Business iPad app of the month: Slack

Business iPad app of the month: Slack

This month, we’ve turned our attention towards creative businesses and have chosen an app that has proved popular with creative types (according to our recent Apple in business survey). Our app of the month for this month is Slack, an app that is compatible with iOS and Mac, making it a great choice for businesses using multiple devices.

What is it?

A chat tool and alternate method of communication for teams within businesses to use instead of email. You can use Slack for realtime messaging, file sharing, and supporting one-to-one and group conversations.

How does it work?

Slack is essentially like a fancy Facebook Messenger, but you can pass it off as work. Once you’ve downloaded the app, created a Slack account and signed into it you’ll be greeted by Slack’s cheerful and smart opening window. From this window, you can access and set up your Channels (group conversations), Direct Messages and Private Groups (for when you’re feeling secretive). Channels can be accessed by all of your team, so you can set them up for all of your projects, and use them to gain visibility and keep tabs on your work.

Slack can be integrated with many of your other popular apps including Dropbox, Asana, Google+, Twitter and Google Drive. Unfortunately for us, Slack doesn’t integrate with our most popular day to day apps like Salesforce and Traffic, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t still enjoy using it and find it useful.

Who is it for?

Slack is for any business looking for an alternative method of communication and file sharing which is compatible across devices. We like using Slack within our copywriter team for brain storming and being able to keep visibility over shared projects.

What’s the best feature?

The cross-platform ability is great (Slack syncs between the iPad app, desktop app and browser version, so you’re never away from your projects), but the best feature has to be the joyfully whimsical Slackbot. You can use Slackbot as your own personal support, so if you need to query something or don’t understand a feature (which is rare – it’s a very simple app to use) you can put your questions to Slackbot. To use Slackbot, all you need to do is go into the Slackbot Direct Meesage and start typing “/” to see the list of Slackbot commands. You can use Slackbot to set up reminders for yourself, send feedback to Slack, invite members to join your Channels and change your preferences.

How much is it and where can I get it?

You can get Slack for free on the App Store (for both iOS and Mac). It’s free to download, create an account and use – there’s no hidden costs.

– Miss out on our last app review? Find out why we love Glisser for iPad here.

Want to know more about making the most of iPad in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. To find out more about app development and our b7 scheme visit www.Jigsaw24.com/b7. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

Weekly design inspiration: Adobe CC easter eggs, Co-op meets Apple and horrifying bunnies

Weekly design inspiration: Adobe CC easter eggs, Co-op meets Apple and horrifying bunnies

Seeing as we’ll all probably still be in bed this time next week, we’re bringing Easter forwards a week and compiling our favourite picks of Easter inspiration now. We’ve found some lovely, techy and downright creepy Easter projects to share with you. Take a look, and don’t forget to send us yours…

Hidden Adobe CC Easter eggs

We’ll start with a serious one (well serious, for us). We’ve been looking at the hidden ‘easter eggs’ software developers hide within their programs. It’s all an element of jovial fun and can be anything from a hidden message, joke or full-blown game. Adobe have followed suit and built in a selection of useful and comical hidden tools into the latest update of their Creative Cloud applications. You can make coffee and toast in Photoshop and unlock hidden strokes in InDesign. Our Senior Designer, Paul, is particularly tickled by meeting the InDesign friendly alien. Take a read of the article on highlander.co.uk and try them out for yourself!

Hidden Adobe CC Easter Egg

Hidden Adobe CC easter egg whisky cat

Adobe CC hidden Easter egg

Adobe CC hidden Easter egg

 

Hidden Adobe CC Easter eggs via highlander.co.uk

Co-op does Easter

Co-op has teamed up with creative agency Amaze to produce an Easter egg promo site which is a wonderfully light-hearted Apple parody. It really is a ‘triumph in ergonomics’. It features everything from an Easter egg comparison chart to a section on ‘your local Easter Egg-sperts’ – there’re so many egg puns, you can see why we love it!

Co-op easter marketting

Co-op easter marketting

Co-op Easter marketting

Co-op Easter campaign via Easterlovedbyus.com

An egg timer app you can rely on

We class this next piece as Easter inspiration simply because there’s an egg involved. Simon, from our design team, presented us with a review of the best free egg timer apps on the market, resulting in ‘Egg timer app’ from the ‘Egg Farmers of Canada’ coming out on top. If you’re sick of hard-boiling an egg that was meant for your soldiers or you keep drying out your scrambled eggs, you need this free app. The only downside from us was that we expected some sort of chicken miracle graphic to appear when our eggs were done – not to ruin the surprise, but it’s just your standard ‘your eggs are ready’ notification. You can download the ‘Egg timer app’ from the App Store here.

Egg timer app design inspiration

Egg timer app from Egg Farmers of Canada

Fabergé egg installation at Harrods

Chances are, if you put an iPad in the front of your store, we are going to play with it. This is exactly what Harrods have done this year as part of their Easter window display. They’ve teamed up with jewellers Fabergé (who are currently hosting a pop-up egg bar in the store) to get customers to design their own Fabergé egg using the iPad in-store. Their designs are then projected onto a 1.5m-long egg in the shop window. Take a look at the installation video below – we’ll certainly be paying the Knightsbridge store a visit to check it out!

Fabergé egg installation at Harrods via eventmagazine.co.uk

Easter bunnies more terrifying than a crucified man coming back from the dead

We should warn you, this next piece might scar you and ruin the Easter bunny for life. Here we present a collection of images of various Easter bunny costumes throughout the years – seriously, how were people allowed to take photos with children looking like this?! Some of the costumes mysteriously remind us of one specific mask in our staff room…

Easter bunny inspiration

Easter bunny inspiration

Easter bunny inspiration

Creepiest Easter bunny photos ever taken via happyplace.com

If you’re feeling slightly uneasy after that last set of images, take a look at our final Easter-inspired image. Here’s Madison, our Marketing Assistant, after winning her first Easter bonnet competition (deep down, she really is thrilled).

Easter bonnet inspiration

– Missed last week’s web-themed design inspiration? Catch up with it here.

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below.

In the meantime, head on over to our new Design and Publishing home page and don’t forget to check out our Adobe Creative Cloud hub. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Weekly design inspiration: CSS interaction, a trip to Mars and Geocities

Weekly design inspiration: CSS interaction, a trip to Mars and Geocities

Our design inspiration theme this week is the web. We’ve been looking at our favourite examples of web design, creativity and history– we’ve even tried to be a bit topical, with the Solar Eclipse having just taken place and slip some space themed content in their too. Our web inspiration features some darn cute transitioning animals, a trip to Mars and a website that tells you how many times you flush the toilet at work (we’re not here to judge)…

In pieces

We start off with this lovely CSS-based interactive exhibition celebrating evolutionary distinction. There are 30 animals (all endangered) to work your way through – the Pygmy three-toed sloth looks very jovial, look at him waving away! This is a really great concept and website, the only slightly disturbing element is when you click “what’s the threat’ and the animal appears to explode – poor three-toed sloth. We’d recommend a read of the ‘How it’s made’ section, to see how the animals are being manipulated through a set of co-ordinates with CSS transitions to link up the movements.

CSS-based web design

CSS-based web design

CSS-based web design

In pieces by species-in-pieces.com

How far is it to Mars?

This morning we all stood outside with our mugs of coffee and waited patiently for the moon to get a jog on and cover the sun. When you think about it, space is pretty inspirational, so we were loving this neat little website that put into perspective how far away Mars is, by using an Earth 100 pixels wide. In case you were wondering, if the Earth was only 100 pixels wide, Mars would be 428,000 pixels away, and the Moon 3000 pixels away. We particularly like that during your trip to Mars you’re entertained with a selection of fun space trivia.

Web inspiration, distance to Mars

How far is it to Mars? By distancetomars.com

Sid Lee Dashboard

Who said black and white was boring? There’s certainly plenty to look at and keep you occupied for a good 15 minutes on creative agency Sid Lee’s website. Broken down into a grid, the website features the activity in the office, including the temperature, number of coffees poured and even how many goals are scored on the table-football. At first we were adamant that this wasn’t genuine, but after watching the company’s accompanying video – we are genuinely baffled! Do they seriously record how many times the toilet gets flushed in a day and put it on their website? You can click on each of the elements to open up a graph of when the activities were carried out – apparently at 4am this morning the water fountain was proving popular.

Wed design, Sid Lee creative agency

Web design, Sid Lee creative agency

Dashboard.sidlee.com

6 totally wrong early predictions about the internet

In 1969 a series of predictions were made about the future of the internet, and while we may laugh at them now, at the time, these seem perfectly legitimate things to claim. The list includes ‘people will never just sit and stare at a screen all day’, ‘no one would ever buy a damn thing over the computer’, and our favourite ‘the Internet will end…in 1996’. There’s also a video to go alongside these statements – take a listen, we guarantee you will be slightly amused!

6 totally wrong early predictions about the Internet via smosh.com

Long live Geocities

Our final piece of inspiration for this week is a good one; we’ve definitely saved the best till last. The One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age is attempting to capture and archive the few remaining Geocities out there, and their Tumblr includes screenshots of home-coded masterpieces that have, sadly, fallen in the maw of Yahoo Small Business. For those of you not aware of the wonder of Geocities, you need to take a look at how we were making websites in the 90s (apparently you can still make Geocities in Japan). Here’s a selection of our favourite…

Web design, Geocities

Web design, Geocities

Wed design, Geocities

Geocities via Tublr

– Missed out on last week’s design inspiration? Catch up on our Photoshop themed article here.

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. In the meantime, check out our new and improved Design and Publishing homepage and our dedicated Adobe Creative Cloud hub. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Apple announce new 12″ MacBook

Apple announce new 12″ MacBook

Last night (9th March 2015) saw Apple unveil their latest batch of new creations. As well as revealing more details about the eagerly anticipated Apple Watch, Apple also announced revamped MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, but most excitingly, the radical new 12” MacBook. 

Here’s your guide to what’s new in the 12″ MacBook…

For starters, instead of the usual choice of size, the new MacBook will come in just one size: a 12” model. It’s thinner and lighter than its predecessor, but certainly doesn’t compromise on quality or power. Featuring a brand new faster Intel Core M processor, you also get up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of flash storage and a swanky 2304×1440 resolution Retina display.

Physically, it looks different to the MacBook Air due to its new edge-to-edge keyboard design and the fact it only sports one USB type-C port and a headphone jack.  The new MacBook is also following in the footsteps of iPhone and iPad and will be available in a range of colours: silver, space grey and gold (oooh…).

The trackpad has had an exciting redesign with the new Force Touch trackpad. Now using four force sensors and a ‘Taptic Engine’, it allows anywhere clicking and adjustable click feel, Apple say. It’s completely pressure sensitive, with new ‘Force Click’ technology letting you press harder for different functionality (preview files, bring up directions, fast forward in media apps etc). The new design is also fanless, and Apple tell us that it’ll be silent in operation.

12″ MacBook specs at a glance:

– All new 12″ 2304 x 1440 resolution Retina Display.

– New Intel Graphics HD 5300.

– 34% thinner than 13” MacBook Air.

– 24% thinner even than 11” MacBook Air.

– New design full size keyboard.

– All new Force Touch trackpad.

– All new compact USB-C port for data transfer video out and charging.

– All day battery life (9 or 10 hours).

– Super quiet fanless design.

– Available in Gold, Silver & Space Grey.

Availability

Price-wise, the new MacBook starts at around £1049. It’s not shipping until 10th April, unfortunately, but we’ll be the place to order yours when it does.

Want to find out more about the new Mac releases? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest Apple news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Weekly design inspiration: Branding, origami and twisted Disney

Weekly design inspiration: Branding, origami and twisted Disney

This week we’ve turned our attention to Adobe’s social network and creative sharing hub Behance for our inspiration. We love how easy it is to search for quick inspiration when you’re having a momentary blank. We could happily spend all of our Friday afternoon on Behance, but we’ve restrained ourselves and selected our top five projects to share with you this week – we’ve got plenty of branding ideas, origami, wonderful drawings and of course, twisted Disney…

Fish and chips branding

First up, we all agree on how lovely this project from STUDIOJQ is. It developed after they grew tired of the outdated branding of their local chippy and decided to visualise how they would make it look better. They’ve come up with their own logo, packaging and signage for the chippy (which we definitely think they should pitch to the owners). We are particularly fond of the fetching rubber stamp and the icon based logos. The packaging is lovely too, really great work – we aren’t at all craving a battered cod right now.

Fish and chips branding from STUIDOJQ via Behance.

Google Maps origami

If you ever need a good way to store a map, we’d recommend you check out this Google Maps origami project. The purpose was to encourage smaller businesses to register on Google, so naturally B.A.Bakken made an origami pineapple out of a map. Part one of the project focuses on the shapes being created, with the aim to produce items popularly found in various small businesses (how did lobsters make the cut?). Part two of the project focussed on adding colour and incorporating maps onto the designs. Quite frankly, who knew a map would look so fetching in the shape of a pineapple? We can’t wait to see what part three is going to look like.

Google Maps origami by B.A.Bakken via Behance part one

Google Maps origami by B.A.Bakken via Behance part two

Identity crisis

This next piece took us all back to a few years ago when the Logo Quiz app was in full swing. This project from London based Alvin Ofori-Brown is made up of a collection of popular logos that have been switched with their competitors’ logos. This is certainly harder to explain than it is to look at, so we’ll leave you with the real thing – go get yourselves an afternoon hot beverage and try to work out which company logos have been switched…

Identity crisis by Alvin Ofori-Brown via Behance

Distroy Disney

As much as we think original Disney is fantastic, we can’t help but be amazed and a little intrigued by these slightly twisted and dark collections of pencil drawings of popular Disney characters from PEZ Artwork. The hardcore look certainly suits Buzz Lightyear, but I will forever more be haunted by that Krusty the Clown.

Distroy by PEZ Artwork via Behance part 1

Distroy by PEZ Artwork via Behance part 2

Hand-drawn owls

If I was wearing a hat I would doff it to London based illustrator Greg Coulton for his stunning drawings of owls, which were commissioned for Hoot Watches. The detail in these drawings is staggering – especially the ‘Great Horned Owl’. The drawings on their own are beautiful; we almost think they’re too good to be used on the packaging for a watch – we want it on wallpaper! If owls aren’t your thing, Greg has also done a wonderful fox called Rebecca who is just lovely too.

Hoot Watch owls by Greg Coulton via Behance

– Missed last week’s design inspiration? Catch up with it here.

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, check out Behance for a quick fix of inspiration. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

 

Weekly design inspiration: Childhood fears, CSS puns and street photography

Weekly design inspiration: Childhood fears, CSS puns and street photography

This week has been a long one, with the wait for payday seeming endless. We’re all still bickering about THAT dress (we can’t agree on the colour), and still watching the video on repeat of Madonna’s trip at the BRITs (seriously though Madge – we’re glad you’re OK). This week our inspiration has come in the form of childhood fears, CSS puns and some really lovely street photography…

Coffee foam art

These wonderful pictures of foamy goodness, by Japanese barista Kazuki Yamamoto, have just further fuelled our coffee addiction. The 26-year-old has turned the bog-standard cappuccino into a work of art – can we convince him he should come work for us? Personally I wouldn’t want to drink my coffee if someone had gone to the effort to sculpt me a giraffe on top – I would delicately try and sip around it, but would most likely let it go cold, take pictures and social media the hell out of it.

3D coffee art via wherecoolthingshappen.com 

Vivian Maier photography

Now for a serious one. This week we’ve all fallen in love with American Street Photographer Vivian Maier. Her story is amazing – we can find no other way to describe her than a real-life Mary Poppins – she spent most of her life in financial difficulty and worked extremely hard as a carer, taking photos in her spare time with an SLR camera using 35mm film. We strongly recommend you to take a look at her website, read her story and marvel at her pictures. Here’s a snapshot of a few of our favourite pictures from her Street albums and self portraits. Just for the record, Kim Kardashian has got nothing on Vivian’s selfie-taking skills.

Want to find out more about Vivian Maier? Head on over to Arty’s website for loads more pictures and history.

Vivian Maier photography by vivianmaier.com

Sleepwalkers: The best mini golf hole EVER

If there’s one thing we love more than coffee, it’s mini golf, and this indoor miniature golf in San Francisco looks amazing. The whole course is pretty fancy, but we’re fascinated by one hole which requires the player to drop their ball into an entrance in the wall, with the purpose being to find a way of getting it out with a helping hand from a Borrower-like creature. Watch the video below to see how the ball is released –  its mind-blowing stuff!

Sleepwalkers by danrosefeld.com

CSS puns

We’re letting our lovable geeky sides out this week and sharing with you a collection of puns and jokes collected by Saigo George from Reddit and DesignerNews told in CSS code form. They’re hilarious – we can’t get enough.

CSS puns by saijogeorge.com

Deep dark fears in comic strip form

Finally, we’re ending the week with this amazing collection of comic strips from illustrator Fran Krause, telling the fears that roam around a child’s brain. We have to admit, some of these are really weird, and certainly not thoughts we’ve ever had (or will admit to having), but some of them are bang-on, with the illustrations matching completely with the thoughts in our heads.

Deep, dark fears via boredpanda.com

– Missed last weeks’ design inspiration article? Catch up here.

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

Weekly design inspiration: 25 years of Photoshop, pancake art and optical illusions

Weekly design inspiration: 25 years of Photoshop, pancake art and optical illusions

This week we celebrated Photoshop’s 25th birthday, Pancake Day and revelled in the joy that we now know who killed Lucy in EastEnders. Here’s a round up of some of our favourite creative inspirations from our celebratory week…

1. 25 years of beautiful, fake images brought to you by Photoshop

Happy 25th Birthday to Adobe’s much loved digital imaging software, Photoshop. Now, whenever I’m feeling old, I can seek comfort in knowing that Photoshop has been around for longer than I have. We’re enjoying Matt Novak’s homage to Photoshop and his collection of his favourite Photoshopped images. The CCTV camera outside George Orwell’s house is one of our favourites, with George Bush not far behind.

25 years of beautiful, fake images brought to you by Photoshop via gixmodo.com

2. Pancake art

A nice topical one for this week. On Tuesday we all gathered in the kitchen for a mid morning pancake. As much as we enjoyed being able to bring our Nutella and maple syrup jars into the office, our pancakes were nowhere near up the the standard of Nathan Shields. Meet super-dad, maths teacher and pancake artist Nathan Shields who certainly wins the award for most creative design for a pancake. His Disney princess collection is particularly charming, as is his African animal series.

Pancake art by Sainpancakes.com

3. Largest ever image of Andromeda M31 Galaxy

In late January NASA released this stunning high definition image of the Andromeda M31 Galaxy. It’s been described as the “sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour”. The image itself has a resolution of 1.5 billion pixels (1.5 gigapixels) and has a storage size of 4.5GB. What you’re looking at is a 48,000 light-year long stretch of galaxy and over 100 million stars. I don’t even think i could imagine what 1 light-year looks like, let alone 48,000, i’ve only just mastered kilometres. Take a look at the zoom-able version of the image here.

Sharpest ever view of the Andromeda Galaxy

4. Mind-bending optical illusion paintings

We love this series of 25 images by Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves. His paintings are drawn from his interest in drawing from the imagination and “magic realism”. His paintings are utterly breathtaking, we really could never tire of looking at them (except maybe one or two, which we can’t decide whether we find fascinating or creepy).

Mind-bending optical illusion paintings via wherecoolthingshappen.com

5. Design of the Year 2015

The nominees have been announced for this year’s Design Museum ‘Design of the Year 2015’, and they’re all amazing. It’s hard not to feel inspired by such creativity. We were going to pick out one category and highlight a few of our favourites, but in truth there’s so much captivating work (some you might recognise from our previous blogs) that we really couldn’t pick a favourite.

Such lies.

We were trying to be impartial, but obviously we’ve picked our favourite. Taken from the ‘Fashion’ category, our winner goes to Kate and Laura Muleavy’s series of Star Wars-inspired dresses. Not sure how we’d accessorise a C-3PO dress though…

Design of the Year 2015 via designmuseum.org

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

Here’s our final discussion topic from BETT 2015: why we recommend Apple for education. Here’s a breakdown of our top five reasons why we think Apple in education is the way forward.

Yes, we’re an Apple Solution Expert for Education: so obviously we wear the Apple nerd hat with pride. But, when it comes to education, you really can’t get any better than Apple. Here’s a breakdown of our top five favourite Apple features that we think make them top of the class.

1. iTunes and the App Store

There are currently over 75,000 education apps on the App store, with a large proportion of these being available as free downloads. With the introduction of the new Computing curriculum seeing students learning about coding in lessons, what better resource to make use of than the App Store? Incidentally there’s a great range of apps both free and paid for to help children of all key stages learn and practice their coding skills. Its not all tech based though – there are apps to help with all subjects from maths and biology to music. Keep an eye on our education app of the week blog to see our pick of recommended apps.

2. iTunes U

iTunes U is a dedicated destination within iTunes solely dedicated to education content. It’s packed with resources like lectures, videos and books, all available for free for both teachers and pupils to take advantage of. Educational institutions including Stanford, Yale, MiT, Oxford and the New York Public Library all have material on iTunes U that is free to browse. As well as looking at existing content, you can also use iTunes U for free content hosting for lesson materials and creating your own course – a service which we can help you with. Teaching staff can assign students homework to do via iTunes U, with students being able to log time and complete tasks as they do them.

3. Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) for Education

VPP lets you purchase App Store apps and interactive books that are great for education, at educational institution special pricing. Buy apps in volume for both iOS and Mac through the VPP store and distribute them to individual users with redeemable codes or distribute to groups using a mobile device management (MDM) solution.

Schools can get a 50% discount when purchasing apps in quantities of 20 or more through VPP, with iBooks also being included in this.

4. Continuing professional development training (CPD)

When new technology is introduced into education, it’s important to make sure that your staff are clued up on how to use it. Through our e7 iPad scheme, we offer continuing professional development (CPD) training which focuses on giving SLT, teaching staff and technical team the chance to explore the potential of iPad in the classroom, and feel confident about using it in their subject areas.

5. iBooks Author

Available free on the App Store, iBooks Author allows anyone to create iBooks textbooks for iPad and Mac. iBooks Author provides teaching staff with the opportunity to create their own textbooks, which can easily be edited to keep up with the changing curriculum. Using iBooks Author can easily save your school money too – by eliminating the cost of buying new textbooks every year.

To find more about Apple in education email learning@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 333 or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/education. To keep up with all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

Guide to Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme

Guide to Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme

Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme or DEP is something you’re going to be hearing more and more about over the coming months. For those of you who don’t know what DEP is or want to find out how it will affect you, we’ve put together a simple guide to run you through the programme, and how it will affect you for any future or past purchases you’ve made with Jigsaw24.

What is it?

In as few words as possible the Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) is a new ‘zero touch’ service from Apple that helps businesses and education institutions easily deploy and manage iPad, iPhone and Mac devices that are purchased directly from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller (like us).

In a few more words, DEP makes your existing MDM solution even more hands-off, by allowing the institution to send its preferred settings straight to Apple, who then installs these on your devices as soon as users turn their new devices on. Ideally, you’ll already have an MDM solution in place, but if not, keep on reading for more information about our range of hosted and managed services.

The introduction of DEP with MDM makes deploying and delivering new devices across your institution a speedy process, and ensures that new devices are protected and restricted as soon as the user switches them on. It cuts out the lengthy process of having to manually add the right configurations to devices every time a new member of staff starts, or you purchase a new device.

How does DEP work?

DEP works by applying MDM settings to your devices automatically during setup when they’re first turned on, simplifying the process for IT and end-users. When you buy a new device for your business, you can enrol your devices into the DEP and they’ll automatically have the correct MDM profile and permissions installed when they are first switched on. This means your devices are ready for you to deploy and distribute straight away.

What devices does it cover?

Devices including iPad, iPhone and Mac can all be enrolled in the DEP. It’s worth noting that all new purchases are automatically enrolled in DEP, and any devices that were purchased after March 2011 can also be enrolled. If you enrol your existing devices in to the DEP you’ll need to make sure you’ve associated your devices with the reseller you purchased them from. Our Jigsaw24 Reseller ID is 2287450. To enrol your devices in the DEP click here.

How does it work with MDM?

To use DEP with your MDM solution you need to register your MDM server with Apple so that their servers will remember the configurations you like to deploy to your different types of users. You’ll then get sent a ‘token’ for your MDM server that identifies it to Apple. When you add new hardware to your institution or reload the operating system of your existing hardware, Apple will effectively see your organisation’s token and apply the setup you specified automatically through DEP when you turn the device on for the first time – meaning you wont have to apply the same settings and restrictions every time you get a new device or reload the operating system on an existing one.

What if I don’t have an MDM solution?

DEP will simplify your device deployments, but requires MDM to work. So although you may not yet be using an MDM solution, we would recommend it, as it will save your IT department and users time and stress.

We can provide you with an MDM solution to meet your needs, whether you want to manage it yourself or have it as managed service, host it on premise or in the cloud. Check out our managed supply services here.

What does this mean for education?

MDM is a way to control iPad and install apps on them in bulk without having to collect them all and plug them in. You gain wireless control of restrictions, apps, books, camera functions, the ability to reset forgotten passcodes, and force a class of iPad into a specific app for pupil focus. We recommend MDM as the best way to manage iPad.

All your institution-owned devices can now be enrolled in DEP and associated with an MDM solution. Meaning that whether you use iPad, Mac or iPhone your devices will be configured with your MDM solution as soon as you turn them on. Any existing devices your institution owns can be enrolled in DEP too, as long as they were purchased after March 2011.

So if you were to roll out iPad on a 1:1 basic school-wide with our e7 scheme, your new devices will be enrolled in the DEP and will arrive at your school ready to be configured with the permissions and access rights set up by your MDM solution as soon as you switch them on.

What does it mean for business?

DEP provides a fast and streamlined way to deploy your corporate-owned iOS devices, by automating enrolment in MDM and the supervision of devices during setup. To enrol your corporate-owned devices that were purchased after March 2011 into DEP you’ll need to create an Apple Deployment Programme account and provide Apple with some basic information about your business, including details about your hardware purchases made directly from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller (that’s us). You can do this here.

Once you’ve done this you can create and assign people as additional administrators, who are responsible for managing and configuring your corporate-owned devices.

What if I have Apple Configurator?

You have the option to transition to DEP. However, Apple does not allow supervision of devices with configurator if that device is registered to the DEP profile. So you can set up devices with DEP or Configurator, but not both on the same device. If you already have devices enrolled with Apple configurator or an MDM solution using Apple configurator, these can be wiped and re-enrolled to the DEP.

Enhancements to Volume Purchase Programme (VPP)

Volume Purchase Programme now allows for a ‘managed distribution’ model. This model assigns apps to AppleIDs instead of devices, so that apps can appear on the devices without anyone having to type in a password or agree to the installation. Apps can install silently and be ready to use without intervention. Your MDM solution needs to understand who the users are in your organisation and what their AppleIDs are. You can now upload a ‘token’ from the VPP programme that indicates the apps that you’ve purchased. In your MDM interface, you can now assign apps to groups of users, resulting in only specific AppleIDs getting access to apps.

Want to talk to us in more detail about DEP or MDM? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Want to improve your video workflow? Here’s how Sony can help…

Want to improve your video workflow? Here’s how Sony can help…

If you’re shooting video on your DSLR, you’ll have realised you can only shoot in short bursts and have probably encountered the infamous rolling shutter ‘jelly effect’. Know what we’re talking about? This is because DSLRs aren’t optimised for video. So if you’re looking to step up from DSLR to a dedicated video camera, you need to think about your overall design workflow and end goals. Here are a few pointers and ways in which Sony can help.

Sony are one of the industry leaders, so getting to grips with their tech can be a real benefit and open your design workflow up to a whole host of cameras and peripherals to chose from. Here are a few things we recommend you bare in mind when considering your camera selection.

What kind of projects does your business produce?

Those of you that work on film will want a large sensor camera so that you’re able to master shooting with a ‘filmic’ shallow depth of field, whereas if your work is geared more towards general media production, you’ll want a smaller sensor camera that allows for longer focus, so that you can practice reactive shooting as events unfold.

Distinctions like this will also impact your choice of lens – variable if your goal is to create something attractive, fixed if you’re trying to shoot a news segment – and the kind of rigs, tripods and lights you need.

Studio v location shooting

If you’re design workflow focuses more on media and television production, you’re far more likely to need a dedicated room or studio where you can record, carry out chromakeying and man the gallery.

In this is the case, you’ll need cameras that can be linked together in a traditional studio setup. And if you’re using something like NewTek TriCaster to mix or stream footage, that will in turn affect the kinds of inputs and outputs you need on your cameras.

The good news is that most cameras can be modified to fit into a setup like this, but it’s important to make sure you have compatible cameras so that there’s not a noticeable difference between footage from A and B cameras, and that you don’t have to waste valuable time juggling file types and media formats.

What will you be doing with the footage after it’s shot (and how much storage do you have)?

Having a dedicated space for media work and basing your choice of camera around your streaming setup and infrastructure is a far better move than getting yourself cameras that look great but are difficult to network and integrate with the rest of your infrastructure. And of course if you’re going to be shuttling everything back and forth, you’ll want to go for as sturdy a camera as possible – no-one likes an unexpected repair bill.

When it comes to choosing a camera, it’s important to bear in mind that your choice can tie you into a specific workflow. Just because the camera you choose is budget conscious, doesn’t mean the files it records are. If you get a cheap camera that supports a very specific codec and workflow, you may well need to overhaul your storage and change key pieces of software, meaning the final cost will be greater than if you’d opted for a more expensive camera with a more flexible workflow and made use of your existing resources.

Another factor to consider is the sheer size of some files. If part of your daily design workflow includes shooting RAW footage, you need to be aware that you could be filling up a 64GB card every five minutes, so you’ll need a vast amount of (in some cases proprietary and expensive) media at your disposal. If post-production techniques like colour grading aren’t the focus of your business, it’s unlikely you really need to be working with such files at all, and we generally recommend sticking to something that’s kinder to your storage setup unless you’re looking to teach one specific hi-res workflow.

Our recommendations

With all that in mind, here are a few cameras we’d recommend for different workflows ranging from videography, promo films, live streaming and live reporting– if you’d like to find out more about any of them, you can always get in touch with our team at broadcast@Jigsaw24.com.

For corporate videography or advertising…

If you’re looking for a budget camera that still delivers on image quality and really don’t want to leave DSLRs behind, opt for a DSLR like Sony’s A7S. Affordable, equipped with a full frame sensor for shallow depth of field and able to record 4K to an external recorder if that’s what you really need, it’s a great option if you’ll be shooting in less than ideal conditions.

The PXW-FS7 is another strong option. Rammed with pro features and designed to be Sony’s most ergonomic camera to date, it’s ideal for trips out into the wild for more long form projects.

For live streaming from events or product videos…

Most cameras can be modified to fit into a studio setup, and with the latest additions to the TriCaster range you can stream from pretty much any camera with a pro SDI output, so do talk to us if you think you can’t afford studio cameras. That said, this is an area where your end goal can affect your camera choice and, by extension, the infrastructure you base your studio on – putting a low quality camera at the front of a high-end workflow will stop you getting the most out of your investment, and conversely buying expensive cameras without the backend to support them will stop you getting the best possible image quality.

The key thing here is to make sure you’re talking to your supplier about the workflow as a whole, so that you’re getting something that’s particular to the needs of your on design workflow and employees. If you’d like a couple of extreme examples to start you off, the PXW-X70 is increasingly popular as it allows you to adopt a real broadcast-quality workflow on a manageable budget, while the HXC-D70 was designed specifically to bring high-end technology to smaller studio setups, making it the perfect choice for smaller creative agencies. However, you’ll be able to find cameras at virtually every price and feature point between the two, so do ask us for options!

For live reporting from events or event videography…

The PXW-X70 is also a safe bet for the kind of run-and-gun shooting needed for electronic news gathering, while the HXR-MC2500 is an updated version of the MC2000 that gives you a 14 hour recording time to inexpensive media.

If you’re looking for top industry-spec tech, we’d recommend looking at the the EBU-approved PXW-X160 and PXW-X180. As well as letting you record broadcast quality footage, these cameras shoot XAVC, a professional Sony codec that’s widely supported.

To frantically reiterate, we’ve just outlined a few options here, and many cameras can be adapted to the needs of individual businesses and design workflows. To find out more about your options, get in touch with the team on the details below.

Want some advice about updating your setup? Give our consultants a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook