Tag Archives: OSX

Highlights of iOS 6

iOS 6 Logo

Unveiled back in June at the WWDC, the 6th major update for iDevices around the world will be available for download tomorrow! With over 200 new features it’s expected to be the BEST iOS ever! (Well, until iOS 7 at least) … And before it’s out, I managed to get on the developer’s release and have highlighted the key changes to look forward to in tomorrow’s release.

Siri
Siri IconShe’s definitely growing up. Almost a year after initially being introduced in iPhones last year (with the release of the iPhone 4S) Siri has gained more abilities and powers. You’ll now be able to use voice command to launch apps on your phone. You know, if you’re too busy to launch the music player while texting your pal, Siri will take care of that for you – just say the word. Siri will also be able to tweet for you. In under 140 characters, let her know what you want your followers to know and she’ll write it out and confirm with you before sending.

In addition to that Siri will also be able to pull scores of your favourite sports, research movie times and ticket purchases, and even help to get you dinner reservations. She’s actually starting to feel like a real assistant now.

By the way, the iOS 6 update is also the first time you’ll see Siri on the iPad.

Facebook Integration
iOS device users will now be able to fire status updates at ease. Sharing photos and direct links will now be a piece of cake. Facebook integration also integrates with your contacts; and even more surprising is that events and birthdays will also be synced with iDevices’ calendar. Wow!

iOS 6 Facebook Status on iPad and iPhone

Passbook
Passbook IconA new feature that kind of came out of nowhere, is Passbook: the keep-all-your-tickets-in-one application that allows it’s users to keep movie tickets, boarding passes, airline itineraries and special event tickets on your phone. Complete with the ability to store QR codes and 2D Barcodes, you’ll be able to flash the phone, scan and go. This is one application I have yet to figure out exactly how it’s going to work, but the concept is great.

Eyes Free
A cool new term drummed up by Apple’s team of awesomeness actually does what it sounds like it does. Gives drivers the ability to access their iPhones (and Siri) without having to even touch their handsets.

Apple Maps
After a long debate on what to do with the maps application, Apple has finally decides to dump Google maps for their proprietary maps applications, called MAPS. According to Apple, maps will offer turn-by-turn navigation, Siri voice command, search points of interest and even allow you to submit anonymous traffic tips.

iOS 6 Maps Overview

At last week’s keynote event, they even demonstrated the 3D rendering of maps to allow users to feel like Superman as they fly over their favourite cities in a third dimension. While I’m not convinced that maps is going to be better than Google maps, I think it’s going to take some time for this to fully flourish and become accepted. While using the developer’s version I noticed that the 3D was great in the hugely populated cities, but once you got out to farmland all the beauty was gone and you’re looking at a simple map application.

3G for FaceTime
Long gone will be the days where you had to actually wait until you were home and/or connected to a wifi before you could use FaceTime, iOS 6 now allows you to use this feature on your cellular data whether that’s 3G or LTE. Sounds great, but I’d be concerned for those users with less than 1GB of data on their monthly plans. I could see FaceTime racking up serious usage, especially if you’re a heavy user.

iOS FaceTime Sample

Email Goes VIP
There are two big improvements for the iOS email app. First, users will now be able to designate a VIP email inbox which allows you to set ‘favourites’ so that you don’t miss any of their emails and instead will be presented right up front. No having to sift through hundreds of spam to see those messages.

It’s also going to get a lot easier to add attachments to your emails. Instead of having to always use your Photo app to attach an email or file, you’ll have the option to do it right from the mail app in iOS 6. Cool feature that’s taken way too long to make an appearance in iOS.

Safari
A feature that was introduced as part of the OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) desktop version of Apple’s operating system introduces and iCloud tab syncing feature. That means that any device(s) using Mountain Lion (and Safari) that were left open, will now be able to be picked up on your iPhone, right where you left off. Basically making it easier for users to move from one Apple device to another. A seamless experience is a better experience.

iOS 6 Safari Sample

This is just scratching the surface of more than 200 new features for iOS 6. Let us know what your thoughts are on iOS 6 on my Facebook page.

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Create a Folder from Multiple Selected Items in Finder

New Folder with Item Screen Shot
You can create a folder from a selection of files, instead of creating a new folder first, then moving files in.

Here’s how: In the Finder, select any files you want to put into the same folder. (sleet multiple files by holding down the command button and clicking files to ad) You can do this in any Finder window, including the Desktop or from the results of a Spotlight search (not the Spotlight menu itself).

Right-click on any one of the selected files, and the top menu item is New Folder with Selection (number of Items). When you choose that, a new folder will be created, and the files literally leap into the folder. The new folder is called New Folder With Items, and you can change its name.

(This isn’t technically new, it was added in Lion. But it’s a nice feature to be aware of) I use this daily.

Works for:

  • OSX 10.7 Lion
  • OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

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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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“Do Not Disturb” Coming to Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion Do Not Disturb Screen Capture

The Mountain Lion developer preview has unveiled a new feature, which most people have been asking for since the release of iOS 5, that would silent the notification centre alerts.

The “Do Not Disturb” switch is along the top of the slide-out notification centre’s menu, as announced to be added to the next update to OS X v.10.8 aka Mountain Lion.

Mountain Lion is scheduled for release this summer, but no official public release date has been announced. The anticipation, and speculation, is that a similar feature will be included as part of an iOS 6 release set for 3rd of 4th quarter 2012. Stay tuned.

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Faster and Cheaper Mac Mini Arrives for 2011

The 2011 Mac Mini DesignIn case you missed it. Apple unveiled a brand new (revised) Mac Mini at the same time it was launching OS X Lion through the Mac App Store. The best about about this mini, besides the quicker processor, easy internal access and HDMI ports, is the price tag; starting at $599 US and then going upwards to $799 and $999 configuration.

Now comes the bad news; No more optical drive. (Look again, I know I did) So if you used your Mac Mini to watch DVDs you’ll need to buy an external drive. This major design overhaul also makes installing older software on this mac mini a little more difficult, but not impossible. (It has USB ports so if you’re a pirate you’ll be able to still install your stuff) If you own the discs, you’ll have to create external DMGs and then load them through USB.

The new Mini comes pre-loaded with Apple’s latest OS X Lion (v10.7) and even though it has a few USB ports for using standard peripherals, you’ll likely want to buy Apple’s Magic Trackpad so you don’t have messy wires laying around.

Technical specs of the 2011 Mac Mini:

The 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU inside the $599 model we tested helped the system to feel quite snappy in anecdotal testing. And in our CPU-centric Cinebench test, which stresses all of a computer’s processing cores to measure raw CPU performance, the 2011 Mac Mini’s score of 8,741 was a fair bit ahead of last year’s Mini, which came in at 5,072.

Let’s take a look at the backside and see what kinds of connectivity it has.

2011 Mac Mini Connections

The standard, power, USBs are all there, but there’s new stuff too. The single HDMI port so you can hook this up to an HDTV and skip out on buying a monitor. A Thunderbolt port which allows you to chain up to 6 peripherals and boasts transfer speeds that are up to 20x faster than USB 2.0. And the card reader slot. For getting stuff off your SD cards.

Inside 2011 Mac MiniThe size is incredibly small at just 7.7 inches square and 1.7 inches thick. Ease of accessing the internals makes upgrading memory a breeze. The Mac Mini will come with a standard 500 GB hard drive, but you can opt for a bulkier 720 GB hard drive at extra cost. And you’ll either have 2 GB or 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ram pre-loaded but you can max out at 8 GB, should you need all that.

If you’re into burning CDs/DVDs and need that option you can buy the external USB-based MacBook Air SuperDrive for $79 US.

You can see that it stacks up nicely against the new MacBook Air and the revamped iMac. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly Mac this would be the one you’re after, but keep in mind of the added expense of wireless peripherals to get the most from the new OS X and likely upgrading the RAM so that it doesn’t get bogged down with heavy web browsing.

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OS X Lion Arrives in the Mac App Store Today

OS X Lion Banner
Today is the day! Long-awaited and talked about OS X Lion (Version 10.7) update has finally arrived. Available for download through the Mac App Store. And guess what? – It’s only $29.99 if you already own Snow Leopard.

I went into detail about what will be available with OS X Lion a while back, but today it’s officially released and ready for the public to dive into head first.

If you’re keeping track this will be the first ‘true’ test of just how simple the Mac App Store really is and how it will pave the way for Mac users to be able to get large programs/full applications without having to go out and buy the boxes and multiple discs at the Apple Store, which they’re discontinuing anyway.

OS X Lion IconsComfort, speed and ease! No lineups, no busy malls, nothing. To upgrade your Mac to OS X Lion, you don’t need to drive to a store, bring home a box, and install a bunch of discs. All you do is click the Mac App Store icon, buy Lion for $29.99, and your Mac does the rest. Just make sure you have what you need to download Lion to your Mac, so before you head over to the download, make sure your system meets the minimum requirements.

To upgrade today, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure your Mac can run Lion.
    Your Mac must have an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor to run Lion. Find out if your current Mac has one of these processors by clicking the Apple icon at the top left of your screen, then choosing About This Mac.
  2. Make sure you have the latest version of Snow Leopard.
    Get up to date with the latest version of OS X Snow Leopard to purchase OS X Lion from the Mac App Store. If you have Snow Leopard, click the Apple icon and choose Software Update to install Snow Leopard v10.6.8, the latest version.
  3. Download OS X Lion from the Mac App Store.
    Open the Mac App Store from your Dock to buy and download it. Then follow the onscreen instructions to install Lion.

If you’re already using Lion, let me know how you’re liking it in the comments or on Twitter @mac_addiction and let me know your initial thoughts.

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Ten for X

Mac OS X Box10 years of Mac OS X (March 24, 2011) was the date that the first full public version went on sale worldwide. With many existing Mac users kicking and screaming about the transition from OS 9, the release opened to door to a new group of users considering another look at the ‘second team’ and thinking about giving Mac a try.

I’ve been a way for a little over a week (vacation) and didn’t get a chance to post this on the anniversary day itself, but it’s still something that should be mentioned. 10 years ago, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs announced OS X.

Little did anyone know that Apple, at the time, was planning to open retail locations and introduce the Intel processor a few years later. I’d think that the introduction of OS X, along with other things (such as he iPod and iPhone) were the key ingredients in turning around the ‘losing’ company/brand and turning it into the powerhouse it is today.

While many specialists argue that Windows still dominates the market, I’d say that Apple and OS X have clearly made their mark. I feel that Apple was initially in competition to bring over Windows fan boys to join the ‘revolution’ but eventually grew strong enough that they didn’t have to try to convince Windows die-hards to come over. They did on their own.

Apple’s success can also be contributed to the development of a secure OS. (There hasn’t been a single virus released in the wild that affects OS X) as well as their firm belief on control over the hardware that is used to run their OS. For a long time before OS X, Windows was winning because of how you could get the OS on different hardware configurations and didn’t need to buy “Microsoft machines”, but then there was the issue of compatibility and viruses.

For history sake, in 2001, Google was still just a search engine and Windows was releasing XP SP 2 around the same time. Just ten years later and the Apple tree continues to grow.

What’s next?

The eighth significant release of OS X is coming in a few months, code-named, Lion which will introduce some unifications between the iOS and OS X platforms.

Happy anniversary, OS X.

A complete, more thorough write-up on OS X’s anniversary has been covered nicely on the ComputerWorld website.

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An iMac Update is Coming April/May (Rumour)

iMac on WhiteWith all the recent buzz about iPads and iPhones, we’ve all managed to overlook the iMac! Sources at CNET, via Twitter, suggest that a new iMac is set to release in April/May.

CNET iMac Tweet Capture

If you’re keeping track, the last update to the iMac lineup was in July 2010 and that was when they announced the Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors with ATI Radeon graphic cards.

Major things that could be part of this iMac ‘update’ would be similar to what we saw a month ago to the refresh of MacBook Pros; Sandy Bridge processors and would likely include the new high-speed Thunderbolt port. There doesn’t appear to be any cosmetic changes reported, but in the end, no one really knows except Apple.

I’ve been considering an iMac for home use the past few weeks and have only been holding out because I had dreams of one day waking up and seeing/hearing an Apple keynote address announcing an iMac “Touch” …. Yup, exactly as it sounds. The speed and luxury of a desktop, with the ease of an iOS device. Maybe it’s just a dream, but I have a strong feeling that one day it will become a reality.

For now, an updated iMac will have to do.

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The Sleeping Lion

OS X LionWith all the rumours flying around about the iPhone Nano or pending iPhone 5, iPad 2 and countless other iDevices that are coming, there’s little talk about what we KNOW for sure is coming: OS X Lion (v 10.7) for you Mac.

Last week’s announcement of the latest line ups of the MacBook Pros was great news for anyone anxiously awaiting OS X Lion, due out this summer. And coincidentally enough, it was released for developers beta testing this past Friday, February 24, 2011.

From what I’ve gather so far, all Mac staff has been testing internally for at least the past month, which means that the release should be on schedule. But what does this latest OS mean for Mac users? … It means ALOT! I’ve highlighted some of the key features of what to expect when Lion drops this summer.

First off, if you own and iPad, consider OSX the greatness of the Mac OS combined with the magic of your iPad. The end result is OS X Lion.

Launchpad IconThe greatest new feature of the latest OS, will be known as Launchpad. Instant access to your apps – iPad style. Click the Launchpad icon on your dock and the open windows fade away, replaced by a full-screen display of all your apps. The great thing about navigating the newest OS X will benefit those using the Magic Trackpad …. you’ll be in full control with gestures. 3 and 4-finger swipes and you’re able to setup shortcuts to launch various apps with ease. A quick swipe allows you to see multiple pages of apps, and you can arrange them anyway you like (just like on the iPad)

Preview of Launchpad

Full Screen IconThe Mac App store is also an integral part of OS X Lion, but also you’ll be able to run full-screen apps also! Purchase apps right on your laptop/desktop without running out the local computer store to get your software and when you launch them, they’re not just part of a floating window. They’re full screen, just like any other application you’re running. You enter your iTunes ID and you’re ready to start buying!

Full Screen Preview

Mission Control IconMission Control. It’s like the “task manager” all PC users have been accustomed to, but instead of just holding the alt+tab button, now you can launch this new feature that display a comprehensive look at what’s running on your Mac. With this bird’s eye view of what’s giong on on your Mac, you can quickly jump from one full-screen app to the dashboard with just a click. No more wondering… you control it all!

Preview of Mission Control

Gestures IconGestures and animations also play a huge part as part of the new OS X. To take full advantage of this features you’re going to either have to be on a MacBook Pro or have Apple’s Magic Trackpad. You’re able to swipe from app to app with 4-fingers or forward and reverse in browser windows by using two fingers. You can zoom in and out by pinching and so on. Also all gestures will have a closely mimicked animation, so the action feels very fluid to the user with virtually no delay.

Gesture Sample

Additional features for OSX Lion:

  • Auto Save (Automatic back ups of your OS, so you never lose anything)
  • Versions (Think about the UNDO function, only better)
  • Resume (Pick up where you left off without re-launching an app a.k.a. multitasking on your iPhone/iPad)
  • Mail 5 (A newer, better version of Mail)
  • Conversations come to Mail (Chronological list order of email inboxes to appear as flowing conversations)
  • Air Drop (Send files to any other mac on your network even easier than before)
  • FileVault (A new level of protection, in case you needed it)

..and a slew of other features. For the complete list, you can visit Apple’s website. Developers can start testing here.

Looks like it’s going to be a great summer!

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