July 2023

Apple and iOS news

Apple released a critical security update yesterday that apparently messes how some websites load... Apple says Apple has since acknowledged the issue and promises a new patch is on the way.

Mac shipments grow 10%, as all major PC brands see downturns, reports 9to5Mac.

[ RUMOR ] Bloomberg reports that Apple is working on new AirPods features. `Now, Apple is preparing to give the earbuds a fresh boost. It’s exploring major new hearing health and body-temperature features, and is planning cheaper models and a transition to USB-C charging ports. The product also will have ties to the Vision Pro headset due next year. The capabilities will come in addition to already-announced software features that were part of iOS 17, as well as plans for new AirPods Pro and Max models.' (All this is unconfirmed by Apple, of course.)

AirTags are a must-have for travel, and not only for finding lost luggage, writes Mac9to5.

The new Macbook Air 15'' is out. Jason Snell reviews it: 15-inch MacBook Air review: Sometimes bigger is better.

Apple spotlights new immersive AR experience that brings student creativity to life. `Australian artists create a new immersive educational experience, inspiring global co-creation and connection to the environment, powered by iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, announced Apple. `For us, AR is a powerful artistic medium for storytelling because it is immersive and multisensory. The power of the M2 chip on iPad Pro has made it possible to create a work that enables children from across the globe to imagine new worlds together in real time,' says Tin Nguyen, artist at Tin&Ed.

Apple showcases a Mexican movie short that was shot entirely in iPhone 14 Pro: `Lucha Libre legend Huracán Ramírez is back to face a terrible threat— an evil piñata that is terrorizing all of Mexico.'

And here is the Making of the movie above. Apple writes: `With Huracán Ramírez vs. La Piñata Enchilada, acclaimed director couple Tania Verduzco and Adrián Pérez, known as “Los Pérez”, set out to modernize the Mexican wrestler movie genre with an action-packed film that can only be shot on iPhone. See how Los Pérez and the film crew used the incredible camera, power and endurance of the iPhone 14 Pro to create a movie filled with action, horror, and suspense, featuring Mexico’s beloved superheroes.'


As you may recall, earlier this year, GM announced that future EV cars will NOT support Apple's CarPlay. Detroit Free Press reports that GM dealers are not happy about this.

Porsche unveils revamped CarPlay experience with climate controls and more. `Porsche becomes the first car maker to integrate vehicle functions within an app in Apple CarPlay® to create an innovative, personalized user experience.'

Some of the best CarPlay app for EV's, compiled by 9to5Mac.

Apple Vision Pro

Harry macCracken, editor of Fast Company, comments on the price:

Apple has been peppering features with Augmented Reality in many of its products the past few years. Looking back now, they were partial features and previews of Apple Vision Pro. This short video clip posted by John Gruber shows him interviewing Apple execs in 2018. There is a slight hint (if we can even call it that) about something else with AR that Apple might have been working on...

These gestures Are How You Control Apple Vision Pro.

[ RUMOR ] Vision Pro performance hinges on R1 chip with custom RAM, reports 9to5Mac, based on a report by Korean Herald. Low latency is critical in mixed reality headsets, to avoid any sense of dizziness, and to improve the blending of the virtual and physical realities.

[ RUMOR ] Bloomberg reports that Apple Plans a Slow, Appointment-Only Rollout of Vision Pro.

iOS 17 (beta)

Apple's list of iOS 17 highlights.

As the beta version of iOS 17 is out, more features are being discussed:

iOS 17 automatically removes tracking parameters from links you click on. `Link Tracking Protection is a new feature automatically activated in Mail, Messages, and Safari in Private Browsing mode. It detects user-identifiable tracking parameters in link URLs, and automatically removes them. Adding tracking parameters to links is one way advertisers and analytics firms try to track user activity across websites. '

iOS 17 beta 3 adds new voice options to Siri in German.


Apple makes use of computational photography to improve a photo taken by an iPhone or iPad. Some other companies apply a similar approach, with varying degrees of success. However, Samsung has taken this in a very different direction:

Samsung device takes fake moon photos, writes user... on Reddit. In a nutshell, Samsung uses AI to recognize when a user photographs the moon and replaces the user's photo with another photo of the moon that is higher res and has more detail! In other words, it does not improve the user's photo, it replaces the user's photo. Read his post that offers a lot of careful experiments to prove his allegations.

Olga reported noticing that the `Featured Photo' option in iOS Photos often chooses photos of what she's missing while traveling, e.g. Tucson and her dogs are featured. And vice versa: after I returning home from a trip, the Featured photos show travel highlights. Apple's algorithms are sophisticated.

iOS apps

Flighty is `Elegantly designed and packed with power, Flighty is the first-class flight tracker for those on the move. Olga has been testing the past month and recommends it. It's probably the best flight tracker and much more. With summer travel season in full swing, this is the app to use. There is a free version that works indefinitely and they offer a trial of the paid version, also.

In our previous iPUG meeting, Lee mentioned What's covered, Official Medicare coverage app.

Yuka ` deciphers product labels and analyzes the health impact of food products and cosmetics.'

In our previous iPUG meeting, Ed spoke highly of MyNetDiary.

Remind me Faster is an iOS app that lets you create a new Reminder quickly without excess taps and clicks. It works very well. If you use the native Apple Reminders app, consider using this one.

Timing is an app that aims to modernize and simplify how we manage our Calendar, Reminders. It works with the existing iOS calendar and Reminders data, but presents a unified view that synthesizes the info with a goal of improving your organization and planning.

In case you missed these last month, it's worth looking at them: Apple announced the winners of the 2023 Design Awards.

2023 Apple design Award winners and the finalists. The Apple Design Awards honor excellence in innovation, ingenuity, and technical achievement in app and game design.

TripIt won a 2023 Webby Award in the Apps for Travel category. It's an excellent app & service, available in free and paid versions.

Also, take a look at all the travel app Webby Award nominees and winners, including Apple's Wallet app (winner).

notes apps

It appears that Evernote is struggling:

Nearly all of Evernote’s remaining staff has been laid off, according to a poster on Ycombinator's Hacker News. He writes: `Its acquirer (Bending Spoons) has taken over operations. They’ve also hiked subscriptions prices and told customers they intend to use new revenues to pay for new features. How they intend to do that without any staff is something I would like to know about. If you’re still using Evernote, probably a good time to stop.' (Note: this has not been published or verified by reporters. )

If you are a current Evernote user, consider other options. There are several options. Two to consider: Apple Notes, the native apple notes app. It has been getting more more powerful, quietly. And consider Bear, an excellent 3rd party app that has a devoted Dev team and a longterm vision. Bear offers migration from Evernote. Bear offers a free version as well as a paid version with a free trial.

In fact, coincidentally, Bear v2.0 was just released today. This is a significant update to the app. Olga recommends Bear enthusiastically. It has been her primary notes app since 2016, after switching away from Evernote.

Bear 2.0 Video from Shiny Frog on Vimeo.

The Verge just published a review of Bear 2.0, saying `Bear has long been one of the best note-taking apps for Apple devices. The new version took more than five years to get right, but it was worth the wait.'

iOS Maps

Roger S. is pointing us to this video, a full tutorial for a Maps for iPhone as it is today (iOS 16) plus at the end, a short preview of Map features with iOS 17. This is well worth watching, you will likely pick up some good tips even if you've been using Maps for a while.

Twitter & peeps

Are you looking for Twitter alternatives? Walt Mossberg has captured the primary list above.

Joann Stern discusses the new Threads app by Meta (integrating Instagram and Facebook):

Threads hits 100 million users in just 5 days, toppling record set by ChatGPT, reports 9to5Mac.

tips & tricks

Olga told us about helping a friend migrate from Android to iPhone. Here's Apple's How To:

From Apple Support, 3 useful tips for email on iOS:

Do you sometimes wish you could operate your iPhone with one hand? If so, you need to enable Reachability (got to Settings > Accessibility > Touch ). Then do this:

gadgets & accessories

If you are considering a used Apple product, don't forget about the Apple Refurbished Store. Olga recently bought an older iPad Mini for FaceTime calls with her mom and this was an excellent experience.

This inexpensive microscope but award winning and portable. It is intended for kids and anyone curious to magnify tiny things. It comes with a small adapter that lets you attach your iPhone camera to snap photos.

and these gadgets from our previous iPUG meeting, since we ran out of time:

First Third-Party Headbands for Apple Vision Pro Offer Leather Finishes and Multiple Color Options.

Parrot Pro: The Ultimate On-the-Go Smartphone Teleprompter, on Kickstarter. Smart idea.

Prime Day deals

Today & tomorrow, July 11-12, 2023, is Amazon Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day: Apple iPads Get New Record Low Prices, Starting at Just $249.99.

Amazon Prime Day: iPad Mini Hits New Record Low Price at $379.99

The Best Apple Deals Under $100 for Prime Day, by Macrumors.

A list of Best Apple Prime Day 2023 deals: M2 MacBook Air $949, Apple Watch Series 8 $280, and more, by 9to5mac.

Shane Whatley has gathered deals on products that support Apple Home. See his video and/or his full list (linked below his video by following the video on Youtube).

Arlo Essential Wired Doorbell is also on sale for Prime Day (67% off at $49).

The Wirecutter, by the NY Times, writes: `The Arlo Essential Video Doorbell Wired is our top pick because—along with its great hardware and fast response times—it can accurately distinguish among people, animals, vehicles, or packages. This means it also keeps false alerts (a problem with many other models) to a minimum. For that advanced sensing and the ability to capture video clips up to five minutes long, you need a $4-per-month Arlo Secure subscription (which is going up to $5 per month starting in February 2023). But we find these features to be essential, and the price is fair (otherwise you’re restricted to motion/bell alerts and live video streaming). The Arlo doorbell camera also captures crisp video, with a 1536×1536 resolution and a wide, 180-degree viewing angle in a square format; this provides a comprehensive vertical and horizontal view of what’s going on in front of your door, whether it’s deliveries or visiting raccoons.'


A new promotion for new users of Apple card, who open an account by July 25, can earn 10% total Daily Cash back on App Store and more during the first 6 months, up to $100 Daily Cash.

With iOS 17, Apple Pay will offer recurring payments options.


An early look at the new watchOS 10, currently in beta. AppleTrack shows us a live demo of the improvements, saying `Apple's biggest software release of the year is the all-new watchOS 10 which has been redesigned for the first time ever! It's really great and I'm super happy that Apple took it in this direction. ' Take a look:

Taylor Carrigan, Human Interface Designer at Apple, tweeted:

watchOS 10 Will be Compatible With watchOS Series 4 and Later, iPhone XS/XR or Later Also Required.

general apps & services

This new Tucson mural comes to life with augmented reality. Go see the mural up close and use your iPhone. The mural is located on the side wall of Seven Cups Fine Chinese Teas, at 2510 E. Fort Lowell Road (Ft Lowell & Tucson Blvd).

next iPUG meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be on Tuesday, August 1, at 7 pm AZ time.