Month: March 2015

A Quick Note on New Apple Products

Apple had a big event for the release of the Apple Watch and the new MacBook (Not Air, Not Pro, just MacBook.)  The Apple Watch is a whole new category, and like the original iPhone, it’s full potential is unknown.  Unless you really like being an early adaptor, I would wait for the next generation before deciding if this is something you want.  If you do get it, however, by all means let me know and let me help you play with it (I mean set it up.)

As for the new MacBook, same deal.  This is a computer that is redefining Apple’s laptop product line.  It looks like a beautiful piece of equipment but it is more expensive and less powerful than a MacBook Air.  I’d wait for the next generation.  If you need a new laptop now go with the MacBook Air. If you need a retina display go with the MacBook Pro.

Freak Out

A new month and a new security flaw.  This time it’s call the Freak Bug and it leaves all your devices vulnerable. Both Apple and Microsoft have released fixes.  You can read about them here and here.

In general, it’s important to update your devices with new releases so update your phones, tablets and computers now if you haven’t done so.

Here are 9 facts about security that experts wish you knew.

Then there is this, our government trying to spy on everything we do by putting lots of time and resources into cracking Apple’s security.

Update:  You can read more about the Freak flaw here.  There is also a tool to check your vulnerability.  Thanks to shuutech for pointing me to this website.

Quick Tip: WhatsApp with that?

For those of you who do not know, WhatsApp is an alternative texting app for smartphones.  With a WiFi connection It works with any type of smartphone unlike iMessage which only works with iPhones. Another advantage over iMessage is that it has an easy way to save a transcript of your chats (to do so with iMessage you need to use a third party app like iBackup Viewer.)

To save a transcript of a chat in WhatsApp:

1) Open the Chat you want to save.

2) Scroll up to the top of the chat.

3) Select Info.

4) Select Email Chat.

5) Mail it to yourself and you will receive a .txt file with the entire chat stream.

Too bad iMessage is not so easy.

Quick Tip: Does your iPad miss non-iMessage Text Messages?

I have a client who noticed that she received all text messages on her iPhone but some were missing on her iPad.  She had no idea why.  This turned out to be an easy problem to fix, but first a little history.

Text messaging goes way back to the era of non-smart flip phones and little Nokia phones (remember when we all wanted the smallest phone possible), when normal text messaging rates applied.  Text messages back then were all sent via the cellular network and your carrier – ATT, Verizon, Sprint – and they charged you a lot for texting.  With smart phones, WiFi and the Internet, new way of texting that bypassed the cellular network cropped up such as iMessage, WhatsApp, etc.

Your iPhone is designed to use both the cellular network and the Internet so, by default, it receives iMessages and cellular text messages from non-iPhone users.

On the other hand, if you have an iPad without a cellular contract, you only have WiFi internet access and, therefore, only receive iMessages or other internet based texts.

Apple has a work around for this and that is text message forwarding.  To set this up on your iPhone do the following:

1. Go to Settings.

2. Scroll down and select Messages.

3. Select Text Message Forwarding.

4. Turn on the iPad selection.  (If you have a Mac, you can turn that on as well.)

That’s it! You will now receive all text messages on your iPad.

Quick Tip: Stop Your Mac and iPad from Ringing.

After updating to Apple’s latest OS has your Mac starting ringing every time your iPhone rings?  Mine did.  It was like a chorus throughout my house – first my iPhone rang, then the iPad, then the Macbook. It was like a three alarm fire in my living room.

Here’s how to stop your Mac from ringing:

1. Open FaceTime.

2. Click FaceTime in the Menu Bar.  Select Preferences.

3. In the middle of the Preference screen, uncheck the box next to iPhone Cellular Calls.

4. Close Preferences by clicking the red button.  Exit FaceTime.

On your iPad, to stop it ringing:

1. Open Settings.

2. Scroll down to FaceTime and select.

3. Turn off iPhone Cellular Calls.

That’s it!

Let’s All Share – Apple’s Family Sharing

Introduced with Yosemite and iOS 8 is Family Sharing.  Family Sharing allows up to six members of one family to share music, movies, books, apps, photos, calendars and more.

It’s fairly straight forward to set up:  one member takes the lead – and by doing so agrees to pay for everything! – and invites other family members to join.  This feature is particularly advantageous for people who purchase lots of music or movies through iTunes.  If you and your kids, or your significant other have purchase music using your individual iTunes accounts, I’m sure you’ve notice that there is no way to share music.  Family Sharing solves this problem by allowing all of you to share your purchased items from the iTunes store.

There is another rarely mentioned benefit to this new feature, at least, for some of you.   I have had quit a few clients who by accident, over time, set up multiple iTunes accounts (multiple Apple IDs.) This has lead to the problem of owning music, books or movies purchased under different accounts.  However, if you are logged into to one account you cannot play music, movies or read books purchased under the second account.  There is no easy way to combine two accounts into one.  However, you can treat a second account as a family member thereby allowing your two accounts to share purchases. Problem solved.

Microsoft Office. Mobile Edition.

Late last year Microsoft released free versions of it’s Office mobile apps for iOS (iPhone and iPad) – Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and now Outlook.  You can read about the original release here and a more up to date article here.

Originally, these apps only worked with documents stored locally or on Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud solution.  Now, this restriction has been lifted and these apps work with documents stored on other cloud services like Dropbox. This means, for example, that you can work on an Excel document on your computer, save it to Dropbox, and then view or edit it on your iPhone or IPad with the Excel app.

You can download all these apps from the Apple App store.