Category: New Releases

Best back to School deals on all the tech goodies you may need!

Back to School time!!

 

Sorry kids, but the silver lining? You might get some new tech out of all that learning!

 

Back to School sales are on! Here’s some deals we spotted for you guys!!

 

To start with, Apple has its 2019 Back to School deal – they’ll give students a free pair of Beats headphones (Beats Studio 3, Beats Solo 3, or BeatsX) when they buy an eligible Apple device.

 

If buying an iPad Pro or iPad, students can choose from either free BeatsX, free Beats Solo 3 Wireless, or a $199 credit against the purchase of Beats Studio 3.

 

To qualify for free Beats Studio 3 headphones, education customers can purchase any any iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air.

 

This deal sits alongside the usual education discounts, whereby students can buy Apple hardware at 5-10% below the normal retail prices.

 

You can get your hands on the deal if you’re a K-12 employee, higher-education faculty, or students attending higher education institutions.

 

What else?

 

 

At Best buy: Students save up to $300 on select laptops, including MacBook Air. 

 

AND, you can save on chromeBooks at Amazon, as well as Apple AirPods with Charging Case (Latest Model) for $144.99 down from $15, and while you’re there, get a shiny new Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model) for $249 ($80 off list price) or go large with a Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 128GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model) for $329 ( down $100).

 

 

Let’s get to shopping, ammirite?

 

 

Apple creates ASMR video series

You guys have heard of ASMR videos, right? Well if you haven’t, Apple’s giving you that opportunity right now!!

 

As part of their “Shot on iPhone” series, Apple has created 4 6-10 minute long ASMR videos for your listening pleasure!

 

Here’s the gist – ASMR is autonomous sensory meridian response. Got it? No?

 

Well, here’s what wiki has to say – ASMR signifies the subjective experience of “low-grade euphoria” characterized by “a combination of positive feelings and a distinct static-like tingling sensation on the skin”. It is most commonly triggered by specific auditory or visual stimuli, and less commonly by intentional attention control.

 

The first video is called “Whispers from Ghost Forest,” and features a woman whispering about the legend of Ghost Forest.

 

 

The second video focuses on wood shop sounds:

 

 

The third video features a man walking on a trail and crunching leaves and brush underfoot:

 

 

The fourth video, “A calm rain at camp,” features the sound of rain pounding on various items at a campsite in the woods.

 

 

 

 

 

Each one lovingly created using an iPhone, and Apple recommends using headphones whilst you watch. Enjoy!

 

 

Apple starts to sell coolest toy ever

Um, yes please?

 

Apple has begun selling LEGO’s “Hidden Side” LEGO kits. Lego is awesome, yes, but what’s better than awesome? Lego that mixes the physical toy with an augmented reality experience.

 

It’s a new series of LEGO sets that are based on a “chilling, creative world of ghosts,” so kids can build toys that come to life thanks to augmented reality on a smartphone.

 

After the sets are built, kids can view them on an iOS device for interactive augmented reality gameplay that varies based on the set.

 

All of the sets have unique interactions, with mysteries to solve, items to find, games to play, ghosts to collect, AND A GHOST BOSS BATTLE.

 

Four of the LEGO Hidden Side sets (sell below) are available from the Apple online store as of today, and will likely be available in Apple retail stores as well.

 

Newbury Haunted High School – $129.95
 

Paranormal Intercept Bus 3000 – $59.95
 

Wrecked Shrimp Boat – $29.95

 

Graveyard Mystery – $29.95

 

All of these kits come with mini figures, animals, and other theme related accessories as well as all of the building materials to create the intended design.

 

Who’s got a birthday coming up? Does 11 months count as coming up?

 

 
 

Apple Card launching super soon!

According to the news around the Apple Tree,  Apple Card is will launch in the U.S. in just a few weeks, coming in live in the first couple of weeks in August.

 

You’ll be able to sign up for the card in the Wallet app, which will have built-in Apple Card support as part of the latest iOS 12.4 update.

 

Apple Card will be optimized for Apple Pay but will still work like a traditional credit card for all of your transactions. You can also get a super sleek physical titanium card for use at stores that don’t accept Apple Pay.

 

Goldman Sachs is responsible for the underlying infrastructure, managing payment disputes, handling transaction data and collating information for monthly statements.

 

The card comes with some extra perks, too, such as 3% cash back on Apple purchases, 2% cash back on all Apple Pay transactions, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

 

 

You needed another credit card, right?

 

 

 

Spring / T-Mobile merger is closer to happening!

The U.S. Department of Justice just announced that it has approved the $26 BILLION merger of T-Mobile and Sprint… with conditions attached.

 

T-Mobile and Sprint will become “New T-Mobile” and have committed to building a nationwide 5G network covering 97 percent of the U.S. population within three years and 99 percent within six years.

 

So what are the conditions?

 

T-Mobile and Sprint must divest a substantial package of assets to Dish Network, including Sprint’s prepaid subsidiaries Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile and some 800MHz spectrum. Dish will also gain access to at least 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations.

 

From the Sauce, FCC chairman Ajit Pai:

 

“I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with T-Mobile and Sprint. The commitments made to the FCC by T-Mobile and Sprint to deploy a 5G network that would cover 99% of the American people, along with the measures outlined in the Department’s consent decree, will advance U.S. leadership in 5G and protect competition.”

 

And from T-Mobile CEO John Legere:

 

“The T-Mobile and Sprint merger we announced last April will create a bigger and bolder competitor than ever before — one that will deliver the most transformative 5G network in the country, lower prices, better quality, unmatched value and thousands of jobs, while unlocking an unprecedented $43B net present value in synergies. We are pleased that our previously announced target synergies, profitability and long-term cash generation have not changed.”

 

The merger remains subject to remaining regulatory approvals and the getting through the barrier of an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. federal court which a number of States filed in June to block the proposed transaction.

 

Regardless, those in the know believe that T-Mobile and Sprint will expect to see the merger being permitted to close by the end of the year.

 

 

New MacBooks!

The rumors swirling around the Valley today focus on new MacBooks.

 

Apparently, Apple will release a new 16-inch MacBook Pro (possibly with an all new design), as well as a refresh of the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air in October.

 

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that a new MacBook Air with a scissor keyboard would launch in the second half of 2019, and a new MacBook Pro with a scissor keyboard in 2020.

 

This would be roughly a month after the new iPhones are launched, so seems like we’ve only got exciting things to come from Apple!

 

 

 

 

New ‘Shot on iPhone’ video

A couple of days ago Apple released a new ‘Shot on iPhone XS’ video that’s pretty trippy, so if you need a nice little calming moment away from this Monday Afternoon, here you go!!!

 

 

Also – we’ve heard reports out of Silicon Valley today suggest that Apple may be releasing a 16-inch MacBook come September… interesting…

 

 

 

 

 

WWDC Keynote rundown

Welcome to our 2019 WWDC keynote round up! We have quite a bit to unpack here, so let’s gooo!

 

We start with a black-and-white video showing developers working from home, coding and designing. “While the world sleeps, you dream. Welcome to WWDC” Thanks guys!

 

Oh Hi Tim Cook! *waves*.

 

Mr Cook talks about all of the fancy fandangled services Apple launched earlier this year – Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and  lastly Apple TV Plus, which brings us to the trailer for an Apple original show which will premiere on AppleTV+ later this year, ‘For All Mankind’. The show is being produced by Ronald Moore, an executive producer of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, and looks intense and captivating.

 

Next up? tvOS 13 of course!

The new operating system for Apple TV has a redesigned home screen with multi-user support and personalized recommendations, new underwater 4K HDR screen savers that were filmed in collaboration with the BBC Natural History Units, updates to Apple Music, and will work with Apple Arcade and support the XBox 1S and the Playstation Dual-shock 4 game controllers.

 

 

tvOS 13 is available for Apple Developer Program members starting today, with the public beta of the software launching later in June.  tvOS 13 will be available for everyone in the fall for free.

 

 

WatchOS 6

Kevin Lynch comes out on stage to speak about watchOS, which will feature – you guessed it – more watch faces, but also a new App Store dedicated to Apple Watch, including independent apps, (!) as well as an Audio books app, a voice memo app and a calculator app. ( Yay calculator watches are back! )

 

There are also new health & fitness capabilities including a decibel meter app, ‘Noise App’ and a period tracking app, ‘Cycle tracking’.

 

 

 

iOS 13

 

Craig Federighi wants to talk to us about iOS 13. The updated operating system will launch twice as fast as iOS 12, and Face ID will unlock your phone 30% faster.

 

There’s now a dark mode, which sounds spooky, but really it’s just that now all your apps will now be available in black to make looking at your phone easier on your eyes in the dark.

 

There’s a complete redesign of the Reminders app with the ability to associate your to do list with reminders, as well as the option of tagging people.

 

Apple Music gets lyrics, and Notes has a brand-new gallery view and the ability to support shared folders. Apple Maps got some shiny new updates, with nicer detail, and Google Street View–style views of certain cities.

 

Privacy has very much come to the forefront of everyone’s  concerns when it comes to technology, and Apple are saying that that makes them concerned. So much concern! So now, Apple’s made it so that you can have the option to grant an app one-time access to your location instead of constantly, and the system will also prevent apps from using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data to figure your location out.

 

Additionally, there’s a new ‘Sign In With Apple’ feature that lets you to sign in with websites and apps via Apple rather than through Google and Facebook, etc. You can also use your Apple ID to authenticate your login, and you can even keep your email address hidden by using a randomized email address generated by Apple. Logins can all be authenticated using Face ID or Touch ID.

 

There’s  also a new ‘Find My’ app for finding your iPhone or Mac even when there’s no WiFi or Cellular collection.

 

Messages now lets you set a name and a profile picture, so if you don’t have a contacts number saved – it doesn’t matter anymore! Youtube stars Patrick Stars and Desi Perkins ( or rather, their Memoji’s) tell us all about how there are further customization options for Memoji – including hair color, piercings, make up, etc. Memoji stickers will now be incorporated into emoji in the system keyboard.

 

Siri is completely machine built now, so instead  of snippets of an actress saying words looped together, her voice is completely synthetic and actually more natural sounding. You can also use her for messages whilst using AirPods, and a pretty cool AirPod feature? iOS 13 supports audio sharing, so you can share the audio of a movie or a song with another friend with a single tap — as long as they’re wearing AirPods.

 

There’s new photo and video editing features and a new way to organize the Photos app, which, using machine learning, will now separating your screenshots, duplicates, and receipts from the rest of your photo library.

 

Apple maps got a shiny new update too, with a new street view feature called “Look Around” that lets you see street-level imagery of a city, and the ability to share favorite restaurants or travel destinations with friends, and a Favorites section for navigating to frequent destinations.

 

Apple has made the first beta of iOS 13 available to developers for testing purposes today, and the public betas roll out in July.

 

 

 

Introducing iPadOS 
iPads now have their very own software operating system! Happy Operating System Day iPad! It features lots of multitasking capability, column views for digging into file hierarchy, the ability to plug in a USB drive, and iPad-native multitouch gestures. Everything shown on screen looks very intuitive and slick.

 

Now we get to the very impressive and cool Hardware  section of the keynote! – The new Mac Pro. 

 

Now hold on to your horses here, because there’s some crazy numbers coming up.  We’re talking up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor, up to 1.5TB of ECC RAM, the ability to handle up to 300 watts of power and a “massive” heatsink that can run fully unconstrained at all times.

 

Two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack, eight internal PCIe slots, four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one additional half-length slot for an I/O card.

 

It also has wheels! Wheels!

 

Here’s some more numbers for you – The new Mac Pro will start at $5,999 with an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of ECC RAM, AMD WX 7100 graphics, and 256GB of SSD storage.

 

To go with that shiny ( kind of cheese grater-y looking) computer? A very pretty new 32-inch 6K display named the Pro Display XDR which features a 6,016 x 3,384 resolution display and 20 million pixels, uses a direct backlighting system with a large array of LEDs, able to produce 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness.

 

The new screen has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and can maintain 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness indefinitely, and also features Thunderbolt 3, which enables two monitors to run off a single power source, and up to four displays to be connected together for more screen real estate.

 

You can get one of those starting at $4,999, its stand for $999 and a VESA Mount Adapter for $199.

 

 

Both the display and the new Mac pro will be available in the Fall.

 

 

 

macOS 10.15 Catalina

 

iTunes is no longer! Byeeee Old Man iTunes! We will now have three dedicated apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.
iPhone syncing and device storage management will now be located in Finder, which is one of the best things we heard in this whole keynote thing, really.
Sidecar”is also really cool, and lets you use your iPad as a second display for your Mac.You can also now use voice control for accessibility using Siri, which ALSO is really really cool!

Activation Lock is coming to Macs (those of which have the newer T2 security chips) with iOS 10.15, as is Screen Time, so you can be shocked at ALL YOU DATA AND HOW MUCH TIME YOU SPEND WATCHING CAT VIDEOS

 

 

The Catalina OS beta is available today, while public seeds will be available in July. The OS becomes widely available in the fall.

 

We also saw another privacy/security concern addressed today, with Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering telling us about HomeKit Secure video, which uses your actual iPad, HomePod, or AppleTV, and then encrypts it and and sends it to a secure iCloud. HomeKit Secure Video even works with certain third-party camera providers, and the video storage and analysis doesn’t count toward your iCloud data limit.

 

 

So there we have it, some really neat new features across the software board, an amazing new MacPro, and some Memoji stickers. Oh – and some last cool things?

 

RealityKit, with photorealistic rendering, environment and camera effects, animation, physics and more, Reality Composer, where you can build interactive AR experiences, with a built-in AR content library, Xcode tool and iOS app. ARKit 3 with Motion Capture and People Occlusion and compositing of people in real time, AND New SwiftUI framework which requires much less coding to build UIs.

 

The future is real!

 

You can watch the  whole Keynote here, or shorter videos about everything that was announced today on Apple’s YouTube channel here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No More iTunes!

Like every 16 year old in Silicon Valley wishes they could , Old man iTunes, at the ripe old age of 18, is being retired.

 

First introduced in the middle ages, I mean 2001, by the late Steve Jobs at Macworld, iTunes is reportedly being replaced next week with standalone Music, TV, and Podcasts apps when the new macOS  10.15 is unveiled at WWDC.

 

 

The Music App will be the utility for syncing and managing your Apple devices, and the user experience is said to be a much more intuitive and streamlined. Yay!

 

 

The WWDC opening Keynote is happening the Monday at 10AM PT, and you can likely expect to see announcements featuring updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. You can watch it streaming live on the Apple TV App or online on the Apple website.

 

 

 

 

New iPod Touch released today!

Apple just announced a new, 7th Gen. iPod touch with a faster A10 Fusion chip and a new 256GB storage option.

 

The device features the same design, color options, thickness, battery life and weight as the 6th Gen model, with a 4-inch Retina display, the same 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera, home button (no Touch ID,) a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Lightning connector, and a single speaker and microphone.

 

However, with the new A10 Fusion Chip, Apple says the new iPod touch has up to two times faster performance and up to three times faster graphics compared to the previous-generation iPod touch, and allows support for Group FaceTime and ARKit on the iPod touch for the first time.

 

From the Source; Greg Joswiak, Apple’s Vice President of Product Marketing:
“We’re making the most affordable iOS device even better with performance that is twice as fast as before, Group FaceTime and augmented reality starting at just $199. The ultra-thin and lightweight design of iPod touch has always made it ideal for enjoying games, music and so much more wherever you go.”

 

You can get it on Apple.com with in-store availability at Apple Stores and authorized resellers starting later this week. Pricing wise, you’re looking at $199 for 32GB , $299 for 128GB, and $399 for the new 256GB option.