Apple may be looking to incorporate support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification into the company’s products this year, according to a report from AppleInsider. The new standard offers three times the speed of the 802.11n standard, capable of achieving speeds of over 1 Gigabit per second. The Cupertino-based company is expected to “rapidly deploy support” of the new standard into AirPort base stations, Time Capsules, the Apple TV, notebooks and possibly mobile devices, according to the report. Even though the official standard has yet to be finalized, multiple suppliers have already announced chipsets supporting it — one of those is key Apple component maker Broadcom, which announced chips supporting the standard earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show. In addition to faster speeds, 802.11ac promises better networking range, improved reliability and more power efficient chips due to advances in reducing chip size and enhanced power management. More →
Flying home for the holidays and navigating through crowded airports — or facing flight delays, as is often the case — may be a hair less dreadful this year. Skype announced recently that it is sponsoring free Wi-Fi in more than 60 U.S. airports from December 21st until December 27th. To activate the service, simply follow these directions:
- Sign in to Skype.
- Go to Tools > Options… > Skype WiFi Access.
- Tick Enable Skype WiFi Access.
- Connect to a WiFi public hotspot.
- In the Skype menu bar, click Tools > Skype WiFi Access.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to select and join a compatible public WiFi network.
Skype’s full press release, which includes a list of every airport where free Wi-Fi will be available, follows after the break. More →
It looks as though software developer James Laird has opened Pandora’s box for Apple’s AirPlay music streaming system. Frustrated by the fact that an AirPort Express emulator did not exist, Laird began to look for a solution that would allow him to stream iTunes music without the use of AirPlay. “I was disappointed to find that Apple used a public-key crypto scheme, and there’s a private key hiding inside the ApEx [Airport Extreme],” wrote Laird. “So I took it apart (I still have scars from opening the glued case!), dumped the ROM, and reverse engineered the keys out of it.” Laird has published the private key in an open source software project dubbed ShairPort (clever). The software, which is built in Perl and C, will allow users to stream iTunes content to hardware and software designed to talk to ShairPort. Apple has opened up its AirPlay system to third-parties in recent months, but this blows the doors wide open for all those looking to circumvent that red tape-filled process. More →
Some of you may be familiar with the mobile accessory company Powermat. The New York City based accessory manufacturer creates a line of cell phone battery covers and battery packs that aim to simplify and add greater convenience to your mobile life. We stopped by the company’s booth at Mobile World Congress and got a glimpse at where the company is now, where they hope to be, and what’s next. Spoiler: if Powermat has its way, you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more about them in the future.
Powermat first came to market around 16 months ago with an innovative, but bulky, line of cases for the iPhone, the iPod touch, the Nintendo DS, and a handful of BlackBerrys. With the case attached to your mobile device, you can place the handset on Powermat’s power mat charging-base and enjoy a cordless charge. Pick up the device, it stops charging. Put it down, it starts charging again. Fast forward to today: the cases have slimmed down, the mat has been sexified, new mobile power accessories have been announced, and the company is looking to expand its position in the smartphone market place and take its proprietary technology beyond the mat. Hit the jump to read about how Powermat wants to keep you powered on, sans cord. More →
There you have it folks — done and done. The Apple Store is back up, new gear is live and credit card portals are wide open. Keeping things nice and simple, Apple has taken one of its two standard routes and simply tossed out a bunch of refreshes sans-hullabaloo. Here it is, now buy it. So what have we got?
- $1199 (only 20″ model) – 2.66 GHz, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 320GB HD
- $1499 (24″) – 2.66 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, 640GB HD
- $1799 (24″) – 2.93 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
- $2199 (24″) – 3.06 GHz, 4GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 130, 1TB HD
- $599 – 2.0GHz, 1GB 1066 MHz DDRS SDRAM, GeForce 9400M, 120GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort, mini-DVI, 5 USB Ports, FireWire 800 Port
- $799 – 2.0GHz, 2GB 1066 MHz DDRS SDRAM, GeForce 9400M, 320GB HD, 8x SuperDrive, Mini DisplayPort, mini-DVI, 5 USB Ports, FireWire 800 Port
- $2499 – 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 processor, 3GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
- $3299 – Dual 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 processors, 6GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, 640GB HD
Apple definitely gave its desktop lineup a bit of an adrenaline shot, though it really didn’t come through with anything too Earth-shattering. What do you guys think? On a completely overshadowed note, Apple is now offering a 1TB Time Capsule for $500 (500GB for $299) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station, now capable of running two networks simultaneously, will run you $179 (old model is going for $159).