Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 221

Show 221 – January 22, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

This week sponsors


Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Sorry for the audio quality of the last weeks show

Story 1

The Verge reports, Tim Cook says the next iOS update will allow users to disable intentional battery slowdowns

Apple CEO Tim Cook today shared that the next update to iOS 11 will allow users to disable battery performance throttling on their device. The move comes after Apple last month admitted it intentionally slows down iPhones as they get older to prevent issues that may arise as the batteries depreciate.

In an interview with ABC News, Cook said the update will arrive next month in a developer release before a wider public rollout. “We’re going to give people the visibility of the health of their battery so it’s very, very transparent,” he says. “This hasn’t been done before.”

Cook also says the update will more clearly inform users when their iPhone is automatically reducing its performance in an effort to prevent unexpected shutdowns. “If you don’t want it, you can turn it off,” Cook says, though he maintains that this is not recommended!


Story 2

iOS App Store will be bigger than entire worldwide movie industry sometime this year

Following Apple’s announcement of record-breaking app sales in the holiday shopping season, ( being US$300 Million New Years Day and US$590 Million for the previous 6 days ) Asymco’s Horace Dediu did some number-crunching, and came up with some surprising facts.

Not least among them is the clear pointer that iOS app sales will be worth more than the entire worldwide movie industry at some point this year

Dediu noted back in 2015 that App Store billings overtook gross US box office takings, and observed then that it was only a matter of time before the same would be true globally.

Other interesting comparisons drawn in the piece:

    • Developer payment rate is now above $25 billion/yr. This is higher than the revenue of McDonald’s Corporation in 2016.
    • During this year iOS users will be spending about $100 million per day for Apps. This was Google’s AdWords revenue rate in 2012.
    • The spending on App Store has been rising steadily, adding about $5 billion/yr since mid 2011.
    • Apps are the biggest component of Apple services and helped that segment gross over $57 billion in 2017, passing Fortune 100 level (net of developer payments).

The growth rate in app developer income is around 33% per year.


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Story 3

New macOS DNS hijacking malware discovered

Apple’s macOS is reportedly the target of a new DNS hijacking exploit. As noted by The Hacker News, the malware is being likened to the DNSChange trojan that affected over four million computers in 2011…

This sort of malware works by changing DNS server settings on affected computers, thus routing traffic through malicious servers and logging sensitive data in the process. This new version is being referred to as OSX/MaMi.

News of this malware first appeared on the Malwarebytes forum, prompting ex-NSA hacker Patrick Wardle to do a deep dive into it. Wardle found that the malware is indeed a DNS Hijacker, but actually goes further and installs a new root certificate to hijack encrypted communication.

Currently, you can check to make sure you aren’t affected by launching System Preferences, heading into the Network menu, choosing “Advanced” and toggling over to the DNS menu. On that menu, keep an eye out for and

It’s important to note that, as of right now, antivirus products are not detecting the malware!


Story 4

NAB sees Amazon Alexa integration as pointing to the future of banking

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has announced integrating with Amazon Alexa, allowing customers to ask the voice-activated assistant certain questions about their bank account when the service goes live in Australia next month.

According to executive general manager of digital and innovation Jonathan Davey, when looking at the way the bank thinks consumers will interact with technology over the next decade or so, voice activation is the clear forerunner.

“We fundamentally believe as an organisation the way we need to be able to provide services to customers is changing and we’re in a unique position where we’re fortunate enough to be able to work with some of the most interesting and innovative companies around the world,” Davey told ZDNet.

Davey — who oversees the bank’s innovation arm, NAB Labs — said that by partnering with the likes of Amazon and Google, NAB has visibility about how other organisations are reinventing the way consumers deal with service providers.

Reflecting on his own use of voice assistants in his personal life, Davey said their presence starts to change people’s behaviour. Davey uses a voice-activated assistant to set his morning alarm, and while he knows he can do it fairly easily on his phone, performing the task verbally allows him to do it while performing other tasks — and before he forgets.

“You just find yourself interacting and asking questions,” he added. “The way we engage with technology is changing and increasingly we’re using voice. As a bank, we think the opportunity for our customers to be able to use those services is just a natural evolution of the use of digital channels.”


Story 5

Apple Leak Reveals Sudden iPhone X Cancellation

Forbes reports, It may be the smartphone of the moment, but a new leak reveals Apple will soon cancel the iPhone X. And the source could not be more credible.

In a new report obtained by AppleInsider, acclaimed KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says disappointing sales of the iPhone X will lead to the cancellation of the model “with production ceasing in the summer”. This would be the first time Apple has cancelled an iPhone model after just one generation since the iPhone 5C in 2014.

Kuo, who has a long track record successfully revealing Apple’s plans, said disinterest in China is the main reason. In China big screens are king and the iPhone X’s polarising ‘notch’ is seen by Chinese consumers as removing too much usable space. Especially when the cheaper iPhone 8 Plus actually delivers slightly more.


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Story 6

Amazon Echo range and Music Unlimited service coming to Australia and New Zealand


As we just eluded to in the NAB story, Amazon has announced that its Music Unlimited service and Alexa-powered speakers — Echo, Echo Plus, and Echo Dot — will be available in Australia and New Zealand next month.

The company’s music streaming service gives users access to a catalog of more than 45 million songs. It will launch in the two countries on February 1, when Aussies and Kiwis will be able to sign up for a free 90-day trial. After that, a monthly subscription will be required to continue to use the service.

Users will be able to choose between three plans. The Echo Plan is the cheapest one, offering access to the service via a single Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus speaker for AUD $4.99. Next up is the Individual Plan at AUD $11.99 per month that also lets you access the music service from a mobile device or PC. The last option is the Family Plan, allowing up to six members of a household to share a subscription for AUD $17.99 per month.

February 1 is the official release date.



Story 7

A decade without discs: The original MacBook Air turns 10

When the original MacBook Air launched in January 2008, it was the first Mac in over a decade designed without a built-in optical drive.

It was the first Mac to embrace a wireless future where ports and cables were discarded in favour of reduced weight and thickness. It paved the way for placing SSDs in all modern Macs instead of slow, mechanical hard disks. It brought the widespread adoption of multi-touch trackpads to Macs. And, as Apple was quick to note, it was the world’s thinnest notebook.

The first new product Steve Jobs announced after taking the stage for the Macworld 2008 keynote was Time Capsule, a router and wireless backup solution designed to work with Time Machine, Apple’s then new backup software. Jobs would talk about another kind of time machine before the keynote was over: the MacBook Air.

This he unveiled by taking it out of a manila envelope pushed down the side of a couch seat.


How To 1

iOS mail – most recent messages on top

I find it’s easier to keep track of long email threads by having the most recent messages added to the top rather than the bottom of a thread. Head to Settings > Mail and toggle on Most Recent Messages on Top. Now, when you tap the little blue arrow to expand a thread, you’ll be able to view the most recent message without needing to scroll.

How To 2

iOS mail – collapse read messages

It’s easy to lose your place in a long email thread when attempting to navigate it on your phone. With iOS 11, Apple has added an option in Mail’s preferences that helps you keep your place. It’s called Collapse Read Messages and it’s enabled by default. You can find it by going to Settings > Mail and scrolling down to the Threading section. With it enabled, all of the messages in the thread that you’ve already read will be collapsed so when you open a thread, you’ll be able to easily read the new, unread messages that await without needing to scroll past the read messages.

How to 3

iOS mail – mark up attachments

If you receive an email with a PDF or image attached, you can mark up the attachment without leaving Mail. To do so, open the attachment and tap anywhere on it. Tap the toolbox button in the lower-right corner. This will open a reply email and then open the attachment with edit tools that let you draw, magnify and add text to the file. With your notes added, tap Done and then send your reply with the annotated attachment.


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