There was a smaller crowd tonight; perhaps the on and off rain today kept people away. Tom was busy at the raffle table all by himself, still cheerfully handing out tickets. Business was brisk as there were three iTunes gift cards, an iPad and two pairs of the new version of the AirPods in the raffle. Odds were good for all of us with fewer people at the meeting.
Ken and Pete were co-hosting tonight as the meeting started. Ken said he had just gotten his new iPad mini so he had his old iPad mini (with case and screen protection) for sale tonight. I am sure it found a happy home. I am sure we will get a full report on the new iPad mini at a meeting in the near future.
If you want to be able to make message groups with your contacts on your iOS device there is an app to do it. It is called CardHop (https://flexibits.com/cardhop ) from Flexibits (the people who make the Fantastical calendar app for the Mac). It works on both the Mac and iOS devices. T-Mobile customers can sign up now for free MLB TV. Wyze (https://www.wyze.com/wyze-sense/ ), maker of Wyze cameras, has announced new set of sensors for monitoring entryways into your home, including doors and windows, and keeping track of any unusual motion activity.
Earlier this month, Apple announced new AirPods, the new iPad mini (which works with the 1st generation Apple Pencil) and upgrades to the iMac line. All these announcements were relatively quiet as Apple had a major event planned for March 25th. On the 25th, they announced Apple TV+, Apple News+, Apple Arcade and Apple Card. You can watch the keynote at https://www.apple.com/apple-events/march-2019/).
Apple TV+ is a new service, coming this Fall, with original shows and movies produced by people like Oprah and Steven Spielberg. Apple TV+ will be available on Samsung, LG and Vizio TV’s as well as devices like Roku. They have not announced the price yet and you will need to be running the latest iOS and Mac OS versions.
Apple News+ (https://www.apple.com/apple-news/) a service that gives you access to a lot of magazines and newspapers on your Mac and iOS devices for $9.99 a month. The Wall Street Journal is one of the newspapers on the service. This service is available now.
Apple Arcade (https://www.apple.com/apple-arcade/) a gaming service for Apple devices with 100 new games. It will be available this fall.
The Apple Credit card (https://www.apple.com/apple-card/)will work with Apple Pay. You will get a physical card (with only your name on it) and a card in your Apple Wallet. You use the card with Apple Pay, getting immediate cash back, 2% on most purchases and 3% on Apple purchases. It will tell you how much interest you will pay if you make an only a minimum payment. It will not have any card related fees (annual, cash advance, etc.).It will generate a one time only number when you use the card. The card works with the iPhone, Apple Watch to ensure no one else can use your card. Apple worked with Goldman Sachs to develop the card. The card will not track your purchases and does not give your information to merchants when you use it. Your device will generate a number to use if you have to use the physical card somewhere. The card will be coming this summer.
We had the usual volunteer raffle, Dick Warner did not win tonight but Kimberly, the volunteer who did win, was getting the iTunes gift card for the third time. There was one new member tonight, welcome! Glad you could join us and I hope Pete or Ken were able to answer your FaceTime question.
Pete Lozzi was up after the break to talk about “Making Printing Great”. Pete disclosed that he is a Field Training Director for HP in his day job. Pete said he always has a great time talking to us, we ask good questions and keep him on his toes. He noted that he has daughters and they occasionally comment on his appearance. They had done that today and in an effort to address one of their concerns, he had tried trimming his eyebrows. But in an unfortunate accident he had trimmed them off. He just wanted to let us know what had happened so we didn’t worry about him.
About eight years ago, wireless printing became available for printing at home with the printer not connected to a computer. Mostly it didn’t work well and we all learned the joys of buying expensive ink cartridges. Wireless printing got better slowly while the printer manufacturers rode the wave of expensive ink as long as they could. But people started to use devices like the iPhone and iPad which they could use to show pictures to their friends rather than printing them out. HP realized that the printer hardware sales were going down and they worked on a way to slow or stop the decline. HP created Instant Ink (https://instantink.hpconnected.com/us/en/l/), a program that is available with most newer HP inkjet printers. You sign up for an Instant Ink account, which ranges from $3-$10 per month. For $3 per month, you can print up to 50 pages of any type on your printer and HP will supply all the ink you need for printing, Your printer will notify HP when the ink supplies are about half way done and HP will send you a new ink cartridge. The cartridges come with a return envelope so they can be recycled. If you print less than 50 pages, the unused pages roll over for a month. A page can be a document of a full size color photo print. Pete no longer worries about printing — knowing that he won’t have to run to the office supply store to spend $50-$60 on replacement cartridges. He joked that if he hasn’t printed 50 pages, he looks for things to print. He asked the members how many were using Instant Ink and if they would quit the program. No one who was using it would quit it. If you exceed your 50 sheet limit, you can 20 more sheets for only a dollar. HP offers three plans; $3 per month for 50 sheets, $5 per month for 100 sheets and $10 per month for 300 sheets. There is a business plan for $20 per month for 700 sheets. You can change plans at any time and can quit the program whenever you want. HP offers a lot of printers that work with Instant Ink (https://store.hp.com/us/en/vwa/inkjet-printers/prnttyp=InkJet ) some offering free sheets or free membership for several months.
Pete had brought an HP Tango printer (https://store.hp.com/us/en/mdp/printers/hp-tango-3074457345617315169--1?jumpid=ma_pr_featured_home_1_180925#!&TabName=features ), very compact which had a cover that made it look like a thick book. Pete brought it from home and using the HP Smart app had set it up to use the WiFi at the meeting (the app asked if he wanted to connect the printer to the network his phone was using). The app gives you control over the printer, allowing you to make copies using your phone, send files to email or DropBox. You can do smart tasks where you can scan something, print it and send a copy of it to your email all with one task. HP has the service infrastructure to manage a program like Instant Ink. Many HP printers will offer Instant Ink to you when you set them up or have a coupon for it in the box. Canon and Epson make printers that come with cartridges that have a “2 year” supply of ink in them, but these larger ink supplies add greatly to the initial cost of the printer. Pete noted that inkjet printers typically have a useful life of 3-4 years. If you have an older printer that can't use instant Ink, it may be time to get a new one. You can use the Alexa to control the printer, asking it to print graph paper or binder paper (wide or narrow ruled) just using your voice. The HP Smart app will show you how many pages you have printed in the month, what the ink levels are in the printer and well as the other functions. One thing to note is that printing on two sides does count as two pages against your total. Printers can offer WiFI direct which will connect your phone to the printer directly using it’s own WiFi router. While Pete was talking, several people sent photos to his printer. Pete said he didn’t care as he had about 70 sheets worth of printing that had rolled over. A member noted that she had some prints come out of her printer that she had not sent. Checking on the HP website, she discovered that there were several firmware updates to apply to her printer. Pete noted that it is pretty hard to protect yourself from someone accessing the printer, but HP encrypts all the transmissions from the printer. A member asked about printers that use separate printheads which can fail. The Instant Ink program does not include printheads; you will still have to take care of those yourself. They are typically used in the higher end business printers. Pete did note that HP support can vary with you sometimes getting good help or not so good help.
Pete had also brought an HP Sprocket, a small photo printer (https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-sprocket-photo-printer-p-z3z93a-b1h--1) which doesn’t have any ink cartridges in it. The ink is in the paper it uses. It prints 2x3 color prints which can be used as stickers, fun to use at parties for memories you can take home. It comes in two sizes and you can get it at BestBuy. The paper runs around $0.50/print, but can be less if you buy more of the paper at a time. There was a round of applause Pete ended his talk, noting that as usual he had gone over his time.
Pete’s daughter helped with the raffle drawing. Ken, noting that he had 20 tickets, wanted to make sure he wasn’t involved in picking the winning ticket. The three iTune gift cards went first, then the iPad and AirPods were up next. Pete’s daughter had us all stand up; we then sat down as our number was eliminated. One of the AirPods went to one of the iTune gift card winers.
I look forward to seeing you at the next general meeting. Remember to invite a fellow Mac or iOS device user to come check us out. I can be reached at email@example.com.