Maccast 2014.08.18 - Show #497
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V How does it know what's important?
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V News
V Rumor Different: Updated iPads
* Seems like all we’ve been hearing about is what the new iPhone 6 will look like. Don;t worry, plenty of that in a bit.
* This week though Bloomberg claimed to have some deets on the next gen iPad Air
V They say the next version of the 9.7-inch tablet has gone into production along with the next gen iPad mini and that the Air will feature an all new anti-reflective coating.
* That should help with viewing outdoors, especially in bright light.
* Let’s just hope it works better than Apple’s oleophobic coating.
V Unfortunately the report doesn’t mention any other new features or improvements, but I think we could assume some things
* Updated processor, likely an A8
* Upgraded graphics processor
* Touch ID
* Possibly improved battery life.
* I don’t expect much in the way of design changes, but maybe slightly thinner?
* 802.11 ac wi-fi?
* I would expect that iPad sales (and tablet sales in general) are going to continue in a "stasis" mode. It’s now a fairly mature product category and were past the rapid adoption phase.
* New models will always just sales a bit, but not to the levels we’ve seen with past releases.
* Good news is profit margin for more mature products are better, so I still expect iPads to contribute their part to Apple’s bottom line.
* That said, this is the year of the iPhone 6 and possibly iWatch I think.
V iPhone 6 might show some warts
V We’re beginning to see what is reported to be "final" and "assembled" iPhone 6 case designs from moderate to reputable sources like Sonny Dickson and Feld & Volk
* The recent Sonny Dickson one does seem to be a "pre-production" design, but reportedly represents what we’ll likely see when the product is show off in September.
* The bummer is they are the same old "fugly" versions we’ve been seeing in mockups.
* The hideous full surround antenna breaks and metal endcaps.
* Also there are now hints of a wart like camera bump similar to that of of the iPod Touch.
* What’s going on? Has Jony lost it?
* For me thin only works when it’s sleek and sexy. Not covered with blemishes, gaps, and bumps.
* The Feld and Volk leak does show a rounded glass edged front panel.
V That TMZ "fully assembled" iPhone 6?
* I’m with TUAW, in calling FAKE!
* They pointed out the discrepancies in the OS and it looks like it’s one of the Andriod mockups we’ve seen before
* The icons are missing details, like the "tick" marks in the Safari compass, the too bold Calendar font, etc.
* Plus the build quality is crap. Indented SIM tray and a silver finish that looks like Krylon.
V Also starting to get questionable leaks of 5.5-inch parts
* Logic boards and a whopping a 2,915 mAh battery. We’ve seen multiple times a 1810 mAh battery that should be for the 4.7-inch model.
* Motorola's 4.7-inch Moto X boasts a 2,200 mAh
* The 5.5-inch leak is also calling the 5.5-inch model the "iPhone 6L" with the "L" for "Large". Ah, yeah I think that’s lame too.
V What about the sapphire?
* Will it? Won’t it? It’s the question of the year.
V The Wall Street journal thinks Apple will only use the material in two models of it’s higher end iPhone 6 models, due to cost and limited availability
* They also say the material will cost consumers, so if true, expect to shell out more for the sapphire.
V A JP Morgan analyst thinks that the sapphire display will not materialize at all this year.
* He cites costs that are 10 times higher than Gorilla Glass
* Notes that GT Advanced Technologies, has acquired a company known as Twin Creeks, which uses a wafering process dubbed "Hyperion" that could help to significantly reduce the cost of building a sapphire screen cover.
V It all will come down to what Apple has been doing in secret with GT Advanced Technologies
* There’s one camp that thinks they’ve been stockpiling sapphire for Apple for a couple years and that they have far more production capability than some think.
* They also say that the close partnership has possibly yielded production techniques and cost saving that the rest of the industry and analysts are missing.
* I think this could be the bombshell that has all Apple’s competitors scrambling again for the next year, just like the 64-bit A7 did last year.
* With all the sapphire hype that has been building up around the iPhone 6 it could be an emotional and financial defeat if Apple doesn't ship it this year.
V New cable
V Also, there’s rumors of Apple delivering the brand new USB to lightning cable
* Offers reversible connectivity. Any orientation in a Type-A USB connector.
* Basically put the connector in the center rather than on one side and has contacts on both sides
* A company called UltraTek already sells that kind of cable, branded as "Flipper", and has a patent.
* Unclear if Apple is licensing the connector or not, but likely not since they filed for their own patent last month.
V There is also a new USB spec for a USB 3.0 Type-C connector
* It has a small reversible connector on both ends.
* Would support to 100W charging, so faster charges may be possible
V Same amount of RAM
* A sketch source out of China claimed to have images of a schematic that showed the iPhone 6 would have just 1GB of RAM, keeping it the same as the iPhone 5s
* The same source also recently claimed that the iPhone would have an NFC chip.
* Later it was pointed out that the 1GB chip pointed out in the schematic was part of the NAND Fashion module.
* Apple can do a lot with 1GB of RAM, but I think it's time for that spec to bump a bit.
V "iPhone 6" has entered the "product validation test" stage, which is the final step before mass production.
* All the parts leaks we have been seeing and the pace at which they’re surfacing also seem to support that production should begin soon.
V DigiTimes says that Pegatron has won a contract to produce 25 million of the estimated 50 million 4.7-inch iPhone 6 units.
* The remaining 50% of iPhone 6 4.7-inch production would supposedly be handled by Foxconn
* That number is much larger than a report in May that said Pegatron would get just 15% of the business.
* It’s not clear who would be getting the 5.5-inch production, but that could be Foxconn
* Apple is expected to have a special event on September 9th to announce the next gen iPhone. The release typically follows about 10 days after on a Friday making September 19th likely for the "on-sale" date.
V Graphics issues for some 2011 Macbook Pro Owners
* According to AppleInsider there is a growing number of owners of early-2011 Macbook Pros experiencing GPU-related system failures
* They also say that Apple is aware of the failures, but they don’t acknowledge the issue as widespread and at this time have no plans for a replacement program.
* The trouble seems to be related to failing AMD-built discrete GPUs in some 2011 15-inch and 17-inch Macbook Pro models
* The AppleInsider piece claims that Apple has escalated Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) requests for further investigation up the chain and at least a handful of repair network managers have been informed of the issue.
* It’s not clear at this point how wide spread the issue is but in the AppleInsider report on service provider claims to be taking in about ten laptops per week with the issue
* The program Apple uses internally for take back, replacement and exchange initiatives is called their "Quality Program" and it’s only activated in the event of severe, widespread or potentially dangerous hardware failures. So seems at this point Apple feels they aren’t there yet.
* There is a 521 page support thread with more than 7,600 posts and over 1 million views on Apple’s forums, so not sure what qualifies as a "serve" issue, but this seems to be getting there.
V This story is of particular interest to me because I own an early-2011 15-inch Macbook Pro and it just came out of Apple Care warranty in June.
* Actually this WAS a Quality Program replacement for the 2010 model which also had GPU failure issues.
* Since i have had my machine I have had intermittent display issues I describe a artifacting, fritzing, static, tearing, etc. But they are always random and brief. Lasting just fractions of a second.
* That makes it just harder to reproduce at the Genius Bar.
V Safari gets security patches
* Apple released new versions of Safari for OS X Lion/Mountain Lion and OS X Mavericks
* The updates fix security and WebKit issues
* For the newer OSes there is the Safari 7.0.6 update and if you’re running an older OS you’ll get Safari 6.1.6.
* The updates are available in the App Store Apps Software Update or you can get them from Apple’s Support site.
V OS X Yosemite beta 6
* Following two weeks after the last update developers have a new version to play with.
V The update comes with several visual tweaks and new wall papers
* The wallpapers are all Yosemite themed which is appropriate.
* All the system preferences icons have been redesigned and cleaned up with a Yosemite look.
* Do not disturb has been brought back to Notification Center's sidebar
* At first launch you can choose to share diagnostic data with Apple or third party developers independently.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Target Display Mode iMac only
* Last time we discussed Apple’s target display mode a bit.
V It’s a feature that Apple added in 10.6.1 that allows some iMacs to be used as an external display for another Mac
* Basically 2009 and 2010 27-inch iMacs using Mini Display Port to Mini Display Port cables
* iMac (Mid 2011 or later) with Thunderbolt to Thunderbolt cables.
* With the earlier iMacs the source Mac can have MiniDisplay Port or Thunderbolt ports
* With the newer iMacs your source Mac has to have Thunderbolt
* The iMac can work as a display for any devices that can send out a DisplayPort compliant video and audio signals.
* I need to clarify that ONLY iMacs can be used as displays in TDM.
* This TIL made it seem like ANY Mac with Thunderbolt to MiniDisplay Port could function as a display in TDM, but that seems NOT to be the case.
V Time Machine Maintenance
V Play question from Gary
* Warn about noise near the end of the recording
V The actual error message Gary was getting:
* "The backup disk ran out of space unexpectedly. Time Machine will try to make more space available by removing expired backups during the next scheduled backup."
V This specific message is rare, but can come up.
* Typically what happens is before the Time Machine backup starts, in the "preparing" phase, Time Machine estimates how much needs to be backed-up, adds at least 20% (sometimes much more) for workspace, then determines if there's enough room on the destination.
* If there isn’t room it will then start deleting the oldest backups to make the space it estimates it needs
* If it can’t do this without deleting the last remaining back then it will fail with a "The backup disk is full," or "This backup is too large" message and doesn’t copy anything.
* In RARE cases it might start copying anyway and then when it hits the space limit give the error Gary saw
V Possible fixes
* There could be an issue with the disk. Run Disk Utility on it and see if it can be repaired.
V See if there are any ".inProgess" files left on the Time Machine disk. These can be large.
* 1.Go to System Preferences > Time Machine and turn Time Machine OFF.
* 2. In the Finder, open the HD containing your Time Machine backups.
* 3. Open the Backups.backupdb folder on the Time Machine drive.
* 4. In that folder open the folder that is named the same as your Mac
* 5. Look for any ".inProgress" files in that folder and move them to the Trash.
* 6. Hold down the "Alt" key and empty the Trash
* Sometimes if you’re just having lots of Time Machine issues the best be is to re-format the backup drive and start over.
V Deleting specific items from Time Machine
* Enter Time Machine
* Browse back to the file and date you want to delete back from
* When you find the item you want to delete, select it, and then open the Action menu (looks like a gear) and choose Delete All Backups for the item.
V Breaking up your iPhoto
* iPhoto libraries can get HUGE. If you have years of photos you can easily get in the TBs for storage
* Now too with SSDs making our internal storage smaller, not bigger, when we upgrade space is at a premium and you might be looking at not having enough room for all your memories
* This is something that hit Jimmy recently and he’s looking for solutions.
* One he asked about was splitting up the iPhoto Library and having most of the photos on an external drive, but maybe just this years photos on the internal.
V That’s a great idea and not that hard to do.
* First, make sure you have at least two full backups of your iPhoto Library.
V First open up iPhoto and create a Smart Album to separate out the current years photos
* File > New Smart Album…
* Set the filter parameter to 'Date' 'is after' and set the date to ’12/31/2013'
* Now select that album, select all the photos, and drag them to a backup drive or folder to export them out of iPhoto.
V 2. Now quit iPhoto and re-open it while holding down the 'Option' key.
* This will show a dialog with options to choose a library or create a new one.
* Press 'Create New…', choose a location (internal drive in the 'Pictures' folder), and give it a name, "2014 iPhoto Library".
* Click 'Save' to create the new blank Library
* 3. Now drag the 2014 photos you exported out earlier into your new iPhoto Library.
* Now you can move your old iPhoto Library off onto an external drive. Just copy the iPhoto Library file to the location you want.
* To switch between a Library just hold down the option key when launching iPhoto and choose the library and click 'open'
* It will always open the last library you had open by default.
V If you want an easier way to manage multiple libraries look at iPhoto Library Manager
* It lets you separate iPhoto Library and maintain metadata
* You can also remove duplicates and merge libraries too.
V Another thing to consider is just cleaning up your iPhoto Library
V Do you really need every blurry picture or all the ones with your thumb over the lens? Why are you saving those?
* Or how about all those screenshots or food images?
V Remove photos from Messages
* Graciano wanted to know if there was a way to delete ALL photos from the Messages app
V If you get a lot of MMS these can build up and use a ton of space. Graciano has almost 14GB of messages
* You can check in Settings > General > Usage from your device. Then look at "Messages"
V Unfortunately I don’t believe in iOS 7 there is any way to globally delete just photos.
* You could swipe and delete an entire Message thread, but then you’d lose all the messages and photos.
V You can delete individual messages and photos from a thread
* Open Messages and select the Message thread
* Tap and hold on the photo or message you want to delete from the thread
* When the pop-up menu appears tap 'More…'
* Check the messages/photos you want to remove. They will get marked with a blue checkmark.
* Then tap the 'Trash' at the bottom and tap 'Delete Message' to delete the selected messages.
* You can also use this trick and tap the "forward" icon (instead of Trash) to send the selected messages or photos to another person.
* In iOS 8 there will be a 'Details' view for a Message thread that will allow you to see all the photos in a thread grouped together and that will make selecting them easier (won’t need to scroll), but I still don’ t think there will be a global "Delete all photos" option.
V You might want to use an app like PhoneView or iExplorer to export and backup your Messages before you delete them
V Another cool Messages trick is to reveal the timestamps for Messages in a thread
* Swipe from the right edge of the Messages interface to the left.
* It will then "pull out" the timestamps.
V Closing
V Book codes not working for some
* David Sparks generously gave five codes to me for his new Mac Sparky Field Guide: Presentations
* I gave them all away, but unfortunately some of you could not use them as they appeared to only work in the US Apple Store.
* David’s book is available in other countries, but I guess the codes don’t cross boundaries.
* If you did get one you can’t use pass it on or pass it back and I’ll make sure it gets to someone who can use it.
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