Wednesday, 23 November 2011

OS X Daily: Find the Frame Rate & Check Video Stats in iChat

OS X Daily: Find the Frame Rate & Check Video Stats in iChat

Link to OS X Daily

Find the Frame Rate & Check Video Stats in iChat

Posted: 23 Nov 2011 01:42 AM PST

Check Frame Rate and video Stats in iChat

If you’re recording video chat or just troubleshooting problems with iChat, knowing the frame rate and other video statistics can be helpful information.

From the Video menu, pull down to “Connection Doctor”, then select the “Statistics” option from the pull-down menu to see the window shown up top. The group under “Local” is your own Mac, and below will be the screen name and statistics of the Mac you are video chatting with.

Frame rate typically hovers around 15 FPS on a high speed connection for both parties, which is slightly lower than what is usually seen in Facetime video calls on the same internet connections.

Apple Black Friday Sale Announced for 2011

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 03:20 PM PST

Apple's Black Friday 2011 Sale announced

Apple will participate in a Black Friday sale this Friday, November 25, and some Apple Stores will open at midnight to accomodate anxious shoppers. For those who don’t want to visit a physical store, Apple’s Online Store will also feature sales for the one day sale event.

The special one-day Apple shopping event.
This Friday, November 25.
Mark your calendar now, and come back to the Apple Online Store the day after Thanksgiving for the special one-day event. You'll discover amazing iPad, iPod, and Mac gifts for everyone on your list.

Apple’s Black Friday sales are generally similar to educational discounts, except they apply to everyone. Last year, this meant $101 off iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro models, a $41 savings off the iPad, and a $21 discount on the iPod touch. Other items often have minor discounts as well, but the iPhone typically retains the same pricing structure.

Black Friday is a shopping holiday that immediately follows the Thanksgiving holiday in the USA, while it’s generally US focused, many other countries also adopt sales on that date as well, and Apple has placed the same notification on most of their other worldwide sites, including UK, Australia, Canada, France, and Germany.

Check your local Apple Store hours if you plan on shopping in person, otherwise just visit the Apple Online Store on Friday.

Stop Redirecting to Local Country or Language Version of Google

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 02:47 PM PST

Stop Redirecting to Another Countries Version of Google

Traveling abroad can quickly become frustrating when you attempt a search on and discover you are redirected to the local countries variant. This is convenient for things like local search and Maps, but if you’re trying to find results in English while you’re in a non-english speaking country the redirect is annoying.

The solution is simple enough: use the alternate NCR Google URL. NCR stands for “No Country Redirect” and will always display in English, whether you’re in India, Brazil, Honduras, Germany, or anywhere.

You can use Google’s Language Tools to set a primary language for a specific Google account as well, but the NCR link to be much easier to remember and more flexible.

This a fairly general tip and it applies to all web browsers and all OS’s, whether you’re using a MacBook Air, iPad, iPhone, Windows PC, Android phone, or anything else.

Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 12:11 PM PST

Letters to Steve Letters to Steve: Inside the E-mail Inbox of Apple’s Steve Jobs is a new e-book from Mark Milian that catalogues the late CEO’s direct engagements with customers and fans through email.

This book is based on interviews with many of the customers and fans Jobs communicated with. These tales reveal the intricacies of how Jobs portrayed himself as likable and accessible through direct interaction with fans. He handled customer-service inquiries himself and carefully revealed hints about upcoming Apple products, guaranteeing headlines on blogs. However, some of these letters, when analyzed, provide a glimpse into his “reality distortion field,” in which he lobs insults, bends the truth and uses misdirection in order to manipulate anyone on the receiving end.

Some of the emails have been seen before on various forums and websites, but the book compiles them into an easily digestible format. It’s probably not going to be as compelling as the official biography, but for just a couple bucks it sounds enjoyable enough.

The book is offered exclusively through Amazon as a Kindle title, but you can read it on just about any hardware with the free Kindle app that works with iPhone, iPad, Mac OS X, Windows, Android, Windows Phone 7, Kindle Fire, and even Blackberry.

Sync iCloud Documents & Data Over a 3G Cellular Connection

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 11:24 AM PST

Sync iCloud over 3G

iCloud and iOS includes the ability to sync some iCloud data directly over a 3G cellular connection when a wireless network isn’t available. For now, this is limited to “Documents & Data” from the iWork suite of apps, which includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. This is a great feature, but due to the bandwidth usage, it should be used sparingly by those who don’t have large data plans with their carrier.

  • Launch Settings and tap on “iCloud”
  • Tap on “Documents & Data” and slide “Use Cellular” to ON

Be sure to closely monitor data usage with this and other cellular features as to avoid costly overage charges, unless you have an unlimited data plan, of course.

iPad 3 with Retina Display and an iPad Mini 7.8″ to be Released in 2012?

Posted: 22 Nov 2011 09:26 AM PST

iPad 3 Rumors Apple will release an iPad 3 with a retina display running at 2048×1536 resolution next year, and the production of the IPS QXGA display is already underway by Samsung, Sharp, and LGD, according to a new report. Citing a confident analyst from DisplaySearch, CNET quotes “It’s happening–QXGA, 2048×1536. Panel production has started“.

Talk of an iPad 3 with a retina display isn’t anything new, theoretical discussion of such hardware started before the iPad 2 was even announced in 2011, with various pieces of evidence and conjecture surfacing early on.

Current iPad 3 rumors indicate the following possibilities:

  • Retina Display – persistent rumors and reports suggest a high resolution display is all but guaranteed
  • Quad Core CPUreferences to a quad-core ARM CPU were found and quickly removed from Xcode earlier in the year, igniting speculation that a quad core chip could make it to the next generation of iOS hardware
  • Siri – the hit AI assistant agent from iPhone 4S is likely to make it to other Apple hardware in the future, perhaps starting with iPad 3
  • Dual Mode CDMA/GSM Support – it’s very likely the next iPad will include the same dual mode GSM and CDMA chip from the iPhone 4S, allowing Apple to produce a single 3G equipped iPad rather than separate CDMA and GSM devices
  • Release Date – presumably the iPad 3 release will follow past iPad footsteps, with a release sometime around March or April of 2012

There are also some rumors suggesting the iPad 2 may stick around as a lower cost model, with the iPad 3 becoming a “Pro” addition that would turn the iPad into more of a product family. Apple offering a lower cost iPad may very well depend on the success of competing lower priced tablets, which thus far have struggled to gain traction in the marketplace.

iPad Mini with a 7.85″ Display to Debut Later in 2012?

Later in the aforementioned CNET report is a reference to an “mini iPad” that would include a 7.85″ display. Such a device would supposedly come in the second half of 2012, but only if there’s adequate market interest:

“If there’s demand there. There’s no reason they wouldn’t build a 7.85-inch iPad,” Shim said.

Demand for smaller screened tablets may end up depending on the success of the low priced Amazon Kindle Fire. A recent report indicated that Apple’s iPad maintains a dominating lead in tablet market share, but suggested the newly released Kindle Fire will place direct pressure on the iPad. Amazon’s tablet could be a motivating factor for Apple to be exploring an iPad with a smaller display.

While rumors are fascinating to ponder, it’s wise to take all Apple rumors with a grain of salt, especially considering how incredibly inaccurate and imaginative the iPhone 5 speculation ended up being. In other words, don’t believe it until it’s announced by Apple.