Maccast 2015.12.20 - Show #553
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor
V Macphun: Aurora HDR Pro
* So happy to have these guys on as a new sponsor of the show.
* They make amazing photography apps for the Mac and wanted me to tell you about their latest app.
V Aurora HDR Pro
* Now you may or may not know what HDR or High Dynamic Range Photography is.
* Most of us at least know it's a button in the Camera app.
* I'm not a photographer, but basically it's taking a series of exposures, usually at least 3, and then combining them in software to capture details and exposure beyond what you could get by just using the camera settings and a single exposure
* What it means is you can have great looking images with all the details in highlights and shadow and great tonal range.
* And what's awesome about Aurora HDR Pro is that it makes HDR approachable for beginners and extremely powerful for Pro.
* The people at Macphun got together with one of the most popular HDR photographers on the Internet, Trey Ratcliff, to develop the most advanced, easiest to use HDR software on the Mac.
V The app let's you take in both single exposure or multiple exposure images
* It has tons of amazing presets to get you started, including many of Trey's own.
* Then it allows you to tweak and adjust controls to get just the right look
* You can also start from scratch and create and save your own looks.
V And Macphun is giving Maccast listeners a special holiday offer with all kinds of goodies
* First, try the software for free
* Then you can buy the app for just $99.00
* And you'll get bonuses including a month of training at the Arcanum, a bonus pack of

photo textures, HDR tutorial from Trey Ratcliff and a comprehensive ebook on

Aurora HDR by Jeff Carlson
* To check out Aurora HDR Pro, download the trial, and take advantage of this offer just go to
* Big thanks to Macphun for supporting the podcast
V News
V Apple delays TV service
* The often leaky source of new surrounding Apple's rumored TV service, CBS head Les Moonves, has spoken out again.
* This time saying that Apple has decided to hold off on the service for now.
* He made the comments recently in New York at Business Insider's Ignition conference.
V The main stumbling block is reportedly Apple's desire for a "skinny" TV offering
* Basically Apple want just specific channels and contents from networks
* Networks are more used to forcing cable providers to take large "packages" of content. Want NBC, you need to take Bravo too, and oh by the way, also MSNBC, Syfy, and ShopNBC. And you need to pay for all of them.
* iTunes chief Eddy Cue offered media companies an option to sell additional tiers of channels (such as a sports package), but they didn't seem to go for it.
* The trouble for Apple being that they wanted a monthly subscription service that was priced at around $30-$40 USD per month.
V With the release of the Apple TV and new tvOS Tim Cook focused on "apps" as the new path for Apple and television
* To me that felt like Apple conceding that they would not be reaching agreements on a TV service anytime soon.
* My issue with this model is the added cost of forcing consumers to foot the network bill for "bundled" content packages.
* $7.99 for Netflix, $9.99 for HBO, $5.99 for CBS all access, it gets expensive very quickly.
V The plan isn't dead and sources say Apple still wants to go forward with their plans
* I think they are letting things take their cause for now.
* When the networks begin to snuggle with the packaged fragmented apps Apple will be able to come in with a lifeboat.
* For now the key part of that strategy will be selling as many Apple TVs as possible and that seems to be going well so far.
* Eddie cue said about 50 of new Apple TV purchases are to customers upgrading, but the other half are new customers to the platform.
V A big driver for more sales is going to be apps
* So far developers seem to be flocking to the platform
* A recent report from AppFigures suggests there are now over 2600 apps on Apple TV with almost 40 percent being games.
V They also say currently Apple is adding almost 500 new apps per week.
* No it sure many would notice because discoverability on Apple TV is even more abysmal than on iOS
* Despite the proliferation of games being added to the platform consumers are mostly downloading Entertainment apps, which makes sense.
V So far too the Apple TV seems to have more developers charging for app and at a higher price point.
* 40 percent of apps are paid
* With most at around $2.99 or less, still games seem to be a bit higher in the $5.99 to $9.99 range.
V Apple has also been invited by the NFL to bid on non-exclusive rights to stream Thursday night football.
* It would be a simulcast of the TV production including ads
V Eddie says a new Apple remote app is coming
* Yes Apple did update tvOS recently to support the existing app
* But sounds like they are also working on a brand new app.
* Eddie says the new app will bring, "full functionality of the Siri Remote on your iPhone"
V Apple Watch is top smartwatch
* And a new IDC report claims Apple will lead the Smartwatch segment through 2019
V This is despite a somewhat rocky roll out.
* Limited availability, no watch bands, and buggy slow software.
* IDC expects Apple to have sold 13 million units by the end of 2015
V They see the entire segment growing from 21.3 million units this year to 88.3 million units in 2019 with Apple selling 45.2 million of those units
* That would have Apple's market share decreasing from 61.3 percent to 51.1 percent, but still leave them with the largest percentage of the market.
* They say by 2019 Android Wear will be in second with 38.8 percent share
* Seems like bold predictions considering how quickly technology moves.
V IDC's number are big, but some other analysts are even bolder
* Creative Strategies' Ben Bajarin said sales could reach 100 million by 2017 or about double the growth rate numbers suggested by IDC
* Though Horace Dediu recently echoed IDC's 12 month figure predicting around 21 million units
V Demand is expected to grow as the devices become more functional
* Cellular connectivity, GpS, more health sensors, better battery and performance
V With all this success, why are we seeing big discounts and offers on Apple Watch at retail
* Best Buy offered a $100 price drop recently
* Target and B&H also had price drops and gift card offers that essentially amount to a $100 discount
* Apple typically doesn't do discounts
V I think it's simply holiday competition and Apple Watch is a hot ticket item that can drive people into stores.
* The upsell on accessories, service plans, and other items.
* Some think an Apple Watch 2 announcement might happen soon.
V Apple moving to make it's own GPUs
* Some are saying that Apple has been working for "years" on creating it's own GPU designs.
V Currently Apple uses PowerVR chips from Imagination Technologies, though they might be looking to change that.
* As a matter of fact the iPad Pro's has a custom 12-core GPU which is not one of Imaginations stock designs.
* Evidence that Apple might have had some custom requirements and at least design input.
* They certainly have the in house talent for it, especially if their A9 designs are any proof.
V It would be another win for Apple in terms of hardware software integration.
* Help battery life and performance
* Boost to bottom line
* Still it's not an easy thing to do, just ask Samsung.
* At this point it really just seems to be an R&D effort and there is no clear timeline for Apple moving to make their own GPUs. In fact even the rumor notes it might never happen.
V Apple buy more land in San Jose
* Apple lately has been scooping up a lot of property in San Jose
* Apple purchased a 296,000 square foot research and development building in May, it leased a 43-acre development site in August, and it leased a 202,000 square-foot office building in October.
* Now they've acquired a 70,000 square foot building that used to be a manufacturing facility for Maxim Integrated Products, a semiconductor company.
* What Apple appears to be doing is massively expanding their R&D facilities in the area.
* In fact when asked for comment they responded, "As we continue to grow, we're planning to build R&D facilities and some additional office space in San Jose"
* It's not clear if those plans involve using the existing purchased space or not.
* Recently Apple has been in talks with the city of San Jose to build a 4.15 million square foot campus. It could be that are acquiring a lot of the property to support that project should it become a reality.
V Apple secret Taiwanese Lab
* Chip, batteries, and now displays oh my!
* Bloomberg says Apple has been running a secret display R&D lab in Taiwan since earlier this year
* Apple is looking at wayS to make brighter, more energy efficient, and thinner screens
* They also have been rumored into switching to OLED technology for iPhones since that would allow them to remove backlighting
* In fact a few weeks ago we heard rumors that Japan Display may have been tapped by Apple to mass produce OLED screens for the 2017 version of the iPhone.
* Though that rumor as been disputed by many other sources including most notably KGI analyst Ming Chi Kuo. He's said Apple won't switch to OLED at least for the next three years.
* The facility in Taiwan was formerly owned by Qualcomm and they used it to develop Interferometric Modular Display (IMOD) technology. A specialized low-power display technology they branded as 'Mirasol'.
V It's not clear if Apple is also using the facility to investigate the IMOD technology
* Would be cool because it uses an array of microscopic mirror-like elements that can reflect light of a specific color
* It doesn't require backlighting and like an e-ink display only requires power when switching images.
* It's also fully visible in sunlight since it's a reflective technology
* Currently the images are flat and unsaturated though
* The Bloomberg piece claims Apple has at least 50 engineers working at the facility and has hired from AU Optronics and Qualcomm.
V Jobs movie out, but not down
* It might not have taken any prizes at the box office, in fact it got killed, but the Danny Boyle's movie about Apple's late CEO still might win at the awards shows.
* Actors Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin have recently been nominated for Golden Globes
* Fassbender for best actor, Winslet for best actress in a supporting role, and working for best screenplay.
* The movie also has a nomination for best original score done by Daniel Pemberton
* Not always, but typically many Golden Globe nominees also get nominations for Oscar awards
V At the box office the movie bombed
* It took in just $16 million in a month and the movie cost $30 million to make
* Many who were close to Jobs, including his window Lorane Powell Jobs, were critical of the film saying it did not accurately portray the Job's they knew.
* There were also critics of the inaccuracies of the timelines and liberties taken with some of the facts by Sorkin in a afford to tell his story
* Despite the complaints and low tickets sales the movie received generally positive reviews
* Jobs will be out on streaming and BluRay in February
V The case of case budge
* Apple's recent announcement of their iPhone Smart Battery Case has been met with mixed reviews.
V Many, myself included, have panned the design
* The bulge is not a great choice in my opinion
* It also seems to have a small capacity compared to other cases already on the market, just 1877mAh
V One possible reason for the design choice could be Mophie patents
* They have on on the "removable top" case for example.
V I also questioned why Apple spent the time and effort when there were already so many 3rd party options
* Money left on the table is one reason
V Rene Ritchie,, dove into the "Smarts" part and some of it might explain Apple's entrance into the space
* The passive antenna increase signal which means less "searching" for signal. That means better use of the on board battery and less reliance on the external battery
* When connected to the battery the case can tell the software to shut down battery hogging processes. Things like backups, networking, background tasks, "always listening" Siri, etc
* Recharging the main battery will get all those process running again automatically
V Uses the external battery first
* It's not charging the internal battery, which is what most other cases do.
* This means less charge cycles and longer battery life
* Can see charge level on lock screen and in Notification Center
* The smaller battery also means less weight and the lack of extra thickness near the Lightning end means it will likely still work with many docks.
V Next iPads and iPhones
* Our favorite analyst Ming Chi Quo has the latest news on Apple's next gen devices
V Says the iPad Air 3 is coming in the first half of 2016
* March event along with the 4-inch iPhone and updated Apple Watch
* Won't have 3D Touch due to production issues
* Apple is reportedly working on scaling the 3D Touch technology for larger screens
V iPhone 7 will arrive as usual in September
* Will have a 3D Touch Display with similar technology to the current generation iPhonE
V While Apple works on what's next Wallstreet gets nervous
* At least in the short run.
* RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanai lowered estimates on AAPL for March and June over supply chain concerns
* He sees a 2 percent decrease in iPhone sales for the first half of 2016, but expects growth to resume in June.
* He also left his "overweight" rating in place on the stock.
* Still other analysts are citing the same supply chain concerns and slowing sales in the March timeframe.
* Analysts from J.P. Morgan and Katy Huberty from Morgan Stanley echoed concerns based on reports out of China
* Huberty though later explained that lowered sales estimates were a "worst-case" scenario noting that the supply chain slowing could simply mean Apple has adequate inventory to get though the first half of the year.
* That's why Tim Cook has advised not reading too much into what you see in the supply chain. There are many factors at play.
V Apple reorgs the org
* Apple did some considerable restructuring of it's executive team this week including naming Jeff Williams COO
* In addition they added Johny Srouji as senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies, expanded Phil Schiller's role to include over seeing the App Stores on all platforms, and announced that Tor Myren will be added in the first quarter of 2016 as Vice President of Marketing Communications
* Moving Jeff Williams into the COO slot makes sense since it's been vacant since Tim stepped up to CEO and Jeff has overseen the entire supply chain since 2010
V Probably the most exciting news and the one for the most potential is Phil Schiller's
* The App Stores continue to have issues for developers, especially the Mac App Store
* Phil has a good understanding and relationships with the developer community
V Johny Srouji has been with Apple since 2008 and lead development of the A4 chip. Apple's first custom design.
* You could assume the appointment is further evidence that Apple is looking to expand what it's doing with it's own chips
* Tor Myhren come to Apple from ad agency Grey Advertising
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Sharing iCloud Contacts
* A couple shows back I talked about iCloud Storage and Family Sharing and tried to answer a few questions
* One of the items I mentioned that I had not had much success with was sharing Contacts.
* I got a ton of great feedback from you and one common solution emerged that is elegant in it's simplicity, but a bit tricky in execution
* It seems to be implemented differently among different people and families, but the concept is the same
V Set up a "master" account to sync contacts with
* Some people choose one family members account while others set up a completely different iCloud account
V The first thing to do is get all the Contacts into one iCloud account
* You can do this in a few ways, but likely the easiest is to merge records and then deduplicate
* Turn off iCloud syncing for Contacts if it's on, while you prepare the main contacts data
* On the secondary users Macs, export the contacts records as a vCard
* Then copy and import the records in Contacts on the "primary" account.
* Then you can use Contacts "Look for Duplicates" feature under the "Card" menu. Or remove or merge any duplicate data.
V Once the contacts are merged and cleaned up in the "master" account then turn on iCloud syncing
* If you're using a separate "family" account then in the iCloud settings for that account you will only enable Contacts syncing and no other sync options
V Now on the secondary Macs and Devices you will add the shared iCloud account
* Then simply only enable Contacts syncing for that shared account
V One potential big "gotcha" is the "Me" card. You cannot have more than one.
* You can sync multiple accounts Contacts records
* So one workaround might be to have a family account that has all the shared contacts and then in each individual iCloud account have a single contact record that is just the "Me" card for that user?
* I have not tried this, so I'm not sure if it would work or not.
V Another gotcha is that you won't be able to selectively sync some groups of Contacts and not others
* Everyone will see and share and can edit or delete ALL the shared contacts
* Again a possible workaround is to set up additional accounts and separate which records are in which account, but I have not tried it and would imagine things could get complicated quick
* You'll also need to be sure you don't accidentally get duplicate contacts in separate accounts as that can get confusing.
V Family Sharing and location
* After my discussion on using Family sharing Des emailed to warn me about a potential "gotcha" especially around the holidays
* One feature that you are encouraged to turn on when activating Family sharing is location sharing (Find my friends)
* This let's family members keep track of each other and can be a handy feature especially for parents who want to keep tabs on their kids.
* It can also though let kids keep tabs on their parents.
* Des recently got caught by his kid when he popped into Toys R Us to do some Christmas shopping.
V Luckily it's pretty easy to turn off or temporarily disable this location sharing.
* Go to Settings > General > iCloud
* Scroll down to the 'Advanced' section and tap the 'Share My Location' option
* Here you can turn off Location Sharing completely by toggling it off.
* You'll also see the Family members you are sharing location with
* Tap a family members name and at the bottom you can tap, 'Stop Sharing My Location' just to disable sharing your location with that one Family member
V If you don't want your kids to have the ability to disable their settings you can use the parental controls
* Make sure in their iCloud settings that the 'Share My Location' settings are on and that they are sharing their location with you.
* Then go to Settings > General > Restrictions
* Turn on restrictions
* Go down to the 'Share My Location' options and tap, 'Don't Allow Changes'
* Now they cannot make changes to location sharing
* This also means that they will not be able to start sharing their location to others without your approval
* To view a family members location you use the 'Find My Friends' app.
V You can also turn off and on sharing from the app.
* This includes sharing location temporarily like "for an hour" or "until the end of the day"
V Stop iTunes battery drain
* Macworld's iTunes expert Kirk McElhearn discovered something shocking about the main iTunes Store pages
* When left open on that page it can run up the CPU and drain your battery
* He noticed that when he left it on the front page with the rotating graphic it used up 46.9 percent of his CPU
* Add that to the ~5 percent used by 'core auditor' to play music and iTunes is using up ~50 percent of your CPU
* Leave the iTunes Store homepage and you should see things calm down to around 5-7 percent CPU
* Word to the wise is if you care about battery drain don't leave that page up and running.
V Shhh, Siri!
* Cult of Mac had a cool little piece explaining Siri's different voice feedback modes.
* Settings > General > Siri > Voice Feedback
V You get three choices:
* Always On
* Control with Ring Switch
* Hands-Free Only
* Always On means Siri will respond with voice even when your iPhone's ring switch is set to silent
* Control with Ring Switch means that you will only hear the Siri "beep" and get voice feedback when using "Hey Siri" or when connected to a Bluetooth device, headphones, or CarPlay While the Ring Switch is set to "silent"
* Hands-Free Only means you'll only get voice feedback when using "Hey Siri" or when connected to a Bluetooth device or CarPlay
V iTunes Match vs. Apple Music
* I had at least two listeners ask about this this week and the question came up for me as well.
* Basically our iTunes Match subscriptions were coming up for renewal and the question is, if I subscribe to Apple Music do I really also need iTunes Match?
* The two services have an overlap that I think can be confusing.
V iTunes Match acts like a digital locker of sorts.
* It will scan your existing library of music and for anything that has not been purchased from iTunes try to "match" it to music in the iTunes catalog
* If it matches then it will enable you to access and download that music from any other device or Mac.
* For stuff that is not matched, if it's above 128kbps, it will upload a copy in it's original format to your iCloud Music Library and let you access and download that on other devices and Macs.
* The cost is USD $25/yr. for the service
* An Apple Music subscription also allows you to "match" and upload your existing content and music to your iCloud Music Library
* So if they both have iCloud Music Library, do you need both?
* The answer is maybe.
V The difference is in how you can access the "matched" content
* Tracks that are "uploaded" are always stored and downloaded in the format you originally encoded them in
* Also, matched tracks are not altered on the source Mac. So if you have a 256kpbs matched MP3 in your iTunes Library it says in that format.
V Now the difference between the two services comes into play when you download matched content on to other Macs or devices
* If you have iTunes Match when you renown load the files they will be in 256kpbs DRM-free AAC format
* With Apple Music only the files are 256kbps DRM'd AAC
V So the only reason you need both iTunes Match and Apple Music is if you care about not having DRM on the downloaded files
* This is handy if you plan to use iTunes Match to "upgrade" your local matched tracks.
* If all your non-purchased matched music is in 128kbps MP3 format with iTunes Match you could re-download 256kbps DRM-free tracks
* You could do that too with Apple Music, but the downloaded tracks till have Fair Play DRM
V And to be clear the DRM with Apple Music is only applied to the re-download matched tracks
* The originals in iTunes on your Mac are not altered and any "uploaded" (non-matched) tracks are also kept in their original formats when redox loaded from your iCloud Music Library
* Apple also stresses that neither service is designed to serve as a backup for your music files. Whether they are purchased tracks or stuff that you've ripped yourself. You still need to back that stuff up yourself.
V Thing of the Moment: Pigment
* A coloring book app with Apple Pencil and 3D touch support.
* Has different tools and palettes for coloring. Pencil, marker, brush, paint bucket, airbrush, gradient tools
* A library of over 200 intricate designs, with a few free designs
* Allows you to color in free-hand or tap to mask
* You can pinch to zoom in and out.
V Designs are presented in "books", basically categories.
* Animals, Butterflys, Mandalas, Flowers, etc.
* The app does an amazing job replicating the coloring experience especially on the iPad Pro with the Pencil
V My only complaint is the revenue model
* Free to download, but if you want access to all the designs it's subscription based.
* 1 month for $4.99, 1 year for $24.99
* There is a one week free trial
* You do get to keep any designs you started during your subscription, but lose access to new designs.
* I get WHY the developers has chosen this model, but I'd much rather have maybe paid $4.99 up front for maybe a couple of books of designs and then IAP for other collections.
V Still it's a quality app and there are over 50 designs you can access for free.
* That is part of the issue.
* I don't have interest in the subscription so I'll probably just use the app for free.
* Even though there are some additional designs I'd be happy to pay one time for access to.
V Closing
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