migformac news

Tips, tricks and recommendations: May 2016

This Month's Focus: Backup, Baby, Backup

Have you ever lost data on your computer or mobile device because you hadn't backed up the information? Many of us have had that heartache, so I'm here to remind you to back up--do it now! With iCloud back up and syncing features, Apple simplifies the process, but iCloud does not back up everything. Documents, spreadsheets and projects not created from Apple applications do not automatically back up to iCloud, like Word, Powerpoint and Excel. You also might have photographs and videos that are not backed up to iCloud Photo Library.


Fortunately, all Macs have a utility pre-installed called Time Machine (Go to Apple icon in top left corner--System Preferences--Time Machine: see image below) which detects external hard drives when they are connected to the computer via USB port. Once connected, you will get a pop-up message asking if you want to use that drive for your Time Machine backup. Turn on Time Machine and click the box that says "Show Time Machine in Menu Bar." You will then see a clock icon in top right corner of the screen. Click on it to "Back Up Now" or to see when your last backup was. As long as the external drive is connected to the Mac, it will back up automatically. And what happens if your computer dies, blows up or is stolen? You can restore all of your data from the last Time Machine backup.

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Now which external hard drive should you buy? I like Western Digital's My Passport which comes formatted for Macs, but there are several manufactureres to choose from. Whichever one you choose, it is well worth the peace-of-mind that your critical information is backed up!


Here's a link to Apple's support page on Time Machine. Got questions? Feel free to email me at mig@migformac.com.

App Tip of the Month: Finding Apps Based on Your Interests

Do you ever get overwhelmed searching for apps on the App Store for your iPhone or iPad? Do you have specific interests (like travel, cooking, reading, etc.) but don't know where to find the best apps for your hobbies and activities? Go to iTunes Preview (itunes.apple.com/genre), a veritable treasure trove of reviewed apps organized into categories (News, Travel, Business, Education and more--see image below). Each app listed has a description, price, thumbnail screenshots, customer reviews, other related apps under "customers also bought" and a link to download the app. It also has a preview section for Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts and Books. Awesome site! Just go to itunes.apple.com/genre to search for apps that interest YOU.
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App of the Month: Newseum--Your Window to the Global World of Newspapers

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One of my favorite museums in DC is The Newseum, seven floors of interactive exhibits, all focusing on the current and past journalistic history of the news. The Newseum mobile app, available for iPads and iPhones, allows users to view the front page of newspapers around the world. Want to go beyond the front page story? One click leads you to the full electronic version of that newspaper. Interested in reading the San Francisco Chronicle or the Irish Times with your morning coffee in the morning? Download the free Newseum app and discover the world of global news from direct local sources.

What I do....

I typically come to clients' homes to help them with anything Mac related: iMacs, Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud syncing, Photos organization. I also help with wireless printers and other peripherals. I teach classes to small and large groups and make Apple-related presentations to even larger groups. Feel free to email me if you have questions: mig@migformac.com. Thank you!