December 2012 Meeting Report

SEAL finished the year off with a meeting that was full of information although there wasn’t a great deal of information about new products from Apple other than the all new slim iMac 21.5” from £1099 and the 27” from £1499.

Some concerns were raised due to the “Bonded” screen, what happens after your warranty has expired it would be almost impossible to replace internal components say like the harddrive without the help of an Apple “Genius” or those very clever people at iFixit, here is a quote from iFixit during teardown of the new slim 21.5” iMac.

The fused display may look awesome, but at what cost, Apple? At. What. Cost?

The cost is quickly apparent: cutting open the display destroys the foam adhesive securing it shut. Putting things back together will require peeling off and replacing all of the original adhesive, which will be a major pain for repairers.

Given these concerns it would appear that sales of the new iMac are very strong, it certainly is a very good looking iMac that has little or no screen reflection due to the “Bonded” screen.

The best advice we can give is that you do buy AppleCare protection plan, after all said and done even Apple products go wrong!

As is quite normal at our meetings, we had a couple of demonstrations from club members. The first being the slightly delayed launch of iTunes 11. It certainly showed how much has changed since we first saw iTunes back in 2001.

For some it has a much improved look but still has the much appreciated software. The immediate impression is that there more graphics and fewer lists of text but with a more intuitive user experience.

On the left you have your libraries, while in the centre you can choose to view by artist or album, and on the right you will see your devices that are connected and the iTunes store.

We were shown how you can easily connect multiple devices to iTunes and still have them displayed all in one neat and tidy place. Browsing your collections in the new expanded view, that puts all the information about your albums in one stylish place making it less easy to get confused about what you are listening to.

The loss of Coverflow is to some an irritation but Apple says that not many people use it!

One very interesting iTunes 11 feature shown to us was the new ‘Miniplayer’ that gives a whole new window, not just a mode for iTunes. Using this ‘Miniplayer’ we saw how easy it is to find whatever you need from within this new window.

First impressions at the meeting of the new ‘Miniplayer’ was in the main very good. Building your playlists was so easy, as easy as a walk in the park.

iTunes 11 for general storage of music, movies and other entertainment media for the average user, appears to be very good but already “Power Users“ are saying that with massive libraries that they have iTunes is still a flabby monster.

Playing tracks from the cloud was good and the search feature is much improved. The new ‘Next Up’ feature makes it much easier when queuing tracks and a great addition.

The overall opinion of iTunes 11 at our meeting, “it was worth waiting for.”

We also had a demonstration of Reflector a highly impressive application that “Mirrors” what you are doing on your Apple device to another device over Wifi (AirPlay).

The application was very responsive in that what you did on one device, was immediately reflected on all devices that are connected over WiFi.

It was felt that this would be an ideal solution in a classroom situation, an iPhone 5 was able to control what was being displayed on the big screen.

That’s it from SEAL for this year, we wish you all a very happy Christmas and that you have a truly great year in 2013.