Maccast 2015.02.01 - Show #514
V Opening
V Pre-roll
* This episode of the Maccast is brought to you by Invest in yourself and sign up for a FREE 10-day trial to by visiting
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V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Apple’s Quarterly Windfall
* The latest quarterly numbers are in for Apple and they are even bigger than anyone predicted, including Apple.
V Apple posted revenue of $74.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $18 billion. That’s compared to the $57.6 billion and net quarterly profit of $13.1 billion from the same quarter a year ago.
* $18 Billion by the way is the most profit ever reported by a publicly-traded company.
V International sales accounted for 65 percent of revenue.
* With China being a key market.
* Revenue there increased from $9.5 billion to $16.14 billion, a year-over-year increase of almost 70 percent
V Breaking down the top revenue earning regions by country
* US accounted $30.566 billion
* Europe brought in $17.214 billion
* China was at $16.144 billion
* and Japan at $5.448 billion
* The company currently holds $178 billion in cash
V iPhone sales were up 51 million units from the quarter a year ago at 74.5 million units, a new record.
* About two-thirds of Apple’s revenue was from iPhone sales.
* For fun TidBits point out that this means Apple sold an average of more than 34,000 iPhones every hour of every day for the quarter.
* Apple shipped its one-billionth iOS device last quarter - a 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus.
V Macs also sold strongly in the quarter with Apple moving 5.5 million, up from 4.8 million in the same quarter last year. An increase of 14 percent.
* Impressive considering Apple only release two completely new desktops this past year and only had minor updates to their notebook lines
V iPad sales continued to show slowing. They were at 21.4 million units down from 26 million in the quarter a year ago or an 18 percent decline.
* Cook still tried to keep things upbeat for iPad focusing on his favorite "usage" numbers.
* iPad accounted for 82 percent of U.S. ecommerce transactions from tablets.
* Cook also said the first-time buyer rate for iPads is 50 percent in developing markets and 70 percent elsewhere.
* I think iPads and tablets in general are victims of their own robustness. They work well for the tasks they are used for and there just are not a lot of compelling reasons to upgrade frequently. I think most consumers will only replace a table every 3 years or so.
* Cook also admitted they feel there is some iPad cannibalization from the larger iPhones.
* The "other" products category, iPod, Apple TV, Beats Electronics, and accessories, brought in $2.7 billion, a year-over-year decrease of 5.2 percent
* The "iTunes, software, and services" category, has been relabeled "Services and made $4.8 billion, up from $4.4 billion.
* The "bombshell" of the call was Cook giving s more firm date for the Apple Watch. We now know "Early 2015" now means sometime in April of 2015
V Latest Apple Watch rumors
V Battery Life
* This is one of the biggest questions we’ve had since the announcement (after release date and pricing).
* Tim Cook has given hints, stating it will be something customers will want to charge daily
* 9to5Mac claims to have heard from sources who say Apple was reportedly aiming for 2.5 of “heavy” application use, 3.5 hours of standard app use and 4 hours of pure fitness tracking use.
* They are trying to achieve 19 hours of active/passive mixed use and might struggle to hit that target
* They also are targeting 3 days of pure standby time and four days if the watch is sleeping.
V Watch should be able to display its clock face for approximately three hours, including watch ticking animations, if nothing else is done with the device.
* The watch face is turned off most of the time (I assume in standby) and comes on when you raise your wrist to view the display.
V Is daily charging a better scenario than 2-3 day battery life
* If you charge each night and it lasts a full day then you just take it off at night to charge.
* If it gets 36-48 hours it could die mid day getting you running for a charger, not really ideal for a "wearable".
V S1 Chip
* Performance is said to be similar to an A5, impressive.
V Display
* 60-FPS Retina-class display
V Apple TV HomeKit Hub
* We’ve already heard and discussed reports that if you want to communicate with your HomeKit devices at home while you’re away you’ll need a latest gen Apple TV
* Now were hearing that the Apple TV might also bring HomeKit control to non-homeKit devices on your home network.
* That means devices designed for the Z-Wave and Zigbee smart home protocols will work on your HomeKit network, but with some limits.
* Home automation devices, like thermostats, remote locks, or smart lights are NOT supported.
* What is are data collection devices and things that "enhance" the home theater experience, think speakers, but not remote controls.
* Why the severe limits? Security. Non-homekit devices would not be subject to Apple’s MFi (Made for i) certification so Apple has less control.
* Still that means you may still be able to ask Siri to get the temperature from your non-Homekit smart weather station at your house, as long as you have an Apple TV on the same network.
V Apple’s certification and rigid standards for the chips and products in Home Kit might mean delays
* We say many vendors announce HomeKit products at CES.
* Ship dates said to be next quarter, with some even optimistically targeting this quarter.
* Re/code reports that we should save our HomekHomeKitit product money for the Spring at the earliest
* Apple only made HomeKit specs available in October and just set up the MFi licensing program for HomeKit in November
* The Broadcom has new chips ready, but their software isn’t yet certified. So some products will launch with an existing chip.
V Will Samsung drive A9 production?
* A business publication in South Korea says it will.
* According to a MacNN piece they say the publications claims Samsung will get about 75 percent of the orders for Apple’s next generation iOS processor.
* If accurate that means Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) would likely get the remaining 25 percent of orders.
* This would be a flop in the power struggle between the two companies to be Apple’s main chip supplier. It’s currently believed that for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus that TSMC is supplying about 60 percent of the processors with Samsung supplying the other 40 percent.
V Apple 10.10.2 and iOS 8.1.3 updates
V OS X 10.10.2
* Resolves an issue that may cause Wi-Fi to disconnect
* Resolves an issue that may cause web pages to load slowly
* Fixes an issue that caused Spotlight to load remote email content when the preference was disabled in Mail
* Improves audio and video sync when using Bluetooth headphones
* Adds the ability to browse iCloud Drive in Time Machine
* Improves VoiceOver speech performance
* Resolves an issue that causes VoiceOver to echo characters when entering text on a web page
* Addresses an issue that may cause the input method to switch languages unexpectedly
* Improves stability and security in Safari
* Apple has also released standalone Safari updates for OS X Mavericks (7.1.3) and OS X Mountain Lion (6.2.3).
* Security Update 2015-001 is also available for Mavericks and Mountain Lion.
V iOS 8.1.3
* Reduced the amount of storage required for doing an app update
* Fixed an issue that prevented some users from being able to enter their Apple ID password for Messages and FaceTime
* Fixed a bug in Spotlight where it would stop showing App results (or no-results in my case).
* Fixed an issue with multitasking gestures on the iPad
* Adds new configuration options for education standardized testing.
* Does not seem to fix the recent "GMT" bug which has caused calendar syncing issues and time zone confusion for some users
V Apple released iTunes 12.1
* Adds Notification center widget
* Has the ability to play, pause, scrub, and skip tracks, and of course a "buy" button for iTunes Radio tracks you don’t own
* Doesn’t show album art or have volume controls.
* Apple says the update also brings improved performance when syncing music or data to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
V Does Apple Pay have a security problem?
* Apple Pay is probably one of the most secure payment platforms available right now.
* You have NFC, tokenization, secure enclave, and TouchID combo that makes it hard to hack the data that is stored in or transmitted from the phone.
* But what about security of the data going into the device?
* The blog Drop Labs highlighted a potential risk with Apple Pay that we’ve already brought up here on the Maccast. How do you know the card going into the phone is being put in by it’s owner?
* In the piece the author writes that credit card issues try to keep fraud rates at under 10bps (less than $0.10 per every $100 of transactions). Apple Pay they hoped would be at around 2-3bps
* He reports that the rate is actually proving to be higher than with traditional cards.
* Shocking, but the good news is that the issue isn’t really Apple or the technology, it’s how verifications are being handled by card issuers.
V Apple requires that when cards are added to Apple Pay (provisioned), that card issuers build a "Yellow Path". Some way to verify the card being enter is being done so by the owner.
* The best method seems to be requiring the person to authenticate in the card issue banks app on the device.
* Many though are using a phone call-in and that’s where things seems to have gone wrong.
V This is typical identity and credit card number theft.
* Fraudsters buy stolen consumer identities complete with credit card information, and convince both software and manual checks they are a legitimate customer.
* Apple Pay makes it easier for this because thieves now don’t have to replicate and make fake credit cards with the info.
V You’ll soon be able to use Apple Pay at over 200,000 vending machines, coffee brewers, parking pay stations, kiosks and laundry machines.
* USA Technologies Inc. announced plans to support Apple Pay in it’s self-service stations.
* Western Union also announced it has begun accepting Apple Pay for money transfers and bill payments.
* In the quarterly conference call Tim Cook noted that $2 out of every $3 spent using contactless payments are being made with Apple Pay.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V iOS’s "Other" problem
* We’ve all seen it, right?
* You plug your iOS device into iTunes, select the device, and in the Summary tab you look at the bottom and see a large chunk of your data consumed by "Other". That big yellow bar.
V What the holy heck is "other"?
* Safari bookmarks, text-message (mail and SMS and attachments), and calendar entries.
* iTunes data, including cache files that have been streamed.
* Documents & Data from apps, including offline data (Podcasts, Articles, etc.)
V The most efficient and effective way to clear out "Other" is to erase your phone data and restore
* Connect your phone to iTunes and back it up.
* Then on the device go to Settings > General > Reset and choose Erase All Content (Scary part)
* Then reconnect your device to iTunes and restore your data from backup.
V If all of that is a little too scary
V Go to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage
* You can see which Apps are using the most
* Make sure to click through to view the "Documents & Data" value
V The easiest way to clear an apps data is to delete the app
* Keep in mind you will lose saved data and it will not be restored
* The exception is if the App has a cloud storage option and you can re-sync or download the files after re-install
* In some cases you can use an app like Phone View to copy an apps data off before you remove the app and then put it back after restore.
V Also deleting old iMessage and SMS conversations can help, especially if they contain a lot of media files.
V You can delete just the media files, or save them, by going to the message
* Tap on "Details"
* Tap and hold on a media file, then tap 'More…'
* Tap to select images and media. They will get a blue checkmark
* Then tap 'Save' or the Trash Can icon.
V Does Siri know too much?
V TUAW posted a tip about how you can use Siri on a lost iPhone to help you find it’s owner
* "Siri, who does this phone belong to"?
* Then Siri will happily give up all the info in your "me" card in Contacts
* You can also ask about relationships and get their contacts as well. "Who is my spouse", "who is my brother, mother, child"
V You can disable Siri access from the lock screen
* Launch Settings
* Tap on "Touch ID & Passcode".
* Enter your passcode when prompted in order to continue.
* Scroll down to the Allow Access When Locked Section.
* Turn off Siri
* If you have Touch ID it’s not too inconvenient
* I wish there was a way to limit what info the "me" cards displayed from the lock screen
V Alternatives
* Set up a lock screen wall paper with a "if lost, call, reward" message
V Use the HealthKit "Emergency Card"
* Open the Health app
* Tap "Medical ID"
* Add an emergency contact with "owner" or "me" in the label
* Add a phone number
* Now on the local screen if you tap 'Emergency’, then 'Medical ID' you’ll see that info.
V Siri, won’t "listen" to me
* Play comment from Jim.
* One option is to press and hold to activate Siri, but keep the button held down. Siri will "listen" until you release.
V Update needed on login screen
* Brad sent this strange screenshot of an issue I had never seen before
* On the OS X login screen the avatar image was a silhouette with a "?" and under that an orange checkmark with the words "[Update Needed]"
* Brad’s OS was completely up to date and he can type his password and then it goes to the login screen and log in normally.
* The "Update Needed" make it seem like this is an OS thing, but it’s not.
V It’s actually a File Vault thing and I confirmed Brad was using FileVault.
* After installing OS X Yosemite it now prompts you to enable File vault, so I think it’s possible more people might start to see this issue.
* What happens when you set up File Vault is it encrypts your entire disk and until you log in that data can’t be accessed at all.
* The login screen come up before that though and would normally have your usernames and login avatars. How can it display that if the data is encrypted?
* File Vault creates a small unencrypted "boot shim" partition to store that data
* If things on your Mac change though I guess your Mac can sometime lose access to this shim and it then needs to be re-created. And that will take decrypting the drive.
V Before decrypting - look in FileVault pref pane and see if there is an error about "not all accounts can decrypt this disk"
* Form there it might let you supply the passwords for the accounts on your Mac and get rid of the message.
V The only way to to that is to turn off File Vault and re-enable it.
* System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> FileVault
* Click the lock at the bottom and enter the admin credentials
* Then disable File Vault.
* This can take a long time since it basically needs to decrypt the entire drive. Approximately 1.5 hrs for each 500GB of storage.
* The process will happen in the background, so you can use your Mac as normal while it happens. It will also pick up where it left off if you re-boot, shutdown, etc.
* Once it’s been decrypted then you can re-enable File Vault
* And that should resolve the "Needs Update" issue.
V Thing of the moment: Satechi 10 Port USB Hub
* Satechi 10 Port USB 3.0 Premium Aluminum Hub (7 Port Hub with 3 Charging Ports)
* Really 7-ports + 3 charging ports.
* My Macbook Pro was a mess. Connecting 3 external USB drives, a USB audio interface, plus a Thunderbolt, etc.
V I considered TB docking solutions, but I haven’t found the one I want
* The new Thunderbolt 2 Dock from OWC might be a thing of the moment pick in the future
* On the Satechi hub there are 7 USB 3.0 ports that support transfer rates up to 5.0 Gbps.
* The three charging ports (each labeled) All 5 volts, One 2.1A port and 2 1.0A ports.
V All the ports are on the front which is slopped at a 45 degree angle, so access is easy. The connection to the Mac is on the side.
* I was able to place the hub at the back of my desk behind my Macbook Pro keeping everything clean with easy access to the connection cable.
* The style is aluminum and white, so matches your Apple gear perfectly.
* Retail price is USD $59.99, which is what I paid on Amazon Prime, but you might find it cheaper.
V Closing
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