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Apple updates the MacBook Pro line

Apple today updated the MacBook Pro line with a number of amazing technical advances. First the processor has been updated with new intel processors, updated graphic chip, FaceTime with HD capabilities and the inclusion of the new input/output system from Intel (Thunderbolt).
Thunderbolt is a combination of PCI Express and Mini Display port. Using an existing mini adapter a monitor can be connected and used as it is currently. Using the new thunderbolt system (which will be coming shortly from companies like Lacie for storage and video devices can be chained together (up to six devices) and powered to drive certain devices.
Thunderbolt is 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and 20 times faster than USB 2.0 so this will allow for super fast access to media and storage.
This update to the MacBook Pro line is an amazing and powerful step forward with cutting edge next generation technologies for processing professional level photography and video.

RunKeeper Pro FREE through January 2011

RunKeeper, a FANTASTIC application (and one of LifeHacker’s favorites)I have been using for about a year on the iPhone is available for about a month for FREE (normally $10).

If you are a runner or plan on running in 2011, this application tracks (using GPS or manual input) runs (or walks or cycling etc) and keeps tracks of this information for you on their website.  Looking for how long, how fast and maybe even how high your last run was, look no further!  This is an AWESOME app and worth the $10 BUT save the money and grab it right now…

A few notes.  I have found it works best with an arm band (I have been using the Belkin) so it has good GPS reception.  As RunKeeper has been doing their updates, they have become more accurate and very stable.

Again, if a 2011 resolution is running (or running more), grab this app for your iPhone or Android phone and enjoy.  Great work guys…

UPDATE Feb 2011:  Runkeeper announced in January that they would keep Runkeeper Pro free permanently!  Many people ask me what apps are must have for an iPhone – if you are a runner (or just generally active), Runkeeper Pro is a no-brainer.  Grab it for your iPhone (or Android phone) today!

Apple iTunes Event Tomorrow (Tuesday 11-16-10)

Apple has announced that tomorrow is “just another day.  That you’ll never forget.”

Cryptic to say the least, but wonder what this is leading to.  There will be an updated iOS in the next week (as expected by almost everyone).  iOS 4.2 for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch along with some AirPlay with the AppleTV.

More to come and I’ll be sure to post following the 10am EDT announcement.

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iTV appearing tomorrow (Sept 1) at the Apple Event

Apple is expected to release a series of things tomorrow during their “music themed” Sept 1 event in CA. iPod Nano and Touch devices are expected to be revamped for the fall and with the Touch getting a forward facing camera and access to FaceTime over wifi. Cool for sure…

The other long-standing rumor is the revisiting of Apple’s “hobby” the AppleTV. This AppleTV system is long overdue for a update. The hardware and storage were both showing their age in storage, hardware performance and the abilities to support newer 1080p HDTVs. This all appears to be changing September 1, 2010.

The updated AppleTV is expected to be re-branded the iTV and will use the Apple iOS that is running on the iPhones and iPads now. Storage is not expected to be one of the cornerstones of the new device, but streaming access to media from personal iTunes libraries, the internet from Netflix and possibly Apple Apps from iTunes similar to ABC, Hulu and others for streaming content. This would finally bring the AppleTV to a place where cable could disappear a little easier and the big ‘ole TV in the family still got some family time…

More to come following the Apple event Wednesday afternoon.

UPDATE: Apple will stream the event live on their website. Check apple.com tomorrow at 10am PDT and read the press release now:

Updating an iPhone 3GS to iPhone 4.0

Apple makes the process of updating an existing iPhone very simple by using iTunes as the tool for all software updates, applications and backup of the settings, content and other information.

If you have an iPhone 3GS (there appear to be some issues with the first generation phone, iPhone 3G, so updating at this time is NOT recommended), a connection to your computer with the USB cable should start iTunes and let you know there is a software update for the iPhone. I would recommend a Download and Install choice and give the process at least 30 minutes.

iTunes first downloads the latest version of the iPhone software (iOS 4) and then will erase, update and ask if you want to restore all your information to the iPhone as it was before you began the update. For most users, this is what I would recommend since the system will put music, movies, settings for email and calendars as well as photos back onto the device. Again, this could take another 15-30 minutes depending on how much info you have or had on the phone, so it is recommended that you do not do this when in a rush or heading out of the house for some reason…

Since iTunes manages your media and your iPhone, it is recommended you connect the iPhone to a computer once every week or two. This accomplishes a few things. It backs up your phone, data and settings. It will pull photos and videos from your phone into iPhoto for sharing and checks with Apple to see if there are updates to your phone which could improve performance, stability or reliability.

Questions – let us know…

Hulu Plus announced

Hulu has announced the roll-out of Hulu Plus subscription service. For $9.99 a month, the solution will allow full runs/seasons of many FOX, NBC and ABC programs and they can play to iPhones (over 3G and wifi), iPads and BluRay devices (Samsung right now). The system will support up to 720p hi-def streaming (at this time).

You can sign up for a preview invite and see if you get one. I’m excited to see what is happening with the Hulu App and online solutions for both desktops and mobile devices.

Yet another option to full-blown cable service for $30+ dollars/month to ride along with Netflix and ABC’s own iPad App.

UPDATED: 06-30-10
The iTunes App Store now has an App for the iPad and iPhone that will allow access to the “free” content (I’m guessing to get people hooked) and test the waters. The system is not yet open to the public but as mentioned above you can request an invite and maybe get lucky.

I also tried the app on the way into the office on good ole NJTransit. I had a good 3G signal and the stream of NBC’s 30 Rock started almost instantly. The quality (both audio and video) lowered at one point but continued to stream. I know Pandora and other audio streaming services do this too, but it is much more apparent with video content (obviously).

One other very interesting take on all this is the expected update of the AppleTV to more of a streaming device that would work on the foundation of the iOS4. With iOS4 and access to the Apple App Store, an AppleTV could not only have access to your home personal iTunes audio and video collection, but finally tie into the internet so many people could discontinue their cable subscriptions and sit back on a comfortable couch and watch TV (granted it may not be live, but would work VERY well).

More to come when Apple updates their AppleTV device and we see how it will work with existing media and new internet content.

iOS 4 (new iPhone software) coming Monday!

Apple will release iOS 4 (the latest iPhone and iTouch system Monday, June 21). This comes about 4 days before the new iPhone itself hits the streets (June 24) so Apple has learned something; Stagger… Let the iOS hit the streets, let people get their hands on it and play with it – AND THEN, release the new iPhone with the new iOS system and demand should look a little more reasonable come Thursday so support for the iPhone can be dedicated to the phone…

A few things to keep in mind. The Apple software (Mail, Safari, iPod and others) will work smoothly with the multitasking, the other software you have on the iPhone will require an update to be fully iPhone 4 ready.

Many programs run, but are buggy (in my experience the NYTimes app crashes A LOT under iPhone 4). According to a number of developers, Apple appears to be queuing up the iOS 4.0 software for availability today (in line with the OS update and release). Keep your eyes peeled for the update to hit iTunes sometime today, then I would expect by the end of the day, plenty of iPhone app updates to start showing up too…

Let us know your experiences and thoughts about the new iPhone OS (iOS)…