February 2018

iOS & Apple news

Apple released iOS 11.2.5, with these new features.

Apple Will Let You Keep Your Medical Records on your iPhone , reports CNBC.

With this news about health data on the iPhone, Apple will finally replace the fax machine in health care, writes CNBC. `We’ve seen some spectacular advances in fields ranging from surgery to gene editing, but health care still faces a lackluster problem: Many patients can only get health records from their doctor if the fax machine is working. Even when records are stored electronically, different chunks of every patient’s health information sit in inaccessible electronic record systems in different doctors’ offices.’

(cont’d) `Things are finally changing. Using Apple’s iPhone Health app, patients will soon be able to download and view health records on their phones. Apple uses Smart to connect the health app to hospitals and doctors’ offices. The good news for patients, doctors and innovators is that Apple chose a standardized, open connection over a proprietary, closed one. This approach lets any other app, whether running on the web, iPhone, or Android, use that same interface to connect. So Apple will compete on value and customer satisfaction, rather than on an exclusive lock on the data.’

Apple in a Sign of Health Ambitions, Adds medical Records Feature for iPhone, reports the NY Times. `A dozen medical institutions across the United States - including Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles - have agreed to participate in the beta version of the new feature. Apple will not be able to see the user's health records.

Amazon video is now available on Apple TV as a free app download.

Apple acquires Shazam. Some of us thought it had done so already, due to the integration with Siri.

Apple has Animoji in iPhone X sing Grammy nominated songs:


Apple could launch a buch of new devices next month, reports CultOfMac. `Career Technology, E&R Engineering, ShunSin Technology and Superior Plating Technology are seeing increasing orders for new devices coming next month. Superior Plating Technology in particular will enjoy ‘sizable’ orders from Apple for new iPhone, iPad and MacBook components, Digitimes reports. All three devices are expected to make their debuts ‘starting in March 2018.'

This is a good time to review (and bookmark!) MacRumors Buying Guide.

Apple increased Mac trade-in values, up to $2,500. Did you know you could trade in your old Mac? Get a quote online.

Apple will will enable life-saving iPhone emergency settings, with the upcoming release of iOS 11.3, reports TheNextWeb. `Apple just announced that the next version of iOS, 11.3, will enable Advanced Mobile Location (AML), which automatically sends your location to emergency services in countries that support the solution.'

Apple’s HomePod is (finally) out.

HomePod is out and it's actually a steal, writes CultofMac. `Don’t make the mistake of comparing HomePod to rival smart speakers and lamenting its $349 price tag. There are good reasons why the device costs more than three times as much as an Amazon Echo - and yet is still an absolute steal. The technology packed into HomePod is what makes it so special - and unlike anything else in its price range. Its seven tweeters, six microphones, and a high-excursion woofer come together to deliver high-fidelity sound that’s tailored to your room. This creates ‘an all-encompassing sense of space — and consistent, high-fidelity audio everywhere in the room.'

David Pogue review the HomePod. He notes that it’s has better sound than all of its competitors. `In a devastatingly effective demo, Apple lines up four of these things: The Google Home Max ($400), Sonos One ($200), Amazon Echo ($100), and the HomePod. They’re volume-matched and rigged to an A/B/C/D switch, so a single song can hop from one to the other. (Apple even installed a halo backlight behind each speaker that illuminated to show you which one was playing.) The HomePod sounded the best. Its bass, in particular, was amazing: full and deep, but also distinct and never muddy — you could hear the actual pitch of the bass notes, not just the thud. That, unsurprisingly, is where other small speakers have trouble.’

Apple's iPhone X Guided Tour:

Apple’s Phil Schiller says an iPad Pro can both supplement or replace a Mac, depending on the use case.

iOS apps & widgets

Restaurant apps: a list of apps to help you find good restaurants, at home and while traveling.

Yes, it’s February. Here are apps to help you keep your New Year's resolutions.

tips & tricks

There are many ways to make your iPhone become quieter (or silent), depending on what you want to do. The Difference Between iPhone's Do Not Disturb Mode and Silent Mode, by CNET.

Bryan Wolfe writes about how he plans to beat his Type 2 diabetes, using an iPhone, an Apple Watch, and his plan to stay on track.

AirPods: everything you need to know.

Tips and Tricks to get the most out of your AirPods.

Some more iPhone X tips, by Slashgear.

Switching from Android to iPhone: What you need to do and prepare.

gadgets & accessories

Do you need a longer and tougher cable for your iPhone or iPad? Cables by Native Union are very well designed, strong, and last longer han Apple’s.

Canopy is a slender case for your Apple Magic Keyboard that folds open to create a stand for your iPad or iPhone. If you want a full size keyboard wth your mobile devices, this is an excellent option.

AirPods review, by iMore. Comprehensive.

For Apple Earpods or Airpods, consider accessorizing them with EarSkinz. Olga depends on these tiny gadgets to make AirPods stay put.

Moment gear for iPhone 7 and 8.

Aurora by Nanoleaf is a modular LED-based lighting system. Here is a brief overview vi 9to5mac:

Apple has a dedicated page on HomeKit accessories, gadgets that support HomeKit security and privacy, according to Apple's standards.

Learn more about HomeKit.


Apple has snagged First Deal with Major French Bank, reports Yahoo. Retail bank Société Générale said it will offer its customers Apple Pay soon. The decision comes about one year after Apple brought its Apple Pay to France.

Reminder: iOS now includes Apple Pay Cash via iMessage.

Learn all about Apple Pay Cash announcement, by Apple.

Here is an overview of Apple Pay, including Apple Pay Cash.

How to send and receive money, using iMessages, an overview by iMore.

privacy & security

Apple has a new Privacy webpage, stating that for Apple, privacy is a fundamental human right.

What Are Your Rights if Border Agents Want to Search Your Phone? The NY Times reports.

Your Roomba May be Mapping Your Home and collecting data that could be shared, reports The NY Times.

A reminder: an iPhone or iPad user can be compelled by police to use Touch ID to unlock their device. However, a user cannot be compelled to use their passcode. iOS 11 is enhanced to take advantage of this distinction, reports John Gruber.

More specifically, iOS 11 new SOS feature allows you to temporarily disable Touch ID and require a passcode, reports John Gruber. This can be done by pressing the sleep/wake button 5 times in rapid succession. This can be done discreetly, without even having to take your iPhone out of your pocket.

general news and crossover

Google as tried to imitate Apple's AirPods. Google's Pixel Buds are not even close to being good, says Gizmodo.

Time Magazine's Best inventions from 2017 include the iPhone X.

general apps & services

Dropbox has eliminated their Public folder function. They now offer different ways to share folders and collaborate with others.

For general purpose web hosting, SiteGround.com offers reasonable prices, fast access and good support. Our iPUG website is now hosted by SiteGround.

Traveling abroad and want to access your Netflix account to stream videos? Consider GetFlix to let you bypass the geo-block.