Maccast 2017.01.13 - Show #599
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Blue Apron
V Blue Apron
* Blue Apron is the #1 fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service in the country.
V We're all super busy in our lives and it's easy to fall back on eating out or picking up quick pre-processed or frozen meals.
* I know this has happened to me
* This end up being expensive and I find I'm missing out on an opportunity of quality time with my family
V What I love about Blue Apron is it's a service that's easy to use and fits into our crazy schedule
* The ordering process is easy and quick and there are a variety of recipes each week. Stuff even for picky eaters and they don't repeat within a year, so no boredom
* You pick the day for your delivery so you can fit your time and schedule
V Everything comes packaged incredibly well, is fresh and looks great.
* It's also already portioned out and measured so you're ready to prepare and assemble. Makes cooking easy and fast.
V Our first week we had a great Chicken and Fettuccine dish and also Swedish Meatballs and mashed potatoes, it was delicious.
* Plus the great instruction sheets and easy to follow recipes means we can make all our favorites again and again
V Best of all as a Maccast listener you can try out Blue Apron for free.
* Check out this week’s menu and get your first THREE meals FREE—WITH FREE SHIPPING—by going to
* You will love how good it feels, and tastes, to create incredible home cooked meals with Blue Apron, so don’t wait!
* Big thanks to Blue Apron for supporting the Maccast.
V News
V Apple Watch 3, more of the same
* DigiTimes is citing the Economic Daily News to tell us that the next Apple Watch will be very familiar
* They expect Apple to stick with their current manufacturing partner Quanta Computer
* Expected to keep the same design without the addition of new sensors or major features.
* The only thing they say Apple is working on is improved battery life?
* Many have hoped for a watch will at least 3G cellular data support.
V For sure the #1 feature request from Apple Watch consumers seems to be MOR battery
* I personally have no issues. I got 1-2 days between charges.
V MacBook Pro refresh is possible
* Intel showed off it's latest Kay Lake chips and they seem ripe for new iMacs and MacBook Pro updates
V Kaby Lake is a second "tock" update using a 14nm (intel says 14nm+) process
* Focus is on increased performance and better energy efficiency
V a bunch of quad core i5 ands i7 designs in their "S" series will Kelly find their way into new iMacs
* Clock speeds from 3.4 to 4.5 GHz
* All offer Intel's HD Graphics 630, no Iris Pro designs.
* Possible Apple sticks with latest Sky Lake chips for machines that rely on only integrated GPUs so they can use Iris Pro.
V There are also new H-Series chips
* Quad core i7 and i5 designs from 2.5 to 3.1 GHz
* Again all with HD Graphics 630
* Prefect for refreshed MacBook Pros, will they do it?
* There are also new "U" series chips with "Iris Plus" GPUs that might serve for updated MacBooks.
* Intel claims "double digit" performance increases 20 percent fore high end laptops and 25 percent for desktops vs. Haskell chips (notice not Sky Lake, so expect more like half that).
* The new Kaby Lake's are optimized for 4K and 360 degree video performance (who cares?).
V AMD has also teased their new GPUs set for March
* Using their Vega architecture
* Support 16GB of high-performance RAM and offer up to 12.5 teraflops of compute performance
* Again all about 4K
* Could see these in the next iMac update.
* The new architecture would also allow for more max RAM in the MacBook Pros, up to 32GB.
V Reports also that Apple could move more of it's displays to IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide or simply "metal oxide") technology in 2017
V Both of Apple's main suppliers, Sharp and Samsung, have IGZO capabilities, but Apple has yet to make a significant move to the technology.
* It's currently found in iPads starting with the original iPad Air.
* Apple currently uses amorphous silicon ( a-Si) for most of it's displays
* Advantage of IGZO is lower power consumption, increased pixel density, and improved touch sensitivity with higher brightness
* The downside of is displays cost more to make and they are generally lower yield levels.
V The big question is not if Apple will update the MacBook Pro, but when
* Ming Chi-Kuo has already stated he believes it I'll happen in the "second-half" of 2017
V Timing could be bad for Apple thanks agin to Intel
* It's also curious which chips are we talking about. Leaked Intel roadmaps show Intel will not have any MacBook Pro class ships in their Cannonlake line up and Coffee Lake is not happening until 2018.
V Biggest month ever for App Store
* Phil Schiller told the Verge that December 2016 was Apple's biggest ever for the App Store
* Apple made $3 billion in revenue for December
* He also said the store now has 2.2 million apps and Apple paid developers $20 billion dollars in 2016, up 40 percent from 2015.
* App subscriptions also saw a 74 percent revenue increase earning them $2.7 billion.
* He also admitted the largest percentage of Apple Store revenue comes from games, but I think we already knew that (or could have guessed).
* Apple sales in China grew over 90 percent from a year ago.
* And 2017 started off well too. On New Year's Day Apple generated $240 million in apps and in-app purchases.
V Apple execs miss bonus
V Apple execs earned a little less in 2016 due to Apple missing it's net sales and operating income targets.
* Net sales target was $223.6B, Apple earned $215.6B
* Operating income target was $60.3B, Apple hit $60.0B
* Overall they hit 96.4 and 99.5 percent of the targeted goals respectively
* Really not that bad unless you try to compare that to Apple's stellar 2015 numbers.
V Still, because many of the executives compensations include an annual cash incentive based on performance on top of their base salary it means they only got 89.5 percent of their bonus.
* Cook's total compensation was $10.28M in 2015, but dropped to $8.75M in 2016
* Don't get too worried about Tim, in 2016 he also got a $100M stock bonus for remaining CEO for 5 years and he liquidated $65M of it.
* He had a raise in base compensation from $2M to $3M
* And before you get on him too much for his wealth he also has stated he plans to ultimately give away all his wealth over his lifetime.
V And don't worry too much things are already stating to look up for 2017
* Kantar Worldpanel says Apple got 31 percent of holiday smartphone sales in the US.
* Slice Intelligence Apple had 26 percent of the wireless headphone market in December. Plus, Beats had another 15 percent.
V Did Apple consider a 'Click-wheel' iPhone?
* Avid Apple leaker Sonny Dickson [posted a video]( of an iPod-based phone interface
* There had long been rumors that Apple considered taking the iPod concept and creating a phone
* The video show a touch interface with a vertically split UI. iPod like menu system on top and a virtual "click wheel" on the bottom
* The OS was said to be codenamed "Acorn OS"
V The legend goes that when Apple started "Project Purple" to make a phone there were two competing teams
* Tony Fadell lead an iPod based design team, more conservative
* Scott Forstall headed the more radical team
* Thought was gen 1 designs using iPod derived technology and then follow with the more ambitious stuff.
* Scotts team supposedly progressed quicker than expected and so the iPhone won out and "Acorn" was forgotten.
V Fadell says the UI is true, but the mythology not quite
* There were "tons" (16 or 17) of different UI developments, but only one team
* The thing show in the video appears to be a Mac concept design ported to the iPhone, but Fadell says that was never done at Apple.
* There were concepts for virtual touch wheels on iPods and for iPod phones, but they were all just ideas that never made it.
V Revised predictions for iPads
* From Ming-Chi Kuo
V Still three new iPads in the line up set for release in the second quarter
* Updated 12.9 inch iPad Pro 2
* New high end iPad with a 10 to 10.5-inch bezel free display
* A 9.7-inch low priced model
* The top models will feature new A10X chips made by TSMC and the low-cost model will use A9s provided by Samsung
* Kuo expects year-over-year iPad sales to continue to decline in 2017, but at a slower rate. Just 10 percent vs the almost 20 percent decline Apple saw in 2016.
* Even with the shipment decline Kuo expects the revenue position for iPads to be better in 2017 thanks to higher average selling prices (ASPs).
* No mention of an updated iPad mini in Kuo's investor note
V Scoble claims Apple working on AR glasses
* Yes, Robert Scoble, who infamously posted a photo of himself wearing Google Glass in the shower is now claiming via his Facebook that Apple is planning to release a set of augmented reality/mixed reality glasses in 2017
* His source? An unnamed employee at Carl Zeiss whom Scoble talked to at CES
* Further evidence cited was that the Zeiss both was in the "Augmented Reality" area of CES yet they were displaying no AR technology
* In asking why Scoble posts that he said, "Tim Cook didn't let you" and the employees around me (him) smiled nervously.
* Tim Cook has been very vocal that he sees AR as a "great commercial opportunity" and that it offers "great things for customers"
* But "glasses"? Didn't seem to go so well for Google. Microsoft and others seem to think its the future though.
* As another wearable iPhone accessory, it does seem like to could be likely.
* Apple has also made major acquisitions of companies like Faceshift, Perception, Metaio, and Flyby Media which all could lend themselves well to AR applications.
V iPhone 8 may have steel frame
* From a DigiTimes report
* iPhone 8 will use a stainless steel forged frame instead of one machined from Aluminum
* Last time Apple used stainless steel was with the iPhone 4s, which was the last time we had an "all glass" design.
* Steel would be heavier, but is 30 to 50 percent cheaper to produce and yields tend to be better and more consistent.
* The frame of the new "All glass" iPhone 8 is also expected to be thinner than in previous designs.
* OLED panel, edge to edge curved glass, display embedded home button and Touch ID sensor, wireless and fast charging.
V Wireless charging from partnership with Energous
* Saw the tech in CES videos
* "Transmitters" are huge if you want range of 10-15 feet.
* Even the 2-3 foot range transmitter looks like an iMac "sound bar"
V Cool Apple patent on "Electronic devices having displays with openings"
* Microscopic "through holes" in between display pixels for sensors, RF, and audio signals.
V Apple finds bug via Consumer Reports testing
* Apple's new MacBook Pro was the first one ever not to get a Consumer Reports recommendation
* It was a big story and was due to the publication getting incredibly inconsistent battery results.
* Schiller vowed Apple would work with the publication to see what went wrong, they did, and here's What we know
V Apple claims the issue was two fold
* Consumer Reports uses a "hidden feature" to turn off browser caching in Safari for it's web browser tests
* There was a bug
* Apple claims turning off caching for the web browser doesn't reflect "real world" usage. CR says they do it for consistency in their testing and to work the battery harder.
* Apple also said using the feature triggered a "obscure and intermittent bug" reloading icons
* Consumer reports did confirm that when they tested with caching on they got the expected battery life consistently
V It should be also noted that when Consumer Reports ran their tests with Chrome, cache off, they also did get expected and reliable battery life
* Seems to support the "bug" theory
* CS will be doing a re-test.
* Still I don't think they should change the testing methodology. Past test were presumably run the same way.
V Sponsor: GoDaddy
V GoDaddy
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V Right now GoDaddy is offering Maccast listeners 30 percent off all new products
* Just go to and enter the coupon code 'maccast30' at checkout
* Big thanks to GoDaddy for their support of the Maccast
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Easy AirPod removal
* Play comment from Kirk
* John Gruber also posted a video this week showing this method and it works really well
* I have found that pushing in works too.
* The unit just sort of spins and "pops" into a place where you can easily grip it.
V Suggestions for "authorized" devices while traveling
* Last time we discussed the perils of using iCloud two-factor authentication when traveling especially if you swap SIMs in your device
* The issue is if your phone number is changed you cannot get the TXT notifications
V A couple suggestions surfaced after that show:
V If you can, pre-register your devices new "international" number as a "trusted number"
* Go to your Apple ID account page.
* Sign in with your Apple ID.
* Go to the Security section and click Edit.
* If you want to add a phone number, click Add a Trusted Phone Number and enter the phone number. Choose to verify the number with a text or phone call, and click Continue. To remove a trusted phone number, click x icon next to the phone number you want to remove.
* Register an alternate "virtual" number, like a Google Voice number, as a "trusted number". Just make sure it's a service that offers "TXT" as an option. Typically comes in as a notification on your device.
V Comments on Apple 'TV' app
* Play comment from Scott
* I'm not going to tell you to "get off my lawn" because I have a feeling we're about the same age. Also, because I agree with your point
* Yes, nothing is ever going to be "perfect" out of the gate (or probably ever).
V Apple is fighting a huge battle in TV and with the content providers, and bigger the cable monopolies
* They have been fighting this for years and YES I think they are doing OK
* I just feel that there are opportunities where they need to "pick their battles"
* Having both Amazon and Netflix fully on-board with their TV strategy, to me, seems REALLy important
V I might be wrong though
* New York Times has reported that Apple is actively courting veteran producers in an attempt to start offering up scripted shows and movies.
* They sound like they would start small and attempt to grow
* They haven't made any deals yet, largely because it's unclear how the shows would get to consumers (I assume part of an expanded Apple Music subscription?).
V To me this is something I feel is NOT the right direction. I think it could serve as another distraction away from where Apple should be focusing the core of it's business
* Services, with regard to content, would be better served by making stronger partnerships the the players who are already rising to the top, Netflix and Amazon.
* Competing in the space could only server to hurt those relationships and further fragment the content
* Is all this talk "important" in the grand scheme of things, not at all. Anything in tech isn't when compared against other global political or social issues, but it is the focus of this show, so in that content this discussion is VERy important.
V macOS Sierra PDF death trap
* Back when macOS Sierra came out most most apps just worked out of the box, but as always happens there were some issues
V The biggest on of those was with PDFs and specifically ones created using Fujitsu Scan Snap Scanners
* Fujitsu erred on the side of caution and advised their customers not to update until their engineers could figure out the problems.
V In the end it turned out that only very specific actions and scenarios were impacted, but for those who fell inside those workflows it was a big deal
* Do not use ScanSnap Organizer, ScanSnap Merge Pages, or CardMinder.
* Do not use Excellent mode when scanning A3 (11.7-inch by 16.5-inch) documents. Fujitsu explicitly says that no image data will be lost nor any blank pages produced when scanned content is saved in Letter (8.5-inch by 11-inch), Legal (8.5-inch by 14-inch), A4 (8.3-inch by 11.7-inch), or smaller sizes.
* Do not use the following functions in either Quick Menu or the application: Scan to Print, Scan to Evernote (Document), Scan to Evernote (Note), Scan to Google Drive, or Photos.
* Fujitsu ultimately updated their software and we though that was the end of it.
* Turns out macOS's PDF problems might go deeper and the 10.12.2 update seems to have resurfaced some problems
* Adam Engst wrote a [great piece you should read] ( over at TidBits
* Several developers have noted deep and ongoing issues with Apple PDFKit framework
* Apple has been trying to get a single framework that is common to both macOS and iOS doing an entire rewrite
* The problem is they have removed features, broke others, and are seemingly either way behind on, or completely ignoring, numerous bug reports from developers.
V Most of the issues seem to manifest themselves when editing documents in Preview (or any app that relies on the Apple PDFKit framework in macOS Sierra).
* Removing the underlying OCR text data layer on PDFs scanned with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap software
* Doxie scanned apps might also be effected.
* PDFs with annotations causing some apps to crash
* Most developers are finding workarounds for the issues and apps that use 3rd party PDF frameworks should be safe.
* In fact the article notes that Preview seems to not suffer from some of the same bugs being seen in other PDFKit dependent 3rd party apps. Possibly indicating that Apple own Preview team is also working around the underlying bugs in PDFKit.
* The advice for now is if you are scanning PDFs and plan to edit them in Preview, first make a copy just in case you do something that causes corruption of the file.
V Let's talk about small SSDs
V Hank wrote in about the new Macbook Pros and said this:
* "I think you were missing the worst about the new machines. The storage dilemma. 256GB?"
* He's definitely NOT alone. I've heard this from many in the Maccast community.
V I admit the whole SSD thing seems like moving backwards in time. We had been progressing with traditional HDD to a place where we could get TBs for next to nothing.
* I has just pricing 4TB HDDs for my Drobo and they are about USD $150.00 (5400 RPM)
* Now we have to deal with small "solid state" drives in an age where our digital media libraries are massive and it seems off.
V The reality is that HDDs were becoming a performance bottleneck and SSD was the answer.
* Of course at a much higher cost per GB
* But just like HDDs those costs are coming down
V We are also supplementing with Cloud solutions
* Why Apple has Apple Music and iCloud Photo Library
* Also online backup services like Crash Plan and Backblaze
* Yes, I get that those solutions are not for everyone
* Point is at this point the "large built in HDD" in Macs is a relic of the 2000s. It will be a LONG time before a 4TB SSD exists to match the prices of todays 4TB HDDs
V So what do you do.
* External drives
* Apple has invested in Thunderbolt and now USB-C which provide FAST interfaces for external drives
* With USB-C you even get bus power.
* I GET that external drives are not as elegant and built in options, but you're gonna have to get over it or buy a PC.
V I have both my Photo and iTunes library on external 3.5-inch bus powered HDDs
* I also use iCloud Photo Library and Apple Music
* Only occasionally when I travel is this a problem with movies, but then I just pack the 2TB external rive and bring it along. Really has not been a big deal.
V Closing
V Maccast AirPod Giveaway
* We are giving away a set of AirPods
* This weeks word (sticking in the 80's references) is "Optimus"
* Next week will be the final word and how get your name in for the giveaway.
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V Thanks to my sponsors
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