Screen Sharing, New Gadgets, and Updates

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Easily Screen Share Through Messages App

This is really cool and has been around for a few years now, but almost no one knows about it. Except now, you! If someone you know has iMessage set up on their Mac, you can screen share without downloading any software or entering any numbers.

To use it, find someone in your Messages list on your Mac. Click the Details button on the top right of the window, click the two boxes. From there you can request to see their screen or share yours. The recipient has to accept. **You can’t just get on their computer without permission.** Once the invitation is accepted, it will turn on both your microphones and you’ll be looking at the same screen and talking through the computer. Pretty cool, huh?! If you try it and it doesn’t work, try restarting both computers. It’s a bit buggy, but when it works, it’s sure to impress.

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Next Generation Blue Blocking Glasses

If you've followed me for a while, you'll know that I'm a big proponent of any product that blocks blue light from electronics. That's because studies show it messes with our circadian rhythm (aka. our sleep) and can cause headaches and all kinds of side effects. Enter Felix Gray—a new kind of blue blocking glasses. Gone are the orange lenses of yesteryear. These glasses block blue light and reduce eye strain. If you work on a computer most days, check them out!

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The Little Smart Camera That Could

Ever wish you had a photographer to take snapshots for you? Introducing Google Clips. It’s a wireless smart camera that takes video clips for you based on when it detects expressions, good lighting, and framing. How cool is that? Place it somewhere you’d like a clip, then let it do it’s thing. No editing required and it gets better over time! It’s private and doesn’t need an internet connection to work. Check it out here.  

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Home Security Game-Changer

Looks like someone is trying to shake up the home security system model. SimpliSafe Home Security is selling their hardware as a complete solution that doesn’t require going through a security system with monthly subscription.

I almost got locked into a 5 year, super expensive contract for home security from some really nice guy walking around the neighborhood preying on people’s fears. Long story short, security companies can be really shady.

This is why SimpliSafe is so appealing to me. They’ve got all the gear and probably more than your current system has, and you don’t have to deal with contracts and price comparison with a bunch of different companies. And their gear looks nice.

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All Routers Need to be Updated

If you have an Airport Express or Extreme, you may be seeing a blinking orange light instead of a solid green one. This is because your router has an update. Pretty much every router in every household and business need to be updated if they haven’t already. Some of the recent security vulnerabilities I mentioned in previous posts also affect your routers.

For Apple routers, search your Mac for Airport Utility. Once open you can click on your router and update it. If you don’t have an Apple branded router, you can try opening Safari and typing 10.0.0.1, or 192.168.0.1. These are the most common router addresses. Most likely the username is admin and the password is password. You might want to update that to something new and make note of it somewhere. My suggestion would be 1Password :)

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Do Not Download Facebook’s VPN

I found this article on Gizmodo.com about Facebook’s most recent attempt at invading your privacy. It appears they have purchased a VPN company and are offering it for free to all Facebook users as a security and privacy measure. They may be hiding your web traffic from the rest of the internet, but it allows them to see what you do on EVERY app on your computer, not just your web browser. I don’t want to get into the whole privacy/big brother thing, but this is one service you should stay away from. Click here to read the full article and find out more about online privacy using VPNs.

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Acorns Makes Micro Investing Easy as 1-2-3

I got the Acorns app a few years ago. It gathers up the leftover change from transactions I’ve made with my debit card and puts it in an investment account. It’s called Micro Investing. In addition, I let it pull some extra money each week. Enough that I don’t notice. Every once in a while I’ll open up the app to see how it’s going. All that change has added up to nearly $800 and months went by without me even remembering it was there. But it just kept vacuuming up the pennies and adding to the pile. For real investing though, find a trustworthy and talented fiduciary. 

Introducing The Digital Organizer!

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Lemon Consulting is now The Digital Organizer!

It's been a long time coming, but my business name is officially changed! Lemon Consulting was always meant to be temporary and over the last few months I've been brainstorming a name that would better represent how I serve you. Don't worry, this is still the exact same business!

You'll notice over the next few weeks that I will be more active on social media. I've just launched a brand-new Instagram page where I'll be sharing my best tips, current projects, and new discoveries. I'm also going to be hosting a weekly LIVE show over on Facebook, so make sure you're following me there!

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Docks for the New MacBook Pro

We’re finally seeing some decent Thunderbolt 3 docks for the new MacBook Pros. This one by Caldigit has had some great reviews. It’s shaped like an external hard drive and packs 15 ports. If you’re looking for one that supports FW800, this one from OWC might be better.

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Automatically Resize Windows

The Magnet app for your Mac will automatically resize your windows for you depending on where you want them placed. For those of us that like the screen split in halves or quarters, this is perfect. Check it out now from the App Store, it’s $.99.

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Use Photoshop to Edit Pics Stored in Photos App

So many of my clients who love taking pictures like to edit in Photoshop or Lightroom. What’s held a lot of people back from adopting Apple Photos is the editing features. If you haven’t already upgraded to High Sierra, then you might not realize just how much you can now do in Photos. This includes spot patching things like an untimely zit in a formal photo, or using Curves a more fine tuned vignette. But if that’s not enough, you can right click on a photo and hover over Edit With to see other editing options. Want to put text on your photo and don’t have Photoshop? Pick Preview and add text. When you’re done, just close the picture and the new version is saved in the Photos app. Want to revert back to the original? No problem! The same goes for all your external editors such as Pixelmator, Photoshop or any other you prefer.

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Impressions of the HomePod

The HomePod was released on Friday and feedback is great when it comes to sound. What most people are complaining about is the lack of support for Sonos, Spotify and other services. The HomePod works only with Apple services such as Apple Music and iTunes Match for the voice controls. You just can’t tell Siri to play anything on Spotify. However, it is an Airplay speaker, so pretty much anything you can play on your phone can be heard from the HomePod, you just don’t get voice controls. If you want to read an in-depth review, iMore has a great article here.

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Break-Away Power Cord

One of my favorite things about Apple laptops was their magnetic power cords. Alas, the new models do not have them anymore :( However, someone came out with a product like it that works for anything that goes into a wall outlet! Check out this product called Tug. If you’ve got something plugged into the wall you often trip over, this product might just be for you!

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Sweet Deal on MacBook Pro

Adorama had a great deal on a new MacBook Pro without TouchBar this past weekend. $250 off the baseline MacBook Pro (19% off). I posted about it on my Facebook page (make sure you're following me there to hear about these kinds of deals). In general, if you’re looking for deals on new Macs, Adorama and B&H Photo often have specials. Keep an eye out!

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Swipe Right on the Lock Screen

When you’re on the Lock Screen of your iPhone or iPad you can swipe to the right to see some at a glance data from apps and get quick access to apps you use a lot. But did you know if you scroll to the bottom you can add more apps, delete others and rearrange the order? I use an app called Dark Sky for weather, so I deleted the current weather widget and added Dark Sky. I switched Calendar to Fantastical, Maps to Google Maps and added my favorite surf app to see what the conditions are at my local beach.

Getting Intentional About Your Space

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Time to Upgrade the Lights

Madeline and I made some new friends in Encinitas. While visiting their new house I noticed their beautiful lighting. Normally when I think of Philips Hue lights I think of someone playing video games in hideous green neon light. Not so at my friends’ house. The lighting has some pink, red and orange, with a splash light behind some furniture. It’s warm and inviting, like having a wood burning fireplace roaring. 

I think many of us forget about some parts of our workspaces that affect us more than we think. Inspiring lighting can do wonders to release stress and allow us to flow more easily into creativity. Whether that creativity is creating cleaver solutions, solving problems on a spreadsheet, or playing guitar, sound and light affect us at a level I don't think we still fully understand. 

Today, I want to challenge you to look at your surroundings and think of how you would feel if the light was better. Maybe some music in the background? Should you try a cheap stand-up desk for the moment to see if that would help your posture and help you focus better? Just a thought.

 
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QR Code Apps Obsolete

Did you know you don’t need a QR app anymore to scan those special barcodes? Just open the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad and it will recognize the code automatically and take you to the page it’s linked to!

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Possible MacBook and iPad Refresh in March

Rumor has it we’ll see new models of the MacBook and the iPad. I’m really hoping they put in at least one more USB-C port on the MacBook, but I’m not holding my breath. We may get some new iPad models at the same time. If you’re not in a hurry and are looking to buy a new iPad or MacBook, you may want to wait to see what March has in store for us.

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82 Apps All Open at Once Will Not Drain Your Battery

You may know it already, but it’s worth mentioning for those that don’t know. All those apps you keep closing trying to save your battery are not draining it. There are exceptions, like something that’s using GPS like Google Maps while you have directions currently up. Besides that, open apps only take up RAM, or Memory. Memory is how much stuff you can have open at once. Storage is what you’re pay extra for. Eg 64, 128 or 256GBs. By all means though, close the apps. But when you’re done, power off your phone for about 10 seconds then power it back on. That’s what will help your phone stay in good shape more than closing the apps. Oh, and the 82 apps open was how many a friend counted on my phone a couple years ago ;) No battery issues.

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Prepare to Fall Asleep

I was on a plane last week and the woman next to Madeline and me was going on and on about this app called Calm. Her favorite part? Sleep stories. Basically they’re bedtime stories for adults. Her favorite is Lavender Valley. How it ends? She can’t tell us. She’s never heard it! She passes out before the story ends. It’s happened every night for the past year and she’s a full blown evangelist and now I’ve apparently been recruited. Let me know what you think!

 
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Bartender 3

While I might wish this was an app that makes me cocktails, alas. It’s not. What it will do is clean up your menu bar! You know all those icons to the left of the clock? They drive me nuts. Whenever I'm working on something tedious I tend to try and find something else to do. A menubar full of apps and notifications tempts me to get off track and do something unimportant. Bartender lets me tidy up my workspace so I can stay focused on the task at hand. Don’t take my word for it, download a trial here.

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“No Service” on Your iPhone 7?

Apparently there’s an official repair program meant to replace iPhone 7s with No Service issues. These affected units were manufactured between September 2016 and February 2018 and sold in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and the U.S. See below for iPhone 7 model numbers that are covered in this program. Check your phone to see if the model number is A1660 to see if you’re eligible for a replacement phone. If you’ve already paid for a repair, you’re eligible for reimbursement. Click here for all the details.

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It’s Time You Finally Buy a Label Maker

You've got some nerd in you. You're reading a tech and organization newsletter. It's cool though. I have a Brother P-Touch Label Maker and I’m not ashamed to say it! I can’t tell you how giddy it makes me feel to pull out a label maker once I’ve finished cleaning up some cables or preparing a hard drive to be put in a box for who knows how long. Why? Because I know better than anyone you will have no idea what’s on that drive in 3 years. I put my label maker to use on cables, hard drives, my glasses, all kinds of stuff. For $35 what are you waiting for? Get one, organize your stuff, clean up the cables and label which is which. You’re going to love knowing what they all are next time you have to rip them all apart to move the desk or are about to erase a hard drive and you realize there are precious photos on there you didn’t mean to erase…

 
 

From software to gadgets, there’s a ton of new stuff out now and coming soon.

New Speaker from Apple

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    Have you heard about the Apple HomePod yet? Apple promises it’s “the ultimate music authority”. It’s kind of like Alexa in that it has Siri built in. But the part that gets my attention is the ability to automatically tune the speakers for the perfect listening experience in whatever room you place it in thanks to the built in microphones that can hear the sound bouncing off the walls. Apple used to make a speaker called the HiFi 12 years ago and it was so slick at the time. I can’t wait hear this new speaker!

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    MacBook Pro Backup Battery

    This new battery from Mophie claims to be able to fully charge a MacBook battery. If you’ve got a Pro, it might not top the thing off, but this is one serious battery to take with you. I travel around a lot with my laptop and find myself running out of battery more than I like. When I upgrade to a MacBook Pro with USB-C, I’m going to need one of these! BTW, you can still charge your phone and iPad over and over again with this too.

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    NOMAD Wireless Charging Hub

    The new wireless charger from NOMAD looks sweet. You can wirelessly charge your phone, then it’s got 4 ports underneath for highspeed charging of your other devices like AirPods, iPad etc. It’s a whole system that looks nice and cleans up your countertop from a bunch of extra power adapters plugged into the wall.

    Cable Mess Driving You Crazy?

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    Living in an Airstream means we have limited space. Quite limited space when it comes to countertops. Recently we started doing this thing called Neurofeedback, which is a form of brain-training. It required me to buy a PC, an EEG machine etc. It’s cables galore over here. The key to my sanity is velcro. The EEG machine has been velcro’d to the bottom of the table. There’s velcro on the wall holding the cables in place on the wall to pull up as needed. Now all I have to do is bust out the PC from the cabinet and pull the cables out. Here’s a quick list of some items you can pick up to make your space more organized!

    Velcro - To mount stuff to the wall or under your cabinet.

    Cable Box - This is where you can hide cables and power adapters.

    Magnetic Cable Holders

    Velcro Cable Ties - This is to bind cables together into one strand without having to use zip ties.

    Cable Sleeve - If you want to wrap up all your cables in a nice little sleeve.

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    Keep Tabs on Rentals W/O Invading Privacy

    This new product called Aura uses WiFi to detect movement in the house. Apparently when you’re moving in your house, it causes wifi patterns to change. This detects it and let’s you know if there’s unusual movement when people are not supposed to be there. There are no microphones or cameras so you and your guests will still have privacy. There’s only 1 review on there now since it’s so new, so keep an eye on it if you’re interested!

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    SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

    If you’ve been thinking about getting a portable external drive, you might want to check out this new one from SanDisk. It’s an SSD so it’s going to be 10-15x faster than a normal external, and it’s shock and water resistant.

    Apple Repatriating $245 Billion + 20,000 Jobs

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    As you probably know, huge companies have “offices” in other countries such as Ireland to avoid paying ~35% corporate tax on overseas profits. Apple had approximately $245 in cash offshore just sitting there. With the recent tax cut, they've decided to repatriate that $245 billion at 15.5%. That’s a 20% tax cut on all that cash. With it, Apple plans to contribute $350 billion and 20,000 jobs in the next five years. Oh, and they told their employees they’re going to get $2,500 in stocks as a bonus. Whether you think the tax cuts are a good thing or not, it seems Apple is going to make the best of it and dump more money into our economy through jobs.

    Next iOS Update: 11.3

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    The next big iOS update to 11.3 (we’re currently on 11.2.5) is going to be a big one. The main thing that catches my attention is the ability to sync your iMessages to iCloud. If you haven’t noticed, the syncing of your text messages between Mac and all your iOS devices doesn't work like email. If you delete on one device, you have to delete everywhere else. Sometimes messages show up on one device but not the others. This is supposed to change all that and give us a much better experience with texts. In addition there are new features for battery management etc so you can see the health of it and turn off the option of slowing your phone down. Way to go, Apple! Glad to see they are getting on this ASAP.

    If you have an iPhone X you get new Animojis, which is always fun!

    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 Protect Your Computer from a Huge Security Vulnerability + News of the Week

    The Biggest Threat to Your Computer

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      The biggest security vulnerabilities I’ve ever heard of were just announced about 2 weeks ago—Meltdown and Spectre. Just about every smart device out there that has a processor (computers, phones, smart devices) is affected. If exploited, a hacker can see everything that you’re doing. It’s a big deal.

      Thankfully as an Apple user, this won’t affect you if you’re keeping your software updated. Now is the time to backup your computer and update the operating system. PCs can significantly slow down with the update, but Apple engineers have cleverly worked things so you shouldn’t see any difference at all.

      The big question is, what is going to happen with the big online companies (i.e. Google, Amazon, Apple...literally everyone who has an online business)? Many of them have issued statements about steps they have taken to patch the security hole. I’m sure they’re working night and day on these things. This is one instance where I'm grateful for these bigger companies. They have a massive responsibility and massive resources to keep us safe from hackers. Of course no one is perfect, so maybe that’s just a false sense of security. Either way, that’s how I feel.

      The experts say those online companies are the big target and thus, the biggest payload. Not our personal computers or devices. But I’d bet 75% of you haven’t updated your software in quite some time, and you’re subscribed to a tech newsletter. You’re the easy target. All this to say, for the next few years this is likely going to be a problem as they discover more ways this can be exploited. Do yourself a favor and update your devices (after you've backed up!) when they’re available so you don't have to worry about stuff like this!

      How to Type Special Characters

      Ever wonder how to put in symbols like the © or ® in your documents or email? Or maybe the accent on an é or á? One way to do it is from the Edit menu (by clicking "Emoji and Symbols"), but you can also just press Control + Command + Space. The other way to see all the shortcuts for those symbols is to open System Preferences > Keyboard. Click the Input Sources tab. Now you should see a keyboard in light blue. Try pressing the option key and see how the whole layout changes. This lets you know, for example, if you press Option + G, it will make the © symbol! Try it out!

      Laptop Power Adapters for Less

      Need a new power adapter for your laptop? I get all my power adapters from macsales.com. They have the best prices on genuine Apple power adapters and cables, often at half the cost. In addition to laptop cables, they have batteries for laptops, genuine iPhone cables etc. Lots of cool stuff to check out if you're into that kind of thing :)

      Internet Addiction is Real: How to Protect Your Kids

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      The average 8-10 year old spends nearly eight hours a day viewing various multimedia; older kids spend upwards of 11 hours per day doing so, according to a report by Kaiser Family Foundation, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. We have a problem. Internet addiction is getting a lot a attention this week, thanks to an article in the NY Times suggesting Apple may be our only hope to fixing the issue. Thanks to ad driven sites and services, companies have massive incentives to find a way to hook us deeper into their sites and spend more time than ever online.

      This isn’t just affecting kids, we’re all feeling the pull when you hear that notification. As a parent you have many options for limiting device usage, not just limiting adult content. Check out services like Qustodio or Disney Circle. Qustodio can actually lock the device so they can’t access anything outside of the parameters you set.

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      American Express Purchase Protection 

      Years ago when I was working at Apple, a woman brought in her phone for the screen to be replaced. She had just bought it and the screen was totally shattered. I expressed my sadness that such a thing would happen, and so soon after purchasing it. She was totally unconcerned and told me that American Express was taking care of the repair. After that I started looking into the benefits that come with the card. Apparently if an electronic device you purchased on an AMEX was lost, stolen or damaged within 90 days, they’ll take care of it! Read more here.

      No MacBook Pro Upgrades This Year

      I can officially say that there are no MacBook Pro upgrades coming in 2018. This doesn’t mean there won’t be a slight upgrade for something, but if you’ve been waiting to buy, I don’t think I’d wait any longer. My speculation is this has something to do with Meltdown and Spectre. That security vulnerability is actually a hardware problem which means it will take a redesign of the processors to fix it. That means a whole new generation of processors. I wouldn’t be surprised if most computer manufacturers out there also wait to do major updates if my theory is correct.  
       

      Vote for my New Logo!

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      The name Lemon Consulting was always meant to be temporary until I could figure out the perfect name. I never did. However, while my Apple knowledge is significant, and I do a lot, my favorite part is helping you regain control of your data, get organized, and trained on how this is all supposed to work together. After polling my friends and customers on Facebook, I'm 90% sure I'm going to use The Digital Organizer as my new business name. Madeline created a couple variations of a logo and wanted to share it with you. Would love to hear your thoughts! Click here to vote.

      Organize Your Bag

      I remember the day I got fed up pulling a rat’s nest of cables out of my bag on a job and thought, that’s it! I’m getting something to organize all this. That's when I discovered the Cocoon Grid-It—a truly awesome gadget organizer. It’s a board made with elastic to organize your stuff. I mainly use it for computer cables, hard drives, etc., but I even use it for all my toiletries when traveling so I’m not digging through my bag. You don’t need a huge one and they’re cheap! Some of the best prices are found on Amazon.

      Level Up Your Typing Skills

      Most of the time, I’m the one typing fastest in a meeting. Last week I was working with a guy that typed so much faster and more accurately than me and got me wanting to brush up my skills. For those of us who work on a computer for a living, typing faster and more accurately can be really valuable. Typist is an app I downloaded about 5 years ago to help me get used to the number keys above the letters and help free me from the habit of trying to reach for a number pad any time I had to type in my phone number. The interface is kind of ugly, but for some reason I just keep wanting to go the next challenge or get it perfect the next time. Maybe that’s just the OCD part of me. Either way, try it out! It’s free!

      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.

      Apple Offering $29 Batteries + iPhone Diagnostics + News of the Week

      Apple Responds to iPhone Throttling

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        The big story around Apple right now is the whole issue of them slowing down some of our phones to prevent unexpected shutdowns from old batteries that are losing their charge capacity. This story is huge and there’s a ton of controversy over it. In this statement, Apple tells us why they made the choice they did and what they’re going to do in the future. I’ve been following this story for a while and their statement falls in line with all the reputable articles on the issue. So if you’re looking for a concise explanation of the whole thing, check out the link above.

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        DIY Battery Replacement

        Speaking of batteries… iFixit is the website I use for step-by-step guides on fixing Apple devices. They have great tutorials, tools and they have a battery replacement kit if you want to get in there and do it yourself!

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        Lightening Cables for as Little as $6

        When it comes to 3rd party cables for Apple, I’m very cautious and don’t buy just anything. The main thing you want to look for is the MFi certification. And of course user ratings.  Here’s one on Amazon for $5.99. Anker is a company I buy a lot of products from and trust. Check out their battery packs too.

        Pair AirPods with AppleTV

        Did you know you can pair your Apple Airpods to the Apple TV? For all those couples and parents out there that like to watch TV while someone else around you wants to read, this one’s for you.

        1. Pick up your AirPods charging case and open it.

        2. Press and hold the pairing button on the back of the case.

        3. Launch Settings on your Apple TV

        4. Click on Remotes and Devices.

        5. Click on Bluetooth.

        6. Select your AirPods from the list. Done!

        NEW LG Monitors Specifically for MacBook Pro

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        Apple “teamed up” with LG to create a monitor for the MacBook Pros with USB-C. Everyone was thrilled to finally have a new monitor from Apple even if it wasn’t technically from them. Turns out… they have horrible reviews.

        However, LG just announced a new set of displays, fully compatible with the newest MacBook Pro models. I’m really curious to see if they deliver this time around. If they deliver great results, I bet their sales are going to go through the roof! I’ll keep an eye on it for you.

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        Check Your iPhone Performance

        The app that blew open this whole thing about iPhones slowing down because of bad batteries was Geekbench. With this $.99 app you can find out how your phone is performing. You’ll want to google the typical Geekbench score for your iPhone model and see how it stacks up. This would be a cool test to do a before and after your battery replacement to see the actual performance increase compared to the perceived improvement. Or lack thereof.

        Customize Control Center

        Did you know that you can now change the icons in Control Center? One thing that has irked me over the years is not being able to change the Clock app default in Control Center to the Alarm Clock instead of Timer. Now I can! But that’s only one thing you can change. Did you know you can record your iPhone’s screen? Bye bye screenshots, hello video! This feature happens through Control Center, so let’s head over to the Settings app to see what else you can do. Watch here.

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        Check Your iPhone's Battery

        This is a free and simple app that tells you the condition of your battery. If your battery is in bad shape, your iPhone will slow down so it doesn’t spontaneously shut down. If your phone is shutting down randomly, this is a good place to start. As mentioned in the section above, if you do need a new battery, you’ll be able to get a replacement for $29 from Apple. Below 80%, your battery is not producing enough power to run the phone properly and should be replaced.

        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.

        Awesome Apps + Restore Your Photo Sanity

        The Mac Daddy Has Arrived

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          Apple finally made an iMac with some serious muscle. The iMac Pro was released on 12/14 and impressions are good. I’ve seen speed tests showing it 93% faster than the latest iMac. And that’s only the base model. They can be upgraded from 10 Cores to 18! (More cores, more speed is the rule of thumb.) If you’ve been waiting for a really big upgrade, here it is. It’s got the price tag to match though so be prepared. They start at $5k.

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          Apple Trade-Up

          In the spirit of upgrades, did you know Apple is taking in trades? Not just iPhones, but Macs too. They’ve been doing it for some time, but just upped the $$ they’re going to give you for your gear. You’ll get more if you sell it yourself, but it’s a hassle. So, if you’re not interested in hustling your old Mac on Ebay or Craigslist, this may be the way to go!

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          Track Your Driving

          Tracking your driving habits and miles used to be incredibly cumbersome and expensive, but now, thanks to Automatic Pro, you can do it for a fraction of the cost. Whether you want to monitor your kids’ driving habits, track mileage for business, get diagnostic readings on your vehicle, or get better gas mileage, Automatic has you covered. If you drive a lot, this is an absolute must-have product.

          Pixelmator Pro Now Available

          When it comes to advanced photo editing, graphic design etc., Adobe has always dominated the market. It’s expensive though and a recurring cost. Pixelmator has been around for nearly a decade and has been an amazing alternative. They just released a new version called Pixelmator Pro that’s proving to be a really great app! I just worked with a client last week with it who has never used an editing program that used layers and he got it easily.

          My logo was designed by someone in Adobe Illustrator, but everything else you see on my site was made in Pixelmator. Check it out!

          Ebook Magic

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          If you are a reader and don’t already have the Overdrive app, you need it! All you need is your library card info and you’re ready to start downloading books and audiobooks from the library to your phone for free. The best part is that you don’t have to use their app to read your book if you don’t want to. I always like to download the book using Amazon Kindle so it syncs between by iPhone and MacBook Pro. If you do use Kindle or Audible, you can use Whispersync.

          Now, if you don’t already know about Whispersync, prepare for your mind to be blown. (Hard core nerd alert here.) Some books that are available on Kindle and on Audible have Whispersync. This means you can download the audiobook in the Kindle app. So if you’re reading and have to go run an errand, just put in your Airpods and tap the play button and it starts reading where you left off!

          This can get a bit expensive since you’re buying both the Audible version and Kindle. Enter Overdrive to pick up the cost of the Kindle version.

          I have Audible charge me every month and I get 2 credits so each book costs around $14 vs the normal cost averaging $40-$50.

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          Facebook Live Event

          Be honest. How many photos do you have on your devices right now? Hundreds? Thousands? A hundred thousand? 

          If you’re like most people I work with, you have tens of thousands. And if that’s not overwhelming enough, there is absolutely no organization. Because of this, you probably never look at your photos after you take them or post them online.

          In this Facebook Live session, I'll share be sharing something very exciting with you that I’ve been working on behind the scenes. Get ready to finally get control over your photos and get your sanity back. You can find the Facebook live here. Make sure to click "Get Reminder" so you’ll be notified when I’m live!

          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 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.