Many of us are using our computers to do lots more now, especially if you work in the creative industry. We have more applications on the go at once and whether that’s for business or pleasure, it’s a pain to switch screens constantly to get from one to another. Whether you’re a coder, graphic designer, web developer, digital marketing manager, or even a gamer, having a second display available to use can give you the space to spread out your apps and use them fully without all that irritating switching.
If you’re a parent, keeping your children safe online is becoming a mammoth task. They’re accessing all sorts of things online via a multitude of means, from tablets and smartphones, to YouTube and Snapchat, they’re certainly growing up in a world that is totally different to the one we did! It’s second nature to them though, so there’s no escaping it, we just need to know how to protect them. But how do we do that in the ever changing online universe?
Social media is far and away the cause of most issues for young people online today. How old do they have to be to have an account? What pictures are OK to post? Should you monitor them, and how do you do this without intruding on their privacy? Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter all have a minimum age limit of 13 years, so anyone younger than that can have their account deactivated by the network.
At the start of the year, it looked like 2017 was set to be a big year for Apple with developments expected to many of their products. These rumours were confirmed during the recent WWDC keynote, as Apple revealed a host of new updates including iMacs, iPads and Mac notebooks. To keep you up to date with both the new releases and the gossip about what’s yet to come, we’ve rounded up the latest news to summarise what we think Apple has planned for the rest of 2017:
In 2016 we had the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7+ which brought with it the somewhat controversial removal of the headphone jack. However the iPhone 7 actually had minimal design changes, which has led many experts to believe that Apple were holding out for some sort of big 10th anniversary launch- enter the iPhone 8.
If, like many businesses, your company is accustomed to using laptops to carry out your administrative tasks, you may think there’s no way a tablet could compare. After all, only a laptop could be capable of the range of functions, performance and connectivity your business needs, right?
Not necessarily. Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro tablet, simply called the Surface Pro, is a hybrid enterprise device that combines a number of essential business-specific requirements, and could prove a versatile and cost-effective alternative to the traditional laptop.
As an Apple Authorised Seller we are able to centrally register the Macs and iPads we lease to customers with Apple, which helps them with the management of their assets. Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) an efficient way to deploy Macs, iPads and other iOS devices which you have leased across a business or school. The DEP allows you to choose to supervise from a distance any iOS devices owned by your business but used by your staff, whether they’re office based or work remotely. This higher level of management allows you to add restrictions, such as turning off Game Center and iMessage and blocking certain apps from the device. With the Device Enrollment Program, large-scale deployments of iPad and Mac are seamless. Your devices are configured through a management solution, and users are guided through the activation process with the built-in Setup Assistant. You can streamline setup by specifying that certain steps in Setup Assistant be skipped — such as screens for Apple ID, passcode, or terms of service.
While modern portable systems pack a nice punch and feature high-end graphics solutions sometimes it’s just not enough, as Apple users know only too well. That’s where external graphics cards come into play and for all the creatives out there something exciting is happening – Sonnet has announced the release of their eGFX Breakaway Box! The eGFX Breakaway Box supports any Thunderbolt compatible PCIe card, with 40 Gbps of bandwidth and a full PCIe 3.0 x16 slot, there’s plenty of power to share giving you the flexibility to add whatever you want to boost your capability without any degradation of speed – which was an issue for the previous Sonnet box.
With Hardsoft you can trade in your Mac against a newly leased Mac and get money off the weekly payments. We accept all Apple Macs from 2007 onwards, just send them in to our head office, or drop them off at our Shoreditch Office near Old Street roundabout. Prices can vary between Mac’s depending on a few factors such as the specification of the Mac, such as: HDD size, RAM, Processor, Size of Screen. We cannot, of course, accept Macs that are broken or badly damaged.
When you trade in your Mac you have a few options in terms of what you can trade it in against. As we predominantly lease Macs we can offer you a discount on the price per week of leasing a brand new Apple Mac for your business
If you are considering buying IT equipment, such as tablets or laptops, for your school, you’ll be looking for the best deal for your funds. You may be surprised to learn that leasing is actually cheaper than buying and there are more advantages to leasing too. Such as:
- It frees up your capital – when you lease your IT you don’t have to use your capital funds as a lump sum to purchase them, or upgrading at a later date. Being able to spread the cost enables you to use your funds elsewhere and payments can be deferred to suit your needs.
- It comes with technical support – you will have access to our technical support team throughout the period of your lease. Our technicians are trained to an extremely high standard with expert authorisation and knowledge on both Apple and PC platforms. We are available to assist you with synchronising and maintaining your devices from the moment they are delivered.
- Free training is available – if you or your staff require training on your Apple iPads or laptops, or need some advice on the best apps to use in education, one of our qualified trainers will come to your school and deliver a program of training – FREE of charge – which will be tailored to your needs. This can cover iPad basics, right through to specifics of education related apps, Once your trainer has visited you, they will continue to work closely with you in order to ensure your iPads are fully utilised in the classrooms.
- Accidental Damage Insurance – each lease to a school has specialist comprehensive insurance cover. This means that any Apple iPad or Windows device you have which is accidentally damaged, will be fixed or replaced at no cost to your school. It costs around £150 to repair the screen of an iPad which has been dropped, but with our insurance you are covered and will NO excess to pay.
- You get a full 3 year warranty as standard – all Apple iPads that you lease will come with a 3 year warranty so that you’re covered. Should you have an issue with an iPad, we will swap it for a replacement to ensure you have the minimum of down time at no additional cost to your budget.
- Renewal and Upgrade at the end of lease – at the end of our normal 3 year lease term we will provide you with the option to return the iPads you have and cancel the original lease, provided that you take out a new lease on the latest iPads. You can keep the original iPads if you choose to do so, however there is a small fee payable in order to do this.
Here at HardSoft we offer operating leases to schools which are recommended by the Department for Education. When you choose to lease from HardSoft you will be benefiting from the experience an expertise of an IT company with 30 years of trading and dealing in finance.
If you use your MacBook Pro in the closed-clamshell mode, which allows you to drive an external display while the MacBook is closed, you may find that losing the use of your Touch Bar will be an irritation.
This can be overcome by using your iPad as an external Touch Bar via the Duet Display app. Duet can be used with an iOS device as both an external display and a Touch Bar, which offers the perfect solution to anyone using an older Mac, which doesn’t have the Touch Bar feature, or the latest model MacBook Pro in closed-clamshell mode. Duet Display is an app for iPhone and iPad which helps you to turn your iOS device into a second screen for your Mac. The 2016 update for the app also allows you to use a virtual Touch Bar with that second display, even if your Mac doesn’t have a hardware Touch Bar. And as a bonus, any app that has been updated with Touch Bar support, will work with the virtual version as well.
At Hardsoft, we have more accountancy firms among our clients than any other type of business. When it comes to the financially-savvy, accountants are a class apart, so who better than an accountant to provide an expert opinion on leasing computer equipment?
In order to shed light on what can be a potentially confusing area, we’ve spoken to chartered accountant Tony Crisp, a partner at Harlow-based accountancy firm Giess Wallis Crisp LLP. With over 40 years’ experience advising small and medium-sized businesses, GWC cover the full range of general practitioner services including accounts, audits, taxation, book-keeping and payroll for corporate clients, sole traders and partnerships.