Thursday, February 24, 2011

Apple Discontinues MobileMe Retail Box, Removes MobileMe From Online Store

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Apple has informed retailers that MobileMe Retail Boxes have been discontinued and has removed MobileMe from its online store, according to a MacRumors report.

Apple also appears to have entirely removed MobileMe from its online store, both as a standalone product and as bundled with new Macs. Apple had previously offered a $30 discount on MobileMe when purchased with a new Mac, but that offer is no longer available.

Apple is rumored to be working on a complete overhaul of MobileMe which will see the service be offered free to customers.

A recent report claims that Apple's revamped MobileMe service could offer new social features taking from Facebook, Foursquare, and uStream. Another suggests Apple may be planning to use MobileMe has the brain of its cloud service rather then the storage locker.

Yesterday, Apple revealed that its N.C. Data Center will go live this spring and support its iTunes and MobileMe services.

MobileMe 60-day free trials are still available which hints that perhaps Apple plans to introduce an improved service within the next two months.







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Apple Updates the MacBook Pro With Thunderbolt, FaceTime HD

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Apple today updated the MacBook Pro family with next generation processors and graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Featuring the very latest dual-core and quad-core Intel Core processors, the entire MacBook Pro line is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

"The new MacBook Pro brings next generation dual and quad Core processors, high performance graphics, Thunderbolt technology and FaceTime HD to the great design loved by our pro customers," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Thunderbolt is a revolutionary new I/O technology that delivers an amazing 10 gigabits per second and can support every important I/O standard which is ideal for the new MacBook Pro."

Starting at $1,199 the new 13-inch MacBook Pro offers amazing value and performance in a compact design. The highly portable 13-inch MacBook Pro features Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.7 GHz and Intel HD Graphics 3000. The powerful 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models feature quad-core Core i7 processors up to 2.3 GHz and AMD Radeon HD graphics processors with up to 1GB of video memory for high performance gaming, pro video editing and graphics intensive applications.

MacBook Pro is the first computer on the market to include the groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on a notebook computer. Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters. Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.

The MacBook Pro now includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera with triple the resolution of the previous generation for crisp, widescreen video calls. With Apple's innovative FaceTime video calling software, the new camera allows high definition video calls between all new MacBook Pro models and supports standard resolution calls with other Intel-based Macs, iPhone 4 and the current generation iPod touch. FaceTime is included with all new MacBook Pro models and is available for other Intel-based Macs from the Mac App Store for 99 cents. The MacBook Pro lineup continues to feature its gorgeous aluminum unibody enclosure, glass Multi-Touch trackpad, LED-backlit widescreen display, illuminated full-size keyboard and 7-hour battery.

As the industry's greenest notebook lineup, every Mac notebook achieves EPEAT Gold status and meets Energy Star 5.0 requirements, setting the standard for environmentally friendly notebook design. Each unibody enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac notebooks contain no brominated flame retardants, are PVC-free and are constructed with recyclable materials.

Pricing & Availability
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro and 17-inch MacBook Pro are available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available in two configurations: one with a 2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 320GB hard drive starting at $1,199; and one with a 2.7 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5 and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,499. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is available in two models: one with a 2.0 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6490M and 500GB hard drive starting at $1,799 and one with a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive starting at $2,199. The new 17-inch MacBook Pro features a 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 750GB hard drive and is priced at $2,499.

Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.3 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 750GB, solid state storage up to 512GB, more memory up to 8GB DDR3, antiglare and high-resolution display options and AppleCare Protection Plan.





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An Overview of the New Thunderbolt Technology

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Thunderbolt is a revolutionary I/O technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single, compact port. It was developed through a collaboration between Intel and Apple and uses the same mini Displayport connector that was previously only used for connecting an external monitor.

Apple offers the following description of the new technology.

Powerful technology from a powerful collaboration.
Thunderbolt began at Intel Labs with a simple concept: create an incredibly fast input/output technology that just about anything can plug into. After close technical collaboration between Intel and Apple, Thunderbolt emerged from the lab to make its first appearance in MacBook Pro.

Intel co-invented USB and PCI Express, which have become widely adopted technologies for data transfer. Apple invented FireWire and was instrumental in popularizing USB. Their collective experience has made Thunderbolt the most powerful, most flexible I/O technology ever in a personal computer.

One small port. One giant leap in possibilities.
MacBook Pro now gives you access to a world of high-resolution displays and high-speed peripherals with one compact port. That’s because Thunderbolt is based on two fundamental technologies: PCI Express and DisplayPort.

PCI Express is the technology that links all the high-performance components in a Mac. And it’s built into Thunderbolt. Which means you can connect external devices like RAID arrays and video capture solutions directly to MacBook Pro — and get PCI Express performance. That’s a first for notebooks. Thunderbolt also provides 10 watts of power to peripherals, so you can tackle workstation-class projects on the go. With PCI Express technology, you can use existing USB and FireWire peripherals — even connect to Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks — using simple adapters.

And because Thunderbolt is based on DisplayPort technology, the video standard for high-resolution displays, any Mini DisplayPort display plugs right into the Thunderbolt port. To connect a DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA display, just use an existing adapter.

Performance and expansion never seen on a notebook before.
With 10 Gbps of throughput in both directions, Thunderbolt I/O technology lets you move data to and from peripherals up to 20 times faster than with USB 2.0 and more than 12 times faster than with FireWire 800. Two 10-Gbps channels on the same connector mean you can daisy-chain multiple high-speed devices and a display, without using a hub — and without reducing performance.
High-Speed I/O Performance

USB 2.0: 480 Mbps
FireWire 800: 800 Mbps
Express Card: 2.5 Gbps
USB 3.0: 5 Gbps
Thunderbolt: 10 Gbps

High performance on display.
Thunderbolt I/O technology provides native support for Mini DisplayPort displays. It also supports DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, and VGA displays through the use of existing adapters. So you can connect your Apple LED Cinema Display or other existing display, along with multiple high-speed devices, all from a single port.
No project is too massive.

Now you can create a professional video setup for your MacBook Pro, just as you would for your Mac Pro. If you’re a video editor, imagine connecting high-performance storage, a high-resolution display, and high-bit-rate video capture devices to handle all the post-production for a feature film — right on your notebook. Thunderbolt I/O technology allows you to daisy-chain up to six new peripherals, such as the Promise Pegasus RAID or LaCie Little Big Disk, or five peripherals and an Apple LED Cinema Display.

And that’s just the beginning. With Thunderbolt technology, peripheral manufacturers finally have what they need to take high-performance devices from workstations and top-of-the-line desktops to portable computers.







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Apple Releases FaceTime on the Mac App Store for $0.99

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Apple has released FaceTime 1.0 which brings support for high definition video on the Mac App Store.

FaceTime for Mac makes it easy to talk, smile and laugh with friends and family on their iPhone 4, iPod touch or Mac. Getting started is quick and easy — simply enter your Apple ID and you're ready to go. Whether you're talking to someone on an iPhone or on another Mac, video calls with FaceTime look great. There's no better way to stay in touch with all your favorite faces.

Simple to Get Started
• Setup is quick and easy – just enter your Apple ID.
• With just one click, you can make a video call to an iPhone 4, an iPod touch, or another Mac.

Easy-to-Organize Contacts
• Make calls using your existing Address Book contacts – you don’t have to enter your contacts from scratch.
• Add the people you call most often to your Favorites list.
• Quickly review your past calls with Recents.

High-Definition Video
• Receive HD video calls at up to 720p on supported, Intel-based Macs.*
• A Mac with a standard-definition camera delivers up to VGA-quality video for Mac-to-Mac calls.

Elegant Interface
• Window and playback controls fade away so the focus stays on your conversation.
• View transitions smoothly when an iPhone 4 or iPod touch user switches from front to rear cameras or from portrait to landscape views.
• FaceTime's widescreen aspect ratio makes it easy for families and groups to participate in a call.
• Enjoy your video call full screen, using every inch of your beautiful Mac display.

Ring Anywhere, Any Time
• Incoming calls ring on your Mac, even if FaceTime isn’t running.
• If you have more than one Mac, incoming calls ring on every one so you can answer on the Mac that’s most convenient.

You can purchase FaceTime for Mac for $.99 from the Mac App Store.









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Apple Releases Developer Preview of Mac OS X Lion

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Apple today released a developer preview of Mac OS X Lion, which takes some of the best ideas from iPad and brings them back to the Mac for the eighth major release of the world's most advanced operating system. Lion features Mission Control, an innovative new view of everything running on your Mac; Launchpad, a new home for all your Mac apps; full screen apps that use the entire Mac display; and new Multi-Touch™ gestures. Lion also includes the Mac App Store℠, the best place to discover, install and automatically update Mac apps. The Lion preview is available to Mac Developer Program members through the Mac App Store today, and the final version of Lion will ship to customers this summer.

"The iPad has inspired a new generation of innovative features in Lion," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Developers are going to love Mission Control and Launchpad, and can now start adding great new Lion features like full screen, gestures, Versions and Auto Save to their own apps."

Mission Control is a powerful, entirely new feature that unifies Exposé, Dashboard, Spaces, and full screen apps to give you a bird's eye view of every app and window running on your Mac. With a simple swipe, your desktop zooms out to display your open windows grouped by app, thumbnails of your full screen apps as well as your Dashboard, and allows you to instantly navigate anywhere with a click.

Launchpad makes it easier than ever to find and launch any app. With a single click, Launchpad displays all your Mac apps in a stunning full screen layout where you can launch, re-order or organize apps into folders. You can also arrange apps into multiple pages and swipe between them.

Lion brings the full screen experience that iPad users love to the Mac. With one click, your application window goes full screen, taking advantage of your Mac's brilliant display. You can swipe from one full screen window to another and even back to your Desktop or Dashboard.

New Multi-Touch gestures and fluid animations give you a natural and intuitive way to interact with your Mac. New gestures include pinching your fingers to zoom in on a web page or image, swiping left or right to turn a page or switch between full screen apps and swiping up to enter Mission Control.

Lion also includes the Mac App Store, where you can find great new apps, buy them with your iTunes account, and download and install them in just one step. Apps purchased from the Mac App Store are installed directly into Launchpad.

Additional features in Lion include:
● a new version of Mail, with an elegant, widescreen layout inspired by the iPad; Conversations, which automatically groups related messages into one easy to read timeline; more powerful search; and support for Microsoft Exchange 2010;
● AirDrop, a remarkably simple way to copy files wirelessly from one Mac to another with no setup;
● Versions, which automatically saves successive versions of your document as you create it, and gives you an easy way to browse, edit and even revert to previous versions;
● Resume, which conveniently brings your apps back exactly how you left them when you restart your Mac or quit and relaunch an app;
● Auto Save, which automatically saves your documents as you work;
● the all new FileVault, that provides high performance full disk encryption for local and external drives, and the ability to wipe data from your Mac instantaneously; and
● Mac OS X Lion Server, which makes setting up a server easier than ever and adds support for managing Mac OS X Lion, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices.




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Apple Preps Yerba Buena for March 2nd Special Event [Photo]

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Apple has started prepping the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for next weeks iPad event. The event will be held on March 2nd at 10:00am.

Andrew Stern posted the photo below to his Twitter account.

Apple is expected announce an iPad that is thinner, lighter, features two cameras, an improved speaker, an anti-glare display, and the new Thunderbolt port.


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Investors Vote Down Proposal to Force Apple to Reveal Succession Plan

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Apple investors have voted down a proposal that would force the company to reveal its succession plan, according to the NYPost.

Apple investors voted down a proposal Wednesday that would force the tech giant to reveal its succession plan.

As a result, the company is under no obligation to disclose its plans about how the company would be run if CEO Steve Jobs had to step down.

Investors have expressed concern regarding the future of Apple leadership after, Jobs, who will turn 56 Thursday, announced a medical leave from the company last month.




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The Selling Power of the iPad [Infographic]

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Check out this infographic from Yudo Media that paints a picture of the iPad as a device tailor-made to sell content.


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