Maccast 2017.01.23 - Show #600
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 How AirPods pair automagically
* A recently published application from Apple to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) describes exactly how AirPods do their auto pairing magic
* As you may expect the key is in the charging case which also acts as a physical Bluetooth pairing interface
* It has it's own microprocessor and communications stack triggered by motion sensors in the lid.
* Inside the AirPods themselves is a memory module that stores the link information.
V There is also some magic in the communications of AirPods with the paired device described in the patent
* One AirPod is set up as the "primary" communicating with the host.
* The primary AirPod then send data and audio signals to the second AirPod.
* If you remove the "primary" AirPod from your ear then the secondary AirPod switches over and becomes primary.
V A little follow up on the Slice Intelligence data from last time
* NPD Group says Slice data doesn't really tell the whole story on AirPods share of the market
* Remember Slice analyzed email receipts of 4.2 million shoppers and found in December that AirPods had 26 percent of sales with Betas getting 15.4 percent, but that was down from 24.1 percent.
V NPD's data uses not just online but also brick and mortar.
* Their Weekly Retail tracking showed Apple with 2 percent unit sales and 3 percent of dollars.
* Beats had 25 percent units sales and 46 percent of the dollars.
* NPD notes that even with just 2 percent of the market in a couple weeks of sales Apple's impact is significant especially given the size of the wireless headphone market.
* Jaybird for example has a 2 percent share.
V Apple is reportedly looking into some users having issues with AirPods dropping audio on calls
* Seems to mostly impact iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users
* Mostly restricted to phone calls
V One thing to try is an AirPod reset.
* Put both in the case
* Press and hold the pair button
* Wait until the amber light flashes 3 times (15-20 seconds)
* Go to Settings > Bluetooth > "i" icon, and choose "Forget"
* Re-pair the AirPods.
V Foxconn considers US LCD plant
* A report from Nikkei out of Japan claims that a Sharp executive said possible plans for an LCD plant in the US are still on the table.
* Apple main manufacturing partner Foxconn acquired Sharp LCD
* The first reports of a possible US investment in a plant came from Foxconn's investment partner SoftBank
* SoftBank made an announcement recently of a $50 billion dollar investment in the US aimed at generating 50,000 jobs.
* Part of that announcement leaked and showed that Foxconn ad discussed also making a $7 billion dollar investment in the US.
* Foxconn's CEO has confirmed they had discussions about all of this with SoftBank, but they have not made any firm commitment. At this point it's all just a discussion.
* President Trump has made promises of tax incentives to companies if they open manufacturing in the US.
* Still even if, and it's a big if, Sharp does open an LCD plant in the US it could likely be for making LCD panels for TVs and monitors and not necessarily for smartphones like the iPhone.
V In a possibly separate and/or possibly related rumor Nikkei journalists were at Foxconn's annual end-of-year party and their chairman Terry Gou and claim he said Apple is interested in investing with them to set up a display plant in the US
* In the report it claims there actually might be a few plants
* A molding facility possible in the state of Pennsylvania
* Also possibly moving Foxconn's Canadian display startup, Smart Technologies, down to the US.
* Gou claimed that growing demand for bigger display panels makes U.S. production a better option than importing parts from China
* He also commented that, at least in part, concerns over US protectionism under the Trump administration were factoring into the decision to move or not.
* He also warned that the US would need to offer significant offer concessions on land and electricity in order to avoid huge price increases being passed on to consumers.
* Reports have claimed the new Foxconn plants could eventually create 30,000-50,000 jobs, but have also mentioned the plants would be "highly-automated".
V Even without a US plant Apple's demand for displays for the next generation of iPhones is causing competitors to scramble
* This really isn't anything too new. When Apple starts ramping up iPhone production for new models the supply chain feels the strain
* Components like flash storage, RAM, LCDs, cameras, sensors and more become harder to come by.
* The big concern this year are the reports that Apple want's their "flagship" iPhone 8 to use an OLED display. It would be the first time Apple uses the technology in an iPhone.
* OLEDs have a number of advantages like being brighter and using less energy, but they are also harder to build resulting in lower yield rates. With Apple insatiable demand in play things will be more constrained than usual for the competition.
V Apple also plans to expand iPhone production in India
* Apple wants to open retail stores in India, but they need to have at least 30% of their products locally, there to do so.
* Apple has been trying to work with the Indian government get concessions and was reportedly working with Foxconn to try and get a plant opened there.
* Now recent reports say Apple has selected a new manufacturing partner already in the region, Wistron.
* This would help Apple not only get into India with manufacturing quicker than building a plant, but will also give them a 3rd iPhone manufacturing partner. More capacity and less reliance on just Foxconn and Pegatron.
* It was rumored last year that Apple would use Wistron as a second supplier for the iPhone SE and iPhone 7 Plus.
V Apple increases Apple TV app size limit
* Good news for developers of Apple TV apps and for those of us who enjoy using apps, especially games, on the Apple TV
* Apple last week raised the data size cap from just 200MB to 4GB.
* This will allow developers to be able to pre-load much more content and data locally.
* Can help speed up load times for graphics and media heavy apps.
* Developers still also get up to 20GB of hosted assets on the Apple Store that can be downloaded on-demand.
* The limits always seemed a little restrictive since the base model 4th gen Apple TV offers at least 32 GB of storage.
* With the new limits you may have more of a reason to opt for a 64GB model.
* This could also be a move to prep for the availability of more 4K content from streaming services.
* Many also expect the next Apple TV, when and if we get one, to possible bing 4K video support.
V Apps in the UK have become more expensive thanks to exchange rate fluctuations
* Apple is raising prices on apps and in-app purchases by more than 25 percent
* An app that was previously £0.79 will now be £0.99
* There basically at "dollar" equivalents to the US prices at the various tiers.
* Still remember that UK prices also include a 20% VAT in the price.
V Apple appears to have add a small bit of support for Netflix in their new TV app
V If you search for a movie or show inside the TV app (or browse to it) and it is available for streaming in Netflix (and for sales in iTunes) you'll now see a "Play in Netflix" option.
* Like with other supported services this will open and start playing the show or movie right in the Netflix app
* Unfortunately this is the ONLY TV app feature supported.
V Shows you watch in Netflix do not appear in your Watch Now tab and Netflix original shows do not get the "Play in Netflix" button
* Though you can click the "…" button and choose 'Open in Netflix'. That jumps you to the item in the Netflix app where you CAN play it.
V Next iPhone more waterproofier
* According to sources who spoke to the Korea Herald the next iPhone will up it's water and dust rating to IP68, from the IP67 of the iPhone 7
V If it happens that means the iPhone should survive submersion in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.
* Before you get too excited that really just means it can live in 0.5 meters more water for the same time as the iPhone 7
* Despite having an IP67 rating liquid damage is still not covered under the AppleCare warranty for the iPhone 7 and that is unlikely to change even if the rating is increased to IP68.
V We also continue to hear reports of a three tier phone launch
* A 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch design with updated specs and existing design
* A NEW 5.8-inch OLED model with a "wrap around" all glass design, wireless charging, and integrated home button and Touch ID in the screen
V Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company added some updated and new rumors this past week in a research note
* Said Apple may still choose to go with OLED in the 4.7 and 5.5-inch models if they can get the supply they need.
* Said Apple may switch to Synaptec's optical-based fingerprint reader for the new Touch ID sensor since it's the only current technology that can work through the display.
* It's questionable if the Synaptec technology is ready or if it could even be produced at the massive quantity levels Apple would require.
* Arcuri also says Apple will add facial and gesture recognition to the high-end phone.
* Ming-Chi Kuo also believes Apple is looking to add facial recognition to the biometrics for the next Phone.
V Ming-Chi Kuo also added that the new display may require Apple to switch to a new film sensor for 3D Touch
* The "flexible" display would have a metal structural part to provide support and reinforce the 3D Touch sensor.
V Most applications of gesture and facial recognition on smart phone to date have been gimmicks
* If Apple does add these feature I would imagine they would come with new augmented reality experiences built into an OS update.
V Finally a new somewhat "sketchy" report that iOS 11 will have FaceTime "group" video calling
* From an Israeli site, The Verifier
* If true the feature would be expected to be announced at WWDC in June.
V Apple Music will be more than Music
* Apple's Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine confirmed that Apple is looking at more than just music content from their Apple Music service.
* "At Apple Music, what we’re trying to create is an entire cultural, pop cultural experience, and that happens to include audio and video"
* He specifically mentioned that they are looking for stuff that will "hit popular culture smack on the nose"
V Zane Lowe, Bozoma Saint John, and Larry Jackson also did an interview with Complex magazine and made similar statements.
* Jackson said the goal is to make the service the "intersection of all things pop-culture".
* Really the service has already been doing content outside of music and music video.
* They recently had exclusive rights for the 808 documentary about the Roland 808 and have aired "The Score: Reservation Rap" a documentary through content partner Vice
* We also know they purchased the streaming rights for James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” and reportedly working on a semi-autobiographical TV series about Dr. Dre called "Vital Signs".
* There is also a show call "Planet of the Apps" that's like American Idol, but for App Developers.
* Still more recent rumors have calmed that Apple is out talking to producers and directors about possibly doing more scripted TV shows and original movies for Apple, though it's not clear if the content would be for the Apple Music service.
* The idea of Apple trying to make Apple Music more than just "music" makes sense. A more "MTV" style content service around music and pop-culture would help distinguish it from other pure streaming music competitors like Spotify.
V More rumors of MacBook Pro updates
* Confirming what's already been said in other rumors Ming-Chi Kuo gave a note to investors a that he sees Apple focusing on internal updates for the MacBook Pro line in 2017
* Specifically the switch to Intel's latest Kaby Lake architecture.
* The change will also likely address one of the complaints about the current update, maxing out on 16GB of RAM. With the new architecture the 2017 models would support up to 32GB of RAM on the 15-inch models.
V Kuo also address what appeared to be a bad sales performance of Apple's new notebook
* Latest numbers from Gartner showed a 8.7 percent decline in MAc shipments year of year
* Kuo notes that a big part of that was due to "unforeseen production delays"
* Kuo says Apple has fixed the supply chain bottlenecks and should return to Mac growth in 2017.
V In addition to updated MacBook Pros other reports have indicted that Apple is getting set to update both the iMac and MacBook lines in 2017
* No specifics on when, but it's believed the iMacs and MacBook will be revel with the latest Intel processors and new AMD GPUs and standardize on the new USB-C connectors and Thunderbolt 3 (probably on the iMac only)?
V Qualcomm accused of bullying Apple
V U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm accusing the them of violating the FTC Act and, among other things, forcing Apple into an exclusive deal to buy its baseband chips
* Apple had gone to ask Qualcomm for lower patent royalties and Qualcomm made the lower rates conditional on Apple buying it's baseband chips exclusively from 2011 to 2016
* Why some iPhones can now use non-Qualcomm chips.
V The FTC has been investigating Qualcomm since 2014.
* They believed the company was abusing FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) patent commitments.
* Qualcomm was fined $853 million by the South Korean Fair Trade Commission for using similar practices with Korean partners.
V Qualcomm issued a press release denying doing anything wrong and calling the FTC accusations "significantly flawed".
* Qualcomm says the FTC still lacked basic information about the industry and were relying on inaccurate information and presumptions.
* They feel the FTC has filled the lawsuit pre-maturely.
V Days after the FTC announced it's lawsuit CNBC reported that Apple is suing Qualcomm for $1 billion in patent royalties
* The suit claims that Qualcomm withheld $1 billion in payments due to Apple as retaliation for Apple responding truthfully to (South Korean) law enforcement agencies investigating Qualcomm.
* Apple's suit also alleges that Qualcomm has " unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with" and that "Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined."
* Qualcomm is in the process of reviewing the complaint but feels that Apple's claims are "baseless" and they look forward to "the opportunity to have these meritless claims heard in court where we will be entitled to full discovery of Apple's practices and a robust examination of the merits".
V Ready for Apple Pencil 2?
* When we get new iPad, which could be this Spring, a report from the Chinese microblogging site Weibo says we will also get an updated Apple Pencil
* The killer new feature… magnets
* You will be able to attach the pencil to the iPad's bezel when not in use.
* But wait there's more… it will also come with a standard pen clip so you can attach it to your body too.
* There could also be some new antenna technology.
V What I wish Apple to do?
* An eraser on the "cap" end (use orientation)
* Wireless charging. Serenity Caldwell says maybe even dock right onto the Smart Connector, interesting thought.
* Also what about different styles of tips?
V Quick re-cap on rumored iPad updates
* A 9.7-inch "low cost" iPad
* An updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro
* A new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, to replace the current 9.7-inch model
* All will feature a new A10X processor.
* The 10.5-inch will also have a higher pixel density and reduced bezels.
V Until this week the iPad and Apple Pencil updates were rumored to be happening in March.
* DigiTimes, as always, citing the "supply chain" claims iPads are still in the "planning phases"
* Because of that they believe new iPads may not arrive until the second half of 2017
* Makes sense for Apple to slow the roll of iPad releases considering recent sales trends and consumer demand for tablets.
V Software updates for all the things
* Mostly small updates fixing security issues and othetr minor bugs
* macOS 10.12.3, iOS 10.2.1, tvOS 10.1.1, and watchOS 3.1.3
V macOS 10.12.3
* Fixes for graphics switching issues that were causing battery issues on some new Macbook Pros
* Also some PDF fixes for Preview.
V Sponsor: Smile
V PDFpen Family
* Edit PDFs like a Pro with the PDFpen Family: PDFpen for macOS, PDFpen for iPad & iPhone, and PDFpen Scan+.
V One of the best things about having all the apps is you can have a seamless and consistent workflow across all your devices and platforms
* Add text, images and signatures to PDF
* Mark up documents with highlighting, underscoring and strikethrough. If you have an iPad Pro use your Apple Pencil to add hand drawn markup.
* Correct text in original PDF with editable text blocks
* Fill out interactive PDF forms and sign them
* Insert page numbers and specify positioning and format.
* You can move seamlessly between iOS and Mac using Dropbox or iCloud Drive.
* You can make your entire workflow paperless starting with PDFpen Scan+, including OCR, moving to PDFpen on your favorite iOS device to do editing or sign a document, and then bringing it home wth PDFpen for macOS where you can use advanced features like redacting or erase text, including OCR text or exporting to Microsoft® Word (.docx) format.
* See for details on the PDFpen Family.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Using SD cards to expand laptop storage
* Last time we discussed concerns over smaller built in SSD and flash storage in newer notebooks.
* I conceded that the ship has already sailed in many ways and we'll just have to find ways to "deal with it". Mainly turning to external options until prices come down and built in storage increases again.
V One option I didn't discuss was brought up by several of you, including Randy who had this to add.
* Play Randy's clip.
* Obviously this works great if you have an SD card slot, but new Macbook Pro don't.
* A 512GB SDXC card will run around USD $200 bucks or so.
* SD cards, while having fast access times, also typically offer slower data transfer rates than built in SSDs
* Still a good option for secondary storage, if you need it an don't want to go with an external drive.
* I also like the idea of external SSD options. Designs are getting really small vs traditional external USB drive. Still you're gonna pay a lot more per GB.
* I really don't find it all that inconvenient to use just a simple bus powered external HDD.
V Network backups after Time Capsule
* Because Apple is rumored to be phasing out the Airport and Time Capsule routers many of you have asked me to discuss other options for network backups.
V Time Capsule alternatives
* Synology DiskStation allows you to set up a shared folder and Time Machine user for network backups. It then appears to Time Machine as a Network Backup location
* Drobo offers similar support and connectivity with their network products, like the Drobo 5n
* Western Digital also has their My Cloud Personal NAS drives. USD $159.00 4TB (single drive), $244 6TB, and $299 8TB. Can use as TimeMachine drive with latest macOS and firmware on the drive.
V Roll your own network solution
* They offer a companion product called ChronoAgent that let's you backup and sync to a network Mac
* I do this with a Drobo I have connected to my old Mac mini.
* ChronoSync has options that allow you to archive and save versions of files.
V Use a cloud backup service
* It's not quite as convenient, but many cloud backup services, like CrashPlan do have file versioning as part of their backups.
* CrashPlan also allows you to use their software on another Machine for free to to peer-to-peer backups.
V Sending Messages with Apple Watch
V For me, when appropriate, sing dictation works best.
* Tap the mic icon
V I have set my setting to always sent the translated text, but you can change it.
* Open the Apple Watch app, tap the My Watch Tab, then tap Messages > Dictated Messages.
* Transcript, Audio, or Transcript or Audio (ask).
V Talk about using the Scribble feature Sometime you can't always do audio. Scribble is a great alternative.
* Draw out the letters.
* Make sure to form them as upper or lowercase.
* Scribble one right over the top of another for speed. Let auto-correct do it's thing.
V For any words that are wrong, go back and tap them to correct
* Will get a green box around the word
* Use the digital crown to scroll through alternate options.
* You can also use this as typing to get Scribble to suggest a word.
V Access recent standard emoji, Stickers, and handwritten text
* Tap the Emoji icon and swipe right
* After the "animated" emoji the first screen will be "standard" emoji. Swipe or use the digital crown to scroll though. Tap to select.
* Swipe right again to get to 'Recents'. This will include stickers, emoji, and hand written text.
* Stickers are sent as just a single message
V To use "Tapback"
* Double-tap a message.
* You can then choose the tapback icon (thumbs up, heart, ha ha, etc.)
V Send current location
* Force press when viewing a conversation
* You see a "Send Location" option.
V Here you can also access details and switch between "languages", keyboards.
* Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard
V Add your own Default replies
* In the Apple Watch app go to My Watch > Messages > Default Replies.
V Thing of the Moment: LittleBits
* This is not specifically Mac related, but something that I have a lot of fun with
* Great for making the leap from code to hardware
* Perfect for STEM and STEAM learning.
* [LittleBits]( are magnetic snap together circuits.
V They are color coded:
* Blue are power, pink are inputs, orange are wire (and logic), green are outputs.
* You can combine to make very simple circuits. Power + button (input) + LED (output)
V Or get much more complex.
* They have Wireless control bits
* An Arduino bit, so you can add custom code from your Mac
* They also have a CloudBit, to connect to wi-fi and integrate with IFTTT
* And now a Bluetooth Low Energy bit that lets you control your LittleBits circuits from your iPhone (or Android) phone.
* They also integrate really well with lego, so you can build your own powered LEGO projects
* Their web site and community are also great for learning and getting inspiration.
* They have great starter kits and you can but bits individually.
* My only complaint is they are a little on the pricey side, but so worth it and addicting.
* Plus go to and in the shownotes and entry for this show I'll have a "refer a friend" link that will get you $20 off your Little Bits purchase. LittleBits is not paying me and they are not a sponsor, but I will also get $20 off my LittleBits purchase for each person who uses this link.
* Use [this link]( to get $20 off LittleBits
V Closing
V Maccast AirPod Giveaway
* We are giving away a set of AirPods
* This weeks word was one of my favorite machines the White iBook G4 codenamed the "Q72"
* This is your final word for the giveaway.
* So how to enter? This Wednesday January 25th go to and there will be a form. Fill that your with your email address and the three secret words.
* I'll give away the Airpods and notify the lucky recipient on February 14th, Valentines day.
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V Thanks to my sponsors
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