Maccast 11.30.2012 - Show #423
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Circus Ponies
V Notebook
* Drawing and annotation tools
* Great for organizing and working with PDFs and images
* Also Notebook for iPad which has Dropbox support so you can take your Notebook docs on the go.
* Also checkout iTrash which puts your trashcan back on the desktop and add cool customized trash icons with sounds and animation.
V News
V New iMac goes on sale
* Apple announced that the 21.5” models would be in stores and shipments would be arriving Friday Nov 30th just beating the November deadline
* Pictures showed up online on Thursday in the US, from Australia which is a day ahead.
* The boxes are a tapered trapezoidal shape. Fatter at the base.
V Reviews are starting to come in on both models
V One comment id that the new screen does significantly reduce glare over the prior generation. Apple claims by up to 70%
* Still the same IPS technology and resolutions, but the laminated LCD and glass make images and text pop
* The edge is just 5mm think, but it's back bulge makes it about four times as thicker in the middle
* No optical drive and the SD Card slot is moved to the back (no edge for it to sit in).
* Four USB 3.0, two Thunderbolt, and one Gigabit Ethernet
* Some serious vent holes on the back under the stand and also under the bottom edge of the display
* Speakers are also downward facing out the bottom and the Verge note the base response has taken a step back from the prior gen model
V Performance gets a nice bump
* Primate Labs did speed tests on the top of the line 21" model, 3.1GHz Core i7, and found it 10% faster in benchmarks than the old high end 27" model (3.4 GHz Core i7)
* It also was 25% faster than the old equivalent 21.5" model
* Main difference is the new Ivy Bridge processors.
* If you want a 27-inch one for the holidays you might already be out of luck. Wait times on the US store have already pushed to the 3-4 week wait time. 21.5" models are on 1-3 business days, so at the moment availability looks good.
V iTunes 11 finally arrives
* Just a day before the moved deadline
V New features
V Single window view of Libraries. Drop down menu lets you move between them.
* Drop-down has colored icons for the libraries
V A lot of the meta data columns are suppressed, but still accessible if you use the View menu ( turn them back on)
* There is no simple list view for artists though. You get the album list view only.
* Lots and lots of popover menus.
* "Stoplight" buttons are now restored to normal functions. There is a new mini player button to the left of the full screen button
V Album expanded view, open to show tracks like iOS folders. They also sample the most used color from the album art to use as the background.
* Expanded view replaces Cover Flow, which has been removed.
* Has two toggles, Songs and In The Store. In the store slides your tracks to the left and shows iTunes Store recommendations on the right.
* You can make purchases without leaving the iTunes Store expanded view.
V "Up next" is like the old iTunes DJ party shuffle stuff, but now much more front and center
* You can add stuff to the up next list as you browse
* See the list by clicking the up next list icon or hovering over the currently playing song in the Now Playing header.
* You can reorder items in the list
V New mini player is actually its own window. You can view both iTunes window and the mini player at the same time using the View menu.
* Shows album art and track info and then player controls when you hover over it.
* Has search and next up built into the mini player again by using pop-overs.
* Volume controls are hidden under the AirPlay icon
* Clock icon in mini player show play history
V Stream purchased Movies and TV Shows.
* Will show an iCloud download icon in upper right for stuff that isn't local.
* Devices are also listen in a pop-over menu
* There is also a Store button, replaced by a Library button when you're in the store.
* Redeem gift cards by scanning the redemption code with your FaceTime camera.
* Up next list icon on retina displays actually have 1,2,3 list numbers.
V Get the Sidebar back with View > Show Sidebar
* The status bar with the number of songs in your library, the current playlist, how long it would take to play those songs and how much disk space they use is gone too, but can also be restored from the View menu.
V A new 'Home Videos' category under Movies
* Select your Movie
* File > Get Info…
* Click on the 'Options' tab and change the 'Media Kind' value to 'Home Movie'
* Click OK to finish
* One odd thing pointed out by reviewers like Gruber and Moren is that dialogs still have the old iTunes 10 style. Get info is a good example.
V What removed?
* Cover Flow
* Find Duplicates
* iTunes DJ (but up-next duplicates a lot of it's functionality)
* Genius Sidebar, store features are now integrated into expanded views and genius recommendations menu
* I discovered you can't send audio from video to a set of Air Play speakers, I thought you could before.
V In conjunction they also released an update to the Remote App (3.0) for iOS.
* Supports the new "up next" features
* iPad version has the new expanded view for albums.
* Several sites have already pointed out that the remote App looks and works better than the Music app on the iPad and may provide a hint at the kind of update we may seen now that Sir Jony is in charge of the UI design team
V There is also a v5.1.1 firmware update for second- and third-generation Apple TVs.
* Apple says it had 2 security updates, bug fixes, and it also brings support for the new iTunes 11
V Unlocked US iPhone 5 on sale
* Apple is now offering US customers a fully unlocked GSM iPhone 5 through it's web site
* The off contract phone will set you back $649, $749, or $849 for a 16Gb, 32GB, or 64GB model respectively.
* If you go on contract the Verizon iPhone 5 is already SIM unlocked.
* An interesting aside. In iTunes 11 it was discovered there are references that seem to indicate a future 128GB iPhone model. Some speculate a bump maybe in the 1st quarter of next year.
V The iPhone 5 and iPad mini will both become available in China beginning in December.
* The Wi-Fi Mini will go on sale in the region on December 7th
* Apple recently received approval for the iPhone 5 on China Unicom (China's 3rd largest carrier) and the iPhone 5 will arrive in China on December 14th.
V The iPhone 5 also helped Apple in the US regain the top spot in smartphone sales over the past 12 weeks
* The iPhone 5 beat Android devices garnering a 48.1% share of US smartphone sales compared with Android which had 46.7%.
* As availability of the iPhone 5 gets better that lead is expected to hold for a little while.
* Outside the US though Android still dominates. In Germany Google smartphones accounted for 73.9% of sales and in italy they had a whopping 81.7% of the market.
V In tablets, Android is starting to take it's hold too
* ABI Research reports that Apple's iPad saw a sequential decline of 14% in tablet share for the 3rd quarter. The iPad accounting for 55% of the global tablet market.
* Android tablets saw a large 44% gain in marketshare for the same period, likely brought on my the Nexus 7 and updated Kindle and Nook devices.
V App Store Revenues four times Google
* A report from App Annie, who does analytics for 40% of the top 100 app store publishers, showed that Apple's app revenues for October were 4 times that of the Google Play Store
* But the study also noted that while Apple top total revenue their growth rate month to month is flattening. Comparing revenues for October against January of this year the study found revenue was up only 12.9%. They also said from September to October Apple saw a 0.7% contraction in App revenue.
* Goggle Play saw revenues in October vs. January up 311%. Google is also catching up on monthly downloads. Comparing May 2012 to October 2012 Google play downloads were up 48% while Apple downloads saw just a 3.3% increase.
V So what does this all mean, not much.
* It proves that Google is seeing rapid exponential growth in their App marketplace
* The kind of growth that Apple has already gone through, so it makes sense
* As Apple quickly pointed out their year over year app revenue growth is actually more in the range of 200%.
* Bottom line is that stats can be tweaked to tell the story you want so take it all with a grain of salt
* No matter what, a mature Apple App marketplace and a growing Google Play market mean a lot of opportunity for developers and at the end of the day more apps for both, so it's good for us.
V Apple seems to continue to dominate in actual usage and revenue numbers though
* A study by IBM of post Thanksgiving online purchases showed Apple devices dominated mobile sales
* Overall mobile purchases accounted for 25% of all post holiday online shopping
* Asymco analyzed the study numbers and found 77 percent of mobile purchases were on iOS devices. The iPad accounted for 10% of ALL online shopping purchases, the iPhone 8.7% and Android (all devices) came in at 5.5%
V Another report from Statista offers an interesting perspective on Apple's profits
* They compared Apple's 2012 profits as of this month vs. other companies.
* For it's fiscal year 2012 Apple has earned $41.7 billion on $156.5 billion revenue.
* The combined net profit of Microsoft, Google, eBay, Yahoo, Facebook and Amazon was $34.4 billion. Apple made 7 billion more than that.
* The top PC manufactures combined, Dell, Asus, Intel, Acer, IBM, Lenovo and HP, made $19.3 billion. Or less than half of what Apple made.
* That's just crazy to think about, especially considering investors were "disappointed" with Apple's 4th quarter earnings which came in slightly below analyst expectations.
V Samsung is partner non grata
* With the continuing lawsuits Apple and Samsung seem to be continuing to dissolve their relationship outside the courtroom
* Reports say Apple has been pulling their display and solid state memory orders and contracts from Samsung
V Then it was rumored that Samsung increase pricing for Apple's processors 20%. A claim that Samsung denied.
* The processor rumor also came with rumors that Apple would look to move their processor manufacturing to TSMC, although most agree that that won't be and easy or quick transition.
* The AX processor will like be the last thing Apple rips from Samsung's hands.
V Now there comes word that Samsung said they will not longer supply batteries for Apple.
* Apple has reportedly found other battery suppliers.
* Apple is said to be relying on LG and AU Optronics for the majority of its iPad 4 and iPad mini displays.
* It was always a strange incestuous relationship with Apple and Samsung and now of course it's seemed to have final reached it ugly and logical demise.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Quick comment on my move to limited data
* Just want to say after a few weeks I am really happy with the new connection
* One thing that I didn't realize though was the FaceTime over cellular won't be activated by AT&T for 8-10 weeks.
V Force iMessage to SMS
* Here is a cool tip that I saw over on Cult of Mac
* As you likely know iOS 6 Messages has iMessage which will forgo your cellular SMS service and send iMessages over Apple's network to iMessage compatible machines, like other iPhones, iPad, and Macs running Mountain Lion
* You can tell when it's using iMessage because the input box will display "iMessage" and your text bubble and Send button will be blue instead of green.
* But what happens if you are having trouble sending over the iMessage service? If it's stalled after you hit 'Send' and you see the "Sending" status message you can press and hold on the message bubble to get a pop up with "Copy" and "Send as Text Message" options.
* The key is you need to do this before the message and it's status change to "Delivered".
V Bonus tip, quickly dismiss banner notifications
* These can sometimes block controls or buttons in that App you're currently using
* Instead of waiting for the animation to run it's course you can swipe right to left across them to dismiss them right away.
* One caveat is dismissing a notification will sometimes pause a game you might be playing
* Tip of that hat to TMO's Melissa Holt for this tip.
V Poor Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, move your hard drive
* A n interesting Apple Support document that says USB 3 hard drives could interfere with some wireless signals
* Specifically it says that USB 3.0 hard drives can emit radio frequencies that interfere with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transmissions on the 2.4 GHz band
* They recommend that you don't place USB 3.0 hard drives near the screen hinges on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air or behind the screen.
* The interference could could cause reduce data speeds and throughput or worse drop outs altogether.
* With USB 3.0 devices it's recommended that you get cables that are shielded both on the cable and connectors
* Since the interference is only in the 2.4 GHz range I would imagine another option, at least for Wi-Fi, would be to force your connections and routers to the 5GHz band. Assuming you have a dual band router and can separate older 2.4GHz devices to separate zone.
V Wi-Fi Sync issues
V Play comment from Brad
* Pointed out that there are others suffering similar issues
* I have had a few other people email me recently and I have had issues on occasion
* Wi-fi is susceptible to interference, as we just discussed.
V You enable this from the devices menu in iTunes
* Select the Device and then in the 'Summary' tab you check on the 'Sync this device over Wi-Fi' option
* At that point syncing should happen automatically when you care connected to the same wi-fi network as your Mac and iTunes and your device is plugged into power
* You can force a sync from the device if you go to Settings > General > iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and then tap the 'Sync Now' button.
* iTunes needs to be open and running on the Mac
* I have had issues with this working from time to time and it will sometimes lose connectivity.
V Check your wi-fi and router
* Reset the router, unplugging it and plugging back in
* If you have an Airport you can use the Airport Utility software on your Mac or iOS device to reset the router.
* Power off and back on your iPhone
V If you are still having issues you might try resetting the network settings on your device
* Settings > General
* Scroll all the way down and tap 'Reset'
* Then tap the 'Reset Network Settings' button. You'll need to enter your passcode (if you use one) and confirm you want to reset the settings.
* after this you'll need to reconfigure the devices network setting, including having to re-enter any network passwords, so have those handy.
* Now Brad tried resetting the network settings, router, etc and actually said things got a little worse.
* Another thing to check is that your router firmware/software is completely up to date.
* There are others with issues, so hopefully this is just a bug and it's fixed in iTunes 11
V Bonus tip for weak cellular signals
* I have had the situation where I have bad or slow cellular data connectivity
V Sometimes turning of cellular data and then reconnecting can result in a better connection
* Settings > general > Cellular
* Turn Off Cellular Data, wait 30 seconds, turn it back on.
V If that doesn't work try powering off your device and powering it back on.
* Hold the sleep/wake button until you see the 'Slide to Power Off' option
* Wait a minute or two and then power the device back on.
* If you're having big issues then leave it off for 10 minutes or so and try again.
V A conversation about hard drives
* I've been recently dealing with a rash of failing hard drives and getting replacements
V Maggie also had questions about hard drives and emailed me because in the past she had had success with Western Digital drives, but some reviews seems to indicate they need a firmware update to work with Mountain Lion.
* I'm not sure about that, but one thing I have heard about WD is that many come pre-loaded with their "SmartWare" software and also a Virtual CD image that can be hard to remove
* It may be the SmartWare software that just requires and update
* Instructions for uninstalling SmartWare are here:
* Removing the Virtual CD is here:
V So how do you decide on a hard drive and what and where to buy?
* What do a need it for? This is the question that will help you answers all others. A nightly cloned backup drive is a very different solution than an internal drive to increase performance.
V The basic options
V Internal or External
* External: USB 2 or 3, Firewire 400 or 800, eSATA, Thunderbolt
* Internal: SATA 1.5, 3.0, or 6.0 Gb/s Generally drives are backward compatible
V Form factor
* 3.5" - Desktop
* 2.5" - Laptop
V Budget
* How much do you want to spend?
* Often this will drive other decisions
V Kind of drive
* Traditional, most storage for your buck.
* SSD, fastest performance but high cost per GB. Prices are coming down quickly
* Hybrid, Traditional drive with a small about of Flash= used for caching.
* Fusion, best of both worlds, but currently only a BTO option on new iMac and Mac mini
V Size
* SSDs 30GB to 960GB
* HDD - 250MB to 4.0 GB
V Speed
* Generally you'll want to look at throughput.
* Large sequential read/write speeds
* Make sure for externals you compare using the connection you'll be using (USB, Thunderbolt, SATA, etc.)
* Caching, not a huge deal, but more is better
V Where to buy and Brand
* This is really a personal choice
V There are really only a handful of manufacturers who actually make the raw drives or chips
* Seagate, Toshiba, Western Digital
* Intel, Samsung
* The rest is more about the assembly and manufacturing
* Bottom line is you want to check reviews and go with good, well known suppliers
V Also consider warranty and customer service experience
* My Seagate drive all have at least 3 year warranties and Seagate makes replacement relatively easy
* I use expedited replacement where you pay to get the replacement shipped to you first
* Be aware that replacement drives are usually re-furbs.
V iPhone ringer and alerts volume
* I noticed recently that in apps where I had the volume turned all the way down to 0 I was still getting alert notification sounds from the Notification Center.
V These are separate from the Volume in iOS and have separate controls
* General > Settings > Sounds
* Ringer and Alert volume slider
* There is also a toggle to allow the Volume buttons to also control Ringer and Alert volumes
* If you enable the switch you still cannot use the volume button on the Device to set the volume all the way down to 0. You need to use the side switch.
* If an app with audio is currently playing it takes over the volume control buttons. It's volume can be reduced to 0, but will not change the alert volume setting
V The Side switch doesn't silence everything
* Alarms from the Clock app
* Timers from the Clock app
* Audio from the Music app or Video app
* Some audio from third-party apps like streaming radio, video, and music
* Tones when tapped to preview in some settings. For example, when changing your ringtone or text-message alert tone and in the Clock app.
* Tones when changing the volume of Ringer and Alerts in Settings–>Sounds
* A sound alert when sent from the Find My iPhone service.
V What the switch does mute
* Phone-call ringtones
* Text-message alert tones
* Notification alert tones
* Calendar alerts
* Reminders
* Camera sounds (except in Japan)
* Game music
V Mac auto-logs out
* Luis contacted me because his wife's Mac seemed to auto-log her out and he wasn't sure why.
V While it could be an OS bug or issue you might try checking the Security settings.
* 1) System Preferences > Security.
* 2) Click on the 'General' tab
* 3) Click the lock icon and enter your admin account username and password to allow changes
* 4) Click the 'Advanced' button
V 5) Check the setting for: 'Log out after XX minutes of inactivity.
* - You can either uncheck it to disable it completely or adjust the time.
* I'm not sure, but it's possible that if and when you enable File Vault it turns this feature on or at least asks if you want to since File Vault protection is only enabled when you are not logged into your account.
V Is she actually 100% logged out or is it just a screen lock?
* 1) System Preferences > Security.
* 2) Click on the 'General' tab
* 3) Look at the setting for 'Require password for sleep and screen saver'
V LOTR Timeline on your Mac
* The new Hobbit movie will be out in just a couple weeks and according to The Mac Observer your Mac has been ready to help gut you up to speed on your Hobbit lore for years.
V The trick comes via the BSD Unix core that is built into OS X
* Launch the Terminal. Applications > Utilities > Terminal
* At the prompt type, 'cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.lotr' and hit enter. The "cat" command is just a UNIX way to display the contents of the file you point at.
* What you'll get back is a text based timeline of Middle Earth history
V Closing
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