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User Group News Bulletin

AWUGU: Apple Futures and Backups by Tom Piper

Apple Futures and Backups
by Tom Piper, Coordinator
 
This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on August 16, 2021, via Zoom. We had 31 participants for the topic of “Apple Futures and Backups(see attached PDF image and attendance list). The 65-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/LBzbYiXEN58 (unlisted on YouTube).
 
This session opened with my welcome, plus a quick review of the meeting protocols. Doug Smith, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) members was present to support this call.
 
The format for this meeting was an open discussion about Apple’s new devices with M1 chips, initiated by an explanation by Dan Wassink about the new Mac computers and iPad Pros early experiences since their November 2020 introduction. Numerous others joined in this discussion, and to describe a variety of different backup devices and methods, noting that Carbon Copy Cloner now works with M1 Macs for bootable clones, but that Time Machine and cloud storage is also best for restorable storage. It was also noted that March 31 is now recognized as World Backup Day (http://www.worldbackupday.com/), and that “Friday the 13th” might also be a good reminder too. The following links were offered for further information on this meeting’s topics:
 

read more…

When an Apple Users Group Says Goodbye by Steve Welsh, OMUG

(Note, this article was originally published in Mouse Tracks / August 2021, written by Steve Welsh, founder and President of the Oregon MacPioneers User Group, and past member of Apple’s User Group Advisory Board, not to mention that Steve was the originator of the popular You Don’t Know Mac user group events. Please check out the link provided at the end of the article for information about OMUG.)

By Steve Welsh

Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)

When a long-running community Apple Users Group makes the hard decision to call it quits, it’s much like watching a dying star’s light fade from view — in this case in the twinkling Apple universe sky. You are looking for an old friend up in the MUG constellations … but you can no longer find them.

This is what it felt like on a Wednesday evening, July 21, in Eugene, Oregon. I was there, virtually, via Zoom (as were all the meeting participants).

After decades of providing Apple wisdom, support, laughs and friendship to Eugene and the surrounding areas, the Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision that their shrinking officer staff, membership — and an almost final kick in the rear end by the global pandemic calling a halt to in-person meetings for more than a year — and all the other variables that MUGs must compete with in today’s online world … well, sometimes the batteries just won’t recharge themselves anymore.

I’ve attended many EMUG meetings via Zoom over the past year, as I have with PMUG and other groups. That is what the statewide Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG) was created for — to help other Oregon community user groups. Like many of you, I made a lot of friends when I first joined a MUG decades …Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision and I enjoyed the spirit of sharing and the excitement of all things Apple so much that I became president of the group, then years later formed OMUG in Corvallis. So I knew well many of the faces on the Zoom window that Wednesday night. Some of those faces have been to MacCamps. Or to a PMUG meeting.

The Final Meeting

So when the words were officially said, even though I could sense what might be coming months ago, I wasn’t really prepared … or wanted to accept the news. But I also knew this was a majority decision by EMUG’s leadership, so this was, indeed, time to say goodbye.

I also wasn’t prepared for what would happen near the end of the EMUG meeting — but I’m not surprised, because the final 20 minutes, even after a few officers had already checked out, personified what a community MUG is all about. Before I describe what happened, here is the “on the fly” EMUG announcement first draft shared by Kerry in the Chat window:

read more…

Tom Piper Reports on AWUGU – WWDC21: Glow and Behold

Tom Piper
AWUGU: WWDC21
by Tom Piper, Coordinator

This session opened with my welcome, plus a quick review of the meeting protocols. Doug Smith, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) members was present to support this call.

The format for this meeting was an open discussion with many participants sharing their very interesting descriptions and observations about iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and iCloud+ announcements at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference on June 7 including Mitch Bryars of Naples MacFriends User Group, Dan Wassink of Dan’s Tutorials, Steve Welsh of Oregon MacPioneers Users, George Brooks of the Naples MacFriends User Group, and others. This was followed by a wonderful offer by Eckart Goette and George Rubin of Naples MacFriends User Group for all members of AWUGU affiliated MUGs to attend their five September meetings for free (to register, email registrar@naplesmug.com, and in the message subject field include September and the affiliated AUG name, see website naplesmug.com > Meetings for September meeting details).

Below are some of the links offered during the WWDC21 discussion:

George Brooks: Saturday, June 26, Suburban Chicago AUG https://myscau.org has program on Contacts at 10:00 AM CDT, get an invite by emailing vp@myscau.org
• Dan Wassink: one of Aperture’s authors produced “Raw Power”, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/raw-power/id1157116444?mt=12

We are very pleased with this fifth meeting of 2021. Files related to this meeting are available on our AWUGU shared folder:

https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0kF7XwYI98VG0fqvL86PJm02g#AWUGU.

The versatility of Keynote (with Isabel Collins as a presenter) was agreed as the topic for our next meeting, to be called “The Magic of Keynote”, was scheduled for July 19, 2021, at 5:00pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

All AWUGU previous registrants will receive an invitation to all future meetings. To become a participant, any interested Apple User Group leader must first register with the AWUGU Coordinator by emailing their name, location, and user group name and web link to macquest@mac.com. Registration must be received by June 19 in order to receive a Zoom Meeting invitation (a download of the free Zoom app in advance is also necessary, and an update will be important for existing users).

 

How To: Q&A Best Practices by Tom Piper

Written by Tom Piper, Past President of appleJAC User Group and Head of the Apple User Group Vendor team

One of the most valuable services provided by Apple User Groups to their members are the “question and answer” sessions. For the past 35 years of our existence, appleJAC has evolved through a variety of Q&A processes. This How-To session will describe each of the successful methods that we have used.

read more…

Meeting Ideas: Record the screen on your iPhone, Find an AirTag, and more

Sometimes it is fun to add a bite-sized tip or two to your meetings. Have you tried Apple Support on YouTube? The channel has a ton of neat and quick how-tos that your members will enjoy. 

For example, check out How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad, What to do if you find an AirTag, Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch. Many of the videos are under a minute in length, focusing on a single skill or technique.

Have a look and a listen:

How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad — Apple Support

Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch — Apple Support

What to do if you find an AirTag — Apple Support

 

 

User Group Locator: Update Your Group’s Records

apple user groupsThe User Group Locator has easy-to-use features and is one of the best ways to help potential members find your group. Your group can update its records by entering the email address originally used to register the group. The system then returns a link for database access. Not sure what your group’s address of record is? Use the Find a Group form on the Apple User Group Resources blog to see your current information.

Are your group’s records up-to-date? August is a great time to make the updates that can help potential members find your group. read more…

Meeting Idea: Digital Books on Mac and iPad and More

Need a presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not take a look at Digital Books on Mac and iPad? Show your members how  easy it is to design, create, and share their own professional-looking digital books using Pages on iPad or a Mac. Better yet, check out Apple Education’s series of free Apple-published books covering skills your members will love to learn about. Start them with a few techniques and a link to each full book, and the meeting will be one to remember

The links below provide an overview of the contents and links to the books in the Apple Books app. 

Preview of Creating Digital Books

Preview: Everyone Can Create Photos

KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition

Given the success of last year’s 8-bit Virtual KansasFest (over 500 attendees!), the KansasFest Board is pleased to announce “KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition”. Similar to 2020, the Board’s plan is to hold an online event Friday and Saturday, July 23-24. If you have attended in the past, you know how much fun the sessions and gatherings can be. And, who can forget the competitions? Wacky Ties, HackFest, and the popular games tournament. And, once again this year, there will be no swimsuit competition.

Registration is open – where else can you have so much fun for a $10 registration?

Be there!

KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition

Attracting Youth: Sarah Friedlander at User Group University

In 2004 Sarah Friedlander Garcia was a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, a second-term Vice President of MacRIT, the university’s campus user group, Apple Campus Rep for RIT, and a member of Apple’s Campus Group Advisory Board. She was a long time Mac user, and a popular speaker at User Group University (UGU). Many groups struggle to attract young members, and at UGU Sarah offered some thoughts regarding finding and retaining young user group members.

Today Sarah is Director, Content Marketing at SugarCRM. Her skills are not limited to technology and marketing. In fact, she she has been known to play flute at Carnegie Hall. After a few years working in Santiago de Chile, she, husband Rodrigo Garcia, son Noah, and Aidan (resident dog) live in New York City.

read more…

Pyers Presents: Getting a Media Release Published

auo-logo-full-steel-greyNicholas Pyers of AppleUsers.org always has expert ideas on ways to make leading your group easier and more efficient. In this article he discusses media releases: basic guidelines, finding topics, generating media interest, identifying media opportunities and more. His article wraps up with a link to a helpful article on creating a media kit.Check it out

Meeting Ideas: watchOS 8 Preview and iOS 15 Preview – First Look

Apple Watch is incredibly popular and the next OS brings new and nifty features, including more capabilities with the Home app, new workout types, an updated Breathe app, multiple timers, sleeping respiratory rate, a redesigned Music app that enables users to share songs, albums, and playlists through Messages and Mail, and enjoy music and radio all in one place, Severe Weather notifications, and more.

As you might expect, there are neat things ahead for iOS 15 as well.

Want to provide your members with the most-recent information? Check out watchOS 8 Preview – First Look (L592895A-en_US) and iOS 15 Preview – First Look (L592883A-en_US).

Ambassadors: July. is a great month to check out ASW!

Timely Meeting Idea: Protect your privacy with Apple

Have your members mentioned the new Privacy on iPhone video from Apple’s YouTube channel? On the one hand, it is fun to watch and offers an easy way to understand why privacy matters. On the other hand, Privacy on iPhone is just one component of Apple’s commitment to user privacy.

Members have questions about how they can protect their privacy and control their information, and providing them with the information they need can make for a great meeting topic. 

Privacy on iPhone | Tracked

Check out  A Day in the Life of Your Data to understand why App Tracking Transparency matters.

A Day in the Life of Your Data

Check out this year’s WWDC segment on privacy.

WWDC2021: Privacy

Help your members learn how Safari, Maps, Photos, FaceTime, Siri, and other Apple offerings can help them control what is shared and who it is shared with.

Apple Privacy Features

Do your members want to know what apps are doing with their data? The Privacy Labels home page brings privacy labels for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps together in one place.

Apple Privacy Labels

And, starting with Privacy Controls, there is so much more

You are in Control of your Data

Apple’s YouTube Channel and Apple Privacy can make for a great meeting!

WWDC 2021: Digital Legacy

WWDC2021

Steve Welsh of OMUG passed along a great BGR article recently, discussing an upcoming feature that can help Apple users name a person who can access their iCloud when they are not able to do so. It is worth a read.

Where did the information come from? The upcoming Digital Legacy feature was shown by Mike Abbott at WWDC 2021, though it is not released yet.

iOS 15 adds an iPhone feature you might never use – but you should set it up anyway

Thanks much to Steve Welsh of the Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG) and past Apple User Group Advisory Board member for this great tip! 

AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups

Tom Piper

AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups

By Tom Piper

 

This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on May 17, 2021, via Zoom. We had 30 participants who joined for the topic of “Sharing Between Groups”. The 63-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/CG5z7WTR9kY (unlisted on YouTube).

read more…

Meeting Ideas: macOS Monterey Preview and iPadOS 15

Looking for a quick meeting topic? ASW and Apple.com have information that can help you get up to speed. New tools in macOS Monterey are designed to help users get more done, stay focused, and collaborate, while iPadOS 15 introduces a multitasking experience that is even more intuitive, making features like Split View and Slide Over easier to discover

Check out macOS Monterey Preview – First Look (L592879A-en_US) and iPadOS 15 Preview – First Look (L592887A-en_US).

Ambassadors, June is a great month to check out ASW!

 

Thanks times ten to the groups that participated in the Community Survey

apple user groupsLike many people, I have missed getting together with friends in the user group community since the last Macworld, and even more over the last year. Still, I was surprised at how truly great it felt to hear from the long-time groups that left their names in the survey.

Each name brought a fond memory (in some cases many, many fond memories) and a reminder that the user group community is both vibrant and caring. With more than 70 responses, here are some of the groups that left comments and a hello (in alphabetical order):

Apple Charlestown Apple Group Maryland Apple Corps, Inc.
appleJAC User Group MIAMUG (Midland, MI)
ApplePickers of Central Indiana Mountain View Computer Users Group, Sierra Vista, AZ
Ashland Macintosh User’s Group Naples MacFriends User Group Inc
Atlantic City Area Mac Users Group National Capital Apple Mac Users Group (NCA-MUG)
AUSOM Inc PMUG-NJ.ORG
Club HyperPomme Paris Portland (OR) Macintosh Users Group
Computer Users of Erie Prescott Mac Users Group
CVMUG – Conejo Ventura Macintosh User Group Silicon Mountain MacIntosh User Group
EAMUG Englewood,FL User Group  South Suburban (Chicago) Mac Users Group
EMUG Suffolk Mac User Group
Exeter area Mac user group  The Macintosh Guild
Franklin Apple Orchard The Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)
MAC2 (MAC2MUG) TMG Dayton
MacinTech TMUG – Tucson Macintosh Users Group
MacNexus Tucson Macintosh Users Group
MacValley User Group, Northridge, California VMUG (Victoria [BC] Mac and iOS User Group (vmug.bc.ca)

Thanks for the comments and for sharing your thoughts, and thanks to Curt B. for suggesting the questions!

Groups pre-pandemic and looking ahead

apple user groupsResponses show that prior to the pandemic most groups met face-to-face. True, well before the pandemic there were groups perfecting their streaming meeting skills while others excelled with fully online Zoom meetings, groups that were FaceTime experts and some experimented with truly novel formats (one group even met in a park with picnic blankets spaced 10′ apart). Still, most groups met face-to-face. Over the last 10-15 years, the number of solely online groups in the user group database has generally been around 10%. As one survey respondent said, “mostly on site, but dwindling numbers and meetings.” So, it is interesting to learn that some groups have been revitalized during the pandemic, helping members stay in touch during difficult times. Here are the results for pre-pandemic meeting formats:

how groups met precovid

read more…

User Group Guidance

apple user groupsIn the survey, we asked for guidance and groups offered their thoughts. Interestingly, some of the factors that groups considered, such as aging membership, was cited as a reason for, and against, Zoom-type meetings 🙂

Here is some of the advice offered:

 

Some groups find benefits in  the online meeting format

  • In person meetings work for business and technology, but are restricted to the talent in the group. Zoom meetings work for technology lessons and can utilize talent from other groups!
  • Easier to get speakers with online meetings.
  • we have had great success with Zoom meetings but it won’t suit everyone.
  • Guest speakers are more readily available because if Zoom or Skype access.
  • New faces from distant members
  • Going online for meetings has allowed us to regain users who found a long drive at night too difficult to attend.
  • Our members come from a wide area. Several only attend infrequently. Having virtual meetings has allowed more members to attend (although overall participation is down slightly). Other than that, we really miss the face to face and social aspects.
  • online, other mac groups and former members joined us back
  • Zoom turned out to be a viable way of meeting, which surprised some of us.
  • Online contests can be fun, but be sure to allocate much time to the events!
  • Know Zoom controls at an advanced level.
  • We were surprised and delighted that our members mostly took to zoom like ducks to water. Though we all miss in-person socializing, we get better attendance and more efficient meetings using Zoom. The ability to record and make available for download past meetings has been a popular feature in our group.
  • Platform that allows screen sharing is important. Some with hearing problems like it online to control volume. Also use closed captioning.
  • Zoom is a very good tool
  • Online remote meetings with perhaps an in-person once a year get together seems to really interest our members.
  • You may need to help people with the first online meeting

Some groups see benefits in meeting face to face read more…

User Group News Bulletin

AWUGU: Apple Futures and Backups by Tom Piper

Apple Futures and Backups
by Tom Piper, Coordinator
 
This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on August 16, 2021, via Zoom. We had 31 participants for the topic of “Apple Futures and Backups(see attached PDF image and attendance list). The 65-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/LBzbYiXEN58 (unlisted on YouTube).
 
This session opened with my welcome, plus a quick review of the meeting protocols. Doug Smith, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) members was present to support this call.
 
The format for this meeting was an open discussion about Apple’s new devices with M1 chips, initiated by an explanation by Dan Wassink about the new Mac computers and iPad Pros early experiences since their November 2020 introduction. Numerous others joined in this discussion, and to describe a variety of different backup devices and methods, noting that Carbon Copy Cloner now works with M1 Macs for bootable clones, but that Time Machine and cloud storage is also best for restorable storage. It was also noted that March 31 is now recognized as World Backup Day (http://www.worldbackupday.com/), and that “Friday the 13th” might also be a good reminder too. The following links were offered for further information on this meeting’s topics:
 

read more…

When an Apple Users Group Says Goodbye by Steve Welsh, OMUG

(Note, this article was originally published in Mouse Tracks / August 2021, written by Steve Welsh, founder and President of the Oregon MacPioneers User Group, and past member of Apple’s User Group Advisory Board, not to mention that Steve was the originator of the popular You Don’t Know Mac user group events. Please check out the link provided at the end of the article for information about OMUG.)

By Steve Welsh

Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)

When a long-running community Apple Users Group makes the hard decision to call it quits, it’s much like watching a dying star’s light fade from view — in this case in the twinkling Apple universe sky. You are looking for an old friend up in the MUG constellations … but you can no longer find them.

This is what it felt like on a Wednesday evening, July 21, in Eugene, Oregon. I was there, virtually, via Zoom (as were all the meeting participants).

After decades of providing Apple wisdom, support, laughs and friendship to Eugene and the surrounding areas, the Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision that their shrinking officer staff, membership — and an almost final kick in the rear end by the global pandemic calling a halt to in-person meetings for more than a year — and all the other variables that MUGs must compete with in today’s online world … well, sometimes the batteries just won’t recharge themselves anymore.

I’ve attended many EMUG meetings via Zoom over the past year, as I have with PMUG and other groups. That is what the statewide Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG) was created for — to help other Oregon community user groups. Like many of you, I made a lot of friends when I first joined a MUG decades …Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision and I enjoyed the spirit of sharing and the excitement of all things Apple so much that I became president of the group, then years later formed OMUG in Corvallis. So I knew well many of the faces on the Zoom window that Wednesday night. Some of those faces have been to MacCamps. Or to a PMUG meeting.

The Final Meeting

So when the words were officially said, even though I could sense what might be coming months ago, I wasn’t really prepared … or wanted to accept the news. But I also knew this was a majority decision by EMUG’s leadership, so this was, indeed, time to say goodbye.

I also wasn’t prepared for what would happen near the end of the EMUG meeting — but I’m not surprised, because the final 20 minutes, even after a few officers had already checked out, personified what a community MUG is all about. Before I describe what happened, here is the “on the fly” EMUG announcement first draft shared by Kerry in the Chat window:

read more…

Tom Piper Reports on AWUGU – WWDC21: Glow and Behold

Tom Piper
AWUGU: WWDC21
by Tom Piper, Coordinator

This session opened with my welcome, plus a quick review of the meeting protocols. Doug Smith, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) members was present to support this call.

The format for this meeting was an open discussion with many participants sharing their very interesting descriptions and observations about iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS and iCloud+ announcements at the Apple World Wide Developers Conference on June 7 including Mitch Bryars of Naples MacFriends User Group, Dan Wassink of Dan’s Tutorials, Steve Welsh of Oregon MacPioneers Users, George Brooks of the Naples MacFriends User Group, and others. This was followed by a wonderful offer by Eckart Goette and George Rubin of Naples MacFriends User Group for all members of AWUGU affiliated MUGs to attend their five September meetings for free (to register, email registrar@naplesmug.com, and in the message subject field include September and the affiliated AUG name, see website naplesmug.com > Meetings for September meeting details).

Below are some of the links offered during the WWDC21 discussion:

George Brooks: Saturday, June 26, Suburban Chicago AUG https://myscau.org has program on Contacts at 10:00 AM CDT, get an invite by emailing vp@myscau.org
• Dan Wassink: one of Aperture’s authors produced “Raw Power”, https://apps.apple.com/us/app/raw-power/id1157116444?mt=12

We are very pleased with this fifth meeting of 2021. Files related to this meeting are available on our AWUGU shared folder:

https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/0kF7XwYI98VG0fqvL86PJm02g#AWUGU.

The versatility of Keynote (with Isabel Collins as a presenter) was agreed as the topic for our next meeting, to be called “The Magic of Keynote”, was scheduled for July 19, 2021, at 5:00pm Central Daylight Savings Time.

All AWUGU previous registrants will receive an invitation to all future meetings. To become a participant, any interested Apple User Group leader must first register with the AWUGU Coordinator by emailing their name, location, and user group name and web link to macquest@mac.com. Registration must be received by June 19 in order to receive a Zoom Meeting invitation (a download of the free Zoom app in advance is also necessary, and an update will be important for existing users).

 

How To: Q&A Best Practices by Tom Piper

Written by Tom Piper, Past President of appleJAC User Group and Head of the Apple User Group Vendor team

One of the most valuable services provided by Apple User Groups to their members are the “question and answer” sessions. For the past 35 years of our existence, appleJAC has evolved through a variety of Q&A processes. This How-To session will describe each of the successful methods that we have used.

read more…

Meeting Ideas: Record the screen on your iPhone, Find an AirTag, and more

Sometimes it is fun to add a bite-sized tip or two to your meetings. Have you tried Apple Support on YouTube? The channel has a ton of neat and quick how-tos that your members will enjoy. 

For example, check out How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad, What to do if you find an AirTag, Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch. Many of the videos are under a minute in length, focusing on a single skill or technique.

Have a look and a listen:

How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad — Apple Support

Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch — Apple Support

What to do if you find an AirTag — Apple Support

 

 

User Group Locator: Update Your Group’s Records

apple user groupsThe User Group Locator has easy-to-use features and is one of the best ways to help potential members find your group. Your group can update its records by entering the email address originally used to register the group. The system then returns a link for database access. Not sure what your group’s address of record is? Use the Find a Group form on the Apple User Group Resources blog to see your current information.

Are your group’s records up-to-date? August is a great time to make the updates that can help potential members find your group. read more…

Meeting Idea: Digital Books on Mac and iPad and More

Need a presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not take a look at Digital Books on Mac and iPad? Show your members how  easy it is to design, create, and share their own professional-looking digital books using Pages on iPad or a Mac. Better yet, check out Apple Education’s series of free Apple-published books covering skills your members will love to learn about. Start them with a few techniques and a link to each full book, and the meeting will be one to remember

The links below provide an overview of the contents and links to the books in the Apple Books app. 

Preview of Creating Digital Books

Preview: Everyone Can Create Photos

KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition

Given the success of last year’s 8-bit Virtual KansasFest (over 500 attendees!), the KansasFest Board is pleased to announce “KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition”. Similar to 2020, the Board’s plan is to hold an online event Friday and Saturday, July 23-24. If you have attended in the past, you know how much fun the sessions and gatherings can be. And, who can forget the competitions? Wacky Ties, HackFest, and the popular games tournament. And, once again this year, there will be no swimsuit competition.

Registration is open – where else can you have so much fun for a $10 registration?

Be there!

KansasFest 2021: 16-Bit Virtual Edition

Attracting Youth: Sarah Friedlander at User Group University

In 2004 Sarah Friedlander Garcia was a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, a second-term Vice President of MacRIT, the university’s campus user group, Apple Campus Rep for RIT, and a member of Apple’s Campus Group Advisory Board. She was a long time Mac user, and a popular speaker at User Group University (UGU). Many groups struggle to attract young members, and at UGU Sarah offered some thoughts regarding finding and retaining young user group members.

Today Sarah is Director, Content Marketing at SugarCRM. Her skills are not limited to technology and marketing. In fact, she she has been known to play flute at Carnegie Hall. After a few years working in Santiago de Chile, she, husband Rodrigo Garcia, son Noah, and Aidan (resident dog) live in New York City.

read more…

Pyers Presents: Getting a Media Release Published

auo-logo-full-steel-greyNicholas Pyers of AppleUsers.org always has expert ideas on ways to make leading your group easier and more efficient. In this article he discusses media releases: basic guidelines, finding topics, generating media interest, identifying media opportunities and more. His article wraps up with a link to a helpful article on creating a media kit.Check it out

Meeting Ideas: watchOS 8 Preview and iOS 15 Preview – First Look

Apple Watch is incredibly popular and the next OS brings new and nifty features, including more capabilities with the Home app, new workout types, an updated Breathe app, multiple timers, sleeping respiratory rate, a redesigned Music app that enables users to share songs, albums, and playlists through Messages and Mail, and enjoy music and radio all in one place, Severe Weather notifications, and more.

As you might expect, there are neat things ahead for iOS 15 as well.

Want to provide your members with the most-recent information? Check out watchOS 8 Preview – First Look (L592895A-en_US) and iOS 15 Preview – First Look (L592883A-en_US).

Ambassadors: July. is a great month to check out ASW!

Timely Meeting Idea: Protect your privacy with Apple

Have your members mentioned the new Privacy on iPhone video from Apple’s YouTube channel? On the one hand, it is fun to watch and offers an easy way to understand why privacy matters. On the other hand, Privacy on iPhone is just one component of Apple’s commitment to user privacy.

Members have questions about how they can protect their privacy and control their information, and providing them with the information they need can make for a great meeting topic. 

Privacy on iPhone | Tracked

Check out  A Day in the Life of Your Data to understand why App Tracking Transparency matters.

A Day in the Life of Your Data

Check out this year’s WWDC segment on privacy.

WWDC2021: Privacy

Help your members learn how Safari, Maps, Photos, FaceTime, Siri, and other Apple offerings can help them control what is shared and who it is shared with.

Apple Privacy Features

Do your members want to know what apps are doing with their data? The Privacy Labels home page brings privacy labels for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS apps together in one place.

Apple Privacy Labels

And, starting with Privacy Controls, there is so much more

You are in Control of your Data

Apple’s YouTube Channel and Apple Privacy can make for a great meeting!

WWDC 2021: Digital Legacy

WWDC2021

Steve Welsh of OMUG passed along a great BGR article recently, discussing an upcoming feature that can help Apple users name a person who can access their iCloud when they are not able to do so. It is worth a read.

Where did the information come from? The upcoming Digital Legacy feature was shown by Mike Abbott at WWDC 2021, though it is not released yet.

iOS 15 adds an iPhone feature you might never use – but you should set it up anyway

Thanks much to Steve Welsh of the Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG) and past Apple User Group Advisory Board member for this great tip! 

AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups

Tom Piper

AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups

By Tom Piper

 

This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on May 17, 2021, via Zoom. We had 30 participants who joined for the topic of “Sharing Between Groups”. The 63-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/CG5z7WTR9kY (unlisted on YouTube).

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Meeting Ideas: macOS Monterey Preview and iPadOS 15

Looking for a quick meeting topic? ASW and Apple.com have information that can help you get up to speed. New tools in macOS Monterey are designed to help users get more done, stay focused, and collaborate, while iPadOS 15 introduces a multitasking experience that is even more intuitive, making features like Split View and Slide Over easier to discover

Check out macOS Monterey Preview – First Look (L592879A-en_US) and iPadOS 15 Preview – First Look (L592887A-en_US).

Ambassadors, June is a great month to check out ASW!

 

Thanks times ten to the groups that participated in the Community Survey

apple user groupsLike many people, I have missed getting together with friends in the user group community since the last Macworld, and even more over the last year. Still, I was surprised at how truly great it felt to hear from the long-time groups that left their names in the survey.

Each name brought a fond memory (in some cases many, many fond memories) and a reminder that the user group community is both vibrant and caring. With more than 70 responses, here are some of the groups that left comments and a hello (in alphabetical order):

Apple Charlestown Apple Group Maryland Apple Corps, Inc.
appleJAC User Group MIAMUG (Midland, MI)
ApplePickers of Central Indiana Mountain View Computer Users Group, Sierra Vista, AZ
Ashland Macintosh User’s Group Naples MacFriends User Group Inc
Atlantic City Area Mac Users Group National Capital Apple Mac Users Group (NCA-MUG)
AUSOM Inc PMUG-NJ.ORG
Club HyperPomme Paris Portland (OR) Macintosh Users Group
Computer Users of Erie Prescott Mac Users Group
CVMUG – Conejo Ventura Macintosh User Group Silicon Mountain MacIntosh User Group
EAMUG Englewood,FL User Group  South Suburban (Chicago) Mac Users Group
EMUG Suffolk Mac User Group
Exeter area Mac user group  The Macintosh Guild
Franklin Apple Orchard The Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)
MAC2 (MAC2MUG) TMG Dayton
MacinTech TMUG – Tucson Macintosh Users Group
MacNexus Tucson Macintosh Users Group
MacValley User Group, Northridge, California VMUG (Victoria [BC] Mac and iOS User Group (vmug.bc.ca)

Thanks for the comments and for sharing your thoughts, and thanks to Curt B. for suggesting the questions!

Groups pre-pandemic and looking ahead

apple user groupsResponses show that prior to the pandemic most groups met face-to-face. True, well before the pandemic there were groups perfecting their streaming meeting skills while others excelled with fully online Zoom meetings, groups that were FaceTime experts and some experimented with truly novel formats (one group even met in a park with picnic blankets spaced 10′ apart). Still, most groups met face-to-face. Over the last 10-15 years, the number of solely online groups in the user group database has generally been around 10%. As one survey respondent said, “mostly on site, but dwindling numbers and meetings.” So, it is interesting to learn that some groups have been revitalized during the pandemic, helping members stay in touch during difficult times. Here are the results for pre-pandemic meeting formats:

how groups met precovid

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Factors that go into deciding when and how to meet

When it comes to deciding how to meet, when to meet, and where to meet, it can be hard to make everyone happy. (In fact, most user group officers will tell you that it can be hard to make many members happy regardless of the question…)

Here are some of the factors that groups said go into deciding on their meeting format and location:

 

 

User Group Guidance

apple user groupsIn the survey, we asked for guidance and groups offered their thoughts. Interestingly, some of the factors that groups considered, such as aging membership, was cited as a reason for, and against, Zoom-type meetings 🙂

Here is some of the advice offered:

 

Some groups find benefits in  the online meeting format

  • In person meetings work for business and technology, but are restricted to the talent in the group. Zoom meetings work for technology lessons and can utilize talent from other groups!
  • Easier to get speakers with online meetings.
  • we have had great success with Zoom meetings but it won’t suit everyone.
  • Guest speakers are more readily available because if Zoom or Skype access.
  • New faces from distant members
  • Going online for meetings has allowed us to regain users who found a long drive at night too difficult to attend.
  • Our members come from a wide area. Several only attend infrequently. Having virtual meetings has allowed more members to attend (although overall participation is down slightly). Other than that, we really miss the face to face and social aspects.
  • online, other mac groups and former members joined us back
  • Zoom turned out to be a viable way of meeting, which surprised some of us.
  • Online contests can be fun, but be sure to allocate much time to the events!
  • Know Zoom controls at an advanced level.
  • We were surprised and delighted that our members mostly took to zoom like ducks to water. Though we all miss in-person socializing, we get better attendance and more efficient meetings using Zoom. The ability to record and make available for download past meetings has been a popular feature in our group.
  • Platform that allows screen sharing is important. Some with hearing problems like it online to control volume. Also use closed captioning.
  • Zoom is a very good tool
  • Online remote meetings with perhaps an in-person once a year get together seems to really interest our members.
  • You may need to help people with the first online meeting

Some groups see benefits in meeting face to face read more…



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