Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Power of iPad

In 2010, Apple introduced the iPad took the world by storm and began the transition to tablet computing.  Often, I thought the iPad could not do all the things that a computer could do.  On the other hand, there are just so many apps available!  They make the iPad powerful and flexible.  iPads may all look the same without special cases or covers, but the apps chosen reflect the individual user.  It's almost hard to believe we are on the 4th generation of iPad.  As many people continue to buy iPads for the holidays, I just want to show you a few videos demonstrating the technology we now have with the iPad.

Parrot AR Drone

iPad Controlled Robot

iPad Controlled Lighting

iPad Controlled House

Recent iPad Controlled Home

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mission Control on Mac

I haven't really used Mission Control on my Mac very often.  I think that was because I hadn't spent any time to learn about it.  After taking the time, I can already see ways that it can help me improve my productivity while keeping my workspaces neat and tidy.  If my computer were a desk, it would be a cluttered desk.  Mission control clears up the clutter.  It may take a little bit of time to get used to but I think it will be beneficial.

The videos below offer a quick tutorial (1st one) to get you started or a more detailed tutorial (2nd one) that covers gestures, special keys, and even settings to use.  So, it's your choice.  You can learn and implement quickly or you can dive deeper and master Mission Control.  "Master" may be stretching it.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today is a special day.  It is a day we can spend with our families and friends.  A day that we can reflect on the year and appreciate the great blessings we have received.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Apple Releases Two New iPhone 5 Commercials

Apple launched two new iPhone 5 commercials with the titles of "Orchestra" and "Turkey".  The first one focuses on how the iPhone 5 reduces background noise during calls.  The second commercial focuses on using Apple's Photo Stream sharing feature.

Both features are interesting and add to the value of purchasing an iPhone 5.  So without further ado, take a look at the commercials below and decide if they are up to Apple's normal standards.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Apple Television Rumors Return

Recently, we haven't heard many rumors about Apple creating a television set.  The device was being called the iTV in previous rumors.   In the past, it seemed like the rumor was gaining momentum but the last rumor I heard was that there were delays in content contracts.  Now that the iPad 4th generation and iPad Mini have launched, MacRumors has posted the first new Apple television rumor I have seen.  The article discusses that at least one major cable company is looking into the potential impact an Apple television would have on its network infrastructure.  It also mentions that it could be an updated Apple TV or an Apple television coming out.  There is no mention of a release date.  I guess we will see if Apple has one more event planned for this year shortly.  If they want to launch a device for Christmas, time is running short so they would need to host an event this month.  I'm not sure that would even be enough time.  It may be more likely that Apple will launch early in the New Year.  Right now, this is all speculation.  I'm just kind of throwing out some ideas.  I would like to see what Apple would create for a television after I saw what they did with the iMac.  More details are in the article below.  Read through it and let me know what you think.  Do you think Apple will and/or should launch a television?

Apple Television Rumor

Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple's Fusion Drive

MacMall - Your #1 Apple Superstore!

When it comes to hard drives, most people prefer the speed of SSDs (solid state drives) but the storage capacity of traditional hard drives.  Apple's Fusion Drive combines the best of both worlds by taking a SSD and a traditional hard drive, then making them appear as one hard drive.  The new Mac Minis come with a 5400 rpm hard drive which is good to conserve energy but not good for performance.  By adding Apple's Fusion drive software and a SSD to the Mac Mini, the little computer becomes a powerhouse.  Just check out the video below.

If you take a look at the link below as well, make sure you read the comments.  I think one of the commenters provided a really nice explanation of how Fusion Drive works.  He mentioned that data goes to the SSD first providing the speed and performance.  Then as the SSD fills, the data overflows into the traditional drive extending the storage capability.  For me, that provided a clearer picture and better understanding.

Apple's Fusion Drive

Saturday, November 10, 2012

iSiri: Stretching Siri's Limits

MacBook Air Blowout Special at

Is innovation dead?  I would say "No".  Innovation is very much alive!  Apple introduced us to Siri and even though it is still in Beta, it is very powerful...and still learning.  Siri is a virtual assistant that was introduced on the iPhone 4S.  Now you can access Siri on the iPhone 5, iPad 3rd generation and up, iPod Touch 5th generation, and the iPad Mini.

With these devices, in particular the iPhone and iPod, you are basically carrying a computer in your pocket or purse.  Now imagine being able to access Siri without removing the iOS device from its location.  This is where iSiri comes into play.

Ciccarese Designs designed and created iSiri.  iSiri provides a sleek, polished, Apple-esque (only my opinion) design that can be used to remotely access Siri.  It can even be worn on your wrist.  It uses Bluetooth to access the iOS device.  On their website, it only mentions the iPhone but since the new iPod Touch 5th generation also has Siri and Bluetooth, I would assume it would work with iSiri as well.  For more details, you can read more and enjoy the artwork at the site below.  Let me know what you think of iSiri.

iSiri Design Page

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The New Mac Mini!!!

Apple Mac mini dual-core Intel Core i5 i5 2.5GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard Drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000, OS X Mountain Lion

"Hello.  Is it me you're looking for?" (Lionel Richie)  I continue to be smitten by the Mac Mini and it's only a matter of time before I get the new Mac Mini.  It's still pretty rare to have such a powerful computer in this small of a form factor.  The latest update isn't one that  you will notice when you first remove the Mac Mini from its box.  All of the updates are on the inside.

The new Mac Mini offers USB 3.0 for faster data transfer.  It also has faster graphics and gives you the option to power this little beast with a quad core processor.

Still the Mac Mini is small enough to place practically anywhere.  Mine sits on my entertainment shelf easily and takes up way less space than my Xbox 360.  I just use my Macbook (that I'm always on) to connect to the Mac Mini  and control it.  I have a wired keyboard with a built in trackpad just in case I cannot access it remotely.

If you are thinking about buying a Mac at a reasonable price, I recommend the Mac Mini.  The complete review is below.

Mac Mini Review

Monday, November 5, 2012

New iPad, Old iPad. Now What?

MacMall - The #1 iPod Superstore!

Many people are getting their hands on the latest offerings from Apple, the iPad Mini and the updated iPad 4.  Both are great devices with strong demand.  Now, many are probably enjoying their new gadgets.  They can watch videos, play games, help manage your life, and much more thanks to all the apps available in Apple's app store.  Plus, they have a sleek design.

While you are enjoying your new iOS device, guess who is lurking in the background?  Guess who used to have your attention but now goes unnoticed?  Have you completely forgotten about your old device?  Did you buy the first iPod?  Where is that iPod now?  Mine sits in storage...and it probably still works!

So what will happen to your old iOS device?  Is it doomed to the same fate as my first iPod?  Some people will choose to keep that device for use in another room...or maybe a car!  Others may pass the older device on to a family member.  I think most people will look to sell their older iOS device.  I feel weird saying may be less than a year old!  If you're trying to decide, here are some options for your older iPad...

New iPad Old iPad

Friday, November 2, 2012

Possible Use for iPad Mini

Now that users can actually get their hands on the iPad Mini, they are finding creative ways to integrate the device in their daily lives.  This video below is one example.  I'm sure there are more such as putting the iPad Mini on your refrigerator using the magnetic smart cover (try at your own risk).  Anyway, I think the car installation is a cool idea.  I like how the iPad Mini just slides into place.  Then you have all the apps and features at your fingertips.  Plus, you could use Siri so that you can keep your eyes on the road and drive safely.  All while having the full sound of you car stereo system.  I'm not sure what your plan B would be if you forgot your iPad Mini at home or work.  Can the iPhone or another iOS device connect into the system as well?  Those are the questions I have.  What do you think about this setup?  Would you consider it?  Why or why not?  Also, please let me know if you have any creative ideas for Apple's iPad Mini.

The iPad Mini and iPad 4 Have Arrived!

MacMall Deal of the Day

The holiday season is approaching and Apple just unleashed two gadgets on the world:  the iPad 4 and it's little brother, the iPad Mini.  Is the iPad Mini small enough to be a stocking stuffer?  I stopped by an Apple Store today since I had a little bit of extra time (not really, but I went anyway).  I went to see if they had an iPhone 5 in stock...they did, I hesitated, then it was gone.  Then I looked up as one of the Apple employees brought out about 6 small boxes.  I thought, oh yeah, the iPad Minis!  So I walked around to the two tables that had the iPad Minis.  I was able to play with one for a few minutes.  It was small and lightweight.  I could see why someone would  like it.

Along with the iPad Mini, the iPad 4 is also available now.  It's probably been slightly lost with the focus on the Mini.  The iPad 4 still comes with a Retina display and it is twice as fast as the previous model.  There are 275,000 apps built for the iPad.  One thing I recently found out, the iPad also has an optional Smart Case.  It is similar to the Smart Cover but covers the entire device and it folds into a stand.  I'm not sure how long this has been around but I think it's interesting.

Below are some articles that talk about different aspects of the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini.

4th Gen iPad Teardown

iPad 4 Chip Details

iPad Mini Sells Out at 5th Ave Store

Shorter Lines for iPad Mini

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Google Search App for iPhone

Google has updated it's search app with voice search.  Immediately, it is being compared to Siri.  You can ask Google Search different questions and depending on the question, it will present you with the answer, search results, and even video.  Along with the Siri comparison, Google Search currently cannot control other apps.  That's not to say it won't happen in the future.  This app works on the iPhone 4 which Siri currently does not support.  It is also said to be faster than Siri.

So once again, the competition is heating up.  This is usually good for users because we get great products out of friendly competition.  If you don't have this app, it may be worth a try.  Then let us all know how well it works.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Control Lights With iPhone, iPad

$30 off Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac when you switch from VMware Fusion

As technology continues to grow, we move closer and closer to having capabilities that we previously only saw in movies.  Okay, maybe it's not that futuristic but it is still interesting.  Philips has introduced Hue, a web enabled lighting system.  According to iClarified, Hue's "starter pack includes three bulbs that simply screw into your existing lamps, and a bridge that you plug into your home Wi-Fi router." All you have to do is download an app for your IOS device (iPhone or iPad) and you can control your lighting to include changing colors or creating scenes.  It is even upgradeable which is always a good feature.  The complete article is below.

Introducing Hue

Friday, October 26, 2012

iPad Mini Preorders...and My Thoughts

MacMall Deal of the Day

Now you can preorder the iPad Mini in white or black.  It seems like there may be more demand (or less stock) for this new Apple product.  In under 20 minutes after opening for preorder, the white iPad Mini was already sold out of its initial stock.  If you order a white iPad Mini now, expect to wait about 2 weeks before it will be shipped.  The black iPad Mini is still available for delivery on November 2nd.  Who knows how long that will last?  It may change before I finish writing this post.  Below are articles about the white iPad Minis initial stock being sold out and some preorders already being prepared for shipment.

At first, I didn't think I would be affected by the iPad Mini launch but I'm already starting to like the device.  The screen is smaller, but the device is lighter.  Plus, it has Siri.  I think I will be okay with my iPad 2...without Siri.  In the future, I'm not sure if I would choose the larger iPad or the iPad Mini whenever I decide to upgrade.  What are your thoughts?

Initial White iPad Mini Stock Sold Out

Some iPad Mini Preorders Preparing for Shipment

iPad Mini

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Thoughts on Mac Mini and Benchmarks

JUST ANNOUNCED! The new Mac mini from

I enjoy Apple products overall but this is my favorite Mac...the Mac Mini!  I'm not sure how many Mac Minis Apple has sold.  I don't know if they are very popular.  Still, I think they are great.  This was the first Mac I ever purchased.  I, like many people, thought Macs were too expensive.  After looking through Apple's website, I came across the Mac Mini.  It said something like "BYODKM (Bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse."  At the time, I was building my computers and I thought, "I do already have those things."  This made the Mac Mini my Mac of choice.  It had a low entry price (compared to other Macs) and decent specs considering the size of this computer.  I was able to get a refurbished model from the Apple store and saved about $100...which I later used to upgrade the memory.

Well, that's what I have to say about the Mac Mini (for now).  The article below talks about what other people are saying about the new Mac Mini models and includes the latest benchmark information.  Also, there is a link to great free software to add to a Mac Mini or any Mac.  Enjoy!  Let me know what you think.

Thoughts and Benchmarks

Great Free Software for Macs

iPad Mini Resolution and Pricing/iPad Resales

Now that the iPad Mini has been unveiled, what are your thoughts?  It seems like people would be concerned about resolution and pricing.  The resolution is the same as the iPad 2 instead of the 3rd or 4th generation iPad.  Then you have the pricing that is about $100 more than the competition.  In Apple's defense, you have the quality hardware and software mesh and the ability to connect into the Apple ecosystem.  Plus, it's very light.  With the holiday season around the corner, we will see how well the iPad Mini sells.  Below is an article that goes into more detail about the pricing for the iPad Mini.  Also, there is an article about people selling their iPads as they get ready for replacements.

iPad Mini Pricing

iPad Resales

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Announcements: iPad, iPad Mini, 13 Inch Macbook With Retina, iMac, and Mac Mini

MacMall Car Giveaway - Win A Fiat 500 Pop Car

The announcements have been made and it looks like the rumors were pretty much on target.  For Apple product lovers, there are some new toys to enjoy.  This includes the Fourth Generation iPad, the super-thin iMac, the 13 inch Macbook Pro with Retina, the updated Mac Mini, and of course, the iPad Mini!  As usual, I am interested in the Mac Mini...the tiny workhorse.  But it was the iMac that shocked me; I was surprised to see the thin iMac.  I'm not trying to start the next rumor, but after seeing the new iMac, I can't help but wonder what Apple could do with the iTV...if they were to make it.

MacRumors did a round up of the announcements for the day.  Take a look at the articles below.  There are a couple of videos at the bottom as well.  Enjoy!  And let me know what you think about Apple's updated and new products.

Apple Introduces New 7.9-Inch iPad Mini Starting at $329
Apple Announces Fourth-Generation iPad with Lightning Connector, New A6X Chip
Apple Announces Lighter, Thinner iMac Models with Fusion Drive
Apple Introduces 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display
Apple Introduces New Mac Mini With Faster Processors and Quad-Core Option

First Impressions and Hands On with iPad Mini
Hands On with Apple's New 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro

Some Apple Retail Stores Offering 30-Day Window to Exchange iPads for New Model
Apple's New 'Fusion Drive' Not a Typical Hybrid Drive
iPad Mini Supports Siri, iPad 2 Still Doesn't
Apple Devices to Support Many New International LTE Networks In Coming Months
21.5" iMac Has No User-Upgradable RAM; 27" Has Four Accessible RAM Slots
Apple Announces Updated iBooks App With Continuous Scrolling
Apple Updates iBooks Author with New Templates and Remote Update Feature

MacMall Car Giveaway - Win A Fiat 500 Pop Car

Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple Media Event Around the Corner

MacMall Car Giveaway - Win A Fiat 500 Pop Car

Apple's Media Event is Tuesday, October 23, 2012.  This media event is supposed to reveal updated iMacs, 13 inch Macbook Pros with Retina, and Mac Minis (my favorite!).  But of course, the main attraction is the iPad Mini.  Apple has had huge success with the full size iPad but never entered into the smaller tablet market.  Apple's competition seized the opportunity and began offering smaller tablets.  Now, Apple is about to enter the market with the iPad Mini.  How do you think the iPad Mini will be received?

Below is an article that discusses the venue for the Apple Media Event...the California Theatre.

California Theatre for Apple Media Event

Apple to Stop Using Samsung LCD Panels in 2013

Apple Blowout at

Well, it seems like this would be the next logical step as Apple and Samsung continue their tumultuous (thanks auto-correct) relationship.  This is a relationship that has gone from Samsung being a major supplier for Apple to court cases and jab throwing commercials.  Rumor has it Samsung has been shipping less and less LCD panels to Apple and may not supply LCD panels to Apple after 2013.  For all the details, the complete article is below.  Do you think this is the best solution for Apple and Samsung?

Apple to Stop Using Samsung LCD Panels

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Apple Media Event Rumor Roundup

MacMall Car Giveaway - Win A Fiat 500 Pop Car

There are a lot of rumors for the Apple Media event expected for next Tuesday.  MacRumors has done a rumor roundup so I have it for you below.  New information has surfaced since then in regards to pricing of the new products.  Those links are also below.  You can look through all the latest information below and let me know what you think about the rumors and the expected prices as well.

Rumor Roundup

13 Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Pics

Updated iPad and Possible Pricing

iPad Mini Pricing