March 2020

Apple and iOS news

A reminder, as this is an election year: Apple News has launched special coverage of the 2020 presidential election. Siri can now answer your election questions, reports TechCrunch. The new feature was announced last month, and it’s part of Apple News coverage for the US elections. `For example, you may ask Siri `When are the California primaries?’ or `Who’s winning the Texas primaries?’ which requires updated information.

Apple launches “She Creates” in stores around the world, commemorating International Women’s Day throughout the month of March. They offer: Special Today at Apple Series, Editorial Collections on the Apple TV App, Apple Podcasts, and Apple Books, Features on the App Store, and an Apple Watch Activity Challenge.

Apple’s Q4 iPhone unit sales grew 7.8% YOY, according to Gartner, reports MacDailyNews.

Apple seeded the fourth betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 13.4 updates to developers, reports Macrumors.

Apple revealed a New ‘CarKey’ feature in iOS 13.4 beta which brings built-in support for unlocking, driving, and sharing NFC car keys.

Might a new iPad Pro be coming soon? Limited availability of current pro models could be a hint.

[ RUMOR ] Apple Media Event Rumored for End of March, 'iPhone SE 2' Launch on April 3.

[ RUMOR ] Apple Rumored to be Working on a Smart Keyboard With Trackpad for the iPad. We will probably know within a month.

[ RUMOR ] Well, the rumors are plentiful enough that there are now iPad Pro cases. Macrumors writes about them and has reviewed them, Take a look:

[ RUMOR ] Leaked Documents Suggest Apple Could Be Forced to Build iPhones With User-Removable Batteries in Europe, reports Macrumors.

Apple has moved some AirPods, iPad and Apple Watch production from China to Taiwan, due to coronavirus limiting production in China.

Apple restricted employee travel to South Korea and Italy.

Apple Sends Care Packages to Employees Stranded in China's Wenzhou City and Hubei Province by Coronavirus

Tim Cook discussed the coronavirus impact, reports Macrumors. He says the demand for Apple products is high and he does not expect this to have longterm consequences. Take a look here.

Faces My Locked iPhone Doesn’t Recognize, humor by the New Yorker.

Apple Music Debuts Intelligent Sorting of Alternate Album Versions. `Apple Music has debuted a small, but valuable new feature that makes it easier to find the exact album version you’re looking for. As discovered by our Federico Viticci, when alternate album versions are available, they’re now listed in a dedicated Other Versions section underneath an album’s track list', reports Macstories.

photography & video

Apple reveals the best Night mode photos shot on iPhone.

Lady Gaga's latest video, “Stupid Love” was shot on iPhone 11 Pro:

Recall also that Selena Gomez released a music video shot on iPhone 11 Pro in October:

iOS apps

Roger told us about Lively, an app that lets you create a GIF and Movie from Live Photos.. You can share them via text message or or social media.

Bob told us about using Miniwiki on his (shiny and new!) Apple Watch which brings all of Wikipedia to the watch. Here is an Overview of Miniwiki, by AppAdvice.

RTRO is a new photo app from the pople who make Moment lenses. It gives easy options to make make your photos have a retro look.

The popular app Streaks is now available for macOS.

AutoWake is a haptic smart alarm for your Watch. `It can wake you up by tapping you on your wrist using your Watch's haptic engine. You can set it to wake you if you are in light or medium sleep either 15 or 30 minutes before your set alarm time.'

TotTot is a new text editor. It's for editor for Mac, iPhone, and iPad, focused on ease of use, reports 9to5Mac.

tips & tricks

One very nice feature of iOS is to convert a webpage into a PDF. With iOS 13, it’s even better than before, but invoking it has changed. Here is How to Save or Share a Safari Web Page as a PDF in iOS 13.

If you accidentally deleted a calendar entry, here is How to restore Calendars & Reminders from iCloud.

In case you get a used iPhone that is GSM-locked to some carrier, one excellent choice for unlocking it is via Dr Unlock. There are many unreliable services out there. This one has excellent reviews from thousands of users. Olga tried it recently and recommends it.

gadgets & accessories

Last month’s iPUG meeting itemized many new home security cameras that not only offer an iPhone app but also support HomeKit. If you are considering a home security camera in general, you might also consider Home Security Cameras, by Glenn Fleishman, just published as an e-book by Take Control Books. ` guides you through the many decisions about quality, features, privacy, and security that will help you find just what you want.’

Set to launch later this year: affordable HomeKit Secure Video camera Aqara G2H . The release has been delayed due to corona virus but is still on track for later in 2020. `It is designed to address the main security weakness with most of today’s smarter cameras. In order to do things like detect people and recognize faces, most cameras upload your video stream to the cloud and carry out the analysis there. That means that unencrypted video is stored on someone else’s server, representing a tasty target for hackers. With HSV, all of the people, animal, and vehicle detection is performed locally, on your own iPad, HomePod or Apple TV, and only encrypted video is sent to Apple’s cloud servers', reports 9to5Mac.

Amazon-acquired Eero routers get updated with Apple’s HomeKit support, reports The Verge.

Here is a review of Moment's macro lens for iPhones.


Apple Card Monthly Installments: How the Interest-Free iPhone Financing Plan Works. The new Monthly Installments financing option allows you to purchase an iPhone with the Apple Card and pay for it over two years with no interest or fees in the United States.

Apple Pay is on pace to account for 10% of all global card transactions, reports Quartz. Recall that Apple Card builds upon Apple Pay, and incentivizes its use with Apple Card Daily Cash (up to 3%), Apple Wallet, and Apple Pay Cash.

Apple card supports exporting your monthly transactions to CSV or OFX, or PDF files.


Be sure you upgrade to watchOS 6.1.3 which fixes a critical bug. The release fixes issue that prevented the irregular heart rhythm notification from working as expected for Apple Watch owners in Iceland.

Apple and Johnson & Johnson launch ‘Heartline Study’ to see if Apple Watch can help reduce the risk of stroke, reports MacDailyNews. `The study will explore if the Heartline Study app on iPhone and heart health features on Apple Watch can improve health outcomes, including reducing the risk of stroke, with earlier detection of atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib, a common form of irregular heart rhythm, is a leading cause of stroke in the U.S.`

Apple Watch outsells the entire 152-year-old Swiss industry, according to Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics: Apple Watch dominates global smartwatch market with nearly 50% share, reports MacDailyNews.

Some nice tips for your Apple Watch settings:

privacy & security

FCC to propose $200 million fines for U.S. cellphone carriers over consumer data disclosures, reports Reuters. The carriers were selling customer location data. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to propose fining four major U.S. carriers at least $200 million in total for improperly disclosing some consumer real-time location data. `The FCC is expected to announce the proposed fines on AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Sprint Corp, and T-Mobile US Inc by Friday. Lawmakers last year expressed outrage that aggregators were able to buy user data from wireless carriers and `“`selling location-based services to a wide variety of companies' and others, including bounty hunters.''

The Dark Side of Smart Lighting: Check Point Research Shows How Business and Home Networks Can Be Hacked from a Lightbulb. New research from Check Point shows how home networks can be hacked from a lightbulb: from an unpatched Philips Hue smart bulb.

Take a look: