Monday Morning News
If the new MacBook only comes with one USB port — one, singular, lonely, USB port — how will you charge it? If Apple were to drop MagSafe from the new MacBook, John Gruber summarises a few of the more popular opinions. Like iPads, maybe the new MacBook will have good enough battery life that you’ll be able to use it unplugged most of the time. Maybe it’ll even charge via inductive currents, like the Apple Watch.
Notably, Gruber calls the new machine a MacBook. Not an Air or a Pro, but just a MacBook. In fact, Jason Snell says the machine may return the MacBook Air back to its roots, explaining that if Apple had the opportunity to remove a bunch of features and eschew expected functionality for a thinner and lighter laptop, they wouldn’t even have to think about it.
If you look at Flickr’s current camera statistics, you’ll see that the iPhone dominates the charts. Indeed, Apple’s smartphone was the most popular camera of the photo-sharing site in in 2014, with the iPhone 5 taking out the top spot, closely followed by the 4S and then the original 4.
A bunch of new products were announced at CES, some of them HomeKit compatible, others, not so much. Whether you plan on picking up a HomeKit powerpoint, lightbulb, door lock, or internet-connected toaster, The Verge says you’ll need an Apple TV if you want to control them away from home. The Apple TV will act like a sort of HomeKit hub when you’re away, although you’ll still be able to ask Siri to turn the lights off when you’re at home — that part won’t need an Apple TV.
Speaking of things from CES, OWC announced its Envoy Pro Mini product, a SSD in a convenient thumb drive/USB stick form factor. Both 120GB and 240GB capacities will be available later this month, with pricing at US$120 and US$200, respectively. Also from CES is this iPhone case that claims to double your signal strength and improve the battery life of your iPhone. If you ask it nicely, I’m sure it’ll make your coffee in the morning, too.
Apple’s latest window display at their Regent Street location in London shows off a row of iPads with Smart Covers that automatically open and close. While the automatic opening and closing part isn’t usually a feature of the Smart Cover, there’s a good chance magnets are involved in the process, perhaps hidden away under the bench the iPads sit on.
Re/code reports Apple has hired a former HP exec to boost corporate sales. John Solomon was a former exec at HP, where he headed up HP’s printing and personal systems group. It’s unclear what his exact role at Apple is, although there’s a good chance he’s at Apple to figure out how to sell new devices in previously unexplored markets.
The latest security concern regarding Apple’s Spotlight in Yosemite involves the search tool leaking IP addresses and other system details to spammers. Turning off the option to show “Mail and Messages” results in the Spotlight results preference pane fixes the leak, at least until Apple releases an official fix.
NewerTech has released a VESA mounting kit for post-2012 iMacs, which either come with the VESA mount when you order them or don’t. Apple does offer a VESA mounting kit for older iMacs, but the newer ones require it to be ordered along with the machine itself, like CPU and SSD upgrades.
Editing plist files in OS X 10.9 Mavericks and OS X 10.10 Yosemite is a little trickier than it was, thanks to some kind of preference caching. But you can still do it, provided you run an extra command or two when you’re tinkering about.
If you have a need for generating static websites, you might want to look at Cactus for Mac. It’s a fast, easy, and free static site generator.
Last weekend marked eight years of the iPhone. It’s almost hard to believe it’s been around for that long, but that iPhone announcement keynote at Macworld 2007 was one of Steve Jobs’ best.