Apple and Wi-Fi: what to do next?

I suppose it was inevitable or at least one of only 2 possible outcomes but Apple is killing off Airport line of WiFi stuff.

I’m looking for advice here. I have lots of friends and associates that are way better at current WiFi than I am (I’ve been out of the industry for a couple years now). I’m not big on swapping my home networks and my Apple crap has been stable for multiple years.

So my question is this: What’s the best replacement for home WiFi in a house with lots of streaming boxes, distance and interference galore? A couple of Ethernet drops but not everywhere. Ideally one SSID with good handoff capability and decent security/config controls (without being and engineer’s CMD line interface).

I’m serious. This switch will be hundreds of dollars for me so I’m looking to virtual experts’ thoughts.

Anyone? Please leave your thoughts as a comment so we can ask questions!

How to Snooze in Gmail…and other stuff…

So this article is about Bananatag – a Gmail extension that allows you to track engagement in emails. I don’t use 95% of what this extension does because it does one thing that I desparately need – SNOOZES GMAIL!!!

Install it and you will have a “snooze” button in your Gmail inbox to have emails surface later. And it works G_R_E_A_T!!!

Yes, please.  Thank you. <mic drop/>

Ever wish you could find out whether someone actually opened that email you sent, or whether they just ignored and trashed it? A service called Bananatag can tell you—but if you find that a little creepy, we’ve got the lowdown on how to protect yourself too.

Source: How to Track the Emails You Send (and Avoid Being Tracked Yourself)

How to setup a roaming wifi network over ethernet with an Airport Extreme and Airport Express – Dafacto

In the past, all the devices in my home operated over a single wifi network—including four Macs, an AppleTV and several iOS devices. I’ve long suspected I was probably overtaxing the wifi, and listening to the recent “taming wifi” episode of the Technical Difficulties podcast inspired me to do something about it. So my project […]

Source: How to setup a roaming wifi network over ethernet with an Airport Extreme and Airport Express – Dafacto

Network settings – Prioritize network connections in Mac OS X

Two simple tips found in the same day!

Wireless is weak in my office so I want to get the MBP to prefer the wired connection. Actually simple but not if you’ve never done it before:

You can set the priority of your network interfaces with a Mac which would allow the use of the best connection available.

Go to:  System Preferences –> Network and click the configuration tab towards the bottom as displayed below. Select Set Service Order…

Then change the order and press “OK”!


Source: Network settings – Prioritize network connections in Mac OS X – Hudgins Wiki

Quick, cool Keyboard hack for Mac – Using Microsoft Keyboards for Mac

Used to a Mac keyboard layout? Drive you nuts that the Command key is f’d up when you try to use a Microsoft keyboard?

Here’s a simple trick to get that PC keyboard that reverses your Command and Option keys:

Switching the Alt and Windows keys.

By default the Alt key on the keyboard is where the command key usually is and the windows key is where the Alt key usually is on a mac keyboard. This can easily be swapped in System Preferences, as long as you can remember you’ve made the swap and don’t rely on looking at the key names.

Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Modifier Keys -> Microsoft® 2.4Ghz Transceiver v9.0 (from the drop down)
Change the Option Key to Command in the drop down, then change the Command Key to Option in the drop down. Click Ok.

Done! Now you don’t have to make your brain switch modes when you switch keyboards!!

Truly replacing Post-it note mess

Man, its been ages since I’ve posted but here is a quick tip.  I’m perpetually on the quest to move off of my Post-it note organization skills.  I’ve pretty successfully replaced straight up notebooks with Evernote.  And when I do use a notebook, I take a picture and file it in Evernote.  Success there.

The one thing that keeps me going back to Post-its is very basic – “Out of sight, out of mind”.  Too true.

I love the Mac/iOS reminders app but again – out of sight, out of mind.

Here’s what I’m trying now – keep it on top of my apps so that its effectively “Posted” to my monitor.  To accomplish this, I’m using “Afloat” (check the link).  Fingers crossed!

[Mac]: Keeping Your Application Window ‘Always On Top’.

Apple releases iOS 6 to the masses, now available over-the-air to iOS 5 users | 9to5Mac

We’re sure many of you are anxiously waiting for the iPhone 5 to hit your doorstep in the coming days (or weeks—depending on when you ordered). In the mean time, the folks at Apple have something to calm your nerves: as anticipated, the hard-working men and women of Cupertino have pushed out iOS 6. If you own an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, fourth- or fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, or the new iPad, you can check out Apple’s latest offering for free right now. Apple is making iOS 6 available in an over-the-air update to those on iOS 5. However, as the company’s servers start being slammed by the hoard of users looking to get going, delays are expected. If you would rather install the update the old-fashioned way (by connecting it to iTunes), you will need to install Apple’s latest iTunes 10.7 offering.

Announced at WWDC 2012, Apple said iOS 6 brings “over 200 new features” to the table. A version of the software has been available to developers a part of Apple’s Developer Program for those willing to iron out the wrinkles before Apple shipped it to the masses. Apple’s Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall called iOS 6 a “rapid pace of innovation.” So, what exactly does this innovation encompass? We got the full details below:

What some call the highlight of iOS 6 is Apple’s new Maps solution. It is built from the ground-up by a select team at Apple, and it ditches the company’s reliance on Google for a mapping solution. I had the ability to test Maps for the better part of three months and have to say it got me out of a couple situations where, let’s just say, I was lost. With the soft touch of Siri’s voice, Apple Map’s turn-by-turn navigation feature allows users to get real-time directions as they are driving. Furthermore, Maps’ real-time traffic solution can definitely save you some time if traffic gets finicky. The big part of Maps is the way it is built. Apple made it vector-based in the hopes of smoother loading—especially with its “realistic” 3D views. But, as we have seen, Apple’s Maps app does have some issues.

First launched in iOS 5 last fall, Apple has further added quite a few features to its beloved voice-assistant Siri, which is available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and now the new iPad thanks to iOS 6. Benefiting its users across the globe, Apple has added language support for Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, and Cantonese, which make for 15 countries where Siri is currently supported. Furthermore, Siri has been given the ability to allow users to post a status update to Facebook (more on that later), make restaurant reservations, see the latest sport scores, and the ability to launch apps. Apple partnered with Yelp and integrated OpenTable functionality for better restaurant related results as well as Rotten Tomatoes to get information on movie-related content like reviews. Lastly, Siri now includes a new “Eyes Free” mode that allows users to interact with their iPhone just by voice. Apple said it is working with many car manufacturers in an attempt to integrate a hardware button into steering wheels that can activate Siri sometime over the next 12 months.

Here is where iOS devices get more social: adding to Twitter integration first introduced with iOS 5, Apple and Facebook in iOS 6 have formed a partnership to integrate the world’s top social network into Apple’s platform. Like Twitter, Facebook integration is system-wide. It allows users to keep their friends’ details synced through Contacts and Calendar, post to their Facebook wall directly from Notification Center, and post a status update by voice through Siri and Facebook-enabled apps including Safari, Maps and Photos.

Adding to its iCloud offering introduced in iOS 6, Apple included ways to keep photos synced across devices. Using Shared Photo Streams, users can share select photos to other iOS devices or iPhoto and Aperture on the Mac. People you’ve shared photos with can also comment and like them.

Speaking of photos: another notable camera-related iOS 6 feature is the new Panorama mode. It essentially lets users “capture everything from a family reunion group photo to a jaw-dropping shot of the Grand Canyon” with one motion. Folks can shoot a whopping 240-degree, 28-megapixel image by just using the iPhone 5′s gyroscope, A6 chip and Camera app.

The last highlight of Apple’s iOS 6 announcement is Passbook, which is a new organizational app pre-loaded on iOS 6. Users can manage various entities of their life like boarding passes, movie tickets, store cards, and other passes that have QR codes, barcodes or visual, scannable codes. Many thought Apple would release NFC on the iPhone 5 to compliment Passbook, but the company chose to opt-out. The offering does not offer any payment solutions, such as MasterCard, Visa, or PayPal, as Google does with its Wallet offering. Phil Schiller expressed NFC is not currently a great solution and further stated, “Passbook does the kinds of things customers need today.”

Perhaps the greatest addition to Passbook is its location awareness. Say you have a gift card to Starbucks…your card will appear on the Lock Screen so it can be quickly scanned to complete your purchase. Passbook also has alert abilities to let you know of a flight change, for instance, which could save you from getting to the airport extremely early.

Some of the smaller iOS 6 enhancements include changes to Safari, such as: iCloud tabs (synced between desktop and iOS), offline reading lists and full screen view. Also on iOS 6: when getting an incoming call, you can decline the calls and give the unwanted caller a quick message. Better yet, Apple also included a new Do Not Disturb option that puts your phone in a setting so you’re not interrupted.

For China users, Apple included improvements like Chinese text input. Just as it did with Facebook and Twitter, Apple also made partnerships to include built-in support for popular Chinese services like Baidu, Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou.

Lastly, Apple included the ability to make FaceTime calls over cellular networks. AT&T already announced that it will make customers be on a certain data plan to get this feature rolling, while Sprint and Verizon said everyone will have the feature. No more are the days where you had to search for a Wi-Fi network to complete a FaceTime call. Well, maybe no one really did that.

So, that is the bulk of iOS 6′s new features. What do you think?

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