For every new release of OS X operating system there is a flurry of analysis about how Apple is turning OS X into iOS. While Apple isn't going to make Macs into touch screen devices any time soon, the two OS's are getting some similar features and functions. They're becoming more related, kissing cousins instead of siblings. However, I do think that the way Apple markets the iPhone models will become similar to how they differentiate the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptop lines.
There is much speculation that Apple's next iPhone will be available in multiple screen sizes, probably 4.7" and 5.5". Some "analysis" (AKA pulled from their butt) seem to think there can be only one flagship model iPhone and that'll be 5.5" inch, priced $100 over the 4.7" model will retain the same price as the current iPhone 5s and be considered an "inferior" model, maybe even replace the current 5c while the 5s will disappear.
In Apple's laptop line models are not broken up by screen size or battery life. Rather it is body type, processor and memory that break up which line a laptop belongs to. Both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro lines have a 13" model. In the Air line one model (11") has a 9 hour battery while the 13" has a 12 hour battery. The Pro line the 13" has a 9 hour battery while the 15" is at 8 hours.
Instead the Pro line can have more memory (both in drive space and system RAM). Processor speed is faster and the body builds are different. The Pro line is currently the only line with Retina displays, but the iPhones are already all retina so I don't think this matters.
So this year I think the numbers will be dropped from the mid-range (currently the 5c) and flagship lines (currently the 5s). I think the lines will be split into the flagship/mid-range based on processor, memory and body type.
- New processor A8. The new screens will need a better GPU than the A7 processor is my from the butt guess on what'll be new.
- More system RAM. 5s is currently at 1 GB. I suspect it will go to 2 GB.
- New body style. I think most of the body has leaked now from parts suppliers, but I don't look at those. Not much you can really do with a phone that is mostly screen and a couple of buttons. Change back material and some edge styling to make it feel better in hand. New colors? (I'm guessing no on colors.)
- 2 screen sizes: 4.7" and 5.5".
- There will be resolution differences between the two but Apple will just call them "retina" and leave the details in the tech specs.
- Different battery life between the two. It'll be mentioned but unless there is a significant bump in both models it'll be glossed over.
- The mid-range name won't be a number but will still only have one screen size.
- The model will be the iPhone 5s but with a plastic body similar to the 5c.
- The colors available will be different than the current 5c.
- Only available in 4" screen size.
"Low-end" (Free with contract)
- The 5c will become the "low-end" (free with contract)
- Drop number of colors available? Just black and white?
- Drop number of flash sizes available? Current 4s is only available in 8 GB.
What will the names be? I've no idea and don't want to speculate. Apple seems to like "Pro", "Mini", and "Air" currently. But their use is a bit inconsistant. the iPad Air is the larger screen size with top of the line processor, but the MacBook Air has the smaller screens and lower processors.
How likely to I consider all this? I suspect it'll happen either this year or next year with a high bet on this year. Forced to put a number on it I'd go with 75% chance it'll happen this year.
In-App Web Viewers vs. Safari
I recently got into a bit of a twitter argument with Dan Frakes of Macworld about apps that have links to web pages and open those pages in their own web viewer within the app, instead of handing the link to mobile Safari (hereafter just called Safari as this is an all iOS discussion) and letting it handle it.
Most apps do this because it became the norm when there was no multitasking on iOS. Switching away from an app meant shutting it down. Reopening it sent you back to the beginning. Apps avoided this 'return to the beginning' by ...read more
Apple's Newish In-App Purchase Policy
A follow up to my Apple vs. Sony post. Apple has specifically stated that if you link to a website store in your app, anything digital you offer for sale on that website store has to be made available to app users via an in-app purchase. Apple charges developers 30% of the in-app purchase price.
John Gruber at Daring Fireball wrote an article covering these topics as well, I pretty much agree with everything he wrote and reinterate some of his points below.
Again the big question here for consumers is how does this affect Amazon Kindle app. Apple just ...read more
Apple vs. Sony
Full disclosure: I own Apple stock and am a (paying) member of the Apple iOS developers program, although i've no apps in the app store.
Well in typical Apple vague as shit manner they've muddied up the waters of how ebook apps have to work on iOS devices. Apple rejected an app from Sony that, according to Sony was for reading ebooks on iOS devices, specifically books people bought from Sony's ebook store for their Sony ebook readers.
Apple never talks about apps it's rejected, and recommends dev not talk about them either. Probably good advice ...read more
Thoughts on the Original Apple TV
I've got an original Apple TV, the one that shipped with a hard drive and component TV outputs. I'll be getting the new Apple TV, supposedly on Thursday, that only streams media — from your own computer or from the internet. I wanted to document my complaints about the existing Apple TV so I can do a comparison of the two systems.
My current Apple TV connects to a 32" HDTV (720p) via HDMI. Sound is via the digital optical cable to my receiver. It's connected to the home network via wire, however my computer is downstairs, and ...read more
The New AppleTV and Ping
Apple's iPod event was yesterday. As usual rumors abounded before hand, and failed to come through. The funniest was Apple didn't rename Apple TV to iTV as every-freaking person in the world predicted. Apple TV also didn't become a touch driven interface (touch provided via the Magic Trackpad Apple introduced). This is a good thing, mostly. I don't recall hearing too much that Apple might roll-out a social networking deal (Ping), so I guess most people missed that too.
I'm going to confine my comments to just 2 things: Apple TV and Ping. Most of ...read more
Plantronics 975 bluetooth headset
The Motorola headsets were cheap and adequate. Not spectacular looking and the audio wasn't great. I upgraded to the EtyBLU based on reviews that it was supposed to be the best. It's an in the ear canal model. It also has a removable boom mic combined with its noise supression makes it work really well in noisy conditions. The problem I had with it was its bluetooth connection to my Blackberry was ...read more
Tinkerers are smarter than you
Lots of words going around about how the iPad is the beginning of the "tinkerers sunset." In other words the apparent locked down nature of the device is going to bring an end to the tinkering people do with thing like their computer.
I call bollox. When I was a kid I began tinkering on one of the most open systems around, the Apple ][+ at high school, then the Apple //e at home. Those systems cost $2000+ dollars. My high school, a private catholic school, had around 7 Apple's, a handful of PET computers, and some weird mainframe in ...read more