Now that post-keynote reality is starting to sink in, it's occurring to me that Apple's HD movie rental announcement has a big string attached named Apple TV. In order to rent HD-quality iTunes movies, it seems that you'll have to buy an Apple TV. People who just want to rent HD iTunes movies to watch on their PCs (or send to their TVs using non-Apple hardware) are left out, and will instead need to buy an Apple TV and then transfer the content to their laptop or iPod. While it makes sense that most users will only … Read more
I'm a sucker for good show booths. Yesterday I got to sneak a peek at Google's Macworld booth while folks were still setting up, and wasn't sure what to expect in the way of new stuff. Today (to my surprise) the Mountain View-based company had one of the most jam-packed booths despite the lack of any new service offerings. What was the big-ticket item, though? The swag, and to be more specific--the Google swag scavenger hunt.
Google was offering four tiers of swag for expo-goers: Cub Scout-style merit badges, a rubbery grip pad for any portable device, some colored tube socks (not the cool YouTube ones from D5), and a pair of black flip flops with the Google logo on the top.
The setup rallied four stations showcasing Google's various product offerings, including Google Earth and Maps, the recently updated iPhone mobile service, and applications for OS X like Google Desktop, Picasa, and Sketchup, which had been showcased at last year's expo. At each station event-goers had to talk to a Google rep about the service in question to get the hallowed red Google stamp of approval. For each stamp you got on your card, you'd get to graduate to a higher level of swag, or get multiples of the lower tiered items.
Here are some shots from the booth. Let's start with some of the stations:
Say what you will about Steve Jobs, but when he pulled Apple's latest laptop out of a standard inter-office envelope I stood in awe--of both his showmanship and of the laptop's remarkably slim design. Though the MacBook Air is not quite the thinnest laptop ever, it is among the thinnest we've seen (the Fujistu LifeBook Q2010 and Toshiba Portege R500 both measure 0.8 inch thick, but neither tapers to 0.16 inch like the Air).
These data can't really convey the MacBook Air's wow factor--thus the envelope trick. Yet even with that visual I … Read more
It's now been a year since Apple first unveiled its iPhone and today the company announced a series of updates to the super-hyped device. Though 3G-capability remains on the horizon (it will come this year, however) now has the capability to do a couple things its should have done form the outset. Speaking at the Macworld 2008 keynote in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised a handful of features in update 1.1.3 including Google Maps location triangulation and the ability to send a text message to multiple recipients. The result is a more useful device, but … Read more
The Macalope was certain that the whining would be swift and furious over Apple charging $20 for the same software features iPhone users get for free. As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes so brilliantly puts it:
Come on Steve, give your biggest fans a break.
$20 is awfully steep to add a little functionality to the iPod touch - functionality that already exists for the iPhone.
... I feel that this is going too far.
Yeah! Unlike all the other times Adrian writes about Apple!
Well, dear reader, if you're experiencing a bit of deja vu over this, … Read more
Update: Check out three related videos with more info on the forthcoming Apple TV upgrade: Steve Jobs comments during his keynote address; the video guided tour on Apple's Web site; and a summary from CNET's Donald Bell. This post has also been updated since its original publication with additional information.
The Apple TV just got a whole lot more useful.
Steve Jobs unveiled a major feature update to the Apple TV today during his Macworld keynote address in San Francisco that aims to transform the device from a TV-based iTunes media viewer to a more full-featured media-on-demand device. The hardware will remain the same, with the entry-level 40GB model dropping from $300 to $230, but a free software upgrade--available in two weeks--will add the following functionality:
Music was hardly mentioned in today's Macworld keynote by Steve Jobs.
iTunes got a major update, but it wasn't related to music--rather, Apple introduced movie rentals starting at $2.99. The biggest limitation seems to be the requirement to finish the movie within 24 hours of starting it--contrast this with Netflix, which gives you physical DVD rentals and 6,000 on-demand movies over the Internet without any time limit, starting at $4.99 per month. Apple TV is also becoming a much more interesting product, with no personal computer required to rent movies direct from iTunes. (Netflix and … Read more
The MacBook Air, unfurled today, might be the thinnest notebook on the market today, but it's not the thinnest of all time.
That distinction belongs to the Pedion, an ill-fated notebook developed by Mitsubishi and Hewlett-Packard back in 1997.The Pedion measured 18.4 millimeters thick, which comes out to 0.7244 inch thick. Although the Air gets to 0.16 inch at the thinnest point, the Air is 0.76 inch thick at the beefiest portion, making it minutely thicker. Mitsubishi released the Pedion in early 1998.
The Pedion, however, wasn't exactly the paragon of quality or … Read more
With services like Movielink, Netflix, and Vudu, the opportunities seem endless for companies that endeavor to turn the corner in the movie rental business. And while all of these companies positioned themselves in the market, Apple was quietly lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce on January 15, 2008.
After showing their hands to arguably the world's most capable CEO, every other movie rental service created an environment where Steve Jobs could pick and choose what features he liked and create a more robust offering.
After all, with rentals ranging in price from $2.99-$4.99 depending on release date and quality, and a 30-second buffering much like we've seen with the Vudu box, why would anyone even consider buying rentals from any other service besides iTunes (with the one exception perhaps being Netflix)?
Simply put, Jobs is poised to conquer yet another industry.… Read more