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Apple Macintosh, iPod, iPad and iPhone news and advice in Dublin, Ireland

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Apple's new ad- Your Verse

Apple seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment with its adverts. The two recent pieces are some of the best advertising from Cupertino in the last few years.

Check out the new advert, called Your Verse, which is narrated by Robin Williams:

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New Mac Pro

Apple have launched the new Mac Pro, and it is now available to buy on the Apple Store. I’m not sure how many sales we are going to see in our business- it is likely to be a niche product, far more niche that the old PowerMac and Mac Pro lines. At one time all professionals would buy a top line Mac and shun the iMac. But with improvements in chips speeds and these being passed down the line to all machines, the iMac is a consumer and a pro choice. Our own choice is a 27” iMac with a MacBook Air, as the iMac provides all the speed we need and the MacBook Air provides portability.

What the Mac Pro offers is power and external expandability and it will come as welcome news for certain high end video editors.

Check out the advert, as it might be the closest you get to one of these specialist machine:


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iPad mini with retina display now available

Apple have started taking orders for the new iPad mini with Retina Display. The new iPad mini with Retina Display can be purchased on the Apple online store, starting at €399.

iPad-mini-2013-retina-pic

Here is Apple’s pricing chart, showing the retina models in two types: WiFi only and WiFi plus Cellular data:

WiFi only models:
iPad-mini-2013-retina-wifi

WiFi and Cellular Data models:

iPad-mini-2013-retina-wifi-cellular

Note that all iPad minis with cellular requires a nano-SIM card.

If you are looking for a cheaper model and are willing to forego the retina screen, you can save about €100. The 16GB non-retina mini (WiFi only) costs €299. A WiFi and cellular model is €419. There are only these two variants for the non-retina display model.

Expect the retina display model to sell out fast- it is getting close to December and we are likely to see shortages as we approach the Christmas buying season.
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New iMacs: faster speeds, similar price

Although not an earth-shattering change, Apple updated its range of desktop iMacs this week, and gave the new range faster processors. Prices remain almost the same to the last generation and screen sizes have not changed.
imac-sept-2013
All models come with a generous 8GB of RAM memory and a 1TB hard disk. All iMacs can be customised, with the option to add a Fusion drive, which is part hard disk and part flash storage. This makes the iMac much faster as it automatically frequently used tiles on the faster flash drive. Replacing the 1TB hard drive with a 1TB Fusion drive costs an extra €200 or £160. Doubling the RAM to 16GB also costs €200 (£160).

The ports on the back of the iMac remain the same: SDXC card slot, four USB 3 ports (compatible with USB 2), two Thunderbolt ports, a Mini DisplayPort and an Ethernet port.

Overall this update is relatively minor, but if you have been waiting to purchase a new Mac desktop you will get more speed for your money.

To see the full details, check out the online stores at Apple Ireland or Apple UK.

Just to note- there is also a VESA Mountable version of the iMac available at this link..
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iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c- What You Need to Know...

On September 10th Apple announced two new iPhone families, replacing the iPhone 5. The two new ranges are called the iPhone 5s, the top of the range version, and the iPhone 5c, which is slightly cheaper and replaces the year-old iPhone 5.

So what is the point of two iPhone models?
Apple believes that the two models serve two groups of consumers. The new iPhone 5s is more cutting-edge and comes with some extra features. The iPhone 5c is more colourful and very similar to the iPhone 5 (which it has replaced).

iphone5s
iPhone 5s

What is new about the iPhone 5s?
The phone has three internal hardware changes. The first is speed: the 5s comes with the new A7 processor inside and this promises to have double the speed of the phone it replaces (iPhone 5). It also has a new sensor inside (M7 motion coprocessor) which means the phone will act a bit like a Nike Fuelband, or any of the exercise gadgets which track your walking/running. The third, and most noted change, is the “Touch ID” fingerprint sensor on the front. The home button now recognises your finger and this takes over as the method to wake the iPhone, replacing the need to type in a 4-digit passcode. It also works when you buy apps, music, videos, books etc. You place your finger on the sensor instead of having to type your iTunes password.

The other big news is the improved camera. The new model lets you take “bursts” of images so you can capture events with lots of movement. It also allows for high-quality video, which can be slowed down into what Apple call “slo-mo” mode, without losing the quality and definition.

The iPhone 5s comes in thee colours- gold, silver and “space grey”. It also comes in three storage sizes- 16, 32 or 64GB.

iphone5c
iPhone 5c

Is there anything new about the iPhone 5c compared to the iPhone 5?
The main new features are the better battery life and the new colours. The iPhone 5c comes in green, blue, red, yellow or white. The price has dropped by about $100 compared to the iPhone 5 and it is likely that this model will be the big seller due to subsidies from the carriers.
All of the other specs are the same as the iPhone 5- A6 processor, 8 megapixel camera, 4 inch retina display . It comes in two storage sizes- 16 or 32GB.

ios7-announced
iOS 7 Control Centre

What about the iPhone 4S:
It is still around! It will be the cheapest model and will probably come free with a contract from your carrier.

What about software?
One of the announcements yesterday was about iOS 7, which is going to be released next Wednesday, Sept 18th. This all be a free download and can be installed on any iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later and on an iPod touch 5. It will also come as the operating system on the new iPhones. One of the big features to come in iOS 7 is FaceTime audio. You will be able to call any other iOS 7 user anywhere in the world for free, using your WiFi or data package.

The biggest change for iOS 7 will be the look and feel. It is bright, colourful and is a very new design compared to your current iOS 6.

Apple also announced that it was going to start bundling a lot more software with the new iPhones. All new models can download Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto and iMovie for free. Up to now each of these were separate purchases from the App Store.

What about pricing?
The new prices were announced, but they are US-only for the moment. International prices will emerge as Apple start to roll-out the handsets later this month.

Here are the US prices for the iPhones with a 2 year contract:
iPhone 5s:
16GB $199
32GB $299
64GB $399

iPhone 5c:
16GB $99
32GB $199

iPhone 4S:
8GB Free

UK prices for the unlocked model:
iPhone 5s:
16GB £549
32GB £629
64GB £709

iPhone 5c:
16GB £469
32GB £549

iPhone 4S:
8GB £349

What about those cases?
Apple also spent a bit of time highlighting the new cases for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. There are six colours for the iPhone 5s, all made from leather, including a (RED) edition:

iPhone5s-casescase-red-iphone5s

For the iPhone 5c, there are six rubber cases with a new open design at the back:

iphone5c-cases

When will the new iPhones be available:
Customers in the US and UK can pre-order an iPhone 5c from Friday 13th September. Then both the iPhone 5s and 5c go on sale from Friday 20th September. Note that you can’t pre-order the iPhone 5s, probably due to limited availability at the start.


Anything else I should know?
The “s” in iPhone 5s and the “c” in iPhone 5c are both lowercase. Just saying.
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Expect a busy Sept-Oct from Apple

The months of September and October and going to be big for Apple this year. Given that there have been relatively few announcements for customers in the early part of the year, with WWDC being aimed at developers, September and October promises to reshape the Apple line up.

First, we expect there to be two events between now and Christmas. Although Apple have not officially announced any event yet, it is almost certain that a Sept 10th event will see the unveiling of the new iPhone(s). We also expect the new iOS 7 to ship with the new phones, something which Apple have so far only said will happen in “Fall” 2013.

ios-7-iPhone-5-ireland-2

In terms of hardware, this leaves the iPads, iPods and some Macs, all of which we expect to be updated before Christmas. Our view is that Sept 10th will see two new iPhones (5S and 5C?), plus the launch of iOS 7. This seems to be plenty for a 60-90 min keynote. Then at the later event in October, we will see the annual refresh of the iPods and possibly iPads, ready for the busy Christmas season.

OS X Mavericks may not require any press event. This was previewed in June at WWDC, and so its launch date may just be mentioned at a keynote, or it will be a press release.

As for the Macs, we expect to see refreshed iMacs and MacBook Pros before the end of the year, but these two can happen without any event. There is also the question of the Mac Pro, something Apple have been making noise about ever since Phil Schiller’s sneak preview at WWDC. It could be that they will launch the Mac Pro at one of the events, simply because it makes a statement about Apple design and deserves more than a press release. Apple seem to be taking their step back into pro desktop seriously and so will want to show off this machine at a media event.

Lastly, the Apple TV. Don’t bet any money on this. It is likely that there will continue to be an iterative change to this existing product, but we don’t expect any major new hardware just yet. Unlike with mp3 players or PCs, Apple need to focus firstly on content and lastly on hardware. It is a matter of getting the content providers into place and then we have no doubt that Apple have a new hardware product to match this offering. But for now Eddie Cues torturous job of dragging all networks and content producers to the table continues..
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Guide: How to setup an encrypted USB stick

Here is how to setup an encrypted USB stick under Mountain Lion 10.8:

1/ open Disk Utility (Macintosh HD -> Applications -> Utilities)

2/ insert your USB stick and select it on the left hand side of the Disk Utility window. Be careful to select the USB stick and not some other disk such as your backup drive!

3/ with the USB disk selected, click on the “erase” option on the right and set the options as shown here:

disk-utility-erase

Choose “Mac OS Extended Journaled” and type in a name for your stick.

4/ now click on the “erase” button at the bottom to completely erase the stick.

5/ quit out of Disk Utility.

6/ find the USB stick on your desktop- hold the ctrl key down on the keyboard and click once on the USB stick icon

7/ choose “encrypt xyz” from the pop-up menu to start the process.

8/ you will be asked to enter your encryption password and a hint:
encryption-password

Be careful when doing this because if you forget this password you will not be able to access this drive!

9/ once you have entered the password twice and entered your hint, click on the “encrypt disk” button. This could take a long time. There is also no progress bar telling you how long it will take. Let this process complete and don’t interrupt it.

10/ once completed, eject the disk reconnect it again. You will then be challenged for the password before you can see the disk on the desktop. Enter the password and now copy your material onto the disk.

This will protect your USB drive should you lose it. Encryption means that it is virtually impossible for anyone to crack the password and see your files. It will just give peace of mind for sensitive information. .
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New OS: OS X Mavericks

Just when you got over the shock of the new iOS 7 for iPhones and iPads, there was a second announcement last week...

Apple previewed OS X Mavericks, the next operating system for your Mac.
[Having run out of big cat names such as Lion, Panther, Cheetah, they have now started to name their Mac operating systems after Californian locations].

OS X Mavericks will arrive this autumn, around the same time as iOS 7, and will cost approx. €10-15 (price not yet confirmed).

Here is a quick summary of some of the changes and new features which Apple announced:

1/ Calendar:
Hate the leather trim in the current OS X Calendar app? You are in luck! The new version of Calendar has a cleaner more simplified look:

Current calendar trim under Mountain Lion:

os-x-10-8-cal

New look under OS X Mavericks:

os-x-mvericks-cal

Calendar will also integrate maps, so it will give you an estimated travel time to your appointment plus a map of where the event is to be held.

Read More...
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