iTunes – Sonic

21 05 2008

A new iTunes+iPod commercial surfaced early this afternoon promoting the new Coldplay single from the upcoming album Vida la Vida. It has just been published to The Daily iLife podcast, which you can subscribe to in iTunes or watch here.

An iTunes+iPod advertisement for Coldplay.



Second Generation, 3G, iPhone 2 – Rumor Roundup – WWDC 2008

20 05 2008

This is the first part in a series of WWDC rumor articles to come, exploring the possibilities of the new second generation iPhone speculated to launch at WWDC 2008.

3G iPhone Picture
A supposed spy shot of the new iPhone

For years rumors have been flying about an Apple phone. Finally, last year at Macworld 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. Ever since the January 9th release, rumors and speculation have run wild regarding everything from rumored firmware updates to hardware revisions and even new iPhone models. Now with a little over two weeks until WWDC, the iPhone rumors have exponentially increased- and everyone seems to be unanimously shouting one thing- 3G iPhone.

The first generation iPhone is held by some as one of the best cell phone ever created. Both users and critics agree that the iPhone is close to perfection- or at least a step up for cell phones. However, some of the of the cons with the iPhone are the touch screen keyboard, slow EDGE connection (no 3G) and the lack of third party applications. With the rumored second generation iPhone, it appears that Apple is out to fix two of those three flaws for sure- 3G and third party application support with iPhone firmware 2.0 (already revealed).

Ever since the public release of the iPhone in June of 2007, the iPhone has been rumored to be getting a 3G chip in a future update. For a time, some speculated September 2007 (coinciding with iPod updates), then others thought Macworld 2008, but now it seems like an iPhone with 3G is impending for WWDC 2008. Here is some proof:

In April, AppleInsider reported that references were found in the latest iPhone 2.0 betas to the Infineon chipset, SGOLD3H. The SGOLD3H is a cellular chip that supports 3G cellular data access via HSDPA to up to 7.2 megabits/second. The chip even supports the WCDMA technology which is needed in countries such as Japan or Korea. Currently, the iPhone uses a SGOLD2 to power 2.5G (EDGE) cellular communications.

iPhone-3G-Enable-Switch_settings-beta
Last week, 3G settings were found in the latest betas of the iPhone 2.0 firmware.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of annoucments regarding the worldwide release of the new iPhone, and it appears that Apple is gearing up for a widespread International launch much larger than the one with the current iPhone. In April, Rogers announced that it was going to bring the iPhone to Canada later in the year. Last week SingTel announced it would be offering the iPhone in parts of Australia and Asia. France Télécom’s Orange announced it would be offering 3G iPhones in Austria, Belgium, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Jordan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, its current African markets. America Movil announced that it would be offering the iPhone in Mexico and other parts of the region later this year. Telecom Itaila stated that it would be carrying the iPhone in Italy. Telefónica announced they were bringing the iPhone to Spain, and is rumored to launch on June 18th, with the iPhone 2. Finally, in a statement last week, Vodafone said:

“Later this year, Vodafone customers in Australia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, Italy, India, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa and Turkey will be able to purchase the iPhone for use on the Vodafone network.”

Over all, these following countries, listed in alphabetical order, will be getting or currently sell the iPhone: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Italy, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Slovakia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Romania, Turkey, United States and Uruguay.

iphone-currently-unaviable-applestore

Not only is the current iPhone nearing its first public birthday, but it is very hard to find at the moment. As reported in April with the then temporary shortage of iPhones, today the iPhone is very hard to come by. Since last week, a quick check to the Apple Online Store shows the product “Currently Unavailable”. iPhones are also in very limited quantities in both Apple Retail Stores and AT&T Retail stores. These are definitly indicators that Apple is readying an update and has sold out of the remaining inventory of iPhones.

While 3G is the likely next move for the iPhone, there is still much speculation of other changes Apple might want to make. The next few topics are debatable and the evidence is not nearly as solid as it is for 3G.

iphone-video-conferencing
iPhone Videoconferencing developed by Ken and Greg Aspeslagh for the Iron Coder Live

Videoconferencing: There have been many rumors that the second generation iPhone will have two cameras; a camera on the back and a hidden forward facing camera to be used for video conferencing. This rumor is not supported by anything solid except that the SGOLD3H cellular chip supports live recording and videoconferencing, where as the SGOLD2 cellular chip (found in the current iPhone) does not.

Flush Headphone Jack: Another complaint about the current generation iPhone is that the recessed headphone jack makes it very hard or impossible to plug third party headphones in. It would only be logical for Apple to revise the case and mount the headphone jack flush for this next update.

GPS: Built in GPS would certainly compliment the Google Maps application. By allowing the iPhone to give a precise location fix, dynamic turn by turn directions, geotag pictures, and more.

Material Change: By switching the back case of the iPhone from anodized aluminum to plastic; the iPhone could become lighter and allow for better wireless signal reception- especially if adding GPS. One possibility is that Apple will remove the aluminum backing and use a similar material to the black plastic piece at the bottom of the current iPhone (which is there for the antennas for the cell and 802.11 wireless).

Curvier Body: The current iPhone, while rounded, seems almost square in your hand. When holding an iPhone in your palm, you generally only feel the edges of the phone. It is rumored that the back of the iPhone will be more rounded for that reason.

Verdict: We will certainly see a new iPhone launched sometime before the end of this year with 3G. Gizmodo, Tuesday morning is reporting that Apple will launch the new iPhone on June 9th, for immediate worldwide release; which is a fairly reasonable claim.

Keep tuned for theiLife’s predictions in the days leading up to WWDC.



The Weekly Report (5/19)

19 05 2008

This week begins my first week of no school which means that I have lots of time to dedicate to the site. Not only does that equate to more content, and improvements to the site, but we will be able to prepare for our upcoming WWDC 2008 coverage. Regarding rumors for WWDC, I am in the process of starting a series exploring the possibilities for the WWDC 2008 Jobs keynote. The latest iPhone buzz started late Monday morning, when a new case design from manufacturer XSKN started a buzz with it’s newest iPhone case. The new case, shown below, contains a number of rumored features of the forthcoming second generation iPhone.

2.5G iPhone
The current 2.5G iPhone case, pictured above.
iPhone Rumored 3G Case
The 3G iPhone case, with rumored features highlighted.

You can see that the new case features a curvier, rounded back; what appears to be a change in the mounting of the headphone jack and an unprotected area around the top earpiece area- presumably for a front facing camera (for video-conferencing). Note that after the release, the XSKN website has been hit hard with traffic, rendering it almost unusable.



Rumors circulate concerning new iPhone model

19 05 2008

As rumors of an iPhone model refresh build, Swiss newspaper Le Matin published a report claiming the new model would be coming to Swiss mobile network SwissCom and would support videoconferencing, mobile TV and GPS features. This report was shortly followed by a press conference from SwissCom confirming that they plan on bringing the iPhone to their network in the near future.

3G iPhone Picture
A rumored picture of the 3G iPhone

Among features expected by analysts in the new iPhone model include 3G mobile network support, improved storage capacity and third part application support. Mobile teleconferencing however, has not been seen as a likely move on Apple’s part, do to bandwidth and engineering restraints. However, it is worth mentioning that the language in several of Apple’s older patents for video conferencing do leave room for a mobile deployment. Also, a more recent patent for a integrated image sensor display seems to suggest that the technology would be well suited to a mobile device, “In addition, portable devices, such as portable digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones, have very limited space for displays and would benefit if additional real estate were not used for a camera.”

Apple is expected to announce their new iPhone model at WWDC in June.



Apple Store Boston – Boylston Street: Video

18 05 2008

When Daniel DeSilva from Connecticut visited the new Boylston Street Apple Store in Boston yesterday, he was kind enough to take footage for theiLife.com and a share it with us. I have put compiled this video from the footage he gave me.

iPod (7 MB)

High Quality (17 MB)

YouTube

This video is a brief overview of the new Apple Store. If you would like to read more about the store; you can check out the other coverage from theiLife:

Summary of Grand Opening
Photo Gallery of Opening
Liveblog from Opening

Music featured in the video is Song 2 by Blur.



Get a Mac – Sad Song

17 05 2008

The latest Get a Mac commercial by Apple, where PC sings Mac a sad song, accompanied by a dog, about leaving for the Mac. It has just been published to The Daily iLife podcast, which you can subscribe to in iTunes or watch here.

PC sings a short country-blues style song about people ‘leaving him’ for Mac.



Apple Store Boston – Boylston Street Grand Opening Reflection

16 05 2008

This is a reflection upon yesterdays opening of the Boston Apple Store, located on Boylston Street. theiLife.com correspondent Adam Epstein helped cover the opening by providing video, picture and text updates; and has retold his adventure below.

Outside the Store

The opening of the Boylston Street Apple Retail Store was the second event at an Apple Store that I have attended. The first was the release of Leopard in fall 2007 at the Burlingame, CA store.

I was not able to leave work in Worcester until close to 4:45 p.m., and I knew I would be cutting it close with the 6 p.m. opening in Boston. I parked at the Prudential Center and made it to the line at about 5:40 p.m. I had two friends already in line in two different places. My place in line was on Fairfield Street further away from the store than Newbury Street.

The street was sectioned off with barricades, and the line width was anywhere from 5-8 people stretching several blocks and then onto Boylston Street approaching the store. It was hard to estimate the number of people in line, but having heard in advance that there were only 1,000 t-shirts, I definitely did not think I would get one giving my place in line. I was snapping photos with my camera and iPhone, and sending updates. Just before 6 p.m., my e-mail and internet on my iPhone stopped working, and I was getting a “cannot activate EDGE” error. It continued for nearly 35 minutes (frustrating!) even with several restarts of the phone. It eventually came back. Meanwhile, it seemed like every third person had an iPhone. Other than my time at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, I don’t think I have been in a place with a higher iPhone concentration.

Shortly after I arrived and about 10–15 minutes prior to the store opening, the employees (what seemed like all of them) began running along the sidewalk adjacent to the line cheering, screaming, and high-fiving the people in line. There was a significant police presence for traffic and crowd control. The television news vans for the local CBS, NBC, and FOX affiliates were stationed on Fairfield and Boylston Streets. At several times, a helicopter was hovering overhead; whether it was for this event or just standard Boston traffic, I don’t know. Some pedestrians passing by on the sidewalk were asking people in line what they were doing there and what they were giving away for free.

Eventually the line began to move (slowly!) with the security staff allowing small groups of people to cross the streets at a time. I was receiving text message and phone call updates from my two friends already inside describing the store and asking where I was in line. They said it appeared that there were still plenty of t-shirts as I was getting closer to the store. They also said there were Red Sox people (they didn’t know who) inside. I made it to the front of the store at about 7:10 p.m. still with quite a significant line behind me.

Finally it was my group’s turn to enter. As we entered the store, the entry way was lined with Apple employees in blue and orange shirts cheering and clapping loudly! The staff handed out the t-shirts which were in small boxes (no size indicated–turns out most or all were XL) and high-fived the guests as they entered through the area which could be described as like running the gauntlet.

At that point I began taking photos and some short video. The ground level/first floor was very busy with employees and guests entering. The spiral glass staircase was very impressive! We spoke with one employee who said they had 2,500 t-shirts on hand which explains why I was still able to get one! The second floor is the iPod/iPhone area, and there was a huge wall of accessories and cases. The third floor is the demonstration area and Genius Bar, and the employee at the top of the staircase was greeting each person by saying “Welcome to the third floor.”

I did not spend much time actually exploring each floor because of the number of people and congestion; that will be for another day. I did sit down to use an iMac and write one of the updates that I sent and take some more photos. Overall, I did not spend too much time in the store exploring, but the store is definitely very impressive. It does remind me of the New York Fifth Avenue store, but significantly larger. Every time I have been in the Fifth Avenue store it has seemed very busy and packed, and this new store even on opening day with the large number of people did not give me that impression.

As I was leaving the employees were continuing to cheer and hand out t-shirts. Later, I had dinner at a nearby outside restaurant, and I continued to see people passing by holding the box containing the t-shirt. Several Apple employees assisted with taking down “no parking” signage and moving the barricades. I saw one person carrying a newly purchased MacBook and one person carrying a newly purchased iMac. Walking past the store on my way back to my car at nearly 10 p.m., the line was gone but the employees continued to cheer and high-five as guests entered the store.

Overall, very impressive all around! I’ll be back sometime soon to spend more time in the store and buy my 3G iPhone.



Apple Store Boston – Boylston Street Opening Pictures and Video

16 05 2008

Our volunteer correspondent for theiLife, Adam Epstein, covered the opening of yesterdays Boston Store opening. Below is a gallery of photos he took, and a video from inside the store during the opening. The detailed story from Adam is coming soon.

You can read the liveblog here; and more about the new Boylston Street store here.

Photo gallery after the jump!
Read more…



Get a Mac – Peprally

15 05 2008

The latest Get a Mac commercial by Apple, where PC gets cheerleaders to help introduce him and help exhibit his features. It has just been published to The Daily iLife podcast, which you can subscribe to in iTunes or watch here.

PC is introduced by a cheerleading squad. The plot moves to Mac’s number 1 status on college campuses with his built in iSight camera and his Stable operating system. The cheerleaders cheer, “Mac’s Number One!”. Upon PC’s disagree, they cheer, “PC’s Number Two!”



Live from the Boston Apple Store, Boylston Street Opening!

14 05 2008

theiLife.com will be covering the Boylston Street Apple Store opening, beginning at approximately 5PM Thursday, May 15th. All updates and pictures will be contained on this post so make sure you check back for updates!


4:57 PM Matt here, I am in New Jersey awaiting updates from our crew out in Boston.
5:04 PM If you want to find out more information about the new Boston Store, you can check out yesterday’s article here; or on ifoAppleStore.
6:00 PM The store is now officially open! Still no word from our on-site corespondents.
6:05 PM Adam is in line. He notes “[there are] more iPhones per capita in this line than anywhere I have seen other than 1 Infinite Loop” Picture added below.
6:13 PM Adam has sent another picture and notes that there are a number of news crew in attendance.
6:31 PM There are helicopters flying above the area. Another picture has been added, which Adam believes is the cause of the helicopters.
6:38 PM “Freinds inside say it is “sick” and like the “NY store but better”. T-Shirts come in small box and a few are left. I doubt I will get one.”
6:49 PM “I am approaching the corner, which is Boylston St. Cops everywhere. Cameras everywhere.”
6:56 PM “Getting close. Can see the store. One more wrap around.”
7:03 PM “DRM protesters handing out flyers and in front of store.”
7:08 PM “Very close. I hear they still have shirts.”
7:10 PM “I’m in. 7:10. Got shirt. Will send photo after. Staff cheers everytime someone walks in.”
7:34 PM “I am inside using an iMac now. I’m on the third floor. First floor is chaos with the entire entryway filled with employees continuously cheering as people enter. The third floor has demonstrations happening, an iChat one right next to me. They still have T-Shirts, one employee said they have 2,500 to give out. My friend told me there were Red Sox people here earlier, but I don’t know who they were and I have not seen them.”
7:43 PM Adam is just leaving the Apple Store. He has inclosed a picture of the T-Shirt below.

Photos after the jump.
Read more…