Category: iOS stuff

Technology Services I Like–February 2018

1.  I found an electrical wizard for you.   I want to tell you about Ryan Eriksson from Eriksson Electric.  He knows his stuff.  Ryan can make sound recommendations but he also believes in respecting the customer’s comfort level.  He has a mind for saving on costs when possible. He believes in embracing modern technologies.  Ryan replaced three ceiling light fixtures in my home over the past few days.   He recommended LED-based fixtures that not only looked great, but are environmentally and budget friendly.   Ryan will let his customers buy their own equipment at Home Depot if they choose.  He even accompanied me on a trip to Home Depot on Friday and did not charge me for the time.   I cannot say enough good things about him.   You can call or text him at 860-236-4352.  You can check out Eriksson on the web at http://erikssonelectric.com/

2. Dropbox — is probably my #1 favorite computer based service of all time.  I have been a user since 2008.  At times I have used the free account and at times I have been a paid customer.   Dropbox gives you 2 GB of storage for free. Through various “bonuses” I have accumulated from them over the years, I have a 7 GB of storage on my free account.  After a quick installation, Dropbox will show up as a folder on your Windows or Mac computer.  Within it you can put multiple sub folders to store your files.   The beauty of Dropbox is that it isn’t really a backup service although you can use it to back up your files.   Dropbox is a file synchronization service.   That means if you put a document titled “Vacation Plans” in your Dropbox folder on your Mac / PC, you can also view that document on your iPhone, Android phone, or iPad where you have the free Dropbox app installed.  You can also easily share files from Dropbox.  Dropbox has never let me down.  Get started at https://www.dropbox.com/

3.  One Drive — Dropbox is not the only game in town for online file storage and synchronization.  One Drive is Microsoft’s answer.   It can work on all of the device types that Dropbox works on (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android).  One Drive does have a key advantage.  At https://onedrive.com you can see your files that you have save, but you can also create and share Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents right there in your web browser.  The online version of Microsoft Office is about 70% as feature rich as the desktop version of Office, but its so convenient.  It probably good enough for most consumer use cases.  And its free.  Maybe you don’t need to buy Office the next time you are required to.  You may be able to get by with https://onedrive.com .

4.  Google Drive — I should also mention Google Drive which is most comparable to One Drive.  If you have a Google / Gmail account, you should check out Google Drive.  It is an online storage and sync service, but that’s not all.  You can also create and share documents using Docs (Word equivalent), Sheets (Excel), and Slides (PowerPoint).  As with One Drive, you can also collaborate on documents live with other people.   If you and I were working on a proposal together, we could both edit using Google Drive.  Google Drive was first to the game with this collaboration technology, but Microsoft is catching up fast.  Put on your jacket and Drive at https://drive.google.com

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iPad Pro Best Mac Laptop

Apple blew it with the 2016 and 2017 Mac Book Pro.  The keyboard is simply awful.  While the 12 inch Mac Book is adorable, it has the same keyboard. They even have a support document telling users that they have to tilt their laptop a a certain angle and use compressed air to push out debris.  Apparently, it takes very little for these keyboards to start causing problems.  It’s also clear that the Mac OS and iOS are coming closer together than ever before.  These two operating systems are on a collision course.

Apple revised their iPad Pro lineup in 2017 to give us a 10.5 and 12.9 inch model.  They start at $649.  Let me be clear, the standard iPad (at $329 and up) is good tablet for most users.  However, I would like to discuss the top of the product line today.  The new iPad Pros aim to be laptop replacements.  Of course you will need a keyboard to use with your iPad Pro.  Fortunately, you have so many choices available!!

You could use Apple’s Smart Keyboard.  I think it will give you a decent typing experience

If you are willing to have a separate wireless keyboard, you could use Apple’s (desktop) Magic Keyboard for an even better typing experience.   You can even bundle this keyboard and the iPad Pro together with a cover like system called the Canopy or just use the iPad Pro with any case that has a stand built into it.

You can also look into keyboard covers from well known players like Logitech and Zagg.

However, if you would truly like a keyboard cover that makes your iPad Pro look and feel like the Mac Book Pro that it aims to be, check out this choice from Brydge.   I think it’s an awesome option that should not be overlooked.

With the iPad Pro, you have typing choices.

However, Apple could repent.  They could update the Mac Book Air in 2018 and keep its excellent keyboard in circulation.  They may also reverse course on their 2016-2017 Mac Book disasters.  I doubt it.

On this day – February 2, 2018 – I am saying that the iPad Pro with a keyboard is your best “Mac Laptop.”

My iPhone X Notes

I had the opportunity to have some hands on time with the iPhone X.  That experience helped me to overcome my objections to the phone.   Yes, there is no home button.  The home button has been a standard feature on every iPhone since the original back in 2007.   Swiping up from the bottom replaces the functionality of the home button.   The phone gets unlocked by securely scanning your face or typing in a passcode (4 or 6 digits).  I don’t have a major issue with that.  In addition, I have no qualms with the size.  I thought  a 5.8 inch (diagonal) iPhone would be “too big.”  It does not seem that way.   The iPhone X is actually smaller in size than the 5.5 inch iPhone 8 Plus because the 8 Plus has a bezel on the top and bottom.   Both the 8 Plus and the X have OUTSTANDING cameras.  In contrast, the 4.7 inch iPhone 8 sports only minor upgrades from last years iPhone 7.   So the real question is — is the X worth $1000 (which you will likely pay in the form of interest free payments on your cell phone bill)?  Remember, the 8 Plus is going to be $800.  I am going to give you an analogy that I think you can relate to.   You may really like the $50,000 Cadillac.  It may have all of the gadgets, interior comfort, and safety features that the $65,000 Lexus has.   However, you may appreciate the curves on the Lexus more.  It hits your eye in the way that those legacy Cadillac tail lights never could.  You may want the Lexus or not.   That is the difference between the 8 Plus and the X.  On the inside, they are both the best phones that Apple has to offer.  It’s your choice not mine.

Sincerely,

An iPhone SE User

New iPhones Are Coming and Vintage Macs

New iPhones are coming!  New iPhones are coming!   I would expect an announcement within 2 to 3 weeks and for the phones to be available by October 1 or earlier.   You should expect

– An iPhone “7s” — an upgrade to last year’s 4.7 inch model

– An iPhone “7s Plus” — an upgrade to last year’s 5.5 inch model

– A Super Special 10th Anniversary iPhone — larger in size and with special features

The rumor mill is calling the 3rd iPhone the “iPhone 8.”  Samsung is now taking pre-orders for its Galaxy Note 8, priced at $960 (or $40 / mo on payment plans). I would expect the 10th Anniversary iPhone to be priced in that ballpark.

If it’s been about two years since you purchased your iPhone or you are on a yearly upgrade plan, you should strongly consider one of the new models.  While I suspect the 10th Anniversary model will sell well, I think most buyers will be very satisfied with the 7s or 7s Plus variants.   Not everyone wants a nearly 6 inch phone in their pocket.  I don’t.

For Sale

A dear client asked me to see if I could sell some vintage Macs for her.   Wikipedia write ups have been provided for you.

One is a Color Macintosh Classic that was first released in 1993.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Color_Classic

The other one is a green iMac with a 1999-2000 birth date.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMac_G3

I have not confirmed their usability yet, but, I think they would make a nice addition to a desk that needs a piece of computer history on it.  I think they would be fine technological ornaments in the right setting.   Please let me know if you are interested.  I will get back to you with more details and arrange to get them to you should you be interested.    Please see the attached pictures.

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The End of the iPod Era

Apple announced last week that they are pulling the iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle from their online and physical store shelves.  This marks the end of an era for Apple.  The 2001 launch of the original iPod was a major milestone in the Steve Jobs’ led rebirth of the company. They were no longer the Mac company. This product release eventually led them down the path of targeting the Windows audience with iTunes, and the  iPhone and iPad.  Truthfully, it is the sale of mobile devices that fuels this company.  At this time, on your iPhone, you have iPod features in the Music app.  Should you want to buy songs, you can go to the iTunes Store app.    Apple is still leaving a single iPod model, the iPod Touch, in their online store.    For those of you who are not aware, the Touch is like an iPhone but without the calling features.  It can access WiFi and the App Store.  It’s great for kids or as a special purpose device. 

I remember when I got my first iPod. I think it was Christmas of 2006.  I grew up loving radio as a youngster.  I have fond memories of listening to Talk Net programs like Bruce Williams at night.  Bruce was still on the air then and I was thrilled to be able to download his podcast, through iTunes, onto my iPod.   I soon found other shows that had once been broadcast locally, like the Troubleshooter Show from Denver, and put them on my iPod as well.  I began walking often while listening to these podcasts.  At times, when I have been an Android user, I have listened to my podcasts there.  Today, I listen to them on an iPhone app called Downcast (which in my opinion is so much better than Apple’s Podcasts app).   Most of the media I consume comes in the form of these radio broadcasts (some traditional shows, some online only) that are downloaded to my phone.  It all started with an iPod and that is a memory I will cherish. 

Picks–Clubhouse Leaders in Technology

With a great British Open wrapping up last Sunday, culminating in a win by American Jordan Spieth, I wanted to use a golf theme for today’s update.

I seek to tell you about my clubhouse leaders in 3 product categories.  These best in class products have finished their rounds.  They are worth your investment should you need them.   Amazon or other links are provided

Routers

With Apple not having updated their routers with new models since 2013, I have suggested that it is time to look to other brands.  I have worked with the Asus, Netgear, Linksys, and Belkin models of the world.  I have recently gotten involved in setting up “mesh” WiFi systems for clients.   Mesh systems entail a base router and 1 or 2 satellites.  It is a perfect solution for a long or a large house.  This new technology is the replacement for wireless extenders.    However, for many of my clients including those living in an apartment or a house with less than 2,000 sq ft, a single router will get the job done.    For a single router, I am recommending the Asus brand.   Today, I set up a new router for a client in under 30 minutes.   The entire process could not have easier.   Asus also regularly updates the software on their new routers.  This is critical in terms of combating security threats. 

I can highly recommend these 2 ASUS routers

RT-AC66U-B1   http://amzn.to/2vKszqe

RT-AC1900P   http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-wireless-ac-dual-band-wi-fi-router-black/5091000.p?skuId=5091000

Printer

If you need just the basics, meaning black and white, along with copying and scanning capabilities, I could only steer you toward a Brother MFC (multi-function) machine.  Accept no substitutes.   You don’t have to worry about color ink cartridges.  You can buy one toner at a time from Amazon or Staples.  You get a very low cost per print.   I have been using my Brother black and white laser since 2013.  Today there is an updated model that supports Air Print (iOS) and Google Print.  Your mobile devices are covered. 

MFCL 2740DW  http://amzn.to/2h4H5FW

Small Speaker

Have you ever wanted to play your iPhone, iPad or Android device out loud?   The built in speaker on your device will only take you so far.   You need this wireless speaker from Anker.  It produces loud, crisp sound that will help your media come alive or soothe you at night. 

Anker Sound Core 2  http://amzn.to/2vKgGAF

I’ll see you at the bar after you finish your round.   Have an O’Douls ready for me!

iOS and Mac Updates today

I will still give the instructions for manual updates because while automatic updates should be the norm, I know I will meet with one of you a couple weeks from now who — for some reason — does not have the newest updates

Both the iOS update and the Mac OS update released today are STABILITY AND SECURITY FIXES. 

1.  To get iOS 10.3.3

– Make sure you are on WiFi

– Settings

– General

– Software Update

– Download and Install

– After downloading  – Update Now

2.  To get Mac OS 10.12.6 (I think Mac is not capitalized anymore.  Oh well!)

–  Apple Menu 

– App Store

– Click on the Updates button once the App Store opens

– Click on the Update button next to the Mac OS update (or Update All if there are multiple updates)