Apple Picture Frame?

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    MacOS Rumors reports on a rumor of an upcoming Apple digital Picture Frame.

    Digital picture frames have been around for some time. Per MacOS Rumors' report, this would be a firewire/harddrive combo similar to the iPod, but does not appear to be due any time soon.
  2. macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2002
    North Carolina

    */begin rant

    MOSR is full of ****. They post ridiculous claims that are never remotely in the ballpark, (remember their iPod predictions?!) update every other week if we're lucky and are as ambiguous about their sources and insiders as some of the worst Mac rumor sites I've seen online.

    Somebody take these guys out back and put them down.

    end rant*/

    :mad: :mad: :eek: :mad: :mad:
  3. macrumors member

    May 8, 2002
    I like how MOSR is suddenly posting every day now ... I suspect it has something to do with some of the reader comments about MOSR's fortunes in these forums in recent weeks.

    That said, their rumorZ are still pretty weak. A Year off? A picture frame? Who cares. Vapor.

    Plus they keep acting like they were "sitting" on news that other sites (they mentioned Thinksecret specifically) have already published. Um yeah, okay. That explains everything.
  4. macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2002
    North Carolina
    Whoa, Arn!

    Where in Durham are you, bud? I'm sitting in a cramped apartment on Duke Campus... I never realized you were a local!

    :eek: :D
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2002
    Arn, don't bother reporting any rumors. All your readers do is criticize the source and never actually discuss the rumor.

    People, realize what a rumor is. Realize that the fun is in discussing it, not badmouthing the source. Of course 99% of Apple rumors are FALSE or made up.. if you've been around the scene long enough you'll realize this and just appreciate their discussion value.

    Regarding this particular one, I can't see my self justifying the cost of such a gadget, nor can I see Apple making something like this. If they released a digital frame, so to speak, their market would be extremely upper class.

    Anyway, you can just use the slideshow feature in the new iMacs :)
  6. macrumors member

    May 8, 2002
    Actually, most of the rumors on here are fun and good. It's just that MOSR is a sentimental whipping-boy with a long history of cheesiness and deception.

    Discussing the merits of a digital picture frame is difficult ... because there aren't any. It's pretty obvious Ryan Meader and co. are just posting made-up stuff because we criticized their stagnation.
  7. macrumors regular

    Apr 19, 2002
    Anyone here ever spent real money on a good picture frame? It can cost you several hundreds of dollars. Especially if it's for an off-size photo or piece of art.

    Now imagine that you can fit like ten or twelve 5x7s into this or 6 8x10s or a few larger photos and then have them swap out at specific times of the day... or have a rotating set of art prints that you really like to see full size but don't have the room or the money to frame properly.

    I can see many people buying this.

    Hmmm let's see... spend $10 to $20 dollars a pop for really bad frames and photos for say ten photos and clutter up a wall so bad even your little sister thinks it's in poor taste... or buy one 'digital frame' that can host hundreds of photos and prints for $200 and have a very stylish and impressive photo album of your family/adventures/cultural predilections on your best wall.

    That's not to mention the screensaver capabilities or the upgrade to a touch sensitive 'kiosk' of your photo album.

    I want one personally. My laptop is great for personal viewing but when I have a few friends trying to crowd in to see the latest digital snapshots.. it isn't the best experience. I hate opening iPhoto or preview, etc. and browsing for the ones I want to show to some random guest that is getting impatient.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2002
    Digital picture frames rock! If you have the money OR you have nice pictures then these things are a good investment. If only you could switch them on and off fast and if the user interface rocks as well, but that is what Apple is good at. Current Apples are no good for using in a crowd like family parties or for hanging on the wall...

    The main problem is the visibility in sunlight, but that is a common problem of glass fitted picture frames, isn't it?
  9. macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2002
    .... turning now to the content of the rumor...!

    As a hardware company, Apple is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, at least in it's post-JobsII incarnation. The revolutionary part is found in the synthesis between well-thought out aesthetics and well-proven hardware parts. Think about most of the hardware announcements so far - only iPod was truly revolutionary in relation to Apple's h/w lineup at the time, and even that concept was based on developing new abilities from new "out-house" standard parts. The first iMac was based on the first Mac, and the newest one stems from optimized Cube internal designs.

    It is a basic strategy of Apple's to walk rather than jump, and so it is fruitful (sorry!) to look at their present in-house engineering capabilities (their design abilities are completely different by nature, as I stated above - revolutionary consequences of evolutionary engineering) and compare them to the evolution of industry standard parts.

    So what would be the natural extension of their present engineering experiences, as embodied in iPod? The much-talked about PDA is not a natural extension; whatever skills the company possessed in the after-Newton era has dissolved and are NOT up-to-date with present-day hardware technology. Lest anyone mentions InkWell, let me point out that software doeth not hardware make, and that the OSX GUI is all but unusable on PDA screens in its present form. The iPod UI is much more relevant but needs to be seriously developed in order to offer user interaction of the quality Apple wants.

    Apart from the inevitable increase in harddisk capacity, the most obvious hardware development in the industry is with regards to screens. The quality has improved, and several new technologies are being introduced in these months. Apple doesn't include revolutionary new technologies into its hardware, but the relevance is that they press the price of older technology. We should therefore see smaller-screen prices begin to slide in short order.

    We are not talking touch-screen or tablet screen prices in that connection - if anything, the introduction of new non-Apple PDAs will push these up -, and that is yet another argument against PDA's, to add to the lack of Apple's engineering skills in this area.

    I have been unable to firmly establish the CPU to be found in iPod, but I believe it to be an ARM of some kind. That should give enough processing power to extend iPod's capabilities in a number of ways. What we need to consider is which uses can be made from an iPod with a larger (color) screen and more harddisk capacity? Remember, Apple often extends present market spaces, rather than just trying to compete inside existing ones or opening up completely new ones.

    Think a slightly larger iPod with one of its sides being nothing but a screen - that is the iFrame (a concept originally suggested and developed by IBM researchers). It can still store and play music and other data. It can display databases in vCard format such as contacts, appointments, notes - this would be easy to be enhance with a little software development. But its new ability is to show images anywhere. Anytime.

    Okay, so who needs it? I do, for one. Ever since I bought a (cheap) digital cameral three years ago, I have been lugging my PowerBook around, in order to show my family and friends pictures of other friends, events, travels, anything really. Taking my iPod out of my jacket pocket and passing it around to be viewed, just like oldfashioned paper photoes used to be, would be great. Developing this ability is easy for Apple - mainly a larger screen and a different form factor.

    People wouldn't buy it just in order to show pictures, just like they don't buy wallets to carry pictures of their family. They would buy it to listen to music, but on top of that it can also contain and display photos. It can show other data, too, like we mentioned above - addresses, spare parts catalogues, price lists, notes, day plans, etc.

    It is not a PDA. It doesn't pretend to be that. You make notes on paper. You keep other people's cardboard business cards. It's strictly an output device. That's what makes it relatively inexpensive.

    Input is possible with a Mac, just like transfering music and data can be done via a Mac only. So, you can put all the necessary music, pictures, text, data, etc into it via the FireWire connection - you could even have daily data updated automatically in the morning from your employer via the Internet (availability of spare parts, for instance).

    Software enhancements could enable it to carry webpages, automatically downloaded in the morning, to be read during the day at appropriate moments. Morning papers, movie lists and reviews, on-line magazines in digital fashion - but not in realtime. And the already established Palm-friendly versions of the webpages are easier to handle, of course. Today's emails could be sorted and read on the bus - to be answered at your convenience later. E-texts, on the other hand, would be mainly for quick reads in short breaks; who prefers to read "War and Peace" on a tiny screen?

    If you have gleaned data or notes during the day, you can easily input them on your Mac in the evening and transfer them to the device in an instant - after all, a keyboard IS the fastest manual input method, not hand writing. And it's much easier to organize the data on paper, before inputing them in an orderly fashion via the keyboard. Especially given the restrictions of a small screen...

    What about all the things you can't do with this device? Write notes directly into it, transfer things wirelessly, take photos, make phone calls.... Convergence is an overrated concept. People don't want ONE device with which to phone, control their stereo, wash their car, etc. Even something as simple as B&O's phones that automatically lower the volume on your stereo when you pick them up, have had only VERY limited success. And, as often pointed out, Palm became successful PRECISELY because it kept its capabilities limited.

    That's not to say that this device can't be extended - later. It would be relatively easy to include a dictation/recording capability. Software enhancement can enable it to directly take over recorded video, music or pictures from other devices (not realtime, of course, just to offload data from the primary input device). Direct photographing onto it might be possible too, either with a plug-in optical part, or by direct access from existing cameras via FireWire OR USB 2. Other exotic possibilities exist, but they demand hardware extensions that Apple need to find outside its campus - and they take time to develop.

    Many people have sighed over BlueTooth. And yes, that would give interesting perspectives, especially given the announced RendezVous standard. Business card exchanges, fresh data to be requested by your device from the Internet and received at special "Data Fuel Points". Photos could be loaded directly from cameras onto the device with no annoying cables. However, you can't recharge via BlueTooth. And it takes extra energy.

    To sum up, this device (iFrame is a bad name) would not increase the price of iPod. It would require only limited work with regards to hardware, software, engineering and design. It would extend the capabilites of iPod, and thus extend an already existing market.

    It would be an even more enhanced MP3 player - not a stunted PDA.
  10. macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2002
    The Apple Twist

    The photo frame has been done before, but Apple could put a twist on it: built-in AirPort with a link to iPhoto. Send your pictures to the frame with one click! That would also help push it's AirPort adoption. Sure it's expensive, but it's an expensive toy for those would can affort it - like the iPod.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Apr 13, 2001
    opengl fades (like the screensaver) between images in the frame, with controls to effect the display would be cool - but prob just for the techs among us. this seems kinda piddly for apple to come out with.
  12. macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2001
    engpjp you have some very interesting ideas! I wouldn't mind a device like the one you mentioned... infact I need one! I want to be able to download all the sites I want in the morning and read them at my convenience.. specially forums.. and the ability to download the pictures directly from my camera to the device... sure would help.. instead of carrying a pismo around... I hope the people at apple are as smart as you are... I want that device I wouldn't mind paying $500 for it but I hope it's cheaper... it's exactly what I need... I want it to have inkwell so I can write down little notes and stuff...

  13. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2001
    Dendermonde/Leuven, Belgium
    Makes sense

    This makes perfectly sense...

    - iTunes --> iPod. An iPod is a device to HEAR the music, not to make it.

    - When iPhoto came out, people speculated Apple would make a digital camera. A camera MAKES photos, but if you follow the iPod-strategy, we need a program to LOOK AT the Photos, not to make them.

    It makes sense to me. And I don't like digital photos because it's so hard to take them with you and show them to your friends. This could be the solution.

    And yeah, it allready exists, but an MP3-player also existed before the iPod...


    PS: Maybe the digital hub strategy is going for the five senses: we already have HEARING, now we'll get LOOKING. The next three devices will be: something to TASTE, something to FEEL and something to SMELL. :D
  14. macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops

    PS: Maybe the digital hub strategy is going for the five senses: we already have HEARING, now we'll get LOOKING. The next three devices will be: something to TASTE, something to FEEL and something to SMELL.


    iCOOK anyone? :D

    how 'bout iFEEL? an pair of goggles to see 3d worlds...

    iSMELL (s*$t) :D ... there are things i might not want to smell... don't even go there apple.

    have a nice day.
  15. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2002
    No airport. Airport is too expensive in terms of the card required for it. Why firewire also? Nobody likes to take down the picture frame in order to update it. Its a pain in the ass and never quite hangs the same as before.

    If its being delayed its my guess its being delayed because of bluetooth. Yes bluetooth is a cheaper solution. So here is how it works:

    The iPod is the pod of it all. Dump your photos onto the iPod and then walk over to the photo frame. Uplink the iPod via bluetooth to the photo frame and dump your pictures there. Heck the iPod can act as a virtual terminal browsing photos that are on the photo frame and deleting old stuff you don't want anymore.

    The thing is what powers the unit? Again with the thing of not wanting to remove the photo frame from the wall. Is it solar? That would be nice. Or is it a desktop frame that you plug into the wall? Possible.
  16. macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2002
    San Destin Florida
    I personally would buy of of these if it happened. But why bother when you really think about it. All you have to do is put your personal pictures in the screensaver in X, and boom, there you go. Now, enjoy your pictures in that 23 inch HD glory.
  17. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    If it comes just as a photo viewer - that would be a true shame, if it incorporated everything in the iPod *and* had a color lcd for displaying images and movies, that would be a much more useful piece of hardware. I certainly hope if they go through with this (not optimistic, mind you) that its not 2 different machines - I just don't see the market. If its a PodPro or something like that, I'd buy it, just to be able to show/store images and play mp3s. The idea of being able to take that with you when you travel and hookit up at night to show the pictures you've taken that day, download them and take them off the camera, that would be worth it.
  18. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2001
    Dendermonde/Leuven, Belgium
    Why the iPod?? Steve Jobs clearly said in the past the PC (he meant the Mac) would be the center of the digital hub! Not the iPod.

  19. macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2002
    It still would be. The iPod is just an intermediary. You still have to edit and organize those photos on the Mac. You have iTunes on the Mac but iPod is part and parcel of that. If you have a portable laptop then yes you don't need an ipod to update a photo frame hung on the wall. But if you have a desktop then you need something if you don't want take the frame off the wall. I guess airport would work, but if you add 100 bucks to the frame in addition to the LCD and storage it will get too expensive real quick.
  20. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2001
    Dendermonde/Leuven, Belgium
    ... and hang your computer on the wall...

  21. macrumors 6502


    Jul 18, 2001
    Dendermonde/Leuven, Belgium
    Hmmm... yeah that makes some sense.

    I was actually only thinking in terms of an iBook or Powerbook (how short-sighted, shame on me). It would seem like a lot of senseless work to organize your stuff on the computer, to sync with the iPod, and then as a final step to sync the iPod with the frame, but indeed, it's a bit hard to carry your PowerMac G4 around just because you don't want to take of the frame...

    Well... at least we're rumouring! But only Steve can tell what it will be.

  22. macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2002
    i highly doubt the ipod..

    will get an colour screen on it. It plays music folks. Its a portable HD as well..but its not for viewing pictures. The screen is too small. We will see a miniMac before we see the ipod get a useless 2" colour screen.

  23. macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2002
    London (or virtually here)
    I could see Apple doing something like this. But it wouldn't be a whole new product, just the next generation iPod, or iPod delux, kind of thing. MP3, contacts AND photo storage/video clips. Remember, Apple is trying to make firewire an industry standard. An iPod DX becomes more attractive the more firewire digital cameras, video cameras, CD players, or whatever, there are out there. You roam with your 'pod', which links up to your own or other people's 'digital hubs'.

    "I've got a better digital camera than you because mine's got firewire so I can download, view and sort a million shots on my iPod DX without buying any extra memory sticks, while listenting to the album I synced from iTunes this morning..."

    So no, nothing as tacky as a digital 'picture frame'; something as useful to digital images as the present iPod is to digital music.
  24. macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2002
    :: :: All bay, all day.
    AirPort is too expensive for a picture frame, but let's put FireWire and a HD inside? No way.

    If this thing did exist it'd have a memory chip inside to store data and either 802.11 or Bluetooth to 'sync' with your computer or other enabled device.

    At the risk of getting flamed, I still see a portable computing device of some sort coming from Apple. There are just too many loose pieces floating around that could (but not necessarily do) add up to a new kind of portable computing device. Features like Ink, Rendezvous and now iFrame (think PhotoStand for Palm, where your device shows a slideshow when it's in its cradle, although this device's cradle would be a virtual one) are being developed because they could help ensure the device actually gets used, rather than just thrown in a drawer somewhere as many ill-fated PDAs do.
  25. macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2001
    You are wrong, HenryR. You say "All your readers do is criticize the source and never actually discuss the rumor. " Not true. We also criticize pretentious posters. Is the kind of post we can expect from you in the future?

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