iOS 8 How-to: Set up and Use Find My iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone was first released in June 2010 initially for the iPhone. Now, Find My iPhone allows you to track the location of your device, be it an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, in case it gets lost or stolen. This is a great benefit because when you locate your device using Find My iPhone, the device makes noise until it is found and will show you were it is located using Apple Maps. Recently, the police used Find My iPhone to track and save a woman’s life. However, Find My iPhone did require the device to be turned on and connected to the internet in order for it to work completely. New with iOS 8, you have the option to automatically send the location of the device to Apple when the battery is critically low. In this how-to I will discuss how to set up Find My iPhone, and how to use Find My iPhone.

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How-To: Upgrade the SSD in your MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro, boosting size & speed

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Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about the (surprisingly easy) process of adding solid state drives (SSDs) to radically speed up older iMacs, and the varied challenge levels of adding SSDs to older Mac Pros, Mac minis, and non-Retina MacBooks. Today’s guide looks at the easiest SSD installations of all: the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. A new SSD in one of these machines could have two, four, eight, or sixteen times the original storage, plus two to four times faster speeds.

Apple shipped most MacBook Airs and all Retina MacBook Pros with solid state storage, so upgrading these machines for extra capacity and speed is generally as simple as picking a new drive, then using two special screwdrivers during the installation process. Assuming your MacBook is old enough to be out of warranty — except for a few specific models — you’ll find that pretty much anyone can handle this swap with the right tools. Below, I’m going to show those tools to you, as well as the MacBook-ready SSDs that are worth considering…

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How-To: Update your old MacBook, Mac mini, or Mac Pro hard drive with a fast SSD

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My Mac is now silent. After installing a solid state drive (SSD) with no moving parts, the drone of my iMac’s hard drive and fans has given way to such an absence of sound that I only hear the high-pitched squeal of my office lights.

My Mac is now fast. Even with 400GB of available space, OS X Yosemite’s constant hard drive accessing had brought my quad-core, 3.4GHz Core i7 machine to its knees. Now I’m seeing five times the hard drive speeds, apps are loading instantly, and my iMac feels as responsive as the MacBooks and iPads that beat it to the SSD game.

Last week, buoyed by (finally!) reasonable SSD prices and a desire to try a DIY project, I walked through the steps to replace a prior-generation iMac’s hard drive with an SSD. Similarly excited readers have pointed out that older MacBooks and certain other Macs are also easy to upgrade… but at least one Mac (surprise: the Mac mini) is not. So below, I’ll show you some great SSD options that you can install yourself, ask a tech-savvy friend/repair shop to handle for you, or choose as external solutions.

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How-To: Now’s the right time to swap your old iMac’s hard drive for a fast new SSD

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If you bought your iMac 3-5 years ago, there’s probably nothing so seriously wrong with the hardware that you need to consider replacing the machine. Sure, the new iMac with 5K Retina Display looks a little nicer, but at a steep $2,499 starting point, it’s still a luxury, not a necessity.

Yet there’s something you can do for $200 to $500 that will radically change your iMac’s performance: install a solid state drive (SSD) in addition to or instead of its original hard drive. SSDs use high-speed memory chips rather than the spinning platter mechanisms in traditional hard drives, achieving up to 5X benefits in speed while requiring no moving parts. Five years ago, SSDs were both expensive and limited in capacity, making them unlikely components for most Macs. Today, high-quality, capacious SSDs can be had for reasonable prices, and they’re surprisingly easy to install in iMacs. With limited expertise and only three tools, I swapped out my old hard drive for an SSD in roughly 30 minutes. Here’s how I did it, and – if you’re up for a quick do-it-yourself project – what I’d recommend for you.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use AirDrop

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With Yosemite and iOS 8 you can use AirDrop to share files between your Mac and iOS devices. This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices. Continuity also includes Handoff, Instant Hotspot, iPhone Cellular Calls and SMS Relay.

Initially AirDrop allowed you to share files between two Macs or between two iOS devices. Now, AirDrop allows you to share files and information between Mac and iOS devices. It is a device-to-device transfer that works even when the devices don’t have internet access, although Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have to be turned on. This includes sharing photos, videos, music, iWork documents, notes, contacts, links, directions and location data. Many third-party iOS apps like Dropbox, Runkeeper, eBay, Deliveries, and PDF Expert support AirDrop. Apple just added support to Logic to share files via AirDrop. When receiving a file, the recipient receives a notification, allowing them to download the file.

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Made any tech-related New Year’s resolutions? Here are a few suggested ones

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One week into the new year, and with that post-holiday diet we promised ourselves still hanging in there, I thought it might be interesting to suggest a few tech-related New Year’s resolutions you might like to consider.

Don’t worry, though – it’s not all work and no play. Me being me, I’ve found a way to make a solid case for the new year being the perfect time to treat yourself to a gadget or two …  Read more

Grab a big iOS App designer bundle (MSRP: over $1000) for only a few bucks

From 9to5Toys Specials:
Programming-classes-cheap

Specials.9to5toys.com is running a **special** on an iOS app designer bundle that up and coming iOS app designers will likely want to take advantage of.  This is an “NYOP bundle”, meaning that people can name their own price to get 2 courses (Learn Mobile Web Design Using Bootstrap & Learn To Build Cross Platform Apps). Or, if you beat the average price, you’ll get the entire bundle (7 courses & assets). This evening that is only a few bucks plus 10% goes to charity of your choice and high bidders get a chance to win a Gold iPad Air/ iPhone 6. The bundle includes:

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iOS 8 How-to: Remotely remove your credit cards from Apple Pay

apple-pay

People have been enjoying using Apple Pay. Apple Pay is Apple’s mobile payment system that allows you to pay for things in stores and through apps with different banks and credit cards. Using Apple Pay is more secure than swiping your credit or debit card because your card number, identity and CVV code are not visible to the merchant. Instead, with Apple Pay each card is assigned a unique Device Account Number that is encrypted and stored in the Secure Element, a dedicated chip in the device. Setting up Apple Pay is relatively straightforward and it is done through either Passbook or Settings. In this how-to article I will discuss how to remotely remove your credit cards from Apple Pay in case your iPhone or iPad gets stolen.

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OS X Yosemite How-to: Enable Dark Mode

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New in OS X Yosemite is Dark Mode. Dark Mode allows for further customization of the appearance of the Mac. When enabling Dark Mode, it turns the translucent dock and menu bar from light grey and switches it to black. In this how-to I will discuss how to enable Dark Mode, the limitations of Dark Mode and a way to overcome the limitations of Dark Mode.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use Instant Hotspot

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Now that iOS 8.1 is out, with iOS 8.1 running on your iPhone, you can use your iPhone as a Instant Hotspot for your Mac (running Yosemite) and for your iPad or iPod Touch (also running iOS 8.1). This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices. Continuity also includes Handoff, iPhone Cellular Calls, SMS Relay, and AirDrop.

When you are in an area with your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch that does not have Wi-Fi, they can connect to your phone’s personal hotspot when your iPhone is nearby. Now you do not even have to set up a personal hotspot on your iPhone and enter in the Wi-Fi Password for your personal hotspot. When you join the Wi-Fi network on your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch, the name of your phone will be listed automatically. All you have to do is join it. When you aren’t using your phone’s hotspot, your device will disconnect automatically to save battery life. Your device will remember the fact that you used your phone’s hotspot and the next time you want to go online when you do not have Wi-Fi, it automatically rejoins the hotspot.

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Yosemite & iOS 8 How-to: Set up and use SMS Relay

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Now that iOS 8.1 is out, with iOS 8.1 running on your iPhone, you can set up SMS Relay. This is one of the features of Continuity, which further integrates and connects your Mac and iOS devices, running Yosemite and iOS 8.1. Continuity also includes Handoff, iPhone Cellular Calls, Instant Hotspot, and AirDrop.

With iMessage, when you are messaging people using Apple devices they appear in blue bubbles. Those messages sync onto all of your Apple devices so that way you can text someone from your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch. Previously, the people you texted in green bubbles were not using iMessage because they were not on Apple devices. Those conversations were not syncing over to your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch, which forced you to respond back to them only on your iPhone. Now with SMS Relay, your non-Apple using friends’ messages will sync to your Mac, iPad or iPod Touch while all connected to the same Wi-Fi Network, so you can respond from whichever device you prefer.

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