This is a guest post written by community member Craighton.
In wake of the New Year, Apple is quietly prohibiting vacation days for retail employees for three weeks later this month. If this isn’t raising the red flag, I don’t know what will. Apple is planning something big – and it is coming sooner than you think.
Some people with knowledge about the company’s retail plans explain Apple has issued a blackout spanning three upcoming weeks, during which time employees without high level ranking will not be allowed vacation time.
This blackout period is due to begin the last week of January and continue for three weeks into the weeks of February.
This much time without vacation is a big indicator that a new product is going to launch, like a new iPad or Verizon iPhone. Although, we must warn that the latest rumor posts about what Apple is gearing up for is not confirmed.
Apple is also said to have retained their holiday employees at many of the major retail stores around the nation that see the most high yield traffic. With the major shopping season over and everything returning back to normal the employee count still remains high. It appears the company is keeping staff on-hand at some stores, perhaps in preparation for a new product launch.
Just like any other launch, Apple retail employees have no idea what is going on or what may be launched in the upcoming weeks. Though there are a number of products due to be updated, including the MacBook Pro and iPad.
Considering the multiple reports of an impending CDMA iPhone and iPad 2, it is up in the air on to what Apple has hidden under their veil of mystery. Although, the late January early February time-frame could coincide with the introduction of some new Mac products.
Microsoft is finally talking hard numbers. According to the company earlier today, they have sold about 1.5 million devices – but not to consumers. The announcement notes that there have been 1.5 million phone manufacturer sales: in other words, “phones being bought and stocked by mobile operators and retailers on their way to customers.” The number of units sold tell a story, to be sure. What we aren’t being told is how many of those devices are being activated.
Apple and Google routinely talk about how many phones are being activated. Reportedly, there are around 300,000 Android activations every day and even more new iPhone customers. Those numbers boggle the mind, and leaves us to wonder – who the heck is activating Windows Phone 7 devices? The report shows us how many devices have been purchased by people – including those used to stock the shelves in the stores. In my opinion, that’s trying to put a positive spin on what should technically be a dismal report.
If Microsoft truly wants to be a player, they need to stop beating around the bush. Tell us how many devices are being activated. If they aren’t happy with that number, then they need to look at why things are going in the direction they are. The handsets and operating system are both solid. What’s holding them back? Could there still be that much stigma surrounding the company when it comes to the mobile market? Perhaps they need to come up with a new game plan to get these phones into the hands of real people who will give them a fair and unbiased opinion.
What are your thoughts? I don’t want to hear from Microsoft haters or Apple (or Android!) fanboys. I want to know WHY you feel Windows Phone 7 isn’t selling as well as the folks in Redmond had hoped. Please don’t just use the tired argument of “Microsoft sucks,” because that isn’t going to help anyone. Let’s hear what you honestly think, and perhaps together we can all come up with some fresh ideas.
Angelo is one of our Lockergnome bloggers, writing about all things Android. He recently purchased a 13″ MacBook Air and recorded the unboxing for us. The video is short, sweet and to the point – and Angelo is as excited as a kid on Christmas morning.
The new MacBook Air is likely the thinnest – and lightest – notebook on the market. It’s sleek design has people all over the world drooling… including those who aren’t normally OS X users.
The machine wakes from sleep in an instant and is build around Flash storage. This keeps your device light – almost like air. The battery is built to last – and last – and last. It boasts a high-resolution, pixel-perfect display. I have to admit, the display IS gorgeous.
The 13″ MacBook Air comes standard with a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory and NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics. You can choose from either 128GB or 256GB of Flash storage.
I love the enthusiasm that Angelo has. What is the last item you bought or received that made you this excited?
Brandon asked in chat the other night if an iMac is a good investment. I don’t know if I can view any computer as an “investment.” Yes, I think the iMac is a good computer. The issue I see with a lot of desktop computers is that they lose their value the moment you bring them home. The iMac is an excellent machine, to be sure. However, is it really something you need?
I wouldn’t classify any computer as a good “investment,” no. Even an iMac will lose value over time. Get whatever machine it is that will fit your needs, whether it’s an iMac or a Windows machine.
Take care of your machine… baby it. Keep it in good shape and you just may be lucky enough to make a little cash from it when the time comes for you to upgrade to something newer.
Do you wonder why Apple always wins in any “war?” This sign found in a local store should clear the air for you. The iPod is a specific brand of MP3 player. EVER. OTHER. device has been lumped together – as far as this store is concerned – as simply “mp3.” The merchant obviously feels nothing else will make them money like the iPod will.
This happens quite often in stores all around Seattle and other cities I have traveled to. Are you seeing the same types of favoritism towards Apple products where you live?
A chat room member asked me recently whether I thought it was important that the Beatles are now on iTunes. My initial reaction was a big snooze. I like the Beatles, but why is it such a big deal to have them on iTunes?
It’s not like we couldn’t listen to their music in a million other ways, people. There are still CDs and casette tapes out there. Heck, I’m willing to bet many people still own original Beatles vinyl. There are numerous ways to get those songs onto your computer and playlists. Anyone who truly cared about having the Beatles in those areas already HAVE the Beatles in those areas.
I’m sorry, but to me this is just a non-event. I will never understand why such a big deal was made out of it.
If you’ve opened your iTunes account today, you were greeted with a very understated photo embed at the top. “Tomorrow is just another day. That you will never forget. Check back tomorrow for an exciting announcement from iTunes.” Under that are a few clocks representing different time zones to let you easily figure out when to expect this big news. The question is – what the heck does Apple have up its sleeve this time?
We know that iOS 4.2 is supposed to drop tomorrow morning around 10:00AM Pacific time. With that information in hand, one can easily assume that the iTunes announcement has something to do with the new firmware. MacStories wonders if Apple is going to “change the system underlying the whole software update process?” However, that’s not really a big deal, and certainly not something we’ll never forget.
Is iTunes finally going to release a music subscription service to rival options such as Pandora? Will we soon see a web-based version of the software? Your guess is as good as mine at this point, so leave me a comment and let me know what you think the folks in Cupertino have planned for us.
Good software is insanely expensive. Great software is usually out of the realm of purchasing possibility for many of you. This is why MacGraPhoto has worked hard to bring you nine fantastic graphics applications for a seriously low price. There are only nineteen days left to take advantage of this offer, so you’d better not procrastinate. Even if you don’t think you’ll need all of these titles yourself, why not grab them while you can and then give a few away as gifts during the holidays?
Included in your $39.99 bundle (which would normally sell for over four hundred bucks) is:
AtomicView – AtomicView is a digital asset manager (DAM) software program that allows users to organize, browse, and output photos, images, videos, and sounds. A flexible and fast video and image conversion and transformation tool optimized for multicore computers.
Hydra – Hydra provides human eye-like perception to your photographs by allowing you to create High Dynamic Range (HDR) images from a series of regular photographs.
ImageFramer – ImageFramer is an easy-to-use but powerful application for framing your images and photos with beautiful photo-realistic and artistic frames.
Layers – Layers captures every window, every palette, every menu, every menu and status bar icon, every icon on the Desktop, and even the Dock and the Desktop background for each of your connected displays will be saved as a separate editable layer in the resulting Photoshop image file.
Posterino – With a focus on ease-of-use, Posterino 2 creates life posters, photo collages, frames, postcards, greeting cards and contact sheets from digital images. Posterino does the hard work while users just have to fine tune the results.
Snapshot – Snapshot brings the power of a photo lab to your computer. Printing your digital images has never been easier.
Sandvox – Sandvox is easy-to-use, popular, award-winning, do-it-yourself web site builder for Mac. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro — when it comes to building a website on your Mac, Sandvox is considered the best web design software for Mac.
Sketch – An innovative and fresh look at vector drawing for the Mac. Its intentionally minimalist design is based upon a drawing space of unlimited size and layers, free of palettes, panels, menus, windows, and controls.
Swift Publisher – With Swift Publisher, publishing attractive and informative documents for business, social and home activities becomes a snap.
DVD Library BONUS! – DVD-Library lets you catalog, manage and backup your DVDs on Mac in a visual library. Just enter part of the title or UPC of the DVD (including Blu-ray DVDs), DVD-Library will automatically retrieve the DVD’s cover and all relevant info from Amazon, quick and easy.
You can even end up getting this entire bundle for free. When you purchase your bundle, you will receive an email with a personalized link in it to give out to others. If three or more people purchase the bundle themselves using your link, you will receive a full refund when the promotion ends! How cool is that?
Life is much easier when you have great software to help you accomplish your goals. Life is even sweeter when that software is affordable!
I had a FaceTime chat with SoldierKnowsBest last night and decided to capture the conversation on video (go figure). Just curious to know – how many of you actually care about what Apple does?
He was using FaceTime on his iMac, and I had mine going on my iPhone 4. There have been a few stumbling blocks when trying to use FaceTime, but it works pretty well for the most part. I can’t always connect as easily as I would like.
Soldier and I both have two FaceTime accounts: a public and a private one. It’s just easier to manage that way. He feels that FaceTime actually works better than Skype for video calling.
What is your general opinion of Apple products and services?
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Out of the entire iLife suite, iPhoto is likely the app that’s most frequently used. I’d have to say, these improvements are most welcomed. Then again, when are software improvements admonished? There are several noticable changes, including the Facebook integration:
To share photos to Facebook in the new iPhoto ‘11, users simply highlight the photos, click “Share” at the bottom of the screen, and select Facebook from among other choices including email and Flickr. Users don’t have to create a new album, and can instead choose to post to their wall, the wall of a friend, or make the photo their profile picture.
Printing books and cards has been improved. Books now use better application logic to decide how to lay out pictures, using the key photo from the iPhoto album for the cover and grouping together pictures that were taken at the same time and in the same place.
Apple is also now letting users create letterpress cards. These cards are made using the letterpress printing process which is pretty cool. You can take advantage of several different awesome new themes to create them, or do any number of other things within iPhoto ’11.
What are your favorite new features?
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