Apple’s Accessibility home page says that the true value of a technology is not measured by how powerful it is, but by how much it empowers the user, and every Apple product contains amazing and empowering accessibility features right out of the box.
May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (third Thursday in May), accessibility is a popular user group meeting topic. From being able to take a perfect group selfie, write a text, or email without being able to see the screen; to VoiceOver to describe what is happening on any Apple device, display accommodations that can even assist with color blindness, Live Listen, closed captioning that displays far more than text, FaceTime and health tracking, LED iPhone notifications, Switch Control, customized gestures, AssistiveTouch, Guided Access, typing feedback, text-to-speech, fitness algorithms for wheelchair users, AirPods, and so much more, there are features to make every user’s tasks easier – truly empowering each user.
Want to make accessibility your group’s next meeting topic? Apple’s Accessibility Website, 17 YouTube videos on Apple Support’s Channel, and Today at Apple can make your next meeting a great one:
Apple Support’s YouTube Channel: Accessibility
Apple Accessibility Website
Today at Apple Accessibility Sessions
Are your members interested in writing, publishing, marketing, and selling their own ebooks or audiobooks? Apple offers clear and targeted resources that can guide your members through the process, from structuring their stories, to packaging their digital books, selling them on Apple’s Book Store, and using analytics to increase readership. Apple Bookstore: Yep, the same place that readers find the books they love, join Oprah’s new Book Club, publish and market ebooks or audiobooks, keep track of what they have read, and listen to enthralling audiobooks.
Help your members learn about Apple Books for Authors at your next meeting: opportunities for readers to discover your members’ works without file delivery fees, preferential product placement fees, or third-party ads.
Apple World User Group University: First Meeting Report
By Tom Piper, AWUGU Coordinator
Apple User Group Leaders:
Our kickoff AWUGU online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 8:00pm CST, on April 20, 2020, via the Cisco Webex Meeting app. We had 25 participants who joined for the topic of “Online User Group Meetings”. The full hour and a half video can be viewed at:
https://uguonline.my.webex.com/recordingservice/sites/uguonline.my/recording/playback/20ac887171cd406983cf3ad6407341c3 (use password: Ve3VTAwn).
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.
Apple’s Apple COVID-19 App – currently #1 in Health and Fitness on the App Store:
Thanks to Apple Engineer Dave Marra and OMUG President Steve Welsh for this great tip!
It can be hard to find a meeting topic when members are doing their part to flatten the curve. Have you heard about the new offerings from Today at Apple? Today at Apple – At Home offers great sessions that your members will enjoy. From drawing playful portraits with iPad, to capturing striking photography with iPhone, and shooting photos full of personality with iPhone, the tutorials are fun and easy.
Learn a new skill today.
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.
Ambassadors, March is a great time to use Apple Support articles.
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
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…)
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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…)