5 Tips for Increasing Security on your iPhone® Device

5 Tips for Increasing Security on your iPhone Device

Can you even imagine getting through the day without using your iPhone device? Probably not.

iPhone devices are wonderful tools for accessing and managing a variety of private information: emails, credit cards, social media accounts and much more. Don’t fall victim to unwelcome users, here are our top five tips for increasing your iPhone device’s security.

  1. Change passcode to password

    The iPhone device comes with the standard option of creating a 4-digit passcode. However, creating a longer password provides more security. By having a password that incorporates letters instead of a passcode, you instantly add more possible combinations making it more difficult for anyone to guess your password.

  2. Turn off Wi-Fi in insecure locations

    Keep your information as safe as possible by only connecting to Wi-Fi in secure locations. By turning off your Wi-Fi in locations that do not seem to have a secure network, you limit the chance of hackers getting to your private information.

  3. Enable Touch ID

    The Touch ID® function is a great iPhone feature in recent models that allows users to access their iPhone by scanning their registered finger print. Not only does Touch ID keep your information safe from those looking to gain unauthorized access to your phone, it also makes logging into your phone a lot easier than entering a password.

  4. Avoid untrustworthy sites

    It’s true that Apple devices do not suffer from viruses or other malware as often as other devices, however, they still can fall victim. Because of this, do not trust unworthy sites, even when on your iPhone device.

  5. Keep up with recent updates

    Apple, Inc.’s® noteworthy safety from viruses is due to their OS® software. In order for your iPhone device to take advantage of this, be sure to keep up with all updates. Not applying the updates may leave your phone vulnerable.

Looking for ways to keep your personal information personal? Your local Experimac store can help make sure you are doing everything possible. Stop by today!

Save Money on Holiday Travel Planning with our Favorite Apps

Making plans for your holiday travel? Are you off to visit family and friends in your childhood hometown or will you be visiting somewhere new and exotic? Are you on a budget?

It can take a lot of coordination to make sure the kids are out of school and vacation days are approved by your boss. Finding a good deal on flights and hotels can make it a stressful and costly time of year.

Our advice? Plan ahead and take a look at our top app picks to help you save on travel this upcoming holiday season.

  • Kayak

    When it comes to planning an expensive holiday trip, Kayak is the best app to start with. This app allows you to choose a destination and date, and provides you with competitive prices on airfare, hotels and rental cars from bargain-finding apps such as Priceline and Expedia.

  • Hopper

    Traveling for the holidays can be tricky when trying to find inexpensive airfare. Hopper is an app that allows you to compare flight prices by date, and it color codes prices to specified cities over a variety of dates.

  • Uber

    If you don’t plan on using a rental car for your vacation, consider using Uber for getting around town, or even for getting to and from the airport. Uber rides are cheaper than taxi rides and are usually available much faster than taxis. It also takes the stress out of navigating a city you’re not familiar with.

  • AirBnB

    AirBnB allows homeowners to list their home or a room in their home for rent to travelers for discounted rates. The less privacy you need, the cheaper your stay can be. What’s great about AirBnB is the ability to stay in locations that may not be as public and may offer challenges in finding hotels or inns.

  • Yelp

    When in a new city, finding inexpensive restaurants and activities can be difficult, but not with Yelp. This app not only tells you about nearby places to eat and things to do, but will also categorize local places by how expensive they are through the use of dollar signs. Places listed with one or two dollar signs signify less expensive options versus places listed with three or four dollar signs.

Whether your dream is to spend the holidays on an exotic beach or surrounded by loved ones in your childhood home, planning ahead can make a world of difference in what it will all cost you.

If you’re having trouble installing these apps or want to make sure your devices are ready for your upcoming travels, stop by your local Experimac store today. We’re here to help!

Textiquette: Experimac’s Top 10 Tips for Texting with Manners

In the modern world, we can’t imagine how we ever lived without text messages. Texting can be very convenient and quick, just make sure you mind your manners if you want the recipient to respect you and your messages.

Here are our top 10 tips for using your manners when texting:

  1. Never text and drive: The most important texting manner is to not text and drive. Nothing good comes from not paying attention to the road nor the conversation you are trying to have. Both deserve your undivided attention, don’t do both at the same time.
  2. Give others your full attention: Whether it is during a date, a business meeting, or any social event, don’t text when engaged in social interaction or when your attention should be on others. Texting distracts you and others, preventing clear, open and trusting communication. Don’t text and talk, give others your full attention.
  3. Proofread: A text full of mistakes can leave a horrible impression on the recipient, Though the idea behind texting is the ability to send a quick message, not taking the extra minute, it takes to proofread could be detrimental to how your text’s reader understands you and your priorities. Using too many emojis should also be avoided for the reader’s benefit.
  4. Avoid abbreviating and over-shortening words or phrases: Though abbreviations can be fun and useful, they can also be confusing and even seem lazy. Take the extra moment to spell out words and phrases properly, particularly with business texts and when texting those you don’t personally know very well.
  5. Be mindful of length: There are few things more frustrating than a long text, as it is easy to miss important details. Limit longer messages to emails or phone calls.
  6. Avoid group texts: Group texts are another way that texts can become confusing and even annoying rather quickly. Often times, those in the group text aren’t sure when responses are directed at the group or them specifically, and several responses coming from several people can be overwhelming and even annoying.
  7. Do conclude text conversations: Concluding text conversations is frequently overlooked, and it shouldn’t be. Providing finality to text conversations is satisfying and more straight forward. The only exception to this may be if you text a friend on a daily, or more regular, basis.
  8. Be sensitive to privacy: We are never certain who has access to texts we send to others. Avoid including private information in texts in order to prevent privacy disasters.
  9. Don’t text bad news: Whether it is a break-up, a death in the family or losing a job, sad news should never be texted. Give the person the respect of telling them in person. If you can’t see them in person, telling them over a phone call is the least you can do.
  10. Be patient: Because you are not in front of the person you are texting; you can never be sure of what they are doing when you send them a message. Don’t grow impatient if someone doesn’t respond right away. If you believe you’ve been unclear in previous texts, perhaps clarify. However, don’t rush the person to respond to you.

At Experimac, we understand better than most how much you rely on your phone, not just for calls but also for text messages. If your iPhone® device is giving you trouble, bring it in and we’ll take a look at it so you never miss a text message again.

Data Recovery – What’s Possible and What’s Not

Data Recovery - What's Possible and What's Not

Losing data is the most devastating thing that can happen when working with technology. If you have ever experienced this, you’ll know the pain we’re talking about. Whether it’s deleting a file, forgetting a password or the aftermath of a destroyed device, you know the agony this can cause.

However, not all hope is lost. In some instances, your data can be saved. So, what’s possible and what’s not when trying to recover data on your Mac® laptop or computer?

The first and most critical thing you should do once you realize you have lost data is: stop using the device. By continuing to use the device, you hurt the chances of recovering lost data. As frustrating as it may be to sit back and not use it, it can make the difference between what’s possible and what’s not.

There are several reasons why devices can lose data and the cause for the data loss may determine whether your data can be recovered or not.

Sometimes, lost data is a result of storage cloud issues. Some Mac users depend on cloud storage; however, some erroneously believe their data is instantly backed up. This isn’t always the case as most storage services typically synchronize with a folder instead of the computer’s hard drive. As a result, users sometimes cause damage to their own device when trying to find problems with their hard drive or software that do not exist. Making sure this is setup properly can make all the difference in the world.

When data is impossible to recover, it usually comes from a physical problem with the device involving the hardware. Due to their unique design, Mac devices can be difficult to fix. Some circumstances have easier solutions than others, making it best to leave data recovery to trained professionals who can properly diagnose the problem and do their best to recover missing information. Surprisingly, data can sometimes be recovered even after floods, fires, or other extreme situations.

Don’t risk permanently losing precious data. Stop by Experimac to see how we can help you avoid the need for emergency data recovery on any of your Apple® devices!

How Much Time Spent on Your Phone May Surprise You

How much time do we spend on our phones and doing what?

The answer might surprise you!

How much time?

A mobile research report conducted by eMarketer shows total time spent by mobile users as 4 hours, 5 minutes per day. Some studies have found that smart phone use may make up as much as five hours of use daily in adults, and even more than that from users aged 18-24. In other words, we are spending about 17-20% of our lives on our phones. You could have an additional part time job with all of that time!

Doing what?

So, we may spend a lot of time on our phones, but that doesn’t make us bad or negligent people. Smart phones have several practical uses, making them highly functional, partially justifying our amount of use. Whether for communicating, conducting business, using a calculator or just waking up to a morning alarm, our dependence on smart phones as a society is undeniable.

What started as a trendy device has now become an essential tool in American culture. The website Hackernoon said it best, “The amount of time people spend on their mobile phones is less representative of addictive behavior today, and more representative of a massive cultural shift.” The smartphone has revolutionized human behaviors and challenges and has set a new precedent for how we conduct communication, business and ourselves going forward.

You may be wondering, what could anyone do on a phone for five hours a day? Well, user-time adds up quick, and according to MediaKix, we spend an average of 1 hour, 56 minutes on the top 5 social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. eMarketer found that 22% of mobile phone time is taken up by texting, 22% by phone calls, and 10% by email. Most of our phone use is devoted to apps, while a small 8% of our average use relies on browsers.

Smart device use, whether it be an iPhone® device, iPad® tablet or an Apple Watch® device, has consumed our modern American culture and has created a new frontier for business, communication and leisure. If you are an avid smart device user, don’t feel bad as you are clearly not alone. Our reliance on smart devices as a society is simply a reflection of the ever-changing world we live in.

Has reading this made you realize your iPhone device or iPad tablet needs a repair or its time for a trade in? If so, stop by your local Experimac store and we’ll gladly help you get back to your favorite apps, text messages, phone calls, and of course, social media.

 

Experimac’s Favorite Apps for Dog Lovers

Experimac Top Picks - Favorite Apps for Dog Lovers

Did you know that National Dog Day is on August 26th?

Celebrate your beloved dog this year by incorporating fun and helpful apps that are designed to improve all aspects of your dog’s life. Take a look at our top 10 app picks for dog lovers!

  1. Perfect Dog
    Considering getting a dog but don’t know what breed will fit your lifestyle? Check out Perfect Dog. This app has features that will help you sort through 340 different breeds based on activity level, grooming, living space and other important features. There is a free version of this app, but there are also in-app purchases.
  2. Pooch – Your Personal Dog Trainer
    Training your dog should be a fun and bonding experience for you and your furry friend. This free app teaches you how to reinforce good behavior and provides instructions along the way. Learn how to teach your dog commands and tricks, and track your dog’s progress throughout the process. You can also track their weight and feeding schedule.
  3. PetCoach
    Get connected to licensed vets and trainers for free any time of day or night with PetCoach. You can ask about symptoms, nutrition, or advice on any emergency. If you find a professional you and your pet really connect well with, you can even schedule an appointment with that particular vet or trainer.
  4. Dog Walk – Track Your Dog’s Daily Walks
    Do you enjoy going for walks, jogs or runs with your dog? Then you need to take a look at this app. Keep track of where you are, how long your walk has been, and even keep track of where your dog likes to relieve themselves. This free app can be easily used on your phone or Apple Watch® device.
  5. Walk for a Dog
    This app will donate funds to the animal rescue organization of your choice when you walk your dog. The amount of the donation depends on how many people actively walk for your chosen organization. You can view past walks and even post to social media to inspire others to join in.
  6. Companion
    Keep yourself safe wherever you walk, or with whomever you walk with, by using this free app. This apps tracks where you are and can send notifications to loved ones if you don’t feel safe. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, the closest dispatcher will send police in two taps of your device.
  7. Wag
    Need a dog walker, sitter or overnight boarding? No problem! Install Wag, and you’ll always have access to walkers and sitters, as well as text updates, GPS tracking, pee/poo notifications, and photo report cards. Their walkers and sitters are thoroughly tested on dog handling and all services are insured.
  8. Pet First Aid American Red Cross
    Is your dog or cat demonstrating weird symptoms? Having a place to turn to if your dog or cat suffers from injuries or illnesses is a good plan of action. Check symptoms for emergency situations your dog or cat may encounter. Learn about warning signs and first aid steps from your smart device, and even locate the closest emergency animal hospital.
  9. Whistle
    This free wellness-monitoring app is a great way of keeping track of your dog’s health and happiness. Pinpoint your dog’s location and heartrate, and create wellness goals for your pet. You can add other members of your family or even a dog sitter to your dog’s profile, ensuring everyone is aware of your dog’s needs.
  10. BarkCam
    This fun and free app makes taking pictures of your dog easy for both of you by playing sounds to catch your dog’s attention while you snap the perfect picture. This app also has fun filters, stickers and quotes you can add to your dog’s perfect selfies.

Dogs are our loyal companions, man’s best friend. At Experimac, we know how much you rely on your devices, so if you’ve run into issues downloading all of these great apps, stop by your local Experimac store today. We’ll help you troubleshoot your device’s issues, explain our trade-in process, or show you all of our certified pre-owned inventory.

Why Certified Pre-Owned Apple® Computers Are the Best Choice for Your New Business?

Certified Pre-Owned Apple Computers - Best Choice for Your New Business

If you’re a business owner or are thinking of starting a new business, there’s no doubt you’ll understand the workload and expenses that are associated with the process of getting your business up and running. Apple Inc.® offers some of the most stylish and reliable computers on the market. Certified pre-owned Apple computers from Experimac make sense for new business owners for several reasons. Take a look at some of the benefits of purchasing a certified pre-owned Apple computer for your new business:

  • Safety
    Apple computers have long been considered the safer option between PC and Apple computers, but why? Both PC and Apple computers are vulnerable to malware. However, due to the number and variety of PCs available, PCs are attacked by hackers more frequently than Apple computers. Apple computers are created, sold and updated by Apple Inc. This means they can maintain more stability and, ultimately more control, of the operating system and security of Apple computers. Apple Inc. also optimizes their operating system to function with Apple components and thus Apple computers typically crash less than other computers.
  • Usability
    Apple computers are famous for their beautiful design and offer better physical components such as nicer screens due to their high-resolution retina display. Apple computers are easier to incorporate into daily routines and anyone’s lifestyle thanks to the strengthened ties between Apple OS® software and iOS® devices such as your iPhone® device and iPad® tablet. iOS device users now have the ability to start a note or email on their iPhone device or iPad tablet, and continue working on it on their MacBook® laptop, for example, without taking additional steps to synchronize or save anything thanks to the new Hand-Off® feature.
  • Reliability
    When it comes down to the integrity of the software, Apple computers come with software that is specifically designed for their products. Apple computers are considered reliable due to the incredible OS software as well as the superb customer support offered on an Apple computer. Since Apple, Inc. provides everything for the Apple computer, you are provided with a well-thought-out and all-inclusive computer experience.
  • Affordability and Pre-Owned Prices
    It is relatively easy to find cheap PCs, however, these options do not offer the quality that comes with an Apple computer. There is no such thing as a cheaply-made Apple computer. However, owning a premium Apple computer does not have to come at a premium price. Apple computers are known for their longevity thanks to their stable operating systems and quality construction, and buying a certified pre-owned Apple computer is a great option for those on a budget. With the right equipment, at a cost that will not break the bank, Experimac is happy to help you select what your office will need.

Invest wisely in your new business and save money on startup costs with certified pre-owned Apple® computers from Experimac. Stop by your local Experimac today to get more information on certified pre-owned Apple devices and find out which models fit the needs of your new business.

What does your Ringtone Say About You?

Did you know that the ringtone you pick for your phone, or decide not to pick, can actually say something about you?

Psychologists agree that whether your ringtone is a pop song, a traditional ring or even silenced, it means something and demonstrates personality traits about you to the world around you.

Wondering how your ringtone is perceived by others around you? Take a look at what they’ve found:

  • An older rock song could date you, but it also means you know your way around technology. You feel confident with your age and you’re not afraid to hide it. If you’re a younger person with a song that outdates you, you are an independent thinker who is not afraid to part ways with current trends and expectations.
  • Using a ringtone already installed in your phone could mean that you’re down to earth and practical. You’re happy with the simple things in life and choose to spend your time on things that matter more than a ringtone.
  • If you stay current and use hit pop songs as your ringtone, you are a person who loves variety. You are adventurous and love new experiences. You probably do your best to stay aware of current trends and change your hairstyle as often as you change your ringtone.
  • Having classical music as a ringtone could go one of two ways: you are both refined and sophisticated, or you are very stressed out. Classical music is proven to calm nerves, and your ringtone may be what you use to destress, particularly if you get a lot of work-related calls.

The choice of ringtone is not the only cell phone component that shares tidbits of your personality with others. Cell phone etiquette does as well:

  • The person who interrupts a meeting because of their phone is not only demonstrating bad business etiquette, but they are also giving you insight into their personality or lifestyle. They may be self-centered, forgetful or even overwhelmed. Either way, leaving your ringtone on during a meeting is not the best way to make a good impression on others.
  • The person who always leaves their phone on silent is usually someone who puts the day-to-day activities in front of them before phone calls, and loves to live in the moment rather than on the phone. However, be careful, this could be misinterpreted as being unreliable or antisocial.
  • The person who never picks up calls is often someone who is overwhelmed with pressing matters, or is someone who doesn’t care to speak on the phone and would rather be left alone. Again, this can be taken either way, so be mindful of the calls you are choosing not to answer.
  • The person who answers calls right away can be seen as dutiful, helpful, but also over-eager. If you’re the kind of person who picks up calls at inopportune times, you could be making a horrible impression on those you care about or with employers.

Make sure you are making the right impression with your ringtone and sound settings as well as your phone etiquette. If you need help with your iPhone® device’s ringtone settings, no worries! Visit your local Experimac to see what our highly experienced technicians can do for you today.

Experimac’s Top Picks: Educational Apps for Kids

Are your kids headed back to school? Have the nervous jitters kicked in? Or, are your kids confident as they start the new school year? At Experimac, we know kids love technology and if we can get kids to learn while having fun using the technology they like, then why not?

We have broken down our recommendations on the best educational apps for kids below because we want to help you and them have a successful school year. Whether your child needs a little help getting organized or is dreaming of exploring outer space and the planets, we’ve got you covered. These 10 apps are a fun way to reinforce what they learn at school during the day and help them keep track of deadlines, tasks, etc.

  1. BrainPOP
    This is one of the most helpful apps for students of all ages. Whether your child is struggling with Math, Reading, Social Studies or Science, this app has several interactive lessons and videos designed to create interest and understanding in a variety of topics without being too long to keep the average student’s attention.
  2. Photomath Camera Calculator
    Many children struggle with completing Math assignments on their own. However, before looking for a tutor, take advantage of your iPad® tablet by downloading Photomath Camera Calculator and point your iPad tablet’s camera to a math problem printed in a book or on a worksheet. Photomath will not only provide you an answer, it will also show you a detailed explanation as to how to find the correct answer.
  3. NASA App
    Explore planets, space missions, astronauts, history, maps and videos with the NASA App. Imagine being able to explore outer space from the palm of your hand!
  4. My Study Life
    This app’s purpose is to simplify your life by replacing paper planners and providing you and your children with the ability to schedule events, set up notifications, synchronize all of your smart devices and keep track of tasks that need to be completed. This could very well save your sanity.
  5. EasyBib
    Need help citing sources for research papers and projects? EasyBib can help you with that. Whether you need to cite APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association) research papers, EasyBib can help you quickly using your iPad® tablet or iPhone® device. Simply take a picture of the book’s barcode or type the title of the book, and EasyBib takes over.
  6. TED-Ed
    You may be very familiar with TED Talks. Did you know that there are lessons designed by the same creators of TED Talks that discuss a multitude of topics in Social Studies, Science and more? These educational videos follow up with short quizzes about the video lessons.
  7. Hooked on Phonics
    If your student isn’t reading yet, take a look at Hooked on Phonics. This app provides games, lessons and stories to teach children phonics and motivate them to read without frustrating your emerging reader.
  8. Quizlet
    Don’t have the time to create flashcards? No problem. Quizlet is an app available on the iPad tablet that offers thousands of flashcards for countless topics to help students study for any exam. It also includes interactive games, study modes and practice tests, making studying easy and effective. One of the most helpful features of Quizlet is the ability to make your own flashcards for any subject area using your class notes, textbook or online resources.
  9. Evernote
    Note taking is now much easier thanks to apps like Evernote. Evernote allows you to take notes in a variety of ways, all on your iPad tablet. Whether it is taking a picture, creating a list or writing down a reminder, this app makes these notes easy to create and easy to share with other devices. Projects, assignments and day-to-day activities are all made much easier for your child with this app. Your child can then share their notes with you in a group notebook so you can keep tabs of what they’re learning in class.
  10. Stack the States
    Do you know all 50 states? Chances are your student doesn’t. Geography is something people of all ages seem to struggle with. Help change that by using this app. Stack the States has games and questions that help you learn to identify the United States.

Remember Experimac is your go-to resource for all of your family’s Back to School tech needs. We stock a large variety of certified pre-owned phones, tablets, laptops, computers and more to help your student stay on the path to success this year. If it’s time to trade in and upgrade their current devices, we can help you with that too. See you at your local Experimac!

Love Music? So Do We! – Experimac’s Favorite Music Apps

For those with a long commute or for those who love to work out, music is often the most motivating part of the commute or workout session. Whether your playlist includes The Beatles, Rihanna or Keith Urban, listening to your favorite artists can help you relax, focus and get your blood pumping.

Check out these free music apps we love. They will make it easy for you to listen to the artists you love, discover new music, identify songs, and even find radio stations near you.

  • iTunes – Media player, media library, online radio broadcaster, and mobile device management app – iTunes does it all. Through the iTunes Store, you can buy and download music, music videos, audio books, podcasts, and even TV shows, ringtones, and movies. Play, download and organize your favorite music using their user-friendly interface.
  • Pandora – A free music app that streams songs for you to listen to. You enter your favorite artist’s name and Pandora will play songs by them and other similar artists they recommend. You rate the songs and bookmark your favorite artists.
  • Spotify – On Spotify, you can follow artists and sync music from your desktop. You can create a station so Spotify will play songs similar to your original music selection. You can also find music by viewing top lists and new releases or searching for playlists and favorite artists and albums. Add your favorite songs to a music library and play them again later. Want to know when your favorite artists are releasing new albums? Set up a push notification for that.
  • Shazam – If you haven’t used Shazam, you have to try it out! The app listens to a song and then tells you the name of the song and the artist. Then, you can share the song, watch a music video on YouTube, play it on Spotify, find tour info, create a Pandora station based on that artist and more.
  • iHeartRadio – Are you looking for a radio app for your mobile device? iHeartRadio will do that. It supports tons of devices, has zero commercials and can find radio stations near you. You can create your own music stations based on your favorite songs, search for stations, listen to podcasts, save favorite stations as presets, set as an alarm clock, view lyrics as you listen, read a bio of the artist and much, much more.
  • Amazon Music – You can load up to 250 of your own songs to your Amazon account so you have access to them from a mobile device. You can download your music offline, allowing you to listen to the music from the app even without an Internet connection. Organize playlists, add existing playlists from your device. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get an ad-free experience and unlimited access to millions of song selections.

If you can’t imagine getting through your day without your favorite music, you have to check out these free apps. Having trouble with your headphones or downloading the apps on your iPhone® device or iPad® tablet? Stop by your local Experimac today and we’ll run a diagnostic check to make sure everything is working properly so you don’t have to suffer through the day without your favorite music to keep you going.