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New MacBook Airs What do you think?


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#1 Julie Falling

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:36 PM

I watched the Keynote, and the Airs and upcoming operating systems look really good, I think.  Comments?  Opinions?

 

P.S.  Benchmarks (does not include the faster Air with the i7 processor):  http://appleinsider....l-power-savings.


Edited by Julie Falling, 11 June 2013 - 01:40 PM.

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#2 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:52 PM

I'm running iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 and my feelings are mixed. Apple had certainly been out of control in previous versions with skeuomorphism, but this first version goes too far to the other extreme in places. There's too much white (or lack of color, if you will), and too often a white font is placed over a neon color, making text hard to read.

 

In fact the new system font is going to be more difficult to see for those who have less than perfect eyesight. Look, for example, at the attached screenshot of my email. The preview text is gray and thin. Of course, the image I've attached is large because it's from the iPhone 5's retina screen, but imagine trying to look at that on a regular iPhone-sized screen out in direct sunlight.

 

Attached File  photo.PNG   158.33KB   112 downloads


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#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 01:55 PM

On a related issue, another announcement made yesterday was iWork for iCloud. I hope this doesn't mean that they are going to discontinue the native Mac and iOS versions--although Apple seems to have been very neglectful in ongoing iWork development as it is.

 

I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on iWork or iCloud. Is anyone looking forward to using this? What's the main advantage to it over native versions other than the the ability to edit iWork documents in Windows?


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#4 Julie Falling

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:20 PM

Rick — You're right about the skinny gray font.  I can see that it would be hard to read.  I dislike really skinny fonts in general.  I don't like the tall, narrow ones, either.  I have been using Verdana for years because the font is broad, and the upper case "I" and lower case "l" are easy to distinguish.  I also find fonts with pronounced serifs distracting and busy.  Do you have any choice in the font at all?  Font color?  White on neon colors sounds awful.  Tell them you don't like it so we won't all get stuck with it!
 
I like what was said about Mavericks.  Looks like some really significant improvements:  handling of external monitors & passwords comes to mind.
 
I have no interest at all in having iWork in iCloud.  I just don't work that way.  I am not going to be a happy camper if the installed version goes away.
 
I will say, however, that I am seriously tempted by the new Airs.  I'd max the processor, SSD, and memory, so it would not be cheap.  It would, however, be highly portable, and still less weight & money than the 13" MBPr.  There's a nice discount if ordered from MacMall with an AppleInsider discount code.
 
By the way, does iTunes on your MBPr have any trouble finding its data on an external drive?  Do you just move stuff on and off the laptop as you need it?  Or do you just start from the external and open stuff there to have it play in iTunes?  A symlink?


Edited by Julie Falling, 11 June 2013 - 02:21 PM.

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#5 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 02:43 PM

There's very little that can be done to change the system font other than a way to make it smaller or larger and then the accessibility options, of course. I'm hopeful that things will change before the general release. 

 

Mavericks looks good--not any extreme changes as in iOS. I hope to be able to install Mavericks in the next day or two. 

 

The battery life on the new Airs will be nice. They aren't retina displays though, right?

 

As for iTunes with an external drive, I've never had any real problem. The path for my data is set in Preferences: Advanced, and I try very hard not to ever launch iTunes unless my external drive is connected. If I do launch it without the external drive and content downloads, it will be placed in the regular iTunes music folder on the main drive. Then later, I can choose File: Library: Organize Library: Consolidate Files, and any content is moved to the external drive. Then I have to manually delete any duplicated content still on the main drive. 


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#6 Julie Falling

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:01 PM

You're right — no Retina on the Airs.  The native resolution on my 2008 MBP is 1440 x 900.  That is also what the resolution is on the new 13" Airs, but with a screen that is 2" smaller.  That means crisper text, right?  While it does not approach the resolution of the 13" MBPr (2560 x 1600), it's $350 cheaper.  I'm going to pray about this and look at our local reseller.  My MBP is 4-1/2+ years old.  I can wait until the new MBP Retinas come out.  But is it worth the extra bucks for the really nice screen?  Regular Mac laptops have really good screens.  Hmm.


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#7 Daniel Semler

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:19 PM

Hey Rick,

 

  Do you know if the iCloud permits encryption using private keys on the client (ie. on the users' own machine) so that Apple infrastructure never has access to the unencrypted content ? The iCloud features page doesn't make this clear.

 

  That's my main concern with Cloud anything. And I'd stay away from iWork for iCloud probably even if I could encrypt with my own keys, but certainly if not.

 

thx

D


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#8 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

I don't disagree with you about the screens on regular Macs, but I sure do like my retina display.

It would not surprise me if all the MacBooks get updated to the new Haswell processors before the end of the year.

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#9 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:23 PM

Daniel, that's a good question about iCloud (and any cloud service). I don't know the answer, but I bet you could find out on Apple's forums.

If you find out, let us know.

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#10 Timothy Jenney

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:30 PM

I am a fan of skeuomorphism, though I know it's had its opponents. I don't know that I am going to care for iOS 7's look. If this is a preview of OSX 10.9, I probably won't care for its overall look either. On the plus side, the designing team for Accordance 10 now looks prophetic. 10's lack of textures fits the direction Apple is moving. Honor is due.

 

I guess I'll just wrap my MBP and iPhone in leather and great velvet and call it a day... (sigh)


Edited by Timothy Jenney, 11 June 2013 - 04:30 PM.

Blessings,
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#11 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:32 PM

OS X does not seem to have had as radical of a redesign as iOS. They've removed leather stitching from the calendar, though, which was always unnecessary.

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#12 Julie Falling

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:33 PM

I agree that the move to Haswell processors in the rest of the laptops will happen this year, maybe even before fall.

 

As far as screens go, I guess I need to go stare at some to see if my astigmatism makes them all fuzzy, or if the Retina screen is clearer.


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64 GB

 

 

 

 


#13 Daniel Semler

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 05:36 PM

Looks like this issue of privacy has been flogged on the Apple forums and the answer is basically no. Apple's own ads for the iCloud indicate that they have the encryption keys and that they don't hand them out willy nilly - the salient point being they have the keys. If you want control over your keys you need something like Spideroak, it would appear.

 

Of course one could get truly paranoid and ask "why should one believe a piece of software that claims to encrypt on the client in fact does so ?" but ....

 

Apple's not unique in this I might add. I suspect one could interpose an Applescript or Automator task to encrypt locally before pushing to the cloud but that would not work for iWork unless they've been nice enough to put a plugin structure in place. And it wouldn't be as convenient.

 

Thx

D


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#14 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 08:46 PM

Saw this today:

 

"Jony Ive Redesigns Things"

 

Here's the Jony Ive redesigned dollar bill:

 

Attached File  tumblr_mo79dsAycX1svn1xeo1_1280.png   254.8KB   33 downloads


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#15 David Voth

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 10:37 PM

I'm looking forward to having iBooks on the Mac. I don't have an iPad so it will be good to have full access to what is available. Right now I just have the iPhone version on my iPod Touch.

 

Rick: The iCloud version of iWork isn't meant to replace the native apps, but work with them. From what I understand there will be new versions of the native apps coming out sometime.


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#16 Alex H.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 01:16 AM

Personally I'm not fussed either way by the redesigned iOS 7, although I would prefer the fonts to be more legible, given what others have said. Unless it was hideous, I'd probably have been happy whatever they did.

 

On a related issue, another announcement made yesterday was iWork for iCloud. I hope this doesn't mean that they are going to discontinue the native Mac and iOS versions--although Apple seems to have been very neglectful in ongoing iWork development as it is.

 

I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts on iWork or iCloud. Is anyone looking forward to using this? What's the main advantage to it over native versions other than the the ability to edit iWork documents in Windows?

 

I think Apple will be maintaining iWork apps - they'd better! AFAIK the web version won't be nearly as functional as the apps, although it's apparently pretty darned good for a web service.

 

Was thinking about this today and realised it will be a boon for me.  I do a lot of preparation for lecturing at home, and prefer using Pages. I then download the files from Dropbox on old College PPC Macs for printing. That means a lot of fluffing around with file formats. This makes iCloud make a whole lot of sense to me - now I'll keep everything in iCloud and don't have to worry what format it's in. 

 

Looks like this issue of privacy has been flogged on the Apple forums and the answer is basically no. Apple's own ads for the iCloud indicate that they have the encryption keys and that they don't hand them out willy nilly - the salient point being they have the keys. If you want control over your keys you need something like Spideroak, it would appear.

 

Thx

D

 

So do you mean that Apple can access my passwords? (I know they wouldn't bother, but this whole NSA thing has me spooked, especially as a 'foreigner' using US companies for cloud services.) I know, I know, but it's the principle. And it seems pretty pointless having strong master password protection if someone else, under any circumstances, can circumvent them. If Apple can access my iCloud keychain I guess 1Password will keep my business. Might be handy for my wife though, her lack of password security drives me crazy.

 

But overall I'm pretty happy with both OS updates and wonder how they might affect Accordance, if at all.


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#17 Daniel Semler

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:32 AM

Hi Alex,

 

  I wasn't concerned about passwords really. The point I was getting at was different. Unlike your passwords your data in stored in unencrypted form, usually. Now if I put that content into the cloud somewhere, is it encrypted and if so when and by whom ? It could be encrypted on the client before uploading or on the server after uploading. If its done on the client before upload then you have the keys. If its done on the server they either have the keys or got them from the client in which case they have them. So my question was, in the case of iCloud, do I control visibility of my data ?

 

  Its certainly true the cloud is handy but ...

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 10.4.3.2                     Accordance 10.4.3.2 and Aleph 10.4.3.2
      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1

#18 Alex H.

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 06:50 AM

Daniel, I believe data is encrypted in transit and maybe on the server, but Apple does keep a copy of the key. As do Google, Dropbox, etc. There are services that will encrypt it prior to sending (eg Box Cryptor which encrypts prior to loading into DropBox, or SpiderOak et al which are encrypted cloud services.) but that gets difficult with inter-app sharing on mobile devices. This is why I'm concerned about Keychain in iCloud. It's one thing for Apple to hold data I want to give them, completely another to give them the keys to all my identities and logins, regardless of how trustworthy I believe they are. It only takes one security slip, and we know they happen.

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#19 Daniel Semler

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 08:28 AM

Encryption in transit and on the server are not the same thing. HTTPS/SSL/TLS will encrypt for transport over the network because the network is open to all kinds of compromise. But the info once on one either the client or server is decrypted for use by the client or server. It is then either encrypted again for storage to protect against compromise of the storage medium. Of course if its encrypted on the client before sending the SSL encryption it not necessary, at least for that data though other parts of the transmission require it.  Yes Spideroak and so on are useful for this and yep encryption and privacy make for difficulties in usability but its only a matter of designing it in properly and it can be done well or poorly.

 

And agreed giving out all your keys into the cloud is not how I'd do it anyway. Take the hit for each device and provision the security credentials for each for the services you use on that device. Pushing credentials through another service and pulling them down again just doesn't sound as secure to me. I don't cache credentials except in my head - I don't use keychains, and I reenter credentials as required to get into the services when needed. Its just safer I believe.

 

Totally agreed that one slip is all that's required to lose control of the data. So only put on the web what you are prepared to lose. As the saying goes "there's privacy and there's the web".

 

Thx

D


Accordance Configurations :
 
Mac : 2009 27" iMac                 Windows : HP 4540s laptop
      Intel Core Duo                          Intel i5 Ivy Bridge
      12GB RAM                                8GB RAM
      Accordance 10.4.3.2                     Accordance 10.4.3.2 and Aleph 10.4.3.2
      OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)                    Win 7 Professional x64 SP1

#20 Julie Falling

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 02:39 PM

As far as screens go, I guess I need to go stare at some to see if my astigmatism makes them all fuzzy, or if the Retina screen is clearer.

 

Well, I examined a 13" MBPr right next to a 13" Air (not new models but resolution on the Air hasn't changed).  I took them to the same web page.  I was unable to distinguish any appreciable difference.  I guess my astigmatism is "the great equalizer" — the extra bucks for a Retina display would just not pay off for me.  I placed an order for a new 13" MBA from MacMall with a $60 discount with code/coupon.  They won't be in stock until next week.  Meanwhile, the new Airs have been getting great reviews from the geeky websites:  

 

http://www.macrumors...ance-increases/.


Julia Falling

 

Accordance 

MacBook Air Yosemite

mid-2013 1.7 GHz Intel Core i7 (2 cores)

8 GB RAM; 512 G SSD

 

Mac mini Yosemite

late-2012 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 (4 cores)

16 GB RAM; 1.12  TB Fusion Drive

 

iPad Air 1 iOS 8.1

64 GB

 

 

 

 





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