Maccast 2017.08.16 - Show #624
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V Sponsor: Away
V Away
* Simply put Away is the perfect luggage. It really is.
* Let me tell you why. It's a company founded by two friends from New York who wanted to solve their own travel problem. Stuck at an airport with delayed flights, drying phones, and no access to charging. Solution? Luggage with a built in charger.
* The developed the Away Carry-On, but then it goes so much further.
* They asked thousands of people about their issues with travel and luggage and designed bags to solve those problems too. Thus designing the perfect bag and selling it direct to cut out the middle men.
* That means premium lightweight luggage that looks and works great, but at a much lower price.
* They have nine colors and four sizes: The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium, or The Large (for Extended Stays)
* All suitcases made with a very lightweight premium German polycarbonate, unrivaled in strength and impact
* The interior has a patent-pending compression system, so you can squeeze in a lot more in a compact bag.
* Great 360-degree spinner wheels for smooth gliding through the terminal.
* TSA-approved combination lock.
* Removable, washable laundry bag keeps dirty clothes separate from clean.
* Both sizes of the Carry-on bags can charge yourUSB devices like smartphones and tablets and more. And the Carry-On sizes that are compliant with all major US airlines.
V They sent me a Carry-On bag and I was able to travel with it and it was awesome.
* First it looked great. I ended up gate checking it and was even complimented on the bag, something that I've never had happen.
* I was worried when I first felt the shell because it was so lightweight and flexible, but it is incredibly strong and durable. The slight flex also is good if you need to squeeze in just a few more things.
* Plus, all Away luggage comes with a Lifetime warranty: if anything breaks, they will fix or replace it for you for life.
* The compression system and organization was great, I fit WAY more than I thought and had room to spare.
* Of course the charging came in handy during the layover. Not having to fight for a spot with the others camped out around the charging stations.
* My favorite feature was the laundry bag. Such a simple thing, but so useful.
V So here's the deal…
* You can go to to see all their awesome luggage and luggage sets and when you purchase using the code 'maccast' at checkout you'll get $20 off a suitcase
* They will ship any Away order within the lower 48 states and you get a 100-Day Trial with your bag: live with it, vibe with it, travel with it, Instagram it – if at any point you decide it’s not for you, return it for a full refund – no questions asked.
* So go to and use the code: maccast at checkout to get your Away bag now.
* Big thanks to Away.
V News
V Apple’s #1 leaker, the HomePod
* Well at least it’s Firmware and a couple of key developers. Steve Troughton-Smith and
V For the HomePod itself
* Runs on a full iOS stack and has a “shell” app called Soundboard
* LED matrix on the top-screen with a resolution of 272 x 340.
* 1GB of RAM
* Nikkei is reporting production quantiles of HomePad at just 500,000 units this year, so looks like this will be yet another highly constrained Apple product.
V For the iPhone 8
V The firmware includes numerous references to infrared face detection ( ‘Pearl ID’) within the BiometricKit framework
* The same one that covers TouchID
V A number of “FaceDetect” methods. Including pitch, yaw, roll, multiple faces.
* Also seems to indicate that detection will be able to happen at multiple angles and even when partially obscured (like maybe when wearing sunglasses?)
* Uses images and 3D models of the face.
* There are "perl" references for both front and back cameras, though "facial recognition"
* There are also indications it may work with multiple faces, and may be accessible by third-party apps (if it is replacing TouchID, that seems necessary hopefully without re-coding apps).
* References to IR camera sensors, which seem to confirm rumors.
V Another developer, Guilherme Rambo has also been digging
* Found the "D22" codename and also references to iPhone 9,9 which is presumed to be the iPhone 7s.
V There is a “glyph” for a “D22” device, the rumored iPhone 8 codename, that shows a display with notches.
* The image was buried in the framework that handles authentication for Apple Pay.
* There are references to a new "split" status bar.
V Troughton-Smith notes he's seen nothing to indicate an ultrasound under-display TouchID concluding "quash that one"
* I don't know if I'd go that far.
* There are references to a "home indicator" (virtual button) that might also be resizable and able to be hidden
* In a note to investors Ming-Chi Kuo says Apple has "cancelled" plans to embed a fingerprint recognition solution under the glass in the iPhone 8. Worse he claims Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, which should be announced before the iPhone 8, could feature such technology.
V Other things found:
* An "active" display area with a three-times resolution screen at 2,436 by 1,125 pixels (521 pixels per inch, up from 401ppi in the iPhone 7 Plus)
V The total resolution of the device is 2,800 by 1,242 pixels and that could account for the rumored "function area"
* But Steven says he'd seeing nothing that even hints at the iPhone 8’s rumored function area. That it's just more screen space.
* Possible "tap to wake" feature (double tap on screen), helpful with no "home" button.
* References related to HEVC, or H.265, encoding indicate possible support for 4K video recording at 60fps.
* iOS 11 has something called, "SmartCam" that seems to be related to auto scene recognition that would adjust camera settings accordingly for the best shots.
* Could have an option that mutes notification sounds when you're looking at the phone.
V Apple is getting ready for launch
* According to ETNews, Samsung Display is getting ready to operate seven of its next-generation OLED lines at full capacity in August.
* They will be moving from producing 15,000 panels per month to 105,000 panels per month.
* And in case you're asking yourself how that translates to "millions" of iPhones at launch (I was)… They get multiple screens per/panel.
* Still, at full capacity they say they can make 130 million 5.8-inch iPhone screen per year, but yields are expected to be at least 60%.
* Working the math backwards I get ~6.5 million screens per month, so a September launch would have 13 million phones ready at best? Considering that is a modest launch weekend number… hope my calculations are off.
V My predictions could be too high though.
V Ming Chi-Kuo thinks Apple will offer the iPhone 8 in three colors, black silver, and gold (??).
* The "gold" is looking to be more like a "copper" color that is reportedly called, "blush gold"
* The new designs and leaked components seem to indicate a all glass front, curved metal frame sides, and an aluminum back covered by glass.
* A German blog claims the extra glass back cover will add 0.1mm of thickness to the new model. Other dimension are just slightly wider and taller than the current iPhone 7 models and the camera bump will be thinner.
* The 8 along with the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus will be announced in September and all have the same launch date (though he doesn't indicate when).
V The iPhone 8 will be in "extremely short supply" at launch, he thinks just 2 to 4 million units will be produced this quarter.
* Still he expects production to ramp up quickly saying Apple will reach 45 million to 50 million units by the end of the year.
V A more recent report from the Korea Herald, based on supply chain, claimed Apple is pushing back the launch of the "iPhone 8" to November, but keeping the September launch for the iPhone 7s and 7s Plus.
* Cites an "unfinished design" and technical issues
* Don't put much stock in this rumor myself.
V Naming speculation is all over the place
* I've been saying iPhone 8, iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus, but not convinced this is the final naming
* John Gruber threw out: "iPhone 8," "iPhone 8 Plus," and "iPhone 8 Pro." or more simply: "iPhone," "iPhone Plus," and "iPhone Pro."
* I like the latter a lot and it matches what Apple is doing with the iPad and Mac lines.
* Storage sizes for the iPhone 8 are rumored to be two options 64GB and 256 GB with the 7s models coming in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB in black, silver, gold, and rose gold.
V Slim details on Apple's AR glasses
* AppleInsider reported on a Financial Times piece
* Updates on Apple AR glasses that have been reportedly in development for a while.
* Seems like more questions then answers at this point. Apple playing with how a final product implementation will work
* Working out where to place cameras sensor and screens with various combination of on glasses and on-phone.
V They note Apple is working with a number of prototype designs, everything from all on glasses to sensors and cameras on the face, but iPhone serving as the screen.
* This could be mounted in the glasses in some way, but pixel density and screen refresh rates need to be high
* Something, maybe the iPhone 8 could have. 515ppi and 120Hz refresh.
* The first commercial product might be more of a fashion accessory, like the Apple Watch or Snapchat Spectacles. Or it could wind up a full Apple version of Hololens. About the only thing we can be sure of is Apple is thinking bout the hardware compliment to their amazing ARKit technology.
V Next Apple Watch may go LTE
* Bloomberg is reporting they believe some models of the 3rd generation Apple Watch will have LTE cellular data connectivity.
* This would allow the Apple Watch to operate without the required connectivity to the iPhone.
* The LTE chips will be supplied by Intel according to the report.
V Of course a big concern with this is battery
* Supposedly that is what stopped the gen 2 from having cellular capabilities.
* I'm not sure why it needs to be LTE and not just 3G?
* The piece says Apple is in talks with carriers in the US and Europe to support Apple Watch LTE at launch though it may be launched with a limited subset of existing iPhone carriers at first.
* The Wall Street Journal also backup up the Bloomberg report and said LTE Apple Watch service will likely be an "add-on" to customers existing cellular data plans, like cellular iPads are currently.
V Following the Bloomberg report Apple blogger John Gruber wrote that he believes LTE will be a "big deal" and adds he heard the change will come with an "all-new form factor"
* Doesn't offer details into what those form factor changes would be.
* Thinner has often been mentioned.
* Some people also would like to see a round option.
* Both these options present battery life challenges.
* Gurber later clarified the source for the form factor rumor was an "unconfirmed little birdie".
V Ming-Chi Kuo thinks there will not be a form factor change
* He says Apple will have both LTE and non-LTE options in the 38mm and 42mm sizes.
* So similar to iPad with cellular and non-cellular options.
* Believe that they will have only LTE support and no 3G which might limit carriers that can support Apple Watch LTE.
* Unclear if the watch will allow LTE voice service, Kuo says it possible but unlikely. VoIP could be done technically.
* Apple will supposedly announce and launch Apple Watch Series 3 along side the new iPhones in September.
V Strategy Analytics last week noted Apple share of the global wearables market is 13 percent, behind Xiaomi and Fitbit
* Pretty impressive.
* Apple said in it's last quarterly results call that sales of Apple watch were up 50 percent in the June quarter.
V Aetna insurance is negotiating with Apple to try and get free or discounted Apple Watches for all their members
* They already have a program that gives Apple Watches at no cost to their 50,000 employees and subsidizes the cost for some subscribers.
* Considering their member base is 23 million that's a lot of possible new Apple Watch owners.
* They would be looking to implement some kind of program in 2018.
* The idea being using Apple Watch to increase customer interest in a healthier lifestyle and a better tracking of diet and exercise.
V 4K and the Apple Television
* Not to be outdone by Steve Troughton-Smith, developer Guilherme Rambo is using the HomePod firmware to make predictions on future Apple products,
V Found string inside HomePod firmware that seem to indicate an Apple TV with support for 4K video, Dolby Vision, and HDR10
* There was also the "leak" from iTunes in the UK seemingly indicating Apple was prepping 4K and HDR content in iTunes movie downloads.
* Not long after the Rambo leak Steve Troughton-Smith posted images of a hack to the iOS simulator allowing it to have the option for 4K resolutions, 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.
* It's believed the next generation of Apple TV hardware will bring support for 4k/HDR video.
V We also got VERY blurry shots of a 60-inch Apple OLED Television from new Apple leaker Benjamin Geskin
* It's really hard to confirm the size, but it does seem to be a very large flat panel display in what looks to be a testing lab.
* Metal, large, flat with an Apple logo on the back.
* Could possibly be Apple new Pro display, but look maybe too large.
V Apple push into original content also appears to be heating up
* Not sure how you feel about the current Apple Music shows. I tires Planet of the Apps, but it didn't resonate with me. Carpool Karaoke is fun, but still not sure I'll keep watching. I think I'm just not the target market maybe?
V Repost claim Apple has hired former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios Matt Cherniss to head up their worldwide video unit
* He will report directly to former Sony Pictures Television presidents Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlich who joined Apple about a month ago.
V Multiple sources have also reported that Apple has set aside a a $1 billion budget to ‘procure and produce’ content over the next year.
* For comparison in 2017 the original content budgets for Netflix and Amazon were $6B and $3.2B respectively. And about half of what HBO spends.
* Still not a shabby start and I think starting modestly and working up is the way to build something.
* One concern for Apple as they enter this area could be alienating subscription content rivals like Netflix and HBO. Apple current enjoys a 15 percent cut of subscription revenues from those entities when customers sign up using Apple's in App subscription services.
V Apple has been losing revenue in TV and Movie rentals and purchase on iTunes to streaming (much like they did with Music).
* It's share of the movie rental-and-sales market is down to 32 percent from 50 percent in 2012
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Apple Pay retail experience
V Your responses
* Many have confirmed they are having experiences similar to mine where retailers who previously took Apple Pay are now not. I think the big ones are Kroger and Albertson's (and Albertson's was after a buyout).
* Other say it's great. Especially outside the US.
V A helpful listener made me aware of a technology that might explain why Samsung Pay works at retailers for have disabled NFC on their readers for Apple Pay
* Samsung Pay can also use a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST). When the phone is held against a terminal with a mag stripe reader the phone emits a magnetic signal that simulates the magnetic strip found on the back of a credit or debit card.
V Reginald on Twitter believes Apple is doing better than I think.
* Maybe, but I don't think so in the US at the register. That is where I'm being critical.
* Outside the US adoption is good, but mainly because NFC has been more widely in use.
V All I'm asking is that Apple Pay get more of Apple's marketing attention and dollars at US retailers
* It's CRAZY to me that they have a deal with Target for Apple Pay in app and online yet I still can't use it at their registers. Same with Walmart and many other national grocery store chains: Kroger, Albertsons, Costco, etc.
* It's been out for three years now.
* Again they have done a GREAT job on-boarding banks and credit card companies. I just think they need to spend some money and expand the efforts on the front lines.
V iOS 11 icons, can we talk?
V You may or may not have seen the "leaks" of the re-designed App Store icon in iOS 11
* My immediate reaction was WTH?!!
* It's a abstraction, simplification, of the existing one with the pencil, paintbrush, and ruler forming an "A" shape.
* Now it looks like a stack of popsicle sticks. Some have also said a "campsite" symbol, but you may be getting the point.
* I understand the concept of simplifying. It can look more refined, more elegant, but there also needs to be some context, some information as to the purpose of the thing as well.
* I assume the idea is that we all know by now that a overlapping "a" shaped thing in a blue box is the App Store?
* BTW, the new "Star" in a purple box "iTunes Store" icon has even less provenance back to the "music note" icon.
* I'm sure I'll get used to the change and YES, this is not a huge deal, but I'm curious as to the underlying thought process.
* Too much abstraction makes things harder to understand and therefore harder to use. It seem counter to the Apple I know which is about simplicity and ease of use.
V And this is just another example in a number of design changes that have occurred over the years that baffle me a bit.
* The "hidden" UI elements of "force touch"
* This has become bad enough that the updated "on boarding" process for watchOS after the first pairing will walk you through a "wizard" to teach you "force touch".
* And just like gestures, yes force touch will eventually become more ubiquitous, but I wonder if it should have to.
V I'm still struggling with remembering how to do split-screen in iOS 11.
V Pull from the side made sense. Now the swipe up, drag icon from dock, and place method just feels less intuitive and cumbersome. Again, i'll get used to it, but was it broken?
* Plus the app needs to be in the dock (3 on left) before you can split screen it.
* Means I now need to find and launch the app (extra steps) before I can split screen it.
* Not trying to complain, just confused by the choice. Especially since, near as I can tell, there isn't a new swipe in from right gesture that replaced the old split screen gesture.
V Another option for overseas data
* Recently we were talking about cell phone plans and overseas data and what to do when traveling.
* I mentioned I don't have much experience with this, but luckily you do and Richard had some advice that could help save you money.
V Play comment from Richard.
V I have anther issue related to data plans, but here domestically.
V Told you I moved to an AT&T Unlimited Choice plan, they forgot to tell me I lose my hotspot.
* Extra $30/mo., but I do get free HBO valued at $15/mo. So I was going to save $5/mo, but now net will cost me $5/mo more but I have unlimited data.
* Here's the rub, I can get 4 lines on T-Mobile for $160.00/mo. For AT&T it's costing me $223/mo with taxes and fees. I'll save over $500 (once you factor in the cost of HBO) a year by switching.
* I'm not happy with AT&T and their data/voice coverage lately
* Read the latest data from OpenSignal reports and they say since the introduced unlimited plans both Verizon and AT&T experienced a marked decline in 4G speeds.
* In the US testers were able to find a 4G signal on T-Mobile 90.9% of the time
* I've asked many of my friends who have switched and so far all positive, so I'm asking you. Have you switched to T-Mobile One in the US? Any complaints?
V Not all Thunderbolt 3 cables are equal
* Nor are all USB 3.1 Type-C cables either.
* So USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 have brought us a great universal type connector, but apparently even though we have one connector we now need to really think about the cables that connect to that.
V You no have think about all of these things:
* Will this be used for USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt 3 or both?
* What kind of data speeds do I need?
* What is the length I want?
* Do a need power and how much?
V So all of this only applies to 2016 and newer model Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectors that support also USB 3.1 Generation 2
* The original 12-inch Macbook had a USB-C connector, but it was limited to USB 3.0 speeds.
* USB 3.1 Generation 2 can do up to 10/Gbps and Thunderbolt 3 is up to 40Gbps.
V But for full Thunderbolt 3 speeds to be achieved there are some caveats
* Connector needs to be USB Type C at both ends.
* Also be aware that while a Thunderbolt 3 cable CAN also function as a USB 3.1 cable, the opposite is NOT true.
V Power
* Another advantage of USB Type-C and Thunderbolt 3 is the ability to carry up to 100W of bi-directional power
* Guess what though, yeah not all cables can carry the full power.
* Apple themselves ship USB 3.1 cables with each model that look the same, but are power rated for the specific model. 27W for Mabooks, 60W for 13-inch PowerBooks, and 87W for the 15-inch Macbook Pro.
V You can still mix and match the cables, but you will only get the power rating for the lowest wattage component the chain be it the wall adapter or the cable.
* So a 27W Macbook adapter with an 87W cable will charge at 27W (makes sense), but an 87W adapter with a 27W cable will also only charge at 27W
* Also oddly the Apple Cables are all also only able to transfer USB data at USB 2.0 speeds (5Gbps).
V Size matters
V Turns out there are also two kinds of possible cables, passive and active. Passive cables are cheaper and also degrade in maximum throughput speed at longer cable lengths.
* Apple insider notes that a passive TB3 cable will drop to about 20Gbps at about 2 meters in length.
* Active cables have transceivers to regulate the data transfer and can maintain the 40Gpbs maximum at two meters.
* Oh, and active cables are NOT compatible with USB 3.1, so you can't mix your active and passive between Thunderbolt 3 devices and USB 3.1 Type-C devices.
V And here's the best part… there seems to be no consistency or labeling standards to help YOU find and pick the right cable
* When you buy a cable consider marking it with it's properties, Type, power, length using [cable labels](
V In summary
* Active Thunderbolt 3 cables are high-speed but expensive, and lack USB 3.1 Type-C compatibility.
* Passive Thunderbolt 3 cables are generally short for best performance, and maintain USB 3.1 Type-C compatibility.
* No cables, passive or active, will tell you anything about their power rating.
* If you just need USB 3.1 compatibility then don't get more expensive passive Thunderbolt 3 cables.
V A little AppleCare+ math
* This is a question that I get asked and often ask myself. Is it worth it to buy AppleCare+ on my iPhone.
* Especially if I replace it every year.
* You do get 1 year AppleCare, but not plus with the accidental damage protection.
* Considering the most common accident repair is a cracked screen, lets do the math.
* Buying AppleCare+ up front on a new iPhone 7 will run you $129 USD. A cracked screen has an accidental replacement cost of $29.00 if you have AppleCare+
* The out-of-warranty cost on the same iPhone is ONLY $129 USD, so for the first cracked screen you're actually saving $29 USD by NOT purchasing AppleCare+
V Now other user damage to the phone, say water damage, would run $99 USD under AppleCare+
* But the iPhone 7 is pretty water resistant now, up to 30 mins in up to 1m of water
* So is it worth it for accidental damage protection? Depends on how and how frequently you damage your phone in the first two years of ownership.
V If you are keeping your phone linger than a year it might also be worth it for the added repair coverage?
* I have to admit I have iPhones going back to the 5s now and none of them have needed repairs beyond new batteries which are not covered by AppleCare.
* I likely will not be getting AppleCare+ with my next iPhone.
V Closing
V Podcast Marketplace
V Thanks to my sponsors
* Smile
V Gazelle
* Gazelle. The fast and simple way to sell your used gadgets! Find out what your used iPhone, iPad and other Apple products are worth at
V Supporters
* Bandwidth for the Maccast provided by CacheFly at
* Advertising is handled by Backbeat Media at
V Keep emails coming. Audio comments.
V 281-622-4269 or 281-Mac-I-Am-9
* MacCast Forum
* Follow me on Twitter
* Checkout the page on Facebook