Posted on Leave a comment

iOS 10



Today Apple released the latest version of iOS (10) to the public. It’s a free upgrade for compatible devices. This article will reveal which devices, what’s new in iOS 10, and how to upgrade. This major upgrade to the software will be available for the following devices iPod Touch 6th generation and the following:

iPhone iPad
iPhone 6s iPad Pro 12.9 inch
iPhone 6s Plus iPad Pro 9.7 inch
iPhone 6 iPad Air 2
iPhone 6 Plus iPad Air
iPhone SE iPad 4th generation
iPhone 5s iPad mini 4
iPhone 5c iPad mini 3/td>
iPhone 5 iPad mini 2

What’s new in iOS 10

Now you can finally delete built-in apps you don’t use. That seems to be one of the most requested items of the past.

You can hand write messages, change how messages look, send “hidden” messages, add animations for things worth celebrating, tapback quick responses, send stickers, tap to replace words with emojis, leverage message apps without leaving iMessage, and customize your video messages.

Siri can do more heavy lifting with 3rd party apps such as booking a ride with Lyft or sending money via Square Cash. Maps can book reservations, search along your route to the restaurant, and make suggestions to get there faster than before. Music and News get a whole new look with iOS 10.

The new Home app gives you a centralize place to control your home automation. This can help automate common behaviors, have Siri assist, and even share access to friends and family. All the home automation you need in one place.

Raise your iPhone to wake it up then on compatible devices leverage touch and go functionality to get a quick glance. Notifications on the lock screen now include a new rich view along with the ability to respond without opening an app. Your iPhone is also getting even better with predicting your text and handling multilingual typing.

Video Source:

How to upgrade to iOS 10

  1. Make sure all your current apps have updated for compatibility.
  2. Backup your device using iCloud or iTunes!
  3. Plug into your Mac or PC and use iTunes to download and upgrade (recommended). You can also join Wifi and got to Settings > General > Software update, but some folks had issues with over-the-air updates.
  4. If you aren’t prompted to upgrade in iTunes make sure it is updated to at least version 12.5.1, or try selecting your device and clicking update.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted and sit back and wait.
Posted on Leave a comment

Electronics Recycling for Earth Day 2016


At Start On Technology we value how delicate our environment is on earth and how important it is to protect it. That’s why we are sure to recycle all our electronic waste produced by the services we provide. We are proud to be responsible agents of mother earth who make sure to use electronics recycling. The responsibility to reuse and recycle by Apple is one of the main reasons we prefer their equipment over others. It’s important that we all do what we can to be responsible for our mother earth. In honor of Earth Day we’d like to help provide information on the best ways to get rid of our old electronic junk.

Photo by Matthew Pearce. Rights reserved under Creative Commons 2.0. Retried via
Photo by Matthew Pearce. Rights reserved under Creative Commons 2.0. Retried via

One way and probably the best way to get rid of older Macs is to sell them. You can do this on your favorite an internet bidding site, directly with Apple’s Renew and Recycling Program, or other providers. Just be sure to do some research to find out the exact model you have now using a program like MacTracker. For the other providers do some research into the company and their policies to make sure they are legitimate. We help all our clients make the right decisions, so please if you are unsure just get in touch. We’d be happy to help point you in the right direction.

Sometimes these electronics are low-valued or simply too old to provide enough value, but that doesn’t mean you should drop your old electronics on the curb or in the trash can. Do the right thing by finding a local recycling agent such as the your local Apple Store or using the nationwide search below. You will probably be surprised how many others you find. If for whatever reason you have trouble there are many nationwide vendors such as SIMS Recycling Solutions that would gladly help you properly recycle your equipment


If you are living in South Florida then you can also take your electronic waste to special county centers in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. You can also find many private companies that can arrange pickup of this equipment for free or a small convenience fee too. If you are a client of ours then you will have piece of mind that we recycle for all our clients.

Posted on Leave a comment

What’s New in El Capitan


The digital landscape has changed in profound ways over the last 10 years. From pervasive smart phones to life-augmenting social networking sites, our world is more tech-connected than ever before.

But before iPhones, Galaxies, and Androids came into the picture with their future-forward touchscreen software set, there was Mac OS X.

Now just OS X, Apple’s operating system for its Mac computers turned 14 this year. Back in 2001, you could still find Napster installed on most people’s computers. You were one of the fortunate few (and spoiled) if your cell phone had a color screen, never mind having more than just a dial pad to type out entire sentences.

But time moves on, and so do the technologies powering our devices. This year marks the 11th update to OS X, known as El Capitan (or for those of you who like numbers, 10.11). How does everything look after 14 years? Not too bad, actually.

The Feel

For those on Apple’s previous system Yosemite (v. 10.10), the Cupertino company offered us the most comprehensive visual overhaul the Mac had to offer thus far, the aesthetics falling right into line with the way iOS had been updated for iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches. However, many complained of little quirks, visual slowdowns, and the occasional runaway process that would hog precious memory.


Needless to say, many of these woes have been addressed in El Capitan. Apps open much quicker, animations are smoother, and most apps have decreased memory demands. Even those with newer and high-end Mac systems will feel a difference, but it especially benefits those running much older computers. Most of these benefits can be attributed to Apple rebuilding their core collection of apps using Metal, a programming framework, which provides streamlined access to the Mac’s graphics processor. As a result, everything is smoother, faster, and more natural-feeling.

What’s New

El Capitan is light on major new features, but it more than makes up for it with a seemingly endless amount of feature tweaks. In this blog post, we’ll focus on handful of these tweaks; the full list can be found here.

Screenshot 2015-09-29 16.33.46

Split View easily takes the cake for most useful new item. A couple versions ago, we got the ability to put nearly every app in full screen. For some apps this made perfect sense, as they might contain a lot of information. Many people who’d previously been distracted by the dock and the menu bar hovering in their periphery hailed full-screen view. But most apps felt too big for full screen, and many wondered where a split-screen view was. Microsoft had been doing it for years.

Well look no further than El Capitan. Dragging any app window into a full-screened app splits their views in half. You can further determine the viewing size of both apps by simply dragging the separating bar left and right. It couldn’t be easier, and it couldn’t be more useful. Even better: as most websites have a desktop and mobile version, shrinking the view of a split-screened Safari or Chrome window will often times bring up the website’s mobile version automatically; see the screenshot for an example.

Screenshot 2015-09-29 16.46.12

Spotlight has gone through many iterations since OS X’s inception, but it has received some well-needed love in El Capitan. That little magnifying glass icon has more packed inside of it than ever before! Not only can it be used to search files and folders on your system, but you can search for the weather forecast, search by typing in plain English, immediately start playing videos from your search history, as well as move and resize the Spotlight window wherever you please. It may not sound like much in writing, but try it for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.

Screenshot 2015-09-29 16.51.18

The Mail app has also received some great additions. One of the best, as seen in the following screenshot, automatically grabs dates and contact info and gathers it at the top of the email message. From there, you’re only one click from adding a day and time to your calendar, as well as adding a new person to your contacts. Any attachments will also be gathered together in the same place. No more digging through emails for information!

Screenshot 2015-09-29 16.58.24

Lastly, Safari gets tricked out under the hood. Your favorite websites can be dragged to the left of your tabs to be “pinned,” keeping them in line with your open tabs and allowing you access them at anytime by clicking their logo. OS X’s Safari also plays catch up with the iPhone and iPad, letting you AirPlay directly from most websites’ videos without needing to share your entire screen. And a feature most of us have wanted since the late 90’s: have you ever had a lot of tabs open and start hearing speaking or music but have no idea where it’s coming from? Now you’ll see a “speaker” icon on the offending tab, which you can then click to mute. No more unwarranted interruptions!

Screenshot 2015-09-30 22.14.23


It’s not often we review something and recommend downloading and installing it after the first version, but this may be a rare exception. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do a little leg work and check if all your most-important, work-critical apps are compatible (RoaringApps is bar none the best index for this). As with any upgrade, your system should be backed up via Time Machine in case something goes awry.

In short, Yosemite gave us all a nice visual overhaul, with some wonderful features. El Capitan takes this one step further, smooths out the wrinkles, and shows how polished an Apple operating system can really be. If you’re in need of some assistance with installation, whether it’s learning how, needing hand-holding, or rolling it out to many Macs in an office, Start On Technology can help you to ease this process. Contact us today, and you’ll be up and running in no time!

Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, iTunes, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Posted on Leave a comment

iOS 9 New Feature Roundup


On September 16th iOS 9 was sent into the wild via over-the-air or iTunes update. Right away users started to notice the update size is much smaller than iOS 8 by around 3.5 times. This made the update process fairly easy for everyone who was prepared. Of course if you haven’t updated yet we always recommend a backup to iCloud or iTunes before getting started. Let’s get started with the roundup by exploring what’s really new in iOS 9 instead of finding out there is no emoji for flipping the bird.

The most obvious thing folks have noticed is the new San Francisco font that Apple switched to with iOS 9. The biggest response on Twitter #iOS9 seems to be related to Siri’s beep no longer is heard during accidental presses during inappropriate times. Of course with the new comes the new bugs, yet  the outcries haven’t been so bad.

New & Improved Apps at your disposal.

Where do you go to get news on what’s new? Apple has added a new app for that called Neios-9-newsws built for your device. You can pick from multiple sources and the app will funnel everything to you in a sleek interface. The more you use it the better it understands your likes and updates your feed to reflect it over time.

iCloud Drive is finally navigable across all devices with it’s new file system update and app you can add to the home screen to help. Meanwhile Wallet is getting fatter with plenty of new cards coming.

Make a note of it in the improved Notes app that now allows checklists, photos, and even a sketch with your finger. You can attach things to your notes and find them all in a special browser. Of course you can sync with iCloud to get your devices on the same page with those new checklists.

While out and about checking those boxes you can now use Maps for transit, what’s nearby, and even give you a faster route if it becomes available if you are driving. An overdue overhaul that finally brings the features everyone expects from mobile directions.

Power struggles and selfies are different now.

ios-9-powerYour iOS device is even more responsive with the addition of Metal. In addition Apple states user can benefit with 1 more additional hour of battery life. This was accomplished by streamlining key components of iOS 9 and adding a new feature to enable a low power mode. With this new power users can take even more selfies with new album dedicated for it.

Security in an unsafe world.

Now you can strengthen the already locked down iOS by moving from a 4 to 6 digit passcode. Making the encryption even harder to break for those who are trying to access your device. A good idea in this day and age along with two-factor authentication to keep prying eyes out of your cloud and devices.

What’s that Siri, you finally made friends with Cortana?ios-9-siri-cortana

Siri got even more useful with a tighter integration with suggestions that a personal assistant would make or know. She has some new flare to share with end users such as color waves, snappy new lines, and new sources of information. Now she can help with unknown callers before you even ask her or help you pickup on your favorite playlist. Want to pick this up later? Just tell Siri she’s got your back. She’s even proactive about it just looking at a flight email unlocks easy access to details to even add it to your calendar. Siri has been upgraded to rockstar status.

iPad users rejoice then split down the middle.

Multitasking is here with picture in picture, split screen, and slide overs. Reference a page while typing up a synopsis, pop your messages over to quickly respond to a text, and watch the ball game when your suppose to be reading your email. Just mix and match the possibilities that work for you then speed things up even more with shortcuts with QuickType on the keyboard.

iTunes Update

Of course an iTunes update is needed to suppose iOS 9 and tacks on some fixes to address minor bugs. Those security enhancements we discussed earlier also come in to play with this update.

Ditch the Droid

Now switchers can easily move information from their Android device to the iPhone. Very similar ios-9-appto how Apple’s migration assistant transferred terabytes and terabytes of user data from Windows. Need a nudge? Let’s make it easier to move devices.

iOS 9 isn’t OS X

Overall the update primarily seems to be cosmetic, but peeling back reveals it’s more systematic. Polishing the face, enhancing the use, and streamlining the flow of information is exciting; however, there does seem to be a lot of the same. With new products like iPad Pro and iPhone 6s leading the way I expect the gap will narrow further between iOS and OS. It’s still okay that iOS 9 feels familiar when the experience remains positive. I expect the naysayers will be in full force, but so far 24 hours into it I am not one of them. Go backup and download iOS 9 now it’s worth it.

iCloud, iOS, iPad, Siri, iTunes, and QuickType are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All Right Reserved.
Posted on Leave a comment



After nearly a decade of working in the tech business I’ve seen my fair share of apps come and go. It’s not very often that an app brings something so valuable while maintaining simplicity. Living in our data driven society it’s valuable to have what’s important to you available at a glance. Numerous is able to provide this feature by integrating with many data feeds, and by them adding limitless APIs through IFTTT and Zapier the possibilities are vast. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite tiles.


Working from left to right and top to bottom these are my main focus tiles at the moment. You can easily move them around as you see fit, and setup is a snap. My most difficult tile is the top left mileage tracking which utilizes my Automatic and IFTTT that was pre-existing. I simply just had to create my own tile and point IFTTT to Numerous to use that square. I changed the background to reflect the tile for a clear message. Clicking on the tile shows the history and a quick rotate of your device gives you a historic graph. You can change views and share the data via message, air drop, email, social media, and more.


Some more tiles I choose were related to gaining insight into my business, Start On Technology help me stay on top of our web traffic. It addition it helps with our social media presence and personal details like weather and stocks. Feel free to browse their channels on the numerous site for ideas.

If you need help getting started with Numerous, IFTTT, or are interested in Automatic for your business we can help automate your world. Just contact us for details.

Posted on Leave a comment

Where is My Data?

There’s no doubt that technological innovation has made it much easier for us to go about our day-to-day lives. Need to snap a picture? Pull out your phone. Need to view and modify your calendar? Pull out your phone. Need to share anything with anyone? Pull out your phone. Or computer. Or tablet.

With all of this innovation, surely there must be some centralized location where all your documents, media, and the like are stored, right?

Not exactly…

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore the various places your data can be. Some have been around since before the personal computer existed, some cropping up in just the last 10 years. From your hard drive to the cloud, where is everything really? Read on to find out.

Local Hardware

This refers to physical media that you likely have at your house, the office, in a carrying case, in your pocket, or tucked away in a box somewhere. The key thing to remember is that this information is hosted locally. If one of your devices gets fried, then that data could be gone forever, unless you have a backup.

Internal Storage

You know the device you’re using right now to read this? It has it’s own capacity to store documents and media. By default, most devices with internal storage save whatever it is your working on into its own file directory. This will look different depending on the device you’re using; e.g. Finder on the Mac, My Documents on a PC, the Photos app on the iPhone/iPad, etc.

Removable Media

These are external storage devices that can be inserted into your computer and then removed easily once you’re done with them. Any sorts of data can be written to these devices, although most use them for media and backups. The most common removable media are external hard drives, SD cards (usually from digital cameras), USB thumb drives, and CDs/DVDs.

Network-Attached Storage (NAS)

A wireless version of removable media, NAS is typically connected to a home or office network to offer extended storage. Although this could be seen as “cloud-based” technology, as you’re accessing the information wirelessly, it is not- as the source of the data is still local.

Clouds, Servers, & Websites

These include anything that are not usually localized hardware. Some of the following items always require an internet connection to access, whereas some only need internet temporarily to update the localized version of the document.

Cloud-Based Storage

This is when you have a destination whose true location is in a managed, remotely-located server, but typically appears on your computer like any other folder (and as dedicated apps on mobile devices). Some of these services include Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and iCloud. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that these are backup solutions- they aren’t. They are merely mirroring what the user is doing on their device. If you delete a cloud-based folder, it will be deleted from your computers and apps. Some services allow you to retrieve something you recently deleted (Dropbox), whereas some don’t (Google Drive).


Cloud-based storage is but one variation of a server. Usually located remotely, they give one or more users a dedicated computer to run specialized software, have a unified place to store data, and can be locked down and managed with special security measures to ensure business-sensitive items are safe.


You know those photos you uploaded to Facebook four years ago? They’re still there, far back on your timeline, unless you’ve manually deleted them. That goes for many other web-based services as well, from social media storing media you’ve uploaded, to e-commerce websites storing your credit card information, to file uploading services.

Back It Up!

Needless to say, all of your most important information should be backed up somewhere, as any number of things could make your primary storage medium cease working. Some examples of such things are liquid damage, dropping the device, leaving the device out in extreme temperatures, or just plain old wear-and-tear over the lifespan of the device.

On Mac’s, backing up involves the use of the built-in Time Machine software, which backs up your data to local hardware. There are also cloud-based backup systems, such as BackBlaze and CrashPlan, which exist for both Macs and PCs. You can also manually drag-and-drop your data onto most of the aforementioned storage mediums, but such a routine quickly becomes tedious if you want your backups to stay consistent with your current data.


So what do you do now that you’re armed with this knowledge? Well, for starters, make sure the main repository of your information is backed up somewhere, as well as double check any of the secondary-use mediums for important data and back them up accordingly.

Thanks for checking out my blog post, and thank yourself after you’ve identified your most important data, where it is, and how to best back it up!

Still stuck on how to best proceed? That’s what we’re here for! Reach out to us to receive advice and guidance for how to best manage your data, as well as a plethora of other services such as data recovery, Mac repairs and upgrades, and training. You can check out our full list of services here.

Apple, iPad, iMac, MacBook Air, Mac, Time Machine, OS X, Apple logo, and Apple Store logo are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on Leave a comment

There’s power in information | Mac Specs

Your Mac is your gateway to knowledge, productivity, and connecting to others. You may use it daily, or more sparsely if you prefer the likes of your iPhone and/or iPad. Regardless of your usage, there’s something all Mac users need to know how to get to:

The system’s information.

Finding this info is as easy as clicking the Apple logo in your upper-left-hand corner and choosing “About This Mac.”

The Apple menu's drop-down.
This is the Apple logo’s drop-down menu.

You will then be greeted with one of two windows, depending on the age of your system. Those running OS X 10.9 or 10.10, commonly known as “Mavericks” and “Yosemite,” will see the window below, whereas those on OS X 10.8 or earlier will see the second window.

"About This Mac" on newer Macs.
This will show for newer Mac users.
"About This Mac" for older Macs.
This will show for older Mac users.

This may seem like a topic that “the average user” need not entertain the thought of reading into. But, if you want to squeeze the most out of your investment, as well as decrease frustrations with slowness and unresponsiveness, seeing the system info is square one.

Both of the previous windows show the amount of memory your Mac has installed, which indicates it’s multi-tasking capabilities. If you’re running a Mac at 4GB of memory or less and are on (or want to be on) the newest operating system, “Yosemite,” we strongly recommend upgrading your system to at least 8 GB. To find out if your Mac qualifies, click here to fill out our memory upgrade form.

For newer systems, all the necessary information for the form will be in the “About This Mac” window. If you’re on OS X 10.8 or earlier, press the “More Info” button to open the “System Information” app and grab the model identifier.

Model identified and technical info!
There’s a lot of other technical info here as well.

If you’re on a newer Mac and want to get to the “System Information” app, press the “Apple” button, hold down the “Option” key on your keyboard, and choose “System Information.”

The alternate options while holding “Option.”

Use your “About This Mac” window to also see how much space is left on your hard drive.

The author's Mac showing low space.
Yikes! My Mac is running out of space!

Armed with this information, you know where to look to free up space. If you bog down your system’s storage too much, you may one day see the message below:

Something's not right...
Oh no! What did I break?!

By this point, your system is crawling, certain apps aren’t functioning the way they should, and some things just flat out won’t save. Why? Simply put, you’ve got too many files on your Mac. You resolve this by moving files to an external storage device- but, in most cases, the culprits are large files you didn’t even realize are there. Simply deleting them will free up space. To see how large a document, photo, song, video, or folder is, select it and press “Command+I” on your keyboard.

(To become a wiz with keyboard shortcuts, check out our blog post on them!)

I wonder if this is a problem...
Wow: half my drive is music.

So take the tools you’ve learned in this post and go explore your Mac’s info! You’ll be surprised by what you learn. If you’re thirsty for more knowledge about your Apple devices, click here to purchase training time with me. I am the resident Apple trainer here at Start On Technology.

We look forward to boosting your Mac’s speeds, and I look forward to enhancing your understanding of your computer!

Apple, Apple Store, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Posted on Leave a comment

Keyboard Shortcuts

Have you ever seen someone use a computer with such speed that you wonder, “What the heck are they doing?” Things just seem to happen magically, as the windows open and close, text automatically appears, and text becomes formatted. All without using the mouse or trackpad, for your MacBook wielders.

Today’s blog post is here to pull back the veil and reveal the truth: keyboard shortcuts.

Example A:

CommandDoes the above symbol look familiar? If you’re a Mac user, you can see the “Command” key, along with its clover-like emblem, on either side of the space bar. Most keyboard shortcuts start by pressing this key and then pressing — while continuing to hold “Command” — another key. For those of you coming from the world of Microsoft’s Windows platform, “Control” was the key that performed this function.

Think you might of seen this symbol somewhere else? If you’ve ever clicked any section in your Mac’s menu bar, which is hard not to do, it’s been hiding in plain sight in one of the drop down menus.

Example B:

Screenshot 2015-04-02 11.25.21

Each one of the options shown in this screenshot is supplemented by keyboard shortcut, shown to the right. Once your done looking at the “File” section, move on to the “Edit” section to see its shortcuts as well. There are some additional symbols that you likely won’t recognize, as they aren’t given an overt description, nor do they have their symbols printed on the keys.

Example C:



Some of the keyboard shortcuts are universal, meaning that they can be used and relied upon no matter which app you’re doing. The app-specific keyboard shortcuts is where the convenience of CheatSheet really comes into play. Here’s a quick list of universal shortcuts:

  • Command Q = quit app (only exception is the Finder)
  • Command W = close window
  • Command A = select all
  • Command S = save current document/page
  • Command Z = undo (Shift Command Z = redo)
  • Command X = cut
  • Command C = copy
  • Command V = paste
  • Command P = print
  • Command B = bold
  • Command I = italics
  • Command U = underline

Try some of them out for yourself! We recommend compiling a best-of list and keeping it close at hand for reference. After some time of use, you may be surprised to see that you need to reference your cheat sheet less and less as muscle memory takes over.

You can customize and see what shortcuts are available by navigating to System Preferences and looking under the Keyboard section.

If after reading this you’re pumped up about really optimizing your workflow but still need some assistance, we offer Personal Mac Training. We can train remotely, as well as onsite (if you’re located in South Florida).

Now take those keyboard shortcuts and start on streamlining your workflow!

Apple, Apple Store, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on Leave a comment

Mac Spring Cleaning


Spring is here! Celebrate the vernal equinox with us by taking some time to clean up your Mac. Our guide will provide some places to start your Mac spring cleaning along with some great, free and paid tools. Typically the Mac handles optimization on-the-fly and most maintenance is done in the background. You have probably noticed during installation of new software a point where it is “Optimizing” during the end of the installation. Still from time to time Applications can not operate as expected, so try some quick solutions first.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

The ol’ trusty restart can in some cases be a good place to start when an application isn’t performing up-to-par. Sometimes it’s as easy as quitting and re-opening the problem application. It’s always a good idea to do a backup and save work before trying any troubleshooting. Rarely but in some circumstances, shutting down or restarting can make matters worse, especially if you’re not prepared with a backup. Typically this only emerges when your Mac is running slow as molasses signaling a possible drive failure or file system problem.

My friend said permission repairs fix everything.

Another great thing about your Mac is it comes with tools built-in called Utilities to help you out. Seasoned Mac users know about these tools found under the Go menu in Finder. One gem application in particular is Disk Utility.

It gives you details about the health and space of your hard drives and allows you to fix application access issues and check your file structure. Sometimes an application doesn’t work correctly because it’s trying to access something that the operating system (OS) is prohibiting due to access issues. That’s what choosing your boot drive, typically named “Macintosh HD,” on the left side and choosing Repair Permissions can do. It only really helps when your apps aren’t working as expected. It’s far from a magic fix-all, but it can help troubleshoot an issue. Don’t be surprised if running the permission repair multiple times yields the same messages. It’s almost never something to be alarmed about, but informative to developers to update their app. Verification of the Disk can warn you about a more serious issue, and it will take a chunk of time suspending use of the Mac.

Some others worth checking out in the utility folder are Console, Activity Monitor, and Keychain. Activity Monitor and Console can give you insight into what is happening in the moment. Sometimes you can see what app is messing up, but often it’s hard for even professionals to decode. The Keychain can help with password issues, but be warned you could end up resetting a ton of passwords if you mess up the keychain. It’s better to check it’s health in preferences and make a backup before touching the individual items listed.

I’ll try a PRAM reset after I clear Cache. That always seems to fix it.

Cache lives on your Mac to help speed things up. Sometimes an application is reading the cache instead of what you want it to do. Clearing this forces everything from the application down to the kernel (lowest-level) to stop relying on bad information found in the cache. Clearing your cache folder found in ~/Library/ and /Library/ can help ( The “~” means your home folder in which the hidden Library lives). The system folder also has it’s own version, but wiping any of  these out can cause problems (This is why it’s hidden). There are programs that can help out which you can read about in the next section.

Another classic recommendation is resetting the PRAM. Typically this does nothing more than make your Mac chime twice during boot, but even seasoned professionals try this one almost immediately out of habit. However, newer Macs don’t rely on this as heavily as before. You could lose important log files and make unintended changes by doing this action and clearing your NVRAM (non-volatile RAM). This only seems to help with booting issues and devices plugged into your post, so please learn more about this on Apple’s support site before jumping the gun:

Automate it with the __________ application.

These days most home users and professionals have an endless amount of Mac apps available via the App Store or online, which is where the uneducated user can fubar everything with only a few clicks and a password. Anytime you give your password while installing or running an application you better either know what the app is or why it needs that password. Otherwise you could be willingly installing malware (bad stuff that can spy on you and/or infect your Mac). You may be thinking your saving yourself a trip to the Apple Store or to your local Apple Consultant or Apple Service Provider, but you could end up shooting yourself in the foot. That’s why when my tooth hurts I don’t get a hammer, screwdriver, and pliers to fix it myself, but instead I call my Dental Professional. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying some floss in this example couldn’t save me a trip, but I need to exhaust what I know to do before getting help. Below are some great free applications to help give you ideas, but use with caution and understand these programs can wreck everything and ruin your day if not used properly (like using a knife incorrectly):

  • Time Machine (built-in) can help create a backup for you beforehand. If you proceed in life without a backup, you will loose data at some point in life I promise. Alternatively you can pay us for a great inexpensive, easy solution called Backblaze.  Not bad to have two backups running just in case.
  • Disk Inventory X can give you a nice graph showing how much data you filled up on your Mac. Always good to keep at a minimum 10% of your total space free and available.
  • Onyx can help force maintenance and automate some of the items we discussed. It’s important to get the correct version and use a beta version with caution.
  • Hazel can help you manage your downloads folder if it’s out of control.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your own suggestions or contact us for help.

Apple, Apple Store, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Posted on Leave a comment

The Big Picture: Apple Support


apple support

People purchase Apple products every day because of their simplicity, capabilities, and relatively “bug-free” experience. However, another feature that sets Apple apart from the competition is their comprehensive Apple Support system. You might be surprised at how much support is readily available. Much of it allows one to solve problems on their own, keeps the time needed to fix the issue down, and gives plenty of options to get practically any issue resolved. Read on to get the lowdown!

 Apple Support

You start by landing on an aesthetically-pleasing webpage that offers the typical roster of support features: online manuals, latest downloads, and support contact info. If the issue you’re having is pertaining to usability, such as the need to comprehend how to use a feature or finding good shortcuts, all you made need is a glance at the manual.

Dig deeper by simply scrolling down to see the multitude of ways you can get in touch with real people. There are many technology-related companies that only offer their support through email or a web form. In addition to email support, we see the following:

  • The Support Community, where you can ask your specific question and have it answered by the Apple Community as a whole
  • Phone support, where you can either have a support agent call you, or schedule a day and time for the call
  • Chat support, where you chat with the agent through your browser window, and almost always connects within minutes
  • And lastly the Genius Bar, which is where you would arrange to take your Apple product to a brick-and-mortar Apple Store to work in person with one of their in-house technicians, referred to as Geniuses


A quick-and-easy way to check out your warranty status is through this page. After typing in your serial number, you’re given key coverage information pertaining to your support service status, namely which services still have support and when they expire. Conveniently, Apple has placed a couple buttons that’ll take you to make the necessary appointment if assistance is needed.


Without exception, each Apple product comes gratis with a one-year warranty. After said year is up, you can still get your items repaired or replaced, but it will always be at a cost. Enter AppleCare, which extends your coverage an addition one or two years depending on the product. Note: AppleCare must be added on at the time the Apple product is purchased.

All iOS items have an augmented version known as AppleCare+, which adds on physical damage protection, albeit with a $49-$79 service fee. In the big picture, the fee is nominal, since something as easy-to-do as cracking the screen can run $149 or more. If you plan on owning your device for 3+ years, it really is a no brainer.

My Support Profile

Surprisingly one of the lesser-used pages, the Support Profile page gives a full rundown of your relationship with Apple Support. This includes which serialized items are attached to your Apple ID, how many cases you’ve opened, and how many repairs your devices have received. You can also configure the extremely-useful and time-saving VoicePass. Once set up, calling from one of the phone numbers on file will instantly give the support agent your complete device history. Log in and make sure everything is up to date!


Sometimes Apple won’t be able to resolve the issue at hand through their in-house support. Such items include support for data recovery, outdated vintage models, and third-party apps. It’s because of this that they make available two groups of partners, referred to as Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASP) and the Apple Consultants Network (ACN).


Start On Technology is an example of an ACN member. Apple’s location finder page gives you the ability to search through both groups of partners as well as training centers, resellers, and Apple’s own retail stores.

Did you enjoy this blog post? Make sure to check out our others as well! You never know what you’ll learn.

Need help? Of course we can lend a hand just contact us.

Apple, Apple Store, AppleCare, Genius Bar are registered trademarks of Apple, Inc. All rights reserved.