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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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Snow Leopard available from 28th August

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

Snow_Leopard_BoxIt’s been a while coming, but today Apple has finally set a date for the release of it’s next operating system. Snow Leopard is available now for pre-order, with Friday 28th August given as the delivery date. Pricing in the UK has been set at £25 for a single machine upgrade (from Leopard), and a family pack for five machines is £39. Those upgrading from Tiger are still expected to buy the Mac Box Set which contains Snow Leopard, iLife and iWork for £129.

Macworld 09 Keynote predictions

January 5, 2009 Leave a comment

macworldexpo_logoAs I write there are less than 24 hours to the Macworld keynote, due to start at 9am in San Francisco (which should be 5pm in London). The usual speculation has been building for the past couple of months, so here is a round up of predictions and guesses along with a few of my own.

  • A Major Mac Mini update is pretty much certain, with every Mac news source predicting new models. Given the current financial slump it would come as no surprise if Apple shift focus to the cheaper end of the market. TUAW have some details of SATA optical drives (or second hard drives) and a new time capsule style case,  and Appleinsider is claiming dual display ports and Firewire 800. An Nvidia chipset is also expected, as is support for 4Gb of ram. That’s starting to sound like a great home/small business server, so I’m predicting some new software to allow easy configuration either now or in Snow Leopard.
  • The 17 inch Macbook Pro update was promised soon when the rest of the range went to the Unibody case, so this will likely be unveiled. 9to5mac claims the new model will feature a non-removable high capacity battery, and AppleInsider has confirmed this. That’s bound to cause a stir, given the fuss over the fixed battery in the iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • iWork is rumoured to making the move online, possibly to become part of MobileMe’s online services. I don’t think the local versions will be abandoned, as internet access may be getting faster but it still slows down during peak hours and occasionally falls over.
  • iMovie is also predicted to move to an online app, offering video editing to those not using Macs. The biggest problem with this is the time taken to upload the raw footage for editing, and we ar all being pushed to go HD. My Canon HF100 needs a huge amount of space to store it’s AVCHD movies in Apple’s intermediate format, and who wants to wait a few hours before you can start editing? I would expect a new desktop version of iMovie with greater online integration and possibly an online version for Standard definition video. Maybe a new iPhone video recording app to tie in with this?
  • Macbook mini. Netbook. Applebook. Whatever it ends up being called, the netbook market is one of the few areas of IT growth at the moment, so Apple is likely to release a sub-compact portable at some time this year. TechRadar is predicting a 7-9 inch iPod Touch/iPhone style tablet for later this year and I suspect they are spot on. A nine inch Mac tablet with virtual keyboard running Snow Leopard from 64Gb of flash memory or a 1.8 inch hard drive sounds like an Apple product that would fly off the shelves. Apple would wait for dual core atom processors for better performance, and build in a 3G modem for mobile net access.
  • The iPhone mini is one product I can’t see being announced yet, due to the effect this could have on iPhone 3G sales. Much more likely to be saved for the WWDC if it arrives at all. I’m thinking this is a non- starter, Apple don’t make budget products, and why hamper the iPhone experience with a smaller screen?

That’s my predictions done, come back in 24 hours to see how close they are. Or even better, leave your own predictions in the comments.