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Snow Leopard 10.6.3 Update Released

March 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple has today released the latest update to the Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system. The screenshot above covers the components that have seen upgrades, mostly bug fixes and performance improvements. I’m making backups on my main hackintosh at the moment so the next post will cover how successful the update to 10.6.3 was.

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Apple unveils the iPad

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

As widely predicted Steve Jobs has today unveiled the iPad tablet computer. There’s little in the specifications that hasn’t been discussed over the past few weeks, so here’s a brief rundown on what’s included.

  • 9.5 x 7.5 x 0.5 inch body
  • 9.7-inch LED-backlit glossy Multi-Touch display with 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi).  Described as widescreen at the Apple iPad specs page, maybe the reality distortion field has broken on this feature.
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
  • 3G on selected models – UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz) and GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)
  • 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive. Interesting choice of description, drive not memory. Will this be externally accessible?
  • 1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
  • Built-in 25Whr rechargeable lithium-polymer battery offering up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music

The hardware specs are good, but the apps are even better. iWork for iPad looks very usable with the optional keyboard dock, and media apps closer to iLife than iPhone make the iPad look like an accomplished media device. Pricing also starts lower than was widely expected:

The only thing I find disappointing about the iPad is the home screen, which looks like nothing more than an upscaled iPhone screen with a background image and way too small icons. Given how smooth and intuitive the demonstrated apps look is this really what Apple plans to present as the starting point of the iPad experience?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Apple Tablet Predictions

January 26, 2010 1 comment

Just about every site covering anything vaguely Apple related has pondered what might be announced at the ‘Come see our latest creation’ event on 27th January. If there isn’t a Tablet PC announced the internet will ignite with the wrath of a million Apple fanboys. On top of this the rumours of Iphone OS 4, iLife 10 and updated Macbooks mean that some of these aren’t going to be included. Just for fun, here’s my predictions on what will be announced tomorrow.

The Tablet

  • Called the MacPad. iPad is too obvious, and iSlate and iTablet are too awkward sounding.
  • 10 inch screen, resolution 1280×800 for all the iTunes HD content. This gives around 150DPI for use as an eReader. Possibly in two versions for LCD and OLED, until the OLED price comes down.
  • The OS will be something between the flexibility of Snow Leopard and the ease of iPhone OS. Maybe a dashboard type display with selectable widgets/feeds/ information. I would include the ability to run iPhone apps in a 320×480 window or full screen tablet apps. And multi-tasking.
  • 32-128Gb Flash Memory on board dependant on expansion options, so a worthwhile amount of HD content can be stored. Streaming HD content and audio from your iTunes account at home with a fast data connection.
  • An SD card slot. The Macbook Pro’s have them, and a 10 inch tablet would make an excellent photo viewer/editor.
  • A USB port, possibly miniUSB if the Tablet is as thin as the photoshop fake’s are hoping. This really opens up the device for adding an external HD stuffed with content, but realistically isn’t likely as most other peripherals would plug into a dock connector. How about a dock with USB available for third party expansion options?
  • Universal 3G ability rather than tied to one service provider, just add your own 3G sim. Maybe a data package as an option, but not compulsory.
  • A P.A. semi highly integrated processor?
  • Front and back video camera’s for video calls is a killer app for a tablet.
  • eBooks magazines and newspapers in iTunes, just like the Amazon Kindle store with lower prices and higher volume.

iLife 10

  • Grand Central and OpenCL support bringing a big speed boost to HD encoding. What’s the point of building these technologies into Snow Leopard if Apple doesn’t use them?
  • iDvd gets new authoring abilities for the Tablet and HD content, or a new app is added to do this. Dvd’s can package photo slideshows and multiple video’s, so file based media needs the same.
  • A simplified version of iLife for the Tablet would be nice, offering basic photo retouching and video editing.

iPhone OS 4

  • There’s no denying the iPhone seriously needs a good home screen showing calls and messages, calendar etc. Other platforms, especially Android, are catching up so something flexible but simple is required. And an easy way to switch 3G, WiFi and brightness like SBsettings would be nice.
  • Irrespective of what the iPhone doesn’t do well it’s still selling in large amounts so how badly are improvements needed? I’m betting iPhone OS 4 will be saved for the WWDC mid year, and an update to V3 will add tablet support and some new features.

Macbooks

  • Nope. It’s a tablet event.

The MacBundleBox

March 2, 2009 Leave a comment

macbundlebox1

The MacHeist 3 challenge is proving to be good fun with some tricky puzzles and free software, and the promise of big savings when the final bundle in unveiled. Anyone looking for a software bundle now should take a look at the MacBundleBox, a package of (currently) 13 apps for the usual $49.99. There’s a mix of utilities and creative apps on offer and 5% of the proceeds go to charity, so while it may not be anything revolutionary it’s certaily good value.

250Mb = Unlimited

January 15, 2009 Leave a comment

The Uk’s Advertising Standards Agency has decided that an advert by e2save describing a 250Mb monthly data limit as ‘unlimited’ is ok. As far as I know this is the lowest ‘unlimited’ allowance yet, and once again the ASA demonstrates it really doesn’t care about consumers being mislead. It’s bad enought that broadband providers can slap an unlimited badge on any limit they like, now telecoms providers can do the same. PCpro covered the story (having lead a crusade recently for clearer advertising) with details that e2save claim 1MB of mobile data would allow 160 WAP pages, 100 short emails, four video clips or three music tracks. That’s music of a quality I would not want to listen to, and does anyone use WAP now? If you’re looking for a mobile data plan, look somewhere else. Oh, and could we have a market regulator with some backbone?

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

Pwnage Tool 2.2 for Mac screenshots

November 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Pwnage tool 2.2 supporting iPhone and iPod Touch firmware 2.2 was released late last night, and I have now had a chance to try it out. Nothing much different to the previous version, so here is a screenshot gallery of the process for anyone who hasn’t taken the plunge yet. It’s not quite as easy to use as Quickpwn as you have to manually put the iDevice into DFU mode then use iTunes to restore the package that Quickpwn makes. There are plenty of guides on the net for anyone needing guidance, so I won’t repeat it here. Read more…

Themes for iPhone and iPod

November 15, 2008 Leave a comment

There was a surge of activity in Cydia this week with several excellent themes appearing or being updated. Here’s some screenshots of my favourites, along with some tips on combining theme elements to get just what you want.

themes-081115_1 themes-081115_2

Smoog by Giovanni Corti

Anything that features a Bass speaker for the Music icon is fine by me, and the rest of this theme doesn’t disappoint. Clear and easily distinguishable icons make it a pleasure to use, and I also like the icons for Cydia, Installer and the App Store being variations of the same design. They all do the same thing, so it makes sense to me. Read more…