May 31

Apple iOS 5

While it was widely expected, we just got a fairly unusual pre-event confirmation straight from the source: Apple will introduce the world to iOS 5 at WWDC on June 6, 2011, at 10:00AM PDT.  Steve Jobs is slated to make the announcement himself along with other members of the Apple team. 

iOS, the operating system that powers Apple’s iPhones, iPads and iPod touches, hasn’t received a major update since mid-2010. 

No details have been confirmed at this point, but it’s expected that iOS 5 will include some significant new features, as well as support for iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud service also scheduled to be unveiled alongside the new version of iOS.  iCloud is thought to be a replacement for MobileMe which will include existing features as well as “digital locker” functionality that allows users to store media in the Cloud for streaming access on the go.

At the same event, Apple will show off new features of Mac OS X 10.7 ‘Lion’, the eighth release of the ten-year-old computer operating system, and will likely announce a data for its release.

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May 26

Targus Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

You can use just about any Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad or iPad 2 so long as it supports the HID Bluetooth profile. But most of these keyboards aren’t designed with the iPad in mind – not so with the Targus Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard for iPad. 

With iOS-specific keys, this full-sized keyboard is an excellent choice for users who want to minimize touchscreen interaction when using a keyboard.  The unit is powered by two AAA batteries and includes a power switch to save energy when not in use and a low power battery indicator so that you’re not caught off guard when the batteries need changing.  The Targus iPad Bluetooth Keyboard is also tilted slightly for more confortable use.

The iOS shortcut keys include volume up and down, play/pause, skip back and forward, lock, search and home.

Targus Bluetooth Wireless iPad Keyboard

The Targus Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard (model AKB32US) has an MSRP of $59, but sells for a few dollars less at Amazon.com

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May 23

handstandsLast month we reviewed the HandStand for iPad, a case designed to make one-hand use of Apple’s first-gen tablet a more confortable experience.  Now, as promised, the company behind the HandStand has released a new version for the iPad 2.

The HandStand 2 hasn’t really changed much from the original other than being altered to fit the thinner iPad 2.  It features the same silicone case, hand grip with elastic strap, and rotating disk for easy adjustment of the iPad 2 viewing angle. 

The HandStand for iPad 2 is available for purchase now for $49.

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May 18

iPhone and LTE

Just in case you needed more than your own good sense to conclude LTE won’t be coming to the upcoming 2011 iPhone(s), a new report at Digitimes says Apple is unlikely to include LTE in the this year’s model due to “problems concerning yield rates of LTE chips offered by Qualcomm.”

I’m sure that’s a factor, but it also seems very much part of the Apple mentality not to include a headline feature that the vast majority of users wouldn’t be able to take advantage of until it’s about time to upgrade to the 6th gen iOS phone.  You can just hear the but this is no faster than the iPhone 4 comments from upgraders who don’t live in one of the handful of locations where LTE is currently available.  Not to mention the fact that LTE-enabled smartphones are still very, very new, and suffer from a number of problems, most notably pretty lousy battery life.

The Digitimes report also refers to this year’s iPhone as the iPhone 4S, a practice that’s been catching on with the tech press of late.  If true, this name suggests that the August-September 2011 iPhone will receive little more than a bump in processing power. Much like the iPhone 3GS did versus the iPhone 3G, there will likely be little of note other than more faster performance (not to say that isn’t a good thing).

I could be wrong, but everything I’ve seen all but confirms that it’ll be at least 2012 before we’re downloading music over “4G”.  And LTE isn’t 4G, dammit

Don’t get me started.

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