Upgrades

Springing Into Summer

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Whew! I'm not sure how but this Spring has just flown by. We are now basically done with all the work to our home and I have unpacked the boxes that were packed during October's evacuation - it feels amazing. I am still in a state of wonder that our home and neighborhood are here. Yes, it's still hard to drive around but seeing all the homes under construction is life affirming. We are also grateful to be able to help our clients who have had major losses get back up and running. All of these things help me to stay in a state of profound gratitude each day as I wander this amazing road called life. 

It also seems hard to believe that it has been two months since I reached out to you - my amazing clients! However I am now ready to once again begin regular communication via my newsletter. This newsletter will be for June and July, then in August I will begin to send out regular monthly news and and important updates I feel can benefit you. This newsletter has lots(!!!) of information so feel free to use the links at the side to jump to what interests you the most. 

Apple's World Wide Developer Conference happened in early June and Tim Cook and his team talked about all the upgrades coming later this year - thoughts and recommendations are below. There has been an uptick in scams via web browsers, robocalls and email so once again security is at the forefront of our minds. Another area that is taking off is home automation - look for more on this topic as we move through the year. We have also been helping many of you migrate to new computers so I will talk a bit about that and why it's important to keep your technology upgraded (both hardware and software).

Ronnie

Holiday hours: Phones are closed on the July 4th Holiday - you are welcome to leave a message that will be returned on Thursday July 5th. 


POLICY REMINDERS

At least once a year I like to publish our basic policies related to both home/office visits and phone/remote support appointments. 

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1. Home and Office visits require a one hour minimum charge and then are billed in 15 minute increments for the remaining time. 
2. There is a flat $25 travel charge for all service outside of Santa Rosa city limits. Distances of over 45 minutes one way drive time may have an increased travel charge. 
3. Tech support phone calls / remote support appointments are billed as follows:

  • 5-15 minutes: $25 flat fee
  • 16 to 30 minutes: $50 flat fee
  • Anything over 30 minutes will be charged at the regular hourly rate. To serve you best we prefer to schedule these calls in advance unless it is an emergency. 

4. We request that you honor our 24 hour cancellation/reschedule policy. If you do miss a scheduled appointment we will invoice you for one hour's time.

5. Payment is due at time of service* and we accept personal checks and all major credit cards. Our credit card processing is done through Square. 

*IF you do need to be invoiced for payment later, please let the office know when scheduling the appointment. 


APPLE WORLDWIDE DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE (WWDC)

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Apple's WWDC happened in early June and they showed off the upcoming software upgrades in the pipeline for later this year. Mainly, they introduced macOS 10.14 MojaveiOS 12, and for those of you with an Apple watch, watchOS 5. Each of these updates are focusing on a better user experience and are seriously focused on security and privacy - especially via Apple's Safari and watch OS. There are too many individual updates to talk about in a single newsletter but here are some of my favorites:

macOS Mojave

  • Desktop stacks, which group together related icons into piles, auto-tidying your desktop, and expand with a tap. You can also scrub through a stack with gestures to scroll to an individual file that you're seeking out. 
  • Your desktop image can be set to change over the course of a day too. New Apple-designed options of, say, a desert panorama, will change from morning through to noon, evening, and the dead of night as time in your local location changes. (Note: in a much older OS, there was software that did this and I loved it!)
  • Safari is getting some major privacy features - unsurprisingly, given the year's Facebook scandal and Europe's newly introduced GDPR requirements. They will be shutting down cookies that track you across websites, making sure Safari asks permission before it allows the cookies any kind of access to your browsing data. These Safari features will carry over into iOS 12, too.
  • macOS will ask for permission for more features, now including the camera and microphone. It will also provide more robust protection to your file system.

iOS 12
 

iOS 12's main focus is on improved performance (especially for older iPhones/iPads -  hurray!) There will also be some tweaks to the Photos app and a more robust Siri integrated with the ability to build 'shortcuts' to group a series of commands. 

If you are interested you can watch a repeat broadcast of the keynote from WWDC here OR just read through the announcements. 


Of course for both OS's all these features are in the current BETA developers releases and we won't know for sure until the actual release what features made it to the final release. Apple hasn't given us a firm release date for any of this software but we expect it to be this fall.  

See below for how to prepare now.


OPERATING SYSTEM STATUS
(iOS and Mac OS)

In my April newsletter I sent out Mac and iOS recommendations and I have updated the information and recommendations based on the announcement of both a new macOS and iOS. Please read below to see what you should do now!

Mac OS
See below for hardware recommendations before considering upgrading your software.

Mac OS High Sierra (10.13.5)
YES, with CAUTION

I am recommending upgrading to High Sierra now BUT please read the cautions below. IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, OR you have a new computer that shipped with High Sierra, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately and be sure that your OS is at 10.13.5 (released recently). NOTE: if you are updating to 10.13.5 you will be asked to 'store documents and data in iCloud" - just uncheck this option. 
 

IF you haven't installed or had us install High Sierra, I am recommending a 'cautious' upgrade. By this I mean that the OS is pretty solid now for most users BUT - and this is a big one - IF you have a lot of older software that needs to keep running DO NOT upgrade. With each new OS, Apple is dropping support for more and more older software.  

HARDWARE RECOMMENDATIONS
Even though Apple's requirements allow both Sierra and High Sierra to be installed on machines from 2010 (in some cases 2009) and later, we do not recommend doing so!! These upgrades will drastically tax older hardware and you will not be happy with the results. We are recommending computers have at least 8 GB of ram, ideally an SSD (solid state drive) and be no older than 2013. Please see the article below about why it's important to keep your hardware current. 

As always - Please call us for assistance with your upgrade if you have questions or concerns. We are seeing a few issues with the install of High Sierra - it is a slow upgrade and requires some patience. Please plan to let the upgrade process proceed uninterrupted. Also - BE SURE TO HAVE A CURRENT BACKUP before you start.

You can check which version of the Mac OS you are running by clicking on the Apple Menu and selecting 'About This Mac'.

COMPLETELY SAFE AND RECOMMENDED Mac OS: 

Mac OS Sierra (10.12.6)

Sierra is very stable OS for your computer. It has been updated enough to have the majority of the bugs/glitches out and third-party support is very widespread. BUT you can only obtain it through us - it is no longer available through the Mac Apps store. 

Mac OS El Capitan (10.11.6)

Apple will most likely stop supporting this OS in the next few months. BUT in the meantime they just released an important security and Safari updates to address the Intel vulnerability. Please be sure to install it!!! We are already seeing issues with web compatibility under 10.11. This means that web browsers and email in 10.11 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there.
 

iOS for iPhones and iPads
 

iOS 11.4

YES!  Assuming your device is either new(er) OR IF your device is older (iPhone 6, 6s, or iPhone SE) and you have taken advantage of Apple's battery replacement program, be sure to update to 11.4 to get the most important security update addressing the Intel issue and give you more control of your battery life and encompasses several bug fixes.


HOW LONG SHOULD MY COMPUTER LAST?

First a basic term clarification: 

  • Upgrade refers to a major system (software) or hardware change. 
  • Updates are the ongoing patches, versions, security updates, etc. That are offered throughout the year for all your software. 

Many people consider buying a new computer a pretty large financial outlay and expect their purchase to last a long time.  

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The reality is the average lifespan of a desktop computer is about three to five years. Laptops slightly less if they are used as designed and truly mobile - if your laptop sits at your home/office most of the time then the three to five year rule applies. There are many variables that can reduce the life span though, such as how much you use it and how hard you push it, environmental heat and humidity and dust. So while you might have had, or know someone who has, a computer that has been working longer, this is the exception not the rule. For most of us, two things drive the need to replace a computer - it fails in some way and repair does not make financial sense OR more often we need new software or hardware to be able to do what we want/need to do.

 
Hardware is pretty basic.

If you treat your computer well by keeping it and the plugs and the area around it dust free, having the hardware work for more than three years is pretty typical. IF however you allow dust (enemy number one) to build up, your computer will slow down and potentially fail sooner. If your environment is unusually hot, cold or very damp you will also see issues with a computer before the four to five year mark. Hard drives (where your files are stored) - can fail or can get full but this is often a repair that is worth the few hundred dollars it costs. However this upgrade is much harder and often not an option for the newest Apple computers. Most computers can have the RAM - memory upgraded after a few years for a reasonable cost - BUT this too has changed with Apple's latest product releases. IF you are buying new, be sure to check and buy as much RAM and storage as you can afford because many new machines cannot be upgraded later. 


A note about hard drives: Also it is important to note that all iMacs today offer a choice of a standard HDD (spinning) hard drive, a Fusion drive (combines standard and SSD drive) or an SSD (solid state, doesn't spin) drive. The newest laptops only offer SSD drives. Why do you care? Simply put: SSD is faster. HDD (spinning drive) is bigger and "may" fail sooner because is spins. Fusion Drive uses both, and gives you a mix of speed and size. Apple's current OS's all run much better on an SSD drive BUT SSD drives are still somewhat more expensive so if you need a lot of storage and still want speed go with a Fusion drive. 
 

Software is more of a moving target with every developer, including Apple, having different requirements.  

Mac OS - Apple releases a new operating system about once every 12-14 months. Once they release a new OS they typically drop support for an older OS - i.e. Last year Apple stopped releasing Security updates for Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) and we expect them to drop support for 10.11. (ElCapitan) soon. We are already seeing issues with web compatibility under 10.11.  This means that web browsers and email in 10.11 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there. 


Apple has not really changed the hardware requirements since the  release of Sierra in 2016. BUT this does not mean you should install 10.12 - Sierra OR 10.13 High Sierra on a five +  year old machine. In fact attempting to can cause all kinds of issues, none of which are easy to fix!! If you have a computer that is five years old or older it is truly time to consider new equipment. 

Third Party Software

As you would expect, third party software ranges from software that runs on many generations of hardware and versions of the Mac OS - think Microsoft Office, Firefox, Flash, Adobe Reader to software that often requires a relatively new computer OR at least the latest Mac OS - most often this is financial software / web sites or the Adobe Creative Suite type software. Apple is dropping support for 32 bit apps with the release of Mojave this year. This means that users of Microsoft Office will need to be running Office Mac 2016 or Office Mac 265 (subscription.) Users of Quickbooks need to upgrade to 2016 in preparation for a new version next year. Quicken 2007 is also showing some issues under High Sierra - please let us know if you have questions about alternatives. 

So how to think long term?

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The time to make a decision about how long to keep a computer is when you buy a new  one. When we help a clients decide what computer to buy, we ask many questions  about how they use the computer, how long they like/plan to keep a computer and what is on their wish list of how they might use the computer in the future. Then we look at options, factoring in budget, total storage, RAM (memory), and processor (speed) and I make the best recommendation. However, we always say that planning for a three to five year life is the best - think ahead like this and you will avoid many issues that crop up when using an older computer and have the budget in place to replace your computer in a timely fashion. A bonus? Moving from a three to five year-old computer running a relatively current OS is MUCH, MUCH easier and LESS EXPENSIVE than moving from a five + year old computer that has never been upgraded.
 

Another way to ensure the longevity of your computer is good maintenance -- We are once again offering our Tune Up Special! (Read on for details.) 

During your tuneup we can offer advice on how to get your computers running Mac OS 10.12 (Sierra) or Mac OS 10.13 (High Sierra) or advise on a new purchase. 


SUMMER TUNE UP SPECIAL!! 

$30 off a 90 MINUTES TUNE UP*      

Your Summer Tune-Up includes:  

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  • Basic verification and repair (as possible) of your Mac OS operating system and hard drive. Updates to the same.
  • Updating any third-party software you run. Removal of any questionable / outdated software.
  • Verification and  consultation about your backups.
  • Verification of syncing your iOS devices.
  • We are also happy to discuss software upgrades or new computer options
  • Each appointment includes approximately 30 - 45 minutes of time for questions and/or training. 

Call Today
707.573.9649
to book an appointment with John, our Technology Simplified Tech/Trainer. 

  * Offer does not apply to troubleshooting / diagnostics or major Mac OS upgrades. Appointments must be booked by 7/21/2018 and completed by 7/31/2018. Limited to the first 20 appointments.


UPGRADE SPECIAL

15% OFF YOUR MAC OS UPGRADE TO SIERRA OR HIGH SIERRA    

Your appointment includes:  

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  • Verification your backup is current and complete
  • Verification your hardware meets upgrade system requirements
  • Quick computer diagnostic / verification 
  • Upgrade installation
    (NOTE: you will have time during installation to ask questions about your other devices - iPhone, iPad, etc.)
  • Post-upgrade verification of everyday software: e-mail, printing, web browser, word processing, etc. 

NOTE: If you have software specific concerns please have a list of questionable software ready for John before the upgrade.  

 

Call Today 707.573.9649

to book an appointment with John,
our Technology Simplified Tech / Trainer. 

    

*Offer is good through end of July. Discount applies only to major OS upgrades and requires a two-hour minimum appointment.


PRIVACY, SHARING, AND MORE

What does GRDP and the European Union have to do with you?

You may have recently been inundated with a flurry of email requests to confirm your desire to continue to receiving communication from various businesses. This is due to new regulations - GRDP - for any entity doing business in Europe. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). It also addresses the export of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. The GDPR aims primarily to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulation within the EU.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation

The US hasn't made moves towards any requirements such as this yet but at some point don't be surprised to see discussions about this. In the meantime IF you are getting requests to stay on a mailing list from a company you know and do business with, it is okay to go ahead and say yes, keep me on your list. OR if you do not want continued contact with the company just use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. I am honestly still undecided on how I will handle this and we are researching the best / easiest way -  but please know we have always valued your privacy and we do not share any information with outside companies and never will. 

Quick Updates and Keep Your Computer Safe!

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If you have been reading my newsletters for a while, you know that we (my husband and I) are in the process of getting the last of the fire related cleanup / repairs done to our home. In fact I am writing this from a hotel room. All is going well and we hope to be done in less than a month. Fingers crossed! 

Life's journey is a path that often contains more curves than straightaways. It seems that since the fires, our roads have more curves and even switchbacks than ever before. Each day I'm grateful that I am moving forward on this road of life. 

In this issue, I have addressed the move to High Sierra, iOS 11, and included some helpful notes on security.

Ronnie


OPERATING SYSTEM STATUS
(iOS and Mac OS)

Mac OS

iOS High Sierra (10.13.4)

OK, with CAUTION; but I prefer Sierra 10.12.6

IF you have already upgraded, intentionally or not, OR you have a new computer that shipped with High Sierra, please be sure to install any security updates offered by Apple immediately and be sure that your OS is at 10.13.4 (released recently).

IF you haven't installed or had us install High Sierra, I am recommending a 'cautious' upgrade. By this I mean that the OS is pretty solid now for most users BUT - and this is a big one - IF you have a lot of older software that needs to keep running DO NOT upgrade. With each new OS, Apple is dropping support for more and more older software. 

As always - Please call us for assistance with your upgrade if you have questions or concerns. We are seeing a few issues with the install of High Sierra - it is a slow upgrade and requires some patience. Please plan to let the upgrade process proceed uninterrupted. Also - BE SURE TO HAVE A CURRENT BACKUP before you start.

You can check which version of the Mac OS you are running by clicking on the Apple Menu and selecting 'About This Mac'.

COMPLETELY SAFE AND RECOMMENDED Mac OS: Mac OS Sierra (10.12.6)

This is my current recommended, very stable OS for your computer. It has been updated enough to have the majority of the bugs/glitches out and third-party support is very widespread.

Mac OS El Capitan (10.11.6)

Apple will most likely stop supporting this OS in the next few months. BUT in the meantime they just released an important security and Safari updates to address the Intel vulnerability. Please be sure to install it!!!
 

iOS for iPhones and iPads

iOS 11.3

YES!  Assuming your devices is either new(er) OR IF your device is older (iPhone 6, 6s, or iPhone SE) and you have taken advantage of Apple's battery replacement program, be sure to update to 11.3 to get the most important security update addressing the Intel issue and give you more control of your battery life.


UPGRADE SPECIAL

15% OFF YOUR MAC OS UPGRADE TO SIERRA OR HIGH SIERRA 

Your appointment includes:  

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  • Verification your backup is current and complete
  • Verification your hardware meets upgrade system requirements
  • Quick computer diagnostic / verification 
  • Upgrade installation
    (NOTE: you will have time during installation to ask questions about your other devices - iPhone, iPad, etc.)
  • Post-upgrade verification of everyday software: e-mail, printing, web browser, word processing, etc. 

NOTE: If you have software specific concerns please have a list of questionable software ready for John before the upgrade.  

Call Today 707.573.9649

to book an appointment with John,
our Technology Simplified Tech / Trainer. 

*Offer is good through end of May. Discount applies only to major OS upgrades and requires a two-hour minimum appointment.


SAFE COMPUTING

Here are some excellent links to keeping yourself safe when browsing the Internet OR handling your email. 

From Apple

How to identify legitimate emails from Apple

How to Avoid Common Scams

From Federal Trade Commission

What to know and do about scams in the news

From Intego
NOTE - I am NOT recommending the installation of their software at this time. 

Top 10 Online Scams to Watch Out For


UPCOMING CLASS

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iPad Just the Basics - updated for iOS 11

All ages

Wednesday, May 30th and June 6th

10:00am - 11:30am

This is a hands-on class that covers all the basic functionality of your iPad including what the icons on the screen mean, what the physical buttons do, and how to customize what is on your screen. We will also briefly cover emailing, contacts, and calendars. NOTE: This is a two part class. What we don't cover the first day will be covered the following week. This class includes a workbook so you can follow along. 

Please sign up online or at the front desk in advance. 

Windsor Senior Center

9231 Foxwood Drive, Windsor, CA 95492

Fees

$45 for residents / $50 for non-residents

INSTRUCTIONS TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS

  1. Click on this link
  2. Select "Senior Programs" from choices on the left
  3. Scroll Down the list of Course Categories on the Right to: 

    "Senior Computer - iPad", click "Show Courses"

  4. This page will have all the information you need to sign up.

Time for Celebration

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20 years ago this month I was in college studying graphic design and visual communications. While I was in school I was being asked by my fellow students to help them with their computers. As time went by I was doing more and more computer training and tech support. Viola - Design Solutions was born. Over the years my business has, of course, changed and grown. Two years ago I renamed my business to Technology Simplified. But my original passion for helping people learn to be comfortable using their computers has not and even today, 20 years later, that is still the primary goal of our services. Thank you for being a part of the last 20 years! We are looking forward to working with you for many more.

Thank you everyone for your patience as we transitioned John to a full time technician / trainer. He is now working Monday - Thursday. Now the search begins for another team member. I am very picky about who I am willing to bring into this wonderful business. Rest assured though, that until we have someone else on board, John, Jillian and myself are here to take care of all your computer, iPhone, iPad and Apple needs. Remember we do offer remote appointments using the secure Splashtop SOS software. This is sometimes perfect for a small problem that doesn't require a full appointment.


REMOTE / PHONE APPOINTMENTS

Tech support remote / phone appointments will be charged* as follows:

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5 - 15 minutes
$25 flat fee


16 - 30 minutes
$50 flat fee


30+ minutes
Regular hourly rate


*Payment is taken by credit card at time of service


APPLE NEWS

Wow Apple! Last month you gave us a lot of fun new toys and software. On the anniversary of the first iPhone, September 12th, 2017 Apple held a live event with a moving tribute to Steve Jobs. At this event they also announced 3 new iPhones, a new Apple watch, a new Apple TV, a wireless charging pad and release dates for both Mac OS High Sierra and iOS 11. BUT dear reader - PLEASE you do not have to be first on the block to install either the new Mac OS High Sierra (10.13) or the iOS 11. Here is a roundup of what actually was released and what to expect.

New Software

Image from  www.macrumors.com

Mac OS High Sierra
In this new OS there are definite refinements to the way the Mac OS works and several of the built in apps get some updating of features. You can find out more here.The biggest difference in High Sierra is the change in the way Apple uses the file system. They are transitioning to the APFS or Apple File System. This was introduced on iPhones / iPads with iOS 10.3 and it is now being brought to the Mac. This is a bit of a geeky topic so if you want to know more this article explains it all.

NOT NOW

What this means for you dear reader is that there is going to be a transition period during which Apple refines the way this new OS works and now is NOT the time to upgrade. Let Apple work out the bugs on someone else's machine.

iOS 11

iOS 11 is another new iOS for your iPhone and iPad with many interface tweaks and upgrades. Here is the complete list.iOS 11 is a much more robust iOS than we have had in the past and because of this it requires relatively new iPhones or iPads and it drops supports for apps that haven't been updated in a long time. I have been looking at some of the features in iOS 11 and I like them - it is a much more customizable interface and there is now drag and drop support on iPads. But as with any new OS - there is a "shake out" period where undiscovered glitches surface along with bugs that need to be squashed. Also with this new iOS all third party apps require an update.

So just like with Mac OS High Sierra - iOS 11 still needs time to be ready for everyday consumers. Now is NOT the time to upgrade. Let Apple work out the bugs on someone else's machine and give third party developers time to update their apps.

New Hardware

iPhone X

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It is known as iPhone 10 in honor of the 10th anniversary. iPhone X is a radically redesigned phone that packs the screen of an iPhone Plus into the same size as an iPhone 7 (or now 8) by removing the home button, the bezels around the screen, and wireless charging. It has added the ability because of a full glass surround to charge wirelessly and it uses facial recognition to log into the phone or access secure features. Read all about it here.

iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

These are essentially a cross between an updated iPhone 7 and 7 Plus and the iPhone X. The iPhone 8's have the new wireless charging available to them and Apple has upgraded many of the internal components including a long asked for improvement to the sound quality of the speakers. Mac Rumors has a great article on both the iPhone 8 & 8 Plus.

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Forbes magazine has a very good comparison of all three new phones - the iPhone X and the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.;

Other hardware: Apple TV v.4 - with full support for 4K TV's and a wireless charger for your iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus called the AirPower.


Apple Watch Series 3
by John Wentworth

Image from  www.macworld.co.uk

Since the first release of the Apple Watch, one of the biggest limitations was that it needed an iPhone nearby for most of its' functionality: on its own, you could use it to tell time, monitor activity, and a few other things.

The newly-announced Apple Watch Series 3 adds the usual upgrades (faster processor, etc.) but brings with it a huge change: they now include an LTE (cellular) radio as well. This means that the Watch can now make calls, stream music, and do other internet-related tasks while on the go, away from your iPhone. Your dreams of having a true Dick Tracy-style 2-Way Wrist Radio have finally become reality! Battery life while making calls is likely to be quite short, but sufficient for short conversations while out and about.

I've been using Apple Watch since the first release, and have really enjoyed some of the features that they've all had: GPS directions, weather information, replying to text messages, and setting up reminders. With the addition of a cell radio, the Watch can now do all of these things with much more freedom.


JUST SAY NO TO UPDATES

In the last few days Apple began pushing this new iOS update out to iPhone and iPads. IF you are prompted to update follow this procedure to "just say no."

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1. The update to iOS 11 will download automatically on your iPhone/iPad iF you are connected to a wireless network. You cannot prevent this from happening but when you are prompted to install as in this older screen shot to the right - choose the "Remind Me Later" option. You will then be prompted to "install tonight" - just say no and then follow the steps below.

2. To prevent the update from trying to install again, you can delete it from your device with these steps.

Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage
Scroll through the list of installed apps to find the iOS update app (It will say iOS 11.0.x,) tap on the name, then tap the red "Delete App" option.

3. Next do this step to  "hopefully" prevent the download from updating until you are ready - (sometimes this doesn't work and you will have to delete the updater again as above):

Automatic Updates are enabled by default, so you'll need to turn them off. This won't help with the current update, but it will stop you from getting these messages in future. You do this by: 

  • Going to Settings - tap on it to open.
  • Scroll down to see iTunes & App Stores - tap on it to open.
  • Toggle "Automatic Downloads" to Off IF it is green. If it is not green it is already off. 

BUT remember dear reader - PLEASE you do not have to be first on the block to install either the new Mac OS High Sierra (10.13) or the iOS 11.

Kissing Summer Goodbye

Rocks on a beach

Vacations are a wonderful thing, especially if you get to spend quality time with someone you love and have lots of fun together. This is what I did for two weeks in August. My sister and I spent time in Monterey, went to some fun events here in Sonoma county, and in both places we sat on the beach doing nothing but resting and listening to the ocean. Extremely rejuvenating and relaxing. I'd like to say that I stacked the rocks in this photo but they were just a gift left by some prior beach visitor.

Of course life goes on and change is a part of moving forward. Technology Simplified is saying goodbye to Rob Downard - he has made the decision to return to SRJC full time. Rob has been with us since 2014 and we will miss him. Please join us in wishing him the best as he explores and works toward the next phase of his life.

John will be increasing his hours to be sure all your consulting needs are met.


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As a followup to last month's article on a digital assistanthere is a great article on what the various devices can/cannot do.


Apple is gearing up for some big announcements as I mentioned in last month's newsletter. Rumor has it the news will be released during September. We will keep you updated. In the meantime schedule your Tune Up appointment soon so you are ready to upgrade when the time is right. (See our Tuneup offer below!)


IF you are local, here is a great opportunity to learn more about security, ID theft, and safety in this fast changing world. Even better-it's free!! *This is an open to the public meetup.

Identify Theft, Frauds, Scams and Internet Security

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Finley Center
2060 W College Ave
Santa Rosa, CA

A FREE presentation open to the public. Tell your friends!
John Guaraglia, 19 year volunteer from the Santa Rosa Police Department Community Outreach will present the latest in Identify Theft, Frauds and Scams, how to identify them and how to avoid becoming a victim.

Additionally, NCMUG will present on how computer users can spot computer threats and best practices to avoid them.

In the meantime please join me at the Windsor Senior Center for a brand new 'iPad Mastery' class!! Registration links are below.

This class is limited to 10 students and it is fully hands on.


UPCOMING CLASS

Windsor iPad class

iPad Mastery in Windsor
Wednesday, September 20th and Wednesday, September 27th
10:00am - 11:30am

Now that you know how to get around your iPad and use some of the built in Apps you are ready for more!! Topics covered will include an in depth look at customizing your iPad, tips and tricks for making your iPad easier to use. Take control of understanding iCloud and how it works with your Apple ID. See how Safari works as you learn to surf the web and find what you need. Learn how to take and share photos. We will also look at some favorite third party Apps that help in the kitchen, with travel, and more. This class will be taught in a lecture format as well as hands-on; participants are required to bring their own iPads to class. This class assumes a working knowledge of navigating your iPad, sending Mail, etc. Class content can be adjusted to the skill level of the attendees, based upon what works for the majority.

INSTRUCTIONS TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS

  1. Click on this link
  2. Select "Senior Programs" from choices on the left
  3. Scroll Down the list of Course Categories on the Right to: 

    "Senior Computer - iPad", click "Show Courses"

  4. This page will have all the information you need to sign up.

IS TECHNOLOGY ADDICTING?

Is technology addicting

I am willing to bet you have a grandchild, child, or even spouse who seems to have their cell phone in their hand 24 hours a day. If they do happen to put it away for a few minutes - say during a meal - they will find an excuse to pick it up again before the meal is over. Cell phone addiction has become a real concern in today's over connected society. There are numerous studies about the topic and we have all read the news horror stories of accidents caused by people either texting or even just talking on their phones while driving or walking!! Numerous states have some sort of law on the books that prohibits texting and / or using a hand held cell phone while driving. However just driving around town I can see that the 'hands free' law that California has is nothing more than a bandaid and it's abused often. British Columbia has some of the strictest laws and largest fines in place and when we were there no one was on a cell phone!! Very refreshing!!

Here are a few more articles on the topic:

With iOS 11, Apple is adding a new safety feature called Do Not Disturb. When you're driving, just drive. Your iPhone can now sense when you might be driving and prevent you from being distracted by calls, text messages, and notifications. People trying to reach you can automatically be notified that you're driving. I can't wait to try this one out!! I have seen it in action in the beta version of iOS 11 - very cool.;

As technology becomes more entrenched in our lives it will be interesting to see what manufacturers of phones and cars will do next to keep us safe.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter. You can head to my blog and make a comment or two!!


END OF SUMMER TUNE UP SPECIAL!! 

90 MINUTES FOR $90 ~ TUNE UP*
Your Summer Tune-Up includes:  

Tune Up Special
  • Basic verification and repair (as possible) of your Mac OS operating system and hard drive. Updates to the same.
  • Updating any third-party software you run. Removal of any questionable / outdated software.
  • Verification and  consultation about your backups.
  • Verification of syncing your iOS devices.
  • Each appointment includes approximately 30 - 45 minutes of time for questions and/or training.

Call Today
707.573.9649
to book an appointment with John, our Technology Simplified Tech/Trainer.   

* Offer does not apply to troubleshooting / diagnostics or major Mac OS upgrades. Appointments must be booked by 9/21/2017 and completed by 10/12/2017. Limited to the first 20 appointments.

Spring Forward - It's Upgrade Time

Thank you everyone for all your well wishes!! It feels good to be back in the swing of things. Spring has definitely sprung here in our beautiful county, I cannot remember the last time everything was so lush and green. Of course Sonoma County is known for roses and mine are blooming like crazy. Having spent the better part of the last five months indoors much more than usual I am reveling in being out and about enjoying our beautiful weather. This would be a wonderful time to visit the Luther Burbank Home and Gardens or the Russian River Rose Company.


APPLE'S LATEST UPDATES

Apple hasn't been sitting still either. In March they released a more basic version of the venerable 9.7" iPad called simply the "iPad." It replaces the iPad Air2.  The most significant thing about this new iPad is the lower price point and more limited storage options. A 32 GB iPad will with wi-fi only will cost $329 - $280 less than the same size iPad Pro. It also has an option for 128 GB of storage for $429. A real bargain.  These are perfect iPads for those folks who want a tablet but have never been happy spending a large sum of money on one. Here is the comparison chart on Apple's website.

Over the last few months Apple has also released some significant updates to the iOS system and is now offering iOS 10.3.1. Starting with 10.3 Apple made some major changes to both the visible interface and to how the underlying (invisible software) works. The most recent 10.3.1 update itself is focused on security improvements and bug fixes. 9 to 5 Mac has good video on all the changes. We are recommending everyone with an iPhone 6 and newer upgrade to 10.3.1 as soon as possible. Be sure you've backed up your iPhone before upgrading. If you need help with backing up, here is Apple's directions

Read more about upgrades and updates below.


WHAT OPERATING SYSTEM ARE YOU RUNNING?

An operating system is the underlying software that controls how your computer or iPhone/iPad behaves.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIND OUT WHAT SYSTEM YOU ARE USING

On your Computer
Apple Menu > About this Mac - the first line will tell you, i.e. Sierra 10.12.4.

On your iPhone / iPad

Settings > General > About - scroll down to Version, i.e. 10.3.1.

This is the time of year when Apple's World Wide Developer Conference - WWDC - is getting close (June 5-9). Typically this is when Apple will announce any new systems for computers and/or iOS devices, due before the end of the year, officially. Sometimes, but not always, they also make upcoming hardware product announcements. 

For you this means now is the time to be sure you are running a current version of the Mac OS - El Capitan - 10.11.6 at minimum, ideally Mac OS Sierra - 10.12.4 on your computer. Or on your iPhone or iPad the above mentioned iOS 10.3.1. Once WWDC happens Apple will typically drop support for older OS's such as Yosemite - 10.10.5. 

**Many time we have clients who do not want to upgrade because "it changes things." While I understand and can empathize with how hard change can be; the reality is, in this age of hacking, cyber security breaches and device interconnectedness it is too dangerous or problematic not to keep your computer upgraded the most current system. Remember the longer you wait to upgrade the more complex and time consuming = expensive the process can be. 


CAN MY SYSTEM BE UPGRADED?

Sierra has been out for almost a year (September 2016).
We are recommending upgrading to Sierra IF you meet the following requirements:**

1. At minimum an i5 Processor and 8 GBs of ram. (You can check via Apple Menu > About This Mac - both pieces of information will be there.)

2. Ideally** your computer is from 2011 or newer.

3. Ideally** your computer has an SSD (Solid State Drive), Flash drive (non-moving), OR a Fusion drive. Most recent laptops and now many iMacs have this type of hard drive. Sierra is truly designed to run on an SSD drive and performance noticeably suffers on a traditional spinning hard drive so you would want to add more ram (memory).

4. You have verified that all your non-Apple apps are compatible - you can check here: http://roaringapps.com.

** NOTE: Apple's requirements are drastically lower than what I have listed above - BUT it is our experience that folks who upgrade with less than what is listed above are not happy with the speed and performance of the upgraded system. 

So what if your computer doesn't meet "Ronnie's recommended" configuration?  

All is not lost - sometimes we can assist in getting your older machine upgraded in such a way that running Sierra is possible OR you can choose to run El Capitan which is a perfectly fine system that will run a bit faster. 

Remember if you are in doubt, just ask!!!


UPCOMING CLASS

iPad - Beyond the Basics Class in Windsor

**LIMITED SEATING!!**

Wednesday, June 7th and Wednesday, June 14th

10:00am - 11:30am

Now that you know how to get around your iPad and use some of the built in Apps you are ready for more!! Topics covered will include an in depth look at customizing your iPad, tips and tricks for making your iPad easier to use. Take control of understanding iCloud and how it works with your Apple ID. See how Safari works as you learn to surf the web and find what you need. Learn how to take and share photos. We will also look at some favorite third party Apps that help in the kitchen, with travel, and more. This class will be taught in a lecture format as well as hands-on; participants are required to bring their own iPads to class. This class assumes a working knowledge of navigating your iPad, sending Mail, etc. Class content can be adjusted to the skill level of the attendees, based upon what works for the majority.

INSTRUCTIONS TO SIGN UP FOR THE CLASS

  1. Click on this link
  2. Select "Senior Programs" from choices on the left
  3. Scroll Down the list of Course Categories on the Right to: 

    "Senior Computer - iPad", click "Show Courses"

  4. This page will have all the information you need to sign up.

TECH TIPS

How to Spring Clean Your E-Mail Addresses

Often we have someone in our addresses / contacts who gets a new email address but when we try to email their new address we get their old one or both. This brief tutorial shows you how to get the new address into your Contacts and how to remove the old address from Contacts AND from Previous recipients in Mail. 

Instructions

1. On your computer open the Contacts App. 

2. Find the name of the person whose contact information you need to update and select it - their contact card will show on the right. Then at the lower right of their card choose Edit.

3. Now you can highlight and change the wrong / old address or add another address.  

4. When you have finished be sure to click on Done.

5. Next open the Mail App on your computer.

6. At the top of the window in the Apple Menu bar look for the word "Window" and click on it. From the dropdown that appears choose "Previous Recipients".

7. You will see a window similar to the one below. You can search for the name you want to correct in the search field. Once you find it you can delete the old address using the "Remove From List" option at the bottom left. 

Cleaning Up Using the Previous Recipients

The Previous Recipients list is a great way to keep your contacts emails up to date while at the same time cleaning up all those 'bad/mistyped' addresses that appear when you are typing in someone's email address. 

Instructions

1. Open the Previous Recipients window as above. 

2. In the Previous Recipients window you can click on the words - Name, Email or Last Used to sort / re-sort your list. 

3. If you see a small 'card' icon to the left of someone's name, that means that name and email address are already in your Contacts. IF you remove them from this list they will NOT be removed from your Contacts App. (this is why we started our corrections in the Contacts App.)

4. Go through and delete any addresses that are incomplete or you know are wrong

5. IF you find a name of someone you email all the time and they do not have a 'card" icon to the left of their name you can highlight / select the name and click the 'Add to Contacts' button at the lower right of the window. 

Practice!

Please take a few minutes and practice this by updating my Contact information and email address!!

Ronnie Roche
ronnie@technologysimplified.net
1585 Terrace Way #310
Santa Rosa CA 95404

Remove from your Previous Recipients list these addresses: designsolutions@mac.com and designsolutions@me.com

Please add Jillian's email new address support@technologysimplified.net and remove her old email jillyd2000@icloud.com

There you now have our current contact information - congratulations.