Categories
Mac Heads

App Pick: Disk Doctor For Mac

I’m anal retentive a neat-freak when it comes to organizing my files on my Mac. I regularly scour my pictures, movies, documents and downloads folders for no longer needed files. Real Talk – I should’ve spent the extra money for more internal storage space on my Retina MacBook Pro.

All that to say, I’m not a file hoarder. But I know some of you out there are. Afraid to get rid of anything, that is until that ever-so-annoying little spinning “beach ball” constantly keeps your Mac from being great.

The first thing you should do to keep your Mac running smoothly and to ensure you get your money’s worth is get rid of unused, unwanted, and unknown files. One of the apps I use and recommend that will help you find and quickly delete those files is Disk Doctor.

Simply put, open Disk Doctor, start a scan and it will search the “Un-ususal Suspects” (Application caches & logs, Browser data, downloads, and a few other spots) to sniff out files and data you didn’t know existed (and really don’t need).

Disk Doctor Free-able Space

From there, you can go heavy-handed like the Jets training camp and sucker-punch all the listed files like they owed you money and had the nerve to get mad when you asked about it, and delete them all. Or if you’re more scary, you can view the details of each suggested category and hand-pick what you want to delete.

Once you have decided what you want to keep and delete, you can click “clean” and Disk Doctor will jettison your unwanted files in a matter of minutes (or seconds if you’re like me and only have a total of 2.5GB that could be cleaned…Told y’all I keep my Sh*t clean. Actually, that line is an oxymoron, but I digress.)

Disk Doctor Cleaning Results

To cool thing about Disk Doctor is that it lets you know what’s going on every step of the way and lets you preview (with explanation) files, so you don’t accidentally delete something you probably needed to keep.

An added bonus includes giving you a snapshot of your storage space (Free Space, Used Space, percentage of space used, and Total Capacity) when you first open Disk Doctor – Comes in handy when you need to quickly see your storage at-a-glance before calling a Mac Head like me to complain that your computer “sooo slow”.

Disk Doctor Space at a glance

After you’ve gotten rid of all those meme images you stole from the Drake vs. Meek Mill beef, I recommend you check out Disk Doctor for Mac to finish the clean up job.

Or, you can wait to delete unnecessary files after your Mac starts running super slow or worse, won’t start at all because the “startup disk is full” and you have to schlep your way to your local Apple store with an external drive, weave through all the fanboys and folks with way to much disposable income, just to beg an Apple Genius to help you get files off your computer just so it will boot up…True story

…Not mine, though. I don’t roll like that.

Categories
Mac Heads Tips and Tricks

Why You Want Thieves To Login To Your Mac

There are some things we all immediately do after we power up that brand-spankin’ new Mac. Some download and organize new apps, while others customize their desktop/lockscreen images.

Me, myself, personally…I tweak all the settings to get them just right. One of the first settings I mess with is turning off the ‘Guest User’ account – Nobody else is using my baby, so there isn’t any reason to even tempt me to allow a stranger’s germy hands to touch my keyboard.

But after some some studying for my latest Apple certification, I dug up a pretty interesting fact that forced me to immediately turn back on the Guest User account so strangers (particularly a thief) could actually login to my computer and connect to the internet.

If you’re not familiar with ‘Find My Mac’, it’s an iCloud security feature that lets you locate your iOS or Mac devices anywhere. You can login to you iCloud account online and as long as your Mac 1) Is powered on 2) Has the ‘Find My Mac’ feature enabled, and 3) Is connected to the internet, you can locate, track, lock, and even wipe your devices remotely.

Now traditional security procedures for locking down a Mac so nobody can do anything with it would be to use to use a strong password and force it to lock itself after a couple of minutes. The thought process behind that is if your Mac decided to grow legs and walk away, nobody could access your data, or browse the web to do whatever it is folks do on the internet…which is any and everything.

Here’s the hook: If a thief can’t get past the login screen, they are less likely to connect your Mac to a network to establish an internet connection, which would subsequently connect it to Apple’s iCloud servers, which would then let you use the ‘Find My Mac’ feature to locate and possibly retrieve your device (Please call the cops…Don’t try that vigilante crap).

On the flip-side, if the Guest User account on your Mac is enabled (there is no guest user password required to login to your computer), that just might tempt a thief to access the web which will initiate a connection between your Mac and your iCloud account.

I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry, a Guest User account can only do very basic things, and you can restrict a Guest User account even more by turning on and adjusting the Parental Controls, and/or encrypting your computer’s Hard Drive with the built-in (Read: $free.99) FileVault feature.

I know it sounds crazy, but if you want to even try to get your Mac back after it’s been stolen, you actually want the thief to be able to take selfies of themselves or yell at people on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit using your baby.

…Just wipe off the keys with alcohol and a rag if you do get him/her back.

Categories
Mac Heads

1st Week Apple Watch Impressions

When I got my first MacBook, iPad and iPhone, I was in geek heaven for weeks as I figured out all the functionality. It took a while for me to finally get to a point where they were merely a laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

When I got my hands on my Apple Watch last week, I had that same feeling…for about a couple of days. After a week, that feeling of “it’s just a smartwatch” has already hit me. Maybe it’s because Apple wasn’t the first to hit the smartwatch market, so it couldn’t set the standard to which all other smartwatches would be judged. Maybe it’s that Apple Watch wasn’t my first smartwatch, so I already had a idea of what to expect.

Whatever the reason, I can say that after only a seven days on my wrist, my 1st week Apple Watch Impressions are “The thrill is gone” BUT, it has the features, functionality, and deep integration that I was looking for that will keep it on my wrist for years to come.

To give you a quick update, I ordered the 42mm (large) Space Gray “Sport” Edition with the black Sport Band. I must say that it looks and feels good on my wrist, but it’s not too flashy. I like watches, but I’ve never been a “hey look at this big, gaudy thing on my wrist” timepiece guy. Even if I would’ve opted for a more design-ier version, it still wouldn’t come off as flashy. In my opinion, Apple Watch design was right on the money.

Don’t Miss: Spigen Launches Line of Apple Watch Accessories

Setting up Apple Watch via the separate iPhone app was initially intimidating because there are a ton of functionality options that you can set up. Which makes sense – Something this technological that will be on your body most of the day needs to be calibrated to match a wide variety of people.

“If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.”

After going setting up and testing most of the settings, I found myself only pushing important notifications to my watch (email from only one account, text messages, calendar events, phone calls, and a few app notifications). I didn’t want to constantly be pinged on my wrist when every little notification came through…Maybe that’s why the novelty has worn off faster simply because I’m not messing with my wrist as much due to reduction of notifications?

*Rubs chin*

Once I had my watch dialed in…That was it. Since the screen is small and notifications are at a minimum, most interactions with Apple Watch were natural and intentional — I only used it when I needed to. There was no frequent messing with the watch to check social media feeds, play games, triage email…or randomly find things to do like on my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. That in an of itself reduced the amount of distractions. If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.

Another side effect to the lack to random interaction was the battery life. Apple claims “up to 18 hours” with Apple Watch. I can say that not a day has gone by where I’ve been worried that my watch would die. From a full change at 8 a.m., to when I was ready to hit the sack around 11:30pm-ish, my watch was always above 40%. So for me, myself, personally, Apple Watch battery live has not been an issue.

When I had to intentionally interact with my Apple Watch was where its usefulness shines. Here are some features that I’ve used the most.

Activity and Workout Apps


I sit in my chair and stare at computer screens most of the day. I’m not a heavy “monitor my activity” person, so I don’t pay attention to most of the Activity features and functionality. But, I do know that I need to be more active throughout the day. Activity notifications remind me every 50 minutes or so that I need to “stand up”. So during those times, it get up, get on the ground, and do some pushups – Yes, I’m trying to get my “guns” back, and being reminded every hour to do a set of 20 push-ups, I should be set in about a month.

One of the main things I was interested in with Apple Watch was can I play music and can I track my runs without being tethered to my iPhone. Apple Watch has up to 2GB of built-in storage so I can save playlists directly to my watch. All I needed was a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and I was set on the tunes.

Without getting too techie, Using the Workout app, Apple Watch can learn more about your stride after a couple of runs. Without my phone’s GPS, it can’t track my location, but can offer indoor and outdoor time, distance, and pace readings. I did a couple runs this week using the Workout app, and compared then with the readings of those same runs using the Nike+ Running app, and they were similar within a couple of seconds of each other. I don’t care about where I run, as long as I can track time/distance/pace (and heart rate), I’m good.

Apple Watch unboxing via brothatech

Maps

apple watch maps
I don’t know why people hate on Apple’s version of Google Maps. It works fine for me. Using Maps on Apple Watch especially comes in handy when I’m walking, or even driving. When I need to make a turn, it taps my wrist and displays the next directions. Since I drive with my left hand, all I have to do is twist my wrist for navigation instructions when notified. I can also use Siri to dictate locations or addresses, so technically, I never have to pull out my iPhone for directions.

Siri

apple watch siri
I’ve really noticed that I’ve been using Siri to interact with my watch way more than using Siri on my iPhone. I just seems more natural to verbally interact with my smartwatch versus my smartphone. Maybe because the screen is smaller, my mind is forced to talking to my wrist to respond to text messages and emails, check my calendar, the weather, and take notes, instead of touching and twisting. I can dictate all Apple Watch commands, but I’m using Siri whenever I can to interact with Apple Watch. I even do it in public.

Those are just a few of the features/functionality I’ve used the most during my 1st week. I’m positive that when more and more watch apps that offer seamless interactions with Apple Watch, I will find even more reasons to keep my iPhone in my pocket, or on the charger.

While “I’m over it” is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking about my lack of hype-ness, over Apple’s first smartwatch after only a week, the idea that I will be constantly uncovering new ways to streamline my frequent daily activities in my wrist is pretty exciting.

Any Apple Watch owners who read my site? What are your 1st week Apple Watch Impressions?

No affiliate links were harmed in the making of this post

Categories
Mac Heads

Apple Watch Unboxing

Decided to jump on the bandwagon and do my own version of an Apple Watch unboxing video.

To add some copy to this post (SEO juice) My quick verdict is:

  1. It looks and feels good on my wrist
  2. The screen should “wake” a hair faster when I raise my wrist
  3. The battery life has not been an issue thus far

Stay tuned for my ‘1st Impressions’ and ‘full review’ posts on Apple Watch. In the meantime, check out the Apple Watch apps I’m probably messing with right now, some dope Apple Watch accessories that I will be ordering in the near future.

Side Note: You know I HATE those thick black bars when people shoot videos in ‘portrait mode’. I found out that the Periscope app does not support landscape mode. Imma need them to work on that…

Categories
Mac Heads

Quick MacBook Pro RAM Upgrade Video

One of my repeat customers needs to squeeze some extra life out of their aging 15-inch MacBook Pro. So, their handed it over their “baby” to me, and in addition to some other upgrades (Battery replacement and Solid State Drive install) I upgraded his RAM (Random Access Memory) from 4GB to 8GB.

A RAM upgrade is what I suggest to anyone who feels their computer is lagging when it comes to booting/restarting, opening applications and other completing other tasks that you know should not take as long as they do.

Without all the tech jargon, RAM is what your computer uses to find stuff on your computer. It doesn’t store any information, it just remembers where everything is. The more stuff you add to your computer, the longer it takes for RAM to find it. So, adding more RAM speeds up the searching process.

Shop laptop RAM on Amazon

I know folks are “scared” to even open up their laptop, let alone remove and/or add anything to it. But I swear, a RAM upgrade is super simple to do. So as a test of the Periscope app, I decided to do LIVE RAM upgrade (excuse the fuzziness, my mobile video lighting game needs to be upgraded).

Even though I’m working on a MacBook, opening up and doing a RAM upgrade on a PC is almost the same. The only thing that may be different is how you open your laptop, and where the RAM is located. Another note: This will only work on laptops that don’t have the RAM soldered to the motherboard (think MacBook Airs and other super-slim Ultrabooks). So if you’re in the market for one of those, my suggestion is that you get as much RAM as possible during the purchase process. After your computer is built…

“NO [RAM UPGRADE] FOR YOU!”

No affiliate links where harmed in the making of this post

Categories
Mac Heads

11 Apple Watch Apps That Should Be On Your Download List

I just got word from the Mothership that my Apple Watch will be in my hands on April 24th. That means I have accessories to buy, and apps to download. Apps are what make a mobile device useful. The Apple Watch is no exception and developers have been in the kitchen cooking up apps (They got BAKING SODA!) that will let users accomplish a ton of informative, healthy and productive tasks without looking at their iPhone.

Check out some dope Apple Watch apps that will be ready for you to download…that is when your watch decides to show up.

Evernote

evernote apple watch app

Evernote is my go-to productivity app that helps me organize my whole entire life. Evernote for Apple Watch will give you the ability to dictate notes, search notes, set reminders and cross items off your to-do lists. It will also be a seamless experience reading notes on your watch and moving to your phone to finish up on a larger screen. If you’re an OneNote fan, it will be on Apple Watch as well.

Download

Keynote

If you’re a presentation guru, both PowerPoint and Keynote will both have Apple Watch compatibility that will let you control slides right from your wrist. With PowerPoint, you will need a Office 365 account, but for Keynote, as long as you have the latest version on your iPhone, iPad or Mac and have activated the Keynote Remote functionality, you’re good to go.

Download

Knock

Knock was one of those clever “why didn’t I think of that” apps that let users unlock their Mac with their iPhone. So it would make sense to carry that simplistic functionality over to Apple Watch. Upgrading to the latest version of Knock, will let you simply tap on your wrist and Knock will automagically enter your Mac password and unlock.

Download

Nike+ Running

nike running apple watch app

I’m trying to loose this tire around my gut (and other places) by running regularly. Slowly but surely, I’m picking up speed according my Nike+ Running App. Since Apple Watch uses the iPhone’s GPS and has 2GB of storage compatibility, with a decent pair of wireless headphones, you can leave your phone in your pocket (or on your arm) and glance on your wrist to monitor and track current run activity, look at stats and the leader board, and cheer other Nike+ Running users.
Download

Uber

If you use Uber regularly, you already have your car type and billing preferences saved (or use Apple Pay) to quickly catch a ride. With Apple Watch compatibility, you can easily view approximate pickup times, set your pickup location, see who your drive is and his/her rating, right from Apple Watch, and get a tap on your wrist when your car has arrived.

Download

ESPN

It’s NBA basketball playoff time, and personally, I’ll be looking forward to the Hawks going deep into the playoffs and maybe even the Finals? The ESPN app has Apple Watch compatibility so you can get real-time scores, plays, and news and articles updates on your wrist.

Download

Delta Airlines

I’m traveling to Austin Texas in June to do a presentation on making sure your website is secure from hackers. I have yet to book my flight, but It will be nice to know that I can use the Fly Delta app to get flight notifications, confirm terminal and gate locations, and use Apple Watch as my boarding pass to get through security and board the plane. All that technology and I STILL have to take off my shoes while going through security, smh.

Download

Shazam

shazam apple watch app

There have been songs I’ve heard where I’ve wanted to know more about, but I could never get my phone out fast enough, or I was too lazy to dig in my pocket #ImJustBeingHonest. Maybe now that Shazam is compatible with Apple Watch, find out more info about about song or TV commercial will be as simple as activating Shazam from my wrist?

Download

Fandango

Several good flicks I want to see are coming out this spring/summer, including Avengers Age of Ultron, Mad Max Fury Road, Jurassic World, and Terminator Genisys, to name a few. The Fandango app will let me view a countdown-to-showtime timer, check local movie times, get directions, and use my Apple Watch as my movie pass. Side note: Stark Industries is one of my favorite fictional companies.

Download

Chipotle

If God was here on earth and he had a favorite fast food joint, I’m sure it would be Chipotle. How else do you describe its latest decision to offer delivery service? To sweeten the pot, I can now submit favorite orders, change order location, and get notified when my order is ready all from Apple Watch? That’s the true definition of a win/win

Download

LastPass (Honorable Mention)

I’m a fan of LastPass password manager. It helps me keep all my passwords safe and makes it super easy to use passwords when I need them. I’ve been rockin’ with them for years. Now I know the more popular 1Password service has already announced their own Apple Watch-compatible app. But I tend to be a loyalist, so I’m going to wait and see if LastPass follows suit and lets me quickly view passwords, and secure notes on my wrist. From the looks of this response in the LastPass forums, I’m sure there’s one on the way.

That’s all the Apple Watch apps on my list. As I speak, app developers are announcing apps that will let you do even more things on your wrist. Sure the cult-followers loyalists like myself would have bought the Apple Watch with just Apple’s native apps available for launch. Time will tell if app developers will show your average consumer what place smartwatches have in our future. If they keep pumping out useful apps, the future will be pretty bright for wearables.

What Apple Watch apps are on your list?

Categories
Mac Heads

The Lowdown on Apple Watch

The latest Apple live event has come and gone. We all had time to pick through all the Apple watch details and share their $0.02. So I might as well jump on the bandwagon and give you my take on the first smartwatch from Apple.

Via the “Spring Forward” Apple live event that we either attended in-person or via the live stream (shout to to Apple for getting the streaming right this go ’round), we finally have all the launch details for the Apple Watch. There was a ton of information that was announced (I’ll get to that later). Just in case you haven’t been paying attention (or the slightest bit interested), here is a rundown of the important information you should know.

Apple Watch Sport (Low-end)

38mm – $349

42mm – $399

Apple Watch Sport via BrothaTech
Space Gray Aluminum Case
Black Sport Band

The Apple Watch Sport case is made of a custom aluminium alloy and has a special Ion-X Glass Retina Display created to better protect from every day wear and tear. Sport comes in two case colors: Silver and Space Gray, and you have a choice of a 5 colored sport bands (White, Blue, Green, Pink, Black) that are made of (you guessed it) “special” rubber.

Apple Watch (Mid-Range)

38mm – Starts at $349

42mm – Starts at $399

Apple Watch
Space Black Stainless Steel Case
Space Black Link Bracelet

The Apple Watch case is made of customized Steel and uses Sapphire Crystal Retina Display. Watch also comes in two case colors: Stainless Steel and Space Black.

Now here’s where things get interesting. Out of the box, Watch comes in the Stainless Steel color with a choice of a White or Black sport band. From there you can choose to upgrade (read: pay extra) for the Space Black case, and different bands made from special metals, leathers, colors, and clasps. The top-end price for Watch is $1099 when max out the options.

Apple Edition (Ballers)

Starts at $10,000 “If you had to ask…”

Apple Watch Edition
38mm 18-Karay Yellow Gold
Bright Red Modern Buckle

Apple Watch Edition case is made with either a “special” 18-Karat Yellow or Rose Gold and uses the same Sapphire Crystal Retina Display as the Watch. The 38mm entry-level version has a Rose Gold case and White sport band (with 18-Karat Gold clasp). If you got it like that, you can choose the 42mm 18-Karat Yellow Gold case with Midnight Blue Classic band with 18-Karat Gold clasp for $15,000.

Features

Before I give my opinion, here are the essential features for Apple Watch

  • Companion device tethered to your iPhone 5 and up phone for network connectivity
  • Bluetooth as well as WiFi iPhone tethering for greater range
  • Connect to other Apple Watches for special communication
  • Haptic (vibration) notification feedback with speaker and mic to answer calls and make voice notes
  • Measures heart rate via Infrared and LED technology
  • Download and manage Watch apps from iPhone
  • Water resistant (not waterproof)
  • Connects to Apple TV (remote) and other HomeKit-enabled devices for control
  • Can Download songs and playlists to watch (no word on storage space amount)
  • “All Day” 18-hour battery life

Additionally, Apple Watch introduces a new mobile OS and user interface that combines touch interaction with the use of a “digital” crown to scroll and click through screens. During the event, Apple showed off several launch apps that can do everything from integrate with vehicles, check into and unlock hotel doors, monitor home systems, check scores, weather, and social media feeds, among integrating with Apple-specific apps that let you check messages, calendar events, and pay for things via Apple Pay. Of course Apple has baked in HealthKit so the Apple Watch adds a wealth of health and fitness functionality that can measure heart rate, track your exercise and activity.

Apple Watch Features via BrothaTech

My Beef

I’m not trying to get into anybody’s pockets and tell them what they should or should not buy. “It ain’t trickin’ if you got it”. Personally, I plan on getting the Sport version with the Silver case and Black band. I know people who like watches, and they like technology, so I would not be surprised if they opt for a more expensive version. More power to them.

Now I know Apple has created all these “special” metals that set it apart from all other smartwatches and even fine timepieces. when you add the tech into the mix, and the cache that goes along with supporting the Apple brand, you have a wining combination.

My beef with Apple Watch is two-fold

1) Outside of the different materials used in the design, the technology is the same…They all do the same thing. The $400 Apple Watch Sport I plan on buying can do the same thing as the guy who plans on spending 5-figures for their Apple Watch Edition. I’m not a watch guy (yet), but I’m pretty sure I can’t buy a $400 dollar Rolex that does the same thing as a $10,000 Rolex. Hell, a $400 Rolex doesn’t even exist.

If I spend $10k for the higher-end Apple Watch, I’m going to need more separation function-wise from the person who spends $400. For instance, I’m going to need my watch to do more than show me the weather and my Instagram feed, or send my heartbeat and a goofy drawing to Mrs. Tech. For $10k, I’m going to need my Apple Watch to come with J.A.R.V.I.S., not Siri (sorry Siri).

2) Apple came out with too many versions for its first time in the smartwatch category. They were not first to market in the wearables category, so I personally think Apple higher-ups felt they needed to one-up all the current smartwatches. So they went the opulence route and worked with all these precious metals and materials to put some distance between its watch and competitions.

The issue with that is people were already going to buy the crap out of this watch even if it only had two sizes, two different metal cases, and three different bands. Apple didn’t have to come out with soo many versions the first go ’round. Even though folks were gonna love the Apple Watch regardless (I do), the reception of the Apple Watch hasn’t been as overwhelming as when the iPhone or iPad dropped. In my opinion, all that effort to create those beautiful expensive versions may just fall on death ears, as folks without investment portfolios who can move around enough dividends to pay for a watch, will overwhelmingly opt for the entry-level version.

All that to say, Apple Watch is dope, and the functionality is what I would expect from a smartwatch made by Apple. But maybe (just maybe) Apple kind of overdid itself right out of the gate?

Apple should have saved all that class for Apple Watch S that will drop next year…Which is a whole ‘nother problem in and of itself.

Apple Watch

Categories
Mac Heads

New MacBook Impressions

While some may have initially scoffed at the lack of ports on the new MacBook, it’s hard to not fall in love with the thinner, quieter, and more fashionable Ultrabook from Apple.

Categories
Mac Heads

Download Microsoft Office 2016 Preview For Mac Free

Staying true to the new cross-platform identity ushered in by CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft Office 2016 Preview is available as a free download for Mac users.

Categories
Mac Heads

Apple Watch To Be Announced on March 9th

You didn’t think Apple was going to let the Pebble Time announcement success last for too long did you?