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.
Rumor has it that Apple will be scheduling its annual iPod event for mid-September, which is a little bit later than in years past. This contradicts rumors from just last week that the event would be held in mid-August. Apple has held these iPod events every year since 2005. Last year, they announced their September 9 “Let’s Rock” event on August 31. With only a few days of shelf life left for this rumor, we’d expect invitations to start going out in the next few weeks.
However, as a rumor recap, whenever the event takes place, there’s strong evidence to suggest that we’ll see an iPod Touch refresh. It is likely that we’ll see a high-resolution Retina Display, along with front and rear facing cameras (just like the iPhone 4). The iPod Nano is also expected to get the refresh treatment, and some are wondering if it receive tiny touch screens as well. You might remember those. There may even be some iTunes announcements as well (cloud-based music streaming, anyone?), even though there are whispers that Apple is scaling back its ambitions in that arena, for the time being. In any event, let’s hope this shindig happens sooner than later — we’re counting the days.
You know how we reported on FaceTime probably linking up with emails instead of just phone numbers? It looks like it’s coming true, and possibly as soon as this month or next with Apple’s next iPod-focused event. There is a new option to initiate FaceTime calls from email addresses in the latest iPhone 4.1 beta 3. There’s a shot of the button above basically showing how simple this would be, in theory. No idea how Apple will plan to address multiple devices with the same email address, but we’re sure they’ll figure something out. More →
MacRumors is reporting that they have acquired images of the front LCD screen for the yet-to-be-released fourth generation Apple iPod Touch. The upper ribbon-cable that connections the display to the logic board reads “Apple 2010″ and the part looks extremely similar to the screen used by the iPhone 4. The front panel also has a gap where a front-facing camera would presumably go. We are starting to wonder how Apple is going to market the new iPod Touch, and what the fate of the older hard-drive based iPod will be. Any guesses? More →
One of our reliable Apple connections (not Jason Burford) just let us know some pretty fantastic news. It’s been widely assumed that Apple will start to roll out their FaceTime real-time communication protocol to more and more of their mobile devices (and possibly their computers), but until now, we’ve been in the dark on how this will actually work. After all, there are no phone numbers to call on an iPod touch or iPad. Here is how we have been told FaceTime will work on non-iPhone devices: More →
UK retailer John Lewis, self-admittedly, compiled a list of the “noises we’re hearing from suppliers” and guesstimated the initial specs for the fourth generation iPod Touch. The retailer postulated that the upcoming iPod Touch refresh will feature a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with HD video capability and built-in flash, YouTube uploading, accelerometer, and gyroscope. The portable multimedia device will also reportedly include FaceTime calling over WiFi, which suggests the inclusion of a front-facing camera and iOS 4. If this handful of rumored specs pans out, the next generation iPod Touch may share many of the desirable features of the iPhone 4, a product development pattern that has been observed in the past. More →
Remember how psyched we were when I Am T-Pain made its App Store debut? Well multiply that by 25 times and you’ll know exactly what we feel like right now, as a ridiculously awesome update to the app has just been released to the App Store. Not only does it fully support iOS 4, but it goes one step further and takes advantage of FaceTime APIs. The end result is that not only can you sing like T-Pain, but you can create your own music videos all from your iPhone 4. We’ve got a teaser video after the jump alongside a direct link to the app. Honestly, you’d be pretty hard pressed to find a more enjoyable application for $0.99. More →
“Now stop me if you’ve seen this.” And so Steve Jobs announced the iPhone 4. Featuring stainless steel banding around the sides and a glass front, the iPhone 4’s “closest kin is a beautiful old camera.” It’s 24% thinner than the iPhone 3GS at 9.3mm thick, which Apple claims makes it the smallest smartphone on the planet or “a quarter thinner than something you didn’t think could get any thinner.” The three stainless steel bands surrounding the device that look very un-Apple actually serve two purposes: they add to the structural integrity of the device and double as antenna boosters. Smart.
The iPhone 4 has a 3.5″ display that has 78% the pixels of the iPad. With a resolution of 960×640 — or 4x the resolution of the first three iPhones — the iPhone 4 has four pixels where the other devices only had space for one for a total of 326 pixels per inch. Apple calls this “Retina Display” technology and says it translates to images and text so incredibly sharp that you’ll feel like you’re looking at a “finely printed book” instead of a mobile display. The display technology also means that apps will not have to be rescaled, so everything currently in the App Store will The display also has a 800:1 contrast ratio.
Moving on the the processor. Yes, indeedy, the iPhone 4 is powered by an Apple-designed A4 SoC. Apart from providing raw power, the A4 also sips juice from the battery as opposed to gulping it. This means the iPhone 4 is good for 7 hours of 3G talktime, 6 hours of browsing over 3G, 10 hours of browsing over Wi-Fi, 10 hours of video, 40 hours of music and 300 hours of standby. As expected, 802.11n Wi-Fi is included as is a quad-band HSDPA radio capable of 7.2Mbps down and 5.8Mbps up. The iPhone 4 also introduces a dual-mic system for noise cancellation and a gyroscope which combined with the accelerometer allow for 6-axis motion sensing.
The iPhone 4’s main camera weighs in at 5 megapixels. What makes it special, according to Apple, is its backside illuminated sensor. This allows more photons to bombard the sensor resulting in better low-light photos. A sole LED flash straddles the camera sensor. Digital zoom tops out at 5x, while video capture has been stepped up to shoot 720p at 30fps. The LED flash is fully functional when capturing videos.
Not included with iPhone 4 but to be available in the App Store for $4.99 is iMovie. iMovie for the iPhone is pretty much what you’d expect — that is if you were expecting a feature-rich mobile movie editing application that’s capable of manhandling 720p videos. You can rearrange clips by dragging them about; add in photos, transitions, titles, and music; and use geolocation so you’ll have no excuses for forgetting exactly where you were when you shot the film.
And then there’s the front-facing camera. It runs the open application FaceTime. Apple is currently working with wireless providers to bring forth bonafide 3G video calls, but as far as 2010 is concerned you’re stuck with Wi-Fi. If for some reason you don’t want the person you’re calling to see your mug — or perhaps you just want them to see what you’re looking at — you can switch from the front-facing camera to the 5MP camera on the back.
So when can you get the iPhone 4? If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France or Japan you’ll be able to pre-order it on June 15th and pick it up on the 24th. In the US, AT&T will sell the 16GB model for $199 and the 32GB model for $299 (both assuming a 2-year contract). At an unspecified time in July, 18 other countries — Canada included — will get the iPhone. Oh and how could we forget? The iPhone 4 will be available in both black and white. More →