Apple to Update Most of the Mac Lineup at WWDC 2012

Submitted by lalit on June 4, 2012 - 6:20pm.

9to5mac has published a vague report that claims Apple would update 4 out of 5 Macs at WWDC. We are calling this report vague even though 4 out of 5 sounds definite, because as you read the report you realize that Mark Gurman is only sure about 15-inch MacBook Pro update and rest is just assumptions without any concrete backing. These are some of the excerpts from what Mark posted:

According to sources, Apple is planning to update at least four out of their five Mac lines at the June 11 WWDC kickoff keynote. Apple’s current Mac lines are the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. We are hearing that Apple will release two configurations of the redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it is unclear what will happen to the other MacBook Pro screen sizes.

Apple is working on a version of the 11 inch and 13 inch MacBook Airs with Retina Displays, and we are led to believe that these new ultra-thin notebooks will serve as the second Mac update announcement at WWDC.

The third new update will likely be a refresh to the iMac line. While it appears that a new iMac is coming at WWDC, its feature-set is thus far unclear.

Apple is also planning to refresh a fourth piece of their Mac line, and this leaves the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. We are currently unsure whether or not the Mac Pro or Mac mini will be the fourth Mac updated at the conference, but both Macs are due for a refresh, especially the Mac Pro.

Basically, this means that like everyone else 9to5mac is only sure about 15-inch MacBook Pro update. Our sources say that the two systems that are most likely to see an update at WWDC along with MacBook Pro are iMac and Mac Pro. We believe Apple will announce the Mac Pro at WWDC to let pro users know that the tower is not dead and then shipping it later this summer.

 

Samsung Galaxy S III Preorders Begin June 6th and Ships June 21st on All Major US Carriers

Submitted by lalit on June 4, 2012 - 5:33pm.

All the major US carriers today announced that the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S III would start shipping on June 21st. Though all the carriers are offering similar pricing for the new handset there are some small differences. So, here is the Galaxy S III’s pricing and availability for various carriers in US:

AT&T: Preorders start on June 6th with shipping date of June 21st. AT&T will only sell the 16GB model for $199.99 with two year contract. However, AT&T will offer three not two color options including Marble White, Pebble Blue and exclusive red color that will come later this summer.

Sprint: Preorders on Sprint will start a day early on June 5th, but the new handset will ship on the same date June 21st as other carriers. Sprint will offer two models in two colors – 16GB model for $199.99 and 32GB model for $249.99 – in Marble White and Pebble Blue.

T-mobile: Samsung Galaxy S III will ship on T-mobile starting June 21st, but the carrier isn’t taking preorders. Also T-Mobile hasn’t announced pricing yet and offers a sign up page for more information.

U.S. Cellular: The carriers will starting taking preorders of Galaxy S III on June 12th and will announce the pricing on the same date. U.S Cellular will ship the new phone sometime in July and will offer both 16GB and 32GB models.

Verizon: Preorders for Galaxy S III start on Verizon on June 6th at 7am ET and the handset will ship on June 21st. Verizon will offer both 16GB and 32GB models in Marble White and Pebble Blue colors, priced $199.99 and $249.99 respectively.

 

iOS 6 to Bring Siri to iPad, iCloud Tabs, Do Not Disturb Toggle, Mail VIPs and Facebook Integration

Submitted by lalit on June 4, 2012 - 12:48pm.

Like last week was all about iPhone 5 rumors, this week is turning out to be iOS 6 rumors week. Again 9to5mac is the main source behind the iOS 6 rumors, and according to their reliable sources iOS 6 will bring features like Siri for new iPad, iCloud tabs for Safari, Do Not Disturb Toggle for Notification Center, Mail VIPs and Facebook Integration.

Siri on iPad: It will be just like iPhone 4S without the phone related features. Siri on iPad will support music playback, iMessaging, Calendar managing, Reminders, Weather, Maps, email, Notes, Contacts and Wolfram Alpha search. The interface won’t be full screen like on the iPhone and it will only work on the new iPad with Retina Display.

Safari iCloud Tabs: With this Safari feature users will be able to view a list of tabs opened in the Safari web browser across multiple iOS device and Macs. Mark Gurman describes the feature by saying “When the iCloud Tabs button is clicked on an iOS 6 device (or Mac), all the tabs opened on each device are simply shown in a synchronized list. From here, users can quickly pickup individual tabs that they were working on across their Apple devices.”

Do Not Disturb Toggle: The ‘Do Not Disturb’ in iOS 6 will be similar to the Do Not Disturb feature in OS X Mountain Lion Notification Center. According to 9to5mac’s sources, “while the option is present directly in the Mountain Lion Notification Center, the Do Not Disturb toggle is stationed like the Airplane Mode button in settings”.

Mail VIPs: Again like the Mountain Lion feature, the iOS 6 Mail VIPs puts a star next to emails received from a specified group of people. The Mail VIPs feature will sync via iCloud across iPads, iPhones, iPod touches and Macs in iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion.

Facebook Integration: It will be very similar to Twitter integration in iOS 5. The Photos app on iOS 6 will see the biggest presence of this new feature allowing users to post photos directly to Facebook from the app. Apple will also bring Facebook integration to App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch with a standard Facebook “Like” button. 9to5mac says “If a user is logged into Facebook via iOS Settings, these app “Likes” will be sent to their Facebook Timelines. Accompanying status messages will also be an option.”

Overall, these features revealed by 9to5mac are evolutionary rather than revolutionary. And from what we have heard from ours sources iOS 6 will definitely have some revolutionary features with the new Maps app being one of those groundbreaking features.

 

Is This Back Cover of Next Generation iPhone?

Submitted by lalit on May 29, 2012 - 9:46am.

9to5mac has received an image from iPhone repair website iFixyouri that could be the back cover next generation iPhone. iFixyouri claims that this new part just entered their catalog and is supplied by a reliable Chinese parts supplier, who are actually selling this part as next generation iPhone back cover. Seth Weintraub wrote on 9to5mac:

From what we can see, the part does follow a lot of the rumors and speculation. For instance, you can see the smaller dock connector at the bottom and it appears thinner overall. We’re told that the extra space on the bottom is used by Apple to enhance the speakers which will be louder and of a higher quality than the current iPhone. The supplier says the back plate is one piece anchored by an aluminium alloy (not liquidmetal).

Interestingly, the supplier also told iFixyouri that black and white wouldn’t be the only two colors this year. There were at least two other colors of back plate seen which obviously might not make it into production if these parts are indeed real. Normally we’d scoff at such a notion but these same parts suppliers were the first to deliver the news that the iPad would come in white.

If the part shown in the image is real then this is an interesting development, because we usually see leaked images of major parts for upcoming Apple products 3-6 weeks before actual product is shipped or announced. For example, we saw the new iPad back cover with bigger camera hole in February and Apple shipped the new iPad in March.

 

Leaked Screenshots of iOS 6 Maps App Showing 3D View

Submitted by lalit on May 29, 2012 - 9:14am.

BGR claims that they have obtained from a trusted source exclusive info and photos of the upcoming Maps app, which will be one of the main features of iOS 6. Jonathan Geller wrote on BGR:

The app features a refreshed user interface including a brand new navigation bar. This bar, we’re told, is silver instead of blue. Since the current Maps app follows the standard blue iOS color scheme, we think it’s possible Apple might shift toward a silver color theme in iOS 6 like on the iPad.

The iPhone version of Maps has a floating locate me button (it sounds very similar to Android’s Google Maps app) in the bottom left corner. To access 3D mode, which will make use of Apple’s C3 Technologies acquisition, you have to peel back the lower right corner of Maps just like the current version and enable 3D mode. Once enabled, you can switch in and out of 3D mode by tapping a 3D icon in the lower left corner. A photo of this feature can be seen in our gallery.

Apple is now putting the finishing touches on its 3D mapping functionality, and it is currently being tested in build 10A3XX of iOS 6.

Apple has already announced that they will reveal details about upcoming iOS 6 at WWDC 2012, which starts on June 11th in San Francisco. You can check out more blurry photos on BGR that show change in maps layout design when compared to Google’s Maps that iOS uses now.

 

Rumor: Apple Starts Trial Production of HDTVs at Foxconn

Submitted by lalit on May 28, 2012 - 5:08pm.

Since it was revealed in Steve Jobs biography that he was working on a TV as one of his last projects and he believed that he had cracked the secret to a simple HDTV, rumors have been going round that Apple will soon launch a smart HDTV. And now a Chinese newspaper China Business News claims that they have heard from “informed sources” that Foxconn, Apple’s well know manufacturing partner has started trial production of the much rumored Apple HDTV, with aim to start mass production by end of this year. AppleInsider posted the following from translation of China Business News’ report:

In particular, the publication cited its sources as saying that this initial build plan is taking place in one of Foxconn's Shenzhen plants as a trial production run, which typically produces a small number of assembly-line-quality prototypes for Apple to put through its design test verification stages. No further details were reported.

The only thing we have heard from our sources about Apple HDTV is that Apple is looking at different screen sizes ranging from 40-inch to 60-inch. We haven’t heard anything about when the production will start or how much it will cost.

 

Ultra High Definition Television Standards Drafted by ITU

Submitted by lalit on May 28, 2012 - 1:27pm.

ITU has announced a new Recommendation that represents a major advance in television broadcasting that will create an entirely new television broadcast environment with the advent of ‘Ultra High Definition Television’ or UHDTV. ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) has developed the standard – or Recommendation – in collaboration with experts from the television industry, broadcasting organizations and regulatory institutions in its Study Group 6.

The quality of television pictures that viewers see has improved dramatically since it was invented in the 1930s. A dim black and white screen in the corner of the room has become the sparkling ‘high definition’ colour picture that we see on today’s large ‘flat panel displays’. But technology does not stand still. ITU-R Study Group 6 has now agreed a draft new Recommendation on the technical details for ‘Ultra High Definition Television’ or UHDTV which is now being submitted to Administrations for approval.

The ITU-R Recommendation lays out the quality standards for UHDTV in two steps. The advances made with each of these quality steps are roughly similar to the step from the old ‘standard definition television’ to ‘high definition television (HDTV)’. HDTV pictures today have the equivalent of between 1-2 megapixels. The first level of UHDTV picture levels has the equivalent of about 8 megapixels (3 840 x 2 160 image system), and the next level comes with the equivalent of about 32 megapixels (7 680 x 4 320 image system). As a shorthand way of describing them, they are sometimes called the ‘4K’ and ‘8K’ UHDTV systems. Ultra high definition picture quality is accompanied by improved colour fidelity, and options for higher numbers of pictures per second than for today’s television systems.

Check out the introductory video posted by ITU describing the new UHDTV standards.

 

LG Develops World’s First 5-inch Full HD 1080p LCD Smartphone Panel

Submitted by lalit on May 28, 2012 - 9:10am.

LG introduced today a 5" Full HD LCD panel for smartphones – the highest resolution mobile panel to date. Though many LCD makers including Toshiba and Samsung have promised and shown prototypes of 1080p smartphone display, but LG will be the first to actually ship a 1080p smartphone panel. LG has already started sampling the new 5-inch full HD display.

LG’s 5-inch Full HD LCD panel is based on AH-IPS (Advanced High Performance In-Plane Switching) technology features 440ppi and 1920x1080 resolution, providing for the first time Full HDTV quality on a smartphone. With 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, the panel is also 0.5 inches larger, 2.2 times denser in pixels, and 1.3 times more advanced in ppi than the preceding 4.5" panel at 329ppi and 1280x720.

The 5" Full HD LCD panel from LG Display is expected to be released during the second half of this year, and will be on exhibit for the first time at SID 2012 Display Week in Boston starting June 4.

 

Apple’s Higher Demand for New MacBook Parts Causing Supply Chain Labor Shortage

Submitted by lalit on May 28, 2012 - 7:31am.

Apple hopes to see a big jump in MacBook demand with launch of new models in June. The company is planning to see about 50% jump this year and plans to ship 16.24-19.2 million units compared to 12.79 million units in 2011, because of the new thinner and lighter MacBook models. According to DigiTimes, this increase in demand is causing labor shortage in upstream supply chain players. Aaron Lee wrote on DigiTimes:

As Apple's new MacBooks are expected to launch in the near future, related upstream supply chain players are reportedly facing labor shortages because of strong orders from Apple, while some supply chain makers are even outsourcing their orders to meet shipment schedules, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Component manufacturing plants in eastern China have been suffering from labor shortages for a long time, and although May and June are the IT industry's traditional slow season when shortage issues are usually not as significant, the strong orders from Apple's new MacBook are leaving many upstream makers unable to satisfy demand. The MacBook supply chain started delivering products in April with shipments for chassis seeing obvious growth in May.

It is rumored that Apple will announce the new MacBook Pro lineup at WWDC 2012 on June 11, along with next generation OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. June is going to be a big month for Apple with WWDC and new hardware launches.

 

Intel Developing True Companion Computers That “Learn” About Their User

Submitted by lalit on May 24, 2012 - 9:11pm.

Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence is working with Technion in Haifa and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem on small, wearable computers that can offer new applications to enhance daily life. The system can continuously monitor human functions from the brain, heart, blood, eyes and more, and send this data to a remote server that will combine them with other data such as environmental weather conditions, along with historical data, and could proactively warn people about a potential headache or dizziness during driving.

The system won’t be just for monitoring our health, it will act as a companion that will remember our habits and help in day-to-day tasks. For example, if you have a habit of forgetting your keys in the house the system will in first week remember where you left the keys, and by second week it will start reminding you to take your keys while leaving the house.

“Despite their name, smartphones are rather dumb devices. My smartphone doesn't know anything more about me than when I got it,” Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, told reporters in Tel Aviv. “All of these devices will come to know us as individuals, will very much tailor themselves to us.”

Intel says such devices/systems will come to the market by 2014 or 2015. [Via Reuters]