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August 7th, 2014

OSX_Aug05_AEarlier this year, Apple announced that they would be releasing the newest version of their popular operating system OS X. This latest version, code named Yosemite, brings a number of new features and changes and is slated to be released in the fall. Meanwhile, Apple has recently released the beta of OS X.

About AppleSeed

When developing any software, including operating systems, companies need to put each program through a series of tests. These tests, usually called Alpha and Beta tests, are usually conducted by trained bug hunters who push the program to its limits, attempting to expose things like bugs, glitches, and other problems that need to be fixed before the program release.

Over the past few years, there has been an emerging trend where developers have started to turn to users to test programs. This is actually a common practice in the video game industry which has started to take hold in the software industry as well.

The main reason behind this move is because it is usually costly to hire Alpha and Beta testers, so if you can get your customers to help test it, you save money while being able to release a generally better product. At the same time, you also get to drive interest in programs and possibly increase sales.

This year, Apple has decided to adopt this practice and has introduced the AppleSeed program. The idea behind this program is that users can sign up to beta-test future versions of Apple software. Anyone with an Apple ID can sign up for the program and if you are approved, you will be allowed to beta test upcoming software for Apple.

How to get onto the beta

One of the first programs being tested is OS X Yosemite. This year, Apple has opened the beta to one million people. If you go to the OS X Beta Program site - which is a subprogram of the AppleSeed project - you can press the Sign up button to apply to join the program. You will need to enter your Apple ID and password and then follow the steps to sign up.

If you have gotten an invite to beta test OS X Yosemite, you can go to the Beta Program site and press the Sign in button at the top-right of the page. Once you are logged in, scroll down the page and click Get OS X Yosemite Beta Redemption Code. This will give you an Apple Store code that will enable you to download the beta version. If you already have a code, try going to this page on the Beta Program site and pressing Download OS X Yosemite Beta.

This will open the Apple Store app with the activation code already implemented. Press the Redeem button and then follow the instructions that pop up to download and install the beta version.

Should my company be beta testers?

While it may seem like a cool thing to be able to get access to the next version of OS X before everyone else, there are some caveats with the program:
  1. This is a beta test. The software is not finished and some apps and programs will not work properly. You will also see bugs and glitches that you should report to Apple to fix.
  2. The final product may not look/function the same as the beta. While beta versions of software are pretty close to the finished version, there is still a chance that features and functions in the beta will change before the program is released.
  3. It is difficult to revert back to a stable release. Stable releases are a version of software that has been released to the general public for use - in this case OS X Mavericks. If you do install the beta and decide it's not working, it can be difficult to revert back to Mavericks. It may even require you to wipe your computer and start fresh.
So, taking this into account, should your business try the beta version? We strongly recommend against this. The main reason is because there is a good chance that your other systems may not be fully compatible with OS X Yosemite. The absolute last thing you want is to install the beta version of Yosemite only to find out your printers, or other business functions, don't work with the software.

If you feel that upgrading say a personal laptop is worth it, then we strongly recommend that before you do do so, take the time to back everything up. It is also worth noting that you will need OS X Mavericks installed on your laptop/desktop if you are thinking of trying OS X Yosemite out.

Should you have any questions about the upcoming version of OS X, contact us today to see how we can help. There are many ways you can upgrade and refresh our business tech without having to resort to using beta programs.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
July 10th, 2014

OSX_July07_AWhen it comes to new technology, there is always concern when integrating it into existing business systems. This is especially true for cloud storage, where one of the most common concerns is over the security of the data being stored. One of the best ways to ensure the security of a cloud storage system is to employ two-factor authentication. In an effort to make their cloud storage service more secure, Apple has recently introduced two-step authentication for iCloud.

What exactly is two-step authentication?

Two-factor or two-step authentication as Apple calls it, is a security method whereby you need to supply two different pieces of information in order to access your account. For the majority of systems this means your password and another piece of identification or a code that has been sent to say a mobile phone or generated by a key fob.

The reason two-step authentication has become so popular, and is being implemented in numerous systems, is that it is more secure than just using your password to access your account. Because the majority of platforms choose to use your mobile phone to generate the second code - usually through an SMS - there is a good chance that other people will not be able to access your account.

In the specific case of iCloud, you will need to enter this code when accessing iCloud or iCloud Web apps like Calendar, Contacts, Mail or Notes. When you try to access an app on a new system you will need to enter your password and a four digit code sent to your mobile phone over SMS.

How to set up two-step authentication for iCloud

If you use iCloud or iCloud's Web apps you can enable two-step authentication by following these steps:
  1. Going to the iCloud website and logging in using the username and password you would like to enable the extra authentication for.
  2. Clicking on your account name, which is located at the top-right of the page, and selecting Account Settings.
  3. Clicking on your Apple ID followed by Manage your Apple ID in the new page that opens.
  4. Signing in with your Apple ID again and clicking on Password and Security.
  5. Entering the answer to two of your security questions and then selecting Continue.
  6. Reading the information about two-step authentication on the three following screens and clicking Get started.
  7. Setting a phone number in the following screen. Be sure to use a number tied to a phone that can accept SMS or text messages.
  8. Entering the code that was sent to the phone number you set in the previous step.
  9. Selecting your phone from the list of devices and clicking Verify.
  10. Entering the code that is sent to the device you just selected and clicking Continue.
  11. Printing or copying the verification key in the window that pops up. You will need to keep this in order to access your account if you switch phone numbers.
  12. Re-entering the verification key and clicking Enable two-step verification.
  13. Checking the box to show that you acknowledge the two-step verification and understand what it means.
  14. Clicking Done.
The next time you try to log into iCloud, you should be asked to enter the two-step verification code that will be sent to the mobile device you established in the steps above. It's true that this is a bit of a hassle to set up, but it really does enhance the security of your account and should be enabled, especially if you have connected a credit card or uploaded sensitive information to your account.

If you are looking to learn more about enhancing the security of your Mac laptop or desktop, contact us today to see how our systems can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
June 19th, 2014

osx_June17_AOne of the highlights at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2014 was undeniably Apple’s unveiling of the new OS X Yosemite. Perhaps one of the most dramatic redesigns of Apple’s operating system to date, a lot of users are wondering what’s new in OS X Maverick’s predecessor. And although some of the features aren’t fully-formed, the most obvious changes in the OS X Yosemite are very present.

Design

Right from the start you can tell that OS X Yosemite is all about aesthetics. Apple manages to make the operating system look both vastly different yet not entirely unfamiliar. The button and icon design has been flattened so that there are no false contours, making everything look sharper.

For the first time ever, the operating system’s font has been changed from Lucida Grande to Helvetica Neue which is a little easier on the eyes. Finder window menus are now translucent, matching up with the image backgrounds on your desktop. The refreshed dock has gotten a slight makeover with newer flatter-looking icons as well as a new trash can. Yosemite also features a “dark mode”, which gives you the option to eschew translucency for dark gray toolbars.

Notifications

Notification Center has been updated with a new look that borrows its black transparent design from iOS’s pull down notification pane. Apple has divided its Notification Center into two different categories. One shows notifications as you were used to them before, the other shows a “Today” view with a combination of upcoming events, current weather, reminders and stocks. To swap between the two, Apple’s added in tabs at the top to let you minimize the information shown at a glance.

Spotlight

The new Spotlight search and file browsing in general have been greatly improved. Previews of animated GIFs now automatically animate in the preview pane. And if Spotlight is your default application and file launcher, you can hit Command + Space to pull up the search bar and pick out your query instead of hunting for the exact location of the file you’re using. When you go through this, the search pops up in a small pane directly at the center of your screen which makes more sense than the old search bar which was in the top right corner of your screen.

The new update isn’t just conveniently situated, but it could turn Spotlight into your default way of searching for information that you’d normally go to a browser for. You can now convert units, bring up full contact info, look something up on Wikipedia or even search for food nearby. Apple’s even worked Spotlight into the address bar of the revamped Safari browser to give users a one-stop shop for search across the web and local files.

Mail

OS X Yosemite’s Mail app gets a cleaner design as well as a slick new feature, Mail Drop. This allows you to bypass attachment size constraints by uploading files that are too big and sending the recipient a link.

Safari

Safari browser has been updated for continuity with the browser’s window carrying over the translucency seen in other areas of the operating system. Favorites are now hidden by default, but you can access these by clicking on the address bar.

Sharing links to social networks has been simplified with a one-click process and RSS feeds will show in the browser's sidebar.

AirDrop

AirDrop in Yosemite now works with iOS so iPhone owners can easily transfer files to the Mac and back. OS X Yosemite features the ability to recognize work being done in iOS that you might want to continue on the desktop. Once an action is detected on iOS, Yosemite will create an icon on the desktop to remind the user to complete the task. This sensing ability also extends to creating a tethered connection, as your iPhone will now appear as a connection option in the WiFi dropdown.

Make and receive calls

Once connected to your iPhone, Yosemite will prompt you with notifications to answer or ignore incoming calls, both audio and video. The OS will even allow users to click on a number within a website to dial it directly.

OS X Yosemite isn’t finished, but overall it demonstrates a more mature and subtle approach in its user interface as well as a more versatile operating system. For now, Apple is making OS X Yosemite available as beta for developers, but you can expect the full version this fall, when you will be able to download it for free. Looking to learn more about Apple and their products? Call us today for a chat.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
June 14th, 2014

osx_June13_AWhen it comes to the security of your systems and devices, there is a commonly held belief that Apple's devices are more secure than other systems, especially PCs and machines running different versions of Windows. While it is true that there are fewer security threats to Macs, recent events have come to prove that these devices are not as secure as many would necessarily think.

The Apple security myth

It is true that many myths are based on fact. However, the problem is trying to distinguish fact from fiction. Take a look at the most recent security threats, and you'll see that the vast majority are focused on systems running Windows, while there are few that seem to focus on Macs.

It used to be that this was simply because there were an exponentially larger number of Windows users compared to Mac users. This large user base makes it easier for hackers to exploit, therefore hackers usually go after Windows machines leaving Macs to the side.

As a result, this has created the general idea that Macs are more secure than Windows. In truth, Macs are really no less or more secure than other systems and devices and users need to ensure their systems are protected. There are a growing number of Mac users and if you throw into the mix the fact that Apple's mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone are among the most popular devices out there you can bet that it's only a matter of time before hackers start to really try and exploit these systems in increased numbers.

How do I ensure my Mac or Apple device is secure?

Talk to 10 different people and you will likely get 10 different answers as to what you should do in order to ensure the security of your computer and mobile device. To make things a little easier, here is our list of five things you should do.

1. Educate yourself about security threats

The first thing you should do is to keep abreast of current security threats. Many of the top mobile and security oriented companies have blogs that cover the most recent security threats that all users should be aware of. Of course, we try to keep this blog updated with these threats as well so be sure to check here as well.

You can take this even further and educate yourself about the most common ways systems are infected or hacked. For example, here are two of the most recent threats your device and computers face: (i) iPhones - At the end of May, news came out of Australia about how a number of iPhone users had been infected by ransomware. This style of malware hijacks a device and demands payment from a user before they can use their phone again. In this specific case, it appears that the hacker is compromising the user's iCloud accounts, then blocking the device using the Find my iPhone feature and showing a message demanding payment for the code to unlock it.

Keeping your passwords secure and changing them may help prevent your device from being infected.

(ii) Macs - One of the latest ways Macs are being infected with malware is through programs that are installed when people download other apps. These programs can do any number of things, with the most problematic (for the time being) setting your browser's home page to the developer's own search engine. The engine will then show paid ads in results. While Google also features ads, it is up to you whether you use Google or not. This specific program doesn't give you a choice.

These are just two existing threats, there are countless more out there that you should be aware of.

2. Practice safe browsing

One of the best ways to stave off infections and security breaches is to be proactive. This is because the vast majority of security breaches happen when a user installs programs, knowingly or unknowingly, or clicks on links in emails or on the Web that contain malware.

These forms of intrusion can be nearly stopped in their tracks in a five ways: (i) Never open email attachments from unknown senders. This is especially the case if the file extensions are for programs i.e., DMG, This includes attachments in emails from large companies and financial institutions. If you are in doubt, try contacting the sender for verification.

(ii) Always hover over links before you click on them. Doing this should cause a popup to appear displaying the full address of the link's location. If for example you get an email from your bank with a link in it, hover over the link to see where it goes. What you are looking for is spelling mistakes, grammar issues or even straight up wrong links. Should any of these be present, the link location could lead you straight to malware which could then be installed on your system.

(iii) Don't automatically open any downloaded apps. It is a good idea to verify any apps first by looking at an app's name by right-clicking on it and selecting Get Info. Look at the source information for the app. If the site is weird or seems different from where you downloaded it from, you may not want to install it.

(iv) Be wary of installing apps from streaming sites. When you try to watch content many sites will ask you to download a plugin or video player. The links shown can sometimes be malware and you will find your systems infected before you know it. In fact, it's a good idea to avoid these sites altogether, especially since some of them are known to host malware that can install itself without your permission or even without you knowing it has been installed.

(v) When in doubt, don't touch anything. If you are unsure about a link or app you are being asked to download, simply don't click on it or download it.

3. Watch where you connect

Apple's products are almost all highly mobile. From featherlight laptops to tablets and phones that fit in almost any bag and pocket you can connect to the office from nearly anywhere. The way most do this is by connecting to their systems via an Internet connection. In many public spaces, shops, and even airports you are never far from a public connection. While this may seem like an ideal way to connect to the office, public connections are notoriously easy to hack.

Anyone with even a basic understanding of networking and tools can hack a public network, accessing data that goes in and out; data which could be sensitive. Once this is captured and possibly decoded, your systems could be breached and even hijacked.

Therefore, it is a good idea to never connect to public networks on any device. Of course, this may not be possible all of the time. So, if you do have to connect to a public network be sure to never enter any passwords or go to sites where you need to log into systems.

4. Install antivirus scanners

It really is amazing how many Mac users simply don't bother with an antivirus scanner. These tools are indispensable for keeping your systems secure and the data stored within them secure. Sure, the chances of your iPhone being hacked or your Macbook's data being exposed are less than other systems and devices but the threat is there, and very real.

There are a number of excellent scanners out there, just be sure to pick a solution that covers both desktop, and mobile devices to ensure optimal security. We can help you pick the best solution for your business, so be sure to talk to us before installing any scanners.

5. Work with an IT expert

Finally, possibly the best way to ensure the security of your Apple products is to work with an IT expert like us. We take the time to get to know how you use your devices to discover your security needs. From here, we can help integrate an effective solution that you can rely on. On top of this, we can also manage your IT, so should new security threats be found, you stand an increased chance of not only being secure but avoiding the threat altogether.

Contact us today to learn more.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
May 15th, 2014

OSX_May13_ASometimes it can be a challenge for business owners to sit down and physically type an email or report, especially when they need to multitask or refer to different windows or hard copies. It can be easier to simply dictate your thoughts. If you have an Apple computer with OS X Mavericks, did you know that you have a powerful dictation tool already included?

About Enhanced Dictation

Last year, when Apple released the latest version of OS X - Mavericks, they also introduced improvements to their dictation feature. By enabling this, you can dictate your thoughts on a number of different apps. For example, you can dictate a memo on your word processor, or dictate search terms on your browser. In older versions of OS X, you needed to have an Internet connection in order to use this feature, but with the new update you can now use it offline too.

Through its offline availability, Enhanced Dictation becomes a partner in accessing your desktop and going through files on your Mac device. This assures you that wherever you are you can still be efficient even if you are offline. Below are some guidelines on how to enable and use continuous dictation on Mavericks.

Turning Enhanced Dictation on

Go to your Mac’s System Preferences, then to the Dictation and Speech section. The dialog box will show you several preferences, tick On and check Use Enhanced Dictation to utilize offline services and continuous dictation. You have to be connected to the Internet in order to enable this feature because you will need to download the application first.

Language and disk space requirements

The required disk space for the content download depends on the language you choose to use. This feature supports several languages. Depending on the frequency of usage, Enhanced Dictation adjusts to your accent and trains itself to understand your voice better through its character. To eliminate confusion with accents, you can choose among several dialects from the Language drop-down list. Some languages, such as English, have several dialects to choose from.

Continuous dictation advantages

Continuous dictation allows your system to show the words you utter live on your display window. This does not have a specific time limit like its predecessor, but stops automatically once you hit Done, press the function key or switch to another window.

Using dictation in other Mavericks applications

To be able to use dictation with other applications, click on a text field and press the function (fn) key twice for the dictation shortcut. You can also choose Edit, followed by Start Dictation and speak the commands you want it to input in the text field.

Using microphones

Your device has a built-in microphone but you can opt to choose a supported external microphone should you prefer to be heard clearer even in a softer tone. With this option, you have to go to the Dictation and Speech section of your Systems Preferences and change the input device to microphone.

Text commands

Another feature of the Enhanced Dictation system is its ability to understand several text-related commands, such as punctuation marks, emoticons, typography, currency, capitalization and word commands, including new paragraphs and tabs, among others.

With the continuous advancement of Apple’s programs and services more businesses are opting for high-performing Mac devices than other device in the market.

If you are looking to learn more about OS X and how it can fit into your organization, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
April 22nd, 2014

OSX_April21_AMac computers are known for their security and stability. This is why many business owners choose to use them in the office. While there were only limited apps available for Macs in the past, more and more applications are being created specifically for Mac users to enjoy. There are many free apps that you can download which could be beneficial for your business activities.

It’s worthwhile exploring which apps are available and suit your business purposes. To get you started here are four great free apps for your Mac.

Caffeine

Mac computers can be set to automatically dim the screen, go to sleep or start a screen saver in order to save power if there’s inactivity for a certain period. While this feature has its benefits, there are times when you may need your screen to be on without moving the mouse or typing on the keyboard. For instance, you may be watching a video that is related to your business or doing a business presentation.

Caffeine is a small and simple application that you will find useful in these situations. Clicking the app enables your screen to remain on even when inactive. Clicking the app icon disables the app, enabling your original system settings to prevail. While you can adjust the settings of your computer via your system preferences, it’s much more convenient to enable and disable the option on the menu bar just by clicking the app’s icon.

Adium

One of the most important factors in any business is timely communication with clients, business associates, and employees. One of the most common ways to communicate these days is through instant messaging (IM). The problem is, people use different messenger applications. If you have different messenger accounts, there’s no need to launch each of the messaging applications. Use Adium to access your different accounts through one app.

Adium supports several messaging programs, including Yahoo, Google Hangouts, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and Facebook. Connect your various accounts and choose which you wish to enable and disable when you sign in. File transfer is also supported, though it’s not always successful. But chat in general is not a problem.

CloudApp

File sharing is another common need when running a business. Various files are sent back and forth to different people and it can be a challenge to keep track of which version you are on. This is why you need a convenient way to share files on your Mac, and that’s exactly what CloudApp offers. It has a Web version that can be accessed via your browser, though it’s recommended to have the app installed on your computer.

Once installed, an icon is created on your menu bar which you can click to access your preferences. File sharing is fast and easy. Drag and drop the file on the CloudApp icon on the menu bar and it creates a download link to your clipboard. Copy the link and send it via e-mail or chat.

Found

If you are using different storage methods or sites to save files, it can be difficult to find a specific file you need. Found is the answer to this problem. Connect it with your various accounts, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Evernote, and Skydrive. When you search for a specific file on Found, it will look not only on your Mac computer, but on the connected accounts as well.

Get these Mac apps now and benefit from a valuable boost to your device. Considering they’re free there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have them! If you are looking to learn more about using Apple products in your office, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
Topic Apple Mac OS
March 20th, 2014

OSX_Mar17_AIsn’t it annoying when your Mac computer lags while you’re in the middle of a business transaction? Considering how you need to focus on what you’re doing, these lag times can block your thought process which can be very frustrating. If you’ve had enough of your slow Mac, there are some things you can try to speed it up.

Uninstall your old and unused programs

If you’re thinking that those old or unused programs aren’t hurting your computer’s performance since you haven’t been using them, you may be shocked to know that they actually can be one of the leading causes of a slow computer. These old programs despite being inactive, actually take up storage space which can cause your Mac to slow down.

This can really become a big issue if you’re running out of room on your hard drive because the less space you have available on your hard drive, the slower your computer will run. Try opening your Applications folder and looking for apps and programs that you no longer use. Simply drag them to the Trash and then empty it to free up space.

On another note, it would be a good idea to empty your trash on a regular basis, because items in the trash still take up storage space leading to a potentially slower computer.

Clean your desktop

Your Mac should run a bit faster if your desktop is clean. We don't mean go in literally clean the desktop, we mean get rid of the shortcuts, programs and files that you don't use. The more icons and stuff on your desktop there are, the slower your computer will run.

Instead of adding new icons, folders, files, etc. to your desktop try storing documents in the documents folder (Click any blank area on your desktop, press Go at the top of your screen and select Documents). Or, create a folder on your desktop for different images of files. Basically you want to minimize how much is on your desktop.

Use a program like Memory Keeper

What these apps do is help you free up more space on your computer by cleaning your computer’s memory. This is similar to the defrag option in Windows where the OS will essentially put files of a similar nature closer together in the hard drive, making them easier and quicker for the processor to access. To us, this means a faster computer!

You can get Memory Keeper free on the Apple Store, but be sure to contact us before you download it as we may have a solution that comes as part of your IT solutions.

Organize/clean your Finder and the files within

Just as you should minimize the files and clutter on your desktop, you should also minimize the clutter and number of icons in the main folders of the Finder. This includes the folders under each user, Downloads, Documents, etc.

It would not be a good idea to delve into the Utilities and Network folders as they usually contain important files that if deleted could cause your computer to stop working.

Upgrade your hardware

If you've tried the suggested tips above and your computer is still running slow, then your last resort should be to have a hardware upgrade.

We take this as the last resort as this may take more time, let alone cost a lot of money.

Consider upgrading your RAM instead of upgrading your processor since doing so is considerably cheaper.

It’s highly suggested to get a minimum of 2 GB of extra RAM but if you’re using some heavy duty programs like Adobe Photoshop, then a minimum of 4 GB RAM would probably suit you better. Before you do upgrade however, check with either Apple or us to ensure that your computer can be upgraded. By asking an IT partner like us, we will be able to better inform you as to what you can upgrade and how you can go about it safely.

Are you looking for more tips on how to speed up your Mac? Then give us a call now and we’ll have our team talk to you about how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
February 26th, 2014

iPad_Feb24_AAlmost every Apple device bought is linked to an Apple ID. It is with this account that you can purchase apps, download updates, and even back up accounts and recover devices. This ID, or account, is vitally important and it is worthwhile making a concerted effort to remember it. If you do happen to forget it then you could encounter some problems.

What is an Apple ID?

Your Apple ID is how Apple identifies you. It is what you use to access and download apps on iTunes, enable iCloud, purchase from the Apple Store, and even book appointments with Apple Store representatives and tech support.

When you first set up a new Apple device, say an iPad, you are asked to sign up for an Apple ID. As with most other online accounts, you will set a password and the usual recovery questions to ensure that you can gain access to the account should you forget your password, something that happens to the best of us.

What do I do if I forgot my Apple ID password?

If you remember your Apple ID but can't remember the password you have two options. The first works if you have access to the email address you've linked your Apple ID with.
  1. Go to the Apple ID website on your iPad.
  2. Click Reset your password, enter your Apple ID and click Next.
  3. Select Email authentication followed by Next.
Check your email and there should be a message from Apple with instructions on how to reset your password.

The second option you have available is to reset your password by answering the security questions you created when you setup your account.

  1. Go to the Apple ID website on your iPad.
  2. Click Reset your password, enter your Apple ID and click Next.
  3. Select Answer security questions and click Next.
  4. Setting the birthday you used for the account and clicking Next.
  5. Answer the security questions you picked when you set the account up.
If you answer these successfully, you should be able to reset your password and access your AppleID again.

How to recover your Apple ID if you've forgotten your email address and questions

If you are not able to remember your recovery email address, password or security questions it may feel a little hopeless, but fear not, there is a way that might work.
  1. Go to the Apple ID Support page and select the Start your support request online link for your country.
  2. Click on Forgotten Apple ID security questions and follow the onscreen prompts.
  3. When you get to the next screen select either of the two options. Schedule a Call will allow you to pick a time for an Apple tech to call you, while Call Apple Support Later will allow you to enter your information and call Apple at some future point.
When you do talk to an Apple representative they will ask you questions about your account and personal information you provided when you first signed up for your ID. In many instances, the representative will be able to unlock your account or reset your password. Another option is to schedule a time to go into an Apple store or retailer for an appointment to see if they can help.

Looking to learn more about using your iPad, contact us today to see how we can help.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
February 20th, 2014

OSX_Feb17_AIn 2010, Apple released the iPad, a sophisticated gadget that comes with an impressive battery life. Apple fanatics wished for the day when Apple laptops would have the same long battery life. With the release of the new version of OS X along with the latest hardware upgrades and revisions, it seems their dreams will finally come true. In addition, there are also other alternatives to keeping your Mac going for longer.

One of the main factors that consumers look into before they purchase a laptop is the device’s battery life. And without a doubt, MacBooks offer among the best battery life in the laptop market. They also have an exceptional operating system and powerful hardware, making it one of the best laptops in the world.

Here are four of the most effective battery saving tips you can use for your Apple laptop.

Check your battery’s condition

Before attempting to optimize the battery life of your MacBook, it is prudent to first determine whether your battery is in good health or not. This way, you’ll know if you need to change your battery because saving tips are practically useless when the battery is in poor condition.

To check the condition of your battery, follow these steps:

  1. Click the battery icon at the top of your screen.
  2. Click extra.
  3. Check if it says “Normal” or “Replace Soon”.
If it says Normal, then it is still good. If it says Replace Soon, then you need to go the nearest iStore, and have your device checked and serviced.

Adjust the brightness of the screen

Perhaps, this is one of the simplest and most effective energy saving tips you should know about. A brighter screen consumes more battery power. At full brightness, a 13-inch Mac Air measures an average of 280-290 lux - a measurement that defines how bright a screen will be.

But if you set it to 40% brightness, it’s only going to be 29 lux. Even though you are reducing brightness, the screen is still viewable. Screens with a lower lux use less battery power.

Changing the brightness of your preference is very easy with MacBooks. Just press F1 repeatedly until you can comfortably tolerate the level of the brightness. But if you want to tweak more of the display settings, open System Preferences, click Display and adjust the brightness to your liking.

Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

There are times when we don’t use WI-Fi and Bluetooth, especially when we are at the office or connected to a network. Turning off your device’s wireless radio signals is one trick to save a bit of juice.

Shut off your screensaver

While screensavers can be beautiful, did you know that they consume your device’s battery? While every small thing happening in your laptop eats up a little bit of battery power, many operations like the screensaver aren't important so you might want to turn it off in order to conserve power.

Disable backup and syncing features

Although backing up your files is a necessary task, there are times when there are no more files to backup and sync with your Mac. You can then disable backup and sync features temporarily to save up some juice for your Mac. When the need arises you can just turn these features back on.

Stop Time Machine

Time Machine is an application feature of Macbooks. It works hand-in-hand with an external hard drive to automatically back up data. When enabled, it will waste battery, even if it's not backing up. However, it can be disabled whenever you are on battery power. Go to System Preferences and open the option for Time Machine; check the box that will allow you to turn off Time Machine in battery mode.

Following these tips might be very helpful to everyone who has issues with their laptop’s battery. If you want to know more about how to give your devices more battery juice, give us a call and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS
January 23rd, 2014

OSX_Jan20_AIf you take a minute and look back at Apple in 2013, the year turned out to be a good year for the California tech giant. We saw the release of a brand new version of iOS, the cylindrical Mac Pro, and a number of new iPads. As we turn to 2014, many fans are wondering what developments and delights they can expect from Apple this year.

Here are four new developments we can expect to see from Apple this year:

A new OS X

With a new version of OS X released almost every year, you can expect a new version later this year as well. We predict that OS X will get a makeover, much like we saw with iOS 7. The current look of OS X hasn't really changed in a big way since the launch of the platform, and with the generally positive reception of iOS 7 you can bet that there will be a change to the OS X look this year too.

We predict that the company will release a version of OS X that looks more consistent with iOS 7. You can also bet that the popular features in iOS will likely make their way over to the desktop. This could include the ability to reach the most important settings quicker, and from one place. It will also likely include deeper integration with mobile platforms.

For businesses, the biggest issue will be getting your employees updated to the new version and used to it, while ensuring technology like projectors, servers, etc, will work with the new version. When it is announced, it might be a good idea to not upgrade until you are sure the new version will work with the other systems in your company and your employees are comfortable with it.

A bigger iPhone

Looking at the mobile market as a whole, the most obvious trend with Android and Windows Phone is that devices are getting bigger. When the iPhone first launched, a 4 inch screen was amazing, borderline huge. Now, it's widely considered to be small and the domain of lower-end phones.

One of the most common complaints of iPhone users is that the screen is too small when compared to other devices. Because of this we think that Apple will introduce an iPhone with a larger screen - probably around 5 inches - this year.

There is also rumor that the company has been testing a 6 inch screen, which would indicate a possible phablet (iPhone crossed with an iPad) in development. We doubt that this will happen this year, but it could be a possibility in the not so distant future.

What this means for businesses is that you will have a device with a bigger screen, which will allow you to do more. This could herald a great device for those who are out of the office on a regular basis and want to be able to send emails or check documents.

A new iPad

Both versions of the iPad - iPad Air and iPad mini - are popular products, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Apple has done a good job of updating the platform on a near yearly basis, so you can expect new versions of existing iPads that will likely have improved hardware and possibly better storage.

If you take a look at Apple's laptops, you will notice that there is an iPad Air but no Pro. It is highly likely that Apple will launch an iPad Pro this year. In fact there are rumors that Apple are developing a 12 inch iPad which could very well be the Pro.

If this is true, we believe this will be a powerful device, probably on a par with the MacBook Air technical specifications-wise. It is highly likely that this will be aimed at power users, and those who want to replace their laptop with a tablet but also need a device that is powerful enough to do everything a laptop can do.

For businesses in certain industries, a larger, more powerful tablet could be exactly what they are looking for. Combine this with a keyboard and you will likely have a viable alternative to the laptop or even desktop. It might be a good idea to keep an ear out for iPad rumors in the coming months, as this one could very well prove to be true.

New Apple products

Apple's CEO Tim Cook noted towards the end of last year that the company will be releasing products in new categories. What this mean is anyone's guess, but it is highly likely that these products will be gadgets that are meant to compliment existing devices.

Some examples could be a smartwatch or even a TV with Apple TV built in. Regardless of what these new products turn out to be, there is a high chance that they won't be directly aimed at businesses. Where businesses will be affected is that these devices will likely come with the ability to connect to the Internet. This means that there will be even more devices connecting to your networks, and possibly increased security risks. It is worthwhile keeping tabs on these announcements and ensuring your systems will be protected when these devices are connected.

If you are looking to learn more about Apple's products and how they can be used in your organization in 2014 and beyond, contact us today for a chat.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Topic Apple Mac OS