iTunes 10.5 is Here! Update now and install iOS 5 RIGHT NOW!

It’s just before midnight here on the east coast, but it looks like Apple got iTunes 10.5 out the door ahead of schedule. If you want to be the first kid on the block running the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system (available for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad), then you need to head on over to Apple’s site right now and download iTunes 10.5.

Once you get iTunes 10.5 up and running (it’s painless if you use software update, though the installation process is a bit slow), it’s just a matter of syncing your iDevices to your computer for (hopefully) the last time. Because with iCloud software backing up your data into the cloud (and a free 5 GB of storage to boot!), the new iOS 5 brings tons of awesome features, and we can’t wait to get it on all of our devices, so we’re not going to delay this post any longer—find your cables, connect your devices, and get your iOS 5 on! Just be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Update: Full list of iOS 5 features and supported devices. Read More

Kensington SecureBack cases are great for shared iPads

Increasingly, businesses are finding that iPads and other tablets are the best solution for their needs.  Unfortunately, one of the best things about the iPad can be one of the worst things; basically, its extreme mobility.  Although this really helps workers on the go, it also helps less-than-honest people score free iPads for themselves.  So, the question becomes: how can we maintain mobile productivity while thwarting would-be thieves? Read More

Need to Print from your iPhone/iPad? Canon PIXMA WiFi Printers Get AirPrint Support

Even though mobile device computing has come a long way in a very short time, devices like iPhones are limited by their inability to download and  install the necessary printer drivers needed to print from your mobile device to a printer. Apple introduced AirPlay/AirPrint support with its latest iOS version that can enable an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad to handle a number of tasks such as streaming music and movies wirelessly to compatible products. Frees up your device from being tethered to your primary machine.

With the exception of HP and Epson, companies have only licensed the AirPlay technology thus far to do the fun stuff. Now Canon has announced that its new line of PIXMA Series wireless printers will have the AirPrint technology built in for direct printing from an iOS device connected to the same local network. The MG8220, MG6220, and MG5320 will all allow users to wirelessly print photos, emails, web pages and other documents without the need to install device drivers, saving time and making for a seamless user experience. Read More

Wednesday Tech Tips from

We are pleased to work with Ramon Ray, CEO and editor of, journalist, and technology evangelist, to bring you new Small Biz tips every Wednesday morning. Each week they’ll be sharing videos and articles featuring hot topics, products and trends in small business. Read More

Are Tablet Price Wars Brewing?

With Apple continuing to dominate the tablet market, it was probably only a matter of time before other manufacturers began to slash their tablet prices in an effort to increase market share. While this would be the logical response to the iPad’s category-crushing success, other tablet manufacturers have thus far refrained from engaging in price wars with Apple, likely because the iPad’s success has driven up tablet component costs for everyone else in the industry. Manufacturers have been jumping into the tablet game in large part because they want to emulate Apple’s 25% profit margin on the iPad, but since they’re paying higher component prices than Apple, cutting retail prices would thwart the very reason they got into the tablet game in the first place. Read More

Kashoo Online Accounting Adds iPad App for Mobile Accounting

To be honest, The Kashoo Online Accounting service isn’t too much different than a Quickbooks Online, InDinerio or Outright for small businesses. With all of these services, you can set up an account fairly quickly and manage your money using the following features:

– Manage income/expenses
– Create and send invoices
– View financial reports
– Manage customer information

…and more without installing software on your computer. Read More

Handle PDF Documents With Ease Using Stanza for the iPad

PDF is the file format of choice for electronic documents.  It works on every major computing platform, it looks the same on everyone’s computer, and it even prints exactly the way you intended it. It’s no surprise that PDF is the most popular format choice for business documents around the world.  Like a good wine, the iPad pairs nicely with PDF as the perfect device for consuming documents (and iPhone works pretty well in a pinch). Usually, the PDF drill is simple: someone emails an important document for review, you open it from the email and can easily reply with feedback or forward it on to another party.  However, it’s not a perfect system – what about larger documents that are too big to email?  What if you have 10 or 20 documents to review? Do you want to send and/or open 20 emails?  Of course not.

Enter Stanz, the free eReader for iOS, which sets the standard for eReaders on Apple’s platform.  With Stanza installed, you can easily transfer documents between your computer and your iOS device.  Just drag and drop files into the document-sharing area of iTunes under the ‘apps’ menu and sync your mobile  It’s definitely the simplest way to get the PDF files and ebooks that you want or need in to your peripheral digital devices.

This has a couple great applications.  For instance, every day my wife (who does all of her work on an iPad) reviews a ton of contracts.  She can fit almost all of her work in her purse by using Stanza.  Not only can she easily review all of these documents, but she can annotate them right in the app.  The best part?  Since sharing via Twitter, Facebook, and email are built right in, when she has made her notes she can send out her changes directly from within this free app.

While the Kindle ads on TV are appealing, doing anything more than reading documents on it is difficult. Stanza takes full advantage of the iPad’s unique capabilities, allowing you to quickly and easily read, mark-up, and share PDF documents.  It’s one of those vital apps that boosts tablets and smartphones into daily-use, multipurpose devices.  If you’re interested in e-readers but already have an iPhone/iPad, I would definitely recommend giving Stanza a test-drive first.

Apple ditches MobileMe, introduces iCloud at exciting price point: free

Although Apple’s cloud services have been rumored for years, no real information has surfaced before today about exactly what to expect. But at their Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) today, Apple announced that they’re going cloud in a big way: starting this fall, MoibleMe (a paid service to synchronize your mail, contacts, and calendar) will be replaced by a new, free service called iCloud.

What is iCloud? At a basic level, it’s a replacement for all of the services that MobileMe used to cover: iCloud provides free synchronization for your Mail, Calendars and Contacts through new applications that push your updates to any iOS devices you may own, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Similarly, App Store and iBookstore purchases are now automatically synchronized between multiple devices. What does that mean for you? Hassle-free work from the field, with the same calendar and mail set-up on your phone or tablet (provided those phones and tablets are the iPhone and iPad!)

The real win for small business users comes in the form of document sync, however. Last week, Apple announced that their iWork suite of apps, including Pages, Numbers and Keynote, we’re being ported to work not just on the iPad but also the iPhone and iPod touch. These apps, for those who aren’t familiar, are Apple’s answers to Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively.

Today Apple is announcing that their iWork suite of apps will allow document sync through their iCloud service, with 5GB free storage for documents. While 5GB isn’t a huge amount of storage for music or pictures, it translates into thousands of documents sync’d seamlessly across your devices. For users on the go, this may finally make Apple’s iWork suite of software a viable alternative to Microsoft’s suite of desktop software or even Google Documents.

A few other features of note: Apple is also announcing iBackup, a feature that securely backs up your iOS devices over Wi-Fi whenever you charge your devices. Not only are your apps, books, and music backed up, but also your device settings. This should make things easier for users upgrading from the iPad to the iPad 2, or from the iPhone 4 to whatever comes next from Apple. As well, it should relieve some stress from users worried about having to connect their iPad or iPhone to their computer via USB every time they want to manually backup their devices.

Other things like photo sync and iTunes in the cloud offer services to sync your photographs and music between devices, and you can read the full details in Apple’s press release.

How My Wife Replaced Her Computer with an iPad

My wife was probably the first Apple fangirl I’ve met.   Years ago, when we lived on college-kid budgets, she scrimped and saved over $1300 to get her first 12-inch G4 Powerbook.  It was the start of a love affair.  With the laptop she read blogs, participated in comment forums, did research and schoolwork, wrote, did our family finances, designed magazines, edited videos, kept organized, and even made our wedding menus and programs.  She had it open more often than not!

Years later, her cousin absent-mindedly knocked it from a high table and it broke beyond repair.  She was heartbroken, and so we replaced it with a newer Intel model immediately (again, another thousand dollars).  This seems expensive even now, but we really felt like she needed it.  We couldn’t think of any other machine that would enable her to get as much done.  We were also the earliest of our friends and family to adopt the smart phone; we had Treos and Blackberries to play with when most people were just figuring out this “texting” thing.  We loved our mobile devices very much, but they were strictly for entertainment and communication (not business or school).

One day, everything changed.  I got a Blackberry Torch, new in the box, free as swag.  Since my wife and I both had the iPhone 4, we were set for phones. So, we found an interested party on Craigslist, went down to Kew Gardens and sold the device for about $450.  The same day she took that money to the refurb iPad section of the apple store and bought the most basic iPad, 16 gigs and WiFI only. At checkout the total cost was only a bit more than the $450 we had gotten for the Blackberry.

Here’s the thing; she hasn’t touched her Macbook since.  I love this, as I’ve now hooked it up to the TV for use as a media center. But, I have to admit that I was surprised.  I knew that she would love the iPad, since we had always liked Apple’s mobile devices, but the iPad is so much more than a big iPod. She easily consumes and creates content for her tumblr, using tumblr’s iPad app.  She is able to get into it with the folks in the forums over at the hairpin using Safari.  She makes videos like this one with ReelDirector. She quickly does research to find deals or make plans, and she writes at least 750 words a day.  She uses Art Studio to add text to images, Photoshop Express for cropping and adding effects, and Adobe Ideas for sketching.  Calendar apps keep her organized and the alarm function of the clock app start her day.  She even banks and pays bills, all without touching the laptop.  It’s all done with iPad, a device that cost less than half as much as her last machine, weighs less than half as much, and lasts almost twice as long on a single charge.  We truly live in the future.

SignMyPad App for iPad: eSign and Send PDF’s – No Printing Required

Normally when I do app reviews, I try to stay unbiased, cite the facts and point out how it can help you and your business. I will have to break character and say if you breathe air through your lungs, and get tired of downloading, signing, scanning, uploading and emailing (or faxing, if you live in the 90’s) PDF documents, and of course own an iPad

You need to download the SignMyPad app for iPad now.

Simply put, the SignMyPad app will enable you to load a PDF though iTunes document sharing, from an email, or on the web by entering its url. You can simply sign and date the PDF then upload it back to iTunes to share with your computer, or send it via email… All without touching a single piece of paper!

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