Maccast 2017.08.27 - Show #625
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile
V TextExpander
* I wouldn't know what to do without it.
V A big use case for me is replying to the many emails I get related to the show.
* Various tips and tricks I get asked about
* If a topic has come up and lots of people are asking the same question it saves me time. Great for anyone who finds they use repetitive communication.
* Plus I can still personalize snippets with fill-ins and optional text.
* But even for small things. I have a long domain name for one account and typing it out takes time. Just made a snippet for it.
* I also have long lists that I often send to people, like my favorite breweries in San Diego. I can add new ones and then my snippet always has the most recent info.
* Plus you can share snippets with others to make everyone more productive.
* So try, TextExpander free for 30 days. TextExpander subscriptions include software for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Windows.
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* Big thanks to Smile and Textexpander.
V News
V Apple’s September event takes shape
V Apple Watch in ‘Final Testing’
* Economic Daily News reported the Apple Watch Series 3 has entered the “final testing phase”. In perpetration for a debut in September
* As we discussed last episode the Series 3 is believed to be adding a new LTE version to the line up.
V Other than the new autonomy the rest of the improvements look likely they’ll be incremental
* Improved performance and longer battery life
* A ton of new workouts, discovered by iHelpBR: icons showing badminton, barre, baseball, bowling, boxing climbing, core training, cricket, curling, dance, equestrian sports, fencing, fishing, flexibility, functional training, golf, gymnastics, jump rope, kickboxing, lacrosse, paddle sports, pilates, "play," sailing, skating, skiing and other snow sports, step training, strength training and surfing.
V Some rumors have mentioned a possible design change or that the new models would be thinner
* At this point though it seems like the external design will remain the same.
V Earlier in the year there was some excitement over the idea of “Smart Bands”
* Apple has some patents that show examples.
* Bands could bring features like additional health sensors, cameras, and even battery bands.
* While cool, nothing in the current rumors seem to be indicating Apple will announce Smart Bands in September.
* I would expect pricing of the new Series 3 Apple Watch to remain the same and that the Series 2 model and Series 1 Models would drop down into the price points the Series 1 and Series 0 currently hold.
V More iPhone 8 components surface
* We are getting close to launch and that means more parts leaks
* Display assembly (with notch), flex cables, and internal Lightning cable components.
* 3D sensing camera modules which supposedly will use infrared transmitting and receiving
V Will Touch ID be replaced or not?
* All three reports are still out there.
* Video of a supposed back panel in QA testing on Weibo shows the what looks like a TouchID possibly embedded into the Apple logo.
* Guilherme Rambo found a couple of “tutorial” videos in iOS 11 beta that seems to show gestures that show what could be replacements for home buttons
* Swipe up from the bottom would now bring up the App switcher, instead of Control Center
V What about Control Center, swipe from right (instead of accessing Camera)
* Steven Troughton-Smith mentions the rumored “gesture area” also might cause Control Center to be activated differently to allow for system gestures.
* So what about the camera from lock screen?
* Note they could be just early prototypes.
V Ming-Chi Kuo put out a report to investors saying he thinks Apple’s 3D sensor and software tech is years ahead of the competition
* Apple’s competitors are waiting to see how well received Apple’s tech is
V Wireless charging tech might top out a 7.5W, meaning no Xi “fast” charging which is 15-watt.
* May also require an Apple certified chip to work (no 3rd party pads).
* Three storage options 64, 256, and 521GB all with 3GB RAM
* New starting price for the iPhone 8 rumored to be USD $999.00, $30 more than the 256GB top of the line iPhone 7 Plus
V New Apple TV codename
* It’s already believe Apple will announce a new Apple TV with support for 4K and HDR
* Guilherme Rambo found references in the new tvOS 11 update in the form of HDR image assets for a “J105a” model.
* “J105a” was also what Bloomberg mentioned being the model number in a separate piece.
V Apple TV dropped to 4th place among popular media streamers in the US in a recent study by Parks Associates
* Falling behind Chromcast
* Likely because consumers are waiting for the rumored 4K update.
V Rumors back again that Apple and Studios are in talks for “in-theater” rentals on iTunes, according to Bloomberg
* They are still trying to work out a lot of details and there is no deal yet
* The price is in the range of $30-$50
* Studios are concerned about deals with theaters. One option the theaters want is a compensation for lost revenue that would last 10 years. Guess what the studios said?
* Personally I think that’s bogus. Theaters will just need to focus on creating a better experience than you can get at home.
V Apple Pay Cash string references in new iOS 11 Beta
* Mentioned at WWDC allows p2p payments from iMessages
* May need to verify yourself with a photo ID before you can send/receive payments.
* Virtual Card with funds that can be transferred back to or from an attached bank account.
* “Works best with a debit card” strings. Using CC may involve a fee.
V Rumored dates and launch
* Early predictions are on a entente set for Tuesday September 12th
* New iPhone models on sale as early as the 22nd?
* Could possibly be at the new Steve Jobs Theater
* Survey by Fluent says 70 percent of iPhone owners won’t even consider another phone and that 40 percent are planning to upgrade to the iPhone 8
V iPhone 5s Secure Enclave hacked
* While there is no need to panic, this is an interesting development to talk about
* Before a hacker conference in Singapore last week a Twitter user posted links to information and tool that could be used to extract the secure enclave firmware on an iPhone 5s
V The extraction tool gives access to the binaries of the kernel and other software that regulates communications between the Touch ID sensor and the Secure Enclave
* They don’t expose any of the data or information that is transmitted or stored however.
V While not immediately a security concern for most users, the trouble for Apple is this now lets hackers get a peek at Apple’s code
* Basically the information in the firmware could now be used to possibly develop exploits and hacks that could give access to other data, say your fingerprints, stored in the secure enclave
V Even if that happens there are a lot of questions and “ifs”
* Any exploit code would have to somehow makes it’s way onto your device, presumably via a malicious app.
* The exploit could likely only target and iPhone 5s and an attacker would probably need physical access to deploy an attack
V iOS 11 features ‘panic’ mode
* With iOS 11 beta 6 Apple has added a couple of ways to allow us to force the use of a passcode to unlock your iOS device vs. Touch ID
V Why would you need to do that?
* If you need to in situations where you might be forced or compelled to put your finger in the Touch ID sensor
* In iOS 11 activating the SOS mode, by tapping the lock button 5 times or accessing the Medical ID screen from the lock screen will disable Touch ID until the passcode is entered.
V HomePod may require iOS device
* A site called iHelp BR looked at code in the latest iOS 11 beta and believe the setup process might require an iOS device
* Seems to indicate Siri will read out a 4-digit code during set-up that will need to be entered into an iOS device.
* There are also indications that if set-up fails too many times you might need to enter the last four digits of their HomePod or iOS device's serial number
* It also seems that a wi-fi network must support WPA or WPA 2 (if you’re not using it by now WHY?!!) and that two-factor authentication could be required.
* Apple has mentioned that security and privacy are part of the Siri Assistant features so to me these requirements make sense.
V Apple self-driving campus shuttle
* NYT is reporting that Apple will take much of the stuff they learned from their scrapped “Project Titan” and use it in house for an employee shuttle system
* Supposedly Apple will partner with an “established” automaker to create the shuttle that will be fitted with Apple’s self-driving tech.
* The platform is called “PAIL” for “Pablo Alto to Infinite Loop”
* They don’t know when the system will be deployed, but it will carry employees between Apple offices.
V Apple has already been testing using four 2015 Lexus RX450h vehicles equipped with a host of sensors and cameras that have been on the roads in Cupertino since April.
* In fact new images this week show a whole new massive sensor array with different LIDAR arrangement
V The piece has other interesting tidbits about the scrapped “Titan” project
* Fall out of teams on semi vs. fully autonomous vehicles.
* Debate on Car OS based on Swift or C++
* Interior without a steering wheel or gas pedal, silent motorized doors, and integrated augmented reality.
* Apple was looking at concepts for a “reinvented” steering wheel that was a sphere.
V Business Insider says Apple is recruiting again looking for people with experience in autonomous car software.
* Think Apple might be targeting ride-hailing companies with it’s platform
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Donate to Hurricane Harvey relief
* It has parts of Texas and the flooding is catastrophic.
* Apple will let you now [donate to the American Red Cross through iTunes]( itmss://
V You can also [donate directly]( on the American Red Cross page and use Apple Pay as an option.
* They are also running a blood drive, so if you can't donate cash you could donate blood.
* To any Maccast fans, listeners, or families who are impacted by this our thoughts and hearts go out to you.
* For anyone helping with the relief efforts, especially police, firefighters, EMTs, military, and other volunteers. Thank you.
V More Apple Pay feedback
V A few people mentioned having to "train" retailers how to use Apple Pay
* Specifically with handheld terminals that accept NFC.
* Colin is in China and says Alipay is prolific there because Alibaba (the company behind Alipay) offers consumers discounts for using it (reimbursing the retailers).
V Good news is the credit card companies may save us from retailers who don’t want to support NFC
* By 2020 both Visa and MasterCard will require retailers to support the technology
* The other factor is US customers fed up with slow chip readers and our jealousy that our counterparts in Japan, the UK, and other NFC friendly countries have good support while we don’t (i.e. more consumers demanding retailer support).
V Switching to T-Mobile
* Got a lot of great feedback from many of you. Most of it positive, some very negative.
* Bottom line is I have never found ANY cell provider that everyone is happy with. Ultimately I think you just need to try it.
V Since I own my devices outright there is no cost for me (or minimal cost) in switching.
* One good bit of advice was to get a "pay as you go" phone for a month on T-Mobile to test out the current service in my area.
* Many noted having issues inside buildings or at home.
V The power of polite persistence
* And a note to Tim Cook. ;)
* Play comment from Paul
* My comments.
V iOS 11 split screen with "unopened" app
* Huge thanks to Zeph for telling me about this.
* Turns out you can actually use ANY app in the spring board to drag into split screen mode with an already open app.
V The gesticulations are a bit tricky, but it CAN be done.
* With the app you want to add a split screen app to open tap the home button to go to the springboard (home screen)
* Find the second app, quick hold on the icon and drag it (I recommend using opposite your hand that is near the home button)
* While still dragging the icon, double tap the home button to bring up the app switcher.
* Drag the icon over the first app that you want to split screen with and wait a second. That app should spring open to full screen.
* Now drag the second app where you want it. Either in slide over on the left, or into split screen on the left or right.
V When you backup's backup fails
* Share my tales of the past few weeks with my Drobos archive backup
V Failed drive in Drobo 5D
* reported that it was "critically" low on storage and was in data protection mode.
* No big deal normally
* When I ordered and added a new drive it did seem to do into rebuild mode.
V Spent several days with support who said in some instances the Drobo may need data that is on the failed drive to re-build (what?)
* They had me try to use [Data Rescue 3] to see if i could do a block level copy to a new drive. After 81 hours, that failed.
* Now I only use single redundancy mode
* The main reason is these are used for archives and I actually have two drobos each which has a copy of the files.
* So I have a backup of my backup
* Also ALL of these files are also stored in CrashPlan in the cloud, third backup.
V In the meantime, to make matters worse the backup Drobo reported a failed drive too!
* This one luckily went into recovery mode when I replaced the drive, but lost connectivity withe my Mac while doing so.
* It was a 4TB rebuild, so it took 4 days (1TB/day) which is normal.
V With the first Drobo I decided it was a loss and just rebuilt it from scratch, reformatting and adding a 5th (4TB) drive in the process.
* When it was done I began to restore the files from Crash Plan, something that would take 2 days.
* To top things off the next morning I woke to another failed 3TB drive in that Drobo. Ugh!
V So why was this happening and what did I learn
V It happened because the drives were just OLD and in a high performance application
* They are written to every day for 5 years.
* When the Drobo works it's great, when it doesn't well…
* Number 1: PATIENCE.
V Number 2: If your drives are older then the number of years of their warranty and they are in a critical application, like backup. Be aware they are probably not to be relied on. Weigh the risks and if you're not comfortable consider replacing them.
* I've had drive that lasted for a decade, so who knows, but still.
* Mark Fuccio gave a good recommendation to label the drive when you add it to the RAID. I'd add set a reminder in Calendar to replace the drive.
* Number 3: consider double data redundancy.
* What sucked for me was having to purchase what will now be 4 drives all at once.
V Thoughts for Crash Plan refugees
* So my favorite cloud backup company announced this week they are [exiting the consumer space](
* Their options are move to another provider or update to one of their [small business plans](
* They have partnered with Carbonite who is offering discounts to current CrashPlan Home users
* They are extending existing customers accounts to 60 days past your expiration date to give you time to switch.
V One the the reasons I was with CrashPlan was their great Family pricing. All my computers and their connected drive for a single rate.
* They were also one of the few services that offered NAS backups included.
V Crash Plan for Business
* Offering a 75% discount for the first 12 months. After that $10/mo per computer.
* Can migrate without starting over (up to 5TB), what i'm confuse don is how this works when migrating "family" plans.
* So my first year for the two computers i have will be $60, but after that $240, up from $149.00.
* Note this will not support the free computer to computer backup Crash Plan for home had.
V Carbonite
* Carbonite Core (Business) limits to just 250GB of storage and would cost $270.00/yr. (50% discount for the first year)
* Their "Plus" plan is $74.99/yr per computer (if you want external backups), but it is unlimited.
V If you currently have a Crashplan Family plan the "migration" will automatically recommend the "Core" business plan.
* If you want to get the discount and switch to personal plans you'll have to sign up and then contact Carbonite support to apply the discount
* You also won't get your data migrated, you'll have to do it manually (re-upload).
* Carlos also asked about support for Apple's new Apple Filesystem (APFS) and Carbonite replied that they do not support it (not sure about other providers).
* Most plan that are NOT business don't support NAS backups.
V Thoughts when I asked around the community
V Most people I know who are smart about this stuff seem to prefer and be using Backblaze
* It's cheaper, unlimited and $50/yr. per computer.
* They still offer "restore by mail"
* You can get a 30 day free trail now
* Native Mac app, always a complaint I had with Crash Plan (Java)
* I received generally negative reviews for Carbonite.
V If you need NAS backup there are some tricks.
* Katie Floyd uses ChronoSync to a direct connected Drobo then the Drobo is backed up by Backblaze
* Some mentioned using Backblaze's [B2 Cloud](, give first 10GB free, but you pay for storage, upload, download, and deleting (like Amazon S3). When I use their calculator it didn't seem cost effective for me. Over $400/yr.
V The community also had other solutions
* [Dolly Drive](
* [SpiderOak]( - focus on encryption
* Roll your own solutions, using say Amazon S3 or get two Synology's and do it's built in Synology to Synology backup
V What will I do?
* I think I will probably switch at first to Crash Plan for Small business
* Then simultaneously crate a Backblaze account and start the backup process there. For me it will take months to re-upload all my data.
* Once that is done I will switch over to Backblaze and cancel CrashPlan completely.
V Thing of the Moment: Anker Hard Drive Docking Station
* Supports USB 3.0 and eSATA (does anyone use eSATA?)
* Not a lot to say about it except it's really handy
* Would be great for large archival backups, especially to 2.5" SSDs
V Closing
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