Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

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.


Mar 201411

iPhone 4 users are winners with iOS 7.1

by Shane Roberts

The iPhone 4 has been out for almost four years now, and its age has started to really show in the last six months or so, especially with the release of iOS 7. The thing with iOS 7 is that it is a very pretty, graphic intensive OS that draws on a lot of resources from the phones hardware. While the software can be improved and updated, that hardware in an existing phone can’t. 

iOS 7.1 updateYesterday Apple released iOS 7.1, the first major patch for the most recent mobile OS from Apple. While there are plenty of improvements that Apple has made to 7.1 for iPhone 5 and newer, it appears the iPhone 4 users with iOS 7.1 will see some of the biggest improvements.

Arstechnica did a thorough break down on the improvements that iOS 7.1 has brought to iPhone 4 users:

There’s a measurable improvement over iOS 7.0 across all of these apps, some more noticeable than others. In a few instances, iOS 7.1 very nearly catches up with iOS 6.1.3, which is impressive given the gap between the two operating systems in some of these apps. It’s not a complete recovery from the original iOS 7.0 release, but it’s about as good as Apple can do with hardware this old. The small speed improvements are present throughout the operating system, and this makes the iPhone 4 feel more responsive than it did, if not always as responsive as it once was.

Those out there frustrated with their iPhone 4 and iOS 7, this will help alleviate some of those frustrations. If you’re ready to upgrade, come into your local Simply Mac and we’ll go over the newest line that Apple had to offer with the iPhone.

See everything Arstechnica had to say about the newest iOS! Click here.

Mar 201410

iOS 7.1 Now Available

by Shane Roberts

iOS 7.1 update

The biggest update to iOS 7 just landed! iOS 7.1 is now available via Software Update!

Here is the release log for 7.1:

This update contains improvements and bug fixes, including:

  • CarPlay
  • iOS experience designed for the car
  • Simply connect your iPhone to a CarPlay enabled vehicle
  • Supports Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, and 3rd-party audio apps
  • Control with Siri and the car’s touchscreen, knobs, and buttons
  • Siri
    • Manually control when Siri listens by holding down the home button while you speak and releasing it when you’re done as an alternative to letting Siri automatically notice when you stop talking
    • New, more natural sounding male and female voices for Mandarin Chinese, UK English, Australian English, and Japanese
  • iTunes Radio
    • Search field above Featured Stations to easily create stations based on your favorite artist or song
    • Buy albums with the tap of a button from Now Playing
    • Subscribe to iTunes Match on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to enjoy iTunes Radio ad-free
  • Calendar
    • Option to display events in month view
    • Country specific holidays automatically added for many countries
  • Accessibility
    • Bold font option now includes the keyboard, calculator, and many icon glyphs
    • Reduce Motion option now includes Weather, Messages, and multitasking UI animations
    • New options to display button shapes, darken app colors, and reduce white point
  • New Camera setting to automatically enable HDR for iPhone 5s
  • iCloud Keychain support in additional countries
  • FaceTime call notifications are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device
  • Fixes a bug that could occasionally cause a home screen crash
  • Improves Touch ID fingerprint recognition
  • Improved performance for iPhone 4
  • Fixes display of Mail unread badge for numbers greater than 10,000
  • Continued user interface refinements

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:


Mar 201403

Meet CarPlay

by Shane Roberts

Apple announced last June, at WWDC, iOS in the Car. Basically, it’s just an integration of your iPhone with your car’s dash system. Apple has finally announced more details on this feature, and has announced its actual name: CarPlay.

Here is the official press release by Apple describing CarPlay more in depth:

GENEVA―March 3, 2014―Apple® today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp. 

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Apple has led consumer technology integration in the car for more than a decade. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving, while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone. 

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display. 

CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio℠ with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Pricing & Availability
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.

Initially, CarPlay will work only via a Lightning connection. Many sources are claiming wireless integration will be coming down the road as well.

Volvo has also released a video of what CarPlay will look like in their vehicles.  To get a feel of what it will look like, watch the video below.

Jan 201409

Seven Years Ago: The iPhone was announced

by Shane Roberts

Seven years ago today, the tech industry was turned on its head. Steve Jobs took the stage at MacWorld and announced the iPhone, and changed the course of technology forever. Here is a clip of that original announcement:

Here is a reminder of what smart phones were like pre-iPhone:

Smart phones before iPhone - simply mac

Here is an image of the evolution of the iPhone up to the iPhone 5:

iPhone evolution - simply mac

It’s hard to image the world without the iPhone, without apps, FaceTime and so much more! And it all kicked off seven years ago today. I remember I thought my LG Chocolate phone was pretty amazing back in the day. It was small with a slide out keyboard; it could play music and so much more! Until I saw the announcement from Steve Jobs, and it all changed, just like it did for everybody else around the world.


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