March 2019

iOS and Apple news

Bloomberg reports: Cook said the iPhone maker is `planting seeds’ and `rolling the dice’ on future products that will just `blow you away.’ The article continues, `He said eventually the goal is to lower the price on the $1,200 MacBook Air laptop with a higher-resolution screen and said there’s a ‘long, great roadmap of fantastic’ products related to the Apple Watch and AirPods. He indicated that more health features would come to the smartwatch.’

Apple Plans News Event For March 25, reports Buzzfeed. It is expected that Apple will show off a long-rumored news subscription service.

[ RUMOR ] A new, reportedly 10.2-inch 7th-generation iPad non-Pro is coming, as soon as this springAn overview of expectations and rumors, by iMore.

NPR reports on Storing Health Records On Your iPhone. Tim Cook in this interview, remarks on Health Records Privacy: 'People Will Look at This and Feel That They Can Trust Apple'.

Apple recently hired a prominent obstetrician, signaling interest in women's health, reports CNBC.

Veterans can view health records on their iPhones starting this summer. Apple has partnered with the the U.S. Veteran’s Administration to offer patients the ability to have their health records in their pockets.

Apple acquires patent portofolio of smart home security startup Lighthouse AI.

IDC: Apple continues to lead wearable space, 10.4 million Apple Watches sold in Q4 2018.

Apple Music appears ready to launch on Google speakers, reports CNBC.

Another view of the Apple Campus:

iOS 12.2 beta has been released to developers. Apple Insider takes a look and provides a preview:

Why iPhones are the future of pet care: a look at the rapidly growing pet tech industry, by Computerworld. `The smart pet market is predicted to become a $22 billion industry by 2025, and the innovations we will see in that market will reach into human lives.'

Homepod long term review: What I like -- and don't -- about Apple's first smart speaker. He concludes, ` I'm sold on streaming music after using it for almost a year. Long ago I was a DJ at a Silicon Valley radio station with a 5,000 LP music collection. We thought that was enormous, and, back in the day, it was. But today's streaming services dwarf that, and I love it. The stripped down esthetic of the HomePods, the overall ease of use, the excellent sound quality, and -- on sale -- cost makes me glad I bought them. I can't say that about every tech purchase. If you have an iOS device and love music, I recommend them.’

Apple to contribute to teen's education for spotting FaceTime bug, reports Reuters.

Apple Swift Lead Discusses Swift 5 in New Podcast, reports Macrumors.

Oprah Winfrey hires Terry Wood from Netflix to head up Apple’s original content production, reports Hollywood Reporter. `Oprah Winfrey has found her point person for all things Apple. Taking on a new position, one that will oversee production of original content for the multi-year partnership between Winfrey and Apple, Terry Wood has been named executive vice president of Winfrey’s Harpo Productions.''

As Apple continues to improve its Maps services, Apple Maps Vehicles to Begin Surveying Final U.S. States, reports Macrumors.

photography & film

Behind the Mac creator celebrates his literary icon: Barry Jenkins on James Baldwin, Filming Black Skin and Filmmaking in the iPhone Era.

Photographer Dina Alfaski featured in Moment Lens blog.: `Dina’s recent work studies the depth of human complexity through photographing strangers on her daily commute.’

10 pics from acclaimed Israeli commuter photographer: Dina Alfasi featured in article about her photography.

The International iPhone Photography Awards is seeking submissions for 2019. The deadline is March 31, 2019.

Photographers around the world shared their best iPhone photos for the Shot on iPhone Challenge. The 10 selected winners will be featured on billboards in various cities, in Apple stores, and also online. The winning shots came iPhone XS Max to iPhone 7. Apple reveals winners of `Shot on iPhone’ challenge.

iOS apps

Augmented Reality Living Wine Labels app lets you `watch and hear’ historical prisoners talk about their story. `Discover augmented reality experiences from 19 Crimes, and many more of your favourite wines. From swirling vortexes to grim confessions; the app helps you learn the story behind every bottle.' Thanks to Marlene and Bob who brought us a bottle of red wine.

If you are interested in text editor apps for iPhone or iPad, whether for writing notes, longer text (an article? a book?), or even for programming, the very best resource is Brett Terpstra's extensive list of editors. More than you ever wanted to know. Bookmark it. Contribute to it, if you know some other editors not already listed. Olga wishes Apple Watch options were addressed in the comparisons.

How to see your true cellular signal strength with the iPhone Field Test app, reports Macworld. `If you really want to know how strong your cell signal is, you need to look at a direct measurement of the signal strength, as measured in decibels (dB). Fortunately, there’s a hidden “Field Test” menu on your iPhone to do just that.’

Halide Devs Launch New 'Spectre' App for Capturing Long Exposure Photos, reports Macrumors.

privacy & security

Apps Give Private Data To Facebook Without User's Knowledge or Permission, reports NPR.

New York investigating at least eleven iOS apps for transmitting personal data to Facebook, including ‘sexual activity’, reports the WSJ. `A New York regulator is ramping up a promised investigation of how Facebook Inc. gathered sensitive personal information from popular smartphone applications, after a report by The Wall Street Journal revealed that some apps were sending the social-media giant data, including users’ body weight and menstrual cycles,’ Sam Schechner reports for The Wall Street Journal. `“`The state’s Department of Financial Services on Wednesday sent a series of letters seeking information and documents from Facebook and the developers behind the at least 11 apps mentioned in the Journal’s reporting, according to a person familiar with the investigation.'

Apple has been a leader among tech companies in protecting the right to privacy as a `human right.’ Apple has registered the domain name, according to a WHOIS record, discovered by MacRumors.

Microsoft CEO supports Apple on privacy. `Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella seems to agree with Apple CEO Tim Cook when it comes to privacy, calling this a ``fundamental human right’’.‘

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Encryption: We Can't Have an 'Entirely Unfettered Space Beyond the Reach of Law Enforcement', reports Macrumors.

tips & tricks

Here are some 7 very handy tips for your Mac, including one that combines Mac and iPhone.

Olga shared a battery tip for iOS devices: it’s OK to leave them plugged in overnight. Devices charge fast up to 80% and then they are throttled.

However, it’s not recommended to leave iPhones and iPads plugged in while you do something that would ordinarily drain the battery faster -- such as to play CPU-intensive games. In that case, it’s best to play, let the battery drain, and charge them again. Letting a device’s battery go through entire cycles is better. This is a tip from Apple’s Genius Bar. Apparently they see kids’ iPhones batteries die faster this way because kids often leave them plugged in while they play games.

Take a look and bookmark Shortcuts at a Glance, by Apple. It’s A how-to for using the Shortcuts app.

AirPods: The Complete Guide to Apple's Wireless Earphones, by Macrumors.

gadgets & accessories

Selfie Cork started out as a Kickstarter project and now it’s a full product. Use it to take group photos with friends and family. The smallest tripod possible.

For a more versatile tripod, the Pedco UltraPod II is tiny, foldable, but also very sturdy, holding a heavy DSLR camera or an iPhone.

Glif `holds your smartphone securely in portrait or landscape with a quick release lever, and includes three tripod mounts'.

YAMAZAKI home Tower is a stand for your iPhone or iPad in the kitchen, to help you read recipes, plus it works as a ladle and cover stand.

Hands on with Philips Hue Outdoor Sensor, by 9to5Mac.

Casper's Easy-to-Use Glow Light Promises to Improve Your Sleep, reports Macrumors.

EarBuddyz Ultra Ear Hooks and Covers for Apple AirPods and EarPods , now Featuring Bass Enhancement Technology (Medium, White). Olga has the previous version (without the bass enhancement) and recommends them highly, if your ears are smaller than average and/or you need to secure AirPods better.


Apple Pay expands to 40 more banks following Saudi Arabia and Czech Republic launch

The Adidas app is available on iTunes. Apple has teamed with Adidas, to offer 15% off Adidas products when you use Apple Pay. The offer is valid when you use Apple Pay in the Adidas app through March 6th.


New exclusive Apple Watch Hermes faces coming in watchOS 5.2.

Another life saved by Apple Watch, reported ABCNews.

Stolen Apple Watch helps victim track suspects to California Walmart, cops say, reports the Sacramento Bee.

Wristwatch heart monitors might save your life—and change medicine, too, writes Dan Hon for MIT Technology Review. He has type-2 diabetes and discusses how he uses an Apple Watch to monitor his health and exercise. He writes, `It begins seven years ago, when my doctor asks me whether I want to lose my foot. I say to him: No, I do not want to lose my foot. ‘Good,’ he says back: Monitor your blood sugar, keep it down, and we can manage this disease.`

Hon continues: `Gathering this new information requires a patchwork of services, so I approach it like an engineer. I track steps using wearable devices from Fitbit and Nike, and apps like Moves. I watch for high blood pressure with a Withings smart monitor. The data is stored alongside my weight, body fat percentage, and body mass index, all measured with a smart scale. And all the time there’s my blood glucose, measured six times a day, before and after each meal,” Hon writes. “I export the data as CSVs and view it in hand-crafted graphs and dashboards. My ad hoc monitoring system makes me an early adopter, a bona fide member of the quantified-self movement.`

Hon concludes: `Seven years later, though, my fringe obsession has become mainstream. My cobbled-together system has been replaced by Apple’s shiny Health app, and I get prompted to exercise by a wearable that is more powerful than my first laptop. And my watch can even monitor my heart. Seven years ago I started tracking my blood sugar because I didn’t want to lose a foot. Now, after a month of using the Series 4 Apple Watch, I’m reminded what data can mean for my heart and, by extension, my mind.`