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Archive for the ‘Apple News’ Category

Dec 201331

Apple 2013 Year in Review

by Shane Roberts


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


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


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 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


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


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.

Dec 201313

iPhone 5s is the top selling phone for every major carrier!

by Shane Roberts


With so much competition out there in the smartphone space, companies are fighting for everyones attention. However, the more things change with new phones, the more they stay the same. Since its launch in September, the iPhone 5s is the top selling phone for all four major cellular providers in the United States, according to Canaccord Genuity.

“Our surveys indicated continued strong sales of the iPhone 5s, as it was by far the top selling smartphone at all four tier-1 U.S. carriers and at most channels where the smartphone launched globally,” Walkley explained in a note to clients. “Our surveys also indicated steady iPhone 5c sales with the smartphone’s color options and more affordable price point proving popular with its intended audience.”

iPhone 5s tops sales

Click for larger image

Possibly the most interesting thing is the fact that the iPhone 5c has been, or is, the 2nd or 3rd best selling phone in the country for every provider. Just like the quote above states,  the iPhone 5c was intended for a certain customer, and that customer is loving the colorful, cheaper iPhone. Apple has always been at or near the top of phone sales charts, now they are taking two of the top three spots for every provider!

Head over to the All Things D article for more!

Nov 201306

Reviews from around the web on the iPad Air

by Shane Roberts

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 2.16.02 PM

CNET 4.5/5 stars : Functionally, the iPad Air is nearly identical to last year’s model, offering only faster performance and better video chatting. But factor in design and aesthetics, and the iPad Air is on another planet. It’s the best full-size consumer tablet on the market.

MacWorld 4.5/5 stars: The iPad was already the best large tablet out there. If it had any deficiencies, it was really in terms of weight and size, and that’s where the iPad Air shines. It’s still got a battery that will last for ten hours, and now it’s twice as fast as it was before, opening the door for even more apps that can boost personal productivity or just entertain you that much faster.

It’s right there in the name: The iPad Air is still an iPad, but it’s lighter and thinner and twice as fast to boot. If you want a tablet you can comfortably hold with one hand, look elsewhere. Otherwise, look no further than the iPad Air.

PCMag 4.5/5 stars: The iPad Air is Apple’s attempt to make the tablet disappear. The result is an unusually slim, well-built platform for the best array of apps in the business.

The Verge 9.3/10 stars:  iPad Air is the best large tablet ever made, and its only real competition will be the forthcoming Retina iPad mini, which will offer the same experience in a smaller form factor for a lower price. If you have anything older than the fourth-generation iPad, the upgrade to the Air will be worth it.

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal:  I’ve been testing the iPad Air for about a week and found it a pleasure to use. This new iPad isn’t a radical rethinking of what a tablet can be, but it’s a major improvement on a successful product. It is the best tablet I’ve ever reviewed.



Oct 201323

iOS 7.0.3 Released

by Shane Roberts

Apple has released a patch for iOS 7. The most crucial of the fixes would be with the iMessage issue people have been experiencing over the last couple of weeks. Apple has also enabled iCloud Keychain on iOS devices. iCloud Keychain is where you can store and sync all of your passwords and credit card info across all of your devices. All the fixes are listed below.


- Adds iCloud Keychain to keep track of your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers across all your approved devices
- Adds Password Generator so Safari can suggest unique, hard-to-guess passwords for your online accounts
- Updates lock screen to delay display of “slide to unlock” when Touch ID is in use
- Adds back the ability to search the web and Wikipedia from Spotlight search
- Fixes an issue where iMessage failed to send for some users
- Fixes a bug that could prevent iMessage from activating
- Improves system stability when using iWork apps
- Fixes an accelerometer calibration issue
- Addresses an issue that could cause Siri and VoiceOver to use a lower quality voice
- Fixes a bug that could allow someone to bypass the Lock screen passcode
- Enhances the Reduce Motion setting to minimize both motion and animation
- Fixes an issue that could cause VoiceOver input to be too sensitive
- Updates the Bold Text setting to also change dial pad text
- Fixes an issue that could cause supervised devices to become un-supervised when updating software


Oct 201322

Apple October Event Wrap-up!

by Shane Roberts


Another Apple announcement, another mountain of news! Here is a list of everything that was announced on Tuesday, more detailed breakdowns will be coming later.


Mac OS Mavericks

If you’d like to see more in depth break downs of Mavericks, click here and here. The big news with Mavericks was the fact that it was launched TODAY. Usually Apple takes a few weeks or months to release the OS after the release date is announced. The biggest news around Mavericks, however, was the price. For the first time Apple has released a major OS update for free. Not only is it free for people who have Mountain Lion, but also those who are still on Lion and Snow Leopard! To get Mavericks, click here.



Apple updated the entire line of MacBooks to the new generation Intel Core processors. That means increased performance plus battery life, up to nine hours. The biggest news with the MacBooks are with the MacBook Pros with Retina Display. Apple also dropped the price on the 13″ and 15″ model of the Retina MacBooks. Now starting at $1299 for the 13″ and $1999 for the 15″. The 13″ also now comes in three different builds offering different RAM, Hard Drive, and Processor configurations. We should start seeing these new MacBooks show up in our Simply Mac stores any day.


Mac Pro

The long awaited Mac Pro has finally had a majority of the details announced. Arriving in December, the Mac Pro will start at $2999. If you do any high end editing, this machine is for you.

Here are the specs:

3.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 Processor

12 GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC Memory

Dual AMD FirePro D300 w/ 2GB GDDR5 VRAM

256 GB Flash Storage

icon_mac_garageband icon_mac_imovie icon_mac_iphoto


iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband are all getting face lifts for iOS and Mac OS. All the apps have been optimized for 64-bit, thus making them a lot faster to use. iMovie and Garageband have both had some user interface tweaks and additions as well. Possibly the biggest addition to the iLife apps is the addition of iCloud. So if you’re working on a project on one device, like a Mac, you can pick up and work on it on your iPad! The cool thing is Apple is making these apps available for free to anyone who has purchased a new iOS device or a Mac.

icon_mac_keynote icon_mac_numbers icon_mac_pages


Probably the software that was most in need of an update was iWork. Apple has really blurred the lines between the iOS version and the Mac version. So there will be full compatibility between both versions. The inspector has changed into a ‘Format’ tool. So when you are clicked on a specific thing, like a chart or text, the tools that are available are different. Possibly the biggest addition and change with iWork is with iWork for iCloud. Now whether you are on a Mac, PC, or iOS device you can use the best word processing suite on the market, just log into iCloud. While you’re working in iWork for iCloud, you can have collaboration mode turned on, so multiple people can be editing a file and the changes happen in real time – perfect for students in groups. This is a great addition to iWork! Also, it’s free with any new iOS or Mac device!

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 2.16.02 PM

iPad Air

It seems Apple is really starting to separate their various iPad lines now. The iPad Air now packs the same hardware as the iPhone 5s, with the A7 64-bit processor. So this thing is great for ‘Pro’ apps for editing, games and the like. The key thing everyone will notice about the iPad Air is its size. It is now 43% smaller around the screen, and 20% thinner. It also now weights about a pound, so about a half  a pound lighter.  It does maintain its 10-hour battery life, and now is available in silver and white as well as space gray and black. We won’t see iPad Air until November 1st. The iPad Air will start at $499 for the 16GB model and have the traditional 32GB, 64GB and 128GB options, as well as the LTE versions. Apple is also keeping the iPad 2 as an option at $399, so the old reliable will remain.

iPad mini with Retina Display

The upgrade everyone wanted with the iPad mini is finally happening, Apple is adding a Retina Display to the smaller iPad. They are also upping all of the specs in it to match that of the iPad Air. The mini now mirrors the iPad Air in almost every way, except in a smaller screen. The iPad mini with Retina Display starts at $399. Apple pulled a bit of surprise by keeping the regular iPad mini around, similar to the iPad 2, but for the cheaper price of $299.

Apple also redesigned the smart covers and cases for the new form factor of the iPad.

We’ll have more detailed write-ups in the coming days on everything that was announced on Tuesday!

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