Maccast 2017.04.18 - Show #610
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Atlassian
V Bitbucket
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V I've used BitBucket with several projects to help keep my team and code organized, secure, and on-track
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* Big thanks to Bitbucket and Atlassian for their support of the Maccast
V News
V Many faces, and backs, of iPhone 8
* What a week for design speculation and schematics leaks.
* The biggest question seems to be what is Apple going to do about that TouchID sensor.
V Rumors are that integrating it into the display is just not working out well
* What happens if they have to go to a plan B or C?
* Plan B, according to many, seems to be moving the TouchID sensor to the Back.
* I still think a 'square' sensor in the "function bar" area could do the trick.
* Some think Apple might just delay the release rather than not have the integrated sensor.
* Some are even going so far as to say Apple may dump the sensor all together and go with just a 3D facial recognition technology (BIG mistake if you ask me).
V Vertically positioned dual-camera sensors
* With the LED flash in the middle between the two sensors
* This is becoming a common theme
* Makes sense if you're going for a 3D camera system that might be use in conjunction with AR applications and/or a VR headset accessory.
* First time rumors that Apple may also be looking at developing/using a a dual-lens front camera system that could potentially be integrated into the screen.
V Design is said to be a glass and stainless steel frame
* 2.5D front glass, possibly curved back glass
* Almost completely bezel-less
* Thickness may increase from the 7.1mm of the current iPhone 7 to 8.6mm (almost as thick and an iPhone 4). Calls the rumor into question?
* Height width wise it's be just slightly larger than the iPhone 7, but have a larger display than the iPhone 7 Plus (~5.8-inches).
* Reality is there are currently several designs and iterations in the works.
V Diabetes monitor in future Apple Watch?
* In a report from CNBC
* Their sources say Apple has a “small team” of biomedical engineers, maybe around 30 or more, working out of a secret office space in Palo Alto.
V AppleInsider notes that back in 2013 Apple picked up former employees of the biotech company C8 MediSensors which was closing at the time.
* C8 specialized in non-invasive sensors capable of tracking substances in the body, including glucose.
* Working on developing sensors that can constantly monitor blood sugar levels to better treat diabetes and they've been at it for at least five years.
* There is no timeline for it being included in a production watch yet, but it's said they are conducting feasibility trials at clinical sites across the Bay Area
* It's also reported that Apple is bringing on consultants to look at getting through the regulator requirements needed to bring the tech to market.
* Development of a non-invasive way to detect glucose levels is said to be one of "“the most difficult technical challenge(s)".
* Since we first heard of development of the Apple Watch it's been rumored that Apple wants to add additional health and fitness related capabilities and sensors.
* So far it's just heart rate, but they have also been reported to want to do oxygen levels and glucose among other things.
* With this report they might be a few steps closer to achieving one of those additional goals.
V Multiuser support may come to Apple TV
V According to the site, The Verifier, tvOS 11 will bring multi-user support to Apple TV
* This would be ideal since the new TV app give recommendations based on what you're watching.
* Add profiles base don apple IDs and easy switching.
* The report also says picture-in-picture will makes it way to TV OS as well.
V The report only mention multi-user for Apple TV, but it's be great to see this in iOS as a whole.
* Devices with more storage
* Also TV app on iOS too.
* The piece also mentions Apple eventually adding a live programming guide and some kind of subscription TV content.
V RBC analysts have once again thrown out the idea of Apple acquiring Disney
* They say the deal would have "unique opportunities"
* They are vague about what those "opportunities" are beyond saying that the two companies don't have a lot of cross over and both lead there industries.
* The thought is they merger would offer diversification and could give Apple's services a boost. Specifically with a large content library.
* Disney, ABC, Marvel, Star Wars, and more could make from some nice content.
* My question would be with that much control who else would want to play ball?
* The actual likely hood of the deal, however interesting, is almost zero, RBC admits that.
* They estimate the purchase cost at more than $237B, more than Apple's current cash reserves.
V Apple get self-driving car permit
* Apple Car rumors have been quiet since Apple reportedly shifted focus on the project
* Now it's being reported that the California DMV has granted Apple a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state of California.
* One of the requirements to get a permit is outlining details for each specific vehicle being tested.
V Some thought that this permit indicates that Apple at least does have some sort of actual test vehicle.
* Bloomberg says though that Apple filed for a permit because it plans to start testing its self-driving car software platform on public streets.
* They say Apple will test their software in existing cars.
* The permit covering three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs and six drivers, according to a DMV spokesperson.
* If Apple does start testing something we will likely know it. They must file Disengagement Reports with the DMV that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicle.
* Apple supposed shifted focus from building a car to building an autonomous driving system under the direction of Bob Mansfield
V The 'Server-grade' iMacs
* The supply chain is beginning to buzz about the new iMacs Apple has promised us by the end of the year.
* The "chain" claims Apple is starting production of two new iMacs new iMacs next month with a launch timeframe between August and October.
* They also say Apple will grace us with a "server-grade model" near the end of the year.
* The high end iMac will feature Intel's unreleased Xeon E3-1285 v6 processor, options for 16 to 64GB ECC RAM, up to 2TB NVM Express PCI-e flash storage, and the "latest discrete graphics card".
* All models are expected to ship with USB-C ports and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.
* These specs seem to match a report i told you about last week from Pike's Universum. That leak also said Apple would deliver a brand new keyboard (which I assume to be a TouchBar version of the Apple Magic Keyboard) and an 8K external display.
V iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.
* In the past you would get the Apps included with the purchase of a new Mac and/or iOS device. Now free is just free.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Do we need an iPad mini
* Play feedback from Paul
* I got a lot of you who wrote in in defense of the iPad mini.
V Most echoed Paul's thoughts that the form factor was the nest for a number of applications
* Reading and watching movies
* Web surfing and email.
V Steven said he likes using his during his commute.
* Likes that it fits in a coat pocket
V Chris, host of [The Amateur Traveller](, point out that the iPad min is the perfect travel device.
* Backpacking
* Planes, trains, etc.
* I think the bonus of being able to carry on your person is good for security too in some ways.
* I would say most fans of the iPad mini also said they had a Macbook of some kind or desktop Mac where they did their "heavy lifting" for computer tasks.
* They also tended to prefer smaller iPhones.
* So I think when it come to device form factors, especially with iPads, it really comes down to workflow's and use cases.
* Really that should always be the deciding factor.
* I think Apple is right to maybe limit the option and choices for "in-between" devices to just a few.
* One iPad mini model in 128GB with wi-fi or cellular options seems right. I just hope they keep it around and continue to rev the internals.
V Handling calls with Apple Watch
* Have you ever been in that situation where your iPhone is ringing, but you just can't quite get to it right away?
* If you are wearing your Apple Watch you have a couple options.
V Take the call
* Raise your wrist and tap the green answer button.
* If you're having trouble hearing you can turn the Digital Crown to raise the volume.
* You can also use the Mute button during the call.
* When you're done tap the red hang-up button.
V Handoff the call
* For this to work you need to set it up in advance.
* Open the Apple Watch app and go to the General setting and make sure 'Enable Handoff' is on.
* Now if you start a call on the watch and then pick up your iPhone you'll see a phone icon in the lower left corner of the lock screen.
* Swipe up on that, unlock you phone, then the Phone app will launch and transfer the call seamlessly to your iPhone.
V Rather take some time to get to your phone?
* If you don't want to take the call on your Apple Watch but need more time to get to your phone, you can still answer with your Apple Watch.
* Instead of tapping the green answer button, swipe up on the Apple Watch (or turn the Digital Crown).
* Then tap, "Answer on iPhone".
* You'll "pick-up" the call, but your caller will hear this: Play hold sound
* Once you locate your iPhone do the handoff thing and pickup the call.
* Thanks to Gary for mentioning this trick.
V Don't have time to talk, but want to let the caller know you're there?
* Instead of tapping the green answer button, swipe up on the Apple Watch (or turn the Digital Crown).
* Then tap 'Send a Message'
* Then you can use the default Smart replies or Scribble. I guess Siri too, but then you could have just taken the call
V Customize the replies
* In the Apple Watch app, go to Messages > Default Replies
* Tap a default reply to change it.
* To remove a default reply or change the order, tap Edit.
V To defrag or to not?
* Nick has a Mac Mini server and bought an external 3TB HDD from OWC.
* He uses Plex and had all his media files on that drive.
* After about 3 mos the drive crashed and he couldn't access the drive.
* He now he is using a Time Capsule backup, but want to know about the need for 'defragging' when her gets the drive back up and running.
V Coming from the PC this is something he used to do, but he read on the Mac it's really not necessary.
* The exception maybe being when you have large files being accessed frequently, which he's doing.
V What is de-fragging and why would you ever need to do it?
* Fragmentation is something that can occur on a traditional spinning HDD because of the nature of how the file formatting and the mechanics of the drive work
* You write data to the drive in "blocks". When you first write a file to a blank drive it will fill all the contiguous blocks, typically from the inside of the platter (I think) out.
* As you delete files and rewrite it will try to keep files together, but the deleted blocks create "pockets" of free storage. The more you erase and write the more single files are apt to get broken up in various blocks spread across the disk.
* When this happen the head has to fly back and forth across different parts of the disk to read files and you state to feel the effects.
* Defragging is a process where you use software to analyze the holes and files and then move the bits around so the file fragments are put back together and the free space is consolidated on one area of the drive.
V More and more now though we have SSDs or Flash storage.
* Also operating systems and file systems are smarter and better at managing files and avoiding or dealing with fragmentation.
* With SSDs the controller writes data in a scattershot-fashion to multiple NAND chips and locations, using algorithms that only the controller understands.
* The OS "tricks" itself into seeing it as a hard drive with sectors, but the data is spread all over the drive by the controller.
* This is not an issue though because there are no mechanical parts. Fragmentation really just doesn't impact Flash drive performance like it did HDDs
* SSDs also have limited write cycles to defragging them would just cause extra needless wear and tear. It's generally recommended that you don't ever defrag an SSD.
V OS gots your back.
* Plus, the Mac OS (like you heard Nick) really handles a lot of the fragmentation issues, even on traditional HDDs
* The Mac current file system, HFS+, tries not to use recently freed file space on a disk. It looks for large free areas to fill first.
* The Mac OS dynamically gathers groups of small files and combines them into larger areas on your disk automatically.
V MacOS has something called Hot File Adaptive Clustering
* It watches for frequently-accessed files, that are read only (say applications)
* It moves these files to a special hot zone on the startup drive.
* As it does that it also defragments these files automatically.
* Finally, when you open a file, the Mac checks to see if it is highly fragmented (more than 8 fragments). If it ios the OS will automatically defragment the file.
* The OS will do these things as long as there is at least 10 percent free space on your drive (after that there's not enough room to move files around).
V What about the large files exception?
* If you are reading, writing, and deleting a lot of large files to a drive it can lead to more fragmentation.
* Most video editors will set up a "project" drive that they erase and move all the files onto at the start of a project.
V The erase and start fresh is actually one of the best ways to "defrag" a drive.
* Erase and restore from back-up.
* So in your case Nick you will probably naturally defrag your drive when you re-build it.
* It also was likely not fragmented in the first place.
* There are also 3rd party tools like [Drive Genius]( or [iDefrag](
* In all but a few extreme cases you don't need to defrag and it could even be bad for your drive if you're using an SSD.
V The state of AAC in podcasting
* I need to discuss this because I know there are many of you using Overcast.
* Explain an enhanced podcast and why i do it.
* Explain AAC support in iTunes and the Podcast app vs. chapterized MP3 support.
V In the latest update of Overcast Marco had to temporarily remove support for AAC chapters
* "Temporarily removed. Apple’s AAC chapter parser was causing a lot of crashes in certain conditions under iOS 10.3."
* He's considering writing his own parser, but it's 100 percent undocumented.
* Here the thing, MP3 chapters work fine, just not in ANY of Apple's apps.
* I have an [MP3 characterized version of the feed](
* I think we're at a point where Apple needs to let AAC go and support MP3 chapters or actively and full support AAC (the AAC files are smaller and better sounding at the same bit rate).
V Thing of the Moment: Internet Archive Mac Software Library
* [Internet Archive: Macintosh]( Software Library
* 45 Classic Mac titles that you can run in a Javascript emulator in your browser
* System 7.0.1 and 6.0.8
* Mac Paint, Dark Castle, Lode Runner, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Microsoft BASIC, Smooth Talker, and more
* You can also download the apps in .DSK files for your Classic Mac restoration project.
V Closing
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