Welcome to Apple, How Can We Help You?


The mac/pc commercials are growing in popularity and comedic ability, and a recent study illuminates that the public relations and customer service of Apple is also becoming improved and more popular than its competitor, the pc.

According to macworld, “Vocal Laboratories has published the results of a study that shows Apple leads other PC makers in telephone-based tech support. The study said that 58 percent of Apple customers reported that they were “very satisfied” with the results of their call, compared to 46 percent of Dell customers and 43 percent of HP customers.

The study determined that customers of each company were “generally satisfied” with hold times, the ease with which they reached a person, and the professionalism of the customer service personnel with whom they worked.

But Apple shone when it came to actually solving the problem, compared to the competition—53 percent of Apple customers reported their problem had been resolved on the call, while 45 percent of Dell customers and 39 percent of HP customers reported the same.

The Vocal Laboratories study featured 1,147 consumers surveyed immediately following a support call. The results cover the year ending May 31, 2009.”

Apple is continuing to strive to be the best in the industry, and they understand that customer service is a key component to its success. During my time working as a Best Buy Customer Service Representative, there were many times where I noticed that customers chose products based on how well they thought they worked. And some of the older, less technologically experienced customers were very concerned about how effective the help lines were going to be in helping them with computer related issues. Knowing that Apple is working hard on its effectiveness over the phone will continue to improve the marketability to the wider consumer population.


Hit it OOTP (out of the park) this Summer


If yesterdays post about TrailRunner and getting outside and enjoying the weather by exercising didn’t motivate, then perhaps you are content with chilling inside this summer. If you are, check out OOTP X by Apple. OOTP gives you a chance to manage a baseball team through all the ups and downs of a Major League Season.

From March to October, you can draft players, negotiate contracts, keep statistics and manage the team, adjust lineups and make trades. This interactive and extensive game is updated from the previous OOTP 9.

Out of the Park Baseball X allows you to easily import leagues from OOTP 9 and versions 6.5 or 6.12. (To import files from other versions, use the demo version of OOTP 9 to convert a file to that format, and then import that file into version X.) Improvements found in the latest edition lead off with revamped artificial intelligence and even better play-by-play, complete with thousands of new lines of play description.

Next up is a redesigned pitching system that features individual pitch ratings and a reworked endurance system. Now pitchers can improve certain pitches or lose effectiveness with others, forcing you to modify their approach. Injuries are also more realistic, with the possibility that players will suffer setbacks during their recovery, and each minor league team now has its own disabled list too.

During games, you can customize what you see by activating the widgets option and moving the information boxes around the screen. Between games and seasons, salary arbitration and free agent compensation have been adjusted so they more closely parallel what happens in real life, where players can make salary demands and teams can agree to the terms or ask an arbitrator to make a decision. Free agency can complicate those situations, and that’s reflected in OOTP X too.

There’s plenty more for baseball aficionados to enjoy, including the ability to enter player statistics and automatically convert them into ratings, improvements to the look and feel of the interface, performance enhancements to the game speed, and more.


Get Outside-TrailRunner for Mac


Its definitely summer time now that school is out and the weather is heating up. Kids and parents alike seem to take a slower pace to life, and now is the opportunity to, instead of hanging out inside with your extra time, try and get outside and burn off some of that winter weight. TrailRunner for Mac can be a great way for you to keep track of and chart your movements this summer.

TrailRunner is a route planning software for all kinds of long distance sports like running, biking, hiking, inline-skating, skiing and more. If you ever asked yourself how long your workout routes are and what route you should choose for this evening – then TrailRunner should be your training-partner.

What’s great about this free program is that you can interactively look at trails and maps before you work out, as well as chart and collect routes before and after you traverse them. If you’re someone like me who loves to track progress, TrailRunner can be a great program for you to use this summer so that you can look back and see the progress that you’ve made. You can even export route descriptions onto your iPod to use while you’re actually on the road. You can download TrailRunner here.


Peak Under the Hood of the iPhone 3G S


Over at Nanotech we’re getting a sneak preview of the inner workings of the new iPhone 3G S. The phone that claims to download apps faster and connect to the Web faster than any other iPhone before it.

Rapid Repair said Thursday night that the 3G S uses a 600MHz Samsung processor based on the ARM Cortex A8 design. The iPhone also integrates a PowerVR SGX graphics chip from Imagination Technologies, according to Rapid Repair.

This, not surprisingly, beats the now-obsoleted iPhone 3G (sans “S”), which uses an older ARM design–that runs at about 400MHz–and a prior-generation graphics chip.

CNET Reviews has validated Apple’s speed claims, saying “for most native applications that don’t depend on a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, the iPhone 3G S was consistently faster.”

The review continues: “The iPhone 3G S opened the iPod player almost 5 seconds faster, and it was much quicker at loading some notoriously slow apps. For example, Bejewled 2, which can take up to 12 seconds to load on the iPhone 3G, started in just 5 seconds on the 3G S.”

And: “The iPhone 3G S also started up much quicker than the iPhone 3G–we were up and running in 26 seconds instead of 50 seconds.”

The Palm Pre also uses a Cortex A8 application processor from ARM and the PowerVR SGX graphics from Imagination.

These new specs are sure to prove interesting as the newest iPhone continues to build interest worldwide. As technology improves, it will be amazing to see where we go next.


Father’s Day Geek Gifts


Father’s Day is on Sunday and, if you’ve got a dad that’s into technology, a geek gift could be a great option. If you can’t afford the new iPhone, here are some other Apple options to pick up to honor Dad on his big day:

Gold Apple iPod Shuffle-engraved with a special note to Dad can be a memorable gift.

Belking Micro Auto Charger-With its sleek, low-profile design, Belkin’s Micro Charger provides a convenient solution for charging your iPod or iPhone in your car at the fastest possible speeds.

Apple TV-With a huge selection of on-demand HD movies and HD TV shows — and one-click access to all your music and photos — Apple TV turns your widescreen TV into a digital entertainment hub.

Wacom Intuos4 Pen Tablet-Small-Offering an advanced pen Tip Sensor, ExpressKeys and a finger-sensitive Touch Ring, the Intuos4 Pen Tablet speeds production time for photo editing, design and art creation. There isn’t a more natural tool than a pen for increased comfort and control.

Time Capsule-Back up a lifetime’s worth of memories with the all-new Time Capsule, a wireless hard drive that works seamlessly with Time Machine in Mac OS X Leopard. It’s also a full-featured 802.11n Wi-Fi base station with simultaneous dual-band support.1 Choose from 500GB and 1TB models2.

Happy Hunting!


Electronic Curse…Is it real?


There seemed to be some people in this world that just simply struggle with electronics. My dad has a phD and is a very intelligent man. But he can barely open email or check messages on his cell phone. Others seem to have electronics and tech stuff come naturally to them, as if they were born for this advanced age of science.

There are others, however, who are gifted and skilled with the electronic gifts, yet it seems that electronics have a grudge against them. Take for example, my two colleagues today at work. Both of them young, intelligent, tech-savvy individuals who spent the morning upgrading their iPhones. They both have the same computers, same software, same iPhone. So you can imagine the frustration of one of my colleagues, we’ll call him G, when his buddy, K, sitting next to him with the same phone and same set-up, got his iPhone uploaded within minutes of plugging in, and G, is sitting around waiting for his upgrades to come through. G experienced further frustration when all of a sudden his iPhone shut down and lost all information. It is at this point when we started to discuss his electronic curse. Could he be doomed by the tech-gods in the sky, somehow predestined to sit forever, staring blankly at his iPhone waiting for it to update? How does this curse choose its victims? Why some and not others?

Many people have experienced these types of curses, where electronics just don’t seem to work for us and we covet skills of those like Rebel, on the show Heroes, who apparently can talk to machines. In this amazing age of technological advances, could there be a stronger force at work, testing our will and patience with these amazing devices, reminding us that we are at the emotional whim of an inanimate object?

But as we discussed this curse and if it was real, the very moment G voiced his frustration, his iPhone updated and is working fine. So, perhaps, in the end, the curse is merely the impatience of a generation who is used to having everything right away and we need to slow down and give technology a chance to catch up. I guess we’ll never know.

What’s been your experience with the iPhone upgrades? Are you cursed? Let us know.


And so it begins…buying info on the iPhone 3G S


And so the line starts. According to MacWorld, Both Apple and AT&T have announced details on where, when, and how to get a shiny new iPhone 3G S, when the device starts shipping on June 19.

AT&T stores will open at 7 a.m. on June 19, and the carrier is already taking pre-orders for the iPhone 3G S on its Web site and in stores. Customers who pre-ordered their iPhone (either online or at a store) can join the line at 7 a.m. on June 19 at AT&T stores, where they will receive priority processing until normal business hours.

A second line will be dedicated to customers whom have not pre-ordered their iPhone 3G S, and they will be able to enter the stores only at normal business hours. Then, the two lines will be merged, but priority will still be given to customers who pre-ordered. This whole process is done on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Apple also is taking iPhone 3G S pre-orders on its Web site. If a 3G S is pre-ordered online with Apple, the device will be shipped free of cost and arrives on June 19. Apple Retail Stores are also taking reservations for iPhone 3G S, and customers can pick it up on June 19. A number of stores will open at 8 a.m. for early pick-ups.

To recap, the 16GB iPhone 3G S will cost $199 and the 32GB model will cost $299. These prices are only for new and qualifying customers. Early iPhone 3G upgraders will have to shell out $399 for the 16GB model and $599 for the 32GB version.

So we’re curious what you think. Will the new iPhone 3G S be worth the cost, especially for existing upgraders? Let us know in the comments section.


WWDC Day One Update: Rumors Confirmed


Yesterday, after all of the rumors and hype, Apple rolled out new innovations and announcements about their revolutionary products. While the hype leading up to Apple’s event mostly surrounded new iPhone hardware, that announcement may end up being the one with the least impact.

The rollouts at Apple’s WWDC were numerous and included a new MacBook Pro, Apple slashing prices on notebooks, the Snow Leopard OS and, of course, the iPhone 3G S. But the most compelling product reveal at the conference surrounded the release date of the iPhone OS 3.0.

The hardware in Apple’s iPhone 3G S seemed to get two major face lifts: a 3-megapixel camera capable of taking video and a storage size upgrade. Sure, Apple is claiming that the 3G S will blow the doors off the previous versions of the iPhone, but customers will have to wait until June 19 to find out for sure. The question is whether or not those hardware upgrades are significant enough to entice a user to spend the money — $199 and $299 for a 16-GB or 32-GB version of the 3G S, respectively, with a subsidy from AT&T, of course — on a new smartphone.

It will be interesting to watch and see if these updates and innovations are enough to convince consumers to pick up these products.

What do you think of Apple’s announcements?


Keep an Eye on the WWDC


Today the Worldwide Developers Conference begins again, with new and exciting updates and technologies from Steve Jobs and Apple. Although Jobs is not expected to be attending, the conference will be full of new updates, the most anticipated being a new iPhone 3G, faster than the current iPhone 3G and equipped with more memory, a better camera, video recording capabilities and a compass.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, will deliver a speech today in place of Jobs, who is scheduled to return from a health-related absence at the end of the month. Schiller is expected to talk about the upcoming iPhone OS 3.0 operating system as well as Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the next operating system for Mac computers.

Many bloggers and sites are covering the event, but my advice is to keep an eye on MacRumors. This site provides live coverage of Apple events such as the WWDC and Macworld San Francisco keynotes, serving up to 750,000 visitors per event.

MacRumors will provide live coverage of the WWDC 2009 Keynote on Monday June 8th, starting at 10:00 am PDT.

You can also receive updates via SMS by following our live announcement Twitter account.


New iPhone Name


A few weeks back TweakOSX reported the possibility of a new iPhone popping up at the next WWDC. Further rumors seem to be confirming that Apple has something in the works. One of the most frequent rumors and possiblities is that the new iPhone will add video features to its already loaded arsenal of applications and gadgets. This would even further revolutionize the iPhone into a comprehensive handheld device that changes everything.

Tuaw suggests that, “This adds to some already interesting news, reported earlier by AppleInsider, that new model placeholders have begun appearing in inventory for Carphone Warehouse, a retailer that resells the iPhone. These models were labeled with a “V3″, which could simply mean Version 3, or the V may also stand for “Video” or “Video 3G”. Other retailers have also recently reported additional entries or placeholders showing up in their inventories, and many carriers have also received end of life notices for the current 3G models.”

With all of the hype and excitement about this possible new iPhone, Apple is sure not to disappoint. Keep an eye here on TweakOSX as we track and monitor the rumors and progress of Steve Jobs and the Apple company.