CranstonIT - Blog

Enhance your business with outsourced IT support


unsplash-logoDomenico Loia

IT support has changed. Break-fix solutions no longer apply. As your IT environment grows and becomes more complex, the concept of depending on IT support only when needed is no longer sufficient. Instead, as your business reliance on IT expands, a managed service approach monitored by a team of IT professionals can discover and solve problems before your productivity is compromised.


Apple injects more Pro in the new MacBook Pro

With faster performance and enhanced professional features, Apple® has dubbed its new MacBook Pro® the most advanced Mac® notebook ever.

The new 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar® feature eighth-generation Intel Core processors, with six-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance. Intel asserts these new processors will “redefine mainstream desktop performance” and immerse users in incredible computing experiences. Read More...

Why you should always keep Find My iPhone enabled


Let’s start by being Captain Obvious. If you take your iPhone® everywhere, there’s always that chance you could leave it anywhere. Already have, you say?

Find My iPhone is an app that helps you find not only your iPhone, but your misplaced iPad®, iPod touch®, Apple Watch®, AirPods® or even your Mac®. The feature does what it says. If you lose your iPhone, you can identify its last known location by checking the Find My iPhone app or accessing the iCloud® website. The app will play a sound on your device to pinpoint the location, while iCloud will let you view your iPhone’s location on a map. Mystery solved.


tvOS 12 takes 4K cinematic experience to new heights


Although Apple TV® often receives less attention than Apple's other platforms, it still gains new capabilities with tvOS 12.

Apple TV 4K has been a success since its debut last fall, offering customers the largest collection of 4K HDR movies, including free 4K HDR upgrades to previously purchased movies in customers’ iTunes® libraries. Beginning this fall, iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere, and these titles will also include Dolby Atmos audio for free.

Dolby Atmos makes audio sound more realistic by going beyond the simple right and left channels to provide 3D sound. You’ll need an Apple TV 4K, an Atmos-capable soundbar and Atmos-compliant video content to make this all happen. But with the right technology driven by tvOS 12, Apple TV 4K will be the only streaming player both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, delivering the highest quality cinematic experience of stunning 4K HDR visuals and immersive sound that flows all around in three-dimensional space.


iOS 12 - addresses notifications, security, privacy and more

Getting too many notifications? With just a swipe, iOS 12 lets you group notifications from each app together and gives you the ability to manage notifications from the lock screen. Plus, a new feature called Instant Tuning helps you reduce the number of notifications you see, right from the Lock screen.

If you’ve always wanted to automate repetitive actions in iOS, you’ll love the new Siri® Shortcuts feature. You can use it to string together actions in different apps — like send a message to your spouse that you’re leaving work, show the traffic conditions on your commute home and start playing a podcast app — and then invoke them all via Siri with a custom phrase.

iOS 12 also changes the way iOS users see the world using Augmented Reality (AR) and makes communications fun and more expressive with Memoji.

Apple Watch bulks up, speaks up with watchOS 5


Apple’s preview of watchOS 5 demonstrated a significant update to the world’s most popular watch. And as most wearers focus on fitness and communication, Apple Watch® will become an even stronger companion to the healthy and connected with a host of new features.

On the fitness side, Apple Watch can now automatically start many workout types when it detects you are exercising, and automatically end a workout when it senses you’ve stopped. It even provides retroactive credit for what you did before the workout was detected. Apple has added new Yoga and Hiking workouts, each with their own metrics, and the running and walking workouts now measure cadence in steps per minute. Apple Watch now offers 14 distinct and dedicated workout types.


iOS 12 - improves performance, fosters family fun

iOS 12 enables new user experiences that just weren’t possible before, according to Apple, as well as makes everyday tasks faster, more responsive and just plain fun.

But let’s start here. The mission of the latest version of the world’s most advanced mobile operating system is to improve performance, especially that of its older iPhone® and iPad® devices. That’s why iOS 12 has been designed to make routine iPhone and iPad tasks faster and more responsive with performance improvements across the system. For example, the camera launches up to 70 percent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and typing is more responsive. Even while multi-tasking, apps can launch up to twice as fast. From iPhone 5s, introduced in 2013, to the most advanced iPhone X, iOS 12 brings performance improvements to more devices than any previous version.

Now let’s examine the most compelling new features of iOS 12. Read More...

Apple Introduces macOS Mojave

macOS Mojave has been previewed by Apple as the latest version of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system, with updates inspired by professionals but designed for everyone. Mojave might have been named after the desert in Southern California, but it’s packed with enough new features to provide an oasis for devoted Mac® users.

Perhaps the most dramatic nuance is Dark Mode. This allows users to transform their desktop to a darkened environment where the focus is on content and the controls recede into the background. With Dark Mode, built-in Mac apps such as Mail, Messages, Maps, Photos and others all include new contrasting designs. Dark Mode also allows users to toggle between a light or dark desktop and choose Dynamic Desktop to change the appearance of new Apple-provided desktop backgrounds based on the time of day. Just when you thought you’ve seen everything, you’ll now see everything in a different light. Read More...

Trash talk: A deeper dive into the Mac Trash Can

If you think everyone knows how to take out the trash, you would be mistaken.

That’s because the Trash Can embedded in your macOS® is not your father’s trash can, and works very differently in macOS® than in any other operating system. Here’s hoping this information will help you better understand how to manage your files and storage space on your Mac®.

Back in the day, instead of immediately deleting files on your Mac, you would drag them into the Trash where they would sit until you either took them back out or emptied the can. But now, in macOS, instead of just dragging files to and from the Trash, you can take advantage of some special techniques that make working with Trash faster, easier and even more secure.

The most time-tested method of trashing a file is to drop it on the Trash icon in the Dock, but this process can be rather fussy on a large screen. Now, once you’ve selected one or multiple files in the Finder®, you can try one of these alternatives: Read More...

Slack brings all your communications together

Email is the classic example of the double-edged sword. We can’t live without it, we depend upon it … and we can’t wait until it all goes away.

Email was intended to be the straightest line between two points. It was supposed to be a brief communication that either provided information or directed action. But, somehow, that very targeted email got lost.

Today, email has become an avalanche of irrelevant narrative and marketing outreach, making it difficult for all of us to find that get-to-the-point information we need in order to take next steps. In fact, according to Forbes, high-skill knowledge workers worldwide lose as much as 28% of their productivity managing email, equating to more than $1 trillion in annual value.

That’s why many organizations — including small and large businesses, academic and government agencies and non-profits — have shifted their internal communications to the group messaging service called Slack.

Slack’s goal is to unify your entire team’s communications with seamlessly integrated apps that help streamline workflow. It bundles colleagues, files, messages and calls all in one place. Slack has apps for macOS®, iOS, Windows and Android, and isn’t conceptually all that different from the popular Messages® app from Apple®. Read More...

Kerio Connect Offers Features, Function and Reliability in an Affordable Mail Server

Kerio Connect is an ideal solution for businesses that need a modern, full-featured yet affordable mail server. Powerful and reliable, it provides email, shared calendars and contact management to most email clients, web browsers and mobile devices. It also has integrated anti-virus, multiple layers of spam control, built-in archiving, and automated backup. What makes it even more ideal is Kerio Connect’s ability to work cross platform on Macs, PCs and mobile devices. This means everything is integrated even if Windows users are using Outlook and Mac users are using Mail, Contacts and Calendars.

The days before email became essential to doing business seem like a theme for a documentary on the History Channel. Gone are the days when businesses relied solely on snail mail and phone calls to communicate. Email is a critical component to business success and the ability for your mail server to multitask is just as important.

Ask yourself a few questions to determine if your email server is adequately meeting your current needs.

Apple Pay: The easiest way to pay … everywhere


It’s only natural to feel reticent, even suspicious, when considering a technology such as Apple Pay®.

In theory, it feels nuts to cozy up to a payment terminal with your phone or watch to make your money disappear.

But Apple Pay and similar technologies that leverage information encryption are here to stay. That’s because Apple Pay is easy to use, preserves your privacy and enhances your financial security. It’s more secure than using a credit card — by far.

Apple Pay works with your iPhone®, iPad® and Apple Watch® and allows you to make secure purchases in stores, with apps and on the web. There’s no app to download, it’s easier than using a credit or debit card and faster than opening your wallet to do so. Simply hold your device within an inch of a compatible payment terminal — and they are virtually everywhere — put your finger on the Home button to use Touch ID® (or double-press the iPhone X’s side button and authenticate via Face ID® or double-press the Apple Watch’s side button), and you’re done. (Plus, Apple Pay Cash, launched with iOS 11.2, allows you to make and receive person-to-person payments in the Messages app or even by asking Siri. Wow.)

So how does this seemingly magical technology work?