Maccast 2017.03.12 - Show #605
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V iPhone 8 ports, screens, and more
* Rumors, rumors, rumors and it's still only March
V iPhone 8 might have a new name
* "iPhone Edition" according to Mac Otakra
* I like this and also question it at the same time.
* Makes sense if the other models are the iPhone 7s, still adds a third naming to iPhone SE and iPhone.
V First off we have the Wall Street Journal
V Apple will replace the Lightning connector with a USB-C connector
* If it were any other publication I would dismiss this out of hand
* Still think Jeff Gamet might be right. Right rumor, wrong interpretation.
* They reiterate the rumors of a curved OLED display, no home button, and a touch screen "function" area
* Also, re-confirm the high "over" $1,000 USD price tag
V KGI Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo doesn't buy the USB-C rumor
* He says Apple will keep the Lightning connected but make internal component changes to allow fast charging capabilities.
* Basically allowing for USB type-C power delivery without changing the physical connector.
* Kuo says Apple will keep Lightning for MFi royalties and because Lightning still uses up less space than USB-C.
* There is also, I think, the vast existing ecosystem of Lightning to consider.
V DigiTimes says Apple will use new fingerprint sensor technology built into the display
* The system will use Privaris glass identification technology and an Authentec algorithm and software developed at Apple.
* The Privaris technology could have come about from developments based on the Privaris patent portfolio which Apple purchased in 2015.
* I still think there might be a TouchID sensor and home "button" integrated into the new "function bar" area of the display.
* The report also claims integration of other biometric technologies like ultrasound, facial recognition, and iris scanning.
V DigiTimes is also alluding to a possible staggered launch of Apple's new iPhones
* An announcement in September is expected to unveil three new iPhones. Two with the existing design and updated internals and the new "iPhone 8"
* DigiTimes is saying only the first two will enter production in July with the iPhone 8 not starting production until September.
* That would possibly mean the iPhone "7s" models shipping first followed by the 8s up to a month or more later.
V iGeneration thinks it could be those new 3D camera sensors causing the delay
* They say STMicroelectronics will be making the sensors, but will need some time to ramp up production.
V MacOtakra claims Apple hasn't totally finalized the build materials
* They claim only locked down are the 5-inch display, wireless charging and dual-cameras
* They say Apple is testing AMOLED and LED along with OLED and that they have models with and without home buttons.
V Maybe to that end MacRumors reported the new iPhone Edition may not have a curved glass display after all
* An IHS Markit analyst told them Apple will adopt a "flat" implementation of an OLED design.
* One reason why was fielded by Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate.
* He said OLED displays using a glass substrate cost less and can be produced at a higher volume than curved ones using a flexible plastic substrate.
V Not everyone is maybe excited about all the new enhancements coming to the iPhone
* Play comments from Paul
* I understand what you're saying, but a lot of those statements can be applied to ANY technology.
* My iPod worked, and still works, fine for playing music, but it 's really obsolete for it at this point. It can't do Apple Music.
* I have people to this day ask me why Apple ever got rid of AppleWorks, or what about Aperture?
* The thing is, technology moves forward and gets new features because that is simply what technology does. Without that we don't have technology we have relics.
* Apple has never been about looking backwards or standing still. Do we always "need" the stuff they develop no? Is all of it successful or revolutionary no? Would I want them o stop trying to improve things? Never.
* Also remember you don't have to buy the latest and greatest stuff and Apple's technology lasts longer than most. Can I still use my 4th Gen iPod, yup. Do I want to? Maybe.
* Someone pointed out to me this week that Apple's iPod Nano, which the currently sell, still doesn't support Apple Music or the Lightning EarPods (it does have a Lightning connector).
V Regardless of the timelines Apple seems to be lining up suppliers and beginning to get ready to ramp up production.
* There continue to be reports of suppliers increasing production capabilities and setting up new plants just to handle the demand from Apple.
* Interflex and Samsung Electro-Mechanics and a third from, BH, will be taking on production of flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs).
V Foxconn and TSMC are joining forces in an attempt to acquire a majority stake in Toshiba’s NAND flash business.
* Toshiba is looking to spin off its NAND flash unit into a separate company after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss.2
* The two companies are most likely interested so they can get a bigger stake of Apple flash business which is currently dominated by Samsung.
V Apple's has "thousands" working on AR
V An UBS analyst, Steven Milunovich, says Apple has over 1,000 engineers working on AR in Israel.
* Make sense because Apple has acquired two Tel Aviv based companies in the past few years
* PrimeSense, 3D based sensing technology. Stuff used in the original XBox Kinect system
* RealFace, cyber security and facial recognition systems
* Apple also acquired the German company, Metaio which focused on Ar technologies.
* Thought is that Apple could introduce AR technologies and SDK for the next version of the iPhone and IOS this year.
V One of the technologies is called, Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).
* SLAM uses a stereoscopic vision system to be able to do moderate 3D mapping of an environment.
* Metaio had developed one of the most advanced SLAM-based AR engines back in 2015 and has been quiet since Apple acquired them
* There is some who believe Apple is working on a set of iPhone connected "Smart glasses"
* Tim Cook has expressed excitement and caution around AR. Noting that AR is "…a core technology, not a product per se", but also claiming that "Augmented reality will take some time to get right…".
V Tim Cook says Apple will "do more in the pro area".
* Tim Cook recently said, "You will see us do more in the pro area, the pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular."
* The statements were made during a Q&A session at the companies recent shareholders meeting.
* The words are reassuring, but we've heard them many times before, yet it has been over 3 years since we've seen an update for the Mac Pro
* Also, the iMac has not been updated since October of 2015.
* Also the definition of "Pro" is very different for different people.
* During a separate question about touchscreen Macs Cook said he wouldn't comment on future product plans, but reiterated Apple's belief that they see tablets and desktops as separate product lines that serve different purposes.
V He said to expect Apple to do more to make the iPad a laptop replacement for many users also stating that iPad is not a Mac replacement.
* "To merge these worlds, you would lose the simplicity of one, and the power of the other."
V Apple Pay expands to more countries
V Apple launched Apple Pay in Ireland with support from KBC Bank Ireland and Ulster Bank
* Ireland is the 14th market where Apple has rolled out Apple Pay
* Apple's VP of Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, also pointed out in Ireland that Apple Pay is supported by Boon prepay. It's a European service and smartphone app that allows customers to conduct transactions at point of sale terminals that accept Mastercard contactless payments.
V Apple added support for eight new credit cards in Japan
* American Express, APLUS, EPOS Card, JACCS, Cedyna, Pocket Card, Life Card and UCS
V Possible next countries to get Apple Pay support should be Italy and Taiwan.
* Apple did announce that Italy would be "coming soon".
* Taiwan banks have recently obtained permission from the country’s Financial Supervisory Commission to offer Apple Pay.
* Germany has in the past been rumored to get Apple Pay so, but this week didn't see any updates to those rumors.
V Apple Watch sales continue growth
* The latest wearable market numbers from IDC show growth for Apple Watch.
* Likely Apple's new lower priced Apple Watch Series 1 is helping them gain sales against the growing market of fitness trackers
* IDC's numbers estimate that Apple shipped 4.6 million Apple Watches in the 4th quarter of 2016 up from 4.1 million on the 4th quarter of 2016
* Even with the increased shipments though their share of the "wearables" market declined slightly from 14.1 percent in 2015 down to 13.6 percent in 2016
* Keep in mind though that this is for the entire "wearables" market and there are an ever increasing number of low cost fitness trackers on the market.
* Also be aware these are shipping estimates and not sales. Also Apple doesn't share sales numbers and all these figures are really just "guesses".
* Still in the last quarterly result call even Tim Cook said Apple Watch set a sales record on the shirts week of Holiday sales and that Apple Watch had been on track to have it's best quarter ever.
* IDC seems to think Apple's marking focus on the health and fitness aspects, vs. fashion, along with the addition of GPS in the Series 2 is helping drive demand for Apple Watch.
V Apple looking for "original content" partners
* The New York Post claimed that Eddie Cue met with executives from both Sony and Paramount Pictures recently
* Recently we've heard reports that Apple might be looking to develop it's own original movies and TV shows for iTunes.
V This report seems to take things a step further claiming that Apple is looking for a "transformative acquisition" and not just content deals.
* Apple reportedly considered acquiring Time Warner and passed right before AT&T bought them.
V So far Apple's original content aspirations have been surrounding Apple Music.
* They are set to launch a series based on Carpool Karaoke and a reality based program based on App development called Planet of the Apps
* The efforts are to distinguish Apple Music from the competitors and make Apple Music a more "pop culture" based entertainment service.
V Apple is doing what Apple does and being very secretive and confusing about any of it's efforts surrounding entertainment content.
* It was recently reported they were meeting with film and TV producers about developing content.
* Still Eddie Cue has made statements that Apple is "not in the business of trying to create TV shows"
* The statements feel similar to the ones Steve Jobs made about not making a video iPod months before Apple actually made a video iPod.
V My question is should Apple be looking to acquire a studio like Sony or Paramount
* On the one had I love the idea of Apple using some of it's cash hoard to take on Hollywood and services like Netflix and Amazon
* But at the same time this seems like something that could be huge distraction from the core of Apple business.
* Apple has also reportedly been concerned about getting in a "bidding war" over content with services like Netflix and Amazon.
V This is also not the first report of Apple possibly buying a studio or production company
* Last moth there were rumors that Apple was in serious talks Ron Howard and Brain Grazer's production company Imagine Entertainment.
* Speculation ran the gamut of Apple possibly doing a distributions deal, making a strategic investment, or possibly buying the company.
V iPad event predicted for early April
* The prediction is coming from Apple World Today that Apple colluded hold the event on April 4th.
* Their theory is sound. Apple has held events in March, but keeps slipping the dates later and later in the month.
* Their logic falls apart though when they speculate the event will be held at the Steve Jobs' Theater at Apple Park
* Apple already announced that they would begin moving into Apple Park in April, but that several of the secondary buildings would not be ready until later. Specifically they said the Steve Jobs theater would be ready later this year (seems too soon to me).
* Shipping times for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro have continued to fall back and are now at 2 to 3 weeks.
* In-store pickup dates have been set for April 4th which seems to further support the rumor.
V Apple is expected update the iPad lineup with three new models
* A low cost 9.7-inch iPad Pro
* An updated 12.9-inch iPad Pro
* An all new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, with same dimensions as the 9.7-inch model and a bezel-less design and no home button.
V Apple already patched many CIA exploits
* WikiLeaks did what they do and leaked CIA data detailing the software and tools they use to hack into and monitor smartphones and tablets including the iPhone and iPad.
* In case you're worried about this sort of thing the best protection you have is to keep your devices up to date.
* Apple released a statement saying that the current version of iOS patches most of the flaws outlined in the WikiLeaks dump.
* For the newer exploits they say they are working on the fixes.
V Remember no matter what there are always bound to be new exploits and hacks.
* Your best protection is the same as always.
* Keep your devices and software up to date
* Be careful what software you download and what links you click on.
* Be careful when using open wi-if and other unsecured networks.
* Use VPN and firewalls when appropriate and possible.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Have you tried Swift Playgrounds
* Apple's Swift language is now the 10th most popular programming language, according to the Tiobe Index.
* If you have even a passing interest in coding for iOS development you owe it to yourself to try Swift Playgrounds (Free download from App Store)
* They have built in lessons, set up almost like a game, that teach you swift.
* What's cool is you write the code, press run and get instant feedback and debugging.
* 3rd parties can also make Swift "Playgrounds", like interactive workbooks, that you can download.
* Developer Steve Troughton-Smith has one that will let you try out [iOS 10s Floating Keyboard]( - Doesn't work on 12.9-inch iPad Pro :(
V About the AirPods sound quality
* Many of us in the community, myself included, have raved about the AirPods
* You've likely read a review or heard a podcast when they are discussed. Features like the ease of use, ease of connecting them, the cool case, etc. are often mentioned.
* There is also the technology, like the W1 chip and beam forming microphones, etc.
* Even the fit is talked about and wether your apt to lose them or not.
* All of these things are worthy of mention and discussion, but Kirk wrote in to say that there is something about the AirPods that too many of us are failing to discuss or mention. The sound quality.
* For a set of ear buds it's probably the first thing that should be discussed, right?
* Well I thought he was right and so I rung him up and we talked about it.
* Play interview with Kirk.
V One foot note Kirk brought up after our conversation if you decided to do your own testing and comparison is basically consider your source material
* Meaning that how the recording was engineered or mastered can make a big difference.
* Some recording were actually master for the technology and listening methods of their time. For example 50s recording that were designed for car or transistor radio playback.
* So just make sure your source material has the range and sound profile your looking to test, or hear.
V One other thing that was brought up by Gary was that some users are having issues with AirPods cutting out on phone calls
* I think we mentioned it here and there also was [a piece]( about it at Mac Rumors
* Seemed to possibly be limited to iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Gary noted that the issue might be somehow tied to AirPods that had been paired to an Apple Watch.
V Restart a Mac from the keyboard
* We brought up the recent issues with new LG UltraFine displays. Those are getting a fix that has started rolling out this week.
* But Alan noted that it's not just these new third party monitors that may be having issues with Macs.
* I also have a cheap, 24-inch HP Display and from the moment I got it I can say it has never gone to sleep properly. My wife also has a 21-inch HP display connected to a 2014 Mac mini and on occasion it does the same thing Alan describes.
* So what gives? Are all 3rd party non-Apple displays just crap when it comes to working with a Mac or is this an Apple issue?
* One thing I wanted to say Alan is that your VNC trick was a brilliant one, but might be a case of using a hammer to drive in a screw. It works, but may be more effort than is required.
V Many people don't know that there are keyboard shortcuts to immediately re-boot or shutdown a Mac. Obviously these only work if the Mac is responsive, but in your case the Mac is OK, it's only the display that is confused.
* Press Control-Command-Power/Eject to reboot the Mac instantly.
* Command-Option-Control-Power/Eject will shut it down.
* If you simply wish to log off, then Command-Shift-Q will do that.
* Finally, if you want your Mac to go to sleep instantly then press Shift-Control-Power/Eject.
V Quick Tip Join CD tracks in iTunes
* Andrew wrote me about a feature that I did not know existed in iTunes 12.
* Andrew likes podcast and audio books and occasionally still finds a deal at the local book store on audiobooks on CD.
* He takes those and imports them into iTunes and mentioned a feature that lets you "join tracks" during import so you can have one continuous audio file per CD, rather then broken into a bunch of individual tracks.
V How to join tracks in iTunes:
* Insert a CD in your drive (if you have one) and then select it in iTunes
* You'll see a Options menu near the top-right of the window. Select the tracks you want to join, then click that menu and choose Join CD Tracks.
* Then click the Import button.
* iTunes should then import the tracks you selected and joined as a single track.
V Andrew was having an issue thought where sometimes the "Join Tracks" opt-in was appearing and sometimes it was not there
* The only thing I can think of is that the Join CD Tracks menu item will not display if the CD is not sorted in track order.
* Make sure to click the column header above the track numbers and make sure they are sorted in increasing order with track 1 at the top.
V Thing of the Moment: Bumpr
* If you use multiple browsers or email clients on your Mac and need to switch between them depending on the links you're clicking this is great
* On the Mac you can only assign one Browser and one email client as your default.
* In my case I commonly need to open RSS and XML links to view the raw code. For that I prefer Firefox as Safari and Chrome attempt to open my RSS reader.
* Also, I want Flash video link opened in Chrome, but Safari is my default browser.
* Bumpr give you an in-place overlay to choose the browser or email client you want to open the link with.
* It's simple, but works well.
* You set Bumpr as your default browser and email client
* In the settings for Bumpr you can select which Browsers and/or email clients you want displayed in the pop-up.
* You can also choose to use a modifier key when clicking a link (default is Shift) to enable the Bumpr UI and set a default browser and email client for when you don't click a link using the modifier key.
* [Bumpr]( - $3.99 on the Mac App Store, it's 50% off right now.
V Closing
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