Apple finally ditches 2nd Gen iPad

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Date: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014, 08:00
Category: Apple, Hardware, iPad, News

elipad2Tuesday, Apple finally retired the iPad 2, replacing it with the 16 GB 4th Generation iPad. “But wasn’t the 4th Gen iPad retired?”, you ask. Yes, the 4th Generation iPad was officially discontinued in October of last year, but it appears Apple felt it needed a new lease on life when compared to the aging iPad 2. Like the original iPad mini (still available) the 4G iPad is ONLY available in a 16 GB version, now acting as Apple’s entry-level “large” tablet device. This now means that the original iPad mini has the only non-retina display among the iPad and iPhone lineups. The iPad 2 was also the last device in the iPad line to sport the old 30-pin dock connector, leaving the iPhone 4S as the sole device in Apple’s current product line to still have one.

Screenshot 2014-03-18 18.31.10

Maps app gets serious in iOS 8

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Date: Monday, March 17th, 2014, 08:46
Category: Apple, Apps, iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

Maps_iOS7Isn’t that typical? We just get a nice, new 7.1 update for iOS and people have already moved on to talk about what’s new in iOS 8. iOS 8?! Yes, apparently details about the next OS for iDevices has been leaking out of Cupertino, and one item of particular interest seems to be Maps. Most should be familiar with the story of Apple Maps by now. Apple dumped Google Maps as the default mapping solution for iOS 6, to be replaced by Apple’s own mapping solution. While pretty to look at, the new solution gets deployed without public transit info and then proceeds to prove that it really wasn’t ready by giving some horribly incorrect directions. Sadly, it still appears to be doing that. With the combined acquisitions of companies like BroadMap, Embark and HopStop, Apple will hopefully be able to shake the bugs out of their mapping data as well as finally provide transit information within the Maps app. Rumors are that the transit info will even include schedules for shuttles and “enhanced” airport directions. A new “augmented reality” view will also overlay local information about the area that you’re mapping.

Personally, I’ve had pretty good results with Maps within the Bay Area, but I wouldn’t mind the security of not wondering if I should double-check everything in Google Maps.

 

 

Apple TV software gets updated to 6.1…but what does it do?

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Date: Monday, March 10th, 2014, 23:57
Category: Apple, Apple TV, Features, Opinion, Software

upgrade-apple-tv_?Earlier today we announced that the long anticipated iOS 7.1 update was released. Hot on its heels were a few other updates including one for Xcode (5.1) which adds support for iOS 7.1, an update to the Remote app (4.2), and an update for the Apple TV. The thing is, I can’t seem to find out what the new 6.1 update does, at least not much. Everyone and their grandmother has mentioned the new ability to hide the channel icons directly on the Apple TV menu screen, which previously required you going into the Settings to do this.

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Happy Monday! iOS 7.1 is here!

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Date: Monday, March 10th, 2014, 15:20
Category: Apple, iOS, iPad, iPhone, iTunes Radio, Software

7.1_icon_trMondays don’t generally offer much to get excited about what with the return to the harsh, fluorescent lighting of the workplace, the annoying commute, and the reminder that you stayed up too late drinking on Saturday AND Sunday; but at least Apple there for you this week with a shiny, new iOS update. Yep, 7.1 is here, a little later than expected, but still in time to beat the iTunes Festival. Seeing as how this is a “major” update, you should probably have iTunes make a backup of your device before pulling the trigger on the 7.1 update. If you can’t wait, because maybe you are stuck in a boring meeting, you can update over-the-air too, but you’ll probably need around 2 GB free on your device.

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iOS 7.1 may be right around the corner

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Date: Wednesday, March 5th, 2014, 18:51
Category: Announcement, Apple, iOS, iPhone, Rumor, Software

ios7logoInitially hinted by John Gruber of Daring Fireball, in connection with the first iTunes Festival in the US, several sources say that the release of an iOS 7.1 update is imminent. Previous reports had indicated that 7.1 was likely to arrive in March and adding to the fact that Apple has recently released new deployment tools for use in business and education environments, it looks like they are on track for the release soon. Apple is expected to update its iTunes Festival iOS application to support live streaming of the concerts from the SXSW festival, which runs from March 11th to the 15th, and according to Gruber, the new app requires iOS 7.1. That’s not a lot to go on, but it seems pretty solid, so keep your eyes peeled and software update button ready for the next few days.

Uber introduces Surge Drop to iPhone users

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Date: Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, 08:53
Category: Announcement, Apps, Features, iOS, iPhone, Mobile, Services, Software

Uber appUber is a great service and can be vital in a big city, even if the public transportation is good. I frequently use it to shave time off my travel between clients, and occasionally when I’ve been out having a good time all night and want a quick trip home so I can get to bed and try to function the next morning. Naturally, these kinds of services get really busy on holidays and during special events, and Uber takes advantage of the high demand with “surge” pricing. That means that during those busy times, Uber will raise the rate of a ride and later drop them back down again. This can end up being a real hit to the wallet, as I found out one New Years, if you aren’t aware that the surge pricing is in effect, or if you take a car because you have no idea when the surge pricing ends. With the latest update, Uber has taken care off that with a new feature they announced on their blog called “Surge Drop“.

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Apple TV now comes with $25 gift card

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Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 09:54
Category: Announcement, Apple, Apple TV, Promotion, Retail Store, Rumor, Television

appletv_2ndgenLast week Apple announced a promotion where anyone who buys a new Apple TV (no refurbs) will receive a $25 iTunes gift card. Unfortunately, the promotion ends in 2 days on Wednesday, March 5th. The internet has been buzzing about the possibility that the promotion is a sign that a new Apple TV model announcement is imminent, and that this is an effort to clear out current stock of the devices. Sadly, while lax on the details (like none), Apple insider and founder of The Loop magazine Jim Dalrymple says it ain’t gonna happen…at least not in the near future. Jim usually has the genuine inside track on all things Apple, so he’s probably on the nose about this. There have been a lot of supposed signs that a new Apple TV is in the works, but likely won’t hit shelves until the latter part of the year, although there are still rumors flying around that at least an announcement of the upcoming device might be made at WWDC. Frankly, I’m not in any rush, my current Apple TV (1st of the 2nd Gen) does everything I need right now, but I am very curious as to what Apple has up its sleeves now that it’s no longer a “hobby”

 

 

Recent security updates make Macs more secure, unless you’re a Snow Leopard user

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Date: Monday, March 3rd, 2014, 08:47
Category: Apple, Lion, Mac, privacy, Processors, security, Software

snowleopardEverybody was concerned last week when it was announced that a nasty bug in OS X was leaving Macs vulnerable to attacks that could grab information traveling across shared networks. While it has been confirmed that the bug only affected Mavericks, Apple simultaneously posted security updates for Mountain Lion (10.8) and Lion (10.7), but there was no sign of any security love for Snow Leopard (10.6). This really shouldn’t be a surprise to most people since 10.6 was also skipped when a previous security update was released as well as an update to the Safari browser. The omission of 10.6 from the current update simply confirms that Snow Leopard is no longer on Apple’s radar.

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OS X 10.9.2 update is out, run don’t walk to Software Update

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Date: Tuesday, February 25th, 2014, 16:46
Category: Announcement, App Store, Apple, Installation, Mac, Mavericks, OS X, security, Software

apple_logoAmongst recent criticism about Apple’s failure to fix an SSL security flaw in OS X, and recently patched on iDevices with iOS 7.0.6, today they released the OS X 10.9.2 update which is available via the App Store app. There was a long list of application updates and system fixes, but noticeably absent in the list was mention of the specific SSL security hole that has been dominating the news recently. The good news is that several sources confirm that there is indeed a fix for it present in the update. This one is pretty important, so it is strongly recommended that you apply the update sooner rather than later…like now would be a good time. Apple historically does not like to confirm or draw notice to security issues in software, especially not ones that have been around longer than they should have been, which probably accounts for this. Apple’s official page on the update is here, but a list of items is included below.

My personal recommendations for applying system updates;

  1. Make sure you run a backup, or that Time Machine has done so recently
  2. Close all running apps (except the App Store of course)
  3. Open Disk Utility and perform a Repair Permissions, the close Disk Utility
  4. Install the update
  5. Once the Mac applies the update and reboots, run Repair Permissions again
  6. Go get some coffee

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Microsoft finally patching up Skype message sync problems

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Date: Friday, February 14th, 2014, 09:14
Category: Announcement, Microsoft, Software

skypeiconFor some time since Microsoft acquired Skype, the conferencing and messaging software, users have been plagued by messages that won’t sync from one device to another. Additional problems included delayed notifications of new messages or notification of messages that have already been read. Anyone who used iMessages in its early days will recall similar, frustrating issues with Apple’s internet chat service.

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