News tagged ‘design’

Imagination Technologies Releases Details on Next-Generation GPU for iOS Devices


Apple has been long using graphics processing unit (GPU) manufactured by Imagination Technology in its iOS devices. Currently Apple is utilizing PowerVR SGX543MP2 GPU in the A5 system-on-a-chip found in the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

Imagination has now revealed new details on the upcoming Series6 family, touting performance improvements of 20x or more for the G6400 and G6200, the first two members of the family.

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Report of Hands-On with iPad 3 Rear Shell and Other Components


Last week iLounge reported that the next-generation iPad would receive improved cameras and today the site has reported that it has viewed what appear to be at least prototype parts for the device, including the rear shell and front glass bezel. The parts seem to corroborate iLounge's earlier claims of an almost imperceptibly thicker body and an upgraded iPhone-like rear camera.

The new iPad’s body is so slightly thicker than the iPad 2 that the change is unnoticeable on first inspection; a roughly 1mm increase will barely be perceptible to users. We’ve heard that the only accessories that might have issues are cases, and then, only cases that were precisely contoured to fit the iPad 2’s back. On the rear, the camera in the upper left corner has become bigger—noticeably so when placed alongside the iPad 2, but not so huge that anyone would think they were different at a distance. The new camera hole is silver-ringed, and does in fact look the same size as the iPhone 4S’s much-improved rear camera system, minus the LED flash.

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iPhone 4S users consume nearly twice as much data as iPhone 4


Telecom network technology firm Arieso has found that data usage of the iPhone 4 was 1.6 times higher than the iPhone 3G, while iPad 2 tablets consumed 2.5 times more data. The iPhone 4S was the heaviest on usage with three times the amount used by the iPhone 3G.

"I use the iPhone 4 myself and when I first heard of the iPhone 4S features I was not compelled to rush out and get one. However, the data usage numbers I am seeing make me wonder what I am missing," Arieso's chief technology officer, Michael Flanagan, said of the study.

Flanagan also noted that tablet usage closely resembled that of high-end smartphones. "A tablet still looks like a big smartphone," he said. Bloomberg also confirms Arieso's research claiming that one percent of the high-use subscribers consumed half of the data volumes. “The hungry are getting hungrier,” Flanagan said.

The rise in iPhone data consumption comes as Sprint is the only U.S. network to offer an unlimited data plan. The iPhone has actually brought broad changes in the wireless industry. AT&T, Apple's original carrier partner in the U.S., was initially surprised by the amount of data users consumed. The iPhone maker has also opted to wait for 4G LTE to become more mature. CEO Tim Cook said that the first generation of LTE chipsets required "design compromises" that Apple was unwilling to make. Apple may release LTE iPad and iPhone models this year.


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iPad 3 to Gain Improved Cameras


iLounge offers a new portion of information from a source about Apple's plans for the iPad 3. The source claims that the next-generation iPad will carry significantly improved cameras on the front and back, moving to a FaceTime HD camera on the front and a higher-resolution iPhone-like camera on the rear. The same source also confirms iLounge's earlier claim that the next-generation iPad will be slightly thicker than the iPad 2.

) A few next-gen iPad notes, ahead of the show. Both cameras are getting upgrades. Front goes HD, rear becomes iPhone 4/4S-like (bigger).

2) Body of the next iPad is, as we previously reported, getting just a little thicker to accommodate new parts - little = 1mm give or take.

3) Curve radiuses on the body will change only a little to accommodate the added thickness, not dramatically. Think iPad 2 Pro, not a redesign.

iLounge's source also suggests that Apple will continue to offer the iPad 2 alongside the iPad 3, but the company is expected to drop the price of the current model to compete with lower-priced rivals such as Amazon's Kindle Fire. The iPad 3 is said to be released in March.


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Apple granted original list-editing iPhone patent, 13 others


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple an original iPhone patent for editing lists by using touch gestures. Such technology gives an opportunity for inventions regarding use of the handset as a portable hard drive and a filing for the company's now defunct Bluetooth headset.

The original touchscreen patent, first filed for in June 2007, covers a method for displaying and managing lists on a portable multifunction device, and details a simple computer user interface controlled by finger gestures rather than a sequence of button presses and stylus touches. What the abstract describes is the basic list management system found on current iOS devices.

Included in the patent background is a look at the state of portable devices at the time, which Apple claimed "resorted to adding more pushbuttons, increasing the density of push buttons, overloading the functions of pushbuttons, or using complex menu systems to allow a user to access, store and manipulate data." A far cry from what the company eventually released in the original one-button iPhone.

The company explains that devices which rely on physical pushbuttons are inherently limited in their configurability, and that a conventional user may find it frustrating to operate such an inflexible interface.

Because such devices are designed to read the precise pinpoint contact of the stylus (when a user makes a selection on the touch screen with the stylus), making selections on the touch screen of the device without a stylus, for example, with a user's finger, can prove to be somewhat difficult.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, January 6th, 2012. 1:43

iPad App Store hits 3 billion downloads


ABI Research, which tracks mobile application downloads and revenues segmented by mobile operating system platform, announced in a press release on Wednesday that 3 billion applications designed specifically for Apple's iPad were downloaded via App Store since the iPad first launched in 2010. The iPad downloads represent 19 percent of all iOS App Store downloads.

"Discounting all of those apps that were originally downloaded for Android smartphones, Android still trails greatly behind the iPad in terms of its tablet app offerings," research associate Lim Shiyang said. "Many Android tablets in the market are still using older versions of Android, which disadvantages users from enjoying the better effects of apps produced from more advanced software development kits."

As of the third quarter of 2011 there are 120,000 applications created specifically for the iPad were available on the App Store, comparing with last June numbers that accounted 100,000 applications. The growth of iPad-specific applications and downloads of iPad software is comparable to the explosive start the iPhone had when the App Store first opened.


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Designer Jony Ive reportedly has a 50-inch Apple television in his studio


Citing an anonymous source who worked at Apple, USA Today revealed that 50-inch Apple television is said to be housed in the secure California studio of Jonathan Ive. The same source also said that Apple is looking to build an LCD television sized 42 inches or larger with built-in Wi-Fi functionality, because Apple is not interested in building an HDTV with a screen size of less than 42 inches.

Author Scott Martin notes that Apple's rumored TV set is going to receive "big buzz" at next week's Consumer Electronics Show, even though the Cupertino, Calif., company isn't attending the event.

The story also features a quote from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who said he expects Apple will make "an attempt" to build a TV. He believes the living room will "remain a center for family entertainment, and that touches on all areas of consumer products that Apple is already making."

The report offers little else that is new about Apple's anticipated television set. Some reports have indicated that Apple plans to use custom chips, like it does with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, others suggested that Apple could include AirPlay and iCloud into its new product. Rumors also claim that Apple wants to be able to offer customers customized channel lineups with its anticipated television set to choose whichever channels or shows they want for a monthly subscription fee.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, January 5th, 2012. 1:17

Apple again rumored to switch to IGZO displays for 'iPad 3'


Digitimes has reported that Apple will be utilizing IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) flat panels instead of IPS (in-plane switching panels) in its "next-generation mobile display products" such as the iPad 3.

Starting with the new iPads, Apple will utilize IGZO panels from Sharp in order to upgrade the display resolution of the new tablets to full HD level, the sources indicated.

Though, such rumors aren’t new ones. We have already heard that Apple could use this technology in the next-generation iPad. A research note from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek back in November made very similar claims:

Also, we believe that Apple and Sharp together have a modified IGZO (indium, gallium, zinc) technology to achieve 330 dpi, which is sufficient for an HD display while not using IPS nor having to include dual-bar LED backlighting. In our view, this should lead to several design advantages, namely the device can be thinner, battery life should be longer, and the overall experience for users should be meaningfully improved.

In April, Sharp revealed its plans to commercialize new IGZO panels for mass production later this year. DisplayBlog recaps the advantages of this new technology:

The benefits of IGZO are plenty: lower cost of manufacturing, up to 30x higher electron mobility than a-Si (amorphous silicon), increased aperture ratio for improved light transmittance, higher resolution in terms of ppi, etc. IGZO would allow for significant cost reductions compared to LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon).

The new technology is said to allow Apple not to use a second light bar system that is presently used in the iPad and to avoid making the iPad 3 thicker than the current iPad.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012. 0:48

Apple design chief Jonathan Ive awarded knighthood


The BBC reported on Friday that Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, has been named a Knight Commander of the British Empire in the U.K.'s 2012 New Year Honours list for "services to design and enterprise”. In 2005 he was awarded the title of Commander of the British Empire. Ive responded that he was "both humbled and sincerely grateful" by the commendation.

"I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making," he said. "I discovered at an early age that all I've ever wanted to do is design."

Ive’s father was the first who inspired him to study design. Ive went on to study Industrial Design at Newcastle Polytechnic University. It was there that he first realized the potential of designing on the Mac.

"I discovered the Mac and felt I had a connection with the people who were making this product," he said. "I suddenly understood what a company was, or was supposed to be."

After graduating, Ive worked at the U.K. design agency Apple cooperated with. Then the company noted his talent and offered him a full-time position. During his 19 years at Apple, Ive and Steve Jobs became close friends and even "spiritual partners", according to Jobs' biography. While Jobs and Ive were close friends, Ive did admit to Isaacson that he felt Jobs had stolen some of his ideas.

"[Jobs] will go through a process of looking at my ideas and say, 'That's no good. That's not very good. I like that one,'" Ive told Isaacson in an interview. "And later I will be sitting in the audience and he will be talking about it as if it was his idea. I pay maniacal attention to where an idea comes from, and I even keep notebooks filled with my ideas. So it hurts when he takes credit for one of my designs."


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Sunday, January 1st, 2012. 17:55

Foxconn Likely to Win Contract for Building Apple Television Set


Digitimes now claims that it has obtained new portion of information on the rumored Apple’s television. The main role in manufacturing and assembling of the new TVs is expected to be played by Foxconn, Apple's primary iOS device manufacturing partner.  The company is likely to win the contract for assembly of the television set products.

Following sources' claims that Samsung Electronics and Sharp will manufacture chips and displays, respectively, for the so-called Apple "iTV," others have suggested that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Advanced Semiconductor Engineering (ASE) and Siliconware Precision Industries (SPIL) have the potential to win orders for Apple's smart TV.

Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) likely will obtain assembly orders for the Apple smart TV, according to industry sources.

We have already reported that Apple is going to finalize Apple’s TV design by the end of the second quarter and launch the television sets by the end of the year. Moreover, the analyst Shaw Wu at Sterne Agee has suggested that Apple may be interested in disrupting the television industry on the content side by launching its own television services which, obviously, will be connected with Siri.

"This is obviously much more complicated (than current offerings) from a licensing standpoint," Wu wrote in a note to investors on Wednesday. "And in our view, would change the game for television and give AAPL a big leg-up against the competition."

Hardware and technology are not the issues holding back Apple from releasing a television set, he said. Instead, Apple must negotiate unique content deals that will allow the company to differentiate its product from other televisions on the market.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Thursday, December 29th, 2011. 21:47

Rumors: Apple Will Launch Mid-Range and High-End iPad 3 At Macworld|iWorld


There have been many rumours about the iPad 3 which is expected to debut sometime in the beginning of 2012. DigiTimes is one of the main sources for these reports and now it claims that Apple is going to launch its next iPad at the Macworld|iWorld conference that will open on January 26th 2012.

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Written by maxim

Thursday, December 29th, 2011. 18:45

Apple Planning Completely Redesigned iPhone for Fall 2012 Launch


BGR claims that Apple is planning to launch a completely redesigned iPhone in the fall of next year. The new iPhone will haven an aluminum back panel rather than the glass one with the incorporation of a rubber or plastic bezel covering similar to that used on Apple's iPhone bumpers. The device’s antennas will be also covered with some protective bezel to avoid direct skin contact.

We have also learned that Apple is planning to use a rubber or plastic material — similar to the material used in the company’s bumper cases — that will be built into the new iPhone case. In all likelihood, this material will be used as a bezel surrounding the front edge of the phone (like the iPhone 3GS bezel) and it will serve two purposes. First, it will join the glass iPhone face with a new aluminum back plate. It will also cover a redesigned antenna system that surrounds the device, allowing Apple to build the rear case out of aluminum without having to use a large plastic insert above the antennas as the company does on its iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011. 10:41

This is What a 7.85-Inch iPad May Look and Feel Like


The recent rumors claim that Apple may launch a smaller 7.85" iPad sometime in 2012 to compete against the new 7" Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon. Though Apple has never tried to compete spec for spec against their competitors. For example, the iPhone has kept the same basic form factor across 5 different generations.

The supply chain has actually been very specific about the screen size of this rumored iPad. According to Chinese manufacturers, Apple is buying up 7.85" screens for this upcoming mini iPad. So, we asked our friends at CiccareseDesign to put together these mockups of what a 7.85" iPad would look like in comparison to the existing 9.7" iPad.

The 7.85" iPad is actually a lot smaller than the existing iPad. Icons are smaller than the 9.7" iPad, of course, but still bigger than the icons found on the iPhone. The on screen keyboard also seems quite usable at this size.

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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Sunday, December 25th, 2011. 22:56

Steve Jobs awarded posthumous Grammy


This week the Recording Academy announced the winners of its annual Special Merit Grammy Awards. One of the awards will go to Steve Jobs who was named one of several recipients, including Brazilian composer and arranger Antonio Carlos Jobim, of a Trustees Award for 2012. The Trustees Award category is designed to recognize those who have made significant contributions to music in areas other than performance.

As former CEO and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs helped create products and technology that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies, and books. A creative visionary, Jobs' innovations such as the iPod and its counterpart, the online iTunes store, revolutionized the industry and how music was distributed and purchased. In 2002 Apple Computer Inc. was a recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award for contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field. The company continues to lead the way with new technology and in-demand products such as the iPhone and iPad.

The ceremony honoring the winners of Trustees Awards will be held on Saturday, February 11th.


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, December 23rd, 2011. 23:14

German Court Unlikely to Award Apple Injunction Against Galaxy Tab 10.1N


Last month we reported that Samsung released a revised Galaxy Tab 10.1N design in Germany in order to avoid an injunction over the sale of the device due to design issues. Apple quickly filed suit in an attempt to bar the new design, claiming that changes in the design were not significant. Though, the judge seems not to support Apple’s point of view and may not going to issue a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1N sales in Germany, giving customers opportunity to choose between Apple’s and Samsung’s tablets. However, the final decision on Apple's request is scheduled to be released on February 9.

The Dusseldorf court that banned sales of the Galaxy 10.1 on Sept. 9 is unlikely to grant Apple an injunction against the Galaxy 10.1N, Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said at a hearing today. Samsung has changed the device’s design sufficiently to distance it from the iPad, she said, adding that the view is preliminary. [...]

“Consumers are well aware that there is an original and that competitors try to use similar designs, so buyers are vigilant when looking at products,” Brueckner-Hofmann said. “We don’t think that someone buys a Samsung to make his table neighbor at the coffee house believe he owns an iPad.”


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Written by Svetlana Osipova

Friday, December 23rd, 2011. 13:14