February General Meeting

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

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

• Monday, February 8, 2016
    1:00 PM – CW Board Meeting
    1:00 PM – iMovie Advanced Class, led by Ed Zacko, Room C, until 3:00 PM. Third of four classes. You must have signed up for this class online, received an acknowledgement from the instructor, and attend last week’s class. Walk-ins can not be accepted

• Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    1:00 PM – Q&A Session, hosted by Bruce Merrihew, Palo Verde Room, until 2:00 PM
    1:00 PM – iMovie Advanced Class, led by Ed Zacko, Room C, until 3:00 PM. Fourth of four classes. You must have signed up for this class online, received an acknowledgement from the instructor, and attend last week’s class. Walk-ins can not be accepted
    2:15 PM – iPad Basics: “Using Safari” led by Judy Cherry. This is the fifth in a series of five sessions that concentrate on the basics of using the iPad and iPhone. Each Tuesday session will be led by a different Club member, and the series will be repeated on Fridays beginning Feb 19

• Wednesday, February 10, 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 all Apple devices (Mac computers, iPads, iPhones), the Apple operating systems, and specifically, Apple apps.

• Thursday, February 11, 2016
    10:00 AM – MacsWest Special Interest Group, Room C, until 11:30 PM (Sit in with this group and learn about new and different apps appropriate for seniors)
    1:00 PM – WORKSHOP: “Using the Camera and FaceTime on the iPad,” led by Mary Kocha, Room C, until 3:00 PM. This is a one-session workshop. You must have signed up for this class online and have received an acknowledgement from the instructor. Walk-ins can not be accepted

• Friday, February 12, 2016
    1:00 PM – MacsWest Regular Meeting: Using the R. H. Johnson Library - Jane Kauzlaric, library director, will present a program on the computer features of the library, including downloading books and magazines, reserving books, and accessing business publications such as Value Line and Morningstar.
    2:15 PM – Mac Basics: “Using Safari” led by Mary Kocha. This is the fifth in a series of five sessions that concentrate on the basics of using the Mac. Each Friday session will be led by a different Club member. The series will be repeated on Tuesdays beginning February 16       

COUNTRY HOEDOWN Tuesday March 22

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Super Bowl Sunday Apple - 1984

Apple - 1984

 

Watch The Famous Ad Here.

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Apple reportedly planning event for March 15 to introduce iPad Air 3, iPhone 5se

Apple has plans to announce the 4-inch iPhone 5se, the iPad Air 3, and new Apple Watch band options at a media event on Tuesday, March 15, according to Mark Gurman of 9to5mac. It will mark Apple's first media event since September, and it looks to be a doozie, with three major product categories to be touched on by Tim Cook and Co, following a mixed Christmas quarter.

The iPhone 5se is perhaps the most interesting in the announcement lineup, as it deviates from Apple's fall iPhone refresh schedule. Gurman, who has a stellar track record when it comes to reporting on Apple, says the iPhone 5se will include a 4-inch screen, an A9 chip, improved cameras, NFC to support Apple Pay, and the ability to take live photos.

Marketed toward the budget consumer, the iPhone 5se will be priced the same as the 5s, replacing the older iPhone, starting at $450 for 16GB. A 64GB model could be offered to those looking to stay on a budget, but wanting to add storage space. The iPhone 5se won't look too different from the iPhone 5s, but will pack plenty of power inside. 

There's no word on where Apple plans to host the event. 

The iPad Air 3 set to be revealed will be Apple's first 10.1-inch iPad revamp since October 2014. The new tablet will feature enhanced speakers and a Smart Connector, similar to the iPad Pro introduced in 2015. This could mean that a smaller Smart Keyboard is on the way.

ipad-air-3-leak.jpg

On Tuesday, Engadget leaked schematics of the iPad Air 3, showing it could essentially be a smaller iPad Pro. If the leak is to be believed, the iPad Air 3 will be be 0.05 mm thicker and 0.1 mm wider than its predecessor. 

The Apple Watch will see minor announcements, including Sport Bands with multiple new colors, new Hermes bands, a Space Black version of the Milanese Loop, and an entirely new band line made of a new material. The new material could be made of NATO-style nylon bands.

The event hasn't been officially confirmed by Apple, and of course in the world of rumors, announcements can change. Given Gurman's track record, we wouldn't expect Apple to have too many surprises at its events.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAC!

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On 24 January 1984, Steve Jobs introduced the first Macintosh computer. It is a historic moment because it change the way people use a computer. It is the first mass-market personal computer featuring graphical user interface and mouse.

"Use a PC on a Mac" By Jim Eagar

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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.

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The original Apple iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs exactly 9 years ago.

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9 years ago on January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs took the stage of San Francisco's Moscone Center and announced a flurry of news: first of all, the company he co-founded changed its name from Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc., officially announced the Apple TV set-top box, and also made history by unveiling the gadget that subsequently turned into the corporation's bread and butter — the Apple iPhone.

Indeed, January 9, 2007, can be safely regarded as the iPhone's birthday, as it was today when all rumors were put to rest and the device became official. Actually, just before announcing the iPhone Steve Jobs seemingly "trolled" the audience by teasing three different devices, namely a "widescreen iPod with touch controls", a "revolutionary mobile phone", and a "breakthrough internet communicator". It was a couple of moments later when it became clear to just anyone in Moscone Center that these are not three separate devices, but one innovatively combining the features of the three aforementioned gadgets.

The original iPhone hit the shelves months later, on June 29, 2007, and it was priced at $499 for the 4 GB model, whereas the 8 GB model cost $599. Being a first-gen product, the device suffered from a number of flaws—poor 3G signal reception being one of the more serious ones—but in the end of the day, it was universally lauded as an innovative, "breakthrough" device. Time magazine even named it Invention of the Year.

Nine years later, the iPhone family is still going strong on the verge of technology breakthrough. Its current iterations, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, are quite the improvement over the previous generation; in addition, the iPhone 7 that is coming later this year is already the subject of many a rumor, some of which are quite spicy and intriguing!

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 

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.

iBooks

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.

NumberSync

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.

OS X 10.11.2 Update Arrives with Fixes for El Capitan Problems

Apple has a brand new software update for owners of MacBooks, MacBook Airs, Mac Pros and iMacs running its latest operating system. Late this morning the company released the Mac OS X 10.11.2 update. The free software upgrade doesn’t add anything new for users, but does fix a smattering of serious OS X El Capitan problems.

The OS X 10.11.2 update is rolling out to millions of users that all own an Apple computer right now. Apple released the update at the same time as the iOS 9.2 update for iPhone users, TVos updates for the latest Apple TV and a small update for wearers of its popular Apple Watch. The update is free to download for anyone that has the operating system installed already.

Fixes make up all of the OS X 10.11.2 update. Apple notes that the update “improves Wi-Fi reliability,” finally addressing an issue that some Mac OS users reported with their machines. Also included is a fix that forces Handoff and AirDrop to work correctly on Mac OS. Again, some users reported problems with both features following the initial launch of Mac OS X El Capitan.

Other fixes are related to the infrastructure of Mac OS X El Captain, mainly. Getting photos off an iPhone and on to an iMac is now more reliable thanks to a fix in this update for addressing that problem. An issue that stopped email messages from being properly deleted from a Microsoft Exchange Account when offline is fixed with the OS X 10.11.2 update. That’s huge, as many companies use Microsoft Exchange to power the email and calendar experience of their entire company. 

Finally, using the iCloud Photo Sharing library to import Live Photos taken with an iPhone has a fix. Apple only notes that this fixes makes some “improvements.” There doesn’t seem to have been a huge bug with the feature, just some problems with iCloud syncing what users captured reliably. Live Photos are the moving pictures that Apple’s latest iPhones capture alongside standard images.

All told, the OS X 10.11.2 update will come as welcome news for anyone that’s had trouble getting their Mac running properly with the new update installed. Mac OS X El Capitan is the latest update to come to Macs since Apple began giving away free upgrades of Mac OS to owners of its machines. With the update installed, it should be ok for those still holding out to install the software upgrade.

OS X El Captain includes a host of small changes for upgraders. For years, owners of Windows machines could use their mouse cursor to drag apps to the side of their screen and automatically lock them there. That’s included in the update. Note, Mail and Messages are received big updates too. Notes now works and behaves like its counterpart on iOS, the software runs on the iPhone. Messages added gesture support so that users can quickly swipe away or schedule anything in their email inbox.

Read: OS X EL Capitan: 10 Standard Features

OS X Yosemite, the previous update for Mac OS users, did all the heavy lifting. It brought the iPhone, iPad and Mac closer together by letting users send and receive text messages from any of their Apple devices. It also featured Handoff, a nifty way to send things being worked on or looked at to different Apple devices wirelessly.

Again, downloading this update to OS X El Captain is free. Some users report that their machines aren’t yet ready to let them download the software upgrade just yet. Others report that they’ve successfully downloaded and updated their machines already. If everything follow’s Apple usual release pattern, everyone will have the software update ready to install tonight into tomorrow.

Firefox makes its way to the Apple store

News: Firefox for iOS has Yahoo its default search provider.

Apple Store has opened its doors to Firefox, which will allow iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to use the new browser.

Until now, iOS users only had access to default browser Safari, Dolphin and Google Chrome, which provided some unique features to iOS users.

Mozilla used the Gecko rendering engine, which is considered one of the reasons why Apple denied Firefox entry into its store, as Apple requires iOS apps to use the WebKit rendering engine.

However, after several years, the company is running the iOS version of its browser on WebKit.

Firefox vice president Nick Nguyen said: "Firefox for iOS lets you take your favorite browser with you wherever you go with the Firefox features you already love including smart and flexible search, intuitive tab management, syncing with Firefox Accounts and Private Browsing."

The browser will allow users to sync their browsing history, tabs and passwords and allow bookmarks from other devices to Firefox for iOS.

It will provide search suggestions that will predict what users are looking for in Firefox, and visual tabs that will allow users to manage multiple tabs on the same screen.

Firefox for iOS will also facilitate Private Browsing which is designed to let users browse without saving history or sharing existing cookies with the sites.

Firefox's ad blocking extension is one of the distinctive features in the desktop version. However, Firefox for iOS will not have ad blocking feature due to Apple's strict rules regarding third party apps.

However, the company's default browser Safari supports Content Blocking extensions in iOS 9.

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's New iPod Touch Is Basically a Diet iPhone

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Apple iPod Touch

 

Apple introduced a revamped iPod Touch lineup on Wednesday, the product’s first major overhaul since 2012. The new features — a faster processor, a better camera and new fitness tracking capabilities — restore the iPod Touch’s place in Apple’s lineup as an iPhone minus the phone element.

The new iPod Touch, available Wednesday starting at $199, packs the same A8 processor found in the iPhone 6, as well as an eight megapixel rear camera and improved front-facing camera. While the iPod Touch lacks the ability to connect to a cell phone carrier’s wireless network, it does have Wi-Fi, so users can access features like Apple’s new Apple Music streaming service when connected to a local network or hotspot.

The new iPod Touch comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB varieties for $199, $249, $299 and $399 respectively. Apple has also added five new colors to the entire iPod lineup.

In many ways, Apple has the iPod to thank for setting it on a path to become the world’s most valuable company. While the iPod received mixed and often cold reviews initially, it soon became synonymous with “.mp3 player,” helped along by the iTunes Music Store’s large selection and ease of use.

But the iPod has long since been eclipsed by the iPhone, which today provides the bulk of Apple’s revenue. Apple no longer identifies the iPod individually in its earnings reports; it’s lumped into an “Other Products” category that’s typically responsible for the smallest chunk of the company’s bottom line. For that reason, it’s always a little surprising when Apple decides to do much of anything with the iPod: It could easily let the product wither away and die, and suffer essentially zero ill consequences for doing so.

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

Or:

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

Or:

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 iCloud.com. 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 TheWirecutter.com.

 

 

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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