Maccast 2015.09.04 - Show #539
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V News
V Event Speculation: iPhones
* What do we think we know?
V iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
* Just a fraction of a hair thicker and case made from 7000 series aluminum
* New A9 processor, up to 30 percent improvement in performance with 35 percent better power efficiency
* First iPhone with 2GB of RAM
V A new 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera with new integrated signal processor on the A9 chip.
* Seems to be debate on if the iPhone’s will be capable of recording video in full 4K resolution
V 5-megapixel FaceTime camera
* Support for a "flash" when using the front-facing FaceTime camera. Really just lighting up the screen to illuminate the subject. (more plausible than a "true" flash).
V Display with Force Touch support
* MacRumors source noted a new "chip" on the display component
* An upgraded Touch ID fingerprint scanner
* Possibility of new animated wallpapers featuring colored smoke and koi
* More efficient cellular chips built by Qualcomm, up to 50 percent faster capable of LTE speeds up to 300 Mbps
* Rose Gold color option
V Apple will keep the 16GB starting capacity
* Phil Schiller defended the 16GB size as something price conscious consumers demand
* Also claimed iCloud services reduce the need for more on device storage.
* I wonder how that jives with shooting 4K video and 12MB photos, but OK.
* Pre-sales on Sept 11th with shipments happening on the 18th (some have said 16th)
V Event Speculation: iPads
V iPad Pro may be announced at the event
* Yes, that will be the name
* 12.9-inch iPad
* Apple Force Touch stylus
* Stereo speakers
V NYT and 9to5 Mac think Apple is working on a new keyboard accessory for the iPad Pro that could be released by the end of the year
* remember last month there were FCC filings of a new BT Keyboard with backlit keys and a power button.
* Apple could call an audible and announce at a separate October event
* Pre-orders in October with shipment in November.
* I think large venue more stuff to show.
V iPad mini 4 is also expected
* Faster A8 processor
* Support for iOS 9 split screen
* thinner with a more "Air" like case design.
* Upgraded cameras front and back.
* iPad Air 3 is still not expected until early next year.
V Apple/Cisco announced partnership
* Make sure iOS devices work more efficiently on Cisco-powered networks
* Deeper integration with Cisco voice and video communications products.
* Tim Cook even appeared onstage at Cisco's annual "GSX" Global Sales Experience sales conference to support the announcement of the partnership.
* I think the iPad Pro is part of Apple’s push into the enterprise.
V Event Speculation: Apple TV
* Dual-core A8 processor
* Siri voice control
V Remote with integrated Touchpad
* Home and "Siri" (mic) buttons at the bottom
* Possibly motion control
* Maybe a microphone for voice commands
V Universal search
* So search across all content channels at once.
V New UI
* Slightly tweaked design, but with better navigation.
V HomeKit integration
* Apple TV as a secure hub for your connected devices
* HomeKit device data will be kept on the Apple TV, not the cloud.
* Secure enclave in A8 Chip?
* 3rd party accessories have reportedly been slow to come because of new security chip and requirements in the HomeKit spec.
* No 4K video support due to lack of available content?
V Dedicated App Store
* Focus on casual games?
* Apple just launched a @AppStoreGames Twitter account
* Thicker and slightly wider
V Available in October for a price of $149 or $199, thought recent reports seem to indicate Apple has settled on $149
* Could be two price point for 8GB and 16GB storage options (seems like not enough storage).
* Apple will continue selling the current 3rd gen box at USD $69.00
V Subscription TV service
* Not likely to see an Apple TV service as negotiations with content provides over price point continues to be a sticking point
* Apple supposedly wants around a $40/mo. rate, but that’s not enough for providers.
* Possibly delayed until sometime in 2016
V Apple may produce it’s own content
* Variety claims Apple has been poking around Hollywood looking for actors and directors.
* Says Apple made a bid to hire the hosts of the BBC series Top Gear, but lost to Amazon.
* There have also been rumors that Eddy Cue talked to ESPN star Bill Simmons about doing an exclusive podcast for Apple before he was scooped up by HBO in a multi-year deal that covering multiple content platforms
V I still think they have a huge potential pool of great content creators they could leverage in their "podcast" section (but I’m biased)
* Why not offer a "platform" for distribution and monetization and let others worry about the content.
* They create it, Apple will help you sell and delivery it for a 30 percent cut.
* Plus this feels like the 80’s Sony path I’ve always been leery of.
V Event Speculation: Other Stuff
V iPhone 6c
* 9 to 5 Mac says no
* Apple has been working on it, but it’s not ready to ship.
* They also claim Apple plans to discontinue the iPhone 5c upon the release of the new 6S and 6S Plus
* The iPhone 5s will remain on sale with the on-contract price to dropped to free
V 21.5-inch 4K iMac
* Screen resolution of 4,096 by 2,304 pixels
* Ming-Chi Kuo still thinks Apple will have updated iMacs with vastly improved LED technology
* The displays will have better color saturation thanks to a LED phosphor material called KSF
* Kuo also see improved processors for the next update and maintains it will happen this quarter
* It’s unclear if Apple will announce new iMacs at the event.
V Latest on Apple Watch sales
* IDC estimates that Apple sold about 3.6 million Apple Watch units in the second quarter of 2015
* Apple is estimated to have captured 19.9% of the wearable market, but that still put them behind FitBit who’s estimated to have sold 4.4 million units in the same period.
* Mac Rumors reports that UK retailers Currys might be getting ready to sell the Apple Watch.
* New Youk Times has a late breaking report saying Apple may have new metal finishes for the Apple Watch, including a less expensive gold version.
V Apple might also be showing off new Apple Watch Sport band colors
* Mac Rumors can;t say what the colors will be
* Specualtion is at least deeper darker toned bands to go along with the current neon styles
V 225,000 stolen Apple accounts, not a story
* Many people forwarded me this story with it’s shocking and horrifying headline
* And it’s awful, but not because 225,000 Apple accounts were "stolen". It’s because of the link-baiting BS way many in the media covered this story.
* Yes, a company WeipTech found a new iOS malware called KeyRaider in the wild
* Yes, the malware was used to steal 225,000 Apple iTunes accounts and passwords
* But what was buries is that these were from Jailbroken devices only.
* Jailbreaking your device means you have modified it, and by proxy, any security it had and all bets are off.
* Also, the majority of the stolen accounts were in China and as Jason Snell pointed out over at his Six colors blog. Even if the 225,000 accounts were stolen from Apple it would be about 0.02 of a percent of the almost 1 Billion iTunes accounts.
V New look at Apple Retail
* We’ve been hearing for a while that Apple is planning a makeover of the retail stores
* Now word is that when it moves to it’s new location the Apple Store in Memphis, Tennessee will be the first to sport the new look.
* The leak of the new designs come from plans submitted to the Germantown Design Review Commission
* A three panel glass front design, which sounds similar to current styling, but then a façade of matte granite, not the steel we see in most stores today.
* Also they mention natural oak tables inside which I would guess would have a slightly darker tone than the current maple wood they have now.
* At this point there’s no open date for the new Memphis store location.
V New processors, future Macs.
* Intel has finally revealed their 14-nanometer next gen "Skylake" processor line-up
* There are several chips in the line that would fit nicely in new Apple notebooks and desktops
* In general we can likely expect 10 percent overall better CPU performance, 30 percent improvement in graphics performance, better memory performance and about an hour of additional battery life compared to the current generation of processors.
V Starting at the bottom theres the dual-core Core m3, m5 and m7 (Y-series) designs. These are ultra low power designs
* 900 MHz to 1.2GHz
* Next gen Macbook
V Then the Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs (U-series)
* Intel HD 520 or Intel Iris 540 integrated graphics in the i5 and i7 designs
* 1.8GHz to 2.2GHz
* Macbook Air line up and 13-inch Macbook Pro
V Core i5 and i7 (H-series)
* 2.3GHz to 2.9GHz
* 15-inch Macbook Pro
* Desktop Core i5 and i7 processors too that clock from 2.7GHz to 3.4 GHz with Intel HD 530 Graphics that could be great for new iMac models
* There were also announced new Skylake-based Xeon chips for mobile. Interesting for Mac Pro level of performance in a mobile
* Expect these new processors to trickle there way into Mac updates as many are not available until early 2016.
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Skip the Genius Bar
* I got a lot of great feedback after my Genius Bar rant
* For sure going through the App Store app is a better way to quickly make a Genius Bar appointment
V Terry found that he had an easy time with contacting Apple Care phone support.
* They identified his device as being in the range and offered to send a replacement
* He then sent back his devices and everything was covered.
* I also hope my rant didn’t come off as bashing Apple support
V They have always been great for me
* They did replace my camera and the whole process took about an hour
* I had to come back and do a walk in because there were no available appointments
* Another tip is if you have an issue with more than one product or just more than one issue you need to make separate appointments
V Still i can also confirm from my sources that Apple has put pressure on Genius to move customers more quickly through the bar, also to multitask and take on 2-3 customers at once, and to keep appointment times down
* 10 minutes for iOS and 15 minutes for Macs
* They get evaluated for how quickly the process customers. Should be on the quality of the service in my opinion and if they were able to resolve the customers issues
* Last time I was in I did notice that the Genius was multi-tasking with several of us, but they handled it well
* I also did not feel as if they were rushing me through.
* One source said they have been told if the support is taking too long to resolve Genius are told to make the customer schedule another appointment and come back. I’ve never experienced that.
V Shuffle by Album
* Music is a very personal thing and I often am reminded about that by you.
* I typically prefer to just listen to my collection on Shuffle. Greg likes shuffle as well, but in a different way.
* Play feedback from Greg
V When I first heard this I misunderstood what you were asking Greg
* In the Music App you CAN select an Album and then shuffle it
* Tap on MyMusic
* Tap on the dropdown to view Albums
* Tap the album you want and tap 'Shuffle' at the top
* But that shuffles the songs in the album, but that’s not what you want is it?
V Greg pointed out to me in a follow up email that the feature is still in iTunes on the Mac and on older iPod
* On the Mac in iTunes you go under the 'Control' menu and then to Shuffle and select 'Albums'
* Then when you just press 'Play' on your entire Music Library what happens is a randomly selected album is played all the way through and then when that album ends a new random album starts and is played all the way through.
V The only thing I found is there are Apps in the App store that claim to offer this feature
* One that looked promising to me was called 'Tap Tunes'
* It had an album focused UI and lost of option including a Setting to turn on 'Shuffle By Album'
* When I tested that I couldn’t get it working. I left feedback for the developer, so we’ll see if it’s broken or user error
* Another app was called Smart Shuffle, but I couldn’t get that working either.
V Thoughts on larger devices
* I think it’s personal choice and depends on your usage
* I will say that generally my iPhone habits did not change when I got the larger screen
* That is one big reason I’m going to downsize. For me the benefits didn’t outweigh the disadvantages.
* I also have no interest is a GigantiPad. The balance between iPad Air and iPhone 6S will be perfect for me.
* By the same token I gave up the iPad Mini because it wasn’t the right sized iPad for me.
V iCloud Photo Library and storage
* I’m still trying to figure out exactly how the "optimize storage on this device" option works and so is Andy who emailed me this week.
* Andy has an iPhone with limited storage and is constantly having to juggle his images to keep enough free space
* He was hoping iCloud Photo Library was the solution for his 200GB Photo library, but after enabling iCloud Photo Library and even with the "optimize iPhone storage" option on Photo fill his phone.
* He’s constantly getting the you phone can’t sync due to low disk space error.
* So Andy asked how can he stop this from happening.
* Andy told me he only has about 1.5GB of free space on his device typically
* I looked at my library and I have a 94GB of photos in iCloud and on my iPhone I still use 2.5GBs of storage for Photos.
* I think Photos still stores all the thumbnails and smaller "optimized" versions of your entire photo library so you can view and edit.
* So depending on the total size of your iCloud Photo Library you’ll still need to have a certain amount of available storage.
* I could be wrong though, but I can’t find any specific information on how this works.
* One reason why I think selling 16GB iPhones is a really bad idea.
V Cleaning up our Photo Library might be the best option though
* Digital has made clutter so easy
* I have 16,000 photos in my library. My guess is 1/10th of those images are the ones that are good and that I care about.
* Backup, archive, remove.
V New OS, are you ready?
* Sean emailed me about an older iMac, 2010 model, that is still running great, but beginning to show signs of age and want to know what to do to maybe give it a couple more years.
V There’s the typical stuff we talk about in the hardware side
* Upgrade to SSD. internal or External
* Upgrade the RAM
V Backup and erase and re-install the OS
* A good time to do this is when the new OS comes out, but if you’re having a lot of trouble now you might want to do it now.
* Make sure you have made and verified at LEAST two full backups.
* Confirm you know all the apps you want to re-install and have any logins and registration codes you will need handy
* Run the latest installer and use the Disk Utility to erase the drive and re-install a clean OK
* Restore you user accounts, but not the App
* Check for updates in the App Store
* Re-install just your Apps from scratch. I start with the App Store and then do 3rd party apps
V Don’t forget to re-enable backups for your new clean system
* I also like to keep around my old backups for a could weeks just in case.
* Buy extra HDDs if you need to and order them now so you’re ready.
V If you don’t want to go the full clean install route then just a good house cleaning
* Use a a tool like CleanMyMac, Daisy Disk, Cocktail, or Onyx
* Look for large or outdated files and folders you can archive and remove
* Clear out old app remnants
* Get rid of old email attachments in the Mail Attachments folder
* Clear your Use and System caches.
* Repair Disk permissions on your drive (last time if you upgrade to El Cap!)
V Thing of the Moment: BB-8 by Sphero
* Don’t own it yet, but WANT it.
* The round Droid from the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens
* Went on sale today and already back ordered for two week
* Might be available in Apple Retail Stores
* Retails for USD $149.99
* Head attaches with magnets. There’s a video that shows the amazing personality
* Head moves around and he makes sounds
* Voice commands. Can "learn" his environment and go on "patrol".
* Themed induction charging base.
* This is going to be a hot toy this holiday season.
V Closing
V Busy day on Apple Event day
* Catch me right after the event on Mac Break Weekly & then Daily Tech News Show right after that.
* Of course then Maccast coverage as well.
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