And the winners are... (drumroll please): Darth Macmillan, Enrique Mendizabal, Jeff Godfrey, Karen Erwin, Shelly Feibel, Joan Lesko, Jason Thompson, Marisol Esquivel, Balaji J, Amy Hernandez, Donna Wagner, MarkDobrovolsky, Cindy Derthick, Lori Mitchell, and Doreen Young!
For many months now, the rumors and whisperings have been building as to the purported existence of a smaller version of the iPad. In fact, as a tech journalist, I've been discussing the importance of Apple releasing a smaller format iPad ever since the iPad was initially released years ago! Even though Steve Jobs clearly stated that he wasn't keen on a smaller iPad, not only had he been known to change his mind, but a smaller format iPad just makes sense, just like a larger iPhone just makes sense. Further more, and with all due respect, Mr. Jobs is dead, and he left the company in what he deemed were capable hands, and these capable hands can direct the course of Apple in ways that they see best.
So, keeping in mind that Apple has yet to confirm an official name for the rumored iPad mini, or if in fact there even is an iPad mini about to be released, and if there actually is an iPad mini in the works, if that announcement will come on September 12th (which is the date current rumors have pegged for the announcement of the new iPhone), keeping all that in mind, here's a round up of what information we have so far. Please note, if I’ve included the rumor in here it's only if the rumor is being floated around by multiple reliable sources. That said, a rumor is a rumor and can't be taken to the bank, so only time will tell...
There are a number of news items out today regarding the forthcoming iPhone 5, which Apple is expected to announce at an event on September 12. The website BGR is reporting that trusted sources have said that AT&T is planning to start selling the new iPhone in the latter part of September, with the company instituting a no-vacation policy for all employees that will begin then and last through mid-October. The purpose of that "all hands on board" policy is, of course, to deal with the anticipated huge demand for Apple's new phone.
This week, I played 2 great games that are very different, but both great fun. Trigger Fist is a combat game that you will both love and hate. Hate it because like real combat, it's so easy to get killed, but love it because it's so freaking cool!! Cool enough to warrant an iPhoneLife video demo, also included in this review. The other game I played the week, Flight, is a simple 2D-scroller recreating the fun and nostalgia of paper airplane flight.
There was a day long before the mobile revolution when video game consoles reigned supreme, and many might have even said that computers were no good for anything other than causal games or low action fare like adventure games. I did a lot of console gaming back in the 8 and 16 bit eras, and one thing that was common among many games was that they were hard. It could be fair to say that some bordered on being impossible. Ironically, that was part of what appealed to gamers back then. The folks at 2 Ton Studios are clearly a product of that era as well, as evidenced by their premiere release Ninja Boy. My feelings towards the game shift at any given moment from intense enjoyment to sheer frustration, but in the end I’m almost positive I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent with it.
With all the chatter in the blogosphere, about new products soon to be released, and patent battles being fought on all fronts in the courts of law, I think it's important to keep in mind the old expression: "You ain't seen nuthin' yet!" Truly, hasn't this week been a great example of that.
With the court cases bringing out details Apple would just as likely have preferred to keep private, we have been granted a rare insight into the evolution of products in the Apple iDevice chain, as well as having been given glimpses into what Apple had in mind, in prototype form, two years ago.
That said, can you imagine what Cupertino has in store for us in say, 5 years? That's not that long. Think about it. Within 5 years, devices and functions that are now, only in prototype/patent form, may very well be seeing the light of day. It's not for nothing that Johny Ive says that the products Apple is working on now, are some of the best, most exciting products Apple has ever invented!
Again, the rumor is that Apple will announce the iPhone 5 on September 12, and that it will have a taller 4-inch display. If you're curious what apps might look like running on a taller display, take a look at some screen shots posted by 9To5Mac. An iOS 6 specialist tweaked the simulator that Apple makes available to developers so that it was taller, and then ran some iPhone apps on it to see what they looked like. A number of them were already engineered to scale up to the larger size.
I enjoy streaming music services probably as much as any form of music listening experience, so it's no wonder I am a big advocate of the Sonos line of internet players and accessories (see my related reviews here). For getting your music wirelessly around the house, there are few choices that compare in terms of quality and ease of use. Doesn't hurt that you can use iPhone or iPad to control it all. Sonos recently added a new device that didn't interest me all that much (a pricey wifi sub-woofer called the SUB), but they have been making quiet and steady progress on their apps and services, so I figure a quick repost up is in order. Not only did their apps get a few helpful tweaks (use hardware buttons to control volume, etc.), Sonos has recently added both the Amazon Cloud Player, and the new Songza service to their menu of selections. Now you can play custom music lists for free via Songza, and/or enjoy your own cloud store of tunes (if they're synced to Amazon) anywhere in your house. You can get more info at their blog here...