How a small iTunes update 13 years ago changed the media landscape forever

June 28th, 2005 might go down as one of the biggest days in the history of media. It was the day Apple announced they were taking podcasting mainstream by including support for Podcasts in iTunes 4.9 and with syncing to the iPod. As rumors continue to swirl of iTunes being dismantled on macOS (in favor of dedicated apps), I thought it might be fun to take a look back at this important decision.

Over at 9to5Mac, I took a look at what role Apple supporting podcasts played in changing how media is created and consumed. You can read it here.

Apple Could Own IoT In the Enterprise With HomeKit for Work

For everything that HomeKit has brought to home automation and the internet of things, CIOs and IT Directors have a really difficult time with IoT in the enterprise. There is no major centralized platform to build upon. There aren’t a lot of standards for security. In fact, IT Directors aren’t even the ones usually buying the products. In my organization, all of our IoT gear has been purchased by our facilities group. We have a very expensive HVAC controller. It has one of the worst interfaces I’ve ever seen. It runs on Java, so it shows a very minimal interface on iOS devices. There is no native app. Every time Java has an update on macOS or Windows, it tends to completely break the system. Our CCTV system is in the same boat. It’s terrible to configure, and the software looks like it was made in 2003. As the IT person, I’m responsible for getting these devices online and securing them.

Over at 9to5mac, I look at what a HomeKit for Work program could look like. You can read it here.

Is Apple TV Worth Its Premium Price?

When Tim Cook unveiled the 4th generation Apple TV, he said: “We believe the future of TV is apps.” He was right, and Roku knew that years earlier when they had an app store on their devices as well. What makes iOS so great compared to anything else isn’t just the app selection (most of my core apps are available on Android), but rather the experience of using iOS. When you launch Netflix on Android vs. Netflix on iOS - is there much of a difference? No, there isn’t.

On 9to5mac, I look at the Apple TV when comparing it to other (much less expensive) alternatives. You can read the article here.

Could HomePod and Siri Have a Place In The Classroom?

When I was at the annual ISTE conference in Chicago a few weeks ago, I saw a few booths built around selling Alexa skills for your school. It got me thinking about what Siri in the classroom might look like (specifically with HomePod). Having pondering it for a bit, I came up with a handful of scenarios.

Over at 9to5Mac, I look at potential ways Siri could be useful in the classroom. You can read the entire article here.

What's The Best Password Manager for macOS and iOS?

Password management is something that you often hear a lot about in today’s news. Apple has begun supporting various flavors of password managers through APIs while also offering a fairly decent password manager built right into Safari.

You might be wondering – what is the best place to store your passwords and other information you want to keep secure? There are number of third-party options such as 1Password, LastPass, and Dashlane.

After taking a look at a few options, I think 1Password is the best overall place to store your passwords and other sensitive data. You can read the entire article here.

Clever Solves The Identity Management Problem

What K–12 needs is a universal login system. This feature would allow us to create one identity for students that follow them across their email, student information system, and all of the apps we use.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect solution yet. Google supports logging in with G-Suite wherever it’s available, but it’s limited in where it’s offered. While Apple offers iCloud accounts for students, this service doesn’t help us with logging into third-party apps.

A solution that looks promising is Clever. Clever is a single sign-on service for K–12. Here’s the interesting pitch: it’s free for schools to use. Clever makes money by charging the applications that want to integrate with it.

Over on 9to5Mac, I took a look at Clever. Clever is a free SSO service for K-12 schools. You can read the article here.

Five Features Apple Maps Should Copy from Waze and Google Maps

I love Apple Maps. No, it didn’t launch well back in iOS 6, but it’s turned out to be an impressive app. I like the overall design, Siri support, and Apple Watch support. My family also make a lot of dinner reservations through Yelp and OpenTable, so being able to launch it with a single tap is something I find myself often doing.

Like any app, it’s not perfect, and there are things I’d like to see it borrow from some competitors. After traveling a few times this summer, I’ve discovered five things I’d like Apple to add to Apple Maps in the future.

Over at 9to5Mac, I look at some features I'd like to see Apple bring over from Waze and Google Maps. You can read it here.

Apple's Biggest Mistake In K-12 Happened in 2006

As the battle for the classroom rages on, Apple’s decision to sell PowerSchool back in 2006 looks like one of the worst decisions in K–12 in quite possibly their history. If they still owned it today, many schools would probably not even be considering Chromebooks. Having their own SIS would give Apple a lot of integration options for iPad and apps like Classwork.

Over at 9to5Mac, I look at why Apple selling PowerSchool in 2006 was a key mistakes in its K-12 strategy. You can read it here.

Five Features Apple Should Add To Reminders

Apple’s Reminders app is one of their apps that has the most potential in my opinion. While it didn’t receive much of an update with the announcements of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, I believe that with some additional features, it could become the go-to GTD/task/productivity system for most people.

Over at 9to5Mac, I looked at five features Apple needs to add to the Reminders app to allow it to be a true task manager. Read it here.

Do iPad Deployments Need Physical Keyboard?

A question I often get about iPad deployments is whether or not to purchase keyboards. It’s a difficult thing to pick because it’s really going to depend on how you plan on using the iPads in the classroom. Are you doing tasks where the keyboard would make it easier? Then use a keyboard. If not, don’t use a keyboard. With iPad, the default should be touchscreen keyboard unless a student is doing work where the physical keyboard would make it easier.

Over at 9to5Mac, I take a look at pros and cons of physical keyboards. I also give my reccomendation on which ones you should buy. Check it out here.

Four Features iCloud Drive Desperately Needs

I’ve used all of the major “folders that sync” services over the years. Dropbox was the original solution, but I’ve also used OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, and iCloud. They all have good points and weak points.

I’ve personally settled on iCloud Drive because it’s built into macOS and iOS, but it’s not without room for improvement. Here are four things that Apple needs to add to iCloud Drive in the very near future.

Over at 9to5Mac, I look at four features that I'd like to see iCloud Drive implement.

Making the Grade: Does Repairability of Mac Laptops Matter?

Repairability of Apple laptops is something that has evolved in recent years. Whenever a new product is released, there are a few websites that will do a teardown and discuss how it’s made. iFixit, a popular website for repair guides and parts, even publishes a repairability guide for laptops and smartphones. Is this something business/education customers still care about? How repairable are Apple’s laptops? That is what I want to look at this week.

My latest column for 9to5Mac looks at the repairability of Apple laptops. You can read it here.

Where the iPad still excels over Chromebooks regardless of price

While the lower price (compared to a MacBook) indeed is part of it, I would also add that the App Store is a huge part of the reason iPads have sold so well in K–12. The iPad relies on apps, and Chromebooks rely on the open web when it comes to education curriculum.

My latest column for 9to5Mac discusses why App Store is still Apple's ace in the hole for K-12. Read it here.

Why Apple’s Education Strategy Is Not Based On Reality

On Tuesday, Apple laid out its clearest vision of their education strategy to date. That strategy revolves completely around the iPad in classrooms. Apple is keeping the iPad at the center of everything it does in education. Read 9to5Mac‘s recap for a rundown on everything Apple announced yesterday, and read on for my take from a classroom IT management perspective.

Read my entire article over to 9to5Mac.