Can iPad Pro Replace Your PC?

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We often get a customer in who wants a low-cost device to do basic things like check email, use Facebook, surf the web, and maybe even play a few games. iPads are perfect for all these things, but they have the capacity to do so much more.

For business- or art-oriented customers, iPad Pro is perfect for their needs. Even something as complex as shooting and editing 4K video or using the Adobe Creative Cloud can be done on iPad Pro. And its lightweight frame makes it the most portable computer you would ever have to carry around with you.

To get a sense of how you can use iPad Pro for all your computing needs, here’s a list of just some of the things you can do…

With iPad Pro, you can:

  • Use Apple Pencil to draw and sketch in Adobe apps, edit photos in Pixelmator, handwrite notes in Penultimate, markup PDFs in an email, and so much more.
  • Take advantage of the full Microsoft Office suite for iOS or Apple’s Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, and use iCloud or OneDrive to store your documents and collaborate in real time with others.
  • Use the Smart Keyboard or your favorite 3rd party keyboard with Smart Connector to make typing documents and creating spreadsheets much faster, no Bluetooth pairing necessary.
  • Multitask with iOS 10’s Split View and Slide Over to work in two apps at once, and quickly change to a third app with a simple swipe.
  • Download apps to render 3D images, design a home, study human anatomy, teach yourself how to code, find constellations in the night sky, and get a 360-degree view of our planet’s weather patterns.
  • Read ebooks, magazines, newspapers and comic books, follow along with a recipe, and create documents all with a True-Tone display on the 9.7″ iPad Pro for a comfortable reading experience.
  • With four speakers on the top and bottom of the iPad Pro, immerse yourself in high-quality audio with your favorite music, podcasts, audiobooks, videos, or movies.
  • Experience the best console-quality games with impressive 3D graphics and high frame rates, powered by the Apple A9X chip.
  • Summon Siri from across the room with a simple “Hey, Siri” voice command, powered by the M9 motion coprocessor.
  • Shoot 4K video at 30fps, or 1080p video at 60fps, edit in iMovie, and AirPlay it to an Apple TV.
  • Create custom slideshows of your pictures in the Photos app and share it with friends using iCloud Photo Sharing.
  • Export your Pages novel to an ePub document and add it to iBooks, or even publish it on amazon.com and the iBooks Store.
  • Get a birds-eye view of metropolitan areas in Maps, and swipe up with two fingers to change your view to 3D and travel through streets and landmarks.

For a demonstration of all these things listed, or to try out the iPad Pro for yourself, stop in and let us blow your mind!

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Enable Calls on Other Devices and Text Message Forwarding


A nice feature of iCloud is the ability to forward your calls and SMS texts from your iPhone to your iPad or Mac. Here, we’ll show you how to enable this feature in iOS.

Let’s start on your iPhone. Go to Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices. Here you’ll see a list of other devices signed into your Apple ID. 

To enable this feature completely, you’ll have to also enable it on your other devices. For the iPad, go to Settings > FaceTime > Calls from iPhone. Make sure this is green-checked. Now your calls will ring on your iPad if your iPhone is nearby. But you can go a step further and allow your calls to forward to your iPad even when your iPhone is not nearby. Select Enable Wi-Fi Calling to allow this feature. 


And lastly, to enable this on your Mac, open the FaceTime app, then in the upper left corner, click on FaceTime > Preferences…

Check Calls from iPhone, and if you want, you can also enable Wi-Fi Calling by clicking the button below.

For SMS texts, all you have to do is go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding. Here you’ll see your other devices signed into iCloud. Check the ones you want to enable, and now you’ll see texts on your iPad and Mac as well as your iPhone. You can even send an SMS text from these devices!

That’s it! You’re all set to answer phone calls and texts on your other devices.

The Multitasking Window and Background App Refresh

You might be familiar with the multitasking window on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This is activated by double-pressing the Home button. Alternatively, it can be accessed with 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s/6s Plus or the iPhone 7/7 Plus by pressing on the left side of the display; and on the iPad, swiping up from the bottom with four fingers will bring up the multitasking window as well.

img_0010What is the multitasking window for?

The multitasking window is great for quickly switching between apps you’re currently working in. So if you’ve got an ongoing project and you’re using Photos, Word, and Safari, the multitasking window is a quick way to switch between all these apps instead of pressing the Home button and navigating back and forth.

The multitasking window also allows you to force quit an application that isn’t responding. For example, if your Safari app freezes and is unresponsive, you can double-press the Home button and swipe the app up to close it.

Note: only force quit an app if it becomes unresponsive. It is unnecessary to consistently force quit all your apps, and it actually can decrease the functionality and performance of some apps.

Though it may look like the apps in the multitasking window are still running in the background, this is only accurate if Background App Refresh is enabled.

Background App Refresh

After you switch to a different app, some apps will run for a short time before they’re sent to a suspended state. When an app is suspended, it is not in use, open, or using your device’s resources.

Background App Refresh allows your appsimg_0011 to retrieve new data without the need to open them. That way, when you go back into an app, it’s refreshed with new content right away. This is beneficial if you utilize an app frequently, because it efficiently retrieves updated content and gets it ready for when you open it next. This will reduce refresh times when you reopen an app.

One example of Background App Refresh is Twitter: with this setting enabled, Twitter will periodically retrieve new tweets and notifications from your timeline and have them ready when you go back into the app. Another example is Uber: Background App Refresh will keep you current on your Uber’s location status while you’re waiting for it to arrive.

Note: if you force quit an app with Background App Refresh enabled, this feature may not work for that app until you open it again.

How does Background App Refresh affect battery life?

Background App Refresh is a great feature that enhances the iOS experience, and while it can drain a little extra battery, this drain is often insignificant – but the battery decrease might be more noticeable if you have the feature enabled for every app. Go through periodically and check which apps are using this feature (Settings > General > Background App Refresh). Most apps automatically enable this feature when installed.

As your battery gets older and its life cycle depletes, disabling this feature altogether may help you get by a little longer between charges. But on a newer battery, it rarely makes a difference whether it’s on or off.

Also, keep in mind that this will pull data from your WiFi or cellular connection, so if data consumption is a concern, maybe you should consider only enabling this feature for your most used apps.

In any case, you’re going to deplete your battery by using your device and you’re going to use data. Background App Refresh helps improve the efficiency of your daily device usage.

Markup PDF Documents Using iPad or Mac

If you’re using an iPad or a Mac to sign a legal document, you can do so in a much easier fashion than printing the document, signing, scanning to your computer, and emailing back to the original sender.

For the iPad:

Open the email with the PDF attachment and long-press on the file. Then tap Markup and Reply.

Now you can use your finger or Apple Pencil to sign the document and send it back–all within the Mail app.

For the Mac:

Open the PDF file in Preview and go to Tools > Annotate > Signature. If you’ve already done a signature using your iPad, it will show up here. Otherwise, click on Manage Signatures…, then Create Signature.

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Here, you can sign with your finger using the trackpad, or you can sign on a piece of paper and hold it up to the camera to take a snapshot.

Once it captures the signature, you can drag the image anywhere in the document.

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When it’s in the right position, save the PDF, drag it into the email, and send it off!

Features of iPad Pro & Apple Pencil

Today, we’ll show you some of the cool things you can do with iPad Pro.

 

Turn your iPad Pro into a mini MacBook with Smart Keyboard

Smart Keyboard connects magnetically onto the edge of your iPad Pro. There is no need for Bluetooth pairing, and the keyboard draws power from the iPad itself. But there’s no need to worry about extra battery drain; Smart Keyboard is as efficient as it is ergonomic.

To connect:

To fold in typing mode:

To fold in drawing mode:

You’ll want the keys facing under, instead of up against the back of the iPad.

To fold in cover mode:

Smart Keyboard knows when you’re using it (when it’s connected magnetically to the groove just above the keyboard), and when you’re not, so the instant you lift the iPad from the magnetic groove, any accidental keyboard presses will not register to your iPad. Smart, Keyboard!

 

Pair and charge your Apple Pencil

 

Use Apple Pencil to annotate Microsoft Word documents

Apple Pencil integration is built into the Office apps, which you can download for free, and they work well with an Office 365 subscription. Simply open a document and tap on the Draw tab:

Once you select a tool, the Word app will allow you to draw anywhere on the document with Apple Pencil. And don’t worry about resting your hand on the touch screen while you draw. The iPad Pro knows when you’re resting your palm on the display, and when you are and aren’t using the Pencil. So you can scroll with your finger while still in Draw mode, and it won’t think you’re using the Pencil. No accidental lines!

The Draw tab is the same across all Office apps, including Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

 

Use Apple Pencil for digital illustration

Adobe Sketch is a free app from the developer of the Adobe Creative Suite. You can use the basic tools for free, or pay for a Creative Cloud license to utilize the app to its full potential.

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There are plenty more Adobe apps on the App Store, as well as other drawing apps from various developers. You can even draw and sketch in the Apple Notes app.

 

These are just a few of the advantages of using Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard to get the most out of your iPad Pro. Stop in to test the demos for yourself!

How To Create A Passwords Spreadsheet

If you’re sick of forgetting your passwords, one simple solution will save you from unnecessary work resetting them in the future. Creating a secured spreadsheet with your saved passwords is one of the best ways to do this because it serves as a hub for all login credentials, and with only one password to remember, you’ll always have access.

Step 1: Create the Spreadsheet

You can do this with any spreadsheet program like Excel, but we’ll use Numbers for this tutorial. Open Numbers and create a blank spreadsheet.

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Step 2: Establish the Headings

Fill in the column headings with text to describe what will be in the corresponding cells. Here’s an example of what you can do:

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Step 3: Fill in the Blanks

You can utilize the Notes field to add any secondary information you’d like to remind yourself of. Here are examples of a note:

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Step 4: Secure Your Document

You’ll want to set up a password for this spreadsheet file because if anyone gains access to your computer, they can retrieve or even copy the file to their own device and have access to all your login credentials. You don’t want that, so we’ll assign a strong, secure password to lock this document. It will only be viewable when that password is entered.

Go to File > Set Password…

Step 5: Back It Up

Backup is the most important thing you can do with your computer. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing all your data, which often can’t be recovered or, if it could be recovered, would be costly. You don’t want only one version of your passwords, so you’ve got a few options to back this file up. (It is recommended that you have two backups in place.)

  • Put the file on a USB flash drive or external hard drive. If you back up through Time Machine, this is already being done for you.
  • Upload the file to iCloud. If you do it this way, you can access your passwords document from anywhere. On your iPhone or iPad, you can even use Touch ID to unlock the document.
  • Print out a paper copy and keep it in a safe place.

If you keep the file on an external drive, you’d need to re-save the updated document to that location. (If you’re using Time Machine, just make sure that your backup is current.) The convenience of iCloud, with the security of Two-Factor Authentication and Touch ID, is the easiest way to ensure that your backup is current. If you use iCloud to back up, any changes you make to the document will be saved in the cloud as well.

It is also highly recommended that you don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and make your passwords strong, with at least 8 characters and multiple capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try not to use words or phrases, or if you do, substitute certain letters with a number or symbol that resembles the letter (like in the examples above).

If you’d like assistance setting up this document, stop in and we can help get your life organized!

Why Use Touch ID?

Touch ID is an extremely useful tool built into your iPhone or iPad from 2013 or newer. Integrated into the Home button, this function scans your fingerprint to immediately unlock your device. You can configure up to five fingerprints to save on your iPhone or iPad. You can also use Touch ID to validate your login credentials within hundreds of apps on the App Store, getting rid of typing out those pesky 10-character passwords every time you want to check your bank account. And Touch ID also works with Apple Pay, which authenticates your purchase in any retail store that accepts it, all with the touch of the Home button.

This tool bypasses the need to “Slide to Unlock” and then enter a passcode (or worse, a password) every time you want to use your device. Though you are required a passcode or password to use Touch ID, you only have to enter it when your device reboots or when you haven’t used Touch ID for 48 hours.

We have lots of customers that come in with Touch ID-enabled devices but don’t use the function because of security concerns. That’s why we’re writing this post—to address your reservations about Touch ID.

The most common concern I hear from customers is: “I don’t want Apple storing my fingerprint on their servers!” I won’t lie, this thought went through my mind the first time I was introduced to Touch ID. But rest assured; your fingerprints aren’t stored in iCloud or anywhere on Apple’s servers. Rather, they’re stored locally on your device. You’ll notice that if you ever have to restore your device, even if you log into your iCloud or Apple ID, you’ll have to reconfigure the fingerprints. Not only are they stored locally, but they’re concealed by industry-standard encryption, which means that even if someone managed to get into your device, they wouldn’t be able to locate where your fingerprints are stored.

Another concern, albeit a little extreme, is: “What if someone cuts off my thumb?!” This thought also ran through my head, more out of curiosity than anything else. First of all, if someone’s willing to cut off your thumb just to gain access to your iPhone, you must have some CIA intelligence documents on there! But even CIA operatives don’t have to worry about that, because the fingerprint reader won’t recognize a dismembered phalange.

Why, you ask? Glad you did, because it’s super interesting. The Touch ID sensor reads your fingerprint at a sub-dermal level. This means that it doesn’t scan your dead skin cells on the surface of your finger; it scans the new, living skin underneath. Dead thumb = dead skin.

What it boils down to is this: you hate putting in so many passwords, and you want the benefit of maximum security without the hassle and frustration of setting a strong password, then having to remember it and type it in every time. So use Touch ID! Don’t be afraid of it—it’s there to protect you.

Come on in if you have any questions about Touch ID or need help setting it up, and join us here next week to learn about Apple Pay!

How To Avoid Malware

Here at Computer World, we get lots of customers that come in convinced that they have malware or a virus on their Mac computer. While malware for OS X does exist, it’s not as easy to come across as Windows malware is, and usually tends to be more of a nuisance than something dangerous. That said, it is still something you’ll want to get taken care of as soon as it’s discovered.

What is malware?

Malware is malicious software that often requires user input. This means that it typically accompanies a bad download of Adobe Flash Player, or in the form of applications that promise to speed up your Mac or clean it out. This is also referred to as adware, which is designed to display advertisements that often redirect you to a different website, prompting you to download antivirus software or a Flash Player update that isn’t from Adobe’s official site. This is the most common reason our customers come in. Another common approach adware uses is displaying a popup through Safari or another browser which typically says something like, “Your computer has [x number of] viruses, call [phone number] to clean your computer.” NEVER call this number. It’s a scam. Apple will never contact you directly about alleged threats to your computer.

Should I download antivirus software?

The short answer is no. Typically, Mac users don’t need to install antivirus software because OS X has security measures in place to prevent you from unwittingly opening a third-party application that could be harmful. These measures are common, and you’ve probably seen them before:

  • XProtect — scans downloads in the background for known malware.
  • Gatekeeper — a security protocol used for allowing the opening of downloaded apps from the App Store, App Store and Identified Developers, or Anywhere.
  • File Quarantine — a “Quarantine-aware” application such as Mail or Safari will identify a potentially dangerous file you’ve downloaded through said application and quarantine it. When you try to open it, an OS X popup will ask, “Are you sure you want to open ‘[application name]’?” If the application is from a trusted source, such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe, etc., it typically should be safe to open it, though an appropriate amount of discretion is always advised.

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An example of the File Quarantine OS X popup. This one found that a file that this user downloaded was infected with malware. 

Mac users will come across antivirus applications, or ones that otherwise promise to improve the speed of your computer. In reality, though, these applications slow your computer down significantly because they’re constantly running in the background, hogging up your memory, and taking up unnecessary space on your hard drive. Most antivirus applications will report what are called false-positives, identifying files as malware that aren’t really malware, which can reduce the functionality of your machine and cause it to misbehave.

What our customers tend to run into on the Internet most often is malware in the form of “Flash Player updates”, “Java updates”, or “Plugins required”. If you ever get a popup that says Flash Player is out of date, do the following:

Go to System Preferences > Flash Player, then click the Updates tab and “Check Now”. If an update is available, you will be directed to Adobe’s official website, where you can download the update safely and securely.

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This process will be similar with any Java updates, though most people don’t need to use Java anymore since so few websites require its plugins.

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An example of the fake Flash Player popup. Notice how the Adobe logo is nowhere to be seen. They come in many different forms. Always update Adobe Flash the proper way, as detailed above.

How can I protect myself?

1: Be conscious of the sites you visit and obtain software updates from legitimate sources. You should always go to the App Store first. If the application is not available on the App Store, like the Firefox web browser, go to Google or Bing and search for Firefox. You’ll see a link to the official Mozilla (developer) site and a few links to various adware sites with unsafe downloads.

2: Limit the extensions you use with your browser. Avoid unnecessary search engine plugins/toolbars–they slow down your browsing experience, can crash the app, and often link you to unsafe sites.

3: Verify that you’re using a safe search engine and home page. You can check your default search engine from Safari > Preferences > Search. Avoid using SafeSearch or the like, which are anything but safe.

4: Back up your computer. Because if all goes wrong, in the worst case scenario you lose some important files or your system’s integrity is compromised, you always will have that backup to restore from. You can find a backup drive that suits your needs; Computer World stocks a variety, with some as low as $99.

If you feel that your computer has been compromised, bring it in for a Tune-Up: $99 gets your computer cleaned up and running smoother than ever, while restoring your security and the machine’s performance. For $149 you can do a Tune-Up Pro, which does everything the standard Tune-Up does, plus upgrades your operating system to the current version, or whichever version your Mac can support. So come on in and let us take care of your computer!

10 Highlights from the iOS 10 Announcement

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Apple announced iOS 10 during the Monday keynote presentation at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). It looks beautiful, and it’s packed with a ton of great new features you’ll enjoy. Let’s take a look at ten major highlights from the new iOS 10.

iMessage

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There are eight new features of the Messages app that were demonstrated at Monday’s keynote, but we’ll touch on the three that seemed to stand out the most.

Animations — Now when you send messages, an animation will fly across the whole screen. An example is when you send “Happy Birthday!”, colorful balloons will animate. With Tapback, you can instantly reply with one of six icons to show your friends if you like what they said, if you thought it funny, etc. And with the built-in “App Store for iMessage”, you can find stickers of Disney characters or clip art to attach to your message bubbles.

Invisible Ink — Send a text or photo that can only be viewed after swiping away specks of virtual dust concealing the content.

Emoji Text Replacement — Now when you open the emoji section of your keyboard, specific words that Messages highlights for you can be replaced with an emoji icon with a single tap. For example, tap on the highlighted word “basketball” to replace it with an emoji of a basketball.

Siri

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Apple’s personal assistant is now open to developers. What this means is Siri’s functionality will no longer be restricted to Apple apps. With iOS 10, you’ll be able to say, “Hey Siri, get me a Lyft to the Chicago train station,” and Siri will open a bubble shortcut into the Lyft app. This will allow you to simplify the process of opening the app, filling in the information, and requesting a ride, all by using a simple voice command.

Maps

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Maps is smarter now, thanks to third-party app integration and improved location services. Search for a restaurant and book a table through apps like OpenTable, or request an Uber ride without leaving the app. Maps will also make proactive suggestions for where you’re likely to go and show the fastest way to get there.

Music and News Apps Redesigned

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Apple News and Apple Music are getting overhauled with redesigns that improve ease of use and navigation. Categories and subsections are clearly outlined in bold font. The “New” tab in Apple Music has been changed to “Browse” with better organization, and the layout of the “For You” tab has been improved. The coolest new function added in Music is the ability to follow along to lyrics as you listen to a song, simply by swiping up from the album art.

Raise to Wake

A popular function in Android has made its way to iOS. Simply pick up your phone and the screen comes on, putting less wear on your Home button or Sleep/Wake button.

Apple Pay on the Web

Shop online faster, safer, and more privately. A new “Buy with Apple Pay” button will display on supported websites. Touch ID will most likely be integrated into this function as well.

Home

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A new preinstalled app has been added to iOS 10, and though it may be annoying to have another app that you can’t delete displayed on your Home screen, this app will be a useful tool in your home. The Home app lets you turn on lights, unlock doors, and raise your shades all with the tap of a button. Smart utilities are needed for this — WiFi-capable lightbulbs, for example.

Photos

The Photos app can now collect events like a weekend hike or birthday parties and compile them into a slideshow or even a video for you to remember those memories.

These and more will arrive to iPhone and iPad this fall when iOS 10 arrives. Visit Apple’s website to read more about iOS 10, or to sign up for the public beta when it becomes available.

How to create folders for your iOS Device.

Learn how to create folders for your applications on your iOS device!

First, you will need to tap and hold on any icon to get the icons in “wiggle mode.” Wiggle mode allows you to customize the way you view your applications.Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.19.09 PM

If you want to make your screen look less cluttered, you can hold down an icon when it is in wiggle mode and drag it on top of another icon you would like to group it with. It will then open them up in a separate box and you can name the folder anything you would like. For example, if it is games you would like to group then you most likely call the folder “Games.” You can then add as many other applications as you would like to that folder by dragging and dropping more onto the folder.Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.20.58 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.23.27 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.23.56 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.24.33 PM

Then, if you would like to take applications out of the folder, you will need to press and hold on the folder (or any other icon/application) to get it into wiggle mode. And then you will need to tap on the folder, hold down the application you would like to remove, and drag it out onto the screen. Once you are done editing your folder, you can hit the home button to get out of edit mode!Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 3.30.46 PM

Thank you for reading our blog post and stay tuned for next week’s post on tips for creating a secure password!