May General Meeting

Read the minutes of the May General Meeting. Many thanks to MacsWest Secretary Judy Cherry for recording and preparing them.


This Week @ MacsWest
Teaching, Helping, Learning and Having Fun! 

 • Monday, May 23, 2016
    Nothing Scheduled

 • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 
    1:00 PM – Q&A Session, hosted by David Morin, Palm Ridge Palo Verde Room, until about 2:00 PM.

 • Wednesday, May 25, 2016
10:00 AM – Senior Genius Bar: hosted by various members of the MW Club, Room C, every Wednesday, until 11:30 AM. These one-on-one help sessions are held every Wednesday and deal with Apple devices (Mac computers, iPads, iPhones), the Apple operating systems, and Apple apps

 • Thursday, May 26, 2016 
    Nothing Scheduled 

 • Friday, May 27, 2016 
    Nothing Scheduled—in recognition of Memorial Day on Monday

MacBook Updated With Faster Processors, Longer Battery Life And Rose Gold Option

Apple has announced a new version of its flagship MacBook laptop, and while it doesn’t have any major new features, the updated device will carry the latest Intel processors, promise longer battery life, and even come in the rose gold finish the company’s iPhones have been offered in for some time.

Apple was widely tipped to refresh its 12-inch MacBook this month ahead of its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, when the company is expected to announce entirely new MacBook models. The MacBook, which was initially launched last year, features a Retina display, edge-to-edge keyboard and slim chassis. Controversially it also ditched all ports in favor of a single USB-C port used for charging, data transfer and anything else you need it for.

The new models, which can be ordered as of April 19, retain all the same design and features of the original but with the inclusion of Intel’s latest Skylake processors, an update which has the added benefit Apple says of giving the MacBook an extra 30 minutes of battery life. Another performance boost sees the minimum RAM shipped with any MacBook increased from 4GB to 8GB.

Apple MacBook SkylakeApple's MacBook is now available in the same colors as its iPhones and iPads. Photo: Apple

The addition of the extra color option for the MacBook brings Apple’s laptop in line with its iOS devices, with all now available in grey, silver, gold, and rose gold.

The MacBook now comes in just two configurations. The entry-level model, featuring a 1.1 GHz Core m3 processor and 256 GB of storage, costs $1,299 while the more expensive $1,599 model features a faster 1.2GHz Core m5 processor and 512GB of flash memory. Apple's use of the energy-efficient Core m processors from Intel over the more powerful Core i chips means the MacBook retains its fanless design but is not as powerful as similar laptops.

Reports suggest that Apple will launch ultra-slim 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook models at WWDC, which could replace the company’s MacBook Pro range and also feature USB-C as the primary port, though the company may include more than the single port seen on the 12-inch MacBook.

Apple MacBook rose GoldApple's 12-inch MacBook now comes in rose gold, like its iPhones and iPads. Photo: Apple

With MacBooks ranking among the most recognizable laptops on the market, competitors are aiming to catch up — and in some cases surpass — them in terms of design. Just two weeks ago HP launched the Spectre, calling it the world’s thinnest laptop, with PC chief Ron Coughlin telling the Wall Street Journal that HP was going “take over the mantle” from Apple as an innovator in this area.

Earl Beck WWII Memorial Flight (Waving)

Click on Picture to Enlarge

Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone SE Sold out Across the US

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) for the very first time saw a decline in sales for its iPhone during the fourth quarter last year. But after the release of the iPhone SE, and taking its reception into account, it is safe to say that the company will not have to be concerned about it anymore. 

During Apple’s March 21 event, there was a lot of debate regarding whether or not the device met expectations, but the move proved to be a brilliant one, and this becomes even more apparent with the fact that the iPhone SE is sold out across the US. Additionally, shipping dates have been extended to the end of April.

Apple Insider recently pointed out that the iPhone SE has been massively unavailable across all Apple Stores across the US. Moreover, the earliest delivery date is two weeks away, by April 20 to be more precise.

At the same time, it is important to note that this does not mean that carriers have run out of stock. However, it will be a tough call for those who do not want to buy the phone at a subsidized cost.

Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, this comes as great news for Apple, as it shows that people are more than happy to purchase its smaller iPhone SE. But then again, there were a lot of iPhone users who were not entirely satisfied with the larger iPhone 6 and 6S, and if things go on the way they are, the company will most likely be seeing an increase in sales like never before.

Apple unveils a new smaller iPad Pro

Apple just announced the successor to the iPad Air 2 during its press conference in Cupertino. This isn’t a new iPad Air, it’s a smaller iPad Pro. And the company is calling it the iPad Pro.

“We believe that iPad is the perfect expression of the future of computing,” Tim Cook said on stage before Phil Schiller introduced the new iPad.

The iPad Air 2 was released in October 2014 so today’s new iPad is a big upgrade. It still features a 9.7-inch display, but everything else is new.

It features a new display with 40 percent less reflectivity. It’s 25 percent brighter than an iPad Air 2 with a wider color gamut. At 500 nits of light, it’s the brightest iPad ever. The smaller iPad Pro will work great with Night Shift, a new feature in iOS 9.3 that turns the display into a yellow-ish display when the sun goes down. The new iPad Pro also has two new four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the ambient light more accurately and adjust white balance.

Like on the bigger iPad Pro, the new device features 4 speakers with big cavities for louder, better sound. Behind the scene, the iPad Pro features an A9X, supports faster LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The new iPad features the 12-megapixel iPhone 6s camera that can shoot 4k video, out-performing the camera on the big iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it means that the camera isn’t flush.

Apple is also releasing a smaller Smart Keyboard cover, like the one on the big iPad Pro but smaller. Keys are going to be a bit smaller, but the keyboard uses the smart connector so you don’t have to pair or charge it.

The smaller iPad Pro also supports the Apple Pencil. Finally, you can plug lightning accessories to transfer photos with the USB camera adaptor and the SD card reader. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro comes in four colors — silver, black, gold and rose gold. The new iPad Pro is 6.1 mm thick and weighs just under one pound.

The new iPad is also a bit more expensive. Starting at $599, it’s $100 more than the entry-level iPad Air 2. But it also comes with 32GB instead of 16GB. For $749, you get a 128GB of storage, and for $899 you get 256GB for the first time. It’s unclear how much the LTE options are going to cost. The iPad Air 2 is now $399, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro now has a 256GB configuration. The 9.7-inch iPad Pro will be available in early April.

Apple introduces the iPhone SE


If you’ve been hankering for a new iPhone that has all the power of the latest generations but fits in your hand like the old models, today is a good day for you. 

Apple has just unveiled the long-awaited iPhone SE.


The phone has a 4-inch display and the same general dimensions as the iPhone 5s.In fact, the iPhone SE looks almost identical in design to the iPhone 5s, including the chamfered, sharper edges of the device. The only difference is those edges will be finished in matte, unlike the iPhone 5s. 

The phone will come in space grey, silver, gold and rose gold. 

That said, the iPhone SE has very different innards than the iPhone 5s.

Tech Specs

The new, smaller model will include an NFC chip for Apple Pay, alongside the much-faster A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor. This means that the phone will see speeds similar to the iPhone 6s, and will also be equipped with always-on “Hey Siri” functionality.

Apple also said that it has been able to reach LTE speeds that are 50 percent faster than previous generations. 


The camera will also see upgrades, with a 12-megapixel sensor and the ability to capture 4K video. This is the same camera you’ve seen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. 

With that camera comes the ability to capture and view Live Photos, Apple’s GIF-style feature that captures a couple seconds of video before and after the picture is taken to result in a moving, video-like final product.

Rumors suggested that the new iPhone wouldn’t have the front-facing flash capability we’ve seen on the iPhone 6s. That, however, is incorrect. Apple has included that same LED functionality into the SE, meaning you can take selfies in the right lighting conditions with the smaller model. 

No 3D Touch

Sources told 9to5Mac that the reason behind this is that the front-facing flash requires the new display tech we’ve seen on the iPhone 6s, which brings us to 3D touch.

The flagship feature on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which offers deeper interaction with various applications on the iPhone through hard taps and long taps, will not be present on the iPhone SE.


iOS 9.2 comes out today, and will ship with the little iPhone SE. It includes Night Mode, which changes the coloring and brightness of the display to better suit your eyes in the evening/night and early in the morning. It will also include password-protected (TouchID) Notes, app suggestions in Health, and more customized News. 

CarPlay has also gotten integration from many more carmakers. 

Pricing and Availability

The iPhone SE will come in two models, 16GB and 64GB, priced at $399 and $499 respectively. If you’re using the iPhone Upgrade program, pricing starts at $17/month. 

You can pick up the new iPhone starting March 31, and it will hit 100 countries by May.

"Use a PC on a Mac" By Jim Eagar


Jim Eagar showed us how to “Use a PC on a Mac"


Friday January 8th, Jim Eagar showed us how he uses Windows on a Mac. It was a great presentation, Macswest recordered the presentation and it will be available soon on Macswest under LEARNIT.


Here is a link to a PDF version of the presentation with links additional articles on Apple Boot CampParallels:Fusion and othersGeneral Articles.


Apple just updated your iPhone and here's the best new hidden feature

UPDATE: Apple's IOS 9 gets some new bonus features

If you own an iPhone it’s a good idea to head to settings and download the latest version iOS 9.

This update to Apple’s operating system brings bug fixes to the iPhone and iPad, but there’s also some new features including support for external cameras and SD cards.

This means you can finally plug in your camera or card reader to your Apple device and import pictures directly without having to go near an computer.

Once connected, the photos app will appear on the screen allowing you to choose which images you’d like to transfer.

For this to work you will need to buy a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or a Lightning to SD Card Reader but it will make it easier and faster to get photos on your phone.

Apple iOS 9.2APPLE 

ON SONG: Apple Music gets some bonus features on iOS 9.2

As well as external photo support Apple has added Mail Drop, which was previously only available to Mac owners.

This uses iCloud to send large attachments alongside emails – up to a staggering 5GB.

iBooks has also seen a couple of tweaks and improvements, including support for Apple's new 3D Touch mechanism on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.


Apple iOS 9.2

Apple Music on iPhone also gets a tweak with plenty of improvements to music streaming service.

Here's a full list of updates on Apple Music.

• You can now create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist

• Your most recently changed playlist is now listed at the top when adding songs to playlists

• Download albums or playlists from your iCloud Music Library by tapping the iCloud download button

• See which songs have been downloaded with the new download indicator next to each song in My Music and Playlists

• See works, composers, and performers while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalog

Apple Releases Smart Battery Case

Apple has released its newest product that could keep your iPhone charged for up to 25 hours.

By Kristina Udice | Dec 09, 2015 02:26 AM EST

Apple's Smart Battery Case

Apple has released a new Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 and 6S. (Photo : Twitter Photo Section) 

Competitors, beware: Apple has launched its newest product. Apple has created a Smart Battery Case designed specifically for the iPhone 6 and 6S, according to Computer World. The phone case, when fully charged, can keep a phone on for 18 to 25 hours, depending on whether it's being used for talk-time, browsing or video playback.

Apple hopes to take a bite out of the competition by making this battery case specifically for the iPhone 6, and its silicon design fits perfectly around the phone, according to the Verge. The bump on the back of the case, however, has many feeling the design is too bulky to be practical.

The case also connects directly with the iPhone itself, according to Fox News.

"With the Smart Battery Case on, the intelligent battery status is displayed on the iPhone Lock screen and in Notification Center, so you know exactly how much charge you have left," Apple wrote in the product description.

The jury is still out on whether the pros outweigh the cons, as competitor battery packs are both available at a lower cost and charge the phone for longer periods of time, according to the Verge. One of Apple's biggest competitors in this market is Mophie.

The case is available starting Tuesday in two colors: Charcoal Gray or White.

Apple Rolls Out iOS 9.2 To The Public: Here Are All The Best Features To Expect

Apple has released iOS 9.2 just six weeks after it launched iOS 9.1, and the update brings in a ton of improvements and bug fixes across the board.

While there are more than 30 changes, there are some that stand out.

Mail Drop

Apple has finally rolled out Mail Drop, a nifty app that allows users to send up to 5GB worth of files using the Mail app via iCloud Drive. This used to be an OS X-only feature, but every iOS 9.2 user can now use it.

Apple Music

Apple Music received a lot of enhancements in terms of the UI and functions. First off, users can now create playlists, and recently updated playlists will now be positioned at the top of the list. In addition, users will now be able to download albums and playlists from their iCloud Music Library for offline playback, and there are now indicators to clearly show which ones are downloaded.

Apple News

Before anyone gets their hopes up, Apple News is still restricted to users in the UK and the United States. At any rate, iOS 9.2 added in a Top Stories section for the app, listing the most interesting or important stories of the day. Also, Apple News editors curate these stories daily, so it will be frequently updated throughout the day.


Avid readers - iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch readers, at least - will be delighted to know that iBooks now supports 3D Touch, allowing users to Peek at pages and Pop into them from bookmarks, notes and content. They'll also be able to tap and press to bring up a word definition and even play an audiobook in the background while browsing or reading.

USB Camera Adapter Support

Apple recently released its iPhone 6s Smart Battery Case along with a USB adapter that allows users to connect their cameras and transfer files, and the latest update brings in support to use the accessory. However, it's worth mentioning that the USB adapter isn't compatible with the iPod Touch.


One of the most anticipated features is probably the AT&T NumberSync, which allows users to make calls with other Apple devices, including iPad and Apple Watch. The company delivered, and iOS 9.2 devices now have full support for this function.

Other Notable Updates

1. iPad Pro fixes

2. Arabic support for Siri

3. Keyboard in Quick Reply improvement

4. Improved Safari stability

5. Improved Podcasts stability

And of course, iOS 9.2 comes with a lot of fixes for bugs that really need to be resolved.

Apple updates iMacs with better screens, faster processors

Apple's iMac and its accessories are getting a minor makeover.

On Tuesday, Apple upgraded its iMac computers with better displays and faster processors, and updated its keyboard, mouse and trackpad accessories.

The Mac business might not be as big or as sexy as Apple's mobile business, but it remains an important focus for the company. Apple generates less than 15 percent of its revenue from Macs, but the devices help flesh out its family of products, which are increasingly designed to work together. The company is hoping the additions are enough to keep its fans happy at a time when broader PC sales have slowed.

Apple on Tuesday added its supersharp Retina 5K display to every 27-inch iMac and incorporated a slightly lower-resolution Retina 4K display in the top model of its 21.5-inch Mac line for the first time. Apple also gave its new iMacs more powerful Intel processors and graphics, two Thunderbolt 2 ports and updated storage options.

The 27-inch iMac comes in three models, costing $1,799, $1,999 and $2,299. The 21.5-inch iMac is available in three models starting at $1,099, and the top-of-the-line version with the Retina 4K display starts at $1,499.

The 27-inch iMacs will include Intel's newest, sixth-generation processors, dubbed Skylake, as well as AMD graphics cards. But the 21-inch iMacs will only incorporate the fifth generation of Intel's chips and graphics. That's a boost from their current components but lags behind what other computer makers are releasing.

Before last year's update, the iMac -- an all-in-one desktop computer, with the brains hidden behind a sleek display -- hadn't had a design change in two years. Most of all, its screen resolution hadn't changed much while other devices had been bumped to Apple's Retina Display. The iPhone 4, introduced in 2010, sported the first Retina Display, while the higher-resolution screen hit the iPad tablet and MacBook Pro laptop line in 2012.

Some of the most noticeable changes to Apple's computer products come in the accessories, the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2. The keyboard and mouse are included in the box with new iMacs, and users can choose to swap in the trackpad instead of the mouse for an additional $40. All three are also sold separately, at $79 for the Magic Mouse 2, $99 for the Magic Keyboard and $129 for the Magic Trackpad 2. That's an increase of $10, $30 and $60 over the prices for the respective predecessor products.

All three feature a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and can last a month or more on a charge. The new Magic Keyboard is streamlined by 13 percent but remains full-size. Apple tweaked the new trackpad to an off-white color from aluminum and increased the surface area by 29 percent. The Magic Trackpad 2 supports Force Touch, which responds to different amount of pressure as on the new touchpads in the MacBook and MacBook Pro.


Apple Announces The 12.9-Inch iPad Pro, Featuring A9X Processor And Starting At $799

Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — hailed by the company as the most powerful iPad ever.

The new tablet is the largest the company has made to date, and is largely targeted toward media professionals and those in the enterprise.

Touted by Apple as the "biggest news in iPad since the iPad," the iPad Pro offers a display with a whopping 5.3 million pixels — more than the display on the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. This display allows for a full-screen typing experience, and for users to do things like play musical instruments on their device. For those who don't want a software keyboard, Apple has also unveiled a new physical keyboard called the Smart Keyboard.

(Photo : Apple / Tech Times)

To connect with the keyboard, the device makes use of the new Smart Connector, which is magnetic and capable of carrying both power and data.

The new device also makes use of Apple's new A9X chip, the processor designed specifically for Apple's tablets. The chip, according to Apple, is a pretty substantial 1.8x faster than the previous generation A8X chip — putting it in the same class as many desktop computer processors.

(Photo : Apple / Tech Times)

The iPad Pro also features a four-speaker system, which balances frequencies based on the orientation of the device. It will certainly be interesting to see how this works in real life.

Multitasking is a prominent selling point for the new iPad, and with iOS 9, users can have multiple apps on the display at once — taking advantage of the large screen for productivity. Apple even called on Microsoft's Kirk Koenigsbauer to talk about Microsoft Office on the iPad Pro.

As far as dimensions for the new device, the iPad Pro is 6.9 mm thin, only slightly thicker than the iPad Air 2, and weighs 1.57 pounds, which is only slightly heavier than the original iPad. This is pretty substantial, considering how large the iPad Pro is.

Apart from Apple bringing a Microsoft executive on stage, perhaps the biggest announcement at the Apple Special Event was the Apple Pencil: a high-tech stylus for the device, able to detect things like the angle at which the user is drawing.

Other features include a FaceTime camera, Wi-Fi compatibility, and so on. The iPad Pro comes in three finishes, and starts at $799. It will be available starting in November.


Apple Pay: A 5-step beginner's guide

Apple CEO Tim Cook has called 2015 “the year of Apple Pay," referring to the company’s highly successful mobile payments system, which was developed across several years.

Step 1: Set up Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and an Apple Watch that’s paired with an iPhone 5 or later series device.

Launch the Passbook app (soon to be called Wallet).

Tap Set up Apple Pay

There are a couple of ways to set up Apple Pay for your card.

Add the credit or debit card you already use for iTunes to Passbook by entering the card security code


Use your iSight camera to scan your card in order to enter your card information.


Do it manually. Choose Enter a new Credit or Debit Card

Enter the Name, Card Number, Expiration Date and Security Code from your card. Tap Next.

In some cases, your card will be verified with your bank, which may require you make or receive a call and/or enter a code sent to you via SMS.

Your verified card will appear at the top of Passbook & Apple Pay section of settings.

Step 2: Set up Apple Pay on Apple Watch

Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and select Passbook & Apple Pay. Tap ‘Add a Credit or Debit Card."

To add the card you already use with iTunes just enter the security code.

You can also add a card using the iSight camera on your iPhone or type details manually (as above).

Step 3: Using Apple Pay

In theory, Apple Pay works in any store that accepts NFC payments, usually shown by the ‘Contactless’ (tap and pay) symbol on the payment machine. You can already use it internationally if you have an account with a supporting bank.

You can also use Apple Pay to pay with a single touch within apps – just look for the Buy with Apple Pay icon.

To pay with a phone: Just hold your iPhone near the contactless reader with your finger on Touch ID

To pay with Apple Watch: Double-click the side button and hold the face of your Apple Watch up to the contactless reader. A gentle tap and a beep confirm that your payment information has been sent.

If you have multiple cards, you can browse through all available payment cards in Passbook on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

Step 4: Update and remove

If you want to remove a card from Apple Pay to go to Settings>Passbook & Apple pay, tap the card that you want to remove and then select Remove Card.

You can change the address email, or phone number you use for paying within apps Settings > Passbook & Apple Pay to update your information.

Step 5: Is it safe?

Apple likes to say its system is safer than existing chip-and-pin system, and may have a point. Whenever you use a card to pay, your card number and identity are visible. Apple Pay uses a a unique Device Account Number to replace your actual credit and debit card numbers, so your real identity and card number details are not shared. And if you lose your iOS device, you can use Find My iPhone to suspend Apple Pay or wipe your device.

You can also remove your cards from Apple Pay on Just sign in, click Settings, choose your device, and remove your cards in the Apple Pay section.


Apple moves to six-digit passcode in iOS 9

Apple plans to require six-digit passcodes to unlock its latest mobile devices that use iOS 9, its forthcoming mobile operating system.

Users already have the option in iOS 8 of setting a much longer passcode than four digits, which is the current minimum requirement. Symbols and letters can also be used.

Increasing the minimum number of digits to six means that there will be 1 million possible combinations rather than 10,000, which "will be a lot tougher to crack," Apple wrote on its website.

The move to longer passcodes is not likely to please U.S. authorities, who have expressed fears that stronger security measures, including encryption, may make it more difficult to obtain information for time-sensitive investigations, such as terrorism.

Apple beefed up the encryption in iOS 8, protecting more sensitive data and employing more protections within hardware to make it harder to access.

Security experts have said that the use of a four-digit passcodes in iOS 8 is likely insufficient to protect data despite the protections Apple put in place. Users are better served by longer, unique passwords, but rarely opt for more complicated ones.

The passcode change will apply to devices that have Touch ID, Apple's fingerprint scanner that is built into the latest versions of its hardware.

Touch ID eliminates the sometimes fiddly process of unlocking a phone using the four-digit code, but Apple does require it to be entered after a device is restarted.

iOS devices have other passcode protection features. For example, if a wrong passcode is entered, an iPhone can lock someone out for a minute and for subsequently longer times if wrong passcodes are repeatedly entered.

A device can also be configured to erase itself after 10 wrong attempts.

The move to six digits could make it a lot harder for law enforcement to randomly guess passcodes on an iOS 9 device if it hasn't been configured to wipe its data.

The best cable modem (for most folks)



This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read the full article below at



After researching 57 different cable modems, the $90 ARRIS / Motorola SurfBoard SB6141 DOCSIS 3.0 remains the cable modem we recommend for most people. If instead of renting from your ISP, you buy your own cable modem, you can get a better device and recoup the cost in as little as a year—and then start saving anywhere from $6-$10 each month, depending on your ISP's rental fees.  Yes, you can probably find a slightly cheaper cable modem that only works with your ISP. We prefer our pick because its flexibility makes it a better long-term investment if you change service during the lifetime of the device. Unlike the competition, the SurfBoard is compatible with almost all of the fastest Internet plans from seven of the eight biggest cable Internet providers, including Charter, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. You can move almost wherever you want and be assured that this buy-once, use-for-awhile device will still work. And you get the flexibility to switch providers if there's a better deal in your area.


Read The Complete Article Here.


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