Just over a month ago, Horace Dediu of Asymco penned an article entitled ‘Does S stand for Spring’ in which he hypothesised that perhaps Apple might be moving to a biannual (twice-yearly) release cycle for the iPhone and iPad. Over the past month I’ve gone back to read Dediu’s hypothesis as news articles and analyst opinions surfaced and I did some analysis of Apple myself. It’s got to the point that I really think Dediu’s hypothesis has got real potential to become reality. So I decided to take some time to present Dediu’s evidence in a slightly different way, elaborating on some of his evidence and hopefully add to the discussion. But if you haven’t read the Asymco article yet, I’d highly recommend you do so before proceeding:
Apple Airs New iPhone 5 Commercial: “Music Every Day”
Apple Confirms WWDC Keynote on June 10
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Keyboard Maestro 6.0 Adds Syncing, Browser Actions, Device Triggers, And More
TextExpander Touch 2.0 Brings Fill-In Snippets, Formatted Text To iOS
With a press release published this morning, Apple confirmed the availability of the iPhone 5 in over 50 countries this December. The iPhone 5 will be released on December 7 in South Korea, and more additional countries — including Brazil and Russia — will be added later this month. Currently, the iPhone 5 is available in 47 countries. (more…)
Apple today released iOS 5, a major update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that adds over 200 new user features including Notification Center, iMessage, iCloud support and PC Free. iOS 5 is now available for download in iTunes; to install the new software on your iOS device, connect it to iTunes via USB and “Check for Updates” in the device’s info screen.
Originally previewed and seeded to developers at WWDC in June, iOS 5 is a major update that enables developers to implement thousands of new APIs to take advantage of Apple’s latest technologies in their apps. Apple has already started approving third-party apps built for iOS 5, with several of them available in the App Store today. iOS 5 introduces new functionalities like Notification Center, a new systemwide interface for keeping track of missed notifications; iMessage, a free text messaging solution for iOS 5 users; Twitter integration built into Safari, Photos, YouTube and Maps; iCloud, a new cloud service that automatically stores your content and wirelessly pushes it to all your devices, including Macs and PCs. iCloud, expected to roll out today as well, will allow users to keep their contacts, calendars, bookmarks, mail, notes and more in sync across multiple devices; the service is integrated into iOS apps and comes with a web counterpart available at iCloud.com.
Other features of iOS 5 include Mail and Safari improvements, a new camera button in the Lock Screen, AirPlay Mirroring to an Apple TV and a systemwide split keyboard to make it easier to type on the iPad.
For a complete overview of the new features of iOS 5, iCloud and editorial pieces on today’s software updates, visit this page on MacStories.
iOS 5 direct download links:
Earlier this year at CES, Boxee announced it was developing an iPad companion app to complement the Boxee Box and Boxee installations on PC’s and Macs. Today Boxee has finally delivered and released their iPad app after postponing the initial release date from May.
The main screen of the Boxee iPad app will remind many of the familiar Boxee experience with three streams of videos shown, one is a collection of videos from friends, another is the featured video feed and the last is a stream of videos that you have selected to ‘Watch Later’. Beyond this however, the Boxee iPad app has some more interesting features including what Boxee has dubbed ‘PC to iPad’ and ‘Send to TV’. The former allows any PC/Mac to stream videos directly to the iPad without any syncing or converting (similar to Air Video or Plex) – this feature is enabled with the new Boxee Media Manager which is a lightweight app that allows the streaming from PCs and Macs.
The ‘Send to TV’ functionality incorporates the ability for the iPad to stream video directly to a Boxee Box. What is even cooler is that the Boxee Box (which is also receiving an update from today) now includes an experimental feature where it can now receive AirPlay streams from any iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch – just like an Apple TV can.
You can download Boxee’s iPad app for free on the App Store. Jump the break for the release notes of Boxee for iPad and for a selection of screenshots.
In recent weeks there have been rumors that the iPhone 5 will debut in late September – that timeframe sounded more likely than previous rumors of an August launch. But according to AllThingsD, the iPhone 5 will actually be an “October surprise”.
Claiming to have a source “familiar with Apple’s plans”, AllThingsD claims that any AT&T employee blackout during the last two weeks of September is unrelated to an iPhone launch. However despite citing October, the source declined to offer a specific date of launch – other sources of AllThingsD claim that the launch date would be later in October.
Last month DigiTimes reported that the iPhone 5 supply chain was ramping up for production runs in August for a late September unveiling and October launch to market – in line with today’s AllThingsD report. General rumors of the iPhone 5 have been suggesting an A5 processor, Qualcomm dual-mode GSM/CDMA baseband and an 8 MP camera.
Following the refresh of the MacBook Air, Apple has today also released new Mac Mini models. As is standard for this year’s Mac refreshes, the Mac Mini now comes with the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt ports. Interestingly there is no optical drive in the Mini anymore.
Mac mini is designed without an optical disc drive. Because these days, you don’t need one. It’s easier than ever to download music and movies from the iTunes Store. And you can download apps from the Mac App Store with a click. So what did we do with all the extra space? We squeezed in more powerful processors, advanced graphics, and Thunderbolt technology.
There will be two standard models available for the average consumer as well as one server model. The base model will come with a 2.3 GHz i5 processor, 2 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive for just $599. The second model increases the processor clock to 2.5 GHz and doubles the RAM to 4GB – keeping the hard drive at 500 GB and costs $799. There is also an updated server model for $999 which has a 2.0 GHz quad-core i7 with 4 GB RAM and dual 750 GB hard drives.
Jump the break for more details and Apple’s press release on the new models.
Eventually, after literally months of rumors, Apple has today unveiled a refreshed line of MacBook Airs. As expected the new models come with the new Thunderbolt I/O port that made its way onto the MacBook and iMac earlier this year. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors also power the new MacBook Airs with a mixture of i5 and i7 processor options depending on the model you choose. Lion, which has been released just a few minutes ago also comes pre-installed on the new models. All new models also come with a built-in backlit keyboard.
The base MacBook Air Model features the same 11.6” display and comes with a 1.6 GHz i5 processor, 2 GB of RAM and 64 GB of flash storage for the same price of $999. The more expensive 11.6” model sees an increase in RAM to 4 GB and storage to 128 GB for $1,199.
The 13.3” variety of the MacBook Air also has two standard models; the first comes with a 1.7 GHz processor, 4 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage for $1,299. The more expensive model simply bumps up the storage to 256 GB for $1,599. Built to order versions can be maxed out with a 1.8 GHz i7 processor, 4 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage. The 13″ model also now includes an SD card slot.
“Portable, affordable and powerful, MacBook Air is the ultimate everyday notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “MacBook Air features our most advanced technology and is an ideal match for Lion, especially with its new Multi-Touch gestures, full-screen apps, Mission Control and Mac App Store.”
Jump the break for more details and Apple’s full press release.
As widely expected, Apple released the next major version of OS X, Lion, on the Mac App Store today. The new OS is now available at $29.99 as digital-only download and is propagating through all the international App Stores at the moment of writing this.
Lion is a major upgrade to Apple’s desktop OS that introduces over 250 new features and blends several typical desktop UI elements with design concepts and implementations first explored on the iPhone and iPad. Indeed, at the “Back to the Mac” event in October 2010, Apple described Lion as “OS X meets the iPad”. The Launchpad, for example, is a new way to install, organize and launch apps that’s heavily inspired by iOS’ Springboard, which lays out app icons in a grid against a default background with possibility of creating, moving, and deleting folders. Mission Control, a new way to manage app windows, combines the best elements of Snow Leopard’s Exposè and Spaces to create a new experience that unifies windows, desktops and full-screen apps in a single, easy to use interface. Lion brings hundreds of changes and subtle refinements, most of them delightfully added throughout the whole operating system in apps like iChat and System Preferences, others immediately visible like “All My Files” and “AirDrop”, two new Finder features to browse all documents and share files locally with others, respectively.
Lion brings new functionalities and APIs that should make users and developers alike excited to try out the new OS. For instance, developers can enable the new Automatic Termination and Resume APIs in their applications to make sure the “state” of an app is always saved upon quitting, and resumed on the next OS boot or app launch. This behavior can be reversed, but it’s enabled by default to put the emphasis on an operating system capable of saving your work and “app state” without you even thinking about it — app state means anything from open windows to position on screen and mouse cursor. Similarly, the new Auto Save when combined with Lion’s Versions will allow you to never worry about “saving” a document again, and have the OS perform continuos versioning in the background that you can access from a new Time Machine-like UI. Versions allow you to restore a document’s previous changes and edits from any point in time since you first created it.
Lion is a milestone in Apple’s desktop OS history, and we’ll have a complete review, as well as a detailed installation guide, in a few minutes on our site’s homepage.
Update: In the official press release, also embedded below, Apple confirms that Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive at $69 for users without broadband access.
Mac OS X Lion is available as an upgrade to Mac OS X version 10.6.6 Snow Leopard® from the Mac App Store for $29.99 (US). Lion is the easiest OS X upgrade and at around 4GB, it is about the size of an HD movie from the iTunes Store®. Users who do not have broadband access at home, work or school can download Lion at Apple retail stores and later this August, Lion will be made available on a USB thumb drive through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com) for $69 (US). Mac OS X Lion Server requires Lion and is available from the Mac App Store for $49.99 (US).
After a number of months in Aurora and Beta testing, the public release of Firefox 5 is expected to come sometime today, but ahead of schedule the downloads are already available now for all platforms.
Although the Firefox page has not yet been updated, notable new features in Firefox 5 include improved support for HTML5, MathML, XHR, more support for CSS animation, a ‘do not track’ option in the privacy pane and general speed and perfomance gains. There is also improved sync support, better add-on updates and improved spell checking for many languages.
Update – Federico Viticci 5 PM GMT +1: Mozilla has announced the official release of Firefox 5, the first browser to enable the “Do not track” feature on multiple platforms. A full list of detailed changes to the browser can be viewed here.
The latest version of Firefox includes more than 1,000 improvements and performance enhancements that make it easier to discover and use all of the innovative features in Firefox. This release adds support for more modern Web technologies that make it easier for developers to build amazing Firefox Add-ons, Web applications and websites.
Here’s a direct link to Firefox 5.0 for Mac.