Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter earnings conference call is scheduled to start after the market closes this afternoon, Tuesday, October 25th. The Mac Observer will be here to bring you the latest news, announcements, and analysis from the event.
This is your last chance to Pay What You Want for The Award-Winning Mac Bundle. It’s 13 Mac apps, including Drive Genius 4, The Hit List, DeltaWalker 2 Pro, Nisus Writer Pro, Aurora HDR, WinZip 5 Mac, VPN Forever: 3-Yr Subscription, Project Planning Pro, Letter Opener for macOS Mail, Duplicate Photos Fixer Pro, Screen Grabber Pro, eXtra Voice Recorder, and PhotoStitcher. That’s a quality list of apps (and services). Pay anything, even a penny, and you get three of them. Beat the average price—$13.03 as of this writing—and get all 13. Beat the leader’s price, and you’ll earn an entry in an iPhone 7 giveaway. You can read all the details on the deal listing.
Remember the first iPod? It was a thing. It held 5GB of music and was the size of a deck of playing cards. And there was no iTunes Store. The music industry was angry at Apple, worried that Steve Jobs wanted everyone to pirate CDs so he could sell us hardware. It was a whole big thing, but journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi reminded us of a tidbit I’d completely forgotten about. Apple sent out iPods to many journalists. Those iPods had music on them—20 albums worth chosen specifically and deliberately by Steve Jobs and the iPod team. And in an effort to show the music industry Apple was their ally, each of those iPods came with those 20 albums on CD. Mr. Hayashi recently found his bundle of CDs. He wrote an interesting post about it, including a list of all 20 albums. Spoiler, there’s a Dylan album, two Beatles albums, Nirvana, Bob Marley, Yo-Yo Ma, the Dave Brubek Quartet, a soundtrack, and more. It’s a fun snapshot look at an age that was radically different than the one we take for granted today.
HomeKit in iOS 10 requires Two-Factor authentication if you plan to remotely control or monitor your smarthome devices. That isn’t a big deal, unless you’re one of the unlucky few who were blocked from switchting to Apple’s more secure password authentication system. The good news is that Apple finally fixed the issue, so HomeKit can be more that your in-home personal assistant again.
We tend to think of robots and AI agents as potentially threatening. But when they’re specifically charged with protecting the human passengers in autonomous cars, there could be some serious shenanigans by aggressive drivers. Even abuse. What if one of those autonomous cars, in turn, does something unexpected? John looks at a mind-numbing scenario.
Parts of the internet ground to a halt on Friday, October 21, when a group of hackers targeted Dyn with a distributed Denial of Service attack. The attack temporarily broke the path to many websites, including Twitter, and blocking similar attacks in the future will be a monumental task because the hackers used the internet-connected devices already in our homes.
David Sparks is a business attorney, Macworld author, podcaster and all around Apple product expert. He’s one of those people who started on one path—an aerospace engineering student—then changed gears to become a law student at Pepperdine University. David tells the story of his law school years and how people often think of law school as more onerous than it really is. His original plan was to be a prosecutor, but then he found that business law for small companies was much more satisfying. We chatted about his interest in all things Mac and the dawn of his Mac Power Users podcast with Katie Floyd in 2009. Today, David is a popular speaker and a fixture in the Mac Community with 346 podcasts and several books. Come take a career journey with me and David.
Apple released watchOS 3.1 Monday, an update with a mix of improvements and bug fixes. On the improve side if the ability to replay bubble and full-screen effects in Messages. On the bug-fix side, a charging issue for Apple Watch Series 2 was fixed, and more.
Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.1 Monday (in addition to iOS 10.1). The first new feature that jumped out at me was “Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch,” a feature I love but is inconsistent. It also includes auto smart album of photos that use the newly unlocked Portrait Camera feature on iPhone 7 Plus, and some bug fixes.
Last Friday we all learned first hand what happens when hackers decide to target DNS hosts with a distributed Denial of Service attack. Dave Hamilton and The Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to look at Friday’s attack and how the Internet of Things played a major role in the incident. They also talk about how HomeKit devices may also be susceptible to hackers.
Apple released iOS 10.1 to consumers on Monday. The update includes beta support for Portrait Camera on iPhone 7 Plus, as well as the ability to replay iMessage bubble and full-screen effects. There are also new features for Apple Watch, transit-related features in Maps, and other improvements to camera functionality and the Photos app.
AT&T is about to get a lot bigger because the communication company struck a deal to buy Time Warner for about US$85.4 billion. The two companies hope to close the deal by the end of 2017, but are already facing scrutiny over the impact a combined AT&T and Time Warner.
We have a deal for you today on Shimo, VPN management software for the Mac. You can manage and connect all of your VPN accounts through Shimo. It supports all the major VPN protocols, and you can establish multiple connections at the same time. It’s $19 through our deal.
Some people are experiencing problems with Contacts on their Apple Watch, or with initiating phone calls with Siri on your Apple Watch. The problem may be that your Contacts aren’t properly syncing, and Mac Geek Gab listener Bill wrote in (MGG 626) with the skinny on resetting it.
Cool Stuff Found includes how to keep Safari from opening iTunes automatically, a new USB circuit tester, bluetooth stereo speaker, a better way to backup your iPhone and more. Then it’s on to your questions, including a segment on managing your iPhone from the new Console app in macOS Sierra. Plus, your two favorite geeks talk through this week’s DNS outage and how they got around it. Download today and enjoy!
Turns out you can buy more than groceries and iPhone accessories with Apple Pay—like a crazy expensive car, for example. British car auctioneer Coys of Kensington just sold a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for £825,000, which is a little over US$1 million. That’s the single largest Apple Pay transaction to date.
OMG…gasp…can’t stop…gasp…omg…the laughter…
I SORRY ABOUT DDDoSS THE INTERNAT I KEPT PUSH REFRESH BCAUSE I THOUGT I’M WOULD GET REFRESHMENTS I SORRY DONT WIKILEAK ME
— birdsrightsactivist (@ProBirdRights) October 21, 2016
Some people have reported weird rebooting/logging out problems on their Macs after upgrading to macOS Sierra. Mac Geek Gab listener Ken was one of those folks, and he traced it to an auto-logout preference Sierra appears to have changed for him. Fortunately, resetting it is an easy fix. Bryan Chaffin shows you how.
Keith Burton was at last weekend’s Apple Regent Street opening. He took some great photos—including a shot of Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts—of the event and was kind enough to let us publish them.
IBM and Apple have been partnering with each other for some time now. The action continues with Macs finding great favor within IBM. Also, education initiatives continue. Finally, IBM’s Watson has to be giving Apple some big ideas. This has the signs of becoming one of the most productive partnerships ever, amongst former rivals, in the tech industry.