Maccast 04.08.2013 - Show #439
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Apple almost denied US iPad mini trademark
* The BBC first reported the story about Apple's trademark request for the iPad mini being refused unless Apple responds with a disclaimer
* I am no expert, but based on what I read and the details in the reports it seems the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is concerned mainly with the individual words that make up the mark.
* In general they felt that taken separately that the terms are merely descriptive in meaning and therefore would not be trademark-able.
V The USPTO goes on to break down the parts of the mark explaining their objection
* They say the letter "i" is generally know by consumers to be a descriptive reference to the Internet capabilities if the device
* The term "pad", in reference to electronics, has become synonymous with tablet or "pad computers".
* And finally, mini is simply descriptive a smaller variation of the device.
* The main concern of the USPTO was that Apple may use the "mini" portion of the trademark separately. They are asking Apple to amend the application to include a disclaimer stating that, "No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “MINI” apart from the mark as shown."
* After all the publicity on the story though it looks like the USPTO had a change of heart, at least after further review, they withdrew their two main objections allowing the application to go through without Apple having to do anything.
* They are still cautioning that Apple could fail to be granted the mark if earlier pending applications from other companies seeking to protect the names of their electronics products with "mini" in them end up being granted.
* The USPTO still advises that Apple should add a disclaimer saying it only wants to protect "iPad mini" as a whole term. That would avoid any conflicts with non-Apple "mini" trademarks.
V Cook apologizes to China for warranty policy
* Tim Cook posted and open letter to Chinese customers to address concerns that had surfaced in recent weeks about how Apple has been handling warranties on it's products in the region.
* The issue began when an allegedly the government of China began using it's state-run media outlets to engage in a propaganda campaign targeting Apple
* The media claimed that while Apple would often offer full replacements for products in other parts of the world, in China they are reluctant to do so and only offer mostly repairs using replacement parts.
V The accusation is that Apple was treating Chinese customers differently because of local consumer laws that require companies to restart the standard warranty period on a product if they offer a full replacement.
* So basically if Apple replaced an iPhone in China 1 day before the standard 1-year Applecare warranty ran out then the replacement would carry another full year of coverage.
V In the apology Cook did not admit to Apple handling warranty coverage or replacements differently in China, but he did say the company would make four changes to how they handle warranties in China
* Adopt improved repair policies for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. (the two models most Chinese consumers were complaining about)
* Post a more "concise and clear" statement on Apple's repair and warranty policies on it's website
* Provide more supervision and training of Apple's Authorized service providers in the region
* Provide a new feedback service to make it easier to contact Apple with complaints.
* Cook was also quick to defend his company point out in the letter that 90 percent of Apple's Chinese customers have expressed satisfaction with repair services.
* Just one day after the letter was release the Chinese media outlets applauded Apple for their effort to relieve tensions among China's consumers and The Foreign Ministry praised Apple for "conscientiously" responding to consumers' demands.
V I guess one of the triggers for Apple being singled out is "World Consumer Rights Day" which happens on March 15th
* In the US and many parts of the world most consumers aren't even aware the day exists, but in China it's taken pretty seriously, especially in the state run media
* Each year they tend to signal out one company and this year it was Apple.
V If you want to understand the reasons why and get perspective on this aspect of the consumer culture in China, I was recently pointed to an episode of the Sinica podcast, which covers weekly current affairs in China, with Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn
* They had on David Wolf from Allison + Partners and Laurie Burkitt of the Wall Street Journal and covered the subject in depth.
V iOS 7 running late? Apple pulls in OS X devs
* John Gruber posted in a thread on the web service "Branch" that his sources tell him iOS 7 development is running behind and Apple is pulling developers from OS 10.9 to help.
* The rumors are that Apple has ambitious plans for the next version of iOS and those visions could be leading to the delays
* It's possible that Jony Ive's new role as head of software and hardware design will begin showing it's influence in the next version of iOS, but his new role was taken on well into the development cycle. If they do want to quickly implement some of Ive's new UI designs in iOS 7 then that could be part of the reason for the delays
* We've also had rumors of features like biometric authentication and NFC or at least some sort of payments system
* Earlier reports had been leaning to iOS 7 mostly offering under the hood improvements but the more and more we read now that sounds like it might have changed.
V I wouldn't expect massive sweeping changes in the UI, but many smaller tweaks especially to Apple's apps to bring in a newer simplified and flatter UI.
* Look at the recent changes to the Podcast app and I think we see the hints of things to come
V iPhone 5S and low-cost iPhone still on the way
* We continue to hear rumors that Apple is begining production of the iPhone 5 this month with a impending release due sometime this summer, possibly in July or August
* The rumors are from sources that have proven reliable in the past like iMore and the Wall Street Journal
* We also continue to hear about production of a low cast iPhone that will have a plastic casing and a 4" retina screen just like the current iPhone 5.
* It's unclear if we'll see the low cost iPhone along with the iPhone 5S. The WSJ simply says it will be later this year.
V Some have questioned this rumor claiming that Apple would just continue their trend of using the prior gen models and reducing their price points to fill in the low-cost gap.
* With the release of the iPhone 5S that would make a $99 USD iPhone 5 and $0-$49 USD iPhone 4S
* The trouble is Apple has mandated that starting starting May 1, Apple is going to require that all new iPhone apps and app updates support the 4-inch screen of the iPhone 5.
* Apple's pushing developers to support 4-inch screen sizes would seem to support the idea that all Apple's current devices would follow that form factor
V As for bigger screen sizes? At least one source says the "gigantaphone" trend is a fad. Well they actually said "Phablet", but we hate that term.
* Flurry analytics released a usage report and their data shows that devices with screen sizes between 3.5-inches and 4.9-inches accounted for 69% of data usage.
* Devices with screen sizes between 5-inches and 6.9-inches accounted for just 2 percent of data usage
* Flurry suggests the data shows that large screen phones are just a fad
* There is a big difference in my mind between Apple's 4" device and a 4.9" device. So I don't think the data is conclusive. Also, the 5-inch and up trend has just started, so it may take more time to see definitive results
V Interestingly the study also shows that tables made up just 13% of data usage with 6 percent going to 7-inch to 8.4-inch devices and 7 percent going to 8.5-inch and larger devices.
* Seems to show that even with the popularity of 7-inch Android tablets and the iPad mini the full size tablets still have a slight usage edge. Another stat that I think is likely to change soon.
V New iPads should be here soon, or not.
* Even before we seen new iPhone's we should have a new iPad. Maybe.
* Some feel it should drop this month, but we really haven't heard too much on what to expect.
* Assumptions is that it would use a new design making look more like the iPad mini offering a the black and brushed aluminum thinner case designs with possibly reduced bezels.
V It should also feature a lighting connector and possibly a tweaked A6X processor.
* It's possible Apple may introduce an A7 in the new iPad, but we've also heard that Apple's contract with Samsung is up in June and they may be looking to move A7 processor production to other suppliers, so timing might not be right.
* Recently we've heard rumors of supply shortages of the full size iPad models and we've seen retailers like Best Buy and Walmart offering discounts on the current models. Both potential additional indicators of an impending refresh.
V Apple will also likely want to get the new iPad out the door sooner than later since it's likely not going to ship with iOS 7, that will be held out for the iPhone 5S launch this summer.
* If Apple waits to get the new iPad out the door it could wind up shipping with a dated OS just a month or two before Apple shows off the new OS at WWDC which typically happen in June
V And peeing in the April/May iPad party pool is DigiTimes
* Citing multiple unnamed sources in Apple's supply chain they say fifth-generation 9.7-inch iPad will not begin until July or August. That would indicate a Fall release, maybe along with the Retina mini?
* Since Apple moved last year to a set of split iPad launches and rev'd the iPad in the Fall there has been some question if they would keep that trend and just have a Fall iPad release.
* Maybe with iPad sales still strong, still no real competition in the tablet space, and the possibility of iOS 7 delays Apple has decided it doesn't need a refresh now.
* I have to say the lack of Q1 stuff from Apple has made for a long and boring Spring so far.
V Apple's Q2 results may be mixed
* Apple has announced that it's Q2 earnings results call will happen on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2 p.m. Pacific, 5 p.m. Eastern.
V This will be the first earnings results reported after Apple changed how it was offering guidance to investors
* In the last call Apple gave a range of predictions rather than it previous conservative fixed guidance
* CFO Peter Oppenheimer offered expected Q2 revenue between $41 billion and $43 billion, with gross margins between 37.5 and 38.5 percent.
* Apple set operating expenses between $3.8 billion and $3.9 billion with other other income/(expense) of $350 million, and a tax rate of 26 percent.
V So how will Apple do?
* On revenue they are predicted to be right on target with analysts expecting Apple to come in right around $42.77 billion.
* The down side is that despite hitting it's revenue target Apple's earrings per share is expected to drop.
* Analyst think Apple will announce earrings per share between $9 to $10 down from the $12.30 in earnings per share Apple announced in the second quarter last year. Something that's not likely to sit well with investors
* It isn't all that bad though since Apple's will still have nice profits and likely is continuing to out perform the market in PC sales.
* Plus Apple will, if rumors are to be believed, have a few new products on the market soon, with a new iPad, the iPhone 5S, and possibly a new low cost iPhone. Assuming they can keep the supply chain working then they numbers for the third quarter could move up significantly.
V Even without a new phone in the market Apple also seems to be gaining smartphone market share
* According to recent comScore numbers from December through February, Apple's average share of the smartphone market went up from 35% to 38.9%
* During the same period Samsung's number only moved up 1 percent from 20.3% to 21.3%
* Even bigger, Apple saw it's smartphone OS share go up 3.9 percent year over year from 35% to 38.9% while Android saw a small 2% decline from 53.7% to 51.7%
* And Apple's gains have been a trend over the past few 3 months periods with Apple's share rising slightly while Androids share declines.
* Android still maintains a large lead in total percentage, but it seems that gap continues to narrow.
V And while Android continues to sell more devices, Apple still seems to have a large lead in web usage on smartphones
* The latest results from NetMarketShare show that Mobile Safari increased it's lead as the top mobile browser in March
* iOS devices now account for accounts for 62% of mobile web browsing, with Android browser coming in at 22% and Opera mini at 8.4%
* More striking is the fact that last month mobile Safari accounted for 55% of mobile web browsing rising 7 percent from the prior month
V Apple also still earns far more revenue from app sales
* Canalys released a report on app revenues in the top 50 markets for March and found that Apple claimed 74 percent of them
* According to the report total app downloads were 13.4 billion for the quarter with revenue from app sales generating $2.2 billion for the quarter. So downloads were up 11 percent and revenues up 9 percent from December.
* The report did note that of the App downloads Google's Play store accounted for 51% of them. So Android owners now download more than half the worlds apps, but based on the revenue numbers it's obvious most of those tend to be free.
V Apple "iTV" may get here this year
* We'll if you want to believe one analyst
* Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is telling his investors that his supply chain checks show that Apple will ship a TV set "in the latter part of 2013," .
* I personally don't have a much faith as he does, but if his specs are true it will be pretty amazing
* He claims the TV will be a 60-inch model with there also possibly being 55-inch and 50-inch versions (seems more likely to me that Apple would simplify with just one size)
* He also says the units will ship with 9.7" mini iTV units to allow consumers to view content from the TV while in other areas of the home. He also says the mini iTVs will enable other use cases for things like home security, phone calls, video conferencing, etc.
* In addition according to Brian the iTV will have an "iRing" that the user will wear to enhance it's gesture and motion controls.
* The gesture control will be in addition to Siri voice controls.
* Oh, and it will have FaceTime too.
* And the price? The analyst says approximately $1,500 to $2,500 for the 'iTV' package. With the most costly packages including more mini iTV units.
* That pricing full contradicts the rumors of Apple bring out a 4K iTV, although I hadn't put any stock in that rumor either.
V Mac Pro still coming?
* The MacDailyNews, not a typically bastion of accurate Apple rumors, claims to have a source that they say has been right in the past, claims the replacement for the Mac Pro may be here this month
* Or next, or maybe the next? See where I'm going?
* But he did say it's coming. Although he had not details as to whether it's a a tower, mini-tower, or some other solution.
* But he was sure, almost, that it might, could, or possibly may be here soon. Or not.
* Hey we've been waiting almost 1,000 days for a freakin' update so what a month or two more?
* I think Apple does have a Pro update and I hope we'll see it soon, but at the same time… I'm not holding my breath.
V In more likely rumor came from DigiTimes. They say supply chain checks show Apple is prepping a minor refresh of the Macbook Pro line
* Intel's new Haswell processors are expected to start arriving in May or June, so it's likely Apple will freshen up the line with the new tech.
V Intel at NAB announce the next gen Thunderbolt possibly making way for larger Retina Macs and Apple displays in the future
* It should be here in 2014 and will bring 20Gbps transfer rates
* That will allow enough bandwidth to display a 4K image and transfer files at the same time
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V T-Mobile, I get it now.
* I want to thank the many of you that pointed out the subtle but significant difference I missed in T-Mobile's new unsubsidized, service with phone payment plan model.
* Kevin summerizes it quite nicely. Play comment.
* Also, if you bring your own device or are will to pay the full phone price up front you are not getting dinged with the extra "subsidy" fees either.
V Clarifying what is a "trusted" device
* Now that Apple has started to enable 2-factor auth for Apple IDs, Andrew wanted to know some details about what defines a "trusted" device.
* Play question from Andrew
* Apple has a page detailing the process and answering from FAQs
* It doesn't address this question specifically, but you can add non-Apple SMS enabled phones as trusted devices, so I will go out on a limb and say it's likely just tied to your phone number and not specifically to any kind of hardware ID.
* It's more about having a second form of identification that relies on having access to a physical thing that provides a "key" for accessing the account
V If you lose a trusted device you should immediately go to the My Apple ID site, log into your account using the Recovery Key you were provided when you enabled 2-factor, and remove the device.
* After you add an new trusted device, another cell phone.
* In essence you are changing the locks on your account.
* You can always re-setup the lost device if you recover it.
* Two-step verification is being offered in the U.S., UK, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. As other countries are added the two-step verification will automatically appear in the Password and Security section of Manage My Apple ID when you sign in to My Apple ID.
V Caution hacking Snow Leopard for iCloud
* I have had a back and forth email discussion with Scott after I presented the tip to get iCloud syncing working in Snow Leopard
* The iCal procedure seem to be OK, but some users are reporting issues with the Address Book hack resulting in Duplicates showing up in Address Book
* Luckily it seems to be only a one-way issue for most with the dupes appearing just on the Mac in Address Book on Snow Leopard
* There are some hacks that claim to fix the issues, but I've tried many and none seem to work consistently
V What seems to cause the duplicates to me are any entries that have photos or any that you allowed Mountain Lion to add additional data to, like Twitter handles.
* The extra data will show up in the 'Notes' section of the duplicated entries
* A CardDAV expert might know a workaround, but I'd say for now the best thing to do is avoid the hack or just upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion
V Copy just email address in Mail
* In Mail, if you are reading a message and click the persons name in the header you get a drop down with the option to 'Copy Address'. This is great, but when you go to paste you get: User Name <>
* What you probably want is just the email address.
* More annoying is the fact that there is no setting to change this behavior.
V Well luckily, as Fernando reminded me this week, there is a way, it's just not easy.
* Once again we turn to the Terminal
* defaults write AddressesIncludeNameOnPasteboard -bool NO
* To change it back you simply change the NO on the end to a YES and run the command again.
* I had done my so long ago that I forgot that simply copying the email wasn't the default.
V If you'd prefer to not hack in the Terminal you can change these settings in tools like:
* Cocktail
* Onyx
V Another great tool I've used in the past is Secrets
* Secrets
* Secrets has a setting for changing this setting, but it's broken in Mountain Lion because Apple moved the Mail PLIST file due to Sandboxing
* It's now in: ~/Library/Containers/
* In researching this I also found an awesome site:
V You can easily change what appears in the header for the persons name
* You may see just their Name, their email address, or both depending on your settings
* Mail > Preferences > Viewing
* "Use Smart Addresses"
* If unchecked it will always display the email in the header as: First Last name <>
* Otherwise, when enabled, you typically just see the person's name.
* Even "Use Smart Addresses" on the default copy behavior in Mail is to copy the Name and email address.
V Using Data Detectors
* David was asking about a way to quickly create meeting and Calendar events in Mail without needing to open the Calendar application.
* This is something he does in Windows in Outlook and wants to move that workflow to the Mac.
* While I'm not sure it's the same as what you might use in Outlook I think what might help you are "data detectors".
* If you hover over the text of a date, address, phone number, email address, etc. when reading an email message you should see an outline appear around it with a drop down arrow.
V If you click you will get a pop-out with options to create a Calendar event or add that data to a Contact depending on what the data is.
* You may see a 'Summary' or 'Detail' view.
* Click the appropriate button in the lower left of the window to change views and get access to more or fewer options.
V For Calendar I use the "Detail" view which lets me adjust details for the specific event.
* Name
* Time and date
* Location and time zone
* Which calendar to place it on, alerts, notes, etc.
* Click outside to cancel
V Data detectors are on in Mail by default and you can only disable them with a PLIST terminal hack (or use Cocktail/Onyx/Secrets (SL) )
* defaults write DisableDataDetectors YES
V Other apps may also support Data Detectors, but it may need to be enabled.
* Text Edit for example
* Edit > Substitutions > Data Detectors
V Output to audio multiple destinations
* Samuel has a pretty sweet set up. 2013 iMac 27" with a 27" Thunderbolt Display on one side and an 27" Cinema Display on the other.
* Each screen has a set of built in stereo speakers, but in Mountain Lion's sound control panel you can only choose one output device at a time
V Ideally Samuel would like to simultaneously do the following:
* Send the left channel audio to the left display speakers
* Send the right channel audio to the right display speakers
* Have the left and right iMac speakers work in stereo as normal
* I spent some time think on this and I was unable to find a a solution that met this exact requirement, but I did discover some trick and ideas in the process.
* Maybe with my sharing what I discovered you might have a solution for Samuel
V Audio MIDI Setup Set-up tricks
* So while the Sounds preferences by themselves can send audio to 2 places at once there is a way to do it.
* Applications > Utilities > Audio MIDI Setup
* The list on the left will show your input and output interfaces. You can tweak things like the volumes, bit-rates, etc.
V At the bottom there is a "+" button. Click that and you'll see two options for creating "virtual" interfaces
* Create Aggregate Device
* Create Multiple-Output Device
V I messed with creating an "Aggregate" device and you can combine multiple input sources and outputs to create a device that offers multiple in and out channels
* This would be really handy for creating a single source interface for multiple mic sources for example
* I could not seem to get an Aggregate Device with multiple output sources to output the system audio to two outputs simultaneously, although in theory I think it should work.
* The advantage of the Aggregate Device was that when I combined 2 stereo output devices the "virtual" device offered 4-channels out.
V What did work was creating a "Multiple-Output Device" (new in Snow Leopard)
* In the main panel you can click on which output device you want to include in the multiple output device
* I was able to choose between my headphones, the built-in speakers, and a set of USB speakers I attached.
* You can set the "Master Device" which will control the main volume and enable "drift correction" for a device, which I assume helps keep it's audio in sync with the master?
* Once devices are added you can click on individual items in the set on the left to tweak individual settings. Like bit rate, volume levels for each channel, and muting the device.
* Once you've added all the devices you want to the set, you can double click it to name it. This name is then available in System Preferences > Sound > Output
* You can quite Audio MIDI Setup and use your new multiple output sound sources from System Preferences and Sound apps.
V When playing with the Aggregate device I thought it might be possible to create a 4 channel output device mixing the internal speakers and external speakers and then use Soundflower and Flowerbed to route the default output audio to the 4 -speaker channels
* The Aggregate device allows you to take streams with multiple channels and assign them to the various speaker outputs.
* There are multichannel settings for 5.1,6.1, 7.1 stereo surround and geometric patterns like "quadraphonic"
* So i could build a device and assign the channels
* The trouble I had was routing to those channels. I could do it, but the quality on the USB speakers I have had serious digital artifacts
V The final thing I tried was Audio Hijack Pro
* I tried Hijacking iTunes audio for example
* Then you can add an "Auxiliary Device Output" in the Effects tab and choose a second output source to send the hijacked audio to.
* There is also a Channel Tweaker filter to "Duplicate Left" and "Duplicate Right"
* With this you could send the "Auxiliary Device Output" from the "Duplicate Left" to the left monitor and the "Auxiliary Device Output" from the "Duplicate Right" to the right monitor.
* For the middle monitor mute the hijacked stream and use a passThru, with a final "Auxiliary Device Output" going to the main monitor.
* Not sure it will stay in sync though.
* So that's what I came up with how about you?
V Closing
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