Maccast 2017.05.13 - Show #613
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Atlassian
V Bitbucket
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* Bitbucket is the Git solution for professional teams helping over 5 million developers build with a purpose.
V Bitbucket gives teams of all sizes free private repositories with state-of-the-art features like:
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V I've used BitBucket with several projects to help keep my team and code organized, secure, and on-track
* I loved the ease of setting things up and the ability to easily integrate with AWS was key for my project.
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V News
V More on Apple Home Speaker
V Economic Daily News claims Apple's supplier Inventec in Taiwan has been tasked with helping build the new product.
* They currently are the maker of AirPods, hopefully they can produce the speakers faster. ;)
* The report is unclear if they are a component supplier or if they'll handle assembly, though it seems like the other logic choice, Foxconn, has NOT yet been asked to handled assembly.
* Rumored specs include one woofer and seven tweeters, an A8 equivalent ARM processor, and a W1 Bluetooth chip.
V In an interview with Gadgets 360 Phil Schiller commented on voice assistants and the lack of screens
* Mentions maps, photography, and games as areas where voice combined with screens are a better experience.
* Also mentions screen remaining important as the power of the voice assistant AI grows.
* What about a "continuity" like feature with the voice assistant. "Can I bring that up on screen for you?" Send to an iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV.
V Bloomberg reports that Siri Speaker has been tested in Apple employee homes for several months.
* They are not sure if the Apple offering will feature a display or not.
* If the Sonny Dickson rumor is to be believed it may have touch controls, but like not a full "display"
V For sure the product is going to need very good AI
* Apple confirmed acquiring Lattice Data a company with AI tech that focuses on "Dark Data"
* What is "dark data"? Unstructured data that is typically hard for a computer to analyze.
* Lattice supposedly has technology that make sense of unorganized "dark" data like images and text.
V As go iPads, so goes tablets
V As we discussed Apple's iPad business continued to see significant declines last quarter.
* From 10 million in Q2 in 2016 to 8.9 million in Q2 2017
* iPad earnings were also down. $3.8 billion last quarter compared to $4.4 billion in the same quarter last year.
* But Apple's not the only company dealing with shrinking tablet demand.
* IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report came out an in the first quarter of 2017 (1Q17) the entire tablet market shrank 8.5 percent.
* Still Apple saw the largest year-over-year decline of the major tablet makers in the IDC report. Down 13 percent year over year while Samsung was down just 1.1 percent. Low cost maker Hauwei was the big winner with almost 32 percent growth from last year.
* IDC cites consumers being less likely to upgrade tablets, greater smartphone dependency, and disinterest in the tablet form factor in general factors in the steady decline.
* On the good news side Apple still maintains the largest share of the tablet market coming in at just under 24.6 percent in the IDC report. That beats out number two Samsung at 16.5s percent.
* Also, Ming Chi Kuo thinks there is a greater chance that Apple might announce the new 10.5-inch "bezel-less" iPad Pro at WWDC.
V If you've run into "functional" issues with your Smart Keyboard cover Apple will take care of it.
* Some users have run into issues with faulty Smart Connectors, or keys repeating, sticking, and failing to respond.
* Apple will be offering a free three-year repair program on both the 9.7 and 12.9-inch Smart Covers for these issues.
* They're covered for repairs within three years of their purchase date and repairs must be from the Genius Bar, Apple Care support or an authorized service provider.
V Apple takes top "wearables" crown
* Strategy Analytics has come out with there most recent "estimated" numbers on Apple Watch sales (Apple doesn't break them out).
* They believe Apple sold 3.5 million in the last quarter.
* That would be a 59 percent increase since last year and means Apple has captured 16 percent of the worldwide "wearables' market beating out FitBit.
* The report notes there is a general decline in demand for "fitness" bands.
* It seems Apple focus on performance enhancements and styling in the Apple Watch Series 2 along with aggressive pricing strategies and marketing has been paying off.
V Apple quietly acquired Beddit, a leading sleep tracking company
* The "news" was discovered in a privacy policy change that coincide with an update to their iOS app.
* It noted that they had been acquired by Apple and that the collected data would be now used and disclosed in accordance with the Apple Privacy Policy.
* They make a sensor that goes under your sheets to track movement, heart rate and other biometric data via an iOS app.
V Apple loses one of it's top sleep experts
* In some odd timing
* A report from MobiHealthNews says Apple sleep scientist Roy J.E.M Raymann has left the company.
* He worked on Night Shift and also the iOS Bedtime alarm feature along with other ResearchKit and HealthKit initiatives.
* He actually left in April and is now here in San Diego working for SleepScore Labs which tries to help people who experience suboptimal sleep.
V A study by University of California, San Francisco says Apple Watch is 97% accurate at detecting common abnormal heart rhythms.
* Working with the heart rate app Cardiogram they tracked 6,158 participants with a deep neural network designed to identify the abnormal heart rhythms from Apple Watch heart rate data.
V Apple TV may finally get Prime Video
* Recode reported this week that Amazon and Apple are close to finalizing a deal to bring an official Amazon Prime Video app the Apple TV.
* Other rumors claim the deal began to come together "at high level" implying that Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos may have met to get things sorted out.
* They believe it could arrive in the 3rd quarter of this year (seems ripe for a WWDC appearance).
V And BuzzFeed seems to agree.
* They say the App will be announced on stage at WWDC and ship later in the summer
* They also say Apple TV will return to
V Apple and Amazon have been at odds for year.
* Amazon pulled all Apple TVs from in 2015 citing unacceptable financial model concerns and not wanting to cause "consumer confusion" about media player hardware sold on Amazon that did not support Amazons own video offerings.
* Hopefully now Amazon has "acceptable" terms and we can stop having to rely on AirPlay as a workaround.
V On it's own "video content" front Apple seems to be chugging along.
V The Prince estate is shopping around exclusive rights to an unreleased concert film recorded in Minneapolis during the "Purple Rain" era
* Reportedly there might be enough extra footage to make a documentary film about the concert.
V A new Beats 1 show featuring Metallica's drummer Lars Ulrich called "It's Electric!"
* Will be "unscripted" and "all over the place"
* Music from unknown band from all over the world.
V A week without iPhone 8 rumors? No.
V Sketchy research note from Hong Kong-based equity research firm CLSA.
* "High chance" the Touch ID sensor will be on the back
* Defies recent "leaks" from pretty reliable sources.
V JPMorgan analysts mention an "enhanced receiver"
* The "receiver" is the earpiece cutout above the screen (just think telephone receiver)
* Speculation is that it would have higher peak volume and more water resistance.
* They also claim AirPods may come as a free accessory with the iPhone 8. (that's insane and will NOT happen).
V Rumors that the iPhone 8 will include a 3D camera module capable of facial recognition.
* The modules will be made by LG Innotek.
* The technology would include face recognition, iris recognition and 3D selfies.
* Use algorithms from PrimeSense which Apple acquired back in 2013
* One report says Apple will pair a second 24mm or 28mm camera with the existing FaceTime camera.
* We've also heard about the possibility of laser sensors.
V Economic Daily News thinks Apple getting a handle on some of their supply chain issues and will begin selling the iPhone in October following a September announcement
* That would be welcome news, but I'd be cautious about it.
* Thy say production of iPhone internal components will start in June and TSMC will be delivering volume quantities of the new A11 chips using their 10nm process in July.
* Several other sources, including the reliable Ming Chi-Kuo who re-iterated his belief that there will be "severe supply shortages".
V Rear shells for next iPhone SE or iPhone 7s made from strengthened Ion-X glass surface on Weibo
* Seems sketchy.
* Speculation on pricing from Goldman Sachs analyst is USD $999 for 128GB model and USD $1,099 for the 256GB version.
V Apple brings "budget" iPhone to the US.
* Apple has a 32GB Space Grey iPhone 6 model it's been selling in price sensitive regions like India, China, and Taiwan
* Now Virgin Mobile is offing it at USD $199.00 with no-contract. AT&T also offers it, but for USD $345
V Apple's mapping "street team" expands territory
* Apple's mapping vans have been spotted in Connecticut for the first time.
* They are now know to be cruising in 34 states and in some locations in France, Italy, and England
* Apple is also sending vans into new areas of Arizona and New York
* The purpose of the sensor laden vans are to improve Apple Maps according to Apple.
* Apple Maps doesn't yet offer a "street view", but Apple says, "we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication".
* Some think they could also be collecting data for the autonomous vehicle project.
* Apple has a [website]( that lists details on where the vehicles will be operating and when.
V Older Apple Stores may get "refreshed"
* Apple announced a new store "look" back in 2015
* It started with the Belgium Store in Brussels and also the San Francisco Union Square store.
* A more open layout with rows of trees, the Genius Bar becoming the Genius Grove.
* Also wall sized Jony Ive designed video display and motion activated power sockets in the tables.
* Great for new stores, but what about the older ones or ones that don't have all that space.
* Rumors now of an overnight "refresh" at many stores on May 16th
* Try to better match the new look with more granite and wood.
* Probably more foliage too and a layout to give stores the "town square" feel of the other locations.
* I hope they get the cool display walls of the accessory "avenue".
V Corning is first Apple Advanced Manufacturing Fund recipient
* Tim Cook announced the fund to Mad Money's Jim Cramer
* Corning will get $200 million from the fund to support Corning's research and development, capital equipment needs and state-of-the-art glass processing.
* Apple's PR says their existing relationship with Apple has helped them create nearly 1,000 American jobs.
* At first the investment seemed like an odd choice to me, Corning is already highly successful.
V The idea behind the fund is for Apple to invest in advanced American manufacturing companies in hopes of creating more Us manufacturing jobs.
* Cook said Apple hopes to create a "ripple in the pond" effect around US advanced manufacturing jobs. With the jobs Apple creates with the fund spawning other manufacturing jobs around those jobs and so on.
* By starting with more advanced companies that have other manufacturing suppliers.
* As the larger companies grow they create opportunities at they facilities, but also even more at their suppliers.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V More Wi-Fi location strangeness
* Play comment from Eric
V Need to correct my comments about the technology
* I had said a few times that wi-fi location is based on the IP address of the device
V True often for browser based geo-location, but iOS (and other devices like routers) use media access control address (MAC address)
* A unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications.
* It's a combo of the SSID and the MAC address registration in databases from companies, like Skyhook, that can be off.
* Eric, in your parents case I would wonder if they purchased their modem or wi-fi router used or if it may be one provided by their cable/satellite provider that may have been registered someplace else, like Medford, OR.
V Slay your Lightning bunnies
* Many people responded to this story
* The tool of choice does seem to be a toothpick.
* Many recommended the plastic kind of flosser tools with "picks".
* Also the rubbery tipped GUM "soft-picks".
* The Swiss-Army knife toothpick was also recommended.
* In addition I received many images of slain "bunnies". All I can say is there are some disgusting Lightning ports out there in our community.
* No judgement, just an observation.
V Siri as a home assistant
* So with the rumor of Apple maybe bringing Siri to our living rooms I'm getting questions and concerns from the community
V The most vocal are those of you for whom Siri just doesn't seem to "just work"
* All I can say is that my experience with Siri is generally positive, but I know she can cause nothing but frustration for other (ask Ewen).
* No digital assistant is perfect. I don't understand all the love for Alexa for example.
* But that's not what this is about
V Ben asked what I think are some poignant questions that I think are worth discussion
* I'll move beyond his "Siri just doesn't understand me" issue. Not to be dismissive, but to say that's not a problem unique to Siri (Ben does say Google works "first time" for him)
V What I will say for ALL digital assistants is that they need to get smarter about interpreting words in terms of "context" and intent.
* When asking for "directions" it should be looking for maps locations and not assume "movies" for example.
* Also likely that I'm looking for something local and not thousands of miles away.
* Even better, time of day, I'm probably not looking for a bar at 7:00 AM, more likely a breakfast place or coffee shop.
V Siri's dependance on the screen/web
* As been points out, this will need to change
* Or, maybe not give Phil Schiller's recent comments
* I hope it changes
* Why many call Alexa "smarter" in my opinion.
* Dumping to the web feels like a "I don't know, why don't you look it up" answer. If I wanted to search Google I could do that myself.
V It's not just getting AN answer though, right?
* Again the assistant needs to be able to figure the intent of the query and retrieve and respond back with enough information to be "correct", but not everything.
* I don't want an entire article read back to me or the whole Wikipedia page.
* And speaking about that, if the assistant is using the web how is information vetted? What about any "biases"?
* See how things get really tricky really fast?
V Many people will say Siri is limited by Apple's stance on privacy
* This is a hurdle, but I don't think it's that big a road block.
* Apple has already proven they can do incredible AI calculations locally on a device.
* Siri locally has access to my contacts, location, schedule, mail, notes, to-do lists, apps, documents, etc.
* She knows my tastes in Music, movie, books.
* What I buy, with Apple Pay, etc.
* How much I exercise (or don't). Where I go and when, etc. When I'm typically at home and when I'm not. And when these habits deviate.
* Apple just has to just this data.
* Sounds creepy, but this is exactly how real world assistants operate. They know you so well they can anticipate your needs and respond appropriately.
V What about the challenges of a multi-user environment like the living room
* Voice and geolocation to know who's home and how's asking commands
* Parental controls?
V How to search for Apple help
* Corey was having trouble tracking down an answer to a question online so he emailed me for help.
* He also asked if I might give some advice on how best to search of help online.
V Skip Google and go a little more direct
* A little self serving, but also VERY useful, use the [Maccast Forum](
* Apple's [discussion boards]( or [support website](
* [Ask Different](, Apple StackExchange.
V General searching tips
* Put words your want together in double quotes
* Use "boolean" words AND, OR, ETC.
* Use natural language searches. Type out your question like you might ask it.
V Google specific tips
V Use the "Tools" menu
* You can use the "Any Time" dropdown to narrow the results. I personally almost always use "Past Year" or "Past month".
* For image searches there are TONS of filters.
* Use "+" or "-" to include or exclude words
* Use a "*" as a wildcard
* Use "site:" to do Google search on a specific site.
V BTW, Corey's issue was the cursor/text in MS Office iOS apps going behind/under the QuickType keyboard suggestions
* He would have to stop typing and scroll up to see his text.
* This bug seems to be fixed in the latest version of Word for iOS, at least for me.
V You can turn off the QuickType area
* Tap and hold the "globe" or "emoji" icon (keyboard switch icon)
* A menu will pop-up, you can side up or tap the "Predictive" option to toggle on or off the QuickType
* You can also turn off Shortcuts from this menu.
V Thing of the Moment: Artificial SuperIntelligence
* A [new game]( from the makers of the Carrot apps.
* No secret that I have a fan of the Carrot apps.
* The concept is another swipe left/right story game, like [Reigns](
* In this you are startup trying to create C.A.R.R.O.T and ASI (Artificial Superintelligence). The world’s first sentient supercomputer.
* But each "round" your start in a different parallel universe.
V You need to make decisions to keep four groups happy and in balance
* Programmers, Investors, Government, and the Public (bloggers, media, hipsters).
* In each world you're progressing toward one of 52 different endings. Which one is shaped by how you answer decisions that are thrown at you.
* There is a lot of pop culture humor and satire and of course CARROT is in it, so it's awesome.
* It's into priced at USD $2.99, normally $3.99.
V Closing
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