Posts with tag os x
Phones, Macs, and Watches - oh my
I’m a procrastinator. I have a tendency to wait until the very last minute to do anything, including publish these sort of What to Realistically Expect stories. Finally, my infliction has paid off – if I had written this even just last week, I would have jotted down new Apple TV hardware and software as a stone cold sure thing. Yet according to the ever reliable Brian X. Chen, Apple threw away plans to announce new Apple TV hardware and a cohesive developer ecosystem at WWDC at the very last minute because “the product was not ready for prime time”.
Given that I’m an avid user of the current iteration of Apple TV (I stream all my nightly television from there), I’m bummed to see this cut. I was hoping this would be when the Apple TV truly grew up and became a major player in the Apple line-up. Alas.
Time is short and things run behind schedule, and so it goes. There’s always September.
And in the spirit of that, we’re still on the verge of an entire week’s worth of new Apple products, platforms, and goodies. The Apple TV may not be there, but there’s still plenty left to cover. Here’s what you can realistically expect at WWDC 2015, starting tomorrow, June 8th.
New software, new hardware, new SDKs
While Apple famously remains mum on the future of most of their products, popular Apple rumor site 9to5Mac has today apparently spilled the beans on the near future of two of Apple’s most exciting products – the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. According to the new report, which cites a “proven source”, Apple is hard at work on both new software and hardware for the two product lines as well as at least one new service which will tie into both.
On the Apple Watch side, Apple is said to be busy adding in some low hanging fruit on the software side. Apple’s incredibly useful “Find My…” suite of services will expand to a new “Find My Apple Watch” function, which will allow you to locate the Watch’s general location and allow you to lock it or wipe it if lost. Given the Apple Watch features very few connectivity functionality of its own, Apple will apparently be basing this on a new service called “Smart Leashing”, which will allow the Watch to more accurately determine how far away the Watch is from your phone using services such as wi-fi and Bluetooth. This will supposedly also allow the Watch to warn a wearer with a few taps if it’s getting too far away from its connected iPhone.
Apple is also said to be working on the third party app ecosystem for the Apple Watch. First, the Apple may be working on improving the functionality of the current WatchKit SDK, the platform that Apple currently uses to wirelessly transmit app projects from iPhone apps to the Apple Watch display. Apple is said to be expanding this to allow developers to create their own Complications, widgets that live on the Watch’s watch face to provide nuggets of information. Complications are currently limited to Apple’s built in applications, such as showing the current weather information from the built in Weather app. 3rd party Complications would open up a new world of possibilities – for example, replacing Apple’s built in Weather complication with a preferred third party alternative. On top of the improvements to the current WatchKit, Apple is supposedly also hard at work at the successor to WatchKit – native Apple Watch applications that natively live on the Apple Watch hardware that don’t directly rely on the user’s iPhone. This next-generation Apple Watch SDK will enable much more powerful, functional, and sophisticated applications and will remove a majority of limitations that have frustrated many day one Apple Watch developers.
On the Apple TV side, 9to5Mac seemingly confirms that Apple is on the verge of releasing a next-generation Apple TV box alongside its first major software update in years. The new Apple TV is said to be much more powerful than the previous generation while also managing to become much slimmer than the current device. Apple will also introduce a third party application ecosystem for the new Apple TV OS, allowing developers to create their own apps – such as games, video streaming, music streaming, news, and more – for the Apple TV for the first time. Apple is said to be bundling in a more advanced remote control for the Apple TV, which may or may not include a Force Touch trackpad. Apple will also supposedly promote the Apple Watch’s Remote app to the primary remote for the Apple TV for Apple Watch owners. Apple is also apparently busy readying their new Live TV replacement service for the Apple TV, which will allow you – get ready for this – to watch live content a la cable, streaming directly to your Apple TV. This service is said to be slightly behind the new hardware and software initiatives.
What is left more ambiguous in 9to5Mac’s report is the timing of all the above. It would stand to reason that Apple is incredibly interested in pushing as much of this as possible at the company’s upcoming Worldwide Developer Conference, which is slated for June 8th – particularly the developer initiatives. Apple may also reveal their new version of their smartphone and Mac operating systems, iOS 9 and OS 10.11, alongside the new Apple Watch OS and Apple TV.
"It's been way too long."
We’ve spent the past week speculating, but it’s finally time to learn the truth – or, well, it will be on October 16th. Apple has just sent out invitations to the rumored October 16th Special Event. For puzzle solvers among us will want to pay extra special attention to the tagline, “It’s been way too long.” In the past, Apple’s invitations have offered hints towards the content of the special event. Or, of course, it could just be Apple poking fun at the fact that their iPhone 6 / iWatch event happened not a month ago. Either one.
Apple is expected to use this event to unveil their new iPad lineup, launch OS X Yosemite, and announce updated Mac models – including, perhaps, an all new iMac with a Retina Display. Apple is holding this special event in an auditorium on campus in Cupertino, signifying this will be a significantly smaller event than that massive September event.
Source: Nilay Patel
Graphics card failures, angry customers, and a class action lawsuit
If you’re the proud owner of a 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro, take note; if you purchased your beloved MacBook Pro in 2011, keep an extra careful eye on your precious cargo. We’re over 750 pages into a post on Apple’s own Community Support forums, hundreds of Twitter posts later, and countless cases of defective MacBook Pro logic boards later, it’s become apparent to – well – just about everybody paying attention that there’s something wrong with these machines. Thousands have revealed that their 15″ or 17″ MacBook Pro, purchased in 2011, have suddenly just… stopped working; including my own. The root of the problem apparently lies within these notebook’s graphics cards, which are integrated into the logic board.
The signs vary slightly, but just about every time inevitably lead to a single solution – replacement of the entire logic board. I was working on my three year old notebook like normal yesterday when all of a sudden the screen went white. Thinking it was nothing but a system crash, I held down the power button and turned the machine back on – only to be greeted by the familiar Apple logo distorted, with the entire screen covered in a putrid shade of green. What’s worse, upon booting the operating system my entire notebook crashes nearly every single time; for an entire day now, my only solution has been to run the machine in single user mode… which is hardly a solution at all.
Browsing through Apple’s own support community reveals that others have similar issues ranging in severity. Some notebooks appear to work fine for a couple of minutes, booting up and allowing the user to work without a problem, until the graphics of the machine suddenly gets distorted leading to a lockup. Another common one sees the notebook working when the operating system is forced to only recognize these notebook’s integrated Intel graphics using a tool such as gfxCardStatus, however this solution didn’t work for me. One unlucky MacBook Pro owner has seen four of these 2011 MacBook Pros see logic board failures, suggesting that issues with these models may be more widespread than first believed.
The worst part about all of this isn’t even that Apple sold defective machines to customers for almost an entire year – though, that is pretty bad in and of itself – it’s that the company is now refusing to even acknowledge that there’s an issue. Despite a ton of pressure from customers, the support forum topic, and even an entire event dedicated to raising awareness on social networks by customers bitten by this bad Apple, Apple has remained silent on the issue – refusing to acknowledge a widespread issue nor issuing any sort of recall. Which means that, if you’re like me and the warranty is up on your MacBook Pro, you’re looking at a logic board replacement of around $750 just to get a laptop that, for all you know, could fail in a matter of weeks, months or just a few short years all over again.
In order to force Apple’s hand on the issue, a class action lawsuit has been launched against the company on behalf of owners of the 2011 MacBook Pro models effected, as well as owners of some other Mac models that might suffer similar issues. The lawsuit claims that Apple “had knowledge of the defect, yet willfully and intentionally decided to hide the defect, resulting in continuing damage to the Class.”
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post with any response or information we might receive.
Except for that non-Retina one. That's still old and busted.
Just as the interwebs has predicted, Apple has today released a slightly refreshed updated MacBook Pro lineup, bringing some slightly better prices, faster processors, and more memory for nearly all of Apple’s MacBook Pro configurations.
The MacBook Pro with Retina Display has seen updates in both their 13″ size as well as their 15″ size; for $1299, customers can now get their hands on a notebook with a 2.6 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid state drive. Customers can upgrade to 256GB of solid state storage for an additional $200, or for $1799 they’ll upgrade to a 2.8 GHz dual-core i5 processor as well as 512GB of solid state storage.
The 15″ models get similar upgrades, with the base $1999 model seeing a bump to a 2.2 GHz quad-core i7 processor as well as 16GB of memory, twice as much as before at this same price point. The high end 15″ model gets a price drop to $2499, and now carries a 2.5 GHz quad-core i7 processor, the same 16GB of memory, and 512GB of solid state storage. These are all the same Haswell based processors as before, but with slightly faster clock speeds – each option bringing with it about 200 MHz of extra speed.
The lone remaining non-Retina option, the base model 13″ MacBook Pro, remains – unfortunately – completely unchanged. We’ve got the same old, two year-old processor – the same mechanical hard drive based storage options – and the same amount of memory. What is changed their is a new price. Apple has decided that the 13″ MacBook Pro, which the customer sees as a popular machine for “Windows switchers”, gets a price drop to $1,099. Still fairly pricy for what you’re getting, but let’s be honest here – if you’re interested in a Mac, you should really only be looking at the MacBook Air lineup or the MacBook Pro with Retina Display lineup.
Good news, fellow laptop connoisseurs. If you’re looking to get your hand on a MacBook Pro but have been feeling a little lukewarm about purchasing a 13″ or 15″ Retina model given that they haven’t been upgraded for a whopping 279 days, your wait is finally over – maybe. According to both sources at Apple Retail Stores as well as a Chinese Apple rumor site MacG.co, Apple will finally be updating both their 13-inch and their 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros tomorrow, stuffing a faster processor and more RAM into the familiar chassis.
According to the rumors, the low-end 15-inch model will be getting a boost to a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processor with a standard of 16GB of RAM, while two higher end 15″ MacBook Pro models will also be getting processor boosts of 200 MHz each.
If that doesn’t sound like much, that’s because it’s not; Apple is likely using this as a stopgap solution to bring some fresh air into the lineup as they await for Intel to ready the real next course meal, the company’s Intel “Broadwell” processor family. Broadwell represents a significant architectural improvement over the company’s current “Haswell” based offerings, however Intel has delayed release of those particular chips for quite some time now, seriously limiting what Apple’s able to provide with an updated MacBook Pro.
At the end of the day, if you’re waiting for a real update – this might not be enough for you. But if you’re happy with some extra RAM and a little bit of extra wiggle room in terms of raw processing power, the MacBook Pro lineup is still one of the best in class.
A minor refresh
The current iMac models have been around for quite some time now, so of course, that means it’s time to get rid of them. According to the same folks who originally (correctly) reported that the MacBook Airs would be getting some updated models last year, Apple is preparing to launch updated iMac models this upcoming week – likely Tuesday, given Apple’s predictability.
While we don’t have specifics as to what the new iMacs will contain, we’d be willing to bet all things shiny and glittery in our possession that the new iMacs will be just like the new MacBook Airs before them – minor spec boosts with the same overall design. The current iMac’s design was only introduced in October 2012, after all, and it remains just as stunning – and impressively slim – as it did back then.
So that said, get ready for more of the same with a slightly faster processor, more memory, perhaps some boosted storage options, and maybe – just maybe – even a price drop, if Apple’s to follow the example set by their recent MacBook Air launch. That said, that decidedly non Retina display is getting pretty long in the tooth, don’t you think?
Apple has today posted a video showcasing the new user interface design found in their upcoming update to their desktop operating system found on their Mac lineup of computers, OS X Yosemite. OS X Yosemite represents the most major clear visual design overhaul for Mac in quite some time – arguably since Apple first unveiled the Aqua interface found in OS X 10.0 – OS X 10.4, originally introduced in 2001.
It’s also worth pointing out that we’ve got our very own (very) early first look at the first OS X Yosemite Developer Preview, which was released for developers at Apple’s WWDC conference last week.
Sound good? Check out Apple’s new OS X Yosemite design video after the break.
These are uncharted waters
Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference was yesterday, and at the introductory keynote event company CEO Tim Cook alongside a couple of other Apple executives (including a cameo by Dr. Dre) introduced a whole slew of new software goodies ranging from revolutionary to evolutionary. Arguably the real star of the show, however, was the company’s eleventh major OS X release, OS X 10.10 Yosemite (10.0 being the first).
While Apple has been focusing on the little things with no major overhauls on the Mac side of things for quite some time now, OS X Yosemite marks a drastic change for the software that all of the Mac line of computers will be running come this Autumn. Taking more than a few cues from the software’s younger, more portable sibling – iOS 7 – Yosemite definitely falls under the “revolution” side of the aisle while this year’s iOS 8 update fell on the “evolutionary” side.
But is it any good? We’ve got our hands on the OS X 10.10 Yosemite Developer Preview that the company gave to all paying OS X Developers yesterday. Let’s take a look after the break.
The hype has begun
Don’t look now, but Apple has begun transforming the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco into the showcase for their latest and greatest products and developers alike. WWDC 2014, or WWDC14 as Apple has taken to calling it this year, doesn’t begin until this upcoming Monday, but let’s take a look at some of Apple’s decorations, some of which hint to some pretty big changes. Photos sourced from numerous sources.
First, MacStories editor Federico Viticci has grabbed some photos of the outside of the center, including work being done on the giant Apple logo that will cover glass panels on the outside of the building. The Metreon building across the street is also home to some WWDC14 branded promotional images, as you can after the beak below.
Here's what's (probably) coming, not what's not
Another day, another dollar. Another June, another WWDC conference. Last year Apple bestowed upon us the new, Jony Ive-ified iOS version, iOS 7 – with its colorful hues, stark white backgrounds, and gradients – oh, the gradients – and it was the talk of the metaphorical town. But iOS 7 is so last year – let’s fine out what Apple has in store for us this year. This is – once again – what to realistically expect at Apple’s WWDC 2014 event, taking place next Monday, June 2nd… and not what’s not.
What to realistically expect…” is a series of posts which we use to temper expectations concerning upcoming Apple events. We’ve got a pretty good track record here, with only one small miss with our iPhone 5s/5c event predictions.
Promises "exciting announcements"
While it’s fairly easy to predict when Apple will be giving certain keynotes and hosting special events, it’s harder to know how to or where to watch them. While the company doesn’t usually stream their special events, its making an exception next week as they’ve just announced that they’ll be live streaming their main keynote, hosted by Apple CEO Tim Cook, next Monday.
The special event starts at 10am PDT, 1pm EDT next Monday, and if you’re interested in seeing for yourself what Apple has in store you can bookmark this page to get you to the action when the event kicks off. We’re also planning on extensively covering the event, bringing to you a fresh take of whatever Apple introduces next week – so stay tuned for that.