On today's episode, we invent a new word that we hope will show up on a show like "The Hills" sometime soon. Plus, we get fired up, make terrible jokes about monkeys controlling computers with their brains, and actually work in a tiny bit of news. For example, Apple's doing a tablet and music labels are trying to sell some new weird digital album thing. You might like the "fired up" part better.Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1027
The Apple tablet has been rumored for years, but bits of information leaking here and there over the last few months indicate it could be for real. A new report from AppleInsider now says the device is on track to be introduced early next year.
The report on Friday said that the last few important hurdles in bringing the tablet to fruition have been cleared. As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, AppleInsider says CEO Steve Jobs has personally been overseeing the project, and is on schedule for a launch sometime between January and March 2010. AppleInsider says … Read more
The Apple rumor mill kicked into high gear again Monday regarding the much discussed, yet still mythical Apple tablet. But a significant new piece of information emerged.
Tech blog Venture Beat is reporting that PA Semi, the chip company Apple bought last year whose specific function within Apple has thus far been unclear, will be designing the chips for an Apple tablet in house. Dean Takahashi wrote Monday, "PA Semi's team was split into two parts, one designing portable ARM-based processors for iPhones and iPods, and another designing a processor for the tablet device."
The PA Semi … Read more
Natali has some tips for secure password hints that involve her armpits. You'll just have to listen. We also give our thoughts on Office 2010 and what kids these days are doing on the Internet. That includes Brian Tong.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1017
First Take: Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10284013-12.html
Monday's Office 2010 preview leaks to BitTorrent http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135454/Monday_s_Office_2010_preview_leaks_to_BitTorrent?taxonomyId=1
Ericsson to run Sprint's wireless network, but how? http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/ericssons-rx-for-us-broadband.ars… Read more
We get a lot of e-mails from folks asking us when to expect a Netbook from Apple. Let's make something absolutely clear: despite all the previous rumors, we have no idea if, or when, such a product will exist. But we will let report to you when a new (or recycled) rumor pops in the blogsphere.
The latest: the Mandarin-language publication Chinese Times is reporting that Apple will release a Netbook in October. We tend to put a question mark on our rumor headlines, but there doesn't seem to be any question mark in the reporting here--at least … Read more
Though Apple isn't saying whether it's working on a touchscreen tablet, the company may have shown its hand at its Worldwide Developers Conference last week.
Of course, the Apple tablet has become the Apple press corps' version of a Bigfoot hunt. Some believe the evidence is overwhelming. Others are, well, underwhelmed. And Apple doesn't discuss products before it's ready to.
However, based on the features demonstrated at the developer conference last week, the newest version of the Mac operating system, OS X 10.6, dubbed Snow Leopard, could turn out to be the most touchscreen-friendly Mac … Read more
Despite the litany of Apple announcements at the opening keynote speech of the company's developers' conference, what could turn out to be more interesting than the new products it named is what Apple didn't say Monday.
The bumping up of the 13-inch laptop to MacBook Pro status, and the price cuts along the MacBook Pro line certainly grabbed headlines. They did something else: they left the little $999 white MacBook as the only true MacBook in the bunch. Gone now is the option to buy a silver unibody design version of a MacBook. The rest are all MacBook Pros now, which leaves buyers with little choice if they don't want a high-end notebook from Apple.
So what gives? Apple doesn't talk about products before it's ready to, but with that subtle change it may be signaling some tantalizing possibilities for upcoming products.
The white MacBook, at $999, is the cheapest notebook Apple offers right now. It also looks a bit out of place, compared to the clean, silver, cut-from-a-single-block-of-aluminum design of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. More importantly, there is a big gap in Apple's product lineup between the $299 iPhone and iPod Touch and the $999 laptop.
Apple could bridge that with the much discussed touch-screen tablet, which, of course, Apple has never actually said is in the works. If it were, the tablet could certainly make sense with the MacBook name attached, especially if its primary purpose was as a portable device for reading e-books, reviewing documents, and viewing videos.
But there is also room for a lower-cost laptop, with fewer bells and whistles aimed specifically at the education market. It would be similar to what the rest of the computer world calls a Netbook, or a mini-notebook. If Apple did make one, it would seem to represent a change in attitude toward "junky" Netbooks. But here's the thing: Apple wouldn't have to make a poor-quality mini-notebook. Historically, in the tug between features and style, and affordability, Apple usually errs on the side of features. But the company can, in fact, aim for a broader Mac market from time to time. It did so with the eMac in 2002, which lasted until 2005. That Mac desktop was aimed at students, and no one would call that a junky version of an iMac. It was however available with fewer features and a corresponding (slightly) lower price.
Apple is rumored to be working on something bigger than an iPod Touch, but smaller than a MacBook. Past patent applications filed by the company and whispers from contract manufacturers point to a midsize gadget with a screen of 7 to 8 inches in the works, perhaps scheduled to debut early next year. It's been variously described as a tablet-like device, a "media pad," and an iPod Touch on steroids.
But the middle ground between handheld device and traditional laptop has historically been a hard sell to mainstream consumers. Apple has some experience reinventing what were thought to be staid or failed product categories, and is known for its stringent product review process, so if anyone has potential to make something compelling for this "tweener" category, it's the company to do so.
For Apple, this could be its answer to the Netbook craze--20 million of those scaled-down PCs will be shipped to retailers this year, doubling last year's output. Apple has been fairly clear in its distaste for them, using descriptors like "junky," and the average selling price of around $400 wouldn't allow Apple to keep its margins as high as it's used to.
But there is clearly a market, particularly given the current state of the economy, for a device in that middle range between a smartphone and a laptop. Interim CEO Tim Cook recently admitted that Apple has "some interesting ideas in this space."
Let's say it does make one. What exactly should a tablet from Apple do and what kind of features does it need to sport to avoid the pitfalls of every other failed tablet PC, ultramobile PC, and mobile Internet device now gathering dust in the basements and desk drawers of early adopters?
Some suggestions: … Read more