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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.
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Security Update 2010-001 on Hackintosh

January 23, 2010 2 comments

Apple this week released Security Update 2010-001 for Leopard and Snow Leopard Systems. The Update offers fixes for CoreAudio, CUPS, Flash Player, ImageIO, ImageRAW and OpenSSL and is a recommended update for all Leopard and Snow Leopard Users. I have now had a chance to install and test the update on my main Hackintosh and can report no found issues so far, so anyone using a similar method of installation should be fine to install through Software Update.

Over the past week I have done a re-install of Snow Leopard on my main Hackintosh, following some small irritations with permissions on the original install. As usual I made a backup to another hard drive then imported my user account and applications once Snow Leopard was patched to 10.6.2. This time round I have used a Boot132 CD and Chameleon 2 RC4, so over the next week I hope to update my original Snow Leopard on Hackintosh guide and create a new one to reflect the new method.

Apple releases new iMacs, Mac Mini, Macbook and Magic Mouse

October 20, 2009 Leave a comment

As was widely predicted this morning, Apple has updated its iMac, Mac Mini and Macbook ranges. Also new is the Magic Mouse, described as ‘the world’s first Multi-Touch mouse’. The new products feature:

iMac

  • 21.5 or 27 inch LED backlit glossy display
  • 3.06/3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor or 2.66GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor or 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM with four SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 16GB
  • 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 (21.5 inch model)
  • 256MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 or 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4850 (27 inch model)
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive
  • 1 or 2TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA hard drive
  • From £949

Mac Mini

  • 2.26GHz, 2.53GHz, or 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB or 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of shared DDR3 SDRAM
  • 160GB, 320GB, or 500GB Serial ATA hard disk drive
  • From £499
  • Also available with two 500GB SATA hard drives and Snow Leopard Server for £799

Macbook

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colours
  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 1066MHz frontside bus
  • 2GB of 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM with support up to 4GB
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory
  • 250, 320 or 500GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard disk drive
  • 8x slot-loading SuperDrive
  • New Unibody enclosure
  • Up to 7 hour battery life
  • £799

Magic Mouse

Magic_MouseA new design with no buttons. Instead, the whole top of the mouse is a multi-touch surface that responds like the trackpad in the Macbook/Pro’s. Not cheap at £55 but certainly cutting edge.

Overall it’s a very strong line-up for the Christmas Market. I’m a bit surprised the Macbook is still just a single model at £799 but Apple have never been interested in the budget market. The iMacs now go from fast to ridiculously powerful, and while the 1920×1080 HD resolution screen appears to be becoming a standard, the 27 inch version offers an enormous 2560 by 1440 pixels. The Mac Mini is still expensive now has the server model leaked earlier this year. Could this become the perfect small office server?

Blurb Imagewrap photo book review

October 1, 2009 2 comments

blurb_logo_smallI previous mentioned the Blurb photo book I had ordered with the intention of updating that post with my thoughts when it arrived. Now that it’s here there’s quite a bit to say so those thoughts are now presented as this new post. There are also plenty of photo’s of the book, shared for anyone trying to decide whether to go ahead and place an order.

Delivery took seven days from placing the order, and I received an email the day before notifying me of dispatch with UPS. The book came from the Netherlands to the UK so to me this was very good since Blurb claim 5-6 business days to make the book and 1-15 to deliver dependant on your shipping choice. I had specified priority 2-4 day shipping at £10.37, in effect I got the 1-2 day £21.37 express option. To save more money in future I intend to order multiple books in one order as the shipping cost for ten books was still £10.37. Read more…

Snow Leopard 10.6.1 update released

September 12, 2009 1 comment

Two weeks after Snow Leopard went on sale, Apple has released the first system update. 10.6.1. is described as containing ‘general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac.’ Available now through Software Update or as a direct download, the 71.47Mb package is recommended for all Macintosh’s running Snow Leopard.

iPhone/iPod software 3.0 released

June 17, 2009 Leave a comment

Apple has today released the V3 software for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Available through iTunes as a free (iPhone) or paid (iPod Touch) update, much has been written of the new features so I won’t repeat it here. My own 1st Gen iPod Touch is currently updating so there will be some update screenshots and V3 screengrabs added soon.

Update Not much new in the update process, I’m currently working through the new features to see what works on the iPod Touch 1st gen.

UK iPhone pricing

June 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I had hoped O2 would be replacing the 8/16Gb iPhone 3G with the new 16/32Gb 3GS, but the AT&T pricing of $199/$299 made that look unlikely. O2 now have an iPhone 3GS pricing page and they’re not coming cheap.

iPhone_3GS_Uk_pricing

The last generation iPhone 3G stays at £96.89/free, but the new 16Gb 3GS rises to £184.98 on cheap/shorter contracts, compared to £155.61 for the replaced 16Gb 3G. The 32Gb 3GS comes in at a wallet busting £274.23, or £175.19 if you are willing to sign up for a 24 month contract. That’s a TCO of £890.91 for a 16Gb model on the £35 tariff for 18 months, or £926.91 for 32Gb. The new 3GS is also available on pay as you go:

  • iPhone 3G 8GB – £342.50
  • iPhone 3G S 16GB – £440.40
  • iPhone 3G S 32GB – £538.30

That’s an eye watering price for the 3GS, but since it includes 12 months of unlimited data it works out cheaper for anyone with light call and text usage.

The real issue here is the use of 18 and 24 month contracts, especially when Apple seem dedicated to a 12 month release cycle for its iPhone hardware. Macworld has some details for users looking to terminate their contracts to get the new model, and the bad news is that it looks like O2 will want the remainder of the contract paid in full. That means an iPhone 3G owner 12 months into their contract would have to pay £205.56 plus cost of new 3GS model, with the prospect of doing the same in 12 months when the next version is released.

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