Apple’s most highly sophisticated OS yet? Cupertino would have you think so, but as with any major update, there have been plenty of quirks to work through in the months following the introduction of Lion. For those of you who’ve made the 0.2 leap from 10.6.8 (or from further back, actually), we’re interested in learning how your overall experience has been. A good move? Still regretting it? What apps have broken on you? Has your workflow changed at all? Do you prefer “natural” scrolling? How would you tweak Lion if given the chance? What apps would you overhaul? What factory settings would you alter? Carefully considered thoughts are welcome in comments below.
How would you change Apple’s OS X 10.7 (Lion)? originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 23 Oct 2011 22:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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The state of California made October 16th “Steve Jobs Day,” and on October 19th, the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak celebrated his life on campus in Cupertino. The photo here, provided by Apple, shows CEO Tim Cook addressing throngs of people who came to the memorial.
Visualized: Apple’s celebration of Steve Jobs’ life in Cupertino originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 22:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Voice recognition. Or, more specifically, speech recognition. It’s one of those technological wonders that we all seem to take for granted, while simultaneously throwing laughter its way for not being nearly sophisticated enough. Anyone that’s used an early generation Ford SYNC system — or pretty much any vehicular voice command system — knows exactly what we’re getting at. While processing speeds and user interfaces have made great strides in the past handful of years, voice recognition has managed to continually disappoint. It’s not that things aren’t improving, it’s just that they aren’t improving at the same rate as the hardware and software surrounding them. Even today, most new automobiles have to be spoken to loudly, pointedly and directly, and even then it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not your command will be recognized and acted upon.
For as much as we complain, we totally get it. Teaching a computer program how to recognize, understand and act upon the movement of human vocal chords is a Herculean task. Throw in nearly unlimited amounts of dialect and regional variation with even a single language, and it’s a wonder that programs such as Nuance’s Dragon Dictate even exist. Teaching a vehicle how to route calls, adjust volume and tweak a radio station is one thing, but having a program that turns actual speech into presentable documents requires a heightened level of accuracy. The newest build of Dragon Dictate for Mac (v2.5) allows users to seamlessly combine dictation with mouse and keyboard input in Microsoft Word 2011; it also gives yappers the ability to more finely control how Dragon formats text such as dates, times, numbers and addresses, while a free iOS app turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a wireless microphone. We recently pushed our preconceived notions about this stuff aside in order to spend a solid week relying on our voice instead of our fingertips — read on to see how it turned on.
Continue reading Nuance Dragon Dictate 2.5 for Mac review
Nuance Dragon Dictate 2.5 for Mac review originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Sep 2011 16:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is coming to us from Ryan, who can’t wait to get his kid fixated on the wonderful world of computers. If you’re looking to send in an inquiry of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.
“My son (five years old) has commandeered my wife’s laptop for his game-playing pleasure lately, and it’s been driving her batty. He basically only plays the games she does (Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma, etc.). So far he’s able to find the games he wants (by their icons) and open them without issues using Windows 7, but now that I’m looking into getting him his own basic computer I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t something more kid-friendly out there. I’ve had cursory experience with OS X and Linux (Ubuntu), and I’ll be doing all the installing and setup myself. Any thoughts from parents? Thanks!”
Kids and computers. Now that’s a recipe for awesomeness. Any new(ish) parents out there have any experience on their kids loving / hating a certain OS? Feel free to drop your advice in comments below — let’s keep it intelligent, okay?
Ask Engadget: best desktop OS for kids? originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 03 Sep 2011 23:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.
Kerberos, the hound from Hades that lent its name to an MIT-developed network authentication protocol, is often visualized as having three heads. But if dogs can have multiple heads, why can’t other technology species? Many of the features in Lion have impact for different kinds of users, and the value users see in them may well depend on which face they tend to view.
The new user. Lion represents the biggest user interface change to the company’s desktop experience since the debut of Mac OS X. With the Mac hard drive hidden by default, full-screen apps that hide the menu bar, and omnipresent scroll arrows put out to pasture, it even dispenses with some user interface conventions that have been around since the original Mac. The focus on multitouch gestures — while enabling more fluidity in the user interface — are not as self-evident. Overall, though, the gradual shift away from contrivances such as windows, menus, and cluttered icons should make things less intimidating for new users.
The iPad user. One can only wonder what features the successor to Snow Leopard might have sported had Apple not launched the iPad. The most prominent design theme in Lion has been bringing user experience elements of Apple’s tablet to the Mac. This is highlighted best by Launchpad, the iPad-like collection of sliding home screens, and full-screen apps, but also includes support for full-screen apps and bundling of the Mac app store introduced with Snow Leopard.
Continue reading Switched On: A Three-Headed Lion
Switched On: A Three-Headed Lion originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 24 Jul 2011 18:02:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Here at Engadget, and here on the Engadget Podcast in particular, we’re all about customer service. OK, maybe not all about customer service, but on this episode we’ve dedicated twenty percent of our breath to answering your questions! If you happen to enjoy a bunch of Apple news too — which we heard you do you — then we’re at about fifty percent on-track to serving you completely. If you like Apple news, having your questions answered, and a healthy dose of other up-to-the-minute information in the spacecraft, e-reader, and digital camera realms…well, let’s just say we got this.
Host: Tim Stevens, Brian Heater
Guests: Dana Wollman
Producer: Trent Wolbe
Music: Paradise City
02:44 – Apple Mac OS X Lion available now in the App Store
06:00 – Apple refreshes MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, and backlit keyboards
08:35 – Apple OS X Lion (10.7) review
17:32 – The MacBook drops from Apple’s Store (update: confirmed)
22:37 – Apple updates Mac mini: Core i5 and i7, Thunderbolt, AMD Radeon HD, no SuperDrive
22:55 – Apple rolls out 27-inch Thunderbolt Display with FaceTime HD camera, built-in speakers
23:45 – Apple’s Q3 earnings exceed estimates: $28.57 billion revenue, $7.31 billion profit, 20 million iPhones sold
25:13 – Apple outpaces Nokia in global smartphone shipments
28:00 – Nokia Q2 2011: ‘clearly disappointing’ results as challenges prove ‘greater than expected’
32:35 – Motorola Droid 3 review
37:35 – Sony Alpha NEX-C3 review
42:55 – iRiver Story HD review
49:51 – Space Shuttle Atlantis touches down in Florida, won’t be going back up again
50:44 – Google ‘winding down’ Labs, likely due to meddling older sister
51:40 – Listener questions
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Engadget Podcast 249 – 07.22.2011 originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 22 Jul 2011 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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You told us a lot of you had already downloaded Lion, but now Apple’s gone ahead and put any doubts about this $29.99 update’s popularity to rest. A cool one million downloads of Lion have been registered in the first day of availability. That’s faster than any other OS release in the company’s history, which lends perhaps a bit more weight to Apple’s “best OS we’ve ever made” claim. Still on the fence yourself? Maybe our Lion review will push you one way or t’other.
Continue reading Apple: One million Lion downloads in first day
Apple: One million Lion downloads in first day originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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For ‘developers’ willing to shell out $99 for an annual membership in Apple’s group of Mac OS app creators, Lion is old news already. But the rest of you can finally download Apple’s latest operating system — Mac OS 10.7 — by hitting up the App Store on your Snow Leopard (10.6.8)-equipped Mac, assuming it’s powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, i5 or i7 processor. From our experience with the pre-release version, the 4GB download could take over an hour, even on a high-speed connection, but once you have the installer in hand the upgrade process itself should be complete in about 20 minutes. As Apple previously announced, those with slower connections can also download Lion at an Apple retail store, and the company’s also now revealed that it will be offering it on a USB thumb drive as well, which will be available through its online store later this August for $69 (yes, that’s a $40 premium). We’ll be posting a full review of Lion later this week, but you can check out our hands-on preview for a sneak peek at Apple’s latest consumer OS in the meantime.
Continue reading Apple Mac OS X Lion available now in the App Store
Apple Mac OS X Lion available now in the App Store originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 08:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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And so it begins. The Apple Store has been taken down for updating and it probably won’t reappear until it’s rocking the hotly awaited $30 Mac OS 10.7 upgrade. We’ll have a full review of Lion later in the week, but if you can’t wait that long check out our hands-on preview. There’s a chance we’ll see some MacBook Air action today too, so we’ll keep you posted. Oh yeah, and this store is the real deal.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in.]
Apple store goes down, all is quiet before the Lion roars originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 05:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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It looks like Apple’s getting another fix in before Lion slinks on to the scene. Mac OS X 10.6.8 is now available for download, and brings with it a number of “general operating system fixes,” including further support for IPv6, improved VPN reliability, and removal of known variants of Mac Defender. It also promises to fix a glitch that has Preview randomly shutting down, and will get the App Store ready to roar for when Lion lands on the scene. We’re getting it going on our laptop at home. If you’ve done the same, let us know how it’s working out for you.
Mac OS X 10.6.8 update now available originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Jun 2011 16:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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