Apple event predictions

My predictions for the Apple event:

  • Cocktail will be HD audio and video packages that can be played on the new iPods
  • Camera’s on all iPods (not on the shuffle though)
  • New software update for current iPhone/iPod Touch, perhaps even with interface overhaul
  • iTunes update
  • perhaps a Nano with some sort of touch screen? Kind of like a bridge between the current Nano and the iPod Touch/iPhone; see this, Nano’s with larger screens

I finally got myself a MacBook

The laptop I use for my education suddenly died on me, and since I’m really dependant on it I had to replace it on short notice. I decided to go with a black 2,4 GHz/2GB MacBook, and I must say I’m impressed with the user experience. It is a relief to note that Mac OS X really provides a better user experience, or at least does so for me. I’ve been an Apple fanboy for ages but never got around to actually buying a Mac. Now that I have, I’m really glad I did it.

My PC is showing signs of old age as well and needs replacement too, but until Apple decides to finally design a “mythical midrange Mac minitower”, as Dan Frakes over at Macworld calls it, I am affraid I will have to go with a new Windows PC.

Speculation on secret Apple Leopard features: iPhone streaming?

A lot of tech blogs are reporting that Apple’s new OS, codenamed Leopard, will be delayed (Gizmodo, AppleInsider, ars technica). Some claim it is because of Vista support in bootcamp, others claim it is because of the ‘secret features’. I’ve been trying to imagine what these features could be, and it could be pretty exciting.

I bet one of them is a new GUI style: I’ve read rumors (Apple Gazette via Mac Rumors) of a new interface style some time ago, and I think this is a good possibility for Apple to beat Vista on one of it’s nicer features, the Aero Glass interface. Besides, the current ‘Aqua’ theme has been around for a while, so I think it’s time for something fresh.

The second thing I’ve been imagining is the compatibility with the iPhone. On this part Apple could pull some very nice features: what about a sideshow-like feature, where you can use the wifi connection of the iPhone to browse your Mac? Or what about wireless streaming of media content to the iPhone’s built in iPod? This feature would obviously be a solution for the very limited storage capacity in the iPhone, which is in my opinion one of its weaker points.

I would like to stress that this is pure speculation, based on what I would like to see and what could be possible given the things we know about these unreleased products.

Rumor round-up: what will the next-gen iPod look like?

Since the introduction of the iPhone, I’ve been imagining what the new generation iPod will look like. The iPhone will probably be a great cellphone, but I don’t want to spend that much money on a cellphone with a contract and a data plan. Besides being a phone, however, the iPhone features the best iPod Apple’s ever made (said by Jobs himself, during the keynote). That made me think about the real, ‘big’ iPod, which is currently in it’s 5th generation (technically, what you buy now is a revised version with brighter screen, so 5,5th generation is more appropriate). It needs an update, and I’m sure we’ll see one. And when we do, it will probably look like this:

  • Wide, Multi-Touch Screen (taking up the entire front face of the device, like the iPhone): you don’t really think Jobs is selling those movies on iTunes just so that people can play them on their small screen iPod, or on their large screen cellphone, do you? He will try to make Apple keep the #1 position of Portable Media Player (PMP) manufacturers, and Media is not just Music anymore.
  • Large capacity: at least one version will have 80GB storage or more, it probably has the new 100GB perpendicular HDD that has been around for quite some time. When we’re talking Movies (and we are, everything points to it), large capacity is a must. With 80+ gigs, you can store your entire music collection, plus a lot of movies (and Apple sells movies, so they want you to have plenty of room to store them).
  • Contact-less induction charging: they recently filed a patent which seems to point to an iPhone docking/charging station, but the new widescreen video iPod we’re talking about features the same landscape and portrait orientations, so it needs a similar dock. Induction is the way to go because it omits dual docking connectors on the device.
  • WiFi synching: Apple wants to be in your living room, and they want to use the AppleTV to get there. However, it would be a shame if you would need to walk to your Mac/PC to synch media from you iPod to your AppleTV. It would be more convenient if you could just use the AppleTV and the remote to do it. When using induction charging, they will have to go for wireless synching anyway, so why not WiFi instead of shorter range systems? This would also be a nice way to diss Microsofts Zune, since that device features WiFi but does not have any good use for it. Apple would show them once and for all how things should be.

So, we have ourselves a large capacity widescreen video iPod with wireless functionality… that’s an iPhone without the phone, right? Exactly, that’s the big difference: iPod will be the media device, and media only. Communication, apart from synching, won’t be in it, beacuse that would hurt iPhone sales. We won’t see the phone funtions and the ‘breakthrough internet communicator’ in it, it’s just the best iPod they’ve ever made.

When will we see this? Well, that’s a nice one. Apple won’t introduce it at the same time as the iPhone, because that would hurt sales of both devices. They need to do it before that, because the iPod is dying for an upgrade. However, with Leopard, iLife and iWorks around the corner and probably some exciting other products (Multi-Touch Mac portables? Updated cinema displays with built-in iSight? Dual quad-core Mac Pro’s?), there’s not much room for the launch of such a fantastic product. They will probaby wait until a few months after the iPhone, possibly even until November, just in time for the holiday season. That way, it gets the podium space it deserves and doesn’t steal media attention from any of those other products Apple has up their sleeve.

I’ll be waiting for it though, and it’ll be great. I just hope they won’t be too late, since competition won’t sit still in the mean time…

iPhone to use induction charging?

AppleInsider: “Apple may turn to induction for iPod docking, charging”

Interesting, since induction charging is absolutely the way we will charge mobile products in the future. I’m glad to see Apple be one of the first to actually show interest in the technique. Some other companies (Splashpower, Ltd. is one of them) are working on it, but since they don’t provide the killer device to be charged, they may be less succesfull than Apple.

Steve Jobs: “Thoughts On Music”

In this article posted on Apple.com, Steve Jobs explains whose fault it is that Apple sells DRM-protected content.

iPhone shuffle?

iPhone Shuffle: Life is Random

Gizmodo: More iPhone Mockups…



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