Maccast 2017.07.28 - Show #622
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Smile
V TextExpander
* Think about how much time you spend typing each day. Even if you're just doing it for personal stuff, emails, surfing the web, daily correspondence.
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* You can even automate using AppleScript, Shell Script, and JavaScript snippets
V But don't let the powerful potential of TextExpander scare you off either.
* They help you get started with features like snippet suggestions (it'll watch what you type), create snippet from selection (good when you realize you've typed the same thing for the third time), and pre-made public groups from Smile and others ( I use a great one for HTML code and just discovered some [cool Slack snippets]( https:// /entry/textexpander-crossover-collaborate-better-in-slack-with-text-snippets/)).
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* Big thanks to Smile for their support of the Maccast
V News
V Apple's growing investment in OLED
V As you may know Apple's next iPhones, the iPhone 8 is expected to be Apple's first model to feature OLED displays.
* It's not 100 percent clear at this point if iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus will feature traditional LCD technology or OLED, though most rumors say Apple will stick with LCD for those models.
V You might also know this is creating a supply problem for Apple (and others). It's believed that this time around Samsung is the sole supplier of OLED displays for the iPhone 8 Apple, a situation that Apple never likes.
* In fact estimates are that Samsung is expected to make at least 160 million OLED iPhone panels over the next two years.
* To that end it's looking like Apple is focused on and investing pretty heavily in their OLED future (and beyond).
* According to the ET News, Apple has bought Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) machines used or the fabrication and synthesis of thin film polymer materials and has setup a research & development line in Taiwan dedicated to OLED screen technology.
* The likely situation is that Apple plans to develop and refine machines and technology used to produce OLED panels and then invest in and lease machines and technology to suppliers who can help Apple with future OLED production.
V Some of Apple's OLED production investment also does seem to be in the works.
* They have supposedly reached a deal with LG and will provide a larger portion, $2.7 Billion, of the revenue they need to build a new $3.5B OLED display facility in South Korea according to Korea Economic Daily.
* LG has been said to be making a total of a $7 billion investment in building out future OLED production in hopes of gaming more of Apple's, and others, business.
V Some possible good news/ bad news for those of us who hope TouchID stays around in the iPhone 8
* Jun Zhang from Rosenblatt Securities told his investors in a note that Apple is not planning on dumping TouchID in favor of facial recognition in the next iPhone.
* Still because of that the investor believes that full production of the iPhone 8 might not ramp up until the end of September.
* He even is willing to predict some, albeit bleak, number. 25 million units in September and 60 million through the holiday quarter.
* Mac Otakara also reported this week that the iPhone 8 may not start shipping out until October or early November. They also say there is no evidence that TouchID will show up in the side button.
* And while the numbers seem pretty good keep in mind in the launch weekend Apple has historically sold north of 10 million units. And in the holiday Quarter for the iPhone 7 line they sold 78.2 million iPhone (granted ALL iPhones, not just new ones).
V More evidence that iPhone 8 will have high demand
* A recent survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) of iPhone buyer for the past quarter showed that 75 percent were upgrading from an older iPhone device
* Even more surprising though was that the percentage of owners switching from Android devices has gone up from studies of previous quarters.
* In the past 3 quarters the number was between 14 and 17 percent. This past quarter that was up to 20 percent.
* The Mac Otakara is also suggesting that the iPhone 8 might be like a Henry Form Model-T. You can get in ANY color as long as that color is black.
V The "sensor tab" is also looking more and more likely
* Would contain a series of 3D facial and Iris sensors (3), the receiver hole, and FaceTime camera.
* Believed that the UI toolbar in iOS 11 will but the status bars to the left and right to make a "seamless" effect.
V BGR reports on an iPhone leaker from Weibo called "Ice Universe" with an OK track record who claims to have details and Geekbench scores on the A11 Apple plans to use in the iPhone 8
* Single-core score between 4,300 and 4,600 and multi-core between 7,000 and 8,500
* The difference between in the range come from it being tested at different clock-speeds but he claims Apple will settle on a 3.0GHz clock.
* He also says the A11 will use Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) technology, which allows all of a processor’s physical cores to be utilized simultaneously.
* If the number are indeed accurate that puts it iPhone 8 well ahead of even the latest 10.5-inch iPad Pro in in single core tests (3.878) and just under the iPad Pros in multi-core (9,100).
* Remember that may claim the iPad Pros offer "desktop" level CPU performance.
V Hints of Apple Watch 3 and other hints
* Some of the Mac blogs are reading the tea leaves from an Economic Daily News report and they thing we could see a new Apple Watch soon.
* The site notes that Quanta, the main assembler of the Apple Watch is predicting a "strong second half" of the year which in turn has some thinking September could not just be new iPhones, but an Apple Watch 3 launch too.
* Apple is also believed to be adding a second company, Compal Electronics, to aid in Apple Watch production it's thought that they would be used by Apple to produce the older versions, like the Series 1.
* Now normally I might say this is reading too much in, but the Quanta specifically mentions profit growth coming from "watch production".
* The report doesn't give any details about what new features the Apple Watch might have, but better battery life is always in the cards. Also, possible new health and fitness features and maybe more autonomy through cellular data connection support.
V Hints of possible 4K movie support on iTunes and a 4K Apple TV?
* A MacRumors reader in the UK purchased the 2016 movie Passengers and while his download was 1080p HD the item in is purchase history in iTunes said the "Type" was Movie (4K, HDR)
* Another reader mentioned that the 2016 film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is also listed as 4K and HDR.
V HomePod details found in new firmware update
* Developer Steve Troughton-Smith dug into a HomePod firmware update pushed out by Apple (AudioAccessory1,1)
V Run full iOS, like an iPhone, but obviously with no screen and has an app called "SoundBoard" running (possibly like the iOS Springboard)
* Even so Smith notes the current version doesn't appear to support support third party apps or extensions.
* The firmware also indicates the device will have VoiceOver support
* The "Siri" touch surface will have a long-press to bring up and activate music and volume control and timers.
V The "screen" also seems to be a simple LED grid with RGB capabilities. Smith discovered a control framework for an LED matrix display when looking at the code for the display of the + and - buttons.
* It's entirely possible that this could be used to display other simple images. Like a clock, temperature, weather data, and more.
V The final days of Flash
* Yeah, I thought that happened like 2 years ago, but it hasn't.
* Flash refuses to die and still invades our live mostly in annoying auto playing video ads or links to video links we get to content on out of touch sites who still don't seem to understand how popular iOS devices are.
* Well Adobe has made it official and the funeral date is the end of 2020 (still forever from now)
* They say after that time they will, "…will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player".
* They also said they are working with partners like Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to open formats like HTML Video and Media Source Extension, HTML Canvas and WebGL, CSS Transitions and Animations, WebRTC, and WebAssembly.
* It can't come soon enough.
* One area that unfortunately has been slow to change is educational sites. So I guess it's nice they have another 2+ years to transition.
* Still Steve Jobs posted his ["Thoughts on Flash"]( note in 2010, so 2020 will mark 20 years later.
V Sketchy promise of three US Apple factories
* U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Wall Street Journal interview that Apple is planning to build three "big, big, big" manufacturing plants in the United States.
* According to the article Tim Cook "promised" to build "three big plants, beautiful plants".
* The claims was said to be made during a larger discussion about t business-tax reform and business investment.
* Of course Apple declined to comment and at this point I'd say the comment is really up for wild speculation and interpretation.
* It's no secret that Apple and the current US administration are not exactly on friendly terms especially on social issues.
* Apple has reportedly spent more lobbying this administration than any other. Still of the subject of corporate taxes and other economic issues Apple has appeared to be a bit more open in working with, or at least trying to work with, the President.
V Remember early in the year we did hear that Apple asked both Foxconn and Pegatron to look at options fro doing at least some of Apple's manufacturing in the US
* In fact Foxconn announced this week it would be building a TFT-LCD factory in Wisconsin, though that seems to be a TV display plant. (wonder about LCD panels for Apple's announced display?).
* Foxconn chairman Terry Gou has said Apple is willing to invest in the factory, so it's possible.
* Does this count as "one" of these? Maybe?
V Apple has never been opposed to the idea of doing more production in the US, but has noted that the lack of skilled manufacturing labor in the US and our lack of focus on vocational training is what presents the biggest challenge for making it happen.
* Recent reports have estimated that labor costs account for just 2.2% of the average cost of an iPhone.
* Before you get upset, its not that the US doesn't have highly skilled and highly proficient manufacturing workers. It's we don't have the "volume" of them that places like China or India do.
* They even created the $1 billion dollar "advanced manufacturing fund" to help stimulate US manufacturing growth.
V Apple does already make the current Mac Pro here in the US and the A-Series chips for iPhones and iPads. Corning also makes glass for many Apple products here in the US.
* Even still a 9to5 reports says that when Apple set up the Mac Pro plant things were rough
* 80 percent of workers were contract employees paid minimum wage.
* A former Apple manufacturing supervisor told the site that often workers who were dissatisfied with the job would just walk out and not come back.
* The plant also reportedly suffered from quality control issues at the start. Between 60 percent and 70 percent of Mac Pro machines coming off the line didn’t meet quality standards and were scrapped. Though it got better.
* If US manufacturing jobs are to be a reality for Apple it will have to be a lot better here and unfortunately that happening anytime soon seems unlikely. Not that it can't happen, but Apple, the government, universities, and others will have to really come together to change things.
V Jony Ive tidbits on Apple Park and AirPods
* In a Wall Street Journal interview said that his design team would be moved into Apple Park "in the Fall" and that they would be one of the last teams to move over.
* That seems to suggest that Apple hopes to be all in at Apple Park by the end of the year.
* Ive said he wanted as few floors as possible in Apple Park to avoid the need for elevators. It's four floors with Ive's design studios and Apple's executive offices on the top floor, so I assume there ARE elevators. (we've even heard about the button design).
* The idea is that employees can ‘simply’ walk to where they want to go with everyone in one place. The parking is a quarter mile away, with bikes and electric golf cart shuttles an option.
* Talked about more about the office "pods" which make up the main ring.
V He also said he told Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams he was thinking of Stormtrooper uniforms when he came up with the design for Apple’s earbuds.
* I think it's Rene Ritchie from iMore who has always referred to the black and white versions of the iPhone as the Darth Vader and Stormtrooper editions.
V End of days for most iPods
* Many noticed that Apple has changed it's website this week removing any links or references of the iPad Nano and iPod Shuffle.
* Apple later confirmed they are no longer being sold on it's website and will soon be removed from sale at their retail stores.
V Apple also adjusted the storage sizes and pricing for the iPad Touch, which is now Apple only iPod offering.
* They removed the 16GB model and dropped the 32GB model to the same price USD $199.00
* The 64GB model is also gone with the 128GB model assuming the USD $299.00 price.
* To be fair the writing has been on the wall for a while so while disappointing to some customers I don't think this is a surprise.
* Apple has not significantly updated the iPod Nano or Shuffle significantly since 2012 though they did revamp the colors in 2015.
V The biggest group of people I'm hearing from who are mourning the loss of these iPo d are those who prefer their small size for music while exercising.
* For you I see two options. 1) Stock up on a supply of your favorite device now, though how long they will have iTunes support is unknown. 2) Switch to an Apple Watch
* I actually think that the latter option is one of the reasons Apple felt it was time to discontinue at least the Shuffle.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V The iPhone Upgrade Program "tax"
V I think many of you know I'm not a huge fan of Apple's iPhone Upgrade (leasing) Program.
* Technically an 0% APR "installment" loan program.
* Let's users finance an iPhone for a set monthly amount at 0 percent interest for 24 months,
* At 12 months customers can "trade-in" their device and start a new 24 month loan
* You must buy and maintain AppleCare+ and have a phone in good condition at trade-in
* That last part is the one that I "worry" about. Apple uses a third party partner to assess "trade-in value"
* Still many on the program love it and have had a good experience
V Diego though brought up one issue with the program when launch availability of the new device is constrained
* He brought it up because last year he had this issue.
* If there are not phones available, then you may not be able to upgrade right at the 12-month mark.
* The issue being that you could wind up paying more on your existing loan with no additional benefit when you can finally get the new device.
* If you become eligible in September, but can't get an iPhone 8 until January and your payment is $40/mo. You'll pay $200 more on your existing load then you would have to have otherwise. Then in January you start a brand new two-year $40/mo. commitment.
* Some might say, if you always plane to be making a $40/mo. payment on your iPhone then what's the "real" difference? The fact still is though that you wind up paying more in the long run then you would have otherwise.
* Diego thinks that folks in the iPhone Upgrade Program should be given priority because if this dilemma, but I disagree.
* I still say buy outright and then sell and you'll come out better off, but that's just me.
* At the very least this is something to think about if you're thinking about using Apple's iPhone Upgrade program.
V More support for Apple Car as a Service
* This is something that I believe Apple is looking at and working to as a future part of it's business
* Apple has already confirmed it's work on "autonomous systems". The big question is how will it manifest?
* A recent piece from [The Next Web]( talks about the future "passenger economy, which Intel thinks will be worth $7 trillion dollars by 2050.
* More immediately this is about providing a seamless experience as our daily transportation moves from being a "job", something we do, to being an experience.
V There will be different ways of participating in this new economy and Apple could end up coming in at many levels
* One would be simply providing the technologies to help other companies create a seemless ride experience. An "apple" powered car.
* Or they could build their own cars and sell them to consumers.
* But I still think "car as a service" is where we're heading.
V There are also the services around the service that Apple could take part in.
* Payments for rides via ApplePay
* Entertainment services Apple Music and Apple TV, games, etc.
* Augmented reality, especially as information systems overlays on vehicle windows,
* Advertising
* Communications services, Messages, FaceTime, etc.
V Using iPhones Internationally
* Play comments and tips from John
V I wondered if a contact record required a country to be assigned to it for "Dial Assist" to work, but John said his wife's contact record was assigned a US address, so…
* "Make calls to your contacts and favorites while traveling abroad. (GSM) Go to Settings > Phone, then turn on Dial Assist. Dial Assist automatically adds the prefix or country code for calls to the U.S."
* The iMessage thing is great. If you use other "messaging" apps that is also an option too.
* I have never travelled internationally, but I get asked about this often and have heard many different theories for managing it.
* Would love to get recommendations and tips from you to share on future shows.
* Bulk editing, one scary possible way woulld be export tip say CSV and re-import on the Mac? I know there are tools for that. I would backup first. Maybe a way to write an Automator script to do it?
* I just switched to an ATT Unlimited Choice Multi-Line plan that includes Mexico and Canada without roaming.
V Promise, and danger, of AI
* Saw a [piece at the Verge]( about a new app that popped up that supposedly was using "revolutionary" AI to help identify mushrooms from a photo.
V The idea sounds cool and it would be "revolutionary", if it worked.
* Both the Verge and Motherboard couldn't get it to identify even basic mushrooms like button, shiitake, or chestnut.
* There were complaint on Twitter that the app could be potentially "dangerous" even deadly if an untrained mushroom forager used it and it misidentified a poisonous mushroom and edible.
* The articles were pretty critical of the developer and just a day later when I read the story it looks like the App was already changed from "mushroom" identification to "truffles".
V I totally GET the concern and the fact that the app didn't do what it claimed to do is bad.
* The developer said it was only meant to be a "guide" and the technology it used was "beta"
* If so, I'd ask why did he release it?
* Bad release and marketing choices aside, I still think we need to also be realistic about our expectations for AI technology.
* If you're trusting a "app" to tell you from a picture if the thing you're about to eat is poisonous or not then it you who might have the problem.
* Also, as far as I can tell, the app was just claiming to help you identify mushroom, not tell you, "this mushroom is edible".
* I really don't see this as any different than what would happen if a novice was using a filed guide book with pictures. With either method it's possible a mushroom could be misidentified.
* The app also should have come (I don't know if it did) with VERY clear warnings that it is NOT for determining the edibility of a mushroom. Only experience or maybe chemical analysis could do that.
* Let's be real, AI and computer vision technologies are amazing and can help us, but they don't and shouldn't replace ALL knowledge. AI is NOT a human brain replacement.
V Is Apple Pay failing at retail
* This week JCPenny started taking Apple Pay, including supporting Apple Pay for their store credit cards and rewards points program. Great.
* I know I keep bringing this up, but I need to know if you're experiences are the same as mine.
* I've already brought up the fact that even at many of the places I go to that take Apple Pay many of the "front line" folks still have no clue about the technology.
* Recently however I've had Apple Pay not work at locations where I've used it in the past, Albertson's is one example (Safeway buyout).
* Not only that, at MANY locations when I ask about Apple Pay I'm told, "no, but we take Samsung Pay".
* How is this even possible? It's the same friggen underlying technology?!! My only assumption is that retailers are choosing push back on Apple Pay for some reason.
* Outside the US I think it's not as grim and many of you have confirmed that. Still Apple needs to step up the relationships at retail BIG time.
V Apple Pay support in Apps and online does seem to be getting better though.
* I just used it to buy [Transmit 5]( and the experience was amazing. True buy, scan, done ordering.
V Hey Siri, iOS Fiddly
* Play comments and question from Alan
* I was very excited to try this out too and ultimately came away a bit perplexed as well.
* What I don't understand is why I cant put two apps into a split view by dragging on on top of the other in the multitasker like I can in Expose/Desktops on the Mac
* I think what you are proposing with Siri is great, but the also need some better physical ways to control this stuff as well.
* You also should be able to have the same app in multiple app pairings for sure
* Let's hope Apple is taking a lot of this feedback and incorporating it. Really the whole point of doing betas.
* If not in the release versions maybe a future update.
V Quick Tip: Get 2-Factor code anytime
* If you use Apple's 2-factor authentication then you know the drill
* You need to get sent a 6-digit code to a "trusted" device.
V Did you know there was a was on your trusted devices to get a code anytime you want, even in Airplane Mode?
* 1) Open Settings and tap on your account at the top
* 2) Tap Password & Security
* 3) Tap "Get Verification Code"

V Closing
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