Category Archives: Tips & support

How to keep your device protected against Meltdown and Spectre

Panic over the security holes named ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ that have the potential to affect devices powered by Intel, AMD or AMD processors has been widespread. These chips speed up your device’s performance by assuming what you’ll do next, based on previous usage, to execute the action in advance. The ‘hole’ is that hackers could use this common feature to steal private data such as passwords.

These security issues apply to all modern processors and unfortunately affect nearly all computing devices and operating systems. The good news? Apple, Google, Intel and Microsoft have confirmed that there have been no known cases of either Meltdown or Spectre impacting customers.

Image result for meltdown spectre

“All Mac systems and iOS devices are affected, but there are no known exploits impacting customers at this time.” – Apple

 “We have not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities has been used to attack our customers.” – Microsoft

Since learning of the security issues, industry leaders have been working hard to overcome the potential loopholes. For customer protection, information of Meltdown and Spectre was kept under wraps until preventative measures were available to avoid giving hackers a roadmap. So far, Intel has issued updates for nearly 90% of processor products introduced within the past five years, but a timetable for older devices is yet to be confirmed.

How to stay protected – Apple users

Apple has released a software update to help protect users from Spectre and Meltdown. We highly recommend you update your devices as soon as possible. Here’s how…

  • On iOS, go to Settings, General then Software Update, then tap Download and Install.
  • On MacOS, open the App Store and click Updates in the App Store toolbar, then use the Update buttons to download and install any updates listed.
  • On Apple TV, go to Settings, System, then Software Updates. Select Update Software, then select Download and Install. After the update downloads, your Apple TV will restart and prepare the update.
  • Apple watch is not affected by the issue.

It is also recommended that any apps are only downloaded from the iOS App store, from trusted sources.

How to stay protected – Android users

On January 5th 2018, Google issued an update to protect Android devices. All Google-branded phones should have automatically downloaded the update so you just need to install it. For other Android devices, head to Settings. Scroll to the bottom of the menu and tap ‘About device‘ > ‘System updates‘ > ‘Check for update‘ > Tap ‘OK‘ if asked to confirm > Wait for your device to check for updates > Tap ‘Download‘ or ‘Yes‘ if an update is available.

Google Chrome

The patch for Chrome will be installed on January 23rd and some Chromebooks had a mitigation in its OS 63, released in December. If you do not want to wait, an experimental feature from Google called Site Isolation can help in the meantime. This feature makes it harder for malicious websites to access data from other websites you are looking at. To use this feature on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS or Android copy and paste chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process into the URL in Chrome. Click ‘Strict Site Isolation‘ and then press ‘Enable‘. Save your work and then press ‘Relaunch now‘.

Microsoft Windows 10

There is already a patch available for Windows 10 which will automatically be applied, a patch for older operating systems will follow shortly.

Cloud Services

Major cloud services aimed at business customers, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure have already been patched.

Please note

It’s also worth remembering that you’re safe unless hackers can infiltrate your system, so always be wary of unexpected emails or clicking links on pop-up webpages. We recommend you check all your devices for security updates and install them as soon as possible.  We understand you may have concerns, if you have any questions or need support updating your software, you can get in touch via support@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, call us on 01252 854352 or send us a message on live chat. We are always more than happy to help!

Apple clarifies iPhone battery deterioration rumours

Apple clarifies iPhone battery deterioration rumours

Apple has addressed concerns that some models of the iPhone slow down as they age. The renowned mobile giant was accused of deliberately slowing down older devices to encourage consumers to upgrade. Apple has confirmed that it does in fact slow down some models as they age, but only because the phones’ battery performance diminishes over time.

“First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

All rechargeable batteries, including the iPhone batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes over time. A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.

Image result for apple iphone battery 6

To avoid shutdowns on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE, Apple delivered a software update – 10.2.1. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.

Over the fall, Apple received feedback from users who were seeing slower performance, they now believe the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S devices contributed to this.

To address customer concerns, Apple has reduced the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by £54 – from £79 to £25 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later, whose battery needs to be replaced, until December 2018. Apple will also issue an iOS update with new features that will offer more visibility into the health of your iPhone battery so you can monitor if its condition is affecting performance.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your account manager on 01252 854352 or email sales@cmmtelecoms.co.uk, we are always more than happy to help!

How to charge your smartphone quicker

How to charge your smartphone quicker

Realising you’re running out of juice can cause a panic when you’re short on time and in a rush to head out. Here’s how to optimise charging time:

1) Set your phone to Airplane mode

Cellular, Bluetooth radio and WiFi services zap your power in the background, even when your device is not being used. Airplane mode shuts off these connections and speeds up the charging process. You can turn on Airplane mode by heading to Settings > Airplane mode. Slide the toggle to On and a small Airplane icon will appear on the top of your phone’s display. For Android devices, you can also swipe the notification panel down to reveal and select the Airplane icon. For iOS devices, swipe up from the bottom of the screen (For iPhone X users – swipe down from the upper-right corner of the screen).

BeFunky Collage

2) Dim the lights

If you still want to receive texts and calls whilst charging, Airplane mode may not be the best option for you. In this case, we recommend lowering the screen brightness.  The less energy your phone needs for visual effects the faster it will charge. For iOS devices, you can swipe up from the bottom edge of your display, (iPhone X – swipe down from the top-right corner of the display) then drag the brightness bar to adjust.  For Android devices, you’ll need to head to Settings > Display> Brightness & Wallpaper and switch off auto-brightness. Once switched off, you can drag the slider to adjust your preferred brightness.

BeFunky Collage

3) Make a smart investment

Finally, if your device is compatible with quick charging accessories, there’s no harm in using a helping hand to get the job done. Newer Android devices support extra-fast charging which allows for more power without damaging the battery. For example the HTC Rapid Charger 2.0 offers 40% faster charging than standard chargers for the HTC One A9, HTC One M9, HTC One M8, HTC One Remix, HTC One E8 and the HTC Desire Eye models. While Samsung’s Fast Charge Wireless Charging Pad will reduce total charging time from 0-100% by up to 50 minutes for the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ devices.

BeFunky Collage

For Apple users, only the latest iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X devices are capable of quick charging. Unfortunately, the included standard Lightning cable and iPhone charger will not deliver a faster charge. To use this feature, you’ll need to purchase additional accessories that are compatible with USB Type-C charging, setting you back £74 (£25 for the adaptor cable and from £49 for the USB-C charger). Although a significant amount, you will be able to charge your device to 50% in just 30 minutes, saving you time and stress when in a hurry!

7 apps to download before the Christmas season

7 apps to download before the Christmas season

Inkly

Inkly is a free app for both Android and iOS users, that allows you to add photos, or even upload your own handwritten message or signature to your Christmas card’s, directly from your smartphone or tablet. The app features over 3,000 designs to choose from, as well as same day printing and postage on every card ordered by noon. For £2.99 and 49p first class postage, you can’t go wrong.

befunky-collage

Download for Android                                   Download for iOS

Manage Christmas

Manage Christmas is a free app for iPhone users that offers easy management of your Christmas shopping. The app allows  you to set a target budget whether that be an overall budget or budgets given to each individual recipient and then calculates how much you have left after each purchase you add in. In addition, the app also offers a handy idea’s section for those you’re struggling to find a gift for.

manage-christmas-app

Download for iOS

Elf yourself

Elf yourself is a free app for iOS and Android devices that allows you to upload up to five faces which are put onto singing and dancing elves. You can then choose from a range of free or paid themes, depending on what get’s your feet moving…

Elf yourself - Staring the team at Callmaster Mobile

Download for Android                                   Download for iOS

Perfect Christmas Dinner

Cooking for the family at Christmas can be quite a challenge, which is why the professional tutors at Ashburton Cookery School created a free app for iOS devices, full of expert guidance. The app includes over 25 step-by-step video recipes covering Christmas Canapés, Main Courses, Accompaniments, Puddings and Drinks, plus tools such as a shopping list maker and a menu list to help you get organised.

perfect-christmas-dinner

Download for iOS

Secret Santa Tombola

Perfect for the Office Secret santa, the free tombola app allows you to find a gift whilst sticking to your budget. Simply select your chosen gender, pick the type of gift you’re looking for from ‘Cheeky’, ‘Fun’ or ‘Cute’ and then add your budget. Spin the tombola and view the recommended gift, buy instantly online or spin again if it’s not right for you.

BeFunky Collage

Download for iOS

Christmas Radio

Christmas Radio is a free app for both Android and Apple users that allows you to connect over WiFi and cellular networks, and get in the Christmas spirit with hits from over 50 unique stations, including a station that broadcasts directly from the North Pole.

BeFunky Collage

Download for Android                                   Download for iOS

 Streetlink

Finally, StreetLink is a free app for Android and iOS devices that provides a way for members of the public to inform local authorities about rough sleepers in their area and help get them off the streets. Over the last year there have been almost 11,000 alerts to local services, and StreetLink has directly helped 4,000 rough sleepers in the first year since its launch.

street-link

Download for Android                                   Download for iOS

How to backup your Apple device with iCloud

How to backup your Apple device with iCloud

Backing up your Apple device is vital to keep your data and memories safe in case of an incident, we also highly recommend you backup your iPhone when planning an iOS upgrade. Please follow our quick guide for instructions on how to do so:

1) Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network

  1. From your Home screen, go to Settings > Wi-Fi.
  2. Turn on Wi-Fi.
    Your device will automatically search for available Wi-Fi networks.
  3. Tap the name of the Wi-Fi network that you want to join.

After you join the network, you’ll see  Checkmarknext to the network and Wi-Fi connected in the upper-left corner of your display.

2) Head to settings

Go to Settings > [your name], and tap iCloud. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings, then scroll down and tap iCloud.

3) Tap iCloud Backup

If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Backup. Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on.

4) Tap Back Up Now

Stay connected to your Wi-Fi network until the process completes.

To check the progress and confirm the backup completed go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Under Back Up Now, you’ll see the date and time of your last backup.

Automatically back up with iCloud Backup

To let iCloud automatically backup your device each day, here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure that iCloud Backup is turned on in Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup. If you’re using iOS 10.2 or earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  • Connect your device to a power source.
  • Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network – please see point 1 above.
  • Make sure that your device’s screen is locked.
  • Check that you have enough available space in iCloud for the backup. When you sign in to iCloud, you get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. If you need more iCloud storage, you can buy more, click here for our how to guide.

Please note

The iCloud backup will not back up data that’s already stored on other cloud services such as Gmail or Microsoft Exchange or imported media files you’ve acquired outside of Apple such as Amazon Kindle books. However, this is not an issue as the other cloud services store this data and it’s not necessary for iCloud to duplicate. Finally, for security reasons, your Apple Pay information and your Touch ID will also not be backed up.

Get in touch

If you have any issues backing up your device or purchasing more iCloud storage, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your account manager, we are always more than happy to help! You can phone 01252 854352 or email support@cmmtelecoms.co.uk.

Android, Apple, Windows or BlackBerry for business?

Android, Apple, Windows or BlackBerry for business?

Unsurprisingly, various Apple iPhones including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7, alongside Samsung models including the Samsung S7 and Galaxy J3, topped the list of the highest selling smartphones in the world (IHS’ list of 10 ‘Best-selling smartphones for 2016). But is the popular choice always the best choice? With so many models on the market, choosing the right smartphone for yourself and your employees can prove a difficult, and somewhat overwhelming task. To narrow down the choice, we recommend firstly finding out which operating system is best for your business.

Operating systems

Apple

Apple’s iPhones run on iOS, the mobile operating system developed specifically by Apple. The Apple iOS is known to be a very ‘closed’ operating system. For example, if an app is developed and Apple doesn’t like it, it won’t be getting onto the iPhone. In principle, this makes the Apple operating system one of the most secure, and thus beneficial to your business’s mobile security. However the high level of control in the Apple environment can also mean a lack of freedom, as the operating system locks you into the Apple world – from iTunes for your music to iCloud for your back-ups. For example, last year Apple rejected Samsung’s Pay Mini app, for ‘undisclosed reasons’, which would have allowed iOS users to use Samsung’s Mobile Payment service. The Apple devices also come at a premium price, however ‘iMessage’ offers a way to message between iPhones without any SMS charge, giving your business a cost-effective way to communicate. When it comes to your conversations, both iMessages and FaceTime are encrypted, so hackers waiting in the middle of a conversation won’t be able to see, hear or read what you are communicating. While Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant is now able to control third-party apps, allowing you to use voice commands to initiate a Skype call with a client or colleague, order an Uber taxi for your next meeting, or send a message on Slack, a chat app specifically designed for business use.

New iPhones

Android

Android comes from the search engine giant Google. Unlike Apple, Google has allowed many phone companies to license it’s operating system, so you’ll find the Android OS in brands such as HTC, Samsung and Sony, amongst many others. This carries both a benefit and a weakness – the openness has meant that many of the large phone companies have tweaked the basic system, so you may experience a slightly different version dependent on the brand you choose. The openness has also heightened the level of competition. With so many Android phones to compete against one another, most android models will come at a cheaper price tag than the Apple devices, or pack some stand-out features such as the eye-popping 4K display featured in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium or the knock-out camera featured in the new Google Pixel 2 (Rated a phenomenal 98/100 on industry benchmark website DxOMark, placing it as the best smartphone camera in their rankings!). The Android home-screens are typically made up of app icons and widgets that automatically update – highly useful for your business calendar and emails.  
NexusFamily2016_w670_h330 (1)

BlackBerry

After a few years out of the limelight, BlackBerry came back with a vengeance. Releasing the KEYone earlier in May this year, as the “World’s most secure Android Smartphone”, with the world’s first embedded fingerprint sensor and largest battery ever featured in a BlackBerry. The KEYone is also preloaded with DTEK™ by BlackBerry, offering constant security monitoring and protection of your operating system and apps by letting you know when your privacy could be at risk and how you can take action to improve it. Beyond BlackBerry’s renowned security features, BB models feature the legendary BlackBerry Hub which brings all your messages into one consolidated place; including emails, texts and messages from any social media account.  Another benefit of BlackBerry  Hub, is the ability to manage multiple email accounts without switching between apps, with support for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Microsoft Exchange accounts, and many other IMAP and POP3 email providers. While the provided email and messaging infrastructure removes another pressure from your business. Finally, BlackBerry offers work-life balance which lets you securely separate any of your work content from your personal content. Almost giving you two devices in one and removing worry for your IT department and your private employees. 

blackberry.2015

Windows Phone

Finally, we have the Windows operating system from Microsoft. Models running on Microsoft’s mobile version of Windows include the HP Elite X3, Microsoft Lumia 950 XL and Nokia Lumia 930. Windows models feature Continuum, meaning you can use the phone on a larger display with a PC-like experience including the ability to control it with a mouse and keyboard. Windows phones also offer a personal experience with the ‘live tiles’ feature that lets you customise your home screen, pinning the apps you choose to Start. You can even set the size for each app, making it twice the width of a standard tile, or a tiny quarter-size tile – useful for example if you wanted to see the full details of your next appointment. Another large benefit has to be the built-in Office apps, allowing your employees to work on the go with familiar applications such as Word or Excel. However, there are not many Windows smartphones available. In fact Microsoft hasn’t launched a new Windows smartphone model for more than a year and has sold all licence rights to Nokia products to the Finnish company HMD. However, models are still available and the recent third-party HP Elite X3, is the best Windows 10 smartphone you can buy today.

best-windows-phone-1