The Compact Disc recently celebrated its 30th birthday, but for most people, digital files stored on a Mac (or streaming from a cloud) have completely replaced plastic discs shoved inside a stereo. But despite recent improvements to the speakers inside many late-model Macs, they're still lacking when it comes to listening to your favorite tunes. Palo Alto Audio’s Cubik is a pair of desktop speakers built to wring as much sound as possible out of your files, without hogging much space on your desk
Oh my, is it that time again already? With word that retail giants like Walmart will be kicking off Black Friday by opening its doors on Thanksgiving evening this year, Apple gets the jump on its own holiday gift guide this week.
The iPod touch used to lag behind the current iPhone in specs, and the fourth-generation iPod touch was the worst: introduced in 2010, it got a white version and a lower price in 2011, and it’s still for sale—but the totally redesigned fifth-gen iPod touch blows it out of the water. It’s got the same extra-tall 4-inch Retina display as the iPhone 5, the same Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, the same scratch-resistant sapphire cover on its iSight camera, and an equally gorgeous aluminum unibody, complete with shiny chamfer.
Apple’s iPod nano never stays the same for long, but this seventh iteration feels more like a mishmash of past features than a clear step forward. It keeps the touchscreen of the sixth-gen model, but loses the clip, so it doesn’t work with those third-party watch bands that were all the rage. You can watch videos on the 2.5-inch, 240x432 screen, but it lacks the fifth-gen nano’s 720p camera.
While iTunes 11 is running a little late, it is expected to drop on us this month. When it arrives, it will be the single biggest change to iTunes since the introduction of the iTunes Music Store. To prepare for this large update, you may want to prepare your iTunes library, adding album artwork, correcting album titles, and getting rid of duplicates. By cleaning up, you’ll have a better experience when iTunes 11 is released and installed on your Mac.
We're just days away from October 23, a day when every tech-head in the universe is expecting Apple to announce the new, oft-rumored iPad Mini. Of course, new iOS gadgets means more pressure on the wallet. But if you're looking to trade in an iPod or iPad for the iPad's little cousin, NextWorth has a little bonus for you.
We decided to go easy on the refurbs for a bit to let some of that stock move so we can see some new deals slip into place. But there really wasn't much in the way of Macs this week. No, the real action is in the accessory market. As the iPhone 5 rolls out across the globe, accessory makers are rushing to meet it and be THE case you want, while we suspect we're going to start to see 30-pin doodads begin to get the clearance sale treatment. With no further ado, let's go see those accessories!
Lili is one of those games you want to like, desperately. Offering a gorgeous, heavily-stylized world with adorable characters and a fantastically endearing protagonist, it's a shame what's under the hood doesn't match the glowing exterior. Lili is at once charming and boring; enchanting and frustrating. In essence, it's a great example of a well-developed narrative dragged down by flat gameplay.
You can really shave time off tasks by using a keyboard-driven utility like LaunchBar ($35, www.obdev.at) or Quicksilver (see sidebar). Everything you can do in the Finder (copying, pasting, moving, QuickLook, launch apps, quit apps, search), you can do by calling up LaunchBar and pressing a few keys. Search the web, look up words, email a photo, run a script—the possibilities are endless. Here are three things to try first.
Not long ago, writers were entirely at the mercy of the picky publishers who stood between an author and his or her potential readership. But thanks to the rise of digital books and open publishing platforms like Apple’s iBookstore, anyone can get their stuff out there and have a shot at finding an audience. And with the added interactivity of the iBooks format, authors can raise their books to a new kind of next-generation reading experience. You’d think that producing such a book would require high-level programming skills, but no--Apple has taken its trademark approach to empowering the masses with easy creation tools to digital bookmaking with iBooks Author (Mac App Store, free).