Podcast 493: VR hints, smaller iPhone rumors, Apple still doomed

Everyone's antsy for Apple's next move. This week we discuss the rumored March 15 event, and how we think a lot of people could get pretty excited about a "new" 4-inch iPhone 5se. The new iPad Air should have some cool features too, and it probably makes sense that Apple would happily roll out new mayonnaise loops but avoid getting locked in to a yearly refresh cycle for the Apple Watch hardware itself.

But new iPhones and iPads aren't enough to impress those weirdos on Wall Street, who are obsessed with viewing Apple's business three months at a time, and aren't that wild about where the company is right now. We talk about if that's reasonable, and what it could mean for regular customers like us. Oh, and speaking of the earnings call, what's this about Tim Cook's interest in VR?

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Podcast 492: How to travel like an international superspy

Susie's back from some last-minute travel, just in time to talk travel with Glenn and Rich Mogull, a security researcher, Macworld contributor, and world traveler who knows all about how to keep your data safe and secure even when moving around in countries that are actively trying to snoop on you.

For instance, we've all heard of "burner" devices—something cheap that holds no more of your personal data than necessary, that you use temporarily and then trash or donate when you're done. Well, that doesn't help us Apple fans much, does it? While it's true you probably won't want to buy a new iPad just to throw it away after a trip to China or Russia, it turns out iOS is generally secure enough that you can back up and wipe a device before you leave, use it during your trip, and then erase it again when you get home, ready to restore to your previous backup. Rich has other great tips too, from VPNs to knowing the special rules at border crossings.

Elsewhere, we praise Apple's new Music Memos app, shake our heads at the Crash Safari prank, and discuss with admiration Tim Cook's tough stand on privacy.

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iOS

Podcast 491: Make A-Mac-ica great again

With Susie on assignment in Florida, Leah Yamshon (Macworld’s associate managing editor) joins Glenn Fleishman to discuss Donald Trump’s fiat economy plan to make Apple produce its hardware in America, the New York Senate’s desire to criminalize a lack of back doors in smartphones, and the return (or continued existence) of Gatekeeper exploits.

Leah and Glenn also talk about VLC, a universal format player, for Apple TV; their continued irritation at some Apple TV features; and Netflix’s plan to block more subscribers outside the U.S. who aren’t using their new 190-nation plan.

We also decided on a future episode topic. Keep your ideas coming, too!

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iOS

Podcast 490: iOS 9.3, CES, and the mess that is News

Susie's back from her time covering the madness of CES, which is always insane for us tech reporter types, whether you're on the ground in Vegas or holed up in your house in Oakland, like Susie was, editing until your fingers fall off. Even though Apple has no official presence at the massive show, tech trends emerge that will trickle down to Cupertino's product lines eventually—ad we saw plenty of products that could come in handy for Apple fans today.

Elsewhere, iOS 9.3 is out, with some new features that sound cool, and some additions to CarPlay that have us wondering why those things weren't already in CarPlay. We also talk about the seemingly sad state of the News app, which doesn't seem to be doing much for publishers, and as of yet hasn't captivated your friendly podcast hosts as readers, either. Do you like News? Let us know in the comments.

As always, thanks so much for listening!

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Podcast 489: Comment Chameleon

While Susie Ochs contends with the ocean of CES coverage, host Glenn Fleishman talks with guest Christa Mrgan of Civil Co. She’s a long-time Mac and iOS designer who cofounded a company to reduce the awfulness of comments on the Internet. With news quiet after the holidays, we discuss Griffin’s just-announced magnetic-connection option for USB-C devices, ridicule the latest numeric-based nonsense in counting raw security flaws in operating systems, and revisit the new Apple TV after holidays’ worth of new experience.

Then we dive into comments: How to create peer-reviewed civility that doesn’t suppress heated ideas, just attacks. We talk about League of Legends’ approach to reducing toxicity, machine-learning-aided tagging, and why some sites remove comments altogether.

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Podcast 488: New Year's Retina Resolutions

In this, our final podcast of 2015, we take a moment to air our Festivus grievances while also praising Apple for a pretty good year. That doesn't mean we don't have *numerous* suggestions for next year, though!

Elsewhere, we talk about Tim Cook's tough stance on privacy, Benedict Evans's attitude problem, and a trick for making sure deleted items are really gone.

Thank you so much for your support of the Macworld podcast this year. We're off next week, and will return with a new episode on Wednesday, January 6, 2016. Happy holidays!

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Podcast 487: A Taylor Swift-shaped carrot

The days are getting shorter, but the year ain’t over just yet. Apple’s darling-slash-secret-nemesis Taylor Swift grabbed the spotlight one more time, announcing that her concert film will be exclusive to Apple Music, starting this Sunday, December 20. It’s even available to baby Apple Music users still in their free three-month trial, so suddenly there’s a big Taylor Swift-shaped carrot danging in front of all the Swifties who didn’t sign up when Apple Music first launched.

Elsewhere, we discuss the hands-down best, most useful app Yahoo’s ever put out—well, for TV-and-movie junkies, anyway. The App Store overstepped its bounds this week, but tvOS 9.1 brought support for the Remote app, so all is forgiven...this time. On the occasion of Apple’s funky-looking Smart Battery Case, we also discuss our preferences for standalone batteries versus cases—and where to snap up a few for last-minute stocking stuffers.

Oh right, and we talk about MacKeeper again. It’s not pretty. It never is.

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