March 2021

on current events

Announced today, March 2, 2021: U.S. will have enough vaccines for every adult by end of May, moving up target date, WaPo reports.

As of yesterday, March 1, 2021:

As of today, March 2, 2021:

Andy Slavitt maybe be familiar to iPUG members, as several episodes of his podcast (`In the Bubble’) were recommended last fall. Andy is on a short-term special assignment, leading the vaccine federal distribution. While he is doing this, Dr. Bob Wachter is hosting the podcast. A few days ago, Dr. Wachter interviewed Andy Slavitt about his recent work and his experiences accelerating the vaccine distribution. See link in the podcast section below.

Meanwhile, the CDC continues to advise wearing masks. They offer tips on Improve How your Mask protects you.

Researchers at the U of Wisconsin give tips on creating a badger seal, making your mask much more effective and also helping your glasses fog less.

As of today:

Glasses-Wearers Up To Three Times Less Likely To Catch Coronavirus, study suggests.

Far Away and Together: a short commentary and a meditation on our current state, during the pandemic, by Dan Rather.

Apple and iOS news

All 270 US Apple Stores are open for the first time since March 2020. More good trends!

Target to open mini Apple shops inside 17 stores in latest move to woo customers, reports CNBC. `Target is opening mini Apple shops inside 17 stores this month and plans to expand to more locations in the fall.’

iOS 14.5 is in beta currently. Beta v3 Enables 'Items' Tab in Find My to Keep Track of Beats Headphones and Third-Party Accessories, reports MacRumors.

iOS 14.5 Beta Directs 'Safe Browsing' Traffic in Safari Through Apple Server Instead of Google to Protect Personal User Data, reports Macrumors. `Apple will proxy Google's "Safe Browsing" service used in Safari through its own servers instead of relying on Google as a way to limit which personal data Google sees about users.''

First Look: 217 New Emojis in iOS 14.5.

Apple's HomePod may detect vital signs, reports appleinsider. `A HomePod could potentially help save lives without getting into contact with other people, with Apple looking into 360-degree radar systems that can detect vital signs and medical conditions of individuals.’ Here is the patent by Apple.

How Apple builds its stores, a beautiful look at their overall approach:

photography & video

In honor of February being Black History Month, Apple asked 32 of the country’s most visionary Black photographers to show their hometowns:

How to capture stunning floral photos with your iPhone 12 Pro, by Nathan Underwood of Tulipina, one of the world’s leading floral design studios. Many of his tips apply to other iPhone models.

iOS and Watch apps

In celebration of March being Women’s History Month, the App Store will feature an App of the Day and Game of the Day from a female creator during the month of March, and Apple Arcade will showcase a collection of games starring female characters. The Apple app store will offer information about female developers in exclusive interviews and curated Apps Made by Women Collection.

Muse is an app that lets you collect all the various bits of info in one virtual canvas. You can collect research notes, reading, sketches, screenshots, and bookmarks. You can also scribble and annotate freely. The main idea behind Muse is that we all think differently and we don’t start out with neatly organized text lists. The app is free to try and you can use a limited canvas. To use it without restrictions, the subscription is $100/year. Online reviews are very positive except for the price.

Puppr is an app to help you teach your dog a new trick. They offer several categories: Basics, New dog, Silly, Circus, Agility, and many more. Some are free (such as Basics), and some require payment. The training method is via positive rewards and it is nicely resented, broken down in steps with a video demo.

Bear continues to be one of the very best notes app for iOS (and macOS). They have just released an alpha version of their new editor for anyone interested in testing it.

Thinking of gardening? Consider these gardening apps, by AppAdvice.

online learning

Apple offers virtual studios and projects now till 22 April to celebrate the role of creativity in rebuilding a better world, co-created by Today at Apple and It’s Nice That. Look at the offerings and sign up. Apple has chosen some of the world’s leading artists, designers, photographers and creatives who will run virtual studios and hands-on projects. They teach new creative skills and explore how to collaborate and innovate.


Andy Slavitt interviewed by Dr. Wachter‬, just a few days ago. Dr. Bob catches up with Andy ahead of one of his White House COVID-19 press conferences to chat about what he’s been up to since temporarily leaving the show. They talk about the variants, the vaccines, and the commitment to equity. Plus, a reflection on the U.S. passing 500,000 deaths, and how that’s pushing Andy to work even harder to bring an end to the pandemic.

For a funny break, listen to Tig Notaro interview Reese Whitherspoon. `Reese Witherspoon drops in with her signature advice style: “super proper meets kinda country.” Reese and Tig advise on true love, trying to find friends, and how many gifts are too many gifts. Plus, they have some shoe recommendations for you.’

tips & tricks

How to subscribe to calendars on your iPhone or iPad, by iMore.

Here are Holiday calendars from around the world. For example, here are German public holidays, you can import into your iOS calendar by subscribing.

gadgets & accessories

Roger H. told us about his new Wristcam, a Watch band with an embedded camera.

Moment has created Magsafe mounting system and accessories for iPhone 12, taking advantage of the phone’s magnet capabilities. See the Tripod Magsafe Mount and the Car Vent Mount, for example. The Cold Shoe Mount is a super fast way to mount a light or microphone to your phone. The Wall Mount can be placed anywhere, letting you attach your iPhone anywhere.

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out, reports Macrumors.

Mary Anne told us about her new HomePod mini.


New New Apple Card Customers Can Get 6% Daily Cash on Apple Purchases in March.


On March 8, Apple Watch users can participate in the International Women’s Day Activity Challenge and earn a limited-edition award by recording any workout of 20 minutes or more.

[ RUMOR ] Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring. ETNews reports that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. [This remains to be seen... ]

Apple released watchOS 7.3.1, with a fix for an issue that prevented some Apple Watch Series 5 and SE models from charging after entering Power Reserve mode.

UHN launches study to explore how Apple Watch can help with early identification of worsening heart failure, reports Newswise. `As part of the University Health Network, renowned cardiologist Dr. Heather Ross has launched a new clinical study, in collaboration with Apple to test if remote monitoring with Apple Watch can help with early identification of worsening heart failure.’ Dr. Ross expressed optimism about the role Apple Watch could play in providing precise and useful data to offer early warning signs for heart failure.

privacy & security

Pat tells us that she received a notice from T-Moile recently about T-Mobile's privacy terms & conditions and tools to manage. It all sounded OK until Pat looked into what T-Mobile requires in order agree to delete Pat’s data: a copy of her driver’s license or passport, among other things.

Apple provides privacy information on the App Store and the choices you have to control your data, including a very useful Privacy Definitions and Examples.

A funny observation:

general apps & services

Bookmark this: It has the acronyms you expect and many that are ard to find.

next iPUG meeting

Our March 2021 iPUG meetings are on Tuesday, March 2 and Wednesday, March 17. We meet the 1st Tuesday of the month, and during the pandemic, we have also been meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.