Tag Archives: iPad

“Have you played Atari today?” – Atari Arcade for iPad

With the retina display on the new iPad, you might ask yourself why anyone would ever want to play Atari again. Well, we started to say that right up until we plugged in our new Atari Arcade for iPad. As soon as we opened up the Atari’s Greatest Hits app and experienced all the glory of 1978 at our fingertips, we we’re pretty well hooked. With the great arcade favorites, like Asteroids, Centipede, and Missile Command, you can relive those glory days in 3.1 million pixel madness.

We liked the simple set up, the fact that it doesn’t require batteries, and the relatively quick learning curve to get used to using it. We figure at $59, it’s a great price to revive an entire gaming system to add to your collection.

Visit us at Expercom in Sandy and try it out for yourself… we think you’ll like it.

Everything you need to know about Mountain Lion

Now that Mountain Lion has been released, we have put together a short list of the most talked about new features you should know about.

There are over 200 new features in Mountain Lion. If you want to see the whole list, head over to Apple’s site and check it out. Check out all the new features in OS X Mountain Lion.

If you have an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad these first few features will be familiar to you.

Reminders

Allows you to set up a list of things to remember. You can set due dates and get alerts when they are due, or set a location from your Mac and get a reminder on your iPhone or iPad when you get there.

Notes

Take notes of anything you want. You can now add photos, images and attachments. Share notes through Mail or Messages or pin your notes to your desktop for easy access.

Messages

Send messages from your Mac to anyone with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can also continue your conversation from your own iOS devices. You can also send photos, videos, documents and contacts.

Notification Center

Like the notification center on your iOS devices you can easily get updates when you get an email or message, a software update is available or a calendar alert. Pull it up when you want to see what has changed and then it will disappear so it isn’t cluttering your screen.

iCloud

With the new features from iOS added to Mountain Lion, iCloud will know keep all your devices synced. Set up a Reminder, create a Note, send a Message or see what is new in Notification Center. iCloud will make sure it is the same on everything.

Dictation

Talk anywhere you can type and Dictation coverts your words into text. The more you use it the better it is.

Facebook

Built-in Facebook support so you can share what you are doing right from the app you are in. It will also add Facebook friends to your Contacts and update information when it is updated on Facebook.

Twitter

As with Facebook, Twitter is integrated into Mountain Lion. Tweet links and photos directly from Safari, iPhoto, or Photo Booth.

AirPlay

The feature that I am most excited about. AirPlay Mirroring will allow you to display what is on your Mac to your HDTV. All you need is an AppleTV. Pick up your AppleTV at the Sandy or Logan store and start sharing your photos and videos.

Game Center

Sign in with your Game Center account and see all the game you’ve played and get new ones. Check leader boards and see how you rank. You can also start multiplayer games with your friends.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper helps protect you from malicious software. With Gatekeeper enabled, you can install apps from identified developers and it is the best way to make sure the apps are safe.

Now that you know you want Mountain Lion, check and make sure your computer can take it.

You need OS 10.6.8 or newer to purchase it through the App Store.

You will also need 2GB or more of RAM. You can check how much RAM you have by going under the Apple menu and selecting About this Mac. If you have less than 2GB of RAM come in and get upgraded.

To see if your computer can install Mountain Lion go under the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen. Click on About this Mac. If you have Snow Leopard click the More Info…. button. If you have Lion click the More Info… button and then the System Report button. In the Hardware Overview window you will see a system identifier. The Model Identifier is your computer model.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

iMac7,1 (Mid 2007 or newer)
MacBook5,1 (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
MacBook Pro3,1 (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
MacBook Air2,1 (Late 2008 or newer)
Mac mini3,1 (Early 2009 or newer)
Mac Pro3,1 (Early 2008 or newer)
Xserve3,1 (Early 2009)

How to print from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch

With the explosion of iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches, we often get asked, “How do I print from my iPad?” Granted, we don’t print as often as we used to. E-mail and PDF have made printing more rare, but occasionally we still need – or want – to have a hard copy.

AirPrint is Apple’s solution for printing from any iOS device. It’s an elegant solution. There is no software to download, no drivers to install, and no cables to connect. With just a few taps, you can go from viewing something on the screen to holding a printed copy.

To use AirPrint, you need to have one of the following, and you need to have your iOS up to date.
iPad (all models)
iPhone (3GS or later)
iPod touch (3rd generation or later)

You’ll also need a printer that supports AirPrint. Many new wireless printers now support AirPrint. You can see if your printer supports AirPrint here.

Now you’re ready to go. When you are viewing something that you want to print, tap the action icon, select your printer, and tap Print. Pretty easy, huh?

Here’s an online setup guide for AirPrint if you need help setting it up.

If your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, we sell AirPrint printers starting at just $79.

There is also a way you can make your existing printer support AirPrint. There are a couple of software programs that install on your Mac and use your Mac as a print server. So when you tap Print on your iPad, the print job goes to your Mac, and then to your printer. One is called AirPrint Activator. It’s free, but not incredibly reliable in our tests. We like Printopia. It’s 20 bucks, but it is a very polished piece of software that has easy setup and some cool features.

Data backup, more important than you think.

Why do we need to backup our files?
We love how reliable our Macs are, but we feel terrible when someone brings their computer in for service and their hard drive has worn out, they don’t have a backup, and they have lost their documents, photos, or other important files.

Why do drives wear out? Hard drives are mechanical devices, with moving parts. Even though these days they are very reliable, they will wear out just like any other mechanical device. They spin at 5000-7000 rotations every minute, and we work them hard, so we can see why it’s usually not a matter of if, but a matter of when, our drive will eventually stop working. We are moving towards more reliable forms of storage (flash memory in the MacBook Air or iPad, SSD drives in the MacBook Pro or iMac), but most of us will still be using hard drives for years to come.

Sometimes your hard drive is working fine. but someone just accidentally deleted an important file or our laptop was lost or stolen. Either way, we always want to have our important information in two places–then we have a backup for when something goes wrong.

So what do we do? We can backup stuff onsite and offsite.

Onsite backups will protect against a failed or damaged hard drive. They are quick and easy to recover from.

Time Machine is the easiest way to automatically backup your computer. The first time you use it your whole computer is backed up. After that anything that has been changed is backed up every hour. Time Machine is easy to set up, recover from and is very much worth using. You can get an Apple Time Capsule to set up a wireless backup over your network or get a external hard drive. Then follow Apple’s simple set up guide to get started.

For Time Machine backups, all you need is a external hard drive. You can pick one up at Expercom for about $100. We have drives from 500GB to 3TB, portable and desktop varieties.

Offsite backups will protect against flood, fire or other natural disasters. They are also good in case of thefts where someone takes your computer and backup hard drive.

There are numerous offsite backup options available. A couple of the most common are Mozy and Carbonite. These are both online services that will automatically back up your files.

Mozy offers home, small business and enterprise backup options. The home option starts at $5.99 per month, and you can try it for free. You can get the small business option starting at $9.99 per month per computer, with small reductions for yearly plans, or you can choose the enterprise option with IT controls and customize it to fit your company’s needs. You might need to call or email them to get a price quote for this one.

Carbonite gives you two options, home & home office and small business. The home & home office backup plan starts at $59 per year, and the small business plans start at $229 per year. Both options offer a free trial.

LaCie CloudBox is an external hard drive that also offers an online backup service through their website. Anything saved to the external hard drive is also saved online.

These are just a few of the choices available out there. If you find one you like that you think others might be interested in, let us know and spread the word!

How to manage a bunch of iOS Devices

Okay, your school, church, or business has just bought a bunch of iPads. How do you manage all these devices? That’s a common question that we get asked here at Expercom. In the old days, we would have to connect each iPad one at a time to a computer, sync over the settings we wanted through iTunes, and then move on to the next iOS device. Thats a real pain when we are dealing with 10, 20, or 30 iPads or iPods.

Now we have a great App called Apple Configurator. It’s a free App from the Mac App Store that lets us manage a bunch of iOS devices.

 

Apple Configurator is perfect for the classroom or student lab where devices need to bequickly refreshed and kept up to date with the correct settings, approved policies, apps and data. Apple Configurator can also be used to personalize devices with data and documents for specific users. There are even some home users that have a bunch of iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches in the house that are using Apple Configurator to manage all of the iOS devices.

There are basically three ways this App lets you manage devices:

Prepare devices
• Configure up to 30 devices at a time
• Update devices to the latest version of iOS
• Create and restore a backup of settings and app data from one device to other devices
• Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to new devices*
• Use the built-in editor to create and install iOS configuration profiles
• Enroll devices with your Mobile Device Management solution for remote management

Supervise devices
• Automatically apply common configurations to supervised devices
• Quickly reapply a configuration to a device and remove the previous user’s data
• Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to supervised devices*
• Define and apply common or sequential names to all devices
• Restrict supervised devices from syncing with other computers

Assign devices
• Add users and groups
• Check out a device to a user and restore the user’s settings and data on that device
• Check in a device from a user and and back up the data for later use, possibly on a different device
• Apply custom text, wallpaper, or the user’s picture to a device’s Lock screen
• Import and export documents between your Mac and Apple Configurator
• Sync documents between assigned devices and Apple Configurator

* Installing paid apps from the App Store requires redemption codes from the Volume Purchase Program for Education or Business.

 

You can read more about the features of Apple Configurator here.

Price:
FREE, in the Mac App Store.

15 Years and counting! A walk down memory lane, plus a chance to win a 13-inch MacBook Pro

Expercom opened for business in May of 1997. It has been a great 15 years supporting the Apple community. It’s also a little crazy thinking of how much Apple has changed in those last 15 years.

In 1997, we were selling beige Power Macs, Performas, and even some Quadras. How many of you have even heard of a Quadra? Steve Jobs had just returned to Apple as an advisor, and wasn’t put in as interim CEO until later that year. How have things changed?

1997 2012
Apple revenue $7.08 Billion $108 Billion
Desktop Power Mac G3 iMac
Processor 233MHz G3 Quad 3.4GHz i7
Memory 32MB 4 to 32GB
Storage 4GB 1000GB+
Mac OS 8.0 10.7
Screen 640 x 480 CRT 2560 x 1400 LED
Laptop PowerBook 2400c 13-inch MacBook Air
Processor 180MHz PPC 603e Dual-core 1.8GHz
Memory 16MB 4GB
Storage 1.3GB 256GB
Screen 800 x 600 Active Matrix 1440 x 900 LED
Mobile Device Newton 2100 iPad (3rd Gen)
Processor 162MHz RISC 1GHz A5x Dual Core
Memory 4MB 16/32/64GB
OS Newton 2.1 iOS 5.1
Screen 480×320 grayscale 2048×1536 Retina Display

In 1997 we had never even seen an iMac (came out in 1998), an iPod (2001), Mac OS X (also 2001), an iPhone (2007), or an iPad (2010) before. My, how things have changed in 15 years. Can we imagine life without some or all of those devices?

Here at ExperCom, we have thoroughly enjoyed serving our loyal customers over the past 15 years, and we look forward to serving you for many, many years to come. Some of you have been with us for almost that long, and we appreciate every one of our customers; whether you bought something from us 15 years ago or your first Apple product today. We would not be here if it weren’t for you and we want you to know that 1) we recognize that fact and 2) we appreciate you very much.

To celebrate our anniversary, we are giving one lucky friend of Expercom a free new 13-inch MacBook Pro, worth $1199. Please enter on our facebook page by May 31st. Tell your friends. We hope YOU win!

In search of a better alarm clock. Part 1

The LARK Silent Alarm uses a wrist band that vibrates to wake you rather than using the jarring beeping/buzzing of most alarm clocks. The wrist band also uses an actigraphy microsensor to detect your sleep patterns.

The iOS app is used to set the alarm and keep track of your sleep history easily on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Once you start using the LARK alarm, it will do a 7 day sleep assessment. Once you have done the assessment it will give you an action plan to improve your sleep.

If you would like even more coaching with your sleep, you can get LARK Pro. It was developed with sleep experts and a pro-athlete sleep coach.

I have been using the LARK alarm for a few weeks. I got it because I don’t like the alarm clock jolting me out of sleep in the morning. This does wake me up more gently, which I like. Although I don’t always sleep well, I wasn’t too interested in the sleep assessment until recently. Just this week, I was talking with someone that owns multiple businesses and only gets about 4 hours of sleep per night. He said that the sleep assessment has helped him sleep better. Some of the suggestions it has given him are what time is best for him to go to sleep and what type of pillow to get. After speaking with him, I will probably try the sleep assessment.

Overall I like the LARK Silent Alarm and find it helpful to see my sleep patterns and how much sleep I’m actually getting at night.

It would also be good for anyone that is deaf or hard of hearing and can’t use a regular alarm clock.

The only thing that I didn’t like was how the wrist band felt on my wrist. It wasn’t as soft as I would like and it seemed to irritate my wrist overnight. I found by moving it up higher on my arm, it didn’t bother me as much.

You can find it for $99 at our retail stores. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Grilling in style

Grilling time is coming up. Here are some suggestions on how to use your iPad or iPhone to grill in style.

iGrill

This handy device is easy to set up. It comes with one temperature probe and a second one can be added. The temperature of your meat can be read from the iGrill itself or you can use the long-range bluetooth connectivity to connect to a iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and watch the temperature from up to 200 feet away. The free app allows you to set alarms for each probe so you know when everything is cooked just right. You can also set a timer and it will graph the progress of the temperature as well.

On their website, they have recipes for any type of meat. They also have tips on grilling, smoking, picking the perfect steak and food safety.

I’ve had my iGrill for about a year and overall I’ve been happy with it. I have had a few issues that didn’t cause too many problems. When using it with my iPhone, the screen would turn off it would sometimes stop connecting through bluetooth. I would then need to reconnect and restart the app for it to start updating again. When I used it with my iPad and had it plugged in to power, I didn’t have the issue.

Weber’s On the Grill

This app has a lot of recipes for grilling. There are the recipes for meat as well as desserts, rubs, marinades and sauces. Once you find a recipe you like it will automatically make a shopping list.

The basics section has many how-to guides on the basics of grilling.

Those who grill a lot may find it too basic but for someone that is starting or would like to polish their grilling techniques, this is a good app. The one downside that I found is the iPhone and iPad version have to be purchased separately. They are both $4.99 in the App store. The iPhone version is here and the iPad version is here.

These are two of the apps and devices I use when grilling. There are many more apps, books in the iBooks store and podcasts that cover grilling. If you have a favorite app, book or podcast that you use, let us all know in the comments.

Roxio Easy VHS to DVD for Mac

I have two great video cameras right now. One is my iPhone 4S; the video that this iPhone can shoot is incredible in quality. I also got a mirrorless Sony NEX-5n for Christmas. Again, incredible video. Once you go to a nice HD video camera, there’s no going back.

But what about all that video I have sitting around from years gone by? I decided that I want to digitize all that video on VHS, Hi 8, Mini DV — and any other video acronym you can think of — to my iMac.

I wanted to get it digitized before my VHS tapes started degrading too badly. I also want to be able to share those home movies, and that’s tough to do until you get them on your Mac. Once they are on your Mac, its easy to put your home movies on your iPod or iPad, or stream to your Apple TV.

One product that makes this easier is Roxio’s Easy VHS to DVD for Mac. If it has “Easy” in the name, its got to be some easy software, right? Well, this one is, actually, pretty “easy.”

It’s a combination hardware and software solution; so it comes with the cable you need to plug in your old VHS player (don’t have one lying around anymore? borrow one from grandma) or analog camcorder.

You then fire up Roxio’s software, name your video, tell it how you’ve got everything plugged in, hit play on the VHS, hit record on the sofware, and go have dinner. If you’re not hungry, you’ll have to do something for a while. If you want to capture 60 minutes of birthday parties from 20 years ago, it will take 60 minutes. There is no way to speed that part up, so this will take some time. Luckily, Roxio has a nice “auto stop” feature so you don’t have to be around to stop recording.

Once the video is captured, you can burn it right to a DVD with the included Toast software, or you can drop it into iMovie to edit first.

Wish me luck in digitizing my shoebox full of videos. And don’t tell my mom I can do this; she’ll want me to digitize her movies.

Price: $79

Pros:
Comes with everything you need; hardware and software
Can go straight to DVD or edit in iMovie
Includes Toast Basic 9 – a nice freebie

Cons:
Digitizing video is still time consuming
You’ll need a lot of hard drive space if you want to digitize a lot of video

App Review – Dinner Spinner

Do you ever find yourself stumped when trying to decide what to cook for dinner? That is almost every day for me! To solve this problem, I went searching for recipes on Apple’s App Store. I found a sweet free app for the iPhone or iPod touch called Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner. When you don’t know what to make, or don’t have a clue what to even buy at the grocery store, give this App a shake and it will give you a list of ideas.

The other morning, I was lying in bed with my iPhone, searching through the Allrecipes.com app to find something to prepare for dinner. I knew that I wouldn’t be home from working at Expercom until dinner time, so I was looking for something that would be quick to prepare once I got home. I customized the search for a “Main Dish” with “Pork” ready in the “Slow Cooker”. I checked out the matches and found a great recipe to make. It was delicious!

Pros:
-Tons of recipes!
-Each recipe includes hundreds of reviews from cooks like you
-Nutritional information available for many recipes
-Option to save recipes to Favorites

Cons:
-Sometimes too many recipes gives too many options
-Have to have an Internet connection to access recipes
-iPhone or iPad screen can get slightly gunky when controlling it with cooking fingers

Upgrades:
If you want more features like customized ingredient searches, ability to change the number of servings, and an automatically updated grocery list, you can upgrade to Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro for $2.99.

A similar free app, Allrecipes.com Your Kitchen Inspiration, is available for the iPad. Stick that iPad up on your cookbook stand, and bake away! Check out the video below for more.

Happy cooking!