New 21” and 27” iMac’s announced

October 20, 2009

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Apple today announced updated iMac models carrying LED-based 16:9 displays in 21.5-inch and 27-inch sizes.

Apple today unveiled an all new iMac line featuring brilliant LED-backlit 21.5 and 27-inch widescreen displays in a new edge-to-edge glass design and seamless all aluminum enclosure. The new iMac line, starting at $1,199, is the fastest ever with Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06 GHz, and Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors for up to twice the performance. Every new iMac ships with a wireless keyboard and the all new wireless Magic Mouse, the world’s first mouse with Multi-Touch technology pioneered by Apple on the iPhone, iPod touch and Mac notebook trackpad.

The 21.5-inch model, which begins at $1,199 and carries a 1920×1080 display, offers Intel Core 2 Duo processor options running at 3.06 GHz or 3.33 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M or ATI Radeon 4670 graphics card options.

Pricing on the 27-inch model begins, which carries a 2560×1440 display, begins at $1,699. In addition to the same processor options found on the smaller model, users can also select from a 2.66 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 or 2.8 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, although machines carrying those higher-end processors will not ship until November.

All new iMac models feature an SD card slot and ship standard with a wireless keyboard and the new Multi-Touch Magic Mouse also unveiled today.

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Affordable Mackbooks Soon?

September 28, 2009

Cnet.com is reporting some rumors of an affordable line of macbooks. These would hopefully fall under the $1000 price range to attract people who have been holding out and would fundamentally change Apple’s business plan and market share. We’ll see if the rumors are indeed true, but it’s something to be hopeful for. Here’s the story from CNet:

While we’ve been hearing about a possible fall update to the iMac line, including Blu-ray options, for a couple of weeks now, the online rumor mill has now consigned itself to expecting new MacBook laptops as well. And not just any laptops, but the mythical, long-awaited, low-cost MacBooks that true believers hope will usher in a new age of Apple-based computing for those who find laptops over $1,000 to be out of reach.

AppleInsider says: “The new models, which appear as if they could make their debut alongside a family of more versatile iMacs in the coming weeks, are expected to arrive as the most affordable notebook offerings in the Mac maker’s history.” The site adds, “One person familiar with pre-production units indicated to AppleInsider several weeks ago that models awaiting certification were seen in white polycarbonate shells, consistent with the sole $999 model currently available.”

Other references around the Web make similar claims, saying a less-expensive version of the polycarbonate MacBook would pave the way for a low-cost touchscreen Apple tablet early next year – but each of these reports ultimately leads back to the original rumor posted by AppleInsider.

We’ve heard nothing from Apple about an upcoming press event to reveal new models, but that’s not unusual for the consistently secretive company. We have, however, been under the impression for some time that Apple prefers to stay out of the low-margin sub-$1,000 part of the laptop market, leaving the high-volume, but less profitable, cheap Core 2 Duo laptops and Atom-powered Netbooks to others.


Apple Cuts iPod Prices

September 9, 2009

Ahead of today’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” media event, Apple has reduced prices across the board on its iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod classic lines.

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iPod touch:
– 8 GB now $189, down $40
– 16 GB now $249, down $50
– 32 GB now $279, down $120

iPod nano:
– 8 GB now $129, down $20
– 16 GB now $149, down $50

iPod classic:
– 120 GB now $229, down $20


iPhone to get MMS on September 25

September 5, 2009

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Congratulations, iPhone, you can finally join the cell phone family. AT&T announced Thursday that the long-awaited multimedia messaging would arrive on Apple’s device in the United States starting September 25. The iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G will support the service, but owners of the original iPhone will miss out since that handset lacks the proper radio.

In its brief statement, AT&T offered few reasons why it’s taken so long to get such a basic cell phone feature. It only said MMS “required us to work on our network MMS architecture to carry the expected record volumes of MMS traffic and ensure an excellent experience from Day One.”

The carrier also said it appreciates the patience of its customers (it better) and that it knows that many iPhone customers are “eager” (that’s putting it mildly) for the MMS rollout. Other iPhone carriers around the world have offered MMS since the 3.0 update went live earlier this year.

On the magic day, you’ll need a software update before you can send your first photo to another phone number. As we reported last month, some users have seen the MMS commands on their iPhone after the most recent software update, but they’ve been unable to use them.

And in case anyone is keeping score, September 25 is three days after autumn officially begins on September 22. At Apple’s WWDC in June, a company exec said MMS would come later in the summer. And one more thing: we’re still waiting for that promised tethering support.


Facebook 3.0 Launches for the iPhone

August 28, 2009

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The third major edition of Facebook for iPhone has just crept into the iTunes App Store. It’s a huge update, with numerous advanced features that make Facebook more interactive than before and which bring the app as close to the desktop experience as it’s ever been.

Facebook for iPhone opens on your news feed as usual, but the upper left corner now sports a tiny grid icon that serves as the main organizing feature for this new build. Click it to see a screen equipped with a search bar on top, a notification alert area on the bottom, and a grid of nine activities you can perform in the middle. These include the news feed, your profile details, your message in-box, Facebook chat, friend requests, events, photo albums, and notes.

Those who use Facebook on the iPhone frequently will notice that quite a few of these actions are brand new, like viewing events and submitting an RSVP from your phone. You’ll also be able to view friends’ birthdays and upload photos to any album. Anyone sporting an iPhone 3GS gets the added bonus of uploading video.

Photos received a lot of attention in this update. You’ll now be able to zoom into photos, create albums and delete them, as well as upload and delete photos and photo tags, all from the Facebook interface. In addition, you can upload a new profile picture.

Facebook has also poured energy into how it deals with friends. You’re now able to call or text friends from the interface, which brings Facebook’s social connectivity into the real world. You can see friends of friends and mutual friends from the app, too, as well as the Pages you subscribe to. If you’re trying to locate a friend from within a page, Facebook has thought of that too, by equipping the page with search. To top it off, you can subscribe to Pages from the phone, not merely view them passively.

The new built-in Web browser is one feature addition that some may miss at first, but which is ultimately one of the most practical and useful for keeping the Facebook experience on iPhone firmly within the Facebook app. Before this integration, clicking a link would kick you out of the app and open a Safari browser. You would have to restart Facebook to resume your place.

There are more additions besides, but we thought we would start you off with a little taste and some first impressions.


Zune HD details announced

August 16, 2009

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Not sure why anyone in their right mind would buy a Zune over an Ipod, but if you’re one of the few who walk to the beat of their own drum, than here’s some deats on how you can preorder yourself a new Zune HD:

This week, Microsoft announced that the Zune HD would be available for pre-order starting Thursday, August 13 from a few key online retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy, and the Microsoft Store. With the release, the company also revealed that the Zune HD will come in 16GB and 32GB variations for $219.99 and $289.99 respectively, with a formal North American release date of Tuesday, September 15. For those that prefer to pick up their Zune HD in-person, the Zune HD will be available for in-store pre-order beginning on August 16 at Best Buy locations nationwide.

With this latest release, the complete list of confirmed specs and features includes:

— Built-in HD Radio Receiver
— 720p HD Output via HDMI
— 3.3-inch (480×272) OLED Touch Screen
— Built-in Wi-Fi
— NVVIDIA Tegra HD Processor
— Five Different Color Variations, including Black and Titanium.
— 10 Available Custom Artist Engravings
— 16GB and 32GB Variations
— Zune Video Marketplace Integration on Xbox Live
— $219.99 and $289.99 Pricing
— Windows CE OS Infrastructure
— AV Dock Accessory for HD Output

For any Zune users out there, is this enough to pick up a Zune HD or would you rather get an iPhone or iPod where you get the functionality of a phone as well as that of an mp3 player.


iPhone OS 3.1

July 1, 2009

While iPhone’s newest OS 3.0 just came out, the folks at Apple are hard at work rushing out an upgraded firmware. The upgrades are minor and the SDK kits are already out to developers:

* Video editing on iPhone 3GS wont overwrite the clip over the original when you are editing a clip.
* iPhone will now vibrate whenever you switch to the mode where you can move and arrange icons on the iPhone home screen.
* “Fraud Protection” toggle has been added to settings under Safari.
* iPhone boot time is now faster.
* Voice Control over Bluetooth.
* New APIs to enable third party apps to access videos and edit them.
* Updated AT&T profile to 4.2
* Updated modem firmware to 5.08.01
* Improvements to OpenGL and Quartz.