Maccast 2017.04.12 - Show #609
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
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V Jamf Now
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V News
V A delayed iPhone announcement?
* Typically Apple announces new iPhones in September, at least since, but this year (like with many other Apple announcements) may be different
* Economic Daily News is reporting that Apple may have to push that back due to production challenges in this years ambitious iPhone update
V They cite issues like:
* Trying to get the lamination process of curved OLED panels absolutely perfect
* Challenges with the new 3D sensing camera systems
V I would bet you could also throw in the "function bar", and new biometric systems (like the non-home button TouchID sensor), and wireless charging too.
V In fact, analyst Timothy Arcuri of Cowen and Company, recently noted to investors that, "…the biggest bottleneck remains integrating an under-glass fingerprint sensor into the display"
* He cites three "backup" plans.
* Ditch Touch ID and rely solely on facial recognition (not likely), move Touch ID to the back, delay the production but still announce.
* I see a fourth, use a "regular" Touch ID Sensor. I find it hard to believe Apple would not have at least thought of an alternative design to accommodate this scenario, but I'm purely speculating.
* New report this week that the "wireless" charging may in fact be Apple's "Smart Connector" and that it would also serve as a connection for a future augmented/virtual reality accessory.
V Apple may be scrambling a bit.
* Reports recently that Apple has upped it's OLED contract with Samsung for this year from 70 million to 92 million units.
* That's about 30 percent of what Apple ships in a year, so could OLED be destined for all 2017 iPhones?
* Some estimate Apple could ship 100 million new iPhones before the end of the year, so 92 million would come close to covering all.
* Samsung may have done some scrambling too to meet Apple's needs. They reportedly converted an LCD factory in Asia into an OLED panel plant to supply the panels needed by Apple.
V 9to5 Mac also notes that "going to production" leaks should be rampant by now, so either Foxconn has incredibly stepped up security or things haven't quite started ramping up yet.
* Where are our blurry "production" parts photos! Come on Sonny!
* DigitTimes had already reported that the iPhone 8 may not even enter production until September
* The A11 processors that will power all Apple's new iPhones do seem to be on schedule as Apple is reportedly ramping up production now.
V This may have been also the reason why we kept hearing about a possible announcement of the iPhone 8 in September, but it not shipping until October or November
* Remember that Apple is also expected to ship updated versions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but those are not reported to be part of the delay.
V In fact that may be still what happens. There seems to be three running theories at the moment
* Apple has a September announcement with the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus shipping and the iPhone 8 delayed until Oct/Nov.
* Apple has the announcement and all three devices ship, but the iPhone 8 is EXTREMELY supply constrained at launch at the end of September.
* Apple delays the whole event until sometime in October.
V I personally would want the last choice, but my money is on probably the second option. It would be like the Jet Black iPhone 7s all over again only about 10 times worse.
* Fanbois are not going to give two toots about the updated iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus.
* Maybe it's time to invest in eBay stock. Commissions on $5000 iPhones will be sweet.
V iPhone is still popular with US teens
* This is the second time Piper Jaffray has done it's survey.
* The talked with 5,500 teens in the United States with an average age of 16.
* Of them 76 percent said they owned an iPhone and 81 percent said they expected their next phone to be an iPhone.
V They also showed interest in Apple Watch though not quite as high. 13 percent of teens surveyed said they plan to buy an Apple Watch in the next six month. Up from 11 percent in 2016.
* Still 71 percent of teens said they prefer the Fitbit when asked about fitness bands.
V More on the iPhone chip front.
* Another Apple chip supplier might be on the chopping block.
* Remember last week I told you that Apple plans to start designing and making it's own custom GPUs, cutting out Imagination Technologies in a couple years
* Now their power management chip supplier, Dialog, might be next according to an analyst.
* Citing "unnamed industry sources" the analyst said that Apple was setting up power management design centers both in Munich and California and said Apple already had around 80 engineers working on a power management chip of its own.
* Apple could be using it's own power management chips in devices by 2019.
* Unfortunately for Dialog, 70 percent of their current business is supplied by Apple.
V Next Apple Watch may arrive in September
* If Apple does have it's event in September it may also deliver a new Apple Watch with it's updated iPhones
* Again both DigiTimes and Economic Daily News have said Apple Watch updates will come in the second half of the year.
* The belief in the timing comes from the fact that Apple announced the updated Apple Watch Series 1 and the Apple Watch 2 at the iPhone 7 event last year
V As far as what would be included in the update we've discussed much of it on past episodes
* Better battery life
* Cellular connectivity, possibly using CAT M1 technology that runs data over LTE using a low power and low data rates
* The design is expected to remain largely the same.
V No word on any updates to health or fitness features though many users would like to see those and Apple has many patents related to health and fitness features
* One of the challenges is that some of the things Apple may want to do could require FCC approval. A costly, timely, and somewhat public process.
* I do question if yearly Apple Watch updates are necessary. Seems like a longer cycle would create more significant and compelling feature updates and prompt more current owners to want to upgrade.
V In fact, just this week DigiTimes reported that Apple may be adding a new manufacturing partner to help keep up with Apple Watch demand
* Tim Cook had said in the last results call that Apple Watch had it's "best quarter ever".
* So far it's been just one supplier, Quanta, making the Apple Watch Series 2
* Now it seems Apple may add Compal Electronics to help keep up with demand.
* Still the report claims that he production of the Series 3 would remain exclusive to Quanta.
V Apple Pay contracts up for renewal
* The Wall Street Journal has a report pointing out that Apple's Apple Pay contracts with the many banks and credit card companies are up for renewal this year
* According to the piece Apple had negotiated three year deals so negotiations should be imminent.
* A lot of how the talks go could hinge on how each side sees the successes or failures of Apple Pay
V The Journal tries to allude that Apple Pay success has been "disappointing".
* Currently it's estimated that just 13 percent of iPhone owners have used Apple pay.
* The story points to issues like merchant availability and user reluctance with new technology as possible reasons.
* While they also not that twice as many users have tried Apple Pay versus the contactless mobile solutions of Apple's competitors.
V Apple doesn't seem to agree.
* Eddie Cue is quoted as saying that the company is not too worried about how quickly Apple is adopted by it's users.
* "Does it matter if we get there in two years, three years (or) five years?" he asked. "Ultimately, no".
V I think Cue has a point, especially in the US where contactless payments are a relatively new concept.
* At the moment it's estimated that over one-third of retailers support Apple Pay in the US, about 36 percent
* And that's up 16 percent from a year ago.
* That should steadily grow along with user acceptance.
* Remember too that Apple said Apple Pay transactions were up 500 percent year-over-year in the December quarter.
V No 8-core Mac Pro in Store
* If you want one of the new updated Mac Pro models with the 3.0Ghz 8-core Intel Xeon E5s and the Dual FirePro D700 graphics you have two options.
* Wait or custom configure it up from the 6-core model, pay the same as the stock price, and get it in 1-3 business days.
* It seems odd, but for some reason Apple has told their authorized resellers that the Mac Pro's new 8-core stock configuration won't be available to order by the end of April.
V So because you can custom configure one from a six-core and get it now the only obvious reason for the delay must be the new packaging?
* That was Mac Rumors theory
* See the 6-core model is the "old" top of the line model so no changes needed.
* Seems plausible, but odd.
V What's next for Apple's other desktop updates?
* Apple already said they would be delivering an iMac update this year along with something in the iMac line-up for Pros
* Disclosed at the blog [Pike's Universum]( by a "usually pretty accurate" "little bird"
V New iMacs
* Up to a pro-grade Intel Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor
* 16GB of ECC RAM configurable up to 64GB
* Faster NVM Express PCIe-based flash storage up to 2GB
* AMD graphics to support VR and Pro apps
* And a new keyboard (I assume the TouchBar one)
* Coming in late October
* An 8K Apple Display for the next gen Mac Pros.
* A not so mini "top model" Mac mini
V And finally the next macOS will not be named after a mountain/park.
* Two names in the running one starting with an Mmmm.
* iDownload blog points out that in April 2014, Apple applied for a number of trademarks in Trinidad and Tobago with well-known California landmarks and related terms.
* The 'Ms" are Mammoth, Monterey, and Miramar. Being a San Diegan I would hope for Miramar, but honestly of those names I'd say it was Monterey.
V What do you think about additional non-Touchbar Mac Pros?
* Thom Holwerda, managing editor of OSnews, claims “people and sources who know their stuff” said that's exactly what Apple is considering making
* Due to the backlash of negativity "Pros" have levied against the TouchBar
* Until last week I would have said that was crazy, now I'm not so sure.
* Supposedly after the new models came out Apple saw heavy demand for the refurbished previous gen models and that those went up as the new Macbook Pro reviews hit the streets.
* All this may be true, but many "Pros" I know love then new TouchBar Macbook Pro and the TouchBar.
* The new models could be launched along with a lineup refresh.
* No timeline, but maybe near WWDC?
* KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo already had said Apple may reduce prices on the new MacBook Pro lineup in 2017 along with introducing internal upgrades with support for up to 32GB of RAM.
V Beats 1 studio in an Apple Store
* Apple has been doing a major renovation of it's iconic 5th Avenue Apple Store in NYC
* They are expanding it from 32,000 square feet to 77,000 and it's still all underground.
* The location is open 24/7 365 and is always packed.
* The upgrade is said to be to help with handling all that foot traffic, but Apple may also have another idea of what to do with some of the space.
* According to an AppleInsider source they might just add a Beat 1 live broadcasting studio for DJ Ebro Darden.
* Darden already broadcasts from a studio on West 27th Street, in Manhattan
* It's not clear if the Apple Store studio would be a live full time space or if it would just be used for "special" broadcasts
* Either way it would be a cool draw and fit right in with other NYC "fishbowl" studios like NBC's and MTV's.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V File Vault 2 issues and concerns
* So due to a number of things in current events and also recent questions surrounding security and privacy on the Mac I brought up the fact that I think considering turning on and using Vile Vault 2 is a good thing.
* I use it on my 15-inch MacBook Pro and have for years and it has not been an issue.
* Still feedback has come in since the discussion started and there are some things to consider and some reasons why enabling FileVault 2 might not be for everyone.
V Don said that when he tried enabling it on his system it caused HUGE performance issues for dealing with large projects and encoding with Final Cut X
* I don't have first hand experience with this, so I can't say one way or the other, but it makes sense.
* FileVault would be actively encrypting new files and data as it's written to the drive. Personally in my experience I don't notice any performance issues on a day to day basis.
* In researching it I did find some benchmark test that indicate maybe a 5-15 percent slow down in read write operations for some users.
V I suggested that for Final Cut and other application that depend on fast read write operation using external TB drives or RAIDs that are NOT encrypted.
* Don mentioned he tried this but just having his main boot volume encrypted still resulted in performance issue for him
* Has anyone else experienced this?
V Justin also wrote in to remind us about making sure you have more than one backup before making major system or file changes
* After I brought it up he decided it would be a good idea to enable FileVault
* Unfortunately an all three of his machines he ran into various issues.
V Most serious being that the MacBook Pro got "paused" during encryption with no way from the GUI to cancel or stop it.
* Apple remedy is to start over and restore from backup. Even after restoring from backup the issue persisted.
* Justin thought this might be because he had successfully encrypted the backup drive and pulled an new encrypted backup.
V Pretty sure that the backup wasn't in the "paused" encryption state.
* Once you are logged into your system via FileVault the system is unlocked and any operations, like backup, happen unencrypted. Once you log out or shut down then things are encrypted until you enter your credentials again.
V So what to do:
* Again know that you have several full, good, backups before starting is key.
* There are Terminal commands you can use to monitor the encryption process and to enable or disable it.
* Google 'fdesetup' or read the manpage in the Terminal for 'fdesetup' for details
V He also noticed a system performance issue after enabling FileVault 2
* This is normal as the system works to encrypt the entire contents of the drive in the background.
* Overall it shouldn't be too bad, but if there are issues with the drive or corrupt files I guess it could be a problem.
* Note also that depending on the size of the drive the encryption process can take some time.
V On one of the iMac the encryption worked fine, but after restart he said he was unable to use his wireless keyboard to log in
* What is likely happening here is that they way FileVault protects you at boot up is is uses an EFI pre-boot environment to handle the password and login.
* In this mode none of Mac OS X drivers will are loaded, so if you have accessories that need their own drives, like some 3rd party wireless keyboards, those may not work.
* You'd need to use a wired USB keyboard or the keyboard built into the laptop. Or MOST Bluetooth keyboard should work because a basic generic Bluetooth keyboard drive IS loaded with the EFI.
V DNS, VPN, and Email security
* These topics have garnered a LOT of feedback.
V Let's start with my comments about securing your Email from your ISP
* I think some of my comments may not have been clear.
* There are basically two things you need to be concerned with when it comes to protecting your email. 1) What happens during communication and transmission and 2) What happens with the email that is stored on the server and at the points of origin and destination.
V When I brought this up I mentioned that for ALL your email communication and transmission you should make sure your email provider or ISP allows you to use SSL/TLS, but I didn't go into much detail
* Need to make sure that ALL your email providers support this and enable it for both incoming and outgoing communications on ALL your email clients. (Thanks Bart)
* Most modern email clients default to SSL/TLS by default, but it never hurts to check the settings. Look for an SSL or TLS options and make sure it's on.
* This is important because without it during transmission your email and all it's "headers" would be sent "in the clear"
* Those "headers" contain information like your email address, all the recipient email addresses (including the BCCs), and the email's subject. So even if you use PGP or SMIME to encrypt the email contents a lot can still be gleaned form just that header data.
* Probably the easiest way to secure your emails while sending and receiving from your computer or device would be to use the web based email client over SSL/TLS.
V So about encrypting the contents and why I mentioned SMIME or PGP, which are hard to set up, configure, and use BTW.
* I did this because the context of the conversation was the recent legislation surrounding ISPs and their ability to use and sell your data.
* Many pointed out to me that if you're using SSL/TLS to send and receive your emails that your ISP would NOT be able to see the headers or contents of your email.
* Correct if you're connecting to a 3rd party email service like Google, Yahoo, etc., but many people use the email address provided by their ISP.
V Finally, just to make things even more scary.
* Even if you use SSL or TLS it is only providing the transit encryption from your email client to the email server you use. After that the email is routed and handed off to many other ISPs and servers in rout to it's final destination.
* There is no way in knowing if or when that transmission is encrypted or not. Also it's my understanding that the in-between server tend to store copies of the emails in transit in case of a failure and a need to resend.
* Finally who know how your recipient is connecting or storing the email once at it's destination.
* Bottom line, if you're looking for a easy secure, private, encrypted way to communicate email is probably not it.
V Bart also brought up an even bigger reason why the advice to change your DNS away from your ISP is bunk
* DNS queries and responses are in plain text and all that traffic has to go through your ISP anyway. They can still see what sites you are requesting to go to and track that.
* Still there are many other good reasons to use a DNS service other than your ISPs, just security and privacy is not one of them.
V Finally on VPNs
* We discussed that advantages and disadvantages on the last few shows but as Bart pointed out I missed a couple of other important tips.
* When you do decide to use a VPN you probably want to choose an end-point in a country that has with strong privacy laws, that would probably NOT be the US. Bart suggests "any country in the EU". ;)
V And if you decide you want to not use a service, but "roll your own" VPN.
* Probably don't want to use your home Mac because of the ISP point of origin I mentioned last time.
* Get a hosted virtual machine server in a privacy friendly country and set up your OpenVPn server there.
* Bart researched this a bit last year and found for him Digital Ocean had great plans staring at $5/mo with a good mix of value, quality and trustworthiness including offering 2FA.
* If you want he has this [referral code](, for a $10 credit to you and that will give hime a $25 credit.
V Thoughts on Clips
* Apple latest attempt at doing something in social media that might be a hit is out
* You can get the new 'Clips' app from the App Store now. Have you tried it? What do you think?
* I played with it briefly and it's interesting.the
* I have seen a lot of "Clips" being posted, but many of them just to make fun of the ugly gradated backgrounds.
* Still it seems kind of fun.
* The UI is a little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it it's pretty easy
* The idea is to take a bunch of short clips, either from the camera or camera roll, and string them together to make a short video
* You can add in live effects, emoji and stickers, text, and music.
* Once you have something you like you can share it to iMessage, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more.
* Live Titles that use speech to text to let you apply titles and speech bubbles that match the video
* It doesn't just have to be short. You can have individual videos of up to 30 minutes and total video length of an hour, but really it's design for short social media sharable video i think.
* Clips is 64-bit only.
V More Terminal path tricks
V A show or two back I was discussing Terminal and gave one of my favorite tricks for entering long paths
* You can simply drag a file or folder into an open Terminal window and it will echo out the full path for you.
* Elliot wrote in to point out a couple more handy tips.
V Use the Services menu.
* Go into Settings > Keyboard and click the 'Shortcuts' tab
* On the left find and select the "Services" section and then look for an entry on the right called, "new terminal at folder" and check that on.
* Now anytime you're in the Finder if you Control+Click (right+click) a file or folder in the contextual menu under Services you'll see an option for "New Terminal at Folder", selecting that will launch a new Terminal widow and place right inside that directory. You can verify by typing the 'pwd' command. ;)
* He also mentioned the handy terminal command 'open'. Type that, plus a space, and then name of or path to a file in the terminal and it will attempt to open that in the Finder just as if you had double-clicked it from a Finder Window.
* I use this frequently when I want to edit a file from the terminal in Sublime Text, my code editor, rather the using a Terminal editor like VI or Pico.
V Apple Pay and refunds
* Gary wrote in to ask what I thought was a good question about Apple Pay and refunds.
* Specifically, how do you do it?
V Typically when you go in to return an item to a retail store it works like this:
* They ask to see your credit card, use that to pull up your past order, issue a refund or credit back to the card.
* With Apple Pay there is no card, so what do you do?
V Apple has [this support page]( which explains the process
* It's somewhat the same, but instead of a credit card number the cashier can use the 'Device Account Number'
V You can get the last 4-5 digits of the Device Account Number like this:
* For your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay, and tap the card.
* For your Apple Watch, open the Watch app on your iPhone, go to the My Watch tab, tap Wallet & Apple Pay, then tap your card.
V To credit back to the "card" using the device account number
* On the device that you used to make the original payment, select the card that you want to be refunded. Remember to use the card registered within Apple Pay, not your physical card.
* On your iPhone, hold the device near the reader and authorize the return with Touch ID or passcode. On your Apple Watch, double-click the side button and hold the display of your Apple Watch within an inch of the contactless reader.
* That's it. Just like with a traditional credit card return Apple says it can several days for the return transaction to appear on your credit or debit card statement.
V The only question I have is what happens if you have de-registered and re-registered a card in Apple Pay since the time of purchase?
* I assume the Device Account Number will have changed, but maybe not?
V Closing
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