[NEWS] iPad 3 set for March 7 launch

It appears that the rumors may actually be true, today it has been announced that a new product will be launched on the 7th March at 10am Pacific Time in San Francisco at the traditional Yerba Buena Centre. This goes against an earlier suggestion that the event was going to break with tradition and instead be in New York.

Apple launch invite

Apple's launch Invite

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iPhone 5 cometh…

With Apple’s conference confirmed on the 4th October, and the iPhone 5 all but a certainty, just what can we expect the new CEO Tim Cook to unveil to us? Here’s some of what we can be expecting from the conference next week.

iPhone 5

Maybe? Probably not...

The iPhone 5 is largely expected to undergo some kind of redesign in terms of the hardware. While it’s expected to look very much the same as the iPhone 4, the internals are expected to address the hazardous antennae issue which gave Apple so many headaches not long ago among other things which aim to generally give the new iPhone a bit more Oomph. Some speculation over the thickness of the handset has arisen, suggesting that the actual handset will be thinner and lighter than previous models. There has also been some comments over the phone’s screen size which is expected to increase to match the growing displays from rivals like Samsung and HTC. Personally I think Apple did well with the iPhone 4 in terms of design, it’s a usable size with little weight and feels good to hold so I can’t see any hugely outlandish overhauls in this field.

Some of the internal changes however aside from the antennae fix, will be big ones. It’s expected that thus iPhone will be made even faster, getting rid of the already short lags present in the current range of iPhones. It’s expected that with the larger screen, Apple will need to invest in much punchier processor power as well as some updates to the excellent Retina Display. Another internal change which would be welcome is the inclusion of an NFC chip, which would allow for contact-less payments to be made. Google already allows this in their own Nexus handsets, and last week activated the feature allowing people to pay for items with Google Wallet, through their smartphone and it’s expected that more and more Android handsets will begin carrying this soon. With PayPal already working on their own apps it makes some sense to do this. But we’ll have to see, Apple tend to wait until a method is more tried and tested.

There has also been some discussion around the possibility of the new iPhone being 4G, I personally don’t really see this as being a major deal breaker, most people won’t have anything above 3G connection and really don’t care much about 4G. So while this might be a bit of Future-proofing on Apple’s part, like the Thunderbolt connection on the new MacBook Air, it’s really not something to get excited about yet.

It will be an intersecting presentation, marking the first major product launch that Jobs hasn’t helmed. iOS5 will also be released to customers in and around, which looks set to add a host of new features to the iPhone. I for one, won’t be buying the new iPhone, I think the iPhone 4 with iOS5 will be able to do much of what the iPhone 5 will be packing.

If you can’t get an iPad, what can you get?

iPad accounts for 89%, but what’s the other 11%

Recently it’s been announced that the iPad accounts for an incredibly impressive 89% of global tablet usage. While it had always been expected that the iPad would be the major tablet in use around the world, the shear volume has been somewhat surprising.

Ever since the iPad hit the Market two years ago, competitors have been quick to jump on the bandwagon (quicker than the handset one). So what exactly are the alternatives?

Samsung offer the best alternatives, with two tablets; Galaxy Tab and v10.1 which are both very impressive devices running android. The original Galaxy is small at about 7inch screen space and is a pretty nice tablet to give the light users. It’s flash enabled and the nice screen is great for magazines and newspapers. 10.1 which is a larger, newer version of the Galaxy tab is for perhaps a more advanced user, running the latest Android OS, it’s slim with a nice big screen. Probably the closest competitors to the iPad.

Samsung tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab, one of the best alternatives to the iPad

HTC who produce probably the best Android and WP7 handsets have tried their hand at tablets with the Flyer, it’s a nice little 7inch tablet running Android 3.0 Gingerbread. Slightly bulkier than the iPad, it feels like a solid device, and also looks pretty good in the hand. Unusually for a modern tablet, it comes with a stylus pen, while it’s nice to have as an option it does make the otherwise swish tablet feel quite dated.

HTC Flyer tablet

HTC Flyer tablet from one of the biggest Android manufacturers

The BlackBerry PlayBook is really the last of the big competition to the iPad, the HP Slate just never caught on after being pulled a few times, and the Acer Iconia runs the whole Windows OS, making it awkward. But the PlayBook has been recently released, it’s slim, smooth and overall a very nice tablet. Running the same OS as the International Space Station this tablet is a very reliable sort, with an easy to use operating system and. Multitasking natively.

BlackBerry Playbook

If it's good enough for astronauts... the BlackBerry Playbook

There’s a good selection of other tablets available on the Market, with probably many more going to be released, but for the time being the iPad corners the Market, and it’s easy to see why. All of the above tablets are available in Ireland either through mobile operators or PC World and HMV.

iOS 5, OS X Lion and iCloud but no iPhone 5?

Apple’s WWDC promises to bring in many new features to the range, but just what can we expect?

There’s a lot of buzz at the moment around next week’s World Wide Developer Conference. Steve Jobs, who is still on sick leave from Apple will be announcing a new line of products including the much anticipated OS X Lion and iOS 5 for iPhone and iPad along with a brand new service called iCloud.

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iPad 2, Just Another Stepping Stone?

The iPad 2, long awaited sequel to the original has finally been announced to the world. The thinner, lighter and altogether slightly more attractive device has been at last shown to us by Steve Jobs.

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iPad 2 hits the production lines.

The rumour mill is churning now, today it has been announced after much expectation that the iPad 2 has begun manufacture. The sequel to the best selling product of 2010, and what is widely seen as one of the pillars of Apple’s success is surrounded by mystery, speculation and curiosity, but not just from the fans.

Many apple shareholders see the iPad 2 as a test of Apples market strength without Steve Jobs at the helm. Still on medical leave, this is the first major product launched without Jobs since he returned to the computer company. Since he went on leave, stocks dived and investors got a little bit panicked over what they see as the company itself taking sick leave. Many still believe that Apple cannot survive without Jobs.

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The Mac App Store Cometh’

While this week, most focus has been placed on CES 2011, which I’ll be looking at an overview of later; there’s been a lot of attention given to the ever show-stealing Apple.

 

This week, the long awaited App store for Mac has been launched, signaling the beginning of the end for software CD’s.  Sure Microsoft already had an app store before with its Windows Marketplace, which quietly disappeared but there are a number of reasons why the Mac version will carry on.

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