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

Twitter buys and shuts down anti-troll service, leaving customers in a bind

Twitter announced yesterday that they had purchased Smyte. Smyte was a San Francisco-based technology company that specialized in safety, spam, and security issues.

Yesterday

Supreme Court decides states can require online retailers like Amazon and B&H to collect sales tax

For as long as internet shopping has been around, the issue of sales tax has been a hot-button issue. Brick-and-mortar retailers have argued that online retailers have an unfair advantage. Thanks to a 1967 Supreme Court ruling that said states couldn’t force mail-order catalogs to collect sales tax unless that company had a physical location in the state, online retailers have been able to skirt the issue of collecting sales tax.

Apple continues to offer weekly deals for iOS-based shopping when using Apple Pay as your payment method. Apple just sent out a new promotion that will be great if you need some new workout clothes or running shoes. If you pay with Apple Pay, you can get 15% off anything in the Adidas app.

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June 20

For the past few months, there seems several stories related to Apple signing a deal with someone to develop original content. While the details of how all of this content comes together in one package remains to be seen, today’s news is certainly interesting. expand full story

June 19

Fortnite has become one of the most discussed video games in recent memory. Everywhere you go, someone is playing it, talking about playing it, or watching an ad about playing it. We reported earlier this month that it had grown to 125 million users.

Bringing Fortnite to iOS in March helped the survival game hit 125 million players this month. Epic Games announced the stat as it promised big prizes for a series of upcoming competitions

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June 17

Apple’s Reminders app is one of their apps that has the most potential in my opinion. While it didn’t receive much of an update with the announcements of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, I believe that with some additional features, it could become the go-to GTD/task/productivity system for most people.

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June 16

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.


A question I often get about iPad deployments is whether or not to purchase keyboards. It’s a difficult thing to pick because it’s really going to depend on how you plan on using the iPads in the classroom. Are you doing tasks where the keyboard would make it easier? Then use a keyboard. If not, don’t use a keyboard. With iPad, the default should be touchscreen keyboard unless a student is doing work where the physical keyboard would make it easier.

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June 12

One of the key features of watchOS 5 is a native Podcasts app for the Apple Watch. With this new feature, you will be able to stream, download, and play podcast episodes using only your Apple Watch. At WWDC, we also learned that watchOS 5 does bring new capabilities for third-party audio apps.

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June 10

The WWDC keynote has come and gone. Apple announced a lot of exciting changes to iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. I can’t wait to see what developers can do with all of the new APIs, and how these products are refined ahead of their fall releases. Be sure to stay on 9to5mac.com this summer to follow along with all of the changes.

There was one major disappointment for me, though. iCloud’s free storage tier remains unchanged at 5GB. When Apple debuted iCloud in 2011, they said this:

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June 9

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.


WWDC was actually light on specific updates for the K–12 environment. One thing that caught my eye was ARKit 2.0, including Apple’s announcement of a new file format called USDZ: expand full story

June 4

A lot of viewers were surprised today to learn that many popular apps are going to be returning to the Mac App Store. Over the past few months, it has seemed like app after app has decided to forge ahead with direct to customer sales (see past 9to5mac coverage).

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June 3

There has been much discussion recently about iPad vs. Macs vs. Chromebooks vs. Surface laptops in recent months. Chromebooks are coming in convertible formats. Microsoft is touting a touchscreen laptop. Apple even had a commercial with the tagline of “What’s a computer?” when talking about iPad.

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June 2

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.


In the education industry, most people are very transparent about sharing advice. Even in the private school industry, you likely aren’t “competing” for the same kids, so we’ve ended up with a very open group of people that are willing to share best practices, tips, and tricks. One of the most common questions I get is about app selection for iPad deployments. I’ve been researching apps for a long time, so for me, it’s less about what apps are the best and more about what criteria do I use when examining them. Here some of the things I look for (in no particular order).

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May 31

The popular messaging app, Telegram, hasn’t seen an App Store update since late March. It now appears that ever since Russian authorities ruled that the app was illegal in the country, the company has been unable to release an update to the App Store in any region.

Apple has yet to respond, so it’s currently unclear why a ban on the app in one country is causing Apple to block app updates worldwide.

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May 27

I’ve used all of the major “folders that sync” services over the years. Dropbox was the original solution, but I’ve also used OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, and iCloud. They all have good points and weak points.

I’ve personally settled on iCloud Drive because it’s built into macOS and iOS, but it’s not without room for improvement. Here are four things that Apple needs to add to iCloud Drive in the very near future.

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May 26

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.


In the early days of iOS management, we had to use iTunes to load content on to iPads (no, I am not kidding). It was painfully slow to install even one application, and you don’t want to know how slow iTunes was during the process of updating iOS.

In 2012, Apple released a tool called Apple Configurator that was dedicated to preparing iOS devices for mass deployment. It allowed you to configure up to thirty devices at a time (with a massive USB hub).

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May 20

Has there ever been an app that has caused so much of an uproar in the Apple community as Apple Maps? It was released in the fall of 2012 with iOS 6, and it was not received well to say the least. It was so poorly received that Tim Cook even wrote a letter apologizing for the poor launch of Apple Maps which contributed o the firing of Scott Forstall:

At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.

Now that we are almost six years into Apple Maps, I am of the opinion that Apple was right, certainly in a post Facebook privacy scandal world, to replace Google Maps with their in-house mapping product. In fact, Google Maps isn’t on my iPhone, and here are five reasons I prefer Apple Maps over Google Maps.

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May 19

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.


One of the key focuses of Apple’s education story is Swift Playgrounds. I know many of you have probably downloaded Swift Playgrounds from the App Store and tinkered with it. Why wouldn’t you? Apple gives it away! I have taught it, so I wanted to share brief thoughts on it.

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May 13

I’ve always been a huge fan of cloud-managed photo systems. I did a review of Everpix back in 2013. I even challenged Apple to release something similar to iCloud Photo Library. I’ve written countless articles about Photo Management and discussed it on countless podcasts. Photo management is something I care deeply about.

While I have all my photos and videos in iCloud Photo Library (the 2TB plan), I also still use Google Photos as well. You might wonder why? While I’m firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem from a hardware and software perspective, I always like to be flexible.

By keeping a dual copy of my photos in both system, I can easily swap to a Chromebook or Android device without missing a beat. Anytime I make an album in iCloud Photo Library; I always create the same album in Google Photos. Doing this allows me to stay up to date on the strengths and weaknesses of both.

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May 12

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.


Back when I first started working in education (2009), Digital Whiteboards seemed all the rage. Fast forward to 2018, and that market is all but dried up. Let’s step back and look at what’s changed:

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