Maccast 2015.01.11 - Show #512
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Pre-roll
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V News
V Remember iBeacons?
* Seems like we have not heard much about iBeacons since Apple announced them at WWDC a few years ago.
* iBeacons are Apple’s marketing term for low-cost low energy Bluetooth LE transmitters that enable a smart phone or other device to perform actions when in close proximity to an iBeacon.
V I’ve played around with some Blue Series 100 iBeacons from Two Canoes.
* They have a GeoHopper app that allows you to script actions on your Mac when you come within range of the beacons.
* Several companies make beacons, but looks like Apple might be building their own too.
* 9to5 Mac has been keeping an eye on an Apple registered FCC certification for a new piece of iBeacon Bluetooth hardware
V It was recently updated to include a manual for Apple’s own branded iBeacon device
* Mounts to a wall with a standard screw.
* Has LED status indicators for battery life. They don;t state how much, but typically beacons last months
* Battery is charged via a micro-USB connector
* There is a slide switch to power it on and off and also to place it in configuration mode.
* The document also mentions an Apple iBeacon app.
* It’s not clear if the device is targeted at consumers, retailers, developers, for Apple’s own stores, or what.
* Also not clear if it’s a product that will ever be available commercially.
V Apple Watch release date?
* Well a rumored one at least
* About a week ago things got exciting when Apple pushed some updates to it’s Apple Watch pages in Europe changing the 'Available in 2015' text to 'Available in Early 2015'. Those changes were quickly rolled back.
V Still there might be some truth in that "early" statement I guess depending on your definition of "Early"
* Remember "early" 2015 was the timing that Angela Arendnts had reportedly mentioned in an address to Apple retail employees
V 9to5 Mac says their sources are telling them the Apple Watch will make an appearance in March
* They are basing it on rumors that select Apple Retail employees with be sent to an extensive testing program for the Apple Watch
* The programs are supposed to happen between February 9th and February 16th in Cupertino, California or Austin, Texas.
* The employees will then return from Apple corporate training and train the staff at their respective regional retail stores.
* The 9to5 report also says that Apple has been polishing up the Watch OS and putting the device’s battery through more extensive testing. They are also putting the polish on the inductive charging mechanism.
V DigiTimes claims that Samsung will be suppling the processors S1 system-in-a-package for Apple
* The processor will use Samsung’s 28-nanometer fabrication process according to AppleInsider and they also say Apple has ordered 4,000 12-inch wafers per month.
* The S1 is the heart of the AppleWatch and contains the processor, mobile DRAM, NAND flash, and circuitry to control functions like wireless connectivity and touch input all in one package.
* It’s unknown who is supplying other components for the S1 package, but I imagine Samsung could supply some, if not all, of the necessary items.
* Advanced Semiconductor Engineering in Taiwan is reportedly handling packaging and assembling the S1 modules.
* Some analysts expect the Apple Watch to account for 36 percent of Apple's revenue growth in 2015.
* Apple better hurry a cheap Chinese knock off showed up at CES, price 1/100th of a real Apple Watch, just $35 bucks.
V How do you feel about watch ads?
* The mobile advertising company TapSense announced a mobile ad platform featuring "hyper-local targeting and Apple Pay integration" which also has the ability to push ads to the Apple Watch?
* If you’re like the rest of the world, and me, the answer is you don’t like it.
* After the announcement many sources expressed concerned that Apple had gone back on it’s word to protect users privacy.
V Not true though. After the proverbial you know what hit the fan TapSense updated it’s blog post to note that both their Ad platform SDK and Apple’s Watch SDK are in beta.
* More importantly they noted that Watch-specific developer guidelines haven't yet been released
* They also said the TapSense SDK will not integrate directly with Apple Pay, but use a bar code at POS or come via a Passbook Pass pushed to the Watch to be redeemed.
* They seem to think they can work with-in any guidelines Apple might release, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that Ads pushed to the Apple Watch will be NOT allowed.
V Apple's iOS APIs and development guidelines prevent advertisers from inject ads or popups on the iOS Home page, within widgets in the Notification Center, or in any way masquerade ads as system alerts, among a series of other restrictions.
* I would say the same will be true for the Apple Watch
V Possible first look at iPad Pro
V The site claims to have received a "sketch" (3D rendering) of Apple's larger-screened "iPad Pro"
* And really it’s just on corner showing a new speaker grille located to the side of the lock button and above the rear camera.
* The source is said to be an employee who works at Foxconn and one the French site claims has been reliable in the past.
* The leaker said initial testing phases for the larger iPad were halted last summer after Apple received new prototypes.
V The source also was able to provide a couple very limited details on the new devices specs
* Between 6.9mm and 7.5mm thick.
* Four speakers. Two on top and two on bottom. Consistent with past rumors.
* They were unable to provide screen size details, but past rumors seem to point to a 12.2-inch display. Possibly up to a 12.9 inch.
* Previous iPad Pro rumors also have claimed it will come with an Apple A8X processor, 2 GB of RAM, and a Touch ID.
* It’s also unknown when Apple might announce a larger screened iPad, but Ming-Chi Kuo suggested in the past that the tablet would not enter production until the second quarter of 2015
V The Chinese microblogging site Weibo also reported posted a picture of a piece of production tooling equipment for Apple's rumored "iPad Pro,".
* The image though is "sketchy" at best according to AppleInsider
* They point out the piece looks more likely to be for pressing together the two sides of the company's Smart Covers
* Though they even note they are speculating and it could be for ANYTHING. Plastic injection mold, a fixture used to hold pieces for assembly or finishing, a mold for a lunch tray.
* As always, we can only read so much into rumors.
V In 2015 Apple goes to 12
* And Apple’s OTHER upcoming 12-inch product for sure did not want to get upstaged by the iPad.
* 9to5 Mac made claims that they have details on the new 12-inch Retina Macbook Air.
V Supposedly the footprint of the new device would be close to that of the current 11-inch model. Narrower, but taller.
* A a quarter-of-an-inch narrower and taller to be exact.
V It would achieve this by having an "edge-to-edge" keyboard and by moving the speaks grilles above the keyboard. Also the bezels on the display have been reduced on all sides.
* The rendering by 9to5 shows four grilles that look stupid.
V Where the design rumor gets sketchy is when they claim the new Macbook Air will only have two (yes two) ports.
* A headphone jack, and just one USB Type-C port that will serve for connectivity and charging?!!
* No MagSafe
* So forget using an external drive and charging at the same time?
V AppleInsider is more positive on the USB 3.1 Type-C connector
* USB 3.1 Type-C supports 5K DisplayPort screens, high watt power charging using "USB alternative modes," which essentially enable a different, non-USB signal to be sent over the same physical port.
* It can support up to four lanes of DisplayPort
* More power, a max of 100w. Can power a hard drive without requiring a separate transformer and power cable to the device.
* What’s not clear is how you do say power and display over the single cable? Also adaptors for other devices (Thunderbolt, Firewire, etc)?
* The side will also have dual-microphones.
* They also re-iterated that it will have a new, 'touch only' trackpad the removes the physical "click" mechanism.
* As previously rumored the design is expected to be fan-less and use the new new Broadwell Core M processor to stay cool and power efficient.
* They are not giving a rumored release date, but say the new Mac could be entering production as early as this month.
V Unlocked iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
V Apple started selling fully unlocked and carrier free iPhones via it’s web site in the US.
* 16, 64, and 128 GB versions of the iPhone 6 are sold for $649, $749, and $849 respectively.
* The 6 Plus versions are $100 more.
* The T-Mobile version was also fully unlocked, but you had to buy with a T-Mobile plan I think (though NOT any contract).
* Availability on Apple’s new iPhones seems to have balanced out now and the devices are available almost everywhere without delays.
V The latest numbers from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech show Apple is gaining marketshare again thanks to the new devices
* The sales data through the end of November shows Apple had gains in every market except Japan.
* In the U.S., the iPhone accounted for 47.4 percent of sales, up 4.3 over 2013
* The iPhone 6 alone accounted for 19 percent of total American smartphone sales.
* In the UK Apple accounted for to 42.5 percent of sales
* And in China Apple the iPhone had 18.1 percent of the market.
V The December numbers would likely only show Apple’s share growing bigger
* The latest research from UBS predicts that Apple may have sold 69 million iPhones in the December quarter.
* That is well ahead of current Wall Street predictions which set the number around 65 million
* Either of those numbers would obliterate Apple's previous all-time record which was 51 million iPhones in the holiday 2013 quarter.
* We’ll find out soon if the predictions are accurate. Apple plans to hold it’s fiscal 2015 first-quarter results call on January 27th.
* UBS expects Apple to announce total revenue of $68 billion, up significantly from their $57.6 billion in revenue a year ago.
V iOS 8 adoption also continues at a steady pace
* In Apple’s latest App Store Distribution report from January 5th they note that iOS 8 adoption has reached 68 percent.
* Good news, but it’s rate of adoption is still well behind the pace of iOS 7, iOS 7 reached nearly 80 percent adoption a month after release.
V Spotlight may tell emailers too much
* A bug in Spotlight’s handling of Mail previews could reveal more information to email senders than you might like.
* The flaw was first reported by German tech news site Heise and later confirmed by IDG News Service.
V The flaw has to do with the "load remote content in messages" option in the Mail app. Many people like to turn that off to stop any remote tracking of email via "tacking pixels"
* When on things like images or linked code from the sending servers are blocked.
* This prevents "harvesting" of that information when you read Mail in
* The trouble is that Spotlight ignores the remote content block preference from Mail and loads the remote email files as part of the search process.
* If a Spotlighted message has a tracking pixel the the sender could get details like your IP address, OS X version, browser details, or the version of Quick Look your using.
* The issue is really one of privacy, though spammers often use tracking pixels to confirm their lists have a valid email address.
V If your worried the best way to protect yourself until Apple fixes this issue would be to disable Spotlight searching of emails
* Open System Preferences and uncheck the "Mail & Messages" option in the Spotlight preferences.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Apple Customer Sat numbers were old
* Chuck pointed out that the Apple customer satisfaction numbers that put Apple at 79 and slipping below Samsung who was at 81 were old.
* The numbers were from May 2014, but picked up and reported on last week by 9to5 Mac and others. (9to5 does note the May date, but I missed that before or they updated their article).
* So it’s now even more curious. I thought the recent IOS issues may have lead to lower customer SAT, but now I don;t know why.
V iCloud Photo App returned
* I talked about the iCloud Photo app being removed from last show.
* There wasn’t a reason given by Apple, but I speculated that maybe the Photos app for OS X Yosemite might be close to release.
* Many of you also tweeted me to let me know that I was crazy and that you still had the Photos app on your
V A couple days after they pulled it Apple put the iCloud Photos app back.
* At the moment this is the only way on a Mac to add or view items in your iCloud Photo Library.
V Excited about HomeKit
* Overall the news coming out of CES this year seemed underwhelming.
* UHDTV and self driving cars are cool, but what was there for us Apple fans to get excited about?
V I was most excited to see many of our favorite companies announcing HomeKit products
* Belkin, iHOME, Incipio, GridConnect, iDevices, Withings, and ElGato.
* There were also companies like Insteon (home automation), Schlage (door locks), Chamberlain (garage door openers), etc.
V All of these products will use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to tap into your Home Network.
* We’ve had products, like Nest, that do this, but getting them all to talk together and allow you to have a "Smart" home has been challenging or next to impossible
* Sure you could get clever with things like IFTT, but the "average" person isn;t going to bother with that.
V We all want the Star Trek experience in our home.
* "Computer, set the ambient light levels to 45%"
* With HomeKit support in these devices we are getting closer to that reality
V Many of these devices will have their own apps for set up and configuration, but the real magic happens when they are enabled via HomeKit
V Siri can communicate with HomeKit devices and control functions.
* Any HomeKit devices with built in mics can also communicate to Siri on your Phone if they are on the same network
* If you are outside the house and have a newer Apple TV you can even have Siri control your HomeKit devices while your away.
* AppleInsider reported back in October that Apple TV Software beta 2 included support for testing HomeKit with iOS app.
* It’s not clear if only an Apple TV will do it. Apple could possibly add HomeKit support to their Airport hardware sometime in the future
V You can also start to create "scenes" and like devices together.
* When you leave the house. Say opening the garage door and a geofence from your iPhone sees you leave the and drive away. It could lock the doors, turn off the lights, and lower the thermostat. Then do the opposite when you return home.
V HomeKit also solves the complex set-up problem when building out Home Automation
* Connect the device, connect to the network and it’s connected to HomeKit.
* You won’t need to worry about different devices from different manufactures using different standards
V We get to customize a solution to fit our needs
* Maybe you want lighting controls and thermostat, but aren’t interested in door locks or security cams.
* Also companies can play to their strengths. Schlage and keep doing door lock and don;t have to get into the whole home automation business.
* If it talks to HomeKit then you can control it. You can even ask Siri to tell you what HomeKit devices are nearby.
V There were a lot of HomeKit products and HomeKit promises made at CES, but I’m cautiously optimistic
* HomeKit is still in development and not full fleshed out yet
* Apple just started it’s Made for i certifications for HomeKit devices, so none of the CES stuff is approved yet.
* We don’t know when the products will hit the streets. Most likely sometime in the second quarter, but some vendors said they were hoping to ship this quarter.
V OS X Yosemite Maximize change
* I received and email from Larry who asked, "How (do you) stop applications from opening in their own window? (I now) have to swipe to see them. I don’t like that feature and it just started for me yesterday (not sure how), but there must be a way to turn that off and I just can’t find it."
* I must admit Larry your question had me stumped. Apps have "always" opened in their own windows. But the "swipe to see them" made me realize you probably have your apps in "Full Screen" mode.
V It is much more likely to happen in OS X Yosemite because Apple changed the default behavior of the green "stoplight" window button.
* Prior to OS X Yosemite clicking that button in the upper left corner of the window would maximize the window on the screen.
* Now clicking that by default will take the app into full screen mode
V When multiple apps are in full screen then you need to use a 3-finger swipe gesture (2-finger on a Magic Mouse) to switch between views.
* Also clicking the icon in the Dock will switch screens
* With a full screen app you need to move your cursor to the edge of the screen with the Dock to have it appear.
* Once an app is in full screen mode and you quit it, it will remember that state. The next time you re-launch it will open in full screen mode, or in it’s own window as you called it.
V To get it back out of full screen:
* Put your cursor at the top of the screen to bring up the menubar and window title bar
* Click the green stoplight button again to exit full screen mode
* You can also choose 'View' > 'Exit Full Screen' (Command+Control+F)
V Unfortunately in OS X Yosemite you can’t change the green stoplight button back to the old behavior by default. Luckily there are some alternatives
* Hold the 'Option' key while clicking the green stoplight button will force it back to 'maximize'
* Double click the title in the titlebar will also maximize (and un-maximize) a window
V Finding missing disk space
* This is a topic that has come up from time to time. This week Charles was struggling with it after buying a new 4TB drive to replace a 3TB one.
* The 3TB drive had 370GB of free space and after getting the new drive, formatting, and cloning the data the 4Tb drive only had 700GB of free space, not closer to 1.3TB as would be expected.
* Unfortunately I was unable to help Charles, so we’re open to ideas. Here’s what I asked him to try
V Check for Time Machine local snapshots
* Click on the Apple Menu > About This Mac > Storage (tab)
* Look at the Hard Drive and see if there is a "Backups" section.
* When you are away from your Time Machine Drive, if you have the disk space, Time Machine will backup locally.
* When your startup disk free space is less than 20% of its total available space, Time Machine removes snapshots starting with the oldest one first.
* If your startup disk’s free space falls below 10% of its total available space, or is less than 5 GB, the task of removing snapshots is given a higher priority on your Ma
* If Time Machine is unable to free up enough space to reach the 10% or 5 GB threshold, Time Machine removes all snapshots except the most current one, and stops creating new snapshots.
V If you want to "flush" these out you can do so by toggling Time Machine on and off
* Go to System Preferences >Time Machine.
* Toggle Time Machine from On to Off.
* Close the Time Machine window.
* Restart your Mac to refresh the storage space
* Go to System Preferences >Time Machine and turn it back ON.
V Seek out old files that are using up your disk space.
* Always be sure to have backups before doing any housecleaning
* I use Daisy Disk, but there’s also Grand Perspective, Omni DiskSweeper, Clean My Mac 2, and other tools.
* Clean My Mac 2 can also remove user cache, system cache, and log files.
V iTunes Power Search
* Bryan is like me and likes to rent movies on iTunes.
* The trouble is often when you’re browsing films will be available for sale only and that can be frustrating.
* He was wondering if there was a way to see just the movies that are available for rental in the store in iTunes 12
* Back in the day there was a "Power Search" in iTunes that offered some advanced controls and filtering.
* In the redesign of iTunes that feature is non-existent or at least it seems.
V Because the iTunes Store is basically a "web app" there is a hidden URL to access the Power Search in iTunes
* Pick "Movies" as the search criteria.
* At the bottom check the "Search only for movies available to rent" checkbox.
* Then if you search the year '2014' and it will only display 2014 released movies that are available for rent.
V There are lots of other options in the power search that can be handy
* Search by Actor or Director
* For apps search by developer or only for free apps
* The site Doug’s Scripts has an AppleScript that adds the 'Power Search' link to the AppleScript menu in iTunes.
V Thing of the moment
* What stuff am I using at the moment
* Pencil by 53
* I was worried that it was a soft rubber tip and chunky, but using it has been a dream.
* The core slides out to reveal a battery with a USB connector for charging.
* Tap and hold to pair with the app
* Unlocks the "blend" feature which is awesome.
* Also the new Surface Pressure, which detect the edge of the tip and creates a wider stroke.
* Also has an eraser on the other end and also trigger palm rejection.
* Occasionally it mis-detects an eraser or blend stroke
* In graphite aluminum or walnut (real wood)
* Works with other apps like Sketchbook, Procreate, Noteshelf, and soon Adobe Photoshop Sketch
* USD $59.95 in Walnut, $49.95 in Graphite
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