This Griffin WindowSeat is a suction cup-based iPhone/iPod Touch mount for your car, allowing you to keep your phone at eye level for easy map viewing and voicemail checking. What’s left unsaid is how sturdy this thing is in case of an accident, and whether it will come careening off your window or dashboard into your face to make a comically iPhone-ish indentation on your cheek.
If the Zune ever had a killer feature, it was its ability to squirt an audio file from one Zune to another effortlessly. Unfortunately, it was a killer feature utterly squandered by the addition of DRM. Enter miShare, a less elegant $99 solution for iPods, allowing you to easily squirt a song from one iPod to another.
The miShare is a dongle with two dock connectors: you simply select the iPods to the donor and receiver ports, select the song you want to transfer on the donor iPod, push a button and it squirts onto the other iPod. Even neater: you can exchange DRM-encrypted files, which will simply sit on your iPod’s disk area, unlockable with your iTunes password when you hook your iPod up to your computer.
The big Achilles heel here is transfer speed: miShare can transfern songs at about 500kb/s, which is slow enough to make transferring the entire contents of a 160GB iPod collection completely impractical. However, it is fast enough to transfer a few tracks in a minute, which seems like a good compromise between the conscionable and convenient.
Yesterday was basically the Super Bowl for Apple fans: The Steve Jobs keynote address at Macworld. So many people were craving coverage that Twitter crashed, as did a number of blogs and other sites attempting to cover the event. That said, it speaks volumes to the growth of blogging and new media that we had so many different options for following Apple’s CEO play-by-play.
So, what did we hear? :
The MacBook Air:
Steve Jobs announced Apple’s entry into the ultra-mobile laptop market, the MacBook Air. From end to end, at its thickest it’s just 1.93 cm thick, whereas at its thinnest, it’s just 0.4 cm. Well, it happened. Steve totally wowed his audience with this one. Despite being just a slip of a thing that can “fit in an envelope”, it packs in a full size 13.3″ widescreen, full size keyboard and iSight camera. It’s LED backlit, and just bloody brilliant all round.
To make it even more wonderful, Apple has packed in some of the features from the iPhone in terms of navigation. A large trackpad recognises a whole host of multi-touch gestures; basically, if I haven’t said it before, you can take your right mouse button and… well, you know.
The chassis is not disappointing either. The hard drive is 1.8″ and 80GB as standard, but there’s a 64GB Solid State Drive option too. RAM is 2GB as standard. It is powered with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1.6GHz as standard, although you can upgrade to 1.8. Intel specifically made the Core 2 Duo 60% percent smaller for Apple.
In something this tiny there is, of course, no optical drive, although a $99 is available as an accessory. But since this is built to be wireless, there’s a much more clever feature. You can scan the vicinity for PCs and Macs and “borrow” their optical drives and use them as if they were your own. And you can see what’s on them. What’s more, this claims to be packing 5 hours of battery, so you should never be caught short.
Oh, and by the way, Hippyshopper fans, it’s been designed with much more of an eco-conscience than other models. The case is recyclable aluminium, the display is mercury and arsenic free and there are no brominated flame retardants. There’s also a focus on less packaging.
It’s shipping in two weeks starting at $1799. I don’t even want to think what that’s going to be Israel… whenever it’s available.
The Time Capsule:
Time Capsule is a new storage device that’s a full Aiport Extreme (that’s WiFi, PC fans) base station with a “server grade” internal hard drive. 500GB and 1TB versions are in the offing, for $299 and $499 respectively.
Apple TV, iTunes and Movie Rentals:
Movie rentals were the big new announcement for iTunes, which is also showing healthy growth, with 20 million songs sold on Christmas Day. Touchstone, MGM, Miramax, Lionsgate, Newline, FOX, WB, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Sony have all joined the party now for movie rentals; a goodly collection by anyone’s reckoning.
Although iTunes Movie Rental is US first, hopefully, we will be seeing this in Israel at some point. The rentals will last for 30 days until you start watching, thereafter lasting for 24 hours, with US prices set at $2.99 for library titles and $3.99 for new releases, which will be available 30 days after the DVD release.
And so to Apple TV, which even Steve now admits was not quite what the consumer was after.
Apple TV version 2 means direct film rentals, in HD and Dolby 5.1 channel sound if you want to shell out $4.99. Photos from Flickr and .Mac and YouTube videos are also available plus you can stream from your machine, although none is needed to access the other features. Previewing movies is easy with a revamped interface, as is seeing what others have rented. You can, as Steve demonstrated at the keynote, even watch HD podcasts.
The new version is actually an upgrade to the existing Apple TV – and it’s completely free if you have that. If not, the price is $229, a significant reduction from the original product.
iPhone and iPod Touch apps:
On this, the 200th day since the iPhone shipped, Jobs first announced some new features that suggest the rumoured hardware update was fact: maps with location information, multiple SMS, webclips and the like ( I will elaborate further on this soon).
Web Clips looked particularly handy, creating up to 9 shortcuts on the homepage and remembering where you zoomed into the page and so on. There were also some new features announced for the iPod Touch including weather apps and, crucially, mail. But it’s $20 for those, whereas iPhone apps are freebies for now…
Unfortunately for developers the announcement wasn’t quite as exciting as they hoped, because despite the fact that the promised SDK is on the horizon – that’s the software development kit if the jargon is unfamiliar – it’s still not coming until February. And despite a fancy demo of the new apps explaining all the Skyhook geekery behind the mapping, there’s till no GPS and there’s no 3G. Damn.
Waterproof up to 10ft/3m when paired with a H2O Audio Waterproof Headphones. Commander™ Scroll Wheel allows for functional control over the iPod Click Wheel in the water or while wearing a glove. LatchTight™ Locking Closure designed to generate uniform commpression for a watertight seal and will not open on impact. SealTight™ Connector compatible with standard 3.5mm headphone plugs.
Available for iPod 5th Gen w/Video, iPod nano 2nd Gen, and iPod Shuffle 2nd Gen.