January 27, 2012

Apple Customer Takes Hipsterism To The Next Level By Showing Up On a Penny-farthing

Apple Customer Takes Hipsterism To The Next Level By Showing Up On a Penny-farthing

When riding your fixed gear bike to the Apple Store is no longer cool, how do you take your hipsterism to the next level? Penny-farthing.

Have you seen anything more ridiculous than this at your local Apple store? Tell us about it in the comments.

[via Johnnytwoshoes]

busterheineBuster Heine heads Cult of Mac’s Social Media presence as well as contributes posts as often as he gets around to it. Website: noolo.gy; Twitter: twitter.com/bst3r.

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Cult of Mac

Reckless Racing 2 Comes To iOS Next Week

Pixelbit’s Reckless Racing quickly became a hit when it first came to iOS back in October 2010, so it’s no wonder the company has been hard at work on a sequel. Fans of the top-down arcade racer will be pleased to know that Reckless Racing 2 is on its way, and it’ll hit the App Store next week.

Polarbit confirmed on Twitter that the release will be available to purchase on February 2. The sequel is said to feature a full single-player campaign, longer and more dangerous tracks, and a variety of visual improvements including better car models. There is also an all-new game mode which Polarbit is currently keeping under wraps.

You can catch a glimpse of the title in action in the short trailer above.

Killian BellKillian Bell is a freelance writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also writes for TechnoBuffalo. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell, or through his website.

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Cult of Mac

Macworld transitions to Macworld|iWorld as conference begins next week

Paul Kent, general manager of Macworld Expo, says that next week’s renamed Macworld|iWorld show will be “the most interesting and certainly the most unique show that we’ve ever produced.” The event begins next Thursday at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center, and according to what Kent describes, there will be plenty going on.

First up is the exhibition hall itself — just like last year, it will be in the first floor of Moscone West. There are 271 exhibitors total, and 130 of those are app developers. Like last year, there will be plenty of iOS developers around, but one of the big pushes this year is to represent the emerging Mac App Store, so Macworld has set up an “OS X Zone,” which will feature OS X apps and their developers. There are also plenty of iOS accessory and lifestyle item makers as well, says Kent. “iWorld is not just a new name, it’s really a direction for the show, where all aspects of the mobile lifestyle are going to be brought to life.”

Upstairs in Moscone West will be the tech talks and the show’s mainstage, and in those panels, says Kent, Apple users will find all sorts of great tips and insights on how their hardware and software works together. Some of the talks will be for a general Mac audience, featuring luminaries from the Mac community talking about their area of interest, and some of them will be very specific talks based on some technical issues, like dealing with Photoshop or Quicktime.

Elsewhere on the main stage, there will be plenty of celebrities and artists coming in throughout the week to talk about how they use Apple products in their work. Modest Mouse will open up the event, and during the week, visitors will see all kinds of artists and musicians showing off their work, including bands like moe, Atomic Tom, and legendary electronic musician BT.

And the last big exhibit is the Macworld Midway, also on the show’s second floor, which will feature all kinds of different fan-centered exhibits based on Apple’s hardware and software. In addition to musical shows and demonstrations, there will be an iPad sketch booth, where visitors can get sketched on an iPad, and a photo booth run with Apple devices. “In general show managers don’t design attractions,” says Kent, but Macworld this year is different — he and his team have created a little something different from the standard convention. “We’ve kind of gone down the road of really creating this experiential environment.”

Kent says that the past few years in the Apple community have shown that yes, there are two camps: Old school Mac users, and those jumping on board the iOS/mobile device train. But there’s no reason why those two camps can’t come together, and have “unified view of what it means to be an Apple platform user,” Kent tells us, “I’d be surprised if there are many Mac users that don’t have an iPhone or iPad.”

The show definitely sounds fun, and of course TUAW will be there covering it from door to door, even if you’re not in San Francisco and can’t come by. We’ll have a meetup next Thursday as well, so if you are headed to Macworld, make sure to visit us and say hi. Whether you’re coming for a few hours, a day, or the whole show, it definitely sounds like there’s a lot to do and see at Macworld this year.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

TUAW TV Live: A look ahead at the next ten days

If things are this crazy before Macworld | iWorld 2012 even begins, I’m beginning to get worried. The PR requests are coming in by the boatload, and my appointment calendar is beginning to fill up. The boxes filled with giveaways for our TUAW Meetup (sponsored by HP) are ready to ship, and I’m starting to go through my selection of hats to figure out what to bring with me to San Francisco.

Today on TUAW TV Live, I’ll talk about Macworld past, present and future. In the past, the show was insanely huge, people stood in lines for hours to attend a keynote, and some amazing Apple products were introduced. The present is a much more cozy Macworld that is finally paying homage to the world of iOS, along with a focus on the Apple community. And the future? Who knows — but I can speculate.

Along with talk about Macworld | iWorld, I’ll also touch on the topics of Apple’s education event tomorrow and the upcoming (1/24) Apple first-quarter earnings call. Oh, yeah — and maybe something about this Sopapilla thing all you kids are talking about.

Below, you’ll find a Ustream livestream viewer and a chat tool. The chat tool allows you to participate by asking questions or making comments.

If you’re driving somewhere and would like to watch TUAW TV Live while you’re stuck in traffic, please don’t — keep your eyes on the road! However, if someone else is doing the driving, you can watch the show on your iPhone and join the chat by downloading the free Ustream App. It’s a universal app and is wonderful on an iPad, both for viewing and participating in the chat.

We’ll start at about 5 PM ET, so if you’re seeing a prerecorded show, be sure to refresh your browser until you see the live stream. For those of you who are not able to join us for the live edition, you’ll be able to view it later this evening on our TUAW Video YouTube channel and as part of the TUAW TV Live podcast viewable in iTunes or on any of your Apple devices.

TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Apple’s Next Retail Store Will Be Almost Entirely Transparent

Apple’s Next Retail Store Will Be Almost Entirely Transparent

It seems the refurbishment to Apple’s Fifth Avenue retail store in New York City may have been a practice run for something a little more elaborate. Take a look at the picture above; that’s a new Apple retail store that’s coming to France and it’ll be almost entirely transparent.

Almost all of its walls and its ceiling are made from glass, with the only exception being its rear wall which will be constructed from a “tan-colored” material. What that material will be is unclear, but it will presumably conceal the contents of the stock room and the secrets of being an Apple store employee.

Like other Apple renderings, you may not have known this was an Apple store if we hadn’t have told you. There are no Apple logos, no wooden tables, no aluminum desirables, and not one group of kids playing on iPod touches.

ifoAppleStore reports that this particular store has been designed to look like this for some very good reasons:

According to the magazine, the city required Apple to build to new earthquake standards, and harmonize with the surrounding picturesque streets. The city is in the south of France, and is favored by good weather and thousands of tourists each year. The area to the west of the future store has been recently reconstructed with many upscale shops from international retailers.

The store is set to open either late this year, or early 2013. Doesn’t it look wonderful?

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Cult of Mac

Morgan Stanley: Apple’s next iPhone to be slimmer, may include quad-mode LTE chip

By Josh Ong

Published: 02:20 AM EST (11:20 PM PST)
Investment bank Morgan Stanley hinted on Friday that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will be slimmer when it arrives later this year and could include a quad-mode chip from Qualcomm that would allow for 3G and LTE functionality across all “network flavors.”

Apple will remain impervious to a broader decline in consumer demand throughout the technology industry through the release of its third-generation iPad in the first half of 2012 and the launch of a thinner iPhone later this year, analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note to investors detailing takeaways from a recent trip to Asia.

Data points for Apple are “mostly positive,” she said, as the company is expected to maintain unit shipments this quarter, compared to a 10 percent sequential decline from the December quarter in the broader market.

“Apple will also launch iPad 3 in H1 and a slimmer iPhone later this year,” she wrote.

Huberty believes production for the next iPad will ramp up at the end of this quarter. She voiced expectations that Apple’s next-generation tablet will have a higher resolution display.

As for Apple’s next iPhone, Huberty said details on the device remained “sparse,” but she believes the device will be ready at the end of the second quarter. The launch will depend on “manufacturing yields,” she said, adding that she expects the next-gen iPhone to arrive in the third quarter “unless competition heats up.”

According to her, new touch panel technology will enable Apple to make the device thinner. Huberty also claimed Apple is “considering” new casing materials.

The Cupertino, Calif., also benefited in the December quarter from a decision to keep the iPad 2 on the market at a reduced price following the arrival of the third-generation iPad, the analyst noted. Looking ahead to the March quarter, Apple’s strength appears to be iPhone 4S driven, though signs also point to the iPad performing “better than seasonal” during the period.

Huberty said it appears that the next-generation iPhone will incorporate Qualcomm’s quad-mode chip that would allow it to “run on all 3G and LTE network flavors,” but she said it was “too early to know for sure.” If Apple were to ink a deal with China Mobile, it would increase confidence that Apple would utilize the chip, she added.

“What is clear about iPhone 5 is that Apple and its supply chain are positively surprised by the demand for iPhone 4S, which increases confidence in strong sales for iPhone 5 later this year. Overall, the supply chain looks for stronger than market growth for both the iPhone (50%+ y/y vs. market 20-30%) and the iPad (20-40% growth, higher with a lower priced iPad 2),” she wrote.

Recent reports have hinted that Apple is in talks with carriers to release LTE-compatible iOS devices later this year. Apple is also said to be in negotiations with China Mobile and has reportedly given the world’s largest carrier a “positive answer” on an future LTE iPhone compatible with its network.

Huberty’s Asian sources suggested that Apple’s strength will be the exception, rather than the rule, in the coming year. The tech supply chain is experiencing “worse than normal seasonality” during the first half of this year due to “macro pressures and back-end loaded product cycles,” she said.

More specifically, the analyst cited weak sales in Europe, a seasonal demand drop in the U.S., limited technology/product cycles and “weakening commercial put pressure” in the first half of 2011, especially in the first quarter.

Though Apple’s competitors in the PC industry expect the release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system to give lift to PC sales, Huberty cautioned that “visibility into pricing, a key determinant of growth,” of such devices remains low. The analyst also said she was surprised by the “lack of HDD supply concerns” and expects prices to normalize by the end of the second quarter.

PC makers will need to determine pricing for ultrabooks in particular, Huberty said, noting that the laptop category’s bill-of-materials needs to fall in order to hit a selling price that will attract high volumes. Even so, “it remains unclear when or if these price cuts can ultimately stimulate Ultrabook demand,” she added. Earlier this week, analysts at Gartner said consumers hesitated to adopt ultrabooks in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Companies Huberty spoke to said they expect the first Windows 8 products to arrive in the middle of the third quarter of 2012, with ARM-based devices taking “longer to ramp to volume” because of software compatibility issues and additional R&D efforts. PC demand is likely to see “at least a modest uptick” following the release of Windows 8.

“Reasons for optimism include: 1) Initial Win 8 engineering feedback is positive, 2) Windows has more corporate support than Android and Apple, and 3) Most vendors expect Microsoft to provide free apps or even products to stimulate demand if necessary,” she said.

Within the mobile industry, Huberty sees non-iPhone smartphone demand as having tapered off in recent weeks. She warned that Qualcomm could provide “sub-seasonal” guidance for its Mobile Station Modem chips in the second quarter of fiscal 2012 as a result of the slowdown in demand.


Cult Of Mac Says Why Microsoft Might Be The Next Apple On Macbreak [CES 2012]

Macbreak ces

Cult Of Mac Says Why Microsoft Might Be The Next Apple On Macbreak [CES 2012]LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 — Our very-British Editor Leander and I were invited to sit in with Leo Laporte, Sarah Lane, and Alex Linday for Tuesday’s live episode of Macbreak Weekly. We had a hoot ‘n hollerin’ good time playing with new gadgets from the show floor, talking about this year’s trends in tech, and pondering how Microsoft just might be becoming the next Apple.

The full video is almost 80 minutes long, so feel free to skip around to all the good parts where it’s just me talking.

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erfonErfon Elijah is a technology enthusiast of average height, a writer, photographer, and the founder of the Seattle indie brand Might Tees. When not designing graphic tees or recording podcasts, you’ll find him on Xbox Live hunting Modern Warfare 3 foes like the Predator. Some have quietly proclaimed he also has an overactive twitter

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Cult of Mac

T-Mobile CTO says carrier may get next iPhone

By Mikey Campbell

Published: 05:45 PM EST (02:45 PM PST)

T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray claims that upcoming wireless chipsets would allow Apple to include the carrier’s unique operating spectrum in the next iteration of the iPhone, which would finally bring the popular handset to nation’s fourth-largest network, though quickly-advancing LTE rollouts by the top three telecoms may cause the Cupertino, Calif., company to completely bypass the frequency band altogether.

In an interview with CNET on Wednesday, T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray alluded to reportedly inside information in saying that Apple’s next iPhone iteration may include a radio chipset capable of operating on the company’s AWS network, meaning the number four U.S. cell carrier may finally get to sell the popular handset.

“The next chipset will support AWS,” Ray said. “The challenge that existed in the past will go away.”

All current and legacy iPhone models are incapable of communicating with T-Mobile’s unique AWS spectrum band, which is used by only a few U.S. carriers like Cincinnati Bell and MetroPCS. Ray believes that this technical hurdle was to blame for keeping the iPhone away from T-Mobile’s network.

Ray’s statements come on the heels of those from Chief Executive Officer Philipp Humm, who said on Tuesday that the AWS frequency band was the “key reason” that the iPhone is not offered on the company’s network.

Citing access to the roadmap of chipsets on the market, Ray said that Apple has the option to include AWS into an upcoming version of the smartphone, though is quick to state that the iPhone maker could completely ignore the older wireless protocol and continue without T-Mobile’s business. The company later noted that Ray was not privy to Apple’s plans, and thus his statements should be considered mere speculation.

Apple is expected to move to LTE, the wireless standard which AT&T, Verizon and Sprint are currently in the process of rolling out. Ray commented that T-Mobile could deploy LTE in certain areas, and the carrier will continue to aggressively improve its existing infrastructure by concentrating on HSPA+, which the company dubs as “4G.”

The news comes during T-Mobile’s recovery after an AT&T takeover deal was scrapped in December.


Apple announces education event in New York City next Wednesday, Jan. 19

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 12:29 PM EST (09:29 AM PST)
Apple on Wednesday sent out invitations for a special event next week on Jan. 19 in New York City, where it has promised an “education announcement in the Big Apple.”

The invitation, as shown by The Loop, features a chalkboard-style drawing outlining the skyline of New York. Front and center in the skyline is the Apple logo, while the tagline for the event confirms that the event will involve an education-related announcement.

The media briefing will take place next Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Guggenheim Museum. Previous rumors suggested Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue will play a part in the demonstration, which will not show off any new hardware like an anticipated third-generation iPad or rumored Apple television.

Instead, the event is expected to focus on enhancements to the iBooks platform with respect to education and digital textbook publishing. Rumors have suggested the event will highlight iTunes U, a free service Apple provides that gives access to educational content, and other education-oriented topics.

Apple launched its iBooks platform in 2010 with the debut of the iPad. Its digital bookstore eventually made its way to the iPhone and iPod touch, but has not yet become available on Mac or PC.

Reports have said Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was personally involved in this new project before he passed away in early October. Jobs even told biographer Walter Isaacson that textbooks were one product he wanted to reinvent, along with photography and televisions.

Attendees at next week’s event are expected to be from the world of publishing, and reports have suggested it will be more of an industry-related event than a consumer-oriented product announcement. One report from earlier this month claimed Apple would take the wraps off of new improvements to its iBooks platform at the event, but any announcements have been characterized as not “major.”


CES: GPU candidates for Apple’s next iPad, iPhone are 20 times more powerful

By AppleInsider Staff

Published: 04:17 PM EST (01:17 PM PST)
Imagination Technologies announced on Tuesday that its next-generation PowerVR Series6 GPU core family, which could find their way into Apple’s future iPhones and iPads, will offer 20 times more performance than the current generation.

The PowerVR G6200 and G6400 GPU IP cores are the first in the Power VR Series6 GPU family from Imagination Technologies. The chipmaker said its latest mobile processors are a new benchmark for high performance with low power consumption.

The G6200 will feature two compute clusters, while the G6400 will sport four clusters. Imagination Technologies said the chips will find their way into smartphones, tablets, PCs, consoles, cars, TVs and more.

Of course, one of the biggest users of Imagination Technologies chips is Apple, which features their graphics processors in its custom-built ARM CPUs that power the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and even the Apple TV. The A5 chip found in the iPhone 4S has a GPU clocked at 800MHz, which is 73 percent faster than the A4 processor that powered the iPhone 4.

The new Series6 GPUs are based on the PowerVR Rogue architecture, which Imagination said will enable devices to provide “ultra-realistic gaming” and more complex applications. The Series6GPUs can deliver 20 times or more of the performance of current GPU cores through an architecture that is five times more efficient than previous generations.

“Based on our experience in shipping hundreds of millions of GPU cores, plus extensive market and customer feedback, we have been able to set a new standard in GPU architecture, particularly in the areas of power, bandwidth and efficiency — the key metrics by which GPUs are now judged,” Imagination Chief Executive Hossein Yassaie said. “We are confident that with the Rogue architecture we have a very clear technology advantage and an exceptional roadmap for the PowerVR Series6 family which our partners can depend on.”

Imagination announced last June that the “Rogue” processors were being licensed to six partners. Apple was not named among those partners, but is a major shareholder in Imagination Technologies. AppleInsider first reported in 2008 that Apple had purchased a 3 percent stake in the company, and its share grew to 9.5 percent in 2009.

Though there haven’t been any concrete indications about Apple’s next-generation mobile processor, it’s possible that a so-called “A6″ chip, rumored to appear in Apple’s third-generation iPad, could feature Imagination’s Series6 GPUs. Apple is rumored to launch its next iPad in March, a year after the iPad 2 was introduced.