Maccast 2016.07.06 - Show #577
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Gazelle
V Gazelle
* Wanna get cash for your old iPhone? Gazelle makes it easy.
* It’s free and easy to get an online offer. Just answer a few easy questions, and get your instant price quote.
* And don’t worry if your phone is broken Gazelle will accept those too.
* Once you accept it Gazelle will honor it for 30 days.
* Shipping is free too and in many cases Gazelle will provide the box too.
* All personal information from the devices is removed.
* Payments are fast. Get a check in the mail, an Amazon gift card in your inbox, or a direct deposit into your PayPal account.
* Gazelle has over 1 million customers and has paid out over $200 million to it’s customers.
* Get cash for your old iPhone, iPad, or Mac today! Go to
V News
V iPhone 7 new storage options
* This week has a couple rumors on the iPhone 7 and what Apple might do with storage sizes.
* Guess which one of these I'm more apt to believe?
V First out of the Chinese site WeChat
* Apple will ditch the 16GB base model, good so far, and replace it with 32/128/256GB options. Eh, close?
* But then they also say the iPhone 7 may be offered in three variants – iPhone 7, Plus and Pro models.
* X, but thanks for playing
* The Wall Street Journal didn't comment on the upper range but did confirm from their sources that the entry level model will come with 32GB of storage.
V Whatever it's storage size TSMC might be looking to come out good on selling Apple the A10 processors that will power the new iPhone 7
* Digitimes says the company expects to see almost 20 percent sequential revenue growth in the third quarter
* Nicely coinciding with the time they'll be suppling Apple with most, if not all, the processors for their new iPhone.
* Typically Apple also spits orders with Samsung, but have more and more tied move away from them since Samsung make competing products
* Historically TSMC hasn't been able to handle all of Apple's volume, but factory investments maybe combined with slightly reduced order quantities may have made it possible for TSMC to be the sole supplier this time around.
* Still it's expected that Samsung might be back with just over 30 percent of "A11" chip orders for the iPhone 8 next year.
* Demand for the iPhone 8 is expected to possibly be higher as Apple adds in new features like OLED displays and integrated Touch ID sensors.
V Other latest news with iPhone 7
* A spy shot supposedly from and internal Foxconn meeting lists wireless charging support and an IP68 water and dust resistance rating. Completely dust proof and equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer.
V Great piece from Daniel Eran Dilger at AppleInsider
* What's not new about the iPhone 7?
* Brand new A10 custom silicon. Typically doubles CPU GPU performance (or better), offers improved battery, better sensors and motion tracking for health and fitness. Don't forget faster IO, memory, and advanced security features powering new software features.
* All new camera system with advanced signal image processing.
* Dual lens system for depth perception, image correction, expanded dynamic range in exposure and color gamut.
* Integration with all the new advancements in iOS 10 software.
* New display technology and features like True Tone and DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut.
* Audio and sound enhancements updated speaker and mic systems, but by all means let's focus on the headphone jack removal.
* Oh and also that the case won't change much, so looks the same. Meh!
V Samsung will likely be producing OLED panels for Apple's iPhone 8 in 2017
* There were conflicting rumors that they may or may not have spun off their OLED business
* The reason would be to separate it from the declining LCD panel business
* Samsung later responded to the reports saying it has not spun off its OLED business and that it plans to continue developing both LCD and OLED products.
V There were reports this week that Apple adding new suppliers is a ploy for the company to get better deals from existing suppliers
* Reportedly Sharp is being added to a list of Apple OLED suppliers
* Apple supposedly is looking for better deals so they can keep margins up amid slowing iPhone sales
* Supposedly suppliers feeling the squeeze are reporting lower sales and even loses.
* I'm not convinced any of this is really new news. Apple has reportedly ALWAYs been aggressive when negotiating supplier contracts using the sizable orders and reputation to get what they want.
* What might be new is Apple sourcing more parts from more suppliers, but that too has been a strategy and something Tim Cook has even commented on (why he says you can't rely on the supply chain for rumors).
V Spotify is not happy with Apple
* Spotify submitted an update to the App Store that was rejected and caused thew company to make statements implying that Apple was engaging in "anti-competitive" behavior.
* In a letter to Apple's general counsel Bruce Sewell they claim Apple's App Store policies are "causing grave harm to Spotify and its customers."
* The same letter was given to Sen. Elizabeth Warren who later in the week made statements accusing Apple of using its platform dominance to hurt competitors like Spotify.
V The app update that trigger the whole kerfuffle was rejected because of "business model rules."
* Details were not given as to what the app update did to break those rules
* But according to reports Spotify was told they would be required to use Apple's iTunes-based billing system to sell subscriptions through its iOS app.
* So the assumption is they made a change to bypass the Apple in-app purchase rule on subscriptions.
* if the assumption is true I can only assume Spotify knew the update would get rejected and that the submission was a planned event to take their case public and to the US senator
* Apple's Bruce Sewell responded saying, "Our guidelines apply equally to all app developers, whether they are game developers, e-book sellers, video-streaming services or digital music distributors; and regardless of whether or not they compete against Apple."
* He goes on to mention that they did not modify their rules or behavior when Apple became a competitor to Spotify, but that could be exactly where Apple may have an issue.
V The reason this is a bigger deal now is that the landscape has changed a bit
* Apple now is a competitor so the policy which was equal to all streaming music apps on iOS now could be seen as giving Apple an slight advantage
* At least when it comes to signing up customers for subscriptions within an iOS app.
V I'm not saying I feel Apple IS being anti-competitive in their behavior, but I can see how Spotify could possibly make a stronger case for it now than they could of before Apple Music came on the scene.
* Remember Apple also doesn't allow an app to use any other in-app payment service or link to an outside website to sign up customers. Spotify customers need to subscribe outside the iOS app first to get the best rate.
V The reality is that I think customers are smart enough to know how to get the best deal and if they want to use Spotify with iOS they will subscribe with or without an in-app subscription sign-up and even if signing up in-app on iOS costs a bit more.
* In fact Spotify has even noted publicly that their paid subscriber rates went up, not down, after Apple Music became available.
V At the same time just before WWDC Apple did announce new rules for in-app subscription purchases that would reduce the fee collected for subscriptions if the customer says subscribed after the first year.
* After that first year the rate goes down to 15 percent from the original 30 percent of the subscription price.
V Apple may acquire Jay-Z's Tidal
* The Wall Street Journal cited sources "people familiar with the matter." that Apple was in "exploratory" talks with Tidal about a possible purchase.
* Still when asked a Tidal spokesman said their executives had not held talks with Apple and the WSJ piece notes that even if the talks are happening they may not result in a deal.
V If Apple is considering a purchase it's interesting on many levels
* Tidal currently has 4.2 million paying subscribers and some pay a higher rate of $20/mo.
* One of Tidal's key technology features is high-quality lossless audio and high-definition music videos
* The engineering talent alone might be worth a purchase
* Also, Tidal has support from a pretty impressive list of top tier artists like Kanye West, Beyonce, and Madonna. They are also the only service with streaming right to Prince's catalog
V NYC Apple institution Tekserve shuts down
* As the song says, the times they are a changing'
* Especially for Apple fans in NYC. The independent Apple reseller and service center Tekserve is going to shutdown after 29 years of operation
* The service center will shut down on July 31st and the retail operation on West 23rd Street will close on august 15th
* In the end unfortunately around 70 people losing their jobs.
* The increasing rent costs and high availability of other outlets for Apple customers, mainly NYC's seven Apple Retails Stores, many Best Buys, and growing online options have proven too much for the indie shop to remain sustainable.
* It's sad to see, but it's a story that has hit many independent Apple retailers and service centers in locations across the globe.
V If you're lucky enough to still have an indie shop in your area relish it. Go and visit them and buy a ting or two. Consider them before the Genius Bar next time. They are still a bastion of a more personalized experience and higher level of customer care.
* I can almost guarantee there won't be a several day wait period to be seen for service at your local shop.
V Apple new beta2s are out
* New builds for iOS 10, macOS Sierra, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10
V Notable iOS 10 enhancements
* Rest finger to unlock on home screen (without launching the Home screen). Remember the new "Press Home to Unlock" gesture.
* Apple also released an updated tvOS Remote app that adds a game controller icon for a game controller layout with the trackpad on the left and select and play/pause buttons are on the right.
* Released animated sticker emoji packs for iOS 10 iMessage store.
* iOS 10s Health app will have a a one-tap option to sign up as an organ, eye, and tissue donor.
V 9to5 mac is reporting that always listening Siri may have got smarter in iOS 10
* It seems that all nearby devices are listening, but only one will respond.
* Briefly you get the waveform animation on all devices, but then one takes over and the others quit.
* It's unclear how the "winner" is chosen, but likely first to respond is the winner.
V New Mac malware spotted
* Bitdefender, a research lab, has provided details of new malware targeting Macs called Backdoor.MAC.Eleanor
* The exploit is distributed via a malicious drag-and-drop file converter app called EasyDoc Converter which is available on Mac download sites including, MacUpdate.
V Needless to say the app does do anything it claims to do and simply installs a backdoor exploit on your system using a number of techniques.
* It installs a local hidden web server via the Tor network
* It posts that web servers address to the Pastebin network
V Via the web server it allows are command and control scripts to be run that allow:
* File manager (view, edit, rename, delete, upload, download, and archive files)
* Command execution (execute commands)
* Script execution (execute scripts in PHP, PERL, Python, Ruby, Java, C)
* Shell via bind/reverse shell connect (remotely execute root commands)
* Simple packet crafter (probe firewall rule-sets and find entry points into a targeted system or network)
* Connect and administer databases
* Process list/Task manager (access the list of processes and applications running on the system)
* Send emails with attached files
* Pretty nasty stuff
V But here's why, for now, most of us need not worry.
* The app is unsigned, so if your using Apple's Gatekeeper then the app will not run
* System Preferences > Security & Privacy > General. 'Allow apps downloaded from:' should be set to 'Mac app Store' or 'Mac App Store and identified developers'
* It will also likely be added to Apple's OS X Xprotect anti-malware list by the time you hear this podcast.
* Still it's likely that the profile of this exploit could be used to make other variants and we've seen developer signed exploits hit the Mac in the past
V Your best protection is being proactive
* Don't install ANY apps from developers or sources you don't know or trust.
* If ever in doubt use caution. A little up front research can make a difference.
V Sponsor: DigiDNA
V iMazing
V A tool that lets you access, view, backup, and manage the data on your iOS devices
* But while iTunes will let you do that for some data, iMazing let's you get at just about everything
* No jailbreaking required
V You can manage and interact with data from
* Messages
* Photos and videos
* Music Apps
* Notes
* Contacts
* Voicemail
* Call History
* File System
* Backups
* Very familiar "Apple" like interface
* Works fast and is asynchronous so you can continue working while doing a backup
V You can even access and browse files that are inside your backups
* Great for recovering individual app data files.
* Export and reimport saved data
* Backup your messages or voicemail so you can save space.
* You can try it for free and when you order get 20% off if you use the coupon code ' maccast'.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V External USB drives unmounting/remounting
V Gary wrote in to confirm that his findings all seemed to point back to power going to the drives.
* He found that by troubleshooting his powered USB hub and replacing it along with moving to all non-USB powered drives he was able to resolve the issue.
* As I mentioned I use a Satechi USB 3.0 10 port hub and had no issues prior to getting the 15-inch Retina Macbook Pro, I also still use all USB powered drives except one, my main Time Machine drive.
V So, I'll report that my fix I mentioned last week seems to be holding up
V Go to Macintosh HD > Library > Preferences
* Scroll all the way to the bottom of the list and you will see a folder called SystemConfiguration
* Pull this folder into the trash.
* Reboot
* In Settings > Energy Saver unchecking 'Put hard disks to sleep when possible'
* In Settings > Energy Saver checking 'Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off'
* In Settings > Spotlight > Privacy added all the external drives to NOT be indexed by Spotlight
V iDevice life-hacks
* I asked last time for any life hacks you might have for you Apple devices
V John came back with this tip on for dealing with thick cases and headphones:
* When you have a battery case or other thick case on your iPhone it can be hard to unplug the earphones because most of the plug is buried in the case.
* Fix the problem by creating and adding a pull tab with cellophane tape.
* Take a piece of tape about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" long and fold it over so that 1/2" of adhesive remains exposed.
* Wrap the adhesive end around the earphone plug so the folded-over part wraps around the cable.
* Now you can easily pull the tape when you can't reach the plug directly.
V Richard had a tip for quieting an noisy Apple keyboard
* The thinness of the new Apple Magic Keyboard also means more vibration when typing, especially for those who tend to have a firmer hand (fingers).
* He flipped over his keyboard over and used some dense foam strips and pads attached to the underside to dampen the vibrations created while typing on a hard surface desk.
V Lego mini-figures are holders for Apple cables.
* You can create a "stand" form on the desk or use glue or epoxy to attach a plate to the desk, side or top to attach the mini-figures to.
V What does an 'optimized' iCloud Photo Library mean
* Adam asked a question this week that has long baffled me as well.
V He has an iPad Air 2 using iCloud Photo Library using the "Optimize iPad Storage" option.
* he noticed that even though he takes no photos on the iPad the Photo library has 7000 photos and is using 6.81GB of storage on his device.
* It's also about the same for his iPhone 6
* The answer actually is, only Apple knows the mystery of the black box that is iCloud Photo Library.
* Still that's not going to stop me from looking at some data, some theories online and from speculating wildly.
V The first thing you need to know. iCloud Photo Library even with "Optimize" on still has to use a fair amount of storage
* The reason is thumbnails. Even without downloading full sized images to your device it still pulls down and stores locally the small images for the Collections, moments, and other views.
* Even when you choose to view the full sized image it just pulls down a device optimized version
* Same is true for editing. The edits are sync'd up with the full sized image stored in iCloud and on any Mac or device that you're chosen "Download and Keep Originals".
* Depending on the size of your photo library, this can still be a significant chunk of space.
V In looking over my stats here is what I see.
V In Photos on my Mac, 22,818 photos with 31 Videos
* My Photo Library on the Mac is 69.16 GB
* Of that the "Masters" use up 53.16GB, so about 16GB of thumbnails, metadata, etc.
V On my iPad Pro (128GB) the Photo Library uses about 9.2GB
* The iPad has 16.6GB of free space
V On my iPhone 6s (128GB) the Photo Library uses up 28.6GB of storage
* Has 45.4 GB of free space.
V Using a tool, like iMazing, I can see that on my iPhone the PhotoData folder is 23.3GB
* Inside three folders use up a bulk of that storage
* `CPLAssets` at 5GB, Metadata at 15GB (local downsized images), and Thumbnails (2.3GB)
* I'm not sure what all these files do, but they seem to make up the bulk of what an "optimized" iCloud Photo Library stores.
* That said, there also appears to be some decisions made by Apple and the OS on just how "optimized" the optimized store seems to be.
V General consensus on-line seems to be that this might be based on the amount of free storage that is available on the device
* Most believe that the iCould Photo Library will use as much space as it want until you've reached only about 10 percent free disk space left and then it will start to optimize.
* If that's true though then I would expect my iPad Photo Library to be larger since the 16.6GB of free space I have is slightly more than 10 percent of my total storage at 128GB.
V Finally in Apple's docs they say only this, "…device-size versions are kept on your device". That seems to apply the library would use as much space as it needs based on the size of the Library only.
* The discrepancy between by iPhone and iPad Pro Library sizes could be explained by the differences in resolution.
* Still this would bust the theory that for a large photo library on a small storage device, like 16GB iPhone, that iCloud Photo Library provide a solution to reduce local storage.
* Still Adam there you have it I hope. This is my understanding of how "Optimized" iCloud Photo Library storage works.
V What does Wi-Fi Assist do?
* Play comment from Gary
* It is supposed to handoff the data to cellular data when you have a weak wi-fi signal.
V There are some caveats:
* Wi-Fi Assist will not automatically switch to cellular if you're data roaming.
* Wi-Fi Assist only works when you have apps running in the foreground and doesn't activate with background downloading of content.
* Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t activate with some third-party apps that stream audio or video, or download attachments, like an email app, as they might use large amounts of data.
* I also have noticed still that the Wi-fi to cellular hand-off is a very slow process. If you're loading a web page this might be less noticeable then when you're doing a more data intensive task like streaming.
* For me it's not being able to use Siri in the car while I'm in my driveway.
V Getting Apple help anywhere anytime
V Apple has a great set of resources for getting help
* The Genius bar, the discussion boards, etc. are great resources and Apple has tried to continuously improve yet finding the various pieces can often be a challenge.
* I can never find the place where Apple keeps track of all my repair tickets, calls, and product serial numbers. It's [My Support Profile](
V This week Greg wrote in with another great support option that has a page on Apple's site that can sometimes be hard to find.
* It's their support callback feature
* Actually you can get all kinds of support for all your registered products at [Contact Apple Support](
* Chat, message boards, phone support, and schedule a call, the feature Greg wrote in about.
* You can set up a call at a specific date and time.
* Best of all if you log in using the 'See your products' link at the bottom it will list all your registered products to choose from.
* The whole system works like a wizard to try and guide you quickly to the fastest resolution.
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
V Supporters
* Bandwidth for the Maccast provided by CacheFly at
* Advertising is handled by Backbeat Media at
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
* Follow me on Twitter
* Checkout the page on Facebook