In this issue: Recommendations: Yes to iOS 11.1.1; iOS 11's Do Not Disturb While Driving; MacAtoZ pricing in 2018; Three is the magic number; Thanksgiving schedule & contact info; A request for help.
November 2017 Newsletter

Recommendations: Yes to iOS 11.1.1

Like previous months, we're still a very strong "Nope" on macOS 10.13.1 High Sierra. Things are getting better, but they're getting better slowly. We still believe our "yes" to macOS 10.13 will come around the ".3" release. 

Now that Apple's released iOS 11.1.1—that's the new operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch—we're ready to say "go for it." As of this writing iOS 11 has an adoption rate of 52%—that's tens of millions of devices—without reports of catastrophic problems. 

That doesn't mean there aren't significant differences. iOS 11 offers some really cool features like a new Files app, a new Dock (very Mac-like), an improved software keyboard, additional camera features, a new App Store, improved Messages, a more natural voice for Siri, a greatly enhanced Control Center, and more. Just be aware that if you upgrade to iOS 11, you cannot go back to iOS 10, and there's definitely a learning curve with some of the features.

watchOS 4.1 is excellent, and we recommend it. (FYI, you will need to upgrade your iPhone to iOS 11 first.)

tvOS 4 for the AppleTV gets an unreserved thumbs-up. We've had no problems with it at all. 

iOS 11's Do Not Disturb While Driving

Oregon's rewrite of the distracted driving law went into effect on October 1. It outlaws holding devices while driving, cranks the fines for violations ($260, $435, and $2000+ for first, second, and subsequent offenses, respectively). In short, don't text or call while driving. 

Nationally, distracted driving is a huge problem. In the United States in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 391,000 people were injured and 3477 killed in accidents caused by distracted driving.

Many things can distract drivers, but the most concerning—and the most avoidable—is texting. Given that the iPhone has a 30–40% share of the market, it might have been involved in as many as 100,000 injuries and 1000 deaths in just 2015. Not good.

Apple has stepped up to the plate by introducing the Do Not Disturb While Driving (DNDWD) feature in iOS 11. You’ll be prompted to enable DNDWD when it first detects that you’re driving in a car after you install iOS 11. In normal use, it activates automatically when you’re driving, blocking notifications and preventing you from using apps until you stop the car. Here are answers to the most common questions we get about DNDWD.

How does the iPhone know that I’m driving?
The most reliable way is that your iPhone has connected to a car via Bluetooth. Obviously, that requires the car to support Bluetooth, and that you pair your iPhone with it. If there’s no Bluetooth connection, the iPhone uses its accelerometer and signals from nearby Wi-Fi networks to figure out that you’re driving.

In Settings > Do Not Disturb > Activate, you can choose from Automatically, When Connected to Car Bluetooth, or Manually. Stick with one of the first two options unless the iPhone regularly fails to detect that you’re driving, at which point you can add the Do Not Disturb While Driving button to Control Center, and activate DNDWD with it.

Will any notifications break through the DNDWD cone of silence?
Yes. As with standard Do Not Disturb, timers, alarms, and emergency alerts will still work. Plus, you can opt to receive urgent text messages. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Auto-Reply To and choose a group (Recents, Favorites, or All Contacts). Those people will get an auto-reply—which you can personalize—when they text you, and if they reply to that auto-reply with the word “urgent,” the message will be delivered.

What about phone calls?
If your car has a Bluetooth hands-free system, phone calls will come in as they always have, and you can answer them via your steering wheel controls and carry on the conversation using the car’s built-in mic and speakers.

However, if you don’t have car Bluetooth or another hands-free accessory, DNDWD will block calls just as they would be by standard Do Not Disturb. That means you can allow calls from specific groups in Settings > Do Not Disturb > Allow Calls From and let anyone through if they call twice within 3 minutes.

Can I still use Maps to navigate?
Yes! Maps works on the Lock screen just as it always has, though it’s best started before you begin driving. If you keep your iPhone in a car mount so you can use it for navigating, DNDWD won’t get in the way.

Will Siri still work while in DNDWD?
Indeed it will, both via Hey Siri and by holding the Home button. But don’t do that—Hey Siri is safer than taking your hand off the wheel to press the Home button.

Siri won’t do some things for you while you’re driving, like open apps. Plus, Siri tries to respond to you so that you won’t have to look at the iPhone, reading all responses instead of displaying them on the screen.

How do I turn off DNDWD if I’m a passenger?
If DNDWD is on and you try to use your iPhone, an I’m Not Driving button appears. Tap it, and you can use your iPhone normally for the rest of the trip. If you’re always a passenger, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > Activate, and select Manually. Then, if you do want to turn DNDWD on, you can use its Control Center button.

So hey, if you didn’t turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving when you first set up iOS 11, do us and everyone else on the road a favor and turn it on now. The life you save could be your own.

MacAtoZ pricing in 2018

Good news: We will continue to offer our Sentinel and Sentinel+ services at the same value-laden prices in 2018, and our hourly service rates will be unchanged. We can't always say, "No price change!" but we're pretty happy when we can, and this is one of those occasions. 

One area where prices have gone up for us is domain registration and web hosting. Back in the day we offered these services to our residential clients. A few years ago we stopped accepting new clients in this area, as it no longer fit with our core mission of helping people with Apple technology. We didn't drop anyone or force clients to change registrars or web hosts then and we're not going to do so now. 

That said, our prices have to reflect the costs we incur and those costs have increased. Effective January 1, 2018: If we handle domain registration, email, and web hosting for you, the monthly cost will rise by $3. If you have extra domains that we park for you, the cost will rise $5 annually. If that's an extra domain plus web hosting, the increase is $7 a year. 

As I hope you can tell, we've tried very hard to keep everything as affordable as we can, and even with these changes, I think you'd be hard pressed to find another company offering prices this low.


Three is a magic number

We are thrilled to report that our client relations manager Brittany Stenger and her husband Austin have welcomed into the world their daughter Maebelle Stenger. Here's a photo of the lovely trio:

Brittany will be on well-earned maternity leave for a bit, so any calls or emails for her will be handled by the rest of us. 

Thanksgiving schedule & contact info

MacAtoZ will be closed on November 23 and 24 so that we can overdose on turkey and football like the rest of America. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

As a reminder, our office is open most weekdays (holidays excepted). Our business line is 503-507-0410, and we will return calls by the end of the next business day. You can email us at if you have a technical question or problem or send general inquiries to

A request for help

We're trying to get the word out about our company and the services we offer, and we could use your help. If you know of anyone who's a Mac user or considering becoming a Mac user, we'd appreciate it if you'd pass along our name and contact info. 

Another way to help us is to write us a testimonial. If you've enjoyed your experience with us, be it onsite, remote, or through Sentinel, we'd love to have a statement from you saying so (send to We'd love to feature your words on our web site or other outreach materials. Thank you!


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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 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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Salem Mac Users Group: Salem, Oregon-area Macintosh and Apple gear enthusiasts. Meets monthly. Visitors welcome!

Apple Consultants Network: If you need help, entrust your computer and your data to professionals. 
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