Simply Mac Blog
Aug 201422

iPhone 5 Battery Replacement Program Starts

by Shane Roberts


Do you have an iPhone 5 and the battery life has been less than ideal? Apple may have a solution for you! As of Friday, August 22nd, Apple is offering free battery replacements on select iPhone 5 models.

Here’s what Apple has to say…

Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge.

What do you have to do to to see if your iPhone 5 qualifies, and then serviced if needed?

The best news is you don’t have to go to the Apple Store, or send away your iPhone, we can take care of the replacement in any of our Simply Mac locations, appointment free!

To check to see if your iPhone 5 meets the qualifications for a free battery replacement, and more information, click here!

Aug 201421

Give iTunes movies or music as gifts!

by Shane Roberts

The never ending internal debate of “What should I give (insert name here) for (insert holiday/event here)?” can be a pain to handle. The great thing about living in the era we do, especially with iTunes, is the option of instant gift giving is easier than ever!

If you know someone is wanting the new hit Marvel movie that just came out, or even a new hot album, you can gift them the digital iTunes copy with just a couple clicks! You can buy some movies up to three weeks before Blu-ray release, and you can also preorder movies as soon as they hit theaters. If you’d like to gift something off of iTunes it’s super easy.

First, find what it is that you’d like to give and find the ‘Buy’ button.


To the right of the ‘Buy’ button you’ll see an arrow, if you click on that, and in the example I’m using, you’ll see at the top “Gift This Movie.”

Once you click on “Gift This Movie,” a simple pop up window will present itself…


Once it does, just enter in the email for the person you’d like to send it to, and fill in any other details.

Once you complete those steps, an email will be sent to the person with a link to download whatever you gifted them.

Maybe you’re not sure what the person would like on iTunes, instead you can send them a digital iTunes gift card!



When you’re in the iTunes Store, along the right side, there is the ‘Send iTunes Gifts’ link. Click on that and you’ll be presented with the following screen:


Just pick the dollar amount you’d like to send, and that’s it, you’ve sent a digital gift to someone without having to leave the comfort of your keyboard!

With iTunes, and its rich collection of content that can be put on and streamed from iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Apple TV, there is no shortage of gift ideas.

Aug 201419

Back to School Apps!

by Shane Roberts


Edmodo – iPhone/iPad – FREE

Here’s a cool app to check out, especially if you’re a teacher looking for new ways to keep track of students progress in the classroom. Here’s how the developers of the app describe it on the App Store:

Edmodo makes a teacher’s daily life easier by providing a safe and easy way for teachers and students to engage and collaborate for free, anytime, anywhere. 

Use Edmodo for:

• Secure classroom discussions
• Posting assignments
• Gradebook tracking
• File sharing and uploading

Key Features:

• Classroom activity feed
• Student progress tracker
• Educational resource library
• Professional learning networks

With over 35 million users, Edmodo is the largest, fastest growing social platform for education. Awarded the 2013 EdTech Digest Award for Best Product, Edmodo makes the idea of a paperless classroom a reality. 

Questions? Contact our award-winning Edmodo support team anytime at, using ‘iPad’ in the subject line. 

For more information:

Click here for the link to the App Store!


TouchCast – iPad – FREE

TouchCast is one of the coolest apps I’ve stumbled across in a long time. Want to do a video podcast on your iPad, but would like to incorporate other content? Maybe a browser for your views to see, or be able to write on the screen while you record? With TouchCast, you can do just that!

Here is the description from the App Store:

Video and the web are coming together. Experience both like never before with TouchCast: a new medium that looks like video, but feels more like the web.

A TouchCast is a video that is fully browsable, responsive, and alive. Webpages, images, and an assembly of video Apps (vApps) can be tapped for a two-way video experience.

It’s a TV studio in your hands. Create broadcast-quality videos with a built-in teleprompter, green screen, visual filters, sound effects, and titles. Watch TouchCasts from the app or online at 

Our Mission is to bring the wonder of the web to video and usher in a new age of expression. Anyone can easily create professional-quality videos that finally behave like the rest of the web.

Explore videos, express yourself and engage viewers in a whole new way.  We invite you to try TouchCast and help define this new medium. 

Please let us know you’re feedback as we strive to improve the experience, including what features you would like to see in future versions.

Check out the app on the App Store here!


AP Stylebook 2014 – iPhone/iPad – $24.99

If you are a journalism major, or want to do any writing in general, the AP Stylebook will be a necessity. Now, instead of trying to find the book in a crowded book store, you can download the app on the App Store!

The Associated Press Stylebook is an essential tool for writers, editors, students and public relations professionals. It provides fundamental guidelines on spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage and journalistic style, with dedicated sections on sports, business, food, fashion, religion, punctuation and social media. 

- Dozens of new and updated entries for 2014, Pronunciation Guide, and a new religion chapter 
- Keep your notes from the 2013 version. The 2014 version can import 2013 notes, entries and favorites. (Requires AP Stylebook 2013 v1.2) 
- New features including iCloud sync, and improved user interface and search

Available as a universal app for iPhone, iPad, and iTouch users.

What’s New
- Numerous improvements to user interface, navigation and search functionality
- About 200 new and updated entries for 2014 plus a new religion chapter that pulls together existing entries from the Stylebook with new and revised guidance
- Use iCloud to backup and sync entries and favorites across devices
- Hundreds of entries in the Pronunciation Guide include both phonetic spelling and audio
- Generate a random entry to build your style knowledge

Here is the link to the App Store for the AP Stylebook app.

Aug 201411

Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite Preview

by Shane Roberts

Apple is prepping the release of the next generation Mac OS, Yosemite. Many of you Mac users out there may be curious about what some of the changes are going to be in this upcoming release. Many of which are cosmetic, with Apple tweaking the look of OSX to be more like iOS 7. Here is a bit of a preview of what Yosemite is going to look like, and some of the new updates coming to the OS.

Click the images for a larger view.


One of the changes, like I previously stated, is the look of the OS. That is most noticeable with the dock within Yosemite. Just like iOS 7, it has a more flat look to it, and many of the icons mirrors iOS 7’s.


The text in the OS is a lot smoother and thinner, making it easier to read overall, in my opinion.

A new feature coming to Yosemite is Dark Mode. Dark Mode is in the settings under “General,” where you’d find some of your basic look options for OSX. Dark Mode is great for when you are working in the dark, or if you just prefer the darker look of the Menu Bar and the Dock.


Safari has also gotten a bit of a facelift as well. Similar to the iPad version, there isn’t a lot there to confuse you. The biggest thing with Safari, though, would have to be the speed. Safari in Yosemite is a faster, snappier Internet experience. Pages load significantly faster and are a more fluid working browsing experience.


Here is a better look at the Dock when you have magnification turned on.


One of the new features that is coming to Yosemite, which has been previously covered, is Family Sharing. Within the iCloud preferences is the Family Sharing option and where you can turn it on/off.



Above you can see what the windows within Yosemite look like. Obviously, there is a much higher level of transparency within the windows, which you can turn on or off. You also get an idea of the color schemes in both the open/close buttons, and the window navigations buttons.



Another of the new changes coming in Yosemite is with Spotlight. Above you can see what that looks like. When you click on the Spotlight feature, instead of a pop down, it’s a pop up in the middle of the screen. When you search for something, not only will it search the computer, but also the internet, which essentially makes Spotlight your one-stop for all things search.

Yosemite is a great looking operating system, and will be a nice refresher for Mac OS, which has had the same look and feel since its debut back in 2001. Apple hasn’t given a release date on Yosemite yet, but they have said it will be out sometime this fall.

Aug 201408

1Password on sale, again!

by Shane Roberts


The best password management app, 1Password, is once again on sale, for both iOS and Mac OS. AgileBit, the developer of 1Password, is really promoting and trying to get 1Password into the wild before the release of both iOS 8 and Yosemite. Mainly the iOS version, since some major updates are coming down the pipe.

For a limited time 1Password for iOS will be $9.99 (normally $17.99) and the Mac version is $34.99 (normally $49.99). What makes this deal even better is that AgileBit is going to offer the update to the iOS 8 version of 1Password free! Normally they charge for every major release of the app. The iOS 8 version of 1Password is going to work much more like the Mac version, especially with the new features that are built into iOS 8. Currently in the iOS version of 1Password, you have to jump from app-to-app to utilize it. In iOS 8, with iOS 8 extensions, you’ll be able to use the features of 1Password without leaving the app, and even be able to use Touch ID!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with 1Password, click here to see more about the app itself.

So if you’re tired of coming up and managing a thousand different passwords, go get 1Password now while it’s on sale!

Click for the iOS version.

Click for the Mac OS version.

Here is an example of how 1Password will work in iOS 8:

Aug 201404

Shazam debuts on Mac!

by Shane Roberts

One of the most popular apps on the App Store for iPhone since day one has been Shazam. The ability to identify songs just by letting your phone listen was world bending back then, and frankly still is in a lot of ways. If you’re not familiar with Shazam, all you do is open the app (or in iOS 8 ask Siri), press the listen button on the screen, and the app will identify the song that is playing while giving you a link to iTunes to buy. It’s very impressive, and it has identified every song I’ve ever asked it to without a hitch. Well, for those of us that work in an office, or an in a environment where audio is all around us, it would be great if our computers could identify the audio without needing to ask. That’s where the new Shazam app for Mac will help you out!

Shazam for Mac

You just open up the app, let it run in the background and it will identify the music around you as it plays. Once it identifies a song, if you click on it you’ll be able to download and buy the song from iTunes.

Shazam for Mac

Here is the official app summary from the App Store:

Download Shazam, and bring the magic home. The app you’ve come to rely on as your go-to music expert has been given a major upgrade for your Mac. Catch the music and TV playing around you without ever digging a phone out of your pocket. Go nuts, match it all. 

Shazam runs quietly behind the scenes, but springs to life when it finds a song you should know about, creating a playlist as it goes. You can now effortlessly find it, share it, and buy it. Now that’s magic.

1. Operates magically in the background, ready to name that tune at a moment’s notice.

2. Instant, seamless access to all the music that makes up the world around you.

3. One-click access to lyrics, music videos or to buy tracks on iTunes.

4. Discover like never before, share like always. 

If you’d like to download the Shazam app for your Mac, here is the link! 

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