All iOS apps must support 64-bit code??
One headline on MacNN this week has caused a bit of a stir in the forums when Mac Elite "WizOSX" pointed out that Apple has announced that all iOS apps must support 64-bit code by February of 2015. One Fresh-Faced Recruit is having trouble playing video with their Windows notebook computer and is wondering if the MacBook Air would be able to handle it better.
17-inch iMacs from $1,399
Apple's online store has been slashing prices on refurbished 27-inch iMac models in the wake of last weeks unveiling of their current generation 5K model. The 27-inch iMac with a 2.9GHz quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive is now $1,399 after a $400 discount. A $310 discount is offered on the refurbished 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive, now $1,489.
$120 off 13.3-inch MacBook Pro
Right now at B&H get the 13.3-inch Retina MacBook Pro notebook on sale for $1,280. That's a savings of $120 off their regular price of $1,400, and it is $109 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. Also provided are a free gift of LoJack or Parallels. This MBP features a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage. A one year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
Rogue-like strategy not made for the faint of heart
Following a year of development in Steam's Early Access program, Steam Marines finally made its way to the general public a few weeks ago. Similar in style to games like Space Hulk and XCOM, Steam Marines is a top-down strategy shooter that requires players to carefully plan out each turn. Available for $15 through Steam, Desura, and the Humble Store, is this 2D retro-styled game worth your time and the unavoidable stress it is bound to cause?
Cook announces new trip to Beijing for worker meeting that will be posted online
As is his habit, Apple CEO Tim Cook on Monday released a company-wide memo to employees recapping much of the sales and growth data from the analyst conference call given earlier that afternoon. He referred to the expectation-beating results as "Apple's highest September quarter revenue ever, and our strongest growth rate in seven quarters," adding that this was made possible "by your hard work and dedication." He also noted the big jump in Mac sales, beating industry averages significantly.
Emerging markets, price cuts, back to school seen as key factors
In what CEO Tim Cook called the "best ever" quarter for the Mac, Apple's Mac lineup overall jumped a remarkable 25 percent in a single quarter to 5.52 million units. Making the event more noteworthy is the fact that the growth was achieved prior to any notable refreshes. Instead, what appears to be driving the increase in Mac sales is volume in emerging markets, such as China - where Macs were up 54 percent year-over-year. Price cuts and great back-to-school sales also contributed to the jump.
Company's performance generally healthy
In the wake of its official announcement, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its Q4 financial results. On a regional basis the company did well in most cases, for instance increasing Americans revenue 17 percent year-over-year to $16.247 billion, and European revenue 19 percent to $9.535 billion. "Greater" China -- including Hong Kong and Taiwan -- advanced 1 percent to $5.778 billion, and Japan was up 5 percent to $3.507 billion. Only the rest of the Asia Pacific region saw problems, with revenue dipping 3 percent to $1.923 billion. Global retail sales rose 15 percent to $5.133 billion.
Dual-core Haswell processors may limit refreshed Mac mini usefulness
The refreshed Mac mini may offer a significant dip in performance compared to earlier iterations, a report claims. A blog post from the Geekbench benchmark suite suggests that, though the new Haswell-based systems may have slightly higher single-core performance scores than the Ivy Bridge-based counterparts from late 2012, their multi-core performance will apparently suffer considerably.
Socketed CPU, same components as previous model shown in breakdown
Apple repair purveyors iFixit have given their regular disassembly treatment to Apple's new 27-inch 5K iMac. As the machine has re-used the chassis from the last generation of iMac, and has only minor changes to the internals apart from the display, the repairability score remains the same at a five out of 10. Notably, the company has found a larger display data connector, with the fused LCD and taped-down display hindering repair efforts.
FREE Collage Maker software for all!
With Halloween fast approaching, there will undoubtedly be countless new memories being captured of all the scary costumes, silly face paint, jack-o-lanterns and good times filling up the storage space of millions of Americans and Canadians. MacNN and Electronista want you to have some fun with those memories, so we have teamed up with PearlMountain software to give away free copies of Picture Collage Maker Pro and Picture Collage Maker for Mac to all of our readers.
Hard drive can be upgraded, possibly RAM, but voids warranty to do so
Server farm and hosting provider Macminicolo has posted its preliminary findings on the latest edition of the Mac mini, noting that the RAM in the unit is not user-accessible as was the case in previous models. This does not completely preclude the possibility of it being upgraded, but doing so would void the warranty on the machine. The 5400rpm hard drive included in the 2014 models is upgradeable, but again only through a warranty-voiding procedure.
Time for a new iMac?
Since yesterday marked the release of the new 27-inch iMac, the MacNN forums have been abuzz with chatter about this latest addition to the Mac family, and finally there is an answer to the age-old question "is it time for a new iMac?" and it looks like that answer is a resounding "yes." The official OS X 10.10 Yosemite thread was started yesterday by "Eden Aurora," where users can share their experiences and first impressions.
iMac and Mac mini from $499
With the unveiling of the new iMacs and Mac minis yesterday, Apple also has cut prices on refurbished iMacs and Mac minis. The refurbished Mac mini with a 2.5GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been reduced by $80 to $419. For $929, after a $170 discount, is the refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
$382 off new Retina 27-inch iMac
It's hard to believe, but Expercom has already managed to secure lower pricing on the brand new 27-inch Retina iMac with a 3.5GHz quad-core i5 processor, 32GB of RAM, 1TB Fusion drive and AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB video card. This configuration retails for $3,349 from Apple, but is priced at only $2,942 with $25 for shipping. That's a savings of $382. The only difference is the wait time of 10 days to 3 weeks before it ships, versus Apples' 3-5 day shipping time. As always, this item is backed by Apple's one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
MacNN and Electronista deals for October 17, 2014
Its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!
Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM inside 11.6-inch Chromebook 2
Samsung has added an extra option to its Chromebook 2 line of budget notebooks. The new addition with an 11.6-inch 1366x768-resolution display replaces the Exynos 5 Octa processors from the original two notebooks with a 2.58GHz Intel Celeron N2840 processor and Intel HD graphics, while at the same time downgrading the amount of RAM from 4GB to just 2GB.
Four times more pixels than previous model, all-new display technology
At its iPad event, Apple also unveiled a new 27-inch Retina 5K iMac, featuring an all-new display that offers 5K (5120x2880) resolution, 67 percent more pixels than found in a new 4K HDTV. Although previously rumored, the new iMac still managed to surprise with a lower-than-expected price tag starting at $2,499, considerably less than the cost of a typical high-end 4K HDTV. The new model, which will be sold in addition to the existing iMac models, also offers processing power up to a 4.0GHz Core i7.
Haswell, Thunderbolt 2, lower entry price highlights of new model
Alongside a new iMac, Apple has refreshed the Mac mini. The new Mac mini brings Intel fourth-generation "Haswell" processors to the diminutive computer, which retains the same form factor. Also added are a pair of Thunderbolt 2 ports, replacing the single original Thunderbolt port in the 2012 model. More importantly, the base price for a new entry-level Mac mini model that will have performance specs similar to the entry-level MacBook Air, has dropped by $100 to a new floor of $499.
All the October Apple event news from the Cupertino Town Hall
Apple's October product event has begun. Alongside Apple CEO Tim Cook calling the iPhone 6 launch the "biggest launch ever," Apple has announced that Apple Pay is "getting going" in the United States. The official launch of Apple Pay is Monday, October 20 to compatible device users. Apple has also shown details of iOS 8.1, with improvements to photo and video storage.
New iPads for sure, but invitation may hints at a surprise or two
Many sites, pundits and people think they have a sure grip on what's going to be announced later today at Apple's press event, which begins at 10AM Pacific time (1PM Eastern time) and is being held in Apple's own community town hall theatre at the company's headquarters. This generally means a smaller affair and a strictly press-only audience, and on tap for the event is the expected announcement of new iPad models. But what else is likely to happen? We weigh up the rumors and make a few wild guesses.
win a copy of BetterSnapTool
Since the introduction of Windows 7 Aero Snap feature, there have been many Mac users who have secretly longed for the ability to have this kind of control over their desktop environment. Now for only $2, there is an app for that. It's called BetterSnapTool, and we have just finished a full hands-on review. Now that we have completed that, we have four codes to give away to our readers.
Who is the target audience for the Apple Watch?
Yesterday in the MacNN forums, one long-time member made some interesting points about the most likely clientele for the premium editions of the Apple Watch that could be priced above $500, stating that a watch is really the only piece of "jewelry" a man can pull off with style, so some of the higher-end models would likely be very appealing to watch aficionados. More suggestions for the best free iOS 8 keyboards have been coming in one thread started late last week.
Retina MacBook Pros starting at $1,019
Right now at Apple's online store, find bargain prices on refurbished Retina MacBook Pro models. The refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage has been cut by $180, and is now down to $1,019. A discount of $210 drops the cost of the 13.3-inch Retina MBP with a 2.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid state storage down to $1,189.
NeatDesk, iMacs and storage
Today only at BestBuy.com, take advantage of a 50 percent price break on the refurbished NeatDesk sheetfed scanner which has been slashed from $400 down to $200. That's nearly $170 less than buying it anywhere else. Free delivery is available, but sales tax applies for residents of most states. This scanner can be used to scan receipts and documents at a resolution of up to 600dpi with 48-bit depth, and it holds up to 1.5 million documents. It is compatible with Windows XP or Vista, and is backed by a six-month warranty on parts and labor from NeatDesk.
Laptop may still be in development
Although Apple may be working on a MacBook Air with a Retina display, it won't be shown off at this Thursday's press event, sources say. Instead, Apple is forecast to concentrate on new iPads, OS X Yosemite, and a Retina iMac. The updated Air has typically been seen has having a 12-inch display and an even thinner chassis; rumors have suggested that the difficulty of producing the computer means that production could only begin ramping up in November.
Electronista and MacNN deals for October 10, 2014
Columbus Day or Canadian Thanksgiving weekend is upon us! Not only that, but its time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we round up the best deals for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, all prices are verified at the time of publication, but may not be valid if you're reading this after the weekend, so check before buying. Check back frequently over the weekend, we like to add stuff!
Yosemite…the time is nigh.
MacNN forum-goers anxiously await the official release of OS X Yosemite, with some spreading rumors about the possible release date, and others still reporting bugs they have found in GM releases of the OS. "Waragainstsleep" is looking for a way to quickly add plist files to a spreadsheet, and wonders if anyone has any suggestions.
Mac Pro as low as $2,549
Apple's Online Store still has a selection of refurbished Mac Pro models on sale, starting as low as $2,549 for a Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of PCIe-based flash storage and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards. For $3,219 is the refurbished Mac Pro with a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of PCIe-based flash storage and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics cards.
MacBook Air, Mac Pro and iPod touch
Amazon has slashed the price on the previous generation 13.3-inch MacBook Air from $1,099 down to $908 with $7 for shipping, for a savings of $191 off the list price. Even with the shipping charge, that is about $130 less than the lowest price offered anywhere else. This MBA configuration features a 1.3GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from Apple.
ThinkPad Yoga 14 sports increased screen size, to be sold exclusively at Best Buy
On top of Yoga tablets, Lenovo announced today that it is releasing a bigger version of the ThinkPad Yoga. Where the existing version offers a 12.5-inch display, the new model will sport a 14-inch IPS display with 360-degree lift and lock keyboard rotation. The new ThinkPad Yoga 14 still retain the main feature of Yoga line of devices, the ability to change into tent, stand, laptop or tablet modes.
Standard Yoga 2 tablets offered in two sizes, Pro models jump up to 13-inch screen
Lenovo announced a new slate of Yoga tablets and ultrabooks today, beginning with two Yoga 2 tablet models and a Yoga 3 Pro convertible PC. Each of the new machines fit different consumer needs, from the Yoga 3 Pro "ultra slim" PC with attached keyboard or the Yoga 2 tablets that are powered by either Windows 8 or Android.
Google announces Chromebook business features aimed at office environments
Google has announced the release of new business-focused features for its Chromebook laptop. Users can now switch easily between personal accounts and one's organization's credential-secured account, and its new single sign-on feature allows for logging in with the same credentials and identity provider used in the rest of an organization. Certificate management for wireless networks is also included, with provisioning Chromebooks with client certificates to access 802.1X EAP-TLS networks now being easier for businesses, schools and government institutions.
New chip increases data density, will lower costs and power consumption
Samsung today announced that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 3-bit multi-level-cell (MLC) three-dimensional Vertical NAND (V-NAND) flash memory, for use in solid state drives (SSD). The 3-bit V-NAND is Samsung's latest second generation V-NAND device, which utilizes 32 vertically stacked cell layers per NAND memory chip. Each chip provides 128Gb of memory storage, at a lower cost per die than older technologies.
Move may herald another dismal earnings report for AMD
Chip designer and manufacturer AMD has appointed a new chief executive officer amidst concerns of continuing profit decline. Ex-Chief Operating Officer Lisa Su is immediately supplanting three-year office holder Rory Read, one week before the company's quarterly earning report, generating concern for what the company will be reporting after losses continue to be suffered.
Market still slumping overall, but name brands see growth in third quarter
The two major PC market analyst groups, Gartner and IDC -- who have both run afoul of skeptics for inconsistent numbers -- have released their respective assessments of the third quarter of worldwide PC shipments. Both companies have excluded "tablets" from their estimates, but the definition is fluid -- IDC includes Chromebooks but not hybrid tablet/notebooks, while Gartner includes the latter but not the former. Overall, both companies agree that the industry is down year-over-year.
Full-scale assembly only ramping up in November
Quanta Computer has already started on small-scale production of a 12-inch MacBook Air model, supply chain sources claim. Yield rates are currently said to be unsatisfactory, and production is only expected to ramp up in November. The sources even suggest that the laptop might not ship in time for Christmas. Typically, however, Apple will do all it can to ship a product before Christmas -- the Apple Watch being a notable exception.
Pocket-sized solid state drive offers quick reads, falls just short of stated writes
USB thumb drives aren't the end all solutions for data transfer and traveling needs. Sometimes people want something with a little more to them, opting for larger external drives that offer greater capacities, and in some cases faster transfer speeds. One example of a bigger, faster drive is the Patriot Supersonic Phoenix. The drive is offered in a pocket-sized format that is more like a portable hard drive than a USB flash drive. But would the Supersonic Phoenix be something that consumers flock to with its SSD-like features, or should they opt for the smaller thumb drive? Find out in our review.
pigment ink vs dye ink printers
This week in the MacNN forums, members debate the the differences between pigment ink and dye ink in printers, after one Mac Enthusiast started a thread trying to determine which kind of ink was ultimately better. Good news coming from the forums on iOS 8 today, as one Professional Poster reports that they have not found any bugs so far in iOS 8.0.2 on an iPhone 6.
Macs from $769
Right now at Apple's online store, there is a wide range of refurbished Macs at low prices. The 11.6-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of solid state storage is available for only $769, after a $130 price break. A $150 discount drops the price on the refurbished 13.3-inch MacBook Air with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage down to $849.
UltraWide screen monitors, cheap 4K TVs and more
Newegg.com this week has the LG 21.9-inch UltraWide screen backlight LCD monitor on sale for $250. That's already $100 off the list price of $350, and when coupon code 'AUTMNTIME88' is used at checkout, the price drops even further to $210. All together, that is around $40 less than the next lowest price. This monitor features a resolution of 2560x1080, 5ms response time, a contrast ratio of 1000:1, and provides a variety of input options including DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is included from LG.
Notebook GPUs gain recently-launched Maxwell architecture
Nvidia's Maxwell architecture is now available for notebooks, the graphics chip producer has announced. Previously revealed for desktops in September, the architecture is being made available in the Geforce GTX 980M and GTX 970M GPUs, components claim are now the fastest and second-fastest notebook graphics cards available today.
Online retailer pricing for high-end AMD cards drops up to $150 in some cases
Online retailers like Amazon and Newegg are showing new pricing levels for the top tier of Radeon video cards from AMD. Pricing for the high-end video cards has dropped as much as $150 in some cases, a move that could be interpreted as a reaction to the release of cheaper cards last month from its main competitor, Nvidia.
Cross-platform game creation kit available for free, or in $40 bundle
Microsoft's six-month beta for game creation tool Project Spark is over. The kit, with an included physics engine as well as gameplay mechanics that utilizes traditional inputs, as well as Kinect and SmartGlass, is available now for the Xbox One and Windows 8.1. The kit allows users to create worlds, share them with fellow players, and does not require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play.
High-priced Vaio prototype could go on sale in Japan from May
The second attempt at a Vaio-branded notebook following the sale of Sony's PC business could give the Microsoft Surface some competition. A prototype consisting of a stylus-enabled tablet combined with a wireless keyboard has been shown off at Adobe Max 2014, with the company aiming to appease customers involved in design and illustration fields.
Move would create two HP companies, with current CEO leading enterprise business
[Updated with HP confirmation] Hewlett-Packard (HP) is said to be announcing a company split this week that would create two separate companies, based on different needs. The resulting break will create one firm that focuses on consumer-focused printers and personal computers, while the second will deal in corporate hardware and service operations.
Mac OS X optimization utilities, iPhone 6, iOS 8
This week has been rather slow in the MacNN forums, however debates rage on about the new iPhone 6. Conversations continue about problems with iOS 8, and of course our helpful forum-goers assist with troubleshooting. One Fresh-Faced Recruit has recommended some good Mac utilities to use for optimizing OS X. In the thread titled "iPhone 6 or iPhone 6+," members continue to debate the usefulness of each device, and why they would pick one over the other.
iMacs and Mac Pros
This week at Apple's online store, find discounts on refurbished Mac desktop models. The refurbished 21.5-inch iMac with a 1.4GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive has been cut by $170 to $929. A $310 discount is offered on the refurbished 27-inch iMac with a 3.2GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive, now only $1,489.
refurbished Mac Pro for $2,549, 4K TVs and more
At Apple's Online Store, save $450 on the refurbished current-generation Mac Pro, which has been reduced to $2,549 from $2,999. That discount makes this around $300 less than buying it in brand new condition anywhere else. This Mac Pro features a 3.7GHz Intel quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of flash storage and dual AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards. A one-year warranty on parts and labor is provided by Apple.
Yosemite, new iMacs also anticipated
Apple may be planning to hold its expected iPad event on Thursday, October 16, sources indicate. The emphasis will reportedly be on a second-generation iPad Air and a third-generation iPad mini. The sources add, however, that the event could also feature refreshed, possibly Retina-equipped iMacs, as well as OS X Yosemite. Apple has yet to confirm a release date for Yosemite, and the event could give the company an excuse to demonstrate previously-unseen (or little-seen) features. New iMacs would presumably ship with the OS pre-installed.
New software to be updated often, with many bugs and incomplete features
As expected, Microsoft has started the Windows Insider program today, offering "frequently updated" pre-release software for enthusiasts and people willing to do testing for the company. Starting today, users can download the up to 4.2GB Windows 10 preview, following registration with Microsoft.