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How to Take Better Photos on Your iPhone + News of the Week

The Best iPhone Lenses Ever

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    When it comes to iPhone photography/video, you can’t get much better than Moment. Their glass is incredible and touted by many all over the internet. You can buy one lens, or a whole kit. Once you have the case, putting a lens on is a simple twist. I’ve tried out a number of iPhone lenses over the years and this is certainly the highest quality. So if you’re looking to level up your iPhone shots, look no further than Moment. Be sure to click on the link. They have some funny gag gifts too :)

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    Nest Hello Video Doorbell

    Ever wanted to see who was at the door without having to check? Check out this new product from Nest, the company that makes my favorite home camera and thermostat. 

    This doorbell offers 24/7 streaming with night vision and HD video included, so you can see who's there perfectly clear from an app on your phone.

    Amazon Prime Now on Apple TV

    If you have an Apple TV, you probably love it, but I expect you’re missing something...Amazon Prime Video!

    The wait is over and it’s now available on Apple TV. And in 4K no less! If you haven’t checked out some of the original content from Amazon, you need to. Like Netflix, they are making some killer shows.

    How to Take Better Photos With Your iPhone

    Tomorrow (Tuesday), I'll be hosting a FREE Facebook Live to share more about how to take better photos with your iPhone.

    I'll go into detail about how to use the apps and gear from this post, and I'll teach you the best tips and tricks I know to take photos like a pro. Get ready to take your Instagram, Facebook and family photos to the next level! (And don't worry if you're a total beginner. You'll be able to apply all of this as well).

    Join me by clicking here and then clicking the "Get Reminder" button. I'll see you on Tuesday at 6PM CST!

    Edit iPhone Photos Like a Pro (for Dummies)

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    There’s some kind of magic in the way Apple makes photos look good without editing them. Skies are bluer, colors are vivid and it all just seems natural.

    Sometimes though, I find I want to control that look a little bit more. Especially for tricky scenes like sunsets, where you have a bright point, and beautiful colors all around.

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    You need a bit more precision in brightening the right aspects and the ability to make sure the color match. I find Halide makes that really easy by allowing me to change the lighting scene. For sunsets, I change the White Balance to Cloudy and the colors matched up nearly perfectly to what I see. By dragging up and down anywhere on the screen, I can fine tune how bright it is. It feels like I have more control over brightness than the standard app. There are more features, but that's all I used for the shot above. 

    Want to learn more? Check out my Facebook Live on Tuesday!

    Using Portrait Mode and Lighting

    One of the cool new features of the the latest iPhones* is the ability to use Portrait Mode and in particular, Portrait Lighting. Watch the video above to see what it can do. What I like best is the ability to change it after the fact.

    *The Portrait Lighting effect is only available on the iPhone 8 Plus and X.

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    Making Photo Books with the Photos App

    Did you know you can still make photobooks and cards in Photos on your Mac? After Apple moved from iPhoto to Photos, most people thought they killed the ability to create print products. Try it out today. They are easy to make and beautiful. Just find a couple photos you might want to use, highlight them and right click, choose Create, then pick your product!

    That’s it for this week’s news. Don’t miss next week's Apple news you can use. Make sure you click below to get my weekly digest.

    The Ultimate Apple Lovers Gift Guide

    For the Person Who Loses Everything

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      If someone you love is prone to losing their purse, keys, or wallet, the Tile Pro Combo Pack is the perfect gift. Simply attach them to your items and if you can't find them, all you need to do is open the app on your phone and the tiles will play a sound, allowing you to find where you left them. If they aren't nearby, there is also a built-in GPS locator. These are much louder, beautiful and practical than the original iteration.

      Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

      For the Minimalist

      This iPhone case is my absolute favorite because not only does it protect your phone and look good, but it also has a sleeve specifically for your credit card or ID. It's perfect for anyone who doesn't want to always carry a bulky wallet or purse.

      My New Favorite Video Camera

      The Best Night Cable

      If you're tired of always searching around on the floor for the end of your iPhone charger, check out this awesome Night Cable. It docks right on your nightstand and gives 10 feet of incredibly reinforced cable to make sure your phone is always within reach.

      The Mac Daddy

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      Ok, so this one isn't technically out yet, but it is worth mentioning because this is the computer to slay all other computers. Everything about this Mac is top of the line and for power users who need a LOT out of their Mac, this is perfection. Lightening fast, killer graphics, massive memory, and so much more. It will be releasing this month and will be available for pre-order very soon. Learn more and get notified when pre-orders open by clicking here and then clicking "Notify Me".

      For Music Lovers

      I've spoken about this before, but Sonos are some of the best smart speakers on the market and this one integrates seamlessly with Amazon's Alexa, so you can command everything with the sound of your voice. This is the speaker of the season and it sounds good. 

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      The Stocking Stuffer

      It may seem trivial, but having something to grip onto while holding your phone is super helpful, especially if it's for a busy person running from one place to the next. Nobody wants a cracked screen and this Lovehandle gives added security so that precious iPhone doesn't drop.

      The Best All-Around Backpack

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      For the frequent traveler or someone who really likes well-thought-out, sleek bags, look no further than Timbuk2. I absolutely love all of their bags and this one is the perfect all-around for just about anyone.

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      The Wireless Charger

      With the release of the iPhone 8 and X, many people are looking for a great wireless charger to accompany their new phone. This one from Mophie is the best I've found because it's sleek, rubberized (no phone slipping off accidentally), and powerful—and not as insanely priced as some others.

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      For the Cable Junkie

      If you know someone who is always fumbling around with tangled headphones, chargers, and gadgets, this Cocoon Grid It is awesome! I use this inside of my backpack and it keeps everything organized and easily visible. 

      For the Individualist

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      Skin It is an amazing company that carries 3M vinyl decals for literally every device you can think of. They have a ridiculous amount of skins available, everything from your favorite sports team to abstract art to Marvel comics to completely custom skins. They're extremely high quality and definitely a great way to make a statement and customize your Apple devices.

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      The Most Underrated

      If I had to choose just one Apple accessory that everyone will love, this would be it. I am in love with my AirPods and could never go back to the old wired version. These are deceptively simple and functional. Never bother with tangles again.

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      For Social Media Lovers

      Take your Instagram pictures to the next level with this fun lens kit for the iPhone. It is another perfect stocking stuffer and works with any version of the phone. Included are fish eye, macro, and wide angle lenses.

      For All the Mac Help

      If someone you love could use the gift of Mac help, I am offering gift cards in hour increments. I can help everyone from your mom (who is always calling you for help), or your tech-savvy relative who wants to take their productivity or organization to the next level. Check out the gift cards here. And for a full list of services, click here.

      Best Black Friday Deals + Tips of the Week

      Want a New iPhone or Mac for Christmas?

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        iPhone

        Target will be offering a $250 Target gift card to anyone who purchases a standard iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus at Target through AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint (with activation). 

        Walmart will be offering a $300 Walmart gift card to anyone who purchases an iPhone 7 or above on AT&T or Verizon.

        MacBook and iMac

        Best Buy will be offering both the MacBook Air and iMacs for $200 off Nov 23-25. This appears to be the best deal you'll find. It's also rumored the that some MacBook Pros will be up to $250 off at Best Buy on Black Friday as well, so make sure to check their website on Friday.

        iPad Pro

        Target will be offering the iPad Pro 10.5-inch (Wi-Fi) for a savings of up to $120.

        Best Buy will be offering the same iPad Pro 10.5-inch for a savings of up to $150. 

        Definitely check both sites to see who has the better deal.

        There are many other deals to see, including some on Apple Watches, but those are the best I've seen. Find the full list here.

         

        Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

        Free Display Repair

        Does your MacBook Pro display look like this? Good news! Apple is taking care of it for free. The free repair program was about to expire, but they have extended it. So if you’ve been frustrated with that nasty looking display, go get it fixed! Make sure to do a backup before you go just in case.

        My New Favorite Video Camera

        Duplicate Files Fix

        Looking for an app to remove duplicates from your Mac? I’ve been doing a ton of research recently for cleaning up your photos and came across Gemini 2. These are the same people who made CleanMyMac 3 I wrote about last week and they do a great job finding duplicates. Of course no app is perfect in this regard, but Gemini will save you a TON of time. Give it a try here!

        Lemon Consulting Black Friday Special

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        I am so excited for the Black Friday special that I’m working up for you guys and I think you’re going to love it too. Keep an eye on your inbox this Friday for a killer deal that’ll only be available on Friday.

        AirPods: Worth It?

        You’ve probably seen them around, or maybe even seen me wearing them on a call or on a   on-site appointment. It’s the one thing I’m asked about constantly. And you know what? I love them! Everyone I’ve talked to who owns them feels the same way. If the wired version fits your ears well, these will be even better since there are no wires trying to rip them out. If you or someone you love is using headphones or is on call all the time, I’d suggest picking up a pair now before the holiday season kicks off!

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        Apple Pay Magic

        Afraid of your credit card information being stolen from online shopping? Apple Pay is the most secure way to pay online, or in person for that matter. If you see the option for paying with Apple Pay on a site, click it! If you have it setup, you will get an alert on your phone to pick which credit card you want to use, then it will authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID! Seriously, you’ve got to try this. It’s faster than typing in your information, and much more secure. Want to read more about the security of Apple Pay? Click here.

        That’s it for this week’s news. Don’t miss next week's Apple news you can use. Make sure you click below to get my weekly digest.

        Face ID Security + Cleaning Up Your Mac + How To's

        Weirded Out by the New Face ID on iPhone X?

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          Here are 5 features that make it ridiculously cool, secure, and not a government conspiracy to steal your identity.

          1. All notifications stay private unless your face is looking at the screen.
          2. As a call comes in on the iPhone X, it immediately turns on the Face ID to search for your face. Once it sees it, the ringtone volume automatically lowers because it recognizes you are there.
          3. Your eyes need to be open to unlock, so if you’re sleeping, someone can’t hold your phone up to your face to unlock it.
          4. If you want to make certain Face ID is temporarily disabled, you can hold down the power and one of the volume buttons for 2 seconds. That will bring up the Power Down and SOS options. After cancelling this, your passcode will be required in order to open and Face ID will no longer work.
          5. Your face data does not leave the phone. It’s not backed up to iCloud or anywhere else. The only time your face data might be sent to Apple is if you allow diagnostic data to be sent to Apple when troubleshooting. You always get the option to opt-out of sending Apple your info. It will ask every time.
          Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

          Annoying iOS Bug Fixed

          The frustrating bug that caused the letter "I" to be autocorrected to some weird symbols is now officially fixed. You don’t need a workaround anymore. All you need to do to fix it is to update your devices to iOS 11.1.1. It should take less than 20 minutes and voila!, it's gone.

          My New Favorite Video Camera

          The Best USB-C Adapter

          For those of you with new MacBook Pros you’re probably missing some ports, which can be really frustrating. I carry around one of these just in case and it solves the problem without needing to carry around multiple dongles.

           

          The ONLY Safe Mac Cleaner

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          You’ve all seen ads for MacKeeper and other apps that are supposed to clean up your computer. The only one you want is CleanMyMac3. If you have anything else, download Malwarebytes. It’s a malware removal tool and will clean that junk off your computer for free.

          CleanMyMac 3 can help you save a ton of space if you’ve never tried to track down large files before. It can run some lightweight maintenance tools as well. Check out a trial here. Don’t worry, it’s not a subscription.

          Amazing Kickstarter

          Just for fun, check out this super cool digital telescope for those that love star gazing. The creators of this campaign (who have raised over $1.7 million already!) claim it is 100x more powerful than a classical telescope. And it syncs seamlessly with an app on your phone. Who wants one?!

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          How to Use SOS

          Most of us are aware that there is an emergency SOS ability on our iPhone but rarely do people know why it's better than just dialing 911. The seconds you save in using it can be the difference between a life saved and a life lost. Take a moment to read how to use it (it’s likely not what you think).

          In Nashville for a One and a Half More Weeks

          I will be in Nashville doing local appointments for less than two weeks before heading out west for the winter. I will always do remote appointments, but just in case you’d like to work with me in person, don’t miss your chance. You can shoot me an email here to set up a consultation or book directly here.

          That’s it for this week’s news. Don’t miss next week's Apple news you can use. Make sure you click below to get my weekly digest.

          New Gear + New Apps + New Updates

          Hooray! The Wifi Vulnerability Scare is Over

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            Apple just released updates for all mobile devices and High Sierra with the wifi vulnerability fixed. Make sure to update everything ASAP! Included are a number of bug fixes.

            If you’ve been waiting to update your devices to the newest operating system, this is the big revision most people wait for to update. You’ve got my 👍🏼 to go ahead. BUT only after you back up!

             

            Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

            Best Wireless Chargers

            Looking to charge your new iPhone wirelessly? Here’s a great article on some different chargers you might want to pick up. They have the cheap ones, all the way up to luxury.

            Apple’s wireless charging pad hasn’t been released and there’s no price listed. Rumors say it’s going to be $199. That’s nearly triple the most expensive one. Yikes. #appletax? Let’s hope not.

            My New Favorite Video Camera

            New TapMeasure App

            This is such a cool idea! Measure everything with your phone without ever pulling out a tape measure! If you’re like me and constantly misplacing your tape measure, you’ll love this. It’s not going to work with all iPhones as it requires the newest processors, but if you’ve got an iPhone 7 or later, you’re in luck. 

            How to Get Rid of Website Clutter

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            Do you ever read an article online and there are more ads, “relevant content” and other junk on the page than the words you came to the page to read?

            Enter, Reader View. It strips out all the other junk not relating to the article, so it’s just text and the included photos. No ads or anything  :) Try it out in Safari now by finding an article, then to the left of the URL, clicking the reader icon.

            Chrome doesn’t have this feature by default, but you can just click this link to get an extension that will add the function with a click of a button.

             

            Stream Music Directly to Your Watch

            Have the new Apple Watch with LTE? With the new update, you can now stream music to it without your phone for up to 7 hours. There’s a caveat though, it only works with Apple Music. Spotify users, you’re out of luck. At least for now.

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            In Nashville for a Couple More Weeks

            I will be in Nashville doing local appointments for only a few more weeks before heading out west. I always do remote appointments, but just in case you’d like to work with me in person, don’t miss your chance. You can shoot me an email here to set up a consultation or book directly here.

            That’s it for this week’s news. Don’t miss next week's Apple news you can use. Make sure you click below to get my weekly digest.

            How to Get the iPhone X ASAP + News of the Week

            Didn't pre-order the iPhone X?
            Good news! You can still get it. Here's How:

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              1. You can still pre-order online and in stores, but you'll have quite a long wait. Keep reading for alternatives.

              2. You can now (as of today) order through the Business Team in Apple Stores. 
                The business team’s pre-orders come from a different supply line from the normal retail sales, so if you have a business account at the Apple Store, you may want to go this route. The idea is you’re more likely to get one right away if you’re ordering through the business team. Whether this is true or not remains to be tested.

              3. Stand in line THIS Friday, November 3rd.
                Show up super early in the morning or the night before and I’d bet you’ll get one. How long they will last is anyone’s guess. Black 256GB are the ones that will sell out fastest. So, if your heart's set on that one, get there bright and early. Early bird gets the worm!

              4. Order from your service provider.
                I’d be least inclined to go this route as Apple normally prioritizes their own stores above resellers. However if you don’t live near an Apple Store this may be your only option. A couple years back I ended up going to AT&T to get mine because the Apple Store ran out of the one I wanted and AT&T still had one. It’s a crap shoot either way. If you have a family, maybe consider having someone get in line at a couple different places.

              Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

              Google Calendar Gets a Facelift

              Most people love the functionality of Google Calendar. I use it and love it. All the great scheduling services out there use it, it tends to work really well on all devices etc. The downside is the interface was hideous. 

              This past week they gave it a face lift and it looks so much nicer. Check it out here. Make sure to click "Use new calendar" at the top of the page.

              My New Favorite Video Camera

              My New Favorite Video Camera

              Canon G7 X Mark II - We just picked up one of these to do more video of our travel and to have a camera for Madeline. She is loving it! The video looks so good, the low lighting performance is great etc.

              Check out her latest video here to see how good it looks. I’d definitely recommend it for a great pocket camera and better video than your iPhone. The kit that’s linked above is a great value with all the accessories you’d need.

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              New Features of Apple Notes

              Apple has really taken the Notes app to the next level. You can now put in tables, photos, videos, sketches, and even scan documents. I like the list option for things like a groceries list or to do list. You can easily share the note with someone else and collaborate. But let’s face it, most of us are just sharing the to-do list with our family.

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              Wireless Charging is the New Black

              This might be the most expensive accessory for your new phone—a new car that supports wireless charging! Haha! Seriously though, if you’re looking at getting a new car, here’s an article that lets you know what devices Apple says are compatible for charging your shiny new phone. Send me a pic if you get one!

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              IMPORTANT: Your Wifi Might be Hacked

              This is actually a really big deal, so please pay attention. First things first, you need to update your devices. There is a vulnerability in the wifi password system just about everybody uses around the world. It means someone can watch what you’re typing in, passwords and all on the network if they know what to do. This is only for wifi networks, not the whole internet. So people who use public wifi at Starbucks etc. beware. Apple is least affected, but make sure to always to security updates when they come out. If you want to read more, here’s a good article from Forbes.

              That's it for this week's news. Don't miss next week's Apple news you can use. Make sure you click below to get my weekly digest.

              Why You Don't Want to Buy an External Hard Drive

              Your external hard drive is going to fail.

              Every hard drive out there is going to fail at some point, the question is, when. Hard drives and CD/DVD drives are the components that fail most in computers. Why? They have a bunch of tiny little moving parts that break down and fail when they get dropped or too hot.

              So what...? Most of you reading this know that hard drives are unreliable, and if I asked for a show of hands asking who has had a hard drive fail, the scene would look like a bunch of teenage girls at the front of a Justin Bieber concert.

              I want you to know that there is a better way to back up your data and to store the files that you don't need with you all the time.

              • Backing up your computer: I use and recommend a service called Backblaze. This service automatically backs up your computer and any other drives you might have connected to your machine. It's great for making sure that you've got everything safe online, all the time. In my experience, it backs up and restores your data faster than Carbonite and Mozy. At the Apple Store, when someone would come in saying their computer was slow, Carbonite and Mozy were the first things we looked for. Backblaze however, does not slow your machine down.
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              • Storing files online so you can delete them off your computer. This is a big deal for some of us. We want to have our files accessible, but some of this stuff just doesn't need to be with us EVERYWHERE we go. You can use Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, or many other services for this type of thing. By default, these services COPY files to an online location. So that means it's staying on your computer AND it's online. What most people don't know is that you can turn on Selective Sync so the files stay online and accessible to you, but they get deleted off your computer saving you space. Read more about it for Dropbox here, and Google Drive here.
              • If you simply need extra space on your computer and don't want to replace your hard drive: The Nifty Minidrive. This is a really cool device. Most of us have laptops with an SD Card slot on the sides of our computers for our camera cards that never get used. With this drive you can add up to 256 extra GB in your machine and the card fits perfectly flush with your mac. PC users: most normal SD cards will fit perfectly flush. The Nifty Minidrive is to make sure that when you're using SD cards for extra storage on a Mac, the card is perfectly flush.
              • For those of you who need an external drive to store a ton of data and need it really fast, get an external SSD.

              You may have already looked into buying an external SSD but shied away because of the price. SSD's are expensive but they are cheaper than they used to be and I have a way to get one in your hands for even cheaper. Not only that, it will be faster and you have larger capacities available.

              So how do we do it? Some knock off brand you order from China and wait 3 months for it to arrive? No.

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              1. Order a Samsung EVO 850 SSD from amazon. This is what I use for all the upgrades I do for my clients. This is the drive I use most often. If you want the fastest Samsung has to offer in this form, the EVO 850 Pro might be for you. 
              2. Order an external drive enclosure.
              3. Unpack your items, put the drive in the enclosure, and plug it into your computer! The first time you plug it in it will need to initialize the drive. Follow this info graphic to set it up!
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              Now, as much as I love external SSD's and other small gadgets to store data, a normal old external hard drive might still be for you. I have most devices out there and still use externals, I'm just prepared for them to not work every time I pull one out. The bang for your buck on a standard hard drive is sometimes hard to pass up, but now you know some different options.

              Found this article useful? Share it with your friends! Want to stay updated on new posts? Sign up for updates on the right!

              Question: What has your experience been like using an external drive? Do you have some great ideas to share? Post it in a comment below!

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              Why Your Emails Are Bouncing

              If no one is reading your emails, it might not be because you aren’t crafting a compelling enough headline. It might simply be because they literally aren’t receiving them. 

              New business owners often come to me wondering why their emails are not being seen by those they are sending to. Sometimes they send an email and never hear back, other times they get a "bounce back" email saying it couldn’t be delivered.

              This is, unfortunately, VERY common. If this is happening to you, I’d bet money your email is hosted by GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostgator or some other big web hosting company.

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              The thing about cheap web hosting is that you’re on a shared server with about 2,000 other clients. Why does this matter? When one or more of those other clients on your server starts sending spam to their email list (which happens all the time), they get your server blacklisted. In short, none of the other companies out there hosting email will accept your email as your server has been listed as a spammer. While this is temporary, it's still inconvenient and frustrating.

              If you rely on email for your business to function properly, you MUST find another solution.

              The Solution: Use a different provider like Google for your email while still using Bluehost, or whoever, for cheap web hosting. When you set up your email with G-Suite, the record that tells the internet where to send email is changed to route your mail through them (instead of your web host), which solves the problem.

              In addition to solving the problem of bounced emails, Google's G-Suite is not just email hosting, but contacts, calendars, documents and more. I have no reservations when I say I believe Google is the best email provider out there.

              G-Suite is the backbone of my business systems. They host my email, contacts, calendars and all my files.

              If you have an assistant, you can easily give them as much or as little access as you’d like—all centered in one admin console. You can also revoke those permissions at any time.

              Not only that, their phone support team is absolutely fabulous and can help you through anything related to their products.

              On top of it all, you can also add all the URL's you bought into 1 G-Suite account. This means you can have one inbox for multiple websites, or just manage everything in one place. 

              If you’re not using G-Suite for your email, calendars, and online file storage, it’s time to get started! You’ll be so glad you did.

              Click the link above to get started on a trial, and/or schedule a free 15 min consultation with me to help you get things going!

              New Macs and iPads: Why Now is the Best Time to Buy

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              Apple just announced a slew of newly updated products at their WWDC event and it's got me very excited for the first time in a while!

              If you or someone you know is in the market for a new Mac or iPad, I can finally say that now is the time time buy. Here are 5 compelling reasons why.

              1. MacBook Pros, MacBooks and iMacs just got faster, MacBook Air got a small bump in speed - It's been a long time since we've seen significant speed bumps, and even longer since we've had big changes in graphics for those of you interested in photos and videos.
              2. iPads received massive updates - The upgraded processors means they're a whole lot faster, the new displays means better battery life, better drawing, and smoother scrolling, and of course the camera is better than ever. This is the first time I actually want an iPad since the original iPad Mini!
              3. Buying new products when released means they'll last longer - Every time a new operating system is designed, it requires more from your computer. If you buy an older product, don't expect it to last as long.
              4. Better resale value - Most people buying used computers look for the year of the computer. No matter if you buy a new machine every 2 years or hang onto it as long as you can. The sooner you buy to a new release, the better value. Both monetary or longevity.
              5. Get more money for you current device if you sell now - The longer you wait to sell your current machine, the more your current computer value goes down. Especially once everyone realizes new and faster models are out. Most people don't realize the significance of the speed differences yet.

              Now that you know why I think it's a good time to buy, here's one thing I believe is paramount when buying a new iMac: Do NOT, by any means, buy an iMac that has a 5400 RMP drive. If it says Fusion that's OK, SSD is best. But whatever you do, you'll regret buying a standard hard drive. (All the laptops Apple sells have SSDs).

              I just had a client buy an iMac a month and a half ago and was really bummed out about how slow her new computer was. We put in an SSD in there and it's now super fast, just like you would expect a new Mac to be.

              If you happen to have an iMac or MacBook Pro that's slow and you want to speed it up, reach out to me about upgrading it! I've had dozens of clients do this instead of buying a new computer and are really happy with their 4-7 year old Macs. A quick call can help you figure out what the right move is for you.

              If it's time for a new device and you found this helpful, would you consider using my affiliate link to the Apple Online Store or tell them Shawn Lemon from Lemon Consulting sent you? It's a great incentive to keep writing valuable content!

              Thanks for reading and please share with your friends and family so they can act now while the getting is good!

              P.S. Apple now offers AppleCare+ on Macs which will cover damage. Check it out when you go to purchase!

              The One Guaranteed Way to Get a Computer Virus

              "Help I think I've been hacked"

              "If I didn’t know any better, I would say my Mac has some type of virus…at least Safari does!"

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              "Hi Shawn,

              Looks like I may have a virus.

              I was opening a site when it asked me to download an app in order to access the page. The Mac Media Player was downloaded. (See screen shot of my Downloads and my History)

              I never did open up the site I was trying to access.

              Then, I had a pop-up. “System Scan is recommended.” I did not click on it.

              Advice?"

              These are real snippets of texts and emails I've received from clients recently and I want to make sure it doesn't happen to you!

              First off, Macs don't get viruses, they get either adware or malware. What makes a virus different from adware or malware is that a virus installs itself automatically on your computer without your permission.

              If you've ever had malware or adware you're probably wondering how that crap got on your computer. You may be thinking, "I didn't install that!"

              Adware and malware most often get installed on your computer under the guise of a video player update like Flash Player or an app that's supposed to clean/speed up your Mac, like MacKeeper.

              Nobody is going to download adware or malware on purpose, so they make their installer look just like a Flash Player update. Millions of people install this stuff accidentally, even the ones who are pretty computer savvy. It just happened last Friday to a client.

              So here's my PSA: Do not, I repeat, do not install Flash Player update, DIVX web players, MacKeeper, or any other thing like that. Even a trusted website that you go to all the time may have been compromised. You never know what site has been hacked and just a few lines of code slyly put on a page without someone noticing.

              So now what? If you get a message that your Flash Player is out of date and want to double check your version of Flash, go to System Preferences. At the bottom is Flash Player. Click the icon.

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              1. Click the Updates tab at the top.

              2. Click the button to Install Updates Automatically.

              3. Click Check Now if you want to see if you're using the most recent version of if you need to update.

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              Update if necessary!

              Now that you've done that, it's a good idea to run a malware scan. I recommend you download the free app MalwareBytes Anti-Malware here. When it's running it looks like this:

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              If you're free and clear, it will let you know the scan came back clear. If not, you'll see a list of items and a button to remove them. Click it, then restart your computer when it's done.

              Screen-Shot.png

              Once your computer is back up and running, run the scan one more time to make sure it comes back clear.

              Note: If you ever get a message saying your computer has been hacked and call Apple at 888-555-5555, DON'T CALL THEM! You don't have a virus. It's just a clever ploy to get you to call and then they remote log into your computer, with your permission, then tell you the problem is a network problem and they'll fix it for you for so many hundreds of dollars and monitor it for you for so many hundreds more per year.

              It's convincing enough that I've had real clients give them their credit card. Many more have called and let these people remote log into their computer.

              This is the reason for this post. Madeline, my wife, has been telling me to write this post for some time as she's overheard me having the same conversation over and over again about these phishing schemes and accidental malware installs.

              If you ever need some help in this area, call me! But either way, download MalwareBytes and don't install random video players or even Flash Player updates. Let it update itself with the instructions above.

              If you get those pop-ups about viruses, just close them and quit your browser and reopen. It should be fine after that. It's just a scare tactic.

              If you're one of my clients who signed up for my program that monitors the health of your computer, look for the icon in your menu bar that looks like this and choose "Run a Malware Scan". If you don't already have MalwareBytes installed, it will say Download MalwareBytes.

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              Please share this on Facebook and email it to your friends. Trust me, they need it! I've been called by so many people I thought would have known better.

              Thanks so much for reading and posting!