Simply Mac Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

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:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

 

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.

 

Dec 201331

Apple 2013 Year in Review

by Shane Roberts

Apple-logo

2013 was another great year for Apple. They brought new products and services to the table that really add to the entire Apple product family.

iPad Air / iPad mini with Retina Display

iPad Air

One of the most subtle changes came in January when Apple quietly released a 128GB model of their popular tablet. However, the big changes for the iPad came in October at Apple’s special fall event. Apple replaced the 4th generation iPad with the redesigned iPad Air. With a new form factor, much more in the mold of the iPad mini, the iPad shed some size by cutting down the bezel around the iPad. The iPad Air also cut down on weight, making it now an even one pound, down about a half pound from the previous iPad. The Air also had some nice hardware updates, including a speedier A7 processor and the new redesigned iOS 7.

The iPad mini had a second generation unveiled. The new iPad mini was released with the much desired Retina Display, as well as the same internal components as the iPad Air.

While Apple did announce these new iPad models, they kept a couple previous generation options around as a lower cost option, including the iPad 2 and the original iPad mini.

Head to the product comparison page for more details on the iPad family.

iPhone 5s / iPhone 5c

iPhone5s_3Color_iOS7_PRINT

For the first time Apple didn’t just release one iPhone in a year, but two. Apple replaced the iPhone 5 with both the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5c is, at its core, the same phone as the iPhone 5. The key differences between the iPhone 5 and 5c are the iPhone 5c comes now in five different colors, and it has a little bit of an improved camera.

The new flagship phone for Apple is now the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s retains the same look as the iPhone 5, with the two toned aluminum and glass body. All the major differences came under the hood. Apple added the new A7 processor to the iPhone 5s, essentially doubling the speed of the phone. Apple also added a much improved camera to the iPhone 5s, with a new dual LED flash system called True Tone. A flash designed to adjust to lighting and take a better looking photo in low light conditions. The big addition to the iPhone 5s is the new Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the home button for the iPhone. Now unlocking your phone or buying something off of iTunes is as simple as holding your finger on the home button. Touch ID can store up to 10 different fingers to unlock the phone.

Head to the product comparison page for more details on the iPhone family.

iOS 7

iOS 7

The most drastic and controversial change in 2013 was iOS 7. Apple completely redesigned their mobile OS for the first time since its initial release in 2007. Gone are the designs of leather binding and green felt. The look of the OS has been updated with a more flat look, with bright colors, and an overall more ‘techie’ look to it. Apple added features to iOS 7 like Control Center, improved multitasking, AirDrop, iBeacons and more! The OS has proven to be rather polarizing, but the adoption rate has been successful.

iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio

Apple unveiled the much rumored iTunes Radio service in 2013 as well. Similar to Pandora, iTunes Radio is a streaming service that will play stations based off of an artist or genre. It will give you options to buy the song you are listening to through iTunes, and it comes loaded with any device with the latest version of iTunes on it. If you have iTunes Match, you will have commercial free music listening.

Mac OS X Mavericks, iLife and iWork

Mavericks-OSX_PRINT

Apple released their annual update to Mac OS. The update to Mavericks wasn’t as drastic as iOS 7, but it brought some much welcomed features. Features like the ability to use multiple displays was improved, as was overall system performance and energy consumption. We also saw the addition of Maps and iBooks to Mavericks, to mirror what iOS has. The biggest news with Mavericks was the announcement that it would be free to any Apple user that was using Snow Leopard or newer.

Apple also finally updated their collection of iLife and iWork apps. Apps like Garageband and iMovie got a makeover, while iPhoto remained mostly the same. All three iWork apps got major updates, plus the feature of iWork in the Cloud was added. If you have iWork on your Apple devices, and an iCloud account, you can log onto iCloud.com from any computer and continue to work on your file as well as collaborate with others, even if they don’t have a Mac or iCloud account. Once again, Apple announced that all these software pieces, for both iOS and Mac OS, would be free with the purchase of a new device. If you already have them on your device it should update for no charge.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display / MacBook Air

MacBook Air

There was no major news around the MacBook this year, just some improvements. The biggest change to the MacBook line was the addition of the new Intel processors that increased battery life in all models. The MacBook Air now boasts an ‘all day battery’. Roughly 9 to 12 hours of battery life is what you can get out of a new MacBook Air, depending on the size you choose (11″ or 13″). Apple has also added the faster 802.11ac wireless capability and also increased the speed of the hard drive, making the rate of data writing and reading faster. The MacBook Pro with Retina Display line mirrors many of the same changes that the Air received. However, the Retina Display line did see some price drops to move them into much more affordable pricing.

Head to the product pages for more info on the MacBook family.

Mac Pro

Mac_Pro_-_Buy_Mac_Pro_Computers_-_Apple_Store__U.S._

After years of no attention, Apple finally announced and released a brand new Mac Pro. Sporting a major redesign at about 1/4 the size of the old Mac Pro, and an innovative cylindrical cooling system to keep the machine from overheating. Apple’s new media editing machine is loaded with Intel Xeon E5 processors, high end solid state hard drives, dual graphic cards and a lot more! Starting at $2999, early indications are that the Mac Pro is a hit, with orders already pushing back until February of 2014. The Mac Pro has user changeable RAM, solid state hard drives, as well as a replaceable processing unit. Early reviews for the Mac Pro are off the charts, and editing professionals that like to shoot 4k video and edit in Final Cut Pro X have been very impressed with the machine to this point.

Head to the Mac Pro product page for additional information.

2013 was a big year for Apple. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, teased in an email that 2014 could hold something new for Apple’s customers. Could 2014 be the year we see Apple in new product categories? Could we see an iWatch, Apple television, or maybe something entirely different? It’ll be fun to see what Apple has up their sleeves this next year.

 

Dec 201318

Mac Pro: Orders Beginning December 19

by Shane Roberts

Mac_Pro_-_Buy_Mac_Pro_Computers_-_Apple_Store__U.S._

After years of no updates, the new Mac Pro is going to see the light of day, and it all begins December 19th! The new Mac Pro is without a doubt the most ambitious Mac. It is significantly smaller than the original Mac Pro, which was a beast of a machine in terms of size. The new Mac Pro is 9.9 tall with a diameter of 6.6 inches. So where the original Mac Pro wasn’t very desktop friendly, this new Mac Pro will fit on a desk without any issues.

While this machine is beautiful, the Mac Pro is all about power. The base model, which starts at $2999, runs the following hardware:

Intel Xeon E5 Quad-core Processor – 3.7 GHz – 10MB L3 Cache

RAM: 12GB DDR3 ECC Memory

Storage: 256GB PCIe-based Flash Storage

Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics processors with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

You can connect up to three 4K resolution displays, or up to six Thunderbolt Displays.

Connections: 4 USB 3.0, 6 Thunderbolt 2, 2 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 HDMI

Wireless: 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0

and more!

You can go with the factory setup, like above, or you can custom order your Mac Pro with additional options in every spec category.

And the best news? We’ll be carrying the Mac Pro in store, just the basic $2999 configuration. We will offer custom order unit options as well if you want additional or upgraded features in your Mac Pro! We’re not sure when we’ll see units arriving in stores, but we’re going to start accepting orders for them December 19th.

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