After a false start two years ago, Apple has released a new set of in-ear buds that are finally worth trading up to from the company's own pack-in models and which may well compete against third-party earbuds that are significantly above its price class. We explain why.
Apple's first major update to the Cinema Display line brings a much greener design and a raft of welcome feature updates, especially for MacBook owners. At the same time, a partial shift away from Apple's mainstay professional crowd makes one wonder where the company is going and whether it hasn't lost focus.
Standing as the single largest change to an Apple portable in recent history, the 13" MacBook completely overhauls the system with a switch from plastic to a strong, thinner aluminum shell and a totally new platform that puts it into a new performance category -- albeit with key sacrifices to meet its goals.
Apple's newly redesigned 15" MacBook Pro improves upon the graphics, RAM, and CPU performance of the previous generation while adopting the strong lines and unibody construction of the MacBook Air, the keyboard of the 2006 consumer MacBook, the environmentally friendly design of last year's iMac, and the iPhone's headphone mic, resulting a strong package of cross pollination across Apple's various branches.
The 2008 iPod touch inches closer to the iPhone line while retaining its iPod branding. It gets new audio input and recording features, volume controls, a speaker, and a full assortment of bundled apps, including Nike+ support.
For its third anniversary, the highly portable 4G iPod nano gets a new tall and slim design, Genius Playlists, audio recording and other new software features, twice the storage at the same price, and a new array of colors. It continues to offer high quality audio, and plays video games, podcasts, TV and movie downloads, and movie rentals. Apple still refuses to give it a capital n, however.
Here's a look at how Apple transformed its .Mac service into MobileMe and why the launch failed so spectacularly. In a followup segment, we'll dive deeper into how MobileMe works, how it compares to competing services, how the service delivers push messaging to the iPhone 2.0 software, and whether it's worth the annual subscription price.
The long wait for official third party apps on the iPhone is over. From the moment the original iPhone was released, critics complained about Apple's closed platform and insisted that it could not meet their definition of "smartphone" because it couldn't run software created by other companies. In this segment, we'll take a look at the Apple's iPhone software development kit, the App Store, and iPhone 2.0's third party apps themselves.
As described in the previous segment introducing iPhone 2.0 software, Apple's latest mobile operating system reference release delivered a range of major and minor new features, but not without failing to address some long standing issues. Even worse, the initial version of the new iPhone 2.0 has eroded away the facade of near flawlessness Apple rolled out with the original iPhone last year, resulting in a product that is simply harder to be unreservedly enthusiastic about. This segment will compare the features exposed and architecturally available in the iPhone OS, and how it stacks up against other smartphone platforms.
With the iPhone 3G hardware, Apple significantly improved upon last year's original iPhone. It also extended many of the benefits of its newest model to existing users in the form of the iPhone 2.0 software update (which is also available to current iPod touch users for a nominal $10 fee). This segment presents what's new in the 2.0 software, what hasn't changed, what's missing, what's wrong, and how it compares to other smartphone software platforms on the market.
As detailed in the previous segment introducing its hardware features, the second generation iPhone 3G catches up with two of the largest competitive features offered by other higher-end smartphones: faster 3G network access and GPS. Here's a look at how Apple's smartphone compares in other areas, as well as how it stacks up against the original iPhone. (Comparison chart on page 3).
Apple has significantly improved upon last year's original iPhone while extending many of the benefits of its newest model to existing users in the form of the iPhone 2.0 software update. AppleInsider's week-long "Inside iPhone 2.0" series will present a detailed analysis and review of the iPhone 3G, the 2.0 software, the App Store, and push messaging. This first segment looks at the iPhone 3G hardware itself, what's new and different, what's bad, and what's missing. A followup segment on hardware will look how the new iPhone 3G compares to other smartphones, and whether it's worth the upgrade for existing iPhone users.
Roku's new dedicated box for streaming content from Netflix's Watch Instantly service offers a fairly large but somewhat eclectic variety of decent quality movies and TV programs at a very reasonable price, particularly for existing Netflix subscribers. While frequently pitted against Apple TV, the two products are actually more complementary than directly competitive. Here's how they stack up.
Time Capsule expands the wireless base station into a file and printer sharing solution and Time Machine target. This segment, the last of six exploring Time Capsule in depth, provides a review of its features and limitations as a wireless file sharing and backup appliance, along with comparisons to alternative products and previous AirPort models.
The most obvious new feature of Apple TV is its ability to rent iTunes movies, including a new selection of HD flicks that turned up on the iTunes Store in the last 48 hours. Here's a look at how Apple's rental solution prices out against rival services in terms of prolonged cost, as well as a comparison of picture quality of Apple's HD downloads when viewed side-by-side against other high-def content sources such as HD Cable and Blu-ray.
Apple is keeping itself busy. Along with the 10.5.2 update to Mac OS X Leopard and a new reference release of Aperture 2.0, the company quietly made available the free new "Take Two" software upgrade for Apple TV on Tuesday. Here's a look at how Apple TV compares as a living room media player and source of HDTV content, what's new in the software upgrade, and how well the device achieves its goal of bringing iTunes media to home theaters in its second try at inventing itself.
Prior to completing our look at the MacBook Air, we asked readers to contribute questions and concerns about the new model in "What's wrong with the MacBook Air?" The response was overwhelming, and helps underscore the fact that the Air has captured the attention of customers both with its new form factor and with its controversial design tradeoffs engineered to deliver its thin profile and light weight.
This year, Apple gave the iPhone and the new Classic, Touch, and Nano models improved TV out features while harmonizing the AV cables used by its entire product line. Here's a look at what's changed, a review of Apple's recently released AV Cable kits, why the invented controversy about Apple's new cables is simply misinformed, and how using an iPod for video output compares against Apple TV.
Amazon's new Kindle ebook reader is billed as the iPod for digital reading. Will it inspire a new era of mainstream electronic reading, just service a dedicated niche of hard core readers, or simply fizzle out into failure? We put the new device through its paces to find out.
In addition to the ultra-thin aluminum keyboard Apple unveiled for the iMac last month, a similarly proportioned Bluetooth wireless version was also introduced. Here's a setup and unpacking tour, paired with a look at its features, an operational mystery, and a tantalizing future potential.