IOS 8 Beta 4 – Still not Soup Yet

Let’s take a quick look…

The other day, Apple released the latest beta version of iOS 8 to developers. I’ve got it installed on my iPhone 5; and I’ve been playing with it for a bit. Let’s take a look at how things are progressing and see if it’s nearly ready for 3rd party and hobby developers to install yet.

Previous versions of iOS 8 have been a real challenge. If you recall, I’ve had coverage about iOS 8 Beta 1, Beta 2, and Beta 3.  Beta 4 is here, and there are still a great many known (Apple documented) issues as well as those that they don’t know about yet (undocumented issues).   The issues and points that I’ve outlined below combine these two lists.  In other words, some of these Apple already knows about.  Other’s they don’t or didn’t list.  It seems I have some defects to file later…  There are over 50 known issues spread over 37 different areas of the system.

Again, I always setup my iPhone as a new iDevice when installing any beta release.  This prevents any issues with previous settings and plist files. I nearly always have to restore/ wipe and setup the device more than once, as something almost always goes wrong during the first attempt or two.  I think this has something to do with the fact that I would rather play music from my device than stream it via iTunes Match (which iPhone turns on by default).  The synching of large iTunes libraries nearly always causes problems.

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The following are issues I’ve noticed while using iOS 8 Beta 4 since its release.

Installation
Installation in and of itself went ok. I did have to restore my iPhone 5 more than once because of sync issues. The sync just spaced out and stopped doing anything at Stage 5 of 5 (Copying Items) and sat there for well over 90 minutes.

I gave up, hard reset the device put it back in its cradle, turned off Find my iPhone, and restored Beta 4 for a second time. Again, there always seems to be a problem when it comes to wanting to play content locally instead of streaming via iTunes Match.  Turning it off tends to cause sync issues until you get a good, first sync, and then everything is ok.  However, I often have to set the options I want, start the sync and then leave the iPhone to sync for a number of hours – in some cases over night – before it completes correctly.

So far this second installation seems to be ok.  Previous betas lasted between 2-4 days on my iPhone 5 before I blew the device and started over.  This is only day one, however. I may know more about overall stability in the next couple of days.

Bluetooth
Uncle already…

Boy, I sure wouldn’t want to be a communications developer over at Apple right now.  They must be having one heck of a time getting things right. Bluetooth is still a train wreck. My iPhone 5 continually drops audio from any headset it pairs with as well as loses connectivity with my Kenwood BT955HD CD/R-6P1 car stereo. This was never a real solid pairing, even in iOS 6.x and 7.x; however, it seems to be worse with iOS 8, at least so far.  I am trying to see if I can get in touch with someone at JVC Kenwood in order to see if there’s an updated firmware I can apply to the radio.  Actually getting ANY accessory to pair – a headset, speaker, my radio, smartwatch, etc. is a crap shoot at best.  More often than not, the accessory won’t pair on the first three or so tries.  You have to repeat this a LOT right now in order for your iPhone to “realize” that it needs to pair and communicate with the accessory.

BT-LE (Bluetooth Low Energy) is still having issues holding idle connections, or those that don’t send constant data across the paired link.  Accessories like a <a href=”http://www.soft32.com/blog/platforms/mobile/pebble-steel-is-timeless/”>smartwatch</a> won’t work correctly over a long period of time. The BT-LE connection drops.  Getting the BT-LE connection to re-pair, at best, is a crap shoot.

This is a HUGE issue for me as having my phone connected to my car radio is a must have while I am driving. I have an hour long drive to and from work every day, and travel to see my family at least twice a month between Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL (a 6.5 hour drive, one way); and having a hands free device for your cellphone is required in IL, IA and NE.

In short, the Bluetooth experience is really painful right now.  There’s a LOT of work that needs to be done here; and it’s an area where I hope Apple truly concentrates before releasing iOS 8 to the public. In this case, good is not good enough… this really needs to be solid, especially if they want to make any kind of headway in the wearables market where idle BT-LE connections will be common place.

FaceTime, Phone and Contacts
There are still some serious issues with the Phone app.   The most serious – where you can’t answer an incoming call because the device is ringing but won’t wake from sleep – don’t happen too often, but it’s severe enough and unpredictable enough that receiving an important phone call is risky.  The phone dialing app and the active, in-call phone app – if they are in fact supposed separated in anyway – still appear disconnected in iOS 8’s task manager.

The device’s integration between the Phone and Contact apps is also demonstrating issues.  You can’t currently specify a phone number used in Favorites from the Favorites screen.  The only way to do this is to open up Contacts, search for the person in question, open their contact record and tap the “Add to Favorites” link.  From there, you can choose the phone number you wish to make a Favorite.  Trying to add a Favorite from the Favorites screen just adds the first phone number as either a voice call, FaceTime Audio or FaceTime call.

Speaking of FaceTime, the app does not work properly in landscape orientation.  If you want to use the app, you have to FaceTime in portrait orientation.  This is a known issue and Apple is working to resolve it.

Music
There are a number of issues with Music and Podcasts (they function in much the same way…Podcasts is really nothing more than a specialized music app, specifically intended to play audio files marked as a podcast) that raise a lot of concern for me.  For example, the Music app may stop responding when downloading an album.  I’m not certain if this is because Music really wants you to use iTunes Match to stream music from iCloud, or some other reason.

I’ve also noticed that if you do want to sync music to your iDevice, you may have to wait a VERY long time.  ITunes has a problem synching large audio libraries to iPhone.  I’ve noticed that the sync can take HOURS – as in 5-10 hours or more – on the initial sync; and then the entire library that is supposed to copy to the iDevice may not sync on the first or second try. You may have to initiate multiple synchronization attempts – that can take hours to complete – before all of the content is copied to your iDevice. I have also noticed that you may need to disconnect and reconnect your iDevice – both with and without a hard reset in between – to your Mac or PC before all of the content that is supposed to be copied to your device actually gets there.

Notifications
This is another area where Apple is doing a great deal of work.  Apple is completely rewriting the Notification Center, and as such, things are still not working right.  Many notification settings have to be configured more than once before they take.  In some cases, the default switch for showing notifications on the Lock Screen is turned off.  For example, instead of defaulting to displaying on the Lock Screen, Notifications for Mail won’t show at all until you go in and flip the switch to on.

I’ve also noticed that notifications and other system events, like alarms and reminders don’t always fire consistently.  With the changes to Notification Center being such a big deal in iOS 8, I really thought that they would have been in a better state with Beta 4.  This is also a huge hole and something that must be working and working consistently before iOS 8 is released to manufacturing.

System Issues
Overall, there’s a better sense of stability in iOS 8 Beta 4 than in previous betas; but before you start celebrating, this is really to be expected. I still don’t think iOS 8 Beta 4 is the Beta that 3rd party developers relying on Bluetooth, BT-LE or any kind of sync or streaming services should start to play with yet.  There are still a large number of issues for Apple to resolve before it’s ready for any kind of limelight or attention by anyone other than testing the OS.

The system still goes through a number of spontaneous resets. I’ve had at least six since I installed the newest iOS beta on my iPhone 5 on Tuesday night 2014-07-22.  Many apps – Apple Core apps not withstanding – force quit, yet still leave a stub of a program running as evidenced in the Task Manager.  As I said before, the device also won’t necessarily wake from sleep consistently. It can easily get stuck, without the ability to take a call if that OS craps out while asleep and a call comes in. that’s happened at least three times since I installed Beta 4 (and as of this writing, that’s only two days…)

The app also has a backup and restore issue.  As noted by Apple, a restoration of an iCloud backup onto the same device the backup was taken from may not work properly. It may result in crashes of some apps.  Apple is suggesting that for right now, you don’t use iCloud to back up or restore your iDevice, but that you use iTunes to do that. However, I’ve noticed that even one of those backups can get corrupted, requiring you to delete the effected or all backups from your Mac or PC before the device may be backed up or restored at all.

I’ve also noticed that storage usage is still incorrectly reported by iTunes.  The amount of available storage nearly always increases after synchronization completes; and both numbers reported by iTunes don’t match what the iDevice indicates is available.

Conclusion
To say that I’m not happy with the state of Beta 4 is an understatement. Apple usually has it crap together by this point in the beta cycle and Beta 4 is stable enough to be used by nearly anyone and stable enough for daily use.  That’s not the case here.  Apple still has a LONG way to go before the OS can be considered stable or even usable.

Do you have any specific questions about iOS 8 Beta 4 that I can answer?  If I can, I will.  Why don’t you hit me up in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best go give you an answer straight away.

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One Windows

Say goodbye to Windows RT…

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I saw a report by The Verge yesterday and it kinda got me thinking. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been busy over the past couple of weeks. He cut over 18,000 jobs from the new combined Microsoft after the deal with Nokia closed and they had time to figure out where the redundancies were. He’s killed Ballmer’s devices and services focus for the company and has everyone focusing on the cloud and on productivity. Now, he’s taking a shot at one of Microsoft’s major products – Windows.

There can be only one…

According to Nadella, Microsoft will “streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system.” Windows will be built by a single team with one common architecture. The details of how this will actually happen aren’t known as of yet, but that means that desktop Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox will be unified. This is huge for developers, as they can now create universal apps, meaning they will only have to code and compile once and their app should run anywhere Windows does.

This has been something that Microsoft has been moving towards for months. At BUILD, Microsoft showed of dev tools that support this. While this works better for developers, how it will work in the wild remains to be seen. This ultimately means the death of Windows RT and Microsoft Surface RT/Surface 2 tablets.

THAT isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Microsoft never really got behind RT and pushed it as their competitors – both Apple and Google – push their mobile operating systems. RT was confusing to users who often mistook it for the Pro version of Windows, only without any real apps. The problem with RT was the Windows Desktop. RT still had it and Windows [File] Explorer, making it look and feel a great deal like its bigger brother, but without the ability to run any desktop apps. Quite honestly, no one knew what to do with Windows RT and Surface RT. Microsoft didn’t push it, users didn’t understand what to do with it, and it just kinda died.

As I have stated many times, Mary Jo Foley is a friend of mine, and I trust her take on the inner-workings at Microsoft more than anyone else’s. Well, maybe not as much as a Microsoft press release, but you get my meaning.

Anyway, I took a long hard look at the report by The Verge, and it didn’t quite sit right. Based on what I know MJF has said before, creating one, single Windows SKU that runs on all devices and only differentiates based on the box its running on is NOT what Microsoft has been all about…EVER. Thankfully, MJF has come to rescue again and provided some clarification.

In a nutshell, this is what “One Windows” means:

One Team – a single team developing the core of Microsoft Windows has been in place under Terry Myerson since July 2013. They will continue to take direction from one set of notes.

One “Core” – All Windows variants (and there will continue to be a few) will continue to come from a single Windows Core. Each SKU and variant will be built via a layered architecture, but will be built on top of this common core

One Store – Microsoft isn’t closing the Windows Store simply because RT is dying. Microsoft has been working to unify the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store over the past year and will continue to do so. The unified store should debut with Threshold sometime next year. How or when Xbox apps and games will be made available in the Store isn’t known yet.

One Development Platform – Microsoft will make a single set of developer API’s and developer’s toolset available. Developers won’t necessarily get the code/ compile once functionality as reported by The Verge; but they are still shooting for having developers write “universal apps.” What “universal” actually means is still a bit unclear; but many of those pieces are in place now.

According to MJF what One Windows does not mean is a single Windows SKU. There will be multiple versions of Windows, in much the same way as we’ve always seen Windows – Enterprise, Consumer, OEM and Industrial (Windows Embedded). We should be able to see this come to fruition this Fall when the public preview of Threshold is still scheduled to be made available.

What do you think of these developments? Is Microsoft getting it together, or is their strategy still too segmented/ fragmented and confusing? Does this kind of “unification” make sense to you, or is this all just a coat of paint on a busted wagon? Does the reported death of Windows RT matter? Does the reported death of Windows RT and the apparent loss of the Surface RT/ Surface 2 (not the Surface Pro line, which includes the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2/3). Why don’t you meet me in the discussion area below and let me know what you think?

UPDATE – After trading a few Tweets with @MaryJoFoley on Twitter, just before this went into 2013-12-09 report, Microsoft isn’t killing RT. It still plans on making it one SKU with Windows Phone that runs on smartphones and tablets. This fits with the “One Windows” MO, noted above.

I know this is all a bit confusing, but again, I trust Mary Jo Foley. Her sources are known and trusted, and she has yet to lead me down a wrong path.

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Keep your PC’s hardware working to the best of its ability with Smart Driver Updater

Keep your PC’s hardware working to the best of its ability with this important Windows utility.

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One of the most important parts of any operating system as the drivers for each component under the hood or connected to your computer.  Having really good drivers can mean the difference between your PC running well, your performance tanking or not being to use either an accessory or peripheral or the entire PC.  This is especially important with newer operating systems, as updates to drivers can come, literally, all the time.  At that point, versioning can become an issue as app and driver installers are notorious for leaving artifacts behind and in some cases, drivers can even become outdated. This is why I really like Smart Driver Updater.  It helps you find and keep the best drivers for your Windows PC, up to date.

Just because a file is a driver file, doesn’t mean that it’s excluded from errors and other kinds of file corruptions that happen to other Windows components.  As peripherals and accessories move through their life cycle, drivers get updated and your copies can become out dated, quickly; and you often won’t know if that happens. Most computer connected devices don’t have auto-updaters.

Sometimes, installation processes can go sideways and an update gets applied incorrectly.  Or sometimes OTHER drivers get updated, and that update effects the performance of another peripheral or accessory because they share some kind of soft-component…  When something like this happens, it can take one, the other or both drivers – and devices – down.

Provided that the device or accessory isn’t damaged, all you likely need to do is update the actual driver file(s) for any related accessories and you’re back in business. Unfortunately, trying manually track this stuff down can be a HUGE headache. I know from firsthand experience. It can be a nightmare, especially if you’re trying to update drivers for more than one device at a time. This is where Smart Driver Updater comes to your rescue.

Smart Driver Updater has a database of over 600,000 drivers. The app’s database is constantly updated and edited to make sure that the best driver updates are available. With Smart Driver Updater, you’ll always have the latest driver updates available to you.

Having a Windows PC – especially for someone like me who is constantly testing both software and hardware – means that you’re always only a few months away from a complete tear down and rebuild of your PC.  If you ever have to nuke the hard drive and start from scratch, getting right back where you were with all of your drivers is very easy with Smart Driver Updater. It backs up all of your drivers to a zip file that is easily exported, giving you a quick, easy way to get back to where you were.

Smart Driver Updater isn’t the kind of application that has a lot of bells and whistles. It’s no nonsense, pragmatic approach to keeping your computer’s and peripheral’s drivers updated and current isn’t going to be the application that you ache to run every time you boot up your PC… That is, until it saves your bacon.  Then, you’re probably not going to want to run your computer without it.

The app’s Scheduler gives you standard “set it and forget it” functionality. Once activated, the app will scan your drivers at startup or at a day and time during the week or month and tell you what needs updating.  Putting that in place should be part of EVERY Windows PC’s boot process so that your PC is always running at peak performance.

 

Download Smart Driver Updater

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The Next Item Up for Bids

Eddy Cue Apple SVP is offering a one hour lunch AND a 13″ MacBook Air and it’ll likely only cost you a couple hundred grand…

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Following Tim Cook’s lead, Apple SVP Eddy Cue has decided to offer an hour long sit down with anyone as well as a 13″ MacBook Air – valued at $1199 – to the highest bidder.

This “Fortune 500 Charity Dunk Tank” is a GREAT idea. The MB Air chaser is an awesome idea, as the winner not only walks away with a dozen or so selfies with Cue, but a 13″ MacBook Air as well. I’m certain that if you bring a Sharpie, you could get Cue to autograph the case, and/ or the box, as well.

Tim Cook’s last time out brought nearly $1.0M in a direct donation to the RFL Center for Justice and Human Rights, as that was his choice for the destination of the winning bid. This time, like Tim, Eddy will host up to two guests after they have both passed a security screen. Depending on schedules, you may have to wait up to one year before you get the sit-down; and Apple doesn’t cover travel or lodging. Honestly, if you’re going to be able to afford this, travel and lodging probably aren’t high on your worry list, though.

This is the one thing that bothers me the most about something like this. There’s NO WAY the little guy has a chance in the Hot Place to win this kind of thing. It’s clear to me that the bids for this auction will soar, like Tim’s did. For example, as of this writing, bids were currently up beyond $10,500. The whole sha-bang is valued at $10k, so it’s already reached saturation. Bidding started at $1000; and has quickly climbed to the current $10,500 over the past couple of days. Bidding started on 2014-06-20. The auction closes at 2:20p EDT on 2014-07-16.

These high bids are good for the charity; but as I said, the little guy doesn’t have a chance at scoring the sit down. And while I get it – it IS for charity, after all – it would be really great if something like this could also be around for the little guy.

I know, I know… and yes, it is a bit of sour grapes on my part, I freely admit it. I need a little cheese with this whine; but it WOULD be cool to have the sit down, don’t you think? I have a ton of questions I’d like to ask, and I’m certain that with YOUR help, I could come up with one HECK of a list, especially with up to a year’s lead time. After the general, “whaddaya wanna do?” stuff ends, I’d have all kinds of questions about internal development processes, challenges, product development processes, testing and prototyping processes, NONE of which, I’m certain Cue would (be willing to) answer. Still, it would be awesome to go to the campus and have the meeting.

If you won, what would you ask Apple SVP Eddy Cue? What charity would you like to see the winning bid go to? What charity would you donate to, if you won? Whom would you bring with you; or would you go alone? Why don’t you join me in the Discussion Area below, and let me know. If you’re gonna dream… dream big!

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Take command of your language with Ultimate Dictionary

Take command of your (supported) language with this definitive lexicon tool for Windows.

I’ve been a writer nearly all my life. I’ve been a professional writer for about 18 years. I also hold degrees in English and Writing from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.  I’ve got the language bug, and thankfully, I get paid for what I produce.  One of the things that someone in my position simply MUST have is a good dictionary.  This is one of the reasons why Ultimate Dictionary is part of my tool box.  It’s a dictionary for your Windows PC, and its really cool.

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The ultimate dictionary is a complete set of 33 English, Spanish, French and Polish dictionaries, thesauruses and glossaries. It is easy to use and is all-inclusive. The ultimate dictionary looks up words in all of its included dictionaries at once, so you can browse a list of results all at once. Once you’ve looked up your word, you can quickly jump from one dictionary, glossary even to another translation if necessary.  You can compare definitions between dictionaries and glossaries at your leisure.

Ultimate Dictionary is a decent application, but its interface is very outdated. The app hasn’t been updated since January 2009, and while it’s a great app, its so very Windows 7.  While that isn’t necessarily, a bad thing – more and more users are moving off Windows XP – and are finally embracing Windows 7 comfortably.  However, without an update in over five years, its hard to know how long it will continue to work, if at all, with newer versions of Windows. Its too bad, because its pronunciation tools are a huge help if you’re trying to learn a new language.

download Ultimate Dictionary

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Secure your PC with Privazer

Secure your PC with this must have Windows utility.

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Keeping your PC safe while you use it is probably the most important thing you can do while actually using the device. Unfortunately, its one of the hardest things to do. Simply going online opens you up to all kinds of attacks, malware hacks and other nasty bugs and viruses. That’s why having an app like Privazer is so very important. It’s a Windows security utility, and its worth a bit of a look.

Privazer cleans your PC in-depth and removes unwanted traces of your activities at home or at work. You can see what can be recovered of your past activities and securely clean traces to get a PC Privazer cleans your PC and your external devices. Privazer is a smart cleaning tool that helps you master your security and freedom, free up disk space and keep your PC fit and secure.

With simply one click, Privazer is able to clean securely your browsing history and files, your registry, RAM, virtual memory file and hibernation file. It will also clean IM tracks of your computer as well. With the use of such apps (browsers, key system files and IM clients) nearly universal, this is something that everyone can benefit from.

Most security apps can do all of this. Its really nothing to write home about. However, what really makes Privazer valuable is its ability to scan the contents of your drive’s free space to see what data fragments have been left behind in what was once previously used space. The app will intelligently scan this space and can remove data traces that need to be reset to “0.” Performance of the app improves over time

Privazer is a great application that handles some very important, very complicated tasks. Having a tool like Privazer is something that every PC owner needs. The price is free and the risks of using are non-existent. If you don’t have a tool like this, then you need to give it a try. You likely will not be disappointed.

Download Privazer

 

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Would I be a Mac, if…?

It’s a great box and I love it, but…

For those of you that know me, you know that my love affair with the Apple ecosystem is very recent. I’ve been a Windows advocate most of my computing career.  In fact, most of my computing chops were earned in the Microsoft ecosystem – Windows, WindowsCE, PocketPC/ PocketPC Phone/ Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. I am still listed as a Sr. Content Editor for WUGNET, the Windows User’s Group Network and have been associated with them since 1997. For example, most of contents of their Windows and Computing Tips database are my work.

There’s been a bit of talk in the tech world about some changes Apple is making. Recently, Apple announced a decision to kill both Aperture and iPhoto. Jason Perlow over at ZDNet wrote a column about it.  It got me thinking about my own Mac journey.

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I bought my first Mac in 2006; and believe it or not, I bought it to be a Windows machine.  Boot Camp is a GREAT tool; and Intel-based Macs do a great job of running Windows (though I know Steve Jobs can hear me, and is definitely rolling over in his grave as I type this.)  I apologize, Mr. Jobs; but your hardware, IS the best in the business. Period…AND they make awesome Windows PC’s.

Since 2006, I’ve owned 3 different MacBook Pro’s or Unibody MacBooks.  However, it wasn’t until late 2010/ early 2011 that I made the complete switch over from Windows to OS X. This happened for a number of reasons.

1. I Invested in the Mac Ecosystem
It’s gotten better over time, but even though iPods were Windows compatible, they REALLY didn’t want to live there.  The differences in their operation were subtle – and still are – but if you have a chance to have an iPod or an iPhone pair up with a Mac, you will see they are much happier speaking their own language with their own people than they are living as an exile in a foreign country. In other words – you iDevice wants to pair up with an iTunes library on a Mac rather than on a Windows box. It’s easier to manage. It’s easier to sync content to, though that may not be as obvious today as it was back between 2004 to 2010.

It was also about this time, that I started buying more audio and video directly out of the iTunes Store rather than buying CD’s and ripping them myself.  As I began doing this, I decided to move my music library from the Windows side to the Mac side of my MBP. Since I knew that my iDevice life would be a better experience as a native Mac device AND I had a Mac to do this with, it simply made sense to move everything to the Mac side.
2. I Became Lazy
I don’t want to say that I made the permanent switch to OS X from Windows because I got tired of stopping and starting my PC when I wanted to watch a movie or sync my iPod/ iPhone; but stopping what I was doing and trying to quickly swap over was becoming a bit of a pain.  There wasn’t a real good way to reading or writing to an HSF or HSF+ volume from the Windows side of things, though you could at least read from an NTFS volume via OS X, natively at the time.

My biggest problem at the time was Office for Mac 2008 – it stunk. Period.  Word, Excel and PowerPoint were DEFINITELY behind in both technology and functionality with their counterparts from both Office 2007 and 2010. As I was (primarily) a Windows tech journalist/blogger at the time, and all of the GOOD tools that I was used to using were on the Windows end of things, it made sense to stay there, despite the fact that I had a Mac.

The other big problem I had was that despite how much I tried, despite how much I upgraded my Mac(s), running Windows as a VM with either Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion was a horrible experience.  The only way you could get good performance was to run Windows via Boot Camp, and that meant bopping back and forth between the two operating systems. Running Parallels or VMWare was painfully slow, and threw a boat anchor around the host OS, too.  So, I stayed a Mac owner running native Windows.  However, it was becoming clear that if things ever did improve, or if I ever did get a Mac that could run Windows in a VM with decent performance, I’d make the switch.

It was in late 2010 that Office for Mac 2011 became available and I jumped on early betas thanks to my TechNet subscription. It was also during this time that I was able to purchase an Early 2011 15″ MBP that had decent enough specs to push Windows as a VM via Parallels Desktop that it made sense to make the full switch over to OS X.  I’ve been a full-blown Mac ever since.  However, I do want to make one very important point.

I’m not made of money.  I love the Mac ecosystem; but the price of entry is WAY too high for the average consumer, in my opinion. While it may be easier to get there with iPhone and iPad, buying a Mac laptop or desktop costs a LOT of coin, and honestly, I wouldn’t own a Mac computer if I wasn’t a technology journalist.

Since I can VERY EASILY run OS X natively and Windows (as well as any variant of Linux) in a VM with decent performance thanks in no small part to Intel’s i7 processor and 16GB of RAM it makes sense for me to stay here. Running a VM of OS X or Linux on a PC hasn’t always been easy, and I gave up on tweaking and pushing hardware to do things they REALLY don’t wanna do (even though they should be able to) a few years ago. It’s just not worth the hassle, and I have better things to do with my time.

However, Jason Perlow brings up a very good point in his Aperture/iPhoto argument – would I be a Mac for any other reason?  Jason’s pull was digital photography. Mine was the need to easily run more than one computing OS at a time without having to reboot OR having to put up with crappy performance so I could write about apps, hardware, accessories, etc. used with those operating systems.  I was forced recently to admit – and rightly so – that if I weren’t getting paid to do that, I wouldn’t have purchased a Mac in 2006 in the first place.

It’s true. I really like my Mac, OS X and the way all of my iDevices work and integrate so well in their native environments and operating systems.  While it isn’t as “just works” as it used to be, owning and using a Mac is still a lot more elegant than anything that I’ve seen on the PC side.

Are you a Mac?  Have any of the recently announced changes to the Apple ecosystem turned you off to the Mac?  Why don’t you let me know your thoughts in the discussion area, below? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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Smartphone 101 – Receiving a Call

There are a couple-three different scenarios here, believe it or not. Some or all of them may present you with different screens and buttons when they occur.

  • Receiving a Call with the Phone in Standby/ Screen Locked
  • Receiving a call while using the Phone/ Screen Unlocked
  • Receiving a call while on Another Call (Did you know your Phone (likely) has Call Waiting, free of charge?)

Receiving a Call with the Phone in Standby/ Screen Locked

This is probably the most common scenario, unless you’re on your phone, literally, all the time.   Let’s assume that your smartphone is charged, and on a desk, or in a bag

    1. From a screen off position, your phone rings.
      RECV-ios-01 RECV-and-01 RECV-WP-01
      iOS Android Windows Phone
    2. Unlock the phone and answer the call. For iOS, slide the bar to the right. For Android, tap the green call button. For Windows Phone, slide the screen up.
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      iOS Android Windows Phone
  1. Conduct your call.
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    iOS Android Windows Phone
  2. When you’re done, press the End Call button to terminate the call.
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Receiving a Call while the Device is in Use

This is probably the next most common scenario.   Let’s assume that your smartphone is charged, on and you’re using an app.

 

    1. While the phone is in use, you receive a phone call.
      USE-ios-01 RECV-and-01 RECV-WP-01
      iOS Android Windows Phone
    2. Answer the call. For iOS, tap the green call button. For Android, tap the green call button. For Windows Phone, tap the blue answer button.
      USE-ios-01 RECV-and-02 USE-WP-02
      iOS Android Windows Phone

 

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