New Apple products include iPhone 11 and Watch Series 5

Apple announced the upcoming release of several new products at its September 10th 2019 event, including:

Update: The new 16-inch MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard was released in November 2019.

Apple battery recall of older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models

Apple has a voluntary recall and free battery replacement program for certain 15-inch MacBook Pro models sold between 2015 and 2017.  These units can be identified by serial number at support.apple.com/15-inch-macbook-pro-battery-recall.

This recall is currently one of the programs available at Apple’s Exchange and Repair Extension Program page.

Apple also announced a partnership with Best Buy which designates their stores as Apple authorized repair locations.

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) announcements

Apple made several major announcements at its Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2019, including:

Apple disables FaceTime until security bug is fixed

Update: Apple released iOS 12.1.4 on February 7, 2019 to fix the FaceTime issue.   FaceTime is now available at the Apple System Status page.

USA Today and the Washington Post have reported that some iPhone FaceTime users have been able to listen to people they are calling before the call is answered.   FaceTime runs on iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1 as well as Macs running macOS Mojave.

Apple is currently working on a fix for this security issue.   FaceTime has been temporarily taken down as noted on the Apple System Status page.

Apple announces release of new Mac and iPad products at October 2018 event

Apple announced the release of several new products on October 30th 2018, including new iPad Pro and MacBook Air models with Retina display, and a new Mac Mini.  These devices use a more secure Apple T2 chip, use Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C ports, and are made of environmentally-friendly recycled aluminum.  They will be publicly available for retail sale on November 7th.

Apple has a comparison of all iPad models on its website.

A new Apple Pencil will also be available at the same date.  This pencil will magnetically snap to the iPad for storage and wireless charging.

iOS 12.1 will be available on October 30th and includes Group FaceTime for up to 32 users, camera depth control, dual SIM card support, and new emojis.

Airtable is a cloud based hybrid of spreadsheets and databases

Airtable is a cloud database that allows users to design databases in a spreadsheet-like format.  It allows collaboration with multiple users and can be accessed from MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android devicesMultiple templates are available to download including calendars, project management, etc.

Airtable can be accessed for free for databases smaller than 1200 records.   Paid versions with additional features are also available.

Azure Data Studio is the new name for SQL Operations Studio

Microsoft announced the September 2018 release of Azure Data Studio, formerly known as SQL Operations Studio (preview version).  Azure Data Studio is a new open source desktop environment for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse data that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Apple announces release of new iPhone series and other products

On September 12th 2018, Apple announced the upcoming release of iPhone XS and iPhone XR series smartphones with Super Retina display, as well as the new Apple Watch Series 4.  iPhone XS and Apple Watch series 4 will be available on September 21 and iPhone XR will be in stores on October 26th.

The Apple Watch Series 4 Health app can monitor your heart rate, and also includes Fall Detection and Emergency SOS capability.   An ECG app that has output similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram will be available at a later date.  Update: the ECG app and irregular heart rhythm notification is available as of December 6th 2018.

New watchOS 5 features include walkie-talkie functionality and listening to podcasts.

iOS 12 for iPhone and iPad will be available for download by September 17th.  The iOS 12 new features list includes a Measure app that can automatically detect dimensions of rectangular objects.   Apple Books is the replacement for iBooks and allows you to read downloaded books and listen to audiobooks.

Devices that support iOS 11 generally can be updated to iOS 12.  An iOS device should be backed up before installing this update.  iOS can then be installed by selecting Settings > General > Software Update.

macOS Mojave will be available on September 24th for newer MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro computers.

Kodi – a free open source media player for multiple platforms

Kodi is a free open source media player and entertainment center for multiple platforms, including Android, Linux, MacOS X, iOS, Windows, and Xbox One.   It is also available as a downloadable app from Google Play and Microsoft Store.

Kodi was originally known as Xbox Media Center (XBMC) and developed by the XBMC Foundation, a non-profit technology consortium.   It plays audio, video, and image files, and third-party plugins are available to add additional features.  The Kodi Wiki page lists more details about configurations and options for this app.