Maccast 2015.10.24 - Show #545
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Squarespace
V Squarespace
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* You have a club, group, or organization? Website.
* You’re coaching your kids sports team, website.
* Want to start a small business, website.
* Your pet is the cutest one of it’s kind in the world, website.
V But you’re not a programmer. What are you gonna do.
* You could learn code, you’re smart, but who has time.
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V Heck, I’m a web developers and I’ve used SquareSpace for several projects
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V News
V New Apple hardware. iMacs, Magic stuff, etc.
V 21.5-inch 4K iMac
* 4096-by-2304 screen resolution. 9.4 million pixels
V Advanced red-green phosphor LED for better balance and wider gamut range. Translation: truer, more vibrant, and more accurate colors.
* This was also added to the 27-inch models.
* Processor options are fifth-generation "Broadwell" processors starting with a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 up to a quad-core Intel Core i7 running at 3.3GHz.
* Graphics are Intel integrated Iris Pro 6200
* RAM starts with 8GB and is configurable up to 16GB and is not user upgradable.
V Storage is stock with a 1TB 5400RM spinning drive
* There is a 1 TB fusion drive with 24GB of flash and 2 TB fusion drive with 128GB of flash option
* Also 256GB and 512GB flash drive options.
* Flash storage is the new stuff running up to 2.5 faster than the prior gen
V Ports and expansion
* Two Thunderbolt 2 ports for up to 20 Gbps transfer speeds to external storage
* SDHC card slot
* Four USB 3.0 ports
* Gigabit Ethernet
* 3.5mm headset jack
* 802.11ac Wi-Fi clocking in at up to 1.3 Gbps
* Comes with new Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard. Get a Magic trackpad 2 for USD $50 more.
* Pricing for the new 4K retina models starts at $1499. Older models (non-retina) are still available starting at $1099 and $1299
V 27-inch 5K Retina iMac updates
* Intel sixth generation “Skylake” processors starting with a Core i5 quad-core at 3.2GHz up to an Intel quad-core i7 running at 4.0 Ghz.
V Four GPU options:
* AMD Radeon R9 M380 with 2GB GDDR5 video memory
* AMD Radeon R9 M390 with 2GB of video memory
* AMD Radeon R9 M395 with 2GB of video memory.
* AMD Radeon R9 M395X with 4GB of GDDR5 video memory.
V RAM on the 27-inch starts at 8GB also, but is configurable to 32GB from Apple and is still user upgradable
* In fact OWC claims you can actually cram up to 64GB (4 x 16GB modules) in after-market RAM. It’ll cost you of course: USD $1,195.00.
V Storage is stock with 1TB 7200 RPM “spinning” drive
* Option of 1 TB fusion drive with 24GB of flash, 2 TB fusion drive with 128GB of flash, or 3 TB fusion drive with 128GB of flash.
* Also, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB flash drive options.
* The 1TB fusion with 24GB would be an issue on a Mac with more than 24GB of RAM because the sleep image wouldn’t fit on the flash portion of the fusion drive. Apple even warns of this in it’s notes on the ordering pages.
V Ports and expansion
* Two Thunderbolt 2 ports for up to 20 Gbps transfer speeds to external storage
* SDHC card slot
* Four USB 3.0 ports
* Gigabit Ethernet
* 3.5mm headset jack
* 802.11ac Wi-Fi clocking in at up to 1.3 Gbps
* Comes with new Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard. Get a Magic trackpad 2 for USD $50 more.
* Three “base” configurations priced at USD $1799, $1999, and $2299. No non-retina options in the 27-inch models.
V Magic accessories
V Rechargeable across the board via an included Lightning cable.
* The trackpad and keyboard can continue to be used while plugged in
* The mouse can’t, but will get a full days charge in 120 seconds.
* Apple claims the devices will go a month or more on a single charge with typical use.
* They pair instantly when connected to a Mac using the cable and then use Bluetooth after that.
* Require running OS X 10.11 El Capitan
V Magic Keyboard
* 13 percent smaller
* Less incline because the battery “bump” is gone.
V New scissor mechanism that Apple claims makes the keys more stable.
* This is NOT the same “butterfly” mechanism that’s in the Macbook keyboard
* Reportedly has similar feel though. Including a lot less “travel” which some folks don’t like.
* Keys are printed in the new San Francisco font (better than the “original” one, unless you’re a kidnapper).
* USD $99.00
V Magic Mouse 2
* Apple says it’s lighter and sturdier
* New “feet” (rails) for smoother glide with less noise.
* Same old multi-touch. No Force Touch
* USD $79.00
V Magic Trackpad 2
* 29 percent larger surface
* Same low-profile as the new keyboard
V Has Force Touch
* Four sensors detect where and how hard
* Taptic Engine for feedback
* Apple claims it requires a Bluetooth 4.0 capable Mac.
* I’m using mine on at BT 2.1 Mac without issues and Jason Snell reported similar results.
* Battery life might be an issue?
* USD $129.00
V Recent software updates
V OS X 10.11.1
* Mostly a minor update focused on bug fixes, there are still some notable enhancements
V The big “fixes” are”:
* Improves installer reliability when upgrading to OS X El Capitan
* Improves compatibility with Microsoft Office 2016
* Resolving several Mail issues
* Fixes for Audio Unit plug-ins
* Improved VoiceOver reliability
* Also adding in over 150 new emoji, including the burrito, middle finger salute, and unicorn!
V iOS 9.1
* This is the first major update to iOS 9 which came out in September
* Live Photos can now sense when you’re raising and lowering your phone and cut out those parts of the Live Photo
* Over 150 new emoji, including the burrito, middle finger salute, and unicorn!
* Improved performance in the multi-tasking UI
* Fixes for Calendar, Game Center, Mail, and the App Store.
* Enhanced Wi-Fi Calling support for Sprint customers in the U.S.
* Activates the News app for users in the U.K. and Australia
V Apple Watch 2.0.1
* Includes performance improvements and bug fixes
* Support for the new emoji
* Fix for an issue that caused some software updates to stall
V iTunes 12.3.1
* This update improves overall stability and performance.
V iMovie for OS X and iOS
* Added in support for 4K video editing on the Mac and iPad Air 2
* Import videos from the iOS app to continue editing on the Mac
* 10 additional filters brought over from the iOS version
V iWork apps, both iOS and OS X
* Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. Versions 2.6 on iOS 9 and 5.6 on OS X 10.11 El Capitan
V In iOS 9
* Support for Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture multitasking.
* Support for new shortcut bar and keyboard shortcuts with a paired BT keyboard
* Support for 3D touch on new iPhones
* More accessibility support through VoiceOver
* Support for Split View and Force Touch
* Haptic feedback when working with images and Force Touch device
* More accessibility support through VoiceOver
V Tim Cook opens up at WSJDLive
* Tim Cook was the opening act at the WSJDLive conference in Palm Springs, California and let loose with quite a bit of info we wanted to know about
V One thing he remained coy about was Apple Watch numbers, turning to his “customer sat” fall back and saying that was “off the charts”.
V Analysts have been all over the place and likely would have liked to have numbers from the horses mouth so to speak.
* Fortune reports the average estimate at around 3.95M, but numbers range from 2.5M to 6M
* Cook did hint that the low numbers are “likely wrong”.
* Apple will have it’s fiscal 4Q call next week, but Apple Watch won’t be broken out so speculation is all we’ll have.
* Swiss watch export have seen their largest quarterly drop since 2009. With watches in the $200-$500 segment falling a dramatic 14.5 percent.
* Apple has had an aggressive progam to get Apple Watch into 3rd party retailers
* Now available in BestBuy and it was just revealed they will be selling in Target stores as well
V Said Apple Music has 6.5 million paying customers and 8.5 million more still on free trials for a total of 15 million customers.
* That’s about one-third as many subscribers as Spotify and puts Apple Music off to a good start in the streaming music business.
V When comparing revenue from subscriptions Dave Hamilton points out some key differences between Apple and Spotify
* Basically, with Family plans you get up to six users for USD $15.00. On Spotify each additional user is between $6.00 to $10.00
V Speaking of that upcoming call here’s how with blogosphere and analysts are feeling
V Analysts average estimate of iPhone sales is 48.72 million units, up from 39.72 million units sold last year
* That’s an increase of 9 million, but remember this year Apple added China as a launch country
* Piper Jaffray’s analyst Gene Munster thinks Apple will report quarterly revenue of $51B, blowing away the $39B they posted for the quarter last year.
V Other numbers being thrown around by analysts
* 5.7 million Macs vs. 5.5 million last year
* 10.5 million iPads vs. 12.3 million last year.
V Ming-Chi-Kuo says, “the worst is over for iPad." (Was it ever really that bad)? Specifically that the higher prices on the iPad Pro will offset and slowing or declining in tablet sales.
* He believes Apple will ship about 2 million iPad Pros in the holiday quarter
* He still thinks 2016 shipments will decline 16 percent, but that revenue will stay more stable due to the Pro.
V Apple TV orders start Monday
* Also at that WSJ event Tim Cook let it slip that the new Apple TV will go on sale this Monday, October 26th and then ship at the end of the week
V Apple has also invited developers to submit their Apps.
* One notable change is the app review guidelines is that tvOS apps must support the Siri remote for core App functionality
* Apps can offer enhanced experiences via 3rd party controllers, but the apps must be functional using only the included Siri remote.
* Plex has said they plan to be in the store on launch day!
V Interestingly CBS and NBC just added their “channels” to current Apple TV this week.
* CBS offer CBS All access a direct subscription service for $5.99/mo. with viewing of current primetime shows, leading daytime and late-night CBS programming, and thousands of episodes from the network's library of classics
* CBS All access also includes live TV streaming in select major markets, where the network owns and operates the over-the-air station
* The NBC app is more the typical “verify your cable subscription” to access content.
* Apple also added an exclusive “fashion” channel called M2M (Made to Measure)
V We are still hearing rumblings of an Apple streaming TV service
* CBS CEO Les Moonves told Bloomberg, "Apple is having conversations with everyone about doing their own streaming services”.
* From his statements it really made it sound like it’s a matter of when, not if. Of course he had no insight on when deals might be reached.
* I would say sometime on 2016, but I’m not holding my breath.
* Apple’s plan for now seems to be get as many Apple TVs to as many customers as possible to build a consumer base for a new service at some point.
V Apple Retina Macbook Pro replacement program
* Remember all those reports of the anti-glare coating sloughing off on some Retina Macbook Pros?
* Now there are reports from MacRumors and others that Apple has implemented an repair and replacement program, but they’re not publicizing it.
* Apple will replace displays on affected units for one year from Oct. 16, 2015, or within three years of purchase date, whichever offers longer coverage.
* So far Apple has said nothing and sources really couldn’t tell MacRumors what the exact criteria for screen replacement eligibility were.
* Many of the images I have seen on-line are pretty awful. Some have described the effect as “staining”, but to me it more looks like a coating peeling off.
* Some have speculated that the results may be a reaction to chemicals, lotions, or sweat on peoples hands.
* Of course some have taken to calling this “Staingate”, but let’s not do that OK.
* If you think you have an affected unit I would say now is the time to get it into Apple for a look.
V Also it serves as a general reminder to be careful about what products you use to clean and care for your display.
* I would use no more than a specific clean microfiber cloth and very occasionally one just slightly dampened with only a little water.
* Never use ANY kind of solvent or household cleaning products.
V Apple kills electric motorcycle company
* A company called Mission Motors had been developing an electric bike called the “Mission R”
* The company ceased operations in May and filed for bankruptcy in September
* The CEO claims that they may have been able to keep going, but that they lost too many key staff and engineers to Apple and other companies like Tesla
* Reading the full story on Retuers though I would say the company was struggling and it likely wasn’t too hard for Apple to win away their employees.
* Still the story is another strong sign that Apple is pretty deeply involved in the development of an electric vehicle.
* As you know we’ve heard reports of Apple grabbing employees from electric and autonomous vehicle companies like A123 and Tesla for more than the past year.
V Sponsor: Smile
V PDFPen 7
* If you need to edit and work with PDFs then PDFpen is an essential tool to have on your Mac.
V You can use it for so many things:
* Annotate and mark up your PDFs
* Manage pages and edit small bits of text
* Use it to add signatures and fill out “fake” forms.
* Add proofreader marks and comments.
* and more…
V I’ve been using it forever, but if you need help getting up and running David Sparks has produced a great set of tutorial videos you’ll find on the Smile web site
* He covers things like how to annotate a PDf, adding signatures, performing OCR, correcting and redacting text and more.
* The latest versions, PDFpen 7 and PDFpen Pro 7 work with OS X 10.10 Yosemite and are ready for OS X El Capitan
* They have an update UI, the ability to now proof your OCR text from scanned pages (edit it with Pro), compatibility with iCloud Drive, load and save improvements and more.
* Go to access the David Sparks videos and get more details.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Follow-up on Apple Watch lugs
* Play comment from Gary
* The odd thing about what the Apple Store rep said is that Apple’s MFi lugs ARE stainless steel only as far as I know. So will 3rd party watch bands be incompatible with the Apple Watch Sport? I don’t think that’s the case.
* Maybe as you said the corrosion or reaction times are too slow to worry about.
V My transition to El Capitan
* Relatively smooth with a couple ‘bumps’ in the road.
V The biggest one being iCloud Photo Library, despite copying my old Library over, it seems to want to re-sync everything?!!
* Could be related to me doing a complete clean install. Manually restoring all my documents and data.
* Not something I’d recommend for most people.
V The second big issue for me being System Integrity Protection (SIP)
* This is mainly with my web development tools.
* Google and StackExchange solves most of these and many are just related to creating some symlinks and moving stuff to the approved ‘/usr/local’ folders.
* Forrest was also in my same boat a little when it came to upgrading development Macs to El Capitan and had this to say (play comment)
* Other than that things have been fairly smooth so far.
V I am seeing the occasional odd ‘beachball’ that I can’t seem to pin down
* Though things seem to be better after applying the 10.11.1 update.
* I have also seen Spotlight indexing kick in after a restart.
* I had one full kernel panic
* My iSight camera also didn’t work in Skype once, but that was fixed by a re-boot.
* My audio interface seems to keep switching to 48kHz giving my voice chipmunk syndrome.
* Garageband 6.0.5 has color issues making it hard to work with the timelines.
V There are reports of issue from the community though
* General slowness and beach balling for some.
* Known issues with Office 2016, but Microsoft is working on those and there was a “fix” noted in the 10.11.1 update.
* Some are reporting iTunes issues. Slow and unresponsive.
* Wi-fi and AirDrop issues.
* Victor Cajiao had his 27-inch 2011 Cinema Display become unrecognized and Apple Support said they’ve been getting a lot of calls on the issue. They had Victor re-install OS X El Capitan.
* Doug one of our listeners also pointed out that if you use iWork and upgrade to El Capitan files created on that machine will not be backward compatible with iWork running on non-El Capitan Macs.
* So how’s it going for you? Share your experiences with us.
V Less time to buy AppleCare with iOS devices
* Diego emailed me this week to let me know about some trouble he had when he went to add Applecare to his iPad 2 which was reaching the end of it’s standard one year coverage
* The issue he had was Apple told him he could not add Applecare because on an iPad Applecare must be purchased at time or purchase or within 60 days of buying his device.
* He, like many of us, believed he had up to a year to purchase Applecare on products that are covered under the original warranty.
* I actually knew the policy on iOS devices had changed, but honestly had not thought about it because on I almost always buy Applecare when I buy my devices, but Diego wanted to know what had changed. Why do you no longer have a year?
* The reason is Applecare+. The policy basically changed when Apple added in the accidental damage protection and moved to only offering Applecare+
V If you don’t buy it at time of purchase you also now have to jump through a couple extra hoops to buy it within the first 60 days
* You need to get an inspection at and Apple Retail Store and show proof of purchase
* or you have to call Applecare and run a remote diagnostic and provide proof of purchase
* My advice on iOS devices would be buy Applecare at time of purchase. Just makes everything easier.
* On Macs you still have the 1-year grace period.
V Another recently reported on policy that you may not know about you can get a prorated Applecare refund
* Something you might want next year, especially if you use Apple’s iPhone upgrade program
* If you cancel your AppleCare plan within 30 days of your purchase date, you’ll get a full refund, minus the value of any service already provided.
* If you cancel your AppleCare plan more than 30 days after your purchase, you’ll get a refund based on the percentage of unexpired AppleCare coverage, minus the value of any service already provided.
* There is this support page that has the details.
V Another option if you do a private sale of your device is to transfer the Applecare to the new owner
* To do this you need to call Apple and provide the Name, address, Apple ID (email address), and phone number for the new owner.
* This can add value to the product you’re selling.
V Thing of the Moment: Sphero SPRK
* A special edition of the Sphero designed to promote STEM principles
* The folks at Sphero sent me a kit and I’ve been having a blast with my kids and they’re learning math, engineering, and problem solving skills at the same time.
* Kit includes a special edition Sphero 2.0 SPRK, and induction charger base, pencil, notebook, and protractor/ruler
* Has a focus on robotics and coding
V Clear so you can see inside to all the components and parts.
* It’s still sealed, good for durability and safety
* Probably the right compromise, but would be cool it the hardware was hackable too.
V Download a SPRK app that has a visual “block” code editor.
* Includes several sample programs to get you started
V Drag “blocks” with actions, controls, operators, variables, sensors, or events into a sequence to build programs
* If you’ve used Automator, Workflow, or Sketch you’ll be familiar
* When you tap ‘Run’ the Sphero will execute the program
* Programs are saved in the app.
V Lots of stuff to control
* Speed, heading, colors of LEDS
* You get your typical if then, if then else, and loop structures
* You can also set and control variables and use operators
* Access to all the sensors which include: heading, speed, vertical acceleration, axis accelerometers.
* You can detect collision and freefall events.
V Uses a C-based language called “Oval” and when you get more advanced you can view and edit the code directly.
* There is an Oval reference in the app.
V There’s also support from some 3rd party apps
* Tickle (iTunes), let’s you create simple UIs and programs that can control Sphero devices, drones, etc.
V The Sphero site has lesson plans and help for educators to get funding at
* They offer core lessons, middle school lessons, and STEM challenges
* All include teachers guides, student guides, and worksheets
* Funding stuff includes help in filing grants and local business education partnerships with sample applications and letters to help make it easier for educators.
* The Sphero SPRk edition is USD $129.00 and there are Sphero SPRK education discounts and a 12 Sphero classroom set.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
V Gazelle
* Gazelle. The fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets! Find out what your used iPhone, iPad and other Apple products are worth at
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