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Tag: iCloud

The Borg Advantage of a Shared Cloud Calendar

You don’t need futuristic “Star Trek” solutions to properly sync to your partner’s schedule. Your smartphone already provides that connectivity…

I’m sorry if this confession surprises you, but I am about to describe how my wife and I used to coordinate our schedules… Once upon a time, we’d take out our iPhones during dinner and open up our individual calendars for the upcoming days. We’d discuss our son’s schedule and imminent family events to ensure we were both on the same page. Each of us then added in the requisite events into our own calendars.

Tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, delete, delete, tap, tap.

(This can really ruin dessert.)

While this antiquated process facilitated a nice conversation about what was going on in our busy lives, it was totally unnecessary from a calendar-syncing perspective.

Create a Synced Calendar to Better Connect Your Family
To upgrade from all of this unnecessary manual coordination, all you need to do is simply create a new ‘shared calendar’ in the Calendar app through iCloud and then invite your partner to join it via email.
(It’s really not that difficult…and not at all as painful as joining the Borg collective on “Star Trek.”)

When you create a new event, just make sure you assign it to this new calendar category.

Once your spouse accepts your invitation to the shared family calendar, any new event you create will also immediately appear in her own Calendar app. (She does need to ‘accept it.’) And she can do the same for your calendar!
(Remember, you can view multiple calendars together on one screen.)

It’s a perfect two-way flow of information to schedule your active lives.
Totally synced… so the two of you can be in sync!

And you don’t have to change or give up anything about your existing personal calendar. It’s all additive.
(The shared events show up as a different color.)

Brilliant!

Cloud Calendars Rock
My wife and I have been using our shared iCloud family calendar for the past few years, and it’s been a game changer for us. It even keeps us organized between our check-in scheduling conversations, because our Calendar apps let us know when a new event has been added.

So, it effectively provides real-time updates to our ever-changing family schedules.

I know there are any number of shared-calendar apps out there, but I’m always partial to using native applications for my technology solutions.

Resistance is Futile
Our son is eight years old, but I know he’s already just a few years away from using smartphone tech. (Exactly how many years is a topic for another conversation.) I expect that shared cloud calendars are already firmly established as a key digital tool for families with older kids.

But if you’re not yet savvy to this Borg-like connectivity, I urge you not to resist joining the ‘collective-think’ advantage of using a shared iCloud calendar.

Why My iCloud Email Stopped Working in Outlook for Mac

When your email program suddenly chokes, it’s probably a good idea to first find out if your email provider has updated any of its policies that require you to take action.

Yes, my iCloud emails abruptly stopped showing up in my Microsoft Outlook for Mac program a few days ago. For the record, it was on June 15. My iMac presented a message warning me that something was very wrong and that it might be my password or user ID. But as far as I knew, nothing had changed.

Boy, was I wrong…

June 15 Can be Hazardous to Your Emails
And if you think you don’t need to worry about this particular tech glitch because you don’t use Outlook for Mac for email, be forewarned that this story affects all of your third-party apps that require a password to get to your iCloud email, calendar and contacts.

I scoured the web for possible solutions.
Hours later, I stumbled across this little detail:
(Thanks to 9to5Mac and Lifewire)

As of June 15, 2017, Apple changed its security policies for non-Apple apps. Now, you need to create app-specific passwords through Apple’s enhanced security protocols of “2-step verification” (older system) or “2-factor verification” (newer system).

What this means is you can’t sign into your non-Apple apps using your iCloud password. You’ve got to create app-specific passwords through Apple.

This is not at all a new process. But if you’ve been avoiding Apple’s verification protocols, now you have no choice but to comply or get kicked out of Apple’s ecosystem.

Give a Dad a Chance!
No doubt, better security bolted onto your iCloud account is wicked important. But it would have been nice to know that this was coming.
(Cough)

But as it turns out, Apple sent an email to me on May 16 explaining the change.
I didn’t see that one apparently…

And then I missed the friendly reminder that went out two days before the deadline.
Mea culpa.

So how hard is it to set it all up?
Not at all.

In fact, it’s easy via the Apple ID page, which houses all of your account details and where you can create these à la carte passwords.

Father’s Day Gift from Apple
Look, I know I wasn’t paying attention. And I was given fair warning… twice.

But Apple… did you have to make the deadline right before Father’s Day?!
I mean… chances are there are other dads out there who ran afoul of this change.
I can’t be the only one.
(Cough)

And wouldn’t it be safe to assume we’ve all got other plans on Father’s Day weekend beyond having to spend time trying to figure out how to get our emails working again?

Choosing a different week would have been better.
(Just a pedestrian point of view from one of your faithful users out there in the trenches)

And to all of you ‘IT Guy’ dads out there who dodged this particular bullet, please hear me: If you don’t have the spare time to make your tech updates in a timely manner and hope to keep the status quo going for as long as possible… you can only wait for so long!

And then it catches up with you.
That’s the reality.
Happy Father’s Day.

Now put away your new tie and get to work.
(And read all of your Apple emails!)

Like It or Not, You Need the Photos App to Share Your Pics

Adobe’s Lightroom is great… Until you realize it can’t do everything for you. Apple still holds the keys to using your shared photo albums in your iCloud account. If you don’t want to leave those behind, you’re going to need a Lightroom workaround to get your pics back into Apple’s Photos app…

Adobe’s Lightroom is great… Until you realize it can’t do everything for you. Apple still holds the keys to using your shared photo albums in your iCloud account. If you don’t want to leave those behind, you’re going to need a Lightroom workaround to get your pics back into Apple’s Photos app…

I was free! Free of Aperture, Apple’s expired photo-editing software. Last week, I successfully moved from Aperture to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6. I passed on upgrading to Apple’s newer Photos app for OS X, because it isn’t as powerful as its predecessor. I felt I had no choice but to jump ship and go over to the enemy.

Lot’s of folks love Lightroom. Plus, I knew I was joining an established and healthy photo-management ecosystem.

It was a brand new day, and I looked for the sunrise…
But it never came. I had left the Apple universe, and the benefits it provides.

Suddenly, I realized…
How was I going to share my photos with my family and friends?
Holy frak…!

No More iCloud Shared Albums?
Sure, I was newly empowered to edit and manage my family photos using Adobe’s advanced and robust Lightroom.
(Though I’m still trying to figure out how to export my edited photo ‘versions’ out of Aperture with their creation dates intact)

But I quickly realized my photo-sharing process had been cut off. Adobe software doesn’t have access to iCloud where I used to effortlessly create my shared photo albums for the rest of my iPhone-carrying community. All that took was a simple drag and drop in Aperture.
(Remember, I’m currently choosing not to use Apple’s Photos app, which of course would easily do the trick.)

Sure, Lightroom can share photos directly with Facebook and Flickr. But I really didn’t want to pain my peeps to visit a new place to view my pics. That could get complicated for some, and I’d lose them…

iCloud sharing was already so simple…

Spanked!
Deep down, I always knew I’d be punished for using a product that was better than Apple’s. Punished for my lack of faith…

Apple, please take me back!
I know there’s got to be a way to find the path back to my iCloud account…

And in fact… there is.
But there’s a catch.
It’s going to take an extra ‘few’ steps.

How to Move Your Lightroom Photos into iCloud’s Shared Albums
Here’s the strategy for the workaround…

You’ve just got to export your photos from Lightroom to a place where one of your Apple devices can open and save them via the Photos iOS app. Once ingested into Photos, you can then immediately add your pics to your shared albums.

Because I’ve left behind my old iPhoto and Aperture programs, and since I’m not using the Photos app on my iMac, I can’t do any of this using my Mac. Instead, I need to export my Lightroom pics to my iPhone or iPad. And then they can take my photos to the finish line!

There are several ways to do that…

The easiest path for your photos to travel from an iMac to an iPhone/iPad is via AirDrop.

Alternately, you can export your photos from Lightroom to a different cloud account that your iPhone/iPad can also connect to. Then, you would save the photos and quickly add them to your photo streams.

For example, let’s use Dropbox:

  • Export your photos from Lightroom to your Dropbox folder on your Mac
  • Open your Dropbox app in your iPhone/iPad to see the photos
  • Save the photos to your iPhone/iPad
    (Which brings them back into the Apple ecosystem)
  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone/iPad and tap the share icon
  • Tap iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Choose your “Shared Album”
  • Tap “Post”

Let Me Count the Ways
Okay… so that takes eight steps to accomplish what used to take two.
Not exactly quick and easy.

That’s why it’s called a workaround.
…But it gets the job done.

And it’s somewhat ironic that as much as I’m shunning Photos for OSX, the iOS version is absolutely essentially to continue using my Apple shared albums.

There’s also some collateral damage… you ending up storing these shared photos locally on your iPhone/iPad as a result of the process. Sure, you can delete these pics later to free up some storage, but that takes even more steps!

I suppose the silver lining is you’ve got a complete local backup of some of your best photos to use if you don’t have cloud connectivity on your iPhone/iPad.

That isn’t so bad… is it?

It would be a whole lot easier if Adobe and Apple played better together.

One can dream…

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