Maccast 06.21.2012 - Show #400
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Smile
* New Text Expander 4
* The update is jam packed with new features, but probably the biggest is expanded functionality for fill-in fields
* These basically let you take a static snippet and make it dynamic. Gives you an oportunity to define fields in your snippet that you add data to at expansion time
* Text Expander 4 adds new Multiple line text fields, Popup menus, Optional text sections.
V Pricing:
* Upgrades are just $15 bucks and and free to users who purchased after January 15, 2012.
* For new users it's just $34.95USD amd a Family Pack licenses, for home use, is $44.95
* You can get it from the Smile website and free trials are available.
V News
V Podcasts missing from iOS 6
* Several reports have pointed out that the Music app in iOS is missing a Podcasts section
* Speculation is that Apple will roll them into their own native App
* iMore reports that they heard that Newsstand-type automatic content downloads will be expanded to more types of media. A system like that might be perfect for podcast
* I just hope they have better support for Enhanced AAC and protected feeds (subscriptions), although with the latter my concern would be that they want their 30% cut.
* Apple seems to be in the process of diverging media from the iTunes app, so this makes sense.
* Books in iBooks, Movies and TV in Video, Music in Music, Podcasts in ?? (iPodcasts)
* I'm now curious about Audiobooks, do they get their own app, stay in Music or move into iBooks?
V There is also a seperate report that Apple may be developing Apple is working on podcast-producing technology as well
* This is in line with my theory that Apple is looking to develop a full stragey for self publishing and distribution across all forms of media.
V Apple's WWDC sessions available to Developers
* All the videos are available for download and in iTunes U
* They are available for any Developer account which include any free accounts, so if your interested you can just sign up.
V New iPhone connector details surface
* Tech Cruch is claiming to have verified that Apple will use a new 19-pin propritary connector on the next gen iPhone
* Robert Scoble added some details in the comments saying that the new connector and cables will chips to prevent unauthorizes accessories
* The site claim 3 seperate source sall told them Apple has the new connector in the works
* Supposedly about the size of a Thunderbolt connector, but not Thunderbolt compatible.
V Unfortuantely this means that all your old 30-pins accessories will be obsolete
* You'd hope Apple would offer an adapter, but if Scoble is right then that would defeat the purpose
V The rumors surfaced along with other sites claiming to have images and video of the new iPhone's back case
* Now a single (unibody) unit. Midplate and back panel are one piece. Helps reduce size.
* About the same width, but taller. Seems to confirm other rumors
V Main potion of the is a metal material, but caped on either end by a plastic band. White or Black.
* Possibly for antennas?
* Harkens back a little the original iPhone
V It's highly doutful Apple is using it on this case, but they did extend their agreement with Liquidmetal through 2014 this week
* Apple gets “a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercial applications of (Liquid metal) intellectual property in the field of electronic products in exchange for a license fee.”
* Makeing cases from Liquidmetal technology is belived to be a few years away I believe mostly working out scaling up the processes for manufacturing. Apple's could start using it in specifc pieces and components though
* Only the sleep wake button on the top
* headphone jack on the bottom, redesigned speaker grills, that smaller connector opening, small oval shape.
* A tiny hole between the rear camera lens and flash, maybe a mic?
* Unit also appears to have a smaller SIM slot, possibly the newly approved ,ETSI-approved microSIM format
V A front glass piece also reportedly surfaced
* Facetime camera on front is centered above the earpiece
* Not edge to edge glass
* Same width, but taller
* rumors put the display resolution at 1136 x 640 in a 3.999 inch display
* Still has round home button
V Apple Store refuses to sell iPad to customer speaking Farsi
* At an Apple retail store in Georgia an employee refused to sell an iPad to an Iranian-American student after she was speaking Farsi with her uncle
* The employee claimed he couldn't sell the device to them because, "Our countries have bad relations"
* When a local news agency did a report they found another Iranian American who was also denied being sold an Apple product.
V I was alerted to this story from a Maccast listener who was extremely upset by this story, and rightfully so.
* A retail store or it's employees should have no business in assuming the citizenship of a customer based on the langauge they speak or how they look.
* Many are now accusing Apple of racial profiling and calling for boycots
V Those who listen to the Maccast know that I try to stay impartical on these things and present the facts
V As I dug further I did find that Applle has a stated policy of not selling products to countries which the US Govenment has trade embargos on. Specifically:
* "The U.S. holds complete embargoes against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria"
* “The exportation, reexportation, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person wherever located, of any Apple goods, software, technology (including technical data), or services to any of these countries is strictly prohibited without prior authorization by the U.S. Government. This prohibition also applies to any Apple owned subsidiary or any subsidiary employee worldwide.”
* I don't believe Apple would have an open policy of racially profiling customers
V My best guess is that at this one regional Apple Store managment has over stepped the bounds of the stated export comliance policy. Likely the employee was told he could not sell product to anyone from Iran and when he hear the cutomer speaking Farsi, asked what language she was speaking, and she said i'm from Iran. He told her he couldn't sell her a product thinking he was complying with the policy
* Id the employee racist? Is the management at that Apple store? We can't really know from this incident.
* What's clear to me is that it isn't Apple's place to act as an agent for the U.S. govenment beyond not shipping products themselves to embargoed countries.
* They should not be doing citizenship checks at retails stores or denying sales to anyone based sole on race and the language they speak
* Again i don;t think thay are doing that.
V Need upgradeability, avoid Retina
* iFixit did teardowns and comparisons of the new Macbooks, both lines, and not suprising the Retina Macbook Pro scored extrememly low for user serviceability
V Has 95Whr battery cells, but they are glued to the case, prying them up could damage the trackpad cable if you aren't careful
* It's also the most expensive to date to replace under Apple's battery replacement program, $199 USD
* RAM comes soldered to the motherboard, so order what you need now and for the future. Don't skimp. (Comes with 8GB standard which should eb good for most people)
* The SSDs are on a card, but it's a new shape so 3rd parties will need to make specialized units which tends to mean higher price tags. Same connectors as the latest Macbook Airs, but not the older models
* The display assembly, screen and top case are all one unit. Resulting in a more expensive repair. You'll want Applecare, but that still won't cover user damage.
* Just like on the newer iPhones the Retina Macbook Pro uses the specialized "pentalobe" screws. Apple really is saying this isn't a user upgradeable unit. Not very-"pro" like is it?
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Mac Pro, rumors of my death…
* A got a lot of great feedback on the Mac Pro discussion from our WWDC podcast
* I was delighted to hear from a number of Pro customers who say they are still happy with Apple and will wait to see what thay have in store
* Many also pointed out the rumors and the Tim Cook email that elude to a new Mac Pro in 2013
V For clarity I do want to point out the specific text of the email:
* "Although we didn't have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today's event, don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year,"
* He doesn;t specifically say they will have a new Mac Pro, just something.
* In cotext you can assume he means a pro, but I have to wonder if the words aren;t deliberately choosen. With Apple they ususally are.
* I also need to continue to be critiaical of Apple. I still say they could have done morein reving up the current Pro model. At least thrown in Thunderbolt and Mini Display port. Would have been nice if they added HDMI too.
* Going almost 2.5 years between major updates is not a way to show your Pro customers you care.
V Running new Retina MPB at native resolution
* By all accounts the new Macbook Pro's screen is an amazing thing to behold.
* It packs a 2880x1800 resolution on a 15.4" screen, but out of the box you won't be running a native pixel for pixel res.
* Apple goes for detail, "and readable text" by setting an effective resolution of 1440x900 and a dense packing of pixels.
V In a new Display system Preferences you get a few options for using moe of the pixels, but full 2880x 1800 isn't a choice.
V Using some 3rd party tools you can get it to run at the "eye-squinting" native res.
* Might be practical to get the most desktop real estate for some applications.
* Wineskin, Change resolution
* SwitchResX
V IF you truely need the most screen real estate thought Macworld might have you covered
* You can connect 2 Thunderbolt or 2 Cinema Displays (or mix and match) to the 2 Thunderbolt ports
* Plus you can add a 3rd external display on the HDMI port
* They hadn't yet tested performance with all those displays though.
V Thoughts on Microsoft Surface
* Normally I don't like to venture into non-Apple territory, but the Surface is getting a lot of buzz as a legitimate new competitior to the iPad
V First the thngs that annoy me
V The slavish copying by Microsoft. This is nothing new and expect many inpending patent suits to be filed
V The announcement and Keynote presentation itself
* was not as polished though and at one point at least the device appeared to lock up completely requiring the presenter to run back and get a backup unit.
* Cover looks like a smart cover, magnetic latch, colors, etc.
* Mag safe style connector? Microsoft's does power and data
V We are going to do our hown hardware and software 180 by Ballmer
* Speculation is that Microsoft wanted to "light a fire" under their hardware partners and show what a Windows 8 tablet should be.
* I say they realize the benifits of full control in this area
* Also the project was reportedly execured with "Apple like" secrecy
* Thin, yes, but kinda boxy too.
* Designed mainly for landscape? Kickstand and keyboard covers seem to indicate that. They also didn;t demo it in portrait
V Naming leaves something to be desired, but it's never been Microsoft's forte.
* Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows Pro
* Some can argue Apple's the "new" iPad name was kinda lame too
V they annouced way too early
* No pricing, no availability, no touching the keyboards
* The hype may wear off before it hits the market and what if they slip the date, which they are apt to do.
V Overall does look nice, but they gave us very little specs to go on
* RT will be an NVIDIA ARM-based tegra, but speed unknown. Pro will have an Intel, but what processor and speed unknown
* Resolutions were only given as "HD" (1280x720?) and "Full HD (1920x1080?)
* No specs on RAM, battery, expanded storage, camera resolutions, cellular, PGS, etc.
* We did get ports, Micro HD (RT) or Mini-Display Port (PRO), USB 2.0 (RT) USB 3 (Pro)
* The design looks cool enough
* The keyboard cover, especially the touch one, is a cool concept that I hope Apple might steal from Microsoft
V I don't think though that Microsoft even seem to know what it want it to be
* It's a tablet and a sub-notebook
* It's a pen device, a touch device, and a notebook
* It's priced like a tablet, or like a notebook
* Not sure I think it's right, but Microsoft is clearly taking a polar opposite approach on tablets from Apple. While Apple sees them as divergent devices Microsoft's solution is that the two devices serve the same purpose. Only time will tell what consumers think.
V The surfaces bi-polar identity will likely be it's biggest success or greatest downfall. Personally after using an iPad and a Mac for 3 years now I am pretty well convinced, like Apple, that the two device are compatible, but need to work differently.
* I've tried BT keyboards, keyboard docs, styluses, etc., but beyond some specialized use cases the best apps are the ones that take advantage of the native touch UI and a finger.
* I belive like Tim Cook that you need to let go the PC past to create a better device.
V First Look: Monoprice Battery Pack
* If you're like me you are constantly in need of power for charging your mobile devices
* I have battery cases and I love my Mophie, but sometimes you just need more juice. Also charging your new iPad with most battery products won;t work or is slow.
* I was stoked when someone tweeted that Monoprice was selling a 5000mAh battery pack
* I'm taking these with me to Nerdtacular and I'll let you know how they perform, but here are some of the features and my first impressions
V The key feature beyond the capacity was that it has 2 USB charging ports
* 1 - 5V 1A will charge iPhones as full rate
* 1 - 5V 2.1A will charge iPad as full rate, since the iPads battery is almost 12,000 mAh I would only expect less than a half charge. iPhone 4S has about a 1500 mAh battery
* The battery pack recharges via a microUSB cable
* The pack is maybe ¼" wider than the iPhone, the same height and a little less than twice the thickness. Not small, but still portable
* It has 4 ble leds on the top and a "home" button style on/off status button
* They come in black or white and have the soft, "rubberize" texture, so it feels great. Even came in nice packaging.
* The only early complaint is that the "button" feels a little wobbly and cheap, but the rest of the pack feels solid and well made.
* Best of all is the price, just $28.95 USD
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
* Faronics, Deep Freeze. 5.0 released with Lion compatibility
* Circus Ponies
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