Maccast 2018.01.02 - Show #639
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V 2017 iPhone sales debate
* As we closed out 2017 there was a lot of confusion and debate from multiple sources on just how well Apple did selling iPhones and specifically what role the iPhone X played in Apple's numbers.
* Because Apple decided to launch not just one new model this year, but really two with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and then the X it's only made the debate a bit muddier.
* Even though Apple hasn't announced numbers, nor will they break down models when they do, that didn't stop investors ad research groups from taking a guess at it.
V Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) looked at the breakdown 30 days after the launch of the iPhone X and this is how they broke it down:
* iPhone X captured 30 percent, iPhone 8 Plus 17 percent, iPhone 8, 23 percent, and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus combined nabbing 20 percent.
* It's hard to know what to make of the numbers. Some feel with less than 1/3 of the total sales that points to the higher priced iPhone X possibly being "disappointing". Not sure I would read it that way.
V As for the "Holiday" season
* Latest data from Flurry Analytics claimed 44 percent of smartphone and tablet activations were Apple's
* In the week leading up to Christmas they broke down iPhone activations like this: 15.1% iPhone 7, 14.9% iPhone 6, 14.7% iPhone X, 12.6% iPhone 6s, 10.4% iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus 8.7%, and iPhone 8 8.1%
* So basically iPhone 6's? were the "big" winner with 27.5% of total activations, followed by iPhone 7's with 25.5%, iPhone 8's with 16.8%, and finally iPhone X with 14.7%
* Note that Apple "relaunched" iPhone 6 in price sensitive markets, so that could be seen as a positive.
* Looking at this even deeper that means Apple's newest offerings of phones accounted for just over 30%, followed by the two year old iPhone 6 models with also almost 30%, and then the one year old iPhone 7 with just over 25 percent
V Loyalitics looked at activations just over the Christmas weekend and claimed Google's Pixel 2 and 2 XL phones the "holiday" winners. 38.61 and 31.41 percent of activations respectively
* iPhone X saw 28.72 percent, iPhone 8 17.7 percent, and iPhone 8 Plus with 13.98 percent
* Still over the Thanksgiving weekend iPhone X had edged out Pixel 2 activations with 47 percent vs. 45 percent for Pixel 2
V GBH Insights compiled a list of the best selling tech for 2017 for USA today
* iPhone sold 223 million units to gain the #1 slot.
* Number two was the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 with 33 million
* Apple Watch also made the list at number 4 with 20 million units just behind the Amazon Echo Dot at 24 million.
* The list is questionable because iPad (and other tablets are not on it) and Apple sold over 40 million iPads in 2017
V So what does this all mean and does any of it really matter?
* One thing is clear Apple still sells a ton of iPhones
* Also iPhone's as a whole are dominating the market, at least when it comes to activations by manufacturer
* Apple also seems to have an even mix when it comes to selling new and older devices.
V Is that a problem? Guess it depends on perspective and your perception.
* Some would worry not selling new devices means people are possibly losing interest in your newest products
* Apple makes more margin on older devices
* Overall, more people buying even older iPhones means more customers in the ecosystem and that is good for other products and services
* Massive growth over the past few years in iCloud, Apple Music, and other services.
V Possible new Apple Watch features
* Last week we mentioned the rumors of a possible new EKG feature in a future Apple Watch.
* Another feature that many would like that has been rumored on numerous occasions is a non-invasive glucose reader.
* A recent New York Times piece once again claims Apple is "continuing research," into the feature citing two sources familiar with the project.
* The device would be a "first-party" accessory using tiny sensors to pierce the skin in order to track blood sugar levels and return data wirelessly back to the Apple Watch.
* But don't get your hopes up for the feature anytime soon. They also spoke with industry experts who claim any kind of commercial solution around this kind of technology is "years" away from hitting the market.
V In the past we've heard about various stumbling blocks to incorporating "non-invasive" monitoring into Apple Watch
* The biggest being that current non-invasive technologies are unreliable
* Many solutions would also negatively impact the device size or battery life
* Finally, and likely the biggest issue, likely any solution would require some form of FDA approval, something Tim Cook has repeatedly said Apple would want to avoid for Apple Watch.
V Apple has filed for a "Connect to Apple Watch" figurative trademark under 3 international classes
* Shows a logo of a "runner" in a white to green circle
* Will likely be used to designate 3rd party products that offer official integration with Apple Watch
* GymKit-enabled cardio and fitness machines started hitting gyms this year, and could be a place where you start seeing the "Connect to Apple Watch" mark.
V True wireless charging is one step closer to a possibility
V The company Engergous showed off a version of their "WattUp" system to select media at last years CES
* The issue though is they did not have FCC approvals for the tech.
* It was also bulky and limited in range, but they were hopeful about FCC approvals.
* They'll be back at CES this year, but now they have FCC approval for their "mid-field" transmitter which can work at a distance of around 3 feet.
* The device would need to plug into a "receiver", but the company hopes to work with Apple and others to integrate the technology into their products.
V Early benchmarks on iMac Pro
* iMac Pros are arriving in customers hands and we're stating to get details on how well they perform relative to older models.
* Also just general opinions on the new machines.
* Almost all the reviews mention very little fan noise and about a 40-60 percent improvement in most video rendering jobs over existing high-end 5K iMacs and Macbook Pros using the $4,999.00 "base" model iMac Pro.
* When it comes to raw benchmarks the configuration really matters on single-core scores. Since the new iMacs are clocked slightly lower there are situations where a 5K iMac can just edge out the single core score iofof the iMac Pro, still they can't touch the multi-core numbers with say a 10-core iMac Pro getting 35K-plus scores in Geekbench. The nearest non-Pro iMac multi-core score is at best just north of 19K.
V AppleInsider did some interesting "thermal" benchmark tests and found that Apple seemed to prioritize noise and fan speed over performance at max load
V basically as the CPU would heat up they would throttle down the CPU just a bit 3.6GHz from a 3.9GHz max until the temp came back down
* Throttling for the CPU started around 93C.
* When they maxed both CPU and GPU for an extended periods they could get the fans up to what seemed like max speed and noted the noise level seemed similar to a 2017 5K iMac, but with a deeper tone
V At the full CPU and GPU the max turboboost throttling was more severe maxing out at 3.63GHz and dipping down to 3.36GHz
* They noted the GPU never got above 74C, which is pretty cool.
* They noted that this scenario of ma both is highly unlikely in normal even "pro" use. Even editing and render RED 8K RAW video won't create this scenario.
V OWC also did a teardown giving us a little more insight into what makes up this beast, including possibilities for future upgrades
* Apple has already stated memory can be upgraded after the fact if done by Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Center
V One of the first things they discovered is that memory is installed in 4X configurations, so don't expect to be able to just pop two more 16GB modules into a base iMac Pro with 32GB of RAM. It comes with 4 x 8GB modules.
* Makes since because the iMac Pro has quad-channel memory capability.
* Also, the 1TB SSD in the base model is actually two 512GB SSDs in a RAID configuration.
* The SSD modules are removable, but with tamper proof stickers over the screws, so presumably Apple doesn't want you doing it yourself
V OWC mentions planning a future "mail-in" programs for RAM upgrades as well is DIY kits if you're not faint of heart (and don't mind violating your warranty).
* They still note that the limited trade-in value of 32GB modules and the current cost of a full 64GB or 128GB kit and the labor make the after market option prohibitively expensive.
* Meaning buy it up front if you can.
* The CPU also looks like it could possibly be upgradeable, but they currently cannot confirm if it will work.
V I asked for feedback from you if you got a new iMac Pro and Geoff responded
* He got the base model and shared his "first" impressions
V Keyboard
* Size is a bit daunting (extended)
* The 'fn' key is to the right of the 'delete' key making things somewhat confusing
* trackpad and keyboard are not at the same height and the angles are a bit "flat" with no adjustment options.
* They have the shallow travel keys, which might bother some.
* He noted the cooler quieter running and bright display. Better sounding speakers with more bass.
* 4K 60fps video renders MUCh faster in Final Cut
* If you have old TB2 cables you will need the TB2 to TB3 adapter, which is $49 from Apple.
* iMac Pros are beginning to show in-store pickup availability now.
V Apple responds to Phone battery slowdowns
* Apple published an open letter on their site titled, ["A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance"](
* In it they did the rare thing for Apple and apologized, " We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize."
* In the letter they re-iterate that Apple "would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product".
* They go on to provide an explanation on how batteries age and why that made the software changes in iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 to adjust maximum performance and prevent unexpected shutdowns in iPhone 6s and iPhones 7s that have chemically aged batteries.
V They also spelled out a few things they are going to do to address customers recent concerns:
* They are lowering the cost of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50, to $29.00. This is for all iPhone 6 or later models worldwide through December 2018.
* In early 2018 they are going to make changes to iOS to give users more visibility into the health of their batteries.
* They will continue to improve how iOS manages performance and avoids unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.
V Apple also clarified in a support document when and how it makes adjustments
* When "peak performance" requires it they may slow down maximum performance of the CPU and GPU in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
V In addition in more extreme cases users may also experience:
* Longer app launch times
* Lower frame rates while scrolling
* Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)
* Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB
* Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps -During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
* Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch
V They also point out which areas are NOT impacted:
* Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance
* Captured photo and video quality
* GPS performance
* Location accuracy
* Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer
* Apple Pay
V It's great to see Apple respond in an open way, but many feel it's too late.
* We already now about dozens of lawsuits worldwide that have already been filed.
V Some of you were not happy with my response to this issue on the last Maccast and felt I was being too easy on Apple.
* For most of you it came down to the lack of transparency and breaking a level of trust.
* Apple for example made changes in iOS 10 that made it impossible for 3rd party iOS battery apps to get data on charge cycles
* Marty wrote in to say it's not that Apple had nefarious intent in slowing down iPhones with aged batteries to prevent shutdowns. It's that Apple made changes to our devices that impacted performance with out giving us the option to opt out. They took control away from us on a product that we own. It's not their device to control
V If you have an older device that doesn't qualify iFixit has reduced the price of their [DIY battery kits]( to $29 or less
* Includes the battery and all the tools you need.
V Sponsor: Smile
V Textexpander
* It's a New Year so why not treat yourself to a Textexpander subscription and become more efficient with your communication saving you time and money.
V Think of the number of times you might type the same or similar things over and over
* An email signature
* The typical quick replies you might send in a text
* Industry specific phrases
* Code snippets
* Actually you don't even need to think of them because TextExpander and watch and suggest them to be created into snippets.
* Plus because it has advanced features like fill-ins, nested snippets, optional sections, and even JavaScript, AppleScript and shell script support you can do amazingly advanced and powerful things.
* And when you have a really useful snippet or group of snippets you can share them with friends or co-workers so everyone can save time and communicate better.
V As you might imagine I have a bunch of snippets with responses to common questions I get about mac and iOS stuff. Things like tips & tricks or where to I buy my cables, [Monoprice](
* One of reasons, to this day, I can answer all my show emails personally.
* Visit for 20% off your first year.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V How to check your iPhone battery health
V Unfortunately there is not a really simple way to do it yet on iOS
* You can go to Settings > Battery and if the health is bad you might see a message like "Your iPhone battery may need to be serviced."
V Ignore 3rd party apps in the App Store
* Apple has cut off access to battery details since iOS 10.
V You can use Applications > Utilities > on your Mac
* Make sure you have accessed the battery widget on iOS. From Control Center swipe left to right to access your widgets.
* If you don't see Battery, scroll to the bottom and tap 'Edit'. Tap the "+" next to Batteries. Tap done.
* Now connect your iPhone to the Mac with the Lightning cable
* Open Applications > Utilities > Console.
* In the Console App, select your iPhone from the list on the left.
* In the search box, type 'batteryhealth' (all one word)
* Select the top result and you should see Battery Health info. You're looking for "BatteryHealth" = Good
V Try [iMazing](
* Connect your iPhone to your Mac and launch iMazing
* Select your iPhone in the iMazing App.
* In the main window click the battery icon (lower right corner)
* You'll get battery data including current health and even charge cycles (BTW Apple says iPhones should get ~500 cycles before needing to be replaced)
* [coconutBattery]( will also offer similar information and will also rate the battery health of your laptop battery.
* You can also contact Apple Support an they can remotely run a diagnostic on your device (they can also do it in store).
* BTW, you don't have to fail a battery test to get one of Apple's $29 battery replacements on an iPhone 6 or newer.
V Follow-up Syncing Bookmarks
* Listener Brian was looking for this and you came through with a recommendation.
* More than one person recommended [BookMacster]( by SheepSystems
V It actually looks like a set of bookmark syncing apps:
* Smarky, which syncs Safari Bookmarks across Macs using iCloud
* Synkmark, for syncing bookmarks among Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox
* Markster, which is a separate bookmark manager and data store.
* The package also includes tools to find and remove duplicates and will alphabetize your bookmarks if you'd like.
* The package seems to be the best deal at $22.95 USD and there is a demo if you want to try before you buy.
V Positive support with Apple
* So I asked about people who have had good recent experiences with Apple support recently and I received many great stories.
* Play comment from Filip
* Yann had an issue with the mic on his Series Zero Stainless Steel Apple Watch going bad. He did have AppleCare and they replaced it with a Series 2.
V And Bob wrote in with what might be my favorite story
* He was looking for a "secret Santa" gift in the about $20 price range, but had no clue what he was going for.
* He was browsing the "accessories" area of the Apple store and got a friendly staffer who asked, “Can I help you find something?”
* Bob didn't know what he was looking for but the woman offered suggestions and stayed with him, even in a busy store, until he had something he was happy with.
* Seems like a small gesture, but it obviously meant a lot to Bob, and that's what matters most. Making sure the customer was happy.
* He ended up with a Mophie iPhone charger for $30. Nice gift Bob.
V Moving Notes to new iCloud
* Andrew recently changed the ID he was using for iCloud and while disabling the old account he was able to store locally the Bookmarks, Contacts, and Calendars and then re-sync to his new iCloud that was not an option given for Notes.
* So he was wondering, beyond just using 'sharing' and sending individual notes one by one, what could he do?
V I think the issue is that, for Notes, by default the "On My Mac/Phone" option is no longer on by default.
* You have to enable it in the Preferences on the Mac or in Settings on iOS
V So I think what you can do Andrew is:
* 1) Log into the iCloud account that has the Notes you want to transfer to the new account.
* 2) Open the Notes app and then go into Notes > Preferences. Make sure the 'Enable the On My Mac account' is turned on and close the preferences.
* 3) Now drag the notes you want to move from the iCloud account/folders into the 'On My Mac' area. This should transfer them from iCloud and put them locally on your Mac.
* 4) After you moved them all, quit Notes and then log out of the old iCloud account and into the new one.
* 5) Re-open the Notes app and then copy the notes back from the 'On My Mac' area into the iCloud area for the new account.
V Dealing with malware pop-ups
* Unfortunately this is something I run into from time to time, especially with friends and family who are not as computer savvy as us nerds.
V I'm talking about the dreaded I went to the wrong site and now I'm getting constant popups.
* A recent one I read about on [Macworld]( is a nasty new variant of the phone number of a scam that triggers the "print" dialog with the phone number to call.
V The big issue with the pop-ups is that because of macOS's reopen "open" windows when relaunching an app you can get caught in a loop.
* Shift key trick can usually help.
* Hold "Shift" while launching the app and it will prevent any previous windows from opening
* If you want to change the behavior completely you can go to 'System Preferences' > 'General' and check the 'Close windows when quitting an app
* If you want to close all windows just one time when quitting app hold down the 'Option' key when choosing quit. (Command+Option+Q)
V The trouble with some of the newer hacks is they go in and change your Safari "homepage" settings. Safari > Preferences > General > Homepage
* Now when you open a new browser window after opening the app it re-visits the "malware" site and you're right back in the loop.
* With the "print" dialog up you can't access the Preferences to change the homepage and hitting cancel just re-pops up the print sheet.
V Solution? Disable your network connection (temporarily).
* Exit Safari by first holding down Option and then right-click/Control-click its icon on the Dock. Finally, select Force Quit.
* Disable Internet access: select Wi-Fi > Turn Wi-Fi Off or disconnect your ethernet cable.
Launch Safari.
* Select Safari > Preferences, and in the General tab, delete the contents of the Homepage field.
* Re-enable Internet access by selecting Wi-Fi > Turn Wi-Fi On or reconnecting an ethernet cable.
V Some of my favorite things from 2017
* [Bear]( - My Markdown Editor of choice these days.
* AirPods, technically I had these in late December last year, but what a product.
* [Slack](, become a supporter on [Patreon](
* TV app and Prime Video support on Apple TV
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
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