Maccast 03.13.2013 - Show #435
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V What are all those Androids up to?
* Some interesting usage stats came out this past week from the video service Oo-ya-la
* The published a report based on video playback stats from their customers, who they say represent 200 million unique viewers worldwide, that showed more than 2/3rds (67%) were watching on iOS devices vs. 33% on Android
* This is almost in direct contrast to 2012 global marketshare numbers from IDC that showed 68% of the worlds smartphones running Android vs. just 19% running iOS.
V As Bryan Chaffin at the Mac Observer points out, this isn't only example that makes us ask what are all those Android users doing with their devices
* IBM reported figures that indicated 88.3% of online Black Friday purchases made on mobile devices were done on iPads, while 8.7% were done on iPhones, and just 5.5% on Android devices
* In January, Chitika claimed that the iPad accounted for iPad had 78.86 percent of tablet-based Internet traffic.
* Apple users also seem to use more apps. A recent Nielsen survey said iOS users averaged 41 apps on their devices vs. 32 on Androids. Most studies also indicate that iOS owners are more likely to have more paid apps than Android owners
V And then in addition to the Ooyala video numbers this week, Gogo a provider of wi-fi in Airlines and Airports released numbers in which devices connect to their networks most often. Care to guess?
* They say iOS devices are 84% of the devices they see on planes. Granted this is down from 96.8% last year. Androids were up 13.8% to 16% this year.
* My guess, and it really is just a guess, is that since Android devices tend to be less expensive on contract, and in many cases free, that many Android phones, even thought they can do so much more, are simply just being used as "phones".
* If you're an Android owner that uses the heck out of your device, please don't take this wrong. This is merely an interesting dichotomy in the marketshare vs. usage numbers. There are plenty of Android devices out there reaching their full potential, but it seems like there are even more that are not.
* I think all it really shows is the difference in the kinds of buyers in the ecosystems for both platforms and to me shows that both will be viable and co-exist for a long time.
V iPhone 5S may get a new touch
* Another iPhone 5S rumor this week out of China via the Japanese blog Macotakara
* The latest is that the next gen iPhone will feature Near Field Communication (NFC) and a Fingerprint scanner for making purchases
* The China Times claims Apple is working with Chipbond Science and Technology in Taiwan to add a fingerprint sensor to the iPhone
* We know Apple has taken an interest recently in biometric technologies. Last year they used some of their cash to purchase the fingerprint sensor maker, AuthenTec.
* They also inked a deal Microlatch, a company out of Australia that focuses on security and biometrics along with NFC.
* Most believe Apple plans to integrate fingerprint scanning technology into the home button on the iPhone.
* The technology could be used not only to authenticate a user to authorize purchases, but could also be used to authenticate the user and unlock the device.
V I think it's possible that a fingerprint scanner could be built into a future iPhone, but Im not sure we'll see it on the next device out of Cupertino
* I also think Apple would prefer a payment system based on your existing iTunes account and the EasyPay payment system they are using currently in Apple Retail stores.
* I don't see the advantage that a complex NFC system would provide, especially since NFC seems to have had a hard time gaining traction in retail, especially in the United States.
* The iPhone 5S is believed to be coming sometime this summer, in July or August, with similar design and form factor to the current iPhone 5 but sporting updated features like an improved camera, faster processor, and possibly colors.
V Some also believe Apple my release a lower priced iPhone with a plastic and fiberglass shell for starting at around $330 USD for a fully unlocked unsubsidized device.
* A recent rumor also surfaced, again from China Times, that the low cost iPhone would feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor manufactured by TSMC using the 28-nanometer process
* That would be an unusual change since Apple has been using their A-series processors in iOS devices for years, but using an OEM component vs. custom silicon could offer a significant cost savings and a way to achieve higher margins from the low cost device.
* It's also believed that the low cost iPhone would be a 3G only, vs. LTE device. (I think this would be a bad choice)
V New Apple TV may have tweaked older processor
* Back in January Apple had filed some paperwork with the FCC on an upgraded Apple TV.
* Early speculation when the papers were filed was that Apple was looking to make a slightly smaller box and that the new rev might bump up the A5 processor to a newer tweaked A5X
* Apple actually officially commented on the size differences in the specs of the FCC filing documents saying that the measurements were not indicative of a substantially new product, but just a slight component revision that merely required extra FCC paperwork for approval.
* They didn't comment on any component specs, like the processor.
* Well this week, according to MacRumors, the updated version of the 3rd gen Apple TV started hitting Apple Retail stores and they cracked it open took a look.
* There was in fact a new smaller A5 processor, but it doesn't appear to be a tweaked A5X. It looks like once again Apple has managed to shrink the die on the A5.
* This one is just 6mm x 6mm. The previous 3rd gen Apple TV model and the updated iPad 2 both had a die shrunk A5, that measured 8.19 x 8.68mm.
* What MacRumors believed was that this newest processor is is a test of the latest a 28-nanometer process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).
* And that would make sense. We've heard rumors that Apple is looking to move more of their processor production away from Samsung to TSMC and possibly Intel.
* Both Samsung and TSMC are working on 28-nm processes, but TSMC is ahead of Samsung in getting to production.
* Later in the week though, Chipworks did their magic and determined that while it is a 28-nanometer chip and it has been redesigned Samsung is still the manufacturer.
* Chipworks doesn't rule out though that this design could still find it's way over to TSMCs production facilities at some point.
* It's nice for Apple to keep their processor manufacturing options open. Digitimes even reported that they think Intel could wind up with 10% of A7 orders by 2014
V Some Retina Macbook Pro owners reporting fan issues
* MacNN is pointing to a 37-page Apple support thread where some Retina Macbook Pro owners have been reporting issues with their Macbooks fans spinning up wildly
* The original belief was that the problem was related to poor cooling and a possible issue with Sandisk SSDs, but some users were also reporting similar behavior with Samsung SSDs
* So far there doesn't appear to be a firm cause or fix.
* Some users report taking their effected units into Apple and getting them repaired or replaced.
* MacNN also says that not all units are effected. They spoke with an independent lab that tested 15 units with SanDisk and Samsung SSDs and they could not replicate the issues on any of their test units.
* That's not to say some unit don't have a problem. If your Retina Macbook Pro has been experiencing issues with the fans frequently ramping up to high rates of speed you should probably contact Applecare or get in to see a Genius at your local Apple Retail Store to have it checked out.
V iPad mini maximizing sales
* Digitimes reported this past week that Apple has supposedly re-jiggered their supply chain orders for iPad components to favor the iPad mini
* They say that Apple was planning to sell 60 million iPads and 40 million iPad minis, but now will look to sell just 33 million iPads and 55 million iPad minis.
* If true that would mean a reduction in overall Apple tablet shipments from 100 million units to just 88 million and put a heaver focus on the lower priced and lower margined iPad mini
* At the last quarterly conference call Tim Cook warned us all to not put too much faith in any one supply chain data point rumor regardless of it's validity.
V Apple's music service delayed by lowball offer
* Many have been speculating for a long time that Apple is trying to pull together an iTunes streaming music service to compete with the likes of Spotify, Rdio, and Pandora
* It's also pretty well believed that such a services doesn't exist yet because Apple and the music industry are at odds over the details including, and probably mostly including, the details on pricing.
* Well now the New York Post claims that a big part of the problem is that Apple want to pay streaming royalty rates that are half of what Pandora pays and about 1/6th of industry standard
* The New York Posts report was later confirmed by the New Your Times and Bloomberg.
V The report says Apple has made on offer of 6 cents per 100 songs streamed.
* To understand just how low an offer that is, Pandora pays 12 cents per 100 songs streamed. iHeart Raio pays 22 cents and Spotify (boy did they get a bad deal) pays 36 cents for every 100 songs streamed.
* The belief is the royalty terms are one of Apple's last hurdles to bring out a streaming services, but with that gap this wide seems like this one is going to take a while to cross.
V Apple will remain a major tablet player for a while
* Despite Androids rapid growth looks like Apple will have a good chunk of the market at least into 2017
* IDC says, thanks to lower cost devices, Android will have 48.8% of the world tablet market by the end of the year.
* That will leave Apple with about a 46% chunk of the pie according to IDCs numbers.
* The thinking is after this it's a slow burn and IDC cites device fragmentation in the Android tablet space as a factor in slowing it's growth.
* They say that iOS tablet share will stay above 40% at least through 2017
* So for Apple the news is really still pretty good. They won't have a majority OS share, but will maintain the highest manufacturer share.
V Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies broke down his forecast of the tablet market using IDCs numbers through 2017 and sees it like this:
* Because of the ability to fork the OS and the fact that the Kindle and cheap Chinese tablets running Android account for a majority of Android tablets that not all android tablet share is created equal
* The issue here is Apps and App Store
* It complicates things for developers
* Amazon Android developers have to use Amazon's SDK and a separate marketplace from Google Play
* When you break it down this way it looks more beneficial for a Developer to develop Android apps for Amazon kindle first and then Google Play. And in reality iOS first, then Kindle, and Google play third.
V Phil Schiller also recently cited Android fragmentation as a reason why Apple was less concerned about the competition from Android.
* He claimed Apple's data shows that customers switch to the iPhone from Android at about four times the rate they go the other way.
* Saying that "Android is often given [out as] a free replacement for a feature phone," citing that as a possible explanation as to why there is a disconnect between the "shipment" and usage numbers on the Android side.
V Apple continues to secretly improve Maps
* The Loop reported that Apple recently updated flyover in Apple Maps and is continually updating their data.
* Apple added 15 new cities to flyover and expanded the flyover coverage for 14 more
V Added cities were:
* Modesto, CA
Stockton, CA
Indianapolis, IN
Baltimore, MD
Minneapolis, MN
Portland, ME
Albany, NY
Buffalo, NY
Cleveland, OH
Tulsa, OK
Providence, RH
Green Bay, WI
Vancouver, BC
Cologne, Germany
Glasgow, Scotland
V Expanded cities:
* Birmingham, AL
Boston, MA
Portland, OR
Houston, TX
Toronto, ON
Copenhagen, Denmark
London, England
Lyon, France
Berlin, Germany
Munich, Germany
Rome, Italy
Barcelona, Spain
Madrid, Spain
Stockholm, Sweden
V John C. Dvorak, Leo Laporte, and Glenn Rubenstein recently did a very unscientific head to head navigation test of Waze, Google Maps, and iOS Maps
* The test involved several stops in the Bay Area ultimately ending at Apple HQ.
* Apple's Maps actually one in their test and Dvorak wrote the results up for PC Mag
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* Notebook
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Few more iTunes import tricks
V Donald pointed out using the ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Automatically Add to iTunes folder.
* Files dropped in there will be automatically imported into iTunes when it's launched
V Alan points out that you could also quickly set up a OS X Service in Automator
* Launch Applications > Automator
* Choose New and select Service from the templates
* At the top choose set 'Service receives selected" drop downs to "audio files" and in "Finder".
* Then from the Actions Library choose 'Music' and find the 'Import Files into iTunes' action and drag it into your workflow
V You can then set the settings to 'Existing playlist' and choose 'Library' as the playlist destination
* You can of course tweak these to your own liking
* Save your service and give it a name, like 'Add to iTunes Library'.
V If you want you can also add a keyboard shortcut to your service
* System Preferences > Keyboard
* Go to the 'Keyboard Shortcuts' tab
* Select Services on the left and then on the right look under 'Files & Folders' and you should see your new service.
* Select it and click the 'Add shortcut' button and assign a non-conflicting shortcut. Like Command+Option+Control+I
V "Other" iOS data you don't see.
* Patrick sent me a link to a very interesting article about some hidden iOS data that could be building up on your device without you knowing it.
* In Patrick's case it was causing his iCould to want to backup a bunch of data (14GB) that he couldn't see.
* Where was this hiding? In SMS/iMessage
V If you get a lot of attachments, especially video and photos sent to you iOS appears to save that data in a special location in the OS
* '/var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments'
* The trouble is it seems like when you delete your Messages, by swiping and pressing delete or using the Edit option, the attachments are left behind.
V The site was able to confirm this by using iPhone Backup Extractor
* Extract the iOS Files item
* Then Browse to iOS Files/Library/SMS/Attachments and you'll see past data
* I had 40MB and get very little media attachments, but there was images form messages I deleted long ago.
* Unfortunately, unless you Jailbreak, there is really know way I could currently find to purge this old attachment data from your device.
* The only solution I can think of would be a full restore of the device in iTunes and then set it up as new.
V OS X Mail Format tools missing
* I had a friend ask me recently why she no longer had the formatting tools, like font face, bold, italics, etc. available in her compose window in OS X mail
* The bar normally sits right below the main toolbar in the Compose window, but on her Mac it wasn't there.
V My first thought was it was because she had her default compose mode set to 'Text' instead of 'Rich Text'
* Check 'Format' > 'Make Rich Text', but it was already set to that.
* Also had her check, 'Mail' > 'Preferences' and in the 'Composing' tab make sure 'Message Format' was set to 'Rich Text', but no luck.
* I then proceeded to hunt through all the menus, 'Format' seeming the most logical, to figure out where to turn on the formatting bar. No dice.
V Finally we checked the 'View' > 'Customize Toolbar…' option when the compose window was open.
* There is a 'Format' button that is part of the default tool bar set
* Somehow she had removed that and as far as I can tell that is the only way to toggle that toolbar on and off.
* There is no menu item that I can see to toggle the 'format' bar visibility.
* Once we added that back to the toolbar it was all fixed.
V Share files between users on same Mac
* Dan has multiple user accounts on the same Macs and asked about a easier way to save files so that they could be edited by another user account on the same Mac
V One way is to choose 'File' > 'Get Info…' from the Finder and edit the permissions so that the 'Everyone' group has read and write access to the file.
* The trouble here is that you'll need to set this for each new file you create, not very convenient.
V As for where to place the files you want to share, if you decide to set the permissions each time, you'll want to put them in a location that all users accounts have access to.
* /Users/Shared, all accounts have read and write access to this directory.
* The trouble is that files saved here don't inherit the permissions of the directory
V OS X, and more precisely it's UNIX side, has the ability to take advantage of Access Control Lists (ACL)
* The standard permissions in OS X use POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface). This is what you see when you choose File > Get Info and look at permissions
* If you use the command line or the "+" on permissions in the Get Info window you can add ACLs.
V Once you've added ACLs you can see them, by entering 'ls -le' in the Terminal. You'll get something like:
* 0: user:demo allow list,search,readattr,readextattr,readsecurity
* OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Server have ways to manage ACLs via a GUI tool. It uses the Server app for management,
V The key ACL feature you'd want is "inheritance". Meaning the files inside a folder would inherit the permissions of the parent
* This is possible to set up from the command line in OS X.
* I tried it and was not happy with the results as when I did a Get Info from the Finder I ended up with two 'staff' group permissions
* The reason is that ACLs supersedes POSIX and the Finder displays both sets of permissions if set on the same group or user which can be confusing.
* How to set ACL with inheritance from Apple Stack Exchange
V Setting the an ACL for the 'staff' group (all OS X users are part of the staff group) to allow read & write access to the /Users/Shared folder and setting the inheritance option did work for me though.
* After setting the ACL with "file_inherit,directory_inherit" options any new files or folders created in that directory will inherit the permissions of the parent directory.
V Probably the easiest thing to do would be use an external drive and set it up to ignore permissions
* Once attached select the drive in the Finder and choose File > Get Info
* Scroll down to 'Sharing & Permissions'
* Click the lock and enter an admin username and password
* Then check the 'Ignore ownership on this volume' option.
* I guess you could also schedule an AppleScript, Automator, or Hazel action to update the permissions on a shared folder and it's files.
V Closing
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