What the new Apple File System (APFS) means for imaging

What the new Apple File System (APFS) means for imaging

The new Apple File System (APFS) looks set to revolutionise everything including imaging, backup, OS upgrades and security. And with iOS 10.3 the first OS to adopt the new Apple File System (APFS), developers and systems engineers all over are getting very excited.

The old HFS+ file system has been at the heart of Apple’s ecosystem for donkeys’ years (since 1998 to be precise), back when floppy disks were a primary means of storage, rather than just a smart-looking save symbol. So in an age when people now store hundreds of gigabytes and access millions of files on high-speed, low-latency flash drives, it was definitely time for a refresh.

Step in Apple File System, a new 64-bit file system supporting over 9 quintillion files on a single volume. Apple have developed APFS to replace all their variants of HFS+ for various different products, as one system that will scale across all of Apple’s operating systems including macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. APFS is optimised for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.

As well as Flash/SSD storage, APFS can also be used with traditional hard disk drives (HDD) and external, direct-attached storage. You can share APFS-formatted volumes using the SMB or NFS network file-sharing protocol, but interestingly you cannot share APFS-formatted volumes using AFP.

With the AFP protocol not being supported, there are whispers that it may finally be dead, putting a shelf life on certain third-party applications too. It also may potentially be killed off in macOS sever, meaning they might not develop the client further. Interesting times for the future of security and imaging, with many tech soothsayers proclaiming that APFS will mark the end of disk imaging on Macs, with the focus shifted to DEP and MDM. All eyes on Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017 in June for more from Apple on this then…

Upgrading to Apple File System

Apple will offer non-destructive in-place upgrades from HFS+ to APFS for all boot volumes when Apple File System ships in 2017. Tools will be available to convert external volumes from HFS+ to APFS format. And while you can use Disk Utility to erase an APFS-formatted volume and reformat as HFS+, your data will not be preserved.

– A Developer Preview of Apple File System is available in macOS Sierra, and Apple are planning to release Apple File System as a bootable file system in 2017.

Want to know more about Apple and managed devices? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

Buyers’ Guide: Mac for business

Looking to refresh your business’s computer deployment? These days, looking to Apple is probably your best option. As well as their power, flexibility and ease of use, they’re also incredibly durable and reliable, so you can count on a better TCO and ROI than with PC counterparts.

Your options are much simpler too – you have a choice of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro (with or without Touch Bar) and the 12″ MacBook, as well as desktop computers in the form of Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini, which can come with differing internal features depending on your needs. When shopping for PC ‘ultrabooks’ and desktops, on the other hand, there simply isn’t one single contender to match Mac, but a whole universe of laptops and desktops sporting differing processors and screen sizes (not to mention vastly varying build quality), which can get rather confusing.

To make things even easier, we’ve broken down the range below, giving recommendations based on the team’s actual experience using Mac within the business, as well as links to buy. If you are wanting to deploy a raft of new notebooks and desktops, you’ll probably want to talk to us first, as experts in all things Apple, including integration, rollout, management and post-sales support. But let’s take a look at the actual products available first…

MacBook Air

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need long battery life

MacBook Air on Jigsaw24

MacBook Air has been around since 2008, and in that time, Apple have really worked on making its internals match its external form factor. One of the thinnest (just 1.7cm at its thickest point) and lightest (as little as 1.08kg) notebooks around, it is undoubtably good looking, but that stunning design also means it’s incredibly portable. That makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to run applications on the move when a tablet just won’t cut it – so salespeople, client-facing consultants and other staff in the field, for example.

Equally, if we are called in to a meeting, we can just pick up our MacBook Air and head down, hooking up to the room’s display (either wirelessly over AirPlay and Apple TV, or through a wired Mini DisplayPort connection) to share with the group. The 11″ model in particular, can easily be stowed away in your bag and carried around all day without putting your shoulder out.

Another feature that’s bound to be a boon for business is the battery life. Apple say the 11″ model will go nine hours without a recharge, while the 13″ model, which includes larger batteries, tops out at 12 hours. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on what apps you’re running, display settings and other factors, but that’s more than enough to get you through a full business day before you have to plug in again. The fact that they rely solely on solid state flash storage also means MacBook Air is speedy too – 17x faster than a traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive, in fact.

The latest versions feature:

11″ MacBook Air

– 11.6″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £549 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Air

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £702 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook Pro

Ideal for: Those needing more power from a portable computer

MacBook Pro on Jigsaw24

MacBook Pro is Apple’s powerhouse portable (our designers use it on shoots, and it happily handles rendering and exporting compositions in processor-intensive apps like Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photoshop and InDesign, while they get on with the rest of their workload).

The latest generation of MacBook Pro comes in three flavours: MacBook Pro 13″, MacBook Pro 13″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID, and MacBook Pro 15″ with Touch Bar and Touch ID.

The no-frills 13″ model was described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as “a MacBook Pro for MacBook Air users” and is the lightest and slimmest of the bunch. It’s 12% thinner than the current MacBook Air (at the wide end of the taper, admittedly, but still), and is 13% smaller by volume. Despite this highly portable form factor, the MacBook Pro 13″ still boasts a Retina Display, a 2.4GHz dual core Intel Core i7 processor, 512GB of flash storage and 16GB RAM, to make it the clear winner if you need a combination of power and portability.

The other two MacBook Pro models features Apple’s Touch ID biometric sensor, allowing users to log in, switch accounts and even make purchases simply by scanning a fingerprint. It also means that these models will support biometric security measures and two-factor authentication, so if security is your top priority, these are the laptops for you.

These models are the first to feature Apple’s unique Touch Bar, a Retina-quality display that sits where the function keys used to and offers context-aware shortcuts to common tasks. For example, in Mail, you’ll see keys for sending and replying to mail, while in a video editing app you’ll see your timeline in miniature – great for helping your creatives work more quickly and intuitively.

All three models use the latest USB-C standard which, depending on which adaptor you’re using, can act as a power cable, DisplayPort connection, Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI port or VGA port, meaning you can use the MacBook Pro as the basis of a much larger workstation with desktop storage and multiple monitors.

13″ MacBook Pro

– 13.3″ widescreen Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 540 graphics.

– From £1347 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 13.3″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Dual core Intel Core i7 processors.

– Intel Iris 550 graphics.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

15″ MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID

– 15.4″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Quad-core Intel Core i7 processors.

– AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics processor.

– From £1947 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need maximum energy efficiency

MacBook on Jigsaw24

The 12″ MacBook joined the Mac notebook lineup in 2015. It was the first non-pro Mac notebook to feature a Retina display and also the first to come in a range of colours. While it’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro and Air, it’s still speedy, complete with the new Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of flash storage.

Apple say it’s also their most energy efficient computer, using just five watts of power, and doing away with the fan for silent running. Like the MacBook Pro range, it takes advantage of the USB-C standard to combine power, video and ultrafast data transfer into a single cable, so you will want to invest in USB-C adaptors if your staff opt for this model.

12″ MacBook

– 12″ Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– 8GB RAM.

– Core m processor.

– Intel HD Graphics 5300.

– Gold, silver or space grey colour schemes.

– From £1035 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac Pro

Ideal for: Video and heavy creative work

Mac Pro on Jigsaw24

Moving on to desktop workstations, we have the Mac Pro – Apple’s workhorse. While you may not need 64GB RAM or 12 cores of processing power for everyday business tasks and systems, if you have an in-house creative team, they’ll thank you for investing in Mac Pro, the industry standard for design work, and video and audio editing.

This latest generation of Mac Pro, released in 2013, introduced a radical new design. Ditching the classic tower form factor in favour of a sleek cylindrical casing, Mac Pro manages to pack all its internals into a 25cm high, 5kg casing that will happily sit on a desk, and it comes with enough ports that you’re able to connect all the displays, storage and peripherals you require. And, if there’s a specific configuration you need, you can add your own RAM, processors and storage with our online Mac Pro Configurator.

Mac Pro

– Up to 2.7GHz 12-core processor.

– Up to 1TB PCIe-based flash storage.

– Up to 64GB (4x16GB) memory.

– Up to Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM.

– Support for three 4K displays,

– Six Thunderbolt ports.

– From £1799 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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iMac

Ideal for: Creative teams or those needing an all-in-one workstation

iMac on Jigsaw24

iMac has long been the choice of graphic designers and imaging specialists for its power and large display, but it’s perfect for the office too. An all-in-one workstation, all the internals and connectivity are neatly contained within its incredibly slim form factor, so there’s no desk clutter, and it comes with an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad too. In 2014, Apple also launched a 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display, which is great for seeing content with an increased level of colour and detail, as well as being ideal if you want more screen real estate so you have a larger workspace to fit your toolbars, and work on the content itself.

21″ iMac

– 21″ widescreen display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.1GHz processor.

– From £869 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

21.5″ iMac with 4K Retina display

– 21.5″ widescreen display.

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.3GHz processor.

– From £1199 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

27″ 5K iMac with Retina display

– 27″ 5K Retina display.

– Up to 3TB Fusion storage.

– Up to 8GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Quad Core i7 4.0GHz processor.

– From £1449 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac mini

Ideal for: General office work

Mac mini on Jigsaw24

The smallest of Apple’s desktop options, Mac mini is ideal for the desk, but that doesn’t mean it’s lightweight. With up to 16GB RAM and 3GHz processing power, it’ll breeze through spreadsheets, as well as more processor-intesive tasks, while using up a tiny amount of power. All you need is to hook it up to a display, and add a keyboard and mouse.

Mac mini

– Up to 2TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Dual Core i7 3GHz processor.

– From £395 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Want to know more about MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Or fill in the form below to find out about our b7 proof of concept trial for executives that lets you see the benefits of Mac – such as improved productivity and lower total cost of ownership – before you invest.

iPad: Raising attainment and encouraging engagement

iPad: Raising attainment and encouraging engagement

If your school’s still stuck when it comes to tech, iPad could be your saving grace. It offers proven methods that help schools get over IT and teaching hurdles.

If you read our last article, you’ll know that Apple’s signature tablet provides schools with the latest and greatest teaching tools, sound solutions for keeping track of student progress and is futureproof and cost efficient. This time round, we’re talking outcomes. How has 1:1 (one device per user) iPad benefited schools, as well as parents and students, in the long run?

Student engagement

Keeping pupils interested and enthusiastic about their education may seem like a tall task, but not with iPad. At secondary schools we’ve worked with, they’re reporting substantial improvements in lesson enjoyment and independent learning. Not only that, but students are more likely to share work amongst each other and rate their feedback from teachers more highly than before.

At Conyers School, 88% of students said iPad makes lessons more engaging, with 91% of them saying iPad helps them access the resources they need quickly. Churchill Community College received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grade in 2014, and things continued to get better after they deployed iPad. 94% of their students think lessons are more enjoyable than before, and 71% of Year 7 pupils reckon Numeracy is more fun during Tutor Time thanks to iPad.

Students at Langley Grammar School in Bekshire said that now they’ve got iPad, they receive greater support from fellow students than ever, and 64% of them rated their independent study time four or five out of five, compared to 45% previously.

Parental engagement

Having parents that support their children’s learning is a big plus for any school, and there’s evidence that iPad strengthens the relationship between home and the classroom. With iPad, parents can access their child’s learning resources from home, making it easier for them to keep track of homework and revision. It also provides them with a greater insight into their child’s day-to-day study, offering a clearer picture of how they can help bolster learning when away from the classroom.

Raising attainment

In schools where we’ve rolled out iPad, attainment is up across the board. Quite the statement I know, but it’s true. Our 1:1 iPad impact study confirms it, and schools such as Stephenson Memorial Primary, Jesmond Gardens Primary and Nether Alderley Primary are now showing big improvements in test results, reading, writing and maths, with more students hitting progress targets than the year before their 1:1 roll out.

In 2014, 100% of students at Stephenson Memorial achieved their expected progress in reading (a 21% increase on 2013). 91% of pupils at Jesmond Gardens attained Level 4 or above in the Key Stage 2 grammar, punctuation and spelling test, making for an 18% increase on the previous year, while Nether Alderley saw 29% of their students reach the higher standard of reading, writing and maths – a whopping 314% rise between 2015 and 2016.

If you’d like to find out more about the effect of iPad in schools, you can read part I of our iPad for education guide here.

For more information about iPad in education, drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Buyers’ Guide: iPhone for business

Buyers’ Guide: iPhone for business

Using iPhone in business is nothing new. In fact, Apple’s iOS accounted for 66% of enterprise device activations for the third quarter of 2015. That’s compared to 31% Android, and just 2% Windows Phone.*

So clearly uptake is on the rise among business users. But with a range of different handsets available, and with the new iPhone 7 joining the lineup as of Autumn 2016, the question isn’t whether your business should go for iPhone, or whether to upgrade from older iPhone models, but just which model should you plump for?

Each iPhone comes with the same inherent benefits that make them attractive to enterprise – a secure iOS platform, built-in and third party apps for business, integration into the Apple ecosystem and your business systems, and fast, smooth deployment – but a few subtle differences between the hardware and internal architecture could sway your decision on which iPhone is right for your business. Below, we take a look at the current crop of iPhone models, including iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. As always though, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the team for advice on iPhone in business, and the deployment services we can offer.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Ideal for: Field teams, creatives and multitaskers.

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With a 64-bit, four core CPU and an A10 chip that’s 40% faster than the preceding A9, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are by far the fastest models in Apple’s lineup. Graphics performance has doubled in speed, and the iPhone 7 is actually powerful enough for creatives to use Adobe’s Lightroom to edit RAW images.

Despite this, it still has the best battery life of any iPhone – a new performance controller balances tasks between two ‘high efficiency’ cores for urgent work, and two slower ones for ongoing background tasks. This is obviously great news for field teams who’ll be using iPhone 7 on the road or onsite, as is the fact that iPhone 7 and 7 Plus now meet the IP67 protection standard for water and dust-proofness.

The improved camera will comes as a welcome addition for creatives and anyone who has to record evidence as part of their workflow. The latest cameras have built-in image stabilisation, a larger sensor for better low light performance. When that fails you, there’s a 50% brighter flash that can sense and compensate for the flickering of artificial light. (Lens manufacturer Zeiss will be releasing a range of lenses and mounts designed to help you capitalise on the creative potential of your iPhone 7).

If you want a device that is primarily for image capture, iPhone 7 Plus has another camera on the back – this time with a telephoto lens, which can be combined with the standard camera to give better zoom performance and achieve the popular shallow depth of field look.

iPhone 7 Plus

– 5.5″ Retina HE display with Multi-Touch, LED-backlit widescreen.

– 1290×1080 pixel resolution

– Available in 32Gb, 128GB and 256GB capacities.

– Available in jet black, black, silver, gold.

Prices start from £599 ex VAT.

iPhone 7 

– 4.7″ Retina HE display with Multi-Touch, LED-backlit widescreen.

– 1334×750 resolution

– Available in 32Gb, 128GB and 256GB capacities.

– Available in jet black, black, silver, gold.

Prices start from £499 ex VAT.

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

Ideal for: Businesses who need speed, but aren’t worried about having the latest model or its extra camera.

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iPhone 6s and 6s Plus boast a lighter, tougher build than their predecessors, thanks to 7000 series aluminum, ion-strengthened glass, a 64-bit A9 chip, 12-megapixel iSight and 5-megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and WiFi.

The 3D Touch feature, only available on iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, senses pressure to enable new gestures like Peek and Pop, which lets you dip in and out of content like attachments without losing your place, and Quick Actions give you shortcuts to the things you do most – a handy boost for anyone who is constantly pinging off emails to the same people, for example.

It uses Apple’s third-generation 64-bit A9 chip, giving 70% faster CPU and 90% faster GPU performance than the A8 chip in the previous generation of iPhone and, in conjunction with iOS 9, will give you longer overall battery life. You can also enjoy advanced wireless technologies including faster WiFi and LTE Advanced, with support for up to 23 LTE bands – the most in any smartphone – for those international business jaunts.

As with the iPhone 6 before it, Apple have given the option of two different sizes for the 6s – the 4.7″ iPhone 6s, and the 5.5″ iPhone 6s Plus. Aside from the size of the screen and the resolution, the feature set is identical between the two, so which size you opt for depends very much on what kind of user you are. If you type a lot of emails and notes, and prefer to see content in a little more detail, then go for the 6s Plus; if you’d prefer something slightly more pocket-sized, it’s the 6s for you. This iteration of iPhone are also the only ones that are available in gold, and the new, fancy rose gold colours, should that sway your decision.

iPhone 6s Plus

– 5.5″ (diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen next-generation Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology and Taptic Engine.

– 1920×1080-pixel resolution at 401 ppi with 1300:1 contrast ratio (typical).

– Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities.

– Available in gold, silver, space grey and rose gold.

Prices start from £515.50 ex VAT at Jigsaw24.

iPhone 6s

– 4.7″(diagonal) LED-backlit widescreen next-generation Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology and Taptic Engine.

– 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi with 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical).

– Available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities.

– Available in gold, silver, space grey and rose gold.

Prices start from £439 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

iPhone SE

Ideal for: Businesses who want to move to iOS for the first time

iPhone SE at Jigsaw24
If having the hardware design of the iPhone 6 and 6s doesn’t bother you too much, a good – and ultimately more affordable – bet would be Apple’s  4″ iPhone SE. Apple are positioning this as both an option for those users who prefer a smaller phone, and who want a more entry-level option. The small size and price tag doesn’t mean it skimps on features and specs though, matching up to iPhone 6 in most departments, but being more akin to the old iPhone 5 in design.

They’re calling it the most powerful 4″ phone ever, with a 64-bit A9 chip that’s great for graphics- and processor-intensive apps, and their most advanced camera system – 12MP iSight, Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Live Photos and 4K video capture, plus a front-facing cam with Retina flash to help you get the perfect selfie. Hey Siri, Touch ID and Apple Pay are all present and correct too, with battery improvements and speedy LTE and WiFi.

iPhone SE

– 4″ (diagonal) LED‑backlit widescreen Multi‑Touch display.

– 1136×640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi with 800:1 contrast ratio (typical).

– Available in 16GB and 64GB capacities.

– Available in gold, silver, space grey and rose gold.

– Prices start from £439 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

 

Let us manage your iPhone deployment!

Take the pressure off your tech team – our managed iOS device service is designed to take complete care of any iPad, iPhone or iPod touch deployments in your organisation. You tell us how you want them configured, which applications you want and what level of support and warranty you need, and our Apple-accredited team deliver it straight to your staff, so all they have to do is press the start button. We’ll even provide a dedicated asset tracking app, and training videos and reference docs for your end users.

– Find our more about our managed iOS device service here.

 

Want to know more about iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, 6s and 6s Plus, and iPhone SE? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

*Source: Good Technology Mobility Index Report

Need iPad technical training? Check out our Apple iOS Core Essentials course

Need iPad technical training? Check out our Apple iOS Core Essentials course

Getting a new device and learning its ins and outs is an exciting time! However, setting it up correctly first time is important and makes or breaks the overall experience – especially if you’ve never worked with Apple iOS and iPad before. 

First of all, you need to get yourself familiarised with the key functionality and terminology, the benefits of mobile device management (MDM), and integrating the new devices into your existing infrastructure. While there are reams of technical documents and lengthy YouTube tutorials that can guide you through, but a helping hand from someone who has real world experience in such matters is always more useful.

So we’ve developed our iOS Core Essentials training to do just that!

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Who’s it for? iOS Core Essentials is designed specifically for helpdesk teams, technical co-ordinators, service techs, ICT technicians and anyone who’s deploying iOS or requires a deeper understanding of how to leverage its potential. If you’re familiar with PC-based systems, it’ll help you master the key functionality of iOS and understand Apple’s technical terminology where it differs from what you may already know.

What does it include? The training will include demos of Apple hardware and software, plus a deep dive look at supporting iOS devices. If you’re managing your Apple devices using AirWatch or JAMF Software’s Casper Suite mobile device management (MDM) solutions, we can also provide an overview of how these will work to manage your devices, and what you need to know to get devices ready, managed and working with your other internal systems. You can see the full course curriculum here.

Who’s running it? It’s all delivered by our senior systems engineers. As well as being accredited by Apple, our engineers have practical experience designing and supporting mixed platform enterprise environments, so can advise on how to address real world issues you’re likely to find in your environment.

Where does it happen? This is an all day session, and can be held at our Nottingham or London offices (where we’ll provide lunch), or at your place (in which case you’ll need to bring sandwiches).

How much does it cost? £350 per person (minimum booking three people).

Want to know more about our Apple training? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple School Manager event roundup

Apple School Manager event roundup

Last week, we took iOS and Apple School Manager to the DoubleTree Hilton Nottingham Gateway hotel to give education professionals from up and down the UK a hands-on look at Apple’s latest iOS education features, as well as all the educational benefits it provides. 

Just in case you missed it, we thought we’d put together a quick roundup of all the days’ events – that way you’ll feel like you were there, even though you weren’t.

First off, thanks for coming along! It was a great day, and we saw a strong turnout, with places filling up within 48 hours! 97% of those that attended rated the event either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, with 72% asking us to pop into their school to discuss their future with iOS.

Paul Ford, Ryan Slater and Jason Taylor from Jigsaw24 kicked things off – they discussed supporting an iOS environment and told the audience about our infrastructure offerings, including WiFi design (click here for more info on free infrastructure reviews). The trio talked about the importance of Apple’s Caching Server, which supports new Shared iPad users, and how mobile device management ties the new features together.

The guys also covered device deployment within schools, 1:1, classrooms using Shared iPad and student owned devices. Shared iPad requires:

– iPad Air 2

– iPad mini 4

– iPad Pro

– 32GB or higher

Click here to take a look at devices compatible with Shared iPad.

The day was split into two workshops, one looking at Apple School Manager, and the other focusing on Classroom app and Shared iPad. They gave attendees the chance to get up close and personal with the new education apps, and to get some expert advice while they were at it.

The Classroom app workshop:

– How Classroom App can be set up with your chosen MDM system.

– How to launch an app on each student’s iPad at the same time.

– How to lock students into a specific app.

– How to view pupil screens remotely with Screen View.

– How to connect students to an Apple TV.

The School Manager workshop:

– Transitioning from VPP and DEP to Apple School Manager.

– Importing staff and students and giving them roles.

– The importance of MDM for School Manager.

– Managed Apple ID creation.

– Content delivery – apps, books and iTunes U.

Just before lunch, Dave Hornby from JAMF Software took to the stage to talk about mobile device management and Classroom integration. Dave discussed and demonstrated how iOS supports MDM features, including:

– Locating and recovering lost or stolen Apple devices without compromising student privacy through ongoing location tracking. When Lost Mode is activated, the iOS device receives a customised lock screen message, is disabled from use, and sends its location to IT.

– How schools can now deliver a simplified device experience with the ability to customise which apps appear on the home screen and where.

– How institutions will be able to deliver a personalised learning experience with Shared iPad for each student (supported by JAMF Software’s Casper Suite).

Following the event, we asked guests for a few comments. Here’s what they thought:

“Informative, mind blowing, so much to learn.”

“Very knowledgeable, thought provoking, exciting & excellent!”

“The event has been really enlightening and very useful.”

“Very impressed with the technical weighting. Best CPD yet.” (You can find more information about training here).

“All the staff are extremely friendly and knowledgeable.”

95% said they’d attend one of our events again, so make sure you don’t miss out on the next one!

If you’d like to discuss iOS further and schedule a meeting, please fill out the form below or call 03332 409 290. For all your other iOS in education needs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Why choose Jigsaw24’s Apple training courses for business?

Why choose Jigsaw24’s Apple training courses for business?

Whether you’re a whizz with Mac computers and iOS device deployments, or a complete newcomer to Apple hardware and software, a little training (or a quick refresher) never goes amiss. So we’ve put together a catalogue of Apple training courses designed for end users and tech admin staff within businesses – all hosted by Apple-accredited trainers and certified Apple technicians – to make sure you’re up to speed with the latest versions of Apple operating systems, and the techie stuff behind it all… 

How do these benefit my business?

Our Apple training programmes are tailored for every business type and every level of staff, from executives to sales staff to technical teams. If your end users are just making the move from PC to Mac, we have introductory courses that will get them acclimatised with the user interface culture shock, and user experience workflow including iCloud and the like, as well as get them moving from Microsoft Office apps like PowerPoint to using Apple’s own powerful Keynote software.

For technical staff, we’ll take the guesswork out of iOS and macOS, going deep into how to manage devices using mobile device management (MDM) solutions like Jamf Pro, and all-round support for IT staff, including everything from troubleshooting to cross-platform integration.

As each of our training courses are run by experts with years of training supporting Apple systems in the wild, you know you’re getting relatable real world advice and support (all from a friendly face). In essence, each course will help you:

– Get the most from your Mac, iPad and iPhone, receiving the full Apple experience.

– Learn best practice at the same time as colleagues, leading to safer, more uniform IT usage that stays in line with company policies.

– Mitigate the dip in productivity that usually happens when you switch to a new system.

– Remove the need to hire new support staff, as your in-house team will already be clued up on the key technical aspects of Mac and iPad.

– Ensure you get advice on real world scenarios from our experienced engineers, rather than generic training from someone who’s not in the field.

– Get to grips with MDM, VPP, DEP and Jamf Pro.

Sharan Matharu, Assistant Principal at Sidney Stringer Academy, had this to say about our Apple training: “A week after the training, people are still coming up to me saying, ‘Thank you. I was really apprehensive about the training initially, I used my iPad for email and that was it, but now I feel much more confident.”

Sidney Stringer Apple Training 2

What courses are available?

For end users…

User experience: This is designed to help end users get the most out of their existing Apple devices by getting everyone familiar with the latest features in iOS and macOS, as well as teaching people to sync devices, set up iCloud, and work on iWork and Office documents on all their Apple devices.

Moving to Mac from PC: If you’re introducing Mac computers into your organisation for the first time, this training will show end users how to perform all their day to day tasks on a Mac, familiarising them with the UI, key functions and key apps.

Keynote for iPad or Mac: In this course, you’ll get to grips with using Keynote for iPad or Mac, and why it’s so perfect for business. Learn how to create visually engaging, clearly organised and personally expressive presentations, and develop strategies to share and collaborate.

iPad or Mac skills for business: This course is all about developing iPad or Mac skills specifically for a business environment. You’ll identify and explore the fundamentals and features of your iPad or Mac, and learn how to personalise iPad or Mac settings and use built-in apps for business.

For tech teams… 

iOS core essentials: This course is for small groups of helpdesk specialists, technical coordinators, service technicians and others who support iOS users. It is aimed at ICT technicians who deploy and manage Apple iOS devices. We can also offer specific training on your organisation’s chosen MDM solution, such as Jamf Pro.

OS X core essentials: This training session will be conducted by a Professional Services System Engineer from Jigsaw24, and has been designed to ensure attendees understand the core functionality behind macOS, how best to manage it, and how it compares to similar Windows environments. These features will be referenced where this helps comparison to the macOS support and client management experience. We will include specific reference to the market-leading MDM solution Jamf Pro, plus OS X Server Profile Manager features.

Introducing new iterations: Before you move the office onto the next version of iOS or macOS, this course gives them the chance to work on updated machines and learn the new lay of the land. We’ll cover the changes, their benefits and how to troubleshoot them if anything goes wrong.

See full details of our Apple training courses here.

How much does it cost?

Our courses range from three hour sessions for cracking Keynote, to half or full day sessions for the more complex courses aimed at tech teams. Most can be taken either at our place in Nottingham or Soho (usually with a lunch and refreshments, as well as takeaway documents, thrown in), or round at yours. They can also be tailored to different numbers of candidates, from one user up to a group of ten. As such, pricing differs slightly, so please get in touch for a quote on our Apple training courses today!

Want to know more about our Apple training? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Jigsaw24’s top ten tech tips for retailers

Jigsaw24’s top ten tech tips for retailers

Last week, we got our biggest retail customers together in Soho to take a look at some of the best technological trends for front of house and back of house systems. For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a quick rundown of our top tips…

Get closer to your customers with Skyfii
Skyfii’s solutions allow you to transform your guest WiFi into a powerful tracking and engagement tool. You can push location-based marketing to customers over multiple channels, track engagement and dwell time, and then bring all your new data into one place with their IO Connect solution. Learn more here.

Get a tenfold increase in engagement with product imagery
Lytro’s Illum camera uses an entirely new image capture system to give you movable photographs that can be refocused to any point. Research has shown that engagement with product listings skyrockets once your product imagery is interactive – tests have shown users spend 40 seconds on a Lytro image and just four on a static one.

Update your creative workflow
In days gone by, your creative team’s key applications couldn’t run on anything other than a hulking desktop computer. Now, not only can they run the full versions of apps like Photoshop and InDesign on lightweight notebooks, but there are even dedicated mobile apps designed to fit right into that traditional workflow and make getting work done on the road or during a store visit easier. Here’s our designer Simon to explain how.

…and make sure your hardware is up to it
Obviously the effectiveness of your mobile workflow is going to depend on the usefulness of your mobile devices. The current leader of the pack is Apple’s iPad Pro, which boasts an incredibly high resolution screen and enough power for some reviewers to call it a laptop killer. You’ll also need some nearline storage to keep the images you capture and create – here’s a quick guide to your content management solutions and storage options.

Get as much realtime data as you can
Roambi is a fantastic data display app that converts realtime performance data into user-friendly graphs and charts, so your team can see how the day’s going at a glance. (If your team don’t have work phones yet, you can pick up a great SIM-only deal here.)

Start merchandising digitally
If you’re used to sending out black and white paper guides for merchandising, iPad can make things far easier. Load your device with a corporate Dropbox-like solution (such as those from Acronis and bigtincan), and you can easily share things like videos demonstrating different layouts, data on best-selling lines and variations on displays for different regions or demographics. Take a look at our iPad range here.

Try Socket Mobile scanners
Socket Mobile’s lightweight, handheld scanners allow for mobile inventory and stock checking, but can also be used to communicate with front of house staff to ensure new stock is always brought out at the right time. By providing sales assistants with mobile scanners, they can provide customers with accurate information more quickly, reducing dropped baskets and speeding up sales. Here’s a rundown of their range.

Enjoy some time off the road
Some organisations balk at the cost of a corporate iPad deployment, but if you have a regionally-based team, the device can pay for itself within three months as conferencing apps mean you can avoid trips back to HQ, or maintain relationships with regional offices remotely. Pick up an iPad here.

Make learning fun (by fun, we mean ruthlessly competitive)
Bespoke training apps allow you to work instant feedback and gamification features into your product training regimen, so that you can track learning and development KPIs, or even start up friendly competition between stores by publishing scores. Get in touch with our app development team to find out how our RetailEngage24 app can help you inform and engage sales staff.

Got training covered? We can help you with the rest, too…
Our custom-built, platform agnostic apps can support you in tasks including handling customer enquires, putting stock inventory at people’s fingertips, and furnishing sales assistants with pricing, product histories and visibility over the company’s marketing. That email address again: appdevelopment@Jigsaw24.com.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

All the news from WWDC 2016

All the news from WWDC 2016

This was a big one. With four, that’s right, four whole OS updates being unveiled at Apple’s June keynote, it’s fair to say there’s a lot to talk about and a lot to get excited about.

If you love Apple (and emojis) like we do, you’ll have been itching with anticipation for this year’s keynote. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of all the big announcements from WWDC 2016.

iOS 10 

Release: Public Beta in July, coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

It’s being called the ‘biggest iOS release ever’, and it’s hard to disagree. Designed with user experience in mind, and with substantial improvements to some of iOS’ most popular features, the wait for number 10 will feel like waiting for Christmas. It’ll be available on iPhone 5 and later, and will include:

– Redesigned lock and home screens, incorporating 3D touch, raise to wake and widgets.

– Siri will be opened up to developers for 3rd party messaging apps, allowing users to book Uber rides, pay friends, make VoIP calls and much more. If that’s not convenient enough for you, never fear, Apple already has it figured out with QuickType. QuickType provides intelligent suggestions with deep learning (LSTMs), through factors like current locations, contact information, recent addresses and availability – it even offers intelligent scheduling for the calendar app.

– Photos is getting some cool additions too, with facial recognition, object and scene recognition, and memories (clusters of photos sorted by date, people and topics).

– Maps will receive an all-new design, complete with improved traffic information, faster route suggestions, and quick controls to find food or petrol. The app will also be opened up for developers, allowing users to book a table and the like.

– Music (now with 15 million paid subscribers) will get a shiny new redesign too. Apple have simplified the app, improved audio clarity, and added a lyrics feature.

– Following suit, News has received a redesign inline with Music, and will feature breaking news notifications to boot. Apple said the app will now include over 2000 publications.

– Home is a brand-new app that’s designed to simplify home automation. It works in conjunction with HomeKit-compatible accessories, which now include controls for cameras, door locks and air conditioning. Home app can see and control all accessories from one place, and provides remote access to home automation.

– Thanks to new Phone updates, you’ll now be alerted to possible spam calls or suspicious numbers (which is great if you’re sick of hearing about PPI!). VoIP apps will also be integrated, and Contacts has received an upgrade.

– Last, but certainly not least, Messages has been gifted some impressive new features that have had Apple fans everywhere talking. The app will now include rich links, tap-to-replace emojis (perfect if you want to let pictures do all the talking) and emoji prediction (emojis are now three times bigger!). Not only that, iOS 10 will introduce a range of bubble effects (including invisible ink for more secretive messages), as well as quick tap back, handwritten messages, digital touch and exciting full screen effects.

tvOS

Release: Coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

tvOS will receive a substantial update this fall with new features, including:

– 1300 video channels, up from 80.

– 6000 native apps.

– An AppleTV remote app for your iPhone, allowing you to control AppleTV through your handset. It mimics the hardware remote, with Siri voice and typing support, dictation for usernames and passwords, a Now Playing screen, accelerometer and gyroscope support for games, touch navigation and more.

– Siri can now search for movies by topic, and browse YouTube.

– Live Tune In – Siri can take you straight to the action, available on AppleTV and iPad.

– Single Sign-on – Also available on iOS, you can now sign in once to access all apps on the network.

– Dark Mode, perfect for nighttime viewing.

– For developers: ReplayKit, PhotoKit and HomeKit.

watchOS 3

Release: Coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

Apple announced some exciting new updates for its wearable hardware:

– In-app launch time is now seven times faster.

– Background updates.

– Dock – Push the side button, and swipe through live apps.

– iOS Control Center – Accessible by swiping from the bottom of the screen.

– Improved smart reply options.

– Scribble – Write your own message replies one letter at a time (available in English and Chinese).

– New, swappable watch faces, including the Activity face which lets you quick start Workout, Minnie Mouse with customisable dress colours (if that’s what you’re into), a numeral face available in a variety of fonts, and analogue, digital and chronograph, the three new Activity ring faces.

– SOS calling – Holding down the side button initiates a three second countdown to call emergency services, and then sends a notification with your location data to all emergency contacts and brings up your medical ID. It works in conjunction with your iPhone or over WiFi.

– Activity Sharing – Swipe right on your Activity rings to check out your family and friends’ rings (a cool feature if you love getting competitive). You’ll even be placed on a leaderboard, so you can see how much better you’re doing than everyone else.

– Breathe – Designed to help combat stress, Breathe is a neat deep breathing/meditation app. It relies on haptic feedback and visuals, and takes a heart reading towards the end of a session.

macOS Sierra

Release: Public Beta in July, coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

Apple’s latest macOS is called Sierra and it’s all about continuity. Along with a whole range of new features, Apple will incorporate Siri, Apple watch and Apple Pay into its flagship operating system when it drops this Autumn. Here’s a rundown of everything we know:

– Auto Unlock – You can now use your Watch to automatically unlock your Mac, very handy if you’re a fan of Apple’s wearable.

– Universal Clipboard – One of the new continuity features, Universal Clipboard allows users to copy content on one device and paste it onto another.

– Hot off the announcement that 10 billion user documents are stored in iCloud, Apple confirmed that all files stored on the Desktop or in the Documents folder of a Mac will be available across multiple devices including other Macs, iPhone and iPad.

– Optimised Storage makes room for new files by keeping older ones in the cloud, and getting rid of files you’ll never use again through a simple user interface . You’ll receive notifications that remind you to delete useless app installers, caches, logs and duplicate downloads.

– Apple Pay on the web works in conjunction with iPhone, and prompts for touch ID payment authentication.

– Tabs will now be available outside of Safari in a variety of Apple apps like Maps, Pages, Mail and more, and will be incorporated into third-party apps too.

– Picture in Picture will allow users to watch videos while performing other tasks; it’s great for multitasking and ideal for continuing your Netflix binge while taking care of other, more important, things.

– Siri is making its Mac debut under Sierra – it’s accessible in the dock and menu bar. Siri will be able to send messages, search the web, open documents, look through photos and videos, make phone and FaceTime calls, set reminders and more.

If you want to know more about all the latest releases from Apple, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Classroom app now available

Apple Classroom app now available

iOS is packed with a set of amazing features designed for education. This includes some incredibly powerful tools for supporting learners and teachers in the classroom using iPad.

A big one for us is the Classrooom app. This is a dedicated tool which acts as a teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through lessons, track their progress and ensure they can stay on track. It can be downloaded for free and configured to give staff the following tools:

Start, focus or pause student work

– Launch any app, website or book on a student device with a tap.

– Lock devices in a single app to help provide student focus.

– Lock screens to pause work or bring focus back to your class.

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See what your students see with Screen View

– See an on overview of all your students devices at once.

– Focus on a single student screen (students are informed when their screens are being viewed).

Share student work on the classroom Apple TV with a push of a button (great for feedback and peer review!)

– Showcase the great work your students are doing in class.

– Use AirPlay to wireless present a student’s screen onto your classroom display.

Reset forgotten passwords right in the classroom

– Reset a managed Apple ID password without calling IT.

Organise student devices using groups

– Classroom automatically creates groups of students based on apps they are using.

– Teachers can create groups to break students into teams.

– Perform actions on entire groups or individual students within groups.

Assign shared iPad to students

– Once configure, Classroom connects to nearby students devices.

– Classroom intelligently assigns students to the Shared iPad they most recently used.

– Log students out of shared iPad at the end of a session to prepare for the next class.

iOS 9.3, including the Classroom app, is available to download now. An education configuration profile does need to be installed and there are minimum requirements for the devices, so if you have any techie questions or need to upgrade your iPad to ensure you can take advantage of these awesome tools then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Requirements

You’ll need: iPad with iOS 9.3 (iPad 3rd gen or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini (1st gen) or later, iPad Pro); App configuration via Mobile Device Management server; Supervised Student Devices enrolled in Mobile Device Management server; Bluetooth and WiFi enabled on both student and teacher devices; Student devices within Bluetooth range of the teacher running.

Find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom. Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.