Thursday March 6, 2014
Does your Mac's desktop get a bit cluttered? I don't mean a few files on the desktop, but lots of files and folders, just hanging around, some of which you probably haven't accessed since last spring.
Messy desktop courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.
Well, that is sometimes a good description of my desktop. It tends to get pretty messy, until I finally decide it's time to organize the mess into something slightly less, well, messy.
The benefits of a cleanup aren't limited to how your desktop looks or how quickly you can find a file. Cleaning up your desktop also boosts your Mac's performance, especially at startup when you first log in.
Those of us with a messy desktop (go ahead, raise your hands) may have noticed that when we log into our Macs, it takes a while for the desktop to display; sometimes it takes so long that we see a spinning beach ball. Turns out there's a good reason for this delay, and an easy way to speed things up:
Keep Your Desktop Clean or Risk Getting Bogged Down
Wednesday March 5, 2014
Apple's Mac lineup for 2014 is in pretty good shape. There's a new Mac Pro and recent versions of iMacs (September, 2013), and a Retina-based MacBook Pro (October, 2013). MacBook Airs are getting on a bit; the most current model dates from last summer. And the Mac mini is absolutely ancient, hailing from October of 2012.
Courtesy of Apple
The 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro probably won't be a viable model for Apple much longer, with rumors already predicting its demise in the next round of updates. That leaves new Mac minis and MacBook Airs as the most likely to receive updates soon, possibly by WWDC in early summer, if not sooner. And of course, the rumor mill is predicting that a new Apple TV will appear in late March or sometime in April.
The only surprise I'm expecting from Apple this year, at least in the Mac product line, is a brand new Mac mini, one that will probably follow in the footsteps of the 2013 Mac Pro and eschew hard drives in favor of PCIe-based SSD storage. The Mac mini may also get a redesigned case, perhaps something circular, so it can be the Mac Pro's mini me. It may also be assembled in the Austin, TX assembly plant, right alongside its big brother, the Mac Pro.
So, that brings me to this week's poll question:
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Apple today announced that Peter Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September, 2014. Peter has been with Apple since 1996, when he took the position of Controller for Americas. Peter was subsequently promoted to Vice President Worldwide Sales Controller, and then corporate controller, before finally being named Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Apple.
During his stint as CFO, revenues for Apple grew from $8 billion to over $171 billion. After retiring, Mr. Oppenheimer plans to finally obtain his pilot's license, settle down in the central coast area of California, and maybe get involved in Cal Poly, his alma mater.
Luca Maestri, Apple's Vice President of Finance and corporate controller, will be the new CFO of Apple starting in June, providing a slight overlap to allow a seamless transition.
Monday March 3, 2014
Today Apple, along with featured car manufacturers, unveiled CarPlay, the ability to integrate iOS features into a car's entertainment and display system.
Courtesy of Volvo Car Group
CarPlay uses an automobile's central touchscreen display, as well as any control surfaces the car manufacturer may include, such as steering wheel-mounted buttons, to activate and provide access to your iPhone's features and apps.
Once you connect your iPhone to the system, using a standard Lightning charger cable, Siri, Maps, Messages, Music, and of course, phone services, are available directly through the car's touchscreen and control systems.
Availability in 2014 will be limited to Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Volvo. Additional car companies, including Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Nissan, and Toyota, will add CarPlay in future models.
CarPlay is just the first step in Apple's plan to move the iOS system into cars. And if this first attempt at letting iOS device owners use them in a more integrated fashion is successful, you can expect further development, leading to iOS being integrated into the car itself.
This could mean a simple Wi-Fi or Bluetooth integration method, so you don't need to physically connect your iPhone to the car, or the licensing of an iOS core that is part of the car. Maybe someday cars will directly respond to our commands:
Siri, lead me to a good, local restaurant, and not a drive-though, like the last time!