The new camera system is being praised by many in the community
I say system because many of the improvements are due to Apple "Computational Photography" enhancements
DxOMark gave it it's second highest score of 105, just behind the Hiawei P20 Pro (three lens)
The iPhone XS Max has "excellent" photo and video quality in bright light, with a "very wide dynamic range and good detail."
Stuff enabled by the integration of of A12 Bionic, the Neural Engine, and the image signal processor (ISP)
It's driving features like Smart HDR and the new adaptive depth of field.
Some of that new "computational" stuff is causing some reviewers to spread Fear Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)
Thanks to Unbox Therapy we got "smoothgate" or "selfiegate". That Apple is applying a "beauty" mode with skin smoothing
Luckily Halide developer, Sebastiaan de With, debunked the FUD.
More aggressive noise reduction techniques and SmartHDRs merging of exposures that eliminates sharp light and dark contrasts where light hits the skin.
The new camera are preferring to use faster shutter speeds and higher ISOs which improve the light capture (especially in low light), but can add noise with Apple is applying heaver noise reduction to.
The big problem here is the camera seems to do this in RAW too, but doesn't apply the Smart HDR stuff, so you can get overexposed and noisy images if you shoot RAW. You'll need to shoot manual and underexpose if you want to avoid possible clipping in your RAW photos.
I'm noticing more of what I call the "watercolor" effect, though generally i think the images look a LOT better then my iPhone X
If you don't like the changes you can turn off Smart HDR or use 3rd party apps that allow you to control shutter speed and ISO.
The iPhone XS Max won DisplayMate’s best smartphone display award
Consumer reports testing showed the iPhone XS had 30 minutes longer battery life then an iPhone X and the XS Max should last up to 90 minutes longer
Worth noting that conflicts with testing from Tom's Hardware that showed the iPone XS with
So far most analysts surveys seem to indicate there is strong demand for this years iPhones
Piper Jaffray's latest survey showed 39 percent of US iPhone owners considering an upgrade to an XS or XS Max with about a 50/50 split between the models
That split seems to contradict another report from Ming-Chi Kuo who claimed the iPhone XS Max was outselling the XS by a factor of 3 to 4 times.
Still Rosenblatt Securities' Jun Zhang (JAAng) looked at recent weekend sales and some to a very different conclusion
"We continue to believe total iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max sales will be lower than total iPhone X sales over a two-month period."
He was also wrongly skeptical of iPhone X sales too.
He basis his analysis on in store inventory and sales vs. the "production ramp". Using wait times for preorders is an accurate measure of overall demand. (If Apple is able to over deliver then they have "excess" inventory they weren't planning to have, so sales are slow).
He does seem to mirror Ming-Chi Kuo's theory of iPhone XS Max outselling the iPhone XS. "We believe iPhone XS Max sales were about 4-5x iPhone XS sales over the weekend."
Remember the iPhone XR hasn't even arrived yet.
A few iPhone XS and XS Max issues
Some reports of connected charging issues on iPhone XS and XS Max
Plug it in and then charging icon never comes on.
Sometime unplugging an re-plugging in fixes it.
Apple possibly already has a patch in iOS 12.1 beta which is already out to developers
Apple is looking into reports that some customers are experiencing LTE connectivity issues with the newly released iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
Engineers are asking some customers to install a baseband logger to track their cellular connections and report the data back to Apple.
A small group of users have noticed fewer bars and poorer signal on iPhone XS and XS Max compared to older devices.
Many of the early complaints seem to have come from Verizon users.
Should be fixable with a software update and in fact the iOS 12.1 beta does have updated modem firmware
Reports of some bluetooth audio issues
iPhones failing to communicate with car entertainment systems properly
Does not seem to be limited to a specific car manufacturer. Reports from some owners of cars from Kia, Audi, Subaru, and Mercedes.
Deleting and repair seems to work, but sometimes only temporarily.
Verify your car's entertainment system firmware is up to date.
Some Apple Watch Series 4s in seemed to be hit by a DST bug in Australia
The bug happened when Australia's clocks changed early Sunday morning and put some Apple Watched into a reboot loop.
The theory on Reddit seems to be an issue with the Infograph Activity complication and switching to a different face stopped the problem.
The issue also seemed to resolve itself after 24 hours.
The US and UK don't do DST until November 4th and October 28th respectively so hopefully Apple resolves the issue with a software update before then.
Apple launches Wallet Student IDs
Students at Duke University, the University of Alabama and the University of Oklahoma can now add their student IDs into their Apple Wallet.
They can use their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for services at school, or unlock a dorm room door after verifying with Touch or FaceID.
Johns Hopkins University, Santa Clara University, and Temple University will roll out the capability by the end of this school year.
Are we getting an October event? When?
Leading up to Apple's September iPhone event we also had rumors of a number of things Apple has not yet show us.
Before last year Apple often would hold a separate October event with iPad and Mac announcements and we are still expecting those.
So what can we expect to see and when?
There has been some variation and Apple skipped events in 2015 and 2017, but typically it's held on the Tuesday or Thursday (most recently a Thursday 2016) in the 4th week of the month.
I agree with MacRumors assessment that Apple will have the event on Thursday Oct 25th and send out invites the week before on the 18th.
What will we see:
For sure the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro updates
Thinner bezels, edge-to-edge displays, no home button, TrueDepth cameras, USB-C connectors and charging.
Updated Mac mini, updated and slightly cheaper MacBooks.
Slight possibility of a spec bump to the iMacs.
Wildcards: new lower cost HomePod (no), AirPod update (maybe?), AirPod wireless charging case (maybe), AirPower (not a chance in Hades)
Apple denies having servers with Chinese 'spy' chips
Bloomberg published a piece claiming that companies including Amazon and Apple found Chinese surveillance chips in their server hardware contracted from Super Micro and that they contacted the FBI which is still conducting a "secret" investigation.
The claim was that Apple found these chips on motherboards back in 2015, but Apple strongly denies the claim.
Told Bloomberg before the piece was published that the claims were not true and that they were "misinformed" by their sources.
Apple told CNBC that it only ever found an infected driver on a single Super Micro server in a lab.
They also said No one from Apple ever reached out to the FBI and that they have never heard from the FBI about an investigation of this kind.
In a letter to Congress, Apple reiterated that it found no evidence of microchip-based server tampering by Chinese agents
New Macbook Pro and iMac Pro repairs require diagnostics
MacRumors acquired internal repair documents from Apple that showed that after certain repairs to the iMac Pro or 2018 Macbook Pro models the systems may be required to pass a diagnostic before becoming functional.
In the 2018 MacBook Pro, the requirement applies to repairs involving the display, logic board, Touch ID, and top case.
In the iMac Pro the requirement only applies to logic board and flash storage repairs.
The tests are part of a diagnostic suite, Apple Service Toolkit, which is only available to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers.
They are need after certain parts are services because of the Apple T2 security chips that are in these models.
Apple's document seems to claim that failure to run Apple diagnostics after certain parts are replaced in T2-equipped Macs "will result in an inoperative system".
Still it looks like currently the requirement might not be enabled. iFixit was able to replace the display and logic board in a 2018 Macbook Pro and it remained functional without passing the diagnostics.
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Correction on FDA approval
John pointed out that the Apple Watch ECG feature has an FDA clearance, not an "approval"
What's the difference?
In order for medical devices to be legally marketed (sold) in the United States, they are required to be cleared or approved by the FDA.
"Cleared" devices are are ones that FDA has determined to be substantially equivalent to (similar) another legally marketed device.
Approved medical devices are those devices that the FDA has approved a premarket approval (PMA) application or a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) application. This review and approval process is for Class III medical devices (the ones with the highest risk) and involves a more rigorous review
My upgrade to Mojave
So after a year of being on macOS Sierra (skipping High Sierra), I finally upgraded to macOS Mojave
Explain why it took me so long.
How I did a clean install
I have three full backups, plus archives
CCC, Time Machine, Backblaze, plus ChronoSync to Drobo of critical files and documents.
Created a USB install key
Using Terminal extracted the `createinstallmedia` app from the macOS 10.14 Install file
Copied over critical "Home" folder files from my Carbon Copy Cloner.
Documents, Downloads, Movies, Music, Pictures (includes Photo Library), etc.
My iTunes Music Library is already on an external, so just needed to select that to get iTunes sync'd back up.
Turned on Apple Music and iCloud Photo Library to let those sync up.
First critical App to install, 1Password (sync'd from the cloud) as it has all my account passwords and software keys.
SetApp was also installed as i have several apps (Bartender, Ulysses, CleanMyMac, etc. that are from there).
Re-installed all my critical Apps and started rebuilding my development environments (had manually backups mySQL DBs, Apache configs, etc.).
For Apps that had specific configurations, configs, and support files:
Manually copied back the Application Support folders and Preference files.
~/Library/Application Support & ~/Library/Preferences
Sometimes it can be trick finding the right files because they can use the Application name or the developer company name.
It only took about a day or two to get most of my basic functionality back.
So far everything seems to be working mostly great.
Spotlight indexing did go crazy, but that was also a pre-existing issue. I'm also continuing to have my CCC (and occasionally other drives) randomly dismount and remount.
Restored my Backblaze and Time Machine backups. Will re-setup my ChronoSync soon. Holding onto the CCC backup until I'm sure all the App data I need is restored.
Can honestly say it hasn't been life changing or even feeling all that different from when I was running macOS Sierra.
Lots of "nice" things. Like Stacks.
The asking for permissions on EVERYTHING. Is super annoying, but I understand it.
Some great new Mojave features
Everyone seems excited about "Dark Mode". It really didn't do much or me personally.
A really cool feature is Continuity Camera
Need an iOS Device running iOS 12 and a Mac that supports continuity and is running macOS Mojave
Your Mac and iOS device have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on.
Your Mac and iOS device are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID that is using two-factor authentication.
Works in Finder, Notes, Mail, Messages, TextEdit, and the latest versions of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers.
In a supported app, Control+Click in the window and choose 'Import or Insert from iPhone or iPad'
You then have the option to Take a Photo or Scan a Document.
It will automatically launch the Camera app on your device.
You can take multi-page scans and it will auto detect documents and do skew correction.
document or photo will be imported right into your Mac or document.
New "interactive" screenshot options
Brings up a HUD with options for screenshots and screen capture
Under 'Options' you can save to different locations (Desktop, Documents, Clipboard, Mail, Messages, Preview, and Other Locations). Also timer options, and 'show cursor' or 'hide floating thumbnail'
"Floating Thumbnail" lets you click to access "Markup" options for cropping and annotating. Can delete the image or share it from the markup screen.
Two-Factor Authentication with shared accounts
Play question from Graeme.
There is not really a great way to handle this when the 2-factor code is sent via SMS to a phone number. The best way I can think of is when you receive the txt copy and paste it or forward it to a group family iMessage.
If the 2-Factor code is generated by an App then one way to possibly handle that is with a 1Password "Family" plan (not sure if other password apps have similar functionality). You can make 1Password your "authenticator app" and then share that with other members of your family, so any device that is syncing with one password can generate that code.
You can share different logins/passwords with different family member groups.
It's all even cooler now because 1Password can auto generate and copy that code to the clipboard when you're using it to log into websites on the Mac or iOS
Play comment from Mike
That's a bummer. Nice to know Mike eventually worked it out, but good reminder not to erase your old device before setting up your new one.
If you did need to do this I guess turn off two-factor authentication on your account first.
Add a trusted phone number, you can get a phone call with the code instead of the TXT, I couldn't figure out how to to this.
You can use your old device to set up your new one.
Apple Watch Series 4 charging stands
Play comment from John.
At first I thought that maybe the issue could be weight, but near as i can tell the larger Series 4 Apple Watch is still slightly lighter then the Series 3?
Then I checked Apple's site and they do list the stand as being compatible with the Series 4 Watch yet I can see there is a tight tolerance there.
Maybe if you tilted it back slightly it could get the clearance it would need? I assume you were placing it with the digital crown up (I think the only orientation that works, or portrait)
Could be an issue too with some third party stand designs.
Another Apple Watch thing that came up from Kevin was that it appears that you can no longer access animated emoji (hands, hearts, smileys) from the Apple Watch in iOS 5
The closest you can get now is accessing "recent" stickers
Don't have the options you can scroll through with the digital crown.
My guess is Apple feels like Animoji and Memoji replaces this feature?
Messages in the Cloud and deleting
Play comment from Stephen
After hearing this I had a couple follow up questions for Stephen. Was the issue accidental deletion and not being able to get things back or was it just now you have clutter if you choose to "keep forever"
I do believe that before, and I assume if you choose not to activate messages in the cloud, you could "close" a conversation and if the person re-sent you a message the history would come back.
I also mentioned to Stephen that there is a warning dialog prompt, "Would you like to delete this conversation? This conversation will be deleted from all of your devices".
He provided some clarification that he attempted to send an image while on a plane and because it was taking forever decided to delete the image and try again later, but with the confusing UI ended up deleting the whole conversation, losing a year of history in the process (devastating).
Luckily in his case he was able to restore from a couple day old backup on his Mac.
So I understand his point here. There is a possible risk of significant data loss if people don't understand this feature.
I like the idea of a "trash" folder, like with photos.
Then you can go to the trash and do an immediate permanent "delete".
Some other suggestions from Stephen
If you remove an entire message transcript being required to "re-auth" with your iCloud password (not sure I agree on this)
Clarity as to what keeping messages 'forever' means in the settings
Swiping left on a Message from someone SHOULD NOT DELETE the transcript from all devices!! Or offer an "Archive" option (I like this better)
Seems very worried about "toddler" accidental deletion. Not sure I share this concern. I wouldn't let a toddler use my phone in this case. There is also accessibility Guided Access, where you can lock the device into a single app.
"Triple click" to activate and deactivate.
Can set areas of the screen that are inactive and set time limits.
For now, if this is a concern I would NOT enable Messages in the Cloud.
Settings >Your Account > iCloud. Turn off 'Messages'
You can also use an App like iMazing, https://imazing.com to backup your Messages locally to your Mac.
iMazing will also let you recover and extract messages from iTunes backups.