Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

Why Apple’s Time Machine Utterly Fails User Needs

5:30 PM, Feb. 4th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple's Time Machine languishes

Apple's Time Machine backup system was born in a time when Apple realized that customers weren't routinely backing up their Macs. So a simple, stopgap system, with some novel features, was devised for the novice user. Unfortunately, over the years, the app hasn't progressed and kept pace with modern user needs. Today, most every tech writer says: Use it, but don't trust it completely. This is unfortunate.

Lynktec ReelJuice Portable USB Battery is Unique: Capable, Flexible & Includes a Take Up Reel

5:30 PM, Feb. 3rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Lynktec ReelJuice Portable Battery

There are many ho-hum and many good portable battery chargers for our iDevices. Most are just little boxes with a battery, LED lights and USB ports. However, the new Lynktec (5,300 or 8,000 mAh) charger has a multitude of thoughtful features, expansion options and usage profiles. John Martellaro has been putting one though its paces and files this review.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Smile Software’s Co-Founder Greg Scown

3:05 PM, Feb. 1st, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Greg Scown is the co-founder of Smile Software, well known for the essential OS X and iOS app TextExpander. Greg started his career as a computer science student at Stanford University. Having already interned with Apple, after graduation, Greg was offered a full-time job on campus. A few years later, that led to working for Apple in China, near Hong Kong, writing software. That's a pretty nifty background. Later, Greg would go on to start (along with Philip Goward) a very successful Silicon Valley company that now employs 18 people and makes award-winning products. Near the end of my interview, we chat about some of the interesting development issues associated with TextExpander, an app that other developers need to formally support before it will work. How does he do that?

Satechi USB-C Hub is Small & Has Pass Through Power

4:30 PM, Jan. 27th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

Satechi USB-C Hub with pass through power

The owners of the 2015 12-inch MacBook have a small problem. There is only one USB-C port and no USB-A ports. The assumption has been that 3rd party hubs would solve that problem, and now, post CES, new ones are shipping. The Satechi USB-C Hub with pass through power and two USB-A ports is small, light, and does a specific job very well.

Tim Cook’s Strategy: ‘We believe in investing in downturns’

6:50 PM, Jan. 26th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Analysis

Apple & downturns

In Apple's fiscal Q1'16 Earnings Report, Apple CEO Tim Cook made frequent references to the worldwide macro-economic downturn since 2014. Most companies would retrench and cut back in R&D and other investment in a such a downturn. Not Apple. Apple's strategy is very different. In fact, we've see it work before. Mr. Cook spelled out his formula, again, for all to hear.

Can the Next Apple Watch Be Any Thinner?

4:10 PM, Jan. 25th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Analysis

Thinner Apple Watch

The current Apple Watch contains a 205 mAh battery that takes up about two-thirds of the area and about half thickness of the case. Given that customers would like to see the Apple Watch's battery last longer and the watch do more, what are the prospects for shaving some battery thickness and making the Apple Watch thinner?

TMO Background Mode: Interview With the Omni Group’s CEO Ken Case

2:30 PM, Jan. 25th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Ken Case is the founder and CEO of The Omni Group, known for such Apple products as OmniFocus, OmniGraffle, and OminiOutliner.  Early in his computing career, in the late 1980s, Ken was at the University of Washington computer center where he was a UNIX geek and system programmer. There, he was part of the university's NeXT computer lab. This iconic system was an exciting new UNIX platform, and Ken started learning Objective-C and creating apps. One thing led to another, and Ken's expertise with NeXTStep development and, later, Apple's acquisition of NeXT eventually led to the creation of The Omni Group. Listen in to hear Ken tell the story in his own words.

Everything You Need to Know About OLEDs, Quantum Dots & iPhone, Part II

3:30 PM, Jan. 21st, 2016 · John Martellaro · John Martellaro's Blog

OLEDs, Quantum Dots & iPhone

A new LCD display technology for 4K UHD is called Quantum Dots. On the other hand, Organic LEDs are often mentioned as a next generation technology for iPhone displays.  Here is Part II of John's interview with Paul Gagnon, Director of TV Research at IHS Technology.  The discussion continues with manufacturing issues, suppliers, response times, costs and the ultimate winner down the road.