iTunes Revamp in the Near Future??

Have you bought any new music from the iTunes store lately? 

You may have, but apparently, Apple hasn't seen the spike in music purchases they expected when they launched iTunes radio several months ago. One of the driving factors behind launching the Apple-based radio streaming service, in their mind, was its intuitive connection to the iTunes store - which served as a creative way to drive more people to purchase their music through iTunes. 

According to recent reports, however, Apple isn't happy with the early results, as they haven't been able to slow declining iTunes' sales. In light of this, Apple is reportedly considering a major facelift of the iTunes music store, designed to combat the influence of Youtube, other music-purchasing platforms, and other subscription based music-streaming Apps like Pandora and Spotify. 

While exactly what the new "make-over" would entail still isn't clear, there are rumors it may include either a Spotify-like "on-demand" service, or even expanding the iTunes store to Android devices.

What do you think Apple should do to solve their problem? What would you like to see in a revamp of the iTunes music store? We want to hear what YOU have stay!

Stay tuned to my blog for the latest on this and all other breaking Apple news and rumors!

Microsoft Office for iPad debuts today!

The long, long wait is over, iPad fans.

As of 2pm today, Microsoft Office will officially be available for iPad. The troika of highly-known and oft-used programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) will now be available as "freemium" models (basic versions of the program will be available at no cost) but fully-loaded versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint will require an Office 365 subscription. 

For more info, check out the video above for an overview, straight from Microsoft, on what Office can do on your trusty iPad.

Now, let's put our iPads to work!

 

Apple Co-Founder to Appear on Stamp??

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Could Apple co-founder become the first person from the computer industry to appear on US Postal Stamp?

According to a report by a report by the Washington Post, Jobs' name appeared on a short-list of US icons (including Tonight Show host Johnny Carson, rocker Jimi Hendrix and Basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain) approved to have their likeness appear on an official stamp sometime in the next few years.

Though a design that featured Jobs was approved, his inclusion on a stamp is still subject to change until the announcement is made official - thought its highly unlikely at this point he will be excluded. 

The Postal Service has said it dedicates some stamps to men and women who have made extraordinary contributions to American society and culture - a description that, in Average Joe's opinion (and probably yours, too) fits the technology vanguard perfectly.  

Many pundits and social media users have noted the irony that someone like Jobs, who made major contributions to an industry that has seemingly left traditional "snail-mail" teetering on irrelevance, would be honored by a stamp, of all things. While that may be true, it's hard to compile a list of influential Americans of the last half century and exclude Jobs, who's contributions to the computer and technology world, particularly in the United States, has been nearly unrivaled. 

What does everyone out there in internet-land think of the news? Does Jobs deserve his own stamp?

Rare iPhone-only iOs ver. 7.5 seeding??

According to reports, Apple is seeding a version of iOs 7.5 that will be exclusive to the iPhone 5S and 5C - a rare move for the tech giant, who usually opt to release iOs updates universally across their platforms and devices (iPads, iPod Touch, previous iPhone models).

Some industry insiders speculate the move is a reaction to some bugs found in Chinese iPhone models, with the update specifically targeting "network provisioning" problems. It may be easier for Apple to act immediately on these issues, rather than wrapping them up in a larger iOs update further down the road. 

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Three Classic Halloween Films Available on iTunes!

Halloween is the season to get dressed up, eat lots of candy and - of course - "binge-watch" all your favorite scary movies.  

Here are three of my favorites with links to buy - but be warned, Creative Computing is not liable for any nightmares, crying, or so-loud-we-woke-the-neighbors screaming as a result from viewing any of these terrifying titles, enjoy!

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Night of the Living Dead - Known world-wide as "the original Zombie flick", George A. Romero's legendary, low-budget film about a group of people stranded inside a creepy house during the zombie apocalypse was ground-breaking in it's day, and continues to scare the living daylights out of viewers well into the 21st century. A must see for anyone who considers themselves a "zombie-aficionado".

Halloween - The title says it all, folks. Perhaps no movie has become more synonymous with October 31st than Wes Craven's ridiculously scare-filled slasher movie, Halloween. The film, starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis, was the first to set Michael Myers (the crazy, knife-wielding maniac in the creepy Shatner mask) on the world. Dozens of sequels later, Michael Meyers is still scaring audiences - but this original stands above the rest . (WARNING - This film MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN)  

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The Nightmare Before Christmas - This kid-friendly animation, sprung from the always-spooky mind of director Tim Burton, may have Christmas in the title, but viewers know 'The Nightmare Before Christmas" is all about Halloween Town! This film follows hero Jack Skellington as he tries to give the aforementioned Halloween Town (where he and his equally creepy friends live) a dose of Christmas spirit - with some very mixed results, to say the least. This recent-classic can be enjoyed at either Halloween or Christmas - personally, I watch it during both!

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Three Scary-Good Halloween Apps!

'Tis the season to be scary, Apple fans - and this year, there are plenty of Apps available to help you get into the Halloween mood!

Here are three of my favorites - click on each title for a direct link to the App-store!

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1. The Walking Dead: Dead Yourself - Have you ever wanted to be a Zombie? In this app based off the super-popular show of the same name,  you can!  After you snap a pic of yourself, you can modify it with dozens of zombie-features to make yourself look...well...dead. Once you're done, you can upload the picture of Zombie-you to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

   

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2. Zombies, Run! Sticking with the Zombie theme here, our next App adds a dose of horror into your daily workout. Lacking motivation on your morning run? In this fitness game, an elaborate story is told (presumably while you are running) that has you as the main character, running to the nearest supply-stop in the midst of a Zombie apocalypse. If you start slowing down, you'll hear the hordes of undead gaining ground behind you - yikes!!

 

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3. Carve-a-Pumpkin - This family friendly app, presented by Parents Magazine, allows users to virtually participate in the long-held Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving. With dozens of eyes, noses, mouths and the option to either start from a pre-fixed template or carve your own 'free-hand', the Carve-a-Pumpking lets anyone carve an awesome Jack-O'-Lantern without all the mess! 

Support YOUR Local Businesses!

Did you buy something today?

The answer to this question is almost certainly a ‘yes’ for most adults living in this country. However, an overwhelming amount of purchases made by modern Americans are now made at nationwide chains, and not at small, locally-owned businesses.

Local businesses, once the backbone of our economy, are now facing unprecedented challenges in light of our country’s recent economic struggles. As chain-stores and large corporations increasingly make their move onto our “Main Streets”, more and more local businesses are being pushed out as a result. How can a small-town hardware store be expected to compete with a Home Depot, or a family-owned deli compete with Subway or Walmart?

It’s no big secret – the days of the Mom and Pop store on every corner are over.

Or are they?

Despite recent trends, many consumers have made a concentrated effort to support locally owned businesses in their communities – trying whenever they can to purchase the items they need at local, privately owned stores in order to keep the tradition of the local business alive and well, even in a troubled economy.

And consumers aren’t just doing this to keep their buddies in business either; studies have shown that money spent at locally owned businesses is significantly more likely to be used at other locally owned businesses, thus strengthening the local economic base and producing a more sustainable community in the process.

In fact, supporting local businesses is an essential, required move in the effort to keep the spirit of our communities alive and well. When you spend money at local businesses, you are helping your peers put their kids through school, put food on the table, and assisting them in creating a better life for themselves and their families.

In an age where large, faceless corporations seemingly become a bigger part of our lives by the day, it’s more important than ever to trust and invest in local businesses, not just for the immediate benefits, but to also help build a better future for everyone involved.

Creative Computing is proud to not only serve local businesses in the greater-Princeton area, but to also be a local business ourselves. By shopping at small, local businesses like Creative Computing, you help strengthen the local economy, invest in the community, put your taxes to good use, tend to receive a higher quality of service, and in the long run, build a better future for yourself and your family.

So before you make your next purchase, make sure to ask yourself – can I buy this locally, instead?

-Average Joe

Did You Know.....

Did you know that iTunes adds approximately 500,000 new accounts every day?  

During his keynote address at Apple's WWDC, CEO Tim Cook said that iTunes now has a total of 575 million iTunes account holders, most of whom have a credit card connected to their account.

With that speed of growth, Apple can predict to crack the one billion mark by 2015 - at least. For comparison, Amazon.com has 200 million accounts, PayPal has 123 million, and Netflix, the world's most popular streaming website, has a mere 29 million active users. 

Facebook and Google have more active users, but neither can showcase the unified storefront that Apple can, and neither have most of their users connected financially, which makes a huge difference in the eyes of many analysts. 

Check out this chart, it's a great way to visualize how far ahead Apple is over other, similar competitors (and how many people are on Facebook now - with all the seniors jumping on board, it's starting to remind me of a retirement home). 

 

-Average Joe

 

 

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Mac Pro

Hey everybody, check out this awesome interactive site for the newly announced Mac Pro. 

It seems like this bad boy is really poised to change the market when it's released later this year, what do you guys think? 

Here's the link, enjoy!

 http://www.apple.com/mac-pro/?cid=wwa-us-kwg-mac-aos&siclientid=5899&sessguid=7746c67f-66ea-45c2-bfff-70a5fef9b827&userguid=7746c67f-66ea-45c2-bfff-70a5fef9b827&permguid=7746c67f-66ea-45c2-bfff-70a5fef9b827

New June Promotions

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Hello everyone! 

I'm here to give you all the low-down on our fresh and exciting June promotions. 

Want to buy a Mac from Creative Computing? If you buy one in June, we'll come to your home and set it up for you for only $70 - that's half off the original price! 

Already have a Mac, but want a new one? Well, bring your old computer into Creative Computing and trade it in for credit towards a brand new unit! If you buy a new Mac with an extended warranty, we'll give you a FREE data transfer OR an Apple USB SuperDrive at NO COST.  

As you can see we have a few great deals going on here, and Macs make the perfect present for new Grads and old Dads, so get down to Creative Computing and make June the month you get a shiny new Mac! 

 -Average Joe

Apple Radio??

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According to a recent report by the New York Times, Apple is apparently on the verge of diving into music streaming - popularized previously by services like Pandora and Spotify.

Though Apple denied reports (not much of a surprise given that Apple is notoriously tight-lipped in regards to their future plans), they have already signed deals with Warner Music Group, Universal Music, and are talking to Sony Music about a deal.  Deals with these music-giants are seen as the first steps in creating the streaming service, which ABC coined 'iRadio'.

The service is rumored to be free, and to be reliant on advertising and links to Apple's Itunes store for generating money, striking a direct contrast with Google's new 'All Access Music Service', which costs $9.99 a month.

I use Pandora often through my iPhone and iPad, but I might make the switch if this ends up happening - it would be great to be able to buy new songs I like straight from my streaming service, which is exactly what this 'iRadio' would offer.

What do you guys think?

- Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Blog!

Hello everyone!

It's me Average Joe, coming straight to your computer via Creative Computing's awesome new site. The guys and gals at Princeton's favorite Apple specialist were nice enough to give me this new format to talk directly with you, their valued customers, on any and every Apple and tech related topic.

Every couple days I'm going to get on here to share what's happening in the Mac world: from new products, to big news and announcements, to those ever-churning, juicy rumors, we aim to be your main hub for everything Apple-related!

And of course, I'll be giving you the lowdown on everything that's happening at Creative Computing, so stay tuned for hot promotions and store news from your local Apple specialist. 

Feel free to leave me comments and questions whenever you feel the need (but please, be respectful). This blog is all about YOU, so always feel free to let your voice be heard!

So tell your friends and add me to your favorites, everyone. In the words of the great Humphrey Bogart - "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Talk to you soon,

Average Joe

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