Apple Releases Developer Builds of Mac OS X 10.6.3 Update

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Date: Thursday, January 7th, 2010, 06:31
Category: News, Software

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Late Wednesday, Apple began shipping out a new build of its upcoming Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system. The new build, labeled “10D522″, weighs in at 665.7 megabyte and, according to AppleInsider, includes a total of 221 code corrections to 92 distinct system components.

Among those components receiving the most attention are AppKit, CoreMedia, Desktop Services, FileSync, Fonts, HIToolbox, iCal, Mail, MobileMe, and QuickTime Player X, those same people say.

Other focus areas automatic spell correction, and fixes for crashes while printing and using AppKit, the Dock, iCal, Mail, Photo Booth, Rosetta, Spotlight, Screen Sharing, and Software Updater.

In total, nearly 60 individual pieces of crash-prone code have reportedly been addressed as of build 10D522.

Apple also reportedly noted four known issues with Wednesday’s beta, including hangs in iTunes, and potential anomalies while updating applications, viewing Display preferences, and navigating the ColorSync Utility Filters tab.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple, Verizon Cited as Disagreeing Over Pricing Terms for 2010 iPhone

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Date: Wednesday, January 6th, 2010, 06:34
Category: iPhone

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With rumors of Apple and wireless carrier flying that the two companies are in negotiations over a summer 2010 CDMA iPhone launch, Verizon is apparently angry with Apple over pricing structures.

According to AppleInsider, in a new note to investors Tuesday morning, Maynard J. Um of UBS Investment Research said that a new iPhone is expected to launch in mid-2010. Whether that phone would be available for Verizon’s CDMA network remains to be seen.

“We believe a CDMA-iPhone is also in the works,” Um wrote, “though believe Verizon Wireless and Apple may currently be apart on pricing.”

Um also stated that even if Apple and Verizon can’t arrive at terms, a CDMA iPhone is a possibility in 2010, as China and Japan include carriers which operate on CDMA networks.

Last fall, conflicting reports within chip maker Qualcomm suggested a Verizon-capable iPhone could arrive in mid 2010. Whether that handset would be a dual-mode world phone, or a Verizon-only CDMA model was disputed.

Though Qualcomm plans to release dual-carrier chips that would allow future phones to work on CDMA/EVDO carriers such as Verizon and Sprint, as well as rival 3GPP carriers using UMTS/HSPA+ technologies like AT&T and T-Mobile, those chips will not arrive until the second half of 2010. Some have said that timeframe would not allow Apple to release a dual-mode phone until 2011 at the earliest.

And others believe a Verizon iPhone deal is more wishful thinking than anything else. Given that both companies tend to be focused on consumer control, analyst Shaw Wu of Kaufman Brothers has predicted that the conflicting interests of the two companies would get in the way of an agreement.

Currently, it is estimated that Apple gets a favorable US$700 average selling price per iPhone, subsidized through exclusive carrier AT&T. Compare that with the ASP of the Motorola Droid, exclusive to Verizon, which costs an estimated US$450 per sale.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and if you have your own two cents on this, we’d love to hear them.

Apple Media Event Moved to Jan. 27th, Could Feature iPhone OS 4.0 Release

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Date: Tuesday, January 5th, 2010, 06:10
Category: News

Apple’s long-awaited media event at the Yerba Buena Arts Center is still set to take place.

You’ll just have to wait an extra day.

Citing anonymous sources close to the story, Digital Daily has reported that Apple’s event will occur on Wednesday, January 27th as opposed to the 26th. During the event, Apple is expected to unveil a touchscreen tablet device.

Weeks ago, the Financial Times reported that Apple had rented the stage in San Francisco for “several days,” starting with Jan. 26. Apple often uses the stage at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for special media events.

Last week, that report was bolstered by yet another claim that Apple would have a product unveiling in late January.

Some developers have reportedly been asked to prepare full-screen demos of their iPhone applications for an event in late January. Select developers were told to make their apps run at a resolution beyond the fixed 320×480 pixel size of the iPhone and iPod touch screen. It was said that applications that can support the new larger screen size will run “just fine” on the new hardware.

In other news, French Apple site Mac4Ever claimed yesterday that a new iPhone 4.0 beta SDK includes a “simulator” that aims to make it easy for developers to adapt to different screen resolutions. Some developers are allegedly already working with the beta SDK.

Tech site Engadget has also written that sources “very familiar with the situation” have been given information on a tablet device set to debut this month. The device will have a new screen size and resolution different from the one currently found on the iPhone and iPod touch.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Initial Intel Arrandale Processor Benchmarks Released, Chips En Route to MacBook Pro Near You

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Date: Monday, January 4th, 2010, 07:31
Category: News, Processors

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With Macworld Expo and CES only days away, Intel’s Arrandale dual-core processor line is also set to debut this month with some of the processors finding their way into Apple’s MacBook Pro notebooks.

Responding to this, the cool cats at PC Magazine have posted benchmark tests pitting Intel’s new 2.53GHz Intel Core i5-540M from ASUS against a 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9500, as well as a 2GHz Intel Core i7-920XM.

“We’ve seen incremental bumps in speeds (percentages in the teens) when Intel launches new processors for the same platform, but when you swap out an entire motherboard and everything that goes with it, the change can be quite significant,” they said. “Cinebench R10 is a multi-threaded benchmark test that took full advantage of the Core i5-540M’s HyperThreading technology, beating the T400s’s similarly clocked Core 2 Duo P9500 CPU by a 62% margin.”

The Arrandale mobile processors were released alongside their Clarksdale counterparts and the two chips share the same architecture, which features a 32nm Westmere core paired with a 45nm chipset. The new 32nm chips offer improved speed, better graphics performance and lower power consumption. They will also allow motherboards to become smaller.

An article over at Tom’s Hardware found that the new processors strike a good balance between speed found on desktop machines, with power consumption low enough to support a mobile device. These gains, in early tests, come without the inclusion of a discrete graphics card.

In a test of ripping CDs to the AAC format within iTunes, the new Arrandale mobile processor performed the task 10 seconds better than its Penryn predecessor, clocking in at 1:36 on the task.

The review found that the 35W Core i5-540M uses more power under load, but uses quite a bit less power than the Core 2 Duo P8700 processor during downtime. Average power consumption was said to be 32.9W for the Arrandale and 31.7W for Penryn.

The new processors are set to improve upon the previous line of Intel’s Core 2 Duo chips, which have been utilized in versions of Apple’s new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac. Apple uses the mobile variants of Intel’s desktop chips for those systems, meaning machines with chips based on the Arrandale architecture could arrive soon.

Unlike the Core 2 Duo CPUs, the Arrandale processors will have the major northbridge chipset memory controller components built in. Currently, Apple uses Nvidia chipsets with its Mac lineup. The architectural changes found in the Arrandale line, along with an ongoing lawsuit that has forced Nvidia to halt the development of future chipsets, would likely make it difficult for Apple to continue with Nvidia.

Apple last updated its MacBook Pro line in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Those systems included Core 2 Duo processors and Nvidia graphics, along with cheaper prices, better displays and built-in batteries. Intel intends to release 17 new CPUs in early 2010, which will be highlighted at this week’s CES event.

Happy New Year From the PowerPage!!!

Posted by:
Date: Friday, January 1st, 2010, 07:23
Category: Announcement

Welcome to 2010 and the staff of O’Grady’s PowerPage will be taking the day off to thoroughly rock out to Heart’s “What About Love?” (which will be played on a continuous loop) as well as ponder the upcoming Apple tablet and iPhone OS 4.0 in the new year.

Come back Monday, January 4th, and we’ll continue to do our best to keep you up to date with the best Macintosh mobile news available.


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How-To: Work Around Magic Mouse Disconnecting From Bluetooth

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 31st, 2009, 09:27
Category: News

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Recently, a few users have noticed how Apple’s new multitouch “Magic Mouse” will disconnect at seemingly random times. Although the the mouse will connect just fine upon boot and is usable for a while, it’s been known to become unresponsive and the “Connection Lost” icon will float at the bottom of the screen.

Per CNET, some users have claimed that just clicking the mice will get them to connect again while others have mentioned tapping it on the case of their desktop computers was how they get it to connect.

This problem appears to be with the mice losing power when movements jar the batteries slightly. In some cases people have been able to cause the mouse to disconnect by holding it up from the trackpad and firmly tapping on the top side of the mouse. This suggests that slight battery movement may cause the mice to lose power, and as such there are a couple of remedies available:

Re-seat the batteries:
If a small misalignment is causing the batteries to easily disconnect, try taking them out and putting them back in. This will exercise the spring mechanisms that hold the batteries in place, and perhaps cause them to apply a better hold on the batteries.

Wedge paper under the batteries:
Some people have had success in rolling up a small wad of paper and placing it between the batteries before closing the cover. This will put some additional pressure on the batteries to help secure them in place. If you do this, be sure you do not put so much paper that you warp the battery door.

Replace the batteries:
If your batteries are running low, the mouse may start behaving erratically and disconnecting. However, if this is the case the computer should report the battery level as being at critical levels, as long as you have installed the Magic Mouse driver software.

Apple has recently published a new Knowledge Base article that discusses Bluetooth issues, including those that have been occurring with the Magic Mouse. Albeit Bluetooth has proven reliable and spiffy, the article states that there are occurrences of random shut-odds and currently only recommends checking battery levels and hunting down sources of signal interference as possible solutions.

If you guys have seen this on your end or discovered a useful fix of your own, please let us know.

Former Google China President Reveals Apple Tablet Details in Microblog Post

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Date: Thursday, December 31st, 2009, 05:58
Category: iPhone, News

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Ok, this is somewhat unexpected.

But definitely not unwelcome.

Per GadgetMix, Kaifu Lee, the ex-president of Google China has dropped several hints regarding Apple’s upcoming tablet device on his microblog.

“The Apple Tablet looks like a bigger iPhone that sports an awesome UI packed in a beautiful 10.1-inch screen. The tablet combines the functions of both netbook and kindle, an ebook reader. It has virtual keyboard for text entry and a webcam for video conferencing.”

These details fall in line with recently reported features on the tablet. Earlier in December, analyst Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer predicted that the device would have a 10.1″ multi-touch display using the same technology as the iPhone. He also stated that Apple has been reaching out to book publishers in order to strengthen the position of the tablet as an ebook platform.

All signs currently point to Apple holding an event focusing on the “mobility space” on January 26 at Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, where it is believed that the company will finally unveil the tablet to the world.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and please let us know what you think.

Apple Updates Knowledge Base Articles for iPhoto, iMovie and Wireless Input Devices

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Date: Wednesday, December 30th, 2009, 09:50
Category: News

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You’ve gotta love the Apple Knowledge Base, for it sometimes has the answers.

Per CNET, Apple has updated and released a few knowledgebase articles, covering issues with iPhoto and iMovie as well as offering troubleshooting tips for wireless keyboards and mice.

Without further ado, here we go:

iMovie ’09: Referenced videos from iPhoto Library not displayed in iMovie Event Library
This article outlines a problem where even though iPhoto can be set to import a movie and store it in locations other than the iPhoto library, if you do this movies that are kept in the iPhoto library will not show up for use in iMovie. This is because iMovie will reference the iPhoto library file for the movie contents, and if the movie is not directly in the library (even though iPhoto can reference it), iMovie will not be able to find it. To get around this problem, either follow the article’s advice and enable copying of imported items into the iPhoto library, or locate the movie file in the Finder and import it directly into iMovie.

Mac OS X v10.6: Character Viewer / Keyboard Viewer appears with authentication dialogs or Fast User Switching dialogs:
The keyboard and character viewers will open for use with individual applications, rather than being globally on or off. As such, if you have opened one of these viewers with an authentication dialogue box open, they will open every time the system prompts for authentication. To disable them, the next time the system prompts for authentication, choose “hide” for the respective viewer in the input menu (may look like a flag on some systems).

iPhoto, Aperture: Warning icon when ordering photo products:
This article discusses a problem with iPhoto and Aperture where if the resolution of an image is too low or if the caption text for an image is too large, then the program will display a warning symbol next to the picture or caption. There are a few minimum resolution requirements for iPhoto’s pictures, which are outlined in this article.

Troubleshooting wireless mouse and keyboard issues:
This article covers a number of problems people may have with bluetooth input devices, including the device not being recognized by the computer, specific keys or other functions of the input devices not working, or bizarre jumpy or slow input. It is specific for people who use the Apple bluetooth keyboard and Magic Mouse, but may also be useful for people running other models, be them either from Apple or from a third party.

If you’ve seen any major changes to the Knowledge Base or just found an article that helped you out of a jam, please let us know.

Apple Offers Additional Education Store Discount, Brings MacBook Prices to Below $800 in Some Cases

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Date: Wednesday, December 30th, 2009, 05:09
Category: MacBook, retail

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Sometimes there’s a decent deal to be had if you look for it.

According to MacNN, Apple has offered an educational discount on the current MacBook, dropping the price below US$899. Apple recently dropped the standard educational price by $50, on top of a previous price below the $999 retail cost via its educational store. At at least one school-specific Apple storefront however, the cost has been lowered to US$728. Shipping remains free.

The impetus for the price cuts remains unclear, though it seems likely that Apple just wants to clear out its holiday stock. Apple also sells to most of its educational customers in the run up to September, when many schools begin classes.

The company’s usual “Back to School” promotion offers money towards an iPod when buying a new Mac.

Rumor: Apple Places Orders for Possible Tablet Displays, Connector Devices

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Date: Monday, December 28th, 2009, 06:52
Category: Rumor

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It’s a new week, so let the tablet rumors flow.

Apple has apparently placed mass orders for 10″ displays as well as strong glass panels and connectors to go with them.

According to DigiTimes, manufacturer Foxconn’s panel-making subsidiary Innolux will serve as the primary supplier of 10″ panels for the forthcoming multi-touch device while display panel vendor Wintek will fill many of the remaining orders.

Citing sources close to the story, DigiTimes has reported that Apple has been “seeking solutions to strengthen the glass of the 10-inch panel for the” tablets, a move which contributed to delaying the device’s launch until the first-quarter 2010.

Foxconn’s optical glass processing subsidiary G-Tech Optoelectronics will reportedly provide this unidentified glass strengthening process, while Taiwan-based optical film maker Wah Hong Industrial has also been tapped to supply components that will aid in the effort.

Based on an analysis of the shipping schedules of Apple’s upstream component suppliers, it’s been predicted that Apple could announce its new tablet device in January with volume shipments to follow by March.

In Addition, the Economic Daily has reported that manufacturer Cheng Uei Precision has received large orders for new flat-panel Tablet PC connector parts. Strangely enough, the article suggests the company is unlikely to start delivering those parts to Apple until the third quarter of 2010.

A media event thought to be related to the Apple tablet has been scheduled for January 26th at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Arts Center.