iOS 14.5 numerous updates

screen grab of iOS update window
Screen shot of iTunes update to 14.5 iOS

Apple release iOS 14.5 for iPhones/iPads. Along with TVOS updates. Comes in on my computer with hefty 5GB.

“as of 5/3/2021, iOS 14.5.1. was released. Numerous fixes for Privacy and security…”

Context taken from Apple’s website:

Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch

  • Ability to unlock your iPhone X and later with Apple Watch Series 3 and later when you attempt to use Face ID while wearing a face mask

AirTag and Find My

  • Support for AirTag to keep track of and find your important items like your keys, wallet, backpack and more, privately and securely in the Find My app
  • Precision Finding uses visual, audible, and haptic feedback to guide you directly to your nearby AirTag using Ultra Wideband provided by the U1 chip on iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 models
  • AirTag can be located by playing a sound via the built-in speaker
  • The Find My network with hundreds of millions of devices can help you find your AirTag, even when it isn’t nearby
  • Lost Mode notifies you when your AirTag is found, and you can enter a phone number where you can be contacted

Emoji

  • Support for separate skin tones for each individual in all variations of the couple kissing emoji and couple with heart emoji
  • New face emojis, heart emojis, woman with a beard emoji

Siri

  • Siri now includes more diverse voice options
  • Incoming calls can be announced with Siri, including who is calling, when you’re wearing your AirPods or compatible Beats headphones, and you can answer hands-free
  • Group FaceTime calls are supported by asking Siri to FaceTime a list of contacts or a group name from Messages
  • Emergency contacts can be called by asking Siri

Privacy

  • App Tracking Transparency lets you control which apps are allowed to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites for ads or sharing with data brokers

Apple Music

  • Share your favorite lyrics using Messages, Facebook, and Instagram Stories, and subscribers can play the snippet in Messages without leaving the conversation
  • City charts showcase what’s popular in over 100 cities from all over the world

Podcasts

  • Podcasts Show Pages are redesigned to make it easier to start listening
  • Option to save and download episodes, automatically adding them to your Library for quick access
  • Download behavior and notification settings can be customized on a show-by-show basis
  • Top Charts and popular categories in Search help you discover new shows

5G improvements

  • Dual SIM support enables 5G connectivity on the line that’s using cellular data on iPhone 12 models
  • Smart Data Mode improvements further optimize your experience on 5G networks for better battery life and data usage on iPhone 12 models
  • 5G international roaming enabled on supported carriers on iPhone 12 models

News

  • Redesigned News+ tab enables Apple News+ subscribers to quickly find, download, and manage magazine and newspaper issues
  • All-new Search experience that helps you find relevant topics, channels, and stories

Maps

  • Accidents, hazards, or speed checks along your route can be reported by telling Siri on your iPhone or on CarPlay
  • Estimated time of arrival (ETA) can be shared when cycling or walking, in addition to driving, by asking Siri or tapping on the route card at the bottom of the screen, then tapping Share ETA

Reminders

  • Ability to sort reminders by Title, Priority, Due Date, or Creation date
  • Option to print your reminder lists

Translate

  • Translation playback speed can be adjusted by long pressing the play button

Gaming

  • Xbox Series X|S Wireless Controller or Sony PS5 DualSense™ Wireless Controller support

Fitness+

  • Ability to stream audio and video content from Apple Fitness+ workouts to AirPlay 2-enabled TVs and devices

CarPlay

  • ETA in Apple Maps can be easily shared while driving with new Siri or keyboard controls in CarPlay

This release also fixes the following issues:

    • Messages at the bottom of the thread may be hidden by the keyboard under certain circumstances
    • Deleted messages may still appear in Spotlight search
    • Messages may persistently fail to send texts in some threads
    • Mail would not load new emails for some users until restarting the device
    • Call blocking and identification section may not appear in Phone settings
    • iCloud Tabs may not appear in Safari
    • iCloud Keychain could be prevented from turning off
    • Reminders created via Siri may be unintentionally set for early morning hours
    • Battery health reporting system will recalibrate maximum battery capacity and peak performance capability on iPhone 11 models to address inaccurate estimates of battery health reporting for some users (https://support.apple.com/HT212247)
    • Optimization to reduce the appearance of a dim glow that may appear at reduced brightness levels with black backgrounds on iPhone 12 models
    • AirPods audio routing to incorrect device for Automatic Switching
    • AirPods Automatic Switching notifications might be missing or duplicate

iOS 14.1 to iOS 14.2 a whopping 4.8GB


Apple has updated the iOS 14 again (first it was 14 then 14.1 with important bug fixes, and now 14.2…all within less than 60 days).

14.2 security changes (note, you can’t download the update, but have to use over the air, or iTunes to install).

There are a host of new features like Intercom, new Emoji, Music Recognition, Optimization of AirPod Charging, improvement to new Ipad-Air camera features, Apple Watch App changes, Applecard update and new wallpapers…personally, I just want to know why my iPhone has to have Privacy off for wifi network at work (Aruba networks Access Points) as it was fine prior to iOS14 and now, is it Aruba needing patch or Apple making changes without notification…again.

One more thing, it took over 30 mins to update! Do NOT do an update unless you can spare 1/2hr or more…!

The last Mac OS update to Catalina? 10.15.7

round image of catalina island Mac OS 10.15
Image Apple © 2020

***Download the Combo Updater to 10.15.7 from Apple support weighing in at a hefty 4.82 GB.

Apple doesn’t say much about this update:

macOS Catalina 10.15.7 provides important security updates and bug fixes for your Mac.

• Resolves an issue where macOS would not automatically connect to Wi-Fi networks
• Fixes an issue that could prevent files syncing through iCloud Drive
• Addresses a graphic issue that may occur on iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020) with Radeon Pro 5700 XT

I guess the next release will be MacOS 11 (X1) “Big Sur” …

*** I always recommend the Combo Updater when available. The Delta patches seem to be unreliable to leftover previous versions (aka band-aiding). The Combo will replace the OS changes throughout.

Fujitsu ScanSnap Manager now 64bit for Mac

scan snap s1100 portable document scanner

If you use or support users with Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners, you might visit the ScanSnap Manager downloads to see if your model is listed and update your software to support Catalina and newer OS for Mac.
Like most, anyone on High Sierra or Mojave, was warned that with Catalina, and likely Big Sur, will need to replace their 32bit apps with 64bit versions. Otherwise you shouldn’t upgrade to 10.15 (Catalina) or Big Sur (release coming in late 2020).

Some have contacted Fujitsu but without any confirmation of updating the old Scansnap Manager. Instead, Fujitsu had release ScanSnap Home, which lacked granular feature set that ScanSnap Manager has. Not only that, but Home had taken on a more “Icon” look than intuitive settings.

But if you visit the ScanSnap Manager downloads (7-2020 it was at V7), you will need to remove the ScanSnap home version.
(Mac) Drag the ScanSnap Home folder )in Applications) to the trash and empty. Then, open the ScanSnap Online Update folder, and then open the SUB folder and run the online uninstaller. Once it completes, it will remove the Update folder from Applications. Now you can install the Manager software.

Malwarebytes no longer free…its disabledware.

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Well, the best tool for removing pups and malicious software, Malwarebytes, that was my goto and the first application for Windows that didn’t create problems, is no longer free. Well, the personal version is, but its kinda
Honestly, the person edition (home user) is supposed to be free to download, with a 14-day trial. But if you try to use the personal edition in a domain or workplace, the software will not only install, but will complete a malware scan. It is at the end of this scan, that it prompts you to purchase their Malware Team edition. You can’t quarantine, nor repair the infected volume scanned.
If you have a domain at home (some need domain controller for testing, other applications, running NAS, etc) then you will need to buy it.

Ok. I get it. Years of being free, and I am guilty of running it on some work machines (that are a non-profit owned) in a pinch. And that our IT dept doesn’t have very good malware protection aka McAfee (so many things get past it, we called it Crap-a-fee).

So, I know that unless I am helping a home user (and I do have them buy it if is solves/cleans their issue), but I’m kinda bummed as I have been recommending and marketing to home users to buy. And I even have a lifetime license. What I want is a bootable CD into Windows, that lets me scan all volumes. But it doesn’t work that way. Looks like I may buy some stand-alone versions for work (under $200 for 5 computers).

Bummer. Malware just got a little worse…

Apple adds new iPad Pro with LIDAR and more…

 The new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard

The new iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard.

This month, Apple is releasing a new iPadPro with optional Magic Keyboard and trackpad support.

I read the reviews…and some make sense: why? This is expensive and the LIDAR for AR is before the cart, so to speak. I just know too many cool uses and also that fragility of Apple design for replacement costs… but hey, watch their pro-mo video on it!

You can read more about the technical specifications.
Apple keeps saying that iPads are not a computer but then they taunt this as your next “computer that is not a computer”. Honestly, I think many do not need a computer, and just a tablet and phone. But durability is not Apple. And reasonable cost is not Apple.

Read the pricing below, but I think that for the value, a loaded 13″ MacbookAir would do all you need (except the LIDAR and pencil). Think about the new MacbookAir at $1499 for 16GB ram, and 512GB storage vs a 12.5″ iPad ($1299 with 512GB), plus add ($349) for the Magic Keyboard and another ($129) for the Pencil. That is more than the MacbookAir. Oh, and if you are worried, AppleCare+ should be a no-brainer at $199-249.

Now the OUCH in Pricing:
The new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be available in silver and space gray finishes. A starting configuration of 128GB offers pro customers more room for their apps and content, along with 256GB, 512GB and 1TB configurations.

The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $949 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $999 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.

Trackpad support will be available on any iPad running iPadOS 13.4, and work with Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2 and the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. Third-party mice connected over Bluetooth or USB are also supported.

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro will be available for purchase in May for $299 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $349 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

The second-generation Apple Pencil for iPad Pro is available for $129 (US). The new Smart Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro is available in space gray for $179 (US) for the 11-inch iPad Pro and $199 (US) for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro with layouts for over 30 languages, including simplified Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

IpadPro profile from side with magic keyboard attached
Looks helluva lot like Surface Pro from Microsoft.

Anyone else think this looks like A Surface Pro in this shot?

iPadOS 13.4 with trackpad support will be available on March 24 as a free software update for all iPad Pro models, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad 5th generation and later, and iPad mini 4 and later.

iOS 13.4 is out… whopping 4GB

iphone screen showing about information
Image from Apple 2020.

Apple released this week their latest iOS update 13.4 (for iPhone and iPad), that allows iCloud Drive sharing, and numerous fixes.
Note: you need to update either OTA (over the air) or physically connect to your iTunes computer. (Preferred is to backup device via iTunes, then update)

Also, there is a new Security update along with Safari update.

AV Receivers and Integrated App Warning!

spotify logo

I’m not crazy. I’m not screaming the sky is falling. But I am sure of one thing: current AV Theater Receiver manufacturers are irresponsible to the IoT of products. Read on, and I explain why.

Scenario:
You let your friend, family or neighbor on your home wifi to access email or show you something from their FB or other account. Innocent enough. But months later, that same neighbor is going for a walk, and wants to listen to their Spotify. Launching the app on their phone, they see “Onkyo434b51…” and press that. Well, they hear nothing on their phone (duh! says I). But they can hear their music nearby. Its coming from, you guessed it, YOUR AV amp and its blaring country!
Well this neighbor was nice enough to call me and tell me the news. I go outside and sure enough, music is playing in my garage, where I have an Onkyo TX-NR656 receiver for playing my iTunes or future ATV and display (watch Youtube while making/repairing car…).
RTFM!
I can find nothing in the Onkyo PDF or manual to disable Spotify. I can unplug the power is all, for now. My neighbor comes over and laughs, “well, aren’t you glad its not 2am and I’m drunk, playing sad cowboy music?” Yes, I tell him. And now I worry. He was on LTE, not on my wifi. And my receiver is plugged into my LAN, not using wireless. So how did this happen?
Looking back, at one point, I think he was on my wifi as we could see it (he was a yard away) and couldn’t reach his network.
“Like a good neighbor, wifi is there!”
IIRC, I put my info in his phone to connect and allow him to put up stuff for all to watch. Well, that was last summer. I have since changed the wifi pwd. I don’t know how he connected.
Then I googled it and read that “once you use Spotify Connect to use a device it runs on, it remains in your Spotify account to connect to. Echo dot, AVreceiver, Speaker w/Spotify built in, phone, tablet. So somehow, it had the cable modem IP or MAC address and could connect from LTE to internet to my amp!
I search for how to block but came up that others, as far as 4 years ago, were having same issue without resolution. Some suggested to unplug the LAN (most connected for updating) but I needed it for internet radio, iTunes (remote and songs on home Mac) and BlueTooth for immediate audio from my iphone.
A solution!
Well, this was luck. Searching google with the obvious didn’t work with solution. But wording the search as “block Spotify connect tcp udp ports” resulting in a github page. But the page didn’t list this. The search did, however, and the ports you want to block TCP/UDP in and out are 57621 and 57622. There is a port 4070 mentioned, but I think that is the app (and it may also find 443 to get out). But that might be for Spotify users and not the Spotify Connect of the appliance set.
Also, I was able to turn off the NET feature (default on) of the Onkyo to disable internet power on when the receiver is in STANDBY mode. The caveat here is that I can’t just see the Onkyo from my home iTunes, and start playing. I need to actually turn the receiver on “physically” and then I can send music from my iTunes. (I Really wish that Apple didn’t discontinue The Airport Express and use that as I always did, or that they had a way for Home Pod to stream to a device). I could use an Apple TV but I need an HDMI cable(s) and display to do that. Optical out would suffice for audio. Saving this for Part 2.
No Port in a Spotify storm
I blocked those ports in my router (Orbi by Netgear…you can login with a browser and use the Advanced Security settings for ports. I selected ALL devices to test, but later will get the IP manually set for the receiver and only block that).
I had my neighbor over, and he could not see the device (and it was on). Success.

So I came to the conclusion, per the documents I had, that there is NO way to turn off the Spotify connect in the Onkyo Receiver. It also has Pandora, along with Google Chromecast and possibly another. I tried to contact Onkyo, as this could be done with a firmware patch to allow “enable/disable” of any of the internet apps. Ironically, it allows a password feature for Airplay! And Spotify’s only solution I could find was to get the user to reset their account of devices (not happening) or sign up for Spotify (DING! Pay? No!) Premium and take over the device (like a Block the Squatterfy!)
While I don’t understand how Spotify Connect works, I can see that someone could hack the service and get into ANY Spotify Connect device not associate with a premium account user. AV Receiver makers, wake up. IoT is here…and I can hear the lawsuits.

Same site, new look!

firewood shed
Simple Firewood shed!

New look. New year. New debt. New fear.

Hope 2020 is as clean as the look on this site!

See you soon with more comments on how Apple isn’t being a good company. How Apple products are still too expensive to own, fix and maintain. And let’s see if having Siri in my house is a good thing! Cheers to more pwd/account breaches and hoping other states follow in California Privacy laws.