iTunes

Posted by Brittany Vogel on May 15th, 2015

I still remember the days of sitting in the back of my Grandparents car and listening to talk radio. Back then I thought it was boring and something only the elderly would do…

Man have times changed. Back in 2005 when Apple iTunes started supporting podcasts, who knew it would become such a rich and diverse form of media? I look back at my young self and giggle, because now, my days are consumed with podcasts. I listen to them on my way to work, at work, on my way home, while I’m doing random chores, walking, and even before bed. There is really something to be said for a form of media that can completely take you to another place to learn or even just listen to opinions.

I ventured out to put together this list for our Bushel followers, but I found some new shows to listen to as well!

Here is the Bushel Team’s most frequented Podcasts.

Bushel users, What is your favorite podcast?

 

Posted by Charles Edge on May 15th, 2015

Two-factor verification on your AppleID helps to keep everything nice and secure. Once enabled, you will need any two  of the following to access your iCloud account: The password to your Apple ID, a device trusted in the portal (we’ll trust devices during this process) or a recovery key (which we’ll create during this process). In other words, don’t lose your recovery key!

To enable two-factor verification, you’ll need to already have a password with at least 8 characters that contains at least 1 number and 1 capital letter. Once your AppleID username and password meets these requirements, go to appleid.apple.com and sign in to the AppleID you will enable two-factor verification on. Once in the portal, to enable two-factor verification:

  • Click on Password & Security.
  • Enter the answer to the questions you set up.
  • Click on Get Started…
  • Click Continue on the next screen.
  • Read the first screen with information about two-factor verification.
  • Read the second screen and click Get Started.
  • Add your current phone number to start the verification process.
  • Enter the 4-digit verification code that gets texted to your phone.
  • Click on Verify for devices to trust.
  • Click Continue.
  • On the next screen, document your Recovery Key.
  • Click Continue.
  • Enter the Recovery Key to verify it.
  • Click Confirm.
  • Check the box to confirm you understand what you’re getting into.
  • Click Enable Two-Step Verification.
  • At the confirmation dialog, indicating that two-factor verification was enabled click Done.
  • Two-factor verification then replaces your security questions.

Again, don’t lose that recovery key!

Posted by Michael Devins on April 29th, 2015

Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) allows organizations to purchase Apps for deployment through a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. This centralized purchasing has a couple major benefits for organizations:

•Buy in bulk. Whether you need 2 or 200 or 2,000, Apple’s Volume Purchase Program makes it easy to buy with just a few clicks.

•One payment method. There is no need for employees to buy apps and request reimbursement.

For years, Apple would provide the purchaser with a spreadsheet of redemption codes that could be distributed manually or plugged into a management tool like the Casper Suite. These codes act a lot like a gift card and once they are redeemed, they belong to the user. That means you’d need to buy new copies of apps as your workforce changed.

Along with the introduction of OS X 10.9 Mavericks and iOS 7, Apple introduced an enhancement to the Volume Purchase Program: Managed Distribution. This offered organizations a new level of flexibility when it comes to app deployments:

•Assign apps to employees and reassign them when your workforce changes. They are no longer permanently linked to the user’s Apple ID.

•Any Apple ID can be invited to receive apps. Your organization only needs to send an email, not type the specific Apple ID. This maintains a high level of privacy for users.

•Managed apps grant a new level of data security with features like Managed Open-in. This means it’s beneficial to use VPP for paid and free apps.

Pages VPP Purchase

Bushel integrates with Apple’s Volume Purchase Program using this Managed Distribution technology. If you have the old style redemption codes that have not been assigned to users, or if you accidentally purchased codes instead of Managed Distribution, Apple has a process for converting those licenses.

To use Bushel with VPP Managed Distribution for painless app distribution, you’ll link your VPP token to your Bushel account. Bushel will automatically display your purchase history within the Apps tab. It will also show how many licenses you have available to assign to users. If you need more copies of an app, you can purchase them from Apple’s VPP Store and Bushel will sync them over the next time you log in.

Invitation-only

Managed Distribution will allow you to assign apps to a user. It also allows you to reclaim that app and reassign it to a new user in the future. That means we need a tool to keep track of who gets your VPP apps. Within the Account section of Bushel, there is a tab for VPP.

You will find an invitation page where you can send your employees this invitation to receive apps. Simply enter an address where you know they can each be reached. Each employee will tap “Accept” on this email invitation and anonymously associate an Apple ID with your VPP account. Once an employee accepts an invitation, Bushel can remotely deploy apps to that device. If an employee leaves, you can remove them from this page and reclaim those assigned apps.

Bushel’s minimum system requirements for app distribution: Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or iOS 8.0

Posted by Charles Edge on March 29th, 2015

I’m no “serial entrepreneur” but I have been involved in starting multiple companies and now multiple divisions of larger companies. And along the way, I’ve found that there are a few distinct types of apps that are must haves. Here, we’ll look at 10 apps. Now, these don’t necessarily need to be “the” app that you decide to use, but the category of app is likely going to help a lot for many small business owners.

MindMeister

Before you do anything, brainstorm! And mind mapping tools are a great start to that process. MindMeister, from MeisterLabs is a great simple mind mapping tool. And when you’re brainstorming, the last thing you want to spend pretty much any time doing, is figuring out the technology. It’s important to use a simple app for this. I usually start with the Notes app and then move into something a tad bit more complex. And MindMeister is usually that slightly more complex tool!

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Numbers

Yes, prepare for spreadsheets. I like Numbers for the iPad and iPhone. Excel for Office is also now available, which is useful I guess… But from financials to inventory to tracking just about anything, Numbers is a must for many!

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Box

Spreadsheets aren’t the only types of files you’ll need. And many files are going to need a different app or type of app. Box, and similar services such as Dropbox, will let you sync any file (well, almost any) to your devices. For example, that marked up pdf of the business plan that some angel investor is sending you back. It’s the swiss army knife of file apps, and the data lives on the cloud. And, it’s a great way to share those larger files to customers, that you might otherwise send to their email addresses, angering them by filling up their email.

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Mint

You’re going to need a much more complicated way to manage money. But, in the beginning, before you’re concerned about where to accrue things, the simplicity of just seeing your cash flow is super-helpful. Especially if you’re getting started by paying a bunch of money for Apple devices and apps to run the business! Even with more complicated budgets, until you have dedicated staff looking at numbers, I’d rather look more often using simpler apps and getting right to the information I care about. In the first few months, that might be whether you can buy a new MacBook for the new hire after you cover rent. Later, your accountant will take your phone from you and delete the app and possibly set it on fire. Well, they can’t set an app on fire, but they would… Sometimes I miss those simpler times… But not the stress.

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Square Register

Money is awesome. Accepting any money, any time is really important when you’re starting out. Whether you’re firing up a small new Apple consultancy or selling shoes, you’ll need something. If you have inventory, you’ll want something far more feature rich, that allows you to track that. If you are selling hours, you’ll likely eventually need something integrated with payments that tracks that as well. But in the beginning, keep things simple. And pay more for something when you need to, and you can get guidance on what to get for your industry.

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Hootsuite

There’s no doubt that in the right hands, social media can provide a lot of help to organizations. And really, organizations of any kind. Getting the message out, communicating with customers, finding potential customers, getting your site some exposure for search engines and just in general putting yourself out there. But if you post something on Twitter once and never come back to it, it’s not that useful. Further, you can’t be online all the time. Hootsuite let’s you schedule posts, find things worth posting, analyze what was posted and do all of this across a number of different social networks, from YouTube to Facebook, to Twitter to getting all this into a CRM, such as Salesforce!

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Elements

Sales is what makes an organization succeed or fail initially. Great products allow you to keep the doors open, and not get run out of town for hocking craptastic wares. But if you can’t get people buying your product then you will fail. This is a universal truth. And your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software needs to be online and accessible from your iOS devices. Most packages seem to get this. Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Oracle and SAP are all big software packages, with plenty of features and complexity. As a new company, you need something simple, that will eventually allow you to grow into something more complex. Consider Elements CRM as one of many options.

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SurveyMonkey

When you first start, you need to pay particular attention to how you’re doing. You can do that for free with SurveyMonkey. And when you get bigger and you can afford a very small amount of money for the service you can then upgrade into their paid plans, to replace the SurveyMonkey branding with your own branding. Surveys are really easy to create, manage and distribute.

Pretty cool. We like their business model as well… 😉

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Mailchimp

There are large, complicated and sometimes necessary marketing automation software packages, such as Marketo. But there’s also a very popular and simple tool that you can use if you don’t have someone on staff to manage Marketo. Since many a small business doesn’t have all the resources available to run a complicated nurturing system, Mailchimp might be able to make your life much much better. And they have a pretty rad mascot!

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Bushel

Hey, it’s our article. But really, these devices suddenly have financials, customer data and even business plans. Keep your assets secure, make them easier to setup and let us help you to push the limits!

Bonus: That killer app for your industry

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, is software that will run your company. You’d probably be surprised how many of your competitors have written software and sell it on the open market. You know how the commercials say “there’s an app for that?” Well, there usually is… And before you embark upon stringing together some random software titles to get a good workflow together, consider trying to find something that will fill those gaps for your organization.

Posted by Charles Edge on March 26th, 2015

At Bushel, we’re always hard at work making your experience with our product better. Why? Because we like you and want you to like us too. We made an update without any major new features last night, but with lots of little tweaks and improvements to existing stuff. Look for our next release to introduce a couple of pretty awesome new options. But for now, here’s what we fixed/did/tweaked/programmed/nerded-out-on for you in our latest release:

  • Started to periodically request inventory for “OK” devices
  • Icons in App top feeds are no longer roundedAdded a swanky new cards-grid
  • Added a confirmation dialog for VPP remove user so customers don’t accidentally remove users from VPP
  • Added a sweet flexbox grid for App store
  • Added the chat button back to signup, login, or setup pages
  • Change some of the Email labeling to make a little more sense
  • Tweaked the App icons on Device Details
  • Added those rad new MacBooks to our devices list (with pretty pictures)
  • Provided GUI improvements for Firefox users
  • Renamed “critical” in charts so we don’t freak people out
  • Updated Last Check In card
  • Configured app counts to trigger whether you see various app tabs
  • Password settings are no longer reflected in the interface if no profiles exist
  • Corrected Model identifier ‘iPad5,4’ to display as iPad Air and not iPad Air 2
  • VPP app synchronization now gets iPad only flag correct in limited cases where it was not correct
  • Lots of tweaks to the back-end that you don’t care about (and frankly probably thought we already did)

We also almost released web-clips. But after thinking about it, we decided to hold off on that until we can do something that makes that experience much better than with any other tool on the market. In fact, we’re thoroughly confused why no one else thought of this before… Stay tuned!