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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11 Nov

Laptop vs Desktop: Which to Choose for Your Business

Running a small business takes an intelligent, resourceful person. From day one you must make important decisions in all areas of business, from the marketing strategy chosen for a product to the brand of printer you will use to print out flyers. One of the biggest decisions you will make in the early stages of a business involves your SMB’s computer hardware, particularly whether to invest in a desktop computer or a laptop. Read on to find out how to make this decision for your company.

 

Portability

 

Modern desktop computers aren’t nearly as immobile as they used to be. In many cases the screen is thin and light, and all-in-one desktops are easy to unplug, move and plug in on the road. But there are still places the desktop cannot go. Laptops allow you to go anywhere, even places without electricity. But this ability to take your work anywhere can be counterproductive by creating more stress on employees who think they must work all the time.

 

Memory/Speed

 

Desktop computers often have more memory than laptops, and they’re faster due to better processors. This is now changing as a result of advancing technology, but until the cost of high-powered laptops becomes affordable to the general public, the desktop computer is going to provide businesses with more speed. If your employees’ work is limited to word processing and emailing, laptops should be enough. However, anything more will probably require a desktop machine.

 

Security

 

An SMB’s computer hardware needs to be secure to ensure that private company information doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. On a desktop computer, the hardware is easier to defend against malware and adware. It’s also more physically secure because the desktop is often kept in one location and not easy to snatch. If you do choose the laptop route, make sure to have strict policies on how to protect machines that leave the office.

 

Price

 

Traditionally, the laptop has been cheaper and available to more people. This is true particularly for smaller notebook-style laptops. But desktop computers are becoming more affordable as more people have access to them through local channels. With a capable IT service provider, cost probably won’t be a deciding factor between the two options.

 

Quality

 

Although laptop computers provide the convenience of portability, over time they’re prone to problems with the battery and charging cord. They are also easily damaged. By contrast, desktops are generally more sturdy. But when they do experience a problem, it often leads to expensive repairs.

 

Final Recommendation

 

The desktop versus laptop debate is an old one, with supporters on both sides touting the advantages of their choice to all who will listen. A growing company really needs a combination of both types of computers. However, a desktop computer will be generally more reliable for the fledgling company owner to start with. Laptops should be added as budget permits to provide that extra portability and convenience.

 

If you have questions regarding the best choice for your company, give us a call at 1-866-BIT-WISE, or email sales@eitnetworks.net. We’ll be happy to provide you the assistance you need to improve your business.

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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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24 May

The Exciting Features of Android 6.0

Android Marshmallow has been one of the most anticipated software updates for Android users. Dubbed by Google as “the sweetest, smartest Android version yet”, it was first unveiled at the company’s I/O conference under the codename Android M. So what features do you look forward to when your tablet finally updates to Android 6.0 version? Read on.

 

Now on Tap

 

Google’s digital personal assistant is being made more efficient in giving you quick answers and in figuring out what you may want to do next. Now On Tap can be activated by pressing on your tab’s home button, which works for both onscreen and the physical button. A short animation or a card will appear that will give you quick information based on the context of what is currently on your screen. For example, you are chatting with a client regarding a new restaurant, Now on Tap can give you directions to the restaurant, its contact information or Yelp review. This deep-linking technology also includes shortcuts to apps on your tablet and is also applicable to voice searches. It’s designed in a way that it appears when you need it and disappears so you can resume what you were previously doing.

 

Android Pay

 

With the increasing popularity of mobile payment, Google is trying again after the dismal performance of the Google Wallet. The latter is being changed for peer-to-peer payments only, while Google Pay allows you to pay for both in-store and in-app purchases. Google’s newest mobile payment system lets you purchase goods from 700,000 participating stores by using your tab’s NFC technology. Also, checking out in mobile shopping apps is a walk in the park using Android Pay.

 

Doze

 

Don’t you just hate it when after a few hours of taking the tablet off the charger, you’re left with just 2% battery life? With the Doze mode in Android 6.0, it promises to make your tablet last even longer. This new power-saving feature uses a lot less power than the current Standby mode. In Doze mode, your tablet hibernates when you put it down for a lengthy period. That means your tab will not be disturbed by power hogging apps, but will still be receiving incoming messages, phone calls and important alarms.

 

Redesigned App Drawer

 

Marshmallow comes with a new design for the app drawer – that part in your tablet where all your installed apps are located. A search bar at the top makes it even easier to find an app. Google also remembers your app-opening frequency or periods and can make suggestions on what apps you might want to use. Instead of scrolling left and right, the app drawer now scrolls up or down which is reminiscent of older Android versions.

 

Android for Work

 

This may not be a very appealing addition to many but for those who bring their tablet as a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) device at work, this is definitely sexy. Android Marshmallow improves the way it handles security, notifications, VPNs, access and storage. So much so that one device can be used for both home and work purposes.

 

Fingerprint API

 

This update may not be all that apparent, but now your Android tab comes with support for a fingerprint reader. This allows you to unlock your tab and its apps, and also to easily verify payments.

 

App Permissions

 

Now you can have greater control over the security and privacy of your tablet by approving permission requests on a need-to-use basis. Previously, these apps required carte blanche permission to look at parts of your tablet you actually didn’t want them to. With Android Marshmallow, WhatsApp may not ask for permission to access your photos until you try to take and send one. However, keep in mind that some apps may not function optimally if you restrict it to resources that it actually needs.

 

Not sure how to proceed when it comes to app permissions? Having problems in updating your tablet’s software? Or are you finding it difficult to integrate your BYOD device with technology at work? Get in touch with one of our experts to assist with any of your technology issues. Contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net

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11 Mar

How to Securely Transition to Office 365

It’s easy to see why Office 365 is an attractive solution for small and medium-sized businesses already familiar with the Office interface. More and more companies are making the move to the cloud, but many have yet to complete their transition and still rely at least in part on on-site SharePoint systems. When you’re ready to migrate, the move from SharePoint to Office 365 presents numerous security challenges to prepare for – not least because breaches are far more likely to be caused by localized issues than insufficient protection on Microsoft’s part. Here’s what you need to do to ensure you’ve got security covered when you make the leap to migrating from SharePoint to Office 365.

 

Identify your company’s sensitive data…

 

It’s so easy to create sites within SharePoint that businesses often have far more than they realize, covering just about every aspect of their operations. And it’s natural, of course, for at least some of the files housed within those sites to contain sensitive commercial or personal data. The key is ensuring that sensitive information is adequately identified and protected. Do this by conducting a security audit before you undertake your migration.

Your audit should identify the types of data stored in the various parts of your SharePoint network, including which specific information needs extra safeguarding. Be sure to consider everything from trade secrets and contract details to the personal information of your clients.

 

…and then restrict access to it

 

Once you’ve worked out where your most precious data lies, you can check who currently has access to it and whether their access is appropriate. After all, it’s not necessary for everyone to be able to get at all the data your company owns; it’s far better to operate on a need-to-know basis, with a reasonable level of flexibility.

Ensure that each of your employees has access only to the data that’s necessary for them to perform their duties. When you make the switch to Office 365, you’ll find that it allows you to conveniently set these different levels of permissions, including for external partners with whom you collaborate.

 

Trust nobody and suspect everybody

 

We say that lightheartedly, of course – it would be counterproductive to become so security-paranoid as to suspect everyone is attempting foul play with your company’s data. Nonetheless, it’s wise to consider everyone in your organization when it comes to auditing data access permissions – and that includes system administrators who might be assumed to have master access to every element of your network infrastructure.

A rogue administrator is the stuff of nightmares, since their elevated position gives them much greater leeway to siphon off valuable data without being noticed – or even to allow others to conduct questionable business and bypass the usual built-in security precautions. Overcoming the danger of an all-too-powerful administrator admittedly becomes easier if you have more than one on staff, but even in smaller businesses you can mediate some of the risk by regularly checking on your administrator’s usage and ensuring that their top-level system permissions remain justifiable.

 

Use machine learning to foresee security breaches

 

Every action performed by your staff within Office 365 is automatically logged, and with relative ease you can pull reports that allow you to analyze these. But the sheer number of events taking place within Office 365 in the course of your business’s normal operations means that even attempting to identify questionable behavior will be akin to the proverbial needle and haystack. That’s not to say it’s unwise to be on the lookout for anomalies in normal usage – the export of unexplainably large volumes of data, for instance, could suggest that a member of your team is leaking intelligence to a competitor, or that they’re about to jump ship and take your trade secrets with them.

Thankfully, it’s possible to leverage the developing power of machine learning to identify potential breaches before they happen – without the need to wade through unmanageable swathes of perfectly normal data. Graph API is incorporated into Office 365, and allows for the integration of machine learning tools into your security environment to achieve just that. The same tools can also help you avoid being caught out by hackers, by identifying system login attempts from locations that are out of the ordinary; you should bolster this protection by religiously removing inactive accounts and those of departing employees.

 

By covering these essential security considerations when it comes to your migration, you’ll be one step closer to ensuring you strike the right balance between the powerful collaborative features of Office 365 and the robust safeguards your business’s integrity demands. To find out more about how we can help your Office 365 migration run smoothly, or what other business benefits you can derive from cloud-powered technologies, just give us a call at 1-866-BIT-WISE or email sales@eitnetworks.net.

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08 Feb

This Android App is a Resource Hog

Most of us know that apps can drain battery and slow down your phone. But what if there was a single app that was eating 20% of your battery and potentially slowing its speed by 15%. For Android phone users, this looks to be the case. And, unfortunately for all those social media lovers out there, the app responsible goes by the name of Facebook.

 

The flaw with the Facebook app was first reported by a tech writer, Russell Holly, from androidcentral.com. Here’s what he had to say about it…

 

“Recently I noticed some performance issues on multiple phones, and had started paying closer attention to what exactly was causing these problems. When Facebook turned out to be one of the more egregious resource hogs, I uninstalled it to see how things improved…Not only did my performance issues go away entirely, but I discovered I didn’t actually lose any of the Facebook features I cared about by uninstalling the app.”

 

Russell Holly, however, is not the only one who’s noticed a difference in Android performance after uninstalling Facebook. Since his finding, there have been numerous reports from tech writers and Android users across the globe. Furthermore, some users have also noticed a 15% boost in speed once they uninstalled Facebook and the Messenger app.

 

Alternative methods to get your Facebook fill

 

As one of the Android’s most popular apps, whether or not to install or uninstall Facebook can be a tough decision. However, the battery benefits are so big that it’s worth exploring alternate methods to get your Facebook fill. One is to simply uninstall Facebook and keep the Messenger app. This will not give you the full 20/15% boost, but will provide a noticeable difference in both speed and battery life. Alternatively, you can also access Facebook via Google Chrome or your other Internet browser. By doing this, you can still use most of the same Facebook features (with the exceptions of a few such as location-based functionality and Instant Articles, among others) and still get the max boost to your battery and speed.

 

As for Facebook, this isn’t the first time the app has been accused of slowing down a phone. Last October, the app was found to drastically drain the iPhone’s battery as well. Facebook promised to work on correcting that issue, and have a similar response to this, “We have heard reports of some people experiencing speed issues stemming from our Android app…We are looking into this and will keep [users] posted. We are committed to continuing to improve these issues.”

 

So while you’re pondering whether or not to uninstall Facebook on your phone, feel free to shoot us any of your IT-related concerns. Call 1-866-BIT-WISE or email 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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