Maccast 2015.10.31 - Show #546
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Drobo
V Drobo
* Super excited to welcome Drobo back as a sponsor of the Maccast. The folks at Drobo have been big supporters of shows like the Maccast and we appreciate that.
* Drobo is a family of safe, expandable, yet simple to use STORAGE devices
* They offer a range of products for IT, professional and home users.
* The basic principle behind Drobo products are that our data is essential, we need to keep it safe, and we are always going to need more storage.
* They’ve designed and built their products fulfill those principles.
V The other main thing is that a Drobo is simple to use.
* To protect your data and keep it safe they developed BeyondRAID.
* Allows you to easily “mix and match” drives in a Drobo
* Also makes it easy to expand on the fly.
* You can start with as few as two drives and add as needed
* The Drobo Dashboard and their makes it easy to see how much data you have for storage and how much is used for protection and overhead.
V All the hard stuff is handled by the hardware and software
* Setting up the RAID
* Monitoring storage. You get light to let you know when you how much storage is used, when a drive is getting full or if you have a failure.
* And if a drive fails, you just replace it and the Drobo will rebuild everything automatically.
V Other important features
* Some Drobo models offer SSD Accelerated performance. You can add an option mSATA/SSD card.
* Many are optimized for Time Machine, so you can use them for your Time Machine backups.
V I have been using both the Drobo Gen 3 and the Drobo 5D
* I use them mainly for Archive and backups
* Allows me to keep all my movies, photos, and critical files backed up in a redundant system that’s local.
* I use the Gen 3 with a Mac Mini on a network, but Drobo also offers the 5N if you want a NAS solution.
V And here’s the best part. Maccast listeners can get $100 off a Drobo Mini, Drobo 4-bay, or Drobo 5N at by using discount code CAST100. That’s C-A-S-T-100.
* That means you can get a Drobo for as little as $199.00
* Big thanks to Drobo.
V News
V Apple announces Q4 results
* Total 2015 fiscal revenue grew 28% to nearly $234 billion.
* For the 4th quarter of 2015 Apple posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion. That’s up from revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion in the same quarter last year.
* In the quarter the company sold 48 million iPhones up from 39.2 million, 9.88 million iPads down from 12.3 million, and 5.7 million Macs up from 5.5 million.
* The fact that Apple continues to see Mac sales growth is encouraging especially given that the overall PC market contracted by 11 percent during the same period.
* The “Other” category which includes iPod, Beats, Apple Watch, and accessories grew from $1.9 billion in Q4 2014 to $3.05 billion this year.
* They would not give specific numbers on Apple Watch but said Apple Watch sales were up sequentially, and were ahead of Apple's expectations.
V During the call Apple also said:
* They are partnering with American Express to bring Apple Pay to customers in Australia & Canada this year, expanding to Spain, Singapore & Hong Kong in 2016
* They ended the quarter with $205 billion in cash, a sequential increase of $2.8 billion
V Cook said, “For customers who purchased an iPhone last quarter, and replaced a smartphone, that 30 percent of those switched from an Android device”
* Some have reported that 30 percent of Android customers switched to iPhone last quarter based on that quote. Not accurate.
* 30 percent of customer who replaced a smartphone. That would include anyone replacing a phone, so Apple, Android, etc.
* It’s not 30 percent of Android’s customer base.
V Apple also predicts big things for Q1 2016 (the holiday quarter)
* They gave guidance of $75.5B to $77.5B revenue.
* And Apple generally is conservative in their guidance.
* Still if they hit those targets it would mean a new record beating last years record quarter revenue of $74.6B.
V iPad Pro possible order date
* The web-o-sphere is predicting that the iPad Pro sales will start in November 11th.
V Not only that the rumor claims sales will start both online and at Apple Retail Stores.
* Not clear at this point if there will be a pre-order period or not.
* According to “the supply chain” Apple is reportedly being conservative on iPad Pro initial shipments with orders of just 2.5 million for the rest of 2015.
* If there are not pre-orders then expect iPad Pro to be hard to come by on launch day.
* It’s also assumed the accessories, Pencil and Smart Keyboard, will also be available at the same time.
* Apple has reported asked AppleCare support centers to have iPad Pro training completed by November 6th, so they would presumably be ready for launch.
V It was also revealed the Pencil will chip with a female to female Lightning adapter to allow charging via a USB to Lightning cable.
* Can charge it by directly plugging into an iPad’s Lightning connector
* Will get an hour of charge in 15 seconds.
V Apple is also trial testing an iPhone Apple Watch discount program according to MacRumors
* In just some stores in California and Massachusetts
* In store only deal now through November 15th.
* Get $50 off an Apple Watch if you buy it along with a new iPhone.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Impressions of the new Apple TV
V Delivery was a mess
* I know this isn’t a big deal, but it’s still frustrating for Apple fans and customers who order in hopes of getting a unit day one
* Yes, no one needs a unit day one, but Apple was more vague about this launch than any other it seems.
V Needed to pay for overnight “expedited” shipping and still units did not ship out to customers.
* Yes even with fast shipping Apple gave a delivery window.
* Worse customers who ordered and did not pay for expedited shipping received units on Friday.
* Then Apple had stock in Apple Stores and Best Buy on launch day.
* I like many others bought one at a Retail Store and will return the pre-ordered unit which still has not yet shipped.
V Out of the box experience
* Great as always.
* Packaging, unit, cables, etc.
* Awesome that it used the same power cord as my old Apple TV.
V Tap iPhone to set up wi-fi and Apple ID settings for Store.
* Will still need to manually add Game Center
* I also use a different iCloud ID, so I had to change that.
V Setting up accounts was a nightmare
* No Remote app support
* No bluetooth keyboard support
* The new on-screen keyboard is a mess.
* Only bonus is the Play button to change to uppercase still works. There is a ‘Recent’ key for recently entered email addresses (accounts)
V Where are the Apps?
* Only comes pre-loaded with Apple’s core apps. Movies, TV Shows, Photos, App Store, Settings
V All other apps need to be downloaded and configured
* Again this is a mess if you have lots of cable channel and subscription apps that need logins and authorizations
* No way o migrate these from your old Apple TV
V Apps are hard to find
* Beyond what’s “Featured"
* Purchased is probably your best bet, at least for stuff you already use. Not for old “channels”, like CBS, ABC, NFL, Vimeo, You Tube, etc.
* After that all you have is Search. Doing one letter searches lets you browse at least by App title by their first letter (i.e. All the ‘R’ apps).
* There are many good Apps that you just won’t know about because you can’t browse.
* Plex and Amazon Prime video are not there, but BBC did say they will bring an iPlayer app to the Apple TV.
V Siri is smart, but could get smarter
V Remote is nice, though it’s taking me some time to get used to the Touchpad and new button layout
* Keep pressing the Siri button when I mean to hit menu
* Works with my TV for power and volume which is awesome
* Hold the Siri button on the remote and talks
* Does a good job of picking up what you’re saying
* Don’t expect her to talk back.
* Limited to eight countries Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK and the U.S.
V Universal search works with iTunes, Netflix, HBO, Showtime, and Hulu, for now.
* Siri's universal search API will be opened up to all developers
V No search for Music yet. Apple says not until 2016.
* You’ll have to get to your holiday tunes like a neanderthal and use your digits.
V Siri can control playback, find shows, tv episodes, information about directors, cast, writers, etc.
* Skip forward back
* What’s she say?
* I could not figure out how to jump to a chapter in a movie.
V Natural language searching and contextual searching work pretty well.
* Can search and filter by ratings or age appropriateness
* Get sports, weather, time, conversions, jokes, etc. All the Siri things you may expect.
V Already one report on Reddit of a remote “shattering”
* Claimed it fell 2 feet on to a tile floor
* Looks more smashed than that to me.
* If true the Apple Strap may be a critical accessory. Also Siri remote cases and bumpers?
V Games
* In a word “awesome”. Much better and more fun than I expected.
V Any other system that has a market to “casual” gamers should feel threatened by this.
* Hardcore dedicated consoles like Playstaion or XBox have no worries
* The Siri remote works, by design, with all games. Some games can use dedicated game controllers and offer an “enhanced” experience
V I picked up the $49.95 Steelseries Nibus controller and I am glad I did.
* Not necessary, but for more intense games, like Transistor, it offers a more console gaming like experience
* Also helps with platformers or even games like CrossyRoad, but the Siri remote works there just fine too.
* The Apple TV also supports 3DTV content on compatible televisions. Some developers, like Pangea, are adding the feature option in to their games.
* The games are only going to get better too.
* I ended up liking the gaming experience on the TV more than I though I would. I’ll never buy another gaming console.
* One downside on bigger titles can be the dynamic loading do to the app storage restrictions.
V New Apple TV tips and tricks
V You cannot pair more than one Siri Remote, so for multiplayer games you’ll need MFi Game Controllers or iOS devices
* It’s not clear if all games can use use iOS devices as extra controllers. i think it might be game dependent.
* Tap and hold on any lower-case key on the keyboard to get it’s uppercase version, along with any accented variations.
V To add game controllers
* Settings > Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth
* Any MFi controller that works with iOS should work on the Apple TV
* You can only link two MFi controllers to your Apple TV at a time
* Standalone controllers don't currently support accelerometer tilt or motion controls.
* Apple that support a Game Controller will show a ‘Game Controller Optional’ icon and text in the App Store listing on the Apple TV
* Not all games require the Siri Remote to be in landscape and button layout can vary by game.
V The Siri remote should be automatically paired
* If for some reason you need to re-pair it. Then simultaneously press the Menu and Volume Up buttons to put it back into pairing mode
* Then go into the Settings on the Apple TV to the remotes to re-pair it.
V You can take screenshots and capture video of your Apple TV
* The catch is you need to have it connected to your Mac and have XCode installed
* The Apple TV needs a USB to USB-C cable to do this and that cable is NOT included.
V Screenshot
* Install Xcode from the Mac App Store.
* Connect your Apple TV to your Mac with a USB-C to USB cable.
* Open Xcode and go to the Window menu.
* Open the Devices window.
* Select your Apple TV.
* Click on the Take Screenshot button.
V Video
* Connect your Apple TV to your Mac with a USB-C to USB cable.
* Open QuickTime Player.
* Go to File > New Movie Recording.
* Click on the down arrow next to the Record button.
* Select Apple TV under Camera and Microphone.
* Press Record.
* Also trying to capture copyrighted or DRM’d content will only result in black screenshots.
V Use multiple iTunes Accounts
* Launch Settings from your Home screen.
* Click on Accounts.
* Click on iTunes and App Store.
* Click on Add new Apple ID.
* Enter the additional Apple ID username.
* Click on Continue.
* Enter the additional Apple ID password.
* Click on Sign In.
* Family Sharing account will automatically be listed when you log into your main Family account.
V To switch between accounts
* Launch Settings from your Home screen.
* Click on Accounts.
* Click on iTunes and App Store.
* Click on the account you want to use.
* Double click the ‘TV’ button to access the App Switcher.
V More on iPhone Upgrade Program
* David found another potential wrinkle if you want to use Apple iPhone Upgrade Program to get a new iPhone.
* The program requires that you activate the iPhone with a carrier before you leave the store.
* For David, who uses StraightTalk, this meant he could not take advantage of Apple’s upgrade program.
* I checked the terms of service and it is a requirement.
* Seems odd since it’s Apple taking the payments and not the carriers and the phone is no subsidized.
* Maybe there’s still some revenue share on the backend with the carriers?
V El Capitan woes
* Gone mostly smoothly for most of you.
* One often forgotten item when upgrading is peripherals. Specifically older printers and scanners. Check with the manufacturer to be sure they have updated drivers.
* Fred ran into this when after upgrading he discovered that his old Samsung printer no longer worked and Samsung wasn’t going to update drivers.
* One option of course is to get a new printer.
V Another might be to try open source drivers from GIMP Print.
* These are basic UNIX level drivers for a TON of printers
* It might be able to restore basic print functionality
* Has been updated for El Capitan
V You might run into similar problems with scanners.
* For that there is VueScan
* This is software that will replace your original scanner software, but has support or over 2,500 scanners.
* Costs USD $49.95 for standard and $89.95 for professional.
V RAID support removed from El Capitan
* Bryan wrote me to say he had discovered that the ability to set up a software RAID has also been removed from Disk Utility
* Re-kindled his concerns that Apple shift in focus to the consumer products and end users devices is leaving enterprise, business customers, and power users without much support from Apple.
* He cites the loss of Xserves, Mac Pro Server, and even the Mac Mini Server too.
V I agree it kind of stinks that these are many of the markets that saw Apple through the lean times, but it’s probably hard for Apple to justify investing a lot of money in those directions because it represents an increasingly small portion of their customer base.
* Now Dan points out, “it was never about the numbers for customers. It was about Apple validating that market.”
* I get that, but I don’t think Apple not having Apple branded software and hardware doesn’t “invalidate” using Apple products in those segments.
V Luckily it opens up opportunities for other companies to come in a fill the needs
* Apple seems to be yielding a lot of the pro studio, video, and photo market back to Adobe and I think we are seeing benefits back in Adobe’s support of iPad.
* You have companies like Sonnet and Promise making really innovative RAID, rack mount, and expansion chassis solutions.
* For software RAID, SoftRAID was always a better tool and it has been updated for El Capitan.
* I know it still is frustrating when we see Apple making these changes. Talk to anyone in the academic research and science sectors and they’ll tell you Apple’s new focus has been painful.
* Still I think that Apple was never really that great as serving and understanding these markets anyway. At least not in a way that companies dedicated to those segments can. It’s better that Apple knows where it can make stuff and great and where it can’t.
V Apple Watch lugs and corrosion
* Boy did you all step up in a big way on this. Got a ton of great feedback, so thank you.
* Want to play two voicemails because I think between the two we get a good idea about what the phenomenon is and why we may or may not need to worry about it.
V First is Andy and then George. I also want to thank Bob for his comments on the subject too.
* Play comment from Andy
* Play comment from George
* There are some differences in opinion on just how much the galvanic corrosion potential is between stainless steel and aluminum, but still sounds like there is evidence to support at least “some” concern
* Remember the original discussion was how important is it to make sure your band is “Made for Apple Watch” compliant or making sure it uses Apple’s lugs.
V After all this my opinion is it’s important, or at least to be sure your lugs are from a manufacturer you would trust.
* Apple possibly has added a coating or other protection.
* The Apple aluminum is anodized, so that will offer additional protection with or without Apple lugs.
* But with a cheap 3rd party lug you don’t know what the metal is and even if they claim stainless steel what kind? Is it the same as the stainless steel Apple uses?
V Apps no longer backup in iTunes
* I received an email from Mia who noticed that after upgrading to iOS 9 and iTunes 12.3 that when doing a manual backup of an iOS device it no longer asks if you want to backup the apps.
V The reason behind that is something called ‘App Thinning’
* Because there are now so many device screen sizes (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) and configurations.
* Apps have been getting bigger. Screen assets, 32 and 64 bit code, Open GL and Metal code, etc.
* Yet not every device needs all those assets
* Developers still upload a “universal binary”.
* When you install an app now, App Thinning basically takes care of pairing down what’s actually installed to be just the code and assets needed for that app for the particular device.
* Apple claims storage savings in the range of 20-40%
V Because the apps on the device are now not the “full” apps, iTunes no longer offers to back them up or sync them.
* You can see this if you install an app under iOS 9.0.2 or later and then connect you device and try to ‘Transfer Purchases From…’ Apps will no longer come across.
V That doesn’t mean that your app data is not backed up.
* It still is along with the info on which apps are currently installed and how you have those apps organized.
* When you restore the Apps and data are still restored, it’s just the apps are re-installed from the cloud using the App thinning process.
V If you do still want to backup your Apps
* You can download them from the App Store to iTunes
* Open iTunes, go to the `Apps` tab, then go to the `App Store` tab. Then click on the ‘Purchased’ link in the right hand column.
* Now you should see all your purchased Apps.
* Click on the ‘Not in My Library’ tab to see all the apps not “backed up” to your local iTunes Library.
* You can now click the little ‘cloud’ icon to download any apps you want to back up or if you want them all click the ‘Download All’ button at the bottom of the screen.
V Once you have all the apps dowloaded locally if you want all new apps to be downloaded automatically you can change the iTunes preferences
* In iTunes go to ‘iTunes > Preferences’
* Click on the ‘Store’ tab
* Under ‘Automatic Downloads’ check the box for ‘Apps’ then click OK.
V Some might ask why bother doing all this?
* Can’t you just always re-download from iTunes? Not ALWAYS.
* The downside is you might end up backing up a bunch of old apps or apps you tired and dumped.
V Photos upside-down? You’re holding it wrong.
* If you’ve ever captured photos or video on your iPhone and then went to use that image or import it into an app and found the orientation upside down, there’s a reason for that.
* As Steve Jobs would have said, “You’re holding it wrong”.
* I joke of course, but seriously a lot of people don’t know that with an iPhone in landscape mode there is a right side up and upside down orientation
* The reason most people don’t know this is because the iOS software and Apple’s apps do a great job of hiding it.
V When you capture the photo or video it also records metadata about the orientation of the device when the image was taken.
* Many apps, but not all, then use that info to correct the orientation for display automagically.
V So which way is which?
* With the camera lens in the upper left and the volume buttons pointing down is right-side up.
* If your camera lens is in the lower right then the image will be captured upside down.
* Oddly Apple’s feature of being able to use the volume buttons as a shutter forces you to use the camera in an upside down orientation.
* Because the software often compensates for this it mostly a non issue, but when uploading to some web services or apps though you may wind up with upside down images that you need to correct.
V Wear and tear on leather iPhone cases
* Play comments from Christy
V I agree on the wear on Apple’s leather cases and covers.
* I think you’re right that some colors seem to age better than others
V I also agree on 12-South’s products.
* I loved my SurfacePad when I had it, but I had the first gen that suffered from the separation issue, so I haven’t tried them since.
* I know that 12-South also took care of the issue and handles replacements for impacted customers. They are a great company and make quality products.
* They have the new ‘Forté’ Apple Watch stand.
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
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