Kbase Article of the Week: FileMaker Pro Server: Uses TCPIP Port Number 5003 »

Apple Support with a question and answer for the ages:

We have just set up a firewall on our network. Now I can’t access our Filemaker Pro Server over TCP/IP. In order to gain access to the server over TCP/IP, our network administrator needs to know what “port” the Filemaker Pro Server uses. Can you tell me what TCP/IP port number is used by the FileMaker Pro Server?

The Filemaker Pro Server, uses the TCP/IP port number of 5003.

Apple Reports Q1 2019 Results »


Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2019 first quarter ended December 29, 2018. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $84.3 billion, a decline of 5 percent from the year-ago quarter, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $4.18, up 7.5 percent. International sales accounted for 62 percent of the quarter’s revenue.

Revenue from iPhone declined 15 percent from the prior year, while total revenue from all other products and services grew 19 percent. Services revenue reached an all-time high of $10.9 billion, up 19 percent over the prior year. Revenue from Mac and Wearables, Home and Accessories also reached all-time highs, growing 9 percent and 33 percent, respectively, and revenue from iPad grew 17 percent.

This makes the quarter Apple’s second-best ever, and the company now has 1.4 billion active devices in the world.

Don’t miss Jason’s chart mania and full transcript of the earnings call.

John Voorhees at MacStories, with a reminder (emphasis mine) of the change to Apple’s results this time around:

In the year-ago quarter (Q1 2018), Apple earned $88.3 billion in revenue. During that quarter Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones, 13.2 million iPads, and 5.1 million Macs. As announced on Apple’s last earnings call, the company did not report Q1 2019 unit sales for any of its products.

In an interview with Reuters, Tim Cook said that prices in some markets will come down:

When you look at foreign currencies and then particularly those markets that weakened over the last year those (iPhone price) increases were obviously more. And so as we’ve gotten into January and assessed the macroeconomic condition in some of those markets we’ve decided to go back to more commensurate with what our local prices were a year ago in hopes of helping the sales in those areas.

The Six Colors boys make a good point:

Liftoff #90: My Feet Belong on the Ground »

This time on Liftoff:

Jason and Stephen mark NASA’s Day of Remembrance, discuss layoffs at two private space companies and wish for a mission to Uranus.

Space is busy.

My thanks to our sponsors:

  • ExpressVPN: High-Speed, Secure & Anonymous VPN Service. Get 3 months free with a 1-year package.
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Major FaceTime Bugs Uncovered (Updated) 

There are a couple of really nasty Group FaceTime bugs that have surfaced online:

  • 9to5Mac is reporting that FaceTime will play audio from a recipient’s phone, before the pick up or decline a call.
  • The Verge has added that if a recipient rejects a FaceTime call by pressing the power or volume button on their phone, FaceTime will erroneously broadcast video as well.

These bugs are serious, and seeing as this version of FaceTime was delayed from iOS 12.0, it makes me wonder what other corners were cut to ship it.

Apple has made a statement to The Verge and others:

We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.

Until then, I’m turning off FaceTime on all of my devices.

Update: Apple has taken group FaceTime offline.

NYT: 2013 Mac Pro Delayed Due to Screws »

This is a wild story:

In 2012, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, went on prime-time television to announce that Apple would make a Mac computer in the United States. It would be the first Apple product in years to be manufactured by American workers, and the top-of-the-line Mac Pro would come with an unusual inscription: “Assembled in USA.”

But when Apple began making the $3,000 computer in Austin, Tex., it struggled to find enough screws, according to three people who worked on the project and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements.

In China, Apple relied on factories that can produce vast quantities of custom screws on short notice. In Texas, where they say everything is bigger, it turned out the screw suppliers were not.

Tests of new versions of the computer were hamstrung because a 20-employee machine shop that Apple’s manufacturing contractor was relying on could produce at most 1,000 screws a day.

The screw shortage was one of several problems that postponed sales of the computer for months, the people who worked on the project said. By the time the computer was ready for mass production, Apple had ordered screws from China.

And I thought running a podcast network was complicated…

In related news, Apple PR put out this piece just hours later, promoting its manufacturing jobs here in the US, which are mostly dedicated to component creation.

The Six Colors Report Card for 2018 »

Jason Snell is a madman:

This is the fourth year that I’ve presented this survey to a hand-selected group. They were prompted with 11 different Apple-related subjects, and asked to rate them on a scale from 1 to 5, as well as optionally provide text commentary on their vote. I received 55 replies, with the average results as shown below:

It’s fun to take part in this, but even more fun to read.

A Review of the iPhone XR: I’ve Made a Huge Mistake 

A Little Background

I’ve been a member of the Big Phone Club since Myke Hurley talked everyone into buying an iPhone 6 Plus back in 2014 and early 2015. After that, I used the 6S Plus and 7 Plus, before moving to the iPhone X.

The iPhone X was an incredible phone, and will go down in history as bringing the future into the present, just as the iPhone 4 did, as I wrote a year ago:

All in all, with the iPhone X, Apple has dumped a whole lot of revolution on its most important product. The screen, body, cameras and more are all better than before, but the iPhone X is more than the sum of its parts. It’s the first chapter in a new era of iPhone design. The things that seem special about this iPhone will soon be normal, as evolution kicks in again.

I think that holds up pretty well. The XS and XS Max follow very closely in the X’s steps, with the latter bringing something new to the table.

The iPhone X’s edge-to-edge 5.8-inch screen was the largest Apple had shipped to date, but its slightly narrower design made it easier to hold than its Plus cousins. This led many of us to pine for an even larger iPhone, and Apple answered the call in September with the iPhone XS Max.

Sporting a massive 6.5-inch screen, it is slightly smaller (but slightly heavier) than the Plus phones that came before it. It’s effectively an 8 Plus with an all-screen design.

I bought an XS Max on launch day, in Space Gray this time around. I don’t like it as much as the silver, but for the first time in a long time, I’m using the phone in a case.1

The XS Max is an incredible iPhone. The large OLED screen is gorgeous, the speakers are loud and the cameras are great, as long as you turn off Smart HDR.2 While parts of the iPhone interface feel a little silly on a screen so large, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed the phone.

Of course, the XS and XS Max aren’t the whole story for this generation of iPhones. No, there is another.

The iPhone XR

We need to clear this up right off the bat. The XR is decidedly not the iPhone 5c, despite both models coming in several bright colors. The 5c used year-old iPhone 5 tech; the XR is powered by the same silicon inside the XS and XS Max.

There are some compromises, of course. The XR only packs a single rear camera, but it is identical to the one in its siblings. It comes with FaceID and an edge-to-edge screen, but it’s an LCD panel with the pixel density of the iPhone 8.

That lower-resolution-but-still-Retina-and-totally-fine-in-everyday-use screen comes with a huge upside: the iPhone XR has the best battery life of the current crop of iPhones:

Talk Time: Internet Use: Playing Video: Playing Audio:
XS: 20 hours 12 hours 14 hours 60 hours
XR: 25 hours 15 hours 16 hours 65 hours
XS Max: 25 hours 13 hours 15 hours 65 hours

With Apple’s recent guidance adjustment, many have come to conclude that the iPhone XR is a flop. I’m writing this before official Q1 2019 results are out, but Apple has never shared the mix of iPhone models; the average selling price (ASP) offers the best insight into what models are selling the best. If the ASP is lower than before, we can assume that some mix of iPhone XR and older models are outperforming the more expensive XS and XS Max.

Interestingly, both Apple and outside reporting say that the iPhone XR is out-selling the other two models. While nerds like me will gravitate to the absolute top of the line, the XR represents a less-expensive way to get a X-style iPhone for many, many consumers. None of the 2018 iPhones may be selling in the numbers Apple wants, but the XR isn’t a flop. It’s more popular than the XS or XS Max, and that is super interesting.

XR vs. XS Max

With that in mind, last week, I picked up a blue iPhone XR, restored it from my iCloud backup and popped my SIM card into it. I wanted to spend some time with it, and see if the trade-offs were worth the smaller price tag.

When purchased at full price, the XR starts at $749, right in between the starting prices for the 8 and 8 Plus. I understand that reasoning, but I think if Apple could have started it at $699, it would be turning more heads.

Even with my gripes about the price, I genuinely love using this iPhone.

I actually prefer the size of the XR over that of my XS Max. 0.4 inches may not sound like much, but in the hand and in the pocket, the difference can be felt. Like the porridge before Goldilocks, the option in the middle is just right.

The most obvious characteristic of the XR is the color, with blue being my favorite and red probably being the most popular. Each hue comes with its own aluminum band, and some are matched to the glass better than others. On several of the colors, the glass is far more saturated than the metal. I don’t mind the mis-match on the blue, but on the yellow, I find it off-putting.3

The Display & 3D Touch

It is undeniable that on paper, the XR’s display is not as good as that on the XS and XS Max. Even Apple’s best-in-class LCDs lack the punch that OLEDs can deliver. However, this LCD is as good as Apple has ever shipped. I know Apple is doing some trickery to curve it around the edges, but in practice, I can’t see it. This “Liquid Retina Display” simply flows into the rounded edges of the phone as nicely as the OLED screen does, even if the bezels are thicker than those on the XS and XS Max.4

Being @2x instead of @3x means everything is slightly less sharp, but even at @2x, I can’t see any pixels. The iPhone XR runs at the same 326 ppi that has defined the iPhone experience since 2010, and it is totally fine. In other words, the XR’s LCD is just as dense as the one on the iPhone 8, just a little larger. It’s no less sharp. True, it doesn’t quite reach 1080p in terms of resolution, but video looks as crisp as it ever did on non-Plus iPhones.

In short, if you were happy with the screen on your iPhone 6/6S/7/8, you’ll be happy with this one.

(Of course, the XR supports the wide color gamut and True Tone and Night Shift found on other iPhones.)

There is something that this display lacks that is found in every other phone sold since the 6S and 6S Plus: 3D Touch. The XR’s display is not sensitive to force, just as like the iPad and iPad Pro.

Apple has built something called “Haptic Touch,” which is little more than a long press coupled with feedback from the Taptic Engine inside the phone. Haptic Touch lives in two places: the lock screen and Control Center.

This means that turning on the flashlight, setting a timer from Control Center or popping into a stack of notifications all feel slightly slower than on other phones, but the outcome is more or less the same.

It also means that there are no app shortcuts available from the home screen and “Peek and Pop” to preview content isn’t here, either. I haven’t missed the former, but the latter takes some getting used to.

Even cursor mode is present; you just have to long press on the space bar to get it started, as opposed to 3D Touching anywhere on the keyboard. No biggie there.

As a bonus, Haptic Touch does away with the confusion between “long” and “deep” presses, which is a win in my eyes.5

If Apple could bring Peek and Pop back, I’d never think about 3D Touch again.

The Cameras

The changes to the rear camera is probably the biggest deal for me, personally. While I have just a handful of Portrait Mode photos in my iCloud Photo Library, having that zoom lens has come in handy many, many times since I bought my 7 Plus. Sometimes it is just nice to punch in when taking a photo or video, despite the zoom lens’ optics being not quite as nice as the wide angle shooter. The XR’s single shooter is fantastic, but when using the XR, I have missed the versatility of the second lens.

Despite just having one rear lens, the XR can take portrait photos and offers manual bokeh control, but these images are limited to pictures of people, unlike the dual-lens systems on the other phones. This trickery is all handled in software, not unlike what Google does on its Pixel phones. And of course, without the telephoto lens, these shots are wider than on the dual-lens systems, so you have to zoom with your feet, like when using a prime lens.

Around front, the True Depth Camera here is the same as the OLED models. Face ID is just as fast as on the more expensive phones. I assume the XR can take decent selfies, but it will probably be months before I find out because I am old.

XR Accessories

I dislike iPhone cases, and I really dislike clear cases, which show every bit of dust and debris that gets caught between the phone and case. Apple’s $39 clear case is nice, but not for me.

I wish Apple would just make its regular silicon and leather cases for this phone, but I guess the company really wants those colors to shine through. Maybe they should just punch a bunch of holes in the back of the case and call it a day.

Past the case, the XR is, again, just like its siblings. It has wireless and fast charging, as well as its own Smart Battery Case, which I assume means this phone could go about 17 days without needing a charger.

The XR’s Place in This World

In reading all of this, you may think “Stephen should have purchased an iPhone XS,” and you are probably right. I honestly think I think the Max is a little too big for me. If I have had one surprise over the last week, it is that the XR is as big of a phone as I want to carry.

However, even though the XS may be more comfortable for me, the XR still stands apart.

There’s more to the XR than its perfect-for-me size. The colors are great, and the aluminum band makes it feel more comfortable to hold. While it is as neat and tidy as any other recent iPhone hardware, something about it that is a lot of fun.6

I think the tradeoffs Apple has made with the iPhone XR all make sense. This phone offers the same experience as the iPhone XS, from a performance perspective, but with better battery life.7

The lack of the zoom lens is a bummer if you have gotten used to it, but consumers trading in their old iPhone 6S or 7 are never going to know what they are missing.

That’s the real story here. The XR is for people upgrading from old phones, not those of us who bought the iPhone X a year ago. It gets customers into a modern, Face ID-equipped iPhone for $250 less than the XS, and a shocking $350 less than the XS Max.

After using the XR, I’m not sure that extra money is actually worth it.

  1. When I broke the screen after two months of ownership, I figured it was time. 
  2. Don’t @ me. 
  3. I couldn’t find a place to put this, so here we go: the XR’s case retains the IP67 certification of the iPhone X, unlike the IP68 rating the XS and Max earned this year. That may be a big deal to some, but it isn’t to me. 
  4. When side by side with an OLED iPhone, the XR’s bezels look bloated, but in a vacuum (or when compared to an iPhone with a home button) they are perfectly acceptable. 
  5. There is a larger conversation to be had here about Apple’s wide (and sometimes conflicting) array of touch support across the iPhone XR, all other iPhones, the iPads and even the Apple Watch, but that’s a blog post for a different time. 
  6. Some would say it sparks joy, but I will probably never actually watch the Marie Kondo show. 
  7. Yes, the XR has 3 GB of RAM when the XS and Max have 4 GB, but I haven’t felt any difference due to the change. 

Mac Power Users #467: Fitness Apps & Tech »

This week on Mac Power Users, David and I talk through way to use our Apple tech to monitor our health and improve our fitness:

The iPhone and Apple Watch can be helpful in managing health and fitness, and coupled with the breadth of options in the App Store, they can become powerful tools in improving our well-being.

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