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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)



Computex 2012 Wraps Up with Ultrabooks Galore

clock June 9, 2012 01:04 by author Jeremy

This week, Taipei welcomed back manufacturers and gadget geeks alike for their annual event, Computex. This year featured many new Ultrabooks, from the touchscreen ASUS Zenbook UX21A to the Samsung Series 5 Hybrid PC (read: tablet). Many of these featured Windows' new OS, Windows 8, and many agree that it's popularity should serve as a warning to other certain tablet OS-makers.

Engadget has rounded up all their news-bits onto one page, which can be found at the source link below. Be sure to check it out and peruse all the links for the nifty laptops and tablets that will be coming out soon.

Sources: engadget (full list of links), liliputing, slashgear



Rumors and Photos of a New iPhone Casing

clock June 6, 2012 00:57 by author Jeremy

With WWDC 2012 (Apple's premier yearly event) coming up (next week from the 11th through 15th), there's no shortage of rumors about what will come of it. Focusing on Developers and Apps? A new iPhone? Twelve variations of the iPad 6? If we're lucky, some of these rumors are attached to pictures. While they don't necessarily count as proof that the rumor is truth, it does at least stir the pot up a little bit.

And lucky is exactly what we are, since 9to5Mac has managed to acquire a few snapshots of what looks like the latest iPhone casing.

As seen above, there will be both black and white variations. The back casing itself seems metallic, which is new to the iPhone. Near the bottom, there's also a smaller connector port, in contrast to the larger one that Apple currently uses. The audio jack has been relocated to the bottom right, and there is now a small gap between the camera lens and the LED flash.

Along with these cases, 9to5Mac also has a few photos of the screens, backs, and frames. Be sure to check out the source link below for more snapshots.

Source: 9to5Mac



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)



HTC Releases List of Phones Receiving Android 4.0

clock May 24, 2012 01:15 by author Jeremy

HTC has released a list of cell phones that will be receiving the latest Android 4.0 OS, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. A majority of these devices will receive their update between June and July, with some updates having already been rolled out, or will be rolled out in May. Along with Ice Cream Sandwich, the operating system will be accompanied by HTC's Android overlay, Sense 3.6.

This update to Android 4.0 doesn't apply to HTC's tablets, such as the HTC Flyer and HTC Jetstream. Many phones that have less than 512 MB memory will also not receive the update.

Device Schedule
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC To be determined (by the end of August)
HTC Amaze 4G May-June
HTC Desire S June-July
HTC Desire HD July-August
HTC EVO 3D June-July
HTC EVO 4G+ May-June
HTC EVO Design 4G June-July
HTC Incredible S June-July
HTC Sensation March-June
HTC Sensation 4G March-June
HTC Sensation XE March-June
HTC Sensation XL April-Jun
HTC Rezound June-July
HTC Rhyme June-July
HTC Thunderbolt July-August
HTC Velocity 4G March-June
HTC Vivid March-June

Source: HTC



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