Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Jeremy Horowitz’

A Mac’s Longevity Is Its Biggest Unsung Selling Point ➝

My first Mac was a 2006 MacBook that I used regularly as my mobile machine for five years before it was replaced by my current MacBook Air. I typically run my Macs into the ground before I replace them and can attest to the fact that Apple computers remain usable much longer than the PCs my friends and family spend their money on. This is a selling point I’ve used to convince two of my fiancée’s family members to purchase an iMac instead of some random junky PC from Best Buy. And it’s one of the best reasons to buy Apple hardware.

Apple Quietly Pulls Original iPad Mini From Website and Apple Store ➝

Jeremy Horowitz, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

Apple’s discontinuation of the iPad mini leaves the remaining iPads as a completely 64-bit family, all using either A7 or A8X processors rather than the iPad mini’s aging A5. It also means that all remaining iPads have Retina displays and unified Wi-Fi + Cellular models.

Honestly, I didn’t even know Apple was still selling the original iPad Mini. Was anyone actually buying it?

iPod Removed From Apple.com Navigation ➝

After thirteen years, iPod has been removed from the main navigation along the top of Apple’s website. It’s now been relegated to the bottom of the newly added Music page. The iPod’s era has long since ended, but this move puts the line one step closer to being discontinued for good.

The Secret Apple Watch Port Should Probably Stay Hidden ➝

Jeremy Horowitz, regarding third-party band makers use of the Apple Watch diagnostic port:

Stop before you spend $250 to order an accessory that might never arrive or work properly. […]

While conspiracy theorists will come up with all sorts of explanations for a hidden port, the two key reasons for the Apple Watch to have it are for diagnostics and performing guaranteed reliable firmware updates.

I would avoid buying any accessories that use the Apple Watch’s diagnostic port. That is, unless you fully understand that it might not work at all or will eventually stop working in the future.

On Software That’s Incompatible with New Operating Systems ➝

Jeremy Horowitz, writing for 9 to 5 Mac:

But what happens when an app — marketed as compatible with current iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches — is never updated for the latest version of iOS, and either stops working after an iOS upgrade, or never works at all on new devices?

This is one of the few things that worries me about the switch from physical media to digital objects.

I can still plug my SNES into my television and play Mega Man X2. Neither Capcom nor Nintento has to maintain a server for me to play the game, and there’s no need to worry about incompatible software updates. Whether I want to play the game now or five years from now, it’s going to work.

The same can’t be said about the games or apps of today. At some point in the future Apple might release a sort-of-Rosetta for iOS that’s capable of running applications that are no longer supported by their developers. The apps would run inside of a container that mimics older versions of iOS. But, that still wouldn’t work for games or apps that require an online connection to the developer’s server (that likely no longer exists).

My primary concern is that children who are growing up now will have no way of playing the games they’re nostalgic for in twenty years. That is unless, the developer decides to rerelease the game for a new platform. But it’s going to cost you, and that’s assuming the company who owns it is still even around in twenty years.

Should Apple Improve iPhone Battery Life, or Just Battery Cases? ➝

Jeremy Horowitz discusses Apple’s options for improving iPhone battery life. Personally, I’m still quite happy with my iPhone 5s’s battery life, and it’s nearly a year-and-a-half old at this point. So, I don’t really feel like Apple needs to improve battery life. However, I’d love to shave a few more millimeters off of the thickness of my iPhone — Ever since I started using the iPad Air 2, my iPhone 5s has felt thick and clunky by comparison. I suppose this puts me in the camp advocating for improved battery cases, even though I’ve never used one.

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.