT&T.

While the 3G iPad is still a GSM device, Verizon Wireless plans to offer bundles containing the Wi-Fi iPad together with a Novatel Mi-Fi 3G router, which will provide users with the same mobile connectivity that AT&T iPad users currently enjoy. Price points will match the 3G model but will include the Novatel Mi-Fi router and a special service plan offering 1GB of data transfer for $20 per month ($20 per 1GB overage), 3GB for $35 or 5GB for $50 (both $10 per 1GB overage). Read more

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iPhone (un)officially coming to Verizon by years end

Verizon iPhone

Unicorn

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Verizon have worked out a deal that will bring the iPhone to the largest mobile network in the U.S. sometime before the end of 2010.

Citing the omniscient “people familiar with the matter”, WSJ’s Yukari Iwatani Kane And Ting-I Tsai boldly proclaim that “AT&T Inc. is about to lose its lock on the iPhone”, something the tech press has been claiming repeatedly for the last 12-18 months as a Verizon iPhone was said to be “just around the corner”.

This year, the WSJ has been stoking the CDMA iPhone flames every few weeks, with rumors of Pegatron Technology Corp. being trusted with production for the new device, or Qualcomm chips being used to provide the CDMA connectivity. Read more

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Apple updates iPod Touch with cameras, Facetime

The new 2010 iPod Touch has been revealed, including features that were expected but not included on the 2009 model.

4th Generation iPod Touch

4th Generation iPod Touch

At just 7.2mm thick, the new Touch has shed some of its bulk including that rounded back many users complained about. A new microphone is included to support FaceTime, but should also work with other applications on the App Store.

As expected the new iPod Touch is running on Apples A4 processor just like the iPad, iPhone 4, and newly released AppleTV. While Apple doesn’t like to publicize the amount of RAM in iOS devices, the current generation iPhone has 512MB so that would be a safe bet for the iPod Touch.

Apple also gave the new touch a significant screen upgrade: Apple’s Retina display at 960×540 resolution. Read more

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New AppleTV loses the Hobby, gains streaming and TV rentals

Apple has finally taken the Apple TV out of ‘hobby’ status and loaded it up with features that will appeal to a wider audience.

2nd Generation AppleTV

2nd Generation AppleTV

The new AppleTV model shrinks from 7″ square, for the previous model, to just 3.9″ square and slightly less than 1″ tall. In sharp contrast to the older model, which was essentially a Mac running special software, the new AppleTV is an iOS device running on Apple’s own A4 ARM processor.

The move to an ARM processor means the new AppleTV is much cooler and more power efficient than the older model. Note that the new AppleTV does not have an App Store at this time, though it is nearly certain that it will be jailbroken at some point. Read more

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Apple announces new iPod Shuffle, Nano

Apple’s 2010 music event brought a number of welcome updates to most of the models in the iPod lineup. The shuffle has regained the buttons that were removed in the 3rd generation models, the nano became much smaller and gained a clip much like the shuffle has, and the nano also became an iOS device complete with a multitouch screen.

4th Generation iPod Shuffle

4th Generation Shuffle

Apple’s 4th generation iPod Shuffle returns to a more square form factor and regains the buttons that were completely removed from the 3rd generation.

Storage available for songs is still 2GB, and pricing is still $49.

Genius mixes are now available on the iPod Shuffle as well as multiple playlists.

The VoiceOver assist features are still present, including a new VoiceOver button on the top edge. Read more

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The July 2010 press conference

To our knowledge this has not happened since Steve Jobs took back the reigns in 1997: Apple has scheduled a press conference for Friday, July 16th, seemingly without a new product to announce.

The safe bet here is that Apple intends to address complaints about potential antenna problems on the new iPhone 4, however the main software “fix” the company intends to provide has already been set loose in the wild with iOS 4.0.1 released just moments ago. This new build of iOS includes a change in the way the device calculates signal strength for display, and also makes the smallest 3 display bars appear larger as you can see below.

iOS signal display change

Old display on top. Credit: Engadget

Of course, the web is boiling over with guesses about what else Apple plans to do to address the antenna issue, as well as alternate explanations for why Apple would call a press conference like this. Read more

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Unibody Mac Mini pops in at midnight

After 5 years, the Mac Mini has finally received a complete redesign. Along with updated internal components and other welcome changes, the new Mini sports a very slim Unibody look much like the AppleTV:

Mini front

Mini back

The Mini is now a 7.7 inch square at 1.4 inches tall, compared to the old mini which was 6.5 inches square and 2 inches tall. The dimensions are quite similar to an AppleTV which is also 7.7 inches square but only 1.1 inches tall.

Gone is the white plastic panel on the top surface, the entire case is now one piece of aluminum with a user access panel on the bottom that can be removed with 3 screws with a simple twist, a welcome change for Mini lovers who are accustomed to wedging the old model open with a putty knife. Read more

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