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In this issue: The latest updates: iOS 8.1.2 & OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite; MacAtoZ year in review and holiday schedule; Quality Assurance update: Introducing Tiffanie Neyens; How to contact MacAtoZ.
MacAtoZ LLC
December 2014 MSS Newsletter

The latest updates: iOS 8.1.2 and OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite

Is it time to upgrade to iOS 8.1.2? If you're already on iOS 8, yes. Our experience has been fine, and generally, we've enjoyed a slightly faster experience with the devices running 8.1.2 versus 8 and 8.1.

How about for those who are still on iOS 6 or 7? While we don't believe there's any rush to go to iOS 8, we've had a good experience with it on iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5, iPad 4, and iPad 3. That's a lot of devices running iOS 8 well. 

On the other hand...Although iOS 8.1.2 (and 8.1.1 before it) reportedly brings speed increases to iPad 2 and iPhone 4S, we continue to be skeptical. Benchmarks show these devices are simply not powerful enough to run the operating system at what we would consider a happy speed. iPad 2 and iPhone 4S owners should probably consider buying a new device or staying on iOS 7. Remember, there is no downgrade path once you take the free iOS 8 leap. 

If you do decide to upgrade a device, be sure to make a backup before you upgrade (either to your computer via iTunes or to iCloud via Settings > iCloud > Backup). Please don't call us expecting miracles if you have a botched upgrade and no backup to restore. 

With the proper device (see above), we believe iOS 8.1.2 is generally a good upgrade and we recommend it. Again, we are not saying that 8.1.2 is bug-free or that you don't run the risk of experiencing issues, but if you're inclined to upgrade an appropriately powerful iPhone or iPad, we think you can do so successfully. 

As mentioned last month, as part of the upgrade you will be asked if you wish to upgrade to iCloud Drive. The answer is: only if you have also upgraded your Mac to OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite, otherwise do not upgrade to iCloud Drive. Doing so is irrevocable, so it is important not to get this wrong or you run the risk of temporarily losing access to any documents or data stored in iCloud.

Speaking of 10.10.1 Yosemite, we have installed and tested OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite and like it very much. Unfortunately, 10.10.1 continues to have a serious wifi bug, so despite being enamored with Yosemite, we do not recommend an upgrade at this time. Reportedly, Apple has 10.10.2 in beta and they've asked testers to focus on—you guessed it—wifi. We therefore have high hopes for the next Yosemite release.
 

MacAtoZ year in review and holiday schedule

We are deeply honored and appreciative of the opportunity you've given us to enter your lives to assist you with your Apple-related endeavors. Here's a sample of what we accomplished this year: 

We started in January by adding 24/7 phone reception, allowing you to call anytime day or night and speak with a live person (and native English speaker). January also saw our first Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG)  presentation of the year, this one on Apple's then-current Macintosh operating system 10.9 Mavericks. We introduced a new company email address in February: "Support@MacAtoZ.com" This specialized email address routes directly into our Help Desk system (also a February introduction, though behind the scenes), allowing us to more easily track open issues with clients. In March, we switched to TeamViewer for our remote support software, and we continue to be enormously pleased with the results. TeamViewer is fast, secure, reliable, and easy to use. March also saw our sojourn to San Francisco for what appears now to be the final MacWorld—the event has been put on hiatus for the foreseeable future. 

We gave our second SMUG presentation in April, this one on the ever-timely topic of Privacy & Security. May was a huge month for us: We upgraded MSS Tier 2 by adding all the Internet features that previously were part of Tier 3, we added remote support for iPhones and iPads (using TeamViewer) for MSS Tier 3, and we hired Mary and Kim Overfield of Cascade Balanced Books to handle our accounting. July had our third SMUG presentation, this one on the ins and outs of Apple's Safari web browser. 

Our fourth SMUG presentation of the year was October's talk on hardware upgrades, and we received a lot of  complimentary feedback. Ty added yet another certification to his ever-growing pile, this one the Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) for 10.9 Mavericks. In late November, we hired Tiffanie Neyens to run our Quality Assurance Program (more information below). 

In sum, 2014 has been an enormously productive and successful year for MacAtoZ. As you'll readily ascertain from our contact information below, we continue to grow as a company. We now serve more clients than at any time in our history, and though we're always gratified that so many people have entrusted us to guide them through the ever-changing world of technology, what we're really focused on is how we can serve you better.

In that respect, we will have some exciting news coming early in 2015, and we can't wait to share it with you. In the meantime, our best wishes to all of you for a wonderful holiday season. We are so deeply grateful for your support.   

As in previous years, MacAtoZ will be closed for the holidays (from December 20 through January 4). As always, you should feel free to call (503-507-0410) or email (support@macatoz.com) if you have technical support problems. Although it may take slightly more time than usual to get back to you, we set aside time to help MSS clients via remote support and remain eager to assist with any issues you may encounter. This level of support is for MSS clients only; other callers will hear from us when we return on January 5. 
 

Quality Assurance update: Introducing Tiffanie Neyens

In an ongoing effort to provide you with the best service and support possible, we are pleased to introduce Tiffanie Neyens as our Quality Assurance (QA) Coordinator. Tiffanie brings 15+ years experience in Customer Service, having worked as an Assistant HR Manager, Recruiter, Administrative Assistant, and more.

As our QA Coordinator, Tiffanie will be calling and emailing to elicit your feedback on the job we've done. While we always hope to hear nothing but good things, should you ever have a complaint or suggestion, you're welcome to contact Tiffanie at tiffanie@macatoz.com or via our main number (503-507-0410) to share your concerns. 
 

How to contact MacAtoZ

For technical support
Ty Davison
Senior Technician
503-507-0410 or support@macatoz.com

For scheduling or administrative issues
Brittany Palmer
Office Manager
503-507-0410 or brittany@macatoz.com

For account or billing questions
Kim Overfield
Accounting Specialist
503-507-0410 or accounting@macatoz.com

For complaints, kudos, or quality assurance
Tiffanie Neyens
Quality Assurance Coordinator
503-507-0410 or tiffanie@macatoz.com

Our main phone number, 503-507-0410, is staffed by native English speakers around the clock. You are always welcome to call, day or night, and your call will be routed appropriately so that the appropriate person can respond.

We are currently unable to offer emergency, same-day technical support services, but our stated company-wide goal is to return your call within one business day. In other words, if you call or email during regular business hours on Monday, our goal is to respond by the end of the business day on Tuesday at the latest. As noted above, our response time can be longer at various times due to holidays and so forth, but we will always attempt to serve you to the best of our ability. 
Apple Consultants Network
MacAtoZ LLC provides technical support, upgrade, installation, networking, training and tutoring, web design and hosting, and remote support services for Apple products like Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads. Ty Davison, our senior technician, is the only Apple-certified, Apple Consultants Network 
member serving both residential and small business clients in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

MacAtoZ also provides Social Networking consulting services, providing help to individuals and small businesses with FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more. 

MacAtoZ has been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 2006 (and since 1999 as SiteRev.com). Our technicians are certified by Apple and carry $1 million in business liability insurance. We frequently present and are well-known at the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on us.

At $120 an hour, MacAtoZ offers one of the lowest Apple certified on-site rates in Oregon. Our innovative remote support program, the MacAtoZ Service Suite (MSS), also provides a wide-range of remote support features at incredibly low-prices.



 
MSS

Quick Links

MacAtoZ LLC: The main company web site. You can find information about products and services as well as advice here. 

Amazon via MacAtoZ: Shop at Amazon via our referral link. Help us to help you. 

MacAtoZ Support: Download the latest version of TeamViewer (MacAtoZ QuickSupport) here.

Offsite Backup: You should have one, and we recommend Backblaze. Only $5 a month for unlimited data. Get your 15-day free trial here. 

Salem Mac Users Group: Salem, Oregon-area Macintosh and Apple gear enthusiasts. Meets monthly. Visitors welcome!

Apple Consultants Network: If you need help, entrust your computer and your data to professionals. 
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