January 28, 2006 @ 8:51 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple’s accelerometer and universal container patents

MacsimmumNews provides an interesting analysis of Apple’s recently filed “Accelerometer” and “Universal Container for audio data”.

The author believes the “Accelerometer” patent filing reveals a kind of Tablet Mac as well as a gaming tablet application.

The second patent filing that is analyzed is a patent relating an “universal container for audio data“. A container that may include different versions of an audio file, each one encoded with a different codec, making the audio file “universal”.

@ 1:22 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
iBooks to feature Front Row?

According to AppleInsider, Apple is going to add the Front Row feature to its next generation, Intel-based iBook line.

Front Row, which was first introduced late last year with the last PowerPC G5 powered iMac brought a kind of “Media Center” experience to the Mac by gathering all the content of the iLife suite along with a movie trailers navigator in a single piece of software.

January 14, 2006 @ 3:34 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Strategy)
Briefly: Integrated Sensing Display, iPod Hi-Fi and iPod Boombox

Here is some recently noticed patents and trademarks Apple has filed at the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office.

Integrated Sensing Display:

As MacsimumNews reports, Apple has filed a patent describing a display that can not only display pixel information but can also capture visual information.

A device comprising: a display area; an array of display elements located within the display area, each display element capable of displaying a pixel of information, either alone or in combination with other display elements; and an array of image elements located within the display area, each image element being capable of capturing visual information from a source in front of the display area; wherein each image element has a lens that does not interfere with any display elements.

iPod Hi-Fi and iPod Boombox

Additionnally, Apple has filed two trademarks at the Hong Kong Patents and Trademarks Office. The first is “iPod Hi-Fi” and the second is “iPod Boombox”. The word “Boombox” itself and its logo as well as “iPod HI-FI” are also included in the filings.

The filings all describe computer hardware and peripherials. We may speculate that it has to do with iPod accessories Apple could release in the near future.

January 11, 2006 @ 4:38 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple releases iPod Updater 2006-01-10

Apple has released iPod Updater 2006-01-10 through the software update utility. Here is the description provided by Apple for this update: (more…)

January 10, 2006 @ 1:56 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
Apple announces an Intel-based iMac and the Mac Book Pro

Apple has annnounced its first Intel-based Macs today, during MacWorld SF 2006 opening Keynote. The two first Macs to go Intel are the iMac and the Mac Book Pro (former Powerbook).

@ 12:57 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple posts Aluminium Powerbook 15″ battery update

Apple has posted an update for the Powerbook Aluminium 15″ through the Software Update utility.

The update provides the following improvements, according to Apple:

This update aids the 15-inch Aluminum PowerBook battery in performing at full capacity.

January 9, 2006 @ 5:39 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
Apple giant displays revealed? (UPDATE)

A reader has sent us a link to a picture of what could be Apple’s rumoured giant plasma displays. It reminds recent rumours claiming that Apple will release 42″ and 50″ plasma displays during MacWorld Expo.

The picture is small and seems to have been taken with a mobile phone. This could be a fake of course but we would hate ourselves if it was real and not published.

UPDATE: As readers report, this is a fake. The original picture can be seen here.

January 8, 2006 @ 10:44 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Strategy, Events)
iTunes mobile to add video, new iTunes partnership

According to a vague anonymous report, the iTunes mobile platform could add support for iTunes videos in the near future while Apple could be in talks for an “iTunes deal” with a second mobile phones maker.

In a similar deal as with Motorola, the new partner will be allowed to sell iTunes enabled mobile phones but with support of iTunes videos as well. Meanwhile, Motorola and Apple should continue with their partnership.

We also learned from older unconfirmed reports that while Apple and Sony Ericsson had failed to find a deal, Apple had also been in talks with Samsung and Nokia.

We have no information about when the new version of iTunes mobile and the deal with the second mobile manufacturer will be announced but we may speculate on an announcement during MacWorld Expo.

January 7, 2006 @ 7:09 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
42″ and 50″ displays at MacWorld?

According to PowerPage, Apple will release 42″ and 50″ displays that will use the newly announced Intel Viiv technology during MacWorld Expo next Tuesday.

The site even provides pricing for these new displays. The 42″ one will cost $2599 and the 50″ one will cost $3299. The resolution of these displays isn’t known but they’re cited as HD displays.

ThinkSecret has recently mentioned the possibility that Apple releases a new display that is larger than the current Cinema Display 30″ HD.

Additionnally, MacRumors notices a report on Ynet.co.il (in Hebrew), claiming that Apple is going to launch a Viiv-based Mac at MacWorld.

January 5, 2006 @ 1:10 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware)
Apple to boost boot speed on MacTels? (UPDATE)

According to Digitimes, Apple’s forthcoming MacTel based laptops will feature very improved boot performance that will use an Intel technology called Robson.

Robson uses NAND memory to store system data needed for boot so as to dramatically accellerate boot time. This technology could also decrease power consumption during restarts.

Digitimes has not proved to be a reliable source in the past but we can hope this will really happen considering Apple has recently secured NAND supply with most of the NAND manufacturers in multi-billion agreements.

UPDATE: Macenstein had published a similar story in October.

January 4, 2006 @ 12:17 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Events)
Apple to bring more pro video products this year

According to ThinkSecret, Apple will unveil several video products during NAB 2006 which takes place on April the …. The new products expected to be released include Final Cut Pro 6, Final Cut Extreme, an even higher definition 30″ display and an improved XServe RAID.

No details are given about Final Cut Pro 6.0, but ThinkSecret claims that Apple is going to launch a new product called Final Cut Extreme. This new product will be very high-end and will directly compete with AVID products while it will be similarly priced at around $10 000.

As for the hardware, Apple is expected to release a larger than 30″ display with resolution upgraded to 4520x2540 pixels and improve its XServe RAID with an InfiniBand link instead of the current fibre channel link.

@ 6:19 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Airport Express and Airport Extreme

Apple has posted a firmware update for Airport Express (to version 6.3) and Airport Extreme (to version 5.7).

Fixes for Airport Express 6.3 and Airport Extreme 5.7 firmware:

-Resolves issue with Audio dropout when playing to AirPort Express with AirTunes
-Resolves issue with Wireless Disabled mode for AirPort Express
-Resolves issue with AirPort Extreme LAN Performance
-Resolves issue when enabling AOL Parental Controls
-Resolves issue with vulnerability to Denial of Service Attacks (bonk)
-Resolves issue with wireless internet access through AirPort via some PPPoA DSL Routers
-Improved reliability when printing through AirPort base stations
-Improved support for RADIUS servers
-Improved support for Network Time Servers (NTP) for AirPort when using an IP addresses

Both updates are available from Apple’s support web site.

January 3, 2006 @ 3:19 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Bluetooth

Apple has posted a firmware update for Bluetooth on its web site.

Here is the description of the update provided by Apple:

The Bluetooth Firmware Update 1.2 improves Bluetooth performance and reliability issues.

When the update package is downloaded, the Bluetooth Firmware Updater application will be launched. Follow the on screen directions to update your Bluetooth Firmware.

The Bluetooth Firmware Updater supports D-Link USB Adapters and Apple internal Bluetooth modules on the following CPUs:
iMac G4
12″ PowerBook
15″ PowerBook
iMac G5
Mac Mini

January 2, 2006 @ 3:23 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Strategy)
MacTels to get more USB ports, keep Firewire

According to reports, Apple will add more USB 2.0 ports to its Mac line-ups along with the switch to the Intel architecture this year at the request of its customers. The company is however expected to keep at least one FireWire port on each of its MacTel products.

Last month, Jason D. O’Grady reported that Apple may be abandoning FireWire on its entry-level laptops in the near future. The news shocked the Mac community as Mac fans hardly believed this could be possible.

Commenting on O’Grady’s report, sources denied the recent rumours and said that the company will add more USB 2.0 ports to its Macs as it’s a major request from customers but it is also claimed that Apple won’t remove totally FireWire “from any existing product line”. We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on the use of the word “existing” in one of their comment.

O’Grady’s report is not totally inaccurate though, as sources do not exclude that Apple could reduce the number of FireWire ports on its Macs in favor of USB. As example, sources mentioned the possibility that the forthcoming PowerBooks include only one FireWire 800 port, confirming a point of O’Grady’s report.

Sources also mentioned the possibility that Apple provides an adaptor that splits a FireWire 800 port into two FireWire 400 ports and claim it is technically feasible. We could not verify if this “FireWire adaptor thing” is possible or not though. So if anyone of you can confirm this, please drop us a mail.

No details were provided on how many USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 or 800 ports Apple’s next generation Mac desktops and laptops will have.

@ 3:22 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Software, Hardware, Strategy, Events)
1TB of monthly bandwidth on .Mac (UPDATE)

Tuaw.com reports (dated 31/12/2006) that Apple has enabled a monthly bandwidth of 1TB a month for each .Mac member. A screenshot is available at World of Apple blog.

The Mac-centric web scpeculates that this could have something to do with a recent report from ThinkSecret claiming that Apple is planning to launch an online video on demand service, with content stored remotely, during MacWorld Expo 2006.

Apple was previously offering 10GB per month to its .Mac customers.

UPDATE: European readers report that they don’t see the upgrade reflected on their accounts.

December 28, 2005 @ 7:54 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware)
Intel to design the next-gen PowerMac’s motherboard?

According to AppleInsider, Apple will outsource the design of the Intel-based PowerMac architecture to Intel.

The site also draws a roadmap for Apple’s transition to the Intel platform. It is claimed that during the first four months of 2006, the Powerbook, the iBook, the iMac and the Mac mini will all get Intel processors, while the Intel-based PowerMac will be made available in the third quarter of 2006.

That would mean that Steve Jobs has not been accurate about the Intel transition’s roadmap when he announced that Apple was switching to the Intel architecture, earlier this year. The official roadmap starts in mid 2006 and lasts about three years while rumours suggest that the transition will start early 2006 and will be almost finnished by the year end.

December 22, 2005 @ 12:40 am (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Mac OS X, Software, Hardware)
Apple updates Aperture

Apple has released an update for Aperture to version 1.0.1 through the Software Update utility and its web site. The update offers the following changes and improvements:

Aperture 1.0.1 Update addresses a number of issues related to reliability and performance. It also delivers improved image export quality and metadata handling. Among the key areas addressed are:

White balance adjustment accuracy and performance
Image export quality
Book and print ordering reliability
Auto-stacking performance
Custom paper size handling
This update is recommended for all Aperture users.

December 19, 2005 @ 6:39 pm (EST) — posted by Alexandros Roussos (Hardware, Events)
A 1GB iPod nano?

AppleInsider posts additional information about potential announcements for MacWorld SF. The site claims Apple is shipping no less than 100 000 iPod nanos every day and is preparing to release a 1GB model.

The 1GB model could be priced $149, resulting in a drop price on the iPod shuffle product line as well. The iPod shuffle 512MB could be priced as low as $79.99 by early January according to the report.

Research reports show that it’s possible for Apple to offer such pricing and could be even very profitable for the company, considering that a 2GB iPod nano sale brings more money to Apple than a 4GB one.

What’s certain is that if these rumours are true, Apple will put even entry-level rivals definitely out of competition.

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