Jun 05

This is – probably – why you can’t send email from your iPhone



It is very confusing. In fact it is one of those situations where you might be close to pulling out every strand of hair just before throwing your iPad – or iPhone – out the window.

You can send email while you are at home but as soon as you walk out the door it fails. Sound familiar?

Fortunately it is very easy to fix, but first indulge me while I get all geeky and nerdy.

Email services use an incoming and outgoing mail server. When it comes to incoming mail your internet provider (aka iiNet, bigpond,  grapevine, ect) doesn’t care what email service you are using (their service, gmail, iCloud,hotmail), it will simply accept it with no questions asked.

However, outgoing is a little more serious because without proper authorisation you might be sending spam and that, unless you are a Monty Python fan, will simply not do. In order to authorise your mail service looks at what network you are currently on and what your email credentials are. For example, if you are using mail.bigpond.com and bigpond is your ISP then it already knows you are Kosher. However, if you are using mail.bigpond.com and you are on a foreign network (let us say you are at my house which is on iinet.net.au) then it will be unable to prove that you should be using mail.bigpond.com and it will refuse to send the email.

Take a deep breath.

This refusal is, essentially, what happens when you step out the front door. You see while you send email using mail.bigpond.com when you are in the house your mobile phone number is with, for example, Optus, so when you leave the house this is the network your phone is now using to browse and send email. In the end it all comes down to authentication.

So now, for the easy bit.

At the end of the day you need to enter some information that means that no matter what network you are on (mine, yours, a hotel or your phone providers) you’ll be able to prove that you are allowed to send email.

Fixing your iPhone or iPad

Tap on Settings.

Tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars


Tap on the mail account in question. (In this example it is macservices)


In this case I need to tap on Account but your outgoing mail server (SMTP) might be listed immediately


IMG_6578Tap on SMTP


Under Primary Server, tap on the name listed below. In the case of iPhones and iPad there is usually a secondary one supplied by your network provider and its a good idea to turn that on as well.



Fill in the fields below with your information. The use of SSL and the server Port might need to be tweaked and you’ll need to speak with your ISP about that, but leave them as you find them for the time being.

IMG_6580Click Done.

Fixing your Macbook (your iMac doesn’t need it because it never leaves the house)

Open Mail

Click on the Mail menu and choose Preferences


Click on Accounts

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.59.43 PM

Click on the mail account in question and then click on the Outgoing Mail Server menu and choose Edit SMTP server list.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.59.59 PM

Click on the service you use normally (It doesn’t really matter which one you choose as long as you know the user name and password) click on Advanced.

Click on Authentication and choose Password and enter the username and password for that account.

Click OK


Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/this-is-probably-why-you-cant-send-email-from-your-iphone/

Jun 05

Yes, you are probably using iCloud



All of a sudden it seems people are saying to me things like, “What is iCloud?” , “I don’t think I have it installed” or “I don’t think I even use it.”

Chances are, if you have an iPad or an iPhone iCloud is installed and you do use it. And if somehow you don’t I recommend you do.


Firstly, what is iCloud?

iCloud is Apple’s online service that, at least in the beginning, was designed to keep your Contacts, Calendars and other information in sync between all your devices. Make a change to a contact in your iPhone and it would magically be changed on your Mac. Create a bookmark on your Mac and you’ll find the same bookmark on your iPhone. While it is true there have bene many services added to the iCloud service in the last few years these basic services are still at its core and are reason enough to use iCloud.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 1.40.39 PM

What are the new services and do I need to use them?

Whether or not the new services are for you is very much a personal choice but here is a list of the new services and what they do.

iCloud Drive

Many people use DropBox as an offline storage for documents. Simply by dragging a file into your Dropbox folder will see that file copied to a secure location in the cloud and it will be available to any other device (Mac, PC, iPhone or iPad) that has been hooked up to your DropBox account.


iCloud Drive does much the samething and while you can always have both installed at the sametime, I think you’ll find yourself using iCloud Drive more and more. With iCloud Drive installed you can create a document in, for example, Pages on your Mac and save it to iCloud Drive ( as a matter of fact you are encourage to do this). Then, you can open it with Pages on your iPhone or iPad and add to it. Your documents are always in sync and easily edited no matter what device you are on or where you are in the world because they can also be edited using a web browser via iCloud.com. The one disadvantage of iCloud Drive is it doesn’t allow you to share documents with other people as easily as DropBox. With DropBox you can email someone a link to a document or file and they can download that file without getting access to the rest of your DropBox. This is very useful if the file in question is very large and not easily emailed. Of course, that said, MailDrop is a feature in Apple mail that kind of closes this gap.


While iCloud doesn’t backup your Mac it is a good backup service for your iPhone or iPad. With this turned on your iPhone or iPad will backup everytime it is plugged into the power and on a wireless network (aka, at night while you sleep) and personally I cannot think of any better way of making sure your iPhone data is safe from disaster. Go into Services on your iPhone and iPad and tap on iCloud.


iCloud Photo Library

Now this one is very controversial and can cause a lot of headaches. Essentially this service seeks to keep all of your photos in sync and organised between all of your devices. In short it is attempting to do the same thing with your photos as it does with your contacts and calendar. However, unlike your contacts and calendar information, photographs tend to be large and the Internet in this country really punishes you if you try and use services such as this one. I have a client who accidentally turned this service on and was plagued with high Internet usage which remained a mystery until the service was turned off. Thankfully he was in talks with Telstra and he was able to avoid serious charges for traffic use. If your library is currently very small turning on this service is not a bad idea because it will mean that you will always have access to every photo you own no matter where you are. However if you have a lifetime of photos on your Mac I would avoid it and use My Photo Stream instead. This option keeps only your latest Photos in the cloud and is not the data hog that the iCloud Photo Library service can be.

Turning on the Photos service and then going into Options will allow you to tweak the service to your liking.

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.04.50 PM


This service is a little like 1Password. Every time you log onto an online service that requires a password your Keychain will ask you if you want to save this password–which of course is a good idea–and it will securely sync this password with your other devices. The net result being that the next time you go onto the service, regardless of which device you might be using at the time, you will be logged on automatically.

In the beginning iCloud was, in my opinion, an essential service if you had more than one Apple device. While some of the new services can be a little demanding I think at the very least it is worth turning on the essential services.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/yes-you-are-probably-using-icloud/

May 20

Password administration



I need to concede defeat. I need to throw in the towel. I have been  forced to lay down the 1password flag and admit to myself that those little black books containing all the passwords are here to stay.

So now what?

Well, based on what I have seen over the last few years the best advice I can give is in the actual administration of these acursed little black traitors of your privacy.

Aside from the obvious reasons these books are a bad idea, namely they can be lost, stolen and confusing, they are often living documents that lurch and splutter throughout your life like a horrible vivisection experiment. The same user name can appear on five different pages with ten different passwords, some scribbled out, some edited hastily, always with the belief that the reason for the change will be remembered later. It never is.

If you must use a book (and I really wish you wouldn’t) this simple tweak might be the answer to all your confusion and frustration.

1. Buy a new book.

2. Starting at the first page put the user name and service at the top of the page.

3.  Divide the page in half and and draw a line in the middle (or if you like have a whole page devoted to that username)

4. Record your current password and then the date.

5. Proceed in this manner until you have recorded all your user names and passwords.

6. Lock it away.

Now, when you need to change your password draw a line through the old password, write down the new one and put the current date next to it.

Here is an example of what it might look like.

Password Template

Of course you could improve things by getting one of those notebooks with the alphabet on the outer edge and you could dedicate the A section to services like Apple or Adobe and so on.

Good luck and happy listing.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/password-administration/

Apr 17

Apple Watch 1 year on

Apple watch silver band

Recently the Apple Watch celebrated its 1st birthday so I thought this was as good a time as any to see if it was still relevant. Was it a good purchase? Is it in a draw somewhere? Am I counting the bids it is getting on my eBay page?

In theory the Apple Watch can be used for a lot of different tasks. There are, after all, over 100,000 apps designed for it. Right out of the box it can direct you using Maps (something the visually impaired love by the way) or it can send and receive texts, emails and phone calls. Oh, and it can tell the time as well.

I have been using it for all of these things but mostly I have used it to monitor my fitness and record my calorie intake. To that end I have lost well over 10 Kilos and, more excitingly, so have other people. I personally have witnessed one person using the Apple Watch to help him lose over 20 Kilos and counting and I have seen similar results from other people close to me. In my opinion, this alone, makes it a worthwhile purchase.

But lets get down to business. What else do I actually use the watch for and what did I have to do to get there?

Calorie counting

I have used a couple of apps to do this. I started with myFitnessPal on the iPhone and was hoping the Apple Watch feature would help add food on the go. Sadly this wasn’t to be the case as myFitnessPal elected to only show how many calories I had left for that day so really it was useless.

Lately I have settled on MyPlate that not only reflects my exercise in its calculations but also allows me to add food on the go. Lets say I buy a sandwich for lunch. All I do is tap on the MyPlate icon on the watch and say “Ham and Cheese sandwich” and it will be added to my daily intake.

adding food to apple watch

Music and Podcasts

When I am exercising I like listening to talking books. To do this I needed to purchase wireless Bluetooth headphones and pair them to the Watch. Second, I selected a book from my iTunes and passed it through a very useful little application called Tune4Mac. Now since the Apple Watch has a built in ability to play music you might ask why I needed to use this mysterious little application, and this is a good question.

Firstly, Audiobooks are encoded and won’t, under normal circumstances, play on the Watch – Tunes4Mac fixes that. Second, the audio player controls are limited to Start, Stop, Forward and Back and while this might be OK for music files that are only 3 minutes long it absolutely sucks when a book can be 12 hours in length. Listen to the first hour of “War and Peace” while on your walk and you’ll be doomed to repeat the process the next day because there is no way to scrub through the file. Tunes4Mac allows me to break up the 12 hour long file into 5,10, or 30 minutes (the average length of my walks) so management is easier.

Podcasts are also served via the app called Overcast. This allows me to sync Podcasts to the watch and listen via my headphones.

listening to a podcast on an apple watch


I covered this last time I wrote about the watch so I won’t reinvent the wheel. Needless to say… set your goal and be obsessive about filling those rings. Thats how it worked for me and for the success stories I mentioned earlier.


Apple have a huge range of bands meaning that you can change the look of your watch everyday if you like.

Some have matching iPhone covers and watch bands that look rather natty.

While these bands are undoubtedly good quality and made from the finest materials they are pricy. My favourite, watch band, the black link bracelet retails for $849.00. However there are other bands, some practically identical, for as little as $50 from eBay. The look is there but obviously not the quality. The black band I bought looks great but scratches easily while the Apple version, I assume, could take a bullet.

Apple watch band eBay


I have a very useful little app  – ParkOMater – that I tap when I park somewhere. I tell it how long I have before I am in trouble and it will buzz me when my time is coming to a an end. Not only that, but it will lead my back to the car if I’ve forgotten where I parked.

parking app on watch

Home automation

Ok, this one is a little nerdy but it is just too cool to leave out. As I have a dozen or so Wemo devices (timers that connect to my wireless network allowing me to turn on lights and other appliances from the iPhone) dotted around the house, I can use the app WeTap! to turn them on and off using the watch. It sounds ridiculous but it is handier than you might imagine.

controlling wemo with apple watch

Apple TV

I can control my Apple TV using the Apple supplied Remote app. Not much more to say than that but it comes in handy when I am reclined on the couch to such an extent that I cannot reach the remote on the table.


1Password – frequent readers will know all about this application and my obsession with it – allows me store my most frequent passwords, pin codes, ect on the watch. Should I be standing at the check out and forget my pin number I can find it very quickly rather than fishing out my phone.


The unambiguously titled, Uber app, allows me to order a ride with a simple tap. Again very convenient but rather self explanatory.

Uber apple watch


This built in feature, I must confess, wasn’t something I thought I’d use as much as I do. The Weather sits in the top left hand corner of my customised watch face and tapping on it gives me temperatures, the percentage chance of rain and forecast for every hour of the day.


When I first decided to get an Apple Watch I was won over by the fitness app and, for a while, was more than happy to go no further. But increasingly, as I have been faced with one need or the other, I have looked to see if the watch can help me with that challenge and the results speak for themselves, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t mentioned the app that allows to accurately measure the time I spend on a job and send an automatic invoice. Or the app that allows me to order pizza or the app that monitors my yoga or pushup routine. There are over 100,000 ways the watch can be useful and while I have only found a dozen or so, you might find more.

UPDATE: It has just been announced that the Apple Watch 2 will be unveiled at the World Wide Developers conference in June. 

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/apple-watch-1-year-on/

Apr 17

iPhone SE is better than you might think.

A kitten seeing its reflection

When the iPhone 6 was released in 2014 users of the Apple flagship device drew a collective sigh of relief and when the 6 Plus was released iPad users wondered what the hell was going on. However, regardless of the opinions and press attention –  negative or otherwise – each device attracted it was generally decided that Apple had resigned the 4 inch form factor to history.

Well, as it turns out that conclusion was, in a word, counterfactual.

Thanks mum for the new Thesaurus, it is coming in very handy.

It seems that while some were running around trying to bend the iPhone in half and declare it a dud millions more were lining up for days on end just so they could be one of the first to have one. However there were those that missed the smaller iPhone and have since held onto their iPhone 4 or 5 for dear life.

I must confess I wasn’t one of those that missed the small iPhone and I still don’t. To me, the future is the iPhone 6S sized phone so I was a little shocked to read that Apple were considering a jump back into the form factor that only two years ago seemed so 2013. I sat, at 4am, in disbelief when I saw that the new iPhone was, at least on the surface, just an iPhone 5S renamed the iPhone SE. What were they thinking? Had they found a crate load of iPhone 5S shells hidden in a cupboard that needed using? Where there really that many people out there that still wanted the smaller phone?

Who on earth would want one of these?

Well, as it turns out, my wife did.

iPhone 5se, iPhone 6 and 6 plus

It seems that she was always one of these eye swivelling loonies that didn’t like the size of the new iPhone 6 and was holding onto her 4S like it was a life raft and would be sailing on it still had she not been forced to upgrade in order to run her Apple Watch.

So, as soon as stocks would allow us (our local Telstra store and Apple sold out twice) we grabbed one and the minute we had it home the wife – looking a lot like Gollum with his ring it must be said – spirited it and herself to the study to set it up.

When I finally managed to get my hands on it I was shocked by how fast and light it seemed. As it turns out Apple hadn’t simply renamed a bunch of old shells they had found behind the sofa but rather crammed it with all the components of an iPhone 6 into the iPhone 5 form factor. The A9 chip and extra ram along with the 12 Megapixel camera mean that lovers of the iPhone 5 could enjoy the features we iPhone 6 users had come to know and love, with the notable exception of force touch.

There is no doubt it is a wonderful little phone and if you don’t want an iPhone 6 then it would be a better proposition than the identity theft box otherwise known as, an Android phone.

I am still a little confused though. I don’t know why Apple didn’t make a small version of the iPhone 6 in its current form factor? Could this mean the iPhone 7 will look more like the iPhone SE? I cannot figure out why they didn’t give the new phone force touch but most of all I cannot begin to understand what possessed them to call it the iPhone SE? How does that fit in to their current naming conventions. Can you see Apple releasing the iPhone SES next year?

No, me neither.

Permanent link to this article: http://macservicesact.com.au/iphone-se-is-better-than-you-might-think/

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