Thursday, January 24, 2013

Is Apple TV Worth It?

Is Apple TV Worth It?

Is Apple TV Worth It?

Every since Apple released the small set top box known as the Apple TV, people have wondered:  Is Apple TV worth it?  Is it worth the purchase?  Does it provide enough content?  Well, if you're one of the ponderers, I hope this article will give you some insight into Apple's little hobby.

What does Apple TV do?

Let's take a look at what Apple TV offers to help answer the question:  Is Apple TV worth it?  First, Apple created the Apple TV so it naturally fits into the Apple ecosystem.  If you are an Apple fan and own many of their products, this decision may be a no brainer for you.  For users not already in the Apple ecosystem, this is what the Apple TV can do.

1.  It works with iTunes so you can stream music, TV shows, and movies you have purchased or rented.

2.  This could be included into #1 but it also allows you to stream podcasts and iTunes U content from your computer.  This is a favorite feature of mine.

3.  Apple TV allows you to stream content from Apple as well.  By highlighting TV Shows or Movies, this device will show you the latest releases in the respective areas.  When you select one of these categories, you can purchase or rent the TV Show or Movie from the Apple TV.  Apple also allows you to rent some movies before they appear or while they are in movie theaters.  It can be a little pricey but it may be worth it to someone that would rather enjoy a new movie at home.

4.  The latest version, Apple TV 3, can display up to 1080p high definition content.

5.  You can watch Movie Trailers on this device.

6.  Sports fans can watch Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey.  I believe you need subscriptions for these.  Without the subscriptions, you may be able to watch game highlights and wrap-ups.

7.  You can view individual pictures, picture slideshows, and also set up your screensaver to be a picture slideshow with multiple display styles.

8.  You can stream radio stations.

9.  You can watch YouTube videos, Netflix, and Hulu+.

10.  Last, but not least, you can use AirPlay.  AirPlay allows you to stream content from iTunes, your Mac, or an iOS device to your Apple TV.  This is where it gets good!  If you have the latest devices, you should be able to mirror the screens of those devices on your Apple TV.  This means you can display apps on your large screen.  I can't promise all apps work.  You would have to test them, but  that largely increases the Apple TV's capabilities.

What doesn't Apple TV do?

So far, what do you think?  Is the Apple TV worth it?  We've looked at what the Apple TV can do.  Next, let's look at what it cannot do.

1.  Apple TV doesn't play various video formats.  You are limited to the MP4 format.  Tip:  Now, if you convert your videos to this format, then you should be able to watch them using your Apple TV.

2.  Apple TV doesn't provide a huge amount of content.  It provides a lot of content but there are other devices that may offer more.

3.  Apple TV doesn't have voice navigation.  Users may feel limited with the remote and it may take longer to type in search items.

Your choice

Now that you've had a chance to see what features the Apple TV offers and what features it does not, you can make an educated decision.  Apple makes great products but they have many competitors.  I think Apple makes the best quality products.  You can normally get an Apple TV for $99, slightly lower if you find a sale.  In the end, the choice is yours.  Only you know if the Apple TV is worth it for you.

Did you find this helpful?

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Check out the sales below by selecting the picture! 
Apple TV Digital Multimedia Receiver (MD199LL/A)
Get yours on sale now!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is the iPad Mini Truly a Mini iPad?

Mini iPad or iPad Mini?

Is the iPad Mini Truly a Mini iPad?

The iPad 

When the iPad was introduced to the masses, it was groundbreaking.  That's just my opinion but I think most people would agree.  This wasn't too long ago.  Remember, this was a time when it seemed like everyone was using Windows operating system.  There were a few people that had ventured off to OSX and Linux.  Netbooks were supposed to be the next big technological advance.  It didn't seem as if they had the processing power or RAM needed of an ultra portable device.  It seemed Apple was either the first to notice this or the first to find a better solution.  All of a sudden, there was the iPad!  It came with a screen large enough to see whatever you preferred clearly and a touch screen capability so you could easily navigate.  Of course, Apple had ventured into the tablet market before but not with the same success of the iPad.  Will the Mini iPad have the same success as its bigger brother?  At the time of the iPad's introduction, Apple was surging.

A New Apple

Apple was a revived company that had introduced their iMac computers with decent success.  Then they introduced the iPod which changed how the world listened to music.  Apple also introduced us to the iPhone.  All of a sudden, we were carrying a small computer in our pockets.  Even though the iPhone had a lot of the capability that most people needed, there seemed to be something missing.  We carried laptop computers because there was no way we were transporting our computer towers and monitors.  All of a sudden, the laptops began seeming too bulky for travel, but the iPhones seemed too small for watching videos and extended travel.  Then came the iPad!

Which came first?

The Mini or the iPad?  We all know the iPad was introduced first.  But do we know if Apple had already tested a Mini iPad?  Maybe the first iPad ever tested was the size of a Mini iPad.  Maybe then Apple decided they needed something with a larger screen.  Of course, this is just speculation.  I don't know Apple's testing process for creating the iPad.  When you think about the first iPad and the features it had, how well does the iPad Mini stack up?  I will agree the iPad Mini does not have the same Retina display and resolution of the current model iPad.  Yet, when I tested the Mini iPad in the store, there was something very familiar and enjoyable about it.  It was so light and maneuverable.

Apple says the iPad Mini is "every inch an iPad".  The next time you're in your local Apple Retail Store, make sure you try out the iPad and the iPad Mini and decide if the iPad Mini is truly a Mini iPad.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cookoo: The Watch of the Future

Cookoo:  Watch of the Future?

Technology is always advancing but sometimes, it just seems like technology is stuck in one place.  When that happens, sometimes all it takes is one new, great device to get technology moving again.  Apple proved that with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.  Isn’t it time technology moved forward with the watch?

Watch of the future?

ConnecteDevice Ltd has introduced the potential watch of the future:  Cookoo, the connected watch!   The watch functions as an extension of your smartphone with the following features:

  • Notifications (Incoming & missed calls, Facebook messages & posts, low battery, and reminders)
  • Facebook check-in
  • Find missing devices
  • Take pictures from you phone

The future of the watch of the future

I don’t know where the company will be taking the Cookoo watch in the future but I think they have made a great start.  I can only imagine that the watch will gain more features in the future.  It will have to because there is always competition.  In order to stay at the top, the watch will have to continue to advance.  As for right now, the Cookoo watch has the potential to become the watch of the future!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Screenshots on a Mac

Partial Screenshot

Screenshot on a Mac

I'm not sure if you can tell this, but the picture above is a screenshot.  I took it from Apple's website.  No matter how you use your Mac, I'm sure one day you will need to take a screenshot of something.  There will be times that you just don't want to take a complete screenshot.  You only need one part of what's being displayed for whatever reason.  Well, the good news is that these features are already available in Mac OSX.

Here are a few Mac screenshot commands that you may find helpful in your day to day tasks:

  • Command-Shift-3:  Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then select an area:  Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window:  Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-3:  Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area:  Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window:  Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard
In Leopard and later, the following keys can be held down while selecting an area (via Command-Shift-4 or Command-Control-Shift-4):

  • Space, to lock the size of the selected region and instead move it when the mouse moves
  • Shift, to resize only one edge of the selected region
  • Option, to resize the selected region with its center as the anchor point
These commands came from MacRumors.  For more in-depth Mac screenshot commands, you can view them here.

Did you find these tips helpful?

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Have You Tried iTunes 11 Yet?

Have you tried iTunes 11 yet?

I briefly read about the updates when iTunes 11 was first released.  I downloaded it because it was an improvement.  Since I can purchase my content on my iPhone and get it directly on the device, I hadn't really tried the new iTunes.  Today, I had a bit more time and decided to listen to some music...wanted to listen to T.I.'s new album.  I had a few options.  I could play it on my iPhone or Apple TV, but I decided to play it on my Mac Mini using iTunes.  Initially, I started the album on iTunes using my iPhone with the Remote app.  Later, I wanted to change something and I was closer to the Mac Mini so I started messing with iTunes.

At first, I wasn't feeling it...I was slightly hesitant to the change.  Being a guy, I didn't look for instructions or review the changes.  I just tried to use it.  It wasn't looking good but then it began to click.  It can be a problem when you first use it but after playing with it a little bit, it will begin to make sense.  You may even decide some features are major improvements.

A few features that I like are:

UpNext - This feature allows you to quickly add songs to your list of what is currently playing.
Expanded View - You can view the album cover art, then select it to see the contents on the same screen.
Mini Player - This allows iTunes to take up a lot less space on your desktop while still providing a lot of functionality.

Here is a good video that covers iTunes 11.  If you haven't used it yet or are struggling, this video will help you learn the features.  Then you should get more enjoyment out of the program.

Let me know what you think about iTunes 11.

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2013

A new year has arrived!  To reflect from an Apple Newbies perspective, it was a good year.  It wasn't great but the site is growing and I am thankful for what I have accomplished.

The site used to be called Apple Info by TigerDG but this year I created Apple Newbies!  I think it has a good ring to it.  My focus has been on helping new and experienced Apple product users.  The products are pretty great so hopefully, you don't need too much help.  If you do, I will post helpful tips and tutorials to keep you productive and enjoying your devices.

During the year, I did get side-tracked a bit by providing too much news and rumors at times.  I value news and product rumors but there are already plenty of great sites that provide that.  In an effort to still provide you news while maintaining focus on great tips and tutorials (with key news when needed), I created the news feed that runs at the top of the page.  If you haven't noticed it, it is constantly updating with the latest news from multiple sources to keep you informed.  Just click on any article you want to know more about!

The latest feature I recently added was the Contact page.  Now you can submit any questions or suggestions for Apple Newbies during this new year.  I want this website to be a great experience for everyone.  Your questions and help will only make Apple Newbies stronger.

So cheers to a great new year and seeing what the future holds!