Aussie Mac Zone ~ Episode 245

Show 245 – July 09, 2018

Run Sheet ~ Zarn, 

Garth & Michael

This week sponsors


Our Aussie Apple Ramblings

Story 1

mactrast reports 

Digital Music News reports Apple Music’s United States subscriber numbers have surpassed Spotify’s U.S. subscriber count.

The source, a US-based, major distributor, shared a report detailing the subscriber tallies of several streaming music services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and Sirius XM. That report now ranks Apple Music as first in the United States, at least among primarily on-demand music streaming services.

The report says both Apple Music and Spotify boast over 20 million Subscribers in the United States, with Apple just “a hair ahead” of Spotify. The exact subscriber figures were reportedly withheld on request of the source to protect the source’s confidentiality.

In February, it was reported that Apple was gaining subscribers at a faster rate than Spotify, Apple’s U.S.-based subscriber growth rate was believed to be around 5%, compared to Spotify’s 2% growth rate. Based on those figures it was projected that Apple Music would pass it’s major rival in U.S. subscriber numbers this summer.

As far as global subscriber numbers go, Spotify still maintains a comfortable lead, with around 70 million paying subscribers compared to Apple Music’s 45 million. Spotify has an additional 90 million free tier users, versus Apple’s estimated 5-10 million free trial subscribers.


Story 2

iPhone 8 tops latest best-selling smartphone list, iPhone X comes in third 

9TO5Mac reports ~ According to new data from Counterpoint Research, Apple locked in the best-selling smartphone title during May of 2018. At the top spot was the iPhone 8, while the Galaxy S9 Plus came in a very close second…

During April of 2018, Apple was beat out by Samsung, with the Galaxy S9 Plus coming atop the list. This time around, however, Apple’s iPhone 8 barely edged out the Galaxy S9 Plus. Both locked in 2.4 percent of the global smartphone market during the month, with the iPhone 8 ever so slightly coming in first.

As for the iPhone X, it accounted for 2.3 percent of the global smartphone sale marketshare – making it the third best-selling smartphone during May of 2018. In fourth was the Xiaomi Redmi 5A, while the iPhone 8 Plus came in fifth.

Counterpoint Research attributes the success of the iPhone 8 to new ad push from Apple, including its ‘How to shoot on iPhone’ campaign focused on the device’s camera technology:

What makes the iPhone 8’s success all the more notable is the fact that we’re looking down the barrel of a trio of new iPhones coming in just over 2 months. The constant rumours and speculation don’t seem to be having cannibalisation effects on the last-generation devices, though.


We are approaching show 250!

ithelp2u will be providing some 

iTunes / Apple Gift Cards as prizes for listener stories, thoughts & questions about the past, present & future??

Story 3

Inbox by Gmail Finally Gains Support for iPhone X

The Inbox by Gmail app for iOS devices was this week updated with support for the iPhone X, a full eight months after the larger-screened iPhone launched. 

Since November 2017, Inbox by Gmail has received 13 updates, none of which included iPhone X support until today. Inbox is one of Google’s last apps to get iPhone X support, with most other apps updated earlier in the year. 

Following the update, the Inbox by Gmail app will no longer display black bars at the top and the bottom of the app, with your list of emails taking up the full length of the screen. 

According to Google’s release notes, no other new features were included in the update. 

Google also updated its standard Gmail app for iOS, introducing support for high-priority notifications for important messages.


Story 4

Google expands presence in Australia with new Melbourne office

Australia is one of the few countries that Google typically includes in the first wave of product and service launches. With a new Melbourne location, the company has opened its second office to compliment its headquarters in Sydney.

Melbourne is Australia’s second-most populous city with the Collins Street office officially opening Thursday evening. With space for more than a hundred desks, half of the building is already occupied. Google plans to further expand the team, and welcome local community groups to the new space.

From just 4 people when Google Melbourne began a few years ago, we now have more than 50 staff today and space to expand the team. We’re growing because our partners – local businesses and community groups – are growing.


Story 5

Facial recognition trial takes off at Sydney Airport

Sydney airport are teaming up with Qantas in a trial that uses your face to check-in and board flights 

Sydney airport announced Thursday that it will begin trialling facial recognition technology, in conjunction with Qantas, in an effort to get passengers from the couch to the gate much faster.

“Your face will be your passport and your boarding pass at every step of the process,” Geoff Culbert, Sydney airport CEO, explained in a statement, suggesting that in the future you’ll no longer need to bumble about in your coat pockets or bags searching for a passport because it will be right there — on your face.

The new technology is set to speed up check-in, bag drop, access to the lounge and boarding the plane. Australia’s current system, SmartGate, is already using face scanning technology to electronically analyze passports of those traveling into and out of the country and Canberra airport are currently trialing facial recognition software for international travelers. 

Vanessa Hudson, Qantas chief customer officer, spoke to the need for airlines to be offering “faster and more convenient airport experiences”, stating that Qantas is “excited to see what results the trial produces.


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Story 6

IBM Lands $740 Million Deal to Supply Data Security to Australia

Bloomberg reports ~ International Business Machines Corp. has secured a A$1 billion ($740 million) agreement to become a central technology partner of the Australian government over the next five years.

The contract will see services such as automation and blockchain provided to federal departments including defence and home affairs, IBM’s Asia Pacific head, Harriet Green, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Thursday. The “youth of the technology” and the employment of Australians to support and help the implementation would be hallmarks of the new partnership, she said.

IBM, which is combating falling revenues, will also create renewed platforms to protect citizens’ data while providing A$100 million in savings to taxpayers, according to government estimates. Cyber attacks have hit international firms such as Facebook and Ticketmaster in the past year, as well as Australia’s national science agency.

The contract comes two years after IBM agreed to pay more than A$30 million in compensation to the Australian government for its role in the bungled national census. The survey was hit by four distributed denial of service attacks that temporarily shut down the twice-a-decade project, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at the time that “overwhelmingly the failure was IBM’s.”

Also I hope some rubs off on our next story!!!


Story 7

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk 

The Sydney Morning Herald reported ~ China-based hackers have successfully infiltrated the IT systems at the Australian National University, potentially compromising the home of Australia’s leading national security college and key defence research projects.

Federal government cyber security officials have been working with the university since detecting the cyber attack, assessing the scale of any information theft and who in China could be responsible for it.

The ANU conducts research that has defence, strategic, scientific, technological and commercial applications.

National security sources said the Chinese government was suspected of directing the cyber attack, but proving this may be difficult because hackers typically aim to hide their tracks. However, it has been confirmed by federal government officials that the cyber attack was launched from China and that the ANU computer network was significantly compromised.

“We can assume this cyber intrusion has involved the theft of information. The question is ‘what was sucked out and how sensitive is it?’” said a national security official. The official said the “clean up” by university staff and cyber security officials would also aim to safeguard the ANU’s computer systems against future attacks.

How to 1




This week in Apple History

1981: Apple’s first president, Michael “Scotty” Scott, resigns after four and a half years of helping establish the company’s infrastructure and guiding the firm through an enormously successful initial public offering. Scott’s fate was sealed after the unpopular “Black Wednesday” firing of 40 employees and termination of several unproductive hardware projects in the wake of the disappointing Apple III.

1992: Belgian-born Gaston Bastiaens is named VP and general manager of Apple’s newly formed Personal Interactive Electronics (PIE) division, which included the Newton project. Bastiaens came to Apple from Philips Electronics in Eindhoven, Netherlands, where he had been director of the Consumer Electronics Division and general manager of the Interactive Media Systems Group, helping launch the Philips CD-Interactive player. Bastiaens left Apple less than a year after the Newton MessagePad finally shipped. In 2001 he was arrested for securities violations during his tenure as CEO and president of Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products.

1999: Blowing away analysts’ estimates, Apple posts a profit of US$203 million for its seventh consecutive profitable quarter. Almost half the income comes from the sale of 10 million shares of ARM Holdings plc., which Apple had acquired in conjunction with its development of the Newton. Apple sold almost a million Macs (representing unit growth of 40%), spurred in large part due to demand for the iMac, which accounted for more than half of all units sold in the quarter.

2001: After taking a pounding for the last couple of quarters, largely for the failure of the Power Mac G4 Cube and the dwindling interest in the CRT-based iMac, Apple manages to post a US$61 million profit for the past quarter.

“We had a great education quarter, with significant year over year growth, and a great iBook quarter, shipping over 182,000 of our new wildly popular consumer and education notebooks,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Perhaps the most strategic event of the quarter was the launching of Apple Retail Stores, with the very successful openings of our first two stores, and plans to open 23 more in 2001.”

2002: At the Macworld Expo in New York City, Apple announces a slew of new products, including Mac OS X 10.2 (“Jaguar”), a 17-inch flat screen iMac, the .Mac online service (formerly called iTools), iTunes 3.0, and a new generation of iPods featuring the industry’s first solid-state touch wheel. Most significantly, the new iPods are available for the first time to both Mac and Windows customers.

2003: Apple announces financial results for its fiscal 2003 third quarter ended June 28, 2003. For the quarter, the Company posts a net profit of US$19 million, compared to a net profit of US$32 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues for the quarter were up 8 percent from the year-ago quarter and up 5 percent sequentially, and gross margins were 27.7 percent, up from 27.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. Apple shipped 771,000 Macintosh units during the quarter. “This was a great new product quarter for Apple, starting with the iTunes Music Store and the new third-generation iPods, and ending with the announcement of the Power Mac G5 and the developer preview of Panther, the fourth major release of Mac OS X,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

Before we go 

A couple of others stories – briefly

Twitterific loses push notifications and live-updated tweets ahead of Twitter’s third-party API purge

Microsoft Outlook to Release Highly Anticipated Dark Mode

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