December 2021

iOS & Apple news

Congrats to Apple:

We have entered another dimension, as Apple Announced Self Service Repair : Apple parts, tools, and manuals — starting with iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 — available to individual consumers. `Apple today announced Self Service Repair, which will allow customers who are comfortable with completing their own repairs access to Apple genuine parts and tools. Available first for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, and soon to be followed by Mac computers featuring M1 chips, Self Service Repair will be available early next year in the US and expand to additional countries throughout 2022. Customers join more than 5,000 Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) and 2,800 Independent Repair Providers who have access to these parts, tools, and manuals.'

Apple Music Replay 2021: How to find your top songs, artists, albums, and more.

AirPods are one of Apple's greatest successes and also a popular holiday purchase. Have you ever seen what they look like via a CT scan?! Well, now you can see CT scans of all AirPod generations.

Apple TV+ earned nine 2021 Critics Choice Television Award nominations, reports Macdailynews.

Apple Music Voice Plan Coming in iOS 15.2, reports Macrumors.

photography & video

For those who have an iPhone 13, here is How to personalize your photos with the new Photographic Style feature.

iOS apps

They are here: App Store Awards honor the best apps and games of 2021.

Copilot is an OS app for managing your money. It provides a standard checking/balance accounting capability, as well as tracking investments, including crypto, and is Apple- Card friendly.

Prune is a game that lets you prune imaginary trees with a goal of reaching sunlight. It's a very unusual game for one person. It's like a puzzle but with meditative qualities. One of a kind. Take a look:

Scribble Squabble is a fun game that you can play on an iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. You play on a virtual page, where half belongs to you and the other half to your opponent; the game is a battlefield of sorts where you scribble to place your castles and also to place the bombs to attack your opponent. You can play by yourself against the computer or against a friend, remotely via Apple's Game Center. It's a free app.

Finally, Sketchball is a fun game that gets increasingly difficult. It works on iPhones but may be a bit easier on iPad, given the larger screen. It's worth a try for fun. It's free.


Apple Podcasts presents the Best of 2021. Apple celebrates this year’s best and most popular podcasts and their creators.

Here is a direct link to the best podcasts of the year: it opens Apple Podcasts. Scroll down for a list of top shows and episodes.

Olga recommends listening to Sway episode The Metaverse: Expectations vs. Reality, where Kara Swisher interviews Jaron Lanier. This is a very interesting interview. `Lanier is often called the “godfather of virtual reality,” and his company, VPL Research, developed V.R. goggles and gloves in the 1980s. He says he always imagined a metaverse with “a hundred million micro entrepreneurs doing their little thing here and there — there wouldn’t be some overlord.” Now, as big companies like Roblox and Epic build virtual worlds, he describes how these technologies will continue to shape our lives...

(cont'd) ...In this conversation, Kara Swisher talks to Lanier about Facebook’s pivot to Meta, which he says sounded “like some megalomaniac took my stuff and filtered it through some weird self-aggrandizement filter.” They also discuss why Lanier viewed technologies like automation and V.R. as “a little technological token of that hope of eternal creativity” back in the ’80s. And Lanier, the author of “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now,” makes the case for why Facebook should be paying users for their data.

Lanier's view s that Facebook (Meta) would not be embarking in this Virtual reality hardware effort if Apple had not instituted its privacy policies with iOS, iPhones, and iPads. In Lanier's view, this is Facebook's effort to get personal user information to monetize and sell.

privacy & security

You might not always think about it, but as cars can accumulate and save a lot of your location and other info. The WaPo reported on: What does your car know about you? We hacked a Chevy to find out. They write: `Our privacy experiment found that automakers collect data through hundreds of sensors and an always-on Internet connection. Driving surveillance is becoming hard to avoid.'

(cont'd) `Among the trove of data points were unique identifiers for my and Doug’s [the car’s owner] phones, and a detailed log of phone calls from the previous week. There was a long list of contacts, right down to people’s address, emails and even photos.`

(cont'd) `Mason has hacked into Fords that record locations once every few minutes, even when you don’t use the navigation system. He’s seen German cars with 300-gigabyte hard drives — five times as much as a basic iPhone 11. The Tesla Model 3 can collect video snippets from the car’s many cameras. Coming next: face data, used to personalize the vehicle and track driver attention.'

(Cont'd) `Automakers haven’t had a data reckoning yet, but they’re due for one. GM ran an experiment in which it tracked the radio music tastes of 90,000 volunteer drivers to look for patterns with where they traveled. According to the Detroit Free Press, GM told marketers that the data might help them persuade a country music fan who normally stopped at Tim Horton’s to go to McDonald’s instead.'

More recently, Jalopnik reported: The Feds Can Access The Private Data On Your Phone Through Your Car.

tips & tricks

Is your email Inbox inundated with a lot of email newsletters, subscriptions, and various solicitations and ads? Consider creating a Mail Rule (on your Mac, for example) that places all emails that contain the word "unsubscribe" into a mailbox. Then you can periodically review this mailbox for items you want and unsubscribe from the rest.

general news and crossover

Facebook (Meta) announced the Metaverse. Joanna Stern of the WSJ gives an entertaining and informative demo: Trapped in the Metaverse: Here’s What 24 Hours Feels Like.

gadgets & accessories

Eve announced today the launch of its third-generation Eve Room, a HomeKit-enabled indoor air quality monitor that now comes with Thread support. Eve Room is designed to track air quality, temperature, and humidity, reports Macrumors.

HomePod and analog music:

Want to stream music from your old-fashioned vinyl record player to your HomePod? All you need is an iOS app, an old iOS device and a cable or adapter. Take a look:

This uses AirChord app with some hardware adapter choices.

See the hardware adapter choices (3 choices).

Here is another demo of this idea, showing how to stream Bluetooth Audio to a HomePod mini, as well as other Airplay-only devices, such as an Apple TV:

This uses the Sabrent USB External Stereo Sound Adapter, and Bluetooth Audio Adapter for Music Streaming, and Apple's USB3 to Lightning adapter.


Apple Watch offers assistive Touch. Here is a video:

Info on Using AssistiveTouch on your Apple Watch.

How to use Assistive touch on your Watch.

next meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Happy New Year to all!