If you work in IT or tech support in an Apple environment and have to manage multiple devices and machines you know how time consuming that can be.
As an Apple admin, the more you let users control which apps are installed on their devices, the better for you. Kandji’s Self Service app lets you do just that on both iOS and macOS.
Not only that, it will make your users a lot happier. I work in an environment that is extremely locked down and I can tell you it’s frustrating for me and my sys admins that I have to create a ticket every time I need something updated or installed on my Mac.
With Kandji you can show users a curated list of the apps that they can install on their own. You can customize that Self Service app with your own branding, help text, and software categories.
Apps in Kandji’s Auto App catalog can also be set to deliver via Self Service. And once installed, they are kept patched automatically.
Kandji has been focused on device autonomy through automated remediation since they first started. If an app is uninstalled or a setting changed, the Kandji agent detects it and fixes it, saving you time and stress.
Kandji can also help you protect endpoints by enforcing over 150 pre-built security controls. These controls go beyond the scope of the MDM framework to help you secure your devices. They also automatically remediate, even when your devices are offline.
We’ve been going back and forth on when and were we expect to see Apple announce a new larger iMac
There have been many rumors that Apple is working on a 27-inch (or larger) version.
Now Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is saying Apple will make a larger iMac this year, but he doesn’t give us a hard date.
He does say he expects the design to be similar to that of the 24-inch iMac (maybe not in colors) and that Apple will brand it a Pro Model with processors similar to the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that are found in the new MacBook Pros
Meanwhile display analyst Ross Young is willing to put a date range and the release of a 27-inch iMac Pro and share some other features
“We expect panel shipments from June, but the product may not launch till August or September.”, from a tweet
He also said the iMac display may not get as many “zones” as the MacBook Pro displays and may not be IGZO since an iMac would need the power consumption benefits.
On the plus side he’s still predicting it to have a 120Hz variable refresh rate
Previously both Gurman and Young had said the display would be a mini-LED model. Both had also said originally that we might see the new iMac this spring, but it’s looking more likely that that timeline has been pushed.
Signs of Spring… Apple Event
A report from 91mobiles says they are hearing from “industry sources” that a new model iPhone, entry-level iPad, and possibly new model iPad Air have entered into India for “testing purposes”
These appear to me the same models referenced in the recent filing Apple made with the Eurasian Economic Commission
According to Mac Otakra suppliers have begun production on the new fifth-generation iPad Air and third-generation iPhone SE
They reaffirm what we’ve heard before. That the iPhone SE design and form factor will be the same but be updated with an A15 Bionic chip and 5G
And that the iPad Air retain the existing design but adopt some of the features from the recently updated iPad mini.
An A15 Bionic chip, a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G, and Quad-LED True Tone flash.
As for when the next Apple Event will be Bloomberg has reported they believe Apple is targeting something “on or near March 8th”
They claim the virtual event will focus on the iPhone SE 3, an updated iPad Air 5, and the release of iOS 15.4
They also hedge their bets saying Apple is also planning new Mac with Apple designed ships and that they “could also come out as early as March”
Possible candidates? Mac mini, Mac Pro, iMac Pro, and a redesigned MacBook Air.
I’m guessing none of the above at this event, but if they did I’d put my money on the MacBook Air or Mac mini.
Gurman also laid out a few more details on his predictions for the upcoming consumer Mac updates
He’s expecting Apple to bring out the updated versions of the entry-level MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, Mac mini, and MacBook Air over the next year all with updated Apple Silicon, likely the M2 processor
Specifically on the entry-level MacBook Pro he notes that the design will match the new high-end models ditching the TouchBar. That would mark it’s complete purge from the entire notebook lineup.
He also says to keep the entry level cost it’ll not use minLED, but stick with LCD
Come for the hits. Stay for… they’re not staying
A new report from The Wall Street Journal says that hit films and shows, like the Tom Hanks drama Greyhound draw a large number of subscribers to Apple TV+, but many tend to not stick around.
This is based on data from Antenna
With Greyhound for example they estimate that about 60,000 people signed up to Apple TV+ to watch the film, but only about half stayed on the service after six months and 30 percent dropping off within a month or two.
It is worth noting that this is a phenomenon not unique to Apple. Other services like Disney+ are seeing similar behavior.
The key to keeping subscribers on is not surprising… good content and a steady stream of it. So Apple might have a winning formula here.
Having a big hit movie hit the service about every quarter and popular shows, like Ted Lasso, that release new episodes weekly tend to keep subscribers hooked longer.
And on the subject of popular series looks like Apple’s new murder mystery series The After Party started off pretty well
According to numbers from “Reelgood” they say it was one of the top-10 most-streamed shows in the US in its opening week
They told iMore that the show came in number eight which, considering all the competition like The Book of Boba Fett, is not too shabby
The show is about a murder that takes place at the afterparty for a high school reunion. Each episode focus around a particular character who is one of the potential suspects.
Each episode you get the story of the night from that characters point of view and each one is told using a different film style and genre that matches the characters personality
Apple announced a new series coming to Apple TV+ based on a novel by Ann Napolitano, “Dear Edward”
The 10-episode series will be written, showrun, and executive produced by Jason Katims ("Friday Night Lights," "Parenthood," "As We See It") and stars Connie Britton, Taylor Schilling, and Colin O'Brien.
It tells the story of a young boy who survives a plane crash that kills every other passenger including his family.
Apple still king of tablets
New data from IDC shows that Apple’s iPad sales declined about 8.6 percent in the 4th quarter
They estimate Apple shipped about 17.5 million iPad vs the 19.1 they shipped in the same quarter in 2020
Still Apple was able to increase their overall share of the table market grabbing 38 percent of it for the quarter and 34.2 percent share for the entire year.
Details on Apple non-App Store commission
Remember that Netherlands ruling that Apple must allow developers of dating apps to be able to use payment systems other than Apple’s in-app purchases?
So far we got details on what Apple was going to do which is allow them to offer an alternate 3rd party payment system in app or link to a payment system outside the app store (but they can only do one, not both)
We also knew that Apple was still going to take a cut of those payments but what we didn’t know was how much.
Well now we know and it’s 27 percent. Just a paltry 3 percent less than if the developer used Apple’s IAP
Apple says the 3 percent reduction in the fee is “a reduced rate that excludes value related to payment processing and related activities”
And they are not wrong. For most payment processing there is roughly a 3 percent cut paid to the payment processor. So if Apple’s not processing they payment that is, at least to them, the value of that service
That rate would make it very hard for most developers to use anything other than Apple’s IAP because in addition to having to integrate payments in the app on their own they will also be responsible for recording and reporting all sales of digital goods and content to Apple within 15 calendar days of the end of Apple's fiscal month.
Also Apple will no longer be able to help them with refunds, purchase history, or subscription management
Needless to say not all developers are happy with Apple’s decision here.
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
DIY IP KVM
So one of the solutions we ran across when trying to look for KVM options on recent shows was KVM Over IP Switches.
They extend keyboard, video, and mouse (KVM) signals from any computer or server over TCP/IP via a LAN
These are used mainly in enterprise applications and can be very expensive costing in the range of several hundred to thousands of dollars
Peter emailed me about a project that lets you use a Raspberry Pi and a “Hat” to create a KVM-IP setup
And according to the site the setup can run between $30 to $100 USD depending on the features you want to set-up
I will say I watched some of the videos and it’s not for the faint heart and sounds like there can be some challenges with Macs
To me it looks basically like a hardware VNC where you’ll access the PI to “remote” into your connected machines.
The advantage is it’s hardware based so you can run “headless” and seems like you can control power on off, rebooting, etc since it’s the Pi controlling everything.
Does have some limits
Biggest in my mind is video limited to 1080p at 50Hz resolution
Also no sound
Can remote control an iPad over IP with the right hardware
So at the end of the day… like running VNC I’m not convinced this is the KVM solution most of us are looking for, but it is A option maybe for some. Though feels more like an IT solution for remote controlling a bunch of systems.
Remove Music Player from lock screen
Rod asked if there was a setting or a way to remove the music player from the lock screen
This is the player that shows up when you have an app this is playing media content
In Rod’s case the issue is that the player covers his beautiful wallpaper
I found several articles claiming things that did not work
Turning off lock screen and banner notifications for the app
The only one that worked for me was to completely close the app with the media content
Could be the Music app, the Podcast app, YouTube, TV App
Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold to bring up the App Switcher
Flick up on the app to close it completely.
If there is a different way to control this, let me know but this was the only thing that worked for me.
Change Apple Payment Method
Dan asked about how to control the default payment method that is used when making purchases using your Apple ID in Music, TV, Books, etc.
In Dan’s case I believe the issue is that he has an Apple ID balance that he’s planning to use for a new MacBook purchase
Unfortunately with Apple gift cards once they are add to your Apple ID balance that money will always be used first before charging your card on file
So the only way to avoid this happening is to not redeem the Gift Cards into your account until you are ready to make your purchase.
If you just have multiple payment cards associated with your account you can control which card is the “default” payment method.
From the Music app for example
On the Mac
1) Open Music
2) Under the Account Menu choose Account Settings…
3) Authenticate into your Apple ID account
4) Click on Manage Payments
5) Drag your payment method to control which is the “default"
1) Open the Settings app.
2) Tap your name.
3) Tap Payment & Shipping. You might be asked to sign in with your Apple ID.
4) Tap Edit, then drag the move order icon.
Thing of the Moment: Battery Base for HomePod mini