March 2023

PSA: Sunday

The the 95th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday March 12, 2023.

The wonderful cartoonist from the New Yorker, Liza Donnelly, will be live-drawing and tweeting the Oscars on her iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil and using the Paper app:

She just posted this afternoon:


iOS & Apple news

Yellow: Apple announced new color for iPhone 14.

Apple also announced that Emergency SOS via Satellite is expanding to Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal later this month.

Apple patent for moisture intensive optical touch sensors: `Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to a future iPhone having an optical touch sensor that is insensitive to the presence of moisture that includes operating an iPhone immersed in water, when swimming in fresh or salt water and when an iPhone is wet due to rain, perspiration and so forth. ', reports Patently Apple.

Apple patent for flexible speakers shows a possible future design. Where could they be used? Possibly for future headsets, PatentlyApple speculates.

[ RUMOR ] This has not been confirmed by Apple but the source is credible. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple hs made notable progress toward noninvasive blood glucose monitoring technology. Intended as a future Watch feature, this is to enable diabetics and others to test their blood sugar levels without needing to prick the skin. Apple has been working on this for the past decade and has made significant progress. Watch:

Also, Gurman anticipates new iMacs and more soon:

The WSJ reports that iPhone is gaining popularity around the world, and especially with younger people. `Consumers around the world are increasingly choosing Apple Inc.’s iPhones over high-end Android smartphones, with younger users seen as pushing the company toward the level of dominance in the market globally that it has enjoyed in the U.S. Around 52% of people age 18 to 29 in South Korea were using an Apple smartphone as of 2022, up from 44% two years earlier, according to polls by Gallup Korea. Samsung’s share of this age group slipped to 44% from 45% in that time, the polls showed. For all older age groups, Samsung phones remain most prevalent. [ . . . ] Sarah Carrivale, a 24-year-old graduate student living in Paris, has noticed that more people around her age are using iPhones—around 7 in 10 she estimates. [ . . . ] Across Western Europe, Android users under the age of 25 were almost three times more likely to prefer Apple for their next smartphone than older age groups, according to a poll last year by Canalys of 4,000 individuals from the U.K., Germany, Spain and Italy.

iOS apps

MyMind is an app that describes itself as `Remember Everything, Organize Nothing.` It uses AI to tag and categorize your entries automatically, you do not need to do anything. It's easily and nicely implemented. Additionally, by design, it keeps all your data private. Nothing is shared with anyone. (And as a result the app does not make money from ads or selling your data or behaviors to others. It charges the user a monthly or annual fee.) Olga is trying this app and showed examples of how it tags entries automatically.

TurnSignl is now available in Arizona. Recall that this is a service that provides you with a live attorney if you are driving and get pulled over by Police. The attorney helps protect your rights, follow the law, all while de-escalating any situation. The interaction is automatically videoed while you have the app engaged. Pricing: free for a year, then $60/year, for individuals.

Tally is an iOS app to help you track any count you want. You can track how many glasses of water to drink every day, repetitions of exercise sets, game scores, or anything else you want. With gestures, it makes it easy to increment up or down without even looking at your iPhone screen. Offers a free trial and it's $2/year for the unlimited version.

Clicker - Count Anything is also a counter app. It's free and it works on iPhone and Apple Watch. See their app overview.

Linea Sketch offers an update with additional features including textured ink lines and support for importing drawings from Paper.


Mary Anne points us to Math or Magic?, an episode of `This American Life' about how people succeed (or not) in finding romance. The episode is very funny at times, especially the story of Zarna Garg which plays like a romantic comedy.

tips & tricks

A very useful tip when you want to use your iPhone for a quick `sticky' note: Create Quick Notes anywhere on iPhone.

How to Clean your AirPods Pro or Max, by Apple Support. A good reminder.

How to set up a new AirTag

How to use iCloud Keychain on iOS. A good overview from iMore.

gadgets & accessories

Belkin has Cleaning Kit for Airpods.

In recent months, we have seen stories about how malicious people can try to stak someone using AirTags. Apple has the mechanism in place to alert you if you are being followed by an unknown AirTag, but only after a this continues for a while. The Kickstarter project `BlueSleuth-Lite - Detect hidden AirTags' is a Kickstarter gadget designed to detect nearby AirTags and alert you immediately.

This Momax charging cable offers 4-in-1 combinations: USB C or A to USB C or Micro.

Olga mentioned the Wemo smart video doorbell she bought last summer. It's a very nice doorbell/camera combination and it works well with iOS. However, it started requiring frequent resets recently, and eventually stopped working; Belkin support was a very good experience, they did troubleshooting over the phone and determined the doorbell went bad. They sent a new one (free of charge). Olga will share updates on the new doorbell over the coming months.


Apple released new watch bands.

Feeling a bit too addicted to your iPhone? There is a new trend to reply on an Apple Watch about 90% of the time. This can help cut down on excess use of games or social media, while remaining productive with the majority of more productive type of tasks (texting, mail, calendar, payments, maps, various trackers, and so on).

Apple announced Apple Watch program to help medical research. `Apple launched the Investigator Support Program which provides researchers with Apple Watch devices, enabling them to break new ground in health research, including the scientific understanding of the heart.' Apple offers examples of several different medical research programs.

(cont'd) `From Apple Watch, [a] study plans to monitor heart rate and rhythm, sleep, blood oxygen, activity data, and more. Firefighters will also wear an air quality monitor and complete surveys related to sleep, activity, and wildfire smoke-related symptoms. “Firefighters are bound to benefit from the study,” Dr. Cheong shares. “We know wildfire smoke directly affects their health and with a study like this, they’ll be able to see their results in real time.”'

privacy & security

Joanna Stern of the WSJ reports A Basic iPhone Feature Helps Criminals Steal Your Entire Digital Life.

(cont'd) This hinges on the thief stealing your iPhone AND knowing your iPhone's passcode.

How would the thief know you iPhone passcode? In recent examples, thieves watched people in bars. If the person typed their passcode at some point, the thieves watched & recorded this. Then the thief distracted the person and stole the iPhone itself.

Having both physical possession of the iPhone and knowing the passcode allows the smart thieves to get into iCloud Keychain and to reset the iCloud ID password. Even if the user has 2FA set.

Any 3rd party app you have on your iPhone that has its own separate password should be safe from this attack, right? Answer: It depends. If you have enabled the 3rd party app to use FaceID, then the thief can skip FaceID and use the iPhone passcode and get in. If you did not enable the 3rd party app to use FaceID, then you are safe from this type of attack.

Apple responded to the report saying, `security researchers agree that iPhone is the most secure consumer mobile device, and we work tirelessly every day to protect all our users from new and emerging threats. We sympathize with users who have had this experience and we take all attacks on our users very seriously, no matter how rare. "We will continue to advance the protections to help keep user accounts secure.' Apple did not provide any specific details about any next steps it might take to increase security, Macrumors reports.

Stern suggests protecting yourself by using a 3rd party password manager and avoiding typing your iPhone passcode in broad view (treat it like typing your PIN at a Bank ATM, cover it with your free hand when you are in public).

It's worth noting that these types of thefts are possible not only for iPhones but for any Android device. However, the iCloud entry by knowing only the iPhone passcode is a vulnerability worth considering.

next iPUG meeting

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 7 pm.