According to Cnet's Brian Tong, sources have confirmed that updated models of the Mac mini and Mac Pro will come out in August. With a series of tweets on his profile Tong says the "all new" Mac minis and Mac Pros with Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt technology will be released towards the end of July or first week of August. A report from two weeks ago claimed that Apple was looking to refresh the Mac mini and Mac Pro server line-up in July, though Tong seems to believe both the consumer and server lines will receive the much anticipated CPU and Thunderbolt upgrade to follow changes in the MacBook Pros and iMacs.
Tong correctly pinpointed the changes in the 2011 iMac refresh months ago and was the first one to claim back in February that the MacBook Air family was on track for a June update. Several rumors from different publications in the past months have indicated Apple was working on new MacBook Airs with faster processors and Thunderbolt, and the most recent theories suggest the update will come out either in late June or July.
Another report from last week also claimed Apple won't release new Macs until OS X Lion comes out, and considering Lion's scheduled July release, it would make sense for Apple to put new Airs for sale (the MacBook Air is now Apple's most popular notebook) with the new OS preinstalled. In other tweets, Tong also confirms Lion will come pre-installed on new Macs this summer.
The much anticipated Back to School 2011 promotion that was initially rumored to kick off in May, and then set for an announcement at WWDC with special iPad discounts, has finally been confirmed to kick off tomorrow, June 16, with a $100 gift card to buy software and media in Apple's digital Stores. Photos posted by Italian website iPadevice [Google Translation] and MacRumors confirm that Apple has finalized work on the promotion, which will run until September 20, 2011, and will include a $100 (€75) gift card for software purchases. As Apple's gift cards can be used everywhere though (iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore), students who buy a new Mac will be able to redeem a code to use with apps, songs, movies, or books.
In the past years, Apple offered free iPods with the purchase of a new Mac as a clear sign of the company wanting to push iOS devices in the educational market -- each student would get a free iPod touch, create an Apple ID to download apps, and eventually be tied to Apple's ecosystem with other iOS devices. With the launch of the Mac App Store, however, and the upcoming OS X Lion, it appears Apple wants to heavily promote how the new Store will become the best way for Mac users to discover and buy software. In spite of the universal nature of gift cards, Apple clearly states on the promo material that $100 to spend on the Mac App Store can be used to buy Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
Several rumors in the past months indicated that Apple wasn't ready to launch a new iPhone model this summer, and the WWDC confirmed speculation of Apple focusing on software (with iOS 5, Lion, and iCloud) to save the next-generation iPhone for a Fall launch. We've already discussed why this would make sense for a number of reasons. 9to5mac is now reporting the new iPhone has reached the final "AP" testing stage, and is being carried around by high-level Apple executives. Apple is apparently also working on a deal with Verizon to launch FaceTime over 3G, something that was spotted in the first beta of iOS 5 and suggested the company was playing around with settings to enable video chat on mobile operators by the end of the year.
Although this has been assumed since the no-iPhone-at-WWDC-rumors broke, the current plan is for a September launch for the next-generation iPhone.
Apple and Verizon have yet to strike a deal regarding FaceTime over 3G for the Verizon network. Keep in mind that 3G and 4G aren’t the same thing. < Don’t read into that too much. Or maybe do.
The website has also done a little digging into the iOS 5 SDK and discovered codenames for two unreleased iPhone devices, N93 and N94. The current-gen iPhone was codenamed N90 and N92 for the GSM and CDMA variations, respectively. Considering rumors of worldphone capabilities that are floating, it's not clear why would Apple have two different iPhone models in the works, unless one of them is destined to another US carrier like T-Mobile or Sprint, as recent speculation claimed. However, it seems very clear at this point that the device will feature minor hardware changes and the same industrial design of the iPhone 4, with 9to5mac also claiming that the iPhone 5 could have the same 5 MP camera of the current generation as code strings in the SDK point out. The iPhone 5 was rumored to be set for an 8 MP upgrade from either OmniVision or Sony, though a report from last week also said Largan Precision had been contacted to provide 8 MP sensors for the next-generation iPhone.
The Apple Design Awards "recognize outstanding achievement and excellence" in apps made specifically for Apple platforms and devices. For the first time, this year's ADAs (which will be announced tonight at the WWDC 2011 in San Francisco) will award developers of applications for all iOS devices and Macs: whilst last year's edition skipped the Mac to focus on iOS, 2011 is back at full speed to celebrate great, usable, and well-designed apps available in the Mac and iOS App Stores. For the full list of 2010 ADAs winner, check out our previous coverage here.
So what's in for tonight? As you may be aware of we're not in San Francisco to attend WWDC (let's leave that to developers), but we'll be following the events as they unfold on Twitter, also thanks to a few developer friends who are actually there to enjoy the show. We will update this story with the fresh names of winning apps and devs as soon as we get them, as well as Apple's official statements about this year's ADAs once the official page gets updated later today or tomorrow.
So follow us on Twitter as @macstoriesnet, come back to this post in around 10 minutes from now, and let's wait and see who's going to grab the prizes this year at WWDC.
You can check out the full list of winners after the break.
If you've missed the WWDC 2011 keynote video (it's available for streaming and download) but you've already read all the announcements, and yet you feel like you're up for one of those funny recreations of Apple keynotes that usually pop up online a few hours after Steve Jobs has stepped off stage, this time we recommend checking out Jonathan Mann's WWDC 2011: The Musical. You may remember him as the guy who puts up a new song on YouTube every day; in fact, his popular iPhone 4 Antenna song was even featured by Apple at the "Antennagate media event" last year.
The musical edition of the WWDC 2011 keynote is four minutes long, is based off MacRumors Live event transcript and it actually manages to put the right emphasis on the major and less-exciting announcements about Lion, iCloud, and iOS 5. It's very well done, funny, entertaining. Perhaps Apple will feature it at the next WWDC opening keynote.
Check out the video below.
"Think Of iCloud As The New iTunes"
Daring Fireball's John Gruber, in a post where he details some of the iCloud features he has "heard" from sources (but doesn't state as a fact) and other personal wishes about iOS 5, doesn't describe iCloud as a new music service or "cloud services offering" -- rather, he says he's heard iCloud is something more on the lines of a full replacement for iTunes:
The italicized sentence that follows is fourth-hand information, at best, and also the sort of thing that many of you might have already guessed based merely on your own hunches and hopes. But here goes:
Don’t think of iCloud as the new MobileMe; think of iCloud as the new iTunes.
Instead of simply overhauling MobileMe with a new name, new UI, new functionalities and call it iCloud, Gruber pictures a scenario (again, based on unconfirmed sources) where iCloud becomes the de-facto standard to sync all kinds of media and information to an iOS device:
But in short let’s just think about the ways that iCloud might be a major, dare I say game-changing, step away from USB tethering between iOS devices and iTunes running on your Mac/PC. Consider just the new out-of-box experience. Rather than “Take this out, plug it into your Mac or PC (after first making sure your Mac/PC is running the latest version of iTunes), wait for it to sync before you actually play with it”, you might get something like “Take this out, turn it on, sign into your iTunes account, and start playing with it.
There's been a lot of speculation around iCloud, iOS 5 and the rumored Time Capsule refresh in the past couple of days. Whilst many had initially pegged iCloud as a standalone music service with streaming features, others later claimed iCloud would be a rebranding of the existing MobileMe service, accommodating options previously reserved to me.com subscribers and new features like music, movie and TV show storage and streaming. A new option surfaced in the iTunes Store earlier this week suggested iOS devices would soon get the possibility to receive automatic app updates, and indeed over-the-air sync of applications and media has long been rumored as a major functionality coming to iOS.
WWDC 2011 starts in two days, and all of us have our own hopes to be crushed, wishes to be granted, and features to drool over once we finally see Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud in action. We've all got something we want most out of the upcoming announcements, whether it be iOS compatibility with AirDrop, or seamless iOS updates through iOS 5, and we've decided to publish our wants from Apple's big three for your viewing pleasure. In return, we expect you guys to tell us in the comments what you want to see on Monday. In the meantime, we'll get the ball rolling! Read more
According to the release notes of the latest build of Mac OS X 10.6.8 seeded to developers on Friday, the upcoming upgrade will contain improvements for Preview, VPN and IPv6, but more importantly it will make changes to the Mac App Store application in order to get it ready for Lion's digital distribution this summer. As noted by 9to5mac, the installer of build 10K531 reports 10.6.8 will "enhance the Mac App Store to get your Mac ready to upgrade to Mac OS X Lion", as well as "identify and remove known variants of Mac Defender." Last week, Apple indeed updated a support document related to the Mac Defender malware promising that "in the coming days" a Mac OS X software update would be released to automatically find and remove Mac Defender and its known variants. At this point, it appears Apple is getting ready to release Mac OS X 10.6.8 relatively soon, perhaps even ahead of the WWDC that kicks off on June 6.
As for Lion's release, latest rumors indicated that after widespread internal testing Apple could release the OS sooner than initially expected -- not in July or August, maybe at the WWDC. A WWDC release, however, would appear strange considering Lion Developer Preview 3 still has several bugs to fix and a GM build hasn't been seeded yet. Apple is undoubtedly "enhancing" the Mac App Store's underlying code to make the transition to Lion easier and the download process as smooth as possible, though it seems likely that the company will also sell boxed copies (DVDs or portable USB keys, as many suggested) for those users unable to download gigabytes of data from the App Store.
Evernote, the digital capture tool that allows you to save anything from the web and access it from a variety of devices and computers including iPhones and Macs, announced earlier today an updated version of the popular Chrome extension that, following the recent interface changes to the iPhone app, offers a more elegant way to clip content from webpages and have it synchronized with your Evernote account.
The new extension, available here, packs a whole new UI with slick buttons and text entry fields for quick tag and note input, but more importantly adds a new Article Clip feature that, with just one click on the browser's toolbar, automatically selects the main content of an article to save it as full-text in Evernote. The extension worked perfectly with all the blogs I've visited today, and the new extension window makes it easy to edit the title, tags, notes and notebook. If you feel like you don't want to clip the whole article, but only a portion, the extension is also capable of recognizing a selection and enable you to switch between that and the full article from a dropdown menu. The same menu is also being used to only clip a page's direct URL, if you prefer to bookmark stuff, rather than archive it as a text document. Read more