As Apple enthusiasts know, you can use your Apple devices to do awesome things. And when you use them together, what you can achieve is magnified, leaving you able to do so much more. Many people don’t realise just what is possible when you use the Continuity feature – which is a seamless way to move between your different devices and use them together. You can take calls on your iPhone without even picking it up, by using your Mac. You can also send text messages from your Mac. You can log in to your Mac using your Apple watch, rather than typing a password. You can copy images, text or video from one device to another easily and quickly. It’s possible to start work on a document on one device and then pick up where you left off on another. There are so many possibilities available to you when you use Continuity – but here are a few that we think will be useful.

Handoff

Handoff is where you begin working from one device, and then switch to another device nearby and seamlessly pick up where you left off.

Applications that will work with Handoff include Mail, Maps, Safari, Reminders, Calendar, Contacts, Pages, Numbers, Keynote and some third-party apps. Handoff can be activated on any Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Apple Watch.

To use Handoff, complete these steps for each device:

  1. Sign into iCloud with the same Apple ID
  2. Turn Bluetooth on
  3. Turn Wi-Fi on
  4. Turn Handoff on by:
    1. Mac: Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > General > Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices
    2. iPhone, iPad and iPod touch: Go to Settings > General > Handoff, then turn on
  5. On one device, open one of the above listed apps
  6. When switching to:
    1. Mac: Click on the icon in the Dock
    2. iPhone, iPad or iPod touch: Unlock device; Open the multitasking screen (same method when switching between apps); Tap on the app banner at the bottom

Universal Clipboard

When you have multiple devices, Universal Clipboard is great for copying content such as text, images and videos on one Apple device and then pasting this same content on another Apple device, with unprecedented ease and speed. You can also use this feature to copy entire files from one Mac to another Mac; however just make sure that they both are on macOS High Sierra.

To use Universal Clipboard, complete these steps for each device:

  1. Sign into iCloud with the same Apple ID
  2. Turn on Bluetooth
  3. Turn on Wi-Fi
  4. Turn on Handoff
  5. On the first device, copy the desired content as you would normally. It will then be automatically added to the clipboard of your next device. It will remain there for a brief period of time or until it is replaced by other copied content.
  6. On the second device, paste the content as you normally would.

Instant Hotspot

The next time you want to go online and don’t have Wi-Fi, try Instant Hotspot, where your Mac or other device can remotely activate your iPhone’s personal hotspot when they are near each other, and provide internet access.

On your iPhone or iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular), go to Settings > Personal Hotspot.

To use Instant Hotspot, follow these steps on other devices:

  1. Sign into iCloud with the same Apple ID
  2. Turn on Bluetooth
  3. Turn on Wi-Fi
  4. To connect to your Personal Hotspot:
    1. On Mac: Use the Wi-Fi symbol in the top menu bar, and click on the name of the device, providing the Personal Hotspot
    2. On iPad, iPod touch or any other iPhone, go to Settings > Wi-Fi, then choose the name of the device, providing the Personal Hotspot

While all these features outlined above have different requirements and work in different ways, they are quite easy to set up and use once you know how, so give them a try. You’ll appreciate the added functionality your devices can provide.

For system requirements for Continuity go to https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT204689#hotspot.

Apple prides itself on being on the cutting edge of technology, and as such its products are constantly being updated and improved. And although Apple products are usually very long-lasting, no Mac, gadget or device will last forever – and as technology improves, you probably wouldn’t want them to. At some point your device will become obsolete.

Machines over seven years old are classed as Vintage. This means that parts particular to that model will no longer be available and you will likely be unable to update to future OS versions. This could mean that some applications may no longer be compatible with these models.

Apple declares products as vintage five years after the product is last manufactured. Although this means that Apple will no longer repair them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t either.

As of 1st April 2018, the following list of machines are moving into the Vintage classification:

  • MacBook Pro from late 2011 and prior (17-inch and smaller)
  • iMac from Mid 2011 and prior

If you have one of these devices and have concerns about whether you’ll still be able to use or repair it, go to the following website for help: https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201624.

Mac Aid’s six-car fleet of signed vehicles has recently undergone a renewal and are now looking great. Keep an eye out for our newly branded cars!

LaCie’s new drives

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LaCie have made a few exciting announcements this month with the addition of Thunderbolt 2 drives, great for those with a current Mac Pro, and larger capacity drives across the range.

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LaCie’s 2BIG, 5BIG, and Little Big Disk all sport Thunderbolt 2 connectivity now – this may seem a little ahead of the times as there’s only one Mac available with Thunderbolt 2 presently, the Mac Pro. However these drives are backwards compatible, making them a good buy for any forward thinkers who may make use of the connectivity in the future.

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LaCie Fuel wireless drive; the 1TB Mobile drive (2TB model coming in May) with up to 10 hours of battery life, can also be connected and used as a USB3 drive. Multiple iOS devices can use the Fuel wireless drive for media such as streaming movies and music as well as standard storage.

Additionally LaCie are now offering larger capacity drives, including a stunning 5TB single disks, in the following ranges;
–  Mobile:  2TB Porsche Design P’9223 & P’9220 Mobile USB3.0,  Rugged Triple, Rugged Thunderbolt + USB3.0 and Rugged Mini.
–  Desktop: 5TB single Disk – d2 Quadra, d2 Thunderbolt + USB3.0, 2Big & 5Big Thunderbolt

For any questions or pricing requests, get in touch today..

 

iPad turns 4

On April 3rd, Apple celebrated the iPads 4th birthday.
Since its introduction in April 2010, Apple has gone on to sell nearly 200 million iPads in five generations. A lot of work for a span of 4 years.
And clearly, they sold for a reason. Not only are they more portable than a laptop, but they are ridiculously easy to use, and you can do just as much with an iPad as you can with a computer.
Congratulations to Apple for their success with the tablets, and we can’t wait to see what they do with them next.

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Cost Effective iPads

And speaking of iPads, as of mid March 2014, the 9.7 inch iPad with Retina display has replaced the iPad 2 as the most affordable iPad on the market. The fourth-gen iPad features the amazing Retina display, the A6X chip, speedy Wi-Fi, HD camera and more, all while delivering 10 hours of battery life. iPad with Retina display comes with the new iOS 7 software, which is bursting with extras and improvements such as Control Centre, Notification Centre, Multitasking, and AirDrop just to name a few.

iPad with Retina display are available for purchase in either white or black, and start at the retail price of $449 for a 16GB Wi-Fi only model.
iPad with Retina display can also be purchased in 32GB, 64GB, & 128GB models.

Password Security
There’s never been such a good time to talk about Password security as there is now, even more so after the news this last month of the major security flaw that had been exposed in OpenSSL by the name of Heartbleed.

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Heartbleed, very briefly: 
Heartbleed was an exploit in OpenSSL (makes data secure of the net – you’ll see HTTPS or the little lock in the address bar) that means anyone that knew of the exploit, may have been able to grab bits of information including user names, passwords, credit card info etc..

Software websites and services have moved very quickly to patch this exploit and have implored their users to change their passwords for affected services AND any other service that may have used that same password.

The internet went crazy with advice and opinions many of which, at the time, may have been incorrect. It didn’t affect the entire web. There’s no point changing a password unless the website or service is patched and most likely you haven’t been targeted.

In any case, for precautionary reasons, users of the affected services are definitely best to change their passwords, in all affected places, as above. Now’s a good time to use a good password.

Oh btw, affected services included, but weren’t limited to:
Facebook, IFTTT, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google/Gmail, Yahoo, Amazon, Dropbox, Soundcloud, GoDaddy, Etsy, Minecraft.

 

What is a good password? 
Tell you what is not a good password.. password. This is obvious. Also not good? your date of birth.

A good password is typically featuring mixed characters, numbers and symbols, and is 8 characters and longer. It’s also unique to the service or website.

For example, this is a good password: k*zTYjhI$440
Not easy to remember though right?

Most likely you’re familiar with websites increasing their password settings over time; Apple is a good example here. Often these requirements for change alone force us to make something that is suitably secure, and potentially unique at that point.

Good Password policy:
Many of us are prone to using one password across many websites and services – it’s simply easier that way, but secure? No.
If one of these services were to be compromised, just as many have due to the Heartbleed exploit, then the rest are too.

Therefore the suggestion here is to diversify. The more passwords you have, the more difficult it is to be affected, or rather for an attacker to use of set of credentials.
An ideal scenario would be a suitably secure password unique to each website or service however it’s easy to imagine how this would become unmanageable quickly. Read on..

Password Manager
Something to consider here may be the use of a password manager. Indeed this Heartbleed dilemma may well motivate you to get one more than ever – it has done so with some of our staff.

A password manger helps to keep track of all those complex passwords you should have or are about to change, and can even make the process of changing them easier. They serve as a password repository with very secure encryption and typically local-only decryption. This means only you can access the data on your machine with your password.

The one key thing though – that machine, and your password needs to be secure. That’s to say that you need passwords on your machine, in fact all devices (but you were doing that right?) and the one password for 1Password, Lastpass etc, is a secure password, again, that is unique to this service. The sell here is that this is last password (or one password) you need to remember. Get it?

There are a few option out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to three you may want to consider: 1Password, Lastpass and iCloud Keychain.
We will try to keep it short here also, so if there’s any more questions, we’re happy to field them, but you may want to check out the vendors website.

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1Password

1Password is a great and very popular example of a Password Manager done right. It has droves of features all neatly presented in a tidy application for Mac OSX and even iOS. For the price of the application you get local password encryption and browser integration. Likewise for the price of the iOS App you get syncing across devices providing access everywhere.

1Password is a pay per App per version model which doesn’t require an annual subscription. Some may like the pay once model and only time will tell if it works out being more dear than those below, but 1Password certainly is the cream of the crop here in terms of password managers.

More: https://agilebits.com/onepassword/mac

 

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LastPass

LastPass has most of 1Passwords features but is bundled differently; there’s no specific app but there is the browser integration that makes the service so easy to use and responsive. It’s a also free for it’s basic features which for many cover your needs, but if you’re after iOS compatibility, then you’re after their premium service which is $12 a year.

More info: https://lastpass.com

 

iCloud Keychain 

iCloud Keychain means to provide the same kind of solution as 1Password and Lastpass including having multiple devices in sync. Keychain has been around for a decent while now (introduced in Mac OS 8.6) and is well known in the Mac world, however iCloud Keychain was only announced last year and released as part of iOS7 and Mavericks. In other words, it’s a free service for those who have compliant devices.

 

If you use, or switch to a password manager then read this, 

Cult of Mac ran an article on how you can use 1Password to simplify the password changing process in the wake of the Heartbleed exploit. Similarly they continue on to show how you can use iCloud Keychain to do the same thing.

Click here to read it:
http://www.cultofmac.com/274110/10-minute-password-update/

 

Finally, if you have any questions or concerns then get in touch. We’re using a combination of the above tools within this office and are more than happy to help with the change of and rollout of new passwords, or the implementation of a password manager.