Apple iPad Mini — it’s real, and it has a new design | Apple – CNET News
iPad Mini: $329, 7.9-inch screen (hands-on) | CNet
There has been the rumours occurring on the IT blogs about Apple coming up with a small “iPad Mini” device. This is although nearly every company who manufactures Android tablets is running at least one 7” model that can you can stuff in to your overcoat pocket as part of the range.
Now Apple has answered the competitors with a 7” iOS-based device in the form of the iPad Mini. Of course there will still be the price premium associated with Apple devices and these will have storage starting from 16Gb and also having LTE connectivity as a product option. The iPad Mini will also be running iOS 6 as its operating platform.
What I see of this is that if you are buying a tablet computer, you have the ability to choose either an Android tablet or an Apple iPad. But you also have the choice of either a large 10” slate that you can rest on your knee while lounging on the couch or rest on the table; or a small 7” variety that you can comfortably stuff in to your handbag or coat pocket and bring out whenever you are out and about.
I am not writing this as an Apple fanboi would by suggesting that you go and buy the iPad Mini as the preferred 7” slate but am seeing this more as Apple at last offering this device size for their iOS products.
Print This Post
Pressure-Sensitive Bluetooth 4.0 Stylus Coming to iPad#xtor=RSS-181#xtor=RSS-181#xtor=RSS-181#xtor=RSS-181
The Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Ready ability that the Apple iPad has now is being considered of use. Here, Ten One Design have introduced a pressure-sensitive stylus that works with this touchscreen tablet and turns it in to a digitizer. This has the ability to increase the thickness and darkness of a line as you add pressure to the stylus in a similar vein to the real pen or pencil
Six of the iOS drawing apps provide inherent support for this stylus with more on the way. Here, the developers would have to integrate the functionality for this device in their software to have it work. As well, it would require you to work with the files being held on your iPad.
But, with appropriate bridging apps for the iOS platform and the MacOS X and Windows regular computing platforms, this could make it feasible for an iPad that is tethered to a regular computer to become an improved version of one of those “digitizers” or “graphics tablets”. These devices had a tablet surface and a stylus so you could trace hand-drawn graphics or do freehand drawing in to a graphics program. In some cases, these tablets also were a command surface for some CAD programs where you entered drawing commands by “picking” them using the stylus.
Here, the combination of an always-updatable touchscreen display could allow for a variety of options for this class of work. For example, it could permit the direct edit of work on the iPad while using the main screen as an overview display. This could include freehand digitizing and drawing with the iPad providing a natural “paper” feedback and the work appearing on the graphics program.
Similarly, a CAD / CAM program could benefit from turning the iPad in to a “tabbed” command tablet with the stylus being used to “pick” the commands.
Here, the idea of a Bluetooth stylus or, in some cases, a “puck” could make the iOS or Android tablet earn its keep in the CAD or graphics-design office rather than just as a tool for media consumption.
Print This Post
A look at Apple’s Flashback removal tool | MacFixIt – CNET Reviews
Apple releases fix for Flashback malware | Engadget
Java Update for MacOS 10.6
Java for MacOS Lion
Apple has reacted to the groundswell of concern about the recent Flashback malware and have issued updates to its Java runtime environment for both MacOS Snow Leopard and Lion.
Here, they have implemented a check-and-remove routine for this Trojan as part of the installation routine for the new Java runtime environment. For most Macintosh users, this will simplify the process of removing any existence of this malware as well as keeping this runtime environment up-to-date.
The CNET article also gave a detailed review of what goes on as well as how to fix situations if the installation takes too long and the procedure hangs. As I have posted previously, Apple could improve on the issue of providing system maintenance and desktop security software so that Mac users can keep these systems in good order.
Print This Post
Initially when I heard that Steve Jobs was to permanently resign from Apple due to ill-health, I thought it was simply retirement from one of the pillar companies of the personal-computing age.
Now, the man responsible for the Macintosh computing platform which commercialised and legitimised the “WIMP” (windows, icons, mouse, pointer) user-interface style and the iPhone and iPad devices which also did the same for touchscreen computing, has now passed away.
Many will remember his style of commercialising these technologies through a vertically-integrated method which requires the use of Apple products and services for full benefit, but this let the competitors implement systems that implemented these usage metaphors on their own platforms.
This was all from him and Steve Wozniak turning the proceeds from selling that VW Bus (Kombi-van) into capital for the Apple company. Here, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak worked on the development of the Apple II which became one of the beacons of the personal-computing age in the late 1970s.
A lot of commentators had said that Steve Jobs, through his efforts at Apple with the Apple II, the Macintosh and the iPhone and iPad devices had personalised computing. I have observed this through the demonstration software that came with Apple II computers in the 1980s, the boot sequence that was used in all the incarnations of the Macintosh platform and the design of computing products from the iMac onwards.
Whether its through the evolution of a computing technology or the passing of one of the people who influenced the direction of personal computing and communications; I would see this simply as a milestone to the connected lifestyle.
Print This Post
Steve Jobs resigns as Apple Chief Executive | SmartCompany.com.au
Steve Jobs steps down from Apple | CNet
Steve Jobs quits as Apple CEO | The Age (Australia)
There has been a lot of press about Steve Jobs intending to resign from Apple’s chief-executive position due to ill health. Now it had to happen that he is resigning. He is still able to maintain his position in Apple’s board of directors, both as a director and as the chairman of the board.
I see it as something that had to happen for another of personal-computing’s “old dogs”. These are the people who had founded companies that had been very instrumental to the development and marketing of commercially-viable personal computers. A few years ago, Bill Gates had resigned from Microsoft which he had founded.
This is more about a “change of the guard” at the top of these “pillar companies” as the technology behind these computers leads to highly-capable equipment for the home and business. This includes affordable mobile tablet computers that are operated by one’s touch and the smartphone which becomes a “jack of all trades”, working as a phone, personal stereo, handheld email terminal, handheld Web browser and more.
It is so easy to cast doubt over a company once a figurehead relinquishes the reins but I have seem may companies keep their same spirit alive and continue demonstrating their prowess at their core competencies.
As well, even though people may criticise him for how he manages the iTunes App Store and the Apple platforms, as in keeping them closed, Steve Jobs and Apple are in essence milestones to the connected lifestyle.
Print This Post
Apple v Samsung just the tip of the iceberg
What the Apple v Samsung court case that is being litigated around many countries in the world is about is the attempt by manufacturers to patent the style or operation interface for classes of manufactured goods, i.e. tablet computers and smartphones.
A manufacturer may work out the style for a particular class of manufactured goods or determine a user interface that is going to be the way this class of goods will be operated. But do they need to patent this style or user interface and chase down to sue other manufacturers who implement this user interface or style.
Established design practices that I have observed
In the case of how manufactured goods are styled, I have seen a large number of device classes that have a very common style and user-interface in place. Take for example, Henry Ford who determined the layout and role of the pedals in a car with the clutch on the left, brake in the centre and accelerator (gas pedal) on the right. This was gradually implemented by other vehicle builders in the early days of the car and became the standard for foot control in the car. Here, you didn’t need to relearn vehicle-control skills and practices just to suit particular manufacturers’ vehicles. For a tablet computer, the multi-touch operating procedures like the “pinch-to-zoom” procedure are really about achieving a consistent user interface. For Apple to patent the multi-touch interface is utter nonsense.
Similarly, there have been devices that used the same or similar industrial design, usually with a few variations. A common example are the interlocking rim deadbolts used in the USA and Australia. A lot of these units have a very common styling, with the turn-knob being the only part that differs between manufacturers in most cases. There have also been the earlier “IBM clone” computers with a system box and monitor styled like the original IBM equipment. In one example the “clone” monitor had a third “on-off” knob as well as the brightness and contrast knobs that were part of IBM’s design. Of course the monitor had the same fascia as the IBM design.
I often find that the use of common designs or user interfaces can work to gain increased acceptance of the device class, while the manufacturers take tome to work on a unique industrial design or different features.
The Samsung Galaxy S smartphone – is it the same as the iPhone 3GS?
I don’t see the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, which I own, as being a copy of the Apple iPhone 3GS. The differences that I would notice include the installation of the headphone and microUSB jacks on the top edge of the phone, a removeable back to gain access to the microSD card, USIM card and battery as well as two extra touch-buttons at the bottom of the screen that are part of the Android user interface.
A person may think that this phone is an iPhone clone due to the use of the black bezel around the display, a hardware “home” button and a faux-chrome strip around the phone’s edge. This would be more so when the phone is in a hibernation state. Similarly, a “swipe to unlock” user interface which may use different prompt graphics to Apple’s “slide-switch” graphic may still be considered as mimicking Apple’s user interface.
Ramifications of this legal battle
I would suspect that if Apple wins the legal battle on user-interface grounds, it could affect all touchscreen computing applications, whether with a smartphone, tablet computer or even touchscreen implementations in regular computing devices. This could even go as far as Microsoft’s touchscreen computing table or dynamic whiteboards that allow touch interactivity.
It may also affect the abovementioned design practice associated with implementing similar industrial designs in most manufactured goods or the user interface in computer software. It would be more so with the positioning or styling of visual cues in these designs and can even affect how buildings or interiors are styled in case they cross over a brand’s territory.
This issue of using patents to protect the style or user-interface of a manufactured device or computer program shouldn’t be used to stifle the creation of competitive devices and the exploitation of the technology. The concept of patents should be more about providing a way of exploiting the protected technology in a competitive manner but with proper attribution.
Print This Post
When Apple launched the “Snow Leopard” version of the MacOS X platform, there were initial doubts expressed in the computing press about Apple Macintosh users upgrading their existing equipment to this newer platform. The doubts that were expressed were primarily directed at the operating system not exposing new functionality at the user interface. This was because a lot of the work was done “under the hood” through a code rebuild for the Intel processors.
Over the past two years that I have seen MacOS X “Snow Leopard” in the field; I have talked with various Macintosh users about how their computer has fared under it. There have been some users who have bought it pre-installed on a new Macintosh-platform computer or have upgraded their existing Mac to this platform. Remarks I have heard included relative performance improvement as well as a reduction in the disk space required for the operating system compared to prior versions of the MacOS X platform.
This year sees the imminent release of the “Lion” version of this same platform, where there has been a lot of key changes and improvements made to the operating system. Examples of these functionality improvements included: enabling the Macintosh platform for touchscreen use, the implementation of “full-screen” operation for Macintosh applications without the need to have the Apple Menu Bar in view all the time; a multi-window view of all the currently-running programs; an iOS-style icon screen for all the programs installed on the Mac as well as the previously-mentioned iTunes App Store for the Macintosh.
What it seems like for me is that Apple have decided to take the job of improving the Macintosh platform in to two stages; the first one being primarily an “under-the-hood” effort which culminated with “Snow Leopard” and the second one with all the user-visible improvements culminating with “Lion”.
If you intend to upgrade your Macintosh to the “Lion” version, you will need to make sure it is based on an Intel Core-based or Xeon-based processor which means most relatively-recent Macs; and runs the latest version of “Snow Leopard”. The upgrade will be available as an electronic download available at the App Store for US$29.99 and downloads straight to your Mac.
Print This Post
Mac App Store launching in January sans Game Center and in-app purchases? | Engadget
At the moment, Apple Macintosh users can buy software in a packaged form from any store that sells software for this platform. As well, they can download software from various Websites, including the developers’ own Websites and run this software on their computers.
Now Apple is introducing the Mac App Store as an extension of the iTunes App Store that is the only way to get extra software for any iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad) for the Macintosh desktop. The main question I have about this is whether this App Store will exist simply as another storefront for MacOS X software where such software can be purchased with the iTunes gift cards or a regular credit card or as a move by Apple to make this storefront the only way for MacOS X users to add software to their computers?
There has been controversy about the App Store in relation to the iOS platform over the last few years because it allowed Apple to have greater control over the software that could run on that platform. Situations that came about included outlawing Adobe Flash on the iOS platform and prohibiting the supply of software that Steve Jobs didn’t see fit like Wi-Fi site-survey tools for example. I had talked with some friends of mine who were regular Mac users and they feared that if Apple set up the App Store on the Macintosh platform, it could become the start of a situation where you can’t load applications on a Mac unless they came through the App Store.
What I would like to see of the Mac App Store is that it exists as another storefront and “download city” for Macintosh-platform software and that MacOS developers can maintain their own sites and distribution channels for such software. It should then keep the Macintosh platform a flexible desktop-computing platform with the expectations of this class of platform rather than a desktop version of the Apple iOS embedded-computing platform.
Print This Post
Apple unveils the iPad | The Age (Australia)
Apple’s iPad: It’s Real, and It’s $499 | Internetnews.com
iPad d’Apple : magique et révolutionnaire ? | DegroupNews (France – French Language)
From the horse’s mouth
Apple’s iPad Website
My comments about the Apple iPad and Apple’s current direction
Over the past few months, there was a lot of talk about Apple releasing a “slate” computer. This was both in the computer press and amongst computer enthusiasts, including Apple Macintosh users. Most of the suspicions included tight hardware and software integration, including where you can purchase the software from as well as the form factor. Apple was positioning the iPad as an intermediary computing device between their iPhone / iPod Touch platform and the Macintosh computers, especially the MacBook Pro laptops. One Apple enthusiast that I know of was considering deploying it as a “simple computing device” for his mother to use when writing e-mails and doing similar activities,
Now that the Apple iPad is on the scene, I have noticed that most of these suspicions are real. For example, the computer is a larger version of the iPhone or iPod Touch and operates in the same manner as these devices. Like most Apple products, it will only work with a limited Apple-approved ecosystem of accessories like an “iPad desk stand” and an “iPad keyboard stand”. As well, the user won’t be able to replace anything in the computer, which will lead to the computer having to go to an Apple-approved repairer if the battery habitually fails to keep its charge for example.
As for software, you will need to go to the Apple iTunes empire to buy apps, music, video or “iBooks” which are Apple’s e-books. I was skimming through the CNET liveblog and they reckoned that there were many credit cards associated with the iTunes empire due to the many iPods and iPhones out in circulation. Apple had even ported their “iWork” productivity suite to this platform and made the individual pieces – the Keynote presentation program, the Pages word-processing program and the Numbers spreadsheet program – available as individual apps or as a package through the App Store. The plethora of existing iPhone apps – an app for every part of your life – can work “out of the box” with this device, but Apple had revised the SDK to allow App Store developers to design the app to work in a “best-case” manner with either the iPad or the iPhone. This may happen more so if the developer revises the app as part of upgrading it.
These facts about the hardware and software availability have had a few Apple enthusiasts that I know of worried that Apple was becoming a “dark emplre” – a monopolistic monolith of a company – in a similar manner to what Microsoft was accused of becoming with the Windows platform. Some of these enthusiasts were even considering moving to other platforms like Windows or Linux. No mater what, there will still be the Apple enthusiasts who will prefer that their iT solution in their life has that Apple logo on it.
I also reckon that government bodies like the European Commission and the US Department Of Justice weren’t seeing the recent iTunes-iPod-iPhone-driven anticompetitive behaviour that Apple was showing in an “anti-trust” light, yet they see Microsoft as being anticompetitive with its integration of Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player in to the Windows platform.
The iPad works on an A4 processor which is optimised for this kind of computing and uses the same touch-screen and accelerometer-driven input as the iPhone. It uses a larger QWERTY software keypad for text entry but you will have to use the aforementioned keyboard stand which has a “chiclet” keyboard if you want to use a hardware keyboard/
There will be two levels of connectivity available for the computer – one with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth and one with 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G wireless broadband. The latter version will most likely be available through the iPhone dealers. most likely as a subsidised device that is part of a 3G wireless-broadband contract. In the US, this would be with AT&T as they are Apple’s US partner. Each level of connectivity will have the standard memory levels that are available with the iPod Touch – 16Gb, 32Gb and 64Gb.
This unit will integrate in to a home network in a similar manner to how the iPhone and iPod Touch integrated in to such networks. This means that it will work with any 802.11g or 802.11n segment, but may not offer native support for UPnP Internet Gateway Device management. The iTunes software will be optimised to work with other Apple devices, but you can use iPhone apps like PlugPlayer to integrate this unit with a DLNA-based home media network.
Whatever way, I reckon that the iPad may build up a class of “internet tablet” devices from the main platforms and make basic computing and Internet-access tasks easier for most people.
Print This Post
When Apple launched the “Snow Leopard” version of MacOS X, they dropped software support for the legacy AppleTalk direct-connect printing protocol and its LocalTalk network printing protocol. This is part of Apple moving towards the use of common application protocols in the Macintosh operating system,
Some Macintosh users use classic printers that they consider as being “worth their salt” and also notice that there is plenty of mileage left in these machines. They are usually less likely to upgrade any of these machines for newer equipment and want to keep them going. A lot of these printers have often been set up to work with the AppleTalk or LocalTalk protocols and most of their users will be wondering how to get them going again.
Use of alternative connections
You may have to use alternative connections for connecting your printer to your Snow Leopard Macintosh or home network.
One method would be to connect the printer to your Mac using a USB cable or, in the case of older printers that use a parallel port, a USB-parallel adaptor cable. These can be obtained from most computer stores or computer markets for a very low price.
Another method would be to connect the printer to the network if it has an Ethernet port and have it print using LPR/LPD or IPP network-printing protocols. This also applies to those printers that use LocalTalk as a network printing protocol. Usually this involves using the printer’s user interface to set the printer to use a fixed IP address on your network and enabling support for LPR/LPD, SMB/CIFS (Windows) or IPP protocols.
Use of a print server device
You may be able to share the printer through a print server, whether as a dedicated device or an older not-so-powerful computer running an older version of the Macintosh operating system or another operating system like Windows or Linux, as an LPR/LPD, SMB/CIFS or IPP printer. Infact, some routers and network-attached storage devices made by various third-party manufacturers have a USB connection and are capable of working as LPR/LPD or IPP print servers.
If you use a computer to share a printer, the printer-sharing software will have to be set up to share the printer on the LPR/LPD, SMB/CIFS (Windows) or IPP protocols.
When you set up your Snow Leopard client machine, you will have to set the “Print Using” option to point to the driver that matches your printer. In some cases, you may have to track down a newer driver that can work on either Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard.
How To Resurrect Your AppleTalk Printer In Snow Leopard – The Apple Blog
AppleTalk & Snow Leopard – Apple Support Discussions
Determining the IP Address in your HP LaserJet – Hewlett Packard Support
Print This Post