Meeting Idea: Give Freeform a Try

Apple Peek PerformanceHave your members asked about Freeform, the new free Apple app that helps users see, share, and collaborate on an infinite virtual whiteboard? Released on December 13, Apple includes the free app with the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. It can even be used while you are on a FaceTime call.

Freeform could make for a fun and interactive meeting activity.

Check it out!

Apple Support on YouTube – How to Use Freeform

Apple Press Release About Freeform


There’s a Feature for That: Apple’s Innovative Accessibility Features

accessibility logo

Remember the first time you heard, “there’s an app for that”? Those apps helped you customize your devices so they suited your needs and your tastes. Well, the new catch phrase is, “There’s a feature for that: stay connected in every way, your way.” Whether your members are interested in ways to enhance their mobility, hearing, vision, cognitive abilities, or more, there are features that can bring what your members need in easy-to-use and intuitive ways.

Better yet, there are new features on the horizon that are simply amazing.

Check it out:






There’s more to come!

Meeting Idea: Get to Know Your Mac – Skills Sessions

Dave Mara, Senior Systems Engineer for Apple and beloved user group favorite is known for his entertaining and insightful presentations covering digital multimedia, internet technologies, accessibility and Mac/PC integration. He recently posted a link to a series of two-part sessions that will offer productivity and navigation tips your members will enjoy and use. Sessions run from January 18-February 23, so one session, or a pair, could be a great meeting idea.

Learn more.

Get to Know Your Mac

Thanks Dave!

Meeting Idea: GarageBand v10.4.4

When GarageBand was introduced in 2004 it was amazing! Mac users could record up to 8 tracks at once, fix timing and pitch, view and edit in musical notation, and so much more. Who could have imagined the 2021 version? GarageBand v10.4.4 for macOS is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac—with a complete sound library that includes software instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and virtual session drummers. Better yet, is runs on your current Mac and optimized for Apple silicon. But wait, there’s more: GarageBand v10.4.4 for macOS includes a new collection of instrument sounds and loops across a variety of genres, including from some of the world’s top producers.

Why not plan a meeting around GarageBand v10.4.4? 

GarageBand for Mac – First Look (L544712A-en_US) 

Ambassadors, November is a great month to check out ASW.

Meeting Idea: How to change microphone and camera modes in FaceTime on iPhone and iPad | Apple Support

  Over the past year-and-a-half groups have developed extensive expertise with virtual environments. From camera support to mics to making sure we look okay on multiple platforms, there are always new techniques to master. Your members may appreciate Apple Support on YouTube’s recently released “How to change microphone and camera modes in FaceTime on iPhone and iPad | Apple Support”

The short video shows how to use Portrait mode to blur the background in FaceTime video calls, change microphone modes to Voice Isolation or Wide Spectrum depending on what sounds you want to include.

Ambassadors, Apple Support on YouTube can help you create great meeting presentations:

Use FaceTime with multiple devices:
Use Center Stage on an iPad Pro:

How To: Technology Hurricane Preparedness

Rick Ortiz

Written By Rick Ortiz, Courtesy of Maui Apple Users Society (Maui Mac)

Preparing your technology for a hurricane

With Hurricane Lane fast approaching, it is time to get your technology prepared for such an event. Some key areas to think about are: backups, batteries/power, and other tech tips. 


Now is the time to make sure your computer backup is in place and completed. This is typically an external backup drive or your data in the cloud. If an external backup drive, do one final backup and then unhook it and put it in a safe place. If you have access to a weatherproof safe, that would be ideal. If not, placing it in a ziplock bag or some place that can avoid water damage can help protect your data. If you are required to evacuate, take your backup drive with you. If you have a mobile phone, you can back it up to your computer as well, or use the cloud service backup built into the phone. Remember the 3-2-1 rule of backing up. Data in 3 places, 2 locations, 1 offsite. 


Meeting Ideas: Record the screen on your iPhone, Find an AirTag, and more

Sometimes it is fun to add a bite-sized tip or two to your meetings. Have you tried Apple Support on YouTube? The channel has a ton of neat and quick how-tos that your members will enjoy. 

For example, check out How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad, What to do if you find an AirTag, Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch. Many of the videos are under a minute in length, focusing on a single skill or technique.

Have a look and a listen:

How to record the screen on your iPhone or iPad — Apple Support

Ping your iPhone with your Apple Watch — Apple Support

What to do if you find an AirTag — Apple Support



Meeting Idea: Digital Books on Mac and iPad and More

Need a presentation for your group’s next meeting? Why not take a look at Digital Books on Mac and iPad? Show your members how  easy it is to design, create, and share their own professional-looking digital books using Pages on iPad or a Mac. Better yet, check out Apple Education’s series of free Apple-published books covering skills your members will love to learn about. Start them with a few techniques and a link to each full book, and the meeting will be one to remember

The links below provide an overview of the contents and links to the books in the Apple Books app. 

Preview of Creating Digital Books

Preview: Everyone Can Create Photos

Pyers Presents: Getting a Media Release Published

auo-logo-full-steel-greyNicholas Pyers of always has expert ideas on ways to make leading your group easier and more efficient. In this article he discusses media releases: basic guidelines, finding topics, generating media interest, identifying media opportunities and more. His article wraps up with a link to a helpful article on creating a media kit.Check it out

Meeting Ideas: Virtual Sessions with ASL and VoiceOver & How to Use Live Listen

Apple accessibility logo Your members may enjoy Today at Apple this week for live virtual sessions presented in American Sign Language and VoiceOver. Better yet, there are great short Apple Support videos walking users through the use of Live Listen and How to navigate iPad Pro with gestures.

Check them out:

Today at Apple

How to use Live Listen

How to Navigate iPad Pro with Gestures