February 2022

Jan 9, 2007

Here is Steve Jobs in his keynote intro to the iPhone. He starts with a perspective on new technologies introduced by Apple, including the original Mac and iPods. Classic Steve Jobs at his best. January 9, 2007. (Be sure you also catch his joke at min 3:49, and his overview of the then-popular cellphone designs following the joke, before he introduces the iPhone).

iOS and Apple news

iOS 15.3 was just released: it contains several fixes: for Safari, HomeKit, and more.

Apple spotlights Black voices during Black History Month.

[ RUMOR ] Apple Rumored to Launch New iPhone SE in Upcoming Event. reports Yahoo. Possibly in March or April. This would be consistent with some previous years.

Apple has been granted a patent for Tunable and Foveated Lens Systems, reports PatentlyApple. `the lens system could accommodate multiple users with varying vision impairments such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, higher-order aberrations, and/or other vision defects [ . . . ] the lenses may be adjustable to accommodate users with different vision defects and/or to accommodate different focal ranges.'

Apple also won patent on An Apple Store Product Table Security System, reports PatentlyApple.

Apple Maps erects gigantic digital wall to hide Tim Cook’s house. This happened `after Apple received temporary restraining order against an alleged stalker, who claimed to be Cook’s wife, threatened the Apple boss and was caught trespassing on his property.'

photography & video

The annual iPhone Photography Awards competition is open again for 2022. This is a juried worldwide competition. The winning entries are high quality photos that can easily be published in art magazines. The deadline is March 31, 2022.

Apple also just kicked off a photography contest, specifically for iPhone 13 Macro: Share your best iPhone macro photos for Apple’s Shot on iPhone Challenge. ` The challenge starts today and runs through February 16, 2022. Winners will be announced in April.'

the WORDLE craze

WORDLE Is a Love Story, reports the NY Times. It's a word puzzle app that has taken the world by storm.

The original and official Wordle app is web-based and entirely free. You can save it as a bookmark on your homescreen and it acts like an app.

Wordle is addictive but you are limited to one play per day.

However, many apps suddenly appeared in the app store that are developed by people unrelated to the original inventor and creator. Some developers who are unrelated to the original creator started to charge money, taking advantage of the game's immense popularity. User beware. Stay away from such apps.

There are also Wordle-like apps that are free that are poorly coded. Some can use up CPU cycles and battery life that can make your iPhone need charging in the middle of the day.

The app PuzzWord is free and does not eat up your battery. It's essentially identical to Wordle but it doesn't pace you, so you can become completely addicted and play non-stop. It may be wiser to use the original Wordle app.

Meanwhile, many people post their daily solutions on Twitter. Also, they discuss Wordle strategy. An example (including the replies):

As of yesterday, Jan 31:

apps and demos

AnyList continues to be one of the best list-making apps for iOS, especially for shopping. Their recent update offers the option of doing online shopping directly from your shopping list. Olga did a live demo with AnyList and Instacart for online groceries shopping and delivery.

Delicious Library is a macOS application that lets you catalogue all your books quickly and easily. It got an Apple design Award many years ago. There is a companion iOS app that lets you scan the book barcodes so you do not have to enter anything manually (although you may do so). You can scan several books in seconds.

Olga gave a demo of Delicious Library and also showed Bookpedia which is another app for cataloguing books. However, the iOS companion app for Delicious Library is far superior.

One of the new features that Apple's Notes app offers is `Quick notes' for iPadOS. Additionally, a Quick note can grab links from other apps and place them easily in the note. You can find all these inside the folder Quick Notes in Notes and it syncs across all your devices via iCloud. This combination of Quick notes features makes Notes quite powerful. Olga gave a demo.

iFontMaker is an app for iPads. It lets you create your own fonts. You can use it to turn your own natural handwriting into a font, or to create a fun calligraphy font, or anything else you like. You can use these fonts by installing them on your iPad or iPhone or on your Mac to use them in many applications. For example, to create a card or a `handwritten' note, a special poster for a party, a brochure that you want to personalize, and so on. You can also share your fonts with others and even license them and make them public. Olga gave a demo of iFontMaker.

Literature Clock tells you the time by making references to literature. It's a web-based service and you can save it on your iPhone or iPad as a homescreen bookmark, to make it look like an app.


The new HBO show The Gilded Age is getting a lot of attention. The Official Gilded Age podcast goes beyond the show. `Join TCM’s Alicia Malone and Tom Meyers from The Bowery Boys on HBO’s official Gilded Age podcast. After each episode, they discuss what happened on screen and the real people, places and events featured on the show. Each week they’re joined by some of the cast and crew who bring the show to life, sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and fun-filled history.' 

tips & tricks

In case you have not noticed this on the iOS Weather app:

and a similar concept on the watch:

A good reminder: Apple iOS privacy settings to change now. Apple gives good controls, and it's a good idea to review them and use them.

Sometimes the Apple pencil needs help: Here is how to fix it, by iMore.

Olga uses the same Apple Pencil 2 with an iPad Pro and an iPad Mini. The pencil needs to be paired with one iPad at a time. When switching iPad, the re-pairing process requires a a few seconds of contact, attaching the pencil onto the iPad as if you are charging it. Olga reports that leaving it for a few extra seconds after the automatic popup message goes away is a good idea.

How to Use Focus Mode on iOS 15.

gadgets & accessories

Snap-on Phone Stand & Wallet is a smart and very compact wallet and stand combination for your iPhone.


WatchOS 8.3 has been released which contains a fix for some chargers not working properly.

As part of Apple's celebration of Back History Month, the 2022 Unity watch face is available. Last year's version is also available.

The new Unity Braided Solo Loop is now available.

Petra told us she got this bandfor her watch. It's a solo loop but it's adjustable.

Remember the woven watch bands Apple made a few years ago? Olga found decent imitations of them on eBay such as these.

GroupGreeting brings you the ability to create a card from a group of people in an easy manner, exactly like you would pass around a physical card for many people to sign. This works well when the group is dispersed, such as an extended family around the country, or a team of co-workers across different geographies.

The Emoji to Scale site shows you emoji in proper scale. Great fun.

next meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be on March 1, 2022.