Maccast 2015.11.22 - Show #549
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile Software
V TextExpander
* This is an app that I must have on every Mac and iOS device. Gets installed first after a clean install along with Dropbox and 1Password.
V Let's you create snippets of text that you can expand in any app
* What does that mean? Basically type a little, write a lot.
V Anything you find yourself typing over and over again can be made into a snippet
* That favorite recipe everyone keeps asking you to email
* Directions to your house for the holiday party.
* How to clean install OS X (ok, that's mine, but you get the point)
* Text Expander will even now recommend stuff when it sees you typing the same thing a few times.
* Replies can even be dynamic with optional text and fill in forms for variable data.
* You snippets sync with iCloud and Dropbox and you can use them with TextExpander Touch on iOS anywhere with the TextExpander custom keyboard.
* Visit to download a free demo of TextExpander
V News
V More details about iPad Pro
V iPad Pro's A9X processor is a dual-core chip running at about 2.25 GHz according to Ars Technica
* It got Geekbench scores of 3,233 in single-core and 5,498 multi-score in browser-based CPU tests.
* That bests the iPad Air 2, but also surprisingly the 12-inch Retina MacBook
V When it come to Graphics though the iPad Pro really shines.
* In GFXBench OpenGL tests it beat out the 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro with Intel Iris 5200 integrated graphics.
* It also bested the 12-inch MacBook, 2015 MacBook Air, 2015 13" Retina MacBook Pro, Surface Pro 4 and all recent iPads
* Let’s just say it screams.
V Opens the way for possible Apple A-series Macs in the future, but don’t expect converged OSes.
* “We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad,” - Tim Cook
* They still think how we use tablets and how we use desktops are completely different experiences and I agree.
V Now I’ve discussed the developing “camps” of users and I think Apple will target those camps and their market sizes will determine how much attention each camp gets
* iOS users who only use iPhones and iPads as their computing platforms. I think this will be the largest market going forward.
* Mac users who have Mac desktops and laptops and only OS X. Most “pro” users. Video, photography, designers, programmers. Some will also be “hybrids”.
* “Hybrids” Macs at the desk and iOS on the go. That’s the camp I think I want to be in.
V The iFixit teardown also revealed a Fresco Logic FL1100 4-port USB 3.0 Host Controller.
* Jeff Carlson also claims a source has told him the Lightning port on the iPad Pro is capable of transferring data at USB 3.0 speeds.
* The only thing is to get this extra speed we’ll need new adapters. They are rumored to be in the works, but there’s no knowing when they’ll get here.
V iPad mini display tops the “Pro”
* The folks at DisplayMate have tested Apple’s latest large glass LCD panel and said while it’s ‘top tier’ it’s not the best Apple makes.
* Which one is? Would it surprise you if I said the iPad mini?
V The iPad Pro missed in a couple categories where the iPad mini was overall “near perfect”
* In color accuracy it was very good, but with small color errors
* It also had “slight irregularities” in the logarithmic intensity scale tests.
* Even Microsoft’S Surface Pro 4 display edged out Apple’s iPad Pro scoring a A to Apple’s A-
* Still the Pro is a great display so no one should feel cheated it’s just that Display Mate says the iPad mini has the best and most accurate display of any LCD tablet they've ever tested.
V Apple Pencil gets torn down
* Very few of us can even get our hands on one, but of course the minute iFixit got one they ripped it apart.
* The tip has a metal "nib" that's assumed to have the emitters allowing the Pencil to detect position and orientation
* The Pencil's pressure sensor features a tiny board with a series of moving ticks, which are believed to help sense pressure when users press the stylus tip down
* All the innards are housed in a substantial metal casing.
* Apple had to fold the logic board in half to cram it into the Pencils slender profile. They also called the smallest logic board they've ever seen
V It includes, impressively, an ARM CPU and Smart Bluetooth controller
* A ST Microelectronics low-power 32-bit ARM-based Cortex-M3 micro-controller
* Qualcomm Bluetooth 4.1 chip from Cambridge Silicon Radio
* Has a tube-shaped lithium-ion battery, rated at 3.82 volts and 0.329Wh. About 5% of capacity of your iPhone 6s.
* Not surprisingly the iFixit “reparability” score was 1
V The Pencil turns out to pack a lot more engineering complexity into than I would have thought.
* Ming-Chi Kuo said so this week and that manufacturing has not been going as smoothly as Apple planned.
* Not the scarcity makes a little more sense.
* A YouTuber also destroyed his to prove, or rather disprove, that charging via the iPad dock connector would be dangerous to the Pencil.
V Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards are still in scarce supply
* It’s getting better at Apple Retail Stores for Pencil and they began showing up at Best Buy at the end of this week.
V The one I ordered on launch day has still yet to ship and this feels wrong to me.
* Apple employees have been buying them and Apple Business teams have been setting them aside for some business customers.
* Keyboards still seem nowhere to be found.
V Apple responds to iPad Pro charging issue
V Apple has issued a statement saying it is investigating the issue, and suggesting the force-restart procedure as a temporary workaround for the problem.
Holding the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds or more until the Apple logo appears onscreen.
* Some have reported similar issues on iPhone 6s and 6S Plus models running iOS 9.1 leading to some speculation that there is a bug in the latest OS.
V Oops. Apple “damaged” your apps
* If you went to launch an App Store app this past week and were told the app was “damaged” you weren’t alone
* A small faux pas happened when Apple was updating their App Store signing certificates.
* Apple is moving to a stronger industry recommended form of encryption (SHA-2) and replacing the older signing certificates.
* It was a planned update, but what wasn’t planned was the Apple Store caching the old stuff so there was a mismatch that caused many of us to see an error and be unable to launch our apps.
* The quick fix was to simply re-boot your Mac or re-download the app which cleared the cache.
* Apple is planning to fully address the issue in a future Software update.
V I saw the message with a non-Mac App Store app. I had to “force open” using the Gatekeeper bypass trick
* Right-Click on the app and choose ‘Open’. Then confirm you want to open the app even though the signing certificate is “invalid”.
V US iPhones top 100 Million
* Consumer Intelligence Research Partner estimates that there are about 101 million iPhones in active use in the the US.
V More impressive is that two-thirds were purchased in the last 2 years. That's 58 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models and about 4 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models according to the report.
* If the new model iPhone number seems low it's because the report is from September, not long after the new models were released.
V Big numbers also translate into bigger profits according to the latest Canaccord Genuity numbers
* They say the latest quarter numbers on smartphone profits show Apple now with a 94% share, up from 92% back in July.
* Samsung remains the only other company making profits off smartphone with an 11 percent share.
* Yes that’s 105 percent between Apple and Samsung, but that’s due to all other companies actually losing money.
* Amazingly Apple achieved those profits producing just 14.5 percent of the total smartphones on the market in the quarter. That’s because the average selling price of an iPhone is $670 US, compare that to an ASP of just $180 US for Samsung.
* They also think the holiday quarter will continue Apple’s upward profit trend as more customer end contracts and upgrade their devices.
* In fact UBS believes Apple will sell a record 78.4 million iPhones this holiday season.
V Rumors continue on next gen models
* TrendForce has added that they believe the iPhone 7 models will add waterproof to the feature list.
* They also confirm earlier rumors that the Plus models will get a RAM boost to 3GB and it’s expected Apple will release the iPhone 7 in the “second half” of the year.
V They also reiterated a rumor that Apple may have an updated 4-inch iPhone model in the “second quarter of 2016”
* New info suggest though that the spec might not be as “new” as previously reported.
* The new info comes from a post on the Japanese blog Macotakara.
* They claim the replacement for the current iPhone 5s will have an Apple A8 processor and not the newer A9 that had been previously rumored.
* Other spec they are leaking include 802.11ac W-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, a FaceTime HD, camera and f/2.2 aperture rear camera.
* It is also not expected to have 3D Touch.
* They don’t dispute the earlier claim by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo that the new phone will have an all metal design.
* It should fill in the lower end of the iPhone price matrix in line with and likely replacing the slot currently filled by the iPhone 5s
V Apple Watch (and others) seem to dent Swiss Watch sales
* Jony Ive said it would happen, the Swiss said no way
* Now the Swiss customs office released a statement today showing that exports of Swiss watches dropped 12 percent in October
* Not conclusive that the rise of Smartwatches were the cause, but the timing makes it incredibly likely.
* In fact, the biggest decline, 39 percent, was in Hong Kong where smartwatches have done well and typically a good market for high end watches.
V DigiTimes says their supply chain checks indicate that Apple might ship 10 million Apple Watches by the end of the year
* Even more interesting is they say Apple might be looking for another supplier. Possibly indicating that Quanta is maxed out keeping up with demand.
* Apple is considering Inventec, Wistron and Foxconn Electronics, but they are reportedly hesitant since Inventec, Wistron and Foxconn Electronics
* Apple is notoriously hard on their suppliers always eeking out the best deal.
V Apple also released a new Apple Watch stand this week
* $79 USD, it’s shaped like a flying saucer and flips up to be used in “nightstand” mode.
* Seems pricey to me and what’s up with Apple’s recent obsession with spaceship designs?
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Apple cable replacements
* Play comment from Chuck
V I agree about the Apple laptop cables. I like how you wrap them and I’ve never had one break.
* I have seen it though with others laptops
* You do need to be careful when wrapping.
* I did not know that Apple would replace them for you. That might be on a store by store or case by case basis.
* If it is a standard policy that is great and I will for sure recommend that people do that in the future.
* Thanks for letting us know!
V Review of Apple Pencil
* Share comments about Apple Pencil
* It’s really an amazing device that should have been more readily available at launch
V Still waiting on my original order to ship, but they are trickling into Apple Stores and Best Buy
* The Smart Keyboard still seems nowhere to be found.
V The palm rejection and pressure sensitivity are near perfect.
* Serenity Caldwell at iMore noted that Apple doesn’t disclose the levels, but it doesn’t matter because it works like you’d expect it to.
* Almost no lag.
* Still does feel like writing on glass. Little “tick tick” sounds if I’m writing quickly.
V Tried it with several drawing apps including Paper by FiftyThree, Sketchbook Pro, Procreate, and the Notes app. All work great
* The Notes app is actually surprisingly good.
* Ruler is really cool.
* Paper By FifityThree is still my favorite, but I’m more of a doodler.
V The Adobe apps with Creative Cloud are also brilliant if you have a subscription.
* Meant to be companions to the desktop apps.
* Sketch to draw, Fix to retouch, Mix for masking and compositing, Comp for quick layout Mockups.
* The Microsoft Office features, except for One Note, are not out yet.
* Need to try more note taking apps.
V For anyone looking for a device that can be a digital alternative to paper notebooks and Sketch books the iPad Pro with Pencil is worth looking at.
* It will never replace paper and traditional tools, but it can be another tool in your arsenal.
* Try it out at an Apple Store.
V Scrub back on Apple TV Remote
* Anyone who has a new Apple Tv with the Siri remote has likely experienced this by now.
* You pick up the remote while watching a movie and accidentally brush the trackpad which causes it to pop up the scrubber thumbnail and pausing your film.
* If you click it will jump to that point. You can try to scrub back (or forward), but finding the exact spot is tricky.
* Luckily our friend Sebastian Page at the iDownload blog has a reader who discovered a good trick.
* If you just hit the menu key on the remote it will “undo” the accidental scrub and return you to the spot you were just at.
* It’s like a cancel that last scrub swipe button. Easy, but only if you know the trick.
* I recommend getting the Apple TV User Guide which is available on the iBooks Store, along with all the other Apple manuals.
V A little bird’s eating your disk space
* I received an email from Carlos in Argentina and he noticed that his internal 500Gb flash drive was mysteriously filling up.
* This was despite both his Photo and Music Libraries being on an external drive.
V He used OmniDiskSweeper to check the drive for large files
* Great FREE utility for finding large folders and files
* I also like DaisyDisk (USD $9.99)
* What he found was that his ‘~/Library’ folder had over 300GB of files and than most of it, about 273GBs, was in a folder called ‘’ inside the ‘~/Library/Caches/‘ folder.
V I’ll get to that bird in a minute, but a general conversation about ‘~/Library/Caches’
* In general anything inside this folder is probably safe to just delete.
* These are cache files created by various apps and things inside the operating system and most apps will simply just re-create them
* Still a good idea to maybe backup the files before deleting them just in case. Then if there are no issues you can remove the backup files.
* Also it’s generally recommended to delete the files in the cache folders and not the folders themselves.
V OK, now why the heck is there a ‘’ folder?
* Odd name
* Seems like it’s used by iCloud in some capacity and related to app storage or backups.
* The most common reason I see for it’s size growing out of controls seems to be a possible bug related to the ‘Whatsapp’ app.
* You can delete the files in the ‘’ folder, but they could start to build back up again.
* You will probably also want to turn off the App backup feature inside the ‘Whatsapp’ app.
* I assume there are also other apps that might use the ‘’ cache folder, so may be a good idea to still keep an eye on it.
V Clean out iPhone cruft. Gain space.
* Got these great tips from Christian Zibreg at
V Check your App Caches
* If you connect to iTunes and select the device you can look at the “Other” category. Some of that is simply App caches.
* Often “offline” data for apps like Pocket, etc.
* It should be available to be purged and used, but doesn’t always seem to happen automagically.
V Doing a restart can clear some caches
* Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons simultaneously until an Apple logo appears
V Clear through Settings
* Won’t work for all apps and you need to check app by app
* Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage
* Tap Manage Storage
* Tap an app to see it’s info.
* Look for items of data or “offline” storage. Safari for example has ‘Offline Reading List’ data. Swipe across the item to get the ‘Delete’ option.
* Music and Podcasts are other apps to check. Keep in mind you’ll have to re-download this data if you want it back.
* You want to avoid the ‘Delete app & data’ option
* Check inside the Apps own setting to see if they have a way to manage cache files. Tweetbot has this option in your account settings.
V The extreme option is to delete the app and data and re-install
* Make sure your data is backed up or stored in the cloud and can be re-downloaded
V Something not mentioned in the article is Messages.
* Specifically any photos, videos, etc.
* Open Messages and select a thread
* Tap the ‘Details’ button and you can see all the attachments one place for that thread
* Tap and hold an image (or video) to get options.
* Tapo ‘More’ and you can check off any images and then click ‘Save Image’ for ones you want to keep.
* Then you can repeat the steps selecting any attachments you want to delete and tap the Trash icon. Then confirm the delete.
* Poof, more space.
* If you want to just delete an entire thread and all it’s data you can do that too. Swipe across the item in the main Messages list and tap ‘Delete’.
V Always hide OS X menubar
* Sara wrote me to ask a question on something that has bugged me too, but I’ve never really went looking for a solution.
* When using a Remote Access app, like VNC or Apple’s own Screen Sharing, it’s convenient to enter full screen mode so it feels like the Mac or PC you’re controlling is local (has a full desktop).
* It works great until you overshoot the top menubar or the remote screen and then the local menubar appears. It also shrinks the remote screen temporarily. Can be annoying.
V So the question is, Is there a way to ALWAYS hide the local menubar when in full screen mode maybe only activating it when a modifier key is pressed.
* Answer is no, as near as I can tell.
* There used to be a PLIST hack you could do on an App by App basis, but that no longer seems to work.
* I also could not find any 3rd party utilities that do it. There used to be some.
V What I did discover is a tip for OS X El Capitan.
* You can choose to have the menubar auto-hide even when you’re not in a full screen app. Basically all the time.
* Gives you a cleaner desktop look.
* System Preferences > General
* Check ‘Automatically hide and show the menu bar’
* Menubar will hide until you’re near the top of the screen and it will then slide out.
* Similar to the Dock auto hide setting.
V Closing
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