Maccast 2014.11.09 - Show #505
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Apple’s Beats work goes on
V In a Billboard interview Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, the former Chief Creative Officer for Beats Music, and now Apple employee has said he is deeply involved in a secretive music delivery product in the works at Apple.
* He confirmed that the work was in the realm of streaming music, but he wouldn’t divulge any specific details
* He also shared his opinion that the age of paying for music is "a relic of a bygone era" and noted that most kids are growing up in an era where they don’t feel they need to pay for music.
* He specifically noted YouTube as a place where kids will willingly watch ads to get to listen to their favorite songs.
* He also talked about how more and more people are comfortable with the idea of the cloud and not so dependent on a physical tie to their media and content.
V Wireless Beats Solo Headphones in development
* At least it appears that way thanks to a Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) testing department document
* Earlier this year, Beats launched the Solo2 wired earphones as a cheaper alternative to the Studio model.
* Now those might get a wireless update under Apple’s watch.
* Using Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy technology and a miniUSB jack for charging.
* Overall the design of the headphones appears the same as the wired version.
* The documents also show that the units will likely carry an Apple brand. Apple is specifically listed as the creator and tester of the new product, and the packaging sample is marked with Apple's Cupertino, Calif., address
V Rumors of iPad Pro continue
* Japanese blog Mac Otakara is back with tales of Apple’s continued development of a 12-inch iPad "Pro"
* They claim Apple is specifically designing the device to take on Microsoft's Surface Pro 3.
V The latest rumors do bring some design changes
* The biggest being that Apple might use a smaller 12.2-inch display vs. the 12.9-inch one that has been rumored in the past
* The case is said to resemble a large iPad Air 2
* The also claim the design will have two additional speakers and a microphone at the top of the iPad. This might allow it to support stereo audio.
* It won’t be as slim as the 6.1mm iPad Air 2, but more in the range of the 6.9mm to 7.1mm iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
* Presumedly Apple is looking for an early 2015 launch of the new "Max-iPad" (yes, I did just call it that).
V The size of the iPad is now even closer to the rumored 12-inch Retina Macbook Pro and, as crazy as folks say I am, I still believe there’s a possibility that both these rumors are about the same device
* The fact that this new rumor say Apple is targeting the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, just makes me further believe Apple is exploring merging the iPad and Macbook Air form factors into a hybrid style device.
* Others have tried and failed, but I think with the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft is gaining some traction and they are for sure targeting the Macbook Air in their marketing.
V Could the new big iPad crush development of the mini one?
* Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed that Apple will cease updating the 7.9-inch iPad mini next year.
* They say focus is shifting to larger screen devices like the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and point to the minot update to the iPad mini 3 as evidence.
* I think it’s highly unlikely that the iPad mini 3 is the last update we’ll see for the iPad mini.
V Getting closer to an Apple Watch
* Apple's Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts sent out a video message to retail employees giving a more specific release date for Apple Watch
* At the announcement Apple simply stated, "Early 2015", but in her note to her team Ahrendts said, "we've got a new watch launch coming in the spring."
* Doesn’t give us much to go on, but does rule out the earlier part of "early 2015".
* I have always believed that early 2015 meant end of May.
V She also reveals a little about what the retail buying experience will be at Apple Stores
* Employees will get training on how introduce customers to the Apple Watch
* Customers will be allowed to try on different styles, bands, and sizes.
* And at launch the Watch will be a big focus at the retail locations.
V More pricing rumors
* French site iGen has "unnamed sources" that say Apple Watch will be priced at $500 for the mid-tier steel model and up to $5,000 for top-end gold "Edition" versions.
* Some jewelry analyst had the "Edition" price as low as about $1,200, but most other reports seemed to believe prices would be higher.
* The "Sport" edition which uses an aluminum case and Ion-X (not sapphire) glass will start at USD $349.00
V OS X sends unsaved docs to iCloud
* Some security researchers called fowl on Apple’s iCloud Documents in the Cloud (iCloud Documents) when they noticed files being sent to the iCloud service even thought they where not choosing to store their documents in the cloud.
* They believed the issue was something new in OS X Yosemite and with the new iCloud Documents feature, but as Ars Technica’s Infinite Loop points out there is an Apple Support document that explains this has been happening since we had Documents in the Cloud.
* What might have changed in OS X Yosemite is that 3rd party Apps choosing to enable support for Apple’s iCloud Documents feature are now also exhibiting the same behavior.
V What the deal is is that in certain circumstances documents are auto-saved to iCloud.
* "Documents created with iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, or Keynote for iOS, Mac, or iCloud), Preview, or TextEdit are automatically saved to iCloud in certain circumstances."
V The circumstances are:
* The document is autosaved when you first create the document and edit it.
* The document is periodically autosaved as you continue to edit the document.
* On iOS devices and, the document is autosaved when you close the document or close the app.
* On Macs, the document is autosaved when you close the document, but only if you opened the document from iCloud or manually saved it to iCloud (or if you never saved it which Apple’s documents don’t make clear).
V The only way to stop the behavior completely is to immediately use the "Save" option after creating the new file and saving it locally to your Mac. Or you can completely disable Documents & Data syncing or iCloud Documents in the iCloud System Preferences
* or if you’re not afraid to use the Terminal set the hidden preference
* `defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSDocumentSaveNewDocumentsToCloud -bool false’
V Apple has expanded it’s cloud into Microsoft’s turf.
* Last month they cloud networking startup Union Bay Networks and reportedly now have about 30 employees working out of a Seattle based office
* Union Bay Networks was a stealth startup focused on "enabling the next generation of networking for cloud computing and software defined data centers,
* In recent job postings Apple appears to be positioning the new Seattle office as the hub for future cloud development projects.
V "Rootpipe" hack also came to the surface this week
* Discovered by a researcher at Swedish security firm Truesec, the unpatched vulnerability effects OS X 10.10 Yosemite and goes back to OS X version 10.8.5.
* The bug allows an attacker to gain root privilege escalation without an admin password giving full access to the OS
* The firm has notified Apple and has agreed not to disclose details of the exploit until Apple has had time to issue a patch
V The Rootpipe exploit has to be executed on your Mac using an account with administrator (admin) privileges.
* An attacker would also need physical access to your Mac, or have previously gained remote access through some other method. Maybe a trojan that had installed remote access software.
* Don’t run as admin on your main account and don’t install apps from unknown sources or visit shady websites and you’ll likely be OK until Apple issues it’s security patch.
V "WireLuker" malware threat also surfaced for the iPhone this week in China
* The maleware used a trojan horse, mostly found in pirated apps, to infect devices
* It uses Apple's own enterprise provisioning tools to push the payload onto iOS devices connected to a Mac via USB.
* Apple quickly used it’s Gatekeeper feature in OS X to block apps carrying the trojan, but will need to patch their Provisioning tools as well.
* Luckily you can easily avoid the trojan by not downloading and installing pirated apps, not connect your iOS device via USB to untrusted computers, and not using chargers from people you don't know to power up your iOS device battery
V iOS 8.1.1 beta out to devs
* iOS 8 had a rough and rocky technical start, but the recent 8.1 update seems to have smoothed many rough edges out, but not all of them
* Some users still complain about crashes and wi-fi and bluetooth issues
* That’s why is good news Apple has 8.1.1 beta out to developers this week.
* The update reportedly features a number of bug fixes along with stability and performance improvements.
* Specifically it’s being reported that older devices like the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s are seeing much better performance with the latest beta.
V One issue that might not be addressed is restarts and crashes specifically on 128GB iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Pluses
* There are some limited reports of a situation where those devices are crashing and getting stuck in a boot loop following a restart.
* This supposedly is happening with 128GB units that are loaded with "thousands" of apps.
* Business PreviousKorea has floated a theory that it could be a hardware defect with TLC (triple-level cell) NAND flash included in the new iPhones. Previous devices used MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash
* The report says Apple could be facing a "huge potential recall", but this is unlikely
* Looks at discussion threads on Apple’s site shows just a few hundred posts.
* I think there may be a hardware issue, but likely limited to a small batch or small number of units
* Apple is rumored to have switched back to multi-level cell NAND flash in the 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 and 128-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus, but who knows.
* If you do have this issue and a restore in iTunes doesn’t help I’d contact Apple or get to a Genius Bar to see about a replacement.
V Apple numbers up for Phones and macs
* Canaccord Genuity issued a note to investors and indicated that Apple now enjoys a 86 percent share of all handset industry profits.
* That’s considerably up for Apple and their gain likely came at Samsung's loss. Their industry profit share came it at 18 percent and that’s their lowest number since 2011.
V Math buffs will note that 86 and 18 are 104 percent and that’s possible because other competitors actually lose share
* Motorolla account for -2 percent of industry profits, while Microsoft was at -4 percent.
* LG had the other positive part of the profits at 2 percent and both HTC and BlackBerry broke even at zero.
V On the Mac from IDC noted that Apple now has 13.4 percent of the US PC market.
* That makes it number 3 behind HP (27.7 percent)
* Globally Apple took the number 5 slot raising it’s market share 5.7 percent year over year.
* If you remember Apple just announced a record breaking quarter for Mac sales selling 5.5 million units
V Sponsor:
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Camera Roll crashing bug
* So I have been having random app crashing bugs and most of the time I don’t know why.
* I just forget about it and move on, but Greg figured out one that was happening to me too in the Camera app, so I thought I’d share his findings.
* What he was noticing was that when accessing Albums in the Photos app the scrolling was not as smooth in landscape mode vs. portrait.
* Now I don’t know if this only impacts the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus or any iPhone running iOS 8
V If you put the phone in landscape in the photos app and then access an album with several hundred photos (I couldn’t do it in smaller albums) you’ll notice two things
* 1) The image thumbnails are slightly larger than they are in portrait mode
* 2) When you scroll you’ll occasionally get stutters or hangs, especially if you scroll quickly
* If you keep scrolling eventually the app may crash
* I suggested reporting the but to (which Greg and I did)
* Unrelated, but for other "White Apple logo" crashes I have been having I did a hard reboot of my iPhone and those seemed to decrease dramatically.
V iPhone 6 glass, mind the edge.
* Play audio comment from Graeme
* I have the Apple leather case which wraps the edge nicely except on the bottom which is open.
* Maybe look for "bumper" style cases that wrap all the way around
* Go for an Otterbox or Lifeproof style rugged case.
V Makes me question the value of Apple Care Plus, if the glass replacement is just over $100 bucks.
* iPhone 6: $109
* iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5: $129
* AppleCare Plus is a $79.00 accidental damage fee per incident, but you pay $99.00 up front. So each incident really costs $79.00 + $49.00 = $128.00
* I recognize I’m ignoring the extra year of AppleCare to cover component failure, etc. but still you get the point.
V iOS photo filter effects don’t transfer
* Huw and I had been emailng back and forth about an issue he was having and then unrelated he mention to be a different issue he had recently with photos he had taken with his new iPhone 6+
* Specifically he had been on a trip and taken all his pictures using the B&W live filter in iOS 8’s Camera app
* These show up in the camera roll as black and white and if you open them in other apps or share them from your iOS device, say via email they are black and white as well.
* What was odd though was when he got back from vacation and connected them to his Mac and transferred them to iPhoto they were all in color. Basically they did not have the filter effect applied.
* I confirmed this on my iPhone too. Any filters you use in the camera app do not seem to be applied or transfer to iPhone when you sync.
* The same actually goes for ANY edits you make in Photos on the device.
* They also do not have the filters applied in Photostream.
* The only way I could get the images off with the effect applied was to email them to myself, which is not at all efficient.
* I was also able to use the Dropbox app and upload them to my Dropbox and then add them from Dropbox to iPhoto on my Mac and that maintained the effect.
* I know the reason is that that information is stored as Metadata and the effects an edits are applied in real-time.
* Don’t know if this will change once Apple releases the Photos app for Mac that replaces iPhoto and Aperture.
V Developing iPhone apps with Ditty Labs
* I often get asked about how to get started in developing iPhone Apps
* I’ve also heard lots of interviews with the guys who had the big app hit and made it big seemingly over night.
* Who you often don’t hear from are the creative and talented guys in the larger part of the app community. They guys who are working to get discovered, then ones making apps for others as way to get by as they pursue the dreams of their own hit app.
* I wanted to get to tell that story and bit and answer some of your question on how to become an app developer and what it’s like to do so.
* Luckily I run the San Diego iOS Developers group and I know some people just like this, so I invited my friends from Ditty Labs to come talk to me.
* They have had a great iOS word game, Top Word,
* Play interview with Carson and Adam
* You can find out more about Top Word at
* For you Mac historians out there you may remember a popular game called MacBrickout. Carson from Ditty Labs was the developer and a few years back he brought it back for iOS. So if you want to get some updated retro gaming fun on your iPad check out
V OS X Yosemite Quick Tip
* I think I covered this at one point but someone asked again this week.
* In windows in OS X Yosemite the green "stoplight" button is now defaulted to toggle on full screen mode for apps. It no longer maximizes.
* You can get it to be a "maximize" button again by holding down the option key before you click it.
* As far as I know there is no way to default it back to the old behavior, but this tip should help you if you need "maximize" back from time to time.
V Closing
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