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In this issue: Important MacBook Pro recall on 2015 models; A quick way to check battery levels on your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods; Faster, easier photo sharing with iCloud links; Apple Pay and Wallet presentation; Software recommendations; Hardware recommendations.
July 2019 Newsletter

Important MacBook Pro recall on 2015 models

For some older 15-inch MacBook Pro models Apple has started a recall program to replace batteries that could explore and catch fire. These models were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017. 

If you are a Sentinel or Sentinel+ subscriber, MacAtoZ has already determined if yours is a MacBook Pro with a problem. If it is, we've contacted you. In other words, if you're in Sentinel, you don't need to do anything unless we've told you to. (If you'd like to learn more about Sentinel or join up, see www.macatoz.com/sentinel for details.) Within our client base, the vast majority of 2015 MacBook Pro models had no problem. 

For everybody else, you can find out if your 15-inch MacBook Pro is affected, enter its serial number into Apple’s recall page. If it is included in the recall, shut it down and stop using it immediately! Contact Apple for a free battery replacement.
 

A quick way to check battery levels on your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods

Apple’s Batteries widget is a little known but highly useful tool for quickly assessing which of your small Apple devices is lowest on power—something you may wish to do particularly when traveling with only one charging cable.

To access it, switch to Today view on the iPhone, accessible by swiping right on the Home screen or Lock screen.

If the Batteries widget isn’t already there, scroll to the bottom, tap Edit, and tap the green + button to the left of Batteries in the list.

Of course, if you just want to check the battery status on one device, that’s possible too. It’s easy to figure out how much power remains in your iPhone’s battery because of the indicator at the top right of the screen (swipe down on it to invoke Control Center and see the percentage on the iPhone X and later).

On the Apple Watch, swipe up on the screen to see its battery percentage in Control Center. For AirPods, open the case and wait for the pop-up to appear on your iPhone’s screen.
 

Faster, easier photo sharing with iCloud links

It’s easy to share a single photo from your iPhone or iPad with a friend, but if you want to share a bunch of photos or lengthy videos, sending them in Messages or Mail might not work or could impact your (and your recipients’) data caps. In iOS 12, Apple added a clever feature that instead uploads the files to iCloud and lets you share a simple link that your recipients can use to view and download. Use this approach and your messages will send and be received faster and more reliably.

This feature requires that you use iCloud Photos (previously called iCloud Photo Library). If you’re not already set up with iCloud Photos, you can turn it on in Settings > Photos, but be aware that you will likely need to pay for more iCloud storage ($0.99 per month for 50 GB, $2.99 for 200 GB, and $9.99 for 2 TB). Your recipients don’t need to use iCloud Photos, though, and in fact, they can use any device or operating system.
 
Send iCloud Links
It’s easy to send an iCloud Link. Follow these steps:
  1. Open the Photos app on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 12.
  2. In any view with multiple thumbnails showing, tap Select.
  3. Tap one or more photos or videos to select them.
  4. Tap the Share  button.
  5. In the bottom row of icons in the Share sheet, tap Copy iCloud Link. You may have to scroll to the right to see it.
  6. After iOS prepares the items for sharing, it puts the iCloud link on the clipboard.
  7. Switch to whatever app you’re using to communicate and paste the link by pressing in a text area and tapping Paste in the control that appears. Messages will generate a preview thumbnail for you; other apps will display a Web URL to icloud.com
Manage iCloud Links
By default, items you share via an iCloud link are stored for only 30 days. That’s a good thing—you don’t have to worry about things hanging around forever. However, it does mean that your recipients need to get around to viewing or downloading within that time. And what if you want to remove access before the 30 days are up? Plus, what if you want to send the iCloud link to another person—how do you get it again?

Here’s the trick. In Photos, tap For You, then tap your collection under Recently Shared to open it. Then tap the blue more  button in the upper-right corner to display a menu with two options:
  • To get the link again to send to another person, tap Copy iCloud Link.
  • To remove the files from iCloud, tap Stop Sharing. 
Receive iCloud Links
When someone sends you an iCloud link, opening it is as simple as tapping or clicking the link, just like any other Web URL. (As with other Web links, if you’re receiving an iCloud link in Messages, you’ll see a thumbnail preview instead of the URL.)

If you’re receiving the iCloud link on an iOS device, tapping it opens the collection in the For You tab of Photos with a convenient Add All button for bringing the photos into your own library. If you don’t want all of them, you can instead tap Select to pick a few.

However, opening the iCloud link on a Mac or any other device opens it in a Web browser, with a Photos-like display. By default, all the photos are selected, although you can click the blue  checkmark for any one to deselect it or click Deselect All. Clicking the round spot where the checkmark was selects an image again. Once the photos you want are selected, click Download.

Alternatively, if you just want to look at the photos online, click any photo to expand it. All the other photos appear in a scrolling bar below, and you can click them or use the arrow keys to navigate through them.

So next time you have some photos to share and don’t want to waste bandwidth or mess around with shared albums, try sending an iCloud link instead!
 

Apple Pay and Wallet presentation

Ty Davison, MacAtoZ's president and senior Apple technician, will be giving a presentation on Apple Pay and Wallet for the Salem Macintosh Users Group on Tuesday, July 9 at the Comfort Suites Inn on Hawthorne (near Costco). 

The meeting begins at 6:45 PM with a 30 minute Q&A session followed by about 15 minutes of socializing and club business. Ty's presentation will begin at 7:30 PM and go for roughly an hour. 

Visitors are absolutely welcome. Should you decide join SMUG, membership dues are only $30 a year per family. We hope to see you there!
 

Software Recommendations

macOS 10.14.5 Mojave. macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra and macOS 10.12.6 Sierra are acceptable. Earlier versions should be upgraded ASAP. You can see your Mac's operating system version by going to the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and choosing "About This Mac." 

iOS 12.3.1 (or 12.3.2 for iPhone 8+). No other versions are acceptable. Any device that can run iOS 11 should be upgraded to 12.3.1. You can see your iPhone or iPad's operating system version by going to Settings > General > About > Version.

watchOS 5.2.1. Older versions acceptable if necessary; upgrade if your devices (iPhone and Apple Watch) support it. You can see your Apple Watch's operating system version by going to Settings > General > About > Version. 

tvOS 12.3. Apple TV models that run tvOS should upgrade to this version. Note that earlier models of Apple TV do not run tvOS and are fine for what they do. You can see if there's a software update available for your Apple TV by going to Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software.
 

Hardware Recommendations

Macintosh
  • iMac: iMac10,1 (Late 2009) or newer
  • Mac mini: Macmini4,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
  • Mac Pro: MacPro5,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
  • MacBook: MacBook6,1 (Late 2009) or newer
  • MacBook Air: MacBookAir3,1 (Late 2010) or newer
  • MacBook Pro: MacBookPro7,1 (Mid 2010) or newer
    • Note that 2016-2018 MacBook Pro models have a higher than usual keyboard failure rate. Used 2015 models, which use a different style keyboard, may be a more reliable option.
These are minimum hardware recommendations based on what is necessary to run a secure operating system (macOS 10.12.6 Sierra or macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra). 

The following are the macOS 10.14 Mojave system requirements. If your Mac does not meet these specifications, it will need to be replaced by fall of 2020, when High Sierra will no longer be secure.

macOS 10.14 Mojave system requirements
  • MacBook (Early 2015 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Mid-2012 or later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid-2012 or later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 or later)
  • iMac Pro (all models)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer)
macOS 10.15 Catalina is due this fall and has the same system requirements as Mojave. 

iPhone and iPad
  • iPhone 6S or newer. Older iPhones cannot run iOS 13 which will be released this fall. While iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 remain secure at the moment, if one of these is your phone you should begin budgeting now for a replacement. (New iPhones expected in September.)
    • iPhone 7 models have a higher than normal failure rate over time. Given the choice, we would recommend iPhone 8 models as a strong alternative to iPhone 7 models. 
  • iPad Air 2 or newer will be needed for the new iPadOS coming this fall
  • iPad mini 4 or newer will be needed for the new iPadOS coming this fall
  • iPad Pro (all models)
  • iPad 5th generation or newer
The iPad line is made confusing by the multitude of model names and types (Air, mini, Pro, and just plain iPad). Generally speaking, devices introduced in October 2014 and later will run iOS 13. Devices that will not run iOS 13 and should be replaced unless they will not be used on the internet. 

Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch Series 4 is highly recommended.
  • All versions are secure and acceptable though Apple Watch Series 0 will not run the latest version of WatchOS and therefore lacks both the speed and features of later Apple Watches.  
Apple TV
  • Apple TV 4K is recommended. Apple TV (4th generation) is fine as well.
  • Older models of Apple TV do not support tvOS and cannot run Apple TV Store apps, though we are unaware of any major security issues. 

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Apple Consultants Network
MacAtoZ LLC provides technical support, upgrade, installation, networking, training and tutoring, web design and hosting, and remote support services for Apple products like Macintosh computers, iPhones, iPods, and iPads.

Ty Davison and Dyneé Medlock, our Apple technicians, are the only Apple-certified, Apple Consultants Network members serving both residential and small business clients in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley.

MacAtoZ has been providing computer services for clients in the Salem area since 2006 (and since 1999 as SiteRev.com). Our technicians are certified by Apple and carry $1 million in business liability insurance. We frequently present and are well-known at the Salem Macintosh Users Group (SMUG). You can count on us.

Our Sentinel and Sentinel+ services offer home users 24/7 Macintosh monitoring, maintenance, and security. Join today!

Quick Links

MacAtoZ LLC: The main company web site. You can find information about products and services as well as advice here.

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