Set to be unveiled at a media event on Wednesday, the second-generation iPad will apparently be a pretty boring update that isn’t worthy of all the hype. An anonymous “Apple staffer” has reportedly fed enthusiast site Cult of Mac some thoughts on Apple slates, and he or she thinks the iPad 2 is a dud. The iPad 3, on the other hand, will be the awesome update everyone is waiting for. “For the iPad 2 don’t get your hopes up too high. That’s all I’m going to say,” the Apple employee is quoted as having said. “They’ve had a number of problems along the way, and the third-generation iPad is the one to make a song and a dance about.” The chatty rep gave no hints as far as a timeline for the iPad 3 — Apple typically releases an iOS device roughly a year after its predecessor, but several rumors have suggested we may see a third-generation iPad launch this fall. In the meantime, tomorrow’s second-generation iPad is expected to feature a significantly thinner case, dual cameras, a faster processor, more RAM and support for both Verizon Wireless and AT&T’s cellular networks. More →
Ever since Apple released Mac OS X Lion 10.7 to developers to test, new features have started to become uncovered. 9to5Mac has been doing a great job compiling a list of some new (and pretty lust-worthy) features that are available in the next version of Apple’s operating system for the PC, and here’s a brief recap of what you can expect to see come summer:
- TRIM support for super-fast SSD writing
- Recovery partition to your startup hard drive removing the need for the OS X installer disc in case something goes wrong
- Possible Dropbox-like functionality for MobileMe storage
- Find my Mac functionality in Apple’s MobileMe service
- Removed support for PowerPC applications
- Removed Front Row (possible it’s only in the seeded development OS, however)
- Podcast Producer, a true podcast production tool letting you create various shows, episodes, and effortless edit, upload, and share your podcasts
- Yahoo IM! support in iChat including video and audio conferencing, iOS-style symbol keys (hold down a key on your keyboard and an onscreen symbol list appears like in iOS), and live URL previews when you hover over a URL link
There are many more findings in Mac OS X 10.7, but these are some of the exciting smaller ones that haven’t yet been announced. More →
As long as we’ve heard rumors of a Verizon iPhone, we’ve also heard rumors that a lighter, smaller, cheaper iPhone was in the works behind closed doors in Cupertino. Sticking to the theme of constantly rehashing rumors until they come true, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Apple is indeed working on a bite-sized iPhone that will soon become a reality. Codenamed “N97,” the new iPhone will be half the size of the current model and could be available for as little as $49 on contract. It may include a “voice navigation” feature as well, providing a more flushed-out catalog of voice commands. We’re also starting to see a variety of designers issue mockups of the device, which would certainly shake up the mobile industry and spell further trouble for Apple’s competition. If The Journal’s report is accurate, however, the mockups we’ve seen thus far are likely way off base considering the rumored new iPhone model is said to feature a screen that “goes to all of the edges” of the phone. Finally, it is worth noting that an iPhone of this size would likely have to do away with the iPhone’s current home button configuration, a sentiment in line with our exclusive report from last month. More →
Apple released its first developer build of iOS 4.3 on Wednesday and needless to say, developers have been on a treasure hunt ever since. We compiled a list of new iOS features last night, but an interesting one popped up early this morning. The forthcoming addition, found buried in the iOS code, is called “Find My Friends.” The purpose of the service is unknown for the time being, but the code suggests that it is tied to MobileMe. The name of the forthcoming feature obviously leads us to believe that Apple plans to add location sharing to MobileMe, likely in line with Google Latitude, which allows users to broadcast their locations to friends. More details will surely follow as new iOS 4.3 beta builds are released. More →
Predictions from Piper Jaffray’s managing director and senior research analyst Gene Munster have been compared to darts tossed at a 10-foot dartboard, but that won’t stop the man from churning out new notes. On Monday, Mr. Munster laid out his roadmap for Apple in 2011 and it actually looks like he may be in store for a few wins this year. Then again, the roadmap is based almost entirely on things we already know with near certainty — or, in some cases, absolute certainty — so these can hardly be called Munster’s wins if they pan out. Here’s how Apple’s 2011 pans out in Munster’s eyes:
- Verizon launch of the iPhone: Probability 95% (March qtr) (our est)
- Mac App Store: Probability 100% (Jan. 6 launch)
- iTunes cloud services: Probability 90%
- iPad geographic expansion: Probability 100%
- iPad subsidies from carriers: Probability 80%
- OS X Lion: Probability 100% (summer 2011)
- iPhone (March quarter). We are modeling for Apple to launch a CDMA version of the iPhone at Verizon in the March-11 quarter. The fifth generation iPhone will likely ship this summer with NFC capability.
- iPad (spring). We believe the second generation iPad will launch in spring 2011.
- Macs (uncertain). We have moderate confidence that Apple will release redesigned MacBook Pros in 1H11 and redesigned iMacs in 2H11.
Munster does also note that Apple may launch some nifty new Web-based services and maybe even a television in 2011, but again, these are just rehashed rumors that have been around for quite a while now.
Just a quick little heads up to anyone who relies upon MobileMe, as the service will be down for maintenance overnight from 1am to 3am ET. Downtime is never fun, but it’s sounding a lot like when Apple’s engineers are done with the update we’ll finally see the beta label shed from the updated webmail portion of Me.com. That, and the release of a Find My iPhone app for devices running iOS 3.0 and up.
It’s not a whole lot to go on, but rumors never are. Recent changes to the Account Type statuses of Apple’s MobileMe service is leading many to believe that the cloud-based syncing offering may soon become free. Instead of being labeled as an Individual subscriber accounts are now labeled with Full Member. We have been able to confirm that the changes have occurred on both single license and multiple license family-pack accounts. It’s speculative, but needless to say Apple could stand to benefit from touting the service as free. We’re sure there are a lot of Apple lovers out there who are going to hold their breath extra hard in the days leading up the WWDC keynote. More →
Introduced in June 2008 to much fanfare — although soon derided by critics and consumers alike for a series of shortcomings — Apple’s $99 per year MobileMe service didn’t exactly get off to the best start in life. However, according to a report from MacDailyNews, Apple is planning to make MobileMe a free service “soon.” MDN’s tipster couldn’t nail down an exact date for the change, citing that it all “depends on certain facilities going operational” (read: Apple’s $1 billion, 500,000 sq. ft. server farm in North Carolina), but allegedly everything should be sorted out in the near future. The question is: if MobileMe becomes free, will Apple dole out refunds to those who paid for the service within the past year, and will Apple generate revenue off the free service with iAds? More →
It’s the moment every iPhone owner dreads — but secretly dreams about. You’re walking in a dark alley (or near the intersection of Amberson Avenue and Amberson Place in Shadyside, in this case) and three men approach, one brandishing a gun. They demand your wallet, credit card PINs and your precious iPhone. Scared for your life, you nervously comply and hand over your belongings. As the men leave and you run in the opposite direction and think to yourself, “Hell yeah, I finally get to use the ‘Find My iPhone’ feature in MobileMe!” Editorializing aside, this is reportedly what happened early this morning in Shadyside, PA. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an unnamed victim was allegedly robbed around 1:00 am this morning and forced to hand over his wallet and iPhone. After fleeing the scene unharmed, the man contacted the police and his banks before going home and using Apple’s ‘Find My iPhone’ feature to locate his iPhone at a local Walmart. The man coordinated with police and three suspects were eventually detained at a nearby gas station. Police recovered a black pellet gun, stolen identification, credit cards and cash, though the report does not indicate whether or not the stolen iPhone was recovered. Moral of the story: don’t steal a guy’s iPhone (but if you do, turn it off).
We’re going out on a limb here, but check out this option we discovered in iPhone OS 3.0 under a MobileMe email account…
Well it’s not MWC time yet, and the security exception we encountered on the way to the site suggests it’s not quite ready for prime time, but Microsoft’s SkyBox site has gone live in a very early state. Now branded “My Phone”, the service provides syncing a la MobileMe to ensure that important data is always backed up. Unlike MobileMe, My Phone looks to be a mobile-only service and only affords 200 MB of remote storage. While that might be enough for mobiles it probably wouldn’t last 10 seconds on a PC. This begs the question… Why? Why isn’t Microsoft offering the whole enchilada? Maybe we’ll see a complete sync service offered under a different name but Windows Mobile users hoping SkyBox would be Microsoft’s answer to complete sync / backup competitors are apparently going to be disappointed. The installation and sign up pages are dead for the time being but there’s plenty of info to be had from the Find out more page. Other negative items of note: My Phone will not back up contacts, calendar or tasks if you use Exchange (consider that a confirmation of SkyLine), data on an external card cannot be backed up, documents outside of the My Documents folder won’t be backed up and you must have Windows Mobile 6+ to use the service. On the positive side, it’s free! Hit the jump for the full text from the more info page in case Microsoft pulls the site.
Since what some might characterize as disastrous beginnings, Apple has been relatively quiet about the MobileMe service it initially billed as the savior of sync. In fact, short of a leaked email from the Jobsinator to his team we’ve basically heard nothing of interest. Apparently that doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t been hard at work repairing the mess it created however, and details have now emerged that bring Apple’s recent efforts to light. Apple is typically pretty tight-lipped when it comes to change logs but seeing as MobileMe was a bit of a mess, the Cupertino crew has changed its tune a bit. A new support document published on Apple’s site details a pretty extensive list of changes and improvements that supposedly went into effect in late September. Why it waited until the end of October to make these changes known is a bit of a mystery but hey – at least Apple is giving us something. Does this mean MobileMe troubles are now a thing of the past? You tell us – we still won’t touch MobileMe with a 10-foot pole…
[Via Ars Technica]
Forgive us our skepticism, but this is beginning to sound like a broken refrain. Apple has, once again, offered an extension for all of its MobileMe subscribers. In recognition of the frustration endured by those of us that have seen MobileMe go up, and down, and up, and down over the past month and a half, the company is doing its best to make amends. The current 60-day extension is being offered in addition to the original 30-day free pass, giving a grand total of three months of free service to anyone that subscribed to the syncing service from the word “go”. It’s a nice gesture, and one that certainly deserves some credit, but with Apple alluding to more possible downtime and interruption in their apology email we have to wonder if the company is anticipating even more fallout as they work to make their faltering service more robust. Then again, perhaps we’re just being cynical. Apple certainly isn’t known for their willingness to admit fault, so perhaps we should simply revel in the Cupertino’s admission that “MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour”, accept our free extension, and move on.