Apple Announces New iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, Updated Mac mini, Announces iOS 8.1, Releases Mac OS X Yosemite

In an event in Cupertino on October 16, Apple announced a slew of updates to their iPad and Mac lineup.

As usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook started off with some tidbits, including the how well-received the iPhone 6 has been, the big deal with Apple Pay (which launches on Monday October 20) with offline and online payments, the reception for Apple Watch, the WatchKit SDK availability in November, and as we know, the launch of Apple Watch in “early 2015″.

Biggest iPhone Launch Ever

Cook claimed that these are the fastest-selling iPhones in history. In the first 30 days that the iPhones have been available, Apple took the most orders for the devices. Curiously though, no hard numbers were provided. The phones will be available in China on all three carriers simultaneously for the first time, and the pre-orders there have set a high watermark, per Cook.

iOS 8 and OS X

Craig Federighi, the senior Vice President of software engineering at Apple, then came on stage to talk about iOS and OS X. Federighi showed an adoption chart that had iOS 8 on 48% of iOS devices and iOS 7 is on 46%. He made it seem like that it’s a good thing that the latest two OSes are on such a large percentage of devices, whereas in the past Apple used to be able to claim that the latest operating system was the one on most devices already. He clearly dodged the issue of slower iOS 8 adoption. However, any such chart will compare very well compared to Android. On the Android chart, Federighi showed that the latest version, Android KitKat was on 25% of the devices only after 313 days of release.

After the competition trash-talking, Federighi moved on to recap all the iOS 8 features which have already been discussed in previous events, and are well-known to most of the audience. There was a focus on Swift, the programming language introduced with iOS 8, and its huge adoption. He also talked about how IBM has devoted many resources on building enterprise line of business apps using Swift.

Federighi also announced an update to iOS 8, iOS 8.1. This update will provide Apple Pay support, iCloud Photo Library (5GB free, 20GB for 0.99 and tiers up to 1TB), and in a cheeky acknowledgement, he said it will bring back the Camera Roll which was inexplicably omitted in iOS 8.

On to Mac OS X, one of the curios facts that Federighi mention was that Yosemite beta had a user base of 1 million just two days after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Technical Preview (not really a beta) has a user base of 1 million too, but that is only over a period of 10 days.

Similar to the iOS 8 recap, Federighi rehashed various new features already announced in Yosemite, and then announced that it will be available today. In addition, he announced that an updated iWork, Apple’s free productivity suite, will also be available for free today.

iPad Air 2

Cook came back to talk about the success of the iPad. He said that there are more iPads sold in the first 4 years (225 million) than any other product Apple has sold, ever. It is the #1 tablet in customer satisfaction, usage, education, enterprise, as well as consumer.

Phil Schiller, senior Vice President of worldwide marketing then came on stage to talk about the new iPads. The focus of the iPad Air 2 is on thinness, with it being only 6.1mm thin. It is 18% thinner than the iPad Air which was already one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest, tablet in the market.

There is no air gap in the next-generation Retina display, so the images and text are even sharper now. Apple has also added an anti-reflective coating on the surface, to reduce reflections by 56%.

iPad TouchID
iPad TouchID

iPad Air 2 Key Specifications

  • New A8X processor with 2nd generation 64-bit architecture
    • 40% faster CPU, 2.5x faster GPU.
  • New motion co-processor M8
    • Tracks motion
    • Calibrates sensors
    • Barometer included, like the iPhone 6
  • New 8MP iSight camera
    • f/2.4
    • 1080P HD video
  • First time in an iPad:
    • Panoramas up to 43MPixels
    • Burst mode
    • Timelapse
    • Slo mo video
  • Dual microphones to capture better sound when recording video
  • New FaceTime camera:
    • Burst selfies
    • HDR with single image, so there is no image composition involved
    • HDR videos
    • Updated image detection
  • Faster WiFi: 802.11ac with MIMO delivers up to 886Mbps
  • Faster and expanded coverage of LTE with 20 LTE bands
  • The most requested feature was adding TouchID to iPad and it is now available
    • With TouchID, Apple Pay is now enabled for the iPad, but only for online purchases, not retail stores

iPad Air 2 pricing

Like Apple did with the iPhone 6, the second tier of storage was skipped and bumped up to the next higher tier. So there is no 32GB iPad anymore, and it goes 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

WiFi only: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB, $699 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 64GB, $829 for 128GB

iPad mini 3

The iPad mini did not get much stage time, but it’s probably because the only thing “new” in the mini is the TouchID. Other than the TouchID, the mini 3 is much like the mini 2. The pricing:

WiFi only: $399 for 16GB, $499 for 64GB, $599 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $529 for 16GB, $629 for 64GB, $729 for 128GB

Apple is keeping both, the original iPad mini as well as the iPad mini with retina (newly renamed to iPad mini 2) in the lineup.

Pre-orders for the new iPads start on 10/17, and they ship by the end of the next week.


The iMac finally gets a Retina display but Apple has packed their 27″ iMac display with a 5K resolution. That translates to 5120 pixels by 2880 pixels. It is the world’s highest resolution display. This 5K display packs 7x more pixels than HD TV display of 1080P and 67% more pixels than  a 4K display. It is also incredibly thin, at only 5mm. Among other things, Apple has made custom components like the timing controller, oxide TFT material, organic passivation technology and power-efficient LEDs for backlight, which results in a computer that uses 30% less energy than the previous iMac.

Retina iMac
Retina iMac

iMac Key Specifications

  • 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, configurable up to quad-core 4.0GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB memory, configurable up to 16GB or 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive, configurable up to 3TB Fusion Drive, or 256GB/512GB/1TB of Flash storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB of DDR5 memory, configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 memory

The iMac with Retina 5K Display ships today for $2499.

Mac mini

Finally, Schiller spent a few minutes talking about what he called “the first Mac for many”, the Mac mini. It is updated with a spec bump across the board, with 4th-generation Intel processor, Intel Iris HD 5000 graphics, PCI-e Flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. It will be sold for $499 now, instead of the earlier model’s price of $599, and it will ship today.

So, that was a lot of stuff Apple announced and is going to take pre-orders for and/or ship. One thing missing conspicuously from the event was Apple TV. Many anticipated some sort of an App Store for the Apple TV but that did not happen.

What did you think of the event and the announcements? Are you going to buy any of the new products?

SimCity for Mac Coming in June; No Repurchase Required

Good news for Mac users who’ve been meaning to play SimCity — EA has announced that the Mac version of SimCity will be released in about 2 months’ time on July 11th, 2013. The Mac version of SimCity was apparently being optimized for the Mac OS X by studio which isn’t Maxis, and will be available as a digital download on Origin.

The good news is that if you’ve already purchased SimCity, you will be able to download the Mac version of it without having to purchase it again. SimCity will require OS X Lion for you to play the game. The OS requirement might be a bit of problem for some — I know of few acquaintances who haven’t upgraded to Lion.

EA mentions that Retina support is ‘yet to be determined’, and going by the timelines, it’s unlikely that SimCity will have Retina support, at least at launch time. SimCity for Mac will be a digital-download only and you won’t see it on retail stores. And since the cities are saved on EA’s servers, you should be able to pick up your existing cities, regardless of  which platform you’ve been playing on.

First Cross Platform Trojan Affecting Linux and Mac OS X Revealed

Russian security firm Dr.Web has identified a new Trojan named BackDoor.Wirenet.1 which runs on both Linux as well as Mac OS X. This is the first ever cross platform Trojan that has been discovered to affect both of the aforementioned operating systems.

At the moment, a lot of information is not available on this malware. But the research is going on and it is said to steal passwords from all of the popular browsers such as Safari, Chrome, Opera and Chromium. It also steals passwords from applications such as Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and Pidgin.

According to Dr.Web, when executed, the Trojan copies itself to the user’s home directory – that is % home%/ in MAC OS X and ~/WIFIADAPT in Linux.

Cross platform Trojans are not rare. Trojans that affect Windows and Macs have been identified in the past. A recently discovered Trojan used to check which Operating System the affected user was running and downloaded the payload accordingly. Another one was discovered in May that used unpatched Java vulnerability to open backdoors in Windows and Mac. But as I mentioned before, this is the first time that a cross platform Trojan affecting Mac and Linux has been discovered.  We will be updating this article as more details are released.

Via : Hacker News

How To Reverse Mouse Scroll Direction in Mac OS X

I have been a Windows user for probably all my life, but started using Mac a few years ago. While I never required to use an external mouse with my Mac earlier on, I did find the need for one when I started using the Mac for longer periods.

On Windows, a mouse with a scroller will scroll the page in the direction the mouse wheel is scrolled, for example; the page will scroll down when you scroll the mouse wheel downwards and vice versa. However, Apple uses something called as natural scrolling direction and scrolls the page in the opposite direction.

If you are someone who is annoyed because of this strange scrolling behavior on a Mac, you can change the settings to make the page scroll in the direction you scroll the mouse wheel in.

To make that change, head over to System Preferences -> Mice and then uncheck the box next to “Move content in the direction of finger movement when scrolling or navigating” (In older Mac OS X versions, this would be the checkbox next to “Natural” scrolling”.

Once you uncheck the box, the page will scroll in the direction of the mouse wheel and not the opposite direction.

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.


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:


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.


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.

How To Change Monitor Orientation in Mac OS X

I am primarily a Windows 7 user and prefer usually multiple monitors while at work. However, I also work with a Mac Book Pro. While I usually never used the MBP in a multi-monitor setup, I have started doing it now.

Display Options from System Preferences

One of the problems I have faced with both Windows 7 and Mac OS X in a multi-monitor setup is that the orientation of the monitor is usually left to right by default and this is a pain when you are connecting a laptop to an external monitor and want to move your mouse between monitors.

I had written a post to change dual monitor position for Windows 7 earlier, if you are a Mac OS X user, you can follow the instructions below to do it on a Mac as well.

Step 1: Open Finder and open up the “System Preferences” from under “Applications”

Step 2: Click on the “Display” option under in the System Preferences window. This will pop up the display options window on all the multi-monitor.

Change Monitor Orientation in Mac OS X

Step 3: Now on the main monitor, click on the “Arrangement” tab and you will see the monitors you have attached to the Mac. Using this screen you can drag and drop the monitor as per your orientation.

That’s it. You can now move your mouse across monitors the way you have set the orientations of the monitor.

Make Chrome Canary the Default Browser on Windows/Mac

has several versions of their browser which includes the stable version, beta version and development version. However, users can only run one instance of them at any given time. Google does provide another cutting-edge version called the Canary build. The Canary build is a nightly build and contains untested code and features which will be introduced in other version of Chrome at a later stage.

Chrome Canary Default Browser

I prefer to use Google Canary builds because they usually contain cutting edge technologies and newer features which are not yet available in other versions and gives me a chance to test them out. However, the one thing I have had a problem with the Canary version is that Google does not allow you to set it as the default browser.

The explanation they give for it is that it is a secondary installation of Chrome and cannot be set as the default browser. Well, that is a problem for me because some times the dev version (which I also used) was buggier than the Canary version and was not updated as frequently to address the reported bugs.

So I decided to find a way to set the Google Chrome Canary version as default and found a neat registry hack at this forum. All you have to do is download a simple registry file listed in the forum post and edit it to replace your username in the Registry.reg file. Once you have done that just double click and click on the “Yes” button when prompted to add the entries to your registry.

After you have inserted the registry entry, Chrome Canary will be set as your default browser. If you are looking to reverse that, just head to control panel and change the default application or use your browsers’ preference to set it back as the default browser. The forum in question requires you to register before you download the file as an alternative, you can download the file directly from here.

For Mac users all you need to do is run Safari and then head to preferences and change the “Default web browser” to Canary from the dropdown menu. You can visit this site to find visual instructions for doing that.

Download OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview

Apple just released the newest version of their Mac OS X called Mountain Lion. The new version of Mac OS X contains several new features including several new features which already exist in iOS 5.

Mountain Lion Logo

Mac OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 also integrates with Apple’s iCloud allowing you to backup your data in the cloud. The OS is definitely exciting and includes new features such as Messages, Notes, Reminders, Game Center, Notification Center, Integration and more.

OS X Mountain Lion

If you are excited about this, you should go ahead and download OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 from the links provided below. Please note that users will require “Mac Developer Program access” in order to download the developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion.

OS X Mountain Lion is a developer preview and might be unstable. Regular users should stay away from the developer preview as it might cause system crashes and data loss. General public will be able to download or upgrade their Macs to the Mountain Lion later this summer.

Set-Up a File Server as a Drive in OS X Finder [How-To]

The other day, a colleague here at Techie Buzz asked for my recommendations on programs to blog using a Mac.  I told him about my favorites, and tried to provide a good reason why. Then, another contributor asked if there was a way to integrate the FTP system into the file system, like you can do in Windows  and Linux.

At first, I was dumbfounded. I had never thought of that as an option on OS X. However, it turns out that you can do it, and its possibly the most seamless way to use FTP on a Mac. The only caveat I see to this is that you can’t use it to upload files via FTP. For that, I highly recommend Cyberduck, which is now my personal choice for FTP.  Let’s take a look at how you set it up.

1. Open a Finder window. You can do that by clicking the ‘Finder’ icon on your dock, or by using the keyboard shortcut Command-Space and typing ‘Finder.’

2. Click the ‘Go’ menu, and then click connect to server. This will open a dialog box like this one, where you can choose to add a new server to the list. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Command-K to access this window.

3. Fill in your server’s details.  Be sure to use complete addresses. For example, if it is an FTP server, use the whole address like ‘’. If you have a username or password set up, you will be asked to provide those credentials.

Those are all the step you need to take. If you entered everything correctly, you should see a new drive in your finder side bar under ‘Shared.’ That’s the file server you just connected. It will work like any other file server connection, and its housed in your Finder window.

If you have any trouble getting this tip to work, or if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below. We love hearing from you.

Apple Issues Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update for Snow Leopard

Apple has issued a supplemental update for users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on their Macs.

This is the first update by Apple for Snow Leapord post Mac OS X Lion release. The last update was almost a month back with notable features like enhancements to the Mac App Store and built-in protection against known variants of Mac Defender malware, and had updates to make transition to Lion easier.

This Supplemental 10.19 MB update delivers a handful of final fixes for the previous-generation operating system.

The Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update is recommended for all users running Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and resolves issues with:

– Transferring personal data, settings, and compatible applicationsfrom a Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard to a new Mac running Mac OS X Lion
Certain network printers that pause print jobs immediately and fail to complete
System audio that stops working when using HDMI or optical audio out

A similar 10.23MB update was released for Snow Leopard Server.

The supplemental and combo updates for Snow Leopard are all available on Apple’s website, or directly through Software Update. Direct links to update below :

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Supplemental Update (10.19 MB) – for users already on Mac OS X 10.6.8

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update v.1.1 (453.55 MB) – delta release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X 10.6.8

Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 (1.09 GB) – combo release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X 10.6.8


Mac OS X 10.6.8 Server Supplemental Update (10.23 MB) – for users already on Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

Mac OS X Server v10.6.8 Update v1.1 (518.28 MB) – delta release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

Mac OS X Server v10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1 (1.18 GB) – combo release for users who have yet to update to Mac OS X Server 10.6.8

-links via MacRumours