Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Mashable Sr. Technical Correspondent Christina Warren

3:00 PM, Jun. 14th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Christina Warren is Mashable's Senior Tech Correspondent. Her specialty is the intersection between new media and technology. In 2007, she got her start writing for USA Today about TV entertainment and music. It went so well, she started blogging about other entertainment and technology topics. Eventually, she joined Mashable in 2009, moving from staff writer to her current position. In April, during the Apple vs. FBI dispute, Christina wrote an amazing, tour de force article explaining how Apple approaches security, and she told me how it got written. Later in the show, we chatted about the state of Apple's iTunes, what might be in store for users, plus Apple's thinking behind the design of the current Apple TV. You won't want to miss Christina's extraordinary insights and perspectives about Apple.

Apple Posts Video of WWDC 2016 Keynote

5:30 PM, Jun. 13th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has posted the entire video of the June 13, 2016 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote. Most of the planned updates to Apple's OSes were discussed, watchOS 3, tvOS, the newly named macOS Sierra and iOS 10.  The final versions of these four operating systems will be available to cutomers in the fall. Even though directed towards developers, the video reveals a lot about Apple's near-term strategy and thinking and is fascinating viewing for any Apple fan. It's about 2 hours and 4 minutes long.

Apple Adds Smart, Interoperable Features to macOS Sierra

4:25 PM, Jun. 13th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

macOS Sierra

Once upon a time, Apple was adding features by leaps and bounds to OS X. Some generally got used and some seemed to fall flat. And some didn't work very well in the early releases. With macOS Sierra, Apple's Craig Federighi is focusing on the really important things users need instead of gadgety features.

The Weakness of iPads in K-12 Education is Starting to Show Up

3:30 PM, Jun. 10th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

IPads in education

Apple believes that tablets are the future. And so, it's natural to push iPads for K-12 education. The idea is that these iPads are great educational devices because they're cheaper, more secure and easier to maintain than MacBooks. But what about the ability of teachers to invoke iPads for the kinds of skills training the curriculum calls for? And fit them into the budget? Signs are, it's not working.

OtterBox Hybrid Case For iPad Pro 12.9: Folio & Drop Protection With a Slender Design

7:00 PM, Jun. 9th, 2016 · John Martellaro · In-Depth Review

Review: OtterBox Hybrid Case For iPad Pro 12.9

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9 is a large piece of iPad hardware, larger than we've been accustomed to. A good case for it has to meet many expectations. It has to protect, yet be light and slender. It has to accomodate all the iPad Pro technology, including the Apple Pencil. It has to be versatile and look great. The OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid for iPad Pro 12.9-inch does all that and more. Read on to find out why John loves his iPad Pro 12.9 even more now.

The Pain of iTunes Can Be Traced to Apple’s Time Machine

5:00 PM, Jun. 8th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

iTunes and Time Machine

There was a time when Mac users had ripped a few hundred favorite songs from their CD collection. A laborious process. There was also a time when Time Machine could easily back up a 100 GB hard disk. But time and a failure to scale available technology has left many Apple customers with a huge, purchased iTunes collection that's hard to back up reliably. Apple has been too successful and not successful enough.

Apple Will Announce New MacBook Pros at WWDC Next Week

2:45 PM, Jun. 8th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

2016 MacBook Pros

It's just about certain. We have all the information we need. There is precedent. There is pressing need. There will be 3,000 MacBook Pro users in the WWDC keynote audience next week. It's the right time and the right place for Apple to announce new MacBook Pros. John Martellaro counts the reasons.

OS X: Single or Double-click in Dock to Change Spaces

1:45 PM, Jun. 7th, 2016 · John Martellaro · TMO Quick Tip

Single or Double-click on Dock

The combination of the Dock in OS X and Spaces is a powerful one. If you set things up according to this Quick Tip, you can just click on a running app in the Dock, and OS X will whisk you to the Space that contains that app. John Martellaro uses this feature daily and explains how to invoke it.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With Astrophysicist Dr. Ethan Siegel

3:00 PM, Jun. 6th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Ethan Siegel has a Ph.D. in astrophysics, is an educator at Lewis and Clark College, and is a prolific writer about all things astronomy and cosmology. In college he had a triple major, one of which was astrophysics, but he still wasn't sure what he wanted to do in his career. It was only later when he was teaching physics in highschool that he awakened to his passion for learning astrophysics. Carl Sagan's Cosmos series on TV also had a major impact on him, and all that led eventually to a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Then, we talked about laser astronomy with adaptive optics, gravitational waves, quantum entanglement and possible hidden mysteries of quantum mechanics. Those who love—or are considering a career in—astrophysics will want to hear this story about Ethan's career.

Apple’s New Batttlefield: Rise of the Artificial Intelligence Agents

12:45 PM, Jun. 6th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

The Rise of the AI Agents

Our ability to communicate with computers is constrained by the technical level of the hardware and software. In the early days, we used cryptic UNIX and DOS commands. Then came the graphical user interface (GUI) with mice, windows, and the still obligatory keyboard. We're now entering a new phase in which we can reliably converse with computers that use artificial intelligence (AI). The players are Amazon, Apple and Google.  Game on.