Should I get the new iPhone?

Last week Apple showed off their newest iPhone, the 8, the 8 Plus, and the X (Ten). The question is now, should you get one?

 

If you have an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, only upgrade if you are the kind of person who wants the best of the best and the newest tech. If that’s you, you should get the iPhone X. Impress your friends with Face Unlock and that amazing new OLED Screen! If you are fine with your 7/7+ then I wouldn’t upgrade. The phone you have will be fine and last you for another year.

 

If you have a 6S or 6S+ and like your phone, keep it for another year, but if you are feeling ready to upgrade, go for the 8. The iPhone 8 works just like your iPhone that you have with no learning curve (unlike the X)

 

If you have anything lower than a 6S and 6S+, it might be time to upgrade. If just want an iPhone and don’t really care about all the new features, go for the iPhone SE or the now much cheaper 6S or 7. But if you are going for a brand-new iPhone, go for the 8. The iPhone 8 works just like your iPhone that you have with no learning curve (unlike the X).

 

If you have any questions about the new iPhone (or any phone) please give us a call!

 

-Samuel

What's the big deal with fiber?

If you’ve seen the Pocket iNet videos on Facebook and yard signs in front of people’s houses, then you might know that fiber internet is coming to Walla Walla. But, to an average person, what does this mean?

Well put simply, Fiber Internet is not a new “kind of internet” but a new way of bringing it to your home. When people talk about Fiber, they are talking about Fiber Optic Cable. This cable consists of thin (like hair) glass stands. These strands use pulses of light from LED’s or a laser to transmit data.

Ok, so now there’s a fancy cable bringing my internet, but how does that help me?

Do you like fast internet? Yes, you do because we all do. Fiber can bring up to 1 Gigabyte of data per second into your home! By comparison, most people in Walla Walla have Charter. They offer 60 Megabytes per second download speeds and 4 Megabytes per second upload speeds. So, you could have 60 Mb/s or 1 Gb/s (which is 1000 Mb/s!) The point is: It’s Fast!

But there are also other advantages to Fiber as well. The main two being reliability, and that the data is not easily interfered with by other wires and signals.

All of these things lead to a better internet experience.

 
 

If you want to know more, check out the video below:

Should I upgrade? - iPhone Edition

With a lot of hype around the new iPhone 8 (and iPhone 7s and 7s Plus), many people are asking themselves if now is the time to upgrade? Well, that depends on who you are, but we can help! Also, click here to check out what the new iPhone 8 might up its sleeve!

 

If you have an iPhone 7/7 Plus

         Don’t upgrade unless you really want to. The iPhone 7 has great RAM and processer speed and is barely a year old, so the phone has 2 more years in its life cycle.

 

If you have an iPhone 6s/6s Plus/SE

         You should consider upgrading if you have a chance. But the new iPhones might be more expensive, so if you’re on a budget, say with your 6s. The phone still works great (cough cough I still have one!) and will take care of most anything you through at it.

 

If you have an iPhone 6/6 Plus

         Ok, it’s time. You’re really going to start noticing the speed difference if you ever use a friend’s new iPhone. And with iOS 11 on its way, it would be a great time to make the switch

 

Anything older

         Yep, get a new phone. It’s time.

 

Thinking of your first iPhone?

         Then the iPhone 8 won’t be for you. Instead try the much cheaper iPhone SE or 6s. If you are coming from Android then download the “Move to iOS” App to help you out!

What's new in iOS for iPhone

Another year, which means another version of iOS (the operating system for iPhones and iPads). In June of this year, Tim Cook (along with other high-ranking Apple Executives) unveiled the new software coming to all in the Fall. Now that we’re getting closer to the release date, let’s take a minute to find out what’s been changed.

 

Side Note: Yes, you should update. In every version of any software lies improvements to the built-in security. This will help protect you from many threats from the internet and other places as well.

 

1.   Control Center

Control Center got an all-new redesign for like the third time (They just can seem to get this one right…). Apple added more functionality to Control Center as well as change how you use it. You sill access it by swiping from the bottom of your screen to the top. However, the two-page system Apple added last time is now gone. Instead, you are now left with a series of buttons, sliders, and a square box for music control. While this redesign might seem not necessary, Apple added some new features to the Control Center. You can now add “toggles” (those little buttons that change things on your iPhone) and shortcuts to things like the timer and notes. Better yet, if you have an iPhone 6s or 7 (or the plus sized versions of those) you can 3D TOUCH anything and get more information on that setting! Now, this might seem like a lot, but once you use it, you wonder how you used anything else.

 

2.   Screenshots

How you take screenshots has not changed, but what you can do with them has. You still take a screenshot by pressing the home and power button together. When you do this, you will see a white flash on your screen letting you know that a screenshot was taken. However, while in iOS 10, the screenshot was saved to photos, in iOS 11, the screenshot is still saved in Photos but also appears in the bottom left of your screen. You can dismiss it, or you can tap it. When you tap on it the photo blows up and mark up tools are shown. You can draw or write on it. Then you can send it off to whoever you want. This makes it easy to quickly capture something and highlight for your friend.

 

3.   App Store

The App Store got a major redesign for iOS 11, and the first big changes since the original App Store. The new changes should be easy enough to understand, just make sure to read the labels!

 

4.   Siri

Siri is starting to get better after some real completion from Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. Siri should now understand you better, and can now translate things into other languages! Nice if you’re traveling abroad!

 

5.   Notifications

This might become the most confusing part of iOS 11. When swipe down from the top to see your notifications, you open what’s called notification center. It’s a two-page system where widgets from the app are on the left page, and notifications from apps are on the right page. However, in iOS 11, when you pull down you’re taken what looks like the lock screen with a list of your notifications. You might thing you’ve locked your phone, but you haven’t. The widgets page or “Today” view is now gone and now only lives on the left page from your home screen. You might get confused, but if you are ever lost just remember to just hit the home button and start over.

Get the most out of your iPhone!

The iPhone is the gold standard in smartphones, yet many people don’t take advantage of all the features that it offers. Here are a couple of things that your iPhone can do that you should try:

 

1. Email – The original smartphone was designed so that people could email on the go. Many people still don’t utilize this basic feature that has become a staple of the smartphone. With many third-party apps, and the one’s built in to iOS and Android, there is something for everyone.

2. Social Media – Many people has Facebook accounts, yet many don’t have the Facebook app on their phone, and instead they go to the mobile website. The Facebook app is much better than the mobile website, and faster.

3. Siri – A lot of people think Siri is an annoyance. However, she can be very helpful in many situations, especially is you enable “Hey Siri.” When Hey Siri is turned on, you can activate Siri by simply saying “Hey Siri.” So, if you are driving or your hand are full and you want to know what time it is or change the music, just ask!

4. Reminders/Task App – You can use the built-in task app, or you can download one from the app store. This is great way to keep track of the thing you must do during your day. This has saved me on more than one occasion. You can set location or times to remind you to complete tasks.

5. Music – The iPhone was designed to also be the best iPod ever built, and yet most people don’t use it for music. The iPhone is a great music player, and if you don’t want to use Apple Music or iTunes, then there are plenty of free third party app just for this function such as Pandora or Spotify.

Ransomware: What is it and how do I protect myself?

I woke up last Wednesday morning, picked up my iPad and started to read my daily news. The first thing that I read was an article on Business Insider about a new type of Ransomware raging across Europe and spreading into the US. This got me thinking about how much people know about cyber security and the different types of infections people can receive on their devices, knowing or unknowingly. So, I am going to start writing about Cyber Security. In my first article, I am going to talk about Ransomware.

 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a computer program that once on your computer and running, will start to encrypt your hard drive. What that means is using military level security, it locks down your hard drive and you can’t access any of your files. The only way to get them back to send money to who created the software, and in exchange they give you the key to unlock your hard drive. The Good Wife on CBS did a good episode on this (Season 6 Episode 5), as Ransomware typically attacks business because of their deeper pockets.

 

 

I’ve been attacked by Ransomware. What do I do?

As soon as you notice something off disconnect your network ASAP and unplug your computer and power down as fast as you can. They could be a chance the ransomware hasn’t finished encrypting your hard drive and some of your files might be able to be saved. If this is the case, contact a local Data Recovery Specialist and ask.

 

 

What happens after I pay them?

Well, this is a toss-up. Some will unlock your hard drive and files, and some won’t. It’s a risk. Many people don’t pay on principal, as you are paying a criminal.

 

Do I contact the police?

Yes. Contact your local police department. Many police departments have yet to adapt to online crimes such as Ransomware. After this, contact your local FBI office. The Department of Justice has a list of who to contact depending on the crime. Click here to see (https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/reporting-computer-internet-related-or-intellectual-property-crime).

 

Geez Samuel, this is scary! How do I protect myself?

Three things you can do.

1.     Always Update your Computer/Phone/Tablet. New software update always includes security updates and patches.

2.     Keep a Back Up of all your important files. Set up a backup drive and keep a copy of your most important files. (If you need help, feel free to give us a call!)

3.     Install an anti-virus software. While macOS and Windows 10 both include anti-virus software, if might be worth wile to invest in something like Norton or Avast. Avast has a free version of their software that works great (and it’s what I use.)

 

I hope this information helps, and if you have any question or would like to see if you are protected give us a call at (509) 200-5306.