Apple Music makes its big debut today on 3 main platforms iOS, OS X, and Windows. This signifies Apple’s official move into the music streaming business since its acquired Beats. The streaming service will offer a 3-month free trial & proceed to cost $10 a month following the trial. The highly talked about service will feature millions of songs in its library & focus on some other aspects such as radio through Beats One, Connecting fans & artists, and music curation.
All that said how do you go about getting Apple Music on your specific platform?
Currently Apple’s rollout of the music service will be delayed till an unannounced date for said platforms. So you’ll have to hang tight if you want to try it out.
For all iOS users be it iPhone, iPod, or iPad its as simple as an iOS update. Going into your Settings, General, and Software Update will prompt for an iOS 8.4 update that will be required to get the all new Apple Music app. After updating you’ll be presented with the new stock app that will allow you to sign up via your Apple ID or if your a previous Beats Music subscriber you can simply login through there importing all music, playlists, and so on.
Mac users will have to run the update via iTunes to get access to the service. Specifically iTunes 12.2. At the time of launch iTunes servers are all over the place preventing many from updating. Be patient as Apple sorts out the update & pushes it across to all OS X users. The same can be said for Windows users, you’ll need to have iTunes on your PC & update it to the latest version once the server situation is sorted in order to get access to Apple Music.
Read more about my thoughts on the Apple Music service here & enjoy then newest player in the streaming game. With a 3-month free trial you’ll surely be able to test it out to see if it’ll take place as your new go to streaming platform & or replace services such as Spotify or Tidal.
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2015 rounded up this morning with a flurry of announcements. Primarily all software based with updates from everything in their existing line of operating systems from iPhone to Apple Watch. This was an event that focused on incremental updates & not major feature releases, however there were a great amount of things that will change how you use your iOS devices day to day.
Here’s a recap of everything that mattered from the WWDC event for developers & consumers alike.
OS X 10.11 El Capitan:
Their latest version of OS X is named after a rock formation within Yosemite. Known as El Capitan, yes thats really what they’re calling it. Aside from the name here’s a list of things El Capitan will bring to OS X.
Mission Control Update
Native App Updates (Mail, Notes, etc)
Now the main aspects this OS update will focus on are “Experience” & “Performance”. With improvements made ever so slightly within the UI to make things easier to access & navigate. As far as performance enhancements go theres been a ton of updates under the hood to improve graphics performance with their all new Metal for Mac & other tweaks to improve everyday tasks. This update was all about stability & small enhancements here & there.
This is essentially window snapping & management brought over to OS X. Allowing you to easily snap apps next to each other for better viewing & multitasking.
The mission control window has been redesigned a bit to provide a cleaner overall experience. This allows you to navigate all your windows at a glance, split windows between multiple desktops, set apps to fullscreen, and more. This is what Mission Control should’ve been & focuses on doing everything under one feature.
Apple’s spotlight also received an update to allow for searching across more resources on the machine & web. It has also been updated to search within context to your files. So you can tell Spotlight to “Search for documents I worked on last week” for example which is super useful & makes it that much more convenient when your looking for a group/assortment of files.
The rest of OS X received some incremental upgrades as well. Maps app got updated with transit directions, safari with some speed tweaks & other features like tab muting, tab pinning, and more. Notes app got a big overhaul incorporating all sorts of features from to-do lists, photo support, and more (essentially evernote). Again this was an update that was incremental at the least yet game changing for some who’ve been waiting for some of these features. This isn’t a make or break update but at it’s free price point we can’t really argue. OS X El Capitan will be available in the Fall.
Developers can now get access via the developer program to start taking advantage of all the new features & API’s.
Another update that wasn’t focused on a huge UI overhaul or series of features. Rather it focused on the “foundation” of iOS. Performance, battery life, and ease of use across the mobile OS. The main updates here feature wise being
Apple has added an all new native app to iPhone, iPod, and iPad lineup is the “News” app. Essentially Apple’s take on Flipboard. You can sign up choose the stories/sources that matter to you & have Apple take that & provide you with a super visual news experience.
Just like OS X the new version of iOS has received its share of updates to native apps like Notes, Maps, and the Passbook app has been renamed to “Wallet” to accompany its support for Apple Pay & your various cards.
The iPad has finally received the software updates its been needing to make it an ever more powerful device. True multitasking has been brought to some of the iPads. I say some as the main split feature is limited to their “iPad Air 2″.
Slide Over is the ability to essentially slide in from the side another app while your still within lets say your browser. Essentially a way to respond to messages, access Twitter, and so on without leaving your main app. This provides a much more fluid experience while multitasking & is accessible across all current versions of the iPad from the Mini’s to Airs.
However the Split View feature which allows for side by side apps to be ran simultaneously is only available on the latest iPad Air 2. This could be due to the demand for hardware or Apple just trying to promote this feature across their top tier tablet.
Last but not least is the PiP or Picture in Picture feature which will allow iPad users to watch videos & media freely across iOS while using other apps or just on your home screen. This can be done with video media, FaceTime, and so on by simply tapping the Home button while media is playing.
Apple wanted to beef up the intelligence aspect of iOS, allowing it to have more context of how you use your device & what you want to see/use. As they claim a “smarter way to do just about everything.” Siri now has the ability to search through a wider range of things within your device & have more contextual understanding.
You can ask Siri things such as
“Show me photos from California last January”
“Remind me about this” while within an app.
The spotlight feature within iOS has been redone as well. Adding in better search functionality & a UI update to showcase “Siri Suggestions” people you contact frequently, apps you use most, and a “Nearby” section to find food, drinks, etc around you. Siri begins to live up to its assistive nature by doing more & more things automatically based on things you receive such as e-mails etc. For example receiving an e-mail for an invitation will automatically create email & events for your calendar. Plugging in your headphones to iOS 9 also recognizes you may want to finish something you started listening to earlier.
So subtle but convenient updates to how Siri works & interacts with you based of your daily usage.
Getting back to the foundation Apple really wanted to focus on the core aspects of iOS.
Security, performance, and convenience such as battery life. Across the OS apps and other key pieces of technologies have been sized own to reduce battery usage whenever possible. Essentially a low power mode. Turning off sensors when the device is not being used & so on. This coupled with all the new features make a great incremental upgrade from iOS 8 plotting a lot of the bugs & providing a better experience starting at the foundation.
On top of all this developers have access to a whole slew of API’s. Carplay, Home Kit, HealthKit, Swift 2 improvements and more are all great things that developers can tap into with the latest release.
Swift 2 Apple’s programming language released last year has made big leaps & bounds and to continue that growth Apple in a shocking move made it Open Source for all developers no matter their platform to take advantage off.
Apple Watch has received it’s first update software wise since its release. The biggest update being its support for native apps. Developers now have a SDK that will allow them to develop apps without the need to depend on the iPhone to send over “App logic”. This will provide a faster experience & better one at that for App developer and of course users.
The main updates here being
Watch Face Updates
Slight software updates came to the Apple Watch most of which we should’ve seen at launch. The more visual side being the watch faces they’ve added from photo based wallpapers to time lapses created by Apple you can use as your watch face for a more customizable experience.
Complications are little tid bits of info displayed across your watch face. With this update you get access to even more info at a glance such as flight times, battery life for your car specifically (VW e-Golf) and a couple other widgets you add to customize your watch face that much more.
Time travel is another feature being integrated into WatchOS to essentially jump forward in time to see relevant information. You can see whats ahead on your schedule, news headlines that occurred, and even your electric car battery life span estimated throughout the day. All by turning your digital crown.
Developers have more access throughout the watch hardware as well to integrate into their new native apps. Taking advantage of things like the Taptic Engine, Digital Crown, Accelerometer, and more.
Last but not least Tim Cook saved the classic “One more thing…” line for their all new music streaming service announcement. The Apple Music service has been talked about in anticipation ever since they’ve bought Beats music.
The idea is to be an all-in-one music service behind their popular iTunes service they already offer. The service tries to focus on 3 aspects Music, Radio, and Connect.
Music- This is the streaming aspect of the service allowing you access to millions of the songs they already have in their library for you to stream. Built with recommendations, what’s new, and ways to of course discover new music.
Radio- Is Apples take on a 24/7 radio station backed by Beats. This will include music, interviews, and other cultural events surrounding the music industry. The main idea here is the star power behind this radio station. As Apple has taken the initiative to higher host Zane Lowe to run the show alongside a variety of widely known artists & figures to help DJ for the radio station.
This is nothing new obviously. Online radio has existed even in the 24/7 format however this is Apple trying to tap into the music culture aspect & if that means hiring the big public figures to draw hype then so be it.
Connect- Last but not least is Apple’s second attempt at connecting fans to artists they love & listen to. Remember Ping? It’s okay Apple doesn’t blame you if you don’t. Anyhow the idea here is to provide on top of all this a platform for artists to provide exclusive content & directly interact with their fan base. Allowing you to comment, share, like on your artists updates. Directly from the source. Again nothing groundbreaking this will depend on the artists adoption of this service & how they take to the platform.
This directly competes with Spotify & new services like Tidal which also focused on the star power aspect. While Apple doesn’t have the best track record with music/social networks they do own the biggest market place for music. That alone in conjunction with the deals & lets be honest money they can throw at this can easily transform this into a force to reckon with. However as of now to me they’re focusing more so on the artists & names to draw attention versus the music. Unless they can acquire deals & more exclusive music/features that Spotify doesn’t have then they won’t be able to stick out.
The service will start at $10 a month & offer a decent $15 monthly family plan for up to 6 members! However as of launch Apple service will come out June 30th & provide users a free 3 months to test out the service. So no harm in trying it out if your new to the streaming space or simply want to see how it stacks against the competition. It’s obviously still very early stages to see how they continue to roll with this & how far it’ll get.
However its no doubt Apple wants this service to be widely available & used. Apple Music will be available across all platforms by the end of this Fall season.
That about wraps up everything from WWDC 2015 event. It was definitely a lengthier event as they had a lot of ground to cover & while it was a packed event we saw more of what can be called gradual & incremental updates across their whole lineup. Of course this is nothing to be dismissed as these updates will definitely hold users over whether they have the latest iOS devices or older generations. Apple focused more on the foundations of the software in this case updating & implementing the core aspects of the software in order to provide a better experience not necessarily a new one. If anything these updates for iOS or OS X and so on provide a foundation in themselves for the next major release in the year to come.
What was your favorite announcement developer or consumer wise from the event? Anything your excited to see rolled out or try once Fall comes about. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Thanks to the Curbi team makers of a parental control app for iOS that allows parents to track, block, and set limits to their children’s iPhone,iPad, or iPod for sponsoring the series of content on web safety. We approached them with the idea of publishing a playlist of content on web safety tips for the web 2.0 age & they happily supported our campaign. Check out the video playlist here of the content & download Curbi today!
When it comes to the internet it really is a sense of “anything goes” it can be a well of knowledge or pure distraction depending on where you land. That said we all have devices that are somehow connected to the internet these days. Safety now is more important than ever with much of our lives encapsulated digitally in our social media profiles, computer hard drives, and more. There’s a ton of “bad” out there on internet that can range from explicit content, scams, and of course viruses/malware.
Here’s a roundup of some general web safety tips that you can utilize & of course pass on to those you care about.
Let’s face it if your a parent your kid may experience or come into contact with explicit content whatever you may consider that. Adult material, profane language, etc. While this exposure can’t be 100% eliminated it can be filtered significantly to reduce or block all together.
Using a browser like Google Chrome you can easily install a plugin like WebFilter Pro to block out specific content from pornography, gambling, and more.
This can also be done at a browser level by enabling “Safe Search” on Google so that anyone who is searching via Google on your computer or family computer is provided safer results. By simply googling “Google Safe Search” you’ll be provided a simple set of instructions to turn it on/off
Achieving this on the mobile end can be done with in-app solutions depending on the device operating system. Curbi for iOS provides a great solution, SecureTeen is one of the many solutions available on Android, and so on.
Always DOUBLE check:
This is more of a common sense tip however one that needs to be reiterated. Remember if it looks to good to be true on the internet it probably is!
You most likely haven’t
Won $1,000,000 from someone in Africa or a past family member
Companies will NEVER ask you for your password or security details
Get rich quick schemes for a limited offer of insert amount here
Random girl/guy has confessed their love for you via e-mail, app, etc
Scammers and so on are all over nowadays and will prey upon your e-mail, social network accounts, etc.
This also goes in line with anything sign up for nowadays. You’ll be surprised to see what it is we’re actually agreeing to when we scroll all the way to the bottom to check that “I agree” button.
A site like TOSDR (Terms of Service Didn’t Read) aims to make it all simple and provide in laymen terms what we’re agreeing to when signing up and using a site. What the site has access and rights to do with our content/information.
Anonymity is simply apart of the web nowadays. Users can post without having any profile/name attached or for that matter hide behind usernames. This is one of the unavoidable parts of the internet. Comment boards/sections are filled with people who while have great and contributing things to say also have those who are just for the lack of a better term “internet trolls”. The best way to tackle said situations when on the web and your own social media accounts is to report the user on the platform the abuse is being dealt on. As a parents its also important to explain and be aware this is apart of the internet as its so vast you can’t quite filter or protect your kids from everything.
Protecting against Malware, Viruses, etc:
A big part of the safety term relates to that of the viruses and so on that can be picked up on the web. There are many ways users get their devices infected nowadays. But most commonly this is a result of a direct download. So while your browser & OS has a layer of built in protection/scanning it can’t protect itself from direct human interaction.
Downloading any of the following exposes you highly to viruses/malware
Pirating Software/Serial Keys/Illegal Copies or Movies are all a big target for viruses
Clicking on Suspicious Links via social network
Keep in mind protection doesn’t just mean to be weary of what your downloading but all forms of scams. This can range from identity crisis or credit card theft. Be cautious of what your placing your important data into & always try to verify the source.
Using the following resources/tips can help keep you safe on the web-
Download a free or paid virus protection service such as AVG, ClamWin, or any that you prefer for your OS to scan any files or act as another level of defense. Run regular scans with said software to ensure your computer hasn’t been compromised.
If you are using P2P services such as uTorrent or Bitorrent be aware of what your downloading and the source. Read a wiki post such as this one on torrent safety (NOTE: We do not promote piracy) however P2P can be used in multiple ways.
Being on the internet try to remember that it’s written in pen not pencil. So be cautious of what you choose to reveal as well as what you post on your social media profiles be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. This can be achieved by using identities or screen names for young children who may be signing up for a service such as a game or website.
Other tips include:
Setting your social media profiles to “Private” to only allow those who you admit to see your information
Legal transactions when it comes to buying any music, apps, games, etc are the safest way to ensure you aren’t exposed to any malware/scams.This means networks such as iTunes, Steam, etc.
A Simple Google Search of your name can reveal whats available out there on the web about you. Doing this reminds you to keep in mind that the internet is public. This can be useful to do in the case of when applying for a job that may involve background checks.
Do your best to simply ignore unwanted contact or altercations with people online. Remember it’s easy for people to talk from behind their computer screens so do your best to either ignore or block people who are explicit/rude all together.
When a good thing becomes too much:
You can of course choose to limit the internet usage all together which in some cases is smart not just for productivity sake but your health. If you or someone you know is using the internet obsessively over things like games or what have you to a point where it interferes with everyday life. Then considering a program that limits usage to the network of tubes that is the internet. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways across many platforms.
Here’s a list of methods you can use to block/manage internet usage-
Overall the internet is a vast place. I can’t truly cover everything you’ll encounter along your browsing experience. However using the tips outlined above it’ll provide a safer and better experience for you and your family. Protecting you against general scams/viruses and as always you are the gatekeeper when it comes to all of this. Your knowledge & choices are the first line of defense when it comes to anything on the net. As parents its worth taking time to explain the vastness of the internet and things your kids may run into along the way. Explaining the importance of privacy, security, and what they post out there on the net as they grow older and are introduced to thing such as social media. Nowadays the internet is accessible across almost all of our device be it phones, computer or tablet. So understanding the different platforms and practices we can use on each to be safe is investing in a more secure & stable future.
Again my personal thanks goes out to Curbi for sponsoring the series of content we’ve created on internet safety & the importance of it. Be sure to check out the posts down below & of course feel free to submit your own tips/resources in the comments down below!
My thanks to the team over at CleverFiles the makers of the premier data recovery app DiskDrill for making this content possible. DiskDrill is a data recovery application for both OS X & Windows. Allowing you to recover deleted files be it videos, documents, photos, etc. An essential tool when it comes to protecting & saving the data that means most to you.
Data is a big part of our lives nowadays. We store our lives pretty much digitally be it our photos, videos, or documents. Our digital media is apart of our precious memories & thats why its important for us not only to protect it but have a solution in case we need to recover them. So in the event you ever have a drive that is corrupted, data that is accidentally deleted, or partitions that missing here’s how you can recover that data on the mac.
DiskDrill offers two versions of it’s software. A free basic version that allows you to recover data that is lost only while the app is protecting your drive. In order to recover data that has already been lost on a drive you need to upgrade to the pro version.
The application works in a very simple method.
DiskDrill scans your drives be it a local one, external, or any drive that can be detected by your mac. Simply select the drive/partition you want scanned for recovery & let DiskDrill do the rest. It’s recommended you let the app run it’s initial recovery scan as it runs all of its methods to best recover any data. You also have the option to run advanced scan techniques such as looking for lost partitions, rebuild them, run quick or deep scans & so on. Allowing you to rebuild, rescue, or remount any drive of your choosing. The bigger the drive is & more data you need to recover the longer the scan will take. Sessions can be saved & pause at any time.
The app after a scanning sessions allows you to recover the data that it finds be it corrupted files it reconstructed or just outright deleted files. DiskDrill supports a wide arrange of file systems such as:
HFS & HFS+
As far as files that the app can recover:
Photo files like JPG, PNG and TIFF
Graphic files like AI, PSD and INDD
RAW camera files like CR2, NEF and DNG
Video files like AVI, DV and MP4
Music files like AIF, MP3 and WAV
Document files like DOCX, PPTX and XLSX
So it covers a wide arrange of formats & file types that will almost assure you recovery of the important files you’ve lost. The app will display all of these files to you while giving you the ability to filter out through these files. You can sort by type, date since deletion, etc. DiskDrill also offers you the ability to preview files before even recovering them. Once you’ve done this you set your recovery destination and let the app process the rest.
The last step is optional however highly recommended. After you’ve recovered the data you want its important to do your part in preventing it from happening again. You can use DiskDrill’s built in protection features to help secure your drive. When enabled it helps by keeping extra invisible copies of your data in the case that you accidentally delete or lose something. Keep in mind this requires extra hard drive space.
Mac OS X users also have a built in backup tool called “Time Machine” which does something similar with an external drive. This allows you to backup your data & have it exist in two places rather than one which significantly improves your protection of your data.
Your data is an important part of your mac & it should be protected with the same relevance that the files themselves mean to you. Whether its professional or personal documents that you store its worth investing in a recovery solution in preparation for the worst case scenario.
So lets say you have those pictures I mean documents or what have you that you just don’t want people to see. Private, sensitive, or just outright explicit. Here’s a look at how to hide your files on mac OS X easily & through a variety of methods.
Be it word documents, photos, or video files these methods allow you to hide those files of your yours from prying eyes. Completely shielding files from users who have physical access to your machine. Through native methods to 3rd party software that makes hiding files a simple click away.
Method 1- Plain Sight
The most simplest & possibly so stupid it may just work is hiding your files in plain sight. That “secret folder” or folder buried within a folder can go a long way for some people. A great place in Mac OS X that users can hide files in is the “Library” folder.
Open Finder & hit the keyboard shortcut “Shift+Command+G” to open the go to folder menu. Insert the following line:
This will open a library folder that is normally hidden within OS X this is a great place users can store files that isn’t easily accessed from most users. For that matter one that unless a user knew how to access such a folder that no one would see.
Again this is a method that is perhaps the simplest way to hide files but isn’t exactly full proof.
Method 2- File Vault
Another built in method is utilizing OS X “File Vault” encryption feature. This allows you to protect a drives files easily without the need for 3rd party software. FileVault encrypts your data & makes sure no one without appropriate information or access keys can see your data. This is a two for one benefit in that FileVault implements a high level 128-bit encryption to lock down your files while also in a sense hiding them behind this software based vault door.
Method 3- Third Party Software
Of course there’s a ton of software out there for you to hide files which make hiding those P$%N videos I mean cat videos you don’t want anyone to see easy & simple. Two apps we recommend are:
Hider 2 ($10 USD) Hider is a fully featured app that allows you to lock your data down easily & privatize your files so only the user with the Hider key can see & access. A list of features from 256 encryption, password protection, and external drive support all make it a great product if your willing to spend the money to secure your data.
Hide Folders (Free) Altomac’s solution is completely free & while it isn’t as polished as Hider its functionality & price can’t be argued with. Simply drag files/folders into the app you want to hide & hit the hide button. Boom! Just like that your folder/file is hidden from wherever its original location is & out of sight from other users. To re-show files you can easily do the same in reverse even adding on a password layer that way only you can hide/show files at your leisure.
Method 4- Terminal
For your geeks out there who like to use Terminal (Windows CMD equivalent) have no fear. By simply typing in the following command you hide files on OS X as well.
Start by typing
chflags hidden (File Path) note you can easily just drag in the file into Terminal after the “chflags hidden ” is typed in. Again note the spaces are important. An example would look like
chflags hidden /Users/Dojo/Desktop/TEST.txt
To unhide the file input the following command chflags nohidden (File Path) so essentially the opposite with the “nohidden” command.
Whatever method you decide to use these are all methods to hide files on Mac OS X easily & efficiently. Highlighting both free & paid solutions for you to secure and hide those important/secret files. Great tips to keep in mind if your using a personal computer that frequently is accessed by others or just something you want to keep secret in general in the event lets say your computer is compromised. Get those files together & get them hidden on OS X today!
Look forward to more content on hiding your files for both Windows & Android coming soon.