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All posts tagged "apple"

Thursday, May 5, 2011

iPad Restore: Someone Please Explain This To Me

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

I admit it: when it comes to the world of Apple devices, there's still a lot I don't know. Some things make intuitive sense, while others I find baffling. This is the latter. Read more...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Why Are Some iOS Apps so Crash-Prone?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 11:00 AM

I've been using my iPad 2 now for just over two weeks, and while I've been quite happy with it for the most part, I'm utterly dismayed at how often certain applications will crash. It's not uncommon for me to load up TweetDeck and have it crash three times in a row before it will finally load - and then it will spontaneously crash a few minutes later. I bought my most expensive app yet - FilterStorm Pro for $14.99 - and it crashed immediately the first two times I tried to load an image. The third time, doing exactly the same thing, it worked fine. I've seen similar problems on my iPod Touch - apps crashing, seemingly at random.

Based on my experience, iOS is the most "crashy" experience I've had in years on any operating system. The worst part is that when it happens now, I don't even blink - I just re-start the app. Because that's such a fast process, it's ultimately not a significant problem - yet I know that if the same thing were to happen on one of my Windows 7 computers, I'd be furious about it.

What is it about iOS apps that make some of them so crash prone? Shoddy development? Something about iOS resource allocation that causes problems?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Competitors Don't Understand How to Beat the iPad

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 PM

"When unveiled in 2010, Apple didn't know why iPad would be a major hit.* After spending most of the keynote explaining some of iPad's basic features, such as email, reading books, and surfing the web, Apple left the fundamental question of why iPad would become popular to the marketplace to answer.

*I didn’t write “if iPad would be a major hit”, but instead, “why iPad would be a major hit.” Apple has a history of releasing major products only after it knows it is worthy of becoming a hit."

Why? Apple has transferred innovation to the user. Apple offers initial satisfaction, followed by continuing satisfaction and enjoyment. Competitors don't really understand why people are buying iPads. Walk into any Apple Store (or Best Buy) and look at faces as people play with iPads. Electronic crack. The bottom line is that the author feels that they are winning on emotion (winning hearts and minds), taking cost out of the equation. His feeling is that the only way that competitors can be successful is either by making a low-price commodity item (does this mean a throw-away tablet?) or by out-innovating Apple. With Apple having a stranglehold on the components market, competition on price alone will continue to be difficult, so that leaves beating Apple at introducing new features or even developing something completely different (Monty Python, anyone?). With nearly 20 million iPads sold, I wonder how many of the niche players will simply drop out of the competition.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apple To Samsung: Copy Cat!!

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android News" @ 05:00 PM

"Whoa! In the world of big-time lawsuits, this must be just about the biggest. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has sued Samsung Electronics for copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone."

Well, this one could be fun to watch. I really doubt anything will ever really happen other than maybe a bit of licensing cash swapping hands. Besides, when you really get down to it does Apple even have a leg to stand on? Their complaints center around the hardware design and UI of Samsung's Android phones. Bad news for Apple is that Samsung used this design and a similar UI long before they had Android phones and even before the iPhone was released. It will be interesting to watch this one play out.

Should the Unemployed Buy New Macs to Find Jobs? The Onion Panel Weighs In

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 07:00 AM,20083/

No matter where you fall on the Apple/Windows side of the fence, you have to admit this is utterly hilarious - I love the way it plays to the fanboy stereotypes. ;-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Check Out This Killer iPad 2 Skin!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 03:13 PM

I bought it from Gelaskins for my new iPad 2 - and it looks awesome! The front was a bit difficult to put on and ended up slightly stretching, but it still looks pretty sweet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tablet Paralysis: Which One Do I Choose?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 09:00 AM

I've been pondering getting a tablet since the first iPad was introduced, but I'm not generally the kind of person who buys a piece of technology and then figures out if I have a good use for it. I'm still not sure how useful I'll find a tablet, but I figure it's worth finding out since this is the beginning of a large wave in mobile computing...I can't just sit it out.

Long-time readers know there are some things about the way Apple does business that really irk me, so it doesn't take much for me to consider products outside the Apple ecosystem if they're viable. When it comes to tablets, that's easier said than done. I find myself leaning fairly heavily toward the iPad 2, but then an email came my way that changed things... Read more...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Joy Factory iPad Wall/Cabinet Mount

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 07:00 AM

Seinfeld fans out there will recall how George felt about crushed red velvet. To borrow his sentiments, I'd wrap myself in carbon fiber if I could. If it has carbon fiber in it, I have to have it; mountain bike, watch, ring, Lamborghini Aventador, it doesn't really matter. So when I saw that The Joy Factory had just released a carbon fiber iPad mount, well, yeah, it had to come home. Read more...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Round One to Apple: Nokia Staggered

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"A judge with the US International Trade Commission ruled in Apple's favor in a patent dispute with Finland's Nokia over mobile phones, portable music players and computers. Judge James Gildea denied Nokia's claim that Apple had violated five patents held by the Finnish company."

Round one to Apple. The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled in Apple's favor in their patent dispute with Nokia. No explanation was given for the decision, but this is only one of many lawsuits and countersuits underway. Looks like Nokia has embraced the philosophy that "if we can't beat them in the marketplace, litigate." Sad, really, as the ultimate costs of these legal actions get dumped onto the consumer eventually.

Tags: apple, nokia, lawsuits

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Microsoft Can't Build a Tablet and Apple Can't Build a Server

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 11:00 PM

"Last week I was going over a rather impressive list of products that Microsoft (News - Alert) brought to market last decade that failed and while Apple's (News - Alert) list is shorter the failure of its Xserve server product after a decade of trying is just as telling. In looking at the two companies; both have largely been unable, at least for the last 10 years, to do well in areas dominated by the other."

Interesting thoughts on why companies with expertise in specific market segments are having trouble gaining a foothold in other market segments. Not only Microsoft and Apple, but companies like IBM and Cisco are having trouble in the consumer space, while Sony has failed at getting their business products accepted. Companies are committing resources, but not necessarily the right resources. Microsoft designing a product (Zune) that "looked like a square turd" is a good example of perhaps the right product being designed by the wrong people. And Apple's XServe is another example of a failed attempt. So, how can companies be successful in new market segments? First rule: Know your target market. Second rule: Get the right people for the job. Don't just assign someone based on seniority or past glory in other market segments. Third rule: Don't underestimate the amount of work and capital that it will take to successfully bring a product to market. Last rule: Understand your goal. If you don't understand what it is, or how to get there, you lose.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

iOS 4.3 Update Now Available - No Need to Wait

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 06:30 PM

"Apple has set loose iOS 4.3, the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices. The update includes support for mobile hotspot tethering with the iPhone 4, support for iTunes Home Sharing as well as improvements to Apple’s wireless AirPlay technology, and support new multitouch gestures. Web surfers will also be happy to note the update includes significant performance improvements to Apple’s own Safari browser: according to Apple, Safari in iOS 4.3 runs JavasScript up to twice as fast as previous versions."

And away we go. I'm downloading iOS 4.3 as I write this. I'm looking forward to increased speed in Safari. I guess that Apple wanted to get this started before the onslaught of iPad 2 activations/registrations expected starting late Friday. One gotcha is that the original iPhone, iPhone 3G and first and second generation iPod Touches will not get iOS 4.3.

Monday, March 7, 2011

iPad 2 Again Leads The Marathon Tablet War

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 12:00 AM

"The iPad 2 is off to a great start. It hasn't even shipped yet and it's getting rave reviews - applauded as "phenomenal" and clearly outpacing the competition. Yours truly just declared the iPad 2 a "winner.""

Interesting perspective offering some guesses as to why Apple didn't add more features to the iPad 2. The main reason? Price. The competition is scrambling to see how (and if) they can match Apple on tablet price. This is a unique position for Apple, as their competitors have historically been seen as less-expensive, almost across the entire product line. Since Apple seems to be treating this competition as a marathon rather than a quick 100 meter dash, it'll be interesting to see how the other vendors react. Real competition is making -all- the vendors raise their game - to everyone's benefit.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Apple's Joint Venture (for Small Business) Launched

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 09:30 PM

"Apple has officially launched its $499 a year Joint Venture support initiative for small businesses under the tagline "Get set up. Get trained. Stay running." Apple's Joint Venture retail support plan offers setup, training and continued support starting at $499 a year for up to five "systems," which are defined not just as Macs, but also iOS devices or Cinema Displays. According to the terms and conditions set by Apple, the service is only available to business customers at the time of purchase of a Mac."

Apple has officially rolled-out their Joint Venture initiative (replacing ProCare). Setting up newly purchased Macs (or iOS devices or cinema displays), getting existing data to the new computer(s), and installing and configuring purchased software are the primary functions. Joint Venture also offers a personalized support web site, training sessions, group workshops, Genius phone support, priority appointments at the Genius Bar, system diagnostics, software updates, and keyboard and monitor cleaning. Another big plus is that loaner computers will be provided if a covered computer needs servicing (over 24 hours needed for repair), and will include iLife, iWork, and, Microsoft Office. One feature surprisingly lacking is on-site support visits. For a small office, this seems to be a pretty good deal, especially when it works out to less than $42 per month.

Magnets and MacBook Air Computers Don't Play Well Together

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 PM

"We all know to keep powerful magnets away from traditional hard drives, but we recently found out that you should also keep magnets away from your MacBook Air, something that could get harder now that the iPad 2 has magnets built right into it."

It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that magnets and laptops don't play well together. This is a good example where a small magnet in an iPhone case causes the MacBook Air screen to shut off, and wifi connections to disappear. Remove the magnet, the screen comes back on, but the wifi connections (presumedly) must be reestablished. After some discussion, it appears that the external magnet causes the computer to think that the laptop has been closed - so it goes into sleep mode. It would be interesting to see if this can be replicated with non-MacBook Air laptops.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Wondering Why the New Macbook Pro's Seem to Offer Less Battery Life?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Laptops" @ 02:00 PM

"Now that the news about the new MacBook Pros is out there, one thing that may disappoint someone just reading the spec sheet is battery life. Across the board, the Pro is now rated at 7 hours. While still very solid, this is actually a step down from the previous versions which were rated at 8 to 9 hours for the 15 and 17-inch models, and 10 hours for the 13-inch model. So what gives?"

When I was looking at the battery life on the new Macbook Pros, I noticed something curious: they're all listed as "up to 7 hours". I couldn't recall what the exact battery life specs were for the previous Macbook Pros, but I knew it varied from model to model. As the above text shows, Apple had quoted the battery life on previous Macbooks from 8 to 10 hours. Sandy Bridge processors are supposed to be even more power-friendly than the first-gen Core series processors. So what gives? Read more...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Evertyhing You Wanted to Know About Thunderbolt

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

Simply put, Thunderbolt's a familiar-looking port, a brand-new chip, and a cord, which allows devices to pipe two data streams simultaneously -- in both directions -- over a single cable at up to 10 gigabits per second to start, primarily using PCI Express x4 for data and DisplayPort for video.

The announcement of Thunderbolt instantly reminded me about the old Firewire vs. USB battle. If you have read the comments or even the press release about Thunderbolt, you have probably seen how people are comparing Thunderbolt to Firewire, and the battle is now between USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. There are certainly a lot of parallels but I do not know if there is a clear winner, or even if there will be one that dominates the other.

Thunderbolt definitely has more impressive specifications but will that be enough? USB has a far larger install base and is likely to remain much cheaper to implement for various peripherals. Does my mouse really need a 10Gbps lane? Will a Thunderbolt based keyboard cost more than a USB one? I personally suspect that the two will live together, with USB remaining the dominant connection type, with Thunderbolt serving the more demanding uses like external video cards, displays and hard drives. What do you think? Is Thunderbolt the future? Or do we all live in a USB world?

Mac OS X Lion: Best Mac OS Yet?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 01:00 AM

"We're taking our best thinking from iPad and bringing it all to the Mac with Mac OS X Lion, available in summer 2011. Here's a preview of some of the top features."

Much of the visible sizzle in Lion is, as Apple says, "The power of Mac OS X. The magic of iPad." This pretty much sums-up the upcoming features of Lion: making the OS X desktop look and behave more like an iPad, while adding or updating some powerful OS features behind the scenes, like AutoSave, Versions, Resume, AirDrop, and FileVault. And the new mail client (Mail 5) will be appreciated, with its new UI. I'll be eager to test this on my MacBook Air, and I do hope that Apple is reasonable with upgrade costs, but, I wonder how all this sizzle (gestures and animations) will play on my older desktop iMac with only a simple keyboard and mouse.

Tags: software, apple, os x, lion

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Anyone Else Underwhelmed by the New Macbook Pro Line?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:00 PM

Apple announced a new line of Macbook Pro hardware today (buy 'em from our store), and I have to admit I was underwhelmed. Yes, they have Intel's rocking new Sandy Bridge CPUs that offer insanely great performance. Yes, they've switched from NVIDIA to AMD (ATI) graphics that offer up to 3x graphics performance. And, yes, there's the impressive Thunderbolt connectivity and an HD camera. Read more...

Intel's Lightpeak Technology is now Dubbed Thunderbolt

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 02:10 PM

"Intel Corporation today announced the availability of ThunderboltTM technology, a new high-speed PC connection technology that brings together high-speed data transfer and high-definition (HD) display on to a single cable. Running at 10Gbps, Thunderbolt technology can transfer a full-length HD movie in less than 30 seconds. This Intel-developed technology is coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers."

One of the key technologies revealed today in Apple's line of refreshed Macbook Pros is Thunderbolt. I knew it was based on Lightpeak, but when I saw Apple calling it Thunderbolt I was concerned it was going to be an Apple-only term, and we were about to enter into an era where every laptop OEM would have their own term for the technology: "No, no, this isn't Thunderbolt, it's ULTRABOLT!" Turns out that's not the case: Thunderbolt is the new name for Lightpeak, and it will be used by all the OEMs. That's good news. What do you think about the name? It's an unusual name for a technology when compared to the likes of USB 3.0 and SATA; it's more in line with Firewire. Regardless, Thunderbolt is here to stay and offers some compelling features (more on that later).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Apple Now Number One Mobile PC Maker

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 10:30 AM

"2010 was a breakout year for Apple's iPad. When it first came out, we dared to question it, but one year later the device is undoubtedly a success. Today, statistics from DisplaySearch show that the iPad was not only a success, but also propelled Apple to the top of the list of mobile PC makers."

10.2 million units shipped by Apple in Q4 2010. These numbers include laptops and iPads, but not mobile phones. Competition is arriving on the scene, but Apple has a pretty impressive lead. This percentage is, of course, certainly bolstered by iPad sales, but according to the story, notebook shipments "widely exceed the industry average growth rate" as well. I'm looking forward to what Apple has in store over the next few months to try to keep the competition in check.

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