December 2019

iOS & Apple news

Apple has released a poignant new ad for the holidays, titled Surprise. `Filmed in a real home (not a soundstage) and starring real sisters, the 3-minute spot tells the story of family’s visit to a grandfather who recently lost his wife. This year's ad is focused on the iPad, which plays a central role in the family’s holiday experience. But what begins as a convenient distraction becomes something far more powerful in the hands of the two young girls', writes AdSense.

Mac use enables greater productivity, employee satisfaction at IBM: IBM now has over 290,000 Apple Macs and other devices deployed.

Apple wins Patent for a Next-Gen Magic Mouse, Perhaps the Magic Mouse Pro. `The next generation Magic Mouse could advance to accept input such as slide gestures, rotation, squeeze, press, touch, or otherwise physically manipulate the input assembly in any suitable manner relative to the electronic controlling electronic devices like the iMac.'

Future Apple Watch bands could have a built-in antenna, according to a new Apple patent.

iPhone Buyers in U.S. More Than Twice as Likely to Own a Smartwatch as Android Buyers.

Apple celebrates the best Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV apps and games of 2019.

Apple lists the most downloaded apps.

And also the most downloaded games.

Apple Music Award Design Features Apple's Custom Silicon Wafer: The inaugural Apple Music awards take place tomorrow at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, and in typical Apple fashion, the company has designed a series of unique vinyl-inspired awards to be presented to the winners, reports Macrumors.

Its official now: Jony Ive has left Apple, reports The Verge.

Apple’s own Smart Battery cases for iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max each features a dedicated camera button that launches the Camera app whether the iPhone is locked or unlocked. A quick press of the button takes a photo and a longer press captures QuickTake video. It works for selfies, too.There’s no camera button on the iPhone itself. iFiit did an investigation, since there is no such button on iPhone itself. `There are no buttons on the iPhone 11 that match up with the camera on the case. Our first guess was some kind of wireless transmission to the phone, but then we saw our patient’s X-rays. It turns out there’s a little circuit board inside the case, which has a thin, flexible circuit running out to connect to the photo button. That circuit board connects the camera button to the phone through the Lightning port “chin” at the bottom of the case. Not totally unexpected, but interesting to see how much hardware design goes into adding just one thing to a battery case.'

How firefighter’s stolen iPhone helped cops crack his murder case. `His killers had first spared his life: They stole his iPhone and other belongings at gunpoint and took off in a car, leaving him alive on the street. But when the three robbers realized they couldn’t unlock the phone, they turned their black Nissan Sentra around. They demanded that the off-duty Coral Springs firefighter unlock it. He refused. They shot him dead. Ultimately, it was the robbers’ back and forth on the road that night that would help detectives crack the case: A combination of cellphone data and license plate readers led them to their murder suspects, two sources with knowledge of the case told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.`

AirPods Pro

Time Magazine lists the new AirPods Pro among the Best Inventions of 2019.

Here is a very informative video with tips about using AirPods Pro. Did you know you could put just one airPod in noise cancellation mode? Useful when making phone calls. And more:

the Airpods Pro tips replacements are sold for $4.

Looking back at the original iPhone from 2007 vs. today's iPhone 11:

photography & film

7 tips: Camera Features and Tips for iPhone 11 and 11 pro:

Here is the latest `Shot on iPhone '' video from Apple:

And here is the behind-the-scenes view, from Apple:

iOS apps & widgets

Roku is free and available on iPhone and Apple watch. You can use it as a remote control, you can launch channels on your TV. Most recently used channels are listed first. You can give voice commands to search. And if you have lost the remote, you can use the app to play a chime to locate it.

Roger points us to `Top 10 Reasons Why Apple Notes is My Favorite Note App':

Best iPhone and iPad apps, itemized by GQ.

App prototype: turn an iPhone to an old-fashioned iPod to play music.

gadgets & accessories

AirFly Pro is a simple gadget that wirelessly connects your wireless headset to anything with a headphone jack. For example, it lets you use your AirPods during an airplane ride and connect t to the airplane' entertainment system. You can also use it at the gym, or for computer games. You can also use it to connect your iPhone to your car's (older) stereo using the car's headphone jack.

For gifts to others or for upgrades for yourself, consider buying or selling iPhones, iPads, Watches from Olga recently bought an iPhone 8 Plus as a gift; it's in perfect condition.

Band & Roll offers some cases for your gadgets made of leather and felt.

Bernie showed us his Canopy case for an Apple wireless keyboard.

TORCHSTAR Wall Mount Charger is 4 devices in one: USB charging ports, AC power outlets, LED night light, and a phone holder. Very compact.

Rocketbook Everlast is a `Smart Reusable Notebook'. It's environmentally friendly and can be used repeatedly by wiping clean with a damp cloth. It letsupload your handwritten notes to cloud services such as iCloud, Google drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Slack, email.

Luxi for All Light Meter Attachment works on all mobile devices. It lets you use your iPhone or iPad as a light meter. It's simple and only costs $25.

For a more serious light (and color) meter, Lumu works as a professional tool. It is tiny and it attaches to your iPhone. At $200- $400 it's not inexpensive, but it is significantly less expensive than other professional light meters.

Polaroid Lab lets you transform your digital photos into Polaroid pictures - in an instant.

June is a smart oven designed by an ex-Apple engineer. It detects your food, adjust cooking times and method accordingly and is controllable by an iPhone. It also has received a highly recommended grade by America's Test Kitchen.


Goldman Hands Out $10 Billion in Credit Lines for Apple Card.

Salvation Army Red Kettles Now Take Apple Pay.


Best Apple Watch apps, itemized by GQ., reports Fox40 TV News. Two men are behind bars in California after police found them with a stolen Apple Watch that had been pinged by its owner, according to the Roseville Police Department.

Apple Watch saves another life, reports iMore. `fitness fan Chris Mint, 30, was wearing his Apple Watch when it reported that he potentially had atrial fibrillation. That's a feature that's available on Apple Watch Series 1 and later, but Mint apparently had no idea it existed. So he did what the watch suggested and sought the opinion of medical professional.'

Apple Watch detects atrial fibrillations, Stanford University study finds, with an 84% reliability. Here is the news clip from ABC News:

Siri on Apple Watch awkwardly interrupts on-air meteorologist and contradicts his forecast. `meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker was delivering his forecast on BBC Thursday when Siri chimed in to help. Schafernaker was describing the cold and snowy conditions around many parts of the United States, but Siri had other ideas.'

Father says Apple Watch changed the life of his autistic son. The son apparently has a loud voice and could not figure out how to modulate it. The father one day noticed the Noise app on his watch, which measures decibel levels of its users’ surroundings, and turns a corresponding color, flashing yellow when things are loud… `Excited by his discovery, he woke his son. The son immediately saw that and started using his own voice to make it work, and then immediately started talking really quietly, he says. `I was like, you gotta be kidding me. My wife [Cristy] is not gonna believe this. I don’t believe what I’m seeing.'

Space Black Hermes Apple Watch Series 5 no longer available to order.

Apple Watch sales grew a stunning 51% year over year in Q3, reports MacDailyNews.

privacy & security

Don't Buy Anyone a Ring Camera, writes Gizmodo. `There’s a chance you had never heard of Ring cameras before Amazon bought the company for as much as $1.8 billion last year. It’s possible that Ring still wasn’t on your radar earlier this year, when reports emerged that the home security giant had partnered with scores of police departments, funneling videos and user data in some dystopian effort to make a profit by fighting crime and eradicating privacy. But there’s a good chance that you’re going to see a Ring video doorbell on sale—possibly bundled with an Amazon Echo—this Black Friday. Do not buy it. And definitely don’t buy one for somebody else.'

Apple Calls New Russian Smartphone Sales Legislation 'Equivalent to Jailbreaking'. Russian President Vladimir Putin today signed new legislation requiring all smartphones, computers, and smart TVs sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software, reports Reuters. An unnamed Apple source reportedly told the Kommersant business daily: `A mandate to add third-party applications to Apple's ecosystem would be equivalent to jailbreaking. It would pose a security threat, and the company cannot tolerate that kind of risk.'

Roger points us to an article about Android flaw that lets rogue apps take photos, record video even if your phone is locked.

Here is Sign in with Apple: What It Is and How It Works.

Tim Berners-Lee writes: I Invented the World Wide Web. Here’s How We Can Fix It.

Your smartphone takes amazing selfies. Those selfies could tell stalkers where you live., writes the Washington Post.

How to Delete Siri Audio History on iPhone & iPad.

adieu, 2019

It's hard to believe we are near the end of 2019, getting ready to celebrate the holidays. Many thanks to all who make our iPUG group wonderful. We will meet again on January 7, 2020.