Hardware | CranstonIT - Blog

Apple raises bar in your hand, on your wrist, in your home.

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From the company that brought you “just one more thing,” Apple® certainly didn’t disappoint at its September product introduction.

It begins where the announcements ended, with the revolutionary iPhone X.  With its all-screen design, 5.8-inch Super Retina® display and intelligence that responds to a tap, a voice and even a glance, Apple is touting this as the most technologically advanced mobile device ever designed.  iPhone® X introduces Face ID that uses ultra-secure 3D imagery to unlock with just a glance, 12MP dual cameras with dual optical image stabilization, Portrait mode with Portrait Lighting, a TrueDepth camera for portrait selfies and expressive Animoji, the A11 Bionic chip, wireless charging and water and dust resistance.  All this, plus iOS 11.  Ten years after the first iPhone was introduced, iPhone X (that’s ten, BTW) will be available November 3.

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Apple Hardware takes center stage at WWDC

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This month's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was the perfect forum for Apple® to announce a host of new hardware products.

With more than 5,000 developers in attendance, Apple introduced a new iMac
®, a powerful new iMac Pro, an iPad Pro® in a new form factor and a smart speaker called HomePod — the first new product since the Apple Watch® was unveiled in 2015.

HomePod created the loudest buzz. It’s Apple’s answer to the popular Amazon Echo and Google Home wireless smart speakers, and delivers amazing audio quality that competes with the best Wi-Fi speakers on the market. Read More...

Apple’s Airpods Promises to Invigorate Wireless Earbuds

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You’ve probably seen it in spy and detective movies. A James Bond-type character enters a venue and communicates with other operatives by speaking quietly into an unseen, hidden device. No one around him has a clue that he’s relating critical mission information to someone outside the venue. Apple’s new AirPods come pretty close to replicating this experience for the everyday man and woman.

Unlike previous generations of Bluetooth earpieces, these wireless earbuds are compact and unobtrusive. They fit in the ear canal with very little showing outside the ear and no cord or wraparound piece attaching them.

Connecting AirPods to your Apple devices couldn't be easier. Simply select AirPods on your device and tap on the pods. Once connected, they’ll stay that way, ready to use anytime you want. What’s more, they can sense when you’re wearing them and will pause when they’re removed. Read More...

MacBook Pro 2016 Features Touch Technology

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The new MacBook Pro 2016 is lighter, brighter, faster and more fun than previous Mac notebooks. Naturally, all those upgrades come at a cost. If you’re in the market for a high-end laptop, and don’t mind spending up for one, the MacBook Pro might be for you.

The most exciting of this laptop’s interesting and innovative features is the new Touch Bar that has replaced the function keys at the top of the keyboard. This adaptive strip of glass will automatically change based on what you’re doing and what app you’re using. For instance, while in Contacts, the Touch Bar will display actions for the contact card you’re currently viewing in the main app such as shortcuts to call, FaceTime or iMessage that person. While in Safari, you’ll see forward and back keys and an address/search button. Currently, not all apps are Touch Bar ready, but more are being added as developers adopt the technology.

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Apple Unveils Watch Series 2

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September has been a busy month for Apple. With the usual fanfare that accompanies its fall releases, Apple unveiled the Apple Watch Series 2 featuring the WatchOS 3 operating system.

The Apple Watch Series 2 is faster, brighter, and smarter than its predecessor. The dual core processor is 50% faster and the display is two times brighter. This means less time for apps to load and you’ll be able to see the display much more easily when outside. Read More...

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Cause a Stir by Omission

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The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were released this month with more buzz about what the phones do not have than what they include. That’s unfortunate, because the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus include some noteworthy additions.

What’s causing all the commotion?

The phones do not include a headphone jack.

What?! How will we listen to our tunes?

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How to Extend Battery Life – Mac and iPhone/iPad

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This month we’re taking a look at that little worker bee that gives your Mac and iPhone/iPad the energy it needs to do its thing. It may not receive all the accolades and attention of its cousin the processor, and poets are not writing sonnets about its beauty, but the battery is no fading wallflower, either. Just imagine what you would do without a battery powering up your Mac or iPhone while you’re working on a presentation while waiting for a flight or reading emails at your kid’s soccer practice. Actually, you probably don’t have to try too hard to imagine these scenarios as most of us have dealt with the annoying, exasperating, frustrating, and irritating problem of low battery life.

Tips for extending the battery life of your Mac and your iPhone can fall into several categories, from the obvious to the elusive. Sometimes the obvious is what eludes us the most.

Powering Your Mac

Obvious Tip: Turn off what you’re not using.

You probably already know that turning off wifi and Bluetooth can save battery life, but do you actually do it? You’d be surprised at what a difference this simple action can make. If you need to connect to a wireless network to get internet access, then wifi has to be on. Bluetooth is different. If you don’t connect Bluetooth devices to your Mac, you can turn off Bluetooth, save battery and not be inconvenienced. Read More...

iPhone SE and iPad Pro Prove Size Does Matter

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Apple has rolled out two new products that may finally provide an answer to the age-old question: Does size matter? In the case of the iPhoneSE and the iPad Pro, the answer is yes. Whether you believe bigger is better or good things come in small packages, these devices have got you covered.
iPhone SE: Small Size, Big Performance

Released on March 31, 2016, Apple’s latest addition to the iPhone arsenal -- the SE -- packs a lot of punch in a design you’ve seen before. The lightweight case with 4-inch retina display fits comfortably in the hand just like its popular predecessors. As with the 6s, the phone features the A9 chip, offering spectacular speed and responsiveness, with the addition of the M9 coprocessor that enables you to talk to Siri without the need to pick up the phone. Read More...

HomeKit makes your home smarter

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You know that show on Fox called Are you smarter than a fifth grader? Apple’s HomeKit smarthome platform might have you asking “Are you smarter than your home?” As technology advances and evolves, answering that question honestly becomes a matter of semantics.

Homekit is not an application that runs utilities or anything else in your home. Rather, it’s a technology certification platform that developers can integrate into their hardware enabling it to communicate with your iOS device. For example, if you have a smart lighting system and that system is certified through Apple’s MFI program for HomeKit, you’ll be able to use your iPhone to turn your lights on and off. The same goes for all those other automated home functions like locks, heating, and cooling.

One of the features that puts HomeKit at the front of the class is its encryption protocol. The certification process requires manufacturers to include a custom encryption co-processor. This is big. While using smart technology is handy and helpful, it’s not worth the box it came in if someone can tap into your home’s automated locks and security cameras. According to Apple, HomeKit data is encrypted 100 percent of the time so, for example, only you or someone in your household knows when your lights are set to turn on/off. Read More...

If You Want Bigger and Faster, iPad Pro Does Not Disappoint

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If you’ve been longing for a bigger, faster, more responsive iPad, your wait is almost over. Expected to be released in November, the new iPad Pro features a 12.9-inch Retina display which offers 70% more screen space and 1.8 times the CPU performance than the iPad Air 2.

iPad Pro uses iOS 9 to add new capabilities including fast multi-tasking and a variety of built-in apps, all in a super slim, lightweight design. The four built-in high-fidelity speakers make listening to music and movies a theater-like experience. And the new portable, full-size keyboard adds even greater functionality. Read More...

Apple Pencil Offers Pro Precision for an Affordable Price

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Color outside the lines. Take doodling to a new level. Create a work of art. The new iPad Pencil for iPad Pro lets you do all of this and more. It looks and feels just like the writing instrument we all grew up with, but has so much technology loaded into its slim design you can’t help but marvel at it.

Working in harmony with iPad Pro’s enhanced Multi-Touch surface, the Pencil allows a level of precision that you just can’t get when using your finger as a stylus. Sensors in the Pencil detect position, force, and tilt, enabling you to press lightly for a thin stroke or harder for a bold stroke. Tilt it to the side and you can create shading, just like you would with a standard graphite pencil. Read More...

Protect Your Network with Kerio Control Firewall

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One of the realities of doing business in the 21st century is the necessity to protect company and customer data. Unfortunately, the bad guys are out to steal information and they are getting better and better at it. New payment card industry (PCI) compliance laws are taking the responsibility for data breaches off of the banks and putting it on businesses. Along with this added liability, businesses are also facing stricter enforcement of HIPAA and other privacy regulations, the necessity for enforceable employee acceptable use policies, and the security threat inherent in remote access to its network via the internet. These factors combined create a recipe for potential disaster.

Kerio Control offers a complete firewall solution that provides multiple types of protection called Unified Threat Management. This all-in-one solution will protect your network from malware, viruses, and malicious activity through a vigilant system designed to keep the bad guys out. Read More...

The New Apple TV Adds Apps, Siri, Touch for Your Viewing Pleasure

Watching television used to be as simple as turning on a giant box and choosing from a very limited selection of networks and shows. Fast forward several decades with the introduction of Cable and our choices grew by leaps and bounds. Now today, Apple TV aims to change the way we view television again with the introduction of its all new Apple TV and tvOS that offer a highly personalized viewing experience.
This is not your father’s TV, folks.
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Apple TV takes the phase “there’s an app for that” to heart by giving viewers access via apps to entertainment from an ever growing selection of content providers. Users can rent and purchase streaming movies and TV shows in 1080p right through the App Store. The set top box comes equipped with apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and ESPN, giving access to everything you want to watch at anytime. Read More...

Protect Your Computer and Save Money with this Special Sale on a UPS

Spring is here and in Pittsburgh that means thunderstorms and lightning strikes. Storms always bring an increased chance of power outages and power surges. Both of these cause problems with your computers and network hardware. Whether it’s the inconvenience of losing unsaved work, having your internet go out when you are under deadline or having the hard drive fail on your computer, power issues are bad news for computers.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to protect yourself against these types of issues. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are a surge protector and battery backup in one. When storms rage around you, you can keep working since your computer system is safe. At CranstonIT, we believe that UPS systems are an important part your computer network both at the office and home. A UPS system is a relatively simple piece of hardware and having the “newest” version really isn’t any different than having an “old” version except that you get to pay more. The important part of a UPS is its battery. You need a good quality battery that is less then three years old.Dell-UPS-Sale Read More...

The Apple Watch is Here

The wait is over! The Apple watch is now available for purchase online and in stores. When it comes to purchasing your Apple Watch, there are dozens of options for face, size, and band. Apple has divided its watches into three categories, all of which increase in price; Watch Sport, Watch, and Watch Edition. In all three categories, the face size has two options, 38mm and 42mm. Available in metal options from aluminum to stainless steel, and both rose and yellow gold along with sport, chain, and leather bands, the Apple Watch can truly be customized to your own unique personal style. Read More...

The New MacBook - Reinventing the Laptop

The laptop is essential to many Apple users. While all laptops are focused on the ease of transportation, Apple’s new Macbook takes the idea of portability, along with power, to a new level. With the design of the new Macbook, Apple challenged themselves to create the thinest and lightest laptop while still keeping every component full size. The latest addition to the laptop line-up is only 13.1 mm thick and weighs a mere 2 pounds, all while maintaining a 12” retina display screen size.

While the size and power of the new Macbook is astonishing enough, there are also several new features and enhancements that make the Macbook an engineering marvel. Apple’s redesign of the Macbook started with the full-size keyboard. Focusing on this idea, the laptop is exactly the length of its keyboard and features new technology that makes typing more responsive as well as accurate. The 12” retina display features edge-to-edge glass, 2304x1440 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, and is much more energy efficient. Read More...

Network Wiring from CranstonIT

Apple is known for making products that are user friendly and intuitive. Often, this means that things are wireless. While wireless technology can make our lives much easier, sometimes it is not always the best solution. Hardwiring a network can be necessary in both residences and businesses. On occasion, a home is too big or as often happens in older houses, the walls are too thick for a wireless signal to reach all areas. In these cases, wiring can be installed and a wireless access point set up so you can have access to your network no matter where you are in the house. Within a business setting, if there are many employees, faster connections can be established if the computers are wired versus accessing the wireless network. If your business is expanding or moving, there is often hardwiring that needs to be done. Read More...

Apple's New iPads

The next, great generation of iPads has landed, and as usual, they’re revolutionizing the world of tablets. Last month Apple announced the release of both the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3. Two of the most anticipated updates to both the Mini and Air are the addition of Touch ID and the new gold finish. Touch ID allows users to unlock their device, make App Store, iTunes, and iBooks purchases, all using their fingerprint. The new gold finish makes these iPads the most beautiful yet, but don’t let appearances fool you. Read More...

Apple Watch Announced

Apple has the uncanny ability to create products that their consumers need, before anyone recognizes the need. The exciting release of the Apple Watch follows in the footsteps of prior products by promising to become the next product we can't live without. The Apple Watch is part timepiece, fashion statement, calendar, communication tool, and so much more.

The first impression of the Apple Watch reveals a stunning product. Apple has made the Apple Watch completely customizable with three different styles: the traditional watch, the sport version, and the 18 karat gold edition. Choose between two different face sizes, band styles, and metal types to create the watch of your dreams. The physical appearance of the watch isn't the only thing that can be customized, you can also choose between different watch faces, making sure you can get the time just how you like it. Read More...

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus Released

Bigger isn't always better, but with the release of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple is changing our minds. With a overhaul in design, two sizes, and amazing new advancements in technology, Apple has once again outdone themselves.

The iPhone 6 and brand new iPhone 6 Plus are completely reimagined. The iPhone 6 is not only taller, but also wider and amazingly thin when compared to past generations. The iPhone 6 Plus comes in at an unheard of 5.5 inches tall and takes all of the incredible feature of the iPhone and effortlessly proves that bigger is sometimes better. Size isn't the only thing that's changed on iPhone 6, the new brilliantly clear and vibrant HD retina display seamlessly connects to the body of the iPhone, making a much more fluid experience. Read More...

Coin: The Electronic Credit Card

Wallets can often feel like a black hole. We all have multiple cards for different accounts. Business expense cards, credit cards, gift cards, rewards cards and more; they junk up our wallet and often have us scrambling at the register. Wouldn’t it be great if you only had one card for everything? Coin is a creative solution that promises to solve this problem by storing all of your cards in one convenient location. Read More...

Stolen MacBook Returned Using Find My iPhone

“Where’s the laptop?” That was the haunting question one of our own employees, Kelsey Lewis, was asking after her apartment was broken into one night during a recent visit to Thailand. While she was out, burglars had gotten away with a MacBook Air and iPad. After confirming that they had been stolen, she didn't panic, instead she turned to Find My iPhone. Read More...

Which Stylus is the Best for the iPad

While the iPad was designed to be used with your finger, there are definitely times when having a stylus can be a big benefit. This can be especially true when taking notes or drawing. There are apps designed specially for these activities, but using your finger is uncomfortable for most users. So what are your options?

There are numerous low cost options for styluses that range in cost from $10 - $20. These are okay but don’t offer any special functionality. For people who are going to be using a stylus on a frequent basis, they may want a better one. There are two styluses that are marketed as high performance and come with high end price tags. The styluses are the Jot Script ($75) and the Pencil ($60). Do either of the styluses live up to their marketing claims and hefty price tags? Read More...

Recover Your Lost Data w/ Gillware

It’s a mantra here at Cranston IT. Backup, backup, and then backup again. We know we sound like a broken record. Why do we advise this time and time again? Well, sadly, if you don’t back up then when that inevitable glitch, user error or hardware failure occurs you’re going to have a problem. Sometimes it’s going to be a major problem.
If that crash does occur and you realize you didn’t back up your data, then what? There are still recovery options available through professional data recovery services. These services can be expensive but if your critical data is on a failed drive, it can be well worth the price of recovery. Read More...

The New Mac Pro - An Efficient Powerhouse

The first word that comes to mind when looking at Apple’s new Mac Pro is efficient. The small cylinder is just a fraction of the size of Apple’s previous model, but blows its predecessors out of the water. Apple enthusiasts have long awaited an upgrade to the Mac Pro towers, and with an overhaul of design and amazing processing power, the sleek, black cylinder is completely unrecognizable.

The new Mac Pro truly is the picture of efficiency. Weighing in at 11 pounds and only 9.9 inches high, the large bulky towers are a thing of the past. Not only is it much smaller, but also amazingly quiet. The new design vents warm air out the top of the cylinder, making it virtually silent. Much like the Mac Mini when it comes to stealth, the Mac Pro’s fans won’t disturb you. Read More...

iPad Air Released

There’s no doubt that the last couple of months have been eventful for Apple customers. From the release of the new iPhones and iOS7 to new MacBookPros and Mavericks, there’s been a lot to be excited about. With the newest round of releases, Apple announced the iPad Air, a total redesign of the much beloved iPad, making it the most attractive tablet on the market.

At first glance, the most noticeable difference in the iPad Air is its size and weight. The Air weighs in at a shocking one pound, the lightest iPad yet. It’s 28% lighter, 20% thinner, and has 24% less volume, a huge difference from the 4th generation. The air features the same size display as previous iPads. But with the decreased width of the bezel on the sides of the iPad Air, it’s almost an inch narrower making it even more portable than ever before.

While the iPad Air may be the lightest yet, it’s more powerful than ever. The new A7 chips makes the iPad faster and more responsive. With the combination of the M7 coprocessor, which makes the Air work better on the move, the iPad inches closer to the processing power of a computer. With all of the extra power packed into such a small device, the battery life is a big concern, but the iPad Air can still keep you connected for up to 10 hours.

The iPad Air also features a new, ultra fast WiFi connection that is up to 20% faster and a HD FaceTime camera and 5MP iSight camera. The iPad Air proves again that sometimes in life the best things come in smaller packages. With the sleekest body and most powerful mind, the iPad Air is sure win for this holiday season. For more information and to purchase the new iPad Air visit the Apple Store online. Read More...

The new iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S

We all wait with baited breath for Apple’s release of new products. Maybe one of the most anticipated product releases is that of the iPhone. For the first time Apple has released not one, but two brand new phones, the iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5s. Each phone offers a range of features and prices.

The most striking thing about the iPhone 5c is it’s stunningly bold colors. The first iPhone to ever be available in any color other than black or white, the 5c has five color choices: green, blue, yellow, pink, and white. Apple specially designed six colorful cases that add even more fun to the 5c. The cases feature circular cut outs that allow the color of your iPhone shine through while adding their own pop of color. The 5c is made of a single plastic outer shell, reinforced with steel framework making it much stronger than other plastic phones. Mix and match colors to make your iPhone uniquely you. iPhone 5c comes equipped with the A6 processing chip, making the phone fast while improving battery life. The new 8MP iSight camera takes even more stunning photos, and the HD FaceTime camera makes face-to-face conversations even better. Apple has managed to give you all these features with an even cheaper price tag. The 5c starts at just $99 for a 16GB phone or $199 for 32GB with cellular carrier contract. Read More...

Stop Computer Theft

Laptop theft is on the rise. Sadly, the majority of stolen laptops are never found. As you can guess, the ever-popular Macs are one of the prime targets.

How do you protect yourself? The most important actions must be taken before your laptop is ever stolen.

First, think about your data. For many of you, your data is more valuable than the computer itself. So, you must frequently backup to an external hard drive or a cloud based service like ClouDox. This helps ensure that your data is backed up and can be restored if needed. Read More...

Turning Used Devices into Cash with Gazelle

Gazelle is an independent company that will pay you for your old cell phones, smartphones, iPads, iPods and Macs.  You may not get top dollar for your equipment, but a little extra cash in your pocket is always a good thing.  This is also an environmentally friendly solution instead of throwing your electronics into the garbage, since Gazelle refurbishes and resells most of the items they receive.

The whole process is very easy, and it’s risk-free.  You look up your item on their website.  After answering a few questions about it’s condition, you’ll immediately know how much they are willing to pay you.  If you like their offer, you complete the checkout process and tell them whether you’d like a check, PayPal deposit or Amazon.com gift card. Read More...

Sluggish Mac? You May Need More RAM

What is RAM? Random Access Memory (RAM) is the storage space your computer uses to run its operating system and programs. Programs and files are stored on the hard drive when you’re not using them. When you launch a program or open a file, your computer loads it into RAM for quick and easy access. Read More...

iPad vs. the World of Tablets

Tis the season... for tablets, that is. It seems that all the big tech names are coming out with one. So, how are you to choose? It all depends on your particular needs.

The tablets we looked at include the iPads, the new iPad Mini, the Kindle Fires, and the Google Nexus 7.

The sleekest, best performing powerhouses? The iPads. They are known for their performance and features and they will integrate beautifully with other Apple products. Apple also has the best selection of good quality apps, by far.

If you shop around at this time of year you can get a 16 GB iPad 2 for around $400. If you’re willing to buy a refurbished model, it could be a little less. You can find the two newest versions of the iPad for as low as $499. These third and fourth generation iPads both have top of the line features including the eye pleasing retina display.

The newest player in the Apple field, the iPad Mini is selling for $329. It’s obviously smaller, and the performance and features are similar to those of the iPad 2, including a non-retina display. Read More...

What You Want, When You Want It: Apple TV

Apple TV is one of the simplest and most useful products that Apple offers. Yet, it’s one of the least understood. What is Apple TV? It’s a useful little converter box that lets you stream movies, television shows and content from your computer or iPad right to your existing HD television screen. It’s also much more affordable than you might think, selling for $99.

The third generation of Apple TV is a small black box that measures a little under four inches on each side. It can handle 1080p video and has an additional wireless antenna for improved WiFi reception.

Apple TV can stream much more than you might think. It’s set up to seamlessly stream HD movies and TV shows from iTunes, the entire Netflix streaming catalog, Hulu Plus shows, live professional sports games and more. Read More...

The New Slim iMac

We are happy to welcome the newest addition to the Apple family.  The new iMac has arrived and it comes with some impressive new features.

What you’ll first notice about this sleek new model is its size.  It’s almost a full inch slimmer and up to eight pounds lighter than any other iMac.  Apple also re-engineered the display.  The result is up to 75% less glare, a sharper screen image, and more vibrant colors.

It may be slim, but it’s also a powerhouse.  It comes with the latest OS X Mountain Lion operating system and impressive performance technology.  It’s extremely fast thanks to Core i5 or i7 processors and the latest Nvidia graphics processing.  It also comes with up to 3TB of storage and a Fusion Drive option that adds 128GB of flash storage to the hard drive.  The iMac dynamically manages the memory, shifting less used programs to the hard drive, reserving the faster flash memory for the most often used apps.  The result?  Faster day-to-day performance. Read More...

Drobo RAID

Businesses today need a robust, reliable and cost effective solutions for data storage. We've used many different RAID storage systems over the years and for reliable, economic and easy to manage RAID we've found Drobo to be the best. Watch the video below to learn more about Drobo.

If you have questions about Drobo or data storage contact us today.

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