Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 233

Show 233 – April 16, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Zarn, Garth & Michael

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Our Aussie Apple Rambling

everybody please put a hanky over your speakers

Story 1

Third Party Watch Faces, maybe

Ever since the Apple Watch was introduced, developers have been asking for the ability to create their own watch faces. Currently, only Apple can provide watch faces, while some of them have content from Pixar and Disney. The reasons for the lack of third party faces can be many, including Apple’s desire to control the experience and branding as much as possible.

Code found on watchOS 4.3.1 suggests this could change in the future. A component of the NanoTimeKit framework, responsible for the watch faces, implements a developer tools server that’s probably designed to communicate with Xcode running on a Mac. One of its methods has a very interesting log message:

Which Reads ~ “This is where the 3rd party face config bundle would happen”

It’s clear from the wording of the message that this feature is not implemented at the moment, but it’s definitely something Apple has planned. This new capability could come as soon as watchOS 5, or be dropped altogether. I personally hope they go forward with it since it’d be pretty cool to be able to install new watch faces on my Apple Watch.

https://9to5mac.com/2018/04/14/watchos-4-3-1-suggests-future-support-for-third-party-watch-faces/

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Story 2

In-app purchases are more successful now than ever, new data shows

A new report from Sensor Tower this week shows that in-app purchases continue to be popular among smartphone users and developers. The analytics firm says that iPhone users spent 23 percent more on in-app purchases in 2017 than they did in the prior year.

Intelligence data from Sensor Tower reveals that the “average amount spent per active iPhone” hit a new high of $58 last year, compared to $47 in 2016. Of that $58, games contributed to about $36, followed by entertainment, music, social networking, and lifestyle applications.

These numbers includes purchases that are made through Apple’s first-party in-app purchase system, such as recurring subscriptions in apps like Netflix. It doesn’t include purchases made in apps like Uber and Amazon, which Apple doesn’t take a revenue cut of.

In terms of downloads. Sensor Tower data indicates that there was an increase of 10 percent in terms of apps downloaded per phone, with that number rising to 45 apps. “U.S. iPhone users installed an average of four more new apps in 2017 compared to the year before,” the company says.

Interestingly, photo and video app installs decreased by 10 percent year-over-year, while games increased 7 percent and lead the way:

https://9to5mac.com/2018/04/14/in-app-purchases-success/

On the subject – last week we mentioned the game app Fortnite, apparently they are making $2m per week in in app purchases with things like dance moves. So when you defeat them you can “taunt them with your groove on”

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Story 3

Apple loses court battle over ‘counterfeit’ iPhone parts in Norway

Norwegian repair shop owner Henrik Huseby got a cease-and-desist from Apple letter about his use of imported, aftermarket iPhone screens, was issued a cease and desist order, and threatened with fines — but fought the company in the courts and won.

Huseby, who owns a small electronics repair shop called PCKompaniet in Norway, had had a shipment of 63 iPhone 6 and 6S replacement screens from Asia seized by Norwegian customs agents, according to Motherboard. The Norwegian government notified Apple, and a lawyer represented the company proposing a settlement, which would entail Huseby paying US$3,500, destroying the screens, and promising to no longer sell or deal with any products that infringe Apple’s trademarks. 

Huseby refused the settlement and took Apple to court. The case hinged on the question of how exactly Huseby obtained the Chinese parts, and how they were marked.  

A question of the grey market

Huseby, like many repair shop owners and technicians around the world, purchases replacement parts from the Asian grey market. Many parts, such as the ones Huseby used, were broken parts from the original manufacturer that are “refurbished” by a third party. These parts had Apple logos originally, but were covered up by an easily removable media during the sale process. 

Whether these count as “counterfeit” is at the crux of the case in Norway. Apple says they are, but Huseby and his team argued otherwise, and the court agreed. 

Especially important in this case is whether Huseby had used components with Apple logos. Huseby, according to Vice, bought the screens with the logos covered up, and kept it covered up, since he didn’t want to market it as Apple-manufactured or imply that it was such.  

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/13/apple-loses-court-battle-over-counterfeit-iphone-parts-in-norway

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Story 4

Apple memo reveals 29 leakers caught last year, urges staff to stop leaking confidential information

Posted to its internal blog, the memo reveals Apple had “caught 29 leakers” last year, adding that 12 of the former employees were also arrested for their actions. “These people not only lose their jobs, they can face extreme difficulty finding employment elsewhere,” the memo states, highlighting the potential consequences of leaking. 

Highlighting a case from last month where the company caught and fired an employee who leaked details from an internal and confidential meeting relating to the firm’s software roadmap, the memo published by Bloomberg notes the employee admitted to Apple investigators he did it because he thought he would not be found out. Apple boasts that this is not the case, as its efforts to plug leaks has led to employees, contractors, and suppliers who do these actions being caught “faster than ever.” 

Apple has invested in its internal investigations to identify and catch leaks as early as possible. The memo cites a gold master leak of iOS 11 head of last September’s event, which included details relating to the unannounced iPhone X and unreleased operating system, with the employee responsible identified and fired within days. 

several employees feeding confidential data about the iPhone X, iPad Pro, and AirPods to a blogger at one Apple-focused online publication. Global Security is also credited as working with suppliers to “prevent theft of Apple’s intellectual property” as well as leakers, improving security with the third-party firms to “meet or exceed Apple’s expectations.”

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/13/internal-apple-memo-reveals-29-leakers-caught-last-year-urges-staff-to-stop-leaking-confidential-information-to-the-media

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Story 5

US lawmakers ask FBI director to explain decision to take Apple to court

A bipartisan group within the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, looking for answers on why the agency took Apple to court to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook.

The group consists of five Republicans and five Democrats, who expressed concerns about a recent report from the Office of the Inspector General which found the FBI didn’t exhaust all options before making demands from Apple, Reuters said. The FBI may have skipped alternatives “precisely because they wanted the suit against Apple to go forward,” the letter suggested.

Moreover, the people argued, stories about unlock tools from firms such as Cellebrite and GrayShift —which may now be relatively commonplace —could put a lie to FBI claims that communications are “going dark” to law enforcement and spy agencies. The FBI states that it has about 7,800 devices it can’t break into because of encryption, and some officials have regularly pushed for laws that would force tech companies to create backdoors.

https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/04/13/us-lawmakers-ask-fbi-director-wray-to-explain-decision-to-take-apple-to-court

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How To 1 

How to check your Mac for 32-bit apps before Apple drops support

We recently reported that Apple is now beginning to warn users about 32-bit applications potentially not working in a future version of macOS. The alert that appears on macOS is surprisingly vague and doesn’t give much detail on what to do next.

Follow along as we guide you through how to check which apps are currently 32-bit.

How to check your Mac for 32-bit apps before Apple drops support

  1. In the top left corner click on the  logo, hold down the Option key on your keyboard, while holding it down, click on System Information…
  2. Scroll down on the left sidebar until you get down to Software. Expand the menu if necessary, and then tap the Applications option. It may take a few moments for it to load, especially if you have a ton of apps.
  3. Up top, there should be a menu option to sort by 64-Bit (Intel). Click on that, and you’ll now have a list of apps that aren’t 64-bit (that are 32-bit only). The 32-bit apps will be labeled No instead of Yes.

Your list will likely be fairly small with only a handful of apps needing updates to 64-bit. Ironically, for most people, the 32-bit list will be dominated by Apple apps. Apple’s DVD player, and InkServer applications still lack native 64-bit support. These are first-party, pre-installed applications that come bundled with every Mac. But that’s not all, some of Apple’s Mac App Store apps such as Compressor aren’t updated for 64-bit systems as well.

https://9to5mac.com/2018/04/13/how-to-32-bit-apps-mac-list/

How to 2

This week in Apple History

This week in 1984 we bear witness to the slow start of Macintosh when the Apple IIc (my first Apple) sells more units in one day than the Mac had in the preceding three months. Perhaps that’s why Apple released it in a celebration called “Apple II Forever.”

It was this week in 2001 that Apple announced a remarkable milestone, having sold the five millionth iMac. The iMac, which was released in 1998 has been one of the most successful computers in history.

How to 3

2 Siri Remote Shortcuts for the Apple TV

There are some different Siri remote shortcuts you can use when you’re watching a movie or television show on the Apple TV. These shortcuts are taps that do different things, and makes your television experience better.

 

Movie Time

When you’re watching a movie, a single tap on the Siri remote shows you how far into the movie you are and how much time is left. If you tap again, it will show you what time you started the movie, and what time it will be finished.

You can change the sensitivity of the remote’s trackpad by going to Settings > Remotes and Devices > Touch Surface Tracking on your Apple TV.

https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/siri-remote-shortcuts/

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