Archive for Apple

March 7th Apple Event Prediction

Tomorrow,  Apple is holding an event at the Yerba Buena Center, where it is widly accepted that they will be announcing the next generation iPad. There have been  rumors of other annoucement they may make but, the invitation confirms that the iPad will be the center of the presentation. There may be other announcements that tie into the new iPad but the new iPad will be the main event.

Many people have speculated about the features of the new iPad but, main rumor that has been speculated about is the addition of a high resolution retina display like on the last two generations of iPhones. I think this will definitely happen because there have been several reports of high resolution 10-inch screens being made for Apple and the invitation that was sent out for the event shows a very high resolution iPad screen. This is probably going to be the major new feature of the new iPad. Then, there are two changes that happen with every product update, the first is an upgraded processor, there have been rumors suggesting that Apple may even be putting a quad-core processor in the new iPad which would be very impressive seeing that my Macbook Pro still has a duel core processor but either way we are expecting a new processor either a slightly upgraded A5x or a brand new A6. The other ubiquitous upgrade is a higher resolution camera, even though I don’t see too many people using an iPad to take pictures or video, it is still something not to hard to upgrade and beneficial to those who use it. I just don’t think the size of the iPad makes it a viable replacement to a still or video camera not to mention the fact that the cameras built into the iPad right now are very low resolution. Apple has also typically made their new products slimmer than their predecessors which is very possible however there are rumors of the new iPad being thicker and have increased battery life. I think it will still be thinner than the current iPad and possible will still see a boost in battery life but either way, I don’t see Apple making the iPad thicker and in the opposite direction they went the iPad 2. The other feature that would make sense to add to the new iPad is Siri, the new personal assistant that was unveiled with the iPhone 4S in the Fall. This is more of a software feature but, it makes sense for Apple to release it with new hardware to give Siri enough power and most likely only make it available with the new iPad.

People have been debating whether this new iPad will be called the iPad 3 or the iPad HD because of the new Retina display. I think they will still call it the iPad 3 because using HD in product names was popular when high definition was a new technology and just emerging, and even then it wasn’t the best naming convention. The only reason I could logicaly see them using the name “iPad HD” is if they have one iPad with the Retina display and one without a Retina display. But, I still believe this is not a very likely scenario and there will be just one new iPad.  I do however think they will keep the iPad 2 and sell it at a lower pricing point like they have with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. The other possible thing we may see is an announcement or more likely a preview of the next version of iOS. However, since iO5 just came out in October, I doubt we will see the release of iOS 6 anytime soon but maybe they will give us a sneak peek or maybe announce iOS 5.1 or 5.5 with a just few new features.

There are three things that I do not think we will see, although many people have speculated that we will. The first is the Apple Television (an actual television set as apposed the the current Apple TV set top box). I do think this product is imminent as it was more or less confirmed in the Steve Jobs biography but, it will have it’s own special event, this event is all about the iPad. The other rumor is a smaller iPad which although might be appealing to some people, but I don’t think Apple will have multiple screen sizes because that might make it too similar to the iPod Touch and Apple doesn’t typically fragment their product lines. The final thing I don’t see happening is the inclusion of 4G LTE, I think Apple will add it to their products but it makes more sense for them to start with the iPhone and then bring it to the iPad.

After the event on Wednesday check back for a review of what happened with analysis on Gdovin.net to see if my predicts were right and if there were any surprises.

In Memoriam Steve Jobs

Image Courtesy of Apple Inc.

It was a shock last night when I found out that Steve Jobs had passed away. Although I knew his health must have been poor when he resigned from Apple in August, I had hoped he had more time. The world has lost a technological visionary who heavily influenced the worlds of computers, music, movies and much more. There wouldn’t even be an Apple today if Steve didn’t return in the late 1990’s and when he did he put Apple back on track and brought it back from near-death. The world would have been a much different place if we didn’t have Steve Jobs. He was a dedicated to his vision and although he was demanding at times, his products revolutionized how people lived which is what he set out to do when he started Apple thirty-five years ago.

Let’s Talk iPhone Event Summary

Tuesday’s event was just as I expected, everything was focused on iPhone and the related products, plus a minor upgrade to the iPods. Let’s review what all was discussed on Tuesday by Tim Cook and company:

iOS 5:

The iOS 5 segment of the presentation was mainly review of the new, powerful features of iOS 5. Apple did discuss two new apps they are launching:

Cards: Allows you to send beautifully designed picture cards from your iPhone which are then printed and sent for you. Cards sent within the  US are $2.99 per card and for anywhere else in the world they are $4.99 per card. This could be interesting and as we have seen with iPhoto, Apple makes great cards! The app will be free in the app store.

Find My Friends: Find my Friends, allows users to find friends who also use an iPhone. Friends must be first approved and you can even make temporary groups of friends to share your location with certain people for a set period of time. There are privacy settings built-in, including parental controls. I’m hoping this will bea free download in the App Store and not pre-installed on iOS so users can opt-in and hopefully prevent a privacy scare.

iOS 5 will be released Wednesday October 14th!

iCloud:

Ok, there was no real news about iCloud except perhaps the ability to purchase additional storage directly on your device. They merely reviewed the features and told us that it will be released to the public Wednesday October 14th!

Updated iPods:

iPod Touch: The iPod Touch only got one modification, which was the addition of a white model. Also, the price of the 8 GB model dropped from $229 to $199, while the 16 GB and 32 GB both remain at $199 and $299 respectively.

iPod Nano: The iPod Nano also retained the same design and really only has updated software which adds multiple clock faces (including a Mickey Mouse face). and built-in fitness functionality for walking and running. The Nano prices dropped to $129 and $149 for the 8 GB and 16 GB models respectively. Current generation iPod Nano owners can update their current device to enjoy the new features.

The current iPod Shuffle and Classic will continue to be available unchanged.

iPhone 4S:

The big announcement was the new iPhone, or the slightly improved iPhone 4s. The two major improvements is the use of Apple’s duel-core A5 processor and improved graphics, which will be great for gaming.  The iPhone 4s added a few features which makes the already great iPhone 4 even better! It has an improved wireless system that uses two antennas and intelligently switches between them for better signal quality. Maybe this will prevent the antennagate scandal iPhone 4 early adopters experienced last year. The 4S also has a significantly better camera with an 8MP sensor as well as improved low light sensitivity. The major feature the iPhone 4S will have and the iPhone 4 won’t have even with iOS 5 is Siri . Siri is a voice-based personal assistant application that allows for voice commands as well as dictation which can be incredibly powerful, and helpful and makes me really wish it was a software update for the iPhone 4. The new iPhone 4S will be released October 14th  on AT&T, Verizon and for the first time, Sprint. The pricing is the same as previous models with the addition of a 64 GB model for $399. There also will be only one iPhone and the models will only differ in storage because it is now a world phone meaning it has both a GSM and CDMA radio in it.

But, don’t count the iPhones 4 and 3GS out. An 8 GB iPhone 4 will be available for  $99 and the iPhone 3GS will now be free, both prices assume a 2-year contract. The free 3GS, although it will only be on AT&T, will be very helpful to growing Apple’s mobile market share, because now they are the same price as a the free flip phone beside the fact you need to buy a monthly data plan. I have a feeling that many consumers might choose the 3GS even with the data plan, although it is 2 years old because it has a lot more features than those “dumb phones”.

This event wasn’t the big brand-new, revolutionary product launch that one might think Tim Cook would have as his first event as CEO. However, the new product line Apple has is great and I think the 4S  will sell as well if not better than it’s predecessors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPhone Event Predictions

On Tuesday, Apple will be having a media event on their campus for the much awaited reveal of their new iPhone. There have been a flurry of rumors out about what will be announced, some people say there will be a totally redesigned iPhone; while others say it’s just a iPhone 4S with just a specs bump and no new design, some say both . Here is what I think we will see on Tuesday:

1. New iPhone: Duh It’s on the Invitation

With all the rumors I saw, I’m still not sure if we will be seeing a brand new phone or just a spec bump like the 3Gs. Either way, the new iPhone is a guarantee  and although I don’t have any ideas about the new form factor, if there is one, there are two specs that I think we will be sure to see improvement in. The first is the duel-core A5 processor that we saw earlier this year when then iPad 2 is released, the other is a better camera, although the iPhone camera is already fairly good. I have no other ideas as far as hardware is concerned but, I think those two tweaks are fairly safe bets and if that is all the hardware they update, then I think the 4S moniker is more likely than the iPhone 5.

2. iOS 5

I’m sure that I am not the only one who has been yearning for iOs 5 since Apple previewed it in June. From past experience, I think they will release iOS 5 to the public on Tuesday. They will hopefully also talk about the new Assistant voice command feature that has been floating around the web for the past week. Assistant allows you to control your phone using natural voice commands which could be really nice. Rumor has it that the Assistant feature will only be able to be used on the new iPhone, due to the increase in processing power, but I’m really hoping since it’s software that it will still work on the iPhone 4.

3. iCloud 

This is plain and simple, iCloud will come out the same day as the event or whenever iOS 5 comes out. The one feature I would like them to add to the already announced line-up is sync to the cloud and not just over WiFi to a computer with iTunes but directly to the web! Maybe next year 🙁

4. iPods

The fall is typically when Apple releases new their new iPods, although it’s usually a month earlier. This year, I think they are going to take a back seat to the iPhone if they are even mentioned at this event!  There have been rumors that Apple will discontinue all iPods except the Nano and Touch. Here’s what I think we will see are my itemized predictions for the  new or maybe not new iPods.

iPod Classic:  I think if Apple cancels any iPod, this is the first one they will cancel first. They have already pull the click wheel games from the iTunes store earlier today. Honestly, the iPod Classic doesn’t fit in with Apple’s current product line, although music lovers will cry-out that they can’t carry their entire massive music libraries in their pockets and will have to settle with smaller, flash-memory devices.

iPod Shuffle:  Possibly canceled or just not updated

iPod Nano: Minor upgrade or not upgraded

iPod Touch: Upgrade to make on par with new iPhone- hopefully a better camera

 

What We Won’t See:

  1. iPad 3- It’s too soon, I predict early 2012- I’m thinking Mid-March
  2. Apple TV (TV Set)- If Apple comes out with this, it will have it’s own event, this is too big to try and cram into the new iPhone event. 
As always, I will be watching the event and will write a review of what happened and what I think shortly after.

The iPad As A Computer

Since the original iPad was release and subsequently followed by many competing tablets, tablets have taken off. In fact, some people have replaced computers with tablets and some chose to buy tablets instead of a computer. I don’t think this will really hurt the computer industry but, this has greatly impacted the netbook market. Tablets typically are lighter, more portable and have better battery life than laptops and netbooks. Personally, I replaced my netbook, which I used mainly for notetaking in class, email, and surfing the web with an iPad and can’t find anything that I need to do that the netbook could do and my iPad couldn’t. For many people this is the entire extent of what they use computers for, making it a possibility for those people to use just a tablet instead of a computer. Don’t get me wrong, computers will alway have their place and I think most people will still have a computer and many will have both a computer and a tablet to have the best of both worlds.  But for those who only use their computers for surfing the Internet and checking email as many do, the iPad would be a perfect device. One example of this would be grandparents or other older people who just want a computer for communicating with family and web surfing.  The iPad is also great for tasks like word processing as well as long as you have a good app. I use QuickOffice, it is $15, but, it edits word, excel and PowerPoint documents and even connects to Dropbox, Google Docs and many other cloud services making it easy to get work done whether on a mobile device or computer. Another good test case for this is someone who only wants For many users, this is the extent of their computer usage and for people who have never used a computer, an iPad is much easier and simpler to use and learn.

Currently, the iPad is not able to operate as an independent device, it instead, must be first connected to a computer and sync with iTunes to initially setup the device, synchronize data and to upgrade the operating system. When iOS 5 come out in the fall, the iPad will be able to be setup as a stand-alone device, can sync over wifi both to a computer and the cloud and iOS updates will be done over the air. iOS5 will also be adding a lot of other features that will let the iPad work as an independent device even if you don’t have a computer.  iOS 5 will cause many people realize that the iPad and other tablets already do more than they need a computer for and they could just get that instead of a computer.

The iPad is great for travel, on my past two week long trips, I just took my iPad and iPhone and left my computer at home. When I go on vacation I usually just do basic computing tasks like surfing the Internet, checking email and maybe writing a little. As long as I can get a good Internet connection, my iPad des everything I need, since I don’t usually do video editing or anything else that my iPad can’t do. The iPad is much lighter than a laptop and is so thin it can go almost anywhere. I probably could just bring my iPhone but, the bigger screen is nice to have for writing longer e-mails and working on documents.

There are a few accessories that I highly recommend for people who are considering using an iPad instead of a computer. Every tablet user should have a case of cover and screen protector just to keep the device protected, but if you want to use it as a computer-replacement, I recommend these additional accessories:

1. Bluetooth keyboard

For all those who aren’t full fans of or uncomfortable with the on-screen keyboard the Apple Bluetooth keyboard or any Bluetooth keyboard can help those who prefer a physical keyboard over the iPad’s touch screen keyboard. There are even cases that make an iPad look a lot like a laptop with the iPad on the top half of the case and Bluetooth keyboard on the bottom with a clamshell design. These are typically more expensive  than a regular bluetooth keyboard, but could be good for those who are used to working with a laptop. A standalone Bluetooth keyboard is usually between $30 and $70.

2. Airprint Compatible Printer

 

If you want to print anything from your iPad you need to use AirPrint. As of right now a printer needs to have a special air print driver so you can wirelessly print from your iPad. Apple has a list of compatible printers listed on their website, and I think AirPrint will be built into most printers soon.

3. Camera Connection Kit

For those who take digital pictures, you will need the Camera connection kit which is $30 so you can copy your pictures onto your iPad, but in my opinion if you wan to do any kind of photo management or editing you should stick with a computer. But, this is a nice accessory for clearing off memory cards while your traveling so you can take more pictures.

4. AV Adapter

if you want to display your iPad on a bigger screen like a HDTV or other monitor, you need the AV adapter to connect it to a device via HDMI. Remember that to mirror your iPad screen you need to have the iPad 2, the original iPad will only output supported apps. If you have a new Apple TV, you can also display your screen wirelessly over your home network.

I’m not saying these new tablets will replace computers, computers will always have their place. However, the most basic users and new users who have a limited needs for their computer might be better off with an iPad or other tablet device. One thing to keep in mind though is that if you are considering having a tablet as your only computer, then you may want to consider the 3G models because they will allow you to have Internet access anywhere you can get a cell phone signal and might be easier than having to setup a home Internet service provider. Tablets are still relatively new technology and there are a lot of things it can’t do, for some, it works and they don’t need do anymore than you can already use an iPad for. For people who are very basic users, or those who have a netbook in addition to a regular computer  the iPad is a good choice. It is not a replacement for the majority of users, but it is a great travel device or additional device to a computer; however it is very simple to use, so the most basic users would be able to do what they need to do without being overwhelmed.

Final Cut X Release Thoughts

Well, it’s finally here, today Apple released Final Cut Pro X and released along with it Motion 5 and Compressor 4. Final Cut Pro X is available in the Mac App Store for $299 while Compressor and Motion are each available for $50. So instead of $1,000 for the total suite as it was previously, you could get the whole thing for $400. However, we lost a few applications from the previous suite. The last version of Final Cut Studio included DVD Studio for DVD authoring, Live Type, which I assume was integrated into Motion, Soundtrack Pro which is probably integrated into the advanced audio editor in Final Cut Pro X and Color which is also integrated into Final Cut Pro X in the new color correction tools. I hope that the three remaining applications still have all the functionality that the former apps had  in addition to the new features. But now, you no longer to switch apps.  If this is the case, which at least I think it is, you really just need to use Final Cut for editing and then, use Motion just to make motion graphics  and then Compressor to prepare it to distribution. This will save a lot of time from switching apps as you had to in previous versions of Final Cut Studio.

Final Cut Pro X along with the other new Final Cut apps is a nice looking upgrade I’m going to wait until I see full reviews before considering upgrading. Although, I must say that the new features like Auto-render and the new advanced media management make this really tempting to get. But for those who couldn’t afford the Final Cut suite previously, it’s much more affordable to get the newest version of Final Cut now that it costs 40% of what it used to. However, for those who are familiar with previous versions of Final Cut, as I am, Final Cut Pro X is completely different so  you will have to re-learn the all-new interface. The one thing that i’m waiting for is to find out whether or not it will work with projects from previous versions, which it should, but I cannot be without them. But it looks like a great new version of Final Cut is here!

Should you Upgrade to OSX Lion?

At WWDC last week, Apple demonstrated the new features of the next version of OSX, Lion. Lion will be out sometime in July for $29.99 in the Mac App Store. Although there aren’t many major new features, Lion is a good upgrade though and features like Mission Control and Launchpad make it hard to resist for $30. You need to have at least a Core 2 Duo processor  and Snow Leopard to upgrade to Lion. If you don’t have that, you won’t be able to upgrade, if you have the system requirements and don’t have Snow Leopard yet, you can still buy a Snow Leopard disk and upgrade prior to upgrading to Lion, if you would like. But if you have a fairly new Mac, the $30 upgrade for having all the newest features is worthwhile.

I  haven’t yet decided if  I’m going to upgrade to Lion, mainly because my MacBook Pro has a Core 2 Duo processor which can run Lion, and although the new features are nice I don’t like running software that just has the minimum requirements, especially Operating systems because I’m afraid it could run slower than Snow Leopard. The other major factor preventing me from definitely upgrading to Lion is that I currently use Final Cut Studio 2 and it is unclear if it will still work on Lion and that is a very important piece of software which has to work so that is also preventing me from upgrading. I still may upgrade but, I want to make sure these things are cleared up first which I recommend to anyone who has crucial software to check if their  software is going to work (I would just recommend a Google search) and then if it works, upgrade to Lion.

If  you have a fairly new Mac and theres no crucial legacy software that you need to run like I do, I would recommend getting the upgrade it’s inexpensive and has a lot of great features. Although this isn’t a huge upgrade with major new features, OSX is already so advanced there isn’t that much you can upgrade, but it still is a great piece of software and should definitely considered by anyone eligible to upgrade.

WWDC 2011 Summary

Yesterday Steve Jobs and other Apple executives unveiled the three new products they previously mentioned in their Pre-WWDC press release and nothing else, for the first time in 5 years there was no new iPhone hardware announcement probably because there are not many new hardware features they can add, from what I can imagine. I think  they will release a minor upgrade in the Fall when iOS 5 comes out. So here is what was discussed at the 2011 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote yesterday:

Lion:

They reviewed the same 10 feature that they showed off at the Back To The Mac Event back in October.

1. Multitouch gestures- already exists in Snow Leopard,  but more in Lion.

2. Fullscreen Applications

3. Mission Control: expose and spaces combined

4. Mac App store (already out) – built into lion, in app purchases, push notifications and sandboxing

5. Launchpad: iOS app icons and folders to organize apps

6. Resume- restores  to where you  were before you quit; restore even works after a reboot and resumes right where you left off.

7. Autosave- automatically saves documents and saves multiple versions; can lock to prevent autosave if you don’t want it

8. Versions: autosaves multiple versions for easy reverting similar to Time Capsule

9. Airdrop: Peer to peer document sharing

10. New Mail app: similar to iPad mail app including conversation view and better search

Lion will be available in Mac app store only for upgrade  which is great because you don’t need to go out and buy a disk, further killing the disk. However, what are you supposed to do if your computer needs to have a fresh OS install? Are they going to ship flash drives instead of OS disks like they did with the new Macbook Air? You just have to buy once and then you can put it on up to 5 authorized devices for just $29.99 and will be available in July! Lion server will be an upgrade app available through the Mac App store for $50 there will be no Server edition!

 

iOS5:

This is one of the biggest upgrades to the iOS and gives us a lot of features that iOS users have wanted for a long time.

1. Notifications: they completely re-did the notification system. There is a notification center, that has all your notifications in one place so you don’t get spammed with push notification. To get to the notification center, you just swipe down from top and new notifications appear on the top of the screen. There is more information on lock screen with notifications and you can swipe a notification to get directly to it. There are also animated widgets in notification center including weather and stocks.

2. News stand: This is iBooks for newspapers and magazine subscriptions, you can subscribe to them in one convient place and they download new issues in the background.

3. Twitter: Twitter is now built into iOS  and iOS Apps can access twitter with a single login for the device.  Twitter is also integrated into Apple apps like camera like photo tweeting, too bad all the photo tweeting sites are shutting down.

4. Safari: Safari reader easily reading articles,taking multiple page articles and combining them into a single page and stripping out the ads. Reading list also has easy sharing via Twitter, e-mail and more and you can save articles and sync progress across devices using iCloud. Reading list like Instapaper to save later. Safari also added tabbed browsing which is a major improvement over the current multiple page system.

5. Reminders: Reminders is a new list making apps built in to iOS5  with reminders. It also has location-based reminders so that if you cross a geographic marker like going to the Supermarket it could remind you that you need to pick-up milk. This syncs with Outlook, Calendar, and iCloud.

6. Camera: The new camera app launches much fast which is huge for anyone who has used it and know how long it takes to launch. You can now also  take photos from lock screen. Some of  the other new features are optional  Gridlines, pinch to zoom, tap for autofocus and autoexposure and the ability to use the volume button to take a picture. You can also now edit photos directly in the camera app.

7. Mail: Mail gained rich text formatting (you you can send even more annoying messages from your iOS devices), addresses, flagging, search for the entire message, swipe to inbox for easier access, draggable addresses, S/MIME support for enterprise, a new system-wide dictionary and a new adjustable keyboard that will follow your thumbs and can be moved to work whatever way is best for you.

8. PC free: This is probably one of the biggest announcements and received the most applause, you no longer need a computer to setup your iOS device and upgrades also are smaller and can be done over the air meaning no more tethered upgrades. There is also Wifi sync so that you don’t need to connect your device or devices to your computer they automatically sync over WiFi.

9. Game center: You can now social network more with friends, have profile pictures and other social features. There is also  game recommendations with direct download and turn-based games support.

10. iMessage: iMessage is like Blackberry messenger for all iOS devices. You can send Text, photo, video, and contacts and iMessage also supports group messaging.  Other features include delivery receipts, text receipts and typing indication.

Some of the other features of iOS5 are AirPlay mirroring meaning if you have a Apple TV you can mirror your device screen on your TV without a HDMI cable and adapter) and  multitasking gestures. iOS 5 will be coming out in the Fall and I can’t wait for this amazing upgrade.

iCloud:

Apple is now shifting their digital hub strategy from your personal computer to the cloud and making the computer just another device like mobile devices. Devices will push content and syncronize them through the cloud through their new service: iCloud which is the much needed replacement for MobileMe and unlike it it’s predecessor, iCloud “Just works”. iCloud is made of 9 services:

The first three are the MobileMe replacements which have exchange-style sync these apps are: e-mail, contacts and calendar. Then, you can sync your iBooks and App store  purchase history and re-download them on any device for free.  iBooks will sync bookmarks like Kindle Whisper sync so you can pickup where you left off in your iBooks on any device. The next app is my favorite which is Wireless Backup which performs a daily backup to the cloud which backs up music, books, pictures, videos, App data and user settings automatically and can easily restore wirelessly as well. Documents in the cloud allows you to  sync documents through all devices and pushes changes to all devices and is built-in to the newest versionsPages, Keynote and Numbers for iOS. Photo stream pushes photos to all devices and even directly to iPhoto on the Mac or pictures photo on Windows. This is built into apps directly and you can also stream directly to Apple  TV. iCloud stores the  last 1000 photos on the devices and 30 days on the cloud, computers obviously can store all the pictures. The final service is iTunes in the Cloud which lets you access your iTunes purchase history and re-download purchased songs on up to 10 devices for free. iCloud is completely free for 5 GB of storage and will come out in the Fall with iOS 5. However, iTunes in The Cloud will be released as a beta with the next iOS update.

Apple’s final announcement was iTunes match which detects your ripped songs and songs you purchased from other store like Amazon and replaces them with a iTunes version in a high-quality AAC file. This will cost $24.99 per year so you can use the benefits of iTunes on The Cloud with all your songs. The one question I have is does this require you to continue to pay to keep receiving the benefits or will they replace the original track for good?

This was a great keynote despite the lack of hardware and I look forward to both new pieces of software and iCloud and will continue to cover them in future articles and will cover WWDC next year for more great Apple announcements.

 

 

WWDC 2011 Predictions

Well, to be honest, Apple more or less told us what the major announcements are going to be for this years Worldwide Developer Conference keynote; which Steve Jobs will be giving next Monday at 10 AM PST. This morning they put out a press release stating that they keynote will unveil OSX Lion, iOS5 and Apple’s new cloud service iCloud. I think these will just be the main announcements and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Steve Jobs has one of his typical “One More Things” at the end of the presentation. I think that the surprise announcement will be a new iPhone which rumor has it will be a minor upgrade called the iPhone 4s. So I will go through each of the announcements Apple confirmed and then my thoughts of what the iPhone 4S will be.

Mac OSX Lion- I think that Steve Jobs will give a review of the new features of Lion that were shown off at the Back To The Mac event in October and then demonstrate some additional features. I fully expect a release date and pricing to be announced during the keynote; I expect it to be an affordable upgrade like Snow Leopard was perhaps even for the  same $29. I also think that they distribute the upgrade through the Mac App store at the very least as an option if not the only method of upgrading since, that is how they have already been delivering the developer previews. As for time frame, I think that Lion will be available within the next month if not the day of the keynote which is the most likely release date.

iOS 5- The iOS 5 announcement will be a demonstration of the new features which are rumored to be a major upgrade to the iOS. The rumored features are: new notifications, widgets, much deeper cloud integration, gesture support and Near field communication (which allows users to use their phone to make payments). I think this could go one of two ways: either it is the typical WWDC where they announce new hardware and software and the software is  released the day of the keynote with the new hardware following a week or two later. Or, he other possibility is that this will be just a preview of the software and will be released in the Fall with a new iPhone at that time. I’m thinking it will be the standard WWDC with new hardware and software announcements but, there have been rumors of a Fall iPhone release because the Verizon iPhone 4 was released just a few months ago.

iCloud- I wrote about  what I think Apple will do for their cloud service in my last article. With a name like iCloud I think that it will be both a data service like MobileMe and hopefully over-the-air iOS sync as well as a music streaming service. If it was something like iTunes live, I might think it was just a music service but I think we will be getting both. The service will most likely have a free version as well as a premium version which will at least have a private beta release on the day of or very soon after the keynote.

iPhone 4S- If there is an iPhone announcement next week, I don’t think that it will be a major update but, instead a minor release like the iPhone 3Gs. I think the 4S will have the faster duel-core A5 processor like the iPad 2, maybe a better camera, and  maybe the addition of near field communication technology. There won’t be a new case design or any major new features, just a slight modification.

These are the four major predictions that I have for WWDC and think they are the most likely. Other things that we might see are: the release of Final Cut Pro X, updates to the rest of the Final Cut Suite, and possibly other software upgrades. However, many of these announcements are much less likely. Check back to Gdovin.net after the keynote for review of what did happened.

Apple Cloud Predictions

There have been a lot of rumors floating around for a while now about what Apple is going to do with the data center that they built in North Carolina and now the new one they are rumored to be building in Silicon Valley.  There are two cloud services I think they can develop with these new data centers.

The first possibility, is a web-based synced service for iOS devices that synchronizes and backups apps, music, pictures and all the other data on your iOS devices without having to plug it into a computer. We discussed this possibility many times on The Weekly Spin and  it is something you can already do on Android and the Palm WebOS platform. This would make life so much easier, instead of having to connect your iOS device to your  computer via USB you can just automatically sync with the server every time your connected to the web which will also allow you to backup more often. This would also allow people to use their iOS devices independently from their computer instead of tethering them as we are now. By doing this you could give someone who doesn’t have a computer an iOS device like an iPad and you won’t have to figure out how to do the initial setup which requires connecting to iTunes. The iPad is the perfect candidate for this because it could easily be used as basic computer for someone who just wants to surf the web, check email and other basic computer functions. Syncing to iTunes is unnecessary and could all be done through the cloud. This could easily be tied into a new version of MobileME which I think would benefit from having a freemium model, a free version to compete with Gooogle’s Mail, Calendar and contacts and then a premium version for more storage, picture sharing etc. I also think another crucial part of this service will be over-the-air updates so we can just get iOS software updates like other app updates in the App Store without having to plug the device to a computer, this is yet another feature that is already available on Android and WebOS. Maybe they could even tie it into the seemingly abandoned iWork.com service that was announced in 2009 and hasn’t really been mentioned since then.

The second possibility is that Apple will launch a music streaming service allowing users to stream their iTunes library over the internet where ever they go. This rumor has been floating around since 2009 when Apple acquired and subsequently shut down the streaming music service, Lala. Streaming music services have become very popular recently with Amazon’s Cloud Player and now Google recently announced their new music streaming service, Google Music Streaming, at Google IO. Both of these services allow you to upload your personal music collection from your computer  to be streamed, while other services like Rhapsody charge a monthly subscription to stream any song you want over the web, whether you previously bought it or not. I personally think Apple is more likely to use the first model and  stream the music you already bought in iTunes than have a subscription-based service, but you never do know.

I think that both of these services would be great for Apple to announce and hopefully they will announce both eventually not only because they are helpful, but because they need to have these services to stay competitive with the rest of the industry . I personally, being the cloud computing advocate, would prefer the cloud sync service because I think that would be more beneficial than the music streaming service personally because I have all my favorite songs on my iPod already, while I love not to have to plug my iPod Touch and iPad in just to back them up. I think if they unveil them this year the streaming service would be unveiled at Apple’s annual music event  in September when they typically announce their new iPods. While the sync service I think would be announced either at the upcoming Worldwide developers conference or at it’s own Special Media Event.

 

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