Maccast 2016.10.11 - Show #588
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Hover
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V News
V Will we see new Macbook Pros soon?
* Still rumblings that Apple could update the Macbook Pro lineup this month.
* MacRumors says their sources claim a lot of work being done in macOS 10.12.1 is support the new features like the OLED TouchBar and new GPUs
* A dynamic and touch sensitive OLED TouchBar will supposedly replace the row of function keys and possibly TouchID integration into the power button.
* And the higher end 15-inch models may be new discreet "Polaris" graphics chips from AMD.
* The hope is that 10.12.1 will soon clear beta testing so it can be shipped out to suppliers for pre-loading on the new Macbook Pro models which Apple hopes to ship before the end of the month.
* The new design is also supposedly thinner and will feature a move to USB-C ports.
* There are also rumors that Apple might have new USB-C based Macbook air models and updated iMacs with new AMD GPUs in the works as well.
* We still also continue to hear reports on that rumored Apple and LG 5K display though the time on that, if it's real, is unclear.
* Nothing on Mac Pro or Mac mini updates at this time.
V Bloomberg spotted a couple job listings from Nvidia that mentioned applicants would, "help produce the next revolutionary Apple products".
* Thing is most Apple products currently sold use AMD technology? Could this mean the signs of a switch soon.
* The listings also note that applicants have experience with Apple's Metal graphics technology.
* Don't expect Nvidia tech in the updated Macbook Pro (as they are only hiring now)
* Apple uses PowerVR in their mobile chipsets
V The lack of new Macs might be having an impact in Apple's numbers
* Q3 2016 worldwide sales numbers estimate Apple sold just under 5 million Macs. That's down 13.4 percent from the 5.4 million they sold in the 3rd quarter of 2015
* Overall the worldwide PC shipments fell 5.7 percent so Apple is doing slightly worse than the overall market.
* The also lost some market share going from 7.3 percent to 6.7 percent, but maintained their position as the 5th largest PC vendor.
* IDC also released numbers similar to Gartner's estimating Apple at 5 million Macs sold in the quarter and down 13 percent though they only estimated a 3.9 percent decline in the overall PC market.
* New Macbook Pros and possibly Airs should help, but what about iMacs? Or even still Mac Pros or minis?
V Apple Q4 results call scheduled and moved
V Apple originally scheduled it fourth quarter 2016 earnings results call for October 27th, but then bumped it up two days to the 25th due to "scheduling conflicts".
* Some speculating that the "conflict" is actually a Macbook Pro event or announcement.
V The results cover the quarterly period through the end of September so it will include the early iPhone 7 series sales. The iPhone 7s began pre-orders on September 9th
* Apple will not break out sales by model though.
* Some analysts have predicted a 10 percent year of year drop in iPhone sales, but it's looking more like they may be in line with the iPhone 6s series sales.
* Remember too that Apple Watch is rolled up in the "other" category.
* Apple has said it expects revenue of $45.5 to $47.5 billion, which is considerably lower than the $51.5 billion they generated in the same quarter a year ago.
V iPhone 7 component orders are supposedly increasing for the end of year
* DigiTimes says screen orders are 20-30% higher than originally thought.
* Estimates are that Apple may produce between 80-84 million iPhone 7 units this year. Thats just slightly under the 85-90 million iPhone 6s units that were produced in 2016.
V That could be a good thing because recent checks of Apple Store inventory across the US show that, three weeks after launch, it's still next to impossible to get your hands on an iPhone 7 Plus, especially in Jet Black or Black
* Stores are getting daily inventory but selling out in a matter of minutes
* With Samsung discontinuing the Note 7 this week it's probably only going to get harder to find a 7 Plus
V Ming Chi Quo says that the jet black model accounts for up to 35 percent of all sales
* He believes the 2017 iPhone will be a more scratch resistant all glass front and back design with a stainless steel edge on the premium models
* Apple is more likely to stick with slightly curved 2.5D cover glass on the 2017 iPhone, as used on iPhone 6s, rather than adopt a fully curved 3D design, in light of mass production considerations and drop test performance.
* If the metal edge could be finished like the Jet Black iPhone 7 that could be blended almost seamlessly with the glass.
* The argument for glass is it would give the "glass" look of the Jet Black but be more resistant to scratches. Also more "crackable"?
* He thinks both the 4.7- and 5.5-inch sizes, will feature an all glass design.
* Other sources predict a radical design change for the 10th anniversary edition of the iPhone. Edge to edge OLED display concealed TouchID sensor and home button.
V Sharp Displays, an Apple supplier and now owned by Apple iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, announced plans to invest $568 million in it's OLED business
* Apple is supposedly in talks with Sharp about supplying them with future OLED displays.
* And you might think that helps support the theory that Apple will make the switch to OLED for the iPhone next year, but probably not.
* Sharp plans to apply the investment sometime between April and June 2018.
* There had been prior reports that Sharp would be shipping OLED panels to customers before the end of 2017. It's unknown if that is still a timeline, but if so then production for those panels would be using existing facilties and equipment.
* The question still is would Sharp be able to have enough OLED capacity to supply panels for the 2017 iPhone?
* OLEDs have the advantage of thinness, better power efficiency, higher contrast, better refresh rates, brighter, and can be curved. The disadvantage is yield rates and price point.
V TSMC says their 10nm chip production will be ready by the end of the year
* That would beat Intel by almost a year.
* TSMC's CEO also said their R&D is already working on a 5nm process hoping eventually to push down to 2nm.
* TSMC build's the iPhone 7's A10 Fusion chips and it's expected that they will build the A11 for the 2017 iPhone.
V Aetna employees get free Apple Watches
* The insurance company Aetna announced it would be giving Apple Watches to nearly 50,000 employees as part of a wellness reimbursement program.
V They also announced a program for large employers and individual customers where they will subsidize "a significant portion" of the Apple Watch cost and offer monthly payroll deductions to cover the remaining cost.
* They didn't give the specific amount of the subsidy or details on which Apple Watch models would be covered.
* Customers will have the opportunity to take advantage of the program during open enrollment season this Fall.
* The company said they are getting support from Apple to develop several iOS health initiatives and that they will be debuting "deeply integrated" health apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that will be available to all Aetna customers.
V Atena claims the apps will be designed to "simplify the healthcare process". Offering features like
* Care management to guide customers through a new diagnosis or a medication
* Medication reminders and tools for easy refills
* Integration with Apple Wallet for paying bills and checking deductibles
V I also wonder if data sharing and/or use of the Atena Apps will be a requirement of receiving the subsidy?
* The idea of giving up health data to your health insurance provider is a bit scary to me.
V Despite getting new models and a lot of positive press analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks year over year Apple Watch sales will be down
* He thinks new Apple Watch sales are down 15-25 percent or 8.5 to 9 million units in 2016.
* The reason? He thinks battery life, dependency on the iPhone and the lack of a "killer app" are keeping consumers from getting excited.
* He also doesn't think the updated but lower pieces Apple Watch Series 1 will help either.
V AirPods a hit before they hit
* Bank of America Merrill Lynch did a survey that showed that 12 percent of US consumers were planning on buying Apple's AirPods
* At USD $159 a pop that could potentially net Apple an additional $3 billion in revenue. Not bad.
* The same survey also noted that, "Only a small portion of respondents own the Watch Series 1 and only 8% of respondents intend to buy the Watch Series 2,"
* Considering the Apple Watch Series 1 just launched with the Apple Watch Series 2 it's not surprising. Seriously, think they meant "original" Apple Watch.
V Three iPad Pro models coming in the Spring
* Coming from the Japanese blog Mac Otakara they claim Apple will announce new iPad pro models with Spring.
V The 12.9-inch model will get the same TrueTone display technology as it's smaller but newer 9.7-inch sister.
* It will also adopt the 12-megapixel camera from the 9,7-inch model
V In addition the report claims Apple will introduce a 7.9-inch iPad Pro model to replace the iPad mini 4
* It will have all the specs of it's larger siblings in a smaller package
* Smart Connector, True Tone display, quad speakers, 12-megapixel camera with true-tone flash.
* I assume also Apple Pencil support.
* Finally they also say the 9.7-inch will get a bit bigger coming in at 10.1-inches
* Additionally all 3 models will add quad microphones and will keep the 3.5mm headphone jack according to the report.
* An earlier report from Ming Chi Kuo said there would be a new 10.5-inch Pro model plus a "low cost" 9.7-inch with no mention of iPad Pro mini.
V Apple working on it's cloud
* You would have thought Apple would have done this long ago, but we have a report that Apple plans to unify its cloud services teams at their headquarters in Cupertino
* The plan includes teams for Siri, Apple Maps, iCloud, Apple Pay, Apple News, and parts of iTunes and Apple Music.
* Currently the teams are spread out at different offices in Cupertino and Sunnyvale.
* The hope is having everyone on one campus will help streamline growth of Apple services, helping eliminate bug and speed up the development process.
* The plan will be to consolidate the teams as space opens up at Infinite Loop when other begin to transition to Campus 2 next year.
V The report also mentions a project codenamed "Pie" that plans to move all the services onto an Apple-made backend system.
* Again the idea is to give Apple more control and speed up the system
* They have reportedly already started moving parts of Siri, the iTunes Store, and Apple News to the new platform with hopes to move other services, including Maps, to its new system over the next few years.
* If you remember a while back we also talked about Apple's "McQueen" project to move photo storage to an in-house designed and built system.
* Apple is reportedly looking to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
V International news roundup
V The US is not the only country getting a shiny new Apple headquarters. The Brits are also going to have a new Apple headquarters, though it will be less mothership and more Wonka.
* There are reports that Apple plans to gather up about 14,000 employees from eight offices around London and bring them together in a new office space being built in the decommissioned Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames.
* The site is something of an icon. Built in the 1930s it has been featured on the cover of a Pink Floyd album and in the Beatles film Help. It's also been used in many other TV shows and films including The Dark Knight and Children of Men.
* The facility has been undergoing a £9 billion redevelopment and now Apple employees will occupy 500,000 sq.ft., across 6 floors of the central Boiler House, or about 40% of the total office space in the whole development.
* The project is more than just office space and includes new homes, offices, shops, entertainment, and outdoor spaces.
V Apple Pay expansion
V Apple Pay is now available in Russia
* It's limited to Mastercard debit and credit cards issued through Moscow-based Sberbank.
V Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission is meanwhile taking applications from banks wanting to offer Apple Pay.
* The platform could possibly be ready near the end of 2016, but it could be later. Also it's said that at first only credit cards will be accepted.
* Kenya's biggest bank, KCB Group, is in talks with Apple and other mobile payment platforms like Facebook, Alibaba, Google, Samsung, and PayPal
* Apple has also added two more banks in the UK – The Co-operative Bank and Metro Bank
V Apple's building a new Danish Data Center
* It's a USD $950 million project announced back in 2015 that Danish foreign minister Kristin Jensen says represents the largest foreign capital investment in the country’s history.
* The facility will run on 100 percent renewable energy and Apple entered an agreement with a local University to fund research into biogas.
* The new facility is expected to be online next year and will support Apple services like the iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Apple Maps and Siri throughout Europe.
* iPhone 7 lunched in India and starts at USD $898 due mostly to local import taxes. The iPhone has als gone on sale in the Ukraine.
V Odds & Ends
V Apple has stopped selling the 3rd generation Apple TV (noticed by 9to5Mac)
* They took off the online store and sent an email to to employees and education partners explaining the device has now reached end of life and is discontinued.
V Yes the iPhone lenses are really sapphire
* A YouTube video showing scratching with mohs hardness picks caused Apple to have to go on a PR offensive
* They told iMore, "and under proper testing conditions achieves the hardness and purity results expected from sapphire."
* In the video they even confirm, via chemical testing, the material is sapphire.
* The glass, which is very thin, appears to be fracturing under the uncontrolled pressure of the pick.
* No reason to believe Apple isn't using the same sapphire glass it has since the iPhone 5 (or better) and all that glass has held up incredibly well in every iPhone I've owned.
* DJ mixes start to arrive on Apple Music thanks to Dubset deal
V The incident with Dash
* I wasn't going to talk about this, but it's just become too weird and confusing.
* We know that the App Store and it's rules can often be daunting for developers, but this week something happened that was truly baffling.
* It came to light when the developer of the app Dash, Bogdan Popescu of Kapeli, posted on his blog that Apple had suddenly, and seemingly without warning, removed his apps from the Mac App Store and App Store, and revoked his developer account without the chance for appeal.
* Dash is a popular app that allows developers to access programming language documentation for hundrends of languages, store it offline for reference, and store code snippets that can be invoked via keyboard shortcuts.
* Apple released a statement explaining the account had been cancelled due to review fraud and that the developer had been contacted and warned over a period of two years but the behaviour had not stopped and they were forced to shut doen the account.
V The Dash developer denied the review fraud and claimed Apple never contacted him before shutting down the account last Friday
* When the story first broke it seemed odd to me that this developer would need to commit review fraud for a VERY popular app that is loved by the development community.
V The Apple responded with a statement to The Loop
* Apple told the Loop they detected almost 1,000 fraudulent reviews detected across TWO accounts and 25 apps for this developer.
* They said warning was given in advance of the termination and attempts were made to resolve the issue with the developer but they were unsuccessful.
* What was odd about this statement is that the Dash developers account only has two apps associated with it. One on the Mac App Store and one on the App Store. So, what were these 20+ other Apps?
V The clue to that mystery became clear when developer posted another blog post along with an audio recording of a conversation with Apple Worldwide Developer relations which was made at the direction of Phil Schiller.
* In the call Apple explains that the "fraud" was on an account "linked" to the Kapeli account and that it is the linked account that committed the review fraud.
* That is also the account holder that Apple had contacted and worked with.
* The accounts are "linked" because the same credit card was used to pay for both accounts and therefore Apple sess the accounts as a single legal entity.
* Bogdan explains in the blog post and on the call that the account belongs to a relative whom he helped get set up as a developer paying for their account and providing older test devices he was not using and that's why the accounts are linked.
* He also explains and Apple confirms, that he was never contacted directly and was unaware of any of the fraud issues.
V In the call Apple is asking Bogdan to write a blog post explaining that he understood three things:
* 1) He understands that his account was linked to the account with the fraudulent activity
* 2) He's working with Apple to unlink the accounts
* 3) He's working with Apple to get back into the program
* Apple is also adamant that the developer understands they did not made a mistake in cancelling the account.
* Bogdan agrees to comply and says he wrote the blog post and sent it to Apple 30 minutes after the phone call.
V So everything appears to be going to a amicable and private solution, but then bafflingly Apple releases their statement to the Loop.
* In the Loop statement it mentions two accounts, but doesn't really adequately explain all the facts and seems to still imply fault on Bogdan and Kapeli.
* It's at that point that Bogden goes public with the details and the phone call.
V So what happened? Why did Apple, which was on it's way to a good resolution, sabotage the PR with the statement to The Loop?
* I can only speculate that they were not happy with the blog post. A copy of which is now up on the [Dash Blog](
* The post doesn't really directly hit the points Apple was asking for, so maybe at that point they figured they wouldn't get what they wanted from the developer so decided to burn that bridge? Apple was already on the high road and then leaped off.
* The developer for sure did not help his situation with going public with the phone recording.
V What do i think and why does this matter?
* It matters because this looks like Apple being heavy handed with a small developer and a big part of Apple's business is built on the hardwork of their developers. Many developers are rallied behind Bogdan and Dash.
* We will never know for sure if what Bodan claims is true. Was this just a case of him helping a relative or was it some sort of scam and he's behind both accounts? I'm willing to take him at his word and seems like Apple was too.
* My hope is now that Apple will get back on the high road and still work with the developer to reinstate the account even if at a probationary level. Monitoring it closely. I would guess there would be no problems.
* Apple could come off looking like the hero. My concern is they won't though because they're too concerned that taking the high road might make them look like they're admitting a mistake.
* I think mistakes were mad on both sides and both side could share some of the blame. Apple can be stubborn on this though.
* At the very least I feel that Apple is going to treat accounts as "linked" and shut them all down when there is an issue with fraud that they change their notification policy to notify ALL linked accounts of the impending shutdown. This should have already been handled this way, but in light of this incident it should for sure be the policy moving forward.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Fujitsu Scan Snap macOS Sierra update
* They announced plans for updates
* October 6th had new versions of ScanSnap Manager and CardMinder for owners of ScanSnap models iX500, iX100, SV600, S1300i, S1100i.
* The fixes only work for new scans moving forward it will not resolve issue with PDF files previously created by ScanSnap nor the problems with ScanSnap Organizer.
* The updated apps will be available for owners of ScanSnap models S1500, S1500M, S1300, S1100 on October 17th and ScanSnap Evernote Edition will be updated at the end of October.
* They continue to work on the problem affecting already-created PDFs, but don' t have a timeframe for a fix.
V Some two-factor follow up
V I mentioned last time that with macOS Sierra, that it's likey time to move to two-factor authentication
* Required if you want to use the new unlock the Mac with Apple Watch feature
* Also to control Homekit devices via a 4th Gen Apple TV hub from outside your home network
V I forgot to mention a couple of "gottchas"
* Some people will find that they cannot enable 2-factor authentication on their accounts. It happened to Jeff Gamet. Apple is aware of the bug and looking to correct the issue. No word on when.
* Also, if you liked the option of using your iCloud login as your Mac login that is no longer an option if your use 2 factor authentication.
V You thought your iPhone 7 upgrade was tricky
* I asked for feedback and I got it.
V Ray wrote in with a harrowing upgrade tale
* He is a visually impaired user and relies on VoiceOver to access his device
* Explain about "Enhanced" high-quality voices in the Accessibility settings
* Apparently the "enhanced" voices do not restore as part of the backup, but the setting for your voice choice does. and Ray was using the enhanced US. English Thom voice.
* So after the restore when the lock screen came up he got not Voice, just clicks.
* He had to "feel" his was from muscle memory via sliding, hearing, and counting click to know which number he was at on the number pad. With VoiceOver you can slide to select an element and when you lift off it stays selected and you can double tap anywhere on the screen to "tap" the selected item.
* Another odd issue I've learned about is Siri Enhanced voices seem to be missing from the iPhone in iOS 10 (at least on the iPhone 7)? They are there on the iPad (odd).
V I asked for some iPhone 7 feedback and got a lot, like this comment from Danny
* Play comment
* Share his wedding story
* I think opting for an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus is a great option.
V Customizing Photos Memories
* Play comment from Gary.
* Open the Photos app and tap on Memories.
* Tap on a Memory to start playing it and then tap on the video
V Then you have some options
* A theme like Dreamy, Sentimental, Chill, Happy, Epic, etc. You can swipe to select them. Also if there are enough images you can set the length, short, medium, or long
V If you want even more control click the 'Settings' icon
* Set the title and it's style
* Select the Music, this is what Gary was referring to.
V Tap 'Photos & Videos' and you can change which items are selected
* Tap "+" to add
* Select an image and tap the "Trash" icon to delete
V Finally, you can tap the 'Share' icon to export the video
* Send as iMessage, Mail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
* Save to device, iCloud, Dropbox.
* AirPlay the Memory to an Apple TV
V Digital Touch, you take control
* iOS 10 brings digital touch, which first appeared on Apple Watch, and brings it to iOS
* The trouble is the crazy "hieroglyphic" help does little to explain actually how to use it.
* Open iMessage and start a new conversation or go to an existing one.
* Tap on the Heart with two stylized "fingers" (?) icon.
V Now you have a few options
* Sketches
* Taps
* Kisses
* Your heartbeat
* Broken hearts
* Angry fireballs
V Sketches
* These are surprisingly the most straightforward
* Just draw with one finger.
* Tap to change colors
* Tap the blue "up" arrow to send or "X" to cancel.
V Taps
* These you can simply tap the screen.
* They will be sent in the color selected and as soon as you tap, so take care.
* You can change the color as you're tapping, though you need to be faster than the shrining tap ring.
V Kisses
* Again sent as soon as you tap, but do it with two fingers.
V Heartbeat and broken heart
* Tap and hold with two fingers
* The longer you hold the more beats are sent.
* To break the heart pull down.
* The message is sent as soon as you lift your fingers
V Angry Fireball
* I have the most trouble with this gesture
* Tap and hold with one finger or force press with one finger on a 3D Touch enabled device
* When you lift the fireball is sent.
V Thing of the Moment: Anker SoundSync Drive
* So with the loss of the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 I also lost my car connectivity via the AUX jack on my stereo.
* Yes I could use the adapter, but then I can't charge my phone in the car which is something I often do.
* I could spend about $80 bucks to replace the head unit with one that has Bluetooth, but I'm cheap.
* I opted for the [Anki SoundSync Drive]( - USD $21.99 on Amazon
* It's a small Bluetooth transmitter (puck).
* A cable with USB and a 3.5mm jack. Plus into the stereo and an USB car power adapter (not included)
* The puck has a mic for hands free calls and controls to activate Siri and forward and back skipping.
* So far it's working great. I do have an issue with not being able to control the Siri volume, but that's an iOS thing, not the adapter.
* It's fine for navigation and music.
* I also know there are other adapters and solutions so if you have a favorite please pass it along.
V Closing
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