Apple game controller for iOS?

Apple Bandai Pipin Game ConsoleGaming on the iOS platform was, arguably, one of Steve Jobs greatest business decisions. Some of us are old enough to remember the Apple game console that never was (Pippin). The Pippin (released in 1995) was not a great success; it made the shortlist for one of the worst tech products ever, coming 22nd in PC World Magazine‘s list back in 2006. However, despite this initial failure, Steve Jobs always knew that gaming would be important to Apple’s future.

Once the iPod came out Apple was finally able to go mainstream with gaming. Even though games had been available on the Mac from the beginning and before (anyone remember Sneakers on the Apple II?), it wasn’t until the iPod and especially the iPod Touch became popular that gaming really took off. Gaming took off to an even greater extent once the App Store was established, making it easier and cheaper to get into gaming.

The iOS user interface makes playing games accessible but what would make it even more so is a hardware controller, just like Nintendo and Sony have for their gaming consoles. Many gamers are familiar with the likes of the Wii and the XBox so it wouldn’t be awkward for them to use a controller with their iPod/iPhone/iPad.

So, the rumour that Apple is indeed working on such a hardware controller can only be good news.

2012 Technology Predictions

Around this time folk start trying to predict what the coming year holds. We also tend to think about any New Year Resolutions we might make. Already we are seeing predictions about Apple revamping its product line and introducing one or two product lines. Hot predictions seem to be an actual Apple Television and also a sort of iPad Air.

Now both of these are intriguing, for different reasons. let’s take the Apple TV first. For years there has been rampant speculation about if and when Apple would announce its own TV set (as averse to its existing Apple TV, which is nothing more than a set-top box with an Apple twist to it). Now its starting to look probable that Apple indeed will introduce its own TV, which some are already labelling the ‘iTV‘.

What it will look like is anyone’s guess (unless you are actually working on it right now of course deep in Apple’s labs!). SHARP and JVC are two companies that have been mentioned as being involved in bringing the iTV to market, SHARP  and JVC are big players in the Home Entertainment markets and so its not surprising that they might be involved.

Steve Jobs, before his untimely death recently, has been quoted as saying that he had ‘finally cracked it, when speaking about an integrated TV set. However, Apple may run int some problems in the UK if indeed it has settled on the ‘iTV’ moniker, as we have ITV already, a commercial broadcaster that has been around for decades.

My view is that Apple will indeed bring out some form of integrated TV set in 2012, probably with iCloud capability and maybe even a version of Siri so that everything can be voice-controlled. After all, I can’t see Apple wanting to let Microsoft have the market to itself with its Xbox Live Voice Control. If it succeeds, then it could well revolutionise the home entertainment field in a similar way it has the music, smartphone and tablet markets.

As for the iPad Air, this one is interesting in that I can’t quite see Apple wanting to eat into both its iPad and Macbook Air markets unless it feels that such a device could replace both; the best of both worlds so to speak. In theory, if Apple can time the release of the A6 quad-core chip just right then it could at a stroke replace the iPad, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro with one device. Don’t put it past them to do this as Steve Jobs was always one for reducing the number of models whenever possible.

I am going to let myself go wild here and suggest the following:

1. Apple replaces the iPad, Macbook Air and Macbook Pro with one device – the so-called iPad Air (or maybe Mac Air – light as a feather!)

2. The device will combine a Retina detachable display (so can use it like an iPad) and keyboard (like the forthcoming  Asus Transformer Prime)

3. The device will use only Flash Memory (goodbye to the old hard drive, finally) for storage and speed

4. The device will be lightweight (hence the ‘Air’ element to the name) an have great battery time (just like the iPad & Macbook Air), possibly due to the use of new materials

5. Fantastic graphics performance due to the use of the expected ARM quad-core A6 CPU and associated hardware

6. Possibly there will be a 4G version available for network connectivity (for uses such as Sat Nav)

7. There may even be an Near Field Communications chip so that you will be able to control nearby devices (such as your Mac or iPad)

8. I am almost certain I will have an SD card slot as this is a great way of getting photos and video onto your device, as well having additional storage options.

So, there you have it, my two predictions for what Apple may pull out of the bag in 2012.

Poll: Will Steve Jobs death result in Apple declining?

Retro MacOS in memory of Steve Jobs

my Power Mac 6100

Image by blakespot via Flickr

Along with many other blogs this one has a new look – the Retro MacOS look, in tribute to Steve Jobs. Its fitting that someone who did so much to change the face (literally, in a sense) of personal computing and the web (lets not forget the influence of the Safari browser) should be honoured by having a theme created in memory of his life and work.

Retro MacOS was originally created by Stuart Brown, and converted by the team at WP so folk like me could use on their blogs. Its available in the WP Theme Directory from within your dashboard. Personally, I think it looks rather cool and is a fitting tribute to the man. What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments.

As to how long it will remain up, I’m not sure; at least for a while anyway.