Category Archives: Apple

Podcasts: “Apple Context Machine”


Podcasts – As you may have read on previous posts, I like to listen to podcasts. One that I subscribe to is “Apple Context Machine” hosted by Jeff Gamet and Bryan Chaffin from The Mac Observer. As they say on their website:

The Apple Context Machine is Mac, iPhone, and iPod news and analysis that puts the facts in perspective brought to you with a sense of humor.

This isn’t the program to learn the latest technical details of Apple products, but it does give an interesting perspective on the company and their products. It is one of the programs that I regularly listen to.

If you are interested in the world of Apple, this is a Podcast that you should try.

More Info on iCloud – Are You Using It?

I came across the PDF file “iCloud Mastered” produced by MacLife Magazine. If you are not using iCloud with your Mac and iOS devices, I recommend reading through this to see what you are missing. Even if you are using iCloud, taking a few minutes to read the four page document may be worth your time.

I use iCloud to sync and share files between my Mac Mini, MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone. I find it extremely useful, particularly when I am traveling away from home.

The Macintosh Story on Tech Stuff


As I have mentioned before I regularly listen to several podcasts. One of those I follow is Tech Stuff and I recently listened to their three-part episode on the Macintosh. These three aired on June 2, 7 and 9 of 2017 (Yeah, I am way behind on my listening). These comprise about 3 hours and 40 minutes of information on how the Apple Macintosh was conceived, how it developed and where it is today.

If you are interested in the Mac, you may want to download and listen to these three episodes.

The Secret History of the iPhone


Podcasts – I listened to episode #145 of the Internet History Podcast (I mentioned in an earlier article that this was one of the podcasts that I regularly listen to) just yesterday.  In this episode, Brian Merchant, Author of the book “The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone” is interviewed. While the episode could not touch on all of the topics covered in the book, the podcast did reveal some interesting things about the iPhone.

If you are interested in Apple and the iPhone the podcast is something that you may want to listen to. If it peaks your interest, you will want to read the book.

Thinking About Upgrading to High Sierra?

The latest version of macOS, High Sierra, is now out and we can rush to install it. Personally, I am waiting a few days to make sure there are no surprises.

Something that you might want to check before you take the plunge is the compatibility with your frequently used macOS Apps and High Sierra. Fortunately Apple World Today has compiled just such a list.

While I am sure most if not all of the issues will be eventually resolved, if you rely on one of these Apps you may want to delay your upgrade.

See my other macOS articles


Apple Publishes User Guides

Apple has released iOS 11, Watch OS 4, tvOS and macOS High Sierra. Many have already updated their devices. I have already updated my iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch.

But what are the new features? You can learn them all directly from Apple. Official User Guides are available either on the web or in iBook format. Download yours and find out the latest features.

If you downloaded an iBook User Guide for an earlier version of the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch  or Apple TV, it should update with the latest version when you open it.


Device Web link iBook link
 iPhone  Page  iBook
 iPad  Page  iBook
 Mac  Page  iBook (MacPro with Touch Bar)
 Apple TV  Page  iBook
 Apple Watch  Page  iBook


Manuals for other Apple products are available from their website.

See my other macOS and iOS articles


Will Your iPad Take iOS 11?

Tech Tips – iOS will be generally available on September 19, but not all iPads are compatible. Officially Apple declares these models compatible: all models of iPad Pro, the iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation and iPad mini models 2-4 [1].


if you don’t know what model of iPad you have, you can look at the back of the iPad. At the bottom beneath iPad, in very tiny print, is your model number. I found it difficult to read, so I used the camera on my iPhone to zoom in on the text, take a photo and then read the model number through the resulting photo. Apple lists the model numbers for each iPad [2] and I identified mine as an “iPad Air 2” which is eligible for the upgrade.

What’s important in iOS 11 [2,3]?

  1. New Dock
  2. New App Switcher and Control Center
  3. Being able to open a second task (for multi-tasking) directly from the Dock
  4. The New Files App – almost a filesystem
  5. Drag and drop text, photos and files between applications
  6. A native screen recorder
  7. Improved password management
  8. iPad Pros will get document markup using the Apple Pencil
  9. Inline drawings for Notes and Mail
  10. Document scanning
  11. Indoor maps



  1. iOS 11 – A giant step for iPhone. A monumental leap for iPad.
  2. Identify you iPad Model
  3. 11 Ways iOS 11 Makes Your iPad Even Better

See my other iOS articles


Macs at the Top in Reliability!

Rescuecom of Syracuse, NY has released its “Annual Computer Reliability Report“. Rescuecom, which was founded in 1997, provides computer repair and support services for PC’s, MAC’s, Tablets, Phones, hardware and software. Their estimated annual revenue is $18.2 million.

As we who have used Macs for years could predict, Apple tops the list of computer vendors in terms of hardware reliability. As they state in the report “The annual RESCUECOM 2017 Computer Reliability Report shows that Apple is leading the pack for computer reliability, while continuing to hold a large U.S. market share.” They go on to quote Fletcher Previn, VP of Workplace as a Service at IBM “Every Mac we buy is in fact continuing to make and save IBM money.

Good information to keep in mind when you are contemplating your next computer purchase or when a friend is about to make a purchase. Macs to cost more, but there is value to the product.

iOS Tip – Signing PDFs

A few weeks ago my wife and I were out of town when we were contacted by someone who needed us to sign documents. My first thought was that we would have to have them sent by email, print them, sign them, then Fax them back. I found, however, that I had a much more elegant solution already on my iOS 10 iPad.


The solution was to use Quick Look. This is a built in capability to your iOS device. NO additional Apps are needed to ‘sign’ a PDF document. Let’s say you received a document by email that you need to sign and return. Open the document in Mail and wait for the document to download. In the example above on my Mac I created a simple form using TextEdit, exported it as a PDF, then emailed it to myself. I opened the email on my iPad and the PDF attachment was displayed in the body of the email as soon as it was downloaded.


(1) To electronically apply my signature I touched and held the body of the form on the iPad which caused the menu shown above to pop up. Note that Quick Look is shown to the right in the second row of icons. Touching the Quick Look icon opens the PDF.


(2) Now if you click on the toolbox icon shown in the top right hand corner, this will open the Markup editor.


(3) At the bottom center of the Markup editor screen is an icon that looks like script writing. Click it.


(4) This will bring up a list of previously created signatures, as well as the ability to add or remove signatures from the list. If you click on the “Add or Remove Signature” button a box will open and you can use your finger to create a signature.


(5) When you hit “Done” the newly created signature will be added to the list and you will be returned to the Markup editor page with the signature ready to be positioned in the document. If you just want to reuse a previously created signature, just select it from the list shown in (4).


(6) Resize the signature image as needed by touching a corner (the blue dots) and dragging the signature image to resize.


(7) Position where needed by placing your finger on the signature image and dragging it to where you want it in the document. When you are satisfied, click on the “Done” button in the upper right hand corner. This will close the Markup editor and you will be ready to email the modified document.

This same process works much the same way on your iPhone as well.

This process allowed my wife and I to both sign documents and return them from our room in a Houston hotel. This isn’t something that comes up every day, but it is nice to know that Apple has the capability built in if it is needed.

See my other iOS articles