Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Queen and the king of design from Apple

Another sign that the iPod is a serious revolution in the entertainment industry was released this week. The BBC website show that the Apple iPod designer was named in the Queen's honour list for this year.

This is a pretty bold statement that the iPod is really an important device. Jonathan Ive, the winner of the honor, was a key designer of the iPod, along with other well known products released by Apple in the last few years.

Jonathan was part of the team that designed the original iMac, the Power book, and the Mac mini, among other beloved computers.

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Will Apple pull out the Shuffle in favor of iPod nano?

A commentator from The Street points out that it seems Apple is ready to "shed the Shuffle" out of the market.

With the news that the iPod shuffle is out of stock for a long time now (since middle of december), Apple sending a message that it is not so interested in selling the Shuffle right now.

Given the righer price margin, and the increased interest of the public in the iPod nano, it may be very possible that Apple will try to position iPod nano in the same ninche of the iPod shuffle. This is an interesting development that we need to keep in mind during the next Apple world expo in San Francisco.

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Podcast: the next revolution lead by Apple

The iPod has been the active element of the music revolution in the last few years. Thanks to the combination iPod/iTunes, it is much easier now to listen and enjoy music than in the past.

The next revolutions comes to the realm of video and TV, and is also lead by Apple. The iPod video can now be used to see not only the normal TV programs from NBC, for example, but also to have access to Podcasts, a new type of media.

As the revolution created by videos clips, leaded at the time by MTV, the Podcast is certainly going to generate a new format for video appreciation.

As reported by The Herald Democrat, Apple is extremely well positioned to take advantage of this new media revolution, compared to other companies such as Microsoft or Sony. This is without doubt a good sign for Apple customers, since it means that the investment in this technology will be well used.

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Apple Mac mini the next game console?

As the year comes to an end, it is time for the predictions for 2006. I am not a great fan of predictions in general, but I have some for the next year, as I will show in this and the next post.

My first prediction for Apple in 2006 has to do with the mac mini. Apple is a company that has always strived to create the best products for the home user. And now they are clearly starting to rip the fruits of this focus. But this also indicates that is time to go to a new level, and in my view this has everything to do with the Mac mini.

The Mac mini was launched at the beginning of this year as a cheap alternative to the more full-featured iMacs. However, I think that it will become during this year not only a smaller version of the full Macs, but also a major player in the Apple product line, with features that will make it a highly desirable home entertainment product.

First, Apple has finally in the mac mini the opportunity to be competitive, in terms of cost, as a multimedia digital hub. Also, it already has the front row technology that was launched early in the fall to the more expensive iMac G5. Now, It is easy to conclude that the mac mini integrated with front row is not so far away, and with such features it can become a clear winner as the digital hub of the future home.

Even more importantly, the mac mini has enough software and computational power to do much more than this: it can also advance over the game market, a market that Microsoft is trying so fiercely to conquer. With a new mac mini including a killer graphics board, Apple could relatively easily attract a large number of game producing companies. By doing this, Apple would be integrating into one product the chief technologies of home entertainment: video, music, and games.

If this will become true, it is difficult to guarantee. But given the high level of innovation coming from Apple, I have great hopes that they will be following a development model similar to this. I think that, combined with the recent success of other products, Apple can deliver in not so much time a mac mini that would be a killer product for 2006, as well as the iPod was for 2005.

Related articles

* 2006: the year of Wine on Mac OS X?
* Apple iTunes a Problem for Microsoft

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Apple is A in Google search

This is a quick one: somebody noticed that if you enter the letter A alone in your Google search window, Apple is the first company that shows up.

Very smart move for Apple, being the letter A company... :-))

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Apple software used to make King Kong

The great movie of the end of year season is King Kong. No surprise, therefore, that Apple is behind it with its great software. In the apple news web site you will see a complete report of how the Shake software for digital composition was used for the production of scenes for the big ape's move.

Shake has been used not only for King Kong, but for several other famous holliwood movies. For example, last year it was used again by Peter Jackson's crew to give life to Lord of the Rings.

Antivirus makes Mac OS less secure

The Mac OS X is known to be a very secure operating systems, at least compared to MS Windows. Nonetheless, antivirus companies hate this nice feature, trying to capitalize on the large number of Mac users.

Recent news, therefore, report that, instead of increasing security, Norton Anti-Virus makes Mac OS X less secure.

The source of the vunerability is a flaw in Norton's code, that has not being fixed yet. It seems to be a new headache for a program that aparently has not reason to exist. As the zdned commentator writes, "as the owner of a Powerbook I am faced with a dilemma. Do I pay AU$118.15 for a flawed 'security' application that is designed to protect me from threats that do not seem to exist; or do I take sensible precautions like keeping my computer behind a firewall and staying up to date with OS X patches?"

Friday, December 23, 2005

Apple front row in your car

The Mac mini is a great product for multimedia entertainment in your home. But do you know that you can take the mac mini (with front row) directly to your car? The car gadget blog shows how to integrate the mac mini into the car appliances.

This is a non-official setup (notice that front row is not normally available for the mac mini). However, it is not hard to reproduce, if you are able to perform changes in your car (or someone else to do it). I think this is the ultimate entertainment system to keept you alert during that long trips of the holliday season!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

iPod on more than 70 million cars

The iPod is such a huge success in the music industry that it is become the de facto standard for music devices. For the Apple competition, this means not only fighting, but also adopting many of the technologies introduced by the famous device.

The latest roud of this story comes from the auto industry. Unable to ignore the success of the iPod, most companies are introducing sound systems that are compatible with the iPod in some way. A report from the Telematic research group, as shown in the Autoblog, estimates that around 73 million cars will have iPod compatible systems installed by the end of 2011.

In the same report, it is estimated that 90 thousand cars already have sound systems compatible with the iPod. This shows the reach of the iPod mania -- your car will certainly be compatible very soon.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

iTunes adding NBC content

The news of the day is that apple announced a deal with NBC to provide a huge amount of programming for iTunes. Among the TV programs in the package are Law and Order and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Some older programs will be also available. including the classic "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". No doubt this is a great news for iPod users, which will have a much larger pool of video content to watch.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

iPod is the number one

The iPod is elected the number product in the Christmas wish list. A poll reported by cnet shows that the iPod is in the top of a list of ten gadgets that are more requested by consumers during this season.

According to the article, "the video-playback features of the newest hard-disk-based iPod add to the allure, said Brian Lucas, a manager for Best Buy's holiday campaign. `The iPod delivers in style and substance,' he said."

In second place appears the Microsoft's Xbox. However, this looks more like a dream than a shopping item, given that the Xbox is not widely available in the market.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

More content for the video iPod

The video iPod is certainly a sucess, with Apple reporting that more than 1 million videos from iTunes have been sold since its release. Despite the sucess, there are still not many video offerings other than then usual iTunes.

A company from San Diego wants to change this, however. The company, called Veoh is making available thousands of videos, ranging from cartoons to tv programs, for download for iTunes. The videos are mostly from public-domain material, but there is also some interesting things that may maintain you entertained during a boring trip. Moreover, it is always nice to have new content to play in such a great device.

Music Videos at the iTunes Music Store. Download them now for only $1.99 each.

Apple in the news

This is a blog dedicated to news about the great company of the iPods and iMacs: Apple.