Bryan Chaffin went into Apple’s hands-on press area a skeptic of the company’s new AirPods wireless headphones. He came out impressed. Here are his immediate impressions.
The art and science of sizing up the new iPhone each year is a formidable one, given the time between the announcement and the window for ordering. Apple provides just enough information to whet the appetite. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the state of the art isn’t advancing and decide to save some money, passing on the iPhone 7. That’s probably not a good way to go, given Apple’s track record.
Apple’s “See you on the 7th” media event just wrapped up, and there were plenty of big announcements. Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to talk about what stood out to them, like the new wireless AirPods, the A10 quad-core processor in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and the Apple Watch Series 2.
Apple embraced wireless earbuds on Wednesday with the introduction of its AirPods earbuds. AirPods are designed to connect to the iPhone and Apple Watch over Bluetooth, and let you quickly switch between which device where they’re streaming audio.
Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during its “See you on the 7th” media event Wednesday morning. The new models replace the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus as Apple’s top of the line iPhones with faster processors and improved cameras.
Apple’s September 7th media event was about more than just the iPhone 7 because we also got our first look at Apple Watch 2. This is the first refresh of Apple’s smartwatch since it shipped almost 18 months ago and adds new features like a built-in “swim-proof” waterproofing, and a GPS.
Pokémon GO is coming to the Apple Watch later this month, fixing a glaring omission in the game when it first launched on the iPhone. The Apple Watch version gives you notifications your wrist, lets you track in-game activities, and ties in with fitness tracking, too.
Apple hasn’t officially announced the iPhone 7 yet at its “See you on the 7th” media event, but that didn’t stop the company from revealing some of its features on Twitter. The company’s Twitter feed is highlighting features like waterproofness, new cameras, stereo speakers, and longer battery life.
Apple’s “See you on the 7th” event is set to start at 10AM pacific time today, and The Mac Observer will be on location at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco to cover the day’s big announcements. CEO Tim Cook and other company executives are expected to take the stage to show off the successor to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and possibly the Apple Watch 2.
Today’s Quick Tip is about a…well, quick way you can access some options, including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, within the Settings app on your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus. Need to join a network? This’ll make it fast!
Apple’s online store went offline Wednesday morning ahead of the company’s “See you on the 7th” special media event. The Apple Store app now says “We’ve got something special in store for you,” which most likely is the iPhone 7.
One little, two little, three little dongles. Four little, five little, six little dongles. Seven little, eight little, nine little dongles. 25 little dongles in a row. I know, I skipped a few, but I was stretching the absurdity a little far, even for me. So, what am I am talking about? Dr. Andrew Leavitt gathered up all 25 dongles/adapters Apple currently sells. With folks thinking about the headphone jack going the way of the floppy, it’s an interesting list to consider. I hadn’t realized Apple still sold 30-Pin adapters, for instance. And how about that External USB to Modem adapter? Who has external modems any more? I know, apparently someone. Check out Dr. Leavitt’s list. The image at the top, BTW, is a mockup of a headphone jack-to-Lightning adapter. I can’t imagine Apple could make it so small—you’re going to need some signal processing in there somewhere.
There has been much (pointless) wailing and gnashing of teeth about Apple ditching the headphone jack. We’ll find out if Apple is really doing it Wednesday morning, but there’s at least one Lightning headphone jack adapter already in the wild. It has the unsexy name of HRT i-dSp Headphone digital Sound Processor, and it allows you to connect a regular pair of headphones to an iOS device through the Lightning port. Don’t rush out and buy it just yet, though. For one thing, we don’t know how Apple is handling the transition. For another, this device also requires an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, making it unwieldy. I expect more seamless devices sooner, rather than later, if Apple does ditch that port. My point in posting this, however, is that there are already solutions on the market for a problem that doesn’t yet exist.
Does Apple have an ageist problem when hiring for its Apple retail locations? If so, it’s not institutional, and the situation that sparked the original story doesn’t actually back up such a claim. Bryan Chaffin digs into the issues.
With Intel’s Kaby Lake processors shipping and the MacBook Pro woefully overdue for a refresh, Apple could skip over Skylake and roll out new laptops with the latest chips—except that isn’t going to happen. Instead, Apple will most likely retire the aging Haswell chips it currently uses and finally move on to Skylake, and the really significant processor change won’t come until 2018 with Cannonlake.
There’s been a lot of exciting discussion about 4K UHD TVs with High Dynamic Range (HDR). This is something the next Apple TV will have to deal with, and so it’s time to read up. Page 2 of Friday’s Particle Debris points to a great HDR tutorial and explains why, when Apple finally announces a 5th generation Apple TV, you’ll want to look closely to make sure it supports HDR.
We have a deal for you today on the Karma Go Hotspot, a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. It comes with 50GB of high speed LTE data for the first month—after the first month, you can renew the 50 GB plan at full price, or downgrade to pay-as-you-go data options. You can get this device for $199 through us.
Joanna Penn is a best-selling thriller novelist. She’s published over 20 books and sold over 450,000 copies in 74 countries and five languages. She’s most famous for her ARKANE series described by readers as ‘Dan Brown meets Lara Croft.’ Joanna is also an entrepreneur who teaches writers how to hone their craft. I interviewed Joanna about her past which includes a Master’s degree in Theology from Oxford. Joanna spent years working on computer code before she realized that she wanted to write fiction. And she’s a self-admitted techie, using a Mac and Scrivener. Today, Joanna leverages her background in theology and psychology plus extensive travel to write her thrillers. We talked about the craft of writing fiction and finished up with whether AI agents will ever put us both out of work.
The New York Times says Apple age discriminates against potential retail store employees. Dave Hamilton joins Jeff Gamet to discuss what they think may have really happened with the former Apple engineer who applied for a Genius Bar job, plus they look at Apple Music’s new discount annual price deal.
If an Apple Music subscription at US$120 a year is a little too expensive for you, try $99 instead. Apple is now offering the discounted subscription through a special gift card you can buy in the company’s retail stores.