Tuesday, May 3, 2011

iMac Dual external monitors, touchpad and SSD options

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Previous-generation iMacs were able to drive both the internal and an external display at the same time, but the newly released iMacs are capable of driving two external displays simultaneously – in addition to the built-in display – thanks to the inclusion of Thunderbolt ports. Apple confirmed to GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington that the new 27-inchers’ two Thunderbolt ports (21.5-inch models only have one) can drive a dual external display setup.

Now, using two Mini DisplayPort adapters plugged in to the 27-inch iMacs Thunderbolt ports, users can simultaneously output to two monitors in addition to the main built-in screen of the iMac. It won’t necessarily clog up your Thunderbolt ports, either, since the tech supports daisy-chaining. That means you should be able to connect to Thunderbolt-compatible storage and then on to a display after that, too, without any loss of quality.
Macrumors was able to verify that the Thunderbolt ports can still make the iMac an external display for Blu-ray or video gaming or a cable box.

An Apple sales representative has confirmed to us that the new 27-inch models do continue to support the feature through the new Thunderbolt ports.
Engadget tested out a dual external monitor setup, seen below.




Apple also offers touchpad options allowing you to replace the included MagicMouse with either a Magic Trackpad or a wired Apple Mouse or go with both wireless MagicMouse and Magic Trackpad for $69 extra.



Also, MacStories explain that you can order a solid state drive in the second drive bay that will boot your operating system.

If you configure your iMac with both the solid-state drive and a Serial ATA hard drive, it will come preformatted with Mac OS X and all your applications on the solid-state drive. Then you can use the hard drive for videos, photos, and other files.
(we’re doubting Apple is supporting symbolic links to the hard drive for media – but maybe in Lion?)


MacRumors also notes that Boot Camp upgrade is available for new iMacs that also addresses issues with Japanese and Korean keyboards on early 2011 iMac.


*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

GPS Bookmarker, Location mapping for the rest of us

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Putting aside for a moment the iPhone location tracking issue, what was the last time you used the iOS Maps app? Apple’s built-in software does turn-by-turn navigation and lets you enjoy detailed satellite imagery and street-level photography, but it otherwise leaves a lot to be desired in the features department. For example, it won’t let you attach detailed information about saved location, the stuff like images, notes or voice memos.

GPS Bookmarker, a new mapping tool for iOS and Android devices, solves these shortcomings. The program lets you bookmark your current location and save it in a database on your phone. You can name the location and personalize it with custom categories, notes, pictures or voice memos so you can quickly pinpoint that fine restaurant or a bookstore later. It also does turn-by-turn directions.

For example, if you’re buying a house you could use GPS Bookmarker to take a picture of your future home, record a voice memo with contact info and attach that to the location. Or, why not snap a picture of you car at the parking lot along with a memo of the spot number to easily find your vehicle later.

I can also see you bookmarking your new girlfriend’s home location with a photo so you don’t embarrass yourself asking for directions each time you come by. GPS Bookmarker costs three bucks. A try-before-you-buy version is also in the works and should appear on the App Store within days.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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- Posted using my iPhone 4

Is Intel going to build Apple’s A6 chips?

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A report relayed by EETimes today has Intel chasing after the next generation Apple AX chips contracts that will go into iOS devices.

”Based on a number of inputs, we believe Intel is also vying for Apple’s foundry business,” said Gus Richard, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., in a new report.”It makes strategic sense for both companies. The combination of Apple’s growing demand and market share in smart phones and tablets gives Intel a position in these markets and drives the logic volume Intel needs to stay ahead in manufacturing,” Richard said.”Intel’s manufacturing lead gives Apple an additional competitive advantage in these markets and distances it from Asian competitors that are knocking off its products,” he said. ”Furthermore, it would also serve to weaken Samsung who is a significant competitive threat to both companies.”
Before the release of the A5, reports had been that apple was looking at TSMC for their chip foundry work. However, since the A5 was revealed to be the work of Samsung, who has manufactured all of Apple’s iOS device processors, TSMC was assumed to be on the back burner.

Since Apple is suing Samsung (and vice versa) Apple may be stepping up its attempts to get its AX processor line manufactured somewhere else.

Intel, however, isn’t in the foundry business. It designs and builds its own integrated processor architectures. Apple and Intel have had a pretty good relationship since the PowerPC handover over five years ago.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

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Amazon challenging iPad with own tablet this summer?

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The Amazon tablet rumor is a bit long in the tooth, but this time it could be for real. Fasten your seatbelts, folks – Asian trade publication DigiTimes just quoted supply chain sources claiming that the online retailer commissioned contract manufacturer Quanta Computer to build a tablet PC device:

Taiwan-based notebook maker Quanta Computer has recently received OEM orders from Amazon for its reported tablet PC and the device will also receive full support from Taiwan-based electrophoretic display (EPD) maker E Ink Holdings (EIH) for supplying touch panel as well as providing its Fringe Field Switching (FFS) technology, according to sources from upstream component makers.
Sources shared other tidbits related to the rumored Amazon tablet.

Rather than replace the Kindle e-book reader, the tablet will be introduced as a new device because as Amazon plans to further cut the Kindle’s price in order to push the device into education and consumer markets. They will promote the tablet PC “using its advantage in software and content resources to challenge iPad 2″, says the publication.

This partially jives with the rumors that the Kindle may somehow go free at some point. Recently, Amazon announced a project where users can borrow Kindle books from 11,000 libraries in the country.

Quanta will produce up to 800,000 tablet units during the peak season, DigiTimes wrote. The report goes on to note that Quanta is expected to ship the tablet by the second half of this year. Quanta Computer is also a manufacturing partner of Research In Motion, Sony, Apple and other established brands. They currently manufacture MacBooks for the Cupertino firm.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
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Apple updates iMacs with Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt port, FaceTime HD camera and more

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After weeks of rumor mongering and days of dried up channel inventory, Apple on Tuesday finally refreshed its iMac family. The signature aluminum and glass design remained unchanged, but a look under the hood reveals the latest Sandy Bridge processors from Intel, the new high-speed Thunderbolt I/O interface developed in co-operation with Intel, a FaceTime HD camera and storage upgrades across the board. Apple says:

Apple today updated its signature all-in-one iMac with next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, groundbreaking high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime HD camera. Starting at $1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.
The release quoted Apple’s marketing honcho Phil Schiller:

Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design. With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we’ve made the world’s best desktop even better.
This refresh has brought the quad-core performance of the Sandy Bridge processors to the entire family. Four new SKUs have replaced the previous models, beginning with the $1,199 entry-level 2.7GHz 21-incher and all the way up to the flagship $1,999 27-inch iMac with a 3.4GHz processors. More information and the official press release.

All models cost the same as previous models and include 4GB of RAM, IPS display technology for sharp image at wide viewing angles, an SD card slot supporting high-capacity SDXC memory cards, the wireless Apple Keyboard and Magic Mouse and more.

Here’s full press release from Apple:

CUPERTINO, California—May 3, 2011—Apple® today updated its signature all-in-one iMac® with next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, groundbreaking high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and a new FaceTime® HD camera. Starting at $1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.*

“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we’ve made the world’s best desktop even better.”

The new iMac features quad-core Intel Core i5 processors with an option for customers to choose Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz. These next generation processors feature an integrated memory controller for an amazingly responsive experience and a powerful new media engine for high-performance video encoding and decoding. With new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop.

iMac is the first desktop computer on the market to include groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. The 21.5-inch iMac has a single Thunderbolt port while the 27-inch model features two ports for even greater expansion. Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on an all-in-one 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.

iMac includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera and Apple’s innovative FaceTime software for crisp, widescreen video calling the whole family can enjoy. The new camera supports high definition video calls between all FaceTime HD-enabled Macs and standard resolution calls with iPad® 2, iPhone® 4, the current generation iPod touch® and other Intel-based Macs. The iMac continues to feature its signature aluminum and glass design, gorgeous IPS LED-backlit high resolution display, SD card slot and comes with Apple’s innovative Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

Continuing Apple’s commitment to the environment, Apple’s desktop line is a leader in green design. The iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold rating.** iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses highly recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard®, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife®, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for creating and sharing great photos, movies and music. Snow Leopard builds on more than a decade of innovation and includes the Mac App Store℠ for finding great new apps for your Mac. iLife ’11 features iPhoto® with stunning full screen views for browsing, editing and sharing photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use tools to transform home videos into fun theatrical trailers; and GarageBand® with new ways to improve your playing and create great sounding songs.

Pricing & Availability
The new iMac is available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations: one with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US); and one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US). The new 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US); and one with a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US).

Configure-to-order options include faster Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 2TB, a 256GB solid state drive, additional DDR3 memory and AppleCare® Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at www.apple.com/imac.

*Testing conducted by Apple in April 2011 using preproduction iMac configurations. For more information visit www.apple.com/imac/features.html.

**Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.2 energy database as of April 2011. EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4

Apple Store Down, here are your Quad-core iMacs

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As predicted, the Apple Store went down this morning. We’ve just heard that these are the new Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt-equipped iMacs:




So there is only one 21.5-inch iMac now which starts with a Quad-Core Sandy Bridge processor and 4GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive.

The 27-inch iMacs come in three varieties starting with a 2.7GHz Quad core and going up to a 3.4GHZ Quad-Core. All three have 4GB of RAM (starting at) and 1TB hard drives.

*thanks 9to5Mac*

Our new Forum is now open here or on the top tabs marks Forums, please register and post.. For the latest limera1n, rubyra1n, and all tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @iphonepixelpost or @limerain_com www.iPodSets.com
- Posted using my iPhone 4