January 2023

iOS & Apple news

Happy New year to all! Happy 2023.

A couple in California 300-Foot Fall in their Car Into a California Canyon, reports the NY Times. Thanks to iPhone satellite emergency call feature, authorities were notified and rescued them. `Mr. Zelada looked for Ms. Fields’s cellphone and found it about 10 yards from their car, with the screen smashed. Even though there was no cell service, the phone had detected that there had been a crash, Ms. Fields said. Her iPhone 14 gave her a prompt to contact emergency services through a new feature called Emergency SOS via satellite.'

California rescuers say 'Find my iPhone' feature helped save woman after 200-ft. plummet. Apple's "Find My iPhone" feature aided in the rescue of a woman who had crashed her vehicle following a traffic collision in Southern California. `“The patient had likely been in her crashed vehicle overnight after leaving a family gathering. Family members became concerned after not speaking with her this morning and utilized Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature to track her whereabouts. Upon investigating the phone’s location they found the vehicle over the side [and] called 911,” the department said.

And another success story thanks to 'Find My': After a hotel worker allegedly stole her AirPods, woman helps Quebec police track them down.

Olga recounted a recent experience with one of her 2 AirPods Pro that fell inside a crevasse on the side of an Air Canada airplane seat. Find My was helpful in confirming while they were separated after she disembarked from the plane, and the airline was very helpful in fishing it out and bringing it to the gate of her connecting flight.

Apple has patented an Apple Pencil with Optical Sensors to sample both Color and Texture of a Surface, reports Patently Apple.

Apple released iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 in mid-December. It's a more significant update than the numbering might suggest. It includes Freeform, Apple Music Sing, and more.

Here's a very nice video overview:

iOS apps

Well, it has happened: Dark Sky has gone dark. Apple has posted: How Dark Sky users can use the Apple Weather app, with some details and how-to's. Will this satisfy some of those devoted to Dark Sky?

If not, there is an alternative to consider, offered by Carrot, a weather app we have discussed in past meetings. Carrot has won an Apple Design Award winner and Apple Watch App of the Year, in recent years. Take a look:

Apple just released their new (free) app with iOS 16.2 called Freeform. It's a white-board-style app that also enables collaboration with friends, family, or co-workers. You can do drawing, scribbling, sticky notes, embed photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. Collaboration is possible via iMessage or FaceTime.

Here's a chapterized video with 21 tis and tricks for using Freeform.


The Legacy of Steve Jobs, a podcast episode by `On with Kara Swisher.' It's recording of Kara’s September 2022 conversation with Tim Cook, Sir Jony Ive and Laurene Powell Jobs on the life and legacy of Steve Jobs. Description: `It’s one of Kara’s favorite conversations of the year, and one in which she cried (though she denies it). Kara handpicked this trio to join her for her final Code interview. Cook, the CEO of Apple, worked with Jobs for decades and succeeded him as CEO. Ive, now co-founder of the creative collective LoveFrom, collaborated with Jobs on the design many of Apple’s game-changing products, like the iPod and the iPhone. And Powell Jobs, the founder and president of Emerson Collective, was married to Jobs for 20 years. In this wide-ranging conversation, they cover design, ethics and, of course, Kara’s favorite topic: death.' 

tips & tricks

How to Disable AirDrop on iPhone & iPad. Why would you want to? Sometimes, especially in public spaces or while traveling, you might prefer to avoid receiving inbound AirDrop requests on your iPhone or iPad. Or you can set it to accept requests only from contacts.

You Can Measure a Persons Height with iPhone Camera.

Roger S. points us to `10 Uses For Your iPhone Camera Besides Taking Photos', a chapterized video demo:

gadgets & accessories

Roger S. points us to a very nice quick demo by Shane Whatley about a dead iPhone battery, and a smart lock:

If you want to watch the whole video on the Schlage Encode Plus Smart Lock, it's here:

Looking for a super minimal iPhone case? Consider the Arc Pulse

Today, GE Lighting announced that it will release its first Cync smart home accessories with support for Matter throughout 2023, starting with the Cync Full Color Direct Connect Smart Bulb and the Cync Indoor Smart Plug, reports Macrumors.

Recall that `Matter is a connectivity standard that enables smart home accessories to work together seamlessly across multiple platforms, including Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Home, and others. Apple added support for Matter on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV with iOS 16.1, iPadOS 16, and tvOS 16.1 last year, with a HomePod or Apple TV required to control Matter accessories in the Home app or with Siri,' as summarized by Macrumors.


Researchers at the University of Waterloo, Canada, find that Apple Watch sensors accurately predict stress levels. `Overall, the results presented here suggest that, with further development and refinement, Apple Watch ECG sensor data could be used to develop a stress prediction tool. A wearable device capable of continuous, real-time stress monitoring would enable individuals to respond early to changes in their mental health. Furthermore, large-scale data collection from such devices would inform public health initiatives and policies.'

The Apple Watch Just Became an Even Better Running Watch.

privacy & security

Lastpass says hackers stole customers’ password vaults. `LastPass has confirmed that cybercriminals stole its customers’ encrypted password vaults, which store its customers’ passwords and other secrets'. `LastPass said customers’ password vaults are encrypted and can only be unlocked with the customers’ master password, which is only known to the customer. But the company warned that the cybercriminals behind the intrusion “may attempt to use brute force to guess your master password and decrypt the copies of vault data they took.'

next iPUG meeting

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