January 2020

happy 2020

Happy 2020 to all. Start the new year with something inspirational. Shot on an iPhone. Drone shots over the Ohio River, near Brandenburg, KY. Video via tweet:

And here is the direct link to YouTube:

Apple and iOS news

Apple Sweeps Device Sales During Key U.S. Holiday Week, reports Flurry.

Apple launches Apple Music web player for everyone, reports iMore.

iPhones running iOS 13 have the option to be in Dark or Light mode. You can save battery usage by using dark mode:

Apple Plans to Switch to Randomized Serial Numbers for Future Products Starting in Late 2020, reports Macrumors.

Apple Card users can now finance iPhone purchases for 24 months, interest-free, reports TechCrunch.

The augmented reality app helping veterans manage anxiety

iOS 13

A milestone: Earthquake early warning system sends first public alert to smartphones in California, reports the LA Times. `In a milestone, California’s new statewide earthquake early warning smartphone app sent out its first public alert for a magnitude 4.3 earthquake that occurred Tuesday in the mountains between the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley.' And: `The MyShake app relies on earthquake information calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey’s backbone ShakeAlert system, which gathers earthquake sensing data from a network of hundreds of ground sensors throughout the West Coast. Such systems can work particularly well in strong earthquakes, providing seconds of alert that allow dentists to remove drills from mouths, elevators to let passengers off and allow people to drop, cover and hold on before strong shaking hits.'

Apple granted patent for an automotive floor, reports AppleWorld. `In the patent info, the tech giant says “it would be advantageous to provide a floor structure” for an automobile that distributes forces from outboard impacts and/or minimizes a height thereof to maximize space for other uses (e.g., battery storage).'

Apple patent application reveals self-tightening Apple Watch band with health sensors. In the patent filing, Apple notes that the watchband could sport an `air bladder', processing unit and a health sensor included in a housing, a band operable to couple the housing to a body part of a user, and a tightness sensor coupled to the band. The tightness sensor and health sensor could work in tandem to monitoring changes in the tightness of the band, adjust tightness, and measure various health/fitness metics.

Today, Alpine revealed new ‘Halo’ CarPlay receiver with iPad-sized 11-inch display. The iLX-F411 debuted today during the 2020 International CES, this week. The new iLX-F411 Alpine Halo Mech-Less (no CD/DVD) Audio/Video Receiver features the same “hovering” screen platform as its predecessors while boasting a larger, 11-inch touchscreen – 49 percent more surface area than the 9-inch.

AirPods Pro

Are iPods waterproof? They are water-resistant writes iMore and gives us all the details.

But if you really want to see the tests, take a look at this extensive evaluation!

Apple Now Allowing AirPods Charging Cases to Be Engraved With Emojis, reports Macrumors.

photography & film

Shot on an iPhone: Everything you see in this video was shot using the new iPhone 11 Pro. Our sister channel CNET challenged us to shoot an entire film using only an iPhone 11 Pro. We reviewed the Bullitt Mustang (the special edition of the Mustang GT) and tried to get as close to the quality of our regular Carfection films as possible.'

iOS apps

Helium AR is the app mentioned in the News section above, that helps veterans with anxiety, via guided meditation.

Here is the app mentioned in the news section above:MyShake. The MyShake app -- developed by the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab, sponsored by the State of California Office of Emergency Services -- is the first app to provide statewide earthquake early warning alerts. The app is one of the delivery modes of the California Earthquake Early Warning System.

Flow, by Moleskine is a note-taking and drawing / sketching / doodling app. Made by Moleskine, the well-known notebooks. It got an was recognized by Apple as the iPad app of the year (2019).

For all nature lovers: The Explorers (app store link) and The Explorers (overview) is described as: `the best app to explore and share our Earth wonders’ to the Earth inventory of photos and videos. Photographers or videographers, amateurs or professionals, scientists, associations, artists and citizens of the world: join The Explorers community! Share your best photos and videos for free and free of advertising, and join a human adventure at the service of Nature!' It's available for all iOS devices and won app of the year (2019) for AppleTV.

If you want a different look when you photograph scenery, consider long exposures to capture the movement of water or the trails of car taillights in the highway. Spectre camera is an app that is designed for this purpose and uses smart technology to create the best exposures. Apple awarded it `App of the year (2019) for iPhones'.

Moment Camera Pro is a camera app for iOS that gives you more professional-style, manual controls: ISO, shutter, focus, RAW access, histograms, and much more.

As you may recall, with iOS 13, Apple re-did the reminders app from the ground up, giving it some very nice new features. However, the downside is for those who have multiple devices (Macs, iPads, iPhones, etc.) and for various reasons, not all devices can upgrade to the latest version of OS. In these instances, Reminders for iOS13 only syncs across devices running the latest OS versions. As a temporary workaround, Olga has been using Apple Notes with great success. She has created a single note with various Todo's (and several categories). She has pinned the note to the top, so it's always easy to access. The note syncs across all devices.

tips & tricks

For new (and seasoned) Apple Music subscribers, an overview of How to use the Music app for iPhone and iPad, by iMore.

Roger S. recommends Matthew Cassinelli's's YouTube channel for Siri Shortcut info. Some of it is from iOS 13 and some from iOS 12, but all of it is very educational.

Recall that if you want to partially share your iPad or iPhone with someone, using Kiosk Mode is an excellent option. It lets you place your device in restricted mode, where, say, you only allow someone to use Safari to surf the web, without having to give access to your personal data such as notes, photos and all your other apps. Olga continues to recommend this feature: See how to set it up.

However, on some rare occasions, Kiosk Mode can get stuck: you cannot exit to regular mode to make full use of your device. Olga discovered a nice way to get out when all else fails: Use Find My (from another device or computer) to place your stuck device in Lost Mode. Once that happens, the device is automatically locked. This also takes it out of Kiosk Mode. Problem solved. :-)

gadgets & accessories

The 10 Best gadgets of the decade: 2010-2019, by Time Magazine.

Mary Anne showed us Leonis USB-C Magnetic Charger Charging Cable , a 3rd party cable for her macBook Pro that brings back Apple’s `magsafe’ design for USB-C.

Lenses by Moment attach to an iPhone via a case that secures it.

Olga brought and showed the 58mm lens. She is currently testing it. So far, it's and excellent lens.

Moment's Slim Case is the case Olga showed us, she uses it to attach these lenses to her iPhone. Here are all their cases.

For those who want to make videos / movies, using a drone can provide a unique point of view, scenery from above. Drones for photography range from inexpensive (and toy-like) to well over $1K, even for private/hobby use. Where to start? Moment recommends the Mavic Mini as an excellent choice:


Apple Watch leads Coast Guard to rescue 2 kayakers off Ocean Park Beach, Puerto Rico. The two men rescued were reported to be tourists, who used a smart watch to relay a distress call to 911, and reported being in the water for several hours after both kayaks began taking on water and ended up sinking.

Apple watch saves Palm Beach County man’s life. He says, `So I rested and didn’t think anything of it, and later that afternoon, the watch started beeping probably about once an hour, saying, ‘You’re in A-fib,’ and I had no idea what A-fib was.' He went to the hospital, was admitted and treated.

Man's Apple watch proves he lied about anti-Semitic stabbing in West Bloomfield, reports fox5NY. `Sammitt is a former employee at Temple Kol Ami on Walnut Lake Road. West Bloomfield police say Sammitt claimed a man shouted anti-Semitic comments then stabbed him as he left work. Sammitt told police he fought the attacker off and drove himself to Henry Ford hospital. But police say his story didn’t add up, and a thorough search of the parking lot found no evidence. That’s when they analyzed Sammitt’s Apple watch and looked at his heart rate when Sammitt claimed the attack happened.'

privacy & security

We can consider our security and privacy on an individual level. This alone can be disturbing when violated, and it's very often violated in our digital lives unless we take great measures. But even worse is the aggregate use of these privacy invasions and what they can do to our society as a whole. Below are recent examples.

It Seemed Like a Popular Chat App, writes the NY Times. It’s Secretly a Spy Tool, they report. `It is billed as an easy and secure way to chat by video or text message with friends and family, even in a country that has restricted popular messaging services like WhatsApp and Skype. But the service, ToTok, is actually a spying tool, according to American officials familiar with a classified intelligence assessment and a New York Times investigation into the app and its developers. It is used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to try to track every conversation, movement, relationship, appointment, sound and image of those who install it on their phones.'

Read this author's thread on Twitter (scroll):

12 Million Phones, One dataset, Zero Privacy: the op-ed in the NY Times by the tweet-thread's author above.

Listen to Kara Swisher Interview author Shoshana Zuboff on `Surveillance capitalism is eroding democracy'.

general news and crossover

No More Phones and Other Tech Predictions for the Next Decade, writes kara Swisher: `Despair not. What’s coming in the next few years might be a lot better than you expect.'