September 2018


Apple has removed Facebook's VPN app from their app store because it violated data policies. In other words Facebook uses this VPN app to collect everything you do: not only what you do on the Internet and web, but also within apps too.

See more info under the Privacy and Security section below, to read about how Google tracks users. User beware.

iOS and Apple news

Mark your calendars: September 12.

Apple will stream the event live here. Watch it at 10 am.


Gather Round, next Apple Event. Yes.

Let the rumors begin! But who needs rumors when we have leaks?! Yes, snatched some remarkable info.

Exclusive: Here is the iPhone XS.

Exclusive: Here is the Apple Watch Series 4.

John Gruber speculates about this (major) leak, guessing it might have been due to `these images [are] from a URL that shouldn't have been publicly available.'

More leaks: Is this the new iPad Pro?

As iOS 12 approaches, iOS 11 hits 85% adoption rate.

An overview of iOS 12 ahead of the release.

For those who have not seen the overview above, take a look at iOS 12 previews.

Apple & US carriers partner on 200GB iCloud promo ahead of new iPhones.

Apple has announced iPhone 8 Logic Board replacement program

Warren Buffet says the iPhone is enormously underpriced.

Remember the hacker who stole/guessed Jennifer Lawrence's iCloud password and stole private photos? He was sentenced to prison for breaking into her personal account.

Tim Cook posted a video of Apple park's motorized cafeteria doors.

Patent application outlines work on non-invasive glucose monitoring. `diabetes tracking technology considered to be a holy grail of medical science.''

Apple got a patent for a folding iPhone along with an iPhone Design Invented by Late Steve Jobs.

The drawing app Paper is joining WeTransfer. `For the millions using Paper and Paste, we want to assure you that we are dedicated now more than ever to building and growing both tools. This doesn’t change our path, it only accelerates it -- the same great team will continue working on both tools. If you're a paying Paste or Paper customer, nothing is changing around pricing or functionality in the near term, and we’ll keep you well-informed of any upcoming changes that may impact you. We’ve got a few big ideas cooking that we think you'll be thrilled about.'

Survey shows that 19% of Android users plan to switch to an iPhone in the next year.

Survey explores reasons why people switch mobile OS.

Verizon subscribers can sign up for 6 free months of Apple Music, if they have the unlimited data plan.

Apple autonomous test vehicle was involved in an accident

Apple is offering free 1x1 Phone lessons on editing images with the Photos app

A flight was grounded after a teenager used AirDrop to send fake crime scene to fellow passengers.

iOS apps & widgets

Are you an Evernote user? You might consider alternatives, or at least plan for a possible migration, just in case. Evernote lost its CTO, CFO, CPO, and HR head last month, reports TechCrunch. `. . . there are strong hints that the company wants to transform the app that helps you remember things, into an app that helps you work smarter and ever more efficiently by shortening meeting times and more. '

Evernote provides export options for anyone who needs to prepare.

A worthy consideration is Bear which seems devoted to developing a note-taking app and has an excellent track record so far. Bear can import notes or notebooks from Evernote.

Monument Valley is one of the most fun iOS games ever made. A fan tweeted an image of her cross-stitch project.

If you are looking for a serious VPN, consider Proton VPN . By the people who made Proton email.

Dark Sky as updated their app and UI in a major way. Still one of the best weather apps around.

Macworld looks at the best note-taking apps for iOS.

Transit app Expands Real-Time Crowdsourced Data to 175 Cities.

With iOS 12 coming soon, take a look at how password autofill works with 1Password

Download iPhone XS inspired space theme wallpapers from NASA.

tips & tricks

Here is the new MacSparky Field Guides website that helps you learn how to use your iOS device or Mac or how to use apps you have always wanted to learn.

Automation is free on MacSparky.

If you are considering buying or selling gently used devices, a good place to look at is If you are considering getting new iOS devices in the fall (expected in late September), take a look at Swappa in order to prepare. Their FAQ section provides some good info.

How to transfer AppleCare to a new owner.

gadgets & accessories

Pico is The world’s first smart paint matching device. For $49, it's a nice little device to carry around and grab colors. Especially useful for artists or real estate agents or for remodeling homes.

Lee told us about RAVPower's Filehub.

Nanoleaf previews new `canvas’ square Lighting Panels that work with Homekit.

Best home security cameras: a list by TechHive.

Philips Hue Announces Lineup of New Fixtures and Lights.


Apple Pay has over 252 Millions users globally and it's more popular internationally than inside the US.


Take a quick look at watchOS 5:

Here is a more extensive look at watchOS 5:

With watchOS 5, you will be able to add sports updates to the Siri watchface.

Apple Watch led wearables in 2Q18.

Lee points us to Global Smartwatch Shipments Grew 37% YoY in Q2 2018, Apple Watch Series 1 the Most Popular Model. Apple Watch leads but most people are still buying Apple Watch 1. How will the new Apple Watch 4 affect this?

Basic wristbands market falls as smartwatches take over, with apple Watch leading.

Apple Watch supports National Parks with activity challenge and donations via Apple Pay.

How to make a FaceTime (Audio) call on your Apple Watch.

privacy & security

Google data collection research shows some of the significant ways that Android and/or Google tracks users. Douglas C. Schmidt, Professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, catalogs how much data Google is collecting about consumers and their most personal habits across all of its products and how that data is being tied together.

Anther way to look at the results: Android sucks 10x more data than iPhone, writes iMore. `If you're being given free drinks, it's because somebody wants you drunk.'

Google purchased bulk transaction data from MasterCard in order to link online data with offline purchases. (In other words: Google is not only tracking people online and in the digital realm, but is now linking the data to behaviors and actions in the brick and mortar stores, as long as it has a partner, such as MasterCard. User beware.)

Research suggests that Facebook fueled refugee attacks in Germany, reports the NY Times.

Regardless of how we feel about any one topic in our public and political life, this shows that `tracking' is not benign and is not limited to mere commercial purposes. Tracking is powerful and can be used to influence or manipulate the course of elections and the health of a democracies around the globe. Tracking is a serious matter.

Firefox will start blocking bad trackers by default. `In order to help give users the private web browsing experience they expect and deserve, Firefox will strip cookies and block storage access from third-party tracking content. We’ve already made this available for our Firefox Nightly users to try out, and will be running a shield study to test the experience with some of our beta users in September. We aim to bring this protection to all users in Firefox 65, and will continue to refine our approach to provide the strongest possible protection while preserving a smooth user experience.'`

Deployed US military personnel must disable geolocation on phones, watches and more , reports 9to5mac. `The move was made in response to a serious security risk identified in January, when publicly available Strava data was found to reveal both the locations and layouts of US military bases in countries like Syria and Afghanistan’.

In July, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to Apple inquiring about specific iPhone data usage practices. Apple officially responded to that letter, explaining in detail its commitment to privacy, reports 9to5mac. `The Customer is Not our Product’,

general news and crossover

Lyft driver finds pre-production Pixel 3 XLin his car, and nobody cares, reports John Gruber.

general apps & services offers free wallpapers for Macs and iOS from artists and illustrators.