Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 228

Show 228 – March 12, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Garth & Michael & Zarn

This week sponsors


Our Aussie Apple Rambling

Story 1

Microsoft’s latest iOS accessibility app gives directions via 3D audio to those with vision impairments, recommends AirPods

Microsoft has announced a new app for those with vision impairments. Soundscape for iOS has been in development for about four years and is now available for free. Read on for how this technology works.

Apple is well-known for providing a robust range of accessibility features for its products and even its buildings. However, we’ve seen Microsoft also adding some recent notable contributions to the accessibility space. Just last week we saw an update for the Be My Eyes iOS app that allows users to receive support from over 850,000 volunteers to get help from Microsoft’s Disability Answer Desk.

This week’s Soundscape app release is another way Microsoft is enabling safer and easier mobility for those with vision impairments — and the company even recommends using Apple’s AirPods.

Here’s how Microsoft describes what the app does and how it works:

Microsoft Soundscape uses 3D audio technology to enhance your awareness of what is around you, and thereby help you get around and explore your surroundings. Soundscape will place audio cues and labels in 3D space such that they sound like they are coming from the direction of the points of interest, parks, roads and other features in your surroundings. You will need a pair of stereo headsets that you feel comfortable wearing outdoors. For example, bone conduction headsets, Apple AirPods and in-ear open headphones have proven to work well. Soundscape is designed to live in the background and provide you with effortless ambient awareness. Therefore, feel free to use it in conjunction with other apps such as podcasts, audio books, email and even GPS navigation.


Story 2

Apple Maps expands transit directions and lane guidance in several locations

Apple has today made some improvements to both transit directions and lane guidance in Apple Maps. The company has been making a rapid push to ‘get both of these features out the door and has been looking to expand them in as many cities as possible.

In total, lane guidance is now available in the following 14 countries: the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

MS the lane guidance is getting very accurate saying things like “turn right form the right 2 lanes”


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Story 3

Google for iOS adds iMessage extension, browser suggestions, drag and drop for iPad

The Google app for iOS is adding a number of new features today that expand the availability of Search functionality via the share extension and iMessage. Meanwhile, the app is also gaining support for iOS 11’s iPad features.

With the latest update, the Google app now includes an iMessage extension that feature a quick search functionality for both the web and GIFs. Similar to Gboard’s existing capabilities, there are shortcuts for “Food” and “Nearby.” Searching for a location will let users paste a card directly into the conversation that includes the address and phone number.

To the right of the search bar, there is also a GIF lookup feature to paste animations into a conversation.

Meanwhile, Google is taking better advantage of the share extension with a new “Search Google” button in the sheet. Tapping will load a list of similar results for the page you’re currently looking at. Google notes that this works in Safari, Chrome, and other third-party iOS browsers.

The last change today brings support for iPad improvements that Apple introduced with its latest OS:

On iOS 11, you can now drag and drop to quickly and easily move text, images and links to and from the Google app. If you’re reading a great article on the Google app, tap and hold to pick up the link and drag it into iMessage to share with a friend, or into Notes to save for later.


Story 4

iOS nips at Android’s heels in user loyalty

Americans are far less likely to switch between an iPhone and an Android smartphone than they once were. A new study shows that virtually all users of both types have little interest in moving to the other team.

Loyalty to Android is just slightly stronger than it is to iOS. Nevertheless, more people are switching away from Google’s operating system than they are Apple’s.

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners studied the numbers of customers that remained with each operating system when activating a new phone in 2017. It found that Android has a 91 percent loyalty rate, compared to 86 percent for iOS.

“Loyalty is as high as we’ve ever seen,” said Mike Levin, a CIRP co-founder. “Loyalty for both Android and iOS increased in 2015 and into 2016, when it levelled off for both operating systems.”

Comparisons between the iPhone X and the Samsung Galaxy S9 began pouring out after the flagship Android device was announced last week, but it seems the point is rather moot as most people aren’t seriously considering the alternatives.


Story 5

Here’s how the iPhone 6s performs before and after a battery replacement


A new video shared today offers a great look at just how noticeable the performance difference is between an iPhone 6s with performance throttling, and one with a brand new battery just replaced by Apple.

The video, shared by Bennett Sorbo, showcases his iPhone 6s before and after the battery replacement. Sorbo says his device was originally purchased two years ago and was being performance throttled prior to the battery replacement.

What’s notable about this video is that it’s not showing two different devices, but rather the same device, before and after the replacement process.

As for the battery replacement process itself, Sorbo says he ended up waiting about a month, a wait time that doesn’t seem all that uncommon given just how inundated Apple is with battery replacement requests right now.

Throughout the video, Sorbo walks through a variety of different tasks ranging from opening apps to browsing in Safari. The difference in performance is pretty stark, even for basic tasks like loading the home page. The throttling is most notable when loading graphic and information intense tasks.

In terms of Geekbench testing, the throttled iPhone 6s scored a 2485 in multi-core testing, while the same test with a new battery scored a 4412. That’s a pretty notable difference

Here’s how the iPhone 6s performs before and after a battery replacement [Video]


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Story 6

Apple patented a keyboard that can’t be defeated by crumbs

The Verge reports, Apple filed a patent made public yesterday for a keyboard that resists crumbs. The patent describes two different ways that a keyboard can keep dirt out, either by sealing gaps off or having a membrane beneath each key that would blow out air every time a key is pressed, pushing out unwanted debris.

From the figures shown in the patent, it’s clear that Apple is considering many different approaches and alternatives to create a crumb-resistant keyboard. The patent was filed on September 8th, 2016, just a day after the company officially announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus


Story 7

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menu extras sitepad


How To 1

Changing type case

When you are in a text editor, like text editor or notes, right click or 2 finger tap on selected text

select Transformations

select MAKE UPPER CASE or make lower case or Capitalise

How to 2

Type to Siri

When travelling on the “Quiet Carriages” or in the middle of a meeting, you may not want to talk to Siri out loud. With iOS 11, you can now type a question or request to Apple’s virtual Assistant. Launch the Settings menu, then select General > Accessibility > Siri and make sure the “Type to Siri” switch is turned on.

How to 3

Shift your iPhone’s keyboard to the left or right for easier one-handed typing

Apple is making it more comfortable to type with one hand in iOS 11. Press and hold the globe button on your iOS device’s keyboard and select one of the layouts at the bottom of the mini-menu. You’ll find options for sliding the keyboard to the right, left, or middle of your iPhone’s screen.

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