Category: Software

Making Sense of New Devices

3 Premium iPhones for 2018 – Understanding the Distinctions
I wrote my 9/12 update to you within 30 minutes of watching Apple’s live event last week.  I realize it was a lot of information, but I wanted to cover it like a true techno journalist as if I were there.  I also tried to include only the deals that were relevant to my client base — typically the age 60+ crowd.
The first thing I want to make clear is that the less expensive XR (10 R) iPhone is by no means a “bastard child” of the 2018 iPhone offerings.   It is a premium phone being offered at $749 with 64 gigabytes of storage.   The XR is the phone that Apple expects to sell the most of this year.  To meet that demand, ordering has been delayed until October 19 so supply can be ramped up.  The two premium priced models — the Xs and Xs Max are being sold starting $999 and $1099 respectively.  They are available now.  The major differences between the XR line and the Xs line are that the Xs models have two cameras which aid in portrait photography and a higher quality screen.   For my typical client, I don’t think these features are tipping point to justify the higher price.  However, as you will read below, other factors come into play.    For most American iPhone users, my clients included, the iPhone is purchased on a 24 month, interest free installment plan with the cell phone carrier.  The cost of the phone is simply added to the bill.  In some cases, the cost of the actual service is slightly less than it was 5+ years ago.  Typical pricing on the 64 GB models would be about $31 / mo on the XR, $41 / mo on the Xs, and $45 / mo on the Xs Max.   These devices are truly computers in your pocket and priced like them, for sure.
Real Life Ordering Decision – Size Matters
I was with a client yesterday who upgraded his 2016 iPhone 7.  The cameras and screen quality were not deciding factors in his choice of the Xs over the XR.  The price difference, though $10 a month, was not seen as unbearable.   Size was the key issue.   The Xs with the screen stretched to the edges is closest in size to his iPhone 7 (6, 6s, and 8 as well).  The iPhone XR would be slightly larger.   The iPhone Xs Max is very close in size to the previous Plus iPhones (6 – 8 Plus).  My client told me — I don’t want to go bigger.  So, the Xs was ordered on a carrier financing plan and should be arriving by the weekend.
Android
If you are of an Android persuasion, keep in mind that Google’s own phone, the Pixel will be getting a refresh in early October.  I certainly think it is the best Android in terms of promised regular updates to the software.  Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones are also terrific.  Motorola G6 Plus is superb for a budget phone that can be purchased for around $230.  The One Plus 6 is a solid choice, competing with the best of Samsung at a lower price (but does not work on Verizon).
iOS
iOS 12 was released on 9/17.  It is a brand new version of Apple’s mobile device software.  Should you have an iPhone 5s or later or an iPad Air or later, you should be installing it within the next few weeks.   Please make sure you have a full backup of your device before installing version 12.   I’m still exploring its features, but so far I think the Measure app is very useful for around the house projects.  If you would like professional help with installing iOS 12, please let me know.
Mac OS
The latest version of mac OS — version 10.14 is coming out next Monday – Sept 24th.  From that point forward, I will be taking upgrade appointments.  Some of my clients choose to upgrade themselves, while others have me do it for them.   I make sure you have a full backup of your system in place and a copy of the install media should the software ever need to be reinstalled.  I also take great care to update your apps if necessary.   These appointments usually last about 2 hours.
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Technology Update 8/28/18

Start With a Tip
Some clients tell me, I love your updates but I only understand 1/3 of it.  One client told me recently, I just realized I have a Mac.  It’s the teacher training within me that seeks to set a high bar.  Transformations may not be instant, but it is my goal to raise your technological competence over time.  Have you ever heard your plumber, electrician, or carpenter say that to you?  That’s why I’m special and I value our special relationship. 
—-> Copy and paste text — the need comes up all the time — from one e-mail to another, from an e-mail to a Word document, from one Word document to another, or how about from a web page to an email or word document.  The sequence is very simple.   Windows:  Highlight text with mouse >> Ctrl C (on keyboard) >> Click on insertion point >> Ctrl V.   Mac: Highlight text with mouse >> Command C (on keyboard) >> Click on insertion point >> Command V.   ** Caveat:  Copying text from a web page to another application can present problems. Web based text is often heavily formatted. I have always told clients who are doing this to keep their computer’s “text editor” open to use it as a conduit.   In Windows, the built in text editor is called Notepad (part of Windows since 1985); on the Mac it’s called Text Edit.  In this workflow, you would copy the text from the website, paste it in the text editor (remove the formatting if necessary) and then copy and paste it into its destination.  Getting familiar with your system’s text editor has other benefits as well.  You may not always need to open up the large and often slow Microsoft Word.  Notepad and Text Edit handle light word processing tasks just fine.
Catalog Those Files
Occasionally, I come across a situation where a client has all of their files stored on multiple hard drives, with folders located here, there, and everywhere.  It may be a good thing to have these files spread out, but please remember to have backups of originals (ideally using multiple methods).  However, there may be times when you want to consolidate.  You may be wondering, what is where?  So that no data is lost, you really need to establish a catalog for your files.  These are not backup applications; they are solely Windows and Mac utilities for making a master catalog.  They are under $40 each.  For Windows — it’s simply Win Catalog https://www.wincatalog.com/.     For Mac — Neo Finder http://www.cdfinder.de/.   Avoid data loss!
The New iPhones Are Really Coming – September of My Years
The cat is slowly jumping out of the bag.  Apple is going to have an iPhone event in mid-September.  Like clockwork, pre-orders will start a few days later.  The new phones will begin shipping about a week after that.  So I want you to look at your current iPhone, diagonally please. You may want to get out a ruler or a tape measure.  The screen sizes of the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and 8 are 4.7 inches.  The iPhone 6 Plus, 6s +, 7+, and 8+ are 5.5 inches.  If you have an iPhone X, you measure in at 5.8 inches.  (If you are on the iPhone SE, 4.0 inches, I doubt Apple is updating this form factor but keep enjoying the phone by all means.)  The 2018 models will all have the visual aesthetics of the iPhone X, meaning the screen will push to the edges of the phone. There will be no home button (you swipe up from the middle, bottom to get the home button functionality).  The model names are not set in stone.  There will be a “new iPhone X” measuring 5.8 inches.  This is not that much larger than the iPhone 6 – 8.  This will be the middle priced model.  There will also be a “6.1 inch iPhone.” This will be the least expensive model.  The size will be similar overall to the iPhone 6 Plus – 8 Plus.  For those who want a “large and in charge” phone, there will also be an “iPhone X Plus” coming in at 6.5 inches.  That’s almost like a small tablet if you ask me and it will be the most expensive.  Keeping these design changes in mind, you may want to pick up one of the current 8 or 8 Plus models if you want the traditional home button and do not want to take the minimal amount of time required to learn the new functions.  With that in mind, Apple is going all in with the iPhone X design motif for all.
(Sent while listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela – Look them up on the music app of your choice. Great stuff.)

Fieldston Software – gSyncit – Sync Outlook and Google Calendars, Contacts, Notes and Tasks

Fieldston Software – gSyncit – Sync Outlook and Google Calendars, Contacts, Notes and Tasks.

 

Need to sync your Google contacts, calendar and tasks with Outlook?  Even with Outlook 2010 and 2013?  Even in Windows 8?   Using Windows?   Buy Gsyncit!!

Remember, your ability to sync with Outlook and a free Gmail account will forever change in Jan. 2013.   You will either need to update to a paid GApps account or use a tool like Gsyncit.

Redefining computer software

Computer software is a very different space that we play in today compared to 5 years ago.    Windows Vista was a big dud, so people still clung to XP that was nearly 6 years old.   The Mac OS was safely out of the dark ages, but version 10.5 still hadn’t been released yet and people didn’t trust the Mac like they do today.   Phones?  People typed like mad on their Blackberries, but these were seen as separate “work devices” for a certain segment of our daily lives.   Palm’s phones were very functional and popular but annoying enough that a grandmother or not-so-tech-savvy person wouldn’t even bother to get involved.  The iPhone was barely a couple months old, but there were no apps that you could add to your phone.  It was an experiment. Android?  Still in its mother’s womb……

 

It’s 2012 and it’s a new world.  We want to get our contacts from our iPhone back to our computer and without effort — whether that computer be a Windows or a Mac based system.    We want our Android phone to sync calendar appointments with our laptop.   We want to start a document on our computer and then make some edits on our tablet and then e-mail it off to someone else for review.   THIS IS ALL POSSIBLE NOW.   There are still gaps which cause us to stumble, but the idea of a seamless world of personal technology has arrived.

 

You understand where we’ve been — but where are we going?   I’ve been consuming a lot of technology related media lately (I rarely watch TV).  I’ve expanded the variety of media I consume to include many Windows and enterprise focused sources, along with the steady diet of Mac info that I take in.  I get most of this information via “podcasts” (which those of you in the ‘old school’ can think of as taped radio shows).   Where are we going?  SUBSCRIPTIONS.

 

We are moving away from boxed software.   You will not have go out and buy a CD (or DVD) to update your computer.   The purchases will come in through downloads and you will have the security of knowing that you will always be up to date, greatly reducing your chances at getting a virus or other confusion.   Some hints and a preview that we are moving in this direction…..

 

-In 2011, Apple released their new operating system (OS) 10.7.  It cost $30.

-In early 2012, Apple announced that they were going to release a new OS every year.

– In July 2012, Apple released OS 10.8 for $20 as a download only purchase.

– Each year iPhone and iPad devices get major updates and a few minor updates.  While there is no cost, the purchase of your device is the ticket to your subscription.

– Microsoft Windows 8 is being released on October 26 — for an extremely low price of $40 — a download directly from Microsoft.

– It is expected that there will be a Windows 8.1 or Windows 9 about a year from then at a similarly reasonable price.

– Microsoft Office 2013 (which includes a program that many of us love — Word) is going to be PRIMARILY sold as a subscription offering.

– Intended at the consumer market the new Office 365 subscription will cost approximately $10 per month  BUT you can install Office on 5 devices including desktops, laptops, Windows and Mac.

– An Office-alternative for Mac, Neo Office, that I have touted for many years requires a donation of $10 to $25 per year to keep getting updates for its product.

 

This is where software is going.   It may be hard to accept.  I think its good, but I understand your resistance to change.   Companies like Microsoft had to change too  or face death caused by the lack of understanding market trends and ultimately customers’ desires.