First an apology for this column being late. I went on Christmas vacation the morning after the December meeting and didn’t remember I hadn’t written my column until I went to get ready for the January meeting and discovered my notes. A senior moment maybe?
The raffle boys were especially boisterous tonight, full of Christmas cheer, pushing the raffle tickets for the mystery bags on the raffle table. Ken’s agenda at the front of the room said there were $1,300 worth of prizes in the bags tonight. It was a modest size crowd, so the odds were good. Ken Spencer was the speaker tonight with last minute tech gift suggestions, new tech coming in 2019 and ways to cleanup your contacts and email for the new year.
NEW MEETING DAY - the fourth Wednesday of the month starting in January. There were conflicts with the Board of Realtors (our hosts for the general meeting) events in 2019, so our board decided that changing the dates for our meeting was necessary. (December’s meeting will be on the third Wednesday.) The meetings in 2019 will hopefully be recorded and streamed live for members who can not make it to the meetings in person.
iPhone X and later have the ability to use an eSim, an electronic Sim card in the phone, which your carrier can activate. This leaves the physical sim slot open for a Sim card when you travel. You can purchase a Sim card to use in the country you are in and avoid international roaming charges. The $29 iPhone battery replacement program ends December 31st, after that date the battery replacement will be at least $79. If you needed your battery replaced, Ken suggested making an appointment via the Apple Support App at the Roseville store. Then, while the Apple Store replaced your battery, you could schedule a Tesla test drive (and yes Ken loves his Tesla).
Bob Ress was the winner of the $25 iTunes gift card in the volunteer raffle tonight. Remember you can volunteer at MacNexus and be eligible for the raffle too.
Apple has released an update for the Series 4 Apple Watch which adds the heart monitor function. Ken has had one bout with Atrial Fibrillation and he had a friend who recently had his Apple Watch alert him to Atrial Fibrillation while he was on vacation that resulted in Ken’s friend spending several days in the hospital. The Series 4 Apple Watch also has fall detection. If it detects you have fallen, the watch will ask if you have fallen and call 911 if you don’t respond. When Ken’s Apple Watch warned him that he might be suffering Atrial Fibrillation, Ken took himself to the hospital “after loading up his Scottie Vest with his iPhone, iPad and chargers” just in case he was there a while. After that, he had a separate device specifically designed to warn of Atrial Fibrillation. Now the Apple Watch can warn you and give the doctor something to download and review. Ken showed us how the EKG functions on the Apple Watch; you hold your finger on the crown for 30 seconds to activate the function. It will give you an EKG strip that you can save as a PDF to send to your doctor. It is informational, not diagnostic, so there is a chance of a false positive result.
As always Ken then reminded us Time Machine, Time Machine. You always should have at least a Time Machine backup of your computer as it is one of the best ways to recover your data after a crash.
We had no new members tonight, so remember to ask a fellow Mac user to come check us out.
Tech Q & A: A member asked when would your iPhone battery need to be replaced? Typically if the battery health is less than 85% of maximum capacity you could consider replacement. You can check your battery health by going to Settings>Battery>Battery Health.
A member got an email on their iPhone with a lot of cc addresses that the member wanted to add to contacts as a group. Ken pointed out that you can do this on your Mac, but there is not an easy way to do this on an iPhone.
Another member was running out of storage space on their iPad and iPhone and was looking for the least expensive way to get music and photos to the cloud with easy access to the files. You can check how much storage is taken up on your device by going to Settings>General>iPhone Storage. It will take a while for all information to be displayed, but you then will be able to check how much storage your music and photos are actually using. For music, iTunes Match is an option. Your music library will be compared to the Apple music library. Then it will have the music you have available to download from the cloud when you want to listen and, if the Apple Music version is of better quality, you will get the better quality version. Apple does offer iCloud Photo library for Photos to save storage space on your devices as well as making all the photos available on your devices. iCloud Photos will dynamically adjust what is on your device to use less storage. It will show thumbnails of your photos which will take only a minute to download the full image if you need it. One caution is that if you delete a photo from iCloud Photo Library, it is gone everywhere. Apple does hold deleted photos for 30 days in case you realize you made a mistake. Using Apple Music or Amazon Prime Music will let you streaming a lot of music without taking up storage space on your device.
A member had their photos on an external drive and the Photos app wasn’t syncing all the photos to the iPhone. Ken suggested checking Settings>Photos and scrolling to the bottom to check “Transfer to Mac or PC”. If is set to Automatic, you can try Keep Originals. You can use a cable connecting the iPhone to the computer when transferring photos. One thing to watch out for, if you have your photos (or other files) on an external drive, is to make sure you have a backup of them. Ideally, you will have three backups, two on different media and one off-site. You can tell Time Machine to backup the external drive as one of those backups.
During the break the home baked cookies were very popular. Thanks again to the food table volunteers for keeping all our energy up, for buying more raffle tickets and enjoying the rest of the meeting.
Ken was up after the break to talk about contacts, email and how to clean them up. He gave a quick description of how email works. Your email address has a box at the “post office” as well a box at your house (computer). In mail.app, you get a copy of the mail at the post office delivered to your computer. The post office could be your internet provider (Comcast, AT&T, CCI, etc.) or an email service (iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) Using email services like Gmail or iCloud don’t tie you to your internet service providers system, so if you change providers, you don’t have to change your email address. With email services, you can set up aliases to use for sites you don’t want to receive email at your regular email account. Gmail has one of the best spam filters. Ken suggests having three email accounts — one for friends and family, one for reference documents and one that you don’t care about getting spam in. Ken is always sure if he deletes an email he will need it the next day.
Apple offers iCloud storage for Photos, Calendars, Contacts Passwords, reminders and notes. The free account gives you 5 GB. Paid storage is 50 GB for 99¢/month, 200GB for $2.99/month and 2 TB for $9.99/month. You can also store iTunes music, Apps and Pages, Numbers and Keynote files in iCloud and they can be available on all your devices. You can set on each device what gets stored in iCloud from that device
For Contacts on your iPad or iPhone, if you have an address that shows up in auto fill that you don’t use any more, you can tap on the address and you will get an option to remove from recents (if you don’t want it) or you can make a new contact from it. On your computer, in Apple Mail, go to Window in the menu bar, choose Previous Recipients which will show you a list of previous recipients. Those that are already in your contacts are display an icon of a card on the left margin. To remove them from the list, highlight the address and click on Remove at the bottom of the window. You can click on an email, choose “Sort by From” to gather all the emails form that email address. You can then select them and delete or put them in a folder. Remember to change back to “Sort by Date” when you are done so you will see your emails as they come in. When you get an email with a email address or date you want to add to your contacts or calendar, you can hover over the address or date and right click to add it to contacts or the calendar. In Gmail, you can change your settings so you can delete emails rather than archiving them. If you open Contacts, you can using an option in the Window Menu to find duplicates and merge them. You can also select individual cards and merge them into one. One thing to watch out for is sites that ask if you want to share your contact list. Your contacts are yours, and you don’t need to share them with sites or apps that want to use them.
It was now raffle time. Our raffle volunteers jokingly said they were on break and didn’t want to bring the raffle drum up front. Ken noted that since he had picked up all the gifts and filled the bags, if he won, he would pick his bag last. The rules were if you got a winning ticket, you came up, picked a bag without looking inside or picking it up and opened the bag to show what you had won. There were iPads, $25 iTune gift cards, Echo Dots and smart outlets in the bags. As it turned out Ken did have a winning ticket and won an Echo Dot and an iTunes gift card (he had $40 worth of tickets).
I look forward to seeing you at the next Wednesday night meeting. Remember to invite a friend. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.