Maccast 11.12.2012 - Show #419
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Citrix
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V News
V New iPads in the wild
V Apple announced that they sold 3 million iPads in the first weekend of sales for the new devices
* They didn't break out the iPad mini vs the 4th Gen iPad
* Analysts estimate up to 2/3rds of the sales were iPad minis
V IHS (formerly iSupply) did their component cost breakdown
* Estimate iPad mini component cost at $188 for the 16GB model
* The past week saw many sites and blogs putting the new iPad 4th gen and iPad mini through their paces.
* iMore reported that the new A6X custom Apple chip still uses a 32mn dual core CPU (like the iPhone 5), but that it's been clocked up to 1.4 GHz
* The also believe Apple is using a PowerVR SGX554MP4 quad core GPU, which really juices the improved graphics performance.
V As I've mentioned before that mounts up to some amazing benchmark scores
* The iPad 3rd gen, which had the improved A5X processor, tested out as fast or sometimes slightly slower than the iPad 2. Most of it's improved performance going to drive all the extra pixels in the retina display.
* So the extra horsepower in the new new iPad is actually there for use by the system
* But here is the thing, the big numbers don't translate into the same exponential improvement in day to day real world use.
* Most applications just feel slightly fast or smoother, but not life changing.
* Processor or GPU intensive apps, might be an exception, but in day to day use most folks probably won't notice much of a difference.
V So on the iPad mini, it's the same sort of deal.
* It's an incremental improvement
* You have the same CPU that's found in the iPad 2 driving the same number of pixels, so performance is comparable
* The display is still 1024x768 display, but due tithes mallet 7.9" screen size you get a 163ppi vs a 132 ppi density.
V Reports that some customers are getting shipping notifications on pre-order 4th gen Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad pre-orders
* Expected arrival dates are Friday N ovember 16th
* So far no word on pre-ordered Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad mini, although those were originally supposed to start arriving Wednesday november 21st
* AT&T is offering $100 off a new iPad or other tablet if you agree to a 2-year contract on an LTE data plan.
V iPhone no longer tops in smartphones
* The Samsung Galaxy S3 is not the top selling smartphone world wide
* In the 3rd quarter it passed the 4S to take the title according to numbers from Strategy Analytics
* According to the report the S3 sold 18 million units vs the 4S's 16.2 million.
* But the 4th quarter will likely shift the tide again as the numbers come in for the iPhone 5 which just arrived in September.
* That's assuming of course that Apple can keep up with demand. There are still reports of iPhone 5s being in short supply and current ship times on Apple's site are 2-3 weeks, although that's an improvement over the 3-4 week times we were seeing about a week ago.
V Apple requires accessory makes to meet code of conduct
* Apple held it's annual "MFi" conference in China and told accessory makers who want to get their accessories certified as "Made for iPhone," or iPad and iPod that they will need to conform to Apple's supplier code of conduct.
* The code of conduct is posted on Apple's website and covers rules for Labor and human rights, health and safety, the environment, and ethics.
* Previously the requirement only applied to Apple's supply chain partners and component vendors.
* They didn't see to provide details on how auditing would be done or what penalties or fines may be imposed for non-compliance
* The new rules are one reason why we haven't seen 3rd party Lightning accessories as accessory makers had yet to get Apple's blessing
* Not long after the announcement Belkin announced it would have Lightning compatible accessories. A car charger and a new Dock.
V Is Apple throwing out release schedules
* DigiTimes and Commercial Times seem to be reporting that sooner than expected product upgrades like we saw with the 4th gen iPad may be becoming the new norm for Apple
* We know they tend to be spotty on the reliability of their rumors, but now they are saying Apple may be prepping an iPhone 5 update for early in 2013. Maybe replacing the iPad update that would normally come at the end of the first quarter?
* DigiTimes says Apple has ordered a trial run of 50,000 to 100,000 iPhone 5S models from suppliers
* They also claim Apple is speeding up the component certification processes and might begin full scale production in the first quarter of 2013
V The same sources are also eluding to a potential tweak to the 4th gen iPad screen.
* I had not heard it, but at least one source claims the new in-cell panels are slightly "blockier" than the old Retina displays
* They do NOT mention a retina update for the iPad mini as some have speculated.
V While not directly Apple related Digitimes also reported last week that Apple supplier Foxconn may be looking to open manufacturing plants in the US.
* The report claims Foxconn is looking at LA and Detroit as possible locations for a new plant, but didn't rule out other US cites
* They say the Foxconn chairman said at a recent event that they have begun training US based engineers by bringing them to China and Taiwan to participate in design and manufacturing
* It's believed the US factories would be focused on LCD TV production. Whether that would include production on an Apple branded TV is unclear.
V Apple has had criticism over the final assembly of iDevices which is done at Foxconn plants in China and Brazil.
* Tim Cook pointed out that the Corning Glass and Apple processors are manufactured in the US, in Kentucky and Texas respectively
V Fusion Drives deliver on performance
* The website Techfast Lunch&Dinner started playing around with a new Mac mini with Apple's new Fusion Drive and the early indication is that it delivers on performance
* the site found that compared to a 2012 non-fusion drive model Mac Mini that boot times were cut in half.
* Read/write speeds were 3 to 4 times faster than with a non-fusion drive
* They even did some real world copy tests and the Fusion drive brought significant speed gains when copying large (4GB) files
* So if you're looking to maximize performance spending the extra USD$250 to add a 1TB Fusion drive may be well worth the investment.
V Another area where future Macs may see speed improvements is in Apple brand processors
* most believe now that at least part of the responsibilities of Bob Mansfield's new Technologies group will be to develop future processors for Macs.
* Analysts seems to believe Apple will try to tweak up their AX ARM based designed to match the performance of todays Intel chips
* The though is that with the shared nature of OS X and iOS that having a single unified chip architecture would further help unify Apple's platforms
* If so it may be a while before we see Apple branded chips in Macs
* I personally get that, but also wonder why Apple's talented chip designers couldn't also develop an x86 compatible Apple branded chip?
V On the OS front, it looks like Apple is serious about their yearly release schedule for OS X
* Several cite note seeing copies of OS X 10.9 starting to show up in their website access logs starting as early as September
* Now of course these could be spoofed, but more likely Apple is internally testing builds
V Interestingly in the same week as seeing 10.9 making it's appearance it was noted that the currently tied for most popular version of OS X is actually the 2 year old Snow Leopard
* The Data comes from Net Applications
* Mountain Lion saw an incredibly fast adoption rate with 25% of Macs running by October
* Leopard accounts for 10% of Macs
* But Lion and Snow Leopard are tied at 30% each.
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Corrections and Errata
* The iPads have never shipped with headphones. Doh.
V I added a couple of iOS 6.1 upcoming features to my iOS 6.0.1 update list.
* The new lock screen music player UI and larger 'Report a Problem' button in Maps are yet to be released.
* I also believe I referenced a lightning connector as Thunderbolt.
* Sorry for any confusion.
V Feedback on Microsoft Surface comments
* Last episode I discussed some of Steve Ballmer's comments made about the tablet market and how the new Microsoft Surface fits in. In essence, Ballmer has said that no one has done a tablet for getting business done, more specifically referring to a tablet that would run Office
* I made the argument that I didn't agree and that it's not an issue of lacking tablet apps, but more of changing attitudes about how we use and get work done on tablets.
* I feel that there are plenty of apps, but we need to learn to adjust our workflows to meet the new UI paradigm of the tablet. In essence that there is a learning curve that traditional PC users' will have to get by and that new users growing up with tablets ill just inherently overcome.
* Alirio had a different take and sent in this comment. (play comment)
* I had a similar conversation with David Sparks the night we went to checkout the surface. He's a lawyer and his colleagues depend on "track changes". He said the a Device like the Surface, will be well received and welcome in that circle if just for that feature alone.
V Interestingly it was revealed this past week that Microsoft will be bringing a mobile version of Office to iOS and Android
* Unfortunately it's going to be dependent on a Office 365 subscription if you want to edit on your device
* Even with the editing features the apps will be "limited" and the understanding is that track changes is NOT a feature that would be in mobile editions, at least not at first.
* For sure there are going to be specific examples where a key feature like this is required.
* I think it's also true though that as more and more people migrate to tablets as a primary platform that new innovative solutions will arise to meet some of these current limitations.
* Looks like the Office2 (squared) HD app from byte2 (squared) has at least limited support for track changes. (textual changes, inserts and deletes).
* The short answer for Apple on this one however is to just get support for track changes into Pages on the iPad. ;)
V Why I dropped my unlimited data
* No one was more surprised than myself this past week when I finally let go of my AT&T grandfathered unlimited data plan
* I got a TON of tweets asking why. It may seem like an irrational decision and maybe one I'll regret someday, but here is my thinking.
V I occasionally need to be able to tether my iPad to do work when I'm out and away from a location with wi-fi
* So far my solution for this has been a Virgin Mobile Android (Sprint) phone on a $25/mo unlimited everything data plan
* This has worked in a pinch, but the data speeds 2-3Mbps were never that great. But it was cheap, no-contract, and unlimited so I dealt with it
* Recently though I've been getting more like 500 Kbps speeds and it had become unusable
* 2 months of back and forth for horrible out sourced tech support was enough
* So I need an occasional tethering option for around $25/mo. I had been mulling the AT&T switch for a while.
* So I started looking into it and with the 5GB Data Pro plan I get tethering for $50/mo. My current solution is $30 for data (AT&T) and the $25/mo for mobile hot spot.
* Pure hotspot solutions run in the range of $50/mo on 2-year contract. I really didn't want another contract.
* I looked over my data usage and in 3 years I have gone over 3GB of data usage 3 times. Even on a 3GB data plane that would have meant just $40 in overage charges in 3 years. Had I been on the $25/mo data pro plan I actually would have saved $140 over the 3 years.
* So I could get the 5GB Data Pro with tethering and save $5/mo. $20 for tether vs the $25 now
* Plus on my iPhone 5 I get LTE 20-30Mbps connectivity most of the places I go.
* The fact that AT&T now allows FaceTime over cellular on LTE phones with Data Plus plans, not just Family Share plans, is a bonus, but really didn't factor into my decision.
V Mustafa pointed out that he uses a Nexus One, which you can get unlocked and off contract for around $199.00 now.
* With that you can swap in an AT&T iPhone SIM and continue to use the iPhone grandfathered unlimited data and tether.
* It only supports 3G (HSPA), up to 7.2 Mbps
V Disassociate iPhone from iMessage
* Christian moved from a Nexus Phone to an iPhone and had been using iMessage. He also has other iOS devices and exchanges TXTs/iMessages with friends and family. Everything was great with messages going to his phone and other devices
* The trouble is he recently went back to a Nexus phone, but now he's not getting all his SMS messages from those family members. He does get the iMessages on his other iOS devices, but not his phone.
V There are two things you'll want to check Christian
* 1) Make sure that when your friends and family are sending messages from their iDevices that they start a brand new message (don't use the "history") and that when the start that message they use your Nexus phone number and not your email address (that will force it to use SMS and not iMessage). They should see the messages on their iPhones in green and not blue.
* 2) Make sure to de-register your old iPhone from iMessage
V The second step is important if you plan to sell your iPhone or if it gets lost or stolen
* Unregister the device with Apple
* First, go into Settings->Messages on the iPhone and turn off iMessage
* Then visit your Support Profile on Apple's site
* Log in if not already logged in.
* Click on “edit products”
* Click on the “x” to the right of the product.
* Click “unregister”
* If you unregister a stolen iOS device you may want to only do so once you know there is no chance of recovering it.
* I will mention that the unregister fix has been reported to work for many iOS device owners, but not all report success and I have never personally encountered these issue.
V Videos in iTunes Playlists
* Michael had emailed me about something that can be very confusing if you use Playlists to sync video on your iOS devices
* It used to be that all of your media (Music, Movies, TV Shows, Podcasts, etc) lived in the iPod app. So syncing would mean that all that stuff ended up in one place on your device.
* That's not the case now that Apple has separated the apps to Music, Video, and Podcasts
V Michael uses a video playlist and has that syncing to his iPod Touch
* The trouble is that after syncing he can see the playlist in the Music app, but it has no items listed in it.
* He can also see that the videos are shown taking up space on the device under Settings > General > Usage and in iTunes
* Michael, the trouble is that the videos will sync and the playlist will display in Music, but the video them selves will only display in the Video app.
* That is true for all videos, with one exception. Music Videos show up in both apps.
V So a little trick if you want to see videos in both the Music app and the Video app is to change there 'Kind' to Music Video in iTunes before you sync:
* 1) Select the video in iTunes
* 2) Go to File > Get Info… in the Edit menu (Command+I)
* 3) Under the 'Options' tab set the 'media Kind:' to 'Music Video'.
* 4) Click OK
* 5) Re-sync your device.
V App syncing woes
* I have two Maccast listeners with the exact opposite problems related to syncing apps
* Mark will delete an App on his device only to have it re-sync the next time he connects to iTunes
* Another listener will mark an App to sync to their device only to have it later removed.
V I'm not sure I have specific fixes to offer, but there are some things to check
* In iTunes, select the device and in the 'Summary' tab check the setting for 'Sync this "device" over Wi-Fi"
* In iTunes,select the device and go to the 'Apps' tab. Double check that the App is checked or unchecked as appropriate
* In iTunes, select the device and go to the 'Apps' tab. Check the 'Automatically sync new apps' option. I think if this is set it will also automatically check any new apps in the 'Sync Apps' section as well.
* On your device go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores. Check the 'Automatic Downloads' settings. If 'Apps' is on then any new App purchases made anywhere will automatically download to this device.
V Closing
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