Tag Archives: apple-announcement

Apple Special Announcement Event on September 1st

Apple sent out invitations to the press this morning, asking them to attend a special event on September 1st. There’s zero information in the invitation on the nature of the event, and the only hint is the photo of the guitar with the Apple-logo shaped cut out.

There has been much speculation floating around in recent weeks, with everyone trying to figure out what may be coming out of Cupertino. Some rumors claim we will see the unveiling of a new television episode rental service through iTunes. Others say there will be a new version of Apple TV and a refreshed iPod Touch model. A small percentage of people who haven’t moved beyond Antennagate yet insist that Jobs will discuss some miracle cure they have found for the death grip issue.

Your guess is as good as ours at this point. We are all going to have to wait until Wednesday to find out what glorious new things Steve and his team have for us this time around.

iPhone OS 4.0 Thoughts

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This video was recorded the night before Apple’s big iPhone OS 4.0 announcement. The community speculated as to what could be coming with the next iteration of the OS. With the announcement live now, I want to focus on talking about what is happening, instead of what might happen as we did in this recording. iPhone 4.0 OS will have more than 100 new features. Apple has seven major “tentpole” features that they feel are particularly important.

Multitasking – During the live event, Steve Jobs actually admitted that “we weren’t first to the party, but we’re gonna be the best.” He claims that multitasking is coming to the iPhone in a way that won’t kill your battery or your device performance. Many smart phones are sorely lacking in this area. They don’t handle background processes well. Therefore, users find themselves spending more time fixing things than they do actually getting things done. iPhone OS 4.0 lets you switch tasks by double-clicking your home button. A bar that looks like the dock will show up at the bottom of the screen, showing you a list of running applications.

Folders – I don’t know about you, but I get tired of trying to manage 2349320 screens full of apps. I need folders! It’s impossible to organize everything on my iPhone at this point. I’m seriously happy to see we are going to have this capability in the new version of the OS. The folders look very similar to Stacks from Mac OS X 10.6. You can drag and drop your apps on top of each other to create application folders. This takes the total number of apps that you can see on your phone from 180 up to 2160!

Mail – Mail has gotten a complete overhaul! The first big feature is the unified inbox. You’ll be able to read all of your unread messages in one pane. No more having to navigate around between accounts. If you check more than one email account on your iPhone or iPod Touch, this will be a huge timesaver for you! We also get to enjoy threaded messaging at long last. If you’ve ever used Gmail, you’re aware of how this works. All emails that pertain to each other will display together in a nice, threaded format. This makes it easier for you to refer back to earlier parts of a conversation, and saves you time in the long run.

iBooks – We had our first taste of iBooks on the iPad last weekend. The already-popular feature will now be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch as well. Apple is definitely here to stay in the eBook world.

Enterprise – Enterprise has always had to make their way to Apple. The company never really went after the Enterprise market. That is changing with OS 4.0, though. Look for better email encryption and APIs being made available to developers so that data can be encrypted inside their applications as well.

Game Center – No matter what Nintendo wants to believe, the iPhone OS is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the mobile gaming industry. Apple is planning to add social gaming to the repertoire… much like you’d find on Xbox Live.

iAds – iAd is designed to allow developers to make money while keeping their apps free to download. Interactive video content can be included in an ad without ever taking the user out of the application. This means you can return to your app any time you choose, and you don’t have to actually leave it to begin with. People will be much more likely to actually click on an ad if they know they aren’t going to have to back out of what they were doing in the first place. Apple plans a 60/40 split with developers – with devs pocketing the 60% mark of any ad earnings.

The sad news of the day is that multitasking will not be coming to older models. You have to have an iPhone 3GS (or a 3rd gen iPod Touch) in order to take advantage of this awesome feature. I know that many people in our community still use older models. Word is that these older models simply don’t have the right hardware to handle the additional resources needed.

The update will be available this summer for iPhones and iPod Touch devices. However, it won’t show up for the iPad until sometime this fall. If you’re a developer, though, it is available now!

What are your thoughts on the new operating system? Are you happy with all of the changes, or did you expect something more?

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Apple iPad Finally Makes Its Debut!

The long-anticipated “tablet” from Apple is now official! I’ve held off on making assumptions and guesses prior to the official announcement today. There was just TOO MUCH HYPE already on the Web – much of it laughable. I had my own ideas, of course, as to what the iPad would include, and I’m happy to say I wasn’t too far off! This slick, gorgeous little device is sure to make a lot of people very, VERY happy. However, there are some drawbacks that I see, as well.

The device has a 9.7 inch display, weighs only 1.5 pounds, and is only half-inch thick! It’s powered by a new chip, a 1GHz A4 (Apple’s very own). You can get one with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB worth of space. It supports Wi-Fi, has an accelerometer, and has a built-in speaker and microphone. The screen is a full multi-touch (capacitive) screen. Battery life is purported to be a whopping 10 hours. In addition to Wi-Fi, it will have a 3G option from AT&T.

Therein lies the first gripe. AT&T? Seriously, Apple? AT&T has had enough problems handling 3G with just the iPhone and iPod Touch. Why do we have to be forced to use them for 3G service yet again? I can guarantee you that a whole lot of people are going to be very unhappy about that part. Heck, I’m already reading things from some people, claiming they won’t even bother with the iPad, simply due to this. A vocal minority, I’d assume.

Another huge gripe is the fact that the iPad does not come with an SD card slot, nor a USB port. However, you can of course purchase a separate adapter for SD media reading (their Camera Connection Kit). People want, need, and EXPECT their portable devices these days to have those two very basic features out-of-the-box. They don’t want to have to shell out even more money for adapters to make things happen.

The biggest omission is… a camera. Why they didn’t put one on the iPad is a little beyond me. Price and service are what largely separate the iPhone from the iPod Touch – but this is nowhere near a notebook replacement without a camera. A Kindle replacement, yes – an iPhone replacement, no. It’s an iPhone with a bigger screen.

On the upside, the price tag is far better than many expected it would be. The WiFi-only version, with 16GB of memory, will cost $499. The 32GB version will be $599, 64GB will be $699, and with 3G from AT&T, it will cost up-to $829. The good news on the 3G front is that you won’t need a contract. You’ll sign up for a monthly plan (cancel anytime). You can choose a measly 250 MB of data transfer for $15.00, or an unlimited plan for $29.99. That pricing – on both fronts – is a whole lot better than what I had figured it would be.

Another great piece of news is that nearly all of the existing iPhone apps will work on the iPad immediately. Apple also released a brand-new SDK today, so that devs can get busy creating new apps specifically for the iPad. The beautiful thing is that from now on, new apps that are created will work on either the iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad! I can just imagine the developers in our community salivating over this fact (already pounding away at their keyboards to come up with the next hot application)!

The iPad also comes with a new app called iBooks as well as an iBooks Store! Apple partnered with five publishers to make books available for sale through the iBooks store. The iBooks support the ePub format, and allows readers to casually flip through pictures, video, and other inline graphics.

I admit it – I will be getting an iPad. It’s one thing to read about it and watch all of the coverage. It will be another thing entirely to actually get my hands on one, and test it myself. I’ll reserve final judgment on the product until that time.

What are your thoughts so far on Apple’s newest gadget? Get it or skip it?