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Tech Tails | Apple news straight from the Tech Room | SmallDog.com | 800-511-MACS
 
#823: New Apple Products from WWDC!

 
     
 

Hello Readers,

This week’s Tech Tails will be a bit different than usual. WWDC is underway and aside from the excitement of new products, it’s always great to see/wonder about the technology behind the new toys. A 15-inch Retina display is something I’m still wrapping my head around…I can’t wait to see it. I think people will just sit in front of it and stare when we get these in the South Burlington store!

I am also excited about the future of Thunderbolt—my prediction last year was that an outboard PCI expansion bay would replace the Mac Pro. It hasn’t gone away yet (in fact, there are new models we outline below), but I still think Thunderbolt will be used to take iMacs and Apple portables to higher performance levels. For example, Sony’s Vaio Z has a Thunderbolt dock available with a Blu-ray drive and a Radeon HD 6650M in it, giving the laptop a pretty serious graphics performance boost and optical drive upgrade. I think that’s going to be just the beginning of what’s possible with Thunderbolt.

We’ll be continuing to update the blog today as more details emerge and we get product in stock (some have already landed!). Can’t wait to see what today brings.

Liam
liam@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  "What Would Make the Next Gen MacBook Pro?"  
   
 

…so said Phil Schiller at yesterday’s WWDC Keynote speech when he talked about asking the Apple engineering team this exact question.

The answer, of course, is the entirely new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I knew I wanted one before I even heard what it was as it sat on the pedestal under a velvety black shroud! Oh Apple, you slay me (along with an audience of developers).

Obviously its name, “15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display,” lets you know what Apple thinks is its most endearing feature, and in fact there has never been a notebook display like this before. The resolution is 2880 by 1800 which is 5.1 million pixels! That’s 3 million more than an HDTV. Oh my word, I can’t wait to see it in person.

It’s more svelte, too. Weighing in at 4.46 pounds and only .71 inch thick. (Is there a word for svelter?) Apple was able to shave more than a pound off the non-Retina Display MBP. This was achieved by not including an optical drive and moving to all flash storage. This puts the MBP w/RD at the same weight as the 13-inch MBP. Pretty good, eh?

So what about all the other stuff? The MBP w/RD sports two USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, and HDMI port set it apart from its peers. Bluetooth, FaceTime, and SDXC slot are still there. Did you notice that Ethernet isn’t there? You’ll need to add an Ethernet to Thunderbolt adapter to connect to wires.

What’s all this going to cost? Prices will start at $2,199 for the basic configuration of:

  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 256GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Built-in battery (7 hours)

See it here.

And $2,799 for the 2.6GHz configuration:

  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz
  • 8GB 1600MHz memory
  • 512GB flash storage
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
  • Built-in battery (7 hours)

See it here.

This is the first new Mac since Steve passed away and I really, really missed hearing “oh yeah, just one more thing…”

Steve, they did you proud.

We will keep you posted regarding when they will be in stock!

 
   
     
  iOS 6: Coming This Fall...and With More Siri  
   
 

At yesterday’s WWDC keynote, Scott Forstall went through all of the features that the newly-announced iOS 6 will have. Ready for it? I’ll go over the highlights here.

Siri
She’s getting a big upgrade, as our helpful assistant will graduate out of beta mode in iOS 6. Among the biggest upgrades:

  • iPad availability is coming!
  • Yahoo! integration for sports updates and news (Baseball, Football, Basketball, etc.)
  • Detailed restaurant information, including pricing, menus, ratings and reservations (via Open Table)
  • More sophisticated movie information, such as Rotten Tomato ratings integration, trailers, keywords (his example was “movies with Scarlett Johansson”)
  • Launch apps by voice
  • Tweet by voice
  • “Eyes Free” mode and integration with the steering in certain automobiles (Honda, Audi, GM, BMW, to name a few)
  • More languages

Facebook
Looks like we can’t escape it—Apple and Facebook aren’t going anywhere! To the hold-outs, here’s what’s in store:

  • Built in to the iOS
  • Universal sign-in keeps you logged in through Settings menu
  • Sharing of photos, links, games (from Game Center), iTunes content, Maps

Phone
You mean to say that we should actually still use the iPhone as a…phone?

  • Additional in-app options, such as Do Not Disturb, Remind Me Later, Reply with Message for those times you can’t (or don’t want to) answer a call
  • VIP tagging of your most important contacts
  • Two calls in a row will be sent through in the event of an emergency (I should be careful with this one)

FaceTime
Video chatting got some much-needed upgrades.

  • Now available over cellular instead of just Wi-Fi
  • Unifying phone number and Apple ID, plus Messages (for chat across IM and SMS/MMS)

Photo Stream

  • Photo Stream sharing
  • For Mac, Apple TV and web

New Safari

  • New iCloud tabs that will show you your iCloud info across all linked devices
  • Offline reading list
  • Will work only in Mountain Lion and iOS 6

Mail

  • VIPs—contacts that you can designate as ‘very important people’
  • Two added inboxes: VIP inbox and flagged inbox
  • Add photos from your device (finally!)
  • Support for password-protected Office files

Maps

  • Yelp! integration
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • 3D mode
  • Siri integration
  • Apple-specific cartography
  • 100 million local businesses listed

…and a lot more, including Guided Access, the mobile Universal Access controls, Passbook, and more.

It will launch in the fall and will be available for iPhone 4, 4S, 3GS, iPad 3 and newer and iPod touch (4G). We’ll be continually updating the blog as we get more details, so check out our full WWDC coverage here.

 
   
     
  MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Upgrades  
   
 

The current incarnations of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro got some processor speed bumps yesterday, as well as upgrades to storage capacity and memory.

MacBook Air
Both the 11-inch and 13-inch models are being kept, and they now include up to 512GB flash storage, 60% faster graphics and up to 8GB RAM. They feature 2.0GHz i7 Ivy Bridge processors and USB 3.0 ports (backwards-compatible to USB 2.0).

View the 11-inch MacBook Air here. $1.099.99
View the 13-inch MacBook Air here. $1,199.99
View the 13-inch MacBook Air here. $1,499.99

We should see stock for both models today, so check the website for availability!

MacBook Pro
The 13” MacBook Pro includes an Ivy Bridge dual-core i7 processor, available up to 2.9GHz. Pricing remains the same at $1,199 and $1,499.

View the $1,199.99 13-inch MacBook Pro here.
View the $1,499.99 13-inch MacBook Pro here.

The 15” MacBook Pro model includes an Ivy Bridge quad-core i7 up to 2.7GHz, a 1GB GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics card, a standard 8GB of 1600 MHz memory, and USB 3.0/2.0 ports. Pricing remains the same at $1,799 and $2,199.

View the $1,799.99 15-inch MacBook Pro here.
View the $2,199.99 15-inch MacBook Pro here.

The 17-inch MacBook Pro has been quietly discontinued, and we will be selling through our remaining stock.

View the current 17-inch MacBook Pro here.

 
   
     
  Behind-the-Scenes Updates  
   
 

After the big announcements had been made, Apple quietly updated some other products that were in need of a refresh. Up first: AirPort Express.

The new AirPort Express supports simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, which means that it transmits at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies at the same time. So no matter which band your wireless devices use, they’ll automatically connect to the best available band for the fastest possible performance.

The new AirPort Express sells for $99.99; see it here.

Next up: Mac Pro. There is a Quad-Core option, which will sell for $2,499.99. It also includes:

  • a 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
  • 6GB of RAM (3× 2GB chips)

A 12-Core Mac Pro was also released, which will sell for $3,799.99. It features:

  • two 2.4GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors
  • 12GB of RAM (6× 2GB chips)

We will keep you posted on when these products will be in stock, but we expect them soon.

 
   
     
  Free QuickBooks Seminar This Thursday!  
   
 

“I can’t get a Mac; my accountant told me not to.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this statement, I could buy every reader a cup of coffee! There is a general misunderstanding among accountants that QuickBooks and Macs don’t work together, but Small Dog Electronics can prove this statement is false as we still use QuickBooks for a portion of our accounting needs.

While I was away from Small Dog, I worked for a small, Mac-only business that did all of its accounting in QuickBooks and our accountant was 100% PC-based. There were some workarounds required, but that was mostly due to the vagaries of the PC and not the software itself.

The first thing that you need to look at are the features that the QuickBooks for Mac has compared to the QuickBooks Pro Windows version has by clicking here. You’ll notice that they are just about equal as far as features go, though HOW the features interact are different between the versions.


QuickBooks for Mac Seminar
Our Small Dog Electronics Business guru, Rob Amon, is teaming up with local CPA Geoff Robertson to host a ‘QuickBooks for Mac’ seminar specifically for small business Mac users.

What it covers:
This free seminar will cover a basic overview of QuickBooks interface, working with your PC accountant and how to decide which version of QuickBooks is required for your type of business.

When:
The seminar is Thursday, June 14th from 8:00AM until 9:30AM. Rob will be there to answer any of your Mac business questions. Rob is trying to work with Geoff to host additional seminars and for our non-local readers, maybe we can get a copy of the presentation on-line in the future.

Where:
33 Blair Park Road, Suite 201, Williston, VT 05495.

Cost:
FREE!

To register, send an email to anna@dh-cpa.com or call 802-878-1963.

Purchase QuickBooks for Mac here – $212.99.

 
   
     
  NH eWaste Recycling Event: This Saturday!  
   
 

June is here, and your overstuffed garage and basements will thank you when you decide to recycle your old electronics at one of our two eWaste Recycling Events.

If you’re in or around the Manchester, NH area, come out to the Mall of NH on Saturday, June 16 from 9-3pm. Check out our event page on Facebook here.

If you’re in or around the Rutland, VT area (new location this year!), come out to Rutland High School on Saturday, June 30 from 9-3pm. Check out our event page on Facebook here.

More details are available on our website as well:
http://www.smalldog.com/ewaste2012

 
   
     
  SPECIALS: Get 'Em Quick!  
   
 

D+G | Save $25: Adobe Photoshop Elements v10.0 for Mac/Win 1 User

64.99

With all of the announcements, that means that formerly current-model Macs are now dropping in price. With savings up to $200+ off original pricing, you can grab a fantastic machine (that was the “latest and greatest before 1PM yesterday, by the way…), for less.

Check our Closeouts page here for special deals!

In addition, there’s still time to get gifts for Father’s Day (this Sunday).

View our page here with all of the great deals for dad (or a special grad).

Plus, take advantage of $25 off Adobe Photoshop Elements until Sunday!

View