Psst! Apple's enterprise plans...
Don't put a magnet on such news. Just read this
and smile a little while you're imagining how big Apple can actually become in the enterprise market, if they thoroughly - and quietly - go their chosen path.
Office 2004 SP 2 now available
Although the previously linked page still
says the German update "will be available on the 27th" (which is in the past), this download page
by now offers multiple language versions for the service pack. The new downloads appeared sometime yesterday, according to macnews.de.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.3 8F31
Apple has seeded yet another build of 10.4.3 late last night (both server and client versions). There still are some known issues, but slowly, Apple is starting to break down the number of issues. While some sites still claim 10.4.3 would be released at the end of September, our sources are repeating that a mid October release is aimed at.
Ed Zander: Apple smartphone coming
In this article at beta.news.news.com
(nice sub.subdomain ;)), Ed Zander of Motorola, who commented "Screw the nano!" last week, is quoted: "And we know that they are going to build a smart phone - it's only a matter of time."
Now, of course, Steve Jobs is probably going to be pissed off. Whether there is
an iPhone in his plans or not, he doesn't like it when "friends" spill things like that.
Photoshop Elements 4 Mac: Coming soon.
After voices in the Mac community got quite loud about the fact that Adobe had released PSE4 for Windows - but not for the Mac ("They're abandoning us!"; "Apple should create a Photo Pro app!" etc.), Adobe stated that a PSE4 release for the Mac was forthcoming, but that in consumer software, they didn't think that a simultaneous release was that important.
Office 2004 SP2 international: Today?
Microsoft's German page about the Service Pack
says it's going to be available in German on 27th of September. Well, that's today - but the download's not available yet. Does the American office know that the "office hours" in Germany are already over for the 27th? ;)
Update 23:38: Twenty-two minutes to go until midnight in the German speaking countries. Let's see, whether the page will read "28. September" after that?
Update 0:24: Well, they've missed their target, obviously. I guess users of the German version (and probably all other languages besides English and Japanese) will have to wait a little longer for the long-anticipated update to MS Office 2004 that brings alon Exchange Server compatibility to Entourage as well as bugfixes and security patches to all applications in the package.
Of greed and music...
Steve Jobs, at AppleExpo Paris last week, said that record labels were greedy, when he was asked about the plan to up the price of single tracks in iTMS.
Today, Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music Group, answers and wants to have a piece of what Apple earns with the iPods. Let's answer that: "Buy AAPL shares, Ed Bronfman!"
Apple software updates
Apple has released a 4.5 MB security update (2005-008) and a 32.8 MB iPod updater. The latter makes me think they should bundle those with iTunes, as it seems ridiculous to release a 32 MB update that contains all the old updates plus a little one just for the iPod shuffle. Everytime Apple releases such an iPod update, I keep on thinking that they might add one or the other feature or fix for older iPods, too, but often, those big downloads only contain a couple of small fixes for a particular device...
Mac mini revision
Shortly after adding more RAM to the Mac mini configurations, Apple is going to up the processor speed of the smallest Mac, ThinkSecret reports
. They expect 1.33 and 1.5 GHz models, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 5'400 RPM harddrives of the same capacities. Pricing should stay as is.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.3 8F28
The combo updater is roughly 100 MB in size. There are still quite a few known issues that hinder the next Tiger update from being released - and Apple's still changing some things all around. Inside sources point at a release date in mid October now.
Office 2004 Service Pack 2
Microsoft will make this available today
. The update (which was announced in January, btw.) fixes some bugs and finally adds Entourage to the line of full Exchange-Server clients. If Exchange 2000 or 2003 are updated with the 800 MB plus download that, too, will be made available today.
Opera now free, anyway.
Got rid of banners. Well... You can download it here
if you want. Version 8.5 for Mac.
Last night, Apple has updated its .Mac services. Upping the space to 1 GB (combined for files and E-Mail), the service now also includes Backup 3, which can do incremental backups. Maybe at version 4, it'll be _so_ good that they can actually just bundle it with their computers for free. ;)
(I strongly believe that backup tools are so important that Apple should include a good, albeit simple, one with Mac OS X.)
AppleStore reopened. No changes?
At least on first sight, I can't spot anything new, really...
You know what that probably means.
News in the morning?
In the morning, AppleExpo Paris starts, and according to various sources, part of Apple's booth is hidden behind a black cover. Also: No iBooks and/or PowerBooks are on display, hinting at updates for both lines. We kindly remind you that the iBooks have just been updated, but something like that doesn't stop Apple from pulling a rabbit out of its hat, does it? ;)
Apple has filed a trademark application for this term, and it sure sounds like a feature that would allow you to create
podcasts using the iPod, rather than Apple just renaming podcasts to iPodcasts. Does this point into the direction of a stereo microphone for 5G iPods (which are due in January according to some sources, others still point at AppleExpo Paris, where the SteveNote was cancelled)?
Gates finally admits to Microsoft being evil.
In a CNET interview with Bill Gates, CNET asked: "So what would be the philosophical difference between Microsoft and what Google is up to at this point?" And Gates answered: "Well, we don't know everything they are up to, but we do know their slogan and we disagree with that."
If you don't remember, Google's slogan is: "Don't be evil."
Microsoft to bring Avalon graphics engine to the Mac?
Reports are in that at PDC (MS' developer thingie), Microsoft has shown a Mac using a WPF/E plugin in Safari. WPF is Avalon, Windows Vista's vector graphics engine, and WPF/E would be, well, a competitor to Flash, PDF and SVG. While it remains to be seen whether people really want to adopt yet another standard on the web, the demo shows that MS is theoretically able to actually make it available on more than just one platform.
Rev. B Titanium PowerBooks go 1.2 GHz
If you happen to have one of those old TiBooks that run at 550 or 667 MHz, you can roughly double its processing power
by letting Sonnet Technologies replace the processor. A brand new shiny Freescale PPC 7457 with 512 KB of level 2 cache will give those older PowerBooks a new lease of life, although at 500 USD, you might want to think about getting an iBook 12" instead. That way, you not only get a brand new computer, but much more performance (thanks to bus speed and graphics card) but also USB-2. AND you can keep your old TiBook for other tasks (or sell it, of course).
I personally think that the market for such upgrades is rather small, although I can see some musicians lick their fingers, since those PBs can still run OS 9. Ah, nostalgy. ;)
The verdict: The Motorola ROKR iTunes phone SUKS.
Yes, it really does. And that raises a question. Let's get to the sucking part first, though. It's a fairly standard Motorola mobile phone (besides the iTunes feature, that is), which makes it 'okay' for fans of Motorola's mobile phone interface, but for people who have enjoyed better interfaces from SonyEricsson and Nokia, it just doesn't cut it. But even for Moto-lovers, there just isn't much to hype home about. Ah, yes, the iTunes feature. So now you've got a phone that can have a 100 songs on a 512 MB card (yes, that's a software restriction, 512 MB would hold more...) and bears an emulated (and ugly) representation of the iPod colour interface. The interface is slow, we hear. 0.7 to 1.0 seconds delay when you press a key. So it's neither a good mobile phone - merely average - nor a good MP3 player.
And now to the question this raises: Why, oh, why did Apple actually do
this with Moto? It seems like one big (and ugly) mistake. This certainly doesn't help the iPod's image, and its effects on iTunes Music Store sales are probably neglectibe, too.
If *I* were in charge, the iTunes phone would be very similar, but different in two aspects: The phone would be free
with a contract (not 249 USD with a two-year contract!) to get users to actually buy songs, and more than a year after announcing the plan, the interface of the iTunes software on the mobile phone wouldn't suck.
Apple has released Java 1.3.1 and 1.4.2 Release 2 for Tiger through Software Update.
Of widgets and gadgets...
Remember how around WWDC 2004, Tiger had Dashboard "gadgets" instead of "widgets"? And how that was changed for the press releases, but not for the WWDC build of Tiger? Well: Windows Vista calls its sidebar "widgets", well, "gadgets".
- I'm pretty sure Apple has shown Microsoft a bit of Tiger shortly before that WWDC keynote - and then they had to decide which one was going to go with which name. And probably Apple thought they'd rather fight Arlo Rose than Microsoft. ;)
StuffIt Deluxe 10 arrives
Allume Software has released version 10
of StuffIt Deluxe, the Macintosh user's favourite compression suite. While the new features (JPEG compression, previewing pictures within archives without decompressing, Spotlight interoperability, Automator support and new SEAs) don't really sound like must-haves, long time users might find the new version attractive mostly because StuffIt Deluxe has always been the most complete suite for everything "archiving" - and more features are better here. The fact that StuffIt 10 also gives better performance for the "better" compression level (smaller files) might give the StuffIt X format ".sitx" (nothing to do with the version number 10 of StuffIt, this was related to the first Mac OS X clean version of StuffIt) a boost. Most people - until now - probably lived with a bit larger files, because until now, the "better" compression simply was too slow.
The price tag of 80 USD, however, might harm their goal to find new users. The price for anyone with an older StuffIt license (StuffIt Deluxe 9 or earlier) is 30 USD, and I think they should use that
for new users and make the update for older users more like 9 USD or 19. New Mac users are probably not even aware of StuffIt, now that Tiger doesn't come with Expander anymore and that the Finder has integrated archiving in the .zip-format.
Apple updates Xserve RAID and Xserve
The 3U RAID system now delivers up to 7 TB. The 1U rack server Xserve now comes with up to three 500 GB drives. More information on apple.com/xserve
Next year: iPod nano 32 GB?
Samsung, which creates the NAND memory 4 GB chips for the iPod nano, has announced it will be able to produce a 32 GB version
next year. This bodes well for a move to flash memory for the entire line of iPods (a 64 GB version could simply make use of two of those...), although pricing would probably make it difficult. This, of course, depends on Samsung's deal with Apple. But I must say: Even a 16 GB version of the iPod nano would probably shift consumers away from harddrive-based players drastically - and the nano's design helps that, anyway.
Apple seeds Mac OS X 10.4.3 8F24
Apple has seeded yet another build of 10.4.3 on Friday. The build has several known issues, among them problems with print dialogs and long user name logins. A final version of the ~100 MB combo update is expected for the end of September.
" of the Moto ROKR on macworld.com was planned. The ROKR didn't connect to iTunes. Period. Not on the reviewer's Mac, not on other Macs, not on PCs equipped with iTunes. Ouch! It's things like that Apple usually is known to prevent.
Guess what: Creative did the "nano" first.
At least the name, that is. Creative has launched the "Zen nano" in March in Asia. Whether or not Creative is going to sue Apple about this is yet unclear, but certainly, this is the second time we've heard "possible legal battle" and "Apple and Creative" in the same context as of late...
iPod nano taken apart
Kodawarisan has already broken one up
. Let's see what's inside this baby. :)
Steve Jobs is getting old.
Let's see. the white iPods went from 30/60 GB to 20/60 GB. Now the iPod mini goes from 4/6 to 2/4 GB. Sure, I'm leaving out the whole colour and flash memory thing. But what's next. The dual processor single core 2.7 GHz is replaced with a 2.6 GHz single processor dual core PowerMac? And we're going to dance and sing merry songs?
If you're listening, Apple: The nano's great. But sometimes more
Actually, I'm just kidding. Most people, we've just learned today, are not filling their iPods, anyway. So maybe Apple should kill the iPod 60 GB and replace it with a 40 GB at the same price. Maybe make it a bit thinner or something. :P
iTunes 5 first look...
It's terrible. I'm talking about the UI, of course. It looks as if they've tried to find something that could better be reproduced in Windows. Ugly. Really. I don't know how to put it. They took what they've done wrong in Mail.app 2.0, took what's been wrong with iTunes for Windows and voilà: Its bastard, iTunes 5. Hooray.
The event has ended.
And so has our live coverage. It's been a little over an hour, and we've seen plenty of new stuff.
So... Summing up: We've heard about iTunes 5
(now available as a 13.8 MB download, new features include "smart shuffle" as well as subfolders in playlists...), Motorola's ROKR phone (which as expected doesn't really rock us here...) and most importantly the iPod nano
replacing the iPod mini. Seems like the first rumours we've had
about the devices were right, ThinkSecret's report shortly before the event was rather wrong. Sadly, the nano costs as much as the iPod mini it replaces, although with 2 GB less space. The 2 and 4 GB models sport flash memory (like the shuffle) but a full interface with click-wheel and colour screen at an incredibly ("impossible", as Apple likes to put it) small size and low weight. At 199 and 249 USD, they're no steal, but they're incredibly sweet and sexy, so they'll sell well, we think. Well, we're thinking of getting the white one (comes also in black) with 4 GB. We won't buy any of the accessories, though. Of which over a 1000 exist for the iPods, Apple tells us. 700 with "Made for iPod" logo.
Innovation black hole?
Quite a few articles around the web point the finger at Apple's computer innovation black hole today. Ever since WWDC, people are waiting for "a lot of innovative products based on the PowerPC". Where are they? We haven't seen great innovations in computers from Apple so far. Sure: It was smoothtalking that Steve Jobs did back then. But we have to wonder: Has Apple still people working on computers, or is everyone working on iPods, mobile phones and new versions of iTunes? No Stevenote at AppleExpo Paris probably means: No big computer news to come. Pity.
Content for the iPod video
Critics of the idea of an iPod video often say things like "There's no content!", forgetting both all the people who create content themselves with iMovie or Final Cut as well as music videos that are already available on iTMS. But this site obviously has
(or at least claims to have...) other content. DRM free. 100% legal. Pristine quality. Well: We'll see. ;)
iTunes Phone goes global before introduction
Several reports tell us that Motorola's iTunes phone will initially go with Cingular but will also be carried in the UK a bit later and in other European countries (Germany and Switzerland are mentioned) before the end of the year.
AppleExpo Paris: No SteveNote
According to this MacWorld article
, Steve Jobs won't speak at AppleExpo Paris. "He'll be there, though..." they say. Comforting, eh?
This will be the second time in a row that AppleExpo Paris doesn't see a SteveNote. Last year, Phil Schiller had to take Steve's place, because Jobs had to undergo pancreatic cancer surgery as you might recall.
Does this mean: No real news from Apple at AppleExpo? Pity...
Gmail Notifier for Mac OS X 10.3.8+
Finally, there's an official version
for the Mac, too! Looking good, working fine.
iPod mini: 4, 6 and 8 GB? Colour?
ThinkSecret seems to think so
. Our own sources told us about the move to flash based memory
and confirmed this. They also told us about Apple buying large amounts of Samsungs NAND memory in advance for a lot of time, so TS' rumour sounds reasonable. If all goes well, AppleExpo will show us 4, 6 and 8 GB versions of a new iPod mini with colour screen as well as the long-rumoured 1 and 2 GB iPod shuffles.
Anandtech tests linux and Mac OS X on the G5
... and finds (again)
that really Mac OS X is
at fault for the very slow (2 to 8 times slower) performance of MySQL on Mac OS X than on linux. Looks really bad for how Mac OS X handles thread and process creation. The "bright" spot: The G5 isn't that bad a processor and can almost compete with the fastest X86 processors.