Maccast 2015.03.02 - Show #517
V Opening
V Pre-roll
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V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Apple Watch event coming
* Apple has sent invites out to their "Spring Forward" event
* With the timing and numerous ways the title hints at time it’s almost definitely their watch event.
V The event happens Monday March 9th at 10:00 AM PT at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and Apple will be live streaming the event
* I’ll have the Maccast IRC chat going with details on for connecting.
* Once again Apple appears to be building a mysterious white structure next to the event location. Again believed to be a hands-on demo area for members of the press.
V The Wall Street Journal says Apple had hoped to have more Health features in the watch, but they were cut before the announcement
* This is not a surprise to those of us who followed the rumors leading up to the announcement
* And to be VERY clear, none of the announced features are being taken away. The report was on stuff that did not make the cut for the announcement.
* Many of the sensors were specifically medical related, like monitor blood pressure, stress levels, or glucose levels.
* The features would have added complexity and possibly required FDA and governmental approvals, slowing down the process.
* Other sensors seemed to technical issues or were just prove to be reliable or accurate enough to make the launch cut.
V Is it water-proof?
* Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was reportedly overheard telling a retail employee in Germany that he wears his Apple Watch in the shower.
* Cook also reportedly alluded to the Telegraph that company designed the Apple Watch to replace electronic car keys and fobs. Exactly how that would be done was not revealed.
V Longer battery life might be possible via a 'Power Reserve' mode.
* To date it’s been believed the Apple Watch will go about a day with average usage.
* Brian X Chen at the New York Times claims Apple has developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve.
* A mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time.
* But really, what would be the point of that? Doesn’t it defeat the whole point of a "smart watch"?
V Reports seem to indicate Apple is looking to have 5-6 million Apple Watch units ready for sale at launch.
* Quanta Computer is believed to be the sole assembler of the Apple Watch.
V Pricing, beyond the $349 USD Apple Sport model, still is all over the board
* Apple Watch, somewhere between $500 and $1,000
* Apple Edition at $3, 000 to $15,000
* There’s also the great "band" debate. Will Apple offer all the bands as separate accessories or will choice be limited by watch choice?
* I’ve also heard speculation that some bands might be more costly than the Apple Watch itself.
* We’ve also seen the device showing up in photos on pieces in many of the top fashion magazines.
V Big changes in how Apple will sell and market the devices
V The New Yorker detailed collaboration between design chief Jony Ive and retail head Angela Ahrendts to redesign of Apple's retail stores creating a experience better suited for selling the Watch
* Piece alludes to a "V.I.P area" and a comment by Ive about hearing someone say they wouldn't buy a watch from a store if they weren't standing on carpet.
* We’d already heard about big changes including possibly new seating areas in some stores.
V There are also reported changes coming to the Genius Bar
* A new initiative dubbed "Concierge" (didn’t we have that already?) will be rolled out starting from the week of March 9 to replace walk-in appointments.
* Apple Store employees will use an algorithm-driven iPad app to provide priority-assessed wait times for a customer's issue.
V You then get wait time updates via your iPhone
* An initial text message confirming the Genius Bar request and providing the wait time.
* A text message telling the customer to start heading back to the Apple Store.
* A final text message telling the customer that their technician is ready to help and where they can be located in the store
* I’ve already had this experience with a walk-in appointment
V 9to5 Macs claims Tim Cook told a group of employees in Berlin the Apple Watch will be available in countries other than the U.S. this April, including Germany.
* Not clear if that would be a simultaneous roll out with the US or if the US would get the Apple Watch earlier.
* My bet is Apple will do a simultaneous rollout
V Apple likely developing a car
V I still think those funky Apple vans we’ve been seeing of Apple’s are part of a mapping effort.
* I actually saw one while I was in Orlando, Florida, but it was behind me and I was driving, so I didn’t get a picture.
* It was also recently reported that Apple recently added GasBuddy and GreatSchools as maps data partners, but seems like they are just getting address data.
* Apple also animated the London Eye and Big Ben in the 3D flyover view
V Regardless, there is mounting and pretty convincing evidence that Apple is working on some sort of car project.
* Apple is being sued by battery manufacturing company A123 Systems for poaching employees.
* A123 Systems creates "advanced Nanophosphate lithium iron phosphate batteries and energy storage systems," supplied to many vehicle manufacturers.
V Auto hires made by Apple come from Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and other auto companies
* They cover disciplines from design, to engineering, to transmissions, safety systems, battery technology, aerospace engineering, and more.
* Most supposedly working in a team under the leadership of Former Ford executive, Steve Zadesky, now an Apple product design Vice President
V Th Mac Observer found a recent change Apple made to it’s corporate documents in Switzerland adding language that says vehicles are part of its business operations.
* The specific language also adds wording for aftermarket parts and accessories for vehicles, so not a smoking gun, but still more evidence.
V Exactly to what degree or end is up to tons of speculation and debate, but let’s not let that stop us.
* The project is supposedly codenamed "Titan" and supposedly about 200 people are working on the project.
* Speculation on the scope of the project ranges from in-car infotainment software to a full-blown branded vehicle.
* It’s believed that Apple would be developing an electric vehicle and might be exploring autonomous or at least computer assisted driving systems.
* Jony Ive’s friend and sometimes collaborator Marc Newsome designed a concept car for Ford.
* Really, at this point it seems likely this is a extra large R&D project. Even if nothing coves of it there are many applications for the kids of technology Apple would develop around a car. Computer vision, voice control, battery technology, display tech, entertainment and navigation systems, etc.
V For those who question Apple’s desire or ability to successfully enter the car market?
* Former GM CEO Dan Akerson said, "We take steel, raw steel, and turn it into car. They have no idea what they're getting into if they get into that."
* Similar things were being said when Apple announced they would enter the mobile phone market and we know how that turned out.
* Gene Muster looked at some numbers and determined the US car market generates $500 billion in sales per year. If Apple could get 10 percent of the US market that would generate $50 billion in revenue
* He says that would be "moderate" success. I say, like the 1 percent of the cellphone market Steve was gunning for at the iPhone announcement, even a 1 percent share of the US car market would mean 5 billion in revenue. Q1 2015 Apple made just shy of 7 billion in revenue from Macs.
* Big difference is that car margins are razor thin, something like 3 to 15 percent (Forbes & Bloomberg). Far from the 30-45 percent margins Apple is used to.
* Bloomberg reports executives are pushing internal development teams to start first production runs of an electric vehicle in five years, so that would be around 2020.
V Touch ID coming to Mac?
* A rumor out of Taiwan is claiming the 12-inch Retina Macbook Air (also a rumored product) could have a TouchID sensor above it’s trackpad.
* The idea is that Apple hopes to make Apple Pay part of online web payments. Right now it can be done in store on in an iOS app.
* They also say the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad could be updated to include Touch ID.
* I still think it makes a lot sense for touch ID to be integrated into the power buttons on the Magic trackpad and Apple Wireless Keyboard. Could also work on laptops if they brought the power button back.
V Apple will offer iOS Public Betas
* According to 9to5 Mac, just like with OS X Yosemite, it’s being rumor that Apple plans to start allowing fro public beta testing of future versions of iOS
* They say just like Yosemite apple will offer the beta via it’s AppleSeed program and they will start with iOS 8.3 beta 3 in mid-March.
* They claim they will continue with a public beta of iOS 9 sometime in mid-Summer after it’s announcement at WWDC in June.
V To those in the current developer program Apple did release iOS 8.3 Beta 2 and OS X 10.10.3
* Both had all new emoji and emoji skin tone modifiers and more diversity in Family emoji
* The update to iOS fixed a CarPlay bug, and brought support for Google 2-step verification, and Apple Pay support for the China UnionPay network. Also has 7 new languages for Siri including Russian, Danish, Dutch, Thai, Turkish, Swedish and Portuguese.
* 10.3.3 brings the new Photos app and Google 2-step verification.
V Apple Pay in Europe mid-April?
* Visa Europe has announced that its European contactless payment terminals will support the tokenization service used by Apple Pay by mid-April
* Of course they’ve had contactless payment for longer than the US and I’ve been told US cards with Apple pay work at many payment terminals
* The report claims that currently Europe’s contactless payment cards transmit the actual card details to the terminal.
* So at least maybe a system will be in-place for Europeans to use Visa cards with Apple Pay soon.
* Visa Europe has not confirmed that Apple will be using the service, but they are an Apple Pay partner, so…
V Apple also announced that it plans to build its first two data centers in Europe to host iCloud, iTunes and other online services.
* One in Ireland and another in Denmark
* Like their US data centers Apple plans the facilities to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
* They plan to have the data centers on-line in 2017 and they will be about 166,000 square meters each.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Apple acknowledges Macbook Pro Display issues
* Apple has launched a repair program to fix MacBook Pro machines sold between February 2011 and February 2013 that have video issues
* We have talked about this for a while here on the Maccast. I’ve personally had 15-inch system since 2010 that have suffered from these problems
* If you own one of these models and have had problems with distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts you use the "Check your coverage" tool on the program page and if your unit is covered contact Applecare Support or head to the Genius Bar.
* Affected products include 15 and 17-inch MacBook Pro models manufactured in 2011 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro models manufactured between Mid 2012 and Early 2013.
* Also if you paid for a repair on an effected unit then you should get an email about getting a reimbursement, if you have not you should also contact Apple.
* Apple will provide repairs until February 27, 2016, or three years from the MacBook's original date of sale, depending on which coverage period is longer.
* The bummer is that older units which had the same issues are not covered by the program since they are outside the 3 year extra coverage range.
V Consolidate iTunes Library on external
* Dustin is like many of us and has moved his iTunes Media folder to hold his every large and growing media.
* With HD movies with "extras" and higher bit-rate music it can get crowded, especially with newer Flash based drives on new Macs which have become smaller, not bigger.
V But there is a thing that can happen if you’re not always connected with that external drive.
* Common if your Mac is a laptop
* I use a 2TB USB powered portable for my iTunes Library so I can take it with me, but even sometimes I don;t have it with me.
* If you don’t and launch iTunes it will still launch, but then default back to using the Media Folder in it’s default ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media file location.
* This is good because iTunes will still work and any new content you might purchase or download (like podcasts) will be saved to the internal drive.
* It does pose a problem though when you return home and reconnect to that external location. Now some of your media files are stored locally and others are on the external.
* The Library knows where to find each, but what if you want it all consolidated?
* One thought might be to simply drag the files from the iTunes Media folder on the internal to the external. The problem here is that then the iTunes Library won’t know how to find the media, since it’s not updated if you just copy in the Finder
* Another option is to drag the files or folders into iTunes again, which will update the media locations and copy the files to the external drive. Dustin you said you tried this, but ran into several errors in the process. Specifically, podcasts don;t transfer correctly and apps when copied gave you an “Unknown Error (-50)”.
V Luckily there is an easy way to "re-sync" your data over to your external location. The key is you don’t want to move it manually, but have iTunes do the work for you. Here’s how:
* 1) Make sure iTunes has been quit and re-connect the external drive with your iTunes Media on it.

* 2) Launch iTunes and open the Preferences (iTunes > Preferences).
* 3) Go to the 'Advanced' tab and make sure the 'iTunes Media folder location' is correctly pointing at your external volume. If not use the 'Change…' button to fix it.
* 4) Still in the 'Advanced' tab. Check to make sure the 'Keep iTunes Media folder organized' and 'Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library' options are checked.
* 5) Click 'OK' and close the preferences.
* 6) Now go under the 'File' menu and choose 'Library > Organize Library…'. Then check the 'Consolidate files' option and click 'OK'.
* As it says this will then take all the media files used by iTunes and copy them into your chosen iTunes Media folder location. Wait for it to finish and then you can look in the Media folder on your external drive to confirm all the files have been copied over.
* The good part of doing it this way is that all the references in your Library files will also be updated to point at the Media folder on your external drive.
* Once you confirm the files have been successfully copied you can go into the iTunes Media folder on your main hard drive and clean up and delete any leftover files you don’t want there.
* So I hope this helps clear things up.
V Cleaning up "On My iPhone" Contacts
* Play question from Sebastian
* Ok, so I looked in both iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Contacts app preferences and groups and I no longer show an "On My Mac" or "On My iPhone" group.
* These did exist for me a long time ago and I’m assuming I’m missing a setting, but I’m not sure how (or if I even want to) get it back.
V For you Sebastian though thee should be an easy way to clean things up.
* As you have already done, make sure that you set the default location for creating new Contacts to be "iCloud". I would check the setting on both OS X and iOS
* Then, I’m not sure if you can do this on iOS, you need to move the contacts from the "On My Mac" location to iCloud
* The easiest way is in the Contacts app on your Mac
* Make sure you can see the Groups sidebar, 'View' > 'Show Groups’
* Then scroll down and under the "On My Mac" section choose "All On My Mac" to view all contacts saved only locally on your Mac, I’m assuming these will match what you have in "On My iPhone"
* Then select all of those contacts and then drag them from the "All On My Mac" section to the "All iCloud" group in the sidebar.
V This should copy the records into iCloud and then sync them to all your devices.
* I think if you don’t use iCloud, but another service like Google or Yahoo you could also copy them to that section, just adjust accordingly.
* Once you’ve confirmed the record have copied and sync’d to your devices you should be safe to go back into Contacts and delete the local "On My Mac" records.
V As for how these got in the "On My iPhone" section in the first place
* I think this can happen if you are manually syncing contacts via iTunes in addition to using a cloud service
* To check, connect your device to your Mac using your lighting or 30-pin cable
* Then open iTunes and select the device
* Then click on the 'Info' section and check the 'Sync Contacts' options.
* If it is checked then I believe when you sync your device any contacts are sync’d and copied to that 'On My Device' category.
V Tracking sold iPhones in the Post
* So we’ve recently discussed reselling iOS devices and how important it is that before you do so that you disconnect the device from iCloud services and specifically "Find My iPhone" so that the activation lock is no longer valid.
* After mentioning this I got an email from Eoin (Erin) who came up with a rather creative way of being able to sell your device, but not have to remove it from Find My iPhone until it’s received by the buyer.
* Why? Well as Eoin points out, if you ship the device and it’s lost in the Mail (or Post) you will no longer have the activation lock protection nor will you have any way to track the device.
* So his solution? Since they are free, create a new temporary iCloud account and activate the device on that. Also set up a passcode lock on the device and then share the credentials of the temporary iCloud account and passcode with the buyer.
* Then before you ship the device use Find My iPhone to put the device in "Lost Mode".
* What that will do is keep the tracking and activation lock abilities active on the device as it’s in transit. Then once the buyer receives it and takes it out of "lost" mode with the passcode you’ll be notified that it’s arrived.
* After that the buyer can remove the device from the temporary iCloud account, removing the activation lock themselves, and then reactivate and use the device.
* Pretty smart.
* Eoin even said that when he shipped his device using this trick that he left it on and was able to track the packages progress through the Post system for 3-days. I think in lost mode it keeps the screen off and only wakes up occasionally to ping open wi-fi when it sees it.
V Thing of the Moment: Audio Technica AT2005USB
* A great Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
* This was recommended to me by Dave Hamilton over at the Mac Observer
* I have been trying to find a good portable mic to take with me on the road, but more importantly one that would work well with Garageband in iOS
* This one totally fits the bill. Also, I like Audio technical since my studio mic is an Audio technical AT-2020
* If you heard my last podcast, all the audio in that that wasn’t the "amigos" part was recorded in my hotel room with the AT2005
* Because it’s got both USB and XLR connectors I was able to connect right to my Mac via the included USB cable.
* Garageband sees it as a mic input and you just select it in your project and record.
* This would work for any app, like Skype, too.
* The USB will also go directly into the Lighting to USB adapter on an iPhone or iPad. And no need for extra power it gets what it needs via the USB.
* There is a headphone jack and volume control right on the mic for monitoring without any latency and you can choose the mic as the "output" source for your Mac as well, so you’ll hear Mac audio back through the mic (good for Skype recording).
* The kit even includes a little fold out desktop tripod, mic clip, XLR cable, and carry case. Zip it all up and toss it in your bag.
* Best of all the price, about $50-65 USD online ($149.00 retail)
V iPhone World Gallery
* Cool new section on Apple’s website highlighting iPhone 6 and 6 Plus photography
* Displays images taken by customers all over the world along with info on which apps were used to create the images.
V Closing
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