Maccast 05.15.2013 - Show #444
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Subscription based AppleCare?
* Looks like it's not just Adobe and Microsoft who want users to adopt subscription based payment models for products and services
* AppleInsider heard a rumor that Apple my be looking to replace or add to their Applecare extended warranty plans with a subscription based option.
* They say the plan is called "One Apple" and would reportedly cover all the Apple devices you won rather than one plan per device like we have now.
* Interesting, but I would think expensive?
* Supposedly the new plans were laid out by Apple VP Tara Bunch in an employee town-hall meeting.
* Not surprisingly, there weren't any details given for terms, coverage period, or pricing on the new subscription plans.
V Also in the meeting there were details that some iOS device repairs may beginning to be done in Apple Retail stores
* The changes the current policy which is to swap out defective models for refurbs and then to send units back to Apple for repair.
* The new repair program would begin with minor repairs like speakers, receivers, home buttons, vibrator motors, and batteries being done in-house.
* Later the program will extend to repairs like displays, cameras, power buttons, and logic boards being done in-house.
* Reportedly the program will roll out in the US first and then move to international markets later.
* They say Apple expects to save nearly $1 billion a year under the new repair policy.
V Some interesting iPhone reports
V As part of their first-quarter financial results T-Mobile US reported selling over 500,000 iPhones.
* They didn't say how it correlated, but interestingly T-Mobile also reported adding 576,000 new customers in the quarter.
* An impressive number considering it was just a few weeks of sales
* Still the sales weren't enough to help their declining earnings and revenue.
* The company reported that both earnings and revenue were each down 7% vs, the same quarter a year ago.
V OnSwipe says iOS 7 devices are spiking online
* According to TechCrunch Onswipe, a company that watched online web traffic, saw a significant rise in the number of visits from iOS 7 iPhones and iPads, specifically located in both Cupertino and San Francisco.
* They say the spikes happened around April 30th and that 75% of the traffic was from iPhones with the other 25% from iPads.
* The assumption is that Apple is busy testing the new OS in advance of WWDC where many feel they will give us a preview of the next iDevice OS.
* The didn't mention seeing a similar spike for Mac OS X 10.9 which may also get a showing at WWDC.
* Cult of Mac says some other sites also reported seeing an uptick in iOS 7 traffic.
V AT&T is now offering iPhone 5 in the US on pre-paid plans.
* They announced a new MVNO called Aio Wireless along with an iPhone 5 offer.
* They launched in just three cities, Houston, Orlando and Tampa, but have plans to roll out the new service nationally.
* iPhone pricing is US $499.00 for the iPhone 4S and USD $649.00 for an iPhone 5
V The plans come in three flavors.
* Basic, $35/mo for 250MB
* Smart, $55/mo for 2GB
* Pro, $70/mo for 7GB
* Technically all the plans are "unlimited", but after the data limit is reached they are throttled. In addition you won't get full LTE on your iPhone 5. They cap 4G data at 4Mb/s.
* The plans do all come with unlimited voice and text on At&T's network.
V A Japanese site reported got their hands on images of the iPhone 5S's motherboard.
* If the image is accurate it shows that the next iPhone will likely have an updated camera
* Surprising, I know.
* It basically supports earlier rumors that Apple will upgrade to a new 12MP sensor and include improved low light capabilities.
V Your iPhone holds it's value longer than your friends Android device
* You probably didn't need a study to prove this, but Piper Jaffray did one none the less
* The study compared U.S. eBay auction prices for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II for an 8 week time period.
* While the iPhone value appeared to depreciate at about half the rate of the Android devices the actually difference was minor.
* The iPhone 5 for example lost 11.2 percent of it's value over 8 weeks vs. 13.7 percent for the Galaxy S III.
* The iPhone 4S retained the most value in the study losing only 7 percent of its value over the two month period.
V Ups and downs at Pegatron
* A series of good and bad rumors for Pegatron this past week.
* First, Bloomberg claimed that Pegatron was lowering it's quarterly revenue forecast by 25-30 percent.
* The Bloomberg piece eluded that the reason for the drop was a significant decline in iPad Mini demand. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
* Since the iPad mini accounts for more than half of Pegatron’s consumer-electronics revenue it makes sense to assume a drop in revenue could be tied to lower iPad mini orders from Apple.
* And while Apple wasn't commenting, Pegatron's CEO was quick to dispute the report. Jason Cheng was reportedly quoted in the Bloomberg piece, but told Fortune that he refused to comment to Bloomberg and he dismissed the report as "speculation".
* As a matter of fact another rumor from Reuters says Pegatron plans to increase it's workforce by 40 percent in the second half of the year.
* The thought at this point is that the reason is Apple will give Pegatron the contract for it's rumored low cost iPhone.
V The reduced forecast has likely more to do with waiting for new Apple orders to come in
* In the first quarter of this year Pegatron's revenue was up 29% and they are probably expecting a big 3rd quarter too.
* The CFO reported that 60 percent of the company's 2013 revenue is expected to arrive in the second half of the year.
* It's believed that Pegatron undercut Foxconn's Hon Hai to secure the contacts. we also have had reports that Foxconn is now looking to reduce it's dependance on Apple as is primary partner.
* Tim Cook said we could expect exciting new products from Apple in the back half of the year so the rumors, comments, and timelines all seem to be matching up nicely.
V Streaming "iRadio" service stalled
* It's like the iTunes Store all over again. We're basically rehashing the rumors we heard before Apple launched the iTunes Music store.
* Apple and the labels can agree on royalty terms and the stickler this time is, surprise, Sony.
* We've heard about Apple's plans to bring a streaming music service to iTunes for a long time now, but most recently we had heard they had made some progress.
* They reported had reached deals with Universal and Warner music. Supposed Apple wanted to pay about half the rate that Pandora was for streaming, but they later agreed to match the Pandora rate which supposedly sealed the deal with Universal and Warner.
* In addition to streaming royalties Apple is also supposedly offering a share of ad revenue from their service and guaranteed minimum payments.
* Now it's looks like Sony wants a better deal than that and they could get it.
* Google announced a new streaming music service at Google IO and with Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora already in the game there is more pressure for Apple to move quickly.
* If Apple can get a deal done with Sony then I expect we'd see them launch the service soon after and my guess is their desired timeline would be to launch the service with new devices this fall.
V Apple should have some negotiating power too. They are lots of machine and devices with iTunes, Apple has millions of credit cards ted into iTunes accounts, plus iTunes users buy stuff.
* A recent Asymco study found that on average iTunes users spend $40/year.
* I think I'm making up the difference for several dozen of you.
* With 500 million iTunes users that works out to $5.5 billion in sales per quarter.
* iTunes get 1,000 downloads a second and 80% of those are apps, but music is the second most downloaded content.
* I'd think with numbers and money flowing like that Apple has it's own bit of leverage to use in the negotiations.
V Your iPad could kill you
* We'll if you have an implanted defibrillator. Turns out that the magnets in the Smart Cover could turn off implanted defibrillator's in some cases.
* A fourteen-year old presented is being credited by Bloomberg for making the discover. The study was done as part of her science fair project and she was helped by her father who is a doctor.
* She found that in 30% of her study patients that their defibrillator would turn off if the smart cover was placed on their chest.
* Luckily, most defibrillators will turn back on once the magnet is removed, but some must be reactivated manually.
* The report was also presented to 8,000 doctors at a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver.
V Turns out though that the "revelation" of the Smart Cover issue isn't all that revealing, nor is it her "discovery". AppleInsider pointed out that Apple's iPad User Guide points out the problem and offers a warning.
* "iPad has magnets along the left edge of the device and on the right side of the front glass, which may interfere with pacemakers, defibrillators, or other medical devices. The iPad Smart Cover and iPad Smart Case also contain magnets. Maintain at least 6 inches (approximately 15 cm) of separation between your pacemaker or defibrillator and iPad, the iPad Smart Cover, or the iPad Smart Case."
* And of course the issue wouldn't be limited to iPads. Any device or item that had strong magnets could products similar results.
* So, it makes a great high school science fair project, but not really a cause for alarm.
V iPhone 5S sapphire crystal home button
* How much tech can you fit into that tiny iPhone home button? Apparently a lot.
* Supply chain sources in Taiwan are now saying the new iPhone 5S home button will be a capacitive touch, fingerprint, sapphire crystal covered wonder button.
* Apple already uses sapphire crystal for the iPhone lens. It's hardness resists scratching and since may believe the new iPhone will have a fingerprint sensor in the home button it's believed the material is perfect for protecting the sensor too.
* Apple has also reportedly had reliability issues with the home button on some iPhones, so a move to a capacitive touch button could help there as well.
* Apple acquired the biometric company AuthenTec last year and since there has been a belief that Apple planned to incorporate the technology into the iPhone possibly to increase security and to potentially drive a device based payment system.
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Image editing alternatives to Photoshop
V With Adobe announcing that they would be moving all their software to the subscription based Creative Cloud many people are looking more for alternatives.
* Creative Cloud basically offers a subscription to access almost all of Adobe's apps for a monthly fee.
* $49.99/mo for a subscription (yearly rate) or $74.99 for month to month
* $29.99/mo for existing customers and $19.99 for students and teachers
* $19.99/mo for a single app.
* Free to try for 30 days. Free 2GB of cloud storage.
* Basically $600.00/yr every year for most people
* If you are a pro user and rely on many Adobe tools for your business and were always staying up to date then this actually could be a cost savings, but I think for most of us it isn't.
* There is no real option between one app and ALL apps. Many people don't need access to everything.
* This actually seems to have been a good thing for developers who make alternative apps. Let's face it, for many of us Adobe's tools offer features WAY beyond we really need.
* Photoshop was the "gold standard" when it came to image editing, so we just got that. Just like we use Microsoft Word because it's "Word".
* Luckily for us there are TONs of really awesome and affordable alternatives and the Creative Cloud debate has caused many to start shopping around. This is good for Apple developers and good for us because there are a ton of great image editing apps out there depending on your needs.
V Use what you have.
* If you just need basic cropping, red-eye removal, color adjustment, why not just use iPhoto?
* iPhoto for iOS also has all those great filter effects and borders. Hopefully some of those find their way back to the Mac.
* Select your image, hit Edit.
* You get quick adjustment buttons like crop, straighten, rotate, enhance
* Effects let you lighten, darken, color shift, etc.
* Adjust gives you sliders for exposure, sharpening, color adjustments, etc.
V Alternatives
V Acorn 4, USD $29.99 until end of May
* PSD import and Export
* Layers
* Filters
* Masking
* Drawing and text tools, including vector tools.
* I moved to Acorn years ago and I love it.
V Pixelmator
* Now just USD $14.99 on the Mac App Store
* Recently updated to version 2.2
* Gorgeous UI
* I'v only recently purchased it, but it feels the most "Photoshop" like to me.
V Layers, Effects, color adjustments, re-touching tools.
* No Drop Shadow or Glow filters, but you can find and install Quartz Composer add-ons for that
* Supports PSD
* iCloud support.
* Tons of Tutorials and links on their site.
* The GNU Image Manipulation Program
* Native Build now, so no X11 required.
* Free, so you can't beat the price
* GIMP was a little slow for me and tricky to figure out, but it gets the job done.
* Has all the tools you might need including filters, but no filter preview makes it more difficult to know what you're going to get.
V Photoshop Elements 11
* Maybe pick up a copy before it's too late
* Honestly coming from Photoshop I found Elements to be clunky and hard to understand
* The UI is completely different, feels clunky and ver un-Mac like to me.
V iMovie adding double frames
* Received and email from Juha (yu-ha) in Finland. He likes to shoot video on his iPhone 5 and then import and edit it in iMovie '11 on his iMac
* Recently though he discovered an interesting glitch when he exports the edited video. The issue is that once adding a transition like a cross-dissolve there seems to be duplicate frames added at various points in the video.
* He sent me a sample and it's not near the transition as you might expect.
* I went frame by frame and counted and it seems to be near the 28th to 30th frame, but not in consistent or every 29th interval.
V My first thought is that it's something to do with a disconnect between the project frame-rate and the frame rate of the source iPhone 5 video.
* The iPhone 5 Spec says it shoots up to 30 FPS
* Apple has an article about frame-rates
* NTSC (North America) is 30 fps, Europe is typically PAL 25 fps. Film cameras used for Movies are typically 24 fps. If you have a "cinema" mode on your video camera it will typically then capture at 24fps.
V Apple recommends matching the iMovie project frame rate to the frame rate of the source video for the best playback performance
* When you create a new project in iMovie the 'Frame Rate' option let's you choose 30 fps, 25 fps, or 24 fps options.
* You can change a project's frame rate from File > Project Properties in iMovie if you haven't added clips yet
* If the first clip you add doesn't match iMovie will prompt you to adjust the project frame rate to match.
* If you have already added clips and then add clips that don't match the frame rate iMovie displays a small symbol, which shows the frame rate of the video clip, in the lower left corner of the clip. This let's you know it might have poor playback performance.
V I checked some raw iPhone 5 video by opening in QuickTime and choosing Window > Show Movie Inspector (Command+I) and it showed that at 29.97 fps.
* I did the same for an edited and exported iMovie project that contained that video and that had a frame-rate of 30 fps.
V So my theory is that the extra frames are being inserted when needed to compensate for the 0.03 fps difference.
* But it get's blown out because it looked like in Juha's 8 second clip that there were 2 extra frames inserted.
* If it was just to compensate I think you'd only need 1 extra frame every 1,000 frames. or every 33.3 seconds (if I did my math right, which is questionable, Dan?).
* Also blowing my theory is that Juha's source and edited samples seemed to both have a 29.97 fps rate.
V So I did some Googling and the only advice I could find was more about importing from a camera
* DO NOT use the "optimize video" option.
* This offers slower editing, but better quality and playback on export according to some
* I generally don't "optimize" video when importing from my Cannon HD camera
* Optimize converts the files to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec)
* So any theories as to why the extra frames on edited iMovie videos?
V Apple did release iMovie '11 9.0.9 update this week
* Fixes issues recognizing connected video cameras and improves compatibility with iMovie for iOS.
V Fix for slow SSD boot times
* Rob has two Macs with SSD drives. A 2011 11" MBP and a 2010 iMac with an upgraded SSD.
* He says recently, after updating to 10.8.3, his boot times went from seconds to 3-5 minutes. Was wondering if it was an OS issue
* While the timing is coincidental I'm not sure that's it.
V I read that when you first upgrade a machine from a traditional drive to an SSD that you want to be sure to go into System Preferences > Startup Disk and make sure to manually select your new drive as the Startup Volume
* This avoids an issue that can cause a delay and timeout as the system looks for the boot drive at startup.
* Maybe that setting is off, so check that Rob
V Boot into 'Safe Mode'
* Hold the 'Shift' key down at boot-up
* This will clear the dynamic loader shared cache and can speed things up.
V Another solution is an old-school one. Zap the PRAM
* Hold Command+Option+P+R while booting the Mac and keep them held down until the Mac restarts.
* Continue to hold down the keys and let it go through that reboot cycle 3-4 times.
* Then let go and let it boot normally.
* You might also try running Disk Utility and running repair-permissions
V Why do these things work?
* Seems like two common causes of slow booting can be issues with the Boot Cache, something that the PRAM Zap might clean up I guess?
* The other, Access Control Lists (ACLs), which is related to permissions in OS X (actually and UNIX based system).
* If you want to know more on permissions and ACLs I did a Maccast member episode on it.
* If you boot into verbose mode on startup, hold the Apple+V key when starting up, you might see where it's stalling. If you see a reference to BootCache.playlist where it's hanging up you know you're having a Boot Cache issue.
V Run a tool to clear all system and user caches. Onxy or Cocktail.
* Specifically kernel extension caches.
V Removing software
* I think it's been a while since we covered this and Robert asked be a little while ago about removing apps.
* The typical method is to simply go into the Applications folder, drag the app to the trash, and empty it.
V As many of you know and as Robert pointed out, this can leave stuff behind.
* In general these extra files are small and not much of an issue.
V If you want a more thorough removal
* Use an app like 'App Zapper'. This will search for the files associated with an app, show you a list of all the files, and give you the option to remove them all, or select the ones you want to delete.
* Check with the developer to see if they offer an uninstaller. Sometime the Installer will offer an 'uninstall' option.
V Manually locate files
* ~/Library
* /Library/Preferences and ~/Library/Preferences
* /Library/Application Support and ~/Library/Application Support
* /Library/Caches and ~/Library/Caches
* Search with Spotlight in the Finder (Command+F) and add the search options for 'System' files. Also search for app name and developers name (plist files).
V Closing
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