Happy Holidays! There was a small but loyal crowd tonight, two days before Thanksgiving. Raffle sales were lively and the coffee and snack table was being visited by most members. The raffle tonight had an iPad (grand prize), an Apple Watch Sports band, an Apple battery charger with 6 rechargeable batteries and three $25 iTune gift cards.
There was not any real Apple news in current events except Ken noted “You don’t want to be tracking Apple stock prices right now.”. Apple’s iPhone battery replacement program — a new battery for $29 — will be ending on December 31st. You can check your batteries status by going to Settings, Battery and checking Battery Health. If your Maximum Capacity level is less than 85%, you may want to take advantage of the program. The best way to do it is to get the Apple Support app and use it to schedule an appointment at the Apple Store. When it is time for your appointment, the Apple store will have ordered your new battery and will do the replacement in about an hour. The weird thing will be walking around without a phone for that hour or so. (Go to https://www.macworld.com/article/3245168/consumer-electronics/iphone-29-battery-replacement-faq.html for detailed information.).
This will be well publicized but starting in January the General Meetings will be on the fourth Wednesday of the month — same time and place — except December 2019 will be a third Wednesday. If you have MacNexus on your calendar, please remember to change the day of the month.
We had no new members tonight. Remember to ask someone if they are interested in the Mac or iPhones/iPads to come check us out.
Ken showed us all what happens when you ask Siri “Why are firetrucks red?” You will get a long involved funny answer to the question. This has replaced Ken’s former best Siri question “What is zero divided by zero?”
In Q&A tonight, a member asked “How do you control the volume on YouTube videos on the iPhone?” The volume can be controlled with the volume buttons on the side of the iPhone. These buttons are contextual: e.g., the volume set for the ringer can be different than the volume for watching videos and the iPhone will remember. Another member asked about updating his Mac from Sierra to Mojave in order to get the latest versions of iTunes (which his iPhone kept prompting him to do). Another member, who was in the same situation, said that, when he updated iTunes, it just loaded software for iTunes so the iPhone could be used with Sierra.
If you do decide to update to Mojave (and you can go directly to Mojave from Sierra), you will want to have both a Time Machine backup and a bootable backup of your computer in case anything does not work. Ken noted that you should always have a Time Machine backup and another backup (Time Machine or other) at least ten blocks from your house. If you have an older printer, do some research to see if there are problems with it working with Mojave.
Ken noted that he knew some people who had eight minutes or less to leave when the Camp Fire struck. He was collecting old iPhones and iPads which he was prepping for a fire victims to use. He had a client who had lost her husband recently. Her husband was an all Apple guy and he had a rather sophisticated wheelchair that the client wanted to donate to someone who could use it. Ken found someone who could use it. When Ken went to deliver it, he discovered it was for a victim of the Camp Fire who had only a few minutes to leave his rented room. He had suffered two strokes earlier and was unable to communicate clearly and needed a wheelchair to get around. He had limited use of his right hand and had been unable to move around with his previous non-powered wheelchair. Once Ken realized that the control for the wheelchair on the right arm rest wasn’t going to work out, he was able to move the controls onto the left armrest. Once the recipient was in the chair, he was able to move around easily. Ken had a recording of his reaction when he showed he could control the chair and it was great to see.
The story and video inspired Bob Gouine to share a story of a local hero he had just found out about. He goes to the El Dorado Hills post office almost everyday and he knew one of the supervisors. They wanted to meet for dinner but they were having a hard time finding a day to do that. Why? The supervisor told Bob about one of the post office employees — 24 year old Daniel — who had been at a shooting range and had been hit in the head with a bullet. Initially, they did not think he would leave the hospital but he did. They thought he would not survive more than a month or so. That was eight months ago. Daniel lives with his parents who clean office buildings at night and they needed someone to watch him while they were gone. Bob’s friend — the post office supervisor — volunteered to help and, after work, has been going to Daniel’s house 7:00-11:00 PM every night for eight months. Bob was so inspired by this that he offered to take over the duties on Monday nights so his friend to have one night a week off. Bob wanted to remind us with all the negative news we hear there are still good people doing good things in the world.
Dick Warner was our winner in the volunteer raffle tonight (his third time).
Ken was up after the break with Accessibility on the Mac and IPhone. Apple has a lot of accessible features on the Mac and iPhone that are not well known.They ca make a big difference for people who need them. Ken showed us a video for an app call Proloquo2Go (https://www.assistiveware.com/products/proloquo2go ) which shows a non-verbal child communicating with his Mom by selecting icons on an iPad which are translated into speech. There is technology that will allow you to “voice bank” your voice if you are in the process of losing your ability to speak, so the you will be able to communicate with your own voice in the future. While Proloquo2Go is an app you load onto the iPad, Apple builds in several things to help those with accessibility needs.
On your iPhone, there is a feature that will allow you to use the camera to magnify items. To turn it on you go to Settings>General>Accessibility and turn on Magnifier. When it is set on, triple click the Home button (right side button on an iPhone X) to use it. You can also set your iPhone to read to you. Go to Settings>General>Accessibility>Speech and turn on Speak Selection. Once you do that, you can select text on your screen and a speak button will show up on the screen so your iPhone will read the selection to you. You can also set it to Speak Screen in the same setting section and the iPhone will read what is on your screen when you swipe down with two fingers. You can adjust the speed that it reads to you in the Speech Accessibility settings. Under the Accessibility settings, you can also adjust text size, make text bold and adjust the contrast. The Display Accommodations category will let you invert colors, apply color filters, turn Auto-Brightness on or off and reduce the intensity of bright colors.
Ken noted that we are an older crowd and that getting a hearing test is a good idea. This will give you a base line if you start losing your hearing. Costco offers a free test to see if you would benefit from hearing aids. Modern hearing aids, if MFi compatible, work with your iPhone. Many aids have apps that let you do fine adjustments on your hearing aids that previously required audiologist visit. The iPhone itself, once your MFi hearing aids are connected, offers basic control of the hearing aids as well as Live Listening. Live Listening lets you use the microphone on the iPhone as the microphone for your hearing aids. Then, by moving your iPhone closer to the sounds you want to listen to, you can hear that sound source more clearly. If you have compatible hearing aids, you can turn on Live Listening by triple clicking the Home button or the button on the right hand side of a iPhone X. If you have magnifier turned on, you will get the choice of turning on Magnifier or Live Listening. If you have a pair of AirPods, you can use them with Live Listening if they are connected to your iPhone. They are not a substitute for hearing aids if you need them. You will need to have iOS 11 or newer on your iPhone and compatible hearing aids. My wife has a pair of hearing aids that work with the iPhone and she really appreciates what she can do with the combination. Your iPhone has geolocation and can remember hearing aid settings for places like your favorite restaurant.
By going to System Preferences>Accessibility, you can discover what the Mac offers. It has Voice Over, Zoom, Display, Speech in the vision section. Media has Descriptions and Captions, Hearing has Audio Controls and Interacting has Dictation, Siri Keyboard and Mouse/Trackpad controls as well as Switch Control. Each of the controls has a brief description of what they do. Many of these controls are similar to what the iPhone has. If you have a hard time seeing text or icons on your screen you can go to Display under System Preferences and choose Scaled under Resolution to see if that will help.
But it was now time for the raffle. There were fewer tickets than usual in the bin and we all were hopeful we would be winners. First, Ken held the All Members raffle where he asks Siri for a random number between 1 and 451 (number of active members we have), and once we have the number, Bob White looks up the matching member from his list of members. Tonight’s prize was an iPad. The iTune cards, watch band and battery charger went quickly and, for the iPad drawing, Ken had us all stand up, sitting down as our number didn’t match what he called out (a good way to stretch a little before the meeting ended) until the winner of the iPad was the only one standing.
I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting (still on Tuesday) and remember to invite someone to come to a meeting. I can be reached at donob.MacNexus@gmail.com.