Stolen Device Protection

Highly recommended: All iPhone users should turn on Stolen Device Protection. This will help against someone “shoulder surfing“ you and then stealing your phone and taking all your money.

As explained by Apple, you can turn on Stolen Device Protection in Settings:

  1. Go to Settings, then tap Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enter your device passcode.
  3. Tap to turn Stolen Device Protection on or off. 

Apple Vision Pro

I first used virtual reality goggles in 1994, when Sega set up a demo in Boulder, Colorado. It was very rudimentary. I virtually ran around for 20 minutes while vector-drawn teradactyls tried to attack me from above. I was disoriented, but fascinated. Apple has made a huge leap with the launch of the Vision Pro today. But I remain unconvinced that this is something most people will want to regularly use.

After using the Vision Pro for a week, I’m super impressed by the technology. It really feels like an amazing new interface. For Apple users, it’s both completely new and intuitive. Being able to place apps all around you is fun. Seeing immersive 3d videos and games is captivating.

But I don’t think many people will want to spend a lot of time with a headset on. The downsides are obviously weight and comfort. Even when that is improved, you’re still not in the real world. And the real world is great. There’s zero video jitter. You can make eye contact with people around you. There’s nothing smushed against your face.

I’ve ready many reviews saying that the Vision Pro is great, but that it’s really a preview of what’s coming in a few years. Just wait, they say, and the kinks will be ironed out. There will be more apps and we’ll find out how people really want to use this. I hope this is true. But I wonder if people are ever going to want to wear something on their head and live inside this for more than an hour at a time.

Like an immersive ride at Walt Disney World, it’s a lot of fun. I suggest signing up for a free demo at the Apple stores. These last about 20 minutes, and it really is a blast. But also like a Disney ride, you wouldn’t want it to last hours.

My digital persona, or as someone called me “old man ghost baby.” This is an Apple “beta” for how video conferencing works within the Vision Pro.

"Old man ghost baby" version of me, as we call my digital persona

Personal Voice

Apple has a new feature called Personal Voice. This allows you to type and have your iPhone speak your words using your own voice, or a close facsimile to it. It’s quite amazing and I recommend playing with it, even if you don’t anticipate losing your voice.

You can reach the feature through Settings – Accessibility – Personal Voice. Setup requires around a half hour for you to read 150 sentences. Once you’re done, it takes a day or two to analyze your recordings and create the voice. You can then enable it with Live Speech (Accessibility – Live Speech). Then you triple tap the power button to launch the box to enter your text to speak.

It’s fascinating to consider that you could use this if you somehow lost your voice. You could even do this for a kid who is old enough to speak the sentences so that you have their voice at a particular moment in time.

This is something that you hopefully never need, but it is free and can be quite fun.

See this beautiful video from Apple on the new feature:

And here is a video on how to set it up:

Using Apple Configurator for Printers

Apple devices typically use a service called Bonjour to look for AirPrint printers. Printers can be anywhere on your network and the service typically works to find out where (what IP address the printer is using). But if this doesn’t work for you, there can be a more reliable to connect to printers.

To set a particular printer to be accessed by an IP address, first you need to make that printer have a static IP (so that the IP address doesn’t change). This can be done through the printer itself or your router.

Then you need to make a profile using Apple Configurator (available through the Mac App Store). Make a new profile and name it something like “Printers.” Then add the printer(s) to the profile and put in the IP address(es). This profile can then be loaded on any Apple device (Mac OS or iOS).

By the way, this also helps if you want to print remotely while logged in through a VPN. Many VPN’s don’t play nicely with Bonjour, while using this direct approach works.