Here’s this week’s photo.
Happy Wednesday! As I’m sure you’ve heard, yesterday Apple hosted an event in San Francisco. There they announced a new iPad, as well as additional Apple products. Check out the article from @Wired included below–
The fifth-generation iPad is here and it is thin. The leaked images, videos and specs we’ve been seeing for months mostly proved true. Apple’s latest tablet isn’t just “the new iPad.” It’s the iPad Air.
The iPad Air is 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, at 7.5mm. Apple also managed to reduce its heft; the tablet weighs only 1 pound (0.4 pounds less than the fourth-gen model) making it the lightest, full-size tablet currently available. The new name reflects the multitude of hardware changes the tablet underwent, according to Apple’s Phil Schiller.
As expected, it shares the same look as the iPad mini, with an aluminum rear plate rounded gently at the edge and a shiny metallic bezel along the rim of the glass-fronted 2048 x 1536 resolution Retina display. You’ll see the same FaceTime camera on front and the rear-facing 5 megapixel shooter, both improved with the new processor. Dual microphones also make an appearance for the first time on the tablet.
The latest iPad also has an upgraded 64-bit A7 processor, which just launched in the iPhone 5s, along with the M7 motion processor. It has 8x faster performance and 72x faster graphics performance, according to the company. Apple says the iPad Air will maintain the 10 hours of battery life its predecessor had.
The iPad Air will be available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB models. It will come in two colors: White/Silver and Space Gray/Black. Pricing starts at $500 for the Wi-Fi-only version and $629 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. It will be available November 1.
iPad mini with Retina
The iPad mini has been a sweeping success since its launch last year. Still, Apple’s popular tablet has had one glaring omission from the start: a Retina display. That changed at Apple’s San Francisco event today with the introduction of a new high-res version of the 7.9-inch tablet.
“The one most requested feature to add to iPad mini was a beautiful Retina display, and that’s what we’re going to do today,” Phil Schiller said at the event.
The new mini now comes with a 2048 x 1536 resolution screen, the same as on the iPad Air. That brings it in line with the rest of Apple’s Retina-displayed devices, and more importantly, with other tablets like the Nexus 7. Internally, it received the latest A7 chip to match the iPhone 5S and iPad Air, making it up to 4x faster at CPU tasks and 8x faster at graphics tasks. As for colors, it comes in the White/Silver and Space Gray. Apple has been able to maintain the iPad mini’s 10 hours of battery life, despite the power-heavy display.
The iPad mini with Retina will start at $399. The original iPad mini will also still be available for purchase at $299. ($30 less than the original price, and $100 less than the iPad Mini with Retina Display.) Apple did not give pre-order or release date details, only saying that it would be available “later in November.”
MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina
As anticipated, Apple upgraded its high-end MacBook Pro with the latest Intel Haswell processor, boosting battery life to between 8 and 9 hours and improving graphics. Both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro with Retina got the refresh, and will be available starting today for $1,299 and $1,999, respectively.
The new MacBook Pros don’t come with the same “all-day battery life” as their thinner and lighter counterpart, the MacBook Air. But Intel’s fourth-generation processor still gives them an impressive battery boost. The 13-inch model gets up to 9 hours and the 15-inch model gets 8 hours. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is also lighter and thinner than its predecessor at 3.46 pounds and .71-inches thick.
Thanks to the improved graphics technology, the MacBook Pros now get twice the 3-D performance at a 45-percent faster rate, according to the company. Apple also added 802.11ac WiFi and Thunderbolt 2 ports, matching the feature in the MacBook Air.
“Our competition is different. They’re confused. They chased after netbooks,” Cook said at the event. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?”
Today, Apple announced that the new Mac Pro will be available in December starting at $2,999 with a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon, 12GB RAM, dual FirePro D300s, and 256GB SSD.
“It is a computer that packs an incredible amount of power into one-eighth the volume of the previous model,” Schiller said at the event. “It is our vision of the future of the pro desktop.”
To refresh your memory, since June, we’ve been waiting for the cylindrical Mac Pro. We’ve known that Apple’s next-generation Mac Pro desktop would not only look different, but also come packed with insane amounts of power, including a Intel Xeon E5 CPU with up to a dozen cores, a pair of AMD FirePro graphics cards, super-fast solid-state storage drives, and a half-dozen Thunderbolt 2 ports.
Schiller emphasized how quiet the Mac Pro will be (as quiet as a Mac mini), and how it uses 70-percent less energy than the last version. Also of note: The Mac Pro will be assembled in the United States. There’s no word on pre-orders quite yet.
OS X Mavericks
Apple took the opportunity to show off more its new desktop operating system, Mavericks, which will be available today for free. At Tuesday’s event, the company went over some of the best features again. “One of our biggest ambitions with Mavericks was to fundamentally upgrade your hardware,” Craig Federighi said at the event before delving into new features.
Thanks to Mavericks, you’ll get up to an hour longer of web browsing. A new feature called Compressed Memory keeps the OS running smoothly and can instantly compress inactive data, allowing you to fit more on your computer’s memory. Graphics also get an upgrade with the new OS — the integrated graphics now supports OpenCL and can also allocate more or less memory to the integrated GPU depending on what activities you’re performing.
Some of the apps in Mavericks also get some improvements, including Safari, Pages, and Calendar. There’s also a new Maps app and iBooks for Mac. For more on OS X, check out our post on how to use Mavericks.
But of course the most surprising announcement had to do with price. “Today we announce a new era for the Mac, because today, we’re announcing that Mavericks is free,” Federighi said. This applies to every single version of the OS, no matter what version you’re running. You can download it today.
Eddie Cue took the stage to go over a number of app updates, most of which centered around the company’s iLife and iWork suites.
Apple’s iPhoto gets a somewhat newer look on the iPad, thanks to 64-bit rejuvenation, according to Cue. The iPad now also has the Photobook creation feature. iMovie also got a redesign on iOS, and is much more focused on editing. A new feature called iMovie Theater lets you store movies and trailers in one place, backed up by iCloud.
The company put a lot of focus on a new GarageBand for iOS 7 as well. It has a new look and features — like Drummer — to choose from. Each of these app updates is available today, and will be free for those who purchase a new Mac.
iWork now has full file compatibility, meaning you can open files across various devices and on the web. The whole suite went through the largest revamp to date, according to Cue. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote have new features like animations and context-sensitive formats. iWork for iCloud Beta will now let users collaborate on the same document. iLife and iWork will be free and available to download, starting today.
Like every other event, Apple took some time to brag about sales numbers.
First off, it revealed that the company sold 9 million iPhones in the weekend after launch, making it the biggest iPhone launch to date. There was no breakdown between iPhone 5c and 5s sales, unfortunately. But that was probably for a good reason. Just five days after their launch, Apple also said there were 200 million devices running iOS 7.
The company also shared that iTunes Radio has more than 20 million listeners who have listened to more than 1 billion songs. The App Store is also growing with more than 1,000,000 apps. Users have downloaded more than 60 billion of them, according to Apple.
Most impressive, however, were iPad numbers. Apple has sold 170 million total iPads. “iPad is used more than any of the rest, and not just a little more…a lot more,” Tim Cook said. “iPad is used over four times more than all of those other tablets put together. And this is what’s important to us.”
To read this article in its original format, click here.
Earlier this month we published our Tech Tip blog post, so make sure and check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.
In honor of “Tech Tip Tuesday” being today, we wanted to take a look at a common technical question we see a lot here at the Wilson Electronics Technical Support. Got a question you want to see featured on our blog? Just let us know by leaving us a comment below, or letting us know on Facebook/Twitter.
Take a look at this actual question from a Wilson Electronics customer pasted below–
I am installing a DB PRO Wilson booster with a flat inside antenna.
Seems like a basic question, but definitely one we see a lot. Maybe you’ve even had this same exact question at some point as well. See the response from our Technical Support department included below–
This is a great question. Even though it is simple, it’s important knowledge to have when installing Wilson products. Therefore, it is okay to place the interior panel antenna in the attic. The DB Pro signal booster may also be placed in the attic, as long as, the temperature in the attic does not exceed 140 degrees.
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for…your randomly chosen winner is…
Congrats Dana!!! Please comment below and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim!
If you missed our #TBT post, check it out here.
Don’t forget to tune in next time for more #TBT fun and giveaways! See ya there.
This is the final installment of our connected car posts! Make sure to check out all of our previous posts starting with this one here.
We’re ending our connected car installments by looking at what the future of the connected car has to offer. Check out the excerpt from the @FierceWireless article pasted below–
One of the biggest opportunities on the horizon for the connected car is vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Mike Shulman, technical leader in Ford Research for global driver assistance and active safety, said that automakers will likely take advantage of a technology known as dedicated short range communications (DSRC). Shulman noted that the FCC has allocated 75 MHz of spectrum at 5.9 GHz for cars to talk to other cars and cars to talk to infrastructure.
Ford is testing technology that would allow cars to talk to each other.
Indeed, Ford currently is working on collision warning systems that use radars and cameras that can, for example, warn drivers if something is in their blind spot. Vehicle-to-vehicle communications could reduce collisions by broadcasting a car’s position and heading 10 times per second to other cars with similar sensors built in.
Shulman said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “has looked at this and said, we think there is a possibility to address up to 80 percent of all crashes.”
Further, using anonymous information, cars could act as probes on the road to communicate back to transportation networks and show, for example, how long it took to get from point A to point B. Using real-time analytics, cities could use that information to time traffic lights better.
Shulman said Ford has been working with other car makers, including Honda, Toyota and GM, alongside the U.S. Department of Transportation on a pilot program in Ann Arbor, Mich., to test vehicle-to-vehicle communications in a real-world setting. He said the NHTSA might mandate such sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, just as the European Union is trying to do with the eCall system.
While some players are working on getting cars to communicate with each other, others are working on ways for drivers to communicate with cars. Tom Ramsthaler, Broadcom’s senior director responsible for product marketing of wireless connectivity, said that advances in biometrics and wearable computing could create safer highways. For example, he said, a bracelet monitoring a driver’s pulse could warn that motorist to slow down if their pulse increases or could wake them up if their pulse is too slow.
Well there you have it, the conclusion to our connected car posts. Where do you think the connected car is headed? Is it something you are interested in? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Twitter/Facebook.
Have a great Friday everyone!!
Happy #TBT (the weekend is almost here!)
Any guesses as to what this is?! What about the year? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below, or on Facebook/Twitter. One person that comments will be selected to win a free Sleek cell phone signal booster! You must include what you think the item is AND the year to be entered. Good luck!
Last week for “Wireless Wednesday” we started looking at the connected car and how it’s changing/emerging with today’s technological advances. We looked at the industry as a whole, and especially focused on safety and security. We looked at one of the most obvious use cases for connected cars, navigation and location services. We also looked at what I think is one of the most exciting aspects of the connected car, entertainment! Today we’re taking a deeper look at diagnostics.
Check out the excerpt from the @FierceWireless article pasted below–
One of the less obvious possibilities of the connected car–at least to the consumer–could be enhanced car diagnostic services. By taking advantage of wireless sensors and connectivity within the cars, automakers can have a better sense of how the car is performing–and be able to transmit that data wirelessly so it can be analyzed and interpreted. This could wind up being more of a feature for car makers and their dealers, but auto and carrier representatives said there is also potentially strong value for consumers as well.
GM offers developers access to some functions through its API program.
In January GM announced its “app framework,” which enables new APIs for developers that allows them to interact with and build upon the infotainment systems in GM vehicles. Tim Nixon, executive director and CTO of applications delivery at GM’s global connected consumer division, said the apps are still being built and the catalog will likely be limited in size. However, he said vehicle diagnostics are available through the APIs, creating the opportunity for an app with a richer set of diagnostic tools, he said.
For example, an app could detail for a customer why their car’s “check engine” light went on. “How do we demystify the vehicle ownership experience?” Nixon said.
Kevin Link, senior vice president at Verizon Telematics, said that as connected car services evolve, so too will diagnostic tools. For example, he said, diagnostic tools that more accurately help measure emissions could help automotive companies obtain more information about how their fleets are performing.
However, Link noted, connected car business models will need to change so that customers don’t pay for the connectivity that auto makers use. “As long as the customer has to bear the burden of connectivity, we will never reach full adoption,” he said.
Last week for “Wireless Wednesday” we started looking at the connected car and how it’s changing/emerging with today’s technological advances. We looked at the industry as a whole, and especially focused on safety and security. We also looked at one of the most obvious use cases for connected cars, navigation and location services. Today we’re going to be looking into what I think is a pretty sweet aspect of the connected car, entertainment!
Check out the excerpt from the @FierceWireless article pasted below–
With LTE connectivity built in, cars can become a mobile broadband hotspot device, allowing passengers’ tablets and smartphones to feed off its high-speed connectivity, much as they do in the home. The driver will be free to keep their eyes on the road while passengers and those in the back seat can either use their tablets and smartphones for entertainment or take advantage of built-in screens within the car.
MirrorLink mirrors a smartphone screen on a car’s console.
How that service gets billed is likely going to be a matter of debate among car maker and their carrier partners. Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T’s emerging devices unit, said billing can be split so that a car company such as GM will be billed for over-the-air updates it makes to in-car software but a customer might be billed for using a mobile hotspot service in the car. He declined to specify pricing or how AT&T would proceed on the topic, but noted that a car subscription could potentially be added to AT&T’s Mobile Share shared data plans, or such a service could be billed on a monthly, annual or multi-year basis. Alternatively, customers could turn on the hotspot functionality for just a day or for a few days, depending on their trip.
Several sources said one way in-car entertainment will likely be enabled is through MirrorLink, a standard being developed by the Car Connectivity Consortium, a global group of handset and car makers. MirrorLink is a screen replication technology that mirrors what would be showing on the smartphone display on a car’s infotainment system. “We want to provide a solution which allows users to utilize their smartphones while they are in the car and while they are driving,” said Jörg Brakensiek, chair of the technical working group at the CCC. He noted that apps developed for the MirrorLink standard must meet safety guidelines so that they do not distract the driver. Brakensiek said “entertainment is easy” in terms of enablement via MirrorLink since so much entertainment content resides on consumers’ devices already.
However, the combination of hotspot technology and the ability to beam streaming content onto screens within cars means that streaming video is likely going to be a key entertainment avenue. “The only application that is going to generate vast amounts of data traffic is video and hopefully it’s not the driver that’s consuming [it],” Machina Research analyst Matt Hatton said.
While video could be the killer in-car entertainment app for passengers, something that both passengers and drivers can enjoy will likely continue to be streaming radio services. Some car makers, such as GM, have taken take the approach of allowing streaming radio apps like Slacker to be built into the in-car console platform. Others, such as Ford, let customers bring their devices into the car to sync their existing services to the vehicle. In February, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) extended its Cloud Player music streaming service to Ford vehicles equipped with the automaker’s voice-activated Sync AppLink technology. The technology supports hands-free, Bluetooth-enabled access to voice calling and digital music services like Pandora, Stitcher and iHeartRadio, as well as on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information.
Yesterday for “Wireless Wednesday” we started looking at the connected car and how it’s changing/emerging with today’s technological advances. Yesterday we looked at the industry as a whole, and especially focused on safety and security. Today we’re looking at one of the most obvious use cases for connected cars, navigation and location services. Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post here.
Check out the excerpt from the @FierceWireless article pasted below–
Navigation / concierge – connected car
Adding connectivity puts a new spin on older navigation services that used CDs or static databases to bring points of interest into cars. And, by leveraging connectivity and information from the cloud, car makers can create more personalized services.
Audi Connect offers a range of services including access to Google Earth.
Pom Malhotra, manager of connected vehicles at Audi America, noted that the car maker’s Audi Connect service (which will come with LTE connectivity in the U.S. starting next spring), is based around enhancing the driving experience. He said the company’s customers expect to get information in their cars that is “instantly accessible and of high quality.” He also said the Connect service has been designed “so you don’t have to reach out to your device.”
For example, if a driver wanted to find a nearby restaurant that serves spicy chicken, Audi’s service would leverage Google Earth and Google search to provide a voice-based search that would read the results out loud. “This leads us to believe that connectivity can do a lot more in terms of improving your driving experiences,” Malhotra said. In the future, he said, a car with access to multiple calendars in the cloud could help a driver better plot out their routes between appointments.
Malhotra also asserted that 30 percent of inner city traffic is caused by people searching for a place to park, so Audi Connect lets users search for parking garages based on their destination and allows them to sort the results via price.
Similar services underpin Nokia’s HERE Auto platform, an embedded navigation system that uses Nokia’s HERE location and mapping software. As GigaOM recently noted, a user’s bookmarked destinations, preferred routes, contacts and preferences are stored in the cloud and synced among phones, PCs and cars. The platform also comes with an SDK that lets car makers and carriers build services on top of it, ranging from streaming music services to hotel or restaurant finders.
“We design our solutions with everyday usage in mind. Turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation is a service you don’t need every day,” said Floris Van-De-Klashorst, vice president of connected car at Nokia’s HERE division. “But real-time traffic information on your daily commute or parking availability close to your destination or the most affordable gas station on your route are valuable services you need every day.”
One other element of location services that could develop further is car makers’ ability to use their relationship with the customer to send them special offers as they’re driving. Pat Watkins, director of global client management and business development at Sprint’s Velocity program, said that based on geolocation and set preferences, automakers could send customers coupons or special offers–especially if they are part of a subset of drivers, such as Jeep drivers, for example.
This week for Wireless Wednesday we’re taking an extended look at the connected car. Why, you might ask? For starters, not only is the concept of a connected car incredibly cool, but it’s actually becoming more of a reality for many! Check out what AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson had to say about the connected car via this @FierceWirless article: “The way we think about the car is that it’s just a big smartphone on wheels,” Stephenson said earlier this year at Mobile World Congress. “The connected car will become just as routine as people carrying a smartphone.”
So, over the next week, we’re going to dig a little deeper into this @FierceWireless article, (because they did such an awesome job at compiling all this information and insight), and see everything that the connected car potentially has to offer.
Representatives from carriers, car makers, components suppliers and analyst firms agree that the market is on the cusp of a boom. Indeed, according to research firm Analysys Mason, auto makers will ship around 11.5 million connected cars this year, but will grow that number to around 170 million in 2023. Most of the shipments will be in the developed world but emerging markets will grow quickly as well.
“One thing is for sure: We are on the precipice of almost all new cars coming off the shop floor with a SIM card pre-installed and mobile network operators will be keen to find multiple customer segments for the connectivity and other services they can provide,” Analysys Mason analyst Morgan Mullooly said. “Because these deals were struck between the [carriers and the] auto manufacturers in the past few of years, the operators [have] been thinking about how to charge for and how to market services.”
However, that’s where confusion sets in. The connected car, despite all the hype, is still a somewhat nebulous concept. Wireless carriers have talked up the benefits of bringing cellular connectivity into the car as if it were self-evident that consumers would not only find connected car services useful but would be willing to pay for them. Undoubtedly, as General Motors’ OnStar service has proven with its 6 million customers, there is a market for such services, which are likely to become more advanced over time. Yet there still has not been a great deal of explanation of what a consumer can actually do in a connected car environment.
Thus, FierceWireless canvassed a wide range of players in the connected car market to find the most popular current uses cases and applications for the connected car as well as what will be coming down the pike in the next few years.
To be clear, this list is certainly not comprehensive, but is instead meant to give an indication as to where the market is heading.
Safety and security – connected car
Safety and security, which has been the driver of connected car business models for years, remains a critical application for both consumers and automakers. The most well-known example is General Motors’ OnStar service, which has been in place for 17 years and now counts more than 6 million customers. The safety and security features of the service include the ability to contact OnStar representatives for emergency services, vehicle diagnostics and directions. The services also provides the ability to track stolen vehicles, among other features. These types of services do not take up a lot of resources on carriers’ networks, but provide customers with peace of mind.
GM’s RemoteLink allows drivers to unlock car doors with their phone.
“They don’t require a lot of bandwidth,” said Paul Hedtke, senior director of business development for automotive at Qualcomm. “But really what they drive is the need for ubiquity [in network coverage].”
In February, GM announced it will replace Verizon Wireless’ CDMA service with AT&T Mobility’s LTE service for OnStar starting in 2014. Tim Nixon, executive director and CTO of applications delivery at GM’s global connected consumer division, said that upgrading to LTE will improve data transmission, call processing and give OnStar customers the ability to simultaneously use voice and data.
Nixon also talked about GM’s recently introduced upgrade to its OnStar RemoteLink app, which lets customers remotely unlock doors and start their vehicles. The service will be on all OnStar-equipped 2014 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models, even if the customer decides not to pay for other OnStar services.
Of course, all of the players in the industry noted that any connected service must be implemented in a way that won’t distract drivers.
Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T’s emerging devices unit, said enhancing driver safety is a “resounding common theme.” To that end, he said the carrier isn’t just looking at specific safety services but is instead concerned with how connected car apps are architected so that they won’t interfere with motorists’ attention. Penrose said that apps should be optimized for touchscreen displays within cars to make them easily accessible, and that voice-activated apps and services that provide spoken feedback will let drives “keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”