O'Grady's PowerPage » Apple

Apple ID errors end, lost sales for App Store, iTunes Store estimated around $25 million

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, March 12th, 2015, 09:58
Category: App Store, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Store, News, retail, Software


The Great Apple ID Snafu of 2015 is over.

And it apparently cost Apple about US$25 million in lost sales revenue.

Over the course of a 12-hour outage between Tuesday and Wednesday, Apple’s iTunes Store and App Store were down due to a DNS error. During this time, users couldn’t purchase apps, songs, movies or books. It took Apple 12 hours to get their systems up and running again, costing the company about US$25 million in lost sales.


Users around the world report errors with Apple ID-related services

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015, 10:24
Category: Apple ID, iCloud, News, Software


It’s probably not a good day to be on Apple’s network team.

Or at least there’s a lot of yelling involved.

On Tuesday, it was reported that Apple services are experiencing major issues.

It started with iCloud. Users were unable to sign in to their iCloud mail accounts, then all of iCloud went down in an outage that lasted from just before 5 a.m. Eastern to around 9 a.m. Now iCloud is back up, but customers can’t make purchases in iTunes, the iOS and Mac App Stores, and the iBooks Store. iTunes Connect is also offline and reporting errors.


35 percent off iTunes gift cards – if you act fast

Posted by:
Date: Friday, November 28th, 2014, 14:32
Category: App Store, Apple, Gift card, iTunes, iTunes Store, retail

Heck, I thought getting 20% off iTunes gift cards was a good deal.

Turns out 35% off is a lot better.

Here’s how to get the deal of the year on iTunes gift cards.

25 percent off iTunes gift cards


Yosemite easter egg: mountain tree spirits

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, November 26th, 2014, 15:51
Category: Apple, OS X, Yosemite

Color me skeptical, but this one came to my attention and was too cool not to share.

A PowerPage reader sent along what he believes to be an easter egg hidden in plain sight in one of Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite’s) default desktop pictures, a.k.a. “wallpaper.” If you’re running Yosemite, open System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver > Desktop, then choose Apple > Desktop Pictures and the third option (the grey and green mountain scene:

Yosemite Mountain Sprits hidden in Desktop Pictures?

Click through for the spooky result…


How to get 20 percent off everything in the App Store (and iTunes too!)

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014, 14:50
Category: App Store, Apple, Apps, Deals, iPad, iPhone, iTunes, iTunes Music Store, iTunes Radio, News

iTunes $100 gift card multipackGosh, I love this time of year.

It’s time to be with your family, copious amounts of eating, football and crazy deals on stuff. While everyone’s hunting for that amazing deal on Black Friday (just say no to Thursday shopping though, please) but there’s one deal in particular that I wait for each November: 20 percent off iTunes gift cards.

It should be obvious, but the benefits to iTunes gift cards are that they can be loaded onto your iTunes account and used for everything from apps, to music, to movies, to TV show, and the list goes on.

I spend about $500 per year on iTunes/App Store content, and it rarely goes on sale, so I stock up on enough iTunes gift cards to get me through the year each November during the gift card sale.

How much do you spend annually in iTunes?

Find out how to get 20 percent off iTunes gift cards after the jump…


The Mac mini’s Intel GPU won’t cut it as a 4K media center

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014, 07:18
Category: 4K, Apple, Hardware, Mac mini, Television, UHD, Yosmite

Yosemite's 4K support is pretty poor - Jason O'Grady

I purchased a Samsung 4K television (a UN65F9000) for our family room and was super-excited to buy a late-2014 Mac mini (Macmini7,1, model A1347) to complete our entertainment center. The problem is that the Mac mini’s anemic GPU can’t drive a 4K display at a fast enough refresh rate to play smooth video, which is a bummer.

I’ve used a Mac mini connected to a 1080p panel in my living room for years, and it’s always worked great. A Mac mini is great in a media center computer, there’s nothing like having a real web browser for watching live streams and video podcasts and VLC media player is the de facto standard for playing every video CODEC known to mankind. (Tons of people also swear by Plex but I haven’t taken the time to set it up.)

I was optimistic that Apple would properly support 4K (UHD, 2160p) after early Yosemite rumors claimed that it would. When connected to my 65-inch Sammy 4K TV, the 2014 Mac mini can only muster a paltry 30 Hertz refresh rate, which is unacceptable for video. It results in choppy, unwatchable playback. The mini’s poor video performance is a result of its underpowered Intel Iris Graphics.

If you’re thinking of connecting a Mac to a 4K panel, beware. The only Macs that will do 4K justice are those that have a discrete graphics card – and you’ll probably need a $3K Mac Pro to do it right.

I connected my MacBook Pro Retina 13-inch to the Samsung F900 panel and it too only supports 30 Hz output, which won’t fly for video playback. The 13-inch rMBP only has Intel Iris 5100 Graphics which isn’t enough to drive a 4K panel at 60 Hz. According to the Apple Discussion Forums:

  • the 15″ rMBP w/NVidia does support 60Hz
  • the 13″ rMBP w/Iris does not support 60 Hz

If you want to drive a 4K monitor at 60Hz from a Mac you’ll need one with a discrete GPU. Boom. Sounds like the best justification I’ve heard to purchase a Mac Pro yet.

What’s your Mac media center setup?

Vizzywig 4K video capture application hits App Store, retails for $999

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, September 17th, 2014, 11:07
Category: App Store, News, Software


If you’re looking to spend US$999 on an iOS app, i4software’s Vizzywig 4K is just what you’re looking for.

Per Boy Genius Report, Vizzywig4K, which retails for US$999, “captures full 4K resolution photos at the rate of 24 photos per second along with synched audio” rather than capturing video.


Video shows new, reversible USB cable for iPhone 6

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, August 19th, 2014, 16:54
Category: Accessory, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPhone 6, Lightning, Patents, Rumor, Uncategorized


Last week presented us with a look at a new cable rumored to be coming from Apple with the iPhone 6. This new USB to Lightning cable has a reversible USB connector, meaning you can insert it into an ordinary USB port in both orientations just like the Lightning end. Now MacRumors points us toward a video, posted by the same person as earlier photos, showing the cable being plugged in both ways.


Apple eliminates 2 more toxins from iPhone production

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 14th, 2014, 08:08
Category: Apple, Environment, Health, News


Over the years, either voluntarily or by pressure from environmentalists, Apple has paved the way toward eliminating hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and arsenic in the production of their products. Getting the ball rolling several years was no easy task as Apple was pressured mercilessly by Greenpeace to “clean up their act”. Now in 2014, Apple is the leader in safer production practices and renewable energy. Now Apple is adding two more chemicals to its list of banned toxins, benzene and n-hexane.


Evidence that Apple is releasing two new iPhone 6 models?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, August 14th, 2014, 08:07
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPhone 6, Rumor


Countless rumors and reports, including ones here on the PowerPage, have all but taken it for granted now that Apple will be announcing two new models of iPhone next month. Spy photos and prototype cases have been pointing to a 4.7 inch (screen) model and a 5.5 inch model, the latter being Apple’s entry into the “phablet” market. While the more reasonable seeming 4.7 inch iPhone 6 hasn’t been confirmed, an agency in Thailand says it has absolute proof that two different models exist.