It was a wonderfully warm early fall evening — tempting us to have the meeting outside rather than go inside for the meeting. The raffle table was lively as always as our volunteers were hustling tickets for the raffle tonight which included two pairs of AirPods, two external hard drives and couple of vintage Apple posters and a donated wireless keyboard. The cookies and coffee were popular and disappearing quickly. Tonight, the Board thanked our three coffee volunteers for their hard work in making it possible all these meetings. During the opening portion of the meeting, they each got a $25 iTunes card and the thanks of all the group in attendance tonight. As we were waiting for the meeting to start, Ken had cued up the Keynote video which started to play on its own. Of course, when Ken was at the back of the room, he quickly stopped it saving it for later.
Ken asked if anyone had received their iPhone X (available for preorder on October 27th). Ken said he already had an iPhone X case but it was sitting on his desk at home. The MacNexus elections are coming up during October. Available positions are President, Secretary and two Directors. The voting starts after midnight October 1st and ends at 7:00 pm at the October meeting. If you need a paper ballot, you will need to ask Bob White for one. We only had three paper ballots last year — all last minute voters at the meeting. Two candidates, Pete Killian and Sheryl Souza, came up during the meeting to promote their candidacy. Both spoke about wanting to give back to the club. The October meeting will be the 33rd anniversary of MacNexus. Come for the celebration. One member asked if this column was on the website yet and Ken noted that it is one of the things they have left to do for the website update.
At the Tech Q&A, there was only one question and it was a good one: How do we manipulate apps now that they have disappeared from iTunes? In case you didn’t know, in the latest version of iTunes (12.7) has removed apps. You can no longer update, add or move around apps on your devices with iTunes. If you haven’t updated, you may want to wait. It was a big deal for Ken who has more than 1,300 apps on his phone. Rearranging them just using the iPhone is a big deal. Apple is some what constrained as 1/3 of the users of iTunes are on Windows. One member who had been recently talking to Apple Care said they didn’t even know about the change. There does not seem to be an easy way to go back to an earlier version unless you have a bootable backup. If you do get a new iPhone or iPad that uses iOS 11, you will need to have the new version of iTunes on your computer. It is not clear if Apple is just trying to separate the App store from iTunes.
iOS 11 will not run 32 bit apps. You can check and see if you have any by going to Settings > General > About > Applications. If you have a right facing chevron after Applications, you do you have 32 bit apps on your iPhone/iPad. There will be a list with the heading “No Updates Available”. These will be the apps that do not work with iOS 11. If any of them are critical to you, don’t upgrade to iOS11 until the developer updates the app. When you launch these apps now, you usually will get a warning that the app needs to be updated to work with iOS 11. If you have iOS 11, these apps will appear greyed out and will not run. To update apps now, with the new version of iTunes, you go to the App Store on your device and go to the update tab. Ken does suggest, as he usually does to wait until iOS is at 11.1 before updating.
Along with iOS 11, Apple will be releasing High Sierra — a maintenance release update for Sierra. High Sierra will introduce Apples new file system APFS, which replaces the old HFS+ file system. Ken suggested waiting on updating to High Sierra, he has concerns about the new file system. Fusion drives will not update to use it, It is mandatory with an SSD. There is not currently an option to avoid upgrading to APFS so Ken recommends caution. This will be a one way change, once done you won’t be able to go back. The iPhone has been updated to use APFS, that happened with the last iOS update and seemed to work seamlessly. Updates to software are usually fine to install, upgrades should be done with caution on any machine you depend on. You will want to backup your computer before doing any major upgrade. Apple will also release a new Apple Watch OS update as well as a new version of Apple TV OS.
In other news, MacNexus members may have a discount at the Arden Fair Best Buy. You can ask for Matt or Lucas to see if you can get it. The other big news this week was the data breech at Experian — one of the three credit reporting agencies. Whoever broke in got full information about 143 million people, drivers license numbers, social security numbers and full credit histories. Ken asked if any members had checked to see if they were affected several had been and only a few that had checked were not affected. Equifax initially offered free credit monitoring but include a clause that said you could not sue the company if you signed up. That clause has since been removed. One option that Ken recommended was doing a credit freeze, rather than credit monitoring. He has had his credit frozen for the past two years. He did suggest signing up with Credit Karma prior to freezing your credit as that would allow you to get alerts about your credit.
You can get information about freezing your credit at this website. When you do the credit freeze, you will get a PIN number allowing you to unfreeze your credit when you need to. In California, there is a charge if you are under 62. The PIN number should be protected so you either can find it or remember it when you need to unfreeze your credit. It is the only easy way to unfreeze your credit when you need to. You can request copies of your credit reports one a year for free at annualcreditreport.com. Ken suggests doing each credit reporting agency separately each about 4 months apart, that way you can check all three over time. If you freeze your account at TransUnion, they will ask you to open an account. While this is fine, don’t accept free offers for credit reports, etc. Chances are you will get charged for them somewhere along the line. If you are married, both spouses will need to do the credit freeze as you may have separate accounts.
During the break, Ken put up a slide showing his trip to see the full eclipse, driving 3,682 miles in his Tesla. He went from Sacramento through Las Vegas to Utah and on to Wyoming and Idaho. He came back through Nevada and Lake Tahoe. He will be posting more information about his trip on the website. He commented that he was surprised at how cold it got during the eclipse. He said it changed his life, as he hasn’t shaved since he went on his trip.
The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs at one of his best presentations on January 9, 2007. To celebrate the anniversary, Apple announced three new iPhones at the event at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in the Apple headquarters. The first minute and a half of the keynote, which Ken played for us, was Steve Jobs talking about what makes Apple Apple. The three new iPhones are the iPhone 8, 8+ and the iPhone X (iPhone Ten). The 8 and 8+ are improved versions of the 7 and 7+. They have wireless charging added and were available preorder last Friday and will start shipping soon. The other iPhone the X, features a OLED screen that extends almost to the edges of the phone, and uses facial recognition instead of the fingerprint reader to unlock the phone. It does this with infrared light and camera so that it can’t be fooled with a picture of your face. The 8 is 4.7” diagonally, the 8+ is 5.6” and the X is 5.8” but in overall size fits between the 8 and the 8+. The home button has been eliminated and the bezel has almost disappeared except for an area at the top of the screen for the front facing camera and the facial recognition lighting and camera. The facial recognition will work with your eyes closed, your glasses on or off. It will do anything that Touch ID let you do. The X is $999 for the 64 GB version and $1149 for the 256 GB version. As Ken noted, it is $150 more for four times the storage. You can use the Apple lease system to get them for about $50 per month and the plan will let you get a new phone every year and includes Apple Care. All the new phones are water and dust resistant.
Apple also announced a new Apple Watch, which now comes with the option of cellular service so it can operate without the phone. Most carriers will charge you an extra $10 a month for the cellular service. You will not be able to use the cellular services outside of the US and it will not do all your iPhone can do. It does have its own GPS and altimeter for better tracking of your workouts. There is a new version of watchOS that will work on all Apple watches. You can order it with or without the LTE service. Apple also announced a 4K Apple TV and announced that they would have 4K content available for it. There is a new update to Apple tvOS but it will not add 4K capability to older Apple TV’s. That requires the hardware in the new one.
iOS 11 really enhances the iPad, adding an enhanced keyboard and dock plus an improved Photos app. You can check out the enhancements at Apple. One of the items added is Do Not Disturb while driving, allowing you to have do not disturb come on automatically when you start driving, the iPhone will detect when you are moving faster than you can run. Apple Pay person to person will be coming, allowing you to send money to a person, good for sharing a check at dinner. iOS 11 adds a new control center and Siri enhancements including translations using Siri. Ken will be adding information on the MacNexus website as it becomes available.
The cellular carriers may give you some credit for trading in an old IPhone. The suggestion is that if you are buying an iPhone, paying full price, that the Verizon version has an better chip in it. You do not have to activate it with Verizon you can use it with other carriers. Shop Cell Phone plans. If you are getting an new iPhone, many things have changed from a few years ago. A good site to check is whistleout.com to see what your options are. Compare prices to Apple’s lease program which which offers a new iPhone every year if you want and includes Apple Care for the iPhone.
So much time was spent explaining the Experian breech and ways to protect yourself that the presentation was sped through to keep the raffle on time. All prizes other than the AirPods were drawn first and the posters went to two happy members. The AirPods were done with Ken reading off the numbers as we stood until our ticket was eliminated. The last two members standing took home one set of AirPods. As usual, the big prizes came with a gift receipts in case the winner already had the prize.
I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting and hope you can being someone to check us out. You can reach me at email@example.com.