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802.11n, space for camera hidden in Apple's new iPod touch

post #1 of 85
Thread Starter 
A look inside the latest iPod touch hardware reveals the device has space to fit an iPod nano-style video camera, and also sports a wireless chip that supports 802.11n.

The new, faster, higher-capacity third-generation iPod touch was long-rumored to receive a camera, and mounting, convincing evidence in recent months led many to believe it was an inevitability. Apple surprised this week when it announced a 64GB iPod touch without a camera, adding credibility to reports to AppleInsider that hardware issues prevented the new feature from becoming a reality.

Providing even more support for that rumor is a disassembly of the new iPod touch by iFixit. In their teardown, they found enough space to fit a video camera, like the one featured in the new iPod nano. In addition, the space is in the center on the back of the device, where the camera was rumored to be located. However, there are no headers on the iPod's board for a camera cable.

"It appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device," the solutions provider said. "There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano."



The new iPod nano has a video-only camera. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said in an interview with The New York Times this week that the iPod touch was not given a camera because the company wanted to focus on promoting the hardware as a gaming machine, and keeping the low-end model's price under $200. However, sources have suggested to AppleInsider that the hardware maker still intends to introduce an iPod touch with a camera.

iFixit also found a Broadcom BCM4329 chip inside the new third-generation device -- a wireless receiver that supports 802.11n. The iPhone 3GS has a BCM4325 chip, which only supports 802.11 a/b/g. The new iPod touch does not support 802.11n Wi-Fi out of the box.

"This reminds us of last year when we broke the news that the 2nd generation touch had Bluetooth support in hardware," they said. "Apple didn't enable software support until 9 months later with iPhone OS 3.0."



The new device also features a Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and and a FM receiver and transmitter. However, that does not necessarily mean that the iPod touch will be able to receive and send FM signals. The latest iPod nano, however, does have a built-in FM receiver.

"If they built in the antennas, and if Apple adds software support," iFixit said, "you could theoretically stream music to your car stereo without any external hardware. But that's a lot of ifs."



"While we were all disappointed by Apple's underwhelming iPod touch announcement, it is clear that there is more engineering effort under the surface of this device than meets the eye."

post #2 of 85
And you can bet they're going to charge to enable 802.11n.
post #3 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by qmt49 View Post

And you can bet they're going to charge to enable 802.11n.

Quote:
"This reminds us of last year when we broke the news that the 2nd generation touch had Bluetooth support in hardware," they said. "Apple didn't enable software support until 9 months later with iPhone OS 3.0."

Which cost $10 in late June and now has been discounted @ 50% to $5 less than 2 1/1 months later!
RIP-OFF, APPLE!
post #4 of 85
Quote:
"It appears that Apple left in room for a camera in the top of the device," the solutions provider said. "There is a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm space between the Broadcom chip and the wireless antenna. There isn't enough depth for an iPhone-style autofocus still camera, but just enough room for the camera that Apple used in the 5th generation iPod nano."

?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.
post #5 of 85
This helps me feel better about purchasing a 64g touch. I was really debating holding out for the camera that everyone thought was coming, but if it's just going to be the low-res camera out of the nano, I'll pass. Also, the promise of a FM radio transmitter/receiver and 802.11n is exciting, but I wish they would just go ahead and enable these features, rather than (presumably) waiting for the iPhone to get them first. As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.
post #6 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjin View Post

As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.

Ha-ha, right. They'll sell millions of them.
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #7 of 85
As sad as it is guys, you'll have to live with what you've been offered. The real reason it got no camera is the iPhone /sobvious
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 85
Anyone notice that the battery time for the Touch has fallen for music? It’s still 6 hours for video, but audio has dropped from 36 hours to 30 hours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.

There isn’t enough room at this point without making it thicker. The devices are only similar when looking at them from the front. Their thicknesses are very different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjin View Post

This helps me feel better about purchasing a 64g touch. I was really debating holding out for the camera that everyone thought was coming, but if it's just going to be the low-res camera out of the nano, I'll pass. Also, the promise of a FM radio transmitter/receiver and 802.11n is exciting, but I wish they would just go ahead and enable these features, rather than (presumably) waiting for the iPhone to get them first. As the general response on the internet has shown, this new lineup of touches needs all the help it can get.

That Nano is better than I thought it would be. It’s still crap, but for a 6mm x 6mm x 3mm camera that does 640x480 video at 30fps, I’m quite impressed.

I think the FM receiver may eventually come but the transmitter may be too low tech for Apple and, perhaps more importantly, it would hurt there 3rd-party vendors who pay for the 30-pin connector licensing if people didn’t buy the transmitters and the direct connect. There is also a strong possibility that it may also not work well without the headphones in as an antenna. I’ve tried these transmitters with sat radio and even with the supplied antennas they can still be really crappy.

As for 802.11n, it would be nice if they turned it on, but the iPhone 3GS chip has 802.11a and it has yet to be turned on, as far as I know. I’d prefer to keep my devices on the 5Ghz network but I wonder if Apple is unable to make the 5GHz of 802.11a/n and the 2.4Ghz 802.11n power friendly enough to not mess with their battery specs. I’d think they’d have to append the WiFI stats if they allowed it. I’m looking forward to the jailbreak community getting it working.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

As sad as it is guys, you'll have to live with what you've been offered. The real reason it got no camera is the iPhone /sobvious

I can’t recall Apple ever releasing an iDevice that had a planned space for a feature that they had no intention of including. It seems obvious that the reason is from the rumoured technical issues, not to push the iPhone. The iPhone was still going to have a better video camera with autofocus and the ability to take stills.
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post #9 of 85
Apple's RDF makes you believe that they are really giving away the goods by selling an old tech Touch on the low-end with 8Gb of RAM. That should have been $149 since it doesn't make sense that the two high-end Touch models are $100 apart with the new CPU and GPU built-in. The mid model being 4x the RAM as the 8Gb and the high end 8x the RAM.

That's called upselling. Consumer says, "Wow, for an extra $100 I can get the latest tech and 4x the memory of the low-end."

No doubt the 8Gb model is temporary until the hype dies down. Then they'll do a mid-year bump with a 16Gb model with the new internals. We might see the video cameras then too in all of the models.
post #10 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Apple's RDF makes you believe that they are really giving away the goods by selling an old tech Touch on the low-end with 8Gb of RAM. That should have been $149 since it doesn't make sense that the two high-end Touch models are $100 apart with the new CPU and GPU built-in. The mid model being 4x the RAM as the 8Gb and the high end 8x the RAM.

That's called upselling. Consumer says, "Wow, for an extra $100 I can get the latest tech and 4x the memory of the low-end."

No doubt the 8Gb model is temporary until the hype dies down. Then they'll do a mid-year bump with a 16Gb model with the new internals. We might see the video cameras then too in all of the models.

I dont think it makes sense for the 8GB Touch to be the same price as the 8GB Nano. That makes no sense from a marketing standpoint. I have no doubt that Apple makes a higher percentage on the 8GB Touch than it does on the 16GB Touch, but that doesnt mean it makes more money per unit.

As for up-selling, I dont see how that is a problem. That is a very old business practice that has served many businesses well. Why Apple shouldnt be allowed to execute this seems silly.

I do think that you might be right about the mid-release bump and upgrade. Though it will depends on current supply and demand.
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post #11 of 85
I think it is clear from the pics now that a camera was destined for the iPod Touch but is not there for what ever reason. It is very likely that the reported technical reasons are accurate, as I can't see Apple getting this far and then having a plastic spacer produced so they can scrap the camera idea.

While the camera may have the same dimensions as the Nano, one should not assume that it was exactly the same device. It could have had other features they wanted to explore such as higher res video, high res still pics, or auto focus for that matter. Any of these could have been tripping points for the camera. Frankly we don't even know at this moment if the hardware in the Nano even has a still pic mode. In other words maybe the camera in Nano could do stills but they are so bad Apple didn't want to consider them and are suing the sensor only as a video device. Maybe video only wasn't in the game for the Touch.

The expanded Flash capacity is going to make many people happy and frankly is likely to be a bigger draw than the camera would have been. However one thing that hasn't been investigated or reported yet is the amount of RAM installed? I'm wondering if the high end devices went to 256MB, info here would be appreciated. The more RAM the more flexible and interesting the apps that can be installed.



Dave
post #12 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

IWhile the camera may have the same dimensions as the Nano, one should not assume that it was exactly the same device. It could have had other features they wanted to explore such as higher res video, high res still pics, or auto focus for that matter. Any of these could have been tripping points for the camera. Frankly we don't even know at this moment if the hardware in the Nano even has a still pic mode. In other words maybe the camera in Nano could do stills but they are so bad Apple didn't want to consider them and are suing the sensor only as a video device. Maybe video only wasn't in the game for the Touch.

Itll absolutely do stills. After all, the video is just 30 still frames a second. The question is at what resolution they would be in. The video is a modest 640x480, which is 0.3Mpx. If that is the maximum it could do for stills then I think Apple did right by not allowing that as a feature. This camera is clearly being marketed against Flip cameras, which also cant do stills.

Quote:
The expanded Flash capacity is going to make many people happy and frankly is likely to be a bigger draw than the camera would have been. However one thing that hasn't been investigated or reported yet is the amount of RAM installed? I'm wondering if the high end devices went to 256MB, info here would be appreciated. The more RAM the more flexible and interesting the apps that can be installed.

The teardown revealed a CPU that has a slightly higher model number than the current iPhone so I imagine that it would have the same RAM as the 3GS. 128MB was the minimum that the iPhone OS could handle. Id be extremely surprised if isnt 256MB.

Anyone with a new Touch can run iStat to see how much RAM they have.
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post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc. The Touch's camera should get both zoom and flash since it doesn't need battery power for phone calls. It should be a total camera replacement. I would even forgo video in favor of a real decent camera.

In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.

And when it can finally do 720p video and take 3Mpx images the tech for larger devices will be so far ahead that well hear complaining about that quality.

Ive already heard people complaining about the Touch only being 64GB. That it should be at least as much as the Classic is and that the Classic should have a much larger HDD. Ive even heard the price compared to that of a $300 netbook with a 250GB HDD. Who said, You can make some of the people happy all of the time, you call can make all of the people happy some of the time, but you cant make all of the people happy all of the time?
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post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

?? The Touch should get a better camera than iPhone not crap like the toy Nano. Why is Apple downgrading the Touch? Calling it a gaming device, etc....

It just jumped out at me why Apple might be doing this. They don't want to distract attention from the tablet device. If the iPod touch is too compelling then there is less room for a more expensive alternative. Treating the iPod touch as a gaming device seems daft when it is so much more but not if you want that position taken by a yet to be introduced device.
post #16 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdbryan View Post

It just jumped out at me why Apple might be doing this. They don't want to distract attention from the tablet device. If the iPod touch is too compelling then there is less room for a more expensive alternative.

I dont see how the Touch and a Tablet are rivalries when one will fit in your pocket and the other wont. But more importantly, I cant imagine Apple only figuring that out at the last minute when both devices would have had been in development for a long time. It seems much more likely that the camera did have the rumoured issues that were mentioned, thus the space for a Nano-like video camera.
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post #17 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There isnt enough room at this point without making it thicker. The devices are only similar when looking at them from the front. Their thicknesses are very different.




I cant recall Apple ever releasing an iDevice that had a planned space for a feature that they had no intention of including. It seems obvious that the reason is from the rumoured technical issues, not to push the iPhone. The iPhone was still going to have a better video camera with autofocus and the ability to take stills.

Is the re any reason the Touch needs to be paper thin? Added thickness with more and better functionality is more desired IMO. Make it thicker and give it a great camera. All this fearfulness about cutting into the iPhone is really absurd.

Well the AppleTv has a USB port where I've yet to hear Apple explain what's it's for. It's not mentioned in the manual.
post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

In that case you're going to have to get a real decent camera, not an iPod. No device that size is going to be decent. You're getting a crap point and shooter no matter how much work they do, because the lens and the CCD are so tiny.

Make it thicker- very simple. So do we all really want this mediocre gaming device that SJ is trying to spin on us? The PSP runs rings around it. I mean- it's OK but seriously?
post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont see how the Touch and a Tablet are rivalries when one will fit in your pocket and the other wont. But more importantly, I cant imagine Apple only figuring that out at the last minute when both devices would have had been in development for a long time. It seems much more likely that the camera did have the rumoured issues that were mentioned, thus the space for a Nano-like video camera.

Not only that but the Tablet is supposed to run a full fledged OS not some mobile iPhone version.
post #20 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is the re any reason the Touch needs to be paper thin? Added thickness with more and better functionality is more desired IMO. Make it thicker and give it a great camera. All this fearfulness about cutting into the iPhone is really absurd.

Hi, let me introduce to Apple as you two have obviously not met. They are a company obsessed with thinness and they apparently find that the thinness, weight and overall size of their products are important factors for marketing and selling their wares. Looking at their market dominance with PMPs while historically having less features in HW and SW as other devices shows that there strategy is working well for them.

The good thing is there are plenty of other companies that make thicker devices with more and better features that may suit your needs. Dont ever expect the Nano to outdo the Flip or the iPhone to outdo Nokia with their cameras.


Quote:
Well the AppleTv has a USB port where I've yet to hear Apple explain what's it's for. It's not mentioned in the manual.

Its explained. Its a service port at this time.
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post #21 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Itll absolutely do stills. After all, the video is just 30 still frames a second. The question is at what resolution they would be in. The video is a modest 640x480, which is 0.3Mpx. If that is the maximum it could do for stills then I think Apple did right by not allowing that as a feature. This camera is clearly being marketed against Flip cameras, which also cant do stills.


The teardown revealed a CPU that has a slightly higher model number than the current iPhone so I imagine that it would have the same RAM as the 3GS. 128MB was the minimum that the iPhone OS could handle. Id be extremely surprised if isnt 256MB.

Anyone with a new Touch can run iStat to see how much RAM they have.

I think stills grabbed from the nano's VGA camera will be at least as good as most photos sent to Facebook. The only show stopper about the video quality for the average person might be the rolling shutter wobble. I'm not saying the camera is great, but it's still workable.
post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by qmt49 View Post

And you can bet they're going to charge to enable 802.11n.

Yes, in the past, Apple did the same with the Airport Extreme and some iMacs to enable 802.11n, but it was only $9.95, wasn't it?
post #23 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think stills grabbed from the nano's VGA camera will be at least as good as most photos sent to Facebook. The only show stopper about the video quality for the average person might be the rolling shutter wobble. I'm not saying the camera is great, but it's still workable.

There was a report less than a month ago that the iPhone was the most popular camera phone on Flickr, with the other 4 cameras being bonafide cameras.
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/2636...-camera-flickr That means the photo quality of the top five are at least 2Mpx, but with so many other phones out there that isnt conclusive and this is Flickr, not Facebook. Do you have any stats for the most common resolution used on Facebook?
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post #24 of 85
what no space for the GPS chip?

ch2
post #25 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That means the photo quality of the top five are at least 2Mpx, but with so many other phones out there that isn’t conclusive and this is Flickr, not Facebook. Do you have any stats for the most common resolution used on Facebook?

I should have prefaced it with "among the photos I've seen". Flickr is a different animal that I can tell, seems to be a lot more people conscious about the quality of photography.
post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Year2009 View Post

Yes, in the past, Apple did the same with the Airport Extreme and some iMacs to enable 802.11n, but it was only $9.95, wasn't it?

It was $1.99.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/D4...mco=MjE0OTc5Mw
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post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

And when it can finally do 720p video and take 3Mpx images the tech for larger devices will be so far ahead that well hear complaining about that quality.

Even when you can get a 10 megapixel shot out of an iPod touch, they will look like crap because megapixels have very little to do with image quality.
post #28 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Make it thicker- very simple. So do we all really want this mediocre gaming device that SJ is trying to spin on us? The PSP runs rings around it. I mean- it's OK but seriously?

It would have to be about 5 times thicker before you can get a decent picture, and probably 20 times thicker to get a good picture out of it.

Do you think people carry around DSLRs for their health? They carry them around because physics demands a large CCD (like 1 inch by 1 inch found in SLRs) to capture enough light to get a good picture.
post #29 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Is the re any reason the Touch needs to be paper thin? Added thickness with more and better functionality is more desired IMO. Make it thicker and give it a great camera. All this fearfulness about cutting into the iPhone is really absurd.

Well the AppleTv has a USB port where I've yet to hear Apple explain what's it's for. It's not mentioned in the manual.

If only Apple had some market researchers who could tell them the truth like you have just done.

Or... maybe Apple knows its market better than you do?
post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I should have prefaced it with "among the photos I've seen". Flickr is a different animal that I can tell, seems to be a lot more people conscious about the quality of photography.

Ive checked for stats and have come up short. Ill inquire with Facebooks admins and maybe theyll have some information for me.
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post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Ive checked for stats and have come up short. Ill inquire with Facebooks admins and maybe theyll have some information for me.

I wonder if JeffDM has a facebook account though... I mean, most pictures on FB look like they were taken with decent 5+ MP cameras, mostly of course ultracompacts but still the image quality is far from VGA crap. Or maybe Jeff has never seen what a still from a VGA video looks like?
post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I wonder if JeffDM has a facebook account though... I mean, most pictures on FB look like they were taken with decent 5+ MP cameras, mostly of course ultracompacts but still the image quality is far from VGA crap. Or maybe Jeff has never seen what a still from a VGA video looks like?

My friends on Facebook have mostly used good cameras. My older pics are Canon TX-1 that is 7Mpx that does 720p video. Not a great camera, it’s awkward to hold, but it’s compact enough that it fits in a pocket so I’ll actually take it with me for travel. I climbed (read:walked up) Mt. Kilimanjaro not too long ago with my Canon TX-1 and a borrowed Red One. I barely used the Red despite its clear image superiority. Convenience is important.
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post #33 of 85
Argue it to death, the fact is macroeconomic factors contributed to Apple's decisions about the latest iPod Touch.

It's obvious in the spaces left for features, that if the economy improves, so will new features be added.

Apple is thinking about it's developers, and keeping the adoption rate to the App Store high.

Software is as important as hardware.


What use is a do it all device if there are only a few thousand who can afford it and no software for it?

Just look how long it took for the PS3 to take off, the high price kept a lot of people off of it.


Anyone want a iPhone without the phone is welcome to get a iPhone and cancel the contract.


A 12 megapixel Kodak camera with zoom can be had for a little over $100.

A crappie 3 mega pixel camera would just really be a waste of money.

Apple made the right decision in my opinion.
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post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I wonder if JeffDM has a facebook account though... I mean, most pictures on FB look like they were taken with decent 5+ MP cameras, mostly of course ultracompacts but still the image quality is far from VGA crap. Or maybe Jeff has never seen what a still from a VGA video looks like?

Have you seen the nano's video? Don't judge it just from the numbers.

FB doesn't display images at any higher resolution than VGA, there's a quick diminishing return on throwing MPs at the problem, you can upload any size you want, but it gets scaled down to roughly VGA anyways.

Maybe the people I know are an oddity, but a lot of people upload using their mobile upload service, and those aren't very good at all.
post #35 of 85
Or, it is just possible that Apple is saving a wee bit of thunder for the weeks following the launch of the upcoming Zune HD.... Doing so would reduce the media buzz following the launch.
post #36 of 85
If the iPhone OS needs 128 MB of RAM as another poster above has stated, then why do I get these figures from the System Info in AppBox Pro on my 2G touch with OS 3.1?:

Free: 11.99 MB
Wired: 29.37 MB
Active: 19.11 MB
Inactive: 10.23 MB

That doesn't add up to anywhere near 128 MB.
post #37 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregoriusM View Post

If the iPhone OS needs 128 MB of RAM as another poster above has stated, then why do I get these figures from the System Info in AppBox Pro on my 2G touch with OS 3.1?:

Free: 11.99 MB
Wired: 29.37 MB
Active: 19.11 MB
Inactive: 10.23 MB

That doesn't add up to anywhere near 128 MB.

There is RAM for the System and RAM for the apps, you are only looking at one. Have you tried running the iPod while using Safari? Do you ever leave Safari and have the pages reload when you go back into it? This doesn’t happen on the 3GS with 256MB RAM unless you have a lot of tabs open with large pages loaded. Apple did an amazing job of reducing the amount of RAM the OS needs to run, but there are apps that could really benefit for the additional RAM that is now included. I’d wager that there is enough to warrant official background apps now.
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post #38 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Not only that but the Tablet is supposed to run a full fledged OS not some mobile iPhone version.

Many signs point to iPhone OS.
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Originally Posted by Carniphage

Putting Mac OS X on a tablet is like putting a steering wheel on a motorcycle.
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Originally Posted by Carniphage

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post #39 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There is RAM for the System and RAM for the apps, you are only looking at one.

So this is reporting the RAM for the apps?

Thanks for the quick answer by the way.

Greg
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hi, let me introduce to Apple as you two have obviously not met. They are a company obsessed with thinness

Hmm. I guess that would explain Steve's physical appearance at the event. Bad joke. I'm sorry.
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