Apple Using Amazon S3 Storage for iCloud Photo Library

Today I let my gigantic iPhoto library upload to iCloud Photo Library on my Mac. During this process I discovered something interesting — when looking at the site analytics on the network I was using, I noticed that the majority of traffic was being sent to the s3.amazonaws.com domain.

After letting about 30GB of photos upload, 27GB were to Amazon servers. I find it interesting that Apple would contract out their cloud storage instead of building out an in-house solution.

Crazy Idea: USB Hub For New MacBook Air With Type C Connector That Charges With Lightning

When I was thinking about the radical new 12" MacBook Air reported by Mark Gurman that might have only one USB Type C connector for charging and connectivity, I had an idea — what if Apple included a simple USB hub that also handled power and Thunderbolt?

I sketched the idea out below:

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Magsafe 2 would still be used for power to keep backward compatibility with old chargers, and this little dongle would give connectivity to those who need it. I don't believe Apple would leave it up to a third party to create this hub, as Apple is usually pretty picky about controlling their power adapters.

Can The USB 3.1 Type C Spec Handle It?

Yes. Yes, it can. According to Anandtech, the USB Type C connector can handle up to 10Gbps data transfers while simultaneously delivering up to 100 watts of power, which is more than enough to handle the lower wattage of the Intel Core M processor, which is down to 4.5W for the entire SoC from 15W for the Core i5 in the current MacBook Air.

The typical power draw of the current Core i5 is 12.19W vs the Core M's 3.66W (via CPU Boss), and the current MacBook Airs with i5 processors ship with 45W chargers. So if Apple sticks with a 3x factor of power draw to charging adapter capacity, we could be looking at a 10-12W charger.

But wait, Apple already ships a charger in the 10-12W range — the one that comes with current gen iPad Airs.

Thunder and Lightning United?

With that logic, it is within reason that the new MacBook Air could use Lightning instead of MagSafe. While losing the cool magnetic, no-pull feature of MagSafe would be a downside, it would be incredibly convenient to use the same charger for my MacBook Air and my iPhone/iPad. So many times I've forgotten my MagSafe Adapter but had a spare Lightning adapter for my phone.

Here's an updated drawing:

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We could use the same car adapters, charging accessories, and heck, maybe we'd see a Mophie for Mac. In light of Apple's complete lack of interest in licensing the MagSafe technology, this is exciting news for the Mac charging accessory market.

Apple is clearly pushing to a wireless-only future: just look at the decision to make the Apple Watch charge inductively. It is safe to assume that a majority of Apple's customer base rarely uses USB anymore anyways as cloud services reign, AirPrint printers become more common, and AirDrop works between iOS and Mac OS X. But for the times you do need USB, just use the dongle.

If Apple decides to ditch MagSafe for Lightning, I would also anticipate a Lightning to USB Type-C adapter, similar to this one, but in reverse.

I'm no hardware engineer, and I would love for someone to punch holes in my theory to see if it holds water. Get in touch on Twitter if you have any additional insight, I'd love to hear it. I'll keep this article updated as I receive any solid information.

Fear Keeps You From Your Creativity

Great article by Shawn Blanc about how fear keeps you from writing and doing your best creative work.  I love his policy of letting the first draft be ugly.

I give a wholehearted "Amen" to this concept. In my own experience writing this blog, fear is definitely the prominent emotion that squelches creativity. However, I've begun to realize that there is more to it than just the emotion of fear: there is a rickety scaffolding of thought patterns that lead to fear — it is not born in a vaccuum. 

One of my goals for 2015 is to reflect upon and destroy these thought patterns that lead to fear through journaling. It's like a boxing match every time I think about writing. "You'll sound like so-and-so", "You don't really have anything to say", "What you have to say is boring". It's like trying to write with a taunting fly buzzing around my head. My heart wants to write but my head knocks it down like Whac-a-Mole.

This year is as good as any to kill the fly and to dismantle the thought technologies that keep me from sitting down at the keyboard. My goal of this blog is to write about anything I come across that might benefit others in a creative way, and there's no reason to let fear keep me from helping other people.

Here's to fear's eviction notice.

Potential Fix for iOS 8 & Yosemite Wi-Fi Issues

Stumbled across this great article by Mario Ciabarra with some quick fixes for the Wi-Fi issues plaguing so many of my Appinstructor clients. 

I don't recommend giving this out to just everyone though, because it requires a jailbreak for the iOS fix and a terminal command for Yosemite. Keep this one power users only.

It's really great insight into what is going on, but I'm surprised that Apple would tank the Wi-Fi interface so bad. I'm hoping for a fix soon.

Does the Apple SIM Mean It's Time for LTE Macs?

I think so.

There is no real reason that I can think of that Apple has not offered LTE Macs that makes sense besides avoiding carrier lock-in.

"Would you like your Mac with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint?"

Just hearing that question makes me feel queasy, as I'm sure it does to anyone involved with creating Macs. It dilutes the Mac's image and creates a confusing and frustrating buying experience. The introduction of the Apple SIM, however, could allow LTE Macs that avoid lock-in.

The Perfect Mac Might Be Incoming

I believe that Apple potentially has the perfect Mac in the oven with the rumored 12" MacBook Air with Retina display, thinner fan-less design, and a much more efficient processor. How amazing would it be to have this mythical MacBook Air come with an LTE option and an Apple SIM?

Think about it: a MacBook Air with 12 hours of battery life, Retina display, always-on super-fast LTE connection that could flip back and forth between whatever carrier you desire (if AT&T and Verizon can get their act together).

Apple would have to make sure the software side was perfect — OS X would need some great and intuitive controls for controlling what apps are able to use cellular data. It would be a terrible experience if iTunes downloaded an entire season of Breaking Bad over your limited data plan.