Google/Apple Dashboards

With more and more of the work we do migrating to cloud-based services, it can sometimes be difficult to troubleshoot when those services start misbehaving. For example, last week Apple users experienced issues accessing iCloud, App Store, and iTunes Store services (click here to read more). Whatever it is, when technology fails it triggers a flood of questions as we try to work the problem:

  • Is it my device?
  • Is it my Internet connection?
  • Is it the app?
  • Is it the service?
  • Is it the Internet itself?
  • Who is the techno-gremlin causing my issue?

In a world where knowledge is power both Google and Apple have created a resource that allows users to check the status of their cloud-based services. While these ‘dashboards’ do not provide solutions when problems arise, they at least provide some comfort with the knowledge that you are not alone on the island of failed technologies.

Google Apps Status Dashboard

Google’s dashboard lists the status of 20 different apps, including whether each app is experiencing ‘No Issues,’ a ‘Service disruption,’ or a ‘Service outage.’

Google Apps Dashboard screenshot

Apple Services Dashboard

Apple Services, Stores, and iCloud dashboard lists the status of 45 different apps, from iTunes Store to Siri to iOS Device Activation. Scroll down to bottom of the page to view a detailed timeline of any outages, as well as a link to contact Apple Support if your issue isn’t being reported.

Apple Dashboard screenshot

HowTo – iOS Apps Mangement

In my school, each elementary grade level has access to a cart of 30-35 student iPads. While each teacher could sign out the entire contents of the cart, most have chosen to have their own set of 5 iPads to use as a center in their classroom. In this configuration, they would like to be able to configure their set of 5 with the apps that were downloaded/purchased from the cart according to their own style.

This tutorial shows how to access the purchase history of the Apple ID associated with an iPad so that the teacher can pick and choose which apps they would like on their set of student iPads. Teachers can then organize/group the apps as they see fit. One example is to put certain apps into numeric groups. Then, when students are given the option to use the iPads, the teacher can specify which group of apps they may choose from (i.e. “When you go to the iPad center, you can choose any app from Group 3.”).

If you have another way/idea to organize apps on student iPads then please share in the comments below.

HowTo – Backup Stickies

This tutorial will show how to backup the information in the Stickies app. on your Apple desktop or laptop. The process is basically the same for any Apple computer, except that the ease with which one locates the Stickies Database file is dependent on what Operating System (OS) your computer is running. We will cover both possible scenarios in this tutorial.