February 2023

current events

Apple and iOS news

The Apple.com website has been redesigned. On the desktop, there are new drop-down menus. On mobile devices, an all-in-one drop-down menu is now located on the right side of the top menu bar.

Apple announced that MLS Season Pass is now available worldwide on the Apple TV app. `Fans can enjoy a wide variety of free Major League Soccer content starting today to get ready for the 2023 season kicking off February 25.'

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. Apple announced that Apple Music launched Rihanna’s Road to Halftime ahead of Super Bowl LVII. Apple writes: `Experience Rihanna’s incredible music catalog like never before with Spatial Audio, sing along with Apple Music Sing, tune in to Apple Music Radio for expert music commentary, and don’t miss the official Apple Music Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show Press Conference on February 9 at 10 a.m. MST.'

February is Black History Month in the US. In celebration, Apple Apple released new Black Unity collection and content. This year’s Black Unity Collection includes a special-edition Apple Watch Black Unity Sport Loop, plus a new matching watch face and iPhone wallpaper with the latest iOS releases. There is much more in Apple's announcement, including AppleTV, Fitness+ and more.

Apple has been granted a patent for a plethora of future sensors that could reside anywhere underneath a display for Face or Touch ID, Gaze & Gesture Tracking+, Patently Apple reports. `According to Apple's patent, the sensors under the display that could be hidden, include those for Touch ID, sensors for measuring three-dimensional non-contact gestures (“air gestures”), pressure sensors, sensors for detecting position, orientation, and/or motion (e.g., accelerometers, magnetic sensors such as compass sensors, gyroscopes, and/or inertial measurement units that contain some or all of these sensors), health sensors and more.'

AirTag reveals airline donated couple’s lost luggage to charity without explanation, reports 9to5Mac. Ontario couple told their luggage was lost and donated to charity, but they knew where it was the whole time, reports CBC News. They were returning from their honeymoon in Greece. It took 4 months to recover it but thanks to AirTags and persistence, they did.

Roger H. points us to the article: Woman uses AirTag to track down luggage lost by United Airlines, reported by iMore.

Traveling Soon? Here’s Why You Should Buy an Apple AirTag, reports Billboard by pointing out that there are many cases of people finding lost bags.

Apple AirTag alerts Texas woman to unwanted tracking. `A woman received an alert that an AirTag was traveling with her while she was driving on Sunday in Irving, Texas, according to KXAS. She immediately drove to the nearest police department and officers were able to locate the device taped under her car within 10 minutes.'

Dog eats Apple AirTag. Once retrieved, it still works., reports the WSJ.

New iPhone crash detection feature: Drunk driver arrested after his iPhone crash detection automatically calls the cops after crash

, reports Stuff in New Zealand.

AppleTV+ announces season three renewal for “Tehran, with Emmy Award nominee Hugh Laurie set to join award-winning series.

new HomePods

Apple introduced the new HomePods.

A quick comparison of specs, my Macrumors.

The reviews have been very positive: I listened to music on the HomePod 2 and was totally blown away, writes TechRadar.com

Here is iFixIt doing their teardown:

The HomePod 2 looks very similar to the original but Apple has come up with a more repairable design. The new version does not have as much glue and it is easier to open it up.

Both HomePod mini and the new HomePod have a temperature and humidity sensor, and you can ask about the temperature and humidity in the rooms where you have placed them. You can ask `Hey Siri, what’s the temperature in the kitchen? or `Hey Siri, what’s the humidity in the living room?'

A side by siade of Gen 1 vs Gen 2.

With Matter, Apple HomePod 2 speaker aims to connect to devices no matter who makes themUSA Today reports.

HomePod 2 supports Matter.

A reminder: Set up your HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV, or iPad as a home hub

iOS apps

Google Maps on iOS to Offer Turn-by-Turn Directions in iPhone's Dynamic Island, on iPhones that have dynamic island.

Olga told us about joining a Zoom call with the co-creator of WakeOut. WakeOut has been updated to include many more exercise breaks, an interface that has search in the homescreen, and different duration options for quick activity breaks (1, 3, 5, minutes, etc.)

If you are looking for password managers, 1Password is a very good one and many Mac and iPhone users rely on it. However, they have recently changed their business model to subscription-based, have expanded to include Android and Windows, which has led them to use different technology and APIs, slowing down performance. They are also focusing more on enterprise customers. And the Safari plug-in does not work as seamlessly. These may be reasons to consider switching to Apple's own iCloud Keychain.

If you want to consider or migrate to iCloud Keychain, you are in luck. 1Password can export individual entries or the whole database in a CSV format that iCloud Keychain can read and import. Olga discussed this option.

Setup iCloud Keychain, by Apple Support.

Olga gave a demo of Amaziograph on an iPad.


Peering Into the Future with Tony Fadell is an interview of Tony Fadell by Kara Swisher. Skip the intro banter, the interview starts at min 10:37 and it's worth listening to it. From the episode description: `Kara dives into a conversation about the present and future of tech with a person who’s been around Silicon Valley for decades: engineer and designer Tony Fadell. The “father of the iPod,” as he’s known, helped bring the famous 5,000 songs to your pocket before helping design the iPhone, co-founding Nest ( selling it to Google for $3.2 billion) and writing the bestselling book, “Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making.” These days, he is bullish on climate tech and excited about the newest product he's designed: Stax, a crypto hard wallet.  Kara and Tony trade notes on Silicon Valley, including why Apple should think beyond four-wheel cars, why Google struggles to innovate (coddling employees is part of it) and how the next Fortune 500 companies will be the ones who help solve climate change."

tips & tricks

If you have misplaced your iPhone nearby, the quickest way to locate it is to use your Apple Watch to make it beep: On your Watch, swipe up to go to Control Center and tap the iPhone icon. But did you know there is another feature? You can tap and hold that same icon. This maes your iPhone beep and flash a bright light at the same time. Very handy in the dark.

A reminder that all recent models of Apple Watch have a water locking/expelling feature.

gadgets & accessories

Macworld lists some of the best USB-C hubs and adapters for Mac.


Apple Expands Testing of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Service to Retail Employees, reports Bloomberg. This is a sign that this service is probably nearing a public release.


You can watch Youtube videos on your wrist: WatchTube is a free app for your Apple watch.

privacy & security

Insurance company UnitedHealthcare announced Apple Watch Owners With UnitedHealthcare Can Earn Awards for Being Active. This also means that a user gives a lot of personal data to an insurance company.

general news and crossover

Shift Happens: a Book about keyboards. `Shift Happens tells the story of keyboards like no book ever before, covering 150 years from the early typewriters to the pixellated keyboards in our pockets.' This is available on Kickstarter.

next meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 7 pm.