Tag Archives: Rumour

The iPad Pro (Rumour)

iPad Comparisons
The new year brings in new rumours of a new iPad, slated to be release in the 3rd quarter of 2014. If sources are right, that means we could see an brand new (larger) iPad as soon as October.

Could Apple use the WWDC as the place to lay the first announcement teasers of a larger iPad that could hit the market. Besides the rumoured 12.9 inch display that is capable of displaying resolutions of up to 4K, there’s also a familiar name that could be used – the iPad Pro.

Other reports meanwhile state that Apple will remove the Retina technology from its next line of iPads.
The iPad Pro would allow Apple to compete in the same space as rival Samsung’s Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

Do we need another iPad in the market? Sound off in the comments, I want to hear how you feel about this.

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The “Flattening” Effect

Messages Icon Before and After

The iPhone and iPad user interface is expected to change dramatically by making it “flatter,” putting it in line with many already similarly-styled apps available for iOS.

Since lead Apple hardware designer, Jony Ive, in control of the look and feel of iOS, it’s more than likely that the hardware chief will also see major changes to the user interface aesthetic and design as well. According to reports, the “flat” design will more specifically simplify the icons and user interface.

Some experienced Apple watchers expect iOS 7 to take an ‘refresh’ approach in terms of user interface changes, as the company did with OS X over the years. The design was tweaked version-on-version, rather than being significantly overhauled.

Exactly how far these changes will go remains to be seen. Designer Tim Green created a mock-up that gives an idea of what the new user interface could look like.

iOS 7 App Icon Mock Up

iOS 7 also appears to be adding additional sharing options and deeper integrations with social apps like Vimeo and Flickr. At some point next week, we will have a better view of what to expect.

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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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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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“iPhone 5” LM Concept (Mock Up)

Before anyone yells “fraud” – I should preface this post by saying that the following pictures are not official and are just renderings by Antoine Brieux’s and his perception of the next-gen iPhone.

iPhone 5 Mock Up Rendering

I had to share, because his view is so enthusiastic and definitely included elements I hope (and wish) for in the next generation iPhone, set for announcement this summer – if we’re lucky at the WWDC in June. The neatest idea is that of a virtual ‘Home Button’ that would replace the physical one we’ve gotten used to. It’s always good to dream – and dream big.

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iPad 3 May Be a “Mini”

iPad 3 Mock Up Mini
Further to yesterday’s entry about why I don’t believe we can expect an iPad 3 just yet, hatches a new rumour that Apple plans to compete with the Amazon’s recent 7-inch tablet success and release an iPad “mini”. Not officially named that, but I’d be more comfortable saying that THIS could be the iPad 3 everyone is expecting on March 7. 1/3 smaller than the original 10-inch screen from the iPad 1 and 2. This would be a compact and comfortable child-freindly version.

And since they can’t sit around and wait for Kindle to gobble up that market entirely, they could speed up the release for later this year. (Q3 would be my guess) Which means this could be available to the public in the fall.

But why?
The top answer would be price. Rumoured to be in the $249-299 price range added to the recent success of the Kindle Fire means that a smaller sized tablet market exists. Then there’s a parent that wants to buy an iPad-like tablet for a child to throw around, possibly damage, that would consider a cheaper solution than a current $900 iPad.

That said, the idea of a smaller iPad is confusing to me, especially since Steve Jobs dissed the idea. But times change. Amazon has shown that a 7-inch tablet can strike a chord with consumers. Additionally, the 7.85-inch iPad can be expected to have the same 1,024×768 resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that no changes need to be made to apps to accommodate the smaller screen. Hmm, it’s like it’s already existed all along. Now it can be official.

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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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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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iTV: Is Apple Thinking About An HDTV? (Rumour)

iTV Rendering Mock Up

If you recall, last year I mentioned an ad that Apple posted looking for an HDTV engineer, well, last week an interesting quote from the Steve Jobs bio will likely fuel the rumour mill for the next few months until we hear something, or don’t. Here it is in context:

‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ [Jobs told Isaacson]. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’

That seems to be a lot more certain than Jobs was last year at the D8 conference when he answered a question from an audience member. He laid out some very important things regarding the TV market that no one is really talking about.

A fascinating clip that addresses a whole discussion on why Apple only considers the TV market a hobby. In it, Jobs talks about how to put a layer on top of everything else with a consistent UI. He gets to specific details at 1:30-3:00

Add a box on to the TV system. You can say well gosh I notice my HDTV has a bunch of HDMI ports on it one of them is coming from the set-top box I’ll just add another little box with another one. Well, you just end up with a table full of remotes, clutter of boxes, bunch of different UIs, and that’s the situation we have today. The only way that’s ever going to change is if you go back to step one and tear up the set top box and restart from scratch with a redesigned UI and present it to the consumer in a way they’re willing to pay for it. And right now there’s no way to do that. So that’s the problem with the TV market. We decided what product do we want the most, a better TV or a better phone? Well the phone won because there was no chance to do the TV because there’s no way to get it to market. What do we want a better TV or better tablet. Well a better tablet because there’s no way to get the TV to market. The TV is going to lose until there is a better go to market, or there’ll just be a bunch of TIVOs. That’s the fundamental problem. It’s not a problem of technology, it’s a go to market technology.

Can Apple “tear up the set top box” and start over?

Most content on cable channels has gone online, but some content, including breaking news, live events and sports, is still only available via traditional cable. That being said, these are the two ways Apple could go on building its TV.

1. Apple could make deals with as many cable content providers as possible and deliver as much content as possible over IP through a iTunes/AppleTV/iCloud interface. There was a rumored deal two years ago that Apple was going to sell IP cable TV for $30/month – Eddy Cue was in charge (he’s now head of iCloud incidentally). It never happened and it likely won’t because the cable companies won’t allow it.

Would an IP-only Apple HDTV just lack whole swaths of the TV content spectrum? Would people buy a TV that may not show their college football games or local news channels (and have no way to pipe that in?

Another problem here is that cable companies, especially when faced with an IP-only competitor going over their lines, could throttle data or impose harsher bandwidth caps that make watching the horrifically typical household average of 5 hours of TV prohibitive.

In the end, IP-only TV doesn’t sound like a realistic option.

2. So, and this might be what Jobs meant when he said “cracked”, Apple could build a layer that sits on top of Cable Boxes, iCloud, and anyone else who wants to get on your TV including gaming machines. It would have one consistent simple Apple UI for all of your TV needs (like Jobs stated above) – Think Siri and even go as far as Kinect (from Xbox).

More importantly, it would control the CableTV input, supplanting the set top box. Instead of grabbing the TVGuide from the cable companies, Apple could pull the TV schedules from Titan, Gist or other service and put a clean, simple, consistent UI over top of it. As an example, think of the way a Slingbox or eyeTV software sets itself up on your cable system. Those systems know what network you are on and your physical location so it knows what channels you will have. Apple’s could easily do the same thing.

Then there is part 2 of Jobs’ view:

Then you get into another problem. Which is there isn’t a cable operator that is national. There is a bunch of cable providers. There isn’t like a GSM standard like with phones. Every country has different standards, different government approvals. It’s very balkanized. I’m sure smarter people than us will figure this out. That’s why when we say Apple TV as a hobby we use this phrase.

If smaller companies like Sling and eyeTV have figured out how to deal with cable companies globally, then it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Apple could do the same, all with a consistent UI globally.

Perhaps it is just an app. Possibly called “Cable.app”. Just like Apple made the “Phone.app” on the iPhone.

But how does Apple leverage this?
If you are a cable company you don’t want to just sit on a low level channel in Apple’s “Cable.app”. You want to be front and centre like apps are on an iPad. By becoming the gatekeeper, Apple can make it advantageous for content producers to come out of the cable channel and into the IP delivered App world just like they do on other iOS devices (and you can bet that Apple’s TV will be an iOS device).

Apple is currently doing the same with its new Newsstand Folder/App which is giving some publications 14x growth by putting content in users’ eyes. Conde Nast is showing huge gains as well since it went on Newsstand. Location Location Location.

The same thing happens when music is put on the front of the iTunes Store. This is prime real estate because Apple is the gatekeeper.

Every big cable company already has an app that lets you stream content to an iPad. Most major networks have iPad apps that let you watch some shows. This is clearly a superior experience to channel surfing for live content.

By creating a full ecosystem and becoming the gatekeeper, Apple can motivate more companies to deliver content over IP via apps. Viola!

What about the User Interface?
Apple has recently patented Microsoft Kinect-like 3D gestures that could augment the control from iOS devices. As for Siri controlling the user interface of such a TV system, there are a lot of problems with that – mostly ambient sound.

Apple does have some noise cancellation technologies available that will make voice navigation more of an option. The truth is that Apple’s TV UI will probably be a combination of existing technology and some that it is developing.

How soon can this be available?
As for when it will be delivered, I think we’re looking at something pretty far out. We’ve heard nothing reliable about Apple testing a product so a release early next year seems far fetched. I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that the earliest we might hear about something like this would be summer 2012.

What the keynote address might sound like:
“Apple finally tackles the TV. Remember music before the iPod? Remember phones before the iPhone? Remember tablets before the iPad? iTV offers the world’s largest supply of HD Video content, all easier to manage. iTV gets out of the way and lets you find what you want faster than ever. Spend less time searching and more time enjoying.”

Sound off in the comments.

*The Apple iTV Picture is courtesy of Pocket-lint.com

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