Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Nest Thermostat

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Check out this cool new thermostat:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New iPhone Software on the Way

Expect Apple to announce version 4.0 of the iPhone OS next week, possibly along with their long-anticipated iSlate tablet computer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New iPods

Apple just announced their new iPod lineup for the fall of 2008. It includes yet another new redesign for the iPod Nano ($149+), this time with the old taller/thinner design and the newer widescreen display. Colors are brighter than last season's more muted offerings. There's also a new thinner iPod Touch ($229+)and a new thinner 120GB iPod Classic ($249). 

Also updated is the iTunes softwware. iTunes 8 has a new "Genius" feature that builds playlists based on songs/artists that you like -- something third-party apps have been doing for some time now. The Genius feature is built into the new Nanos and Touches; the Nano also has a "shake" feature that switches to a new playlist when you physically shake the thing.

Nice updates, but nothing earth shaking -- a little underwhelming, actually. Still, it's always nice to have new models for Christmas buying season.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

iPhone 3G

Well, the next generation iPhone is finally on its way. Announced last month and due to ship on July 11th, the second-generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 3G, fixes a lot of what was wrong with the first generation model -- at a much lower price. The 3G refers to the fact that the new iPhone works on 3G wireless networks, for much faster connection and download speeds. You also get built-in GPS and a new OS/interface, complete with lots of new iPhone-specific apps. The new model will be available at AT&T stores only, and only with a 2-year subscription. There's a 8GB model priced at $199, and a 16GB model at $299 -- assuming you're either a new AT&T customer or an older customer who qualifies for this "upgrade" pricing.

FWIW, this is the model I've been waiting for. There's still some things about it I don't like (such as the lack of multimedia messaging), but for me it's time to take the plunge. See you at a local AT&T store on the 11th!

Friday, December 28, 2007

iPhone Ringtones on iTunes

Apple now lets you create ringtones from any tune you purchase from the iTunes Store. You have to pay an additional 99 cents (for a total of $1.98 -- the original 99 cent tune purchase plus the 99 cent ringtone purchase), but then you get a custom ringtone from that tune you can import onto your iPhone. Check it out from within the latest version of the iTunes software.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

iTunes WiFi Music Store -- and Starbucks

Part of Apple's new product announcements last week was the opening of the iTunes WiFi Music Store. Designed for use with WiFi-enabled iPods (currently, the iPhone and iPod touch), the WiFi version of the iTunes Music Store lets you purchase and download music directly to your iPod/iPhone from any WiFi hotspot, no computer required. Songs you download in this fashion are later transferred to you computer when you sync your iPod.

It's a great idea with some limitations. For example, you currently can't download DRM-free iTunes Plus tracks. Neither can you download videos. Maybe at a later date.

Apple also announced a partnership with Starbucks. If you hear a song you like playing at your local Starbucks, just tap your iPod's new "Starbucks" button to display information about the track and, if you like, to purchase and download it. Good deal for Starbucks, I'm sure, and an interesting application of the new iPod/iPhone WiFi capabilities.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New iPod Models

Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, a totally revampted iPod lineup. Here's what's available:
  • iPod touch, more or less an iPhone without the phone. The touch has the iPhone's form factor, touch screen, Cover Flow navigation, Wi-Fi capability, and web browser, but at a fraction of the price. Two models are available: 8GB for $299 and 16GB for $399. Memory is flash-based, of course, and the touch plays both music and videos.
  • iPod classic, more or less the current iPod Video but with a thinner case, more storage capacity, and a lower price. The 80GB model runs $249, and the double-capacity 160GB model runs $349. Both are available in black or silver.
  • iPod nano, completely revamped for this generation. The new nano is shorter and wider than the older model, with a 320 x 240 pixel display. The display is perfect for viewing videos, which the new nano (unlike the old) lets you do. Both the nano and the Classic come with a new Cover Flow interface, which works well on the larger screen. It's available in 4GB ($149) and 8GB ($199) versions; the smaller one is silver only, the larger one comes in silver, blue, green, black, and red.
  • iPod shuffle, essentially unchanged from the previous model except for new color choices: silver, turquoise, red, green, and blue, all priced at $79.

I expect the new iPod touch to be the big seller, along wth the revamped nano; the classic will continue to appeal to those with extra-large music collections (up to 40,000 tracks for the larger model).