Ken Spencer was up front greeting the members as I slipped into my chair just after 7:00 pm. He saw me and said “Now the meeting can start because Donovan is here to write it all down.” Next month’s meeting will be the 34th anniversary of the founding of MacNexus. Pete Lozzi will be our host talking about iOS12, Mac OS Mojave and Watch OS 5 — all of which will be out by the October meeting. The raffle tonight had two $25 iTunes gift cards, a Brother inkjet printer and as the grand prize, a pair of Airpods.
In news and rumors, iOS 12 will offer Google maps on cars that have Apples Car Play available. Evernote, which a fair amount of members use, has laid off 15% of its workforce and is rumored to be in trouble. There are now more competing programs, including Apple’s Notes. iMore has an article about moving your Evernote Notes to Apple Notes (https://www.imore.com/how-switch-evernote-apple-notes) if you want to check out how Apple Notes would work. Apple so far has escaped the effects of the China tariffs, but the iPhone could be affected later. Apple has announced the new Apple Watch will have ECG capability which was big news. AliveCor, which already made a ECG consumer device, announced they will have a 6 lead ECG device which could detect up to 100 diseases. Overcast 5 for podcasts will have Apple Watch playback capability with a new Now Playing design and Siri shortcuts. Apple watchOS 5 is available now with podcast and Walkie Talkie apps and other features. iOS 12 is required in order to use watchOS 5. Ken suggested checking into trading in your old devices if you are thinking about getting one of the new iPhones (and you aren’t on a lease program). Apple devices tend to have high trade in values, depending on their age. Ken has a series 3 Apple Watch with LTE that is worth $225 towards a new one. Ken reminded us all about the need to have a Time Machine backup of you Mac.
Questions and Answers were up next. Ken showed a chart of which iOS devices will be compatible with iOS 12; you can see Apple’s list at https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-12/. It goes back to the iPhone 5S and the iPad mini 2 among others. Siri shortcuts are one of the big features in iOS12 and can help you automate activities you do often on your iPhone. You can Google the model number of your device to find out which version it is to see if it will work.
We had no new members tonight. As always, we encourage all of you to invite someone to check us out. The MacNexus election is coming up soon. You will get an email October 1st with instruction on how to vote. It is important that we get enough members voting so the results will be valid. You can cast votes online until 4:00 pm on the date of the October meeting and cast any paper ballot you may have at the meeting site until 7:00 pm. As noted above, it will be our 34th year of existence and we hope everyone will vote. Ken noted that if you have a iPhone 7,8 or X including the plus models, There was a dongle that allows you to connect a pair of regular headphones to the Lightning port on the iPhone. He suggested holding on to the dongle and the headphones that came with your iPhone.The new iPhones don't come with the dongle and it sells for $9 at Apple site. It is the most popular accessory they sell. The new iPhones will come with headphones that connect directly to the Lightning port. You can hang on to the dongle and headphones if you trade in your iPhone at Apple.
Ken, on our behalf, has purchased his last iPhone through Apple’s lease program, which means he was up at midnight ordering the new iPhone. The lease program breaks up the cost of the iPhone and Apple Care into 24 payments and once you have made at least 12 payments you can return your iPhone for the newer version. Ken did it so he could report to us about the new iPhone. A member asked about adding AppleCare if you forgot to do it when purchasing the iPhone. You can add it but there is a limited time to do so after your purchase. A member asked Ken about how much memory you should get in an iPhone. Ken suggested getting the memory you would be using in 2 years, not the memory you use now. There will always be more pictures to take, more video to shoot, and more music, and films, watch on your device. The new iPhones come with up to 512 GB of storage.
Ken played a video from Apple describing the new iPhones, the iPhone XS, the XS Max and the iPhone XR (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9m_K2Yg7wGQ ) getting us ready for his talk after the break. All of the new iPhones, including the iPhone 8 feature wireless charging. Ken gets an easel type charger which he likes because on a flat charger, if the phone vibrates, it can vibrate itself off of the charger. Apple uses a standard Qi charging system so you can buy a charger from many third parties that will work. Good thing, as Apple hasn’t shipped their wireless charging pad yet. Ken was asked about cases and screen protectors. He said his iPhones are never touched by human hands because he immediately gets a case and screen protection for his iPhones. He suggested the tempered glass screen protector (known as 9H) and suggested getting a two pack. That is because if you get the single pack, that one will probably not go on completely correctly, but if you have a two pack the first one seems to always go on perfectly.
The new iPhone prices run from $749 for the most basic XR to $1499 for the XS Max with the most memory. iPhone 7 and 8 continue to be available. The cameras have better low light sensitivity. The new iPhones have the ability to allow you to adjust a portrait shot so the background is more or less blurred after you have taken the shot. Ken showed us two shots he had taken of the Natural Firefall — a waterfall that gets lit in red light from the sunset in Yosemite at only certain times of the year and only for a limited time. Ken had set up his Canon DSLR camera on a tripod to get the shot but had also set up his iPhone on a bar attached to the tripod. He got the closeup shot of the waterfall, but the clouds started doing some interesting things and his Canon camera would not zoom out far enough to catch them. He moved over to his iPhone and was able to get the better shot on it. They all come with Lightning cabled headphones (no dongle needed) but you can’t charge them while listening unless you get a Belkin dongle that allows you to do that.
Most carriers will have the new iPhones. T-Mobile iPhones can take advantage of T-Mobile’s 600 MHz system which has greater range and can go through walls easier. This is a part of what used to be the Television frequencies prior to all the stations going digital. The carriers are just at the beginning of deploying 5G — a new faster data protocol. It will allow you to get your high speed Internet through the cell service once it is up and running. It will probably not be deployed in rural areas and the range is about 1/2 of the typical cell phone tower range. Some one has done a comparison of the new iPhones with last years models and the new ones can get faster data speeds than last years. Ken showed us the coverage maps for the four major carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon to demonstrate what carriers had the best coverage on the west coast.
The other big announcement from Apple was the Series 4 Apple Watch. It comes in two larger sizes, has new watch faces and offers a single lead ECG (electrocardiogram) that has been FDA approved. There will be a new watchOS 5 released soon. Most Apple Watches will be able to upgrade when it is out. The two sizes are 40 mm compared to the existing 38 mm and a 44 mm comparable to the 42 mm existing now. The bands will work with the new size watches. The bezel size has been reduced so the screens appear larger. The new Apple Watches are a little thinner than previous generations and come with new watch faces. You can have up to eight “complications” (different displays of data out time) on your watch face. As Ken was showing us the new watches, he asked if we knew why display photos of watches are always at 10:10, except for Apple Watches which are shown at 10:09. Apple does that to be different. You can get the new watches with cellular service and/or GPS. For the ECG, you will press on on the digital crown and hold it for 30 seconds. Once you have the results you can email them to your doctor. The new Apple Watches have “fall protection” that can sense when you have fallen, and asks you if you are OK. If doesn’t get a reply, it will then call whomever you designate or 911. Like the previous version, they are water resistant to a certain depth. The new Apple Watches have haptic feedback in the digital crown now with a better speaker and microphone for making calls from your watch. They come with more storage, 16GB, and connect to the iPhone with a better chip in the watch. It has the better heart sensor required for the ECG function.
A member asked about new iPads or MacBooks. Ken expects, but does not know, that Apple will have an event in October to announce any other new products . The iPhone is the big ticket for Apple and they do not want to dilute the excitement over it by announcing other new products at the same time.
Then was time for the raffle, it went quickly as we had run a little late. All the prizes went home with members and for the AirPods Ken had everyone stand up then sit down as your ticket number is eliminated. He said it was to get us ready for going out to our cars when the meeting ended. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting and remember to invite a friend. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.