Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Apple iPad: The comeback tablet


Have iPad sales turned the corner? Mike points out that the previous decline in iPad sales could be more to do with the longer replacement cycle than with customer disenchantment. Recent model improvements and some price reductions have led to a 15% hike in sales....

iCloud Drive: The danger with Optimised Storage file placeholders


iCloud Drive works seamlessly, but did you know that it is easy to lose your data forever if you move files to an another location, such as Dropbox?

Five Candle Day: My first Mac’s 5th birthday


Overview-heroToday's launch of the new aluminium uni-body Mac Mini reminds me that it's the Mini that first brought me into the fold exactly five years ago. For some time I had been interested in Macs but company policy tended to PCs, as was quite usual in 2005. The Mini came along and had a very attractive price tag, so I decided to gamble £300. I didn't know what to expect, but I had really thought I would be advertising it on eBay before month's end. 

So much has happened since then in my Mac life that it seems incredible it is only five years ago. On 15 June 2005 I walked into the new Apple Store in London's Regent Street and came away with a basic Mac Mini. Four days later I was back to collect a PowerBook G4. I think I must have gained a good impression from OS X. 

I still have that G4 and it has been in almost daily use for five years, despite the miserly 1GB of RAM and 60 GB disk. But a variety of Macs has passed across my desk since then - including two MacBook Pro 15s, a MacBook Pro 17, a MacBook 13, a MacBook Pro 13, a MacBook Air and an iMac. Can this really be true, and all in five years? Probably. 

I still have the Air and my last late-2008 Pro 15, both awaiting eBay. One of the refreshing things about Macs is how easily they sell and how much they return. While they are often said to be overpriced, they are much more competitive when you take into account the software that comes bundled as standard and, of course, that attractive resale value. The true cost of ownership, all things considered, is not that different from expectations in the PC world. 

That visit to the Apple Store has had other repercussions: three iPhones, an iPod touch and an iPad, plus countless accessories, cases, stands, monitors and what have you. Not to mention this blog. It's been worth it, though. 

Which Watch? Survey shows first buyer choices as Apple Watch pre-orders start


Over the first weekend of Apple Watch ordering, 9to5 Mac conducted a quick user survey of buying choice and pulled in nearly 11,000 votes in double-quick time.

Apple Campus: MacFilos visits for the first time

MacFilos pays a first visit to Apple’s Cupertino Campus

Apple Watch: Will it be a hit or a miss?


Monday is Apple Watch Day. Some say it is the most important moment for Apple since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Some are impressed and speak of massive success; others have already decided the new wrist device will be a monumental flop. I'd like to go on record as a supporter of the concept of the wrist-borne communicator in general and of the Apple Watch in particular.

Apple Pay and the Apple Watch, happy playmates


I've been fretting about not having a credit or debit card enabled for Apple Pay. Last week there was a flurry of activity and I found that I had two likely suspects in my wallet so I decided to have a go.

MacBook: When software upgrades just don’t install


What to do when a piece of official Apple software just refuses to install on your MacBook. A clean sweep installation is the answer as Mike found out.

Apple Watch receives and makes calls via iPhone

Tim Cook of Apple is currently presenting the Watch. For me, the big news is that the Watch will be able to make and...

Ideal case for the iPhone


One of the attractions of getting a new toy such as the iPhone is exploring the range of accessories. Cases figure high on this list because, like most users, I want maximum protection with maximum ease of use. 

Some cases are just too bulky and yet offer little protection for the screen. Others, such as the rubberised condom style, need to be removed every time you dock the phone. Then there are the slim leather cases that offer style and feel-good factor but, again, offer little protection for the screen.

My Sena Ultra-slim Pouch is made from soft, high-quality leather and is of the slip-on type. It feels good and is a real quality item. The disadvantage is that you have to remove the phone for use, even to take a call--presenting the ever-present danger of dropping the naked phone. It also offers little real protection for the screen. 

My current case of choice is the Griffin Elan Form case which has a removable lower half to enable docking, plus a substantial clear-plastic screen cover that, surprisingly, doesn't make touch input difficult. The outer shell is covered in what I thought was a plastic leather-look but, according to the sales blurb, is actually a real leather coating. It looks good, whatever it is. 

I am also a fan of the Power Support Anti-Glare film for the screen. This is much better, in my opinion, than he crystal cover from the same manufacturer. The anti-glare has a slightly textured surface which does not attract finger marks but makes navigation and touch input more accurate and satisfying. What's more, this is one screen protector that is easy to apply. Getting rid of the air bubbles is easy on the iPhone because the hard glass screen can take more pressure from a credit card, the accepted implement for smoothing. This is one screen cover that actually improves the appearance while vastly improving the tactile feel and preventing smudges.

The anti-glare screen and the harder plastic screen insert of the Griffin case creates a very well-protected phone while input is only slightly impaired. For serious use, it is easy enough to slide off the bottom half of the case and remove the plastic cover. Incase make a similar two-part slider case but it does not have the hard plastic screen cover, thus leaving the phone more vulnerable.