Maccast 2014.10.30 - Show #504
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile
V PDFpen Scan+
V When going paperless usually the best time to scan a document is right when you get it.
* I’ve had stacks of documents that I meant to scan into my system someday.
* You also typically need a centralized location to store your scanned docs. These days probably someplace in the cloud where you can have access from any device or computer anytime.
* Scan multiple pages effortlessly with post-process image editing
* Scan “Receipt” and “Custom” paper sizes
* Preview OCR text as a page overlay
* Crop easily and with precision
* Improved OCR accuracy and OCR text layout
V And version 1.4 was just released
* Auto-export new scans to Dropbox or PDFpen’s iCloud storage for sharing with PDFpen on iOS or Mac
* Last folder used for import or export will be remembered
* Optional prompt for renaming documents including current date
V News
V Apple rocks the quarterly results
* Ending Fiscal 2014 (Q4) they raked in $8.5 billion in net profit on revenue of $42.12 billion
V They had record iPhone sales of 39.27 million units up from 37.79 million units a year ago.
* Some of those were iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but remember they were only available for the last few weeks of the quarter.
V iPad sales continued to be slow
* 12.3 million units down from 13.1 million a year ago
* Apple did just have the iPad Air 2 update so we’ll see if that helps in the 1st quarter, but I don’t think so.
* iPads are becoming the PC replacements Tim Cook predicted and I think they are bringing along the longer upgrade cycles.
V A surprising stat was Macs. Apple sold more than 5.5 million Macs in the quarter a new quarterly record.
* Good news in a period where PC sales continue to be on the decline.
* Not surprisingly iPod sales continue to slide.
V Apple will create a new 'Other' category for their financial results which will combine the sales of the new Apple Watch, iPod, Apple TV, Beats products and other accessories.
* This could make it hard to break out exactly what Apple Watch sales look like, but I’m sure we’ll still be able to draw some fairly obvious conclusions.
V New iMac and Mac mini torn down and benchmarked
V iFixit did the autopsy on Apple’s newest iMac and found it mostly unchanged
V The major expectation being the new 27-inch 5,120-by-2,880 pixel 5K Retina panel
* The display in the teardown was made by LG, but Apple has been often known to use multiple suppliers
* The iMac also has that new Apple designed custom LCD Timing Controller.
* The data cable running between the logic board and display is wider in the Retina iMac to support additional bandwidth requirements.
* The rest of the layout of the internal components remains largely unchanged.
* The processors and GPUs did get a nice bump with next-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and AMD Radeon 290X and 295X graphics units
V The fastest Retina 5K iMac configuration, using a 4.0GHz quad-core i7 chip, managed to achieve a single-core performance score of 4,438 and a multi-core score of 16,407 on Geekbench 3 tests
* That beats the late 2013 iMac with a Core i7 3.5GHz processor by 13.3 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively
V Both new Retina iMac configurations (the 3.5GHz i5 and 4.0GHz i7) managed to beat the MacPro in Single-Core performance tests. With the 4.0GHz iMac beating it by 23.2 percent and the 3.5GHz version having a 7.8 percent lead.
* In multi-core tests however the Mac Pro can’t be touched.
* The highest end Mac Pro bested the highest end Retina iMac by 98.4 percent in multi-core tests.
V The Mac mini also received the teardown treatment
V In benchmarks it’s showing improved single-core performance over, but decreased multi-core performance
* In single core tests there is a 2-8% speed increase
* dual-core models 2012 vs. 2014 benchmarks are down 7%
* dual-core 2014 vs quad-core 2012 performance is down 70-80%
* Speculation as to why the mini has only dual cores is that the Haswell dual core and quad core processors use different sockets (a change from Ivy Bridge which has the same for dual and quad cores). That would mean a different logic board requirement to support a quad core upgrade.
V There were some who felt the upgrades were more of a let down
* Play feedback from Marco.
* No more quad-core processor options or dual drives (servers)
* The base model has just a 1.4Ghz dual-core with Intel HD 5000 Graphics and just 4GB of RAM. It did get a $100 price drop selling at $499.00
* RAM is no longer user replaceable, but the hard drive still can be.
V iOS 8.1 better, but still some rough edges
V The update brought bug fixes and some killer new features
* Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only), but seems to work some places abroad with US credit cards.
* iCloud Photo Library beta
* Camera Roll and My Photo Stream album (if iCloud Library is not enabled)
* Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages on from their iPad and Mac
* Fixes wi-fi and Bluetooth issues for some.
V The SMS and MMS feature needs to be enabled on Yosemite
* Click on the  menu.
* Select System Preferences.
* Click on General
* Make sure the option for Allow Handoff is checked.
V Also, activate "text message forwarding" on your iPhone
* Make sure you're signed into iMessage on your non-iPhone device and on your iOS device
* Tap on Settings
* Tap on Messages then link your Mac using Text Message Forwarding to enable the feature.
* You'll be asked to input a code that appears on your Mac to verify.
V Setting up Apple Pay
* You need to open up Settings or Passbook to see Apple Pay features.
* Tapping the "+" icon in Passbook will allow you to add a card. Or if you have a card on file with iTunes you can tap the link to add that to Passbook automatically.
* When adding a card you can use the camera to capture your card data. It will try to get the number and expiration date. You need to manually add the CVV2 code.
* Some cards require additional verification steps, such as phone calls and emails.
V Additional card options are available in Settings > Passbook and Apple Pay
* You can set up Transaction Defaults like billing address, shipping address, email, and phone number.
* Some cards will display recent transactions.
* You can also see the partial device account number here.
V Using Apple Pay is easy at supported terminals (look for the "Wifi egg" symbol or the Apple Pay logo)
* Rest your finger on the Touch ID sensor and tap the reader area of the payment terminal with the top of your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus
* In about a second or less it will scan your fingerprint and accept the payment
* It’s work that smoothly several times for me.
* If you don’t want to use your default card tap the terminal without resting your finger on the Touch ID. It will then give you the option to select your card and then prompt for the fingerprint scan.
V The battle over Apple Pay begins
* Apple has been bold about stating they have support from over 220,000 stores, many of the major US banks, and support from AMEX, Visa, and Master Card
* In the first 72 hours of the service going live, over one million credit cards have been activated on Apple Pay
* Despite that it’s looking like it will be a bit of a battle to get Apple Pay accepted at all your favorite retail locations
* The biggest challenger is the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). A consortium of retailers who have banded together to set up their own app based payment platform called CurrentC
V Apple Pay actually worked at many of the retailers in the MCX, but quickly they began shutting down NFC support on their terminals
* RiteAid was the first we heard about. That was followed quickly by CVS and Walmart
V Being a member in MCX requires exclusivity.
* There is not a penalty fee for accepting other forms of payment, but doing so would seem to break the MCX agreement
* Midwest grocery chain Meijer, seems to be the first MCX member to break ranks and say they will also accept Apple Pay. It’s unclear at this point if they will be allowed to continue as MCX members as well.
V How CurrentC works
* There is an app you need to install on your device
* You open the app and scan a QR code at point-of sale
* The QR code generates the payment token on the smartphone which verifies the shopper’s presence, identity and initiates the transaction between the merchant and the bank.
* That "payment token" is displayed as another QR code that merchant scans to accept payment.
V The Apple Pay vs. CurrentC battle will
V CurrentC appears to be much more complex, cumbersome for the consumer, and offers a lot less privacy.
* This is likely the biggest thing that will lead to it’s failure with consumers
* CurrentC doesn’t support contactless Near Field Communications (NFC)
* CurrentC only works with prepaid store cards and debit cards tied directly to your bank account.
* CurrentC is designed to allow retailers to avoid credit card fees.
V The CurrentC system passes a lot of data to the merchant
* Let’s retailers track your purchases and history
* Customers will have the ability turn off location based services and opt out of marketing communications within the app
* Seems to shift liability for fraudulent charges to to the consumer. Debit cards and pre-paid cards don’t carry the same fraud protections as credit cards.
V Some of the retailers behind CurrentC don’t have the best security reputation.
* Walmart made the statement that they believe merchants are in the "best position" to create a mobile payment service for consumers.
* And on Thursday CurrentC notified system Beta testers that "unauthorized third parties obtained (some) e-mail addresses"
* They believe only email addresses were stolen and are telling customers to customers to not open links or attachments from unknown third parties, that may be sent as a result of the data theft.
* The company has claimed to be subject to US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data security and reporting requirements which requires Internet-facing be encrypted.
* Electronista has learned that the emails stolen were stored in plain text.
* CurrentC is all software based, no NFC, TouchID, etc.
V CurrentC carries an exclusivity clause which is why partners appear to be disabling Apple Pay and NFC on their terminals
* This was confirmed by CurrentC, but they said there are no fines if a Retailer wished to leave the system.
V The good news is there has been a large vocal revolt against CurrentC and it’s not even out or widely available yet.
* It feels very similar to the "Ultraviolet" vs. iTunes Digital Copy war.
* Disabling NFC impacts Google Wallet as well, so customers are coming together to fight MCX.
* Tim Cook called the fight a “skirmish” and noted that merchants will only be relevant if they are loved by their customers
* The site Boycott MCX is maintaining a list of both NFC (Apple Pay) retailers and MCX partners so you can easily see which retailer are in which camp.
V Apple Pay has had some minor technical bumps of it’s own
V Some BofA customers using their debit cards on Apple Pay saw double charges.
* BofA issued refunds on any duplicate charges
* I saw this with my AMEX when I scanned, but it didn’t take. Both transactions showed in my history, but in my case only one was charged.
* Some users also reported credit card images that didn't match their cards.
V Apple is already reportedly looking to expand Apple Pay’s features
* A report says they are actively scouting out partnerships for things like building security, public transit tickets and more
V iPad Air 2 specs revealed
* As happens once iPads get in the wild the iPad Air 2 has been inspected and run through it’s paces and looks to be quite a nice upgrade
V The A8X chip seems to triple core processor
* Three cores is an interesting design, with some Android tablet already running four core processors
* AppleInsider noted however that Apple’s three-core design still smokes Samsung's own Exynos 5420 Octa Application Processor (4 active cores or 8 advertised cores), used in its Galaxy Tab S 10.5. The iPad Air 2 came in 69.5 percent faster in multiple core tasks and 104 percent faster in single core tasks. That’s also with 2GB of RAM vs the 3GB in the Galaxy Tab.
* The chip also seems to be clocked out at 1.5Ghz, up 100MHz from the previous iPad Air
* The iPad Air 2 also appears to have 2GB of RAM. That would make it the first iOS device to break the 1GB of RAM barrier.
* It also has a 15% smaller, 7340 mAh battery, but maintains it’s battery life specs.
V There were also external and internal design changes. Removal of the orientation lock/mute button being the biggest external change (apart from the thinner profile). Internally there are redesigned speakers, repositioned Wi-Fi antennas (located at the top-edge of the Wi-Fi model), dual ambient light sensors and dual microphones.
* Control Center on the iPad Air 2 has separate mute and rotation lock buttons.
V Overall the iPad Air 2 scores roughly 13 percent higher on single-core benchmarks and 55 percent higher on multi-core benchmarks.
* Interestingly in the test published the iPad Air 2 did not top all the charts.
* AppleInsider noted that the testing tool used though was"out-of-date" and "not optimized for assessing the performance of Apple's latest hardware". Which may explain why the iPad Air 2 showed poor performance on some test.
V Why is the iPad 2 so much faster even though the raw specs might seem to indicate otherwise?
* The classic rule, numbers don’t tell the whole story. It’s not what you have, it’s how you use it.
* Apple opts for faster RAM, not just "more" RAM
* They use fewer cores, but opt for 64-bit vs. 32-bit architectures
* All while reserving energy and maintaining battery life.
* They tightly integrate the hardware and the software to squeeze every milliounce of performance from their devices
* This means devices that run faster, work harder, and do more with seemingly less.
* The benefit to us is a user experience and performance in the iPad that no other company can touch.
V They also found a NXP 65V10 NFC Controller in both the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3
* The same one that Apple uses for Apple Pay in its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
* It’s unclear why the chip is in there.
* Speculation is it might be there so that iPads could act as Point of Sale and payment terminals to accept Apple Pay
* Also, smart home controls or secure money transfers between iOS devices.
* Or Apple might just "turn on" Apple Pay support for iPads one day?
* Or none of the above because the iPads lack NFC antennas. That leaves speculation that the chip houses the secure element to store Apple Pay data for the in-app payment feature.
V That GT Advanced thing
* I don’t run a business podcast, so while this story is "big" news it doesn’t interest me all that much
* Still it’s a big deal and we need to mention it.
* It is intriguing for how big a failure this seems to be and also seems to indicate we might not see Sapphire iPhones or iPad any time soon if ever.
* The gist of the story, as far as I can tell, is that GT Advanced made some pretty large commitments to Apple and were unable to come through. That’s a big oversimplification, but as I said I’m not a business guy.
V Details of deal came out and it seems, even to a non business guy, like the worst deal in history
* GTA took huge risks and agreed to an exclusive deal with Apple with no guarantee Apple had to buy anything
* The original plan was for Apple to buy 2,600 sapphire furnaces and other equipment that GTAT would then operate, but that was later changed with Apple loaning the money for the equipment
* They agreed to produce 262kg boules in a given timeframe, even though The company’s current furnaces only produce 115kg. And they couldn’t meet the deadline.
* The price of sapphire was significantly lower than GTAT expected and Apple had a deal for even lower prices in 2015.
* The company also faced extreme fines under the exclusivity agreement. $640,000 if they sold sapphire to another company, $650,000 if they loaned out a furnace, $320,000 per boule if they delivered late.
* Apple also had the right to cancel a purchase order without paying GTAT.
V As a results the two companies have "agreed" to part ways.
* GT Advanced is filing for bankruptcy
* Apple released GT all exclusivity obligations
* GT will retain ownership of all production, ancillary and inventory assets located in Mesa [Arizona]
* GT will repay Apple the $439 million pre-payment made to GT over a period of up to four years without interest. It appears they will recover this money by selling off their sapphire furnaces.
V The worst part of the whole thing is that 727 workers will lose their jobs at the plant in Mesa, AZ.
* An Apple spokeswoman said the company is focused on working with the city of Mesa, Ariz., and Maricopa County to help the GT Advanced employees who were affected by the company's bankruptcy.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Hacking Continuity on older Macs
* Turns out it can be done, but it’s not for the faint of heart
* Requires a very specific Airport Card, one with Bluetooth 4.0 LTE Support.
V Can be done for 2011 Macbook Pros, and quite a few other Macs.
* Need Airport card BCM94331PCIEBT4CAX (with a BT20702 chip)
* Some can be enabled with the default built in hardware. The Continuity Activation Tool site has a full list.
* You’ll need to open up your Mac and install the card, iFixit has instructions
V Need to use the Continuity Activation Tool to enable support in OS X Yosemite
* This is VERY risky as far as I can tell, I will not be trying this on my Mac (doesn’t seem worth it)
* The tool disables OS security features in order to work and you run a risk of ending up with a non-bootable Mac on first restart, but also if you ever do a PRAM reset.
* I still want to know if there are any 3rd party Bluetooth dongles that are supported "out of the box" without hacking.
V Fix for iTunes 12 manual music sync
* We had a few of you write to say that once you upgraded you were no longer able to sync music from iTunes over a USB direct connection
V Andrew may have found a solution
* He ended up checking the "Manually Manage Music" box in the device Music settings in iTunes
* He did get a waning that Music and Videos would no longer be sync’d to the phone, but then it sync’d his entire Library.
* After that he unchecked the box, it warned him that music and videos on the device would be replaced with content from his iTunes.
* Once it was sync’d back up all was working fine.
* This "fix" can actually work for many USB media syncing bugs.
* I think it’s because it forces a rebuild of the Music library files on the device.
V OS X Mavericks gone from App Store
* Since the release of OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks has been pulled from the Mac App Store.
* If you had previously downloaded OS X Mavericks on ANY mac it should be available to you in the 'Purchases' area of the MAS
V If you never downloaded it you are out of luck.
* I contacted Apple Support and they said it’s no longer available and are advising people to upgrade to OS X Yosemite
* OS X Yosemite is supported on all Macs that supported OS X Mavericks
* They did say if you absolutely only want OS X Mavericks you could contact Applecare Support and they might be able to help, but that it’s handled on a case by case basis and based on availability of OS X Mavericks to them on that day.
* This is why since OS X Lion I began creating a USB installer for each OS.
V This is easy to do with Diskmaker X or you can also Google for instruction to do it manually using terminal commands
* You need to have already downloaded the OS X Installer to your Mac, so it won’t work if you don’t have access to OS X Mavericks from the MAS
* You need to first download, but not install, the OS.
* Make sure you have a backup of your Mac.
* Run Diskmaker and then use an 8GB or larger USB flash drive. It will be erased during the creation process.
V iOS Keyboards not allowed for Safari passwords
* Carlos emailed me after our discussion of 3rd party keyboards in iOS 8 and the fact that some require, or need, you to set the 'Allow full access' option.
V The reason is so that the keyboard can communicate back to the full app
* Allows the keyboard foot print to remain smaller
* Allows the keyboard to share data, including key presses, with the host app.
* Could allow data to be sent over the network.
V Carlos pointed out that when entering passwords the 3rd party keyboard is not allowed to be used.
* iOS, at least for password fields Safari, will switch back to the built-in keyboard.
V Startup Items not working in OS X Yosemite
* Play comment from John
V Apple has been warning developers of this change and it’s that Startup Items are deprecated technology and they need to move to using daemons
* Now I’m talking about "startup items", not "login items" which are apps defined to launch in the System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items tab.
* Startup Items tend to be lower level processes that startup in the background. Like MySQL for example.
V Why it no longer works
* Apple used to call any items in '/Library/StartupItems' or '/System/Library/StartupItems' from their own System Starter Launch Daemon
* That has been removed, also the /sbin/SystemStarter.
* What replaces that is LaunchAgents (per-user session) or LaunchDaemons (system-wide) scripts/applications
* So now what you need to do is re-write and move the old StartupItems plists and put them in their own PLIST files in '/Library/LaunchDaemons/', then add them to 'launchd' using the 'launchctl'.
V Helpful links:
V Good reminder that with ANY new OS there can be unexpected behavior
* Backup, backup, backup
* Don’t forget the small stuff, like startup-items, menu items, system preference panes, drivers, plug-ins, your old "hack arounds", low level installs (like Homebrew stuff).
V Try to take an inventory before you upgrade and check the developers sites for notes on OS X Yosemite compatibility
* Look in Applications folder, System Preferences, Menubar, ~/Library/Application Support, ~/Library/Preferences
V There have been some reports of wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity issues
* Seems to drop connection almost immediately or within about 10 minutes.
* The only "reliable" fix seems to be a script that was written to detect the connection failure and then toggle the wi-fi off and back on forcing a reconnection (The Roy Trenneman fix).
V Memory leak in Mail
* Some users are reporting Mail using up as much as 24GB of RAM
* The only way to recover is by opening Activity Monitor to Force Quit the Mail app
* Apple support reps have suggested third-party extensions are the culprit, but most users are still affected by the memory leak after disabling extensions.
V OS X Yosemite’s batch re-name feature
* Thanks to this great article by Melissa Holt at the MacObserver, I now know about a cool new feature in OS X Yosemite
* As she mentions, it seems small but has been a long time coming and is very useful. The feature is batch re-naming files.
V Of course in Apple style it’s also fairly easy to use:
* In the Finder, select the files you want to rename. You can shift+select a list of files or do the Command+Select thing.
* Then right- or Control-click your selected items
* In the contextual menu you should see a 'Rename X Items…' option. Select that and you’ll get a renaming dialog.
V In the dialog you get three options: "Replace Text," "Add Text," and "Format."
* "Replace Text" allows you to search and replace a piece of text within the filenames selected.
* "Add text" will let you put additional text before or after your filenames
* "Format" let’s you append the date or a number to your filenames
* In the lower-left corner of the window it will display an example of how your renamed files will look before you apply your changes.
* Click 'Rename' and your files will be renamed.
* It’s really nice that we have this built-in and in Apple style the feature is simple and gets the job done, but there aren’t a ton of options or features.
* If you have really specific file or batch renaming needs you still might need to relay on a tool like A Better Finder Rename or Name Mangler
V Managing OS X Mail Attachments
* In OS X Mavericks, and I assume Yosemite, attachments in Mail could be using up quite a bit of extra space on your Mac.
* Finding and managing those attachments could also be tricky.
* The reason why is how Mail typically handles those attachments and where they are stored locally.
* I started digging into this because listener Chris emailed me to say he was able to save 13GB of space on his Mac by unchecking the "Automatically download attachments" option in the 'Mail > Preferences > Accounts > Choose Account > Advanced' menu for his IMAP accounts.
* Now I tried this and simply unchecking the box didn’t immediately free up space on my Mac.
V So I wanted to know:
* How is OS X Mavericks handling email attachments.
* What exactly does the "Automatically download attachments" setting do.
V The "Automatically download attachments" setting, according to Apple, changes what types of attachments are automatically downloaded to your Mac.
* By default media attachments (such as image, PDF, video, and audio files) are ALWAYS automatically downloaded
* If the "Automatically download attachments" setting is on, ALL attachment types (such as spreadsheet or zipped files) are downloaded
V Where are the attachments
* Prior to OS X Mavericks they were in ~/Library/Mail Downloads (not too hard to locate)
* Now they are in '~/Library/Containers/ Downloads'
* Not only that, inside the 'Mail Downloads' folder they are in cryptic folders with hashed ID folder names.
* Items are automatically added to this folder if you have the "Automatically download attachments" setting is on, but also ANY media files you receive as attachments will ALWAYS end up here.
V Even if you don’t have the setting set there are still several things you could do to get files added to the Mail Downloads folder
* Open the file with a double-click or with the Open Attachment command in its contextual menu.
* Control-click a file and use any contextual menu command. If you Control-click but then change your mind and just let the menu close—too late! A copy is stored the moment you open the menu.
* Use Quick Look to view it.
* If you leave the message window, come back, and do any of these actions an additional copy of the attachment is also created.
* When you save the attachment via the File > Save Attachments menu or if you use the drop down on the grey divider line of the message with an attachment (not the contextual menu) then a copy is NOT saved in the Mail Downloads
V Editing may or may not alter the downloaded copy
* This seems to depend on the app that is used to open the attachment
* If you double click in Mail the attachment is saved to Mail Downloads and opened. If you alter and save it (not a Save As…) then it will often save back to the Mail Downloads overwriting it’s copy. Return to the message and re-open the attachment and the altered copy will be the one you get.
* iWork documents seem to be an exception, and there may be others. With these when you open directly from Mail the title bar shows, 'Untitled (OriginalName copy)'. It’s treaded like a new document so when you save it prompts you to save to a new location leaving the copy in Mail Downloads in tact.
V What about saving space
* If you’re using an IMAP account, and are not deleting items on the server, then you could safely delete any copies from the '~/Library/Containers/ Downloads' folder.
* The next time you accessed that message in Mail it should go out to the server and happily re-download the attachment.
* This will not work for POP account since those messages are downloaded from the server and then removed (unless you’ve changed your POP settings to always leave copies on the server).
* I checked and I have about 400GB of data in my Mail Downloads. I have periodically gone through this folder and deleted items.
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