New 13-Inch MacBook Pro, Virtual WWDC & Group FaceTime

In the 135th episode, iPhone Life Video Editor Nicholas Naioti joins the show to share tips from the FaceTime video guide he’s been working on for the past month. The team also updates listeners on Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro release and the first online-only Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)—where we’ll see demos of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14—that will commence June 22nd.

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This episode was brought to you by PhoneSoapYour iPhone goes everywhere with you, collecting germs that can survive for up to nine days, and contaminating your hands every time you pick it up. The patented PhoneSoap 3 is the only medically proven electronics sanitizer on the market. Your phone charges while UV light destroys 99.99% of viruses and bacteria within ten minutes. The PhoneSoap also sanitizes other small items, like keys, jewelry, or your Apple watch.

This episode was also brought to you by Fanatic, the makers of the unparalleled calendar app called Informant 5Once you've experienced Informant for yourself, you'll never want to go back to the default calendar app. Download it today and see what all the hype is about.

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Episode 135 transcript:

- Hello, and welcome to the iPhone Life Podcast. I'm Donna Cleveland, editor-in-chief at iPhone Life.

- I'm David Averbach, CEO and publisher.

- And I'm Nicholas Naioti, video producer at iPhone Life.

- This is our second episode that we're recording with Nicholas as a guest. As he said, he's a video editor here, and we're excited to have him on today because he recently produced a FaceTime guide for our Insider subscribers, and so he's learned all of the ins and outs of it, and we wanted to have him on today to talk about the guide, teach you a few tips from it as well, and also just have you guys get to know Nicholas a little bit because he's awesome. Hey, Nicholas.

- Hey. Thanks so much for having me on again.

- So Nicholas--

- We also... Oh, go ahead.

- I was gonna... Well, I was gonna interrogate Nicholas, but you can finish your intro first, that's fine.

- Okay, I was just gonna say we're also going to fill you in on some Apple news. Apple has announced its dates for the Worldwide Developers Conference that it's holding online only this June. Also Apple released a MacBook, so we wanna talk about that as well. And we also have some good content recommendations for all of you who are still practicing social distancing during this coronavirus pandemic, and so we have some ideas for you to help keep you entertained right now. Now you can give Nicholas a hard time. Okay, Nicholas, tell us. I have some questions for you so our audience can get to know you a little bit. What Apple devices do you have?

- I have kind of an old iPhone. I'm holding out for the newer one, whenever they announce a new one in August or whenever, but I also have an iPad Pro, I have an iPad Mini, and a MacBook. I have two MacBooks, in fact. I use one for music and one for video editing and stuff.

- Nice, and what--

- What's your favorite?

- Yeah, what's your favorite?

- The new iPad Pro is amazing. I use it all the time, like every day. Actually I use it with the Brydge Pro+, which is like a keyboard and track pad, which kinda makes into like a little computer. Super cool.

- That's cool, yeah. In our current how-to guide, Nicholas, you wrote that how-to roundup of iPad Pro tips, and I learned a ton.

- Oh yeah, yeah.

- I could really tell you've been using all the multitasking features, which is--

- Definitely. Although some of them, I do find some of those multitasking features to be a little bit unintuitive, like exiting the split view is kind of confusing, but it can be really useful, definitely.

- They're definitely unintuitive.

- Yeah, I mean that's one of the reasons I was excited to have you write the article is I think a lot of people with iPads just don't even use any of those features because it's not apparent how to do it unless you spend some time digging around and learning.

- I think the implementation of the touchscreen. You're limited to just touch gestures.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. Some of it, I think, is operating system, and I think they're getting better at it, but the thing is is the operating system was originally designed for mobile, whereas if you have a more computer-based operating system where you have Windows, and they overlap, and you have a mouse, and you can switch easier, it's just a lot easier to multitask on a more computer-based operating system. Nick--

- Sure, but they are, I mean they are, like now with the track pad integration and stuff it's getting more like that.

- It's getting better, it's getting better. Nicholas, what was the app for the iPad Pro, the art app that we were playing with at CES?

- Oh, Procreate. Yeah, this is like my most used app, for sure. It's kind of like a stripped down version of Photoshop or Illustrator, but it works really well with the Apple Pencil. You can draw these beautiful things. You can have endless amounts of layers. Lately I just learned how to do animations with it, which I'm just sort of scratching the surface, but I've always been interesting in animating, but it's sort of overwhelming. But it makes it really simply, and I love Procreate. I can't recommend that enough.

- And I thought it was a fun use of it. We went to a conference together, and we basically passed it around and each person would add a layer to the drawing, so in the end you ended up with this collaborative drawing that we had all done together, which was really fun.

- So much fun, yeah.

- Yeah, I know, I'm like the furthest thing from an artist and I still, I thought it was really fun playing with it, and I thought what we came up with looked really good. Some of that was because it was collaborative and not just me, but still, I think for people listening who are like, "Oh, it's an art app, it's not for me," I would encourage you to give it a try because yeah. I think anybody can have fun with it.

- Yeah, it's very approachable, and I think it's only like eight bucks or something, which it's super worth that.

- Yeah.

- I agree. I feel like it's time to talk about our first sponsor--

- Yeah, I was just gonna say--

- Which is PhoneSoap, and I want David and Nicholas probably should both tell us about it because Nicholas also does ad, he's an ad specialist at iPhone Life as well. So him and David work together on that.

- Okay, so yeah. I'm really excited to tell you guys about PhoneSoap. They're another advertiser where we found their product, we used it, we've talked about it as an editorial perspective, and I love it, and so I wanted to make sure that our audience got to hear about it, and we went out and we said, "You guys need to advertise to our audience." So it's a product that we all have used and we love, and it's particularly relevant right now. And basically what it is is it's a device where you put your phone in, or really most small devices you can put in, and it uses UV light to kill bacteria and viruses. And so it's really relevant. We talked about it on our coronavirus workshop. It's really useful right now, it's medically proven.

- Yeah, that's the thing about PhoneSoap. Our editorial team wrote about it before they were even a sponsor, and Leanne did a dig on the actual product, and it is actually medically tested and works.

- Yeah, and that's particularly relevant because right now, because of the success of PhoneSoap, there's been a lot of kind of cheap Chinese knockoffs, which are not medically tested, they're not proven. So make sure you check it out. I can't recommend it enough for the times, and like I said, you can do it for your iPhone, which fun fact, your phone is dirtier than a toilet. I learned that from my seven year old stepson.

- So much for knowing that.

- Yeah, no problem. So go check it out, you can go to phonesoap.com. We'll link to it in the show notes if you go to iphonelife.com/podcast.

- Yeah, definitely--

- The cool thing about it--

- I love PhoneSoap.

- A cool thing about it, too, that I just wanted to mention is that UVC lights in general will kill viruses on your phone, but a lot of the light bulbs that you can buy are just open bulbs that can damage your skin or eyes, whereas the PhoneSoap, it's basically, to give you a visual, it's like a little tanning bed for you iPhone. It opens up, it has the light bulbs in it. You close it, you leave it in there for three minutes and you're good to go, and you don't have to worry about putting on protective gear or anything like that. So it's extra convenient.

- Mm-hm.

- All right, that's our sponsor, our first sponsor for this episode. Next I want to tell you about our daily tips newsletter. For those of you who are new to iPhone Life, we have a free product, a free daily newsletter that I highly recommend signing up for, and when you sign up you get a one-minute tip in your inbox every day that teaches you something you didn't know how to do on your iPhone. So if you go to iphonelife.com/dailytips you can sign up and start learning in just a minute a day. I want to tell you about one of our favorite tips that we've come out with recently, and that is how to... Whoops. How to add widgets to the home screen on your iPad. And I've got the steps here, but I also wanted to let Nicholas or David jump in if they want to since they use this on their phones a lot, but first I'll just tell you about it, and then you guys can comment on how you use this feature. For a long time Android users, or people who were former Android users, had been complaining about the fact that there are no widgets on the iPhone or iPad, and I completely agree with this. I spent a couple of years using a Samsung Galaxy phone, and while in ever other way I think it was worse than the iPhone, I did love being able to add widgets to my home screen. And Apple, I think it was with iOS 12, or anyway, it was a couple years ago, they added widgets to the today view on your iPhone, so you can swipe from left to right from your home screen and you get to the today view. That gives you the date and time at the top, and then a list of the widgets that you want there, but it's still not the same as having an actual widget just on your home screen when you go there, and so now with the latest iPad operating system you can add widgets straight to your home screen. So you swipe right to get to your today view. You'll see your list of widgets. You can scroll to the bottom and tap edit, and then from there you can tap, you can toggle on, keep on your home screen, and that will keep certain widgets pinned there. And I'm just curious to hear from you guys which widgets do you have on your today view, if any.

- I have to say, I mean first of all just to explain what the today view is for those people who don't have an iPad, your iPad, essentially the home screen of the iPad looks like an iPhone. It has just the grid of apps, and then what you do is if you enable this feature and you have your today view, all of the apps swipe over a little bit and make room on the left hand side for a little widget view, so you have both the widgets and the apps on the same screen, which is nice. I have to say I was really excited for this feature when it came out. I also have heard so much about how Android has widgets and how much better it is. I never use it.

- Yes. Anyways, this is a feature just to try out. As David mentioned, it's not something that everybody will love, but for the people who do want widgets, they'll really love this feature. So I think just give it a try. Again, you swipe left to right to get to your today view, tap edit at the bottom of your display, and you'll be able to choose which widgets to keep on your home screen by doing that. All right, so next I wanna tell you about our premium subscription. I just told you about our daily tips newsletter. That's our free offering where you just get a written tip in your inbox every day, but with our Insider subscription you have access to a ton more features, including a video version of that daily tip, so you can follow along on your iPhone as you watch a video, which makes it even more, an even easier way to learn without hitting any roadblocks along the way. We also have in-depth video guides, our most recent of which is the FaceTime guide that Nicholas produced. He has comprehensive lessons that teach you how to use FaceTime start to finish, helps go over any potential roadblocks and different ways you would potentially wanna use this feature to do group calls with family and friends, and things like that. Every year we have an iOS guide as soon as the new operating system comes out, so you're sure to learn all the new features as soon as they're available. We have a digital subscription to iPhone Life Magazine, so you get more than 30 back issues and tons of how-to content, app and gear recommendations, and lifestyle articles, and you also get access to Ask An Editor, so you can send in any tech questions you have and we'll personally help you find your solution. And so I just wanted to make sure that you go and sign up during this time. You probably are spending more time at home, and so it's a great time to start learning and really maximizing the use of your Apple devices. If you go to iphonelife.com/podcastdiscount you will get an extra... You'll get an extra discount right now. David, do you know the exact percentage off we're doing right now? I forgot.

- Yeah, right now. So with the release of the FaceTime guide, which Nicholas is going to go over some with us, we are having a special right now where it's 50% off. So it's a really excellent deal, and that's the cheapest we ever offer it, and so we wanna make this guide as accessible as possible. We're an independent publisher. iPhone Life is our only title, and subscriptions are our main revenue source, so we have to keep charging for Insider, of course, but we wanna make it accessible for everybody because we know that FaceTime is something that people are really valuing right now in order to stay in touch with their friends and family, so we're offering it for 50% off. We're also really proud to offer an additional 10% discount for seniors, veterans, healthcare professionals, and service personnel. So that's 60% off if you're in that group. So if you go to iphonelife.com/podcastdiscount you can get that.

- We have a great question that an Insider recently sent in that one of our staff writers, Cullen Thomas, and video editors helped solve for them, and I just wanted to read it out to you in case it would help any of you listeners at home. Here's what it is: "I have an iPhone 11 Pro, "an iPad Pro, both with updated iOS. "How do I sync the Books app on both, "and also hopefully on my MacBook Air? "Sincerely, reader." Now this is a good question. I think a lot of people are starting to check out the Apple Books app instead of only using Kindle, which has been more widely used. So we think it's great. I'm also in the process of learning more about the Books app and giving that a try, so let's hear what Cullen had to say. "Howdy, reader. "The Books app synchronization through the iCloud is a great feature. "It works through the iCloud Drive service, "so what actually happens "is each of your separate devices uploads its data "to the Apple iCloud servers where they're stored, "and then distributed to the rest of the devices "that are signed in to the same iCloud account. "To make it work you'll need to be using "the same Apple ID on all of your devices, "and all your devices need to have iCloud Drive activated "with Books sets to synchronize. "So you go to the Settings app on your iPhone and iPad, "tap the name at the top, then tap iCloud, "scroll down the list of iCloud synced apps "to make sure that Books is toggled on. "This will set the Books app "to send its data to your iCloud Drive. "On your Mac you'll go through a similar process. "You open the Apple menu, click System Preferences, "internet accounts, and then select iCloud. "On the right you'll see a list of applications "and you'll make sure that Books is toggled on as well. "Since both of these are normally toggled on by default, "it's important that you make sure "your Apple ID is the same on all your devices. "That could be the issue, "so that should allow synchronization "once you have all your devices "signed in with the same Apple ID . "I hope that helps, cheers." So I think this question highlights a really important point that helps with a lot more than just the Books app, and that's that to take advantage of any of Apple's services in the best way possible you want them to sync across all your Apple devices, and to do that you need to be logged in with your Apple ID on all your devices. So for instance, the Notes app, it's the same thing. If you wanna take a note on your iPhone and have it show up on your MacBook you need to be signed in to the same Apple ID account on both your devices.

- Yes, and I also, I mean we get into our little Apple ID rants from time to time because it's one of the most common issues. I really, strongly recommend that of course you're signed in to the same Apple ID across your devices, but each member of your family has their own Apple ID, because that really helps keep this stuff separate, and you can have family sharing set up so that you can still share things like books or apps, but it gets really complicated if people share Apple IDs. So don't do that, and certainly don't have multiple Apple IDs.

- Yeah, I agree with that. We have a comment from a listener from our last episode I wanted to read out to you guys, too. So last episode David and I told you all about Apple's new iPhone SE. Apple has been doing some online releases, lately, of products. This is the second generation iPhone SE that starts at $399, so it's quite affordable for an iPhone. It has a home button, so it doesn't have touch ID. It has only a single lens camera, so it's definitely not making use of all of Apple's latest technology, but it has the latest processor, it still does portrait mode, even though it has a single lens. What else? It doesn't have an OLED display, pretty obviously. Let's see, I'm trying to think of any of the other new features. I think it has wireless charging, pretty sure. Do you remember, David?

- I'm not sure about that one, actually. Yeah, I don't know.

- What is an OLED display?

- Oh...

- You know?

- David is the master--

- Excellent question.

- At telling about OLED displays. The only thing I can tell you, OLED displays are awesome and way better than any of the other Apple, any of the other iPhone displays.

- Okay, Nicholas. I have a rant prepared for you that I do regularly on the podcast.

- I'm ready.

- So OLED displays are really cool. Basically traditional LED displays, how they work is they have two layers. They have a backlight and then they have a pixel in front of it that either displays red, green, or blue. How OLED works, though, is each individual pixel is self-illuminated, and why that's important is when you have black, on a traditional LED you basically have a little bit of the backlight still bleed through, but if you have an OLED you can have a true black on each pixel, and you end up with a much sharper contrast and you can have a brighter color range, and so all of that's kind of a technical answer, but what ends up happening is your display looks really crisp, more contrast, and brighter colors.

- That makes sense to me. Thanks, David.

- Okay, good.

- Okay, so it does not have... It doesn't have wireless charging, the iPhone SE, by the way.

- Ah.

- And it does not have an OLED display. I think the biggest things that it has that are new is that it has a really good processor, so it's gonna be fast, has the A13 chip. It has a lot of the new software features that still allows you to get most of what you would want from the camera, even with a single lens, although of course your photos are gonna be even better on either the phone that has two lenses or three lenses. So yeah, we basically asked people last episode whether they were interested in buying the iPhone SE, whether they would recommend the iPhone SE to a friend, and specifically whether... If you were comparing it to the iPhone 11, which you would go for, because before the SE came out, the iPhone 11 was kinda considered Apple's entry level, newest iPhone, but it's almost twice the price. So here's what Steven wrote in: "Personally I like the smaller form factor." The iPhone SE is smaller. "I have the 11 Pro now and really like it, "but since the chips are the same "I think I would buy the SE. "However, I do wanna wait and see "how the SE fairs with the upcoming 12 series. "I'm always looking forward to the content "that's provided by iPhone Life. "Take care and stay safe." Thanks, Steven.

- I think that's a really good point, and I don't know that we mentioned that in the last episode, that it's a really bad time to buy an iPhone. Even if you are interested in the SE, it makes sense to wait and see what the 12 looks like, see what the prices are, see what the features are. It'll presumably have a nicer chip, and so I think it is, unless you're really committed to the smaller form factor, I would wait until September and then see what the new phones look like.

- Yeah, I'm very curious to see what the iPhone 12 is gonna be like, and since it's supposed to have 5G it might end up being very expensive from what we've heard, so people might wanna opt for a less expensive option, but it is always nice to wait and actually see so you know what your options are before you decide.

- I don't think it'll be more expensive. I think--

- You don't?

- They'll be the same price. I would be shocked if they raised the price. It's already so expensive.

- It's true. And it's a terrible time to be raising prices.

- And I don't know, I mean I'm not sure that the 5G chip is actually really expensive. The thing that makes the iPhone Pro so expensive in the OLED display. Do you know, Donna, is the 5G chip really expensive?

- I don't know, I guess. In rumors I've read there was some speculation that the price would be a little higher because of the 5G. I haven't read anything that would explain why exactly. It makes more sense with the OLED display that you just talked about. We know that Apple raised the prices on that because it simply is more expensive to produce. Yeah, I don't know.

- I do think it's a smart move on Apple's part to release a cheaper iPhone, because a lot of people are still using iPhone 6 and 7. The prohibitively expensive newer ones are keeping them from upgrading, and so to release something that's got a modern chip but is cheaper is smart.

- Yeah, I definitely agree.

- I think so, too.

- I was thinking about it after our last episode, too. It's interesting because back in the day how it used to work was that you would pay $400 upfront for an iPhone and then basically you would pay a little bit extra for your contract and you'd end up paying off the difference of your phone, so it's interesting that they priced it at exactly $400, which is sort of the traditional price point of an iPhone that people were used to before the phone carriers changed their model.

- Yeah, it's interesting. I don't know, I personally wouldn't buy the iPhone SE, but I can definitely see the appeal of it. And I think it's just there are some people who get really hooked into wanting all the new features, which at this point I fall into that category, but if you just want a nice phone, a pretty nice phone at a good price, iPhone SE's a great option. All right, so we have some news we wanna talk about now. I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, Apple is doing its annual Worldwide Developers Conference all online this year, which for many people, most people are watching that event at home anyway. It's affecting the developers who come every year the most, and Apple's doing it later than they usually do. June 22nd is now the established date for the start of the Worldwide Developers Conference, and so that'll be the keynote date as well. Yeah, we just wanted to discuss that a little bit so everybody knows what to expect.

- The main reason why WWDC is exciting is because that's when they announce the new operating system, so that's when we'll find out what will be in iOS 14 and iPad OS 14, if there are new operating systems for the Apple watch, for the HomePod, for the Mac. That's when we'll find about it, so there will definitely be an iOS 14. Well, I mean almost definitely, they do it every year. Unless coronavirus threw them off they will announce iOS 14, they'll announce iPad OS 14. They'll definitely announce a new Mac OS. I think they'll probably announce a new Apple TV and Apple Watch OS as well, so it's a nice time to learn what's coming, and then typically after that they release a beta. What is it, Donna? Usually a few weeks after that you can get the beta, right?

- Yeah, usually a couple weeks.

- So then we have the beta of all these operating systems, and then they go live when the iPhones come out, which is usually in September, but this year we'll have to see. There's some rumors it'll be a little bit later.

- Yeah, so I mean I was reassured to hear the actual date that they're doing it, it seems to me just to indicate they're moving forward with their usual cycle even if it does have to be online, and I do wonder, though, how it all being online is gonna affect developers. What do you think?

- I think that honestly, I'm sure it will be less than ideal for developers, as all of this is less ideal for all of us, but I think for the vast majority of us, really WWDC just means that announcement, and so I think it'll be, for the vast majority of us who are just following Apple, who use Apple's devices, it'll make very little difference in our lives, and I'm glad they're still doing it. I'm glad they still are having a keynote, as opposed to just announcing it with a press release. It's been kinda disappointing this Spring. Apple's announced so many products and they've all just been press releases, and I miss all of the usual pomp and circumstance that Apple has when they release a new product.

- You miss the fanfare.

- I do.

- Yeah, I do. It's interesting that they decided to release products online like this instead of waiting and releasing some of them at WWDC because a lot of times Apple does have a few hardware announcements even though it's centered around software at WWDC. Do you think there'll be any actual products this year at WWDC?

- It's typically not a particularly product heavy release to begin with. We've heard a lot of rumors, like we've talked about, about new HomePods, new AirPods, and those have been, it sounds like they're in the works and pretty ready to go, so I think we might see that.

- I'm curious to hear if there's any rumors about iOS 14.

- Donna, have you heard much? I haven't heard much about it so far.

- No, I haven't heard much so far. In our latest issue of iPhone Life, as we usually do, we have a roundup in the office of features that people are hoping for. That's pretty different than what we actually get. So no, it'll-- will hear us out.

- What?

- Maybe Tim Cook will read the magazine and hear us out.

- Yeah.

- Historically we don't get what we ask for.

- Yeah, so the other update we have for you is that Apple quietly released a new MacBook, a 13-inch MacBook last week. Is that something that either of you are excited about, or what?

- I am excited to tell you guys about it. I think it's--

- Right?

- So okay, the good news it's an improvement on the current MacBook Pro. The bad news is people were hoping for more, but the main features of it are it has a new processor. Now you have to get the premium version of the MacBook Pro to get the new processor, but it's using Intel's next generation. It's the 10th generation processor, so it should be a pretty large step up as far as efficiency for your computer. The other thing that people are making a really big deal about is it has Apple's new Magic Keyboard, so there's been this whole controversy simmering for Apple. For MacBook Pros they switched to what they call a butterfly switch a few years ago, and there's been a lot of keyboard failures and people are really frustrated by it, and also it just doesn't provide a very good tactile response as you're typing. Personally, I haven't had any problems with it, but I know our CTO Raf hates it. He completely refuses to use those keyboards, so I think everybody's pretty excited that they have the new keyboard. It'll definitely be a large step up as far as if you wanna upgrade to the new processor, has the new graphics card, but it's fundamentally the same computer other than those things, whereas coming up, Apple is. There's a lot of rumors Apple's gonna switch their form factor for the 13-inch to a 14-inch computer, which basically means they're gonna make their bezel a lot thinner, so you'll have the same form factor but 14-inch computer, which is really nice. Moving forward, Apple is potentially switching their chips away from Intel, and people are really interested in that. So there's a lot coming in Mac, but this one was sort of a nice upgrade but nothing exciting. The other thing that people are excited about is Apple added a physical escape key, so with the magic bar up top, I can't remember what it's called, but the escape key is a touch key that is sometimes there and sometimes not, but people use the escape key a lot, and it's frustrating to not be able to actually have a key for it, so Apple switched that, which people are excited about. I think it's a nice upgrade. If I were in the market for a computer, it's a nice option.

- Yeah, to the keyboard point, I have experienced those keyboard failures. I had to take my keyboard to Kansas City and have one the keys replaced.

- Oh, wow.

- I'm starting to have another key fail.

- Oh, no!

- Where the key kind of... It sort of sticks, and then sometimes it doesn't register when you type that key. It's really frustrating. I've been wondering what the Magic Keyboard is. Forgive me if you guys have already talked about this on the podcast, but what is it?

- It basically, I don't know the technical specs of it, but it just basically claims to fix the problems that Apple had. It actually even annoys me that they're calling it a magic keyboard because basically they fixed their keyboard, and it sounds like they largely went back to their old mechanism of keyboard, so I think it's a little bit more mechanical, and so it has a better tactile feel. It's more reliable, but it's such an Apple thing to fix a problem they had and they claim it's magic.

- Never thought about it that way, but yeah, you're right. I will say my partner has had problems with the butterfly keyboard as well. Only one of her shift keys works.

- Oh, that's super annoying.

- Yeah.

- That's so frustrating.

- I just wanted to loop quickly back to WWDC and let you know that ahead of the June 22nd event we will have an episode dedicated to iOS 14 and iPad OS 14, speculating on, first of all, features that we're hoping to see, but also as we get closer to the event there will be more solid rumors, and a lot of times these days the rumors are pretty predictive, so I wanted to say that, and also just mention a couple of the rumors that I've seen popping out that do seem pretty exciting. You guys can pitch in, too, if you have any that you wanna add, but the ones that I'm most excited about are Messages upgrades. In the past couple years, Apple's already been improving the Messages app, for instance the Search feature is awesome now.

- Ooh, yeah.

- I always use the Search in my Messages app only on my iPhone and not on my computer, because the search still sucks on the Mac.

- Have you guys noticed that?

- Yeah, it does. It's really bad.

- But now the keyword search is so great in the Messages app, and it includes all the links, photos, videos, anything like that that you've ever posted in there and will sort them into different sections, and will take you directly to the place in the conversation where the thing was mentioned, and it's just way better, but there's some new features that seem really cool potentially. For instance, in group chats they're rumored to have a new kind of Slack-like feature where you can tag a person, do the @ symbol, and put their name so you can direct what you're saying directly to a specific person in a group chat, because as we all know, group chats can get out of hand, and a lot of times when I'm catching up on a thread I'm not reading all of them and I might miss something that was a specific question to me--

- That's actually really useful.

- So that seems like that could be really cool. Another one is there's--

- I was kind of wishing for that feature this week, interestingly. Really? Yeah, I was gonna say I think people are all group chatting a lot more right now since we're not all able to hang out as we usually would. Another one is that you might be able to actually retract messages, which is interesting, and it would say "message retracted," but now if you send a message and you delete it, it's only deleted on your end, not on theirs.

- I don't know that I like that.

- Yeah, I was gonna say this one feels a little controversial. I'm curious what you guys think.

- Yeah, I mean I understand. I've certainly sent message that I've instantly wished I could retract, so I will definitely use this feature. But there's something frustrating, especially there's times when you're having a difficult conversation with somebody where you literally just wanna go check the record of what was said, and if somebody has deleted that, a lot of times you've read it. It's already made its impact, and so deleting it doesn't do that much. I don't know.

- Yeah. The whole dynamic, that's interesting. It's no longer permanent.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- That's weird to me. I don't know that I like it. I will say that I don't know that I've read a lot of rumors, so this is more me speculating, but I'm particularly interested in seeing what they come out with for iPad OS, because I think that Apple has really signaled that with their new keyboard for the iPad, that they're going to have a lot more support for a mouse, and potentially for multitasking, and potentially do what I've been calling for Apple to do for like five years now, which is switch much more to a closer to what is an operating system for a computer, which makes multitasking a lot easier, so I'm really interested to see what they do with this.

- Yeah.

- Well, with iPad OS 13.4, which came out about a month ago, Apple did add full mouse support now, and even the ability with a track pad you can customize the experience more straight in the Settings app and connect mouses just through the, mice? Yeah, I don't know. Through the Bluetooth settings on your iPad, and so I was really excited to see that, and it does make me curious where Apple's gonna go from here with iPad OS 14, because like you said, right now the multitasking features are unintuitive. Even though we're writing articles to help you figure out, it would be much better if Apple just made the experience better.

- It could be cleaned up a lot. Yeah, I agree.

- Yeah. The last feature I just wanted to mention, because I know David has been wanting this forever, ever since I've worked at iPhone Life, is the ability to mark messages as unread in the Messages app.

- Oh!

- That's finally being talked about as a feature that might actually come with iOS 14, and it's something that I use all the time in the Mail app. If you quickly see an email and you don't have time to respond in the moment, you just mark it as unread so you know to back to it. Why in the world do they not have that for the Messages app?

- Yeah.

- That makes sense.

- Can I tell you the other feature that I've been asking for for probably five years now? The ability to have multiple profiles like you have on a Mac, especially for the iPad, but for the iPhone as well where my stepson uses my iPad, he uses my computer, and he uses my phone, and on my computer I can log him in as a guest or create his own profile for him so he can't read my text messages, view my photos. He can download games to his own account. There's so many reasons why you need to have that, and Apple's just completely neglected it and it's really frustrating.

- That's a really good idea, and could be added really simply just by having a different passcode, or different face ID, or different fingerprint ID.

- Yeah.

- I know.

- Apple clearly does it on a Mac, so it's a very solved problem.

- I feel like Apple just doesn't, they just want you to buy more devices. They don't want to make it easy to share a device with other people.

- That's a good point.

- I think to be charitable to Apple, I think part of the problem comes with the whole Apple ID conundrum I was talking about earlier, which is that what happens if you download an app? Are you downloading it under the same person's Apple ID, or can you have multiple Apple IDs tied to a device? Again, they solved those problems on a Mac, and so presumably they can solve them in a similar way on an iPhone.

- Yeah.

- I don't know.

- Well, all of you listeners at home, stay tuned. We'll continue to update you on what we think will happen with iPad iOS and iOS 14, but now I think it is time to switch gears and talk about FaceTime.

- Yes.

- Nicholas. Tell us about your guide, and also it would be fun just to have you introduce yourself a little bit and how long you've been at iPhone Life, and your experience creating this guide.

- Yeah, so my name's Nicholas. I've been working at iPhone Life since, I think it was August of last year, and it's been incredible. I love working for iPhone Life. I love working for David and Donna. It was an interesting challenge to make this FaceTime guide because normally we'd be in the office and I would have access to the podcast studio, and I had to sort of, we're working from home, so I had to sort of get creative and do it all in my studio here. I feel really happy with how it turned out. I'm really proud of it. I think it's really educational. I'm sending it to my parents, because they wanna know how to use FaceTime. They know how to accept a call when I call them on FaceTime, but they don't understand anything else. They don't know how to place a call. And I think that's because even though the FaceTime app is really minimal, it's kind of unapproachable. The interface is a little bit unintuitive, but it is integrated into iOS in a lot of clever ways, like in the Messages app you can place a FaceTime call. And I think my goal was just sort of to demystify this sort of deceptively complicated app.

- I think that's so well put. I've had the same experience. When you open up the FaceTime app it's not that obvious what to do.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- And you see lists of both phone numbers and email addresses, which is confusing, too, and you're like, "Wait, what does this mean?" Yeah.

- It looks different than all of the other iOS native apps, which I think is a weird choice.

- And you can also, like you're saying, you can access FaceTime through a lot of different places. You can do it through the Phone app, you can do it through Messages, and so there's a lot of different ways to go about it, and you're never sure the right way, and sometimes it's like I'm trying to do a video call but I accidentally do a phone call, or an audio FaceTime call. It gets complicated.

- Yeah, right, and it was cool. Any time I get to do one of these projects for iPhone Life, it's really cool doing the research and learning every aspect of it, and then seeing how useful it is in my day to day life. For example, you can start a group FaceTime call from a group message thread really easily. You just tap the contacts up at the top of the screen and then tap FaceTime, and what it does is creates a group call with whoever's in that message thread, and people can leave or join as needed, which has been a lot of fun, actually, during quarantine. I've used it with a group of friends where we just kind of have an ongoing FaceTime call that we jump in and out of, and there's a feature, again, the interface is kind of unintuitive, but if you tap the screen in the middle of that group call and swipe up on the bottom menu, you can hit Ring next to any contact and it calls them again. It sends them a reminder. So that's something that I had no idea existed that's been incredibly useful.

- Cool, so you mean you had everyone join and some of the people who aren't on the call, you're like, "Hey, I wanna remind them to get on this call," and that's what you do?

- Yeah. Yeah.

- Oh, cool!

- I had no idea about that.

- No, I didn't know that either.

- That's really cool.

- There you go.

- Yeah, it's a cool function.

- See. Nicholas is full of little pearls of wisdom.

- Yeah, there's a ton of weird little hidden features in FaceTime that make it a lot more useful. Another one that's nice that I just showed my mom last night is in a FaceTime call if you tap, if you tap the screen, tap on any contact that you're talking with, a little shutter button appears like when you're in the camera app, and you can capture a live photo that way. That's something that wouldn't have been very apparent but is really useful.

- It captures a little three second video.

- Cool! Yeah, I was gonna say that was good to describe to people what a live photo is, and I can see that being fun on a FaceTime call. You could capture a fun interaction, instead of just a still image.

- Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I think my mom's gonna end up overusing that function.

- I did a FaceTime call with my parents for Mother's Day, and my mom took like 100 photos of me talking to her and then texted them to me. See, it's a useful function.

- Yeah, just a good thing to add there is it does notify everyone on the call that a photo's been taken.

- Right.

- Yes.

- You can't--

- That's nice. It's kind of reassuring that people aren't just on the sly taking photos of you.

- Yeah, you can't do it sneakily, which I think is a good thing. Apple prioritizing privacy, which is a good thing.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- And also you can actually disable, if you want people to not take live photos of you during a FaceTime call you can disable that function, which I go over in the guide.

- So okay--

- Nicholas, that's another thing, I had no idea about that. That's so cool.

- So to get this guide, if you're already an Insider just go log in and the guide's already live. If you're not an Insider, go to iphonelife.com/podcastdiscount, and we're giving you guys 50% off right now.

- Or as David told you earlier, 60% if you're a senior, veteran--

- Yes.

- Service personnel, or health professional, so--

- That's awesome.

- It's like our best deal that we ever offer right now.

- Yeah, you're never gonna get a better deal, let's put it that way.

- Yeah. Let's talk about our second sponsor for this episode.

- Fanatic.

- Yes, Fanatic.

- Fanatic.

- Yeah.

- Okay. So I'm excited to tell you guys about Fanatic. They're one of our longest time sponsors, so you guys have heard me talk about them, but I love their app. It's called Informant 5, and it's a calendar app, and we like to say--

- It's a free calendar app.

- It's a free calendar app, and we like to say it's the calendar app Apple should've made, and they've done a lot of things really well. First of all, they've really focused on the UI, and so I find it more intuitive to use than Apple's Calendar app. It's easy to use, it's across all platforms, so if you happen to not have a Mac computer, for example, it's really nice because it'll sync from your iPhone to your PC, to whatever tablet you have. The other thing that Apple did, or that Informant 5 did really well is it combines reminders and calendar into one app. So a lot of times with the Apple apps, I'm trying to figure out, wait, am I scheduling a reminder or am I scheduling a meeting? They're similar functions, and putting them in one app is really powerful, and it's easier, and it's intuitive, and like Nicholas said, it's free. So check it out, it's called Informant 5.

- All right, let's talk about the apps and gear we're using right now. Nicholas, we're gonna put you on the spot. What's an app or accessory you like right now?

- Yeah, so I just got this thing called a Marshall Uxbridge, which is basically a... It's basically like an Alexa speaker, which I'm not a fan of the... I don't wanna have a speaker in my house that's recording my voice. I'm not really a fan of the voice recorded speakers, but it is a wifi speaker, and I found this app, which has become my favorite app. It's got a terrible name, but it's called Radiooooo with five zeroes, no, five O's I mean. Radio-o-o-o-o.

- I kind of like the name. Yeah. For video viewers I just showed it on the screen, but this is the best app ever. I love this app, it's free. You can choose, it's basically a world map, and--

- Oh, I've heard this, yeah.

- You can choose any country and any decade, and it'll just start streaming music from that decade, from that country, and I love world music, I love African music, especially from the 1960s and '70s, and so that's amazing for me. It's like very... It just does it for you. I don't have to make a lot of... I just have to make the decision of the country and the decade, and then it just goes.

- Very cool, and is it free?

- It's free, yeah.

- Cool.

- It's a really cool app.

- I love that app, I use it all the time, but I play it through that speaker that I got in the kitchen and I dance while I'm cooking pasta. That's amazing. I think that extra detail was really important. Yeah--

- It's nice to have--

- Sorry. somebody on here who really cares about privacy, because Donna and I are both like, "No, we love having our voice recorded in our homes. "We love Amazon Alexa." I know. I know, it's bad. So the app I wanted to tell you about that I've been trying the past few days that I really like is called Shop, and it does a few things, but the feature that I've been really loving is that it tracks, it tells you all in one app about all of your packages and transit, so you basically log in with, you can add any email addresses that you have, because most anything that you're having shipped is gonna have email notifications to you, so it gets hooked into your accounts that way, and so it's telling me what all has been delivered to me through Amazon, of course, and then also anything that I ordered not through Amazon, and this is cool just because I'd already downloaded separately the UPS app and the FedEx app, and those apps are great, but it's better just being able to see it all in one place. And so I've been really happy with it so far. The notifications are nice, too. I haven't played around with it that much. I know there are some other features you can do as well. You can add your favorite local stores and get updates about stuff like that, too, but just alone for the shipping notifications I like it, and it's really highly rated.

- That is very cool. Is it free?

- Yes, it's free.

- And what's it called one more time?

- Shop.

- Shop?

- Yeah.

- Cool.

- Keeps it nice and simple.

- Okay, I've got a weird one for you guys, because it's obviously a company you all know, but I love Amazon Prime. I have Amazon Prime, I have all these subscriptions set up for me where I just ship. All of my household goods, basically, just get shipped to me. If you don't have kind of Amazon, if you have Amazon Prime and you haven't set that up, it's really nice because you save like 15% on anything that you have these reoccurring purchases on, and then I also have an Amazon credit card, so I save an extra 5% on that. I end up saving like 20%. I get all my toilet paper, and paper towels, and soap, and all that stuff shipped to me. I love it, but with the times there's been a lot of shortages on Amazon, and so things that I normally just have shipped to me, I can't on Amazon, and then our local stores are sold out a lot of times, and I also don't wanna really go in my stores. I want it shipped to me right now because I'm social distancing, so I have found that Walmart often has a lot of supplies that Amazon doesn't, and I've had much more success getting supplies from there, so things like toilet paper, and paper towels, and soap, I haven't been able to get on Amazon, which has been driving me nuts, but I have the Walmart app, and I've been using it, and they ship it to me, and they have a lot more of the things that I like. So it's sort of my fallback because I still love Amazon Prime, but I do recommend having a fallback source, and I've been using Walmart. One tip, if you do download it, when you search for something, if you go to filter you can filter to Ships to Home, and that way it'll only, because they show you a lot of things that they have in your local Walmart, but you want really the things that they're gonna ship so you don't have to pick it up, and that's what I've found to be successful. Have you guys had this problem of the things you normally buy from Amazon just aren't there right now?

- Yes, one thing I've really noticed, just a good thing to pay attention to for anyone listening, is when you check out, make sure to look at when the shipping date is, because if you're an Amazon Prime member we've all gotten spoiled and you just assume like, "Oh, yeah, they'll be here in two days, tops," but that's just not the case anymore. A lot of stuff is either, I mean you'll notice if it's sold out, but a lot of it's just low in stock and sometimes will take weeks or months before it's coming. So I ordered some toilet paper a couple months ago that's supposed to come some time in June. Yeah, it's so frustrating. So I've had better luck with Walmart. I don't have free shipping, but if you spend I think over $50 you get free shipping, so that's what I've just been doing. Also, the other reason I've been using Walmart even before the pandemic is there's certain products where there's a lot of fraud on Amazon, things like shampoo. People will buy the shampoo bottles and then fill it with cheaper shampoo and do really sketchy things like that.

- Really, I didn't know that.

- Yeah. Oh, there's so much fraud on Amazon, so definitely, first of all, on Amazon make sure you're reading reviews of all the products because people will usually point out if they think it's fraudulent. And so Walmart sometimes... What I try to do on Amazon is if I'm buying something that there's a lot of fraudulent reports, I'll make sure that the seller is Amazon, because there's a lot of third party sellers, so that's what I do, but sometimes if I can't get the seller to be Amazon I'll go to Walmart and I'll get the seller of Walmart, and Walmart has the same problem with fraud, too, but sometimes I can source things where I trust it a little more if I'm using two different apps. Do you guys have a fallback app if Amazon doesn't have what you want?

- Not really.

- No.

- I've just been going more to local grocery stores.

- I use eBay sometimes. I mean I don't know that I'd use that for toilet paper, but for certain things-- Yeah, eBay is still awesome, honestly.

- Yeah, I got some stuff on eBay during this time, too. So how's your toilet paper and paper towel situation looking, guys? Not good, to be honest. I'm down to like six rolls. I'm starting to panic.

- Oh, my gosh. Okay, that's why you downloaded the Shop app, to see when your toilet paper's gonna arrive?

- Yeah, exactly.

- Well, I did find--

- You should be able to hold out until June, Donna.

- I did find, yesterday, toilet paper on Walmart, so there you go, but I'm reviewing this to all of our podcast audience.

- Uh-oh.

- I found it before, and I posted it on Facebook, and by the time my friends looked it was all gone. So check regularly, that's another tip. Check regularly, because the stocks come back and go out.

- Yeah.

- Good to know. Hey, can I do one more? Can I do another one--

- Yeah.

- That's been really useful. This one's also free, it's called Splitwise.

- I love Splitwise.

- You use it? Okay.

- Mm-hm.

- This one's really useful. I use it almost every day. My partner and I buy... If you ever run into the issue where you're like, "Whose turn is it to buy dinner?" This is incredibly useful for that. Any time we're buying something that's a shared expense, groceries, or dinner, or whatever, you just punch it into this app and it just keeps track of it. When we first started dating she suggested using a spreadsheet for that, and I was like, "We could do that, but that feels weirdly formal." Yeah, so Splitwise does that. It's also really useful if you have roommates, or just wanna split something amongst a group, and it's totally free. I love Splitwise, I recommend it.

- Yeah, I love it, especially it's great, I mean not for right now, but for group trips I find it particularly useful.

- Definitely.

- And one of the features it has that I love is it'll consolidate expenses. So a lot of times you end up with these weird situations where it's like if you have five people on a trip I might owe one person $5, but then they owe the next person $10, who then owes me $3, you end up with these little chains of how much each person owes, and with Splitwise it'll just consolidate it, so it'll make sure each person's just making one payment, as opposed to like each person's paying the other four members of the group and it gets really hard to calculate. Yeah, I really enjoyed it for group trips. It's like invaluable.

- We should've used that on the CES trip.

- Yeah, we often do, actually. I was surprised we didn't.

- I should use this with my sisters, because we do group gifts constantly for people in our families, and it'll be the same thing where it's like one person bought something and then... Yeah, like the weird circular thing that you just talked about, and we always have a hard time figuring it out and are not doing it efficiently at all, and I totally forgot about this app. So thank you, Nicholas. I will definitely be checking that out.

- The other tip. I have one more tip for this. It's not a technical solution, but what I tend to do, both when I had roommates or when I was managing household expenses that I was collecting a lot of money for, I just got a separate credit card just for those expenses, and then I just looked at that credit card, and whatever I had on there I knew I was splitting, and that worked really well for me.

- That's a good one, too. Why don't we go to our next section now where we tell people about content we've been enjoying during the quarantine?

- Yes.

- The last episode was our first time doing this. I think we'll continue at least as long as we're working from home and while we're social distancing. I don't have as many updates since two weeks ago as I did last time, but we still have some good content recommendations. I still haven't checked out Orthodox, which David, you recommended last time.

- Unorthodox, it's "un."

- Unorthodox. Unorthodox. Okay.

- It's amazing. I can't recommend it enough.

- That's high on my list.

- Yeah.

- Yeah, is that Netflix? What's it on?

- Yeah. It's a miniseries on Netflix about a person who leaves the orthodox Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn and it's really beautiful.

- Is it a documentary or more like--

- It's based on a true story, but it's fictionalized.

- Okay.

- But they really captured a lot of the kind of traditions of that community in a way, because it's such an insular community, is not typically captured, and it's really beautifully done.

- Cool.

- My recommendation for this week is a book, and actually Cullen told me about it, and Donna, you mentioned last week that Tyler's favorite book is Shōgun, right?

- Yeah.

- That's one of my favorite books as well, and I love historical fiction. And so I'm reading a book now that takes place in a similar time, so it takes place in feudal Japan in, I think, the 1500s, and it's called Musashi. I think I'm pronouncing that right. I'm probably not pronouncing that right, but that's as close as I can get, and basically Musashi, it's a biography. Musashi is considered the greatest Japanese warrior of all time. Because it's based on a true story it's really just fascinating. It's 900 pages, so it's really long, but it's really easy to read. It's very like light reading. It's nice escapism, and it's fun because it's based on a true story. It's interesting. It started originally as a newspaper series in the 1930s in Japan, and so it's translated from that time, and so what makes it nice is each chapter is sort of its own little episode because it was from that series, and so it's very easy to read, and I'm really enjoying it.

- Awesome, Musashi.

- I still haven't read Shōgun.

- I like Shōgun better. If you're gonna just do one, I think Shōgun's better. I think Shōgun's like 1,200 pages, so it's even more. Shōgun has a little bit of a richer plot. This is like... Because it's a biography, it's sort of just little snippets from his life, but it's really entertaining.

- Yeah, Tyler recently bought like six paperback copies of Shōgun just to give out to all of his friends to try to get them to read it. And I still have only gotten 100 pages in just because there was a brutal torture scene right at the beginning that I just couldn't get through, but it was really well written.

- Yeah, a lot of people have that problem.

- It was very realistically written.

- I think it's the only torture scene in the book, but it is pretty brutal.

- Okay.

- And there's a lot. That culture in that time, there was a lot of ritual suicides, so you have to sort of be okay with that as well. Gotcha, yeah. Nicholas, why don't you go next?

- Yeah, so I have kinda specific tastes, but there's this Netflix show called Midnight Gospel that I've been enjoying a whole lot.

- Oh, I watched the first episode.

- I adore that show. It's created by one of my favorite podcasters, Duncan Trussell. It's definitely very esoteric. It deals with Buddhism, and spiritualism, and magic. It takes the form of a podcast and makes it into a surrealist cartoon. I don't know if you're interested in something kind of cerebral and psychedelic, I would recommend that. Also Donna recommended to me to check out the movie Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was just a perfect film. I adored that movie. It's kinda slow, kinda moody, kind of an art film, so if that's your thing, check that out. Also, the album. This is, I feel like, more approachable to everyone, the album Forever Turned Around by Whitney I've been listening to on repeat lately. I love that band. They go for kind of a very nostalgic feeling sound. It sounds like it was probably recorded to tape, and just a beautiful record.

- Cool, I'm gonna check out that record.

- Can you repeat what that one's called again?

- The band is called Whitney. They're based out of Chicago. The album is called Forever Turned Around. I actually think both of you would love it.

- I really like Whitney. I actually was supposed to see them live in Chicago and then it got rained out and I was really sad.

- Yeah, I saw them--

- I thought you were gonna say you couldn't go because of the coronavirus.

- Oh. Yeah, this was a while ago.

- Yeah, we, Laura and I, bought tickets to Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and it just got canceled.

- Oh!

- We're really sad.

- That's a bummer, yeah.

- That's so sad. I went to Pitchfork, I was thinking about going this year again, but I went like a decade ago and it was really fun. I feel like it would be a very different experience going now. I still would have fun, but I feel like I'd also get really tired.

- Yeah, we were conflicted because it got canceled, which was really sad, but if it wasn't canceled would we feel comfortable in a big group? How long until we'll feel comfortable in a big group of people?

- Honestly, I mean something like a music festival--

- Never.

- It's gonna be when we have a vaccine. Music festivals are just the worst idea right now.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. Well, Donna, what's yours?

- Yeah.

- Okay. Well, I just wanna back Nicholas up on Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It was just a really beautiful love story, and I just wanted to warn people, though, that you might cry.

- Yeah.

- I cried pretty hard in Unorthodox, too, for the record.

- Really?

- Yeah.

- But it's good, I mean most of the time I watch... You wanna feel something when you're watching a film or something, so it's not a bad thing. So yeah, I started listening to a podcast called Beyond Belief, and it's kind of fun because in general I've gotten away from kind of woo-woo beliefs, but this podcast kind of takes a journalistic approach to learning about different interesting belief systems. One of them was recently about satanism and the kind of history behind that and why some people are freshly getting into it for interesting reasons. I don't know, it just sort of... It's just sort of fascinating. Oh, another one was about talking to, being psychic, and just sort of talking to people who say that they're psychic mediums and things like that, and it's just not that I believe any of these things, but it's just interesting to hear about sort of fascinating, different ways that people look at the world, I guess.

- That sounds so cool. I wanna check that out right now.

- Beyond Belief, I'll check it out.

- Yeah, Beyond Belief, it's pretty cool.

- Can we make our question of the day this week, are you guys enjoying the content, We're Listening To section. We just added it. It's a little bit different flavor than the rest of our podcasts, a little bit less iPhone related. Is this something that's helpful to you guys? Are you enjoying it? Also, we'll crowdsource this. If you have any content that you're particularly enjoying right now, send us an email and let us know why as well at podcast@iphonelife.com.

- Yes, thanks everyone. And this wraps up our 135th episode of the iPhone Life podcast, unless either of you had anything to add, and of course we'll also have a few minutes where we have exclusive content for our Insider subscribers, but am I missing anything that you guys wanted to add before we close up the episode?

- No, I would just like to ask everybody, we haven't asked people in a while, if you could just do us a very small favor and take a minute to review the app, or sorry, review the podcast and the podcast app. It helps other people find it. Obviously we make this podcast free for everyone, and that's a small thing you can do that helps us out, so we really appreciate it. We especially appreciate it if you give us good reviews. Just saying.

- Yeah. Because it's painful going and reading those reviews about me. I'm not gonna lie, when I read those they're a little painful. Mostly we get good reviews. I just wanna preface that. We usually get good reviews. There are just a few people that complain about me.

- Everyone loves you, David.

- Not everyone apparently.

- All right, thanks everyone. We'll see you in a couple weeks.

- Thanks.

- Thanks so much, and thanks to David and Donna for having me on the podcast.

- Thanks for coming, Nicholas, it was fun.

- Yeah, it was really fun. All right, Insiders. We have a special section just for you with Nicholas still here with us, which has been a lot of fun today. We wanted to go over complaints and learning, what we've been learning, hopefully, over the last few weeks, and if there's anything that we would like Apple to change. So Nicholas, do you wanna start us off? What have you been learning or complaining about?

- Well, two things. I'm sort of in the background working on a Reminders guide for iPhone Life, and the Reminders app, I actually never once opened it until maybe three months ago, but yeah, Donna, you really opened my eyes to this app. It's so incredibly useful.

- Thank you.

- Who knew? I guess I was missing out, I don't know, but it's great for keeping lists, and that's what it's kind of... Calling it the Reminders app is sort of misleading because it's really a list creating app. But I have a shared grocery list with my partner, Laura, and that's been incredibly useful. You can just add to it and remove from it across iOS devices, and that's been essential.

- Here's a question, did you create a family group with Laura, or did you just, you can do it that way or you can just invite her to the list.

- It's a shared list. You create a list and then share it.

- Okay.

- Although, if we're talking complaints, sometimes it just randomly doesn't work. The sharing list function is a little fraught. We've had to just mess around with it until it works. Many times we've created shared lists and then the other person doesn't see it, and actually Laura has an older generation iPad Mini, and you just can't do it on those. You can't do a shared list, which is frustrating, and I don't really understand why. So that's my complaint.

- When you say it doesn't work you mean is it not syncing and updating properly or it's just not even happening at all?

- Older iPads and older iPhones just don't support shared lists, so you just can't. There's no way of doing it. So we can't use it on Laura's iPad, which is kinda sad.

- That is sad, yeah. I've use shared lists before, and now I've created a family group with my husband, Tyler, and that's been nice, too, because once you do set up family sharing it'll create a--

- What is a family group? I'm not familiar with that.

- So this'll be my little learning for the week that I'll just tell you about, and I do have one complaint I'm gonna add as well. In iCloud you can set up family sharing, and that allows you to create a group with a group of people. It's intended for families, but I don't see why you couldn't use it with whoever you want, and it allows you to share--

- Do you pay for iCloud? Sorry to interrupt you, but do you pay for iCloud, Donna? I'm just curious.

- I do, yeah. I do because I have a lot of photos. I use it for my photo and video storage.

- Oh, okay, okay.

- If I didn't I probably... Yeah, if I didn't I probably wouldn't need to have a paid plan, but I pay like $2.99 a month for the iCloud storage, and I've found it to be worth it just to not have to then always be running up against a limit.

- Sure.

- And yeah, the family sharing feature is really nice. I think it would be a lot more crucial if I had kids, but it still is nice because I can share any apps, app purchases with Tyler, and also it, by default, will add a calendar and will add a reminders list that's a family list and a family calendar, so I can add things to our family calendar. Taking my dog to the vet yesterday I added to our family calendar, that way Tyler can see when I scheduled that, and for the family list that could just be our grocery list that we share. So that's a nice thing to consider as well, although it's a little strange, because it has whoever's the person who created the family group is the one who approves of purchases. I need to look into this. There might be a way to make it so that Tyler can approve purchases, too, but he was going to download an app and he's like, "Why do I need your permission to buy this app?"

- Is that your complaint?

- Yeah, no. My complaint is I do not understand why Apple hid heart emojis so far over in your emoji drawer.

- Yeah, it's so annoying.

- I feel like hearts is just one of... I mean one nice thing that they did is that you see your frequently used emojis all there when you tap. Okay, so to get to your emoji section, for those of you who don't know, you open your keyboard and then in the lower left corner there'll be the smiley face, and I won't even get into if you don't have emojis enabled you have to go into Settings to do that.

- In your keyboard settings, I think, right?

- Yeah, I should link to that for people in case they don't know. Anyway, once you're there, besides your frequently used emojis you have to scroll all the way, basically to the end, before you get to the hearts. And I think that's so weird because they've got a Santa Claus emoji, they've got all these symbols that no one would ever possibly use, and then they're putting the hearts after that?

- The flag of every country.

- I know, and I'm just like why?

- That is a really good complaint. I agree.

- Well, and also I have a hard time with that, because one shortcut is if you type a word it will put in predictive text the emoji, so you can type "heart" and it'll put in predictive text the heart, but there's like 100 different hearts and they sorta have subtle different meanings and you wanna use different colors based on different situations, and there's no shortcut for that.

- I know, I agree. You don't always want the red heart when you could have all these other fun hearts.

- Yeah, exactly.

- Yeah.

- I use blue heart quite a bit.

- Oh, wow.

- What's the subtle implications of that, Nicholas?

- It's less romantic feeling. So like your friend--

- I can appreciate that. I've just leaned in in part because of this problem and I just send everyone red hearts. I'm just like whatever.

- David, you're just leading everyone on. All of my friends. All right. What's yours this week, David?

- I'm gonna stick with the reminders theme. I'll tell you what one use for the Reminders app that I really like, and then a lot of problems I'm having with it. I like it a lot for reoccurring tasks. So for example, it reminds me to take out the trash on Thursday night, and then recycling the next week, and not only does it remind me so I make sure I don't forget, but it also tells me is it a recycling week or a trash week. So I really like that, but I've had so many problems with recurring reminders. I think what happened was I used the beta version of the app and then I went to my phone and I upgraded. Something happened where it just... Sometimes reminders don't show up, or they show up for the wrong days. I've had the craziest problems with reoccurring reminders, and I think a lot of it relates to exactly the thing Nicholas was saying, which is on iOS 13 they updated their Reminders app, but they didn't do it in a way that had sort of retroactive support of the old Reminders app, and so if people can't upgrade to the new Reminders app a lot of the features aren't supported, and the things you had in the Reminders app before you upgraded got kinda messed up, especially if you did the beta. But it's particularly bad because reminders, by definition you want them to be reliable. If you can't rely on your Reminders app, the whole app is useless.

- Yeah.

- So I actually just this week went and tried over, started over on my Reminders, because I have all these things like "give my dog her medicine," and things like that that I really don't wanna forget. So I deleted all of them, reset them up as the recurring reminders that I want them to be. I'll let you know how it goes. It already got messed up where it had two reminders for my "take the trash out," one that was in the middle of the night. I'm trying to clean it up. I guess a little bit of the takeaway is it's not just you, if you're having this problem. Also, try deleting them and recreating them, because I think that's fixing it, but I will update you guys later and let you know if it fixed it or not.

- Sure.

- Yeah.

- That's another issue of one of Apple's native apps being kind of not intuitive. How you set up a custom reminder for a certain time or a specific location is really not intuitive.

- Mm-hm, yeah.

- And Nicholas is gonna have a guide for you guys soon on the Reminders app to help you hash this all out, but yeah.

- Yeah.

- Thanks so much, Nicholas. It's been so fun having you on the show. We're definitely gonna have to have you back again soon.

- Thanks, y'all. I really appreciate you having me on. It's been a blast.

- Thanks, Nicholas, and thanks, Insiders for subscribing. We appreciate it.

- Yes, have a great rest of your week, and we'll see you again in a couple weeks. Yes.

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Author Details

Donna Cleveland's picture

Author Details

Donna Cleveland

Donna Cleveland is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine and is a journalist with ten years of experience in writing, reporting, and producing multimedia content. In her 7 years at iPhone Life, she has produced over 15 in-depth guides and 20 issues of iPhone Life magazine, along with countless articles, podcasts, and blog posts. Aside from managing the editorial team and outside contributors, Donna co-hosts the iPhone Life Podcast, teaches online iPhone educational courses, and enjoys reporting on live Apple events.

Donna began her career as a newspaper reporter before joining the iPhone Life team, where she pairs her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. She's the proud owner of an iPhone 11 Pro and Apple Watch Series 4 and is a defender of AirPods as the best wireless earbuds.

Donna holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication and earned her undergraduate degree in Media & Communications from Maharishi International University. Her writing has appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Little Village Magazine, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, the Fairfield Ledger, and the Iowa Source, and she was a researcher for American journalist Claire Hoffman's memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park. She is also the host and executive producer of a feminist podcast, Thread the Needle (theneedle.co).