21 Oct

How to increase battery life In iOS7

In mid-September Apple launched the newest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 7. This update was pushed to almost all newer iPads and iPhones and brought with it some pretty big changes. Now that it has been out for a while, there are reports that users are seeing reduced battery life, with some devices not even lasting a day.

If you have noticed that the recent update to iOS 7 has caused a drop in how long your iPad’s battery lasts, here are five things you can try to improve the time between charges.

Turn off AirDrop
AirDrop for mobile devices was introduced with the iOS 7 update and allows users to share files with others without using an Internet connection. Like other file sharing systems, when AirDrop is activated it is actively searching for other devices and therefore draining your battery.

If you don’t use this feature, or only use it occasionally turn it off to increase battery life. You can do this by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center and tapping on AirDrop. The text will be white to indicate AirDrop is on, and should turn to black when it is off.

Bonus tip: Tapping the Bluetooth button (middle button in the top row of Control Center) will automatically turn off AirDrop and all Bluetooth connections which will further increase battery life.

Check your Wi-Fi settings
Many users connect to trusted Wi-Fi connections at work or at home in order to save data or simply go online. When they are out of range of these devices however, they leave their iPad’s Wi-Fi radio on. When you do this, the device constantly searches for open connections to connect to.

This constant searching is actually a huge drain on the battery, so it is best to turn it off when you are not near a trusted network. This can be done by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center and tapping on the Wi-Fi button (second button from the left on the top row). The Wi-Fi symbol should turn black to indicate it is off.

Bonus tip: To really conserve battery life, try turning Airplane Mode on. This will turn all communication – Wi-Fi, Data, Bluetooth, notifications, etc. off and will drastically increase battery life. On the downside, you won’t be able to connect to the Internet or receive notifications.

Change your Location Services settings
Many apps request that your device provide them with location information on a regular basis. Some, like Maps actually require your location, but many more don’t. If you have multiple apps open that constantly require location updates, you will likely see an increased drain on your battery.

The solution is to change what apps are allowed to receive location information. This can be done by tapping on the Settings app, selecting Privacy, followed by Location Services. From there you can select which apps can use your device’s GPS, Wi-Fi or mobile connection to detect location. Chances are high, you can turn off at least half of the apps.

Bonus tip: Turning off Location Services completely (slide the tab beside Location Services to Off) will also conserve battery life.

Check what’s running in the background
Multitasking received a big overhaul in iOS 7. Sure, it can still be accessed by double tapping the home button, but now the open apps are presented in cards with a screenshot of their last state. Tapping on the screenshot opens the app. The thing is, it takes battery power to keep all of these apps open and updated.

What’s more, some of these apps will actually refresh in the background which could further increase battery drain. If you aren’t too worried about having constantly open apps, why not close those you aren’t using. Simply open the multitasking menu and swipe up to close apps.

Bonus tip: You can completely turn off background app refreshing (the service which keeps the information shown in the multitasking screenshots current) by opening the Settings app and selecting General, followed by Background App Refresh and sliding the button from On to Off.

Turn off parallax
Parallax is a new effect introduced in iOS 7 where the apps on your homescreen appear to float above the wallpaper and look almost 3-D. They will also move a bit when you tilt the tablet. While this is a cool effect, it isn’t overly useful for many business owners. Powering this movement and near 3-D rendering does put more strain on the battery, causing a drop in how long it will last.

You can turn this effect off by going to Settings, tapping on General, followed by Accessibility and Parallax. Slide the button from On to Off.

Bonus tip: Almost all modern mobile devices, the iPad included, use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries work their best when they are constantly topped off, or charged. In order to get the most out of your iPad’s battery, you should be charging it on a regular basis and not letting it get below 50%.

If you are looking to get more out of your iPad, or to learn about iOS 7, please contact us today to see how we can help.

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07 Feb

iPhone tip: Add an extension to contacts

These days we use our smartphones for pretty much everything but calling. When you do have to make a call, especially to a business, you will likely have to go through the automated switchboard and enter extension numbers just to get the person you want. This can be a pain, especially if you call the same person and have to go through the same process on a regular basis. If you have an iPhone, there is a way around this however.

Here’s how you can add number extensions to your iPhone contacts:

Open Contacts and either press the ‘+’ for a new contact, or select the contact’s number you would like to add the extension to and press Edit.
Enter the new contact’s normal number without the extension under the Mobile, Work or Home field. If you are editing a contact’s number, press on the number you would like to edit and tap on the end of the number.

  1. Press the ‘+*#‘ button located at the bottom-left of the dial pad.
  2. Select Wait. You’ll notice a ‘;’ at the end of the number.
  3. Add the contact’s extension. It should look something like this: 123-123-4567;321 (if the contact has a three digit extension).
  4. Press Done and the contact’s number will be saved or updated.
  5. If the number was entered correctly, you should see a secondary button under the contact information when you call that person. It will say something like Dial-321. Pressing this after the line has engaged will dial the extension and connect you to that person. This is useful if you don’t know how long you will have to wait to be able to dial the extension, but you will have to hit the Dial button on your phone to enter the extension.

You can automate this further by replacing the semicolon (;) with a comma (,). The comma tells the switchboard to pause, and then enter the number after the comma. This will often connect you directly to the person without having to press an extra button. The number should look something like this: 123-123-4567,321

If you use an iPhone for your business communication and call clients who are behind switchboards this is a nifty time-saving feature. For more information on how the iPhone can help power your business, please contact us today.

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11 Dec

5 advantages of OS X 10.8 over Win 8

It’s been an interesting year for operating systems, in the first half of 2012 Apple released OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). Later in the year, Microsoft released the much awaited Windows 8. Because of this, many businesses have been holding off upgrading their computers. Now that Windows 8 is out, some users have decided it may be time to make the switch to OS X, but are still unsure.

If you’re still on the fence about OS X, here are five advantages of 10.8. read more

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19 Oct

My computer has a Trojan? What’s that?

Imagine this: it’s almost Friday, you’re scheduled to go out of town for the next two weeks on your first vacation in over three years. You wake up Friday morning with a sore throat, by Friday afternoon you are a mess. Viruses aren’t fun, they essentially render you useless, so you can imagine that’s why a devastating impact on your computer is called a virus too.The problem is, these virus terms have created some confusion over what exactly they are.

Here’s an overview of the most commonly used terms for malicious software. read more

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17 Oct

Bring your Android data to iPhone 5

If you are contemplating jumping the Android ship for the good-ship Apple, here’s how you can do so.

Move those Contacts
Android is Google, Google is Android. This means that you’re contacts are most likely deeply ingrained in the Googleplex, aka your Google/Gmail account. If they aren’t, they live on your Android device’s internal memory.

The easiest way to migrate your Contacts over from your Android device to your iPhone is by syncing your Contacts with your Google Account.

  1. On your Android device go to Settings followed by Accounts and selectGoogle.
  2. Tap on the Google account you would like to sync your Contacts/Calendar/Notifications with, and ensure there is a check-mark beside what you would like to sync.
  3. Press Sync Now, and sit back and wait.
  4. When it’s finished, you can go to Google Contacts to edit view your Contacts.

After your Contacts have synced with your Google account: read more

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17 Oct

Need to Make Files Smaller? Zip them.

There are numerous situations where you have to send files to colleagues, clients or even yourself. Most people use email to do this, or they upload files to a cloud storage provider like Dropbox. The only problem with this is both systems often place limits on how big the files you upload/attach are. One way to get around this is to compress your files.

File compression, or zipping, is the process of using a program that takes files or a folder on your computer and combines them into one file, then compresses this into a smaller package. It does this by taking redundant information that is prolific in data, and paring it down to one list that all files in the compression can use. For a brilliant, in-depth explanation on how zipping works, you can checkout this article on HowStuffWorks. As with most computer related programs, choice isn’t limited to a couple of programs, rather there are hundreds. Here are five of the best:

WinZip
WinZip is the most popular compression/decompression program amongst PC users. The latest version of WinZip, WinZip 16.5, allows users to zip and send files via email – using YouSendIt, a program that uploads files to a server and sends a link over email that recipients click on to download the file. The program is easy to use, just open it up, select the files to zip and the program will help you to compress your files. Decompression is as easy as double clicking on the zipped file (.zip). WinZip also allows you to encrypt compressed files. The program has a free trial, but will cost around USD$30.00. Available for Mac and Windows. read more

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17 Oct

How to link Mac Mail with Office 365

Mac or PC? Most people have their preference, many use one or the other and are usually adamant about their choice. While each operating system has advantages and disadvantages, it really comes down to personal preference. For those who have decided to go with Mac, and still want to use Microsoft Office 365, Mac’s Mail program can be used to access emails, in place of Outlook.

Here’s how to configure Mac’s Mail program to enable you to send/receive emails from your Office 365 account(s).

For OS X 10.7 (Lion) and later

  1. Open System Preferences by clicking on the icon with the cogs on the launch bar or pressing Command (⌘) + Spacebar and typing: System Preferences.
  2. Click Mail, Contacts, & Calendars. read more
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16 May

Keep your smartphone secure

The smartphone has become one of our most beloved devices. Like a favorite pet, we take it everywhere with us, show it off every chance we get and even use it as a way to conform or stand out. No matter which brand you have, you probably have important information stored on your phone, and should be taking steps to ensure that it’s secure from prying eyes.

Whether you have an Android, iPhone or Windows Phone 7, here are two tips to keep your smartphone secure:

Lock your screen 
If you have data or information on your phone you would like to keep secure, the first thing you should do is lock your screen. Most smartphone users lock their phone with a 4 digit number combination, but it’s recommended you use a password for higher security.

  • On Android. To establish a password on your device go to Settings and select Security. Press Screen lock. On Ice Cream Sandwich, you have six options for security, with the least secure at the top and most secure at the bottom. Many users select Pattern or Password. Enter the password twice and press Confirm.
  • read more
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