News to Use: Apple’s COVID-19 Website and Apple COVID-19 App

With so much misinformation and partial information regarding COVID 19, Apple has two new offerings that you can trust. Apple, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House-led coronavirus task force, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, developed a useful and trustworthy COVID-19 app and website that can help you identify best practices and personally-tailored next steps during this difficult time.

The app and website provides a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms for the user or their loved ones. Once the questions are completed, the user will receive clear and practical CDC recommendations, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider. This is not a COVID 19 test – it is a pair of wonderful resources that can help users access trustworthy information, decrease anxiety, increase safety, and identify next steps, all personally tailored to each user’s answers and experience. 

Check these resources out today:

Apple’s COVID-19 website, available on any platform via your preferred browser.

https://www.apple.com/covid19/

Apple’s Apple COVID-19 App – currently #1 in Health and Fitness on the App Store:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1504132184

Thanks to Apple Engineer Dave Marra and OMUG President Steve Welsh for this great tip!

Guidance for Working From Home: Another Reason to Love Take Control Books

This letter came from Joe Kissell, publisher of Take Control Books, long-time user group supporter, and all around wonderful person. He has given us permission to print his offer on our blog to reach folk who may be adjusting to working from home or want to be better at it.

Take Control Books is offering a free, no-strings-attached, copy of their new Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily

https://www.takecontrolbooks.com/working-from-home/

by popular author Glenn Fleishman

Joe writes: “Glenn Fleishman generously volunteered his time to write Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily, which also features advice from numerous other Take Control authors and other people with extensive experience with remote work. As a small gesture to help out in this uncertain time, we’re offering the book for free.

The book’s contributors, who collectively have centuries of experience working from home, offer advice in areas such as setting up a workspace (obtaining, moving, or repurposing furniture and hardware, for example); communicating with coworkers via text, audio, video and other collaboration tools; maintaining healthy physical and psychological boundaries between work and non-work activities; adapting to the presence of family members and roommates in or near your work area; and adjusting your schedule and habits to best balance productivity and sanity. There’s also a chapter for parents of school-age kids on how to juggle family obligations when working from home.

This new book is free. To obtain it, follow these steps: (more…)

Meeting Ideas: Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and new Powerbeats

Your members have seen the new announcements and have questions. The good news is that ASW and Apple.com have the answers. Why not use ASW’s white sheets as the basis for your next meeting topic?

This month, take a look at “Smart Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio—First Look” (L589076A-en_US) and “Powerbeats—First Look” (L589070A-en_US).

Ambassadors: March is a great month to check out ASW offerings.

Meeting Ideas: iPad Pro, and Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro

Your members have seen the new announcements and have questions. The good news is that ASW and Apple.com have the answers. Why not use ASW’s white sheets as the basis for your next meeting topic?

This month, take a look at “Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro—First Look” (L589066A-en_US), “iPad Pro – First Look” (L581397A-en_US), and “iPad Pro – Then and Now” (L589070A-en_US).

Ambassadors: March is a great month to check out ASW offerings.

AppleWorld UGU Online: A Legacy Tool Reawakened


AppleWorld User Group University (AWUGU) is returning after a long hibernation to once again share Apple user group knowledge and experience among its members. Originated in 1987 at Apple World in Boston, our last AWUGU session was in 2004 at Macworld in San Francisco.

User Group University was a conference for leaders of Macintosh User Groups (MUGs), which are now known as Apple User Groups (AUGs). Classes covered such topics as “Marketing Your User Group” and “How to Get Young People in Your Group”, which are still important discussions today. AUGs have long been good places for making new friends, finding Apple-loving buddies, boning up on technical expertise, finding solutions to related problems, and sometimes finding a good deal on hardware and software.

While the Macworld Expo may be a fond memory, there’s still value in gathering around the topics that interest the Apple user group community. The Apple User Group Advisory Board (UGAB) has decided to add a monthly interactive forum to its Locator, Bulletin, website and support services which would bring back the spirit, education and enthusiasm of the original AWUGU.

The mechanism for this forum will be based on the following items:

  • A one-hour session held on the third Monday each month in the U.S. only
  • Online participation by Apple user groups leaders via Webex
  • A new topic each month, featuring a short presentation followed by a Q&A
  • Participant suggestions for improving membership services
  • A website for posting information

The first AWUGU Online meeting of AUG leaders is scheduled for 8:00pm, CST, April 20, 2020. In view of the COVID-19 vulnerability of our greying members, VR and streaming meetings will be our topic. The facilitators and faculty for the presentation and discussion will initially be members of UGAB. Future sessions will also include special guests and interesting topics. A schedule of meeting dates and topics will be distributed to participants in the near future, and updated regularly on the website, which will also include highlights from previous meetings.

In order to become a participant, any interested AUG leader must first register with the AWUGU Coordinator by emailing their contact information to macquest@mac.com. It must be understood in advance that this registration means that any information received hereafter may be shared with all participants in the forum, but will not be used for any advertising or solicitations.

The reawakening of AWUGU services is exciting and challenging. It is based on the importance of sharing valuable knowledge and experience to support the efforts of Apple user groups everywhere.

 

March’s Featured Vendor: Koingo Software

Odds are good that you have used Koingo software, considering that the company’s history goes back more than 25 years. From their beloved Contact Keeper and Password Retriever running on Mac OS 8, to today’s amazing apps for iOS and Mac OS, their apps are both beautiful and practical. Koingo’s current line includes MacPilot 11, helping users to harness the phenomenal power of UNIX with the elegance and ease of Macintosh, and the innovative Data Guardian 5, making entering and securely saving a wide range of data, including credit card numbers, shopping lists, or even journal entries, easy.

No matter what you collect or track, their Librarian Pro 5 helps you see all of your items at a glance on a virtual bookshelf, in a list, or in cover flow. And, their AirRadar 5 can not only use advanced GPS technology to map available WiFi signals but also provide insight to optimizing your home network and reducing interference from other signals. And, this is just a glimpse of their wide product line.

Why not use Koingo Software offerings for your next meeting topic? (more…)

Meeting Ideas: MacBook Air – Then and Now

Your members have seen the new announcements and have questions. The good news is that ASW and Apple.com have the answers. Why not use ASW’s white sheets as the basis for your next meeting topic?

This month, take a look at “MacBook Air – Then and Now” (L581386A-en_US) and “USB-C accessories for iPad Pro” (L581398A-en_US).

Ambassadors: March is a great month to check out ASW offerings.

Randy B. Singer of MacAttorney: Macintosh Email Software

MacAttorneyRandy Singer, leader of the 9.000+ member strong MacAttorney User Group, co-author of multiple editions of the well-loved Macintosh Bible, author of the ABA’s The Macintosh Software Guide for the Law Office, writer of the MacAttorney Newsletter, and popular presenter, has recently added a new offering to his beloved Macintosh Software Web site. From Email clients, to Email utilities, to archiving your mail, Randy offers great guidance.

Check it out!

MacAttorney Email Software Page

Meeting Topics: How to clean your Apple products

Need a timely meeting topic?

Your members may be newly interested in ways to clean their devices, and Apple has the answer. Be sure to check out Apple Support’s How to clean your Apple products page. From using safe products to the right techniques, your members can learn how to clean and disinfect notebooks, desktops, iOS devices, peripherals, accessories, cases, and more.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204172

Ambassadors, March is a great time to use Apple Support articles.

Meeting Ideas: Staying Connected While Staying Safe

While members are rightly concerned about COVID-19 and the dangers it presents, they also may have a greater need of community and connection during times of stress and isolation.

Two great articles by Graeme Moffatt and Tom Piper offer a look into streaming meetings, so that your members can stay connected even while they stay home. Recent discussions on Aug-D offered other ideas as well. Randy Singer suggested using the Second Life platform (who knew it even has an Apple Store?). Paul Scott suggested using Zoom’s video conferencing software, and Virginia Chilcote’s group meets via Facebook. George Rubin even invited readers to an online Zoom user group meeting for NaplesMacFriends while Macbeth Vannoy gave a thumbs up to the ideas offered.

Check out these past articles on ways to stream your group’s meetings:

How To: Video Streaming Your Apple User Group Meeting by Tom Piper

How to Live Stream User Group Meetings by Graeme Moffatt