Archives for 2013 | CranstonIT - Blog

FileMaker 13 - A Step Forward in Business Management

Filemaker has been our go-to database solution for years. It’s great for custom building a business software solution for managing your business. If you need software to run your business but can’t find any pre-packaged software that suits your needs, a FileMaker database may be your solution. It’s cross platform and will work on Mac, PC and iOS.

FileMaker just released FileMaker 13. This new version introduces Web Direct. It’s now possible to get the full FileMaker experience through a web browser. That means that FileMaker can now be accessed directly from a web browser on your desktop or laptop. The FileMaker software no longer has to be installed on a computer. The connection is direct to the live database. Changes are immediately available just like you were working in the FileMaker Pro application. 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...

The New iWork 2013

There’s both good and bad news with the new versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers that have been released under the iWork 2013 umbrella. Fortunately, there is quite a bit more good than bad.

The good news is that these iWork apps have become iOS compatible and using iCloud they can be worked on using a web browser from any device. It brings flexibility and portability for people who are collaborating on a document, presentation or spreadsheet and for users who happen to work on various devices.

Another great feature of iWork 2013 is that comes free when you purchase a new computer or iOS device. That means you can get the revamped versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote at no cost to you. If you aren’t in the market for a new computer you can purchase the new version for just $19.99 per application. While the no or low cost of the iWork 2013 apps is attractive, there are some problems. To make iWork accessible cross platform (Mac, iOS and the web), they had to simplify the apps a bit. Along with that simplification came a few glitches and some missing features. Read More...

CranstonIT on FaceBook

Do you want to learn Apple insider tips and tricks? Would you like to be the first to know when the latest Apple gadget or gizmo is about to hit the shelves? Then like us on Facebook. We’ll keep you in the “know”.

It might be a secret iPhone swiping gesture, a tip on how to customize your iTunes music, or advice on how to extend the battery life of your device when you are on the go. We are actively using social networking as a tool to better connect with our clients. Here are some of our latest posts:

  • Mac Tip: When previewing an item in the Spotlight menu, hold Command-Option to show the path to the item, below the preview window.
  • iPhone Tip: In Safari in iOS 7, swipe from the left or right edge of the screen to go back or forward a page
  • iOS 7 Tip: To stop playing a song or podcast at a set time, open Clock, tap Timer, then tap “When Timer Ends” and choose "Stop Playing".

Plus, you’ll never miss one of the Cranston IT event giveaways including tickets to professional sporting events and, yes, zombie shooting. Here’s that October post:

  • Win Free Tickets to Shoot Zombies: The only thing we like better than helping you with your computers is shooting Zombies.  Since you've relied on us for your support needs, we'd like to give you the chance to scare yourself silly shooting Zombies (with paintball guns).

Like us today

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...

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Finder Features

The newest Mac operating system has arrived. Mavericks may not look much different on the surface, but it actually brings some significant improvements including several useful new tools and an improved version of Safari. Mavericks has introduced some quiet, yet powerful, changes under the hood. With memory compressing, app napping and timing coalescing, your Mac will run more efficiently, use less power and have a longer battery life.

You will see some of the useful new Mavericks features in Finder. The most notable one is the tabbing feature, which can be used much like having multiple tabs open in an internet browser. These Finder tabs can be set up various ways within a window and files can be dropped and dragged right into the various tabbed locations. This helps you organize your files in a more visual way.


Backup. Now. Before It's Too Late

Backing up your data is not an option. It’s a necessity. Computer crashes and server glitches are inevitable. They will happen, trust us on this. We know. What is not inevitable is data loss. Your data can be protected. It can also be restored quickly and efficiently.

Our professional data backup service safeguards your data up to the minute. It’s automatic and continuous, and we securely store your data on enterprise-grade servers at off-site data centers. 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...

AppCleaner - Easily Remove Apps You Don't Need

Need to clean up your Mac? Of course, there’s an app for that. The free AppCleaner app takes the basic uninstall process a few levels deeper.

Why do you need this? When you uninstall an application on your Mac, there’s actually quite a bit of clutter left behind. That’s where AppCleaner comes into play. AppCleaner removes the extra clutter in places like the library, application support and cache files. It even finds widgets and plug-ins that may be associated with an unwanted application. These are all places and files you likely wouldn’t have even known existed, let alone thought you had to clean. 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...

Integrate Google Maps into your FileMaker database

We have numerous clients using FileMaker Pro databases to manage their business.  Sometimes these databases are used to schedule crews and salesmen. Being able to visualize where your crews or salesmen are going is a huge asset in a scheduler’s arsenal. We are able to integrate Google Maps directly into your FileMaker database to help you see where your employees are.

With the integration of ProMaps, the locations of your projects, contacts or any other needed address records are beautifully displayed so that you can keep track of all that is going on in your company’s business abroad.  Mapping also allows scheduler’s to see exactly where crews and salesmen are at any given time, allowing them to easily add in additional appointments.  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...

OSX Mac - Drag 'n Drop Printing from your Dock

Have you ever wanted to print out a quick copy of a file?  You have to find the file, open the program, open the file and then print the file.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could print a file without having to go through all those steps?  With this pro tip you can make printing documents as easy as “drag and drop”.

When you’re printing, the printer icon appears in your dock, but after the job is completed the icon disappears. We need the printer icon to stay in the dock, even when the printer is not being used.  Follow these steps to add the printer to your dock. 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...

OS X 10.9 Mavericks Overview

The latest Mac operating system may not have a feline name, but OS X Mavericks is a more ferocious and efficient operating system than it’s predecessors.

One of our favorite Mavericks features is the Maps app.  It’s smooth and responsive with very crisp and detailed text.  It has a realistic 3D feature called Flyover that gives an eagle eye’s view of certain cities. 

Maps provides information like phone numbers, photos and Yelp reviews on local points of interest, and Maps offers point-to-point directions, live traffic conditions, and alternate routes.   Not surprisingly, Maps is smoothly integrated with OS X and can be linked to your Mail, Contacts and Calendar apps. Read More...

Kerio Connect: New Webmail & Tutorial Videos

As many of you already know, Kerio Connect is an ideal solution for businesses that need a reliable yet affordable alternative to Microsoft Exchange. This powerful mail server provides email, shared calendars and contact management to most email clients, web browsers and mobile devices. It also has integrated anti-virus, multiple layers of spam control, built-in archiving, automated backup and an easy Web Administration interface.

It is completely cross platform and works on Macs, PCs and mobile devices. This means everything is integrated even if Windows users are using Outlook and Mac users are using Apple Mail, Address Book or iCal. Kerio Connect can be run on your own internal server or hosted by CranstonIT in the cloud. 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...

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 gift card. Read More...

Sharing Moments with PhotoStream

Photo Stream is one of the innovative features Apple has cleverly built into it’s products. With the help of this handy feature, you can seamlessly view all of your latest snap shots on any one of your devices, no matter if they were taken with your iPhone, iPad, or stored on your desktop. Enable Photo Stream in your device settings, allowing your pictures to upload to your Photo Stream automatically. Maybe one of the of most exciting features of Photo Stream, is that it allows you to easily share your photos with your family and friends. Read More...

Managing Your Mail

Confused by email mailboxes and storage options in Apple Mail? It’s actually pretty simple. You can keep your email in three different places: on the server, in local mailboxes in Mail, or in a saved archive on your computer. Where you choose to store your messages will depend on how easily you need to be able to access them, how important they are, and how long you want to keep them. 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...

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.


Clearing up "Cloudy" Options for Backups

Backing up your computer is something that we all know we should do, but most people don’t take the time to keep their data protected. The good news is that with Apple’s software tools and the easy availability of high speed internet, having reliable backups is a relatively painless process.

There are two primary types of backup: local and cloud. A local backup is a copy of your data stored on a separate device that is the same location as your computer. Typically, this an external hard drive at your home or office. A cloud backup is a copy of your data transferred over the internet and stored at a datacenter. Read More...

iTunes gets a Makeover

Apple’s newest version of iTunes has a whole new look and several slick new features. The most noticeable change is the user interface. The old list browser has been replaced with a cleaner and more intuitive interface, which defaults to a view called Albums. It shows the contents of your entire library as album snapshots. This is a huge improvement because it allows you to drill down on a particular album or video without having to return to the old list screen time and time again.

You can also view your iTunes library content by Songs, Artists, Genres, Videos or Playlists. If you really liked the old list view, use the Songs tab. You’ll see an alphabetical list of your library there that is very similar to the previous version of iTunes. Read More...

Evernote: Remember Everything

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Evernote is an essential organizational tool. It keeps all of your text notes, web pages, files and images organized and synchronized onto every device and computer you use including Apple, Windows and Android products. You can keep every aspect of your life right at your fingertips, which will save you time and allow you to be much more productive. Read More...