The Connected Apple Family

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I’ve mentioned my latest book in a few earlier posts, but allow me to formally introduce it: The Connected Apple Family: Discover the Rich Apple Ecosystem of the Mac, iPhone, iPad, and AppleTV, coauthored with Dan Moren, is available now in print and as an ebook! Click here to order the book for as low as $22 for the print edition. If you order through Peachpit directly, use the discount code APPLEHOME to get 35% off (applies to print and ebook versions, even a bundle that includes both).

Despite the long search-engine-friendly subtitle, just what is The Connected Apple Family? It’s an acknowledgment that our Apple devices no longer exist as separate entities, and a guide to making them work together in the best ways.

With the releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite last year, Apple has brought Macs, iPhones, and iPads closer together. The new Continuity features like Handoff and the ability to take phone calls on any device make them part of an ecosystem (or geekosystem as one friend pointed out) that are stronger when used together.

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For example, the book contains an entire chapter about security that isn’t just a rehash of the oft-ignored advice to “choose a good password.” Using iCloud Keychain, you can create secure passwords that are automatically copied to your other devices; the next time you log in to a secure Web site, your iPhone already knows your password, even though you set it up on your Mac.

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We also go into detail about the utility 1Password, which adds more security and convenience to the mix. (Did you know you can safely share groups of passwords with other users? It’s in the book.)

The “family” in the title is partly inspired by Apple’s new Family Sharing features, where you can create a group of Apple IDs that share the same music, videos, and apps library and offer parental features like requiring approval before a child purchases an app or song. (“Family,” of course applies to any shared group, and not necessarily a traditional nuclear family.) We also detail how to share essential information such as calendars and contacts among people and devices.

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Dan and I use Apple technologies almost as much as we breathe, so know that you’re getting top-tier advice from experts. (And let me also add that Dan is a fantastic writer and co-author, if you’re looking for someone for projects.)

The book’s 204 pages are illustrated with lots of full-color photos and screenshots to make everything clear. To get a better sense, feel free to download a sample chapter as a PDF. You can also read the chapter online in a Web browser, if you prefer.

Or, how about getting a free copy? To celebrate the release, I’m giving away an ebook copy to two readers of my free low-volume newsletter! Sign up here. I’ll choose two names at random on Monday, February 23 from the list of subscribers—if you already get the newsletter, you’re already eligible.

[Update: The names have been randomly selected, and I’ve sent emails to the two lucky subscribers!]

Remember, you can buy it from Peachpit directly at 35% off if you use the discount code APPLEHOME. It’s also a great guide to give as a gift to someone who wants to better use their connected devices. We hope you check it out and enjoy the book!

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