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Tech Tails | Apple news straight from the Tech Room | SmallDog.com | 800-511-MACS
 
#872: Changes at SDE, Apple Adapters, Standards in Tech, Announcing GE Consumer Financing!

 
     
 

Hello fellow tech enthusiasts,

Summer is here in full force and I couldn’t be happier. With that brings a whole new line of phones for Apple to compete with, as well as devices we can get excited about. HTC and Samsung have come out with their newest smartphones in the past month with the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. These three juggernauts will battle it out for the rest of the year ‘til Apple brings its next device to the fray.

Microsoft has also made the headlines this week with the announcement of their new console, Xbox One. With Sony and Microsoft releasing their consoles this year, it makes you wonder if Apple will ever throw its hand into that market. iPlay perhaps?

We have a lot of exciting articles for you to check out below to help you with all your tech needs and news. Kyle has some input on the Small Dog Service team and our future, Mikhael has some insights on Apple as a front runner when it comes to taking chances, and RJ discusses why Apple accessories are worth every penny.

Take a peek below — you might just learn something!

Barry
barry@smalldog.com

 
   
     
  Times They Are a Changin'  
   
 

There have been some big changes in Small Dog’s Tech department. Recently, two highly experienced members of the technical department, Jason L. and Liam, have moved on to hopefully greener pastures. They will be missed greatly especially for their technical expertise.

These changes have forced members like myself who are considered more ‘junior’ techs to step up and help fill the void. We need to make big decisions and can no longer lean on the expertise they provided but must now rely on each other to combine our knowledge in order to tackle everything that comes our way.

On a brighter note, there are new faces coming into the Tech department. We gained a new employee for the Rutland location who is currently training with us up here in Burlington. He comes straight from Apple with all the repair experience necessary; he is just brushing up on our systems and I guess, style. We will also have a new face in the Waitsfield location next week.

We are currently keeping up with the workload even being a tech short, however; some of us are pulling extra hours or not taking one of our days off in order to keep up with all repairs. I thank everyone for working extra hard to help the company in this time of staff changes.

As you’ve probably read, Barry, a tech in our Manchester location, has taken over the Tech Tails routine for us and is very polite when asking us for articles; I imagine that will change the more and more he publishes the newsletter. Everyone wish him luck — I’m sure he will do quite well. Until next time, folks!

 
   
     
  Apple's iPhone Charger: Worth the Investment  
   
 

Why pay $30 for an Apple iPhone charger? This is a question I’ve asked myself a few times, but in the end, I still dropped the cash for the Apple branded charger for my iPhone. Considering it’s something that I know will last me a while, and that the Apple name means quality, I don’t have much of an issue paying this much for something that seems to be so simple (and is cheaper elsewhere).

While I feel that this is mostly a good justification, techie blogger Ken Shirriff has come up with a much better reason. Recently, he completely tore apart the tiny charger and closely analyzed its components, resulting in quite the unexpected. Apple’s charger is surprisingly more technologically complex than most other third-party chargers.

He describes each electrical component, in detail, explaining how these components allow Apple’s charger to be efficient and intelligent. One major difference between Apple’s charger and the generic third party charger is Apple’s attention to the reduction EMI interference. This quality allows your iPhone to operate while plugged in exactly the same way as it would while not plugged in. Whereas, while plugged into a third party charger the iPhone may exhibit touchscreen interference.

Safety is also a factor in Apple’s charger, with a complex circuit that shuts down the charger if it rises above a safe temperature or voltage. Shirriff states that Apple goes “beyond regulation” with with some of the electrical precautions that were taken.

Needless to say, the next time I need to buy an iPhone charger, I will not be thinking twice about which manufacturer I’m buying it from.

Please give Ken Shirriff’s very detailed/complex article a read here: iPhone Charger Quality.

 
   
     
  Standards  
   
 

Apple has driven many eras of technology standards. Take the original iMac, which both incorporated USB and ditched the floppy drive. For a time, Zip drives were included in many Apple computers and were widely used (many Windows machines also came with them). The PowerBook G3 came with removable bays just to manage the myriad of media choices.

Physical medias have always been replaced by the next best thing, and rarely removed entirely. Yet our generation is at last finding better solutions than physical media, as our telecommunication technologies reach the point of being able to provide real-time data, regardless of file size. The entire technology industry is moving away from bulky external, disposable media, much of which requires investment in drives, discs and time.

Apple has been putting huge efforts into making the use of Apple TV and iTunes congruous. Plugging your computer into your television is very common now, and gone are the days when many would spend the time and resources burning a DVD just to watch it later in the same room. CDs are rarely ripped, as the iTunes store has reached an incredibly high level of popularity and use. Between iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, and many other solutions, sharing data is often cloud-based now.

The iMac and Mac mini have shed their optical drives. The MacBook Pro Retina and MacBook Air have never included one. We’re thinking Apple is very close to making the Retina and Air the norm. The unibody design has not been updated in years (never built thinner or lighter), and it suggests Apple is not committed to it any longer as a platform. Instead they’ve built the replacements long ago — the Air and Retina — and are nearly ready to drop the aging 13” and 15” Pro models, much as they did the MacBook.

At the same time, Apple can’t lose the market on 13” consumer machines with high storage capacity. While we’ll be seeing the 13” MacBook Pro stick around quite a bit longer, I could see the 15” leaving us sooner. WWDC is in only three weeks. Will we see more optical drives struck off? Not this soon perhaps, but it’s coming.

External solutions abound for those who still need to use discs.

 
   
     
  Dads & Grads Specials!  
   
 

Father’s Day is fast approaching, and many students will be donning the cap and gown in the coming weeks. Celebrate the dad in your life or the accomplishments of a recent grad with the specials that we’ve compiled here — good until June 30!

Up to $100 Off Any New MacBook Pro or Air
Purchase any new MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with AppleCare and you can save $100 on the 15-inch models and $60 on every 11 or 13-inch. But the savings don’t stop there. We are also including one of our Hammerhead Neoprene Cases (a $29.99 value), absolutely FREE!

Up to $100 Off Any New iMac
Purchase any new iMac with AppleCare and you can save $100 on the 27-inch models and $60 on 21.5-inch. Not only do you save cold hard cash, but, we are tossing in a Hammerhead Dual Port AC Adapter (a $14.99 value), absolutely FREE!

Buy Any iPad & Get Free Accessories
Purchase any new iPad or iPad mini and receive your very own Hammerhead Accessory starter package absolutely FREE! The starter kit includes your choice of either a Capo Case for iPad mini or Folio Case for iPad, a screen protector and a stylus, a value up to $79.99! Due to our restrictions from Apple you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

Save 10% on Select Hard Drives
Purchase any external hard drive from LaCie, Seagate or G-Tech and save 10% right off the bat! Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

BoGo Chill Pills
Everyone loves our Chill Pill and now you can share the love with our buy-one-get-one special. Choose any color Chill Pill for you and someone else — they never need to know theirs was free.

$10 off Select Headphones
Purchase any headphone made by Sennheiser or Urbanears and instantly save $10! Choose from our more popular models like the Urbanears Plattan or go with something more portable like the Sennheiser CX685 in-ear headphones Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

Save Up to 60% Select Altec Lansing Speakers
Purchase the Altec Lansing BXR1321 and save 60% or get the VS2621 and save 40%!

70% Off Matias Keyboard & Mouse Combo
Purchase the Matias Folding Keyboard & Mouse 2-in-1 combo and save 70%, a $70 value!

Save 10% on All iPod, iPhone & iPad Cases
Every single case that fits an iOS device is 10% off, and we mean every one we have from Otterbox to Hammerhead — take your pick! Due to our restrictions from these manufacturers, you’ll have to call in or stop by one of our stores to cash in on this special.

 
   
     
  Apple GE Financing Program: Coming June 1  
   
 

Last week, we heard the news that Apple has partnered with GE regarding a new financing program. Set to launch June 1st, it provides no-interest financing for six months, 12 months or 18 months depending upon the amount on your invoice.

Each order must include an iPad or a Mac, but of course, it can include any additional accessories, services or other products to qualify. As with the majority of consumer financing programs, you must pay off the loan at the end of the term or you will be charged interest.

We’ve been spoiled with what Small Dog calls the “Hapy Plan”, which includes the chance to take payroll deduction on any purchase, so it’s easy to imagine that there are many (financially responsible) people out there who would like just a little more time to make the cash needed for a new Mac or iPad.

We will be rolling out this program initially in stores only, but it’s likely that website sales will follow. Look for more information this week on Smalldog.com/retail prior to its launch for details. This is an exclusive program for Apple Specialists, and we are excited that it will provide a great opportunity to get that new iPad or Mac!