Apple updates iPod Nano

iPod Nano

Though it is constantly overshadowed by its larger, iOS brothers, the iPod Nano still has a dedicated following due to it’s extremely small size.

Though the design of the device hasn’t changed much if at all, the interface is now supposed to be easier to navigate.

Apple has also added sensors built into the device for running and jogging, this essentially makes the device more usable out of the box, removing the need for users to buy a separate Nike sensor.

The multi-touch Nano has become something of a fashion item, with multiple companies now producing watch wrist bands specifically for the device, and Apple has now added new watch faces to the Nano for exactly that purpose.

The new model is available today in 7 different colors, 8GB/$129, 16GB/$149. Read more

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iOS 5 due out October 12th

This morning at Apple’s iPhone event, Scott Forstall gave a quick presentation reviewing the major new features in iOS 5: iMessage, Safari features, Twitter integration and so on.

And now we also have a release date for the slightly-delayed iOS 5: October 12th. That’s the day Apple will likely push the final Gold Master seed out to the iTunes update servers.

The new OS will be available on the following devices:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod Touch 5th gen
  • iPod Touch 4th gen
  • iPod Touch 3rd gen

We expect developers to receive a GM seed later today or this week. Read more

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Apple invites press to iPhone event October 4th

This morning, Apple sent out press invites to an event scheduled for 10am Pacific time October 4th (next tuesday) on Apple’s campus in Cupertino.

As Steve Jobs is no longer the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook will lead the presentation while other Apple executives may take smaller roles on stage periodically.

For the past few years, Apple has used their annual WWDC event during the summer to announce a new iPhone model and to release the next version of iOS. Neither of those things happened this past WWDC, but iOS 5 is currently at the very end of beta testing so a release next tuesday would line up perfectly.

Apple is also rumored to be planning to release a new iPhone 5 model, containing the same A5 processor and improved graphics capabilities that debuted in the iPad 2 earlier this year, as well as a lower cost iPhone ‘4s’ model. Read more

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iCloud announced, available later this fall with iOS 5

iCloud

Credit: Engadget

During the World Wide Developers Conference keynote speech today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled Cupertino’s new “Cloud” based service, intended to replace MobileMe while augmenting iTunes and the iOS device family.

Essentially, iCloud is your new digital “hub”, allowing you to keep all of your digital “things” like music, movies, contacts, calendar events, photos, videos, apps, iBooks, and so on, in sync. No matter where your devices are, or what they are doing, new “things” can be pushed to them.

During the keynote, Jobs referred to MobileMe as being “not our finest hour”. With iCloud they aim to do better in every respect, and to make that clear they have also dropped the price to 100% free. There is no charge for any of iCloud, and there are no ads either. Read more

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iOS 5 unveiled, to be available later this fall

iOS 5

Credit: Engadget

As expected, Apple revealed the next major upgrade to their famous mobile platform during the WWDC keynote this morning.

First, availability: iOS 5 will be available as a developer seed today, with general availability later this fall.

It will be compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2, third and fourth generation iPod touch. It will be free for owners of all those devices.

Today, they walked through some major features of the new operating system.

Notification Center

This is an overhaul of the existing notification system in iOS which is in charge of telling you about missed calls, text messages, Push notifications and other events.

Previously, notifications would pop up over whatever you were doing and could not be reviewed at a later time if dismissed. Read more

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Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” Announced

Lion

Note: Our apologies for the inaccurate title/url, we assumed they would do a release today and didn’t catch the title before publishing -ed

After 22 months of development, Apple has finally released the next major version of Mac OS X: 10.7 codename “Lion”.

First the availability details: new Macs will come with Lion preinstalled, but everyone else will have to get it from the Mac App Store. That’s right, no discs, no retail boxes of any kind.

We do expect them to continue making USB restore drives available to Mac buyers, and there will likely be a way to create one if needed.

Developers will get a “preview” version today, with customer availability in July.

Pricing is $29.99 this time around, and once bought you can install Lion on all of your App Store “Authorized” Macs. Read more

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Apple to launch iOS 5, Mac OS X Lion and iCloud during WWDC

WWDC 2011

Apple has announced that on June 6th, Steve Jobs will lead the WWDC keynote this year:

Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS® X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®; and iCloud®, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

Absent is any mention of a new iPhone model, leading some to speculate that the event will be purely about the new software offerings and of course, developers. This would be the first time since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 that Apple altered their schedule of releasing a new iPhone model each year at WWDC. Read more

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WWDC 2011 Preview

WWDC 2011

Apple has announced the time and place for their World Wide Developers Conference this year. It will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco June 6th through June 10th.

Over 1,000 Apple engineers guide you through five exciting days of in-depth technical sessions and hands-on labs that demonstrate how to harness the incredible power of the world’s most advanced operating systems into your apps.

Apple currently lists 5 “technology tracks” that will be the theme of developer labs and sessions –

  • Application Frameworks
  • Graphics, Media, and Games
  • Developer Tools
  • Internet and Web
  • Core OS

In addition, Apple will once again be hosting the Apple Design Awards which “recognize technical excellence and outstanding achievement in iPhone, iPad, and Mac app design and development”. Read more

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iOS 4.3 to be released March 11th

iOS 4.3

During the iPad event today, Apple announced that the iOS 4.3 update would be available March 11th to coincide with the availability of the iPad 2.

The new version includes a Personal Hotspot feature that will allow customers who subscribe to an Internet tethering plan from their carrier, to use the iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This allows other devices, such as a laptop or a Wi-Fi iPad to use the iPhone as an internet connection.

Unfortunately the new feature will only be enabled on the iPhone 4. Whether or not this is a hardware limitation or simply a product differentiation strategy, we can’t say for sure.

As we found out a few weeks ago, the new iOS update will allow iPad owners to use the physical switch on the side of their device as a rotation lock once again. Read more

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Apple reveals the iPad 2

iPad 2. Credit: Engadget

iPad 2. Credit: Engadget

Today at the Yerba Buena center in San Francisco, Apple unveiled their 2nd generation tablet computer, the iPad 2.

Steve Jobs was present to demonstrate the new model, which features a much faster Apple A5 processor and a new, dramatically faster graphics coprocessor, up to “9x faster” according to Jobs.

Despite the faster processor and improved graphics performance, Apple says the battery life of the new model is the same as the old model, 10 hours.

While many hoped for a “Retina display” this time around, it was not to be. The iPad 2 has a 1024×768 IPS display, which is similar if not identical to the one in the old model.

The new iPad 2 also has dual cameras similar to the iPhone 4: one on the front face for video calling, and one on the back for taking pictures. Read more

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First look: Full System Encryption in Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion”

One of the most valuable changes in Mac OS X 10.7 “Lion” is a complete overhaul of FileVault, Apple’s disk encryption system for protecting private data such as stored pictures, emails, documents and home movies.

In Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5, FileVault could only be used to encrypt the “home folder” for each user, and it was widely criticized for a number of implementation flaws and security issues.

With 10.7 “Lion”, Apple intends to solve some of these flaws and significantly enhance security and privacy by turning FileVault into a disk level encryption system, not only for the main filesystem, but also for any external drive a user wants to protect with encryption.

While Apple is not the first to implement full system encryption, anyone running 10.7 will be able to use it, compared to Windows where an Ultimate or Enterprise edition of the operating system is needed to enable Microsoft’s system encryption feature called BitLocker (Truecrypt is a free alternative). Read more

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Is Thunderbolt the next iDevice “Dock” connection?

Thunderbolt port. Credit: Mac 4 Ever

Thunderbolt port. Credit: Mac 4 Ever

Rumors have been circulating for the last few weeks that Apple would add a Lightpeak port to the next iPad, with most people dismissing the idea as being too soon or just plain unnecessary.

However, given the newly revealed Thunderbolt connection that will debut on the next Macbook Pro, due out sometime soon, is it possible Apple plans to use it as a replacement for the Dock connector found on every iPhone and iPad?

If it sounds like overkill, consider the following:

At various times in the past and even in current iDevices, the Dock connector has been used for

  • Connecting to something via USB to sync and charge
  • Connecting to something via Firewire to sync and charge
  • Connecting peripheral USB devices using the Camera Connection kit
  • Output of composite video
  • Output of component video
  • Output of a VGA signal (using the VGA adapter for the iPad)
  • External control of music playback using the Apple Accessory Protocol
  • Connection to 3rd party peripherals
  • Output of a line level audio signal

Quite a list of jobs for a tiny connector on a portable device, no? Read more

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Next Macbook Pro to feature “Thunderbolt” port for high speed I/O

Apple’s Macbook Pro line is due for a refresh soon, particularly since the base 13″ model is still using the older Core 2 Duo processor because of chipset and GPU constraints.

Pictures have surfaced from French Mac site Mac 4 Ever showing what appears to be a Mini DisplayPort with a thunderbolt next to it:

In addition the site posted what appears to be a product package for an unreleased Macbook featuring the Thunderbolt icon, calling it “High Speed I/O”

Fscklog has also posted a shot of what appears to be the back panel of the same product packaging, again listing Thunderbolt as a High Speed I/O port:

The new 13″ Macbook Pro will use the Intel Core i5 processor along with Intel’s chipset, which means it will also have to use Intel’s integrated graphics instead of the Nvidia solution used before. Read more

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Apple schedules iPad event for March 2nd

The Loop is reporting that Apple has sent invitations out for an Apple Event next Wednesday, March 2nd:

According to the invitation received by The Loop, the event will be held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 10:00 am. This is the same venue Apple has used to introduce a number of products in recent years.

While it’s obvious that this event is primarily about the new iPad, we’re certain that Apple will also say something about the recently unveiled subscription billing policy that many developers, publishers and tech journalists feel is going to harm the iOS ecosystem in the long run.

The iPad 2 is rumored to be a performance boosting upgrade, with more RAM and a faster ARM processor, but it’s also likely they’ll bump the flash storage capacity of each model as well, with the base model starting at 32GB. Read more

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AT&T increases data cap for tethering customers to 4GB

AT&T logo

In a move that is almost certainly a response to Verizon’s data plan offerings for the iPhone, AT&T announced that as of February 13th, it would begin including an extra 2GB of data allowance per month for users who pay for the optional $20 tethering plan on top of the $25 DataPro 2GB plan.

The change allows tethering plan customers to use a total of 4GB per month regardless of which device uses that data.

Previously, AT&T’s data tethering “plan” was really more of a fee to un-cripple the tethering feature most smart phones already have, as AT&T refused to offer any additional data allowance to users paying a premium for the feature.

If you’re an AT&T iPhone owner, you’ve probably noticed that the Internet Tethering area of Settings just tells you to contact AT&T if you aren’t paying for the tethering plan. Read more

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