This morning Apple unveiled a brand new, re-imagined iPod shuffle. The new shuffle hits you with 4GB of storage space, which equates to about a 1,000 song capacity, and is half the size of the previous generation iPod shuffle, which in and of itself was pretty freaking small. Another new feature is VoiceOver, which is basically a text-to-speech technology built into the shuffle. Since there is no screen, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s playing. With VoiceOver, you press a button and the shuffle will tell you the name of the song and artist, as well as the name of the playlist, if applicable. VoiceOver is available in the following languages: English, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
The downside? For some reason Apple thought it best to move all the controls on the shuffle to the headphone cable. You simple cannot control the iPod shuffle from the actual device. This immediately limits the number of headphones available, because even if you own a pair of fantastic $150 headphones, if those headphones don’t have controls, you are screwed and left with the crap Apple headphones that ship with the device.
Well, ever since the folks at Harmonix got their hands on the Beatles catalogue, we all (and by that, I mean ‘I’) figured that this day was coming. Sure enough, Apple, MTV, and Harmonix have announced The Beatles: Rock Band for release on 9/9/09, and a website has been put up with nothing but an interior shot of (what I believe is) Abbey Road Studios (main recording studio for the Fab Four) and a ‘9.9.09’ plastered across the screen. The game will feature content by the Beatles (duh) and will be bundled with signature instrument replicas if you order the full shebang, and if that means I get to rock a little plastic Hofner, I’ll be there on day one. When reached for comment, Paul and Ringo both chased me off their property with vicious dogs. I tried to reach the other Beatles, but I unfortunately lent my shovel to the neighbors.
Hit the jump for the full press release.
Yup, even more Apple update news for you guys today, as it would be irresponsible of us not to inform you of the spec bumps to the iMac line. Like all the other Apple computer products, the iMac picks up a Mini DisplayPort with this revision, but that’s not all. Prices are looking good, with a 20-inch model starting at $1,199, and the 24-inch model starting at a price of $1,499. There is only one 20-inch model, which hits you with a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB hard drive space, and a GeForce 9400M graphics chip. The baseline 24-inch model includes the same processor, but 4GB RAM and a 640GB hard drive. You can move up from there if you want a 2.93Ghz, or 3.06 GHz, processor. You can pick up a new iMac now.
Read More | Apple iMac
Continuing with all the Apple desktop releases today, the company has announced a newly-redesigned Nehalem-based Mac Pro. The price starts at $2,499, which gets you a 2.66GHz quad-core Intel Xeon 3500, 3GB RAM, and a 640GB hard drive. If an 8-core system is more your thing, you can grab a Mac Pro with two 2.26GHz quad-core Nehalems, with 6GB RAM, for $3,299. The Nehalem chips support HyperThreading, so you get double the amount of virtual cores as you do real cores, and they support triple RAM data rate. As in customary with all the new Apple computers, the new Mac Pro sports a Mini DisplayPort, which means it is usable with the LED Cinema Display.
The new Mac Pro is available now.
Read More | Mac Pro
We know, you Mac mini fans out there have been waiting a long time for something—anything—from Apple, as it pertained to an update of the platform. That day has come, as the early 2009 Mac mini was added to the Apple desktop lineup this morning. Not too much has changed, but what you should know is that the new model sports five USB ports, a FireWire 800 port, the new mini DisplayPort, and a miniDVI port as well. Yup, that means you can use thing with your dual monitor setup. There are two models, both of which offer a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and 8x SuperDrive, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chipset. The $599 base model nets you 1GB of RAM and 120GB of hard drive space. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, the $799 model hits you with 2GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. We’ve got an image of the ports for you, after the jump.
The new Mac mini is available for purchase now.
Read More | Apple Mac mini
A lot is going on this morning over in Apple land, and with all the new hardware released, we almost missed the fact that the 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro line has received a spec bump. Nothing too fancy, but now if you want to get a processor faster than the 2.4GHz default, you get a 2.66GHz chip, as opposed to the 2.53GHz chip offerred previously. If you really wanna pimp this thing out, there is even a 2.93GHz option now. Be careful with that one though. Male or female, if you want to have children, keep it off your lap, because that’s gotta hurt.
When Apple announced the new iLife ‘09 suite during the MacWorld 2009 Keynote last month, we were immediately intrigued by the seemingly powerful features included in iPhoto and iMovie. If you happened to catch it, you know what I am talking about. Faces and Places in iPhoto had the ability to change the way we use the program, and image stabilization in iMovie would be amazing for any amateur videographer or video hobbyist. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on the software, and now that we have been able to give it a good few days of playing with, we are ready to report back with our thoughts. Should you purchase iLife ‘09 for $79? Hit the jump for our thoughts.
What’s the latest on the iPhone Flash rumors? It looks like work is being done, but that finding a solution is proving to be tough, as evidenced by Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen:
“It’s a hard technical challenge, and that’s part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating,” Narayen told Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver.”
Did you get that? Apple and Adobe are working together to come up with a suitable Flash derivative for the iPhone. So while there’s no set date or anything, we can at least rest assured that it’s coming. iPhone Hulu, anyone?
Read More | Bloomberg
We hit you with our Mophie Juice Pack 3G review a couple of months ago, and even did a Juice Pack 3G video. Since then, we’ve continued enjoying how free we feel with the Juice Pack powering our iPhone 3G while we are out and about. Worries of a dead battery have all but disappeared, and that’s with Push mail, calendars, and contacts running.
Now we want one of you to be able to share in that experience, which is why we are giving away a Mophie Juice Pack to one Gear Live reader. Since it’s an iPhone accessory, we figured we would center the competition around that. Here are the rules:
Here’s how to enter to win:
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Gear Live account
- If you don’t have one already, sign up for a Twitter account
- Add the Gear Live Twitter account to your follow list
- On Twitter, post a tweet about out contest and link to this page. In the tweet, include the phrase “#gearlive”.
- Once that is done, leave a comment here in this post with a direct link back to your Tweet, and also let us know what your favorite iPhone app is. Be sure you are signed in to your Gear Live account before you leave the comment.
Here’s an example of an appropriate Twitter entry:
“Entering to win a Mophie Juice Pack 3G from #gearlive http://jvu.qlnk.net/”
Now, as to the actual contest dates. The contest starts today, January 28th. You have until 11:59 PM PST on February 4th to enter your comments here on this post. We will then announce our winner, chosen randomly out of all valid entrants and bonus points, on February 5th. Good luck to all, and remember, this contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.
This morning Apple released iPhone and iPod touch firmware version 2.2.1. There doesn’t seem to be a lot to note in this one, compared to some of the other point releases for the platform that we’ve seen in the past. Here’s a look at some of the changes:
iPhone 2.2.1 Software Update
This update contains bug fixes and improvements, including the following:
- Improved general stability of Safari
- Fixed issue where some images saved from Mail do not display correctly in the Camera Roll
Products compatible with this software update:
- iPhone 3G
To get the update, just connect your iPhone or iPod touch to your computer and have iTunes check for it.
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