Maccast 2015.08.25 - Show #538
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Is Apple Music losing subscribers?
V MacRumors had a story with numbers from MusicWatch that paints a bleak outlook for Apple Music
V MusicWatch, in August 2015 survey of 5,000 U.S. consumers age 13 and older, found that 77% of iOS users are aware of Apple Music, with 11% currently using the streaming music service.
* Apple Music is available in more than 100 countries, so this study might not be wholly representative of the service worldwide.
* They also claim that of those who tried Apple Music 48% said they are no longer using the service and 61% reported they have turned off the auto-renewal subscription option in iTunes.
* On the more positive side the numbers shoed that 28 percent of Spotify Premium customers, 11 percent of free Spotify users, and 6 percent of Pandora users also using Apple Music.
* 30 percent of users are using Beats1 and 27 percent are accessing Connect (that seems pretty good to me).
* Still they found 64% of current users said they were "extremely" or "very likely" to pay for an Apple Music subscription. (which seems to contradict their own report).
* In a statement made to TheVerge Apple refuted the numbers saying that 79 percent of people who signed up for the Apple Music free trial are still using Apple Music.
V Apple Music Festival (formerly iTunes Music Festival) in London announced
* The event will happen September 19 through September 28 at the Roundhouse
* Tickets to the concerts will be given away through a lottery system and the show will feature acts from Pharrell Williams, Florence + The Machine, One Direction, Disclosure, and more.
* If you don’t get a ticket don’t worry, Apple will broadcast the shows live and on-demand via Apple Music, iTunes, and Apple TV.
* There will also be coverage on Beats 1 and glimpses backstage on Apple Music's Connect.
* And if you want all the details you can check out the Apple Music Festival website (
V More changes at Apple Retail
* iPods will be moved to the "accessory" shelf area.
V "Smart signs" are also being removed. Now Apple will have "an app for that"
* Pre-loading price information and product details onto display iPhones, iPads, and Macs
* Part of the reason being cited for the change is confusion by consumers who didn’t realize the signs were not "demo" units.
* On a Mac the app will be positioned on the left side of the Mac dock and will be fully interactive, like the signs
* On iOS devices the app will be placed on the Home screen.
* Apple Watches no longer require "try-on" appointments.
V Also a rumor that Apple might phase out it’s One-to-One in store training programs
* Though they did just update their website for allowing customers to easily browse and schedule Workshop appointments
* One-to-One is still there also under the "Store Services" section.
V Apple Watches quickly expanding to 3rd party retailers
* It started with select Best Buy locations in the US and Canada
* Apple recently added Myer locations across Australia.
* And more recently the retailer FNAC in France
V Best Buy says they have done so well with Apple Watch that they are actually expanding and will begin selling it in all 1,050 retail locations across the United States "by the end of September".
* I think Apple Watch is resonating more with general consumers than tech geeks and the fact that Best Buy did so well is an example of that.
* On a recent Legoland trip I say at least 5 Apple Watches in the wild.
V Apple highlights Apple Pay in new ad
* Apple Pay is featured in the latest “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone” ad
* The ad focuses on Apple Pay’s benefits of being faster, more secure, and keeping your privacy, but the "big" reveal at the end is, "and you can already use it in 1 million stores".
* Seeming to imply that Apple Pay is "everywhere", but one million stores is misleading
* A big part of the spot is also highlighting some of the big chain stores taking Apple Pay, like Whole Foods, Foot Locker, Toy 'r Us, and Mc Donald’s. Each having thousands or tens of thousands of stores.
* Of course this is "marketing" and giving the impression that things are better than they are is the whole point and getting the word out about Apple Pay should help.
* I still LOVE Apple Pay, but it’s still really hard to use much because only a few actual retailers accept it, but at least it’s getting better.
V iPad Pro may arrive later this year
* KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" will enter mass production sometime in September or October according to Mac Rumors
V He also says the "Pro" pad will be released along side a new ForceTouch enabled Bluetooth stylus.
* He called the technology "evolutionary" not "revolutionary
* So, no "force touch" in the display, sounds like it’d require the stylus.
V Also seems like Apple might use "force touch" as a general marketing term for various kinds of "pressure sensitivity"?
* Though Kuo’s comments make it sound like he thinks it really Force Touch style gestures built into the stylus and doesn’t note true "Wacom" like pressure sensitivity.
* Kuo wasn’t definitive, but did note that the Force Touch being built into the stylus could open up the possibility of it working with other iPad models if Apple wanted to add the software support.
V Mobil Analytics firm AppSee thinks they’ve seen test iPad Pros in their logs
* A a resolution of 2,732×2,048 pixels and model identifier of "iPad6,8"
* That resolution is backed up by other rumors we’ve heard in the past.
V Key features beyond the stylus and large screen include:
* A USB-C connector and NFC, so it could be used as a POS/Payment terminal.
V Some think the iPad Pro might not even make a mention at the next Apple event, but I think it will with a shipping in late-October early November.
* The AppSee analysis also showed the devices running iOS 9.1, suggesting a more advanced version of the OS and one that will likely not be available when iOS 9 launches next month. Basically backing up the idea that the iPad Pro will be available later than the iPhone 6’s.
* DigiTimes says Sharp has been tasked with supplying about 5 million displays to have ready and Foxconn will be handling assembly of the new iPad Pro with a target of delivering 4-5 million units before the end of the year.
V Apple may change venue for next event
* The date of Apple next big product event has been pretty much agreed upon by the rumor-sphere as September 9th.
* More recently the community has also seemed to agree that iPhone pre-orders will happen the on following Friday, September 11th with shipments happening the following week on the 18th.
V Most also agree this will be the biggest "S" update ever:
* More RAM upgrade
* All new A9 processor
* New rose gold (pink) color
* Strengthened shell,
* Improved Touch ID
* Force Touch
* Major upgrades on both the FaceTime (front) and iSight (back) cameras.
V The event is also expected to feature a new iPad Mini 4, new Apple TV hardware with Apps( but no streaming service), and possibly the larger 12.9" iPad Pro (though some think that’s a separate event later this Fall).
* Crazy rumor: International Data Corp. (IDC) thinks that the rumored "iPad Pro" will be a "detachable" device
V State of the iPhone 6c being at the even still seems in flux.
* This week a Chinese leak mirrored the often accurate Evan Blass’s comments that Apple would have a 4-inch iPhone 6c, thought they give a mid-November arrival time, where Blass thinks Apple will debut the 6c along side the 6s and 6s Plus.
* Still KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo and Digitimes both claim the 6c won’t be out until some time in 2016
* If it is a "thing" beyond the 4-inch display it’s expected to have A8 processor, Touch ID w/Apple Pay, and a new metal case with colors to match the iPhone 6s models.
V By all accounts a HUGE release. Maybe so big that Apple has outgrown all it’s old launch event venues.
* There’s mounting evidence that Apple has rented out the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco for its upcoming iPhone event.
* The venue is booked for a "private event" to be held at the auditorium from Sept. 4 through Sept. 13.
* Documents show plans to modify four windows at the venue to support 15-foot wonky "star-like" logos, but AppleInsider points out the mounting frames easily could accommodate a different logo.
* The documents also show street closures for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8 (night before the rumored event) and Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 4 a.m. to noon (supposed day of the event).
* The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium can accommodate 7,000. More than twice the number of people as the Flint Center (where the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were announced) and more than 4 times as many as the often used Yerba Buena Center.
* If Apple plans to pack a venue with that much press there is likely going to be some HUGE announcements
* I would imagine we’ll see announcements go out early next week. With that many people, maybe this will be the year the Maccast gets an invite? (Typically they don’t invite podcasters).
V Why iPhone AL might be important
* I’ve made fun of this story a few places, but that’s because many sites and pundits on our community have become seemingly obsessed with what material the next iPhone’s will be made from.
* Back and forth on 6000 vs. 7000 series aluminum.
* What’s the difference and why does it matter to us and Apple
* It all comes down to durability. A recent Unbox Therapy video (these are also the guys who kicked off Bendgate) does a great job explaining and also analyzing what they believe is an iPhone 6s backcase
* 6000 series is the most common metal material used on the planet, you find it in everything and it’s mostly 97% aluminum, easy to mill, and readily available.
V 7000 series, used in the Apple Watch, is not as common, more expensive (about 5x currently), and has about 6% zinc added
* The zinc content, I guess, adds strength but they also point out means there’s more chance of corrosion
* Their part also seemed to have a much thicker layer of anodization which might be a compensation for the corrosion potential.
* The big deal was that the 7000 series back was able to withstand 80 lbs of force before significantly bending vs, just about 30lbs for the old iPhone 6 backcase. The entire iPhone 6 bent at 70 lbs of force, so just this new iPhone 6s backcase part itself is stronger then the entire iPhone 6
* Remember too that most reports have stated that this new component is also slightly lighter.
* For Apple Watch Apple claimed they started with 7000 series aluminum and "altered it" to same a new alloy that was "60 percent stronger" at "one-third the density", so this might not just be your average metal.
V Apple TV sales falling, bring on the new Apple TV
* Park Associates just released their US streaming media device sales analysis for 2014, WAIT 2014?!!!
* Well, last year, it showed that Apple TV was ranked as the 4th most popular streamer, at least by sales.
* Roku was the biggest seller with 34% share, followed by Google with 23 percent. FireTV was third and Apple TV 4th, but they won’t give us the percentages without paying $3,200 for the full report.
* Looking at the pice chart (without labels) seems like maybe around 17% for Fire TV and 125 for Apple TV?
V 20 percent of U.S. households now own one or more streaming media players.
V 8 percent owned at least one stick-type device.
* Listener Brad mentioned maybe Apple should consider doing two model Apple TVs with one being a "stick"
* I don’t think so, but it’s an interesting thought. A lower cost "streaming only" kind of device based on the Apple Tv 3 design and a new advanced box with App and gaming support.
V Apple replaces faulty iSight on some iPhone 6s Pluses
* Apple has notified some owners of the iPhone 6 Plus via email that the camera in their units may be defective and is offering a free repair to fix the defective units
* Apple says the issue could cause photos to be blurry and effects a "limited" number of iPhone 6 Plus models sold between September 2014 and January 2015.
* Apple has a support web site where you can check your serial number to see if your unit is in the effected batch.
* If your iPhone falls in the range and you’ve experience blurry images from your camera you should contact your Apple Authorized Service Provider, an Apple Retail Store, or Apple Technical Support to arrange a repair.
V If you go the Apple Retail route it appears the repairs are being mad in stores and take about 20-30 minutes, assuming they are not backed up and have the parts available.
* back up your iPhone to iCloud or via iTunes before going in for the repair. You may also want to turn off passcode lock or change the code since they will want that.
V I’ve had mixed reports on what happens if your iPhone serial number is in the range, but your iPhone is not taking blurry pictures
* Some say Apple will turn you away and not fix the issue
* My own experience was they gave me the option. I could wait or they said they could replace the camera.
* I’ve also been told by a reliable source that it’s not a matter of "if" you’ll have the issue, but "when". And my Genius said they’ve seen the issue first hand with a number of the stores own employee’s iPhones.
* Good news is if they won’t fix it or you want to wait the program covers affected iPhone 6 Plus iSight cameras for 3 years after the first retail sale of the un
V Apple Watch "smart" bands rumored
* A Europe-based news site claims that Apple is developing new "smart" bands with health tracking sensors as "upgrades" for the current generation Apple Watch.
* They believe you’ll connect the new bands via the Apple Watch’s "diagnostic" port.
* While a neat idea and maybe possible I don’t think it’s going to happen.
* I do think Apple will have Apple Watches with more health sensors, but I think those will come on a new Apple Watch.
* Still sources say the connectivity and sensor options are possible via bands and that it’s actually something Apple had planned for.
* I still think that a band with a bunch of sensor "warts" would not be in Apple style and that also Apple wants to drive sales of new devices not provide "upgrades" to older models.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V How do you use your Apple Watch?
* Play question and comment from Gary
V How about possibly saving your friend’s life?
* I often talk about how having the Apple Watch helps me better triage notifications and most of the time ignore them.
* But it also lets you see and act on urgent ones and that’s what happened for Ryan.
* They were on holiday and sound like doing some motor biking in the mountains in Cyprus. His friend was alone and about 10 miles away when he had a serious accident. He managed to crawl to the side of the road and get to his phone to send Ryan and another friend an SOS and luckily Ryan felt and saw it on his Apple Watch.
* They were able to help to him much more quickly. Ryan said had it just been the iPhone in his pocket he would have likely ignored the notification until he reached his destination about 20 miles away.
* His friend had head trauma, pelvic trauma, broken collar bone and a lot of scrapes and bruises, but is going to be OK.
* For me the killer features have been notifications, telling the time, and timers. I use Siri too for a lot of the interactions.
* In a pinch once or twice I’ve used it to make or take phone calls.
* The story will change drastically once we have native Apps I think.
V Andy Ihnatko wrote a great piece over at the Sun Times, "A dozen true things about smartwatches"
* I’ll just give and comment on the 12 items, but you really should read the whole piece.
V 1) Your opinions on (Device X) are completely without value until you’ve been wearing it for at least two weeks.
* Especially true of an Apple Watch.
V 2) A smartwatch is a custom-fit experience.
* More so than any other device to date
* You need time to get to know each other.
V 3) Oddly enough, these things are useful as wristwatches.
* See one of my favorite features.
* 4) Extended battery life isn’t a significant feature.
* 5) The most valuable, life-affirming role of a smartwatch is to defend the user from his or her phone.
* 6) There’s a shot clock running on almost all positive interactions with a smartwatch.
* 7) Voice is, by far, the most useful and satisfying interface for a smartwatch.
* 8) Clicky buttons are a tough sell.
V 9) Great smartwatches anticipate need and can deliver value without any interaction from the user.
* This is one area I feel the Apple Watch can really use some work.
* Glances need to be "smarter" period. I shouldn’t need to tap to bring up details of my next appointment, show it to me. Or give quick "one tap" options, "You have your meeting in coming up in 30 mins, need ’Details?’, 'Directions?', 'Send a Text?'"
* 10) Smartwatch apps kind of suck.
* 11) In 2015, most of a smartwatch’s useful and delightful functions are bone-simple and available from all manufacturers.
* 12) A smartwatch also works well as a “second screen” for a phone.
V Fixing dates on imported Photos
* Jim emailed me with a story of woe relating to his switch to Mac and his photos.
* The Mac switch went great back in 2014. He used Migration Assistant to transfer all his date from his PC to Mac. Files, music and photos.
* The trouble came when he notice that all his photos had the wrong dates when sorted from oldest to newest.
* Jim, I think the issue is that Apple doesn’t use the photos EXIF data when stored. It actually used the file created/modified dates.
* My best guess is that the info was updated on the migration. Jim did say all the photos that were migrated had the migration date as the date used in Photos (iPhoto?).
* I wasn’t sure how to fix this. Obviously you could go in and use the 'Image' > 'Adjust Date & Time…' option in Photos, but that will be time consuming and you’d have to check the EXIF data on each image if you didn’t remember exactly when that picture was taken.
* So I did some searching and the folks who make 'A Better Finder Rename' (a good batch file renamer BTW) make a tool called, 'Photo Date Changer'. $7.99 USD on the Mac App Store.
* It has the feature I think you need Jim. It will 'synchronize' the photos file creation and modification dates with the shooting dates of JPEG EXIF and with many RAW formats.
* So you’d be able to batch re-process your images and re-import them.
V What I’d do:
* 1) Backup all your photos. Back up the library file.
V 2) Export the originals of ALL the photos you need to fix.
* File > Export > 'Export Unmodified Originals…'
* If you need the edited versions then you’ll want to choose "Export’ then in the options pick 'JPEG', 'Maximum' quality, and 'Full sized'.
* 3) Back up the exported images before processing.
* 4) Use the Photo Date Changer app to synchronize the dates
* 5) Delete the "bad date" photos from the Photo app and import the "fixed" images. (Just drag them onto the Photos icon to import).
* Hopefully if all goes well they will all be back in Photos with the correct dates that they were taken on.
* If anyone else has a method for doing this, let us know.
V I just want to talk to a Genius
* I did have a little tale of frustration with trying to book a Genius appointment for a broken vibration sensor on my wife’s iPhone
V I tried to do it via Apple’s site and did the usual
* Find the retail store page
* Click 'Genius Bar' under 'Store Services'
* Click 'iPhone'
V And here’s where it all went wrong.
* I expected to see the options for days and times for scheduling my appointment
* Instead I saw a bunch of boxes for the 'category' of my issue. No big deal I guess they just want more info.
* I click 'Service Requests and Troubleshooting'
* Now I have more choices (I just want to make an appointment!!)
* I’ll play, 'Missing Ringtones & Alerts'?
* Now I’me being asked more questions. I answer 'No'
* Now a page 'How would you like help'?
* 'Send in for Service' is "Recommended", but I just want to schedule a frakking Genius Bar Appointment!!
* Luckily on this same page 'Visit the Genius Bar' is an option.
* Click. It’s a Map?!! Now I have to pick my store AGAIN? Didn’t I start THERE?!
* Click. Sign-in. Ahh, there’s the dates and times.
* WTF?!!! It’s Friday morning and the first available appointment is next Wednesday?!!
* I think I’m clever, I have six stores within an hour drive. Guess what. Wednesday is the still the soonest one. Some stores I couldn’t get into for over 5 days.
* Here’s the bad rub. A source told me Apple knows it’s bad and instead of staffing up they are asking geniuses to cram more people in and rush more people through. I feel sorry for the Geniuses. Not like they don’t have the cash for more employees?
* I think at this point 'walk-ins' are probably a better bet. They have a system for that where they can check you in and then TXT you when it’s time to come back to the store.
* Also for scheduling a Genius Bar appointment, if you use the Apple Store App, it’s a much more direct path. No silly questions or redirection.
V Closing
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