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School apps for elementary and middle school
Posted: October 28, 2014


The end of the first quarter approaches. Your children have taken on new projects which lead to new challenges. Like in business, we know arming our children with great resources will help them succeed. Since technology is such an important part of our lives, why not help boost your youngster’s confidence with these apps.

Popgeo USA Geography – iPad .99

Help your elementary age child master the state capitals. Played in the form of a game, points are given for landing in the correct place.

Dictionary.com – Free

Every child needs a dictionary. With two million definitions available offline, and the ability to hear how words are pronounced, your youngster will gain confidence with spelling, pronunciation and understanding.

gFlash+ – Free

Create flashcards and practice tests galore on a variety of subjects. “Cards” can include images or even embedded audio or video.

National Geographic World Atlas – iOS $1.99 Newly updated for 2013, National Geographic’s digital World Atlas has HD maps perfect for Retina-display iOS devices, with high-resolution images for all corners of the world. Children can even access the data without an Internet connection after the first use online.

Do you have a favorite app for your school-aged child?

Author: Lisa Ryan
lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+
Posted: September 16, 2014


Apple just announced its latest offerings, two new versions of the iPhone — the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6+.

The biggest enhancement, besides the size measuring .7″ and 1.5″ larger for the 6 and 6+ respectively, is the battery.  Apple delivered with a talk time of upwards of 14 hours on the iPhone 6 and 24 hours on the iPhone 6+.  With approximately 4 more hours than the iPhone 5s, it is exciting to think your phone will last through a good portion of the day.

In addition to the battery, other notable features include enhancements to the camera and video capabilities. Interested in upgrading? http://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/

Not surprisingly, Apple also announced the  Apple Watch.  Expected in early 2015, the  Apple Watch promises to be both functional and fashionable and will have several iPhone features including phone, text, watch and fitness companion to name a few.  I know I am looking forward to its release.  Check it out here:   http://www.apple.com/watch/

Author: Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

5 apps to make your travel stress free
Posted: July 22, 2014


Traveling can be stressful enough on its own. Throw in a customer and a deadline and your stress level skyrockets. So, what better way to bring in our summer with 5 easy apps to help you ease your travel stress (and your budget- these apps are free!).

Dropbox

Dropbox is the go to app for its accessibility from anywhere. Create and share folders with clients without compromising privacy. The free version comes with 5 GB of free space. Invite users to sign-up and you get 2 GB of additional space for each new user to Dropbox. If additional space is required, then more can be purchased for a nominal fee.

Field Manage

Have employees on the road? Need to communicate when they will be at a client site? Why not try Field Manage. Field Manage allows you to track your employees, communicate with clients based on their arrival and has the capability to create invoices and take payment.

Skype or FaceTime

Need to have a face-to-face but your travel is keeping you away? Utilizing a program such as FaceTIme or Skype can help when you just can’t be there. FaceTime is available in an iOS environment but Skype can be used on most smartphones. Skype offers more features for a nominal fee.

Expensify

Keeping track of your expenses can be confusing. Say goodbye to organizing a stack of receipts using Expensify to track your credit cards and file your expenses as they occur. Pull in electronic receipts, scan others and create a PDF for your accounting department.

Evernote

Whether you are in a meeting, on a conference call or listening to a presentation,   Evernote can store your thoughts whether it is via text, picture or voice. Available via computer, phone or tablet you can synchronize your account and access notes from anywhere you have an internet connection or an app.

There are so many apps capable of keeping us organized aiding in our quest for stress free traveling. What are your favorites?

Author: Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

 

Category: What's new in Technology

5 iPhone tips utilizing iOS 7
Posted: June 24, 2014


I know, I know… another iPhone blog. Even if you have owned your iPhone for years, there are enough built-in features to keep us learning for many blog posts to come. Here are a few:

Privacy

Don’t want your iPhone usage to be tracked for targeted ads? Choose Settings, Privacy, Advertising (located at the bottom of the screen). Turn on Limit Ad Tracking.

Want to add a recently called number to your Contacts list. Choose Phone, Recents. Tap the caller to add. Select Create New Contact. Fill in the contact information and tap Done when complete.

Want to block a caller? Choose Phone, Recents. Tap the caller. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose Block This Caller. Select Block Contact. To unblock, repeat the previous steps, choosing Unblock this Caller.

Screen

Having difficulty seeing the text on the iPhone? Change the font size or bold the text. Choose Settings, General, Accessibility, Larger Text. Use the slider to change the text size. Need a larger font, turn on Larger Accessibility Sizes.

Tools

Don’t have all the tools you need to hang a picture? Use your phone! Open the Compass App. After calibrating the compass, swipe right. Lay the phone face up, to view the bubble level, stand the phone straight up or place it against the wall, to use the wall level.

Next thing you know our iPhone will be regulating our sleep by studying our sleep patterns. Tune in next month for more iPhone tips.

What are your favorite iPhone or Smart Phone tips?

Author: Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

 

Category: What's new in Technology

What you think about when traveling
Posted: May 21, 2014


Recently I was traveling for work. While the flight attendant was going through the safety procedures, I was flipping through the plane’s exit and evacuation plan. As the flight attendant was saying, “In case of a water landing, you can use the seat cushion as a flotation device “ my eyes immediately went to the evacuation plan where I saw two water landing graphics. One where everyone was seated in a raft and the second where everyone was in the water holding on to the raft. I laughed at the graphic with the people floating in the water thinking, “What about my phone!”

Enter SkyMall! I immediately opened the magazine to find the items every business traveler needs for safety and convenience. Whether you are planning for traveling demise or simply convenience (I hope the latter), you might want to check out some of these finds:

Waterproof Phone Case

Battery Backup for SmartPhone

Cleaning needs

A simple Google search will give you more options, but I was happy with what I found and am planning my order soon. What are your traveling go tos?

Author: Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

 

Category: What's new in Technology

The One Heartbeat We Won’t Like
Posted: April 14, 2014


Last week brought us news of the Heartbleed bug.  A bug that acts the same way as a lull in a standard transmission between computer and a secure site such as a bank, sending what might seem like a hearbeat signal to verify the computers are attached to each other.  Once in, your confidential information, such as account numbers and passwords, could be stolen.

Although banks and other sites are rapidly dealing with this latest breach, you should still take some precautions of your own.  What steps can you take to feel more comfortable about your online data?

Change your passwords regularly.  Most businesses choose a schedule of 30 to 90 days.  Strong passwords are those of 8 or more characters compromised of letters, numbers and symbols.  Assume your passwords have been compromised due to this breach and change them.

Purchase virus protection software.  Once purchased, make sure you keep the software up to date, updating whenever you are prompted.  You should also plan on scanning your systems weekly.  This can usually be done unattended.

Run updates on your computers and other devices.  In addition to virus software updates, your business productivity software and operating systems, particularly on a PC, require updates to secure the device on which it runs.  These updates happen daily so make sure you update at least once a week.  If you have any computers with the Windows XP operating system, upgrade the operating system immediately to Windows 7 or Windows 8.  Security patches for the Windows XP software are no longer being sent.

Watch where you surf.  Although the Internet has a wealth of information, some sites were designed to spread malicious viruses and spam.  Watch for signs that show the site is secure.  When searching on the Internet your virus software may attach a logo to a search result indicating the site is virus free.

Following these four recommendations will help you keep your computer current and allow you to continue enjoying conveniences the Internet and technology have given you.

Author:  Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

The Power of the Cloud
Posted: March 6, 2014


Whenever we spoke of the cloud in the past, there were concerns regarding the security and safety of your files.  It seems that the security concerns have now been addressed and most of you are utilizing the cloud in one way or another.  Perhaps you are utilizing it for storage or sharing files and pictures.  Businesses are certainly taking advantage of all the cloud has to offer.  Business software has never been more affordable with both the software and the technology expertise needed to run the software available for a nominal monthly fee per user.  The cloud has offered a perfect way for small businesses to take advantage of some great technologies with minimal cost.

Software

Microsoft now offers Office 365, a subscription that provides the Office 2013 suite, an Exchange Server and SharePoint.  The software typically cost businesses thousands of dollars in software, technology and resources.  Now, smaller businesses can take advantage of the same technologies, utilize infrastructures only possible in larger corporations and save money doing it.

Adobe Creative Cloud also offers a subscription for its core applications, more than 15 of them as a matter of fact. This is a group of amazing software that helps small business be able to afford to become their own graphic artist, web designers and producers.

Google Docs Suite is a free software tool incorporating documents, spreadsheets, presentations and email.  It is great tool for those who want their items in one location, and you can’t beat the cost.

Storage

Dropbox is leading software in the business world for sharing and collaborating with files.  A free edition is available with the opportunity to upgrade if more storage is needed.  However, if you invite friends you get additional storage space when they sign up.

OneDrive is Microsoft’s version of cloud storage.  Similar to Dropbox, you start out with free storage with the opportunity to upgrade if you need more.  The benefit of a OneDrive account is that it will link directly to your Office products as a readily available option for storage.

Google Drive is another option for storage and sharing data and is a part of the Google Docs suite rounding out Google Docs free suite.

If you are interested in utilizing the cloud, the options outlined above are a great way to start.  As time goes on, more and more options will become available.  Are there any other cloud software and storage options you use?

Author:  Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

Keeping those Goals and Resolutions
Posted: January 7, 2014


Did you make any New Year resolutions?  If you did, you are not alone.  Approximately 45% of Americans do.  Your technology can help you keep those resolutions!  If you use Outlook (or any email/calendaring program) and a smartphone you have the tools on hand to succeed at several resolutions and goals.

Goal setting tips:

Be realistic.  If your resolution is to go to the gym every day but you have only gone to the gym to renew your membership, then set a goal of going a few days a week.  Consistency is the key to success so select set days such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Prioritize your goals.  Make a list of everything you want to accomplish in 2014 and then prioritize them.  Choose the top three or five, depending on their complexity, and go from there.

Bring a friend.  A friend becomes a fantastic accountability partner.  We tend to get things done if we know someone is waiting for us.

Use your technology:

The Outlook calendar and your smartphone can provide tremendous support for achieving your goals.

Setting a goal to get to the gym?  Create a repeating appointment on your calendar for the gym.  We tend not to break meetings and appointments on our calendar.  Set a reminder with enough time for you to get ready before you go to the gym.  If it take you 30 minutes to get ready before you head out the door, then your reminder should be set 30 minutes out.

Don’t forget your friends.  Make your appointment a meeting and invite them!  You will all be accountable to each other.

Schedule the things you don’t find time to do.  Want to eat healthier?  Then schedule an appointment to pack your lunch for the week (each evening) or prep your meals in advance.

Your children want to go to the park on Saturday.  Put it on the schedule.  If they have technology, invite them to a meeting or write it on the family calendar for all to see.

Don’t forget the goals that didn’t make the top of your list.  Make an appointment around December 30th of the new year (or a few weeks sooner) and list the goals you wanted to accomplish that didn’t make the list this year.

It’s not too late to create a new goal for the year!  Have fun, use your technology to help you succeed and Happy New Year!

Author:  Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

Best Gadget Gifts of 2013
Posted: December 18, 2013


Best gadget gifts of 2013

Looking for the perfect gift for your gadget geek?  Well, look no further because I have quite the list for you!  Whether your gadget geek needs these gifts for work or play, there is something here for everyone and every budget.

Let’s talk smartphones!  You have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing a smartphone.  If you are looking at an android phone then look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.  A leader in the android industry, the Samsung Galaxy is so versatile it would make you dinner if it could (the smartphone can help you find dinner).

Tack on the Samsung Galaxy Gear and you have yourself a watch that keeps you connected at a glance.  Email, text and talk from your wrist.

Is your notebook computer weighing you down?  Try a tablet!  Whether you are a fan of android, Windows or iOS, you have options.  Try the Google Nexus 7 android tablet, the Microsoft Surface Pro as the best business Windows tablet and the Apple iPad Air as the newest option in the iOS offerings.

We all suffer from the lack of battery power when we need it most.  If you own an iPhone, then try the PowerPak+ High Capacity Portable Charger.

Need something a little more portable?  Try the Portable Power Pack External Battery with Back Cover for iPhone 5.  The portable charger slips onto your iPhone like a case and gives you extra battery power in a jiffy.

If you have access to an electrical outlet and own several different devices, try the Power Practical Meter and Fast Charge Cable.  With adapters from 30-pin, USB Micro and USB Mini, this cable adapter has built-in circuits to get you charged in no time.

Need a place to store your phone?  No desk would be complete without the Beanbag Cellphone Chair.  Even your cell phone needs a break every now and then.

We all take pictures with our cell phone.  Make them more professional with the Olloclip iPhone Camera Lens System.  This lens fits over your iPhone giving you fisheye, wide-angle, and macro lenses in a tiny and convenient package.

With all these gadgets at our fingertips, we can’t forget gadget friendly gloves.  Keep your hands warm while engaging with your technical devices.

Do you use your smartphone as a GPS?  I rely on my phone exclusively when I travel.  When you find the perfect phone, Pro Clip USA has a large range of selections for mounting the phone in your car.  And, if you are traveling, here are some great Bluetooth headset options.

I would remiss if I didn’t mention the perfect app for your Smartphone.  An iTunes gift card can be your best go-to gift this year, but pair it with a list of the 50 Best Free Apps of 2013 and you will help your gadget geek save money and still be productive.

Happy shopping!

Author:  Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!

Category: What's new in Technology

iOS7 Battery Saving Tips
Posted: November 7, 2013


I still love iOS7 but, like you, I am dealing with trying to extend the battery power of my apple devices for as long as I can.  I have tried these latest tips and thought I would share them with you.

Background App Refresh

This lets apps run in the background while you are multi-tasking and continually refreshes content when running on Wi-Fi or a cellular network.  You can either go into Settings, General Background App Refresh to turn if off completely or choose which apps you want to refresh.

Location Services

Even apps such as the iOS camera are tracking your location.  Turn Location Services off completely in Settings, Privacy, Location Services or pick and choose the applications to track.  You should keep tracking services on apps such as Find my Phone, etc.

Siri

Even if you find Siri helpful, unless you constantly pick up your phone and ask Siri a question, you might want to turn off the Raise to Speak feature.  To turn off the feature, choose Settings, General, Siri, Raise to Speak.  

AirDrop

A great feature when you want to share files with others but AirDrop discovery mode is battery drainer when you’re not in the sharing mood.  To turn off AirDrop, swipe up from your home screen to enter Control Center, tap AirDrop and select Off.

Wallpaper

iOS 7 has added animated wallpapers.  Although they may add a little pizazz to your phone or iPad, they drain your battery unnecessarily.  Change to a static wallpaper by choosing Settings, Wallpaper & Brightness, Wallpaper.

Screen Brightness

Your apple device is probably bright enough (probably too bright) so lower the brightness to save some battery power.  Change the brightness by either swiping up from the home screen or choosing Settings, Brightness.

Hope these help!  Do you  have any iOS 7 tips to share?

Author:  Lisa Ryan lryan@microknowledge.com

Remember, if you are a MicroKnowledge customer and have a software question to ask, feel free to contact us at any time by using our Support link at the top of the site. Your question might be featured in our next blog entry!


Category: What's new in Technology


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