Category Archives: Mac News

Looking to Buy a New Mac Mini or Mac Pro Soon? Wait

Mac Mini and Mac Pro refresh

According to CNET’s Brian Tong, a refresh to the Mac Mini and Mac Pro lineup is right around the corner. His sources say that the refresh will occur in late July or August.  In addition, he’s advising not buying a new Mac Mini or Mac Pro until then.

EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me ALL NEW Next-Gen Mac Pros and Mac Minis will launch either end of July first week of August.

August more likely, Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt on both. NO details for specs or configurations given. DO NOT BUY! WAIT for the new Macs!

Tong says that the new  Mac minis and Mac Pros will have  Thunderbolt I/O and a Sandy Bridge Processor. No word on the specifications of the machines or configurations. A major redesign for the Mac mini is unlikely since the design was updated last summer. Brian Tong also reports that these new Macs will run Lion at first. He has previously accurately predicted the arrival of new iMacs before.

Apple Acquires “AirDrop” Trademark

AirDrop Logo

According to Patently Apple, Apple has acquired the “AirDrop” trademark from  Urban Airship, Inc.  Urban Airship, Inc is the company behind the popular “Airdrop Service” for Android developers.

On June 17, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published documentation relating to the legal transfer of the “Airdrop” trademark from  Urban Airship to Apple. Urban Airship was only granted their certificate of registration last month which put a little pressure on Apple to acquire it, pronto.

There’s no word on a financial transaction disclosure, but Patently Apple also reports that  Apple filed for the “AirDrop” trademark in China and another one in Canada. These trademarks are related to the  Photo Stream feature of the new iCloud service which automatically uploads and syncs up to a thousand most recent photos across all iOS devices.

“AirDrop”  is a new feature in Lion that lets the user easily share files with other nearby users. Even though this feature isn’t available yet, Dropbox accomplishes the same task but isn’t as simple to use. OS X Lion is expected to be available sometime in July.

Mac OS X Lion – Beauty with Brains

As expected, Apple showcased Lion, the next edition of OS X, at WWDC 2011 in San Francisco. The Lion is a major release with more than 250 new features. Due to time considerations, Apple didn’t detail all of them. However, it did give a rundown of the top ten features. We have already discussed most of them in the past; nevertheless, here’s another quick look at some of show stealers in OS X Lion.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-250-New-Features

Multi-touch gestures: Apple (correctly) believes that touchscreens are simply not feasible on notebooks and desktops. The vertical form factor makes them unintuitive and annoying. Instead of trying to add touch support to the Lion, Apple has chosen to integrate multi-touch gestures. All new Apple notebooks feature multi-touch trackpads, and desktop users can use the Magic Mouse to enjoy the goodness of multi-touch. All popular gestures including pinch-to-zoom and two finger zoom will be present in the Lion. The Lion will do away with scrollbars, which will now show up only when you are scrolling.

Full Screen Apps: Lion will feature a new full-screen mode, which can be easily leveraged by application developers. Several inbuilt applications like iPhoto, iMovie, and Safari will have full screen support. Full screen mode can be triggered via a control present in the upper-right corner, and applications can be switched by simply swiping.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Full-Screen-Apps

Mission Control: Two of the best productivity enhancing features of Mac are Expose and Spaces. Expose provides a quick overview of open applications, and Spaces groups those applications in a neat and customizable manner. Mission Control marries these two features. Mission Control displays all open applications, along with widgets and spaces, and multiple instances of open applications are grouped into stacks. Essentially, it is a task switcher on steroids.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Mission-Control

Mac App Store: The Mac App Store has already surpassed big names like Best Buy and Walmart, and is currently the #1 channel for buying Mac software. The App Store will be built into the Leopard, and will feature automatic updates, push notifications, and sandboxing (isolation of untrusted apps from the system).

Launchpad: Apple has taken the application screen in iOS that we are already familiar with, and added it to Lion. Launchpad displays all installed applications in a full screen, multi-page, grid layout.

Resume, Autosave and Versions: These three are my favorite features in Lion simply because they can be a real time and life saver. Lion is capable of automatically saving your work across the system. It also saves the application state. So when you quit an application and then relaunch it, everything from the opened documents and toolbar placement to highlighted text is same as before. Lion supports versioning, and multiple copies of the same document are maintained. It is essentially per-document Time Machine, which allows you to go back and restore past copies of a document, or even mix and match different versions of a document. The versioning system is storage efficient as only changes between different document versions are saved, instead of the entire document.

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Mac-OS-X-Lion-Versions

AirDrop: This is a peer-to-peer (P2P) application that makes sharing files over the Wi-Fi a breeze. You can share any file with a fellow AirDrop user by simply dragging and dropping the file on the user’s thumbnail in the AirDrop application interface.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Air-Drop

Mail: Lion features a significantly spruced up Mail. Apple has taken oodles of inspiration from Google, and has added conversations, search suggestions, labels, favorites and folders to Mail. Search in particular is quite powerful and flexible. The interface has also been changed. The new Mail sports a two column layout that looks quite similar to the iOS email client.

Mac-OS-X-Lion-Mail

Although, Mac is still way behind Windows in terms of market share, it has been making steady progress. According to Apple, it has outgrown the industry every quarter for the past five years. Mac has a user base of 54 million around the world. While the sales figure of Windows 7 alone dwarfs the entire Mac user base, it is worth noting that while PC has shrunk 1%, the Mac has grown 28%.

The developer preview of OS X Lion will be released later today, while the final build will be available in July. Snow Leopard users can purchase the Lion directly from the Mac App Store for as little as $29.99. In other words, Apple is releasing Lion as a standard Mac application. This means that Lion will be available on all authorized devices, and will weigh less than 4 GB. The upgrade process will be seamless for Mac users, while for users migrating from Windows, there will be a Windows Migration Assistant.

The Lion takes ample inspiration from iOS for iPhone and iPad, and builds on the already strong foundation of OS X. It’s an attractive operating system, which seems to have the right combination of beauty, grace, brains and power.

Images via Engadget

Mac OS X Lion Developer Preview Released

Amidst all the hype surrounding the iPad 2, it might be easy to forget that Apple still develops a desktop operating system – one with its fair share of fan boys. However, fear not, development of OS X Lion is on schedule, and Apple has just released the developer preview

Mac-OS-X-Lion

Mac OS X Lion, the successor to the Snow Leopard, was first previewed in the “Back to the Mac” event held in October. Check out our original coverage if you need a refresher. Lion is a major update which builds on many of the best features found in the iPad and the iPhone.

We already knew that it will feature multi-touch support, full-screen apps, Launchpad and Mission Control. However, there are quite a few other notable improvements that Apple hadn’t earlier mentioned. They are:

  • AirDrop: A simple, hassle-free way to copy files between Macs wirelessly.
  • Versions: A versioning system that will automatically save successive versions of your documents, providing a simple way to browse, edit and revert to previous states.
  • Auto Save: A system-wide mechanism that will automatically save your documents as you work on them.
  • Resume: Another system feature that can restore apps to the state they were in before you quit the app or shutdown your Mac.
  • Mail v5: The new email client will feature grouped conversations, wide-screen layout and MS Exchange 2010 support.

The developer preview is now available to Mac Developer Program members through the Mac App Store. OS X Lion is expected to be released in summer.

Max OS X 10.7 “Lion” Sneak Peek

OS-X-Lion

It’s official. Apple has just announced the next edition of the Mac Operating System – the Lion. Although Apple didn’t reveal everything about the Lion at today’s event, it gave us a sneak peek at what we can expect from the successor to the Snow Leopard.

OS-X-Lion-Meets-iPad

Over the past several months, it has been all about the iOS. The success of the iOS has helped Apple reach new heights and carve out segments that simply didn’t exist before. And, the same iOS is the main inspiration behind the new OS X. The highlights of today’s presentation were:

  • Apple will introduce full multi-touch support in Lion to take advantage of the multi-touch capable trackpads present in MacBooks, as well as Apple’s very own Magic Mouse. In fact, Apple is also going to launch a full-fledged multi-touch capable trackpad for desktop users.
  • The Lion will also allow apps to run in full screen mode, similar to the way we are accustomed to using apps on the iPhone and the iPad. This should make reading books or surfing the web a joy.
  • OS-X-Lion-Mac-App-Store

  • As predicted by many, Apple will also launch an App Store for desktop apps. Obviously, the new App Store will be modeled after the highly successful iPhone App Store. There will be both free and paid apps, with Apple taking 30% revenue share. Installation as well as uninstallation of apps will be hassle free and a single click affair. The App Store will automatically ensure that you have the latest version of each app installed on your system.
  • OS-X-Lion-Launchpad

  • Another new feature in Lion is Launchpad, which is simply a home screen for your apps. It will display all the apps installed on your system in a neatly arranged grid, similar to the iPad. In fact, Apple is even dubbing this as an iPad layer.
  • OS-X-Lion-Mission-Control

  • Full screen apps, Launchpad, Spaces and Expose are going to be the cornerstone of the Lion user interface. And integrating all of them together will be another nifty feature called Mission Control, which will group apps with multiple instances into stacks.

The Lion will be launching in the summer of 2011. The new set of features are just what we have come to expect from Apple – fresh and exciting. Don’t forget to share with us your initial impression of the Lion.

via Engadget

Back to the Mac: New iLife ’11, MacBook Air and a Mystery Product

Apple’s Back to the Mac event is scheduled to take place later today in San Francisco. As usual, Apple is being tightlipped about what to expect in the event. However, BGR has already confirmed that we will be seeing a new MacBook Air, as well as the latest edition of iLife suite, which includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, GarageBand, and iWeb. The confirmation came in the form of categories in Apple’s official discussion forums.

Back-to-the-Mac

Apple staffers also created a mystery category called “Reserved 10 20″ for a possibly unknown product. I am hoping that the mystery product turns out to be Mac OS 10.7, which has been speculated to be codenamed Lion.

Engadget has also managed to learn about the key specifications of the updated MacBook Air. The new Air will be as sleek as the original Air (actually smaller), while bumping up the specifications by a fair bit. Here’s what Engadget was told about the Air.

  • Display: 11.6 inch screen.
  • Processor: 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (optional 2.33GHz upgrade).
  • RAM: 2GB.
  • Other: Mini DisplayPort, 2xUSB (one of the left and one on the right), and SD card reader. Air’s trackpad will be similar to the multi-touch trackpad in MacBook Pros.

Macs Cheaper Than Windows PCs For Enterprises

Mac-NewsRemember those “Hi Mac, I’m a PC and I’m Cheaperadvertisements by Microsoft? Those ads were pretty consistent with the general perception that Macs are a lot more expensive than Windows PCs. However, a recent survey of enterprise IT managers suggests that the common perception may not be entirely true – at least not for enterprise users.

The survey conducted by the Enterprise Desktop Alliance polled administrators of organizations, which have 50 or more servers or 100 or more Macs. While the upfront cost of Macs may be more, the total cost of ownership (TOC) is significantly less.

Mac-vs-Pc

A staggering proportion of the respondents believed that the cost of troubleshooting and help desk calls is less in case of Macs. Most system administrators also believed that aspects such as software licensing fees, user training and system configuration cost less in case of Macs.

As always, take the results with a pinch of salt since its very difficult to judge the reliability of surveys like these. EDA president’s statement that , “The members of the Enterprise Desktop Alliance provide products and services that make deployment and management of Macs easier to do”, doesn’t help either.

Did Apple Abandon Its Malware Blocker?

Apple-Snow-Leopard-Malware-BlockerBack in August ’09, Apple had quietly added a malware blocker to Mac OS X (Snow Leopard). However, some six months after the feature was first introduced, it seems to have been abandoned by Apple.

Apple hasn’t released definition updates for the malware blocker in months. Although, malware for Snow Leopard are few in number, Snow Leopard isn’t completely virus free (as some Mac advertisements suggest). Most of the recent malware for Mac are DNS Changer threats. They alter Mac’s DNS system and are commonly used for phishing.

Technically, Apple never promised to provide full-fledged antimalware capabilities in Snow Leopard, However, malware for Mac are few and far in between. Surely, it wouldn’t take much of an effort to maintain a decent antimalware tool, which would immensely benefit Mac users.