Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 219

Show 219 – December 11, 2017

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

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Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Reminder this is our last show for the year and we will be back in about 5 weeks.

BUT keep an eye on the Aussie Mac Zone web pages, Apple News and Facebook Feeds for news and updates that are special over this period.

Reminder, anyone wanting to co-host Aussie Mac Zone please email

feedback@aussiemaczone.com.au

Story 1

Apple is close to buying London-based Shazam, which sources say could $A560M

news.com.au reports Apple is close to nailing down a deal to buy media-recognition app maker Shazam Entertainment, according to a TechCrunch report Friday.

Apple could announce the agreement to buy London-based Shazam as soon as Monday, according to the report. TechCrunch cited an anonymous source as saying the deal is worth around $A560M. However, that would be less than the over $A1.3B valuation Shazam announced after its 2015 round of funding.

Reps for Apple and Shazam did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Apple would obviously want to use Shazam to bolster its music business — and drive sales and subscriptions from users who “Shazam” songs. The two companies have had a longstanding business relationship, under which Shazam app users can click through to purchase songs on iTunes that they’ve identified. Shazam’s features are also integrated with Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

Privately held Shazam was founded in 1999, and initially worked by using mobile phones’ SMS text-messaging features to ID a song. In 2008, Shazam was among the first apps in Apple’s then-brand-new App Store.

Shazam’s app now lets users identify and share audio, TV shows, printed material (such as magazine ads and movie posters) and augmented-reality content. The company says its app has been downloaded over 1 billion times by users in over 190 countries, and that its users “Shazam” content more than 20 million times per day.

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Story 2

Jony Ive returns to Apple design management role after two years, reports Bloomberg

Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, is returning to his management role within Apple’s design group after handing off managerial duties in 2015. 9to5Mac noted that Ive’s design deputies Dye and Howarth were no longer listed on Apple’s leadership page earlier today, and news of Ive’s return broke from Bloomberg.

Bloomberg got confirmation on the record about Jony’s new role:

“With the completion of Apple Park, Apple’s design leaders and teams are again reporting directly to Jony Ive, who remains focused purely on design,” Amy Bessette, a company spokeswoman, said Friday in a statement.

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Story 3

Apple cracking down on template applications, giving developers January 1 deadline

Apple has been working diligently over the last year to clean up the App Store and rid it of spam and clone applications. A new report from TechCrunch, however, outlines the effect that Apple’s newfound efforts are having on apps built around templates…

The report explains that Apple is cracking down on applications that are built from a “commercialised template or app generation service.” While Apple had included new rules about these types of apps following WWDC in June, only now is it starting to crack down.

Apple has been sending emails to companies taking advantage of templates, telling them that any new applications will be rejected. It’s unclear, however, what approach Apple will take to existing applications. TechCrunch explains that some developers have been able to continue to update their apps, but now fear that Apple could change its tone at any point.

https://9to5mac.com/page/3/

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Story 4

Type ‘let it snow’ into the Apple Store (not the app store) app on iOS for a surprise holiday easter egg

First discovered by a Reddit user, Apple is getting into the holiday spirit this year. The company recently released an update to its Apple Store app on iOS, and hidden in that update is a neat little easter egg…

Simply head into the app, tap on the search icon in the upper-right corner, and type “let it snow.” You should then see snowflakes start to fall from the top of your display. Pretty cool, right? Shake your device to watch the snow move like a snow globe.

Apple usually doesn’t do things like easter eggs, so this is a nice little moment in the Apple Store app that’s pretty out of characteristic.

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Aussie Tech Security Podcast

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Apple News ~ Aussie Mac Zone

(remind ~ how to Favourite)

New stories added this week

Just a reminder we are now on Spotify too – just search Aussie Mac Zone

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Story 5

Some Quick News Stories

Apple HomeKit flaw, in iOS 11.2, left smart gadgets vulnerable

BBC is reporting, Apple has fixed a security flaw in its HomeKit system that could have let unauthorised people control smart home gadgets such as door locks and lights.

The bug appeared in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system iOS 11.2, and could have let criminals unlock internet-connected doors.

A researcher disclosed the problem to tech news site 9to5Mac.

Apple said it had now disabled remote HomeKit access for shared users, as a temporary solution to the problem.

The company’s HomeKit framework lets iOS devices control internet-connected gadgets made by a variety of manufacturers.

Customers do not need to update the software on their devices because the fix has been implemented on Apple’s servers.

However, some HomeKit functionality will be temporarily unavailable.

9to5Mac said the flaw had “serious ramifications” but accepted it was “difficult” to exploit.

Apple said in a statement: “The issue affecting HomeKit users running iOS 11.2 has been fixed.

“The fix temporarily disables remote access to shared users, which will be restored in a software update early next week,” it added.

Sega releases ‘Streets of Rage’ for iOS as free-to-play Sega Forever title with local network multiplayer mode

The Sega Forever collection has increased in size once more, with Sega bringing the iPhone and iPad port of classic fighting game ‘Streets of Rage’ to the free-to-play roster, complete with support for cooperative play across multiple mobile devices.

Shop around

With Amazon FINALLY open in Australia it still pays to shop around.

Philips Hue White and Colour Wireless Ambiance Starter Kit A19 E27

Amazon – shipped from Australia $379+freight

Apple – pickup in store or ships free $289.95

Apple iPad Pro 10.5 (WiFi)

Apple – pickup in store or ships free $979

Amazon – shop Amaysim $925

Amaysim direct – $915 may not carry same warranty as when buying from Apple as it is quote “Direct Import”. Has “2 year warranty Peace of mind with a free extended warranty locally serviced in Australia”

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Story 6

Apple’s App of the Year Makes Sense If You’ve Been Paying Attention to the News

For a picture of what life was like in 2017, look no further than the apps, movies, books, and music that topped the App Store and iTunes charts. This week, Apple revealed the most popular titles that iOS users downloaded over the course of the year. In terms of media, the top choices weren’t surprising. Moana and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story topped the movies list, Drake was most listened to on Apple Music, and the most downloaded book titles were ones recently adapted into TV shows, such as The Handmaid’s Tale. Among the top apps, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram land in the top five, but it’s Apple’s pick for App of the Year that’s most intriguing.

The one category that feels like a genuine trend—one not bolstered by Apple’s own apps or APIs—is mental health and mindfulness. Over the past year or two, I’ve tried my hand at a variety in this category, including Headspace (which several friends swear by) and Muse, a meditation app that uses input from a brainwave-sensing headband to guide your zen. As its Editor’s Pick in this category—and, on top of that, its App of the Year—Apple selected Calm. The app, which debuted in 2012, includes guided meditations ranging in time from three to 25 minutes, “Sleep Stories” to wind you down at the end of the day, breathing exercises, and music selections to help you relax, focus, or sleep.

Even though mindfulness and meditation apps are a growing trend, you’ll notice Apple didn’t actually pick one of the most downloaded apps of the year, which included Bitmoji, Snapchat, and YouTube. These may have been the most downloaded, but they don’t capture the essence of an iPhone user in 2017: Someone desperately trying to unwind, but unable to separate themselves from their phone. Calm fits that bill perfectly.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2017/12/apple_app_store_calm_app_of_the_year_is_a_fitting_choice_for_2017.html

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And Merry Christmas and a Safe Break for All

 

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