September 13, 2006
Apple announced on Tuesday that its developing iTV a device that will connect your digital media on computer to your home entertainment system wirelessly, they will introduce the product in Q1 2007. According to apple iTV will have 802.11 wireless, USB 2.0, Ethernet port, HDMI, Component Video, analog audio and optical audio you can directly connect it to the TV, use it with a Set top box or a receiver. It has a new frontrow software and can play Videos, audio, photo slideshow and even podcast from your computer. It can be managed buy Apple's simple remote control and it works with both Mac and PCs. So apple has started it move to capture your living room. Apple will price it at $299.
Apple has added movies to iTunes store. Apple announced on Tuesday that it has added 75 movies to iTunes store which was selling music, music video and TV shows online. The studios that are available on iTunes movie store are Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Miramax Films and Touchstone Pictures which are part of Walt Disney Company. Apple will continue adding more movies and more studios. New movies are available for $12.99 as pre-release or in first week of release on DVD, after that new movies will cost $14.99 and Library title will be available for $9.99. The movies are encoded at near DVD quality at 640 x 480 resolution and the audio is encoded in dolby surround sound. Like the music store, people can rate and review the movies. According to Apple movie can be downloaded in 30 min on a 5Mbps Broadband connection and you can start watching the movie while it downloads. We tried to download Pirates of the Caribbean: The curse of the black Pearl and it took 1 hour and 12 minutes, we have a 1 Mbps connection. But like Apple said we were able to watch the movie without a problem while it was downloading and we started playing the movie with in one minute of starting the download. The Picture quality was good on my 20" screen and i think it will look on big screen TV's too.
It was Apples day on Tuesday with new iPods, Apple also released update for iTunes. Apple made the iTunes 7 look more clean by making the source list more organized. Apple has added three different views first is list view which we normally see in iTunes library, second is Album view where you see the album art and songs grouped in albums and third is Cover flow view which enables you to rapidly find what you are looking for by scrolling through album covers. You can use different view for different playlist. If you have a iTunes Store account iTunes will automatically fetch available album art for any CD you import to iTunes. Now the iPod information can be see directly in iTunes without going in to iTune's preferences plus it give you detailed information about what you have on your iPod and how much space it has taken on your ipod. Apple has also added a Download manager where you can manage what you are downloading from iTunes store, you can pause a download and give preference to different downloads. iTunes also adds onscreen display like Quicktime plus the resolution of TV show available on itunes has been increased to 640 x 480. Apple has added some nice touches to an already great software.
Apple also released Second generation of iPod shuffle, the new iPod shuffle is also made of anodized aluminum and has a build-in clip. Apple says its the smallest Mp3 player in the world and it measures 1.07" x 1.62" x 0.41" and weighs only 0.55oz. It comes in one model that is 1GB in capacity and silver in color. In Steve's own words " It's really beautiful". Shuffle has 12 hours of battery life and comes with a dock that connects Shuffle to your computer for charging and song transfer. Shuffle also comes with the new headphone like its big brothers iPod and iPod nano.
Apple has released the 2G iPod Nano made of aluminum. The new Nano comes in five colors silver, blue, green, pink and you guessed it right black. There are three models 2 Gb for $149 (silver only), 4GB for $199 (all colors except Black) and 8GB (black only). We know your question is 8GB in black only....? Yes 8GB is available in black color only, the logical thing would have been to offer 8GB in all five colors because we want a blue 8GB and girls all over the world want a Pink 8GB Nano. The best thing that Apple has done is give Nano a new case and that is made of anodized aluminum which is scratch resistant, Plus now the Capacity and prices match's other Mp3 players and still it is the sexist looking player on the market. The surprise was that Apple was able to make it Thinner and increase the battery life to 24 hours. The screen is now 40% brighter. Apple has added new software feature like Instant Search, Quick Scroll and Gapless playback you can find the description of this feature in our previous post on new 5G ipod. Apple has also designed new Headphone which they will include with the new iPod Nano. Apple says that the new headphone are better sounding and more comfortable in your ears the previous headphones. iPod Nano definitely looks better then other Mp3 player and its cost is also competitive to other Mp3 player on market.
Apple introduced the updated 5G iPod, Apple reduced the cost of the 30GB model to $249 and introduced a 80GB model for $349. Apple has improved the brightness of the screen by 60%, added Search, Quick scroll and new games for download from iTunes Music store for $4.99. The battery life of 30GB iPod is now 14 hours for music and 3.5 hours for video, for 60GB its 20 hours for Music and 6.5 hours for video that is 75% increase in battery life. The size remains the same for the iPods and other specification are also same like the screen resolution and size plus audio and video format it supports. So basically Apple has added new feature to the iPod like Gapless playback where the music that was suppose to flow from one track to the second one won,t have gap between them, second software feature is Search where you can type in the song name using the click wheel and find the song you want, third new feature is Quick scroll, you see the letter while you are scrolling fast so that you get an idea where you are in the playlist and can scroll faster and the last feature is downloadable games for you iPod.
September 12, 2006
It's Showtime for Apple in 3 hours from now, there are few rumors flying around about new iPods and a system which will help you connect your digital collection on the computer to your Entertainment system. Rumors are that Apple will release the new iPods. The new iPod Nano that will be made of brushed metal casing, which we think is a possibility as every other company has updated their competing products by either higher capacity or lower price. There are also rumors about the new widescreen video iPod which is supposed to have a touch screen and wireless connectivity, we think there will be definitely a widescreen iPod but when we don't know, we hope its today and that will kill Microsoft Zune even before its launched. There are also rumors about a system to connect your computer to your entertainment system for both audio and video, we don't know how Apple will implement this but there are few options, one is to have video functionality in the Airport Express which will let you stream your videos to the system it is connected to, same way as it works for the audio. Other rumor is that Apple will make a USB device that will connect wirelessly from your computers USB to the TV. Some rumors also say that Apple will introduce a media center and though it's a possibility we don’t think they will do it now. Apple's invitation to media says "It's Showtime" so one thing we are sure about is that Apple will release a movie download service today and it will surely have Disney and Pixar movies for download and other studios will be maybe onboard. This is confirmed by iTunes music store message “It's Showtime. The iTunes Store is being updated." this is the message that you get when you try to access the music store. Let's wait and see what Apple has in store of us all and keep our credit cards ready for..........…
September 10, 2006
Microsoft released Vista RC1 to developers last week, the RC1 is almost identical to the pre-RC1 release. RC1 has brought much need performance boost to Vista when compared to Vista Beta 2. You can see the improvement from the time it starts to install, time required to install vista has improved it has almost gone done by half. But one thing that surprised us was that Vista RC1 took more time to install on Dell XPS M1210 then on Apple Macbook, both had same processor (2.0Ghz core duo) same amount of RAM 1Gb. It took 45 Min on Macbook and 53 Min on Dell though the difference is small but it made us wonder.
Information Week has written a very good article about the Vista RC1, they mention five most important improvements in Vista. The five improvements are 1) Installation, 2) Driver support, 3) Performance, 4) Security and 5) Multimedia. Its a very good read to know about vista development. The conclusion of the article best describes Vista development "Simply put, Vista is no longer a drag to use, thanks to the RC1 improvements, and the OS has made key strides toward becoming a reality for the legions of Windows users." You can read the article here:
Motorola E690 is a smartphone based on Linux, it has touchscreen and multimedia support for audio and video. E690 features a 2.0 megapixel camera, 240 x 320 QVGA touchscreen, SD/MMC card slot, 3D surround speakers, Bluetooth and USB. Motorola has yet not announced price and availability.
The new Toshiba Satellite U205-S5022 laptop has been reviewed by Pcmag. This laptop has a 1.83GHz Core Duo processor, 120Gb hard drive, 12.1 inch widescreen, Intel 950 Graphics card, 802.11 a/g wireless and Dual layer DVD burner. Bluetooth is missing which should be by default on portables. The most attractive feature of this laptop is its price at around $1300 you get a ultra portable weighing 4.1 lb only. Pcmag best describes it, if you appreciate a ultraportable with integrated optical drive, dual core processor, bargain price and you aren't big on style and look then this is a laptop for you. You can read the complete review here:
Samsung SGH-X820 is the thinnest phone in the world measuring 4.45" x 1.97" x 0.27" and weighs 2.33oz or 66 grams, its part of Samsung's ultra Series. The talk time is 2.5 hours and stand by time is 210 hours, it has a 200k color LCD screen, 80 MB memory, Bluetooth, USB and a 2 megapixel camera. Only thing missing is a memory card slot. Mobileburn.com has reviewed the phone and Mobileburn's conclusion best explains it "In short, the X820 does pretty much everything the SLVR does, only better and in a sleeker package. It's thin, it looks good, it's powerful, and it's not too expensive." you can read the review at:
Intel Kentsfield is the next revision of its Core processors, its a Quad-core chip which intel will release by end of 2006. Kentsfield is essentially combination of two Core 2 Duo (conroe chips) processor into one single processor. Processor speed will start at 2.67GHz and run on a 1066MHz FSB, it will have two 4MB level 2 cache and work with the present 965 and 975 series chipsets for today's Core 2 Duo motherboards. Intel is expected to offer this processor for testing to press and analysts at the end of this month. This new processor is expected to give performance improvement to already fastest chip on the market Core 2 Duo (Conroe) for desktops.
Intel had announced vPro technology, a package of hardware and software based on Core 2 Duo processor earlier this year. The platform promises to provide Unprecedented levels of computing performance and more proactive control of security and costs. Intel found in its study that the vPro platform could save 40% in total cost for businesses. Several major PC vendors have announced vPro based products and many software developers have also released product for vPro.
Intel says vPro addresses issues like security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation, asset management and uptime. vPro includes technology like second generation of Intel Active Management Technology, Intel Virtualization, the new Intel Q965 Express Chipset and Intel 82566DM Gigabit Network Connection. vPro benefits are yet not available on laptops but will be introduced in Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology codenamed Santa Rosa early next year.