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

Yesterday

HomeCam 2.0 brings enhanced viewing of HomeKit cameras on iOS, Apple Watch, and Apple TV

Video in the HomeKit ecosystem has come a long way in recent years. As we finished up 2019, we started seeing a rollout of HomeKit Secure Video. As we head into 2020, we’re waiting on a new Doorbell from abode and a new HomeKit Secure Video only option from Eve. As someone who has a lot of devices in the Home app, video cameras can easily get buried. If you have a number of HomeKit cameras, you’ll want to check out HomeCam.

February 16

Over the years, I’ve dabbled with using Spotify instead of Apple Music. Both platforms offer users access to millions of songs and offer a wealth of personalization options. The one thing that has always kept me coming back and sticking with Apple Music is iCloud Music Library. iCloud Music Library is a feature that allows you to upload your own music and have it live right alongside your Apple Music content. It’s a feature that I use frequently, and it’s something Spotify can’t match expand full story

February 15

As someone who’s been managing iPads and Macs for a long time, I know there are a lot of “nooks” where settings are in various mobile device management systems. I’ve learned a lot of things through trial and error as the platforms have evolved, but that isn’t useful for new technicians. A new book was recently published that I feel is essential for anyone who works with Apple products in the enterprise. I just finished reading Apple Device Management: A Unified Theory of Managing Macs, iPads, iPhones, and AppleTVs, and I think it’s going to become the handbook for Apple device management. expand full story

February 14

One of the common questions I get is people asking about HomeKit vs. Amazon Alexa. All of these people have iPhones, but they are starting to dabble in the smart home market, so it can be confusing to see the Home app, but then see “works with Alexa” when browsing on Amazon.com. Once you get invested in a platform, it can be difficult and costly to change. So what’s the best smart home platform to get started with in 2020? expand full story

February 13

Growing up, I was a video game junkie. I played games in all my free time. My first game system was the NES, and the final one I personally owned was the PS2 and original Xbox. I even worked at EBGames (I still don’t accept the EBGames/GameStop merger). I have fond memories of playing Halo at LAN parties, the first time I played Madden online, and being scared to death of Resident Evil 1 when I was in the 6th grade. Once I got married and had kids, I just didn’t have the free time that I had before. Now that my kids are old enough to play games, I’ve been following the industry a bit more, and I just spent a few hours with the Microsoft Project xCloud for iOS preview that we wrote about yesterday. expand full story

February 10

Spike Email for Mac adds new dark mode with HTML newsletter conversion

Spike Email is a popular email app for iOS, macOS, and the web. Spike Email looks similar to an app like iMessage or Facebook Messenger. So many of my emails are short messages (almost like text messages), and Spike builds a design that helps make you more efficient. It strips away like headers, signatures, etc. and helps you focus on just the content. If you are using Spike Email for Mac, read on to learn about a new feature.

February 9

When I was in my early 20s, I worked for an independent telephone company in Ringgold, GA. One of the projects I worked on was building a home and business security product. I ended up working with customers in a sales role after we got the product up and running. I say all that to make that point that I am somewhat of a veteran in the home security industry. I’ve sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of Honeywell alarm systems. I know which systems can be easily monitored by other companies. I know the benefits of wired vs. wireless systems as well. In my current home, the builder had a DSC system installed by a local alarm company that I’ve been using since we moved in back in 2013. Over the years, I’ve upgraded my home to include many smart home aspects. Still, the security system is something I hadn’t touched until I read about the abode system with HomeKit integration. Is abode the best home security system for Apple users? Let’s dig into it my review of the abode iota alarm system. expand full story

February 8

I am in the midst of my third year of teaching coding at my school to nine and ten years old students, and I made a significant change this year after reflecting over the last two cycles. As I began lesson planning over Christmas break, I made a list of what I liked about Swift Playgrounds and what I didn’t like. As I began to think through it, I realized that what I didn’t like about Learn to Code 1 in Swift Playgrounds was how quickly the difficulty went up. By class five, students who didn’t naturally “get” the concepts of coding began to become frustrated. As I went to search for some different curriculum, I ended up on Code.org for coding curriculum due to its ability to create classes and monitor progress through our Clever portal integration.

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February 7

As someone who loves technology, it’s easy to get excited about new things. I love to tinker with the latest gadgets, but I know for those who aren’t into this stuff, that seems like a nightmare. My wife couldn’t care less about technology. As long as it makes her life easier, she’s content. She wants it to work. Right after Christmas, I purchased the August Smart Lock Pro (at a huge discount thanks to the 9to5Toys iPhone app). After a week of having it, my wife’s comment to me was “it’s a game-changer.” expand full story

February 3

SAP reports massive growth in Apple deployment, nearly 26k total with 82% running Catalina

SAP has been one of the biggest proponents of running Apple products in the enterprise over the past few years and we’ve reported on their partnerships with Apple and Jamf. Today, SAP has announced some exciting news for those who are proponents of Apple in the enterprise.

February 2

Aurora is a fun new color picker for Mac and iOS to help designers and web developers

While I was on Reddit (using the excellent Apollo for iOS) this weekend, I came across a fun new application that I am glad I now have. It’s called Aurora. Aurora is a simple color picker for macOS and iOS.

When I moved into my house almost seven years ago, HomeKit hadn’t even been announced yet. What was available at the time was a Nest Thermostat. A friend of mine had one, and he was raving out their energy savings. I had one pre-installed when our main HVAC unit was installed. I eventually added another one to our upstairs unit, and have been very happy with them.

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February 1

When I first got started in education in October of 2009, the school I went to work for was still running Exchange 2003 for their email. Users who were using iPhones were using IMAP since native ActiveSync required Exchange 2007. One of the first things I planned to do was migrate everyone to “Google Apps for Your Domain” (what G Suite was previously known as) sooner than later.

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January 30

So much of Apple’s history is tied up between two periods: Pre-iPod and Post-iPod. The iPod took Apple from a computer company, and it set them up to become a consumer electronics company that would go on to become one of the most valuable companies in the world. What most people forget is that the iPod didn’t become the iPod until the iPod mini was released. The original iPod was $399, where the iPod mini had a lower price of $249.

Despite holding including 4GB of storage compared to the 20GB model that the “Classic” introduced that year, the iPod mini is what caused the iPod line to take off. The HomePod is at that exact point in its timeline. The HomePod needs its iPod mini moment.  expand full story

January 26

HomeKit-enabled Eve Water Guard now available to purchase


Earlier this month, we reported that the Eve Water Guard would begin shipping in early February. The device was first announced in September of last year. One of the key features of the Eve Water Guard is its HomeKit support. It’s now available to purchase.

Last week, I wrote about wanting to see a ‘Kids’ Mode‘ in Apple Music in 2020. Since I’ve been a subscriber to Apple Music since day one, I started thinking about ways I’d want to change the service going forward. Apple Music is a fantastic service, and it provides the best bang for the buck of any of the subscriptions I have personally used. These are just some minor tweaks I’d want to see. Here’s my Apple Music wishlist for 2020. expand full story

January 25

2020 is an important year for Apple. It marks ten years since the introduction of the iPad. Even though it’s just a part of Apple’s device lineup, its impact can be felt on macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. In K–12, it ushered in a new era of mobility. Schools went from cart-based computing to 1:1. With every student having a device, Wi-Fi networks went from something that was in conference rooms to needing to extend to every corner of the building. Overnight, IT departments had to become RF experts and figure out how to manage and deploy devices that couldn’t be connected to Active Directory and had minimal management tools. For my Making the Grade column this week, I want to consider the impact of ten years of iPad in K–12. expand full story

January 24

HomeKit is my chosen platform for my smart home, but there are still ways that Apple could expand its platform to grow with its users as their home grows, and as their families change. While Apple allows you to invite people in your family to have access to your home as well as invite guests. My current issue is that I want to give my kid’s selective access to specific devices, but not them all. Selective device sharing is something Apple should add to HomeKit. expand full story

January 23

Enterprise macOS login simplified with Jamf Pro and Connect integration

Jamf Connect was launched a few years ago after Jamf purchased NoMAD. Since they purchased NoMAD, Jamf has gone on to integrate Microsoft Azure AD and G Suite into the macOS login experience. Today, they are taking this integration to the next level, as it can now be integrated into Jamf Pro.

January 19

I’ve been an Apple Music subscriber since day one when it launched in 2015. Despite times of flirting with Spotify, the easy access with all my Apple devices, a familiar interface, and iCloud Music Library (for my custom live music), Apple Music has always been home for my family. If you’d told me in 2005 that we’d be paying $14.99 per month for my entire family to access virtually all the music in the world, I would have thought you were crazy. Apple Music’s family plan is one of the best deals of any service around. As we look ahead to iOS 14 and 2020, I do have a straightforward feature request. I want Apple to build an Apple Music ‘Kids’ Mode’ to preserve For You and Replay results. expand full story

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