September 23, 2017 — Peter Cohen and Joe Wilcox

We present outspoken commentator Peter Cohen, who, in response to Gene’s search for a better deal with a wireless carrier, talks about T-Mobile, its advantages and limitations. He mentions the Band 71 issue, the new 600 MHz spectrum that T-Mobile is rolling out to some parts of he U.S., and the fact that flagship gear from Apple, Samsung and other companies are not yet compatible. The discussion moves to the new Apple TV, the issue of cable/satellite cord cutting, and the dangers of fragmentation, where there are so many services vying for your subscriptions that it may become must too expensive to watch all the new shows that require separate memberships. What about the new iPhones, and especially the iPhone X with Face ID for logging in rather than Touch ID? What about macOS High Sierra, which is officially released on September 25th. Does the lack of support, at least for now, for all those Macs with hybrid Fusion drives cause any problems?

You’ll also hear from columnist Joe Wilcox, who writes for BetaNews. He explains why he recently switched from T-Mobile to Verizon Wireless, mostly to improve coverage, but is now considering a return to the former. The discussion covers the ongoing dilemma of choosing the right carrier. And what about published reports that T-Mobile and Sprint, the two smallest carriers in the U.S., might be ready to ink a deal and merge? It’s not the first time this has been rumored. Gene and Joe will also talk about the new productivity features in iOS 11, and whether they might impact the use of the iPad as a productivity tool. There will also be a brief discussion of macOS High Sierra before the conversation moves to the Apple Watch Series 3, which comes in a version with LTE so you can use it to make phone calls without connecting it to an iPhone. Does this big step now liberate the Apple Watch so it can do most things all by itself? Does the future take us away from a big smartphone to a tiny smartwatch?

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September 16, 2017 — Kirk McElhearn and Adam Engst

We present outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who talks at length about Apple’s controversial changes in iTunes 12.7, in which they removed access to the App Store. This means that iPhone and iPad users will have to download and organize their apps on their mobile gear rather than Macs and PCs. With the release of a developer and public beta seed of the Golden Master of macOS High Sierra, Gene and Kirk discuss Apple’s decision to remove the ability to convert Macs with Fusion drives — which consist of a regular hard drive and a small solid state drive — to the new Apple File System. They also talk about Apple’s iPhone announcements, which include the iPhone X. And what about the controversial “notch” at the top of the unit? What about the new Apple TV with 4K and HDR?

You’ll also hear from writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who covers the new Apple Watch Series 3, which includes an LTE radio that can make phone calls. He reflects on how the product has become more of a health and fitness accessory as Apple has continued to develop the product. Gene and Adam also talk about the iPhone X, the notch and its impact, plus Apple’s last minute change to the High Sierra OS that no longer supports Macs with Fusion drives. You’ll also hear an extended discussion about the Apple TV, its new features, and about the growing fragmentation of TV streaming services. This is creating a situation where you may have to join a number of these services to watch their exclusive shows. How does this impact cable cord cutting? Does it end up costing more than cable and satellite what with all the separate services?

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September 9, 2017 — Joe Kissell and Larry O’Connor

We present author/publisher Joe Kissell, of Take Control Books. This segment focuses heavily on all the new books Joe and his authors have written about macOS High Sierra and iOS 11. You’ll learn about the new Apple File System (APFS) and why the drives on some Macs aren’t being converted by the High Sierra installer. Joe will also talk about some of the other features of macOS 10.13, which include an enhanced version of Photos with a decent selection of photo editing tools. iOS 11’s key improvements will also be covered, and you’ll learn about one of Joe’s favorite features in Safari, which stops those awful autoplay videos that appear on many sites. There’s also a brief discussion about the recent hack at one of the American credit bureaus, Equifax, which impacted over 143 million people.

You’ll also hear from longtime Mac peripheral maker Larry O’Connor, of Other World Computing. Larry will give you the down and dirty details about upgrading Macs with new drives and RAM, and the fact that many recent Macs cannot be upgraded. He’ll also explain why he believes that Apple will eventually support more drives with APFS, especially Fusion drives, and about an app his company is developing that improves the efficiency of such drives, which combine a traditional hard drive with an SSD. A Fusion drive delivers most of the performance of a true SSD at a fraction of the cost. The discussion will also include the price of Apple upgrades, when available, and some of the products Larry’s company is working on, such as a 4TB SSD, and  peripherals to enhance new Macs equipped with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. And what about the possibilities of the forthcoming iMac Pro, and the promised Mac Pro refresh?

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September 2, 2017 — Josh Centers and Bryan Chaffin

We present writer/commentator Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, As the segment begins, Josh reveals that he’s give-up smoking, as the discussion moves to Apple TV and possible missed opportunities for Apple. What about Apple’s alleged attempts to persuade the movie studios to charge the same for 4K and regular HD movies? And what about reports that the movie companies want to offer movies 17 days after release for home rentals at $50, with a $30 price tag after four to six weeks. Does it even make sense? There will also be a brief discussion on what might be announced during Apple’s September 12, 2017 media event, where new iPhones are expected along with a new Apple TV with 4K and HDR, and the Apple Watch Series 3. Josh will briefly list the new features in iOS 11.

In the second segment, Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer, covers the forthcoming Apple event, as Bryan cites a published report suggesting that all of the new Apple smartphones will carry an iPhone 8 moniker, even the regular models previously expected to be known as the iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus. And what about Apple’s plans for professional Macs, starting with the promised December release of an iMac Pro that starts at $4,999? Gene will speculate that the top-line model, with an 18-core Intel Xeon processor, could max out at over $15,000. What about the Mac Pro, expected next year? Will the top-line version, possibly with an Intel 28-core processor, exceed $20,000? What is the potential audience for such a device? Bryan will also provide Apple TV and Apple Watch predictions.

 

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