By Rick Ortiz
Apple User Groups have always been a great resource for help outside of the normal Apple support system. Besides the in-person meetings, some user groups offer online support resources and email discussion lists. User groups seem to always answer those tough and hard-to-find solutions, for its members. But user group members sometimes need support beyond that, and in the past we would call Apple for help. But as technology changes, so has our Apple support options. This “How-To” is more of a resource article for user group leaders as well as for members themselves. (note: Apple Stores are a great resources for help, but not everyone has a store near them, or can go into a store for support. This article will focus on online support options.)
Are your members curious about Apple Arcade? The people who created the games that are part of Apple Arcade have woven artistry, curiosity and a lot of heart into a curated selection of fascinating and fresh ways to delight players. From The Enchanted World, a metaphor for a child growing up in a time of war, where the player uses puzzles and challenges to restore a collapsing fairyland, to Borderleap’s Patterned puzzle pieces that must be arranged to complete charming pictures, the post-apocalyptic Overland road trip adventure game, and the card-based Card of Darkness, with puzzles that feature hand-drawn characters with a sense of humor, there is something to delight every player.
[Note: The premiere of Graeme Moffatt’s ‘Mr Mainline Steam‘ documentary was shown recently and the documentary has received amazing reviews and organizational recognitions.]
Filmmaker Graeme Moffatt of Capital Video Productions Ltd. is a member of the Wellington Macintosh Society, and he is also the Apple User Group Regional Liaison for New Zealand, Australia, and Oceania. You can find more than a year of his group’s Wellington Macintosh Society (WelMac) meeting videos at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmJBMCRuX6iyV8smOu2iApw/videos
By Graeme Moffatt:
I became involved with a group in the United States that is doing live internet broadcasts, initially just using an iPad and soon they moved to a much more sophisticated system.
This new system allowed them to use multiple screens, cameras and microphones and the quality of the broadcasts became much more sophisticated and interesting. I sent an email to the person who was coordinating all of this, an ex Hollywood filmmaker, and asked him what software he was using and received a reply stating that it was an iPad app called Switcher Studio.
I did a search online and soon found the app and downloaded a free trial version and tested it out. I found it to quite amazing as to what it could accomplish (more…)
While parents love the ways that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV promote learning, exploring, and fun, parents also want to be sure that their children are using Apple products and related technologies in ways that are safe, healthy, and appropriate. Are your members aware of Apple’s Families page and how it can help parents make sure that their children are using technology in the ways that parents want?
The site provides tips and tools to keep track of family app usage, determine when devices can be used, limit or block applications and notifications at bedtime, choose which apps are available for their children, provide for internet safety and kid-friendly content, manage in-app purchases (including Ask to Buy), know where their children are 24×7, find lost devices, share apps and music with the entire family, create group chats to stay in touch, reduce distractions, provide for emergency SOS and ensure medical information is there when needed, help emergency professionals locate family members, protect privacy, and so much more.
Check it out!
Your members may be wondering about the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. If so, ASW has a great set of presentations that could make for a good meeting topic.
MacBook Pro – Then and Now (L578071A-en_US) and MacBook Air – Then and Now *L581386A-en_US) offer comparisons of previous and current generations, letting your members know what has changed and what is the same. Then, MacBook Pro – First Look (L578070A-en_US) and MacBook Air – First Look (L581388A-en_US) provide the full specs for the newest in the MacBook line.
Ambassadors, August is a great month to use Apple resources in your meetings.
Raising Money With Patreon For Your User Group by Rex Covington
A little over a year ago Board member and blogger Rex Covington started on a journey that matters, riding across the US to raise diabetes awareness and raise funds to support research toward a cure. His blog, voted one of the top 100 motorcycle blogs, offers a glimpse into his travels. Rex uses Patreon, and wrote this article for groups who might want to consider fundraising with Patreon.
Lone Star Rider – Riding For a Cure
Patreon Is a subscription-based crowd funding platform that helps creators collect financial support from their fans. You can use Patreon to fund your projects, Special Interest Group (SIG), or just to support your User Group by uploading YouTube videos. https://www.patreon.com
Many user group leaders may have been wondering what happened to our online Support Ticket System. Due to some updates from our web host, some of our backend services had some issues. We are glad to announce our ticket system is back up and running for your User Group Support and Leader questions. We apologize for the downtime. If you need to reach us and/or need to submit a support ticket, you can find the link here.
Last June, Glenn Fleishman, Senior Contributor for Macworld, wrote a great Mac911 column that could make for an interesting and useful meeting topic. The title? What you need to do when you inherit a Mac: Avoid a huge headache and do these things before you accept or buy a Mac from the estate of a deceased person.
Check it out!
One attribute that seems to set Apple User Groups apart from other hobby clubs is community service. Most groups provide a way to make their community just a little bit better. And, they find a broad range of ways to help. For example:
- The Charlotte Apple Computer Club offers Tech Learning Days at the Matthews Community Center at least once a month
- The Village Macintosh User Group runs free New Users Help Classes on the first Tuesday of every month
- CapMac has worked with their local school district to teach low income parents how to use Apple computers that were donated for home use
- Mac User Groups dedicated to HAM radio often participate in Field Day disaster readiness drills
- Washington Apple Pi offers informal Clubhouse Saturdays for troubleshooting and technical questions
- MUG ONE and many other groups offer lending libraries
- The Houston Area Apple User Group runs popular swap meets
- And creative pro groups, including SF Cutter‘s Lynetta Freeman, post job opportunities in the industry and the Creative Pro community supports film festivals and events, including SuperMeets.
And, that is just the start. Does your user group offer community services or outreach efforts?
Check these out.
Too many passwords to remember? 1Password 7 for Mac is a password manager that goes beyond simple password storage by integrating directly with your web browser to automatically log you into websites, enter credit card information, fill registration forms, and easily generate strong passwords.
As an Apple user group member, you are entitled to get the new 1Password service at 25% below the normal $3.99/mo.(US) retail price. This subscription also gets you access to 1Password, not only on the Mac, but also iOS (and Windows/Android as well).
Note that 1Password 7 for Mac is a monthly subscription service.
See your user group Ambassador for discount link.
This worldwide offer is ongoing.