Information Technology Update – August 17, 2017

August 16, 2017

Backing up the iPad

It is very important that the boy’s iPads are being regularly backed up. From time to time our IT Staff have to reset an iPad to its original factory settings in order to solve a problem or update an operating system. It is important that in order to do this the student has backed up their iPad. This will allow the student to download all of their data once the iPad has been repaired and is ready to be used again.

There are two main ways to back up an iPad:

  1. Backing up using iCloud. During the Boot Camp at the start of the year all students were instructed on how to set their iPads to back up to iCloud automatically. They can use their Apple ID to set up an iCloud account and they can set which apps they want to back up. However, iCloud only provides 5 gigabytes (GB) of data to backup for free so it is recommended that photos and videos are not set to back up to iCloud as they can consume the 5 GB quite quickly. (It is recommended photos and videos on the iPad are backed up to their St Patrick’s College Google Drive account.) Backing up to iCloud is the primary form of back up and the advantage is that it can back up automatically while connected to Wi-Fi. The drawback of backing up to iCloud is that the backup can be time consuming and it if is the only form of backup, restoring an iPad can take many hours. Also, not all apps can back their content up to iCloud. That is why it is also recommended to back the iPad up periodically to iTunes using a computer.

  2. Backing up using iTunes on a computer. While automatically backing up to iCloud can be the primary method of backing up, it is also recommended that the iPad is periodically backed up to a computer at home using iTunes. iTunes can be installed on any computer and it does not matter whether it is running Windows or Mac OSX. The big advantage of backing up the iPad to a computer using iTunes is that the backup is quite quick and restoring an iPad from iTunes on a computer is much quicker than restoring one from iCloud. The downside of backing up the iPad to a computer using iTunes is that it is not automatic and relies on user diligence doing it regularly.

Instructions on backing the iPad can be found on the iPad parent support website at

Microsoft Office for home for free!

As part of the College’s membership to Office 365, all students are allowed to download the Microsoft Office suite for free on up to five home computers. This can be done quite easily by following the instructions on the iPad Parent Support page here:

The important thing to remember that when the Office suite has been downloaded that the student logs in to the application and registers their ST Patrick’s College email and password to authenticate the download. After this has been done, the Office applications can be used by anyone. Please let me know if you have any questions about this.

Pages, Keynote and Numbers apps now free!

Apple has decided to no longer charge for iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Numbers and Keynote on iOS and macOS.

Some students found in the past that if they wanted to download any of these apps from the iTunes store on to their iPad they were being asked to pay. Any of these apps can now be downloaded for free.

Pages, Numbers and Keynote are part of the iWork productivity suite. Apple Pages is a word processor app that competes against Microsoft Word and Google Docs. Numbers is a spreadsheet app that competes against Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. And Keynote is a presentation app that competes against Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides. Files stored on these apps sync across macOS, iOS and the website.