May 8, 2013 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Products

Notifcation_centerMac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion gave Mac users some parity with iOS users through the introduction Notification Center. OS X Notification Center is a non-intrusive way of alerting Mac users of incoming messages, like emails, appointments and OS X updates, through badges or alerts. Badges are little notifications that appear in the top right corner of the screen for five seconds then slide away. While the badge is still present, one can click it and be transported to the specific application and particular message. Alerts are a little more intrusive as they require action to be taken (close, open) before they disappear.

The idea behind Notification Center is to let the user know that a new message has come in, but not to disturb the current work flow. Notification Center also has a side bar to the right that allows for viewing of several different notifications, from different apps, all at once. That said, Notification Center has much growing up to do, and below are some suggestions we have for Notification Center in OS X 10.9:

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May 7, 2013 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: MacBook

Haswell

The current MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with two graphics processors or GPUs. The HD4000 is integrated into the Intel chip and the Nvidia GeForce GT650M is a discrete graphics card with 1GB of memory. The MacBook Pro 13-inch just comes with the HD4000. While the Nvidia card is much faster than the HD4000, it uses more battery power. That all may change this summer.

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May 6, 2013 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Mac Applications

MailThe Mail application was one of the first apps that Apple wrote for OS X. Those who remember the first official release, OS X 10.0 (Cheetah), know that Mail.app was there from the beginning, as it was to be an example for developers on how to write an app for the OS X platform. However, Mail.app soon was adopted by many and Apple started improving it with each release of the OS.

That said, there are several things Mail.app doesn't do very well or could do better. Below is a list of improvements we would like to see in the OS X 10.9 release:

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May 4, 2013 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Competition, Google, News

The two indisputable smart phone leaders are Apple and Samsung. Other players such as HTC, Nokia, Motorola and LG are just slivers on the market share pie chart. Marketing 101 stipulates that when in a two-horse race, if you are the leader you never mention the number two contender. If you are in second place, then you always compare yourself to the leader. After watching this ad, it is clear that Samsung thinks they are second in the pecking order.

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May 3, 2013 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: iMac, Mac Applications, Predictions, Products, Review

Spotlight_i01The Mac OS is a mature operating system. It is a good looking and clean interface that stays out of the way so users can focus on their work. The gradient gray interface minimizes distractions while shadows create depth for better window separation, but with all these great features, there is still room for improvement.

There still are many ways Apple can improve how the OS interacts with the user. One of those areas is spotlight. Spotlight is great for searching for items on the computer in real-time, and it is lightening fast with solid state storage, yet Apple could make it so much better.

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May 2, 2013 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Predictions, Review, Rumors

Finder_os_x_10Recent rumors about features found in Apple’s forthcoming OS X 10.9 seemed to come out of nowhere last week. While the next Mac OS update appears to focus on the “Power User” with tabbed Finder windows and tags, there are still a few things on my OS X Wish List I'd like to see Apple deliver.

1) My primary computer is a 13" MacBook Air. While traveling I make do with the built in display, but when in the office I always have a second monitor connected. There is pain when going from a single monitor to dual configuration and then back to single monitor. The Finder windows (and other app windows too) do not remember where they were in a single or dual monitor configuration. Finder needs to remember how windows were arranged when in dual-monitor or single built-in display modes are used. The Dock should also remember its different placements, dependent upon monitor configuration (e.g., single display to the left, dual on the bottom).

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May 1, 2013 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: iOS Applications, Mac Applications, Predictions, Products, Rumors

SiriApple added Siri to the iOS, creating an easy way for users to search and perform tasks without the need for an on screen keyboard. With Siri, Apple basically created a smart operating system. While Siri is still limited, it shows the direction for the future of operating systems beyond mobile. For Apple, this means Siri is likely to be headed towards Macs and OS X.

The rest of the industry has already taken notice. Google has Google Now, and in April Amazon purchased a Siri competitor Evi. The industry sees voice control as the future, and the major players are working hard to integrate it into their Operating Systems. Apple will be announcing their next Mac OS (10.9) in June at WWDC. Developers are expecting Siri to be one of the main new features. Can Apple just drop in Siri as is, or do they need to improve it for the Mac?

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Apr 30, 2013 — by: Mark Reschke

Ipad-mini-whiteIf KGI Securities Ming-Chi Kuo’s iPad mini idea wasn't so absurd, it might makes sense — for Dell or Acer! Kuo’s idea: Apple should make a lower-cost iPad mini to compete with low-cost Android devices, since the rumored delay of a retina display iPad mini won't arrive to market until late fall or early winter.

Kuo Reports:  Prior to iPad mini 2 launch, Apple might roll out a more affordable iPad mini to compete with Android products. To cut costs, Apple might push for lower component prices, use a more advanced process to produce the A5 processor, simplify metal casing production, remove the rear camera, cut storage to 8GB and find more component suppliers to lower costs. We think this cheaper iPad mini retail for US$199~249.

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Apr 29, 2013 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Competition, Products, Review, Rumors

Samsung_pile

In Samsung’s effort to become the next Apple, the South Korean company been on a feverish pace to launch a myriad of smartphones. Often these high end handsets contain what the company calls “innovative” features to go along with a heavy dose of hype. But in its race to dominate the smartphone industry, Samsung may be rapidly diluting itself, claiming too much, while delivering far too little.

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Apr 27, 2013 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Podcasts

Casey kasem podcast long distance dedication

Episode 98: Long Distance Dedication. Mark, Karl and Werner analyze Apple’s latest financial report; discuss the WWDC 2013 invitation logo and what will most likely be at the show; whether or not Apple will make a move a majority its operation from Cupertino, CA or Austin, TX; and the introduction of T-GAAP’s advice column. All this and much, much more in Episode 98: Long Distance Dedication.

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