64-bit computing Stories July 15, 2015

Apple will be rolling out a refreshed line of iPods today, according to sources. As indicated by new colors recently found in iTunes on the Mac, the new iPod touch, shuffle, and nano will come in new darker blue and pink colors. A gold color will be added as well for all three iPods.

The new Nanos and Shuffles won’t get new features, but the iOS-based iPod touch will see a considerable upgrade. Here’s what we’re hearing is coming to the touch:

  • Major camera upgrade from 5 megapixels to 8, matching the count on the iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2.
  • New 64-bit chip for faster operation and better graphics for gaming. Will also help it plow through future iOS versions beyond iOS 9.
  • “M” chip from the iPhone for fitness, steps, and elevation tracking.
  • Pre-loaded with iOS 8.4 and Apple Music following the June 30th launch.
  • New 128GB model for $399, still starting at $199 for 16GB. There will also be a $299 model with 64GB of space.

As indicated by the references last month in iTunes 12.2, the overall designs and screens of the new iPods will remain the same as their predecessors. These are the first major iPod upgrades since 2012, and with Apple’s focus on the iPhone and iPad, these will likely also be the last for some time. expand full story

64-bit computing Stories December 17, 2013

Qualcomm employee said Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip was Spinal Tap moment

If Qualcomm seemed rather taken by surprise by Apple’s use of a 64-bit chip in a smartphone, first dismissing it as a gimmick and then hastily backtracking and announcing it would be making 64-bit smartphone chips itself, that’s because it was, says Dan Lyons in a nicely-written piece on HubSpot. The piece includes what has to be a strong contender for tech quote of the year:

The 64-bit Apple chip hit us in the gut,” says the Qualcomm employee. “Not just us, but everyone, really. We were slack-jawed, and stunned, and unprepared. It’s not that big a performance difference right now, since most current software won’t benefit. But in Spinal Tap terms it’s like, 32 more, and now everyone wants it.”

The reference is to a scene in the 1984 mockumentary This is Spinal Tap where the band proudly shows an amp that goes all the way up to 11, explaining that “it’s one louder.” What Qualcomm missed was that while 64-bit smartphone chips may be of limited immediate value, the A7 made for a compelling marketing sell, leaving other companies scrabbling to catch up.

Qualcomm has just created a 64-bit version of its Snapdragon SOC and expects to see it appearing in Android phones sometime in the second half of next year.

64-bit computing Stories October 29, 2013

Apple now highlighting 64-bit A7 iPhone 5s chip on magazine covers

Earlier this month, we highlighted that Apple is touting the iPhone 5s’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner and gold color option on the back of certain magazine covers. Now, we’ve spotted a new magazine ad for the iPhone 5s. This one, instead, highlight’s the device’s 64-bit A7 processor. “64-bit” is complex technical jargon, but Apple simplifies it to mean that the iPhone is powerful and offers all-day battery life.

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