Maccast 07.26.2013 - Show #454
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile
V Smile
* You really should just own everything they make
V I couldn't live without Textexpander
V Anytime I find myself writing the same thing more than once, it goes into a Textexpander
* i just did the for info I'm in a beta test for. They want my system specs and version numbers when I submit a ticket. It's now in a snippet.
* I have a set that converts text to Emoji's. No having to use the Input menu in OS X. šŸ˜Ž
* Even with slight variants or bits of data that change. It has fill-ins and optional sections
* And on mobile it's integrated with so many Apps that with TextExpander Touch all your snippets can sync and just work in your favorite apps
V PDFpen is the same thing
* I just recommended it to a client this week. He wanted to make small edits to PDFs so he didn't have to go back and pay his designer for minor changes
* Save paper and fill-in and email "fake" forms.
* Add signatures and avoid the fax (really, it's 2013).
* And again, PDFpen for iPhone and iPad let you do all this stuff on the go with iCloud and Dropbox Support
* Go now a check it all out.
V News
V Apple's 3rd quarter earnings
* Apple announced revenue of $35.5 billion for the quarter which showed little growth over the same quarter last year.
* They came in at the top end of the guidance Apple gave during the Q2 call
V Net profits were $6.9 billion which is amazing, but still down from $8.8 billion in the third quarter last year.
* I would think having more new products to sell in the quarter would have helped here.
V iPhone sales were strong at 31.2 million up from 26 million last year and beating most estimates
* This is particularly amazing considering that the iPhone 5S and low cost iPhone have been rumored for the fall
* Many analysts think the lower cost iPhone 4 and 4S sales, especially in emerging markets, help keep Apple's iPhone sales strong for the quarters
V iPad sales were down to 14.6 million from 17 million in the same quarter a year ago.
V That's a pretty big decline and according to TrendForce data means that the iPad captured just 35.5% of the global tablet market in the 2nd quarter.
* That's still a leading position in tablets, and down significantly form the 48.2% share they had in the first quarter according to Strategy Analytics numbers.
* Still the tablet sector is growing rapidly and Apple marketshare numbers aren't the whole story.
* Cook was really excited at iPad's usage data vs. Android. The latest Chitika numbers had iPad's web usage share at 84%.
* Overall for Piper Jaffray estimated the US iOS mobile share for all devices at 63%, up 2.6% from June. Android as also up 0.2%, so the 2.6% Apple gain apparently came from the loses of other OSes.
V Mac sales also did well, with 3.8 million Macs sold just slightly down from 4 million a year ago.
* In revenue Macs account for less than $5 billion in revenue which is less than 15 percent of Apple's total business.
* The updated Macbook Air selling very well.
* iPod sales were down 2.2 million at 4.6 million for the quarter.
* iTunes Software and Services accounted in $4.3 billion in revenue. Up 25 percent
* Apple cash on hand is now at $146.6 billion, up from $144,7 billion last quarter.
V Apple acquires more mapping powers
* Apple acquired crowdsourced location data company called Locationary which my best guess will be used to help Apple clean up and maintain all of the location data they are merging together from various partners and services.
* This is something that Locationary excels at.
* They have technology for croudsourcing data on local businesses, but more importantly they have a federated data exchange platform called Saturn that cleans and merges the data coming from various sources
* One of challenges Apple has had with Maps was conflicting and confusing data for places that would cause incorrect or duplicate and confusing search results
* As a matter of fact, Locationary's CEO wrote a piece for Techcrunch last year on how Apple could better clean and merge their data.
* Since Locationary has that kind of technology it looks like Apple took notice.
V So the key things Locationary can provide are:
* Crowdsourced local data on places and business
* Aggregation of multiple data sets. I assume both from Locationary's sources and Apple's other sources, like Yelp
* Standardizing that data into Apple's map format. This is trickier than you might think
* Matching up and recognizing duplicate data even when it's just slightly different.
* Updating and removing old data in real time
V In addition Apple also purchased the transit direction company Hop Stop
* HopStop provides directions in over 500 cities on the fastest way to travel by foot, bike, subway and car.
* This seems like another really good acquisition for Apple since they lost built-in transit directions when the moved away from Google Maps
* They have this system now that can get transit directions from 3rd party apps, but building it back in is a better choice.
* Not long after the acquisition was announced HopStop pulled it's app for Windows Phone.
* HopStop and Locationary are just the two latest additions to Apple's mapping company purchases which also include WiFiSLAM, 3C Technologies, Poly9, and Placebase.
* Tim Cook said after the Apple Maps complaints that Apple would work hard to improve maps and it seems like they are at least putting their money where their mouth is, but we'll have to wait to see if they can come through on the integration and implementation.
* They for sure aren't sitting still.
V Apple testing bigger iPads
* And bigger iPhone's of course
* The rumors from the usual places and sources. Asia and parts suppliers.
* This time Apple is said to be testing displays for iPads as large as 13-inches and still testing larger than 4-inch iPhone displays
* But here's the thing, Apple is testing new sizes, form factors, and devices all the time. It doesn't mean they are going to make those products and we for sure don;t know when they might release them.
* That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the next iPhone after the 5S, I assume the 6, had a larger than 4-inch display. It's a trend that I think Apple can;t afford any longer.
* As for a 13 inch iPad? That seems like a much too big tablet, but then I also thought a 7 inch iPad might be too small. I love my iPad mini.
* So I won't rule it out. The 11-inch and 13-inch Macbook Airs are extremely popular and the idea of maybe something that combines that technology say in the form factor of an iPad sounds intriguing, right?
* So why if we find it intriguing wouldn't Apple want to play around with it a bit and see if something worthwhile might pop out.
V Will a low cost iPhone be the new 4S?
* Meaning, will it take the position of the iPhone 5 which should fall into the sales position of the current 4S when Apple releases the 5S.
* The Korean site ETNews claims to have info saying that's what Apple plans to do.
* I just figured based on what we'd been hearing that that is what Apple had planned all along.
* I guess the BIG news is this is a change from how Apple has been doing things.
* I think in the new more mature Smartphone market though it's a much better marketing move.
* When Apple launches new iPhones this time it won't be just one for the premium market, but also a brand new phone for the budget conscious consumer as well.
* The interesting thing is that, aside from the plastic case, I expect the "budget" iPhone to be exactly the same specs as the current iPhone 5.
* So in essence they are doing the same thing as before, but by packaging the iPhone 5 differently in a consumers mind they are getting the "brand new" iPhone, not last years model at a budget price.
V This plays right into all the specs we've been hearing on the "budget" iPhone
* 5" retina screen
* A6 processor
* 5MP iSight camera
* Plastic case in colors.
* An unsubsidized price starting at $300 USD, so I suspect seeing it $199 USD subsidized at first and quickly dropping to $99 USD (say in about 6 months).
V Retina Macbook Pro updates delayed slightly
* The China Times is reporting that updated Macbook Pros which some said were coming in September might be delayed until October
* Ever since Apple updated the Macbook Airs to new Haswell based versions last month many have wondered when we'd see an update on the Retina Macbook Pros
V The site says the delay is due to production issues with the retina based displays and that's where it loses some credibility to me.
* Apple already makes these models with Retina displays and I would not think that part would be changing in an updated model
* Overall I think the design and form factor would remain the same the big change being the Haswell processor and updated GPU specs
* Even with a Haswell the real world performance probably won't go up by much, at least when it comes to the CPU.
V MacRumors reports that the site SemiAccurate claims Apple is looking to Intel to supply a special version of the Haswell for the new Retina Macbook Pros
* One with the highest-end GT3e (Iris Pro 5200) integrated graphics.
* Intel claims the Iris will offer 2 to 2.5 times the GPU performance of the prior generation HD Graphics 4000 chips Apple uses in the current gen Macbook Pro
* It's not clear if Apple would also include a dedicated chip or not. I assume so in the 15-inch model, like they do now. But if battery life is a primary focus and the Intel Iris Pro offers enough performance who knows.
* Geekbench has seen what looks like pre-release models of a 15-inch Macbook Pro with a top of the line Haswell Core i7 chip running at 2.4 GHz, along with Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics.
* The biggest boost should come in battery life, probably not the 12 hours Apple announced on the Airs, but another hour or two of battery life with a 5-10 percent jump in CPU performance with even more in the GPU would still be a nice update to see.
* There is speculation that in this round Apple may choose to phase out the older non-retina Macbook Pro models. I think that's likely.
* KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that the updated MacBook Pros will launch in mid-September.
V Apple creates Boston Siri team
* A site called Xconomy is saying that Apple has been assembling a small team of notable names in speech technology and is looking to expand that team.
* Apparently all of the members are former employees of VoiceSignal Technologies, a speech software company that was purchased for $293 million by Nuance in 2007.
* Apple currently licenses and uses Nuance technology to enable Siri and the voice dictation features in it's OSes
* Specifically what the team is working on is a secret, but it's probably not too much of a stretch to assume they are working on making Siri better.
V Some of the reports are speculating that Apple might be looking to build it's on voice recognition and dictation technology in-house and move away from dependance on Nuance
* I don't see a reason for that
* Nuance and Apple have had a great relationship and partnership and Nuance has great technology.
* I would hope the team is there to make enhancements on the speech comprehension and analysis side of the equation. Also, to add more predictive intelligence to Siri
* Siri is great at recognition, but not so good at cognition. Using the data, place, time, contacts, etc. to infer better what your trying to ask.
> Developer Center coming back, slowly
V iTunes Podcast subscriptions reach a billion
* Apple said last week that iTunes podcasts subscriptions via iTunes have now reached 1 billion subscriptions
* It's a huge milestone
* Apple put up a special section to commemorate the event and featured some of the "some of the most popular podcasts of all time" in a "Classics" section along with also highlighting what is currently hot and some new and noteworthy titles.
V Ken Ray, used is usual tongue in cheek style to point out that many of the "Classic" shows didn't seem so "Classic".
* Apple highlighted NPR shows like "This American Life", Real Time with Bill Maher from HBO Podcasts, Kevin Smith's Smodcast, and the oh so classic 60 Minutes podcast from CBS Radio
* Leo Laporte's TWiT did make it in there, so that's good
* Just would have been nice to see a shows like Daily Source Code, Coverville, Evil Genius Chronicles, Dawn & Drew, or Geek News Central in there.
V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V Making a private "me" card in Contacts
* This is something I did in Contacts on my Mac years ago and it has been a handy thing ever since
* This week a tip on TMO from Melissa Holt reminded me that not everyone is aware of how to set up your Contact card to only contain some data when you go to share it.
V First thing I guess is to cover just how to share a contact from someone from Contacts
* I usually just open Contacts find the card I want to share and drag it to an email. message, Dropbox folder, etc
* It creates a .vcf (vCard file) that someone can simply open on their Mac or iOS device to have it added top their Contacts. Easy.
* In Contacts you can also select the card and use the "share" button at the bottom of the window to share it.
* When you do share a card like this the vCard file will contain all the info you have on that card in your Contacts
* But your, "me" card can be different. You can tell Contacts which information you want included, or more importantly not included.
V If you don't have a "me" card
* Create or find the card in Contacts that has your information
* Select it and from the 'Card' menu choose 'Make this my card'.
* When you do that card will get a little 'person' icon next to i t in the list and your profile picture will have a 'me' over it in the Contacts interface
V Create a private "me" card
* Go into 'Contacts' > 'Preferences'
* Click the 'vCard' tab
* Check the box that says 'Enable private me card'
* Now go back to your 'Me' card. You can choose 'Card' > 'Go to my card' if you're having trouble finding it.
* When you click the 'Edit' button you'll now see a 'Share' column with checkboxes
* Just check on the data you want included and check off the stuff you don't want included when you share.
* Click 'Done' and your new 'private' me card is all set
V Writing your own OS X Service
* Last show we tried to help a listener get word counts from a PDF file.
* I mentioned a number of solutions including an OS X Service you can get from DEVONtechnoloiges and the 'wc' (word count) command line.
* In my tip I mentioned needing to use wc with a txt file and to point the command at the file using a path.
* Well fellow podcaster and Maccast listener Bart Busschots, who is a much more advanced UNIX guru than I, had some great additional tips and even created his own OS X using the wc command.
* So I got him on the line to discuss how you can use these simple command along with some Automator to do exactly the same on your Mac.
* Play interview with Bart
V Will you re-buy apps for iOS 7
* TUAW pointed to a blog post by Icon Factory's Gedeon Maheux where he postulates that now would be a good time for developers to put out new updated versions of their apps and charge for the new versions
* He's not arguing that they should, but that they could and the timing would be appropriate.
* They could implement new iOS 7 designs along with brining new features opened up by iOS 7 APIs
* The question is how would consumers, you and I, react to being asked to pony up and pay for the apps we already own again.
* Those of you who listen regularly know my answer.
* I think in order for developers to be able to continue to make great apps they need to have an on-going sustainable income from those apps
* The app store has already forced prices for quality software down to rock bottom levels. 90% are free, 6% are $0.99, so just 4% of apps cost more than $0.99 (according to recent Flurry analytics numbers).
V That's why we've seen such a rise in the freemium model and many developers unfortunately turning to crippleware and annoying nickel and diming tactics
* I don't blame them, I blame us.
* I would love to see developers create and charge for new versions of apps every 18 months or so. I'd be happy to pay the $0.99 to $9.99USD or more every year if need be to sustain the quality apps that I love.
* That said, what I think will happen is that consumers won't be willing to pay and developers will not be sustained in the long term.
* So what you'll have is what we have now. Apps that are cheap or free with limited functionality and you'll pay through in-app purchase to get the "real" version of the app. Or you'll pay more, just at $0.99 at a time.
* I hate it, but welcome to the new world I guess.
* What do you think? Are you willing to go back to actually paying for quality software and doing it on a regular basis or does this new model work for you?
V Calendar tips and tricks
V Enabling Time Zone Support
* Calendar > Preferencesā€¦
* In the 'Advanced' tab check on 'Turn on time zone support'
* Also, make sure your time zone is set properly in the Date & Time System Preferences
* Now when you create a meeting or event with someone in a different time zone, you can enter it at their time and set the time zone on the event to their time zone.
* For you though you'll see it in the calendar at the correct local time and any alerts or reminders will also go off at the correct local time. No more math or missed meetings because you mixed up the time zones.
V Turning on time in month view
* The only downside for me on the time zone thing is that in the info pop-up it shows the time in the set time zone.
* This is OK for day and week views, because on those they show the local time in the interface.
* By default though the month view doesn't have the times shown
* Calendar > Preferencesā€¦
* In the 'general' section check on 'Show event times'
* Now the time will be displayed next to the event in the month view and it will be time zone adjusted if you've enabled time zone support
V Setting up multiple alerts
* When editing an event you can set an alert.
* After you set one, have you notice you can set another?
* You might want one to alert you with a message and sound and another to also send you an email reminder.
* I often set up two 'Message with sound' reminders. One for 1 day before and another 30 mins to an hour or two before my scheduled meeting time.
V Attaching documents
* Drag a document associated with a meeting or event into the 'notes' section
* It will attach it and sync it along with the event to your iOS devices if you're using iCloud sync.
V Using data detectors
* In Mail if you hover over a date or even text like 'lunch on Tuesday' it will outline and you get a dashed outline and dropdown arrow
* Click it and it should pop out an Calendar item create and edit box
* Click the 'Details' button to expand the options so you can add more specific data.
* When you click 'Add to Calendar' it will add the item without ever having to leave Mail or even open Calendar
* Also in the info panel for the event in Calendar there will an 'Show in Mail' link that when clicked will take you right back to the original message in Mail
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
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