Tag Archives | Apple Mac

Sixteen Random Questions Prompted by Apple’s WWDC Keynote

iPhone 3GsIn the end, predicting what Apple wll announce at a press event isn’t nearly as difficult as some folks make it. If you’ve been listening to scuttlebutt over the past few months, nearly all of the stuf you heard that was basically plausible came true today. Snow Leopard is indeed a minor OS X upgrade focused on under-the-hood improvements. The new iPhone is in fact a faster model with double the memory and a better, video-capable camera, but otherwise not a radical departure. There were new Macs, and their newness indeed consisted mostly of bringing features from the 17-inch MacBook Pro to its small cousins. And Apple finally lowered the price of the current iPhone to $99, an idea that’s been in play in the blogosphere for many months.

Rumors that were either less plausible or supported by fewer convincing details turned out to be groundless, at least for now. There was no tablet, and no iPhone Nano. And, of course, no Steve Jobs.

As for out-of-nowhere surprises…well, you know that an event is short on them when the two biggest ones may have been the introduction (at last) of Macs with SD slots, and the return of FireWire on the 13-inch Mac.

As usual, the event prompted as many new questions as it answered. After the jump, the sixteen that leap to my mind most immediately.

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What Will Be at WWDC: Your Predictions!

Apple WWDC PredictionsApple will announce a new iPhone at next week’s WWDC keynote. It’ll sport a faster CPU, more storage, and a high-res camera that’s video capable, and will introduce a new case material. Rumors that it might include built-in iMovie or do multitasking, however, are false.

Also wrong: The scuttlebutt that Apple will launch a tablet computer at WWDC. In fact, there won’t be any new personal computers at all. The company will, however, unveil a new iPod Touch. And, of course, it will formally introduce Snow Leopard upgrade for OS X.

Those, at least, are the collective predictions of the folks who participated in Technologizer’s WWDC Prediction Challenge. We fielded a survey (via the wondrous PollDaddy) that let folks guess at what Phil Schiller and other Apple execs will tell us next Monday. We’re saying that any prediction that was made by a majority of respondents counts as a Technologizer prediction. We’ll report on them below–and follow up after the Monday keynote (which we’ll be covering live–join us!).

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The Patents of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs PatentsAmong the many uncanny parallels between Stephen Paul Jobs and Walter Elias Disney is this one: Very early on, both abandoned the work that in some respects might seem to define their careers. Walt Disney began as a cartoonist, but by the late 1920s he had nothing to do with the drawing of Disney cartoons and is said to have told folks that he couldn’t have held down an animator’s job in his own studio.  And Steve Jobs held technical positions at HP and Atari at the dawn of his time in Silicon Valley, but his contributions to Apple have never been those of an engineer.

And yet, as I browsed Apple patents in recent months for stories like this one, I wasn’t surprised to discover that Jobs’ name is among the inventors listed on dozens of Apple filings over the past thirty years (with a thirteen-year gap in the middle during his absence). It doesn’t feel like glory-hogging, either: Anyone want to make the case that major Apple products would be pretty much the same if Jobs hadn’t contributed ideas and refinements? And Jobs’ name is typically one of several or many on a patent, usually along with that of Apple design honcho Jonathan Ive and other, lesser-known colleagues. (Most Jobs patents relate to industrial design; some are for software; none are for circuitry or other under-the-hood technologies.)

Rummaging through Google Patent Search‘s records of patents credited in part to Steve Jobs is an absorbing way to reflect on some of his accomplishments and failures–and maybe even to learn some new things about what makes the man tick.Yes, his name is on the patents for most of the iconic computers, MP3 players, and other gizmos sold by Apple from 1998 to the present. (I’ve written about some of them before.) But you know what? It’s not the famous, obvious stuff that I find most interesting–it’s the sidelights, loose ends, and mysteries. I’ll look at ten of those in a moment.

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