Category: iOS stuff
Trusting First Instinct and The Complete Menu
Happy rainy Friday. Just want to let everyone know that I don’t have any classified documents in my garage, in the trunk of my old Camry or otherwise. I didn’t tell anyone to lie about it [wagging finger] not even one time.
Biz Briefing: Trusting My First Instinct
I got involved with a new (business) client over the past 2 months. One of my business advisors told me not to get involved. I didn’t listen. I knew from the get go it was going to be a combative, if not hostile situation. I then thought I am going to ask for a $1500 non refundable retainer and a few other conditions. I didn’t listen to myself. I got talked out of it. 99% of my client interactions are wonderful and warm situations. My loose, warm, no hard line policies have worked for me for years. However, the hard core business world isn’t always meant for teddy bears. I don’t have contracts or service agreements. I don’t even think I would have the resources to pay someone to draw them up. I ended up getting $burned$ by this situation. Lesson learned I have got to stick to those warm and friendly encounters and trust my instinct on negative vibes that I get. Not every potential client is a match.
The Complete Menu
So now I want to talk about many of the services I can offer for you….
1. Comprehensive pre-purchase consultations for computers, iPhones, iPads — I will provide these services at no charge, including help with ordering if a client is going to have me set up their device for them. If the client wants to set it up themselves or just wants a report to contemplate for later — I simply bill for my time.
2. Set up of computers, smartphones, tablets, printers.
3. Set up of TV’s that don’t need to be mounted — including setting up streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV +) and streaming players (Fire Stick, Roku, Google TV, Apple TV)
4. Virus / Malware / Adware — computer security mitigation — including reports for your bank when required
5. Freeze Credit Reports – give yourself the ultimate protection
6. General computer / technology troubleshooting (note – I do not personally replace screens on iPhones or laptops, but I can take your devices and get this done for you)
7. Back Up — backing up your data and establishing a backup plan
8. Computer / Technology Training — Whether you are staying for extra-credit or sitting in the back of the class — I believe you have the power to learn
9. Set up new WiFi routers — especially the newer mesh WiFi systems (ie. Eero)
10. Computer updates and resets — upgrade an existing operating system or wipe and reinstall
11. New E-mail address / custom private email address — Whether you want to start fresh with a new free address or you want a custom e-mail like you@yorudomain(dot).com — I can help you get this done.
Solid Steel Real Deal
Biz Briefing: Quick Note about Quick Books
Several of my clients are in business for themselves. You may know someone in the same boat whether they run a small office or are more of a self-employed consultant. Quick Books basically has a monopoly on the market for small business accounting software. I use it and you probably do too. Quick Books has grown increasingly unfriendly in recent years. Business owners used to upgrade their Quick Books about every 4 years. However, their real goal over the past couple of years has been to push customers into their new Quick Books Online offering. A functional subscription is about $60 a month (and pricing has gone up on that too). The desktop or regular Quick Books program (Mac and Windows) was $200-300. In 2020, it went up to $349 per year. Next year — wow [ouch] Quick Books desktop is going to be $799 / year. I know people holding on to Quick Book Pro 2016 for dear life. Hold on if you can. That version of Quick Books (any prior 2020) is considered insecure. PROTECT THE COMPUTER IT’S ON LIKE FORT KNOX. The future is QB Online. It’s been great for their bottom line, not ours!
Sad ending to the season for the Mets. Yankees and Dodgers World Series anyone?
30 Second Tip
When you are having an issue or quick with your devices, try a Restart. You probably know how to restart your computer. However, there is not true restart on the iPhone / iPad. So, you must Shut Down and then turn it back on. Settings >> General >> Shut Down. Then hold the big button on the right side of the iPhone (or top for iPads) for 5 seconds to turn it back on.
Solid Steel Real Deal
I’ve begun setting up iPhone 14 Pro models for my clients. So far the ratio is all iPhone 14 Pro and no regular 14’s (but remember I am not down on the plain old 14, having just at 13 myself). However, there is something special in the hand when I hold the 14 Pro. The weight and the feel of the stainless steel case is so apparent. It reminds me of when I hold one of the cheaper Timex watches. It’s light and made out of brass. An aluminum watch would feel the same way. However, then think back to the feeling of a watch made out of all stainless steel (or mixed with some gold). Think of that bracelet with all solid links. There is precision engineering at work. It feels like a significant object. That is my tactile perception of the iPhone 14 Pro. I haven’t even addressed the camera yet. The difference between the 14 and the 14 Pro is like really good vs. a knockout. It’s still a bit shocking to me that the price difference is only +$200 for the Pro. I see value in the $999 price point, especially when the carriers or Apple are willing to give interest free financing.
Song of the Week
I haven’t done one in a while, so how about a tune you probably haven’t heard, from my favorites. “More to Life” by Stacie Orrico. Stacie was a known pop singer in that late 90’s early 2000’s era when Brittney and Christina were the MTV stars. However, she had a marketing problem. She wasn’t Christian enough for Christian music, but she was too squeaky clean for the predators of the pop music industry. So — she ended up becoming a big hit in Japan and Malaysia around 2003 where they valued a singer with high morals. Sadly, Stacie quit the business.
There is a happy ending though. Today, Stacie is living her dream playing in clubs as a blues singer in the Atlanta area.
There’s got to be more to life…. than wanting more,
7 Technology Tips For August
1. Only buy computers with SSDs (solid state drives). It’s pretty rare to find a computer without a SSD these days. All Mac Books have had them since 2012, but not all Mac desktops since 2020. One of my clients is painfully aware of this. Sometimes, at the cheaper end of computing, they are still sold with a traditional hard drive. However, as you can see from the example above, cheap doesn’t have to mean slow. In the larger sizes like 512 GB or 1 TB — the cost will go up but your stress will go down. SSD or nothing.
2. The iPhone SE is a good choice for someone who needs Facetime and iMessage but does not want to spend $800 to $100 on an iPhone 13 series model. Of course, the 13 is better. Of course, the battery lasts longer. However, if $429 seems like the most you would pay for a smartphone – the iPhone SE is a solid choice.
3. The New M2 Mac Book Air – base model 256 GB – now selling for $1199 has not been well received. It’s not a keyboard issue or a design issue. On that particular model, the hard drive is actually slower than the 2020 M1 Mac Book Air. So — you have to go big or be unhappy here. Bite the bullet and get the 512 GB M2 Mac Book Air. It is $1499. The 2020 M1 model is still sold and may be a good option. Keep in mind that as it is approaching 2 years old — that may well mean 2 years less of updates than the M2.
4. Windows — Windows 10 / 11 does a pretty good job of updating automatically. However, are you keeping your drivers up to day? This is the software for your video card, sound card, WiFi. I went through a trying exercise with a client who could not get WiFi on a 6 year old Dell Desktop. Once, I downloaded the proper driver from Dell (onto an Android phone — then beamed to the computer, the WiFi worked. The client had no idea that the manufacturer’s drivers had to be updated separately. This is not an issue with Macs.
5. Don’t be married to your cell phone provider. Just because Verizon was the best in 2005 (and it really was!!) doesn’t mean it is the best today. The same could be said for ATT or even T-Mobile. Be nimble. Towers are changing. Verizon has been shutting down towers and building new ones. ATT has been shutting down towers and doing the same and so has T-Mobile. You may have thought your coverage was perfect at your home or at your office or XYZ spot that you always go to. It might change in 2022. Be nimble means, don’t lock yourself into these long term financing deals on phones where you are stuck with a carrier. Buy your phone outright or if you need payments — possibly think of the Apple Card — that allows you to finance your iPhone in 24 interest free installments. Then you can move from carrier to carrier without being tied down by the old ball and chain (a phone contract).
6. If I wasn’t an iPhone user — which phone would I use? I would want a pure Android experience with nothing added on. Today, I would choose a Google Pixel 6A which was just released. https://store.google.com/us/product/pixel_6a?hl=en-US
If I wanted a more upscale experience (like iPhone 13 quality) I would wait for the Pixel 7 which should be released by the fall.
7. Naming Files — I have had some instances over the years when I copied my files between different disks on various computers and the dates of the file or folder would change. This was very annoying. So I am now in the habit of putting the dates in my file names. I do a lot of Print to PDF in my internet browser when saving things from my internet browser. So if I saved a file on July 27th, I will put “20220727” in the file name. In some folder, I put the date first in the file name. This way I know I can sort the files alphabetically but they will also be sorted by date in effect, even if the official date on the file changes.
05/18/22 – What Is The Apple Card?
I paid $4.59 for gas yesterday. According to a major bank, the average may be $6.20 by summer. A discount grocer I shop at used to sell eggs for $1.19. They are now $2.45. I don’t think these issues are going away any time soon. The valleys of life sometimes entail living with the consequences of others’ (poor) decisions. 2022 is going to be one of those times.
but there are — Stories of Hope
My 89 year old great aunt and 94 year old grandmother recently have recovered from Covid 19 after getting infected about 1 month ago. Recovery is possible, common, and likely. Both took the new anti-viral medications. I believe early treatment is essential, whether you take conventional or unconventional paths. Once again you are able to order 8 free tests for your household. It takes a minute to fill out the form. Here is another tool for your tool bag.
COVID.gov/tests – Free at-home COVID-19 tests
Computer Speed Up Specialist
Do you have a 3 to 7 year old Windows computer that is starting to get a little slow? Are you put off by the supply shortages and the cost of buying a new computer? I think I may have an answer for you. Unlike modern Macs, that have all soldered in unremovable parts — most Windows systems have a replaceable hard drive. If your system seems that slow, you can likely benefit from a replacement with a solid state drive (SSD). I make sure your files are backed up and then re-install Windows and your essential programs and copy your files back on to the computer. This is a real jolt in the arm for your PC and it likely feels faster than when the computer was new. These jobs can take as little as 2 hours. I just did one last week for a client that was 3 hours. When choosing your next computer, only get one with an SSD in the future. The Windows and Mac operating systems are meant for SSDs, in fact it is not possible to buy a Mac without one.
Welcome to the world of high tech finance, I suppose. For years, customers have always been able to finance an Apple product and get a certain number of interest free payments, at least on their first purchase. Most recently, shoppers were offered a Barclays Apple Rewards Visa. However, in 2019 Apple decided to take things in house and offer their own Mastercard called the Apple Card. Apple is putting their name on it and demanding certain standards, but the banking back end is provided by the consumer division of Goldman Sachs.
Why might someone want the Apple Card?
Well you get a card made out of titanium that is heavy and makes you feel important. (Come on, that’s not a valid reason!) OK, getting serious here — the Apple Card seems like a valid choice for customers that regularly shop from Apple. There is 3% cash back on all Apple purchases. Interest free financing can also be used with all Apple purchases. Furthermore, the card is automatically added to the Wallet app on the iPhone. For any “tap to pay” situation, there is 2% cash back. (There is also 1% cash back whenever you use the physical card). The card can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted. The full card number is not printed on your card. It can be looked up in the Wallet app and a new number can be issued in the event of a security issue.
How to apply?
You apply using the Wallet app on your iPhone. It’s very simple and takes about 5 minutes.
Who is this not for?
The Apple Card is not for someone who wants paper statements or to send in a check every month. You really need an iPhone to be a card member. You will make your payments through the Wallet app or by logging on to a website on the computer with your Apple ID and password.
Lets Get Down To Business
Starting Light — Beverage Pick Of The Week
I probably have 2 alcoholic drinks a year, so my beverage pick is going to be something else. Diet soda can be taboo, but some people just prefer it or can’t handle a regular cola. I don’t drink a lot of soda, but I am a big fan of Polar beverages based in Worcester. I just happened to see a liter of their Diet Cherry Soda at the grocery store. I’m so glad I took a chance. Its the best tasting soda I’ve ever had. Moxie would be #2 for me.
Tech Tips You Can Use
I think it’s a great idea to Restart or Shut Down your computer every week or at least every two weeks. Macs and Windows PCs can be restarted. iPhones and iPads must be Shut Down, by either going to Settings >> General >> Shut Down or by pressing the the correct buttons (hope I’ve shown you this already). Some Android phones have a Restart feature, some will also need to be shut down. The shut down should just be temporary. I do not believe in shutting down the computer every night. Repeated on and offs will shorten its life. Just let your computer go to sleep. This way it will get its updates.
Deal of the Day (and in General)
Fifty dollars off on a Mac computer is a deal, even in these times, but the $699 Mac Mini is priced to sell from the get go. This model has the 256 GB SSD hard drive and is really targeted to those users who are doing email, shopping, browsing, and banking with small collections of photos and music (not tons of files). Amazon often has this model for $650 which is great but while supplies last they are selling it for an amazing $570. A steal! Keep in mind with the Mac Mini you provide your own keyboard mouse and monitor and speakers but you can buy these economically. Apple brand is not required. Under $1000 for a Mac desktop all in sounds like a winner to me. Amazon link https://amzn.to/3sxYvxs
Coming Soon To A Theater Near You
Well — it should be a live streaming event and not a theater, but I expect Apple to release a new iPhone SE as soon as this month. It is expected to feature 5G radios for the first time. With ATT, Verizon, and T-Mobile operating only on 4G and 5G signals by the end of the year – I’ll be curious to see if Apple can include 5G for the past $399 price. Anyway, the SE is the winner winner chicken dinner of the low cost iPhone options. Get the 13 if you need the better cameras, but the the SE is still a fine phone.
Song of the Week
On this back to business theme, how could I not close with a song with the chorus line of “let’s get down to business.” Put on your dancing shoes, get up and move. Here is a techno song from your tech guy. “The Business” by Tiesto. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PO_d169ibZ8
Coming Down The Pike
Remember — there are no real emails from Norton asking you to pay large sums of money, no legitimate car warranties calling you, no arrested grandsons calling for money, and no legitimate popups on the computer saying you are infected with a phone number. (I feel like I can never give these warnings enough because every week I get asked about such scenarios).
Coming Down The Pike
I have some credible rumors that Apple will be hosting a technology event next month (or just a product release) and that the iPhone SE is likely to be updated. There may even be a new Mac Mini. My clients were very receptive to the iPhone 8 sized SE that came out in early 2020. While I still prefer the better battery life and features of the iPhone 13 series, a $400 SE is really all that some people need or want. It gets the job done. It facilitates Facetime calls. It allows you to send those blue iMessage text messages to all of your friends (more secure text messages). From what I’ve read, the new SE will still be $399 and should sport 5G radios. If you are hanging on to a 7 or 8 or even want to upgrade from your previous SE — this may be the phone for you.
On every Windows computer I’ve touched, I have turned out or opted out of the Windows 11 update. Keep in mind that Windows 11 will only be available for late 2017 and newer Windows computers. I think there will be significant updates between now and the summer. On a new computer, we may not be able to avoid Windows 11 and that’s ok. It’s not a disaster. Installing a familiar Start Menu app – like Start 11 can make Windows 11 a lot more friendly. Later in the year, I think it may be fine to upgrade to Windows 11. I’ll keep you posted.
I always say your iPhone will update automatically, so will Windows and so will your Mac. Then those updates don’t happen. So I think it a good idea to check at least once a month. You should know how to do it by now
iPhone / iPad: Settings >> General >> Software Update
Windows: Start Menu >> Settings (or Search)>> Update & Security
Mac: Apple Menu >> System Preferences >> Software Update
Do Not Buy Apple Watch 3
Dear Clients and Computer Students:
I wanted to send this update now — just in case you are thinking of buying an Apple Watch over this holiday weekend.
Consider this a PSA with direct language that Apple is never going to deliver to you. Please feel free to forward to anyone you know that has an Apple Watch.
People are getting out more. They want to exercise and breathe in the fresh air. I recall sitting in on a training class in 2018 about the Apple Watch and everyone other than me in the class was a senior. I’m not surprised by this now, but I truly was at the time.
Here is the problem — the Apple Watch is not cheap. It is a fitness oriented computer on your hand. The best Apple Watch sold right now is the Apple Watch 6. With one of the sport bands and the standard aluminum case, it starts at $399. That is what you should expect. It’s a $400 watch! You have to really want to use it. It’s not a fashion watch. Once you get into the stainless steel case and better bands — the price goes up by several hundred $. It’s a computer. And you still have to charge it up every night. The Apple Watch 6 has the senior friendly fall detection feature, tracks your heart rate, but also can measure your blood oxygen and does a basic ECG (not as good as the doctor’s office but has been very helpful for some).
If you want most of the fitness features including heart rate, steps, and fall detection but a more modest price point – Apple started selling the Apple Watch SE in 2020 for $279. It’s a reasonable offering for the price.
However, here is where the crimes start!!
In order to say they can sell you an Apple Watch for $199 — Apple has continued to sell the Apple Watch 3. It is a 4 year old Apple Watch. Those early models were not meant to go for 4 years. Apple is fooling their customers.
DO NOT BUY AN APPLE WATCH 3! IF YOU HAVE ONE, AND WANT CONTINUED ENJOYABLE USE — YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE TO GET A BETTER ONE. APPLE SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO YOU IF YOU RECENTLY BOUGHT ONE.
Sitting back down at my seat, rather than standing on it, I will say that due to a recent update of the iPhone, the next update of the Apple Watch (which gets updated via the Watch app on the iPhone) will require a complete erasure of the Apple Watch 3 and a reinstallation of the operating system. This may take hours. The Apple Watch 3 has a hard drive that is too small to handle the new software versions as a simple update. Apple needs to stop selling it.
So the the Bottom Line is — The Apple Watch 6 is a $400 + investment, definitely geared toward older / active adults and has the most features. You may be able to get away with the Apple Watch SE at $279 if you don’t care about the O2 monitoring and ECG. Do not buy the Apple Watch 3. You are throwing money away. If you have one, you’ll need to upgrade sooner than later. If you want a fitness tracker in the $100’s with heart rate and steps — The Fit Bit Charge 4 provides a great cost / function proposition.
Important Security Update
For iPad and iPhone
If you have an iPhone or an iPad (even an Apple Watch) – there is an important security update that I just got notice of on Friday. It is known as iOS / iPad OS 14.4.2. This update fixes a critical flaw in Web Kit. Web Kit is the engine that powers Safari (all the website browsing you do) on those devices, along with any apps that might render parts of websites. Without Web Kit, the iPad / iPhone does not function. This update covers the iPhone 6s and later and iPad Air 2 and later. Even though Apple is not updating the iPhone 6 and original iPad Air anymore, Apple did you a real favor. They have issued an OS 12.x update for these 2 as well so that you have the Web Kit fix as well.
Settings >> General >> Software Update. Get Updating!
Erasing Product Mistakes
Don’t you just hate it when technology companies remove features or services that we like? It is so frustrating. There may be some hope. The 2015 Mac Book Pro and Mac Book Air had such a solid design. These were reliable machines. They were a joy to type on. However, when the Mac Book Pro was updated in 2016 (and the Air in 2018), there were only two to four ports to plug things into (one used for charging) and the keyboards were flat as a pancake. On the higher end Pro models, they added a stupid Touch Bar with animated keys instead of the traditional Esc, F1, F2, etc, etc. Awful!!
As I have previously shared, they corrected the keyboard with the 2020 laptops. Rumors are swirling now that Apple will remove the Touch Bar in the 2021 models and (drum roll please) bring back a Mag Safe charger. If you recall that pre-2016 charger, it would easily disconnect if you walked into the cord — saving your laptop from damage and flying off the desk. Apple is going back to the old paths. I like the old paths.
Apple also reverted to old design cues and features with the iPhone 12 models. You should strongly consider one for your 2021 iPhone purchase. Remember the flat edges (sharp in a good way) of the iPhone 5, 5s and iPhone SE (2016)? Apple went back to that design with the 12’s that came out last fall. Furthermore, they are using only Qualcomm modems once again after using inferior Intel modems for a few years. Customers are reporting better signal performance in many instances.
Finally, not everyone likes using the Face ID on the iPhone 10 and later models. It can be a royal pain with a mask on. On the most recent iPad Air (the middle model), Apple re-introduced a Touch ID sensor. We can only hope they offer this on the 2021 iPhone models as well.
iPhone 12 Event
Apple had their big virtual iPhone 12 event today. I just got finished watching it live. I know that some of you are in the market for new iPhones, so I wanted to give you the skinny. Apple unveiled 4 new iPhone 12 models. The 12 Mini ($699), the 12 ($799), the 12 Pro ($999) and the 12 Pro Max ($1099). The giant Max actually clocks in at a price reduction from last year’s model.
The iPhone 12 — 6.1 inches is expected to be the biggest seller of the bunch, sporting the same screen size as the 2018 iPhone XR and 2019 iPhone 11, although fitting everything into a tighter body. The iPhone 12 Pro is actually larger than the iPhone X (2017), XS (2018), and 11 Pro (2019), so that might be a consideration for you.
The 12 Mini is for those iPhone who want the smallest possible size, however the actual screen is larger than the iPhone 6 – models and the overall 2020 SE model. The body is smaller than those previous phones.
All of the new iPhone 12 models support 5G in both the “normal” and ultra wide band frequencies. As I mentioned a few weeks ago 5G is just getting of the ground, so you are really future proofing yourself with these iPhone 12 devices. And of course, if you want a budget friendly iPhone with a familiar look the SE @ $399 is still a great choice.