On episode 384 of Geekiest Show Ever, Elisa and Melissa share reactions to the September Apple Event. We are excited for some products and salty about others. Listen and see if you agree. Check out our full show notes here https://www.geekiestshowever.com/gse384-september-event-reactions/ Episode Artwork Credit: Apple.
Geekiest Show Ever is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc. Products made by Apple mentioned in this podcast are a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries and regions.
On episode 352 of Geekiest Show Ever, we discuss some of the troubleshooting experiences we’ve had over the past several weeks to keep our technology mostly working for us and not so much the other way around. We discuss the methods we use with our password manager to create new accounts more efficiently, how to deal with Keychain or web browser password saving conflicts, and more. Melissa files a bug report with Apple! Follow us for additional tips and conversation on Twitter @GeekiestShowhttps://twitter.com/geekiestshow
Use a password manager to pre-populate the fields on a web form
Instead of just filling out the fields on a website form then trying to take notes later, why not START by PRE-populating the fields in your password manager? This way, as you’re filling out the fields you can copy and paste and it will cut down on errors in data entry.
Elisa recommends using a clipboard manager for storing information to copy and paste. This makes data entry easier and more efficient, too. She also recommends using the password generator tool to help you come up with goofy answers to password reset or security questions. Remember, it doesn’t have to be the CORRECT answer, but “Aluminum-Foil ™” is already taken. 🙂
Here is a screenshot that shows the website form fields you need to fill out when creating a new “mySocial Security” account online. We’ll use this as an example because it’s one of the websites that has created a lot of friction for people when they try to sign up. It has a lot of parts to it. You need to pick: a username, password, three password reset questions, and three answers to those questions. That’s eight pieces of unique information in one go! On top of it, the password you pick must meet a specific criteria which they list in the instructions, but if you’re filling out the form and you make a mistake, you might have to start over in an area or you might forget what questions and answers you chose. It can be frustrating if you do not document everything in a safe and accessible place right away.
You could use this method for pre-populating the login entry in your password manager ahead of time. Here is a screenshot of what it might look like in 1Password:
Foam ear tip replacements for AirPods Pro are really helping to reduce ear fatigue. I forget I have them in my ears when I have the foam tips on. Phone calls are soooo much better now. I don’t dread making phone calls nearly as much as I used to. Now, if only I could get better battery life! Since I forget I’m wearing them, the battery drains more quickly. I have gotten better about putting them back into the case to charge, but it’s a habit one has to learn.
Elisa’s Internet Connectivity Experience
Internet speed and consistency is a problem we all deal with from time to time. After rebooting your computer and trying some troubleshooting techniques like booting into Safe Mode, if the problem still persists, it might be worth taking a look at your modem or router. If it’s more than a few years old, it might be time to replace it. If your ISP supplies the hardware, get the speeds you pay for by keeping your equipment up to date.
Melissa’s AirPods Pro Replacement Experience
My beloved AirPods Pro ended up being a lemon, sadly. The good news is that it was really easy to get them replaced by Apple under warranty with their DIY exchange program. I purchased them back in November of 2020. First there was a case ID support ticket generated where we triaged the issue over the phone. It was determined that a replacement was in order. They put a hold on my Apple Card and sent me the two replacement parts. I put the defective parts into the boxes and shipped them back and they released the hold on my Apple Card. The whole process took only a few days from start to finish. One of the troubleshooting suggestions was to see if I could locate another set of AirPods Pro to test, but that proved futile. After a doctor appointment, since I was already out of the house, I stopped by our local Authorized Apple Repair place as well as a Best Buy, but neither had a spare AirPods Pro set they could use to help me rule out whether it was the case or just the AirPod for the left ear. When I called Apple back and told them, they initiated a replacement by mail. I could have skipped this part altogether, but I was really curious about what a test might reveal. All told, I was only without my AirPods Pro for about a week and I’m happy to have them working again. I really, really missed them while I couldn’t use them. If this happens to you, it might help to know what options you have.
Troubleshooting Siri with Reminders app issue on Apple Watch Experience
It used to be that whenever I’d raise my wrist then speak the phrase, “Remind me to check the washer in 15 minutes,” Siri would tell me she’d gotten it and the reminder would go automatically to my “Reminders” list because that’s the list I have set as my default list. I used that feature all the time until one day, when I glanced at my watch, I noticed that the reminder I’d just set was being put onto a “Finance” list that I share with my husband. I thought, “This is wrong, I don’t want him getting MY reminders showing up on his Apple Watch or iPhone while he’s trying to conduct classes. How annoying!” (I use Reminders a lot.) So, down the rabbit hole I went trying to document the issue and discovered it somehow became a bug since the last watchOS update. I was able to get the issue escalated to Apple’s Engineering department. It was actually fun talking to one of the Engineers and to see the diagnostic process that’s involved in logging the issue with them. Still no solution, but I’m happy to know it wasn’t something I was neglecting to do. I’ll report back if the problem gets fixed in a future update.
Do you have questions about what you heard in this episode? Please send us your feedback. We’d like to hear from you. Let us know about a tech topic that interests you.
Creating space and a little order among the chaos is our theme for Geekiest Show Ever episode 346. We talk about the devices and services we use to organize our data and enjoy our media. We’ll also discuss our initial impressions and how to troubleshoot some of the issues we encountered when we upgraded to the subscription service for 1Password. Follow us for additional tips and conversation on Twitter @GeekiestShow
In an email to customers, 1Password announced a Thanksgiving sale for standalone license users and we finally decided to dig in. (See what I did there?) At the time of this post, you may still be able to get the great deal they offer on 1Password for Families. If you can find that email message, it provides a promotional link and explains how you can trade in the standalone license and pay nothing until September of next year. That’s a long enough time to evaluate whether or not you want to afford the $60 annual fee or cancel the trial and go back to using the standalone version. At any time, you can try it out free for 30 days: https://1password.com/sign-up/
One way to practice self care and carve out some space for yourself is by listening to podcasts, audiobooks, or music. Do you have “books on tape” (on CDs) that you forgot about? Now would be a good time to get them off the discs and into your music library. From there you can sync them to your Apple Watch or other wearable device and pair it with bluetooth headphones to give your phone some alone time.
Get those refresh buttons ready for Geekiest Show Ever 345 — it’s our annual Geekiest Gift Guide, just in time for the holiday sales season. Wacky Wednesday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday —who knows this year?! It seems the sales are going on each day that ends in Y. High-tech, low-tech, there’s bound to be something here for every one of the geeks in your life. We also share some tips that won’t cost you a dime and if you shop with our links, we’ll keep you safe at home and out of the line. Follow us for additional tips and conversation on Twitter @GeekiestShow
Scribd Disclosure: the link in our show notes is a referral code. If you join Scribd, you’ll get 60 days free and Elisa will get 30 days free. Price is $9.99/month for unlimited reading. Gift subscriptions are $50 for 6 months, or $100 for 1 year. Included in a Scribd subscription are some added benefits called Scribd Perks, including Pandora Plus. Keep an eye out for upcoming sales.
Masterclass Right now they’re offering a buy one annual membership get one free deal, good until November 30, 2020. The gift recipient has one year to activate the gift. $180/year
Clutch V2 Clutch is a lightweight, credit card-sized portable battery. Easily carried in a wallet, tote, or purse. Regular price is $49.99, but it’s currently on sale for $39.99 with free shipping. See Elisa’s review on MyMac.com.
GGMM D3Battery Base for Dot 3rd Gen Listener Clive Hammett suggested this WiFi speaker. The regular price is $29.99 and there is currently a 15% coupon that brings the price down and it’s exactly what Elisa is looking for. Thanks, Clive!
Heredis Passion Gift Set for Mac As we talked about in great detail on episode 341, genealogy is all the rage. Ancestry will probably put their subscriptions on sale during the holidays. The best way to stay updated is to sign up for their emails. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a Mac genealogy program, Heredis has their Passion Gift Set on sale, which Elisa is seriously considering. You’ll not only get the Heredis 2021 for Mac download, but you’ll get a 32GB flash drive and a Heredis mouse pad, with free delivery. If all you want is the software, it’s on sale for $23.99 in the Mac App Store or Heredis website.
Now is a good time to get in touch with loved ones virtually and work on your family tree over Zoom, FaceTime or your preferred video chat app. Here is the link to episode 341 where Elisa reviewed genealogy software and tips. As we predicted, MacFamilyTree 9 is currently on sale for 50% off.
Apple Watch SE: 40 mm Aluminum case (originally $279, look for sales as low as $229)
I am LOVING my new Apple Watch SE! Combined with the larger screen and Space Gray Aluminum case, the contrast really helps to make the display more readable. I debated on getting the Series 6, but when I weighed out all my options, I ultimately decided that it just was not worth the $120 extra (compared to the price of the SE model) for an Always-On Retina Display, ECG, and blood oxygen sensor. (Series 6 costs $399 for the base model.) I appreciate what Apple is trying to accomplish with their wearable tech, but for the time being, I’m going to stick with seeing a physician for my heart and lung health needs that extend beyond self-monitoring with the tools I already have and use.
Elastic Apple Watch Bands Stretchy watch bands are so much easier for frequent hand-washing and also help those of us with metal allergies. I really love this band and design made by Zalaver. The other useful thing about stretchy bands is they are great for kids and people with small wrists. Since my youngest child was recently given an older hand-me-down watch, I got him this Cissden band in navy blue and it fits him well. What’s nice about this particular stretch band is that it has a strip of grippy-like silicone running down the center to keep it from sliding around. I paired it with a “sea blue” Easuny case protector and he really, really likes it. These bands and case covers would make for really great stocking stuffers. The case protectors come three in a pack so you can change the colors to suit your fashion tastes. I am really picky about screen protectors and these barely impact the touch-screen functionality so I’ve been really impressed with them.
If you’re not quite ready to upgrade your Apple TV because you want to wait and see what goodies might still be in Apple’s pipeline, then install a TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter in between your aging Apple TV HD and “dumb TV” to accomplish “shared audio.” It may not be quite as elegant as Apple’s implementation on Apple TV 4K, but for only around $30, it gets the job done with a few tweaks.If you happen to have have any spare bluetooth headsets laying around that maybe don’t have the best battery life, keep them paired to this tiny little transmitter that sets just under the TV. They’ll be fine for watching a few hours of TV when the kids go to bed.
• They definitely stay put. When I read reviews, it was rare that anyone complained about these not staying in their ears. For those who do have trouble, there are hooks you can add on to them that help keep them in.
• Stellar sound. I’m very picky about how things sound. I’m not necessarily an “audiophile” but I do struggle with audio processing at times, so it’s much more helpful when things sound crisp. There are custom settings you can adjust right on your iPhone to get just the kind of sound you want.
• The Spatial Audio feature is really amazing. Listening to shows on Apple TV+ with that feature is a real treat. I hope more media will have it soon.
• Noise cancellation is just: ahhhhhh. When I put them in and play some white noise, music or even just listen to a podcast on low volume, being able to cancel out the constant whirr of my busy household is a great way to reduce stress.
• Self care or adaptation, perhaps both. Wearing them helps me create my own space during quarantine where everyone is stuck sharing the same, small space. I feel it helps from feeling like the walls are caving in.
• Live Listen is an interesting feature that might let me hear better in noisy environments. I’m still putting this to the test and I think it will be even better when I upgrade my iPhone.
• Ear and hearing health awareness
• You always know where you stand when it comes to battery charge percentage for each AirPod and the case and can plan accordingly.
• After extended wear time, ear tip fit can be painful at first. I believe adjustments and tip replacements can help solve this over time. Everyone’s ears are different and fatigue is something to be aware of.
• Battery life is only around 4 hours and many might find that too little. I am learning that the initial shock of how fast they drain is mitigated by just how easy it is to keep them charged up.
• These things are tiny! Like, scary-tiny. For such a simplistic product, the hardest thing will be not dropping or losing one or both of them. Accessories like a charging case skin with a carabiner hook or lanyard will become a necessity to minimize loss.
Hear our reactions to the latest announcements from the Apple Event on September 15, 2020 and find out what interested these geeks the most.
Welcoming Apple One to the Family
We finally got our wish for a bundled plan, yay! Our new wish is that someday we can pick and choose the services we want to have in our bundle of joy. Apple’s Family Sharing features already let you manage parental controls and Screen Time, send money securely with Apple Cash Family, share purchases*, subscriptions, and iCloud storage with up to six family members — the more the merrier!
Apple One will truly broaden this value when they offer the right amount of storage and combination of services. Based on her experiences with setting up Family Sharing for her own family and others, Melissa believes the Apple One Family plan should increase the storage offering from 200GB to 1TB or allow some form of incremental pricing to upgrade the storage. In her professional opinion, 200GB is better suited for a couple. For her family of five, even 500GB is tight. She’s been subscribing to the 2TB plan so her family has room to grow, digitally-speaking, but 1TB would be more suitable.
As subscription services and in-app purchases overwhelm budgets, something has to give. Kids these days are creating and consuming an ever increasing amount of digital content for school at home and for hobbies they hope to someday convert into careers. A storage and services plan built for a family should support that in an economically responsible way.
The Family Grows Again with Family Setup for Apple Watch
Smartphones and kids are a tricky and expensive combination full of additional responsibilities and hazards that a young family may not want to take on. The same is true for family members caring for an elderly loved one. Apple Watch could be a good alternative for a young child or older adult who doesn’t need a fully-featured smartphone to manage health and wellness. Though it will require an additional fee through a cellular carrier, it might be worth taking a look at what’s involved in setting up and Apple Watch for a family member, then decide if the cost is a good fit for your situation.
Apple One Bundle Breakdowns (all pricing in US dollars) Individual: $14.95/mo.
50GB of iCloud storage, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade Family: $19.95/mo.
200GB of iCloud storage/month for up to six family members, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade Premier: $29.95/mo.
2TB of iCloud storage/month for up to six family members, Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+
*Excluded from sharing are: in-app purchases, hidden purchases, specific apps from the App Store, third-party subscriptions, and individual or student Apple Music subscriptions. Shared music can not be accessed on an Apple TV.