The top iOS 8 features for business users

Ryan Faas Writer, CITEworld Follow me on Google+

Ryan Faas is a technology journalist and author who has been writing about Apple, business and enterprise IT topics, and the mobile industry for over a decade. He is author and/or editor of ten technology books. He is a prolific freelance writer whose work has been featured on Computerworld, Enterprise Mobile Today, InformIT, Peachpit Press, Cult of Mac, Cult of Android, About.com, and Datamation. In 2008 he was awarded a Neal National Business Journalism award for his work featured in Computerworld's "Week of Leopard" series.

In addition to writing, Ryan has spent a large portion of the past fifteen years in the systems/network engineering and IT management fields as an IT director, systems administrator, trainer, and all round multi-platform and mobile device technology consultant. His client list ranges from human services agencies, small non-profits, and private schools to fortune 500 hundred companies and major media agencies.


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When it shows up in the coming weeks, Apple’s iOS 8 is set to bring several new features, including its HealthKit and HomeKit platforms, to the iPhone and iPad. Many of the advances are consumer-oriented and focused on creating a seamless experience across iOS devices and Macs running the forthcoming OS X Yosemite.

Even with that consumer focus, however, there are some incredible features for business users in iOS 8.

Better keyboards

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Four Finder timesavers every smart Mac user should know

Topher Kessler , Macworld

Topher Kessler has been an avid Mac user since 1991. He was the primary contributing author to CNET's MacFixIt blog from 2008 to 2014 and currently posts at MacIssues (macissues.com).
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For some users, “organizing files” in the Finder begins and ends with creating folders and moving files into them. But there are a bunch of other things you can do to manage your files in OS X that, whatever your workflow, will make things way easier.

Smart folders

When you perform a standard Finder search by pressing Command-F or using the search bar in any Finder window, you can save this search as a smart folder by clicking the Save button in the top-right of the window. This will save the search as a Smart Folder which, when opened, will only show the files that match your search criteria. (You can also create smart folders by selecting New Smart Folder from the File menu.)

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Beyond the basics: advanced Mac keyboard tricks

Topher Kessler , Macworld

Topher Kessler has been an avid Mac user since 1991. He was the primary contributing author to CNET's MacFixIt blog from 2008 to 2014 and currently posts at MacIssues (macissues.com).
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If you’re like most Mac users, you probably don’t give your keyboard much thought: You press a key, it relays that key-press to your system, and that’s all there is to it. But there can, in fact, be much more to it, if you take avantage of OS X’s support for multiple keyboard layouts.

When you initially set up your Mac, the OS X Setup Assistant gives you the option of choosing a default keyboard layout. Many users never deviate from that initial choice. You can, however, choose a different keyboard layout any time you want. For instance, if you’re composing in French, you might be better off using AZERTY instead of the standard QWERTY. Same goes for composing in non-Roman alphabets, such as Chinese or Russian: You can switch your keyboard layout to any number of those. And many users prefer to use the Dvorak (or other alternative) layout for more efficient typing.

keyboard layout

Select your desired language from the list on the left, then select the layout you want on the right. Note that Dvorak and Colemak layouts are under the English language.

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Improve your presentation skills: the emergency road-show toolkit

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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As I’ve traveled around the world giving presentations, I’ve seen Murphy’s Law in action, up close, many times. Much as I might prepare ahead of time, things still go wrong all the time. And every time something does go wrong, I add another item or two to my emergency toolkit, the better to be prepared for next time.

Here are some of the things that have ended up in that toolkit. If you have a big presentation—especially if it’s out of town, where you won’t have access to your usual resources—consider putting together a similar toolkit of your own.

Gadgets and software

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Improve your presentation skills: how to make smoother slide transitions in Keynote

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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Modern presentation apps like Keynote and PowerPoint still encourage you to think in terms of “slides”: discrete, isolated objects to be presented one after the other, as though we were still using those old slide projectors to show film-in-square-frames slides. Our audiences may even expect to receive printed or PDF copies of our slides, one tidy image per page.

But that metaphor is a relic of an earlier time. Technology has moved on, and you can create far more interesting and appealing presentations if you move beyond the idea of “slides” and adopt a more fluid, seamless approach.

The best-known tool for presentations-that-are-not-slides is Prezi (4.0 mice), which gives you a huge canvas on which you place individual elements; you then pan, zoom, and rotate the view to highlight specific items. It’s a neat effect, but I prefer to downplay animations and transitions, not to call extra attention to them.

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The secret to great presentations: it's not about the software

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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I’ve sat through countless dull PowerPoint and Keynote presentations. And I’ll admit that some of my own have been snoozers, too. Based on my observations of presentations by others, and on feedback I’ve received about my own, I’d like to share one simple tip for making your presentations better: Don’t focus on your presentation software.

You read that right: In some of the most successful presentations I’ve seen, I barely noticed what was on the screen. If your audience leaves feeling informed, inspired, or entertained, you’ve done a better job than if they leave talking about your fancy 3D effects.

Start with the message

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How to prepare for a Mac disaster

Joe Kissell Senior Contributor, Macworld

Joe Kissell is a senior editor of TidBits and the author of numerous ebooks in the Take Control series.
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No one likes to think about disasters such as burglary, earthquake, fire, the zombie apocalypse, or other catastrophes that could potentially wipe out your Mac, your other gadgets, and perhaps even your entire home or office. But these things do happen (with the possible exception of the zombies), and despite your best efforts, you might not be able to prevent the loss. You can, however, minimize the damage and inconvenience you’ll suffer—and speed your recovery—by making sure you’ve taken a number of commonsense steps to prepare for misfortune ahead of time.

Insurance

Let’s start with your hardware itself—your Mac(s), hard drives, monitors, printer, scanner, and so on. If you pulled into your driveway and found a huge crater where your home used to be, replacing that equipment will probably be in the top ten items on your post-tragedy to-do list. Will your insurance cover it? If you haven’t checked into that question specifically, this might be a good time to study your policy or chat about it with your insurance agent.

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