06 Aug

Get More Life From Your iPhone Battery

You’re on the go today – out of the office, out of the house, and attending a business event. Everything is going fine and dandy until you look down at your phone to see your worst nightmare come true. Your iPhone is at 25 percent battery life. Before you panic, know that the answer to your dilemma may just be in the palm of your hand: in the Settings of your phone. So when a battery emergency strikes, try these five tips first before screaming into a pillow.

 

Activate Low Power Mode

 

Perhaps the easiest way to save iPhone battery life, Low Power Mode can be activated with a single tap. When switched on, it automatically adjusts several settings to extend the life of your battery: it reduces the brightness of your screen and the amount of battery power your apps are using, disables the automatic fetching of new email, and it powers off the display more quickly.

To activate Low Power Mode, press Settings > Battery and then tap Low Power Mode so that the green light is on.

 

Lower the screen brightness

 

The brighter your iPhone screen, the more battery it drains. And really, there isn’t much of a need to have an excessively bright screen because in most instances (being outside in the sunshine excluded) you can easily see everything on the screen at a lower brightness level.

To adjust the brightness of your iPhone, there are two simple ways to go about it. First, flick the Control Center tab upward from the bottom of your screen. There you’ll find a brightness adjuster that looks like a vertical bar with a sun icon on it. Simply slide the adjuster up or down to increase or decrease your display’s brightness level.

Alternatively, you can adjust your iPhone’s brightness in Settings > Display & Brightness (it’s called Brightness & Wallpaper in iOS 7). You can also turn on Auto-Brightness to automatically adjust the brightness of your phone by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations. When you turn this setting on, you’ll save energy because your screen will need to use less power in dark places.

 

Switch off Wi-Fi

 

As much as you love using the Wi-Fi on your phone, it is a proven battery life killer. The funny thing is, the degree it drains battery life varies by location. For instance, if you’re at home (where iPhone battery life is less of a problem to begin with), Wi-Fi will use less battery. But when you’re out and about, your phone is often searching for a Wi-Fi signal to connect to, and this drains battery. So if you can hold off on your mobile browsing and email till you get home, your phone will stay powered on quite a bit longer.

 

Switch off cellular data

 

Like Wi-Fi, cellular data can also eat up battery quickly – especially if you’re in an area where there’s no cellular coverage. When this happens, your phone begins to search non-stop for a signal, which is a huge battery drainer. So if you’re short on juice and don’t need to browse the internet, turn off your cellular data function. Doing this can easily provide an extra hour or two of additional battery life.

 

Activate Airplane mode

 

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and this is exactly when you need Airplane mode. If you’re down to 20ish percent battery life and need your phone to last for a few hours longer, Airplane mode may just be your savior. By switching it on, your phone will shut down all wireless activity, including cellular, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Doing this is obviously not ideal, but if you have little battery life and want your phone available in case of emergencies, this is your best option (next to switching it off). Once in Airplane mode, you can individually turn on certain wireless functions, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, while staying in Airplane mode.

To switch on Airplane mode, you can do so from the Control Center screen or by going to Settings and then clicking on Airplane mode.

 

Any other options?

 

If you must have your cake and eat it too, there’s an alternative choice that provides an extra battery bump with the ability to use Wi-Fi, keep your screen bright, and use your iPhone without adjusting any settings. The answer is to buy a power supply, also known as a power bank, which you’ve likely seen for sale at your local Best Buy or on Amazon. These delightful portable chargers are continually shrinking in size, with some even as small as lipstick, so it’s no longer a hassle to carry them around. You can simply slide it into your pocket and plug it in when needed.

 

If you’re looking for more ways to get the most out of your iPhone or are looking to service your Apple technology, feel free to shoot us a message. We also manage Windows devices as well, and we’re happy to help in any way possible. Contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net

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07 Nov

Download iOS 10.1 ASAP

If you want to make sure that your iPhone reliably works the way it should and that all the information in it is secure, you should always pay special attention to updates as soon as they become available. Although you may be hesitant to immediately download the latest iOS 10.1 update, you should get to know more about why you should download this update right away.

 

The latest update for iPhone and iOS users, referred to as the iOS 10.1 update, was launched on October 24, 2016. Its primary purpose is to address a serious security issue with the previous version of iOS. This security vulnerability should be of major concern to any iOS or iPhone user.

 

The security vulnerability addressed by the iOS 10.1 update was originally discovered by Tencent’s Keen Lab, specifically by a researcher named Marco Grassi. This vulnerability left a hole in the iOS programming that would allow a hacker or attacker to seize control of the phone, changing the code and performing commands after the iOS user opens a JPEG file (image file) that has been “maliciously crafted.”

 

Essentially, what this boils down to is that without the iOS 10.1 update, a corrupted image file could allow another person to control your device (iPad or iPhone). Even without downloading the file, this security hole could be taken advantage of by a hacker. If this is not enough reason to download the iOS 10.1 update, it also addresses other security issues and concerns that involve specific apps, the ability to see login password lengths through workaround hacks, and the like. Because of these specific issues and more, the iOS 10.1 update is a must-have for users of iPhones or iPads.

 

If keeping your phone and personal information secure are two of your biggest concerns, the iOS 10.1 update is a no-brainer. The sooner you update your device, the sooner you can feel safer using your iOS devices.

 

Installing security updates may be inconvenient, but they’re a necessity. If you need help managing software updates and keeping your business safe, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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06 May

4 Common El Capitan Problems (and How to Fix Them)

No operating system is perfect. At one point or another, every user is likely to experience a frozen computer or application that just won’t cooperate with their commands. El Capitan users are not immune to this phenomenon. So what are some of the problems Mac lovers encounter with Apple’s latest OS? Here are a few of the most common and the solutions to fix them.

 

Application freeze

 

Worse than a brain freeze from a slushy, application freezes on your OS oftentimes last much longer and leave you frustrated watching the pinwheel of death spin on and on. For those once-PC users who’ve made the transition to Mac, your tried and true solution of pressing Control-Alt-Delete unfortunately doesn’t apply here. Instead, you can try these two options when an app freezes.

Press and hold command > option, then hover over the problem-application on the dock, and hold down the left button on your mouse. Now navigate to Force Quit in the box that appears, and release your finger from the mouse.
If you can’t access the dock, then press and hold command > option, then tap the escape key. A menu with the option to Force Quit any app that’s running will appear. Simply select the app you’d like to quit and click Force Quit.

 

Mac is running slow

 

Almost every Mac user’s system starts to run slow at some point in time. While sometimes you can just be patient and the problem will correct itself on its own, other times the slowness becomes a consistent nuisance at which point it’s time to look closer at the issue. Usually the culprit has to do with the memory, which means you should check which applications or processes are using most of it. This is where the Activity Monitor comes in handy.

To find the Activity Monitor click on Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor. Alternatively you can simply search for it with the Spotlight tool.

Once you’ve opened Activity Monitor, click on Memory. To see which applications are eating most of it, make sure the arrow next to Memory is pointed downward. Doing this will display apps in order from highest memory consumers at the top to lowest at the bottom. Now that you can easily see the biggest memory hogs, consider closing these apps.

 

Printing problems

 

No one likes waiting on an unresponsive printer. So if your printer is slow to respond or completely unresponsive, go to System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and select Print. Then press and hold ctrl, click on the problem printer and then Reset printing system. After you’ve done this, restart your Mac and Printer.

 

Slow Spotlight functionality

 

As handy as Spotlight is, some users have experienced a slowdown in the application after updating to El Capitan. One way to resolve this issue is to simply be patient, as usual the app just needs some time to do its job. However, if you’re in a rush or the slowdown is a persistent problem, you can take matters into your own hands. Click System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results, and then narrow down the areas Spotlight searches by unchecking them. For example, if there’s no need for Spotlight to check the thousands of images stored on your hard drive, simply uncheck Images.

 

These four tips should help you resolve some common El Capitan issues that are known to give users headaches. If you’d like to learn more about optimizing your Mac OS or any of your other Apple products, don’t hesitate to get in touch by contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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11 Dec

Is the iPad Pro Worth the Money?

Whether you’re considering a new tablet as a gift for a loved one or are interested in decking out your offices with a couple dozen of them, the iPad Pro is worth your consideration. With the ability to use a keyboard as well other new features, this iPad takes a quantum jump ahead of its predecessors. Here are four of its best features that are worth a look.

 

Stunning display

 

The iPad Pro’s display makes images look pretty, one of the reasons Apple is touting it as the go-to device for graphic work. It offers a 2732 x 2048 resolution, with 264 pixels per inch – more than either the 13- or 15-inch Macbook Pro. This is certainly one of the best features of the iPad Pro and a technological achievement for Apple.

 

Better battery

 

When it comes to battery life, the iPad Pro ranks fairly high compared to other tablets. While many tablets offer eight hours of battery life on a charge, the iPad Pro chimes in at a max of 10 hours. The reason for this slightly longer life has a lot to do with the display. The screen operates at 60Hz when there is animation running; however, when you’re performing other tasks, like scrolling through web pages or reading an eBook, the screen reduces the amount of energy it consumes and instead runs at 30Hz. Because of this, 10 hours of battery life is a genuine possibility. Of course, though, if you end up watching videos on it all day then it certainly won’t last as long.

 

Sensitive stylus

 

There’s no arguing – at $99, the Apple Pencil is expensive. Price aside, though, it is a really nice tool that is capable of creating high-quality images. Two areas in which it excels are pressure sensitivity and tilt detection, both of which allow you to add shading like you would with a real pencil. It’s also worth noting that the stylus does not use Bluetooth connectivity. Instead, the iPad Pro can tell when the stylus is close to the display and scans for “tip signal”. All this adds up to is a drawing experience that is as close to using a real pencil and paper as you can get.

 

The new Keyboard

 

The fact that the iPad finally has a keyboard brings this device into a whole new realm of tablet – one that can arguably become a laptop replacement. And while not perfect, it performs just as well as a regular keyboard, and is also quite comfortable to the touch, covered in a woven fabric that is easy to clean. As for drawbacks, it can only be propped up at one angle, which can make it uncomfortable to work with when you don’t have a desk or table to set it on. And like the stylus, the keyboard does not come cheap; it’s priced at a whopping $169.

 

Is this a laptop replacement?

 

Yes, it could be. However, don’t mistake the iPad Pro as capable of doing EVERYTHING your Macbook Pro can. Because it runs on iOS 9, you will not be able to use all the same applications you would on your Macbook, and you will have no file access. Additionally, the iPad Pro only includes two ports – a Lightning connector and a headphone jack. So while you could potentially use the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, you will be limited in terms of functionality if you choose to do so.

 

If you are ready to deck out your offices with some brand new IT, call EIT Networks today to learn how we can help you. You can reach us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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27 Nov

Samsung Pay Expands Payment Options

As mobile payments move ever closer to becoming the norm for settling bills and undertaking financial transactions, Google Wallet and Apple Pay continue to be the services that hog the limelight. While it may appear on the surface that these are the only popular options, Samsung Pay is also getting in on a slice of the NFC-technology action. The Korea-headquartered technology giant has taken another step forward by announcing its integration of support for eight more credit and debit card issuers within Samsung Pay.

 

Samsung Pay, which the company claims to be the most accepted mobile payment system around, already supports payment made through three of the major and most popular networks in the United States and elsewhere: Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. The latest development will be of most benefit to customers in the US, or those with accounts at these US-based financial institutions but who themselves are based overseas.

 

Among the newly supported payment methods are Visa cards issued through the American bank Chase and through the Navy Federal Credit Union, as well as MasterCard credit and debit cards held against accounts with the following US institutions:
 
•Citizens Equity First Credit Union
•Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
•Security Service Federal Credit Union
•State Employees’ Credit Union
•SunTrust
•Virginia Credit Union

 

Other major banking institutions already supported for transactions processed through Samsung pay include Bank of America, Citibank, U.S. Bank, and Synchrony Financial. The growth of Samsung Pay and the widening choice of options for making use of the service are signs of the increased importance of the mobile payments sector – something to which smart businesses are paying close attention, in order to be able to identify how to best exploit the growth opportunities this presents.

 

Find out how you can make mobile payments work for your business – give us a call at 1-866-BIT-WISE or send us an email at sales@eitnetworks.net.

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16 Nov

Computer Buying Guide

Buying a computer is an important decision, whether doing so for yourself or for a loved one this holiday season. Rushing out and getting the first thing you see may have huge ramifications later on. You want something that is just right and will last for years to come. You want something that seems like it was designed with you in mind. With that said, here are some considerations to make when you are in the market for a new computer.

 

Desktop or Laptop?

 

This depends on your working style and environment. The rule is quite simple: if you rarely work out of the office, get a desktop PC. If you need to work at home, on the go, or at client meetings, then go for a laptop. It’s worth noting that desktops are generally cheaper than laptops at similar specifications, have a longer usage life, and make for easier changing or upgrading of components. Laptops, on the other hand, are very portable due to their compact size, they consume less energy, and they offer a more flexible user experience.

 

Processor

 

If you want a computer that loads programs in a flash, completes tasks almost instantly, and runs smoothly at all times, then we recommend you invest in the strongest processors available. The performance of a processor is determined by its number of cores and speed, so the bigger the number, the better. Processors with two to four cores will often suffice for most users. However, if your tasks involve rendering high-definition images, animations, graphics, and analysis, then for optimum results it makes sense to get a processor with more than four cores.

 

RAM

 

Random Access Memory (RAM) allows your computer to perform multiple tasks at once without a hitch. Just like processors, the amount of RAM your computer has will determine how fast it will run when you work on several programs simultaneously. Nowadays, standard computers come with 1-2GB of RAM. However, we advise you to get at least 4GB, or even 8GB, of RAM so that you can navigate smoothly between tasks such as email browsing, Internet surfing, and working on word processing documents and spreadsheets.

 

Hard Drive

 

The bigger the hard drive, the more space you have to store files. If you plan on using your computer with no peripherals, you’ll want to choose a computer that offers the biggest hard drive. But remember that you can always purchase an external hard drive to transfer or store files if your current hard drive is running out of space. Another thing to consider in a hard drive is its spin speed. Modern computers usually have 5400rpm or 7200rpm drives, the latter being more efficient. The faster your hard drive disk is spinning, the quicker data can be transferred to and from it.

 

Operating Systems

 

Picking an operating system is a big decision when it comes to choosing a new computer. You’ll probably want to stick with an operating system you’re already familiar with, since it can take some time to adapt yourself to a new OS. Here are some of the popular options available on the market:
•Windows
•Mac
•Linux
•Ubuntu

Most people will just go for either Windows or Mac OS, because the complexity of Linux and Ubuntu mean they are not popular among everyday users.

 

Custom Build

 

If you are in the market for a work PC, you will probably look for a standard, vanilla, run-of-the-mill PC from Dell or HP. These devices function well for daily business activities. However, if you want something with a little more pizazz and power for entertainment purposes, consider ordering a custom-built PC or building one yourself. There are many considerations to be made, but if you want something on which to play games or run any type of power-hungry 3-D program, buy or build a computer with a powerful video card in it. This rules out Apple products, of course, as their devices come “as-is,” but the amount of customization for a PC is staggering. The benefit of a custom PC is that you can set a budget and adjust your purchase accordingly. Having a PC that is tailor-made for you is a great feeling, and if you build it yourself, you will earn a sense of accomplishment.

 

Want more hardware tips and tricks? Get in touch with our technology experts today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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06 Nov

Office 2016 Has Arrived for Mac

Mac users who have been using Office 2011 now have a reason to smile: Microsoft finally released the latest Office 2016 for Mac in September. Office 2016 is packed with powerful new features for Microsoft’s core applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, all of which are designed to run and perform seamlessly on the Mac platform. Here’s what you need to know about Microsoft’s new Office release, and how it can benefit your business.

 

So what’s new?

 

The obvious change in Office 2016 for Mac is the user interface. You’ll experience a cleaner and more modern design that looks consistent across all core applications. The toolbars and icons have been redesigned with a minimalistic approach, resulting in less clutter and making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Looks are not the only improvement. Office 2016 for Mac provides huge improvements to the performance of Microsoft’s well-known applications.

 

Word 2016

 

Apart from the interface changes, in Word 2016 multiple Mac users can now work simultaneously on the same document. When a user working on a file saves any changes, a notification that highlights the changes is sent to other users. This new feature is similar to that of Google Docs, where users can collaborate by sharing and editing files online. Word 2016 includes a style pane on the right-hand side of the screen. When selected, you can apply pre-set styles to texts and paragraphs. What’s more, Word 2016 also adds a nifty new navigation pane, allowing you to navigate through files based on the changes you’ve made, including comments, formatting, deletion, and more.

 

PowerPoint 2016

 

The most prominent change made to PowerPoint 2016 is the redesigned ribbon. Many ribbons have been removed, renamed, and given new icons. The new PowerPoint also has the very same collaboration features as Word, meaning you and your colleagues can edit presentations simultaneously. In addition, Microsoft has added 24 all-new themes to PowerPoint, and these aren’t just normal themes – with just one click, you can alternate between different color palettes, fonts, and background styles for your current theme. These new features are identical to the ones in PowerPoint for Windows, but they have more functionality and are much easier to use.

 

Excel 2016

 

As soon as you launch Excel 2016, you’ll be greeted by its modern new appearance. One addition is a slicer tool that greatly increases the performance of pivot tables. With slicers, you can create buttons that simplify data filtering in a pivot table report without the need to use drop-down lists. Another new feature worth mentioning is the inclusion of the Analysis Toolpak extension. This add-on is especially useful if you want to generate complex statistical and engineering data – the Analysis Toolpak offers a number of advanced formulas that were absent in the former Excel for Mac 2011.

 

Outlook 2016

 

The previous Outlook for Mac 2011 proved to be flawed in many areas. And if you find that Apple Mail is not living up to your expectations, Outlook 2016 will be a great alternative to meet your email needs. As with other Office 2016 applications, the new Outlook has gotten a visual revamp. Some notable new features include improved usability, such as a blue vertical bar spanning across unread messages, faster email search and filtering, and a more powerful database and mail server that enables you to send and receive messages much more quickly.

 

Want to learn more about Office 2016 for Mac, and how you can implement it into your business? Give us a call today at 1-866-BIT-WISE; we’re sure we can help.

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14 Aug

Microsoft Office is Now Mobile!

Tablets with Windows 10 installed received a boost recently with the unveiling of the new Office Mobile applications. The mobile versions of the iconic Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote applications are specifically designed for use on tablets. The “touch-first” interface allows users to easily edit documents while on the go. The best news of all is the fact that Office Mobile apps are free for users of Windows 10.

 

One of the biggest complaints about trying to edit a Microsoft Office file from a tablet is usability, or lack thereof. That has all changed, at least for Windows 10 users, with Microsoft’s recent release of Office Mobile apps. The tablet-friendly versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote have been built from the ground up to improve touch functionality.

 

Even if you don’t have Windows 10, you still might be intrigued about the potential of having Office apps that are touch-friendly. Here are some of the new features you can enjoy when using Office Mobile apps.
 

Word

 

Microsoft Word Mobile has all the tools and features of the PC version including more nuanced tasks like being able to track changes and add footnotes. The Read mode, a mobile exclusive, improves the way documents appear by making them flow better on the smaller screens of a tablet while also letting you zoom in and out with a simple tap of the screen.
 

Excel

 

Recommended Charts is the prominent feature of the Excel Mobile app. It allows you to quickly show off your data using a stylish chart or graph with only a few taps. You will also find that reordering columns, adding formulae, changing chart types, and the majority of Excel’s other core functions are easier than ever before.
 

PowerPoint

 

Of course Office wouldn’t be Office without PowerPoint. The mobile version of the app allows you to edit slides with new touch gestures. This makes it easy to insert and edit pictures, tables, shapes, and SmartArt. But the real star here, and of the entire Office Mobile setup, is the Presenter View. This mode gives you full control over what your audience sees on the big screen during a presentation while still letting you view your speaker notes on the tablet.
 

OneNote

 

Windows 10 comes installed with OneNote, so you’re probably already using it. Tablet users will notice that changes made by anyone working in the notebook are automatically saved and synchronized for everyone to see.

The release of Office Mobile apps is just one of three big launches to come from Microsoft in 2015. Both Microsoft Office 2016 and Office Mobile for phones are slated for release this fall. Yet, while these tablet applications represent marked improvements for Windows 10 tablet users, they are probably not quite enough to warrant the switch from other operating systems just yet. In fact, even if you’re in love with the idea of having user-friendly, mobile versions of Office, you might want to hang on in there – it’s likely Microsoft will release them for iOS and Android in the near future, too.

 

Want to know what hardware and software is best for your company? Want to increase productivity in your office? Get in touch with us and we’ll show you how to do it. You can reach us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net

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