Maccast 01.27.2014 - Show #475
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Apple's 2014 off to a good start
V Apple will announced it's first fiscal quarter 2014 financial on Monday breaking records.
* Revenues of $57.6 billion and net profits of $13.1 billion, up 6% over the same quarter a year ago
* Apple sold 51 million iPhones for $32.5 billion in revenue, up 51 percent from the prior quarter and 7 percent year over year.
V iPads accounted for $11.4 billion with Apple selling 26 million. An 85 percent increase over the last quarter and 14 percent year over year.
V 4.8 million Macs sold accounting for 6.4 billion in sales. A 6 percent increase over the prior quarter and up 19 percent year over year.
* That's with the PC industry in general losing 10 percent in shipments according to IDC
* The one obvious and expected big decline was iPod sales which were down 52 percent year over year. They only brought Apple a BILLION in revenue, yes a BILLION.
V Apple did well in retail and online too
* 4.4 billion came in through Apple retail, a 19 percent increase over last year
* iTunes services made $4.4 billion in the quarter, with $2.4 billion in sales from iTunes alone.
* Apple's cash hoard now stands at just $158.8 billion, but they did give back 7.7 billion to shareholders
V During the call Apple's executives seemed audibly thrilled to be reporting the outstanding numbers
* Only Wallstreet could find a way to hate numbers like this, Apple's stock went down over 8 percent in after hours trading.
* They are likely responding to the guidance Apple gave during the call.
* Apple said it would report between $42 billion and $44 billion in revenues, but analysts were expecting guidance of $46.1 billion
V After the call analysis
* Revenue from the Americas actually declined 1 percent year-over-year to $20.098 billion
* Europe and Japan were up 5 and 11 percent, respectively and China revenue was up 29 percent to $8.844 billion
* iOS 7 has now been installed on 80 percent of compatible iOS devices
* Innovation isn't dead at Apple, if anything it's too good. Apple is just really careful about where they will focus, "We have zero issue coming up with things we want to do, disrupt in a major way. The challenge is always to focus on the very few that deserve all of our energy. (We've) Always done that, and we'll continue to do that." - Tim Cook
V Apple could match PC sales 1 to 1 in 2014
V Asymco’s Horace Dediu says this year sales of Apple products will match sales of Windows PCs
* To be fair he's counting iPads and iPhones along with Macs against just Windows PCs. (sales of Windows Phones and tablets, while small, are not insignificant, but would likely only delay when the event would happen, not if.
* His data shows that by last year there were only 1.18 more Windows PCs than Apple devices.
* John Gruber points out the the shift in ratios started with the iPod, well before the release of the iPhone.
* In transition of computing from desktops and notebooks to other devices (the Post PC era) Apple has been significantly ahead of the curve.
* Apple's "halo" strategy is key in my opinion
V Apple's "What was your first Mac" is telling
* It keeps changing, but of the 2009 Macbook Air (1st - 3.5%) and the 2010 Mac mini (3rd - 2.5%) have consistently been in the top three. The 1984 Macintosh (2nd - 2.7%) being the other Mac.
* Even comparing just Macs to PCs the trend still stands. in 2004 the ratio was 56:1, last year it was just 18.8:1.
V Larger screen iPhone inevitable?
V Almost every source out there is saying the same thing.
* 1) The next round of iPhones will have larger screens
* 2) That it will be "screens", not "screen". Most say two sizes.
* What's not agreed on in the size and type.
V Display Search
* Lower end option with a 4.7-inch unit and a resolution of 1,600-by-900 pixels (386 pixels per inch)
* A huge 5.5-inch display. 1,920-by-1,080 pixels (407ppi)
* Just for kicks they also predict the 12.9-inch iPad display at a 2,732-by-2,048-pixel resolution.
V Chinese publication Tencent
* A 4.7-inch iPhone 6 model may enter production as soon as May
* Will have the same resolution as the current iPhone
* Apple will follow with a 5.7-inch higher resolution model later
V Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company,
* Design is "locked down"
* 4.8-inch display and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
V The Wall Street Journal
* One model with a screen between 4.5 and 5 inches. A second model who's screen will go beyond 5-inches
* Both new phones will have metal casings and Apple will scrap the iPhone 5c's plastic.
* Expected in the second half of the year, but will not have a curved display.
V Other rumors
* iPhone 6 will have an 8-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization features and F1.8 lens.
* Slimmer, but a little heavier than prior iPhones (it has a bigger screen. more glass = more weight)
* Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn is said to have successfully assembled at least 100 prototype next-generation iPhone units with sapphire-covered displays
* Apple partner GT Advanced Technologies is set to open a sapphire manufacturing plant in Arizona. Cook confirmed in a recent interview, but wouldn't say when production would begin.
V 12.9-inch iPad Pro this Fall
* Digitimes is claiming that Apple is now prepping the so-called "iPad Pro" for a late Q3 2014 launch
* They say Apple is accelerating development in response to Samsung's introduction of two competing 12.2-inch tablet models
V The feeling is that the new larger iPad would serve to bridge the gap between the tablet and notebook
* What about storage? 256GB at least
* Confusion with the Macbook Air?
* Apple designed keyboard accessory? Included?
* Isn't it just a touchscreen Macbook Air?
V Some Macbooks having hardware issues
V Rising complaints from owners of early-2011 MacBook Pro models with discrete AMD GPUs
* A growing 190-page plus thread on the Apple Support Communities
* The issues seem to arise during graphics-intensive operations, like viewing high-definition videos or running heavy compute tasks
* Video "tearing" or screens going blank.
* Some temporary relief can be had through common fixes like restarting an affected Mac in Safe Mode, or resetting NVRAM/PRAM, rebooting to single user mode and performing a 'fsck', or even re-installing OS X.
* Some users report that running gfxCardStatus to force the Mac to run in integrated GPU mode helps
V The issue seems to be the discreet AMD GPU and could be related to heat issues.
* My 14" white iBook G4 has an issue where heat eventually cracks the solder points on the GPU
* My 2010 Macbook pro also had discreet GPU issues and was replaced with an early 2011 model.
V If it is overheating then using the app smcFanControl and running the fans might help
* They say it's OS X Mountain Lion compatible, but Roaring Apps says it still works in OS X Mavericks.
V Some users of the MacBook Air's June 2013 revision are experiencing Wi-Fi issues
* this ones from a 132-page Apple Support thread
* Dropped packets, inconsistent network connections, high latency, and low data transfer rates from the newly refreshed 802.11ac connection.
* An Apple Spokesman told MacNN that a fix for "any reported Wi-Fi connectivity issue not related to hardware failure" is forthcoming, but declined to give a release timeframe.
* The fix is likely in OS X 10.9.2 which is in beta testing and could be out soon.
V Updated Apple software
V iOS 7.1 Beta 4
* Slide to unlock animation more prominent, with a brighter, slower animation.
* "Add to Contacts" link in Phone dialer now just a "+" icon next to the Phone number
* In the U.K., there is a new Siri voice on the iPad.
* Supposedly fixes a bug in Messages in caused it to report messages as not delivered even though they were.
* Apple has also acknowledged the "reboot" issue in iOS 7 and promises it will be fixed.
* The release of iOS 7.1 to the public is currently believed to be slated for sometime in March.
V iTunes 11.4
V Supposedly had a ability to access the Wish List from the iTunes library, instead of having to visit the iTunes Store or the App Store, but could seem to find it.
* It now appears for me though under the "hamburger" (three lines) menu in the Library.
* Improved support for Arabic and Hebrew
* Stability fixes and improvements along with security updates.
V iWork updates
V Pages 5.1
* Vertical ruler
* Share password-protected documents via iCloud link
* Customizable alignment guides
* Set keyboard shortcuts for styles
* View character count with or without spaces
* Improved precision for inserting and pasting objects
* Create charts with date, time, and duration values
* Delete sections from the page navigator
* Improved compatibility with Microsoft Word 2013 documents
* Export password-protected documents to DOCX format
* Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Pages ’09 and Microsoft Word documents
* Start a list automatically using new special characters
* Improved support for bidirectional text
* Improved ePub export
* Bug fixes and stability improvements
V Keynote 6.1
* New transitions including Droplet and Grid
* Enhanced presenter display options
* Share password-protected presentations via iCloud link
* Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Keynote ’09 and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
* Create charts with date, time, and duration values
* Improved compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 presentations
* Bug fixes and stability improvements
V Numbers 3.1
* Sort by multiple columns
* Sort a subset of rows
* Text autocompletes when editing cells
* Chart date and duration values
* Optionally highlight rows and columns on mouseover
* Progress indicator for calculations
* Custom number formats in charts are preserved on import of Numbers ’09 and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
* Share password-protected spreadsheets via iCloud link
* Export password-protected spreadsheets to XLSX format
* Improvements to AppleScript support
* Improved compatibility with Microsoft Excel 2013 spreadsheets
* Bug fixes and stability improvements
V iWork for iCloud also got an iOS 7 like facelift along with new features
* view a list of your documents, spreadsheets, or presentations that others have recently shared with you
* add passwords to documents and share password protected documents
* improved VoiceOver support
V Apple has silently removed the old Keynote Remote application from the App Store
* Apple has included much of the functionality of the old remote app within Keynote itself via the "integrated remote" feature.
* If you have a copy, the old Keynote Remote continues to work with the newest version of Keynote for Ma
V iMovie 10.0.2
* Fixes issues that could cause iMovie to quit unexpectedly
* Resolves issues that could cause sharing to fail
* Addresses a situation where the Share button would not respond
* Resolves situations where project thumbnails appeared blank
* Fixes an issue where high resolution photos appeared green on some computers
* Resolves cases where Crop, Ken Burns, and Map features were not accessible on computers using certain languages
* Includes general stability improvements
V Podcasts app for iOS was updated
* Fixes chapters in enhanced AAC podcasts, also fixes Artwork
* Pull to refresh under the My Podcasts tab
* Fixes bugs, including one that caused podcasts to suddenly stop and another that prevented subscriptions from updating automatically.
V Mac mini update soon?
* Someone in the MacRumors forums spotted a placeholder listing on a Belgium retailer's site.
* Haswell based Intel Core i5 and i7 processor
* Intel Iris graphics
* 802.11ac wi-fi and Gigabit ethernet
* Thunderbolt
* Shipping in late February
V Apple TV to gain gaming
* iLounge has heard from reliable industry sources that Apple TV will soon be getting proper game support in an update, likely to come in March
* Bluetooth controller options and support
* Games that can be purchased and downloaded directly in the Apple TV
* Combining built-in gaming, with controllers, and integration of iOS devices as "second screens" could make for some really interesting new games.
* Apple might also be experimenting with motion controls as well according to some sources.
* Apple has been opening up the platform recently to content producers and delivering new "channels", this seems like a next natural step.
* Other apps, news, weather, RSS, etc i would think would not be far off after games.
V Apple's Mobile Payment System
* Guess who's not surprised?
* The Wall Street Journal says Tim and Eddy are making the rounds with with technology industry leaders to discuss a possible mobile payments system rollout.
* Apple executive Jennifer Bailey, who ran the company's online stores, was tasked with building out an in-company payment business, according to the publication
V Tim Cook was asked about this during the quarterly results call
* He called it something Apple has been "intrigued with"
* He also said it was one of the thoughts behind Touch ID.
* I have been saying that Apple's in store "Easy Pay" system is the perfect model and something Apple will eventually roll out to other retail stores.
* Combine in Touch ID and and iBeacons (for promotions, etc.) Retailers can roll the payment system into their own Apps.
* All tied to your Apple ID and iTunes Account so retailers don't need to have any credit card data. Something desirable in light of all the recent hacking (Target, Michael's, etc).
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Why we use Macs
* The Mac turned 30 last week and I was kind of nostalgic
V I did a Member episode on my history with the Mac and I've often talked on the show about why I'm a Mac user
* The short answer is Apple technology is always secondary to the task. It's not just a tool, but a helpful assistant.
* I programmed a Windows PC and often, not always, the technology would hinder the process. this is when it was functioning properly, the Mac, when not working, still gets in the way, but that goes for ANY tool that is malfunctioning.
* I asked for feedback on why people were Mac users and Dan sent me this. Play clip.
* If you have a story you want to share send it in, please just try to keep it brief.
V Get the Mac Anniversary icon font
* A friend of 9to5 Mac noticed that the mac icons used in Apple mac 30th Anniversary website are actually a True Type font
* You can download and install it on your Mac.
* Just double click the .TTF file and install 'mac-icon-standard' font in FontBook
V Bluray playback on the Mac
* On my episode with Ara he mentioned not being able to playback Bluray DVDs on the Mac.
* John says he has a way. Play clip.
* Thanks for the recommendation and endorsements. My only issue with those apps is they look like hastily ported Windows or X11 apps.
* I full admit I'm a GUI snob, what can I say Apple has spoiled me. Yeah, yeah they get the job done, but seriously would it kill you to spend a few bucks to hire a designer?
* A quick Google search and a Macworld article turned up Aurora Blu-ray Player for Mac (USD $30)
* Macworld Article
* John also had a question about his Macbook Pro upgraded to a 1TB drive. He had 300GB free, but suddenly lost 100GB and remembered something I said about Time Machine backing up to your internal drive when it can’t find the external drive. True?
* Yup, it's called Time Machine local snapshots and I covered it back in August 2012
* They are created in /Volumes/MobileBackups.
* It will only kick in if you have more than 20% free disk space and when your Mac get 80% full it will start to overwrite older local snapshots.
V OS X and apps also don't count the space used by local snapshots as "used" it's available for storage.
* The Finder and Disk Utility won't typically show the storage used up by local snapshots
V You can see how much space is being used by local snapshots from the "About This Mac" window.
* Select About This Mac from the Apple menu.
* Click the More Info button in the window that appears.
* Click the Storage tab to see available and used disk space.
* The space used by local snapshots is labeled as Backups.
V If you don't like the idea of Time machine using local storage at all you can issue a command in the Terminal to disable the feature:
* Launch the Terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and issue the command 'sudo tmutil disablelocal'. You'll need to enter your Admin credentials
* To turn it back on use the command 'sudo tmutil enablelocal'
* To force a local snapshot you can issue the command 'tmutil snapshot'
* If you disable the local snapshot feature you can verify it's off by going to the Time Machine preferences pane. If it's off you'll no longer see the "Time Machine keeps local backups as space permits" text.
V Mac upgrade and buying advice
* Play comment from Casey
V On the buying date, it's hard to say. Apple updated the line in February 2013 and then in October last year. They've also had summer, June, updates in the past.
* My best guess is this year a Summer update is more likely since apple just went with a new architecture in October. Intel has done a small rev, but nothing major that would require a February update.
* That said your timing might be perfect. If Apple does rev in February/March you buy. If not, maybe wait until June to see what happens.
* Need also always trumps release cycles.
V It really depends on your needs, but I always prioritize my decisions like this: RAM, HDD/SSD, screen size/model, and then processor.
* RAM to me is the first place to spend money because it can't be upgraded later. You'll probably want 16GB now if you can afford it.
V The Flash storage, can't be upgraded, but you would have the option of using an external. You sacrifice portability for sure, but if your budget's squeezed it's at least an option. Personally if I could afford the RAM and 1TB Flash I would opt for both
* This is with the "I want 4-6 years" of usage.
* If you'll replace sooner then the 512GB might get you by fine.
* In moving data, it really doesn't matter too much. A direct connection on Gigabit Ethernet might be a bit faster, but that's about it. You'll want to use Migration Assistant either way.
V Audio issue with Fusion Drive Macs
* Play another comment from Dan
* There are long Apple support threads describing this issue and one really good 'User Tips' article in the Logic Pro thread that covers this (and other) USB audio interface issues
* The Audio problems are most often described as 'popping' or 'crackling' noise
V Possible solutions or workarounds
* 1) Boot from an External HD and make sure the FD is not accessed at all during recording. i.e. turn off things like Backups and make sure recordings and "scratch disks" are not writing to the FD.
V 2) Split the FD into separate SSD and Mech Drives… I didn't even know this was possible, but Macworld has a nice write up on the procedure.
* Not for the fait of heart
* Not supported by Apple
* Won't be able to use the Disk Utility app to format drives
* Splitting up a Fusion Drive eliminates the recovery partition (you'll need a USB key or to use Internet Recovery).
* 3) Contact Apple and ask for a non FD replacement iMac (when/if possible). What Dan did.
* 4) Wait for a fix from Apple.
V On the noise canceling, I have no idea how the technology works, but would covering the second mic hole work to disable it?
* The mic is hiding above the Apple logo on the back side of the case. The main mic I believe is the one on top.
V Closing
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