Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 374

Show 374 – March 16, 2021

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael      


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~  

MS Apple Women’s Health Study releases preliminary data to help de-stigmatize menstrual symptoms

The landmark study’s first set of data is significant in its scope and scale, offering insights into menstruation and the experiences of women across the US.

The Apple Women’s Health Study team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health today released a preliminary study update, offering pioneering scientific insights on women and their menstrual symptoms, made possible through the innovative research methodology of the Research app. The update, based on a cohort of 10,000 participants and inclusive of varying ages and races across the US, highlights how large-scale, longitudinal research on menstruation can help advance the science around women’s health and de-stigmatize menstruation.

Many physicians regard women’s menstrual cycles as an important window into their overall health, but the topic is notably under-researched. Medical research on menstruation has often been limited to studies of smaller sizes, which are not representative of the broader population. Without substantial scientific data, women’s menstrual symptoms have historically lent themselves to dismissal, or have even been minimised as overreaction or oversensitivity.

Through the Research app, the Apple Women’s Health Study invites women across the US to contribute to research simply by using their iPhone, and Apple Watch if they have one. The landmark study allows for collection of a comprehensive set of cycle tracking and other health data, strengthened through participant surveys, from individuals across various stages of their life, varying races, and throughout all US states and territories. Participants control the data types shared with the study, with transparency into how the data will be used for the purposes of the study.

MS Although not related to Australia directly the findings of this study will make it way to here because of the data strength by the numbers of women participating



Story 2 ~

ZK HomePod is discontinued, but isn’t dead yet – Apple’s ‘end of life’ explained

AppleInsider reports ~ There’s been a lot of hate and discontent following Apple discontinuing the HomePod. Here’s what that removal from sale practically means.

Apple made a shock announcement on March 13 that it was discontinuing the HomePod. The announcement advised Apple’s original smart speaker will continue to be sold, including via its online store, but that there is only a limited supply available before stock runs out.

The news may panic some users who think their Apple device will have a limited lifespan and could stop working completely in the near future.

Just because Apple isn’t producing any more HomePods and supplies will run out, it doesn’t mean Apple will pull support straight away. The HomePod will continue to work properly for many years without issue.

If you read no further, understand this:

If you have an original HomePod, it isn’t going to just stop working any time soon, because Apple has flipped a switch on its storefront. And, just because Apple isn’t selling the original HomePod, that doesn’t mean that your gear will spontaneously combust.

Discontinued, but not “End of Life”

Firstly, Apple is only discontinuing the original HomePod, and not declaring it to be either “End of Life,” “Vintage,” or “Obsolete.” For all three terms, the effective meaning is the same: the device has reached the end of the product lifecycle.

A discontinued product does not immediately reach end of life, as hardware producers and vendors often have to support their products for some time after their sale. Instead, the actual end of life occurs years after the fact.

As Apple explains on its support pages, owners of its products can obtain service and parts from Apple service providers for “5 years from when Apple last distributed the product for sale” at a minimum. In some cases where service or parts are required by law to be offered for a longer period, this can stretch the time to 7 years after its last sale.

Apple deems products it sold more between five and seven years ago as “Vintage” while those discontinued more than seven years ago are said to be “Obsolete.”



Story 3 ~

MS Apple might soon deliver standalone iOS security updates

AppleInsider again ~ Code discovered in the latest iOS 14.5 beta suggests Apple is planning a major policy shift that would allow users to download security patches separately from operating system updates.

Discovered by 9to5Mac on Monday, the new affordance could allow users running older operating systems to keep device security up to date without upgrading to the latest iOS version. For example, an owner of an older iPhone running iOS 13 could potentially download security updates typically packaged with newer iOS 14 point releases.

Some iPhone and iPad owners are reticent to upgrade older devices to Apple’s latest and greatest operating systems, fearing the new software could result in poor system performance or excessive battery drain. Alternatively, some users simply prefer the feature sets of older operating systems. That can be detrimental to the safety of Apple’s ecosystem, as the company packages security revisions with new OS versions.

Splitting security updates into standalone downloads, similar to the method applied on macOS, could greatly reduce the impact of new threat vectors for both new and old hardware. That might be a possibility in the near future, according to the code uncovered today.





Spire Blast

This is one of those block games. Now I wouldn’t normally like this sort of game but this one has more dragons than most these games and dragons are cool.

Other than that is a block game so it’s not my thing. 2.8 apples. 



#1 ~ MS PIC

Apple honoured with historic first Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature for “Wolfwalkers” and Best Sound for “Greyhound”

Apple today was honored with historic first Academy Award nominations for its feature films since the Apple TV+ global launch of Apple Original Films just over a year ago. The widely acclaimed “Wolfwalkers” was nominated for Best Animated Feature and the epic war film “Greyhound,” starring and written by Tom Hanks, for Best Sound. Including today’s nominations, Apple has been honored with a total of 81 awards wins and 329 nominations to date.

“Nothing is more exciting than seeing these unique and meaningful films resonating with both critics and audiences globally,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “We are incredibly proud of what we’re building at Apple, and to have these films celebrated in this way — and in such a short space of time — we’re humbled and thankful for the artists and filmmakers who have partnered with us.”

“We’re grateful for the Academy’s recognition of ‘Wolfwalkers’ and ’Greyhound,’” said Jamie Erlicht, Apple’s head of Worldwide Video. “We want to congratulate the filmmakers and the cast and crew who brought these brilliant stories to the screen, and to everyone who has championed these films around the world. We are excited to continue sharing exceptional storytelling from the most creative visionaries in the year ahead and beyond.” 


#2 ~ MS

Apple TV+ lands ‘The Jet’ docuseries about 1990s Pepsi promo campaign

Again MacDailyNews ~ Apple TV+. has ordered The Jet, a docuseries that chronicles the true story behind the 1990s Pepsi promotional campaign that advertised a Harrier jet in exchange for Pepsi points.

When a 21-year-old business student, John Leonard, collected enough points for the Harrier jet, Pepsi was taken by surprise. Leonard did not collect 7,000,000 Pepsi Points through the purchase of Pepsi products, but instead sent a certified check for $700,008.50 as permitted by the contest rules. Leonard had 15 existing points, paid $0.10 a point for the remaining 6,999,985 points, and a $10 shipping and handling fee.

John Blackstone explains what happened next in this 1996 “CBS Evening News” report:

There was a court case, decided on August 5th 1999 (spoiler alert, don’t read if you’d rather watch the Apple TV+ docuseries without knowing the outcome)



Story 4 ~

ZK Apple’s iOS app economy supports 330,000 UK jobs

MacDailyNews reports ~ As the reaction to COVID-19 forced people across the UK to adapt every aspect of their lives, and brick-and-mortar businesses to move online, the iOS app economy was a resilient source of opportunity, innovation, and economic growth.

UK developers continued to grow their businesses and share new apps with the world, and the App Store now supports more than 330,000 jobs in the UK — an increase of more than 10 percent over the past year.

The App Store has become a powerful engine of economic growth in the UK and around the world since Apple launched it in 2008. As entrepreneurs moved their businesses online and established developers built on their successes, users discovered new apps to help them adapt to an increasingly virtual world.

Developers across the UK generated to date more than £3.6 billion in total earnings — growing 22 percent in 2020 from the previous year. That trend echoed across Europe, where the iOS app economy grew to support 1.7 millions jobs — a 7 percent increase since 2019. The UK leads Europe in iOS app developer jobs, with Germany and France estimated to each host over 250,000 jobs.



Story 5 ~ 

MS New iPhone feature will alert you if you’re being stalked

Fox Business reports ~ The new feature comes as Apple is planning to expand the Find My app for use with third-party accessories. 

A new feature, discovered in the iOS 14.5 beta, will warn Apple users when an unknown item traveling with them is being tracked through the Find My app. The Find My app is available through iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac devices.

The setting, known as Item Safety Alerts, appears to be an attempt to prevent stalking with AirTags, according to iOS developer and Apple blogger Benjamin Mayo.

“If someone secretly hides a tag in your possessions, your phone will notice and warn you about it,” Mayo tweeted. “The setting is on by default which makes sense, but the fact you can turn it off at all probably means that this fires false positive alerts in some circumstances.” 



How To 1 ~ 


How to Use iCloud as Your Password Manager

Gear Patrol reports~ If you have any of Apple’s main devices — iPhone, iPad or Mac — that means you have an Apple ID and you have access to iCloud, Apple’s cloud-based storage service. iCloud makes sure that the information on Apple’s default apps (such as Files, Mail, Calendar, Photos and Notes) is backed up and synced across all your various devices. For example, it’s the reason you can access the same Notes file on your Mac and iPhone, or the same photos on your iPhone and iPad.

iCloud is a pretty robust service with many different features — one of those is a built-in password manager called Keychain. That’s right, instead of paying for a separate service like 1Password or LastPass, you can just turn on this feature inside the service you’re likely already for paying for.

It has its limits, but the recent introduction of the iCloud Passwords Chrome Extension which will let you use it outside of Safari makes it more feasible than ever to use it as a full fledged password manager.

Here’s how to do it.

How to autofill passwords on Keychain

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad:

      1. Open the Settings app.
      2. Scroll down and select the Passwords tab.
      3. Select the AutoFill Passwords tab.
      4. Make sure the AutoFill Passwords is toggled on (green).

If you’re on a Mac:

      1. Open the Safari app.
      2. Select “Safari” in the menu bar (next to the Apple icon).
      3. Select Preferences in the drop-down menu.
      4. Select the AutoFill icon and select which passwords you want autofilled.

Access your Passwords whenever you want

If you’re on an iPhone or iPad:

      1. Open the Settings app.
      2. Scroll down and select Passwords.
      3. Select the app, website or account you want access for.
      4. You password should appear in the password tab.

If you’re on a Mac:

      1. Open the Safari app.
      2. Select “Safari” in the menu bar (next to the Apple icon).
      3. Select Preferences.
      4. Select the Passwords icon and type in your Mac password.
      5. Select the app, website or account you want access for.
      6. You password should appear in the password tab.

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ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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