Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

Apr 201415

Microsoft launches cheaper 365 plan

by Shane Roberts

Office 365

Microsoft took a step in the right direction by announcing the ‘Office 365 Personal’ subscription option today. If you want to have Office on your iPad, that allows you to edit your file, you need to have a 365 subscription. Before today, you had to have a $99/year subscription to have 365 Home. That subscription gave you five uses of the license toward any five computers, and five toward any tablets.

The new ‘Personal’ option is $69.99/year or $6.99/month, and it gives you access to Office 365 for one computer and one tablet. Basically, instead of a family pack you get a single user option, which for an average college student, or the like, is a great option! had the original story, click here to check it out.

You can check out more details on the various 365 plans here.

Apr 201415

CarPlay coming to Pioneer decks already on the market

by Shane Roberts

Pioneer CarPlay - simply mac

Are you really excited to get your hands on CarPlay, but you don’t want to buy a new car to do so? Good news, Pioneer announced that this summer they will be releasing a firmware update to the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, and the AVH-4000NEX. That firmware update will add the CarPlay software to your Pioneer deck!

If you are interested in getting one of those decks for your existing car, they retail between $700-$1400. You can check out the look that Pioneer is brining to your car here: Pioneer CarPlay.

Check out the whole press release here.

If you are wanting to learn more about CarPlay, check out our earlier writeup. 

Other brands are expected to jump onto the CarPlay bandwagon later on, Alpine is reportedly working on bring it to their products, so keep your eyes open for that. CarPlay works on iPhone 5 and newer.

Apr 201403

WWDC is coming

by Shane Roberts

WWDC 2014

Image courtesy of Developer.Apple.Com

Every June, Apple holds an event in San Francisco where they invite app developers to preview upcoming updates to their software and hardware product lines, so they can start developing their applications for any upcoming updates. Apple teaches them how to use their various development tools in various workshops over a few days.

Today, Apple announced that this years WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) is going to take place June 2-6. So if you are a developer, and want learn first hand how to develop your apps for iOS and Mac OS, click here to see more info. 

What has been announced at the past couple WWDC events? Last year iOS 7 and Mac OS Mavericks were both announced. The year prior, iOS 6 and Mountain Lion. As you can see from the last two years alone, WWDC is a great event to attend and pay attention to, especially if you would like to develop for the future of iOS and Mac OS!

Mar 201425

Happy birthday, Mac OS X!

by Shane Roberts

Mac OS X - simply mac

Millions of people have been introduced to Mac OS X, especially over the past seven years since the iPhone’s initial announcement. We are now on Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks. The original version, Mac OS 10.0 Cheetah, was actually released 13 years ago today. The operating system that is the foundation and the beginning of not only the modern Mac OS, but also iOS for iPhone and iPad, has been around longer than a lot of the casual Apple followers probably realize.

Announced at MacWorld in January of 2000 by Steve Jobs, Mac OS X was a long time coming for Mac users.  Mac OS 9 was really starting to get dated, especially with Windows 98 really dominating. Steve Jobs announced a 12 month role out for OS X, which today is almost unheard of. For example with Mavericks, it was announced last year in June and released in October.

Mac OS X (10.0) introduced a lot of the user interface principles that many of us use today – in both Mac and Windows. Features like the Dock, the distinguishable red, yellow and green window buttons in the top left of a Mac window, and a lot more – especially under the hood of the Mac – were born with this initial version of OS X.

Below is a chart from Wikipedia that shows the Mac OS X versions, their Codename’s, and their various dates.

Mac OS X version information
Version Codename Date announced Release date Most recent version
Rhapsody Developer Release Grail1Z4 / Titan1U August 31, 1997 DR2 (May 14, 1998)
Mac OS X Server 1.0 Hera March 16, 1999 1.2v3 (October 27, 2000)
Mac OS X Developer Preview May 11, 1998[71] March 16, 1999 DP4 (April 5, 2000)
Public Beta Kodiak September 13, 2000
Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah March 24, 2001 10.0.4 (June 22, 2001)
Mac OS X 10.1 Puma July 18, 2001[72] September 25, 2001 10.1.5 (June 6, 2002)
Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar May 6, 2002[73] August 24, 2002 10.2.8 (October 3, 2003)
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther June 23, 2003[74] October 24, 2003 10.3.9 (April 15, 2005)
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger May 4, 2004[75] April 29, 2005 10.4.11 (November 14, 2007)
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard June 26, 2006[76] October 26, 2007 10.5.8 (August 5, 2009)
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard June 9, 2008[77] August 28, 2009 10.6.8 v1.1 (July 25, 2011)
Mac OS X 10.7 Lion October 20, 2010[78] July 20, 2011 10.7.5 (September 19, 2012)
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion February 16, 2012[79] July 25, 2012[80] 10.8.5 (12F45) (October 3, 2013)
OS X 10.9 Mavericks June 10, 2013[81] October 22, 2013 10.9.2 (13C64) (February 25, 2014)

Many people probably forget that iOS for iPhone and iPad are based and designed around Mac OS X. While it has evolved over time, the humble beginnings for iOS started 13 years ago today with OS X.

Here are some videos of the original announcement of Mac OS X. The first video is a little more technical, while the other two show features that most of us are familiar with today, but was never seen before this announcement.

Mar 201420

Welcome back, 4th Generation iPad!

by Shane Roberts

iPad with Retina Display

Big news Tuesday in the Apple universe! Apple has announced that they are replacing the iPad 2 as the entry level iPad option, with the iPad with Retina Display (4th generation iPad). We’ll just address the iPad with Retina Display as the iPad 4 in this blog post.

What does replacing the iPad 2 with the iPad 4 really mean? Well, for starters, for $399 you can get a two generation newer iPad. Let’s compare some of the specs of the two devices to get a little more context on what you can now get for the same price.

The iPad 2 ran on the A5 processor. The iPad 4 is on the A6X chip. Not only is the A6X chip of the iPad 4 a higher speed chip, it is also superior graphically. Games look better on the iPad 4, and the overall user experience is much smoother.

The iPad 2 had the old 30-pin connector for charging and syncing. The iPad 4 is on the newer Lightning connection. If you are an iPhone 5 or newer user, no longer will you have to juggle which cable can charge your iPad or your iPhone.

Also, the iPad 4 has Siri, while the iPad 2 did not.

The iPad 4 has better Bluetooth, front and FaceTime cameras, and its cellular model can connect to LTE networks, not just 3G.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, the iPad 4 has a Retina Display. The clarity of the display from the iPad 2 to the iPad 4 is a huge difference.

At this time we are still awaiting shipments from Apple for the iPad 4, both in WiFI and AT&T models.

Here is the official press release from Apple:

CUPERTINO, California—March 18, 2014—Apple® today announced iPad® with Retina® display replaces iPad 2 as the most affordable 9.7-inch iPad at $399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The fourth generation iPad features the amazing 9.7-inch Retina display, the Apple-designed A6X chip, ultrafast Wi-Fi, a 5MP iSight® camera which also captures 1080p HD video, a FaceTime® HD camera, and support for LTE carriers worldwide,¹ all while delivering up to 10 hours of battery life.²  iPad with Retina display comes with iOS 7, featuring hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop®, enhanced Photos, Safari®, Siri® and iTunes Radio℠.³

“Now for $399 customers can get iPad with a stunning 9.7-inch Retina display, fast A6X chip, and 5MP iSight camera, offering a dramatic upgrade in power, performance and value compared to the iPad 2 it replaces,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The iPad line sets the gold-standard in mobile computing and all iPads have access to the largest and best ecosystem of more than 500,000 iPad optimized apps from the App Store.”

iPad customers have access to the revolutionary App Store℠, which offers more than one million apps to iPhone®, iPad and iPod touch® users in 155 countries around the world, and more than 500,000 apps are designed specifically for iPad. More than 65 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store, which offers customers an incredible range of apps in 24 categories, including newspapers and magazines in Newsstand, games and entertainment, kids, education, business, news, sports, health and fitness and travel. The iLife® suite of creative apps, including iPhoto®, iMovie® and GarageBand®, and the iWork® suite of productivity apps, including Pages®, Numbers® and Keynote® are essential to the Apple experience and are now free, so more iPad users have access to these great apps that are optimized to support 64-bit technology and include hundreds of new features.

Pricing & Availability
iPad with Retina display models in black or white are available for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $529 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for either AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon. Smart Cover® and Smart Case for iPad with Retina display are available in dark gray for $39 (US) and $49 (US) respectively through the Apple Online Store (, Apple’s retail stores and select Authorized Apple Resellers. iPad Air™ with Wi-Fi models are available in silver or space gray for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model and $799 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad Air with Wi-Fi + Cellular are available for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model, $829 (US) for the 64GB model and $929 (US) for the 128GB model. 

iPad mini™ with Retina display Wi-Fi models are available in silver or space gray for a suggested retail price of $399 (US) for the 16GB model, $499 (US) for the 32GB model, $599 (US) for the 64GB model and $699 (US) for the 128GB model. iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular models will be available for a suggested retail price of $529 (US) for the 16GB model, $629 (US) for the 32GB model, $729 (US) for the 64GB model and $829 (US) for the 128GB model. Additionally, the original iPad mini is offered at $299 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $429 (US) for the 16GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model for either AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile or Verizon.

¹LTE is available through select carriers. Network speeds are dependent on carrier networks. Check with your carrier for details.
²Battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors. Actual results vary.
³iTunes Radio is available with iOS 7 in the US and Australia.

Mar 201419

A Mac enthusiast with $100k? Check out this collection…

by Shane Roberts

Any die hard Apple fan holds onto their original packaging, and often times the original products, even far beyond obsolescence. Here is a collection that will beat most others, and it can be yours to own for $100,000.

Mac storage unit collection

Marion Stokes, an original Apple investor, collected all of this equipment, and stored it away in a climate controlled facility. The story initially broke because she recorded decades worth of news on VHS, you can see that story here.

Everything from iMacs, Powerbooks, QuickTake cameras, old Apple printers, and dozens (if not hundreds) more items are in this collection. It is all listed on eBay, and you can buy it now for a cool $100,000. Considering what is in the collection and it’s alleged condition – that is a bargain price. I’d expect this collection to be worth significantly more than it’s being sold for. Here is part of the eBay listing:

This Apple collection was kept in a climate controlled, protected apartment where many of the boxes remainder unopened and unused until Ms. Stoke passed. After her passing, the computers were sent to an authorized technician facility where the machines were inventoried and tested. The collection, in it’s entirety, have now been relocated and everything Apple related is for sale.

Cult of Mac ran a great story on the Mac collection as well, go check it out here.

If you want to see the eBay listing, which has a list of approximately 75% of the inventory, click here.


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