IT MSP Atlanta

Tips & Tricks: Navigate System Tray from Keyboard

Use your keyboard to navigate system tray icons Tapping the Windows key + B will automatically select the system tray area at which point you just have to highlight something with the arrow keys and hit enter to open it.

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Tech Terms: Apple CarPlay

A system developed by Apple to integrate Apple iPhones with the in-car infotainment entertainment systems provided in the dash of newer automobiles. Apple CarPlay is designed to make it easier and safer for drivers to access information and multimedia content on their smartphones from the car’s in-dash system without actually having to touch the phone itself.

Apple’s Siri Eyes Free voice technology is heavily integrated with Apple CarPlay to enable drivers to perform tasks such as making phone calls and listening to voicemail, reading incoming messages and notifications, responding to text messages, playing music stored on the iPhone, accessing Satellite navigation and driving directions, and more. In addition to Siri voice commands, CarPlay drivers can also use touchscreen or manual buttons, depending on the car’s in-dash interface.

Apple CarPlay and iOS in the Car
Apple CarPlay evolved from the “iOS in the Car” project initiated by Apple in 2013, and the system was officially unveiled in March 2014. Apple CarPlay requires iPhones with the iOS 7.1 or later mobile operating system, and because the system utilizes the Lightning connector for connecting with iPhones, only the iPhone 5, 5S, 5C and later phones are supported by CarPlay.

Automobile manufacturers that have announced support for Apple CarPlay starting in 2014 include Ferari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Others like BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Nissa, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota have pledged support for CarPlay as well.

Apple CarPlay will also be available for existing cars from aftermarket manufacturers like Pioneer and Alpine, starting in late 2014.

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Tips & Tricks: Use your keyboard to launch programs on the Windows taskbar 

Tapping the Windows key + the number that corresponds to the position of the program is a quick way to open them. For instance if Chrome were the second icon on your taskbar and that’s what you wanted to open, you’d hit Windows key + 2.

Tech Terms: Apple Pay

Apple Pay is a mobile payments service and digital wallet app that utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) to initiate secure payment transactions between contactless payment terminals and Apple iOS devices like the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.

Apple announced Apple Pay on September 12th along with the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, but the service wouldn’t be available for actual use by customers until later in October. Upon its release, Apple Pay is expected to work with most major credit cards, including Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and will be accepted at more than 220,000 locations.

How to Use Apple Pay
Owners of Apple devices that support Apple Pay can use the service by first adding one or more credit or debit cards to their device. The device can use its iSight camera to capture the card’s information and add it to the Passbook app, or the card information can be entered manually.

Apple Pay can then be used by holding the device near a contactless POS (point of sale) transaction processor while placing the user’s finger on the Touch ID, which prevents unauthorized use of the iPhone by others to purchase goods or services.

Security and Privacy Features in Apple Pay
Apple Pay utilizes a number of security technologies to ensure the security of it transactions. Instead of the credit or debit card number being transmitted or stored on any remote servers, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in a dedicated chip in the device known as a Secure Element.

This Device Account Number is transmitted along with a transaction-specific dynamic security code when processing a payment, so the actual card information is never transmitted to the merchant or card processing service.

Apple Pay ensures privacy as well by only storing recent purchase information in Passbook. The actual details of transactions are not stored on Apple servers, in the cloud or anywhere else, according to Apple.

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Tips & Tricks: Bring up the system information window

This is so much quicker than digging this out the traditional way… Just press Windows + Pause/Break and the System Information panel will be ready to go. This might be the only use for the Pause/Break key you will ever find, so enjoy it!

Tech Terms: Android Mobile Security

Mobile security applications for Google’s Android platform help protect Android smartphone and tablet mobile devices from malware threats as well as unauthorized access following accidental loss or theft of the device.

Additional security features frequently offered by Android mobile security apps include securing data on the device, VPN connectivity for protecting data in transit, scanning websites for potential phishing schemes or other fraudulent activity, helping users locate their device if lost or stolen, and more.

Android mobile security applications are available from Google as well as well-known third-party security vendors such as Lookout, Avast, Kaspersky, Symantec and Qihu. 

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Tech Terms: Android Codenames

Android versions (codenames) are used to describe the various updates for the open source Android mobile operating system. Android versions are developed under dessert-inspired codenames, with each new version arriving in alphabetical order with new enhancements and improvements to the Android SDK.

Android Versions
Here’s a snapshot of the Android updates that have already been released as well as at least one currently in development.

  • Cupcake (v1.5)
  • Donut (v1.6)
  • Eclair (v2.0)
  • FroYo (v2.2)
  • Gingerbread (v2.3)
  • Honeycomb (v3.0)
  • Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0)
  • Jelly Bean (v4.1, v4.2, v4.3)
  • KitKat (v4.4)
  • Lollipop (v5.0)
  • Marshmallow (v6.0)
  • Nougat (v7.0)

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Tech Terms: Acronym

Technically, an acronym is a word that is formed by combining some parts (usually the first letters) of some other terms. For example, modem is the acronym derived from modulator/demodulator and FORTRAN is the chosen parts of the words formula translator.

Acronym Versus Initialism
In everyday speech, the term is also used to refer to initialisms, which are combinations of letters representing a longer phrase. For example, CRT is an initialism for cathode ray tube.The difference is that an acronym is pronounced as if it were a word rather than just a series of individual letters.

Newsgroups, chat rooms, and e-mail have spawned a rich set of acronyms and initialisms for common phrases. 

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