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Posts Tagged ‘Applications’

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 

Desktop as a Service or Working ‘Computer Free’

Desktop as a Service (DaaS) allows the user to access a complete desktop environment without a physical computer. Not possible? It is when the desktop along with all the applications and files are virtualized, and hosted in the Cloud. In a virtual environment, instead of a full blown computer, all you will need is a device that plugs into a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and an Internet connection.

DaaS is also known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and with this technology, user desktops are hosted on a remote server or in the Cloud. In this environment, centralized control with optimal security is critical to reliable connectivity. One advantage is that you already have a built-in disaster recovery plan because it will be backed up through the redundant maintenance systems that are typical in this environment. Also, if a device is lost or stolen the virtual desktop can be disabled which guards against unauthorized access and prevents breaches that can more easily occur when a tablet, smartphone, or laptop are remotely connected to your network.

Another great perk is that your desktop, apps, and files will be immediately available whenever you login. Gone are the days of not being able to get to a file that was stored locally on a specific device. Here at AtNetPlus, we have our own Cloud service on servers in our onsite data center. These are monitored and maintained 24/7, which means that with us, you will have complete end to end control and we will be responsible for the entire solution.

We have been moving many clients to Desktop as a Service (Daas) because they love the benefits. As the trend grows we expect to see even more companies utilizing DaaS in the future. Sound interesting?  We’d love to chat and answer all of your questions.

Contacts us:
By e-mail: support@atnetplus.com
By phone: 330-945-5685

In Case You Missed this Month’s Talk it over Tuesday…

For those of you that missed Talk it over Tuesday earlier this week we wanted to share some tidbits about industry trends that are of particular value to small businesses.

For example, Microsoft CRM® (Customer Relationship Management) is one tool in the Microsoft® arsenal that could become a productive asset within your business. It increases profitability by helping ensure your customer interactions inform them in ways that are the most useful to the individual client. CRM looks at all aspects of your business and helps you manage everything more easily from the Cloud on any device. CRM 2013 has been updated in every area including:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Care
  • Social Integration

Phones based on Windows 8® are also impressive for the business user. Recently the Nokia Lumia 1020® was released and brings many cutting edge features to the table. The most notable is the new 41 megapixel camera. This camera takes photos of amazing quality while utilizing depth of field and other professional camera-like features.

Currently use Skype® or Lync®? No problem, Microsoft is integrating these two services to simplify communication inside and outside of the office. Messaging or placing voice calls between the two services will soon be seamless.

There’s too much going on to cover it all here, but if you want to know more about mobility, business intelligence integration with Excel®, or Microsoft’s latest improvements to their Cloud offerings – comment below and we’ll be happy to discuss it further.

You don’t want to miss our next Talk it over Tuesday on September 17th! We are bringing in the experts from Microsoft to give you an exclusive hands-on demo of Windows 8.1. They will have the latest Tablets and devices running Windows 8.1 at the event. It’s a perfect chance to test them for yourself. Seats are limited and they will go fast. Register today and reserve your spot for this special opportunity.

Click here to sign up

Have any questions about anything covered in this month’s or about September’s Talk it over Tuesday events?

Contact us:

By e-mail: support@atnetplus.com
By phone: 330-945-5685

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