Maccast 12.04.2013 - Show #470
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V From Flyover to Walkthrough?
* Since Apple confirmed that they purchased the motion sensor technology company Prime Sense there has been a lot of speculation on their plans for the tech.
* The most common theory is that it will be used for motion control interfaces in an Apple TV or possibly your Mac or iPad.
* Technology journalist Jessica Lessin has a different theory and a blog post with some details to back it up.
* She points out the companies motion sensor tech isn't really state of the art. One reason Microsoft possibly abandoned it for their XBox Kinect
* But what the do have is a chip that can use camera systems to map out environments in 3D. Thee are already some mapping companies using the tech.
* With Google already moving indoors Apple could be looking to get ahead in their own street level and indoor space mapping.
* If they could build the chips and technology into their devices they might even be able to use their customers to crowd source their efforts (opt in of course)
* Imagine being at a mall and asking Siri to find a specific store. She could give you a 3D photo realistic map with overlays and contextual information.
* Same could be done for cities, museums, etc.
* It's an interesting thought and adds more value to Apple's acquisition.
* My guess is they would use the PrimeSense tech for both applications and more.
* Remember it's the people that came up with those ideas and technology. I'm sure they have more and now they are part of Apple's HR portfolio.
V Brazil asks Apple to get Real
* Or to let iTunes buyer pay with the Real, which is the local currency.
* Apparently Apple charges customers in Brazil in US dollars in iTunes and has been since the service went live there in 2011.
* The trouble is, it's illegal.
* Brazil’s Consumer Protection Secretariat department has give Apple 10 days to explain why they are charging Brazilians in dollars. If apple doesn't responding could face fines of up to 6 million real, about $2.6 million dollars.
* My guess is that Apple will respond and likely just switch the pricing over to the Real, converting to from the US dollar equivalent of course.
V iPad mini retina display not the best
* Display Mate is out with their comparisons of the latest 7 & 8-inch tablet displays and then iPad mini Retina display came in last against the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and new Nexus 7
* The trouble seems to be Apple's failure to use the latest in display tech.
* The iPads come with either and IGZO or a-Si panel. Technology, according to the report, that is two years old and doesn't hold up when pitted against the new stuff in the Samsung and Amazon devices.
V Surprisingly it's the Kindle that comes out on top
* Using Quantum Dots it increases the total gamut by 40-50 percent while being 10-20 percent more energy efficient
* The Samsung panels use a newer Low Temperature Poly Silicon LTPS technology which also increases the color gamut.
V One thing I wondered was how is Apple able to use two different display technologies but still maintain consistency between different iPad minis
* The article explains that Apple is using more expensive white LEDs in the a-Si panels. These use less power and compensate for the higher power consumption of the panels themselves.
V Apple's panels were only able to reproduce 63 percent of the Standard color gamut
* The other panels were close to or over 100 percent
* It's too bad, because Apple once had the best gamut range in their displays.
* The iPad display also did not do well in Display Mates color accuracy testing.
* As the piece points out Apple's use of the IGZO technology also adds insult to injury as it's widely considered to have given Apple yield issues slowing the number of iPads Apple has been able to get into the market.
V Still it wasn't all bad news for the iPad mini display
* It beat the other tablets in contrast and offered superior color Gamma
* It also scored well for resolution, low color shift when viewing at off angles, low reflectivity, and good performance in high ambient light.
* Display Mate tests the displays with scientific level precision in a lab environment and like benchmarks the real test comes in real world perceptions. As you know, those are high. People love the quality of the iPad mini with Retina Display and that's probably all the matters to Apple and most of it's consumers.
V Reports say Apple's Friday was blacker
* The shopping day after Thanksgiving is typically known as "Black Friday". The idea being it's the day retailers offer big incentives and sales to drive yearly profits from the red and into the black.
* I think in many respects it's symbolic more that reality, regardless many industry watchers keep a close eye on consumer behavior over that weekend and this year it looks like Apple did well.
V Folks apparently used Apple devices to shop, once again, more than the competitors
* TechCrunch reported that iOS devices accounted for almost third of ecommerce sales. 28 percent. Android devices were used by 11 percent of online shoppers.
V And another report said that many Black Friday purchases made Android device owners were for Apple products.
* Infoscout tracked retail tablet purchases and their data indicated that 40 percent of the iPad purchases they saw were actually made by Android device owners.
* Apple's products also were popular with consumers in the post holiday rush. Probably due to large gift card incentives, both Walmart and Target say the 16GB iPad Air, as the top in-store seller on Black Friday.
* Analysts and stock watchers also seemed to like what they saw in Apple's retail performance over the weekend. Many raised price targets and Apple's stock price has seen a nice climb since.
V The iPhone 5s is still outselling Apple's iPhone 5c by nearly three to one in Kantar Worldpanel ComTech numbers, but that doesn't mean it's a bust
* Their numbers also show it's doing the job it was intended to do in my option
* The latest study showed that more price sensitive buyers are going for the iPhone 5c and almost half of those are switching from competitive brands.
* About 80 percent of iPhone 5s owners are upgrading from an Apple device.
* Overall Apple's smartphone market share for October is going up, and they have their best showing in the US And Japan with a 52.8 percent share in the US and a staggering 76.1 percent in Japan spurred on by the iPhones release on Japan's largest carrier NTT DoCoMo
* Still globally Apple is well below Android in several regions, especially a inland Europe and China. There Android devices have smartphone shares around 70 percent.
V New iOS TextExpander changes sharing
* Normally I don't cover non-Apple updates, but for this one I made an exception.
* Smile, Maccast sponsor, and makers of the awesome TextExpander, among other things recently was forced by Apple to change the snippet sharing functionality of TextExpander Touch.
V Since Apple has never allowed a centralized place for Apps to share data and since apps, like TextExpander Touch are sandboxed from running in a way that could integrate with other iOS apps. Smile has always found clever ways to make their stuff work, within Apple's defined ecosystem BTW.
* Building an API for developer to integrate into their apps
* Sharing snippet data using the Reminders app
* Well now Apple has but the kibosh on Smile's reminders work around.
* They had to change the way snippet sharing between apps that use their APIs works.
* So what it means now is that Apps that use TextExpander Touch will require user interaction to get the snippet data and those apps will each need to have their own copy of that data.
* It also means that the user must request any updated data from each app.
* Hardly ideal, but it meets Apple's guidelines.
* The other bummer is that developers will need to update their apps with Smiles latest code and new methodology
* Smile will have a list of updated and supported apps on their site. Hopefully it grows quickly
V Apple buys yet another company
* Oddly this time it's a social media company. Let's hope their not planning Ping 2.0.
* The purchase, which Apple confirmed, is for Topsy, Inc. Which does social media analytics
* Basically they allow companies, and others, to search and track how specific brand names, product names, and words are used on social media sites like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
* The price of the purchase was reported on AppleInsider to be more than $200 million
V The acquisition could give Apple access to Twitter data not available to many other companies.
* The Wall Street Journal reports that Topsy is one of four "certified data resellers" with exclusive rights to collect and resell Twitter data.
* The question I have is would the terms of the original agreement made between Topsy and Twitter transfer to Topsy's new owner Apple.
* One would hope that was part of the deal
V Apple of course won't comment on how they plan to use the technology
* The conclusion most are making is that it would give Apple access to a lot of social trend data for products and services
* The actual applications in returning more accurate and relevant information based on social trends is interesting.
* There would certainly be possible in many of Apple's products, Siri, Maps, iAds, iTunes Radio, etc.
* Siri could adjust or enhance search results based on Twitter trends. iTunes music recommendations or app recommendations, especially when looking for "most popular" could use the results as part of the algorithm when determining popularity.
* Whatever Apple's plans in the age of "big data" having tools to pare, analyze, and apply it is probably a good thing for any company.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V HD storage capacities and Apple OSes
* After covering this on the last show as it relates to iOS devices I have recieved a number of follow-up emails from you and have learned some more about why there is sometimes confusion between the sizes of our devices and how much storage appears to be available.
V A "Gigabyte" can be interpreted differently depending on the definition you want to use.
* In computers there are two methods for determining the size of GBs
V Base 10 (decimal), 1 GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes
* This is recommended by the International System of Units (SI) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
* It is also the standard now accepted by most of the storage industry.
* Hard drive and Flash capacities are calculated in Base 10
V Base 2 (binary) 1 GiB = 1,073,741,824 bytes
* This is used typically for RAM storage
* It's also used my many OSes and this is where the confusion comes into play.
V Like we explained on the last show, Apple uses the Base 10 method to determine and advertise the capacity of their computers and iOS devices. iOS however uses the Base 2 method when reporting and displaying storage
* Apple has a support article that explains things
* Therefore, in iOS, a 32 GB storage device to appear as approximately 28 GB when detailed by the operating system
* The device actually still has 32 billion bytes of storage, but the OS only reports 28 billion bytes.
* There appears to be missing capacity, but it's really not missing.
V Beginning with Snow Leopard Apple change the way OS X works to use the Base 10 method of calculating storage.
* So in OS X the numbers should match up.
V Other missing iOS storage
* Play questions from JP
V The SMS issue could be attachments.
* There was an iOS 6 bug that left attachments behind even after removing the SMS, but that was fixed in iOS 6.1
V The "Other" is typically application data for the various apps you use. It could be cache, offline content, documents, files, saved game data, etc.
* Typically you can see how much each app is using on your device in the "Usage" section
* Settings > General > Usage
* You'll need to wait a minute for the apps to load under the 'Storage' section
* The number you see at first is not the "Other" number. That number is how much storage the app itself takes up on your device. I think is where some of the confusion comes in.
* You need to tap the App and on the next screen look at the 'Documents & Data' figure
* For example on my iPhone the 'Pocket' app uses 474MB of storage for the App itself and then I have 446MB of data inside the app. So really 920MB or almost 1GB total
V Helpful Safari Shortcuts
* TUAW had an article about handy Safari keyboard shortcuts
* About the only one I ever use on a consistent basis is Command+T to open a new tab
* But I always wish I was a better keyboard shortcut jockey and admire those who are.
V So here's some other quick ones that I thought were helpful
* Command+Shift+] and Command+Shift+[ to move between open tabs. Command+Shift+left arrow and Command+Shift+right arrow also work.
* Command+[a number] to open the corresponding item in your Bookmark Bar (i.e. Command+1 will open the first bookmark).
* Command+W to close a window or tab
* Alt+Command+L to view downloads
* The TUAW piece also points to an awesome wiki, Shortcut World, that has 58 Safari shortcuts and more for other programs and apps
V There are also some great Apps for your Mac that will bring up shortcut overlays as hints when you press and hold the command key in your apps.
* KeyCue (EUR $19.99), from Ergonis
* CheetSheet (Free)
V DIY iPhone Repair and Applecare advice
* Play comment from Tobin
* I have never had anyone tell me their screen cracked when pressing the home button, but I guess anything is possible. You're sure your son isn't Superman?
* I agree honestly is always the best policy.
V Also, I have always said that in or out of Applecare you should always contact Apple or get into a Genius Bar and get an assessment
* The worse case scenario is they will give you a repair cost, best is they fix or replace your Mac or device for free.
* Don't get mad if your buddy got a free repair and you didn't. Things are done on a case by case basis. Cut your losses gracefully. Apple is under no obligation to repair stuff for free out of warranty
V You also might be surprised at the out of warranty repair costs. Apple can do more in store now and that lowers their costs.
* $269 USD - iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5
* $199 USD - iPhone 4S
* $149 USD - iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, Original iPhone
* Costs for smaller components and repairs are even less.
* They generally won't repair devices that have "catastrophic" damage. Like breaking into multiple pieces.
V I have repaired older iPhone's myself using parts from TechRestore
* Also consider TechRestore's service
* iFixit has the best DIY guides for making repairs.
V There are also third party warranty services, like Square Trade, that will cover your device against accidental damage.
* Often you can get Apple to do the repairs and the service will cover the costs.
* Some credit cards offer accidental damage protection, but read the fine print.
V Explaining PowerNap
V Susan wrote me with an odd Mail issue in OS X Mavericks
* Even though she had set her Mail to check for new mail "Manually"
* She was using POP email, so it should only check on a schedule.
* If you have IMAP account even with the setting set to "Manual" in Mail > Preferences you can get mail on push from the server
* One possible way to stop IMAP from pushing email is to uncheck the 'Use IDLE command if the server supports it' option in the Advanced settings of the preferences for the IMAP account.
* So Susan and I went back and for on a few emails and I was stumped.
* Turns out is wasn't specifically OS X Mavericks related at all, but related to another feature.
* She followed up with me and said if she turned off the Power Nap feature then her Mail no longer would get any Mail messages automatically.
* So it would seem that in PowerNap mode if Mail is open when your Mac goes to sleep it will check for new Messages regardless of the setting in Mail.
V Apple has a Support article on PowerNap and it appears to explain what Susan was experiencing.
* "Mail and Notes (if running); Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Photo Stream, Find My Mac, and iCloud Documents are checked every hour."
* It also notes that you do need to leave the Mail and Notes apps running before your Mac enters Power Nap for it to do the checking.
V Other scheduled tasks worth noting in the article are
* Time Machine backups are attempted hourly until a successful backup has been completed.
* Software Updates are checked daily.
* Mac App Store downloads are checked once a week.
* The article has a full list of all the things that will still happen on your Mac in PowerNap mode and also points out that some tasks, like downloading software updates or running Time Machine backups, will only run when on AC power.
V Another thing to note is that PowerNap will silence alerts and disable lights, system sounds and fans when active. Fans are only disabled on Flashed storage, not Fusion Drive, based Macs
* Also, if you use the Play Sound or Send Message feature of Find My Mac, Power Nap does not make a sound. (not good).
* The main idea with PowerNap is to have your Mac still be able to do specific tasks while sleeping but in a way that is energy efficient and will save on power consumption.
V The article has a full list of Macs that are compatible with PowerNap
* Basically Macbook Airs (most models), Retina Macbook Pros, and the late 2012 model iMacs and Mac mini
* The desktop Macs require OS X Mavericks to enable PowerNap.
V The article also notes some differences in how PowerNap works when your battery gets low depending on the Mac model you have
* Notebooks with 2013 or a later year in the model name use Power Nap until the battery is drained.
* Notebooks with 2012 or an earlier year in the model name suspend Power Nap operations if the battery has a charge of 30% or less. Power Nap operations resume once you connect a power adapter.
V PowerNap is turned on or off in the Energy Saver System Preferences
* System Preferences > Energy Saver
* Uncheck the "Enable Power Nap" to turn it off. I believe it's enabled by default on supported Macs
* On notebooks the setting is found under the 'Battery' tab in Energy Saver preferences
* Apple also mention disconnecting bus powered devices to optimize PowerNap when running on battery power, but really who's going to do that?
* Regardless, great article worth reading and thanks Susan for figuring this one out and pointing the way to a solution.
V Replace Mavericks Login Background
* Last show I had someone as how to replace the grey fullscreen background in OS X Mavericks
* I found and described how to do it in OS X Mountain Lion by hacking the '' in Core Services, but that trick no longer worked in OS X Mavericks.
* This week I thought I found the solution when Cult of Mac linked to a post on OS X Daily.
* This one covered changing the OS X Mavericks login screen wallpaper, but alas it only does that and not the Mission Control or full screen backgrounds
V Still it's a cool tip, if you're not timid about totally hacking the core of your System and possibly totally breaking your OS.
* This trick actually doesn't technically replace the grey background, but covers it up by replacing the Apple logo PNG file with a giant piece of wallpaper
* You'll need an big PNG, the full resolution of your Macs display
* Make 4 copies of the PNG file, rename the files exactly to be the following: apple.png apple_s1.png apple_s1@2x.png apple@2x.png
V In the Finder Go menu choose Go > Go To Folder… and enter this path:
* /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/LoginUIKit.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LoginUICore.framework/Resources/
* In that folder select the apple.png apple_s1.png apple_s1@2x.png apple_s1@2x.png apple@2x.png apple@2x.png files, hold the option key down and drag them someplace in the Finder, to create backup copies so you can restore them later if you want to go back to the standard images.
* Now find your new versions of those files and replace the system ones with yours. You'll probably need to enter your admin credentials.
* Now logout of your account to see the new login wallpaper
V Closing
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