November 2018


Become familiar with your AppleID page which give you access to your devices, settings, password resets and more.

Now watch out for awful scams such as the latest phishing scam that tricks you.

Apple October Announcements

Apple Special Event: Yes. The rumors were true, Apple announced new iPad Pro models, a new Pencil, Macbook Airs, Mac Minis.

Here is the Keynote, this time from Brooklyn, New York:

Here is a summary of all the announcements.

So here is Apple's current iPad lineup.

Some things that had been rumored but Apple did not announce.

The new Pencil has a gesture area, is magnetic (to keep it attached and to connect via BT), and has no cap to lose.

New iPad Pro and Pencil: 8 things nobody told you about, writes Forbes.

2018 iPad Pro hands-on: Improving on the world’s best tablet, by ArsTechnica.

review: Apple's iPads Are Officially More Interesting Than Its Macbooks

iPad Pro review: It is the most beautiful Apple has ever made, writes the Independent.

What the iPad Pro Enables Matters More Than What It Replaces, writes Carolina Milanesi.

iPad Pro: The Benchmark comparisons, writes Laptop Magazine.

And maybe the penultimate review: The 2018 iPad Pros, by John Gruber.

Macworld writes: 8 ways the Apple Pencil 2 is better than the original .

Apple Pencil review:drawn by the Pencil itself, by Rene Ritchie. Take a look:

Lest we forget: the iPad. Not the Pro. It's really the best iPad, for the majority of people, writes iMore.

other iOS news

GigSky Announces eSIM Support for iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR, reports MacRumors.

[ RUMOR ] This is not confirmed by Apple, but may be accurate: Future AirPods 2 `have already received Bluetooth SIG Certification, [suggesting] that they will support Bluetooth version 5.0. Moreover, they are expected to offer several biometric ‘Wellness’ features as well. It is also expected that the earphones will offer hands-free access to Siri' claims

Why Google Is Willing to Pay Apple $12 Billion Per Year.

Apple Music is adding global charts, reports The Verge. Now users can see the Top 100 charts , showcasing both country-based charts and the top songs globally. Apple will add 116 charts to the service today for users on iOS 12 beta and macOS Mojave beta, all of which can be found under Top Charts in the Browse section of the app.

Last Longer: Asymco highlights a portion from September's Apple Event. He writes, `Lisa Jackson’s presentation at the September 2018 iPhone launch event was perhaps the most interesting and most profound.

Apple announced `Everyone Can Create' curriculum, . now available on Apple Books. `Everyone Can Create teaches students to develop and communicate ideas through drawing, music, video and photos on iPad. The new, free project guides give teachers fun and meaningful tools to easily fold these skills into any lesson, assignment and subject. Everyone Can Create joins Apple’s successful Everyone Can Code initiative as one-of-a-kind programs for teachers that keep students excited and engaged. The Everyone Can Create series is now available in English everywhere Apple Books is available. Additional languages will be available by the end of 2018. Apple Books is a new app introduced with iOS 12 that makes it effortless to discover and enjoy books, including the Everyone Can Create guides.''

Apple and Malala Fund partnership takes major new step into Latin America, reports The Independent. `In January, Apple revealed a tie-up with Malala Fund as part of the initial goal of getting 100,000 girls into education in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Nigeria. But [now] it has been announced that the collaboration is expanding to Latin America.'

Big news: Apple and Amazon struck a deal, Amazon will sell new iPhones and iPads.

iOS 12

Here is a Guide to Memoji, Screen Time, Live Listen, and more for iOS 12, by The Independent.

Here is a video with standout iOS 12 features:

Apple and genius have a new partnership, reports Macworld. Genius offers an extensive song lyrics database. Mac or iOS users who visit the Genius website to get the lyrics to a song, will now automatically get 30 seconds to play a part of the song on the same page; those with Apple Music subscription will get the whole song.

Apple is Apple is quietly introducing new features, improved support for Raw photos in iOS 12, reports DPReview.

iOS 12.1 has been released.

iOS 12.1 introduces Group FaceTime, adds over 70 new emoji, and includes support for Dual SIM with eSIM for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. This update also includes bug fixes and improvements.

Group FaceTime: Adds support for video and audio calls with up to 32 participants simultaneously. Encrypted end-to-end so your conversations remain private. Start Group FaceTime right from a group Messages conversation, or join an active call at any time.

Emoji: Over 70 new emoji, including new characters with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, new emoji for bald people, more emotive smiley faces and additional emoji representing animals, sports and food.

Here is more info on the 70 new emoji

Dual SIM support: Introduces Dual SIM with eSIM which allows two numbers in one device for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR.

Other improvements and fixes:

Introduces Depth Control in Camera preview for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR; Improves cellular connectivity for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR; Adds the ability to change or reset your child’s Screen Time passcode using Face ID or Touch ID; Fixes an issue where the sharpest reference frame was not always selected in front-facing photos for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR; Resolves an issue that caused messages to be merged into one thread when two users were signed in with the same Apple ID on multiple iPhones; Addresses an issue that prevented some voicemails from appearing in the Phone app; Resolves an issue in the Phone app that could cause phone numbers to appear without their corresponding contact name; Fixes an issue that could prevent Screen Time from reporting specific websites in the activity report; Addresses an issue that could prevent adding or removing family members from Family Sharing; Adds a performance management feature to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down, including the option to disable this feature if an unexpected shutdown occurs, for iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus; Adds the ability for Battery Health to inform users that it is unable to verify if a genuine Apple battery is in iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR; Improves reliability of VoiceOver in Camera, Siri, and Safari; Fixes an issue that could cause MDM Device Enrollment to report an Invalid Profile error for some enterprise users.

James Corden and Barbra Streisand are in the car for car karaoke. Here is the portion where they talk about getting Siri to pronounce Barbra Streisand correctly and the time when she called Steve Jobs. The video below starts in the middle, around where the Apple commentary begins. Enjoy.


Here are the 2018 Award Winning Photographs from the International iPhone Photography competition. Here are the photographers behind these photos.

The most significant upgrades for iPhone photography with the new iPhones are: smart HDR, bokeh adjustments in post, and extended dynamic range for video, summarizes Austin Mann.

iPhone XS camera review by Austin Mann, who tested it in Tanzania. This is both a review and a tutorial, very worthwhile reading. You can also see some of his Tanzania photos on Flickr.

iOS apps

Babbel is an app to help you learn a foreign language. Highly rated.

Aaptiv is an app that brings professional trainers to your iPhone. Do you want to work out with the benefit of a certified pro guiding you? Try it for free or subscribe monthly or yearly. The workouts are audio so you can take them with you anywhere. Olga recommends it highly.

Rebtel is an app and a service for inexpensive international calling. Olga needed a replacement for Spaxtel which seems to have gone downhill. Happily, Rebtel is an even better replacement. Highly recommended.

Lee told us about Bitmoji, a third party app that goes beyond the native iOS `Memoji’ function.

The best paid apps for Apple Watch of 2018, by Macworld. Even if you don’t have a watch, these apps have counterparts for the iPhone.

AnyList has been updated with more features. It's the best list-making and shopping list for iOS.

Rules is a fun and challenging game for iOS and has a Watch version. Addictive and fun and progressively harder.

tips & tricks

A reminder: This one feature makes text selection on the iPad more usable & trackpad-like.

Those who have an iPhone XS Max or any of the Plus models (8 Plus, 7 Plus, or 6 Plus) can use `Reachability' to operate the phone with one hand. The Max model can enable it in Settings > Accessibility > Reachability.

Additionally, there is a one-handed keyboard option, also in Settings. Select right or left hand.

Nine tips and tricks for the new 2018 iPad Pro.

And here is a nice tip for Dropbox users: for fast downloads of your files, by Austin Mann.

Here is Apple's Shortcuts User Guide.

gadgets & accessories

Roger points us to an episode from Designing Spaces TV show(S12, E6) that included a portion to iDevices smart switches and lights. Take a look:

Lumu Power Light, Flash, and Color Meter for iOS Devices .

Connect any hard drive to an iPad Pro. `You already have a hard drive. We already know that we can't plug this hard drive directly into an iPad. Well, you use this cool device from RAVPower, to connect and then get access to all of that storage and more. I picked this one up on Amazon for 65 dollars. What this device allows you to do, is connect a variety of things to your iPad. It's great. Now we can connect any hard drives that we have to our iPad, so that we can copy over video content, copy over photos, whatever it is, stream stuff straight off of our hard drive.' Take a look:

A new lens for filmmaking, by Moment. Shoot amazing cinematic video on your iPhone.

If you are inclined, look at these Pencil 2 cases, an overview by iMore.

iMore also has the best accessories for iPad Pro.

Prices have dropped for SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive.

Moment has extended their lineup to include iPhone lenses for the latest models. Moment lenses are considered to be among the best choices for external lenses for iPhones. Take a look at a review and their use:

The best thin cases for iPhone XS and XS Max.

The Verge lists The Best Battery Packs for carrying everywhere and charging everything.

Withings Blood Pressure Monitor comes with an app that lets you interpret and track your blood pressure.

iMore looks at the best automatic pet feeders, (no iPhone required).


Apple Pay now accepted at Costco.

The success of Apple Cash is helping Apple Pay gain more ground.

 watch

The Fall Detection feature on Apple Watch works. Apparently it detects a sudden change and/or sound, followed by your body reclining. This combination appears to trigger the watch to ask you whether you have fallen or not and whether you need assistance or not. (Olga shared a funny story about how she inadvertently triggered it.) This is a very nice feature of the watch.

apple recycle buy-back program. Olga was quoted $225 for Watch -Series 3, received $244.58 after inspection. A very good experience. Apple sent a box, prepaid.

Review: Apple Watch Series 4 is the full realization of what a wearable can and should do, writes Apple Insider.

The new Watch Series 4 has gotten stellar reviews, summarized by MacDaily News.

watchOS 5

watchOS 5.1.1 has been released and it's a worthy upgrade with a few bug fixes.

Five New watchOS 5 features you need to check out now, writes iMore.

An overview of new features with watchOS 5, by iPhoneHacks.

Here is a watchOS 5 overview, by iMore.

Here is an overview video of all the new features with watchOS 5:

privacy & security

Forget the new iPhones: Apple’s best product is now privacy, writes Fast Company.

What it's like to use a search engine that's more private than Google, writes Yahoo Finance.

Apple urges Australian government not to weaken encryption with backdoors. The Australian government is debating a draft bill and Apple submitted a formal response. Apple writes, `There is a profound risk of making criminals’ jobs easier, not harder’, and calls for `increasingly stronger - not weaker - encryption’ in order to protect against the growing number of online threats.

Tim Cook was recently interviewed and spoke about privacy. Take a look:

Apple has published iOS 12 Security paper, covering details of privacy and security engineering design.

How Apple has Thrived in a Season of Tech Scandals, writes the NY Times. `Because Apple makes money by selling phones rather than advertising, it has been able to hold itself up as a guardian against a variety of digital plagues: a defender of your privacy, an agitator against misinformation and propaganda, and even a plausible warrior against tech addiction, a problem enabled by the very irresistibility of its own devices. Though it is already more profitable than any of its rivals, Apple appears likely to emerge even stronger from tech’s season of crisis. In the long run, its growing strength could profoundly alter the industry.’

Feds Force Suspect To Unlock An Apple iPhone X With Their Face, reports Forbes. This is a legally interesting case that could set new precedents. They write: `Thus far, there’s been no challenge to the use of Face ID in this case or others. But Fred Jennings, a senior associate at Tor Ekeland Law, said they could come thanks to the Fifth Amendment, which promises to protect individuals from incriminating themselves in cases. In previous rulings, suspects have been allowed to decline to hand over passcodes, because the forfeiture of such knowledge would amount to self-incrimination. But because the body hasn’t been deemed a piece of knowledge, the same rulings haven’t been applied to biometric information, like fingerprints or face scans. That’s despite the fact that the use of passcodes, fingerprints and faces on an iPhone has the same effect in each case: unlocking the device.’

Trend Microhas apologized to customers `after several of its consumer macOS anti-malware products and utilities were discovered to be capturing the notebook's browser history data and sending it to a remote server’, reports ZDNet. `Trend Micro apps, which have been removed from the Mac App Store, included Dr Cleaner, Dr Cleaner Pro, Dr. Antivirus, and Dr Unarchiver.`

general news and crossover

There will be a new News Site to investigate Big Tech, reports the NY Times. The Markup will be dedicated to investigating aspects of technology and their effect on society. This effort is led by two Pro Publica journalists and the founder of CraigsList.

Verizon will offer Free Apple TV 4K in 5G Residential Broadband Package, reports Macrumors. `A free Apple TV 4K will be provided to Verizon 5G broadband customers in lieu of a traditional cable box. Verizon is aiming to be the first wireless provider to offer 5G residential broadband and 5G mobile service in the United States. Its home internet installations in Indianapolis, Houston, Los Angeles, and Sacramento are set to begin in the second half of 2018.’