Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 398

Show 398 – Nov 10, 2021

Run Sheet ~ Zarn & Michael                


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings 

Story 1 ~  MS ~ Pic

Apple Cleaning Cloth Sold Out for 10-12 weeks reports ~ Well, here’s a surprise. The polishing cloth Apple quietly added to its online store after the Unleashed event earlier this week? It’s sold out until mid-December.

Within just a few hours of it landing on the store, the A$29 cloth already had a three-week shipping time. But just a few days later that’s slipped to between two and three months, with customers ordering now expected to receive the item between December 20 and January 17.



Story 2 ~ ZK ~ NO Pic

Dude, where’s my car? AirTag responsible for tracking down stolen Subaru

9TO5Mac reports ~ In the latest AirTag adventure where the device solves a real-world problem, Scotty from Chicago shared the story about how his Subaru was stolen. After the police couldn’t do much, Scotty remembered he had hidden an AirTag in his vehicle. Here’s how it all played out…

Scotty shared his stolen car story today on reddit with AirTag swooping in as the hero of the mishap. Scotty calls the experience “one of the most ridiculous days of my life.” Notably, he did admit (at the end) to leaving his car unlocked with the keys inside, but the story is nonetheless quite amazing.

I am a night owl. I went out to get in my car around 3am earlier this week to find my car gone. I’m separated but still friends with my wife, and her younger brother lives with me. He’s also a night owl, so I thought he’d taken the car to McDonald’s or something. I texted him to see if that was the case, and he told me that no, he had not.

My car (a 2010 Subaru Forester) had been stolen.

I did all the normal stuff one should do when your car’s stolen. I called the police and filed a report. They reported the car stolen but didn’t seem optimistic much could be done. Which makes sense, I live in the Chicago suburbs, where there are millions of cars and the police are busy. I start an insurance claim and, very annoyed, just kind of sit down to wallow in pity and frustration with myself and whoever stole my dang car.

There is more in the link

We advise to stop and think and not going in over the top.  Which is not what Scotty did.  And no one got hurt.

It is worth a read.

more to the story


Story 3 ~ MS ~ No Pic

iPhone loyalty rate continues to exceed 90%, new CIRP data shows

9TO5Mac reports ~ Apple has long been one of the most dominant smartphone brands in terms of brand loyalty. New data today from analysts at Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that Apple fans continue to remain loyal to Apple, with 90% of iPhone buyers remaining with Apple.

According to the data, Apple accounts for just under half of all US smartphone sales in the past three years. In the same period, Samsung captured a little more than half of Android sales. The data says that Apple has accounted for 43% of US smartphone sales over the past three years, compared to Samsung at 31% and LG at 9%.

In terms of loyalty, the CIRP data shows that loyalty rates for Apple – that is, the percent of customers buying an iPhone whose previous smartphone was also an iPhone – are holding steady at 90%. Brand loyalty for Android manufacturers is not as high because switching brands within the Android ecosystem is easier. That being said, overall loyalty to Android is also at about 90%.

Brand loyalty helps explain trends in overall shares. Apple has had the highest brand loyalty, measured as the percent of customers purchasing a new Apple iPhone whose previous smartphone was also an iPhone. Apple has seen loyalty rates exceed 90% for the past three years.

Switching brands within the Android operating system is easier than switching between Android and iOS, and loyalty to each operating system has remained at about 90% for the past several years. Even so, within Android smartphones, Samsung has the highest loyalty, with around two-thirds of Samsung buyers having owned another Samsung immediately previously. As Samsung maintained its loyal users, Motorola and LG saw lower loyalty a somewhat downward trend since the year ending September 2019.




G#1 ~ ZK ~ Pic

So this week I played Tiny wings.

It’s a cute little game with a bird that shouldn’t be able to fly. 

You soon find out with a little speed and a lot of air time the bird can definitely fall with style. 

( Disney don’t sue me ) you are in control of the birds motion and need to get as speed as you can to take off into the sky. The terrain in which the bird lives is full of hills which help you get up into the cloudy blue. That is if you can get the movement right. 

I had a good time playing the game trying to beat my score each time. 

3.5 apples.


#1 ~ MS ~ Pic

Apple debuts new original podcast, the true crime series ‘Hooked’

9to5 Mac ~ Apple today launched its first standalone original podcast series, entitled ‘Hooked’. Apple’s previous podcast releases have all been tied to Apple TV+ properties (such as The Line) or Apple News (Apple News Today). No such TV project has been announced — so far — for Hooked.

Hooked is a nine-part true crime podcast about the true story of Tony Hathaway, whose opioid addition led him down a career in bank robbery. The show is available for free inside of the Apple Podcasts app, or via this RSS feed to listen in any podcasts app.

Hooked is hosted by journalist Josh Dean, featuring clips from years of interviews with Hathaway’s family and law enforcement.

Apple has launched the show with three episodes upfront and new episodes will debut on Wednesdays.

The company’s plans for original podcasts remains somewhat unclear. For instance, it is not known how many original podcast productions Apple has in development. Only one show has been previously reported as ordered to series, an as-yet-unreleased documentary podcast about Siegfried & Roy.

Previous podcasts from Apple have all been siblings to an original television project, such as the Foundation or For All Mankind companion podcasts. In a similar vein, ‘The Line’ was launched as a six-part podcast series to accompany a four-part TV+ series premiering later this month.

So far, Hooked has no such TV association, although the podcast is still published by Apple TV+ and it is possible a TV adaptation is announced later.


Apple debuts new original podcast, the true crime series ‘Hooked’

#2 ~ MS ~ Pic

Mariah Carey returns to Apple TV+ for new Christmas special, debuting in December

Zarn will be wrapped ~ 9TO5 Mac again

Following the success of last year’s special entitled ‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’, Apple and the artist are again partnering up. The company announced today a new holiday special ‘Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues’ which will debut on Apple TV+ in December.

The 2021 special will showcase Mariah’s new Christmas single with Khalid and Kirk Franklin, entitled ‘Fall in Love at Christmas’.

Last year’s ‘Magical Christmas Special’ broke Apple TV+ records for unscripted content and hit the number one trending spot in the TV app across 100 countries. It featured stars including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Tiffany Haddish and more. You can expect Carey to announce another star-studded guest list for this year’s special soon.

This Christmas, Apple TV+ will also debut a brand new Peanuts holiday special named ‘For Auld Lang Syne’. Original feature film ‘Swan Song’ is also premiering a week before Christmas Day on the service. The festive documentary ‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas’ arrives later in November.

MS ~ I think I heard something about Maria Careys management putting out a memo about limiting how many time Radio stations can play her Christmas single.  See I told you Zarn would be wrapped!!



Story 4 ~ ZK ~ No Pic

Tech giants expand Australian misinformation measures week after government criticism

ZDNet reports ~ A new portal will be created for accepting complaints from the Australian public where they believe a signatory’s efforts to address misinformation are not up to scratch.

The Australian industry group advocating for tech giants, including Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, has expanded its voluntary code for addressing misinformation online after the Australian and US government made fresh calls last week for tougher social media regulation.

The group, Digital Industry Group Inc (DiGi), said the expansion entails creating a new independent committee to police the voluntary code for misinformation and disinformation.

These independent members will work with signatories, through an administration sub-committee, to oversee the various actions taken by signatories to meet their obligations under the code, DiGi said.

The updated voluntary code will also see DiGi create a new complaints portal. The new portal will accept complaints from the Australian public where they believe a signatory has breached the code’s commitments.

Signatories of the voluntary code are Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Redbubble, TikTok, and Twitter.

DiGi created the code in February, which consists of signatories committing to releasing an annual transparency report about their efforts to address disinformation and misinformation, and providing a way for users to report content with disinformation and misinformation.

The code also calls for signatories to be cognisant of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights when developing proportionate responses to disinformation and misinformation.

Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement that the updated voluntary code mechanisms were “an important step” in reducing online misinformation and disinformation.

O’Loughlin did note, however, that she was still concerned about the voluntary and opt-in nature of the code.

“We will be watching how this works in practice and whether expanding the committee’s remit will be necessary,” she said.



Story 5 ~ ZK ~ No Pics

Apple joins ‘First Movers Coalition’ in its goal to become a carbon-neutral company by 2030

9TO5 Mac again ~ Apple has joined the “First Movers Coalition,” a partnership between the World Economic Forum and the US Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate to maintain its commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2030.

In a Twitter post, Apple VP of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson announced that she’s attending COP26 in Glasgow and announced that Apple is part of the First Movers Coalition and will “help accelerate new decarbonisation technologies.”

Among the companies that have joined the coalition are Apple, Boston Consulting Group, AP Møller–Mærsk, Vattenfall, Dalmia Cement, Volvo Group, Fortescue Metals Group, and Yara International.

According to President Joe Biden, during the COP26 speech, “The Coalition represents eight major sectors that comprise 30% of global emissions that we now are dealing with.”

“These companies will be critical partners in pushing for viable alternatives to decarbonise these industrial sectors and more.”

With Lisa Jackson, Apple has been pushing hard to become a carbon-neutral company by 2030. During Earth Day, early this year, the company announced some of the measures it’s already taking and more that are planned in order to achieve this goal.

“Apple is driving environmental progress with innovative solutions to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and providing a blueprint for other companies to do the same. As part of its 2030 goal, Apple recently announced over 110 of its manufacturing partners around the world are moving to 100 percent renewable energy for their Apple production. Apple has also committed $4.7 billion in its Green Bond spend to invest in projects that address carbon emissions, supporting renewable energy projects that bring clean energy to local communities, and announced a new $200 million effort to protect the world’s forests, accelerating natural solutions to climate change.”

Not only that, but last week Apple announced ten initiatives to help communities across the globe to rely on clean energy and empower these communities.



Story 6 ~ MS ~ Pic

Apple announces record fourth quarter ~ Apple announced results for its fourth financial quarter of 2021, covering July through September. The company generated $83.4 billion in revenue. (The previous two fiscal fourth quarters showed very low growth over the previous year, so this year’s 29% increase in revenue year-over-year is especially impressive.)

iPhone sales were $38.9 billion, up 47% versus the year-ago quarter. It was a very good year for the iPhone business. Services were $18.3 billion, continuing their relentless growth pace at 26% above the year-ago quarter.

Wearables sales were $8.8 billion, up 12% versus the year-ago quarter. That’s a good number out of context, but actually the slowest year-over-year growth rate for the category in almost five years. It’s a very seasonal business, though, so to truly judge the state of Apple’s wearables business, we should wait until the holiday quarter.

iPad sales were $8.3 billion, up 21% versus the year-ago quarter. The iPad business has averaged almost $8B in sales per quarter over the last year. We’ve seen six straight quarters of year-over-year growth for the iPad, 10 of 12, and 14 of 18.

Mac sales were $9.2 billion, up 2% versus the year-ago quarter. Despite the Mac’s smaller year-over-year growth number, it’s important to keep in mind that last year’s fourth quarter was the best Mac quarter ever at the time, and at $9.2B this is a new all-time record quarter in terms of Mac revenue.



How To ~ MS ~ Pic

I think this is AWESOME helps us with ~ I’ve been looking for ways to restore some kind of physicality to my digital music collection, and this has led me to create a setup using a square Moo ‘album’ card with NFC tag sticker, to trigger an iOS shortcut and play an album to an airplay speaker with the least amount of friction.

If you want to have a go, you’ll need:

      • An iPhone XS/XR or above. These have the ability to read NFC in the background, which is key. This means as long as the iPhone screen is on (it doesn’t have to be unlocked) the NFC tag will be read.
      • NFC Tags. These are cheap and come in many forms – I picked up round stickers from ZipNFC for around 20p each.
      • Some form of physical album artwork to stick the tag to – I opted for square Moo cards (more on that below).
      • You can then either write the information to the NFC tag, or use it to trigger an iOS Personal Automation. The former works for everyone, but you have to OK a dialog prompt. The latter can run immediately, but only works on that particular device. I went with Personal Automations, but here’s a run down of both methods:

Apple Music

You can use a share URL from Apple Music to open an album, but it won’t play automatically. Here you’ll need to combine NFC data with a shortcut input. This method works in most cases:

Create a new Shortcut (I’d recommend naming it something short and simple like ‘Play’) then add the following actions to it:


Getting the feel of the card right was a crucial part. I could’ve just stuck printouts from an inkjet printer onto card, or wrote the album name onto an NFC card, but they wouldn’t be particularly enticing to pick up.

My solution was to order a batch of ‘Super’ square business cards from Moo on 400gsm card. There is a minimum order of 50, and they allow up to 50 different designs, so this was an ideal way to get a set of nicely printed album cards.

At 65x65mm they feel the right size for using with an iPhone. They even come in a nice card box that’s ideal for browsing!

The only obstacle is getting decent high-res versions of the album artwork. Purchases from Bandcamp come with a high res file automatically, but others required a bit of hunting to find something near decent (Tori Amos’ ‘Under the Pink’ was the hardest to find). In general, 1500x1500px images looked great in print at this size.

In all, this solution cost me around 50p each (22p for the tag, and 27p for the Moo card). For more speed and flexibility, I’ll probably need to find a way to do these homemade eventually. Otherwise I have to wait until I have another 50 covers that I want to print.

Also I saw another article were a guy had Album covers on his wall as art with a NFC sticker on the frame.

He would tape the frame and the album would play.

more including pictures


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Over to Zarn for the sign off

ZK The now infamous “Sign Off”

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