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Apple's WWDC 2012: New MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iOS 6

clock June 12, 2012 01:09 by author Jeremy

Apple's WWDC 2012 finally arrived at our doorstep, and it didn't disappoint. During their opening keynote earlier today, Tim Cook and other Apple representatives introduced a myriad of goodies in both hardware and software-form.

We start off with an introduction to the latest array of notebooks: the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are getting some great upgrades in every department. The biggest contender here, though, is the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. That's a 15.4-inch display, 2880 x 1800, with reduced glare. This behemoth can have up to a 2.7GHz quad-core, 16GB RAM, a Kepler GT 650M graphics card, and 768GB of internal flash storage. The battery life is rated at 7 hours, but we'll see if other benchmarks prove that wrong. There's no optical drive, but by trading that away, Apple was able to create this latest MacBook Pro with a thickness of 0.71-inches.

All the latest laptops, however, will include the new MagSafe 2 adapter. This features a new (or old, technically) T-connection tip, rather than the barrel-style that Apple has used previously. A new $9.99 adapter is available at Apple stores to use in conjunction with your old charger, rather than having to buy a new one completely. Also included in all laptops are USB 3.0 slots, and the latest OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Previous customers will be able to purchase this for $19.99, and is upgradable from Lion and Snow Leopard.

On the software side, we'll be getting iOS 6 in the fall, which is available for the iPhone 3GS and up, the 2nd and 3rd-generation iPad (aka the New iPad), and the 4th-generation iPod Touch. iOS 6 includes the following:

  • Siri is now available for the iPad: it can launch apps, and even tell the current scores of sports games. Capable of providing sports fact via search and can place restaurant orders and see reviews via Yelp.
  • Facebook, like Twitter before, is now fully integrated into iOS 6, with its contacts and notifications.
  • A new call-feature has been added that allows text-replies from the call screen via pre-written messages. Do Not Disturb mode allows certain callers while blocking out the rest, and it has an emergency mode that permits a call to go through if two or more calls are placed by the same user within a short amount of time.
  • FaceTime is now available over cellular/mobile. No word on which networks this applies to.
  • Maps have been updated since leaving Google's network, but will feature turn-by-turn navigation.

This is only a small bit of what's available, and Apple says there are over 200 new features.

Last but not least, a partnership with several automobile manufacturers was announced, including BMW, Mercedes, GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, Audi, Jaguar, and Land Rover. These companies will make use of the phone-button built into the steering wheel, making it Siri-compatible. Once the button is pressed, Siri will come up and you can search by voice on your car's microphone. Your iPhone will, of course, have to be plugged into the car, but still a nifty feature nonetheless.

There's still four days left of WWDC, too. What else can Apple surprise us with? While a new iPhone was rumored, it seems unlikely that the 4S will be replaced already.

Source: The Verge (pictures)



D10 Interview with Tim Cook

clock June 1, 2012 01:26 by author Jeremy

Like his predecessor before him, Tim Cook took to the stage on Tuesday night, May 29th, for an inside look as the new head of Apple. The D10 Conference opened up with the classier-than-ever Jane Lynch, accompanied by a full gospel choir and a marching band.

Tim Cook appeared on-stage soon afterwards and sat down with hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. In his interview, he spoke of the late Steve Jobs and what he learned. "You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else." This, as Cook says, is, "embedded in Apple," and that only the best will suffice. Cook also spoke of the difficulty of moving on from Jobs' passing. "It was absolutely the saddest day of my life when he passed away... I love museums, but I don't want to live in one."

Apple's direction has obviously changed since Jobs' departure. "We're going to double down on secrecy on products," says Cook, while also admitting that Apple will be transparent in other aspects regarding suppliers and environmental impact. When asked if Apple would ever have manufacturing plants in the U.S. (as opposed to their current locations in China), Cook replied, "I want there to be," adding that currently the engines and glass parts for the iPhone and iPad are built in Texas and Kentucky, respectively.

On the topic of the infamous patent wars, Cook claims that our system today is currently broken. "From our point of view, it is important for Apple not be the developer for the world. We just want other people to invent their own stuff." When countered that Apple themselves are suing other companies in the patent wars, Cook replied, "The vast majority of [lawsuits Apple receives] are on standards-essential patents... No one should be able to get an injunction off a standards-essential patent."

Apple's famous voice recognition program, Siri, received praise from Cook, who noted that Siri has a personality the adds to her likeability. "...there's more that it can do, and we have a lot of people working on this. And I think you will be really pleased with some of the things you'll see over the coming months on this."

To see the entire interview, check out D's interview with Tim Cook in the source link below.

Source: allthingsd (published by Ina Fried)



Users say Apple Software Patch 5.0.1 Doesn't Fix iPhone Battery Life

clock November 14, 2011 23:27 by author Jeremy

It's been 3 days since the release of Apple's Software Update (5.0.1), which was meant to fix a few of the battery life issues being heard 'round the world. Users have been seeing frequent drops in battery life on their new iPhone 4S'. But if this latest patch hasn't fixed it, then what will?

iPhone Battery Life

Some speculate that it's a hardware issue, while most people have determined the problem to lie in the software. And while this patch has smelled some with their battery woes, others who weren't experiencing the problem are now claiming to after the patch.

The best fix for all this? Carry an external battery or charging cable around with you everywhere, because it looks like the problems aren't fixed just yet. Check out ebatts.com for more info on these products.

eBatts cell phone batteries



Apple Announces Update in Upcoming Weeks for iPhone 4S Battery

clock November 3, 2011 23:14 by author Jeremy

The iPhone 4S may have been praised for its addition of Siri, but this esteemed phone hasn't been without its troubles either. Since its release, the latest iPhone has had a slew of customers complaining about an extremely short battery life.

The Apple forums have been a great source of information and meetings for those with battery performance woes. Many discovered that bugs in iOS 5 were partly to blame for the sudden drops in battery life, with the bugs coming from the Calendar and Time Zone Settings. However, this doesn't limit the performance issues strictly to iOS 5.

Apple has released a statement saying an official update will be coming in the next few weeks to help alleviate these issues. In the mean-time, check out the links below from techcrunch and cnet for tips on how to get your battery to survive until the official software patch is released.

Sources: cnbc.com

iPhone battery tips: techcrunch.com, cnet.com

Check out ebatts very own selection of Apple chargers and accessories as well.



Apple stays on trail with iPhone 4S, not iPhone 5

clock October 5, 2011 00:24 by author Jeremy

The biggest news to emerge from today's Apple event is, of course, the unveiling of their latest iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 4S. This will come with quite a few new specs, particularly iOS 5. The iPhone 4S itself can be pre-ordered starting Oct 7th and will be available Oct. 14th. Meanwhile, iOS 5 will be released on Oct. 12th. So let's take a look at what we're dealing with, shall we?

The iPhone 4S will have the same retina display and back glass-casing as the iPhone 4, but comes with the brand new A5 chip. This chip is said to be twice as fast as its predecessor and has dual-core graphics. A new battery will provide 8 hours of talk-time, 6 hours of browsing (or 9 if done through WiFi), 10 hours of video and 40 hours of music, all done via the supposed 14.4 Mbps download speeds. And with AirPlay Mirroring, you can view some of these things on a bigger screen, either through a wired or wireless connection.

A new 8 megapixel camera is provided as well, bringing 60% better performance over the iPhone 4; this camera will also take in 73% more light, has 26% better white balance and an IR filter for more accurate colors. Plus, it's faster: a mere 1.1 seconds required to take one picture and only 0.5 seconds to take a second picture.

Perhaps the biggest new feature of the iPhone 4S/iOS 5 is Siri - originally a company that handled a voice recognition app, but was bought out by Apply in early 2010. Finally, Siri is bringing their expertise to the table by becoming Apple's (very intuitive) voice program. Quite a few examples were done at Apple's event today, with various questions/demands being asked: "What time is it in Paris", "Do I need to wear a raincoat today", "Find me a great Greek restaurant in Palo Alto", "Wake me up tomorrow at 6 AM", "Search Wikipedia for...". With each command, Siri either responded in kind or brought up the specific app that would help (such as a web browser with a wiki-page open).

Of course, the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 weren't the only news (granted, they were what everyone was waiting for) - the iPod Nano and iPod Touch both got a few touch-ups and price-alterations today. The iPod Nano, which now has a multi-touch display for app-swiping and 16 new clocks (including a Mickey Mouse clock!), will be available for $129 (8GB) or $149 (16 GB). Meanwhile, the iPod Touch, which now has iMessaging - bringing texts from your Apple devices to your iPod - will be for sale at $199 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB, or $399 for 64GB.

Also fresh off the Cupertino-grill is iTunes Match, the long-awaited music service that works with iTunes. This feature will scan your library, find the corresponding songs in iTunes for you and gives you the same benefits that iTunes-purchased-music would. This will be live at the end of the month.

Definitely an exciting day for Apple loyalists, and an exciting day for Sprint customers too - it was officially announced today at the event that Sprint will be getting the iPhone as well.

Oh, and as if all the news above wasn't enough, here's a last piece of joy for you: the iPhone 4S will now be available in white as well.

Sources: 9to5Mac, engadget (pictures)



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