iOS 10 may still be in its beta stage, but Apple loyalists have grown accustomed to a level of hype in the months leading up to a new product release. Despite the announcements and presentations wrapping up last month, we’re just now getting wind of the unbiased opinions from developers who have courageously installed the upcoming version of iOS -- and the news is good. Here are six of the most exciting new updates to Apple’s seminal mobile operating system.
You may still be on the fence about whether or not to purchase an iPad Pro for your business. While you can find a lot of coverage on Apple’s latest tablet online, you may wonder what actual users think. Today, you’ll discover just that. CIO, a website that delivers the latest news and tips for IT professionals, recently surveyed 11 iPad Pro users to get their feedback. Here’s their thoughts on the good and bad.
- Great for short, focused bursts of work - The iPad Pro is lightweight, turns on quickly and features some exceptional iOS multitasking features. These qualities make it a perfect alternative to a laptop for short, focused bursts of work. One user surveyed noted that taking out his laptop for thirty minutes or less of work is tiresome and is also unfeasible at times. The iPad Pro solves this problem, allowing him to even get work done in taxis.
- Speed - When compared to iPad Air 2, the iPad Pro has made huge improvements when it comes to speed. The iPad Air 2 is slow when opening a large file or program and when switching between apps. However, the iPad Pro performs these same tasks lightning fast thanks to Apple’s A9X 64-bit processor and 4GB of RAM.
- Split View enhances productivity - Let’s face it, we all multi-task to some extent, and Split View has really made it easier than ever. If you’re in a meeting and need to toggle between your email and a note application or web page, Split View eliminates the now unnecessary step of hitting the home button first and then opening the other app. All you have to do is slide your finger across the display to bring up different apps you may want to use.
- Works wonders for note taking - With the iPad Pro, taking notes is now like the good ol’ days when you sat in class and scratched down on a pad what the teacher said. While back then that pad was made of paper, today’s pad is digital. How is this possible? It’s all because of the Pencil stylus, which acts like a real pencil. Essentially, this turns your iPad Pro into a virtual notepad with the ability to keep all your notes in digital format in one easy and convenient place. What’s more, your notes are automatically accessible from all your devices.
- Subpar keyboard - According to one user, there is still much to be desired from Apple’s smart keyboard. It lacks buttons such as the home key and keys to adjust brightness and volume. Also it doesn’t have backlit keys, which can make it difficult to type if you’re in a dark place.
- Browser too often displays mobile website - The tablet tends to use mobile websites when browsing the web (which could be because the iPad Pro uses iOS 9 instead of a full blown desktop operating system). Obviously, this can be annoying as mobile websites are generally not as functional as the desktop version. With that said, iPad Pro can handle the desktop version perfectly fine, you just have to manually switch over to the desktop version on many occasions.
- Limited storage - While the Microsoft Surface Pro allows users to add storage via micro SD memory cards, the iPad Pro has no option to increase storage. Of course, you can alternatively store overflow files and data on the cloud; however, keeping sensitive data there is not ideal for many business owners.
- Fragile screen - The iPad Pro’s retina display is capable of producing beautiful images, but the screen is also incredibly fragile. One user noted that even if you drop it from less than a foot off the ground, you are still likely to break the screen, which is not an inexpensive fix.
El Capitan has been a popular update for those using Mac computers. But that’s not to say Apple’s latest OS is not without its problems. If you’ve been using El Capitan for awhile now, you may have bumped into a few pesky issues. Here are some of the most common ones and the solutions you need to fix them.
Application freezeWorse than a brain freeze from a slushy, application freezes on your OS oftentimes last much longer and leave you frustrated watching the pinwheel of death spin on and on. For those once-PC users who’ve made the transition to Mac, your tried and true solution of pressing Control-Alt-Delete unfortunately doesn’t apply here. Instead, you can try these two options when an app freezes.
- Press and hold command > option, then hover over the problem-application on the dock, and hold down the left button on your mouse. Now navigate to Force Quit in the box that appears, and release your finger from the mouse.
- If you can’t access the dock, then press and hold command > option, then tap the escape key. A menu with the option to Force Quit any app that’s running will appear. Simply select the app you’d like to quit and click Force Quit.
Mac is running slowAlmost every Mac user’s system starts to run slow at some point in time. While sometimes you can just be patient and the problem will correct itself on its own, other times the slowness becomes a consistent nuisance at which point it’s time to look closer at the issue. Usually the culprit has to do with the memory, which means you should check which applications or processes are using most of it. This is where the Activity Monitor comes in handy.
To find the Activity Monitor click on Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Alternatively you can simply search for it with the Spotlight tool.
Once you’ve opened Activity Monitor, click on Memory. To see which applications are eating most of it, make sure the arrow next to Memory is pointed downward. Doing this will display apps in order from highest memory consumers at the top to lowest at the bottom. Now that you can easily see the biggest memory hogs, consider closing these apps.
Printing problemsNo one likes waiting on an unresponsive printer. So if your printer is slow to respond or completely unresponsive, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and select Print. Then press and hold ctrl, click on the problem printer and then Reset printing system. After you’ve done this, restart your Mac and Printer.
Slow Spotlight functionalityAs handy as Spotlight is, some users have experienced a slowdown in the application after updating to El Capitan. One way to resolve this issue is to simply be patient, as usual the app just needs some time to do its job. However, if you’re in a rush or the slowdown is a persistent problem, you can take matters into your own hands. Click System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results, and then narrow down the areas Spotlight searches by unchecking them. For example, if there’s no need for Spotlight to check the thousands of images stored on your hard drive, simply uncheck Images.
These four tips should help you resolve some common El Capitan issues that are known to give users headaches. If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your Mac OS or any of your other Apple products, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
When a new iOS update is released for iPhone, it’s exciting. In fact, you may be so amped that your trigger finger gets the best of you, and the next thing you know you’re saddled with a new iOS that is causing you headache after headache. To avoid this fate, it pays to think wisely before updating your iOS and prepare for it accordingly. Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure your next iOS update goes smoothly.
Decide whether or not to update nowJust because a new iOS update is released doesn’t mean you must install it. In fact, users who do install early are sometimes faced with big headaches as the new iOS goes through technology growing pains. For example in the release of iOS 9.3, many users encountered a bug that caused Safari to lock up when hyperlinks were used to open web pages. Issues like this can cause business owners and general users alike to take a productivity hit. So if you’re heavily reliant on certain iPhone features, it makes sense to do your research before updating to a new iOS and get feedback from users who’ve already upgraded. Apple forums, YouTube and of course a simple Google search can help with this. Oh, and as for that iOS 9.3 Safari bug issue, it’s since been fixed with the release of iOS 9.3.1.
Know your login credentialsWhen downloading an iOS update, you may be asked for your Apple ID. If and when that time comes, you can avoid scrambling by being prepared with your password beforehand. You should also keep your passwords handy for your favorite applications and services, as sometimes you’re automatically logged out of these when updating your iOS.
Backup your phoneUpdating your iOS can be a precarious task. While not something that happens incredibly often, there’ve been cases where users have lost important files or photos. And if you store important business information on your device, you certainly don’t want to lose it during an update. To avoid this, backup your phone beforehand either through iTunes or iCloud.
Power your battery & connect to Wi-FiMany users will choose to install new iOS updates Over-the-Air (OTA). This means you’re updating it over Wi-Fi on the settings in your phone rather than via iTunes. If you go this route, there are two things you should be aware of. Your battery must be charged to at least 50% (or be plugged into an outlet) and you can’t start the update through a cellular connection - it must be done through Wi-Fi. The point is, make sure to charge your phone and find a reliable Wi-Fi connection before starting the update process.
If problems occur after update, don’t panic…After an iOS update, sometimes some very unusual problems occur. While most users will face no issues, others will encounter shorter battery life, unresponsive touch-screens, Wi-Fi problems, and more. If it happens to you, take a deep breath and don’t panic. Know they’re likely answers to your problems already out there on the web. Whatever your unique issue, a quick Google search should turn up multiple resolutions. You can also search the various Apple forums on the web.
Know you can always downgrade...most of the timeIf you absolutely hate the upgrade, there’s good news. You can downgrade for a short period of time after an update is released. There is one catch though. You can only downgrade to a select number of previous versions. For example if you recently updated to iOS 9.3.1, you’ll be able to downgrade to iOS 9.2.1 or iOS 9.3. That means iOS 9.1 and earlier users are out of luck and must think carefully before choosing whether or not to upgrade.
While these 6 tips can be useful for the current iOS 9.3.1 update, you can also return to them for future iOS updates as general guidelines that apply. If you’re searching for more iPhone tips or need assistance with any Mac products, drop us a line today.
Apple could soon have another device to wrangle consumers back in again. With the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, you get a tablet as powerful as its predecessor but it happens to be smaller and cheaper. Will this be the go-to tablet for all your personal computing needs? Before it’s available in an Apple Store near you, you should probably know what features it offers and see if it’s the right device for you.
DesignThe new iPad Pro model will be smaller than its predecessor sporting a 9.7-inch model and follows the look and design of the iPad Air 2. With a 2048 x 1536 pixels screen resolution, you can expect your display to remain pretty as well. The new model will be available in rose gold, silver, gold and space gray.
The new iPad Pro will also sport a quad-speaker system around the sides of the tablet. Apple claims that the 9.7-inch iPad Pro will feature a True Tone Display, making this a device you can take anywhere. This changes the white point of your iPad’s display based on the different ambient lighting environments that you’re in. So if you’re under direct sunlight, the screen will appear bleached and if you’re under LEDs the display can appear bluish.
HardwareLike the iPad Pro, the next-generation model also offers the same hardware and features. Storage is bumped up to 32GB with up to 4GB of RAM included. There will also be a 128GB model for those needing extra storage. The new iPad Pro will still include the old A9X processor, but this isn’t exactly a bad thing since it still outperforms other single-core processors and definitely comes out on top in terms of other Apple devices.
The smaller iPad Pro will also have the same amount of battery life as the 12.9-inch version. Apple states that browsing time with Wi-Fi or cellular data can last up to 9 to 10 hours, which is decent for battery life.
Better photo and video capturingWhile most of the old iPad Pro’s features remain within the 9.7-inch model, there are some noticeable upgrades to its camera. Probably one of the more exciting changes is its upgraded 12-megapixel rear camera and its ability to record 4K resolution videos. Video capturing, viewing and editing is also pretty good on the iPad Pro so think about whether your company will be utilizing some of these in the future.
Third party accessoriesApple will release a Smart Keyboard with smaller keys to remain proportional to the size of tablet to accompany the device. Additionally, the new model will also have full support for the Apple Pencil. While we are unsure if prices will change for the $99 dollar pencil, it’s safe to assume that the new iPad Pro will give you the same control and drawing experience for graphic designs and sketches.
More affordableThe Wi-Fi only 12.9-inch iPad Pro model is available for $949 while a 128GB Wi-Fi and cellular model is available for $1,079. Let’s face it, that price is pretty expensive for an individual let alone to equip an entire company. Instead, the new iPad Pro model offers the same capabilities of the previous model at a friendlier price. These iPads start from $599, so if you’re thinking about going Pro, you should definitely consider this product first.
These are just some of the few features that we can expect from the new iPad Pro. So consider all these tech specifications and factors first before deciding whether or not going Pro is the right decision for your business. Contact us if you want to know more about anything Apple related.
Most of us are heavily reliant on our phones. So when your iPhone is low on battery and there’s no outlet in sight, it can be a stressful situation. Thankfully, there are some settings you can adjust that can help you squeeze a few more hours out of your battery. Here are five to consider.
Activate Low Power ModePerhaps the easiest way to save iPhone battery life, Low Power Mode can be activated with a single tap. When switched on, it automatically adjusts several settings to extend the life of your battery: it reduces the brightness of your screen and the amount of battery power your apps are using, disables the automatic fetching of new email, and it powers off the display more quickly.
To activate Low Power Mode, press Settings>Battery and then tap Low Power Mode so that the green light is on.
Lower the screen brightnessThe brighter your iPhone screen, the more battery it drains. And really, there isn’t much of a need to have an excessively bright screen because in most instances (being outside in the sunshine excluded) you can easily see everything on the screen at a lower brightness level.
To adjust the brightness of your iPhone, flick the Control Center tab upward from the bottom of your screen. There you’ll see a horizontal line with a circle in the middle and a sun symbol to the side of both ends. Move the circle left or right to adjust the brightness.
Alternatively, you can adjust your iPhone’s brightness in Settings>Display & Brightness. On this screen you also can turn off Auto-Brightness, which automatically adjusts the brightness of your phone. When you turn this setting off, you’ll be certain that your phone is not wasting any excessive battery by automatically adjusting brightness on its own.
Switch off wi-fiAs much as you love using the wi-fi on your phone, it is a proven battery life killer. The funny thing is, the degree it drains battery life varies by location. For instance, if you’re at home (where iPhone battery life is less of a problem to begin with), wi-fi will use less battery. But when you’re out and about, your phone is often searching for a wi-fi signal to connect to, and this drains battery. So if you can hold off on your mobile browsing and email till you get home, your phone will stay powered on quite a bit longer.
Switch off cellular dataLike wi-fi, cellular data can also eat up battery quickly - especially if you’re in an area where there’s no cellular coverage. When this happens, your phone begins to search non-stop for a signal, and guess what this uses? You guessed it - battery. So if you’re short on battery and don’t need it, turn off your cellular data function. Doing this can easily provide an extra hour or two of additional battery life.
Activate Airplane modeDesperate times call for desperate measures, and this is exactly when you need Airplane mode. If you’re down to 20ish percent battery life and need your phone to last for a few hours longer, then Airplane mode may just be your savior. By switching it on, your phone will shut down all wireless activity, including cellular, Bluetooth and wi-fi. Doing this is obviously not ideal, but if you have little battery life and want your phone available in case of emergencies, this is your best option (next to switching it off). Once in Airplane mode, you can turn on individual wireless functions, such as Bluetooth or wi-fi, individually while staying in Airplane mode.
To switch on Airplane mode, you can do so from the Control Center screen or by going to Settings and then clicking on Airplane mode.
Any other options?If you must have your cake and eat it too, there’s an alternative choice that provides an extra battery bump with the ability to use wi-fi, keep your screen bright, and use your iPhone without adjusting any settings. The answer is to buy a power supply, also known as power bank, which you’ve likely seen for sale at your local Best Buy or on Amazon. These delightful battery saviors are continually shrinking in size, with some even as small as lipstick, so it’s no longer a hassle to carry them around. You can simply slide it into your pocket and use when needed.
If you’re looking for more ways to get the most out of your iPhone or are looking to service your Apple technology, feel free to shoot us a message. We’re happy to help in any way possible.
Just when you thought it was safe to surf the Internet waves on your Mac computer...if malware could have a catchphrase, this play on the classic Jaws 2 tagline would be quite fitting for a recently discovered scareware. It’s sneakier and more convincing than almost anything that’s come before. Here’s what you need to know to keep your Mac safe.
What is scareware?For those who’ve never heard of it, scareware is a type of malware designed to trick you into purchasing illegitimate software. If you’ve ever been prompted to buy the antivirus software known as Mac Defender (also known as Mac Protector, Mac Guard, Mac Security, etc.), then you’ve seen scareware firsthand. Essentially, this malware burrows into your computer and attempts to scare you into purchasing their product, oftentimes which is antivirus. This new form of scareware on Mac works in the same fashion.
How this new Mac scareware fools consumersIf you’re familiar with scareware, you may think you have nothing to worry about. You already know how scareware attempts to trick users, so why should you be afraid of this one? The reason is this malware masquerades as an Adobe flash update, and quite a believable one at that because the installer is signed with a legitimate Apple developer certificate and downloads a legitimate version of flash on your machine. The catch is that it also downloads the scareware.
What happens once you download the scareware?After you download the Adobe Flash update, the scareware is also installed on your system. You’ll then be prompted to scan your computer. If you do, it will claim you have a variety of malware on your system like Trojans, viruses, worms and more, in an attempt to scare you into buying fake security software to clean the malware out. If you’re reading this and have somehow gotten to this stage in the ruse, don’t buy the software.
Lessons to learnRegardless of whether you’re a Mac or PC user, there is a valuable lesson to learn here. When getting software updates, ignore all prompts from random third party sites. Instead you should get your updates directly from the software developer.
Malware is becoming a growing threat for Mac users. So it’s important to remember that just because you use a Mac, doesn’t mean you’re automatically immune to security threats. If you’d like to know more about how to protect your Apple systems, call our Mac security experts today.
One of the more common things all business owners and managers need to do is to share files and folders with colleagues and employees. Most will usually just use email, however this does have its limitations. There are numerous other ways to share important information, including utilizing a feature that is built into most operating systems.
If you use Apple's OS X in your company you can share files and folders by using the Public or Shared Folder. This folder can be found by:
- Opening any file. In the left-hand side of the window scroll down to Places.
- Clicking on the user account you log into your computer with. This is usually your account name with the house icon beside it.
- Double-clicking on the Public or Shared Folder.
How to set up your Shared Folder Regardless of your version of OS X, you should have Shared Folder. You can configure which files and folders you want to share by:
- Clicking the Apple icon at the top-left of the screen.
- Selecting System Preferences followed by Sharing.
- Ticking the box beside File Sharing.
- Pressing the + under File Sharing and selecting the folder you would like to share, followed by Add.
You will also notice the window labeled Users identifies a number of different users, along with the privilege each has. These permissions, which you can apply, dictate what individual users can do with the shared files or folders. There are four different privileges you can assign:
- Read & Write - Users can open, edit, copy and delete files in the folder.
- Read Only - Users can open and copy files out of the folder.
- Write Only (Drop Box) - Users can copy files into the Drop Box folder but can't see what's in the folder. They can overwrite files if they drag and drop a file with the same name into this folder.
- No Access - Users cannot see or access any of the files or folders.
It is also a good idea to be aware that the Shared Folder is set to share with anyone connected on the same network. This means that if you connect to another network that isn't in the office, the Shared Folder will be accessible to other users on the same network. This can create a bit of a security issue. To negate this, you should turn off file sharing from the System Preferences, Sharing option if you aren't using it, or are away from your main network.
At the very least you should ensure the sharing permissions are set in a way whereby files aren't accidentally shared. If you would like to learn more about other ways to share files with your colleagues, please contact us, we may have a solution for you.
One of the more annoying things about calling people while they are at the office is that many use an automated switchboard to field calls. While this does cut-down on the number of incoming phone calls, it can be time consuming to put in a number, wait, put in another, wait some more and then finally get an answer. If you have and iPhone, you can get around all that waiting with ease, especially if you know the extension of the number you want to call.
Here's how you can add number extensions to your iPhone contacts:
- Open Contacts and either press the '+' for a new contact, or select the contact's number you would like to add the extension to and press Edit.
- Enter the new contact's normal number without the extension under the Mobile, Work or Home field. If you are editing a contact's number, press on the number you would like to edit and tap on the end of the number.
- Press the '+*#' button located at the bottom-left of the dial pad.
- Select Wait. You'll notice a ';' at the end of the number.
- Add the contact's extension. It should look something like this: 123-123-4567;321 (if the contact has a three digit extension).
- Press Done and the contact's number will be saved or updated.
You can automate this further by replacing the semicolon (;) with a comma (,). The comma tells the switchboard to pause, and then enter the number after the comma. This will often connect you directly to the person without having to press an extra button. The number should look something like this: 123-123-4567,321
If you use an iPhone for your business communication and call clients who are behind switchboards this is a nifty time-saving feature. For more information on how the iPhone can help power your business, please contact us today.
One of the more popular business tools of 2012, and likely for 2013, is the iPad. While it was originally aimed at private markets, businesses of all sizes have been finding unique ways to integrate it into daily use. This has led to an increasing demand for business oriented apps, and developers are more than happy to oblige. One recent app makes managing files across different cloud storage providers far easier.
Readdle Documents is an app for iPad users that acts as a central platform that connects with cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Box, iCloud, Drive, etc. and allows users to keep their multiple services organized.
What exactly is Documents? Documents is an app that enables users to manage their various cloud services. This robust app also allows users to view Word documents, PDFs, listen to music and watch video stored on various services directly in the app.
The functionality doesn't stop there however, as you can also copy files from one service and move them to another directly in the app. No more having to download files from one and upload to another. You can also use this app to save web pages for reading at a later date, which could be useful if you are going to be away from data or Wi-Fi for an extended period of time.
There is one downside to the app: You can't edit documents. If you need to edit a document you have to do so in the app the document is stored in.
Will businesses benefit? If you use multiple cloud storage apps in your business, the Documents app will be beneficial in helping you access and manage files on the go. At best, this is an organizational tool to help make accessing files easier. One really positive element of this app that many businesses owners will like is that it's free. Another benefit is that you also have the option to password protect files.
While this app might be free, if you don't use cloud storage services this probably isn't the best app for you. However, there are enough features to benefit users of cloud services, making this app potentially valuable.
How do I get the app? Documents is available on the Apple App Store. Once you have downloaded the app onto your iPad, start it up and you'll be able to add your cloud services by clicking on Network (located on the left-hand menu) and selecting the service you use. Input your account information and you should be ready to go.
If you would like to learn more about Documents, or how the iPad can fit into your business, get in touch with us. We are happy to sit down with you and tell you more!