Maccast 2016.03.30 - Show #566
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: DigiDNA
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V You can even access and browse files that are inside your backups
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V News
V New MacBooks may still be coming
* At the iPhone iPad Pro event some expected Apple might also update the MacBook line. It didn't happen, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope.
* The latest version of OS X Server has a System Image Utility that seems to list a "12-inch MacBook (Early 2016)" model as a target.
* Now it could be that Apple had a model planned and then backed off.
* There were also the rumors last week that Apple is working on new 13-inch and 15-inch "ultra thin" updates.
* I still would expect the update to happen more around WWDC, which would be technically "mid-2016".
* Current model MacBooks are showing up discounted on Amazon and which can be a sign of updates coming soon.
V Apple Music adds another 'show'
* Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Apple has another video skiers planed for Apple Music
* We already talked about the Dr. Dre series Vital Signs which will star and is produced by Beats co-founder Dr. Dre which has been said to be "dark" and loaded with sex and violence.
* Luckily this new show seems a bit more tame.
* The show is a video documentary called 'The Score'
* It will focus on a different local music scenes from around the world in each episode
* They say the premiere episode is called "Reservation Rap" and will center on the music scene emerging from Minnesota's Red Lake Reservation and the Ojibwa tribe.
* As a tie in Apple Music will also offer companion playlists, highlighting the artists in each episode.
* Currently Apple offers one serialized content show called "We the Best" with DJ Khaled
V Apple also this week announced that it's working on it's first original TV project
* According to an article in the NY Times
* It will be a non-scripted series focusing on apps and the app economy.
* Apple is reportedly working with artist and two TV executives, Ben Silverman (An executive producer of 'The Office') and Howard T Owens.
V Apple did not provide any details on when, how, or what the specifics of the shows would be.
* Though Cue strongly hinted that Apple TV, iPhone and iPad owners will be able to watch the show on their devices
* Eddie Cue said that the show was not an indication that Apple has plans for more original content or programming in the future.
* Seems like for now Apple is sticking to content that fits into it's wheelhouse and that will feed in to and promote it's existing products and services.
* I think it's a good way for them to get their feet wet and hedge their bets if they can't get traction on a TV service with the traditional networks.
V Apple also announced a deal with Major League Baseball that should give some good exposure
* Baseball managers and coaches will all be issued iPad Pro 12.9 models with rugged cases sporting the team's logo.
* The MLB's Advanced Media division and Apple also teamed up to develop an app called MLB Dugout for managing and analyzing data.
V Apple Pay coming to web
* Re/code is reporting that Apple has partners lined up to bring Apple Pay payments online
* The payments would reportedly be limited to using Safari on devices that have TouchID support
* Currently Apple Pay payments are limited to in-store NFC payments and iOS Apps that support the technology.
V They also report that Apple is considering enabling the web based payments for Safari on the Mac, but it's not certain if that would be available at launch
* It does also raise the question of possible cuter Macs that have TouchID support.
* Re/code claims Apple is targeting having online Apple Pay payments enabled by the holidays
* I suspect that the technology could be revealed at this years WWDC.
V Apple's cables/adapter enhance iPads
V At Apple's event Phil Schiller introduced some new adapters for iPad
* The Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter ($39 USD)
* Enables the use of powered USB accessories, without the need for a separate powered USB hub
V Jason Snell tested one out for Podcasting
* Has a USB port and a Lightning port for power.
* You can power your device and iPad at the same time, if you remember they split the power going in. A 5W adapter won't power a mic and an iPad for example.
* The Lightning port on the adapter seems to be exclusively for power, not syncing if connected to a Mac.
* Limit is you can really only record from one source to one app at a time. Meaning only one app can access the mic at a time.
V Apple also slipped out the USB-C to Lightning cable
* This was believed to finally be the way to get fast charging on an iPad Pro 12.9, via the new Macbook's 29W USB-C charger
* Good news is that it does
V Federico Viticci over at Mac Stories did some testing and here's what he found
* The 12W included charger took around 3.5 hours to charge the iPad Pro 12.9 to 80% (after 80% it goes into trickle charge mode).
* The 29W adapter charged to 80% in just 1hour and 33 minutes.
V The bigger bigger iPhone
* This rumor was floated by a source a couple weeks ago, but now it's being spun my KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Quo
* In a note to investors he claims Apple is trying to develop a new iPhone design for 2017 featuring a massive 5.8-inch AMOLED display
V The design is said to possibly return to a glass front and back design like the iPhone 4/4s designs
* It would be different though as it would feature curved glass on both the front and back
* Apple is also considering other materials like plastic and ceramic
* Ultimately it seems they want a material that is easy to mold and is light and thin.
V Other features he mentions are:
* Wireless charging and additional biometric security
* Possibly iris or facial recognition
* Cites Apple's acquisition facial recognition specialist Emotient and real-time 3D rendering firm Faceshift as evidence
V Thinks it could be released as an update to the 5.5-inch "Plus" size or as a new high end "add-on" model
* Depends on the availability of the large 5.8-inch panels
* Originally Kuo didn't see Apple making an AMOLED iPhone until 2019, but suppliers have been working hard to up production capacity.
V iOS 9.3 causing issues for some
* When Apple launched iOS 9.3 last week it caused some trouble for some iOS device owners
V Users of older devices like the iPad 2 found that after upgrading they would get stuck in the activation lock screen
* The issue affected iPhone 5s and earlier and iPad Air and earlier
* Apple put out a patch to fix the issue.
* If your device got stuck, connect to iTunes and download and install the latest update.
V The second bug, also acknowledged by Apple, causes apps to crash and freeze when attempting to open hyperlinks.
* The issue seem to be related to an iOS technology called "Universal links"
* It allows App developers to register domain names to open web links in their Apps, if installed on the device, rather than in Safari
* Apple is aware of the issue and is working on a fix, but not ETA has been given
V DOJ successful unlocks the iPhone
* Monday the DOJ moved to vacate their issued court order compelling Apple to help them hack into an iPhone belonging to the suspect in the San Bernardino shooting case.
* As we reported last week there was a hearing set, but the DOJ and FBI asked for a delay because they believed the found a 3rd party and technique that could allow them to unlock the iPhone without Apple's assistance
* That appears to have worked.
V That doesn't mean it's over for Apple in case of many other devices the government and law enforcement would like to access
* "It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails" -- DOJ Spokesperson
V Apple would also really like to know the technique that was used and who performed the hack for the DOJ, but that's unlikely to happen.
* The government hasn't said what, if any, info it would be willing to share with Apple regarding the technique or vulnerability used.
* They did say that it was not the NAND mirroring technique that many security professionals speculated they might use.
* If a trial results from evidence collected via the technique it could possibly come out.
* Apple issued a statement saying that they believed the case never should have been brought and that they would continue to work on increasing the security of their products.
V Prepare for more fights on more fronts
* There will be other "this single iPhone" cases.
* Apple will seek to "warrant-proof" their technology. We've already heard about plans to change iCloud encryption and Apple looking to build their own cloud.
V Apple has reportedly already been "transitioning" their security operations
* Breaking the general product security team into smaller groups covering encryption, anonymity and other privacy issues.
* The government is already writing proposals for laws to force companies to assist law enforcement in accessing computers and devices. They are also proposing the outlawing of what they call "warrant-proof spaces"
* The fear is that we could be left with fewer checks and balances over our civil liberties and that the continued privacy and security of our data and devices will be at risk.
V Apple Store new design opens in Memphis
* Apple Stores are getting a new look with the first store featuring the new design opening in Brussels
* That was followed by a store in Albany, NY.
* This week the third store with the updated design opened in Memphis, TN
* One of the main features is a massive 37-foot video display designed by Jony Ive and rumored to cost $1.5M each.
V The stores also feature
* More granite and wood.
* Tables with motion activated flip up access to power ports
* New wooden accessory displays, called "The Avenue"
* Accessory shelves that pull out
* According to Ahrendts, the drawers, cabinets and other interactive flourishes are designed to simulate the feeling of window shopping on a sleepy street in a small town.
V iPhone SE ands iPad Pro 9.7 sales
* They seem to be off to a solid start
* We don't have numbers from the US yet, but pre-order estimates in China were at 3.4 million units over the weekend.
* More importantly the device may be helping Apple reach previously unreached customers
V Slice Intelligence looked at opening weekend sales and found:
* Only 35 percent had purchased an iPhone online in the past two years. Meaning more buyers are likely new or finally updating a more than 2 year old device
* They also found that 16 percent of buyers were switching from Android.
* Apple is set to launch the products in 47 other countries on April 4th and 5th
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Clearing up my legal terms
* Ok, let me just say I'm not a lawyer and I only DON'T pretend to be one on this podcast.
* As such at least one of you, who is a lawyer, was kind enough to point out my major errors in terminology while covering this Apple vs. FBI case.
* In the interest of setting things right I will share what I learned.
* What the FBI filed against Apple was a civil complaint seeking evidence in the case
* The government ten filed a "motion" seeking to compel Apple to assist by creating what we now commonly refer to as 'GovtOS'.
* The court then issued the "order" under the All Writs Act compelling Apple to create GovtOS.
* Apple then filed a Motion seeking to Vacate the Order.
V Basically:
* Parties file Complaints and Motions requesting relief
* The Court (through the action of the presiding Judge) issues Orders
* Orders can be appealed, which Apple did until the trial as delayed.
* Finally, after a hearing or trial, there is a ruling or decision. Which can in turn be appealed.
* In this case, as mentioned earlier, since the order is no longer needed the DOJ issued a "motion" to vacate the original court order and the court granted the motion.
* Hopefully that clears things up, at least until I mutilate it all again next time.
V Other health benefits of Night Shift
* So last week's iOS 9.3 update added the new Night Shift feature which allows the display to gradually shift from a cooler blue light spectrum to warmer tones in the evening
* The main idea behind this concept is that it's the artificial blue light from LED backlight displays that can negatively impact our natural sleep patterns.
* Getting regular amounts of sleep is good for anyone's health, but Mike wrote me to say the Night Shift feature is even more critical for him.
* He has epilepsy and has to pay really close attention to his sleep patterns. Apparently lack of sleep can be a trigger mechanism for the condition.
* Apple has always had a focus on accessibility and more recently health with technologies like ReserchKit and CareKit.
V I'm becoming more comfortable with Night Shift, though I do have to disable it if I want to watch movies at night.
* Which may be defeating the purpose?
* I do leave it on if I'm just browsing or reading.
V Customized News Reading
* Play review from Gary. Early Edition
* I use and also like Newsify. If gives you the option for a "newspaper" like layout or a more traditional table list
* I use Feedly to keep all my RSS feeds in sync and to "star" articles for later review.
* I also use Pocket to save off links and more long form articles and videos for reviewing later.
V Scrubbing in tvOS 2.2
* A number of you emails to express frustration with a change that it seems Apple made in the latest tvOS 2.2 update for the 4th generation Apple TV
* It seems yo can no longer place your finger on the trackpad and scrub through your video
* You can still tap the side of the surface to skip forward or back 10 seconds, but simply swiping no longer does anything.
* Luckily it looks like the scrubbing feature wan't removed so much as it was changed and I have a guess as to why.
* I was constantly getting frustrated when picking up the remote and having it scrub accidentally. Or it scrubbing when the cat stepped on it.
* We covered the tip of pressing the 'menu' button when that happened to return to the original point.
V Now to scrub Apple has implemented a 2-step procedure.
* First press the play/pause button (I've also found clicking the trackpad button works to pause the video).
* Then scrub to the location you want and click the trackpad button.
V Also don't forget you can always use Siri voice control.
* Click the Siri button on the remote and say "Skip back 30 seconds" or "Jump forward two minutes".
V A Liam in every Apple Store
* Liam was one of the coolest things show off at Apple's last event
* Yes he's an R&D project at this point, but a robot that can disassemble an iPhone 6s in 11 seconds is awesome.
* The idea is that he would be used to quickly separate iPhones so that component parts could be reused or recycled into other products.
* That alone would be amazing. Maybe an army of Liam's in a factory somewhere, but Michael emailed me with another cool thought.
* What if Liam is a 'Genius' robot working in the back of the house inside each Apple store?
V When a customer upgrades and trades in an old iPhone Liam could happily disassemble and separate the parts.
* Those could be collected weekly or reused right there.
V Another thought is what if he can be programmed to not always fully disassemble?
* Maybe stopping at key points so replacement parts could be installed by a human partner?
* This could extend and speed up in-house repairs.
* There would also potentially be less odds of damage occurring during a repair.
* He could strip down a device to a point where a battery or a display could be re-installed.
* Even if he couldn't do re-assembly it could help out a lot.
* I thought that was a great idea and something I had not immediately considered.
V Closing
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V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
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