Every week, we pick the most notable apps, hardware, podcasts or what ever else we’ve encountered and think you should know of. This post will also be updated regularly throughout the week as we find more amazing stuff. So check back every now and then to learn about our latest findings.
We’d also like to know your opinions about our picks and/or your picks this week. Please leave a comment below to chime in.
Two-factor (or two-step) authentication has become more and more prevalent in the past few years. It’s essentially the idea to add another step (and another device/channel) to the existing username & password login system we all know and use, in order to make it more secure and less prone to hacking attempts. That additional step can be a text message you receive on your phone, a hardware-dongle that shows you random numbers or an app on your smartphone that shows those same numbers in a much nicer package.
“Two-factor authentication is one of the best things you can do to make sure your accounts don’t get hacked” – LifeHacker
That’s where Authy comes in handy. It uses Google’s authentication system (the system most services use nowadays) to generate those 6 digits numbers that renew every couple of seconds.
What’s nice about this app, and what makes it better than Google’s app, is the fact that it not only works on both your iPad and iPhone, but also syncs between them. Granted, not everybody will like that (because of the inherent security issues), but it’s convenient as hell. And Authy promises, that everything is encrypted and secure.
Authy also offers an API and a WordPress plugin, so if you want to add two-factor authentication to your app or website, you should definitely check that out.
There are times when you have to take into account how much something will cost to be repaired and how much time you are willing to spend on it to get it repaired. During my time as a technician, I have seen everything from a bent laptop casings to a crushed / melted iPhones. In these extreme cases, it is usually cheaper to purchase a new device or try to have it repaired by Apple. In most other cases and if the malfunction is not covered under warranty, many things will be simple fixes that save you both time and money. Just like most people should be able to change a flat tire or replace their oil, a professional Mac / iOS user should be able to perform those simple repairs themselves (or guide a fellow co-worker / employee to the correct resources so they can knock out the repair).
My favorite site for guides on how to repair both iOS and Mac devices has to be iFixit.com. They not only have great guides with step-by-step walkthroughs and detailed photos, they also carry the tools and the parts that you need to complete the repair of your broken Apple gear. They recently released some great iPad and iPhone applications that allow you to view the manuals on the go. I know the focus is supposed to be on Apple products, but iFixit also has manuals for everything from bicycle to miscellaneous electronics repairs. For an up and coming professional who likes to get their hands dirty (and save some money in the process), these manuals can be lifesavers…just as they have been for me! Best of all, access to these manuals is FREE so, if you utilize the manuals, I would recommend purchasing something from iFixit to support this great service!
If you own ad iDevice you surely know the frustration that is getting media you want on your iPhone or iPad. The default method of using iTunes can be extremely frustrating especially if you want to add something in an unsupported media format like MKV, OOG or FLAC.
The internet has no shortage of tools designed to do media conversion so you can transcode media in and out of various formats to different compatible formats but many of the programs are just skin for the command line or are horribly crafted and design to make you keep buying add-ons.
Waltr is a simple no fuss drag and drop media converter that no only converts to iDevice supported formats it also transfers them to proper folders without the need for the dinosaur that is iTunes.
Waltr has a 14-day trial so go check it out and you’ll see it’s well worth the price.