January 2024

iOS & Apple news

Happy new year to all!

A recent interview of Tim Cook by CBS goes over Apple's and his goals, views of the business and challenges, and vision for the future. [ 13 minutes]. Take a look:

In mid-December, Apple halted sales of Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 is the US due to a patent dispute with the medical technology company Masimo regarding Apple Watch’s blood oxygen sensor technology.

At the end of December, the ban was put on pause and Apple resumed sales of the watches.

Patently Apple reports Apple scored a victory on Wednesday when a U.S. appeals court paused a government commission's import ban. This was not expected by legal analysts. "Masimo now has a big fight ahead. We expect an appeals case in January to be a big moment," said one analyst.

[ RUMOR ] Apple's departing VP of iPhone and Apple Watch Design is set to Join Jony Ive and Open Al's Sam Altman on a 2024 AI Device Project, reports PatentyApple, based on reports from Bloomberg News. ` [ . . . ] legendary designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman are enlisting Apple's VP of iPhone and Apple Watch product design, Tang Yew T., to work on a new artificial intelligence hardware project, aiming to create devices with the latest capabilities.'

Apple released a lot of products in 2023, but Broke a Tradition It Held for 12 Years, reports Macrumors.

iOS 17

iOS 17.2 has been released. Many new features are included. An overview of iOS 17.2 lists all key new features, by Macrumors.

How to access and write health data using Siri, with iOS 17.2.

The long-awaited Journal app has been released: Apple gives an overview, and Here is another overviewby Macrumors.

Journaling suggestions with iOS 17.2 might be good for some but annoying for others: how to disable journaling suggestions.

Comparing UI design of iOS Maps vs. Google maps:

iOS apps

Gatsby Gatsby is `a way to find the best TV shows and movies on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, Apple TV+ and others. You can recommend and share what you watch with your friends and get suggestions based on what you like.''

Bear has released v2.1 with a new feature. You can type Command + O for `quick open', then search for a note to find & open quickly. You can search any word, or a tag. You can also search using special terms such as: @tagged: find all the notes with tags, @files : find all the notes with files ( not images ), @images : find all the notes with images, @attachments : find all the notes with files or images, @today : find all notes modified today @yesterday find all notes modified yesterday.

Apple spotlighted the iOS apps of the year , by platform.

Here is the creator of PlayPokPok:

Here is the creator of Too Good to Go:

How to use the new Journal app:

tips & tricks

Do you have to be on the phone in a noisy environment? Remember that you can enable voice isolation when you make or take iPhone calls. Apple shows the steps to set it up.

With iOS 17, you can now have your pets recognized by the Photo app.

gadgets & accessories

This Mini Foldable Wireless Keyboard uses Bluetooth 3.0 to connect to your iPhone or iPad. Bernie told us about it.

This pocket tripod for your iPhone was selected among the best by the NY Times. It's made of carbon fiber and has the size of a credit card, and fits in your wallet. It fits any iPhone even with a case. It holds your iPhone in any orientation and lets you adjust the angle. It's good for photography, for group shots, for Zoom or FaceTime calls.

There are many LED strips in the market. The TP-Link Tapo RGBWIC Smart LED Light Strip was selected by the NY Times as one of the best. It supports HomeKit. It's 16.4Ft and the length can be trimmed. It's 1000 Lumens but dimmable. It offers many colors (16M), and can be synced to music, if you wish.


watchOS 10.2 has been released. It comes with a lot of new features, plus some features have made a comeback, such as swiping between watchfaces. In addition, the features include: Name Drop on Watch, Siri Health Data, Sleep App, Now Playing Screen, Control Center, Double lap, Weather App, Home App, Modular Ultra Face, and Medications. Stephen Robles gives a nice demo:

Are you aiming to improve your health in 2024? Here are 9 Apple Watch health features to try or revisit for a healthier 2024, reports 9to5Mac.

privacy & security

Remember a few months ago, when Joanna Stern of the WSJ reported on iPhone thieves that broke into people's bank accounts by also stealing their iPhone passcode? In many of those cases, the victims were also locked out of the iCloud/Apple account, in some cases permanently. It is an ingenious and dangerous scheme. This time, she found one of the thieves who is now convicted. He agreed to be interviewed, where he explains how he did it, in detail.

As Joanna notes, iOS 17.3 will provide an option to help reduce the likelihood of this scheme working, with a new setting: ` Stolen Device Protection' setting. This will make it much harder for thieves. But the weakest link is the human aspect: thieves can still trick you.

The article summarizes some advice:

1). Add a passcode to money apps, such as Venmo and Cash App, and make each passcode unique. 2). Delete any notes or photos that include personal information such as passwords or Social Security numbers. 3). Store that stuff in a secure note inside a third-party password manager, such as Dashlane or 1Password. 4). Create a stronger iPhone passcode, one that uses letters and numbers. 5). The most obvious is the thief's own advice: Watch your surroundings and don’t give your passcode out.

Watch Joanna's interview:

general news and crossover

Amazon Prime Video will start showing ads on January 29th, reports The Verge.. `Earlier this year, Amazon announced plans to start incorporating ads into movies and TV shows streamed from its Prime Video service. Customers have the option of paying an additional $2.99 per month to keep avoiding advertisements.'

next iPUG

Our next iPUG meeting will be on Tuesday, February 6, at 7 pm.