Maccast 2014.11.20 - Show #506
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile
V TextExpander Touch 3
* Custom keyboard makes snippets available for expansion in any app for the first time ever on iOS
* Expand your abbreviations in Mail, Safari, Messages, etc. using the new keyboard
* Sync snippets with TextExpander on OS X and additional iOS devices via Dropbox
* Save time typing on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* Now includes 14 language keyboards and QWERTZ / AZERTY layouts!
V News
V Mythical iPad Pro has production delays
* KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple choice of display technology is causing it’s release to slip into the second quarter
* Considering we’ve been waiting over a year for the mythical Maxipad what another quarter really?
* Reportedly Apple has chosen oxide LCD technology which offers high color saturation and faster response times, but as is usual production hasn’t been easy
* Consequently the analyst predict the unit won’t enter mass production until the second quarter of 2015.
V The iPad might have delays, but the Apple Watch is reportedly on track to go into production
* DigiTimes claims suppliers are set to ramp up production of the Watch’s S1 system-in-package chip.
* And looking at orders it seems like Apple’s planning an initial production of 30 million to 40 million Apple Watches.
* If so, Apple is expecting a Apple Watch to be a "massive" hit. AppleInsider points out that the Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch sold 800,000 pieces during its first two months on sale.
* Morgan Stanley seems to think Apple’s number might be right. In an investor note they predict 10% of iPhone 5 or later owners will buy an Apple Watch in the first year. That would be around 30 million units. Even at half that I think you’d call the Apple Watch a huge success.
* A lunch date as early as February 14th has been rumored, but I still am in the late 2nd quarter camp. Think late May or early June.
V iOS 8 adoption nears 60 percent
* iOS 8 hasn’t had the typical upgrade success of prior versions of iOS, but things appear to be picking up steam
* Apple posted recent numbers from the App Store on their support page for developers and iOS adoption is now at 56%.
* Overall iOS adoption is up over 8% this month.
* iOS 8 had a rocky start with some bad reviews and the 8.0.1 phone killer update
* But iOS 8.1 brought significant new features like Apple Pay, SMS Relay, Instant Hotspot, and the return of the Camera Roll. Also iCloud Documents is better supported since OS X Yosemite is now available.
V On the iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus sales the balance of power has shifted
* Early sales reports seems to show customers flocking to the larger 6 Plus, but as I mentioned infatuation can only last so long.
* A new survey of U.S. customers by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) over the first 30 days show that customer are buying the iPhone 6 3:1 over the iPhone 6 Plus
* Over the past month 91 percent of customers buying iPhones bought a 6 or 6 Plus and of those 68 percent opted for the iPhone 6, while 23-24 percent went big and got a Plus.
* After spending time with the 6 Plus I’m firmly convinced I’ll slim down next year when the iPhone 7 hits (if I can).
V Digging deeper into the A8X
* AnandTech has looked deeper into Apple’s latest chip designs in the iPad Air 2 and found out some really neat things
* For the GPU Apple uses a unique 8 cluster design that basically lets them use two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die
* Basically Apple’s chip designers have taken the PowerVR GPU cores they license from Imagination Technologies and can tweak them into semi-custom design. This is similar to what they do with their ARM licensed CPUs
* Bolt this on to the triple-core CPU design and 2GB of RAM and the A8X is an unmatched mobile processor able to do more with seemingly less
V Rumor that Apple could move back to Samsung as the primary supplier of AX chips in 2015
* Apple had moved majority to TSMC, but Samsung is reportedly still supplying 40 percent of iPhone 6 and 6 plus chips
* The deal is said to be worth "billions" to Samsung and in 2016 their share of production would raise to 80 percent.
* Production is supposed to move from 20nm to 14nm designs
* The rumor contradicts other reports that TMSC had been building up its relationship with Apple.
V Reports of delays in Retina iMac Shipments
* Some users who have ordered over the past few weeks are getting notices that their shipments are unexpectedly delayed.
* MacNN claims in one instance a unit set to be delivered between November 14th and the 19th was pushed back to between the 28th and December 2nd.
V A quick check on the online store shows 2-3 week ship times.
* 5 local stores in my area show units available for immediate pickup.
V iOS 8.1.1 and OS X 10.10.1
V iOS 8.1.1
* "This release includes bug fixes, increased stability and performance improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s."
* Some minor tweaks to the Health app
* The order of action and share extensions in the system share sheet now stick
* An iCloud hanging/crashing bug appears to be fixed too.
* and a slew (technical term) of security updates.
* The update is reported to be anywhere from 64 MB to 364 MB, depending on iOS device model
V OS X Update 10.10.1
V Improves Wi-Fi reliability
* Although there are reports that the issues are not resolved for everyone
* Still having issues there is a list of possible fixes from the folks at OS X Daily
* Improves reliability when connecting to a Microsoft Exchange server
* Resolves an issue that could prevent Mail from sending messages through certain email service providers
* Addresses an issue that could prevent connections to remote computers using Back to My Mac
* Resolves an issue where sharing services, Notification Center widgets, and Actions may not be available
* Addresses an issue that could cause Notification Center settings to be lost after restart
* Addresses an issue that might prevent the Mac App Store from displaying certain updates
* Addresses an issue that could prevent some Mac mini computers from waking from sleep
* Resolves an issue that might prevent Time Machine from displaying older backups
* Addresses an issue that might prevent entering text in Japanese
* Fixes a occasional crashing issue when some 3rd party apps, like Dropbox, open, save-as, or first save a file with the official Finder integration
* Also additional security and privacy updates.
* According to Mac Rumors some users are also reporting issues with OS X Yosemite's Dark Mode on non-Retina displays, unstable Bluetooth connections, and high CPU utilization even after the update.
* How’s your experience been?
V Apple TV software update 7.0.2 was also released and includes general performance and stability improvements., but only for the 3rd gen Apple TV.
* Appears to be some security fixes for the Apple TV
V HomeKit devices coming
* Last week was Apple’s Made for i (MFi) summit in China
* There they supposedly asked device-makers to submit home automation product plans for approval.
* Apple did recently set a requirement that HomeKit devices need to ship with Bluetooth and WiFi chips from approved Apple vendors. Likely to ensure seamless compatibility
* The certification process is typically one of the last steps involved before product start shipping, so that means hopefully we’ll see HomeKit compatible products on shelves soon.
* We still don’t have a lot of details on what HomeKit will look like to consumers, but the assumption is that it will offer tight integration with our iOS devices and Mac
* HomeKit will also likely open up devices to work together to set up more robust integrated automation and controls. We should have the ability to set up what Apple calls "scenes" (scripts) to control multiple HomeKit devices with single commands.
* HomeKit will also offer Siri integration.
V Apple Watch details come with WatchKit
* Apple released WatchKit to developers along with iOS 8.2 beta, an Apple Watch compatible version of iOS 8.
* With the iOS 8.2 beta SDK devs can start playing with app development, setting up Glances, and using actionable notifications with their apps
V The first release is limited however
* Developer will not be able to create fully native apps until next year.
V "Apple Watch app" is currently an extension, pushed from an iPhone app to your Apple Watch.
* So when you launch an "app" on the watch it triggers that app’s iPhone WatchKit extension runs in the background, wirelessly transmitting data to the Apple Watch
* The UI is handled on the watch, but functionality and connectivity comes from the phone.
* When installing an iOS app with Watch support it will prompt you to install the Watch app if a paired Apple Watch is present
* Resolutions for Watch. 272x340 (38-millimeter) and 312x390 (42-millimeter)
* For now just two types of layouts: Hierarchal, one choice per screen drill down to destination (kind of like how works), and Page Based, navigate between pages of content by swiping horizontally (similar to the
* The Apple Watch font is called "San Francisco" and it has (not surprisingly) support iOS Dynamic Type. Dynamic Type adjusts the letter spacing and line height dynamically, depending on the font size selected.
* Interestingly developers will need to submit square icons for the home screen and then the OS will apply the round mask (that’s a serious "safe area").
* Apple has set up a WatchKit site for developers with a programming guide and user interface guidelines
V Odds and ends
* I might add this as a regular feature. Little stories that pop up that likely don’t have enough detail to warrant their own segment
V Financial Times reporting that Apple plans to bundle Beats as a non-removable "default app" in iOS
* Service would still be subscription
* Apple has reportedly been trying to get the pice down to $5/mo.
* Can join Stocks, Tips, and Find My Friends on the iOS Siberia screen
V Apple changed the "Free" button on App Store to "Get"
* Reportedly in response to EU pressure over apps that have in-app purchase
* The concern is the “free” label is misleading to consumers.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Peer to Peer AirPlay
* I mentioned that in the Apple TV Software Update 7.0 that 3rd gen Apple TVs got peer to peer AirPlay support
* This allows Guests to AirPlay from their Mac or iOS device directly to your Apple TV without connecting to your wireless network.
V What I didn’t know, but Mike emailed me about, was that there are two generations of 3rd generation Apple TVs.
* A1427 for Apple TV (3rd generation) and A1469 for Apple TV (3rd generation) Rev A
* Model Identifier: AppleTV3,1 (A1427) or AppleTV3,2 (A1469)
* Only the A1469 Rev A version supports the Peer to Peer functionality.
* You can check the bottom of the Apple TV or go to Settings > About and check the Model there.
V Clearing up Handoff vs. Continuity
* We spoke last time about the Handoff feature in OS X Yosemite and that lead to some great feedback like this comment from Benjamin
* Play comment
* The feature you’re referring to is actually not part of Handoff and you are not alone in your confusion over some of Apple’s OS X Yosemite marketing buzz words.
* Handoff is just one part of Continuity
* Continuity is Apple’s umbrella term for a set of features in OS X Yosemite aimed at more seamless integration of Macs and iOS devices
V Within Continuity there are three main features
* Handoff, Instant Hotspot, SMS Relay and Phone Relay
V SMS Relay and Phone Relay
* Must have an iPhone running iOS 8
* This is the feature your are referring to in your email and it uses device on the same wi-fi
* For this feature to work you also need to be logged in and using the same iCloud and FaceTime account on all Macs and Devices
* On your iPhone go to Settings > FaceTime and make sure iPhone Cellular Calls is enabled.
* On your iPhone go to Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding to turn on SMS forwarding for any devices listed.
V Instant Hotspot
* If you have enabled Personal Hotspot and are logged into the same iCloud account on all your devices, your iPhone will simply appear in the WiFi list
* Need to have an iPhone with a cellular data plan that supports Personal Hotspot
V Handoff
* This lets you move from an app on one device, say your iPhone, to the same app another device, say your Mac seamlessly.
* So you can start an email on your iPhone and pick it up on your Mac. Or start a Keynote project on your iPad and finish it up on your iPhone.
* Handoff is built-in to Mail, Safari, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, Messages, Reminders, Calendar, and Contacts. There is also a 3rd party API, so developers can add support to their apps as well.
* The Handoff API can even work between a native app on one platform and a website on another.
* When Handoff is working you’ll see your Dock in OS X Yosemite extended with an icon on the left hand side.
V On iOS devices you’ll see an icon on the lower left of the lock screen.
* This is different then location aware app icons which look similar, but aren’t part of Handoff or Continuity.
V Handoff and Instant Hotspot are supported by the following Mac models, and require OS X Yosemite:
* MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
* MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
* iMac (Late 2012 and later)
* Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
* Mac Pro (Late 2013)
V Is AppleCare worth it for iOS devices?
V I have never been the type to get AppleCare on my iOS devices
* I replace them frequently
* I am generally pretty careful
V But after a couple mishaps I started buying it with my devices.
* The cost is $99.00
* For iPad it covers an extra year, the battery (if charge below 50%), and and AirPort bought up to two years before, with, or during having the iPad
* For iPhone covers an extra year on the hardware and the battery.
V My main motivation for buying it though was the accidental damage protection
* Covers up to two incidents
* Recently however Apple raised the per incident fee on the iPhone to $79/per
* iPads coverage remains at $49/per.
V But here is the deal, most "accidents" tend to be glass breakage
V For iPhone if you don’t have AppleCare the costs are:
* iPhone 6: $109
* iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5: $129
V If you add the $99 up front AppleCare, plus the $79 per incident your first "accident" for screen replacement costs you $178.00.
* If you just paid out of pocket it would be $129 max, so you save $49 by NOT having AppleCare Plus
* Even if you have a second incident you’d only be paying $80 more than if you did NOT have the AppleCare.
V So if the ONLY reason you get AppleCare on an iPhone is for screen damage protection then it may not be worth it.
* Also remember that 3rd party screen replacements can be even cheaper, just be aware you may or may not get OEM parts.
V Now this discounts the extra year of hardware warranty protection you get and also doesn’t account for things like water damage, but lets look at that too.
V Without AppleCare you would have to pay the "Out of Warranty" cost. remember to subtract the $99 + $79 ($178) up front AppleCare cost from these prices.
* iPhone 6 Plus: $329 = $151 more than if you had AppleCare+
* iPhone 6: $299 = just $121 more than if you had AppleCare+
* iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5: $269
* iPhone 4s: $199
* iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, Original iPhone: $149
V iPads are a much different story
* My guess is Apple thinks they are less prone to accidental damage since they aren’t carried around everywhere in pockets?
V For screens you basically pay the "out-of-warranty" replacement cost
* iPad mini: $199
* iPad, iPad 2, iPad mini 2: $249
* iPad 3rd generation, iPad 4th generation, iPad Air, iPad mini 3: $299
* iPad Air 2: $379
* Here with the lower $49 incident fee AppleCare+ makes a lot more sense
V And I know that there are many other ways to get protection for your devices
* Credit Cards with coverage
* 3rd party accidental damage insurance
* Carrier insurance (bad deal BTW)
V OS X Yosemite, SSD, and TRIM
* With most Macs now running FLASH and more folks upgrading to SSDs the question of whether to enable TRIM or not comes up.
V What’s the problem and why are we discussing this
* On hard drives and SSDs, data is stored in blocks (“data blocks”).
* Each block can have data from more than one file and on a hard drive the blocks can be split
* When a file is deleted in the computer’s file system, the data stays on the block until the next time that block is needed.
* On a HDD when it needs to use part of a block the data is quick deleted and the file written.
V SSDs have to delete an entire data block before they’re able to reuse it.
* When an SSD is trying to clear a data block, it puts a copy of everything on the block into a cache makes the changes, then it deletes the original block, and writes the changed block from cache into place
* This is obviously is slower to write than if it just had an empty block to write to.
* So SSDs will always try to write to open empty blocks first, but might not fill up each of those blocks
* When all the empty blocks are full the SSD is forced to start using the slower, read to cache, modify block in cache, erase block, write block method.
V What is TRIM?
* TRIM allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be erased
* That way the next time it goes to write the blocks are already free.
* Apple has disabled TRIM in the OS
V You can get a tool like TRIM Enabler
* No longer works in OS X Yosemite because Apple check ktext files for signatures as part of security
* You can disable it, but at the risk of security
* I am also just not a fan of any ktext (Extension) hacking in the OS.
V Why you may not need TRIM with some SSDs
* SSDs from Crucial and OWC have active "garbage collection" built into the firmware on the drive
V So Derek had asked Crucial Support about this and their response was
* Letting Active Garbage Collection run on the drive for an extended period will clean these cells and restore the SSD to a healthy state.
* The trouble is that for active garbage collection to happen you have to let the SSD idle for an extended period.
* They claim a good way to do this is to boot the Mac with the option key held down forcing it into the Startup Manager screen. Then leave it on that screen over night.
* Leaving the Mac on that screen provides the SSD with power but keeps it in an idle state so Garbage Collection can function
V After that to prevent SSD performance from degrading again they recommend:
* Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver
* Make sure 'Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible' is unchecked.
V Using Grab for Screenshots
V There are a couple ways to take screenshots on the Mac
* Probably the most common method people know about is pressing Command+Shift+3
V There is also Command+Shift+4 to select a region. In this mode if you tap 'spacebar' you can capture windows, menus, dock, etc.
* As you select hold shift to constrain the select to one direction
* Hold option to select from center
* Press 'Esc' to exit without capturing a screenshot.
V There is also an app. Applications > Utilities > Grab
* With it you can do a Selection, Window, Screen, or Timed Screen (10 sec.)
* It also in the 'Preferences' lets you capture a cursor and you can set the type (hand, finger, pointer, etc) from the preferences.
V Well Andrew recently has been using Grab, but had a question.
* Play question.
V So you can’t change the Grab file format, but you could set the one for Screen Capture by using a Terminal Command in OS X Mavericks and earlier.
* `defaults write type jpg`
* types also included `png`, `pdf` or `tiff`
* This doesn’t work in OS X Yosemite
V Your best built in option if you need a different file format is actually Preview
* File > Take Screenshot…
* Options are From Selection, Window, or Entire Screen
* After it activate you may need to use Command+Tab to switch to the window or app you want to capture
* After you capture you’ll have a new Preview document and when you save you’ll have the option to choose a file format. JPG, PNG, PDF, TIFF, etc.
V Finally there are a bunch of great 3rd party screen capture apps.
* Clarify - $29.99,
* Monosnap (My favorite) - FREE,
V Shutdown your Mac with Spotlight
* The gang at Cult of Mac found a really neat project over at GitHub
* GitHub user slong1987 has created a set of five simple "apps" that run in OS X Yosemite to restart, sleep, logout, shutdown, or lock your Mac.
* But the cool part is you can quickly "activate" the apps by launching them from OS X Yosemite’s new Spotlight dialog.
* Just hit the shortcut CMD+SPACE, type the first few letters of the command and when it appears selected hit enter.
* I think the 'Sleep' and 'Lock' commands would be particularly handy
V Closing
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V Sphero Giveaway
* You know I love my Sphero and I just got the new Ollie which rocks
* The folks at Orbotix reached out and they are letting me give away some Ollie’s (including the new Darkside Ollie) and a Sphero 2.0 to you.
* The giveaway is open to US residents and you can sign up to win at
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V New music
* The Young Dubliners
* "We the Mighty" from their new album "9" available on iTunes