CranstonIT - Blog

Trade-in, trade-up with Gazelle

CranstonIT is pleased to announce its affiliation with Gazelle, the nation’s leading marketplace for the sale or purchase of pre-owned consumer electronics.

“Gazelle has built its reputation as a super-fast, efficient and safe way for people to get cash back for their used iPhone® or other device,” said Patrick Cranston, President of CranstonIT. “We are proud to affiliated with such an iconic name in our industry.”

Gazelle has helped pioneer the eCommerce category, and is recognized by an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and a 9.5/10 Reseller Ratings review average.

Since 2008, Gazelle has paid out more than $200 million for unwanted technology, while helping consumers upgrade at the same time. Gazelle has purchased and resold more than two million devices — such as iPhone, iPad®, MacBook® and other used high-end devices — and enabled discount opportunities for consumers who otherwise could not afford new technology.

Essentially, Gazelle rewards people for approaching consumption in a smart, environmentally responsible way. Rather than discard a device you no longer value or use, Gazelle provides original owners with an opportunity to exchange it for cash and then put that cash towards a certified pre-owned device.

If you are interested in seeing what your device is worth — or in buying a certified pre-owned device — you now have two ways to begin that process. You can either visit OR contact CranstonIT at 888-813-5558 or If you choose the latter, a CranstonIT representative will facilitate the entire process for you. Either way, your device will be quickly evaluated and you’ll have a cash-back quote good for 30 days. Ask us for more details.

Emergency SOS on iPhone and Apple Watch offers 911 alternative


Apple® has added one more tool to the Swiss-army functionality of its iPhone® and Apple Watch® — and this one could save your life.

With Emergency SOS now available on iOS11 or watchOS®3, you can quickly and easily call for help and alert your emergency contacts. And there’s no additional app to buy or software to load, as Emergency SOS rides onboard and ready to activate when you need it most.

Emergency SOS accomplishes three critical tasks. First, it calls emergency services using whatever number is appropriate for your location, especially important when you are traveling abroad. Next, immediately after your emergency call ends, it sends a text message with your location to the emergency contacts you’ve previously established in Apple’s Health app on your phone or watch. Finally, Emergency SOS displays your medical ID so first responders can be alerted to medication allergies or other preexisting conditions.


Apple Introduces HomePod


Back in 1984, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh®. Or rather, the Mac® introduced itself to the audience by saying “Hello, I’m Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag.”

Apple's introduction of HomePod™ demonstrates just how far we’ve come from those early days of technology intelligence. HomePod can not only introduce itself, but teams with Siri® and Apple Music® to create a brilliant home assistant capable of managing everyday tasks and bringing the music listening experience to an entirely new level.

Designed to compete against — er, crush? — Amazon Echo and Google Home when it begins shipping this month, HomePod is a powerful intelligent speaker in an elegant mesh-covered cylindrical package that stands just seven inches tall and boasts seven beam-forming tweeters for high-frequency acoustics and a large woofer for deep, clean bass. Driven by its A8 chip, HomePod software enables a spatial awareness that can sense its location in the room and automatically adjust the audio for the optimal listening — or command-executing — experience.


How to build team productivity and trust with Samepage

Samepage is a business collaboration tool that connects people with projects, conversations and files. It helps you avoid project disconnects and lapses by bringing your team together on one collaborative platform that is productive, easy to use and actually fun. Samepage is a living page capable of handling tasks, files, videos, diagrams, social network content and much more.

Samepage funnels teams, discussions and files into one place. It helps eliminate switching back and forth among email, task management and file sharing apps, while streamlining information and important conversations. With Samepage, it’s easy to connect and work with anyone — from colleagues in the same company to external people like contractors, clients and vendors. And because great collaboration starts with great conversation, the communication tools are built right in.


Make life easier with Apple Pay Cash?


Apple Pay® Cash is a new person-to-person payment service that lets you instantly send money to another iOS user. You don’t even need a new app, as it’s built right into iMessage®. Apple Pay Cash makes sending and receiving money as simple as sending a message.

Say you are out to lunch with tech-savvy friends, one of whom picks up the check. Problem? Not with Apple Pay Cash, where your share of the bill is sent instantly with just a couple of taps on your phone.

For your friends and relatives who use an iPhone® with iOS 11.2 or later, Apple Pay Cash is perfect for repaying them when they pick up groceries, concert tickets or fill your tank with gas. And for your green-bubble Android acquaintances, you can always rely on cross-platform services like Venmo, Circle and Square Cash to accomplish the task.

Here's how to start using Apple Pay Cash.


Who should buy the new iMac Pro?


To be clear, Apple® created the new iMac Pro® for the professional user.

It’s an astonishing machine, and it’s packed with the most powerful graphics and processors ever in a Mac®, along with the most advanced storage, memory and I/O — all behind a breathtaking Retina® 5K display in a sleek all-in-one design. There’s no debate when Apple bills this as "the most powerful Mac ever built”.

That power starts with the processor, an 8-core Intel Xeon W. If that's not enough performance for you, there are also 10-core, 14-core and 18-core options. Standard RAM is 32 GB, but you can bump it to either 64 GB or 128 GB. The default storage is a 1 TB solid-state drive, but you can increase that to 2 TB or 4 TB. You can't upgrade the iMac Pro in any way yourself, but you can take it to an Apple Store® or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have additional RAM installed.


Watch Out for Phishing Attacks Hidden in Your Email

Internet information thieves are preying on our inattention while reading emails.

Online criminals know we are all busy, and that we often aren’t focused on what we are opening, reading and where we are clicking. They take advantage of that inattention by forging email messages to look like they've come from Apple, Facebook, and Amazon, along with well-known banks, payment services, retailers, and even government agencies such as the IRS and the Social Security Administration. Even more dangerous are messages that appear to come from a trusted individual and include personal details—often targeted at executives and company managers.

Generally speaking, these attacks are called phishing. And they cost businesses hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The goal, of course, is to prompt you to click a link in the message and visit a malicious website. That site usually continues to masquerade as being run by a company or organization you trust. Its aim is to sucker you into revealing confidential information by asking you to log in, pay for a product or service, or fill out a survey. The site — or an attachment in the email message — might also try to install malware. Although macOS is quite secure, it can still be affected if you approve certain security prompts.

Here’s how you can help identify potential phishing attacks.

iOS: Next Level Security with Face ID on iPhone X

It’s natural for one to be suspect about a new technology that is so complex, so advanced and so … different. For many, that’s the case with Face ID, now found on on the iPhone X.

The home button, a fixture since the original iPhone, is gone. To replace that Touch ID sensor, Apple has developed a new facial recognition technology that scans your face to authenticate you as the user. Apple claims that Face ID has a false positive rate of one in a million, except in highly unusual situations like identical twins or high quality 3D printed masks of your face.

The point is that while Face ID is more secure then its Touch ID predecessor — and its fingerprint recognition — it is not infallible.

Let’s understand how Face ID works.

CranstonIT welcomes new Billing Manager - Mary Ceccarelli

If you like your back-office admins to be nerdy, tortoise-rimmed, pocket-protector types who live to calculate, you’ll be disappointed with Mary Ceccarelli.

Mary joined CranstonIT last month as its new part-time Billing Manager. But mesmerized by numbers? No.

“I think I’m supposed to be, but I’m just not,” she laughed. “Does it count if I just fantasize about being one of those people who is?”

Make no mistake, Mary is a whiz at what she does and so much more. She was formerly a Digital Marketing Coordinator for Conners Sales Group in Washington, DC where she managed the company’s social media, email campaigns and website content. She’s currently a community TV producer for a local show called “Get Involved”. And Mary is an avid cyclist, runner, yogini, singer and photographer.

At Patete, it’s IT management for everything but the kitchen sink

Steve Erenrich has made a career of dealing in variables.

As the President and CEO of Patete Kitchen and Bath Design Center, Erenrich has helped hundreds of families in Western Pennsylvania choose everything from fixtures to faucets to flooring in the process of renovating and remodeling the most important rooms in their homes.

“We do the best we can to help our clients narrow down their options,” Erenrich said with a grin.

And that’s an understatement. Patete has been remodeling Pittsburgh-area homes since 1960 with an ever-changing array of materials, designs and environments, all with an eye on creating the perfect kitchen or bathroom space. Variables? Seemingly endless. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are shared with Patete clients every month.

So when it comes to managing the technology that drives his business, you can’t blame Erenrich for choosing the path of least resistance, a simplified approach with the fewest options.

Tech the halls: Apple for the holidays


As stocking stuffers go, let’s all agree that a geeked-out MacBook Pro or iPhone X won’t make the cut this holiday season. But don’t despair — there are plenty of (somewhat) affordable options that will still satisfy that Apple craving for family and friends.

Let’s start at the top ...

Apple Watch. Initially intended as an iPhone accessory, Apple Watch makes a great add-on for any iPhone user who doesn’t already have phone-in-hand most of the day. For most people, the $249 Apple Watch Series 1 is a fine gift, although the $329 Series 3 is faster and brighter and doesn’t need the iPhone to track a run or bike ride via GPS. Consider the $399 Series 3 with cellular access only if you’re certain the recipient will make use of the watch while out and about without the iPhone, since its data plan costs $10 extra per month.


The iOS 11 app you just can’t live without

go not disturb
If you are about to purchase a new iPhone X because you can make a unicorn dance and sing, that’s all well and good, but there’s another feature embedded in iOS 11 that’s just a tad more important. It’s called Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD), and it can save your life and the lives of others IF you elect to use it.

On U.S. roads in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that 3,477 people were killed and 391,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. While there are many things that can distract drivers, the most concerning — and the most avoidable — is texting.

With the advent of iOS 11, your iPhone can now sense when you might be driving and prevent notifications such as texts and calls, yet still enable needed emergency alerts, timers and alarms. You’ll be prompted to activate DNDWD when it first detects that you’re driving in a car, and it can subsequently remain activated when you drive again. Just tap Turn On While Driving and the app is enabled once your iPhone connects to Bluetooth or when your iPhone senses a driving motion.