Stories by Ryan Faas

  • Windows 8, from an iPad user's view

    The Windows 8 demo from the All Things Digital conference left me kind of confused. More accurately, it left me thinking Microsoft is kind of confused. Perhaps most important, it left me thinking that most end users who pick a Windows 8 device are likely to be confused.

  • Apple WWDC: Why this year is different

    Apple did something really unusual this week: It pre-announced what it's going to talk about next week at its big Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). For many companies, talking up new products, technology roadmaps, earnings estimates and overall plans is standard operating procedure. For Apple, it's unheard of. The company always keeps its plans quiet until they're actually announced -- even if most Apple watchers have some idea beforehand. That's what allows Apple CEO Steve Jobs to offer up his signature "one more thing" when he speaks.

  • Apple's OS X server strategy: Data centers for everyone

    Recently, Apple previewed more features that will be available in its upcoming release of Mac OS X 10.7, "Lion." We first got a glimpse of Lion at Apple's Back to the Mac event in October, when CEO Steve Jobs said that several technologies developed in Apple's iOS mobile operating system would be brought back into Mac OS X as part of Lion. Since iOS evolved from earlier versions of Mac OS X, the "back to the Mac" moniker made sense.

  • Mac OS X: Make Snow Leopard (and other cats) roar like Lion

    With a second preview version now in the hands of app developers, Apple's next generation of Mac OS X, called Lion (Version 10.7), appears to be on track for its planned release to the public this summer. The company has announced several new features for the upcoming Macintosh operating system (some of which are lifted straight from iOS, Apple's mobile platform) including the following:

  • Apple's Lion: A marriage of iOS and OS X

    Apple's Back to the Mac event yesterday was preceded by plenty of speculation. Some of it was dead on -- such as predictions of revamped MacBook Air models -- while some of it missed the mark a bit: Apple didn't unveil a touch-screen iMac (in fact, CEO Steve Jobs referred to the idea as "ergonomically horrible") and, while FaceTime is coming to the Mac, it is as a standalone application, not as part of iChat.

  • Windows Phone 7 could rival Apple's iOS 4

    With all the features of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 now out in the open -- along with details about the handsets available on AT&T and T-Mobile here in the U.S. -- comparing the new mobile platform to Apple's iOS 4 is a natural. The long-running debate about Windows vs. Mac can now move into the world of mobile operating systems.

  • RIM's PlayBook vs. tomorrow's iPad

    RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, unveiled last week, is the latest entry in what has become a rapidly growing field of iPad competitors. But unlike most upcoming Android tablets -- the big exception being Cisco's Cius -- the PlayBook isn't meant to compete with the iPad in the consumer market. Despite its touted capabilities for multimedia, the PlayBook is primarily designed to be a business and enterprise tablet.

  • A look at Apple's updated iPhone Configuration Utility

    The big iOS-related news from Apple this week was the release of iOS 4.1, an update that included fixes for common bugs in the initial iOS 4 release for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It also introduced FaceTime for the fourth-generation iPod Touch, which began shipping to customers on Wednesday, and Apple Game Center, which introduces a multiplayer gaming system that all iOS game developers can integrate into their products.

  • Apple TV, 'Ping' and iTunes -- what it means

    There were a lot of rumors and expectations ahead of Apple's much-hyped music event yesterday. As expected, Apple unveiled a new touch-based iPod Nano, and an iPod Touch sporting the company's A4 processor, its super-high-resolution Retina display, and front and rear cameras offering HD video recording and video chat via FaceTime. There was also a new iPod Shuffle, which thankfully returns to the previous iteration's design with on-device buttons and a clip to make it wearable.

  • Managing and securing iOS 4 devices at work

    Apple Inc.'s iPhone has always had something of an image problem in the workplace, which isn't surprising given that Apple has always marketed its smartphone more to consumers than to the business world.

  • Will the Cius challenge the iPad's potenial in health care

    Last week, Cisco Systems announced its Cius tablet. Weighing 1.15 lbs. with a 7-in. SVGA screen and powered by an Intel Atom processor and Google's Android OS version 2.2, the Cius is designed as part of a range of products for the enterprise that offer integrated solutions for every part of the network, including switches, cloud storage and collaboration tools.

  • 5 reasons to upgrade to Apple's Safari 5

    Although it wasn't mentioned during Apple CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address Monday at WWDC, Apple launched an updated version of its Safari Web browser for Mac OS X 10.5.8 and 10.6.2 or higher, as well as Windows XP SP2 or higher, Vista, and Windows 7.

  • Developing for the iPhone OS: App Store vs. web apps

    Apple's App Store approval process has always been a bit controversial because of the level of control the company holds over what types of applications are allowed in. Initially, there were concerns that Apple rejected apps because they duplicated functionality the company already offered or was planning to build into the iPhone OS -- not because the submitted apps wouldn't run according to the company's specifications.

  • Apple's iPad: What's it really for?

    If there's one thing Apple is good at, it's keeping the rest of world guessing about new products while generating more buzz than the New Orleans Saints making it to the Super Bowl for the first time. Even though the world knew Apple CEO Steve Jobs would unveil a tablet on Wednesday, the announcement created enough of a stir to take down Twitter briefly and slow Web traffic on a lot of sites.