Mac Information

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


Apple holds shopping event today

Discounts for all shoppers with Apple online- 28th November

If you are pondering an Apple purchase for Christmas, you would be well advised to check out the Apple online store today. Each year Apple holds a “Black Friday” event, to tie in with the US Thanksgiving, and offer discounts on many products.

Adobe CS4 Tour comes to Dublin

New Suite demonstrated at end of November

The new Adobe CS 4 Suite is to be demonstrated in Dublin on November 24th. There re four events, with web and production events being run side by side in the morning, and premium and master events held in the afternoon.

Apple figures show success of iPhone

Apple Pass 10 million iPhone mark

Looking at the figures from last quarter’s financial results, there is little doubt as to the success of the iPhone. Apple have now passed the 10 million mark, something they stated they would do by the end of 2008. Reaching this point over two months early shows the strength of the iPhone 3G and the boost it hs given to the iPhone figures since its launch this summer. What makes this more unusual is the revenue stream this generates. Apple will continue to profit from these sales as it has agreed a slice of the monthly mobile fees paid to the carriers, such as O2 and AT&T.

Apple revise laptop line-up

Apple launch new MacBook and MacBook Pros

Apple today launched new MacBook and new MacBook Pros along with a revised MacBook Air range. The main news came in the graphics cards, with new NVIDIA cards in the MacBook and MacBook Pros, offering better video and gaming speeds.

The new laptops come with LED-backlit displays and new larger multi-touch trackpads. These trackpads support gestures, something iPhone and iPod touch users will be familiar with.

The changes to the MacBook air were more minor, with bumps to hard drive space.

The new MacBooks and MacBook Pros come with an aluminium case, which is stronger due to its construction; made from one solid piece.

Further details are available from the
Apple Store for Ireland and the Apple Store for the UK.

Apple launch "Back to School" offers

iPod nano for 14 euro when bought with a new Mac

Apple have launched their “Back to School” promotion which offers students and teachers a rebate when they buy a Mac and iPod together..

Who will be hit by Android?

Will Google’s new mobile OS effect the iPhone?

Our initial impression of Android is that it is a solid bit of software, but not a threat to the iPhone right now. There are a number of key features of the software which does not offer the same level of usability as the iPhone.

The first part which is missing is the multi-touch interface of the iPhone. Android doe not offer this feature, and for anyone who has browsed web pages and photos with two fingers on an iPhone, zooming in and out with a finger and thumb, going back would be hard to do. Using arrow keys is soo yesterday!! Secondly you can’t play video on an Android driven phone right now. This will surely change, but it does show the rough edges which are there right now.

However, the bigger drawback is hardware. Until a company produces something better than the G1, HTC’s plastic block of a phone, it will not attract the same market as the iPhone. The G1 is plain ugly, with a plethora of plastic buttons. We know some people who would prefer if there were physical keys on the iPhone, but the idea of the old plastic keys makes us queasy. We like the way the iPhone touch-screen keyboard layouts change depending on the application, and the idea of plastic hardware keyboards takes us back to the days of our Palm Treo.

For now the Android OS looks set to cause a few headaches at Microsoft. Why would a company license Microsoft’s Windows Mobile when there is an open source OS available from a company as large as Google? Windows Mobile has a small percentage of the market, and the introduction of Android must surely begin to seal this position?

As for the HTC handset, the G1, it looks to us like a Nokia type of phone, attracting the Nokia buyer. It lacks in the OS finesse which Apple brought to the market, and given that Google can never control the hardware and software integration, Android phones may never have the same cool factor as the iPhone. So we think this new venture by Google will impact the market share of the traditional phone market. For now the iPhone keeps its own space, but Android 2 may yet be a threat.

Using your iPhone abroad

How to avoid huge bills on your return

As a reminder to readers, it is worth noting the steps you can take if you are planning to use your iPhone abroad. The iPhone can be used when away and, with a few simple steps, it does not have to mean you return to a huge bill.

First a few basic rules:.

Rogers vs O2 Ireland

So Canadians think they have it bad...?

Given the recent controversy in Canada over the iPhone 3G charges, we decided to compare O2 Ireland's rates to the Canadian carrier, Rogers Communications. What we found was that in many cases, O2 Ireland are even worse. The Rogers call charges are far more generous, with free unlimited weekend and evening calls, compared to the anytime minutes given by O2. Rogers offer a better number of inclusive text messages and free visual voicemail [not available in Ireland]. However O2 offers much cheaper data charges when the user exceeds their monthly limit. The Rogers contract however runs for a ridiculous 3 years


Preparing for the iPhone 3G

What to do in advance of the launch...

O2 will begin to sell the new iPhone 3G on July 11th, and we have prepared some steps for people intending to buy a new phone. Here is a list of suggestions on how to get your information and settings ready:.

iPhone visual voicemail in Ireland- unlikely

O2 Ireland have no firm plans yet...

We contacted O2 Ireland this week to see when visual voicemail would be introduced on their network. However we received the following statement:
"Unfortunately the visual voicemail is not supported by the network here as yet. We will be looking closely at developing it if its something our customers tell us they want.".

iPhone 3G to launch on July 11th

Major price cut announced...

Apple have announced the release of the second generation iPhone, the iPhone 3G. It's due to arrive in Ireland, and 21 other countries, on July 11th. The announcement was made at the WWDC conference in San Francisco, where Apple also demonstrated its new iPhone OS X. This will be a free upgrade for current iPhone owners, and a paid download for iPod touch users..

iPhone visual voicemail in Ireland- unlikely

O2 Ireland have no firm plans yet...

We contacted O2 Ireland this week to see when visual voicemail would be introduced on their network. However we received the following statement:
"Unfortunately the visual voicemail is not supported by the network here as yet. We will be looking closely at developing it if its something our customers tell us they want.".

O2 Ireland announce prices for iPhone 3G

New Wi-Fi deal announced...

The iPhone 3G will be available in Ireland on July 11 and can be purchased through O2 and Carphone Warehouse stores. There are two models: 8GB and 16GB. According to O2 Ireland, the iPhone 3G price will be subsidised, and priced according to which of the existing three iPhone tariffs a customer chooses:
8GB iPhone plans:.

Report: iPhone 3G price gap between Ireland and the UK

Not quite the deal we hoped for...

The details of the tariffs for the new iPhone 3G are now out and they make unpleasant reading for Irish customers. Looking at the figures, most of the costs are significantly higher for Ireland than for our UK neighbours. First, the good news:
1/ many of the details for Ireland have remained the same in the switch to the iPhone 3G- same tariffs plans, same monthly charge, same texts and inclusive minutes, and same charges for addition voice and text calls. No increased data costs in the move to 3G..

Speed-bumped iMacs launched

Speeds reach 3 Ghz...

Apple have refreshed its range of iMacs, the top selling desktop Mac. The new range comes with faster Intel Core 2 Duo chips, and three of the four models have 2GB of RAM built in..

Update: Using the iPhone in Ireland

Upgrading to 1.1.4...

Readers of Mac Information will know that we looked at using an iPhone in Ireland in 2007 before O2 launched the Apple smartphone in March 2008.
We had reservations at the time, but still see the O2 route as the best method for those people who would like to have their warranty honoured and have the help of Apple support if anything goes wrong. However, if you are like us, you may enjoy jailbreaking the iPhone, which is the method which allows you to customise and install third party apps on the phone.
We have been using a iPhone for 6 months now, and the one problem we had was the inability to upgrade to the latest iPhone software. We were unwilling to risk our perfectly working phone by removing software version 1.1.1 and installing 1.1.4. The risk ranged between ending up with a phone which would not recognise our SIM card to a completely unusable unit! Our reason to upgrade was motivated by one small problem- the iPhone under 1.0.2 and 1.1.1 did not send us an SMS message if there was a voicemail message waiting for us, and this was an irritation..

The Pros and Cons of the iPhone with O2 Ireland

Some odd drawbacks to what is being offered...

O2 have announced that the iPhone is to be available in Ireland from March 14th 2008. This is welcome news, and somewhat surprising that Ireland has received the iPhone ahead of larger European countries, such as Italy and Spain.
Looking at the tariffs and the offering for Irish customers, we are surprised by some of the specifics:.

New MacBook and MacBook Pros introduced

Apple add "gestures" feature to both models...

Apple have updated the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines by adding in the new Multi-touch trackpad, first introduced with the MacBook Air in January. The Multi-touch trackpad allows for gestures, such as zooming in and out of an image using two fingers. To make a change, the user "gestures" on the trackpad and this changes the zoom or rotation of the document. This technology is also used in the iPhone and the iPod touch, where users are familiar with the pinching and scrolling techniques.

More nonsense from the Sunday Business Post

Watch out Rob Enderle...

As reported on many occasions by Mac Information, tech news accuracy isn't the SBP's strong point. Their reporting on Apple related stories is normally at best misrepresented, and at worst, hopelessly inaccrate. This weekend is no exception:
"Apple's iPhone may not launch in Ireland until April 'at the earliest' Apple sources [sic] have told Computers in Business."
Now for a start, if anyone in Apple had told the SBP that the iPhone now won't be sold in Ireland until April, the said employee will be on the way out the door the various pieces of their shredded employment contract. If there is one thing we know bout Apple's launch dates, they are not a fact until they are officially announced, and any rumour, speculation, and imaginative theory from the SBP is entirely without substance.
The statement that the iPhone "will not now launch" until April is entirely fabricated to match the SBP's inaccurate speculation during 2007, that it would launch at the start of 2008. Having created a false piece of "fact" in previous articles, the SBP can now announce that this date has changed. .

New Mac Pros introduced

Apple announce new pro desktops in advance of Macworld...

In a somewhat unusual move, Apple revamped its pro desktop line today, introducing new Mac Pros, with a new "Harpertown" Intel processors. With Macworld just around the corner (January 15th), most would have guessed that new desktops would be part of Steve Jobs' keynote presentation. However this may indicate that the keynote contains other laptop news, bumping the Mac Pros to their own press release a week in advance.
The new models come with the following standard spec, but can be customised to suit the user:.

The Pros and Cons of the MacBook Air

Apple's new laptop may not suit everyone...

Apple's new ultra portable laptop has some great advantages and some drawbacks. Here is an outline of what we feel are the pros and cons:

The advantages of the MacBook Air:
  • size- the laptop is only 0.76 inches at its thickest point and weighs 3 pounds (1.36kg).
    • compromise doesn't mean tiny screen- 13.3" display, the same as a standard MacBook.
    • strong metal casing- essential given its thickness to protect the internal parts.
    • the included micro-DVI socket means you can connect to an Apple 20" or 23" display.