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.
I’ve been a big fan of the Amazon ecosystem for ebooks and audiobooks for a number of years. I’ve had an Audible subscription off and on since 2008, and I’ve been using some version of a Kindle Paperwhite for the past few years. I actually just pre-ordered the new Kindle Oasis. I’ll be doing a review of it on 9to5Toys in early August. Despite Apple’s attempts with the Apple Books redesign, the Kindle and Audible ecosystem is still the best place to be for book lovers. I’d love to see Apple compete against Amazon with an Apple Book reader.
A common discussion this summer in the email lists and LinkedIn groups I am in is about the iOS and macOS betas. People who manage iOS and macOS devices have to be aware of what’s happening with beta developments during the summer as we prepare to verify compatibility with printers, external devices, and applications (local and cloud). While I don’t start with this process with beta 1, I will usually begin my “official” testing around the time of the public betas. I’ve been managing macOS and iOS for almost a decade, so I’ve learned a little bit about the process along the way. When you are deploying macOS and iOS on an enterprise level, here are my tips on when to deploy macOS Catalina and iOS 13 (including iPadOS 13). expand full story
Jamf, the popular mobile device management solution for Apple, is announcing some new features ahead of the 2019-2020 school year. Earlier this year, Jamf launched Jamf School along with new apps for parents and teachers with the aim to simplify the entire Apple experience from home to school.
Today, they have announced some new teacher and parent tools for Jamf School aimed at furthering that mission.
A few weeks ago, I got asked by a local church to talk to their parents about strategies to help monitor their kids’ social media use. This topic is one I get asked about a lot, and I know that a lot of parents are struggling with it. When they brought me up there, they were looking for a silver bullet of an app, service, or method to use to help make sure their kids don’t get into trouble on social media. I started the talk with a simple statement: your kids don’t need social media accounts and you don’t either.
If you work in the enterprise IT market, there is a word you are hearing all of the time. It’s IoT or Internet of Things. It’s an all-encompassing term to describe devices that are connected to the network that are not end-user devices. IoT devices in the enterprise could be commercial HVAC controllers (think Ecobee, but for commercial heating and air), commercial camera and DVR systems (an enterprise-grade version of something like Arlo), water fountain filter sensors, or connected paper towel dispensers that alert someone when they are close to being empty. All of these products look great on paper, but I am concerned about the security of the devices, their ability to be managed, and their ability to be upgraded.
Since I am currently training for a marathon later this fall, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts on Apple Watch during my long runs. I’ve been a heavy podcast listener since before Apple integrated it into the iPod, so being able to listen to them on a watch is a dream come true for me. Pairing Apple Watch with the new Powerbeats Pro is the perfect combination for running.
While I am generally an Overcast user, I have experimented with Apple Podcasts here recently as well. I wrote an article about the best podcast app for Apple Watch that I encourage you to read as well. This week, I want to talk about what Apple could do for Apple Podcasts on watchOS 6 and beyond to improve the experience. expand full story
A few months ago, I reviewed the Neuron Explorer kit from Makeblock. I really enjoyed getting to use it and we’ve since implemented it in our STEM lab at my school. The folks from Makeblock sent me their latest kit for review, and I’ve spent the past few weeks building things to see what I thought. Here’s my review of the Makeblock Motionblock. expand full story
One of the big announcements from WWDC 2019 was the “Sign in with Apple” privacy-focused login system for applications. The button offers Apple ID single-sign-on functionality similar to sign-in options from Facebook or Google. Apple is promoting this feature as a privacy-secure sign-in option. Users select what information to share with the app developer. You can share your real email address with the third-party app, or use the ‘hide my email’ option. In the latter case, the app would only see a randomized anonymous email address. You can also remove the anonymous email address at any time. expand full story
Biometrics has gone from something we used to only see in the movies to a natural part of our lives. We are used to using tools like Face ID and Touch ID to unlock our devices. In K–12 schools, companies are looking to take it even further, though. I recently read an article in EdTech Magazine that looked further at the use of biometrics in K-12 schools. expand full story
Survey finds 97% of enterprise Mac users feel more productive after switching from Windows
Vanson Bourne, a third-party market research firm, was hired by Jamf to conduct a study to uncover key drivers of Apple in enterprise adoption and satisfaction with the Mac. Their results reveal incredible levels of employee satisfaction, productivity, creativity and collaboration for Mac users across all major types of employee groups (IT, Human Resources, Sales, and Engineering).
Podcast app Castbox adds Waze support in latest update
While I use Apple Maps day to day, I love Waze for car rides longer than a half hour or so. Thanks to its proactive alerts for speed traps, upcoming traffic, and debris on the road, I find it to be essential for summer traveling. One of Waze’s biggest innovations recently has been its Waze Audio Kit, a developer toolset that allows approved partners to fully integrate their apps with the Waze Audio Player.
While apps like Spotify have been on there for years, we are starting to new new apps get approved and take advantage of it. Pandora was a recent addition. Castbox, a popular podcasting app, is the latest such app to get approved to work right inside of Waze.
Back when Steve Jobs unveiled iCloud in 2011, we were pitched a vision of data being available everywhere. Jobs pitched demoting the Mac and moving the digital hub into the cloud. All of our devices had connectivity built-in, so data should be available everywhere. The problem was it didn’t cover all of our photos. We didn’t get that until iCloud Photos came in iOS 8. It didn’t cover iMessage, as that didn’t come until a few years ago. It didn’t cover all of our files, but only those in the iCloud folder stored inside of app folders. We didn’t get seamless syncing of files until Apple added Desktop and Document folder syncing. expand full story
One of my favorite sessions from Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is the “What’s new with device management session”. It’s usually towards the end of the week, but it’s one that IT managers should always pay attention to. We aren’t getting the earth-shattering changes we did in years past, but that’s simply because a lot of the low hanging fruit has been picked. There are some notable changes coming in the fall updates, though. So here’s what’s new with device management in iOS 13, iPadOS 13, tvOS 13, and macOS Catalina. expand full story
During the WWDC 2019 Keynote, Apple announced watchOS 6 for Apple Watch. While watchOS 6 didn’t get as much stage time as other new software releases, it still looks like a great release. One of the features that is most interesting to me is the API for streaming audio. In watchOS 5, Apple offered streaming on Apple Podcasts and Apple Music, but it left out the ability for third-party developers to access it. Spotify used Apple Watch as one of the reasons Apple isn’t play fair with how it treats its own products vs how it interacts with competitors. I argued that Spotify wants all the benefits of Apple’s platform, but without giving Apple any revenue. With the new streaming API for watchOS 6, it’s time for Spotify to ship or shut up. expand full story
As with any major Apple announcement, I watched the WWDC Keynote with anticipation on how it would impact my job as an IT Director who primarily manages Apple devices. While the hardware Apple produces is certainly important, the software they plan to release every fall is what I pay attention to most. What is the impact of WWDC on IT departments as we head into the fall software releases? Let’s dive in. expand full story
I’ve been a fan of podcasting since 2004 when I was listening to This Week in Tech, DL.TV, The MacCast and other great shows. Since then, the podcast industry has grown by leaps and bounds. When the iPhone included a built-in Apple Podcasts app, podcasts finally moved from a niche industry to something that is part of the social norm. But it’s still incredibly complicated to actually build podcasts unless you are familiar with microphones, editing software, and RSS technology. Could Apple offer an official podcast creation tool?
Time Machine was introduced with OS X Leopard (10.5) back in 2007, and it was pitched as a way to easily backup your computer to an external drive. Over the years, it was expanded to work with the Airport Extreme (now discontinued). Now, it still works with USB drives, but you can also use products like Synology to back up your Mac over the network. Is it time for Apple to take the next step with backups and build a Time Machine service in iCloud for macOS? expand full story
A few weeks ago, we published an article where Tim Cook said that Apple had acquired 20–25 companies in the past six months. Cook mentioned that Apple generally is looking at smaller companies and eyeing “talent and intellectual property“. I have an idea on a company who would fit in very nicely at Apple given its current strategy. Apple should buy The Athletic. expand full story
71% of students prefer Mac at work ––Jamf survey
Jamf, the popular mobile device management solution for Apple, commissioned a survey through research firm Vanson Bourne on the device preferences of college students. The survey found that two-thirds of students were more likely to choose or stay at an organization that offers them a choice in work computer. 71% of them would choose a Mac if upfront costs were not a consideration.