Tagged: Apple

Apple releases Messages app; will replace iChat in Mac OS X Mountain Lion

MessagesDownload Messages Beta and get a taste of what’s coming in OS X Mountain Lion. When you install Messages, it replaces iChat. But iChat services will continue to work. And Messages brings iMessage to the Mac — just like on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch running iOS 5.

Here are the features you can expect with Messages:

  • Send unlimited iMessages to any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Start an iMessage conversation on your Mac and continue it on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • Send photos, videos, attachments, contacts, locations, and more.
  • Launch a FaceTime video call and bring the conversation face-to-face.
  • Messages supports iMessage, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and Jabber accounts.

We knew this was coming, and it’ll be great to have all our messages synced across desktop and laptop Macs and our iDevices!

Download Messages beta here.

Set the time interval of OS X’s Time Machine backups

When Apple introduced Time Machine in OS X 10.5 Leopard, it was a glorious day for everyone who struggled with overly complicated backup software. You simply turn it on and forget it, resting easy that your drive is constantly being backed up in case of drive failure. The key word that soon frustrated many users is constantly.

Time Machine backs up files every hour, and if you’re a power-user who updates and saves lots of files (particularly large ones), Time Machine could theoretically never stop working. The problem is that for many users, the Mac can get bogged-down while backing up, in some cases to the point of being unusable.

TimeMachineScheduler

Thankfully, Stefan Klieme wrote a simple piece of software called TimeMachineScheduler that allows you to easily adjust the backup interval of Time Machine. With TimeMachineScheduler you can set the interval from one to 12 hours, limit backups to WiFi or hard-wired connection only, skip backups during specified hours, and more.

TimeMachineScheduler is free (donations welcome) and works with OS X 10.5 or later on Intel Macs. Because my particular workflow doesn’t require hourly backups, I love this little utility and the features it offers me.

Made in the U.S.A. is not viable Apple

iPhone made in ChinaThe New York Times posted an article this past week titled How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work that got a lot of attention. Pando Daily, Cult of Mac and 9-to-5 Mac chimed in on the subject, and the topic even made it into the Republican Presidential Debate.

The sad fact is that Apple is no different than any other electronics company. Heck, forget electronics; practically everything you can buy at Walmart appears to be made in China.

While Steve Jobs stated at a dinner with President Obama that there aren’t enough skilled workers in America to Apple products in America, and that the current tax situation prevents them from bringing their oil-tankers full of cash back to the U.S., I believe there’s another reason as well. (more…)

Ex-Genius: Apple no longer values retail store staffers

Genius Bar“What was once a truly enriching place to work has become a place that leeches and drains everything from their employees. Apple retail no longer values its people and when I say people, I am referring to both your customers and your retail employees serving you on the front-lines.”

Chad Ramey, former Apple store Genius, who resigned from the Arrowhead (Ariz.) store has sent an email to Apple CEO Tim Cook, thanking him for the job experience, but warning that the stores have shifted from life-enriching to life-draining for employees.

I linked to this article because the Arrowhead store is the one I (used to) visit quite often, and I actually met Chad a few times and found him to be quite helpful and polite. He also struck me as a fairly level-headed guy – so I believe everything he’s written in the letter to Tim Cook. And I think what he has to say about the situation is the cause of what I think is a major deterioration of the Apple Store experience over the last year or two.

Rant: The annoying year that was 2011

Like any other year, 2011 brought a lot of highs and lows in my tech life. Unlike any other year though, 2011 was filled with situations and trends that just wouldn’t change to my liking.

Social

2011 was just too much sharing for my taste

There were lots of great things happening in tech this year, too many to talk about here. But I have put together a list of things that managed to annoy me to no end. (more…)

Angry Mac Bastards podcast

I listen to a bunch of podcasts throughout the day. Some are general tech, and some are Mac-specific. About a year ago I came across a Podcast who’s sole purpose is to bash the shockingly horrible articles (and their writers) across the web who consistently get the story wrong, or simply don’t “get” Apple, the Mac and iOS.

Angry Mac Bastards

If you don't like foul-language, or enjoy reading the work of out-of-touch & biased writers, AMB ain't for you

Angry Mac Bastards (AMB) is a weekly Podcast featuring John C. Welch, Darby Lines and Peter Cohen. When I first saw Peter Cohen’s name on the Podcast, I knew I would love the show because I had followed his work as a writer at Macworld years ago.

AMB spends about an hour or so each week dissecting the Mac-related news from around the web from the previous week. And by dissecting I mean using heavy doses of foul-language to describe their thoughts about the writers who post the typical dribble you find on sites like CultofMac, Gizmodo, ZDNet, 9to5Mac, and more. It’s not that the trio just likes to bash other people’s work, they selectively choose articles that are generally off-base, uninformed, or just completely stupid.

If you don’t mind reading articles that are thrown together with little thought, rumors with no real sources, poorly written articles, or if foul-language bothers you; AMB is definitely NOT for you. But if you want to be entertained for an hour or so, and get the real scoop about all things Apple, AMB may be right up your alley.

You can download individual episodes on the AMB website, or subscribe to the AMB Podcast on iTunes.

Ever wonder just how big Apple is? You’d be amazed… (infographic)

Apple’s market cap is hovering around $376 Billion dollars, trading the top spot with Exxon Mobile for the last several months. Clearly, that’s a lot of money. But just how big is Apple? It’s a bit easier to show what’s smaller than Apple.

What's smaller than Apple

The entire US pharmaceutical market is jealous of Apple

Visual.ly, my favorite infographic site, posted the great infographic below to show you what’s smaller than Apple. (more…)

Sharing calendars with iCloud

The transition from MobileMe to iCloud couldn’t be easier, but the features and functions you have or don’t have couldn’t be more cloudy (pun intended). One of the common misconceptions I keep hearing about is that once you move to iCloud, you no longer can share a single calendar with other users. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

iCloud calendar sharing

iCloud calendar sharing requires a visit to your iCloud web page

You can share an iCal calendar with any iCloud user – but you’ll have to visit the iCloud.com calendar page to do it. Just click the little icon next to the calendar or reminder list you wish to share, and enter the email address of the user you want to share with. That’s it.

Adobe Reader for iPhone and iPad

Adobe Reader for iOSJust like Adobe Reader on the desktop, now you can use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to quickly view and interact with the widest range of PDF file types – including PDF Portfolios, password-protected PDF documents and even Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDF files with Adobe Reader for iOS.

Using Adobe Reader for iOS, you can open and view PDF files from email, on the Web or from any application that supports the “Open In” function. Through its highly intuitive user interface, Adobe Reader provides you with an efficient PDF viewing experience regardless of the iOS device you happen to be using.

But that’s not all. You can also interact with PDF files in a number of ways including searching for specific text in the PDF or using bookmarks and page thumbnails to quickly navigate to different sections in the PDF file. And should you need a hard copy, you can also print the PDF wirelessly using iOS AirPrint.

I’ve been using Adobe Reader on my iPhone 4 for the last week or so, and found it to work extremely well. Previously I was using a 3rd party app, but it wasn’t nearly as fluid or easy to use as Adobe’s own solution.

Run Lion’s AirDrop on older and unsupported Macs also running Lion

OS X Lion's AirDrop

OS X Lion's AirDrop can work on older Macs with just a few Terminal commands

When Apple released OS X 10.7 Lion, they introduced a small but extremely useful feature for anyone with more than one Mac on the same network called AirDrop. While we’ve always had the ability to connect to other Macs with File Sharing turned on, it’s never been as easy as it is with AirDrop. The only problem: AirDrop only works with newer Macs. I have a 2006 MacPro, and was extremely disappointed when I found out AirDrop wouldn’t work. Thankfully, there is a simple work-around that got it working for me.

The first thing you need to know is that the unsupported Mac must be on the same WiFi or ethernet network, and also that you must run the commands below on ALL the Macs you wish to use AirDrop with, even if one or more of them already support AirDrop.

To get AirDrop running, type the following in the Terminal application:

  • defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser BrowseAllInterfaces 1
  • Hit the Enter key
  • killall Finder
  • Hit the Enter key

After you perform these commands on each Mac on your network, you should be able to see your Macs when you click on the AirDrop icon in the Finder window sidebar.