Apple’s latest media-rattling event has come and gone, and we’re now left to sort through all that magic and focus on the product itself. We also need to process any tidbits we might have missed amid the fracas. The star of the show was Apple’s new iPad 2, of course, and initial reactions are obviously overwhelmingly positive. In the end, we’re looking at a thin, sleek, sexy new tablet that will obviously sell like hotcakes. But is Apple’s new iPad 2 really the iPad it should have been? Hit the break for several key areas where Apple’s new iPad falls short. More →
During its media event on Wednesday, Apple unveiled FaceTime for the iPad 2. The video calling app and service will function just as it does on the iPhone 4, and it will obviously support video chatting with both iPads and iPhone 4s. FaceTime for the iPad 2 is part of iOS 4.3 and will be available immediately at launch on March 11th. Apple also introduced iMovie for the iPad, which includes a precision video editor, multitrack audio recording, over 50 sound effects, new themes and AirPlay for sharing videos in HD with popular sites. The new iMovie app is also universal, so it will also run on iPhone and iPod touch as well — and it’s still just $5 in the App Store. Garage Band for the iPad, also announced at the event, features a variety of touch instruments and recording capabilities. Users can also plug in a guitar and play real instruments as well. The app sports guitar amps and effects, 8-track recording and mixing, over 250 audio loops to play with, and it’s compatible with the popular OS X version for Mac. Garage Band will cost $5 in the App Store when it launches on March 11th.
With Apple’s iPad media event only a day away, many people are asking just what Apple is expected to announce tomorrow. We have heard rumors and seen purported next-generation iPad parts leak practically since right after the first iPad launched. Thanks to third-party case manufacturers, we have also been given renders and even physical mockups of the forthcoming iPad 2. We’ve tried to separate the nonsense from the plausible, and here’s what we’re expecting from tomorrow’s event:
- A much thinner and lighter iPad. We’re talking seriously thin.
- A slightly thinner bezel around the iPad’s display, making the device’s footprint just a tad bit smaller.
- A dual-core Apple processor, possibly named A5
- 512MB of RAM
- A front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for FaceTime HD
- A rear-facing 2-megapixel camera
- Support for AT&T and Verizon Wireless networks out of the box
- Photo Booth for iPad
- Availability within 1-2 weeks, new price points starting at $399 for the entry-level Wi-Fi model
- Announcement and preview of iOS 5 to be released in the summer
We’ll know definitively tomorrow just after 1:00PM ET, but in the meantime, chime in with your own predictions and wishes, alright?
Apple’s FaceTime video chat service for Mac exited beta on Thursday to coincide with the release of the company’s refreshed MacBook Pro line. It also comes bearing a new price tag: 99¢. FaceTime is Apple’s branded video calling service that allows Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and soon, iPad users to make video calls for free over land-based Internet connections. The service is free to use and the associated app is free on Apple’s iOS-powered devices, but now it carries a small, one-time fee on existing Mac computers. The app is free and pre-installed on Apple’s new MacBook Pro models, however. More →
Ah yes, the “day after” predictions. Typically, one day after a company – especially Apple — announces a new product or service, analysts from around the globe chime in with their prognostications and insight. In the wake of the Verizon iPhone announcement, Barclay’s analyst Ben Reitzes has stepped up with some FaceTime predictions. He surmises that Apple will have roughly 85 million FaceTime-enable devices in market by the end of fiscal year 2011 and 200 million by the end of FY 2012.
“While Android and competitive devices either have or are working toward incorporating a similar feature, we believe this particular feature benefits from Apple’s vertically integrated model,” said Reitzes. “We believe the ‘FaceTime networking effect’ could enhance a halo effect on Macs and iPads as the feature becomes available.”
The analyst notes that the iPad 2 — which he says will be announced within the next month — will help Apple reach these lofty goals as it will most certainly have a front-facing camera. More →
Another round from DigiTimes:
Apple is expected to release three versions of iPad 2, supporting either or a combination of Wi-Fi, UMTS and CDMA, for 2011 with mass production to start as early as the later half of January.
If DigiTimes’ sources are correct, this would mean there will not be a single iPad that runs on UMTS or CDMA networks, rather two different models, countering what most people believed based on prior rumors and speculation. The report claims that Apple will be set to ship over half a million iPad two units next month while they start mass production on them. That information signals in our opinion a late February / early March release. In addition to the rumored support of CDMA, it also appears Apple isn’t giving up on its screen technology as it is rumored to be working on better anti-smudge and anti-glare options for iPad displays. Let’s recap the most solid iPad 2 rumors so far:
- Slightly thinner bezel
- Slightly thinner body, tapered edges, flat back
- Front and rear cameras
- Better anti-smudge and anti-glare screen
- Possibly a dual core 1GHz CPU
- 512MB of RAM
- Redesigned rear speaker, volume buttons
- Verizon CDMA unit
Anyone getting excited out there? More →
In an interview with Forbes on Thursday, HTC’s head of User Experience Drew Bamford provided some insight into where the company’s Sense product is headed in the near future. Sense started as a UI overlay placed atop various platforms on HTC devices. While the UI aspects of the product remain a central focus, HTC will continue to expand Sense in several areas off the device. The recently launched HTCSense.com portal is one example of Sense’s departure from phones, though it remains underutilized and confined to just two devices for the time being. Bramford says several services are on their way to Sense, however, including music and video content services as well as access to newspapers, magazines and eBooks. HTC already launched an eBook service in Europe that it plans to expand to other regions in 2011. HTC also plans to launch its own video chat service akin to Apple’s FaceTime, along with several services that focus on home entertainment. These and other services will be made possible by the continued transition to faster 4G cellular data networks. “At some point, you can imagine replacing your home Internet service with your 4G phone,” Bramford said. “I think we’re on the cusp of that transformation where mobile products and living room life collide.” More →
A new report Friday cites news from component suppliers in claiming Apple’s next-generation iPad tablet will include front and rear-facing cameras. The report reaffirms rumors that have existed since the summer, shortly after Apple introduced FaceTime alongside the iPhone 4. FaceTime, which is now supported by the iPhone 4 and Apple’s most recent iPod touch model, is a video chat service usable only by Apple products. It makes sense, of course, that Apple would want to expand the service to include the iPad, which continues to sell extremely well. Apple reportedly chose a camera supplier for the iPad last month, selecting Largan Precision, which also supplies cameras for the iPhone 4. Apple is expected to begin manufacturing its next iPad, commonly referred to as the “iPad 2,” early next year. A launch is expected in March or April. More →
Rumors that Apple’s next-generation iPad will include at least one camera gain purchase Tuesday morning as a new report suggests Apple has named its camera lens supplier for its upcoming tablet. Citing market rumors instigated by a public filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, DigiTimes reports that Largan Precision has been awarded a contract that will make it the sole supplier of lens modules for the second-generation iPad. Largan also supplies 5-megapixel cameras for Apple’s iPhone 4. The inclusion of a front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat is almost a given at this point, and the iPad will also reportedly include a rear-facing camera — possibly the same 5-megapixel optics currently found in the iPhone 4. Following the trail of unsubstantiated reports out of Taiwan, Largan joins Ibiden, Tripod Technology and TTM Technologies as PCD suppliers for Apple’s upcoming iPad sequel. The second-generation iPad is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2011. More →
DigiTimes is hit or miss and while we’re inclined to think there are some misses in its latest report on Apple’s upcoming iPad 2, there are also some hits — or safe bets, at least. Citing an unconfirmed report in a Chinese newspaper, DigiTimes lists five key new features that Apple’s upcoming iPad sequel will supposedly tout:
•Front-facing camera for FaceTime video chat
•A thinner glass panel for a lighter build
•A USB port
•A 3-axis gyroscope
Aside from the USB port, the paper’s claims sound reasonable. We’re not saying it’s impossible that Apple would add a standard USB port to the iPad, but we definitely give it a likelihood rating of 1 on a scale to 10 for the time being. More →
TechCrunch noticed a FaceTime app icon in the dock of the demo machine being used to demo the new iLife ’11 features, and well… it looks as if FaceTime will really come to desktop computers — so awesome! Apple has since gone on to confirm the news, stating that FaceTime for Mac will be available as a public beta today. More →
While a new update to the Yahoo Messenger app on the iPhone would be eventful in and of itself, the latest version brings a very special gift — video calling over 3G, and not just phone to phone, but phone to computer or vice versa. Unfortunately in our quick tests, video calling seems to be buggy, not reliable, and above all, pretty low in the quality department when we do manage to get it working. In addition to video calls, the newly updated Yahoo Messenger brings free voice calls to other Yahoo Messenger friends, supports background multitasking, and more. Let us know if you’re feeling the new update, though we’ll be waiting for real FaceTime calling over 3G. More →
Any Apple fans out there waiting to grab the brand new iPod touch hotness? If so, you’re going to be pleased to learn that Apple’s newest iToy has hit the FCC for certification and has been mercilessly torn down. You’ll find that Apple A4 CPU, an internal antenna, 802.11 b/g/n, and a 3.44 watt-hour battery. Not to mention the Retina Display, front-facing camera for FaceTime, and rear-facing HD-capable shooter. Delicious.
[Via iClarified] More →