Tag Archives: Apple

Remembering Steve; One Year Later

Steve Jobs with MacBook Air

It’s already been a year since the passing of my real-life hero, Steve Jobs who passed away on October 5, 2011.

Apple’s website has replaced the welcome page with a video which celebrates the life of Steve Jobs ended by a letter of acknowledgment from Tim Cook.

Click here to see the video on Apple’s site. (Not sure how long it will last)

RIP Steve!

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What’s New in Mountain Lion?

Mountain Lion MacsThere has been multiple words published about Mountain Lion since it hit the App Store yesterday, but the most important question people are asking is Mountain Lion worth the upgrade? The answer, yes it definitely is worth every penny (or $19.99 if you really want the exact cost.)

Advertised as containing over 200 new features is the icing on the cake and worth twice the asking price. And while most of the new features are minimal, the featured updates – Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Messages (formerly known as iMessages), Facebook (Available in fall 2012), Twitter Integration, Power Nap, Notifications Centre and a refined Safari browser experience make OS X v 10.8 the most secure and efficient operating system that Apple has ever released.

Ever since Mountain Lion was officially announced earlier this year, there’s been a misconception that OS X was going to just like iOS, and while Apple is trying to optimize each of it’s operating systems for the devices they’re intended, there are some blaring similarities, but this is not simply iOS for your desktop computer or notebook.

Sample iCloud ScreenHowever, Mountain Lion does use Apple’s most powerful tool – iCloud. Integration with iCloud is at the forefront of your install – it’s actually the first screen you get after installing a fresh copy of Mountain Lion – but it’s also my favourite part of this update. MobileMe has been completely removed the System Preferences pane – It was nuked at the end of June, so it was time – and now with iCloud, you can easily share calendars, contacts, bookmarks, email, Safari tabs, reminders, notes and much more, much easier than it’s ever been.

Pages Screen ShotDocuments in the Cloud allows you to share, edit and save Pages, Numbers and Keynote documents from any Apple device. In fact, when you go to open a document with the new version of iWork, it will default to iCloud and not to your Mac’s local directory. By using iCloud in this way, you can also access your documents from your iPad and iPhone as well.

Text Edit Screen ShotChanges made to documents are automatically synced through the cloud on all your devices. What’s even better is that other simple applications such as Text Edit, now have an option to save your Simple Text documents straight to the cloud, instead of on your local drive. Making all those field accessible from anywhere, start working on something on your laptop, and then pick up where you left off on your iMac and continue. You don’t even have to remember to save, iCloud will take care of doing that for you.

Messages Screen ShotMessages also arrives on the desktop, which means that I can now send iMessages to my contact list of friends on their iPhones, iPod Touches or iPads without having to grab my iPhone or iPad. The beauty of iCloud is evident here too, since as soon as I setup my iCloud account, all my contacts are automatically placed for use in Messages. It’s really simple.

AirPlay Screen ShotAirPlay was another major one for me … I always like to display my computer on my 60″ HDTV at home, and Mountain Lion has made it much easier with AirPlay Mirroring to Apple TV. You should note that only 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs are supported and select MacBooks, iMacs etc, support this feature. Make sure you read the Apple site to confirm that your computer can do it, since the last thing you want is to buy Mountain Lion to use this feature and be disappointed that it doesn’t work for you – I’ve read a few angry reviews about how their system aren’t supported. Should have read the release notes.

The Notifications Center is great too! Provides an easy ‘command centre’ and overview of reminders, calendar events and appointments that are coming up. I also love how fully customizable it is!

Notifications Screen Capture

I could go on and on about all the features that are available with Mountain Lion, but here’s a great post that highlights everything you need to know!

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2012 WWDC Announced: June 11 to 15

WWDC 2012 Logo
Apple has officially announced its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) that will run from June 11 through June 15 at San Francisco’s Moscone West.

For those that are unfamiliar with the event; This is the event most anticipated by developers to get a sneak peek at what’s next for iOS and OS X and what will be available to allow them to build incredible new apps.

This year’s WWDC includes:

  • more than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of technology-specific topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
  • 100 hands-on labs staffed by more than 1,000 Apple engineers providing developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
  • the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
  • engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
  • Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone®, iPad® and Mac® apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

If you’re a registered developer, you could have purchased your tickets here for $1599.00 a piece; Unfortunately they’re all sold out.

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Apple Replaced My iPod Nano

iPod Nano 1st GenerationShout out to Clare on Twitter for giving me a heads up on the iPod replacement program being undertaken by Apple. I don’t know many people that still have an iPod 1st generation laying around, but I do/did.

Apple press released a public recall to anyone that has a 1st Generation iPod Nano on the basis that they had detected a defect in the battery, that would cause it to over heat and could potential explode, cause a fire, etc., and they had managed to pin point the problem to one manufacturer of the batteries and it affected iPod nanos that were sold between September 2005 and December 2006 – you could go on this site and input your serial number to see if you qualify.

After I entered my info, they confirmed that my 1GB 1st generation iPod Nano was one of the units affected, so they shipped my a package from Apple in Markham to send them back the unit. It came with a prepackaged envelope, instructions and shipping label making it very simple to send them my Nano.

By the way, the entire process was updated on their website, and I was informed via email, when they received my old nano, the repair and replacement. It felt good to be kept in the loop. No guessing game.

After a week without my iPod nano, I received a notice that they had shipped a replacement unit and to my surprise I received a 6th generation iPod Nano 8GB in silver.

Replaced iPod Documentation

The entire process took 1 week – from the moment I shipped them my 1st gen, to the moment I received my replacement. And I must say that this experience has made me love being an Apple customer that much more. It’s the little things that count and this was one of the things that make me proud to be an Addict.

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Left Handed Mac User? No Problem

Most lefties have adapted to the righty-centric world of computing, but not necessary when using a Mac. Apple’s wired and wireless mouses and most third party mice have symmetrical designs, so they can be left-hand friendly with the adjustment of a few settings in Mac OS X.

Change Mouse Button Setting to be Left Handed
The main thing you want to do is change the “Primary mouse button” to be on the right button instead of the default left:

  • Launch System Preferences
  • Click on “Mouse”, look for “Primary mouse button:” and select the bullet box next to “Right”

This reverses the behavior of the right-click (alternate click) so it becomes a left-click, and therefore a lefty’s pointing finger becomes the primary button.

Left Hand Setting Screen Cap

Change Trackpad Settings to be Left Handed
Using a MacBook or Apple’s magic trackpad? – You can adjust the right-click to a left-click instead:

  • Go back to System Preferences and click on “Trackpad”
  • Next to “Secondary Click” select “Bottom Left Corner”

Track Pad Screen Capture
The literal right and left clicks are a little less necessary for trackpad users though because, regardless of which is your dominant hand, you can always just use a two-fingered click to activate the ‘right-click’ or secondary click anyway.

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Is the iPhone Nano Coming? (Rumour)

A new report that came out today suggests that Apple could be working on at least one new model of the iPhone that is one-third smaller than the size of the current iPhone 4 and cheaper.

The news makes sense because of the growing market shares Google’s Android phones are getting, this would be Apple’s way of appealing to those customers. The new version would cost $200 without a two-year contract. The current iPhone 4 without a contract comes in at $599.

The source that claims to have seen the iPhone sometimes last year, says that even though it was one-third smaller, it may have changed by now.

In addition to that, Apple is also working on Universal SIM technology and dual-mode phones that can work on CDMA and GSM networks. Not surprising since Qualcomm delivers the chip technology to make this happen, which is the same dual-mode chip used in Verizon’s iPhone 4, released this past week.

The question now becomes, would a smaller iPhone version compromise the user experience of an iOS-capable device? I’d think not. It’s an existing product with a twist. Smaller can appeal to those that complain about how ‘bulky’ and ‘big’ the iPhone is when compared to the competition. With a reduced price being offered I can see a lot of people in the market that have considered an iPhone in the past but thought it was too expensive, would now have a clear choice.

Keep in mind that Apple has done this before with other products (ie: iPod nano), so this may be more accurate than one might think.

Possible names are rumoured to be “iPhone Mini” or “iPhone Nano”.

Let’s hope it makes it to production before it gets scrapped.

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Is the iPod Classic Ready for Retirement?

iPod Classics

When Toshiba unveiled (PDF) a new 1.8-inch hard drive capable of holding up to 220 GB of data, rumours started flying that the iPod Classic, which currently tops out at 160GB, would be phased out or discontinued.

As file sizes continue to grow, and the demand to never leave home without your ENTIRE music collection on your iDevice, it looks like Apple may be looking at introduction a bigger and better iPod soon?

The Apple Store shows that the silver iPod Classic now ships in 1-3 days, down from 24 hours last week. In addition, Best Buy has updated their website to say that the device is backordered for 1-2 weeks (last week it was shipped in 1 day) and Target also has it backordered for 2-4 weeks. Currently the shortage only seems to be affecting the silver colored model, the dark colored version appears relatively unaffected. – Quote from AppleBitch.com

Could this mean a refreshed line up of iPods coming, or is Apple finally discontinuing the iPod classic altogether? The iPod classic hasn’t been updated in a year and half (in tech terms – way too long) and Apple CEO, Steve Jobs did mention in September’s 2010 iPod-focused event that an “all new” iPod line-up will soon be announced.

I’m predicting that Apple phases out the iPod classic in the coming years.

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Would Apple Survive Without Steve Jobs?

I ask myself this question everyday, and if you’re reading this blog post, you’re likely a hardcore iPhone, iPad or iPod lover. All these have had the “touch” or been graced by Steve Jobs. Would Apple be able to keep going if Steve (we’ll use first name basis when naming people) was unable to return from a medical leave of absence?

I think it all boils down to the fact that Steve is the face of Apple and firmly moulded into what Apple identifies itself as. His image has created a perception of the brand where they put people first, they allow design to lead technology, and having the courage to do things a little differently. Always keeping focused on their vision, even though sales may suffer for a while.

What we have to all remember, is that Steve doesn’t lock himself in a room for weeks/months on end thinking about what people may want, and then emerge with the iPad. There’s a team of many people (even trained by Apple people) that clearly understand what Apple’s mission is. Sure, Steve oversees all talks and demands perfection while developing the next product, but I think it would be outlandish to assume that if Steve didn’t return, Apple’s ‘team’ would all of a sudden forget what they learned from him.

They understand what makes Apple, Apple and would continue to work on products at the same high level we’ve come to not only know, but expect from Apple. About 20 years ago when Steve was forced out of Apple, he wasn’t in firm control, and Apple failed because the brand relied heavily on User Groups not the culture it’s established today.

Failure would be highly unlikely at this point.

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10 Billionth App Winner Named

Ten Billion Apps

As part of Apple’s 10 Billionth Download promotion, the download happened around 6 am on Saturday, January 22, 2010. The twist is that when Apple tried to contact the winner to give them their $10,000 iTunes prize, the person that got the call hung up the phone thinking it was a “prank call”.

Gail Davis took the call over the weekend, and before fully listening to what was being said on the phone call, she said “thanks, not interested” and hung up. After reviewing the call with her daughter, and being informed that it may have been a legitimate phone call, they frantically tried to call back.

The 10th billion app download by Davis’ daughter was PaperGlider, a virtual paper plane app.

Eventually, Apple’s very own iTunes V.P., Eddy Cue put in a call to the Davis household to award the prize.

I would have reacted the same as her mother at first, thinking that some buddy was pulling my leg, knowing how much of a hardcore fan I am when it comes to Apple products. By the way, it’s taken the App Store 6 years less than it took iTunes to hit 10 billion downloads. That’s a staggering stat about the vitality and impact their store has in the grand scope of app buying.

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Playboy Coming to iPad in March

Playboy LogoIt had to happen sooner or later. Despite what Steve Jobs said that Apple is pure and the Android is for porn; the iPad will have a Playboy app for browsing back issues available in March this year.

There is no doubt that this new wave of news will create even more buzz for Apple’s device and get even more people to buy. (BTW, Apple released their sales results for the holiday season, and it was a record breaker. Selling over 7 MILLION iPads! Wow)

This announcement will come as a surprise to iOS app developers that have attempted to get “adult-only” apps published on the selective platform, only to get rejected as unsuitable for Apple’s audience. There are no further details of the launch of this app, beyond the March release date.

In my opinion, sex does sell, but the iPad has been successful without porn to this point and giving it that extra push, will no doubt put the device further ahead of the competition! At least without the porn option, the competition has a chance to keep up.

This brings a whole new meaning to “touch” screen. Yikes.

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