This Week @ MacsWest
Teaching, Helping, Learning and Having Fun!
• Monday, May 20
• Tuesday, May 21
1:00 PM – Q&A Session, hosted by Wally Bock, Palo Verde Room, until 2:00 PM
• Wednesday, May 22
• Thursday, May 23
• Friday, May 24
1:00 PM – NO MEETING — Memorial Day Holiday Celebration
• Saturday, May 25
Apple developer conference sells out in just two minutes
It took only two minutes for app developers to buy every last $1,600 ticket to Apple's annual conference when they went on sale Thursday morning.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference has sold out every year going back to 2008, but this year tickets sold out faster than ever before even though the company gave developers only one day of notice before they went on sale. About 5,000 people usually attend the conference.
Tickets sold out so quickly it prompted a few users to joke that Apple should follow in the footsteps of the CoachellaValley Music and Arts Festival and hold the conference twice on separate weeks.
Wouldn’t mind if Apple took a page from Coachella’s book and made WWDC two separate weeks.— Jonathan Lally (@jonathanlally) April 25, 2013
In 2012, tickets also sold out quickly, but it took nearly two hours before they finally ran out. According to MacRumors, it took the conference 12 hours to sell out in 2011 and more than a week in 2010.
Apple announces WWDC 2013 details, promises new iOS and OSX builds
Apple has announced details of this year's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, promising to deliver attendees a new build of iOS and OSX.
The conference, which is the largest of its kind aimed specifically at iOS and OSX developers, will take place from 10 to 14 June 2013 in its regular home at San Francisco's Moscone West conference centre.
"Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we're excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps. We can't wait to get new versions of iOS and OS X into their hands at WWDC," Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, said in a statement.
In addition to a first look at the newsest Apple mobile and desktop software, delegates can also attend technical sessions, get access to Apple engineers running hands-on labs, and the opportunity to network with thousands of other Apple developers.
Tickets for the event go on sale at 10AM PDT (6pm BST) on 25 April, but if you're interested you'll likely have to move fast — last year's WWDC 2012 sold out in record time.
Each ticket costs $1,599 (£1,047) and you'll need to be a member of the iOS Developer Program, iOS Developer Enterprise Program, or the Mac Developer Program, Apple notes on its WWDC website. Tickets are limited to one per person, or five per organization.
Are cash registers on their way out?
NEW YORK (AP) — Ka-ching! The cash register may be on its final sale.
Stores across the country are ditching the old-fashioned, clunky machines and having salespeople — and even shoppers themselves — ring up sales on smartphones and tablet computers.
Barneys New York, a luxury retailer, this year plans to use iPads or iPod Touch devices for credit and debit card purchases in seven of its nearly two dozen regular-price stores. Urban Outfitters, a teen clothing chain, ordered its last traditional register last fall and plans to go completely mobile one day. And Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is testing a "Scan & Go" app that lets customers scan their items as they shop.
"The traditional cash register is heading toward obsolescence," said Danielle Vitale, chief operating officer of Barneys New York.
That the cash register is getting the boot is no surprise. The writing has been on the wall for a long time for the iconic machine, which was created in the late 1800s. The register was essential in nearly every retail location by the early 1900s, but it now seems outdated in a world in which smartphones and tablets increasingly are replacing everything from books to ATMs to cameras.
Stores like smartphones and tablets because they take up less floor space than registers and free up cashiers to help customers instead of being tethered to one spot. They also are cheaper: For instance, Apple Inc.'s iPads with accessories like credit card readers can cost a store $1,500, compared with $4,000 for a register. And Americans increasingly want the same speedy service in physical stores that they get from shopping online.
"Consumers want the retailer to bring the register to them," said Lori Schafer, executive adviser at SAS Institute Inc., which creates software for major retailers.
J.C. Penney, a mid-price department-store chain, said the response by customers has been great since it started rolling out iPod Touch devices late last year in its 1,100 stores. The goal is to have one in the hands of every salesperson by May. The company said that about a quarter of purchases at its stores nationwide now come from an iPod Touch. ks
On a recent Thursday afternoon at a Penney store in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Debbie Guastella, 55, marveled after a saleswoman rang up three shirts she was buying on an iPod Touch.
"I think it's great," said Guastella, who lives in Huntington, N.Y. "The faster the better."
Walmart inches toward mobile checkout with Scan & Go app for iPhone
The world’s largest retailer is expanding a new feature to more stores that enables customers to scan items as they shop with their iPhone and pay at a self-checkout station.
Walmart is taking the idea of self-checkout to another, more mobile level. The retailer is bringing the “Scan & Go” feature of its Walmart iOS app to 200 stores in the U.S., according to a Reuters report Wednesday. The feature has been in use in some stores already, but at only about 70 near Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters and in Atlanta.
Scan & Go is only available on the iPhone, though Walmart says an Android version is “coming soon.”
Shoppers that have the Walmart app can select “in-store mode” and then scan each item’s barcode as they pick up items throughout the store. Users who have also created shopping lists or budgets within the app will see items scanned “checked off” on their lists. Once finished, they need only go to a self-checkout terminal, scan a barcode on the screen — which reads the items they have in their cart — and pay as usual by swiping a credit card.
It’s not a mobile payment system exactly. And Walmart’s version doesn’t enable the same independence as, say, what Apple has enabled in its own retail stores with the EasyPay option in its Apple Store app or apps from companies like Square and Paypal. With Walmart’s app, you still need to scan one final time at a self-checkout terminal to make your payment through traditional means.
But it’s a step toward easier physical world transactions using mobile technology in the company’s 4,000-store retail empire. Scan & Go could be even more convenient and useful to busy shoppers if Walmart were to enable a payment system within the app.
A lot of companies are being creative with mobile payments and barcode scanning with smartphones. And the success of Square, LevelUp and plenty of others have demonstrated that mainstream users are getting used to the idea of paying with their iPhone — without need for technology like NFC chips inside the device.
iPhone Mini -- Could This Be Apple's Next Big Thing?
Rumors are circulating that Apple plans to counter Samsung’s ever-increasing control over the smartphone market by releasing a petite version of the iPhone, dubbed by pundits the iPhone mini. Could a ‘Honey I shrunk the iPhone’ version of the smartphone be the next big think to come out of Cupertino?
While it might seem like Apple has a tight grip over the smartphone market with the iPhone, Samsung is a bigger player. During 2013 Samsung smartphone sales are predicted to grow 35 percent, from 215 million last year to 290 million. In contrast, Apple sales are tipped to grow by 33 percent, to 180 million.
This shift means that Samsung will command 33 percent of the smartphone market, compared to Apple”s 21 percent.
If Apple wants to grab more market share, it needs to do something.
Enter the iPhone mini.
There’s absolutely no evidence that Apple is working on an iPhone mini — but for that matter there’s wasn’t much to indicate that the company was working on the iPad mini either — but the rumors suggest a smaller, cheaper handset that will appeal to those who are interested in the iPhone but find the current offering too expensive.
While there’s no doubt that this would have huge appeal in the U.S., a cheap iPhone would have massive appeal in countries such as China and India. And if Apple can gain traction in these countries, it could add billions to its profits, and millions of new users every quarter.
Would you buy an iPhone mini? If you are an existing iPhone owner, would you be interested in switching to a smaller handset?
Download Mountain Lion OS X For Mac Right Now: Here's How
In the App Store, the quiet App Store, Mountain Lion sleeps todaaaaay.
Yup, OS X Mountain Lion is currently available for download in iTunes, and if you've got a credit card, and $19.99, and the right hardware, you can update your Apple desktop or laptop right now. Just click on this shiny blue link to travel to the Mac App Store to start your download. After you hit the download button, you'll enter your Apple ID and the download -- about 4GB in all, or "about the size of a full-length film download," as CNET puts it -- will begin.
There are a few system requirements in order to download Mountain Lion from the App Store. First, you'll need to currently have OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard or higher on your Mac (here's how to check that). Second, not all desktops and laptops will be able to run Mountain Lion. Apple has supplied the following list of supported hardware:
- iMac (mid 2007 or later)
- MacBook (13-inch aluminum, late 2008, 13-inch early 2009 or later)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, mid/late 2007 or later), (17-inch, late 2007 or later)
- MacBook Air (late 2008 or later)
- Mac Mini (early 2009 or later)
- Mac Pro (early 2008 or later)
It's also a good idea to make sure all of your applications are up-to-date before you download Mountain Lion. Run the free Software Update (instructions right here) before you take the plunge and download Mountain Lion. For more on how to prepare your Mac for Mountain Lion, check out this guide put together by our friends at The Unofficial Apple Weblog (also owned by AOL) .
And that's it! Just a quick trip to the App Store, a $20 charge to your credit card, and you're done. Once you've got Mountain Lion, make sure to check out all the new cool features (Voice dictation! Notification center! Twitter!) and let us know what you think in the comments.
UPDATE: We've been asked on Twitter if you will be able to install Mountain Lion on multiple computers for free. You can! Here are the official instructions, via Apple, for how to do so. These instructions are for installations of OS X Lion but apply to OS X Mountain Lion as well.
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Off to Europe starting in France April 23
You can follow Ellen and Ed Zacko with
Voyage of Entr'acte.