There was excitement in the air tonight; great prizes in the raffle (MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple Watch series 4 and four $25 iTunes gift cards), a birthday cake, the business meeting and it was election night. Will we beat the time for the fastest business meeting? Did I buy enough raffle tickets? Only time will tell.
Pete Lozzi was our presenter tonight to talk about the new version 12 of iOS. Ken started the meeting on time even though there was still a long line at the raffle table. He noted that the break would be “Let them eat cake” time to celebrate our 34th anniversary. He noted that starting in January, due to some changes at the place we meet, meetings will be on the fourth Wednesday of each month next year except for the December meeting which would have fallen on Christmas.
In Tech Q & A: One member asked how to make a new group in contacts on an iPhone/iPad? The short answer was you can’t on an iPhone/iPad. The easy way is to do it on the computer. There are ways to do it with iCloud, but you have to use the share icon to get the desktop version of the website. (Editor’s addition: For those of you that only have iOS devices, “yes, you can.” Download/install the app named Groups from the App Store; the basic free version is enough for most of us. While it is pretty easy to set up and use, there are some helpful hints at https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-to-make-a-contact-group-on-iphone/).
What is a good alternative for printing photos now that Photos will be no longer offering the service? Ken suggested Motif (https://www.motifphotos.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgdS0yOGM3gIVD-aaCh0IZAUUEAAYASAAEgKTj_D_BwE ) which you can get on the Mac App store. It works with the extensibility portion of Photos, so it will integrate with the process. High Sierra or newer is required to use Motif.
Can I go directly from Sierra to Mojave? Yes, you can, and you will want to have at least a Time Machine backup before you start. If you want, you can do a Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner backup. Either gives you a bootable exact duplicate of your hard drive. Ken and Pete have different views on updates. Pete goes for the updates usually right away, so that his machines are always running the latest software. Ken usually suggests waiting until the “.1” version of any major system update comes out. Pete uses iCloud for his backups.
Should I upgrade to Mojave? Yes absolutely, says Pete. Keep your machine running the latest version of the operating system. Ken is more cautious on updates especially if it is your only computer or one that is vital to what you do. Pete has had some minor problems, but they usually have been because some apps take a little while to update to run with the new operating system. Pete is a big believer in supporting software companies that take the time and effort to make sure their software is compatible. He does recommend using Apple’s solutions/programs whenever possible as they are designed to work well with the operating system and take advantage of all the work Apple does to protect your privacy. The Mac App Store is another example of how Apple protects its customers by making sure that third party apps on the App Store don’t carry malicious software and work well with the operating system.
We had no new members tonight. Remember to ask friends or family to check us out.
Next up was the business meeting. Ken called the meeting to order and gave notice the membership had been notified of the meeting. Last year’s minutes were read and adopted. The Treasurer report was given (approx. $48,000 in the bank as of September 30). The election results were that The VP (Tom Spencer) and one Director (Al Trivett) were re-elected. We welcome Rich Pearson to the Board for the other Director position. In turn, old business and new business were called for (there was none) and the motion was made to close the meeting. It was not record setting but a quick business meeting which we have to do every October.
As was done last year, there was a second MacBook Pro that was to go to a member of the club via a choice of a random number the matches a row number on an unsorted Excel list of current members. Ken did the honors and the MacBook Pro was awarded to a member not in attendance.
It was then time for the break, the cake had been precut, so we all just went to the tables and grabbed a piece of cake. Very tasty! Ken had put a ten minute limit on the break so Pete would have as much time as possible. During the break, Ken put up a slide showing all the devices that iOS12 will run on which goes back to the iPhone 5S and the iPad Mini 2.
Pete started his talk by saying Ken had given him more time so he was ready to talk until 11:30 PM — which got a laugh. Every year, we go through Apple introduction of a new iOS version. Pete always gets the question “Will Apple introduce a new iPhone this year?”; the answer is “YES, they can’t afford to be two years behind the competition.” Apple introduces a new version and then the next year they introduce an improved version. They don’t change the actual size or shape of the phone each year so that the third party accessory makers have enough time to match their products. Apple spends a lot of money each year to develop iOS updates to ensure security, add new features, and keep ahead of the competition. Pete says he is an extreme case who stays up late to get the update as soon as it is available. He has had a few minor problems with apps, but usually, after a few days, the app is updated and works fine. Pete asked if anyone had any questions they wanted answered on iOS 12. One member asked about two factor authentication. Pete says it is a good way to protect your account from someone who might have watched you enter your ID and password, and use it to try to get into you account. When someone tries to login to your account, with two factor authentication, Apple sends a code to your device that you have to enter to proceed with the login. You need to choose if this is something you want to do balancing security vs convenience.
Apple says Messages is the most used app. Pete had called his daughter Kaileia one time and she asked what is this thing my phone is doing? When Pete explained he was calling her, she said “Don’t do that!” Pete uses FaceTime a lot when traveling and Apple will be rolling out in the future, Group FaceTime which will allow you to FaceTime with up to 32 people. Who ever is talking will be the main picture. Pete said that might be difficult with his family as they all talk over each other. (Note: Since the meeting, iOS 12.1 was released and Group FaceTime is now available.)
The Messages app has a redesigned bar at the bottom of the page which gives you access to sticker packs. Pete uses a sticker pack called Grammar Snob that lets him use stickers to correct grammar in texts he gets. He just drags the sticker onto the conversation and it gets added. There is a white A in a blue oval that is the icon for the store where you can get more stickers. Pete also uses Red Tape which has a bunch of “rubber stamps” that you can add to your text messages. Stickers show up for everyone on the conversation, if they are iPhone users. Just below the keyboard is a smiley icon; tapping this takes you to the emojis the come with your iPhone. If you type a word that could be an emoji, the text will turn orange and you can tap it to change to the emoji. When using emojis, if you send three or less they show up at normal size. Four or more will show up as small emojis in a blue bubble. You can add effects to your text by holding down on the send arrow. This will open a separate menu with the effects. Effects can be added to a line of text or to the entire message. If you want you can add a subject line to your texts in settings. In iPhone X and above, the facial recognition system allows you to do Animoji's (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208190 ) that follow what your face does to give you an animated avatar in your text. Pete showed us his and it was a lot of fun. To access them, you go to the monkey icon on the bottom bar and go to the +, to design your Animoji. You can send them to people who don’t have an iPhone X and they will see them but some using an Android phone won’t see them.
Pete then had a hint for when you do selfies to lose weight. Tilt your phone up about 30 degrees and you will look thinner. iOS12 has some new features for the camera app. If you choose the selfie camera when you are in Messages, a new star icon will show up. Clicking on it will give you several options. You can insert your Animoji, text or apply filters to your shot.
Settings now has a “Screen Time” option which will track your use of your iPhone. It will show you how much time you have spent on it, broken down to each app used, how many times you picked it up and which apps you use the most. You can set limits on app so that they notify you when you have gone over the time limit you set for yourself. If you are on a family plan you can set those limits for the other phones on the plan.
iOS 12 introduces an app called Measure which allows you to get dimensions of things by using the camera on the iPhone. It doesn’t work well in dim light conditions, but you can either choose two points and get the dimension or it can detect a rectangle and give you it’s dimensions. It is only accurate to the nearest 1/2”. Once you have the dimension, you can take a picture of it for reference. Pete showed us an app that works with the same virtual reality system from IKEA (IKEA Place), which lets you choose a piece of furniture and have it show up on your screen in your room and at the correct scale. You can walk around the furniture once it is placed.
Siri now works together with the Shortcuts app. You can have Siri start an action just by saying “Hey Siri (the title of the shortcut)….” Apps are adding them and you can look under Siri in Settings to find more.
Apple Watch has added a Walkie Talkie feature that allows you to use your Apple watch as a Walkie Talkie with another person with an Apple watch. You can only talk when the other person isn’t talking, but Pete has found it handy for last minute questions at the store.
It was then time for the raffle. Pete got a round of applause for his presentation and his daughter Kaileia drew the tickets. The drum was pretty full. The iPad, Apple Watch and the iTune gift cards went first with the MacBook Pro as the grand prize. When the wining tickets were drawn, one of the winners was the person who last year won both the member drawing and the raffle grand prize. She only won one prize tonight. I had not purchased a winning ticket, but it was fun to see the excitement in the winner’s faces.
I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting, bring someone along to check us out. I can be reached at donob.macnexus@gmail,com.