MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Websites

Apr. 21, 2009
May. 2, 2009
May. 13, 2009
May. 27, 2009
May. 28, 2009
May. 30, 2009
Jun. 1, 2009
Jun. 5, 2009
Jun. 23, 2009
Jun. 24, 2009
Jul. 10, 2009
Jul. 13, 2009
Jul. 14, 2009
Jul. 15, 2009
Aug. 17, 2009
Sep. 12, 2009
Sep. 15, 2009
Oct. 5, 2009
Oct. 10, 2009
Oct. 12, 2009
Oct. 14, 2009
Oct. 15, 2009
Oct. 16, 2009
Oct. 17, 2009
Nov. 3, 2009
Jan. 15, 2010
Feb. 22, 2010
Sep. 8, 2010
Dec. 7, 2011
Dec. 8, 2011
Dec. 9, 2011
Dec. 10, 2011
Dec. 12, 2011
Dec. 13, 2011
Dec. 14, 2011
Dec. 15, 2011
Feb. 3, 2012
Apr. 5, 2012
Apr. 6, 2012

Newer entries...
Apr. 21, 2009


Chris R

Has anyone else noticed that the job searches on sites run by are not working with Safari?

When you select the Location (country, state, city) and click 'Search' nothing happens.

Their Browser support page does not even mention the Mac.

This is frustrating as many companies use Taleo for their career websites.

May. 2, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

It seems that the recent upgrade of the dlink websites is causing issues with both Firefox and Safari, at least on Intel based machines, specifically a MacBook Pro 2.16GHz Core Duo.
I wonder if this is an isolated incident or have others found this to be the case?

May. 13, 2009


Mark Kaufman

Add Ovation Travel at to the list. They offer a convenient calendar import feature for your itinerary.

Windows only.

May. 27, 2009


Tom Herndon

Question from a new Mac user: A prospective employer's website asks that Ii use Netscape or Internet Explorer to access their test scheduling site. I have Safari; what are my options?


Bob Murphy

Tom Herndon asked what to do about a prospective employer's website that requires Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer is hasn't been an option on the Mac for years.

Firefox is the successor to Netscape, and I've found it to work fine for sites that expect Netscape and won't play nice with Safari. Use Safari to navigate to, then you can download and install Firefox.


Robert Mohns

"A prospective employer's website asks that Ii use Netscape or Internet Explorer to access their test scheduling site. I have Safari; what are my options?"

Wow, Netscape hasn't actually been developed in years! Try out Firefox, which is the heir to Netscape.

If that doesn't work, I found a description of how to run IE 6, IE7 and IE8 on Mac. It involves downloading free VirtualPC disk images from Microsoft, then converting them for use with VMware ($50 from Amazon) or VirtualBox (free, but requires a little more work).

May. 28, 2009


Paul Brandon

I've also found Camino (another Mozilla product with fewer bells and whistles than Firefox) useful when neither Safari nor FireFox will play with a PC-centric Web site.


David Zatz

Another option for IE6, at least, is Crossover Office, which is reasonably priced and relatively low-impact.


Tony Schaps

A notice about using either Netscape or Internet Explorer on a given site is really a sign of an old website or developers stuck in the past. As someone wrote, almost nobody uses Netscape anymore on any platform, and after AOL bought Netscape, they stopped developing it a few years ago.

All that goes to support my point that the first option to try is just to try Safari! Either it will work fine (quite likely), or it will not work properly (then try Firefox), or it may be blocked by a script detecting the visiting browser and blocking anything non-Netscape or non-IE. In that third case, don't give up; just Google how to enable the "Develop" menu in Safari, then open a new window or tab, change your "User Agent" to Internet Explorer 6 and then go the site in question. It will 'lie' and tell the website it's IE 6, and it will probably let you in. Now, the site still might not work with Safari, but it does work in many cases. The site's developers probably just do not want to test other browsers. They just want everyone to conform to what they know will work. With that 'block' in place, they can show their bosses the website logs showing that only Netscape and IE users come to the site anyway-- it's quite a racket.
If it works in Safari and you get the job, you can go meet those probably overworked, yet still browser-negligent developers.

A side note: I don't recommend this be a habit whenever sites don't work in Safari-- it depends on the nature of the site. If you're trying to get a job, you don't complain. But if it's a service or retailer which shuts out Safari for no reason, the president deserves a short email.


Russell Finn


"A prospective employer's website asks that Ii use Netscape or Internet Explorer to access their test scheduling site. I have Safari; what are my options?"

I would try using Safari and see what happens. If the web site blocks Safari (because it's testing the user agent string), try turning on the Debug (or Developer) menu, where there's a way to spoof the user agent string to make it appear that you're using Netscape/Mozilla/IE/whatever. (I'm away from my Mac, so I can't verify the details on how to do this, but Google will help.)

Or, as others have suggested, try Firefox. I'd be surprised if there wasn't an add-on to provide similar functionality.


Seth Elgart

Robert Mohns wrote:

If that doesn't work, I found a description of how to run IE 6, IE7 and IE8 on Mac. It involves downloading free VirtualPC disk images from Microsoft, then converting them for use with VMware ($50 from Amazon) or VirtualBox (free, but requires a little more work).

I'd first recommend trying some Wine before going the virtualization route. It's free, it's relatively easy and it basically lets you run IE6 almost as if it were a native Mac application. You can find it at

It only works on an Intel processor, and it's easier to do if you're running Leopard (but it'll work in Tiger).

May. 30, 2009


Robert Rosenberg

Russell Finn said:

Or, as others have suggested, try Firefox. I'd be surprised if there wasn't an add-on to provide similar functionality.

There is. You can download it here:

Jun. 1, 2009


Daniel Smith

The saving grace is that websites that don't work on the Mac frequently don't work under Windows, either!

Let me qualify that. On my Mac, I try Safari first, Firefox second, and my wife's PC third. She runs whatever version of XP and whatever version of Internet Explorer the automatic updates have given her.

It is _very_ rare for me to succeed with IE-under-XP after failing with Safari and Firefox on my Mac.

The websites that don't work on the Mac are, it would appear, very, very picky about versions and configuration, even in the PC world. You'd better have the right service pack and the right version of IE and the right version of Silverlight etc. etc. etc.

My bank's website even warns customers that it doesn't work with Vista!


Michelle Steiner

This is the opposite of Mac Marginalization; I embedded, in a Live Journal message, a link to a pdf file. Safari on the Mac was the only browser that could display it. Opera couldn't, Firefox couldn't, Camino couldn't, and Internet Explorer couldn't. However, no one tried it with Safari on Windows, so maybe it could.

Jun. 5, 2009


Daniel R Killoran

Gevalia, the coffee company ( website seems to work OK with Safari until you try to order. Then it will not advance from one stage to the next. I have complained to them about this before, but they claim they don't know why it doesn't work.

Firefox works ok, although the display looks a bit odd.

Jun. 23, 2009


Bruno Forcier

Well I guess it you want to take a look at the electronic flyers for this week's specials at Loblaw's Supermaket chain you're out of luck.

The site seems to let you navigate both with Safari 4.0.1 and Firefox 3.11 but once you get to the flyer section, forget it... nothing happens.

Jun. 24, 2009


Chris Eschweiler

I went to the TNT website to check on their online content, and yes... I got the "Sorry! This clip requires Microsoft Windows to play" message. (Isn't "Windows" trademarked? ;-)

I dropped them an e-mail asking that they reconsider their strategy. I also asked that if they couldn't figure out how to make the content the sponsors finance for the network work for more computers that TNT encode all their ads with the same DRM scheme so we don't have to watch the ads of companies that support this 1995-style practice.


Leslie Dickie

Perhaps you could pass this along to Bruno Forcier who wrote about the Loblaws site no longer working on Mac.

I decided to let Loblaws know they were loosing a customer because their website doesn't work on my Mac or iPhone.

Email to Loblaws: (

Your on-line flyer no longer works properly on my Mac or iPhone.

I've decided to stop driving to the Kirkland Loblaws store and instead stop at St Charles Road and go to the new Metro + store there. I have no trouble reading their flyer on-line.

I can read the flyer for my Provigo store here in Baie-D'Urfe on-line but their prices are higher and the selection very limited so I prefer to go elsewhere for my weekly shopping.



Paul Constantine

When writing to websites that lock out Mac users in some fashion, it might be good to say something along the lines of:

"I and my fellow 75 million OS X users think..."

And if you're really angry, try:

"Imagine your business if 75 million OS X users are very upset that you seem to be negating them as web users..."

Jul. 10, 2009


Evan Dreyer

Christies (the hoary British auction house) has now joined the 20th century; with online real time bidding. Gotta have Windows though (although their web site does say Macs under emulation work). They haven't made it to the 21st century yet.

Jul. 13, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

Tonight (7/11/2009) I tried to buy a few hundred $$ worth of tickets for an event at the local race track. The track uses and evidently, I need to use a more secure OS such as Windows 98:

"Due to security considerations, this site only supports Firefox version 1.5 and above, and Internet Explorer versions 6 and above. We do not currently support browsers running on operating systems other that Microsoft Windows 98, 2000, XP, and 2003. Please return using a supported Web Browser and operating system".

I tried changing the User Agent ID and that failed to let me through to make my purchase.

They offer an online demo of their service and it also hates Safari and Mac:

I am going to let the track know that using a service stuck in the stone-age is just not good for business.

Jul. 14, 2009


Art Majerus

For the user who had problems getting tickets through ticket director. I went to the test site on my Mac using the current version of Firefox and it worked fine. Safari gave the incompatible message. So I guess it is a browser issue and not windows vs mac issue


David Ryeburn

MacInTouch Reader wrote:

"They offer an online demo of their service and it also hates Safari and Mac:"

I confirmed that Camino, even if claiming to be IE 6 running under Windows XP, was also turned away, as was iCab 4.6.1 with its default "Identity for best compatibility" choice. But iCab, claiming to be IE 6 running under Windows XP, unlike Camino *was* allowed to view this web page. I do not know if it will let you go on to buy your tickets.

Jul. 15, 2009


Bob Ball

I've purchased drip irrigation supplies from Toro in the past, but I don't remember getting this response:

" is designed to display properly in Internet Explorer 5.0, Firefox 1.0+, and Netscape 6.0 or newer versions. Some features will not work properly with older versions of Explorer, Firefox or Netscape and with unsupported browsers like Safari and Opera. We recommend you to download Internet Explorer for free at the following link: Download Microsoft Internet Explorer."

I responded, telling whomsoever [that] their web designer is lazy; how I do a lot of on-line ordering and banking without encountering such problems.

And then, as often happens, I went ahead and completed my order using Safari.

Aug. 17, 2009


Lance Goddard

I had a problem with the Waste Management EZPay website where pages showing past invoices would not display. I wrote to the webmaster and was informed that they do not support Safari/Mac:

The WMezpay website does not support Safari / Mac users. Do you want me to remove you from ezpay and return you to mailed paper invoice?

I then asked if they support other browsers such as Opera, FireFox, Camino, or OmniWeb on the Mac. Their reply:

>WMezpay does not support any which run on Mac.

Sep. 12, 2009


Gregory Weston

This morning my mother asked me to research a product she was considering buying from QVC. I headed over and noted that their product page was a little sparse on detail but there was a link for PDF versions of the manual and a couple of other marketing materials. I clicked on one and ended up with a window telling me that I needed the Acrobat Reader plugin to read the content.

I opened up that page and it's a goofy mix of both JavaScript and VBScript that attempts to directly instantiate several different versions of the plugin and if it succeeds it then just resets its own URL to the actual PDF document. Otherwise you're left staring at the advice that makes up the visible content of this 'gatekeeper' page.

I wrote to them pointing out the false negative result and suggesting that they give up the test, describing how to short circuit it for Mac users if they really felt they needed to verify.

About 12 hours later I got back a response telling me what steps I need to go through to recover my QVC account number. I'm sure that'd be useful if I had one to recover.

Sep. 15, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

QVC's implementation of pdf does not work with Safari. It does work with Firefox. I have informed the corporate office.

Oct. 5, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

When attempting to look at the download page on, with any Mac browser, I get this message:

Warning: our system does not currently support downloads for your browser/operating system.
Downloading and playing movies requires Internet Explorer 5.0 (or newer) and a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista. Please load this page in Internet Explorer or
install the IE Tab Extension in Firefox (IE installation required). Thanks for downloading from!
Click here to install the latest version of Internet Explorer.
Click here to install the Mozilla/Firefox IE Tab Extension. Installation help

The suggested Firefox IE Tab Extension (or a similar one without a serious memory leak first reported in 2006) will only run under Windows.

Oct. 10, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

Mac OS X uses need not seek consulting jobs through Business Control Systems:

"To be compatible with our Online Application, we require that you use Microsoft Internet Explorer."

I told these morons, in an email, to go fly a kite.
And then I sent my CV to their local competitor.

Oct. 12, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

The Taleo job-search software used by many hospitals, is effectively not Mac compatible. The search function will not narrow down the list of positions, but instead list all openings in every department. The advanced search function simply doesn't list anything ever.

For example, see the Taleo-powered career web sites at The Group Health Cooperative and Intermountain Healthcare:

The folks at Taleo also refuse to directly accept feedback about their software:

Important Information for Job Applicants

Under the agreements with our customers we do not provide candidate support. The company to which you are applying is responsible for providing assistance.

To receive assistance, please contact the company to which you are applying. Ask for Human Resources, and then ask for assistance with your online job application. Be persistent. You may have to ask for their Taleo systems administrator to get the level of assistance you require.

The Lockheed Martin web site careers section, powered by Brass Ring, doesn't work at all under Camino (go to, click on "search openings", and it consistently brings up the Brass Ring-powered job search you were previously at -- in this case, NYSE/SIAC/Euronext.

Go over to Safari, and Brass Ring-powered Lockheed Martin doesn't fare so well, either. It doesn't work at all unless you change the browser's security settings to "accept all cookies regardless".

THEN, to add injury to insult, when you goes to page, and click on "Contact Us", you get routed to

Oct. 14, 2009


David Hodnett

The Firefox web browser with JavaScript enabled (i.e., NoScript turned off), seems to render Taleo pages just fine, including the apply-filter-then-search bug.

I also suspect that some of the issues are influenced by the way the hiring organization "embeds" the Taleo product within their web pages. I can't remember the employer off-hand but I do remember one employer setting up Taleo to run within a pop-up window and it worked just fine in Safari 4 (once I permitted pop-ups).

I suspect Taleo is unresponsive to our complaints because some of these issues need to be fixed by the hiring companies themselves. Err... to put it another way, if a financially strapped hospital is still getting 10,000 applications a day, they're not going to complain to Taleo and they're not going to go out of their way to apply any patches that Taleo might recommend.

My personal technique: visit employer web sites in Safari as I typically do. Whenever I encounter a Taleo "widget" which is very noticeable, I cut and paste the link to the widget itself into Firefox window, one where Taleo itself is whitelisted.

I wonder if someone out there has developed a Automator service to do that?

Oct. 15, 2009


Roger S. Cohen

This is a US government-sponsored site to find help consumers find Medicare Advantage plans.

The "Locator" map does not work in Firefox, and displays a message "Please use Internet Explorer to access the features on this page."

The page seems to work in Safari, though it displays the same message about using IE.

Oct. 16, 2009


Tony Begonja

The HP Virtual Room service requires Active-X and VBScript:

<<Virtual Rooms
Connection could not be made -- Platform: MacOSX-Intel
? 2006 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

We are not able to establish a connection to the Virtual Room you are trying to access. Please make sure you are on a supported platform. >>

Oct. 17, 2009


MacInTouch Reader

Regarding Tony Begonja's note about HP Virtual Rooms ...

It is indeed well supported on the Mac platform - both PowerPC and Intel. (As well as Linux!) I believe that the the plugin requires Safari, but as this comes with Mac OS X, Tony should have it installed.

Did Tony install the HP VR Plugin? You can download it from here:

and then test your connection from:

It works great on both my Power Mac G5 and my wife's iMac (Early 2009) .....

Nov. 3, 2009


G Spain

Sears sites load mostly OK, but where you run into an interactive answerback question, the site falls to pieces. displaying non-modal, non-scrollable fields wher in no text can be read. And from this we are to perhaps win $5,000 (I havent figured out how yet), but all I was looking to do was find an 18-volt drill charger. Never never worked

Jan. 15, 2010


MacInTouch Reader

I bought some computer components for a new Intel PC I am building as well as a replacement 120mm Case fan for my MDD G4 Mac.

The CPU Heatsink and the Case Fan's and the Power Supply all had rebates. When I would goto the websites for these companies the pages would look like on my Mac with FireFox 3.5.6 like the page was timing out as 2/3 of the images and other hypertext items were not showing up. I copied and pasted the URL's into Safari 4.0.4 and would achieve the same result...

Only after going to the Debug menu in Safari and choosing IE 7 did the page show up properly and function in the way it should for me to fill in for the rebates.

The sites are

On an Odd note... Today I updated my FireFox to vers 3.5.7 and Both of these pages show up properly and seem to function properly. Truly bizarre.


MacInTouch Reader

Both these sites load perfectly, and quickly as well, using 10.6.2 and Safari 4.0.4.

Feb. 22, 2010


MacInTouch Reader

I can't seem to post on Sundance with any Mac web browser, Opera, Safari 4.0.4, Internet Explorer 5.2.3, Firefox, Mozilla:

While I can browse their forums before and after registering to the forum, I can't post to the board. The moment I either post new topic, or reply, all I get is a blank page with any web browser I use. I've tried on 10.4.11 and 10.6.2 to no effect. Can anyone confirm if any web browser for Mac OS X works for this in either 10.4.11 or 10.6.2, and if a version of Flash that can be downloaded fixes issues? Or do I need to load Boot Camp for this one?

Sep. 8, 2010


Ronald Abeles


You used to report on instances of incompatibility with Mac OS. I have learned the hard way that will only accept Microsoft Explorer, thus locking Macintosh users out and denying them access to discounted prices. I have tried Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. The customer service people at Kingston are aware of this, but are unconcerned. They cannot offer a solution other than going to a third party retailer (any paying more) or switching to Windows and Explorer.

I will take my business elsewhere.


Stephen Clark

To Ron Abeles - I understand your frustration but it may not be Kingston that's limiting your access. After reading your post, I went to from my Gen1 Mac Pro (running SL.6.4 & Safari 5.0.1) & got as far as "Secure Payment at Web Site" when I put in an order for a 32Gb Ultimate CompactFlash 266x datacard.

I don't actually need one though so I stopped there; perhaps it would fail once I actually committed to the purchase, but at least I got as far as I did.


Lee Mason

Ronald Abeles wrote:

The customer service people at Kingston are aware of this, but are unconcerned... I will take my business elsewhere.

Ditto. We ought give SanDisk a heads-up about this if they want to keep Mac business too.


Gregory Tetrault

Ronald Abeles said:

"... I have learned the hard way that will only accept Microsoft Explorer, thus locking Macintosh users out..."

I tested both Safari 5.0.1 and Firefox 3.6.7 (on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon running OS X 10.6.4). I had no problem accessing the website, looking at items and comparison charts, selecting an item and getting its price, putting the item into the basket, starting the checkout process, and getting to the customer registration page. (I stopped at that point.)

The customer service people misinformed you about their site only supporting Internet Explorer. I believe that the problem is at your end, and not with the Kingston Technology website.

Dec. 7, 2011


Ron LaPedis

I've been trying to pre-order my Plug-in Prius from Toyota for a few weeks and was getting the same failure using Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. I finally called the Toyota Customer Experience line and the answer is that I need to use IE 8, Firefox, or Chrome on a PC. Mac is not supported.

I thought all Prius drivers were Mac users ;-)

Dec. 8, 2011


Mario S. De Pillis, Sr.

Ron LaPedis's report that Toyota Customer Experience support line will work only with PC's was dismaying.

Ron's report has changed a difficult purchasing decision on which of four compact SUVs to choose. The Toyota Rav4 was my top choice, but now I am suddenly looking at the Ford Escape, the Chevrolet Equinox, and the Honda CR-V.
Does anyone have advice on which vehicles are friendliest to iPhone connectivity (charging batteries, playing music, etc.) or to Macs in general?


David Krafchick

I am going to ask a simple question here. Do you know that under Develop/User Agent are a list of browsers that include Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9? I overrode an IE-only site (Bank of America Merchant Services) and had full access. It was a poorly planned, almost unusable (nothing to do with Safari showing IE to the site), and I cancelled that service after I tested it out.


Randy Spydell

Since I'm a Mac user, I guess I can't be a Prius owner. I'll look at the Honda Civic . . .

Dec. 9, 2011


Ron LaPedis

[Re. responses to my posting...] The plug-in Prius pre-order website (now closed) did not support Mac. The customer experience line is an 800 number and they are OS-agnostic (so to speak...).

The Prius has almost perfect iTunes integration. The only downside is that you cannot control iTunes from the device but must go though the interface. That limits the search features available.


David Zatz

Re. Mario S. De Pillis, Sr. on iPod friendly cars: I suggest the Jeep Patriot or Compass in that range. The critics were unkind to the first iterations but have generally been positive about the current ones. Owners I know are very satisfied. Obviously it all comes down to taste, but Chrysler's UConnect has become very Mac and iPod friendly.

Some of their cars (probably not these, unfortunately) go one step further and allow you to put in a memory stick instead of an expensive iPod; it goes right into the dash. (The Charger and 300 let you do this, not sure about the rest.)

I don't know about Ford's system but I really disliked Fiat's; I believe both are Microsoft-based. Fortunately Chrysler is readying a next-gen UConnect (I was afraid "Blue & Me" would take over) and everyone else is also moving forward rapidly.

Only real way to tell is to spend a lot of time in each car in the showroom, try out lossless, uncompressed, AIF, iTunes AAC, regular AAC, shuffle, album and artist, etc., and play the stereo at different levels, feeling free to alter equalization (for a small number of recent years Chrysler used a horrible equalization, which has now been fixed as far as I can tell). The Fiat 500 sounded terrific when loud and poor when quiet. Some of them sound great with music, but voice hurts!

I know music is a matter of taste but I have found that due to complexity and such, you can really separate wheat from chaff with Devo's "Something for Everybody" album and Bachman & Turner's eponymous one. Both sound absolutely horrid on a system with low clarity.


MacInTouch Reader

As a person who works in the industry (not for Toyota at all, BTW), I think you're nuts if you're going to opt out of buying a Toyota because you can't order your plug-in online. Everything else Toyota does is Mac-usable just fine, and I'll bet this is a glitch at best. It's like buying a Ford because of Sync, and ignoring all the other, better, more reliable and better performing vehicles so you can have this completely unnecessary interface. If you have to talk on your freakin'phone while you drive, pretty much everybody offers bluetooth anyway.

It's a car, not an iPhone accessory.


William Staman

Although the vehicle interface is terribly convoluted, my VW Touareg plays very well with both 1 & 2 iPads & our iPhone 4s.


Stephen Read

I would be curious as to the exact problem you are having. I didn't have any trouble with Safari 5.1.2 on Snow Leopard. Do you have JavaScript enabled and the Flash plug in?


Stephen Hart

Mario S. De Pillis, Sr. wrote:

"Does anyone have advice on which vehicles are friendliest to iPhone connectivity (charging batteries, playing music, etc.) or to Macs in general?

If you really need all-wheel drive and clearance, you might look at Subaru. We have an '09 Outback and an '11 Impreza. The Impreza has USB and Bluetooth standard, though we mostly just use the Aux In. There's also a WiFi option, though I don't know how well that works or what it costs.

We get one to two feet of snow every year, and our Subarus perform excellently.


Wayne Badger

I have a 2011 Sienna, and it connects via BT just fine. Not all of the problems are with Toyota. Apple just fixed a bug (fixed in iOS5) in the iPhone that caused the BT stack to enter a terminal state from which it would not connect to anything until the BT stack was restarted or the phone rebooted. And how did you get into that state, you ask? From a BT connected state (say, in accessory mode), just start the car.

My only complaint with BT connectivity is that Toyota didn't implement PBAP (BT phonebook profile).


Jen Cluse

While I can't trial the reported problem sites, may I suggest a look at the browser iCab? Basically it is Safari on steroids.

For years now it's menu bar has had ' View:Browser Identity', where one can set 'Identity for best compatibility', plus a long list of specific browsers and their versions, which can be set to bypass a really poor coder's 'browser requirements'. You can also define your own browser identity.

Basically, with '?best compatibility' set I really can't recall having a web site refuse me entry. iCab ( is free for stable releases, and approx. $20 to be able to use Alexander Clauss's beta releases of his 25 year work of art.

A long and satisfied user.


MacInTouch Reader

The below is from Motor Trend's page on the announcement of the Prius pre-order program:

When the site finally makes its debut, Prius fans will be able to configure their own vehicle from any Web browser, select their dealership of choice (within 14 of the initial 15 launch states), and keep tabs on their Toy through production, distribution, and delivery.

"The Prius Plug-in Online Ordering system was inspired by the success and positive customer feedback we had to similar online ordering systems for the first two generations of Prius," said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.

A list of Toyota executives and their email addresses can be found here:


Joe M

Mario S. De Pillis, Sr. wrote:

"Does anyone have advice on which vehicles are friendliest to iPhone connectivity (charging batteries, playing music, etc.) or to Macs in general? "

I can't speak to the Escape specifically, but I have a new Ford Pickup and my daughter just bought a Ford Edge. The "Sync" system is Ford vehicles is a Microsoft product but surprisingly iPhone/iPod friendly. We have both been very pleased with the integration between Ford and our iOS devices.


Don Shuwarger

Regarding Ron's interest in a vehicle friendly to iPhone Bluetooth connectivity... I have been amazed and pleased with the excellent connectivity with the Dodge Journey using the 8.4N screen.

Dec. 10, 2011


MacInTouch Reader

Regarding automotive audio interfaces for Mac stuff, the later model Subaru Outbacks (and, I presume, the higher-end Tribeca) do iPods... once you buy Subaru's proprietary connector kit (interface module, dock cable, wiring harness, mounting bracket, etc.) for $179, if I heard the dealer correctly.


David Grant


"It's a car, not an iPhone accessory."

You're right of course. My point was not that a lack of Mac friendliness disqualified the car but that a lack of Mac friendliness and a complete disinterest in fixing the problem possibly indicated a deeper lack of tech savviness that could be carried into the design of the car.


Kevin Ohlson

I purchased a 2011 Outback a year ago, and paid extra for the Bluetooth interface for hands-free talking. Total waste of money, at least for me. It pairs with my iPhone 4 easily enough but forgets this within a day or so. The dealer said they didn't have any iPhones, so they couldn't test. We do play audio through the standard 3.5mm audio jack. Other than its use as a iPhone accessory, the car works just fine.


R. Thomas

I drive a 2009 Ford Escape and it has Sync, a Microsoft product, and I connect my iPod Touch via its USB. It keeps it charged, and one can use the stereo system to select from the iPod. One can even use the iPod by voice command. There have been a few glitches, but overall it works well. Interestingly posts on the Ford owner site indicate it has never worked well with the *Zune*.


Larry Furnari

Not exactly a website issue, but the radio in a 2012 Chrysler 200 would not read a Mac-formatted memory stick. It wouldn't even read a stick formatted as MS-DOS using Disk Utility on my Mac. After using a Windows PC to format the stick, we were able to copy MP3s from the Mac to the car's hard drive without a problem.


Mario S. De Pillis, Sr.

Thanks for the informative responses to my posting for advice on Mac connectivity in cars.

Cars and computers make for a heady brew.
To be clear:

I would never buy a car based on dashboard connections, Bluetooth, etc. They are trivial compared to engine and drivetrain. I simply felt lost in the showroom trying to understand all the automotive audio complexities introduced since my 1997 Honda Accord (still running).

Secondly, I would never use an iPhone while driving. But music and audio do make a long drive less tedious.

Thanks in particular for David Zatz's detailed summary.


Pete Wilson

My new-model SAAB 9-5 works well with iPhone, iPod Touch and an old 80GB hard disk iPod. It's a USB input, so the car's D/A converter gets used, not the one in the iThingy.

Sounds excellent, and Bluetooth/loudspeaker phone use works fine too.

Plus it's bigger, quieter, more comfortable and faster than any previous SAAB :-)


Ken Hoyme

The Mini Cooper is very iPhone-friendly, including a dedicated app that allows access to Facebook, RSS news feeds, Google Searches and several other features. Charging - of course. Full phone book sync including recent called numbers. Pandora integrates through the display as well.

There are some quirks, but overall it works decently.

Dec. 12, 2011


Pete Masterson

David Grant said:


"It's a car, not an iPhone accessory."

You're right of course. My point was not that a lack of Mac friendliness disqualified the car but that a lack of Mac friendliness and a complete disinterest in fixing the problem possibly indicated a deeper lack of tech savviness that could be carried into the design of the car.

I think the comparison of a brain-dead advertising agency (that is likely responsible for the web site) with the engineering and design quality of the automobile company is not a valid equation.

As it happens, I recently bought a Roadtrek RV, based on a Mercedes Sprinter van... that has a delightful TomTom GPS/radio combination with excellent iPod support. While studying the user manual, I was surprised to discover that the unit was actually made for Toyota.

I will say, however, that the interface could have taken some lessons from Apple, as it is significantly less intuitive than it could be.


Leonard Hermens

As an owner of the 2010 Taurus Gen 1 v3.1 Sync system from Ford, I can say that the Bluetooth audio experience has been good enough with many versions of the iPhone iOS. My only two big complaints are that the default volume controls for various components (USB audio, Bluetooth, satellite, radio) are inconsistent. The female voice responses sometimes "yell" at you unexpectedly, even if you had previously turned the volume down. The second issue is that the menu system in the vehicle is probably the least intuitive of any I have used. I wish that Apple would have designed it instead of Ford/Microsoft.

The true Mac marginalization is in the area of system updates. The update process for the Sync system in the vehicle *requires* a Windows computer. And it furthermore requires Java and/or ActiveX. The process is significantly arduous, in my opinion, which includes having the engine running while the update is applied.

All of the complaints about lack of updates and system issues about the Ford Sync system are hidden behind a web site that only current owners of the Sync system can log into and see. So most buyers won't know of the various issues before they buy.

After two years, there have been no updates for my original Gen 1 system, so the prompt lady still shouts at me from time to time.


Jim McMurry

My 2009 Ford Edge has SYNC that has amazed me. Even though the SYNC is apparently a Microsoft product, set up with my iPhone it connects each time I turn on the engine of the car. My phone goes through the car audio and is easily used to converse -- one hands-on operation I use is to touch the screen on the Edge to answer [a call]. Otherwise, it is truly hands-free.
If I wish to play music from my iPhone, I tap the "Media" button and select it, which works with or without the USB plug.

Now, the Ford Edge is not the best car I ever drove, but I must admit looking at others, and I found myself wondering how difficult it would be to reproduce the handy SYNC system in the "better" car.


Peter Bates

While it's nice to have built-in support for my i-devices, I've used a third-party adapter that ties into my factory system very well. No connection other than a long-time very satisfied customer.


Mike Murphy

I typically get a new truck every ten years, and took delivery of a new 2011 Chevy Silverado Sept. 1. As part of the delivery process, the delivery prep guy at the dealership walked me through the process of pairing my iPhone 4 with the truck through Bluetooth. Very cool. Within minutes, I was able to receive calls hands-free, using the buttons on the steering wheel. To make a call, you still need to initiate it on the iPhone, then it becomes hands-free using the truck's audio system. This works whether the radio is on or not, too.

In the three months I've owned the truck, the system has worked almost flawlessly. (I had a few dropped calls initially but I'm chalking that up to operator error.) Even after I disconnected the battery to run heavy-gauge cable to the front and rear (for winch operation and jumper cables), the phone was still paired; and all the radio presets remained.

Additionally, I downloaded an app called RemoteLink, which allows me to connect to the truck via the phone. I'm able to remotely open/lock the doors, start it, check oil levels, air pressure, overall gas mileage, total mileage, and remaining oil life. I can also connect to Onstar, the dealer and roadside assistance through the app.

After reading this thread, I connected the phone via both USB and the audio cable. With USB, I can use the truck's radio to locate and play music, and also with the buttons on the steering wheel. With the audio cable, I can use the iPhone to play the music. (USB also provides charging, of course.)

I've signed up to the Onstar website, and it seems Mac-friendly. Once a month, it will run a remote diagnostic routine and email the results. It will also email if there's a recall of some sort, or if the system detects some abnormality that needs attention. (I'm not sure what this means. If the brake fluid dips below a certain level, does the truck alert Onstar to alert me?!)

Each new GM truck over the past thirty years has been a nice improvement over the previous decade's model. This one, though, is a huge improvement, one that I experienced through the driving & towing end; the electronic part of it is a very nice bonus. (I had no idea about the bluetooth connectivity, and all the other new electronic features; I bought it because my old truck was losing steam and requiring more repairs; and the new one promised much improved towing, which it indeed delivered on.)

Time will tell, as always, how this vehicle holds up, both mechanically and electronically. I usually get almost 200K miles out of each truck, I'm hoping for 300K from this one.

Dec. 13, 2011


MacInTouch Reader

Re: Automotive marginalization...

My experience with the iPod/iPhone and my car (2009 VW GTi) has been lackluster.

The iPod Nano I used (just for the car) was the 5th gen and who knew Apple was changing the pin out (failed to charge issue). VW told me the IPod Interface $500 Option would work...not really. Two options that were available for me were Pac-Audio ($200 solution requires wiring into head unit, harness, etc), or 30pin adaptor from Cable Jive CableJive's product resolved the issue cheaply, so I could plug the Nano in the armrest and atleast (via CD button on dash) select the iPod and it would also charge now. I could advance/reverse tracks (only a track number up to 99 is displayed on Audio player) and lower/raise volume from steering wheel. But lose power, bump the iPod (it sits 1.5" higher due to adaptor) or remove it-put back and it would default to alphabetical playlist (annoying as this happened too often) from the random playback I liked.

In the last three months, I thought the iPod was failing (distorted playback after 20-30 minutes of play). After a few days of troubleshooting, I believe the failure is the VW radio and not the iPod.

I am getting a new car now and an important feature is how the iPod integrated (if at all) and that BlueTooth is available (I have tried other cars through Enterprise rentals) for iPhone.

I know, I am dreaming but I would like to see in the auto industry, a "standard" that is an adaptable interface so I could slap in an SDHC card, or module with USB or other interface, view documents (either shared over BT, displayed on screen), images, charge devices, play music, videos and distribute throughout vehicle (rear displays...). I know some Garmin's do this already.

Then there is internet access. Would internet be great in an auto? Sure, as long as it operates only when transmission is in park. But that is another can of worms...


Bill Gallagher

I just purchased a 2012 Toyota Camry with their new Entune feature. It couldn't work better with my iPhone 4s (except for not being able to download extensions into its phonebook). The bluetooth connection was made without a hitch, and the auxiliary apps work fine. Of course the iPhone has to be plugged into a provided USB port, but that has the added advantage of keeping the phone charged.


Michael Pearce

When I got a Smart car, which had marginal support for external devices, I simply bought an Alpine car radio that has an iDevice plug. It lets me store the iPod in the glove compartment and control any facet of it from the radio. It keeps the battery charged (iPod 3; battery probably completely dead now) and I remove it only to change programming.

I moved that radio to my Nissan Cube when I got rid of the not-so-Smart car.

Dec. 14, 2011


Roger S. Cohen

I went to the website with Mac 3.6.24. I was able to navigate easily.

I then loaded in Safari 5.1.1. Hertz repeatedly gave me an error page that the page was down.

Dec. 15, 2011


Gregory Tetrault

Roger S. Cohen wrote:

I went to the website with Mac 3.6.24. I was able to navigate easily.

I then loaded in Safari 5.1.1. Hertz repeatedly gave me an error page that the page was down.

That's not unusual. URLs sometimes direct users to different web sites based on the user's browser and operating system. Hertz's web site for older browsers could be working perfectly while its site for newer browsers (which might be on a different server) is not working.

Feb. 3, 2012


Gregory Tetrault

My daughter attempted to complete an online job application at ShopRite, a grocery store chain in the northeastern part of the USA. After completing the first page of the online application the "Next" button would not work. She unsuccessfully tried Safari 5.0.5, Firefox 9.0.1, and Firefox 9 with user agent set to Internet Explorer 8 on Windows. ShopRite management said that the online application works only with Windows.

The ShopRite job application web site is created with software sold by KRONOS, a company that produces workforce management software. When I contacted KRONOS, the support person said that ShopRite is using an old version that is compatible with the OS X browsers Safari 1.x or Firefox 1.x! (Those versions were released 9 and 8 years ago, respectively.) The support guy recommended using a Windows computer until ShopRite updates its software.


David Krafchick

If she is using Safari 4 or above, she can go to the Menu Develop, then to User Agents, which list every current working browser. She can even select IE. I use that to log onto a site that claimed Safari would never work on their site. Safari can do more than even we sometimes know.

Apr. 5, 2012


Richard Bunch

Is it just me or is anyone else finding it impossible to download files or navigate through the 1940 census records. When I tried it on Windows, no problem.

Apr. 6, 2012


James Earl

For years I've used Their closest store is 1/2 hour drive away, so we shop on line.

Staples sends us their weekly sales email. Which we can then search through the flyer using either Safari or Firefox. No problems.

Now, April 2012, a redesign. It would appear that Staples has gotten a great deal on some MSCE's. Their site now is covered with invisible or disappearing options and show now buttons.

Apparently, Staples has decided the 25 million Mac users are not worth worrying about. Only PC's with IE need visit. Until this changes, I'm now a customer at Office Max.



Thomas Banacek

James Earl wrote:

"Apparently, Staples has decided the 25 million Mac users are not worth worrying about. "

When I went to the site on my iPad, it said "beta" on the top and a link to the classic site.

And did you report your issues to Staples? Because it could be a specific issue with your computer, your browser, your version of the browser, etc.

But I think it's going over the deep end to think the web site developers just said "hey, we're coding for IE; who needs the rest!"


James Earl

Thomas Banacek writes:

"did you report your issues to Staples?"

Why, yes, Thomas, I did. They actually wrote back. Telling me to call their support line as testing with specifics was too difficult for Staples to pull off. [...]

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