Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘iLounge’

iLounge Reviews the Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch ➝

Phil Dzikiy, writing for iLounge:

TimePorter is essentially just a case. It offers a fine solution to keeping Watch bands and small accessories in one place, if that’s what you need. It earns our limited recommendation as a nice item for frequent travelers with multiple Watch bands.

The more I read about this accessory the less I like it. TwelveSouth makes some excellent products, but I wouldn’t put the TimePorter on that list.

Rumored Apple TV Updates ➝

Mark Gurman, back in January, details updates to the Apple TV that his sources expect to see this year. Mark also points to Phil Dzikiy’s reporting on iLounge that games will be coming to the Apple TV. At the time Phil believed that the release for such an update would come in March or earlier. But, it would make more sense for an announcement such as this to take place at WWDC where they’re speaking to developers interested in making games for the device.

Maybe Amazon pushed the Fire TV out the door because they knew Apple was going to be announcing something big for the Apple TV soon.

The New iPhone’s Rumored Size, Screen, and New Connector ➝

Jeremy Horwitz:

What we’ve learned: the new iPhone will indeed be longer and thinner than the iPhone 4 and 4S. […] According to our source, Apple will make one major change to the rear casing, adding a metal panel to the central back of the new iPhone.

iLounge has also been told that there will be a redesigned dock connector that will be smaller than the current one but slightly larger than the current iPhone’s bottom speaker.

I love the idea of a smaller dock connector (although, I don’t know if they’re necessary anymore) but I don’t want a 4-inch iPhone. One of my favorite things about the iPhone is it’s compact size and elongating the device and putting a larger display on it doesn’t sound like an improvement. I don’t want Apple to move in the direction that Android handset manufacturers have.

iLounge Claims MobileMe Revamp in April ➝

Charles Starrett:

Apple is set to announce a new, free version of MobileMe next month, according to a trusted iLounge source. The source, who works for a major educational institution, claims the school’s supplier has said the current version of MobileMe is no longer available, and that Apple is suggesting new students sign up for the 60-day trial to cover the gap between the final MobileMe shipment and the launch of the new version.

The Apple TV’s Micro-USB Port ➝

Jesse David Hollington writing for iLounge:

Due to the change, USB to Micro-USB adapters will now be necessary to connect common devices to the second-generation Apple TV—assuming that hackers succeed in enabling it to be used for something other than service purposes. Until and unless that happens, the Micro-USB port will remain “for service and support,” only.

The micro-USB port hasn’t seen as much coverage as I thought it would. This port will be vital to jailbreaking the Apple TV, when and if it happens.

Apple Holding Media Event September 1

Jim Dalrymple reports for The Loop that Apple will be holding a special media event on September 1 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

Historically Apple has held events in September to announce new iPods and other music-related products. And make no mistake, there has been no lack of rumors since invitations went out just a few days ago.

Although the guitar image in the invitation implies that music will be the focus of the event, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of a “one more thing” announcement at the end of the event unveiling a new Apple TV. This seems even more likely when you consider the numerous reports of a new $1-per-episode price point in iTunes for TV shows.

Cult of Mac’s Leander Kahney claims that someone with connections inside Apple has told them that Apple will be announcing $1 TV shows soon, likely at this upcoming event. But instead of $1 per episode, that fee would give you access to the entire catalog of a given TV show. E.g. pay $1 per month for the Office and have access to all of the shows episodes as long as you continue to pay the fee.

Cult of Mac’s information doesn’t jibe with Bloomberg’s reports of $0.99 TV show rentals with 48 hour viewing windows. I suppose we’ll have to wait until Wednesday for more information, unless somebody leaks it early.

Apple’s iPod announcements haven’t been left out of the rumor mill, though. Jeremy Horowitz reports in iLounge that The fourth-generation iPod touch will lose the dome shaped back and go back to one that looks more like the first-generation iPod touch’s back. He has heard that the rear-facing camera will be there and that the iPod touch will likely have a microphone and not a camera flash.

There have also been rumors of a much smaller iPod nano that would use that 1.7-inch touchscreen that was floating around last month. iLounge has published images of, what are claimed to be, cases for the next-generation iPod touch and iPod nano. Adding more credence to the rumor, Neil Hughes and Kasper Jade report on AppleInsider that the iPod nano will be shrunken to a size more similar to the iPod shuffle’s size but will retain its 30-pin dock connector.

In the aforementioned AppleInsider piece they also mention the possibility of a new iLife suite the the potential for a 3G-capable iPod touch. Like I said, there is no lack of rumors. There’s even rumors of an iTunes update that will add more social features.

But just like most other Apple events, it is highly unlikely that all of the rumors will be incorporated at this event. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on an iPod touch with FaceTime, a new iPod nano that will use that 1.7-inch touchscreen, some sort of $1 price point for TV shows, a new iOS based Apple TV, and iOS 4.1 for iPhone and iPod touch (not iPad).

Unfortunately, I have to work on the day of the event so I won’t be able to follow along at home as I usually do. But if a $99 Apple TV is announced, I’ll come home with credit card in-hand to place my order.

New iPod touch Details Surface

Jeremy Horwitz has heard from a “reliable source” that Apple will be ready to announce three new iPods as early as this month. The possible announcements include a new iPod nano, iPod touch, and a replacement for the iPod shuffle that uses the 1.7-inch touchscreen that has been floating around the internet as of late.

The other rumor of interest in Jeremy Horowitz’s rundown is that Apple is pushing up the release of a new iPhone to early 2011. He is unsure as to whether it will be a slight hardware revision to the iPhone 4 that will fix the antenna issue or if this will be more substantial, but this is what he’s hearing.

Some of these rumors are a little hard to believe, especially the ones I decided not to write about (like the seven-inch iPad or the three-inch touchscreen iPod), but the early 2011 iPhone hardware revision doesn’t seem too far-fetched. It’s not unheard of for Apple to make slight changes to their hardware mid-product cycle and it would give them an opportunity to minimize the impact of the iPhone 4’s antenna problem.

But, iLounge isn’t the only place publishing rumors about upcoming Apple products, Hardmac has received a mockup of the next-generation iPod touch which depicts a rear-facing camera and flash. Unfortunately this mockup doesn’t include a front-facing camera which does put a dent in its credibility. A front-facing camera with FaceTime has been rumored to be coming to the iPod touch for months and MacRumors has received images from an iPhone parts supplier of the iPod touch’s front LCD and bezel which does have a hole for a front-facing camera.

Coming hot on the heels of all these iPod touch rumors is word that Apple has added email-based FaceTime support in iOS 4.1 beta 3, which was seeded to developers earlier this week. MacRumors’ Eric Slivka reports that iOS 4’s Contacts application gives users the option to make FaceTime calls using either a phone number or an email address. There is no word on how FaceTime calls would be made using email addresses however this would presumably allow iOS devices without a cellular connection to perform FaceTime calls.

There’s a whole slew of Apple-related rumors flying around right now. And these rumors will only heat up as we move closer to September, when Apple will announce new iPods (as they have for the past several years). I’m excited about the announcements, I have a feeling that expanding FaceTime to the iPod touch will add a tremendous amount of momentum behind it — I wouldn’t be surprised if FaceTime becomes the de facto standard for video calling by this time next year.

Apple Bans Clear Plastic Screen Protectors From Apple Store

iLounge learned last week that starting in May Apple will no longer be selling clear plastic screen protectors in their stores.

There have been several theories as to why Apple would decide to do this. I don’t believe it to be any one reason but a combination of several. For one, shelf space is valuable and if Apple doesn’t believe that their devices need screen protectors, they aren’t going to sell them anymore. The current iPhone and iPod touch screens don’t scratch all that easy, they is much more likely to crack than scratch. Apple has seemingly taken the stance that if you think that flimsy piece of plastic is going to protect your device, you can get it elsewhere.

Secondly, these screen protectors are incredibly difficult to apply. I went through my InvisibleShield phase, I bought three of them for three separate devices and finally gave up for good. Those things are darn near impossible to put on straight, not to mention all the dust and whatnot that inevitably ends up on it in the time it takes for you to take it out of the package and actually apply it to your device.

And lastly, Screen protectors may have been a good idea back before the iPhone, when screens weren’t made with such high quality material but the glass that Apple is using on the iPhone is absolutely superb. And the oleophobic coating on the screen does a great job of keeping all those nasty fingerprints away.

Speaking of the iPhone’s screen, I’ve never publicly told this story before but I think now is as good of a time as any to do so. When I was waiting in line for the original iPhone in 2007 I was behind a man who claimed to have a piece of the glass that Apple used on the iPhone. He said that Corning Inc. was the company who developed the glass and it was originally designed to be used for windows. It was incredibly sturdy glass but unfortunately it was just too heavy to be used in windows. Corning inevitably ended up shelving it for a while. It wasn’t until Apple contacted them about using glass for their displays that their glass finally had a home.

After telling his story the man went to his car to get the piece of glass, it was cut exactly in the same dimensions and size of the iPhone’s glass front. It even had the holes for the home button and speaker.

I haven’t been able to confirm whether his glass was actually the same glass that was used on the iPhone but I do live near Corning, NY (where Corning Inc. is located) and it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for his story to be completely true. I saw it and touched it, and when I got home with my brand new iPhone that night, the similarity between the two pieces of glass were uncanny.

Of course, It’s also possible that he made the glass himself as a great way to impress the other people in line at the AT&T store, but I choose to take him at his word.