AWT News Update: October 30, 2015

This frightening image captured by Hal Sherman on Periscope...

This frightening image captured by Hal Sherman on Periscope...

Mullets and black cats and news, oh my!

It's the last AWT News Update before Halloween, which means it's time for costumes and black cats (on the video) and some frighteningly good news:

  • The 12.9-inch iPad Pro has a delivery date
  • New iMacs (and one older model) have a new 10-bit graphics driver
  • Apple opens two security-related open source libraries to developers

The text version is below, while the video (seriously, dude - mullets and black cats!) is here.

Text Version

Hi, I’m Steve Sande from Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 30, 2015. Our sponsor this week has been Tinderbox, a powerful personal content assistant that helps you visualize, analyze and share your notes. [Find out more about Tinderbox today by checking out the website link in the show notes].

Just yesterday we mentioned that AppleCare staff were getting trained in how to troubleshoot issues with the iPad Pro; today came the news that the 12.9-inch iPad will go on sale on Wednesday, November 11. It’s uncertain at this point if the company will offer pre-orders for the iPad Pro before November 11th, or if they’re just planning on a big launch. The Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard will also go on sale that day.

In case you thought the graphics on Apple 4K and 5K iMacs looked just a wee bit better on OS X El Capitan, it’s because the new machines now use a 10-bit graphics driver. That 10-bit color output provides 1024 gradations per color channel, four times the amount available with the 8-bit depth on previous iMacs. A digital filmmaking news website, [cinema5D], said that “Professionals know that 10-bit screen color is the desired color depth for serious color correction. When you work in 8-bit you often see banding artefacts and lose detail on soft gradients which makes editing harder and less accurate.

This is not to be confused with the bit depth of your source files. We all know that working with video DSLRs or other heavily compressed video footage that is limited to 8 bit color depth gives you less options during grading and 10 bit, 12 bit or even 16 bit color photos and videos are better. On the screen side 10 bit is the desired depth to let you view the end result without gradation steps.”

At this time, the 10-bit color depth works only with the Preview and Photos apps on El Capitan, and only on the newest iMacs and the 2014 5K iMac.

In an attempt to build a foundation for higher levels of security in third-party apps, Apple has opened its Security Framework and Common Crypto libraries to developers. Security Framework is used in iOS and OS X for the management of keys, certificates, and trust policies, storing the first two of those items on the keychain. Common Crypto is used for things like symmetric encryption, hash-based message authentication codes, and digests. Both Security Framework and Common Crypto use a shared library known as corecrypto. According to Apple, "Although corecrypto does not directly provide programming interfaces for developers and should not be used by iOS or OS X apps, the source code is available to allow for verification of its security characteristics and correct functioning.”

I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update. Please have a safe and fun Halloween.