What You Missed - October 28, 2020

Ken Spencer was busy as usual setting things up for our October meeting. This is the month for our annual membership meeting and announcement of the election results. Ken was making sure all the necessary slides were ready to display.

Ken noted it was our anniversary meeting, but “no cake” as it was a virtual meeting. Al Trivett popped up a slide with last year’s cake, so we at least showed a cake. Forty four members were attending as we started (that grew to 51). First up was the annual membership meeting which we are required to do every October. Ken loaded up the script of the required items and called the meeting to order. Bob White confirmed that notice had been given to the membership (via email blast) and the minutes of the last meeting were read. There were a couple of minor corrections (a date and a name) noted and the minutes were approved. The Zoom function “raise your hand” was used to making a motion and seconding it. Ballot results were shown, VP Thomas Spencer, Directors at Large Al Trivett and Rich Pearson. Bob White noted that 98 ballots had been received and noted that one ballot was for T. Spenser and another ballot had a write in for Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Treasurer report was given. We are holding on to our cash this year as we do not have expenses for a meeting place each month to pay. There was no old business to discuss, no new business to discuss and the motion was made to adjourn the meeting. All those in favor of the motion indicated by clapping and any one who opposed (there was no one) was invited to unmute their mic and note their opposition. Don’t know if we beat the record for shortest meeting, but it all went quickly.

This October marks the 36th anniversary of MacNexus. The Macintosh was announced in January of 1984 and MacNexus was formed in October 1984 as a Macintosh User Group. These were the days when you could buy your Mac in a department store and as an information sheet Ken put up noted gas was $1.27 per gallon. Steve Jobs also passed away in October of 2011; Ken showed us a graphic similar to Apples logo but with Steves profile cut out.

Al Trivett shared his usual updates/news of Apple (see links at end of article). Here are some of the headlines:

  • Apple TV+ free subscriptions are to be extended till early 2021.

  • iOS14 has approached 50% adoption 6 months after being released. Ken noted that iOS releases have consistently been getting more stable and with less problems as iPhones are the biggest part of Apples product line.

  • More than 1 billion people use an iPhone today.

  • Apple may be opening “Express” stores.

  • AirPods may be getting an update in early 2021.

  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Lidar can measure your height.

  • Jon Prosser (an Apple news leaker) say there will be a November 17th Apple event which may announce Apple ARM based hardware. Apple designs the ARM chips used in iPhones and iPads and has announced they will be using Apple designed chips in other Apple hardware like MacBooks.

Al Trivett helps maintain and update the MacNexus facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/macnexus ) with current Apple news.

In Tech Q&A, several questions had been submitted prior to the meeting (in the purple Mac Ken said). A member was using Sierra on his Mac and the Kaiser App had stopped working. They were told they needed to upgrade from Sierra to Catalina. You can upgrade to Mojave (Catalina can cause problems for about 10% of users) and be able to use the Kaiser app on the Mac. Ken has a link to get Mojave, even though Apple wants you to upgrade to Catalina. Ken does not run Catalina, but is expecting to upgrade to Big Sur when it comes out, assuming there are no major problems. Ken usually waits for the .1 version to come out before he upgrades. Another question asked about problems with iOS 14.1. Ken had only heard of a few problems and said these days iOS releases are very stable. A member had a MacBook Air with a solid state drive with 41 GB free, out of 249 GB total. They were wondering how much should be available for maximum effectiveness and if they should move something to an external hard drive to fee up space. Ken thought that with a solid state drive the amount of free space was probably fine and had concerns with moving data to an external drive unless you had a way to back it up. iCloud is another possible place to off load some data to free up space on your hard drive.

One of our members had problems downloading the Zoom app to their iPad. Ken suggested doing a hard reset on the iPad to see if that corrected the problem. Someone was having a problem with email suddenly showing up in the background while they were working in another program, usually when a new email was received. Ken suggested Googling how to reset the PRAM and SMU on their Mac as a possible solution. A person who used the Sacramento County Library site to download ebooks to read was having a problem where she couldn’t read her books if she wasn’t at home. Ken said that Sac County libraries had recently changed the app they used for ebooks and that some research might be needed to find out how to read books remotely. Can you easily send photos from a iPhone 5S to an iPad? The suggestion was to use AirDrop as an easy way to accomplish this. An iPhone 5S is getting old (especially the battery in it) and it may be time to think about a newer iPhone.

Ken showed his pictures of the spots used for the images for Sierra and High Sierra. He had gone to the location used and taken the same shot using his iPhone. He said he now uses his iPhone 80% of the time for photos and only uses his DSLR about 20% of the time. Ken had had to time his shots so he could get the sky with no smoke in the air and that only happened a couple of days.

Since we were founded in 1984, Ken played the Super Bowl ad form 1984 announcing the Macintosh. It was only played once at the Super Bowl and once in Wyoming prior to that so it would qualify for the 1984 ad awards. Ken had to pause the recording of the meeting, so it would not get taken down for copyright violations from YouTube.

Ken went on to “New Things” from Apple. June 29, 2007 the original iPhone shipped with only a few apps, On Oct 13th, Apple had an event with the tag line “Hi Speed”. They announced the iPhone 12 line all with 5G, MagSafe accessories for the iPhone 12 and a mini Home Pod. The mini Home Pod will be available for order on Nov. 6th. It is smaller, more of a round ball, than the original Home Pod will cost $99 (Home Pod is $299 but can often be found for $199) and will automatically connect when you have two in the same room to give you the best sound possible. It can be the hub for your HomeKit accessories and has the connection to Siri as the original Home Pod had. It will add itself to your Home App.

Ken showed a slide of the current iPhone lineup — the iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 with an iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. The iPhone 12 Pro’s have 3 camera lens, the iPhone 12 has a two lens camera. The iPhone 12 Pro’s have a Lidar sensor which allows better focusing in low light conditions. All iPhone 12 models have the A14 chip, the improved XDR display and Ceramic Shield glass. 5G is available on all the iPhone12 models and they can use the different bands of 5G. This is in addition to all the bands current iPhones use. Most of the 5G system is being built out now, so this will be more of a factor in a year or more. Having 5G can future proof your phone at least in the near future. 5G uses more battery so the iPhone will throttle itself when you don’t need 5G speeds. The iPhone 12 models start at 64 GB. The Pro models go up to 512 GB. Ken noted that having more storage on your phone means you can have more photos, etc. The smallest iPhone 12 — the Mini and the largest model the Pro Max — can be preordered in November while the other models can be ordered now. The A14 chip used in the iPhone 12 has 11.8 billion transistors on it and can render 4K videos faster than some chips in current MacBooks. It has 16 cores; most Macs only have a maximum of 8 cores. The Ceramic Shield glass used is 4 times more resistant to breakage than the glass used in the iPhone 11. iPhone 12’s have IP68 water resistance which makes them very water resistant so you don’t have to get a cases with all the ports sealed if you think you phone might get a little wet. The iPhone 12 models have “MagSafe” which is magnets built into the phone which will align a wireless charger and lets you have accessories like cases and wallets that connect magnetically. The wallet Apple has is shielded so your credit cards are not affected by the phones magnets. Apple also showed (but isn’t shipping yet) a charger that will wirelessly charge an iPhone and an Apple watch at the same time. Ken expects there will be a lot of third party accessories that will take advantage of MagSafe. The iPhone 12 models do not come with chargers or earbuds in the box, Apple says there are enough chargers in the world already and you can buy third party ones that work just fine.

The iPhone 12 comes in 5 colors including a blue (which is different than the iPhone Pro blue). The Mini iPhone 12 starts at $699 and the other models go up from there. The iPhone 12 has two lenses, a wide angle and a 1x, the Pro models have an ultra wide angle, a 1x and either a 2x or 2.5x (only on the Pro Max) lenses along with a Lidar sensor. Ken is planning to get the iPhone 12 Pro Max (available to order on Nov 6th) as he uses his iPhone camera much more than his DSLR. Night mode is better on most iPhones and will be better on the Pro models. It is usually good enough to use without flash. The new iPhones are slightly thinner and similar in size for the most part to the current iPhone 11’s. There is a link to a comparison chart below. Ken was excited about the new iPads including the new iPad Air which can use the 2nd generation Apple Pencil.

Ken then showed the Apple “Think Different” ad which was in response to the feeling that IBM was the buttoned down computer company and Apple was something different. Steve Jobs contacted some of the people featured in the ad.

Apple Care is now Apple Care+ and comes in two options for the iPhone. One extends your warrantee and technical support, the other adds to that some damage insurance coverage. You can get it when you buy your device, probably the best time or up to a year later with some restrictions. Ken thinks it is OK for iPhones, maybe for iPads, OK for MacBooks and only maybe for desktop Macs. But if you have an expensive iMac or Mac Pro the cost is relatively small and the protection may be worth it.

As things wound down a member asked in chat when the ARM chip would be in a laptop. If the rumor of an Apple event in November is correct, it could be announced then. Ken likes to be on the cutting edge of new hardware but often will wait until the .1 version of the software in case there are some initial problems that don’t show up until something has been out to the public. This will be similar to the earlier transition for PowerPC chips to Intel chips in Mac products. A member said they had tried to take a picture of a crescent moon with their iPhone but it only came out as a circular blur. Ken noted that taking a picture of the moon is difficult even with expensive cameras as the moon puts out so much light against a dark background. He suggested searching the Internet for suggestions on how to do it. There was some discussions on 5G, that it comes in 3 different “flavors” a lower band that travels further distance and two higher bands that work best with line of sight and don’t extend as far out from the antenna. Some concern was raised about adding all the additional towers which would increase possible exposure. Ken was not overly concerned about this but was going to try to find a source for a report he had read about this. In 3-5 years, 5G may be able to be your home internet connection which could mean you won’t need a router as each device in your home could connect directly to the 5G service. After a few more comments and questions, it was time for the raffle.

As is usual for our annual meeting there were special prizes in the raffle. Tonight we had four $25 Amazon gift certificates, three $100 Amazon gift certificates and two $500 Amazon gift certificates — one of which was for the whole membership and one for attendees of tonight’s meeting. As usual, Ken used Siri to choose random numbers to award the prizes. Just as an example we had 51 members attending when the meeting was ending, the first four numbers were 19, 30, 28, and 12 (no repeats this week) for the $25 gift cards, 31, 46 and 5 for the $100 gift certificates. Each member who attends gets a number assigned. The winning number for the attendees $500 gift certificate was 14 — which as it turns out was my assigned number (yeah!) and the random number for the membership gift certificate was 266 out of 351 members. Lisa Goodwill who is one of the co-hosts that tracks who is at the meeting was the membership winner. Bob White was also a winner so it may pay to volunteer???? Actually, our chances of winning are the same as everyone else.

I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting, and remember to invite someone to come check us out. It is easy to see a meeting now, no travel involved. I can be reached at donob.macnexus@gmail.com.

The links from the meeting are below and you can check out the recorded meetings at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz0PGOt2xS1go2Z4DY1FXmA

From Al Trivett : https://www.cbr.com/apple-tv-extending-free-subscriptions-into-early-2021/

: https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/10/27/ios-14-nears-50-adoption-six-weeks-after-launch

: https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/10/27/more-than-a-billion-people-are-using-an-iphone-today

: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-retail-idUSKBN2771IR

: https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/10/26/second-generation-airpods-pro-third-gen-airpods-may-land-in-early-2021

: https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2020/10/26/iphone-12-pro-measure-peoples-height-how-lidar-ipad-pro/

: https://www.macworld.co.uk/news/next-apple-event-3658198/

: https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-restart-ipad-1999820

: Can I directly import photos from my iPhone 5S to my iPad?

From Al Trivett : https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063

Re: Sac County Library Apps

: https://bookriot.com/how-to-use-libby/

: https://help.overdrive.com/en-us/1307.html

From Ken Spencer : iPhone comparison https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare

From Ken Spencer : Download Mojave https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210190

From Christina Plessas : For those who are concerned about EMF’s……check out https://vibesup.com for products to help.

From Al Trivett : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf7K2V-mlCg

From Al Trivett : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EgXz1CEfQw&t=311s


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