Apple’s Price Cuts for the new MacBook Pro Line-up

Javed Anwer, writing for The Times of India, in a post titled:

Apple cuts MacBook Pro prices by $200, but not in India

Oh! So they cut the prices of MacBook Pro everywhere but India? That’s not very nice of Apple now.

However, Apple is not the one to blame here for the India-specific high price. The higher than expected price of new MacBook Pro laptops in India is due to the dollar-rupee exchange rate, which is higher compared to the rate in February this year when Apple revised the price of 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Uhh…

Apple will be Live Streaming Today’s Event

Apple will be live streaming the October 2013 event on their Apple Events website at the link above. The event will also be available via the Apple TV, with the ‘Apple Events’ app already updated with the new event graphics.

The event will begin at 22:30 (10:30 PM) IST.

‘Bout Time Apple TV Stopped Being a Hobby

This is a guest post by my buddy & fellow Apple enthusiast, Rohan Naravane.

Over the years, Apple’s current and former CEO have been quoted referring to Apple TV as a “hobby” for the consumer electronics giant. Apple TV, if you don’t know already, is a tiny box that connects to your television and can stream audio-visual content from the iTunes store and can also mirror your Apple iOS devices and Macs wirelessly. It is a worthy buy for a 100 dollars if you’re one with the Apple ecosystem, but is brimming with potential to do a lot more. Right now, rumours afloat suggest Apple making deals to serve more variety of content and will announce them on the 22nd October event. That’s nice and all, but I’d rather have something that was universally applicable — not just the US. And like any informed customer, I will tend to look at what else is available for $99 and whether those devices will serve my needs better.

For that price, there’s Ouya — an Android-based game microconsole that has gotten average reviews and the PlayStation Vita TV — which isn’t available in all regions yet. Nonetheless, they both have things that I’d want out of my $99 TV box. Ouya’s games store also features apps like Plex that I love so dearly; as content from the Plex Media Server (i.e. my computer) is automatically transcoded and streamed over-the-air to the receiver device. Imagine your entire movie and TV show library; instantly playable on your television while your computer sits in the other room. Plex does it beautifully too — pulling artwork, synopsis, ratings and showing details about the source file. Then there’s the PS Vita TV that brings titles from Sony’s popular handheld console to the big screen (to be played with a separately purchasable Bluetooth Controller).

I can’t wait for Apple to unlock the greater potential of the Apple TV that could possibly unlock many of these functionalities. Although Apple TV’s software is based on iOS, there’s no app store like other iOS devices. Having one would enable Plex and a million other apps to flex the function of the Apple TV beyond what Apple offers out-of-the-box. And speaking of hardware, it would probably need a beefier chip than its current ageing single-core A5 chip to run modern day apps and games well. Lastly, Apple has already introduced Bluetooth controller support with iOS 7. With this support extended to Apple TV, a typical wireless controller will serve a new way to experience those fantastic iOS-based games on the big screen.

It feels like we’re almost there; to a point where it is getting irritating as we wait for Apple to push this product to the next level. To my disappointment, it is unlikely that Apple will announce a majorly overhauled Apple TV product tomorrow. Maybe they’re taking their time because one big piece of the puzzle is yet unsolved — the User Interface. Currently, because of its simplicity the Apple TV is usable via the bundled IR remote or the barebones Remote app on an iOS device. But bringing the App Store may require a sea change to the current form of user interaction. There are rumours of Apple trying the gesture-based interactivity like the one possible with Xbox 360′s Kinect accessory. Whatever the method, it could finally reveal a part of what Steve Jobs had told Walter Isaacson in his biography about Televisions and its User Interface — “I finally cracked it.”

Rohan Naravane manages the content for PriceBaba.com. He is usually found rambling tech on Twitter @r0han.

Official iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c Pricing in India

Apple has just sent out the press release announcing the official pricing for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in India. The phones will be launched and available in India on November 1st, 2013.

The prices of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will be as follows:

iPhone 5s

- iPhone 5s 16GB: Rs. 53,500
- iPhone 5s 32GB: Rs. 62,500
- iPhone 5s 64GB: Rs. 71,500

- iPhone 5s Case: Rs. 3,200

iPhone 5c

- iPhone 5c 16GB: Rs. 42,900
- iPhone 5c 32GB: Rs. 53,500

- iPhone 5c case: Rs. 2,300

iPhone 4s

- iPhone 4s 8GB: Rs. 31,500

Prices of the New iMacs in India (Late 2013)

Apple today has announced an updated iMac lineup that includes faster fourth-generation Quad-core processors, new GPUs, support for PCI-e based flash storage as well as faster 802.11ac Wi-fi.

Compared to the prices of the current-gen iMacs in India, the prices of these new iMacs have been hiked, thanks to the poor performance of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar.

Model
21.5-inch
21.5-inch
27-inch
27-inch
Old Price
Rs. 85,900
Rs. 99,900
Rs. 1,22,900
Rs. 1,34,900
New Price
Rs. 99,900
Rs. 1,14,900
Rs. 1,39,900
Rs. 1,54,900
Price Hike
Rs. 14,000
Rs. 15,000
Rs. 17,000
Rs. 20,000

The new iMac line-up will be as follows:

21.5-inch iMac – Base Model: Rs. 99,000
- 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor
- 8GB (2x4GB) Memory
- 1TB HDD
- Intel Iris Pro Graphics
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi

21.5-inch iMac – 2nd Model: Rs. 1,14,900
- 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor
- 8GB (2x4GB) Memory
- 1TB HDD
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1GB video memory
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi

27-inch iMac – Base Model: Rs. 1,39,900
- 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor
- 8GB (2x4GB) Memory
- 1TB HDD
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M with 1GB video memory
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi

27-inch iMac – 2nd Model: Rs. 1,54,900
- 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor
- 8GB (2x4GB) Memory
- 1TB HDD
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M with 2GB video memory
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi

The new iMacs will be available from today in the US and will take about a month to be available in India.

Traktor DJ Cable

Native Instruments, the company behind the fantastic suite of DJ software under the ‘Traktor DJ’ banner yesterday launched this Traktor DJ Cable to be used with an iPad or iPhone.

It is a high-quality audio splitter cable that sends one output to your headphones and another to your main speaker output and allows you to control the level of each independently.

While there are other, cheaper cables available in the market already, this one comes directly from the company that makes the apps and has a higher quality moulding than the cheaper cables. It’s just $20 and I’m trying to get my hands on one.

Rodeo — A Feed Wrangler Extension

A few days ago, just after I released Feed Rango, Ed Wellbrook showed me his take on an improved UI for Feed Wrangler. Although my attempt was just to make the existing Feed Wrangler UI better with minimal code, Ed had gone way further with his design and it looked gorgeous. Ed managed to even change the icons used on the site, which gives it an elegant look.

I helped Ed build his design into working browser extensions for Safari and Chrome, which he has released here.

I did email David Smith before releasing Feed Rango, but never heard back from him.

Google Reader Died Because No One Would Run It

While the company said Google Reader was shut down because of a decline in usage, a major reason for that was owed to the fact that the project lacked an engineering lead, in part because no one stepped up to the task and because Google leadership wasn’t actively looking for one. Even when Google Reader was still public, without a leader it was functionally no longer a live project at Google, with engineers focusing more on Page’s larger projects like Android, Chrome, Google Plus, and Search.