November 10, 2020

iOS & Apple news

Apple held `One More Thing' -- the last event of 2020. They announced new Macs based on Apple-silicon.

Watch the special Apple Event and learn about the next generation of Mac. Now with the Apple M1 chip, the new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini each take a huge leap forward


You can watchtoday's event on Apple's website, or on YouTube (48 mins):

Or you can read Everything Announced at Today's Apple Event, or watch it in 6 minutes:

Apple also released this short video titled `Behind the Mac'. Description: `This film celebrates the brilliant minds making greatness behind the Mac — Kendrick Lamar, Gloria Steinem, Billie Eilish, RuPaul, Tarana Burke, Spike Lee, Stephen Colbert, Takashi Murakami, and Saul Perlmutter, whose participation honors, which is developing the next generation of scientists by providing equal access to STEM for students of color.'

Here is Apple's press release: Apple unleashes the M1

Apple launches Extended Holiday Return Policy, Returns Accepted Until January 8 in U.S.

The Verge reviews the iPhone 12 Mini, and finds it excellent and fast. One downsize is the battery life given its size.

Inside the design of the new Apple suite: ‘We’ve always gone extremely wide in our colour choices,’ says Evans Hankey, the company’s VP of Industrial Design, ‘this palette was an exploration that started around gemstones – we loved the depth of colour and the way the colours appeared through the cases.’

HomePod mini sells out in one day, reports Cult of Mac.

Apple released iOS 14.2 which also includes over 100 new Emojis. It also includes: Eight new wallpapers in both light and dark mode versions – Magnifier can detect people nearby, and report their distance using the LiDAR sensor included in iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max; Support for iPhone 12 Leather Sleeve with MagSafe; Optimized battery charging for AirPods to slow the rate of battery aging by reducing the time your AirPods spends fully charged; Headphone audio level notifications to alert you when audio level could impact your hearing; New AirPlay controls to stream entertainment throughout your home; Intercom support with HomePod and HomePod mini using iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and CarPlay; Ability to connect HomePod to Apple TV 4K for stereo, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio; Option to provide statistics about Exposure Notifications, without identifying you, to participating Public Health Authorities.

Apple One is now available. It bundles together Apple subscriptions that can save you money. They offer 3 different levels: Individual, Family, and Premier. To sign up, go to Settings on your iPhone, tap your name, tap Subscriptions.

Apple announced the `AirPods Pro Service Program' for Sound Issues. The company has concluded that a small percent of AirPods Pro can experience sound issues. Affected units were manufactured before October 2020. Sound issues include: Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone; Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise. Contact Apple support of you think you have an issue. Your AirPods Pro will be examined prior to any service to verify that they are eligible for this program. AirPods Pro (left, right or both) with a confirmed issue will be replaced. Get Support from Apple.

sell / buy used devices

A reminder:

It’s the season of new iPhones and iPads. You can consider selling an old device or buying a gently used device. There are many choices: word of mouth, Apple, Craigslist, eBay, Swappa, and more.

Apple sells refurbished devices and also accepts old devices for trade-in and credit toward a new one. It’s an easy choice and it works well.

photography & video

Now that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is out, so is Austin Mann's camera review camera review from Zion NP, Utah.

Also recall Austin mann's iPhone 12 camera review. For this review, he traveled to Glacier National Park in Montana.

Also, take a look at iPhone 12 Pro Max Review: The Best Smartphone Camera You Can Get, writes Nilay Patel for The Verge. He concludes: `While it’s expensive, it’s not that much more expensive than the smaller iPhone 12 Pro: it’s just $100 more at every storage level, starting at $1,099 with 128GB of storage and going up to $1,399 for 512GB of storage. For that money, you get a larger display, a bigger battery, and a very different camera system. I’ll just cut to the chase and say it’s absolutely worth it over the standard 12 Pro if you can deal with the size — but it’s a lot of size. And the camera is worth exploring in depth, because there’s a lot going on.''

Apple Reveals Its Design Philosophy Behind the iPhone Camera. PetaPixel spoke to two Apple executives who outlined the company’s vision and design philosophy behind camera development. In this interview, with Apple’s Product Line Manager, iPhone Francesca Sweet and Vice President, Camera Software Engineering Jon McCormack, both made clear Apple considers of camera development holistically: it’s not only the sensor and lenses, but also everything from Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, to the image signal processing, to the software behind its computational photography.

iOS apps

The Center for Creative Photography at the U of Arizona has released their new CCP Interactive app.Listen to unique perspectives about our exhibitions, art and archival collections, and programs. `Find guided tours of CCP galleries; selections from photographic and oral history collections; hyperlinks for suggested further reading; and information about institutional membership and other upcoming events.' The app is free.

Apple updated Dark Sky weather app. It adds the extra large watch complication with watchOS 7, improves location search with more suggested and relevant results, and adds a new location icon to indicate when Precise Location is disabled.

The notes app Bear has just released an update, with widget options. The widget option offers you a choice of format (small, medium, or arge). You can select one of your notes to have displayed in the widget. This is very handy if you have a note that you want to use as a `sticky'.

Bear has also released freewallpapers for your iPhone or iPad.

Trace is an app for drawing for architecture and landscape design. Here is a demo:

Morpholio Trace Demo: Depiction Illustration Draws w/AR Perspective Finder from Morpholio on Vimeo.



While we got the good news about Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, the expectation is that it will become available in the Spring 2021, or mid-2021 for the majority of Americans. Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections are on the rise. The latest episode of In the Bubble podcast gives us practical information for Toolkit: How to Stay Safe in COVID Winter.

(cont’d) The podcast host, Andy Slavitt, interviews Infectious diseases physician Dr. Nahid Bhadelia and indoor air quality expert Richard Corsi answer every tough question about winter safety – from holiday gatherings, to indoor dining, and flu season. Understand what’s happening with indoor particles and how to make sure homes, offices, and schools can be as safe as possible with ventilation, filters, and CO2 meters. Dr. Nahid Bhadelia is the Director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center. Dr. Richard Corsi is Dean at the College of Engineering & Computer Science, Portland State University.


Here is a very detailed FAQs on Protecting Yourself from COVID-19 Aerosol Transmission, written by Dr. Richard Corsi.

The FAQ above led to an online calculator of airborne COVID-19 risk, written by the National Geographic.

Follow Nahid Bhadelia @BhadeliaMD and Richard Corsi @CorsIAQ on Twitter. Keep up with host Andy Slavitt on Twitter @ASlavitt


Another podcast of interest is Kara Swisher's Sway episode interview of Lina Khan: She’s Bursting Big Tech’s Bubble. Description: `It looks as if Big Tech may face some breakups. Lawmakers are interrogating tech C.E.O.s on Capitol Hill while the Justice Department pursues a landmark antitrust case against Google. For decades, tech giants have avoided such scrutiny — hiding behind the idea that their products are free, beneficial, even beloved. Lina Khan says this is no excuse for a monopoly. As a 28-year-old law student, Ms. Khan published a single scholarly article that greatly shifted America’s antitrust debate. Three years later, she remains an existential threat to companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.'

tips & tricks

When you are typing something on an iPhone or iPad, do you sometimes have to fiddle with how to move the cursor to a precise new location? Such as in the middle of a word, or 3 lines above, etc.? Olga recommends tapping and holding the space bar. Without lifting your finger, move the cursor exactly where you want it to be. So much easier, right?


Bank of Ireland now supports Apple Pay.


Apple released watchOS 7.1, adding: the ability to be notified when your headphone audio level could impact your hearing, support for the ECG app on Apple Watch Series 4 or later in the Republic of Korea and Russia, support for irregular heart rhythm notifications in the Republic of Korea and Russia, Resolves an issue that prevented some users from unlocking a Mac with Apple Watch, Fixes an issue where the screen may be dark on wrist raise for some Apple Watch Series 6 owners.

privacy & security

Hackers Hit Hospitals in Disruptive Ransomware Attack, reports the WSJ. Russian cybercriminals had already hobbled operations at several hospitals by the end of October and were targeting hunders of others, security companies and the federal government warned. `Hospitals across the U.S. are bracing for aggressive cyberattacks that could threaten patient care amid a national rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations’, reports the WSJ.

Next iPUG meeting: Tuesday, Dec 1 and Wednesday, Dec 16: Back to the 1st Tuesday and 3rd Wednesday. Happy Thanksgiving to all.