Alex Kaloostian

Apple Certified Master Trainer | Systems Integrator | Video Editor | Motion Graphics Artist

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Apple as overhauled two-factor authentication…

…And its kind of crazy confusing. But its worth it in the long run, because the new format is much better, and much faster. It looks like I’m not the only one who had trouble setting it up in the first place. But if you use AppleID for Education, VPP, ApplePay or you’re just concerned about better security, you should read this and be prepared to support your users.

Unlocking a Mac with an Apple Watch requires two-factor, not two-step, iCloud protection—what?

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I want to like AppleTV more

When Apple released the AppleTV4, I was excited and snapped one right up. It was $150, which was MUCH more than comparable products from Google and Amazon and Roku, but there must have been a reason, right?

  • It must support 4k, right?
    • Well, um, nope.
  • But its from Apple, so I bet it integrates well with their other services like Homekit.
    • Um, nope, we had to wait 10 months for that, and its still not great.
  • What about iPhone?
    • Well the Remote app wasnt compatible for 6 months. Airplay works… usually.
  • Can I stream Netflix, Hulu and amazon?
    • Two our of three aint bad?
  • Well, I sync my keychain to the cloud, so at least I can auto-signin to all my channels.
    • Actually, that doesnt work yet. Still waiting for it. Youre going to have to sign into EVERY app one by one. And many of them will make you sign in again and again and again. Oh, also? Xfinity doesnt allow you to sign into many of them. Forget Comedy Central or AMC, for instance. Even though youre paying for them.
  • But it can play games!
    • Yeah, but game developers are required to support the tiny remote, so most of the games are simple and not very good.
  • The remote looks cool.
    • It looks cool. In actuality, its the worst thing Apple has ever designed. Its tiny and falls between the couch cushions. its not lit so you lose it int he dark. And its a touch screen, so you pause your show every time you pick it up… and half the time you’ll pick it up backwards.

So yeah. Was that harsh? I don’t HATE the AppleTV. but I don’t love it. And for $150 I should love it. But I cant get rid of it yet, because I have iTunes media to stream, and I can Airplay from my phone and laptop to it. Thats cool. But if they don’t get their act together soon, I’m getting a Roku. I’ll buy a used AppleTv3 on Ebay for short money and that’ll be that.

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iOS and security

Theres a lot of talk about security and iPhones lately. Well, there always is, but even more lately. Here are a couple articles that should be required reading.

Parallax primer: why is Android less secure than iOS?

Cops can force you to unlock your phone with a thumbprint but not your passcode: 5 things to know.

Tim Cook says Apple will fight FBI’s order to unlock Farook’s iPhone

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Your iPhone can save your life.

The new Health app was excitedly talked about, but is off to a slow start. I’ve had some luck using it to share some data between my apps like Withings, MyFitnessPal and Runtastic, but I think it will be a while before I can text my BP to my doc and have him fire off a reply. The health care system is the most archaic, monolothic and confusing structure conceived of by the mind of man. it makes the Weasley’s House look like the zenith of zen minimalism by comparison.

But there is one feature that is easy to set up, and could literally save your life. Here’s how to do it: Continue reading

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Streaming media around your house

This past spring, I guest blogged at, and never linked to it here! I wrote a semi-in-depth article about converting media, sorting it in iTunes, and streaming music & video around your house with Airport and iPads. Here it is.

Part 1: Music, audio formats, metadata & lyrics

Part 2: Video, Handbrake, batch processing & Subler

Part 3: Home Sharing, AirPlay & streaming music

Part 4: AppleTV, Remote app & streaming video

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Interop 2013

Hello to everyone who was in my session at Interop today! I had fun, and I hope you got some useful info.

Here is a link to the slides in PDF format:

Better late than never: the iPad Fundamentals slides:

If you left early, and were unable to take the test on your own, there may have been trouble with the voucher we gave you. Denise will be emailing you with info on where and when you can come and take the test in a nice quiet environment, and will help with any other problems you may have. You can reach her at if you don’t hear from her.

Ill be upadting this post with info as details emerge, so check back again. Hope to see some of you at Interop NY!

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Locking down your iPad for kids is now even easier with Guided Access

I wrote a post last year about Locking down your kids’ iPad with Restrictions, and it turned out to be a big hit with The Google; still is. Well guess what, since I wrote that, Apple updated iOS to version 6 and introduced a really cool, but not well-known new feature called Guided Access. It’s a great new way to lock down your iPad, if you want to place it in a public place, or give it to a child or someone with special needs. Teachers of autistic kids already are going wild for it, but you can use it on your own iPad as well. Here’s how.

Guided Access can be found under the Accessibility section of the General settings:

Turn it on, and you’ll be asked to enter a 4-number passcode. This can be the same, or different than the passcode you set for Restrictions, and for locking your iPad. It may make sense to use the same passcode you use for restrictions; but it wouldn’t make sense at all to use the same code that you lock your iPad with: you want people to unlock the iPad and use it, you just don’t want them to disable Guided Access!

Now, Guided Access is set up. It still isn’t enabled, but now you can enable it any time you like. Here’s how. First, open an app you want to “lock” someone into. My son loves watching videos on YouTube, but I don’t want him clicking on anything else. So let’s use the new YouTube app. Open the app, go to the page you want, then triple-tap the home button. A dialog will pop up, allowing you to enable Guided Access, or invert the screen. Tap Guided Access, of course.
Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 5.18.11 PM

Now the fun begins. When Guided Access is enabled, the home button is disabled: you won’t be able to click or double-click, only triple-click. And most kids don’t have the knowledge to try that, or the dexterity to do it. Even if they do, they won;t be able to disable without the passcode.

In addition to disabling the home button, you can disable motion, so the screen won’t rotate, disable ALL touch to the screen, or just disable certain parts of the screen. If my son is watching a movie, I’ll disable the entire screen, so he can’t tap anywhere.
Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 5.18.16 PM

But, if he is browsing YouTube, I’ll want him to be able to click on other videos, just not leave the app. So I can disable parts of the screen, just by drawing a circle around them with my finger!
Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 5.19.04 PM

And don’t worry if your drawing is sloppy, you can refine the area by dragging the boundaries of the box that is created. As you can see, you can disable several parts of the screen at once:
Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 5.18.51 PM

Now tap Start on the top-right corner, and you’re all set! The iPad won’t respond to any touch in the areas you indicated, or the home button. To disable, triple-click the home button again, enter the passcode, and you’ll be able to change settings, resume, or end Guided Access.

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Come on, back up yo stuff!

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve heard of no fewer than four friends or friends-of-friends having their data lost by a drive crash, reformat or theft. In most of these cases, they were artists or creatives, freelancers, and their careers, their very livelihoods are now at risk. I’m not here to pile more pain on them or say I told you so. But I DO want to call them out as a warning to the rest of you.

Please, PLEASE back your stuff up! Its 2012, there are no more excuses. Hard drives are stupid cheap and the software is practically idiot proof now. Here’s how to back up your iPhone, iPad and Mac. Continue reading