Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 330

Show 330 – April 13, 2020

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael



Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Again this week a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all the people around Australia and the globe keeping us going!!!

Story 1 ~ Pic

Apple and Google announce a joint effort

Apple Press Announcement ~ Apple and Google partner on COVID-19 contact tracing technology

Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.

Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.

First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.

Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyse.

All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.

As part of this partnership, Google and Apple are releasing draft technical documentation including Bluetooth and cryptography specifications and framework documentation.


Story 2 ~ Pic

CASETiFY’s new Coca-Cola collection has iPhone cases, Apple Watch bands, more

9to5Toys reports ~ The folks at CASETiFY, we commented on the Star Wars cases and watch bands a few months back, are no strangers to pairing unique smartphone and computer accessories with prominent brands.

Still, today the company is announcing its latest collection, which dwarfs the collaborations we’ve seen in the past. 

Partnering Coca-Cola, CASETiFY has unveiled a batch of iPhone cases, Apple Watch bands, and much more complete with red and white colourways. 

Head to the link below for a closer look at the new accessories.


Good Products for when were Stuck Indoors

Apple are giving away Books on Apple Books

You can get some books for free currently on Apple Books.

My wife downloaded some so she can read to the Grandkids some new stories!




Gaming #1 ~ Pic

Doomsday vault

This game had promise,  but then it ran me through the instructional platform four times and wouldn’t let me get past it. 

So I can’t really do a review on the game. But know this, I will be leaving a review for the developers. 



Gaming #2 ~ Pic


This isn’t an Apple Arcade game. But it is an awesome game. 

They have just dropped some new decks and new game play which I really enjoy. And you can play with friends or just randomly battle people across all levels. 

If you don’t have it you should. 


Entertainment #1 ~ Pic

The Australian Supercars series goes VR

Congrats to The Australian Supercar Series in getting their Championship back up and running, BUT in Virtual Reality, so quickly.

Entertainment #2 ~ Pic

Apple, Amazon, YouTube and Others to Live Stream ‘One World: Together At Home’ Virtual Concert

Global Citizen and the World Health Organization have teamed up to create a “One World: Together at Home” global special to support the fight against COVID-19.

The special is set to be broadcast live on Saturday, April 18 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time/8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC, NBC, and CBS, plus it will be streamed by Apple, Amazon Prime Video, Alibaba, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube.

It’s not clear how Apple will stream the event, but the company could add a special channel to the Apple TV as well as offering the live stream on its website.

The virtual broadcast will show unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19, as well as celebrating and supporting the brave frontline health care workers around the world who are doing incredible, life-saving work.

Lady Gaga, Elton John, Lizzo, John Legend, Keith Urban, and more are set to perform during the event, and there will be appearances by David Beckham, Idris Elba, and others.


Reminder this week we are bought to you  by



How To #1

Apple Screen Sharing

Do a Spotlight search for “Screen Sharing” and launch it.

You’ll then see a dialog box with the option to enter the Apple ID of the person you’d like to screen share with.

On their end, they’ll see an invitation.

They Click Accept.

Make sure they select Control my screen.


How To #2

Apple Screen Sharing from iMessage

  1. Click Details in the top right corner of the message (shown below)
  2. Click the icon with two rectangles.
  3. Select Invite to share my screen or Ask to share screen.

How to screen share and remote control iPhone, iPad, Mac to help colleagues, friends, and family


Story 3 

Apple Music launches $50 million COVID-19 advance royalty fund to help indie labels

9to5Mac  ~ According to a new report from Rolling Stone, Apple Music has started a $50 million COVID-19 advance fund for indie labels. Through this fund, Apple will be able to ensure that artists still get paid despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Apple announced the new fund in an email to independent record labels this afternoon. Those labels who have a direct Apple Music distribution deal and earn at least $10,000 in quarterly Apple Music earnings will qualify for the advances on future royalties.

Apple says that this program is in good faith that advances will be funnelled to “arts and label operations based on financial need.” The email explains:

Royalty advances will be offered to independent labels with a direct Apple Music distribution deal who meet a minimum quarterly threshold of $10,000 in Apple Music earnings. Each advance will be based on the label’s past earnings, and will be recoupable against the label’s future earnings. This offer is in good faith that labels will channel funds to artists and label operations based on financial need.

In the email, Apple says that this is its way of helping during what are “difficult times for the music industry globally.”

These are difficult times for the music industry globally. Livelihoods are at risk, with multiple sources of income that our industry relies on vanishing overnight. Apple has a deep, decades-long history with music, and we are proud to be in close partnership with the best labels and artists in the world. We want to help.

As Rolling Stone points out, the music industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Concert tours and major festivals like Coachella have been delayed or canceled entirely. “Most musicians rely on live touring revenue, as do venue workers, tour managers and many other live crew members who are now out of work,” the report explains.

The full Rolling Stone article link


Story 4 ~ Pic

Watchsmith is a must-have app for unlocking new Apple Watch features with dynamic complications

9to5Mac again ~ Apple Watch faces are highly customisable compared to watches that came before it. There’s still room for opportunity for a watch as smart as the iPhone, however, and that’s what David Smith’s cleverly titled Watchsmith app wants to prove.

Watchsmith lets you create dynamic Apple Watch complications that change throughout the day. Want a complication to check the weather in the morning, show your work calendar during your 9 to 5, and show your activity data before bed?

Watchsmith can do that all with a single complication, potentially freeing up slots for other complications.

How it works

Watchsmith starts with the iPhone. The app lets you create a schedule for its Apple Watch complication using supported data sources, and you can create different schedules for different watch faces.

There’s a learning curve involved with version 1.0 of the complication customiser, but the user interface is easy to use once you get the hang of it. The trick is realising that Watchsmith can change its complication up to 24 times per day with one mode for each hour of the day.

The more likely scenario is that you’ll only want a few modes for different hour blocks.

The more likely scenario is that you’ll only want a few modes for different hour blocks.

Data sources include day and date, time, calendar, activity, weather, tides, astronomy, time zones, and battery status. You can also set Watchsmith’s complication to go blank during certain hours, and you can expect more data sources to be added over time.

Watchsmith is a must-have app for unlocking new Apple Watch features with dynamic complications


Story 5 

Your child can become an astronaut and explore space from home with NASA

CNN reports ~ After a few weeks of coronavirus quarantine, your home and backyard and even your neighbourhood may feel a little smaller than it once did — especially if you have children.

That’s why it’s time to look up into the sky.

Scientists from NASA and the International Space Station National Lab don’t want your kids to fall behind because they’re missing out on field trips to your local science museum, planetarium and other activities that can spark a love of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

NASA’s ten ideas for space-themed things you can do at home is just the beginning of activities for kids and families to enjoy.

Get specific based on what your child is already learning in the classroom with NASA’s kindergarten through 4th grade, 5th through 8th grade and 9th grade through 12th grade guides. 

These guides include hands-on activities and experiments, things you can make at home, a night sky resource, videos and more.

The Space Foundation’s virtual discovery centre is sharing video lessons and challenges, and both NASA and the space station’s US National Lab site have dedicated hubs to explore.

So, even if your kids are home for the foreseeable future, you can still enjoy some adventures together that are out of this world.

And who knows, you may also learn something, develop a passion for space and science and even participate in a citizen scientist project that needs your help.

Here’s a sampling of the experiences you and your child can enjoy.


Build a rocket! In fact, build a straw rocket if you’re concerned about safety with this easy experiment.

This week is the largest supermoon of the year, but the next one occurs in May. Be prepared by making your own moon phase calendar and calculator with help from NASA.

Train to be an astronaut on the space station with the National Lab and Space Station Explorers organisation. Design a crew mission patch, learn about engineering rockets, how to conduct a spacewalk and even design your own space station.

Pick the next plant that will live and grow on the space station during the ExoLab Biological Design Challenge.

Conduct experiments at home and compare them with experiments conducted on the space station, including growing your own “alien head,” with activities hosted by the DreamUp organisation.

Contribute to ongoing experiments on the space station by looking at photos and videos and share your findings with scientists through Orion’s Quest. Or just enjoy the gorgeous photos astronauts take from their unique vantage point of the Earth through Windows on Earth.


Story 6 ~ Pic 

How to Be a Rock Star Employee (and Stay Sane) While Working From Your Couch tells us ~ Working from home has its perks. You can roll out of bed and hop onto a Zoom call within minutes. You can spend your lunch break catching up on Netflix, or household chores.

But as millions of Americans are suddenly figuring out, remote work also brings complications.

It’s hard to build your influence within your team and organisation without a physical meeting space. Collaborating with coworkers, and keeping your manager abreast on what you’re accomplishing day-in and day-out, is much more complicated these days.

For some people, that makes it easier to fly under the radar. For others, dissolving the barrier between work life and home life makes it impossible to switch between the two — they’re never NOT working.

So how do you find the line? How can you get your boss to recognise that you’re a superstar employee when they don’t ever see you face-to-face? How can you prove you’re staying productive, and on top of things from a distance, without sacrificing your sanity?

Set some goals

As a career coach, it always astounds me how few people have professional goals that they’re actively working towards. If you can’t tie your personal goals to your company’s, how can you prove your value? Or measure your progress?

Talk to your manager, and get a good understanding of their priorities for you, your team, and your company’s overall vision. This will help you get organised and set your own priorities while working remotely.

Tie specific outcomes to those goals, so you’re focused on effectiveness rather than tasks. And don’t let your personal goals take a backseat. Do you want to get promoted? Or lead a team, a new project, or initiative? Let your boss know!


In an office setting, it’s easy to drop by your manager’s desk with an update, or schedule a quick coffee chat. It takes more intentionality to get on your boss’s radar now, and to keep them abreast on your projects (especially if you’re hoping for a promotion or raise).

Perception is really important here, so set up regular check-ins that allow you to have a dedicated time to connect with your managers and get their feedback. Working remotely makes it easy to go about your day without talking to your boss, especially when there’s no immediate or critical deadline you’re working towards. But don’t retreat. Keep the communication flowing.

Maintain relationships with your coworkers

Being a highly performing employee isn’t just about productivity, it’s also about building relationships.

Which team members do you need to communicate with on a regular basis? Identifying those key players, and creating a video chat and email cadence will help alleviate any potential workflow disruptions.

It’s also good to take time out of your day to just check in with coworkers and show that you care. Ask how they’re doing, how they’re adjusting and what they’re struggling with — inside and outside the confines of their job.

Check in with yourself, too

Self care is more important than ever right now — we’re working through a pandemic, after all. So be mindful of your emotional well being.

Create a schedule with regular breaks penciled in, and try to step away from work during lunch. If you can, get outside at least once during the day — fresh air alleviates stress, and can stop you from working yourself into a rut.

If you’re stressed out about keeping your boss convinced of your productivity, create a “brag sheet” detailing your work, progress updates, challenges and solutions. This will come in handy when you have one-on-ones with leadership, and it’s a great reminder to yourself that you’re staying on top of things while working from home.


Show Promotion

Show notes link each week on show upload, the link being

there you will see the last 6 weeks shows notes

Email us at Michael or Zarn @

Spotify – just search Aussie Mac Zone


Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

Thanks to our supporters you our listeners!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *