Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Anki Drive: Artificial Intelligence Race Cars!

Every so often, something comes out that is exciting, different and innovative.  Today, it is Anki Drive!      This is not your average race car game.  These cars include artificial intelligence to make the game even more fun.  When you think about playing normal race car video games, you have the option to race against the computer.  This real life game offers the same capability.  You can control your car using your iPhone and at the same time, your iPhone can control a second car that is acting as the computer controlled car to compete against you.  Or you can play against friends.

Take a look at the video by TechCrunch for more details about Anki Drive.

Anki Drive was introduced at WWDC earlier this year and of course it caught my (and I'm sure many others) attention.  I enjoy seeing new technology.

Recently, I went to the Apple Store in my area and I saw the Anki Drive there.  I was surprised that it was only in the package and there was no display for people to interact and test drive this game.  I know it's not an Apple product but since Apple provided time to Anki at WWDC, I thought they had an interest in the company.  This is just my 2 cents but I think Anki Drive would add a bit of excitement and fun to the Apple Store as they prepare for the holiday season.  It would also ensure people are aware of this great product.  That was just one store...maybe it's displayed in some of their other stores.

I'm excited about Anki Drive.  Will I get a starter kit this year?  Don't know.  I think I've been good this year.  We'll see what Santa brings.

What are your thoughts on the Anki Drive?  Is it a sign of the future of gaming?  Do you want one for the holidays?

Monday, November 11, 2013

94Fifty Basketball: Training for Basketball Has Changed!

Technology continues to push the boundaries that we know.  Why would the sport of basketball be any different?  Training for basketball has changed!

Thanks to 94Fifty, the ballers out there can now get a basketball with sensors to help improve their performance.  If you want to improve your shooting and handling skills, this could be just what you need.

The technology comes into place because the 94Fifty basketball has sensors that deliver instant feedback to your iPhone so you can review and make adjustments.  If you're serious about your basketball game, this may be perfect for you.

The basketball is regulation size and durable and comes with a 1 year warranty.  It has a battery that should last 8 hours.  It also comes with a charging pad.

This could really change basketball training but it comes with a $295 price tag so you have to really want to improve your game.

Make sure you take a look at the 94Fifty website for the most current and thorough details.

Once you purchase the basketball, all you have to do is:

1.  Download the app from the iTunes Store.
2.  Activate the basketball on the charging pad.
3.  Start dribbling the basketball to connect.

That's it!  Then you're ready to start improving your basketball skills.

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Apple Media Event Announcements: Free OSX Mavericks is Here! iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, New Retina Macbook Pros

OSX Mavericks from

Hopefully, you saw the Apple Media Event and saw the new introductions.  I missed it but I hope to watch it later if I can view it on my Apple TV (which I didn't hear of any updates for).  There were some good announcements today.  Here is a quick summary:

OSX Mavericks is available and FREE at the Mac App Store.  Thanks to MacRumors for that information.  You can access OSX Mavericks by clicking here.  Mavericks comes with over 200 new features which I'll cover in depth later...maybe not all 200 but the major updates.  So, hurry and get Mavericks!

iPad Air:  The latest full size iPad was introduced and is now called the iPad Air because it is thinner and lighter than its predecessors and comes with a Retina display as usual.  It also has a 64-Bit A7 processor and it comes with sizes up to 128 GB's of storage.  See more details here.

iPad Mini:  The latest generation of iPad Mini now comes with a Retina display.   I know many people were waiting on that so it's finally here.  If this is what was holding you back from getting an iPad Mini...then wait no longer...well, a little longer...they should be released in November.  The new iPad Mini is a little thicker and heavier than its predecessor but hopefully we won't be able to really tell the difference.  It also has a 64-Bit A7 processor and comes in sizes up to 128 GB's of storage.  See more details here.

Macbook Pro with Retina:  There was no update for the normal Macbook Pro but the 13" and 15" Macbook Pros with Retina were updated with new Haswell processors and faster Flash storage.  The entry level price has also dropped on the Retina Macbook Pros by $200.  See more details here.

You can watch the full event here if you haven't seen it.

I hope you enjoyed the announcements from Apple and we will dive deeper into them later.

What are your thoughts about Apple's announcements?  What products are you excited about?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Forgot My iPhone

Some of you may have seen this video on YouTube.  If not, I just wanted to share it with you.  I think it  shows and interesting perspective on how connected people are to their iPhones or any smartphone for that matter.

I'm very connected to my iPhone.  It has my emails, Internet, telephone calls, reminders, calendar, music, videos, and virtual assistant plus so much more depending on what apps you add.  Still, I find times when I can leave the iPhone or turn it off when I need to focus.  I don't want it to come between any relationships in my life.

You can see during the video...there is one part where the lady is bringing out a birthday cake and everyone has their iPhone.  Even the birthday guy is more focused on filming the moment than experiencing it.  I hope that's not reality but I'm sure it happens.

While driving, I see people that are not paying attention as they are walking. They are more focused on their iPhones than their safety.

I'm not perfect...I find myself texting when I'm in traffic.  If I catch myself, then I will use dictation or put my iPhone down.  I've seen the commercials and I don't want to be responsible for hurting someone else over texting.  That would affect so many lives and you would have to live with it.

I like that so many people enjoy using the iPhone but don't let it become an addiction.  Don't make bad choices that could affect you forever.

On a lighter note...

If you haven't taken a look at the Apple Newbies Store and the Apple Newbies T-shirt Store, make sure you take a look around.  It would be great to have more people wearing Apple Newbies t-shirts.  When you look at the tees, make sure you look at the front and back.  Also, if you have any ideas for Apple Newbies t-shirts (improvements or quote ideas), just fill out a contact form and let me know.

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Apple iPhone 5 and iOS 6 Tutorials

Last week, I provided videos for the new iPhones, the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, and iOS 7.  If you're using them or thinking about using them, make sure you check out the videos.  A lot of people upgraded to the new iPhones...Apple sold like 9 million the first weekend.  On the opposite side of that, there are still a lot people still using the iPhone 5 or iOS 6.

This week, I found a video that covers the features of the iPhone 5 for those that are still using it.  You're not alone.  I still have my iPhone 5 but I did upgrade to iOS 7 and I like it for the most part.

Sorry, I have to mention this little story about iOS 7.  When I first installed it, I used it for a day and then I changed the background.  There was no particular reason...I just preferred a different background.

Have you ever experienced a problem after someone brings it to your attention?  You don't know if it's really happening or if your mind is playing tricks.  This is what happened to me with iOS 7.  I used it fine, no issues.  Then I read this article over at MacRumors that said people were experiencing motion sickness from the iOS 7 display effects.  Then the next time I used my iPhone, I thought I was having problems looking at the display.  Hopefully, you don't do the same thing.  I think it was just my mind since I was thinking about the article.

Well, back to iOS 6, here is a video I found that has some tips and tricks for iOS 6 that you may not be aware of.

If you're one of the 9 million, I want to hear your thoughts on the new iPhones.  What do you think about them?  Has anyone tried out the new fingerprint sensor?

If you're still keeping your current iPhone and not upgrading, I hope you found the videos helpful.  I'd like to know why you decided not to upgrade your iPhone...just curious.

I thought I was not eligible to upgrade my iPhone because of AT&T's contract but they have this new program now called AT&T Next that gives you the ability to upgrade your phone every year.  I haven't looked too deeply into the fine print but it may be worth a look.

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, September 23, 2013

IOS 7, IPhone 5S, and IPhone 5C are Here!

The wait is finally over!  If you were waiting for the release of the iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S, and iOS 7...they are now here!

Last week, I didn't have time to upgrade my iPhone to iOS 7 but I upgraded my iPad on the first day it was available.  The only holdup with my iPhone was that it is a 16 GB version and I was using all my storage.  I had to free up 3GB's so I could install iOS 7.  I found time to do that over the weekend.  I also upgraded my Apple TV so I'm good and upgraded.

The main reason I wanted to upgrade was for the automatic updates.  That's a great feature and now I don't have to worry about checking for updated apps and reading what's new in the app.  I mean it's still important so you know what companies are adding to your iPhone.  I prefer the automated process but I'll still keep an eye on the apps that have a lot of my personal information such as social media and banking apps.

Here is a compilation of videos for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5C, and iOS 7 for you to enjoy.  Hopefully, you'll learn something you didn't already know.  After watching them, you can impress your friends with how much you know about the new iPhones and iOS 7.

So, tell me...what are your thoughts on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iOS 7?  What do you like and what don't you like?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Apple iPhone 5 Panorama Tutorial

If you are like me, you take a lot of pictures with your iPhone.  It's just so convenient when you always have a camera with you.  My iPhone has helped me out tremendously in explaining things.  Sometimes you explain something and you think, "I wish I had a picture".  Now when I think that, I usually have a picture on my iPhone.

Now there may be some times when you want to take a picture of something that is as beautiful as it is large.  You don't want to lose the integrity of the picture.  You want to capture it as you are viewing it.  This is when the iPhone's Panorama feature comes in handy.

The iPhone's gyroscope and camera app work in tandem to help you create a stunning panoramic picture.

If you have never used this feature before, make sure you watch the video tutorial up above and you'll be ready to go in no time.

Take great panoramic photos with the iPhone's Panorama feature and share the moments you love with the ones you love.

Was this tutorial helpful?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Mac Mail Tutorial

I am always connected to the Internet whether on my iPhone or my Macbook.  Sometimes, I probably check my email too often.  I get a lot of emails so I have to make sure I don't miss important emails while filtering out spam and unwanted emails.

I am a fan of the Mail application on Macs.  It works well to fit my needs but when I first started using it, I had to learn how to set it up the way I wanted.  It's set up the way I prefer now but it took a little of research.  If you haven't used the Mail application yet, you should give it a try.

If you have multiple email accounts, the Mail application makes it easy to consolidate all your mail.  You can look at a specific mailbox or you see all your mail at once.  This is a very helpful feature since most people have multiple email accounts by now.  Maybe you have Hotmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and Google email accounts.  Rather than logging into each one each day, you just view them all through the Mail application.

This tutorial is good to help you do some advanced functions in the Mail application on your Mac.  Once you get it set up the way you want, it just works.

Did you find this tutorial helpful?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, July 29, 2013

IOS 7 Features You May Not Know About

There are a lot of changes in iOS 7 for the iPhone since the software was overhauled.  At WWDC, Apple covered many of the changes but there are some changes they did not cover.  This video is to catch you up on the uncovered changes.  The guy in the video (SoldierKnowsBest) talks a little fast but you can pause, rewind, or replay as needed.  This is some very good information and there is a recap below.

Here are some changes in iOS 7 that you may not know.  Some are very minor but others may come in handy.

Spotlight search -- Instead of having to scroll to the left to access spotlight search, you can now access the feature by sliding your finger from the middle of the screen.  Before you would only see the spotlight seemed like you opened a search app because the search was your complete focus.  Now it feels more integrated with the iOS while you're searching.  Honestly, right now, I rarely use spotlight search so I guess I will find out if that's because of the location.  Now, that it will be slightly easier to access and more integrated with the regular screen, I may use it more often.

Clock app -- If you start a timer under the clock app, when you lock your iPhone, the timer will display below the current time.  In previous iOS versions, if you start a timer and lock your iPhone, the timer is not displayed.  If you want to check the status of your timer, you must unlock your iPhone.  So, if you use the timer function a lot, the new iOS will make the timer a bit more helpful.

Turn off iPhone -- Along with all the modern tweaks in iOS 7, you will notice how it now turns off slightly differently.  Now, you receive the see through "slide to power off" button.  As you slide to power off in iOS 7, the screen will begin to dim to reflect the action.  This isn't a big's just a nice little touch feature that most people may overlook.

Unlock your iPhone screen -- So after you have locked your iPhone screen, currently, you have to click the Home button, then click "slide to unlock".  With iOS 7, you can "slide to unlock" from anywhere on the screen.  This feature may save you a little time.

Multitasking -- Now with multitasking, you get a preview of the apps that are currently open.  This works when your screen is displaying portrait or landscape mode.  You can also close multiple apps at once simply by grabbing them and sliding up.  This can be very helpful if you normally have a lot of apps open and want to close them.  Currently, you would double click the Home button, then hold your finger on the multitask panel until the app icons began to shake.  Then you tap the "x" on each app to close them.

App Store wish list - In iOS 7, the app store will offer a wish list option.  When browsing apps, if you're not completely sure about buying the app, you can add it to your wish list.  This may be helpful if you normally purchase a lot of apps at once.  You can browse apps and add them to your wish list.  Then you have them all in one place when you're ready to purchase.

Passbook scan feature -- In iOS 7, when using Passbook, you now have scan functionality where you can scan QR codes.

Maps app -- The app now has a compass in the top corner to help you navigate.

Phone keypad -- In the new iOS, when you are dialing a number on the keypad, as you select a number, your background will display.  This is a very subtle change.

Camera app -- You will now be able to pinch to zoom while recording video.  This will help with focusing your video and may produce videos with a bit more appeal...all depends on what you're zooming in on I guess.  If you take a lot of panoramic photos, you can now use those photos for your iPhone background.  This is interesting because you can move your iPhone around and it will display different parts of the panoramic background.

That's a recap of all the features that were covered in the video.  I hope you find some of the new features cool or helpful.  With this tutorial, by the time iOS 7 comes out, you will already know a lot about it.

What do you think about iOS 7 and its new features?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Monday, July 22, 2013

How to Setup Your Ringtones on the iPhone 5


Sometimes, with all the features of the iPhone 5, I forget about its initial purpose.  First and foremost, it's a cell phone.  It was created so we can communicate with our friends, family, and acquaintances.  Sometimes, we look at all the ways we can communicate (ex. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Voxer, iMessage, etc.) that we forget that we can just pick up our iPhones and make a regular call.

I met a person recently and while we were talking, I noticed he had an iPhone.  I told him about Apple Newbies and how I help people with Apple product problems with informative tips and tutorials.  Usually, when I tell someone this, I open myself up because I have no idea what problem they may have or if I will have the solution.  Sometimes, I can quickly resolve the problem.  If I can't help them on the spot, that's ok because even in defeat there is a lesson learned (Jay-Z/Samuel Smiles).  Normally, that creates an opportunity to create tips and/or tutorials to help with that problem.

The guy I met simply wanted to use his cell phone.  He only wanted to be able to change the ringtones for different callers.  That's not too much to ask for.  So, today, let's talk about ringtones...

First, let's look at how to change your ringtones for different contacts.  This can be handy if you're not close to your phone while it is ringing.  Based on the ringtone, you can decide how important the call is.  Here is a short video tutorial to help you with that.

The above tutorial is all you really need if want to use the ringtones that come standard on your iPhone.  But if you're like most people, you probably prefer to have custom ringtones.  Maybe there is a song that you just want to add to your iPhone as a ringtone.  Take a look at the following video tutorial for how to make a song into a ringtone using iTunes.

Did you find the tutorials helpful?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

You may also like:

Apple iWatch in 2013?

Mac OSX Mavericks and How to Upgrade

Tips for Buying Apple Products

Monday, July 15, 2013

Apple iWatch in 2013?

In the news (or should I say rumor sites) recently, there has been talk about Apple possibly releasing the iWatch this year.  Reports say Apple has been hiring lately for their iWatch project.  Earlier this month, Apple filed for the iWatch trademark in Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and many other places.  Normally, this is a sign that Apple is preparing to release a product in the near maybe the next year or so.

I normally try to stay away from rumors on Apple Newbies but I'll occasionally make an exception for  a potential new product.  It seems like a small product but I wonder what capabilities could an iWatch have.  What use would I have for a smart watch?  Could it be a more convenient way to access iPhone or iPod features?  Would it work with other Apple products or would the iWatch eventually replace other products?

For your viewing enjoyment, watch what Apple Bytes has to say about the Apple iWatch.  They have a few renderings of how the Apple iWatch could possibly look.  The video also covers a few other topics such as Apple's Back to School promotion,  an illumination system for iPhones, combined input port, and an Apple buying guide.

I'm waiting to see what Apple will release for the iWatch and what capabilities the device will have.  I'm excited but not overly excited because we don't know when it will be officially announced and released.  I guess in the meanwhile, it gives us something to think about.

What do you think about Apple's potential iWatch?

You may also like:

OSX Mavericks and How to Upgrade

Thoughts on Apple Announcements at WWDC

Apple Newbies Tour

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mac OSX Mavericks and How to Upgrade

Apple's newest version of Mac OSX was recently introduced at WWDC 2013. Although still in the beta stages, now is the perfect time to take a look at what this upgrade has to offer, how to install it on your Mac, and when it will be available to buy.

The newly named "Mavericks" is the 10th major release of the powerful OSX operating system, and reportedly offers more than 200 new features.  These new design features promise to make your life easier, run your Mac faster, and improve energy efficiency.

OSX Mavericks incorporates new power-saving innovations like Time Coalescing®, a new feature that groups together low-level operations of your Mac, enabling the CPU to run longer in a reduced-power state.  There is also the App Nap®, another new facet of the Mac OSX upgrade that is designed to focus on open applications you are not using. This makes it possible for your Mac to maintain speed and responsiveness by automatically compressing any inactive data when your system approaches memory capacity. Once you need the data again, however, it is available immediately.

In addition to increased battery life, the latest Mac OSX upgrade introduces iCloud Keychain®, a new security feature that provides safe storage of your WI-FI passwords, website login credentials, and yes, even your credit card information.  Your confidential data, while being securely protected by robust AES 256 bit encryption, is automatically shared with your Mac, and all of your approved devices.

There are many other groundbreaking additions to Mavericks, including iBooks®, a feature that provides immediate access to your iBooks library, as well as any new titles in the iBooks Store. Conveniently, iBooks also automatically bookmarks the last page you read.   There is an enhanced multi-display support, and the newly offered Maps, complete with 3D view, interactive Flyover™, and razor-sharp graphics.  The new Safari browser is more powerful, more stable, and offers even more advanced features. If you like the new updates, you can begin planning your upgrade now.

When considering any upgrade, it is important to note that you must always check the system requirements first. Once you understand the specifications, carefully compare them to what you already have, and verify the current OSX version your Mac is running.  This is necessary, because if you missed a previous upgrade, you will need to bring your system current before continuing on to the Mavericks release.

To locate your current OSX, select the apple icon from the top left of your screen, then click on "About This Mac" from the drop down menu to find your version.

Once you have your OSX details, simply visit Apple's website (once Mavericks is available for sale) for specific upgrade instructions.  The process should be similar to past upgrades where you can purchase them through the Mac app store.  I like the fact you only have to purchase one upgrade for multiple computers.  Most importantly, remember to back up all of your data, and be sure you have all of your application CD's before you start.

The preview of Mavericks OSX is available now to all members of the Mac Developer program.  All other Mac users can purchase the new Mavericks Mac OSX upgrade in the Fall of 2013.

What do you think about OSX Mavericks?  Are you ready to upgrade?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thoughts on Apple Announcements at WWDC 2013

Apple unveiled some products, software, and a new commercial at the 2013 World-Wide Developer's conference.  The commercial reinforced Apple's commitment to making great products which Tim Cook highlighted that during his keynote...which I watched on my Apple TV.

I was curious to see what Apple would unveil.  With the unveilings, there were some features and products that I liked and others I'm still unsure about.

Products announced

Macbook Air
Details:  New Macbook Airs will now stay charged for nine to twelve hours, or a whopping thirty days on standby, depending on the screen size.  Other hardware improvements mean up to 40 percent better graphics handling, and the Air can wake up from standby in about a second.

Thoughts:  I like the Macbook Air but I have never really played with one so I'm not sure what the actual performance would be like.  If you're not a power user and you just surf the web, do word processing, and access your social media, the Macbook Air is probably powerful enough for your needs.  Just make sure it has everything you need to be productive.  Due to the thin size, some hardware components are not standard.

Mac Pro
Details:  Since Steve Jobs untimely death in 2011, all Apple announcements have been met with an increased scrutiny and many have claimed their days of innovation were behind them.  But at the WWDC 2013, the company showed it can still surprise us by unveiling a completely redesigned Mac Pro. Built for power users, it's now a very stylish cylinder shape, allowing for better cooling and increased ergonomics. It's twice as fast as its predecessor, and supports the latest in video resolution technology known as 4K.

Thoughts:  Interesting design.  Almost makes me wish I did more power computing to have a need for it.  Way more power than I need and I'm sure the price will be expensive when it is officially released.  Seems like it will be a great tool for anyone that needs it and I'm sure the Mac Pro users have been waiting for a refresh.  I think they will be happy.

AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule
Details:  AirPort Extreme has been updated to include the latest in WiFi technology, 802.11 ac which supports signals three times as powerful as Wireless N. With more antennas, coverage is increased, and the slightly more costly Time Capsule version integrates backup storage up to 3TB.

Thoughts:  Just imagine have 6 Apple TVs (or Airport Express) stacked on top of each other.  That would give you about the size of the new AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule.  The idea is interesting.  You want to have a small footprint so build it upward.  At the same time that allows you to add more antennas.  I can appreciate adding 802.11 ac for faster speeds but the products aren't needed unless your products currently support 802.11 ac.  Whenever I get enough Apple products with 802.11 ac, then maybe I will consider the AirPort Extreme.  I like the theory of the Time Capsule...automatic backups but I created my own so I don't see the need to purchase one.  If you're a techie, build your own.  If you're not, then the Time Capsule may be a good option.

Software announced

Details:  While the most stunning change is visual—iOS 7 features a complete aesthetic redesign from the bottom up—other improvements include a smarter Siri, better multitasking support, and integration with supported vehicles, allowing you to use your iPhone to control its on-board technology. 

Thoughts:  I still like the old iOS but I know lots of people were ready for a change so Apple could keep up with the competition.  Just looking at images of the iPhone with iOS 7, it does look like a new phone.  I like that you can now have more apps grouped together.  I'm curious to see how much smarter Siri is.  I would use Siri more but when I ask questions or give commands that Siri can't answer or complete, I get frustrated.  

OSX Mavericks
Details:  There was Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and… Sea Lion? At WWDC 2013, Apple broke their trend of naming the operating system after cats and went with a California inspired surfer theme instead, going with the name Mavericks. The latest version of OSX has an emphasis on extending battery life, a fuller integration with iCloud, file tagging for easier searching, and a tabbed version of Finder, just to name a few of the more popular improvements.

Thoughts:  No comment.  I will get it when it's available and then decide what I think of it.

iTunes Radio
Details:  The long anticipated iTunes Radio has finally arrived. With it, users can log in and experience something like Spotify or Pandora, essentially listening to whatever song they want for free. It also has the ability to learn from your behavior and program custom channels so you can sit and listen to music it thinks you'll enjoy.

Thoughts:  I will try it when it's released and decide what I think then.  There are already apps that do this job so I will have to test it to see if anything sets it apart from the others.

iWork for iCloud
Details:  Now there is iWork for iCloud. With this announcement, Apple brings their iWork office suite, which includes the word processor Pages, spreadsheet program Numbers, and presentation software Keynote, to the web.  Work on your documents in your browser.

Thoughts:  I like has features I like and so does Office.  I'm happy that you will be able to work on projects in your web browser.  I'm not sure how much it will cost to use.

Overall, I think Apple did well with their announcements at WWDC 2013.  How do you think Apple did at WWDC 2013?

If you found this helpful, make sure you leave a comment, share it, "Like" us on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

You may also like:

Tips to extend the iPhone 5's battery life

Monday, June 3, 2013

Apple Newbies Tour: Learn More About Apple!

This weekend, I decided to spread the word about Apple Newbies a bit more.  Therefore, I created my first Apple Newbies YouTube video that provides a tour of the Apple Newbies website.

I think the video will be helpful for anyone that wants to learn more about Apple and Apple products.  It shows them what the website offers and how to navigate around the website.

If you already visit Apple Newbies regularly, you probably know your way around the website pretty well.  But just in case you don't, you can also watch the video tour.

During the tour, I cover the website, social media buttons, the Apple Newbies store, Contact, and more.

Unfortunately, there is a new addition (coming soon) that wasn't ready in time for the video.  Stay tuned for that!  I think it will be a good.  I'm excited!

Here is an excerpt from my video description:

Apple Newbies is designed to help new and experienced Apple product users.  If you are interested in learning tips to improve your Apple product experience, this is the website for you.  If you are thinking about buying Apple products, you can get tips and ask questions.  If you have any questions or problems, just enter them in the "Contact" section.  Make sure you share this with your friends and family that have or are considering buying Apple products!

So, please take a little bit of time and review the Apple Newbies YouTube video.  I hope you enjoy it.  If so, be sure to share it with your friends to help me get the word out.

You may also like:

Tips to extend the iPhone 5's battery life

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tips for Buying Apple Products

If you are considering buying an Apple product or adding a new Apple product to your collection,  I'm sure you want to make the best decision possible and balance features with cost.  If money is no object, then you can buy the latest and greatest product.  But if you're like me, you want to find the device that does what you need at the best price.  So, today, we will look at things to consider when buying different Apple products and also go over some resources for finding good prices.

Apple TV

Apple TV -- There is not much to say about Apple TV.  It is a small device with a small price tag.  You just want to look at the features before you buy so you can answer the question, "Is the Apple TV worth it?"  Once you've reviewed the features, you will know if it's something you want.


iMac -- Apple recently released a new, thinner model.  If you like the new design, you're not alone!  The only decisions you have to make is screen size and processor speed.  They all have 8 GB's of memory and a 1 TB hard drive.  All the processors are quad core so unless you are a "techie", you probably don't need the top of the line processor.

iPad and iPad Mini

iPad/iPad Mini -- Here you have 2 options.  You can get the full size iPad or you can get the iPad Mini.   The iPad will have higher resolution while the iPad Mini is more compact.  I like the iPad and I didn't think I would like the iPad Mini when it was released.  Most people dispute against the iPad Mini is that there is no new technology in it.  It's just smaller.  But there is something about it.  It's light and feels very like-able in your hands.  That's just my opinion and the best way I could describe it.  If you want either of these devices, go for it.  Just keep in mind, there is a possibility newer models could be and probably will be released later this year.  Then you have to decide if you need it now or if you can wait.


iPhone -- If you wanted the latest device, that's the iPhone 5.  If you can deal with a smaller screen to save money, that's the iPhone 4S.  If price is your largest concern, that's the iPhone 4.  If you don't want a contract, buy the phone outright and look for a prepaid plan.  Crunch the numbers.  You may pay more upfront but save more over the long term.

iPod -- You have a wide variety.  You have the Shuffle, Nano, Touch and Classic.  If you're just a music lover and don't need a display or apps, the Shuffle is for you.  If you prefer to have a display, then you can go with the other three.  If you want apps, then you're down to the Nano and Touch.  Then you just have to decide on the size and price you want.

Macbook Air

Macbook Air/Pro -- The Macbook Air is lightweight and very thin.  It's very portable but some features are missing to allow for the smaller size.  There is no DVD drive or ethernet port; you will have to purchase external accessories if those are a must.  You could use a thumb drive instead of the DVD drive and you could use the wireless connection instead of the ethernet port.  If the DVD drive and/or ethernet port are must-haves, you may prefer the Macbook Pro.  The Macbook Pro will also give you more storage than the Macbook Air.  If you look at those features, then you can choose the best Macbook for you.  If you want the top of the line, that's the Macbook Pro with Retina display.

Mac Mini

Mac Mini -- If you're looking for an entry Mac, the Mac Mini is a great choice!  Of course I like the Mac Mini.  You can use it as a media center computer and install Plex or you can use it as your desktop.  Either way, it will have a small footprint.  You just have to bring your own keyboard, mouse, and display.  This was my first Mac and I still have it...and still use it daily!

You can find most of these products in the Apple Newbies Store so take a look around.

In closing, I just want to say no matter what product or products you choose, with Apple, you will get a quality product.  I just wanted to familiarize you with your options and provide a few tips for buying Apple products.  I hope this information was helpful and you choose wisely.

Did you find these tips helpful?

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Benefits of Using Plex Media Server on Your Mac

Today, let's revisit Plex.  If you own a Mac or an iOS device, you can benefit from using Plex Media Server.  Let's jump right into the benefits.

Macs used to come with Front Row but new Macs no longer come with it.  Front Row was an easy program to use but it was limited.  Plex picked up where Front Row left off.  All of a sudden, Mac users were able to watch various media types all in one place.  I have used VLC player in the past and still do sometimes.  It also provides the capability to play various media types but Plex does more than that.

Plex Media Server allows you to store and organize your media.  For instance, if you have movies on a computer, an external hard drive, and on a NAS (network attached storage) like the Drobo FS, you can consolidate them all with Plex Media Server and they would simply all display as movies.  I think that is a cool feature.  When you want to watch your movie collection, you don't want to worry about where is this movie stored.  You want the simplicity of browsing your movie collection and Plex does that well.  This works for TV shows and music as well.

Plex Media Server also takes meta-data (information about the file) and uses it to go online and find more details about the file.  For instance, with movies, it Plex can pull cover art, plot summary, and more.  This feature can really make Plex pop!  Imagine having a something that looks like this on your big screen!

Then there is MyPlex where you can setup an account and then you can take your media with you anywhere.  Imagine watching your shows or movies from home while you're out using your iPhone or iPad.  You can also use this feature to share with your friends if they are using Plex.  Once you use it, I'm sure you'll tell your friends to use it as well.

You can also use Plex to access online content.  That really opens up your options for what you can watch!

So, if you're now ready to setup Plex Media Server on your Mac, here is an informative video that walks you through the process so you can enjoy the benefits.

Do you currently use Plex Media Server or would you use it in the future?  Why or why not?

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tips to Extend the iPhone 5's Battery Life

iPhone 5 Battery Life

Now that you have purchased your iPhone 5, you may have some issues with your battery life.  Perhaps it's not lasting long enough or you're just interested in ways to extend the battery life.  The iPhone is essentially a handheld computer.  There is a lot this little computer can do but with all the processing, the battery may run down quicker.

I usually charge my iPhone 5 daily but it doesn't always need it.  My phone could last a day and a half.  If your iPhone is not able to do that, then you may want to check out these video tutorials.  They cover a few tips and tricks to improve your battery life.  Some may overlap but I think if you follow both tutorials, it should help your battery life.

In the past (like a few days ago), I used to recommend that people close the apps they are not using in the multitask bar of their iPhones.  I thought I had read somewhere that it improved battery life.  After researching it, I guess it was a misconception.

Here are a couple more tips that may help extend your iPhone 5's battery life:

Upgrade to the latest software -- When there is a new update for your iPhone, there could be tweaks to improve battery life as well.  You should also upgrade to the latest versions of your apps because the newer versions may offer battery improvements too.

Full cycle recharge -- You should complete a full cycle recharge at least once a month.  This is when you charge your battery to 100% and then run it completely down.

By using the tips above and the tips in the videos below, you should be able to extend your iPhone 5's battery life.  That will give you more time to enjoy it!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Idea to Fix Your Macbook if It's Running Slow

Fix Your Macbook

Okay, so yesterday, I was looking for something new to write about.  I was looking to see if there was a problem  Apple users were facing.  I stumbled across a forum that was talking about Macbooks running slow.  If you are having this problem, I know it can be annoying.  We like things quick!  If we are searching for information, we want it now.  When you're used to working at a certain level and now you can't, that can be aggravating.  Luckily, this forum also had a way to fix your Macbook if it's running slow.

The Explanation

I'm including the explanation first so you can verify your symptoms before using the fix.  If your CPU idle % is low, like significantly below 80%, there is a good chance a process is draining your CPU.  You can verify this using Activity Monitor.  To open Activity Monitor, use one of these options:

Option 1

  • Click Launchpad on the dock
  • Click Other
  • Then select Activity Monitor
  • Select CPU and view the % idle

Option 2

  • On the top toolbar, select Go
  • Then Utilities
  • Then select Activity Monitor
  • Select CPU and view the % idle

The Fix

  • Turn off your Macbook and plug the power cord into a wall outlet.
  • Hold down the left Shift, Control, Option, and Power buttons for 10 seconds.  The Macbook should remain off during this time.
  • Then, release the buttons and power on the Macbook.

This is a simple fix for a problem that could complicate you life.  Hopefully, this tip will remedy your slow Macbook problems so you can get back to being productive.

Did this help fix your Mac issue?

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Monday, April 22, 2013

How to Setup and Configure Your Apple TV

I'm guessing you have other Apple products if you have decided to purchase an Apple TV.  Or maybe the Apple TV is your gateway device into the Apple ecosystem.  Either way, you have to setup and configure your Apple TV so you can enjoy all that it has to offer.  So, let's get started!


Setup is pretty easy and straightforward.  You will need the following:

  • Your Apple TV
  • HDMI cable
  • Ethernet cable (if you're not using WiFi)

Then you simply connect the Apple TV to power.  You connect the HDMI cable to the Apple TV and the other end to your television.  If you are not using WiFi, then you will need to connect an ethernet cable to your Apple TV and connect the other end to your router or switch.  Now, your Apple TV is setup.  Let's configure it!


First, you will start with the network configuration.

If you are using WiFi, then you will need to know the name of your network and the password.  The Apple TV will walk you through the steps to configure your network connection.

If you are using an ethernet cable, your Apple TV will configure your connection automatically.

Next, you will have to configure your Apple ID so you can make purchases from the iTunes Store.  You also want to make sure Home Sharing is configured so you can access your iTunes content on your computer.

An additional note, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer that has all your content.  Then, enable Home Sharing on your computer so you can share your content with the Apple TV.

Lastly, if you have subscriptions for the apps (Netflix, Hulu+, and the sports apps), you can configure them when you click on the apps.  These will greatly increase your content...maybe making it possible to get rid of your cable box.

Additional Considerations

If you need to make additional tweaks to your Apple TV, go to Settings.  Here you can adjust your screen saver to show off your cool pictures from your iTunes library.  You have multiple options for how you can display your photos.  You can also make sure AirPlay is enabled so you can play video from your iPhone, iPad, or Macbook on your Apple TV.  You may also mirror your device's screen if your device allows it and you are using the latest Apple TV.

Under Settings, then General, you will see where you can update your Apple TV software if and when needed.

Under Settings, then General, then iTunes Store, you can adjust your location, video resolution, and turn HD Previews on and off.  Most people will want HD Previews on but if your internet connection is not fast enough to support it, you may want to turn off HD Previews.

Now, you are more than prepared to navigate you Apple TV and enjoy all it offers.  The best advice I can offer is to use it often and you will become familiar with it.  Now, you have setup and configured your Apple TV, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Check out Amazon for deals on Apple TV!

Did you find this tutorial helpful?

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Save Space on iPhone with Media Streaming

If you're like me, you purchased the 16 GB iPhone to save money.  It is a good option to save money but 16 GBs can fill up quickly.  Add your favorite apps, videos, music, and books and you'll see how quickly you can use up 16 GBs of storage.  No one wants to try to update their apps only to find out they don't have enough space.  Luckily, due to technology, it's not too large of an issue.  Let's look at a few ways you can save space on your iPhone with media streaming.

Before we jump into media streaming, if you want to cut space, make sure you remove any apps that you don't use regularly...or at all.  I'm sure we can all find a few that maybe were purchased because they were free and now we have no use for the app.  By only keeping useful apps on your iPhone, you'll cut down on space.

If you have a lot of videos, music, and playlists on your iPhone, you can cut back and use the following apps to increase your content while taking up less storage space:


You are probably already aware of this app.  If not, this is a FREE app that allows you to stream music to your iPhone.  You can create stations based on songs and artists that you like.  If you get bored of a station, you can either switch to another that you like or add another song or artist to your station to refresh your station.  This is a FREE app but because it is FREE, your music will have interruptions for advertisements.  You can opt for the subscription and then you can listen commercial free.

YouTube and Vevo

Just like using them on your home computer, you can use YouTube and Vevo apps for media streaming on your iPhone.  Together they have a huge selection of videos for your enjoyment.  Vevo focuses on music videos while YouTube has a lot of other video options.

Netflix, Hulu+, and Coolstreaming

You can always turn to Netflix and Hulu+ to watch your favorite television shows and movies on your schedule, even when you're away from home.  This will really increase your content while taking up little space on your iPhone.  You will need subscriptions to enjoy Netflix and Hulu+ on your iPhone.  Coolstreaming is a new (and FREE) app to me, but I'm already liking it.  The reviews on it are average (about 3 stars), but I'm currently watching live television using Coolstreaming and AirPlay to display it on my television through my AppleTV.  So, when this app is working as it should, you should be able to watch live television while you're on the go.  

These apps are just the tip of the iceberg.  There are more apps available that will allow you to stream even more content so make sure you browse through the app store.  This is a good start though to show you how you can save space on your iPhone with media streaming.  

Unfortunately, some of these apps may be tough on your battery so make sure you have a charger nearby.  But overall, now you have lots of options for entertainment on your iPhone!

Did you find these tips helpful?

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Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Use AirPrint with Your iPod, iPad, or iPhone

AirPrint for your iPod, iPad, or iPhone

There is a common misconception about Apple and its products.  Everyone thinks because Apple is proprietary, their devices don't play well with others.  Apple wants you to use all their products because they believe it will give you the best may provide a better experience, but it's not your only option.  I use a Linksys router on my home network and rarely have any issues.  I also use a Western Digital external hard drive for my Time Machine backups.  Once again, it's rare that I have any problems.  Now, that's cleared up so let's look at how to use AirPrint on your iPod, iPad, or iPhone.

I honestly don't use AirPrint much.  I haven't really thought about the feature.  If I'm home and I want to print, I'm usually on my Macbook.  There could be other situations when you may need to use AirPrint.  Someone mentioned printing on iPads today in a casual conversation.  I didn't know all the details off the top of my head.  I knew of it and a few general details.  Enough to let the person know AirPrint should work with different printers.  Once I got home, I did some quick research...literally, in 5 minutes (maybe less), I had printed from my iPad.   So if you need to learn more about this feature, this will be a quick tutorial.

For printers, the main things you have to do is verify that your printer is AirPrint capable and that your iOS device is on the same home network as your printer.  You can find a list of compatible printers here.

Once, you know your printer is AirPrint capable or you have purchased an AirPrint capable printer, you can easily begin printing from your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can AirPrint from apps that include the print capability.  To test AirPrint, I used the Notes app.  To initiate AirPrint on your iOS device, just follow these steps:

  1. Inside the app you are using, look for the Sharing icon and select it.
  2. Then select the Print button
  3. Then select your Printer if it's not already selected and press Print.
  4. That's it!  Too easy, right?
Keep in mind, not all apps will have the AirPrint feature.  You may need to try one that you would expect to have the feature (such as the Notes app) just to ensure it works.  Then you can enjoy AirPrint on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Are You Having Problems With Your iPhone 5 Home Button?

iPhone 5

Most iPhone 5 owners may have some complaints about the screen size in a world where Apple's competitors are creating larger screens, but I haven't seen too many issues around the iPhone 5's hardware.  Recently, I was introducing Apple Newbies to a fellow iPhone owner and I asked her if she had any issues.  She mentioned that her home button was sticking.  I have never came across this issue with my iPhone so it wasn't something I could fix on the spot.  I asked a few questions for a quick resolution but her answers steered me away from a quick fix.  I told her I would look into it and write a post for her and any other iPhone users having issues with their home button.  I am a man of my word.  I hope she reads this and it helps her (and anyone else with this problem) get back to enjoying her iPhone 5.

First of all, the iPhone 5 should still be under warranty if you purchased it less than a year ago.  You should be able to take it to your nearest Apple Store to have it fixed or to receive a replacement.  Apple proudly displays on their website they have "the highest in customer satisfaction with consumer smartphones".  You can always remind them of that.  Apple's limited warranty on the iPhone 5 covers your iPhone for hardware defects for 1 year from the date you purchased it.  Make sure you read it and are familiar with it...don't forget your receipt.  If your device is under warranty, this is probably the best solution.  You don't want to do anything that could void your warranty.

Next, previous iPhone models had problems with their home buttons as well.  If you own an older iPhone model or your iPhone 5 is no longer covered under warranty, here are some resources to help you:

1.  Watch the video below or read the full article: Four Ways to Fix and Unresponsive iPhone Home Button

2.  Read this if you prefer a Wiki version.

3.  View this article:  iPhone Home Button Not Working or Unresponsive

4.  As a last resort, if you need to open your iPhone, follow this at your own risk.

By the time you are done with all these options, your iPhone home button issues should be resolved.  iPhone owners everywhere should now be able to enjoy their iPhones once again.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What If You Want Windows on Your Mac Mini?

Windows on Mac've purchased a Mac Mini (or any Mac for that matter) and you aren't ready to leave Windows behind just yet?  You like your Mac Mini but you miss the familiarity of Windows.  I know how you feel...I've been there.  I promise you have made a great choice by purchasing a Mac.  Once you learn more about it and use it more, the software will make sense and you may begin to prefer it to Windows.  But in the meantime, don't worry, Apple has made it so your transition doesn't have to be so quick.  Let's take a look at your options for having Windows on your Mac Mini.

Virtual Network Computing (VNC)

If you still have a Windows computer in your home, the easiest way to get Windows on your Mac Mini is to remotely connect to your Windows computer.  Normally, you want to have your Mac Mini and your Windows computer on the same network.  There are some options for when they are not on the same network but it's not important here.  For your Windows computer, you need to download, install, and configure the TightVNC Server application.  The Mac Mini has a VNC client built into the operating system.  It's called Screen Sharing.  If you want to connect your Mac Mini to the Windows computer, simply click:

Connect to Server
Then enter "vnc://" followed by the IP address of your Windows Computer.

Now, you are ready to go and you have Windows on your Mac Mini.  The downside is the lack of audio.  If you desire audio, you will want to look at the next two options.

Boot Camp

The next option comes standard on the Mac Mini and it's called Boot Camp.  Boot Camp allows you to create a separate partition on your hard drive to install Windows.  This will give you the option to either boot into Mac OSX or Windows at startup.  Some pros for this installation is you will have audio and there is no lag.  The Mac Mini should perform like a Windows computer.  Some people even claim Windows may run better on a Mac.  There may be some driver issues to work through.  The con for this is you can only run one operating system at a time.  For more details about Boot Camp or for the step by step instructions to install it, go here.

Virtual Machine

The last option (and my preferred method) is to install Windows on a virtual machine (VM).  A virtual machine is just running a virtual computer on your existing computer.  This is good if you want to run multiple operating systems.  Some people also use VM's to test software or to add another layer of security to their computer.  There are a few software options for creating and running virtual machines but the most popular are VMWare Fusion
Buy VMware Fusion 5 - The Best Way To Run Windows on Your Mac!
and Parallels.
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Both offer you a way to run Windows in a virtual machine.  The positive is that you have a Windows computer on your Mac.  The VM will perform as a normal computer would.  The negative is that you have a Windows computer on your Mac.  This sounds bad but I promise I'm not taking a shot at Windows.  I just mean your Mac Mini's operating system will have to share resources (storage space and memory) with the VM.  You just want to make sure your Mac Mini is up to the challenge.  I recommend at least 4 GB's of RAM and a dual core processor.

So there you have it!  Those are some options to put Windows on a Mac Mini.  You can use VNC, Boot Camp, or install a virtual machine.  Then you can continue to use any Windows software you've already purchased.  This is just a brief summary of your options.  You just have to decide which is the best option for your needs.

Did you find these tips helpful?

Monday, March 18, 2013

iPhone 'Do Not Disturb' Tutorial

Imagine!  You've been up all day just enjoying yourself.  And you've been awake most of the night enjoying yourself.  Now, you're home and you can hear your bed calling your name.  There is nothing you want more at this moment than the feeling of when your head meets the pillow.  Finally, you can rest your eyes.  You are exhausted.   Shortly after you fall asleep, your phone rings.  You try to ignore it but it keeps ringing and disturbing your peaceful slumber.  Isn't that the worst time to get a phone call?  I'm sure you can think of other situations where you don't want anyone to disturb you.

The previous scenario could have been easily avoided by using Apple's 'Do Not Disturb' feature found in iOS 6.  We all have busy lives but when it's time to sleep, we don't want any disturbances unless it's important.  With the 'Do Not Disturb' feature on the iPhones, you don't have to worry about unwanted calls, alerts, and notifications. If this sounds like what you've been looking for, here is how you activate it:

First, you go to "Settings", then "Do Not Disturb".

There you will see the slider button that you can use to turn the feature on.

Next, you can go to "Settings, then "Notifications", then "Do Not Disturb".

In this section, you can make changes to your 'Do Not Disturb' settings such as scheduling the time frame that you don't want to be bothered, determining what calls are allowed, and selecting whether the iPhone should ring if the call is repeated (twice within 3 minutes).

So there you have it.  It's pretty simple.  Since it's getting a late for me, I think it's time to activate the feature and get some sleep.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How to Use Dictation on a Mac

Use Dictation on a Mac

Do you ever get tired of typing?  Do you wish you could get your thoughts on paper just a little bit quicker?  Well, the good news is if you have a Mac, this feature is already built in.  It is called Dictation and the software comes standard in all the new Macs.  Just think. You talk and it writes down everything that you say.  Is technology really that advanced?  I think so.  I will tell you a few details about dictation and hopefully you will give it a try...if you haven't already.

First, let's go over how to use Dictation.  First, you want to make sure it is activated and to find this out, you have to go to:

System Preferences, then Dictation & Speech

From there, you can simply turn on the Dictation feature.  You can also choose a shortcut from the following options:

Press fn (Function) twice
Press right Command key twice
Press left Command key twice
Press either Command key twice

You can choose whichever shortcut works best for you.  You can also change the language here if needed.  Now you're ready to use Dictation anywhere that you would normally type.  All you have to do to activate Dictation is either use your chosen shortcut or you can go to:

Edit, then Start Dictation

It's that easy!  Dictation may have some problems getting all your words correct in the beginning but it should learn and improve over time.  Even so, the problems are usually minor.  You will have to say the punctuation at the end of your statement or question if you want Dictation to add it.  As you get used to Dictation, you can save a lot of time so don't be shy about trying it out.  If you want to take Mac dictation software to the next level, Dragon Dictation software is a great option.  Use your Mac to it's full potential!

For a detailed list of Dictation commands, simply visit this site.

Did you find these tips helpful?