Posts Tagged ‘app store’

Windows 8.1 Now Available

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Windows 8.1 is finally available. And better yet, it’s free if you already have Windows 8. There are a bunch of cool new features, including (drum roll) the return of the infamous Start button (which really just opens the Start screen)! To install, just open up the Store app and click on the first large tile on the left, which should say Windows 8.1. It’s easy to upgrade and if you’re using touch enabled devices (or not), it’s a great upgrade. If you’re not running Windows 8, the upgrade is only $119 (or $199 for Pro).

Other new stuff built into 8.1 includes:

  1. Enhanced multi-monitor support
  2. A customizable Start Screen
  3. A global search (integrated with Bing to make a Hero app that sorts the results nicely for you)
  4. The new Boot to Desktop option
  5. Automatic updating of your apps (similar to how that feature works in iOS 7)
  6. Live tiles
  7. New color/texture themes
  8. Desktop backgrounds on the Start screen
  9. Reading List (similar to the Reading List feature in Safari but extended across all Apps)
  10. A lock screen slide show that can display photos or let you take a Skype call.
  11. Calendar app
  12.  Alarm app
  13. Food & Drink app, which has lots of interesting content linked such as recipes and integration with Microsoft’s Health & Fitness tracker

There are also new options built into existing apps. Downloaded apps don’t pin to the Start screen any more, which should clean up the Start screen. Especially for the the apps you don’t use very often. Also, you can now just swipe up to get an all apps screen, which is a nice new gesture. You can also run two (or more actually) apps on the screen concurrently, with one app taking up a smaller amount of screen real estate on the side (a feature called Snap). Internet Explorer got unlimited tabs, which had never been an issue for me and as with iOS->OS X it can sync tabs across devices and create live tiles based on the content. In fact, you can app sync most apps between devices, so if you buy an app it can appear wherever you’ve opted into app syncing. Photo editing gets better. Tool tips get an upgrade as well.

The SkyDrive integration is only going to continue to increase. In Windows 8.1 SkyDrive uses placeholder files to point to data on your SkyDrive (an option that’s been available for Azure developers for a long time). You can then make any objects offline by mirroring the content to a Windows 8.1 device. This goes for Xbox as well, with that becoming more and more like iTunes on a Mac. You now have music, video, games, etc. Expect Amazon and Apple to be going hrmmm over the increased integration here!

Overall, if you’re a Windows 8 user, run the upgrade. If you’re not running Windows 8 and your hardware can support it, it’s getting closer and closer to that time to do the upgrade. And if you need any help along the way, please feel free to give us a call. We love to help you do more with cool new tech like this!


Thursday, November 29th, 2012

It was our privilege to be contacted by Bizappcenter to take part in a demo of their ‘Business App Store‘ solution. They have been active on the Simian mailing list for some time, and have a product to help the adoption of the technologies pioneered by Greg Neagle of Disney Animation Studios (Munki) and the Google Mac Operations Team. Our experience with the product is as follows.

To start, we were given admin logins to our portal. The instructions guide you through getting started with a normal software patch management workflow, although certain setup steps need to be taken into account. First is that you must add users and groups manually, there are no hooks for LDAP or Active Directory at present (although those are in the road map for the future). Admins can enter the serial number of each users computer, which allows a package to be generated with the proper certificates. Then invitations can be sent to users, who must install the client software that manages the apps specified by the admin from that point forward.


Sample applications are already loaded into the ‘App Catalog’, which can be configured to be installed for a group or a specific user. Uploading a drag-and-drop app in a zip archive worked without a hitch, as did uninstallation. End users can log into the web interface with the credentials emailed to them as part of the invitation, and can even ‘approve’ optional apps to become managed installs. This is a significant twist on the features offered by the rest of the web interfaces built on top of Munki, and more features (including cross-platform support) are supposedly planned.


If you’d like to discuss Mac application and patch management options, including options such as BizAppCenter for providing a custom app store for your organization, please contact

Mountain Lion Now Available On The App Store

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Mountain Lion and Mountain Lion Server are now available on the OS X App Store. With a host of new features, notably including the ability to mirror desktops to Apple TV, Notification Center, Messages and other features, Mountain Lion is sure to be a boon to many an organization. But some features are also now missing, such as DHCP and Podcast Producer in OS X Server and of all things, negative mode.

Mountain Lion is one of the more incremental OS updates that Apple has released and so migrating from Lion to Mountain Lion is sure to be a breeze for many environments. But it’s still a major OS update and so should be taken carefully, as new features such as Gatekeeper are likely to give some environments fits. Before jumping into the App Store, be aware of all the various aspects of deployment. 318 can work with customers to plan and implement such migrations. Call your Professional Services Manager or contact for more information.

Final Cut Server Client for iPad

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Yes, you heard that right. You can now browse assets, edit metadata, annotate clips and download clip proxies from Final Cut Server using an iPad.

ClipTouch, from Factorial in New Zealand is a slick, sleek client for Final Cut Server. Per the Factorial website, it supports:

– No server configuration required
– Search and discover assets
– Directly download and view clip proxies
– Supports the default proxy setting
– Clip timecode display
– Change asset metadata
– Browse and add annotations
– Archive and Restore assets to any archive device
– Respects permission sets based on your login
– Supports direct and VPN connections

After using it to view some assets that were optimized using the special compressor settings that Factorial posted, I have to say that I’m impressed with how well it works and with how the interface just looks plain sexy. A job well done! Check it out on the App Store.


Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Last week, German software company ARCHIWARE released version 4.0 of its enterprise backup solution, PresSTORE. This version is for new installations only – version 4.1, planned for release in October, will support upgrades from existing 3.x deployments.

The new features of PresSTORE 4 can be found on the company’s website, but here are some highlights:

  • New interface to simplify management
  • iPhone app for remote monitoring of jobs
  • New desktop notification system to alert users of actions
  • Progressive backup – “backup without full backup”

Aaron Freimark also wrote a post about the new version on the Xsanity site that talks more about the Xsan-specific features.

As before, PresSTORE is supported on Mac OS X (10.4 and higher), Windows (2003, 2008, XP, Vista and 7), Linux and Solaris. Backup2Go Server is only supported on OS X and Solaris.

PresSTORE support is great – during testing of the new version, the iPhone monitoring app was crashing. Within a day, a new version was available in the App Store that addressed the exact issue. Bravo!

To learn more about PresSTORE (including pricing options), please contact your 318 account manager today, or email for more information.

Mobile Me Finds Your iPhone

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Today, Apple sent the following email, indicating that there is a new Find My iPhone app that provides a number of pretty cool features for Mobile Me users that have iPhones, iPads or iPod Touches:

You can now download the free Find My iPhone app, enabling you to locate a misplaced device directly from iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch while on the go. After installing it from the App Store, just launch the app and sign in to quickly locate your devices on a map and access the other Find My iPhone features — Display a Message or Play a Sound, Remote Lock, and Remote Wipe.*

The Find My iPhone web application on has also been updated with a full-screen map view. Clicking your missing device on the map lets you access all the Find My iPhone actions to help you recover your device and protect the information on it.

Learn more about improvements to Find My iPhone here.

Access File Shares from iPad

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Note: For more information about the information contained in this article, contact us for a professional consultation.

As the iPad eeks its way into businesses we’re starting to hear a very common question: How do I access my files on the server? While you can enable WebDAV on most modern file servers and access data that way, or look to the cloud, many simply want a way to tap into existing SMB file shares. Well, you’re in luck!

Stratopherix ( has released FileBrowser, an application for the iPad that can mount a file share and provide access to the resources on the share. FileBrowser will allow you to connect to servers and then access files as you would from a regular desktop computer, wirelessly or over a network connection.

If you find that you cannot access file shares once installed, then we have seen some policy issues on file servers (mostly those that do double-duty as a domain controller) or if you are remotely then you might need to either forward ports to the server or first establish a VPN into the environment. If you still cannot access them then contact your 318 account manager and we will be happy to assist with any needs you might have.

Happy File Browsing!

New ActiveStorage iPhone App

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Active Storage has released a new iPhone app that you can use to monitor the status of their new XRAID ES. If you are interested in the Active Storage products then please call 318 at 310-581-9500 for more information and pricing.

The App is available on the App Store.

Background Checks? There’s an App for That!

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Apple’s App store is a veritable wild west movie of products; business, pleasure, pleasure disguised to look like business, useful tools that are free and do-nothing apps that cost $999.99. has released a “free” app that allows you to run background checks right from your iPhone. While this isn’t a new idea, the app is well designed and you get three free searches a week. Since it’s just been released, you can only run one search at a time due to high server demand, but the searches are accurate and in-depth. It was able to produce not only basic information about those of us that have tried it, but also gave a complete histories of houses, including past owners, past occupants and the house’s current market value, amongst other things!