Bob ran the main topic of the meeting, discussing the concept of “the Apple Ecosphere”. He explained that a real strength of Apple devices is the way they communicate with each other for a seamless experience.
An entire home network of computers, mobile devices, routers, and cloud services can be made solely with Apple products. In this setup, an AirPort Extreme/Express Base Station will run the home’s internal network, managing iPads, iPhones, and desktop/notebook Macs, with content being stored on iCloud, the iTunes Store, and the App Store for access from any device. AirPlay allows you to wirelessly stream audio and video to an Apple TV or compatible network speakers.
- Apple TVs have the ability to pair with a Bluetooth keyboard for a more reliable controller experience than the provided remote is capable. Bluetooth keyboards are also able to pair with iOS devices for faster typing.
- Photos taken from an iOS device can automatically be shared to iCloud’s Photo Stream and seen in the Photos app on other mobile devices, or in iPhoto on a Mac.
- AirDrop allows sharing of files between iOS devices or between Macs (sharing Mac-to-iOS and iOS-to-Mac is coming with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8 in the fall). The devices connect via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for a seamless, zero-configuration file transfer.
- Printers can be accessed by any iOS device or Mac in the house, either via Apple’s AirPrint technology or by connecting the printer to a Mac via USB and enabling Printer Sharing.
Jenny demonstrated how to perform an encrypted iOS backup to iTunes on a Mac. This preserves more information than an unencrypted or iCloud backup, including app and website passwords. Bob likes this feature but forgot to record his password and therefore couldn’t restore his backup! The group recommended 1Password as a method of retaining such information for easy reference (much better than a text file on the desktop).
The meeting concluded at 8:30, followed by a Board Meeting at the usual location.
No July meeting, and school’s out at SLHS for the summer, so the next meeting will be at John and Jenny Mitchell’s house August 7th.