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October General Meeting

Read the minutes of the October 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, OCTOBER 11, 2021
     10:00 AM – CORD CUTTING CLASS begins in Room D. This six-week class is a drop-in situation in Room D, with sign-up for email class materials. So just stop by and learn how to stop paying for all those TV stations you never watch anyhow. Classes usually last  an hour to an hour-and-a-half, and we stay after for extra questions or demos. The course is currently scheduled for six weeks. Questions? Norm @ (623) 214-1546
     10:00 AM to NOON – Elaine and Pherne will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWestNOON to 2:00 PM – Dottie will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
     1:00 PM to 3:00 PM – Nick will be available in Room C for guidance and help with Apple’s Photo app, some conversation, and discussion of all things MacsWest (he’s the boss, ya know, so he’s got all the answers)

 • Tuesday, OCTOBER 12, 2021  
     10:00 AM to NOON – Gary will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
     12:00 PM to 2:00 PM – Sue will be available in Computer Lab Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
     1:00 PM - MacsWest TIDBIT TUESDAY, hosted this week by Gary, in the Computer Lab Meeting Room D @ Palm Ridge Rec Center until 2:00 PM. These weekly sessions offer a short report on What’s New from Apple, followed by a quick lesson on the effective use of your Mac and/or iPad/iPhone. THIS TUESDAY: WEB SITE UPDATES—Bruce and Carole have been working on updating the CW & MW websites. Bruce provides a preview. Following, we provide an opportunity for Club members to ask ANY question about their Apple devices or Apple apps. Our attitude is: “The only dumb question is the one you didn’t ask!”

 • Wednesday, OCTOBER 13, 2021
     10:00 AM – SENIOR GENIUS BAR – No need to make an appointment. Just walk into the Palm Ridge Rec Center Computer Lab Room C and have a one-on-one session with a “Genius” [insert quiet chuckle here] and get all the help you need. Bruce, Bill, Mark, and Wally will (usually) be there to help solve your Apple device and Apple app problems. Be sure to bring your list of IDs and passwords

              3:00 PM – NEWCOMERS OPEN HOUSE @ PALM RIDGE: We (David, Mark, Norm, Bruce, Gary, Wally) will be showing off MW to all the new residents of SCW.

 • Thursday, OCTOBER 14, 2021
     10:00 AM to NOON – Clyde will be available in Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest
     ALSO 10:00 AM to NOON – Laura and Judith will be in Computer Lab Room A to discuss and help you with the Ancestry app Ancestry.com
     NOON to 2:00 PM – Gary will be available in Computer Lab Room C for conversation, a modicum of help, and discussion of all things MacsWest

 • Friday, OCTOBER 15, 2021
     1:00 PM – REGULAR MEETING CANCELLED
     5:00 PM – MacsWest HAPPY HOUR @ KUENTZ COURTYARD: We supply the water, ice, and snacks, you supply your own drinks and conversation. Join your Club-mates for a friendly gathering in THE coolest spot in SCW. Reminisce about former careers, share Apple memories (“My first computer was an Apple IIe!”), compare grandchildren, talk about the weather. Be there or be square.

Hyper unveils new clamp-style USB-C hubs for 24-inch M1 iMac in matching colors

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The popular accessory maker Hyper is out with its latest HyperDrive USB hub, this time designed exclusively for the 24-inch M1 iMac. The new HyperDrive 5-in-1 and HyperDrive 6-in-1 Hubs clamp to the front of your M1 iMac, and include multiple USB-A and USB-C ports.

 

Like other M1-powered Macs, the new M1 iMac is somewhat limited in terms of connectivity. The base model iMac features two USB-C ports, while the higher-end models feature four USB-C ports. Earlier this month, Satechi unveiled its new USB-C clamp hub for the M1 iMac, and now Hyper is out with its own take on a similar accessory.

The new M1 iMac-exclusive HyperDrive is available in two configurations: 5-in-1 and 6-in-1. Here are the specs on the 5-in-1 Hub:

  • 5 ports:
    • 2 x USB-C 5Gbps data
    • 2 x USB-A 5Gbps data
    • 1 x USB-A 5Gbps data, 7.5W charging
  • MSRP: $49.99

And here are the specs on the HyperDrive 6-in-1:

  • 6 ports
    • 4K 60Hz HDMI
    • MicroSD UHS-I
    • SD UHS-I
    • USB-C 10Gbps data
    • USB-A 10Gbps data
    • USB-A 10Gbps data, 7.5W charging
  • MSRP: $79.99

Notably, the HyperDrive hub for the iMac is available in seven different colors to match Apple’s design for the new iMac. This is a notable differentiator between Hyper’s offering and Satechi’s offering, which is only available in silver and blue.

Weather on the Way

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Originally launched in 2020, Weather on the Way is a great app for tracking weather as you’re planning a trip. Today, it’s adding a key feature that’ll make traveling even easier: Siri Shortcuts support.

This new feature makes it very easy to get valuable weather information hands-free while driving the car. You can also create your custom road trip shortcut that includes weather on the way. This version (1.4) also includes iPad support for the first time. The iPad version is helpful for planning out a trip so you can build your route and plan your wardrobe accordingly based on where you plan to stop and what the weather will be once you arrive.

If you haven’t tried the app out yet, it can make all the difference in the world in deciding when to leave for a business trip, a trip to the beach, etc. By letting you see the weather along your route, you can decide to take another route, leave at a different time, etc.

How to Arrange Your macOS System Preferences So You Can Actually Find Things

Set up System Preferences in a way that makes all settings easier to find.  

 

I’ve never been able to find anything easily in macOS’ System Preferences. Eventhe most basic things, such as changing wallpaper-related settings, I find myself using the search bar inside the System Preferences window. Needless to say, I feel like I’m ever at the mercy of Apple’s search code to be able to find what I need. And it doesn’t always work so well, and therein lies the problem.

Anyone who’s opened System Preferences on Mac knows it’s not easy to find any category of preferences there. By default, these preferences are arranged by category, which makes little sense to me. Why is Language & Region in between Spotlight and Notifications? I don’t have an answer for that, but I cantell you how to fix this seemingly random arrangement.

How to alphabetically arrange Mac’s System Preferences icons

Yes, you can arrange System Preferences icons alphabetically. It’s so much better than having it arranged by category that I’m amazed it took me so long to switch. If you want to make the switch, click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your Mac’s screen and select System Preferences. Go to the menu bar at the top of the Mac’s screen and select View > Organize Alphabetically. Now, take a look at the screenshot below. 

 

Isn’t this so much better? There’s no way I’m going back to the old way of arranging System Preferences. I can finally find most preferences without using the search bar.

How to hide System Preferences icons

The ability to hide certain System Preferences icons is a useful feature to have. If you’re trying to minimize the number of tech support calls you get from your parents, try hiding some icons in System Preferences. It’s also quite useful if you’re handing over your computer to someone else—it lets you be sure no one changes your network preferences unnecessarily.

Open System Preferences, go to the menu bar at the top of the screen, and select View > Customize. You will now see a series of blue checkmarks next to each System Preferences icon. Uncheck the icons you want to hide, and click Done, which is at the top of the System Preferences window. 

 

Note that this will hide the icons from System Preferences, but you can still use the search bar to find the setting. Alternatively, these hidden preferences can be found through a Spotlight search on the Mac (or its alternatives). Clearly, it’s not totally foolproof, but it’s good enough to prevent some avoidable issues.

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To unhide these icons, open System Preferences again and select View > Show All Preferences from the menu bar. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + L.

Apple announces new M1-based iMac in 7 fancy colors

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Apple's new all-in-one desktops have a completely different look.

Apple announced iMac updates today at its event in Brooklyn, New York. As expected, the updates improve the desktop's performance with new processors while maintaining the design we've known iMacs to have for the past couple of years.

Apple says the new system was designed from the ground up around the M1 system on a chip (SoC), allowing for a much smaller motherboard and cooling system than that seen in the company's earlier Intel-powered iMacs. The new iMac's overall volume is down by 50 percent and comes in at only 11 mm thick, with a single sheet of glass across the entire front of the device.

The iMac comes with a 4.5K Retina 24-inch display with very small bezels, resulting in a device not much larger than earlier 21-inch iMacs. The new displays also include TruTone technology, which dynamically adjusts color temperature in response to changes in the surrounding ambient light.

The M1 iMac's 1080 p camera is also improved, taking advantage of the M1's onboard image processing and neural engine. Tone mapping increases detail and reduces noise in highlighted areas automatically. Similarly, beamforming on the mic array improves the quality of your voice (and decreases ambient noise) during videoconferencing.

The new iMac includes a six-speaker system, which Apple confidently declares as "the best sound system ever in a Mac." The system supports spatial audio for both games and movies.

Like M1 Macbooks and Mac Minis, the M1-powered iMac wakes near-instantly from sleep. Apple also says that apps like Xcode, Lightroom, and iMovie are up to 85 percent faster than previous models. Final Cut Pro can now simultaneously edit up to five 4K video streams without dropping a frame.

The M1 processor also allows iPhone apps and games to run directly on the iMac. Phone calls and text messages can also come directly to the iMac, and Universal Clipboard allows copying and pasting directly between iPhone and M1 iMac. There's also a phone-like biometric fingerprint sensor on the new keyboard.

The M1 iMac offers up to four USB-C ports (two Thunderbolt), a new magnetically coupled power cord with an Ethernet adapter built into the power brick, which passes network traffic through the power cord itself thanks to Thunderbolt.

The new iMacs will be available in four colors and will start at $1,299, and a second model will come in seven colors and start at $1,499. Preorders begin on April 30, with delivery beginning in the second half of May.

Safari 14 is now available as a standalone update for macOS Catalina and Mojave users

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Safari 14 comes with macOS Big Sur, and it brings a refreshed design and new features like privacy reports, a built-in translator, and 4K HDR video support. While macOS Big Sur is not yet available, Apple today released Safari 14 as a standalone update with some of those new features for macOS Catalina and Mojave users.

 

Users with Macs running macOS Catalina or macOS Mojave can now update to Safari 14 and benefit from some of the changes that will be available later this year with macOS Big Sur.

One of the changes available for all Mac users with Safari 14 is the redesigned start screen, which features website suggestions and custom wallpapers. Apple has also added more privacy controls with Safari 14, as users can now check every tracker on each website they visit, as well as detailed privacy reports.

There are also security improvements and the end of Adobe Flash Player support, which has now been officially discontinued. However, features such as 4K HDR video support and the built-in translator require macOS Big Sur.

Users can download and install Safari 14 on macOS through the Software Update menu in the System Preferences app.

CleanMyMac X makes Mac App Store debut to assist with macOS maintenance, remove malware, and more

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There’s a lot to like about the Mac App Store for consumers and developers, but there’s also a lot to dislike as well. Due to sandboxing rules and limited options for upgrade pricing, some popular applications are still not available for purchase. Over time, Apple has been working to tweak the rules to allow popular apps to enter the App Store, though. In early 2019, we saw Microsoft Office come to the App Store with the option to purchase a subscription using in-app purchase. It’s clear Apple hasn’t given up on the Mac App Store, and today, another popular app is making its first appearance. MacPaw’s CleanMyMac X, one of the best macOS maintenance applications, is finally on the Mac App Store.

 

Before 2018, CleanMyMac was used on a “perpetual” license model and released major versions that existing customers could purchase at a discount — a model that wasn’t possible on the Mac App Store. In 2018, with the release of CleanMyMac X, MacPaw made it available as a one-year subscription in addition to its existing perpetual license. The new subscription model could also be implemented in the Mac App Store, which made it possible for MacPaw to bring CleanMyMac X to the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store version of CleanMyMac X has most of the features of the version available on direct purchase version with a few exceptions:

Multiple other modules have been revised to fit within App Store guidelines.

If you want those features, you’ll want to purchase the app directly or download as a part of a SetApp subscription.

‘Millions of users around the world already love CleanMyMac X for its functionality, ease of use, and exceptional design,’ said Oleksandr Kosovan, CEO, and founder of MacPaw. ‘By entering the Mac App Store, we are excited to make CleanMyMac X available to even more users through their favorite source of trusted and reliable software.’

Key features of CleanMyMac X’s Mac App Store version:

  • Smart Scan: All-in-one center for Mac analysis. It includes Cleanup, Protection, and Large & Old Files scanners that, with a single-click, help to remove junk, unnecessary files and malware.
  • Malware Removal: Checks the system for vulnerabilities and removes malware, adware, and other macOS-specific threats.
  • Uninstaller: Allows for bulk-deleting applications completely along with all traces of them. More information on the module can be found here.
  • Space Lens: Visualizes disk space and identifies files taking up a lot of disk storage.
  • CleanMyMac Assistant: An intelligent adviser that uses machine learning algorithms to provide personalized tips and suggestions for further optimization steps and reminds about regular cleanups.
  • Health Monitor: Real-time data on CPU, battery, network speed, etc.
  • Leading-edge design: An award-winning interface with flow-like animations.

I’ve been using CleanMyMac X since the original release to uninstall applications, free up hard drive space, and run maintenance tools. It can be purchased on the Mac App Store for a yearly subscription for $39.95.

Finally: real Photoshop on the iPad

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Adobe really wants you to know that the upcoming Photoshop CC for the iPad, which was announced today and is set to be released sometime in 2019, is “real Photoshop.”

The phrase “real Photoshop” came up several times during my week-long preview of an early version of the software giant’s long-awaited app. The underlying code is the same as desktop Photoshop, and although the interface has been rethought for the iPad, the same core tools line the edges of the screen.

But the biggest change of all is a total rethinking of the classic .psd file for the cloud, which will turn using Photoshop into something much more like Google Docs. Photoshop for the iPad is a big deal, but Cloud PSD is the change that will let Adobe bring Photoshop everywhere.

Bringing a program like Photoshop to the iPad is a monumental task. The project started 18 months ago when two Adobe engineers asked to carve out time to bring the Photoshop codebase to the iPad. “There was just a lot of doubt until what we call the “proof of life” moment,” says Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer. Senior director Pam Clark agrees: “We fully admit we were surprised when the engineers showed up, and it was quite powerful and smooth.” That “proof of life” product inspired the design team to start focusing on the app’s user experience, with each new build focusing on a different Photoshop workflow.

Read the full story here: 

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