migformac news

Tips, tricks and recommendations: July 2020

In this issue:

  • In Focus: migformac support during COVID
  • Apple's Health App: Stay Fit and Track Your Physical Activity Data
  • Google's Photo Book Creator
  • Recommended Podcast: "How I Built This"
  • What We're Watching on Apple TV Plus: "Home"
  • About migformac

It's been five months of COVID with no end in sight, so I wanted to give you an update on how I can help you with your Mac/technology needs.

While most clients are choosing not to meet in person, I have been doing some on-site appointments. I can come to your home or office if you are comfortable with that. I always wear a mask and use sterile hospital gloves to touch your equipment. I stay appropriately distanced from the client. I have also had some successful appointments on my back porch with all of the protections in place.

In addition, I am available for virtual appointments. We can phone chat, video conference, text and email. We can use FaceTime (audio or video) and Zoom for video conferencing. Zoom has worked very well. I can observe your computer or remotely take control with your permission. In fact, some clients prefer Zoom because there are fewer distractions compared to the ebb and flow of home activities!

I am also helping clients who have recently purchased new Mac devices with data transfer from old to new and other problems that require hands-on assistance. Clients drop off their equipment at my house (no direct personal interaction) at a mutually-agreeable time. I wash my hands and sanitize all surfaces both before and after my work, and then they pick up when finished. I can also pick up and return equipment to your home or office.

Feel free to give me a call or email if you have questions or need help. Thank you for supporting migformac during these difficult times.

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The Health App for iOS (Apple Watch, iPhone, iPod Touch) comes pre-installed on these devices, and it's a great way to track your movement--steps, miles, exercise minutes, etc. It also gives you weekly activity averages, including how many calories you are burning during those workouts! You can add your health information to the app: height, weight, medications, blood type, organ donor registration and more.

On of the best features is "Emergency Contacts." You can enter your closest family members' phone numbers, and if you use Emergency SOS to call Emergency Services, your emergency contacts will be notified.

As long as you have your iPhone or Apple Watch with you while you exercise, these devices will calculate your walking/running/biking distance automatically. In addition, you can also set daily exercise goals and your Apple Watch will cheer you on when you accomplish your health goals (called "closing your rings"). Then it will send you clever messages like the one I got today: "Exercise goal achieved, Mig. Way to seize the morning."

Also, Apple Watch Series 5 will detect when you have had a hard fall and can contact Emergency Services and your family contacts if help is needed!

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Many of us dedicated Mac users loved making photo books with Apple's photo book creator. It was seamlessly integrated with one's Photo library, and the books were affordable and attractive. Alas, this service was discontinued. There are many online photo companies on the market--Shutterfly, Snapfish, Mixbook, to name a few--each with different features and styles.

If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use and affordable photo book creator, you might want to check out Google's Photo Books. Here's the process: upload photos to a Google account (yes, you need a gmail account but those are free!); start the photo book creator and arrange photos (you can have one photo per page or use the "collage" option); add titles. A minimum of 20 pages is required for an order.

They offer a 7x7 inch soft cover for around $10 and a 9x9 inch hard cover for $20. You won't find bells and whistles here, but Google delivers a well-made book at an affordable price!

As I mentioned in my last migformac newsletter, I love podcasts. No matter what your interests are, there's a podcast out there for you! One of my favs is How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz, former host of Ted Radio Hour. At face value, it is a radio show about wildly successful entrepreneurs, but it goes much deeper than that. More compelling and real are the tangents in these stories that speak about experimentation, innovation and colossal failure. We learn from our mistakes and are informed by our failures. These are the engaging stories from How I Built This.
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If you have bought an Apple device of any kind in the last year or so (since September 10, 2019), it comes with a free year of Apple TV Plus, Apple's new streaming service that was launched in November 2019. Like Netflix, Apple provides original content--movies and tv shows--as well as licensed material. It is definitely not as brawny as Netflix or Hulu, but it does offer some quality shows.

You will find the Apple TV app on both mobile devices (iPhone and iPad) as well as on Apple TV (their streaming device), and you can download the app on Roku and Fire TV as well as some smart TVs. if you haven't bought a new Apple gizmo in the last year, you can subscribe to Apple TV Plus for $5/mo or $50 annually.

One beautiful docuseries, Home, chronicles a group of daring home designers who are in a league of their own. From the streets of Chicago to a 344 square foot apartment in Hong Kong, these visionary architects approach home design as a wholistic, sensory, and earth-loving practice. Each episode is well-crafted storytelling with breathtaking visuals. A welcome respite during these troubled times.

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About migformac

I typically come to clients' homes and offices to help with anything Mac related: iMacs, Mac laptops, iPhones, iPads, iPods, iCloud syncing, Photos organization, as well as Mac, Microsoft and Google applications. I also assist with wireless printers and other peripherals. I teach Apple technology classes to small and large groups and make Apple-related presentations to even larger groups.

Feel free to call or email me if you have questions: mig@migformac.com.