About the Author

Bradley Chambers

@bradleychambers

Bradley lives in Chattanooga, TN where he manages Apple devices for a private school.

Tips, feedback, corrections and questions can be sent to Bradley@9to5mac.com.

Bradley Chambers's Favorite Gear

Today

I’ve written a lot about iCloud Photos at 9to5Mac. I think about managing my photo library more than I’d care to admit. I’m always thinking about additional back up measures I can put into place, or ways Apple could improve the service (be sure to check out my Google Photos vs. iCloud Photos roundup). iOS 12 is now on the market, so we know all the new features that are available this year. My mind is already turning to iOS 13, though. I hope it’s a big year for iCloud Photo Library. Here are the features I consider to be “low hanging fruit”.

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Yesterday

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


Apple Watch Series 4 was announced at Apple’s annual iPhone event, and it looks like a promising upgrade for Series 3 owners (and especially Series 0,1, and 2 owners). With the ability to detect AFIB with 98% accuracy, reduced bezels, and additional complications, Series 4 Apple Watch looks to be a hit.

As I do every week on my Making The Grade column, I like to look at things from the perspective of a teacher or student. This week, I want to consider the benefits of an Apple Watch for a teacher. I think this industry is perfect for Apple Watch, and I want to explain why.

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September 20

I’ve written a lot about identity management when it comes to Apple deployments here on 9to5mac. A popular identity management solution is Active Directory (AD) from Microsoft. Mac IT admins have loved the syncing of credentials between AD, but have long hated the process and frustration of binding Mac to AD. NoMad was built to solve that problem. I was actually discouraged by a systems engineer from Apple years ago against binding to AD.

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September 18

Gold iPhone XS Max unboxing video

It looks like the iPhone XS and XS Max review embargo is being lifted, and we’ve just seen one of the first unboxing videos on YouTube …

September 16

When I think back to the early days of iPhone and iPad (and even my Mac life around that time), Dropbox was so ingrained into my workflows that I couldn’t ever see it leaving. On the flip-side, I’ve have been using Dot Mac/MobileMe/iCloud since before the iPhone was released. Years ago, Apple’s storage solution for Dot Mac/MobileMe was iDisk, and it was not good. Dropbox came along and made everything else look ancient.

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September 15

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


iOS 12 and macOS Mojave have both been in the news this week. At the iPhone announcement event, Apple announced that iOS 12 would be coming on Monday, and macOS Mojave to launch on the 24th. For IT administrators, when Apple’s software update season hits full swing there can be a sense of dread. Right now, we are running the most stable versions of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. We’ve had an almost a full year of bug fixes, so things are running as smooth as they will. As we enter a new season of X.0 updates, we often hit the rest button on stability. While iOS 12 has been very stable in the beta periods, it’s still a new OS. Third-party app providers will also need to update for stability as well. The question I want to help answer today is: When should you update managed iPad, iPhones, and macOS devices?

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September 14

I’ve been a customer of JAMF for many years, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Whenever people ask me why I use JAMF Pro, I always say, “It’s like having an Apple assistant in my office.” Using the platform to manage my iOS devices dramatically improves my workflows.

With iOS 12 and tvOS 12 on the horizon, JAMF has announced JAMF Pro 10.7. As with previous years (dating back to 2012), JAMF has zero-day support for both of these products. What does zero-day support mean? It means support for new features, baseline compatibility, and no impact to critical workflows. expand full story

September 9

If there’s one app I’d be lost without on macOS, it would Alfred. I’ve been using Alfred for years, and I continually discover new ways to use it. So what is Alfred?

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September 8

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


If you are around the K–12 technology scene at all, there is no doubt one term that you’ve heard of: BYOD. It stands for bring your own device. It means that the school’s technology program allows students to bring a device to school, put it on the school’s Wi-Fi network, and use it to do their classwork. On the surface, this sounds like a win-win for everyone. School’s get out of the device ownership and management business, and students get to bring whatever device they want to school. I’ve long disagreed with this strategy, and I want to explain why.

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September 6

Latest Apple Pay promo offers 10% off at Under Armour

Apple continues to offer weekly deals for iOS-based shopping when using Apple Pay as your payment method. Apple just emailed out their new weekly promo, and you can get 10% from Under Armour.

September 2

I wrote about the release of Parallels 14 a few weeks ago. I’ve been spending some time with it since then, so I wanted to take the time to write about it in more detail. One thing to note (and I think it makes gives my review an interesting perspective) is that I’ve used VMware Fusion (and supported it at my day job) since 2009. I had certainly heard of Parallels before, but I jumped on the Fusion train and kept on upgrading over the years. When I read about Parallels 14, I decided that it was time to try something new.  expand full story

September 1

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


I’ve written a lot about Apple TV over the years. I own five of them, and I use them every day. On the flip side, I can admit that is overpriced for what it does. I wrote this previously:

The problem, I believe, is that it’s become similar to HomePod: a device that’s perfect for people who are all in on Apple. Some people will argue that all of Apple’s products are better when used alongside others. While that’s true, I’d also say that Apple’s best products are also best in class on their own (iPhone, iPad, Mac). I think the Apple TV is great, but it still has some major flaws

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August 30

Latest Apple Pay promo offers free first delivery from Postmates

Apple continues to offer weekly deals for iOS-based shopping when using Apple Pay as your payment method. Apple just emailed out their new weekly promo, and you can get free delivery on your first purchase from Postmates.

August 29

Due 3.0 brings custom reminders, a pure black theme, and haptic feedback

Due is one of those apps that I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t available. If you are a fan of it, you’ll be excited to know that version 3 is now available. If you’ve never used Due, you’ll want to keep reading because it has a sweet spot in my workflow.

August 26

E-mail, like calendars, is something that is very personal. Over the years, email has morphed from a way to send electronic letters to turning into the digital hub of all we do online. Your Facebook account is tied to an email. Your Amazon account is tied to an email. Everything is tied to your email.

Email accounts are also difficult to change. Once you have it signed up with multiple services, moving from it is like moving your physical address. I’ve seen this first hand when folks leave the school I work at. I usually give them a few days to tie everything up, but many of them have used it as a personal account for years despite my warnings not to, so it becomes a difficult transition.

Like Calendar apps, there are many email apps for iPhone. I’ve tried and used just about all of them over the years. One of the questions people often ask me is: what’s your favorite email app for iPhone?

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August 25

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


When the iPad was released was back in 2010, many people in the education industry saw it as a way to end the large backpacks that children have to carry back and forth to school. To sum it up, that mainly hasn’t happened. In 2018, there still aren’t great solutions for the majority of schools to deploy ebooks in mass to any device. This problem spans across the Apple Bookstore, Kindle store, and the Google Play store.

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August 23

JAMF Now adds custom .pkg deployment and in-house applications

JAMF is the maker of the Apple-focused mobile device management platform. They have two products: JAMF Now and JAMF Pro. I am actually a JAMF Pro customer, but JAMF Now is a really great platform as well. JAMF Now is aimed at businesses without an IT department, while JAMF Pro has a number of bells and whistles that IT departments often require.

August 21

If you love running macOS, but find yourself needing to virtualize other operating systems (Windows, Linux, or even multiple copies of macOS), you’ll want to take note of this article. Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac was released a few hours ago. Since version 1 in 2006, Parallels Desktop has been a staple on many Mac users’ computers. Year after year, it’s been back with upgrades to enhance the experience for those that need to live in a dual OS world. So what’s new in version 14? Well, a lot actually… expand full story

August 20

I recently took a look at the various weather apps for iPhone (read the roundup here). Dark Sky was one of my absolute favorite apps, and today it gets even better. Despite already having the gold standard (in my opinion) of weather data, it now brings one of the best-looking apps to the table as well. expand full story

August 19

If there is one thing I am obsessed with when it comes to technology, it’s my pictures. I keep them extremely organized and culled. I am equally as fanatical about getting them backed up. When it comes to music, movies, and TV shows – I can rebuy anything I lose due to hard drive failure. When it comes to pictures of my family, no amount of money can recreate them if I lose them. Over the years, my strategy has evolved as services have changed. I’ll do my best to keep this article up to date as things change in the future.

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