How Low Mac Software Prices Harm Users and Developers

Some time ago – never mind how long precisely – most indie or shareware Mac applications cost at least $20 or $30. It wasn’t uncommon to pay, say, $50 for a useful utility, or $100 or more for a word processor or text editor. Now, browsing the Mac App Store, you can see that most apps sell for $10 or less, and those that cost more are the exception.

While these decreased prices are good for users in the short term, I think they represent a dangerous long-term trend, and that, over time, this will result in less good software available for the Mac.

Interview with Jamie Lee Curtis, Author of "Where Do Balloons Go?"

Award winning actress and New York Times best selling author Jamie Lee Curtis has turned one of her books, "Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery", into an iPad book, full of wonderful illustrations, clever animations and even little Easter Eggs.

I was lucky enough to spend a short time talking to Ms Curtis and I wasted far too much of it being a fan boy. But she was kind and gracious and utterly lovely. I hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much as I did doing it.

Click here for the interview with Jamie Lee Curtis.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Sly's Website of the Week - July 11th, 2012

Okay since my last website of the week was a little on the morbid side, what with the remote controlled taxidermy cat flying through the air, here’s something to counter it...in all its cute glory.

All together now, "awwwwwwww". ;-)

~ Sly

Get your Mac ready for Mountain Lion

The word on the street is that Apple has released to developers the golden master of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8)—the final non-public version. And that means the official public release of Mountain Lion isn’t far off. Speculating on the specific date of release makes for interesting discussion—all Apple has said publicly is that the new version will arrive in July—but those aiming to upgrade as soon as the new OS drops have more pressing matters: Getting their Macs ready for Mountain Lion.

As with Lion (OS X 10.7) last year, Apple is advertising Mountain Lion as dead-simple to install. But as with every major upgrade to OS X, there are a few things you can do before Mountain Lion is released to ensure that your Mac is ready for the new release.

Archives for July 11th, 2012

This week's show "Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns"

Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns

This week on Your Mac Life: "Digital Magazines and EPEAT Concerns"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Interview with Next Issue Media's CTO, Keith Barraclough

Next Issue Media wants to be "the Netflix of magazines" and the have just released an iPad app that allows you access to 39 digital magazines - TIME, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Bon Appétit, Golf Digest and many more.

I spoke to NIM's CTO, Keith Barraclough about the company, their offerings and how they are doing digital differently. Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

The Case for 7-inch Tablets

Last week the rumor mills and tech blogs were bustling last week about the possibility of a 7-inch iPad, potentially called the iPad Mini. Rather than focus this entire column on why it makes sense for Apple to make a smaller version of the iPad, I figured I would point out why I think there is a market for 7″ tablets and how such a product may fit in Apple’s and others portfolio.

Interview with Ron Avitzur, The Graphing Calculator Story

Ron Avitzur is a former programming contractor at Apple back in the 1990s. When his project was cancelled, he didn't take the opportunity to join a startup or travel or sit back on his laurels - he snuck back into 1 Infinite Loop to finish the job!

I spoke to Ron about what it was like to work on the ultimate "skunkworks" job at Apple and how he managed to pull it off.

Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Archives for July 5th, 2012

This week's show "7" iPad - the Only Thing to Talk about!"

7" iPad - the Only Thing to Talk about!

This week on Your Mac Life: "7" iPad - the Only Thing to Talk about!"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

MobileMe rides into the Sunset by Sunday

The sun is setting on the MobileMe era. By the time Sunday rolls around—on June 30 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time to be precise—the cloud storage and syncing service that Apple debuted in 2008 will fade away.

You've been warned—and if you're a MobileMe subscriber, you've been warned repeatedly over the past month— that whatever preparations you need to make for this event have now come due. Procrastinators must face the reality that like it or not—and many people had mixed feelings about MobileMe from the start—it’s over and the new era of iCloud is beginning.

Sly's Website of the Week - June 27th, 2012

There really are no words.

No really, no words.

Some of you may find this a little queasy too, as in disturbing, and some of you may laugh your butts off. YMMV. Watch at your own discretion.

;-)

Archives for June 27th, 2012

This week's show "Das Keyboard, ditching the Connector and iPads in Schools"

Das Keyboard, ditching the Connector and iPads in Schools

This week on Your Mac Life: "Das Keyboard, ditching the Connector and iPads in Schools"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

iOS app face-off: Spotify Radio vs. Pandora

Pandora reigns as my go-to for free music on the iPhone and iPad. But a new contender from Spotify threatens to dethrone it. Spotify updated its iOS app this week with Spotify Radio, a free option that’s part of its larger services. To herald Spotify's arrival on the scene, I put it up against Pandora in an app death match.

Until Spotify's recent update, you could only use the Spotify iOS app if you had a subscription to its streaming service. (For more on streaming music, including Spotify, check out our comparison of the five major services.) The new version brings ad-supported radio stations to any iPhone or iPad user: you select an artist, song, or genre, and the app generates a station that plays songs similar to your choice. Sounds a lot like Pandora. And it is, though the two services differ in some important details.

AirPort Express (2012)

Pros: Excellent value, Compact for travel, AirTunes audio streaming

Cons: Lower throughput than Extreme and Time Capsule, No gigabit ethernet ports

Why Now could be the Right Time for Apple to ditch the Dock Connector

One of the long-rumored features of the next-generation iPhone is a revised, smaller dock connector. This has been discussed in the rumor mill since before the launch of the last iPhone, and the buzz only continues on today. Case in point: according to recent report by TechCrunch, several manufacturers claim that Apple will adopt a new 19-pin replacement for its now ubiquitous 30-pin dock connector.

But although such a change would present difficulties for the legion of companies that make accessories for iPhones, iPads, and iPods, we think now might actually be a good time for Apple to make that switch.

Archives for June 20th, 2012

This week's show "Repairing Your MacBook and the Microsoft-Apple Apocalypse!"

Repairing Your MacBook and the coming Microsoft-Apple Apocalypse!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Repairing Your MacBook and the coming Microsoft-Apple Apocalypse!"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.

Interview with Eric Cheng of Lytro

Eric Cheng is the Director of Photography for Lytro (and a very accomplished photographer in his own right). I met Eric at a Lytro demo at the Apple Store in San Francisco during WWDC last week and he agreed to talk about the fascinating Lytro "light field" camera.

Click here to listen to the interview.

It's also posted to the iTunes Store under the Your Mac Life Podcast section so it's probably just easier if you went ahead and subscribed to Your Mac Life on iTunes.

As always, we hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Inventing a Problem

With Apple's announcement of the new Mac Book Pro, the interwebs had to find something to fret about and it appears that repair and upgradability is the new hobby horse for pundits to ride.

Kyle Wiens of ifixit wrote a good opinion story on the new Mac Book Pro. I can't disagree with what he wrote, it's completely accurate. But he's completely wrong that it's a problem.

To ask that every piece of modern electronics is designed to allow the tiny fraction of hackers to upgrade is the height of hubris, unreasonable, and a huge imposition on everyone else that has no desire to ever crack the case. All that 'upgradability' ends up making the product cost more and be more susceptible to failure. Catering to the fringe is not the way to make good products. Making the best product you can for a low price is the way to make good products, even if it means eliminating upgradability and home repair.

WWDC 2012 Pictures

Thanks to The Loop, I'm down in San Francisco during WWDC taking pictures.

We've been having a blast and you can check out the photos yourself on our WWDC 2012 Flickr Page!

iOS 6: What You need to Know

It’s been a busy start to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference: Not only was Monday’s keynote jam-packed with information, but the company continued to release products and programs throughout the day—enough to make anyone’s head reel a bit.

To combat confusion and ease your vertigo, we’ve put together answers to some of the more frequently asked questions we received in regards to one of the major announcements to come out of WWDC—the planned update to Apple’s mobile operating system. Here’s a rundown of what to expect from iOS 6.

Your Mac Life at WWDC!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Your Mac Life at WWDC!"
Tonight's YML is NOT LIVE. We pre-recorded it from San Francisco where Your Mac Life is attending - more like, hanging on the periphery of - the 2012 World Wide Developers Conference.

On tonight's show, Jim Dalrymple, publisher of The Loop, Ian Schray of WellRedApps, and and Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies join Shawn to talk about WWDC, what's happening and "what it all means".

You can subscribe to the Your Mac Life Podcast on the iTunes Store here.

If you have any questions or comments, please send them to Your Mac Life (onair [at] yourmaclifeshow [dot] com).

Tune in to find out why MacFormat UK named Your Mac Life one of the "Top Ten Podcasts in the World"!

IPv6: Five Things You should Know

Today is the day IPv6 finally goes live. For as long as there has been an Internet IPv4 has been synonymous with IP and nobody really stopped to think about which version of the protocol it was. But, IPv4 has outlived its usefulness.

Researchers saw the writing on the wall, and could predict based on the rate of growth for Internet use and IP-connected devices that IPv4 couldn’t last forever. IPv6 has been in development for nearly two decades. Now, the next generation protocol is ready to replace IPv4 and assume its place as the backbone of the Internet.

So, what exactly is IPv6 and what does it mean to you?

Archives for June 6th, 2012

This week's show "WWDC and Insane Rumors!"

Sly's Website of the Week - June 6th, 2012

Instead of Website of the Week this week, I thought today I would give a “Tip-of-the-Week”, sent to me by a YML listener. It’s so great that I thought I would pass it along to you, in case like me, you weren’t aware that this was an option.

You might recall the last time I was on the show, I had mentioned that I stupidly (yes, stupidly) deleted my MS Office Suite 2004 from my iMac BEFORE saving any “critical” emails from Entourage, which for whatever reason I was using for my YML email account. Well a listener much smarter than I (and really what listener isn’t? ;-) ) emailed to say that there was a way I could recover my emails despite the fact that I had completely deleted (or so I thought anyway) MS Office 2004. If you ever find yourself in this predicament, here’s what to do:

“If you just dragged your Office folder to the trash and deleted it you most certainly still have your old messages. If you used the Office uninstaller tool you may still have them depending on which boxes you checked.

OK Look in your home folder (looks like a little house), --> documents --> Microsoft user Data --> Identities --> Main Identity . If you did not delete that folder when removing office, your messages will be there.

In Mail, go to File --> Import Mailboxes and your will see check boxes. Check the one for Microsoft Entourage, follow the prompts and you should be able to import your old messages.”

Voila! It worked, right down to importing all the different folders I had set up in Entourage; I even used MS Outlook from Office 2011 instead of the Mail app (because apparently I like to torture myself), and it still worked.

So huge thanks to Scott Randell of the Long Island Macintosh Users Group who emailed me with that tip. Much appreciated, Scott...and because it worked like a charm, I’m awarding you this week’s (non) website of the week prize to you. Please visit Smile Software and select one of Smile’s great products, and I’ll see if they can send a license key off to you. Thanks, Scott!

~Sly

What Google Maps actually just Unveiled: Anxiety over Apple Maps

You want to know how I know that Google is very concerned about the forthcoming launch of Apple's own mapping product for iOS? I simply followed the Google Maps press conference today.

The mere fact that Google decided to hold a press conference just five days before WWDC (where Apple's mapping product is widely expected to be unveiled) said pretty much all you needed to know. When it was announced last week, it seemed like it may have been thrown together at the last second to pre-empt Apple's event. Now we can be positive that it was.

WWDC and Insane Rumors!

This week on Your Mac Life: "WWDC and Insane Rumors!"

Live Video is on Your Mac Life thanks to MacOSG.com and available on your desktop, iPhone and iPad! You can watch the show live from anywhere at this URL:
http://yml.macosg.com

Or you can listen in to the plain old audio feed at:
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yml-audio-only

You can also join the Chat Room that runs during the live show - on the Live Video Feed itself or on the dedicated IRC Server at irc.chat-solutions.org in the #yourmaclife Channel.

Make sure you listen in this and every Wednesday evening from 5:30pm to 8pm PT or from 8:30pm to 11pm ET, for the most fun you'll have listening to your Mac.