April 12th, 2016

2016Apr12_iPhone_BWhen 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 now

Just 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 credentials

When 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 phone

Updating 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-Fi

Many 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 time

If 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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
March 24th, 2016

2016Mar24_AppleMacOS_BApple 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.


The 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.


Like 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 capturing

While 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 accessories

Apple 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 affordable

The 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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
March 1st, 2016

2015Mar1_iPhone_BMost 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 Mode

Perhaps 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 brightness

The 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-fi

As 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 data

Like 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 mode

Desperate 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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
February 16th, 2016

2016Feb16_AppleMacOS_BJust 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 consumers

If 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 learn

Regardless 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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
February 20th, 2013

OSX_Feb19_BOne 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:

  1. Opening any file. In the left-hand side of the window scroll down to Places.
  2. Clicking on the user account you log into your computer with. This is usually your account name with the house icon beside it.
  3. Double-clicking on the Public or Shared Folder.
This folder is set up to share any files that are placed in it with other users on the same computer or network. Depending on the version of OS X you use, you may see a folder labeled Drop Box. This is a folder where you can drop files into for you to see and use, but is not related to Dropbox, the cloud storage program.

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:

  1. Clicking the Apple icon at the top-left of the screen.
  2. Selecting System Preferences followed by Sharing.
  3. Ticking the box beside File Sharing.
  4. Pressing the + under File Sharing and selecting the folder you would like to share, followed by Add.
You'll notice that when you click on the file you chose to share, you will see a black bar that says: Shared Folder across the top of the folder window.

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.
Should my company use this? Using the Shared Folder be a good way to share documents with users within the same network. However, there is little to nothing in the system to keep the files secure. If someone connects to your network, and you have allowed Everyone to see Read & Write they will be able to see, edit and possibly delete files.

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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
February 6th, 2013

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Press the '+*#' button located at the bottom-left of the dial pad.
  4. Select Wait. You'll notice a ';' at the end of the number.
  5. Add the contact's extension. It should look something like this: 123-123-4567;321 (if the contact has a three digit extension).
  6. Press Done and the contact's number will be saved or updated.
If the number was entered correctly, you should see a secondary button under the contact information when you call that person. It will say something like Dial-321. Pressing this after the line has engaged will dial the extension and connect you to that person. This is useful if you don't know how long you will have to wait to be able to dial the extension, but you will have to hit the Dial button on your phone to enter the extension.

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.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
February 1st, 2013

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!

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
January 23rd, 2013

When it comes to comparing the different operating systems available, most users argue between the big two: PC and Mac. Both systems offer a different user experience, and have ardent fans. For those switching to a Mac, it can feel a bit daunting at how seemingly different it is. After a few days, however, most users have discovered keyboard shortcuts and never look back. One benefit of these shortcuts is they help make it easier to manage your open programs.

Here's four keyboard shortcuts for OS X that will help make it easier to manage programs where you have multiple windows open e.g., Internet browsers or word processors.

Hide the current program If you are working with two or more different programs, it can be quite distracting. Imagine having your browser with three windows, a word processor, iTunes and Photoshop open all at once. It's a lot of clutter isn't it?

When not using the program, you can hide it by pressing Command + H. Hiding a program won't close it, rather it will just make the windows you have open invisible. This is similar to Minimize on Windows systems. When you click on the program's icon in the system tray (bottom of the screen), your windows will reopen. You can also hide programs by pressing Option (alt on some keyboards) and clicking on the icon at the bottom of the screen.

Hide all other open applications If you need to focus, you're not going to be able to do so with numerous programs and windows open, as it's too distracting. You also don't want to lose the content in these open windows. So why not hide them? Yes, you could click on each one and manually hide it, but this takes time. Instead, go to the program you want to keep open and press Command+Option(alt on some keyboards)+H. This will hide all other open applications and windows. They can be opened again by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the screen.

Cycle between windows in same application Look at your current browser. Chances are high that you have more than one window open and are normally switching between them on a regular basis. It can be time consuming and annoying to have to move your mouse and click on another window. To save time, press Command+` (located above Tab, it's often labeled with ~). This will cycle through open windows within the same program.

Shift to another application If you have hidden other programs, or want to quickly move from one program to another without having to close open ones, you can press Command + Tab. This will move you to the next open program (usually organized alphabetically, with the current open program first). If you keep Command pressed, and hit Tab you will see a window pop-up with open programs. You can press Tab to cycle between programs. You'll notice a box around an icon, and when you let Command go it will switch to that application.

These four shortcuts are just a few that can help make navigation and program management more convenient. If you would like to learn more OS X shortcuts, or about how OS X can make your life easier, please contact us today.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
December 26th, 2012

With the recent release of Mountain Lion, Apple decided to make this a platform that can only be downloaded. This means users can simply download and install the OS. The downside to this is that there is no physical DVD. This means that if something happens to your computer, or if you need to reinstall the OS you can't really do so. To solve this problem you can create a bootable install DVD or USB stick.

A bootable install dish is a DVD or USB drive that contains a copy of the operating system, usually for backup purposes. If your computer crashes you can reinstall the OS by simply putting the DVD or USB into the related drive and following the prompts. This is also useful if you have other Macs in the home or office and don't want to download new versions of the OS on every computer. Note: There seems to be a trend with some Apple products to not have a DVD drive, so it may be a good idea to do this on a USB stick.

Starting from OS X 10.8, Apple has said that any new OS will be available only as a digital download. The way this works is that you download the OS file on each system you want to install it on. Once you download the update and install it the original download file is deleted. If you need to install again you have to re-download the OS again. Therefore, it's a good idea to create a bootable drive.

Before you create a bootable disk you need a few things:

For a bootable DVD

  1. A computer with a DVD burner.
  2. A blank DVD with 4.7GB of storage space.
  3. A downloaded copy of the latest Mac OS (In this case: OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion). You can download this from the Apple Mac Store.
Note: The link is to the US version of the store, if you aren't in the US, you will need to go to your country's Apple Store.

For a bootable USB

  1. A blank USB stick with at least 8GB of space.
Note: The drive needs to have nothing on it, so buying a new one is the preferred method.
  1. A downloaded copy of the latest Mac OS (In this case: OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion). You can download it from the Apple Mac Store.
Note: The link is to the US version of the store, if you aren't in the US, you will need to go to your country's Apple Store.

How to create a bootable install After you have downloaded the OS it's important that you DON'T open it and start installing the update. In other words: You need to create the bootable drive before you install.

Here's how to create your bootable install drive:

  1. Navigate to where you downloaded the OS. It is usually in your Downloads or Applications folder and should be labeled Install OS X Mountain Lion (If you downloaded Mountain Lion).
  2. Right click on the file and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Navigate to Contents followed by Shared Support. You should see a file called InstallESD.dmg.
  4. Open the Applications folder and select the Utilities folder. Open the Disk Utility app.
  5. Drag the InstallESD.dmg file into the empty space of the white box in the right-hand side of the Disk Utility app.
  6. Insert the blank DVD or USB device. If you are using a USB device, it must be blank and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). It should show up in the list of drives located above the white box in Disk Utilities.
  7. Drag the USB or DVD icon into the Destination bar in the central part of the window. Note: The Source bar should read: InstallESD.dmg.
  8. Click Restore - located in the bottom of the central part of the Disk Utility - if you are using a USB drive. Click Burn if you are using a DVD.
It will take a few minutes to burn or copy the files to the DVD or USB. When this is finished you should have a bootable install drive. You now have a few options.
  • If you would like to do a 'fresh install' - delete everything on your system - you can put the disk in the drive, turn off your computer, turn it on again and hold the Option key to open the installer. Be warned though, this will delete everything on your Mac's hard drive.
  • If you would like to upgrade, but keep all of your settings and files, you can open the installer from the disk, and follow the instructions.
Creating a bootable install drive is a good idea and should be a part of any company's backup and disaster recovery plans. If you have any questions about the process, or would like to learn more, please contact us.
Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple
December 12th, 2012

Smartphones, especially the iPhone, have really changed and enhanced the way we do business. It's now not uncommon to be able to check in with the office, send an email and approve next month's finances all from a device that fits into your pocket. While these phones are useful, there is one feature that takes a while to get used to, the keyboard. Apple is aware of this, and has provided iPhone users with a number of helpful keyboard features.

Here are four tip to make the typing experience better on your iPhone.

1. Lock caps lock - While the use of capital letters while typing is generally frowned upon, there are times when you need to type more than one letter in a row in caps. Most users will hit the caps button (upward pointing arrow) on the keyboard, type a letter and then hit it again to type another in caps. You can lock the keyboard in caps mode by double tapping the caps lock button. You'll notice the key turns blue, indicating caps lock is on. When you are finished, tap it once to turn it off. 2. Turn off auto-correct - We've all seen the funny and sometimes embarrassing texts blamed on auto-correct. While useful when getting used to typing on the iPhone, it can be more of a hindrance than a help after you've gotten the hang of it. You can turn auto-correct off by selecting Settings, followed by General, Keyboard and finally setting Auto-Correction to Off. 3. Long-press keys for more options - At first glance, the iPhone's keyboard is a little sparse with many of the standard keys beyond the letters and number keys missing. They are still there, however but just not labeled. With many keys, a long-press on the key will bring up a number of different options and other keys. For example: a long-press on the A key will bring up different letters associated with a, or a long press on ? will bring up the option to use an inverted question mark or an exclamation point. Play around with the keys, and you'll soon see a ton of different typing options emerge. 4. Stop typing .com - Did you know that you don't have to always type .com, .net or .org? In certain places, the iPhone will put it in for you. For example, when you are typing a web address on the browser, you can do a long-press on the . to get a pop-up of a whole bunch of dot something endings. This will also work in the email To, CC and BCC: fields.

The above tips are just a few ways to make it easier to type on the iPhone. Do you have another typing tip? Let us know; or, if you would like to learn more, please contact us.

Published with permission from Source.

Topic Apple