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Mac Help and iPhone Support in Santa Barbara

ivan-mac-expert-santa-barbaraIvan Drucker, founder of top-rated NYC-based Mac consultancy IvanExpert, is available in Santa Barbara for in-home or in-office Mac help in February and March 2015. He is offering a special discount off his usual rate.

Get your computer and IT running the way you really want, without having to go to the Apple Store, searching online for answers, or waiting on hold for hours.
 
Ivan provides customized services for your unique needs. He is not your ordinary "IT guy." He is always patient and understanding, and speaks plain English, not tech-speak.

Just a few of the things Ivan can help you with:

  • Contact, calendar, and email sync between your Mac and mobile device
  • Improve your wireless network in your home or office
  • Get important information off an old computer or device
  • Upgrade you seamlessly to a new Mac, or switch you from Windows to a Mac
  • Set up Sonos, Apple TV, or Roku
  • Get the most out of iCloud
  • Make sure you’re backed up, so you don’t lose precious data
  • Protect your privacy by helping you manage your passwords
  • Answer all your Apple-related questions

Call Ivan at (917) 400-6090 or email him at ivan@ivanexpert.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.

 

About

IvanExpert is the best-reviewed Mac support company in New York City. Read our reviews on Apple’s Consultants page, check out our testimonials, and watch Ivan discuss privacy in a recent news appearance.

Ivan Drucker founded IvanExpert in 2002 and is a member of the Apple Consultants Network. In the 1990s he was an Apple employee, working as an engineer at their headquarters in Cupertino, California. He has been using Apple computers since 1978, when he got his first Apple II. 

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Take Advantage of your iPhone and iPad

Presentation for Allen & Co, April 2014

 

ESSENTIALS

Shortcuts

1. Quickly search: Pull down from the top to get a search box.

2. Quickly switch among apps: Double-tap the Home button, then scroll through to find the app you want and click on it. Or use 4 fingers to swipe left or right, which takes you to the previous app. (You must have Multitasking Gestures turned on in Settings > General)

3. Get to the Control Center: Swipe up from the very bottom center of the screen. What you can do here:

  • Go in and out of Airplane Mode
  • Turn wifi on and off
  • Turn screen rotation lock on and off
  • Turn volume up and down
  • Turn brightness up and down
  • Turn Do Not Disturb on and off
  • Get to the camera

4. Get to the Notification Center: Swipe down from the top center of the screen. Can set it up for certain apps to notify you, in Settings > Notification Center.

5. Get to the camera when device is locked: Swipe up from the very bottom right of the screen.

6. Add a webpage to your app screen: Go to the page in Safari, click on the square with the arrow in it, and choose Add to Home Screen.

 

Customizing

1. Set lock screen and wallpaper: Go into Settings > Wallpapers & Brightness > click Choose Wallpaper

2. Moving apps around: Click and hold an app until it wiggles. Then drag it anywhere you want.

3. Group apps into folders: Click and hold an app until it wiggles, drag it on top of another app, and then give the folder a name of your choice.

4. Do Not Disturb: You can set times when you don’t want your iPhone or iPad to bother you. Can still allow calls from certain people.

 

Problem-solving

1. If one app is sluggish or the device is slow: Quit an app by closing it, double-tapping the Home button, scrolling until you find the app that you want to quit, and flicking the app up. (Apps stay running until you quit them.)

2. If the device is sluggish: Turn it off by holding top button until you see the red “slide to power off” message. Power it off. Then turn it back on by pressing the top button.

3. If the device is still sluggish: Reboot by holding top and Home buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo. (The iPad needs restarting, just like any computer does!) 

4. Conserve battery life by going into Airplane mode or turning down brightness (both in Control Center) or by quitting out of unused apps.

  

EMAIL, CALENDAR, CONTACTS

Accounts are set up in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars

Options for customization:

  • Set signature: Set it by account
  • Default accounts: Very important especially for contacts and calendars! Make sure your new entries are going to the right place!

What to try when you have problems:

  • If you’re having “disappearing email” problem: Try turning off Organize By Thread in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Reboot phone
  • Turn off the email and turn it back on
  • Delete entire account and re-add it

 

ICLOUD

To set it up: Go to Settings > iCloud and make sure you’re logged in to your account. It might be the account you buy stuff on iTunes with; it might not.

What it can do:

  • Backup:  Happens automatically when your device is connected to a power source and on a wifi network. To set it up: Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup and turn on iCloud Backup. Note: Make sure you have enough iCloud storage space (you only get 5GB for free)!
  • Find My iPhone: Location, remote lock, remote wipe
  • Lets you buy things in iTunes (apps, music, videos) and have them available on any device. Make sure you’re signed in at Settings > iTunes
  • With Photo Stream, syncs your last 1000 photos or last month of photos among devices. To turn it on: Settings > Photos & Camera > My Photo Stream
  • Web browsing: Sync bookmarks and tabs. In Safari on a Mac, or in Chrome or Firefox on a PC.
    For Mac: Need to turn on in Settings > iCloud > Safari. To use: Click the cloud in Safari.
    For PC: Need to download iCloud Control Panel
    And need to download browser extensions

  

SECURITY

1. Run latest updates! Security flaw in iOS means you should be on 7.0.6 or later (or on 6.1.6 if you’re in iOS 6). How to check: Settings > General > About

2. 4-digit lock code. Encrypts all the data on the phone. This is mandatory for all employees and it’s a good thing.

  • How to reset the lock code: Go to Settings > Passcode. You’ll need to enter your password. Then choose Change Passcode. Also make sure it’s set to Require Passcode: Immediately.
  • How to set your device to auto-lock: Settings > General > Auto-Lock

 

FUN

My top 3 apps for fun (all free):

1. Snapseed

2. Epicurious

3. App Advice

 

 

Westchester Mac Support

macbook-pro-red

Do you have a home, a home business, or a small business in Westchester? Our Mac Experts are now providing Mac help in Westchester and nearby areas. 

We provide all the same services we provide to our New York City clients, including:

  • Sync of Mac, iPhone, iPad
  • Wireless network setup
  • Migration from old Mac (or old Windows PC) to new Mac
  • Mac backup setup
  • Solve iPhoto and iTunes issues
  • Mac server setup and maintenance

Get the benefits of our 12+ years of Apple technology expertise by hiring us as your Westchester Mac consultants. 

Call us at (212) 353-3310 or email us at help@ivanexpert.com to set up a Mac, iPhone, or iPad appointment for Westchester, or to find out more about how we can help you.

More from IvanExpert

What Is iCloud?

One of the most common questions we get asked is “What is iCloud, and how do I use it?” Let’s run through it.

 

iCLOUD VS THE CLOUD

So iCloud is not the same as “the cloud.” 

“The cloud” is a general term which just means a place out there on the internet where your digital information (anything from photos to documents to backups) is stored. 

You know how some people have a storage space (like Manhattan Mini Storage), where they put ski clothes or furniture or tax documents? Well “the cloud” is like that, but for digital files. It’s somewhere not in your home or office where you can put digital stuff. Your email is in “the cloud.” So is Dropbox, so is most of Google, so are CrashPlan and Mozy and Carbonite and BackBlaze backups.

iCloud is what Apple has named its service for using its cloud. Anyone can get an iCloud account for free, but you need an Apple computer or mobile device to create the account. 

 

iCLOUD AND SYNC

Mostly iCloud is used for silently synchronizing your files, so you have the same stuff on all your computers and phones and devices. Here is what it can synchronize:

  • mail (if you are using a @mac.com, @me.com, or @icloud.com email address)
  • contacts
  • calendars
  • reminders (tasks)
  • notes
  • photos
  • videos
  • Safari bookmarks
  • saved passwords
  • desktop and documents folders on your Mac

You may not be set up to sync all these things, but iCloud can do it if you want. You can configure what iCloud synchronizes on a Mac under System Preferences -> iCloud, and on an iPhone or iPad under Settings -> Your account -> iCloud.

 

iCLOUD AND BACKUP

ICloud can also back up iPhones and iPads. Note that it DOES NOT back up your Mac! 

 

OTHER THINGS iCLOUD CAN DO

  • Help you locate or remotely lock a lost computer or device
  • Share purchases among a family
  • Re-download purchases among your own devices
  • Access your iTunes library from any of your devices

 

PRICE FOR iCLOUD

Apple provides 5 GB of iCloud storage for free, which is adequate if all you ever want to sync is calendar, contacts, Safari bookmarks, passwords, and other low-key stuff. 

But if you want automatic backup of your iPhone or iPad without needing to attach it to your computer, or you want a synchronized photo library across computers, then you’ll almost certainly need to pony up $0.99 per month for an additional 50 GB, and possibly more if you have multiple devices involved or you have a lot of photos and videos.

 

If you have any questions about iCloud, let us know and we’ll be glad to answer!

iTips and iTricks

reuters-logo

 These tips and tricks for using iPhone and iPad were presented to at the Reuters event in December 2012.

 

Top 5 iPhone and iPad General Tips

1) If the device is sluggish: Reboot by holding top and Home buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.

2) Quickly switch among apps: Double-tap the Home button, then scroll through to find the app you want.

3) Quickly change volume and brightness: Double-tap Home button, then swipe right at the very bottom of the screen.

4) Quit an app by closing it, double-tapping the Home button, holding the icon along the bottom until it shakes, and pressing the minus sign. If you have too many apps running simultaneously your iPhone/iPad can become sluggish.

5) Group apps into folders: drag one app on top of another.

Bonus: Conserve battery life by going into Airplane mode, turning down brightness, and/or turning off wifi.

 

Top 5 Apps for Productivity

1) Sync documents: Dropbox, free for up to 2GB, $10/month for up to 50GB

2) Create, edit, and read Excel, Word, and PowerPoint documents: QuickOffice, $15 for iPhone, $20 for iPad

3) Scan business cards and have the contents automatically entered into your address book: CamCard, $3

4) Meeting notes: Notability, $1. Take notes by hand or by typing; click on the text to hear the audio recorded at that moment. Use it with the Adonit Jot Pen, $20. Great pen for taking written notes.

5) Track expenses: BizXpense Tracker, $6. Data can be exported or synced with DropBox. Log data by client. Take pictures of receipts and link them to expenses.

Bonus: Store and organize all kinds of information: Evernote, free

 

Top 5 Apps for Travel

1) Find what's good, either by specific location or based on where you are: TripAdvisor, free

2) Translation: Google Translate, free. You can either type or speak words and phrases, and have it translated into dozens of languages.

3) What amenities are in the airport: FlySmart (iPhone only), free.

4) Currency converter: Xe, free. Can see multiple currencies at once.

5) Choose the best seat on the plane: SeatGuru, free. Use it when booking your flight to make sure your seat reclines, see if you can get seat power, and not sit next to the bathroom.

Bonus: Find good food nearby with UrbanSpoon (iPhone only), free

 

Top 5 Apps for Photo Taking and Editing

1) Photo Stream, free with iCloud (which is also free). Get the most recent photos showing up on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

2) Snapseed, $5. Our favorite iPad app for editing photos, because it's easy to use yet there are hundreds of options. We think it's better than the iPhoto app.

3) Camera+, $1. Great photo-taking and photo-editing app.

4) TiltShiftGen, $1. This app does only one thing, but it does it very well: It makes only a tiny bit of the photo in focus, which creates an unusual effect. Try it!

5) The Wider Image, free. This iPad app shows off the incredible photojournalism work done by Reuters photographers. You can look at images by date, by location, even by photographer. An amazing body of work that is inspirational for even the most amateur photographer.

 

Top 5 Apps for Music

Most of these apps let you log in with Facebook.

1) Pandora, free. Create your own custom radio station based on a specific musician. There are ads.

2) Spotify, app is free but to listen on a mobile device is $10/month (you can listen for free on computer only). Listen to any song of your choice; almost every major artist and label is represented.

3) Rhapsody (iPhone only), app is free but service is $10/month. Similar to Spotify although has only 13 million songs compared to Spotify's 15 million.

4) Sound Hound, free. Can identify the song that is playing.

5) Sonos, app is free; price for hardware varies. Manage your home music system from your iPhone or iPad.

 

Top 5 Social Media Apps

1) Hootsuite, free. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all in one app. Plus your Twitter lists, searches, Facebook business pages.

2) Seesmic (iPhone only), free. Does a good job of maximizing the small screen.

3) MyPad+, $1. Facebook, Twitter (although no lists), and Instagram.

4) Pinterest, free.

5) Feeddler, free. For reading blogs you've set up in Google Reader (RSS reader).

 

Top 5 NYC Specific Apps

1) HopStop, free. Gives travel directions by different methods of transportation. Also has transit maps, schedules for NJT and LIRR, and subway service advisories.

2) Exit Strategy (iPhone only), $4. Tells you which subway car is closest to the exit at your stop.Web, free. 

3) Uber, free. Request a car service, the car arrives within 10 minutes, and the cost for the ride (including tip) goes straight to your credit card.

4) MenuPages (iPhone only), free. Find restaurants near you by cuisine, distance, or rating.

5) Seamless, free. Order food straight for delivery from your iPhone or iPad.

 

Top 4 Security Tips

1) Set a 4-digit lock code. Encodes all the data on the phone.

2) Put an “If Found” screen on it: Wallpaper LockScreen Text, $1

3) Track your iPad if it’s lost or stolen, and remotely wipe it: Find My iPhone, free

4) Store and manage your passwords: 1Password, $10. Use Dropbox to sync with the desktop version.

 

 

Use Your iPad in Your Interior Design Business

Your iPad can be a valuable tool in your interior design business. These apps, in 6 different categories, can help you take advantage of your iPad to be more creative and productive. From the presentation given to ASID members in June 2012.

 

1) SHOWING YOUR PORTFOLIO

The iPad is an amazing presentation tool to show your work to potential clients. Here’s how to take advantage of its visual capabilities.

Photos app, comes with iPad

Create albums on your computer and then sync them over to your iPad. No text or specs.

Pad Folio, $10

Portfolio app that allows you to include specifications and allow you to have multiple portfolios.

Other portfolio apps:

Each has a different design and functionality, and some allow you to create video and audio portfolios too.

 

2) DESIGN INSPIRATION

Use your iPad to get design ideas using the following apps.

For interiors:

The first 2 don't need an internet connection; the last 4 do.

For furniture:

  • SnapShop Showroom, free. Good for general ideas. A lot of lower end products (IKEA, CB2, Pier1 are “featured brands”).

Other places to find inspiration:

  • Pinterest, free (iPhone only)
  • Pinteresting!, $2. Better way to look at Pinterest on the iPad.
  • Many furniture and product manufacturers have their own apps, including Lutron, B&B Italia, Cappellini, Cassina, FLOR, IKEA, Poliform, Poltrona Frau, Restoration Hardware, Jonathan Adler
  • Lots of interior design magazines are on the iPad, as standalone apps in the App Store. Some give free content, some require you to purchase content. One good one is Dwell, free (iPhone only)

 

3) COLOR

Use your iPad to experiment with color palettes. Most let you use a photo to create a custom palette. Don’t forget that color calibration on your iPad can be an issue.

Wood guide:

  • I.D. Wood, $5. Includes images and information on over 200 woods. Search based on color, region, sustainability, durability, and use. Lots of reference pages too.

 

4) DESIGN WORK

Use apps to help you with your design projects.

Create floor plans:

Tools and calculators:

Measurements of rooms and objects:

Drawing and sketching:

 

5) GENERAL WORK

Many of our clients are doing work on the iPad when out of the office. In addition to accessing your email, calendar, and contacts, here are a few other ways to use it for non-design work:

Dropbox for access to all work files is essential (free under 2GB)

Creating and editing Word and Excel documents, and syncing them with Dropbox:

Taking notes:

  • Audio Note, $5, and Notability, $5. Take notes by hand or by typing; click on the text to hear the audio recorded at that moment.
  • Penultimate, $1. Basic handwriting app for note-taking.
  • Adonit Jot Pen, $20. Great pen for taking written notes.

Mind mapping:

  • MindNode, $10. There are lots of free mind mapping apps as well.

 To do lists:

  • RememberTheMilk, free. Syncs with their web-based service, works with Siri, get better sync for $25/year.
  • ToDo, $5. Syncs with iCal and Outlook, and/or syncs with their Mac application ($15), and/or syncs with their web application ($20/year).
  • Things, $10. Syncs with Dropbox to the Mac, also syncs with their Mac application ($50).

Scanning business cards:

  • CamCard, $3 (free to try). Camera on 1st and 2nd generation iPads isn't good enough, but can be used with all versions of iPhone.

Tracking expenses:

  • BizXpense Tracker, $6. Data can be exported or synced with DropBox. You can log data by client. You can take pictures of receipts and link them to expenses.

 

6) SECURITY

These are basic security considerations to keep in mind when using your iPad for business.

So nobody can look at your data: 

  • Use a lock code, and set it to lock after a few minutes. This encrypts all the data on your iPad.
  • Put an “If Found” screen on it (Wallpaper LockScreen Text, $1) 
  • Track your iPad if it’s lost or stolen, and remotely wipe it (Find My iPhone, free)

So nobody can walk away with your iPad:

     

    Tech Tools for the Art World: iPad Apps

    Top iPad apps for art professionals, discussed at the Tech Tools for the Art World panel discussion held on May 22, 2012.

     

    1) SHOWING WORK

    The iPad is an amazing presentation tool. Here’s how to take advantage of its visual capabilities.

    Apps for showing work that have an extensive back-end system and are priced accordingly:

    Portfolio apps that allow you to include specifications and allow you to have multiple portfolios:

    These are standalone apps, which means you will need to enter all the data manually.

     

    2) DOING WORK

    Many of our clients are doing work on the iPad when out of the office. In addition to email, here are a few other ways to use it for work:

    • Dropbox for access to all work files is essential (free under 2GB)
    • Word, Excel docs on it: Documents To Go ($10), QuickOffice Pro ($20)
    • FileMaker Go, if you’re using FileMaker

     

    3) GATHERING LEADS

    Collect contact information in person, at a show or event, and then import the data to your computer as a spreadsheet.

    You can’t use any of the business card scanner apps designed for the iPhone, as the camera on the iPad isn’t good enough (yet). For the iPhone, check out ScanBizCards, $7.

    Allow contacts to put their own info directly into your iPad with the following apps:

    • CounterCulture, $5, collects name and email only (no addresses)
    • FormConnect, $10, create custom forms, design options are limited
    • Bento, $5, create databases, design options are limited

     

    4) FINANCES

    The iPad can be used for tracking expenses:

    • BizXpense Tracker, $6: Data can be exported or synced with DropBox. You can log data by client. You can take pictures of receipts and link them to expenses.
    • iExpensesClaim, $1: Data can be exported in CSV format. You can take pictures of receipts as well.

     

    5) SECURITY

    These are basic security considerations to keep in mind when using your iPad for business.

    So nobody can look at your data: 

    • Use a lock code, and set it to lock after a few minutes
    • Put an “If Found” screen on it (Wallpaper LockScreen Text, $1) 
    • Track your iPad if it’s lost or stolen, and remotely wipe it (Find My iPhone, free)

    So nobody can walk away with your iPad:

    NAPO 2012: Stay Organized in the Cloud

    Use the cloud to be more productive and organized, and help your clients use the cloud so they can be more productive and organized.

     

    What is the Cloud?

    Instead of your digital stuff being stored on your computer, it’s being stored on a server somewhere else out in the world. It allows you access from anywhere, and allows you to automatically keep the same info on multiple devices. The cloud has existed for awhile (AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo).

     

    Email, Calendar, Contacts

    Sync data across Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry.

    1. IMAP mail for mail only; available through many providers

    2. Gmail and Google Apps

    3. iCloud. If you don’t want a me.com email address, keep the email address you have and use iCloud for contacts and calendar only.

    4. Microsoft Exchange. There are many companies offering Hosted Exchange for a monthly fee. We recommend Intermedia for Hosted Exchange.

     

    Documents

    1. Google Docs: Free, share documents with others, multiple people can work simultaneously on the same document.

    2. Dropbox: Free for up to 2GB, saves local copy, lots of other applications that work with it.

    3. Document signing: EchoSign, free to try then $15/month, and DocuSign, free to try then $15/month

    4. Office 365: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint in the cloud, starts at $6/month

     

    Filing

    1. Dropbox

    2. Evernote: Like the combo of a bulletin board and file cabinet, stores all kinds of digital information. Free.

    3. Neat: Works with their desktop scanners, stores files in proprietary format, does OCR. Monthly fee. Coming out later this spring.

     

    Finances

    1. QuickBooks Online: Starts at $13/month

    2. Mint: Free, analyzes the current state of your finances.

     

    To Dos

    1. Remember the Milk: Syncs with iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry. Get email or text message reminders. Free.

    2. Todo: The iPhone/iPad app is $5; additional $20/year for sync with website, also syncs with iCal on Mac and Outlook on PC.

     

    Project Management

    1. Basecamp, starts at $50/month

    2. Zoho, starts at $20/month

     

    Client Relationship Management

    1. Highrise, starts at $24/month

    2. Salesforce, starts at $15/month, many other systems have been designed to work with it

     

    Media

    1. Bookmarks: Xmarks, works with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Chrome, free for basic plan, $12/year for sync with iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry. iCloud, for Safari and Internet Explorer bookmarks, syncs with iPhone and iPad, free. Firefox, built-in bookmark sync, with Firefox on other computers only, free.

    2. Music: iTunes Match in iCloud, syncs with iPhone and iPad, $25/year. Google Play, syncs with Android. Amazon CloudDrive, free for 5GB, paid plans start at $20/year for 20GB.

     

    Photos

    1. Flickr, free for basic plan

    2. Shutterfly

    3. iCloud Photo Stream, free

    4. Picasa, free

    5. SmugMug, starts at $5/month

     

    Passwords

    Password management: 1Password which can sync using Dropbox, Passpack for multiple people sharing passwords

     

    Backup

    1. Crashplan, starts at $5/month

    2. Carbonite, starts at $59/year

    3. Mozy, starts at $6/month

    (212) 353-3310