May General Meeting

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

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

 • Monday, August 14, 2017 
      Nothing scheduled @ MacsWest

 • Tuesday, August 15, 2017
      Nothing scheduled @ MacsWest

 • Wednesday, August 16, 2017
      10:00 AM – SENIOR GENIUS BAR: hosted by the usual suspects in Room C @ Palm Ridge Rec Center, until 11:30 AM. These sessions will continue all summer. We’re here to help you solve your Apple device problems. Drop by for a one-on-one session with the Geniuses and get all the help you need. Be sure to bring a list of your IDs and passwords

 • Thursday, August 17, 2017 
      Nothing scheduled @ MacsWest

 • Friday, August 18, 2017
      ALL DAY — PALM RIDGE COMPUTERS WEST ROOMS A, B, & C ARE CLOSED TODAY FOR CARPET CLEANING (No Monitors Scheduled)
      1:00 PM – GRAB BAG FRIDAY: hosted by Bill Turvin, in the Palo Verde Room @ Palm Ridge Rec Center (the Palo Verde Room is open today; it was closed LAST WEEK for carpet cleaning)

T-Mobile targets 55-and-older crowd with cheaper unlimited plan

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Over the last several years, T-Mobile has refashioned itself into the rebel "un-carrier" catering to a younger, hipper crowd. 

Now, it's going after their parents and grandparents. 

The nation's third-largest carrier on Monday introduced a new rate plan specifically marketed at consumers who are 55 and older. The plan, which includes unlimited data, calls and text messages, costs $50 a month for an individual line and $60 for a couple. Like other T-Mobile One plans, the rates include the taxes and fees. 

The normal price is $70 for a single line, and $120 for two lines (although there's currently a limited promotion that brings it down to $100). Customers will be able to sign up for the new plan starting Wednesday. 

The program, coined T-Mobile One Unlimited 55+, marks a departure from the usual wireless promotions that go after younger customers or families. It's another sign of the broader move by the carriers to offer more incentives to people to stick around or switch to their service. In this case, it's targeting a segment that hasn't gotten a lot of love. 

"We're bringing the un-carrier revolution to people who are underserved and overpriced," Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Sherrard said in an interview Friday ahead of the news.

Sherrard said the push to go beyond younger consumers in big markets comes from T-Mobile's expansion of its wireless network into areas outside of major cities. 

"We've done phenomenally well with millennials and in urban centers," Sherrard said. "Now we have an amazing opportunity to move beyond that." 

He noted that the older age demographic represents the fastest-growing group of smartphone adopters and users. 

The new rate includes a discount for enrolling in its auto-pay function. Customers who don't want to sign up for auto-pay will shell out an $5 each month. 

Apple To Offer Mobile-Less Watch

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Apple is reportedly planning to release a smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks without relying on an iPhone.

Apple’s current smartwatch has to be connected wirelessly to an iPhone to stream music, download directions in maps, and send messages while on the go.

But some new models planned for release at the end of the year, will be able to conduct many tasks without an iPhone in range, news reports say.

Intel will supply LTE modems for the new Watch in a coup by the chipmaker, which has been trying for years to get its components into more Apple mobile devices. Qualcomm has previously been the main modem supplier for iPhones and other Apple mobile gadgets, but is currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with Apple over pricing of its components.

Apple discontinues iPod nano and shuffle

Update: We’ve confirmed with Apple that iPod nano and shuffle are indeed discontinued and will eventually be removed from sale in retail stores too. Apple has also updated the iPod touch lineup in the process, now offering only 32GB and 128GB models at reduced prices.

Apple today quietly removed its iPod nano and iPod shuffle product pages from its website, indicating that the company could be moving towards officially discontinuing the products. The move makes the iPod touch the only iPod left on Apple’s website available for sale.

 

While the current iteration of the products have long been considered to be on their last leg—both having been last updated in 2015 with new colors but otherwise the same since 2012— it’s unclear if Apple is just removing their presence from online or will also stop selling the devices in its retail stores where as of recent weeks its had stock of both products in many locations. One Apple retail source we spoke with said there hadn’t been any notice or indication the product would be removed from sale.

Apple has also changed the icon for iPod’s main product page on its website to reflect the iPod Touch now being the sole iPod in its lineup (as pictured above).

Both the iPod nano and iPod shuffle remain available for sell at third-party retailers.

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Everything Apple Announced at WWDC

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Read Complete Article Here

Apple HomePod

Amazon’s Alexa lives in the Echo; Google’s Assistant lives in the Home. Now, Siri gets a place of its own with the HomePod, Apple’s new smart speaker. The 7″ device comes with seven tweeters and runs on an Apple A8 chip. It customizes the sound to fill out the room you’re in, and the six microphone array in the middle gives you a direct line to Siri. Ask it to play Beats 1 Radio, deliver the weather forecast, set a timer, or control your HomeKit devices. The HomePod ships in December, starting at $350. Read our story here.

The Most Powerful Mac Ever Made

The all-new iMac Pro packs monster power into the same super sleek design that makes Apple products so covetable. It comes with processors up to 22 teraflops, memory up to 128 gigs, and as much as 4 terabytes of storage. And now, the entire shell comes in space gray, with keyboard and trackpad to match. Apple also introduced upgrades to the entire line of MacBooks and iMacs, all of which are now getting a boost with Intel’s super efficient Kaby Lake processors. The new MacBook Pros and iMacs now start at $1,299, but you’ll have to shell out $5,000 for the new iMac Pro. That’s way too much to pay if you spend most of your time on the browser streaming Netflix, but if you’re looking for a supercomputer, this is the one. Read more about it here.

High Sierra macOS

The latest macOS, dubbed High Sierra (yes, really), brings updates to everything on your computer: Safari now runs 80 percent faster, according to Apple, and comes with built-in autoplay blocking and intelligent tracking prevention to hide cross-site scripting data. New features in Mail spotlight your most important messages and use less storage space on your phone, and improved machine learning capabilities in Photos to automatically sort your library by event or detect who’s in your pictures. There’s also the new Apple File System, which comes with fast directory sizing, file level encryption, and built-in crash protection. The new OS is available today in developer beta, and will roll out to everyone this fall.

Amazon Comes to Apple TV

Apple TV already has 50 partners integrated into the app to let you stream whatever entertainment you want—whether it’s Master of None on Netflix, the Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu, or Silicon Valley on HBO Go. Now, that list also includes Amazon, which will build its Prime Video library into Apple TVs later this year. This sets the stage for a 4K-capable Apple TV in the fall, since now there’s one more third-party library with a huge library of 4K content.

Apple Watch Brings AI to Your Wrist

A new watchface powered by Siri automatically displays the information that’s most relevant to you, based on the apps you use most. Siri will automatically pull up the next item on your calendar, your reminders, even photo memories to remind you of that adorable picture you took of your dog last year. WatchOS 4 also brings new fitness features, like motivational messages to help you hit your exercise goals and integrations with gym equipment to better track your workouts. You can even sync playlists to your Apple Watch and listen to them through your AirPods while exercising without your phone nearby. Those updates will come to Apple Watches this fall.

iOS 11

Apple stuffed all kinds of new capabilities into its latest update for iOS: Look forward to new features on Maps, like a “do not disturb while driving” integration, and Photos, like the ability to make loops of your live photos (remember those?). Messages comes integrated with more apps, including Apple Pay, which lets you pay your friends directly through a text. There’s also a totally redesigned App Store, and a refresh on the control center, which now packs all of your notifications into a single page. All iOS devices will get the boost later this year. Read about the nine key features on iOS 11 here.

AR on Your iPhone

Facebook, Google, and everyone else in tech is investing heavily in AR, and Apple is no exception. Using computer vision, your iPhone can now detect surfaces and add AR objects on top of them—like putting an AR coffee cup on top of an IRL table—and move them around while keeping everything to scale. How developers will use these new capabilities isn’t clear yet; it could be with games, informational apps, or something else entirely. But now, hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads will have AR capabilities, making Apple the largest AR platform in the world.

Siri Intelligence

Siri has a new, more humanlike voice with way more functionality. Ask the virtual assistant to translate for you (“Hey Siri, how do I say ‘Where’s the bathroom’ in Chinese?”) in five new languages. There are new capabilities like task management, banking, and bringing up VR codes. Apple’s also ramped up Siri’s intelligence: Now, the assistant can learn how you use your device to better anticipate your needs. If Siri notices you’ve been spending a lot of time searching for “hotels in Iceland,” it might bring up some Iceland-related articles in Apple News.

iPad Pro 10.5-inch

When Apple introduced the iPad Pro 18 months ago, it seemed like the company’s best attempt at an all-screen computer. Now, an all new iPad Pro takes that concept to the next level with a model that’s truly all screen. The new 10.5-inch iPad is almost exactly the same size as the 9.7″ model, but without bezels. There’s enough room on that screen to fit a full-size on-screen keyboard, and Apple says it’s the fastest model yet, with a six-core A10X Fusion. It also brings HDR video to an iPad for the first time, . The new iPads come in LTE models, starting with 64 gigs of memory, starting at $649. Read our story here.

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Cheap 2017 iPad vs. 9.7-inch iPad Pro: How to decide

There is the iPad, and there is the iPad Pro. One is almost twice the price of the other. They are virtually identical, except for a few minor features. So which should you buy? And why?

By  for DIY-IT |   | Topic: Apple

The 9.7-inch iPad Pro was released in March of 2016. The new, regular ol' iPad was released one year later, in March 2017. The base price for the iPad Pro (I'll only be talking about the 9.7-inch model in this article) is $599 with a mere 32GB storage. The new 2017 iPad is $329 for the same amount of storage.

That's a $270 difference and it's at the core of how to decide which machine to buy.

First, let's look at the elements of the two iPads that are virtually identical. The two devices are exactly the same length and width. They both have the same Retina resolution, 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. They both have Lightning ports, Touch ID sensors, and 3.5mm headphone jacks.

The iPad Pro is about an ounce lighter than the iPad. For those keeping track of such things, a slice of whole wheat bread weighs about an ounce, as does a single AA battery. The iPad Pro is also very slightly thinner than the iPad. The iPad Pro is 6.9mm thick, while the iPad is 7.5mm thick. That's only about half a millimeter difference, or about a third the thickness of an American penny.

Would you pay $270 to carry one fewer slice of bread in weight, or something that's a third of a penny thinner? Well, to be honest, there's more to it than that. Here's where the Pro of the iPad Pro comes into play.

iPad Pro supports Apple Pencil: The Apple Pencil is a pretty amazing writing and art creation device. It's another US$99, but if you're an artist, it's all that and a bag of chips.

iPad Pro has a slightly faster processor: The iPad Pro has an A9X processor, while the iPad has only the A9 processor. The A9X is an 2.16GHz dual-core 64-bit ARM-based CPU, while the plain iPad is running at 1.85 GHz, but it's also a dual-core 64-bit CPU. By contrast, the original iPad first-generation machine ran a 1GHz 32-bit ARM CPU. It doesn't sound like much, but there's a lot more power in the A9.

iPad Pro has a spiffier display: If you're an artist, the iPad Pro's fully-laminated screen and higher color gamut will mean something to you. Basically, you can't tell there's glass between your finger and the icons on the iPad Pro, and colors represent with a truer rendition.

iPad Pro has better cameras: Front and back, the iPad Pro ups the camera game. The rear-facing camera can record 4K videos, while the plain iPad can only record 1080p videos. The iPad Pro can take 12 megapixel images, while the iPad can shoot only 8 megapixels. The FaceTime camera on the iPad Pro can handle 5 megapixel images, while the iPad barely gets it done with a 1.2 megapixel imager.

iPad Pro goes up to 256GB: The iPad stops at 128GB of storage. But the iPad Pro goes all the way to 256GB. There's an Apple Tax for that, of course. The maxed-out 128GB iPad is $429, while the 128GB iPad Pro is $699 and the 256GB model is .. boom! ... $799.

Note that I've been quoting prices on the Wi-Fi-only units. For both, if you add the cellular chipset, you're paying an extra US$130 on top of whatever else you've configured up.

How to decide

Both machines look nearly identical, but the additional cost of the iPad Pro gets you Pencil support (you still have to buy the Pencil separately), a better display, better cameras, and the right to spend a lot more for more storage.

If you're flush with cash, you might just decide to go out and buy the fancier unit. But keep in mind that the Pro is pretty darn near twice the price as the base unit. Do you need to spend twice as much? Here are some considerations.

If you're an illustrator and use pencils, paints, chalks or other artist mediums, you'll want Pencil support. Every illustrator I've spoken to has raved about the quality of the Pencil experience, as well as the intelligence of the palm detection in the device. So if you draw pictures, you'll undoubtedly want the iPad Pro.

If you're a graphic designer or artist, you'll want the improved color representation on the iPad Pro. If the exact shade of a color or the breadth of color gamut matters to you (if you know what "gamut" means), then you'll probably want the iPad Pro.

If you're using your iPad as your main computer, you'll probably want the iPad Pro. If you're just reading Facebook posts, you won't care. But if you've traded in your laptop for an iPad, then you'll probably want all the storage and power that the Pro can offer.

If you're using the iPad as a camera, you might want the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro with a 4K display does give you a heck of a viewfinder, but you might do just as well with a smaller device. You can buy an unlocked iPhone SE with the same camera specs as an iPad Pro for $399.

If you just want the best, because screw it, you're spending other people's money, then you might also want the iPad Pro.

Most people won't notice the slightly faster processor speed, the slightly lighter weight, or the slightly slimmer body of the iPad Pro. If you don't fit one of the profiles I've mentioned above, you can probably keep some cash in your wallet. You won't need to pay the extra for an iPad Pro.

What I bought

I just bought a bottom-end $329 iPad. I skipped the iPad Pro. My wife and I already have an original generation iPad, an iPad 2, and an iPad 3. We also have an original generation iPad mini. All still work. The only problems are that even the iPad 3 is slow, and that some new apps I want to use won't work on the iPad 3. Those apps require iOS 10, and I didn't have any iPads that ran iOS 10.

I thought long and hard about getting the iPad Pro. I don't use iPads all that much. I read the web mostly on my big screen TV and on my Plus-sized iPhone.

What I wanted the iPad for was help in the workshop filming my DIY-IT how-to videos. I wanted it to act as a teleprompter screen. I've been doing some really complex videos where a teleprompter would help. I also wanted it to act as a remote camera viewfinder while pulling together my shots. That's what necessitated the upgrade, because the very powerful Filmic Pro and Filmic Remote apps require iOS 10.

The workshop has a concrete floor and a whole lot of moving parts. I have 3D printers, power tools, tripods, filming cranes, a drill press, and a ton of crap I haven't figured out how to throw out. I'm careful, but given that there's a chance I might drop the iPad (even if I put it in a nice case), I'd rather the damage be done to something that cost a little over three hundred bucks than something that cost nearly six hundred.

The camera quality caught me up for a while. I can use all the 4K cameras I can get. But when my wife got a new iPhone SE, she handed down her iPhone 6s Plus (with snazzy camera) to me. So the iPad Pro's camera was suddenly less compelling.

The big draw of the iPad Pro, to me, is the Pencil. I want to use the Pencil. More accurately, I want to "want to use" the Pencil. See, I have no drawing skills. None at all. I'd love to be able to use a wonderful graphics program and sketch out pencil sketches or chalk drawings using the iPad Pro and the Pencil. I've even thought about using the iPad Pro in concert with my Mac graphics programs. But I'm not that guy. I have no need for it, and if I'm really honest with myself, I probably wouldn't use it if I bought it.

Besides, we are planning, at some point, to get my wife a large 12-inch iPad Pro (she wants the big screen to see full page renderings of all her book PDFs), and that has Pencil support. So if I ever need to draw a square or a circle or a stick figure with a Pencil, I could use hers.

But again, I have to be honest with myself. I haven't used a pen or a pencil for much of anything since before Ronald Reagan was in office. I grew up using computers, keyboards, and mice. As far as I know, the only real use for a pencil or pen is pushing the point into a button to reset one device or another. I mean, really? Gripping a chunk of wood like an animal to scratch graphite onto dried pulp? You can't be serious.

So the odds of my really using the Apple Pencil are low. I wouldn't mind having it to draw some diagrams of servers (I like doing that as a way of relaxing), but need? No. And at more than double the price (the entry level iPad Pro plus the cost of the Pencil), did I need to waste that much money? No, not really.

That doesn't mean I'll never buy a smaller iPad Pro, because my work needs do change. But the key, and the lesson I'd like you to take away from this article, is that buying is about knowing your needs and picking what fits best for you. For now, for me, that's a cheap little iPad. And yeah, for a little, bottom-spec'd device, I quite like it. It was a good purchase.

There you go. Think through your needs, be honest with yourself, and then get what makes the most sense for you.

iOS 10: Get Started with iCloud Keychain

  Jeff ButtsMay 5th, 2017 5:20 PM EDT

You have so many passwords for way too many websites. How do you keep track of them all on your iPhone or iPad? One way you can ease the pain of password management is by using iCloud Keychain to remember all of your Safari logins on all of your devices. Nancy Gravley explained how to enable and get started with the service for iOS 8, but iOS has changed a bit since then. Here’s how to enable the feature under iOS 10.

iCloud Keychain

Keeping up with all of your passwords doesn’t have to be a pain, thanks to iCloud Keychain (Image Credit: Pexels)

Turn on iCloud Keychain in the Settings App

Like most configuration on iOS, you need to start in the Settings app. Once there, tap your name at the top of the screen.

iCloud Keychain

Tap your name in Settings to get started

Next, tap on iCloud to change which of the cloud-based services you use.

iCloud Keychains

You need to configure your iCloud services, so tap on iCloud

Scroll down until you see Keychain, and tap on it.

iCloud Keychain

If you tap on Keychain, you’ll be able to turn the service on

Now, toggle the option on. You’ll get onscreen instructions for the next steps, like entering your password and confirming your device. Just follow those, and you’ll soon be good to go.

Turn On Autofill Options

Once iCloud Keychain is enabled, you’ll have access to all of your Safari passwords across your various devices. To make things easy when it’s time to log into sites, Safari can autofill your password. To set this up, start from the main Settings page. Scroll down and tap on Safari.

iCloud Keychain

Safari for iOS can automatically fill in usernames and passwords, if you turn the feature on

Next, tap AutoFill.

iCloud Keychain

Tapping AutoFill will take you to a new screen of options

Now, you can turn on options to enable autofill for names and passwords, as well as credit cards.

iCloud Keychain

You can have Safari autofill your passwords, usernames, and credit card numbers

Finding a Password You Need

If you need to locate a specific password and view it, here’s what you can do.

  • From the main Settings screen, tap on Safari.
  • Scroll down until you see Passwords, and tap on it.
  • You’ll get a list of all of the logins you have saved into iCloud Keychain. Scroll down until you see the one you want, and tap on it.

Now you can copy and paste the password to use where you need it.

Other Password Managers Are Available for iOS, Too

The iCloud Keychain isn’t the only password manager you can use, but it’s built into iOS. Other, more full-featured, options include LastPass and 1Password. What’s your favorite way to keep track of all of your login details?

Apple Makes iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork Apps for Mac and iOS Free for All Users

Apple today updated several of its Mac and iOS apps, making them available for all Mac and iOS users for free. 

iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free. 

Previously, all of these apps were provided for free to customers who purchased a new Mac or iOS device, but now that purchase is not required to get the software. Many Apple customers were already likely eligible to download the software at no cost if they had made a device purchase in the last few years. 

Apple's iWork page has not yet been updated and continues to say that customers will only be able to download Pages, Keynote, and Numbers after purchasing an eligible Mac or iOS device, but new wording may be added shortly following the price drop. Apple's apps have also been removed from the Top Free app charts in the App Store.  

Apple has been offering these apps for free to new Mac and iOS device owners since 2013, but dropping the price to free for all users makes it less confusing and opens up downloads for those who have not recently made a new device purchase. 

Pages for macOS [Direct Link
Keynote for macOS [Direct Link
Numbers for macOS [Direct Link
GarageBand for macOS - [Direct Link
iMovie for macOS - [Direct Link

Pages for iOS - [Direct Link
Keynote for iOS - [Direct Link
Numbers for iOS - [Direct Link
GarageBand for iOS - [Direct Link
iMovie for iOS - [Direct Link

Update: According to a support document, today's app changes will make it easier for business and educational institutions to download Pages, Numbers, Keynote, GarageBand, and iMovie through the Volume Purchase Program store.

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Here's why iOS 10.3 updates are taking so long

As iOS updates go, iOS 10.3 seems to be pretty bug-free. But there is one thing that a lot of users are complaining about, and that's how long it takes to install.

And the older your device, the slower the install process seems to be, with some devices taking over an hour to update.

So what's going on?

The answer is the new file system that Apple has introduced. Gone is the 30-year-old HFS+, and in its place is the new Apple File System (APFS). 

Apple File System is a huge improvement over HFS+, bringing with it features such as optimization for solid state storage, strong encryption, better file time stamping (down to the nanosecond), and many storage saving improvements.

Apple plans to move macOS, iOS, tvOS, and even watchOS to Apple File System.

But the conversion process -- which has to take every file on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and convert it over to the new file system -- takes time. But given the fact that if it goes wrong then you've lost your data, it's for the best it takes all the time it needs!

My advice is to do the update when you have a few hours to spare, and plug your device into the power outlet and let it do its work. Don't fiddle with it while it's updating, and don't panic if it seems to be taking forever or if it seems to have frozen -- just give it time.

And it's a good idea to have a backup before you start just in case things go wrong.

How to use System Preferences in macOS Sierra

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iPad Pro 2 New Features Look Thrilling and They could Come Real Soon

Apple is reportedly implementing new design and features to the iPad Pro 2 and this can give clues to what iPhone 8 will look like.

iPad Pro 2 with minimal bezels

It's been extensively reported that the upcoming iPad Pro tablet will have three variants. The 12.9-inch and the 10.5-inch devices will be marketed for high-end consumers as they will use Apple's latest and fastest processor A10X chip. The affordable variant will have a 9.7-inch display and use A9X processor.

Last year, the fans heard about iPad major refreshes coming in 2017. The tablets are said to have a much thinner bezel, almost edgeless display, and thinner dimension as well.

The piece of information is interesting yet meaningful especially when trying to speculate what iPhone 8 will look like. There are many sources that said Apple is going to equip iPhone 8 with bezel-less display. This report is apparently in line with the upcoming iPad Pro 2 rumored design.

Another updates on specs include a 12 MP iSight rear camera, a headphone jack and quad microphones - and TrueTone display exclusively for 12.9-inch model. In addition to the refresh, Apple will also be updating its Apple Pencil with wider apps support and smoother experience as the tablet's navigation system is enhanced.

Apple's amazing strip show reinvents the laptop keyboard

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Apple really did think different about its new laptops.

The sheer number of big-picture changes to the iconic laptop line made my head spin during an exclusive hands-on preview of Apple's new MacBook Pro laptops at the company's Cupertino, California headquarters earlier this week. While Apple kept the MacBook Pro name it's used since 2006, nearly everything about the new generation of the high end notebook has changed.

And that's a good thing. Apple's last major update to the MacBook Pro, its priciest and most powerful computers, was back in 2014. That's a long time in computer years. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, and Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering, said the wait had to do with making sure this revamp wasn't just a "speed bump" with faster chips and memory. They were after a "big, big step forward."

What we've got now is two new 13-inch MacBook Pro models and one new 15-inch model. Schiller and Federighi walked me through the laptops' striking evolution.

The long-rumored "Magic Toolbar," an OLED-display strip for context-sensitive touch commands, is real. Apple calls it the Touch Bar, and it's worth all the hubbub. Just 60 pixels high (and 2,170 pixels wide), the Touch Bar could be a tool with the potential to be the Swiss Army knife of laptop input, changing itself on the fly to work across different apps, imitating a series of touch buttons, control sliders and even jog dials. This is Apple's answer to the touchscreens found on most Windows laptops.

 

"It provides all your system functions that you're used to up there," said Schiller, pointing to the Touch Bar. "But in a much more attractive, better, adaptable way."

So, for example, you can adjust the brightness or the volume just by touching the bar. "It provides all your system functions," he said. "That alone replaces everything that the function keys were ever being used for anymore, but it does so much more."

He's right. I did see it do much more than the old function key row ever did, instantly transforming itself to fit to the task at hand. But before we can talk about that, we need to talk about all the other changes to the MacBook Pro. And that includes the cost.

The new Apple TV app is: TV

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Another new wrinkle for Apple TV, is the ability for Siri to tune into live video streaming apps, and control third-party apps. Live tune-in with Siri is available now, while single sign-on and the TV app will arrive through a software update in December.

Update: Now that the feature has been officially revealed, Netflix confirmed last night's rumor that it won't be included. According to a spokesperson that it is "evaluating the opportunity, so this could change in the future, but for now it looks like you won't find Stranger Things, Luke Cage or the new season of Black Mirror in Apple's refashioned TV guide.

Key Features Within the TV App Include:

• Watch Now: Watch Now is where viewers will see their collection of available shows and movies from iTunes® and apps. From Watch Now, viewers can then go to Up Next or Recommended to choose what to watch.

• Up Next: Users can enjoy the shows and movies they are currently watching, including recent iTunes rentals and purchases — all presented in the order they are most likely to watch first. For example, when viewers finish an episode, the next one will automatically appear at the start of the Up Next queue, as will any new episodes as they become available. At any time, users can simply ask Siri to continue watching a show and immediately pick up where they left off.

• Recommended: Viewers can explore a great selection of curated and trending shows and movies, including collections handpicked by Apple's curators, and dedicated categories and genres such as kids, sci-fi and comedy.

• Library: Viewers can access their entire collection of iTunes movies and TV shows that they have rented or purchased on iTunes.

• Store: If users are looking for something new, they can check out the Store to discover great new content across video services that they have not yet downloaded or are not yet subscribed to, along with the latest releases on iTunes.

How to Prepare for & Install macOS Sierra

How to Prepare for & Install macOS Sierra

Prepare for macOS Sierra

With MacOS Sierra now available, Mac users can now get Siri on their computers, have improved iCloud integration, unlock their Macs with an Apple Watch, use Apple Pay on the web, and much more. Before you go diving right into updating to macOS 10.12 though, you should take a few precautionary steps to prepare for the software update.

We’ll walk through some simple steps to prepare for updating to macOS Sierra so that you can install the new Mac OS system software with ease. 

 

1: Check Hardware for Support 

Is your Mac supported by macOS Sierra? If it’s relatively new and built in the middle of 2010 onward, the answer is probably yes, but you’ll want to be sure by viewing the macOS Sierra compatibility list first.

Most apps that are compatible with El Capitan are compatible with Sierra as well, just be sure you update your apps after you install macOS Sierra. If you have any mission critical apps, you may want to reach out to the developer to investigate if a particular application has any issues or not.

2: Backup, Backup, Backup

No matter what system software you update, you always should backup first. Don’t skip making a complete and thorough backup of your Mac before installing MacOS Sierra.

Setting up Time Machine on a Mac is easy and allows for simple backups and restoring in the odd event something goes haywire. 

Don’t skip a backup, it’s important. 

3: Installing macOS Sierra

Did you backup? Did you insure your Mac is compatible? And you backed up the Mac completely so that all of your data is secure? Don’t skip the backup. Then you’re ready to update and install macOS Sierra. The simplest way to update is by letting the installer run after downloading, this will bring the current version of Mac OS X up to date to the Sierra, it’s a pretty easy process:

  1. Go ahead and download macOS Sierra now from the Mac App Store
  2. When the Installer launches, go through the simple steps and select your Mac hard drive to update to macOS Sierra
  3. macOS Sierra will download and install, rebooting the Mac when completed

MacOS Sierra installer

Typically a macOS Sierra installation takes a bit over an hour, but it can vary depending on computer speed, what version is being updated, and how much stuff is on the Mac.

When it’s finished installing, the Mac will reboot itself into macOS 10.12 Sierra, ready to go and enjoy.

Additional macOS Sierra Installation Notes

  • If you were in the macOS Sierra beta testing program, you might want to opt out of Mac OS X beta software updates after you get to the final version, otherwise you’ll keep getting minor beta releases offered as updates
  • If you need to re-download macOS Sierra, delete any existing beta installers on the Mac, reboot, and you should be able to get the latest macOS Sierra installer
  • Want to make a bootable installer drive? You can create a macOS Sierra boot drive easily with these instructions, you’ll need an 8GB or larger USB drive and the original installer handy, that’s about it
  • Users can perform a clean install of MacOS Sierra if desired as well, we’ll cover that in the future
  • If you’re skittish about updating, waiting until the first minor point release version (in this case, macOS Sierra 10.12.1) is a relatively common conservative strategy to try and avoid any potential bugs that may linger in the final release
  • As long as you made a backup beforehand, you can downgrade from Sierra if need be after the fact
  • If you want to use the iOS-to-Mac and vice versa clipboard feature, you’ll need to be sure the iPhone or iPad is updated to iOS 10 or later

Are you prepared for Sierra? Did you jump right into the update? Do you have any thoughts on installing macOS Sierra? Let us know in the comments!

MacOS Sierra gets a release date

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Apple kept the focus on its mobile products during its September 2016 product event today, introducing the iPhone 7iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch Series 2Mac computers went unmentioned during the event, but the MacO Sierra page on Apple's site was updated to include a release date for the operating system: September 20.

As with past OS X releases, MacOS Sierra will be a free upgrade made available via the Mac's App Store, but you will need a Mac from late-2009 or later to make the jump. Here is the list of supported Macs for MacOS Sierra:

The 5 best Apple TV controllers

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What are the best Apple TV controllers for gaming? Five of the best wireless Bluetooth controllers for your Apple TV revealed.

Your Apple TV comes with a Siri Remote, which you can use to control pretty much all of the device's functions. It doesn't look much like a games controller, but Apple insists that all games must be able to be played using the Siri Remote.

For lots of games, like Asphalt or Crossy Road, the Siri Remote will be just fine, but there are MFi (Made For iPhone) controllers available to connect to the Apple TV, and if you're a serious gamer we'd strongly recommend you buy one. These MFi controllers look more like video game control pads, with sticks, triggers and multiple buttons.

An MFi remote will make complex games (especially shooters like Modern Combat) easier and more fun to play. Read on to find out which Apple TV controllers we'd recommend. 

 

Click Here for The Full Article.

Learn how to pair Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, controllers, and more with your Apple TV (4th generation).

Learn how to pair Bluetooth headphones, keyboards, controllers, and more with your Apple TV (4th generation).

Apple TV (4th generation)

Choose a device or accessory to pair with your Apple TV

There are many devices and accessories that you can pair with your Apple TV, like Bluetooth headphones, speakers, keyboards, and game controllers.

While there are apps that let you use your iOS device as a controller with your Apple TV, you can't pair your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch to your Apple TV.

Pair your Bluetooth accessory

Use these steps to pair a Bluetooth accessory to your Apple TV (4th generation):

  1. Put your Bluetooth accessory in pairing mode using the instructions that came with it.
  2. On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Your Apple TV will search for nearby Bluetooth accessories.
  3. Choose your Bluetooth accessory. 
  4. If asked, enter a passkey or PIN. On your Apple TV, your accessory should now appear in My Devices. 

Unpair your Bluetooth accessory

On your Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. Select your accessory, then select Forget Device.

Use more than one Bluetooth accessory

Your Apple TV (4th generation) can support several Bluetooth controllers simultaneously, up to this many:

  • One Siri Remote or Apple TV Remote*
  • Two MFi (Made for iOS) Bluetooth controllers, or one MFi Bluetooth controller and one Bluetooth audio accessory (like headphones or speakers).

You might be able to pair more accessories, but at some point you might need to unpair others to allow for new ones.  Some apps might let you use an iOS device as an additional controller, which doesn't require Bluetooth. For help using an iOS device as a controller in an app, contact the app developer.

Get help

If a Bluetooth accessory won’t connect to your Apple TV (4th generation) or loses connectivity during use, follow these steps. After each step, see if you still need help:

  1. Make sure that you're in range of your Apple TV and there isn't interference in the area.
  2. Check that your accessory is fully charged and powered on.
  3. Make sure that the software on your Bluetooth accessory and your Apple TV is up to date. For example, if you have Beats wireless headphones, check for firmware updates.
  4. Move your Apple TV to a different location near your television.
  5. Look for your accessory in Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth. If you see it but you can’t connect to it, use the steps above to unpair your accessory. Then try to pair it again.
  6. If you need more help connecting or using a Bluetooth accessory with your Apple TV, contact the manufacturer of the accessory.

* Apple TV (4th generation) ships with the same remote everywhere. In countries and regions that support Siri, the remote is called Siri Remote. Elsewhere, it’s called Apple TV Remote. Siri works on either remote as long as your Apple TV (4th generation) is set up with a language and country that supports Siri.

New Apple TV (4th Gen) Unboxing, Setup & Tips - YouTube

Everything You Need to Know About Apple's MacOS Sierra

There are plenty of new features to look forward to when Apple releases macOS Sierra this fall. | Source: Apple.com

When Apple announced macOS Sierra at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference, one of the headlining features was the integration of Siri, the company’s digital assistant, across the operating system. Plenty of people are excited that Siri is finally making her debut on Mac, and many Mac users are also excited about features in macOS (renamed from OS X) that will make it easier to manage photos, shop online, and multitask. Curious about how things will change when you upgrade to macOS Sierra? Ahead, here’s everything we know about macOS Sierra.

macOS Sierra overview

Apple announced macOS Sierra on June 13 during the keynote at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. As had been rumored before the event, Apple opted to rename OS X to macOS, aligning the branding with its other software platforms (iOS, watchOS, and tvOS). As MacRumors reports, the biggest new feature in macOS Sierra is Siri integration, which brings the digital assistant that users have grown to love (or just to tolerate) on the iPhone and iPad to the Mac for the first time.

Even though Apple changed the name of its Mac operating system from OS X to macOS, it’s continued the tradition of naming major Mac releases after California landmarks. The “Sierra” in the name of this year’s release refers to the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the vast majority of which is in California but also spans part of Nevada.

macOS Sierra is already available to developers, and will go through a public beta release in July. (You can sign up for that beta release on Apple’s website.) Finally, the release will be launched to the public in the fall. The operating system will run on a wide variety of Macs. That includes the iMac and MacBook from 2009 or later, plus the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro from 2010 or later.

macOS Sierra features

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

 

Siri: Apple’s choice to integrate Siri into macOS means that many of the capabilities Siri has on iOS will also be available on Mac. (You’ll be able to ask Siri some simple questions, get her to do a web search for you, send messages, and open apps.) Additionally, there are macOS-specific features, like the ability to ask Siri to search for specific files. You can even use follow-up questions to refine the results. You can also ask Siri to find you images to add to a document, or create a map to add to an event invitation, which makes it easier to multitask.

Additionally, Mac users will be able to pin search results that Siri surfaces to the Today section of the Notification Center, and Siri will be able to search Photos, set reminders, and place FaceTime calls. In macOS Sierra, you’ll be able to access Siri through an icon on the menu bar, a dock app, or via a keyboard command that you specify.

Messages: As with iOS 10, macOS Sierra adds some new features to Messages. The app gains rich links for previewing web content and watching videos directly in a conversation. The macOS Sierra version also supports the features coming to the iOS 10 version, including bigger emoji and a Tapback feature for quick replies.

Photos: macOS brings a number of improvements for the Photos app. New computer vision and deep learning algorithms enable the app to recognize the people, objects, and scenes in your photos. The app will be able to group photos into collections, and users will be able to take advantage of powerful search functionality to find the exact photos they want.

Additionally, a new “Memories” tab displays curated collections of photos to resurface those memories, and a Places album shows photos on a map. The Memories feature generates video montages of the photos that you took on a specific trip or in a given location, and the app will automatically add music, titles, and transitions. Once the montage is generated, you can customize it to fit the right mood, or change out the titles and photos included in the video.

Apple Pay on the web in macOS Sierra

 

Apple Pay: In Apple’s next-generation operating system, Apple Pay is supported in the browser, enabling users to pay for purchases they make on the web with Apple Pay. Each payment is authenticated via the Touch ID sensor on a connected iPhone or via an unlocked Apple Watch.

Apple Music: As on iOS 10, the Apple Music app for macOS Sierra features a brand-new design, with a bolder aesthetic, a new focus on album art, and a pared-down interface to make it easier for users to discover new music. (Which should solve some of the frustrations around using Apple Music on the Mac.) The tabs included in the interface now include “Library,” “For You,” “Browse,” and “Radio,” plus a new “Search” tab that makes it quicker to search for specific songs or albums. Additionally, the app gains a new feature to view the lyrics to a song while listening.

Tabs: In macOS Sierra, all Mac apps are able to use multiple tabs. That means that in apps like Pages, you’ll be able to work in multiple tabs instead of dealing with multiple windows when you have more than one document open. A related feature is new Picture-in-Picture multitasking for Mac users, which will make it easier to watch a video or participate in a FaceTime call while completing other tasks.

Continuity: Apple is adding new Continuity features in macOS Sierra, including new Auto Unlock capability for Apple Watch owners. When you sit down at your Mac wearing an authenticated and unlocked Apple Watch, your Mac will automatically unlock without requiring you to enter your password. Another new Continuity feature is the Universal Clipboard, which will span macOS and iOS devices and enable you to copy something on one device and paste it on another. As Brandon Widder reports for Digital Trends, Handoff and Cellular Calls are Continuity’s two biggest features, but the Universal Clipboard may change that.

iCloud Drive in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra

 

iCloud integration: Another feature that owners of multiple Apple devices will be able to take advantage of is deeper iCloud integration. All of the files that you store on your desktop or within the documents folder of your Mac will be available on all of your devices, including another Mac, your iPhone, or your iPad. You’ll be able to access them through the iCloud Drive app or on the web via iCloud.com.

New Apple File System (APFS): With macOS Sierra, Apple is introducing a new file system built around SSDs, with native encryption as its headlining feature. On a related note, Apple is also introducing an Optimized Storage feature to automatically free up storage space when your storage is getting tight. The feature stores infrequently-used files (like read ebooks, old screenshots, iTunes U courses, full-resolution photos, unused Mac App Store apps, old presentations and text files, unused fonts, and old Mail attachments) in iCloud and removes them from your Mac’s local storage, and it reminds you to delete used app installers and clear out duplicate downloads and caches.

Safari Extensions and Plug-Ins: In the past, Safari extensions needed to be downloaded from the web. In macOS Sierra, they’ll be accessible via the Mac App Store. Additionally, Safari 10 in macOS Sierra disables common plugins like Adobe Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime by default in order to focus on HTML5 content and improve the browsing experience. To access content on websites where these plug-ins are required, you’ll have to authorize playback with a click.

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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Want to have the Macswest calendar appear in your iCal calendar? Do the following.

Open iCal on your Mac, Click on Calendar then Subscribe. A window will open, copy and paste the following URL then click Subscribe. That’s all there is to it.

    http://www.google.com/calendar/ical/macswestscw%40gmail.com/public/basic.ics

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