We have been waiting for this one for quite a while, and Apple delivered on the iPhone rumors that have been making the rounds for the better part of a year. The iPhone is more than just a phone though - this is the next generation iPod, a portable version of OS X, and a portable Internet navigator. Let’s first look at the hardware features.
The new iPhone features a 3.5-inch widescreen tough-sensitive display. The screen is a 320x480 at 160 ppi - that is an absolutely amazing feat, as 160 ppi is going to be gorgeous. The phone itself is 11.6 mm thin, and features a 2.0 megapixel camera, quad-band GSM/EDGE, EiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0. Battery life will be 16 hours for audio, 5 hours for talk time, video, and web browsing. Even cooler still is the built-in proximity sensor, which recognizes when the phone is on your ear so that it turns off the screen to save power. The accelerometer senses when the phone is tilted into a portrait or landscape display, and changes what is seen on the screen as appropriate. Lastly, there are ambient light sensors as well.
On the software side of things, the iPhone runs a specialized version of OS X, with the promise of support for full desktop-class applications. The phone also has SMS session support, which looks to have an iChat-like interface. This allows you to follow an SMS conversation back and forth on one screen. The three way calling support on the phone looks to work easily and seamlessly - if you have two calls going at once, simply hit the conference button, and both calls are brought together. Safari is built in, touted as the first fully usable HTML browser on a phone, and it features on-the-fly zooming that reminded us of the Wii Opera Browser. Photo management is top notch, and the phone even support Dashboard widgets as well, allowing for a whole host of software application possibilities that haven’t even been thought of yet.
Apple also announced support for Yahoo! IMAP email, which will be PUSH email similar to what you find on the BlackBerry. Google Maps is also integrated into the phone in a snazzy way, and that includes satellite map support.
The iPhone is going to be offered exclusively through Cingular in the US starting in June, and hits Europe in the fourth quarter of 2007, followed by Asia in 2008. The 4 GB model will be available for $499 with a two-year contract, while the 8 GB model will sell for $599 with two-year contract. Once it passes FCC approval, the phone will be available for purchase from both Cingular and Apple.
Apple has created a great interactive site that lets you see exactly how a bunch of the iPhone features work, which you can check out below.
Read More | Apple iPhone Product Page
Apple has quietly upgraded their WiFi router line, releasing the AirPort Extreme. The main feature of the new model is that it features 802.11n wireless, which provides twice the range and five times the speed than 802.11g. The unit is 6.5-inches square, and 1.2-inches tall - but seems to leave a bit to be desired. For instance, there are only three ports for connecting other devices to the AirPort extreme, while most other routers have four. Also, the ports do not support Gigabit ethernet, which is another downer for a product using the term “extreme” in its name. On the plus side though, it does have a USB port for connecting a USB printer or external hard drive. The best part though? It also comes with an 802.11n Enabler, which unlocks the 802.11n capabilities of the newest iMac and MacBook Pro models, which shipped with WiFi cards capable of 802.11n speeds. We suspect you simply run the Enabler, and your Core 2 Duo iMacs and MacBook Pros will fly. The Airport Extreme Base Station ships in February for $179.99 USD.
Read More | AirPort Extreme Product Page
Steve Jobs has just announced that iTV has become Apple TV. For those keeping count feature-wise, this thing has USB 2.0, WiFi, HDMI, Component, digital audio, etc. It also has a built-in 40GB hard drive, allowing you to store content directly on the device. Steve made sure to note that the Apple TV is powered by an Intel chip, along with an 802.11 b/g/n wireless antenna. While we were hoping for 1080p support, we knew it was a long shot. However, we do get HDTV support at 720p. The Apple TV can sync with one of your computers, but can stream content from five others. The interface is very close to what you see in Front Row, but obviously upgraded. The Apple TV ships in February, and will retail for $299 USD - available for pre-order now.
Read More | Apple TV Product Page
Creative made something of a surprising announcement with their Xdock Wireless product—a “Made for iPod” wireless music dock. The system allows you to push your iPod music out to multiple receivers simultaneously, each of which can drive their own independent speaker sets. The receivers all add X-Fi’s Crystalizer upconversion, which ostensibly improves the quality of even lower-encoded music. No word yet (that we’re able to find, at least) on if they’ll be releasing a similar system that’s compatible with their own Zen Vision:M MP3 players, which use a different dock on the bottom, but the system also includes a remote and video out.
The system will be released in Spring for $199, with additional receivers available for $99. Not a bad way to wire your iPod throughout your house pretty quickly and affordability.
TiVo announced today that TivoToGo would be available for Macs through Roxio’s Toast 8 program. This will finally allow Mac users to pull down their TiVo content to their Macs, though they have to pay $69.99 for the privilege (and that’s after a $30 instant rebate for a limited time.) As a regular user of the PC version of TivoToGo, I find value in it, but I’m not sure I’d be quick to part with $70 so easily. Oh, and it only works with Series 2 since the Series 3 has restrictions on file transfer because of the CableCard compatibility.
It’s available now, so have at it Mac-users!
The Duracell PowerFM package is a simple lithium-ion battery expander for your iPod nano or video. It will easily double the battery life for your device, but includes a few cool features that set it apart from similar products in the market already. As per its name, it includes an integrated FM transmitter, that allows you to specify which frequency you wish to transmit on. It also includes a pass-through dock and headphone port on the bottom of it, so you can still use other iPod accessories or charge it in a normal charger/docking station (if its able to accommodate the extra depth). Oh, and they throw in a silicone case for the hell of it, to keep your nano shiny and fresh. My only real gripe with the design is that its emblazoned with DURACELL’s copper-top logo, both on the front of the device itself, and on the FM configuration screen itself. It seems to detract a bit from the cool, minimalistic Apple approach, while turning you into a walking battery ad at the same time. Still, integrating FM transmission into a significantly expanded battery life for just $79 is a nice touch. Available now.
Read More | Duracell Direct
This Apple iPod nano Armband is one of the recently named prestigious reddot design award winners. Strap it to your arm or wrist, plop your nano into it, put on your headphones, and it leaves your hands free to run, bike, or simply figure out how to change tracks while you are doing said activities. Adjustable fasteners make it a one-size-fits-many. Compare this to the Boxwave Flexiskin that we told you about in October of 2005. We would say that although this band is somewhat flashier, it’s is pretty much the same concept. The band is available in white, blue, green, pink, grey, and red at the Apple Store for $29.00.
Read More | reddot design awards
A few people have asked for it, so we figured we would deliver. We put out a lot of posts in 2006 here at Gear Live, and we want to shine a light on those that rose to the top of the pack. These are the most read stories on Gear Live in 2006, figuring in our entire back catalogue of posts:
- Sleeptracker Watch Review
- Google Maps Helps Fight Traffic Tickets
- Mod Your Xbox Without a Mod Chip
- HTC Wizard Windows Mobile 5.0 Review
- Video: Microsoft Gives Us a Windows Vista Preview
- Video: TiVo Series 3 Interview and First Look
- The Logic 3 PSP Keyboard
- How To Download YouTube Videos
- BumpTop Alternative Desktop Interface
- Video: A Look At The Zune
Now don’t think we would stop there. We have also created another Top 10 list, this one consisting only of articles that we published within the 2006 calendar year. For the full list, hit the jump.
So, we have MacWorld starting in about a week, and we have Apple rumors flying all over the place. Of course, everyone is hoping there will be an Apple Phone (not iPhone). Others are hoping for a finalized version of the iTV product. Then there are some wishing for a refreshed line of Cinema Displays that have integrated iSight cameras and HDCP-compliant HDMI ports. Oh, and there is also that new Leopard operating system that is said to be pretty fancy. So, what does Apple go and do since they know that they have the attention of the masses? They put up an image like the one above on their homepage, declaring that everything they have done in the history of the company was just the beginning…it was all meant to lay the foundation for what is coming in 2007. Apple fanboys unite, this could be the best your of your lives.
Read More | Apple iTunes Store
Recipients of iPods and iTunes gift cards swarmed over Apple’s music store over the last few days, apparently causing 20 minute slowdowns and error messaging. Beginning this past Monday, onliners began to post frantic “help me” messages on their tech forum.
Still looking into the situation, Apple must surely be feeling the cash flow, since online market researcher Hitwise has reported that 4 times as many shoppers visited the iTunes website on Christmas this season as compared to last year. As of now, Apple dominates that market by about 75%, however increased competition could cost them as much as 5% in 2007, according to research analyst Gene Munster.
Read More | USA Today