The end of the iPod era

Great piece over at Wired by Jim Merithew about the end of the iPod Classic.

On Death and iPods: A Requiem

While renting content is great and we can all say we’ve gained from the experience, we also must recognize what we’ve lost.

-ED

Coming Soon: Siri/Shazam Integration

For those of you using the latest version of iTunes you may have noticed there’s a new feature on the Wish List drop-down. In addition to your Wish List, Previews, and songs recently played on iTunes radio there is a new option called Siri.

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 2.28.47 PM

When you choose this option it says “You don’t have any tagged songs”. Today Siri cannot tag songs, which means this has to be part of the Siri/Shazam iOS 8 integration. I would assume that once you tag a song using Siri it will show up in this list. Looks like I’ll have to wait until sometime next week to actually try this out.

Apple’s iPhone Event – 2014 Edition

All right it’s that time again. Here’s the rumor mill for this one:

  1. 4.7 inch iPhone
  2. 5.5 inch iPhone
  3. 4 inch iPhone (this isn’t really a rumor, but more of an observation. The 5C will move down to the “free” position)
    1. Side-note: This means that the 30-pin connector is finally retired on iPhones. (It would be retired completely if it weren’t for the iPod Classic)
  4. Unveiling of the iWatch (expected to ship next year)
  5. Mobile payments via Passbook.
  6. NFC on the new iPhones to go with mobile payments. (I’ll go out on a limb and bet that if one phone has NFC all 3 models will.)

Here are a couple of things we still don’t know:

  1. What will the camera resolution be?
  2. What will the screen resolution be?
  3. How much will the 5.5 inch model cost?
  4. Anything about the iWatch…

In less than 24 hours we’ll know which rumors were true, and which were bogus.

-ED

Convergence iOS and Mac OS X

Apple’s Yosemite Design Page

I’ve been reading a bit about iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. The more I read about it the more it seems that eventually these systems will converge. If you look at the last couple of years it becomes apparent that next year will be a big year for OS X. iOS 7 was a completely redesigned OS from a user experience perspective. It wasn’t until iOS 8 that they were able to vastly change the underpinnings of the OS. I expect Yosemite to be the Mac’s iOS 7. I think next year will be interesting when Apple releases 10.11.

And we have a tagline…. Now it goes to 11. :-)

-ED

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Now that the WWDC keynote has ended let’s take a look back at the rumors and see what came to pass. Just to recap here were the rumors that we were seeing.

  1. Updated Music app with the ability to play 24bit audio tracks.
  2. New ear pods to listen to the enhanced audio.
  3. New lightning connector. Source: BGR
  4. Multi-tasking on the iPad. Source: Multiple
  5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps. Source: Multiple
  6. Addition of Preview app for PDF files. Source: Multiple
  7. Addition of TextEdit app for text files. Source: Multiple
  8. Tips app that provides tips on how to use the OS. Source: Multiple
  9. Shazam support for Siri. Source: Multiple
  10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three. Source: Multiple
  11. Wireless version of CarPlay. Source: Multiple
  12. Late Addition: Home automation

Here’s the rumor scorecard:

Not True:
1. Updated Music app with the ability to play 24bit audio tracks.
2. New ear pods to listen to the enhanced audio.
3. New lightning connector.
6. Addition of Preview app for PDF files.
7. Addition of TextEdit app for text files.
8. Tips app that provides tips on how to use the OS.

True:
5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps.
9. Shazam support for Siri.
10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three.
12. Home Automation

No Mention:
4. Multi-tasking on the iPad.
11. Wireless version of CarPlay

That’s a 33% success rate. Not too good if you’re an odds maker.

-ED

 

 

iOS8 Rumors – Scorecard

Almost there… WWDC 2014

In less than 24 hours we’ll know what the next year holds for Apple and likely most of technology. Apple’s announcements tomorrow will likely set the pace for the tech industry for the rest of the year.

While I was able to mostly avoid the rumor sites some things did spill over into mainstream news. It appears that the Beats deal was true and Apple has confirmed they bought Beats for 3 billion dollars. I for one am glad to see that they did the deal, but I’ll save that for another post.

Overall I haven’t heard about too many rumors. One of the few that I need to add to my previous post is the addition of home automation. I highly doubt this one will come to pass. If it’s true then it’s a shame that Google bought Nest. Nest would have fit nicely into Apple’s portfolio.

Let the countdown begin..

-ED

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Going Dark

I’m going to attempt to stay off the rumor mill for the next few days. Maybe I’ll actually be surprised by something at WWDC. We shall see.

iOS 8 Rumors

Here’s a few of the rumors we’re likely to see with iOS 8 at WWDC:

  1. Updated Music app with the ability to play 24bit audio tracks.
  2. New ear pods to listen to the enhanced audio.
  3. New lightning connector. Source: BGR
  4. Multi-tasking on the iPad. Source: Multiple
  5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps. Source: Multiple
  6. Addition of Preview app for PDF files. Source: Multiple
  7. Addition of TextEdit app for text files. Source: Multiple
  8. Tips app that provides tips on how to use the OS. Source: Multiple
  9. Shazam support for Siri. Source: Multiple
  10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three. Source: Multiple
  11. Wireless version of CarPlay. Source: Multiple

 

Out of the 11 items above I seriously doubt we’ll see six, seven and eight. They just don’t seem to make sense on iOS. I also highly doubt we’ll see number one right now. It might be something that’s released in September, but not now. Ditto for number two. Number three strikes me the strangest of the group. The cable is only two years old, I doubt they will make any changes to it. If they do I bet they will make the cables more robust, or modify the connector so that it is less likely to degrade. There have been reports that people have been having issues with the contacts on the lighting connectors failing.

With those out of the way let’s discuss what will probably happen.

Number 4 might happen. It seems like a good transition from the PC era to the post-pc era. If the iPad is truly a replacement for the PC then it will need to have some form of multi-tasking.

Number 5 is also likely to happen, but it may not be announced at WWDC. More likely than not it will be announced when Apple unveils the iWatch, or whatever they’re going to call it. I will also go on record as stating that the iWatch is actually the next generation of the Nike Fuelband. I believe that Apple and Nike have come to an agreement and Nike will be the de facto fitness division for Apple.

The Shazam integration with Siri also seems to make sense. It fits with the other types of integrations we’ve seen to date with Siri. Instead of an open api we have vetted partners that agree to integrate with the service. This controls the experience and in Apple’s opinion creates a better experience.

The redesigned notifications center also makes sense if for no other reason than the fact that no one understand the difference between the three tabs that are currently present. We have the Today tab that tells me my appointments, stocks and weather. We have the All tab that shows me my notifications and what I missed. We have the Missed tab that usually shows me nothing because I already saw the notification somewhere else. (most likely on the All tab). I for one think this will be a welcome change.

Finally there’s the wireless version of CarPlay. I just recently got a new Ford Focus that has Bluetooth and I believe that the ability to wirelessly integrate with a smartphone in the car is Genius. I do have two small caveats with it though. The first is that current track information is not sent via bluetooth. I assume this is something that CarPlay would address. Secondly when you’re connected to the car wirelessly then you’re not charging your phone. That’s fine for short trips, but it’s lousy when you’re going on vacation and you have an eight hour drive. That remains the one advantage of wired access. Your device is being charged while you use it.

The Recap

So, just to recap here are the things we will likely see at WWDC. I believe the following will be shown or hinted at:

4. Multi-tasking on the iPad.

5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps.

9. Shazam support for Siri. Source: Multiple

10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three. Source: Multiple

11. Wireless version of CarPlay. Source: Multiple

 

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Apple’s iPhone Roadmap

Several months ago I began writing this post. I am just now getting back around to finishing it. To go along with the post I did about the future of the iPad, (Apple’s iPad Roadmap)this post looks at the future of the iPhone. There are currently 3 versions of the iPhone available for sale. In the ideal future we would see something like this:

iPhone L (5.3 – 5.5 inches)
iPhone M (4.8 – 5.2 inches)
iPhone S (4.3 – 4.5 inches)

By staggering the iPhone sizes Apple would be re-introducing something it used to do with the iPods. By changing the screen sizes of all the iPhones Apple would be creating a clear distinction between the different models, a good, better, best kind of distinction. While one could argue that screen size alone does not detail the superiority of a particular model it at the least would create different use cases for each model. Today it’s hard to determine the different use cases for the iPhones. It usually just comes down to budget…. and if that’s the case everyone will want the newest or the cheapest. Hence the lackluster sales of this year’s middle tier iPhone; the 5C.

The current rumor mill does point to Apple making a larger iPhone… we’ll just have to wait to see if this pans out.

Apple’s Acquisitions

Why Apple, Inc. is keeping the identity of many of its 23 recent acquisitions a secret

Interesting article over at AppleInsider. Apple has made 23 acquisitions in the last 18 months. We only know about 14 of them.

I wonder what the other ones are.

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