Your iCloud backups contain your iMessages and other data like contacts, calendar data, photos, etc.
These are encrypted and stored encrypted, but don’t use end to end encryption.
You have a key, but so does Apple.
Apple has a key because many people lose or break their devices and then can’t remember their iCloud passwords.
In this scenario Apple support can help customers recover at least so of their data
Home data, Health data, iCloud Keychain, Payment information, QuickType Keyboard learned vocabulary, Screen Time, Siri information, and Wi-Fi passwords are all encrypted and Apple cannot decrypt.
There was a story this week that Apple had backed off on plans to end-to-end encrypt ALL iCloud data due to FBI pressure
See under court orders Apple can provide access to iCloud backups and data for law enforcement and government requests
In first half of last year Apple provided data for about 160,000 devices processing about 82% of these requests.
A Reuters report claimed that six sources told them Apple caved to FBI demands to not go forward with their plans to end-to-end encrypt iCloud data
I find this report highly unlikely personally. Apple has never shown any hesitation at standing up to FBI demands and they historically are on the side of the consumer
I think it’s more likely they are still erring on the side of the consumer when it comes to being able to provide customer support for locked accounts and data.
I think it would be nice to offer savvy customers a choice to end-to-end encrypt after accepting the risk.
Like they do when you enable FileVault for example.
Despite being potentially annoying, App background location tracking notices in iOS 13 are proving to be highly effective
Fast Company reported on new data from location marketing firm Location Sciences
Since iOS 13’s release the amount of background location data that marketers collect has dropped by 68%
The also say the amount of foreground data (when the app is opened) has dropped 24%.
A more “Mac-like” iPad keyboard?
According to DigiTimes Apple could release a new version of the Smart Keyboard with the next generation of iPads
They say the new version may feature scissor switch keys
This could mean a new keyboard on iPads that feels more like the new scissor switch keyboard on the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro
Still back in July of last year Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple would be sticking with rubber dome switches in the iPad keyboards from 2020-2021
There is also a rumor that Apple will add 5G support, with mmWave, to the iPad Pro this year also.
AppleTV+ subscription numbers look solid, for now.
The Wall Street Journal cited a survey of subscriber numbers in in the 4th quarter of 2019 and Apple TV+ came out looking pretty good.
Scoring 3rd behind Netflix and Amazon Prime with an estimated 33.6 million subscribers
That beat out Hulu (31.8) and Disney+ (23.2)
Now to be fair there are two big factors to mention
Apple is offering a year of free service to anyone who purchased an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Apple Watch after September 10, 2019
Disney launched their service about halfway through the quarter. But still just 11 days after Apple’s Nov 1st launch.
More Apple TV+ news
Apple TV+ has brought in it’s first couple awards both for the Morning Show
Billy Crudup was up first with a win for best supporting actor at the Critic’s Choice Awards
Then Jennifer Aniston won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series at the Screen Actors Guild awards
Apple announced it’s full Apple TV+ lineup for this year at SXSW
Apple will release the Bestie Boys documentary “Beastie Boys Story” directed by Spike Jonze in April.
It will first have a limited theatrical run in IMAX theaters
Two original shows from Apple were announced
A docuseries that looks at the world’s most innovative homes.
An animated musical series from the creator of Bob’s Burgers executive produced by Nora Smith and Josh Gad
A new new documentary series produced by R.J. Cutler
"Dear" draws inspiration from the company's "Dear Apple" advertisements that feature customers reading written testimonials about Apple products
Instead of customer stories the 10-episode series will focus on stars like Oprah Winfrey, broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda, gymnast Aly Raisman, Spike Lee, and more.
First five episodes will be released on Mach 6th
This is a reboot of the 80s sci-fi anthology series produced by Steven Spielberg
Defending Jacob series will debut on April 24th
Drama series that unfolds around a shocking crime in a small Massachusetts town.
Starring Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery
Home Before Dark which will premier on April 3rd
Based on real life child journalist Hilde Lysiak
Apple’s first UK series called “Trying” will launch on May 1st and is described as a show about "growing up, settling down, and finding someone to love."
Apple signed a multi-year exclusive deal with Julia Louis-Dreyfus to develop new projects for Apple TV+
She will both produce and star in shows for Apple.
In a statement about the partnership she jokes that was excited that her representatives were able to structure the deal so that she would be pair in AirPods.
Apple also reviewed the controversial information surrounding their first original film “The Banker” and have announced that they will release the film on Apple TV+ in March.
They delayed the release which was set to happen in December last year after “accusations of historical inaccuracy and sexual abuse” around the story came to light.
The sexual abuse accusations surrounded the son of one of the main characters and he is not depicted in the film.
The film stars Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson.
Apple also started reminding customers who have not activated their free year of Apple TV+ that they have 90 days from purchase to sign up
The clock started Nov 1st for anyone who purchased a qualifying product on of after September 10th, 2019.
Mac shipment down in 2019
The latest IDC data for Q4 2019 is out and the numbers for Macs seem to show what Apple is probably already aware of
We’re just not buying Macs as often or frequently as we used to.
This is despite the fact that overall PC shipments grew 4.8 percent in the quarter.
They estimated that Apple shipped 4.7 million Macs in the quarter which would put them down 5.3 percent year over year
Gartner also released their numbers and Apple faired a little better there. They estimated Apple sold 5.26 million Macs down just 2.3 percent year over year.
I don’t find any of this surprising given the Apple ecosystem
Macs are lasting longer and folks are supplementing computing tasks with devices like the iPhone and iPad
My Mac, a 2015 MacBook Pro, is going strong and I have no plans to replace it anytime soon
In fact in my house I also have a 2006 Mac mini, a 2009 iMac, a 2011 MacBook Air, a 2013 MacBook. All working great.
MacPro is available in it’s rack mount form starting at $6,499.00 USD
Specs are more or less the same, but priced about $500 more to rack mount.
New iMac design could be all glass with an embedded display
Apple has a patent for an "Electronic Device with Glass Housing Member," that shows a computer with a curved glass bottom forming a support stand for an embedded display
A “wedge” at the bottom seems to house ports, connections, and peripherals
Another version shows a “slot” where a MacBook Pro is passed through with the display serving as a kind of doc and the MacBook Pro becoming the keyboard for the setup.
It’s only a patent, but gives some insight into possible thoughts going into future iMac designs.
We've talked in the past about the advantages of using a VPN.
It's great for protecting your security and privacy when your surfing online.
And ExpressVPN has been my go to VPN for about a year now.
What I really love about it is how easy it is to use. Install the app, choose the VPN location, click a button.
It's that easy, plus the connection is fast and reliable.
And it works that way for all my devices. Mac, iPad, and iPhone
Recently I had another need for Express VPN that also came in handy
I run in nerd circles, yeah big surprise, and many of my friends love Doctor Who. It's been on my streaming list for a while and i've never really gotten around to it, until the other day.
I thought it was on Netflix, but it was pulled in 2016. Read it was on Prime, got pulled a few month ago. So frustrating.
Then I heard it was still available on Netflix in the UK. Using Express VPN I could connect to their UK VPN and watch.
And Express VPN has access in almost 100 different countries, so it can do the same for your favorite shows and content as well.
Best of all if you visit my special link right now EXPRESSVPN dot com slash MACCAST, you can get an extra three months of ExpressVPN for free! Support the show, watch what you want, and protect yourself at EXPRESS-V-P-N dot com slash MACCAST.
Feedback, commentary, opinions
Enhanced Apple Maps maybe rolled out now?
One of the listeners who originally alerted me about Apple Maps 2019 US enhanced rollout maybe not being complete wrote back to say it looks like it updated now.
At least for his area in Iowa
I confirmed last time, that at least for me on the Mac, it looked like large portions of the mid-west down to the south east and Florida still didn’t have the “enhanced” updates
Now, at least on iOS for me, it looks like they are updated.
Biggest way to tell is by the “green areas” when zoomed out and building outlines when zoomed in.
Now if they can just get to work rolling out Look Around that would be awesome!
Another cleaning tip
I mentioned recently some tips for cleaning Mac keyboards
John wrote in with some more good advice on cleaning keyboards
Invert the keyboard turning it upside down with the keys facing floor as you wipe it own with a damp cloth
Maybe even at a 45 degree angle. That way crumbs and debris can fall out as you clean.
Export Apple Card data
A big complaint that came up when Apple Card launched was that there was no support to get the data into banking apps like Quicken
For privacy Apple still isn’t giving direct 3rd-party app access, but you now have the option to export your data
Open the Wallet App
Tap Card Balance
Tap the statement you want
Tap Export Transactions
Tap the “Share” icon to Save to File, Dropbox, etc.
You’ll get a CSV file that you can then import into any application you wish.
Apple TV Tips
Swipe through screen savers
When on the screen you can swipe to the right on the remote trackpad to advance to the next Apple Arial Screensaver
Tap (don’t click) to bring up info on what you’re looking at
You can swipe left to go back
Get rid of home screen trailers
They play automatically when your on the Apple TV app icon
Can contain scary or non appropriate content
No audio, but if you swipe up you get the full screen trailer with audio
If you take the App out of the top row (Top Shelf) it won’t play the previews
Tap and hold the icon
When it “wiggles” move it.
Tap play when done.
If you still want it in the top row you can get rid of the “What to Watch” recommendations at least by changing the display to “What’s Next”
This way it will only show previews for things that you’re already watching
1. Open the Settings app on the Apple TV.
2. Select “Apps”.
3. Select “TV”.
4. Scroll down to the “Home Screen” setting.
5. Click the trackpad to toggle between modes. Change to Up Next.
Home Sharing in Catalina
Since iTunes is no longer a thing looks like the settings for Home Sharing have been moved to System Preferences
System Preferences > Sharing
You check on “Home Sharing”
You can also change the Library Name
Select any of the following options:
Devices update play counts: Select this checkbox if you want to update play counts (the number of times an item has been played) when the items are played on other computers in your Home Sharing network, or on your iPhone, iPad, or iPad touch.
Share photos with Apple TV: Select this checkbox if you want to view your photos on Apple TV.
If you select the “Share photos with Apple TV” option, click Choose, then select which photos you want to share:
Select a Photos library or a folder: Click the “Share Photos from” pop-up menu, then choose Photos or a folder that contains the photos you want to share.
Share all photos in the library or folder: Select “All photos and albums” or “All folders.”
Share only certain photo albums or folders: Select “Selected albums” or “Selected folders,” then select the items you want to share from the list below.
If you share selected albums, click Albums to select photo albums or People to select photos of specific individuals.
Share videos: Select “Include videos.”
Check “Share Media With Guests” if you want guests on your network to be able to see and access your media
Bryan was having issues with using Home Sharing Photos as his screensaver after upgrading
He said his when he would try to set the setting to Share Photos with the Apple TV his settings are not retained.
Apple TV and OTA content
I mentioned one of the disadvantages of just using streaming services without a cable package with Apple TV is the lack of Live TV options
Several folks wrote in to mention some options
One is to get a streaming service like YouTube TV, Sling, AT&T, or others
This still tends to get expensive depending on the channel package
I’ve often found that you can get 2-3 of the big three networks, but not all of them
Still it’s a good option depending on your needs
Other point out the use of an OTA HD antenna and various DVR and tuner hardware with Apple TV apps