Happy Memorial Day from O’Grady’s PowerPage!!!

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 26th, 2014, 12:06
Category: Announcement, News

Park Band

Ladies and gentlemen, in honor of Memorial Day, the PowerPage staff will be spending time with friends and family. We’ll resume coverage of everything Mac and mobile tomorrow, but for the time being, get some friends together, put down the computers and the devices for a little while and have an amazing Memorial Day.

We’ll be back tomorrow.

Energous developing wireless Wattup technology, could allow for gadget charging across a room

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 23rd, 2014, 14:23
Category: Hardware, iPad, iPhone, News, wireless

wireless.rechargingx299

We’ve all dreamed of charging our devices from across the room.

This may soon be a reality.

Per the MIT Technology Review, startup Energous is developing a technology called WattUp that will allow you to charge smartphones, tablets, and other small gadgets from across a room without wires.

Energous hopes other companies will license this technology and build it into all kinds of products and places, so you can easily power your iPad while sitting on the couch or top off your phone while buying a coffee in an airport. It will face competition, however, from a startup called Witricity that uses a different method, and already has the backing of some major electronics companies.

For now, WattUp’s technology is still in the demo stage. But it works and devices can be charged wirelessly if they are connected to an external receiver, or slotted into a special protective case.

During a recent demonstration, an iPhone was plugged into a white device shaped like a smartphone atop a little stand. Another iPhone sits on the table, wearing a bulky Energous case. Across the table, a briefcase-sized wireless energy transmitter sits on another tripod and a plug dangling from that was plugged into the wall.

The demonstration showed the iPhone’s charge progress, as measured via an app on a nearby iPad, the wireless energy transmitter being controlled via an app on the iPad. A small beep indicated that the iPhone’s charge cycle had begun and recharging works more than 10 feet from where the power is emitted, and you can move the device around while it’s charging.

The most common wireless-charging technology currently available is magnetic induction, which uses coils to transfer power over small distances via a magnetic field. This is the method used to recharge electric toothbrushes, for example.

Energous’s charging method uses a transmitter with lots of small antennas to send radio waves to a receiver connected to the gadget being charged. The transmitter uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby gadgets that are authorized to receive a charge. Once it finds one, the transmitter directs radio waves toward the receiver, which collects them and converts their energy to DC power so it can charge the phone.

The transmitter and receivers Energous brings to my office can send power to two devices that require less than 10 watts of power at a distance of up to 15 feet; eventually, Energous says, it will be able to charge more gadgets at a time.

The company expects the first products using its technology—such as smartphone cases that can deliver wireless power to the devices—to be shown off by partner companies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January and go on sale later in the year. Company representatives had predicted that a phone case would cost about US$75 to US$125, which is within the range of what you’d pay today for a case that provides extended battery life, though the transmitter for charging things probably would cost around US$300.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases Safari 6.1.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 16:14
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

On Thursday, Apple released Safari 6.1.4, an update to its web browser for its OS X 10.7 and 10.8 operating systems. The new version, a 52.9 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

According to Macworld, it’s also been rumored that Apple is currently working on a significant security update for the iOS version of its Safari web browser, the company having been criticized for patching discrepancies between the iOS and OS X versions of the software.

Safari 6.1.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.7.5 or OS X 10.8.5 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

Apple comments on iMessage text bug issue, says fix is en route

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 12:18
Category: Android, iOS, News, Software, Windows

imessage-logo

There’s a fix en route for Apple’s current iMessage bug.

That’s the good news.

Per The Mac Observer and Re/code, a long-standing iMessage bug that failed to deliver some text messages to users who switched to Android or Windows smartphones from the iPhone will be fixed.

The problem can crop up when someone who currently uses an iPhone sends a text message to someone who switched from an iPhone to an alternate smartphone platform, but keeps the same phone number. Apple’s iMessage system sees the number as still attached to an iCloud account, and fails to send messages as regular SMS to the new phone. The sender sees the messages as delivered even though they never made it to the recipient.

Removing your phone number from iMessages before switching to an Android or Windows smartphone should prevent that from happening, but that hasn’t proven to be a reliable method for moving back to standard SMS texting.

Apple has now acknowledged the problem, and promised a fix is on the way. “We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” the company offered in a recent statement.

The announcement came on the heels of potential legal action against Apple over the issue. The case implies that Apple is in some way blocking text messages sent from iPhones to other smartphones and is penalizing switchers by not disclosing the issue.

Apple has yet to offer any form of comment on the possibility of litigation in this case.

Apple releases Safari 7.0.4 update

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, 11:43
Category: News, security, Software

Apple_Safari

Late Wednesday, Apple released Safari 7.0.4, an update to its web browser. The new version, a 53.7 megabyte download (via MacUpdate), includes the following fixes and new features:
- Addresses a significant memory corruption issue in the WebKit engine powering Apple’s browser.

- Addresses an issue with handling of unicode characters that could be exploited.

Safari 7.0.4 requires an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X 10.9.3 or later to install and run and can also be located and downloaded via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature. If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know.

OS X 10.9.3 update boosts maximum amount of VRAM recognized by recent Apple notebooks

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:39
Category: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, News, Software

maverickslogo

If you’re hesitant about updating to the recently-released OS X 10.9.3, there may be good news if you’re a recent Apple notebook owner.

Per French news site Mac4Ever and MacRumors, updating to 10.9.3 increases available VRAM from 1024MB to 1536MB, boosting the size of the shared memory, possibly to further improve 4K performance on the most recent Retina Display MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks..

The change can be seen in the Graphics/Displays section of the System Report accessible via “About This Mac”. Apple has not yet updated its support page to reflect the new VRAM limits, continuing to list 1GB of system memory as the maximum. The update was also not mentioned in the 10.9.3 release notes.

The 10.9.3 update also included enhanced support for 4K displays and restored the ability to sync contacts and calendars between Macs and iOS devices over USB.

Finally, it’s been reported that some machines with HD 4000 graphics have seen a VRAM boost as well, namely the 2012 Mac Mini, which now has a maximum VRAM of 1024MB, up from 768MB.

If you’ve seen this improvement or any significant changes on your end since installing OS X 10.9.3, please let us know in the comments.

Google Chrome updated to 35.0.1916.114

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, May 21st, 2014, 15:16
Category: News, security, Software

google-chrome-logo

It’s the updates that tend to help.

On Thursday, Google released version 35.0.1916.114 of its Chrome web browser. The update, a 53.7 megabyte download, adds the following fixes and changes:
- More developer control over touch input.

- New JavaScript features.

- Unprefixed Shadow DOM.

- A number of new apps/extension APIs.

- Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

Security Fixes:
- High CVE-2014-1743: Use-after-free in styles.

- High CVE-2014-1744: Integer overflow in audio.

- High CVE-2014-1745: Use-after-free in SVG.

- Medium CVE-2014-1746: Out-of-bounds read in media filters.

- Medium CVE-2014-1747: UXSS with local MHTML file.

- Medium CVE-2014-1748: UI spoofing with scrollbar.

- CVE-2014-1749: Various fixes from internal audits, fuzzing and other initiatives.

- CVE-2014-3152: Integer underflow in V8 fixed in version 3.25.28.16.

Google Chrome 35.0.1916.114 requires an Intel-based Mac with Mac OS X 10.6 or later to install and run.

If you’ve tried the new version and have any feedback to offer, please let us know in the comments.

Is peace on the horizon for smartphone rivals?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014, 08:20
Category: Apple, Business, Google, Legal, News, Opinion, Patents, Samsung

gavel_transI’m not holding my breath that the Apple vs. Samsung patent war will end any time soon, but perhaps there is hope that one day in the future, we won’t have to read any more posts or articles about the never-ending ruling appeals filed by Apple or Samsung, or at least not as many. As of last Friday, Apple and Google have agreed to drop all current patent infringement lawsuits between them and move on with their lives.

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Google Glass is back in the public’s shopping cart

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 15th, 2014, 08:23
Category: Accessory, Gadget, Google, News, Wearables

google_glass_headsetEarlier this week, Google put Google Glass back “on the shelves”, so to speak, as it made the wearable device available for public purchase again. Still at the premium price of $1500, Google hopes it can get its Explorer program to expand by making it available again. Google posted the following on its Google+ account;

“We’re still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand: google.com/glass

We’re ready to keep meeting new Explorers, and we can’t wait to hear all your experiences and feedback to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.”

That last part is of particular interest as 9to5Google suggested a month ago that maybe a more affordable version is down the road;

“In addition to the insane price tag ($1,500 for Galaxy Nexus specs is crazy, Google), a consumer release of Glass is still expected to take place this year. That means improved hardware and a far cheaper price should be on the horizon.

That release should come this fall, with Glass news hopefully being a major point at the upcoming Google I/O developer conference.”

Hopefully soon, we’ll also see some kind of development toward the ongoing privacy concerns regarding wearables in general, of which Glass is in the spotlight.

 

 

Apple’s iPhone upgrade promotion starts today

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 08:33
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, News, Promotion, Retail Store

iphones-5s-5c

According to 9to5Mac, sources close to Apple say that starting today (May 8th), Apple will begin contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email this week, inviting them to come into their local Apple Store to upgrade their device to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c. No trade-in prices have been mentioned, but it’s expected that this is an extension of Apple’s iPhone hardware trade-in program which allows customers to turn-in older iPhone models to purchase a new model at a discounted price. Reports from outside sources have said that Apple has recently increased the buyback prices for iPhones in its trade-in-programwhich it may be leveraging in the promotion in an attempt to increase iPhone sales.

Back in January, Apple posted its first quarter iPhone sales and analysts were disappointed that it didn’t meet their expectations. Even though Apple sold 51 million iPhones during the quarter, up from 47.8 million a year earlier, Wall Street analysts were expecting closer to 57 million iPhones to be sold. These “disappointing” numbers may be the impetus behind the upgrade promotion which will hopefully bring up sales numbers for the current quarter.

What about you? If Apple knocks on your door, are you inclined to run to your nearest store to upgrade your iPhone? Let us know in the comments or on the Facebook page.