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.

Interview with Lex Friedman about Sandboxing

Lex Friedman is a Staff Writer at Macworld magazine and has written an excellent article called, "Sandboxing deadline arrives: What it means for Apple, developers, and you"

As the article says, "Sandboxing refers to compartmentalizing what data and features a specific app is granted access to; apps each can metaphorically play exclusively in their own sandbox, accessing only that data which Apple has granted that app entitlements to see." but it's not quite as simple and cut and dried as that. Lex helps Shawn understand what it is and how it will affect users and developers.

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!

Ping: What went Wrong

In his recent appearance at the All Things Digital conference, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, had this to say about the company’s music-centric social networking service, Ping:

We tried Ping and the customer voted and said, this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into. Some customers love it, but there’s not a huge number that do, so will we kill it? I don’t know. I’ll look at it.

Given that this is the kind of lukewarm endorsement generally reserved for a hospitable but unwelcome plague of roof rats, we can safely assume that when Tim and crew find the time, in come the exterminators and out goes Ping.

While I could let Ping go quietly into the night, Apple provides us with so few failures that it’s impossible to pass up the opportunity to give Ping’s corpse a poke or two to determine what led to its demise. And, fortunately, it doesn’t take a forensic genius to sleuth that out. Let the list begin.

Apple TV as an iOS Gaming Platform? Not Likely.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, long-time Apple TV proponent, believes that it is it’s not a case of “if” but “when” Apple will release a television.

I’ve talked at length about how I just don’t see how a TV fits into Apple’s future, so rather than cover that same old ground I want to pick up on a specific point made by Munster.

Munster believes that Apple’s television will allow users to download games, music and other content to their TV. He believes that gaming in particular will be of particular interest to the large group of iOS game developers.

Immediate, I can see several problems with this idea.

Sandboxing Deadline arrives: What it means for Apple, Developers, and You

Depending upon whom you ask, Friday, June 1 is the best or worst thing to come to the Mac App Store since it opened its doors in 2011. As of now, new and significantly updated apps submitted to Apple’s Mac App Store must implement sandboxing.

Sandboxing refers to compartmentalizing what data and features a specific app is granted access to; apps each can metaphorically play exclusively in their own sandbox, accessing only that data which Apple has granted that app entitlements to see.

The plus side of sandboxing is that it means, in theory, that your apps will become safer and more trustworthy: Your Mac prevents them from accessing files they shouldn’t access. But that security comes with a price, at least in some cases.

Three Things to Back Up before MobileMe goes Dark on June 30

It's officially June, and hopefully you know what that means. Yes, Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference will take place in just a week and a half, but June also marks the month when Apple's MobileMe service (previously called .Mac, and before that, iTools) will finally go dark. That's right: Apple is finalizing its transition over to yet another version of its online services, iCloud, and whatever's left of MobileMe will be left behind.

Even if you're already using iCloud after transitioning your account over from MobileMe, certain parts of MobileMe simply aren't available as part of iCloud. This is why it's important to make sure you grab all your remaining data, back it up, and potentially port it over to a new service.

MobileMe will go dark on June 30, 2012. That's less than a month away at this point, so what are you waiting for? Here are four things you should check up on and back up before that day rolls around.

Archives for May 30th, 2012

This week's show "Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!"

Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!

This week on Your Mac Life: "Tim Cook at D10 and Listener Email!"

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.

How Tim Cook is changing Apple

A 14-year veteran of the company, Cook is maintaining, by words and actions, most of Apple's unique corporate culture. But shifts of behavior and tone are absolutely apparent; some of them affect the core of Apple's critical product-development process. In general, Apple has become slightly more open and considerably more corporate. In some cases Cook is taking action that Apple sorely needed and employees badly wanted. It's almost as if he is working his way through a to-do list of long-overdue repairs the previous occupant (Jobs) refused to address for no reason other than obstinacy.

What's clear is that Cook is behaving like his own man, putting his stamp on Apple -- including some moves that will court controversy with the Apple faithful, watchful as they are for the slightest deviation from their perception of the Steve Jobs playbook.

Archives for May 23rd, 2012

This week's show "LifeProof and Geek-ercise!"

Sly's Website of the Week - May 23rd, 2012

This week's winner writes:

A British gameshow called "Golden Balls" invites contestants to play a version of the Prisoner's Dilemma, wherein the two contestants have to decide whether they're going to "split" or "steal" a pot of money.

If they both opt to split, they split the money. If one opts to split, and one opts to steal, the one who steals it gets the whole pot. And if they both opt to steal it, then neither get the money.

You have to watch this video to appreciate the raw game theory power move that one contestant pulled.

What a great ending! LOL

~ Sly

LifeProof and Geek-ercise!

This week on Your Mac Life: "LifeProof and Geek-ercise!"

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.

Inside the Mysteries of Mission Control

OS X's Mission Control lets you manage the screen clutter that accompanies today’s advanced computing environment by providing a bird’s-eye view of all your open applications and windows. You’re the one really in control when you learn how to manage Mission Control’s features.

Interview with Tom Negrino, author of "iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide"

Tom Negrino has written over 40 books. His latest, "iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide", will help you understand, configure and use Apple's iCloud service.

The book walks you through how to share iTunes songs, photos, books, apps, files, email, contacts, and calendars across your PC, Mac, and iOS devices and you'll learn how to create documents in Apple's iWork apps - Pages, Keynote, and Numbers -and edit them on any device, with iCloud keeping the files up to date. You'll also learn how to back up important information via iCloud.

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!

A User’s Guide to finding Storage Space in the Cloud

A number of companies store your data free and make it accessible to whatever device you are using, wherever you are, as long as you have Internet connection. For those using thumb drives and external hard drives, think of cloud storage as just another way to back up data, but on a remote server. Add in the ability to synchronize and the service becomes even more appealing.

What is different now is the ability to synchronize seamlessly across multiple devices: computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets. And of course, as Google, Microsoft, Dropbox and others compete for your business, the sheer amount of data to be shared and stored continues to expand.

Here is how to start using it right now.

More Movies, More Mac Tips and Lots of Rumors!

This week on Your Mac Life: "More Movies, More Mac Tips and Lots of 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.