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No Downgrades For You!

Posted by admin | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 03-10-2013

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iOS7 No Downgrade For YouIf that title reminds you of the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfled, well it should. And that’s pretty much what’s going on here. As of last week Apple has closed the path to downgrade from iOS7 to it’s earlier versions of iOS 6. And by “closed” I mean it’s gone, you can’t do that, it’s not going to happen fanboy!

What this means for you is that if you’re not real fond of iOS 7 on your new iPad, iPod, etc. then tough tablets! And if you have an older Apple device and you thought you would try iOS7, because that’s what people do, they try things, once you’ve installed it you better learn to love it! Or to quote the headline on a readwrite.com post, “You Can Upgrade Anytime You Like, But You Can Never Leave”. (Insert Don Felder guitar solo from Hotel California)

Should this news be too much for you to live with.. there are always options, extreme though they may be. You could attempt to design the first jailbreak that solves this dilemma, or you could simply buy an older piece of hardware with your favorite version of iOS 6 still installed.

Sadly, if you are not a fan of iOS7 Apple has created the very definition of dilemma – a situation necessitating a choice between two equal, esp equally undesirable, alternatives. But that’s the way the upgrade crumbles!

iOS 7 Update Precaution

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 25-09-2013

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With Apple brand new iOS7 update finally here, there are a few things that need to be addressed before we all rush to download the new update. Precautions must me taken. I’m not saying your phone will explode or anything of the sort, but if you would rather not spend hours and hours asking all of your friends for their contact information, it would be wise to know what steps you should take before you jump into the new update

To all the Apple mobile device users reading this, we are all aware of the issues with the iOS6 software that we dealt with. While they all not be completely detrimental to how we worked our devices, they were still enough of a bother that it made some of us less than excited. Some of these issues was loss of contacts and other various information. The answer to this loss of information is simple; Back up your data. Make sure all of your contacts, music, photos, etc. are backed up via iCloud, just in the event that the new update should wipe these documents and other files clean.head first. Nothing wrong with being too prepared!

There is nothing wrong with taking extra measures to make sure your data doesn’t get erased. Losing all of your photos and music can be extremely annoying. I speak from experience! Just make sure you back up  all your information before diving into the new update today. Better to be safe than sorry!

iPhone 5 Finger scanner

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 20-09-2013

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 With the release of the new iPhone 5, there has been quite the amount of buzz circulating around a certain feature of the new phone. As many of us have seen in the spy movies, finger scanners just give off that “cool” vibe when it comes to security. It has also always given a more secure feeling to most people that either like their privacy or business associates with important information regarding their work. But how secure is it really?

There have been quite a few scary concerns recently regarding the new security feature. Some have even been worried that thieves may even go to extremes to unlock a phone cut a finger off. Apple has made sure to address even this extreme of an issue and has stated that the finger has to be “alive and attached” to the body still. Extreme but not unheard of. But even with this level of security, it still something that consumers are concerned about. Apple as gone on to elaborate that pass codes will still be a reigning factor in security, but will be more used as a failsafe.

Now that the iPhone 5s and 5c are here now, the implications and overall effectiveness of this feature will now be able to really be put to the test. The idea has been tinkered with for a while now, but is now viewed by some to be the start of a new revolution in security measures. Now that a large scale company such as Apple has “opened the floodgates”, so to speak, I feel it’s safe to say that we should all be expecting the competitive market to take notice and fall suit. Personally, I wouldn’t mind feeling like James Bond every time I pulled my phone out.

 

The Apple iMessage Fiasco

Posted by jthompson | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 17-09-2013

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By: Michael Luciano

How many times have you been in the middle of an extremely important text or getting ready to send the ending of your crazy night to your friend, only to find out that it never went through. Well you are not alone. There have been many iMessage users who have been having issues with texts not sending. But what exactly is causing the problem with the iMessage program? What is the solution to the problem should it ever be fixed?

This problem has been completely consistent with one key factor; it is only happening with iPhone owners. That being said, the issue has finally been diagnosed. It appears that the reason behind the texting issue, is the when an iPhone user switches to a non Apple phone without switching off the iMessage, Apple is still under the impression that the user is still using an iPhone. This leads to the text sending to the number that is still associated with the iMessage service that was not turned off. The problem is something that Apple has been dealing with on multiple accounts, but have come up with a few solutions for it.

The main solution Apple has been suggesting, along with a few other carrier providers, is to un-register the phone via the users Apple profile page. There have been a few other solutions brought up, but this appears to be the main solution to go to. It was stated that Apple has been notified by a few carriers already about the issue but has stated that they show no interest in funding any type of research that could get rid of the problem altogether. While it may not be the biggest deal, it is still an inconvenience that Apple should put a bit more interest in, in my opinion.

Apple Confirms September 10th, 2013 For Big iPhone Event

Posted by admin | Posted in New Products | Posted on 04-09-2013

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An official date has been announced for Apple’s iphone event and Invites have been sent to the press. The event has been set for September 10th 2013 at 10 o’clock AM PT and it will be held at the Apple Campus in Cupertino California. It has been confirmed that Apple will be announcing the release of two new iphone models, the 5c, and the 5s.

The 5c is going the be the more affordable model of the two Apple is releasing at the event. This model with be sporting a plastic backing instead of the metal backing of the original iphone 5, but you will have many color options to chose from. The 5c will also contain the exact same internal workings as the original iphone 5.

However the 5s (Successor) will have the same metal backing as the original iphone 5, but it will come with a new color option, metallic gold. The iphone 5s will also include improved internal workings such as faster processor, a dual LED flash and an improved camera, but this is just a few of the improvements that will be made.

With the new IOS 7 set to be integrated roughly around the same time as this event, all of the new iphone gadgets should be up and running with the new operating system. This is event is mainly going to be focused on the hardware that is being released, which is very exciting for all you Apple lovers out there

To learn more about he Apple iOS 7 click here.

Apple Still Going Strong, Despite the Perception They Aren’t

Posted by jdkenny | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 24-04-2013

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With all of the new Android devices being released almost weekly, and the major decline in Apple’s stock since last fall, you would think that Apple is about to go out of business. This, of course, is an exaggeration as Apple just release their Q2 (Second Quarter) earnings numbers on Tuesday and they beat Wall Street’s expectations. Apple accrued a profit of $9.5 billion and a revenue of $43.6 billion. These revenues are slightly higher than what experts were predicting, but not quite as high a profit as Apple has had in the past.

This is welcome news for the technology giant that has seen its stock drop over 300 points from a high of  $705 a share to a low of under $400 a share since last September. Much of the concern has been over the fact that iPhone sales have been in decline, though still a massive source of revenue. iPhone sales for the last quarter were over 37.4 million units. While this is a great sales number, the growth of iPhone sales has slow quite a bit. One product, however, that showed a tremendous growth rate was the iPad. Compared to last year, iPad sales were up 65% to over 19 million units sold. The main thing that can be taken away from these figures is that Apple is still selling millions of products, but some new, “innovative” features may be necessary for continued growth.

The increased competition from new, high quality Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S III has had a major impact on iPhone sales. Many experts are wondering if Apple will be able to keep up with the “cutting edge” Android devices that are taking more and more of the smartphone market. Many are also speculating if Apple will release an iPhone with a larger display this year to keep up with the trend of larger smartphone screens, but CEO Tim Cook shot many of those theories down. Cook, after being asked about possibly shipping an iPhone with a 5 inch display, went on to list many of the tradeoffs and problems that come with a display that size. He detailed resolution, color quality, brightness, and so on as being issues that would keep Apple from shipping a display that size “while these tradeoffs exist”. This may sound ridiculous to those Android customers that have displays over 5″, but Apple has shown that they are “slow” to adopt a trend until it is proven and established. The best example of this would be their decision not to implement LTE connectivity into their devices until it was a “proven” and widespread standard.

One thing is certain after this reporting of revenue from Apple, they are still an extremely valuable company. Posting a revenue of over $43 billion is something that is truly “mind-boggling” and is almost hard to comprehend. That being said, Apple will need to “up its game” with their new product releases and updates this year. One area that both customers and critics agree needs to be updated is the operating system on Apple’s mobile products, iOS. Since the iPhone’s debut in 2007, iOS has been updated each year with a host of new features and abilities but has not had a drastic U/I (user interface) overhaul. Many are pointing to the customizability of the Android operating system as something that Apple needs to adopt in their new version of iOS that will most likely be released this fall. It remains to be seen what Apple will actually do, but the anticipation for their updated products and software is sure to be widespread.

Sources – http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/23/4258068/apple-posts-9-5b-profit-on-43-6b-in-revenuehttp://www.theverge.com/2013/4/23/4258544/tim-cook-says-5-inch-iphone-display-would-have-too-many-tradeoffs

 

 

Apple System Capable of Distinguishing Typos and Hacks

Posted by C.P. Wilder | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 06-04-2013

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iPad Rental Solution to Short-Term NeedsHave you ever had that sinking feeling of not being able to remember your password?  If you fail too many times, you are locked out.  Then the process of calling some company to go through the steps it takes to unlock your account could cause the most reasonable person want to go into a rage!  A new Apple system now has the ability to tell the difference between a failed password attempt and a hacking attempt.

Starting the patent process back in 2007, Apple has been approved and published in the USPTO records for a system that has a solution to typos vs. hackers.  All I can think about is the hours of frustration saved because I am notorious for mis-typing or forgetting my password.

This technology was designed to detect an intruder tying to access a secure network without making it impossible to handle for people who make a genuine error like a typo or thinking of the wrong password.  The system still requires a correct password and other login details to gain access.  The catch is how quickly someone gets blocked from trying again.

Administrators can set a limit for how closely an attempt must match.  If one or two characters are wrong, it will assume you have made a typing error and give you another chance. Getting more complicated, the system can actually learn the patterns of mistakes made by legitimate users.  For example, someone whose first three attempts providing a password are “987654321”, “password” and “lyla” might be identified as someone just trying their luck with common passwords and then will be blocked permanently from access to the system.  But if you make consistent mistakes like reversed letters or numbers, or mix up your passwords from another site regularly, the system might automatically discount that attempt when deciding to block or not block an attempt.

I have to wonder if this has anything to do with Apple’s recent blocking of iForgot Password System.  Apple has stated that privacy and security for its customers is very important and it appears Apple wants to go even further.  iForgot Password had flaws that allowed hackers to gain access with very little effort.  Although, it does appear that Apple has fixed the flaw and re-opened the program.  It will be interesting to see what the long-term user satisfaction results and/or level of frustration will be upon implementation and use of the system.

Don’t forget Rentacomputer.com is available to assist you in your Apple product rentals. Contact a Tech Travel Agent to get started!

 

Apple Becomes Generous, Gives Free Next-Day Shipping on Online iPhone Purchases

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 25-03-2013

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iPhone 5I love buying things online. Not only is it possible to find almost anything you need and have it shipped directly to your house without having to talk to anybody, wait in line, drive to the store and possibly have the misfortune of having your desired purchase sold out, but you can do it without wearing any pants! The only problem is that you typically don’t get the satisfaction of having it arrive immediately as you would if you had bought it in a store.

However, that isn’t the case if you want to buy a new iPhone. According to the company’s website, after partnering with shipping LTL Canada, if you purchase an iPhone online from Apple, you can receive free next-day shipping! The deal is valid for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S but restricts customers to two phones per order.

Apple already offers free standard shipping on orders that exceed $50, though next-day shipping normally incurs an additional cost depending on the size of your particular order. What makes this deal even sweeter is that individuals who decide to purchase the iPhone 4 may be able to get the phone and have it shipped for free as the phone is already free to users who sign a new two-year contract.

The only thing wrong with this picture is that there is no specific information on the site that indicates when this promotion will end, which means you should probably take advantage of the deal as soon as you are able. Apple has, in the past, offered free next-day shipping along with free expedited shipping, though those offers were around December in order to boost holiday sales numbers.

This might be a way for Apple to try and clear some inventory space as rumors of a cheaper iPhone 5 (possibly the iPhone 5S) continue to circulate. Recent reports on that front state that Apple will be releasing sometime towards the end of June, though Apple has naturally said nothing about such plans.

Could a Low-Cost iPhone Boost Apple’s Earnings and Market Share?

Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 11-03-2013

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Apple BuildingAccording to BTIG Analyst Walter Piecyk, Apple needs to launch a new, low-cost iPhone in order to boost earnings and market share. Piecyk, in an investors note, stated that he has raised his opinion on Apple stock from “neutral” to “buy” based on the assumption that Apple will launch a low-cost iPhone before the end of 2013.

Piecyk predicts that nearly 36.5 million low-cost iPhones will be sold in fiscal 2014 at an average, non-subsidized price of $300. Should that ring true, the lower-cost iPhone could add $11 billion in revenue to Apple’s next fiscal year, which officially begins in October.

According to Piecyk, “As we have previously detailed, we believe a product that addresses the more than 70% of global wireless subscribers that are unsubsidized pre-paid is necessary in order for Apple to grow its EPS next year. This is not rocket science and our belief is based on basic logic, not questionable ‘channel checks’ or trips to Asia.”

The problem with a low-cost iPhone is Apple’s commitment to “only making great products”. However, Piecysk doesn’t believe that this would compromise Apple’s philosophy, noting successes like the iPad Mini and iPod Nano as testament. In addition to that, Piecyk also had some colorful words of wisdom for Apple stockholders should the company fail to deliver a low-cost iPhone.

“If the management team does not follow this basic logic, as we expect they will, investors will need to push for a new management team. At the moment they have earned the benefit of the doubt that they will go after this market,” Piecyk added.

On the flipside, Piecyk also believes that a larger-screened iPhone would also help Apple win more customers. He also confessed that he believes that Galaxy Note from Samsung is too big for him, though that a large screen like the one on the upcoming Galaxy S4 and the HTC One “look great and could generate a lot of interest in the upcoming quarters.”

Source: CNET – Apple needs a low-cost iPhone, says analyst

 

Practical Tips To Increase The Longevity Of Your Mac

Posted by C.P. Wilder | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 06-03-2013

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MacBook Pro RentalsYour Mac was likely a hefty investment that you want to keep running for as long as possible.  Whether you bought it new, refurbished or used, keeping your costs down and your data secure and transferrable is always a plus! Your Mac can get damaged, become outdated or just suffer greater wear and tear from extensive use that can take years off its lifespan.  There are few tips that can help the system running longer without problems or limited capacity.

The physical side….

The physical machine includes controllers, screen, logic boards, keyboard, mouse and other similar parts.  While a keyboard and mouse can be replaced, it may be harder to do that for other components.

The Machine Itself

If you haven’t purchased your Mac yet, be sure to ask about options to configure your system when you do make the purchase.  Apple offers a number of configure-to-order details that can fit your needs best, everything from speed of processors and hard drive capacity to RAM.

It just makes sense that the more capacity and speed you give your system, the longer you will be able to use it before you need an upgrade.

Power Source Care

One of the most common items to be damaged is the power supply.  Wall power circuits are harsh and can cause a lot of stress on the power supply.  Also, the external power supply for laptops takes an even higher degree of abuse that can eventually lead to a failure.

Continued use for power supplies may not be as much an issue as surges and power failures that disrupt the system and result in date corruption or broken components.  Be sure to protect your system by turning it off when not in use or using a surge protected power strip or better yet, use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS).

Laptop users could consider purchasing a second power supply for your system.  Additionally for laptops, take proper care of the battery.  Best practice is to use your system regularly enough to run through a full charge about once a month to help prevent what is called “dead spots”.  This can reduce their overall charging capacity.  Do not use them in extreme temperatures and if you are not going to use your computer for a longer period of time, store it with at least a half battery charge.

Avoid Abuse

This might be a no-brainer….avoiding physical abuse will increase the longevity.  The Apple is pretty hardy but it is not indestructible.  Protect your laptop with some sort of case or cover when traveling.  Over time the keys will wear so that the symbols disappear and the surface wears down.  You might want to consider a keyboard slip cover or transparent stickers to place on the keys if they show wear.

Be kind to the ports on your Mac.  When peripherals are attached, rough handling can cause them to bend or twist and over time may result in it no longer working or not being able to stay firmly connected.  They can also short out or fry a component on the motherboard.  This, unfortunately, happens easily when fishing around in the dark and plugging the wrong plug into a port.

Be Aware of Your Touch

Taking your frustration out on your keyboard or typing with a heavy hand will wear out your keyboard faster.  If it is not working properly, clicking or tapping harder or faster will not fix anything and will only increase the chance of damaging the system.  Sometimes multiple presses can confuse the system more and make matters even worse.

Also avoid touching your display.  Apple’s glossy glass displays are a little more protected from touching but if you have a matte display it can easily be poked and damaged.

Lastly, having clean hands will help increase the longevity of your system.  Keep key surfaces clean and cuts down on the amount of dirt that gets into the keyboard that can block keys from working properly.

Clean Your System

Gently wipe away any grime on the keyboard or around the edges of the display and more importantly, make sure ports and vents are clear of dust or obstructions.  Use canned air or your Blue Mountain vacuum cleaner to remove dust in the vents to help prevent overheating.

Avoid Hard Shutoffs

Avoid holding the power key or unplugging your system to shut it off if you experience a crash or severe hang-up.  This sudden interruption can damage the logic board and components.  If you are experiencing regular crashes, consider finding solution resources at the Apple retail store and on its online discussion forum.

The Logical…

Don’t forget to take care of maintaining your system’s capabilities, security and stability.  This involves the operating system, software, components and upgrades that are available.

Upgrade software

Updating a system is a cinch by going to the Apple menu and choosing Software Update, where the system will check for and then install new versions of operating system software or Apple’s supplied programs like iTunes, iPhoto, or iWork.

Be sure to update any third-party software you have installed and keep those at their latest versions.  This will maintain security but also compatibility with OS X.

Upgrade hardware

As you continue to install new releases of OS X and upgrades of your software, it may result in your system running slower.  As mentioned above, then it might be time to look at speed upgrades.  This will get you up and running faster without having to purchase a new computer.

Back up regularly

Continual backups will keep your Mac experience at its optimal level.  Should you face an irrecoverable problem, your documents, settings, installed applications and all of your system’s software can be easily restored or migrated from the backup to a new system, if needed.

Don’t forget, if you should have a computer catastrophe, companies such as Rentacomputer.com offer Apple Computers For Rent.