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App review – Mactracker

Mactracker

 

Mactracker (free)

Seller – Ian Page

Rated 4+

Version(s) reviewed: 2.2 (mobile); 7.0.1 (desktop)

Requirements:  iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad; iOS 5.0 or later (mobile); OS X 10.7 or later (desktop via Mac App Store); OS X 10.6.8 or later (desktop via direct download from http://www.mactracker.ca)

I used to support Apple products for a living; I’m also a bit of an obsessive completist when it comes to Apple history. As such, I wanted and needed a complete, accurate list of Apple’s hardware and software. Mactracker provides just that sort of list with a fast, intuitive, truly exhaustive enumeration of every Macintosh ever made.  It begins with the 128k Mac and ends with Apple’s present product lineup.

For both the mobile and desktop versions, Ian has laid the information out in several broad classifications, including Desktops, Notebooks, Devices and Software.  Inside those classifications are finer details. For instance, Devices includes Apple TV, Displays, Printers and the Newton, amongst many others.

Tap a category on the mobile app for a list of all the products in that category — as well as beautifully-done icons for each. Tap on an individual product to see a spec sheet that includes details about hardware, software, release dates, support status and just about any other important bit of trivia you might ever need to know about, say, Great-aunt Myrtle’s Bondi Blue iMac.  The same information is present in the desktop, but the interaction is (of course) more point-and-click.  It’s also possible to have spec sheets open for multiple products in the desktop app, and each has its own window.  The mobile app is optimized for iPad, so the tablet layout looks more like the desktop app.

All this information is fascinating and valuable, but ultimately available online for free from all the same resources that Ian has used.  The thing that would have persuaded me to pay actual money for this app — beyond its sheer usefulness — is the fact that the hardware spec sheets include the startup chime for each and every product that had one.  Making a grown-up fangirl remember how she took her first sip of the Kool-Aid is a happy thing indeed.

This app is a godsend for anyone who supports (especially older) Macs or their owners, either professionally or on a “my niece is the Mac expert in the family” basis.

 
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Refurbished iPads are Great Deals for Consumers

I have been looking for a used iPad for my kids to share (and to stop the fighting for mine).  I looked on the typical sites like Craigslist and was shocked to see how much money some people are asking for a used iPad 2 or the new iPad.  Talk about a product that retains its value!

Beyond the cost of the device, though, there are a few other issues to think about when considering an iPad purchase from a non-retail environment like Craigslist:

  1. There is no way of knowing if there something wrong with the iPad beforehand.
  2. The owner could have the iPad as a result of theft.
  3. The person could be planning on taking your money without giving you the product, maybe even by force.
  4. The iPad could be a fake.

The above concerns inspired me to check other options. Apple has a section of its online store where users can look at refurbished iPads, which come with a full 1-year warranty from Apple. This started to look interesting considering the cost was very similar to what the people on Craigslist were asking for their used iPads.

I found out that the Apple refurbished units are actually a very good deal, because they could actually be considered better than new. A new unit goes through an assembly line whereas a refurbished iPad will get the dedicated attention of a tech who will look over the whole unit and then fix whatever was wrong. They also install a brand new battery and a new outer shell.

Basically you get a new iPad, remanufactured by a real person, for less money than a new one in a retail store.

If you are looking for a used iPad or a less expensive one, take a look at a refurbished version. For a similar price to a used one that you find on Craigslist or nolongerneedit.com you get a practically new one with warranty.

 
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Users Report iOS 6 WiFi Connectivity Issues

Is anyone else having connectivity issues after installing iOS 6?

After loading your iPhone or iPad with iOS 6 are you having problems staying connected to a WiFi signal?   From what I have been hearing, many users that have upgraded their iDevice to iOS 6 are having issues with their Wi-Fi.

Some people are not able to stay connected or even connect to their local WiFi and some are not even able to turn on the WiFi on the device.

There is no official word from Apple that this is a wide-spread issue, though we’ll keep our ears to the ground and let you know if a solution arises. In the meantime, try resetting your device (hold the top Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until you see the Apple logo). You can also try resetting your WiFi settings then reconnect to your network.

Have a fix not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!

 
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iPad Mini Production in Brazil Rumored

Published on October 1, 2012 by in Apple, iPad, Rumors

It is with great excitement that many blogs will be posting this story — the iPad mini is now in its production cycle in Brazil. This according to Japanese blog Macotakara (via AppleInsider) which has been the source of many rumors in the past, many of which did not pan out.

The source of the rumor, a shocker, is unnamed and was not familiar with whether the units where being completely built in Brazil or in China as well. The source did, however, mention that the smaller iPad would not have a rear microphone, similar to the one found on the iPhone 5 (and widely rumored to be on the iPad mini).

For now, consumers may want to keep their pants on about the iPad mini — nothing has been mentioned in an official capacity from Apple. Stay tuned to Apple Approved and we’ll be sure to keep you informed!

 
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