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.
It looks like there will be a settlement in the ongoing 4 year, $22 million class-action suit against Apple. The company must set aside that amount for first-gen nano owners with scratched screens. According to the suit, many of them weren’t “coated” and were subject to “excessive scratching.” Those who received a slip case with their iPod may be entitled to $15.00, while those who did not can get $25.00. A judge still needs to sign off on the suit and a hearing will take place April 28. More information is available here.
Read More | CNBC
We always enjoy being pleasantly surprised by Apple, and it appears that today they’ve quietly updated their low-end Macbook so that it’s more in line with what you’d get from the aluminum unibody version. It still runs for $999, which is a great price for a brand new Apple portable, but now you get the newer 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo processor with 1066 MHz front side bus, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, Bluetooth 2.1, and the integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M chipset that is all the rage. Now, granted, the RAM is slower than what you’d find in the more expensive unibody Macbook, and you also don’t get those wonderful aluminum bragging rights, but you do get a FireWire port—and when it’s all said and done, isn’t that what it’s all about?
If you missed our unibody Macbook and Macbook Pro comparison video, you can check it out after the break.
Okay, look, if you are still a hater who is of the mindset that the iPhone is no big deal, today’s news out of Apple should seriously put all that to rest. This morning, the company announced that there have been 500 million apps downloaded from the App Store. With all the iPhone and iPod touch owners out there snapping these things up, it really comes as no surprise to us - especially considering that you can get some really great software for free, or for as little as $0.99.
Good on them, we say. Now can we get a few more pages allowed in the iPhone home screen area? We are three downloads away from completely filling our 9 pages, no doubt.
The saga of health of Steve Jobs and the rumors surrounding his condition are back, as the Apple CEO had just announced that he will be taking a six-month leave of absence from his post at the helm of Apple. COO Tim Cook will handle day-to-day operations at the company while Jobs is gone. All this, after Steve handed the MacWorld keynote slot to Phil Schiller, and even went on to post that his health was under control. In a note to Apple, Steve Jobs made it known that he had just learned that his health issues are a little more “complex” than first diagnosed.
You can find that letter below - we just hope that Steve gets back to good health quickly, and actually does return to his usual role as Apple CEO. However, something tells us that he may not be back. Of course, we hope we are wrong.
I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my
health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.
In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.
I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our board of directors fully supports this plan.
I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.
Earlier today during the MacWorld 2009 keynote, Apple announced that the iTunes Store was on the way to completely dropping DRM. As of today, 8,000,000 of the 10,000,000 tracks are now available as DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks, and that even includes music videos. We figured we’d give you a quick look at how you go about upgrading your library of purchased content.
So the first thing you want to do is go to the iTunes Store, and look on the right-hand side. You’ll see “iTunes Plus” as one of the links, with a number next to it. That number represents the number of pieces of content that you have available that can be upgraded. Click on that.