The new MacBook: The Ultimate Business Partner

In the hype typhoon that encompassed the Apple Watch, another stunning piece of hardware design was introduced to the public during Apple’s Spring Forward event on Monday; the new MacBook.

This latest update is a significant breakthrough in professional notebook hardware. As is becoming status-quo in Cupertino, Apple is reinventing technology that we take for granted. For example, the new butterfly keyboard mechanism .

It’s different from the traditional scissor mechanism that most every laptop uses currently. They did this to accomplish two goals: Make a thinner laptop. Maintain a full-size keyboard. Mission accomplished. The new Macbook is just .52 inches at it’s thickest, and .14 at it’s thinnest. The new keyboard is much thinner, taking up less space internally, and the keys measure out exactly the same size as your hands are used to on a traditional laptop keyboard. Where’s the tradeoff? Well the keys have less space to move down, so it will feel significantly different in that regard. If you’ve ever typed on an iPad or iPhone screen, then it’s really not that drastic.

The weight is also a huge improvement.  The new MacBook weighs in at 2lbs. I’m currently typing this on a 11″ MacBook Air that weighs 2.38lbs, and think this is the perfect travel weight. Now the new MacBook shaves .38lbs off of that and makes my messenger bag that much lighter. Anyone who rocks a mobile office knows how important that is.

Connectivity is another aspect of this laptop that has taken a drastic step into tomorrow. The new MacBook heavily relies on the wireless technologies that are becoming standardized every day. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11a/c run the show here. Any printer that’s worth while has a wireless printing option now.  File transfer easily through AirDrop. Connect to a TV for display sharing via AirPlay. Listen to music with any number of bluetooth headphones, or speakers. This coupled with iCloud Drive give you several ways to live without  the cord. Speaking of which, the new power cord is a step away from the norm with Apple. The new MacBook is the first laptop Apple has made without a proprietary port. It powers through USB C.

usbc

©2015 Apple Inc.

This is a new industry standard technology that will open up several manufactures to create their own devices to connect to your MacBook. It’s not limited to just power. I would expect to see sleek new docking stations to hit the market soon.

With all this space saving on the inside of the laptop, there’s plenty of room for battery. The new MacBook boasts “all day” battery which I’m assuming means “all work/school day” since the website claims 9-10 hours battery life. This should be enough for an average day at work, but I wouldn’t leave the house with less than a 100% charge & the power cable handy. (You never know when your workday will be interrupted by a Netflix marathon) Either way, 9 hours of battery life is nothing to be disappointed in. Apple has put a lot of research and development into the inside of this new MacBook and quite simply, it looks beautiful.

macbook inside

©2015 Apple Inc.

All of the smooth dark area you see here is battery. The miniature board you see at the top is the logic board which houses RAM, video, and hard drive. The bottom you see the inner workings of Apple’s new “Force Touch” trackpad. The same technology that will be part of the Apple Watch interface, giving you tactical feedback and a new way of interacting with the web and OS.

A sleek new design, extremely power efficient, a stunning retina display, and several uncompromising space saving innovations makes this MacBook, in my opinion, the best new tool for any business person looking for the ultimate portable laptop solution.

For a full rundown on the specs, visit www.apple.com/macbook/

 

 

 

Apple allows anyone to use ‘iWork for iCloud’, not just Macs

icloudlogin

iCloud login screen

As of 2/26/15, anyone with an Apple ID can gain access to Apple’s iWork suite. To overcome any software compatibility and even installation time, Apple offers iWork free to anyone with an Apple ID who has turned on iCloud. iCloud gives users a free IMAP email client, 1GB of storage space and synchronization features for their calendars and contacts.  With the recent addition of iCloud Drive, users now have the luxury of saving documents they create in iWork to a secure server and can recall them on all of their devices. Now that iWork for iCloud is out of beta testing, anyone can utilize this free and powerful desktop publishing software.

Microsoft Office is business standard for desktop publishing in the workplace, but what if your business is not the standard?  Subscription fees and activation keys are a necessary evil in the IT business  world, but if you’re a small office or self employed, does it really make sense to bother yourself with the hassle and expense? Especially when Apple is providing you a polished and supported productivity suite solution that is 100% free to use.

iCloud.com’s-only apps can be accessed from recent versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Free accounts are limited to 1GB of storage and users will need an iOS device or Mac to acquire more storage or access iCloud’s full set of features.

Apple Updates World Travel Adapter Kit

Apple World Travel Adapter Kit

Apple has updated the must-have accessory for any world business traveler. This kit will allow you to charge your iPhone, iPad, iPod or MagSafe-ready MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro. It works with any current charger that has a removable “duckhead” piece; i.e. iPad or MacBook chargers. If all you have is a truncated iPhone or iPod charger, then you will need to purchase a 12watt iPad charger to charge your iPhone.

The duckhead removal instructions for a MacBook charger.

The updated charger now supports Brazil, bringing the supported countries to 7, has a lower price point of $29, but no longer comes with a lightning cable. If you’re anything like me, you most likely have lightning cables coming out of every corner of your house now, so this really should not be a problem.

The World Travel Adapter Kit can be purchased online at Apple’s web store or at any of their retail locations.

Technology Training in the workplace: How does it benefit your business?

When you walk down the street, you’ll be hard pressed to not find someone with their face in a screen.  iPhones and iPads are now commonplace.  How does your business stack up? Do you utilize these devices or do you see them as an employee distraction? If you find yourself thinking the latter, chances are you’re not too comfortable with the technology yourself. In my years as a trainer, I’ve found that the moment this barrier is removed, that’s when the true magic of the technology is revealed.  The possibilities are evident when self doubt is gone. Working within the walls of Apple for years, we called these “Wow moments”.  It can be something simple, it can be something common, but it doesn’t matter as long as it delivers that “wow moment” and triggers your brain to start seeing the possibilities.  Being a Apple enthusiast myself, I am not immune from these moments. I remember a snowy day in Shadyside in 2013 when a coworker/friend showed me how the new Mac OS was able to capture your signature and use it in PDFs. It wasn’t groundbreaking, but man was it cool! I was in the process of purchasing a house and was able to utilize this feature to sign off on the dozens of PDF docs that my agent sent me.  The traditional method is to print it out, sign and fax it back to the agent. This new method saved me lots of time, paper, and writers cramp. If each process the traditional way took me 5 minutes, and I had to do that 20 times, then I’m looking at nearly an hour and a half of busy work. The new method cut that down to less than a minute for each task. I just gave myself over an hour of time to not be twiddling away at busy work. Now apply that to your business. How many practices are bogging you and your staff down? That’s a tough question to answer because if you don’t know that theres a quicker way to get something done, then you don’t know that you’re wasting your time. I find that training for yourself or your staff is something that can really help boost production.
A relatively small investment of time and money can end up saving your business much larger amounts of time and money. The catch with training however, is how you use it. Paying for training doesn’t equate to automatically learning and retaining that information. I have found that the best application of training focuses on subject matter that is beneficial and interesting to you as a business owner. When that reality is established, you control the limits of your experience, and get a robust picture of how your business can benefit.