Stories by Christopher Breen

  • First look: Microsoft Outlook 2015 promises few new features but better performance

    By Christopher Breen | 14 November, 2014 23:16

    Breaking with tradition, Microsoft recently issued a new version of Outlook for the Mac. Normally, the company waits until all of its Office components are finished and then releases them as part of an application suite.

  • Review: iMac with Retina 5K display is among Apple's brightest lights

    By Christopher Breen | 04 November, 2014 02:00

    Among the many new and improved technologies promoted by Apple, one of the most attractive has been the "Retina display." This is a marketing term rather than a technical one and refers to displays with a pixel density where individual pixels are indiscernible to the human eye. You see it touted for iOS devices as well as Apple's MacBook Pros. Like much of Apple's marketing, it's catchy and appealing to those who'd prefer to not dig deeper. However, there are occasions when the term just won't do--particularly when Apple wants to boast about the specific number of pixels that a display houses. Such is the case with the $2,500 iMac with Retina 5K display. And it wants to boast for good reason. The display is stunning.

  • Bottom line: Should you upgrade to OS X Yosemite?

    By Christopher Breen | 22 October, 2014 03:09

    Recently we've covered OS X Yosemiteup one side and down the other. Read through our guides for installing Yosemite; getting familiar with the new operating system's design; putting Handoff and Continuity to good use; and learning about changes to Safari, Notification Center, [

  • Rockin' the living room: Beats Music arrives on Apple TV

    By Christopher Breen | 01 October, 2014 23:05

    If you have the latest Apple TV and have configured it to accept updates automatically, you've seen a couple of new channels on its home screen.

  • Apple quickly issues iOS 8.0.2 update

    By Christopher Breen | 26 September, 2014 10:54

    Apple has issued the iOS 8.0.2 update, which follows quickly on the heels of the flawed-and-quickly-pulled 8.0.1 update that disabled Touch ID and cellular capabilities on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This latest update not only addresses these issues but reinstates the improvements and fixes initially found in iOS 8.0.1. They include:

  • How to upgrade to iOS 8 (and downgrade to iOS 7 if you regret it)

    By Christopher Breen | 18 September, 2014 01:27

    A lot of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners will want to make the leap from the previous operating system to the new one.

  • The iPod classic plays its last

    By Christopher Breen | 10 September, 2014 06:32

    "My time has passed. Ain't nothin' for it."

  • iTunes Radio: Poor reception

    By Christopher Breen | 05 March, 2014 14:17

    With the approach of iTunes Radio's six-month anniversary, now seems as good a time as any to take a second look at the service.

  • Innovation and iteration: The two sides of Apple

    By Christopher Breen | 27 November, 2013 14:14

    If you're the kind of person who frequently peruses publications of a technical nature, you've undoubtedly seen the headlines: "Apple no longer innovates!" And although I know that these headlines and accompanying stories are generated largely to raise dander and attract clicks, I must agree with their main thrust. Currently, Apple isn't innovating.

  • Apple and the long campaign

    By Christopher Breen | 01 October, 2013 15:01

    You've seen the linkbait... er, headlines: "Apple loses ability to innovate"; "New Apple products tread water"; And, of course, the now-perennial: "Is a Jobs-less Apple doomed?"

  • When iOS 7 isn't really the worst thing in the world

    By Christopher Breen | 25 September, 2013 16:11

    Whenever an operating system or application changes appearances in a radical way, people can get lost. Such is the case with iOS 7. In the past week I've read complaints that can be addressed simply by having a better understanding of what goes where. Let's walk through a few.

  • Unhappy with iOS 7? Downgrade while you still can

    By Christopher Breen | 20 September, 2013 19:44

    Despite the many warnings that iOS 7 was going to have a radically new look and it was worth it for some people to take a slow approach to upgrading, many people ventured blindly forth and were unhappy with the results. While raging at the dying of the light is one approach, there remains another--downgrade to iOS 6.

  • Get to know iOS 7: Music and iTunes Radio

    By Christopher Breen | 19 September, 2013 19:53

    Some detractors criticised iOS 6's Music app for its reliance on album art. Cover art dominated its Playlists, Artists, Albums, Composers, and Genres screens, while its Songs screen eschewed any sort of art. The iOS 7 version takes a different approach.

  • 20 computer terms every Mac user should know

    By Christopher Breen | 04 July, 2013 12:49

    Throughout the life of Mac 101, we've talked a lot about Apple technologies and terms. But with the gentle persuasion of this column's readers, I've come to realize that--all too often--terms and acronyms that many of us take for granted leave users new to technology scratching their heads. Let's rectify that now with a meander through some common tech terms.

  • RIAA expands gold and platinum record awards to streamed music

    By Christopher Breen | 10 May, 2013 00:15

    In another sign that music listening is expanding beyond the limits of CDs and digital purchases, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced on Thursday that it would recognize music and music videos streamed from on-demand services as part of its Gold & Platinum award program. These services include Mog, Muve Music, Rdio, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, and Xbox Music, as well as video streaming services such as MTV.com, Vevo, Yahoo Music, and YouTube. This is the first time that the program has recognized tracks in a non-sales format.

 

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