AWT News Update: May 19, 2017

Thank Groot It's Friday! We come to the end of the week with stories about strangely persistent notes, iPhone owners who want another iPhone, and a "crapintosh". 

  • ElcomSoft finds that Apple is retaining those deleted notes a bit longer than 30 days...
  • Morgan Stanley finds that the iPhone retention rate is at 92 percent, up from last year's 86 percent, and analyst Katy Huberty sees no reason why the iPhone 8 shouldn't ship on schedule
  • Have $70 and a bit of time? Build a "crapintosh" that actually runs better than a brand new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for May 19th, 2017.

As you probably know, when you delete a note in the Notes app it doesn’t disappear immediately — instead, it shows up in the Recently Deleted folder where it can be retrieved for up to 30 days. Well, Russian software company ElcomSoft claims that Apple’s holding onto those deleted notes for a bit longer. On the company’s blog, it’s explained that by using a version of its Phone Breaker tool, ElcomSoft was able to extract almost 50 notes that were deleted by a user over a month ago — in fact, the oldest note had been deleted in 2012! The company found that the results varied from one iCloud account to another; some had a large number of deleted notes while others had fewer. According to the company, “We discovered that Apple apparently retains in the cloud copies of the users’ notes that were deleted by the user. Granted, deleted notes can be accessed on for some 30 days through the “Recently Deleted” folder; this is not it. We discovered that deleted notes are actually left in the cloud way past the 30 day period, even if they no longer appear in the “Recently Deleted” folder.” ElcomSoft found out earlier this year that iCloud was storing more Safari history than it should have, and Apple corrected the problem the same day it was discovered. The company has also found in the past that it was easy to access encrypted iTunes backups — once again, Apple fixed the problem quickly. We expect that Apple will do the same with this issue.

Put this story into the “duh” category — A survey by Morgan Stanley shows that 92 percent of iPhone users are somewhat or extremely likely to upgrade their phone in the next 12 months plan to buy another iPhone. 92 percent is a big number, and is up quite a bit from last year when the retention rate was only 86%. Samsung currently has a retention rate of about 77 percent, LG 59 percent, and Motorola just 56 percent. Morgan Stanley is the home of analyst Katy Huberty, who says that she believes the iPhone 8 will not be delayed despite speculation from other analysts. Huberty says there is no evidence of a delay in the iPhone supply chain.

We’ll head into the weekend with a fun story about a hackintosh. In case you’ve never heard that term before, a hackintosh is a PC that is tweaked to run macOS. This became possible when Apple switched from PowerPC processors to those made by Intel, and although the resulting hackintoshes require some special software to get them running, they actually work quite well. Well, the folks at Snazzy Labs made a hackintosh for $70. They bought a 5-year old PC that was being discarded by a hospital for $30, snapped up a broken SSD that actually worked for just $5, and found a used video card for $35. The resulting machine…which the builder refers to as a “crapintosh” due to the ugly black and silver HP PC case… actually runs better than a brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro in some situations. The 4K video that Snazzy Labs made was even edited on the $70 hack. That’s your weekend project if you decide to take it on.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.