Where’s the fun?

Apple GraphicSo it’s time for another Apple event later today.

As usual I, like many other Apple fans, are eagerly anticipating to hear what is to be announced.

Or should I rephrase that…

I, like many other Apple fans, are waiting for confirmation of what’s been rumoured for the last several months.

Initially rumoured, and then enhanced, tweaked and then pronounced as definite.

So I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anyones day by repeating that the two devices we should be seeing today are the new iPhone SE (the new smaller iPhone), and the new smaller iPad Pro supporting the Apple Pencil. Oh, and we’ll probably also see the release of iOS 9.3 – an OS that has been in public beta for quite a while.

Don’t get me wrong, if they do get announced, these will all be solid products, but I do miss the days of the surprise product announcements.

Apple are just so huge now, I suppose it’s difficult to keep hardware products secret to the extent they used to be. They can still suprise with hardware – the cylindrical Mac Pro and the new single port MacBook spring to mind. But with iOS devices being produced on such a massive scale, I would imagine it’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible to maintain a high level of secrecy.

I’m still looking forward to the event as it will still be fascinating to see how they position these new devices in their overall product line, and how they sell the benefits.

But I’m not expecting any major suprises today to dilute or distract from the iOS message they’ll be delivering.

We most likely will need to wait for WWDC in June for any new Mac hardware… or dare I even mention, the fabled 5K Apple Cinema Display.

One can but hope!

No New IOS 8 Beta for Developers?

Ios8Apple released a new build of OSX Yosemite to developers on Monday (Beta 6). This is usually followed by a new build of iOS 8 on the same day.

This is understandable due to the close integration of both Yosemite and iOS 8 to allow the Continuity features such as Handoff to interoperate.

However, for this beta release cycle, there was no accompanying iOS 8 Beta 6 release?

Various blog sites (such as MacRumours) are reporting that there was a new Beta 6 version of iOS 8 released, but it’s only to Apple partners – presumably carriers who need to test the radio related components.

The reason being touted is that Apple would not release the build to developers due to the fact it must be getting close to the Gold Master Build?

I find this hard to swallow!

My take is that there may be some new features, or clues to the specs of the new iPhones, included in iOS 8 Beta 6 that Apple didn’t want to be pre-announced. It’s unlikely that the features may be obvious to the partners, but may be something that curious developers could expose quite easily.

It could be something as simple as a way to deduct the screen resolutions of the new iPhone 6 by digging into the code.

Either way, September 9th is rapidly approaching… I’d better get on with my tutorials!

Updated: I did of course mean Yosemite! Thanks @andreagelati

Obligatory Pre-Apple Event Blog Post

The new iPad….

  • Faster
  • Thinner
  • Lighter
  • Dual Cameras
  • No Retina Display
  • More internal memory
  • Subtle changes in styling to make the original iPad look outdated

There, that should do it!

I’m really looking forward to the event later today, but prepared to be underwhelmed with the new iPad 2 specs. Most of the features above should make it into the new version, but I’m expecting more of an evolution than a revolution, sort of like the transition from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 3GS.

What else can we look forward to?

I’m pretty sure Apple will announce the release of iOS 4.3 with the new iPad and it’s availability for existing iPads a day or so before the new device is released. I hope some of the new gesture based controls make it into the final release.

Another given is a preview of the roadmap for iOS 5.0. Today’s keynote is pretty important for Apple as it will position them to respond to the onslaught of competing (?) tablet devices, due to be launched in the next 12 months. If they can come up with some whizz bang features for iOS 5, and some innovation in the new hardware platform, it should give the competitors a lot to think about, and more importantly, make it more even more difficult to catch up. As it stands, the existing iPad has given Apple at least 12 months head start over the opposition, even longer if you factor in the development time for the 1st gen ipad. The new device and iOS should extend that lead.

No matter what the iPad 2 looks like, Apple will most certainly have another runaway success with sales of the new device. There is certainly pent up demand from those who decided to wait (misguidedly, IMHO) for the next generation iPad. Honestly people, you’ve missed so much by hanging on for a camera!

Then there are the current iPad users looking to upgrade.

One of the criticisms of the original device was its lack of support for multiple users or family sharing.

It was never going to happen!

Apple wants the iPad to be a personal device, not a shared device. Strictly one iPad per person!

So for all the people sharing their iPads, whilst it would have been a stretch to buy a second 1st gen iPad, just to remove the pain of sharing, a new model gives them a great excuse to buy that much lusted after, second iPad. The only issue then is, who gets the new one.

I’d like to think that MobileMe and Apple TV might well figure in the keynote, but Apple have tended to have a laser focus on the main topic of the day and as such, they may wish to keep the message undiluted and just concentrate on the iPad.

It’s possible that MobileMe is actually a significant part of iOS 5 so we may see something.

The only reason I mention Apple TV is that the BBC are holding an event scheduled for the same time in London. It may well be that this will just be a simulcast for the keynote, but why hold a special event if the stream is going to be broadcast live anyway? Rumours of Steven Fry hosting also give the impression of a joint announcement?

I’d love for it to be the opening of the AppleTV platform to more content delivered by “Apps”. A BBC iPlayer app for the Apple TV would be fantastic and a huge boost to the Apple TV platform. What if they’d got the licensing sorted out for BBC Worldwide and could distribute the BBC iPlayer app to all Apple TVs. It would be a major boost to the currently “under utilised” platform.

OK, sorry, rampant speculation mode off.

Hopefully Apple will live stream the event, but as they seem to leave announcing the live stream until a few hours before, it’s unconfirmed at the moment.

So now in the UK (9:36am at time of writing), there’s a full working day ahead of us before we find out just what will be announced. It’s alright for those in the US that can just roll out of bed and watch, some of us have to work a full day.

Distracted, me?


PS I’ll be on MacBreak Weekly live immediately following the event, so catch me there if you can.

Apple TV – 8GB Local Storage – Oh my!


Well despite Apple not mentioning the amount of local storage on the new Apple TV we know know just what’s in this little baby. iFixit have done their usual fabulous job of tearing down the new device and made some interesting discoveries.

What is this? A Samsung K9LCG08U1M 8GB NAND Flash chip?

Why, yes it is. It’s the same part we found during the iPad teardown! This is a pretty remarkable amount of storage for a $99 device.

So the Apple TV does have a decent amount of internal storage – a whopping 8GB. Not only that, but it also has an empty memory slot next to the existing 8GB that could indicate an option for a 16GB version of higher.

As the device is intended to be a streaming device only, the local storage must only be for one thing and that that’s the local installation of iOS applications.

Not yet, but Apple only have to flip a switch and we could have apps on our Apple TVs

OK, it’s probably a bit more than that, including some changes to the iOS SDK, but at least the hardware platform is in place.

The iFixit teardown also brought up some other interesting points:

  • It includes the exact same A4 chip as found in the iPad (but not in the iPhone)
  • It has 256MB of RAM as found in the iPad
  • It has the same 802.11n Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip as found in the iPad
  • It’s very power efficient and should run cool to the touch (just like the iPad)
  • The logic board appears to have some pin outs on the logic board that matches the size of a dock connector? Something for the future or maybe the logic board is to be used in a different device.

In all, a lot of power for a low price.

It will be interesting to see how Apple ramps up the functionality of the Apple TV over time with the introduction of new features and services.

We’ve barely seen a fraction of what they have planned for the Apple TV.

By the way, I’ve revised the results of my predications for the new Apple TV in the blog post I published the day before the announcement.  In it, I said:

8 or 16GB local storage for Apps and Games

I think I’m going to say I nailed that particular prediction 😉