In more patent filing fun, Apple has filed for two new patents with respect to its chief input devices; the keyboard and the mouse.
The new mouse, as described in the patent filing by Apple iPhone interface designer Brian Huppy, focuses on a new design that replaces traditional buttons and scroll wheels with a touch/grip sensitive interface while the new keyboard would feature standard keys but a click wheel device in place of a numeric keypad.
Full details can be found over at the Apple Blog.
Definitely cool ideas and if you have any ideas or feedback, let us know.
Amid controversy regarding expense and allegations that Apple flew three legislator’s at the company’s expense to its campus as part of research to see whether a “one iPod per child” program would have been effective back in March, Michigan lawmakers rejected the proposed legislation according to Macworld UK.
The program, which would have allocated US$38 million towards the purchase of an MP3 player for each student in the state of Michigan, came under fire due to expense, the state’s current and projected deficits and Apple’s having paid for air fare to its headquarters. An article in the Detroit Free Press has revealed that a result of the controversy, the legislators have created plans to pay the U$1,700 air fare back to Apple.
Representative Tim Melton, D-Auburn Hills, was quoted as saying that he hoped the refunded air fare would end the controversy. Melton also commented that the issue has “spun completely out of control”, the disputed US$38 million budget proposal to incorporate more technology in the classroom having been intrepreted as a plan to exclusively buy iPods.
Melton mentioned that Representative Matt Gillard, D-Alpena, ignited interest in the iPod by citing it as a “wonderful learning tool” and saying that House Democrats wanted to put one in the hands of every schoolchild in the state of Michigan.
Apple has apparently filed for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that mentions using a “mobile phone” as a remote control for a Macintosh computer according to MacNN. The patent also discusses Apple’s Front Row remote control and leaves room for other Bluetooth devices to serve the role with the language “Still another solution uses Bluetooth compatible handheld devices, such as a mobile phone, to serve as a remote controller for a Macintosh computer.”
The description is then follow by “Once the software is installed, the mobile phone can be used to control popular programs such as iTunes media management program from Apple Computer, Inc. For example, in controlling iTunes media management program using this solution, the user can use the directional controls on the mobile phone to change listing volume, skip forward and backward, play/pause, etc.”
The iPhone has been theorized as a possible remote control for some time now given its available port technologies as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. The device will be released this June and retail for US$499 for the 4 gigabyte model and US$599 for the 8 gigabyte model.
On Thursday, Apple released a statement declaring that the much-anticipated Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard” operating system won’t be released until October due to requirements involved with the release of the iPhone.
The “iPhone has already passed several of its required certification tests and is on schedule to ship in late June as planned,” notes the release. The statement then goes on to point out that setting the iPhone’s launch date for June had an unintended consequence of reallocating Quality Assurance and “some key software engineering” resources away from Mac OS X development to finishing work on the iPhone.
Mac OS X 10.5 was originally anticipated for a June release at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this June.
“We now plan to show our developers a near final version of Leopard at the conference, give them a beta copy to take home so they can do their final testing, and ship Leopard in October. We think it will be well worth the wait. Life often presents tradeoffs, and in this case we’re sure we’ve made the right ones,” concludes the statement.
On Thursday, Sierra Sound announced the iN Studio 5.0, a pair of iPod-ready speakers boasting “studio monitoring quality”. The unit functions as a 50 watt amplifier and iPod dock and charger. Additional features include two auxililary inputs, S-video output, 1″ silk tweeters and 5″ drivers, a USB port, infrared port and wireless remote control according to iLounge.
The iN Studio 5.0 retails for US$399 with free shipping and will be available later this month in red, white and black.
Despite the popular feedback it’s generated for Apple, there is a finish line in sight. The Boot Camp program, released as an unsupported public beta in 2006 that allows Intel-based Mac owners to create separate partitions and run Microsoft‘s Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, is set to expire on September 30th or whenever Apple releases a commercial version under the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 operating system according to MacNN.
To this end, Apple has stated that Boot Camp users who’ve created Windows paritions will not see their files instantly disappear, but stated that there will only be limited support for those continuing to use the beta.
“The Windows installation on a user’s Mac will continue to work after the Boot Camp license expires,” said Lynn Fox, a spokeswoman for Apple. Fox warned that the Boot Camp Assistant software will no longer function when the test period expires and that Apple will no longer provide driver updates to beta users following the expiration.
As mentioned on this site before, Apple has been viewed as gearing up for a commecial release of Boot Camp, perhaps to be sold as a standalone product once Mac OS X 10.5 ships. A final price for such a product has yet to be announced.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this, let us know.
Storage technology firm SanDisk and online search giant Yahoo have released an iPod competitor in the form of SanDisk’s Sansa Connect music player.
The Sansa Connect, priced at US$249.99, ships with a 2.2″ LCD screen, weighs 15.2 ounces and ships with an eight gigabyte Flash-based hard drive as well as a microSD memory card slot according to Macworld UK.
Unlike the iPod, the Sansa Connect features full Wi-Fi support, the device allowing access to Yahoo’s free and paid services such as Launchcast Internet radio, Flickr photo galleries and Yahoo Messenger. The player supports both the MP3 and WMA file formats. Users can also access Yahoo’s Music Unlimited To Go service to wirelessly download music directly to the device.
While Microsoft’s Zune music player added the much-touted “music beaming” feature in which users could wirelessly share songs, the Sansa Connect focuses on allowing users to view recommendations from friends and other Sansa Connect owners as opposed to sharing content.
No word has been given regarding Mac drivers or support for the Sansa Connect.
On Tuesday, news site Washingtonpost.com began offering high-definition podcasts formatted for download and viewing on HD TV sets as well as Apple’s newly released Apple TV device. These files, which are shot with high definition cameras and encoded at 720p and include documentary pieces such as Ben De La Cruz’s “Being a black man” series, coverage of Chad’s Darfur refugee series and ongoing coverage of the emerging 2008 presidential campaigns according to MacNN.
The content is free and the move represents the first move by a major news organization to format content for the Apple TV, which was released to the market a few weeks ago.
The sharp-eyed folks over at Macenstein.com have pointed out what may be the first third party application designed for Apple’s upcoming iPhone.
The description for Scenario Poker, included in Apple’s Dashboard games section, describes the title as being designed for the iPhone’s screen size and resolution as well as supporting a “tap” interface as well as a mouse-friendly double click interface.
To date, Apple has not specified the exact criteria for third party iPhone applications or what’s involved in the development of any such titles.
If you have any ideas or comments about this, let us know.
It was only a matter of time between when the Apple TV was released and people would try to make it do…everything.
A pair of new hacks to Apple’s recently released media device now allow the Apple TV to act as both a news reader as well as a video game emulation unit for NES, SNES, Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis game console titles.
The RSS reader, according to Engadget, is installed as a plug-in. Full details and the plug-in itself can be found here at the twenty08 blog.
The video game emulation is a bit foggier, but appears to be functional, a wiki post over at awkwardtv.org citing that several emulators by Richard Bannister can work with the addition of SSH. Below is a YouTube video of the hack in action, though no directions as to how to set this up for yourself have been posted as of yet:
Finally, AppleTVHacks.net and FalWallet.com have offered a $1,000 bounty for a hack that enables full external drive support through the Apple TV’s USB port.
If you’ve tried these hacks or know of another project that’s pushing what the Apple TV is capable of, let us know.