September 10, 2013


Mac Roundtable 2013.09.10 Episode #219

Filed under: Podcast — take2 @ 7:07 pm

Hosts this week include:
Allison Sheridan – NosillaCast Mac Podcast @podfeet
Chuck Joiner – MacVoices @chuckjoiner
Bart Busschots – @bbusschots
Don McAllister – ScreenCasts Online @donmcallister
Steve Stanger – @tmasteve

In this episode we talk about today’s announcement of the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.


  • iOS 7 due out 18 September
  • iWork + iMovie + iPhoto – Free on new devices
    • No new versions – very disappointing – iWork in particular does iCloud REALLY badly, and integration with the Mac versions is frustratingly bad – these needed an overhaul, not a firesale! Maybe new Mac versions are on the way (wishful thinking?)
    • Don’t forget all iWork apps have been re-tooled for 64-bit. Maybe some improvements?
  • It now makes sense why this was not streamed and not held in a real venue – they had very little to say
    • First September event without a single iPod – not even an iPod Touch!
  • No “Phablet” size option – thankfully
  • iTunes Festival promotion seemed odd
    • Emphasising that they can broadcast HD quality video just like a TV network perhaps – Ahhhh ha…
  • New Apple store looks awesome
  • Lots of Lady GaGa between festival promo and iOS 7 promo
  • Continuing with the laid back dress — Jeans, most had untucked shirts.

Interesting Stats:

  • 700 millionth iOS device to ship next month – that’s a big ecosystem

iPhone 5c

  • 5 colors in polycarbonate – “Unapologetically plastic” – very Apple to embrace plastic instead of trying to disguise it.
    • I think that’s what my prescription glasses are made out of
    • Polycarbonate is a stupidly generic word – it basically means “plastic made from Carbon and stuff” – your glasses are probably quite different to these iPhones 🙂   never mind then!
    • iOS 7 recognizes the color of the phone and the background matches
  • Silicon covers – ugly? – New covers not meant for us… For the kiddies!
    • Absolutely not to my taste, but they might appeal a younger audience – they are definitely playful and bright!
    • Nope, not ugly…very slick and art-deco looking. Play well with the look of iOS 7
    • Cases will be made fun of, but the video shows off the contrast and possible combinations that will appeal to many – I still think it’s barfy looking…maybe for kids like you, chuckYeah, Daddy-O…kids like me. Now, I’ll go get some bongo-playing time in.
    • Saw this tweet “Hey, wrap that new colorful iPhone in a laundry basket!”
  • 4″ Screen, A6 Processor, larger battery than the iPhone 5, 8MP camera
  • “More LTE bands than any phone in the world”
  • 16GB $99, 32GB $199
  • Preorder 13 September, available 20 September in 5 countries including China

iPhone 5s

  • Silver, Gold, Space Grey
    • The change to the “black” phone from black with a black edge to black with a slate edge and back is a massive improvement – I bought a white iPhone for the first time ever with the 5 because that black band looked terrible to me.
  • A7 64bit
    • 2X faster at CPU & Graphics Tasks
    • CPU performance from original iPhone to the 5s = 40X improvement. 50% of that improvement is the 5s alone
    • GPU performance from original iPhone to 5s = 56X
  • Added M7 Motion sensor – accelerometer, gyroscope and compass without waking the A7 (a shot at the FitBit class of devices? Precursor to iWatch?
  • Battery life
    • 8 hrs 3G data, 10 hrs LTE data, 10 hrs wifi, 250 hrs standby
  • Camera
    • faster lens f/2.2 <– was f/2.4
    • 15% larger active area on the sensor
    • 1.5 micron pixels are bigger than before – Lumia 1020 has 1.12 micron sensor pixels
    • “True Tone Flash” combines two flashes – one white, one warmer – first on any camera (not just cell phone camera)
    • Takes multiple photos to find the sharpest
    • Auto-image stabilization
    • Burst mode 10 fps and it picks what it thinks is best one (or best few to represent an action sequence)
    • Slo mo – 720p at 120fps
    • 10MP
    • Panorama adjusts exposure as you pan (a big shortcoming of the old pano feature)
  • “Touch ID”
    • Unlock the phone and enter Apple ID
    • 500 ppi resolution, 360° readability
    • laser-cut saphire crystal + stainless detection ring + touch ID sensor + tactile switch
    • Fingerprint detail stored on chip only, not directly accessible through software, never sent to a server, not backed up to iCloud and not backed up to your computer – bascially, like a TPM chip on a PC motherboard.
    • Phil did a good job explining just how much valuable info we all have on our phones in the intro. Passcodes are a friction point that puts off about half of iPhone users from protecting their data. By making it easier to be secure, heck, even making it sexy, more people will protect themselves.
    • Since it can do more than one fingerprint does that mean multiple people could authenticate to the same phone? Yes, but still only one iTunes account. 
    • Buy stuff via App store (iTunes?) with your finger print. 
    • No API for 3rd party devs to auth off – at least not yet. Hopefully that rolls out next year. I really want to be able to get into my 1P without needing to enter my strong password each time.
    • Fascinating article about finger print scanning for the iPhone by Geppy Parziale who has 15+ years of professional experience in pattern recognition and machine vision
  • Pricing
    • 16GB $200, 32GB $300, 64GB $400
    • Leather cases @ $39 (green, white, light blue, orange, black, red)
    • No pre-orders so far, so there will be the lines Apple loves
    • Why pre-orders for the 5C and not the 5S?

iPhone 4S – 8GB free

Jony Ive Video reminds us of Spoofs:
 – do we really need to pick on Ive? YES! 🙂 I want to know how Jony gets his beard / 5 o’clock shadow that perfect. We need to introduce a drinking game — Everytime Ives says “Defines”, drink!

Cool seeing Elvis Costello but not sure why he was part of the show? Not really a music event. 



  1. “Polycarbonate” does NOT mean “plastic made from carbon and stuff”. It is a very specific class of polymer. It is distinct from, for example: polyester, polyurethane, nylon, substituted polyethylenes, etc. There are multiple varieties of polycarbonate, including lens grade plastics and Lexan. The wikipedia article on polycarbonate is a good introduction. Perhaps I am just a chemistry geek, but throwing silly remarks out like that makes me wonder about the accuracy about the rest of what people say. 🙂

    Comment by William Jenks — September 11, 2013 @ 8:38 am

  2. Re the A7: Another way the A7 is going to improve things a lot is in video playback. I watch a lot of downloaded video content that’s encoded with a rather hefty video codec (1080p H.264 “Hi10p”) that iOS devices just cannot playback very well. So to watch these videos I have to transcode them. The A7 should be powerful enough to decode these videos by itself, without the need for transcoding. I am especially looking forward to this processor coming to the iPad mini… hopefully in October we will see an announcement to that effect.

    Re the M7 chip: I thought of another cool use for the M7, for Maps and Navigation. Right now if you want to use a navigation app, it uses the GPS chip and keeps it powered up all the time. This drains battery at a significant rate. But with the M7, perhaps a navigation app wouldn’t need to keep the GPS chip powered on 100% of the time. Once it has acquired a position fix, it powers down the GPS chip, then uses the M7 chip’s sensors and “dead reckoning” navigation techniques (“the user was at point A, but has moved in the direction of 120 degrees at a speed of 60 mph for 5 minutes, therefore he must have moved *here*”) to calculate the user’s approximate position. This could conceivably save a lot of power when using maps/navigation type apps.

    RE burst mode – It’s a combination of both software and firmware. The fast burst mode is possible only because of the new image processor built into the A7.

    RE Touch ID – the fact that Apple has tied iTunes Store purchases (things that can actually cost people money) to the touch ID, means that they have faith in it, which is a good sign.

    Comment by Donald Burr — September 13, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

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