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#787: Apple Updates

 
     
 

Hey everyone!

It’s Glenn filling in for Matt this time around. Fall is officially here, or as we in New Hampshire call it, the rainy season. Fortunately the rainfall is nothing near what we had a few weeks ago, but it’s been pretty soggy out there nonetheless. Still, some of our retail staff were out braving the weather this past weekend, representing Small Dog Electronics at the 2011 World’s Championship Chili Cookoff in Manchester, NH.

We’re all anxiously awaiting “Leaf Peeping Season,” which many say is the best time to be in New England. The leaves will change to beautiful shades of red, yellow and orange. I remember years back when I lived in Massachusetts, the local ski resort would run the chair lifts so you could see the surrounding area ablaze in color. A hot cup of cider and gorgeous photo opportunities made for some great afternoons. Our winters may be tough at times, but the fall is truly something to experience.

Our fall New Hampshire eWaste Event is taking place this Saturday from 9AM to 2PM in the Mall of New Hampshire’s food court parking lot in Manchester! A list of acceptable materials to recycle is available on our website. This is a great opportunity to get rid of old electronics that are sitting around gathering dust!

Thanks for reading!

Glenn
glenn@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  Introducing iPhone 4S  
   
 

Today Apple announced the release of iPhone 4S—the forthcoming member of the iPhone family. The iPhone 4S brings a major internal upgrade—what Apple is referring to as “entirely new” guts—while maintaining the physical design of the iPhone 4. Here is an overview of some of the major new features of iPhone 4S:

iPhone 4S contains Apple’s dual-core A5 processing chip, which brings up to 2x more power and up to 7x faster graphics than iPhone 4. The A5 processing chip in the iPhone 4S is efficient enough to support up to 8 hours 3G talk time, 14hours 2G talk time, 6 hours 3G browsing, 9 hours Wi-Fi browsing, 10 hours of video playback, 40 hours of audio playback or 200 hours of standby time (whew!).

Apple has revolutionized the cellular antenna with iPhone 4S, which can switch between two antennas to transmit and receive. This allows for improved call quality as well as up to 2x faster HSDPA data speeds—a maximum of 14.4 Mbps (iPhone 4 tops out at 7.2 Mbps). According to several live blogs, during the the keynote Apple referred to these speeds as “what [our] competitors call 4G.” Additionally, designed to be a world phone, iPhone 4S supports both GSM and CDMA.

The camera in iPhone 4S has also gotten a substantial upgrade. As Apple highlighted today, iPhone is the top camera on Flickr. Accordingly, the camera upgrade is intended to make the iPhone 4S’s camera “better than a point and shoot.” iPhone 4S contains an 8-megapixel camera, a new lens with f / 2.4 aperture and a hybrid infrared filter. Together these features—combined with the A5 chip and new backside illumination sensor—add up to sharper, brighter, more color accurate higher-resolution photos taken at faster speeds than with previous iPhone cameras. As an added bonus, on iPhone 4S the Camera app is accessible from the Lock screen! iPhone 4S will also allow for in-app editing of photos and support 1080p HD video recording with video image stabilization and noise reduction.

iPhone 4S will exclusively feature Siri, the personal assistant software that supports voice command and dictation. Available in beta on the iPhone 4S with built-in support for English, French and German, Siri works with most of the built-in apps on the iPhone 4S. Siri fulfils to requests for the weather forecast, stock market updates, directions and much more. Perhaps the coolest of Siri’s abilities is that it recognizes natural language and can respond to inquiries such as “What’s the traffic like around here?” Learn more about Siri and check out a video on how the software works on Apple’s website.

The iPhone 4S will be available in three storage configurations, including a 64 GB model, at the following price points: $199 (16 GB), $299 (32 GB) and $399 (64 GB) with a new 2-year AT&T, Verizon or Sprint contract beginning October 14 in stores. As with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S you will be able to choose either a black or white model. Do you plan to upgrade to iPhone 4S? Click here to tell us!

Keep checking our blog for more updates!

 
   
     
  iCloud Drops (Floats?) October 12  
   
 

“iCloud stores your music, photos, documents, and more and wirelessly pushes them to all your devices. Automatic, effortless, and seamless—it just works.”

Well, Apple, that’s what we’re waiting for! And come October 12, the wait’s over.

What is iCloud? Here are some of the highlighted features:

iTunes in the Cloud
Automatically download new music purchases to all your devices over Wi-Fi (or 3G). No syncing necessary. Download anything you’ve already purchased in the iTunes Store to all your devices.

Photo Stream
iCloud pushes any photo from your iOS device or computer to the other—without syncing. Photos from your computer will automatically show up in the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Same for the Aperture or iPhoto Library on your Mac or Pictures Library on your PC. With Photo Stream, you’ll have access to the last ~1,000 photos on your device stored on iCloud (not your computer or iOS device—unless you want it).

Documents in the Cloud
It keeps your documents up-to-date automatically—“so you don’t have to!” You’ll have access to your docs (and most recent updates) wherever you are on whatever device you’re using. By signing into icloud.com/iwork, you’ll be able to view and edit your iWork files—and even download in iWork, Word or PDF format.

Apps, Books and Backup
Your apps will be everywhere you are—no need to download any multiple times on each device or computer you have. Same with books. iCloud will push all apps and books (including any notes, highlighted text, etc.) automatically (sensing a theme here?). iCloud will back up your data daily over Wi-Fi so you can rest assured that all of your data is safe.

Calendar, Mail, and Contacts
iCal, Mail and Contacts will all also be pushed automatically, plus any bookmarks, notes or reminders that you’ve written to yourself will be included.

Find My Friends and Find My iPhone (or iPad, iPod touch and Mac)
Turn your device into a location device—by sharing data, you can pinpoint where your friends and family are, making events, ski trips and more convenient and worry-free. Same goes for your iOS device should you misplace it or it gets stolen. Piece of mind in the digital age!

More to come on iCloud, but look for it October 12. Visit apple.com/icloud for more details and icloud.com on October 12th.

 
   
     
  iPod nano and touch Updates  
   
 

“We love music, and we’re still making great iPods.” Today, Phil Schiller announced changes to both the iPod nano and the iPod touch.

iPod nano
iPod nano now has larger icons for easier navigation, while maintaining the same size, weight and capacities. Users swipe between icons rather than seeing a grid. For the fit-conscious, Nike+ features are built-in, eliminating the need for the dongle (though who doesn’t love that word?).

He also showed off 16 new clock faces, perfect if you have your eye on a cool nano-enabled watch band. (Side note: Now I have a birthday present for grandma, who loves Mickey Mouse!)

The prices have also come down:

  • 8GB iPod nano: $129.99 (formerly $149.99)
  • 16GB iPod nano: $149.99 (formerly $179.99)

In the same 7 colors: Graphite, Silver, Green, Blue, Red (Apple Product (RED) Only), Orange, Pink

iPod touch
iPod touch is now offered in White, taking a cue from the iPhone 4. (I love that White is now a “new” color, considering that iPods were only offered in White when they were first introduced!)

The 8GB model saw a price break as well, finally dropping below the $200 mark (if just barely) at $199.99. All models—8GB, 32GB and 64GB will be able to run iOS 5 when it’s released, and new models will ship with it preinstalled.

  • 8GB iPod touch: $199.99 (formerly $229.99)
  • 32GB iPod touch: $299.99
  • 64GB iPod touch: $399.99

iPod touch will be ideal for iOS 5 because with Wi-Fi, it utilizes so many features present in the iPhone and iPad. (iOS 5 details to follow…)

All new iPods will be available October 12th. As far as we can tell, iPod shuffle and iPod classic remain the same.

 
   
     
  Apple Releases AppleCare+ for iPhones  
   
 

Recently we published an article about AppleCare and what it did and did not cover. One of the things AppleCare does not cover is accidental damage—for example, a cracked screen on an iPhone that got dropped. When we have to inform a customer that their broken screen voids the warranty, the general reaction is not too positive; most of the responses heard from customers are not printable in our blog.

Fear not, Apple has heard your cries! Today, Apple responded with the new AppleCare+.

With an availability to coincide with the new iPhone 4S (available October 14th), AppleCare+ extends your iPhone’s warranty coverage to 2 years, but also adds coverage for accidental damage. The price is $99, and replaces the currently available coverage of $69.

With AppleCare+, Apple will cover up to two repairs relating to “handling errors.” Whether this also covers an accidental drop into a swimming pool is unclear, but if you break the screen, Apple will repair or replace your phone for the low, low price of $49 per incident. Definitely cheaper than $150-200 charged by some websites, and you no longer have to buy a new phone due to an “oops!” moment.

There are only two downsides to this: First, it only covers iPhones. Second, Apple’s site says “AppleCare+ must be purchased together with new covered equipment,” which means you can’t add it to an iPhone 4 that you already own. Still, a lot of people will be lining up to upgrade to the new iPhone 4S, and it’ll be nice to have the peace of mind that if they drop it on their way out of the store, they are covered.

 
   
     
  Super Secret Special  
   
 

We are excited to announce a private special offer on select items for Small Dog Electronics newsletter subscribers.

The details of this exclusive deal are so hush-hush that we can’t tell you about them here!

Visit our website to see what we’re offering our valued readers.

All orders must be placed by phone and this offer is good while supplies last. We look forward to hearing from you!

 
   
     
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