Tag Archive | "Apple"

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New iPod Lineup; 4G Nano and improved Touch

Posted on 09 September 2008 by Staff

iTunes 8, plus new iPod Nano and updates to the Touch and Classic with more storage starting at $149!

At today’s special Let’s Rock event, Apple Inc. refreshed it’s iPod lineup with a new longer shaped 4th generation iPod Nano and updates to the Touch and Classic iPod. The new iPod Nano has a curved aluminum design. Apple says it is the thinnest Nano yet. The Nano gets a new user interface (UI) and the Accelerometer from iPhone. Shake the iPod Nano and it shuffles your songs! The Nano now comes in eight new colors: silver, purple, bue, green, yellow, orange, red and pink. Apple also lowered the price on the Nano; 8 GB model is $149 with a 16 GB for $199.

The iPod Touch is now even thinner than before. The Touch now borrows its shape from the IPhone 3G but with a polished steel back. Improved UI, Genius creation on the fly like the Nano, a speaker and Nike + iPod software built in. The Touch comes in three models; 8GB for $229, 16GB $299 and 32GB model for $399. The Touch comes with the new 2.1 software update. iPhone users will get the update beginning Friday. The iPod Classic now becomes one 120 GB model for $249, while the Shuffle appears to be unchanged.

iTunes 8 adds some new features such as HD TV shows and a new “grid” mode that lets you pick albums, artists, genres, similar to Apple’s iPhoto application. iTunes 8 also introduces a new type of smart playlist called “Genius.” Genius auto creates playlists from songs in your library that go good together, with just one click. After selecting a song you press the Genius button in bottom right corner to create a new genius list. A Genius sidebar can also recommend items to purchase from the iTunes Store. iTunes sends the information anonymously, so there is no big brother at work here.

Apple also announce today that NBC will be binging back TV shows like The Office, Heroes, Monk, Battlestar Galactica and 30 Rock to iTunes.

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Apple Announces the Long Awaited iPhone 3G

Posted on 09 June 2008 by Staff

Available July 11th with prices starting at $199

Stop the speculation, the wait is over. Just about a year to the date of the original iPhone launch, Apple, Inc. has taken the wraps off the iPhone 3G. The new iPhone 3G is even thinner than the previous model. As expected, the iPhone 3G includes support for the faster 3G network, GPS, with an all new black plastic back. The biggest surprise might be the battery life. The iPhone 3G has 300 hours of standby, 5 hours of 3G talk (8-10 hours of 2G talk), 7 hours of video and 24 hours of audio. Very impressive from a 3G phone.

The original iPhone changed the conception of what a mobile phone can do for you. In much the same way that Blackberry changed how business people used their phones, the iPhone has altered the definition of a phone. Sure, people could surf the internet and check email before the iPhone, but Apple made it easy and fun. Now, Apple has the complete mobile package; a phone, GPS, email, internet, 3G and the interface that ties it all together. Add in the App Store and you have a phone that is very hard to compete against.

After selling over 6 million first generation iPhones, Apple hopes the new iPhone 3G will sell that many by years end. And at $199 for the 8 GB version and $299 for a 16 GB (with a White back as an option) these will fly off the shelves.

Back of Black iPhone. Now with a plastic case

Side View of New iPhone 3G

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Samsung Instinct may be the New 3G iPhone Killer

Posted on 07 April 2008 by Staff

Samsung 3G EV-DO

With rumors running rampant that a new 3G iPhone is eminent, Samsung has quietly released what they believe is an iPhone killer. There have been others before, but the new Samsung 3G Instinct has the most promise of the bunch. Running on Sprint’s 3G “EV-DO Rev. A” data network the Instinct looks a lot like the iPhone, but has 3G, a replaceable battery, and haptic feedback for the touchscreen. The Instinct is due to be released in June and by that time there is no telling what form or features will grace the iPhone, but it’s good to see some competition that might actually be competition.

[via Yahoo]

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iPhone SDK Roadmap and Microsoft Exchange Support

Posted on 06 March 2008 by Staff

Apple iPhone

Apple today unveiled the iPhone and iPod Touch Software Development Kit (SDK) and Microsoft Exchange support

Software developers finally get a look at the iPhone SDK roadmap to create applications for the phone. Over a year after the iPhone was introduced, and a couple of week late, Apple has given developers the tools they have been asking for. Starting today Apple will be open up the same APIs and tools that they use internally to build iPhone software. Now third-party developers can now begin to officially produce legitimate software, not iPhone software hacks. The SDK will rely on Apple’s Xcode development environment for Mac OS X, but optimized for the iPhone. So basically, if you can develop applications for the Mac then you should be able to do the same for the iPhone.

The full featured SDK gives developers full access to the iPhone’s core OS including graphics and networking. Apple created something called Interface Builder, that “Makes building your user interface as simple as drag-and-drop” plus debugging and analysis tools. What does this mean for the average iPhone user? It mean there will be a host of new software including everything from games and instant messaging to powerful business applications. The applications will be exclusively distributed through iTunes and the new AppStore, a new wireless store for iPhone applications. You can search applications right from your phone and then download them via Wi-Fi or through the cellular network. The same software developed with the SDK will also run on the iPod Touch including all the new enterprise additions.

Apple also introduced Microsoft Exchange support built right into iPhone, removing the greatest barrier for adoption of the iPhone into the corporate world. Apple has licensed ActiveSync with Exchange server from Microsoft. Built into the next software update, the iPhone will have access to push email, push contacts with global address book, live calendar events and remote wipe plus additional security. Although IT managers will inevitably find something to complain about, the list will have been reduced significantly, making the iPhone an almost unstoppable business tool.

The iPhone 2.0 software update that will make all this happen will not be available until June, but developers and companies will get a beta SDK starting today.

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Counterfeit iPhones Hitting the Streets of China

Posted on 27 February 2008 by Staff

Apple iPhone

The new iPhone model Q380 is out and the Chinese all want it. The only problem is that Apple does not make a model Q380 of their popular smartphone. It is a fake and apparently not everybody in China thinks so. The Epoch Times has a very interesting read on the world of counterfeit mobile phones and in particular the iPhone.

To meet iPhone demand, an underground factory produces a lot of fake iPhones under the CECT name. These phones cost between 600 to 2,000 yuan (approximately US$72.50 to $241.50).Recently, a gentleman from Hong Kong bought what he thought was the latest iPhone, model Q380, which was strongly recommended by an electronics store salesperson in Shenzhen. The salesperson claimed it was the latest official model, costing 680 yuan (approximately US$82.00), and could be returned within 3 months if it was broken. The gentleman found the sound too loud after buying it. He checked the official website, only to find that he had been cheated because apparently there was no official model for the so-called iPhone Q380.

Frankly I’m surprised this story was so entertaining to me, given that fact that so much fake stuff comes out of China. But I just love the fact that the man in the story is not happy with how loud the sound is but I apparently can’t get the sound loud enough.[via The Epoch Times]

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iTunes Movie Rentals Available in HD

Posted on 15 January 2008 by Staff

iTunes rentals
At Macworld today, Apple, Inc. unveiled the much rumored iTunes movie rental service. All of the major studios are on board, including Touchstone, Miramax, MGM, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Sony. The initial library will include over 1,000 movies and will be available 30 days after the DVD release. You can watch the movies anywhere (on Macs, PCs, all current iPods and iPhones) and have 30 days to begin watching the movie and 24 hours to finish. At $2.99 for older titles and $3.99 for new releases and $4.99 for a limited set of HD movies, the prices are in line with other on demand services.

With the release of the rental service Apple has updated their Apple TV, calling it Take 2. The quality of the movies is said to be comparable to DVD for the standard rentals with HD movies now featuring Dolby 5.1 surround sound. The Apple TV also received a software update and is now a stand-alone product and can be used independent of iTunes. This with the new HD capabilities should make the Apple TV more appealing to home theater buffs. On aspect that was only briefly touched on is iTunes Digital Copy. On select DVD’s a free iTunes Digital Copy will be provided for personal use. When you insert a compatible DVD into your computer, the iTunes version transfers to your iTunes library, ready to watch or sync to your iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV.

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Movie Rentals Come to iTunes, Wal-Mart Shuts Down Video Downloads

Posted on 27 December 2007 by Staff

itunes-movie.jpg
The face of online video is evolving almost daily. New sites, new deals – no wonder the writers are on strike. It was announced today that Wal-Mart has shut down their online video download service after just a year. Engadget sites abandoned support from HP which put an end to their back-end. Users will still be able to watch the videos they purchased on Wal-Mart’s site but only on the machine originally used to download them. Without continued technology support the DRM makes the flicks unmovable. So one more try by one of the big guys, and one more down (who the hell buys movies from Wal-Mart’s site anyway).

Now on to Apple. It’s rumored Apple will make an official announcement at January’s Macworld that they have partnered with Fox to bring users online video rental downloads through iTunes. The deal is also said to include new physical DVDs from Fox that will include a pre-ripped format for transfer right into iTunes. Apple has been reluctant to venture into the rental model with music, but video is a different animal all together. Until now, Apple has been unable to¬†convince¬†many of the major movie studios to offer their content for download. There may be a similiar deal in the works with Steve Job’s bed buddy Disney.

Netflix added had a similar download rental component to their mail order rentals some time ago, but needless to say no support for iPods and iTunes integration.

So perhaps another big step for Apple taking the bull by the horns in a market with no clear leader, no clear technology and an unclear customer base. It would seem to be a good move for Apple to leverage the massive iPod / iTunes culture and take another stab at the home entertainment market they failed to capture with the first generation of Apple TV. But of course that’s like to evolve in January as well. Stay tuned.

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