Opinion: A New Personal Computing Paradigm

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Date: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, 07:50
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, Opinion

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By Robert Snow

How soon before most personal computing can be done with a phone? With a 64-bit iPhone, perhaps quite soon. Imagine the phone as your take everywhere computer:

“Never”, you say, the screen’s too small, even a phablet. When you need a better display, just pull out your touchscreen. It would look like an iPad or iPad Mini only thinner, lighter and cheaper. No CPU or storage. It would connect to your phone via Wi-fi and act as a display and touchscreen input device with a camera, microphone and speaker. It would be indistinguishable from an iPad, so long as your phone is nearby and turned on. Apple is almost there with AirPlay.

Let’s say you do a lot of writing, then you would have a screen with hinged keyboard and trackpad. It would look like a MacBook Air only thinner, lighter and cheaper. Again, no CPU or storage. iOS would recognize the device and work more like OS X. This would require some additional code for iOS. Call it “iOS X”. This would require 64 bits, no question.

Go to work where they have BYOD. On your desk, you would have a display, keyboard and mouse that looked just like an iMac. Again, iOS would need to recognize the larger display, keyboard and mouse and scale up. Imagine an iPhone 6s sporting a processor that is truly “Desktop Class”.

A future iPhone and iOS working this way could dominate the enterprise. Security would be awesome. Your desktop computer would cease to be a computer once you leave work with your phone. Laptop or tablet stolen, no security issues. Of course, the phone is secured by Touch ID and a new phone could be issued and restored from an online backup in no time. Only one computing and communications device per employee. Personal computing could not be more personal. No synchronizing devices. Minimal IT support. Lower cost.

Cloud storage and larger onboard memory would be key to this working.No more costs associated with deploying Microsoft Office or maintaining complicated desktop and laptop operating systems.There would still be a market for powerful desktop and laptop computers, but most employees would simply need a phone as their computer and some specialized input/output device mimicking a tablet, laptop or desktop computer. The phone would of course remain an expensive high-end phone. The upgrade cycle would be brilliant, keep your old IO devices and get a new desktop or laptop computer every two years by simply standing in line for the latest and greatest iPhone, subsidized by your carrier. Apple does make most of its profit on phones and this will sell more of them.

Sure, it would cannibalize iPad and Mac sales by growing a market for these IO devices and not just for the enterprise. Kids, grandparents and folks who just don’t need serious computing power could simplify their life by augmenting their colorful consumer phone with one of these devices. Consumer versions that are even cheaper and clad in plastic. If you need a phone right now, get a smart phone and you no longer need a camera, music player or GPS device. Get an iPhone in a year or two and you will no longer need a tablet, a laptop or a desktop computer. Wearable computing, no problem. Dumb down iOS for a tiny screen and just a few buttons.

A post-PC world on steroids.

One more thing: Home entertainment and in-car entertainment.

Same paradigm and one more reason to buy an iPhone.

Apple releases iOS 7.0, 7.0.1 updates for iOS devices

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Date: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013, 13:34
Category: iOS, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPod, News, Software

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It’s finally here.

On Wednesday, Apple released iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 (depending on your iOS device), the long-anticipated new version of its operating system for its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The new operating system, which weighs in as a several hundred to a 1.33 gigabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Control Center: Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen — including the Lock screen — to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display. You can even shine a light on things with a new flashlight. Never has one swipe given you so much control.

- Notification Center: Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, to-dos that need doing, and more. And a new feature called Today gives you a convenient summary of, well, today. One glance at your iPhone and you’ll know if it’s a certain someone’s birthday, if you’ll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute. You’ll even get a heads-up on tomorrow. You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down. And get up to speed.

- Multitasking: Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it’s even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.

- Camera: Camera in iOS 7 puts all your shooting formats — still, video, panorama, and now square — front and center. With a swipe, you can capture what you want the way you want. Fast. And new filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast. Or go black and white. Artistic license is all yours.

- Photos: Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Years, Collections, and Moments — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time.

- AirDrop: Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

- Safari: Browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful with Safari in iOS 7. Buttons and bars — like the unified smart search field — stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. So you see more content than ever on your screen. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page. It’s all designed so nothing gets in your way or slows you down.

- iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio features streaming radio stations you’ll love from day one — from the best selection of music. The more you listen, the more personalized it becomes. And it’s available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and Apple TV for free. It’s radio re-imagined.

- Siri: Siri in iOS 7 gets a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. It features a redesigned interface that fades into view — on top of whatever’s on your screen. A clearer, more natural-sounding female or male voice makes Siri even easier to understand. It’s faster at answering questions and it checks more sources, such as Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter. And Siri takes on extra tasks, like returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.4

- App Store: Apps Near Me — a new feature of the App Store in iOS 7 — shows you a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. And the new Kids category lets you browse and buy the best apps for children based on age. iOS 7 also keeps your apps up to date automatically, so you don’t have to bother. Another bonus of automatic updates: no more little red badge begging for your attention.

- Find My iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Losing your iOS device feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your device is still your device. No matter where it is.

- Bug fixes for iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

iOS 7.0 and iOS 7.0.1 are available via iTunes or Over-The-Air updating and requires an iPhone 4, 4S, 5, iPad 2, third or fourth-gen iPad, iPod Touch 4th Gen or iPad Mini to install and run.

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

Apple releases OS X 10.8.5 update

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Date: Thursday, September 12th, 2013, 15:16
Category: News, Software

It’s taken a while to get here, but it’s officially out.

On Thursday, Apple released version 10.8.5 of its OS X Mountain Lion operating system. The new version, a 287 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

- Improves reliability when transferring large files over Ethernet.

- Improves performance when authenticating to an Open Directory server.

- Addresses an issue that prevented a smart card from unlocking preference panes in System Preferences.

- Contains the improvements included in MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0.

OS X 10.8.5 requires an Intel-based Mac running OS X 10.8 to install and run, the update itself being attainable by using OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new operating system and have any feedback whatsoever, please let us know in the comments.

Apple releases seventh OS X 10.8.5 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, September 5th, 2013, 06:21
Category: News, Software

With any luck, the OS X 10.8.5 update is just around the corner.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday seeded the latest version of the upcoming OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion maintenance update to developers for testing.

According to people familiar with build 12F36, the Mountain Lion seed comes with no known issues and asks developers to focus on many of the same areas as previous releases.

Two new areas of interest were added to the usual graphics, Wi-Fi and wake from sleep functionality. With build 12F36, Apple requests testing of PDF viewing and accessibility and mobile device management.

The latest seed comes one day after the release of OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 7, and nearly one month after the last Mountain Lion beta was issued.

Apple is expected to release both the Mountain Lion maintenance update and next-generation Mavericks later this year.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Inventory shortfalls hint at updated iMacs, 802.11ac Airport Express units

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Date: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013, 07:01
Category: iMac, retail, Rumor, wireless

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When the inventory runs low, there’s cool new stuff around the corner.

Or it just means you need to order more inventory.

Per MacRumors and 9to5Mac, low retail stocks of Airport Express base stations are suggesting that a faster 802.11ac model is expected soon to match the capabilities of the latest Macs. This would offer Wi-Fi speeds almost three times faster than current 802.11n models, a capability that has already been incorporated into the current Airport Extreme and Time Capsule models.

That said, an 802.11ac Airport Express and a Haswell-powered iMac is a no-brainer, the question being “when” rather than “if”. The new iMac is unlikely to see much of a design change, so neither would be big announcements, suggesting they could be passing mentions in the iPhone-focused event on 10th September. If not, the new units could be announced alongside the iPad 5, rumored to be around October, perhaps with the long-awaited Thunderbolt Display update.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple could release OS X 10.8.5 update as soon as today

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Date: Monday, August 26th, 2013, 06:46
Category: News, Software

If you’ve been hankering for OS X 10.8.5, it could hit as soon as today.

Per AppleInsider, Apple began supplying prerelease builds of OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion to select partners on Monday, signaling that a public release of the maintenance and software update is not far behind.

Sources familiar with the software indicated that the prerelease version made available is identified as build “12F35.” The update, recommended for all users of Mountain Lion, includes the following changes:
- Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from displaying messages.

- Improves AFP file transfer performance over 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

- Resolves an issue that may prevent a screen saver from starting automatically.

- Improves Xsan reliability.

The prerelease build supplied to partners on Monday is said to weigh in at 286 megabytes. Those early releases are typically provided only hours before the software is launched to the public, suggesting that OS X 10.8.5 will arrive on Monday.

A total of seven beta builds of OS X 10.8.5 have been supplied to developers for testing ahead of the final release. The most recent was issued on July 31, identified as build “12F30.”

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Apple releases AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.4

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Date: Wednesday, August 14th, 2013, 08:47
Category: News, Software, wireless

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This might help out.

Per The Mac Observer, Apple released AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.4 on Tuesday, a maintenance release for the company’s line of Wi-Fi routers that squashes three bugs. One affects Apple’s Time Capsule models, another deals with IPv6 issues, and a third fixes iOS device connectivity.

This update is available for all Apple 802.11n Wi-Fi base stations including AirPort Express, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule. It contains fixes that:
- Resolve an issue that may cause AirPort Time Capsule to report that the backup disk is in use.

- Resolve an issue that may cause an IPv6 Tunnel error.

- Resolve an issue that may intermittently cause a loss in Wi-Fi connectivity with iOS devices.

Note: This firmware update is for all 802.11n AirPort base stations.

Users can find the update in AirPort Utility on their Macs. The update may show up immediately in the form of a dialog box. If not, you can click Edit within AirPort Utility and look for the Update button.

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

Apple releases Mavericks Developer Preview 5, OS X 10.8.5 build 12F33 to developer community

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Date: Thursday, August 8th, 2013, 06:14
Category: News, Software

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Mavericks is coming that much closer to fruition and bringing iBooks for the Mac with it.

Per AppleInsider, Apple on Wednesday released the latest beta versions of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, allowing developers for the first time to test its iBooks software for Mac.

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Developer Preview 5 comes a little over two weeks after the fourth preview was made available at the end of July. Due to an eight-day downtime after Apple’s Developer Center was affected by an intruder, the timing of the latest Mavericks release is slightly off from the two-week cycle Apple had kept until Developer Preview 4.

Notable in the latest preview is the inclusion of iBooks for OS X, which was announced at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. Like Apple Maps, iBooks will make the crossover from iOS to OS X when Mavericks launches this fall.

As with previous version of Mavericks, Developer Preview 5 contains minor backend changes. Release notes from a previous Developer Preview suggested changes were made to bring support for iCloud Keychain.

Apple’s maintenance update for the current OS X 10.8.5 Mountain Lion, dubbed build 12F33, comes with no known issues and once again requests developers focus on graphics, Wi-Fi and wake from sleep functionality. Prior to the temporary Dev Center shutdown, Apple was releasing builds of 10.8.5 on a weekly basis.

Both Mavericks and the Mountain Lion update are slated to launch this fall.

Apple releases sixth OS X 10.8.5 build to developer community

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Date: Thursday, July 25th, 2013, 11:59
Category: News, Software

They’re getting closer to OS X 10.8.5.

Per MacNN, Apple has again made available a new beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.8.5 for developers to test. Like last week, the new version (12F26) is just three build numbers higher than the previous one, suggesting that the company is nearing the end of testing.

As with last week’s build, there are no known issues — however, due to the prolonged downtime of Apple’s Developer Center, download options to obtain the latest build are limited. Those who are running previous builds can obtain the new one through the Software Update mechanism, and AppleSeed members can also download it. However, the download page through the Dev Center continues to be closed.

The latest update also comes with a new build of Safari. Apple is still asking developers to continue testing components like graphics, Wi-Fi, wake-from-sleep functions, mobile device management, and PDF viewing and accessibility.

If you’ve tried the new build and have any feedback to offer, please let us know what you make of it in the comments.

Apple releases MacBook Air Mid 2013 Software Update 1.0, homes in on reported bugs

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Date: Friday, July 19th, 2013, 05:28
Category: MacBook Air, News, Software

If you bought a mid-2013 MacBook Air, the firmware update you’ve been waiting for has arrived.

Apple on Thursday released an update to its recently released MacBook Air models, addressing issues affecting Wi-Fi connectivity, screen flickering when using Adobe Photoshop and volume fluctuation during video playback.

Per AppleInsider, Apple’s “MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update 1.0″ is the first for the company’s thin-and-light lineup that was in June, and fixes a number of bugs users have complained about over the past few weeks.

Among the initial problems cited by users was intermittent loss of Wi-Fi signals, a problem Apple partially addressed in a separate AirPort Utility software update earlier this month.

Another problem cropped up last week when MacBook Air owners complained of uncontrollable volume fluctuations while playing video content in both first-party and third-party applications. This too has reportedly been solved with the latest Software Update 1.0.

Finally, the release fixes an issue that would occasionally cause screen flickering when using Adobe Photoshop.

The MacBook Air (Mid 2013) Software Update is available as a 3.55 megabyte download and can also be retrieved via the OS X Software Update feature on qualifying MacBook Air notebooks.

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