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  • What you need to know about today’s Apple event

    Posted on October 13th, 2020 at 20:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From Nathan Parker:

    Apple hosted a virtual event on October 13. This was one of the most exciting Apple events I have watched. Here is the bottom line of the major product announcements:

    HomePod mini: Smaller circular design, 360 degree audio, S5 chip (Apple Watch chip, not an A Series chip), Computational Audio optimizes each audio when played, new Intercom support arriving to all Apple devices, stronger emphasis on being a home assistant, Emphasis on privacy, $99 (versus $299 for the larger HomePod).

    iPhone 12: Now includes 5G, New design similar to iPhone 4 and 5, iPhone mini option (6.1” vs 6.4” display on the larger iPhone 12), Ceramic Shield offers better protection (including better spill and splash resistance), New colors, A14 Bionic chip, OLED comes to iPhone 12, Dual Cameras with Night Mode, Night Mode Selfies, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 and Portrait Mode, , Night Mode Time Lapse, Record and Edit Video in Dolby Vision, Support for MagSafe Accessories (magnetic chargers, cases, wallets, etc), Faster Wireless Charging

    iPhone 12 Pro: Includes everything on the iPhone 12 with 6.1” and 6.7” Display options, Smaller bezels, Four colors including Pacific Blue (stainless steel bands instead of aluminum), LiDAR sensors, Four Cameras with expanded Night Mode, ProRAW Support (the ability to shoot RAW on a phone camera), HDR Video Recording

    A few additional things to know:

    • iPhone 12 mmWave support is limited to the US
    • Apple is including three months of Apple Arcade in addition to a free year of Apple TV+
    • iPhone 12 models no longer come with EarPods and Power Adapter, do include USB C Cable (this extends to future iPhone 11, XR, and SE purchases)
    • iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 was also released today, watchOS 7.0.2 was released recently as well
  • Touring through Apple’s September updates

    Posted on October 11th, 2020 at 21:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Nathan Parker

    For those who follow Apple development, September is a special time of year.

    It’s when the company showcases major updates to its various consumer operating systems: iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Recently, I took each of them for a test drive.

    Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve found so far — both the good and the … not so good.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.40.0 (2020-10-12).

  • Apple’s “Time Flies” September 2020 event: The bottom line

    Posted on September 16th, 2020 at 07:16 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This just in from Nathan Parker:

    Apple showed its “Time Flies” September 2020 event on September 15. Here is the “bottom line” of Apple’s new product and service offerings:

    • Apple Watch Series 6: Now offers Blood Oxygen support, Brighter Screen, Always On Altimeter, New colors include (PRODUCT)RED and Blue, New “Solo Loop” option, New Watch Faces; No 5G on Cellular model, No Ceramic option
    • Apple Watch SE: More Affordable Apple Watch option, No ECG or Blood Oxygen sensor, Series 3 still available as a low-cost option as well
    • Apple Watch Family Setup: Works with Series 4 or later running watchOS 7, makes it easier for parents to manage children’s watches and communicate with family members with Apple Watches
    • Apple Fitness+: New monthly or annual service (one month free for all Apple Watch users and three months free for new Apple Watch purchases), workouts that integrate with Apple Watch and workout videos that work across iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV; Coming late 2020, Apple Watch Series 3 or later required
    • New iPad Air: New All-Screen design similar to iPad Pro, Touch ID built into power button (no Face ID), A14 Bionic Chip, Apple Pencil 2 support, Magic Keyboard support, New Colors include Green and Sky Blue; Coming in October
    • New iPad: The low-cost option now includes A12 Bionic Chip and Apple Pencil support
    • iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, tvOS 14 will be available September 16
    • Apple One: Apple Services bundle, Three tiers; Individual (Includes Music, TV+, Arcade, 50GB iCloud Storage), Family (Everything in Individual plus 200GB iCloud Storage and Family Sharing included), Premier (Everything in Individual and Family plus 2TB iCloud Storage, News+, and the forthcoming Fitness+)

    I watched the event, and I came away impressed – and wondering if the time has come to start wearing a watch. That iPad Air looks mighty sweet, too. Let’s hope Apple has better luck with iOS 14 stability than they did with iOS 13.

  • Patch Lady – 13.7 adds covid notifications

    Posted on September 2nd, 2020 at 17:41 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The Apple 13.7 iOS update adds Covid-19 contract tracing BUT only if your location and health department has enabled it.  I know Virginia has one already enabled.  So does Australia.  I’ve read that North Dakota, Wyoming, Alabama, Nevada and Arizona either have it now or will soon.  Where I live in California it’s not enabled at this time (or at least not in my County).

    So what do you think of bluetooth enabled contact tracing?

    Just a kind reminder, remember that IF you get any sort of communication about Covid-19 tracking they WILL NOT ask for a credit card number or any other personal identity questions that would lead to identity theft.

  • Troubleshooting kernel panics and testing Mac hardware

    Posted on August 2nd, 2020 at 23:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Nathan Parker

    Most of the time, the macOS operating system “just works.” On healthy machines, users rarely experience major system issues.

    But occasionally, macOS will experience a kernel panic — the Apple equivalent of the Windows blue screen of death. In most cases, a kernel panic is caused by some flaw or incompatibility in an application or the operating system. But the source of frequent kernel panics could be in the hardware. It’s a good idea to run a hardware test to rule out that possibility.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.30.0 (2020-08-03).

  • Apple’s WWDC: A retrospective

    Posted on June 28th, 2020 at 15:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Good outline from our own Nathan Parker, @parkernathan:

    WWDC 2020 Bottom Line

    WWDC 2020 recently wrapped up with its first online-only event. While no new consumer hardware was announced during the event, major updates are coming to the operating systems that power Apple devices this fall, and Apple has also kicked off a major processor transition that will affect Mac users for years to come. Here is the WWDC 2020 “bottom line”.

    iOS 14:
    • Will run on all devices compatible with iOS 13
    • Widgets can be pinned to Home Screen (including widgets that swap out at different times)
    • New App Library (similar to app drawer in Android, although it still categorizes apps)
    • More compact call notifications (both from phone and CallKit apps)
    • Picture in Picture arrives for videos and FaceTime calls
    • Messages adds: pinned conversations, group images, mentions, inline replies, and new Memoji and stickers
    • Maps adds: cycling directions, electric vehicle routing around charging stations, travel guides
    • New built-in Translator app, includes offline mode for privacy
    • Siri adds: compact interface, improved knowledge and web search, sending audio messages
    • Home adds: suggested automations, home status icons at the top of the Home app, adaptive lighting, activity zones, face recognition for HomeKit Secure Video cameras
    • Safari adds: built-in translation, performance enhancements, password monitoring, website privacy reports
    • CarPlay adds: wallpaper backgrounds, and support for parking, electric vehicle, and food ordering apps
    • CarKeys: Use iPhone to unlock and start select car models, arriving first to BMW 5 Series
    • AirPods enhancements (to firmware, not hardware): spatial audio support on AirPods Pro, battery notifications, adaptive charging, automatic device switching, accommodations to account for hearing differences, Apple TV audio sharing
    • App Clips: Use a part of an app without downloading the entire app
    • Privacy enhancements: App Store lists privacy information, recording indicator, migrate existing accounts under Sign In with Apple, share approximate instead of exact location
    • App Store now allows app developers to offer the ability to share in-app subscriptions on Family Sharing
    • Apple Arcade: New Game Center app (also works with non Apple Arcade apps) and Game Center integration, continue playing feature across devices for games
    • ARKit 4 now includes location anchors
    • Camera app adds the ability to lock exposure values
    • Health enhancements: sleep tracking, sound data collected from headphones, health checklist, new data types for ECG, symptoms, mobility, and health records
    • Now includes the ability to set the default web browser and email app to third party apps
    • Weather app now includes some integration from the acquisition of Dark Sky
    • Apple Music offers a new Listen Now home tab

    iPadOS 14:
    • Will run on all devices compatible with iPadOS 13
    • Will include most but not all new features of iOS 14
    • Also includes a new search feature that feels similar to Spotlight on Mac
    • Also includes the ability to write in text fields with Apple Pencil (known as Scribble)
    • Also includes the ability to copy and paste handwriting
    • Also includes data detectors on handwriting

    macOS Big Sur:
    • Changes release number to 11 (early developer betas show 10.16, but release will be 11)
    • Compatible with these Macs (some Catalina Macs will be left out)
    • New design for apps, dock, and icons with taller, more translucent menu bar and redesigned sheets, all based on iOS
    • New design for Notification Center and widgets
    • New Control Center similar to iOS
    • Safari adds: Chrome to Safari extension porting, the ability to import Chrome settings, customizable start page, new dedicated extensions category in App Store, new tab design, built-in translation, password monitoring, privacy reports for websites, increased performance and power efficiency
    • Maps adds: cycling directions, electric vehicle routing around charging stations, travel guides, look around, indoor maps
    • App Store adds additional app privacy information
    • Photos adds improved ML photo editing
    • AirPods support adds automatic device switching
    • Home adds: activity zones and face recognition to HomeKit Secure Video cameras
    • Apple Music adds new Listen Now home tab
    • Siri enhancements include increased Siri knowledge
    • Optimized battery charging and usage history comes to all Mac notebooks
    • macOS System now signed
    • Faster macOS updates
    • Return of the Boot Chime, new tweaked system sounds

    watchOS 7:
    • Available for Apple Watch Series 3 or later
    • New watch faces, complications, and the ability for app developers to offer more complications for third-party apps
    • Adds the ability to share watch faces
    • Ability to download watch fasces from the App Store or online
    • Workouts adds: dance, functional strength training, core training, and post-workout cooldown
    • Maps adds bike routes
    • New automatic handwashing timer and reminder to wash hands when arriving home
    • Siri adds: translation, on-device dictation, and Siri Shortcuts
    • New hearing features: Safe weekly listening threshold when using earphones, weekly listening summary, reduce loud sounds
    • Drops support for Force Touch

    tvOS Enhancements:
    • Multi-user gaming
    • HomeKit Secure Video feeds from cameras
    • Picture-in-picture
    • AirPods audio sharing
    • YouTube and AirPlay now supports 4K on the Apple TV 4K

    HomePod gains support for third-party music services

    Apple Silicon Transition:
    • Apple announced it is transitioning its Macs from Intel processors to processors based on its A Series chips used in other Apple devices (also based on ARM)
    • First Mac with Apple Silicon ships by year end, Mac Mini Developer Transition Kit based on A12Z available now for developers to lease, more Intel Macs arriving this year
    • Transition to likely be complete within two years
    • macOS upgrades for Intel Macs supported for “years”
    • Apple Silicon Macs will natively run iOS and iPadOS apps
    • First Apple Silicon Mac will run macOS Big Sur
    • Developers can build “Universal 2” apps that run on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs (similar to “Universal” apps during the PowerPC to Intel transition)
    • “Rosetta 2” runs Intel-only apps on Apple Silicon Macs while developers work to port their Macs to “Universal 2” (works similar to “Rosetta” during the PowerPC to Intel transition, although with faster performance than the older “Rosetta” technology), virtualization with Linux works but not for Windows apps or Boot Camp at the moment
    • Boot and recovery mode and Mac sharing (Target Disk Mode replacement) streamlined on Apple Silicon Macs

  • The former head of Windows: “Mac will be the ultimate developer PC”

    Posted on June 26th, 2020 at 14:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t quote Steve Sinofsky very often, but he just posted this on Twitter – and it rings very true.

    Steve Troughton-Smith:

    I really hope the ARM transition is what gets Apple’s Mac lineup to 120Hz, Face ID & touch. There are so many things we take for granted on iOS that make macOS feel broken without them, and with the convergence of the software and hardware it feels like those are closer than ever


    It will. Guaranteed. In two years there is only ARM hardware and in 4 Intel will be ancient memory. The ecosystem will have rolled over. And Mac will be the ultimate developer PC. iPad will be used for more and more “work”. PS yes a computer without touch is broken.

    Yes, this is the Steve Sinofsky who started on Excel development, ran the Office side of things for many years, then shifted over to lead the team that finished Windows 7 and created Windows 8. Yes, that Windows 8.

    I rarely, rarely find myself agreeing with SteveSi on anything. But in this case, I think he’s right.

    (Don’t tell Steve I said, that, OK?)

  • Switchers: Taking a bite of the Apple – Part 2

    Posted on March 16th, 2020 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Nathan Parker

    With the end of free support for Windows 7, some users are weighing whether it might be a good time to jump to Apple’s Mac.

    If you’re thinking about making the switch but are new to Apple, we’ve provided a two-part quick guide to the Mac environment.

    In Part 1 (2020-03-09 AskWoody Plus Newsletter) we discussed the various types of Mac desktops and notebooks. We also included an overview on setting up a new Mac. In Part 2, we’ll examine the macOS desktop, provide a brief description of the Mac keyboard, and discuss system backup and security.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.11.0 (2020-03-16).