Revised books on Ventura, iOS 16, and more

This is a short reminder that SMUG members can buy books at a 30% discount using the SMUG discount code, posted on the News discussion board, https://strait-mac.org/discussion-topics/take-control-books-discount-for-smug-members/

I mention this because Take Control Books has just released revised versions of four books,

Apple TV

New version of book on Apple TV.

iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

New version of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 book

macOS 13 Ventura

and a rather complex subject involving many apps across several devices,

macOS Media Apps

If you have purchased an earlier version of any of these books, you can log into the Take Control site and download the update, for free. If you don’t have a previous version, you can go to the site, buy the book or books at a discount, and start reading the books immediately.

A note on format: Take Control offers books in PDF, ePub, and Kindle (Mobi) formats. I recommend ePub, as this is the format used by Apple for iBooks on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Recent versions of Amazon Kindle also accept ePub.

Amazon, for reasons unknown to mere mortals, is dropping support for Mobi on Kindle. This is somewhat nuanced and difficult to explain, but generally speaking, ePub seems to be the way to go.

PDF documents are not recommended. They tend to be larger, and have fixed page dimensions, which make them almost impossible to read on an iPhone, and difficult even on an iPad. Stick to ePub.

Questions and Answers

For our October meeting, we had no planned program, but instead an extended Question and Answer (Q&A) session on almost anything concerning Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple TV, etc. And we recorded it:

For a larger view, click on the YouTube logo.

URLs of items mentioned in the meeting:

Take Control Books: https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/

A discount code for Take Control Books is posted on the Discussion Boards.

Google begs Apple to change Messages: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/08/new-google-site-begs-apple-for-mercy-in-messaging-war/

Good luck with that.

Guide to Apple TV+: https://9to5mac.com/2022/10/14/apple-tv-plus-tv-shows-movies-guide/

This is exceptional: short, capsule summaries of the series or movies, complete with a video clip or trailer.

Use your iPhone as a white noise generator: https://www.theverge.com/23131327/how-to-iphone-white-noise-background-sounds-ios-15

Hidden in plain sight.

Notes from the meeting will follow.

Siri and Stuff

On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, we talked about Siri, and also about Stuff (that Apple introduced in a September keynote event).

We recorded the Zoom meeting. Someday, when the lazy webmaster gets around to it, we will also post notes from the meeting.

September 20, 2022: Siri and Stuff. Click on the YouTube logo to get a much larger view.

Generic Apple Event

Apple has announced they are having an Apple Event on September 7, starting at 10 a.m. PT. Unlike previous streamed events, there is no special phrase or graphic to hint at what is to come. Instead, you get this sparkling star cluster,

Apple event star cluster
An apple-shaped star cluster, or possibly a black hole. Hard to tell.

Presumably, the event will be the usual quarterly announcement of Apple iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches. But the lack of graphical and textual hints is something of a mystery. Maybe this is an unreleased photo of some section of the universe, captured with the James Webb space telescope. Maybe it is the patterned formed by throwing darts at an Apple sticker. Maybe it is a time-lapse aerial photo of an autonomously driven Apple car driving around the Cupertino campus.

You can stream the event on September 7 and find out.

Useless clickbait tips

This entry talks about useless clickbait, but there are some useful tips on screenshots at the end. First, the useless clickbait.

While reading news stories on my iPad, I was presented with two different advertisements offering bizarre suggestions for how to block advertisements on my iPad. Yes, advertisements on how to block advertisements.

These useless advertisements had one real purpose: they were designed to make me curious, and click on the advertisement β€” in order to see more advertisements. I did not click on the ads.

But I did take screenshots, because they were funny. The first ad:

Most iPad users didn't know how to block ads (do it now!).
Ad blocker? Carpet cleaner? Finger exercise pad? We may never know.

Let us give this some thought. This illustration is suggesting you can block ads by:

  • Turning your iPad screen down and pressing it into your carpet. This works: you won’t be able to see the ads! Or anything else, but yes, you won’t be able to see the ads!
  • Or another possibility: this is a still image, but it might require more action. You might want to rub the iPad back and forth across the carpet. If there is any sand or grit on the carpet, it might scratch up the screen, which will make the ads harder to see. This could be considered an ad blocker of sorts. Also: a great way to damage your iPad.
  • Yet another possibility: this could be part of a larger image, and if you were to zoom out, maybe you would see the user crouched down like a sprinter, waiting for the starting gun to fire. The iPad itself is serving as a starting block, or, to stretch a point, an ad blocker.

As it seemed unwise to click on the link (not to mention silly), we may never know exactly what was intended.

The second ad:

Most iPad users didn't know how to block ads (do it now). An even sillier advertisement than the first.
Here’s how to block ads on your iPad! Or is it even an iPad?

The first thing to note is that this is explicitly PAID CONTENT. Some entity paid to insert this advertisement into a news page, and again, is advertising a way to block advertisements. But consider:

  • Is this even an iPad? That looks like a USB-C port in the center, but none of the iPads with USB-C ports have a bottom edge that looks anything like this.
  • Exactly what is the Q-tip doing? Is it removing gunk from the USB-C port? Maybe the USB-C port has ear wax? It isn’t clear how that can block ads.
  • Maybe the Q-tip is inserting ear wax into the USB-C port to block ads? You wouldn’t expect iPads to promulgate ads through a USB-C port, but then you wouldn’t normally stick a Q-tip in them, either.

After giving this photo several days of thought, the ear wax removal explanation seems to work best, even though it makes no sense. Again, it seemed unwise to click on the ad, so the explanation will remain a mystery.

Screenshots? You can take screenshots on an iPad?

One question you might have: how do I take a screenshot on an iPad? Apple has a support document that describes the process (it is easy): https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT210781

Another question many people have: where does the iPad put the screenshots? The support document reveals this tidbit, too, at the bottom of the page.

You can also take screenshots on your iPhone: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT200289

While it is a little trickier (you need to make a change to the Watch settings on your iPhone first), you can even take screenshots on your Apple Watch: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204673

Screenshot of an Apple Watch.
This Apple Watch screenshot shows the current time, including seconds, and (the four corners, top to bottom, left to right) a button for recording voice memos; a weather forecast with temperature range; a button for Strava, an app to record walks, runs, bike rides, etc.; and a button to display Activity (steps, exercise, stands). In the interior, the upper icon in the center will display blood oxygen level, the one on the right displays the current tide at Dungeness Landing, the bottom center shows the time in London, England, and the one on the left triggers the Breath app, which guides you through breathing exercises. There are millions of possible ways to customize the Apple Watch, most of them far less complex.
Apple Watch screenshot showing date, time, outdoor temperature and weather, location, and a view of what the earth would look like at that moment from space.
A more simplified Apple Watch screenshot showing date, time, outdoor temperature and weather, location, and a view of what the earth would look like at that moment from space. The icon at the top is subtly suggesting that the wearer should be in bed.

Apple WWDC22 announced

WWDC is short for World Wide Developer Conference, and the 2022 edition will be virtual, starting with a keynote at 10 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6.

While the Developer Conference is aimed at programmers for the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Macintosh, HomePod, etc., the opening keynote usually generates quite a bit of news with short presentations on where Apple is in the marketplace and some announcements of new and different things. Plus: there are demos of new technologies, with a random game or two thrown in.

It is free: https://developer.apple.com/wwdc22/

WWDC22 logo

California Streaming, September 14

Apple will have a live, virtual event on September 14 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. You can read about it on Apple’s site, which says nothing at all:

https://www.apple.com/apple-events/?cid=CDM-USA-DM-P0021399-484205

Slightly more was released on Apple’s Twitter account,

It isn’t a very useful or informative tweet, but it is pretty.

What people think Apple will talk about are new iPhones and possibly Apple Watch models, plus new versions of iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, and probably tvOS (for the Apple TV). Some commentators are speculating the event may also announce more Macs, but traditionally that has followed at a separate event in late September or early October.

Whatever they announce, we will probably talk about it at the SMUG meeting on September 21.

Apple event: Spring Loaded

Apple has sent out an invitation to attend, virtually, an event on April 20, at 10 a.m. PT. The only thing they’ve released is this logo,

Apple event: Spring loaded
Apple event: April 20, 2021

which is obviously designed to look like a spring coiled into something similar to the Apple logo.

There is also a link to a page on Apple’s website,

https://www.apple.com/apple-events/

which says nothing at all, other than inviting you to stop by on April 20 at 10 a.m.

Speculation

  • A new iPad Pro. The current iPad Pro has face recognition, several cameras, a nifty pen (that they call a Pencil and you have to pay extra to get it, but it is nifty), speech synthesis, lots of storage and RAM, etc. There isn’t much left to add except possibly: it hovers in the air! it floats in the water! you can play 3D games on it, just like in the first Star Wars movie! (Wookie not included.)
  • A new iPad mini. The iPad mini falls in a useful space between the size of an iPhone and the size of an iPad. The mini is just about the size and weight of a paperback book, and I used one of the earlier iPad minis as my reading library of choice for years.
  • Air Tags. The Find My app included on the Mac, iPhone and iPad was recently modified with a new option to find “Items.” This is sort of spelled out on an Apple documentation page, https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211331 — except that Apple (so far) has no tags or widgets that use this capability. Presumably, third-party suppliers will make such tags or widgets, but Apple might, too.
  • A new Apple TV. While the Apple TV is quite spiffy, the Year of COVID has revealed that it could be more. Maybe.
  • New Macs. So far, three computers with Apple Silicon CPUs have been released, the new Mac mini, one MacBook Pro, and a new MacBook Air. But it would make sense to add some larger MacBook Pros and iMacs and whatnot.
  • Apple Aircar. For years, industry pundits have been talking about a forthcoming Apple Car. But this is Apple; I’ve been predicting an Apple Aircar. It will fly through the air with the greatest of ease, and park in a standard driveway, no airport required. It will run on batteries, and can be recharged using a USB-C charging cable. True, it takes about a day to recharge unless you get the optional charging station. For some reason, it also offers the Apple Pencil as an option.

The Strait Macintosh User Group will meet that evening, and we will probably gossip about what was presented.

Drive-in WiFi hotspot finder

Washington State has been working on improving access to the Internet, in part as an incentive to growing the local economy and, more recently, as a means of helping residents work, shop, and attend school remotely during the pandemic. One key initiative is adding more public WiFi hotspots.

The state now has an interactive map for finding WiFi hotspots:

Clallam public WiFi hotspots, from the Washington State interactive hotspot location finder.

On the one hand, Clallam County, in particular, is not heavily covered by WiFi hotspots. On the other, it has more than one might expect, given that the county is decidedly not urban.

Sorry, no WiFi hotspots at Lake Crescent or Hurricane Ridge or Dungeness Spit. The eagles and elk and seagulls need to do more lobbying.

Apple special event: speed

Apple sent out an invitation today to a special event on October 13, 2020, 10 a.m. Pacific Time.

This is the sum total of what they are revealing at this time:

Possibilities:

  • Apple will announce its long-awaited hovercar.
  • Apple will announce the launch of its own space venture, competing with Space X, and Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic.
  • Apple will announce its surprise entry into competitive bicycle racing.
  • Apple will announce its own gigabit-per-second Internet service.
  • Apple will announce a really fast computer using Apple Silicon.
  • Apple will announce it has purchased the rights to a 1994 film featuring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper.
  • Apple will do something else.

You should be able to watch the event on any Internet-connected Apple device, but if you have an Apple TV, I highly recommend watching it on your big screen TV.