Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2010 Hopes for Apple

I am a major fan of technology in general. Western Digital's new media box for the living room is pretty cool, Google's Android mobile OS is really nice, and Creative Labs surprised people with their Zii Egg development package. However, I am a fan of Apple and their amazing products before any of these other great companies. I will give my hopes and dreams for other companies in 2010 and even give my opinion on some of the rumors that have been floating around, but for now, let's get Apple out of the way. Let's face it, they have been one of the most exciting tech companies in the last decade. People can't help but be excited to see what they do next.

1) The Next Generation iPhone
Every year the iPhone hardware and software gets a major upgrade. So far the rumors for the next gen iPhone have been about a CDMA version and a version made to work on the upcoming 4G cellular network. I haven't really heard much else. Here are some possibilities that I think could definitely come true for the iPhone this year. I do believe that with all the negativity involving AT&T, the iPhone will be available to more US carriers this year. The only problem I see with CDMA is the battery life. The iPhone already has poor battery life and CDMA technology is even harder on the battery. I think this year the iPhone will definitely get another speed boost and an upgrade to the camera. Other hardware changes I see possible would be the switch to an OLED screen. I still don't think that a real keyboard will be coming anytime soon.

2) Camera for the iPod Touch
Thanks to the people at, there is really good evidence that the iPod Touch was supposed to get a camera. I think that will happen this year. To keep from stealing sales from the iPhone, I believe the iPhone will get a camera upgrade and the iPod Touch will get the iPhone's current camera.

3) MIDI Controller App.
There is Keynote Remote, Remote, Air Mouse, LogMeIn, and many music making apps that are just so much fun. I believe the next step would be to make a MIDI controller app for Garageband and Logic. The multitouch interface has proven to be a great asset in mobile music making. I think that the iPhone/ iPod touch would make a multi-talented controller that can do so many things all from one control device.

4) New Multitouch Technology for Macs
I really enjoy the multitouch trackpad on Macbooks and the new Magic Mouse, but the technology can be taken further. Apple should replace the Macbook's trackpad with a multitouch LCD. It will function just as the trackpad but will have added functionality. A switch or keyboard shortcut could toggle between trackpad functionality and the added features. Apple could port the widgets used in Dashboard to the LCD. It would function almost like the apps on the iPhone. The Macbook's keyboard (and Apple's wireless keyboard) lack a numeric keypad. This new multitouch LCD could also double as a built-in numeric keypad and calculator. Spotlight searches and Cover Flow could also be moved to this LCD to quickly do searches and scroll through options. This added LCD could also replace the numeric keypad on Apple's full size keyboard.

5) The Mac Tablet
I am truly convinced that the Mac Tablet will be available soon. Major media is already preparing for it, multiple patents that would support the creation of such a device are surfacing everyday, and the components Apple has been ordering all point to it's imminent arrival. The only questions left are the features, OS and price. Based on the nature of the device I would expect a hybrid of OSX and the iPhone OS. Such an operating system could be enough to steal the wind out of the Google Chrome OS's sails when it arrives.

6) A Mac Netbook Running the Tablet OS
The ability of P.A. Semi to make small, quick, and low power processors for Apple could prove very useful in implementing a netbook platform for Apple. Imagine Apple using it's know-how from making the Mac Mini, iPhone/ iPod Touch, and a Mac Tablet to create a fairly inexpensive and extremely fast netbook. It is entirely possible for Apple to make a sub $500 netbook device.

7) Midway Mac Desktop
Apple has been gaining much popularity in recent years. Beautifully made computers and the consistent blunders of Microsoft have put Mac popularity at an all time high with seemingly no end in sight. To really steal some market share from PC makers, it would be in Apple's best interest to make an affordable and customizable desktop. The Mac Pro is overkill for the average person and the Mac Mini is a great machine but it lacks the ability to expand. If the geniuses over at Apple could put the Mac Mini's hardware in an easily accessible and expandable form factor, the price would stay reasonable and consumers that don't have a lot of money but still want options after their purchase would be happy. It's a step that would put pressure on Microsoft and the PC world.

8) The Future of iTunes
Apple recently purchased music streaming company LaLa. The most recent rumors indicate a major overhaul of the iTunes user interface and the ability to stream content for a fee, of course. iTunes already has podcasts and internet radio stations but they don't compare to the personal radio stations offered by Slacker Radio, Pandora, and LastFM. The ability to stream video will make iTunes more competitive with Netflix, Boxee and Hulu. Although Hulu is currently free, 2010 will bring subscription fees for the service. Content streaming on iTunes will also improve the highly overlooked Apple TV.

9) Apple TV in 2010
Sooner or later content streaming will be available through iTunes. It's not a matter of "if" but "when." This feature along with a DVR feature would make the Apple TV a hit. It isn't a bad product in it's current form but it definitely isn't great. The latest software update is a nice touch but the hardware still uses an IDE hard drive and was originally designed in the days of OSX Tiger. Updating to the current hardware standards, DVR capabilities, the iTunes streaming, and maybe even a full featured remote, would make the Apple TV an exciting product.

10) MobileMe 2.0
Cloud computing, whether we like it or not, is the future of computing. Apple's entry into the cloud is the expensive, feature packed MobileMe. If Apple wants cloud computing to catch on ( maybe they do, maybe they don't) there has to be a less expensive alternative. I was an early adopter of cloud computing but I don't need all the features MobileMe offers and I don't need to spend $99 a year to back up my data. Please Apple, give us some other options!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Free Software

Do we really have to say anything else? This software was previously available for purchase only, now you can take advantage of some holiday generosity from CakeWalk. Check the full details on Music Radar.

How to be the First to Know

I can be a very busy person at times. Between work, family and obligations at home it is difficult to stay completely informed on everything. One thing I can't stand is junk email. I hate those scam emails that don't go away even when you block the sender. Newsletters can be a bit annoying too and I know plenty of people that agree. Those annoying newsletters can actually be a great resource if you get them from the right sources. Even the busiest of people can still be up on the latest news, no matter how sparse their extra time may be. Here are three good examples of how.
1) Newsletters
Those annoying newsletters, even though they bug me, have actually saved me money and have helped me out plenty of times. To keep from being so annoyed with newsletters, cut down the amount of them you subscribe too. Everyone has accidentally subscribed to a newsletter just to get something free or take advantage of a promotion. If you no longer need that certain subscription, remove yourself from the mailing list. It is easy and nearly every newsletter has the instructions right on it. If there are certain companies and services you use quite frequently, you should think about subscribing to their newsletter because they can provide great information, discounts, and even give subscribers information ahead of the general public.
2) RSS Feeds
Some of us only check our email every so often or we have so many email accounts that we don't care to keep track of them. That is okay. Most internet browsers support RSS news feeds and many websites offer their latest news over such feeds. All you have to do is subscribe to them. It is a quick and convenient alternative.
3) Twitter
Twitter is exploding right now. Everyone has Twitter account. I have more than one. There are great resources for Twitter that are also very helpful. Here is an example of my setup. I have a free Twitter application on my computer and iPod Touch called TweetDeck. TweetDeck allows you to view tweets from multiple accounts and can even let you view status updates from your Facebook account. I have a feature called Growl enabled on my computer. Whenever someone I am following posts a new tweet, a small pop up message will appear in the corner of my screen. And just so you know, the convenience of Twitter is actually quite amazing. I have a specific account where the only users I follow are involved in different areas of news. They usually post a headline with a link to the full story. This enables me to choose what stories I want to read. If I can't read them right away, I can add them to a favorites list and view them later. I have the freedom to pick and choose. It is quite similar to the RSS feed, but you can follow more than just companies and many people on Twitter are very humorous. It's informative and entertaining at the same time!

I get a lot of information from these resources. I find deals on products I really am interested in, free software, opportunities, contests, giveaways, breaking news, special previews, and more. If you don't take advantage of such features, you should consider it. If you want to know more or have questions about this topic, you can always email us: