Mac

Back to School 2013

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If you are a student in college, a student accepted to college, a faculty member of any grade level or a parent buying for a college student, then you will qualify for the education pricing on Macs at the Apple Store.  If you purchase a Mac, iPad or iPhone from the Apple Education Store by September 6, you will receive a gift card for $100 (Mac only) or $50 (iPad or iPhone) to use on the App Store. Here’s some quick information about the promotion and where to start.

To receive a gift card, you must purchase one of the following Apple products at either the Apple Online Store for Education, Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Campus Store:

  • Macbook Air
  • Macbook ProBack to School Promotion
  • iMac
  • iPad with Retina Display (iPad 4)
  • iPad mini
  • iPad 2
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5

Start Here!

DON’T FORGET: The Mac, iPhone or iPad has to be purchased by September 6 in order to get the gift card to the App Store.

The education pricing lasts all year long, but the gift card promotion is temporary.  The next major discounts will be available on Black Friday and next year’s Back to School event (late Summer 2014.)

Revamp 3.0

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I know not everyone is in love with Apple as much as I am and my love as subsided over the last few months as I have grown to admire innovations from other competing companies.  Since I recently have revamped this website into something better (changed the website name, the format and the contributors), I am not going to revamp it as much as before. I will, however, change some of the topics to be more relatable and enjoyable to read, so it is not freaky Apple love.  I also will be having monthly contests for all of my readers to participate in, weekly or biweekly polls to get everyone’s opinions and more on the way.

I will also be purchasing a new MacBook Pro soon and I will be able to update the site more frequently.  So please stay tuned for the new blog, we can call it version 3.0.

Thank you again to everybody for holding on even when I abandoned my blog.

 

[polldaddy poll=7272163]

Buying Apple vs. PC – Still can't decide

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Image
Let’s look at something you’ve probably neglected to consider.

  • Sarah buys a nice new MacBook Pro and she’s excited to get home and use it; however, she does she finds that the trackpad keeps freezing randomly. She is extremely frustrated.

  • Jose goes to his local Walmart and picks up a cheaper, mid-priced HP laptop. The laptop works great for 30 days, but on the 31st day (conveniently after the stores return policy expires) his trackpad begins randomly freezing too.

Two people, two different laptops, same issue. Who do you think will fair better with a faster support/resolution? I’ll tell you, it’s the Apple user. Why? Well let me tell you about my experience this morning with HP, then I’ll tell you how Apple’s world class support will have you buying Apple JUST for the peace of mind it will give you.

—————–

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

7:28AM

I wake up for work this morning and feel pretty crappy, and end up calling out. But let’s not get into that. I decide I might as well do something productive. I bought an HP 2000 at Walmart about 3 months ago and I don’t use it a lot, but I do sometimes prefer a laptop over my iPhone (faster typing/etc.) So I’ve been having this issue where the trackpad will just freeze up and be unresponsive. It usually fixes itself within 30-60 seconds, but this gets very annoying when you’re hard pressed for time and need to get something done right away. So I decided to go ahead and call HP and get this figured out. So I call, and wait on hold for 35 minutes. I get this Indian customer service representative, I’m by no means racist, but I can’t understand a word this man is saying. He speaks broken English and has a VERY HEAVY Indian accent. So after trying to explain things to him, I apologized and asked if I could speak to someone with less of an accent, preferably American (yeah right.. haha.) I was put back on hold and after 28 minutes, I got frustrated and gave up. I decided that the phone was not going to work. I then thought, well, HP offers a chat support so let me try that, at least I will be able to understand typed words (logically.. right?). So I sign into the technical support chat and within a few moments I’m connected to somebody by the name of Hadeed (I thought wow I’m probably chatting with the same guy who barely speaks English).

Now I’m a very tech savvy guy. I went to school for Computer Science and I’ve taken computers apart since I was a kid, repaired them, and built them from scratch. So not to brag, but I certainly know a thing or two – I did my own troubleshooting before even considering contacting HP: I reinstalled Windows 8, updated the trackpad drivers, updated the BIOS, etc. Needless to say my problem was not fixed, everything they told me to do/check I had already checked. So what’s the solution? I have to wait a week to receive a shipping label in the mail – then box up my laptop and mail it to Mexico for quality check/repair. Now I shouldn’t have to pay because it’s warrantied for a year, but I’ve already wasted a couple hours with support and now I am going to be without a laptop for who knows how long. I’m hoping they just replace it entirely but we’ll see.

Now let’s pretend that I still had my Macbook Pro and let’s pretend my Macbook Pro was having this issue. How different would my experience have been? Well I’ve had the pleasure of working with Apple support numerous times, and having worked for Apple, I can tell you that things would have gone MUCH more smoothly.

For starters, I would have immediately called AppleCare (just so you know, your new Apple product comes with a standard warranty, but you can purchase additional years of coverage, which is completely worth it.) I would have gotten through to a person quickly. I’ve never been on hold for more than 10 minutes, but I’m sure hold times with Apple can be just as long as other companies. They’re not perfect, but you get through, and the person on the other end is an American. I think I’ve only got someone with a heavy accent once, but they were understandable. I would assume Apple must have a more stringent system in place for hiring people who can speak well for phone support. Props to them for that, and if you can’t understand them, they will gladly transfer you. Apple is pretty good with phone technical support and I’m sure that they too have some sort of support book they reference as it seems to be the industry standard now. However, they also clearly have a working knowledge of and genuine interest in Apple products. Then they would go over basic troubleshooting on the phone with me, and if they can’t figure it out, they would schedule an appointment for me to bring my Macbook Pro to my local Apple Store to meet with a Genius. These people are literally Apple geniuses.

So let’s say that they can’t fix my problem over the phone and I have an appointment to bring in my Macbook Pro to my local Apple Store. I would arrive at the Apple store, check in with any of the Apple employees and meet with the Genius. If they are unable to figure it out, a few other Apple Geniuses may come over to assist (because they have a genuine interest in the issue). So if they are still unable to fix it right there, one of three things will happen: they will keep my computer for in-house repair, if its something simple I might just hang out while they do it; they will replace my computer on the spot (if it’s really busted or not worth fixing); or they might just ship my computer to a service center for repair, however this is usually a very quick process. If the latter occurs, the Apple store might give me a loner computer if I need something immediately.

Needless to say Apple has world-class support that other companies simply don’t – what is that peace of mind worth to you? I say spend a little more, and you won’t be sorry if you ever encounter trouble and need support.

I’ve been an Apple geek since High School, once you go Apple you’ll never go back 😉

Apple’s GUI (Graphical User Interface) is very easy to use and learn if you are used to Windows – don’t be scared away by the differences you see or hear of if you are in the market for a new computer, tablet, or phone. Please take a trip to your local Apple store,or mini Apple Store located in many Best Buy’s, and play with their products and try them out for yourself. You will not be disappointed.

That’s all for now, I leave you with a quote from a very brilliant man who’s innovation and spirit is missed by so many;

Innovation has absolutely nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more money on R&D. It’s not about the money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” – Steve Jobs

The Future of the Retina Display

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Right now, Apple is on a roll recently Retinatizing everything.  By “Retinatizing,” I mean installing a Retina display into their devices and computers.  First we had the iPhone 4 that was Retinatized.  With a pixels per inch (ppi) of 326, the eye cannot distinguish between pixels with the phone at a normal distance away from the eye.  Of course all of the iPhones after that had Retina displays: iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.  Then Apple put a beautiful Retina display into the new iPad (or iPad 3rd generation) with a ppi of 264.  Which actually doubled the amount of pixels that were in the iPad 2.  The iPod touch was also given an amazing Retina display and last year, Apple released Retina Macbook Pros, both the 13 inch model and the 15 inch model.  These Macbooks are selling very well because their screens look magnificent.  So what’s Apple going to Retinatize next?

Call me crazy, but within the next couple of product generations, I believe the iPad mini, iPod nano, Macbook air (supposedly this one will happen this year) and the iMac will all feature Retina displays.  The iPad mini will get a Retina display this year, 95% positive.  It has been rumored since the first generation came out and now it needs one.  The iPod nano might become Retinatized.  It may seem far fetched, but the iPod nano exterior and interior components can only change so much, eventually the screen will have to become more advanced.  The Macbooks air are rumored to come with Retina screens later this year, which seems quite realistic.  After all of the portable Macbooks become Retinatized, the iMac will have to be next.  I also think the iMac will eventually get a touchscreen, but that’s another blog post for another day.  When the iWatch gets released, it probably won’t have a Retina screen, but within a few generations, it probably will have a Retina display.  The iTV probably won’t start off with a Retina display either, but it will have one eventually.  Apple, within a few generations, will Retinatize all of their devices.  But, once everything has a Retina display, then nothing will be Retinatized, right?  It’s like the idea that if everyone had super powers, then no one will (from The Incredibles.)

 

So, my crazy theory continues.  Apple will also update their Retina to a Retina Plus or Retina HD and their products will one by one feature this amazingly beautiful display of 2x or 4x the amount of pixels they have now.  Other companies are releasing phones with 300-400+ppi and Apple will need to compete.  So they will come out with an Ultra-Retina display.  However you want to call it, it is going to be like nothing you have ever seen before.  These screens will feel like real life almost, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish the pixels with your naked eye ever.

 

So to recap: Apple is going to Retinatize all of their products within a few generations and then we will see a new Retina display (my codename: Retina 2, Retina HD, Retina Plus or Ultra-Retina) that has 2x to 4x as many pixels as the current Retina display offers.

Interested in Contributing to This Blog?

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I’m looking for Apple fans and haters, or people who just prefer Android to contribute to my Apple blog. It requires about one post per week. The posts can be opinions, news and information, rumors, etc. pretty much anything. If you are interested, send me an email at kevin.stuckey@me.com.

Thanks 🙂

Apple's Unpredictablity

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Apple Inc. has always been unpredictable when Steve Jobs was in control of the company. Back in 2007, we thought Apple Inc. was just a computer company, that had expanded to MP3 players in the early 21st century. They release an iPhone and completely redefined the cell phone and smartphone. 3 years later, they went further to increase their product line to include a tablet and redefined that category as well. They wanted to prove that they were unpredictable with innovation (iPhone, iPad, etc.) Apple has strayed away from being unpredictable with innovation to becoming unpredictable with their products.

Being unpredictable with innovation is one thing. It gives you the competitive advantage, it gets consumers really interested in your products and shows that you are the better choice among your competitors. The iPhone was the only phone like it when it came out in 2007. There was smartphones, sure like a RIM Blackberry, and flip phones; but there was nothing like the iPhone. Not many bar shaped phones that only used 4 buttons and a switch to control the phone. It was an entire screen that responded to touch, something that would be crazy to think of at the start of the century. The iPad changed things again; it was like a giant iPhone, but it was a tablet. Steve Jobs proudly walked out on stage to announce it and showed everyone that we all needed this product in our lives. He motivated us to go buy one because it was a necessity. The iPad mini came out recently in October and its the closest thing Apple has come to being unpredictable with innovation since the iPad. One could argue that the iPad mini is just a smaller iPad so it doesn’t really count as an innovation. Apple needs to innovate again, create something before everyone else does. iWatch or an iCar, but a full blown Apple TV is not really innovation, because it has already been done. Samsung, RIM, Nokia and other similar companies haven’t created a SmartWatch and it would be perfect for Apple to create it. There would be a big press event, Tim Cook would proudly walk on stage and announce this innovation that was unheard of and create the need for one. He would need to motivate us, almost like Steve Jobs did that we need this product in our lives. They need to show their unpredictability with innovation and creation again.

They tried in 2012 to show their unpredictability with their products, but it didn’t remind us how they are innovative. Starting in the first quarter of 2012, they released the 3rd generation, not called the iPad 3 (as most of us expected), but called the “new iPad”. No one really predicted that Apple would not attach a number to the product to identify the advancement and next generation of the product. A few months later, the iPhone 5 was released with a screen size that was nothing like the past generations of iPhones. They have all had the same screen size, until the iPhone 5. Rumors were spread that the 6th generation iPhone would have a larger screen, but many people dismissed this idea because the iPhone wouldn’t change that much. Then, the iPad with Retina came out this past Autumn. Apple tried to show us that they are not predictable, releasing two iPads in one year?? WHATTTT??? Not calling it the iPad 4 or new new iPad??? All they did was change a few small things of the “new iPad”, slapped a new name on it and angered hundreds of loyal customers that had just purchased the “new iPad”. Apple is stuck in rut of showing that they are unpredictable with products, not with innovation.

2013 needs to be the year that they release a new innovative product that changes the way we currently think about a technology. Whether it be a watch or a car or a television (although the latter has already been done and redone), it needs to be something or else Apple is going to continue downhill and be wiped out within a decade. Apple needs to get back to what it does best. Yes, be unpredictable with products. Release two iPhones this year, release two iPads and give us some new MacBooks, but give us another product to be excited about. Give us an innovation that would blow Apple out of this rut and back on top where it belongs. Give us something we need, something unheard of. If the market doesn’t exist for the product, Apple will make it exist. Apple is very powerful and can convince everyone that this product is a necessity in our lives. Apple Inc. is no longer Steve Jobs, but it is Tim Cook. It is under a new leader and new management and needs to show us that it has new ideas. It has new innovations and it is unpredictable because it thinks different.

-Kevin

CES 2013

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Just a quick post.

This week CES 2013 kicks off in Las Vegas. It is the International Consumer Electronics Show and it features top products from Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Corning, iHome, etc. (except Apple because they are too cool).

There are presentations, booths set up for the companies and hundreds of bloggers, press and people seeing it all unfold before their eyes. I have never been, but would love to go.

Currently, Samsung has been teasing a new TV release (in a size that no one has made before), Corning will show off their Gorilla Glass 3, accessories for the new iPhone 5 will be shown and there’s a ton more products to be shown off. We may even are a glimpse of the Xbox 720.

To follow the bloggers at the event:
-follow Cult of Mac, Engadget, Macrumors.com, Gizmodo and iMore on Twitter
-google search CES 2013
-twitter search CES 2013

New iPhone Concept

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Apple is a really great innovative company that is now becoming (unfortunately) predictable in the sense that we know what products they will release this year and what they will roughly look like. Not only we know, but so do Apple’s competitors. Samsung, Google, etc. can expect a new iPhone this year with the same design. So if Apple keeps this up: a new redesign every 2 years and a upgrade to the internal components every other year, then there won’t be much to look forward to. Apple needs to blow our minds again and create a product so different than anything they have ever made. They need to recreate the iPhone again.

The iPhone has had roughly the same design since it was launched in 2007. For starters, it had a rounded back for the first 3 generations then changed to a flat box like back for next 3 generations. Applications have always remained squares with rounded edges, there’s a limit to either 20 or 16 spots on the first page (depending on the iPhone you have) and you can’t customize the apps at all by not putting them in the strict grid that Apple has set on each screen (without jail breaking). It seems like the iPhone doesn’t share much design qualities as other Apple products.

Apple needs to create a new iPhone that has a brand new design (throw out the previous designs), start from scratch and really innovate something that will blow away the competition.

So my idea (we can call it iPhone) is just that. It’s by no means perfected, but it’s something to definitely look into.

Please note that everything that follows are not all completely my idea. I used their concepts as an inspiration for my idea. The iPhone design based on the iPod nano is a concept idea by Federico Ciccarese of ciccaresedesign and the multitasking concept is a real jailbreak by a forum member at The Verge

My iPhone:
Design
The outside would be similar to that of the iPod nano. It would have a flat back and be very slim. The metal ring that has existed on the iPhone since it was created would be gone. The sides of the iPhone would be curved like the nano. I personally think we could do away with the home button, but for this one we can keep it at the bottom. It would come in multiple colors too, such as green, pink, blue, black, white, etc.

The camera would be at least 10MP if not more, 5 lens and all that existing camera stuff. The screen would be full on HD and it could be called Retina HD. It would be a higher pixels per inch number that way everything, no matter how far you are from the screen, it would look great.

Interface
The apps would no longer be squares with rounded edges. They wouldn’t need to have a strict shape (like on the Mac), the iTunes app could be circular and the mail app could be square-like. It would be very customizable and not have to align to the strict grid, either. Currently on the iPhone there is a Spotlight Search screen and then X number pages of apps to follow. My idea would add an additional page between the Search and the pages of apps. It would be called Dashboard (like the Mac) and it would allow the user to add widgets on to this page. There could be a widget for weather, music, google searching, etc.

Also the home screen and lock screen would adjust to landscape view (like the iPad). Current iPhone things like folders and multitasking would still be existent, but they would be recreated as well. Apple should look to the jailbreaking community to find ideas about how to do this. There’s a great multitasking jailbreak that would be amazing to actually see on the iPhone. Apple should definitely look into this.

Apple would need to make it easier to adjust Settings, like Wi-Fi, screen brightness and Bluetooth. At least give Siri permission to adjust these. She’s a big girl, she should be able to turn Wi-Fi on and off herself.

This iPhone would be a complete redesign for the next 3 generations. It would allow the user lots of customization, without needing to jailbreak. This would completely change the iPhone again (but in real terms).

Here are some pictures (I didn’t create them, though) of the potential new iPhone:

20130105-101628.jpg

20130105-102055.jpg

2013 Expectations

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Hi, so here we go. It’s the last two days of 2012 and Apple has gave us a great year full of products. We saw new MacBooks (Air and Pros, some featuring Retina), a very very thin iMac, the new iPad (3rd generation), the iPad with Retina (4th generation), the iPad mini (but still every inch an iPad, well except the Retina part), iPhone 5, iOS 6, Mountain Lion for Mac, iTunes 11 (and other new software) and new redesigned iPods. It was overall a great year for Apple (minus the current stock price and Maps fail.)

However, we expect 2013 to be the best year yet at Apple. There’s a lot of products on my wish list to come out this coming year (such as the iTV and iWatch) and then there’s the expectations of what will come out. Apple has become predictable on some fronts. So here are my expectations for 2013 (in no particular order.). Enjoy!

    Apple Expectations for 2013:

1. iPad mini 2
This second generation mini will have the same relative design as the first generation, but it will feature new internal components. It should have a Retina display, perhaps a new higher MP camera, a faster chip and internal components similar to the iPad 3 and 4.

2. iPad with Retina (5th generation)
This iPad probably will feature a completely new design on the outside and on the inside. I mean Apple has kept the iPad relatively similar on the outside for the past 3 generations and it is time for an upgrade. I’m thinking (and this is just pure speculation) a 8MP camera, lightning port (well this one is a gimme), thinner form and perhaps something like the current mini, better front camera and really fast internal components.

3. iPhone 5S
Based on Apple’s past generation upgrades for the iPhone, it should be called the iPhone 5S and have the same similar design as the current iPhone 5. It will be the best iPhone 5 ever. The cameras may see an upgrade, the internal components will be upgraded too and it will allow the 4S owners to get a new iPhone. It may even feature NFC!!! I’m really looking forward to the “iPhone 6” (the 8th generation iPhone) because Apple can’t really make the phone any bigger but we will see.

4. iOS 7
This is going to happen no matter what. A new operating system for iDevices has been coming out every year since the beginning of time (or well since the iPhone.) I have no idea what it will feature, but it should at least have a new updated and better version of Apple Maps. It will probably be announced at WWDC 2013 in the Summer and be released in the Autumn.

5. new iPods
The forms on the newest iPods should stay relatively the same, but there might be some tweaks on the internal components. The current generation of the iPod touch will probably get an internal makeover to be something like the iPhone 5S. I’m still pushing for 3G/4G LTE on the touch, but people may argue that it would be too similar to the iPhone.

6. Some random cat OS 10.9 for the Mac
I have no idea what this will feature but it will be something along the lines of making iOS and the OS for the Mac very similar. Siri and Maps may even be put onto the Mac. However it won’t be a failure like Microsoft did for Windows 8.

7. new Macs (meaning the Mac mini and the Mac Pro)
One of these will produced in the United States and I really don’t know much about either of them. I’m more of an iDevice geek.

    Wish List for 2013:
  • iTV (like the Apple TV, but bigger and 50″ or so)
  • iWatch (see rumors section for more information)
  • iCar (features an iPad sized Retina touch screen to control the heat, etc. and super high tech)
  • Widgets for iOS (this is more like a dream)
  • I’m sure 2013 will be full of Apple Awesomeness! Only a few more days and we will find out :). Here’s to 2013 and to the crazy ones, the ones who change the world.

    Merry Christmas!!

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    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me this season. May all your Apple wishes comes true and enjoy the next few days with iDevices, family and friends 🙂

    By the way, it’s never too late to get an eGift Card for iTunes. You can do it at apple.com (which redirects to iTunes if viewing on an iDevice) or on the Apple Store app.

    I’ll update my blog after Christmas 🙂