Simply Mac Blog
Jun 201423

Summer time apps for kids!

by Shane Roberts

Summer is officially here and that means family road trips, vacations, and get-togethers! With that said there may be a lot of  travel time, and maybe some time where adults need a great time killer for the kids. Here are some great apps on the App Store that you can put on your iPad to help you out!


PlayKids for iOS

Educational cartoons and games to keep your kids entertained may be a life saver for a restless kid. PlayKids is a great app to consider, because it offers a large selection of educational cartoons as well as games. Here is the summary from the App Store:

PlayKids offers the best educational games, popular TV shows and cartoons such as Caillou, Super Why!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Monster Math Squad, Heroes of the City, and many more – it plays even if you’re offline! With PlayKids your child will learn while having loads of fun!

 Designed with your little one in mind: child-friendly interface with age-appropriate cartoons. Parental controls keep your child from accessing the rest of the phone. Your kids will be engaged with the videos you choose on PlayKids.

- Watch videos offline: Download your child’s favorite videos to your phone and tablets and play them whenever, even without internet!

- Continuous play mode: Put together a playlist and keep your child occupied without having to press any buttons to start a new video.

- Playground Car: Your child will enjoy our train car full of activities including a magic piano that plays all of the preschool favorites, a memory game, coloring books and instructions for some fun drawings.

- It’s storytime! Enjoy some of the classic children’s storybooks in our books train car!

- Multiple Devices: Subscribe once and have access on all of your iOS devices. Find out how to do it here:

We’ve chosen the most popular TV series for your kids:

Super Why
Monster Math Squad
Heroes of the City

… and many other cartoons for kids such as: Boom and Reds, Animal Atlas, Safari Tracks, Danny & Daddy, Alex, Bo on the Go, Franny’s Feet, Gazoom, Glumpers, Jungle Beat, Telmo and Tula, Van Dogh. There are over 200 episodes available on PlayKids! 

PlayKids is a free app, however there are a lot of in-app purchases for additional content. That is very common with an app like this.

If you’d like to check it out, click here!

Disneynature Explore

Disneynature Explore

Get your kids outdoors this summer with this great app!

Explore the outdoors like never before through the world of amazing animals!
* 5 animal adventures — Brown Bear, Monarch Butterfly, Chimpanzee, African Lion, and Loggerhead Sea Turtle – featuring 4 activities each.
* 3D animals appear in the live camera view on your device!
* Take photos of your adventures for your Disneynature Journal and earn virtual Disneynature pins!
* Winner of Children’s Technology Review “Editor’s Choice” Award
* Winner of Tech with Kids “Best Pick App” Award

Disneynature Explore combines an augmented reality experience with fun animal behavior game play that encourages children 4-8 and their caregivers to discover and play in nature. Search your own backyard with the lion to hunt a warthog, view your surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks along with the bear to find its cub, crack a nut like a chimpanzee, and much more!

• Exciting 3D animal animation, sound effects, and player sound recognition
• Target colors and objects in the view of your mobile device to explore your environment
• Photos can be added to your Disneynature Journal, which also includes Disneynature video clips of real animals featured in the app
• Additional photo missions extend your family’s engagement with nature
• The parents’ page includes suggestions for outdoor play
• Virtual Disneynature pins awarded throughout the experience
• Spanish language option
• No in app purchases or third-party advertising

It’s free and available for both iPhone and iPad! 

Toca Lab

Toca Lab

Let’s continue the learning for fun theme with Toca Lab. This is a great way to allow your kids to experiment with elements and chemicals without the mess!

Welcome to Toca Lab! Explore the colorful and electrifying world of science and meet all 118 of the elements from the periodic table.

Discover elements by experimenting with the lab tools!

* Take your element for a spin in the centrifuge.
* Warm them up in the Bunsen burner.
* Put the element on ice with the cooling agent!
* Add a drop or two of mysterious liquids from the test tubes.
* Change their voltage and make them magnetic with the oscilloscope.

Each element has it’s own personality. In Toca Lab, what does Neon sound like? Is Gold heavy or light? Is Nitrogen squishy or hard? Explore, inspect, and study each one and let us know! Can you find all 118?

The time has come, future scientists, to head into the lab to explore and discover. Put on your lab coat and protective eye gear because things are about to get experimental!

Toca Lab is a place for playing and having fun, and with it we hope to inspire kids to explore science. While the periodic table in Toca Lab is accurate, the way new elements are created is not. Instead, it’s a fun way to experiment, discover and create curiosity in the world of science. Toca Lab is just a starting point for further exploration!

This app is $2.99, and is available for iPad and iPhone. Click here to see more! 

Jun 201419

iOS 7 Activation Lock has reduced iPhone theft

by Shane Roberts

Find My iPhone

Apple announced Find My iPhone years ago, but just last year with iOS 7 they introduced Activation Lock. With Activation Lock you can lock down your iPhone (or iPad) if it’s lost or stolen, making the device unusable until the right Apple ID is entered. As it turns out, that addition to iOS has deterred thefts of iPhone, and the numbers are starting to bare that out.

The NY Times ran an article on the effects that Activation Lock has had on theft. In New York thefts involving Apple products, namely iPhone, have dropped 19%. San Francisco has seen a drop of 38%, and London 24%, when it comes to iPhone theft.

There are a ton of stories on the internet of people reclaiming their iPhones because of Find My iPhone. Check out this collection of stories here!

If you’re not sure how to turn on Find My iPhone, or how to use it, click here for an explanation. 

Jun 201419

Activation Lock w/ Find My iPhone may save your iPhone/iPad!

by Shane Roberts

You love your iPhone and/or iPad. Not only does it contain all your info on the go, but it was also a hefty investment. So why not keep it as safe as you can with Find My iPhone and Activation Lock?

Obviously, the key thing with Find My iPhone is the ability to find your iOS device if it is lost. You can send messages to it, as well as chiming noises to track it down. A key feature that is built into Find My iPhone is Activation Lock.  Activation Lock will lock down your phone until you enter your Apple ID and password into it to unlock it. You can also track the phone on a map to see where it is/was. So, if it’s stolen, you can turn on Activation Lock so the phone is no good to the person who took it, or if it’s a kind hearted stranger they can call the number that you leave on the message and return it to you.

Either way, it’s a good idea to make sure all these features are active. Here’s how to do just that.

First thing, go into your ‘Settings’ app and scroll down a bit to ‘Privacy':

Activation Lock with Find My iPhone

Once you tap on and go into the ‘Privacy’ settings, find and tap on ‘Location Services’…

Activation Lock with Find My iPhone

In ‘Location Services’ scroll to the very bottom and you’ll see ‘Find My iPhone,’ tap on that…

Activation Lock with Find My iPhone

Once in there make sure that Find My iPhone is turned on. It is also a good idea to make sure that you have the status bar icon turned off as well, that will make it to where any malicious individual is unaware that the phone can be tracked/locked down.

Activation Lock with Find My iPhone

That’s it! That’s really all you need to do to make sure Find My iPhone is all set up.

Now here’s how it works.

First thing, you can either go into the Find My iPhone app on any iOS device and login with your Apple ID, or you can go to and login there.

Find My iPhone

Once logged in, you’ll see all the devices you have registered with Find My iPhone. Select the one you need to find.

Find My iPhone

Once you have the device selected you can do a couple of things. First, you can send a sound to it, even if it is muted. This is handy if you think your iPhone may be lost in your couch or something.

Second, you see ‘Lost Mode,’ I’ll touch on that more in a second. Third, there is ‘Erase iPhone,’ that’s if you think your iPhone is gone for good and you would like to erase everything that was/is on there.  In the top right you can see the car, that will give you directions to where your device was last located, or is currently located.

To use ‘Lost Mode,’ which is Activation Lock, just tap on it.

Find My iPhone

Once you’re in there just tap on ‘Turn On Lost Mode…’ to begin the process.

Find My iPhone

As you can see in the image above, you can enter a phone number for the person who finds your phone to reach you.

Find My iPhone

And lastly, you can enter a message to be shown on your phone for the person who finds it.

Once all these steps have been completed, your iPhone is locked down and can’t be used until your Apple ID and password have been entered into it to unlock it!

If you haven’t already, make sure Find My iPhone is on, and to really supplement it, make sure you have a passcode or Touch ID activated on your iPhone. Otherwise someone can just go into your settings and turn Find My iPhone off, rendering its purpose useless.

Jun 201418

New iMac option released by Apple

by Shane Roberts


Have you been wanting a new iMac, but would like to pay a little less? Today Apple has given you a great option!

Apple has released a new entry level 21.5″ iMac that will give you the beautiful all-in-one, at a more affordable price.

Here is the run down for the new entry level iMac:

New 2014 entry iMac

If you’d like this new iMac, contact your local store about availability!

Jun 201417

Make your Mac easier to use with keyboard shortcuts!

by Shane Roberts

Mac users, new and old, would love to be able to use their computers faster, and make them easier to use!

Keyboard shortcuts can be just the trick to make your computer easier to use, and to get work done faster. For you Windows switchers who are used to the ‘Control’ and ‘Alt’ keys, this may help you with your transition to Mac.

First off, the keys that you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with is the ‘Command’ key,


the ‘Option’ key, and the ‘Control’ key.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.12.37 AM

Other keys that you’ll use a lot are the ‘Shift’ and ‘Esc’ keys, both ones you are likely familiar with. Another key you may have seen as a PC user, but maybe didn’t use much, is the ‘Tilde’ key:

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.15.04 AM

The tilde key comes in handy for a couple of shortcuts.

The basics: Undo, Cut, Copy & Paste

keyboard shortcuts

Anybody that has ever worked with Word, or any word processing program, has used the above commands – especially undo. When it comes to word processing, these shortcuts are the 101 of fixing, moving, or changing text within a document.

Managing windows and applications

Keyboard shortcuts

Instead of rooting around through menus and finding the right button to click, the above commands make life easier when it comes to maneuvering around various applications and  their open windows.

Surfing the web

keyboard shortcuts


Keyboard shortcuts

Looking for a specific word or phrase within a webpage or document? Just press Command + F, and type into the search box what you are looking for and it will be presented to you! Similarly, if you’re looking for a specific file, document, image, or anything in general on your Mac, press Command + Space Bar and you can search easily with Spotlight!

 Selecting & Screenshots

keyboard shortcuts

The screenshot portion of the above shortcuts can help a lot of people. If you have ever experienced an issue on your computer, and a quick email-able image of it would be handy, the screenshot shortcuts can be incredibly helpful.

 Boot Up Options (to happen while Mac is booting up)

keyboard shortcuts

Have an issue with your Mac? The above options can help. Whether you want to boot into Boot Camp and Windows while holding ‘Option,’ or if you need to boot into Safe Mode to do some maintenance, these shortcuts can help you get where you want to go.

These shortcuts should make it easier to use your Mac, and hopefully save you some time. If you’d like to see more, click here for the complete list of shortcuts from Apple.

Jun 201416

See Handoff from iOS 8 & Yosemite in action

by Shane Roberts

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