O'Grady's PowerPage

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…

(more…)

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

scratchtools

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.

(more…)

Apple support article offers workaround for recent issues with Setup Assistant on 12-inch MacBook

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015, 07:21
Category: MacBook, News, Software

12inchmb

As nifty as the new 12-inch MacBook is, a number of users have encountered an issue using the Setup Assistant during the initial setup of the notebook. The bug apparently has the spinning beach ball appear during setup, putting the user in an endless cycle.

Apple recently shared a support article that offers users of the new 12-inch MacBook assistance getting around the issue.

(more…)

Recent job posting indicates Apple may be looking to include public transit data within Apple Maps

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 13:02
Category: iOS, News, Software

applemapsicon

It’s the hiring that shows where a company’s going.

A recent Apple job listing shows that the company is looking for a software engineer to help bring public transit information to Apple Maps.

The listing reads as follows:

“As a member of the Routing team, you will work on one of the most anticipated features of Apple Maps,”

(more…)

31 additional banks and credit unions adopt Apple Pay, bringing total list to over 200 institutions

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 12:58
Category: iOS, iPad, iPhone, Wearables

applepayicon

Apple Pay is growing.

There’s no denying that.

The payment method is now supported by an additional 31 banks and credit unions, bringing the total number of institutions now exceeds 200 banks and credit unions with active support, and some 2,000 banks have signed on to support the mobile payment system for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in the future.

(more…)

PowerPoint for iOS updated to 1.8, allows Apple Watch to be used as a remote control

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, April 21st, 2015, 06:12
Category: iOS, News, Software

powerpointiosicon

This is actually pretty interesting.

The newest version of Microsoft PowerPoint for iOS includes a feature that allows you to manage your live presentation on your Apple Watch, progressing through each slide without having to pick up your smartphone, tablet or Mac or Windows PC.

(more…)

Apple Watch orders statuses changing to “Preparing for Shipment” (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 20th, 2015, 15:56
Category: Apple Watch, News, Pre-order, Wearables

Apple Watching Preparing for Shipment - Jason O'Grady

Your pre-ordered Apple Watch might be about to head out the door.

A number of Apple Watch order statuses have begun changing from “Processing Items” to “Preparing for Shipment” as Apple gets ready to send out the first Apple Watch orders to customers who pre-ordered their devices on Friday, April 10th. The order statuses have shifted over to “Preparing for Shipment” for some buyers and are listing prospective delivery dates of April 24th to May 8th, while the first orders are expected to begin arriving on Friday, April 24th.

(more…)

Apple could be changing supply and demand/data measurement model with Apple Watch

Posted by:
Date: Monday, April 20th, 2015, 12:24
Category: News, retail, Wearables

altapplewatchimage

Even if you have something that looks like it’s going to be a hit, there’s always the risk of forecasting the wrong sales numbers and producing too many units.

Noted analyst and longtime Apple watcher Carl Howe has stated that while he expects the Apple Watch became an overnight multi-billion-dollar business when preorders began earlier this month, he believes Apple will likely minimize its risks and produce units as it gauges demand. This could help handle the question as to which Apple Watch model will prove the most popular, while models might prove less popular and how to wrap production around these factors.

(more…)

Yelp app for iOS updated, now compatible with Apple Watch

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 17th, 2015, 05:49
Category: iOS, News, Software, Wearables

yelpappicon

The Yelp app just became compatible with the Apple Watch.

On Thursday, Yelp announced that its iOS app is now compatible with the Apple Watch. As expected, the app provides the majority of the information and reviews found in the standard iOS app.

The main interface of the app shows four options for restaurants, bars, coffee & tea, and hot & new locations. Tapping on one will bring you to another screen with nearby results that fit your selected criteria.

(more…)

Apple releases OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Supplemental Update

Posted by:
Date: Friday, April 17th, 2015, 04:18
Category: News, Software, Yosemite

yosemitelogo

It’s not a huge update, but it might help.

Late Thursday, Apple released its OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Supplemental Update. The update, which can be located, downloaded and installed via OS X’s App Store feature, fixes a video driver issue that might prevent your Mac from booting when running certain apps that capture video.

(more…)