Maccast 2014.07.18 - Show #494
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Intel delays impacting Macbook Updates
* A Chinese site reports that once again Intel has delayed the release of it’s next gen Broadwell chips those would likely be the processors in next gen updated Macbook Pros and Macbook Airs
* In May Intel’s CEO promised that the Broadwell would be here for the 2014 holiday season. According to Mac Rumors he will keep his promise, but just barely and it won’t help with any updated Macbooks.
* The new Broadwell’s will be out only in the Core M line used for ultra low power products like two-in-one computers.
* It looks like chips Apple wants won’t be out until early 2105 at the soonest, a rumor that was echoed by CNET.
* The Broadwell was originally slated to enter production in late 2013 before production was delayed until Q1 2014. It was then delayed again until Q3 2014 and now not until next year.
* The issue seems to be trouble with nailing down the new 14 nanometer process Intel is using to fabricate the chips.
* We’ve heard Apple has been planning a fall update of the Retina Macbook Pro line and also may introduce a 12-inch Macbook Air, but looks like if they do they’ll have to relay on Intel Haswell technology.
* Current gen Retina Macbooks Pros already run Haswell and the Macbook Air just got a Haswell refresh and price drop last April.
* The Mac mini is the last Apple product due for a Haswell upgrade, although it’s not clear when or if that might happen.
V Once the Broadwell is available it’s expected to be 30 percent faster and more energy efficient the Haswell.
* At this point it looks like the first dual-core Broadwell chips with GT3 (HD 5000 or Iris) graphics destined for Macbook Airs might arrive in February of 2015 at the earliest.
* The quad-core chips with Iris Pro graphics, more suited for the Macbook Pro line, are expected to be ready in about a year, July of 2015.
* The delayed release could put Apple in a bind because the after-Broadwell generation of chips, Skylake, are set to arrive in late 2015 (chances are that history might repeat itself though and those could get pushed back too).
V Like IBM for Apple in the 90s, Intel might be losing it’s edge and it’s appeal.
* Rumors that Apple has been looking at moving to it’s on chip designs for it’s desktops.
* With less focus on upping GHz and more on increasing battery life and reducing heat Apple may decide it’s better to put it’s fate in it’s own hands.
* When it comes to desktop and notebook CPUs Intel still seems to be the choice, but only time will tell if Apple still thinks so.
V iPhone 6 leaks are less "fluid"
* As Apple no doubt starts ramping up production we are seeing more a more parts leaks for the iPhone 6 that look legit.
V Some of the back shells we’ve been seeing now illustrate some of the rumored design changes in more detail.
* Cut out Apple Logo, like on the iPad. Could be for more radio transparency or NFC antenna and also may bring a nice "glowing" logo accent, like on Apple’s notebooks.
* The antenna breaks appear to be made of a "non-conductive polymer" to help better insulate the different antennas from each other.
* Holes on the left side show the move to "pill" shaped, instead of round, volume buttons.
* Right edge shows SIM tray cut out, but also a cut out for the power/sleep/wake button (moved from the top of the phone).
* There have also been images of a darker than "space" grey back case. Could make this "leak" less believable?
V AppleInsider reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has begun production of Apple's A-series processors and the chips are now making their way to assembly plants.
* Production on it’s 20-nanometer fabrication lines started in the first quarter, but they now appear to be approaching full ramp-up.
* Samsung still remains as the main producer of the A-series, but TSMC is expected to get more and more business from Apple moving forward.
V The A8 chips are expected to remain 64-bit dual core, but it’s believed Apple will increase the CPU frequency to 2.0 GHz.
* Many of Apple’s competitors are now using 32-bit quad-core designs, but recent test by Anandtech on the current A7s showed Apple processors outperform other players in the mobile phone marketplace.
* They also noted that almost no current Apps fully maximize the power of even the A7 processor at the current clock speeds.
* I think we may have a new round of "megahertz myth" on our hands.
V Apple might also be looking to TSMC to take on the bulk of A-series production after the A8
* The next version of Applle mobile processor is expected to be a quad-core design
* Apple and TSMC are also rumored to be collaborating on R&D for moving to to 16-nanometer production next year.
V But the relationship also might not last if TSMC can’t deliver
* A separate report from The Commercial Times says Qualcomm is working with Samsung on a 14-nanometre process of their own.
* They also speculate that if TSMC can’t get the job done that Apple might switch back to Samsung for A-series production on the iPhone 6s which could happen as production starts up in the second half of 2015
* Frankly this info isn’t surprising. Apple has always been "nimble" with it’s suppliers and likes to keep it’s option open.
V The Sapphire screens will be amazing
* Leaked torture test video show that think hacked, slashed, pounded, and bent.
* Super clear.
* Did shatter under the weight of a 1.6-ton vehicle.
* Apple’s competitors are about to be at a huge disadvantage I think.
* They are citing cost and easier break-ability in drop tests.
* I think Apple has developed new manufacturing processes that address both those downsides and have a superior material to Gorilla Glass that will take their competitors years to match.
V And a follow up to the torture tests with sandpaper seems to confirm two key points
* First that Apple’s new display is not 100% pure Sapphire
* Second, that the material does seem to be a hybrid that offers better scratch resistance than Gorilla glass with more flexbility and impact resustance than pure sapphire.
V There seems to be widely conflicting reports on Apple’s partners ability to produce the glass components.
* An analyst from NPD DisplaySearch claims Apple and GTAdvanced capacity is at 45 million units for the iPhone 6 launch.
* Predictions are Apple wants 70 million iPhone 6 units at launch, so they would be short on Sapphire.
* A report from JPMorgan puts the Sapphire production for phone displays at only 10 million units
* So now a few sources claim Sapphire might only be on the extreme high end models, like the rumored 128GB version.
* Still others have pegged production currently at 100 million units with GT Advanced ramping up to be at 200 million units in the near future
V Camera sensor could get an upgrade
* A Chinese Sony enthusiast site is claiming the iPhone 6 might contain a 13MP unit from Sony
* This is the first we are hearing this rumor and it contradicts earlier ones that claim Apple is sticking with an improved 8MP sensor.
* I think all the parts leaks I’ve seen to date seem to be for a 4.7-inch device and maybe for good reason.
V Our favorite analyst, Ming Chi Kuo, says the the 5.5-inch model is in risk of not launching this year.
* The larger model is said to be facing issues with its new in-cell touchscreen panel, as well as color unevenness on the new "iPhone 6" metal casing.
* The issues also are causing production issues for the 4.7-inch model, but are worse on the larger model.
* Kuo also claims the 5.5-inch Sapphire panel might not easily pass drop tests
* He seems to think delaying would be Apple’s best bet, but said they may launch late in 2014 after mid-November.
V While Apple may still be having case and display issues at least one report claims their battery hurdle could be solved
* Samsung and LG Chemical were reportedly having issues making batteries thin and flexible enough for the iPhone 6.
* Once again, Economic Daily News reports that Apple found a supplier in Taiwan that was up to the task
* Simplo Technologies has reportedly has been hired to produce the batteries needed.
* G for Games also claims that a third supplier, Sunwoda, to begin supplying iPhone 6 batteries as well.
V Indeed supposed battery parts images have started to surface.
* They show a 1,810 mAh unit, which is only slightly larger than the 1,560 mAh battery in the iPhone 5s.
* The size is also quite a bit smaller than cells found in similarly sized phones from Apple’s competitors.
* Apple’s tight hardware and software integration and custom chips could keep the real world battery life specs equal though.
V Apple asked to do more for accessibility
* A Reuters piece got some flack from Apple fans this week because it highlighted a resolution approved by members at the National Federation of the Blind conference to press Apple to create and enforce accessibility standards.
* The Apple community became irritated because Apple arguably does more than any of their competitors to make their products and services accessible
V I say arguably because there have been oversights like iTunes where it took Apple longer than it should have to make it accessible.
* They did after reaching an agreement with National Federation of the Blind in 2008 after the organization send a demand letter and the Massachusetts Attorney General opened an investigation. They did not "sue" as was reported by Reuters (later corrected).
V The Reuters coverage was also more irritating because the selectively used a quote from Tim Cook.
* they chopped it in a way that made it seem like Apple was aware of the issues of accessibility in technology, but also left out the part that showed that Apple works to change that.
* Reuters said, "Tim Cook described how people with disabilities live “in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged.”

“They’re frequently left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others,”"
* The full quote though, "People with disabilities often find themselves in a struggle to have their human dignity acknowledged, they frequently are left in the shadows of technological advancements that are a source of empowerment and attainment for others, but Apple’s engineers push back against this unacceptable reality, they go to extraordinary lengths to make our products accessible to people with various disabilities from blindness and deafness to various muscular disorders."
* The NFB president also said in a recent statement that Apple has gone far beyond the scope of that original agreement and made the vast majority of its products accessible to the blind.
* What the National Federation of the Blind is seeking now though is for Apple, and others like Google, to more to enforce and require accessibility guidelines in apps.
V Specifically the resolution states:
* "…this organization calls upon Apple to work with the National Federation of the Blind to create and enforce policies, standards, and procedures to ensure the accessibility of all apps, and to ensure that accessibility is not lost when an app is updated."
V Apps are often the bigger issue, because while iOS has great built-in accessibility, parts do need to be implemented in the Apps software in order to work fully.
* Many apps they say lose accessibility when updated and there is no way to revert apps back to functioning versions.
* Apps can, for example, be rejected for offensive content, but are not required to be accessible.
* I see their point.
V One idea that might be nice for Apple to implement would be a "Accessible" label in the iTunes store for Apps that fully implement Apple’s accessibility guidelines.
* That would highlight the App developers who are doing it right and let customers who rely on accessibility know the app they are purchasing will work for them.
V Apple TV update brings "extras"
* Finally you can get "Extras" on the Apple TV
* Playing a purchased movie on the Apple TV 2 or 3 now give you a menu where you can access the extra content.
* To get extras on Apple TV you need to be running the 6.2 firmware that Apple released last month
* Of course there is also a "recommend" tab to offer other movie you might want to purchase based on the one your viewing.
V iTunes 11.3 also brought HD Extras on the Mac
* Consumers who have previously purchased HD movies from the iTunes Store will receive the new content as it becomes available at no additional charge.
* Extras will also be on iOS 8 in the Fall
V Many iTunes song previews reverting back to 30 seconds
* MacRumors noted that, recently, many iTunes song previews have reverted back to 30 seconds.
* It wasn’t clear why at first, but 9to5 Mac points out a possible explanation
* When Apple made the switch to 90 second previews they didn’t have a agreement with the labels to do so, they just advised them that they would be switching.
* By leaving the content on the Store the letter sent to the labels said that they would "agree" to the terms.
* I’m guessing now that some of the labels have decided to object?
V Apple seems to be testing a Passbook based refillable iTunes Gift/Payment Card service dubbed "iTunes Pass".
* It was first spotted in Japan, but now seems to be appearing in other iTunes Store apps on iOS devices including in the US and Australia
* Customers add "cash" to a Passbook card in store and then can use the card on iTunes or the App Store
V To get iTunes Pass, open the iTunes Store on a iOS device that offers Passbook support. Scroll down and tap on the button with your "AppleID" button and Sign in if needed. Tap 'View Account' to access your account info and scroll down and find the "iTunes Pass" section. Tap the link to add the card to your Passbook.
* After that, a Specialist at an Apple Store near you will be able accept payment by scanning the iTunes Pass card in Passbook. Your balance will be updated on the spot and is available immediately."
V Why use this instead of just buying gift cards or using iTunes "allowance"
* Quicker to add cash to your account, if you have easy access to an Apple Store
* Don’t have to buy Gift Cards all the time. Like using the Starbucks app.
* Good for people without credit cards.
* Some people prefer "pay as you go" accounts.
V iWatch delayed to later in 2014?
* In a recent research note KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the announcement of the iWatch has been pushed back to mid- or late-November, with a release to follow before the end of 2014.
* The reason, he claims, is that this is a whole new level of production and software integration for Apple.
* First AMOLED display for Apple. New level of Sapphire glass production. New system-in-package (SiP) processes to get circuits down to size. Major OS redesign to get it to work and integrate with a tiny display.
* For the UI you could argue they could be drawing on some lessons learned from the iPod Nano, but still that was not "iOS".
* There is also the packing in and integration of the myriad of sensors the device is rumored to possibly have. Something not mentioned by Kuo.
V Frankly I would not be surprised if Apple doesn’t launch the iWatch this year.
* Very little pressure from competitors, even if there is from the media, analysts, and Wallstreet.
* Apple needs to get this right and can (and I think will) take the time to make sure that happens.
V The Economic Daily News is citing a G for Games report that the iWatch will come in three versions with two different face sizes
* 1.6-inch and 1.8-inch
* The 1.8-inch, they say, will have a Sapphire glass and non-Sapphire version.
* Kuo had said two screen sizes 1.3-inch and 1.5-inch in the past.
* Reuters a couple weeks ago claimed the watch would have a much larger 2.5-inch display.
V Apple pushes further into Enterprise with IBM
* Apple and IBM announced what they are calling a "landmark" partnership in the Enterprise market.
* With most of the Fortune 500 already deploying Apple devices Apple was doing OK on it’s own, but the deal with IBM could make those efforts look small.
* In the deal Apple will provide hardware and support services. IBM will sell iOS devices to it’s corporate customers that use IBM's cloud infrastructure and the two together will work on developing over 100 native iOS versions of IBMs apps for their business customers.
* The software is also said to co-exist with Apple’s own iCloud initiatives.
* The deal would mean Apple selling hardware into some of the large business "verticals" that IBM serves, like retail, healthcare, banking, travel, telecommunications, and insurance.
* Apple also announced they will sell a new "AppleCare for Enterprise" service providing 24/7 support business for their IT departments and corporate users.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Restore a missing Recovery Partition
* Play SSD review from Richard
* If you have a notebook, that will accept a 2.5-inch SSD natively, you may still need a "spacer" to get things lined up. 7mm SSDs need to come up a bit since the drive you’re replacing might be 9.5mm
* Richard helped me because I had done a similar process of using a NewerTech USB Universal Drive Adapter and SuperDuper to migrate my data to my new SSD before I installed it.
* What I hadn’t thought about was that Recovery Partition. Sure enough I did not have one.
* I could have wiped my SSD, reinstalled OS X from scratch and then restored my data from Time Machine or my new SuperDuper backups.
* Luckily I found a handy AppleScript app called Recovery Partition Creator from Christopher Silvertooth
* It lets you create the recovery partition "in place" on a drive.
V You can even create the partition on a separate drive, like an external.
* Be aware if you do this some things, like Find My Mac which requires the recovery partition on the boot drive, will not work.
V To use Recovery Partition Creator:
* Make sure you have full backups. Things worked pretty well when I used it, but better safe than sorry. The script will be creating a partition and formatting it, etc.
V Download the OS X installer App
* Open the App Store
* Go to the 'Purchases' tab
* Find your OS X install and click Download
* When it finishes and starts the installer, cancel the install
* There should be a file in your Applications folder like, 'Install OS X'
V Prepare your drive
* I had some issues when I didn’t do this
* Run Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility
* Repair the drive and repair permissions.
* You might need to boot from an external drive to repair your boot volume.
V Run Recovery Partition Creator
* It will show which version of OS X you are currently running (10.9.4 in my case). Remember this.
* It will ask you at some point to verify the volume.
* Also will ask you to locate the OS X install app and which version of OS X you are creating a recover partition for.
* Let it do it’s thing and watch the Dock for bouncing icon. There isn’t much feedback.
* Once it’s complete it will tell you.
* Try a restart while holding down Command+R to boot to the recovery partition.
V Enable 'debug' menu in Disk Utility
* This gives you an option to 'Show Every Partition'
* 'defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1'
V How does "Find My" Work
* Play comment from Greg
* Find My Mac allows you to locate your missing Mac geographically by using either the Find My iPhone iOS app or through
V It does require that the Mac (or device) is on and it’s connected to the Internet.
* It would need to find open wi-fi and be powered on.
* Remote Wipe and Remote Lock can still work as long as the Mac is connected to a network at some point. Doesn’t need to be wi-fi.
V Needs to be turned on first
* Open System Preferences, then select iCloud.
* Sign in with your iCloud account, if you’re not already
* Check on 'Use Find My Mac' and 'Allow' it’s use of location services.
* Uses wi-fi triangulation, since Macs don’t have GPS
V Finding your your Mac with or the App
* Go to Visit and log in with your iCloud username and password.
* Click on 'Find My iPhone' (yes the name is odd for finding a Mac).
* After a brief period, it should find all your Macs and devices registered with "Find My" services.
* Click 'All Devices' at the top of the window to get a list of items found.
V Selecting one will give you options
* Play Sound
* Lock
* Erase
* The Find My iPhone app works very similarly
* Playing the sound will play at full volume even if you’ve muted the Mac.
V Remotely locking a Mac will immediately set a passcode and the the Mac cannot be accessed without that code. Any activity will be immediately ended, but any data is maintained
* You cannot remotely wipe a Mac that has been passcode locked.
* When you choose to lock a Mac it will warn you that it can’t be erased.
* It will also let you set a message to be displayed on the Mac.
* After setting the passcode and message it only boots to the recovery partition and requires the passcode.
V The erase feature will wipe the drive and passcode lock the machine
* You can also again set a message
* It can take a day or more to fully wipe the data.
* If you do recover and enter the passcode it will boot to the recovery partition.
V Find My Mac without being logged in. Yes, kind of.
* OS X stores on the Recovery HD your credentials for iCloud and the status (enabled or disabled) of the Find My Mac feature.
V If you enable the Guest account, then that can be used without credentials
* System Preferences > Users & Groups
* Click the lock icon and enter admin credentials to make changes
* Select the 'Guest Account'
* If you check 'enabled' then that account will be accessible on the login screen.
* You can enable parental controls on the guest account to further limit access to apps, web sites, etc.
* If File Vault is on then the Guest account only has access to Safari.
* The Guest accounts data, settings, etc. are wiped out on logout.
* Find My Mac seems to work as long as iCloud is enabled and the Guest account exists. They don’t even need to log-in.
V Prevent iTunes Match uploads
* Ali just started using iTunes Match and is enjoying it, but one feature is giving him trouble.
* Any items that iTunes Match can’t "match" will be upload to iTunes in the Cloud.
* There are items Ali doesn’t want uploaded and so the question is, is there a way to disable that feature.
* The short answer is 'no'. It’s and all or nothing thing.
V There are some rules to iTunes Match
* It will only upload unmatched files if the bit rate is 128kbps or higher
* It will only upload MP3 or AAC formatted files. Other kinds will be converted if they are 128kbps or higher
* It will only upload files 200MB or smaller
* It will only upload 'Music' files
V So you could use the rules to prevent specific files from being uploaded.
V Specifically changing the 'Kind' to 'Audiobook' might work, but could be inconvenient and annoying.
* You need to turn off iTunes Match first
* Select the track
* Choose 'File' > "get Info…'
* Go to the 'Options' tab.
* Change the 'Media Kind' setting
V Create a separate iTunes Library for the songs you don’t want matched
* Hold down the 'Option' key while opening iTunes
* Choose 'Create New Library…'
* Add the tracks to this new Library
* Don’t enable iTunes Match on it.
* Switch Libraries by holding down option again when opening iTunes and select 'Choose Library…'
V TMO’s wi-fi tips
V My friend Dave Hamilton over at 'The Mac Observer' posted 4 great wi-fi tips after talking with Alf Watt, former Apple Wi-Fi engineer and creator of iStumbler
V 1. Use same SSID for all routers on the same network. Even if they are in different bands.
* Your Mac is smart and will pick the best one.
* 2. Use more access points, but turn down the transmit (TX) power (if you can). And connect together with cables if you can. Powerline is a good choice.
* 3. Don't use "Wide" 40MHz channels on 2.4GHz (not an option on Apple routers).
V 4. If you have external antennas, make them perpendicular. One straight up and one at 90 degrees (horizontal).
* Radio reception is maximized when both client and access point have matched polarization (antennas pointing along the same plane).
* Some Macs, like the latest Macbook Pros, have horizontally oriented antennas.
* And for those who don’t know, iStumbler is a great app for seeing and analyzing the wi-fi networks around you, among other things.
* Dave has Al Watt on his Mac Geek Gab podcast to talk about this, so you should listen to that too.
V Closing
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