Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yosemite is here! And other tidbits from Tech⌘Ease Techies...

Yosemite is here!

Apple released OS X 10.10 Yosemite this past week and it is time to upgrade your software. It is a free update available in the App Store on your computer. As always, before upgrading be sure to perform a back up of your computer. Rarely does anything go wrong, but if it does you need a back up to make sure your data is safe. There are tons of great new features and integrations with your iOS devices so I would upgrade as soon as you get a chance. Also let us know if you have any questions or need any help with your upgrade. 

Update or Upgrade?

When should I do what? Great question, I’m glad you asked.

The way Apple has decided to update allows both Macs and iOS devices, one can choose to update and still feel good about their tech for several years now. You no longer have to start with the age old tech adage, “I guess it’s time to buy a new computer.” For the majority of users all they have to do is download the new software and begin enjoying it. For others, there maybe a need to update the hardware of your computer (small expense but extends the life of your machine). Typically, the only updates to a Mac you may need to have done is new memory (RAM) or more storage (hard drives or solid state hard drives). A great resource for finding out more about your current machine is built into your machine. On a Mac, click on the Apple logo (top left hand corner) and click on about this Mac. You can also get more details at And when you need a person to talk it over with, contact your professional friends at AlabamaTech⌘Ease.

Before performing any update to your Mac, make sure you have all the data you couldn’t live without (photos, music, documents, etc) backed up before installing a new update like Yosemite. Your Mac should have an application called TimeMachine installed on it already. TimeMachine along with an external hard drive allows you automagically backup your system so you can easily restore from should something not go as planned. Having trouble or need someone to walk you through it  AlabamaTech⌘Ease is here to help. 

Do you want the newest tech? Have you had your device longer than you can remember? Are you unable to accomplish the things you want to do on your current Mac or iOS device? If you answer yes to those questions, then you are ready to upgrade… Buy new tech. I mean, who doesn’t need a brand new 27” iMac with 5K display? Or a brand new iPad Air 2 for causal web browsing. Whether it is a need or a want, there is nothing quite like powering on your upgrade and getting acquainted with your new Apple. 

Not sure what to buy or want talk through options before making a decision to update or upgrade,  AlabamaTech⌘Ease is happy to assist. We are up to date on what’s new and what’s needed to run the new software. Our aim is to see you happy with your Apple product whether it’s brand new or new again.  

The New iPad Air 2!

Here’s a Tech⌘Ease tidbit you may not have been aware of, your local Apple Store generally has product that is considered End of Life (EOL) for a short period of time after media events and big product announcements. They offer EOL pricing in-store which is a great way to get your hands on new tech for a portion of the price. Great for budget-minded upgrades.
In the October 16 Special Event keynote, Tim Cook asked “What do you do when you make the best tablet in the world? How do you make it better?” Here are some highlights about how Apple has improved upon its tablet with the new iPad Air 2: 

The display on the iPad Air 2 is an improvement from every iPad generation before it: physically tighter, the new display is sharper, more tactile, and less reflective than any tablet that is currently — or ever has been — on the market. The iPad Air 2 is 18% thinner than the iPad Air with the same screen size. It comes in three colors: black/space grey, white/gold, and white/silver. Perhaps most popularly demanded, the iPad Air display also features the touch ID home button.

The iPad Air 2 has the A8X processor, a variation on the iPhone 6 processor made specifically for the iPad air. The A8X processor allows for faster and better computing and graphics than the already industry-leading iPad performance. Thanks to this new processor, application developers can deliver console-level graphics to iOS devices. Even with all this power, though, Apple still ensures all-day battery life with the iPad Air 2.

Data users will be happy to learn that the iPad Air 2 connects to LTE more effectively than any other tablet.

Lastly, the new iSight camera on the iPad lets application builders use the camera within the app to enhance iPad usage. The new FaceTime camera lets in more light, has facial recognition, and features burst selfies.

For more new features and the Apple keynote featuring the iPad Air 2, visit and learn more!

Mac Keyboard Short Cuts 

Would you like to be more proficient with your Mac? One way to do that is to use keyboard shortcuts to complete commands instead of using your mouse or trackpad. By pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard, it is possible to print (command+P), to drag a screen shot (command+shift+4), to quit an application (command+Q), among many other functions. The Apple support article on keyboard shortcuts can be found at

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alabama Tech-Ease brings the solutions to you!

We are your full service Apple® Authorized Consultant. Do you have digital lifestyle problems? We have solutions. Sure, we can help you get matched up with the right hardware and the know how to use it. Did you know that we can also optimize your setup, facilitate purchasing and repairs? How about that photo book or home movie you want to make? Let us do it for you. What about that website you need, that app you want to build, or that branding and marketing campaign for you business? Let us know what your dreams are and we will help you make them reality!


Coming soon! iOS 8 feature: iCloud Photo Library and Photos

Today, people rarely go out without bringing their iPhones with them. With social media and photo accessibility, people are constantly taking photos, which means that often times memory fills up the iPhone quickly. Most folks just don’t like to delete photos, even if they are backed up on their computer. We also don’t like to pick and choose which ones to keep with us. So, Apple created an amazing new feature that lets you keep all of your photos on your iPhone. With the newest update, all of your photos and videos will now live on the cloud. The full size originals will upload and leave a smaller version sized for your iOS device. The first 5 GB of storage space will remain free and plans start at $0.99 per month for 20 GB. This means that most people will be able to take all the photos and videos they want and never worry about loosing anything. 


Once it is turned on, iCloud photo library automatically keeps all your photos and videos in the cloud. It keeps them at full resolution in the original formats. If you are importing RAW images on your computer, it keeps those too. They can then be accessed from any of your devices and even from the web. 


It also allows for organization. Organizing by moments, collections, years. You can drag them into a custom order, create albums and mark favorites. The changes are saved across all of your devices. Edits are also now automatically synced across devices. Crop, enhance, and filter away and Photos will save the changes. The best part is that all changes are non-destructive to the original image so you can always change it back if you change your mind later. 

Let’s Back Up

These days we have a lot of choices for backing up our devices, yet many people still do not do it. We tend to not think about how important our data is until we loose it. Without a back up plan, it is often too late to recover. Many users are backing up critical date via the iCloud from our iPhone and iPad but what about the computer? 

While Apple® makes fantastic products with the lowest rate of failure in the computer industry, things can still go wrong. Machines can break, get lost or even stolen and while we can replace the machine. Replacing what it on it can be very difficult or even impossible. 

I have always been proponent of back up and have done so faithfully for years. I even switched over to an Apple® AirPort Time Capsule so that back ups would happen automatically. Then I experienced a break-in a few years back. They took everything electronic in the house…including my fancy wireless router and backup drive. 

Thankfully, my homeowners policy covered my loss of the machines themselves. The one thing that was not covered though was my data on the computers. I was left without an emergency back-up of my back-up. I know this seems excessive but when we live in a digital world with our precious memories and critical data at risk then we should be actively protecting that from disaster. 

I do keep a local back-up but I also keep an online back-up. I still use an Apple@ AirPort Time Capsule to perform a back up at home and it is great, but I also now use an online back up service. For a low monthly price of $5 they continuously back up my computers. It’s always online, it offers unlimited storage, it’s secured with military grade encryption, you can access the data on it from your  iPhone or iPad. It is also recommended and used by the biggest names in the tech world too. 


Ask about our customized system maintenance program! Let us create a service program tailored to your individual or organizational needs for the year. Keep everything up to date and running great with Ease!

Need something from the Apple® Store? We offer complementary pick up and delivery with any service. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

What's New in iOS 8?

What's new in iOS 8 and what's the new iPhone going to be like?

These are questions we frequently get asked! Everyone wants to know what the new phone is going to be like. With the announcement last month about iOS 8 coming this fall, we are seeing a flood of rumors about the next generation iPhone which is expected to arrive at the same time. While you are considering upgrading, also take a minute to weigh what Apple offers with their AppleCare program for your iPhone and iPad. In addition to 2 full years of warranty for failure, defects and includes AppleCare technical support, this program covers accidental damage which is a really good idea to help protect your investment. Plus it costs less than an OtterBox or LifeProof case.


So what can we expect out of the new iPhone and what is going to be so great about iOS 8? We never know exactly what Apple has up its sleeves for the new hardware until the actual release of the product. We can get an idea of what’s to come by looking at the upcoming operating system though. 


Even if you aren’t planning on upgrading immediately, you will still be able to get the majority of the benefit with your existing device. iOS 8 will run on the iPhone 4s, 5, 5s, 5c and of course the new iPhone coming this fall. Ultimately, the way that it impacts you as user the most will be the way the new features benefit you.


Between now and the release of the new operating system, we will be showcasing a different upcoming feature and the benefits it offers. We want you to be ready for the exciting things coming this fall so that you can get the most out of the tools you use every day. 


This week, we are going to look at Family Sharing:


Family Sharing


With Family Sharing, up to six members of a single family can share their iTunes, iBooks and App Store purchases, family photos, a family calendar, location and more. It’s the easy way to share and coordinate with the people closest to you and help bring harmony to your family’s digital life.

Setting Up Family Sharing

To set up Family Sharing, one adult in your household—the family organizer—invites up to five additional family members and agrees to pay for any iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases those family members initiate while part of the Family.You can accept a Family Sharing invitation from any compatible iOS device or Mac where you are signed into iCloud. Or, if the organizer is nearby, they can simply ask you to enter your iCloud Apple ID and password during the setup process. To complete setup, you will also confirm the Apple ID you use for the iTunes, iBooks, and App Stores so you can share your purchases with family members. This can be the same Apple ID you use for iCloud, or a different one.Once you join, the features of Family Sharing are set up on your compatible devices automatically.

Sharing iTunes, iBooks, and App Store Purchases

With Family Sharing, family members get immediate access to each others’ music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps, and can download them to their own devices any time they like. You can also choose to hide individual purchases so that other family members will not be able to view or download them.

Family Purchases and Ask to Buy

When a family member initiates a new purchase, it is billed directly to the family organizer’s account, unless the family member has gift or store credit sufficient to cover the entire amount. Once purchased, the item is added to the initiating family member’s account and shared with the rest of the family group. If Family Sharing is ever disabled, each member will keep the items they chose to purchase—even if they were paid for by the family organizer.To control spending by kids, the organizer can turn on Ask to Buy for any family member who is not an adult to require approval for any purchase or free download requests. When a purchase is initiated, a notification will be sent to the family organizer who can review the item and approve or decline the request right from their own device. It’s a great way to give kids the freedom to make their own choices while still controlling their spending.

Sharing Family Photos

When Family Sharing is set up, a new shared stream called Family is automatically created in the Photos app on all family members’ devices. Everyone in the family can contribute photos, videos, and comments to the stream, and get notified whenever something new is added. 

Family Calendar and Reminders

Family Sharing also sets up a new family calendar that is shared by all family members and appears in the Calendar app on everyone’s devices. Family members can view the calendar, add or modify events, and receive notifications and alerts to help everyone stay coordinated. They will also be able to use the Reminders app to set time- or location-specific reminders that will be delivered to everyone in the Family.

Sharing Your Location

When you join a Family, you will begin sharing your location with each of your other family members automatically. This allows you to use Find My Friends or the Messages app on iOS 8 to help you meet at a specific location, see when a family member is nearby, or just make sure a child is where they are supposed to be.If you need privacy, you can stop sharing your location temporarily by disabling the Share My Location switch in iCloud Settings. Or, stop sharing your location with specific friends or family members permanently by removing them from your location sharing list. 

Apple IDs for Kids

Children under 13 can also participate in Family Sharing. As a parent or legal guardian, the family organizer can provide verified parental consent for a child to have their own Apple ID, and create it on the child’s behalf. Once the account is created, it will be added to the Family automatically.Children enjoy the same features as other family members and, by default, have access to the same music, movies, TV shows, books, and apps. You can limit what content your children have access to on the devices they use via Restrictions on an iOS device or Parental Controls on OS X and iTunes. Ask to Buy is enabled by default for children under 13.