Senin, 25 April 2016

Microsoft introducing Skype for Business Mac Preview w/ Outlook calendar integration

Microsoft introducing Skype for Business Mac Preview w/ Outlook calendar integration

Microsoft is getting serious with the Mac today with its new Skype for Business preview for OS X. The new business-focused version of Skype for Mac runs on OS X El Capitan and focuses on creating an enterprise-friendly experience. IT professionals can request access to the new Skype for Business Mac Preview starting today.

In addition to taking preview requests from commercial clients, Microsoft says it will begin seeding Skype for Business Mac Preview to IT administrators before opening the preview to more users.

Microsoft plans to roll out the Skype for Business Mac client in three stages, starting with today’s release which includes Outlook calendar integration for viewing and joining meetings right from Skype, then two additional versions before public availability:

We’ll be adding instant messaging, presence and the contacts list in the next preview release coming in early summer, and telephony in late summer.

New invitations will be issued daily over the next few weeks until all organizations wanting to participate have access, and testers will also be able to submit feedback during the preview period at

Skype for Business differs from the standard version of the communication app as it allows for up to 250 people on a call versus the 25 person limit on standard Skype. Outlook integration, enterprise-grade security, and the ability to manage employee accounts also set it apart. Standalone Skype for Business plans run $2.00/month per user with more packages available as well.

Skype for Business Mac Preview joins the other client already available on an Apple platform, Skype for Business on iPhone and iPad.

Full release notes below:

Skype for Business on Mac Preview Release

This release will ONLY support the listed MEETING functionality, all additional functionality (e.g., Contact list, non-meeting IMs, non-meeting voice calls, etc.) will come in future releases.

April 26, 2016

Sign In

  • Sign in via email address and/or username.

  • Sign in with NTLM, OrgID, and Microsoft Modern Authentication credentials ONLY.

  • Sign out.

Me Area

  • View and update presence status.

  • View, but not edit, your note.


  • View your calendar appointments today and tomorrow.

  • Join online Skype meetings.

  • Create an ad-hoc meeting using the “Meet Now” option in the Meetings menu.

  • Join a meeting using an url option in the Meetings menu.

  • Mute and unmute your microphone.

  • Start and stop video.

  • View video shared by a remote active speaker.

  • View inbound Desktop screen sharing and Application sharing but not uploaded PowerPoint content.

  • Share your screen in the meeting.

  • Inbound viewing only, desktop sharing outbound coming in future drop.

  • View notifications when people join or leave the meeting.

  • View in-meeting alerts and notifications.

  • Send and receive chat messages during a meeting.

Meeting Participant List (Roster)

  • View the meeting roster.

  • Invite new participants.

  • View mute status of participants.

  • Mute and unmute remote participants.

  • Accept or decline participants waiting in the lobby.

Audio and Video Preferences

  • Update preferred devices for microphone, speaker, and video capability before a call (not during a call).


  • Provide any bugs through the ‘Report an Issue’ link and menu options.

Known Issues

  • Skype for Business for Mac client currently requires the mobility policies to be enabled in order to sign in.

  • Users won’t be able to join Non-federated meetings using this client. As a workaround, users can use Lync for Mac 2011 client to join Non-federated meetings.

  • Users need to stop presenting their screen from the Skype for Business for Mac client to the meeting before a second user can start presenting their screen.

  • Present Desktop will not work for multiple desktops or monitors. It will only present the main desktop into the meeting. Users should change the desktops via OS Display settings in order to present a secondary desktop.

  • Using USB and Bluetooth devices while Running Lync for Mac 2011 and Skype for Business for Mac side by side can result in a bad joining and call experience.

  • SHA-512 certs is not supported with the current version of Skype for Business for Mac client.

Check out to request access to Skype for Business Mac Preview today. The public version is expected to launch in Q3 later this year, replacing Microsoft’s Lync for Mac 2011.

Microsoft introducing Skype for Business Mac Preview w/ Outlook calendar integration

Minggu, 24 April 2016

Review: Logitech’s Smart Connector-equipped charging dock for iPad Pro

Review: Logitech’s Smart Connector-equipped charging dock for iPad Pro

As I’ve detailed in the past, I originally purchased the 12.9-inch iPad Pro last November before switching to the to 9.7-inch model last month due to the lack of software optimization on Apple’s part. When I first wrote about this switch, some people were curious as to why I went with the more expensive 9.7-inch iPad Pro over the cheaper iPad Air. Well, there were too main reasons: Apple Pencil and Smart Connector.

Since the start, the potential of the Smart Connector has intrigued me. So far, we’ve only seen a few keyboard cases that take advantage of the feature, but now Logitech is announcing its LOGI Base Charging Stand with Smart Connector for iPad Pro and I’ve been using it for the past few days…

On the surface, the Base looks similar to various other charging docks we’ve seen over the years, but look closer and you’ll see Smart Connector prongs and a Lightning port on the back. This means that you can dock your iPad Pro to the Smart Connector and charge it just like you would when you dock an iPhone. And it’s really well thought out.

In terms of design, the Base is high quality and well executed in several ways. The stand is made out of high-grade aluminum, so it blends in very nicely with any color iPad Pro. As you can see in the images, the Base is designed so that the iPad Pro is angled at what Logitech says is the “perfect viewing angle for enjoying apps and entertainment.” Personally, I would have liked to see a slightly lower angle, but presumably in order to make the Smart Connector functionality work reliably Logitech had to angle it at what it did.

JPEG image-77DAF68B41CB-1

The Smart Connector pins are housed on a black strip so they’re easy to find and connect to, while there’s a Logi logo above those pins. On the bottom of the Base is a slightly sticky adhesive material that prevents it from sliding around or potentially falling over while your iPad Pro is docked. This is especially useful for the larger and heavier 12.9-inch iPad Pro that would potentially cause the dock to fall over or be unstable.

As soon as you place your iPad Pro on the LOGI Base it begins to charge via the Smart Connector. One thing I was curious about was whether or not there would be any difference in charging times between using the Smart Connector or plugging the Lightning cable directly into the iPad Pro. In my testing, however, I didn’t notice any major differences. Although, keep in mind I tested the 9.7-inch iPad Pro with the Base and results could vary with the larger model.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 6.48.29 PM

One annoyance is that if you’re using Apple’s Smart Cover, you’ll have to remove it in order to reveal the Smart Connector pins. This flaw is more on Apple’s part than Logitech’s, though.

All in all, the LOGI Base is a really solid iPad Pro dock that takes advantage of a feature unique to it in the Smart Connect. Most iPad docks I’ve used over the years don’t actually have a Lightning connection built-in. Instead, you simply place the iPad on the dock and connect a Lightning cable directly to the device. With the LOGI Base, however, that is a thing of the past.

Not only do you never have to worry about digging out the Lightning cable from behind your desk or couch again, you also don’t even have to use the Lightning port on your iPad Pro at all. One huge benefit of this for iPad Pro users is that they can charge the Apple Pencil via the Lightning port on the iPad while the iPad Pro is charging via the Smart Connector-enabled LOGI Base.

If anything, the LOGI Base highlights the potential that the Smart Connector offers for accessory makers. Overall, however, Logitech has created a solid and well executed iPad Pro dock. The adhesive on the bottom ensures that your iPad Pro is safe while it’s docked and the all-aluminum design means that it blends in perfectly with your device and other Apple products.

If there’s one downside to the LOGI Base, it’s the price tag. The dock comes in at $99.99, which is certainly on the higher-end of the accessory market. Nevertheless, it’s available now from Logitech.

The full press release is below:

Logi BASE: The Easiest Way to Charge and Use Your iPad Pro

First Charging Stand for iPad Pro Unlocks New Possibilities in Every Room

NEWARK, Calif. — April 26, 2016 — Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced the Logi BASE Charging Stand with Smart Connector™ for iPad Pro™, enabling a new way to charge your 12.9-inch or 9.7-inch iPad Pro while you use it. A first of its kind, Logi BASE gives you the perfect viewing angle for enjoying apps and entertainment in every room. You can type on the screen or access Siri® while simultaneously charging your iPad Pro through the Smart Connector.  

Tweet now: Charge your iPad Pro via the Smart Connector. @Logitech Introduces the Logi BASE stand for #iPadPro. Learn more:

“Last fall we introduced the Logi CREATE – the first third-party keyboard compatible with Apple’s Smart Connector,” said Michele Hermann, vice president of mobility at Logitech. “With the introduction of the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, we’re excited to continue to deliver innovation – beyond the keyboard – that leverages the Smart Connector and helps you make the most of your iPad Pro, in any room at home or the office.”

The Logi BASE is the first device to charge your iPad Pro through the Smart Connector, and charging has never been friendlier. Magnets in the charging cradle guide your iPad Pro into place to align with the Smart Connector, with no need to search for a charging port; just drop your iPad Pro in and go.

The Logi BASE provides the perfect place for your iPad Pro in every room. With over one million apps designed specifically for iPad, and the intelligence of Siri®, you can completely rethink the way you use iPad Pro. Set your Logi BASE on the kitchen counter for the perfect viewing angle when following a recipe or using cooking apps. Or, you can call on Siri for help setting a timer, converting cups into ounces or adding items to your grocery list. To make your morning routine a breeze, place your iPad Pro and the Logi BASE on your nightstand and ask Siri about the weather or your day’s upcoming schedule. And at the office, you can set your iPad Pro and Logi BASE next to your laptop or desktop for the perfect second screen, enabling new levels of creativity and productivity.

The Logi BASE belongs with your iPad Pro. From the high-grade aluminum to the premium finish and curved shape, every detail is designed to complement the iPad Pro, and makes it a pleasure to look at and use.  

The Logi BASE is compatible with the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pro and is available today from Logitech and Apple for a suggested retail price of $99.99. For more information, please visit, our blog or connect with us on Facebook.

About Logitech

Logitech designs products that have an everyday place in people’s lives, connecting them to the digital experiences they care about. Over 30 years ago, Logitech started connecting people through computers, and now it’s designing products that bring people together through music, gaming, video and computing. Founded in 1981, Logitech International is a Swiss public company listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (LOGN) and on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (LOGI). Find Logitech at, the company blog or @Logitech.

Review: Logitech’s Smart Connector-equipped charging dock for iPad Pro

Sabtu, 23 April 2016

Mac Bundle: Few bucks (currently $13 & rising) gets you Screens, Flux 6, Aftershot Pro and 10 more apps

Mac Bundle: Few bucks (currently $13 & rising) gets you Screens, Flux 6, Aftershot Pro and 10 more apps

9to5Toys Specials has a solid ‘pay what you want’ bundle today that is only around $13 if you get in early (it keeps going up the longer you wait).

The line-up includes Owlet, an intuitive app for giving your 3D models a photo-realistic finish, and Flux 6, which lets you build beautiful responsive websites with drag-and-drop controls. AfterShot Pro 2 is a speedy alternative to Lightroom, with non-destructive RAW photo editing and organization…

You can watch for suspicious activity on your Mac via Hands Off!, while FoldersSynchronizer 4 offers scheduled backups, and Screens 3 gives you remote desktop control. AllMyMusic can record audio from over 500 streaming sites, and iClip is a great clipboard manager. FilePane adds custom drag-and-drop functionality to your setup, and Pomodoro Time Pro keeps you working.

The bundle also includes photo editor Emulsion App, full-featured code editor skEdit 4, and Markdown previewer Marked 2.

These “Pay what you want” bundles are a bit of a misnomer. You only get the last three apps free if you pay less than the “current average price” which starts at $13. However, this bundle is worth a retail price of $950 and at least a few hundred street price so you are usually saving money if you buy just one of the items listed.

Note you also get to give 10% of your purchase price to the charity of your choice and will be entered to win a huge iTunes gift card.

Mac Bundle: Few bucks (currently $13 & rising) gets you Screens, Flux 6, Aftershot Pro and 10 more apps

Jumat, 22 April 2016

Opinion: Cellular Apple Watch in time, sure, but these issues need love too

Opinion: Cellular Apple Watch in time, sure, but these issues need love too

I touched on my thoughts on a cellular Apple Watch 2 briefly when detailing WSJ’s report, but I want to expand a bit further and think out loud about the possibility. In short, I think an untethered Apple Watch with built-in cellular connectivity is inevitable, but in the short term there are other problems I suspect will be solved first. That’s not to say that Apple couldn’t introduce cellular and fix other issues, but having an embedded data connection is low on my list of requests this year.

I’ll start by saying I’m not an Apple Watch Debby Downer. I’ve worn mine every single day since it launched last year for timekeeping, fitness tracking, notifications, and occasional Siri, and I’m content enough not to stop now.

I also sync my Favorites album of Photos and my Recently Added playlist in Apple Music. Syncing primarily happens over Wi-Fi when charging, which is fine as I believe it’s the power limitation, not wireless connection, that causes this. I tend to think of my Apple Watch as a modern iPad in this sense, and the iPhone is already my hotspot when I need a data connection on my iPad away from Wi-Fi. As it stands now, Apple Watch is no different.

Apple Watch

In the long term, it seems inevitable that Apple Watch should replace the iPhone for communication for some people. A smartwatch plus a compact Bluetooth earpiece may be better for some people than a candy bar shaped smartphone, and a cellular connection is needed to get there. I can imagine a scenario where I could wear Apple Watch, carry iPad, and not miss functionality from the iPhone. But for me, iPhone is also my go-to camera, and even if Apple Watch wasn’t under spec’d and awkward as a camera, I imagine I’d miss the large view finder; it’s noticeable enough between iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE.

Problems that I have now really don’t relate to needing cellular connectivity either; it’s more about missing apps and functionality. Apple Watch 2 will surely have a faster chip that launches Apples quicker, but I’d also like to see more Apple apps on Apple Watch. For example, dictating or referencing text in Notes, syncing and playing back shows in Podcasts, and adding and referencing items in Reminders are all needed. Other functionality like sending audio to AirPlay, not just Bluetooth, is needed. Apple Watch also needs a more robust Siri. And I’d love to see more watch faces or all of the current watch faces gain more customization and complication support.

Apple Watch loading

Apple could do all of that and introduce embedded data with Apple Watch 2, though, but using it would depend on a couple of factors.

First, I don’t suspect I’d pay extra for a cellular Apple Watch if it wasn’t standard. Cellular iPads carry a $130 premium but that’s out of my range; $50 is the most I can imagine paying if the use cases were enticing.

Regardless of upfront cost, I wouldn’t want to pay an access fee for cellular connectivity on Apple Watch. AT&T charges me $10/month to access my data pool directly on iPad, or I can hotspot to my iPhone for no extra cost and access the same amount of data. I went along with the $120/year plan for a while, but for me it was too difficult to justify $130 extra upfront and $120/year thereafter. $10/month for data access on Apple Watch is even more difficult to imagine for me. Even $5/month at $60/year is out of range for what I can imagine.

Finally, if Apple Watch is destined to gain cellular connectivity this year or soon after, then Apple must have data that suggests cellular connectivity will satisfy some group of customers or prospective customers, but who? Analyst and investor types seem to be most welcoming of the idea of an Apple Watch with embedded cellular, which makes sense for long term success. But at the time of writing, a 57% majority of readers who responded to our poll (embedded again above) did so negatively to caring about cellular connectivity in Apple Watch.

While I’d like to see Apple Watch mature over time and gain cellular connectivity eventually, I’d find myself in the same camp as the majority of those who responded to our poll in not worrying about cellular just yet. Apple Watch can only improve with its own cellular connection, however, and there’s no major reason to wait years and years. So the bottom line here is that it’s the implementation that will determine cellular’s importance for me when it does happen.

Opinion: Cellular Apple Watch in time, sure, but these issues need love too

Kamis, 21 April 2016

Report: Faster Apple Watch 2 may feature built-in cellular connectivity [Poll]

Report: Faster Apple Watch 2 may feature built-in cellular connectivity [Poll]

Apple Watch has been on the market for a year now, and The Wall Street Journal has a new report in which it compares the product’s estimated sales to the original iPhone’s in its first year. Apple has never released hard Apple Watch sales numbers as it does for iPhones, iPads, and Macs, but WSJ says twice as many Apple Watches have been sold during the first year as iPhones during its first year. Apple sold just over 5.8 million iPhones during its first four quarters on the market.

Obviously that’s not an apples to apples comparison, but it’s one way to paint Apple Watch positively as iPhone has taken off with quarter after quarter growth until now. Tomorrow Apple is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report covering the January through March period where Tim Cook is likely to reflect on the first year of Apple Watch in some degree.

Looking forward, the WSJ’s report includes one nugget about what to expect about the Apple Watch 2 likely to launch later this year:

Apple is working on adding cell-network connectivity and a faster processor to its next-generation Watch, according to people familiar with the matter.

The report also details other issues with Apple Watch during its first year: battery life to some degree (it gets through a full day but not more), speed (native apps didn’t deliver promised speed boost), and overall functionality.

The idea of embedding cellular connectivity is that Apple Watch could enjoy new use cases not currently possible when relying on a tethered iPhone for data transfer. Optionally having a cellular connection just like the iPhone would allow Apple Watch to directly send and receive data when off Wi-Fi without using the iPhone as a passthrough, which necessarily delays any task.

Apple Watch wouldn’t be the first smartwatch on the market with built-in cellular either. Samsung and LG have both released smartwatches with embedded LTE, although enabling LTE mobility typically means another access charge on your carrier bill as well.

For me, cellular connectivity is less of an issue except on outdoor runs when the option to leave the iPhone behind and just rely on Apple Watch for music, fitness tracking, communication, and Apple Pay would be ideal. All of those are possible now with the exception of location tracking during workouts except for communication; you can listen to locally stored music over Bluetooth and even make purchases with Apple Pay, but an untethered Apple Watch can’t make phone calls or send and receive messages without a data connection.

The faster chip, presumably called the S2, is a bigger upgrade point for me though. What about you? Would cellular connectivity solve any problems with Apple Watch for you, or is it a non-factor? Let us know with our poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments. Would you be willing to pay extra for a cellular Apple Watch if it wasn’t standard? Would you pay a monthly fee for access if you had a cellular option?

As for our own reporting, 9to5Mac shared last June that Apple Watch 2 would likely focus on iPhone independence, thanks in part to an upgraded Wi-Fi chip, and prototypes 10 months ago included a FaceTime camera for video calls as well as new materials. Apple Watch launched a year back after being introduced six months earlier and recently saw a $50 price cut across Sport models. Apple Watch 2 is expected to debut later this fall.

[4:47 pm ET: Corrected iPhone sales numbers. My apologies, thanks John :)]

Report: Faster Apple Watch 2 may feature built-in cellular connectivity [Poll]

Rabu, 20 April 2016

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Retina MacBook Pro from $1,150, 4K iMac $1,150, 512GB Thunderbolt SSD $284, more

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Retina MacBook Pro from $1,150, 4K iMac $1,150, 512GB Thunderbolt SSD $284, more

Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.



Apple 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro 2.7GHz/8GB/256GB $1,200 or $1,150 w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499), more

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB (early 2015) from $700 shipped w/ .edu (Orig. $999)


Apple 21-inch Retina 4K iMac 3.1GHz/8GB/1TB (newest version): from $1,150 shipped w/ .edu (Reg. $1,499)


Transcend storage upgrades for your Mac: 512GB Portable Thunderbolt SSD $284, 256GB Expansion Card $170, more


App Store Free App of the Week: Readdle’s Calendars 5 for iOS goes free for the first time in years (Reg. up to $7)

Air Display 3 for iOS gets its first price drop to $10 (Reg. $15)

Star Wars KOTOR for iOS now matching its lowest price ever: $3 (Reg. $10)

Upgrade Your Mac with 3 Great Apps: Scapple $9 (Orig. $15), STAMP Premium $5 (Orig. $10), Ghostnote $7 (Orig. $10)

Apple offers Day One 2 iOS journal app for free ($10 value)

New MacBooks

The best accessories for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook: USB-C cables, hubs, flash storage, more

Apple drops the price on refurbished 12-inch MacBooks, now start at $929 shipped



Best Buy offers $1 iPhone 6s (16GB) on Sprint (Reg. $199), or $100 gift card w/ installment plan


Home Theater: Yamaha 7.2-Ch. A/V Receiver w/ AirPlay + Bluetooth $479 shipped (Reg. $700), more



Twelve South HiRise Deluxe Stand for iPhone & iPad w/ Lightning + microUSB cables:$40 Prime shipped (Reg. $60)


Dock your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with this Rosewood Desk Stand for $20 Prime shipped


Review: Are these third-party $11 Apple Watch Sport bands any good? Turns out, they aren’t too bad.



PICTAR’s vintage-inspired SLR camera accessory for iPhone looks to add affordable functionality

9to5Toys Lunch Break: Retina MacBook Pro from $1,150, 4K iMac $1,150, 512GB Thunderbolt SSD $284, more

Selasa, 19 April 2016

Opinion: Apple’s MacBook lineup has a storage problem

Opinion: Apple’s MacBook lineup has a storage problem

Yesterday, we showed you how to upgrade late model MacBooks with a 480GB or 1TB SSD. In some cases these upgrades might yield eight times the original capacity of the machine’s internal storage.

While it’s certainly nice to have the option of upgrading, such enhancements do come with downsides. First, there’s the price: it’s $600 to upgrade to a 1TB drive. Second, the upgrade breaks Boot Camp support.

But $600 is relatively cheap when you compare what it costs to score a MacBook with a 1TB SSD. MacBooks feature faster PCIe storage, but it’s still a high price to pay for something so vital — and so cheap by today’s standards.

Apple’s MacBook line has an issue with internal flash storage prices. It’s a problem that continues to worsen, especially as Apple has made it increasingly difficult for users to upgrade.

The raw numbers

I took some time and placed storage figures and corresponding prices into a spreadsheet for Apple’s entire MacBook line that uses SSDs exclusively. This eliminates the holdover 13″ MacBook Pro without a Retina display.

To gather these figures, I simply ventured over to Apple’s website and placed the numbers in a spreadsheet. For each data point, I took the path of least resistance (read: cheapest) option. For example, with the 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display, there are actually two ways to get to 512GB of storage. You can upgrade the 256GB base model to 512GB for $300, or you can buy the 512GB model for $200 more than that. The 512GB model features a faster processor and discrete graphics, but since I only care about storage for this example, I selected the upgraded model to be fair since it saves $200.

Note that all of the data in this post is only considering storage space. Apple provides additional performance incentives with its flash storage upgrades, but since this post is solely about storage and possible configurations, all other performance enhancements have been ignored for the sake of this exercise.

The numbers are certainly intriguing. Here are seven interesting points that we can extrapolate from this data:

  • The 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display has the worst PPOP (Premium Percentage of Original Price). This is the percentage of a maxed out machine from a pure storage perspective versus the original base model price. For example, the 13″ MacBook Pro can be maxed out to 1TB for a minimum of $1,000. That is 77% of the original base model price. In other words, you’re almost paying enough (77%) to buy another 13″ base model MacBook Pro in order to up the storage to 1TB. This makes it, by far, the worst MacBook to max out in the entire lineup in terms of price.

  • The 12″ MacBook is actually a fairly decent deal to max out its storage. Maxed out storage only goes up to 512GB, but that’s only 23% of the original base model price vs 50% for the 13″ MacBook Air for the same amount of storage. The 12″ MacBook’s PPOG is the best among all MacBooks in the lineup.

  • In order to upgrade any MacBook in Apple’s entire lineup to 1TB, you’ll need to spend $800 extra over the base price at minimum. I understand that Apple uses high quality flash storage that’s fast, but that premium is massive.

  • The only MacBooks capable of being upgraded to 1TB are the models from its Pro line. Lesser models are stuck with a max of 512GB.

  • The Cost Per GB (Premium Differential) is the max storage upgrade price divided by the amount of storage. Three of the MacBooks in Apple’s lineup come with a Premium Differential of around $0.98/GB. If this report by ComputerWorld is to be believed, then Apple’s SSD storage prices for these upgrades are hovering around 2012 levels.

  • The 12″ MacBook, again, stands out as different. The $0.59 Premium Differential is 40% below the levels of every other MacBook in the lineup. Again, the 12″ MacBook doesn’t feature a 1TB option, but it still stands out as being a pretty good deal relative to Apple’s other asking prices.

  • MacBooks with prices in the 256GB field are MacBooks that feature a paltry 128GB of base storage. In 2016, there’s simply no way around stating that this is absurd.

Of course, considering that we’re ignoring another major piece of the puzzle — the other performance improvements that come with such price increases — such data is worthy of an asterisk. It simply highlights the need for more flexible storage upgrade options in Apple’s MacBook line.

I believe that if I want 1TB of storage in my base model 13″ MacBook, and nothing else, I shouldn’t have to pay $1,000 for the option. It’s like needing to buy a car that seats four, but having to pay for an 8-cylinder engine just to get there.

Ways to improve storage options

I understand that Apple is looking to squeeze every ounce of value from its lineup, but I think some compromises could be made for the sake of the customer. I also understand that Apple uses high quality components in its machines; look no further than the read/write speed comparisons between OWC’s third-party SSD and the stock SSDs that ship with the latest MacBooks.

I don’t mind that Apple wants to charge a premium for its components. I just wish that it wouldn’t require customers to purchase more machine than necessary just to satisfy storage needs. Apple, make it easier for your customers to upgrade to 512GB or 1TB of storage. Don’t make us pay 77% of the value of the original base model just to have enough storage space for our needs. The cost per gigabyte for three of Apple’s max storage upgrades is running at nearly $1.00 USD. Even for premium components, that’s a little on the high side. The 12″ MacBook comes in at a more modest $0.59 per gigabyte for max storage, so we know that there’s some wiggle room to be had here.

I’m not expecting Apple to just give away storage capacity. This is an area that it has exploited for years, but we’re not talking about $100 incremental storage upgrades featured on its iPads or iPhones — we’re talking about $1,000 storage upgrades. In 2016, it’s time for a change.

Opinion: Apple’s MacBook lineup has a storage problem

Senin, 18 April 2016

Google updates Hangouts for iPhone and iPad with new share extension, Low Power Mode enhancement

Google updates Hangouts for iPhone and iPad with new share extension, Low Power Mode enhancement

Google has released Hangouts version 9 for iPhone and iPad, bringing a native iOS share extension and new Low Power Mode functionality to the social app.

Starting with the latest update, users can share content over Hangouts on iOS without being in the app.  Just activate the newly added Hangouts extension by tapping the share/action button (box with arrow) on an app like Safari or Photos, then tap ‘More’ at the end of the row of colored app icons, toggle Hangouts on and position it wherever you prefer.

As long as you’re logged in to Hangouts, tapping this new extension will allow you to share photos, videos, notes, URLs, and more from apps like Safari, Chrome, Photos, and Notes to your contacts in Hangouts. The extension brings up a new menu that lets you confirm which account you want to send from as well as which contacts you want to share with.

According to the release notes (below), Hangouts 9 also includes a new Low Power Mode behavior which will suspend video sharing during calls when your iPhone enters iOS 9’s Low Power Mode state. Low Power Mode isn’t available on iPads.

What’s New in Version 9.0.0

● Share extension – share text, links, pictures and video from other iOS apps
● Automatically turn off video when in low power mode

Despite being enhanced for iOS 9, Hangouts still lacks iOS 9 multitasking features like Split View and Slide Over for now at least. Still, the newly added extension appears well implemented and the Low Power Mode enhancement is a clever and responsible feature considering the power saving mode is optional.

Grab the latest version of Hangouts for iOS for free from the App Store.

Google updates Hangouts for iPhone and iPad with new share extension, Low Power Mode enhancement

Minggu, 17 April 2016

Nokia is buying healthcare iPhone accessory maker Withings

Nokia is buying healthcare iPhone accessory maker Withings

Nokia plans to acquire Withings to accelerate entry into Digital Health

Espoo, Finland – Nokia has announced plans to acquire Withings S.A., a pioneer and leader in the connected health revolution with a family of award-winning digital health products and services to help people all over the world lead healthier, happier and more productive lives. Withings will be part of our Nokia Technologies business.

“We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market,” said Rajeev Suri, president & CEO of Nokia. “With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.”

World Health Organization figures show cardiovascular disease as today’s number one cause of death, with more than a billion adults around the world living with uncontrolled hypertension. Diabetes now affects more than one in twelve adults worldwide, a four-fold increase since 1980. Healthcare is expected to be one of the largest vertical markets in the Internet of Things, with analysts forecasting that mobile health, with a CAGR of 37%, will be the fastest growing health care segment from 2015-2020.

“Withings shares our vision for the future of digital health and their products are smart, well designed and already helping people live healthier lives,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “Combining their award-winning products and talented people with the world-class expertise and innovation of Nokia Technologies uniquely positions us to lead the next wave of innovation in digital health.”

The combination of innovative products from Withings and the Digital Health business will also ensure the ongoing renewal of Nokia Technologies’ world class IPR portfolio.

Withings was founded by Chairman Eric Carreel and CEO Cedric Hutchings in 2008 and is headquartered in France, with approximately 200 employees across its locations in Paris, France, Cambridge, US and Hong Kong. Withings’ portfolio of regulated and unregulated products includes activity trackers, weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors and more, and is built on a sophisticated digital health platform, providing insights to empower people to make smarter decisions about the health and wellbeing of themselves and their families. Withings’ own products are complemented by an ecosystem of more than a hundred compatible apps.

“Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing,” said C├ędric Hutchings, CEO of Withings. “We’re excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world.”

The Nokia brand continues to be recognized, valued and trusted by consumers, built on a heritage of beautifully designed, innovative and reliable technology in the service of people around the world to help real human needs.

The planned transaction values Withings at EUR 170 million and would be settled in cash and is expected to close in early Q3, 2016 subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Nokia is buying healthcare iPhone accessory maker Withings

Sabtu, 16 April 2016

Best Buy offering $1 iPhone 6s (16GB) on Sprint contract (or $100 gift card w/ installment plan)

Best Buy offering $1 iPhone 6s (16GB) on Sprint contract (or $100 gift card w/ installment plan)

Best Buy is offering the 16GB iPhone 6s on Sprint for just $1 this week, a $199 savings on the device’s normal price on the usual two-year carrier contract.

If you don’t feel like signing up for the Sprint contract, however, you can opt for a Sprint monthly installment plan (which doesn’t require the two-year commitment) and get a $100 Best Buy gift card instead. Sprint’s monthly installments will run you $26.39/mo for the 16GB iPhone 6s until you pay off the $699.99 off-contract retail price of the device.

The deals are only available in Best Buy retail stores and not online, and they are good for all 16GB iPhone 6s models including the Space Gray, Gold, Silver, and Rose Gold color options. The $1 iPhone 6s deal is good for a limited time starting today until Thursday this week.

And some other Best Buy Apple deals courtesy of 9to5Toys: The company is offering a $50 gift card with purchase of the new iPhone SE, a few iPad Pro deals, and Apple Watch Stainless Steel models starting at just $349 shipped.

Check out more deals at

Best Buy offering $1 iPhone 6s (16GB) on Sprint contract (or $100 gift card w/ installment plan)

Jumat, 15 April 2016

Dropbox Project Infinite will show all your cloud files in the Finder … without taking up any local space

Dropbox Project Infinite will show all your cloud files in the Finder … without taking up any local space

Dropbox is today announcing a new upcoming feature of its platform, codenamed Project Infinite. When Infinite rolls out, you’ll be able to see all your files and folders stored on Dropbox in the Finder, but they won’t take up any space until they are needed. The company is currently targeting the feature at business users.

This means your Dropbox storage can be far larger in total size than your local disk (as is common with modern setups of 1 TB Dropbox tiers and small SSDs) with on-demand instantaneous access to any file at any time over the Internet …

So how does that work? What’s happening is that the Dropbox app shows placeholder items in your Finder for all files synced in the cloud. However, the contents of these files are never downloaded until they are clicked on and need opening. This concept is more easily explained by the demo video, embedded below.

Obviously, if you do not have network access but urgently require a particular file that isn’t already locally cached, then you are out of luck. However, Dropbox Project Infinite includes a ‘Save local copy’ feature that allows users to pin specific folders and files ahead of time, to guarantee they will be kept downloaded locally on the system.

For instance, if you are going to an important meeting abroad where the availability of Interent is spotty, you can choose the project files to save locally for the duration of the trip. Locally synced files are marked with the usual green checkmark.

The placeholders include metadata like filenames, modified dates and sizes just like actual files. Users can drag and drop placeholder files and folders to rearrange the logical layout of their documents too … all without having to download the file contents. Placeholder content is identified by a grey cloud annotation on the icon.

Overall, though, it means Dropbox users on the desktop no longer need to worry about filling up their local disk with files when they use their storage. Until Infinite, the only solution was to selectively sync specific folders but this meant unsynced folders were simply not visible within the operating system at all, unless downloaded in full.

Project Infinite is currently being targeted at business users, who want to deploy their intranet over Dropbox, containing terabytes of information. The feature has already been rolled out to a select number of partners but a date for a widespread release has not yet been given. Project Infinite will work on OS X and Windows computers.

Get more information about the upcoming feature on the Dropbox blog.

Dropbox Project Infinite will show all your cloud files in the Finder … without taking up any local space

Kamis, 14 April 2016

Apple Q2 earnings expectations: 51 million iPhones, $52 billion revenue, first quarterly decline since 2003

Apple Q2 earnings expectations: fifty one million iPhones, $fifty two billion revenue, first quarterly decline in view that 2003

Later nowadays, at about four.30 PM ET, Apple will announce its monetary cash results for fiscal Q2, together with the newest three-month sales numbers for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

even if Apple continues to be going to post earnings within the billions, nonetheless some of the a success firms the sector by way of all metrics, investor expectations are low as the company steerage signifies it'll document its first decline in yr-over-year quarterly earnings for the reason that 2003. the primary lead to? Falling iPhone sales …

the usage of information compiled by Philip Elmer-Dewitt (subscription required to look full article), analysts predict negative boom numbers across the board. In the same quarter of 2015, Apple reported $58 billion in earnings and $13.6 billion internet profit derived from sales of sixty one.1 million iPhones, 12 million iPads and 4.5 million Macs.

each single number on this sheet is predicted to fall significantly in the Q2 2016 quarter with the exception of Macs. Elmer-Dewitt’s information suggests consensus of $52.2 billion earnings (a ten% decline), fifty one million iPhones (a 15% decline), 9.9 million iPads (a 20% decline) with Mac sales consistent at four.5 million.


The earnings decline is especially amazing, because it’s the first time company earnings will decline YOY since 2003. unless now, booming sales of iPhones and iOS gadgets has pushed Apple’s revenue numbers to record ranges each single 12 months.

Apple Watch is new to the quarter, so there isn’t a 12 months-over-yr comparison. the data sheet signifies sales across the 3 million mark. on the other hand, this quantity isn't verifiable as Apple does no longer disclose Apple Watch units revenue, bundling revenue contributions into an ‘other merchandise’ category.

Following the click liberate of results, Apple will hold an investor income name at 5 PM ET to speak about the numbers and host a Q&A session with select traders. 9to5Mac will have full coverage of the decision as it occurs.

Apple Q2 cash expectations: fifty one million iPhones, $52 billion income, first quarterly decline on the grounds that 2003 two-billion-earnings-first-quarterly-decline-for the reason that-2003/

Rabu, 13 April 2016

Indian government will require all iPhones to include panic button feature in 2017

Indian government will require all iPhones to include panic button feature in 2017

A new motion signed into law in India will require all phones, including iPhones, to feature a ‘panic button’ to call emergency services and GPS for location pings from January 1st, 2017. The provisions are being brought in to aid the ‘security of women’, via the Indian Express.

Obviously, GPS has existed in iPhones since the iPhone 3G but it seems that Apple will have to make some software modifications to iOS to comply with the panic button request.

The document dictates that smartphones need to add a physical button dedicated to emergency response or repurpose the power button with an additional gesture to initiate a call for help. It seems unlikely that Apple will adorn its sleek iPhones with a special button just for one country, so compliance will likely come via the latter software-based method.

The suggested implementation is for smartphone makers to activate the panic mode when the power button is pressed quickly three times. Essentially, it needs to be activated without requiring use of the touchscreen. On dumb phones that include physical number pads (still very common in India), the mode would be activated by holding down a particular key.

When the panic button is activated, a signal will be sent to the nearest security agency to respond. However, the system still seems to be in early planning stages as further details about the plan were not disclosed. Via GPS location, the idea is that the plan will give security force more accountability in responding to emergency help requests.

Right now, iOS features quick access to dial an emergency number on the lock screen. Slide to the left and tap the ‘Emergency’ button. This brings up a special white/red dialpad that allows calls to emergency service numbers without needing to unlock the device. The iOS feature is not sufficient to comply with the new Indian ruling, as it necessitates an emergency response can be triggered without using the screen to navigate.

Apple is currently focusing on India to find new geographies for iPhone growth and the company is currently pursuing opportunities to sell iPhones directly to customers in the country. The cheaper iPhone SE is also clearly positioned at emerging markets and has seen decent uptake in India, according to analysts.

Indian government will require all iPhones to include panic button feature in 2017