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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    This means some pages might load in two seconds instead of three! Woohoo!
  • Reply 2 of 55
    Gotta love David Pogue. He's catchin' on, I'm tellin' ya!
  • Reply 3 of 55
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 55
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,582member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 55
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    hattighattig Posts: 832member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 55
    ohh whats that next to the cam lens? LED flash ??
  • Reply 9 of 55
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.)
  • Reply 11 of 55
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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
  • Reply 14 of 55
    antkm1antkm1 Posts: 1,441member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    r00fusr00fus Posts: 245member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 55
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 55
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 55
    Chrome "4"??? Didn't realize it had even hit 1.0
  • Reply 19 of 55
    physguyphysguy Posts: 915member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 55
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
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