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All posts tagged "apple"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Factory-unlocked iPhone 5 Prices Announced

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 06:30 PM

"It has only been a couple of days since Apple announced iPhone 5. Already the excitement for the release of this product is building up. Apple will begin shipping iPhone 5 to customers in select countries from September 21. If you prefer not having a carrier locked iPhone, you can always dish out more money and get an official factory unlocked iPhone. Today Apple has announced the factory unlocked iPhone 5 prices for USA."

As someone who hates "locked" phones, this is welcome news. New factory-unlocked phones will cost:

  • $649 for 16GB
  • $749 for 32GB
  • $849 for 64GB

If you're buying one, remember that it uses the new nano-SIM, so be sure that your carrier of choice has them. T-Mobile has indicated that they plan to have them for unlocked iphones in mid-October 2012 ( link ). Anyone planning to use an iPhone 5 on T-Mo?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tim Cook and the Changes at Apple

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 06:00 AM

"Since taking over for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs last August, newly minted CEO Tim Cook has slowly made a number of changes to how things are done at the company. Whereas Jobs was mercurial, Cook is apparently genteel. Whereas Jobs downplayed labor issues in China, Cook has personally visited factory floors and met with Chinese officials."

The Fortune story is pretty interesting if you enjoy reading about how Apple works, and who doesn't right? The difference between Cook and Jobs? I think this quote from an employee says it all: "Cook clearly is a demanding boss, but he's not scary. He's well-respected, but not worshiped."

Tags: apple, ceo, cook, culture

Tim Cook and the Changes at Apple

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 06:00 AM

"Since taking over for former Apple CEO Steve Jobs last August, newly minted CEO Tim Cook has slowly made a number of changes to how things are done at the company. Whereas Jobs was mercurial, Cook is apparently genteel. Whereas Jobs downplayed labor issues in China, Cook has personally visited factory floors and met with Chinese officials."

The Fortune story is pretty interesting if you enjoy reading about how Apple works, and who doesn't right? The difference between Cook and Jobs? I think this quote from an employee says it all: "Cook clearly is a demanding boss, but he's not scary. He's well-respected, but not worshiped."

Tags: apple, ceo, cook, culture

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Welcome to Apple

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 02:00 AM

Tags: welcome, apple,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Apple TV 3 (2012) Reviewed: Worth the Upgrade?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:07 AM

"The iPad (3) took front row during the recent launch extravaganza, however Apple also refreshed their Apple TV with a new model sporting a single core A5 SoC and some other noteworthy tweaks. We've spent some time with the new model since its launch, and have found a few interesting new things lurking inside. In addition to decoding 1080p iTunes content as well as YouTube and Netflix streams, the new Apple TV also includes a second WiFi antenna with better gain, which translates to improved reception and network throughput."

It's amusing - and a little odd - that in 2012 a "new" product feature is supporting 1080p video, but here we are. Up until recently, unless I'm mistaken, all iTunes video content topped out at 720p. Now that iTunes supports 1080p downloads, it makes sense that Apple would wait to release this product. I wonder of Apple TV is still a "hobby" product for Apple? This review has a cool teardown of the product, and in typical Anandtech fashion, even their "short" reviews are incredibly detailed.

The most interesting part of this review for me wasn't about the Apple TV: the reviewer did some detailed examination of the 1080p and 720p video files from iTunes. By switching to a different encoding parameters, Apple went from 720p to 1080p, but only increased the file size by 25% because they only went up by 1mbps in terms of bit rate to 5mbps. Does 5mbps sound low for 1080p content? Yeah, exactly. The movies I've watched via my iPad at 1080p look good, but not Blu-ray good. There's always a balance between quality and file size, and I'm sure Apple tested this more than a bit, but the bit rate geek in me would love to see higher quality so when I buy a movie or TV show I don't feel like I'm losing out vs. Blu-ray...

Friday, February 3, 2012

In Memory of Steve Jobs on the Cupertino Campus

Posted by Jeff Campbell in "Apple News" @ 03:00 AM

"Apple is continuing to enculturate the legacy of Steve Jobs, this time by placing memorable quotes and iconic images of their late co-founder around their Cupertino campus."

Pretty cool idea and what a great way to celebrate his life and work at Apple's campus.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

OS X Lion From A Different Vista

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple Software (OS X)" @ 08:00 AM

There are those in life who would, by their own will, take a bullet for you. And while they may be called by different names - Secret Service, Best Friend, Idiot, Early Adopter - they are by all accounts, heroes. My friends, we here at Thoughts Media - we are those people. As early adopters of new technology, we take bullets for you on a daily basis; and we do this with pride. Though we may not wear capes (well some of us anyway - let's not get Jason into this) we take on new devices and software products with the knowledge that our actions may result in a smaller bank account, bricked phone, inoperable computer, and many other horrible, horrible possibilities.

And with that, I present to you Apple's latest operating system, OS X Lion. Lion's are hunters. They have been known to stalk humans; later known as dinner. Their claws are sharp, their teeth pointy, and their attacks deadly. So what does this have to do with Apples latest OS? In one word: plenty. This review, or anti-review, is not meant to compliment the hundreds of Lion reviews already posted. Instead, it is a real account of experiences with the operating system that we here at Thoughts Media felt you could benefit from; it is a map around a minefield - set in the Serengeti. Read more...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Intel Ivy Bridge To Enable 4096 Resolution

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 08:00 AM

"Intel quietly revealed last week that its next-generation Ivy Bridge processors will support the 4K display resolution, with up to 4096 x 4096 pixels per monitor, potentially paving the way for Apple to introduce high-resolution "Retina Display" Macs."

When HD just isn't enough, soon we'll have even higher resolution and clarity. 4096 x 4096? Holy headache, here comes the 60-inch iMac!? Intel also announced a Multi Format Codec (MFX) engine that is capable of playing multiple 4K videos concurrently. This codec will also support 4KQuadHD video, a new YouTube video format. It is anticipated that Ivy Bridge enhancements give it roughly a 60 percent performance boost over the current Sandy Bridge processor family. Ivy Bridge will also support the Apple OpenCL standard for future products in 2012 and beyond.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Will The Rumored Amazon Tablet Be DOA?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "The Competition" @ 09:30 PM

"Last week, TechCrunch reported that Amazon’s 7" Kindle tablet was "very real" and would ship for the 2011 holidays. Almost a year before that, the WSJ reported that "Steve Jobs declared the seven-inch tablet ‘dead on arrival.’" So the stage is set for an interesting war of beliefs and concepts this holiday shopping season. In one corner, the world’s most trafficked internet retail stores and Kindle inventor, Amazon, and in the other, Apple, the most valuable company on the planet and inventor of the iPad."

Another debate on the merits of the 7-inch vs. the 10-inch tablet. We get a value proposition discussion, as well as a perceived value discussion. Amazon vs. Apple. Should be interesting! I think that pronouncing a competitor's product (or an entire genre) as "DOA" is not really a wise move, but Mr Jobs has been known to make statements that backfire. So what are your thoughts, is there room for an Amazon tablet, or is it destined to really be DOA?

Tags: apple, amazon, tablet, ipad

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Microsoft Releases Windows Phone 7 Connector 2.0 for Mac

Posted by Darius Wey in "Windows Phone Software" @ 07:17 PM

"Windows Phone 7 Connector is a simple, easy-to-use application designed to sync your favorite media files from your Mac, with your Windows Phone 7 or Zune HD. You can also sync photos and videos you captured on your phone with your Mac, and when needed, update your Windows Phone 7 software."

Mac users, make your way to the App Store and grab today's update of Windows Phone 7 Connector. Microsoft has tagged it with a version number of 2.0, and with it, there's full sync and import support for Aperture, drag-and-drop support, ringtone transfer and Windows Phone Marketplace support if your phone is running Windows Phone 7.5, as well as a bunch of other goodies ranging from backup and restore improvements to additional languages. And all for the good ol' price of free.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs: From CEO to Elder Statesman

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM

"Apple announced Wednesday that CEO Steve Jobs is stepping down. It's unclear what role he'll play as the new chairman."

In one of Geekdom's most popular games, the speculation has started as to the role that chairman Steve Jobs will be playing at Apple. There seem to be two management styles at the top: a combined CEO and chairman, consolidating all the power at the top; and, separation of the CEO and chairman functions, sharing the power. I think that as Apple moves forward, Tim Cook will assume a higher profile, but that Steve Jobs will still be there doling out wisdom and product direction, in short, as an elder stateman / sage / oracle. The jobs appear to remain the same, only the titles are changing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today's iPad Kindle App Update Removes Kindle Store Button

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 11:01 AM

I was updating the apps on my iPad today - which is a daily occurrence that I wish Apple would streamline or automate somehow - and I noticed that the new Kindle app, released today, removes the Kindle Store button. This change has been brewing for a while now because Apple wants 30% of everything sold via any app. Taking 30% for selling an app itself is a good deal compared to the 50% cut most mobile developers we used to forking over in previous years. But when it comes to content where there are multiple parties involved and everyone wants a piece, 30% is untenable.

You have companies like Rhapsody and Amazon who are resellers of the content someone else creates - so they're the middle men - and Apple put a gun to their head and said "Give us 30% or get out". Amazon did the only thing that makes sense: they made the Kindle app a read-only tool, not a purchasing tool. Anyone using an iPad, myself included, will now have a degraded experience because I'll have to grab my Kindle 3 or Android phone in order to quickly purchase a book. The alternative is to buy the book via Safari on the iPad, and while it's not exactly difficult, it's certainly a lot less slower than buying from an app that allows for one-tap purchase of books.

What's your take on Apple's demand to have a 30% cut on every piece of content sold via an iOS app?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LAPTOP's Tech Support Showdown 2011: The Worst and the Best Tech Support

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 03:31 PM

"Who wouldn't jump at the chance to wait on hold only to barely understand the person on the other end? And why wouldn't you want to conduct a live chat with a tech support rep who asks you a million questions before addressing your issue? Fortunately, not all laptop tech support is bad, and knowing who's good could tip the balance during your next shopping trip."

I'll spoil the surprise for you: Apple is at the top, with Dell and Samsung fairly close behind. The latter two have improved a great deal since the last report, so it looks like someone is paying attention. Do your own experiences with the companies in this report match up with the results? From my perspective, the 22 minute average call time for Dell seems rosy - I'd venture my calls with Dell are always 45 minutes or more...and usually rt 15 minutes of that are my call being transferred from one department to another while someone tries to figure out who can assist me. About 20% of the time, said transfer disconnects my call, which means I have to start over again. I am not fond of Dell tech support, though once I get to the right person, they usually help me with a fair degree of competence.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Evernote Peek: The First Smart Cover Learning App

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Software (iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad)" @ 10:15 AM

"Several months ago, Phil and I were sitting in a plane playing around with the just-released iPad 2. Of all its features, the thing that floored us was the ingenious Smart Cover. It didn't seem like an accessory so much as an extension of the device. As we sat there opening and closing the cover, a question struck us: could we use the cover to control an app that would make Evernote even more useful Turns out, the answer is yes. We give you Evernote Peek, the world's first Smart Cover app. Available now."

Here's one thing I've learned over the years: if you have a hardware feature that developers can tap into, they will - and they'll do creative things you never guessed they could. This is a perfect example of that - and I think it's brilliant. It's a whole new class of application that came about simply from Apple coming up with a feature that turns the iPad on when the Smart Cover is lifted.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apple WWDC Keynote: Condensed to Eight Minutes

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 11:30 PM

"The Apple keynote was truly jam-packed, from beginning to end. It's worth watching. But it was nearly 2 hours long. If you don't have 117 minutes, this is the best stuff. The moments that matter. Everything you need to see."

You can get the highlights from this year's WWDC keynote by clicking on the Read link below.

Does Using OpenDNS or Google DNS Slow Down iTunes Downloads?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 09:00 AM

When I tweeted the above comment - I was quite appalled at how slow iTunes was at delivering content - someone pointed me to this post on Daring Fireball that says the fix is to not use Google DNS. There are similar complaints in the OpenDNS forums. The tweeter speculated that if I was using OpenDNS - and I was - it would have the same impact. I downloaded Tapper World Tour HD from the iTunes store and it took 3 minutes 36 seconds to grab the 193 MB file. That's 890 KB per second on the download, and my connection is capable of just over 3000 KB/s. If there was one thing I'd expect/hope to deliver bandwidth-saturating results, it would be a content deliver network such as iTunes.

I went into my router, set the DNS back to my ISP (Shaw), and rebooted the router. On my computer with iTunes, I did an ipconfig /flushdns, along with a /release and a /renew just to make sure everything was reset. I verified the computer wasn't using OpenDNS, then I started up iTunes and re-downloaded the same file. It downloaded in 3 minutes 2 seconds. A slight improvement, but not much and frankly within the margin of error for a test like this.

I'd like to ask the Apple Thoughts community if they've seen similar results with OpenDNS or Google DNS, and if stopping using those services resulted in a significant speed boost on downloads. Also, if my methodology was flawed in some way, I'm happy to learn how to better test something like this.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Waterfield Design's iPad 2 Suede Jacket Reviewed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

To watch in full screen 1080p, please click on the video title and go over to YouTube.

This is my review of the Waterfield Design iPad 2 Suede Jacket. It's a simple product that works exceptionally well - if you're looking for a simple sleeve for your iPad 2, this is an affordable, effective product. The Ultrasuede is extremely soft and will protect your iPad from scratches and scuffs - but of course won't protect it from anything more than that. The pouch on the back is handy for carrying a few iPad accessories, and with prices starting at $19, it's an affordable option. If you're looking for a simple, lightweight way to protect your iPad v1 or iPad v2 - with or without a Smart Cover - I highly recommend the iPad 2 Suede Jacket.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his wonderful son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's surprised how much he uses his iPad 2.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

OWC MacBook Air 480GB Mercury Aura Pro Express SSD Upgrade

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 09:30 AM

I haven't seen anyone crack open a Macbook Air before - not that I've gone looking for it mind you - but I'm still impressed by the fact that this product is almost all battery and they managed to fit the guts of the laptop in basically 1/4th of the total space. This video shows how surprisingly easy it is to swap out the SSD in the Macbook Air. I had to chuckle though when I saw the price of the 480 GB SDD: a mere $1579.99 USD. I wonder how many dozens of these they'll sell this year? Yikes. SSD prices aren't free-falling like I keep hoping they will...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Head to Head Battle: iPad 2 vs. Motorola XOOM

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Motorola XOOM" @ 07:30 AM

This is a head to head comparison video between the Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based Motorola XOOM and the iOS 4-based Apple iPad 2. Each tablet has pros and cons, and I discuss my findings after using both of them for a while. Chime in with your own thoughts!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Apple Further Handicaps Do-It-Yourself Upgrades for new iMacs

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 10:30 AM

"Since Late 2009, there's been a well-documented issue with the iMac line. If you upgrade the hard drive, the fans can start spinning like crazy. The fans at high speed are loud, mainly unnecessary, and have caused a lot of headaches for DIYers everywhere."

Unable to upgrade or replace/repair hardware in my own computer? Reminds me of the early days when IBM made 'micro channel' (MCA) the standard on PS/2 computers, obsoleting existing bus peripherals, even in their own product line. The outcry was huge; but; aside from the bus, much of the technology pushed the envelope, and, the market ended up making the decision on the direction of technology - an eventual thumbs down to MCA, PS/2 and OS/2 (despite the fact that OS/2 was far superior to Windows, but different enough that IBM again shot themselves in the foot). Apple can make the same dumb technology decisions as any other company - but I don't think that they're attempting anything sinister, probably let a few engineers run with a concept ... improved communication/control between peripherals and computer, and what-not. I'm sure that there will be workarounds and fixes coming down the pipeline ... or maybe a class-action lawsuit or two by angry owners.

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