March 30, 2012

Apple’s Shipping Estimate For New Apple TV Slips To 1-2 Weeks

Apple’s Shipping Estimate For New Apple TV Slips To 1-2 Weeks

Disappointing news for those of you that haven’t pre-ordered a third-generation Apple TV already: the shipping estimate just fell to 1-2 weeks instead of guaranteed delivery to your doorstep on Friday, March 16th.

The new Apple TV set-top box streams 1080p HD video and features a revamped user interface. Tim Cook wasn’t kidding when he said we should all pre-order the thing as soon as possible during today’s keynote.

If you try to purchase a third-gen Apple TV for $ 99 from Apple’s website, you’ll see that your shipping estimate has been extended. Unfortunately, this means that Apple has probably run out of its pre-order stock. It looks like Apple’s favorite “hobby” is quite the hot purchase these days.

Let us know if you see any different shipping estimates in your country.

(via MacRumors)

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Cult of Mac

Apple releases Configurator for managing iOS devices from a Mac

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 08:21 PM EST (05:21 PM PST)
Apple has released a new Mac app named Configurator for managing groups of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices for schools, businesses or other institutions.

The new app lets groups centrally setup new devices, install custom apps, update iOS software, backup and restore app data and settings, configure group settings (such as VPN or WiFi network credentials) and policies (such as setting minimum password policies, turning off Location Services or setting Parental Control-style restrictions) and personalize devices with specified data and documents (such as adding a group calendar).

Now listed in the Mac App Store, the free utility can be used to manage up to 30 devices at a time.

Mac Configurator is essentially an easier to use version of the iPhone Configuration Utility, pushing configuration profiles to iOS devices that a school or business has configured as managed devices.


Apple teases there is ‘a lot to look forward to’ in 2012

By Josh Ong

Published: 09:50 PM EST (06:50 PM PST)
During Wednesday’s keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook teased that the company is “just getting started” in 2012, noting that customers have “a lot to look forward to” this year.

Cook wrapped up his presentation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., by calling attention to Apple’s innovation and hinting at what’s to come.

“Only Apple could deliver this kind of innovation in such a beautiful, integrated and easy to use way. It’s what we stand for,” he said of the new iPad. “And across the year, you’re going to see a lot more of this kind of innovation. We are just getting started.”

To emphasize his point, he showed a slide with an image of a horizon, the year 2012 and the words “There’s a lot to look forward to.”

Arguably the most-anticipated product rumored to be in Apple’s 2012 product roadmap is a connected television set. One analyst claims such a device could arrive as early as mid-2012. He is in the minority, though, as a number of prognosticators believe Apple is preparing to launch an HDTV no earlier than 2013. It has, however, been suggested by multiple sources that the company could announce the product later this year ahead of a 2013 release.

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs indicated to his biographer before he died that he had wanted to reinvent the television. Author Walter Isaacson even hinted that Jobs had revealed details about future products possibly related to the television industry, but he declined to disclose them as he didn’t feel it was fair to the company.

Jobs’ comments have fueled speculation that Apple is working on a full-sized television. Multiple reports (1, 2) have claimed that Apple has already built prototypes of the so-called “iTV.”

Apple is also expected to radically redesign its MacBook Pro lineup this year. AppleInsider reported last month that Apple is planning to release 15-inch and 17-inch laptops that will draw upon design choices currently found in 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models. The new laptops will likely feature Intel’s Ivy Bridge microarchitecture and may even sport improved display resolutions.

The unveiling of Apple’s first LTE device on Wednesday has also rekindled speculation that the sixth-generation iPhone will also include 4G connectivity. The next-gen handset is expected to arrive later this year, with one report claiming it will launch in the third quarter of 2012. It will also reportedly be “slimmer” and work across all 3G and LTE “network flavors.” Given that Apple has dropped the numbered naming system for the new iPad, pundits now anticipate that Apple will also adopt its simplified naming scheme for the iPhone as well, potentially calling a new handset just “iPhone.”

A particularly ambitious rumor from late last year claimed that Apple will overhaul all of its product lines this calendar year. Some have pointed out that Apple’s 2011 was uncharacteristically uneventful from a product design standpoint, with mostly incremental updates to the company’s existing offerings. As a result, their expectations for Apple appear to be running unusually high this year.


The Reason Apple Named It “The New iPad”

The Reason Apple Named It “The New iPad”

Thousands of Apple fans let their jaws hit the floor earlier today when Apple announced “the new iPad.” There was no “iPad 3,” no “iPad HD,” no “iPad Epic Pro Super X 4G LTE Touch.” Just iPad. Apple broke the numbering scheme and went back to the basics.

Why? Apple VP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller revealed the answer after today’s keynote.

When asked by The Wall Street Journal, Schiller said Apple called it “the new iPad” because “we don’t want to be predictable.” That’s it. No other explanation. No long-winded rant about how the iPad is leading a new revolution that’s changing the world and ushering in a new age of incredibleness. No marketing strategy about how Apple wants to consolidate its product line in the mind of the consumer. Just predictability.

That answer shouldn’t really come as a surprise to any tech enthusiast that’s been following Apple for a decent amount of time. Apple has been shattering the status quo and throwing curveballs at the press for years. Despite the constant churning of the rumor mill, the company somehow manages to keep surprising the industry in one way or another with every announcement.

For the most part, there were two camps before today’s keynote: the people that thought we’d see the iPad 3 and those that thought it would be called iPad HD (myself included). There were plausible arguments for both sides, and several big publications even weighed in at the last minute saying Apple would definitely call it iPad HD. Leave it to Apple to screw with both camps and just call it the new iPad.

Good job, Apple. You won again. Now I’ll take a new iPad please.

[image via flickr]

Cult of Mac

Hands-on with iPhoto for iOS

Apple has released iPhoto for iOS, a $ 4.99 version of the consumer-grade Mac photo management app. While the Apple marketing gears it toward the iPad, it can definitely be used on the iPhone. This completes Apple’s porting of the iLife apps to its mobile platforms, and it’s arguably one of the strongest of these ports. For this review, we’re focusing on the iPad.

iPhoto doesn’t take the place of Photos on the iPad but works alongside it. If you’re familiar with iPhoto on the Mac, then this app won’t be new. But, Apple has managed to make the existing iPhoto better and integrate it with bits and pieces of the abandoned iWeb to enhance sharing photos.

At the core of iPhoto are photo manipulation tools that are managing to reach the same depth (on some levels) as the recently released Adobe Photoshop Touch. When you bring up an image to be edited, you can tweak it in several ways — correcting exposure, fixing red eye, repairing minor areas, cropping and more. Pro-level fixes can be done with finger gestures, which adds an amazing amount of control.

Where iPhoto really shines is how these tools are presented to people who might not have that much experience with fixing photos. iPhoto for Mac has always made this easy, but iPhoto for iOS visually represents these tools in a way that even the most non-tech-savvy person could get it. This is an app I could hand my in-laws and they would be able to fix a photo.

Rotating a photo is represented by either rotating your hand on the screen or adjusting a dial that lets you rotate and crop at the same time. Color adjustment uses common names rather than technical terms to address what you’re doing. For example, in nature photos, you’re adjusting “greenery” and “skin tones,” which are easy to grasp. The most advanced tools are represented in a spectrum of paint brushes and tools that let you visually understand what you’re about to do to your photo.

The help menu is robust. For each tool selected, activating the help menu lets you know exactly what that tool does and how to use gestures to do it. While I am not a fan of Apple’s Marker font, used in the help area, it gets the point across in simple terms.

From iPhoto, you can export to various locations, but the most attractive option is the ability to create journals with photos. This is where some of the old iWeb comes in as you manipulate photos and arrange them on the screen, adding dates, quotes and more. It’s not that customizable — I’d like to see Apple throw in extra fonts and the ability to fine-tune pages a bit more — but it does a good job at getting a basic album of images on iCloud. Yes, journal pages can be uploaded straight to iCloud, and you can share them via links with family and friends like the Mobile Me galleries of old. It makes sense for Apple to fold this functionality into iPhoto rather than break it out into a separate app.

iPhoto is $ 4.99, and it’s one of the very first apps that should be loaded on any iOS device. With Adobe Photoshop Touch more than twice the price and not as user-friendly (13 tutorials? Really?) this is perfect to have on any iOS device for tweaking photos. On the iPhone, I can see this giving popular apps such as Camera+ a run for their money. It requires upgrading your iOS device to iOS 5.1 before you can install.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple updates GarageBand, iPhoto for Mac and Works, iLife, Find, Remote apps for iOS

By Daniel Eran Dilger

Published: 08:46 PM EST (05:46 PM PST)
Apple has updated GarageBand and iPhoto for Mac to update compatibility with new iOS versions while adding new feature and fixing bugs. A variety of iOS apps have also been updated for the Retina Display of the new iPad.

GarageBand 6.0.5 adds compatibility for projects from its iOS counterpart, while fixing playback issues with Lesson previews and correcting issues with “some software instruments triggering incorrect or stuck notes.”

iBooks Author 1.1 adds support for creating books that take advantage of the new iPad’s Retina Display, while also adding performance and stability improvements.

iPhoto 9.2.2 now allows users to delete individual images from Photo Stream, “addresses compatibility with iCloud and iOS 5,” and lets users navigate left and right with swipe gestures while in Magnify mode.

The new update also now displays previously imported photos in a separate section of the import window, enhances theme and card categories for books and calendars, fixes printing issues with some book pages, and saves slideshows and books properly when rebuilding a library.

Apple also updated a wide variety of its iOS apps, primarily to add Retina Display support for the new iPad, but also adding a variety of minor features and bug and performance fixes.

iBooks 2.1 adds finger highlighting and page numbering to match printed books along with performance tweaks. iTunes U 1.1 similarly adds Retina Display support and speed fixes.

Pages, Keynote and Numbers 1.6 add animated 3D charting, presentation builds and transitions and performance enhancements

iMovie 1.3 adds support for GarageBand song import, music and sound effect previews in the Audio Browser and support for creating Trailers on iPhone 4 or iPad 2 or newer devices

GarageBand 1.2 adds iCloud support, Track Merge, orchestral Smart Strings and a Note Editor for fine tuning a touch instrument recording. iPad users can connect over WiFi or Bluetooth to make music together using the new Jam Session. Songs can be shared to FaceBook, SoundCloud and YouTube.

Find My Friends 1.1 and Find My iPhone 1.4 both add bug fixes, stability enhancements and Retina Display support. Remote 2.3 adds iTunes Match support for the new Apple TV software along with Retina Display support.


Apple Releases First TV Ad For “The New iPad” Highlighting Retina Display [Video]

Apple has officially released its new TV ad simply entitled “the new iPad.” The 30-second commercial only features the tablet’s gorgeous Retina display. It’s simple and elegant.

“When a screen becomes this good, it’s simply you and the things you care about.”

Today’s keynote is available for streaming online and there are other videos for the new iPad on Apple’s website.

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a news contributor at Cult of Mac. He also covers jailbreak news and reviews. He previously served as an editor for iDownloadBlog. You can find out more about him on his personal site and also follow him on Twitter.

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Cult of Mac

Apple highlights Retina Display in TV spot for new iPad

By Josh Ong

Published: 08:23 PM EST (05:23 PM PST)
Apple on Wednesday released its first television commercial for the new iPad, focusing exclusively on the tablet’s new Retina Display.

The ad shows a user zooming in on a photo, editing in iPhoto, reading in iBooks, watching a movie and finger painting on the new device.

“When a screen becomes this good, colors are more vibrant. Words are pin sharp. Everything is more brilliant because when a screen becomes this good, it’s simply you and the things you care about. The stunning Retina Display on the new iPad,” said the voiceover.

At least for now, Apple has set the Retina Display as the dominant marketing angle for the new iPad, rather than the move to 4G LTE or the upgraded camera and processor. The company’s homepage currently promotes the “resolutionary” new iPad.

Apple announced the third-generation iPad earlier on Wednesday at a special event in San Francisco, Calif, touting its new 3.1M-pixel display as packing more pixels than a 1080p television. According to the company, the device’s 264 ppi pixel density means the pixels are indistinguishable to the human eye at a distance of 15 inches. The new iPad also sports an A5X chip with quad-core graphics and 5-megapixel camera while maintaining the 10-hour battery life.

The iPad maker has priced the device with the same scheme as before, offering Wi-Fi versions for $ 499, (16GB), $ 599 (32GB) and $ 699 (64GB). 4G options on either AT&T or Verizon cost $ 130 more. The new 4G iPad can reach download speeds of up to 73Mbps on LTE, according to Apple. International LTE partners include Rogers, Bell and Telus.

Apple’s latest tablet will arrive in stores on March 16. The company is currently taking preorders on its online store. Preorders are limited to two per customer.

In order to take advantage of the new high-resolution display, Apple has updated its stock apps. The company has also brought iPhoto to the iPad (and iPhone). Meanwhile, iWork applications such as Pages, Numbers and Keynote, have been updated to put the Retina Display to work with new 3D charting and animations.


Apple Teases Its Own Mapping Solution In iPhoto For iOS

Apple Teases Its Own Mapping Solution In iPhoto For iOS

A very interesting factoid has been revealed in the newly-released iPhoto for iOS: Apple isn’t using Google Maps. More specifically, Apple is using its own mapping technology to provide map tiles in its brand new photo editing app.

There have been rumors for many months saying that Apple is working on proprietary mapping technology to replace Google Maps, and it looks like the rumors are true.

Apple has acquired multiple mapping companies, including PlaceBase in 2009 and Poly9 the following year. Last year, Apple bought C3 Technologies, a company that was specializing in 3D maps at the time. Apple also admitted last year that it was collecting user data for an unannounced “traffic service.”

Originally spotted by Stephen Hackett, today’s iPhoto for iOS app does not use Google Maps to provide map tiles for geotagged photos. He demonstrates the difference by comparing the tile layout for the same location on Google Maps and iPhoto for iOS:

Apple Teases Its Own Mapping Solution In iPhoto For iOS

The same location displayed in iPhoto for iOS and Google Maps

The iPhoto location is displayed incorrectly by Apple in this instance, as the mapping technology is clearly still in the testing stages. In case you were wondering, iPhoto for Mac still uses Google Maps.

The Next Web did a little digging and found that the iPhoto for iOS app’s map data is getting pulled from Apple’s private servers. Interesting.

Google’s Eric Schmidt revealed during the D9 conference last year that Apple had renewed its Maps deal with the search giant for 2011. Whether or not Apple renewed it again, or plans to do so, remains to be seen. In fact, 9to5Mac has heard that Apple intentionally hasn’t updated its deal with Google for 2013. The two companies have been at odds for some time, so it’s no surprise that Apple wants to part ways.

Would Apple debut a new mapping platform with the next iPhone? Possibly. There’s also the chance that the technology would be rolled out silently to existing devices at the end of this year or in early-2013, but only time will tell. Either way, Google Maps won’t be around for long.

Update: John Gruber says Apple is still using Google Maps, but opinions remain split. Whatever the case, it looks like Apple is using its own mapping voodoo in iPhoto for iOS.

Cult of Mac

Apple updates T & C, includes terms for demo licensing

Today, along with the update of iTunes, there was a really interesting update to the Terms and Conditions. You can check out the entire set of terms if you like, but here’s the good bit:

Certain paid In App Subscriptions may offer a free trial period prior to charging your Account. If you decide you do not want to purchase the In App Subscription, turn off auto-renewal in your Account settings during the free trial period.

Looking at that bit of the terms, this looks a lot like the door is opening to allow what some have held up as the Holy Grail of App Store features: free trials. This is going to be a VERY big deal for people who are already having to maintain a free version of an app separately from the paid version, or have to try to sell people on the in-app purchases.

We haven’t seen any of these yet, but hopefully this is an option available to developers that will start being utilized immediately.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog