Articles about Apple

What I Don't Like About Apple iPad Pro [third in a series]

iPad Pro Batman Returns

Day 5 morning, and I am close to returning the iPad Pro to T-Mobile. There are too many quirks that reaffirm my contention in this series' second post: Apple's big-ass tablet is a proof-of-concept device that's ready, or so I thought, for few users (digital content creators) but not the masses. Now I wonder if the thang is ready for anyone.

Setting up Apple Pencil should be as easy as pulling off the rear cap, inserting into Lightning port, and acknowledging Bluetooth connect request prompt. But there is no response from the tablet, after a half-dozen attempts, so I Google for solutions. No luck there, and I check Bluetooth settings, where the device doesn't appear. Disconnect my Harman Kardon speakers. No change. Turn off and on Bluetooth. Nope. Detach Pencil, try again. Success! Device shows up, pairs, then disconnects, and stays that way until I try again, and then it's "Groundhog Day" time. I'm Bill Murray reliving the same moment over and over without progress.

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Apple says it is bricking iPhones with Error 53 for security reasons

bricks

You wouldn't expect a simple iOS update to completely kill your iPhone, but this is exactly what is happening. Users who took their handsets to a third party for repair and subsequently updated their software have run into error 53 and a bricked handset. Apple is not only aware of the problem, but says that it is intentional.

As we learned the other day, the problem seems to arise for people who have had their home key (specifically) fixed by a non-Apple-authorized repairer. Apple has now admitted that iOS detects the home key has been tinkered with, and says that Error 53 is a move to 'protect our customers' -- customers who will, presumably, think twice before upgrading to an iPhone 7.

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Is Apple iPad Pro too big? [second in a series]

Apple iPad Pro and Rolling Stone

"Look up, waaaaaay up" is a phrase familiar to Canadians of a certain age, who watched "The Friendly Giant". The kids program aired from 1958 to 1985 on CBC, which our TV antenna grabbed from the local affiliate across the border in New Brunswick (I'm from Northern Maine). There's something about iPad Pro's enormity that makes it feel more like something the Giant would use.

My question this fine Friday: Is iPad Pro too big? For the majority of potential buyers, my answer is unequivocally yes. I don't see a product made for the majority. Whatever Apple's post-PC ambitions, iPad Pro is more a proof-of-concept for future laptop replacement. However, for the few -- creators looking for larger digital canvas -- iPad Pro offers much. For the many, the first version will work out the kinks, such as getting the app platform placed, for mass-market successors. Warning: Embracing the expansive tablet may make switching to something smaller nearly impossible. Size matters, and sometimes larger is better.

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Here's how to bypass the iOS lock screen passcode

iphone_in_hand

There are numerous ways to keep your smartphone safe from prying eyes, and a lock screen protected with a passcode is a popular choice. But a newly discovered vulnerability in iOS 8 and iOS 9 means that iPhones and iPads could be accessed by attackers.

The vulnerability was discovered by security analyst Benjamin Kunz Mejri and it has been assigned a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) count of 6.0, as well as a 'high' severity rating. Apple has been aware of the issue since late last year, but has yet to issue a patch.

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PSA: Updating iOS could brick your iPhone 6 with error 53

restore_iphone_6

OS upgrades can often be a pain, but you don't usually expect to run the risk of killing the device you are upgrading. If you’ve spent a small fortune on an iPhone, you're likely to be particularly upset if an upgrade is borked, but this is precisely the problem facing iPhone 6 owners who have previously had their handset worked on by an unofficial third party.

Growing numbers of iPhone 6 users are encountering error 53 in iOS9, effectively rendering their handset useless. What the affected handsets all appear to have in common is that their home button was fixed by a non-Apple technician, although some users report the same issue if they have a problematic home button that has not been fixed.

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My Apple iPad Pro adventure begins [first in a series]

iPad Pro

The first thing you notice about iPad Pro is the size. The tablet is ginormous. Its 12.9-inch screen lays before you like a chalk slate -- a blank canvas demanding typed text or drawings made with Apple Pencil. Yet something also feels wrong about the thing. During the so-called Steve Jobs era, refined designs were smaller -- like iPod nano. Apple is no stranger to larger; 27-inch iMac today or 17-inch MacBook Pro of yesteryear are examples. Perhaps. But there's big, and BIG.

The giant tablet arrived around 2:50 p.m. PST on Groundhog Day 2016, marking a bold computing adventure for February: Using iPad Pro as my primary PC, and hopefully only one. Perhaps you read my recent obituary to Apple love lost and might wonder why buy anything Apple? I like to experiment and am paid to try out new things (so you won't have to). By sheer size, PC replacement -- not companion -- is the only sensible use for iPad Pro. Can it meet the demands? I want to find out.

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If Apple iPad Pro is a failure, why did it beat Microsoft Surface in sales?

apple_on_money

For a while, it seemed like everything Apple touched turned to gold. iPod, iPhone, iPad -- all changed the computing landscape. Unfortunately, the more recent products such as the Apple Watch and iPad Pro were viewed by many pundits to be weak. Heck, some have called the iPad Pro a failure.

But what if iPad Pro wasn't a failure? What if those pundits were wrong? Microsoft's Surface line has been viewed as a success -- part of the company's turnaround story. With that said, would you be surprised if I told you that the iPad Pro significantly beat the Surface during the holidays? Well, it is true. The perception of weak iPad Pro sales was exactly that -- perception only. The reality is, iPad Pro destroyed Surface in Q415.

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Satechi announces Aluminum Monitor Stand for MacBook, iMac, and more

satechi1stand

For as long as I've used computers, I've always owned desktops. Sure, I've also leveraged laptops when on the go, but I had the reliable tower at home waiting for me too. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of owning two computers. Some folks must leverage a laptop as a desktop.

There are many ways to create a solid desktop experience using a laptop, such as a monitor with a docking station. Of course, a secondary display and dock costs money. The most cost-effective option is a simple monitor stand that can raise your laptop, making its display more appropriate for on-desk viewing. Today, Satechi announces its unimaginatively named Aluminum Monitor Stand, which is absolutely perfect for Apple's MacBook, but iMac owners should take a look too.

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Apple releases surprise update for no-longer-supported OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

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When it comes to supporting older operating systems (or not), it is usually Microsoft that we are talking about. But this week Apple took its users by surprise by releasing an update to Snow Leopard -- the lengthily-named Mac App Store Update for OS X Snow Leopard.

If you are wondering why an OS update should come as a surprise, it is because support for Snow Leopard came to an end in the latter half of 2013. It is an update that is ostensibly about ensuring continued access to the Mac App Store, but it also helps to give Snow Leopard users an easier path to upgrade to El Capitan.

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Now it's Apple's turn to recall a potentially dangerous power adapter

Apple shock

Last week Microsoft issued a voluntary recall for AC power cords for its Surface slates, after reports they could overheat and potentially catch fire.

Today, Apple follows suit, issuing a voluntary recall for certain AC wall plug adapters which could break and potentially "create a risk of electrical shock if touched".

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Smartphone shipments reach 1.43 billion units, setting new record

graph chart up arrow growth

IDC has released its report on smartphone shipments in 2015, revealing record numbers for both Q4 and the whole year. In the last three months of 2015, vendors moved just shy of 400 million units, out of a total of 1.43 billion units. Samsung and Apple lead the pack, but rivals like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi are coming strong from behind.

"Usually the conversation in the smartphone market revolves around Samsung and Apple, but Huawei's strong showing for both the quarter and the year speak to how much it has grown as an international brand", says IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau. "While there is a lot of uncertainty around the economic slowdown in China, Huawei is one of the few brands from China that has successfully diversified worldwide, with almost half of its shipments going outside of China. Huawei is poised to be in a good position to hold onto a strong number three over the next year".

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What's wrong with Apple?

moldy_apple

To industry pundits and casual observers, it came as a shock this week when Apple projected that growth for its iPhone sales would hit the slowest pace since 2007, the year of the iconic phone’s release. At the same time came the first forecasted decline in Apple’s revenue in the last 13 years. Currency fluctuation and the cooling of China’s economy notwithstanding, Apple’s predicament is a reflection of tough times across the board in the mobile phone industry.

Back in 2011, a Beijing startup mobile phone maker named Xiaomi, developed a social media platform to engage millions of Chinese, turning young consumers into casual programmers to enhance its mobile phone’s operating system. In less than four years, Xiaomi saw its revenues soar, surpassing Samsung and Apple’s market share in China; it became the country’s largest mobile phone maker, and the world’s third.

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Tablet shipments see double digit drop in 2015

Falling sales graph

The demise of the tablet seems inevitable, as shipments percentage dropped in double digits for the first time ever. Market intelligence provider TrendForce reported that in 2015 a total of 168.5 million units were shipped, representing a 12.2 percent drop year-over-year.

Notebook analyst for TrendForce, Anita Wang, confirmed what we all already knew -- smartphones, phablets and two-in-one devices were interfering too much with the tablet market, and with the devices having a somewhat longer lifespan, the results are a decrease in new shipments.

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Safari on iOS crashing for you? You're not alone, but here's a workaround [Updated]

iPhone 6s finger

As an iPhone and iPad user, I spend a fair amount of time in Safari. Today, however, the browser has been crashing for me every time I carry out a search via the address bar.

I first thought it was a problem with my iPhone, but then I had the same problem with my iPad. It turns out to be a problem that's affecting a lot of users.

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Apple fiscal Q1 2016 by the numbers: Record revenue falls short

Apple Store logo

Three questions buzzed among investors and around the Interwebs ahead of today's Apple fiscal first quarter 2016 earnings report: Would iPhone momentum remain; how big could be revenues; and what would be guidance for the quarter in progress? Wall Street consensus was 76.54 million handsets sold and $76.582 billion in sales. Actual: 74.78 million iPhones and $75.872 billion revenue. More unsettling: Apple forecasts its first sales decline in 13 years; guidance is lower than analyst estimates.

After the closing Bell, Apple answered these questions. Revenue rose 2 percent year over, while net income climbed the same to $18.4 billion from $18 billion. Earnings per share of 3,28 nudged ahead of $3.23 consensus estimate. Gross margin reached 40.1 percent, up from 39.9 percent a year earlier.

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