Apple’s (AAPL) success is attributable to a number of things, and the $1 billion the company spends annually promoting its wares certainly plays a significant role. Its most recent round of Mac commercials was universally panned, however, with one widely respected industry executive going as far as to say the public’s “gagging response” to the ads was well deserved. The ads were pulled after their first week on air during the Olympics and now Advertising Age reports that Scott Trattner, the executive creative director behind the commercials, has left his job at TBWA/Media Arts Lab and moved to a new agency. Trattner would not confirm that the Genius ads had anything to do with his departure from TBWA.
Fans of Apple’s (AAPL) new Macbook Pro may love their shiny new Retina displays, but they may also be disappointed to see that many popular sites and apps aren’t yet optimized for the high-definition screen. But Ars Technica reports that help for these users has arrived in the form of a new website called RetinaMacApps.com, which provides a full list of all apps that have been updated for the Retina display. As Ars notes, developers need to notify the website once they optimize their apps for Retina displays since the site itself can’t possibly keep track of every Mac app available. Apps that have made the cut for Retina use so far include Google’s (GOOG) Chrome browser, Twitterific and Evernote. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) history of creating advertisements featuring smug, cocky “geniuses” goes back well before the recent “Genius” ads and even before the old-school “Mac-versus-PC” ads. In spite of the company’s history, 9to5Mac has found that current Google (GOOG) software engineer and Macintosh co-creator Andy Hertzfeld has posted a video on his Google+ page showing an unaired Mac ad from 1983 that was deemed “too self-congratulatory” for humans to stomach. More →
Apple’s (AAPL) new television commercials for its Mac computers attempt to target a new audience but according to widespread chatter on the Internet, they fail pretty miserably. The new ads, which focus on Apple Store Geniuses highlighting key benefits of Apple’s computers, have been panned by pundits and consumers alike. Now, however, the new ads have drawn fire from widely respected advertising executive Ken Segall, who says the ads are “causing a widespread gagging response, and deservedly so.” Segall is known for naming Apple’s iMac and producing a number of Apple ads during the 12 years he spent working alongside Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. “I honestly can’t remember a single Apple campaign that’s been received so poorly,” Segall wrote on his blog. He did note that Apple will likely respond to criticism by reworking its new Mac ads, and he says the company has bounced back from bad ad runs several times in the past. One of Apple’s new ads, titled “Basically,” follows below. More →
Windows and Mac users worried about not being able to play Rovio’s new hit iOS and Android game Amazing Alex can rest easy: Rovio has not forsaken you. Per The Verge, Rovio’s newest game will be available on Windows PCs, Windows Phone devices and Mac OS computers in the near future. The company’s official Twitter feed says that the Windows and Mac versions of the game “are to come later, post launch,” although there is currently no timeline for when the new versions of the game will be released. Rovio launched Amazing Alex for iOS and Android devices earlier this week and it quickly became the iOS App Store’s top paid app. More →
Shipments of Apple computers appear to have outgrown Windows PC shipments for the 25th consecutive quarter in Q2 2012, reports Fortune’s Philip Elmer-Dewitt. Following the release of Gartner’s second-quarter PC market estimates, Fortune has published the results of a survey that polled 61 different analysts in search of a consensus. The results are in: Wall Street analysts see Apple having shipped 4.41 million Macs last quarter, and independent analysts put the figure at 4.49 million. In either case, Apple, which shipped 3.95 million Macs in the second calendar quarter last year, would have enjoyed growth that handily tops the decline the global Windows PC market saw in the June quarter. Of course, it’s comparatively easy to grow when you have nowhere to go but up — as of the end of June, Net Applications estimates Microsoft’s share of the desktop operating system market to be 92.23% compared to just 6.72% for the Mac platform. More →
Tweetbot is certainly a top contender for best Twitter app on iOS, but there has always been a Mac counterpart missing. While it was teased for a few weeks, Tweetbot for Mac has finally been revealed, and it’s even available for download right this second as a public alpha. This means it might crash, or some features will be broken, but it gives the public a great way to see how the app will take shape over the coming days. Here are some screenshots of it in action:
Plenty has been said about Apple’s WWDC 2012 conference, which takes place starting on Monday next week, but if you haven’t been furiously digging and following along, here are our best guesses based on what we’ve heard from our sources, what other sites have reported, and common sense. More →
AppleInsider scored a leaked list of part numbers for new Apple hardware and it looks as though Apple is preparing a big refresh for the bulk of its Mac lineup. AppleInsider’s Neil Hughes speculates that the parts could mean as many as “14 new Mac models” arriving at Apple’s WWDC next week, which would represent a truly massive overhaul. Included on the list were parts for new versions of the MacBook Pro, the iMac 21.5, the iMac 27, the MacBook Air and the Mac Pro. 9to5Mac’s Seth Weintraub, who also received a copy of the list, speculated that there would be three new Mac Pros released: an entry-level Mac Pro for $2,999.00, a server Mac Pro for $4,599.00 and a high-end Mac Pro for $3599.00. No new Macs have been confirmed at this point, however, so we’ll likely have to wait for WWDC next week to see exactly what Apple has in store.
Neal O’Farrell, executive director of the nonprofit Identity Theft Council, spoke about the seriousness of mobile security as part of San Francisco Small Business Week, Cult Of Mac reported. “There were more data breaches than U.S. residents last year and more cases of identity theft than just about all other crimes combined,” O’Farrell said, adding that unless users are encrypting their devices, they are essentially asking for trouble. “You’ve got to wake up [and] protect yourself, even if you use a Mac,” he said, citing the massive Flashback virus that affected more than 600,000 Mac computers. O’Farrell went on to warn that, “Eight out of ten mobile banking apps have security flaws, but Apple and the banks don’t want you to know that.” He didn’t give specifics, but did state, “I’ll wait another 20 years to stick my toe in that pond.” O’Ferrel is a security consultant who has advised organizations including Toyota, Merrill Lynch, Cost Plus World Market and the Bulgarian Government. More →
Apple on Wednesday released the latest update to its OS X Lion operating system, OS X 10.7.4. Along with a number of minor bug fixes and a security update to address a vulnerability in FileVault, the update included behind-the-scenes changes that will pave the way for future Macs with high-resolution Retina displays, according to Apple Insider. The Cupertino-based company has updated a number of apps — including the built-in TextEdit app — with double-resolution icons, increasing their sizes from 512 x 512 pixels to 1,024 x 1,024 pixels. The move suggests that Apple is planning to introduce new MacBooks with ultra-high-resolution screens, as it did with the Retina displays found on its iPhone and iPads. More →
Apple on Wednesday released an update to its desktop operating system. OS X Lion 10.7.4 contains a number of minor fixes as well as a security update that addresses the FileVault password security issue uncovered recently. The bug made users’ passwords vulnerable by storing them in plain text format. Apple’s 10.7.4 release notes are as follows:
The 10.7.4 update is recommended for all OS X Lion users and includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility, and security of your Mac including fixes that:
- Resolve an issue where the “Reopen windows when logging back in” setting is always enabled
- Improve compatibility with certain British third-party USB keyboards
- Address an issue that may prevent files from being saved to a server
- Improve the reliability of copying files to an SMB server
For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5167.
For information on the security content of this update, please visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222.
The OS X Lion 10.7.4 update can be downloaded immediately through the integrated software update utility in OS X.
Microsoft researchers recently discovered a piece of Mac OS X malware that exploits a three-year-old flaw in old versions of Office for Mac. The threat uses a multi-stage attack, just like a Windows virus would. While Microsoft did fix the problem in 2009, the software giant notes that not every machine is up-to-date. The company’s data indicates, however, that the malware is not widespread. “No operating system that exists outside a laboratory is entirely immune to malware,” Microsoft stated on its blog. “As different operating systems continue to gain in popularity they attract more attention from would-be attackers – especially since, as we see in the example analysis above, the techniques and understanding needed to do so may be much the same as those used against other platforms. And even though an operating system may include many risk-reducing mitigation technologies, any machine’s defenses against vulnerabilities are directly related to how current its security updates for applications are kept.” Microsoft concludes by warning users of Office 2004 for Mac, Office 2008 for Mac or Open XML File Format Converter for Mac to update their software in order to protect themselves from possible threats. More →