It was a nice summer evening. Raffle tickets were already on sale even though there were no prizes on display. I am sure we were all buying them on faith, knowing there would be something fantastic to win by the end of the meeting. Pete Lozzi was here tonight — as MC and also our speaker — sporting a Hawaiian shirt and shorts.
“Hello MacNexus” Pete greeted us, as the meeting began. He was quick to show that his eyebrows had grown back after an unfortunate trimming accident a few months ago. You could tell Pete had a lot of fun things to talk about tonight. Ken wasn’t here tonight, so Pete said he could give us “the real information” with a smile on his face. He first told us about the raffle prizes tonight: a Wacom tablet, an Echo Show smart speaker with a screen and camera, an Echo Dot, a portable bluetooth speaker, and some iTunes gift cards. Pete had had an interesting day. He told us he had lost his iPhone and had been looking for it — using the flashlight on his iPhone. <Smile!> We did volunteer and member announcements next. There will be an election in October for the offices of President, Secretary and two Directors. Self nomination forms will be available from Bob White which will be due by the September workshop.
The Apple credit card is now available via the Apple Wallet app. You will get a physical card made of titanium — which made the news because Apple doesn’t recommend it be put in a pocket with loose change or in leather or denim. Pete got the link to apply, clicked on it and, after answering one question, he got the message he was approved. Once he got the actual card, he just tapped the envelope the card came in to his phone and bing, it was activated. The card works with Apple wallet and will list everywhere you use it and show you on a map where the purchase was made. You get rewards for using it, immediate cash back and it is part of the MasterCard system. Apple is working with Goldman Sachs as the bank behind the card. The physical card itself has no numbers on it. If you use it online, you get a number to use and you can change it so you use a fresh number each time. Payments are only authorized with Touch ID or Face ID, so if you give your card to waiter in a restaurant, the payment will only be authorized when you use your phone to allow it. You can link the card to your bank account for payment which you do through the phone. You can pay for all your Apple services with the card and you get 3% cash back for them. They don’t send paper bills at all. It is all done through the iPhone. You can transfer the cash rewards to your bank account or keep them in Apple cash, which allows you to share money with others who have Apple phones. Pete strongly suggested that we all use Apple Pay as much as possible so that merchants see that it is to their benefit. Apple Pay also lists your purchases immediately on your phone.
In Questions tonight, a member asked if Pete had any comment on the news stories about iOS 12.4.1 and problems with security and Bluetooth. Pete said you probably don’t have to worry; there haven’t been many exploits that have been used in the wild. Apple has made a move towards increasing privacy by stopping third parties listening to Siri conversations; Apple often will patch problems as soon as they confirm them. One member left a copy of a Sacramento Bee article, in the question Mac, about the new Apple card talking about the fact that you shouldn’t put it with loose change because it might get scratched. An example of Apple bashing perhaps.
Another member had received photos in emails that they wanted to get into the Photos app. They used to just drag and drop the emailed pictures into Photos but that was not working. They had copied the pictures to their desktop temporarily. Pete suggested dragging them onto the icon for Photos in the dock to import them. If that didn’t work there is an import item in the file menu of Photos.
How do you make the cursor bigger on a Mac? You go to System Preferences under the Apple menu, Accessibility, and choose Display. there you can adjust the size of the cursor and turn on “Shake mouse pointer to locate” which will temporarily enlarge the cursor if you shake the mouse from side to side.
A member had someone pass away and asked if it was possible to get into that person’s iPhone to retrieve information. Pete said if the iPhone is locked, then only the passcode or Touch/Face ID would allow it to be opened. An option is if the person had an iCloud account and the password for that was available, you could go to iCloud and get what information had been backed up there. It would not work if two factor authentication has been enabled, as you need to use the phone to get the second factor. Pete has a safe, for which several family members have the combination, that holds “The Keys to the Kingdom” — all his passwords and account access information — so that someone can get the information, pictures, etc., that might be needed.
Pete pointed out that when your home is automated (as his is), you can see when people leave or come home. Pete showed us how he checks his front door which has a smart lock and a camera. He uses his smart home to wake up his teenage daughter because he doesn’t want to do it in person. He picks her room, tells Alexa to play music full volume in that room and then stays out of the way for while. He has been caught though, when he was supposed to be somewhere and was home watching YouTube videos, when he got a call and said “I’m almost there” and heard the voice on the phone say “That’s funny. The front door hasn’t opened in the past 1/2 hour.”
iOS13 is coming. Every year Apple releases new hardware and software for iPhones and iPads. Pete noted that Apple’s iPhone division revenue is now larger than all of Microsoft. The announcements have a pattern. One year a new form factor for the phone is announced; the next year internal improvements are made to the phone. This year we are due for a new form factor. Rumor is it will have a three lens camera. One of the lenses will be extra wide angle to use in selfies and to capture more of what is around you. Pete is more excited about the software update as you use that long after the excitement of new hardware features wear off.
Pete had installed the beta version of iPadOS 13 on his iPad and hooked that up to the projector to show us some of the features. You can learn about the new features here:https://www.apple.com/ios/ios-13-preview/features/. Pete, after looking around again to make sure Ken wasn’t present, said he always does the updates as soon as they are available. He has only had one problem doing that and that was with a program that should have been updated but wasn’t. It took nine long days for the program to be updated. It was painful because it was a program that was vital to what Pete did for work. It was only one app out of the 1,600 that he has on his iPhone.
Most new features in a iOS update are concerned with modernization, security and speed. In iOS13 face ID unlocks 30% faster. Pete joked that the 1/2 second faster unlock would save him sooo much time. Pete, in a sidebar, noted that the iPhone has Screen time on it which will tell you all about how you are using your phone, how often you look at it, what apps you look at, etc. If you have a family plan, as Pete does, you can limit the screen time on certain phones. Apps downloads are 50% smaller, updates are 60% smaller, taking up less room on your iPhone. Apps usually aren’t big; it is usually the data that works with an app that take up room. Launch speeds are two times faster. iOS 13 offers Dark Mode which saves energy on OLED screens as black areas on the screen require no power. You can toggle between dark and light mode or set a time of day you want your screen to switch. Third party developers now offer a SWYPE keyboard (most don’t work well) to emulate what is available on Android. A SWYPE keyboard allows you to swipe between letters to spell words. Apple is making it available in iOS13. While Pete was trying to demonstrate this, he gave us all a tip about how to close all the tabs you have open in Safari at one time. You hold down on the page icon on the lower left of the screen and a dialog box opens, giving you the option to close all tabs, open a new private tab or a new tab. Unfortunately, Pete wasn’t able to get the SWYPE keyboard to work.
Reminders has been completely redesigned in iOS13. Reminders is two things, reminders and lists.Lists can be created for anything you want. When ever Pete is out of something at home, he tells Siri to add the item to the shopping list. He shares the list with his whole family so they can add to the shopping list. So when he goes to the store, all he has to do is look at the shopping list to see everything that is needed. He also has an Amazon list and a TV list for shows the people recommend to him. Reminders can be location based. “Siri remind me to call Ken when I get home” will give Pete a reminder to call Ken when he gets to his house. Since Ken is in his contacts, there will be a dialog box with Ken’s phone number in it so all he has to do is touch the number. iOS13 has a full Maps redesign, you can do collections of maps that you can share. It now has lists and look around to see what point of interest are where you are going.
Apple is improving privacy with iOS13. Many apps offer to let you sign in with Facebook or Google, which lets those apps know what you are doing in the app you are using. Apple will be offering Apple Sign in, which will work in a similar manner but Apple will generate a specific email address for the app you are using and will not share any app data. Any mail sent to the new app address will be automatically forwarded to your main email address.
With iPadOS13 on the home screen of the iPad, you will have the option of the normal grid of apps or you can have a window with relevant information, like the current weather on the home screen with the apps off to the other side of the screen. Photos has been redesigned with improved editing tools including vignette and many other options. It will have markup which lets you write on the photo.
While Pete offered to go on for another hour or so, it was time for the raffle. But, first, Pete did the volunteer raffle for a $25 iTunes gift card. Thomas Spencer was the lucky volunteer tonight. Then Pete and his daughter did the main raffle with all but the Wacom Tablet in the first round. The Echo devices went first, then the rest of the items went to several members, despite the technical difficulties Pete had with the raffle drum (it would turn or tickets fell out). Then it was time for us all to stand up as Pete’s daughter read off the number of the winning ticket for the Wacom tablet. Hopes faded as the numbers were called out until the last nine people were standing. The final number was read and one of the earlier winners tonight went home with a second prize — the Wacom tablet.
I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting and remember to invite someone to come check us out. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.