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Posts Tagged ‘Applications’

Rumors Become Truth: Windows 10 Unveiled

Rumors Become Truth: Windows 10 Unveiled

Recently we wrote a blog about the upcoming Microsoft announcement of the rumored Windows 9. Yesterday, Microsoft revealed the new name and look of the new Windows, Windows 10.

With over 1.5 billion people using Windows, Microsoft is working to make Windows 10 a “one application platform” across all devices. As stated in yesterday’s reveal, “Windows 10 will be [Microsoft’s] most comprehensive platform, ever.”

Windows 10 will be built to focus on a mobile-first, cloud-first world. Microsoft explains Windows 10 as having “the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the elements of Windows 8”.

Some of the features of Windows 10 include:

  • Incorporating the Start button with the application tiles. This allows you to stay on one screen rather than navigate between the touch screen and desktop screen like in Windows 8.
  • Ability to change the size of the Start Menu and tiles within it to your liking.
  • A more advanced searching system, including web results.
  • Keeping the Charm Bar, but modifying it to accommodate more touch screen users.
  • Separating corporate and personal data across devices.
  • Keeping the snap view for classic and universal apps that users know from Windows 7.
  • A multiple desktop. Users can switch between different desktops to keep apps running in their own areas.
  • Ability to paste directories into the command prompt with CTRL + V.
  • A “continuum” feature for two-in-ones to change modes based on touch and keyboard input.

Today, October 1, 2014, Microsoft is releasing a preview of Windows 10 with the Windows Insider Program. Microsoft is encouraging consumer feedback from the preview, in hopes to create a product everyone will enjoy. The actual release of Windows 10 is planned for late 2015.

Want to check out the preview and add your input? Check it out at preview.windows.com.

What are your thoughts on Windows 10? Let us know on Facebook, LinkedIn, or tweet us @atnetplus

After All the Hype and Rumor – Apple Reveals It All

After All the Hype and Rumor – Apple Reveals It All

Today, Apple announced some new products and features at the Flint Center in California (originally where the first Mac was unveiled). The announcement was broadcast live via apple.com.

With the excitement of the rumored iPhone 6, people began camping outside Apple stores earlier this week with anticipation of possible releases. Mock up pictures of the “new iPhone 6” have been posted throughout the Internet, all re-imagining what Apple has been rumored to release.

Not only was the new iPhone announced, the Apple Watch and Apple Pay were also on the announcement list.

Here is a roundup of products and features that Apple is releasing, announced via their live webcast:


  • iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which will include:
    • Bigger screens (the iPhone 6 being slightly smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus) and a curvier look. Each phone will be offered in gold, silver, and space gray. New cases will also be available in both elastic and leather.
    • The new phones will run games just as good as a gaming console.
    • Equal or better battery life than the iPhone 5s.
    • Motion sensors that can tell you how many steps you have taken and measure your distance and elevation.
    • New wireless capabilities that include faster LTE.
    • Clearer phone calls and the ability to make a standard call using a Wi-Fi Network.
    • Enhanced photo taking. With focus pixels, the camera on both phones will have better auto focus. You can also take macro photos and bigger panoramas. Enhanced video capabilities with continuous autofocus.
    • The starting cost is $199, and increases to $299 and $399 depending on the amount of storage; all with 2 year contract.
    • iOS 8, that comes with Touch ID. It will be available for download on September 17, 2014.
    • Both phones will be available for preorder on September 12, 2014. They will ship in the US on September 19, 2014.


  • Apple Pay will allow consumers to use their credit cards on their phones at participating locations.
    • Adding a credit card to the system will be simple. Just take a picture of the card and get it verified by your bank.
    • All transactions are private, only known between you, the vendor, and your bank.
    • Participating locations will include: Subway, McDonalds, Walgreens, Whole Foods, Disney, and all Apple stores.
    • You can order items online more effectively and securely.
    • There is no cost for Apple Pay and will be available in October.


  • Apple Watch – a brand new product from Apple will change the way you see a watch. Features include:
    • Customization of both the interface and straps (band) for a more personal appearance and capability.
    • The straps are easily interchangeable, as well as sweat and chemical resistant. Apple Watch can be worn all day for any occasion.
    • Both a smaller and larger version of the watch to fit everyone.
    • It becomes a health and fitness device with motion sensors that keep track of your footsteps and heart beat (while taking your pulse).
    • To navigate the smaller screen, you use the watch’s digital crown (knob).
    • You can communicate by a simple tap, drawing a picture, or even by your own heartbeat.
    • Interactive, animated emojis of which you can customize the facial expressions.
    • Watch Kit, which allows developers to highly customize and work with Apple. It is also more involved with third-party applications.
    • Apple Watch can unlock a hotel door with a scanning feature.
    • Apple TV can be controlled using the watch
    • When riding public transportation, Apple Watch even reminds you to get off at your stop.
    • It is compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus.
    • It comes with a wireless, magnetic charger.
    • The Apple Watch will start at $349 and will be available early next year.


What new features and products are you excited for? Let us know on Facebook or tweet us @atnetplus

Want learn more about iOS 8? Check out our blog

IFTTT…What’s this? What’s that?

IFTTT…What’s this? What’s that?

IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that allows you to connect different apps to work together for one common purpose. With the simple creation of an account, you can start making recipes. What is a recipe you ask? An IFTTT recipe is the mixture of a Trigger (This) and an Action (That) of active channels. Popular channels include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Gmail
  • SMS
  • Weather

To check the full list of channels, click here

To begin using IFTTT, you first need to create a free account. Once your account is created, just choose the specific channels for your chosen recipe (filling in the appropriate information for each channel) and the rest is automatically done for you. It’s that easy.

With so many recipe options, where do you start? The most common recipes include social media connection. Do you want your Twitter feed to update with your Facebook? Do you want your Instagram pictures to be posted to your Twitter at the same time? There are recipes for all those things, plus more.

As someone who loses her phone regularly, my favorite recipe uses my email to connect to my phone. If I can’t find my phone, I just email #lostphone in either the subject or body of the email. My email proceeds to call my phone, making it easier to find.

recipeFor all you zombie enthusiasts out there, they even have a recipe that sends a email to your phone if the CDC reports a zombie outbreak. Now the chances of an actual zombie outbreak are minimal, but it’s better safe than sorry, right?

There are many other kinds of recipes for so many purposes:

  • Weather notification recipes to help predict sunny days, rainy days, or any kind of day you would want to know
  • Fitness connection recipes to help keep track of fitness goals
  • Travel recipes that help you plan and organize your trips
  • Photo management recipes that allow you to post pictures in multiple apps


Interested in current recipes? Sign up for email updates of trending recipes.

Have a personal favorite IFTTT recipe? Share it with us on our Facebook page, LinkedIn, or Tweet it to us, @atnetplus

How iOS 8 Will Wow You This Fall

How iOS 8 Will Wow You This Fall

This autumn (September 2014 is the estimated release date), Apple is coming out with a new version of iOS – iOS 8. This new version of iOS has some great new additions, plus upgrades on already existing tools.

There are two key development sets in the new iOS 8 mobile operating system:

1.)    Extensibility, which includes:

  • Interactive notifications that allow you to respond to messages or notifications right from the banner. (*0:33)
  • Third-party keyboards that allow you to access other platform keyboards, like SwiftKey, easily and more effectively. Your sentences can literally be finished for you with a tool known as QuickType.  It also helps choose words you are likely to use, depending on to whom you are communicating. (*6:58)
  • New Widgets and Extensions

2.)    Continuity, which includes:

  • Handoff capability that allows you to share a specific activity between multiple devices, as long as you have the same iCloud account between them.
  • AirDrop being modified.
  • Instant Hotspot where your iPhone or iPad instantly tether to other users.

Other additions to iOS 8 include:

  • Device enrollment plan that automatically configures software to new work devices, rather than having to configure the device to a PC first. (*16:48)
  • Health app expansion that allows you to keep track of your health and fitness, while also being able to keep in touch with your health care professionals (*18:39)
  • For developers, Apple has come out with a new programming language known as Swift. This language is Objective-C compatible, but has been improved. For example, semi-colons are not needed to end statements; unlike Objective-C where forgetting one caused errors. Swift also has a tool known as a ‘Playground’ that allows you to see the effects of changes or additions to the code without having to go through the compiler.

Apple has many other planned additions for iOS 8, from family sharing (*21:39) to photo management (*23:33). As the estimated release date becomes closer, more and more information for iOS 8 is being released.

For more information, watch the video here:

*Time Topic Appears in Video

2014 – Technology to Embrace or Leave Behind.

2014 embrace or leave behind (5)

The Technology to leave in 2013

  • CD-Roms – Software, music, movies, and more are now being streamed and downloaded. Many laptops today do not include an optical drive.
  • Cloud-Less Network – Whether you have an onsite server or not, some connectivity to the cloud is beneficial. At a minimum you’ll want cloud backup capabilities.
  • Windows XP – Coming April 21st, 2014 Windows XP will reach its ‘end of life’ which means no updates and no security.
  • Complacency – In the fast evolving tech world being complacent can be costly and give your competitors a competition edge.

Technology to Embrace in 2014

  • The cloud – Store and access data from anywhere.
  • Office 365/Google Apps for Business – And other tools to Improve communication, efficiency, and collaboration in the office.
  • Big Data – Will bring businesses of any size insights that they never thought imaginable.
  • Mobility – Completely reliant hardwired connections and desktops are on the decline. Having your work and information accessible on the go is a must. More and more people expect to be able to work from anywhere.
  • Touch interface – Windows 8.1 and the touch interface improve usability while traveling
  • Enterprise Social – The tools for collaboration and communication with in a business. These programs can range from internal social media to instant message services.

This year will should be full of a lot of interesting innovations for business Technology, tell us in our poll below what you are looking forward to he most.

Windows 8.1 is here

The anticipation is over, Windows 8.1 is here. The upgrade is available today for current Windows 8 users, and will be available for retail purchase tomorrow.

The Microsoft team took everyone’s feedback on Windows 8, and improved upon it in 8.1. There are many fixes and exciting new features in the Windows 8.1 Release –

The Start Button is back
 It may not have the start menu or functionality it previously possessed in prior Windows versions, but it helps users navigate between the desktop and the tile interface.

Boot your device straight to the desktop
If you choose, you can now have you device boot straight to the desktop instead of the tile interface.

Windows 8.1 improvements also highlight:

  • More personalization with backgrounds, color schemes, and new tile sizes
  • Additional lock screen options that use photos and other neat alternatives
  • Ability to freely move and resize running applications
  • New apps
    • Alarms
    • Reading list – a book marking feature.
    • Bing Food and Drink – for accessing recipes. It has a nifty feature that allows you to wave your hand across the camera while cooking to navigate the recipe while keeping your device clean and out of harm’s way.
    • Bing Health and Fitness – for helping you to keep track of your daily work outs, food intake, and much more
    • Modifications and improvements to the camera software

To upgrade today: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/home
[poll id="2"]

Who’s Reading Your Texts?

69,635 Text Messages or Short Message Service (SMS) are sent and received every second.1  These messages are used in a variety of ways – for business, private, and social engagement. They are clearly a very popular mode of communication because it’s simple, direct, and immediate.

The popularity of this method of communication method does raise a question… How secure is text messaging? Intercepting text messages from phone to phone may not be as easy as intercepting radio transmissions, but it still is rather simple. A popular approach entails someone using a readily available program or a scanner to track texts that are sent and received.

For an individual who sends the usual social texts of “hey what’s up”, or “how are you”. It’s probably not a cause for much concern, but there are many people sending messages that contain sensitive and private information. Those people may want to consider SMS Encryption services or applications.

What is message encryption?

Message encryption safeguards the privacy of a message by transforming it from a readable message to a cipher which looks like garbled or scrambled text. Only the intended receiver with the decryption key to the cipher, can unscramble and read the message. Considering that wireless circuits are much easier to tap than their hard-wired counterparts, message encryption may be a concern for mobile users.

There are a variety of apps for phones which use different encryption methods and come with an assortment of price points:

In many cases these tools can keep the messages you are sending safe from the public and most threats. Chances are if you are sending confidential information via text messages you are most likely doing the same with email and other modes of communication. If that is the case, you should also look into software and security settings that make your mobile as secure as possible and safeguard it from data theft.

Would you consider text message/SMS encryption? What do you do to protect your mobile device from possible threats?

  1.  CTIA-The Wireless Association, 2012 
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