October 2023

Steve Jobs

Today, Oct 5, 2023, is the 12th anniversary of Steve Jobs' passing. A bit of history:

and a current personal reflection by Michael Darius, Apple product designer who worked with Steve Jobs:

Apple event, Sept 2023

On Sept 12, 2023, Apple held an event announcing the new iPhone, Watch and other releases. Here is What Apple announced.

A summary of all the announcements, by Macrumors. Also in video (6 mins) below. The full Apple event is above (about 1.5 hours).

iOS 17

iOS 17.0.2 has now been released, as has 17.03 for the iPhone. It includes some bug fixes. In the case of the iPhone, this fixes some cases of overheating.

The overheating issue has gotten disproportionate attention in the news, as the new iPhone 15 was just released. Photographer Sebastian de With commented on this:

iOS 17 offers the new Check-in feature. Here is how to use it:

How to use Name Drop in iOS 17:

Joanna Stern gives a fun overview of some iOS 17 highlights:

Here are 17 lesser-known new features in iOS 17. Some really good ones:

Another cool iOS 17 tip: start Messages. Tap the + to see the pop-up of the apps. Now, long-press an app to select it and drag it up or down to place it where you like. Also, you can drag it down below More to hide it. Finally, go back to composing a text message, and try long-pressing the + button. Olga gave a demo of this tip.

Sometimes when you want to take a selfie, especially with many people in the frame, it becomes hard to press the button while stretching out your hand as far as possible. You can take a selfie with Voice Control on iPhone and iPad.

As a reminder, Use Voice Control on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

For HomePod users, this page is useful: Software Updates for HomePod.

iPhone 15

the new iPhone 15 Pro models offer a new Action button that can be customized to perform an action of the user's choice. You can do it Settings.

However, one of the clever options is to assign the Action button to a Shortcut. Roger S. points us to this very creative list of options via Shortcuts, with examples (video by Stephen Robles):

The new iPhone 15 has a USB-C connection, ending the Lightning port Apple has used for many years. What can you do with this? One of the best overviews is provided by Stephen Robles (hat tip to Roger S.):


A new feature of portrait mode in iPhone 15:

A very detailed iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Review: Depth and Reach , by Sebastiaan de With. He is the co-founder at Halide Camera app, a designer and photographer.

other Apple news

Apple-1 ad handwritten by Steve Jobs sells for amazing $176,000, reports CultOfMac.

Eddie Cue, Apple SVP, said Apple’s multibillion-dollar deals with Google were driven by quality, not money, as he testified in court, reports the NY Times. `Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, testified in Washington that Google’s placement as the default search option on the Safari browser across Apple devices was motivated by quality.` The NY Times reports, `The Justice Department has accused Google of illegally locking in its monopoly through deals to make its search option the default on Apple, Samsung, Firefox and other platforms. Those partnerships squashed competitors that struggled to get their products in front of consumers, the Justice Department argues.'

iOS apps

myNoise for iOS is an app that plays background sounds. You can use these to relax, fall asleep to, as white noise, etc. There are many apps of this type but this may be the best of the category. It includes alarms and timers. The app offers some examples: ` White noise has been scientifically proven to help blocking noises and mask tinnitus. Rain noise works great as a noise blocker too, and is often used in anxiety management and during meditation. Binaural beats are often used in the context of personal growth, mind change and sound therapy. And then, we added Temple Bells and Spring Walk for free as well. Plus, if you open the download tab of our apps, you will find a couple of complimentary generators there too, depending on our mood.' The app is offered in a free and paid version. Olga gave a demo of myNoise.

Two Dots is a simple but fun game. It offers a free version.

The Oxford Dictionary is available on iOS for iPhones and iPads. This is the authoritative UK English language dictionary. It is also very useful when solving crossword puzzles or other word-related puzzles, as it offers fuzzy searches. Olga recommends it when playing Spelling Bee.

Carrot Weather gets Apple Watch overhaul, iPhone StandBy widgets, and more, reports 9to5Mac.

tips & tricks

6 Tips for Recording the Best iPhone Video Possible. Excellent tips that apply to any iPhone and any iOS version.

This is a very useful tip for the Apple macOS Notes app. If you have a note that you need to reference or consult frequently as you are doing work with some other app, you can make sure the note stays above other active app windows. To do this, double-click on the desired note in the Notes app. This will open the note in its own separate window. Then, use the Window menu and choose `Float on Top'.

Apple Watch

The new Apple Watch Series 9 and the Ulta 2 have been released. They are the first carbon neutral Apple products, when also paired with the sport loop or trail loop watch bands.

watchOS 10 brings some significant design changes to the OS.

How to use use the Smart Stack on Apple Watch, demo by Apple Support:

And overview of useful features in watchOS 10, by Apple:

And some news about an Apple Watch owner in Michigan: First Responders Rescue Woman From Outhouse Toilet, reported the Otsego County, MI, Police Dept. A woman was stuck inside the outhouse toilet at Dixon Lake.`[a] woman was heard yelling for help and told first responders she had dropped her Apple Watch in the toilet.' The woman became stuck in the outhouse toilet. Photos from the Michigan State Police:

With the Watch Ultra now in gen 2, Oceanic+ continues to gain new users. The app has been expanded and updated. They say: `The Oceanic+ app for Apple Watch Ultra turns the watch you wear every day into a fully capable dive computer for recreational diving, freediving, and snorkeling. It includes all the core features divers need and is refreshingly easy to use.'

gadgets & accessories

Now that iPhones running iOS 17 have the new `standby mode' feature, there are various mag-charging stands to consider. Below are a few.

The Twelve South Forté for MagSafe Charger is a stand and a charger for the iPhone. Sold at Apple stores and online.

The Belkin BOOST↑CHARGE PRO 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Stand with MagSafe, sold at Apple stores and online.

Nomad's magsafe iPhone stand provides a stand for your iPhone and quick charging speeds.

Studio Neat offers several stands for your iPhone or iPhone plus more (watch, AirPods, etc.). They assume you already own Apple's magsafe charger.

Just in case you want to, you can connect your wired headphones to your iPad or any other device that has USB-C but is without a 3.5 mm headphone port.

This Plugable 7-in-1 USB C Hub offers ports for Ethernet, SD and microSD cards, power, 4K HDMI, as well as USB. This is compatible with the new iPhone 15, iPads, Macs, as well as Windows and Linux computers. (This is the adapter that was shown above in the USB-C video for iPhone 15 by Stephen Robles.)

We sent the top ANC headphones to a lab to test their noise-canceling abilities, reports The Verge. A very interesting comparison of ANC headphones, including Apple's AirPod Max. Best for ANC: Sony WH-1000X. Best for podcast/speech: AirPods Max. Best for airplane noise: AirPods Max.

privacy & security

Facial recognition startup Clearview AI could change privacy as we know it, reports Marketplace. Read or listen to this short but important story. Note: You might have seen Clearview offers near the TSA lines at airports across the country. This report is about this company.

general news and crossover

Report: Amazon made $1B with secret algorithm for spiking prices Internet-wide, reports Ars Technica. `Last week, the Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon, alleging that the online retailer was illegally maintaining a monopoly. Much of the FTC's complaint against Amazon was redacted, but The Wall Street Journal yesterday revealed key details obscured in the complaint regarding a secret algorithm. The FTC alleged that Amazon once used the algorithm to raise prices across the most popular online shopping destinations.'

Lawsuit filed against Google and against private road owners, after a motorist was misguided by `dangerously outdated Google Maps', alleges the lawsuit. The driver was killed in this accident and his family is suing Google and the owners of the private road.

general apps & services

HoToPronounce.com is a crowdsourced website that helps you pronounce words or names correctly.

The ASPCA offers their Animal Poison Hotline, open 24x7, and staffed by veterinarians: 1 (888) 426-4435 and Animal Poison Control website.

next iPUG meeting

Our next iPUG meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov 7, 2023, at 7 pm.