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Tag Archive for ‘Spring Loaded’

Josh Ginter’s Thoughts on Apple’s Spring Loaded Event ➝

A good read. I especially enjoyed his discussion of the new M1-powered iMac. And I’m glad I’m not the only one that appreciates the silver model.

➝ Source: thenewsprint.co

The New iPad Pro ➝

The marquee features are Thunderbolt, an ultra wide front-facing camera with Center Stage, M1, 5G in cellular models, and Liquid Retina XDR Display.

It’s a good iterative update, but if you have an iPad Pro from the last few years, it’s probably not worth the upgrade.

➝ Source: apple.com

The New Apple TV 4K ➝

It now comes with the A12 Bionic and is capable of playing back HDR content at 60 frames per second. There’s a nifty new video calibration feature that uses your iPhone’s front-facing sensors. But the biggest change is the new remote.

From a design perspective, it looks like a merger of the Siri Remote and their previous aluminum Apple remote. They’ve added a mute button and power button, moved the Siri button to the side, and introduced new directional controls.

The directional control section is touch enabled to allow for quickly scrolling through lists, has clickable direction buttons for precise movement, and the outer edge can be used like a scroll-wheel for scrubbing.

I’m going to reserve judgement on the remote for now — I need to use one to really have a good idea. But at first glance it seems ugly, yet functional.

It’s worth noting, the new remote will be available for $59 and is compatible with all tvOS-based Apple TVs.

➝ Source: apple.com

AirTag

I’ve purchased a handful of Tiles over the past few years. I keep them in each of my bags so they are easily findable when I’m traveling. There hasn’t been as much use for them lately, obviously, but I still like the product quite a bit.

I’ve even purchased a couple for my father-in-law after an incident where he lost his keys in the yard while mowing. It took him a day or two to eventually find them. If he had a Tile on his keys then, it would have only been a few short minutes using the chime to hone in on them.

These little finder gadgets are a great idea for a product. And I think Tile has a pretty good implementation. But there’s nothing like something integrated into the system. Tile got Sherlocked. At least until they add Find My support to their devices.

In addition to integrating with the system’s Find My app, Apple one-upped Tile quite a bit on the technology end of things. With help from the U1 chip, when locating an AirTag, the app displays a delightful arrow pointing in the direction of the device.

And of course, it can play a chime too.

But if you’re even further away, AirTags communicate with nearby iPhones, iPads, and Macs to phone home, so-to-speak. This could have privacy concerns, but Apple addresses that on their product page:

Only you can see where your AirTag is. Your location data and history are never stored on the AirTag itself. Devices that relay the location of your AirTag also stay anonymous, and that location data is encrypted every step of the way. So not even Apple knows the location of your AirTag or the identity of the device that helps find it.

In terms of battery life, Apple claims that they can last more than a year, but they also use standard, user-replaceable CR2032 batteries. It’s been a while since Apple shipped a product with a replaceable battery – I think maybe the keyboard, mouse, and trackpad that took AAs was the last one to ship like that.

You can order AirTags starting on Friday for $29 a piece or $99 for a four-pack. And they offer free engraving for each one. It’s limited to just four characters, but that’s likely enough to identify which one is which.

It’s not all good news, though. The biggest omission with AirTag compared to Tile is the lack of a hook mechanism. There isn’t anything built-in to the AirTag that let’s you attach it to something else. Sure, you can just drop it into a pocket or pouch inside of your bag, but if you want to attach it with a loop or keychain, you’ll have to buy an accessory.

And these accessories aren’t cheap. They take, what appears to be a reasonably priced $29 AirTag and turns it into a pretty expensive kit. Every single Apple-made loop and keychain is at least as expensive as the AirTag itself. Belkin has some options that are less costly, but they’re still a bit more than I’d prefer.

Still, I expect I’ll end up with at least one of these. I can throw it in my bag and have a slick interface for finding it if misplaced. But I’m not sure if I really want to spring the $99 plus the cost of accessories to replace my existing Tiles. Although, maybe I can find a much cheaper way to attach them to things.

Apple Announces Apple Podcasts Subscriptions ➝

Alex Guyot, writing for MacStories:

Podcast creators can participate in the service for $19.99/year, and can use the redesigned Apple Podcasts Connect website to manage their subscription offerings. […]

While the integration into Apple’s ecosystem means users can easily subscribe using their existing App Store accounts, it also means that Apple will be taking its usual 30% of revenue from podcast creators. This will drop to 15% after the first year, the same way it does for in-app purchases.

Apple has been an excellent steward for podcasting. They’ve maintained the biggest and most important directory of shows without ever receive a cent for it. But now that’s changing. They’re taking a flourishing, open platform and attaching a subscription component to it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to for-pay shows, I’ve happily paid for several subscription shows throughout the years. But I don’t want Apple to do to podcasts what YouTube did to user-generated video.

What if, instead of integrating a subscription system into their podcasts app that’s built on Apple’s proprietary systems, they introduced an improvement to podcasting that was free and open to developers. A better mechanism for consuming and publishing password protected feeds and a streamlined way for listeners to pay creators directly. Something that developers up and down the entire stack could implement and benefit from, completely independent from Apple.

➝ Source: macstories.net