Maccast 2017.01.05 - Show #598
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Apple expansion in Asia
* The Economic Daily News claims that Foxconn is helping Apple expand it's operations in Indonesia and China
* The report doesn't expand much on what the assistance is being given beyond claiming that Foxconn is providing Apple access to Foxconn's partners and suppliers in the region.
* Previously the Indonesian Communication and Information Minister had announced that they were completing the plans with Apple for a new research center in Jakarta.
* Early last year it was reportedly that Apple was also developing it's first research and development center in Beijing though the Economic Daily news report claims Apple will be constructing a new R&D center in Shenzhen in 2017.
* Reuters also reported recently that Apple would invest $44 million over three years in an R&D center in India.
V Note that all these reports are for R&D facilities, but it's also been rumored that Apple has asked Foxconn to help them look into expanding manufacturing facilities outside of China including in India and the US.
* In fact it's also been recently reported in the Wall Street Journal that Apple has requested incentives from the Indian government for moving some of it's manufacturing to India.
* Two of the incentives requested are subsidies for building plants in India and an exemption from a requirement to print product information on devices.
* The Times of India cited recent job listings by Apple like one for a "iPhone Operations Manager" in India as evidence that Apple's partner will open a facility in April.
V DigiTimes had a report stating that even if Apple moves manufacturing to the US most of the China supply chain would not follow
* The cite a larger workforce in the US that is over 45 years old and higher labor costs as a concern.
* They do note that power and land costs are cheaper in the US.
* The reality is that it wouldn't really matter if they moved or not.
* Most of Apple's "core" component suppliers are not in China specifically. Actually just about 4 percent.
* Yes a large portion are nearby, 37 percent in Japan and 19 percent in Taiwan, but 28 percent are in the US and about 7 percent in Europe
* The DigiTimes piece gives and example of molding metal components to order will taking just 10 days in Shenzhen but possibly one month in the US.
V Several factors make moving more manufacturing out of China more likely
* China is reducing government incentives and tightening requirements and concessions made by foreign companies who want to manufacture in China.
* More affordable work forces in places like India and Brazil
* Robots. Foxconn, according to DigiTimes, has already replaced almost 60,000 workers with "Foxbots"
* They have a three phase strategy for getting to almost fully automated factories using robots and minimal production workers.
* The report also says they already have ten fully automated production lines at several factories.
V iPhone cameras may go vertical in 2017
* This rumor comes via Mac Otakara and the Taiwanese supply chain
* The rumor is a bit odd because it claims, like others, that Apple will add a 3rd sized iPhone to it's lineup, but unlike others that say it will be a mid-sized 5-inch model.
V Most other rumors to date have been of a "high-end" OLED curved class 5.1 to 5.8-inch model.
* In some ways it does line up with Ming-Chi Kuo's reports of a 5.1 or 5.2 inch display.
* This rumor also says the design and specifications would be identical to the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch "iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus" models.
* The report also claims that Apple will change the orientation of the dual-lens array on the top model from horizontal to vertical, but they don't explain why.
V The display discrepancy in size may be related to the curved glass and "edge-to-edge" design. 7.2mm on each side of the glass curving over.
* The iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 inch screen is 68mm wide and the thickness of the device 7.3 mm.
* A 5.8-inch screen would be 82.5 mm. Take 7.2 mm off each side and you get a 68mm wide display.
* It's unclear if Apple would use the extra display, but most rumors are reporting just having a 5.2-inch "active" area which seems odd.
* The thought though is that you might have a 5.2-inch screen an a form factor of a 4.7-inch of 5-inch iPhone.
V Recent reports have claimed that Samsung might be the sole supplier of the new iPhone OLED display.
* They can reportedly supply Apple with about 20 million OLED displays per month
* Estimates are that Apple would sell between 60-70 million units of the new OLED iPhone in 2017
* For assembly another DigiTimes report claimed that Apple might add Wistron and a 3rd manufacturer along side Foxconn and Pegatron.
V Other recent iPhone 7 and 8 rumors
V Talking with The Verge ahead of CES the CEO of Energous, who has been rumored to be working with Apple on "true" wireless charging, said the company will be shipping their technology by the end of 2017
* Their transmitters are currently capable charging devices wirelessly from several feet away.
* In 2015 the discussed their tech and were getting set to launch when a “key strategic partnership” came forward following the show asking if the company could "miniaturizing the tech"
* They also supposedly gave that partner the rights to be the first to ship a product with the technology.
* Apple is rumored to be that partner and in the interview the CEO wouldn't say who the partner was, but did claim it was, “one of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world” and that most people have the companies products in their pocket, on their desk, or in their home.
V Sonny Disckson also spoke to Forbes and claims to have some new iPhone 7s, 7s Plus, and 8 rumors
* First that there will be 3 models
* Also claims fast charging thanks to a new ‘Tristar 3, Hydra’ chip.
* Finally, 'Tap to Wake', but Dickson says that feature will be an iPhone 8 exclusive.
V The rumors of a "Jet White" iPhone are re-kindled thanks to a post on the Beats official Instagram
* Shows a pair of black Studio Wireless headphones sitting next to what looks to be a white iPhone 7.
* The first we heard rumors of a "white" iPhone 7 were mumblings from Mac Otakara in November followed by Sonny Dickson posting a video of white rear casings.
* It for sure be cool to see a glossy white iPhone.
* But not so fast, as Apple Insider notes, what really seems to be happening is a trick of Instagram filters on a sliver iPhone causing it to be washed out and looking white.
V Patently Apple discover patent applications of Apple exploring cases of having a Digital Crown like input device on iPhones and tablets
* One implementation is a "cube" like home screen that can "rotate" to different categories of apps.
* Ben Lovejoy at 9to5mac loves the idea, but I think it doesn't provide nearly enough benefit and ruins the ascetic
V Apple might need the boost from the upcoming iPhone 8 to impress their investors and Wallstreet
* A report claims that "sluggish" global sales of the iPhone 7 have prompted Apple to reduce production by 10 percent in the first part of the year
* Some feel that Apple should have capitalized on the Samsung Galaxy fiasco sooner.
* They also say the the lack of compelling new features in the iPhone 7 has also resulted in lower than expected demand.
* Also claims still that Apple hasn't been able to keep up with iPhone 7 Plus demand due to shortages of the new camera sensor.
V Apple led holiday device activation
* According to Flurry analytics.
* Apple had twice as many device activations over the holiday as it's nearest competitor, Samsung.
* Apple saw an amazing 44 percent of device activations over the holidays according to the mobile analytics service.
V The data also showed that consumers continue to be moving to larger screen devices with 37 percent of the activations being "Phablets" and 45 percent being "Medium Phones".
* Last year just 27 percent were "Phablets" and 54 percent were "Medium Phones".
* The data also showed that while the tablet activation has shrunk 23 percent from 2013 the slowing has stabilized. Last year saw tablet activations at 18 percent and this year they were only down 1 percent at 17 percent.
V Apple's first AI Research Paper
* In the past Apple researchers have been banned from publishing papers, but recently those rules have apparently been changed. At least for Apple's AI researchers.
* Part of the issue with the old policy is that it makes working at Apple less attractive.
* Now the first research paper has been published titled, "Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training"
* It describes a program that can intelligently decipher and understand digital images.
V Possible battery issues for AirPods?
* iDownload Blog notes a Reddit thread of some AirPods owners complaining about battery issues.
* Some Redditor's report seeing the AirPods battery case draining rapidly while leaving the AirPods in the case overnight.
* One person claims that he left the AirPods in a 100 percent charged case only to find in the morning that the case reported a battery level of just 50 percent.
V I noticed today that I had my case charged up to 100 percent and this morning the battery level is at 69 percent, but this was after using the AirPods for about 3-4 hours and returning them to the case. This seems normal to me.
* Also 3 hours after I checked that, I checked again and my batter case was at 68 percent.
* While just sitting in the case it does make sense that the AirPods would cycle, losing some charge and the charging back up to 100 percent causing a slow drain on the case.
V If you are experiencing a large loss of charge while the AirPods are in the case it may be worth contacting Apple.
* Some of the Redditors who had issues mentioned getting replacement units from Apple and that those replacements did not exhibit the same problem.
* As with any new product it there can sometimes be small issues and manufacturing problems.
V Some also say that they've fixed battery issues with an AirPod reset
* With the AirPods in the battery case, press and hold the "setup" button for at least 15 seconds until the status light starts flashing amber and then goes to flashing white.
* Reconnect your AirPods to all your devices.
* Also, if you've changed the double-tap function to not be Siri you'll have to change that again too.
V Other have reported that doing a battery "cycle" of the charging case helps
* Let the battery case and AirPods drain fully and then recharge them.
V Tim Cook was asked by CNBC about Apple's outlook and while he said he couldn't comment specifically he did tell the publication Apple had a "great holiday"
* Cook was in NYC showing his nephew around the New York Stock Exchange over the holiday's.
* Specifically he claimed that AirPods were "a runaway success" and that Apple is making them "as fast as they can".
V In store availability still seems to be reporting "February 22", or about 6 weeks out for inventory
* You can occasionally get stock if you're checking frequently.
* Stores get new shipment on a periodic basis, but quickly sell out.
V According to an Economic Daily News report Inventec is expanding their capacity to meet AirPod demand
* They also say the current plants are working overtime to deliver orders.
V Consumer Reports stands by MacBook Pro battery report
* The publication responded to a [9to5 Mac commentary](
* 9to5 Mac was questioning their testing methodology because some of their tests showed Apple new MacBook Pro getting 19 hours, or almost double Apple's advertised battery life.
* Consumer Reports could not give the MacBook Pro a "recommend" buy rating though because other test showed the new machines getting less than 4 hours battery life.
* Apple's Phil Schiller also commented on the unusual results and said they were working with Consumer Reports to understand the "lower battery life" findings.
* 9to5 Mac says they replicated Apple's test conditions and got just over 8 hours of battery life and in their "real-life" usage have been getting around 7 hours.
* Many users have been vocal on-line and in Apple's discussion boards about getting as low as 3-5 hours of battery on the new machines.
* 9to5 Mac notes even in the reader polls that the largest group (37 percent) reports getting 5 hour or less battery with the new systems. Still 38 percent said they are getting between 6 and 9 hours of battery life.
V New iOS "Theater" mode
* This one comes from Sonny Dickson, who used to be fairly accurate with his leaks, but not as much recently.
* Mentions a new iOS "Theater" mode coming via a "popcorn" icon in Control Center
V No details on what exactly a "theater" mode is
* Some speculate it's an iPad Centric features
* Other say maybe a mode for "silencing" the device in a theater. Things like disabling system alerts and alarms, blocking incoming calls and vibrations and reducing the screen brightness.
* Dickson, when asked for clarification by 9to5Mac, speculated it could be an enhanced version of "Dark Mode".
* Apple has patents for what it describes as "enforcement" policies, but these are based on GPS location aware activation.
* Dickson says the first iOS 10.3 beta (code named Erie according to Dickson) will be released to developers on January 10th, so we won't need to wait long, though sometimes features are enabled in later releases of betas.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V The disappointment of the TV app
* It held such promise and while when it does work it's somewhat OK, it's far from great
* Play comment from Gary.
V Pat wrote in and reported that syncing did not seem to work for her in the TV app
* She verified that she was using the same account on all devices
* Did not seem to sync playback position of movies or TV shows.
* Syncing seems to work for me, but being a cord cutter, there just isn't enough app integration for me.
* The lack of an Amazon Prime app for Apple TV and the absence of Netflix from the TV app are huge oversights that I still believe Apple really needs to address.
* It's cool that the TV button no the Apple TV now goes to the TV app, but the navigation of the App itself leaves a LOT to be desired
* I hate the "Stores" focus on TV provider apps that I don't have access to. iTunes Movies and TV shows are buried too many levels down
V Also, just like in iTunes, in general browsing kind of sucks
* Go to category, then scroll to subcategory.
* One thing that helps is when you do find something you want to watch to can tap/click the '…' and choose to add it to your 'Up Next' list
* It does do a fairly good job highlighting content from just the Apps I have installed on my device, so I guess that's good. I wish there was a way to set "priorities" though. Since I can't access the full CBS content for example I'd prefer if CW shows were highlighted before CBS.
* Guess it just needs to be smarter, like a lot of things Apple is shipping. Yes I'm looking at you Siri.
* "For You" should be more about me and my preferences, not just me and the which apps and content I have access to.
V Networks, mesh vs. wi-fi extenders
V There are some great discussions of this going on
* [Lifehacker]( has a great piece explaining mesh technology
V What is mesh and how does it work?
* The idea has been around for a while and is often used in large scale commercial applications like in warehouses, hospitals, and military and business applications
* The concept uses multiple access points called, nodes.
V Each node connects to each other nodes to create a web or "net" of coverage.
* Extending your coverage is as easy as adding another node.
* The first node is connected to your modem, but each additional then spreads out from that node and each node send data back and forth at full speed.
* You are always connected to the nearest node and moving between nodes is seamless.
V Mesh works well for areas where you need to cover a large area or where you need to get around obstacles or wi-if blocking materials
* You can position multiple nodes within "line of sight" of each other to get signals to connect to each other.
* Typically mesh networks work best for covering areas larger than 2,000 square feet or in places where building materials block signals or in smaller areas where you cannot centrally locate your main wi-fi router.
V Many of the new mesh systems from Eero, Netgear, Google and others are smaller and nicer looking than your typical wi-fi extender.
* They are also typically much easier to set up and manage
* They have apps and software for your mobile devices
* Also many have tools that allow them to self update and self manage.
* Get alerted to problem or issues
* The main disadvantage of mesh, if you can call it that, is cost. They tend to be a little more expensive then a good quality high-end router, but if you're having to add in other wi-fi extenders, that plus the extra hassles of managing a complex wi-if network may be worth the extra up front investment.
V What about wi-fi extenders
* Connects to the current wi-fi network and rebroadcasts it's own signal. Basically a separate access point.
* You can set many up to use the same SSID, but can run into issues with laptops and mobile devices as the move because they will not always automatically switch to the "best" access point.
V You can set up a separate SSID. Works best if you need to give coverage to devices, like an Apple TV, that won't move around.
* For phones and tablets you'd need to manually switch networks.
* Advantage is range extenders tend to coast about half of the cost of additional mesh networks node units.
V Hardwiring is ALWAYS the best option if you can do it
* Running CAT-6 is not always possible
* I like using Powerline adapters and connecting to my base station using a small Ethernet switch.
* With hardwiring an option is to use a second router to set up different "zones" of wi-fi. The issue again is that while you can use the same SSID mobile devices may or may not always switch to the "best" network and it's hard to tell if they did nor not.
V Other thoughts and tips.
* Move you main router to a central location and higher is better. Signals seem to travel down better than up.
* Keep away from solid walls like stone or brick And metal surfaces. Also avoid being near other things that may interfere with the signal, like microwaves.
* Position the antenna upward for a better horizontal reach, or sideways for vertical reach.
V AirPods lost and stolen
* Been hearing various tips for dealing with lost and/or stolen AirPods
V I've already managed to misplace mine a couple times, but had no issues losing an individual pod it's the whole case.
* I have dropped the AirPod though, a few time, attempting to remove it from the case.
* One tip for finding a dropped or misplaced Pod is to play music and crank it up.
V Another tip is to use the last paired device like a poor mans GPS locator.
* Walk around until you see the AirPods show up in the Music Section
V Share the airplane story
* Dropped left one while taking out of the case on the plane
* Waited for the plane to clear to look and noticed the missing AirPod was no longer connected.
* Found the guys seated behind him when he got outside and sure enough the AirPod reconnected.
* Remember Apple will replace single AirPods fro USD $69.00
* Mention the "Dental Floss" skins to hide them in plain sight from would-be thieves.
V There is even a new [Finder for AirPods]( (iTunes) app USD $3.99
* I tried it and it worked OK, didn't seem to be much more useful since the range of AirPods is maybe too good?
* Did better when I was just looking for one and for it to work you still need to have the case.
V A note on the Siri double tap function
* One, I have a hard time activating this for some reason. Doesn't help that there is no visual feedback.
* One thing Marc discovered is that the feature will not work at all if you have the Siri 'Access When Locked' feature turned off. Well it at least won't work when the screen is locked which makes sense.
* Another thing to note is the the 'Hey Siri' always listening still happens through your phone and not the AirPods.
V International iCloud security hassle
* Justin wrote in and has a job where he's been doing more frequent international travel that seems to have caused an annoyance with his iCloud account.
* When arriving at the hotel in a new country (and using their wi-fi) after a bit, probably when iCloud services in the background go to sync, he gets a "Your iCloud account has been locked for security reasons" message.
* I couldn't find definitive verification of this, but Justin's guess, and I would agree is that they are noticing the access from another country and securing the account.
V Because he uses two-factor authentication the 'unlock' procedure involves getting an alert message or TEXT message on his phone (or another "trusted" device).
* In Justin's case it asks to send to his trusted number (his iPhone number).
V Here's where the problem come in though. He also gets a new SIM while in the other country to avoid data and roaming charges. So his "trusted" device doesn't have the same phone number.
* It should work via an Message notification based on the iCloud account, but maybe because it's "locked" it's not working.
* Apple has a [support page article]( on what to do if your Apple ID is locked.
V With two-factor authentication on there typically should be two options for verifying
* Trusted devices - an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch with iOS 9 and later, or Mac with OS X El Capitan and later that you've already signed in to using two-factor authentication. These should be able to get a code without a TXT message
* Trusted phone numbers - a number that can be used to receive verification codes by text or phone call.
V View and manage your trusted devices
* You can view and manage a list of your trusted devices in the Devices section of your Apple ID account page.
* Go to your [Apple ID account]( page.
* Sign in with your Apple ID.
* Go to the Devices section.
V Get a verification code directly on a trusted device or Mac
V From your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9:
* 1. Go to Settings > iCloud.
* 2. Tap your Apple ID username.
* 3. If your device is offline, tap Get Verification Code.
* 4. If your device is online, tap Password & Security > Get Verification Code.
V From your Mac with OS X El Capitan:
* 1. Go to Apple Menu > System Preferences > iCloud.
* 2. Click Account Details.
* 3. If your device is offline, click Get Verification Code.
* 4. If your device is online, click Password & Security > Get Verification Code.
V Closing
V AirPods giveaway
* I have a set of AirPods that I will be giving away on a future Maccast.
* Need to listen to the show, tell friends to subscribe too, to win.
* For the next 3 episodes I will be giving out at the end of the show a secret word. After you have all three words I'll set up an entry form and give you the URL to enter.
* You just need to submit all three secret words correctly to enter. It will be limited to one entry per person.
* I will pick and announce the winner sometime in February.
* The first secret word is: 'Mr. T'
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