Apple doesn’t offer many product discounts, and it occurred to me on Friday evening that—being in the hunt for a new Mac system to replace my faithful late-2008 aluminum unibody MacBook—it would make good sense to take advantage of Apple’s Black Friday promotion. If I went with a new machine I could apply the $150 gift card deal to a new iPad, and would also get Apple’s iWork productivity suite bundled for just $50 more than a refurb unit.
Researchers at the University of Twente have published an academic paper claiming that of five personal Cloud storage services studied—Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Cloud Drive and Wuala—Dropbox implements most of the checked capabilities, and its sophisticated client clearly boosts performance. However, there is still potential for some protocol tweaks to reduce network overhead.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup, MEGA comes with 50GB of space you can use any way you’d like. Or maybe you’d rather play a game, like Galaxy on Fire – Alliances. It’s the first multiplayer game in the Galaxy on Fire universe. And if you somehow haven’t played the original Infinity Blade just yet, it’s free today. That’s right, you can play one of the first games that really showed just how good gaming on an iPhone could look.
I don’t think there’s a war on Thanksgiving. I know some people like to say there is now, but that’s crazy talk. People have been bemoaning the war on Christmas for decades, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from playing Risk all our lives, it’s that it’s futile to launch a two front war, be it in Europe or in the holidays. So, yes, I went to a store on Thanksgiving Day. It’s partially Apple’s fault, as of course I have to get the kids the latest and greatest, and I know it’s going to be in short supply.
The title of this piece alone will raise a lot of arguments about how making employees work on a holiday is just wrong. I understand that, and I do agree employees deserve to be home with their families, stuffing their face with turkey and sitting in front the television with a football game to which they’re not really paying attention. However, I also believe Thanksgiving Day presents a huge sales opportunity for Apple.
New York-based RESCUECOM’s 2013 Q3 Computer Reliability Report (which includes tablets) was released November 20, in which Apple finished second behind Samsung. What’s different with this survey is the margin between the top two’s respective reliability scores; Samsung’s metric of 694 is nearly three times that of Apple, which finished barely ahead of the runner-up pack, scoring 259 to Lenovo’s 250, Asus’ 212, Toshiba’s 69, HP’s 66, Dell’s 50 and Acer rounding out the top eight with a dismal 16 reliability score.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup: While I don’t typically have much respect for ninjas you can identify visually, Clumsy Ninja is another story. ON/OFF is one of my new favorite puzzle games on the App Store. Apple continues to update their apps to iOS 7, and has now released an iPad version of the Apple Store app. Plus, there are plenty more apps to download this week, not least of which is the app that can measure your heart rate just by looking at your face!
I figure the iPad Air would be a logical upgrade from my old iPad 2, but given the limitations of what my hardware replacement budget will comfortably stand, being able to economize a bit would be appreciated. But would it be a false economy? I take a look at some recent Geekbench numbers for both machines (as well as iPad mini results) to find out.
This week on the Free Apps Roundup, apps are being updated for iOS 7. One of these apps is Mint, the personal finance app. If new apps are what you’re looking for then you’ll be happy to see GT Racing 2. And if you’re lucky enough to get a PS4, you’ll definitely want to download the PlayStation App so you never have to be disconnected from the PlayStation experience.
In today’s Social Playbook, I look ahead to Warlords of Draenor, wonder why RPGs always have the same classes, and offer up three Mac games I’m really looking forward to. RPG and adventure gamers are going to have some big decisions to make in the coming months, especially if you like a tablespoon of nostalgia stirred into your Mac games.
In our Apple lawsuit wrap-up for October 2013, Apple goes up against an angry fellow from Idaho, withdraws a lawsuit against a German lady, and apparently has some things going on with Samsung. We also learn that Acer is still in business (who knew?!), Scott Forstall is still around, and that if you’re afraid you can’t beat Apple with a crazy lawsuit, you should target the CEO instead.
I love the Mac desktop and Finder (two of the best things about the the Apple desktop OS IMHO), and it troubles me that they seem to be under threat as OS X converges more and more on iOS conventions. I hope that inference is mistaken. I much prefer a document dominant organizing principle to an app dominated one. I almost never store documents in the Dock, and use the Finder and folders (or the desktop) for that.