Mophie announced Juice Pack Access, a new line of wireless-charging battery cases for iPhone X/XS, XS Max, XR, The “Access” in the name refers to access to the Lightning port on your iPhone (for headphones). The case includes a 2,200mAh chargeable battery, and you can QuickCharge the case, too, making the whole thing wireless if you so wish. Combined with your iPhone’s internal battery, the company says you can get up to 25 hours of charge time on the smaller iPhone models, and 31 hours of charge on iPhone XS Max. That’s with a relatively slim footprint, too. It’s priced at $119 and scheduled to ship later in the 1st quarter of 2019.
LAS VEGAS – At this weeks CES Unveiled 2019, Airthings demonstrated a new low-cost product to complement their Wave air quality sensor product line, the Wave Mini.
The announcement yesterday that Samsung TVs will get a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps is a big deal. As is the news that Samsung, VIZIO, Sony, and LG are going to integrate AirPlay 2 into their TV offerings. I made that case on TMO Daily Observations on Monday. Pete Kafka at Re/Code has a really incisive piece of analysis looking at the fallout of the Samsung announcement. He lays out how Apple is moving into becoming a services company, or at least how it is making its services business more important, and how TV is part of this strategy.
The obvious and accurate takeaway is that Apple has conceded that Apple TV, the device that was supposed to help it own the living room, isn’t succeeding — it trails Roku, Google and Amazon in streaming market share — and that Apple needs to be on more devices if it is going to sell more services — which is its plan to combat slumping iPhone sales.
I love vinyl records and continue to collect them, even the in the age of Apple Music and Spotify. Sony announced a new wireless turntable at CES 2019 and, basically, I want it. It is called the LX310BT and integrates with any wireless speaker, soundbar or set of headphones via Bluetooth. The turntable has three gain settings – low, mid, and high so listeners can match the audio level of a record. It also contains a built-in phono pre-amp for use with amplifiers that only offer an in-line connection. In addition, it has a USB connector, which means you can transfer vinyl records into digital form. The turntable will be released in spring 2019 and cost $199.
I’m not sure what to make of this yet, but it’s super interesting. The Toyota Research Institute—a research arm of the automaker that dabbles in AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other things—thinks it has a way to use technology from the world of fighter jets to make cars safer, and they’re calling it “Guardian for all.” That’s crazy cool by itself, but TRI says it wants to share it with other automakers. In a crazy-competitive market, that’s unusual, too. That said, it’s not ready for market, and even TRI doesn’t yet have a plan for deploying it. Here’s a description from TechCrunch:
The inspiration was modern-day fighter jets, which use a low-level flight control system to translate the intent of the pilot and keep the aircraft stable and tucked neatly inside a specific safety envelope. TRI calls it blended envelope control, an approach that lets its “Guardian” driver assist system combine and coordinate the skills of the human driver and the vehicle they’re driving.
VIZIO, Sony, and LG joined Samsung in announcing that they will integrate AirPlay 2 into their televisions at CES 2019.
I heart this so much. There aren’t enough emojis in the world to describe how much I love Apple’s giant message to CES: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” It’s on a massive outdoor sign hanging on the side of a ::checks notes:: Marriott…wait, is Apple trolling Marriott, too? Fitting, if so. Whatever, the target is ostensibly Google, Facebook, Amazon, Android, and the myriad of companies whose customers are the product. And that message is being delivered to CES in Las Vegas, a show Apple doesn’t bother to attend. Chris Velazco of Engadget tweeted the first image I could find (below), and Mashable‘s Adam Rosenberg pitched it as, “Apple spent money to publicly troll everyone else’s privacy issues at CES.” Again with the feels, Apple. Thanks for brightening my day.
Apple never shows up at CES, so I can’t say I saw this coming. pic.twitter.com/8jjiBSEu7z
— Chris Velazco (@chrisvelazco) January 4, 2019
LAS VEGAS – Maximus is showing answer, the first dual camera video doorbell that sees what other devices miss.
LAS VEGAS – SECUREDATA is showing SecureDrive KP, one of their FIPS 140-2 Level 3 drives for when you really need to protect your data.
LAS VEGAS – LumiCharge is showing the second generation of their smart lamp, which does more than just illuminate.
The beauty of our new USB-C docking station world (don’t say dongles!) is the flexibility and expandability it provides for our Macs. Targus highlights this perfectly with their new USB-C Universal Quad HD Docking Station that they were showing off Sunday at CES Unveiled. In addition to four USB 3.0 ports, an audio in/out port, and a USB-C port with 15W of power, this dock includes four (yes, 4!) HDMI ports, each connectable to a 1080p display. MacOS sees each of these connected displays individually, meaning you could just as easily have four separate screens for your day-trading delights as you could build a multi-screen video “wall” and spread your image across all four of them simultaneously. At US$275 this is a no-brainer if you need those kind of display options. A unit supporting four 4K screens will be out later this year, due to be priced at US$375.
Samsung announced AirPlay 2 coming to TVs, and there’s a Project Erasmus update. Kelly Guimont hosts Charlotte Henry and Andrew Orr.
More HomeKit products mean a more integrated home, with products that aren’t competing against each other.
Samsung Smart TVs will support AirPlay 2, and be the first devices with a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, from this spring.
Speck was showing off GrabTab, their latest iPhone accessory, at CES Unveiled in Las Vegas on Sunday. Think of GrabTab as serving the same function as a PopSocket — allowing you to get a better one-handed grip on your iPhone — but GrabTab collapses much flatter to allow for better Qi charging, car mounting, and travel in and out of pockets. For US$9.95 this is a no-brainer. Buy one, stick it on the back of your iPhone, and you’re good to go. Bonus: you can slide it open to use as an iPhone stand for watching all of your favorite videos, too.
Nahimic, long-time makers of enhanced audio for video games, on Sunday launched Nahimic for Mac. Built to enhance music and movies, Nahimic brings real-time processing of your Mac’s audio from any app. They demoed it with movies and music and the results were impressive. Their 3D Sound truly made a noticeable difference out of MacBook Pro speakers at CES Unveiled, a very noisy environment. Tests on our own back at the hotel confirmed what we heard earlier: this sounds fantastic, there’s no noticeable latency, and the app performs well. A free trial is available and one-year subscription will set you back just US$35.
In the calm before the CES storm, John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton come to you from Las Vegas to share their thoughts and answer your questions. Plus, John mentions Cosmic Bit Flips and everything goes sideways. Listen, enjoy, and learn. Just press play!
John Martellaro and Dave Hamilton join Kelly Guimont to chat about the new Charter Cable app for Apple TV and the current state of cable.
It is nearly CES time, so that means lots of product leaks and rumors! 9to5Mac brought together reporting by Dave Zatz on some interesting leaks from August and Ring in the smart home security space. It looks like August is preparing to launch a new smart doorbell, with an updated design. Meanwhile, Amazon-owned Ring looks set to launch a set of smart security lights.
In a nice change from the blocky square design that August currently uses with its current Doorbell Cam Pro, the View takes a more minimal, rectangular form factor. It also brings a space gray color compared to the silver finish on the existing Doorbell Cam Pro. The new rectangular design of August’s View also matches the hardware of its main competitor Ring (now owned by Amazon). No pricing or release details are known yet, but we could hear more about View next week at CES.
If you’re in the market for a new 4K/UHD TV, an understanding of High Dynamic Range (HDR) is essential to make sure all your equipment is compatible. John points us to a very helpful resource.