MagBytes 76

MagBytes76CoverThe latest in news, tips and views from the world of Apple, including a new section, ‘Apple & Talk’, a selection of commentary articles from the Mac NZ Tuesday Talk columns. (Posted early as I’m busy the rest of today.)

Download it from THIS LINK —> Issue76June16

If you click that link, your browser will probably open the PDF in a browser window. On a Mac, if you hold down the Control key and click that link, you can download the file to your Mac to read later. On iPad/iPhone, long-press/tap-and-hold on the attachment to bring up the Share sheet, then tap on Save Attachment.
There’s more about how to do this at this link.

Comments, suggestions, advice always welcome: email me


iPhone crossroads, iOS 10 game changers, iMessage confusion, watchOS side button, learning app


On its 9th birthday, Apple’s iPhone finds itself at a crossroads — No, the sky is not falling — Apple will be fine. But as the company’s cash cow comes off of its first-ever declining sales, the multi-billion-dollar question for the iPhone is: what can (or should) Apple do to return the iconic product to growth? [Just a newer, better model of iPhone doesn’t seem to be cutting it any more.]

How iOS 10 powers machine learning while protecting your privacy — With iOS 10, Apple will be introducing ‘differential privacy,’ which is a new way to collect your data that’s not so creepy. And check out these five ‘instant game-changers‘ iOS 10 will also introduce.

When sharing an Apple ID creates iMessage and text message confusion — A reader’s family shares a single account, but wants to separate out messages. They can’t – an Apple ID and the associated iCloud account are a single entity. There’s no way to split out multiple, different text messaging or iMessage delivery addresses.

See the Apple Watch’s new side button app dock in watchOS 3 in this video — Launching and switching between Apple Watch apps will become easier than ever with watchOS 3, thanks to the new app dock accessed via the side button. AppleInsider offers a closer look at how the new Apple Watch app dock will work.

Degreed offers lifelong learning in a free iOS app — Degreed started life as a web app, and it’s still a powerful online resource. But now it’s possible to use your iPhone to “discover, track, utilize and share learning from any source.”

Wifi expanded, Keyboard Maestro, Close Other Tabs, Facebook manifesto


Wi-Fi Alliance announces expanded 802.11ac standard — The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the expansion of the 802.11ac standard to include new features that provide a higher-performance connectivity experience. Most Apple products offer 802.11ac compatibility, including Macs, the AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Time Capsule. The expanded 802.11ac could see implementation in future versions of the latter two devices, which are overdue for an upgrade.

How to become a Maestro of your Mac keyboard — Keyboard Maestro is definitely a great performer when it comes to saving time and effort. Keyboard Maestro makes macros. But to call it a mere macro-maker does it a supreme disservice. Yes, it’s a macro-maker, but it’s much more than that.

OS X: Safari’s ‘Close Other Tabs’ Option — When you’ve got multiple tabs open, click on the File menu. If you hold down the Option key, ‘Close Tab’ switches to ‘Close Other Tabs’, as shown above. This is neat if you’ve opened up a ton of stuff and just wanna get rid of everything except the tab that you’re currently viewing.

Facebook chooses friends and family over celebrities in your feed, which is probably healthy — The tweak is part of the company’s news feed manifesto, which it also publicised.

iPhone base, Facebook events, Twitter stickers, Watch calories, tvOS 10

Image from Gizmodo's 'all you need to know about iOS 10 page.

Analyst thinks Apple’s growing iPhone base is increasingly ripe for upgrades — Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Acuri says that continued focus on the upcoming iPhone (probably to be dubbed the “iPhone 7”) and its rumoured lack of a major redesign is the wrong way to look at the big picture.
He thinks about a third of the iPhone installed base is currently running iPhone models older than two years old, and that’s expected to grow to about 43% in the next four or five quarters: growth of between 60 million and 70 million.

Facebook launches custom-curated event picks to improve recommendations — On Monday a newly-formed team at Facebook began curating lists of “featured” events in a bid to provide better recommendations for people looking for activities around town for mobile users.

Twitter’s new stickers are more useful than Snapchat — Stickers are a fun way to spruce up your photos, but they have a surprisingly practical application, too.

How to display calories or kJ on your iPhone/Apple Watch Health Apps — When monitoring your health and fitness, the Apple Watch and iPhone both have ways of setting your preference for either Calories or kilojoules (kJ) burned.

Inside tvOS 10: New Apple TV Remote app for iPhone replaces your Siri Remote — Alongside the forthcoming tvOS 10 update for the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple will also be releasing an all-new Remote app for iOS that will replicate the functionality of the Siri Remote in almost every way.

Man says his drawings inspired iOS devices, sues Apple for $10 billion — Florida resident Thomas S Ross has filed a lawsuit against Apple this week, claiming the company infringed upon his 1992 invention of a hand-drawn “Electronic Reading Device” (ERD), reports MacRumors. [His name should be ‘D Luded’]

Apple rankings, money, Google Earth, Policy Banner, Korea, Safari 10

The Covent Garden Apple Store, London
The Covent Garden Apple Store, London

Apple is second in the 2016 ‘Top 100 Global Brand Love List’ — Facebook and Apple took the top two spots in the second annual NetBase Brand Passion Report 2016: Top 100 Global Brand Love List, which reveals the brands consumers expressed the most love for on social media. The report leveraged the social analytics technology of NetBase, a company that specialises in enterprise social analytics, to examine more than 265 million posts, ranking the most loved brands in technology, consumer goods, automotive, food and beverage, financial services and energy companies globally.

Apple dropped 2.81% in broad Brexit selloff — Shares of Apple Inc. shed 2.81% last Friday in a broad market downturn sparked by Brits voting to leave the European Union, or Brexit for short. The selloff was part of a general panic among investors concerned about what Brexit will do to the global economy. Computerworld has a more in-depth look.

Apple’s third fiscal quarter earnings report is scheduled for Tuesday, July 26th — Investors will be watching the iPhone and iPad maker’s numbers closely after last quarter’s disappointing results, and the lack of new product announcements during Q3.

Google bringing HIGHER RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY to Google Earth and Maps — Google has announced the rollout of new imagery for Google Earth, and by extension Google Maps. The company said it was incorporating a new cloud-free mosaic of Earth in Google Earth utilizing higher-resolution images from Landsat 8, a satellite deployed by the USGS and NASA in 2013. [It’s not there yet, though, in my  Google Earth.]

OS X Policy Banner for Custom Login Screens — You can set a custom message on your Mac’s lock screen, so if someone takes or finds your computer, he’ll have an easy way to contact you. However, if you’re an administrator who manages multiple machines, there’s also a built-in way to add a policy banner, which’ll make anyone who logs in click an Accept button to continue.

South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission is investigating ‘some matters’ regarding Apple — South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating “some matters” relating to Apple, reports Reuters. Speaking at a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, FTC Chairman Jeong Jae-chan declined to comment on the specifics of the regulator’s investigation when asked to do so by a South Korean lawmaker, the article adds.

Safari 10 brings fast, native App Extensions to the macOS browser, web content — Building on work completed last year to enable Web Content Blockers, Apple’s new Safari 10 enables a wide range of native code App Extensions that users can automatically obtain and update through the Mac App Store, contributing to faster performance, enhanced security and better reliability.

Tuesday Talk ~ those tea leaves

The image from Fortune magazine's exclusive Q&A with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year.
The image from Fortune magazine’s exclusive Q&A with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this year.

Some people divine from tea leaves, some people, perhaps still, from chicken entrails. We make do with blogs and online news stories.

Sometimes, an Apple luminary is interviewed. Now, interviews are supposedly forums where people answer questions about topics. When an Apple luminary is interviewed, the topic is always Apple and what it’s going to do … unfortunately, Apple must have a training facility that instructs carefully in the art of looking positive, smiling authoritatively and saying virtually nothing.

Developers got a lot more from the well-informed John Gruber interviewing Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi at WWDC. The rest of us … not so much. Actually, virtually nothing. CEO Tim Cook drops very, very subtle hints that only make sense in hindsight. Unfortunately, his hints are so subtle, it’s only the hindsight that even begins to make a connection to a tangible event once something actually gets released or announced.

Cook does talk at length about money – he has an accounting background – but what can be divined from that? Even in Fortune’s ‘exclusive Q&A‘ earlier this year, he says very little beyond reiterating that Apple, like other companies, goes through cycles, and the line that every Apple employee will recite (which I actually believe is true, thank goodness): Apple is just focussed on making the best products. Cook went further and said that Apple thinks of its services as products too – this means Music, iCloud, Apple Pay and so on. The mythical (so far) car project is mentioned, to which Cook (predictably, but pleasantly) replies “Yeah, I’m probably not going to do [comment on] that.”

Apple, as already stated, only talked about forthcoming systems at the last WWDC before going on to the usual developer love-fest over the days following. We got no hints of new Macs, iPhones or anything else. This does leave us hanging, but rewardingly, in February’s Fortune interview with Cook, he stated that Apple regularly explores all sorts of things with teams of people. “And that’s a part of being curious. Part of exploring technologies and picking the right one is becoming so familiar with it you can see ways that it can be used.”

Apple hates releasing stuff that’s not ready – the premature and botched release of Maps had heads spinning – and rolling – at Cupertino. It was a rare and surprising situation.

So I’m happy with that.

French show goes live shot on iPhones, rainbow Watch bands, digital business cards, Sky Force Reloaded


French talk show resorts to iPhones to continue shooting after power outage — Following a sudden power outage in the studio, part of the Saturday episode of a popular French talk show was reportedly shot on Apple’s iPhone.
Power to France 2’s equipment shut off around an hour and 45 minutes into the taping of On n’est pas couché (We’re Still Awake), according to After three hours the crew eventually decided to make use of limited lighting and several Plus-model iPhones to continue shooting, the results of which were edited and broadcast, as well as uploaded to YouTube.

Apple hands out rainbow Apple Watch bands to commemorate LGBT Pride — In celebration of this year’s LGBTQ Pride festivities, and the 30th anniversary of its own corporate Pride association, Apple this weekend passed out special rainbow coloured Apple Watch bands to employees and published a selection of related iTunes content.

5 apps to help you digitally organize business cards — Do something with those stacks and stacks of business cards on your desk.

Sky Force Reloaded scores a hit with its freebie blasting —
Dazzling aerial shooting game never sends you crashing back to earth.

Dreezy on Music, setting up a new Mac, Sierra tabs, music formats in iTunes


Dreezy’s debut full-length to launch as one-week Apple Music exclusive — The first full-length album by up-and-coming rapper Dreezy, No Hard Feelings, will launch as a temporary Apple Music exclusive on July 15, according to Interscope Records.
The exclusivity will run one week, and further limit listening to the US, Interscope said. The album features guests like Jeremih, Gucci Mane, and T-Pain. A single, Close to You, was premiered on Beats 1 radio last week.

How to set up a new Mac securely and update an older one — If you’re setting up a Mac from scratch for yourself or for another person, you can make a number of baseline choices, but they’re good for existing installations, too.
When you get a new Mac, how can you make sure you’ve set it up to be as secure as possible? If you walk through a completely fresh installation process, Apple tries to guide you into making the most-secure choices among alternatives, but it’s probably the worst time to try to sort out the options available and make those decisions. [I have to admit I do not use FileVault myself, for two reasons: performance lag and I’m scared of locking myself out of my system. Besides, I’m not a spy or doing anything illegal.]

How to use Tabs in macOS Sierra — Tabs will help clean up your windows and make it easier to find what you need even now. In the next Mac OS, they’ll do more. When you use a web browser, you probably have multiple websites open at one time. All those open browser windows are a pain to track, but using tabs helps organize those windows. Instead of multiple windows open and scattered around on your screen, you have one window open, and tabs across the top that you can click to get to the window you need. macOS Sierra will bring tabs to all apps that allow multiple windows.

How to convert between music files formats in iTunes — You can select any media file or files in iTunes that’s not DRM protected, and then choose File>Convert>Create [Format] Version. That creates a copy of the file or files in iTunes in what format appears. You can also hold down the Option key and the menu item changes to Convert to [Format], and lets you save the selected items in any location you want.

Inside iOS10 Photos, Split-Screen, Honda Accord, Crashlands


How Photos in iOS 10 will recognise faces, places and more — Starting with iOS 10, the Photos app on your iPhone and iPad will be able to automatically scan your pictures for faces and places, making it easier to find the shots you’re looking for. It’ll even group them into collections, and quickly automate creation of a view to relive your memories. AppleInsider offers a closer look at how it all works.

Inside iOS 10: split-screen view in Safari for iPad boosts productivity — Apple’s forthcoming iOS 10 update will improve multitasking on the iPad by offering a new split-screen mode in Safari, allowing users to have two tabs open side-by-side simultaneously.

Honda launches 2017 Accord with Apple CarPlay option — Honda on Friday announced that the 2017 Accord, on sale from June 27, will be available with an upgrade supporting Apple’s CarPlay.

Crashlands brings humour to an otherwise bleak survivalist game — Crashlands is a humorous action-adventure role-playing game with a survivalist focus. Developed by Butterscotch Shenanigans, a team who finds themselves exceptionally funny (and are, for the most part), Crashlands tasks the player with surviving on an alien planet after your ship crashes. Your play a space delivery person, Flux, who has only her wits and her robotic companion (named Juicebox) to help her in a quest for survival. It costs NZ$7.49/US$4.99 in the App Store.

Brexit, Thunderbolt Display, more RAW, Campus batteries, Doc(Protect), dev insight, Tixeo


How Brexit affected Apple — The surprise Leave vote meant the Euro and British Pound both subsequently dropped significantly as markets worldwide recoiled in shock. The Brexit news helped send the price of Apple’s shares downward by 2.8%, from an already low valuation hovering around $96 over the past week to close at $93.40. However, Apple’s shares buffeted the news better than most.
The NASDAQ stock market (where Apple’s shares trade) was down by more than 4% overall. Amazon, Microsoft and Google saw their shares drop by between 3.2 and 3.95%. Companies doing business in the UK will have to face an unknown set of new trade agreements and other regulation changes.

Apple kills the Thunderbolt Display – will the Mac Pro be next? On June 23rd, Apple announced that the aging, obsolete, overpriced Thunderbolt Display is being discontinued. No replacement display has been announced [but something still could be], and customers have been directed to third party products. But since the Apple display is the natural partner for Apple’s tower, what does this mean for the Mac Pro? Meanwhile, here are six good alternatives.

RAW Support for 15 DSLR Cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony — Apple released Thursday Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 6.20, an update that adds support for 15 new DSLR cameras from Canon, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony.

Apple’s Campus 2 to use updated Bloom Energy fuel cells first deployed at NC data centre — As part of efforts to generate clean energy at its Campus 2 headquarters, Apple is investing in an array of environmentally friendly fuel cells installed by Bloom Energy, the same manufacturer that supplied units for the company’s Maiden, NC data center.

If you need to protect your files, the Doc(Protect) is in — If you’re a creative professional who needs to protect your files from unlicensed computers, Excel Software’s DocProtect for Mac OS X (10.7 or later) is a useful tool which allows you to ensure docs are only viewable on licensed computers.

Apple features ‘Lifeline’ in latest Developer Insights series — In an addition to its developer resources mini-site on Thursday, Apple posted a profile of Lifeline developer 3 Minute Games, highlighting how the studio found success with the iOS App Store’s paid business model.

Apple releases Safari 10 beta for OS X El Capitan and OS X Yosemite — Apple issued beta versions of Safari 10 for OS X 10.11 El Capitan and OS X 10.10 Yosemite last Thursday, granting developers access to new features like enhanced Safari Extensions, a redesigned Bookmarks interface and more. And here’s how Siri will work on Mac.

Tixeo client designed to provide encryption for OS X group videoconferencing — Tixeo has introduced a native Mac client designed to offer a real end-to-end encryption for group videoconferencing with Mac or PC. It provides an architecture enabling end-to-end encryption for group videoconferencing while maintaining a high adaptability to network fluctuations, according to its developers.