Today at Apple: Podcasts, Playful Portraits, Photo Walks and more

Have you ever wondered why some videos are amazing while others feel like traditional family vacation shots or why some podcasts feel like they were made by professionals, even though the podcasters are using simple equipment from a spare corner in their homes? If so, your group might enjoy sessions from Today at Apple. Better yet, Apple has resumed on-site sessions in some locations. So, your group is able to either attend a virtual session or, in some locations, an on-site presentation.

What’s on offer? Art Lab: Playful Portraits, where attendees can learn how to transform an everyday photo into a work of art. Recording Techniques with iPhone, where attendees can learn simple techniques, including how to control exposure or set focus, and explore new ways to record video. And, there is Photo Walk: Taking Portraits on Location, where attendees can learn how to capture people in their environment with iPhone. Practice with interesting backdrops, work with Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting, and find flattering angles for your members’ subjects.

Prefer learning about podcasting? Check out Music Skills: Getting Started with Podcasting.

Last but not least, maybe consider a photo contest for your members. Check out the winners of Apple’s recent Shot on iPhone Macro Challenge:

Winning photos from the Shot on an iPhone Macro Challenge

Whether your sessions are remote or on-site, Today at Apple offers techniques to help you make your projects shine.

There’s a Feature for That: Apple’s Innovative Accessibility Features

accessibility logo

Remember the first time you heard, “there’s an app for that”? Those apps helped you customize your devices so they suited your needs and your tastes. Well, the new catch phrase is, “There’s a feature for that: stay connected in every way, your way.” Whether your members are interested in ways to enhance their mobility, hearing, vision, cognitive abilities, or more, there are features that can bring what your members need in easy-to-use and intuitive ways.

Better yet, there are new features on the horizon that are simply amazing.

Check it out:






There’s more to come!

Apple and Earth Day 2022: Making a Difference

You may think that you are aware of the many innovative products that came from Apple research, but did you know that Apple invented a line of disassembly robots (Liam)? While existing recycling techniques only recover a few kinds of materials and often diminish their quality, these robots can recover 1900 kg of aluminum, 1.3 kg Gold, 7 kg silver, 24 kg rare earth elements, 3.5 kg tungsten, 800 kg copper, 0.4 kg platinum group metals, 55 kg tin, 550 kg cobalt, and 2.5 kg tantalum from every 100,000 iPhone 6 devices that are turned in for recycling. (more…)

AWUGU Report: Preventing Burdens by Tom Piper

by Tom Piper, Coordinator

This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on April 18, 2022, via Zoom. We had 38 participants for the topic of “Don’t Carry the Burden Alone!” (see attached JPG image and PDF attendance list). The 73-minute video can be viewed at:  You Tube (unlisted on YouTube).

This session opened with my welcome (especially to new registrants), plus a quick review of the meeting protocols, and an invitation to submit user group Product Review web links. Doug Smith, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) provided backup support during the call.

Nicholas Pyers, provided a 45-minute slideshow presentation about his experiences and recommendations about distributing leadership and user group duties (PDF slideshow to be sent later). Isabel Collins of the Apple Users’ Society of Melbourne added information and answered questions about the raffle which they used to provide (and hope to do again). This was followed by questions and experiences by a number of other participants, several of whom also shared information about their experiences and suggestions.

Additional questions were asked, experiences shared and suggestions made by other user group leaders with the following links providing further information on this meeting’s topics:


We are very pleased with this fourth meeting of 2022. Files related to this meeting are available on our AWUGU shared folder:

Our next meeting topic will be “AUG Hybrid Meetings” by attendees from Belgium, Illinois, Missouri and elsewhere. Additional topics for future meetings are always welcome, just send suggestions to me. This meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 16, 2022, at 5:00pm Central Daylight Saving Time (all current AWUGU 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 Registration must be received by May 14 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).

(BTW . . . additional information may be sent later as it becomes available)
AWUGU 4-22 pic of attendees

Macstock VI: Rebuilding

If you have participated in a Macstock gathering you know why fans look forward to meeting each year. Great sessions, fun events, and wonderful company: who could ask for more?

With the pandemic, the last two years have seen virtual Macstock events. The good news is that Macstock is back to the in-person gathering you love, in Crystal Lake Illinois on July 23 & 24th . Better yet, ticket sales open on April 22 and tickets purchased previously for Macstock 2020 will be honored.

Be there.

Macstock Conference and Expo

Meeting Ideas: Today at Apple: Video Walks, Art Walks and more

Have you ever wondered why some videos are amazing while others feel like traditional family vacation shots? If so, your group might enjoy three new sessions from Today at Apple. Better yet, Apple has resumed on-site sessions in some locations. So, your group is able to either attend a virtual session or, in some locations, an on-site presentation.

What’s on offer? Video Walk: Manipulating Time, where attendees can learn how to add energy to videos by manipulating time. For example, your members can learn how to bring drama to a moment using Slo-mo or capture a sunrise with time-lapse or hyperlapse. The on site sessions let attendees collaborate with others to set up and practice different shot types on location. Art Walk: Drawing from Observation, where attendees can learn how being mindful of people, objects, or places in their  surroundings will help them add interesting details to their drawings. Better yet, iPad Pro and Apple Pencil devices will be provided for on-site sessions. Finally, Photo Skills: Photography on iPhone can help any iPhone user increase their photographing skills. 

Whether your sessions are remote or on-site, Today at Apple offers techniques to make your projects their best.

Tools to Use: Randy Singer – Macintosh Email Software

Randy Singer, leader of the 9.000+ member strong MacAttorney User Group, co-author of multiple editions of the award-winning and 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 an excellent page listing current email software, email utilities, and email archiving software. If your members are looking for mail applications that run on the Mac OS, this is another great resource from Randy’s collection of helpful pages.

Macintosh Email Software

Thanks again to Randy for being such a wonderful resource for the community of Apple users!

Apple Support on YouTube: Conversation Boost, Mirrored Selfies, and more

Looking for a short presentation for your next meeting? Apple Support’s YouTube channel offers great tips that can be an interesting addition to a group meeting. Each video is under 2 minutes, easy to follow and interesting.

For example, How to turn on Conversation Boost with AirPods Pro on iPhone and iPad describes how to use Conversation Boost to enhance the ability to hear conversations in crowded or noisy situations. There’s even a short how to for taking mirrored selfies with iPhone, so your photo looks just like you see yourself in the mirror.

Ambassadors: April is a great month to use Apple resources for your meetings.

Turn on Conversation Boost

Take a Mirrored Selfie

Get Started with Magnifier on your iPhone

Meeting Idea: Show Off Universal Control

Apple Peek PerformanceAt the recent Peek Performance event, Apple showed off a pretty cool feature: Universal Control. Starting in macOS 12.3 and iPadOS 15.4, users can work seamlessly between their Mac and iPad using just one keyboard and mouse or trackpad. The set up is quick and the feature is amazing. 

Why not add a quick demo of Universal Control to your next meeting? Apple Support on YouTube has a quick walkthrough that shows you how easy the process is.

Apple Support – Universal Control

Meeting Idea: Learn More About Apple Desktops and Displays

Apple Peek PerformanceApple announced an amazing new desktop and display during the March Peek Performance event. So, your members might have questions: which desktop meets different needs? How do the displays differ?

The good news is that ASW has two documents that offer quick comparisons across Apple’s desktop and display offerings. Why not check out Apple displays — Lineup (L594922A-en_US) and Mac desktops — Lineup (L594921A-en_US)?

Ambassadors, this could make for a useful part of a Peek Performance-themed meeting.