Apple released the first beta of iOS 4.3 to developers yesterday and today the Internet is swirling with rumors about not just what's in iOS 4.3 but also about what this means for the next generation of iPads.
Here is a brief summary of all the rumors we have encountered so far.
After yesterday's Verizon iPhone announcement, it was already becoming clear that Apple would bring personal hotspots - that is the ability to use the iPhone as a WiFi router for up to 5 devices - to other networks as well. Today, Apple released the first beta of iOS 4.3 for iPhone and iPad to developers and this version does indeed offer personal hotspots just like the Verizon iPhone pundits got to gaze at yesterday.
For the most part, today's Verizon iPhone announcement was in line with what most pundits expected: same phone, different network. One intriguing feature of the Verizon iPhone that AT&T doesn't yet offer, however, is the ability to turn the phone into a WiFi hotspot for up to 5 devices. Wouldn't it be nice if AT&T also offered this feature soon?
So far, the iPad hasn't done much to safe the newspaper industry from itself, but according to the latest reports, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch plans to launch its iPad-only paper The Daily on January 19.
Earlier this morning - and somewhat earlier than expected - Apple launched its App Store for the Mac. After using it for a while now, it's clear that this will be a major shift in how Mac users buy and upgrade their apps. There are, however, also some issues with this new app-buying paradigm for the desktop. Most importantly, developers can't offer trials for paid apps, a problem that is highlighted by the absence of a return policy.
Just about a year ago, there was virtually no market for tablet PCs. There were rumors that Apple could launch a tablet, but a lot of pundits still dismissed the idea that consumers would want to buy such a device. Apple, of course, launched the iPad to much hype in April 2010 and sold over 3 million within the first three month of sales alone. There is clearly a market for these devices out there, but for now, Apple is really the only player in this business.
According to Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, this situation won't change much in the next two year.
Rumor had it that Apple was about to release the much anticipated iOS 4.2 update this week. While this update will bring new capabilities to the iPhone and iPod touch, iPad users will benefit from this the most, as they will finally get Apple's version of multitasking and folders. For now, though, it looks like Apple users will have to wait a few more days. According to the rumor mill, the current build has a major WiFi bug that could be a show stopper.
Apple just released a new version of iTunes for Mac and PC that makes some much-needed changes to how the company integrates its social network Ping into the application. Until now, not only was Ping somewhat hidden in iTunes, but you could also only really interact with it from within the iTunes store and not from within your iTunes library. Unless your friends are compulsive music shoppers, chances are that few of them ever went through the store to mark their favorite songs. Now, however, in the new version of iTunes (10.0.1), you can very easily like songs right from within your music library and you can choose to see a sidebar with the latest activity from your Ping friends while browsing your library. Chances are that this will raise the activity level on Ping, though it remains to be seen if this will be a dramatic change.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.