Month: May 2015

Apple’s Facetime and iMessage. How to add a contact and what they do for us Apple users.

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Facetime and iMessage. On your latest iOS, OSX devices.

FaceTime adding contacts to iMessage and Video chat.

Apple devices come with 2 ways to contact another Apple user.
Their phone number if it’s an iPhone,
The Apple ID. The Apple ID can be used on all Apple devices.

How do you add a contact to your apple devices. There are a few ways of doing this.

If you know someone with an Apple product is trying to contact you. You both share your Apple ID and then you can do several things.

When you have each others information. In your contacts tab or icon. You click on the + sign to add a new contact. After you fill out the information and when you try to look at their information. You see 2 icons next to their number or email. One is a camera and the other is a text bubble. You can then choose to video chat or send a normal text chat to that other Apple user. I have provided a video showing the basic way of adding contacts to your Apple devices.

As long as you have the other persons information you can then FaceTime or iMessage that other person. This will only work with Apple products. This feature does not require a cell phone carrier. You just need your internet. It will work over an ethernet cable or wi-fi. It will also work at hot spots or anywhere you have access to your internet.

Consider your Apple ID your very own Apple telephone number to communicate with other Apple products.

FaceTime can also work as a voice call only feature if you are shy of being on cam. It is just a matter of going into the options and turning off the cam. The advantage of not using the cam with FaceTime is that it lets you make conference type calls with other Apple users. This is probably the only advantage using Skype.

iMessage works just like FaceTime. Instead though it uses chat or texts. You can send videos, pictures , share an abundance of things with other Apple users. An example is: You and your friends are running about recording videos and taking pictures. Everyone has different devices though. From iPad to an iTouch. iPhone and mom is at home on her macbook air. As long as you have internet either through wi fi or cellular service you can all just iMessage mom personally and send her all the information to her Macbook air.

Whats the difference between using Skype or just texting someone everything. There are a few things.
1. cellular service does not work on a majority of the iPad, iMacs,MacBooks etc. Think of your Apple ID like your very personal ID that you can give to only your closest of friends and family. Also It does not use up data from your cellular service if you are on wi-fi.
2. Some people do not want to give out their numbers for privacy reasons or their Skype account because it may be for work related reasons only. You can take any of those reasons and make them vice versa.
3. Some people just like to separate business/school and personal contacts.
4. I believe iMessage does not cap you on how big a file you can send through iMessage to other Apple users like a text message can.

Those reasons also apply to FaceTime usage. I personally use FaceTime for personal use. Another example. I use FaceTime for personal calls to my younger nieces to check up on them or for them to check in when they are out. The beauty is i can be out and about with my iPhone or ipad and still receive the FaceTime call or iMessage at a hotspot or anyplace i may be with internet. My 13-year-old niece has a iPhone 5c and in 8th grade and my younger 5-year-old niece has a little iTouch and they both can hit the little green icon and call me without hassle. Only down side is taking the time to set up their Apple ID which does not take long at all so they can be called or make calls. You can not share the same email incase some readers have a 1 family type email setup. You will not be able to call yourself. When someone does call you ALL your devices will ring. Even worst all your iCloud items will be shared through out all your devices and this is another article.

What do you think? Do you use FaceTime? Do you think it’s better or worst than Skype? Let me know what you think. Facetime and iMessage. On your iOS, OSX devices.

Feel free to send me any questions or comments at politech101@gmail.com

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Tech advice on shopping technology for your kids.

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My suggestions for devices for kids. What they can make use of and prices. Why to get each device and which is safe proof to last.

Choices Choices Choices

Laptops – Pros: Gets a kid used to searching for stuff and using a keyboard. Later on in life they will need some type of computer knowledge for school or work . Starting early isn’t a bad thing. Kids these days are super smart and can pick up on things quick and practice their spelling, grammar and typing all in one shot.
Cons: Depending on what laptop you get or desktop things will either run smooth or not. Operating systems like windows 8.1. I love windows but i love windows 7. This mash of confusion between desktop and tablet OS i would suggest you avoid. Especially for a kid who will have to deal with screens dashing back and forth. Lack of Applications and just about everything else.

Shopping :I believe in the you get what you pay for theory. I used to be the person to buy just enough in my budget and go along with it. But i was never satisfied till i bought something great or the best at the time. The benefits is a great product that will last you awhile. But this is for kids so we want to spend just enough for them to enjoy it but not destroy our bank accounts. What kind of specs or brands do i suggest, well lets see. Theres HP, Dell, Asus and a number of other brands. It will come down to what you are willing to spend. Lets pick a price point of something compared to a Playstation 4 or Xbox one which kids love these days so you are talking 300-500 depending on the bundle. You can get computers with specs of an i5 cpu, 8 gigs of ram, and integrated graphics maybe intel 5000. This setup will be speedy enough to do everything casual on the net and some light gaming. If you want anything under 300 you will be dealing with Celeron and low ram portables which i personally hate because nothing gets to you like spending money on something that struggles to run. The i5 cpu and 8 gigs of ram will be great for a kid. For fun, for school work, for any of your work etc. Another thing to note, The more RAM the better when a computer has integrated graphics. Your video will share RAM with your system to help push the graphics. Storage space is about 500 gig or more in this price range. Which should be more than adequate for a kid or teenager to store anything he or she needs. Most mobile devices come with a wi-fi card to get online. From that point on its up to you to decide what programs your kid needs. Games, learning software, etc.

more choices and choices

Tablets – Tablets are a smaller version of a laptop. Most tablets today like the Apple iPad or Samsung’s galaxy tablets are touch screen devices. A majority run Apples IOS software or Google’s Android OS. The difference between the two are its interface and app stores. Each comes with its ups and downs but both do generally the same thing. To make it easy, think of them as over sized smart phones. Millions of applications minus the calling and texting on some. Why would i suggest a tablet for kids? Lets see.
Pros – Small and easy to carry around. Can do everything the laptop can. It has a build in camera for videos and pictures. Games and learning software. Social sites galore if your teenager is into it and all at a press of the screen. No typing in a URL to get to do some of those things and it all at your finger tips. Tablets can also watch movies, amazon prime, Netflix, hobo go and so on. Apples iPad gives you the change to pay for mobile internet. Those versions of the device usually sell for about $100 more than its counter part. Some devices you can add a sd micro card to boost your storage from 64 gig to 128. Another great thing is most tablets these days are part of your devices echo system. if you all have iphones and macbooks then the iPad might be the choice for your kid etc. With applications like iMessage and Facetime  and their cloud system to share pictures and goodies. Other brands have their variation of an echo system but none as refined as Apples.

Cons: Price for internet access with a carrier. Storage the more affordable ones usually come with 16 gigs of space only. Most apps do not take up a lot of storage but it can build up if you have a ton of applications or pictures and music and movies that you can add to your device. Mainly Apple tablets which come with pre made storage capacity. The Samsung tablets can use sd micro cards to boost their storage.

These tablets can all be purchased anywhere from I would say between 200 to 400. The 1st gen mini iPad goes for 299 if that as new. Used on Amazon I have seen them as low as $100 used and in good condition. Samsung tablets also don’t get to expensive until you start looking at their higher end products like the galaxy notes and pros. Another tablet you may see that’s great is the Nexus 7, goes for around 250-300 and is often battling the mini iPad for best 7” tablet market. It sports the newer updates from google and a very high res screen. Another tablet you may see a lot of but I would not suggest for kids is the Windows surface tablets. Those are mini laptops/tablets. The RT version is not worth the money. You can’t install your own software and need to depend on Microsoft’s miserable app store. The higher end pro surface tablets are a completely different story but for a lot more money. For a kid my suggestions would be 1st or second generation mini iPad and Samsung galaxy tabs and nexus 7. All provide a bit of everything for a kid.

Applications: Whether its a laptop or tablet you will have tons of choices to choose from. The difference is how much easier is it to do. A laptop you need to dig up applications yourself and install. Worrying about a virus, malware etc. A tablet from Apple and Samsung you will have millions of choices from paid to free to play with.

PS: Hardware on tablets aren’t as impactful as laptops. The iPad to this day runs on 1 gig of ram. Just make sure to see what brand benefits you.

Some of the best places to shop for devices for me are newegg.com and amazon.

iWatch craze and technologies effect on us. Apple does it again.

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It’s time for a change alright.

Reading on the web I found on Cnet an article that claims Apple or analyst are claiming that the iWatch will have sold 30 million or more watches by years end. That is an amazing task and shows that Apple has an amazing staying power with their products world-wide. The watches look beautiful and very cool to use. The watches all range from $349-$17,000. I myself would try the first choice. As you can see from the above picture the watch comes in a variety of setups. All which will influence the price on your watch.  As beautiful and as new as it is, why am i not excited for it as everyone else is. Let’s get into that.

Before we get started. Let me assure you i am not a hater of Apple. I am for innovation and best bang for your buck. I traded my loving and caring best friend for years my Gaming Rig for a Macbook Air because i feel there are things that Apple does right. iMac, Macbook Pros, Tablets and Phones and the good old iPod/iTouch. Each i felt provided a new experience and made things less complicated for people. iMac was an all in one experience. The Macbook pro became that all in one experience on the go. The iPad was the bridge between the at home all in one or compact Macbook pro on the go or an alternative. The iPod at the time provided us for a way to have our music without burning cd’s and carrying a Walkman etc. The iPhone revolutionized the game. The first iPhone came out just as the Motorola Razor was hitting the 50 million units sold wold wide. Then the iPhone came out and you never saw another Motorola Razor again. As a matter of fact it changed the game so much that it brought trouble to then a lot of up and coming phone ideas. The blackberry who was a giant was never able to catch up. The t mobile sidekick line etc but it was ATT and the iPhone that reigned supreme and till this day are running strong and very debatable against Samsung.

iWatch as i see it.

Now I am not saying it’s not good. I just do not think its worth it. They are providing you with another gadget to look at, that is not your phone. Which you still need to have for it to work. I’ll tell you some of the things I do like about the watch. I love the style. They offer you different colors and looks. You can change the face of the watch to match whatever you may be wearing that day. Knowing Apple there will be more 3rd party faces to be used on it. The low-end starting price. For a 1st generation I think its fair. The 10K plus line … No. If you are rich and want to blow money on something go for it. You are not getting anything different but the gold its made of as far as technology goes, you will still have our 1st generation issues and experience.  I like the medical stuff. Keeping healthy as you get older is always a good thing. I like the GPS on it. Most importantly I like the notifications of what texts and emails and calls you have gotten. You can also make calls and have Apple pay. AWESOME.

What I do not like. It is not a standalone device. Picture this scenario. You run into an Apple store excited for the next best thing. Go and purchase it. Run home to set it up to show off next day at school or work but…you do not have a iPhone to sync all your texts and calls and other stuff that would make this device amazing. No it does not have built-in GPS or Wi-fi. So what I am telling you is that…you bought another bluetooth device that will not work unless you are a iPhone user. There is no global connectivity and I doubt there will be, ever. No camera, you can show off photos synced on your phone and Macbook or iCloud service I believe but with no wi fi how are you going to show anything off on the street or somewhere with no internet. You can not take any pictures on it though. It kind of feels like an iPad stuck on wi-fi only with fewer features and more dependability on another device for it to be good. So this isn’t a device that’s changing the game. To me its a product line showing it can stay connected with each other through different connected devices. I mean Apple could make a toaster and it would probably have iCloud on it where you can do the same thing on the side.  So what is the big deal?

I feel techies and society are craving the next best thing. There has been nothing that really came out and said “This will change the world forever” in a long time….well in technology that is since maybe the iPhone(As far as computing goes. TV’s are on another planet right now)which made a communication device into a small personal computer in your pocket. I do believe it is a cool idea to see it all work on your wrist. This kind of reminds me of Halo with Cortona or any future game that shows all our protagonist with a trusty futuristic partner of sorts. Which was our iPad. Maybe I am seeing it wrong and Apple wanted to give us the James Bond feel? I think it works..but is it worth it yet? I do not know for everyone else. For me though, I am happy with my assortment of apple products before hand but this one I will skip till it becomes something very needing and independent from everything else.

As far as it effects on us goes. I believe you have your buyers who buy because it’s THAT new thing. You have others that buy things to fill in a gap where they need something. Example, Most people buy laptops because they 1. Do not want to be stuck on a big pc forever. 2. Need to have a laptop to notate or do things on the go. Then you have those who buy a laptop to experience it and say they had it. Ask yourself if you bought the next big phone that came out. If it’s an iPhone 6 plus or a Galaxy note 4. You just came over from a flip phone after 20 years of using it. You are not an everyday internet or email kind of person. Maybe read the occasional CNN article etc. Yes you can do that on the new phones but does it warrant the need to purchase? I feel sometimes people buy something way beyond their means just in the sake of wanting it. I am guilty of that myself. My previous paragraph stated I gave up my super gaming rig pc for a Macbook air. So this comes into play again for the iWatch. What purpose does it provide for you? What will it change in your everyday life. Will it have you look at your wrist during dinner instead of your phone? Will you seem cooler talking into your hand than pressing your ear to your shoulder and holding your device with every strength in your cheek. If you just signed up for 2 years to own the iPhone 6 plus will just keep it in your pocket now that you own the watch? Will you want to? These are just things to ponder while you decide if you want or need it.  Only if we can mash the iWatch design/eco system with the Samsung gear S standalone ability. 😉

Return of the Mac..and it’s not Mark Morrison

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Not to long ago the new Macbook made its return after disappearing for a little time. Remember when it was 2 choices. Macbook and Macbook Pro. Then somewhere in the ocean of Apple technology it was lost at sea. Like that movie Life of Pi. Just there with no purpose. So i can understand why it disappeared for a bit. Apple releases the Macbook Air. Has a mini iPad and Ipad Air and Normal Ipad. Mini mac and iMac and who could forget the iPhones. So you can understand why someone would buy a Macbook when you could just get something else for the price they are asking and all provided something extra. The Macbook air has ultra mobility. The Macbook pro is your laptop/workstation on the go. The ipads are something you want if you want something in between the laptop options or the iMac desktop. So lets see what the new Macbook has for us this time around and is it worth the price.

Macbook Gold 2015

There it is in all its glory from the outside. As you can see it looks amazing. Apple has never failed at giving you awesome looking devices. The gold one i am pretty sure will be the one that sells the most if people decide to purchase this version of the Macbook.  Now lets see what the screen and keyboard look like… Gold Macbook 2015

As we can see the gold Macbook looks amazing. Personally i still prefer the good ol fashion aluminum color. What i do like is the screen. It seems like the bezel is thinner so we get more real estate to work with. I believe the screen is a 12″ retina display and a full-sized keyboard. The screen resolution will give you a 2300x1440p display. They made the touchpad bigger this time around. It has force feedback to make you feel like your clicking a mouse. It is touch sensitive all around so the pressure you put on the track pad can a different result depending on the program you are running. The new Macbook comes in 3 colors. Gold, Silver and Space Gray.

The Macbook ports or should i say port. That port being your USB-C port. Which plays a 3 in 1 role. You can charge your device, use it for data transfer or as your new display port. The only other port is your headphone jack on the other side.

The hardware inside the Macbook is as follows:

Intel core M cpu

8 gigs of 1600hz ddr onboard memory

256g to 512g pcIe onboard storage

intel graphics 5300

480p facetime camera

Yosemite OS X

weight : 2 pounds

Price: $1249 and up, depending on the upgrades you want.

Now if you head over to the Apple website and do a comparison with the Macbook air 13″ you will notice you actually get more than the new Macbook. THe Macbook pro is still the best of the 3 choices. So why would Apple make a 12″ sub par hardware machine that cost more than the Macbook air 13″ and more than 2 or 3 choices of the Macbook pro? Is it their way to ease their way into introducing the all wi-fi, cloud system approach everyone is leaning towards these days?

My opinions buy an older Macbook pro and get much more. A used good Macbook pro can be found for 800 or just buy the entry-level none retina display version for 1k and do more. More space , more ports etc. Does the gold warrant 1600? I don’t think so. I am currently working on a Macbook air 11″ with less memory by far at only 64g SSD but with ports i have 2 externals connected and everything is fine. Not to mention being connected to my external monitor when at home. I would honestly give a pass to this new Macbook, it looks amazing but you have better options. Just remember everything that shines isn’t gold.