Apple has pushed two significant updates today that address a serious hardware issue plaguing new 13″ Retina Macbook Pro models, and the Mail app in Mavericks and how it works with Gmail.
The late 2013 13″ Macbook Pro update is an EFI Update (v 1.3) that addresses the situation where the keyboard and trackpad may become unresponsive.
The Mail.app update addresses the strange Gmail behavior Mail.app exhibited in Mavericks when using a Gmail account.
Both updates are available using the links above, or by using the Mac App Store.
Category: App Store,Mac App Store,Software
Getting your OS updates from the Mac App Store can be a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because once the file is downloaded, installing from your local drive is much quicker than the old method of CD/DVD installation. It can be a curse because downloading a 4GB disk image is not a quick task for most people. And if you have multiple Macs that need to be updated, it will require you to download that 4GB disk image multiple times.
There have been ways to take the OS Install disk image and create a bootable USB thumb drive from it since the Mac App Stores inception. It’s not an overly tedious process, but it’s not what I’d call drop dead easy.
Lion Disk Maker changes all of that. Download the app, open it up, and locate your copy of your OS X install, and Lion Disk Maker does the rest.
With OS X Mavericks coming soon, you may want to check this app out and get your USB thumb drive ready.
Category: Mac App Store,Software
So, the jury is in and Samsung lost. Big time. It could have been worse for Samsung, but not by much. Apple walks away with $1.049B in damages, and Samsung walks away with a verdict that will fundamentally change how it implements Android on it’s handsets in the future.
More importantly for Apple, all of their patents survived being declared invalid. There’s no guarantee another trial by another litigant won’t result in some of these patents being overturned in the future, but in law, precedent is important. And Apple now has a precedent.
I’ve seen a lot of commentary stating that Apple’s win is a loss for consumers. Hell, it was in Samsung’s post trail statement. I don’t see it that way. The mobile handset ecosystem (otherwise known as the “smartphone”) is alive and well. Neither RIM or Windows Phone took the road that Samsung did, and as a result, they have produced devices that aren’t iPhone knock offs.
Stock Android (usually found on the Nexus series of devices) hasn’t been identified as an infringing device, so Android fans can breathe a sigh of relief there. Android’s general direction in the last year seems to be moving away from the copy-cat nature that was prevalent in the 2008-2010 timeframe. This is a good thing.
This verdict will have to withstand years of appeals, which could reduce the total damages dollar amount. If I were Samsung, I’d be ready to work with Apple to settle this. Fix the infringing devices with a software update that removes the features that are found to have infringed on Apples. Or offer Apple a reasonable licensing fee. With the verdict in, it would be the right thing to do for both companies.
Category: Apple vs. Samsung Trial,Litigation
Macromate’s next generation Text Editor, TextMate 2, has been open sourced according to Macromate’s blog:
Today I am happy to announce that you can find the source for TextMate 2 on GitHub. I’ve always wanted to allow end-users to tinker with their environment, my ability to do this is what got me excited about programming in the first place, and it is why I created the bundles concept, but there are limits to how much a bundle can do, and with the still growing user base, I think the best move forward is to open source the program.
The source is licensed under the GPL 3, which will prevent someone from taking the source and forking to create a commercial product.
As a long time user of TextMate, I hope that this lights a fire under it’s development. However, open sourcing an app usually results in the app languishing in to oblivion. Hopefully, TextMate 2 will continue to be developed and survive.
Ever since the introduction of the iPod, Apple has been making a shift towards becoming a consumer electronics company. In 2007, at the iPhone keynote introduction, Steve Jobs famously declared that Apple was changing its name from ‘Apple Computer Inc’ to just ‘Apple Inc’, to better reflect that change.
In the years since, Apple has taken many steps that have left many in the professional markets scratching their heads and stomping their feet. Need a reminder? Here are some of those steps:
- 1. The Mac Pro: Apple let the Mac Pro languish for 2 years without an update. More than any machine Apple makes, the Mac Pro is the workhorse of the professional market. Hollywood studios, print shops, animation professionals, music professionals… all of these markets count on the Mac Pro and the numerous apps that Apple makes to get work done. And Apple went 24 months without an update to the hardware. It looks like we might finally get a Mac Pro update next week at WWDC, so keep your fingers crossed.
- 2. Final Cut Pro X: Apple takes a solid, popular and industry leading application and rewrites it from scratch, leaving out dozens of features Pros rely upon, and forcing many to reconsider their entire investment in Apple applications.
- 3. Aperture: Apple dropped the price of Aperture from $199 to $79 when it went to digital delivery via the Mac App Store. However, no new version of Aperture has been released, and with Lightroom 4, many long time stalwart Aperture uses (myself included) have taken Apple’s silence and lack of new Aperture version as an abandonment of the application and switched to Lightroom.
- 4. XServe: It probably didn’t sell a ton, but for those who bought in to a Mac OS X Server environment, XServe was an inexpensive way to serve websites and files without needing Windows or Linux server experience. Apple tried to steer users over to Mac Pros running Mac OS X Server, but when that product languished for 2 years, well, you can guess what that says to people.
- 5. Mac OS X Server: With Lion, Apple changed how Mac OS X Server is delivered. No longer a full stand alone OS, it is now a bolt on to Mac OS X, again available for download from the Mac App Store. While the new pricing is a huge improvement over the previous $499 price, the update has made many who use Mac OS X Server for web hosting angry, as Apple removed MySQL, and changed the admin configuration to the point that many who upgraded recommend staying away until the bugs are fixed.
And the trend continues with OS X Mountain Lion. In Mountain Lion, Apple removes the built in connection to start/stop Apache from the Sharing Preferences pane. The underlying Apache web server is still present, but why take away something that has been present in Mac OS X for 11 years, and force users to the Terminal to handle something that was drop dead easy before?
The above issue is a small one, but I feel it illustrates the problem at hand: Apple, even when it doesn’t have a financial reason to do so, is reworking their products to appeal to consumers, even if it means making the products less appealing to professionals.
I’m sure Apple has hard numbers that show that sales lost to the Pro market are inconsequential in comparison to sales gained in the consumer market, but it doesn’t have to be an either or proposition. Apple can make the best tools for professionals and still make tools that appeal to the general public. Hopefully Apple doesn’t lose sight of the benefits of being the darling of the professional market, and continues to take their needs in to consideration.
It’s pretty rare in prerelease speculation that the blogs get the specs of a new device right, but get the new devices name wrong. But such is the case of the new iPad. Not the iPad HD. Not the iPad 3. Just iPad. Makes sense though if you think about it. We don’t have MacBook Pro HDs, or iPod Touch 3s. I suspect the next iPhone will probably be called just iPhone as well.
As to the new device itself, it falls in line with predictions. Retina display. 4G LTE. New graphics chip to handle the extra resolution. New iSight camera with 5MP and 1080p recording. Just about every internal component has been upgraded.
Curiously, the one component that hasn’t been upgraded – the FaceTime camera – could have really improved the FaceTime experience if it had been upgraded to take advantage of the new resolution. As someone who FaceTimes regularly with family, it’s an improvement I would have welcomed. But I’m quibbling. This is a huge upgrade. Anyone who tries to paint this as a disappointment is being disingenuous.
Each iPad iteration brings more software to the platform that allows the iPad to be used for real world tasks. With this upgrade, Apple rolled out iPhoto. In true Apple fashion, it is a beautiful reimaging of the software used to organize and edit photos. With the improved screen, the iPad has the potential to become the travelling photographers tool of choice for in the field proofing, editing and sharing.
Great article from the NY Times:
Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.
A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.
The article skirts some of the main reasons why types of jobs aren’t coming back” Specifically, no mention is made of the high taxes companies pay in the US (which results in these jobs being filled overseas by ‘contractors’, whom Apple is not liable for).
Jobs is probably right that these jobs are never coming back to the U.S. though. And that scares the hell out of me. One day soon, the Asian companies that produce the hardware will figure out how to produce software that is good enough, and once that happens, the American companies who have used these Asian manufacturing companies will find themselves cut out of the chain, and competing with their manufacturers, who will be able to seriously undercut them.
Category: iPhone,News,Steve Jobs
Vaporware no more! As promised, an alpha version of TextMate 2 has been released.
It’s important to stress though that being an alpha release; it is not complete. It has reached a point where it may suit some early adopters and provide some relief to those who have been questioning TextMate’s future. For the time being, the alpha builds are only for people who already have a TextMate license and an Intel Mac.
There is some good stuff in this update, although for most people, it is not ready for prime time yet. Still, it looks like the text editor category for Mac OS X is about to have a renaissance with Coda 2, Espresso 2, Chocolate, Sublime Text 2, and now, TextMate 2.
It’s hard to imagine Apple before the iPod now, but 10 years ago, it didn’t exist yet. Apple was back on track, but it had yet to release a device that could be considered a ‘game changer’. Initially, I don’t think anyone believed that the iPod would have the success that it has had. The early reviews were split on it, with half seeing it for the brilliant device that it was, and the other half only seeing it for what it lacked (Windows compatibility and USB connectivity).
Still, it’s not a stretch to say that the iPod is the device that defined the modern Apple. It definitely gave them the resources and clout to tackle devices like the iPhone and iPad.