Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Apple Rumour Roundup, Mac|Life’s bi-weekly take on the rumors and speculation surrounding Cupertino. This week, we’ve got our radar set on the iPad 3. With a launch window set for early next month, the talk about the device has really been heating up. Let’s take a look at a pair of the more interesting rumors that have cropped up recently, both of which come to us courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.
This past week, the Wall Street Journal let loose with a pair of iPad 3-related predictions, one of which sounds plausible and the other… well, no so much. Let’s start with what’s plausible.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the next iteration of the iPad will hit the streets on March 7 — a launch window that falls into line with the launch date of the original iPad — and will feature baked-in 4G LTE technology. In the U.S., this wicked-fast wireless will be dished up by Verizon and ATT and we can see this happening. Apple tends to beat their competition to the punch when it comes to innovative hardware design, but they’re wary of adopting new standards in a timely manner.
And if you don’t believe us, load a Blu Ray disc into your Mac’s optical drive and watch what happens.
In North America, 4G networks are finally widespread enough and have evolved to the point where including compatible technology in a mobile product finally makes sense to Cupertino. What’s more, a number of Apple’s chief competitors such as Samsung and Motorola have already been dabbling with including 4G LTE communications in their tablets. While Apple still holds the lion’s share of the mobile computing marketplace, they need to not only innovate but match the features available from other hardware vendors. Cramming 4G LTE communications into an iPad goes a long way towards doing exactly that. Oh, and if that’s not enough for you, in addition to zippy uploads and downloads, it’s being widely speculated that iPad 3 users will also enjoy a Retina-style display, Siri integration, a larger battery, a quad-core processor and improved front and rear facing cameras.
And now for the newspaper’s awkward unicorn riding speculation, sponsored in part by Bigfoot.
In response to the scorching success of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, Apple will be releasing an eight inch version of the iPad this spring. Sorry, but that’s a dream that, at least for the time being, we’ve got to tread on, and here’s why: Steve Jobs was expressly against the introduction of an iPad with a screen size smaller than 9.7 inches. This was for a number of reasons. First, it stood to cannibalize sales of the iPod touch, and perhaps more importantly from Jobs’ point of view, a smaller screen diminished the user experience he envisioned for the iPad.
You might say that with Jobs no longer at the head of Apple, the floodgates are open for innovation that couldn’t have been realized under his iron fisted reign as CEO. This might be true, but even if Tim Cook and the rest of the board decided to give the go ahead for a smaller iPad, it’s highly unlikely that it would ever be turned around in time for release next month. Companies like Apple plan the evolution of their product lines months and years ahead of time, and test them extensively before bringing them to market. For them to bring a smaller tablet to market as a knee-jerk reaction to the Kindle Fire seems unlikely. Besides, Amazon didn’t ship as many of their tablets as they did because they were smaller than the iPad — they flew out the door because they were insanely cheap, and therefore more accessible to consumers than other higher priced tablets like the iPad.
In other non-iPad related news, the often ignored Mac Pro will finally be receiving the update it so justly deserves this year. According to MIC Gadget, the next Mac Pro will come decked out with NVIDIA graphics, an 8-core Ivy Bridge processor with 20MB of cache, and improved heat dissipation. With any luck, we could expect to see the new Mac Pro break from cover by Q3 of this year. We’d love to see this happen: As much as we love the iMac and Mac Mini, the Mac Pro holds a special, freakishly powerful place in our hearts. It’s time that the overpowered goon of the Mac family got an update.
Be sure to check back in two weeks time for the latest Apple hardware and software rumors!
Apple traditionally put the iPad up for sale on Fridays, at least they have the first two years with the original iPad and iPad 2. But which Friday?
Will it be the same week as the event, only two days later on March 9? Will they need a week to coordinate, and aim for March 16? Will they want time for pre-orders and wider distribution and go on March 23? Or will they make us wait until the end of the month and hit March 30?
And will it, once again, be U.S. only at first, or will they be more aggressive, like the iPhone 4S launch, and hit more countries, faster?
Vote in the poll up top and share your predictions in the comments below!
How’s that new beta of Messages treating you? If you’re running OS X Lion 10.7.3 and have no plans to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion when it’s released this summer, you’d better prepare to go back to iChat: Messages will be exclusive to the lion that roams the mountains after release.
MacRumors has done a bit of digging with the new Messages beta Apple released on Thursday morning and is reporting back to the troops with its findings.
First up, the mountain of evidence for higher resolution Mac displays continues to grow. Dubbed “HiDPI” after being discovered in OS X Lion back in July, 2011, these graphics would essentially offer double-resolution “Retina Displays” for the Mac, with four times the normal pixels.
With iOS, Retina Display graphics are indicated with a “@2x” suffix — and hey, wouldn’t you know it, the new Messages beta app “shows several graphics that come in multi-part TIFFs that include regular and double resolution versions,” MacRumors reveals. It’s not quite a leap of faith to assume that Apple is preparing OS X Mountain Lion for Retina Display support on the Mac — although whether or not it will arrive with OS X 10.8 this summer remains to be seen.
Finally, OS X Lion users shouldn’t get too comfortable with their Messages beta — according to Consomac, “Messages will no longer be available for Lion users once the beta expires.” Exactly when that fateful day will arrive is unknown, but here’s what beta users will see when it comes:
“Thank you for participating in the Messages Beta program,” the message reads. “With the inclusion of Messages in OS X Mountain Lion, the Messages Beta program has ended. To continue using Messages, please visit the Mac App Store and purchase OS X Mountain Lion.”
Kind of a bummer, but not totally unexpected, given that Messages is a high-profile feature of OS X Mountain Lion to begin with.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
iMore recently heard Apple’s iPad 3 event would be happening on March 7, and now BGR is hearing that iOS 5.1 will follow on or around March 9. BGR also confirmed the new slide-up-to-access-camera lock-screen gesture spotted yesterday by Blog do iPhone.
iOS 5.1 has been in beta for quite a while and has been assumed to be coming with the iPad 3, so that timeline makes sense. However, new camera access and Japanese support for Siri aren’t a ton of new features for iPhone users to look forward to.
Previous iOS x.1 releases have varied in their new feature sets, gaining everything from the iTunes Store app in 1.1 to Genius Playlists in [iPhone OS 2.1] to Genius for Apps in iPhone OS 3.1 to HDR photography, Ping social music network, TV show rentals, and Game Center in iOS 4.1.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, surprises Apple has in store for iPad users with iOS 5.1, however, specifically designed to highlight iPad 3.
There, a boy peering into his school-issued MacBook blitzed through fractions by himself, determined to reach sixth-grade work by winter. Three desks away, a girl was struggling with basic multiplication — only 29 percent right, her screen said — and Ms. Holsinger knelt beside her to assist. Curiosity was fed and embarrassment avoided, as teacher connected with student through emotion far more than Wi-Fi.
“This is not about the technology,” Mark Edwards, superintendent of Mooresville Graded School District, would tell the visitors later over lunch. “It’s not about the box. It’s about changing the culture of instruction — preparing students for their future, not our past.”
As debate continues over whether schools invest wisely in technology — and whether it measurably improves student achievement — Mooresville, a modest community about 20 miles north of Charlotte best known as home to several Nascar teams and drivers, has quietly emerged as the de facto national model of the digital school.
Mr. Edwards spoke on a White House panel in September, and federal Department of Education officials often cite Mooresville as a symbolic success. Overwhelmed by requests to view the programs in action, the district now herds visitors into groups of 60 for monthly demonstrations; the waiting list stretches to April. What they are looking for is an explanation for the steady gains Mooresville has made since issuing laptops three years ago to the 4,400 4th through 12th graders in five schools (three K-3 schools are not part of the program).
The district’s graduation rate was 91 percent in 2011, up from 80 percent in 2008. On state tests in reading, math and science, an average of 88 percent of students across grades and subjects met proficiency standards, compared with 73 percent three years ago. Attendance is up, dropouts are down. Mooresville ranks 100th out of 115 districts in North Carolina in terms of dollars spent per student — $7,415.89 a year — but it is now third in test scores and second in graduation rates.
“Other districts are doing things, but what we see in Mooresville is the whole package: using the budget, innovating, using data, involvement with the community and leadership,” said Karen Cator, a former Apple executive who is director of educational technology for the United States Department of Education. “There are lessons to be learned.”
Start with math lessons: each student’s MacBook Air is leased from Apple for $215 a year, including warranty, for a total of $1 million; an additional $100,000 a year goes for software. Terry Haas, the district’s chief financial officer, said the money was freed up through “incredibly tough decisions.”
Sixty-five jobs were eliminated, including 37 teachers, which resulted in larger class sizes — in middle schools, it is 30 instead of 18 — but district officials say they can be more efficiently managed because of the technology. Some costly items had become obsolete (like computer labs), though getting rid of others tested the willingness of teachers to embrace the new day: who needs globes in the age of Google Earth?
Families pay $50 a year to subsidize computer repairs, though the fee is waived for those who cannot afford it, about 18 percent of them. Similarly, the district has negotiated a deal so that those without broadband Internet access can buy it for $9.99 a month. Mr. Edwards said the technology had helped close racial performance gaps in a district where 27 percent of the students are minorities and 40 percent are poor enough to receive free or reduced-price lunches.
Others see broader economic benefits.
Messages beta is out today for Lion users. Once you install and launch it, you’ll be asked to sign in with your Apple ID — be sure to use the same one you use for Messages on your iOS device.
In my test drive, it’s capable and fun to use… and weird. Basically this app is a mashup of Messages on iOS, iChat, and FaceTime. But since it’s in beta, you might run into some strangeness. I sure did.
Bear in mind a few things: 1. It’s beta. 2. I just got it a couple hours ago. I’ve tried to test as much as I can, but it’s possible (probable?) I’m missing a few things or just doing things wrong. If you know better about any of the things I found weird, or you’ve run into weirdness of your own, please hit up the comments! We’ll figure this out together.
How it’s done: You start with your Apple ID. Like in FaceTime, you can add more email addresses. If an email address you add isn’t already associated with your Apple ID, you’ll need to verify it.
Any weirdness? No. So far so good.
How it’s done: If you’ve been using iChat for IM, those accounts should already be added. Otherwise, go to Messages Preferences Accounts and add your AIM (including Mac.com and Me.com), Google Talk, Yahoo, and Jabber accounts. Bonjour is supported too.
Any weirdness? A little: Your buddy list, which is the handy unified buddy list that was added to iChat in version 4, isn’t on by default. So you don’t feel as dumb as I do searching for it, go to Window Buddies, or press Command-1. Once the Buddies window is open and selected, you can play with the View menu options to change its look.
How it works: Click the “write” button at the top left of the Messages window. Then fill out the To field. Typing a name results in an auto-complete feature that shows all the phone numbers and email addresses for that name, pulled from Address Book, and their IM accounts. Email addresses and phone numbers will be labeled “iMessage” and IM accounts will be labeled with that IM service. Or you can click the + button to add names from a pop-up list of Contacts (Address Book) or Buddies (your IM accounts’ Buddies lists). If the Buddies window is open, just double-click a name to start an IM conversation.
Any weirdness? Yes. The Help menu (Help Messages Help) says that if a phone number or email address hasn’t been added to iMessages, it’ll show up red when you select it. But that didn’t reliably happen for me. I tried to send a message to Cody’s work email, which didn’t show up red, but the iMessage failed when it couldn’t be delievered. When I selected my parents’ land line, it did show up red, and attempting to message it immediately displayed a pop-up that iMessage wasn’t available.
I don’t know how to take a screenshot of something that isn’t happening… but I swear there were more iMessage messages in this chat than the three that randomly showed up on my iPhone.
How it works: If someone sends you an IM or iMessage and there isn’t already a conversation going in the Messages window, you’ll see a pop-up window with their message, and you have to click Accept to get into the chat (the other options are Decline and Block). If you don’t have your Messages app open, you’ll see unread messages appear as a badge icon in the Dock. Help claims that you’ll receive iMessages on “all properly configured mobile devices with iOS 5.0 or later installed.”
Any weirdness? Tons. iMessages sent by several friends seemed to always go to Messages on my Mac, if it was open of course, and as badge icons when it was closed. But only a few showed up on my phone, whether Messages on the Mac was open or not. Sometimes in a given Messages conversation on the Mac, some messages appeared on the iPhone and others didn’t. Help Messages Help has a list of suggestions under “Fix iMessage issues,” but none of them helped me — hopefully you’ll have more luck. (And my iPhone has been dropping its network connection pretty often lately, so that might be why.) Also, if I sent an iMessage to a contact and they wrote back using a different email address as their “caller ID” (Messages Preferences Accounts iMessage account’s Caller ID drop-down), I got the reply in a pop-up window I had to accept, instead of in the chat window I had going.
How it works: You can drag and drop a file, image, video, and so on into the iMessage dialog and it’ll be sent right along. The recipient can double-click it to Quick Look it (you can play videos and listen to audio files from that Quick Look window), and/or drag it to their Desktop to save it. I was able to send images to my phone by sending an iMessage to my phone number.
Any weirdness? Nope, this is straightforward and SUPER handy.
How it works: The Messages window has a video icon in the upper right. If you have an iMessage conversation selected and you click that icon, it’ll show a list of that person’s email addresses and phone numbers and offer to FaceTime them. FaceTime opens in the separate app. If you have an IM conversation going, clicking the video icon offers choices to video or audio chat in the normal iChat fashion. (The Buddies window also has video/audio icons by your IM contacts who are available to video/audio chat.) Right-click an IM contact’s name for the screen sharing options.
Any weirdness? Not really. It’s just a little confusing for me since the IM and iMessages chats are both in the same window, although each chat is labeled if you select it in the sidebar and scroll up to the top. One thing that would be cool is if a contact was offline, refused your video chat request, or didn’t pick up your FaceTime call, if Messages let you record a quick video greeting to be delivered when they came back.
- I could see my IM contacts’ profile pictures, but no profile pictures showed up on my iMessage chats. People I was iMessage-chatting with could see my profile picture, though. Weird!
- Address Book now has green dots by people’s names (that’s new, right?) if you can iMessage/IM them. If you click one of those green dots, the Messages window comes to the front and a New Message is created in the sidebar on the left, but their name isn’t auto-populated in the To field. Weird!
- My iMessages pals reported that when they closed Messages on their Mac, unread iMessages I continued to send them showed up on their phones. But that didn’t work for me reliably. Just one here or there, but not all. All unread messages did appear badged on the Messages Dock icon, though. Suuuper weird!
But so far, I still have to say that Messages is cool.
- It supports the Photo Booth-like video effects in IM video chats, same as iChat 4.
- You can change the look of the chat window by right-clicking it and selecting a new look (balloons, boxes, or compact), or going to View Messages.
- I am an Emoji hater myself (I know, I know…lemme hear it), but the fact that you can send Emoji from the Mac to the phone (Edit Special Characters) is pretty cool. Smileys show up on the phone as their text equivalents, though.
- I like having all the chats in one window, but if that gets confusing or annoying, you can double-click any chat in the sidebar to break it out into its own window.
And that’s what I’ve noticed so far! What do you think: “Messages yay!” or “Messages, weird!”? What are the things that make YOU go “Hmmmm”?
We’ve survived two whole weeks! And while some of us have faltered — due to illness, travel, or simply the list for burgers and fries — we’ve also rebounded and renewed our commitment! We’re feeling better. We’re looking better. And our community is doing better than ever!
It’s the age of eHealth and eFitness — or iHealth and iFitness — where the iPhones and iPads we love have gone beyond being communications and computing tools and have started playing more and more crucial roles in all aspects of our lives. We don’t just listen to music or chat on the phone while jogging anymore. We use the data our devices collect to measure our progress, motivate our activities, and manage our mobile lives.
Ally took a look at what she considers the best [diet planning app for the iPhone (and iPad), Weight Watchers), and we'll be looking at a lot more cool stuff this week and next.
We recorded a special edition of Superfunctional chock-full of tips to stay motivated and stay moving.
But on to week 3! Once again, we're setting reasonable, attainable goals, and we're going to take advantage of our awesome community to make sure we attain them. As always we're running everything through our Health and Fitness Forum to keep us focused, keep us accountable, and keep us keeping on!
Oh, and while Kevin produced the single greatest (or most terrifying) fitness video in the history of YouTube, his Sexy and you know it workout, Georgia and I might have given him a run for his money with our homage to Richard Simmons (Wikipedia him!) and… some weird Snookie/Jane Fonda hybrid in our iMore Xbox Kinect Dance Central showdown!
How about that OS X Mountain Lion, huh? Apple skipped past the rumors and leaks and went straight to this morning’s surprise announcement, which just goes to show that ol’ Cupertino still has it in them to pull a rabbit out of the hat now and again. While OS X Mountain Lion is understandably the big news of the day, there were a few other things also going on, so let’s skip straight to the news for Thursday, February 16, 2012, shall we…?
In a day already overloaded with news about Apple’s forthcoming OS X Mountain Lion comes this little nugget from MacRumors: Apparently, the new Gatekeeper feature is already included with the existing OS X Lion 10.7.3 for developers who want to flip the switch and test it out. “Mac OS X users will soon have the option of turning on Gatekeeper, a new Mac OS X security feature,” Apple has instructed developers. “When a user does this, the system provides an additional measure of safety: it blocks that user from opening newly-downloaded applications that are not Developer ID–signed. In this scenario, the same user is easily able to launch downloaded applications that are Developer ID–signed.” According to MacRumors, the Gatekeeper feature can be activated simply by opening Terminal and running the command “sudo spctl –enable” — or alternately, be turned off by replacing “enable” with “disable.” But as the report notes, there’s no advantage to end users for turning the feature on at this time, since developers have yet to issue any updates to take advantage of it.
Foss Patents is reporting that a German court has ruled in Apple’s favor in a patent dispute with Motorola Mobility. The key victory is a European patent Apple holds for the company’s “slide to unlock” feature, patent number EP1964022. According to patent expert Florian Mueller, the court found Apple the victor on two out of three points: “Apple won on the two that Motorola’s smartphones implement,” the report reveals. “It did not prevail on the third one, which the Xoom tablet uses. That implementation is very similar to what I have on my Samsung Galaxy Note: the user has to make a swiping gesture from the inside of a circle to the outside. It requires a relatively large screen to work somewhat well, but even then it’s not very intuitive.” While Motorola plans to appeal the decision, it is Mueller’s belief that the appeal is unlikely to succeed — which could spell big trouble for the company’s European sales, at least until the offending feature is revised.
Analysts may be wringing their hands wondering if Amazon’s new $199 Kindle Fire tablet will consume some of the iPad’s traction, but judging from a report by CNNMoney’s Apple 2.0 blog, Apple may be its own competition. iSuppli issued a report today that shows Amazon’s Kindle Fire managed to nab 14 percent of the worldwide tablet market in the final three months of 2011, with 3.9 million units sold since its mid-November debut. Sounds great until you compare that to the 15.4 million iPad units sold during the same timeframe, which puts Apple’s tablet at 57 percent of the market. More curiously, iSuppli cites the iPhone 4S as a “shiny new alternative” to the iPad, rather than the more obvious Kindle Fire — meaning Apple’s main competition is itself, not a bad problem to have.
Almost as fascinating as the surprise announcement of OS X Mountain Lion this morning is reading Daring Fireball scribe John Gruber’s account of how Apple conducted private, one-on-one “product briefings” with journalists, who found out about the new version before developers. The result was quite effective: There were no rumors and no leaks about the new version of OS X, and apparently not even accurate guesses as to what the next version would be called. “We’re starting to do some things differently,” Apple senior VP Phil Schiller told Gruber in a New York City product briefing about a week ago. No more Moscone West, no more Yerba Buena Center — just Schiller, two marketing and PR guys from Apple and the journalist themselves. OS X will now get the same annual upgrade treatment as iOS, and the company will save the big dog and pony shows for major events — presumably there will be one in early March for the iPad 3, although it’s anyone’s guess. “My gut feeling though, is this,” Gruber writes. “Apple didn’t want to hold an event to announce Mountain Lion because those press events are precious.” Judging from the spotlight being thrown on OS X Mountain Lion across the internet today, Apple’s new “think different” approach seems to be working…
With so many people using Twitter on mobile devices — and most of those likely using a native app — it’s easy to forget that the company has been in the midst of overhauling the web version, which was first announced back in December. Now, the Twitter Blog is announcing that the transition is complete, and the swanky new Twitter website is finally available to one and all, rather than being exclusive to mobile devices and the official iOS and Android apps. To recap, the new features include the ability to click on any tweet in your timeline to expand its contents, Connect and Discover menu options, embedding tweets on your website and plenty of new shortcuts. That’s assuming anyone is still actually using the website…
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
Just get engaged and already overwhelmed with things like guest lists, budgets, colors, and vendors? Wedding Planner for iPad is here to organize everything related to your big day.
On the main screen, Wedding Planner gives you a quick look at your to-do and guest lists, budget planner, and vendors. You can also access your notes, color scheme and thank you list.
Each element of Wedding Planner is pretty strait-forward and intuitive to use and gorgeous to look at. The Colour Scheme section of the app is packed with popular colors so you can see how they all look together. If the exact color you need isn’t available, you can add it yourself from a color wheel.
The notes section of Wedding Planner is a page dedicated to adding sticky notes of ideas and thoughts for your wedding. I’m a fan of the sticky notes style because it’s reflects brainstorming and is a cute way to organize your thoughts.
Everything about Wedding Planner is gorgeous and helpful and I would have loved to have it when I got married. However, I wish the Guest List allowed you to add people from Contacts, specifically the ability to just tap which contacts you want to add to your Guest List. I had over 200 people on my guest list and manually adding each person would be cumbersome.
Despite this, I have found Wedding Planner to be both beautiful and efficient. Brides, this may be the answer to your wedding mayhem — grooms, your bride will love you even more if you surprise her with Wedding Planner on her iPad.