Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mac OSX Mavericks and How to Upgrade

Apple's newest version of Mac OSX was recently introduced at WWDC 2013. Although still in the beta stages, now is the perfect time to take a look at what this upgrade has to offer, how to install it on your Mac, and when it will be available to buy.

The newly named "Mavericks" is the 10th major release of the powerful OSX operating system, and reportedly offers more than 200 new features.  These new design features promise to make your life easier, run your Mac faster, and improve energy efficiency.

OSX Mavericks incorporates new power-saving innovations like Time Coalescing®, a new feature that groups together low-level operations of your Mac, enabling the CPU to run longer in a reduced-power state.  There is also the App Nap®, another new facet of the Mac OSX upgrade that is designed to focus on open applications you are not using. This makes it possible for your Mac to maintain speed and responsiveness by automatically compressing any inactive data when your system approaches memory capacity. Once you need the data again, however, it is available immediately.

In addition to increased battery life, the latest Mac OSX upgrade introduces iCloud Keychain®, a new security feature that provides safe storage of your WI-FI passwords, website login credentials, and yes, even your credit card information.  Your confidential data, while being securely protected by robust AES 256 bit encryption, is automatically shared with your Mac, and all of your approved devices.

There are many other groundbreaking additions to Mavericks, including iBooks®, a feature that provides immediate access to your iBooks library, as well as any new titles in the iBooks Store. Conveniently, iBooks also automatically bookmarks the last page you read.   There is an enhanced multi-display support, and the newly offered Maps, complete with 3D view, interactive Flyover™, and razor-sharp graphics.  The new Safari browser is more powerful, more stable, and offers even more advanced features. If you like the new updates, you can begin planning your upgrade now.

When considering any upgrade, it is important to note that you must always check the system requirements first. Once you understand the specifications, carefully compare them to what you already have, and verify the current OSX version your Mac is running.  This is necessary, because if you missed a previous upgrade, you will need to bring your system current before continuing on to the Mavericks release.

To locate your current OSX, select the apple icon from the top left of your screen, then click on "About This Mac" from the drop down menu to find your version.

Once you have your OSX details, simply visit Apple's website (once Mavericks is available for sale) for specific upgrade instructions.  The process should be similar to past upgrades where you can purchase them through the Mac app store.  I like the fact you only have to purchase one upgrade for multiple computers.  Most importantly, remember to back up all of your data, and be sure you have all of your application CD's before you start.

The preview of Mavericks OSX is available now to all members of the Mac Developer program.  All other Mac users can purchase the new Mavericks Mac OSX upgrade in the Fall of 2013.

What do you think about OSX Mavericks?  Are you ready to upgrade?

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts on Apple Announcements at WWDC 2013

Apple unveiled some products, software, and a new commercial at the 2013 World-Wide Developer's conference.  The commercial reinforced Apple's commitment to making great products which Tim Cook highlighted that during his keynote...which I watched on my Apple TV.

I was curious to see what Apple would unveil.  With the unveilings, there were some features and products that I liked and others I'm still unsure about.

Products announced

Macbook Air
Details:  New Macbook Airs will now stay charged for nine to twelve hours, or a whopping thirty days on standby, depending on the screen size.  Other hardware improvements mean up to 40 percent better graphics handling, and the Air can wake up from standby in about a second.

Thoughts:  I like the Macbook Air but I have never really played with one so I'm not sure what the actual performance would be like.  If you're not a power user and you just surf the web, do word processing, and access your social media, the Macbook Air is probably powerful enough for your needs.  Just make sure it has everything you need to be productive.  Due to the thin size, some hardware components are not standard.

Mac Pro
Details:  Since Steve Jobs untimely death in 2011, all Apple announcements have been met with an increased scrutiny and many have claimed their days of innovation were behind them.  But at the WWDC 2013, the company showed it can still surprise us by unveiling a completely redesigned Mac Pro. Built for power users, it's now a very stylish cylinder shape, allowing for better cooling and increased ergonomics. It's twice as fast as its predecessor, and supports the latest in video resolution technology known as 4K.

Thoughts:  Interesting design.  Almost makes me wish I did more power computing to have a need for it.  Way more power than I need and I'm sure the price will be expensive when it is officially released.  Seems like it will be a great tool for anyone that needs it and I'm sure the Mac Pro users have been waiting for a refresh.  I think they will be happy.

AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule
Details:  AirPort Extreme has been updated to include the latest in WiFi technology, 802.11 ac which supports signals three times as powerful as Wireless N. With more antennas, coverage is increased, and the slightly more costly Time Capsule version integrates backup storage up to 3TB.

Thoughts:  Just imagine have 6 Apple TVs (or Airport Express) stacked on top of each other.  That would give you about the size of the new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.  The idea is interesting.  You want to have a small footprint so build it upward.  At the same time that allows you to add more antennas.  I can appreciate adding 802.11 ac for faster speeds but the products aren't needed unless your products currently support 802.11 ac.  Whenever I get enough Apple products with 802.11 ac, then maybe I will consider the AirPort Extreme.  I like the theory of the Time Capsule...automatic backups but I created my own so I don't see the need to purchase one.  If you're a techie, build your own.  If you're not, then the Time Capsule may be a good option.

Software announced

Details:  While the most stunning change is visual—iOS 7 features a complete aesthetic redesign from the bottom up—other improvements include a smarter Siri, better multitasking support, and integration with supported vehicles, allowing you to use your iPhone to control its on-board technology. 

Thoughts:  I still like the old iOS but I know lots of people were ready for a change so Apple could keep up with the competition.  Just looking at images of the iPhone with iOS 7, it does look like a new phone.  I like that you can now have more apps grouped together.  I'm curious to see how much smarter Siri is.  I would use Siri more but when I ask questions or give commands that Siri can't answer or complete, I get frustrated.  

OSX Mavericks
Details:  There was Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and… Sea Lion? At WWDC 2013, Apple broke their trend of naming the operating system after cats and went with a California inspired surfer theme instead, going with the name Mavericks. The latest version of OSX has an emphasis on extending battery life, a fuller integration with iCloud, file tagging for easier searching, and a tabbed version of Finder, just to name a few of the more popular improvements.

Thoughts:  No comment.  I will get it when it's available and then decide what I think of it.

iTunes Radio
Details:  The long anticipated iTunes Radio has finally arrived. With it, users can log in and experience something like Spotify or Pandora, essentially listening to whatever song they want for free. It also has the ability to learn from your behavior and program custom channels so you can sit and listen to music it thinks you'll enjoy.

Thoughts:  I will try it when it's released and decide what I think then.  There are already apps that do this job so I will have to test it to see if anything sets it apart from the others.

iWork for iCloud
Details:  Now there is iWork for iCloud. With this announcement, Apple brings their iWork office suite, which includes the word processor Pages, spreadsheet program Numbers, and presentation software Keynote, to the web.  Work on your documents in your browser.

Thoughts:  I like has features I like and so does Office.  I'm happy that you will be able to work on projects in your web browser.  I'm not sure how much it will cost to use.

Overall, I think Apple did well with their announcements at WWDC 2013.  How do you think Apple did at WWDC 2013?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

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Tips to extend the iPhone 5's battery life

Monday, June 3, 2013

Apple Newbies Tour: Learn More About Apple!

This weekend, I decided to spread the word about Apple Newbies a bit more.  Therefore, I created my first Apple Newbies YouTube video that provides a tour of the Apple Newbies website.

I think the video will be helpful for anyone that wants to learn more about Apple and Apple products.  It shows them what the website offers and how to navigate around the website.

If you already visit Apple Newbies regularly, you probably know your way around the website pretty well.  But just in case you don't, you can also watch the video tour.

During the tour, I cover the website, social media buttons, the Apple Newbies store, Contact, and more.

Unfortunately, there is a new addition (coming soon) that wasn't ready in time for the video.  Stay tuned for that!  I think it will be a good.  I'm excited!

Here is an excerpt from my video description:

Apple Newbies is designed to help new and experienced Apple product users.  If you are interested in learning tips to improve your Apple product experience, this is the website for you.  If you are thinking about buying Apple products, you can get tips and ask questions.  If you have any questions or problems, just enter them in the "Contact" section.  Make sure you share this with your friends and family that have or are considering buying Apple products!

So, please take a little bit of time and review the Apple Newbies YouTube video.  I hope you enjoy it.  If so, be sure to share it with your friends to help me get the word out.

You may also like:

Tips to extend the iPhone 5's battery life