Category Archives: Apple News

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Mountain Lion: The Underwhelming Incremental Windows Rip-Off

Back in 2011, I was looking for a light weight powerful laptop and the MacBook Air fit the bill. I could run Windows, live in the delusional Apple world, and not break my back. It came with Lion and the OS was smooth. I liked what I saw but it made feel less productive compared to Windows—somehow I am quicker on Windows. I spent hours in computer labs using PCs that ran on Windows while using the MacBook Air as  a media player.

Anyhow.

When Apple released Mountain Lion, everyone seemed to be hav ing nerdgasms at the fact of getting a new OS at just $20. Unfortunately, the delusional world of Apple, a couple of apps rolled into the OS becomes a full OS. Let’s take a look at what Apple says is new:

  • Gatekeeper
  • Notes
  • Reminder
  • iMessages
  • iCloud
  • Notification Center
  • Power Nap
  • Dictation
  • Facebook/Twitter integration
  • Game Center
  • Social Sharing

So here’s the thing… Notes and Reminder are apps, not only that, these apps are useless if you don’t own an iOS device. The rest:

Gatekeeper:

When Windows Vista came out, it had a feature called UAC. The Windows users didn’t mind it, the hipster Silicon Valley bloggers who don’t use Windows had a fun time making fun of it. Guess what happened in Mountain Lion?! Apple introduced UAC like protection in Mountain Lion. And it’s half-assed.

UAC did not allow random apps to start running unless the user explicitly gave them permission or the administration disabled UAC. Gatekeeper can be bypassed by simply right clicking and running the app.

iCloud:

It’s like SkyDrive. But for OS X. Without Office Web Apps.

Notification Center:

So far the only usefulness of Notification Center is the ability to tweet without going into the Twitter client.

Power Nap:

The hipster Valley bloggers and Apple advocates love to mock Windows Vista, but, Apple seems to be inspired by it. Power Nap is a combination of SideShow and Connected Standby in Windows.

Game Center:

Oh hi Xbox LIVE! And goodbye Windows Game Center.

Social Sharing:

Clearly Windows doesn’t have anything like that! Oh, wait. Windows 8 Share Charm!

My point is, Mountain Lion is not a full OS. It’s a refinement to a less refined Lion. You know how Microsoft refines their OS? By introducing Service Packs. And these are free. I don’t mind the $20 because Mountain Lion does add features and makes OS X snappy, but let’s not be irrational and say Apple is giving us a full OS at $20. Because Mountain Lion is not.

The truth is Mountain Lion is an underwhelming upgrade. For $20, OS X Lion users should upgrade since this incremental update makes Lion usable.

PS: Please don’t call Windows 7 a Service Pack because that will only make you look like someone who doesn’t know Windows Vista vs Windows 7.

OS X Mountain Lion Now Available In The Mac App Store For $19.99

As reported earlier, Apple has finally released the latest version of OS X, Mountain Lion for $19.99, on the Mac App Store. The latest version of OS X comes with more than 200 new features, and is the ninth major release of OS X.

Below are some of the most highlighted features of OS X Mountain Lion -:

  • iCloud integration, for easy set up of your Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Messages, Reminders and Notes, and keeping everything, including iWork® documents, up to date across all your devices;
  • the all new Messages app, which replaces iChat® and brings iMessage™ to the Mac, so you can send messages to anyone with an iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® or another Mac;
  • Notification Center, which streamlines the presentation of notifications and provides easy access to alerts from Mail, Calendar, Messages, Reminders, system updates and third party apps;
  • system-wide Sharing, to make it easy to share links, photos, videos and other files quickly without having to switch to another app, and you just need to sign in once to use third-party services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Vimeo;
  • Facebook integration, so you can post photos, links and comments with locations right from your apps, automatically add your Facebook friends to your Contacts, and even update your Facebook status from within Notification Center;
  • Dictation, which allows you to dictate text anywhere you can type, whether you’re using an app from Apple or a third party developer;
  • AirPlay Mirroring, an easy way to wirelessly send an up-to-1080p secure stream of what’s on your Mac to an HDTV using Apple TV®, or send audio to a receiver or speakers that use AirPlay; and
  • Game Center, which brings the popular social gaming network from iOS to the Mac so you can enjoy live, multiplayer games with friends whether they’re on a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

The 10.8 version of Mountain Lion does not include Facebook integration though. A future software update from Apple will bring this feature.

If you own a Mac, I will highly recommend you to wait for at least 24-36 hours before you go ahead and start your OS X Mountain Lion download. Apple servers’ must be under intense load right now, and chances are you will get insanely slow download speed.

Apple To Release OS X Mountain Lion Tomorrow On The App Store

Back at WWDC, Apple announced that it will release Mac OS X Mountain Lion to the public sometime in July. With less than a week left for July to end, the clock is ticking for Apple to release Mountain Lion on the Mac App Store.

Today, at its Q3 earning press release, Apple confirmed that it will be releasing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on the App Store tomorrow. The latest version of OS X will be priced at $19.99 and will be available for the following Macs -:

  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

If you purchased a Mac on or after June 11, 2012, you are eligible for a free copy of OS X Mountain Lion.

The latest version of OS X brings with it over 200 new features including AirPlay mirroring, speech-to-text, integrated Facebook and Twitter, Game Center, Gatekeeper, iMessage, Notes, Notification Center, Power Nap, updated Safari, Mails, Contacts app and much more. The whole list of features in Mountain Lion can be found here.

Via – TechCrunch

iPhone 5 to Make Inroads in Japan

Macotakara, a Japanese tech blog reports that the iPhone 5 will make debut in Japan. It is the same blog that predicted the launch of the 5th generation of the iPhone last year. A year ago, the same blog reported that the iPhone 4S and the iPad would launch in October 2011. Effectively and partially, the report had substance in its rumors. It was in mid-October last year that Apple Inc. launched the iPhone 4S. However, the iPad 3 launched a couple of months later, in March 2012. It was stated in an earlier post that the iPhone 5 is likely to have a bigger screen. Macotakara confirms these speculations, however differently. It reports that the back panel of the iPhone 5 could be toned with glass and aluminum.

Rumors Persist About the iPhone 5

 

Mashable.com illustrates in a video what the new iPhone 5 could hold. Take a look at it here.

Now, once you have peeked into the video and witnessed some speculative features of the next generation of iPhone, would you think it would pose a severe challenge for the kindle? And how will it affect the market share of Samsung’s Galaxy SIII?

More news will follow.

iOS and Mac AppStore Deals: Tons Of Popular Games and Apps Go on Sale!

If you own an iOS running device, consider this to be your lucky day. Thanks to Independence Day, all iOS developers have put their games and application on sales. This includes all the gaming titles from EA, and other popular games like Real Racing 2 etc.

Here is a list of quite a few popular games for iPad that are up for sale. Their iPhone versions of the games also up for sale, so head over to the App Store to download them.

There are tons of other games that are also up for sale. Use an application like AppZapper HD to track deals on these apps. Apart from the iOS AppStore, quite a few applications have gone for sale on the Mac App Store or are even available for free. Two lesser known RSS apps – Monotomy & Moka – are now available as a free download, while Fantastical, an outstanding calendar app for the Mac, is available for only $9.99 compared to its usual price of $19.99.

For Mac gamers out there, Call Of Duty Modern Warfare is also up for grabs for only $19.99 instead of its usual price of $39.99.

Apple Settles Chinese iPad Trademark Dispute with Proview for $60 Million

Today, The Guangdong High People’s Court has declared an end to the legal dispute between Apple and Proview after making the news of the settlement public, the Associated Press reported. The court had announced that Apple has reached an agreement with Proview to pay $60 million for the Chinese rights to the iPad trademark. The figure being paid is much higher than the $55,000 Apple claimed to have paid for the trademark in 2009.

In late 2010, Proview  began publicly objecting to Apple’s use of the iPad name, with the situation escalating to a point where Proview demanded bans on the iPad in the country and asked for up to $2 billion in compensation.  Earlier this year,  Apple reportedly was willing to offer $16 million to settle the case. However, Proview was apparently holding out for a $400 million settlement that could save the company as it seeks to recover from bankruptcy.

$60 million may sound like a lot, and it is, but Apple should have no problem paying up due to there $100 billion+ in cash. In fact, Apple’s making $1,600 every second. See that, Appel just made another $1,600. Boom! Just like that.

Google Chrome Causing Freezing and Crashing on New Mac Notebooks

This past week,  Gizmodo has higlighted freezing and crashing issues on several of its staff’s new MacBook Air models, linking the problems to Google Chrome. When the staff switched to Apple’s Safari browser, it has eliminated all the issue.

Now, Google has issued a statement to Gizmodo acknowledging that Chrome is the reason for the issues and discussing the steps it is taking to address the issue. Temporarily, Google has disabled Chrome’s GPU acceleration while it works on deploying a permanent solution. Google has also filed a bug report with Apple as such issues should not be able to cause an entire system to freeze or crash.

“We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.

The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.

While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.”

The issue is affecting all systems using Intel HD 4000 graphics, all of Apple’s notebook models released earlier this month may have the issue and owners of the new MacBook Pro models are indeed also reporting the issue.

Apple Announces Retirement of Bob Mansfield, Senior VP of Hardware Engineering

Apple has announced in a press release that Apple Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering Bob Mansfield is retiring. His role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s Vice President of iPad Hardware Engineering. Mansfield joined Apple in 1999 and has led Mac hardware engineering since 2005, along with iPhone, iPod, and iPad engineering since 2010. In the recent years, he has contributed to Apple’s success. He oversaw the development of the MacBook Air notebooks,  as well as recent iPhone and iPad designs. He sold off more than $70 million in Apple stock and options in the past few years.

Apple® today announced that Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering, will retire and the role will be transitioned to Dan Riccio, Apple’s vice president of iPad Hardware Engineering, over several months. The entire hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield until his departure.

“Bob has been an instrumental part of our executive team, leading the hardware engineering organization and overseeing the team that has delivered dozens of breakthrough products over the years,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are very sad to have him leave and hope he enjoys every day of his retirement.”

Dan Riccio, the executive who will be replacing Mansfield responsibilities, has been with Apple since 1998. Riccio was the the vice president of product design for 12 years before taking over the iPad division in 2010. Apple’s press release says Riccio “has been a key contributor to most of Apple’s hardware over his career.” Notice, how the company’s new senior vice president of hardware engineering is the vice president of iPad hardware engineering.

Also, in a separate announcement made today in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reported that Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Office, Betsy Rafael, will also be retiring, effective October 19.

Thank you, Bob Mansfield for taking engineering to a whole new level.

Google Releases Chrome and Google Drive app for iOS

Yesterday, Google announced that it has released a version of Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad. The app is available via the App Store for free. . Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter predicted last month that Google Chrome was coming to iOS. The Chrome browser for iOS offers an “incognito” private browsing mode as well as syncing with the desktop version of Chrome. It also offers Google’s own unique tabbed browsing interface. [Direct Link]

Apple’s App Store rules don’t allow third-party developers to offer their own rendering or JavaScript engines. This means that the iOS version of WebKit must be used by all browsers available in the App Store. But Google’s Chrome for iOS will add its own user interface over Apple’s technical browser rules. Google also released an iOS app for Google Drive.  [App Store]

So wait, you can use Google Chrome on more than 90% of existing iOS device, but only 7.1% Android devices? Who would have thought?

Apple Planning Major Overhaul of iTunes for Late 2012

Bloomberg reports that Apple is planning a major overhaul of its iTunes software. This rumored overhaul would help integrate its iCloud services and add new features for music. According to the report, Apple will embed iCloud into the iTunes Store so that users can “more seamlessly access” their digital content. It is reported that Apple has been in talks with the record labels to allow users to send songs to friends for listening.

Also, the new iTunes will include changes to how users find new content and how they access what they already own on different Apple devices. Apple is looking to improve organization of users’ content and splitting out some functions of iTunes as it did yesterday on iOS with its new Podcasts app. Hopefully, this happens so that iTunes becomes less bloated. The company is also considering including more multimedia content in the iTunes Store, requesting more photos and music videos from artists to help broaden its offerings.

The revamped iTunes is rumored to launch before the end of the year and is said to be one of the largest sets of changes since the iTunes Store’s debut in 2003.