iPad tip of the week: How to print using AirPrint

iPad tip of the week: How to print using AirPrint

Did you know that you can print directly from iPad or your Mac, without needing to install any additional drivers? Using the AirPrint feature in Apple’s iOS and OS X, you can simply tap the AirPrint button to send documents, images, emails and web pages to print over WiFi.

 

Most recent printers support AirPrint, and you can print from within pretty much any app, including Safari, Mail, Photos and iWork, and a host of others from the App Store. Here’s how to print over your local network using AirPrint for iPad and Mac:

1. Make sure your printer supports AirPrint (Apple’s full list of compatible printers can be found here).

2. Also make sure your printer and iPad are connected to your local WiFi network (if you’re using a Mac, it will automatically connect to the printer over WiFi).

3. Hit the Print icon.

4. Choose your printer, the number of copies you want, and then tap Print.

Got a question about iOS and iPad in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Video guide: Introducing Promise Pegasus2 Thunderbolt 2 storage

Video guide: Introducing Promise Pegasus2 Thunderbolt 2 storage

Promise’s Pegasus2 range of direct attach desktop RAID arrays are perfect for anyone working with large volumes of data, and hi-res images, video and 4K video in particular. In this quick video, we break down the differences between the Promise Pegasus R4, R6 and R8 drives, as well as how to daisy-chain them over Thunderbolt 2…

Promise Pegasus2 on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Promise’s Pegasus2 Thunderbolt 2 RAID drives? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email promise@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

5 ways iBeacon can improve your customer loyalty

You’ve probably seen iPad being used in retail environments for all manner of things from digital signage to till systems. But with iBeacon, it also has a nifty little trick up its sleeve for improving customer loyalty over wireless, with bespoke notifications, contextual special offers and more.

How does iBeacon work?

Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) wireless technology to create a different way of providing location-based information and services to nearby iOS devices. When a device is in range of a beacon (essentially a small, inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter), an app on the customer’s iPad or iPhone will pick up the signal from the beacon and respond accordingly.

How can beacons be used?

Say you’re a customer, and you pass a beacon in a particular store and have the app installed, that retailer could push out specific special offers, loyalty schemes and promotions, or more information around a particular display, to you. Strategically placed, this means you can also work out where your premium shop space and ‘hotspots’ are, enabling you to analyse and monetise your store. Customers feel like they’re getting a more personalised shopping experience, which all helps promote loyalty around your brand.

Apple, naturally, have been using iBeacon in their Apple Stores for a while, letting them pinpoint a customer’s location in the store and enable Apple to present relevant sales information. The Crown Estate, which owns Regent Street, is also dabbling with iBeacon technology; Regent Street resident brands, including Hamleys, Armani, Longchamp and Hackett have all installed to help push exclusive and personalised marketing messages to shoppers via a mobile phone app (Marketing Week).

I’m sold. Can I have some more beacons ideas, please?

There are endless ways you could use iBeacon to provide information to customers, but here are a few of our favourites as a jumping off point:

1. Entice new customers with time-sensitive deals. Whip up a bit of urgency by pushing out a limited time offer to customers as soon as they step in your store, eg “Jim’s crazy deals: Get 50% off all underwear for the next hour!!!”. This would be especially effective around seasonal periods, blue cross sales and similar.

2. Help customers navigate your store. Tell your customers where they are, and direct them to where they want to be, using beacons. Ideal for large department stores, and multi-storey shops, eg “You’re now on the homeware level”.

3. Engage customers with in-store games. This is a bit of fun, but holding something like a store-wide treasure hunt using beacons (with a small incentive up for grabs) can really help engage customers, and even get them to visit parts of the store they may not have originally intended to.

4. Get feedback from customers. As well as giving customers information, you can also use beacons as part of your mobile strategy to get feedback from customers.

5. Give customers a joined-up shopping experience. As the Regent Street brands are doing in the article above, beacons can be used to promote multiple stores, or let you work in conjunction with other nearby stores to offer deals that are specific to a certain area.

Looking to learn more about iBeacon? Download our iBeacon in retail pdf here.

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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What does the future hold for retail technology?

What does the future hold for retail technology?

The face of retail is changing, with more and more retailers now looking to innovative new technologies to help increase sales conversion, reduce time at tills, and generally improve overall customer experience and engagement.

Mobile technology, for example, is massively on the rise, with devices like iPad now ubiquitous amongst consumers, who expect that level of engagement from retailers too. So they’re having to think about how to integrate these technologies both in-store and at headquarters too.

To find out more about the challenges retailers are facing, and what they really want from technology, LightSpeed (who create clever point of sale and ecommerce solutions for retailers), posed a few questions to their customers. The Lightspeed Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 (downloadable by clicking on the image below) from earlier this year polled 640 small to medium-sized businesses from across the globe about their retail technology buying habits, from clothing and apparel stores to home and garden retailers.

Download Lightspeed's Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

Download Lightspeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014

The ultimate takeaway from the survey, it seems, is that retailers want “innovative inventory management and predictive analytics solutions above all else.” Of the biggest inventory challenges, keeping inventory stocked without over-ordering topped the list with 47% of respondents (single site, 35% multi-site location), salespeople’s lack of inventory knowledge in second (24%, 23%), then keeping checkout lines short (11%, 7%) and tracking inventory across stores (10%, 28%).

eCommerce and mobile technology forecasts

Being iPad nuts, we were particularly interested in seeing what impact mobile devices were having in-store, as POS or kiosk systems. According to the survey, 80% of those retailers who currently use mobile devices in-store report that they have increased sales, and apparently there’s a massive upward spike of uptake predicted by the end of 2014 too, with the percentage of retailers using tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices in-store expected to double.

You can check out the full lot of survey results by downloading LightSpeed’s Annual Retail Tech Forecast 2014 here, but we’ve picked out a few more choice cuts for you to skim over below…

– 43% of respondents want to improve the customer experience using mobile checkout; 34% want to improve mobile inventory lookup.

– 54% of retailers derive 1-10% of their total sales from eCommerce on the web.

– 38% of those retailers currently offer eCommerce, while 38% plan to offer eCommerce in the future (that’s a whopping 100% increase…).

Get your very own bespoke app

One of the best ways for retailers to get the most out of mobile tech is with a bespoke app, and we’re ideally placed to help. If, for example, you’re looking at getting your own app, and have salespeople out on the road and conducting meetings, we offer our free b7 app and iPad trial scheme, designed to improve field operations and make your team more productive and better equipped.

If you’re looking for something more specific to you, while also reducing costs, then talk to us about developing your own bespoke app. We recently worked with Welcome Furniture to develop their own custom app, and they’ve since seen a massive £130,000 saving per annum on logistics purely because of the app (check out the Welcome Furniture case study here).

Find out more about the b7 programme, and how we can help you get the most out of iPad, by giving our team a call on 03332 409 306 or emailing b7@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

Interview: Apple Mac Pro one year on, with Sanjiv Sathiah

It’s hard to believe Apple’s Mac Pro is now a year old, having been first unveiled at last year’s WWDC. With the new Mac Pro now working its way onto desktops across the creative industries, we caught up with Sanjiv Sathiah, news editor at MacNN.com and Electronista (and devoted Apple fan!) to find out his thoughts on the mighty Mac Pro a year down the line, and why it still reminds him of a Sith Lord…

It’s been a while now since you originally reviewed the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN. Have your opinions changed at all?

“Like all Apple enthusiasts who first saw the new Mac Pro teased at last year’s WWDC, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. It radically reimagines workstation computing in a way that no one else but Apple could have delivered. I’m just as excited about it today as I was the day I saw it; it really is an amazing piece of technology.

“For me, it is an embodiment of the Apple design and engineering philosophy. If you look at previous Mac Pros, it’s like Apple just instantly jumped ahead a decade in terms of workstation design. It is the ultimate in refinement, stripping away everything that could be considered non-essential, leaving behind only exactly what is needed to power professional workflows right now.

“The new Mac Pro is a stripped down and lean machine, designed for both speed and heavy lifting. There is not a single component that could be considered a bottleneck, with optimal bandwidth a key consideration right throughout its system architecture. It really is a joy to use, and of course, it looks simply stunning.”

What’s the general reception been like with staff at Electronista/MacNN?

“Like me, I think everyone in the team loves what it has to offer the Apple power user. It is the most expandable Mac Pro yet, but at the same time it is just 1/8 the size of the previous generation and also manages to be substantially more powerful across the board. Some of the team miss the chassis space of the older model, but this was not always fully utilised by Mac Pro owners in the past.”

Has uptake among professionals and consumers matched your initial thoughts?

“I haven’t seen any official sales figures that break out Mac Pro sales on their own. However, Apple’s Mac revenue was up in the last quarter year-on-year by 5%, and it seems likely that the new Mac Pro played some role in that.

“The fact that it took Apple over six months for supply to catch up with demand shows that it has been hugely successful. Some of that was due to pent-up demand, no doubt, as a new model was overdue. But, it would seem that the wait was well and truly worth it.”

Are there any specific tasks that you think have seen the best performance uplifts since the upgrade?

“The new Mac Pro has incredible CPU, RAM, GPU, storage and connectivity bandwidth. Even the entry-level model fitted with quad-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU and dual-AMD FirePro D300 GPUs offers serious computing power.

“You have to remember that the new Mac Pro is optimised to utilise both the CPU in combination with the GPUs for computational processes in a number of OpenCL-compatible professional applications like Final Cut Pro among many others. The GPUs alone provide between 4-7 teraflops of processing power, depending on model configuration.

“Mac OS X’s support for OpenCL benefits users in all types of pro applications, including those using 3D intensive modelling CAD applications, through to realtime 4K movie editing, photo editing and music making. Scientific applications also benefit tremendously from the new Mac Pros. I use Logic Pro a lot and have enjoyed nothing but smooth sailing since upgrading to the Mac Pro myself.”

And have you seen any particularly clever Mac Pro setups or uses?

“I have seen one hooked up to six Thunderbolt displays, which was cool. The potential is definitely there for some incredible setups thanks to the six Thunderbolt 2 ports that Apple has built into the device. With the daisy-chaining capability of Thunderbolt, you could actually hook in another 30 Thunderbolt utilities in addition to the six Thunderbolt displays, which is pretty wild.”

What about that design? Still love it?

“Oh yeah; it is the coolest-looking computer I’ve seen in a long time. It reminds me of Darth Vader in the way that its case lifts away to reveal its inner workings. Very Sith indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the same polished anodised Space Grey finish applied to some other products from Apple – perhaps it might appear on the rumoured MacBook Air redesign…?”

Are there any accessories you definitely recommend?

“Yes actually. While I can’t wait for Apple to release its own Thunderbolt 2 displays, LG has made an outstanding Thunderbolt 2-equipped QHD IPS UltraWide monitor. The 34UM95 is 34-inches on the diagonal and is packed with 3440×1440 pixels for a total of nearly 5 million pixels. It’s impressive and makes for a nice companion to the Mac Pro.”

What improvements, if any, could you see Apple still make to the Mac Pro?

“My list of grievances with the Mac Pro is very short. I simply wish that for all its incredible connectivity, Apple had included an SD card slot in the machine, even if people can still connect a camera to it over USB. Some users might have preferred six USB 3.0 slots and just four Thunderbolt 2 ports. Other than that, for me, it is absolutely perfect.

“I think Apple has ticked all the right boxes with the new Mac Pro. It is a bandwidth beast. If you need a machine that will crunch through processor intensive tasks, the Mac Pro exists for that very purpose. It’s perfect for prosumers too, who might do quite a bit of general computing as well. And although the AMD GPUs are optimised for parallel processing tasks, they still perform really well for a bit of Mac gaming in your downtime – each of the GPUs in even the entry-level model has more grunt than the latest Xbox One or PS4.”

So can you see Mac Pro on many Christmas lists this year?

“Absolutely. And the Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator is a great place to start when looking to build your dream machine!”

– You can read Sanjiv’s full review of the Mac Pro for Electronista/MacNN here.

Jigsaw24 Mac Pro configurator

Want to know more about Apple’s Mac Pro? Email sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 306. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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Catching up with our Cloud24 and Adobe Creative Cloud matches

Catching up with our Cloud24 and Adobe Creative Cloud matches

We like to think of ourselves as IT matchmakers here at Jigsaw24, setting up creative types with their ideal apps. So a couple of months ago, we came up with Cloud24 – a bespoke matching service that takes essential user criteria (favourite mug etc), runs them through a powerful algorithm, and sets customers up with the Adobe Creative Cloud app of their dreams.

Since we started sticking our nose in, Adobe have updated all 14 of their essential apps (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Dreamweaver et al), with a lorra lorra flash new Creative Cloud 2014 features, including 3D printing, 4K and Ultra HD video, EPUB creation and compliance with the latest web standards. High time we checked in on a few of those Cloud24 users we’ve partnered up to see how they’ve been getting on with their apps and the new Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 features, then.

What Cloud24 users are saying about their Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 matches:

Elizabeth, 26, Nottingham – Content creator

“I was so chuffed when Cloud24 suggested Adobe Photoshop CC to me. Being a big photography fan, we were bound to have something in common, and we’ve been seeing lots of each other ever since. Then when the new Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 features were announced, the relationship really went to the next level. I’d always loved his Content-Aware capabilities, but it was the new 3D features that really got me going. Expanded 3D printing support, streamlined 3D painting… swoon! Thanks for introducing us, Cloud24!”

James, 24, Essex – Designer

“I had always been sceptical of these kinds of matching sites, to be honest, but when the Cloud24 results came up and I saw I was paired with Adobe Illustrator CC, that scepticism soon ebbed. Sure, I had had experience with Illustrator before, but this was a whole new model – a new challenge. Then Adobe’s 2014 releases were announced, and immediately I was smitten. Illustrator’s new live shapes have got my rectangles all a-quiver, while her pen tool preview means I can visualise luscious curves with no commitment!”

Jonty, 30, Manchester – Video producer

“I’d tried other app-matching services, but I have to say Cloud24 were bang on the money when they suggested Premiere Pro CC. Now with Adobe’s 2014 release, Premiere Pro even lets other apps get involved, featuring tighter workflow integration with After Effects (we have a thing about using masks!), Live Text templates, master clip effects and more. It’s a match made in video production heaven!”

Not taken our Cloud24 compatibility test yet?

Click below to find your perfect Adobe Creative Cloud 2014 app partner…

Cloud24 - Creative matches you'll love!

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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ATTO release new firmware for HBA and RAID adaptors

ATTO release new firmware for HBA and RAID adaptors

This week, ATTO have unleashed a whole host of firmware updates and drivers for many of their 12Gb and 6Gb host bus adaptors (HBAs) and 6Gb RAID adaptors. To top it off, there’s also a new version of the ATTO ConfigTool.

The releases, which are all available to download from ATTO’s site now, include brand new features as well as general maintenance fixes. These include:

– Enhancements to RAID 50 and 60 capabilities. These RAID levels are now fully supported in 6Gb RAID adaptor hardware acceleration architecture with no additional software required. Users will now be able to create larger RAID groups with better performance and top-tier reliability.

– Several performance enhancements added across all product lines.

– General updates to improve overall operation and stability.

ATTO recommend that all users update their ExpressSAS products for optimum performance and reliability. Updated software and product release notes (PRNs) are available on the ATTO web download pages.

Want to know more about ATTO adaptors, interfaces and RAID controllers? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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Update your Autodesk subscription and skip the late payment fee!

Update your Autodesk subscription and skip the late payment fee!

Autodesk have just announced that anyone who’s let their Maintenance Subscription contract expire, those on current releases who didn’t purchase a subscription at the time of release, can now pull their socks up and buy or renew their sub, and Autodesk will kindly waive the late payment fee.

From 7th August 2014 through to 31st October 2014, Autodesk customers with expired Maintenance Subscription contracts that are 31 to 364 days past expiration may renew their Maintenance Subscription and Autodesk will waive the traditional late fee. The offer applies to all Autodesk products (3ds Max, Maya, AutoCAD etc), including AutoCAD LT and the Autodesk LT portfolio of products.

With Autodesk upgrades soon to be a thing of the past, this is an ideal opportunity for anyone umm-ing and ahh-ing about re-subscribing to get back in the subscription saddle, keeping up with all the latest and greatest versions of their Autodesk software, and reap all the benefits that come with a Maintenance Subscription.

Tell me more about these benefits…

Autodesk Maintenance Subscriptions are the most cost-effective way to stay current and competitive in today’s market – as a subscription customer, you’ll continue to receive enhanced value and services, including automatic upgrades to new releases, cool new features in Autodesk Service Pack releases, support, flexible licensing and access to select additional Autodesk 360 cloud services.

The fact that as of 1st February 2015, Autodesk will be discontinuing upgrade purchase options for all non-current product versions should act as a stimulus to even the tardiest of folks too. If you’re reading this and don’t currently have an Autodesk subscription, here’s what you need to do.

Want us to quote you on upgrading and subscribing your Autodesk licences? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email autodesk@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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iPad tip of the week: How to stream content with AirPlay

iPad tip of the week: How to stream content with AirPlay
With Apple TV, you can mirror your iPad screen on any projector, interactive whiteboard, screen or TV, and stream video, images and presentations too. It’s all done wirelessly over your WiFi network using a function called AirPlay, so you can stream to Apple TV from anywhere in the room.

This is great for showing a group of people what you’re doing on your iPad. Here’s a quick guide to how to set up AirPlay:

1. Connect the Apple TV to the screen you want to use via the HDMI port, and turn it on.

2. Go into the ‘Settings’ tab on the Apple TV home screen.

3. Scroll down to ‘AirPlay’. Switch it ‘On’. It can stay on all the time.

4. You can also set an onscreen code here, if you want to set restrictions.

5. Next, you need to activate AirPlay on your iPad. Swipe up from the bottom of the iPad screen to reveal the Control Centre.

6. Tap the AirPlay icon in the middle of the Control Centre.

7. Select your Apple TV from the list and make sure that ‘Mirroring’ is turned on. Now everything you do on your iPad will be replicated on your screen.

Got a question about iOS and iPad in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook
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Atomos create new HDMI pro video standard with triggering and timecode

Atomos create new HDMI pro video standard with triggering and timecode

SDI has long been the industry standard format for the professional video industry, but Atomos are challenging that with a new standard that looks set to finally bring some of SDI’s former advantages – auto triggering and timecode communication – to HDMI. 

As more and more new camera designs including Canon’s wildly popular 5D Mark II/III DSLRs, Nikon’s D800 and more recently Sony and Panasonic’s revolutionary 4K mirrorless cameras, start to use HDMI as the default connection, it was about time someone stepped up to bring its feature set in line with SDI. And Atomos were the ones to do it.

By implementing auto start/stop trigger and timecode over HDMI, users can now connect using HDMI and automatically trigger functions on external devices from the camera itself, just as with SDI. Their new HDMI cables also come with more tight fitting connections and coiled cable lengths that allow for less clutter on the tripod and less force pulling at the HDMI connection. Our only wish was that Atomos had followed the naming conventions of their fantastic Ninja, Samurai, Ronin and Shogun recorders (we’d particularly enjoy plugging in a ‘Shuriken’ cable…).

Creating an open standard for pro video

Jeromy Young, CEO and founder of Atomos, said Atomos were proud to be defining a new standard in such an established market place. “We love HDMI, but as it gets more popular on the camera side we need to help make it work in the pro world. Historically this has only been achieved in the tech industry by creating an open standard… which is what we’ve done.”

He added: “Initially we developed these cables purely to support the Ninja Star, our lightweight, pocket size ProRes recorder, but after consulting with our user base we soon discovered no one had yet developed a complete range of HDMI cables purely for pro video users in our space.”

Availability and pricing

Available from 15th August, the range of HDMI cables includes a right angled HDMI micro to micro/mini and full coiled cables in lengths of 30cm (45cm extended), HDMI mini to full and full HDMI to full HDMI connections in lengths of 30cm to 50cm (65cm extended). We’ll have full pricing up soon.

Want to know more about Atomos pro video hardware? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
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