When Apple's new iPad was unveiled last week , one of the features users had hoped for didn't come with it. Siri, the voice-controlled personal assistant that's been such a hit on the iPhone 4S, wasn't among the tablet's new features. (Apple did add a dictation feature, but it has none of Siri's interactivity; all you can do is one-way dictation.)
Stories by Michael deAgonia
Apple <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224327/Apple_s_Mountain_Lion_shows_personal_cloud_trumps_personal_computer">surprised the tech world last week</a> by pulling the curtain back on its latest desktop/laptop operating system: OS X Mountain Lion. The final version will be released this summer, but the developer preview unveiled on Thursday shows that the upcoming OS picks up where OS X 10.7 -- code-named Lion -- left off. The coming update <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224397/OS_X_Mountain_Lion_A_big_cat_for_business_">incorporates even more popular features from iOS</a> , the software which runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
After a month of using Siri, the new voice-controlled "personal assistant" available on the iPhone 4S, I've decided it may be time to add voice control to the list of paradigm-shifting ways to interact with a computer -- right behind the mouse, keyboard and, more recently, touch gestures.
On Friday, Apple's new iPhone 4S began to reach the hands of eager buyers -- a record 1 million pre-orders, including mine, were made as soon as the phone went on sale. With a noticeably faster dual-core A5 processor, more storage (up to 64GB), an improved 8-megapixel camera, a revamped antenna design and an artificial intelligence-powered assistant called Siri, the new iPhone promised to be the best Apple phone yet.
Four months after it was introduced at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference, <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9217460/The_5_best_features_in_Apple_s_iOS_5">iOS 5</a> is finally available. Apple released the free update to its mobile operating system yesterday, two days ahead of the <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220544/FAQ_Hello_iPhone_4S">iPhone 4S</a>, which arrives tomorrow.
Apple's big iPhone event later today has naturally generated a retinue of rumors, almost all them focused on hardware. Will Apple announce one new iPhone or two? Will the next-generation device retain the basic iPhone 4 shape and design? What about the prospect for voice-activated assistance software?
Since its unveiling in January 2005, the Mac Mini has been the cheapest Mac that Apple sells, making it the least expensive way to get hardware that natively runs OS X. In the past, this usually meant settling for older components -- especially compared to the pricier iMac and MacBook Pro lines. Although Apple has updated the Mini's look several times since its debut -- most recently in 2010 -- the internal hardware often received only minor improvements.
Earlier this week at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple finally offered up a look at iOS 5, the planned update to the company's mobile OS. Although it wont be out until this fall -- Apple isn't yet saying exactly when -- iOS 5 promises to deliver much-needed changes to the OS, which is used on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
Eleven months ago, Apple released the first iPad, a touchscreen handheld computer that redefined tablets, disrupting the laptop/desktop market just as the iPod did to music players and the iPhone did to smartphones. On Friday, 15 million iPads later, Apple released its successor, the iPad 2. Many people -- myself included -- predicted long lines and sell-outs, just like last year. So did Apple deliver?
Apple's update for iOS 4, released Wednesday (two days earlier than expected), offers a number of changes and new features for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, plus 59 security patches for the mobile version of Safari.
Apple's iPad 2, unveiled by CEO Steve Jobs in a surprise appearance Wednesday at an invitation-only media event, is thinner, lighter, faster and more full-featured, and incorporates enough changes and updates to maintain Apple's strong sales in the tablet market.
Apple last week finally released the update to its iOS software for mobile devices like the iPhone and the iPad. And while the big changes -- AirPlay, AirPrint and iPad-focused tweaks -- got a lot of attention, there are a slew of smaller changes and improvements that users will appreciate in iOS 4.2.
Nearly five months after Apple rolled out iOS 4 in tandem with the iPhone 4 launch, it has released the latest update for the software that powers its touch-screen lineup: iOS 4.2.1 (along with version 4.1 for the latest-generation Apple TV). The free update is a major milestone for Apple: It finally unifies the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch so that all are running the same operating system with the same major feature set. The update also adds several key new features.
For more than three years now, Apple TV has been the one Apple product that buyers were uncertain about. Originally billed as an iPod for your TV, early versions carried a hefty price tag -- $299 initially -- and some annoyances, including synchronization errors and a sometimes unresponsive interface. While it wasn't a failure, Apple TV -- which Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously described as a "hobby" -- clearly wasn't going to be a big consumer hit without a major overhaul.
Like clockwork, Apple has once again offered up numerous improvements to the iPhone's software in a June release. Although all eyes were on the new iPhone 4 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference two weeks ago, the new smartphone would be just a stylish chunk of stainless steel and glass without iOS 4, the new operating system that arrives today.