WWDC 2020

Today saw the Keynote speech and kickoff of Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference. WWDC 2020 is obviously a little different than previous years, with no crowd for the keynote, and particular efforts put in to health and safety regarding Covid-19.


There weren’t really any new hardware reveals this year, which also marks a difference to previous years. The exception to this is pretty big though – a new processor that Apple says will replace Intel chips in MacBooks, iMacs, and Macbook Pros over about two years.


As Tim Cook says “It truly is a historic day for the Mac.”


Let’s take a look at some of the other improvements Apple has in store for us and our friendly Apple devices.


iOS 14 has a redesigned home screen with a list view of your Apps called the App Library, new picture-in-picture mode for viewing video within a moveable frame while doing other things on your iPhone, and new widgets to access information quickly at a glance.


Changes coming to iMessage in iOS 14 include mentions for specific people, pinned conversations, and in-line replies within conversations.


Siri, as well as the Phone App, will have far less intrusive notifications that don’t take up the whole screen when you use Siri or when you receive an incoming call.


There’s a new Translate App, which is apparently capable of translating speech and text offline in 11 languages.


You’ll be able to unlock your car using NFC on your iPhone – the first vehicle to support this is the 2021 BMW 5 series, so put that one on your Christmas List!


Maps has had a revamp, with expanded international coverage, new cycling routes, new electric vehicle directions with charging information and savable exploration guides.


More head ware options for your Memoji are available in iOS 14, including the option to add a face mask.


AirPod users will be able to easily switch between Apple devices with a new automatic device switching feature in iOS 14.


iPadOS 14 includes new features that take advantage of the larger surface area, and has a new compact design for incoming FaceTime calls, phone calls and Siri interactions. Photos has a redesign that allows for easier browsing and organization. You can also now search from anywhere.


With the new Scribble App, users can write in any text field using the Apple Pencil, which will then be converted to typed text.


Both iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 will allow users to set third-party browser and email apps as default, such as Chrome or Outlook, rather than having to rely on Apple’s own Safari and Mail apps (winning).


iOS 14 is compatible with with iPhones that are five years old and newer.


WatchOS7 brings sleep tracking, ‘Wind down’ mode, automatic hand washing detection, additional workout types (Hi Dancers!) and a new hearing health feature. The ‘Activity’ App connected from your Watch to your iPhone is now renamed the ‘Fitness’ App.


There’s easy sharing of watch faces (yay) with multiple complications now allowed.


macOS Big Sur will be version 11.0. This marks the end of macOS 10, which spanned from version 10.0 or ‘Cheetah’ in 2001 to version 10.15 or ‘Catalina’ in 2019.


The new macOS comes with a big update to Apple’s native Safari browser, with a new Privacy button in the toolbar which gives users insight into how sites are using their connection, and which trackers have been blocked.


Big Sur also includes new designs for the Dock, Message App icon, and new UI for apps like Photos and Mail, and Control Center is now available, letting you change display brightness, activating Dark Mode or Night Shift.


So that’s it guys!! Some definitively better redesigns and improvements for all of our software needs. I’ll leave you with a trailer for the new AppleTV+ show, Foundation. Enjoy the rest of your Monday!



Apple maps will soon feature COVID-19 testing locations

Apple has launched an online portal for healthcare providers, labs or other businesses to register as COVID-19 testing locations, which means that you’ll soon be able to find COVID-19 testing locations on Apple Maps – alongside information specific to the location.


After the sites are registered, the ‌Apple Maps‌ team will review the application, and upon approval it will appear in ‌Apple Maps‌.


To see the testing locations, look for a red medical glyph icon and a unique “COVID-19 Testing Site” card. ‌Apple Maps‌ will show the place name, associated healthcare provider, contact number and website, as well as information about the type of testing location. Applicants wishing to register a site will also be asked to state whether the testing location will require a doctor’s referral or a scheduled appointment.


Apple has not said how long it will be before we start to see the sites appear on Maps, but they say that they are working quickly to verify and add as many testing locations as possible.



Apple & Google’s new COVID-19 Initiative.

Apple and Google have announced a new partnership whereby Bluetooth technology is used to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


As per usual, Apple says that user privacy and security will be of the utmost importance, and participation will be opt-in.


Wait… opt-in? What can I/do I have to do to help? Remember, it’s opt-in, but it could help!





An important thing to note here is that Apple and Google will not be using any location data for the tracking feature, including from the users who report being positive. The tool is meant to determine not where affected people have been, but rather if they’ve been around other people so that those people will know to self isolate due to the exposure.



From The Source (Apple & Google’s joint press release):


Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.


Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.


First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.
Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.


All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.


As part of this partnership, Google and Apple are releasing draft technical documentation including Bluetooth and cryptography specifications and framework documentation.


Apple’s new ‘Stay at Home’ initiative

Apple has replaced its retail based ‘Today at Apple’ session with a “Today at Apple (at Home)” program.


You can check out the website here, which features creative projects and tutorials able to be done at home, created by Creative Pros from Apple Retail Store locations all over the world.



Since all Apple stores outside of China have been closed since March 14th, Apple will probably be these creative videos available online until they can begin reopening its retail locations around the world.


Check it out!


More Free TV!



Along with other providers, because of the current situation a lot of us we find ourselves in, Apple has made a whole bunch of its original Apple TV+ series and movies FREE for us all! You know, for a limited time.


You can now watch these titles for free:


*For All Mankind
*Snoopy in Space
*The Elephant Queen


You can go get streaming online via Apple.co/FreeForEveryone or through the ‌Apple TV‌ app on iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.


You just need to sign in with an Apple ID.


The free part of their service is still rolling out, so everyone should be able to connect with it soon! Just in time for stupid boring Wednesday, right? I mean.. wait, what day is it?



Apple, among others, helping with much needed supply of N95 masks

Apple has announced that it will be aiming to donate millions of N95 masks to hospitals in both the United States and Europe. Apple’s ops team are currently trying to find and purchase masks from Apple’s supply chain – in coordination with governments.


From the source, Tim Cook:



This is an urgent, important, and necessary task, as the current Coronavirus pandemic has led to a critical shortage of N95 masks, which healthcare workers need in order to protect themselves.


Elsewhere,  fashion companies from H&M and Zara to LVMH, Kering, and Prada have also pledged to supply protective items for medical workers, either by using their production facilities to make masks, or by buying finished masks directly from China, which makes most of the world’s medical masks.


LVMH, who owns Louis Vuitton and Dior, said on March 21 it had managed to order 10 million masks from a Chinese industrial supplier, including 7 million surgical masks and 3 million FFP2 masks. It plans to repeat the order in similar quantities weekly for at least four weeks. Kering, owner of Gucci and other labels, is purchasing a total of 3 million masks from China to give to France’s health service.



Additionally, good guy Gap Inc has announced via Twitter that it would “pivot resources so factory partners can make masks, gowns & scrubs for healthcare workers on the front lines.”





New & Free Streaming Content Available

In the middle of the Coronavirus Pandemic, it’s wonderful to see the kindness and generosity that many people are showing.  People are offering online learning and teachers are offering video tutoring for kids, people are offering free streaming exercise classes, art classes, and the list goes on.


Self -isolation is a tricky (but vital) beast for everyone right now! We’ll be making a list of a bunch of those options that we’ve seen and putting it out shortly. In the meantime – on a much more corporate level – comes news that Amazon is now providing family-friendly programming for free on Prime Video.


The content is available to all Amazon customers, with no Prime membership required. You just need to make a free Amazon.com account.


The U.S. version of the free service has over 40 titles  including “Arthur,” “Pete The Cat”, “Creative Galaxy”, “Caillou,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Wild Kratts,” among others.


The new free programs will be available on the Prime Video app, which is a free download on compatible smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, game consoles, Chromecast or via Prime Video on the web.


Sling TV has also made a selection of its content available to stream for free, including breaking news and live events from ABC News Live, movies and kids’ content for families and other lifestyle and entertainment programming. You can get the Sling TV free experience through the Sling app for Roku, Amazon or Android devices or via the web using a Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge browser.


Additionally, Hulu has added free live TV news to its on-demand service.


Lastly, this isn’t regarding free content, but it is early content: some Hollywood studios are releasing movies to stream on the home market months earlier than planned.


Not particularly kid friendly movies – perhaps this is for after they’ve popped off to bed of a night – you can now rent The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma for $20 from any of your favorite streaming services including Amazon, Apple, Fandango, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube. Disney/Pixar’s Onward is also available, and soon will be joined by Birds of Prey, The Gentlemen, and Trolls World Tour.





All the things you can do whilst self-isolating so you don’t go insane

Sooo. Social Distancing, self-isolation and quarantine are things now. They are also GOOD things, for your community, and for the world’s community. We have to try and flatten that infection curve people! Protect those who we love and those that other people love. We’re going to make Coronavirus our b*tch and love each other at the same time, right?


K. But. It’s also weird, the whole staying at home, away from people, thing, because, well, what do we do, actually? A lot of us are lucky/unlucky enough to be working at home, so you’ve got a lot of the day covered, but what about after work? A lot of us will suddenly have all this… time? On our hands?


**We also want to take into consideration that there are a LOT of people who are unable financially to self isolate, stay at home, or even social distance to an extent. Those people deserve our love and also our money if we’re able. Buy gift cards for your favorite restaurants for when this is over, Venmo your favorite servers on the days you might be drinking/dining out if you can, ask your hairdresser for home tips and Venmo them, too. Support small businesses who are going to be struggling, buy things (if you can) and get them delivered. And please remember the frontline workers in our healthcare system.Try and see that this shizz is bad news bear for everyone and some have it worse than others. If you can do something to help out, friends, family or strangers, then please do it! And then you get all the good karma points, yo!**


Firstly, if you’re working from home or not working and are just at home, do this one thing for me right now. Write down, on a solid, physical piece of paper, all the wonderful things about your co-habitees. Your spouse, room mate, family member, etc.  Because you’re going to spending ALL THE TIME with them. All of it. All of the time. You will need this piece of paper. Look at it, and remember.


And now, to the fun part, in no particular order.


What are you going to do today?


Thanks to this article from Travel & Leisure, you can take a free virtual museum tour at 12 famous museums around the world.


Scour Goodreads to find your next few books, start with the best books of 2019 as voted by readers, then maybe move onto Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century, a list of the one hundred best books of the 20th century, according to a poll conducted in the spring of 1999 by the French retailer Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde.


If reading is your jam, maybe read Stephen King’s  ‘On Writing’, and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr to help you write your first novel? Or William Goldman’s ‘Which lie did I tell’ for screenwriting?


Do some online learning with Udemy, OpenLearning or Lynda. 


Here is a list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.


Get stuck in a wikipedia hole, like this one: List of common misconceptions. Click on any link on that page and open it in a new tab. Continue. Enjoy your Wiki black hole.


Thanks to Buzzfeed, here is everything new coming to Netflix in March. 


Speaking of Netflix. Netflix and Chilln’ is a pretty good time. Just sayin’.


Facetime Party! Keeping in touch with your friends and family is really important right now. Everyone knows you bring the sunshine into their lives! Don’t stop now! Bring it! Don’t only talk about Coronavirus. 


Start a herb garden.


Learn a skill like Python through Sololearn.


Cook! Or learn to! Try Epicurious or All Recipes. Try that crazy recipe that you’ve always wanted! Set the table like a proper human! Play some music! Get dressed up fancy! Have a FaceTime dinner Party! Or a private fancy pants dinner party with your cohabitees!


Learn a language with DuoLingo. Spanish! Esperanto! Slovenian!


Do some Folding at Home.  From the Wiki- Folding@home (FAH or F@h) is a distributed computing project for disease research that simulates protein folding, computational drug design, and other types of molecular dynamics. The project uses the idle processing resources of personal computers owned by volunteers who have installed the software on their systems. Its main purpose is to determine the mechanisms of protein folding, which is the process by which proteins reach their final three-dimensional structure, and to examine the causes of protein misfolding. This is of interest to medical research into Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and many forms of cancer, among other diseases. INCLUDING COVID-19.


Play some online games. Try Arkadium or Addicting Games.  Check out the App Store.


Did you know you can play games through FB messenger? Like Basketball – find the basketball emoji on Messenger and send it to your friend in a text message. Play H-O-R-S-E.

Soccer – find the soccer ball emoji. Send it to a friend or a group of friends. Once everyone accepts and is ready to start, the game begins.

Chess – send, “@fbchess play” to play with a stranger, to choose your opponent and color, send “@fbchess play black friendname”.


Learn Tai Chi !


Meditate with apps like Calm and Headspace.


Learn Acupuncture.


Clean the house.


Take a bath with bubbles and stuff that smells good and champagne and snacks… and breathe deeply.


Keep fit with online fitness classes, like Tone It Up, or Fitness Blender, or just scour YouTube.


Keep up to date on Coronavirus, but limit yourself in time and only to proper sources, like the World Health Organisation, The CDC, John Hopkins or similar science based news.


Remember to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Your immune system is your best friend, treat it as such. Take care of each other. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. 


Also note: Comcast is offering free internet to low-income families during the pandemic. 


Stay Safe.








T-Mobile offering a bunch of increased and free products amid Coronavirus pandemic

Good Guy T-Mobile has announced some changes that should help out some of its customers who are relying on their T-Mobile data plans during the coronavirus pandemic.


If you’re a T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customer who still has a plan with data limits, T-Mobile will provide you with unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days.


Additionally, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will soon be getting access to an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service for the next 60 days and free international calling is available for all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to level 3 impacted countries- that includes all European countries.


For schools, T-Mobile is increasing the data allowance provided to students through the EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure that every participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.


Customers who use T-Mobile’s low-income Lifeline program will receive extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months.


On top of all that, T-Mobile is also participating in the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which prevents internet providers from cutting off service to individuals and small business customers unable to pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak.


Finally, T-Mobile is offering customers free two-day shipping fees for online purchases for 60 days as a courtesy.


Stay safe & hygienic everyone!



WWDC Update

Apple’s 31st Worldwide Developers Conference will, for the first time, be a digital-only event with no physical gathering . This is due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.


The event will still take place in June, and according to Apple, will still be “packed with content” for consumers, press, and developers alike. Developers will be provided with early access to new software, and will stillbe able to engage with Apple engineers.


From the Source, Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing:


“We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience, the current health situation has required that we create a new ‌WWDC 2020‌ format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”


And, from Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering:


“With all of the new products and technologies we’ve been working on, ‌WWDC 2020‌ is going to be big. I look forward to our developers getting their hands on the new code and interacting in entirely new ways with the Apple engineers building the technologies and frameworks that will shape the future across all Apple platforms.”


Apple will still hold an online keynote to unveil new software ( iOS 14, iPadOS 14, macOS 10.16, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7)  and posssssibly hardware products.


Apple will be making developer sessions and new information on the upcoming operating systems available through the Apple Developer website or the dedicated WWDC app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.


Good Guy Apple is also pledging to donate $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset the associated revenue loss as a result of ‌WWDC 2020‌’s online format.


More to come, surely!