Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apple's first R&D center outside the US - in Israel

This looks more certain now. According to the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz, Apple will open its first R&D center outside the US, in Israel. Heading the center will be Aharon Aharon, an Israeli entrepreneur, who is in Cupertino right now, preparing for the job.

Aharon will probably be a Senior VP for VLSI as well, according to the newspaper sources.

Here is the link to the original article (in Hebrew), though you can run it through your favorite translation web site.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Google Currents Review - iOS

I was excited about Google Currents, especially about it's Google Reader support. I currently use Reeder and Early Edition 2, and I was sure Currents would replace them all.

What's the deal with Google Currents? Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

Apparently, you need to add your Google Reader feeds one by one! Unless I've missed something, this is the worst support of Google Reader that I have ever seen. I haven't even tried it to see if it actually supports syncing with Google Reader (i.e. if I read a story on Currents, will it disappear from Reader).

This is pretty bad... So long Google Currents...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

iTunes Match is about to go live?

The music settings in ios5 have a new iTunes match option.
Turning it on results in a message you need to enable it on iTunes on your computer (so much for a computer-less environment).

Can't wait to get home and check this out.

Update: The iTunes Match on the iTunes Store is still "Coming Soon". Hope that it's really soon.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Slow OS X Lion App Store - Solved!

One of the biggest features of the new version of Lion - 10.7.2, the bug that caused the App Store to be extremely slow is now gone!

To anyone who hasn't witnessed it, the App Store was so slow, it was impossible to do anything with it. You'd open it up and see the beach ball for 10 seconds. You would click on a link, and again, the beach ball for a few seconds. It was virtually useless.

So if you haven't upgraded to 10.7.2 for the iCloud support, at least to it for this bug fix!

The iPhone cannot be synced. The required disk cannot be found. - on a Mac - Solved

Well, I thought that iPhone on a Mac would work without issues. Alas, that is not the case.

Yesterday, when trying to sync (wirelessly or wired), I got this annoying error: The iPhone cannot be synced. The required disk cannot be found.

It took me a couple of hours to find the solution on the web. I did find a few solutions, though they required tons of work (search for a problematic app and remove it, etc...).

The simple solution (OS X - Lion) is this - run Disk Utility, select your HD, and click Repair Disk Permissions.

It took half an hour, but solved this issue completely.

Do make sure to back up your machine regularly though. I have no idea if this could actually damage your data.

Airplay Mirroring on iOS 5 with iPad 2

This was one of the features that I was waiting most for - Airplay mirroring with iPad 2, using Apple TV. I wanted to use this feature for playing games on the TV,  as well as FaceTime.

Here are the results so far:

Fifa 12 - wouldn't work at all - got stuck at the game loading screen.
Zombie Highway and Asphalt 6 - working, but with a lag. In Asphalt 6 I kept crashing, and ZH wasn't that good either.

FaceTime was OK, with a slight lag also.

I guess it would work nice for presentations and such, but for video games, it appears to slow.

What do you think?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cannot Sync Notes to iCloud in iOS5

Among the few issues I had while upgrading to iOS 5, one of them was pretty annoying - my iPhone couldn't sync Notes to my iPad.

I'll start at the beginning. My iPhone 4 kept failing to install iOS 5, so I installed my iPad 2 first. When I set up my iCloud sync for Notes, I was prompted to create a .me email account to be used for syncing. I did so, and it looked like it was working. When I opened Notes, I had an Accounts button, and there I could choose iCloud. Also, in Settings -> Notes, I could choose iCloud as the Default Account.

Later I successfully upgraded my iPhone, and set it to sync notes, but when I went into Notes, I noticed that there was no iCloud option. Furthermore, on my iPad, if I'd go to Settings -> iCloud -> Account, I would see an Advanced section at the bottom, with my .me account, but it was missing from the iPhone.

What I did to solve this was on the iPhone, go to Settings -> iCloud, and click Delete Account (make sure you have everything backed up!!!), reboot the iPhone, and set iCloud again. This time everything worked great, and I got the .me account added to my iCloud settings.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Air Display for iOS / Mac Review

Air Display allows you to extend your desktop to an iPad / iPhone. As simple as that. You only have to be on the same network for it to work.

You can either mirror what you see on your main display (but you would have to lower your resolution to that of the iPad), or have your iDevice act as a secondary screen.

Some useful examples. If you want to show a web page or document to someone outside your office, you can simply drag the window to your iDevice, and take the window with you (make sure to disable the screen saver first!).
If you want to see Flash enabled sites on your iPad, this is also possible, through this screen sharing.

You cannot type in the secondary screen, unless you have an on screen keyboard there as well. However, you can click, right-click, and scroll.

One important thing, which I was not aware of. As it is an extension of your desktop, when you switch desktops on your Mac, you also switch the desktop on the secondary screen (iDevice). This means that if you want to use Air Display to constantly show the same thing while you continue to work on your Mac and switch desktops, it won't work.

Anyway, I highly recommend this to anyone needing a second screen, and that already has an iPad. It works pretty fast (at least on my setup)!

iTunes link

Friday, September 9, 2011

The official Blogger app for iOS is here!

Well, this does come out after I needed a good Blogger app, but at least it is out!

Blogger on iTunes

Overall it looks great and syncs with the web version. As I'm writing this post I see this post as a draft on my Blogger app.

The post interface itself has all that you need. Location services, inserting images from your Camera Roll, or new pictures just taken.

I don't see an option to format your text though.

Anyway, it's about time!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cannot sync photos to iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch

I ran into this problem which drove me crazy these last couple of days.
When I tried to sync photos to my iPhone or iPad, I would get this message:
Some of your photos, including the photo Photo.JPG were not copied to the iPhone because they cannot be displayed on your iPhone
At first I thought the problem was with specific photos, but then I saw that event photos that synced once do not sync now.
I have searched the web a while before I found the answer, which seems specific to Vista and Windows 7.

The main solution is to run iTunes as Administrator, and then the sync would work! You may need to delete the "iPod Photo Cache" folder which is in your photos sync folder before it would work, but in my case simply deleting it didn't help, and I needed to run as Administrator as well.

Hope this post saves you some time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Apple TV 2 – Philips and Sony TV Owners - Colors Change to Green and Pink

I recently got an Apple TV 2 (ATV2). Overall, a product with great potential, and I promise to review all the positive aspects, once the following huge bug will be resolved.
It appears that if you own certain Sony or Philips (mine is Philips 9664) TVs, you may get a very frustrating experience. After 20 or 30 minutes of watching, the colors get warped, and change into green and pink. This is regardless of what you are watching (e.g. SD or HD content, pictures, or just the menu of the ATV2). The only way to fix it is to switch to another input (e.g. switch to your DVD), and then switch back to the ATV2.
There is a huge topic about it in the official Apple support forum (, with over 600 replies and over 100,000 views! Unfortunately there is no official Apple response so far, and the latest software update hasn't solved it. According to people on this thread, Apple either claims that they are working on the problem, or that this is a problem with the TV manufacturer. As I don't see either Sony or Philips doing anything about it, if Apple doesn't solve this, these are $99 that were thrown down the drain.
Apparently the problem is with how the HDMI handshake between ATV2 and the TV is performed, so you can see why each manufacturer would say that the problem is with the other manufacturer, but I assume that it would be easier for Apple to solve this, or at least put a disclaimer that this product doesn't work correctly with the following TVs.
There is another problem, which I'm sure is connected to the first one. From time to time, when I try to play HD content, I get this message:
This content requires HDCP for playback. HDCP isn't supported by your HDMI connection.
Now, the same content can play without a problem some times, and other times it would display this message, so I assume it has to do with the HDMI implementation.
Overall, this is a big disappointment. I was looking at several streamers, and chose Apple TV 2 despite its shortcoming compared to other streamers. I did so because of the very good experience I have with iPhone 4 and iPad, and I wanted something that would be as painless to operate as these two. Obviously Apple has messed up on this, and I hope they have a solution soon.

Update long overdue: it is finally working correctly!