February’s Featured Vendor: Eve’s Apple HomeKit-Enabled Ecosystem

While you may not recognize the logo, the company now named Eve was a long-time and much-loved supporter of User Group University and other community events under the name Elgato. With the incredible success of their Eve Flare (portable smart LED lamp), Eve Button (smart home remote), Eve Door & Window (door and window security sensors), Eve Light Switch (smart wall switch), Eve Motion (motion sensor), Eve Room (indoor air quality, temperature, and humidity sensor), Eve Smoke (smoke detector), Eve Thermo (radiator valve), Eve Aqua (smart water controller), Eve Degree (connected weather station), Eve Extend (Bluetooth wireless extender), Eve Energy (empower your appliances) and more, the company decided to focus on their smart home line of products that work perfectly with with Apple HomeKit technology.

In fact, Eve’s growing ecosystem of connected accessories, designed exclusively for the Apple HomeKit-enabled household, are simple to set up, easy to control from anywhere, and provide the convenience that automation can supply. Better yet, even when accessing your home remotely via your home hub, all data is end-to-end encrypted and stored on your iPhone or iPad. So, your privacy is protected.

This month’s blog has an amazing discount for Apple employees and Apple User Group members. Be sure to check it out!

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January’s Featured Vendor: Dan’s Tutorials

Have you been lucky enough to use Noteboom Tutorials? If so, you know that Dan Wassink’s tutorials are user friendly, helping users get the most out of their Apple Devices through easy-to-follow video tutorials, tips, and online chat support.

The good news is that Dan has a new site for his wonderful tutorials and the site has an easy-to-remember name: Dan’s Tutorials. The new site offers so much more, letting users add notes that can be retrieved at any time, quickly access a desired topic or tip, drill down to a specific skill or technique, and favorite tutorials to quickly access them again, all in a distraction-free environment. In addition, Dan’s Tutorials has an unusual feature that helps subscribers save money: users can pause a subscription at any time and resume when they are ready to learn new skills. Apple centric? Of course! Course tracking? Yep! Affordable? Very affordable: your subscription covers every tutorial in the system, with no hidden fees. Current? Yep, new lessons and tips are added on a regular basis. (more…)

Randy B. Singer of MacAttorney: Macintosh Accounting Software

Randy 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, recently commented that it can be hard to find all of the alternatives for Macintosh accounting software. He notes that, “even though the myth that “there are no accounting programs for the Macintosh” is prevalent, the truth is that this has always been one of the Mac’s better covered areas.”

So, he has created a page covering currently-available offerings. The page is in the early stages, and it is incredibly informative.

Check it out – maybe even contribute to the conversation:

http://www.macattorney.com/accounting.html

Visit MacAttorney.

http://www.macattorney.com/

Meeting Idea: Apple Research app

Your members may be wondering about the new Apple Research app and the first three research studies. They may know that Apple protects their privacy, but may not know that the Apple Research app meets all HIPA requirements or that Apple will have no way of identifying any data provided. They may know that the Apple Research app is designed to change the cost, time, and complexity of doing large-scale health studies, but may not know what sorts of things are being studied.

For example the Apple Heart and Movement Study is partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital to explore the links between physical activity and heart health, or that the Apple Hearing Study, in partnership with the University of Michigan will study how hearing could be impacted by exposure to sound at certain levels, and how this might affect stress levels and cardiovascular health.

Of course, that’s just the start. The Apple Research app could make for an interesting and rewarding meeting topic.

Apple Research app

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.

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How To: Apple Support Options for User Groups

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.)

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Meeting Ideas: Apple Arcade

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.

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How-To: Live Streaming Computer Group Meetings by Graeme Moffatt

[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…)

Meeting Idea: Apple Families

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!

https://www.apple.com/families/