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All posts tagged "apple"

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...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

European Union To Get The Galaxy

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 07:00 AM

"According to Dutch site Webwereld, the Dusseldorf District Court has issued an interim statement allowing Samsung to again sell the Galaxy Tab throughout the EU nations, with the exception of Germany. The German court will have a formal hearing on August 25, at which time the sales injunction could return."

Tablets are a hot commodity, and it is understandable that companies would take great efforts to protect their sales. However, it seems that Apple's attempt to block the Galaxy Tab from the European Union has hit a snag. The whole Apple iPad/Galaxy Tab battle does signify a greater battle since all tablets are likely going to share a lot of similar properties. The ultimate decision by the courts will probably affect the future of tablet interfaces, and even hardware design.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

MacBook Air, Now With More Speed!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"The 1.8GHz Core i7 is offered as an upgrade to both the 11 and 13-inch MacBook Air. With much higher max turbo speeds and another megabyte of L3 cache, it's clear this is going to be a big upgrade over the standard 11-inch Air. Last week we got our hands on one of these upgraded 11-inch models to find out just how much faster it is."

The MacBook Air is a well designed notebook and faster speeds are always appreciated. What impresses me is that the 11" model gets a Core i7 model and how there could be a perceived need for someone using a notebook that small needing that much number-crunching mojo. Still, no real compromises seem to have been made, so the more powerful, the better! If you need a slick, high end cake slicer, the updated MacBook Air definitely seems like one of the top choices around.

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 22, 2011

When You Want Something Other Than an iPad

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:30 PM

"Sure, it’s easy to point at specific things that other devices do better (or at least differently) than the iPad, and some of the people reading this article can explain why they chose another tablet and don’t regret the move. (If you’re one of them, please do!) Still, sales figures for tablets show that when consumers compare the iPad to other choices, an overwhelming percentage conclude that the iPad is the best option."

There are lots of reasons why someone might prefer a different tablet than an iPad but one thing I am quite sure annoys a lot of people is that when you whip out your fight-the-masses-and-not-be-like-everyone-else tablet, someone nearby will look over and ask, "Is that an iPad?" Just let it go. No matter whether your choice is a Galaxy Tab, A RIM PlayBook or Motorola Xoom, to a lot of people, they are all iPads. Do you remember how long it took for people to stop calling every PDA a Palm Pilot? Oh, that's right... The good news is that there are a lot of options other than the iPad, and no matter what the public mindshare is, you can rest well knowing that your choice fits your needs, even if is a real iPad.

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.

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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Competitors Don't Understand How to Beat the iPad

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

"When unveiled in 2010, Apple didn't know why iPad would be a major hit.* After spending most of the keynote explaining some of iPad's basic features, such as email, reading books, and surfing the web, Apple left the fundamental question of why iPad would become popular to the marketplace to answer.

*I didn’t write “if iPad would be a major hit”, but instead, “why iPad would be a major hit.” Apple has a history of releasing major products only after it knows it is worthy of becoming a hit."

Why? Apple has transferred innovation to the user. Apple offers initial satisfaction, followed by continuing satisfaction and enjoyment. Competitors don't really understand why people are buying iPads. Walk into any Apple Store (or Best Buy) and look at faces as people play with iPads. Electronic crack. The bottom line is that the author feels that they are winning on emotion (winning hearts and minds), taking cost out of the equation. His feeling is that the only way that competitors can be successful is either by making a low-price commodity item (does this mean a throw-away tablet?) or by out-innovating Apple. With Apple having a stranglehold on the components market, competition on price alone will continue to be difficult, so that leaves beating Apple at introducing new features or even developing something completely different (Monty Python, anyone?). With nearly 20 million iPads sold, I wonder how many of the niche players will simply drop out of the competition.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Should the Unemployed Buy New Macs to Find Jobs? The Onion Panel Weighs In

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 07:00 AM,20083/

No matter where you fall on the Apple/Windows side of the fence, you have to admit this is utterly hilarious - I love the way it plays to the fanboy stereotypes. ;-)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Check Out This Killer iPad 2 Skin!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple Talk" @ 03:13 PM

I bought it from Gelaskins for my new iPad 2 - and it looks awesome! The front was a bit difficult to put on and ended up slightly stretching, but it still looks pretty sweet.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Battle of the Blades! Laptop Style!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Apple really upped the ante with the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, slimming down its iconic design even more while adding a higher-res display and a lot more battery life. Just as important, the 13-inch Air ($1,299) integrates flash memory in a way that gives the machine an instant-on feel. Well, now there’s a Windows laptop that’s ready to take Apple’s star ultraportable head on. The Samsung Series 9 ($1,649) features a super-sexy and sturdy aircraft-grade metal chassis, a more powerful processor, backlit keyboard, and gesture-tastic clickpad. Is this machine you’ve been dreaming of, or is Apple’s slim marvel still the champ?"

Thin is in. The evolution of the laptop has generally tended towards thinner and lighter models. There are models that fit the desktop replacement motif and those that are on a tight budget. But the real hotness comes to laptops so thin that they can split atoms with their lids. They are so thin that you would swear they only exist in two dimensions. The Air captured a lot of people's attention when it was first released, and other manufacturers have been trying to get the same kind of media darling status that the Air produces. Is the Samsung Series 9 the new ultra-thin to beat, or does the Macbook Air remain king of its domain?

Tablet Paralysis: Which One Do I Choose?

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

I've been pondering getting a tablet since the first iPad was introduced, but I'm not generally the kind of person who buys a piece of technology and then figures out if I have a good use for it. I'm still not sure how useful I'll find a tablet, but I figure it's worth finding out since this is the beginning of a large wave in mobile computing...I can't just sit it out.

Long-time readers know there are some things about the way Apple does business that really irk me, so it doesn't take much for me to consider products outside the Apple ecosystem if they're viable. When it comes to tablets, that's easier said than done. I find myself leaning fairly heavily toward the iPad 2, but then an email came my way that changed things... Read more...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Joy Factory iPad Wall/Cabinet Mount

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 07:00 AM

Seinfeld fans out there will recall how George felt about crushed red velvet. To borrow his sentiments, I'd wrap myself in carbon fiber if I could. If it has carbon fiber in it, I have to have it; mountain bike, watch, ring, Lamborghini Aventador, it doesn't really matter. So when I saw that The Joy Factory had just released a carbon fiber iPad mount, well, yeah, it had to come home. Read more...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Microsoft Can't Build a Tablet and Apple Can't Build a Server

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 11:00 PM

"Last week I was going over a rather impressive list of products that Microsoft (News - Alert) brought to market last decade that failed and while Apple's (News - Alert) list is shorter the failure of its Xserve server product after a decade of trying is just as telling. In looking at the two companies; both have largely been unable, at least for the last 10 years, to do well in areas dominated by the other."

Interesting thoughts on why companies with expertise in specific market segments are having trouble gaining a foothold in other market segments. Not only Microsoft and Apple, but companies like IBM and Cisco are having trouble in the consumer space, while Sony has failed at getting their business products accepted. Companies are committing resources, but not necessarily the right resources. Microsoft designing a product (Zune) that "looked like a square turd" is a good example of perhaps the right product being designed by the wrong people. And Apple's XServe is another example of a failed attempt. So, how can companies be successful in new market segments? First rule: Know your target market. Second rule: Get the right people for the job. Don't just assign someone based on seniority or past glory in other market segments. Third rule: Don't underestimate the amount of work and capital that it will take to successfully bring a product to market. Last rule: Understand your goal. If you don't understand what it is, or how to get there, you lose.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Apple's iPad 2 Smart Cover: Not So Smart After All?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 04:00 PM

I'm curious to hear from anyone who has an iPad 2, and Apple's smart cover: are you seeing the same thing? If this is a wide-spread issue, Apple seems to have made a serious error in the manufacturing of this product.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Magnets and MacBook Air Computers Don't Play Well Together

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Laptops" @ 09:00 PM

"We all know to keep powerful magnets away from traditional hard drives, but we recently found out that you should also keep magnets away from your MacBook Air, something that could get harder now that the iPad 2 has magnets built right into it."

It really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that magnets and laptops don't play well together. This is a good example where a small magnet in an iPhone case causes the MacBook Air screen to shut off, and wifi connections to disappear. Remove the magnet, the screen comes back on, but the wifi connections (presumedly) must be reestablished. After some discussion, it appears that the external magnet causes the computer to think that the laptop has been closed - so it goes into sleep mode. It would be interesting to see if this can be replicated with non-MacBook Air laptops.

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