Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 225

Show 225 – February 19, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

This week sponsors


Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Story 1

Apple overtakes Asus to become fourth largest notebook maker

Global notebook shipments increased more than expected last year, and part of it came down to Apple’s strong MacBook growth.

According to a new report from market research firm TrendForce, Apple recorded a 9.6 percent market share in global notebook shipments, up from 8.3 percent the previous year. As a result, Apple overtook Asus to become the fourth largest notebook maker by shipments, compared to the fifth largest in 2016.

Based on early estimates concerning 2018, the report suggests that Apple will round off 2018 with 10.4 percent of the market, raising it another percentage point against rivals who are showing less growth. TrendForce notes that the updated MacBook Pro has been a particularly good seller for Apple.


Story 2

HP is now selling Apple devices

Many moons ago, HP teamed up with Apple to sell the iPod. It carried HP’s logo, and it was one of the few times Steve Jobs allowed another company to license an Apple product. This isn’t a rebirth of that partnership, however.

The Apple devices offered by HP today are regular Apple devices, free from HP branding. They are offered under the DaaS program, which provides enterprise customers with a one-stop solution for hardware and device management.

“Our customers are seeking new ways to better manage the expansion of device types and operating systems across their workforce,” explains Bill Avey, global head and general manager of Personal Systems Services at HP.


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Story 3

New Australian Payments Platform may mean faster transactions, but it won’t be safer

Australians will finally enjoy the ability to send each other money in “real time”, with the launch of the New Payments Platform. The platform is a mixture of new processes for settling transactions between banks, guided by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

But while this may make payments faster, it could also make them less safe.

And data from the United Kingdom’s real-time payments platform, Faster Payments, show the take-up of Australia’s system may not be that strong. Although it was launched 10 years ago, Faster Payments has not yet become the most popular payment method in the UK. The most popular is still the traditional system, which takes three days to clear.

Research into the Faster Payments platform shows it is rife with fraud and scams. Part of the problem in the UK is that banks have trouble identifying potentially fraudulent transactions.

The New Payments Platform will also change how you transfer money. BSB and account numbers will still exist, but individuals and businesses can create other identifiers, called “PayID”. This means mobile numbers or email addresses can also be used as a way to identify yourself, both to pay and be paid by others.

The platform will also remove the delays caused by weekends and public holidays and mean you can make transfers after business hours.

The impetus for a real-time payment platform came from a 2012 review by the Reserve Bank of Australia. It found that Australia’s payment system lagged behind even less developed nations, such as Mexico.

But not all banks have signed on to the new payments platform. Those taking a wait-and-see approach include Bank of Queensland, Suncorp and Rabobank. Even some of the subsidiaries of one of the big four banks, Westpac (such as Bank of Melbourne and St George), will not be involved in the launch of the New Payments Platform.

Under the terms and conditions issued by one of the participating banks, banks are not liable for losses that are a result of you giving the wrong account information. Furthermore, a transfer instruction given by you, once accepted by your bank, is irrevocable.

This also applies if you were fraudulently induced to make a transfer via the New Payments Platform. In this case your bank might be able to help you recover the funds, but the recipient of the funds (potentially a fraudster) will have to consent to repay your funds.


Story 4

Shazam update brings real-time lyrics syncing, interface tweaks, more

Released late last week a new version of the Shazam iOS app. This update brings Shazam to version 11.7 and includes interface tweaks and more.

Shazam says that the update includes a brand new design of the song page, which is what you see after you successfully recognise a song. On this page, you now get support for real-time lyrics, which lets you “belt it like you wrote it.”

Furthermore, the redesign brings a more streamlined interface to the song page. Now, when you Shazam a song you’ll see the results and a single image of the artist – which allows you to “focus on the music you were looking to discover in the first place.” Furthermore, Shazam says the new track result menu acts as a one-stop shop for lyrics, videos, and more.

Lastly, the update makes it slightly easier for Apple Music and Spotify subscribers to quickly add a recognised song to a playlist.


Story 5

A Couple of HomePod issues arising


White HomePods have been known to leave a white ring on some wooden surfaces.

Pad & Quill Debuts New Leather Coasters for HomePod ~ very quick innovation I must admin US$20

Apple has addressed a “Setup Failed” prompt appearing on some HomePods, usually with the error designation -6722. This can be accompanied by a stall in the installation process, a “Wi-Fi incompatible” error or a blank white screen after selecting the location of the HomePod.

First of all, if you don’t have your personal Wi-Fi network secured through WPA or WPA2, make sure to do so — Apple notes that HomePod won’t connect to public, subscription or enterprise networks.

In addition to making sure that you have the latest software (iOS 11.2.5 or later) on your compatible device, you should also update your Home and Apple Music apps as applicable — those two applications basically make the HomePod run. Make sure to set up two-factor authentication and iCloud Keychain as necessary.

If you already have the Home app installed, you may want to erase and then reinstall the Home app, especially if it takes several minutes to load accessories and scenes. Keep in mind that existing HomeKit accessories and scenes will need to be reset.


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Story 6

iPhone market share will grow this year while Samsung’s will fall, predicts TrendForce


Global smartphone sales were weaker than expected in the second half of 2017, says TrendForce. It predicts that growth will slow to 2.8% this year, and says that there are ‘only two international brands with a clear future of growth in 2018’ …

TrendForce predicts that Apple will be one of these brands.

Apple remained the second place in the ranking of smartphone production for 2017. For this year, Apple is set to launch three new flagship models in 3Q18, and will expand the adoption of Face ID and all-screen technology in these new iPhones, along with upgrading their existing functions and increasing the memory content as well. According to TrendForce, iPhone’s annual production volume is expected to increase by 6% because of improved specifications of new iPhones and Apple’s expansion in Indian market.

It forecasts that Apple will increase its market share from 15.2% last year to 15.7% this year, while market leader Samsung will see its own share fall from 21.9% to 20.3%.

Nokia will be the other winner, says the firm, thanks to a partnership in India.

Nokia’s partnership with HMD and FIH Mobile had a new start in 2017, recording a production volume of 11.5 million units in the debut year. Nokia will not only benefit from bargaining power of FIH Mobile, but also save the import tariff because the plants are located in India. As the result, Nokia is expected to continue the growth momentum this year in the mid and low-end smartphone market where cost pressures are extremely high.

A couple of quick stories to round us out

Apple employees keep walking to walls at new campus

Though aesthetically pleasing, the glass has proven to be a hindrance to employees.

According to persons familiar with the matter, Apple employees can’t seem to stop running into the glass walls at the new campus. The staff, much like staff at any other office, often finds themselves glued to their mobile devices while shuttling from meeting to meeting. And in their distracted state, many are getting a harsh reality check as they run face-first into the aesthetically-pleasing walls.

Some have resorted to marking the danger areas with Post-it notes, although sources report these have since been removed as they reduce the visual appeal of the minimalist office space.


How the Apple Watch is starting to realize its clinical potential

An increasing number of clinical trials are searching for other meaningful health data the Watch can reliably detect. The digital health company Cardiogram believes its algorithms, using data from the Watch, can detect diabetes in people with 85% accuracy. In a test of 14,000 Watch wearers conducted with UCSF, the technology correctly detected 462 diabetics among them, TechCrunch reports. Diabetes is a very costly disease, and 100 million U.S. adults are said to have it, or pre-diabetic conditions.

Cardiogram said it earlier used the Apple Watch to detect arrhythmia with 97% accuracy, sleep apnea with 90% accuracy, and hypertension with 82% accuracy.


How To 1

Some Mac OS High Sierra tricks

a/  Cmd-Ctrl-Q  ~  Quickly locks your screen

b/  Photos app selection {counter

a little counter has been added in the top right corner when selecting photos

c/  Photos plays nice with other editors

I find that the Photos app suffices for my admittedly modest photo-editing needs, but the app now plays nice with other photo-editing apps. The best part is the photo stays right in its spot in the Photos app, and any edits you make in the other app are immediately synced. It’s really slick. Just right-click on a photo or a selection of photos and choose Edit With and then choose your app. Any edits will appear in Photos, and you can always undo them from Photos by clicking Edit and then choosing Revert to Original.

How to 2

PLEASE BACKUP – I know I said this last week BUT

Had a customer on Saturday, with an album launch on Sunday get water spilt on his MacBook Pro.  Took to Apple – not financially feasible to repair. BUT needed his data.  Yes we got the data from the water damaged SSD but the liquid sensor on the SSD and others had been triggered


How to 3

In Facebook, you can upload multiple photos to your timeline as part of a post. To do this, click “Add Photo/Video” at the top of your homepage, then click “Upload Photos/Video.” Select the photos you’d like to upload and click “Open.” You can also add more photos to the post by clicking “+” in the empty photo box. 

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