Photo Syncing

30 07 2013

iOS devices are frequently used to take photos of objects or documents.
If iCloud is turned on photos are automatically synced across all iOS devices using the same Apple ID in the so-called Photostream.

A direct transfer of photos from the camera roll or the photostream to an external storage or another device using a different Apple ID is not possible.

Sharing photos via Apple’s Photostream (by E-Mail) is followed by substantial loss of quality. Sharing via a cloud client is time-consuming and not recommended if the destination device is in the same WiFi network or can be connected to the source device via Bluetooth.

I have often wondered why Apple didn’t offer a seamless transfer from one iOS device to another. Regarding this point Apple did not follow it’s own strategy of seamless usage.

With iOS 7 Apple will eradicate this flaw by introducing AirDrop.

Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine. But if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.
(Apple on its website)

Unfortunately AirDrop is not available for previously supplied iPhone 4S, 4, etc. and iPad 3rd Generation, iPad 2, etc. So there will be still a need for an app which does the task seamlessly.

There is an app available in Apple’s App Store named PhotoSync (by German developer touchbyte GmbH) which offers many options to transfer photos wirelessly in a simple way with a perfect UI (user interface) as well as a perfect UX (user experience).

Just select multiple photos from the camera roll, photostream or self-created albums, select the destination device or cloud storage and you’re done. Sending will continue in the background – even if you receive phone calls or do other things with your device.
The maximum transfer rate is up about 2.5MB/s that means about 2-3 photos/s (depending on device and network).

20130521-160450.jpg

Using Bluetooth I transferred 23 images with total size of 17 MB within 81 s which is a transfer rate of o.21 MB/s compared to a transfer rate of 0.68 MB/s when using WiFi with an Apple Airport Extreme router.
So the maximum transfer announced by the developer is a dream.
Nevertheless it works fine and it’s much faster than any transfer via a cloud storage (device – cloud – device).

The main Features …

  • Transfer to
    allows transfer to Dropbox, Picasa/Google+, Facebook, SmugMug, 500px, Flickr, Box, Zenforio, (S)FTP, WebDAV, SykDrive, and Google Drive
  • Quick transfer
    allows to set a default computer (or other service) in the settings and then just transfer all new/selected pictures to this default computer/service by pressing and holding the sync button.
  • Direct transfer between iOS devices
    allows transfer from one iOS device to another with a different Apple ID if both devices are in the same WiFi network or Bluetooth is turned on.
  • Transfer to computer
    allows Wi-Fi access to your photos/videos wherever you are – from any computer on the same WiFi network by just opening a web-browser
  • Services
    supports transfer directions: Device to Computer (WiFi), Computer to Device (WiFi), Device to Device (WiFi + Bluetooth), Device to Web Services (WiFi + 3G + 4G)

20130727-231158.jpg

See this video with PhotoSync in action

UI impressions …

It’s always a good idea to see some screenshots before deciding to download an app from the App Store. There is still no way without stumbles to give an app back and get a refund if it’s not the right app or it has severe bugs.

The settings screen shows you some options as well as supported external storages.

20130521-163850.jpg

The running app shows that there is an understandable and informative feedback for users.

20130521-164004.jpg

iOS device to Android device …

PhotoSync is now available for Android devices. A step forward because if there is no computer available the only way to transfer photos between these galaxies is to use the Jacob’s ladder that means:
copy to cloud + share with recipient + download from cloud
That’s the price you have to pay when contacting extraterrestrial Androids.

NAS …

If you are fully integrated in the Apple hardware ecosystem you may own an Apple router like Airport Extreme. The APE has a USB port but unfortunately PhotoSync cannot communicate with an USB storage connected to the APE. This is called Network Attached Storage (NAS). So there is no chance to copy photos from your iOS devices to the USB storage.

The only way to do this is to install another app like FileBrowser by Stratospherix. Configure a new connection with the option TC (Time Capsule, Airport Extreme), enter the local IP address of this device as well as your username and password for WiFi access.
FileBrowser then allows copying photos from your iPad/iPhone to the attached storage.

Companion apps …

PhotoSync Companion for Mac OSX or Windows is a FREE utility to support the best transfer performance (unlimited number of images, background transfer, etc) for picture and video transfers from your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to your Mac or Windows PC with the PhotoSync app.

Further information …

  • Supported transfer directions: Device to Computer (Wi-Fi), Computer to Device (Wi-Fi), Device to Device (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth)
  • All Exif data, GPS data, and file date is preserved for photos/videos in Camera Roll
  • Full support for RAW images and photos/videos imported with iPad Camera Connector
  • Requirements for FREE Mac-Companion: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher (Intel and PPC supported)
  • Requirements for FREE Windows-Companion: Windows XP SP 2 or higher, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Web-Browser-Access requires modern browsers with JavaScript-Support enabled
  • Transfer Rate up to 4 MB/sec (depending on device and network)

Notes …
In iOS 4 and iOS 5 location services must be enabled to use the application! In iOS 6 Apple changed the access to photos from ‘location services’ to ‘photos’.
For best transfer experience and performance, we recommend installation of the free PhotoSync Companion Software.
Supported wireless connection depends on transfer target: Bluetooth & Wi-Fi – transfer from iOS device to iOS Device; Wi-Fi – transfer from/to computer; Wi-Fi and 3G /LTE – transfer to web-services

A competitor …

There is another app for seamless transfer of photos from one iOS device to another available.
It’s Safety P+V by 83 Technology with the additional feature to protect use of the app and access to all photos and videos stored in the app’s local folder by entering a password.

20130727-125338.jpg

Related links …

Long-Haul Flight

Short-Haul Flight

Device To Device Transfer

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Long-Haul Flight

27 07 2013

If you want to share multiple files or transfer them from an iOS device to an Android device you will get problems. On one hand there are the different philosophies brought into both operating systems. Apple follows a strict platform lock-in while Android is a more open platform. On the other hand it’s hard to find out an iOS app which supports sharing of multiple files and better yet complete folders in an easy-to-use way.

So our long haul flight of documents from the creator to the recipient has to bridge two different worlds (and additionally some slight variances between Apple and Android users).

Here is a solution in case you are registered user on
iDriveSync
one of the most powerful cloud storages with 10 GB free space and an iOS client app which does the tasks described above in a perfect way.

The steps …

My example is about sharing an iWork document as well as two photos.
The folder on iDriveSync in my example is simply called SHARE.

To save the iWork document on iDriveSync you have to use the command ‘Copy to WebDAV’ from within the iWork app (here it’s Keynote, the app for creating presentations). Your iDriveSync storage can be accessed via Server Address http://dav.idrivesync.com/ and your password.

Photos can be transferred to the cloud storage directly from with the iDriveSync client by accessing images saved with Apple’s Photo app.

20130520-114305.jpg

  • 1 Open iDriveSync.
  • 2 Tap on the icon Option and select Upload and then on Select From Gallery.
  • 3 Transfer the photos you want to share into the folder SHARE.
  • 4 Mark the files, photos and presentation.
  • 5 Share them by using E-Mail Link and enter the E-Mail address of the recipient.

20130520-114511.jpg

The recipient will see the following website when following the link:

20130520-114601.jpg

iDriveSync’s sharing site allows downloads of files as well as displays of slideshows.

Sharing with other iOS cloud clients …

Cloud Sharing
Google Sharing of just one file at a time
Dropbox Sharing of just one file at a time or a complete folder
SkyDrive Sharing of complete folders
Wuala Sharing of complete folders
SugarSync Sharing of multiple files
Box Sharing of multiple files

Summary …

I compared the iDriveSync client app with many other file management apps like USB Drive, Documents, FileBrowser, GoodReader, AirSharing, and more.
None of these apps allowed sharing of multiple files and none of these apps was as easy to use as iDriveSync.

iDriveSync is easy-go-use, generates plain and understandable notifications for recipients and presents a plain website with just a couple of useful controls. Box does it all in the same way with a client app designed with a perfect UI but without end-to-end encryption.

Here are the WebDAV addresses of both competitors:

https://dav.idrivesync.com

https://www.box.net/dav

Related Links …

iDriveSync brings Private Key Encryption

iOS Cloud Clients

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
Hope to see you again soon.





Mystic signs of progress

24 07 2013

Archaeologists decoded many signs used in prehistoric times.
With the signs of today this task is done with smartphones within seconds.
The built-in camera and an additional helper app decodes barcodes and so-called QR Codes.

The term QR Code (Quick Response Code) is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated, Japan, a Toyota subsidiary.
It’s a two-dimensional barcode originally developed for the automotive industry. The label is machine-readable and attached to an item to get information about it.
Recently, the QR Code system has become popular outside the automotive industry due to its fast readability and greater storage capacity compared to standard barcodes; applications include product tracking, item identification, document management, marketing, and much more.

A QR Code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square grid on a white background, which can be read by an imaging device (such as a camera) and processed using Reed-Solomon error correction until the image can be appropriately interpreted.

Information stored in a QR Code is partially redundant so that the information is still accessible even if parts of the pattern are missing.
Source Wikipedia

20130518-105816.jpg

The image shows a typical application of QR Codes where the coded information contains a link to a website.

The technology …

QR Codes consist of black modules on a white background where textual information is coded. Additionally there are areas containing information about positioning and versioning.

If QR Codes are slightly damaged the information is still available because it’s coded redundant.
The so-called Error Correction Level defines the level of redundancy. In magazines low error correction levels can be used. For signing spare parts in the automative industry best practice is to use a high error correction level due to dirt or mechanical damage.

Because of error correction, it is possible to create artistic QR Codes that still scan correctly, but contain intentional errors to make them more readable or attractive to the human eye, as well as to incorporate colors, logos, and other features into the QR Code block.

20130518-110224.jpg

Other problems may appear if a QR Code is enlarged, made smaller, or is distorted by using an image processing tool. It may look like a normal QR Code, but it may be difficult or impossible to read the code.
If you place letters or pictures on an area overlapping a QR Code, the contrast between the bright and dark areas becomes indistinct. This kind of code is difficult or impossible to read.

An overview …

See this mind map which outlines the main topics of QR Code technology.

20130518-154736.jpg

You can download the map in different formats

PDF

ITMZ file format (iThoughts)

MMAP file format (MindManager)

XMIND file format (XMind)

Visit

The Apple group on Biggerplate

to see and download more mind maps related to Apple, products for Apple devices like database clients or mind mapping tools, and background information about the company.

The app Qrafter …

Qrafter is the best app for iOS devices with which you can decode and create barcodes and QR Codes. It’s a universal (pay once and use on iPad and iPhone) and reliable app with a perfect UI and tons of powerful features including the creation of QR Codes for different types of content like

  • URL
  • Location
    Location is automatically determined (Latitude, Longitude) and the following actions can be executed
    Show Map, Open in Maps, Open in Google Maps, Send by E-Mail, Send by Text Message, Share on Facebook/Twitter, Copy to Clipboard.

  • Contact Card
  • Event
    Select from Calendar
    Create New
  • Phone Call
  • Text Message
  • E-Mail
  • Tweet
  • WiFi Network
    SSID, Password, Encryption (WPA/WPA2, WEP, None)
  • iTunes App URL
  • Foursquare Venue URL
  • Text
  • Clipboard Contents
  • Barcode
    EAN-13, EAN-8, UPC-A, Code 39, Code 128

Feature descriptions refer to Qrafter with Pro Pack.

20130723-171256.jpg

If your partner also installed Qrafter (for iOS or Android) you can communicate in a secure way by using a password for encryption. If you want to send sensitive data create a QR Code of type ‘Text’ and enter a password in the creation dialog. The QR Code turns into a different image and it’s content is now encrypted with your password.

20130723-175029.jpg

See all further functionalities here in these screenshots:

Qrafter cannot decode

  • Micro QR Code
    little capacity and rarely used. QR Code readers cannot read Micro QR Codes as these are different types of codes. Micro QR Codes have a square in one corner to set the orientation.
  • Microsoft Tag
    is Microsoft’s proprietary coding and can only contain URLs. They are in competition to QR Codes but don’t offer the flexibility of standard QR Codes. Codes can only be scanned by the official Tag Reader app by Microsoft.
  • Others
    like BeeTagg, Shot Code, etc. which are commercially licensed, proprietary and rarely used.

Online creation …

If you don’t have an app like Qrafter to create QR Codes you can also do it online and take a photo of the generated QR Code for further use. For example visit

GoQR

Consumer acceptance …

Consider a recent study by comScore, which states that only 14 million American mobile device users have interacted with a QR Code. In essence, less than 5% of the American public has scanned a QR Code.
Less knowledge and the need to install the right app hampers a more widely usage. At the time it’s not a built-in feature of iOS although it could be reliably used for saving contact and product information from business cards and magazines.

Risks …

Often QR Codes contain an URL in that someone scanning a QR Code doesn’t necessarily know what website he is directed to. Some URL-shortening services include antimalware checks in the service or a preview of the destination website, but the applications that read QR Codes don’t always offer the same options. Malicious QR Codes, once scanned, direct visitors to a potentially malicious website that could install malware on an unsuspecting user’s phone.

To that end, it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about QR Code security best practices. To protect smartphone users, a few options are to use a client antimalware application (where possible), have smartphone users take advantage of the corporate Wi-Fi network and its standard network protections to block the malware, or use a QR reader application that checks URLs against blacklists of known malware-laden websites.

The limits …

Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding environment by processing information that is contained in visible light. We have intuitive reactions to images that a QR Code can never evoke. QR Codes are perceived as coded information only. So there is a need for a more visual alternative to QR Codes which stimulates more positive responses.

The QR alternative …

With Mobile Visual Search (MVS), you simply point at a product or logo and shoot a picture with your smartphone’s built-in camera. Within seconds, the MVS application will provide product or company information, or even the option to make a purchase right then and there on your mobile device.

MVS is a far more compelling and interactive tool to enable mobile marketing and commerce. In today’s increasingly mobile world, instant gratification is the norm, and taking the extra step of finding a QR Code scanner on your mobile device no longer makes sense. With MVS, you are interacting with images that are familiar and desirable, not a square of code that elicits no reaction.
(Quoted from Mashable)

Related topics …

Text Recognition (1)

Text Recognition (2)

Thanks for dropping by.
I hope this post contains some useful and interesting information for you.





iOS Cloud Clients

21 07 2013

Using cloud storages is a daily task for many of us.
And that’s not something new. Think about all the E-Mail traffic which moves from cloud to cloud or the online banking where we can save templates for transactions since years.

What’s new is that we are much more actively engaged in cloud computing when it comes to

  • saving lots of pictures and sharing them
  • work on documents exclusively saved in the cloud
  • syncing and backing up mobile devices
  • collaborate on files

Nearly all cloud providers offer applications for computers and mobile devices for managing the data.

Although big companies are engaged in cloud computing the offered client apps are still not yet fully developed.
If we talk about a Post PC era companies need to enable the era to take place. As users are increasingly sophisticated in their needs embryonic software will not have a chance. The time is over where a mobile devices are just seen as a gadgets.

So let’s have a look on the features of so-called Client Apps with which we can access our free or paid cloud account directly in two directions, from and to the device.

I want to discuss offers from Google, Dropbox, iDriveSync, Box, SugarSync, SkyDrive, and Wuala.

Note
Keep in mind that this article is just about clients for Apple’s mobiles and when it comes to a rating it’s solely the offered client app for iOS which is taken into account.

These apps, I call them native apps, are designed for solely accessing to cloud storage. Another category of apps also provides access to clouds e.g. Documents by Readdle. These apps are usually called File Management apps.

It’s obvious that all the above mentioned providers offer client apps for computers for syncing data in the cloud with data on a local harddrive.

The maximum demands …

What should we expect from client software on iOS devices?

  • encryption while data in transit to and from the cloud
  • encryption while data at rest on the cloud
  • create files and folders
  • delete files and folders
  • move files to other folders
  • rename files and folders
  • send files by mail
  • send file by link (share)
  • multi-selection for file operations (delete, copy, move)
  • copy link (for further use)
  • share files by retrieving a link to files/folders
  • menu for recently accessed files
  • powerful full-text search within folders with highlighted search pattern matches
    (searching for just file names is nice to have but normally useless)
  • options for sorting files and folders by name and date changed ascending and descending
  • availability of the ‘Open in’ command to directly transfer a file to an appropriate application
  • preview for all well-known file formats
  • supported file formats
    txt, csv, image file formats like jpg, png, etc
    Office file formats like
    docx/xlsx/ppt (Microsoft), numbers/pages/key (Apple)

UI impressions …

See these screenshots to get an impression of the different user interfaces.

The comparison …

Here is a mind map showing whether main functionalities of client apps for Apple’s mobiles are available or not (red).

Note
App updates released after mid of July might change feature descriptions.

20130719-085235.jpg

You can download the map in different formats

Map as a PDF

Map in ITMZ file format (iThoughts)

Map in MMAP file format (MindManager)

Map in XMIND file format (XMind)

Visit

The Apple group on Biggerplate

to see and download more mind maps related to Apple, products for Apple devices like database clients or mind mapping tools, and background information about the company.

Summary …

From my point of view the winner is Box with overall excellent features. Just a full text search is not available. Furthermore Box offers 10 GB free space. With the offered WebDAV access Apple’s iWork suite can directly connect to Box’s cloud storage.

If there is a need for more security iDriveSync with it’s client-side encryption is recommended. That means, solely you have the key to decrypt.
Even if government comes knocking at iDriveSync’s door there is no way to decrypt your data (says the company).

iDrivesync brings Encryption

There seems to be no need for native clients as they mostly do not meet the above mentioned requirements. Anyway it’s recommended to install clients for those providers you registered with, because it cannot be excluded that apps for file management are flawed. In this case it’s useful to access the storage with the help of a native app of your provider.

To increase usability the additional installation of one or more file management apps is indispensable.
See my blog

Apps for File Management

for further information.

To see a comparison between Google Drive and Dropbox from the desktop view see

Dropbox vs Google Drive

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Mind Map ‘Concussion’

18 07 2013

Concussion may cause severe long-term sequelae.

The idea to learn more about this topic came up when Michael Wilde created a community on Google+ named ‘Concussion’. On a first look it seemed to be an unusual but quite interesting idea to build this community and so I joined it without any special knowledge. My idea was to get involved by using my mind mapping tool iThoughts on the iPad with it’s web research functionalities.

Here are some facts about this kind of injury, and, as this blog is about the usage of Apple’s iOS devices, the creation of an appropriate mind map visualizing the main topics.

Our brain is what makes us a human being. So everyone gets frightened if the head receives an injury. Medics talk about TBI which means Traumatic Brain Injury and it’s seen as a highly complex matter.

So if you want to visualize some information about TBI using a mind map you quickly are confronted with lots of topics and extensive content.

The map rapidly turns into a bulky knowledge base.
It looks similar to a swollen 2D-Brain.

It would be easy to add some more MB to the map. The criterion to extend knowledge should be the qualification of the audience.

In contrast to written text mind maps need much more space. If all the topics are being expanded even a large computer screen is worth than useless. So if it comes to share comprehensive information it’s inevitable to use a mind mapping tool with which topics can be expanded on demand while other topics stay collapsed. If there is no tool available the map has to be split into different images or PDFs showing single topics like in presentations with Apple’s Keynote or Microsoft’s Powerpoint.

I’m no doctor so I cannot retrieve relevant facts about TBI from my brain. On an iPad with its one-window-display it can be a troublesome work to collect text and links by switching between two apps, the browser and the mind mapping tool.

Craig Scott -the developer of iThoughts- was aware of these problems when developing his powerful app. Here is a brief description of the auxiliary functions. Added by a special iOS gesture with which app switching is much more easier than on an iPhone you can focus on a topic without being distracted by multiple windows and an uncountable number of controls like on a Windows PC.

  • 1 bookmarklet for iThoughts
    A bookmarklet is a small piece of program code installed in a browser as a bookmark to get access to special functionalities.

    Here is a description how to install the bookmarklet which forwards the actual web address to the app iThoughts and (re)opens the app.

    iThoughts, Bookmarklet installation

20130716-054139.jpg

  • 2 using the integrated browser of iThoughts
    to search the web and insert links into the mind map by just tapping on the upper taskbar

20130716-054239.jpg

  • 3 copy and paste of outlined information
    effectively collects and transfers the marked information into the map and generates a new topic for each item

20130716-054337.jpg

  • 4 4-Finger-Swipe-Upwards gesture
    for displaying the iPad’s to reopen any previously opened app

Using these functionalities makes it easy to create extensive and powerful mind maps summarizing all the relevant information about a topic.

Some stats about TBI …

Source Braintrauma.org

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.

Brain injuries are most often caused by falls on the playground or in the home, motor vehicle crashes, or sports injuries.

Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.

An estimated 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States emergency rooms. a

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur each year.

At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.

Moderate and severe head injury (respectively) is associated with a 2.3 and 4.5 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Males are about two to three times more likely to sustain a TBI than females are.

TBI hospitalization rates have increased from 79% per 100,000 in 2002 to 87.9% per 100,000 in 2003.

Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active duty military personnel in war zones.

Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI.

30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI.

This information completed with some more topics like ‘First Aid’, ‘Effects’, ‘Prevention’ etc. already clarifies that a mind map with expanded topics cannot be displayed on an iPad or a computer screen without frequent moving in all directions as well as zooming in and out to show the details (see the image below showing the expanded map).

However, I tried to create a map containing understandable information even for people who are not involved in this topic. That means, most of the topics are explained by textual descriptions to avoid frequent use of links to websites where information is usually too extensive to make adequate use of it. It’s an easier approach to the subject when having the most relevant information on just one screen.

The map …

Here is the result of the creation process.
Without some makeover it took me about 2 hours to find relevant information and create the map.

Overview …

20130716-074958.jpg

Some parts of the map …

Download …

These file formats have been created by iThoughts HD for the iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Downloads from Box net …

PDF

ITMZ (native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (Xmind)

Additional information …

iThoughts provides a Search functionality as well as the possibility to split large maps by selected topics.

20130716-202751.jpg

Sharing the map …

iThoughts offers a lot of file formats which makes sharing easy.
Available file formats are:

  • iThoughts
  • Alternative mind map formats
    MyThoughts, Freemind, Mind Manager, Novamind, XMind, iMindMap, MindView Win/OSX, Concept Draw, Mind Genius
  • Microsoft Word/Powerpoint
    These file formats can easily be imported into Apple’s presentation app Keynote.
  • PDF
  • Image + HTML
  • Standard CSV
    Comma Separated Values
  • OPML
    Outline Processor Markup Language
  • Markdown
    easy-to-read and easy-to-write plain text format with formatting features similar to the well-known Rich-Text-Format (RTF)
  • Here is an example of shared content using the Markdown file format opened with the app ByWord (a simple text editor supporting Markdown):

    20130716-060403.jpg

    Life view …

    To see how some features of a mind map work on an iPad I made a video with the app DispRecorder (Smart Baby) and transferred it to iMovie (Apple) to do some makeover like adding slides and music and then uploaded it to YouTube.

    Neither Mr. Coppala nor Mr. Spielberg helped me to produce this little piece of artwork.
    So please be sympathetic when rating this video.

    Summary …

    This mind map is definitely not in accordance to the general accepted rules of mind mapping where a topic in most cases contains just one significant word. However it summarizes information about a complex theme on an 9.5″ x 7.3″ (241mm x 186mm) device.
    That’s less than a single sheet of paper!

    The creation process can be done within two hours.

    If you connect the iPad to a TV or a beamer via Apple’s Digital AV Adapter the mind map can be used for a lecture on TBI (if the map would have been created by a professional and not by myself).

    Related links …

    Remarks to Mind Mapping

    Mind Map vs Textual Pages

    Apple on Biggerplate.com

    Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.
    Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comment section or via my contact form on the About site.

    and …

    Take care of yourself!





Emergency Guide

15 07 2013

Today smartphones are often used to save all the data you need in the digital world.
Ring binders, box files, and slips of paper are out. Your device then might be more valuable than your wallet containing cash and credit cards.

If you save sensitive data on your iPhone it’s a MUST to secure and backup them.
For backing up your device regularly use iCloud or iTunes.
For preventing unauthorized access by third parties follow the instructions described in this article.

What can happen if your device gets stolen?

Bad guys may access

  • data enclosed in documents
  • E-Mails and SMSs
  • banking accounts
  • a low cost password keeper like Safety Notes

and more up to the amount of information stored on your device.

You can be lucky if a less sophisticated thieve simply takes your device to make some free calls before you can report and your carrier blocks the SIM card. Then he sells your device and the new proud owner begins setting up the device as a new iPhone with a new Apple ID.

But there are also very bad guys behaving like terrorists and trying to destroy everything they are able to. A victim could suffer humiliation, identity theft, and lifetime suspension from services and social networks.

Loosing a device with sensitive data may compromise your identity in the digital world followed by severe problems with law.

In Germany for example you have to explain yourself if you did not follow well-known security advices and you are automatically partially at fault when it comes to court proceedings.

Also keep in mind that

increased security goes along with decreased usability
So it’s recommended to firstly set the highest level of security and then, as a well-considered decision, decrease it step by step.

Murphy’s law ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’ is still valid.

With all this in mind, learn what you should do when the black day comes and what you can do prior to your device being lost or stolen. Here is a mind map with all essentials.

20131203-130105.jpg

Please tap on these magnified parts of the map to see the details.

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Secure use of the browser …

Many accounts are accessed by using the installed browser on your device.

Say NO if your browser asks you to save credentials for an account on your device.

In case of an unlocked device thefts have full access to all web-based services for which you saved the credentials to access them more more easily but with high risk.

If you want to delete already existing credentials see my article
Managing website data

It’s recommended to use a high-end password keeper like 1Password (by AgileBits Inc.) and access sensitive web-based data only via the integrated browser. So your credentials remain in a highly secured part of your device’s memory.

2-Step Verification …

Your Apple ID is the key to a lot of things you do with Apple, so it’s important that only you have the ability to access your account details, update your password, or make other changes to your account. Two-step verification is a feature you can use to keep your Apple ID account as secure as possible.

Two-step verification is an optional security feature for your Apple ID.
It requires you to verify your identity using one of your registered devices before you can:

  • Sign in to My Apple ID to manage your account.
  • Make an iTunes, App Store, or iBookstore purchase from a new device.
  • Get Apple ID-related support from Apple.

Turning on two-step verification reduces the possibility of someone accessing or making unauthorized changes to your account information at My Apple ID or making purchases using your account.

Detailed information for 2-Step Verification on

Apple: 2-Step Verification

IMEI, ICCID, Serial Number …

You should know the IMEI, the ICCID and the Serial Number when reporting a stolen or lost device.

IMEI or International Mobile Station Equipment Identity is a unique number. It’s used by a GSM network to identify a devices and therefore can be used for stopping a stolen phone from accessing that network. If an IMEI is set on a blacklist gets useless on the network of your carrier and sometimes other networks too, whether or not the phone’s SIM is changed.

ICCID or Integrated Circuit Card Identifier, which identifies each SIM globally and unique

Your back-up inside iTunes of your iOS device will show both of your IMEI and Serial Number. Inside iTunes go to Edit – Preferences and under Devices, hover your mouse over the last backup and both numbers will show up, this works even though there is no iOS device connected to iTunes present.

You can also visit your Apple Support Profile to find a list of Serial Numbers for devices you purchased or registered with your Apple ID.

My Support Profile

The IMEI will neither be shown here nor on your carriers contract or invoices. To retrive the IMEI of an iOS device, if you still have it, go to Settings – General – About where the Serial Number, the IMEI, and the ICCID is shown.

From my point of view it’s a lack in the security concept to easily access these unique numbers which could be used to identify the owner if it would only be shown in a secured environment.

Keep all these numbers at a secure place and ensure that you have access to them and all the relevant emergency numbers even if you are on travel.

Find my iPhone …

Apple’s free app Find My Phone is the only way to loacate any lost or stolen iPhone or iPad. However, this requires that Find My Phone be setup and activated BEFORE your phone was lost or stolen. If your phone has been restored or is not connected to the internet, then there is no way to locate it.

To install Find My iPhone go to the App Store.
The app is a universal app that means you can install it on all of your iOS devices and you should do so.

To activate Find My iPhone go to Settings – iCloud and turn the switch Find My iPhone to ON.

For using features of Find My iPhone you need a computer with internet connection and have to login on https://www.icloud.com/ using your Apple ID.

Access to your device via Find my iPhone is also available from another iOS device. Just open the app, tap on Sign Out (from the owners account), tap on Sign In and enter your Apple ID and password.
You can then use the app’s features Play Sound, Lost Mode, and Erase Device.

With Play Sound you can force the device to play a sound at full volume for two minutes regardless of your volume settings even if the device is locked.
If you are favored by fortune you here the sound coming from you bathroom. Maybe your device just wanted to get rid of all the bullshit which came with ad mails.

With Lost Mode you can enter a phone number where you can be reached. It will be shown on the device you are searching for. If you just lost your device you may be lucky and someone calls you back.

It’s highly recommended to alway Sign Out from Find My iPhone after usage. All features are still available but third parties will have no access. The only way to stop this service is to disable Find My iPhone in Settings – iCloud – Find My iPhone.

Reporting …

Apple cannot help you here and does not maintain a database of lost or stolen Apple products with which it would be possible to block or track devices.

Report IMEI, Serial Number, Phone Number, and ICCID to

  • the police
  • your carrier
  • your insurance company, if you have one
  • the Apple support

and immediately change the Password of your Apple ID and your banking accounts.

Note
Changing your other passwords might be the next worst case scenario.
Maybe you use your Google mail address to sign in to many accounts.
Changing the password causes some days or weeks to reenable access to all of your accounts.
I myself did it once and I tell you, it’s near to a disaster.
So use complex passwords and protect them with a #1 password keeper like 1Password for iOS.

Then lock your SIM Card via your carrier’s hotline AFTER trying to delete the device with the app Find my iPhone or the corresponding functionality on Apple’s iCloud website. By locking the SIM Card phone calls and cellular internet connections are no longer possible.

Only if you are sure you just misplaced the device use the ‘Play Sound’ or ‘Lost Mode’ feature. If you are not sure a theft would see that you started your search and if he is a professional he would cut the internet connection and with this stops all your remaining options to keep the damage as low as possible.

Replaced SIM card …

If the bad guy replaces your SIM Card it doesn’t affect any services connected to your Apple ID. That means:

  • 1 iCloud backups are still present (and block space)
  • 2 Syncing Reminders, Contacts, Calendars, iWork documents, and other data where syncing is supported and turned on across all of your devices with the same Apple ID still works
  • 3 Purchasing from Apple’s stores is still possible.

Keep in mind that blocking a SIM card just affects services provided by your carrier.

Here are some screenshots of Find My iPhone where my primarily used SIM card from the German provider Telekom was replaced by my second SIM card from DTAC, Thailand. As long as the iPhone is not connected to the internet it’s not locatable. It’s locatable again if an internet connection (in this case I connected it via a public WiFi) is established. If the option ‘Notify Me When Found’ is activated you will get a popup message on your other device (in this case my iPad) as well as an E-Mail which contains the successful location on a map. The E-Mail is sent to your E-Mail account you entered when applying an Apple ID.

Note
If this account is also configured on the lost device even your lost device get’s this E-Mail, but the bad guy wouldn’t see the incoming mail if you deactivated the display of new mails in your device’s notification center.

20130509-170313.jpg

Apple’s service Find My iPhone is not affected by any type of SIM cards but only by your Apple ID and the activation of the related service in Settings.

Online status of your stolen/lost device …

If you want to find out whether your stolen/lost device is connected to the internet use Find My iPhone on https://www.icloud.com/ or on another iOS device, your new or your friends one.

If you try to locate the device you and there it’s not connected to the internet the app shows you the ‘Old location’ and after some seconds displays the option ‘Notify Me When Found’. Activate the checkbox and you will get a message (as a popup, containing: Find My iPhone Alert/Device has been found) when the location process succeeds. Some minutes later you will get an additional E-Mail showing the location on a map.
So you are informed that the bad guy went online.
Then try to erase the device.

Further questions …

There are some pending questions e.g.

  • What should you do if someone hacked your Apple ID?
  • What happens with your purchases, registered products, Apple Care Protection Plan, and your data on iCloud if you apply for a new Apple ID?

My researches weren’t really successful when it came to qualify the answers as just an opinion or an actually validated procedure of the author.
In case of doubt don’t read the uncountable articles you will find in the internet. Contact the Apple support and prior to this read these articles:

Here are some questions where I myself validated the answers:

How can I delete the iCloud backup of a stolen device?
If you are using the same Apple ID on your new device go to Settings – iCloud – Storage + Backup – Manage Storage – Your Device and tap on ‘Delete Backup’.

How can I change the password of my Apple ID?
You can change your password by going to Settings – iTunes + App Stores and tap on Apple ID. Follow the instructions there.
Alternatively you can do so via any browser by visiting

Managing your Apple ID

For more information about the Apple ID see my article

The Apple ID

Summary …

The most important advice is to follow all the instructions that hamper an unlocking of your device. Once someone gets access to the device’s functionalities and apps you will have a really dark day.
Access to everything you had access to without using a password can be accessed by others. So best practice is to use a complex Unlock Code instead of a simple 4-Digit-Code (see the link below to Daniel Amitay’s website).

Keep highly sensitive information off your device and use the more old-fashioned methods as reminders.

Your carrier can help you blocking your SIM card.

Apple could help you by blocking all services related to your Apple ID.
But there is need for significant improvement when it comes to identification of customers. There is still no secure verification process which ensures that you are the person you say you are. Apple’s support is thus limited to advise you to change your password.

So I only can recommend to look at all options you have for securing your Apple ID.

Useful links …

Related links …

Security made by Apple

If you visit iNotes4You with your mobile device keep an eye on it.
I don’t want to loose readers.

Thanks for dropping by.





Apple, a unique company

11 07 2013

In the world of accounting, we speak of tangible and intangible assets to keep track of a company’s property. A tangible asset is anything that has a physical existence like buildings, equipment, and land. Intangible assets are nonphysical resources and rights that have a value to the company because they give some kind of advantage in the market. Examples of intangible assets are goodwill, copyrights, trademarks, patents and computer programs and financial assets, including such items as accounts receivable and stocks.

Let’s have a look on Apple.
This company is said to be the most valuable company in history (Forbes, 2012).

Apple’s philosophy is saying NO to bells and whistles, focusing on essentials and building unique products that people want.

Note
Apple is often criticized because of it’s platform lock-in.
But a golden thread through products, software, and the fusion of both cannot be achieved if the strategy is ‘Doing everything at any time with all accessories’. Whatever other companies decide to do, without limitation to essentials they will not get the first place user-friendliness and user-acceptance in the future. Just think about the time you spend for administrating a Windows environment and reading KB articles.

20130505-185327.jpg

But the ‘It just works’ motto of Steve Jobs was affected by the

  • iPhone 4 antenna problem
  • Apple Maps fiasco
  • lack of major innovations since iPhone 4
  • underestimation of developing markets
  • iOS 6.1 security problems with its passcode bypass

All these mistakes did not really affect the overall rating of Apple’s products because Retina and iCloud were introduced at the same time and whitewashed some faults.

What are the reasons of Apple’s success?

The reason Apple announcements are so widely anticipated is because they’ve consistently done things in the past that got people excited. They’ve made mistakes, but their batting average is breathtaking. In just one decade they developed the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, App Store, and iCloud.

20130505-191510.jpg

Focus …

The most valued company in the world only has a handful of products.
That’s unique in the electronics industry. Sony had more varieties of Walkman than Apple has products in total. The first thing Steve Jobs did on his re-appointment was reduce Apple’s computing line to just four models (2 desktops, 2 laptops), aiming to make each ‘best in class’.

Comparing Apple with Google and all its services apps and different UIs one could classify Google by ‘Doing everything, focussing on nothing’ or ‘Offering and trying out everything with no golden thread’. This statement is valid too for product lines of SAMSUNG or other competitors like HTC.

Saying NO …

Since the second Jobs era, Apple has made a habit out of saying NO.
Doing only a few things gives the focus to make them better.
Jobs said this to Nike’s CEO:

Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products that you lust after. But you also make a lot of crap. Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff.

Most large companies traditionally succumb to demands to diversify – it’s not hard to imagine demand for a MacBook in different colours, say.

Regarding advertisement Apple says NO to Razzmatazz but YES to a simple messages reflecting the companies strategy. This NO is even extended to companies selling Apple products.

Doing the right things …

Many of Apple’s best choices were widely criticised at the time, but later proved to be insightful. For example, iOS launched with a seemingly primitive ‘one app at a time’ multitasking model. Apple decided that the benefits (better battery life, simplicity of use) outweighed the cons (less potential for power users). Likewise for not supporting Flash, having non-removable batteries, a single locked-down App store and dropping floppy drives.

The entire philosophy of iOS is built around making a computer that a grandmother could use without issue – installing an app is a two tap process, viruses are non-existent – and that’s only possible because they made other, tough decisions.

Apple is often criticized because of strong limitations in their operating system. But mobile malware explodes just on Android devices. See these stats on

AppleInsider

The fact that most of the industry argued these decisions were wrong (before ultimately copying them) shows you how powerful these decisions were.

Apple had an unusual connection with what customers really wanted, not what experts thought they did.

UI and UX …

Ease of use is arguably the biggest factor contributing to the success of Apple products. Whether its the iPhone, the iPad or a Mac, consumers can pop the devices out of the box and know how to use them. Thats not the case with many products. And it helps Apples sales immensely.
A fascinating document reflecting Apple’s philosophy are the The iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

Fusion of Soft- and Hardware …

Whereas many companies in the computing and mobile markets offer their own hardware, but use another firms software, Apple controls both sides of the coin. By doing so, it can ensure that all its customers get the same experience. Even better, it can guarantee that the software works well with the hardware. By controlling software and hardware, Apple is putting itself in a great position.

Over the years, the company brought the mouse to the computer, welcomed USB to its Macs before all others and, now, has included the Thunderbolt flat-panel display in its products. The company has also been working on killing off the DVD drive. Some of its moves might not always be popular, but in one way or another, they turn out to be a success.

Design and material …

Mobile devices, computers, Apple TV, Apple router, etc are premium designed products without any bells and whistles. The iPhone 4S is a great example for a precious device. It’s built of sensitive parts but customers don’t care and often give cases a miss to not destroy the look. Consumers care more than ever about what a gadget looks like. Apple is a premium provider of premium products with premium prices. That is how it wants the world to view it.

20130505-212902.jpg

More about Apple’s Design Philosophy.

Secrecy …

Lot’s of rumors are published whenever an event is in Apple’s timeline.
But Apple keeps its product plans secret, but still stoke the rumor mill.

Integrated services …

Apple created it’s own world of devices and integrated services and it’s the companies integral plan. If you purchase a device all what you need is an Apple ID and everything else is provided by Apple and it just works. I talk about iTunes, App Store, Apple Store, iCloud, iMessage, etc. No other company offers this level of integration.

Pulling not pushing …

When companies want to try to sell products to consumers, more often than not, they follow a push strategy that determines what customers are after and then provides them with that. Apple, however, follows a pull strategy that assumes consumers don’t know what they want, but are looking for something new and exciting. Apple did that with the iPod, iPhone and iPad. And we all know how well that went.

Through a remarkable fusion of consistency, focus, saying NO, choosing the right things and distinctive products, Apple has built a brand cachet like Rolex that any company would kill for. But ultimately, it’s really simple:

  • People want their products
  • Product desirability is always followed by profitability

The modern era of mobile devices …

There is no doubt about it, the credit belongs to Steve Jobs and it’s Tim Cook’s job to continue a unique philosophy of developing extraordinary products. Steve Jobs is the father of all the intangible assets which mainly cause Apple’s success.

Many other companies act publicly not reflecting their philosophy, if their is one.
Apple never had let this happen. Advertisement and public relations are fully controlled by the company and have to fit into the omnipresent philosophy.

It’s a hard job for Tim Cook.
There are strong competitors, developing markets where high prices are not enforceable, and a crowds of consumers not willing to follow the companies philosophy. And last but not least there are shareholders setting other priorities.

However that be …
I’m an Apple fan as long as it makes sense to be one.

A mind map …

If you already use a mind mapping tool you may download this map on

BIGGERPLATE.com (The mind map library) Group ‘Apple’

or download the map here from my Dropbox account:

Application File format
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Alternatively take a look on this gallery.

Note
Some topics are inspired by opinions of Oliver Emberton, Founder of Silktide, UK and Apple shareholder completed by Thomas Unterstenhoefer, GER, Apple device user.

The future …

J. D. Lace is a well-known author of many sophisticated articles about Apple.
See his article about

Apple Google and the future

About Steve Jobs …

Here are some mind maps about Steve Jobs on Biggerplate.com the worlds largest free mind map library.

Steve Jobs Timeline 1955-2011

Five of Steve Job’s Biggest Mistakes

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.








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