The Mac Observer's CES 2020 coverage sponsored by:

  • iMazing
  • Other World Computing
  • TextExpander from Smile
  • Carbon Copy Clonre
  • CES 2020

JBL, SanDisk, Legrand, LE Audio, and More from CES 2020 – TMO Daily Observations 2020-01-07

· & · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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LAS VEGAS – Live from CES 2020, Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun share their thoughts on the new stuff they’ve found. Cool Stuff Found includes JBL’s new Quantum gaming headsets, Legrand’s smart electrical panel, ChronoLife’s smart Nexkin shirt, SanDisk’s latest (r)evolution of the thumb drive (it’s got a lot of storage and it’s fast!), Bluetooth’s first audio evolution in decades, and even more. Listen, enjoy, and let us know what you think at [email protected]

CES – Igloohome Shows Remotely-Programmable Locks that Don't Require Wi-Fi at CES Unveiled 2020

· · Cool Stuff Found

LAS VEGAS – Igloohome’s smart locks shown here at CES Unveiled 2020 have a special feature: they don’t use Wi-Fi and yet they’re remotely programmable. This is accomplished by first pairing your phone with the lock, a process that also creates a rotating token like you might use with your bank. When you want to create a new code, everything is already set and the code is already active because of the pre-negotiated token, all happening behind the scenes. The deadbolt is US$299, the keybox is $189, and the padlock is $109. The other two dual locks will be available later this year.

amplify Hi-Fi Wireless Headphone Amplifier: $60.35

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on the amplify Hi-Fi Wireless Headphone Amplifier. This device offers up to 12 hours of playback and supports current Bluetooth audio codecs such as LDAC, aptX HD, aptX, aptX Low Latency, AAC, and SBC. It’s $71 through our deal, but coupon code MERRYSAVE15 brings the checkout price down to $60.35. I’m linking to the black model, but there’s a silver option available in a pulldown menu in the deal listing.

Be Good and Don't Get Caught – Mac Geek Gab 793

· & · Mac Geek Gab Podcast

macOS Catalina might finally be ready for prime-time with 10.15.2. Your two favorite geeks discuss. Then it’s on to your tips and questions. Listen as John and Dave talk through Keyboard Shortcuts, third-party display issues, full-page screenshots, watching TV in multiple locations, outbound VPN, Mail, Bluetooth, and more! We guarantee you’ll learn at least five new things before the band plays you out for the week.

Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds: $79

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Kharbon IP67 Wireless Earbuds. They feature support Bluetooth 5.0, and what the company says is 150 hours of battery life. They also have an IP67 waterproof rating. They’re $79 through our deal.

That Apple Bluetooth Tile Product to be Named 'AirTag'

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There’s a 99% probability that Apple’s new Bluetooth product will be named AirTag, according to assets found in iOS 13.2 which was just released today.

A folder within the filesystem for the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system possibly confirms the name “AirTag” for the new device, which will be paired with a user’s iPhone just like AirPods and will allow users to track any item using the Find My app.

I currently have a bet going that AirTag will be released tomorrow.

Rumors Still Live for Apple's Bluetooth Tile Competitor

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Apple announced a feature at WWDC 2019 that would let devices running iOS 13 and macOS Catalina to broadcast their location even when offline. The same technology is rumored to show up in a Bluetooth tracking device similar to Tile.

This small beacon device could be attached to personal items such as keys, purses or wallets so that the owner could find them even when out of range of the items. An ARKit “star” image discovered in the Find My app bundle hints at the possibility of using augmented reality to find lost devices or items, similar to Pixie Tracker.

iOS 13 Has an Important Bluetooth Privacy Feature

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Jared Newman writes about the iOS 13 Bluetooth privacy feature. When an app needs to access Bluetooth, iOS displays an alert so you can allow or deny the request. Bluetooth can be used to track you, which is why Apple added the feature. I’ve seen these alerts a couple of times running the iOS 13 public beta. I disagree with Mr. Newman though; I don’t think it’s too confusing. Just think about the app and whether it legitimately needs Bluetooth. For example, if you need to connect a device to your iPhone, you’ll need Bluetooth. But apps like Google Maps and YouTube don’t need Bluetooth (and I’ve seen alerts and denied them both).

Prior to iOS 13, apps could use Bluetooth to collect detailed location data from users without explicit permission, using tracking beacons in retail stores and other public locations. Even if users had denied an app access their location data, Bluetooth could have provided a workaround.

Sinji Over-the-Ear Bluetooth Headphones: $25.99

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Sinji over-the-ear Bluetooth headphones. Offering a simple, no-frills design and Bluetooth 4.1, these headphones offer an inexpensive entry to over-the-ear listening. They are rechargeable, with up to 12 hours of playback time. They’re $25.99 through our deal, 67% off the retail price.

Bluetooth Beacons Can Track You Inside Stores

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Bluetooth beacons are small devices that some stores hide throughout the building. Apps on your phone can pick up the signals they emit and send information back.

In order to track you or trigger an action like a coupon or message to your phone, companies need you to install an app on your phone that will recognize the beacon in the store. Retailers (like Target and Walmart) that use Bluetooth beacons typically build tracking into their own apps. But retailers want to make sure most of their customers can be tracked — not just the ones that download their own particular app.

I bet iOS 13’s new Bluetooth controls will affect this.

The Clever Cryptography Behind iOS 13 ‘Find My’

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iOS 13 ‘Find My’ combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone. Apple says it uses Bluetooth signals from Apple devices even if they’re offline. And the encryption scheme it uses means that third party attackers can’t track Apple devices, and Apple can’t track them either.

In a background phone call with WIRED following that keynote, Apple broke down that privacy element, explaining how its “encrypted and anonymous” system avoids leaking your location data willy nilly, even as your devices broadcast a Bluetooth signal explicitly designed to let you track your device. The solution to that paradox, it turns out, is a trick that requires you to own at least two Apple devices. Each one emits a constantly changing key that nearby Apple devices use to encrypt and upload your geolocation data, such that only the other Apple device you own possesses the key to decrypt those locations.

Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones: $153 with Coupon Code

· · TMO Deals

We have a deal on a pair of Bang & Olufsen H4 Bluetooth Headphones. These over-the-ear headphones have on-device controls, and they’re made from leather, aluminum, polymer and steel. They have up to 19 hours of playback time, and they also come with a 1.2 m audio cable with 3.5 mm mini-jack as an alternative to wireless connectivity. They’re $179.99 through our deal, but coupon code WEEKEND15 brings the price down to $153 at checkout.

Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones: $102.95

· · TMO Deals

Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones

We have a deal on a pair of Oomo 3D 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound Bluetooth Earphones. According to the manufacturer, they feature a patented acoustic structure that separates the sound frequencies to provide clarity and 3D Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound. the deal listing has all the details. They’re $102.95 through our deal, which is 20% off retail.

Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker: $59.99

· · TMO Deals

Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker

We have a deal on the Anker Soundcore Flare Bluetooth Speaker. This speaker features back-to-back drivers with Bluetooth 4.2 support. It also has LED lights at the base for adding atmosphere to your tunes. This device is $59.99 through us.