Maccast 2018.03.28 - Show #650
V Opening
V Opening Music
* Music is Say Anything by Manda and the Marbles
V News
V Apple's Education Event
V A new 9.7-inch iPad
* Remains at the same price, $329 to consumers and $299 for education
* Comes in 32Gb and 128GB storage options, just like the last model
* Updated with an A10 Fusion chip, but not the A10X, like in the iPad Pro.
* Adds support for the Apple Pencil
* Stereo speakers and faster 300Mbps LTE support on cellular versions.
V What are some of the differences vs. the Pro
* Display is the older tech and, obviously, smaller. Doesn't include ProMotion or TrueTone
* Also not "laminated", so slight "air" gap between glass and touch layer.
* No wide color gamut or antireflective coating
* No smart connector, so bluetooth keyboards only.
* 1st gen TouchID
* 8MP (vs 12MP) iSight camera and no OIS
* 1.2MP (vs 7MP) FaceTime Camera
* 2 speakers, vs. 4
* So you don't lose much and you get a device that starts at almost half the cost.
* Even though it was announced at an education event this feels very much like an iPad meant to entice upgraders in the consumer market.
V There wasn't a new Apple Pencil, but there were some education specific Logitech accessories
* The $49 Logitech Crayon which uses the same tech as the Apple Pencil, except pressure sensitivity.
* Durable metal and rubber design the tip needs an included tool to replace (so kids don't break it).
* Female lighting port with (attached) cover.
* Has a unique "pairing" technology that isn't Bluetooth.
* 8-hour battery and a 90 second charge will give 30 minutes of use.
* Only works with the 9.7-inch 6th gen iPad and can only be purchased by schools in packs of 10.
* Also a "Rugged Combo Case". Has spill-proof keyboard built in. Lightning pass-through connector for syncing and charging. $99
V New Education apps and services
* Upgraded iCloud storage for school accounts from 5Gb to 200GB
* Schoolwork, which allows teachers to assign, complete, and review assignments. It also lets them monitor and track a students progress.
* ClassKit, which is a new app framework for eduction apps. Allows these apps to integrate with Schoolwork, so teachers can assign specific activities into parts of the apps and track student progress.
* Apple's Classroom app is also coming to the Mac. This lets teacher monitor what kids are doing in their iPads in class.
* Both Schoolwork and ClassKit are supposed to arrive in June. I expect we'll hear more on ClassKit at WWDC
V Apple School Manager
* A new web-based portal fro schools
* Ability to create managed Apple IDs in bulk. These are special IDs that are controlled by the school.
V Shared iPad lets school more easily share pools of iPads
* Displays a classrooms managed Apple ID accounts
* Student taps their photo and uses a unique 4-digit pin to log in
* Syncs apps and data from that student from the Cloud so they can pick up and use ANY iPad.
V New iWork
* Pages, Numbers, and Keynote all received Apple Pencil support
* Pages has a "Smart Annotation" feature that lets you markup documents and that markup stays anchored to the text even as you make changes.
V Pages for iPad also gained the ability to create Books. Something you could only previously do in iBooks Author
* The support, at least now, is limited vs. iBooks Author
* Apple includes some templates to get you started
* It's actually ePub3 format, so not technically iBooks Author.
* Can't add "widgets" like you can in iBooks Author. So can't embed HTML, Javascript, etc. or add in Keynote files.
* GarageBand also got an update with new "Toybox" sound pack and "face" control on iPhone X for some synth and guitar effects.
* Apple also updated the Clips App with new Pixar selfie scenes (iPhone X only)
V New curriculum
* Apple added support for ARKit in Swift Playgrounds to their "Everyone Can Code" curriculum
V Added an "Everyone Can Create" curriculum
* Designed to give teachers ways to integrate video, photography, music, and drawing into their lesson plans for any subject
* Curriculums are distributed as iBooks. The Everyone Can Code ones are available now and there is a preview of the Everyone Can Create with the full lesson plan fro that due out in the Fall.
V Some other things that happened outside the event
* You can now buy Space Grey editions of the Apple Smart Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad, at about a $20 to $50 premium above the standard editions.
V Apple "Spring" collection is out with new iPhone and iPad cases along with new Apple Watch bands.
* The new designs feature colors and combos like Denim and Electric Blue, Lemonade, Marine Green, Red Raspberry, Gray and Pink Stripe, and more.
V We did not see an new lower priced MacBook/MacBook Air unfortunately
* It's something Bloomberg still thinks is in the works, but just was not ready for announcement at the event.
* Apple announced some amazing updates and I think for schools who are invested in Apple and iPads it's a really nice update.
V Will it let them gain back the ground they've lost to Google and Chromebooks?
* It remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely.
* They are losing the cost and the cloud battle.
* The new management tools like Apple School Manager and Shared iPad may help, but they have a LOT of convincing to do to win back customers
* I think we'll see more of the same from Apple education with some really "big" wins with high profile schools in some markets, but not a lot beyond that.
* Really the biggest thing I think we might see out of this is an uptick in iPad sales in the second quarter (Apple's 3rd quarter).
V Is Apple making their own displays
* Bloomberg reported on a "secret" Apple facility in Santa Clara, CA (not far from Apple HQ) where they say Apple is making MicroLED displays.
* A number of reports tried to imply that the existence of this facility means Apple is looking to get into the display manufacturing business. I doubt that.
V The Bloomberg piece is much clearer about the fact that Apple is making "small numbers" of MicroLED panels for testing.
* They say currently there are about 300 engineers are designing and producing MicroLED screens for use in future products.
V Apple has been interested in MicroLED technology for a while as it is seen as a natural successor to OLED.
* They purchased a LuxVue, a micro LED startup and about a year later opened a "technology center" (research lab) in Taiwan.
* Apple is interested because micro LED technology uses different different light-emitting compounds then current technologies and they promise thinner and brighter displays that consume less power.
* The trouble with the tech right now is that the screens are even harder to make then OLED, a technology that still has it's own manufacturing issues
* So what's happening at the moment is Apple is researching and developing micro OLED designs and manufacturing techniques that some day could be applied to future Apple products
* The strategy is very similar to the approach they took for developing their own processors and chip.
* Apple does the R&D and design work and then partners with manufacturers to create and build the Apple designs.
* Right now it seems micro OLED is at least a few years off. The first product will likely be an Apple Watch but probably not before 2019, more likely 2020 at the earliest. They say iPhone's could get the tech in 3-5 years.
V Apple ordering a LOT of OLED panels
* DigiTimes is reporting that "unnamed sources", likely from the Taiwan display panel industry, claim Apple is expected order for up to 270 million smartphone display panels throughout 2018.
* That is a huge number considering that Apple sold a total of about 217 million iPhones in 2017 and that not all of Apple's phone designs currently use OLED
* You might think that Apple plans to put OLED in all models in 2018, but that's unlikely
* Also, the rumor at the moment is that Apple is going to replace the "entry" level iPhones with a new 6.1 LCD version and the large OLED panel orders seem even more baffling.
* One factor in the high number is that there are losses in useable panels with low yields and production issues, so Apple could be hedging their bets, but even with that factored in it seems like a big hedge.
* It also plausible that Apple is throwing out a larger then need number to get manufacturers to "ramp up" so they don't face the kinds of supply shortages they have been in the past. Apple can afford to take a little hit even if they don't end up using all the displays?
V We also know that for this years iPhone models, specifically the iPhone X, many analysts are lowering numbers saying the higher priced model didn't exactly juice sales.
* Predictions for this year are currently around 220 million iPhones.
V Still have rumors that Apple might add "Blush Gold" and Red colors to possibly spark some new sales?
* The "blush" comes from leaker Ben Geskin along with a 3D render on Twitter. He claims it's currently in production.
* Ming Chi Kuo hinted at a gold model back before initial release, but mentioned production issues.
V Reports that Apple has already begun trial production of the 2018 iPhone lineup
* Supposedly in a n attempt to get ahead of any possible production bottlenecks.
* Typically trail production finishes up in July, but last years iPhone X took until August leading to launch delays and shortages.
* Of particular concern is the components needed for the sensors in the True Depth camera system as all models, plus possible updated iPads, are expected to incorporate the technology.
V So, could Apple lower the price for this years update to the 5.8-inch iPhone X?
* The theory is based on a Digitimes rumors that the bill of materials for this years version will be about 10 percent less
* I'm skeptical for two reasons. 1) Apple has warned about the inaccuracies of bill of materials estimates. 2) Apple very rarely lowers prices with updates. and OK, 3) Apple likes getting larger profit margins. It's part of major redesigns.
* Still RBC Capital Markets claims the new models 5.8-inch and 6.6-inch plus will be priced starting at $899 and $999 respectively.
V Apple still heavily testing self driving vehicles
V At least they have the ability to. From CA DMV records the Financial Times has reported that Apple has permits to operate 45 self-driving vehicles on public roads in California.
* That's almost double from the 27 permits they had in January.
* The most of other companies like Tesla and Uber in California. 39 and 29 permits respectively.
* The cars that have been spotted on the roads for Apple are generally different model year Lexus RX450h SUVs
V So what is Apple doing with their efforts?
* Originally it was the ill fated "Project Titan", supposedly Apple's plan to get into the car business.
* Then there was a major shakeup in the project and Tim Cook has referred to Apple working on "Autonomous systems" (not just "driving" systems). He said "one" purpose may be self driving cars.
* He also called it, "the mother of all AI projects".
* I still believe one application Apple is considering is "car as a service". Would tie well into their growing services business.
V Other applications of "system" included all the integrated services you might us in a vehicle when you don't have to drive it.
* Car "cloud" applications like navigation and information, entertainment, games, etc.
V In case you're wondering about safety in like of the horrific Uber incident in Arizona
* Recent reports state that Uber had reduced the LIDAR units on their vehicles down to just one roof mounted sensor.
* Apple's vehicles have six LIDAR units providing 360 degree coverage around the vehicle.
V Apple business slowly moving to services
* Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty told her investors she thinks Apple's services revenue could account for up to 50 percent of Apple's total revenue growth over the next five years.
* I think she might not be wrong, could even be higher.
* No surprise that for the past five years iPhone has been the drive accounting for 86 percent of Apple's revenue growth.
* Anyone following the trajectory of iPhone sales and the explosive expansion of services revenue can tell things at Apple are changing.
* Makes sense because Apple has built a large and mature ecosystem of hardware with iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Also Apple Watch and Apple TV. Now they can sell services onto that eco-system.
V Right now Huberty says Apple makes about $30 in services revenue per device in the market. That's up from $25 per device two years ago.
* In case your wondering Services counts iTunes, the App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and AppleCare revenue.
* She notes there are still a lot of customers, who don't pay for services, only 18 percent currently subscribe to a paid Apple service. There's a great growth opportunity there. In fact she thinks the revenue per device could possibly double in 5 years.
V Part of this growth will be Apple's original video content.
* Apple currently has at least 12 projects in the works, but we know little about how they plan to launch their service.
* What is now being discussed is the timeline.
* According to reports Apple is looking to launch the service around March 2019 at the earliest.
* As a majority of the projects have only recently received the go ahead the timing would make some sense.
* Most reports I've been reading claim it's not unusual for a standard cable show, especially a first season show, to take about a year to come together.
* The report also mentions that Apple has a a 40-person team working on Apple Worldwide Video and as reported in the past are building out a 128,000-square-foot headquarters in Culver City, California.
* I was hoping it would be sooner, but they also need to take their time and get the shows and the service right.
V The next Apple Watch
* What's next for Apple Watch?
* Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI says if you're looking for design changes you'll be disappointed. He expects the external design to be mostly the same.
* But he does think we can expect longer battery life, enhanced health monitoring features and he says a 15 percent larger display.
* There is no mention of how that larger display would be accommodated, though looking at my 42mm Apple Watch there is a couple mm, though hard to see, all around as a bezel so it's possible we could see a more "edge-to-edge" screen.
* Kuo is also positive about the potential for Apple Watch sales given new models and reduced prices on older versions.
* He expects Apple to launch new models in the thirds quarter and believes Apple could sell between 22-24 million units in 2018 which would be a substantial 30 percent year over year increase.
V Sponsor: Smile
V Textexpander
* TextExpander helps you communicate smarter.
* It can do all kinds of replacements and some you might not think of right away, but that's why it has suggestions. I love this as it's expanded many of the snippets I use.
* Anything that you realize you find yourself typing over and over again is great for a snippet.
* I have a bunch for different email address and signatures I use. I have a bunch of coding ones, because you can control the cursor position after expansion. I also have longer one with fill-ins and optional text that I use for common email questions I get on the Maccast.
* Have them for date stamps, common urls, directions. I have one that I update that is a full list of local craft breweries share with friends and family when they com into town.
* You can share snippets with other users or if you have a team or are in an office get TextExpander for Teams and share your productivity and standardize office communication.
* And right now TextExpander is offering Maccast listeners 20 percent off their first year. Just visit to sign up and get started saving time and communicating smarter.
V Feedback, commentary, opinions
V Another HomePod feature
* Play comment from Scott
* The audio here suffers a little from being a highly compressed "Google Voice" mp3 audio file (what i use for Maccast voicemail).
* You cannout place a call from Siri using the HomePod yet, unfortunately.
V Apple TV and TV seasons
* I had Tony write in with his thoughts on what's next for Apple TV and he thinks Apple will offer a TV service with full access to to all services and including, cable and their own package with the ability to access it all via voice from Siri and integrated into the TV app with a TiVO like grid. Basically replacing the "cable box"
* I get where he's trying to go, but I'm not convinced.
* In a way too, Apple and the TV app already work this way. I had no idea they did, but Tony's email got me playing with my Apple TV.
V I found that I could say to Siri on my Apple TV, "Play episode 2 of the second season of Star Trek Voyager" and she would happily start playing it.
* Well, almost. I had three options given to me. The iTunes, Prime Video, and Netflix. For me Prime Video was the only TV app option option.
* Yes, I said Netflix, from the TV app which doesn't yet have full Netflix integration. That's because Netflix shows are part of Siri search, though they are not part of the TV app yet.
V Apple and AppleCare service
* This is something we've been talking about lately and been sharing our experiences
V Bart Bushotts from the "Let's Talk Apple" podcast wrote to share his experience with a recent issue living in Ireland.
V First, he reminded me that "the plural of anecdote is not data", meaning basically that a few bad stories are not indicative of a systemic issue at Apple nor do they mean that Apple Geniuses are bad.
* I TOTALLY get this.
* He pointed out a story, not mentioned yet here, about someone who took his High Sierra Mac to an Apple Store and when they tried to boot from their network boot drive the graphics drivers on the hard drive of the Mac wouldn't run.
* They ultimately reformatted the Mac and re-installed the OS, but the real reason fro the issue were that Apple's network drives were formatted in HFS+ and Mac being tested was APFS. HFS+ isn not backward compatible with APFS.
* The original story that ran concluded that Apple Stores and Geniuses were so inept that they couldn't recognize this.
* Of course later stories mention that this was a one of incident, an anecdote, and that Apple Geniuses have extensive training and of course know about APFS vs. HFS+. Occasionally, if a store is busy, Technical Specialists or Technical Experts might take Mac appointments and they might not be as well trained.
* The later stories though don't get the press of the original one.
V Still, Bart goes on to confirm that he too has experienced the issue of having to more often push to get the kind of support that was common place a few years ago.
* His "anecdote", is of having to "fight" with a first tier support rep to get a "mail in" repair on an Apple Watch.
* See, Bart is in Ireland and Ireland currently has no Apple Store and few Apple Authorized resellers.
* She insisted that Bart take the watch into an Apple Genius. Proceeding to insist that Apple did have retail stores in Ireland. Belfast indeed does have an Apple Retail store she said and that's in Ireland.
* Those of you with a good grasp of geography know what's coming. Belfast is Northern Ireland, yes. BUT… Northern Ireland is NOT Ireland. They are completely separate countries not even on the same land mass.
* Northern Ireland is part of the UK, and is NOT Ireland.
* The agent also insisted that sending in items for repair was not possible, again false.
* Bart escalated and ultimately was ultimately able to get the repair done, via mail in.
V Andrew wrote in about a battery replacement and his brothers iPhone 6
* Back in December his brother wanted the battery replaced, but was not willing to pay the high price, $119AUD, to replace it at an Apple store.
* He had a 3rd party do it for $69AUD.
* When Apple announced the new program he decided to get it replaced again.
* He ordered and 10 weeks later was called for his appointment.
* He went in and they refused to service the battery since it has a 3rd party on in place. They cited safety issues with the technician working on the battery.
* When they expressed they were unhappy the manager said they should "start legal proceedings"?!!
* What confused me was the policy. In looking over Apple's Repair Terms and Conditions there is a section, 1.11.6 Disclosure of Unauthorized Modifications, it says that you will tell Apple if you're device has, "any unauthorized modifications or repairs or replacements not performed by Apple or an AASP" but that Apple is not responsible for any damage that occurs from these repairs or components and that you'd have to pay for any repairs related to the unauthorized repair.
* In this case though they completely refused to replace the battery or work on the iPhone.
* I can sort of get it. I would suggest if you still have the "old" battery that you put it back then reschedule the service.
* Still, suggesting that you sue Apple can hardly be what a Store Manager should be suggesting.
V Using OpenDNS to secure your network
* Last time we brought up the discussion of parental controls.
V Several people emailed me to mention that another great option is to use Open DNS (now a Cisco company).
* Basically you replace your ISP DNS server settings with OpenDNS
* This offers the benefits of speed and access to some additional tools.
* They have several free and paid options.
V All levels offer:
* Faster, more reliable home Internet
* Phishing and Malware/Botnet protection
* Parental controls
* Free email support
V OpenDNS Family Shield
* Uses a special set of DNS IP addresses that are pre-configured to block adult content
V OpenDNS Home
* Has the same content filters, but allows customization
* They have High, Moderate, Low presets
* You can customize by categories and add domains to an "always" block list.
* They also offer a "stats" list you can turn on to monitor what sites are being visited from your network.
V Configure your router (AirPort)
* Open the AirPort Utility application.
* Click the AirPort Extreme's icon
* Click Edit, can enter the AirPort admin access password.
* Select the "Internet" tab
* Change the Primary DNS Server and Secondary DNS Server fields to the values for OpenDNS.
* Click Update and wait for the AirPort to reset.
V On a Mac
* Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Network.
* Select your network from the list on the left
* Click Advanced
* Click the DNS tab, then click the "+" to add a DNS server address.
* Enter the first OpenDNS value, then repeat to add the second OpenDNS IP address.
* Click OK.
* Click Apply.
V On iOS
* Open Settings
* Tap on Wi-Fi
* Tap the "i" symbol nest to your wi-fi network
* Under 'DNS' tap Configure DNS.
* Tap 'Manual', instead of automatic.
* Tap the green "+" icon to add a new DNS and type in the OpenDNS address.
* Repeat for the second OpenDNS address.
* Tap 'Save'
* You might want to set the 'OpenDNS Home' settings with more open filtering on your router and then configure your kids devices to use the more restrictive OpenDNS Family Shield servers.
V The filtering does rely on you being on your hope network because it's IP addressed based and since most IPs are dynamic OpenDNS needs to know the IP of your network.
* They offer an OpenDNS Updater app to keep their servers up to date when your home IP changes.
V Undoing autocorrect
* Geoff wrote in with a tip that somehow had evaded both him and me. He discovered it by accident.
* You may know about Apple's predicative typing, autocorrect, and text replacement features. You type and the OS will attempt to predict or replace things.
* A common one is the "Smart Quotes" that replace straight quotes with curly quotes.
* It's really annoying when autocorrect replace what you ACTUALLY wanted with something else.
* Geoff found out that if that happens and you use "undo" Command+Z right after the correction you will get back what you originally typed.
* Same thing for cases where say Mail auto formats the text of a URL into a hyperlink.
* Great tip!
V Another on on the whole "Smart Quotes" thing is that you can simply turn off that feature entirely.
* System Preferences > Keyboard
* In the Text tab uncheck the "Use smart quotes and dashes" option.
* Unfortunately you can't do "smart quotes" and "dashes" separately.
V Once it's off you can still type "curly quotes" using the keyboard shortcuts.
* Option + [ and Option + Shift + [ for open and close double quotes respectively
* Option +] and Option +Shift + ] for the single quotes.
V Using Home Sharing in TV App
* Play question from Jeff Fields
V Sounds like HomeSharing is already on in iTunes since you see the "Computers" section on your Apple TV
* For others, first make sure iTunes is open on your Mac, Home Sharing is on, and the Mac and iOS device are on teh same wi-fi.
* iTunes > Preferences > Sharing. Check on 'Share My Library on My Local Network'
* Also in the "General" tab note the "Library Name" as that is what you'll be looking for in the TV app.
V Make sure that Home Sharing is on for the TV app on each iOS device
* Settings > TV > iTunes Videos
* Under the 'Home Sharing' section you should see the Apple ID. Should be the same one you use for iTunes Store purchases.
* Log into that account by clicking 'Sign In'
V Once Home Sharing is set up then launch the TV app
* Tap on the 'Library' tab
V Now right under TV Shows and Movies (which would be how you access iTunes Purchased content) you should see the iTunes Library name.
* If not wait a a minute or two
V Now you can tap that and it should load up your iTunes Movies and TV Shows.
* This can take a while depending on the size you your Library.
* You should see TV Shows, Movies, and Home Movies categories.
* Tap the "Library" link at the top to go back to the main Library.
V Closing
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