Maccast 2017.12.06 - Show #637
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Apple acquires Shazam
* A little follow up to the Tech Crunch rumor noted on the last Maccast
* Apple announced that it has acquired Shazam, though they did not disclose any terms of the deal.
* TechCrunch had said their source indicated the deal was worth around $400 million. Back in 2015 the company was valued at around $1B.
V We don't know exactly what plans Apple has for Shazam.
* In their statement they said, "Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users"
* Shazam is also the underlying technology that powers Siri's music identification feature.
V Shazam is also built into many competing products and services, like Snapchat, Samsung Smart TVs, Spotify, etc.
* We don't know what the future of those relationships are either
* Shazam makes at least some money from purchases driven through their apps
V App subscriptions getting "intro" pricing
* Looks like Apple is planning to give developers some more option when they sell in app subscriptions
* Those include introductory pricing and "free-trial" subscriptions
* Apple shared the news with developers via Apple's Developer News page
* There will be three new introductory price types — pay as you go, pay up front and free trial
V Pay as you go, sets and introductory price for a set period then transitions over to full price
* Each month at $4.99/mo for the first 3 months, then $9.99/mo after that.
V Pay up front let them sell at one set price for a preset duration before transitioning to a higher rate
* Seems similar, but it's limited to 1, 2, 3 and 6 months or 1 year durations
* So say $29.99 for the first 6 months, then $99.99/yr. after that.
V Finally free-trial
* Delays the period of time before the subscription pricing kicks in
* Pretty much the way Apple Music's free trail works.
* Developers who want to use the new options will need to use the new iOS 11.2 StoreKit APIs.
* Apple also recently announced "App pre-orders" fro developers. Something they did for Super Mario Run.
V AirPorts finally get the KRACK update
* Apple released AirPort firmware versions, 7.7.9 and 7.6.9, address the Key Reinstallation Attack (KRACK)
* KRACK was a "man-in-the-middle" style hack revealed back in October that made most wi-fi devices the WPA-2 protocol to open to a packet decrypting attack.
* The attack requires both the client and the router to be vulnerable, so Apple quickly patched iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS back in October.
* They did not patch Airport Routers and many of us, myself included, were lead to believe that Apple's Airport and Time Capsule devices were not susceptible to that attack.
* Obviously this weeks firmware update confirms otherwise.
* If you own an Airport or Time Capsule you'll want to ensure you download and patch your device as soon as possible.
V Another recent security update of note, iOS 11.2.1 and tvOS 11.2.1
* Addresses bugs and issues that have been discovered since the release of iOS 11.2
* Most importantly it fixes and re-enables remote access for shared users of the Home app. That had to be disabled when a major HomeKit vulnerability was discovered last week.
* The HomeKit bug allowed unauthorized access to HomeKit accessories that included smart locks.
V iMac Pros now available for order
* Apple is now selling the 8 and 10-core "recommended" versions via their website.
* You can also custom configure 14-core and 18-core systems though those will not be shipping for another 6-8 weeks
* All have AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processors and are configurable with up to 128GB of RAM and up to 4TB of internal SSD storage
V Apple also confirmed the iMac Pro has a new "second generation" T2 chip
* The T1 chip was introduced with the new Touch Bar MacBook Pro
* T2 chip integrates the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller.
* It has a Secure Enclave coprocessor to handle encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities
* The new boot capabilities enable options including the ability to prevent the iMac Pro from starting up from a different hard disk, CD, or DVD without the password or to disable external boot completely
V Pricing starts at $4,999.00, but with all the bells and whistles can run up over $13K
* Surprisingly AppleCare+ for the new iMac Pro is still $169.00 (same as with an iMac)
* They are also the only iMac models to come in Space Grey with exclusive Space Grey accessories.
V The systems are completely closed and non-user upgradeable
* Questions on if you can really call this "Pro"
* Ports include four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, four USB 3 Ports, SD Card, 10Gb Ethernet port
* Support for 2 additional 5K displays
* Apple told Rene Ritchie though that RAM on the iMac Pro can be upgraded post-purchase by an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider
V Some early reviews and benchmarks attest to the performance gains over a 2013 Mac Pro
* The iMac Pro with a 10-core 3.0GHz Intel Xeon and AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics processor with 16GB (just under $10K)
* Geekbench multi-core score of just over 37,400. Puts it 45 percent faster than the highest end 2013 Mac Pro and about 95 percent than a high-end 2017 27-inch 5K iMac.
V The iMac Pro comes with a black USB to lightning cable
* Apple also started selling it's own branded Thunderbolt 3 cable
* 0.8 meters, or about 2.62 feet
* Speeds of up to 40Gbps and up to 100W power.
* $39 and shipping December 18th
V Along with the iMac Pro Apple has released updates to it's full line up of Pro apps.
* Final Cut Pro, Motion and Compressor have all been updated with a focus on editing full-resolution 8K video and updated support for 360-degree VR video.
* The updates also finally bring support for HEVC and HEIF, Apple's new video and image format supported by the latest iPhones.
* Logic Pro X also received an update and can now support up to 36 cores
V Apple also used the timing of the iMac Pro release to remind customers:
* "Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display"
* They did not however say "when.
V Apple invests in VCSEL laser firm
* As part of it's $1B pledge to invest in US manufacturing via the Advanced Manufacturing Fund Apple announced a $390 million dollar investment into Finisar
* Finisar makes vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) used in True-Depth camera system in the iPhone X and the proximity-sensor inside AirPods.
* In the Air Pods its the tech that detects when you remove an Air Pod from your ear.
V Apple says it will purchase ten times more VCSEL wafers in the fourth quarter of the year than were manufactured worldwide in the previous year.
* And in fact Finisar has clarified that the $390M contribution is an agreed payment for anticipated future orders.
* All of the VCSELs purchased by Apple from Finisar will be made in Texas.
* The money from Apple could be used by Finisar to increase their R&D and production volumes to help meet Apple's future demands.
* They plan to hire more than 500 high-skilled employees at a new 700,000 square foot plant powered by 100% renewable energy.
* The new facility is expected to go into operation in the second half of 2018.
V Gene Munster notes that the deal also potentially locks up supply making it harder for Apple's competitors to deploy similar technology
* Lumentum is the only other big player know to be developing this technology and they reportedly have suffered manufacturing issues and have limited production.
* By making this investment now Apple can lock in pricing deals and supply for the future.
V The investment might also be for providing the rumored tech behind Apple's 3D laser sensors for AR in future iPhones
* Remember reports that in the 2019 iPhone Apple plans to use a laser based system and "time of flight" data to drive depth sensing in the rear facing iSight camera.
V More Apple "original" content video stuff
* Apple Worldwide Video has reportedly hired Philip Matthys, formerly of Hulu, and Jennifer Wang Grazier of Legendary Entertainment.
* They both look like the will bring experience and talent to Apple's original content video group that will help in securing future content deals.
* At Hulu Matthys was responsible for deals and policies related to original shows and documentaries. And Grazier handles business and legal elements of development, production, and distribution for Legendary's TV and digital studios.
* Matthys started at Apple in November and Grazier is reportedly set to join the team in January. Both will be working directly under Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, formerly of Sony, who are heading up Apple Worldwide Video.
V So far we know Apple has lined up two original content series.
* One based on Steven Spielberg's "Amazing Stories" TV show from the 80's and the other a drama about a Morning Show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.
V Their third "original" series is now looking like it will probably be a space drama
* Variety reported that Ronald D. Moore, who has worked on Star Trek as well as Battlestar Galactica, has been given the green light to create an unnamed sci-fi space drama for Apple
* The piece says, "The untitled series takes place in a world in which the global space race never ended".
* The show is being codeveloped by Fargo co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi
V We still don't know much about how Apple plans to distribute their new shows.
* Will it be rolled into Apple Music subscription or part of a whole new service?
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V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V FileVault and backup
* Last show I mentioned that if you're concerned about the security of the data stored on your Mac that one good option you have is to enable File Vault on your Mac.
* It provides whole disk encryption when your mac is turned off or locked.
V Bruce wrote in with a common question, what about backup?
* Will this interfere with backups or will my cloned backups also be encrypted?
* It should not cause any day to day issues. When you log into your Mac the system gains access to the keys and will function normally
* It has full access to the unencrypted data on the drive once it's past the initial login screen
* Even if your Mac is asleep and locked everything and still run normally
* Because if this though, backups and are NOT encrypted by default.
V External Drives and Time Machine drives are not encrypted by enabling File Vault
* For Time Machine Drives you need to go to System Preferences > Time Machine, click the "Select Disk" option. Then when you select the Time Machine Disk check the "Encrypt backup disk" option.
V For external drives that would not be bootable
* Right+Click or Control+Click the volume and choose "Encrypt [Volume name]…"
* If it is a Clone backup drive check with the maker of the clone software for the proper way to encrypt the drive.
V Notes about enabling File Vault backup
* When you turn on FileVault, you choose how you want to unlock your startup disk if you ever forget your password: using your iCloud account and password, or using a recovery key that’s created for you.
* Don’t forget your recovery key. If you turn on FileVault and then forget your login password and can’t reset it, and you also forget your recovery key, you won’t be able to log in and your files and settings will be lost forever.
V Troubles will Apple support
* Discuss my recent issues in getting my Apple Watch Series 2 repaired for defect
V I know that technically I'm way past my 1 year AppleCare warranty and Apple has no obligation to cover the repair.
* A big part of this is the principal of the thing and the perceived change of values at Apple
V I HATE playing the "if Steve were still around" card, but more and more it feels like were in an era where several things have gone down hill:
* Attention to the small details. How we end up with Apple having a "bad week" according to Schiller
* Poor quality products. Continued video issues on Macbook Pros. MacBook Pro keyboards that just die.
* Putting Apple's bottom line ahead of customer satisfaction
* I'm not saying were at a place where Apple is "doomed". More that it feels like, in the past, we could cont on Apple to have our backs on these things, but these days there is uncertainty. That's not a good feeling.
* We're also still paying for a premium experience and not always getting the "premium" treatment.
* I feel like Apple is training me to always have to go into "battle" when asking them to stand behind their products and I don't think that is good for anyone (well maybe shareholders, and I am one of those too).
V Stopping the update nagging
V Dan wrote to ask me to have the community provide feedback about the "nagging" to update notifications
* You can do that by going to
V On iOS there isn't really a good way to stop the reminders once they've started
V Before you get the first one Settings > iTunes & App Store. Turn off 'Updates'
* Of course this means you'll always have to manually check for updates
V Delete the already downloaded update
* Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage (or iPad)
* Find the latest iOS update. It will look something like: "iOS 11.X.X."
* Tap it and tap the Delete option.
* A message will come up on the screen. Once again, tap where it says Delete to confirm.
V Beware the "install tonight" option
* If you accidentally tap and enter your passcode it will install the next time your device is connected to power over night.
V On macOS you can "hide" the update in the Mac App Store
* Open the Mac App Store and on the macOS High Sierra banner you can control or right click and choose 'hide update'
* After that you'll have to search fro the macOS High Sierra update.
V It may have also already downloaded to your Mac and be taking up space.
* Look in the Applications folder for an app called: 'Install macOS High Sierra' (~5GB)
V You could also disable 'automatic updates' from the Mac App Store
* System Preferences > App Store
* Uncheck 'Automatically check for updates' or maybe just 'Download newly available updates in the background'
V Some Safari tips & tricks
V Long press shortcuts
* remember these are LONG press (press and hold), not "force" press.
* Tip 'o the hat to [this piece]( from Benjamin Mayo at 9to5 Mac
* Long press the forward or back buttons to get a history of pages you've been to or navigated back from.
* Long press the 'Bookmarks' icon to quickly add a bookmark or add to reading list. Quicker then going through the 'share' button.
V Long press the 'Tabs' button close a tab, or all tabs, or add a new one, even a new private tab.
* On iPad you'll also get the option for a new "split-view" tab
* When managing tabs (after tapping the tab button), press and hold on the Add Tab button (+ symbol) to view Recently Closed Tabs.
V If you long press the 'Done' button when on the tab overview (manager_ screen you get the option to close all tabs.
* iPad users will also see an option in this menu to Open Split View or Merge All Tabs if Split View is already active.
V Long press on hyperlinks to get additional options
* The sheet shows the full URL (handy for checking a link for spamminess)
* Open, Open in new Tab, Add to Reading List, Copy, Share…
V Long press on an image in a webpage
* Open, Open in new Tab, Add to Reading List, Copy, Share…, and Save Image…
* Long press an icon in the 'Favorites' view to delete or edit it.
V Long press the 'reload' icon in the ULR bar to 'Request desktop site'
* If you have a content blocker enabled it will also give the option to reload the page without the blocks
* Long press on Reader button to always load pages in the current site in Reader view if available. Also can choose to load ALL Websites in Reader view. (new in iOS 11)
V Clean up Safari website data for more storage
* Settings > Safari > Advanced (at bottom) > Website Data
* After it loads you can see sites and how much cache and local data they are using.
* The biggest data users will be at the top. Can tap 'Show all sites' to see more.
* Swipe right to left across an entry or hit 'Edit' to get delete options.
* Tap delete and confirm to remove that websites data
* Be aware this will remove ALL it's data including cookies and login tokens, etc.
* There is also an option at the bottom to "Remove All Website Data"
* Incidentally this is how you "clear the cache" in Safari on iOS.
V Thing of the Moment: Rainbrow
* An game for the iPhone X that uses your face as the controller
* Raise your eyebrows to move up, plain expression to stay still, furrow your eyebrows to move down
* Move a face emoji across rainbow colored areas of the screen up and down trying to collect stars and avoid emoji that move across the colored zones.
* It's a game that is challenging to play and even funner to watch someone else play.
* Free on the app store.
V Closing
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