MacBook Air: For Beginners 2015 (2014)

Introduction

At the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference in June 2013, Apple Inc. released the updated MacBook Air device to the public. The MacBook Air is available in two models; the 13 inch and 11 inch. The MacBook Air notebook boasts innovation and continued quality for technology consumers.

The new design offers users the standard storage of 4 GB, secondary storage of up to 128GB, 3.3 GHz of Turbo Boost and improved battery life. It also has as a part of its design a thin full-sized keyboard, retina display, and the new Force-Touch track-pad. Also included is a 1.4-1.6GHz dual-core, 720p FaceTime camera and Bluetooth 4.0.

Apple Inc.’s new MacBook Air and its many features will be the focus of this book. We will explore the various ways in which the use of the notebook may be maximized to increase consumer enjoyment. It is hoped that at the end of the piece, the knowledge base surrounding the product will be increased among users.

Facts/Features

1.       Accessories

When opening your MacBook Air from its packaging for the first time, users should check for the power adapter, an AC wall plug and the power cord. Should any of the items be missing, users are encouraged to return to their dealer store or contact Apple Inc. directly for further instructions.

2.       Battery Life 

The new MacBook Air has been equipped with a larger battery. This new feature is facilitated by more condensed storage area being placed inside the new device. When allowed to become fully charged, the 11 inch model offers users battery life in excess of 9 hours. The 13 inch model of the MacBook Air, when fully charged with allow for internet surfing, movie watching and music listening for up to 12 hours.

3.       Power Source

The MacBook Air 11 inch model is powered by a built-in 38 watt per hour lithium-polymer battery and the 13 inch model by the 54 watts per hour lithium-polymer battery. Both models also work along with a 45 watts MagSafe 2 power cable cord and port.

4.       Dimensions

The MacBook air is among the most compact yet powerful computers now on the market. The 11 inch model has a height of approximately 0.3-1.7 centimetres, width of 3 centimetres and depth of approximately 19.2 centimetres. The weight of this model is estimated to be about 2.38 pounds or 1.8 kg. The 13 inch model is just as compact and weighs in at approximately 2.96 pounds or 1.35 kg. The dimensions for this model are 1.7 cm x 32.5 cm x 22.7 cm (H x W x D).

5.       Audio Features

The audio function on this device comes in four separate forms; stereo speakers, headphone port, dual microphones and the support provided for the Apple iPhone headset.

6.       Standby Mode/ Power Nap

This power saving feature of the new device allows the device to enter Power Nap mode after 3 hours of sleep. When allowed to stay in Power Nap or Sleep Mode, the MacBook Air can maintain battery life for approximately 3 days once the device is connected to an AC power. During Power Nap the device is designed to still allow access to emails, notes, contacts, calendar and reminders.

7.       Turning Power Nap On/Off

This feature comes as a default setting on the new device. To adjust the settings, users are asked to view the System Preferences settings, followed by the Energy Saver option. Be sure to remove the indicator from the ‘Enable Power Nap’ option to deactivate.

8.       Processors

The MacBook Air has as part of its design a fifth generation Intel core 1.7 and 1.5 processors. This feature offers to users, superior performance, efficiency and speed. It allows for the playing of games and graphic designs at all levels.

9.       Built-In Wi-Fi

This built-in feature is designed to enable speedier and more convenient browsing range. The MacBook Air supports Wi-Fi range of up to 802.11ac and at least 3 times that speed when the device is connected to a base station.

10.   Bluetooth Technology

The design of the MacBook Air also includes Bluetooth capabilities. When Bluetooth is activated, the device allows users to connect and interact with other devices that are Bluetooth enabled.

11.   Fast-Flash Storage

Among the newest innovations included in the MacBook Air device is Flash Storage. This feature not only allows for increased storage capabilities of up to 512GB but also brings to users ease of access that is purportedly 17 times faster when compared to a regular hard drive.

12.   Connectivity

The device has a number of options for connecting to other devices. This feature brings the workstation home, while offering efficiency and comfort. The 13inch MacBook Air is designed with 1 Thunderbolt 2, 2 USB 3 and 1 MagSafe 2 connection ports. It is also equipped with a slot for SDXC cards. The 11inch MacBook Air offers similar connection features with the exception of the SDXC slot.

13.   MagSafe 2

This is a unique and innovative feature of the MacBook Air. This power connector allows the power cables to be attached using this magnetic strip. What the MagSafe 2 offers is a secure yet convenient attachment as well as clean and easy removal. This feature can be found to the left side of both the 11 inch and 13 inch models. 

14.   Dual Microphones

This feature is located to the left of both the 11inch and 13inch models. There are now microphones which increase clarity during movies watching or creation, using Skype or listening to an audio. The design of the microphones also sees background noises reduced during calls and ignored during dictations/recordings.  

15.   HD Camera

The MacBook Air is also equipped with a 720p FaceTime HD camera. With its crisp resolution, enjoying video chats are made clearer.

16.   Backlit Display

The device has as a part of its features a 4.86 mm/ 0.19 inch display with LED backlighting. This presents colors in a clearer and brighter format and is ideal for enjoying a movie or playing back through those favouritefamily photos. 

17.   Display Resolution

The display is designed with superior resolution for viewing enjoyment. The 11inch model has a resolution of approximately 1366 x 768 MP, while the 13inch model boasts resolution of 1440 x 900 MP. 

18.   Multi-Touch Trackpad

This feature facilitates ease of use with its multi-touch capabilities. It allows users to easily swipe to access all their apps and documents as well as the Mission Control feature. The multi-touch options are click, double-click, tap to zoom, two-finger scroll, swipe to activate and view Mission Control.

19.   View Mission Control Touch

To easily view the active features on the device, simply swipe the three inner fingers of the hand in an upward motion on the trackpad.

20.   Tap to Zoom Touch

The Tap to Zoom touch feature allows the user to amplify images that appear on the display; whether while surfing a favourite website or when reading through tomorrow’s presentation.

21.   Fast Memory

Memory on the MacBook Air comes in the form of a LPDDR3, 8 gigabytes, 1600 MHz spread. This super powered feature facilitates speed, efficiency and convenience for accessing apps and for web browsing.

22.   Backlit Keyboard

This feature allows users to utilize the device even in environments that are poorly lit. The keyboard is also equipped with an ambient light sensor that is designed to sense adjustments in the room’s lighting and automatically modify the brightness of the display and keyboard accordingly.  

23.   AppleCare Support

The MacBook Air comes with free 90 days telephone tech-support. Included in this support is a limited one year warranty. To increase the tenure of the tech-support, users are provided with the option of purchasing the AppleCare Protection Plan. With this plan the AppleCare support is offered for an additional 3 years from date of initial purchase.

24.   Genius Bar Support

This feature is available to users at any Apple Retail Store in the form of expert advice from the Tech-Representatives. Where the device was purchase directly from the Apple stores, personal trainers can be assigned for easy transferring of files and documents.

25.   iCloud Storage

This feature is the ideal, easy access storage currently available in world of technology.  It allows users to conveniently store photos, movies, work or school documents and important events and dates. With all the important pieces of data safely amassed, users are able to easily access it all from other devices and then share with family or friends whenever desired.

26.   Current iCloud Storage Plans

Users of the MacBook Air are offered a range of storage plans from which to choose. The first is free and offers approximately 5GB of storage space. The other options are 2GB; now available for $.99 per month, 2GB for $3.99 per month, 500GB for approximately $9.99 per month and 1TB, offered to users for approximately $19.99 per month.

27.   Setting up iCloud

To set up the iCloud feature on your MacBook Air first ensure that the newest version of OS X is installed on your device then select the iCloud icon from your display screen and enter your Apple ID and password. The user will then be provided with a list of Apple services from which the desired options should be chosen. The next step involves setting up a fee iCloud email account and then moving on to enable streaming capabilities. Music, books and application preferences may then be selected and the feature activated on your other devices to allow for easy movement from one to the other.

28.   Family Sharing

This innovative feature of the MacBook Air is ideal for families. It allows a user; also called the originator to use their iCloud to enable the Family Share. Users are able to share with a maximum of six persons, features such applications, eBooks and iTunes. Photos and calendar of events can also be shared across devices. This is also ideal for parents who need to monitor app and music purchases desired by younger children. For each attempted purchase by children, the parents must provide permission. 

29.   Lost Mode

With the iCloud feature of the MacBook Air, your lost device is easily tracked. To activate, first access the Lost Mode feature. This feature will provide the user with four options from which to choose; Lock Your Screen, Display a Message, Get Notified and Track Location.

30.   Remote Erase

This feature prevents secure or personal data from getting into the wrong hands. Should your MacBook Air become lost and access is somehow gained, the remote erase feature deletes all personal data from the device and returns it to the original factory settings.

31.   Backup

This feature allows for automatic backup of all newly added data on your device. This will happen as soon the device is connected to a Wi-Fi connection. The auto backup keeps panic at bay should the device develop a malfunction or become infected with a virus. Where this happens, the backup feature allows all stored data to be restored to your device. 

32.   OS X

This is the software that powers the operations of the MacBook Air. Its design facilitates compatibility with iOS devices, enabling seamless performance of the MacBook Air during activities. This compatibility with iOS devices allows users to take a call on the MacBook Air that is ringing on your iOS enabled smart phone or use the Mac to power on features on the smart phone.

33.   Intuitive Gestures

The gestures for searching and easily accessing applications and documents on the MacBook Air are Finder, Launchpad and Spotlight.  The finder is designed to allow for organization of documents being stored on the device. Spotlight enables searching at its easiest and the Launchpad displays the full library of applications; making access easier.

34.   Force Touch

This is another unique feature of the new MacBook Air device. It allows the trackpad of the computer to automatically detect downward disparities and consequently adjust. The Force Click; applied pressure to the Force Touch, on a word allows direct access to a number of dictionary definitions. When Force Click is used on a property address, the feature is designed to initiate a map popup with directions attached.

35.   Security Features

Security on the MacBook Air is pertinent to keeping personal documents, photos and videos protected. The MacBook comes equipped with a number of security features designed for this purpose. The FileVault uses encryption to defend against intrusions into data on the device. The Gatekeeper does just as its name suggests and stands guard over information and applications being downloaded on to the Mac. Sandboxing separates the various apps and system data while Find My Mac allows for easy locating of a misplaced or stolen MacBook Air.

36.   Magic Mouse

This feature is a button-less, multi-touch device. It connects to the MacBook Air through wireless connection and provides easy access to all areas of the computer with simple gestures. The mouse is covered with a fully multi-touch surface. To scroll through pages or images on the device, simply swipe with one or two fingers or click and double-click on the display. The beauty of this feature lies in its laser tracking capabilities, which are ultra sensitive to enable seamless movement and functionality. 

Accessibility Features

37.   Voice Over

This is a phenomenon text-to-speech tool. Its design is ideal for the visually impaired owners or users of the MacBook Air. It works by reading the data as it appears on the display and enabling the user to apply gestures andinteract. The MacBook voice speaks to the user and explains all that occurs while in use.

38.   Zoom

This feature of the MacBook Air facilitates screen magnification of up to 20 times its original size. It allows the user to choose between full screen display and picture in picture for review of specific areas of the screen. This feature is also ideal for users with poor eye sight or other visual challenges.

39.   Dictation

This feature is ideal for both the visually impaired and the everyday user. It allows the user to speak into the device rather than typing with the keyboard. This is useful for typing a class paper, sending an email or completing the presentation for tomorrow’s board meeting; all without having to type. The Dictation feature will simply turn your words into text format. The user is also able to instruct the Dictation to punctuate, bold, underline or highlight where deemed necessary. The feature functions in over 40 languages and has more than 50 formatting and editing commands available to its users.

40.   Messages with iMessage

This is Apple’s version of messenger; allowing for seamless and convenient conversations using only the fingers for typing or the Dictation feature. There is no limit on the number of messages allowed and these can be sent not only to other MacBook Air users but also users of the iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. This feature is designed to meet the needs of the hearing or orally challenged users. Users are also afforded the opportunity to share images and videos through this medium as well as engage in group chats.

41.   Screen Flash

This feature is designed to replace alert sounds that accompany system or application requests. It works by simply flashing the screen and is automatically activated once set up on your new MacBook Air. The Screen flash is ideal for the hearing impaired consumer.

Applications

42.   iPhoto

This feature is photo organization at its best. The iPhoto options include organize, enhance, customize and print. Users are able to create slideshows of specific group shots and also share those with family and friends via social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The iPhoto app also allows the user to create calendars, scrapbook and e-cards using the desired photo/s.

43.   iMovie

The iMovie application is ideal for the creation and storage of home movies on your MacBook Air. With the browse option, users can easily search for organized clips and select the one they desire to watch. The app also allows for the compilation of any number of clips into one big movie and the iTheater allows for crystal clear watching of these creations.

44.   Garage Band

This app is perfect for the music performer and lover. It comes equipped with an enormous number of amp and stompbox selections for the creation of your feelings into words. The app also features a sound library and virtual drummer. To complete the dream of making music, the GarageBand also offers music lessons for all users; whether a beginner, intermediate or master. The available options include Make Music, Learn to Play, Record and Mix and Share your Song.

45.   Numbers

This is the ideal application for budgeting and recording of figures. The template allows users to simply input the pertinent figures and see it transform to a tabular or chart format for ease of use and referencing. There are a number of templates from which to choose or one can simply opt to start from a blank screen.       

46.   Keynote

This application creates the presentation for tomorrow’s board meeting in style. There are a number of themes from which to choose and users are allowed the opportunity to add personalized or theme-specific photos and videos to enhance the presentation. The app also enables animation and the inclusion of interactive charts and dramatic effects.

47.   FaceTime

This app allows the user to conduct video chats directly from their MacBook Air. Activating the app is relatively easy. First identify the person you wish to speak to by searching for either their name, contact number or email address, click the face and commence the conversation. Receiving or declining a FaceTime call is just as easy. Whenever a call is being received, the device will send a notification.  The options, accept, set callback reminder or decline will appear on screen. Simply tap the preference to proceed.

48.   Calendar

The Calendar app makes keeping important dates and planned events on track. The app allows for the user to share the calendar of events with other users and allows the location of the planned event or meeting to be saved and attached to the reminder. The calendar is automatically synced with your other iOS devices.

49.   Contacts

This application is the MacBook Air’s address book. It allows for the user to search for friends in the contact list to chat on FaceTime, iMessage or to send an email. The contact list is automatically updated and can be sorted and stored into specific groups such as family, co-workers and friends. Call can also be made using your MacBook Air once your contact is tapped to activate.

50.   iBooks

This is the MacBook Air’s e-reader. The store is open to users and allows books from every genre to be downloaded to your computer. The option is also made available for users to highlight special passages or even take notes for future reference.