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Apple is upgrading HomeKit this fall with new features like Secure Video and expanded automation, but it’s not all good news for Apple’s smart home framework. The Home app where users manage the smart home experience makes one design choice that is likely meant to make it more approachable. In practice, the change degrades the experience for a whole category of HomeKit products.

Difficulty managing the Home app at a glance when more than a few accessories are added has been a common complaint about the app’s design from the start. In iOS 13, Apple appears to be addressing this feedback with a change to how individual products with multiple accessories are presented.

In iOS 12, each accessory is presented as its own tile even if it’s part of a single product. This can result in a single HomeKit product populating the Home app with a half dozen tiles.

Apple’s Home app treats products with multiple accessories different in iOS 13. One product is one tile even if it includes two or more accessories. Fewer tiles means more usable at a glance, right?

Not so fast. Here’s where it becomes a step back for products like this. The awesome Eve Degree sensor is a single HomeKit product that measures both temperature and humidity. Summer can be brutal on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where I live, so I really like knowing exactly how hot and how humid it is at my front door.

That information is glanceable in iOS 12 where each measurement is presented as its own sensor accessory:

This is how iOS 13 presents the same accessory:

You can still expand the tile to show more information — in this case any information — but the tile for this accessory includes no updatable information.

Here’s another example using the indoor Eve Room product. This is iOS 12:

And this is the new approach starting with iOS 13:

Again, any useful information has been grouped into a single tile with no sensor data. Glanceable data is gone, requiring an interaction to actually see what those sensors are presenting:

While the change is disappointing for sensors, it’s downright confusing for other types of HomeKit products that include more than one accessory.

For example, the useful VOCOlinc Flowerbud diffuser and mood lamp is a single product with two very different HomeKit accessories. iOS 12 lets you easily view the status and control each accessory with individual tiles:

Here’s that same product squeezed into a single tile in iOS 13:

I realize the examples are becoming exhausting, but that just illustrates the disappointing experience in iOS 13’s Home app. This change even affects HomeKit power strips like VOCOlinc PM2E which can include plugs, lights, and fans as assigned by the user in the Home app.

iOS 12:

And iOS 13:

The worst example is saved for last: HomeKit camera sensors. The Arlo Baby Cam is primarily used as a video camera with sound input and output. A firmware update to the camera later added support for five additional accessories using the product’s built-in sensors.

Five more sensors is an awesome improvement to an already great HomeKit product — at least in iOS 12:

If you want to read the same sensor data in iOS 13, simply tap on the camera tile, view the live video feed, find the button for other accessories in that room, then bam, you’ve managed to do something that was zero steps in iOS 12.

Glanceable information isn’t the only benefit lost. Discoverability is a casualty too.

This design choice isn’t just a glitchy software bug found in a beta version of Apple’s software. It’s an intentional design change that required developing for this update. It hasn’t improved as the rest of the operating system has started to stabilize; it’s only grown worse.

Why did Apple make this change? The idea is logical. One product should have one tile that can be expanded to show every included accessory. It reduces the tile count and clears up which accessories belong to which products in your home.

The current answer being tested in each iOS 13 beta so far doesn’t appear to be the correct solution however. Glanceable information is removed and very different types of accessories are squeezed together.

Apple’s Home app already has a solution to the too-many-tiles problem. Users have control over which tiles appear on the Favorites section of the Home app. You can show as many or as few as you choose.

Accessories are only unpacked when you view a specific room, and even then you only see which accessories are located in that room. iOS 13 even improves this by moving bridges that offer no data or control to a different part of the Home app.

The Home app also has a mechanism for grouping accessories — if you choose — which is useful for turning multiple bulbs into a single lamp. iOS 13 could learn from that approach with a toggle to unpack accessories grouped under a single tile. The default can be bad as long as there’s a logical way out.

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How To Combine Your Live Photos In A Video In Ios 13

Live Photos have been around in iOS devices for a few years now, allowing you to capture the specific moments before or after taking a photo. These moments can then be viewed later with the photo, and specifically showcase 1.5 seconds of motion before and after the photo was taken. It’s a small but incredible feature that can add an array of emotions and be a beautiful reminder of the memories surrounding a simple photo.

A new feature introduced in iOS 13 allows users to combine multiple Live Photos into a video from within the iOS Photos app. This is much better than the previous method of stitching together multiple live photos, which was usually by using an external video editor.

First, we’ll be covering how to take Live Photos on your iOS device (for those of you who are not familiar with it), after which we’ll discuss making a video out of multiple Live Photos:

1. Open the Camera app on your iOS device.

2. At the top of the screen you’ll find an option to turn Live Photos on. It’ll be a yellow circle icon with rings around it. When Live Photos is on, the circle will be yellow.

3. Taking a photo with Live Photos on will save it both as a normal photo and a Live Photo. You can view it in your gallery later.

To view a Live Photo:

1. Open your gallery and select the photo you just took.

2. You should see a Live Photo sticker on the top left of the screen. Once the photo is opened, simply press on it to view the animated live photo.

You can also use it as a wallpaper or share it with your friends.

Combining multiple Live Photos into a single video involves saving the Live Photos into individual videos. To do this,

1. First locate the Live Photos you want to merge into one video. You can do this by scrolling down to Live Photos in the Albums tab of the Photos app.

2. Tap on “Select” in the top-right corner.

3. Select the Live Photos that you’d like to merge together into one video.

3. Choose the “Save as Video” option.

iOS will generate the video and save it to your Camera Roll. You can access it from there or the Videos section of the Albums app in the Photos app.

That’s it. Using this simple method, you can easily combine multiple live photos into a single video to send to others and view later.

Did you find this guide useful? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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New Lawsuit Takes Issue With Apple’s ‘Brilliantly Scratch

Apple is facing a lawsuit over its marketing for the Apple Watch. While the company markets the device as “brilliantly scratch-resistant,” an Ontario man is taking issue with that as he claims the device is actually very susceptible to scratches and tarnishes…

As reported by iPhone in Canada, 21-year old Dean Lubaki first purchased his Apple Watch last September. He purchased the 42mm ceramic Edition model with a Milanese Loop.

Lubaki says his issues stem from the fact that the magnet on the back of the Apple Watch attracts the magnetic part of the Milanese Loop, causing scratches on the body of the device:

“The fact that the back of the Apple Watch attracts the Loop and creates abrasion without action for the consumer is a design flaw. Same abrasion can occur on the screen when the strap is removed to change straps. Again, nowhere Apple says that the loop may damage the watch.”

Lubaki says he tried to request a replacement at his local Apple Store, but was denied despite having purchased AppleCare. Once that happened, he started the process of going after Apple in small claims court, seeking a refund for his Apple Watch Edition and AppleCare+ purchases, as well as “additional compensatory and punitive damages.”

As for compensatory damages, Lubaki is seeking damages for “mental stress, and expenses that occurred because of the case in addition to the time of my life wasted that I will never get back.”

Furthermore, in terms of punitive damages, he says “Apple should not get away with lying to customers on website by falsely claiming that a product ‘won’t scratch’,” nor “lying to customers to their face and in store.”

Once he filed his small claims cases, Lubaki was contacted by Apple, who offered to replace his Apple Watch Edition and give him a free accessory. He declined this offer as he would prefer to “represent himself in small claims court.” We’ll have to wait and see to find out how that goes for him.

Update: Lubaki has issued a statement to 9to5Mac on the matter:

Apple has contradictory statements on its website about the Apple Watch Edition Series 3: Apple claims it is “Brilliantly scratch-resistant” but also later on the product page, states that it has “a refined finish that won’t scratch or tarnish.”

There is no clarity on what part of the said watch are resistant or won’t scratch or tarnish.

In addition to that, Apple sells the black Milanese Loop, that has “An additional diamond-like carbon (DLC) layer” and will damage the watch because of the DLC.

I was insulted by the way the Apple Store Yorkdale staff treated me, a long time Apple customer, and by the way Apple ignored my official complaint.

It is only after I filed a Plaintiff’s Claim with the court that a Customer Relationship person contacted me to offer to replace the watch and give me a free accessory, to add insult to injury. Apple had many opportunities before I officially filed to do the right thing.

Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

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Creating A Bullet Chart In Excel (A Step

Watch Video – Creating a Bullet Chart in Excel

One of the challenges while creating a dashboard is to present the analysis in limited screen space (preferably a single screen). Hence, it is important to make smart choices while creating the right chart. And here is where Bullet Charts score over others.

Bullet charts were designed by the dashboard expert Stephen Few, and since then it has been widely accepted as one of the best charting representations where you need to show performance against a target.

One of the best things about bullet charts is that it is power-packed with information and takes little space in your report or dashboards.

Here is an example of a Bullet Chart in Excel:

This single bar chart is power-packed with analysis:

Qualitative Bands:

These bands help in identifying the performance level. For example, 0-60% is Poor performance (shown as a dark blue band), 60-75% is Fair, 75-90% is Good and 90-100% is Excellent.

Target Performance Marker:

This shows the target value. For example, here in the above case, 90% is the target value.

Actual Performance Marker:

This bar shows the actual performance. In the above example, the black bar indicates that the performance is good (based on its position in the qualitative bands), but it doesn’t meet the target.

Download Bullet Chart Template

Now, let me show you how to create a bullet chart in Excel.

Here are the steps to creating a Bullet Chart in Excel:

Arrange the data so that you have the band values (poor, fair, good, and excellent) together, along with the actual value and the target value.

In the Change Chart Type dialog box, change the Target Value chart type to Stacked Line with Markers, and put it on the secondary axis. Now, there would be a dot in the middle of the bar.

You would notice that the primary and secondary vertical axis are different. To make it same, select the secondary axis and delete it.

In the Format Data Series pane, change the Gap Width to 350% (you can change it based on how you want your chart to look). 

Type: Select dash from the drop down

Size: 15 (change it according to your chart)

Also, change the Marker fill to red and remove the border

Now you are all set! Just change the color of the bands to look like a gradient (gray and blue look better)

Download the Excel Bullet Chart Template

You can extend the same technique to create a multi-KPI bullet chart in Excel.

Here are the steps to create a multi KPI bullet chart in Excel:

Get the data in place (as shown below)

Create a single KPI bullet chart as shown above

Select the chart and drag the blue outline to include additional data points

Note: Creating Multi-KPI bullet chart technique works well if the axis is the same for all the KPIs (for example here all the KPIs are scored in percentage varying from 0 to 100%). You can extend this to margins – for example comparing Net Income margin, EBITDA margin, Gross profit margin, etc. If the scales are different, you would need to create separate bullet charts.

While I am a big fan of bullet charts, I believe a single-KPI bullet chart is not always the best visualization. I often gravitate towards a speedometer/gauge chart in

You May Also Like the Following Excel Tutorials:

Ios 15 Is Official – A Complete Overhaul Of Apple’s System

At this press conference, iCloud was officially upgraded to the iCloud+ brand. The reason for the upgrade is to improve user privacy protection. iCloud+ not only integrates the iCloud features that users like, but also introduces new high-quality features, including hidden email addresses, HomeKit secure video expansion service, and innovative online privacy service (iCloud Private Relay), all at no additional cost.

Current iCloud subscribers will be automatically upgraded to iCloud+ this fall. All iCloud+ plans can be shared with members of the family sharing group, and each member can enjoy the new features, storage plans, and upgrade experience. A major feature of the iCloud+ is that users can retrieve passwords through contact assistance verification. In addition, iCloud also allows users to transfer their digital assets to their relatives or other trusted persons.

iOS 15 FaceTime

The new version of FaceTime will bring spatial audio technology to real-time video calls. With the help of multiple microphones and internal audio processing algorithms, it makes video calls have a more realistic sound field effect.

In addition, FaceTime also has a “Voice Enhancement Mode”, which masks background noise through algorithms, and can obtain clear voices even in noisy environments.

In the new version of FaceTime, users can create exclusive video call links and support sharing to chat, calendar, and email. Not only that, this link also supports opening through a computer browser on Android and Windows devices.

The SharePlay sharing function allows users to share videos, music, and screens that are being played. Apple cooperates with Disney, Hulu, HBO Max, and NBA to support watching online resources of these platforms and sharing them with friends during FaceTime videos.

iOS 15 notification function

iOS 15 has improved the notification function and brought a brand new notification interface. Contact avatars and App icons have become larger, making it easier for users to identify them.

Gizchina News of the week

Apple also introduced a notification summary mode for iOS 15. The notification summary can be available for users in batches according to the time that the user set. Notifications from people are not part of the summary thus users get them immediately.

In addition, iOS 15 adds a focus mode and supports customizing different states. Each state can display different notifications style and supports synchronization with other devices.

iOS 15 photo

Apple has brought a live text function to the photo application. This feature can automatically perform OCR in the camera application. When the user points the camera at the text, the latter will automatically appear, supporting free selection, copying, and pasting. Users can also perform these operations on existing photos.

This feature uses a “deep neural network” to scan photos of the “whole system” and supports seven languages. At the same time, this function can also recognize objects and scenes, such as dogs or flowers.

iOS 15 Siri

Apple’s digital assistant Siri now handles audio on the device by default. This means you can use this feature without an internet connection. Apple claims that this upgrade will also make Siri more responsive.

According to Apple, processing audios on the device will also make the use of Siri more private. This follows the company’s established preference to implement machine learning functions on the device instead of sending data to the cloud. “This solves the biggest privacy issue we hear from voice assistants, which is unwanted recordings,” an Apple spokesperson said during WWDC21.

iOS 15 wallet

iOS 15 brings wallet keys, supporting company badges, hotel room keys, and home smart lock keys.

Weather app

The weather application also ushered in a new design, adding a high-resolution in-app map. It also comes with a new background animation that changes according to the weather.

iOS map

The map has a global view and a more detailed 3D view of any city. Furthermore, it provides more accurate road information and can assist the driver with more traffic and road condition information

In addition, the map will automatically track the user’s travel route and remind users when to get off the car.

Other functions

iOS 15 also supports Safari voice search, cross-app drag and drop, and the new Memoji function.

How To Manage The Home Screen In Ios 15

The Home Screen of an iPhone can quickly spiral out of control. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to bring order to the chaos. You can move apps and widgets around, put apps into folders, stack widgets on top of one another, etc. 

iOS 14 even introduced the ability to hide complete Home Screen pages, while the introduction of the App Library meant that you could finally remove apps without deleting them. 

Table of Contents

If you’ve just upgraded to iOS 15 or later, you’ll find additional ways to manage the iPhone’s iOS Home Screen. You’ll learn about them in detail below.

Delete iOS 15 Home Screen Pages

Do you have multiple Home Screen pages on the iPhone filled with apps you barely use? If you use an iPhone with iOS 15 or later installed, you can easily delete them.

Note: Deleting an iOS Home Screen page will not uninstall the apps on it. You can continue to open them via the App Library or Spotlight. 

Start by entering jiggle mode. Long-press a vacant area within the Home Screen or tap and hold an icon to do that.

Once in jiggle mode, tap the strip of dots (which denotes the number of Home Screen pages) at the top of the iPhone’s Dock. That should bring up a screen showing all Home Screen pages on the iPhone in thumbnail format.

To delete a Home Screen page, start by unchecking the circle underneath it. 

Tap the Minus icon to the top-left of the thumbnail. 

Tap Remove to delete the page. 

Tap Done to save your changes.

You can repeat the instructions above to remove all Home Screen pages. iOS will force you to leave at least one-page intact to prevent you from fully deactivating the Home Screen. 

Rearrange Home Screen Pages

Have you ever wished that you could simply re-order how each Home Screen page shows up on your iPhone? You can do this on the iOS 15 Home Screen.

Again, jiggle the Home Screen and tap the strip above the Dock to view Home Screen pages in thumbnail format. Then, hold and drag each page in the order you want them to appear. 

For example, you can have the first page, filled with unused stock apps, as the last and your last page as the first. Tap Done to save your changes.

Filter Pages Using Focus Mode

iOS 15 introduces an improved version of Do Not Disturb dubbed Focus. Instead of blocking all notifications, it sports the ability to let through alerts from specific apps and contacts. For example, you can use the Work profile to turn off notifications from non-essential apps while allowing those vital to your workflow. 

But a relatively hidden feature in Focus is its ability to display specific Home Screen pages only while having a profile active. To do that, you must edit the profile using the steps below.

Open the Settings app and tap Focus. 

Pick a profile to start editing it. 

Under the Options section, tap Home Screen.

Follow that by turning on the switch next to Custom Pages. 

Select the exact page or pages you want to see with the profile active. 

Tap Done to save your changes and go back.

The main editing screen also features additional options, such as automating the profile per a schedule or using automation triggers. Perform any required adjustments and exit the screen.

To activate the profile manually, open the iPhone’s Control Center and tap the Do Not Disturb icon. Only the Home Screen page or pages you specified earlier should then show up.

Install to App Library Only

Install to App Library Only is an iOS 14 feature, but it’s worth reiterating. If you tend to install and experiment with many apps, you can avoid cluttering up the Home Screen going forward by installing them directly to the App Library. 

To do that, open the Settings app and tap Home Screen. Under the Newly Downloaded Apps section, select App Library Only.

Keep the iOS 15 Home Screen Tidy

Effectively managing the iOS 15 Home Screen can go a long way toward enhancing the user experience on the iPhone. The options in iOS 15 should allow for even more control, and hopefully, subsequent iterations of the system software will make organizing even better. 

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