Category Archives: Apple

2011 Apple Wish List

I’ve slowly accumulated a slew of Apple gear over the past couple years, not entirely intentional.  I use a 2008 MacBook Pro for work and a 2009 iMac at home, both of which have held up nicely.  However, times have changed, as have my needs.  Today I want (and to some degree) need MORE!

I expect to upgrade both my laptop and desktop in 2011, IF Apple can provide the gear to satisfy my discerning needs.  I’m what you call a power user.  In my day job, I run Windows 7 (via bootcamp) for Office, Visual Studio, SQL, etc. with most of my personal computing done via Mac OSX; Adobe Suite, Aperture & Final Cut Pro.  I also run VM Fusion with RedHat & Ubuntu and of course, expect everything to place nice together.  I’ll publish another post outlining my home-network (spoiler alert: I have a 42U rack, cisco/juniper equipment w/native 1GB connectivity & 10+TB of home storage!)

Today, I’d like to cast my 2011 Apple Wish List; and I promise if Apple upholds their end of the bargin, I’ll gladly acquire equipment upon pre-order.  I’m intimately aware there are many reasons why they have not shipped such amenities to date, but the ‘consumer’ in me doesn’t care about that – I just want the goods Apple, make it happen.

2011 MacBook Pro/iMac:

  • 3.4 Ghz 4+ Core, 2nd Generation i7 (aka Sandy Bridge) Processor (likely) or 6-core Gulftown i7 (unlikely)
  • USB 3.0 (unlikely, but possible)
  • 500GB SSD primary hard-drive (possible, 256gb likely)
  • 1TB SATA secondary hard-drive (likely)
  • eSata External Port (possible)
  • Blu-Ray BDR & BD-RE Drive (unlikely)
  • 8+ GB DDR3 RAM (likely)
  • 2560 by 1600 native resolution (unlikely) w/Open CL – 1920 by 1200 (likely)
  • Intel Light Peak
  • 10+ hr battery for MacBook Pro (likely)
  • And of course, all the standard stuff: 802.11n, bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, SD card slot, Firewire 800, Mini DisplayPort, audio in/out, etc.)

iPhone 5

  • VERIZON!
  • GSM/CDMA/LTE (4G) WORLD PHONE
  • Dual-Core ARM11 processor
  • 4X more memory
  • Accessories that work with the apple bumper
  • Drastically improved battery life with removable/replaceable battery
  • FM Radio
  • iOS 5 (unlikely, not yet seeded to developer community)
  • RFID-enabled

iPad 2

  • Of course, dual-camera’s (although, I only need 1 high-quality front-facing, won’t be taking pics with it, but some might?)
  • Dual-Core ARM11 Processor
  • 4X more memory
  • Price reduction (to justify my 3G/Wifi model upgrade)
  • Retina Display
  • Intel Light Peak
  • $99 iPad Mini offering to compete with Kindle
  • Multi-User support w/separate profiles!
  • More Storage – 256GB!?
  • Dare I say it?  Flash support!

Apple TV

  • Tivo-integration (or comparable recorder, hosted in the cloud?)
  • App-store capabilities (e.g. hulu plus, boxee & slingbox players)
  • Offer a hard-drive version (else, support usb-hacks for external USB hard-drives)
  • USB 3.0 external port!
  • AirPlay support for older AppleTV unit (w/Hard-Drive!)

 

Advertisements

Novell Releases First Solution to Build iPhone Applications Using C# and Microsoft .NET Languages

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Novell today announced the availability of MonoTouch 1.0, the industry’s first solution for developing applications for the iPhone* and iPod* Touch using the Microsoft* .NET framework, including C# and other .NET programming languages. Until now, developers primarily built iPhone applications using C and Objective-C, putting iPhone development beyond the reach of most .NET developers. With MonoTouch, the creativity of millions of .NET developers worldwide can be unleashed to build a vast array of iPhone applications.

The incredible popularity of the iPhone and iPod Touch has created a huge market for iPhone applications. According to Scott Ellison, vice president of Mobile and Wireless at IDC, in the first year the Apple Apps Store has more than 50,000 available applications, and well over 1 billion downloads with an average of more than 140 new applications launched every day(1). However, developers previously used the more complex C and Objective-C programming languages to design iPhone applications.

Engineered by the Mono(R) Project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell, MonoTouch simplifies iPhone development by allowing developers to utilize code and libraries written for the .NET development framework and programming languages such as C#. Individual .NET developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) can now sell their products into a massive new market, while corporate developers and IT organizations can deploy their applications in a new mobile computing environment.

“The iPhone has experienced tremendous adoption in both consumer and business markets,” said Al Hilwa, program director, Application Development Software at IDC. “Given that applications are a key reason for the iPhone’s success, a solution that allows .NET developers to use existing skills to build iPhone applications is an exciting and consequential milestone in the evolution of mobile platforms.”

The iPhone developer program license restricts developers from distributing scripting engines or Just-In-Time (JIT) compilers, which are required by managed runtimes such as .NET for code execution. As a result, the world of iPhone applications had been previously closed to .NET and Mono developers. Developers can now use MonoTouch while fully complying with these license terms because MonoTouch delivers only native code.

“Developing our award-winning mobile forms solution on multiple platforms before MonoTouch from Novell was time-consuming due to the diverse technology platforms,” said Simon Guindon, mobile solution developer at TrueContext. “With MonoTouch, we can now optimize development for the future and enrich the Pronto Forms product offering at a faster pace.”

MonoTouch from Novell is a software development kit that contains a suite of compilers, libraries and tools for integrating with Apple’s iPhone SDK. Microsoft .NET base class libraries are included, along with managed libraries for taking advantage of native iPhone APIs. Also included is a cross-compiler that can be used for turning .NET executable files and libraries directly into native applications for distribution on the Apple Apps* Store or for deployment to enterprise iPhone users. In addition, Xcode integration enables application developers to test on the device or in Apple’s iPhone Simulator and ship applications to the Apple Apps Store for distribution.

“The vast majority of Windows-centric developers, ISVs and IT organizations have chosen the C# language and .NET for development,” said Miguel de Icaza, Mono project founder and Developer Platform vice president at Novell. “As such we have seen tremendous demand for tools to build .NET-based iPhone applications. We developed MonoTouch in response to this demand, giving both individual developers and businesses a solution that breaks down the barriers to iPhone application development.”

MonoTouch Pricing and Availability

MonoTouch Personal and Enterprise Editions are available now through http://shop.novell.com. MonoTouch Enterprise Edition is available for US $999 per developer for a one-year subscription, which includes maintenance and updates. A five-developer Enterprise license supports five concurrent developers and is available for US $3,999 per year. For individuals only building applications for the Apple Apps Store, MonoTouch Personal Edition is available for $399 per developer for a one-year subscription. For more information about MonoTouch visit www.novell.com/products/monotouch. To learn more about the Mono Project visit http://www.mono-project.com.

IPhone Upgrade from 3G to 3GS?

Planning on upgrading from an iPhone 3G to the new 3G S? You’d better have deep pockets, as AT&T and Apple may charge you $499 to upgrade.  That’s for the 32GB model; if you want to save a few bucks and go for the cheaper 16GB model, it will cost $399. These figures come from Apple’s own site, where you can now pre-order an iPhone 3G S ready for delivery on the 19th of June. Although Apple mentioned a $199 and $299 price for the new iPhone, the cost for upgraders is significantly higher; when we applied for an upgrade from a iPhone 3G purchased in 2008, the system quoted us a price of $399 for the 16GB version or $499 for the 32GB, plus an $18 upgrade fee.

The more expensive upgrade is because the account I tried this with had the 2-year term of the contract renewed when I upgraded to an iPhone 3G in 2008; AT&T does not offer reduced upgrade pricing until the initial 2 years are up. The only people who qualify for the advertised $199/$299 pricing are new customers, or those who have not upgraded their phone for more than 2 years.So, those who upgraded when the iPhone 3G was released last year will either have to wait until 2010, or pay through the nose to be on the cutting edge.

UPDATE: it seems that there may be some leniancy in the 2-year rule: when applied for the upgrade with a 1st Generation iPhone where the contract had a couple of months still to run, Apple offered the $199/$299 price. So, it looks like 1st Gen iPhones may get a break, but 3G users will have to pay the full cost.

iPhone 3GS News, Updated MacBook Pros

Apple announces its third generation iPhone and some MacBook Pro updates

There has been tremendous buzz surrounding the follow-up to Apple’s hugely successful iPhone 3G. While the original iPhone put Apple on the map in the world of smartphones, it was the iPhone 3G’s lower price of entry and enhanced features/speed which put the smartphone over the top (and brought AT&T a wealth of new wireless subscribers). Together, there have been over 40 million iPhones and iPod touches sold around the world according to Apple.

Today at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple introduced its third generation iPhone: the iPhone 3GS (the “S” stands for Speed). The latest iPhone confirms most of the rumors that have been swirling around for the past few months.

The iPhone 3GS is available in capacities of 16GB and 32GB – both will be available in black and white. The phone also features a new 3MP webcam (now capable of recording 30 fps video) on the back of the device. The iPhone 3GS also has the ability to edit videos directly on the device.

In addition, the new iPhone 3GS promises better battery life (see image to the right) despite the increased processing power. Speaking of processing power, Apple brags about 2x to 3.6x speed performance improvements over a wide range of apps.

Another new addition to the iPhone 3GS is the increase in data transfer speeds from 3.6Mbps to 7.2Mbps HSDPA. AG&T already announced plans to beef up its data networks to handle the faster transfer speeds.

Voice dialing is also coming to the iPhone 3GS – something that most other phones have already had for years. However, the voice commands also extend to other aspects of the iPhone 3GS like “previous track”, “play album” or “play songs by The Killers” within the Music app.

Other new hardware features include a built-in digital compass, Nike+ support, and hardware encryption.

As you may have already surmised, the iPhone 3GS is sporting OS 3.0 which was announced way back in March. IPhone OS 3.0 brings a wealth of new features including long-requested support for copy and paste, MMS, turn-by-turn directions, voice memo recording, Spotlight search, landscape email/notes/messaging, 3G tethering (via Bluetooth or USB), stereo Bluetooth (A2DP), peer-to-peer Bluetooth connectivity, and more. IPhone OS 3.0 will be available to download on June 17 (free for iPhone users, $9.95 for iPod touch users).

As expected, pricing for the new 16GB and 32GB iPhone 3GS will mirror the prices of the current 8GB and 16GB iPhone 3Gs: $199 and $299 respectively. To make things even more interesting, Apple is also discounting the price of the iPhone 3G (8GB model) to $99 to further expand its user base — the new price is effective today. The iPhone 3GS will be available June 17.

Apple also announced updates to its MacBook Pro lineup. The new 15” MacBook Pro is available with up to 3.06GHz dual core processor, 8GB of RAM, and up to a 500GB HDD (or 256GB SSD). It features a 7-hour runtime with its built-in battery. Interestingly, Apple has finally stepped into modern times by equipping the 15″ MacBook Pro with a Secure Digital (SD) slot.

The base system will retail for $1,699 with a 2.53GHz processor and integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, and ramp up quickly from there (with higher-tier models getting discrete NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics).

The 13″ aluminum MacBook was also updated to include an integrated battery, SD slot, and Firewire 800 — it is also now called a MacBook Pro. The base $1,199 system comes with 2GB of memory, a 2.26GHz processor, GeForce 9400M graphics, and a 160GB HDD. Stepping up to a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB HDD will set you back $1,499. The new 13″ MacBook Pro also has battery life of up to 7 hours.

The other big addition is with the updated MacBook Air. The machine now retails for $1,499 in its base configuration (1.86GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 9400M, 120GB HDD) and $1,799 with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 9400M, and a 128GB SSD.

All of the new MacBooks are available to purchase today.

I’ll post more info to Twitter, as it becomes available – twitter.com/stevenRobert

Apple OS Marketshare Growth

Apple Marketshare growth

Apple Marketshare growth

The latest computing survey results from the University of Virginia’s freshman class show evidence of continued Apple marketshare growth in the higher education market (via Daring Fireball). The chart above shows that Apple has made steady gains since 2003 in the percentage of incoming UVA freshman who own a Mac. The latest year (2008) shows that 37% of incoming students owned a Mac while the percentage owning a Windows computer had shrunk to 62% from a peak of 96% in 2001. The growth tracks closely with the trend towards laptop ownership amongst the Virginia freshman.

In 2008, 99% of the incoming students owned a laptop. The data adds to a number of anecdotal reports that Apple has been making major strides in higher educational marketshare. Last year, Tim Cook confirmed that Apple had become the #1 laptop supplier in higher education for 2007.

iPhone 3.0 Tethering How To

After recently upgrading my iPhone to OS 3.0 I was interested in evaluating all the new features, esp. A2DP and tethering.  Since my car is in the shop, A2DP is going to have to wait a couple more days which left me some time to tinker with tethering.  

At first impression, os 3.0 is pretty slick, small subtle changes throughout the UI, you can activate spotlight search by swiping your finger right (as opposed to left to see additional applications screens.)  Several applications have been updated making them even more usable, stocks, mail (auto-rotate calendar) and of course, copy/paste.  One thing i did notice, the keyboard didn’t auto-rotate when working with calendar, which I have sync’d to our office exchange server, so it seems not everything got the keyboard auto-rotate update, at least not in the initial beta drop.

On to tethering, since it was not obvious (to me) how to enable and activate tethering, i reverted to the web and quickly discovered the link below which includes full details on how to get it setup!  I’ve included a few pics below to show you how it looks.

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/03/19/complete-how-to-tethering-an-iphone-with-30-firmware/ – how to activate iPhone 3 tethering, step by step.

Or, you can skip the config file updates and just download this file, ATT_US.ipcc, (assuming your carrier is AT&T ) – then connect your iPhone to iTunes, option-click on the “Check for Updates” button, and select the ATT_US.ipcc file you just downloaded. Next, restart your iPhone.  After reboot, you then should be able pair your iPhone over Bluetooth by going to Settings-General-Network-Internet Tethering on the iPhone, and pair your iPhone with you Mac as you would with a normal Bluetooth device.  Once paired, click your blueTooth icon (on your mac) choose your iphone|Connect to Network – now you can surf the web using your iPhone and 3G!

iPhone OS 3 Highlights

Apple today hosted a preview event for its upcoming iPhone OS 3.0, highlighting a few of over 1,000 new APIs for developers and over 100 new features for users. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In-App Purchasing: Allows developers to sell additional content from within applications. Highlighted uses include magazine subscriptions, eBooks, additional levels and items for games.
  • Peer-to-Peer Connectivity: Find other devices running the app via Bonjour over Wi-Fi of Bluetooth. Good for gaming, but also other applications for sharing data.
  • Third-Party Accessory Apps: Allowing accessory manufacturers to create applications to interface with their hardware accessories.
  • Push Notification: Rather than using background processes that hamper battery life, utilize third-party server to push badge, text, and audio alerts from applications.
  • Turn by Turn: Apple will allow developers to use CoreLocation for turn-by-turn GPS directions.
  • Cut, Copy and Paste: Available across all apps. Shake to undo or redo (finally).
  • Landscape keyboard: Available in all key applications, including Mail.
  • MMS: Picture messaging now available.
  • Voice Memos: Record notes, lectures, interviews, etc.
  • Spotlight Search: Available across all applications. Systemwide search available from main home screen by flicking to the left.
  • A2DP Bluetooth: Support for stereo bluetooth headsets (finally).

Tethering, another much-requested feature, was addressed in the Q&A section of the event. Apple is building the client side of tethering into OS 3.0, but cooperation from carriers is also required in order for it to be offered.

The new iPhone OS 3.0 is available to all registered iPhone developers today as a free beta. Full release to customers will be this summer. OS 3.0 will be free for all iPhone users and a $9.95 upgrade for all iPod touch users. Most features will be available for the first-generation iPhone, although hardware limitations will prevent some features, such as MMS and stereo Bluetooth, from being added to those devices. Meanwhile, Apple also revealed that Bluetooth support can be activated in the 2nd generation iPod Touches.

Apple has posted an iPhone OS 3.0 Preview page listing a few of the highlights. A video of today’s media event will also be posted to the page later today.