Archive for the ‘Peripheral’ Category

Should you update to iOS 6?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

For those of us who aren’t rushing out to get the new iPhone 5 today, I know there’s been an overwhelming temptation to upgrade to iOS 6. While there are a lot of great new changes, there are also a few features that have gone away:

1. Maps

Not sure that this is change for the better. It’s missing Google’s transit directions, street view images, and as TUAW reported, it’s also missing several landmarks and streets making for some seriously inaccurate cartography. You can still use Google Maps from Safari, but we’re hoping that Google will publish a Google Maps iOS app soon.

2. Facebook

You can now directly link your Facebook account with the iOS, which enables you to post photos directly from you photo album to Facebook, update status from the notification center, and sync your contacts with their FB account.

3. Siri

It works much better. Full stop.

4. FaceTime

Consider this improved ONLY if you have AT&T. If you do, then you can now make video calls on 3G –  no need for WiFI.

5. Passbook

Looks neat, but haven’t yet had a chance to use it. Users who travel a lot will no doubt love being able to have boarding passes on their iPhones.

Also, we’ve had reports from some users who have encountered problems while updating to iOS 6 via iTunes and Software Update. The upgrade just flat out failed and they had to do the update via WiFi. Before you upgrade, please make sure that your phone (or other iOS 6 eligible device) is backed up! Macworld has published a handy “how to” upgrade guide here that is very helpful!

Thunderbolt Devices

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

We mentioned the announcement of Elgato’s portable Thunderbolt SSD last week, and since then it appears as though more and more Thunderbolt devices are being announced, as more and more users are looking for high speed storage solutions.

ars technica has a good preview of the Thunderbolt devices on display at the 2012 International CES, which is currently underway in Las Vegas.

Our head tech James recently implemented Promise’s Pegasus RAID with Thunderbolt at one client site, and reported that the transfer speeds EXCEEDED his expectations. With the Promise Pegasus R6 Thunderbolt RAID + Mac mini server, reads over AFP / the network were clocking in at 100MB/s (or, 800Mbps, which would be the theoretical FireWire max).  Some site examples: 8GB upload over the network in under 2 minutes (i.e., much faster than a direct FireWire connection), and a 100GB download in around 10 minutes.

White iPhone 4 thicker than the black iPhone 4?

Friday, April 29th, 2011

So the white version of Apple’s iPhone 4 went on sale yesterday. Should be the same device but just a different color, right? Well, it seems as though there is a slight difference between the two versions. MacRumors reported yesterday that the white iPhone 4 is slightly thicker than the black iPhone 4 (see photos here). While the report notes that the size difference is noticeable to someone who has the black version of the iPhone 4, it’s really only a 0.2mm difference in thickness so all available iPhone 4 cases look as though they will still work.

iOS 4.3 quick review

Monday, March 14th, 2011

So it looks like iOS 4.3 is a safe update.  The user who reported bricking his iPhone with the update seems to be an anomaly.

Improvements / updates include:

  • Safari Performance – the new Nitro JavaScript engine powering Safari runs JavaScript up to twice as fast as in iOS 4.2.
  • Personal Hotspot for iPhone 4 – when you enable Personal Hotspot on your iPhone 4, you are now able to share your cellular data connection with your Mac, PC, iPad, or other Wi-Fi-capable device.
  • iPad Side Switch- you can now customize the switch on the side of your iPad to lock the screen rotation or mute the volume.
  • AirPlay Enhancements – in addition to music, movies, and photos, AirPlay now streams video from your Photos app.
  • iTunes home sharing – play anything (music, movies, podcast…) from your iTunes library from anywhere in your house on your iPhone, iPad or iPod over your shared Wi-Fi network.

iPhone 4 Arrives June 24!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Although we were expecting the announcement of the iPhone 4 during Steve Jobs’ keynote at WWDC 2010 on Monday, we were still blown away by Apple’s latest addition to the iPhone family.

The new iPhone 4 has several amazing new features:

  • Video calling.  Apple calls it “FaceTime” and it works iPhone 4 to iPhone 4 over Wi-Fi. The iPhone 4 has 2 cameras — one on the front that focuses on you, and one on the back that focuses on everything else.
  • HD Video Recording and Editing. You no longer need to carry your Flip HD and a phone.  With the iMovie app, you can edit your footage and make movies on your iPhone 4.
  • 5-Megapixel Camera with LED Flash. The camera on the back of the iPhone 4 is 5-megapixel, and there’s also a built-in LED flash that automatically fires when needed. The VGA-quality front facing camera is great for self-portraits.
  • Multitasking. You can run third-party apps and switch back and forth between them without running down your battery or slowing the performance of the apps.

There are loads more features to the iPhone 4, including the beautiful 960-by-640 resolution Retina display, which looks incredibly sharp and vibrant. You can check out all the new tech specs for the iPhone 4 here.

Current iPhone owners can check out the status of your iPhone 4 upgrade eligibility by dialing *639# on your iPhone. AT&T will text you back to let you know if you are eligible for the full upgrade price ($199 for the 16GB and $299 for the 32GB) or on what date you’ll be eligible in the future.

For those of you who are ready to buy an iPhone for the first time, you can reserve your iPhone 4 starting June 15. More details here.

iPhone OS 4 Arriving Summer 2010

Monday, April 26th, 2010

iPhone OS 4 is arriving sometime this summer!  The major new iPhone OS features and improvements are:

  • Multitasking (only available with iPhone 3GS and third-generation iPod touch 32GB and 64GB models from late 2009)
  • Folders – organize your apps
  • iBooks – read books on your iPhone
  • Enhanced Mail – unified inbox, switch between inboxes more quickly, organize messages by threads, and the ability to open attachments in third-party apps

Other exciting new features and improvements include:

  • Spell check
  • Bluetooth keyboard support
  • User-defined wallpaper
  • Tap to focus when recording video and a 5x digital zoom for the camera
  • Playlist creation and nested playlists
  • Game Center — an official social gaming network for the iPhone

You can catch the official Apple keynote on the new iPhone OS 4 here.

Apple’s next iPhone found in a bar in Redwood City?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Apple’s next iPhone found in a bar in Redwood City? For real? Take a look here: http://bit.ly/bVN5Ma (via @Gizmodo)

Apps to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Don’t be a scrooge, try out some fun holiday apps.  We’ve collected a few here and they’re all free, so you don’t have to worry about dipping into your Xmas fund:

Mixology: Drink Recipes – a good collection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to get you through the holiday season

Slacker Holiday Radio – Unlimited free holiday tunes from 11 different holiday radio stations.  Everything from classic holiday songs to contemporary anti-holiday tunes can be found here.

Elf Command – Rush hour in Santa’s workshop!  Help the robot elves sort the presents to take to good boys and girls.  Fun for kids (some adults might like it too).

Do Not Press The Red Button – Christmas Edition! – Just get it.  It will make you laugh at least once.  We promise.

Dr. Seuss Camera – The Grinch Edition – OK.  So this one isn’t free, but it’s a lot of fun.  You can take a photo of yourself and then put your face on the Grinch’s body and send a “Grinchmas Card.”  You don’t have to be a Grinch if you don’t want, though.  You can also choose from other Dr. Seuss characters like Cindy-Lou Who and the Grinch’s dog, Max.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac – First Update

Monday, November 9th, 2009

A million pardons to our BlackBerry users out there for not posting this sooner.  The first update for the BlackBerry Desktop for Mac was released a few weeks ago.  The v.1.0.1 update apparently improves data synchronization and has important bug fixes (the BlackBerry website does not elaborate on what bugs are fixed).  You can get the update on the official BlackBerry website.

Help! My iPhone 3G Battery Drains Too Fast!

Friday, October 9th, 2009

We’ve had complaints (and have made gripes of our own) about the weak life of the iPhone 3G battery.  The 3GS battery is better, but only slightly better.  What about the original iPhone battery you ask?  Well, some of our users swear that they never had the problems with their pre-3G phone’s battery that they do with their new and supposedly superior 3G or 3GS battery (one of the chief complaints is that the 3G battery dies overnight).  But there are many users out there that think the 3G and 3GS batteries are much improved.

Apple’s website provides a number of useful tips on how to conserve the power of your iPhone’s battery.  Most of it comes down to disabling certain services and features on your iPhone and only using them when necessary:

  • Turn off location services and use only when needed.
  • Turn off push notifications.
  • Fetch new data manually.
  • Turn off push mail and use only when needed.
  • Auto-check fewer email accounts.
  • Minimize use of third-party applications.
  • Turn off Wi-Fi and use only when needed.
  • Turn off Bluetooth unless you’re using a Bluetooth headset or car kit.
  • Use Airplane Mode in low- or no-coverage areas.
  • Set Brightness to Auto Brightness.
  • Turn off EQ in the settings for iPod.

Also keeping your iPhone locked while not in use will help conserve the life of the battery.  Set the auto-lock to 1 minute by going to Settings > General > Auto-Lock and selecting 1 Minute.


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