On June 12th, Smile will celebrate 15 years of making productivity software and providing fast, friendly service to customers.
PDFpen 1.0 debuted at Macworld San Francisco in 2004. The new PDFpen 10 includes watermarking, headers & footers, a precision edit tool, and more. PDFpenPro 10 adds batch OCR, making bulk OCR a snap. Recently-released version 10.1 adds AppleScript support for the new features, including batch OCR in PDFpenPro.
During the week of June 11th, the Smile Blog will celebrated Smile's history with a whole series of posts. Great nostalgic fun for Mac geeks.
I mentioned Apple Pay coming to Poland last time, well a day later they rolled out in Norway
Apple Pay Norway supports two financial institutions in Santander Consumer Finance, one of the largest banks in the region, and Nordea (Nor-day-ah) and Sbanken (S-bawn-ken)
There are a few rumors indication that Apple Pay could launch in the Czech Republic in the next few months as well.
Apple does deal with Sesame Workshop
Variety reported that Apple is doing a deal with Sesame Workshop to create a "slate" of kids programming for it's Worldwide Video division
Sesame Workshop is the the nonprofit educational organization behind “Sesame Street”
Apple will not be licensing "Sesame Street" though (already released on HBO and PBS)
Apple's deal is for multiple original shows and will include live-action and animated series, in addition to a puppet series all developed exclusively for Apple
9to5 Mac highlighted an insightful tweet from Ben Bajarin about Apple's video strategy
Basically citing the value of betting on good quality content
It has longevity because it's long lasting and eventually can be licensed to other networks
Does original video content have a future in "syndication"?
Apple has also reportedly given a series order to Canal+ to create an English-language adaptation of their French short-form series "Calls"
"Calls" episodes are about 10 minutes in length and combine real-life audio with minimal video
The stories seem to fit int to the "true-life" crime drama genre which is becoming increasingly popular.
Honestly to me this look like something more suited for Apple Music then a video service.
Your iPhone could replace your car keys
Apple is a member of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) an organization focused on enabling seamless mobile device-to-vehicle connectivity
This week the group, which includes other companies like Samsung, LG, GM, Audi, and BMW, released a new Digital Key specification.
The spec creates a standardized solution to allow a digital vehicle key to be loaded onto a smartphone
The key uses NFC to allow the device to lock, unlock, start the engine. A driver could also digitally share the "key" with another driver.
Basically allowing for keyless operation of the vehicle.
Beyond the personal advantages the system also has benefits for car sharing and car rentals.
The version released this week is Version 1.0 requires the dealer to transfer the digital key to your phone
Consortium is already working on 2.0 where they are hope to have better interoperability between different smart devices and vehicles.
Some car manufacturers
Other iPhone related news
DigiTimes says TSMC has ramped up production of Apple's A12 series processors using it's advanced 7-nanometer process
The TSMC's CEO also addressed rumors of the new tech having a "slower-than-expected" yield rate saying the overall capacity in 2018 will be 12 million wafers in 2018, up 1.5 million from the 2017 levels.
5nm node technology is expected to reach mass production by the end of 2019, so not in time for Apple's A13.
Air Power may arrive after a year
Back in September of last year Apple pre-announced it's 3-in-one wireless charging mat called AirPower
It promises the ability to wirelessly charge and iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X, along with an Apple Watch (3rd gen) and Air Pod (with new, not included, wireless charging case).
Cool stuff, but we have not heard anything about it since.
Bloomberg claims Apple hoped to have here this month but ran into some trouble with heat, the multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs.
It's also a lot more then a dumb charging mat. This one supposedly has smarts.
Has a custom Apple chip
Runs a "stripped down" version of iOS to manage power and the charging circuits and handle communication with your devices
The mat also doesn't have have charging "hotspots" meaning that you would be able to place objects anywhere on the pad and have them charge.
The Bloomberg report claims some of Apple's engineers are using the mats in their offices and the new target date for release is supposedly September. A full year after Apple announced the thing.
To be fair at the announcement Apple only promised it "next year", but I think many (including Apple) thought it would get here sooner then later.
We still have no details on what the product will cost.
Apple had also promised to release the multi-device technology to the Qi standards body, so there is hope for future 3rd party products, but Apple needs to get theirs out before any of that even happens.
The piece also mentions Apple's intention of eventually removing the wired charging system all together. It was obviously found to not be doable yet.
GarageBand update could make you a musician
Apple released GarageBand 10.3 and normally I wouldn't cover a story like this, but one thing in this update makes it more fun then other releases.
It's not the 1,000 new electronic and urban loops. Nor new drummers or sound and voice effects. Though those are all cool.
No, it's that Apple made the built in Artists Lessons all free in 120 countries. The formerly would cost $4.99/ea.
They are eight video piano lessons and 15 video guitar lessons taught by famous artists like Sarah McLachlan, Sting, John Fogerty and Fall Out Boy.
Basically $115 worth of content now free.
Apple announces 'sticky key' program
Apple announced an official extended repair and service program to address what they call a "small percentage of users" who might experience sticky, repeated characters or unresponsive keys on their MacBook or MacBook Pro.
The program covers Retina, 12-inch MacBook models from Early 2015 to 2017 and 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro models from 2016-2017
The program will cover eligible MacBook and MacBook Pros for 4 years from the date of purchase.
Apple says customers experiencing issues can have their Mac services free of charge through Apple stores or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Also anyone who already paid to service an eligible product will be eligible for a refund.
Apple says depending on the issue the repair might involve the replacement of one or more keys or the whole keyboard.
Some have pointed out that while this is a good step in terms of customer good faith it doesn't address what many feel is a fatal underlying design issue.
Getting your faulty keyboard repaired for up to four years is fine, but if you're having to constantly get it repaired what's the point?
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Use Travel Mode to remove data from devices when crossing borders, then bring it back when you're ready.
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End-to-end encryption keeps your data safe from your Mac to your iPhone and back again.
He says, " I would say 99.9% of users would not notice a benefit outside of a battery bump for any Mac newer than 2012."
He feels it's mostly the reviewers and enthusiasts who are making the most noise over the lack up updates.
Darren says he's typically on a budget and usually buys at the entry level side when Apple releases products
Because of that he does worry about models like the Mac mini or MacBook Air being neglected to the point where they just are discontinued.
He notes that even his 2012 Mac Mini is a "great" machine. He has upgraded it with an SSD and 16GB of RAM.
He also points out the dilemma on going to buy a "new" machine and only having options for "older" tech. 2014 in the case of a Mac mini.
This got me thinking that maybe we need not a more aggressive upgrade cycle as much as a return to somme minimal forms of user upgradability
Brian disagreed with me that it's probably OK that Apple has the Mac on a longer then one year update cycle
"In my opinion they are treating Mac hardware like a long lost son"
Brian feels Apple has "fallen out of love" with the Mac and are too focused on the iPhone and iOS because it's their main source of revenue.
He also says just saying, “be happy with what you got!”, is a poor excuse.
He says if the iPhone isn't upgraded every year there would be an uproar and why should if be different for the Mac?
I can see his point, but we're really talking about very different animals and more importantly very different consumer behaviors and buying cycles
Consumers still upgrade their phones on about a 2-3 cycle. With computers it's much less frequently and getting longer. Arguably BECAUSE of iPhones and iPads becoming more capable devices.
One quick follow up on subscription based apps from Bryan
He prefers apps that offer a choice of how to subscribe. Monthly, Yearly, Lifetime (in some cases)
Another listener pointed out that some app developers offering subscriptions allow you to still "lock-in" on an older version if you stop paying and a newer version has been released. Parallels works like this (yearly subscription, but can keep using the version you have).
iCloud Drive vs. On My Device
David wrote in to express some concerns over using iCloud Drive and iOS's new Files app.
He'd been waiting for the day when iOS would get file and syncing system that would allow syncing across platforms and nested folders.
As he began using it though he became concerned about the same file appearing in in his new folders in iCloud Drive and in the Pages app in iCloud Drive.
Was there possible file duplication going on and how would he know which file was which?
Which is the latest version?
How files are handled in iOS
Cloud based storage and the File Providers (cloud based storage)
Open in Place, allows Apps to securely access and use file stored in other App in the Document manager
If implemented properly and supported by developers and cloud providers
Allows you to access and work with files in place
For Apple's apps, like Pages, you can work on files in the iCloud Storage location for example
These will sync.
You can download and work with a "local" copy that will sync later or in real time if your connected
There is a "On My Device" location in the Files App as well.
These are only local to the device.
In the share sheet you'll see both "Open In" and "Open Copy In"
The difference is if the app for a file type supports the "Open in place" option.
My DVD ripping workflow
Thanks to the guys on [The Morning Stream](frogpants.com/tms/) podcast I had a nagging to rip the first three seasons of the Muppet Show
It involved me ripping out the old Superdrive from my dead 2011 Macbook Pro and placing it in an external USB 3 enclosure
Not sure if I still had the "hack" in macOS or if Apple is just better at recognizing externals now?