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Entries in Apple (10)

Tuesday
Mar202012

iPad 3 v iPad 1

We received our two iPad 3's yesterday (for the sake of clarity I'll call in an iPad 3 and not just an iPad) and I resisted the temptation to open them at work, where they were delivered to, and instead waited until the evening where I could open them at home with my wife.

After syncing our iPad 1's to iTunes we then excitedly plugged our iPad 3's in and waited for everything to be copied back over. Once everything had been copied over I picked mine up to start using it. While the screen was undoubtedly better, it didn't really seem that much better. Perhaps I need to have some HD content on it to really appreciate it. My photos looked a bit better but didn't really wow me and I suspect I'll need to re export them at the iPad 3's native resolution to be able to appreciate the difference.

What I did find very disappointing though was the curved edge of the iPad 3. While iPad 2 owners will be used to this, coming from the flat edged iPad 1 I found it very awkward to plug the connector in, to swap out the SIM card and to easily adjust the volume control. The more I try to use it the more I come to hate this aspect of the design and can't understand how Apple came up with such an awkward curved edge on which to place these controls and sockets.

I currently feel very underwhelmed by the iPad 3 and when I went to bed it was my trusty old flat edged iPad 1 that I took with me to catch up on my favourite news feeds and Zite articles.

Sunday
Mar112012

Zeppelin Air and Airplay

We bought a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air last year from Apple as it was £200 cheaper than Amazon. Despite spending hours, if not days, trying to get it working on our Netgear wireless network I had no success at all. In the end I used it with an old Apple iPod sitting on its dock, which worked, but wasn't as flexible as using AirPlay from my iPhone.

With the purchase and setting up of our new Apple Airport Extreme base station and using Apple Airport Express to extend the range I tried again to set up the B&W Zeppelin Air and it connected to our wireless network first time.

I've absolutely no idea why the Zeppelin wouldn't work on our Netgear router's wireless network but would work fine on the Apple Airport wireless network, with the same wireless network name (SSID) and password, but I was happy that it was now working.

Another problem now reared its head - airplaying anything from my iPhone 4S worked fine for a few seconds, or maybe a minute if I was lucky, and then it stopped. Searching online for the problem showed a huge thread about the issue on the Apple support forums and the issue seemed particular to just the iPhone 4S. Streaming from other devices or computers worked fine so for a while I used my iPhone 4S as a remote for iTunes on my Mac Pro to stream the music or podcast to the Zeppelin. As a workaround it worked fine but it wasn't ideal.

In the end the iOS 5.1 update cured the problem and at last it now works exactly as it was meant to.

Zeppelin Air and Airplay
We bought a Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air last year from Apple as it was £200 cheaper than Amazon. Despite spending hours, if not days, trying to get it working on our Netgear wireless network I had no success at all. In the end I used it with an old Apple iPod sitting on its dock, which worked, but wasn't as flexible as using AirPlay from my iPhone.

With the purchase and setting up of our new Apple Airport Extreme base station and using Apple Airport Express to extend the range I tried again to set up the B&W Zeppelin Air and it connected to our wireless network first time.

I've absolutely no idea why the Zeppelin wouldn't work on our Netgear router's wireless network but would work fine on the Apple Airport wireless network, with the same wireless network name (SSID) and password, but I was happy that it was now working.

Another problem now reared its head - airplaying anything from my iPhone 4S worked fine for a few seconds, or maybe a minute if I was lucky, and then it stopped. Searching online for the problem showed a huge thread about the issue on th Apple support forums and the issue seemed particular to just the iPhone 4S. Streaming from other devices or computers worked fine so for a while I used my iPhone 4S as a remote for iTunes on my Mac Pro to stream the music or podcast to the Zeppelin. As a workaround it worked fine but it wasn't ideal.

In the end the iOS 5.1 update cured the problem and at last it now works exactly as it was meant to. 
Thursday
Mar082012

The new iPad

I spent an hour or so watching the various live blogs of Apple's iPad presentation and as original iPad owners we had decided to upgrade to the latest model. Well, that was the plan anyway, but it was thwarted by the UK apple store being closed all evening as presumably it couldn't handle the traffic placed on its servers.

After spending a fruitless (groan) evening waiting for the store to open I went to bed with my iPad; the plan being that if I woke up in the night I'd check if the store was open and the nip downstairs and order a couple on from my desktop.

Sure enough I woke at 03:00 this morning an checked my Ipad - the UK Apple seemed to be working fine so I sprang out of bed and went downstairs to quickly order two black 64GB wifi and 4G iPads.

A few minuted later they were in my basket and checked out. I decided to leave the issue of covers / cases until the morning.

Later this morning at work I ordered a couple of the plastic smart covers, intending to get a proper sleeve or case once they were being made, and also popped the new model of the Apple TV into my basket on the way to the checkout.

Friday
Mar022012

Apple AirPort Extreme and Express

I'd read an article on Terry White's Tech Blog at http://terrywhite.com/techblog/travel-tip-wired-internet-wireless/ about sharing wired internet around a hotel room using an Apple Airport Express. This struck a chord with me as several times we'd found ourselves in a hotel room with free wired internet but no wi-fi option. During our stay in Skipton we found ourselves in the same situation; free wired internet in the room, which was not use to us with our iPhones, iPads and Macbook Airs (no ethernet port). If we stood in the window we could leach the weak wi-fi signal from the hotel's bar area, which wasn't very convenient.

I'd never really understood the relationship between the Airport Extreme and Airport Express, and how they worked together, but it suddenly now dawned on me how they worked together. There was no Apple store near Skipton, but I did manage to find a solitary Airport Express in a Curry's shop in Leeds and snapped it up. Unfortunately I couldn't set it up in our hotel room as I need to connect to it by ethernet cable and I didn't have a suitable port on my Air.

Once home I plugged it in and had it working in under a minute.

I then ordered an Apple Airport Extreme base station and added that to our network, turning off the wireless in the Netgear router so there was no clash. The Airport Express was configured to extend the wireless network and for the first time we had a half decent wireless signal in our kitchen.

A further Airport Express was added in the kitchen and we now had a rock solid wireless network all around our house. I'll probably add a further Airport Express in the lounge to enable our Freesat box to be plugged in to it and give us BBC iPlayer on the television.

Sunday
Aug072011

London

We left my mother to go to a church service and my wife and I took the underground to Covent Garden to visit the Apple shop. As it wasn't open yet we wandered around the area and I spotted a Rohan shop so I popped in and ended up buying a Rohan Affinity jacket.

Eventually the Apple store opened and we went inside to look at the MacBook Air. We'd bought one a few months earlier as a sort of wedding anniversary present for ourselves but we thought it was so good that one each was the way to go. A new model of the Air had recently been released with better spec and an illuminated keyboard so my wife bought the top spec 13" model for herself. Needless to say I was a bit envious, but even the slightly older model that was now mine alone was far more useful to us that the much heavier MacBook Pro we had before.

In the afternoon we met up with my mother and had an excellent Duck tour around London and on the Thames. We'd booked the World War II themed tour which was far more interesting and entertaining than the standard tour.

In the evening we went to Chinatown and enjoyed a meal at the  Golden Pagoda, although we could have done without the owner's mockney "lovely jubbly " comments.

We then returned to our hotel to watch news of the riots spreading to other parts of London as emergency service sirens blared past our hotel room during the night.