Newer, Smaller iPod Shuffle

11 03 2009

shufflekey

New to the list of Apple’s recent product revisions is the now smaller $79.00 iPod Shuffle. They sport 4 GB storage in a 1.8″ x 0.7″ x 0.3″ housing weighing less than an ounce. It can play for about 10 hours from a full charge, and as always is compatible with Mac and PC through iTunes.

Apple quietly updated the iPod Shuffle today, closing the online store early in the morning and reopening it with the new iPod. The iPod Shuffle is much like the his older cousins, small, sleek, and uses a clip to hold on to whatever you want. The Shuffle comes only in two colors, silver and black aluminum, and the clip is made of shiny stainless steel.

The major feature Apple is pushing for this new iPod Shuffle is VoiceOver, which can tell you the song you are playing (without interrupting the song), recite playlists you have loaded onto it, and warn you when your battery is low. This is a great improvement over the old shuffle, where you were stuck with one playlist, and there was no way to find out what song you were listening to. However, the computerized voice may get on your nerves if you are sensitive to it.

Lastly, when you buy the shuffle, you are stuck with Apple’s earbuds. They have removed buttons from the actual device, and have placed them on the right side earphone cord. Although this is handy, if you don’t like Apple’s earbuds, there is nothing you can do about it until an adapter comes out, and that adapter will be a separate purchase. Not to mention the controls you will have to memorize a combination of controls just to use it, take a look:

shufflecontrol

Pros: VoiceOver, Smaller, Long Battery Life, Very Nice Look

Cons: Proprietary Headphones, unknown Adapter price-tag, VoiceOver voice can be irritating, only 2 bland colors (black and silver)

If you plan on buying an iPod, the Shuffle is the cheapest and does music like all the other iPods. You lose out on the screen and video that the 8GB $149.00 iPod Nano would give you, though if you only want the music in a small package, Apple has the answer in a fashionable package.



iPod Touch – More Fun

17 02 2009

This is a new iPod touch advertisement. It has just been published to The Daily iLife podcast, which you can subscribe to in iTunes or watch here.

This commercial is similar to the last iPod touch ad, showing off even more games you can get in the App Store featuring No You Girls by Franz Ferdinand.



App Store Review: Enigmo

17 02 2009

enigmopic2

Enigmo is a game with a simple concept – get the water/fire/oil into their respective containers. You get to use a variety of tools, like ramps, cannons, sponges, and springs to move the droplets around the level. The goal of the game is to fill up containers to their maximum of 40 drops, simultaneously,  to move on to the next level. What’s interesting is that you also have to deal with obstacles, like force-fields that you have to turn off by shooting some of your drops through a ring to shut the force field down.

There is a lot of content in this game. The game comes with 50 levels, and you can download user-generated content so you never run out of challenges. But you won’t fly too quickly through all of the original 50 levels, some are very difficult and require a lot time to figure out.

enigmopic1

The biggest downfall of the game is that the difficulty curve isn’t gradual. At times you’ll be ready to delete the game  in frustration because it’s so hard, and you don’t want to deal with it anymore, but then the next level is a cakewalk.

For the $1.99 price tag, you could do a whole lot worse than Enigmo. The game gives you a lot of content for a small price, and when you feel like your brain needs some exercise it’s a great little game to play.



A Revolutionary Notebook: The History Behind the 17-inch MacBook Pro

12 02 2009

Since the new seventeen inch MacBook Pro hasn’t reached customers hands, take a look at the new features introduced in the latest model and more importantly, what it means for new Apple notebooks to come.

Unibody MacBook Pro 17"

On January 7th, 2003 Steve Jobs took the stage at the Macworld Expo and declared 2003 the “Year of the Notebook”. Alike the 2005 “Year for high-definition video”, after a few years, the industry caught up with Jobs’ prediction. Last quarter, Apple sold 2.524 million Macs of which, 1.796 million were notebooks- which equates to 71 percent. In the beginning of 2009, well over 36 million households owned one or more high definition TV- compared to 5 million in 2005.

In October 2008, at the “Spotlight on Notebooks” media event held at the Cupertino Campus, Apple introduced a redesigned 13 inch MacBook and 15 inch MacBook Pro- leaving the 17 inch unchanged. It wasn’t until three months afterwards, at the 2009 Macworld Keynote, until Apple took the wraps off of the unibody seventeen inch MacBook Pro. Not only did the new 17 inch MacBook feature a new unibody enclosure and the redesigned trackpad, but also an eight hour battery life and Matte display option.

The eight hour battery life comes with the addition of a 95 watt-hour Lithium-Polymer battery. By utilizing this technology, Apple achieves a significant space improvement over the Lithium-Ion or even Nickel Metal Hydride in some low end laptops. However this not a new technology- Apple has been using Lithium-Polymer battery for a number of years to create more dense and compact batteries.

17-inch MacBook Pro Adaptive Charging

The true innovation is in the hardware and software design of the battery system. A new recharging system dubbed “Adaptive Charging” closely monitors the charge of each cell and provides the optimal current required to recharge them. This monitoring system will allow users to get over 1000 charging cycles instead of industry standard 300.

Although many are quick to criticize the idea of a non-user replaceable battery, the change does allow for a smaller laptop design. The same argument has long been applied to the iPod, iPhone and MacBook Air- but seem to have little effect on the sales. While some may disagree with making the battery non user-replaceable; it is clear Apple is making the move toward Adaptive Charging and internal batteries.

Just as the original 17 inch PowerBook G4 exclusively featured a backlit keyboard with ambient light sensors, the once exclusive feature eventually trickled down to the consumer line MacBook. Within a few years, as the component price drops, all of Apple’s notebooks should see the switch to an internal battery as they gain the Adaptive Charging technology and intern a thinner profile.

Since the 17 inch MacBook Pro hasn’t reached users hands yet, we don’t know what the real battery life numbers will be. But regardless of what the numbers turn out to be, any improvement in battery life is welcome. The 17 inch laptop has brought us countless innovations that eventually trickle down to the entire notebook line.

For more information, check out:

Closer look at Apple’s new battery

Introducing the longest lasting Mac notebook battery ever

PowerBook G4 Commercials:
Introduction
Big and Small
12 and 17 inch PowerBooks



For your new iPhone 3G: A List of the Top 8 Best Free Applications

25 12 2008

Whether you just took the wraps off a new iPhone or iPod touch or you’ve had one for months now, you should make sure you know about the following applications.

iTunes Application Store

The iPhone is a powerful mobile phone. Since July, developers have been flooding the App Store with innovative and powerful applications which have only bolstered the community. Now with over 10,000 applications to choose from, make sure you have checked out the ones on this list!

SteadyCam

SteadyCam: If you are tired of taking blurry pictures from your iPhone, by using this application in low lighting situations you can avoid future blurry shots. Utilizing the accelerometer, once you push the shutter button it will only take a picture when the motion is the least, thus giving you a clear picture. AppStore link

Night Stand

Night Stand: Ever need a digital clock? Night Stand provides a wonderful digital clock which you can customize to your liking which can be great when you’re traveling. App Store link

Google Mobile App

Google Mobile: Recently updated with voice recognition technology, this application can prove extremely useful when in the need of information. Combining a number of a iPhone services such as location and your Contacts, it will provide relevant information based on a number of variables. App Store link

Units

Units: If you’ve ever needed to convert quarts to gallons or cups to ounces, Units solves the issue of converting units quite nicely. Units makes for quite a bargain when compared to other paid applications that do the same thing. App Store link

WifiFinder

WifiFinder: Whenever possible, a reliable Wi-Fi network is always a great asset. However, due to the nature of the iPhone OS, finding a good network that actually works and is within your range can prove difficult. WifiFinder helps by giving more information about each network and avoids the traditional Settings>Wi-Fi menu route. Definitely a great application for when you’re on the go. App Store link

EasyWriter

EasyWriter: If you have ever desired a landscape keyboard in Mail, this application lets you write with the landscape keyboard and send the text to Mail. App Store link

Wikipanion

Wikipanion: If you browse Wikipedia in Mobile Safari, you know that there is no mobile version. Wikipanion automatically formals Wikipedia pages for better mobile consumption and includes a number of great features such as Ogg audio playback, text resizing, page searching, history and more. App Store link

Say Who Dialer and Maps

Say Who Dialer and Maps: If you miss voice dialing from your previous phone, or would like to use the feature on your iPhone Say Who Dialer and Maps will do the trick. Simply say a contacts name or a number you would like it to dial and it will dial it for you automatically. Additionally you can input an address or intersection and it can launch Google Maps. App Store link

Since the iTunes Store now contains over 10,000 applications there are dozens of new applications that are released each day. If you find an application that you believe is noteworthy, feel free to contact us and we will write about it!



Happy Holidays from TheiLife.com!

25 12 2008


Happy Holidays 2008

From all of us at theiLife.com, we wish you and your families the best for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Years- or whatever you celebrate! We are working on some articles to get better use from your new gifts. Of course, in the meantime you can always entertain yourself with daily updates to The Daily iLife video library.



Steve Jobs Pulls out of Macworld Expo 2009- Phil Schiller to host the Keynote – Apple’s Final Macworld

16 12 2008

This years Macworld will Apple’s last as an exhibitor and will not feature a Keynote presentation by Steve Jobs.

Macworld 2009 Fail

According to a statement released by Apple this afternoon, Phil Schiller will deliver the opening keynote to the Macworld 2009 Expo instead Steve Jobs. Additionally, this will be the last year Apple will be exhibiting at Macworld Expo. There were a number of rumblings pertaining to Steve Jobs not hosting his typical Keynote earlier this week which in the past have brought light to the iPhone, AppleTV and Intel iMac.

Apple today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center January 5-9, 2009.

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

You can read more of Apple’s Press Release here. The iLife will not be in attendance to the Macworld Expo this year due to financial issues and the decreasing number of exhibitors at the show.



An Apple Too Big For Secrets?

11 12 2008

As the year draws to a close, it has come time to reflect upon Apple and a growing trend with the Cupertino company.

It's Not My Fault!
A collage of leaked shots by JR.

With Mac market share on the rise, iPhone sales taking off, Apple profits and revenue up to record levels once again- it is undeniably a great time for Apple. Even during these times of economic uncertainty, Apple appears to be performing better than its market competitors, proving that Apple products are something more than luxury goods they’re made out to be. However, these business successes appear to have had unexpected consequences for the Apple of old.

Compared to years past, 2008 has been a dismal year in terms of upcoming product secrecy. For the typically insanely secretive company, the number of leaks and the accompanying lack of take down notices are unprecedented. At its height, Apple’s passion with secrecy saw the take down of rumor site ThinkSecret.com after leaking specifications on the unreleased Mac mini. Numerous other websites including AppleInsider, MacRumors and 9to5mac have all experienced the wrath of the Apple legal team in the past but surprisingly haven’t had any recent encounters.

A less secret Apple needn’t be a bad thing. Apple’s secrecy was often inhibiting within the company and to consumers. By Apple softening up on its secrecy, employees will be able to focus more on their jobs instead of having to worrying about containing leaks.. Recently, some examples of the “new” Apple are the emails from Apple CEO Steve Jobs which have on a number of occasions briefly detailed upcoming software updates or fixes. Earlier this week, Apple press representative Bill Evans told Macworld “Our holiday line-up is set,” and a representative of Apple responded to a concerned Mac mini customer with a phone call stating “Apple knew the mini was a popular machine and to be patient,”. Finally, last month Apple stripped it’s infamous Non Disclosure Agreement from the iPhone SDK stating “the NDA has created too much of a burden on developers, authors and others interested in helping further the iPhone’s success”.

As we are beginning to see Apple evolve, the changes are ultimately for the better. With more attention on quality products and less on NDA’s and secrets, Apple can concentrate on producing more amazing products (MacBook Touch? Newton 2.0?) and developing good software. Missing however, will be the glory days of Mac rumors and magical “One more thing..” announcements as leaks become more abundant and are published by bigger sources like just another piece of news. It appears that the constant demand to see the latest and greatest from Apple before Steve Jobs can reveal it has been won.



Podcast Episode 9 – 10,000 Applications

10 12 2008

[audio:http://theilife.com/media/audcast/9-10000apps.mp3|titles=Epoisode 9: 10,000 Applications]
Download MP3 (32MB)

The iLife Podcast – Epoisode #9: 10,000 Applications

This weeks episode, featuring the usual Matt Dodd and Sidney San Martin is joined by special guest Keith and is titled 10,000 Applications. Topics including Snow Leopard, 10.5.6, 10,000 applications on the App Store and the latest information on The iLife are covered within- plus more!

You can click here to subscribe now in iTunes, or visit us in the iTunes Store.

Additionally, if you would like to subscribe to the podcast through a standard RSS feed, check this out.

Show notes coming soon.



Black Friday- The iLife Style: Liveblogging, Pictures and Apple Stores!

28 11 2008

The iLife crew is out and about reporting with the latest Black Friday insanity! Keep refreshing this page for new updates throughout the night and day.


Line forming in the late hours of the night.

Crowds began forming early Thursday afternoon at a local Best Buy in West Paterson, New Jersey. Upon arrival at 12AM Friday morning, the Best Buy parking lot was near full. “I’m just here to get a laptop and a new TV” proclaimed one line sitter who arrived at 2PM. Line goers preferred to wait outside their local Best Buy and have relatives deliver Thanksgiving dinner while they sat in line or just hit up a local McDonalds for a bite to eat instead of the more traditional American Thanksgiving.

Most line sitters were there for the early “Doorbuster” items which will be quickly snatched up when the store opens at 5AM. These includes a $60 7 Megapixel Digital Camera, $900 Samsung 50″ LCD TV, $80 Magellan GPS unit and a $379 Toshiba laptop which are advertised as “While Supplies Last”. A notable sale on Apple Computers at Best Buy is now over however, as Apple’s own stores are holding their own Black Friday Specials with prices slashed by $100 on new MacBooks and $50 on new iMacs. There are also small discounts on iPods and other accessories from the Mac maker and other third parties.

Police presence at the Best Buy we visited was surprisingly heavy in the parking lot with over 8 police cruisers present at 12AM. The police handled all aspects of crowd and line control, solving a dispute with some line cutters and even prompting this reporter to get in line until he understood I was indeed reporting- not waiting in line. No Best Buy employees could be seen either inside or outside the store. More details will be coming from The iLife as Black Friday progresses. For now, check out Apple’s online deals available here.

The iLife reporters Matt Dodd and Matt Rosenhein were on scene conducting voice interviews. Listen to the report below using our new Flash Media Player!

[audio:http://theilife.com/media/interviews/BBinterview-BlackFriday.mp3|titles=Best Buy Black Friday Interview]
Download MP3 (3MB)