Animoji Performs "Bohemian Rhapsody"

The new iPhone X packs a serious punch when it comes to technology!! And with all great technology comes fun, right? If you can't have fun with tech, then you're doing something wrong (is it ok if I coin that phrase?).

When Apple introduced Animoji (animated emoji) on Stage at WWDC earlier this year, I immediately knew that I had to use this technology to create a music video for Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". That song screams for Anomoji to perform in their place, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "Bohemian Rhapsody", performed by Animoji!

How did I make it? It required a little bit of creativity, Apple's new iPhone X and Final Cut Pro.

Posted on November 9, 2017 and filed under Design, How To, iPhone, Opinion.

Getting Creative with "Do Not Disturb While Driving"

When Apple came out with iOS 11, I was so excited for the β€œDo Not Disturb While Driving” feature. I was hoping this would help me never be distracted by my phone while on the road again! Unfortunately, I quickly realized that my phone acts as my GPS. I need my Maps App (whether you use Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps), to be active on my phone! And that does not happen when β€œDo Not Disturb While Driving” is enabled.

So, if you prefer not to use this feature while driving, what else can you use it for? We will discuss exactly that in this post.

Posted on October 6, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPhone.

The Importance of Staying Current with Software

My father, a practicing pediatrician, constantly advises patients to eat healthier foods. In response, they complain of how expensive eating healthy is. My father always replies, β€œThink how expensive your doctor and hospital bills will be if you don’t take care of your body. Plus, you will feel a lot better!”

In much the same way, staying current on our software ensures the best, fastest working systems possible. Effective technology allows businesses to increase profitability and everyday users to simplify their lives. As we keep our software up-to-date, we will need to consider (1) why software updates are vitally important, (2) how often we should update our devices, and (3) how to update our systems.

Posted on September 29, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Opinion.

macOS High Sierra is NOW AVAILABLE!

Apple today announced macOS High Sierra, the latest release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, is now available as a free update.

With macOS High Sierra, Mac users gain powerful new core storage, video and graphics technologies. A new file system ensures more efficient and reliable storage, and support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) brings stunning 4K video at lower file sizes. Metal 2 powers virtual reality content creation, faster performance and more. The Core ML developer framework makes it easy to create apps with powerful machine learning that predict, learn and become more intelligent. macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy everyday, including Photos and Safari.

Posted on September 25, 2017 and filed under Mac.

My Top 5 Favorite Features of iOS 11

At precisely 10 AM in Cupertino, CA, iOS 11 became available for iPhone and iPad. As a wannabe-technical-nerd, I wanted to be one of the first to download it. By the time dinner came around, I installed the update, tested many features, and was ready to tell my wife about all the awesome updates. Here are 5 of my favorites.

Posted on September 22, 2017 and filed under How To, iOS, iPad, iPhone, Opinion.

iOS 11 is NOW AVAILABLE!

Starting today, iPhone and iPad customers around the world will be able to update their devices to iOS 11, a major update to the world’s most advanced mobile operating system and the biggest software release ever for iPad. iOS 11 brings augmented reality to hundreds of millions of iOS devices and new professional capabilities improve images in Photos and Camera. Siri is more natural and useful and a redesigned App Store makes it easier to discover apps and games.

Posted on September 19, 2017 and filed under Design, iOS, iPad, iPhone.

Apple's Fall 2017 Media Event

Apple will be holding their Fall 2017 media event today, September 12, 2017 and it's a big deal!! It's a big deal for two reasons... 1) they are rumored to announce their latest iPhone... and it's no ordinary iPhone release, this is their 10th anniversary iPhone! 2) they will be presenting live, for the very first time, from the Steve Jobs Theater at their new Apple Park campus. Either way, this is an announcement not to miss.

We will be updating this post live as the event is in progress, so keep your fingers on Command+R (refresh)!!

Posted on September 12, 2017 .

Protecting Your Online Privacy and Identity

Taking a systematic approach to online safety and protection is only half the battle! To be truly safe and protected online takes effort and discipline on our part. Fortunately, it requires very little time and virtually no effort at all. In most cases, it requires nothing more than a heightened sense of awareness and a few simple tweaks to your online routine. Here are a few suggestions that will go a long way to keeping you (and your data) safe online.

Posted on September 11, 2017 and filed under Opinion.

WWDC 2017 Keynote

Apple's World Wide Developer Conference is this week in San Jose, CA, and that means the WWDC Keynote address took place this morning! Tim Cook and many of his colleagues took the stage at 10:00a Pacific to kick off this year's developer conference.. Below is a list of Apple announcements and updates.

Posted on June 5, 2017 .

Help! Windows Server 2012 R2 is Stuck on "Updating Your System"

I know exactly what you're thinking... "Has Kevin gone mad? Why is he talking about Windows, and Windows Server at that?" Well, the truth is, I use and support Windows on a daily basis, even Windows Server. Today's post may not be for everyone, and that's completely ok. Truth be told, it's primarily for me. I love it when someone else gets something out of my posts, but in some cases, the only person that may get something out of a post is me. Documenting processes and resolutions is a key part of my business, and that can sometimes leak out to the public.

Today's post is in response to a problem I encountered last week. I had several Windows Server 2012 R2 servers to update. When I checked for updates, there were over 200 available updates, nearly all of which were "critical". They obviously needed to be applied, so I began the process. At 99% completion, I was told that one of the updates had failed (impossible to know which one), and all pending updates were going to be undone. After about an hour of "undoing changes", the servers restarted. That's when things went from bad to really bad. The following screen appeared, and stayed there, even after hours of waiting, with no progress being made:

Posted on April 10, 2017 and filed under How To.

Coverage: Apple Event - October 27, 2016

Apple held their October Special event today, October 27, 2016 at their Cupertino campus Town Hall. The event was widely rumored to unveil their latest line-up of MacBook Pro notebooks. Other announcements made today include an all-new app for Apple TV.

Introduction & Welcome

  • Tim Cook takes the stage
  • "Today, we are launching a new accessibility website"
  • A few updates
    • iPhone 7 launch and "people are loving it"
    • iOS 10 is out and "it's official... outstanding! 5/5". 60% of iPhone users are on iOS 10
    • iOS 10.1 is now available as a free update with portrait mode
    • ApplePay now available in Japan
    • Updated Apple Watch with watchOS 3 with positive reviews

Apple TV

  • "We want your Apple TV experience to be as great as it is with all your other Apple devices"
  • 8,000+ apps currently available for tvOS with more coming each day
  • Minecraft coming later this year to Apple TV
  • Ryan Troy (Twitter) takes the stage for a Twitter-on-Apple TV demo
  • Apple introduces new Unified TV Experience via a new app called "TV"
  • New TV app will completely change how we watch TV on our Apple TV and iOS devices
  • TV app syncs your watching across all tvOS and iOS devices
  • TV app will be available for free in December (starting in the US)

MacBook Pro

  • "The Mac is more than a product to us. It's a testament to everything that we do and are"
  • macOS Sierra brought to us iCloud Drive (with desktop and document syncing), universal clipboard, ApplePay via web browser, Siri and many more!
  • This week is the 25th anniversary of the first Apple notebook
  • "Today, we are redefining what a notebook could do"
  • Phil Schiller takes the stage
  • Available in a 13" and 15" size, in Silver and Space Gray colors
  • 13" is 14.9mm thin (17% thinner than previous generation 13" MacBook Pro)
  • 13" weighs 3 Lbs, .5 Lbs less than the previous generation
  • 15" is 15.5mm thin (15% thinner than previous generation 15" MacBook Pro)
  • 15" weighs 4 Lbs, .5 Lbs less than the previous generation
  • Both include a new ForceTouch trackpad which is 2x larger
  • New butterfly-switch keyboard
  • All-new multi-touch Retina display strip at top of keyboard called "Touch Bar"
  • Touch Bar adapts to the application that you currently have open
  • Touch Bar supports up to 10 simultaneous inputs
  • Touch ID sensor located to the right of Touch Bar, supported by a new T1 chip (secure enclave)
  • Craig Federighi takes the stage to demo new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
  • Customizing your Tuoch Bar is simple and intuitive
  • Touch ID makes Fast User Switching very quick and painless
  • New display: 67% brighter, 67% better contrast ratio... all while consuming less power
  • Every 15" MacBook Pro includes Intel Core i7 chip
  • Faster graphics with Radeon Pro with 4 GB VRAM (2.3x faster than previous generation)
  • Superfast SSD features 3.1 GB/s transfer speeds
  • All-new thermal architecture to support new hardware
  • New speakers are smaller, but feature louder volumes and twice the dynamic range
  • 13" MacBook Pro includes Intel Core i5 or i7 chip
  • Both models include 4 x Thunderbolt 3 ports (4 0Gb/s bandwidth)
  • Because Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C interface, any port could be the charging port, display port, etc
  • Apple + LG announce new LG UltraFine 5K display using Thunderbolt 3
  • Susan Prescott takes the stage to demo Final Cut Pro on the new MacBook Pro
  • Bradee Evans takes the stake to demo PhotoShop on the new MacBook Pro
  • Karim Morsy takes the stage to demo Djay Pro on the new MacBook Pro
  • New MacBook Pro features a 10-hour battery
  • New MacBook Pro is 6.8 million times faster than the 25-year-old original PowerBook 170
  • Base 13" MacBook Pro withOUT Touch Bar starts at $1,499
  • Base 13" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $1,799
  • Base 15" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $2,399
  • New MacBook Pro is available TODAY for order, ships in November
  • MacBook Air line is officially dead
  • Tim Cook returns to the stage to conclude the special event
Posted on October 27, 2016 .

Unlock Your Mac with Your Apple Watch

When Apple announced macOS Sierra and showed us all the new features that would be included, there was one feature that stood out immediately as one that I would use many times every single day... unlocking my Mac with my Apple Watch! To say that I love this feature is an understatement.

If you read my post on improving security (click here), then you know that longer passwords are better (i.e.: more secure) than shorter passwords. The expected side effect... it's less convenient and takes longer to log in to your Mac. This tip will save you a ton of time (not to mention digit fatigue)! In this post, I will explain how it works and walk you through the steps you'll need to go through to make it work for you.

Posted on October 3, 2016 and filed under How To, Mac, Watch.

10 Tips for Safer Online Computing

Technology is wonderfully amazing!! Sit back and think about it for just 10 seconds... can you imagine working, playing and relaxing without your laptop, iPhone, iPad, etc? When is the last time you checked your email, Instagrammed (that's a verb, right?) or surfed the web? You're reading this so I know the answer already. We're all connected all the time.

Being connected has it's obvious benefits, but it also introduces a significant amount of risk. Malware, spyware, viruses, hackers... these are all things that can ruin an otherwise great day. But they don't have to, if we're doing the right things! To help keep you safe, I created a list of 10 simple things that everyone can (and should) be doing. There is no rocket science involved here. Mostly common sense infused with many years of my own experiences.

Posted on September 30, 2016 and filed under How To, Opinion, Mac, iPhone, iPad.

Using Custom Notification for VIPs iOS

This post comes from a recent reader question: "When I receive an email from a specific person, I want to be notified in a way that it looks and sounds different than any other email. How do I do this?!"

With phone calls and text messages, we can edit a contact entry in iOS so that when that person calls or texts, the ringtone or sound differs from that of everyone else. This is a great feature because it allows you to determine who is texting or calling without looking at your phone. Wouldn't it be great if we could apply that same principal to incoming email? While we can't set a specific sound for each individual when we receive email from them, we can use a relatively new feature in iOS called VIP to distinguish VIPs from everyone else. As long as that VIP list is short, it will do exactly what you're looking for. Here's how it works.

Posted on September 29, 2016 and filed under iOS, How To, iPhone.

Coverage: Apple Event - September 7, 2016

Today is the day! Apple has scheduled to hold this year's Fall event today, September 07, 2016 at the famous Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, located in San Francisco, CA. The BGCA has been home to some of Apple's most significant product announcements including the iPhone 6s in 2015 and the Apple II in 1977. This event is expected to shed some light on some of their flagship products such as iPhone, MacBook, iOS, macOS and tvOS.

Posted on September 7, 2016 .