March 2022

current events

Happy Internatonal Women's Day to all!

It's March 2022. Two years ago, we held our last in-person iPUG meeting: on March 3, 2020. About a week later, the US went on lockdown. We started zoom meetings for iPUG in April 2020.

On Feb 25, the CDC Director, Dr. Walensky, announced the new online tool: COVID-19 by County.

Pima County, AZ is currently listed as `Medium' risk, based on the CDC Covid tool.

Apple welcomes the return of in-person Today at Apple sessions across US stores.

Starting April 11, Apple Apple will begin a hybrid model to return to work, and they expect to begin a full return on May 23rd.

Apple and many tech companies, have suspended services or business in Russia, due to their attack on Ukraine:

If you want to consider helping Ukraine, take a look at Apple's iTunes link to donate to Unicef, also, 17 ways you can help the people of Ukraine right now and How to help Ukraine.

Apple special event

This morning Apple held a special event, the first one of 2022:

`Introducing the all-new Mac Studio and Studio Display, new iPad Air, new iPhone SE, and iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro in two new shades of green.'

See Apple's home for al details of the new products.

Everything Apple Announced Today in Just Over Seven Minutes, by Macrumors.

other iOS & Apple news

As of March 1, Apple Halted All Sales From Online Store in Russia, reports MacRumors.

Apple has suspended App Store Search Ads in Russia, reports Apple Insider. In an internal email sent to Apple developers, Apple has announced `All Apple Search Ads campaigns running on the App Store in Russia have been placed on hold, and no new campaigns will be eligible to run on the App Store in Russia for the duration of the suspension. For the duration of Apple's suspension, users in Russia will no longer see ads for other App Store apps in their search results, and no campaign can be launched in the Russian App Store.'

iPad helps find victim of kidnapping. Here's a twist on `Find my' capability, provided by Apple. `An armed man who allegedly searched for former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg’s daughters and kidnapped a housekeeper was arrested, after being tracked down via the victim’s iPad. Investigators arrested Beecher at a motel, after determining the housekeeper’s location via her iPad. It is unclear whether the Find My network was used, or other methods.`

With the new beta iOS 15.4 version, Apple lets you unlock your iPhone with faceID while wearing a mask. This drops the current dependency on an Apple Watch. Here is some info, from the good people at

Apple and health

Rene Ritchie sat down to interview Dr. Sumbul Desai, MD, Vice President of Health at Apple. This is worth watching. Rene lays out specific Health tracking scenarios, and uses background info and footage that allow Dr. Desai to highlight Apple’s Health efforts.

AppleTV+ and Apple Original Films

The Academy award Nominees were announced recently. Apple TV+’s CODA and Tragedy of Macbeth each got three Academy Award nominations. Here are all of them: Oscar Nominations 2022, listed by Variety.

Apple TV+ Releases trailer for the highly anticipated series “Pachinko”. `It stars Academy Award winner Youn Yuh Jung and multi-hyphenate sensation Lee Minho, ahead of its March 25 global premiere', announced Apple.

Apple Original Film “CODA” wins top honors at the Hollywood Critics Association Film Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, announced Apple.

Apple TV+ announces new limited event series starring multi-award winner Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin.

After 10 years, Woman Finally Finds Her Lost iPhone Inside Her Toilet (Seriously), reports iDropNews.

Wordle (again)

Wordle continues to be extremely popular.

Recall that Wordle was bought by the NY Times recently. Update your links: Wordle is now online via the NY Times website which has said it will be `free for now.'

Mary Anne points us to, which is independent of the NY Times. It's free. Also, take a look at their FAQ for more good info and links to other languages.

Also, PuzzWord, an app we mentioned last month, has been expanded and updated to go beyond Wordle-like features. It now offers a wider variety of word puzzles in the general style of Wordle. It's free with in-app purchases.

An online guide to the 11 stages of a Wordle obsession The Internet Is Eating Wordle Alive, by The Atlantic Monthly.

Terminology is a general purpose iOS dictionary app. Also, it can be used really well to help you with Wordle, as it can offer words that are `fuzzy' matches to guesses you are considering. For example, you can type in a non-existent word and get similar words in the dictionary. This can help spark an idea for a word you are looking for. (Is this cheating? Of course not!)

iOS apps

In our previous meeting, Ed asked about monospaced fonts with iFontMaker. It's doable and here are Monospaced fonts instructions. Also, Roger's question about letter spacing. The app has built-in pairs of letters to let you adjust the kerning, but the user can create any pairs or a custom phrase and use them for adjusting the spacing.

ToDon't is a to-do app with a sense of humor.

The iOS Files app has been part of iOS for a while. It's a very capable app, offering the functionality of Finder on macOS but more than that. Are you taking full advantage of it? Roger S. points us to this demo overview & tutorial to learn more about the Files app:

Pizza Compass is an app to help you find pizza. They say: “THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT APP EVER MADE. EVER.” ;-) Olga gave a brief demo.

SongShift Use is an app to transfer music playlists and your likes across streaming platforms and share them with your friends. Now that some people are considering migrating away from Spotify, this can be a practical app.

Liza Donelly is a cartoonist for the New Yorker. Her favorite sketching app for cartoons is Paper on her iPad (she uses it with an Apple Pencil). However, she also uses it on an iPhone. Here is a quick sketch she did on her iPhone:

Paper can be used on all iOS devices and it's free. A recently released new feature allows you to use a drawing as background template for new pages. Here is a list of all the pro features.

Olga did a demo of Paper on iPhone.

Wakeout continues to be an excellent app to get you moving in small spurts at a time 1, or 3, or 5 minutes at a time, typically. It's an app full of joy, showing video clips of people moving in their natural clothes and surroundings. The joy can be contagious. Olga did a demo.

Wakeout Kids has just been released today. They say: `As parents, we designed Wakeout Kids to make exercise a fun part of our kid's daily essential activities. With Wakeout Kids, we're giving both kids and parents a fun way to move, laugh and connect. Run around the deck of a pirate ship, move like an octopus underwater, or roar like a lion in the safari—Wakeout Kids makes exercise a fun activity for your kids.


Exploring HomeKit with Shane Whatley is an informative and long podcast interview by Mac Power Users. HomeKit expert Shane Whatley `talk about the apps, products and automations that can be used together to make any home smarter. With HomeKit, anyone can scale from a single smart bulb to a house full of technology.''

Podcast Tech’s Love Affair With Miami is an interview of Keith Rabois, on of the co-founders of PayPal. He's a tech startup investor and recently moved from Silicon Valley to Miami, which he believes offers a better home to tech than California. `Florida has already seen an influx of tech bros, venture capital investments and cryptocurrency plays during the pandemic. They also discuss whether venture capital is what investment banking was in the 2000s. And they catch up on the news, from stock fall-offs in big tech to why Peter Thiel will be stepping down from Meta’s board.' Toward the end, Rabois' opinions about the big tech companies (Apple, Google, facebook/Meta, and others) is worth listening to. You can also read the podcast transcript.

A very interesting podcast interview of Maggie Gylenhaal by Kara Swisher about Gylenhaal's movie `The Lost Daughter', about being a woman and a mother. She's been nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay. You can also read the podcast's transcript. This past Sunday, Maggie Gyllenhaal won best director and best screenplay for `The Lost Daughter' at the 2022 Independent Spirit Awards.

tips & tricks

How to Remove Linked Devices associated your your AppleID account.

A webpage worth bookmarking: MacRumors Buyer's Guide. It helps answer the question: should I buy now or is there a new release expected soon?

How to watch together on your Apple TV during a FaceTime call on iPhone or iPad, by Apple Support:

Some excellent Mac tips and tricks. Click on the above tweet and read the replies.

gadgets & accessories

For those who have Apple's Airpod Max headphones, Gucci has introduced a case, for a mere $980. [ The comments are worth reading.]

Elago AirPods Wrist Fit lets you carry your AirPods on your Apple Watch band.

If you are a Mini fan, the Elago 1 & 2 Mini Cars AirPods Case might be what you always wanted.

Or if you are an ice cream fan, the Elago Ice Cream 1 & 2 AirPods Case will house your Airpods without melting.


Apple empowers businesses to accept contactless payments through Tap to Pay on iPhone, announced Apple. `Later this year, US merchants will be able to accept Apple Pay and other contactless payments simply by using iPhone and a partner-enabled iOS app.'

(cont'd) `Apple announced plans to introduce Tap to Pay on iPhone. The new capability will empower millions of merchants across the US, from small businesses to large retailers, to use their iPhone to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets through a simple tap to their iPhone — no additional hardware or payment terminal needed.'


In honor of International Women's Day today, Apple watch owners got an exercise challenge for the day: work out for at least 20 minutes to earn the award.


Olga reports using Fitness+ with her Apple Watch and AppleTV to do rowing machine workouts. It's a very well designed combination and a really enjoyable experience. Apple has done an excellent job with the content and the trainers, but also with the overall experience. Connecting the Watch to the TV and the heart rate monitor is easy and fluid. You start by tapping play on your watch. At the end of the workout, a Cooldown workout is offered.

Here is an example of Rowing with Josh, with Apple Fitness+.

Here is an example Rowing with Anja, another trainer with Apple Fitness+.

How many of our Apple Watch users make use of the Walkie talkie feature?

general apps & services

The New Normal: a website animating how the Covid-19 pandemic is shaping our shopping searches.

Betty told us about, a web-based service for a group of people to create an online card, a congratulator board, and so on.

next meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be April 5, at 7 pm.

And in the meantime, if you want to consider helping Ukraine, take a look at Apple's iTunes link to donate to Unicef, also, 17 ways you can help the people of Ukraine right now and How to help Ukraine.