Apple has just released OS X 10.8.4 for it's desktop and notebook computer lines. The latest update to Mountain Lion is mostly focused on stability and security, fixing things like Microsoft Exchange calendaring, corporate Wi-Fi issues, and the like. Safari 6.0.5 is also included in this release. Fire up the Mac App Store to grab it. Full changelog after the break.
Today Google announced the Chromebook Pixel, an often-leaked touchscreen notebook computer that runs Chrome OS and is optimized for web browsing and cloud storage. The problem is that there is nothing that really sets the Chromebook Pixel apart from just about any other notebook computer to make it a compelling buy. In fact, it looks like a pretty stupid buy.
Let's talk about the price of the Pixel for a moment. You can buy a fantastic Windows 8 PC or MacBook Air for the same price, both of which would blow away the Pixel in terms of usability. The Chromebook requires you to be connected to the Internet to be useful in any way, since it relies on cloud-based apps. A Mac or PC allows you to actually install apps on them, which you can launch when you are away from Wi-Fi, and get work done in.
Apple has announced an immediate price reduction on the entry-level 128 GB 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, slashing the price by $200 down to $1499. Additionally, for $1699 (the same price that the entry-level model used to be) you can now get the 256 GB version with a faster 2.6 GHz processor.
On the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro side of things, the $2,199 base model now features an upgraded 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 processor (up from a 2.3 GHz chip,) while the top-of-the-line $2,799 model now sports a 2.7 GHz i7 with 16 GB RAM.
As an aside, Apple has also dropped the price of the 13-inch MacBook Air with 256 GB storage--it now sells for $1,399, $100 less than it sold for previously.
Best Buy has a tremendous sale going on today and tomorrow, selling all 2012 MacBook Air models for $200 off. Yep, the latest MacBook Air from Apple can be had for a 20% discount. Pretty insane, and better than any deal you would have found on Black Friday. The sale goes for both the 11-inch models, as well as the 13-inch units as well. This is definitely not one to miss, especially when compared against the Surface Pro, which will cost about $1,020 with Touch Cover keyboard. Here are the links:
- 11-inch MacBook Air 64GB: $799 (regularly $999)
- 11-inch MacBook Air 128GB: $899 (regularly $1099)
- 13-inch MacBook Air 128GB: $999 (regularly $1199)
- 13-inch MacBook Air 256GB: $1299 (regularly $1499)
Speaking of marketing, watch every Apple commercial from 1977 to present day. There's about 485 commercials, which includes the famous Mac vs PC, the technicolored hipster iPod dance ads and, of course, the iconic 1984 Macintosh SuperBowl spot directed by Sir Ridley Scott. One of my favorites, the first iPhone ad 'Surprised' from 2007.
If Apple merchandise is on your holiday buying list this year, you're gonna wanna be sure to check out MacMall's 60-hour Black Friday sale, which features up to $350 off of Mac computers. The sale includes all Macs, so you can even get a nice discount on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display for example. They've got other items as well, including discounts on the iPod touch, Apple TV, and major discounts on a bunch of consumer electronics like digital cameras, Blu-ray players, and more. Definitely a sale to check out to get the jump on your shopping--whether it's for someone else, or yourself. Here's the quick list:
- 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
- 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
- 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 15-inch MacBook Pro
- 11-inch MacBook Air
- 13-inch MacBook Air
- Mac mini
- Mac Pro
- iPod touch (5th generation)
- iPod touch (4th generation)
- Apple TV
MacMall has plenty more where that came from, so head on over and check out their full 60-hour Black Friday 2012 sale for all the deals.
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One of the main new features of OS X Mountain Lion is Power Nap. Power Nap allows your SSD Mac to keep itself updated and synced to the cloud, even while it sleeps. While its a highly-touted feature of Mountain Lion, support for the 2011 and 2012 MacBook Air and the new MacBook Pro with Retina display was left out. Today, Apple released a download that enables Power Nap for the aforementioned MacBook Air units, with the promise that an additional download that'll enable the feature on the MacBook Pro with Retina display is "coming soon." You can get Mountain Lion now for $19.99 on the Mac App Store.
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If you picked up the new MacBook Pro with Retina display, or one of the refreshed MacBook Pro or MacBook Air Apple notebooks, it's always a good thing to consider AppleCare. You get an extended 3-year warranty, but the trick is that you should never buy AppleCare directly from Apple! Instead, buy it from Amazon, and you get it for up to 30% less. What's also nice is that when you resell your Mac, the AppleCare Protection Plan is transferable, and therefore you can charge more. Here's a list of the different AppleCare Protection Plans:
Apple Mobile Devices:
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPad
- AppleCare Protection Plan for all versions of iPhone
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod touch/classic
- AppleCare Protection Plan for iPod nano and iPod shuffle
Apple Mac Computers:
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Laptops 13-inches and below
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Laptops 15-inches and above
- AppleCare Protection Plan - iMac
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Pro
- AppleCare Protection Plan - Mac Mini
Apple is set to release it's next major operating system update, known os OS X Mountain Lion, later this month. In this edition of Ask Andru, Tracy writes in and asks if there is anything she should do to prepare her Mac computers for the Mountain Lion installation. I share some tips on what we can all do to ensure a smooth upgrade experience to Mac OS 10.8.
Question: I hear that Apple will be releasing a new version of OS X shortly. Is there anything I need to do in order to prepare for it to ensure that I can run it? Will it be expensive?
You're correct! Apple announced OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion just five months ago, and it will be available in under two weeks. Mountain Lion will sell exclusively on the Mac App Store for $19.99 (so, not expensive at all!) and will include some nice features, including AirPlay Mirroring from your Mac, tighter iCloud integration, Twitter and Facebook built-in at the system level, Reminders, Notes, Game Center, a new Messages app that will let you send and receive iMessages from the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. In total, there are over 200 new features that Apple is introducing in Mountain Lion.
Apple has relesed the official list of Mac computers that will be able to run its next operating system, OS X Mountain Lion. The good news is that pretty much anyone who bought a Mac in the past four years qualifies, but there are a few exceptions (we're looking at you, Mac mini.) Curious if your Mac fits the bill? Here's the list that breaks down whether you can run OS X 10.8 when Mountain Lion is released later this month:
- iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
- MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
- Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
- Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
- Xserve (Early 2009)
So there you have it. If you're the owner of a Mac mini or Xserve, we feel your pain, but those machines were never the bulk of Apple Macintosh purchases. If you've got something older, your choices are to be stuck on Lion, or to get a new Mac. It's time.
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