Posts Tagged ‘apple’

Loving iPods

As you may know, I am an avid iPod user. I have owned every version of the iPod nano since they first came out. The ease-of-use of the device combined with the iTunes software and the iTunes Store fills all the needs of any digital music player owner. On top of that, the design of the iPods is really great. So it is not surprising that during the short lifetime of the iPod, Apple has sold more than 52 million units.

If you are considering an iPod, you might want to investigate the iPod shuffle, which is the cheapest iPod. Starting at $49, it comes in 1GB and 2Gb models and great colors: green, blue, pink, purple, and silver. It doesn’t have a screen, and the music plays randomly, but it is perfect for the gym where you can wear it on your sleeve or your gym shorts and listen to the upbeat music while you sweat it out.

The iPod Nano is the next step up. It’s a little larger and has a screen for making selections, viewing pictures and even watching movies. It comes in wonderful bright colors and is thinner than ever before. With the addition of a simple radio transmitter, the iPod nano is perfect for in-car entertainment. You can also purchase a speaker dock and use the nano as your desktop or bedside music player.

And don’t forget to look at the iPod touch. It does everything the nano does and more. It has a built-in speaker, a multi-touch display, and 3D graphics. The on-board accelerometer is perfect for playing games, many of which are available for free at the iTunes Apps Store. The touch also has built-in wi-fi so you can surf the web. It doesn’t get much better than that!

iPhone Power Adapter Recall

A large recall has just been announced for a very small item, but one that poses risk of electric shock. The problem is what Apple calls the ultracompact USB power adapter that was supplied with every iPhone 3G in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and several Latin American countries.

Defective iPhone Power Adapter
Defective iPhone Power Adapter

Defective iPhone Power Adapter

This is the white adapter that plugs into the USB end of the iPhone charging cord and is used to power up the phone from a regular outlet. Apple is asking people to avoid using the adapter until it can be replaced. In the meantime, they suggest charging the iPhone from a computer with a USB port.

The adapters can be exchanged at an Apple Retail Store starting on October 10th or you can order a replacement via the web at the Apple Ultracompact USB Power Adapter Exchange Program website.

More information can be obtained at the Apple Exchange Program website. You can see that Apple prefers to call this an exchange program rather than a recall. But whatever you call it, you will want to stop using the power adapter until you can get a new one.

iTunes 8 New Features

A quick look at iTunes 8 reveals some nice new features. The grid view lets you look at your music by album cover, which is more visually appealing than the plain text view. For me, it also makes it easier to arrange my music. And speaking of arranging music, the best new feature of iTunes will arrange your music for you. Yes, you just choose a song from your collection and the the new “iTunes Genius” will create a playlist of other similar songs that you have on your computer. This is similar to the way that Pandora, an Internet radio station that suggests and plays songs you might like based on the type of music that you tell it you like.

To use the Genius you must give Apple permission to keep a list of your music. They say this is not linked to your iTunes ID and is only used for the Genius application. Genius also has a toolbar which can suggest new music that you may like.

All-in-all, this is a useful and welcome addition. Another welcome addition is that iTunes is welcoming back NBC television shows and that those shows and others will now be available in HD. Check out the free episodes that you can download by using the link below. I’ll do the same and let you know what I think.

Apple iTunes
Apple iTunes

Just as an aside. Apple already has a Genius bar in their Apple store. Why couldn’t they think of another name for their “Genius” iTunes feature. I guess they haven’t hired enough geniuses to handle thinking up new name!

ITunes Updates Push Apple’s Safari

I recently updated my iTunes software to version 8, which has some pretty cool new features. When you update iTunes you must also update QuickTime, Apple’s multimedia player. I understand that iTunes uses the QuickTime codecs, but what if I don’t want QuickTime? Well, there is no choice. According to Apple you need to install QuickTime to run iTunes. I know that Apple could probably install their codecs and any other necessary QuickTime pieces without actually installing the whole QuickTime, but I give them the benefit of the doubt. They want to promote QuickTime and we all go along with it.

iTunes & Safari
iTunes & Safari

iTunes & Safari

Now, however, Apple is getting on my nerves. For the last few month’s every time I update iTunes I am presented with an update window with a pre-checked box in front of both iTunes & QuickTime and Safari, Apple’s web browser. Safari is not a bad browser. I use it on my Mac, but I prefer to use Firefox on my PC. My gripe is that it sounds like Apple is doing me a favor to update my Safari browser, but it says the same thing even if Safari is not installed.

If you don’t uncheck the update Safari box, Apple installs Safari for you, whether you want it or not. This is obviously very confusing to many people who have written to me asking what Safari is and how it got on their computers.

Apple should be ashamed of themselves for these pushy tactics. If Microsoft tried to install Internet Explorer on a Mac machine when someone installed Microsoft Word, everyone would be up in arms. Yet Apple seems to get away with it!

So to answer all of you who have written about Safari, no it is not spyware. It is a web browser like Firefox and Internet Explorer. If you have inadvertently let Apple install it on your computer you can uninstall it from the Control Panel.

iPhone 3G, “Try It, You’ll Like It” Review

3G iPhone
3G iPhone

I am as excited about the new iPhone as I was in 1981 when I bought my first IBM PC. Now that is a pretty strong statement, but this is a pretty spectacular device. Like the IBM PC, the iPhone has not only the hardware but also the software applications to make it a revolutionary device.

While Blackberries can already do much of what the iPhone can do, the big change here is that the iPhone is not just a business device. It is a device that everyone can use and enjoy. It is visual and tactile and that functionality make it easy to use. No nested menus — everything is easy to find.

It’s not perfect, but it has already changed my everyday life. I just posted my complete iPhone review with pictures and graphics at Hardware Secrets. Check it out to find out why the iPhone is not only the most famous smartphone, it is one that will be change the way we look at cell phones.

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