iPhone

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.

iPhone Slow Down, Intel Flaw, and HomePod

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Yes, this newsletter is later than planned but here it is! I am in the throes of insurance companies, contractors, and banks  - this is taking a LOT of my time - all positive though. For the next few months the newsletters will be a bit sporadic as my husband and I finish getting our home repaired and cleaned up. My plan is to send shorter newsletters and/or simple announcements until probably July when things should be back on track. As always I will send urgent notifications IF there are issues I feel need to be addressed immediately.


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. 

The computing world seems to be following a similar path with all the news of vulnerabilities, hacks, malicious this and that... However it's important to know that when these type of things are made public, Apple immediately makes sure to address them. As for the non-Apple issues - being proactive on your own and watchful/cautious around your finances, accounts, and passwords should be your own "best practices."  

Note: I will be on my annual girlfriends retreat from March 11th through March 15th. Jillian and John will have your technical needs covered!! 

Thank you,
Ronnie


IMPORTANT NEWS

RATES ARE INCREASING ON MARCH 1, 2018

I'm proud to say that I have now been in the business of technology support/training for 20 years. In order to continue to help our clients step into success, I am implementing a modest fee increase, which is in keeping with the quality service we provide yet still very competitive. 

Beginning March 1st, the cost per hour of all our services will increase by $10. We enjoy working with you and love supporting your computing and technology endeavors. We truly value our business and personal relationship. If this rate increase presents a problem or brings up concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us. 

THE CLASS YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

iPad Beyond the Basics - updated for iOS 11

February 21st and 28th - see below for more information on how to register.


APPLE NEWS

iPhone Slow Down, Intel Flaw, and HomePod

This past month Apple has addressed two major issues affecting their hardware. Intentional slowing down of older iPhones and a major security flaw affecting Intel chips in most computers and phones (all platforms). To address both these issues Apple has taken some solid steps. It is important that you install any security updates that are offered on your Mac or iPhone / iPad. 

More information about updates below.

iPhone Slow Down

Apple has made changes to iOS 11 to address the issues with processor slow downs on older iPhones and will continue to do so in upcoming updates to iOS 11.
More information here

To help folks who have older iPhones (iPhone 6,  6s, SE, and iPhone 7), Apple will replace the batteries of out of warranty iPhones for $29 (normally $79). To participate you can call Apple support and tell them you want to participate in the iPhone battery replacement plan. 
More information here.

Intel Security Flaw

1. Mac OS Intel flaw
Apple has released security updates for all OS starting with El Capitan (10.11.5) and the Safari web browser. 
More information here.

2. iOS Intel flaw

The iOS 11.2.5 update for all iOS devices addresses this issue.

More information here.

HomePod

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Apple has finally released their music system / digital assistant product calledHomePod. You can buy one now.  We'll have reviews in an upcoming newsletter - but initial reviews from true audiophiles are mixed. Apple is somewhat late to this game and the competition is stiff.  


OPERATING SYSTEM STATUS
(iOS and Mac OS)

Mac OS

Mac OS High Sierra (10.13.3) !! DO NOT INSTALL !!

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. 

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

How to avoid upgrading to High Sierra for the time being

Apple is 'pushing' this upgrade so when you get the prompt at the upper right corner of your screen, click on 'Details' which will open the App Store and then simply Quit the App store. Nothing will install. IF you want to be very sure High Sierra doesn't install accidentally, you can go to your Applications folder and look to see if you have a file called "Install  Mac OS High Sierra," then drag this to the trash. Don't worry - you can download it again when it is safe to install. 
 

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 11.2.5

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 11.2.5 to get the most important security update addressing the Intel issue.


The Class You've Been Waiting For!!

windsor upcoming ipad class

iPad Beyond the Basics - updated for iOS 11

All ages

Wednesday, February 21st and Wednesday, February 28th

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. 

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.

TECH TIPS

iOS TIP

Find out Which Apps Are Draining Your Battery Life on iPhone

With all this talk about battery life and your iPhone, knowing what apps are using up your battery life is a good practice. Of course, if you use an app a lot it's always going to show up as the app using most of your battery. But sometimes an app running in the background or not working properly will drain your battery life too, and it's good to be aware of them. Here is how to check.
 

Settings > Battery

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Wait a few seconds and a list will appear. Now you will  see a list of apps and the percentage of your battery they've used in the last 24 hours or last 7 days, depending on which tab you select.

Remember that if you've used an app a lot, of course it's going to drain your battery. But check to make sure there aren't any apps on the list that you're not using enough to permit that amount of battery drain. Consider either deleting those apps and re-downloading them or getting rid of them altogether.

Finally, check which apps are using a lot of battery in the background. 

To do this,

1. Tap the clock icon on the right.

2. Under each app it will say time on screen and time in background. 

3. If apps are draining a lot of your battery in the background, I suggest turning Background App Refresh off in General Settings OR close the app when you aren't using it.

 

Mac OS TIP

Disable Autoplay Video

With Safari 11 (which you can get if you are running Mac OS Sierra or High Sierra) can disable autoplay video, so you will never again have to hear voices while you are browsing the web (especially prevalent on news sites)!

When you first click on a web site with sound, a small speaker / volume icon appears at the upper right of the URL (address) bar, you can touch it to stop the audio.

BUT next time you are on a site that is autoplaying a video, click on Safari > Settings for This Website.

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Once the Settings for This Website option is selected, you will see a pop up window with the option Auto-Play. Hover on the words besides that to see three choices:

        * Allow All Auto-Play

        * Stop Media with Sound

        * Never Auto-Play

Stop Media with Sound appears to be the default option, and it will essentially stop any video from starting if the sound is set to be on. If the video is set to play silently it will still run in Safari in High Sierra, but at least they won't suddenly blare out audio, scaring you because you had the sound on your Mac turned up.

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If you would rather not see the video at all, you can choose Never Auto-Play. This selection will apply to any autoplay videos on that site. If you visit a page with a video you will see a Play button in the middle of the video and you just have to click on that to start the video playing.

 

If you want videos to Auto-Play on a particular site you can choose to Allow All Auto-Play. Choose Stop Media with Sound if you don't mind them playing but would rather not hear the sound track.

You can also add sites you wish not to autoplay video to a listing in Safari Preferences. Go to Safari > Preferences and click on Websites. Click Auto-Play and in the section on the right you will see any currently open websites. As before, you can choose to:

        * Allow All Auto-Play

        * Stop Media with Sound

        * Never Auto-Play

System Upgrades, Computer Updates, and Tech Tips

Wow!! It is so green outside!! I LOVE IT!!! 

Now that I am well on my way to getting my mobility back (still in process but better everyday,) I am loving the beautiful green hills that are Sonoma county at this time of year. When I look around and see the green hills, the daffodils and yellow mustard weed I just get happy - don't you? It must be the Irish in me. The amount of rain this winter has pretty much banished the drought in most parts of California but I sincerely hope everyone remembers that water conservation should still be a priority in this changing world of ours. 

It has become apparent to me over the last month, while we have been doing a lot of security audits, that many folks are still confused or unsure about the upgrade cycle of their computer(s) in relation to both hardware and software. Below is an article that helps you understand the reasoning behind and the process of keeping your computers upgraded. 

We are now looking towards Apple's spring announcements - a March event where we are expecting to see new / refreshed iPads and possibly iMacs and laptops is the rumor. I will keep you posted as more information (not rumors) is available.


UPCOMING CLASSES
SAVE THE DATES!** 

*NEW* classes at Shutterbug Camera in Santa Rosa

iPhoneography

Wednesday, March 29th from 2pm - 5pm
-and-
Monday, April 17th from 10am - 1pm

  • Do you want to know how to work with your photos on iPhone or iPad? How to shoot, import, acquire, organize, share, and edit.
  • Having photos on your iPhone/iPad is great fun, but...
  • How do you delete the ones you don't want?
  • How do you share with friends and family?
  • What about organizing...Can it be done?
  • What is the difference between your iPhone/iPad camera and the photos app?
  • Can you print from your iPhone or iPad?
  • How do you print iPhone/iPad photos using Shutterbug's printing services?

This class will answer these questions and show you how to set up your iPhone/iPad so you are ready to have fun with your iOS.

#30094  Min. 6 Max.10
Cost -   $69.00

**Registration is not yet open. I will e-mail you when it does.


UPGRADING YOUR MAC OS

I am currently recommending very strongly that anyone running ANY OS earlier than and including 10.9.5 to upgrade to either El Capitan - 10.11.5 (you will need help to acquire this) OR Sierra 10.12.3. IF you are running Mac OS 10.10.5 Yosemite, you will want to plan to upgrade before the end of this year. 

You can check the compatibility of your non-Apple software apps here at RoaringApps and the hardware requirements here. Please know you can contact us for an evaluation and help with this. 


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. 

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 quite 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 10.9.5. This means that web browsers and email in 10.9.5 or earlier are now vulnerable to all that nasty stuff out there. We fully expect Apple to drop support for Mac OS 10.10 within the next few months.

Until the last few years this also meant the the newer OS's would require the newer hardware. This changed way back with 10.8 (Mt. Lion). Since Mt. Lion was released in July of 2012 Apple has not really changed the hardware requirements UNTIL the current OS release Sierra. BUT this does not mean you should install 10.12 - Sierra or even 10.11 - on a five +  year old machine. In fact attempting to can cause all kinds of issues, none of which are easy to fix. 

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.

So how to think long term?

The time to make a decision about how long to keep a computer is when you buy a new  one. When I help a client decide what computer to buy, I 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, I 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 out Spring Tune Up Special! (Read on for details.) 

During your tuneup we can offer advice on how to get your computers running Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan) or 10.12 (Sierra) or advise on a new purchase. 


SPRING TUNE UP SPECIAL!! 

90 MINUTES FOR $90 ~ SPRING TUNE UP*   

Your Spring Tune-Up includes:  

  • 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 andconsultation 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
Rob or John, our Design Solutions Tech/Trainers. 

* Offer does not apply to troubleshooting / diagnostics or major Mac OS upgrades. Appointments must be booked by 3/10/2017 and completed by 4/30/2017. Limited to the first 20 appointments.


TECH TIPS 

iPhone - Saving Photos from Messages

If you take a photo using the camera icon within Messages (texting), it isn't automatically saved to your iPhone. If you take a photo you really like, you'll want to manually save it. It's nice that iPhone doesn't automatically save those photos so that you aren't accidentally taking up too much space or saving private photos meant only for the conversation. But if you send a photo you like, here's how to save it to the Photos app.  NOTE: you can use this same process to save an image someone sends you via Messages. 

- Once you send your photo touch and hold on the image in the Messages window for that conversation and you will see these options - choose Save

 

Mac OS - Stopping Automatic Audio in Safari

In Safari the default settings allow for some video to start playing as soon as a web page fully loads. This can be nice for some content BUT really annoying when you want to read an article and the video content is an ad. You can quickly stop the audio portion of the content by going to the address bar in Safari and touching on the blue speaker icon.

It is possible to completely disable any video from playing automatically in Safari - however - this will make is more complicated for you to get the video you do want and for most folks I do not recommend it. 

iPhone 7 and iOS 10

RONNIE'S MUSINGS

Apple's new releases were major last month. iOS 10, iPhone 7 & 7+ and Mac OS Sierra (10.12). Some of our team loves to be in on the first round and even testing the beta versions of Apple's newest software. While I never recommend my clients follow this path of beta installs!!!!, it is great to have a team willing to share their thoughts of Apple's latest and greatest software and hardware. See below for John's take on the iPhone 7, iOS 10, and upgrade recommendations. The upgrade to Mac OS Sierra also hits hardware hard - Apple has finally increased the hardware requirements for Sierra and most computers from 2010 and older will not run it. It is hard to tell exactly which devices from 2010 will run Sierra - in my case my 2010 laptop is on the "okay" list until we look further and it is one revision too early. So when the time comes we can help you decide whether your computer can be upgraded or if you would be better off buying a new computer. 

Apple has spent the last few years focusing on their iOS hardware and in my opinion done a disservice to their computer using faithful. Many of the current computers in the Apple lineup haven't seen a hardware upgrade in over a year. Except for the MacBook, their laptop lineup is woefully out of date especially for the MacBook Pros!! This website shows the upgrade cycle of all Apple Products. Hopefully Apple has a laptop revision in the works - Rumor is saying that this month we will see some new hardware - my fingers are crossed. 


UPGRADES: YES OR NO?

Mac OS Sierra


It is currently a "hold off, please do not install" - why?? Sierra is shaping up to be a very good OS upgrade BUT as always until it has been out awhile, we recommend holding off on installing it so the third party peripheral and software manufacturers can catch up. Right now there are documented issues with ScanSnap products, some Quicken versions, Adobe CC, and so forth. This is normal and not unexpected. We fully expect to be giving a green light on Sierra before the end of the year. Apple's Photos 2.0 (only available in Sierra) is great and I too am anxious to get working with it. Patience will serve us well. 

 

iOS 10  

I am giving iOS 10.0.2 a 'GO' for installing. This update has some fun new features which John mentions below and a complete list is available here. As always be sure you backup your iPhone completely before you upgrade. 

ALSO - be sure your iOS device can run iOS 10 and remember IF your device is more than a year or two old, any new OS will run slower. Apple increases the hardware requirements every time they release a major update. 


iPhone 7 and iOS 10  - By John Wentworth

I picked up my iPhone 7 on Friday and here are a few quick thoughts!

  1. I went with the Plus, the larger model. I've stuck with the smaller version for the last few years, thinking that the Plus would be too large for my needs. After looking at how I use my iPhone, I decided that the benefits of a much larger screen would outweigh the inconvenience. So far, I think I was right. Reading, browsing the web, and using my iPhone as a GPS in the car have all become much more pleasant than before. I'm unable to type with one hand, as I was able to on the smaller phone, but that's about the only downside.
     
  2. The loss of the headphone jack is a shame, but hasn't been too bad so far. An adapter is in the box, and extras are $9 at the Apple Store. If you only have a single pair of headphones, I'd say that leaving the included adapter attached to your headphones will probably work out well for you.
     
  3. This thing is fast, fast, fast! I'm coming from an iPhone 6S, which is just last year's model. The 7 still feels quicker in tasks like browsing and switching between apps. Benchmarks say that it's faster than any MacBook Air ever released - that's really something!
     
  4. Storage sizes have been doubled from past years. This is great news for those of you who have purchased the smallest-capacity phone: since the least-expensive phone now comes with 32GB, you'll be far less likely to run out of space.
     
  5. I haven't been able to test out the new camera, but I'll be going on vacation shortly, and it'll get a workout. All of the example photos that I've seen online make it look like this is a great bump from prior years.
     
  6. Battery life is amazing. I haven't had to worry about it once since I got it.
     

iOS 10
I've also been using iOS 10 since it went into beta a few months ago. I've been happy with it - it's a refinement of iOS 9, so if you're comfortable with iOS 9, you should be just fine with 10. 

Lock Screen
The most noticeable change is to the lock screen: swiping left will no longer take you to the passcode screen, but to a list of widgets. This has been great for checking my calendar, the weather, and the like. 

Ronnie's Thoughts
Apple also drastically changed the way email/Mail appears on screen. This is especially noticeable on an iPhone. Now your threaded conversations are all in one list with gray separators. It takes some getting used to but I think this is a good change. Apple has already updated iOS 10 twice so the current version is 10.0.2 - 
the .2 update fixed some major headphone issues I was having.


iPhone / iOS TIP
 

Apple's Health App allows you to register as an organ donor!

In the Health app on iPhone, you can create a Medical ID with important information in the case of an emergency. Your Medical ID can be accessed from the emergency dial screen without unlocking your iPhone. When creating your Medical ID card, you'll have the option to sign up as an organ donor with Donate Life America's organ donation registry. 

Here's how:

  1. Tap on the Health App icon and click on Create Medical ID (add as much or as little info as you want)
  2. As you're creating your Medical ID, you will reach a page with the option to sign up as an organ donor.
  3. Click on "Sign Up"
  4. Enter the registration information, then tap Continue. Make sure all your information is correct then tap Complete Registration with Donate Life.
  5. When you open the Health app and tap Medical ID from here on out, you will see the heart and title Organ Donor. Scroll to the bottom of your Medical ID in the Health app if you need to edit your organ donation registry or if you would rather sign up after setting up your Medical ID in the Health app. 

NEW REMOTE SUPPORT HAS ARRIVED!!   

We are so excited!!!!  We have now thoroughly tested our new remote support software and will begin using it immediately. 

The company is Splashtop and the software we have licensed from them is their SOS Support. The biggest benefit of this software is how easy it is to activate and use. If you schedule a remote appointment Jillian will send an email with a link to be activated when you are on the phone with your tech. 

This software is very safe and secure and does not allow any sort of unattended access - you must be in front of your computer for us to connect to it remotely. 

So what type of appointments can a remote be used for? 
We can do most types of training via remote, troubleshooting printer software, updating and/or cleanup of third party software, helping with installs of new software (other than major OS releases or those that require a restart) and much more. 

Remote pricing is 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