October 13, 2020

current events

The annual Tucson Car Classic show has been canceled due to Covid-19 but our own iPUG members Kandie and Drew invite all those interested to buy a $5 raffle ticket which help charities: `All net proceeds go to Make Way for Books, helping kids and families read to succeed, and PIMA JTED’s Innovative Learning Center, training for the jobs of tomorrow today.' You can get as many raffle tickets as you wish. The raffle gives you a chance to win a Corvette or $15K or many other prizes.

Apple and iOS news

As had been rumored, Apple held an iPhone event in mid-October.

Here is Apple's page on today's event.

Here is the whole event video, a little over an hour long:

Here is the Apple event, summarized by Apple in 51 seconds:

Here is Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro video - about 2 minutes:

Here is the Apple video on iPhone 12 (not the pro), in under 2 minutes:

The new HomePod Mini. Apple says: `Room-filling sound, an intelligent assistant, and smart home control. All private and secure. Order 11.6. Available starting 11.16’

Here is the Apple event & announcements condensed into 7 minutes:

Here is Apple’s official press release on all announcements today.

Here is Apple's iPhone 12 Pro spec page.

Here is Apple's iPhone 12 spec page.

What is LiDAR? A brief overview, by Wikipedia.

Here is a summary on iPhone 12: release dates, price, etc.

Here are 6 lesser known announcements you might have missed.

iPhone 12 will cost a bit more with T-Mobile and Sprint, for the lower iPhone 12 models.

On iPhone 12, MagSafe enables a whole new charging and accessory ecosystem, reports Macworld.

Tim Cook released Event Day, the Apple event Playlist from today’s event.

about 5G

The 2 types of 5G explained: mmWave vs. Sub-6GHz 5G iPhones: What's the Difference? `All of the iPhones in Apple's iPhone 12 lineup will have Qualcomm modems that support 5G, but potential buyers need to know that not all 5G networks are equal. There's the super fast mmWave (millimeter wave) 5G and the slower but more widespread Sub-6GHz 5G.'

(cont’d from above): `There are two kinds of 5G networks: mmWave, which is the super-fast 5G that most people are talking about when they talk about 5G speed improvements, and sub-6GHz, the 5G that most people are going to experience for the time being.’

(cont’d from above): `Apple employees that have been testing the 5G iPhones recently (and confidentially) told Bloomberg that the 5G speeds have been disappointing as the current 5G networks are not “improving connection speeds much.” Most people who are expecting their iPhones to deliver super-fast mmWave speeds will likely end up similarly disappointed when they find that mmWave networks just aren’t available in most places.’

What is 5G and what does it mean for iPhone? Macworld also has an overview.

Example of map coverage: Verizon's 5G map today, considered to be the widest in the US, among all carriers.

Reuters reports: New Apple 'iPhone 12' to offer 5G speeds U.S. networks can't deliver.

(cont’d) Reuters: `The device, dubbed the iPhone 12 by analysts, can tap into 5G, or fifth generation wireless technology, that theoretically operates as much as 10 to 20 times faster than current 4G wireless networks. Current 5G U.S. networks mostly use low-band wireless spectrum, or airspace, that is slower than high-band spectrum, but more reliable over longer distances. It will likely take years before the massive speed boost phone carriers promise will make augmented reality and real-time cloud gaming seamless.''

(cont’d) Reuters: `Several U.S. telecom operators have deployed networks based on lower spectrum bands, with slightly higher speeds than 4G. A noticeably faster variant of “mid-band” 5G is also being rolled out, but it is unlikely to reach three-quarters of Americans until 2025, estimated longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster of venture capitalist firm Loup Ventures.''

(cont’d) Reuters: The fastest speeds touted by carriers are a type of 5G called millimeter Wave, or mmWave, that work over shorter distances. Verizon Communications Inc has the largest current mmWave network, available only in limited areas.

iOS 14

iOS 14 has introduced many new ways to manage our app organization and set up your home screen. Here is an excellent tutorial & overview:

Finally, on other Apple-related news: Apple Leads the Pack in Survey of Brands Customers Love Most, reports The Motley Fool, based on the 2020 Brand Intimacy COVID Study, "a study of brands based on emotions during the pandemic."

iOS apps

iNaturalist is an app to help you identify plants and animals around you by connecting with a community of over a million scientists and naturalists. You record & share your observations. This creates research data for scientists working to deepen their understanding of nature and find better wys to protect it. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

Poolside FM has launched an iOS app. They describe themselves as `Poolside FM is the super-summer music player for Macintosh Computer; transporting you to a virtual vacation where the sun never sets. Grab another Long Island and pick from a number of sun-drenched channels, each lovingly curated with the sole purpose of lifting your spirits.’

Hidden Mirrors is a casual puzzle game. The player reproduces geometric patterns in the fewest moves possible. It’s visual, addictive and just the right amount of an 80s vibe. The goal of the game is to fill the highlighted tiles, either one at a time, or by swiping to mirror everything you’ve filled already. The way the symmetries unfold appear deceptively simple, and it becomes a pleasant visualization exercise to predict how the inner shapes will interact. Hidden Mirrors is free for a limited time.

Now that iOS 14 is out, an increasing number of app are offering homescreen Widgets. Here is an expanding list: Homescreen widgets, app clips, and more, reports 9to5Mac.

A reminder worth remembering: iOS 14 offers the Apple research app which lets you participate in health research studies, while protecting your privacy.

Olga continues to recommend Dialup (a.k.a. Quarantine Chat), the free app that lets you connect anonymously with random people around the world. Olga reported having her first pointless discussion on the app. Cannot win them all.


online learning

AirBnB experiences continue to incude excellent choices, especially when we cannot travel internationally during the pandemic. Mary Anne and Olga reported on Bring Flavors of India to Life at Home. It’s a Zoom call during which participants cook together with the host. At the end, you have a delicious dinner and the recipes. The cost is roughly $25 for cooking 3 dishes. The host uses and iPad and some other camera, using a very professional setup.


Kottke ride home is a very interesting podcast with very short episodes (20 minutes). It is written & fact-checked by reporters. A recent episode How Bras Inspired the N95 covers this and more: `The 2020 Ig Nobel Prize winners were announced last night. Some people are trying to make CD players a thing again. How algorithms can detect our mood based on what we write online. And the surprising connection between Frozen and Arrested Development.’

tips & tricks

How to delete all health data from an iPhone.

How to hide and unhide app pages on your iPhone with iOS 14.

Remember that you can send an Apple Watch watchface to others. Press and hold on the watchface and choose the share option.

With iOS 14, you have Settings > Home Screen. Check your preference on where new apps go.

With iOS 14, you have Settings > Accessibility > Touch. You can enable Back Tap. Olga has set Double tap to Scroll, and Triple Tap to Shake ( which is effectively an undo function, whenever shake is available). Check out all the available selections!

gadgets & accessories

ArsTechnica has listed The best Apple deals for Amazon Prime Day 2020. They consider `The AirPods Pro represent a near-total upgrade: a better fit, a more dynamic sound profile, and active noise-cancellation that ranks among the best for true wireless headphones. ‘


Analyst: Apple Pay, Apple Card and Apple Pay Cash revenue will exceed $1 billion in 2020.


Apple Watch 6 teardown reveals bigger battery and Taptic Engine, slimmer design.

Apple Watch 6: a user's diary on considering upgrade options.

Ottawa Lake family thanks Apple Watch following crash at busy intersection: The watch helped the victim summon first responders in minutes, during a scary time.