With a fresh Mac lineup and rumors building, the new Third Generation iPhone 2,1 is on the way

19 03 2009

With the entire Mac line finally brought up to date, the iPhone 3G begins to show age in the Apple lineup.

iPhone case back full

On the first Tuesday of this month, Apple updated the Mac Pro, Mac mini and iMac desktop models, outfitting them with the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics. Finally killing off Firewire 400, including mini Display Port connectors; the changes finally unified Apple’s desktop offerings with the unibody MacBook family, unveiled in October 2008. Since that “Spotlight on Notebooks” event, every Mac has seen an update. The iPod line was updated in September 2008, including the third generation iPod shuffle introduction last week. Even the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule Wi-Fi router and NAS devices saw updates recently. This leaves the iPhone 3G as one of the oldest major offering of Apple hardware on the market- if you can even believe that.

Announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2008, the iPhone 3G replaced the original iPhone with a lower price tag (subsidized by the carriers), 3G and 2.5G cellular capability, built in GPS functionality and a refined case and audio components. Since the July 11th launch, over 15 million units have been shipped worldwide giving Apple a surge in marketshare to 8 percent of all smartphones, using the latest numbers from Gartner.

Apple has indicated in the past that early summer is the iPhone refresh period alike early fall for iPods. While the original iPhone was introduced at Macworld 2007, it launched June 29th that year. The iPhone 3G was announced at the annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 9th 2008 but didn’t launch until July 11th later that year.

In April of 2008, iPodObserver leaked an image of the back of what turned out to be the iPhone 3G. Again in February 2009, iPodObserver published the image (shown, above and a closer up, below) of an iPhone with a curved matte finish back. While leaked images rarely turn out to be accurate, the images do look legitimate and sport a unseen iPhone model number, “A1303”.

iPhone case back bottom

Additionally in late January, MacRumors reported seeing server logs populated with a mysterious iPhone device labeled iPhone 2,1. Apple uses these hardware identity strings to distinguish different hardware models- the original iPhone is designated hardware string iPhone 1,1 while the iPhone 3G was labeled iPhone 1,2. Interestingly, the first generation iPod Touch was introduced with the iPod 1,1 and the second generation iPod 2,1. The second generation iPod Touch added a internal speaker, hardware volume controls, microphone support and a updated processor.

Thus, the 2 in the iPhone 2,1 might reveal that there will most likely be more significant changes in the hardware of the new iPhone than seen with the first generation iPhone and second generation iPhone (iPhone 3G). While it remains unclear at this point what the changes will be, there have been a number of rumors about updated, multi-core processors manufactured by Imagination Technologies. The company is known as the firm behind the PowerVR graphics core used in the iPhone today.

Just yesterday, the company announced new highly efficient PowerVR multi-processor chips that might find their way into the next generation iPhone. Other rumors, left over from the buildup to the iPhone 3G announcement have pointed towards the addition of a second forward facing camera and or video capabilities.

iPhone case back

Whatever the new iPhone will bring us, both from the growing number of rumors and 3.0 firmware and SDK preview, it appears we are all in for a significant revision. As we get closer to WWDC 2009, we will most likely know more about the upcoming iPhone. Stick with The iLife for continuing development and analysis of rumors. But for now check out the following links if you want to learn more about upcoming the iPhone.

PinchMedia iPhone 2,1
New Imagination Technologies chip analysis
Major architectural changes suggested by iPhone 2,1



iPhone 3.0 firmware and SDK previewed and released!

17 03 2009

It’s finally here! Today, Apple released in specific detail the new iPhone 3.0 firmware and new iPhone SDK! Rumors have been flying for weeks about what is to be released this morning and we have all the answers.

iphone-os-30

The waiting is finally over! After weeks of anticipation, apple has previewed the iPhone 3.0 firmware to the public. The new 3.0 firmware has many features that we have been dreaming about since January 9, 2007. They include:

  • Copy and Paste
  • Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
  • Landscape view in SMS, Mail and Notes (was already in Safari)
  • In-applicationĀ  purchasing, like extra content
  • Access iPod library from your application
  • Spotlight to search your iPhone
  • A2DP (Stereo Bluetooth) Capability
  • And more

The Firmware will be free to all iPhone users but will cost $9.95 for iPod touch users.

New iPhone SDK

The new iPhone SDK has many exciting features that Apple Developers are excited about. The most notable of these is the ability to test your developed apps before releasing them into the open market of iTunes. It also includes over 1,000 new API’s!

All in all, today we witnessed the next generation in mobile devices. Many people were worried that the new Palm Pre would contain many apps that the iPhone did not and become the leader in the smartphone market, but Apple took care of these worries. The new SDK is currently available to registered Apple developers and the 3.0 firmware will be available to the public sometime in June.



iPhone Developers Given Access to iPhone 3.0 SDK and Firmware Starting Today (Updated)!

17 03 2009

After the 3.0 preview Tuesday, Apple has updated the iPhone Developer Connection website to let developers get their hands on the 3.0 SDK and firmware.

We'll be back soon. iPhone Developers

The site which normally hosts the latest firmwares and SDK releases and notes is temporarily down and displays the famous sticky note reading “We’ll Be Back Soon” from the online Apple Store. In the 3.0 event, over 1000 new API’s have been opened up to developers including the Push Notification Service, which is finally making light since the WWDC 2008 preview (and promised September 2008 availability date). Apple promised all current and future iPhone developers will have access to the new firmwares and SDK builds- but is unclear at this time if that extends to non-paid iPhone developers.

Update: [3:22 PM EST] The Apple Developer homepage (developer.apple.com) and other pages (here) has been updated with new iPhone SDK information but the iPhone Developer Center is still down.

Update: [3:37 PM EST] The iPhone Developer Center is back up, fresh with new content for 3.0. We are combing through it now and will post up interesting finds soon. Note: the site is being very unresponsive.

Update: [5:02 PM EST] The iPhone Developer Center, while up, has not let us log in yet.

Update: [5:42 PM EST] The iPhone Developer Center, is still being very temperamental, but we have managed to get a look and begin downloads of 3.0 software!

More information will be coming as soon as we can get it.



Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 10.6 Build 10A286 Exclusive Preview

17 03 2009

In an unusual move late Monday evening, The iLife has received a number of exclusive looks into the latest Snow Leopard build.

about-this-mac-SNOW-leopard-10a286

These screenshots shown in the gallery below detail some small subtitle changes in the latest non internal build of Mac OS X 10.6. The build, titled 10A286 was seeded to Apple Developers earlier this month.

Of the notable changes, is the Cocoa Finder. The source indicates the font is different and there are small animations when selecting a file or renaming a folder or file. There is also a new right click (or control click) menu that includes “Make New Sticky Note”, “Show Address in Google Maps” and “Send Selection” (to Mail) among other additions. The new trash “Put Back” menu option is indeed present and our source says you can even launch trashed items while they are still in the trash. Our source noted everything from web browsing to opening programs ran considerably faster on his MacBook Pro (4,1). This is not surprising considering the new 64 bit Kernel as seen in the Activity Monitor shot.

The new QuickTime X interface is demonstrated in two screenshots below, which is the only instance of the “black glass” interface being used throughout the build, which breaks the Leopard ‘unified interface’. Also the Exchange support implemented within iCal, Mail and Address Book is a new addition. The Calculator application now features a “Convert” menu. The Image Capture, Font Book and Bluetooth Setup Assistant have seen small interface changes, bringing them up to speed with the latest Apple looks. The Trackpad and Energy Saver icons in System Preferences have changed to reflect that of the new unibody MacBooks and more interestingly, the four finger gestures have also been implemented to non unibody MacBooks supporting multi-touch. Finally, when taking screenshots instead of being labeled with “Picture X” (going in sequential numerical order), the screenshots are now titled by default with the date and time.

Happy 300th post and thanks to our anonymous source for the tips!



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!

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Download MP3 (3MB)




Mac OS X iPhone firmware update 2.2 Released!

21 11 2008

Early Friday morning, Apple released the 2.2 firmware update into the wild.


New progress bar added in 2.2 can be seen when updating firmware.

True to the rumors, the 2.2 firmware has been released (on the east coast) on November 21st. Filled with all the leaked features such as a retooled Maps application, downloadable Podcasts from the device, refined Safari browser and a number of other small changes (including patches to the recently found security flaws). More information coming soon.



Apple Quarter Four 2008 Financial Results

21 10 2008

This afternoon, Apple will be hosting a conference call detailing its Q4 financial results.

Today, at 5:00 PM EST / 2:00 PM PST, Apple will hold a conference call discussion the results of their quarter four earnings. Apple’s fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 covers sales from June 29th through September 27th. Apple has set a standard of breaking it’s conservative estimates, and even with the sinking financial market, is expected to break them today. We highly recommend you tune into the call later today and listen to the results first hand!

Apple Q4 Financial Results



Apple Releases Revised MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Models

20 10 2008

Writer Geoffery Kaicher explores the latest notebook offerings from Apple.

Next Generation of Notebooks

Last week, Apple released their new MacBook’s and MacBook Pro’s. Both notebooks feature a number of new innovations including aluminum cases, faster processors, better graphics cards and an all glass multi-touch pad that has no dedicated button. Along with the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air was given a small speed bump. The MacBook Air now has a 1.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor upgradable to 1.86 GHz. It was also given a new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.

The MacBook went through the most drastic change going from the plastic white or black case to a new aluminum case with a black, glass screen which resembles the screen from the iMac. The aluminum case comes from a single block of aluminum machined to perfection. Even the sleep indicator was taken in to account being carved by a CNC to thin the metal before a laser make small perforations to allow the LED Light to shine through.

While the MacBook and MacBook Pro look similar with the exception of screen size, slightly different port configuration and the tags on the bottom of the screen, their tech specs make them seem like there is no relation. The MacBook comes in one size, 13.3″, but has two options of processor power. With the new computer, you are given the option of a 2.0 or 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. The 2.0 GHz comes with the option of upgrading to a 250GB HD, 320GB HD or a 128GB SSDfrom a 160GB HDD wheres as the 2.4 GHZ comes standard with a 250GB HD with the option to upgrade. Both options come with 2GB (Two 1GB SO-DIMMS) of SDRAM but can support up to 4GB. The new graphics support is a NVIDIA 9400M graphics processor 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM. As usual it still comes with an iSight, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The MacBook Pro, as usual, is similar same, but faster. The redesigned Pro again only comes in one size, 15.4″ (17″ apparently will follow eventually) with two processor speeds. The options are a 2.4 GHz or 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo upgradable to 2.8GHz. The 2.4 GHz model comes standard with 2GB of SDRAM, 250GB HD, and a NVIDIA 9400M 256 MB or 9600M 256MB. The 2.53 GHz model comes with 4GB of SDRAM, 320GB HD, and a NVIDIA 9400M 512MB or 9600M 512MB. Both can hold up to 4GB of SDRAM and have an option of a 128GB SSD. And as before, they both still come with an iSight, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

The new models have been given a complete makeover both internally and externally. While the MacBook has been given the biggest makeover going from the plastic casing, both have been given a refined look. But in case you decide you don’t like the new laptops, Apple still offers the old 17″ MacBook Pro model and 13″ MacBook model.

Editors note: Commenting on this article does not make you eligible for theiLife birthday celebration raffle.



Apple Special Event Live Coverage from Apple Town Hall: Redesigned MacBook and MacBook Pro – Spotlight Turns to Notebooks – Liveblog

13 10 2008

Apple is expected to release updated versions of it’s MacBook and MacBook Pro laptop models. Stick to this page for live coverage from this event starting at 10AM PST (1PM EST).

Tuesday beginning at 10AM Pacific in the Cupertino campus, Apple is expected to release the latest revisions of MacBook and MacBook Pro’s. Rumors have been flying around since the start of this year about a new aluminum MacBook and a redesigned MacBook Pro. Originally rumored to take place in September, but later pushed until October, Apple issued members of the press invites last week.

Since then, there have been a number of breaks in secrecy including a number of case shots and an Apple Support document. It is almost certain that Apple will be introducing new MacBook and MacBook Pro’s at this event. Stay on this page for live coverage throughout the event- as well a pictures gallery after the jump. Apple Town Hall has been the venue for the introduction of the latest generation iMac and Mac mini.

11:09AM EST The servers have been locked down and prepared for tomorrows event. T-minus 13 hours and counting. More coming soon!
1:02PM EST The event has begun. Steve Jobs has taken the stage.
1:03PM EST Tim Cook takes over to cover the state of the Mac.
1:06PM EST Talks about the Mac success over the past few years.
1:10PM EST Steve Jobs returns to the stage.
1:15PM Jon Ive takes the stage to talk about the new notebook manufacturing process. Brick?
1:16PM EST Started with a large piece of aluminum and work it down allows for stronger and lighter notebooks.
1:18PM EST Used it for the MacBook Air. Now applying it to the new Apple laptops. Jobs is again taking the stage.
1:19PM EST Apple is using new NVIDIA cards in their laptops. 9400M.
1:21PM EST Multi-touch glass trackpads. No button. 4 software gestures.
1:25PM EST New MacBook Pros that look exactly like the leaks seen last night.
1:32PM EST MacBook Pro specs: Magsafe, Gigabit Ethernet, Firewire 800, two USB ports, a Mini Display Port, Audio In/Out analog and optical digital, ExpressCard 34. Both 9400 and 9600GT. SSD option.
1:39PM EST New MacBook Air update. Now shipping with a 9400 integrated graphics card. 128SSD option. Mini display port.
1:42PM EST The current MacBook price has been dropped to $999. New model is shipping with an all aluminum case, LED backlit display and starts at $1299.
2:07PM EST That’s all. Sorry for the lacking liveblog, there were some server issues.

Photo gallery after the jump! Read more…



Nuevasync: Over the Air Syncing of Calendar and Contacts for your iPhone or iPod Touch

29 09 2008

Love the cloud? Always accessing your Calendars or Contacts from several places? Tired of having to connect your iPhone or iPod Touch to your computer to sync your contacts or calendar? Updated: NuevaSync has added new features! Learn more about them here.

Well, now you don’t have to. The easiest solution to this problem would be to hook up an exchange server to your iPhone so that it stays in sync, but unless you’re an enterprise user, you probably don’t have access to one. It’s not worth setting one up and, if you’re a Google user, you want your info synced there, not your work place. That is no longer a problem, thanks to a free service called Nuevasync. Nuevasync creates an exchange account running only the mobile protocol, and can sync your contacts and calendar with Google.

I originally found out about Nuevasync from a Lifehacker article offering Nuevasync as a Mobile Me alternative. I use Nuevasync with my iPod Touch, so no matter where I am or how I want to look at my data, I have access to it. It also makes it easier to enter a lot of data onto your calendar, and lets you easily import from web sources. Just add it to your Google Calendar and in about 5 seconds, it will show up on your iPhone (as long as you have service or Wi-Fi). This is especially helpful if you use shared calendars in a group setting, such as a family calendar or a group project calendar, by using Nuevasync you will always know that you have the most up to date version. The only catch is that currently, Nuevasync can only sync calendars that you have edit permissions for (there is a tool to help you figure out which ones those are, the link is after the jump) and they get merged all in to one calendar on your iPhone (they stay separated on Google Calendar).

Nuevasync was started in November 2007. Amazingly its creators David Boreham and Thomas Lackey never expected the high volume of users Nuevasync receives now. The original Nuevasync was designed as a Windows Mobile sync solution using Google Calendar and Plaxo (an online address book and social networking service) as data sources, but now Google Contacts as well as the other two are supported. Once Apple announced that they would be introducing Exchange server support with the 2.0 firmware upgrade, they got a beta copy of the firmware and began testing using an iPod Touch. They only expected a few iPhone users to be trying the service. Two days after the launch of the iPhone upgrade, Nuevasync’s servers were heavily hit, their user count had doubled. After that, Nuevasync began to drastically scale their code to support the new workload. Because of this, most of the planed new features had to be delayed. The two most requested new features are the ability to select which Google calendars are synced (including public calendar syncing) and for multiple calendar support. Both of these features are currently in development and is expected to be ready for testing within the next fe
w weeks. After that, the next feature to be released will be push email support from Gmail.

Probably the biggest reason people don’t currently use Nuevasync is that when you add an exchange server, all of your calendar and contact data on your iPhone gets erased, but the easiest way to avoid this is to sync your iPhone with Google via iTunes. I’ll walk you through the entire process to show you how you can have over the air syncing, without losing any of your data. Take a look after the Jump!

Read more…