Georgia took us through Apple’s new Shortcuts App requiring IOS 12 or later, available as a free download from the App Store. Shortcuts are a quick way to get one or more tasks done with your apps. The Shortcuts app lets you create your own shortcuts with multiple steps. For an example, as a regular air traveller, Georgia uses a shortcut “Set Airplane Mode” which not only turns on Airplane mode but sets Low Power mode and Do not disturb. Georgia showed that the gallery in the app gives a number of ready made shortcuts which can be added to the user’s library and then went on to show how to build up an app step by step. Shortcuts includes the option to set a verbal instruction for Siri. e.g. “Hey Siri, Set Airplane Mode”. Georgia’s excellent first effort at a Keynote ended with great GIF emoji or Memoji (accent on Me, as she tells me), of her thanking us for listening - oh the joys of facial recognition!
After the break, John and David explained Apple Continuity which enables Apple devices to share features and tasks. It was first introduced with Sierra and IOS 8 and expanded with later systems, the latest feature, Continuity Camera, requiring IOS 12 and Mac Mojave. Continuity uses iCloud and Apple ID and for most features requires Two Factor Authentication.
Mick explained that unlike the previous Two Factor Verification, Two Factor Authentication is less likely to leave one stuck trying to log in an a device away from home with the verification code sent to a device elsewhere i.e. at home. This is because once devices/apps have been categorised “Trusted” for that Apple ID they will need no further verification. To demonstrate this, David pointed out that Personal Hotspot does not need to be turned on an iPhone for other Devices using the same Apple ID to make use of it. Hotspot only needs to be turned on if being shared with a device not sharing the same Apple ID.
David demonstrated Hands off where a document being worked or reviewed on one device can be continued on another. John showed the various ways to make use of Universal Clipboard which shares Handoff features and settings. David quickly covered Cellular Calls, SMS and MMS where iPads, Macs and iPods can make/receive phone calls and send non-iMessage texts etc via a connected iPhone. He ended with Instant Hotspot, Auto unlock using the presence of an Apple Watch to automatically unlock a Mac and John explained the problems he had had getting Continuity Camera, which had been demonstrated by Tony Still last month, to work, no thanks in this instance, to Apple who had him reloading Mojave more than once, checking hardware etc when it turned out to be a blip somewhere in his Apple two Factor Authentication.