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Briefly: iPod touch prices, AT&T voicemail changes, Chrome Mac speed

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
A new rumor speculates on the capacity and pricing of new iPod touch models; AT&T plans changes to its voicemail service; and Google Chrome pre-alpha is the Mac's fastest browser.

iPod touch rumor: 64GB for $399

A new blog post from John Gruber of Daring Fireball suggests that Apple will announce a camera-equipped iPod touch at its September event, with capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB at price points of $199, $299 and $399, respectively.

The suggestion makes sense, as Apple has doubled the capacity of its iPod touch every year since the product was introduced. In addition, the new price points would make them comparable to the anticipated Zune cost.

Additionally, more evidence of an iPod touch with a camera, as well as a new camera-equipped iPod nano, has surfaced with more third-party case shells. Both products are available for sale at the Portuguese-language Web site Promais.

This in addition to numerous other third-party cases discovered last month. Apple is expected to announce new iPods, as it does every year, at its event in early September.



"Take Back the Beep" to change AT&T voicemail

David Pogue of The New York Times recently began a campaign to shorten system voicemail messages that come by default on all four major cell phone carriers. The messages often give recorded instructions on how to do things like send a page, and Pogue contends that they use up users' cell phone minutes.

In direct response to Pogue's campaign, AT&T has said it will change its voicemail system. Mark Siegel, executive director of media relations for the wireless carrier, said the company is exploring ways to shorten the voicemail message it currently has.

"All the messages we got from customers really made us look again at how we handle voice mail, and we are going to make some changes," Siegel wrote Pogue. "I commend you for raising the issue."

In the same note, the AT&T representative also said Visual Voicemail, a service currently exclusive to the iPhone, will be coming to some of the carrier's other phones in the future.

Chrome 4.0 fastest Mac browser by 34 percent

A new test by CNET U.K. has found the pre-alpha version of Google's Chrome browser, under the developmental title Chromium, is 34 percent faster than Safari 4.0.3. The test was conducted on a 2.0GHz Intel MacBook with the latest build of Chrome, which features Google's V8 Javascript engine.

In fact, the Mac version of Chrome is at the moment 4 percent faster than its PC counterpart, the study concluded. Chromium rendered the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in 657ms, followed by Safari at 886ms, Firefox 3.5.2 at 1,508ms and Opera 10 beta 3 at 5,958ms.

While Chromium reportedly performs well, it isn't currently ready for prime time, CNet U.K. reports, calling it "riddled with bugs."
post #2 of 56
This means some pages might load in two seconds instead of three! Woohoo!
post #3 of 56
Gotta love David Pogue. He's catchin' on, I'm tellin' ya!

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post #4 of 56
I think there is something messed up with this test. I also have a 2.0GHz MacBook and I get 468.6ms in Safari 4.0.3. Also, why are they comparing an unreleased browser against a shipping browser, shouldn't they have compared it with the WebKit nightly builds?
post #5 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Chrome 4.0 fastest Mac browser by 34 percent

A new test by CNET U.K. has found the pre-alpha version of Google's Chrome browser, under the developmental title Chromium, is 34 percent faster than Safari 4.0.3. The test was conducted on a 2.0GHz Intel MacBook with the latest build of Chrome, which features Google's V8 Javascript engine.

In fact, the Mac version of Chrome is at the moment 4 percent faster than its PC counterpart, the study concluded. Chromium rendered the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark in 657ms, followed by Safari at 886ms, Firefox 3.5.2 at 1,508ms and Opera 10 beta 3 at 5,958ms.

While Chromium reportedly performs well, it isn't currently ready for prime time, CNet U.K. reports, calling it "riddled with bugs."

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.
post #6 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new test by CNET U.K. has found the pre-alpha version of Google's Chrome browser, under the developmental title Chromium, is 34 percent faster than Safari 4.0.3. [...] While Chromium reportedly performs well, it isn't currently ready for prime time, CNet U.K. reports, calling it "riddled with bugs.

Pre-alpha version? Riddled with bugs? Maybe it's so fast because it doesn't do any error checking and the code isn't complete. A speed test on pre-alpha software seems pretty meaningless.
post #7 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.


Developing faster engines might still be useful for low-powered devices like iPhones. The difference between 7 and 10 seconds is tangible.
post #8 of 56
Hmm, $199, $279 and $399 would be better prices for the 16Gb, 32GB and 64GB versions.

Undercuts the ZuneHD a little, goes above, and doesn't make the 32GB poor value compared to the other two.

As regards Javascript, more and more websites are getting Javascript heavy, and for these sites, fast Javascript browsers will feel great to use, and maybe can dump flash for certain effects.
post #9 of 56
ohh whats that next to the cam lens? LED flash ??
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"All the messages we got from customers really made us look again at how we handle voice mail, and we are going to make some changes," Siegel wrote Pogue. "I commend you for raising the issue."

What about the exorbitant charges for text messaging?


Quote:
Chrome 4.0 fastest Mac browser by 34 percent

This speed seems to be without running 64-bit, because Finder GetInfo does not offer the option of opening 32-bit. If Chromium was compiled 64-bit it should run even faster.
post #11 of 56
Note that iPhones do NOT have that annoying AT&T voicemail message. Apparently Apple wouldn't stand for it.

Once you record your own message, there should be NO other message added by default. That's how it is for iPhone users, and that's how it should be for everyone on any carrier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daratbastid View Post

ohh whats that next to the cam lens? LED flash ??

It's a tiny little dot, so I don't think so. (But it would be nice!)

I'm guessing it's a mic, which would be needed for video recording (and the iPod currently lacks that).

I was about to post that I'd rather see the mic positioned better for making Skype calls... but there's no earpiece anyway, so people will end up using a speakerphone mode or else a headset. In that case, having the mic positioned specifically for best video capture makes sense.

(And I remember seeing a similar dot in mockups of the new Nano--now I'm thinking that was the mic too.)
post #12 of 56
I think the new hardware additions will be the selling point of the new iPod Touch. I don’t think that doubling to 64GB is viable this year unless they use slower NAND than in their other iPods, potentially use older NAND that takes up more space to achieve it, but that seems unlikely, and/or make the price of the 64GB more than the current price of the 32GB Touch. The idea that some people have that all tech will double every year while maintaining the same price point is ludicrous.


TECHNOLOGY DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranfordio View Post

Also, why are they comparing an unreleased browser against a shipping browser, shouldn't they have compared it with the WebKit nightly builds?

Excellent point. I’d like to see those results, though I don’t recall reading about SFX making any great strides since being introduced and now available in the Safari 4.x builds so the results may be about the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels.

In a large way it is, especially since measuring pixels is just one of many aspects to determining the potential picture quality. The SunSpider test is only measuring JS speed while ignoring all the other aspects of rendering a webpage. Even if Chromium is 34% faster all around, the difference in milliseconds is low enough that I”d rather keep my well connected and synced Safari Browser. Firefox was 3x slower than Chromium, and even that viable features for those that want it. Opera 10 was 10x slower and really offers very little other advantage that I don’t see why one would choose that browser, but to each their own.
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

Hmm, $199, $279 and $399 would be better prices for the 16Gb, 32GB and 64GB versions.

Undercuts the ZuneHD a little, goes above, and doesn't make the 32GB poor value compared to the other two.

As regards Javascript, more and more websites are getting Javascript heavy, and for these sites, fast Javascript browsers will feel great to use, and maybe can dump flash for certain effects.

I'm going to guess $229, $299, and $399. Matches the current pricepoints for the 8/16/32 and achieves your goal of bringing the 32GB version closer to the 16GB version in a more Apple like manner. Not to mention this is exactly what Apple usually does. Keep the same price points but drop each capacity down a tier when the new capacity is released. I don't think Apple will care that the 32GB Zune is ~$10 cheaper than the 32GB touch.
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post #14 of 56
To skip the voicemail instructions

AT&Tt 7
Verizont*
T-Mobilet#
Sprintt 1

If you don't know which network you are calling just press them all: 7*#1

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post #15 of 56
I've been using Chrome since January. Love it, never turned back. I've said this on previous AI blogs about Chrome. I highly recommend it. Cold starts for me are incredibly fast too. I haven't clocked it against Safari, but it's loads faster than IE8.
post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.

tiroger, Chromium is insanely fast. It makes a huge difference... I measure speed by several things, and start time is one of them. Chromium presents the UI in one dock bounce on my unibody macbook. Safari takes 3. Firefox 3.5 takes 5-7 (with plugins), and FF 3.6a (Namoroka) takes 2 (fewer plugins). Stainless (based on Chromium) takes 1.

btw, I still use Firefox for development (firebug >> webkit inspector), but I use Safari for personal browsing.
post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

To skip the voicemail instructions

...
If you don't know which network you are calling just press them all: 7*#1

Not a bad tip Thanks! (Unless some of those keys do OTHER unwanted things on the other services.)

7*#1 is pretty much the same swear word I'm thinking in my head when it happens, too.
post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I've been using Chrome since January. Love it, never turned back. I've said this on previous AI blogs about Chrome. I highly recommend it. Cold starts for me are incredibly fast too. I haven't clocked it against Safari, but it's loads faster than IE8.

But *everything* runs faster than IE8, and by a significant amount too.

You spend several sentences saying how fast it is and how you recommend it, but all you've ever done is compare it to the worlds slowest browser? That pretty much invalidates everything you said previously so what's the point of even making the statement?
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post #19 of 56
Chrome "4"??? Didn't realize it had even hit 1.0
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.

The speed race is NOT about loading Web pages - as rightly pointed out the differences are becoming meaningless - but it IS about running Web apps. Here is where javascript optimizations at the currently level are hugely important. Go look at the Google Wave demo vid to understand what is possible inside html5/JS/Etc.
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cranfordio View Post

I think there is something messed up with this test. I also have a 2.0GHz MacBook and I get 468.6ms in Safari 4.0.3. Also, why are they comparing an unreleased browser against a shipping browser, shouldn't they have compared it with the WebKit nightly builds?

There is. It is riddled with bugs. Buggy code can run/crash pretty fast.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.

...what does broadband and page load time have to do with the speed of the Java Script engine?
post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by webfrasse View Post

...what does broadband and page load time have to do with the speed of the Java Script engine?

I think his point is that the web browsers themselves are getting quite large and bulky just to launch. This article is only focusing on the client-side engine for JS, but there is also something to be said for server-side code to be more optimized and use more open standards in the future. One reason the iPhone seems pretty fast for what it is is because there is no Flash or Java being loading which can slow down the page.
post #24 of 56
"I commend you for raising the issue(that AT&T has a lengthy voicemail introduction)."

This statement implies AT&T both was unaware customers didn't want it, AND that AT&T did not explicitly plan and configure their voicemail system to have a lengthy introduction at least partially for the higher revenues it gives them.
post #25 of 56
For those that haven’t read it, I recommend the Pogue article in full. It covers all the crazy shit that Congress is doing witha focus on the iPhone to the exorbitant costs of SMS to the foolish people complaining that new users get the iPhone 3GS for have the price of loyal iPhone 3G users.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/te...rssnyt&emc=rss
post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.



This benchmark is based on JavaScript execution speed, not page loading times.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

What about the exorbitant charges for text messaging?




This speed seems to be without running 64-bit, because Finder GetInfo does not offer the option of opening 32-bit. If Chromium was compiled 64-bit it should run even faster.

WebKit Nightly Safari runs a helluva a lot faster currently than the most current stable version of Safari 4.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

WebKit Nightly Safari runs a helluva a lot faster currently than the most current stable version of Safari 4.

Do you have any SunSpider benchmarks? My results for Safari 4.0.3 64-bit on Snow Leopard are 471.4ms. (I’ll run the WebKit nightly in a few hours to see a comparison)
post #29 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Note that iPhones do NOT have that annoying AT&T voicemail message. Apparently Apple wouldn't stand for it.

Once you record your own message, there should be NO other message added by default. That's how it is for iPhone users, and that's how it should be for everyone on any carrier.



It's a tiny little dot, so I don't think so. (But it would be nice!)

I'm guessing it's a mic, which would be needed for video recording (and the iPod currently lacks that).

I was about to post that I'd rather see the mic positioned better for making Skype calls... but there's no earpiece anyway, so people will end up using a speakerphone mode or else a headset. In that case, having the mic positioned specifically for best video capture makes sense.

(And I remember seeing a similar dot in mockups of the new Nano--now I'm thinking that was the mic too.)

They could have put the speakers on the top (basically flipped an iPhone) and the mic on the bottom. Then you could use it as a phone.
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post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

It really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds.

Page load times make a HUGE difference. An average person perceives a lag in response/load times at just over 1/10 of a second(100ms). Obviously, server-side code has to work towards fast response times as well but, "half a second delay caused a 20% drop in traffic. Half a second delay killed user satisfaction...[and] would result in substantial and costly drops in revenue" (http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/11/...at-web-20.html)

Certainly, response times are important in all aspects of interaction from boot times and launch times to the code execution from a button click or other event.
post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Do you have any SunSpider benchmarks? My results for Safari 4.0.3 64-bit on Snow Leopard are 471.4ms. (Ill run the WebKit nightly in a few hours to see a comparison)

Make sure you build against LLVM and GCC to see any trends.
post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

But *everything* runs faster than IE8, and by a significant amount too.

You spend several sentences saying how fast it is and how you recommend it, but all you've ever done is compare it to the worlds slowest browser? That pretty much invalidates everything you said previously so what's the point of even making the statement?

I don't have to test it against Safari Because CNET has already done it. So if you don't want to believe me about how fast it is, just read the article you are blogging on. ni!
post #33 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Do you have any SunSpider benchmarks? My results for Safari 4.0.3 64-bit on Snow Leopard are 471.4ms. (Ill run the WebKit nightly in a few hours to see a comparison)

I just ran on my 2006 MBP, 10.5.8, http://service.futuremark.com/peacekeeper/
- latest Webkit (r47291): 3274
- Safari 4.0.3: 3111
post #34 of 56
A friend of mine just told me about 1, *, #.
Could be a handy fix for now...
http://lifehacker.com/5326511/bypass...one-star-pound
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by r00fus View Post

Stainless (based on Chromium) takes 1.

Stainless is based on Webkit, ie, it uses the same rendering engine as Safari, Mail and everything else in the OS.
Chromium is also based on Webkit except that it has its own Javascript engine. And it is based on rendering engine of Webkit. Safari adds all the chrome around the rendering engine.
Stainless (0.6.5) interestingly achieves a lower mark than Safari in the test linked to in my previous test: 2856
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

Do you have any SunSpider benchmarks? My results for Safari 4.0.3 64-bit on Snow Leopard are 471.4ms. (Ill run the WebKit nightly in a few hours to see a comparison)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Make sure you build against LLVM and GCC to see any trends.

I know what the initialisms are, but dont know how to adjust for them with the WebKit/Safari builds.

I just tried the WebKit build from last night (r47291) and I get a marginally better result of 450.4ms. For some reason

Results:
Webkit build from Safari 4.0.3: http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspide...38,37,36%5D%7D
Webkit build from 14/08/2009: http://www2.webkit.org/perf/sunspide...34,34,32%5D%7D

That is pretty significant compared to Safari and WebKit on Leopard.
post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Not a bad tip Thanks! (Unless some of those keys do OTHER unwanted things on the other services.)

7*#1 is pretty much the same swear word I'm thinking in my head when it happens, too.

DONT DO IT! If you type them all, you may end up with the "please enter your password" prompt.

many carriers use other carrier's "skip to the beep" key as their "log in to hear your voicemail key" just so that people will listen to the whole damned message.
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiroger View Post

This so-called "speed race" is highly reminiscent of the camera industry's battle of the mega pixels. Most people are now at broadband speeds, and thus is really makes very little difference between a web page loading in 1 seconds versus 1.5 seconds. It may serve as bragging rights for browser developers, but for the end-user it hardly matters.

Why not focus start time (especially cold starts), reducing bloat, while adding interesting new features. Firefox for example is great, but I can't help but feel that it's becoming more and more bloated and sluggish.

Having said that I'm looking forward to Chrome on the Mac.

If you have ever used IE8 versus any other web browser out there, then you would see why it matters. I know it sounds kinda illogical but any speed increase they do helps tremendously in responsiveness and usability. IE is just too darn slow and it shows that MS is just bloatware. I praise any developer that improves upon their application speed.
post #39 of 56
I just downloaded and installed a build of this beast, and I am impressed. It is fast, drive it like you stole it fast. I love Safari, but there's no doubt that Chrome is faster. I haven't noticed any buggy behavior yet, but I've only been using it for about ten minutes. I like that the look and feel is much like Safari. It feels like what I'm used to, but a whole lot faster. Good job, Google. I hope they don't take over the world.
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post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by UbiquitousGeek View Post

I just downloaded and installed a build of this beast, and I am impressed. It is fast, drive it like you stole it fast. I love Safari, but there's no doubt that Chrome is faster. I haven't noticed any buggy behavior yet, but I've only been using it for about ten minutes. I like that the look and feel is much like Safari. It feels like what I'm used to, but a whole lot faster. Good job, Google. I hope they don't take over the world.

Oh, and I do use WebKit, although I haven't updated to a recent nightly build in a while.
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