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Apple Special Event September 2015 #apple

Apple’s September event has come and gone. Re-watch the keynote at Apple’s website.

Well, all the common rumours are pretty much on the spot.

Tim Cook is changing the keynote style. Unlike Jobs who likes to talk about statistics before the actual announcements, Tim Cook seems to prefer to just go straight to the announcements.

First, Apple Watch. WatchOS 2, and new models (color) and bands. I thought smartwatch is just an expensive fad. I do own a Motorola 360, and I only bought it due to the price cut when the Apple Watch was released. At $400, I’m still not convinced whether it is worth it to get a first gen product. Time has proven again and again that Apple’s second revision of the product is much better (iPad, iPhone, iPod nano). With Apple pushing apps on the Apple Watch, I am going to wait for the next revision to see if it is finally worth the price.

The more important here to me is the partnership with Hermes. The lay people amy brush this away, but this is the next step of Apple as a business. Apple is making itself into more of a brand company, and it is selecting luxury partners. We will see how Apple progress, and how the other tech companies are confused how Apple is making so much money.

Next up is iPad, and yes, the rumours are correct. We are getting a 12.9″ iPad Pro, with stylus support called Apple Pencil, and a smart keyboard cover. Yes, sounds like the same concept as Microsoft’s Surface.

What’s amazing is the inside. It is sporting an A9X chip, and simply listening to Apple’s claim on what the chip can do is quite mind boggling. Apple claims that it is faster than 80% of the laptops out there. That’s a huge claim, considering intel has been making great improvements on its Atom and Core processors. GPU performance claim is also huge, 2x the 8X, and Apple is claiming it is faster than 90% of laptops out there. Being able to edit 4K movies is a jaw-dropping capability, considering that even my Macbook Pro is still choking on 1080p videos in Final Cut Pro X.I am wondering how Apple does it. Having said that, I am guessing majority of laptops out there are running Atom and low end Celeron and Pentium processors, and thus explain the claim of GPU superiority of the A9X. I mean intel integrated graphics are not the greatest, but I doubt the A9X can match the Iris GPUs, which are in the Macbook Pros.

Other features are 4 speakers, and the new connectors for accessories, including the smart keyboard. However, just like Microsoft, the keyboard cover is sold at a premium, for $170. Oh and there’s the stylus called Apple Pencil, for an extra $100. But it is charging from the lightning connector? It is stupid, having the pencil sticking out on the huge iPad Pro. Maybe Apple Pencil 2 will have a rotatable lightning connector. I harp on Microsoft for note including the keyboard cover with the Surface, but at least Microsoft included the stylus on the Surface Pro.

As usual, Apple made videos starring Johnny Ive to narrate technology into an alluring advertisement. This is the magic of Apple, as it made me interested into getting the iPad Pro. However, I think 12.9″ is too big. I think the iPad Pro is a test bed. When you look at the models available, it has a weird lineup, inconsistent with previous iPads offering. Apple only offers it in 3 models, 32GB, 128GB, and 128GB + cellular. There’s no 32GB + cellular, nor 64GB models. They are expensive too. 32GB model is $800, and the 128GB + cellular is $1080. Yes, finally a $1000 iPad… Sounds like Apple is still determining how the market would react and what kind of demands they would have. Personally, I will be waiting for an updated regular iPad with the Pencil support. That would be a more ideal size for students.

Interestingly, Apple updated the iPad mini into iPad mini 4 without actual announcement. The iPad mini 3 was silly, only adding Touch ID over the iPad mini 2. The mini 4 is a more appropriate update, adding the A8 chip. Interestingly, Apple is keeping the mini 2 for the lower price point instead of the mini 3. iPad mini 2 now starts at $270, which is quite a steal imo (the refurbished 16GB wifi is getting close to the $200 price point, being sold at $230). Imagine an iPad at almost the same price as an iPod Touch. On the other hand, Apple now has a sale of iPad lineup, contrasting their typical simple product line up. Now Apple has iPad mini 2, mini 4, iPad Air, Air 2, and the Pro. That’s a lot of models.

Next up Apple TV. Apple finally is making its long-rumored attempt at gaming console, again. The interesting part is the Siri user interface, using the Siri remote with a trackpad on it. It is powered by the A8 chip. It is interesting how this can be clocked as now it doesn’t have as much physical restrictions as Apple’s portable devices. Apple is selling this new Apple TV at two capacity sizes, 32GB for $150 and 64GB for $200. I think this class of device should be simplified, meaning Apple should just sell the 64GB model for $149. I think this is Apple’s trick in upselling. Why? Apps. The new TV will run sophisticated apps just like other iOS devices, including games. I’m guessing Apple is banking for consumers to pay more for more storage for the apps. It will be interesting to see how Roku and Amazon would react to this. Apple’s huge advantage is its huge movie library.

And lastly, the iPhone 6S/6S+. The rumours are pretty much spot on. It has the same outer appearance as the 6 obviously, and there’s a rose gold color option. It is running the A9 chip, and retaining the same capacities and price points as the previous iPhone 6. It has the force touch called 3D touch. Camera is upgraded, with 12MP on the rear and 5MP at the front. It is 4k capable also. Can’t wait to get my hands on this, although I am concerned about the smaller battery and rumours that it still only has 1GB of RAM.

One interesting feature is Live Photos. Basically the camera will be capturing extra frames for a second before and a second later when you press the shutter button, giving you a quick video clip in addition to the picture itself. It reminds me of HTC Zoe, which I said in the past for Apple to copy it. The problem with HTC Zoe is that it is keeping multitude of pictures, creating confusion when backing up the photos as now you have tons of pictures of the “same” thing (which creates the frames of the quick snippet). Looks like Apple made things more seamless. Will be interesting how services like dropbox would deal with live photos.

Another interesting move is for Apple to do its own iPhone instalment plan, which makes you “subscribe” to Apple starting at $32 a month. Apple will give you an unlocked iPhone with AppleCare+, and you will get the new one every year. This is definitely a jab at the carriers as now people can get an iPhone for just $384 a year, and it’s unlocked to boot. This is Apple’s solution to attack the cheap Android phones. Very bold and interesting move, and I hope it gets adopted outside the US where people prefer unlocked and no-contract.

iCloud storage is also updated, with 50GB for 99cents a month. Sounds pretty sweet to me and I might finally bite (although it has not shown on the iCloud purchase setting page yet on Yosemite).

Online, you will see people claiming that the whole thing is underwhelming, mainly because the rumours pretty much nailed everything down, thus no “new” surprises.  However, I think this is a huge turning point for Apple. I can see the A9X as the starting point for Apple to consider an Ax powered Macbook. The Apple Pencil might create a new feature set for future iPads. The new Apple TV is Apple’s attempt to attack the gaming console market with a full app store ecosystem. And finally the iPhones 6S/6S+, creating a new UI experience with 3D Touch. People judge books by its cover. So people will be more excited when they see a new Android device that look different (but only having minuscule improvements inside), while scoff off Apple’s S-cycle iPhones that carry a lot inside but appear the same externally. I mean seriously, look at the Xperia Z3, Z4 and Z5. The 6S brings a ton more over the 6 than Sony did for its Xperia flagship.

I have posted about how I am considering switching back to iPhone, and the 6S is the obvious candidate. I will be waiting on the side for Apple Watch 2 and iPad Air 3 with Pencil support. I was considering getting the retina Macbook when Apple updates it with Skylake, but the iPad Pro muddles the water. Can’t wait what Apple can do next year with the A10.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in impression, Keynote

 

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WWDC 2014 Prediction

Obligatory post about the next Apple event. To be honest, I don’t feel like it’s going to be as exciting as some people would be hoping. Part of the excitement of past Apple events was the performance itself, by Steve Jobs. His mastery in the presentation is what makes the events enjoyable imo. Now, it relies more on the products.

So, what to expect on this WWDC? Well, the banners are up, so we will see announcements of iOS 8 and the next OS X. The next OS X is rumored to be called Yosemite. There are rumors that it will get some design cues from the “flatness” of iOS7. I think the big push will be on tagging. I think Apple is inching itself away from the traditional file system. Tagging is helpful, but it is not pushed as much as it is supposed to. Many apps still rely on the old file names paradigm, thus only provide that interface to the user.

Another interesting step is whether Apple is going to introduce OS X on ARM. I think this will be the next big thing. It’s no secret that Apple has prototypes of MacBooks running their Ax SoC. The move to 64 bit on the A7 is a big hint on what’s to come. These SoCs are becoming more and more powerful. Sure, they won’t be challenging intel in a Mac Pro anytime soon, but imagine an even lighter and thinner Macbook with even better battery life. And while on it, comes with built-in cellular radio. That would be THE laptop for everybody.

iOS 8’s banner has what seems to be an ocean background. I’m hoping for waterproof iPhones, but I think this will be more about the iOS, not a new iPhone. Can’t expect too much other than for Apple to fix the bugs of iOS7, and optimize it further so it is lean and fast. Right now, even on 7.1.1, my iPhone still has the annoying springboard restarts, even when it is just lying on the table. That’s ridiculous. But typical Apple, I’m afraid they will focus more on utilizing the co-processor of the A7 SoC, thus pretty much rendering anything with the A6 or older to be “less desirable.” Planned obsolesce. Annoying, but won’t be too surprising. When I had the iPhone 4, I thought I would not need to get any newer iPhone. It runs iOS6 okay. I upgraded to the iPhone 5 mainly for the camera and RAM. But we saw iOS7 putting the aging iPhone 4 to its knees. Even A5 devices are not doing so hot on iOS7, and Apple is still selling the 4S and iPad mini. Apple is using software to entice people to upgrade. I just hope Apple sees the legacy they have created. Due to the popularity of the iPad, there are a lot of people and businesses that are still using the old iPad 2, or even the original iPad. Imo Apple needs to start thinking about legacy support. The least Apple should do is optimize iOS8 to run great on the older devices, instead of just putting in more useless animations to make the older devices buckle.

Another rumor is Health book and wearables. There are leaks of a new Health book app, and the rumors of wearables from the legendary iWatch rumor to simply certifications of health/medical devices that are compatible with iDevices. I have a feeling the later to be more accurate. And I still think Apple won’t do an iWatch. The iWatch was simply a rumor conjured up by the tech bloggers, just like the rumor about Apple making an actual television. The tech bloggers keep using the iWatch rumor so much that they themselves are believing that it would be real. Personally, nah.

Some hardware rumors are an updated Apple TV. I think at least Apple need to update the chip as the last Apple TV is still running a single core A5. However, this can wait for the later events, not in WWDC.

How about new Macs? Apple is just starting to ship the new Mac Pro, so I doubt anything new on that. Intel does not have a full refresh on their lineup yet, so I don’t think any of the laptops would see a refresh. The rumor is for a 12″ retina Macbook Air. Not so sure about this, but the Macbook Air do deserve some refresh on their screens. More and more Windows tablets have better screens than the current Air. If Apple is doing a new hardware design, I think it would be linked towards the goal of making an ARM based Macbook, so I don’t know if we will see anything right now.

The only hardware remaining that has not received Haswell treatment is the Mac mini, but updating the Mac mini is not that exciting unless Apple is doing some major hardware update (making it look like a mini Mac Pro, for instance). There’s a rumor of a cheaper iMac, but even if that’s the case, I think that will be only for the educational institutions, something that Apple has been doing in the past. The current iMacs are all running pretty up-to-date hardware. If Apple need to do something, my wish is to make the fusion drive as standard.

Another rumor is the iPad Pro, or something like that. Basically a larger screen iPad with multi-windowing system. Maybe that’s what iOS8 will bring. Samsung definitely thinks Apple would do this as they came out with their 12″ Tab Pro. I personally think the 12″ ARM running Macbook to be more plausible than this larger iPad.

On the business side, there’s the purchase of Beats audio. However, I don’t know how this would relate to WWDC. Even if Apple is announcing some new music streaming services or whatnot, the typical September media even would be more appropriate.

We will see what will happen in the next few days. I have a feeling this will be focused on developers, not hardware, so it might be disappointing to the gadget-lusting tech bloggers. I can’t wait for the headlines next week about Apple can no longer innovate and that they are doomed. 

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Apple Special Event October 2013 Impression

Well, that was quick. Apple live streamed their keynote, and the stream is already available. As an armchair critic, time for yet more 2 cents from me. 😀

The keynote started with a very deep video that is basically Apple explaining to those bloggers that are shouting that they are no longer innovative because they don’t have huge phones with swimming fish as a wallpaper like Android. Typical Apple, the video is highly produced. It’s simple, yet enjoyable to watch.

As usual, the keynote started with Tim Cook with the stats. 9 million iPhones sold since the 5s/5c launch. Damn, and I thought we are in recession. Tim Cook showed a video, a very highly produced one, showing the launch day with people lining up and getting excited. Plenty of Asians in the video, kinda hinting Apple is serious in targeting China as their market. This is one of the reasons watching Apple keynote a lot more enjoyable than any other companies’. They just produced their stuff extremely well, unlike the other companies that seem to stuck in the 90s style of rigidity. I mean seriously, try watch Samsung or even Microsoft’s presentation for the Surface 2. And they wonder why Apple is garnering the brand awareness and mindset of the public. Genius marketing.

Oh, in the video, there’s a dude buying five of the 5c cases. Scalper alert!

“Biggest and fastest software upgrade in history… ever.” Yeah, Cook was talking about iOS7. Sounds great, but can you fix the battery drain and cut back on the animations please? They are getting old after two days. Tim Cook stated how great it is that consumers can experience the latest features. Yes, tell that to iPhone 4 owners.

A mention of iTunes radio with a plug for Justin Timberlake. Meh. Wake me up when all Avex’ catalog are in. Apps. Yes, we heard this before. Mac, with mentions of OS X, iLife, and iWork. Tim Cook seemed to be stumbling, hope he’s okay.

“The competitors are confused. They are making PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs.” LOL. Yes Microsoft, that’s you.

Craig was next with OS X Mavericks. Echo… Somebody is going to get some spanking later.

We heard many of these before in WWDC. Craig is claiming you can get an hour more battery life on the Haswell Macbook Air. That’s quite a feat if it’s true. Variable graphics memory allocation. Tags, which is not new as older OS X already has it, it was just called label. Why tags? I think this is Apple’s way of eliminating the file system from the user. I can see this being expanded on future versions of OS X, and the files and folders that we are used to getting more and more hidden.

Even Craig seemed to be stumbling, rushed. The presentation does not feel as tight as when Jobs was running the show.

Demo on Mavericks feature, showing integration between notification, mail, calendar, maps, etc.

Windows 8 pro for $199. Yep, jab #2 at Microsoft. Mavericks? Free! Even for those running Snow Leopard! Well, not completely unexpected. Many people have said this when Apple dropped its upgrade price to $20. Apple get their money from selling hardware. Still, a nice touch. I can see OS X updates will be just seamless in the future. Since it is free, it will be just an ongoing software updates. People do not have to worry anymore about what OS version they are running.

For me, I am sticking on Lion a bit longer (yeah, I have not even upgraded to Mountain Lion). It is always wise to wait for the first of second point update before upgrading an OS.

Phil was up next. Great reviews on Macbook Air. New retina Macbook Pro. That old Macbook Pro? Yeah, they are step children now that Apple doesn’t even upgrade it to Haswell. New Retina Macbook Pro is lighter and thinner. Gee, what’s new. 😀 Better battery life thanks to Haswell. Oh, and a keynote tip from Apple. See how Phill talked about the increased battery life, then showed a Macbook Pro with a screenshot from Batman movie, and then from behind, showed two more Macs and stated how you can watch the entire trilogy in one charge. Great presentation indeed!

Of course, everything is upgraded. PCI-e SSD, 802.11ac, Thunderbolt 2, Mavericks. Base 13″ model starts at $1299, pretty much set to replace the old Macbook Pro. Oh, best yet, shipping today! Again, this is why Apple is so successful. Many other Windows laptop OEMs have not even shipped their Haswell laptops that they announced earlier this year. The 15″ model is getting Iris Pro, with higher priced option for nVidia GPU, GT 750M. Interestingly enough, the 15″ model has less battery life than the 13″ model (8 hours vs 9 hours). 15″ starts at $1999 with Iris Pro, and shipping today too.

Mac Pro. In short, $2999, shipping in December. Yeah, not cheap. Nice, but too rich for my blood. Typical Apple, to entice you to spend that much money, they make a documentary on the making of the Mac Pro in the assembly line. Unlike Jony Ives’ documentary, the background is black. 😀 Can’t wait for the parodies people will make.

Next up was Eddie, with iLife, new versions for iOS and Mac. Finally, matching icons on the iOS version to match iOS7 style.  Eddie simply blazed through the apps without much demo other than Garage Band. I’m curious on the new iMovie and iPhoto, but alas, no demo. In-app purchase for Garage Band! Yeah, Apple made these apps for free, and they went into the IAP game. I just hope they don’t do that for iMovie effects.

New iWork. More syncing with iCloud and web version, plus collaboration! Take that Google Docs. Fun demo. Seems better rehearsed than Craig’s Mavericks demo. Free. Office 365 for $99 per year. Jab #3 at Microsoft. I guess it’s better to poke fun at Microsoft than Google.

They are all available today, but I cannot install them!! 😦 Why? They require Mavericks! No fun for me and my Lion. Oh, and no free iWork for me too. Have to buy new Macs. 😦

Tim Cook returned with stats for iPads. Yet more jabs at Microsoft in the most indirect manner. Yet another highly produced video showing iPad in a variety of usages, with Asians and Chinese in them. 😀 I wonder how they record the movie of the guy with a tent hanging on a mountain at the end though.

Phil with new iPads, finally! As expected, the new big iPad follows the iPad mini’s design with thinner bezel. The name becomes iPad Air. iPad Air? Doesn’t sound right. But I guess it’s better than what it could’ve been, ie. “The Newer iPad with retina display.” Even thinner than the previous iPad. What’s amazing is the weight, 1 pound. It runs the A7 SoC. Wait, no A7X? Yeah, I guess Apple sees the A7 is fast enough to push the retina iPad on its own. No TouchID though. No 802.11ac either. Same prices as the iPad 4, November 1, with a new breakthrough in LTE. Just one single SKU for LTE support for all carriers in the world, including all four US carriers. That’s amazing.

Previously, despite all iPads with cellular are unlocked, LTE support is carrier/region specific. You can buy a Verizon LTE iPad 4, for example, and although you can use it on AT&T, you will only get 3G/HSDPA speed. Seems like that’s over now with the iPad Air. It’s quite an amazing feat that we are at this point of universal LTE support this quick. Remember how long it took to even have phones with penta-band HSDPA? Yeah, that Nokia WinRT tablet with carrier branding? Good luck with that. The only downside left is the mess that is the iPhone 5s/5c, with every region having their own SKU with LTE that only works with the carriers in those region.

And, the iPad 2 lives! Yes, still at $399. More like the iPad for suckers, especially when you see the new iPad mini having the same price. I mean really, the iPad 2 was great, but it was released in 2011, running the old A5 SoC that doesn’t even get many of iOS7’s new features. You are better off buying a refurbished iPad 4 or the new iPad mini.

Of course, another documentary starring Jony Ives.

Ah yes, the new iPad mini. It finally received retina display thanks to the A7. And Apple didn’t stop there, they used that as an excuse to increase the price. The new iPad mini now starts at $399, shipping November (but no specific dates). Yeah, you still want to buy that iPad 2? 😀 Space gray is the new word for black. The old iPad mini hangs around at $299 for the 16GB wifi. I guess that’s Apple’s answer to the new Nexus 7.

Seriously, the iPad 2 and old iPad mini are for suckers, considering they are running a two generation behind SoC.

Tim Cook returned to wrap up the show.

So, how was my prediction? I got pretty close, although I got the order wrong. I thought Apple was going to do a 12″ retina Macbook to sneak in between the Macbook Air and the retina Macbook Pro, but looks like Apple managed to push the price of the retina Macbook Pro down, making the old legacy Macbook Pro a step child. Mavericks is free, which is unexpected but not surprising. New iLife and iWork. New iPads as expected, with a price jump on the retina mini, and the old ones linger around for suckers.

Of course, no Apple TV, and no smartwatch. Cue in the tech bloggers bitching on how Apple lacks innovation, ignoring the feat of engineering that brings 1 SKU to support all LTE around the world. As for me, I have been waiting for a retina mini since the original iPad mini was announced, so I’m getting that one. Bye bye Nexus 7, it’s nice knowing ya.

What’s on your shopping list?

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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WWDC 2013 Prediction

Just in case you don’t know, Apple is starting WWDC on Monday. Of course, anytime Apple does a keynote presentation, a ton of rumors are flying around in regards to what Apple is going to unveil. As usual, the analyst are predicting anything they can think of, from new Macs to new iPhone, iPads, etc.

Based on the posters going up at the event, obviously Apple is going to talk about iOS7 and a new OS X. WWDC is a developer conference, so these are expected. It’s just that sometimes Apple announced a product too, and the big one was the iPhone 3G, that people are expecting new products instead.

My prediction would be refreshed Mac lineup, in conjunction with intel releasing their new chips Haswell. I expect a refresh across all Macs, from the Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, retina Macbook Pro, and the iMac. I don’t think we will see a retina Macbook Air, although the 13″ retina Macbook Pro will be very interesting with the upgraded internals to Haswell. The Mac mini, maybe, but it seems that the mini is on a longer cycle than the rest of the Macs, so maybe not right away. The Mac Pro? Well, who knows. Apple has been saying they would do something, but never did. It’s the only Mac that doesn’t even support Thunderbolt. Apple is making their money on iOS devices now, so a low volume and premium priced Mac Pro may not be their priority.

Oh, and all those Macs will come with Mountain Lion. Apple cannot just release a new OS and ship it right off the bat. They have to give developers time to actually look at it. So I’m guessing after the hardware announcements, then we will see a preview of the next OS X.

Same thing with iOS. I don’t think we will see any new iDevices on this upcoming WWDC. Apple usually did another event beforehand to preview a new version of iOS and to let developers use the beta, but so far they have not done that. So this would be the announcement, and then, new iDevices will be out in September/October.

One more thing? Maybe new routers with 802.11AC. Oh, and there’s iRadio. Not sure if Apple would do this on WWDC, as music related stuff are usually announced in September, together with the new iDevices. I think the new version of OS X and iOS7 will be the bulk of the keynote. I think Apple would have quite a bit of new things with these two OSes that they need the time to talk about them. Besides, it is WWDC, for developers.

Okay, that’s my two cents. Not much “leaks” around, meaning that we will see actual new iDevices later this year. The refreshed Macs are expected with Haswell. As usual, it is always exciting to watch Apple’s performance in their keynotes. I’ll be following Engadget’s live blogging. I like gdgt’s but they are part of Engadget now. UPDATE: Also, looks like Apple is going to live stream the keynote.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in apple, Keynote

 

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What would be on WWDC 2012?

I’m too focused on Accel World that I’m falling behind on the tech rumors. WWDC 2012 is coming, so what are the rumors? Every tech blogs out there seems to be talking about a larger screen iPhone. Personally, I think this year’s WWDC will pretty much be like last year’s.

1. OS X Mountain Lion.
OS X Mountain Lion has been out for testing for some time, but seems to be an even more minor upgrade from Lion. I’m sure Apple is ready to unveil some features that would entice people to upgrade. If not, what if they made it just $20, or even free?

2. iOS 6.
Nothing is much known about this, which leads me to believe that we won’t see a new iPhone till September/October like the iPhone 4S. To be honest, I don’t know what else to add for iOS, although I still have one gripe that has never been fixed. The inability of the iPod/Music app to do shuffle by album. This leaves the iPod Classic as the only iDevice that can do this.

3. iCloud updates.
Photo album sharing, or something like that. .Mac/MobileMe had a gallery where you can upload photos to be shared. This feature is gone on iCloud, which I find baffling for Apple to do so. I also hope Apple would bring back photo-casting.

I guess that would be my predictions. Maybe some new Macbook Pro/Air to excite the crowd and press? I do think we won’t see the new iPhone, and imo the next iPhone won’t be bigger. The bigger one will be the new iPod Touch, to compete with the PS Vita, as a portable gaming device. Plus, Apple has made the Touch so thin that the only sensible way to put in a higher performing chip and more battery without significantly increasing the thickness is to make it bigger.

I dunno. I used to be so excited on Apple events, but not anymore. Maybe because Jobs is gone. Part of the attraction was his keynote presentation. Or maybe because… Accel World! 😛 Burst-link!

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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New iPad announcement

I have not posted anything on this blog for a while because I’m too lazy, but I guess it’s time for an update because, well, the iPad 3. 😀

So, here’s my keynote run-through and impression.

1. Tim Cook rehashing the same thing about how Apple is so great in this post-PC era, how they are making a boatload of money, how great their retail stores are, and how you will buy whatever they are announcing today. (I made the last part up). I just went to their 5th Ave store in New York, and it’s quite amazing how many people were in that store, in the middle of the night. I mean really, the store even opens 24 hour. Unbelievable. Every retailers on the planet are salivating.

2. iOS is great. Sales, numbers, Siri, bla bla bla. But hey, now Siri can speak nihon-go. iOS 5.1, available today. How many Android devices got updated to 4.0? Yeah.

3. iCloud, it just works. Err… not really Tim. It’s cool, but still need a lot of work and features. Now iCloud supports movies, and iTunes has 1080p movies.

4. New Apple TV with 1080p support. “The quality is off the charts.” Meh, I can rip my blu-ray to get 1080p movies DRM free myself. Boring demo. Still $99.

5. iPad 3, or “the new iPad.” Yeah, Apple drops the numbering altogether. It will be just the iPad. Just like the Mac, no numbering anymore. Tim Cook went on and on about how people love iPads. Hearing Tim Cook talking made me sleepy. Sorry, but it’s hard for anybody to match Steve Jobs’ performance and presentation. Tim is also showing how the apps on Android tablets are inferior to the iPad version.

Amazing new iPad! It’s magical! No, Tim didn’t say magical, but might as well. Phil is doing the actual announcement, not my favorite person to do keynote either. So, what’s new on the new iPad?

-Retina display. 2048 x 1536 resolution, higher resolution than even my iMac! More than any 1080p HDTV! It’s quite amazing, 264ppi. Wait, that’s not 300dpi. Phil went on explaining why they still classify the iPad’s 264ppi as retina based on distance. Whatever.

-A5X chip, not the A6. So instead quad-core CPU, it’s still dual-core CPU but quad-core GPU. 4X Tegra 3? Holly mackerel, and Android tablets using Tegra 3 are barely coming out (Yeah Asus, where’s your Transformer Prime?). Amazing.

-iSight camera. Errr, ok, now Apple is using the iSight monicker again after changing it to Facetime on Macs? Phil says that the front facing camera is Facetime camera, and the rear facing camera is an iSight camera. Ooookay. 5MP, 1080p video with image stabilization. Sounds great, right? Yeah, considering how many people out there are using iPads to take pictures and videos in the wild, it’s going to get worse. Really, holding an iPad to take pictures in public places doesn’t make you cool.

-Voice dictation. Oh come on Apple, can’t you just put Siri on it? Voice dictation also in nihon-go.

-4G LTE + HSPA+. So real 4G and fake 4G, included. Problem is, AT&T version will be different than Verizon version since both LTE is not compatible with each other. Luckily, either of them have world-compatible 3G. Oh, and personal hotspot feature…. if your carrier supports it. Uh huh, yeah, good luck with that on US carriers.

-Still 10-hour battery life. Well, Apple put more battery on the new iPad, resulting in a bit thicker body compared to the iPad 2.

-Same pricing for all levels of storage capacities starting at $499 for the 16GB wifi. Alas, no 128GB version.

Availability? March 16th in 10 countries, including Singapore, and pretty much everywhere else a week after that. Compare that to the Asus Transformer Prime, which was released at the end of last year, yet still not available in retail today. This is why Apple is successful, and funny thing is, the competitors just don’t get it, still following their old way of slow time-to-market schedule.

6. Game and app demos. Ooohhh, shiny. Console quality games. Err, no, not with touch screen. Autodesk, selling a ton more apps on iOS than the desktop. “Amazing.” “Retina display is luscious.” Epic games, with a diablo clone.

7. Updated iWorks apps and iLife apps. The multiple instruments on multiple iPads on Garageband is pretty cool. iMovie is updated, now with trailers. iPhoto for iOS! Finally! It’s long overdue. Imo Apple should’ve just replaced the current photo app on iOS with iPhoto. Currently, it feels weird having both apps. On the Mac, there’s no “photo” app, just iPhoto. The journal feature is very nifty. A must download.

8. And finally, yet another video talking about everything that was covered.

9. Oh, and price drop of the iPad 2, 16GB wifi for $399. Yup, Android OEMs are still having problem producing enough of their stuff, now they have to compete with $399 iPad. Maybe they will finally learn a thing or two about how Apple does their business.

So, that’s it, new Apple TV and new iPad. Do I want one? Well, gotta catch’em all…

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Apple event coming up, iPhone 5

Well, it’s just hours from now. Regular live blogs: gdgt, Engadget, and thisismynext.

My guess:
-iPhone 4S: A5 chip, 1GB RAM, up to 64GB config, HSPA+, new voice recognition features. Same design as iPhone 4.
-iPhone 4 8GB taking over the 3GS spot for the “lower end.”
-iOS5 and iCloud tie-in will be the bigger focus.

I have a feeling that’s about it. The evidence for the iPhone 4S is just too many to ignore. I was hoping Apple would use a continual numerical system instead (iPhone 5 instead of 4S). It was perfect with the tie-in with iOS5 and A5 chip, but I guess not. There are rumors that Sprint is getting an exclusive iPhone “5,” but I doubt it. Why would Apple want to make a Wimax iPhone just for 1 carrier, while the future is LTE? Besides, world market is way larger than Sprint’s, so it’s in the best interest of Apple to make a GSM/HSDPA iPhone 5, if it was to exist. There’s also a rumor about Apple keeping the 3GS. I don’t know. Apple is known to iterate and ditch the old stuff quickly. Why would they stick with a 2+ year-old hardware with so many new features they want to bring with iOS5?

Since the invite specifically mentions iPhone, I don’t think we will see any iPod related announcement… unless Apple makes the iPod Touch into the “cheap iPhone.” Apple is pretty much un-contested in the portable music market. Even Microsoft stopped production of the Zune. Apple could simply let things the way they are, maybe just cut some prices for the Touch. It’s sad though, as I feel there wouldn’t be anymore exciting stuff in this segment as the market is overtaken by smartphones.

Well, it’s just hours before we find out the real deal. Get you wallet ready. 😀

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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