Review

Jun 2, 2014 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Review

OS X Yosemite Mail EnhancementsOS X Mail is as old as is OS X — as Mail was one of the core apps with the original OS X 10.0 release. Since then Mail has gone through many updates as has OS X. While the Keynote at WWDC 14 introduced the predictable bug fixes and enhancements to Mail syncing and application speed, there were three absolutely huge new productivity tools added to Mail in OS X Yosemite.

Mail Drop

Mail Drop is an incredible idea, and once you use it you’ll wonder why someone didn’t think of this before. Mail Drop solves the problem of sending large attachments through email. As we all know, the experience is iffy at best when emailing someone a large attachment. Sometimes the email goes through, sometimes it doesn’t — for a myriad of reasons.

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Jun 2, 2014 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: Review

IphotoMany people rely iPhoto as their sole photo management tool on the Mac. That is because iPhoto is well designed with all the basic features one needs. However iPhoto does have some room for improvement. Problems can occur when users want to switch to a different application for either editing or managing those files.

To edit photos in a different application, users can either export the modified file, the original file, or go digging into the library to find the original files. The original file is the best to use with other applications. The problem occurs when users add meta-data to pictures in iPhoto. Meta-data includes geolocation information, captions, keywords, etc. This information is not stored in the original file, but in the iPhoto library. The only way to transfer this information, is to export a copy from iPhoto. However, if the iPhoto library gets corrupted or iPhoto stops working, that data could be lost. All the time adding meta-data to photos would not be lost if that meta-data could be saved to a file instead of just within iPhoto library. Those original files can then be transferred to other applications.

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May 21, 2014 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Review

Surface-pro-3-miss-the-target-arrowsYesterday, Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3 tablet/laptop. As the number indicates, this is the third iteration of Microsoft’s tablet coming less than two years since the original Surface RT was foisted onto the marketplace.

The Surface Pro 3’s runs atop Intel’s i3, i5 or i7 processors and Windows 8. Battery life is said to be about 9 hours for web browsing and has storage options of 64, 128, 256 and 512GB. A USB 3 port is included. However, the big feature is the new 12" 2160 x 1440 display. Microsoft is again positioning the Surface Pro 3 as both a tablet and a laptop — portability and power to be both. But Surface being a laptop and a tablet is exactly what Microsoft claimed of the original 10.9" Surface. Whatever the flawed reasoning, Microsoft continues to double down on on their previously failed mantra.

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May 19, 2014 — by: Karl Johnson
Categories: Review

53From cash registers to recreational games, the iPad is used in a variety of ways. For example, take drawing. Drawing on the iPad is more natural than drawing on the computer with a mouse or tablet because the user sees the line they are drawing right under the pen. The iPad has several styluses to choose from making it a great drawing device.

However, finding a good drawing application in the App Store can be somewhat challenging. First, there is no specific “Graphics & Design” category on the iOS App Store like there is on the Mac App Store. This is an important category that Apple needs to add to the iOS App Store. Second, once you locate a drawing app there are a multitude to choose among. That said, despite these drawbacks, we’ve done the work for you and can recommend two clear drawing application winners.

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May 2, 2014 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Review

Fisher_price_android_smartphoneWhat do Fisher Price phones and Android smartphones have in common? Simple. They are for first-time users, that much is abundantly clear. In other words, Android smartphones are training wheels until the user can be a big boy or girl, and ride on two wheels like all the older kids in the neighborhood.

Apple’s second quarter iPhone sales shocked analysts with stronger than anticipated sales, largely due to increased sales in China. But it is the overall base of iPhone users, coupled with a steady flow of Android users converting to iPhones, that continues to grow iPhone share in the U.S. and Europe.

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May 1, 2014 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Review

Macbook_air_updateApple’s MacBook Air offerings saw a small refresh on Tuesday, with little fanfare and with little changed. Yet the update may be the products most significant since the MacBook lineup expanded to include the Air in 2008.

Apple included a small update to the processor, moving the needle north by 100 MHz, and claims slightly better battery life in various areas of use. Nothing else within the specifications has changed, save for one telling area — price.

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Apr 16, 2014 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Review

iTunes has been with us for over a decade now. It’s hard to remember life when “portable” music required physical media (CD, Cassette, Record, 8-track). While the video (see details to the right) is clever and funny it does bring home the point that things change, and change quickly. A decade is a long time for any technology and iTunes is no exception. While iTunes has grown to include movie and TV shows, iTunes Match and iTunes Radio, the fundamental push of iTunes is to buy something — after all it’s really an online store, somewhat disguised as a media browser.

However, the problem is that today’s youth don’t browse and buy, they stream. Streaming is the new way music is consumed, not purchasing. Pandora and Spotify were two entities that figured this out and have led this paradigm shift. Apple tried to respond with iTunes Radio, but if you do much searching or try it yourself, you’ll find that iTunes Radio is still a second place step-cousin to a quality streaming experience.

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Apr 15, 2014 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Review
Apple_steve_jobs

Apple’s stock price currently hovers in the low $520’s, a far cry from the days of AAPL closing just over $700. Where Apple’s stock price may be headed is up for huge debate, and if you want to believe AAPL is moving to $800, then believe this. If you want to believe Apple is in a free-fall, go here. There seems to be an abundance of Kool-Aid for everyone of any persuasion. Underneath all of the pop culture of stock predictions lies a fundamental question: Did investors ever believe in Apple, or was it only Steve Jobs that they saw someone worth investing in?

Steve Jobs led Apple out of its dark past to make Apple the largest financially solvent tech company in the world. Investors were quick to take note and eagerly followed along. AAPL rose from $10 a share in 2004 to over $350 per share by the time of Jobs death in March, 2011, rising to over $420 a share (which included two stock splits). Apple’s stock price continued to march happily north, peaking at $702.10 on September 19, 2012, nearly a year after Tim Cook had begun to act as full-time Apple CEO. Nothing had seemed to change between Jobs or Cook, just more product market share and financial success. But it wasn’t long after Apple’s dramatic rise to just over $700 that Wall Street began to sour on Apple.

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Apr 14, 2014 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Review

Ue_boom_versus_1Logitech’s UE (Ultimate Ears) division is on a roll lately. Their UE mini Boom portable bluetooth speaker puts out a solid sound with minimal distortion — even when the volume is set to the highest level. But its sound was one direction, best suited for personal travel and use. UE’s Boom is a different story.

Logitech’s UE Boom can best be described as a full-sized 360 degree sounds system in a can. Its shape highly resembles as 16 oz / 24 oz beverage bottle, but its enjoyment goes well beyond any beverage container.

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Apr 4, 2014 — by: Mark Reschke
Categories: Review

Earlier this week Amazon stepped into the set top box market with Amazon fireTV. This is a direct competitor to Apple TV, with a few extra features such as a gaming option and a voice control remote. 

Digging into fireTV’s specifications became a difficult task, and it reminded me of a similar problem when Amazon launched their Kindle Fire HD against Apple’s iPad mini. Amazon cherry picked the Kindle Fire HD specifications in a big way, so as to present their tablet as being superior, and cheaper — to the iPad mini. Amazon, receiving negative press, soon capitulated 

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