Maccast 10.01.2012 - Show #413
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Circus Ponies
* Notebook & iTrash
V Notebook is a great tool for getting organized, doing research, and taking notes
* Lists, outlines, different notes styles
* NoteBook documents look like paper notebooks—with pages, tabs and sections,
* You can even add sticky notes and flags
* All of it gets automatically indexed giving you many ways to browse and search your document
V iTrash
* Puts your Trash icon back on the Desktop in a fixed position.
* No longer bouncing around in the Dock, so you can use muscle memory to drag files to the trash.
* Allows you to customize the look with 20 animated iTrash characters.
* Contextual menu with quick access to Secure Empty Trash, Force Empty, and for ejecting mounted volumes.
* Just $4.95, from the Circus Ponies web site.
V News
V Are we in a "Mapocolypse"?
* Seems like the only story this week was the troubles with Apple's Map application in iOS 6.
V Now that Maps have hit the streets, pun intended, on million of screen, it's logical that people are going to find weak spots.
* The questions are, did Apple know about these issues and if so should they could they have done something about it?
* Users are finding POI data that is in the wrong place, bad directions, less detail in some areas, and warped texture map data in Flyover.
* Issues do seem to be more prevalent outside the US and we are likely getting more reports since iOS 6 and the new Maps are available on so many devices and the iPhone 5 has rolled out Internationally more quickly than any other iOS device.
* One experts report claims the issues are likely due to Apple trying to merge data from multiple sources and then relying on computer algorithms, and not human experts, to validate the data.
V Google may be looking to release a stand alone app soon?
* Some reports say they have it ready and have either already submitted it or are ready too.
* Other reports say it won't be until the end of the year.
* Eric Schmitt was quoted at an event in Korea saying they, "Haven't done anything yet".
* According to David Pouge Google will add street view to their iOS mobile app in 2 weeks
V I went on Mac OS Ken Day 6 to discuss it and did a Members show with my full thoughts.
* Quick summary?
* Yes there are some problems, but in general I think Maps is a pretty good start.
V I know with the weak spots being pointed out on blogs and on twitter it makes it easy to see them and call Apple out
* What I would like to know now, from Mapping experts, is exactly how bad is Apple's data and is it outside the normal variances for mapping systems.
* All I've seen so far is mostly head to head US tests with turn-by-turn and Apple's maps seem to fair well against Google/Android in those tests.
* Apple wanted to move to their own products and they were right to do it now. Waiting wouldn't have made it better.
V The biggest challenges Apple has now are cleaning up all the aggregated data, estimates are they are using as many as 20 different sources, and hiring staff and experts to vet the information.
* According to TechCrunch Apple is reportedly actively recruiting former Google Maps employees to help resolve the issues
* I know for some Maps is a critical feature, but there are a ton of alternatives on the App Store, and I think if this is the worst issue people can find to critic Apple, iOS 6, and the iPhone 5 on then it shows how good a package Apple has put together.
* That's not to say that having the best integrated Mapping app on mobile shouldn't be a priority for Apple, I think it is, but just like we did with google we need to give Apple time to let that happen.
V iPhone 5 sales surge forward
V Monday Apple had announced selling 5 million iPhone 5s in the opening weekend of sales
* This beat last years record of 4 million iPhone 4ses
V Despite the record numbers Apple fell short of some analysts predictions.
* It's only speculation, but some feel that supply constraints, particularly issues with the yields on the new in-plane touch panels, may have lowered availability
* Others wonder if Apple held back some quantities to have stock for the agressive international roll out.
* Over the weekend the iPhone 5 became available in 28 other countries, so we are waiting on updated sales numbers from Apple.
* Shipments seem to be coming in a slow, but steady stream.
* Current ship times on the US store seem to be 3-4 weeks.
V Apple also has in-store pickup with a message of:
* For Apple Retail Stores, buy online between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. local time for in-store pickup the next day. Limited quantities available.
V Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty is predictably bullish on Apple's future iPhone sales outlook
* She sees Apple selling 25 million iPhones in the September quarter with another 50 million iPhones sold in the December quarter, which would be record breaking.
* She even goes further to say that those numbers may be conservative if Apple can shore up the supply chain to meet demand.
* With China coming on board soon she predicts Apple could reach 200 million iPhones sold in 2013.
* Apple also announced that iOS 6 saw 100 million users by Monday following it's release.
V Apple TV Update
* iOS was also updated for 2nd and 3rd gen Apple TVs
* The updated is build 10A406e, but oddly doesn't carry an iOS 6 moniker
V The update features:
* Support for Shared Photo Streams
* AirPlay, now send audio from Apple TV to AirPlay speakers. Also require an onscreen code to use AirPlay with your Apple TV.
* iTunes account switching
* Trailers with ability to search local movie times
* New screen savers
* Reorder icons on the home screen. Holding down the select button on the remote will allow you to move icons.
* Subtitles – SDH support for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as improvements to viewing and selecting subtitles.
* Networking, support for setting up advanced network options using configuration profiles.
* General performance and stability improvements.
V iPhone A6 may vary clock speed
* Original reports said it was clocked at 1GHz, but more testing has seen click speeds up to 1.3 Ghz
* I've read reports of the chip clocking all the way down to just 550 MHz while the Geekbench app reports the clock speed at 1.3GHz
* The theory is that the chip can adapt its clock speed to optimize battery when extra processor cycles aren't needed.
* Either way, early benchmark and real world performance tests seem to be showing that the iPhone 5 is one of the fastest performing smartphones currently on the market.
* The doubled RAM and 3-core GPU is also really helping the iPhone 5's performance too.
* It's also now believed that Apple's A6 custom designed chip was one of the first chips developed in a long time to have their ARM core blocks manually laid out. The speculation is based on analysis done by iFixit and Chipworks
* Manual layout will usually result in faster processing speeds, but it is much more expensive and time consuming.
V Details on Lightning
* Apple's new Lightning connectors and cables apparently have some significant tech behind them making them much more than a simple connector and cable.
* Double Helix Cables has been tearing down, hacking the cables and made some interesting discoveries
* One is there appears to be an authentication chip in the connector which could potentially render 3rd party non Apple cables useless
* He warns customers to avoid some of the non-Apple cables that are beginning to surface online.
* They also determined that to achieve the "reversibility" the pins get dynamically assigned when you plug the cable in.
* Some pins, like the power, are actually symmetrical, meaning pin 1 on one side connects with pin 8 on the other.
* Double Helix Cables will make custom iPhone 5 Lightning cables for $85 bucks, but you have to supply an existing Apple cable. This is something HyperMac used to do with Magsafe connectors until Apple shut them down, so we'll see how long they let Double Helix continue.
V iOS 6 Jailbreak months away
* Last week saw the first Jailbreak conference, WWJC, in South San Francisco
* The event featured many of the elite members of the iOS jailbreak community and Chronic Dev Team giving talks.
* Unfortunately for folks waiting on an iOS 6 jailbreak there was bad news.
* Despite some reports that an iOS 6 jailbreak was practically complete, several times it was mentioned at Jailbreakcon that the team doesn't have a working untethered jailbreak for iOS 6.
* The leaked info of Cydia running in an iPhone 5 was legit, but "pod2g", one of the Chronic Dev hackers calls that a "failbreak" which is internal only and not ready for primetime.
* They say they will get there, but a public solution is months away.
* One issue is that the number of hackers actively working on the project is small. They say with more help they could achieve a Jailbreak faster.
V Unlock AT&T iPhones with iTunes
* TechCrunch reports that off contract iPhone 5s can be unlocked by doing a restore in iTunes
* You'll get a message saying, "Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked."
* This process is similar to the one you use when you request an iPhone unlock for an older off contract device.
V Last week it was discovered that Verizon iPhone 5s were SIM unlocked out of the box
* Meaning you can use them Internationally (on some LTE networks) and in the US on AT&Ts 3G network with an appropriate carrier nano SIM
* The reasons seems to be FCC requirements for the 700MHz spectrum that Verizon uses for its LTE network which prohibits locked handsets.
* Despite early assumptions that Sprint devices may also be SIM unlocked Sprint iPhone 5 models are SIM-locked, but customers can request unlocking after three months.
V Free MobileMe iCloud storage ending
* Customers who transitioned over from Mobile Me's paid plans to iCloud's free storage are beginning to get notified that their 20GB free additional iCloud storage will be going away soon.
* In the transition Apple offered 20GB of additional free storage as an incentive for MobileMe customers to transition.
V Those accounts should have been transitioned down to the 5GB tier on September 30th, unless customers opted from on of iCloud's paid upgrade plans.
* Apple offers 10GB of additional iCloud storage for $20/yr. 20GB for $40/yr., and 50GB for $100/yr.
* According to TUAW, some users are reporting glitch that shows storage set on ex-Mobile Me accounts begin at 250GB with a September 2050 renewal date.
V Apple alerts Verizon customers to Wi-Fi fix
* Since the iPhone 5 release there have been reports from some customers, and Maccast listeners, of iPhones that were continuing to use cellular data even while connected to Wi-Fi
* Apple released a support bulletin to Verizon iPhone 5 customers of a fix
* There is a carrier settings update, 13.1, which will according to Apple should resolve the issue
V Customers can get the fix by going to Settings > General > About on their device
* Wait for the Carrier Settings Update dialog to appear and tap OK to install the update
* Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see "slide to power off".
* Slide to power off.
* After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.
* You MUST power off and on to complete the install.
* You can confirm the update by tapping Settings > General > About, then scroll down to Carrier and verify that "Verizon 13.1" is displayed.
* Verizon is also reportedly crediting customers for any overage charges that resulted due to the bug.
V Apple search for thinner Mac components
* DigiTmes is reporting that Apple is working with suppliers to eek another 0.15 mm of thinness out of the light guide used to distribute lighting the backlit keyboard
* While the difference doesn't seem like much it may be less about reducing thickness and more about correcting a small, but real issue
* iFixit speculates the adjustment may be to reduce the likelihood of the keys pressing against the LCD and leaving marks when the lids are closed.
* This has been an issue for years since on many notebooks, especially since they get thinner and thinner. One reason why I always get a RadTech ScreenSavrz when I get a new notebook.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Feedback on Verizon LTE speeds
* I received a number of emails and Speedtests screenshots
* It does appear that LTE speeds on Verizon seem to be on par with the speeds and experiences I've had on AT&T
* Location seems to play a big factor and speeds very widely from place to place even in the same LTE city
* I've also had reports from AT&T customers who seem to be getting LTE in places AT&T hasn't officially announced coverage.
V Helping improve Maps
V For directions, markers, locations, etc
* Tap on the curled page in the bottom-right corner of the main map screen and tap the “Report a Problem” link
V For specific local search such as incorrect business information or location
* Report a Problem” button appears at the bottom right of the information card
* A wizard will walk you through reporting the specific issue.
V iTunes Match issue after update
* Play question from Greg
* I saw a potential report about this in a Macworld iOS bug piece
* They say some users who had iTunes Match enabled while updating have found music remaining in their iTunes, but it's unplayable.
* It may also show the length at 0:00 or worse it just shows a Music screen with "No Data".
V The piece notes that while iTunes Match appears to be on it's actually off.
* Going to settings and turning on iTunes Match seems to turn it on, but if you return it's off.
V The fix seems to be to reset the network settings
* Go to Settings -> General -> Reset and select Reset Network Settings
* You'll have to reconnect to your Wi-Fi and then re-enable iTunes Match, but according to Macworld at that point you should stay re-connected.
V Other iOS 6 iCloud changes to note:
* Enabling the feature now warns that it will replace ALL local music downloaded to the device via iTunes. It wasn't this way before
* In addition the Music app offers no ability to download individual songs anymore. You have to do entire albums, playlists, or artist’s catalogs.
* One workaround would be to create a playlist on the device, add a track to it, download, and then clear the playlist, but that's annoying.
V iOS 6 and iPhone 5 using extra data
* Along with the reports of the Verizon issue, which as noted earlier should be fixed, I've had reports from some users on AT&T and who use the Podcast app that their devices appear to be using excessive data.
V Bob said his wife's iPhone 5 was using more cellular data on At&T even when connected to Wi-Fi.
* They contacted AT&T and the agent told them the issue is that the new iPhone will select the best network available, wether it's Wi-Fi or cellular.
* I don't buy that, but obviously if the wi-fi signal drops out it automatically switches to cellular. i know we've had that issue on my own home wifi.
* Bob has already started limiting individual apps to download over wi-fi only which can help, but points out that it would be nice if Apple would add a global setting.
* Obviously another work around is to go into Settings > General > Cellular and turn off 'Cellular Data' when you are connected to Wi-Fi, but that's not always convenient,
V Another potential culprit of excessive data usage may be Apple's new Podcast app.
* I've had a few listener report suspecting that the Podcast app was double downloading and a TidBits piece seems to confirm it.
* This was prior to the 1.1 update and Tidbits notes that that now at least as a switch so you can limit downloads to Wi-Fi only.
* No word on if the double download issues was also patched in Podcasts 1.1
V You all know I'm not a big fan of the Apple Podcast app, although it does seem to be getting better
* Apple really recommends you update to iOS 6 and the latest version of the Podcast app for the best reliability and performance.
* I still have a few people who tell me they are still having download issues with the Maccast, but problems do seem to be resolved for most people.
* For those still having trouble I REALLY recommend using a 3rd party app or removing Apple's app altogether and going back to the Music app and downloading and syncing via iTunes.
V iPhoto albums won’t sync
V Nathan pointed me to a thread on Apple’s discussion boards with reports from users who can sync Photo Albums to their iOS devices after updating to iPhoto 9.0.4.
* An unknown error 1140 message
* In iTunes the option to select specific events was greyed out.
* Photo space would still be used even though Photos didn't show up on the device
V Another discussion thread seems to have a fix.
* The culprit seems to be the ampersand symbol in album titles, image titles, and even song titles if they are used in a slideshow.
* You can either go into iPhoto and remove those or wait for Apple to issue a fix.
* Other symbols, like curly quotes, greater than and less than, asterix, etc. may also be issues.
V Applecare, never hurts to ask.
* I'm always saying even when out of warranty it never hurts to contact Apple and see what they say.
* Here's another great example. Play comment from Bob
* That's not to say this experience will be repeated every time, but I can say in my experience stories like these are not uncommon.
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
V MCE 2012
* I'll be speaking again at the Mac Computer Expo in Petaluma on the 6th of October
* Awesome event and at $10 buck tickets are a steal.
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
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