Apple’s New A10-Powered iPod Touch →

May 29, 2019 · 11:44

Apple’s Newsroom:

Apple today introduced the new iPod touch with enhancements to power, capability and communication at a remarkable price. The Apple-designed A10 Fusion chip brings improved performance in games, and for the first time on iPod, immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences and Group FaceTime, making it easy to chat with family members, friends or colleagues simultaneously.

I’m guessing a new iPod Touch with just an upgraded A10 chip was introduced because of Apple Arcade, Apple Music, iOS 13 support, and all the industries, including stores, museums, etc. that use it for various tasks, where an iPad is too large.


Apple Cancels AirPower →

March 29, 2019 · 22:24

Matthew Panzarino, for TechCrunch:

“After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering in an emailed statement today.

Not that I was interested, but… damn!


Quick Thoughts on AirPods 2

March 28, 2019 · 09:45

I have used my first generation AirPods almost daily for the past two years. I started having issues with the right AirPod a few months ago, so I sent them in to get them looked at. They, surprisingly, replaced both AirPods (I got the old case back since it was fine) because Apple confirmed the issues that I had described. Quite frankly, going without AirPods for 5 days wasn’t easy — they’re easily the best product that Apple has created recently.

I expected AirPods 2 to get a 30% price increase and there being just one model available. Ideally, Apple would have introduced the second generation model with the charging case at the same price, but that’s just not how the world works. Instead, we got new AirPods with the old case for the same price and the option to upgrade to the Qi-enabled case for an extra 25%. This is better than nothing and honestly, you don’t actually need the wireless charging case.

There are rumours of AirPods with ANC. I will wait for them but I really hope they’re not going to charge even more for those.

Anyway, if you haven’t yet used AirPods (and they fit your ears), make sure to get a new pair. They really are extraordinary.


Quick Thoughts on the iPad Mini 5 and 10.5-inch iPad Air

March 28, 2019 · 09:29

I really thought the iPad Mini was dead but when the rumours started coming in about a newer model, I kept my fingers crossed for Apple adopting the Liquid Retina display from the new iPad Pros, along with a similarly designed case. I had two Minis in my iPad history and I loved them both. They were most excellent for thumb-typing and fantastic reading tablets, especially for RSS, the web, Twitter, and even ebooks. The screen was a bit small for comic books and magazines but I blame my ageing eyes on that. While a new Mini is always welcome — it really is a great little tablet — things have changed in the last few years. I really expect more from the “most innovative” company in the world, than just a speed bump, a slightly better screen, and the same 7-year-old design.

The “new” 10.5-inch iPad Air is really just a 10.5-inch iPad Pro without ProMotion and the quad-speaker system. While most people won’t notice the loss of the former, they really could have retained the latter, since a lot of people like to use iPads for watching video. The good news is that the price is down slightly.


Quick Thoughts on the New iMac (Early 2019)

March 28, 2019 · 09:14

Apple finally updated the iMac with new CPUs and GPUs last week and while not much has changed in the design of this particular Mac — same design, same Bluetooth, similar configs, etc. — a speed bump is always welcome. Unfortunately, some upgrade pricing is still as insanely absurd as ever and the base models still offer spinning disk drives:

  • The base models should all have SSDs.
  • The 8 GB → 16 GB upgrade costs $200. You can buy an 8 GB module for around $40-50 and a 16 GB module to around $90, which means Apple is charging 3-4 times more.
  • The 32 GB RAM upgrade is $600. A 32 GB set of two 16 GB DDR modules is around $180-190.
  • The 64 GB RAM upgrade is $1000 while a similar set can range from $200-430, depending on the vendor.
  • SSD upgrade pricing is 2-3 times higher than current prices for high-quality NVMe SSDs.
  • Since the design hasn’t been changed, I’m assuming that dust will still accumulate on the back of the screen over time.

I’m glad that the iMac has been updated but I still cannot comprehend why they aren’t getting more flack for their absurd upgrade pricing. The i9-9900 configuration should make a nice hackintosh config though, which I can fix in minutes or hours should anything go wrong, instead of sending it in to Apple and waiting 5-7 days. This route also allows me to use much beefier GPUs. I just wish Apple and NVIDIA stopped bickering — MacOS really could use GTX and RTX support.


Logitech Powered — Inductive Charging Dock for iPhone →

August 8, 2018 · 11:07

I currently use Samsung chargers but this actually looks nicer. I have been considering getting an AirPower from Apple, if they ever come out, especially since I have AirPods, an Apple Watch, and an iPhone, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to justify paying the price for it — somehow I doubt it’ll be inexpensive.

The Logitech Powered isn’t cheap and I don’t quite understand why it only supports 5W charging for Android phones, but it looks like a nice product. I might go for it but I’ll wait for AirPower first.


Rama Works M60-A Keyboard →

April 30, 2018 · 10:25

The M60-A represents the benchmark and equilibrium between function and design for us at Rama Works. The gently exaggerated design of the frame is not understated, but rather provocative. Inspiration and evolution from previous models are evident in the beautifully articulated design and the well defined aesthetic, the fingerprint of our ‘Industrial Modern’ designs. The M60-A offers a unique contender in the traditional 60% form factor.

The attention to detail in this design is quite amazing. If not for its considerable height and lack of arrow keys, I would be ordering it right now.


Luna Display →

August 23, 2017 · 14:42

Craig Hockenberry:

What if I told you that you could add a Retina Display to your MacBook Pro for under $100? And what would you think when I showed how it plugs into your computer?

The only use that I can see, for me personally, is for Lightroom. But only because Lightroom for iOS isn’t an exact equivalent of its desktop counterpart.

This also raises a few questions in regard to touch screens and Macs. Should Apple introduce touch to the Mac? Is this a niche product/need? Will the iPad with iOS 11 kill that need? Or with future releases, making iOS on iPads fully featured? Will there be a laptop with iOS in the near future? Will “the next big thing” arrive, replacing our need for smartphones and tablets, before iOS matures?

These are truly interesting times in tech, ones which I could not have imagined 30 years ago, sitting in front our IBM PC XT.


The New iPad Pro Screen Is Amazing →

June 23, 2017 · 15:32

Gabe Weatherhead:

Most of what I’ve read or heard about the new iPad Pro is close to reality but I think the effect of the new 120 Hz refresh rate of the screen is being over stated. It’s nice but it is not dramatically better. It’s not even that noticeable. Scrolling looks better, but it’s minor. From the early reviews you might expect more but I think there was a lot of pent up excitement for the iPad Pro revision.

I cannot stress how much I don’t agree with this. The new ProMotion screen is jaw-dropping. The smoothness of the animations and scrolling are fantastic, and in a few short minutes, have ruined my iPhone’s screen. If you use an iPad a lot and can afford to get one, do so.


Atari CEO Confirms the Company Is Working on a New Game Console →

June 17, 2017 · 20:34

Dean Takahashi:

Last week, Atari began teasing a new product called the Ataribox. The video released on a non-Atari web site showed a picture of some kind of hardware product, but many people wondered if the teaser was fake. Others had no idea what the video was showing about a “brand new Atari product years in the making.”

After all, nobody makes a game console with wood-grain siding. But at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Chesnais told me that the rumors are true.

“We’re back in the hardware business,” he said.

Chesnais declined to describe a lot of details about the console. But he said it is based on PC technology. He said Atari is still working on the design and will reveal it at a later date.

My first console was an Atari Amigo. I still remember my Pac-Man and River Raid sessions with my friends. I’ll probably get one, purely for nostalgic reasons.


Jason Snell Ears On with the HomePod →

June 6, 2017 · 15:42

Jason Snell:

In general, I found the HomePod to sound quite good, with a powerful bass and great clarity in the treble. However, in a few cases—Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” was the one that really struck me—I felt that the Sonos Play:3 more accurately reproduced the feel of the track, while the (extremely early, pre-release version of the) HomePod’s clever audio processing technology spread the bass and vocals out so much that it didn’t sound right anymore.

Of course, with the HomePod half a year away from shipping, there’s probably a lot of software tweaking yet to be done in terms of audio processing.

This sounds very promising! I’m definitely looking to get at least one. The HomePod is missing one feature that I would love to see — the ability to use two, three or five of them, to set up a 2.0, 3.0 or 5.0 surround sound system for my Apple TV. I realise that this wouldn’t be cheap, but… no wires!


Rethinking Apple →

April 5, 2017 · 10:36

Dr Drang:

Apple is making money hand over fist. By market share, it’s the biggest company in the world. Why is it continually putting itself in positions where it’s either apologizing, like today, or should be apologizing, as with the once long-overdue MacBook Pro update and the currently long-overdue iMac, Mac Mini, and iPad Pro updates.

While I appreciate Apple voicing their commitment to the Mac, I cannot fathom why this is even necessary. They are one of the biggest companies in the world and surely they can create teams that will constantly only work on Mac hardware. While I understand that simple updates to components seem perhaps too easy to do, with Apple’s aspirations being much higher, regular updates should be present in all line-ups. For example, the Mac Mini perhaps doesn’t fullfill Apple’s dreams of what a small Mac could or should be, but while they figure this out, it would be nice to have current generation hardware inside, regularly updated to the latest and greatest technologies, including Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C. I know of a lot of people holding off, just because the Mini is 900+ days old.


Todd Was Wrong About the iPad Pro →

August 22, 2016 · 22:23

Todd Haselton:

I’m quick to criticize new products, our readers know that all too well, but I was wrong about the iPad Pro.

Respect.

I personally know a few people who totally trashed the iPad until the day they spent some time with it and got it. They then went and got one for themselves.


Samsung Note 7 Delivers Embarrassing Real-World Performance →

August 22, 2016 · 15:22

Eric Hulse:

We have four units within our staff, and every one of our new Notes suffer clear performance issues, sometimes consistently and other times infrequently. The worst hiccups and stutters – or delays – happen only every now and then, but the phone itself is simply slower than its competitors at nearly every action. We have tested the application launch times, both hot and cold, of the Note 7 under the same conditions as our other devices and found it trailing behind not just other Snapdragon 820 phones like the OnePlus 3 and HTC 10, but also the year-old Nexus 6P running on Android’s latest preview. Considering that Samsung packs the cream of today’s processing power with its UFS 2.0 storage, LPDDR4 RAM and the Snapdragon 820, we can begin to entertain the notion that something went wrong with Samsung’s implementation.

Read the whole piece before you buy a Note 7.


Apple Discontinues the Thunderbolt Display →

June 30, 2016 · 23:34

Rene Ritchie:

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display,” Apple told iMore. “It will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users.”

The only monitors I would consider buying today, while waiting for a future Thunderbolt Display, are NEC’s and Eizo’s better 4K options, which actually work in Retina mode.


Apple MacBook vs. HP Spectre →

June 21, 2016 · 23:32

Joanna Stern:

HP’s trackpad, on the other hand, feels claustrophobic. I also repeatedly encountered issues with it, including jumping cursors and unregistered clicks.

This doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a deal breaker for me. The keyboard and trackpad have to be perfect, and despite it being 2016, few laptops actually deliver a good experience in this regard.


Drive a 4K Display at 60 Hz With the 2016 MacBook →

June 7, 2016 · 08:17

Jeff Benjamin:

The 2016 MacBook is capable of driving a 4K display at 60 Hz via a single USB-C cable. Such a feat is achievable via an easy-to-apply IOKit patch.
One of the great things about the new Intel hardware inside of the 2016 MacBook is that it’s capable of supporting 4K resolution at 60 Hz. The jump in refresh is a big deal, as anyone who’s tried to put up with running a 30 Hz refresh rate can attest to.

Operating at 30 Hz results in jerky and choppy cursor movement, and in some cases can induce headaches after prolonged use.

The good news is that it is possible to enable 60 Hz at native 4K resolution and 1080p (HiDPI/Retina) resolution on a 2016 MacBook. In fact, I just did so on the LG 27UD88 4K USB-C monitor that I recently reviewed. Watch the step-by-step process in our video tutorial for the details.

I don’t understand why this is even necessary, but at least it’s possible. I can confirm that using a 4K, or any display for that matter, at 30 Hz is impossible for in the long run. It should be also possible (I assume) to run the display @1.6x, which results in a 2560×1440 pt workspace, which is what I’m using on my Eizo.


LG’s USB-C-Enabled 4K Monitor Lends Single Cable Simplicity to 12″ MacBook →

June 7, 2016 · 08:12

Jeff Benjamin:

you’re looking for a 4K display that can be paired with your 12″ MacBook via a single USB-C cable, then your options are fairly limited. It seems that LG is one of the few display makers that has such a monitor available for sale.

LG’s 27UD88-W is a 27″ USB-C-enabled display. Its USB-C port allows MacBook owners to connect a single cable to drive the display, charge the machine, and facilitate data transfer.

This is actually quite cool. Too bad the colour’s not even close to that seen on the new Retina iMacs, but still. It does however need a hack to run at 60 Hz (see my next post).


Leica Launches M-D (Typ 262) Digital Rangefinder Without LCD →

April 29, 2016 · 15:15

Damien Demolder:

German camera manufacturer Leica has announced a new M digital rangefinder that has no LCD panel. The Leica M-D (Typ 262) will be almost exactly the same as the existing M (Typ 262) but without a rear screen for reviewing images and working the menu. The company says it has produced a camera with only the ‘essentials of photography’, or ‘Das Wescentliche’, and that it will help photographers concentrate on the important elements of image making rather than getting distracted with the camera functions.

Beautifully minimalist, for which you have to pay more than for the model with the LCD. Insane? Perhaps, but it doesn’t matter if it grabs people’s hearts. It did mine.


Logitech’s Smart Connector-Equipped Charging Dock for iPad Pro →

April 27, 2016 · 08:15

Chance Miller:

On the surface, the Base looks similar to various other charging docks we’ve seen over the years, but look closer and you’ll see Smart Connector prongs and a Lightning port on the back. This means that you can dock your iPad Pro to the Smart Connector and charge it just like you would when you dock an iPhone. And it’s really well thought out.

This looks great. Since it uses the iPad’s charger, I wonder if it can utilise the additional power of the 29 W USB-C brick through the Smart Connector, to improve charge times on the big iPad Pro.