Maccast 08.02.2013 - Show #459
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V More power in iPhone 5S A7
* My friend Clayton Morris has said via the Twitter's that Apple's new iPhone 5S will be running about 31% faster than the current iPhone 5's A6
* How? A story over on 9to5 seemed to provide the details. According to them the new A7 in the iPhone 5S will still be dual core, but could be 64-bit
* They say multiple independent sources are saying Apple has at least been testing 64-bit CPUs in the 5S
V They claim the extra juice will help smooth out animations, transparencies, and other graphics effects in iOS 7s UI
* I hadn't noticed in demo videos nor have I head that animations were an issue on the current hardware running iOS 7
V Will we actually see the 5S become the first 64-bit iPhone? Maybe not.
* Clayton didn't say it was 64-bit
* Ming-Chi Kuo does think 64-bit mobile processors will happen, but it might not be this year
* Apple could just be doing some early prototype testing in the 5S with 64-bit coming to an A8 next year.
V Morris also hinted on Twitter at camera upgrades, including a dedicated motion tracking chip
* The iSight camera may or may not get a spec bump to 12MP
* Even if it stays at 8MP expect the image signal processor chip to get some improvements.
* I fully expect improved low-light capability and we've heard rumors of 120FPS slow motion video capture support coming.
* We have not heard rumors on RAM, or I've missed them. The current iPhone 5 has 1GB. It'd be nice if that was bumped to 2GB in the 5S.
V The longstanding rumor of course is the 5S will feature a fingerprint scanner built into he home button
* This will be for unlock only, at least at first
* Apple supposedly also wants to use the fingerprint tech for a payment system in the future, but according to rumors it won't be there at launch.
* I'm having Clayton on the next Maccast, so we'll get his updates and more on the next show.
V When can we get our hands on the next iPhones?
* It's been well accepted that Apple will unveil devices on September 10th
* Apple is barring its support staff from going on vacation between September 15th and September 28th.
* We've now also heard of similar vacation blackouts for around the same period at some of Apple's carrier partners
* Most rumors are reporting to a Friday September 20th release date
V AppleInsider also reported that a leaked Nuance Technology email sent to developers seemed to indicate that Apple might release iOS 7 on September 10th.
* It wouldn't be unusual for Apple to release the OS a few days before the release of the phone
* They usually give developers a few days after the announcement of the final release date for a new OS to ready their apps.
V New 'Graphite' iPhone 5S color
* Just when we thought gold was the new white, now graphite may be the new black
* We've long been hearing the rumors that with the iPhone 5S launch Apple will be adding a new 'champagne' and white color choice to the white and aluminum and black and slate color options.
* Now it seems there may be a fourth color option. Grey and black.
V Mac Rumors had images of the new color choice posted by Sonny Dickson, and Australian blogger and iOS developer turned Apple leaked photo source.
* He's been posting all kinds tons of high quality images reportedly of all the new iPhone 5C and 5S cases
* Mendmyi has also posted a comparison photo showing volume/power buttons and mute switches in the new graphite color, as well as champagne, next to slate and silver buttons from the iPhone 5.
* An iMore piece throws out an interesting theory that the grey/graphite may be to replace the black model since the black has proven to be so prone to scratches and hard fro Apple to anodize consistently.
V The plastic iPhone 5C is still expected to arrive in five color choices. White, green, blue, yellow, and red
* The yellow sometimes looks a bit on the orange side
* The "red" comes across as more of a "salmon" or pink.
V September 10th iPads too?
* iMore says that Bloomberg ran an article suggesting that Apple might use their September event to also announce the new iPads
* Many believe, myself included, that Apple plans to unveil the new iPhone's on the 10th and would follow up that event with an iPad event at the end of month or in early October
* I think we could see some new iPods sprinkled in with the iPhone announcement
* Also, at some point we should have a release date for the Mac Pro and there is the Haswell Macbook Pro speculation too. My gut tells me these would come at the end of the month or in early October with the iPads.
V Apple launches it's own "trade-in" program
* This was rumored late last week, but was confirmed by CNBC via Apple on Friday.
* Apple is working the program through BrightStar, a services company specializing in the mobile market.
* In an Apple retail store employees will reportedly enter your 'trade-in' device details into an App and get you a quote for your device.
* Once accepted they will reportedly wipe the device right there in front of you.
* The trade-in program is supposedly part of Tim Cook's strategy of getting more customers to buy iPhones directly from Apple.
* How much can you get? 9to5 Mac says they are hearing around an average of USD $250-$253 value for a 16GB iPhone 5 in good condition. A GSM 8GB iPhone 4 will be worth between $120 and $140, while the CDMA version will be worth around $80.
* Apple has a 'recycling' gift card program here
V Gazelle's response
* Gazelle announced this week that they would offer lock in a guaranteed trade-in prices through Oct. 15.
* I priced my device on Apple's site and Gazelle (a 32GB iPhone 4 in "fair" condition). $110 USD offer from Apple and $130 on Gazelle
* Not sure if what's up on Apple's recycling site is the same app/program.
* Gazelle is a sponsor of the Maccast
V Why is this of benefit for Apple?
* They will take back these devices and either they or their partner (more likely their partner) will refurbish them and sell them on the secondary market for a nice profit.
V Less than one percent of mobile malware affects iOS
* US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice put out a cautionary memo based their finding on mobile maleware
* The data is reportedly from 2012 and published on the website Public Intelligence
* They found that only 0.7 percent of all mobile malware is designed to take advantage of iOS.
V In contrast, Android was shown to accounts for 79 percent of mobile malware threats.
* The report notes that 44 percent of Android users are still running an outdated version of the operating system, "Gingerbread".
* The study also found that Blackberry was still a larger target than iOS at 19 percent.
* Nokia's Symbian OS and Windows phone were both at 0.3 percent
* It's important to remember that being a small target is still being a target and we do know of attacks and maleware that have been reported to hit iOS.
V It's always a good is idea to remain diligent and just best practices to ensure the security of your devices regardless of OS
* Be careful about apps that you download and install and sites you choose to visit
* Use secure passwords
* Use a passcode lock on your device.
V A string that can crash your Apple
* There were reports this week of a serious bug this week that can cause apps on your Mac or iOS device to crash simply be getting them to display some specific kinds of text strings
* The bug effects any app that relies on Apple's Core Text framework to display the string, and that's a lot of Apps including Webkit based browsers like Safari and some versions for Chrome.
* The example I've seen uses a specific string of Arabic characters and I was able to confirm it could crash my Safari by writing some simple Javascript to display the string.
* I also saw Safari crash when trying to load sites where the string had been posted in comments. So this is a big deal.
* While on the surface it seems easy to avoid and not much of a threat. It can be at best very annoying and at worst potentially dangerous.
V If you crash in Safari it will try to reopen the last sites you were view. That being the site that caused the crash. Safari will crash every time you launch it resulting in a sort of DOS on your browser.
* Hold down option+shift when launching Safari
V If someone sends you an iMessage with the string, you can have the same kind of DOS
* Send yourself a new message and open it from the lock screen to work around the DOS
* Where it get's really bad is that app crash events can often be used to inject other kinds of attacks.
* The bug has reportedly been know to Apple for months, but still isn;t fixed in iOS 6.
* According to stories it supposedly has been addressed in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7
* It should be easy to avoid assuming you just don;t have jerky friends who keep send ing the string to you or posting it on your Facebook wall.
V Apple TV updated with VEVO, more
* Apple TV owners received some new content last week.
* Apple added new "channels" from VEVO, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, the Smithsonian, and Weather Channel.
* VEVO is free music video content.
* The Smithsonian channel has free full episodes with content centered on science, nature, technology, culture, and arts
* The Weather Channel let's you set up to get forecasts and video for places you enter in. Also access to free Weather channel content.
* The Disney Channel content gives you access to on-demand shows once you've authenticated with your Cable TV provider.
V Apple also recently added the iTunes Festival channel which is live concerts streamed once a day each day in September
* Artists like Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and more.
V Apple buys another company
* This time a Swedish based company called AlgoTrim
* They confirmed the deal via AllThingsD, but didn't comment further
* Apple reportedly used a Deleware-based holding company named Wedgwood Industries LLC which allegedly acquired all of AlgoTrim's shares back in February.
* TechCrunch says AlgoTrim "builds codecs and designs solutions that maximize performance of data, mobile imaging, video and computer graphics while minimizing memory requirements".
* Apple will likely use the companies technology to help optimize data and processing for their mobile devices, especially iPhones and iPads
* The technology can do things like speed up data processing and reduce file sizes.
* The company built an app for the Japanese carrier KDDI in 2012, that improved JPEG file processing by up to six times according to AppleInsider.
* That type of data efficiency could be a big deal for storing video, audio, and images on devices with limited storage.
* Imagine being able to store 4 to 5 times the number of images in your camera roll, without using up any more storage space than you are today.
* Or being able to process video faster while using up less battery life.
* Easy to see why Apple scooped these guys up.
V Prepare for a 2014 iWatch
* Apple is rumored to be gearing up to make 63.4 million smart watches which will ship sometime in 2014 and will be priced at $199 USD, according to AppleInsider
* The claim is based on an interview with a CIMB Securities Limited analyst written up by the Commercial Times
* It claims that the manufacturing will be done mostly by a company called Inventec out of Taiwan
* Just based on the unit prediction I'd say the claim is far fetched at best. As AI points out 60 million iWatches shipped would be more than 4 times the number of iPads Apple shipped in the first twelve months after it was introduced.
* The thing would have to be pretty amazing to get that many of us to start wearing watches again.
V The analyst does say the product would have a focus on biometrics, which I buy.
* I think it will have a heavy health monitoring component with pedometer, altimeter, heart rate, and other features
* I also expect an Apple designed and iCloud connected app
* It would reportedly feature a 1.5-inch to 2-inch touchscreen display. With some rumors saying it could use curved glass.
* The smartwatch space is for sure heating up. The Verge pointed out 16 different smartwatch products that are either already being sold, or about to hit the market.
V I bought a Pebble recently and my conclusion is that in Apple's world the current kinds of smartwatches we are seeing don't deserve to exist
* The technology is cool, but not game changing.
* If and when Apple enters the space I would hope their offering will be nothing like the stuff we are seeing now.
V Poor FaceTime? Thank the trolls
* Remember back in 2010 when Steve Jobs announced FaceTime and said it would be based on open standards so that we'd possibly be able to video chat with our friends and family on other platforms? Whatever happened to that?
* iMore has a story that sheds some light on that an also on why recently the quality of FaceTime calls may be going down.
* Turns out a patent holding company, often called a patent troll, called VirnetX sued Apple over some of the technology used in FaceTime.
* The case basically stopped Apple from moving forward with the Open Source stuff.
* In addition, VirnetX won and Apple has decided to work around the patent by changing how a core bit of the FaceTime technology works.
* Until now nearly all FaceTime calls were done through a system of direct communication, only about 5 to 10 percent of calls were routed through Apple's relay servers.
* This allowed the calls to be much more efficient, but that is exactly the technology covered in the VirnetX patents
* So this means that Apple is now changing how all FaceTime calls work to use relay servers and that reportedly started happening in April
* Since then the quality of FaceTime calls supposedly has dropped dramatically for some leading to a rise in customer complaints.
* The patent win for VirnetX also likely means Apple won't be able to ever set up FaceTime as an open standard since anyone using it could also get sued.
* I would hope Apple would at least just try to license the technology or better yet use it's cash hoard to buy the patent outright. I guess the pride of Apple or the greed of the VirnetX patent holders could make that impossible though.
V Java updates available for OS X
* Apple announced on it's support site that new updates are available for Java on the Mac
* They address a recently identified Java web plug-in vulnerability.
* Since Apple no longer includes or updates Java via their OS updates customers who run Java are being told to follow the instructions on Apple's support site to update.
V If you already have Java installed you can:
* Choose Apple menu () > System Preferences….
* Choose View > Java to open the Java Control Panel app.
* Click the Update tab.
* Click Update Now button and follow the onscreen instructions.
* New versions can also be installed via the installer directly available from Oracle's Java site.
* For those who don't need Java or only need to run it occasionally Apple recommends keep Java disabled and only turning it on as needed.
V Siri takes shots at Glass
V Saying "Okay, Glass" to Siri currently generates at least four humorous responses poking fun Google's gear according to Apple Insider
* "Stop trying to strap me to your forehead. It won't work."
* "I think that Glass is half empty."
* "I'm not Glass. And I'm just fine with that."
* "Glass? I think you've got the wrong assistant."
V Smithsonian add App source code to collection
* TUAW has a fun story about the Cooper-Hewitt design museum in New York which is one of the Smithsonian Institution's nineteen museums.
* They reportedly just added the source code for an iOS app to their collection.
* It's the app called 'Planetary' which is a music visualizer that was written by Bloom Studio.
* Not only is it in the collection, but the museum open-sourced it and placed the code on Github.
* The museum said it will boost the development of any outgrowth from the open-source project and also committed to preserve any descendants of Planetary as well.
* A requirement of the Cooper-Hewitt museum is that there is a physical paper record, so the source code has been printed on archival paper in the machine-readable OCR-A font.
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V Feedback, Comments and Commentary
V iOS Car recommendations
* I had a bunch of follow-up on this.
V Derek says he has a '13 Chevy Volt with their "MyLink" system. It integrates very nicely with the iPhone.
* Just syncs up with Bluetooth and everything integrates and works.
* It also has a USB port
* Steering wheel controls to control audio playback and access Siri
V A received a few other comments
* Play comment from Todd and Paul
* Sounds like if it has Bluetooth audio support and a built in mic then you're probably good to go for the most part.
* If you want something that also fully integrates with a build in nav system and display you might need to do more research.
V More on Apple Podcast App
* I got some nice responses to my complaints about Apple's Podcast app.
V Some of you agree with me, but other like Andy also rose up to defend Apple's app.
* Play comment from Andy
V An email comment from Tony:
* "I would just like to chime in with a comment regarding the discussion of Apple's podcast App. It is important to remember that "back in the day" Apple was not shy to point out that their reason for developing software was to provide some feature that third parties were not providing or to "set the bar" for third parties to strive to be above. this was true especially with MacWrite. This was a common explanation for encouraging developers without killing the market like their nemesis at the time Microsoft would often do. Granted things have changed as with the pro line where Apple saw a need to protect its MacPro Sales and control of those artistic markets and in the recent case of iWork vs Office in the new world. I believe Apple constantly walks the line with each product looking at the market and deciding whether the market place is living up to its devices potential and acts accordingly. A company such as Apple, that pays such close attention to every detail of every aspect of its business deserves the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these decisions. "
V Still others, like David also has trouble with the App.
* Play response from David
* My main point still stands. Apple isn't supporting the format that they pioneered and pushed. And they tend to do this.
* QuickTime and some it's amazing interactive features are a great example.
* I also think the may abandon the Amazing iBook format and iBooks Author tools to create interactive iBooks.
* How about the iTunes Album?
* My guess is that long term for Podcasts in OS X that they will move them out of iTunes and into a Podcast app on the desktop.
V Omni offers App Store "upgrade" pricing
* Those smart folks over at the Omni Group have come up with a smart way to allow their customers to get "upgrade" pricing on OmniGroup apps originally purchased via the Mac App Store
* They developed the free 'OmniKey Master' app for OS X
* It will scan your Mac for Omni apps you purchased from the Mac App Store, , then generates equivalent licenses from Omni's own store - for free.
* After you have your new key your Omni Apps are now free of the Apple App Store.
* You are now free to get app updates and take advantage of upgrade pricing directly from Omni.
* They also point out that you can get App updates faster since they don't have to wait on the App approval process.
V Check your backups
* A good reminder from John in the UK
* He had a HDD on his iMac fail recently.
V Luckily it was covered under the Apple iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program
* remember do some research and check Apple's support site.
* Don't be afraid to contact AppleCare Support or your local Genius Bar, even if you think you're not under warranty.
V John wasn't afraid to let them swap the drive because he had Time Capsule and Time Machine backups to a Synology NAS
* Keep in mind that Apple doesn't return your drive with your data
* If you're concerned back it up if you can and wipe the drive.
* In Tom's case he couldn't
* Apple promises to wipe the data or destroy the drive, but who knows.
* John got the restored Mac back with a clean install of Lion and tried to do a restore but ran into an isolated, but serious bug reported in Time Machine in Mountain Lion
* Seems in some small cases something happens and Time Machine starts excluding the top level System, Library, and (hidden) private folders from backup.
* In some cases too the Time Machine drive doesn't show up as a source in the Setup or Migration Assistant
* In John's case he was still able to manually restore the stuff from his User folder, but it was a longer process and some the system level Application preferences and support data was lost.
V So the lessons to be learned are:
* Check Apple support and discussion threads for info and find out if there is a support program for your issue
V Test your backups. Can you restore files?
* Double check your data. Is the data you think is supposed to be there there?
* Have multiple backups, but don;\'t rely on one software or technology.
V Upgrade your iTunes HD
* iLounge had a great tip on how to upgrade your older purchased iTunes HD movies from 720p to 1080p
* Back in the day Apple only carried 720p, so chances are some of your older content is the lower resolution.
* Apple doesn't distinguish purchases between 720 or 1080, if you buy HD content you can have either version
* There is also a chance, depending on your iTunes preferences, that you have only been downloading the 720p stuff.
V Make sure you've opted to download 1080p
* iTunes > Preferences
* Go to the 'Store' tab
* Make sure the 'When downloading High Definition videos, prefer:' setting is set to 1080p
* Click OK
V Re-download your 720p content as 1080
* Go to the iTunes Store
* Click the 'Purchases' link in the sidebar
* Go to the 'Movies' tab and re-download your movies as 1080p
* You can use the 'Not on this computer' tab to make it easier to find.
* They should have a little 'cloud' icon
V Remove the old 720 versions
* I'm giving you this step last because you'll want to have checked in the iTunes Store first to make sure it sees your purchase and that you can re-download it.
* You will need to delete the current 720p version
* You have backed up all your content right?
* Select the old 720 version in iTunes and press delete. It should move it to the trash.
* I would leave the movie in the trash until you've downloaded the new version. Once you confirm you have the higher quality version then empty the trash.
V To find the titles you could use a spotlight search and search tokens
* kind: Apple MPEG-4 Movie
* width:1280
V This tip also works great if you have older even SD content.
* I had Pirates of the Caribbean which I purchased when Apple first started selling movies. It was 640 x 272 resolution. I redownloaded and got a version at 853 x 362.
* Keep storage and backup in mind. a 2 hour 1080p HD movie will use up around 5-6 GB or more of storage
V Remove auto email addresses from Mail
* I know I've covered this one many times over the years, but it always comes up so it's worth a refresh.
* You go to compose and email and as you're entering the TO: field it starts to auto-complete
* You notice the address is wrong, but that's odd because you know you updated it in Contacts.
* You open Contacts and double check just be be sure and it's right there, so why does Mail have it wrong?
* Another scenario is Mail is auto completing and showing addresses for people you don't even have in Contacts. Why?
* The reason is that Mail doesn't use Contacts to make the list.
* It has it's own "Previous Recipients" list and it contains names of anyone you've ever sent an email to.
V In Mail go to Window > Previous Recipients to view and manage the list
* You can select and click the "Remove from List" button at the bottom
* You can also "Add to Contacts"
* If your list is too long there is a "search" field at the top.
V Closing
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