Apple re-releases MacBook Air EFI 2.9 update after bugs discovered

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Earlier this month, Apple released a MacBook Air EFI update (version 2.9) with fixes for issues with the laptop waking from sleep. Approximately a week ago, the firmware update was removed by Apple because of bugs causing MacBook Airs to crash.

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Today, Apple has re-released the update with fixes as version 2.9.1:

This update replaces EFI Firmware Update 2.9 and is recommended for MacBook Air (Mid 2011) models.

The update can be found for mid-2011 MacBook Air owners in the Software Update section of the Mac App Store.

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Opinion: Will the iPad be left behind in the shift to larger iPhones?

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With Apple reporting lower-than-expected iPad sales for the second quarter in a row, it’s likely that Tim Cook will be once again be called on to reassure investors that the decline in year-on-year sales won’t continue indefinitely.

Cook has been very bullish on the iPad, despite the numbers, pointing especially to growing sales in the education sector and the opportunity for tablet growth in enterprise.

The penetration in business is low, it’s only 20 percent. If you looked at the penetration of notebooks in business it would be over 60 percent. We think there is a substantial upside in business.”

I think he’s right, especially with the IBM partnership. I mentioned in my opinion piece then that increasing penetration in enterprise could also help drive consumer migration from Android, as it gives people exposure to iOS devices. But the impact this has could well be offset by the iPhone 6 …  Read more

12-inch Retina MacBook now expected in late Q3 or 2015 as new 11 & 13-inch Airs enter production

Apple’s upcoming redesigned 12-inch MacBook with a Retina display is expected to ship later than expected and new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air models have gone into production, according to a pair of reports from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News. The first report says that updates to both current MacBook Air sizes have entered production with Apple partner Quanta Computer, and that the new computers will boost Quanta’s 2014 notebook shipment numbers by 15%. The new devices are said to sport new chassis, screens, and chipsets, and volume shipments are due in late-August barring any unforeseen component delays.

Speaking of part delays, Apple’s illusive 12-inch MacBook with Retina display is now expected to ship as early as the end of Q3 2014 or as late as early 2015. The computer was initially reported by multiple analysts and publications to hit the marketplace sometime in the earlier part of the third quarter. Why the apparent delay? Intel. According to the report, the new MacBook’s launch is glued to Intel’s power and performance-efficient 14-nanometer Broadwell part, and as we’ve heard multiple times, those chipsets will be short in supply into next year. Regardless, Apple has shown an ability to stock up on Intel’s latest chips months before the competition, so perhaps Apple will be able to avoid this reported delay…

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Review: Kickflip is a cool, simple, and affordable stand for your MacBook

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For the past couple of weeks, I have been testing a new MacBook stand called the Kickflip. I’ve used some of the more high-end stands for my laptop in the past as it improves the ergonomics involved with keyboard typing and because it improves the cooling of the computer. This new Kickflip is not stationary like some other stands on the market, but it is an accessory that sticks to the bottom of your laptop. The stand can be closed for when you want to keep the laptop in a bag or carry it around, and you flip out the kickstand when you want to raise up your laptop. The experience is nice, the stand is sturdy, and I very much have enjoyed using the Kickflip…

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Eddy Cue offering up lunch and a MacBook Air for charity

Image via AP

Image via AP

Apple CEO Tim Cook has now participated in two charity auctions through the site Charitybuzz, first raising $610,000 for coffee with the CEO then $330,000 for lunch and an invitation to an Apple event, and now Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue is offering his time as well in an effort to raise money for a good cause. The winning bidder for the Apple executive’s auction will specifically win the opportunity to have lunch with Eddy Cue at Apple’s campus in Cupertino, California, as well as a 13-inch MacBook Air… Read more

Review: Transcend’s JetDrives add whopping 240-960GB SSD to MacBook Air at a great price

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See that little $190 daughter card up there^? It houses 240GB of Transcend SSD and it could replace the 64GB or 128GB SSD that came in your MacBook Air in as little as 5 minutes. Even better, Transcend just released larger versions in 480GB and 960GB sizes to blow your SATA III MacBook Air or Pro into new worlds of space. Keep in mind these are SATA-based SSDs and Apple’s latest round of MacBook Pro/Airs came with speedier PCIe SSDs so you can’t use these on Apple’s late 2013/2014 models (see bottom of the article for compatibility list).

I got my hands on a demo unit and took it for a test drive…

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A day in the life of a cycle-touring holiday with Apple (and Garmin) tech

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Having just returned from a 12-day cycle-touring holiday (you missed me, right?), it occurred to me how much the activity has changed over the years. The basics are still the same, of course: turning the pedals makes the scenery pass slowly by, and by the end of the day you’re 40 or 50 miles away from where you had breakfast. But what used to be a very low-tech activity, involving little more than a paper map and compass, has now turned into something of a technofest – at least for me and a fellow geek friend who joined me. And my MacBook Air, iPad and iPhone are all integral parts of the trip …

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Apple releases new cheaper iMac with low-end processor, priced at $1099

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As rumored last week, Apple has today released a new model of iMac. These machines are considerably cheaper than their predecessors, priced at $1099. Previously, the cheapest iMac SKU was priced at $1299 (which is now the mid-range model).

The cheaper iMac features a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, which represents a significant worsening in performance over the previous base model of iMac, which featured a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz.  The CPU does Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz however, which does make up some of the difference.

Aside from the CPU, the hard drive has also been cut to 500 GB. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip. All other iMac models continue to use either Iris Pro integrated graphics or dedicated Nvidia cards. Otherwise, the internals of the new machine are unchanged.

Apple’s Press release below…

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Intel’s Broadwell chip makes rumored fanless MacBook Air a real possibility

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Rumors of a fanless 12-inch MacBook have been doing the rounds for quite some time now, and Intel’s announcement last night of a new 14nm Core M Broadwell processor could make it a reality.

The Intel® Core™ M processor will deliver the most energy-efficient Intel Core processor in the company’s history. The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless …

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Slipping shipping times may support analyst prediction of new, cheaper iMacs launching at WWDC

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Slipping shipping times for iMacs on Apple’s site may support a timeline released last month by KGI Research analyst Ming-Chi Kuo indicating that new, lower-cost iMacs could be launched this quarter.

Apple usually quotes 24 hours for delivery of standard-configuration iMacs, but is currently showing 3-5 business days across the range. Increased shipping times are sometimes an indication of lower or sporadic stocks, which tend to precede the launch of new models. With WWDC just one week away, that would be a logical time to announce them …  Read more

OS X 10.9.3 quietly increases VRAM on newer MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, perhaps to improve 4K performance

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We already knew that the latest version of OS X Mavericks, version 10.9.3, has provided increased compatibility between certain Macs and 4K displays. It appears, though, that may be in part due to a change in how OS X allocates certain resources, specifically VRAM, on newer machines. As Mac4ever and MacGeneration point out, certain hardware including the MacBook Pro with Retina display from Late 2013 and the MacBook Air from 2013 and 2014 have all seen an increase in the maximum level of VRAM available from 1024MB to 1536MB … Read more