Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the Fire Phone on June 18 with several novel features and a 4.7-inch display. John Martellaro takes a close look at the Fire Phone with a technical review that steers away from politics and towards what the iPhone or any potential owner would want to know about this smartphone.
The Guest Pass app page sums it up: "Do you share passwords with people to join your Wi-Fi network on a regular basis? Guest Pass makes this easy. Just fill out the simple questions in Guest Pass and e-mail the resulting Guest Pass without ever leaving the app. Users receive an attachment that they tap [iOS] or click [OS X], and the next time they are near your network, their iPhone, iPad, or Mac will automatically connect. You can also set expiration dates so the settings will be deleted [from] the device on the expiration date." The way it works is that a special, encrypted configuration file is sent to the recipient who must be using iOS 5 or later or OS X 10.7 or later. The recipient will never see your network password. You can set an expiration date, but if you want to provide semi-permanent access, you set set an expiration in the far distant future. Using Guest Pass provides finer control over who and how long access is allowed than the "Enable Guest Network" found in the Apple AirPort Utility.
Parallels has continued to make significant improvements to its virtual machine software for the Mac, Parallels Desktop, that allows a Mac to run just about any other OS, especially Windows and Linux concurrently. This year is no different, and the list of enhancements in this Yosemite compatible, version 10 is impressive.
Dropbox is a great app. However, if you've installed or updated Dropbox lately, you'll notice something that may annoy you: Dropbox has placed its contextual menu item "Move to Dropbox" right next to "Move to Trash." It annoyed John, so he figured out how to get rid of it and tells us how he did it.
There are times when it's necessary to restart the Mac's Finder. (It is, after all, just an app.) Perhaps it's locked up. Or perhaps you've made a configuration change that requires a Finder restart. John shows four different ways to handle the Finder with a view to a kill.
The pace of personal security continues to accelerate. First, we spent years learning how to secure our routers and Macs. Then we focused on our iPhone security. Now, a new wave of devices is poised to enter our homes, and they're not made by Apple. Danger is lurking once again.
Yesterday, John Martellaro's wife had a truly remarkable customer experience at the Apple retail store in Lone Tree, Colorado. The experience demonstrates something very interesting about Apple that makes it unique and hard to compete with.
Back in 2010, John Martellaro said good-bye to paper and started moving all his magazine subscriptions to digital versions on an iPad. Here's an update on how that project went. Hint: the technology didn't develop well, and John is going back to paper. For now.
It's interesting to see how the blinders of the present affect our predictions of the future. The Star Trek Tricorder vs. the modern Apple iPhone is a case in point. John Martellaro looks at the technologies that SciFi from the 20th century never saw coming.
The original Apple iPhone started out with a 3.5 inch display. That worked great for a telephone in 2007 that could also run a few Apple apps, but in 2014 we do so much with our iPhones that a larger display is a must. John informally compares three smartphones: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 5s, and an Amazon Fire Phone.