Gone are the days when you have to have your computer to hand to scan documents – you can do all this from your iPhone (or iPad)!
When on business to may need to quickly log that expense receipt; alternatively you may need to scan that contract as you head out of the office.
Scanner Pro is an iPhone application which lets you use the camera in your phone to easily create PDFs or JPGs of you documents or receipts. Just point the camera at the paper and the app will recognise the border of the document meaning you have a nicely cropped image. You can even add a password to PDFs to secure them.
Once scanned the images can be printed, emailed or sent to a number of cloud services including Dtopbox, Evernote, Google Drive, iCloud or Onedrive).
Windows 10 is a great new operating system, however for programmers that need to access their Linux based servers it does not have the built in tools required. Don’t fear, they can easily be added with no weird hacks required as we explain below…
SSH is the most common secure remote access protocol for Linux servers. Windows users have always been able to download Putty, however this is rather clunky these days. A much better option is to install a free Windows app from the Store called Remote Terminal. You can find it at this link.
This app provides all the SSH functionality you would expect whilst keeping within the Windows 10 theme.
There are also some handy management tools, allowing you to save your frequently used connections; all you have to do is click the connection you desire to be presented with the usual ssh password prompt. You can even ditch the passwords completely and manage your keys from within Remote Terminal.
Pasting into your remote shell is easy. On my laptop I two finger press the trackpad to bring up a bunch of options, including paste.
The app is completely free and can be downloaded from the Store at the following link:
SFTP allows you to transfer files to and from your remote server in a secure fashion. It is usually accessed via the shell on a Mac or Linux system.
To transfer your files over sftp in Windows we recommend Netdrive (http://www.netdrive.net). This application does cost $45 but it plugs straight into Windows Explorer and we find it well worth the small investment.
In addition to accessing your servers it supports a bunch of cloud storage services which may be useful if that’s something you’re after.
When you take a picture on your iPhone it will have your location data which stored in the image as meta data, assuming that you are using the standard settings. This can be read by anyone that has the image.
This is great for organising your pictures, but sometimes you’ll want to remove this information for privacy purposes. Maybe you’re posting a picture online publicly or you’re simply sharing it without wanting people to know where it was taken.
One option is to change your phone setting so that location is not stored. However, this won’t work if you’ve already taken the picture and location is actually really useful for your personal pictures.
The alternative is to use an app. We use an app called Geo Destroyer which is fantastically simple to use. It cost a small fee, but this is tiny and well worth it. You can find it in the App Store here:
First take your picture as usual, then fire up the Geo Destroyer app:
Hit choose and select your image from you camera roll:
Hit share and select Without Location (this will keep other meta data such as time of day etc.. You can remove this too if you like by selecting the Without Data option):
Then share by your chosen mechanism. You can save it, or could even just email it to yourself. We select full size image to keep the maximum image quality.
Here’s the link to the Geo Destroyer app on the AppStore again invade you missed it.
Spotify was launched in 2008 and is now the leading provider of streaming music. Gone are the days of buying CDs or even downloading music via stores such as iTunes. Spotify has a massively comprehensive library of content that is played instantly – assuming that you are online you wouldn’t even know that you don’t own the music. Here are just a few reasons to use Spotify:
The world’s music instantly available
Play on almost any device: Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows Phone and more
Play in your car with Car Play enabled stereos, over Bluetooth or by plugging into the aux connector from your phone
Play offline (with no web connection) with a premium subscription
Create playlists to organise your favorite music
Find new music with Spotify radio which creates your own radio station based on music you already like
Share music with friends and get recommendations
Spotify comes with three subscription types:
Free. With this subscription there is no monthly fee, it is completely free. However your listening will be interrupted every now and again for ads to be played, and there are some restriction on how much/often you can listen to music.
Premium. This is the main subscription which gives ad free, high quality listening. You can save music to your device for offline listening so that you can listen to your music without a wifi or mobile data connection. This monthly fee varies by region, but is $9.99 in the USA and £9.99 in the UK.
Family. This offers discounts (up to 50%) for families. Each person gets to keep their own playlists and music separately, however there is one discounted monthly bill.
Spotify makes a big deal of bundling Spotify subscriptions via 3rd parties and these can often be very lucrative deals. Check in your country for offers available to you, however as a example in the UK the following are available:
Sunday Times. The Sunday Times offers an online subscription which gives you access to The Sunday Times on the web and via their iPad application and also gives 1 year of free Spotify premium access. This deal is actually cheaper than buying a premium subscription directly from spotify.
Today we’re more dependent upon our internet connections than ever before – from simple communications such as Facebook, Whatsapp to video chat with Skype all the way through to bandwidth heavy media services such as Netflix and Amazon Video.
Getting the right kind of Internet connection is critical, but what is out there? This short guide is intended to give you an idea of what’s available to you.
We’ll list below from the fastest to the slowest:
Fibre to the Home – Fibre is all the rage at the moment. By far the best, future proof connection is to lay a dedicated fibre optic cable into your house or office. At present there is quite minimal coverage across the UK (although jurisdictions such as Jersey are much further ahead with this roll-out). BT offer fibre to the home branded as BT Infinity 4, and other providers such as Hyperoptic offer growing coverage. Speeds of up to 1gb (1000mb) are available. Whilst this is best option it is also the most expensive. Click here to see if BT can provide you with Fibre to the Home.
Cable – Providers such as Virgin Media lay a dedicated copper cable (not as fast as fibre, but more than capable even for high demand media streaming) into your property. You may see this advertised as fibre optic, what this means is that fibre is laid to the street cabinet as part of their infrastructure and then the dedicated copper is used to deliver the connection to your property with a technology called DOCSIS 3. Speeds of up to 200mb are available, which quite frankly is stonkingly fast. Whilst the technology doesn’t require a phone line, the packages available often require you have one.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). Again, advertised as a fibre service this technology has a fibre optic cable to the BT cabinet in your street, with the final connection to your house made down your phone line (using a technology called VDSL). Depending upon the distance from your property to the street cabinet you can achieve speeds of up to 80mb. Again, this is massively fast and suitable for anything that can be thrown at it today. In the UK you can buy this service from many providers including <BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk, Plusnet and more. BT has the benefit that, when you subscribe to their service, you also access their nationwide wifi network so you can access broadband away from home for free. Check out BT’s broadband here and Plusnet’s broadband here.
4G. Whilst 4G has taken off in the mobile world, it has had limited success beyond niche use cases for home or office broadband. This was untill Relish Broadband came along. The speeds can be comparable to Cable and FTTC if you have good coverage and you do not need any complicated installation. The coverage is limited to major urban areas though.
ADSL2/2+. This technology is widely available and makes use of your standard phone line. Outside of major urban areas this is the most common web connection and is very competitively priced. Connections speed up to 24mb can be achieved, although in reality you may see lower speeds depending on your distance from the telephone exchange. You will be able to stream media such as Netflix over this connection, but you may be limited to bandwidth hungry activity at a time.
ADSL. This is now a rather data technology, but unfortunately may be the only option in remote areas. Connection speeds up to 8mb are available, but again the quality of the phone line and distance from the exchange will impact performance. You’re likely going to find streaming media a challenge with this type of connection, although browsing the web, social networks and emailing will work just fine.
What’s our recommendation here? We would checkout either a Cable connection such as Virgin Media or a Fibre to the Cabinet connection such as BT Infinity. These give you good, stable and fast connections that will be able to handle anything you need to do with today’s internet products and services.