Apple’s WWDC 2011 Set For June 6th

Image Source: Engadget

In an official announcement this morning, Apple revealed that the Worldwide Developers Conference at Moscone West in San Francisco will commence on June 6th 2011. No real word yet on the exact hardware/software we’ll be seeing, but from the official announcement it mentions the future of iOS and Mac OS X so it can be assumed that we’ll (hopefully) see the iPhone 5 and Lion unveiled along with a preview of iOS 5. Check out my latest video to hear all the details!

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A few words on Japan

A wave approaches Miyako City. Photo taken March 11th 2011. (REUTERS/Mainichi Shimbun)

As I look through today’s news websites and blogs, I can’t help but feel a sense of disbelief at what I’m seeing in front of me.

A helpless hand emerging through the mud, cars balancing on top of houses and shipping containers tossed around as if they were children’s toy blocks. This is the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that has completely devastated Japan.

As the days roll by, we are seeing more and more terrifying footage surfacing giving us a real idea of just how horrendous this natural disaster was to experience.

I watched a clip this morning that was taken just as the tsunami hit. It was astonishing to see what first seemed like a small wave turn into this unbelievable force taking out numerous houses, cars and boats as it moved. The sheer scale of the devastation left in the wake of the tsunami is incomprehensible. Peoples lives have literally been washed away and the clean up operation will surely take years to complete.

My thoughts are with those all around the World who have been affected by this tragic event, it’s devastation like we have never seen.

I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to forget about the mundane things that we all bother with, and to remember that life is precious and we should appreciate every day that is given to us.

(Image credit: REUTERS, Mainichi Shimbun)

Source: REUTERS, The Atlantic, Gizmodo

And Boom! The iPad 2 is unveiled

Yesterday became national iPad 2 day as Steve Jobs unveiled the highly anticipated iPad sequel at a media event in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The new device features a zippy 1GHz dual core A5 processor, front and rear facing cameras along with a thinner and sleeker design. The new CPU is said to offer up to 2x the speed of the original iPad whilst keeping power consumption low to avoid eating up the battery life. Graphics performance has also had a impressive upgrade giving up to 9x faster performance when playing games or watching videos.

The first iPad was chubby and needed to go on a diet. Cue iPad 2 with its slim and slender body that’s 33% thinner than the original iPad and up to 15% lighter. It looks really nice and I can’t wait to hold one of these to see if the new form makes the iPad any easier or more natural to use.

As with the original iPad, Apple again released their own case for the new device, which at first glance had me perplexed but is actually pretty cool. A ‘Smart Cover’ is a magnetic flap which protects the screen and wakes the iPad from sleep when lifted / puts it to sleep when closed. It’s a pretty new concept and as a result, quite hard to describe so hit up the link here to watch Apple’s official video showing the cover in action!

The iPad 2 now comes in either white or black, and (don’t faint) the white version will be available from day one! So what are your thoughts? Are you impressed with the new specs or were you hoping for more? Personally I was really holding out for a retina screen but I understand it would be expensive to implement, plus they’re probably saving it for iPad 3 (dammit I can’t wait that long!)

Along with a hardware refresh, we were also given a preview into iOS 4.3 coming along with the iPad 2 on March 11th. Improvements feature Safari upgrades and FaceTime, Photo Booth, iMovie and GarageBand for the iPad 2 all designed to take advantage of the new built-in cameras. I’m excited to see Photo Booth in action which takes advantage of the faster CPU and shows effects and filters in real time.

So there we have it (in a nut shell). Will you be rushing out to get the new iPad 2? Or are you going to believe the rumours and wait till September to see whether the iPad 3 will be released then? I’ve wanted an iPad for the past year, so waiting any longer now seems like torture! If I do get one *correction* when I get one, I’ll be uploading an unboxing video and review so stay tuned to Snap Gadget TV!

Apple holding ‘special event’ on September 1st

Now that me and Scott Forstall are such good friends I wasn’t surprised at all when I got an invitation in my inbox to a ‘special event’ held by Apple…

Well, I can dream, but in all seriousness Apple have sent out invitations for their annual music related event, to be held in San Francisco next Wednesday 1st September. As usual, Apple aren’t giving many hints as to what will be involved in the ‘special event’ but judging from the picture above and the fact that every September is music month for Apple, you can bet your bottom dollar that the main focus will be around the iTunes world. Other rumours doing the rounds is that a new Apple TV (iTV?) device may be released , along with a cloud streaming service from iTunes that will sync to all your devices. New iPods will, of course, be on the menu with possible FaceTime ready iPod touches and a new touch screen Shuffle.

Another puzzling question is why on Earth did Lady Gaga visit the Apple offices? Maybe she was trying to give Steve some wardrobe updates? Maybe she’ll be performing at next week’s keynote? Who knows, but whatever happens you know there’ll be a “one more thing” moment packed in there somewhere.

Source: Engadget, TechCrunch and Gizmodo

My trip to the Apple Store opening in Covent Garden with Scott Forstall!

People were queuing up for days in advance, free t-shirts were being made by the bucket load and I was getting up at 6am on a Saturday. Yep, this could only mean one thing, an Apple Store opening.

On Saturday 7th August 2010, Apple opened it’s largest retail store on Earth right here in London’s Covent Garden to a queue of thousands. I, of course, was there with my camera, Flip Mino HD and trusty fellow geeks to experience the Apple mania that had hit the city.

To begin with there was two lines, one for those wishing to purchase an iPhone, and another for those who simply wanted to take a look around. The queue was kept nicely motivated by camera crews interviewing the crowds, and Apple employees handing out free water to keep the masses nicely hydrated. We weren’t waiting long however as 10am soon crept up and loud cheering could be heard from the front of the queue. “Oh my god, it must be Steve Jobs” I hoped desperately as I flung my camera into the air to try and get a better shot. Soon enough though the queue was moving fast and before I knew it we were at the front of the store being high fived liberally as we walked in. I honestly felt like a celebrity walking down a red carpet! It was frigging awesome! This is obviously how they want you to feel though, as that way you’re more likely to spend some money!

In true Apple style, the store itself had been finished to a very high standard. There was a feel of old mixed with new as I walked about the place, with original stone and brick walls placed next to new glass staircases and elevators, giving everything a modern industrial feel.

The store, which employs a staff of 300, was packed to the brim with customers and celebrities alike. The man himself, Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President of iPhone Software at Apple) was even there to help the festivities along and create a little fanboy mania amongst myself and my friends! We got so caught up with the fact that “OMG Scott is standing RIGHT behind us,” that we didn’t even notice Matt Lucas standing even closer to us! We really are nerds.

Later on my friend plucked up the courage to ask Scott for a photograph to which he replied “yeah, very quickly,” which only made me more nervous hence the shaky picture below. I know he was probably very busy that day so we didn’t want to keep him long!

You can buy everything under the Apple sun in this store with products displayed over three different floors. Each product even has it’s own separate space with rooms specifically for Macs, iPods, iPads and iPhones.

The casing company Incase designed an exclusive iPhone case and a laptop case just for the opening of the Covent Garden store with an arches pattern that resembles the familiar arched buildings seen around Covent Garden. This theme was also carried over to the free t-shirts that Apple gave out to the first 4000 customers through the door.

Me and my boyfriend David looking undoubtedly cool in our matching Apple tees.

Given that we had all been up since about 6am, by the time 11.30am came about we were all noticeably flagging and starving, so we decided to leave the great temple of Apple worship and return back to reality. Overall, it was a really great day and I had a lot of fun. I only wish that I could work for Apple now! I do have a lot of video footage from the day which I will be uploading to Snap Gadget TV very soon! Here’s a few last photos from the opening, enjoy! :)

Photos by David Hodson

Apple To Hold iPhone 4 Press Conference Tomorrow

Apple is to hold a special iPhone 4 press conference this Friday 16th July at 10AM PT (6PM GMT). The company is inviting select media representatives such as Engadget to the event, but no other details have been released as to what the conference will be about, only that it will focus on iPhone 4. Unless you’ve been down a hole in the ground lately, you will know about the huge problems Apple have been having with their latest iPhone release, namely the antenna issue. This is where if you hold the phone in a certain way (known as ‘the death grip’) it cuts out all of your signal, resulting in dropped calls and loss of data. Apple’s response was simple, don’t hold it that way, which clearly hasn’t worked and so Apple has now been forced to deal with the issue properly. The rumours doing the rounds are that Apple could recall every single iPhone which would cost the company billions of dollars, they could release a software update to fix the issue, or they could give every iPhone 4 owner a free Bumper case which apparently solves the problem.

Well whatever they do, let’s hope we finally get to the bottom of this! Stay tuned for more details coming your way, and don’t forget to hold your iPhone correctly :)

Source: Engadget and TUAW

Nintendo’s 3DS Handheld Console Rises From The Smoke!

After a very grand entrance which involved a cloud of smoke (yes really), Soturu Iwata took to the stage to reveal the brand new Nintendo 3DS! In a fetching shade of blue, the 3DS looks very similar to the original DS with a few upgrades. The new handheld console has two screens, a 3.5 inch widescreen on top and a standard touch screen on the bottom. Only the bottom screen is a touch screen just like the original DS. The device also includes a 3D Depth Slider to maximize or eliminate the 3D depth effect.

More news to follow…

Source: Engadget and Gizmodo

Live From Nintendo’s E3 2010 Presentation!

If Zelda is your thing, you best head on over to YouTube now to check out Nintendo’s keynote live from LA! Lets hope they give us more information about the upcoming 3DS handheld console!

Don’t forget to check out Engadget’s Live Blog for up to the minute news straight from LA.

Source: Engadget

Apple Holding iPhone OS 4.0 Preview Event, April 8th!

You heard me right guys, after the huge excitement from the iPad launch, Apple quietly slipped out invitations to a “sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software.” The event will be held on April 8th at 10am PT at Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino and I can’t wait to find out what the latest upgrades will be. Will it live up to the rumours? Who knows, all I know is that I cannot wait to see what Apple come up with next.

I Passed My Driving Test!!

Yes that’s right!! You did read the header correctly! I am now a fully fledged mad driver on the roads of England!! WOOOO!!! It was the day I had been dreading for months… Tuesday 25th August 2009… Now, I normally look forward to Tuesdays as they’re usually my days off which I spend just chilling with Dave, playing a little Playstation 3 which is soooo fun but NOPE! Not this Tuesday! I was bricking it! I was well prepared though having visited the pharmacy a couple of days before THE DREADED TEST and picked up not one but TWO bottles of Bach’s Rescue Remedy Spray just in case I lost one or the spray format didn’t work and I needed the drop format! How sad I know, but I wasn’t taking any chances! So I tried the spray out at work, no bad side affects and it didn’t make me drowsy which was a huuuuuge plus! Shazmin, my fellow Crew Chicken even noticed the change and commented on “how calm” I suddenly seemed. “Hallelujah”!!!! I thought!

Suddenly it was Monday night, the test was only HOURS away and my stomach was churning! I couldn’t even eat dinner!… And I ALWAYS eat dinner!! I went out for a quick spin with Dad before bed just to get some final practice in, plus I got to give Bernie a bath to get him looking at his most dazzling!

…. Before I knew it, it was 6am (you heard me right, 6 frigging AM!) and the ‘marimba’ tune was going off on my iPhone. I managed to drag my sorry ass out of bed and get dressed into something vaguely comfortable, and tried to force feed myself Rice Krispies which didn’t really work. As I was applying my make up I thought, “Lets put on the radio and listen to some music to calm me down” and what was the first song that I heard!?!??! The flipping Jaws soundtrack!! I hate that music, I don’t know what it is, something about the horns and the suspense building that just makes my stomach feel all nervous and scared. “Great!” I thought to myself, “I’m taking that as a BAD sign!!” :( As I went downstairs Mum was fussing around as usual making me a full blown packed lunch just in case I got hungry before my test. Bless her, I never did eat any of it! My instructor came at 6.40AM sharp to pick me up and suddenly I was in Guildford practicing my reverse around a corner whilst she applied her make up. “This is happening waaaay too fast” I thought to myself as she told me to drive to the test centre at it was 8.00 AM (my test was at 8.10AM).

I walked into the shed that was the test centre (I’m not joking, it was basically a shed on wheels) and squeezed myself into the minute toilet which was full of spiders (lovely and calming seeing as I HATE them) and quickly sprayed my mouth full of Rescue Remedy. “Come on Jenny, you can do this” was about all I could summon in my head to try and inspire me, and so, feeling that I could no longer put it off anymore, I made my way to the waiting room of DEATH!

I watched as other nervous drivers filed into the room each with their equally nervous looking instructors. Then, it happened! The examiners came in and began calling out the names of who they would be testing. They all looked old and scary with mustaches and beards and bald heads and all I could think was, “Please let me have a nice one!” Then I heard a lovely delicate voice behind the beardies and the baldies call out “Jennifer Lawrence.” HORAAAH! She was a woman! And not only that, she was the same woman who had tested Dave! REJOICE!!! You wouldn’t believe the relief I felt, especially when Julianna my instructor seemed to know Kelly (the examiner) extremely well. They shook hands and seemed genuinely pleased to see each other. I remembered that Julianna had once told me that the examiners at the test centre knew she would never put someone through who she thought was unfit for the test, so hopefully Kelly was thinking something along those lines when she saw Julianna. We went ahead with the test, the number plate reading went fine, as did the show me, tell me part of the test. Then we got in the car and the real hard part began!

“Please not bay park, NOT BAY PARK” was all I could think, as it was the one maneuver that I had the most trouble with. I mean, I could do it, but not every time! “Right Jennifer, to begin with I’d like you to drive out of this bay either to the left or right and then reverse back and do a BAY PARK.”  “CRRAAAAAAAAAAAAP” was the only thought that was racing though my mind, “This is not a good start!!!!!” I got it wrong right from the beginning, I didn’t go forward enough, I didn’t turn left enough, but I did manage to get back into the bay! OH! But Bernie wouldn’t go into reverse which just made the situation 10 times worse. Throughout the rest of the test, there were a number of occasions where I couldn’t get it to go into reverse, but I was hoping that she would see it was the cars fault and not actually my driving! It was very strange though, I felt like I was having an out of body experience because I just didn’t feel nervous! Not one tiny bit! As soon as I sat in the car and drove, all my nerves just trickled away and I was driving just like I was in a lesson! It was so crazy! I was aware that I should’ve been nervous as I was driving, but I felt nothing! I just thanked my lucky stars! Someone was smiling down on me that day that’s for sure!

And then it was over. We drove slowly back to the test centre and thank the lord, she didn’t get me to do another bay park! Then, extremely quietly she said, “Well Jennifer, that’s the end of the practical test, I’m pleased to say that you have passed……” and I didn’t hear a word she said after that! In fact, all I heard was the “I’m pleased…” bit! “I’ve passed, I’VE PASSED?????” I couldn’t believe it! First time! I can honestly say, I never thought I would pass first time. Everyone always goes on about how hard it is to pass and you have to be really lucky, so I just assumed that your first test would always be a warm up, BUT NOOO!!! It was such an amazing feeling! A milestone had been passed and I could now drive… ANYWHERE!

Julianna drove me home as my legs had suddenly turned to treacle and all the adrenaline that had got me through the morning had now worn off and i was exhausted! As soon as I got home, I made myself a boiled egg and a nice cup of tea and basked in the warm glow I was feeling :) All I wanted to do was drive!! It was so bizarre! The first thing I did once I was properly fed and watered was the purchasing of the ‘P’ plates! It was crazy to be alone in my car, with no one to criticise my driving and I could drive at my own pace with my own music FULL BLAST! The first song I heard was the Black Eyed Peas’ latest song ‘I Gotta Felling’ which was highly appropriate! I was so happy! I drove to Dave’s house to deliver the good news and promptly fell asleep on his bed! Well, it had been a very busy morning!

And shall I tell you the best part of the test?? All I got was 3 minors!!! AMAZING! Just 3! One for that horrid bay park (control), another for speed (apparently when I went from a 40 to a 30 I didn’t slow down quickly enough) and then the last for my turn in the road (control again! I blame my flipping gears that didn’t want to go into reverse!!!!) Overall though, I was extremely impressed with my performance! I actually cried a little when my parents hugged me! Ahhh What a loser I am!!

Now I’m on the hunt for an iPhone holder for my KA which sits on the air vents! Any ideas??

Apple Store Sydney Opening!

Me and Dave at the Apple Store!!

Me and Dave at the Sydney Apple Store!

Hey guys! I wanted to take some time out to reminisce a little about my travels from last year which were the best 5 months ever! I had an AMAZING time and not a day goes by where I don’t wish I could go back. Travelling depression sucks! :( But hey ho, you have to keep on chugging along and earn the pennies!

Anyways! So I wanted to talk a little about my trip to the lovely city of Sydney in Australia where I was lucky enough to witness the opening of the Sydney flagship Apple Store on 19th June 2008! I’ve just done a quick research on Google and found out that the store is the second largest of it’s kind after the Apple Store in Regent Street, London. It was a very cool store spanning three floors with the traditional glass front and a huge glowing Apple logo to which I bowed down to (jokes!). The queues were HUGE filling the streets outside (three city blocks!) with people having camped outside for up to 30 hours prior to launch. Hardcore man. I remember walking with Dave for what felt like ages trying to find the end of the queue! I swear we never found it! It just kept on going! Even when the Lord Apple finally opened his doors, the queue had to be filtered in at about 30 or so people at a time just to control everyone!

Apple Store!

The police  were out and about making sure everyone was under control, the media were there too capturing every moment and I was there with my camera! Here’s a short video outside the store shortly after it was opened with the hugely enthusiastic Apple employees whooping and cheering! It was wicked! At one point the crowd was all chanting “Apple, Apple, Apple!” but sadly I didn’t capture that moment!

The store was very impressive, I’ve always been a fan of the Apple Store’s architecture. That clean glass feel is everywhere and the huge glass front gives all the stores such an open feel.

Apple Store Sydney

Those who were first in the queue were given commemorative Apple t-shirts and I also heard a rumour that free iPods were given out! Cool! I never saw an iPod though as I was about 5000th in the queue! HaHa! Here’s Dave getting some ‘Genius’ advice at the Genius Bar.

Dave at the Genius Bar

Well that’s about it for my Apple Store story! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I’ll be bringing you more travelling memories very soon! :)

Me at the Apple Store!

Twas The Night Before WWDC 2009…

WWDC 2009That’s right folks the waiting is almost over! I’m literally so excited I could explode in a giant Apple explosion! So I guess that makes me an Apple Fanboy or whatever they call us! I cannot wait to see what great products will be unveiled namely the iPhone! The rumour mill really has been working overtime with this one, literally everyday for the past two months there’s been new clues and hints as to what features the new iPhone will have and what it will look like. It would be so disappointing after all of that if they didn’t release any new hardware and just came out with the 3.0 software! Gutted! But lets not be pessimistic here guys! I’ve been keeping up to date with all my tech and gadget tweets over the past week for any more big clues and today another one has been released. This time it’s a picture of supposedly the NEW iPHONE!!!! To be honest, I’m pretty sure it’s been photoshopped as it looks highly like the 3g model with a few ‘tweaks’ such as a matte black finish on the back, a front facing camera and the new 3.0 software clearly displayed on the screen. However, the main question is, how much more can they do to improve the iPhone’s aesthetic qualities? I’m pretty pleased with how the current model looks, I love the big glossy glass touch screen which is very receptive. I’m a fan of the weight and size of the product and have no major qualms with the colour choices. Black and white is great. It keeps in with the ‘professional’ and slightly more up market feel to the iPhone which has attracted so many customers. So, enough of my jibba jabba! Here’s the leaked photos from Engadget:

New iPhone?

I wasn’t too keen when I first heard the iPhone would have a rubber back. I suddenly had images of those tacky iPod covers I used to have which attracted fluff and dust like nobody’s business. But I think if Apple get it right, then it could work. From the looks of these pictures, it seems Apple could be hitting it right but these are most likely fake anyway!

Well I must go and get some sleep now before the big day! I will be watching the keynote as soon as I can (too bad I’m working) and I just cannot wait!!

One last thing before I go. As I was writing up this post I had a look on Engadget quickly and found this article just posted. The rumour mill keeps on chugging! Check it out!

http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/07/iphone-3gs-apples-codename-for-tomorrows-unveiling/

Goodnight Apple fans!!!

WWDC

Microsoft’s E3 2009 Keynote

It’s only the 1st June, and already the tech world is buzzing with excitement from it’s first keynote of many to come. Now, not being a huge Microsoft fan myself I didn’t actually have a clue that E3 was happening today, but from a quick research on Engadget I got the low down on all the gizmos and gadgets being revealed. Today was the premier for 10 new games to be introduced to the world, never before seen by human eyes! This, along with “entirely new ways to connect with your friends” made up the bulk of the keynote, all cast in a lovely shade of Xbox green.

Microsoft E3 Keynote

Don’t tell anyone I said this BUT…. I’m actually rather impressed!

Microsoft seemed to be pulling out all the stops with some major celebrity sightings including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr! They were there to unveil the new “The Beatles Rock Band” music game during which players get to experience what it’s like to be a Beatle, to go behind the scenes at legendary gigs and behind closed doors at recording studios. I have to say, it sounds pretty cool, even Yoko Ono was there too! Crazy!

Microsoft Keynote 2009

The next celebrity to grace the Microsoft stage was Tony Hawk talking about a new skateboarding game called “Ride” which uses an actual skateboard (minus the wheels) that “responds like a real skateboard.” The Xbox is definitely going for a more Wii type sensor controller which I think is definitely a great addition, especially since they saved the best announcement till last!

Project Natal! Now this is REALLY cool. Basically, there’s NO controller. Yes that’s right none at all, not a sausage, just YOU and whatever gear you choose to play with be it a skateboard or a golf club (but be careful when swinging!) The cool thing is that it works with every Xbox already sold and every Xbox that will be sold, so at least all you boxers out there won’t have to upgrade! And guess who they brought out to help demonstrate? Steven Spielberg! Pretty cool.

Microsoft Steven

I’d have to say this keynote is up there with the great Apple keynotes and it’s actually made me like Microsoft ONLY SLIGHTLY more than before!! I’m looking forward to playing on Project Natal and having a go at being the controller. They’ve also integrated Facebook and Twitter into their systems which does look pretty cool but I can’t help but wonder, do we really need all these extra ways to access social networking sites?

So it was an eventful day for Microsoft and Xbox with some great new products lined up for the coming year although this time next week it will be Apple’s turn, Bring It ON!!!

The other games unveiled at the keynote were:

Modern Warfare 2

Final Fantasy Xlll

Shadow Complex

Joyride

Crackdown 2

Left 4 Dead 2

Splinter Cell: Conviction

Forza Motorsport 3

Halo Reach

My favourite quote from Engadget‘s blog: “Kudo’s talking smack on Wii: “This isn’t the kind of game you end up on the sofa using some kind of preset waggle commands.” Ooooh! Burn!”

You Tube Channel

Hey guys! I thought I’d just let you all know I have a You Tube channel! Check it out and I’ll be adding lots more videos from my travels really soon! I’ve also upgraded to the new beta You Tube channels. Not much seems to have changed apart from customising your channel is a lot more easier as you can see live updates of your changes and the layout is slightly different. Hope you like it!

www.youtube.com/jennylawrence20

Plush Steve Jobs!

Plush Steve Jobs

Ok, don’t judge me BUT… I purchased a plush Steve Jobs from Podbrix! I just couldn’t resist it! Being an Apple worshipper (LOL) I thought it necessary to be able to carry Steve around with me! Haha! I got the idea from iJustine and I cannot wait until little Steve comes in the post! I hope he isn’t jet lagged…