We also return to normal and rant about Star Trek among other things
The MacNN Podcast road trip continues, with host and Editor Charles Martin bringing the discussion to you live from Pine Mountain, Georgia. Joining him is Malcolm Owen in Wales and William Gallagher in Birmingham (but on his way to Paris), so the gallivanting continues unabated (but this week with much better sound). On the 40th episode, we talk about changes -- from El Capitan to Star Trek -- and some of the Mac apps we can't live without, as well as a discussion on how to determine if its time to replace -- or just repair -- your older Mac. All this plus "App of the Week" in just a hair over 60 minutes.
Production techniques lower repairability, as well as need to be repaired
The latest version of the 21.5-inch iMac, now sporting a new 4K-capable Retina display, has been torn down by repair tool sellers iFixit and given an expected low score for repairability (1 out of 10) due to Apple's production techniques on the line. The examination revealed little in the way of new information, confirming that the new custom Retina-quality panel was made by LG and that the design of the Wi-Fi antenna had been secured and changed slightly.
Apple does the actual repairing but you have to be brave
This is what happens when you need Apple to repair your Apple Watch: this is also the article I didn't want to write, partly because it required me to be without my Watch for a considerable time, but mostly because, oh, come on, didn't I just do this? Previously on MacNN... I took my Watch off for one week so I could write about whether I even noticed its absence, whether this device was actually useful, or just a new toy. Short version: I noticed, boy did I notice, and the Apple Watch is both useful and a permanent, constant new toy. Shortest version: I honestly suffered. You still don't look sympathetic -- but that's okay. Lets talk about what happens when the Apple Watch has to go back to the shop, and what Apple does, and what you have to do.
Lack of antenna for NFC radio hobbles unit for Apple Pay retail buying
A new teardown of the iPad Air 2 has confirmed much of what was speculated about the device, but has also revealed some minor surprises. The team at iFixit have rated the new iPad a "two" on a scale of 10, with 10 being the most repairable. The company says that while the new "fused" display is better visually, and sturdier when opening up the iPad, it will also increase the cost of repair for a cracked screen. The teardown also revealed that the latest full-size iPad features a smaller battery and more RAM.
Internal components considerably changed to accommodate new size
The Australian branch of repair specialists iFixit has obtained an iPhone 6 Plus, and has naturally opted to risk destroying it in the name of doing a teardown for the benefit of its users and gadget fans. The biggest discovery is the confirmation that the iPhone 6 Plus, a 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6, uses a 2915mAh battery -- twice the capacity of the one found in the iPhone 5s -- to power the larger screen and yet provide better runtime life.
US, Canada only now, goes international on May 2
Apple has initiated a repair program for a subset of its iPhone 5 devices that may have issues with the sleep/wake button on the top of the unit. The company says "a small percentage" of the units, which were manufactured between the debut of the smartphone on September 21, 2012 and March of 2013, are prone to have the issue (not caused by abuse or other factors). If a buyer's iPhone 5 has a qualifying serial number, Apple will fix the unit and supply a loaner iPhone while it is being repaired.
Repair requires special equipment, costs $149 to fix rather than replace whole unit
As previously reported, Apple has now made available a service to repair damaged iPhone 5c screens rather than replacing the units outright in a number of its US stores. The new service prevents users having to change over to another phone, or send the device away to a remote repair facility. The service, which costs $149 for customers who do not have AppleCare+ on their iPhones, can take as little as one hour thanks to new, specialized equipment.
iFixit holding giveaway in the spirit of Independence Day
Today, iFixit, the self-repair advocate and tutorial site, announced its upcoming event, Liberation Week, running from July 1-5, 2013. iFixit seeks to combat planned obsolescence by giving users access to the information needed to repair and upgrade products. Citing Independence Day, iFixit will be giving away free iPhone Liberation kits - tools to open one's iPhone for self-repair access - to the first 1776 claimants. Stating that the consumer should have the right to open their phone, the kits includes a pentalobe screwdriver, so that users can replace the original screws with ones with standard Phillips head screws provided. Pentalobe screws are intended to be tamper-resistant, as there are no readily available screwdrivers with a compatible head. Also in the kit is a #00 Phillips screwdriver, to use in future openings of one's iPhone.
iFixit's tear down reveals one of Apple's most repairable products
Tech site iFixit has uploaded a new teardown for the latest AirPort Extreme, Apple's first 802.11ac wireless base station. Opening the device revealed an interior space to allow for a hard drive to be installed, however hopes of at-home storage upgrades were dashed by no available plug-in options on the logic board. The AirPort Extreme offers a Delta Electronics 12V, 5A power supply, much akin to Mac Mini technology. Thanks to a simply disassembly iFixit staff have categorized the wireless base station, along with Apple TV and Mac Mini, as the most repairable Apple product in recent history.
Scores eight of 10, still has second drive expansion option
Repair and tool-selling site iFixIt has done a teardown of the very latest Mac mini and found it basically unchanged from last year's model in terms of repairability. The company revealed that the RAM, hard drive and even the power supply can be replaced or repaired, with only the processor and graphics not able to be upgraded. The teardown also revealed that the new Mac mini still has an extra SATA connection and room for adding a second hard or sold-state drive. The unit received an overall repairability "score" of eight out of 10.
PDF2Office Professional update released
Recosoft has launched the next major version of PDF2OFfice Professional, which now includes support for Windows XPS files and the OmniGraffle v5.x format. PDF3Office allows users to convert PDF and XPS files into editable Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OmniGraffle formats by recreating the intended construction and layout of the document. Version 6.0 introduces a new hybrid 64-bit PDF/XPS conversion core, as well as an option for optimizing files for editing and viewing on iOS devices. Customers who purchased a PDF2Office Professional v5.x license on or after April 1, 2012 are entitled to a free upgrade, while a full license costs $99.
Athena to offer iOS 5 support at launch
PowerbookMedic has launched two new display repair services for 2010 Macbook Air models. The new services include a display conversion that allows users to switch from a glossy to a matte display, as well as a general repair service. Prices range from $130 up to $380 depending on the screen size, repair options, and whether the customer sends in the entire Macbook Air or just the display clamshell. Along with the repair service PowerbookMedic also provides customers with a one year warranty.
New version can scan, defrag unmounted media
Macware has released DiskTools Pro 3.6.0, updating the disk utility software for the Mac. The utility defragments drives, runs back-ups and repairs bad sectors. It does its work, including sector repair and defragmentation, on the active Mac OS volume without requiring booting from an external volume or disk.
In brief: MyService, an Apple certified repair company, has announced that it is now offering overnight repairs for both the first and second generation iPod touch. Depending on the repair the price can go from $99 up to $199 and includes a free diagnostics and covers all shipping costs. Mac gamers can now find games for their computers at GamersGate.com. The company has updated its online store and now includes a new Mac game section along with sever new social tools. Meanwhile, Zevrix has released a new beta version of its LinkOptimzier software. The software is designed to help streamline the editing process by eliminating manual optimization.
In brief: danholt4mac and MacTech have both announced discounts on some of their products. danholt4mac is offering its Calories software at a discount of 40% off regular price. MacTech is now offering its customers a bundle that includes a two year subscription to its magazine along with their DVD Archive that contains the complete collection of issues from the magazines 24 year history. On a separate note, one MacNN employee recently dropped their MacBook Pro and broke the display. Looking for a low cost solution they tested out the service provided by iResQ. They found that the repair was completed in a very timely fashion and resulted in no additional damage and a display comparable to the original.
First Look: Drive Genius 2
Your data is only as safe as your hard drive. Backing up can protect your data, but for complete protection, you need to maintain your hard disk. Not only can hard disk maintenance keep your hard disk from failing and losing valuable data, but hard disk maintenance can speed up your computer by making it run more efficiently. Although Apple provides every Macintosh with its Disk Utility program, you may want a more powerful disk maintenance and repair program, such as Drive Genius 2 from ProSoft Engineering.
First Look at DiskWarrior
Operating systems have many file- and directory-level settings that are invisible to the typical users. There are files that govern the location of data, invisible files that relate to the trash or other system-essential files, permissions, and so on. Even though these files are unseen, they are none-the-less important, and a minor corruption in these files could potentially lead to a disastrous experience. DiskWarrior 4.1 brings its renowned volume repair methods to Leopard, which helps users keep their drives healthy.