Category Archives: News

WWDC Announced for June 10-14

WWDC Logo and Date
In case you’ve missed it (and I know I’ve been gone for a long time) but Apple announced way back in April that their annual WWDC (Worldwide Developes Conference) is going down from June 10 – 14, 2013. Can’t wait.

Besides the fact that this event is mainly focused at bring together app/software developers from around the world, Apple has in past used this event to unveil some new products and tweaks to existing products, but mainly OSX and iOS in recent years.

Here’s a quick run down of what to expect and what could happen.

FOR SURE

iOS 7 IconiOS 7This will be officially announced and previewed at the week-long event. Apparently we’re in for a “flattening” affect when it comes to the entire iOS interface and experience. Apps going from ‘bubbly’ to flat and simple. Combine that with a slew of other updates, this update appears to tweak rather than WOW anyone.

OS X 10.9
As is the case with the last two years at WWDC, there’s a new version coming… but not public yet. Things that could be making an appearance in the next generation of OSX included things like Apple maps, Siri and even more iOS-like options. They’re slowly blurring the lines between the mobile and desktop operating systems.

MAYBE

Fingerprint recognition and security features in the next software update
Considering the fact that Apple applied for a patent of this technology a few years ago, there might finger print recognition software or some other variable that allows user more security when using their mobile devices. Heck, we could even see the first announcement of NFC coming to the next generation of iDevices.

iRadio
This is one of the ones that seems most likely to happen than any of the others. I’ve even seen a few leaked images of possible logos for iRadio coming to all iDevices and possible built right into iTunes. Not entirely sure on the details of this one, but I personally stopped listening to Radio 3-4 years ago. It’s boring. Maybe this will bring it back.

iWatch
For months (actually years) people seem to want to believe there’s an iWatch out there somewhere that people would like if you could integrate it with your phone so you can see who’s calling before you look at your phone to see…. who’s calling. I don’t know, but let’s see if this happens.

Cheaper-priced iPhone
Tim Cooke mentioned something that would appeal to vertical markets… Whatever that means, maybe a cheaper price point iPhone? Not sure if this is legit yet, but might happen.

New Mac Pro debut
While there hasn’t been a major update in two years, Apple still claims that this market is “very important” to Apple and they have something really cool to show the world.

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Remembering Steve; One Year Later

Steve Jobs with MacBook Air

It’s already been a year since the passing of my real-life hero, Steve Jobs who passed away on October 5, 2011.

Apple’s website has replaced the welcome page with a video which celebrates the life of Steve Jobs ended by a letter of acknowledgment from Tim Cook.

Click here to see the video on Apple’s site. (Not sure how long it will last)

RIP Steve!

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Production Starts on the iPad Mini (Rumour)

Rumoured iPad Mini

Reports are out that the next generation iPad has started production, the WSJ reports on their website.

A smaller 7″ tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire HD or Nexus 7. I don’t entirely think that there would be a heavy demand for a product like this, especially considering price? I mean, the Kindle is priced for $200-300 range and Apple already has an iPod Touch for that market.

We’ll have to wait and see how well, this can/will do. Share your thoughts on my Facebook page!

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iPhone 5 Has Arrived!

iPhone 5 Hero
The iPhone 5 was officially announced earlier today in Yerba Buena, San Francisco by Apple CEO, Tim Cooke and a slew of Apple engineers. Each one took the stage to show off the 16:9 aspect ratio, 4-inch, smaller dock port, thinner, light, faster and LTE-enabled goodness officially named; iPhone 5!

iPhone 5 Measurement SpecsI purposely didn’t upgrade last year when the iPhone 4S was unveiled (I still use an iPhone 4) simply becuase I didn’t feel there was enough of an ‘update’ to get me to make the switch… but today’s news has me ready to line up next Friday to make sure I get my hands on one of the first ones to leave the Apple store. Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 4S update was great, but it always felt like an incremental upgrade rather than a true step change, and although it sold wonderfully for Apple, there wasn’t enough for me to jump in and buy one.

If you’ve been following most of the leaked rumours over the past year on what to expect for the iPhone 5, today’s announcements were as expected. Things like a thinner design, the inclusion of the A6 processing chip, a smaller camera were great to see.

The forward facing camera has been beefed up to 720 p version, which means it’s 20% less fuzzy. The Wifi is ‘ultrafast’ (wait, did I just use an Apple buzzword?) and the 4G LTE had to be included to keep up with what the other phones are the market are doing.

Then there’s the all glass and aluminium chassis that claim to be the thinnest smartphone at 7.6 mm ‘thin’ and in order to make the phone more movie-friendly, they’ve increased the retina display to 4-inches. In the hand the iPhone 5 feels comfortable as it did with the 4S, so you see why Apple decided to keep the width the same. But fear not, the new phone certainly feels different – the aluminium manages to bring a premium feel in a notable lighter device.

iPhone 5 A6 ChipInside the phone, a beefier A6 chip definitely brings a snappier feel with less lag. Many with an iPhone 4, like me, will be all too used to the lagginess when tyring to do anything slightly complex with their phone. The iPhone 5 manages to make even the most demanding tasks seem like a walk in the park.

The added length could have made the phone unwieldy, but the loss of thickness ensures that it maintains its balance and premium feel. Those people who have got used to the iPhone 4 and 4S will certainly notice the difference that the design brings. It serves to make the device have a more modern feeling while utilizing the premium materials Apple has put so much stock in.

Thinner, lighter and more screen were always on Apple fan’s wish lists and I feel that this release has those wishes covered. The screen is brighter and splashes out a wider spectrum of rich colours. And compared to older iPhone, the camera now launches and captures pictures a lot quicker. One of the frustrating things I experience when trying to snap a quick picture.

iOS 6 App IconWhat’s even better is what iOS 6 plans to bring to the table. iOS 6 brings with it a wealth of new features that will certainly make a major difference to not only the way the iPhone 5 feels, but also its predecessors the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S when they get the updated software. Maps, for instance, is significantly altered after Apple ended its longstanding agreement to use Google Maps and pushed forward with its own offering, in conjunction with satellite navigational giant TomTom.

The new maps certainly look the part, with some beautiful 3D renders and snazzy looking new vector graphics, although we would like to really take some time to tell you just how well the new offering performs in the wild.

Early indications elsewhere are good, however, as the ‘Apple designed’ tag is pushed to the fore. The tilt and rotate view functionality looks gorgeous and the turn-by-turn navigation is likely to attract plaudits with a simple and intuitive interface.

iPhone 5 Maps Sample Screens

iPhone Siri App IconSiri has been given a major, and much-needed, overhaul with the voice ‘companion’ functionality extended into new languages and new territories in an attempt to turn the iPhone 4S’ overhyped and under-featured personal assistant up to a useful level.

Given the obsession with Facebook, the need for better integration was a key addition for Apple in its latest OS, and the iPhone 5 and its older brothers will benefit from a major overhaul of the way in which the social network links up with your handset.

The Facebook (and Twitter) functionality feels much more central to the experience this time around, and having the ability to post form the notifications screen feels like an obvious inclusion that works well.

If you want to compare specs of the iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 5, Apple has a nice chart to give you exactly what you need, side-by-side.

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2012 WWDC Announced: June 11 to 15

WWDC 2012 Logo
Apple has officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that will run from June 11 through June 15 at San Francisco’s Moscone West.

For those that are unfamiliar with the event; This is the event most anticipated by developers to get a sneak peek at what’s next for iOS and OS X and what will be available to allow them to build incredible new apps.

This year’s WWDC includes:

  • more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
  • 100 hands-on labs staffed by more than 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
  • the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
  • engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
  • Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

If you’re a registered developer, you could have purchased your tickets here for $1599.00 a piece; Unfortunately they’re all sold out.

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Apple Orders Larger iPhone Screens For Next Generation (Rumour)

Larger Screen iPhone Mock UpA mocked up image of a larger screen iPhone! According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has ordered screens from a supply chain in Asia that are the biggest yet seen on any previous iPhone device since launching in 2007. Reports suggest that manufacturing of the 4-inch diagonal screens is set to begin next month.

The current iPhone 4S has a physical screen size of 3.5 inches. The source reports that the larger screen is Apple’s way of keeping up with increased competition, from devices like the Samsung Galaxy, which has the largest smartphone screen on the market – 4.8 inches.

Of course, Apple hasn’t confirmed nor denied these claims, but experts love to speculate. I think a larger screen should be in order for the next generation iPhone, but they should (and likely will) consider that making the screen too large could jeopardize comfort of use. If the screen goes too large, we may not be able to use one hand when using the on screen keyboard. I can still comfortably use one hand, and one thumb to navigate the entire screen surface area as it stands, and would be bummed out if that wasn’t possible once the screen get larger.

The benefits could be things like 5 icons wide on the home screen, and less scrolling when you’re using your phone to view websites and/or using apps. There’s some food for thought.

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iPhone 4N May Be Next (Rumour)

iPhone 4 Side Hero Shot
If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next generation iPhone (most have called it “iPhone 5”) you may have to wait a little longer. On a recent domain name registration that has leaked online, it seems as though Apple just revealed the name of the next Apple iPhone, the iPhone 4N; Based on whois record below:

Apple iPhone 4N Domain Registration

What is interesting (and perhaps suspect) is that this domain name, iPhone4n.com, was registered through Godaddy, and not MarkMonitor. A review of the Apple iPhone.com domain name shows that the registrar is MarkMonitor and not Godaddy. This might just be a formality, as once you purchase a domain name it can be transferred to another registrar in the future.

The timing of this new registration is interesting, with this year’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in June, it would make sense to secure this domain ahead of any formal announcement.

And because the latest iPad went from the iPad 2 to the New iPad, not the iPad 3, The iPhone 4N name would be inline with what we saw in March with the New iPad.

While it’s all just speculation, I believe we can confidently say that if the next generation iPhone keep the “4” in the same somewhere, that we won’t see a complete redesign of the phone itself, rather we’ll get the same physical device with more upgrades – maybe even NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Making it possible to pay for everyday purchases from your iPhone. No need for physical credit or debit cards cards.

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No iPad 3 for March 7

iPad HD Mock Up

As rumours surrounding the release of an “iPad 3” spiral out of control, I’m going to hint at the fact that all signs point to an iPad 2S or iPad HD instead of the latter. I mean, after all the changes that are being talked about seem more like ‘refreshers’ than they do ‘revamps’. Let’s review.

New features are rumoured to include a higher-resolution screen, larger megapixel camera(s), dual processors, longer-lasting battery, etc. That’s all great for what’s inside, but nothing yet mentioned, if anything, about the physical state. So far, all things are pointing to the device staying cosmetically the same on the outside. it won’t be thinner or light, or have any new physical properties – thus leads me to believe that this refresh will be dubbed iPad 2S or iPad 2 HD or some other variant.

If history is correct, release of an iPad 3 needs to have a substantial redesign and this (rumoured) version does not. Think about the iPhone 4S release this past October which was rumoured as the “iPhone 5” right up until the release date, and then everyone was shocked to learn it wasn’t the 5 yet, but rather a revised 4.

So to recap. (If) there are substantial cosmetic changes to the physical size of the newly-unveiled iPad … you can expect an iPad 3. If the changes are all internal, brace yourselves for an iPad 2 (something).

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OS X “Mountain Lion” Preview

Mountain Lion IconIf you just got used to OS X Lion and how it works, get ready to expand what you’ve learned, Apple has released a developer’s preview of the next cat-themed operating system for the Mac; “Mountain Lion”. Just like the previous version, this new version has taken more bits out of iOS in appearance and functionality. Features included in this revamped OS will include iMessage, Game Center, Reminders and even Notifications right into the operating system.

Starting today, Mac developers are able to begin testing this latest version with an expected public release in the second or third quarter of 2012 – I’m going to guess it will be available in the summer 2012. While price has not yet been established, you can expect this to be readily available for download from the Mac App Store. Considering the OSX Lion was available for $30, I’m going to assume that the upgrade price will be fairly reasonable, if not free for those that already paid for the Lion update seven months ago.

In case you were paying attention in October 2011 when Tim Cook took centre-stage at the keynote address which unveiled the iPhone 4s, he was serious when he said that iCloud will be the company’s strategy for the ‘next decade’, and that’s clearly more evident with the iOS integration of this desktop OSX release.

Mountain Lion on Mac Devices

Here’s a short list of features you can expect from Mountain Lion:

Built-in iCloud integration. Setting up iCloud will be the second thing you do after setting up a new Mac with Mountain Lion. The big new thing in this version will be the ease with which you can access Documents in the Cloud, which will allow your documents created in Pages (or some other third-party apps) to be available on any Mac OS or iOS device.

iMessage on Mac. Many people have been asking for this, and finally we’re going to get it. The Messages app, which will appear very familiar to iOS users, replaces iChat. It’ll let you start a conversation on a Mac and continue it on a different device, like your iPhone or iPad.

Notes and Reminders. Any notes you make on a Mac or iOS device, along with any reminders you set for yourself, will show up on any of your Mac or iOS devices. Both apps can be searched and look easier to navigate with the additional screen space of a desktop. Notes can be “pinned” to your desktop.

Mountain Lion Notification CentreNotifications. Just like the drop-down Notification Center on iOS, the Mac is getting its own version in the top right corner of the screen. All reminders, app alerts, calendar appointments will appear there. And just like iOS, Mountain Lion Notification Center has its own swipe to bring up the window — two fingers right to left from the right edge of the trackpad.

Mountain Lion Sharing OptionsSharing from apps. That sharing arrow that appears in iOS apps? Apple has inserted it in many Mac applications and dubbed it Share Sheet. That button will let you share web pages, notes, videos, Quicktime files, docs and photos via email, Messages, AirDrop, Twitter or post photos or video to Vimeo or Flickr.

Twitter integration in the OS. This is kind of a big deal for Twitter. When you share something via Twitter in Mountain Lion, a Tweet Sheet pops up, which looks like an index card with whatever it is you’re tweeting attached via paper clip.

GameCenter. Apple’s social gaming network comes to the desktop, and brings with it a new opportunity for developers. With a new set of GameKit APIs, game creators can develop games for both Mac and iOS, so players can compete whether they’re on an Apple desktop or mobile device. Current Game Center-compatible iOS games will have to be converted to appear in the Mac App Store.

AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV. Just like an iPad or iPhone 4S, you will be able to mirror your Mac desktop on your TV via an Apple TV (as long as your Mac has an Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processor).

New security features. Gatekeeper lets users select settings to control which apps can be downloaded to a computer. You can choose to allow all apps, or only apps with a developer-signed ID program (run by Apple) to be downloaded. Or, for the most conservative choice, only apps from the Mac App Store.

Mountain Lion on IMac and MacBook Air

As you can see from all the feature seeing added, the heart of this newest OS X will be iCloud – it doesn’t matter where you start a game or save a document or note, it will be available for you anytime, on any device. Sounds a lot like the iPad or iPhone, now in desktop form. And why not? … This is strategically the way Apple plans to get more and more non-Mac users to make the switch and come on over.

Siri App IconOne glaring omission on this latest release is Siri; the personal assistant unveiled as an iOS standard app for iPhone 4S users, hasn’t been announced as part of this release. Likely since Apple feels like Siri is still in beta mode on the iPhone. I’m going to say that while Siri isn’t ready for a release in OS X yet, she will be making an appearance in the near future.

There you have it. Get ready for all this to be officially announced in March and/or June at Apple’s annual WWDC.

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iRecognize You

Face Recognition ImageAbout a year behind Facebook’s application towards facial recognition for auto-tagging the photos in your albums, it’s Apple’s turn. Reports on appadvice suggest that they’ve applied for a ‘face detection patent’ that is intended for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and MacBook.

Such a feature already exists in devices like Google Nexus, but as we’ve come to know Apple has a bigger plan for such a feature – security. With the iDevices forward-facing camera already standard on the devices listed above, you won’t have the ‘slide-to-unlock’ anymore or have to be bothered to enter a passcode. Your device will scan your face and grant access once it detects a match. Cool!

Of course there’s many things to consider – such as twins, or a buddy that has similar facial features – until Apple makes an official announcement, we will have to see how they plan on ‘perfecting’ it.

Apple Face Patent Rendering

Apple's Facial Recognition Panent Rendering

This reminds me of years ago, when movies would show you advanced security systems with hand/fingerprint scanners to verify identities. This face recognizing stuff will blow that away though. Without physical contact, your device will know if it’s you or not. On the coolness level this is pretty high, but now to wait and see how, if it all.

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