What You Missed
It was our second General Meeting on-line. Pete Lozzi (Zoom expert) once again hosted the meeting, going over some of the security concerns with Zoom and how he was addressing them in the pre-meeting get together. Pete uses a waiting room, where he can approve who gets to participate in the meeting and uses a co-host to keep an eye on things (late sign-ons, raised hands, etc.). We started out with about 50 people joining the meeting at 7:00 pm (or earlier) with some new faces participating on-line (Ed. note: topped at 68.) Pete uses gallery view on his end so he can see all participants. Pete pointed out that he had built the meeting password into the link that was sent out.
Apple and Google are working together to develop a “contact tracking” app. You have to opt in for it to use your data. If you say you have the virus, it will use your phone to track where you have been and who you have been in contact with. The idea is that health officials would be able to use that information to see where there is a greater risk that people have been exposed and help direct resources to where they will be most effective. Apple is making sure that the app will be opt in only following in its efforts to protect customer privacy. The app would use your Bluetooth and Bluetooth on other phones.
Ken Spencer started us off with news and rumors. There is not much in rumors right now but Apple has announced the new iPhone SE for $399 which uses the same chip as the iPhone 11 but only has a single lens camera. It is water resistant to 1 meter and comes in a variety of colors. The SE is a half inch shorter and a third inch narrower than the iPhone 11, thus similar in size to the iPhone Xs. Rumor is that there may be a “Plus” size coming in the future. Apple has also released and is shipping new iPad Pros with Lidar (used in VR) and a new keyboard with trackpad that goes with them. The iPhone 12 is rumored to have a camera update and may have Lidar like the new iPad Pros.
Pete showed us a demonstration of pixel density (pixels are typically square now) zooming in to see each individual pixel, which are red, green and blue. Each pixel is controlled to show more or less of the individual colors as well as how bright each one is. As Pete zoomed out the actual image that was being displayed became clearer. Pixels are now so small that curves show up as smooth, not jagged with little steps as the used to be.
In keeping with our agenda, I did a volunteer announcement asking if we had any new members with us tonight. We didn’t have any, but Bob White noted that we had had a new member join MacNexus this month. Ken will be doing a Zoom class at the third Saturday workshop a 9:00 am. The email blast from Bob White has the latest class schedule as well as the meeting information.
In Tech Q&A, a question was asked about using a tethered iPhone/iPad for streaming video where there was no WiFi available. Pete & Ken said that it will be something you will have to try as bandwidth restriction from you service provider as well as the signal strength where you are would have an effect on how well it works. Someone asked about cleaning an iPhone using ultraviolet light. There are several devices available now that let you put your iPhone in the device and it exposes your iPhone to ultraviolet light to “disinfect it.” Apple has announced that as long as you use a wipe with 70% alcohol, it is safe to clean your phone. Pete showed a Wyze camera which is typically a home security camera ($20). Wyze has developed firmware for the camera that will let you use it as a webcam if your computer doesn’t have a built-in camera. Pete suggested that if you want to use a Wyze camera as a webcam that you get in touch with Ken Spencer as there is one tricky part of the firmware install.
A member asked Pete about an issue he had had connecting a new iPad to their existing iPhone SE to transfer the information from one to the other. This is something Apple lets you do now by putting your existing device near the new device. Your Apple ID and other information is transferred to the new device. Pete noted that this process usually works, but, if it doesn’t, all you need to do is enter your Apple ID login and password when prompted on the new device to do the same thing. Apple now suggests that users have individual Apple ID accounts rather than sharing one. Pete also showed us his puppy Apollo who was “helping” with the meeting. Someone asked Pete about EmpowerMac. Pete did EmpowerMac weekend classes for a decade and he is now looking into doing virtual EmpowerMac classes. He is still finalizing the plan and said there would probably be a poll of people interested to see what topics would be of most interest. The cost for classes is to be determined, but as before the first class would be free. I am sure Pete will keep us informed.
When we got back from the break, Pete started to talk about iCloud dashboard. This is what you see when you login to your iCloud. You will always want to know or have access to your Apple ID login and password. The other thing you will want to make sure you know is the admin password for your Mac. You will often be asked for it when installing new software on your Mac. To see the dashboard, you go to appleid.apple.com. A dropdown box will request your password. Careful, this is counter-intuitive — it needs your Mac’s admin password. Once logged in the page will show: Account, Security, Devices, Payment & Shipping, Messages from Apple, and Data & Privacy.
Account lists which emails and phone numbers are associated with your account. It has your preferred language and your country.
Security allows you to change your Apple ID password and associated phone number. It displays whether or not two factor authentication is “on” and You can set up app specific passwords here.
Devices lists all devices associated with your Apple ID. This is a good place to check if there are any devices you don’t recognize are listed here. You can also see any old devices you no longer own that are still associated with your Apple ID. You can delete devices here if you need to. If you have family sharing, it will show who is in the plan.
Payment and Shipping - here is your default payment method and the default shipping address. If you have an Apple Card, your Apple Card balance will show here as well as your Apple Cash balance.
Messages from Apple, this is where you choose what emails you want to get from Apple.
Data & Privacy allows you to see what privacy settings you have. Typically you can leave these set as they are.
You can edit the settings in most sections, eliminating old email addresses or devices for example.
The next place Pete showed us was the iCloud login page at iCloud.com. Once you are logged in you will see: Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Photos, iCloud Drive, Notes, Reminders, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Find Friends, and Find iPhone. You can access this site from any device that has a web browser and an Internet connection. Pete was using a PC laptop with the Chrome Browser for the demonstration. If you are on a borrowed device and it asks if you want to save the login and password, say “No.” Otherwise, someone could log in to your account from the borrowed device. If you go to Account Settings in the iCloud login page, you can get similar information to what is shown under Apple ID. You can sign out of all browsers there if you need to. You can also manage apps that can look you up.
Mail Contacts and Calendar will match what is on your iPhone/iPad and Mac if you have iCloud syncing turned on.
Photos is will show your photos and allow you to see which ones are Hidden and what has Recently Deleted.
iCloud Drive shows how much space you have available and what folders are on the drive.
Notes and Reminders will match what is on your devices.
Find iPhone will let you locate all active devices associated with your account and show them on a map. If you click on the info button for a specific device, you can have it play a sound (even if the device’s sound is turned off), lock it remotely or erase it remotely.
Find Friends will let you locate friends who have agreed to share their location with you. It can be turned on for particular people, and you can set the time for sharing from 1 hour, until the end of the day or indefinitely.
Keynote, Numbers and Pages contain any documents you have created from these apps and chosen to store in iCloud. From the iCloud, you can use any of the programs as you would on a Mac or iOS device. Simply double-click a document. The iCloud version of Pages, Keynote or Numbers will start and open the document. You don’t need to be on an Apple device to use them. Pete demonstrated this on his PC laptop using a Chrome browser. You can access recent files, start a new one and can collaborate on documents in the programs. You can collaborate with people in different countries or time zones.
Pages now offers “Drop Caps” where you can make the first letter in a word larger that the rest of the word for emphasis. You can now edit the background of any document (make sure you don’t have anything selected when you use this option) using color or an image. You can fill text with color or an image also. When finished you can save your document as a Pages document, a Word document, an EPUB document or as a PDF. The PDF is probably more universal, but usually it is really difficult to edit a PDF once it is generated. There are programs that let you edit PDFs, but they are usually not cheap. If you know what format will work best for the person receiving your document, save it directly in that format.
Keynote is a canvas you can do almost anything with. It has a new feature “Keynote Live” that lets you invite people with a link to share your slideshow. The link will probably open the Keynote app on your Mac and you will be able to scroll through the slides in the presentation.
Pete as always could have gone on, but it was around 9:00 pm. So Pete ended by saying that it is a good idea to check your Apple ID once a month or so to see if anything has changed that you might not know about. Pete then showed a way he had found to do a raffle using Zoom, something that may be coming to future Zoom meetings. As with last meeting, Pete hung out for a while to answer any additional questions that came up. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting in person or on Zoom. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, I encourage you to have someone check us out.