iOS | CranstonIT - Blog

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.
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Cherry-picking the top features in iOS 11

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With every upgrade comes the opportunity to improve your user experience. The trick is to pick-and-choose just those features and capabilities that offer you value and address your needs.

You’ll have just that chance with iOS 11, the most ambitious update yet from Apple®, offering a host of tweaks, upgrades and changes.

Open me first.

Let’s start with compatibility. You will need an iPhone® SE or an iPhone 5S or later to upgrade to iOS 11. That means all new iPhone shipments — right through the iPhone X arriving next month — will feature iOS 11 onboard.

After you install iOS 11 — either via Software Update on your iPhone or from iTunes® — you will immediately notice some new features. Dock icons no longer have names, and many Apple apps now have the same bold text design Apple brought to the Music and News apps in iOS 10.
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Upgrade madness from Apple

High-Sierra-photo

It’s upgrade season at Apple, and your only goal is to avoid going nuts while managing through the process. There are some important alerts here from CranstonIT, so be sure not to miss them.

There are new releases of macOS®, iOS, watchOS and tvOS, and once they are available for free download, your challenge is to decide when to install them. The operative word is when, because there is no harm in delaying major OS upgrades until Apple has had the chance to squash the initial bugs and you have the time to focus on the task. But just don’t wait too long — as it may put you at risk of security vulnerabilities and prevent you from taking advantage of new integrations within the Apple ecosystem.
Let’s take it from the top.

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

September-12th-iPhone-X

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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Apps on iOS 11: Say goodbye to your little friends

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Apple® promises that iOS 11 will set a new standard for the world’s most advanced mobile operating system when it is introduced this fall. It further promises, with iOS 11, that iPhone® and iPad® will be devices that are more powerful, personal and intelligent than ever before.

With the release of the public beta, however, it appears some of the apps you’ve been using on iPhone and iPad won’t launch on iOS 11. Saying goodbye to old friends is tough, but this will help you soften the blow.

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iCloud and Photo Sharing: This Changes Everything

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While it’s easy to snap lots of photos on vacation, your family and friends are just being polite when you bomb them with the entire collection. A greatest hits or best of is always the right choice!

With iCloud®, it’s now easy to create a shared album and to invite other iCloud users to subscribe to it. This makes it especially handy for viewing on an iOS device or Apple TV®. It’s also easy to create a public web page of photos that anyone can see, even if they don’t use any Apple® devices.

Here’s how:

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Make room:  How to change iPhone video resolution.

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Depending on your iPhone®, you have the ability to change the recording resolution and save significant storage space in the process.  Storage space is a common issue among many users running iOS 9 with iPhone 6S and 6S Plus or newer, as those models record video at 4k resolution.  Space will particularly vaporize in the 16GB first-generation iPhone 6S shooting at 4k.

If you simply don’t need to shoot high quality video, or to crunch all those extra pixels, a change in setting is your best option.  Plus, you can do this for both standard and slo-mo videos.  By lowering the resolution, you can store more videos on your iPhone and make it easier to save a back-up on your Mac® or online.

Making the switch is fast and easy.  To change the resolution:

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Apple’s TV App Creates a Unified Viewing Experience

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Apple® has discovered a way to bring harmony and order to an otherwise crowded and often chaotic field of television content.

The new TV app is an innovative, simplified and — might we add — free way to provide one central location to access all the content you enjoy. By loading content from across all your apps as well as iTunes®, your library and your subscription services, you command instant access to your personal cache of TV shows and movies. The TV app is transformational in the way you can watch TV on your Apple TV® as well as on your iPhone® and iPad®. Plus, it always stays in sync so you can begin watching a show on one device and easily continue where you left off on your other Apple devices.

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iOS 10.3 Update - Important Warning

iOS-10-3

Apple is expected to release the iOS 10.3 update before the month is out and this time it’s a case of good news and bad news. First, the good news: Apple is changing the file system that iPhones and iPads use from the decades-old HFS+ file format to the new Apple File System. Apple File System offers optimization for solid state storage, strong encryption, better file time stamping (down to the nanosecond), and many storage saving improvements. Ultimately, Apple will move macOS, iOS, tvOS, and even watchOS to Apple File System.

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Hints and Hacks - Read Receipts in Messages

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As we covered last month, many services work seamlessly across multiple Apple devices. One of these is iMessage, Apple's secure messaging service. With iMessage, you can send unlimited messages to any other user who is also on iMessage. iMessage is accessed using the Messages App on either iOS or macOS devices.

When sending messages using iMessage, read receipts are automatically sent back to the sender when the message is delivered to and then read by the recipient. Read receipts are automatically enabled in Messages for iOS, but are disabled by default in Messages for Mac. With the latest versions of macOS and iOS, however, you can turn this feature off or on globally and then selectively choose who receives or does not receive a read receipt.

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Efficiency Gets a Helping Hand with Mac OS: Continuity

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Do you ever have one of those days where it seems like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing? It’s hard to be productive, much less efficient, when you just can’t get your act together. Believe it or not, there’s an app for that. More specifically, there is a whole suite of apps that, combined, make up what Apple calls Continuity. With this software, the right hand is not only aware of what the left hand is up to, but can also anticipate its next move.

Continuity is aimed at the discerning user who owns multiple Apple products, and builds on the idea that you can do more when your devices work together. The suite includes Cellular Calls, Handoff, Universal Clipboard, Instant Hotspot, Auto Unlock, and Text Messaging. Each app uses a similar user interface across devices that makes switching between them seamless and blurs the lines between device-specific functions. Read More...

iOS: Hints and Hacks for the Apple Watch

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Our Hints and Hacks series is back with another installment. This time we’re taking a closer look at the Apple Watch and sharing some shortcuts to help you get the most from your watch.

Lost and Found
Let your watch come to the rescue when you can’t find your phone. All you have to do is swipe up on the watch display and locate the control panel screen all the way to the left of your “Glances” screens. Next, tap the big button on the bottom to make your phone ping. Hold that button and your phone will ping and light up. Reunited and it feels so good.

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Apple’s Airpods Promises to Invigorate Wireless Earbuds

AirPods
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...

CarPlay Turns Your Dashboard Into an iPhone

CarPlay-iOS

Information and entertainment systems in automobiles can present a love/hate scenario for many car owners. Most of us want easy access to the tools they provide – navigation, audio, climate control – and the bells and whistles they represent in terms of modern automotive luxury, but their often clunky interface and lack of regular updates can be frustrating. Apple’s CarPlay bridges this gap by turning your car’s onboard infotainment system into an iPhone on wheels.

CarPlay works by connecting your iPhone directly into your car’s infotainment system providing access to music, navigation, text messaging, and calls through your phone. This process is also called “casting” because the iOS experience is essentially cast into your car’s dashboard screen by plugging your iPhone into your car with a Lightning cable.

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iOS 10 New Features and Fun Messaging

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iOS 10 has arrived and Apple is calling it the biggest release to date. Of course, that’s what they say every time a new iOS is released. At some point, you might expect it to become a boy-who-cried-wolf situation, but the company manages to make enough changes and improvements each time to keep things exciting. Whether or not you agree with their claims, the latest iOS introduces some interesting updates, most notably to Messages, Siri, and Safari.

With the revamped Messages app you can send stickers, edit photos, send payments, or schedule dinner and a movie. There are lots of new features for personalizing your messages with stickers, drawings and annotated photos and videos. To make things really personal, you can send a message in your own handwriting, change the appearance of your message bubbles, or use “invisible ink” that appears when swiped.

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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

maximize-battery
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...

watchOS Undergoes Significant Improvements

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Apple devotees were buzzing about the Apple Watch well before it went on the market last year. Now the operating system that powers the watch has undergone some major improvements that will surely bring a round of applause. The new watchOS adds functionality and flexibility while maintaining the features users have come to love.

Speed plays a big factor in the new release. One of the biggest complaints about Apple Watch is how long it can take for an app to open. With the new OS, Apple is promising that apps will launch instantly and a redesigned interface will make it easier to access apps by using the digital crown.

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Endpoint Protector 4 Protects Your Company’s Greatest Assets

Endpoint Protector 4
You and your staff work hard to do what you do. Sometimes, when everyone is at the top of their game and everything just clicks, it can almost seem like there’s a little magic in the air. You all are just that good. It would be a shame for the product of all that collective brain power and teamwork to be compromised either through harmful files on storage devices or unauthorized data being taken outside the company via cloud services, mobile and portable storage devices, smartphones, and tablets.

Endpoint Protector 4, a full Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Mobile Device Management (MDM) product available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android mobile devices, can help eliminate the risk by protecting your network and sensitive data from these types of threats. It will also help your company maintain compliance with HIPAA and other privacy regulations. The product provides protection in several different ways depending on the system or device. Read More...

iOS Tips and Tricks, Part 1

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Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a handy cheat sheet listing a few of the many shortcuts available to enhance your iOS experience? It’s your lucky day! We’ve put together a slew of tips and tricks that will have you slapping your forehead wondering how you managed to get through the day before you learned these little pearls of wisdom. And here’s some more great news: this is just Part 1 of our summer series on iOS Tips and Tricks. Check back next month for more. For all your Apple, Mac and iOS support needs, contact Cranston IT at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstoninc.com.

Manage a Group Chat
To add someone to an iMessage group chat, tap Details, then tap Add Contact. If you want to mute notifications during a lively exchange, turn on Do Not Disturb.

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Family Sharing Helps Families Get Organized and Connected

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Parents are used to hearing a few common phrases over and over again from their children. “I’m bored.” “There’s nothing to eat in this house.” “None of my friends have to be home so early.” Since nearly every young person everywhere has a cell phone, you can add “I can’t find my phone!” to the list. It may seem like these phones are permanently attached to their hands, but when they’re not being used for texting, snap chatting, and other forms of social media, these same cell phones have a tendency to be misplaced.

Family Sharing can help with this and many more challenges that families with multiple iPhones and devices have. This service makes it easy for family members to share music, books and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. And when one of those family members misplaces a phone, get help locating it with the Find My iPhone app that enables anyone included in the family group to search for the runaway phone.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what you can do with Family Sharing.

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CareKit - Helping You Manage Your HealthCare

CareKit
iOS CareKit Helps Users Manage Their Healthcare

A few months back we told you about Apple’s ResearchKit that lets users participate in groundbreaking research projects. Now, Apple has introduced CareKit, a software framework that will help developers create apps enabling users to track their own care plans, symptoms, medications, and more. Ultimately, this will allow users to take a more active role in their health and healthcare. CareKit could be particularly useful for individuals with chronic illnesses, the elderly, and parents of children with disabilities for managing their healthcare and communicating with healthcare professionals.

Since the CareKit framework is brand new, apps for its modules are just starting to be created. One particularly useful app in the works is a postsurgical care app that lets users keep track of pain levels, medication, mobility, temperature and other variables. Care teams can then access this information and monitor the user’s progress or advise if follow-up care is needed. Read More...

Maximize Teamwork and Efficiency with Soonr

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It’s not news that teamwork is essential to business success. You’re only as strong as your weakest link and all that jazz. To keep your team functioning at highest capacity, they need to be able to collaborate efficiently; however, workplace collaboration can be a real challenge for businesses with employees who work remotely or from different office locations. Even if all your staff works in the same building and on the same floor of that building, ensuring that each person is working with the most current version of any particular file or project can seem like a juggling act with updates flying fast and furious, usually via email . The result is multiple versions of the same project in various stages of update -- in other words, a big mess. This is where a file management and document sharing tool like Soonr can help.

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iPhone SE and iPad Pro Prove Size Does Matter

iPhoneSe
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...

Helpful Hints & Hacks for getting the most from your Mac

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Just when you think you know all there is to know about using the features of your Mac OS, a new operating system is released with more options and enhancements. Never fear, the CranstonIT gurus are here to shine the light on a few tips and tricks that may have flown in under your radar. The list below is just the tip of the iceberg. We can help you become the master of your Mac and all of your Apple devices. Not ready to jump up to expert level? No problem, we’ll get you set up and take care of the hard stuff, too. Contact us at 888-813-5558 or send an email to support@cranstonIT.com to learn more.

Add Your John Hancock to Documents (Hurry! Do this before cursive writing becomes extinct.)
In OS X 10.7, Preview gained the ability to add your signature to documents. To get started, go to the Signatures tab in Preview's preferences and then click the +. Now, sign your name in black ink on a small piece of white paper and hold it up to your Mac's webcam. Line it up and click Accept (making sure the 'Save this signature' option is checked if you want to use it in the future). Next, open a document you want to sign, pop up the Edit Toolbar and click the signature icon (it looks like an S on a line next to a tiny x). Draw a box to add your signature on the form. You can scale and reposition it afterwards, too.

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Updates to Apple Maps Make Getting Around a Little Easier

Apple_Maps
Change is inevitable. Sometimes it’s necessary, and sometimes it’s just for the sake of change. Apple’s latest version of Maps for iOS 9 is a little of both. The result? Getting around is getting easier. The latest and greatest version of this navigational tool features some useful, and cool, functions that can save you a little time and frustration when you need to get where you’re going.

First up is turn-by-turn spoken instructions. Say you’re in New York City for business and you need to get from your hotel in Midtown to a client’s office in the Financial District. Traffic is horrible and the cab driver lets you off a few blocks from your destination. With turn-by-turn instructions, voice commands offer navigational instructions enabling you to keep your eyes up instead of on your phone and avoid running into the teeming masses traversing the city sidewalks. This is even more helpful while driving, when keeping your eyes on the road, and not on your phone, is critical. With 3D views that change as you change direction, it’s kind of like holding a bit of virtual reality in your hand. Read More...

Getting It Done With iPad Multitasking

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As a society, we are busy, busy, busy. We’ve got places to go, things to do, and people to see. In order to get it all done, we need our devices to keep up with us. They need to perform multiple tasks at once, just as we do. In other words, we need our devices to multitask.

With iOS 9, Apple has begun to ensure that our mobile devices can multitask right along with us. While most devices enable users to switch back and forth between apps without having to restart the app, iPad users can now do even more, depending on the model/generation being used. Specifically, three new features take multitasking on your iPad to the next level. 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...

AirDrop - Magical Sharing from your mobile device and computer

AirDrop-File-Sharing
If you’re old enough, you might remember a skit the late, great nighttime talk show host Johnny Carson used to do where he played an mystic from the East who could “divine” answers to questions placed in a sealed envelope. Carnac the Magnificent would simply hold the unopened envelope to his head and recite the answer before opening the envelope to reveal the question, almost as if the envelope imparted the information to him.

Though the skit was comical in nature, the concept that information can be shared simply by touching an object was kind of cool. Maybe that’s what the creators of the AirDrop had in mind when they came up with this file and content sharing app for devices using iOS 7 or later and Macs with OS X Yosemite or later. AirDrop lets you share photos, files, web sites, contacts, and more with other Apple devices nearby. No need for email or text message attachments, with this app all you have to do is press Share. Read More...

Protect Yourself from Nebbiness on Public Networks with Cloak

Cloak-VPN

In Pittsburgh we have a term we use to describe nosey neighbors, friends, in-laws, and even pets. They’re all “nebby” if they can’t keep their nose out of our business. Most of the time, nebbiness is relatively innocent, but when hackers get nebby, we need to do whatever it takes to protect our privacy.

Did you know that every time you use a public network – in a coffee shop, hotel, airport – you’re making your activities and personal information available to everyone else on that network? While most people don’t have the knowledge or interest in accessing this information, hackers do.

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Do Your Part to Change the World using Apple Research Kit

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Ever wished you could change the world? What if there was a way you could help medical researchers find a cure for asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or one of the many types of cancer, and it didn’t cost you a cent? What if you could do your part to someday eradicate Alzheimer’s disease and all you had to do was lift a finger?

That day has come.

Apple’s Research Kit is an open source software framework that enables researchers to design studies easily accessible to anyone with an iPhone. In turn, this offers iPhone users an opportunity to participate in medical research programs simply by accessing an app on their phone and recording information or following a series of commands. Where, before, researchers had to use the traditional model of posting signage and ads to attract study participants, they can now have access to data from around the world by creating an iPhone app to gather limitless data.

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Pulling the Curtains on Your Electronic Window

Everyone wants to be liked. We want others to appreciate who we are, what we do, and what we’ve accomplished. We want them to want to get to know us and to learn what makes us tick. It’s basic human nature.

Today is your lucky day! There are more people than you can possibly imagine who want to know everything about you and are willing to pay for this information. They’re just not willing to pay you. And you’ll never actually meet them, either.

Have you ever noticed that immediately after shopping online for area rugs, you start to see rug ads in the margins of the web pages you visit or in the ads that appear in your Facebook timeline? Spyware and trackers are used by many companies as a marketing tool. It’s a form of adware that tracks your internet browsing habits and uses this data to deliver in-page ads targeted specifically to you. Read More...

Be Ware of Ominous Pop Up Warnings in Your Browser

Scammers are a clever bunch. They capitalize on fear and lack of knowledge. Unfortunately, when it comes to understanding the complicated inner workings of computers and software, many of us have those traits in spades. It’s not that we’re ignorant, but technology is constantly changing. Unless you’re actively studying or working in the field of computer technology, it’s just plain hard to keep up with these changes. The scammers, however, seem to have no problems with this.

One popular way these internet scumbags attempt to lure us into their evil web is to plant an ominous warning that pops up on our monitor foretelling of grave danger ahead if we don’t act fast.
“Warning!” it says. “Your computer has a malicious virus.”

The message is almost always accompanied by a tech support phone number. Call this number and they are only too happy to bill your credit card a hefty sum. Read More...

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

iPad_Pro
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...

Do I need to pay for additional iCloud storage?

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When it comes to storage, most of us fall into two camps: those who save everything because you never know when you might need it, or those who get rid of anything that hasn’t been used recently. Determining whether you’re a pack rat or a minimalist can help determine how much iCloud storage you need. Typically, most of us don’t really have any idea how much space our photos, songs, video clips and other forms of data consume until we receive a message on our phone or iPad telling us that a backup cannot be completed because we don’t have enough storage space.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to memorialize every seashell you saw on the beach during your summer vacation, you may need to purchase more storage space to back up all those photo memories. Conversely, if you like to keep things simple, you may be paying for more storage than you need.

This is where it helps to understand iCloud storage a little better.

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Apple Gets Into the Groove with New Music Service

apple music
iTunes users know they have virtually an entire world of music available at their fingertips. Think of just about any artist and song and it’s likely you can find, purchase, and download it to your device from the iTunes store. From there you can create music playlists to suit your mood or activity.

But what if you want to be a little more spontaneous than that and listen to something new based on your preferences and tastes? What if you didn’t have to purchase songs individually, but could access a music library of over 30 million (yes, million) tunes and stream music with help from your own personal music concierge? These “what if” scenarios are what Apple offers with its new Apple Music service. Read More...

Collaborate Like a Pro and Save Money

Samepage-Online-Collaboration
Promotion extended till September 30th, 2015
If you’ve been struggling to find a simple way for your staff, consultants, clients, vendors, and anyone else who makes up your team to collaborate on projects and easily communicate status updates, assignments, changes and revisions, Samepage is the way to go. This multi-use tool puts all of your project’s components in one place, lets you assign tasks, and makes it easy for your team’s players to communicate without the need for multiple file sharing, messaging, and project management programs.

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iOS9 Features Some Much Anticipated Improvements

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Everyone’s favorite personal assistant is about to get even better when Apple rolls out its newest operating system for iPhones and iPads. Expected to be released in September 2015, iOS9 will feature some highly anticipated updates to Siri, the voice responsive, talking assistant that changed the way we use smart phones. According to Apple, the new Siri will be able to do more than ever before and understand with greater accuracy what you say.

With more intuitive capabilities, Siri will be able to set reminders based on the content of an email or text message, and anticipate your needs based on location. For instance, it will offer your playlist at the gym, or suggest when you need to leave for an appointment based on your current location. Read More...

iCloud Photo Library Lets You Sync, Save Across Multiple Devices

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For many of us, snapping pictures with our iPhones and iPads has become as much a part of our daily lives as getting dressed or going to work. How did we ever manage to get along without the ability to chronicle every aspect of our lives in glorious, high resolution color? Whether it’s a selfie with friends or a shot of the kids playing with the dog, chances are, we’ve got it stored on one of our devices. Eventually, we may even want to do something with those photos. The problem is that pictures taken on your iPhone and iPad tend to remain on these devices, while photos stored on your computer in iPhoto or other apps are completely separate. Apple just introduced a quick, easy, and simple way to keep all of your photos in one place. Read More...

iOS Security Issue Attempts to Steal Username/Password Information

iOS_Security
If you’re using the latest version of Apple iOS on your iPad or iPhone, you need to be aware of a bug in the system that makes it easy to steal your iCloud password. According to reports, the bug allows attackers to send you an email that mimics a legitimate iCloud log in panel but with bogus html code embedded. When you enter your username and password, the information is sent back to the hacker. Apple does not yet have an official fix for the problem, but there is a workaround. If you get a popup window asking for your username and password when using Mail, simply press the Home button.  If the request is legitimate (Mail can't connect to your server so it's asking for the password) the dialog box will not go away.  If the request is caused by a bad email, the dialog box will close when the Home button is pressed.

To remove the threat, return to Apple Mail and click Cancel on the login window if it reappears, then delete the email message that you were viewing when the login window appeared. As long as you don't enter your username and password into the window, you are safe.

If you have any questions about this security issue, give us a call at (888) 813-5558. 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...

Apple Pay - Revolutionizing the Way We Pay

Apple’s goal is to make the lives of their users easier. From laptops, to the App Store, and the new Apple Watch, they certainly are doing so, but Apple’s newest software integration is about to change the way we pay. Apple Pay is basically a virtual wallet that lets you pay with just your device and your fingerprint.
Apple Pay works both in physical retail stores and online. The Near Field Communication antenna that is built into the iPhone 6 enables you to pay simply by placing your finger on the fingerprint scanner and being near a contactless reader. Your iPhone will then vibrate or beep, letting you know your payment was successful. Apple Pay will also be available on the Apple Watch when it is released in April. You can also use Apple Pay on your iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 at select online retailers, such as Airbnb and Target. Read More...

Slack: Redefining Business Team Communication

Team based communication in business is an often overlooked function in today’s business environment. Obviously, there are lots of ways to communicate: email, instant messages, phone, VOIP, online forums, but all them lack key features that make team based communication effective. Slack is a new cloud based communication service that allows teams to communicate easily and efficiently all in one place. While barely a year old with already 500,000 daily users, Slack has single handily revolutionized the way businesses are communicating. So what is Slack’s magic and how can it transform your team’s communication? Read More...

Find Your Lost Stuff with Tile

It’s hard not to worry about losing your stuff and often the things we care about the most are the ones we can't live without. Thankfully, there’s a solution that will put your mind at ease. Tile is a keychain sized square that can be attached to virtually anything. Slip it into your wallet or purse, attach it to valuable electronics, or clip it onto your keychain and never have to worry about losing them again. Read More...

Stay Healthy with your iPhone

The start of a new year often comes with New Year Resolutions. If you’re like many people, one of your resolutions probably includes getting into better shape. Remembering to stay active and tracking your diet are often big obstacles when beginning a healthier lifestyle. Thankfully your iPhone is here to help. With the Health app that was introduced with iOS 8, there also came Healthkit. Healthkit is a tool that provides app developers the ability to create applications that allow their data to be synced and synthesized within Health. There are many fitness and nutrition apps that now integrate with Health, but which ones are the best? Read More...

Exploring Apple Messages App

Text messaging has become one of the most important ways we communicate with each other. With Apple users, iMessage has quickly become just as important. When you’re using your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or even your Mac, you gain access to a variety of features that make texting your friends and family quicker, easier, and more personal. When using iMessage to text another Apple user, or just sending a regular SMS, the handy features of Apple’s Messages App make it a joy! Read More...

iCloud Family Sharing Review

We use our Apple devices for everything. From watching movies, listening to music, staying organized with calendars and reminders, and keeping connected; our Apple devices are powerful tools. Often there is a need to share all of this important information with those who are the most important to us, our families. iOS 8 has created a solution that will change the way you and your family interact digitally, Family Share. Family Share lets you sync up to six individual Apple IDs and share App Store purchases, photos, calendars, and much more. 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...

iOS8 Preview - Coming this Fall

June’s announcement of iOS 8 is full of beautiful new features. Apple’s aim for the new release is to make the interface feel more natural. Every upgrade and new feature has a purpose and is designed to enhance the user’s experience. With changes to the keyboard, pictures, and much more, iOS 8 is poised to be the best mobile operating system yet. Family Sharing, Messages, and Health are three new features and upgrades that make iOS 8 truly spectacular. Read More...

Managing Travel with TripIT

Planning a getaway can be fun, but often we find ourselves lost in the never ending details of confirmation numbers, addresses, directions, and flight information. The overwhelming amount of logistics is often made even more complicated when you need to share your trip plans with friends and family. TripIt is a free service that takes all of your travel plans, cuts out the useless information, and compiles them in to a simple, easy-to-read itinerary that you can share with anyone who needs to know your plans. Read More...

Kitestring - The Overprotective Mom

As a kid, overprotective moms were annoying. Whether you or your best friend had one, they were always there, having you check in every five minutes. As an adult, sometimes you may wish that you still had a paranoid mother looking over your shoulder. There’s good news! Kitestring is that overprotective mom you wish you had! 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...

Expand your mind with iTunes U

Learning is a lifetime pursuit that doesn’t stop at the end of our college careers. However, with lives that are busy, finding the time to take a class or attend a seminar may seem impossible. Apple’s application, iTunes U, is a great tool that will help you expand your mind while making it easy, fun and free! Read More...

1Password - Effective Password Management

In a growing online world, passwords are required for everything. From email, to e-commerce sites, and online banking, we’re bogged down with tons of passwords to commit to memory. Unfortunately, this often leads to using the same password for multiple sites along with passwords that aren’t always as strong as they should be. There is a solution. 1Password is an application for your Mac, iPad, and iPhone, that not only remembers all of your passwords for you, but also generates secure ones that will help protect your accounts from getting hacked. Read More...

Knock to Unlock - Knock iOS App

Somedays it feels like all we do is type in passwords. We are always looking for ways to simplify our password situation without compromising on security. Introducing Knock, the new iPhone and computer application that offers an interesting solution.

With Knock unlocking your computer is as simple as physically knocking on the face of your iPhone. The computer will automatically pick up the iPhone signal when you are within range of your computer allowing it to unlock. When you and your phone walk away from your computer, the minute you get out of range, your computer locks itself, making sure you never forget again. What if you forget your phone? No problem, just type in your password the old fashioned way and if your phone gets lost or stolen all you have to do is disable the application on the computer. Knock uses bluetooth to connect with your computer without draining your battery. 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...

SquareUp Mobile Payments

We live in a world where paying cash is quickly becoming obsolete. As cash becomes a thing of the past, it is more and more important for small businesses, individuals, and mobile stores to have a way for their consumers to pay for goods. One of the best options is the Square credit card reader and app. No business wants to have to turn a way a customer or miss a sale because they’re unable to accept a specific form of payment. The Square credit card reader is the perfect solution to the payment problem. All you need is an iPhone, iPad, or Android, access to WiFi or cellular data, and the Square credit card reader to never miss out on a transaction again. Read More...

FileMaker Databases for your Business

It’s a competitive world. That means businesses must be as efficient and productive as possible. This is especially true for small businesses. Often businesses cannot find a pre-made software program that works the way their business operates. That’s when a custom built database can help you take your business to the next level of automation and efficiency.

We recommend FileMaker Pro. This database software has been an industry leader for small and medium size businesses for over 20 years. It’s cross platform and data can be accessed from your Mac, Windows PC, web browser or iOS Device. Multiple users can access the database simultaneously from anywhere there is an internet connection. Read More...

iOS 7 releases September 18th

The release of iOS 7 is finally almost here. Apple’s new operating system for your mobile devices, such as iPhone or iPad, will be available for download on September 18th. iOS 7 is chocked full of exciting new features, some of which we already highlighted in a previous article that you can read here.

The camera app in iOS 7 makes taking pictures even more intuitive. You can shoot stills, video, slow-mo, panorama, and square, switching between these different options with just one swipe, so you’ll always be ready to capture a moment. Now you can take a still shot while recording a video to take advantage of both options in a can’t miss moment. There’s also a new filter features that allow you to add filters to your photos. You can either shoot using filters or add them later. The new camera app is sure to add even more beauty to all of your photos and videos. 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...

iOS - Wunderlist App

Life gets busy and if you’re like most people, “to do” lists help keep life organized, but what if the pen and paper method of organization isn’t enough? Wunderlist’s newly redesigned application provides intuitive features to ensure that you never miss a deadline again. This cross platform App, compatible with iPhone, Android, Mac, and Windows, allows you to stay on top of your tasks no matter which device your working on, seamlessly synchronizing all devices once a change has been made. With many handy new features and a beautiful design, a productivity app has never been more fun. Read More...

iOS 7 Overview

Apple is always trying to improve their products, make them more cutting edge, and increase their intuitiveness. With the announcement of iOS 7, the new operating system for your mobile devices, Apple has managed to make their products even more state of the art. With a complete overhaul of the user interface and the many exciting new features, you’ll be anxiously anticipating the release this fall.

With the new Control Center all of the most used controls are a swipe away. Swipe up on any screen, even a locked one, and you have the option to turn on Airplane Mode, turn off wifi, adjust brightness, and access things like your camera or calculator. With the built in flashlight feature, Control Center will never let you get caught in the dark. Read More...

iPhoto on iOS

Photo editing apps for iOS devices such as your iPhone or iPad can often be confusing and lack clear and precise editing power. Apple has designed their iPhoto App for iPad and iPhoto to harness the power of an editing program like Aperture or Lightroom but made it intuitive and easy to use, allowing any photo to look professional.



You can edit and sort your photos by the albums that you’ve created in Photos or by tapping the Photo tab. To get started just click an album or photo that you’d like to organize or edit. If you have several photos that are similar and you’d like to find the best shot, double tap one of the pictures which will bring up all of the similar photos, allowing you to do a side-by-side comparison. Once you’ve found that perfect photo you can flag it or make it a favorite by tapping the ribbon icon, this will add the photo to albums that only contain your best shots, making them easy to share and find later. Read More...

iWork on the Go

The suite of iWork products for the iPad contains excellent mobile versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers.

You won’t have the exact features and capabilities as on your Mac, but at a low price of $9.99 each, these productivity apps are well worth the download.

On first glance, you’ll see that Pages is very similar to the full Mac version. As you can imagine, its main limitation is in the onscreen keyboard. Unless you are exceptionally skilled at tapping on the little keyboard screen, or if you only plan to use Pages for simple edits, you’ll want to get a small wireless physical keyboard to use with Pages mobile. You also can’t have multiple windows or multiple documents open simultaneously, which could cut down on your word processing productivity. Despite these minor limitations, for a go-to application to read and edit documents, Pages has all the capabilities that you will need.


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...

Save Time with Passbook

Passbook is one of the most useful features in the new iOS 6 operating system for the iPhone. 

What is Passbook?   It's a handy feature that lets you store and quickly access electronic versions of tickets, boarding passes, merchant cards and more.

How does it work?  First, you need to download apps for those merchants that you plan to put into Passbook.  When you open Passbook for the first time, a button will appear that will take you to the Passbook section of the Apple App Store.  You’ll see all of the supported Passbook apps, like Fandango, American Airlines, and Walgreens to name a few.  Read More...

The Newest iPad and iPhone Features in iOS 6

Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system, available this fall, will bring some significant improvements to the iPhone and iPad.

Some of the most notable changes are to Siri. She will be able to open apps, pull up sports scores and stats, and even make restaurant reservations through Open Table. Siri will also be able to integrate into the hands-free systems of many vehicles.

A new application called Passbook can organize movie and sporting event tickets, store membership cards, retail coupons and airplane boarding passes. You can even use Passbook to check in for a flight, buy movie passes and redeem coupons.

The new iOS will also have its own mapping app with real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation spoken by Siri. Maps are vector based which means graphics and text are incredibly detailed. You can tilt and rotate to view an area and the Maps app will keep the names of streets and places where they belong. Read More...

iOS 5 Quick and Convenient Camera Access - Helpful Camera Tips

The new iOS 5 operating system brings more than 200 new features to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.

Some of the most useful new features are part of the Camera app.  With iOS 5, your camera is now literally one touch away.  That’s because you can open the Camera app right from the lock screen.  So you won’t lose precious time unlocking your device with a passcode and then finding and tapping the Camera app. 

The camera also has grid lines, pinch-to-zoom gestures, and single-tap focus and exposure locks so you can compose your picture right from your device.  Then with a click of the volume-up button you can quickly snap a photo. 

You can also edit photos right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.  With crop, rotate, enhance, and red-eye options built right into the Photos app, you can work on your photos right on your device.  You can also organize your photos into albums, and if you have Photo Stream enabled in iCloud your new new photos are pushed right onto all your iOS devices.

The main advantage of the iOS 5 operating system is that all of the photo features you need are conveniently available in one place and can be accessed right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch from the lock screen. Read More...

iOS 5 Notifications Center

The new iOS 5 operating system brings more than 200 new features to the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.

One of the biggest changes you’ll see are the notifications that replace the pop-ups that you may be used to seeing in older versions. Read More...

Keep Track of your iPhone, iPad and iPod with Find My iPhone

A missing iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch is more than a lost device.  Its also lost personal information.  The solution?  A free service from Apple called Find My iPhone that can locate a lost or stolen iOS device.  

The Find My iPhone service is built right into your iPhone 4, iPad or fourth generation iPod Touch.  All you need to do is activate it.  Then you can track a lost device from any computer. Read More...

Printing from iPhone / iPad using Airprint Activator

Simple printing. It’s what iPhone and iPad Touch users ask for time and time again. Sending documents back to a computer for printing is time consuming and inconvenient. So, how do you print directly from your mobile device?

With the release of iOS 4.2, Apple gave iPhone and iPad users a way to send their documents directly to any AirPrint enabled printer. That’s a nice practical solution if you happen to have a printer that’s AirPrint capable. But, most of us do not. What if your printer doesn’t have this unique technology? That’s where a clever little free utility called AirPrint Activator becomes your solution.

With one simple download, AirPrint Activator allows you to print to any printer, even those without the built-in AirPrint functionality.

Setup is easy. Just follow the instructions below and within minutes your printer will be ready for iPhone and iPad printing. If you run into installation problems, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you install AirPrint Activator through a remote support session. Read More...
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