Category Archives: Apps

Which should I use? iCloud Photo Sharing or My Photo Stream

Because Apple includes both iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream in iCloud this has become confusing to some people. Let’s bring some clarity to the issue by going over your options.

My Photo Stream is the most simplistic of the two options. It lets you store photos that you have taken with your iPhone or iPad and save them for 30 days. This allows you to store them or your Mac or PC granted you have your iCloud setup. The catch is that in order to back up your photos you’ll need to save them to your Mac OS X or iOS device.

Using iCloud Photo Sharing with iCloud Photo Library is the more ideal situation. With the Photo Library, all the videos and photos you take are kept up to date throughout all your Apple devices. Using iCloud Photo Sharing you can share your files with friends and family. You can share specific folders to groups of people you invite via iCloud email or even subscribe to other people’s shared albums.

icloud photo sharing
iCloud Photo Sharing options

With My Photo Stream there is no charge, however using iCloud Photo Library you’ll need to sign up for an iCloud storage plan. The first 5GB are free, if you need more you can opt in for 50 or 200GB which would cost you $0.99 or $2.99 per month respectively. With videos that initial 5GB can fill up fast so we would recommend you start with 50GB, after all its only roughly $12/year, and cheaper than most cloud storage plans.

iCloud Library will automatically sync all your files between devices, where as My Photo Stream will not. Turn on iCloud Photo Library and if you choose to use My Photo Stream it will appear in under the All Photos tab inside the Photos app similar to the way all your other photos and videos are organized by Year, Collection and Moments.

my photo stream
My Photo Stream / iCloud Photos

Your home computer will use My Photo Stream to download and store your files in high resolution. Where as your mobile devices, including Apple TV will use size-optimized resolutions in order to save space in those devices where space is limited.

However, using iCloud Photo Library you will be able to store full-resolution files (iCloud photos and videos) on all your Apple devices. Unfortunately you can not use iTunes to sync albums and photos from iCloud Photo Library. As well, be careful because your files will be removed if you quit using the service, although you will be warned.

So no you don’t need to use both My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing. It’s simple really if you don’t pay for iCloud storage then use My Photo Stream, if you do pay for iCloud storage then use iCloud Photo Library in conjunction with iCloud Photo Sharing.

Lastly if you are using iCloud storage and iCloud Photo Library go through all your devices and make sure everything you need is enabled. Check all the options on each device and make sure My Photo Stream is disabled. Using iCloud storage with iCloud Photo Library is the easiest way to keep your photos and videos synced and up-to-date across all your iOS, Mac or PC devices.

Should I buy Office 365 or Office 2016 Mac?

Currently Microsoft offers five Office software options: two stand alone (Office 2016 Mac) and three subscription (Office 365) based suites. Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, Office Home & Student and Office Home & Business make up the new Office for Mac product family.

Deciding what Microsoft Office for Mac to buy can be a little challenging. Office for Mac contains five main programs Excel, Word, Outlook, Powerpoint and OneNote. Depending on which one you purchase you may not get all of them.

Additionally the stand alone versions (Office 2016 Mac) are only for one Mac, while the subscription based services are for all your devices. Confused yet?  Don’t worry, lets take a look at all five options starting from the most popular to the least.

Office 365 Home


  • 1-year subscription
  • For 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets including iPad, Android, or Windows, plus 5 phones
  • Fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more
  • 1TB cloud storage per user for up to 5 users
  • Ongoing access to updates

Office 365 Home is by far the most popular option because you can share the programs with your entire family. In short, if you are an Apple fanatic, you can install it on 5 Macs, 5 iPads and 5 iPhones. Additionally you have access to all the programs online, so no matter where you are you can login. For example if you are using Outlook online and on your computer all your emails stay current across all devices. In addition to the basics listed above, this bundle also includes Access, Publisher, Skype and OneDrive (Also included in Personal & University Editions). To install Office 365 requires just a simple download. This is a yearly subscription service and all updates are free. ($99/ per year)

Office 365 Personal


  • 1-year subscription
  • For 1 PC or Mac, 1 tablet including iPad, Android, or Windows, plus 1 phone
  • Fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more
  • 1TB cloud storage
  • Ongoing access to updates

Office 365 Personal is the same as the Home edition however cheaper and designed for a single individual. So if you only have this in mind for yourself or maybe a gift for an Apple fan then this is for you. Again this is a yearly subscription service and all updates are free. ($69/ per year)

Office 365 University


  • 4-year subscription
  • For 2 PCs, Macs, or tablets including iPad, Android, or Windows, plus 2 phones
  • Fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and more
  • 1TB cloud storage
  • Ongoing access to updates

Office 365 University is for students only. The 4-year subscription is designed to last through a 4-year college degree. Unlike the Personal edition, the University edition lets you add the software to 2 Macs, 2 iPads and 2 iPhones. If you are in or going to college soon this is for you. Also a great high school graduation gift for any Mac user. ($79/4 years)

Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac


  • For 1 Mac (Mac OS X 10.10)
  • Fully installed versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • Store files in the cloud with OneDrive

Office Home & Student 2016 for Mac includes only 4 basic programs listed above and does not include Outlook, Access or Publisher. Basically this version is for someone who doesn’t want to pay a yearly subscription, has no need to access software online and most importantly does’t need Outlook for E-Mail. So if you are using another email client you could consider this, but to be honest the majority of people today are using cloud based software like the 3 most popular subscription services. Office 2016 Mac are one time purchases, you just have to do the math and figure out what option is best for you. The Office 2016 download is fast and setup is even easier. ($149 USD)

Office Home & Business 2016 for Mac


  • For 1 Mac (Mac OS X 10.10)
  • Fully installed versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote
  • Store files in the cloud with OneDrive

Office Home & Business 2016 for Mac is the same as the Home & Student Edition but this version includes Outlook for Mac. At this price it’s better just getting the Office 365 Personal edition, you’ll get all this and more for a fraction of the cost. We wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last stand alone edition Microsoft offers. Again, Office 2016 Mac versions are a one time purchase. ($229 USD)

Bottom Line

To recap it seems that the majority of people are realizing the benefits of the Office 365 subscriptions. To be honest, they are right, if you do the math and compare it to the Office 2016 Mac stand alone editions you get more for your money.

Maybe people purchase Office for Mac just for Outlook alone and paying $69 a year to have email you can access anywhere is cheap if you think about it, not to mention the constant access to updates, online storage and other software. When it comes down to it you really only have to make a decision on if you need the Office 365 Home or Personal edition and if you are a student the University edition is a no brainer.

Still wondering, What is Office 365? Looking for an Office for Mac preview? Need some refresher courses on all that Office 2016 Mac can do? We recommend any number of software suite help books ($20 & under), most of which are now available in digital format.

Why does the App Store continue to reject new apps?

The App Store houses thousands of applications that can be used on all kinds of Apple devices. In fact, Apple says that there are nearly 1.2 million applications available today. As appealing as the variety is, there are concerns over how some people who make their apps end up getting rejected by Apple. Apple has a number of different reasons for why it refuses some applications.


The main reason why Apple rejects apps is because the company doesn’t have enough information on those apps. About 14% of apps are rejected due to this reason. This especially comes from when people don’t provide demo usernames and passwords for programs that require people to log in for some reason. Apple needs full access to new apps and if it does not have access to them or information on those programs then it will reject new apps.

In addition, apps that have bugs and errors in them will be rejected. Apple wants to ensure that any app that is uploaded will actually work without any faults.

The user interface is another aspect of apps that Apple looks into. If a person uploads an app that features an interface that is overly convoluted or difficult to manage then that app will be rejected.

The relevance of a description or other pieces of data that relate the app that is being submitted will also be a real factor. If the description, screenshots or other pieces of data are not reflected in the actual project then the app will be rejected. Apple wants to encourage truth in advertising above all else.

The same can be said for fraudulent information and anything that may be poorly represented. If the program is represented in a way that is misleading or incorrect in some form then it will not get into the App Store. Apple only wants to work with those who do business in an honest and trustworthy way.

Anything listed as a “trial,” “demo” or “beta” version will also be rejected. Apple does not want to take in programs that do not appear to be completely finished. The company only wants programs that it knows are accurate and ready for use without creating any future problems.

Finally, all apps with placeholder text will be rejected. Therefore, all app developers must be aware of what they are doing when preparing their work the right way. The standards that Apple has are certainly strict. The reasons for why the company rejects so many apps are important for all who want to send in their own apps to consider.

The Tile App: The first lost and found for the iPhone

Misplacing things – especially important items like keys and mobile phones – is one of life’s little annoyances. It happens to the best of us, but now thanks to Tile, losing your stuff can virtually be a thing of the past.

The Tile App takes “smartphones” to an incredibly clever new level. Purchase small, slender tiles and attach, stick or drop them into virtually anything you own that is likely to get lost; an iPad, laptop, musical instrument, wallet, car keys, knapsack, you name it! If you misplace the item, the app will help you locate it.

Using GPS technology, the Tile App can show you the last location where your misplaced possession was seen. This is fantastically handy if you believe your item was stolen, or life behind somewhere like in the office or on the bus. Even better, if what you’re searching for has just been misplaced around the house, you can trigger the app to play a sound through the tile, which has a built in speaker. If you can hear it, chances are you can find it! Furthermore, the tiles will tell you through the app if you’re getting “warmer” when trying to find what you’ve mislaid, advising within a range of 50 to 100 feet whether or not you’re getting closer.

The Tile App for iPhone
Tile: The world’s largest lost and found

The Tile App tiles work with the iPhone 4s and 5, the 5th generation iPod Touch, iPad Mini and 3rd and 4th generation iPads. Tiles never need to be charged or have their batteries replaced; rather, they’ll last a year. When it’s time to replace them, the company will contact users with a reminder and send them an envelope to facilitate recycling used tiles.

Up to 10 tiles can be used per account, giving lots of opportunities to stick them to anything you think you might lose. Access to tile location data can be shared with trusted people, like family, friends or coworkers. In addition, the Tile App community acts like a giant lost and found, giving users the ability to receive help with locating a possession, if desired.

Made possibly by crowdfunding, the Tile App’s Selfstarter campaign was one of the largest ever to be funded, raising approximately 2.6 million dollars in start-up capital. With a promise they will start shipping in winter 2013/2014, tiles are already available to pre-order, for anyone who can’t wait to plan for a little support in keeping track of their belongings.

The Tile App Lost and Found
Find lost luggage with Tile

For consumers who are just curious to try a tile out and see whether it’s a good option for them, one tile sells for $24.95 USD. Three tiles plus an additional bonus on one tile is just $74.85, making it the most popular seller with this startup. Additional packages include six tiles plus two bonus tiles for $149.70 and nine tiles plus three bonus tiles for $224.55. Whether you’re someone who’s always misplacing keys and could use a helping hand in keeping track of them, or you want to attach the tiles to many of your prized and portable possessions, The Tile App is an excellent solution that makes terrific use of the iPhone’s capabilities.

Geekbench by Primate Labs helps test the speed of your Mac

For anyone curious about whether their Mac is performing as well as it should, an excellent place to turn is to Primate Labs and their popular Geekbench app. Geekbench is an extremely user-friendly application that benchmark tests your Mac’s processing abilities. Its scoring system is clearly laid out and differentiates between single-core and multi-core performance.

One particularly great aspect that sets Geekbench apart from other benchmark programs is its ability to test your computer with workloads that mimic real-life usage, not just lab standards. As a result, Geekbench doesn’t just tell you where your computer performance is at and where it should be. It determines your computer’s ability to handle the tasks and run the applications you actually use it for.

Geekbench 3 System Information
Geekbench 3 System Information

The latest iteration of Primate Labs’ application, Geekbench 3, runs several different stress tests as well as processor benchmark testing on your Mac. Stress tests determine the stability of your computer against small bugs, allowing you to weed them out and make any necessary repairs before they become big issues.

Geekbench is suitable for both 32-bit and 64-bit computers. It is also multi-core aware. Consequently, it’s helpful for all Mac owners, whether you’re looking to tweak your older dual-core iMac and get some more use out of it or keep your new quad-core Mac in peak condition. It can even handle computers as vast as 32-core servers, testing each core individually. With such a range in ability, it’ll even be prepared for the release of the revolutionary new Mac Pro.

Intuitive testing abilities aside, Geekbench is particularly useful for its ability to check a range of devices. Not just for your MacBook, it can be used to benchmark test smartphones, too. Furthermore, it’s accessible across different platforms. So if you like to mix up devices for whatever reason, your Geekbench account can handle your Apple devices one moment and your Android gadgets the next. It differentiates between mobile and desktop hardware and operating systems, making a subscription a worthwhile investment.

For those who aren’t satisfied just knowing their computer is up to snuff, Geekbench also loads all your testing results into a personalized results browser. Once you create an account, all your test results will be available within its dashboard for ease of reference. And for anyone eager to “geek out” and earn bragging rights over just how quick their system is, test results can be shared amongst users.

Geekbench 3 Score
Geekbench 3 Score

Benchmark testing is about far more than just boasting about computer speed, and it’s not just for extreme enthusiasts keen to tweak and modify every aspect of their computing experience. It’s a valuable idea for all computer users and can help determine if your system is experiencing any problems you may not immediately detect. By catching little hiccups before they become major issues you can potentially prevent issues before they happen and have the most efficient computing experience possible.

Benchmark testing, much like backing up your data and running anti-virus software, is another smart step in protecting your investment. Programs like Geekbench make it a little easier and less intimidating to do so.