O'Grady's PowerPage » Hardware

Apple internal documents point towards expected gradual discoloration, deformation of Apple Watch Sport and Leather bands

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 27th, 2015, 07:42
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables


The good news is that you’ve got your paws on your spiffy new Apple Watch, it’s in the mail or it’s due to ship soon.

The bad news is that the band on the Sport or Leather Apple Watch band isn’t the hardiest of warriors and can be expected to become discolored or deformed over time.

And Apple knows it.


Australian users test Apple Watch, find unit is more waterproof than initially thought

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 24th, 2015, 07:18
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables


The Apple Watch is apparently a bit more waterproof than had been imagined.

After snagging their Apple Watch units, a few Aussie Apple Watch buyers over at FoneFox put the wearable through a variety of waterproof tests to see how much moisture the unit could take before failure.

The first test is a basic splash test followed by a five minute simulated shower complete with shampoo and soap, at the end of which the Apple Watch comes out noticeably unscathed and completely responsive to inputs on both its touch interface and digital crown. It should be pointed out that all of the tests were completed with a 38mm Apple Watch Sport.


iFixit begins teardown, analysis of Apple Watch

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 24th, 2015, 07:47
Category: Apple Watch, Hardware, News, Wearables


It’s the teardown you’ve been waiting for.

The coolest of felines over at iFixit finally got their mitts on an Apple Watch and a full teardown reveals that the much-vaunted heart rate monitor is actually capable of acting as a pulse oximeter, allowing it to calculate the oxygen content of your blood by measuring how much infrared light is absorbed. This feature could become useful in future generations, but is not yet utilized in the first generation of the Apple Watch.

The teardown revealed that even the antenna connecting the Digital Crown to the rest of the watch is apparently made of gold, even on the low end models of the device.


My love-hate relationship with Apple’s new USB-C port

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 08:25
Category: Hardware, MacBook, Review, USB-C

My love-hate relationship with Apple's new USB-C port

Apple began shipping the new 12-inch Retina MacBook this week (more on it in a future post) and with it, a totally redesigned power adapter based on USB-C. (There are a lot of opinions about Apple’s roll in developing USB-C, which you can read here, here and here, but they’re outside the scope of this post.) As with most things in life, USB-C comes with a number of benefits and compromises which were undoubtedly debated ad nauseam in Cupertino for months. Here are my thoughts on USB-C after using it for a few days.

The positive

  1. The USB-C connector is small, which allows it to fit in small places (like the side of the MacBook 12-inch). It could conceivably end up on other Apple hardware in the future, but don’t recycle your Lightning cables just yet.
  2. The Apple 29 Watt USB-C Power Adapter is smaller than other MacBook power supplies, but it’s a one-trick pony. Apple also missed the opportunity to add a couple of female USB-A jacks on it which would have addressed the MacBook’s “one port” criticisms and earned Apple a ton of good will in the process.
  3. It’s a standard (part of the USB 3.1 specification) which means that third parties can make USB-C cables and dongles without having to worry about being sued by Apple. This should increase competition and lower prices. Eventually.
  4. When you plug in the MacBook’s USB-C power adapter it makes a satisfying “dong” sound – just like the iPhone does. While it’s a nice touch, it doesn’t respect the MacBook’s mute setting, which puts it dangerously close to the neutral category. The iPhone vibrates when connected to power while muted and I’ve heard that Apple could fix the MacBook behavior in a software update.

Read more about the things that drive me crazy about the new USB-C port…


Unbox Therapy video puts Apple Watch Sport Ion-X glass through scratch tests

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 08:25
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News, Wearables


The Ion-X glass found on the Apple Watch Sport isn’t quite as tough as sapphire glass found on the more expensive Apple Watch models, but it holds its own.

Unbox Therapy posted a scratch test video in which the Ion-X glass was exposed to keys, a knife, steel wool and sandpaper. To its credit, the new glass type held up against everything but the sandpaper, albeit it was noted that the sapphire glass coating found on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets held up to the sandpaper during scratch tests.


iFixit posts teardown of 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015, 08:07
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News


The teardown you’ve been waiting for has been completed.

And it shows off some really nifty stuff.

The coolest of cats at iFixit have published a teardown of the new 12-inch MacBook. The feature shows just how tiny the notebook’s logic board is, coming in at 67 percent smaller than that of the MacBook Air. The piece also shows a new terraced battery design for the MacBook, allowing more batteries to be efficiently fit into a small space.


Apple introduces NVMe support in OS X 10.10.3 update

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 13th, 2015, 08:36
Category: Hardware, MacBook, News, Software, Yosemite


It’s a subtle change, but it could be pretty neat in the long run.

Last week, Apple’s introduction of its OS X 10.10.3 update also quietly introduced support for the next generation NVM Express (NVMe) interface to SSD Flash drives. These drives can be found on the new Retina display MacBook as well as other units.

The cool cats at AnandTech offered a good description of the AHCI technology, which has resulted in the NVMe technology:

AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) dates back to 2004 and was designed with hard drives in mind. While that doesn’t rule out SSDs, AHCI is more optimized for high latency rotating media than low latency non-volatile storage. As a result AHCI can’t take full advantage of SSDs and since the future is in non-volatile storage (like NAND and MRAM), the industry had to develop a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI.

The result is NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express.


AppleCare+ plan, service prices for Apple Watch units unveiled

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 10th, 2015, 08:37
Category: AppleCare, Hardware, News, Uncategorized, Wearables


How much is your AppleCare+ plan going to be for your snazzy new Apple Watch?

Apple has an answer for that.

With Apple Watch preorders opening last night/the Watchening, specific numbers have surfaced for AppleCare+ and repair fees for out-of warranty watches. These numbers are a bit frightening, as a coverage plan for an Apple Watch Edition model can rise into the thousands of dollars.


Apple Watch sells out in a matter of hours, shipping estimates slip back to June through August

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 10th, 2015, 07:19
Category: Hardware, News, retail, Wearables


The Apple Watch sold out in a number of hours last night as the pre-order option for the unit became available on the Apple Store web site. Over the course of the launch, shipping times for all models slipped to 4-6 weeks or later less than 6 hours after pre-orders started at 12:01 AM Pacific today. Apple Watch Sport models were the first to sell out, with delivery estimates shifting to 4-6 weeks, and then June, on the Apple Online Store in the United States.


MCE launches Fovea Extreme 3 USB 3.0 Blu-ray recordable drive

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, April 9th, 2015, 08:19
Category: Hardware, News


This could be nifty.

MCE Technologies has begun the shipping Aluminum Fovea Extreme 3, an Aluminum USB 3.0 Blu-ray/DVD/CD Recorder designed for all Macs with, or without, a built-in optical drive. The unit includes Mac Blu-ray Player software in order to watch Blu-ray movies on the Mac and is compatible with all forms of optical disc media including M-Disc 25GB Blu-ray media.