In this issue: Apple announces the best financial quarter in the history of financial quarters; macOS Sierra 10.12.3: Is it time?; Launch apps from the keyboard with Spotlight; Extend iPhone battery life with Low Power Mode; Sentinel Monitoring updated to 6.5.9
February 2017 Newsletter

Apple announces the best financial quarter in the history of financial quarters

The caveats first: It was a holiday quarter and had 14 weeks rather than the standard 13. Still $78.4 billion in revenue with $17.9 billion profit both set records for Apple, so caveats or not, I think that's the sound of champaign glasses clinking at the company headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple sold 78.3 million iPhones—the iPhone 7+ was the most popular—in the biggest iPhone sales quarter ever. The iPhone now represents 69% of the company's revenue, so there's little doubt that Apple will continue to pour its resources into keeping the iPhone the best phone in the world. 

There was great news on the Mac front as well with 5.4 million Macs sold, representing 9% of the company's revenue. iPad sales continued to slide—13.1 million and 7% of revenue—despite stellar reviews and very high customer satisfaction. One hopes that Apple will take this revenue numbers to heart and commit more long-overdue resources to the Mac, because excepting the MacBook Pro line, everything else could use an update. 

Services includes iCloud storage, App sales, iTunes Music, Movies, TV Shows, ApplePay, and more. It saw 18% growth and accounted for 9% of revenue. It is likely to be the biggest revenue driver after iPhone within a year. Apple's stated goal is to double service revenue within 4 years, and we think they're aiming too low. 

Because of the outrageous success of the iPhone, Apple remains in many ways a company whose future is tied to one product. That said, even without the iPhone Apple would be an amazing success story, and I dare say, I think the best, financial and otherwise, is still yet to come. 

macOS Sierra 10.12.3: Is it time?

As long-time readers know usually it's the ".3" update to a major operating system that gets to the point of recommending it to everyone. With Sierra, we're not quite there yet. 

We're still experiencing some unexplained slow-downs and freezes with things from time to time that are making us a bit gun shy. So if you're on Yosemite (10.10.5) or El Capitan (10.11.6) our advice continues to be to wait

As we've said previously, if you're on an earlier operating system—anything before Yosemite—you should upgrade to Sierra for security reasons and deal with the inconvenience you might encounter as this thing or that doesn't work or works slower than it should. Cyberspace is full of bad guys nowadays, and you simply must run a secure operating system on your Mac. 

If you're on a new Mac that has Sierra or if you've ignored our advice entirely and upgraded to 10.12 anyway (you wild one, you), we  definitely recommend that you update to 10.12.3. It fixes a lot of problems from the earlier versions. 

Launch apps from the keyboard with Spotlight

There are oodles of ways to launch Mac apps. You can double-click an app in the Applications folder, click an app icon in the Dock, invoke Launchpad and click the desired app, or choose an app from the Apple menu’s Recent Items > Applications submenu. You can even add commonly used apps to the toolbar of Finder windows by Command-dragging them up there.

But what if you don’t want to take your hands off the keyboard? Is there any way to open an app without touching the mouse or trackpad? Indeed there is, courtesy of Spotlight. No longer must we live like savages. 

You’re probably familiar with Spotlight as a search tool, both for finding files and folders on your Mac, and for ferreting out information on the Internet, including weather forecasts, sports scores, and stock prices. But what you may not realize is that among the files that Spotlight can find are all the apps on your Mac, and you can launch them with just a few keys. Follow these steps:

  1. Press Command-Space to display the Spotlight window. 
  2. Begin typing an app’s name, such as “ac” for Activity Monitor. For apps whose names have multiple words, you can type the first letter of each, as in “ic” for Image Capture. And if an app name is a single InterCapped word, it’s fine to enter just the capitalized letters, as in “ft” for FaceTime. Spotlight searches, and while it should be nearly instantaneous, if it doesn’t show the app you want at first, give it a few seconds.
  3. If Spotlight highlights the app you want to launch as the top hit, press Return to open it. If it’s not the top hit, you can either continue typing to narrow the search or arrow down to it in the list and then press Return.

That’s all there is to it! As you might guess, you can use the same technique to open documents or even system preferences panes. 

Cleverly, Spotlight is adaptive, so if the first time you type “ac” it suggests Adobe Content Viewer, once you select Activity Monitor instead, it will know that “ac” should open Activity Monitor in the future.

On the downside, Spotlight isn’t always as fast as you might like, and while it guesses relatively well, you may find that its conception of what an app is called doesn’t always match with what you want to type. 

Give Spotlight a try!

Extend iPhone battery life with Low Power Mode

There’s nothing worse than your iPhone running out of juice at an inopportune time. Well, double-faulting in tennis is also pretty vexing. But I can't help you there. With your iPhone, on the other hand....

Starting in iOS 9, there’s a Low Power Mode that’s offered to you when the remaining battery charge drops below 20%, and it’s automatically disabled once the charge rises to 80%.

You can also enable Low Power Mode manually in Settings > Battery if you anticipate a day when you might run out of power. When you’re in Low Power Mode, certain features are disabled, including automatic app downloads, background app refreshing, email fetching, iCloud syncing, and some visual effects. It also reduces display brightness and optimizes device performance to conserve as much power as possible. When Low Power Mode is on, the battery icon at the top of the screen turns yellow.

If you have additional questions about your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, feel free to give us a call 503-507-0410 or email us at to set up an appointment. We'd be delighted to help. 

Sentinel Monitoring updated to 6.5.9

We've added several features that virtually no one will notice (improved reporting on Xsan volumes, support for Lightspeed 2016 on Sierra), fixed a few bugs (with FileMaker Server and Carbon Copy Cloner), and added to the ever-growing list of malware definitions. Those malware definitions are important because the bad guys keep trying to worm their way into your Mac. Fortunately, Sentinel is here to help prevent this. 

If you're a Sentinel or Sentinel+ member your Mac should be automatically updated to 6.5.9 by the time you read this. (Spiffy!) If you'd like to learn more about Sentinel or Sentinel+, check out our web site:


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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.

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