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December 2nd, 2016

2016december2_apple_bAlthough iPhone bugs and malware are typically unheard of, there’s one circulating the web that you should be aware of right now. The bug, which was discovered in Reddit, is a brief, five-second video that when played causes your iPhone to freeze and ultimately crash. So far the malicious video’s intentions are still unknown, but this trap can be easily avoided.

What is the video? As mentioned, the MP4 video initially seems innocuous enough. It portrays a man standing by a bed with the word "honey" across the screen. After one or two minutes of viewing the video, the affected iPhone becomes sluggish. It then freezes and becomes unresponsive, ultimately requiring a reset.

It appears that the bug takes advantage of a flaw within iOS memory management. The corrupted video generates a loop that causes the affected Apple device to use more memory, leading to a temporary crash.

Reports have shown that the MP4 is hosted on a video-sharing site, Miaopai. Since then, the video has been distributed in other social media platforms, online forums, and, more commonly, as a link via iMessage.

Tests have also found that the video effects the latest iOS version (iOS 10.1 and 10.2) all the way to iOS 5. So far, the bug doesn’t seem to affect other non iOS products. But regardless, all users should be careful of the video.

Although this video’s effects may seem worrying, there is a fix to the problems caused by the corrupt clip.

How to perform a hard restart The only way to recover from the crash is to do perform a hard restart. To do this, you simply have to hold down the power button and home button for a few seconds.

As for the iPhone 7, all you need to do is hold the power button and volume decrease buttons simultaneously to force a reset. In both cases, just hold the buttons until the Apple logo appears, and your device should restart normally.

Always be careful Even though it’s easy enough to fix, it’s probably best to avoid the crash bug altogether. Soon, Apple will introduce a new security patch for this vulnerability, but until the update is released, you should avoid clicking on suspicious MP4 video links no matter what platform you use.

And this is the same for other videos, URLs, photos, emails, and websites you encounter on the web. When it comes to traversing online worlds, it’s imperative to develop a critical mindset for everything you see in the internet. While this particular bug only slows down your Apple device, you might not be so lucky the next time you unwittingly click on an unknown iMessage link or email attachment.

If there’s any lesson we can learn here, it’s that you can’t be complacent no matter how secure Apple platforms may be. Want to protect your Apple device from future security incidents like these? Contact us today, and we’ll provide you with sound advice and security solutions to nip these problems in the bud.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
November 18th, 2016

2016november18_apple_bContrary to everyone's expectations, the new iPad Mini 5 will not be launched like other Apple products in September. People expect it to be launched in March 2017. The previous iPad Mini 4 is like the first iPad but slimmer and with additional features. iPad Mini 5 is expected to be an improved version of its predecessors. Here are the rumors circling the new product.

Among the top rumors and speculations concerning iPad Mini 5 are:

Thinner design - There are speculations that the new iPad Mini 5 will be thinner than other models. Current iPads are already 6.1mm thin, but Apple plans to set a new record with a 5mm-thick tablet. Whether or not it will do away with the headphone jack like it did for the iPhone 7 is still unclear.

New aluminum chassis - The iPad Mini 5 will have a different chassis from the previous models. The new chassis will be made from 7000-series aluminum that has been used on iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Because the iPad will be thinner, the new chassis will ensure it is durable and will prevent the tablet from any form of bending.

Smart Connector - It is rumored that the iPad Mini 5 will use smart connectors like the iPad Pro. The tablet will have a smart keyboard and other possibilities for connecting with other accessories.

Pricing - When it comes to pricing for the tablet, Apple is expected to keep the price of the iPad Mini 5 in line with that of its predecessors. Based on the pricing of the Mini 4, the price for the Mini 5 is not expected to be the same, but there is a possibility of a slight price increase on the new product. As always, the prices are expected to be higher for larger storage capacities.

Battery - Since the new iPad Mini 5 will be slim, the battery will be small in size and capacity. The battery will be made using improved technology, ensuring it does not affect the running of the iPad.

The iPad Mini 5 is a featured product expected to be launched in 2017. Users are eagerly waiting to see whether this iteration of the iPad will change the somewhat static smart tablet market. For additional information on Apple products and other tech-related topics, go to our website, where we can answer all your questions.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
November 2nd, 2016

2016november2_apple_bMany people hesitate to download updates when new ones comes out for their iPhone. However, with the exception of a few problematic updates in the past, most have only improved iPhone functionality and security. The latest iPhone update, specifically the iOS 10.1 update, is one you should not hesitate to download immediately. Find out more about why downloading the iOS 10.1 update should be your top priority.

The latest update for iPhone and iOS users, referred to as the iOS 10.1 update, was launched on October 24, 2016. Its primary purpose is to address a serious security issue with the previous version of iOS. This security vulnerability should be of major concern to any iOS or iPhone user.

The security vulnerability addressed by the iOS 10.1 update was originally discovered by Tencent's Keen Lab, specifically by a researcher named Marco Grassi. This vulnerability left a hole in the iOS programming that would allow a hacker or attacker to seize control of the phone, changing the code and performing commands after the iOS user opens a JPEG file (image file) that has been "maliciously crafted."

Essentially, what this boils down to is that without the iOS 10.1 update, a corrupted image file could allow another person to control your device (iPad or iPhone). Even without downloading the file, this security hole could be taken advantage of by a hacker. If this is not enough reason to download the iOS 10.1 update, it also addresses other security issues and concerns that involve specific apps, the ability to see login password lengths through workaround hacks, and the like. Because of these specific issues and more, the iOS 10.1 update is a must-have for users of iPhones or iPads.

If keeping your phone and personal information secure are two of your biggest concerns, the iOS 10.1 update is a no-brainer. The sooner you update your device, the sooner you can feel safer using your iOS devices.

Installing security updates may be inconvenient, but they’re a necessity. If you need help managing software updates and keeping your business safe, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
October 18th, 2016

2016october18_apple_bWhether or not to buy an iPhone 7 is a personal decision, and an especially difficult one if you’ve owned a previous version of the device. There are several pros and cons to consider when deciding whether an upgrade is worth the investment. Other than being influenced by reviews, tech lovers may make their decision based solely on bragging rights. So to avoid making an ill-informed decision, check out the arguments for and against the iPhone 7 here.

Water resistance This is one of the features new to the iPhone. The iPhone is 7 is IP67, meaning that it is designed to withstand liquids and dust. Even though Apple doesn’t define liquid protection, this is similar to the original Apple Watch and is therefore able to survive splashes and accidental drops into a pool of water, a welcome addition for iPhone users who value water resistance in their gadgetry.

Future proof Future compatibility is another feature of iPhone 7. Apple's current mobile operating system is iOS 10 and runs a range of applications and features not available to outdated iPhone models. But iPhone 7 can virtually run any app ever created for the platform. Therefore, an iPhone 7 will carry its users well into the future by running on the latest technology. Users of iPhone 4 or 4S are out of compatibility and may consider upgrading. Users of iPhone 5 or 5C are on edge and should also probably consider an update.

Better graphics The iPhone 7 boasts a 4.7-inch screen and 1336 x 750 pixels at 326ppi, which allows users to run iPad-style apps in a landscape display. iPhone 7 also has DCI-P3 broad-range color, which means brighter photos, games, videos and more. People who demand rich graphics or have a high acute color sense certainly won’t be disappointed.

Faster and juicier Apple Fusion 10 and long battery life are the features that make iPhone 7 cutting edge. People who need an iPhone with more power and a battery that fully charges in minutes -- not hours -- will love this upgrade. The new iPhone 7 has a cutting-edge LTE + Wi-Fi, enabling faster transfer of data and connectivity. Users with 802.11ac router who want to open applications, load webpages, and stream videos at a faster rate won’t have anything to complain about once they’ve switched over to the new model.

Stellar camera iPhone 7 features a camera that can perform at the same-level as mid-range SLR cameras. With a 12-megapixel sensor and ƒ/1.8 aperture, as well as 7 megapixels for FaceTime conversations, individuals who want to fill their Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook accounts with high-quality photos will definitely have something to brag about. Finally, the iPhone 7’s 3D and live photos feature can add depth and movement to your photos.

Although the iPhone 7 may not look very different, there’s actually a lot going on under the hood that can probably enhance the user experience. So will you be lining up for this iPhone anytime soon? For more details on iPhone 7 trends and Apple innovation, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
September 28th, 2016

2016september31_apple_bWith its most recent keynote, Apple has increased the storage capacity of iPhones and iPads. Minimum storage for these two devices have risen from the 16GB to 32GB, with iPad prices remaining the same. If you are thinking about buying a new iPad, stay tuned for the latest info about storage upgrades and the reduced price per gigabyte.

Hoping to lure customers back to their mobile devices, Apple has made a number of changes to its products. However, the changes aren’t as simple as they sound, and there are 21 total variations of iPad model and storage. For instance, the storage capacity of the iPad mini 2, the oldest and cheapest version, has been upgraded from 16GB to 32GB.

Both the new Wi-Fi and cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4 share the same price, and come in either 32GB or 128GB. These are the only two storage options available for these models as the mid-range 64GB model has been discontinued. While the mini 4 kept all its prices the same and simply added more storage, the Air 2 received increased storage capacity and price reductions as high as $200 for the largest model.

Previously, those looking to purchase high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pros had to shell out over a thousand dollars. But if you’re willing to stick to a Wi-Fi model, that’s no longer the case with the 256GB version coming in at $999. Cellular-enabled iPad Pros won’t offer a 32GB model, which means the cheapest option will cost you over a grand.

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro offers the most variety in available storage, with 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models for both the Wi-Fi and cellular versions of the tablet. Not excepted from price cuts, these models saw price reductions across each of the six configurations, which now cost anywhere from $599 to $929.

Originating in 1965, Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors in a circuit doubles every two years. This standard has held true even for digital storage, which has grown exponentially. However, what Moore’s Law doesn’t approximate is price. Yet again, consumers have the opportunity to purchase greater computing power at lower prices.

Apple manufactures a lot more than just iPhones and iPads. As specialists in everything that runs iOS and MacOS, we’re your one-stop shop for all your Apple technology needs. Whether it’s hardware advice or Mac-only software solutions, we’re here to help. Give us a call today to find out how we can improve your Apple technology.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
September 12th, 2016

2016september12_iphone_bAlthough they may not garner the fervor of hardware releases and refreshes, iOS updates still manage to bring even the most casual of iPhone and iPad users out of the woodwork. Those who were willing to brave the bugs of Apple’s beta got a chance to play with the most recent version of the mobile platform, but the rest of us have been patiently awaiting its release. The time has finally come. Let’s take a closer look at iOS 10’s release details.

In keeping with its yearly mid-September schedule, the next update to iOS will be released on September 13th around noon (depending on your time zone). Before updating, it’s a smart idea to begin charging your phone and connect to a wireless network. Once you’re all set for the lengthy download and installation, go to your Settings dashboard, then tap General, and finally Software Update. This screen will give you detailed information on the latest update and the option to ‘Download and Install.’

As we’ve seen in the past, not all Apple devices can handle the RAM-hungry features of a new operating system. If you’re still holding onto any iPhone model older than the iPhone 5, you won’t be able to download the update. Unfortunately, the same goes for the original iPad Mini and the Retina/third-generation iPads. And although they’re not too common nowadays, the sixth generation iPod Touch will get iOS 10, while anything older will not.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t warn our readers, however; just because your device is eligible doesn’t mean updating it is the best idea. Older hardware wasn’t designed with the requirements of current software in mind, and updating may result in a significant slowdown of your phone or tablet. Furthermore, despite going through a beta stage, there’s no guarantee that all the bugs have been worked out of the system yet. We recommend waiting a day or two until Apple’s servers aren’t overburdened and other users have had a chance to suss out any problems.

Something as simple as updating your phone can become immensely frustrating if you’re not fully prepared. And despite what you may think, no task is too small for us to consider. If you think helping you update your phone, or even just configuring it to receive work emails is too mundane for your neighborhood managed services provider -- think again. Stop searching for the iOS update menu and call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
August 22nd, 2016

2016August22_iPhone_BWhen most people think of the iPhone, an Excel spreadsheet isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind. Whether it was the smartphone’s form factor or a general aversion to working from a mobile device, most of us had no reason to search out iOS versions of Microsoft’s legendary productivity software. Nowadays, screens have more space, and working outside office hours has become commonplace. Along with these developments, Office apps have been steadily getting better, and the most recent update is another pleasant surprise -- let’s take a look.

Create OneDrive documents from your iPhone

Previous to the most recent update, iPhone users were forced to create documents in the native Office app, save them, and upload them to OneDrive to enjoy cloud storage. Otherwise, only preexisting documents were visible in the OneDrive app. This scope was extremely limited compared with what the software could accomplish in other mediums, which added several annoying steps.

By updating OneDrive on your iPhone, the simple addition of one button eliminates all those unnecessary steps. Proudly displaying itself in the upper-right-hand corner, tapping the ‘+’ provides you with a list of options for creating a new document. A word of warning -- when you select the type of document you want to create, it will still need to open the corresponding application (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint), so make sure those are already installed on your iPhone. But once open, there is no need to upload it manually; the document has already been created and saved in your OneDrive.

Drawing for Office documents

The updates covered here actually take place in two separate applications, and the second is within the Office for iPhone app itself. Let’s say you’re on the way to a meeting while reviewing a spreadsheet on a mobile device written by a colleague. You want to highlight an oddly shaped dataset and make a note on it for the presentation, but the only way to accomplish this is by changing the colors of the cell and typing the note in an adjacent cell. Sure, it works, but it ain’t pretty.

Similar to the function that already exists on iPad and Windows tablets, the iPhone now comes with a ‘Draw’ tab to add to a document as if you were writing on top of a physical using a pen or highlighter. Start by popping over to the Edit menu, click on Home, and finally Draw. From there, you have the option to select either a pen or a highlighter for the desired effect -- and you’re all ready to add a handwritten touch to the document!

The iPhone has proven time and again to be one of the best options for a workplace mobile device. However, appropriating it as such comes with a number of concerns regarding configuration, security, and efficiency. If you’re looking for help with these, or other new and exciting ways to beef up your iPhone productivity, call us today -- we’ll have you fixed up faster than you can handwrite ‘Sign me up!’

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
August 2nd, 2016

2016August2_iPad_BSmall- and medium-sized businesses are famous for creating innovative solutions that allow them to compete with much larger, better funded competitors. One of the most useful tools to accomplish this is the immensely popular iPad, which with its widespread developer community, has limitless possibilities for SMBs. If you feel like you could be getting more out of your Apple mobile device’s business potential, we’ve created a list of the five best solutions -- let’s take a look.

Point of sale apps

One of the most popular uses for iPads in SMBs is as a means of ringing up customer purchases. The checkout aisle has slowly been giving way to automation, and with apps like Vend and Revel you can save a great deal of money on expensive point of sale hardware and wasted employee time. From customer relationship management to loyalty programs and gift cards, these apps give your business a polished, professional front end.

Presentation apps

Business presentations are a staple of the white-collar world, and being ill-prepared for one can sabotage your profitability. Although in the past users were generally averse to creating presentations on ‘restrictive’ touchscreens, Apple’s continued dedication to making it possible is evidenced by their Keynote app. Before writing it off, check out the extremely intuitive creation and delivery functions.

Social media management

For better or worse, the number of social media avenues to promote your business are growing every day. Updating and managing each of them individually is tedious, and ultimately a waste of valuable time. Social media managers like HootSuite allow you to manage multiple accounts, schedule posts, and reply to messages -- all from one place. HootSuite even has analytics and campaign plans directed toward small businesses looking to engage new customers.

Remote Access

Mobility is one of the most sought-after traits of any modern business. If you find yourself constantly away from your desk, a remote access app may be your golden ticket to staying productive on the road. Apps like LogMeIn and GoToMyPc give you unfettered access to your designated desktops. This way you can keep working from the cab, home, or airplane, like you never left the office.

Invoicing/Payment tracking

A desktop computer might seem like the ideal place to track invoices, expenses and employee hours, but mobile accounting apps are freeing up business owners to take their company on the road. SMBs with multiple locations or remote workers will love the cloud access afforded to them by the likes of FreshBooks and Outright. CEOs can push data to these apps from their iPad while their accountants review it from the other side of the country.

When it comes to small- and medium-sized businesses and technology, we’re the experts. And whether it’s security or usability that has kept you from utilizing mobile devices in your business processes, we have a solution for you. Don’t risk exposing your business to unnecessary risks. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
July 13th, 2016

2016July13_iPhone_BiOS 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.

New lock screen

Changes to any mobile operating system (OS) almost always include updates to the lockscreen. However, this is no ordinary update. For the first time since the iPhone’s release in 2007, there’s no ‘Slide to Unlock’ feature. Instead, the screen provides in-depth, 3D touch-activated notifications displaying more detail than before without having to unlock your phone. The iPhone will automatically display the lock screen any time you pick it up, and you can unlock it by pressing the ‘Home’ button.

New widgets

Another upgrade visible on the lockscreen and homescreen is the long-awaited addition of ‘widgets.’ These are basically compartmentalized apps that run on a portion of your screen without having to open the app entirely. With iOS still in beta, the list of available widgets is already quite long, but iTunes controls, weather and calendar are a few of the standout native widgets. Don’t worry though, Apple is allowing third party widgets from the likes of ESPN, Google Maps and Amazon. They can be accessed by swiping from left to right on your lock screen or page one of your home screen.

3D touch on control center shortcuts

The iPhone 6s has been out long enough that most people have had a chance to interact with its 3D Touch feature, which performs different actions based on how much force you apply when tapping the screen. When combining 3D Touch functionality with the ‘Control Center’ dock that appears with a flick of the finger from the bottom of the screen upwards, each function displays ‘Favorite’ actions. For example, if you use a slightly more forceful touch on the Camera shortcut, you’re presented with the options to jump straight to Traditional, Slow Motion, Video or Selfie recording.

New/rich notifications

We see a lot more of 3D Touch throughout iOS 10, and another place it’s quite evident is notifications. Whether it’s on the lock screen or the notification center, a strong 3D Touch will open a small window that allows you to interact with that app without opening it completely. This is especially helpful for replying to messages and emails. In addition to this-- something that may seem small to some, but huge to others, is the ability to hide all your notifications with just two taps. Simply press hard on the ‘X’ button in the upper right, and then click ‘Clear All Notifications.’

Handwritten messages

The iPhone’s native Messages app got a thorough overhaul, but we’ll leave the discovery of emojis, invisible ink and ‘fireworks’ for another time. Those don’t have much place in the business world, but handwritten messages certainly do. Give your professional messages a more personal, attentive touch by writing responses with your fingers with the app’s Digital Touch option.

‘Delete’ stock apps

Unfortunately, you can’t get back valuable storage space by deleting unnecessary native apps. But you can finally remove them from your home screen. Don’t have an iWatch and don’t see why you need to have the app on your phone, albeit tucked away in a folder on page three? Press and hold on the app, tap the shaking X, and tap ‘Remove.’ All gone. iOS 10 is one of the most significant updates the iPhone has ever received. It’s still another month away from widespread release, but if you’d like to install the beta now, or you just want to learn more about how to automatically convert text to emojis, we’re your guys. Open up your boring, old Messages, and drop us a line. We’ll have you sending handwritten messages in no time.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple
May 27th, 2016

2016May27_iPad_BYou 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.

The good

  • 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.

The bad

  • 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.
We hope this feedback provided by early iPad Pro adapters can help you make an informed decision as to whether or not Apple’s latest tablet is suitable for your business. If you’d like to learn more about Apple products or need to service some of your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple