The Wrap – December 7, 2018

Next year is next month, and that means it’s time to start previewing what 2019 will be all about, looking at the future of high-speed mobiles next year and what’s coming to the smart home this year. Plus we’ll review the 2018 iPad Pro. This is The Wrap.

Transcript

For the first week of December, you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and as the final weeks of the year countdown, we’re actually beginning to look to next year.

Yes, in one month it will be 2019, and in one month’s time, the world’s technology companies will start showing what’s new for the year at CES in Las Vegas.

Ahead of that show, we have a vague inkling as to what’s going to be big, and what 2019’s trends will be. We know that the internet of things will play a big part, as well artificial intelligence, but there’s also something else, and it’s 5G.

The next generation of mobile connections, 5G is an update to the 4G LTE we’ve been using for close to seven years. Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone all run 4G, and there are lots of smaller virtual mobile operators like Amaysim, Aldi, and Boost that offer 4G, too.

But 5G is just around the corner, and it’s going to come with faster internet speeds if you’re in range and have a new mobile.

This week, Telstra showed off a prototype phone from ZTE that worked for 5G video calls, while HTC built a 5G hotspot, both of which were tested in Queensland where Telstra’s 5G network currently sits.

5G will eventually grow beyond the Sunshine State, and when it does, it means there will be devices, with Oppo showing off a 5G device this week, as well.

The word you want to keep in mind is “prototype” because that’s what these are, and with recent news that Huawei and Samsung are also working on 5G devices, we think it’s safe to say that 5G is going to be a pretty big deal in the coming year.

And that’s not all.

You can expect more in the smart home, with this week’s addition going outside the home. The Philips Hue smart light bulbs now have options for the outside, meaning colours have come to the trees, in the Hue Outdoor range, while Nanoleaf’s Canvas offers an indoor version of a build-your-own-colourful-wall. A little different, Nanoleaf’s Canvas offers a light up touchpanel that comes off as an art installation that also happens to be a lamp, because that’s what it is.

Smart home news kicked in a different way this week, with news that Amazon’s Echo speakers may see Apple Music in December.

Sadly, the news is just for America only, with Amazon confirming that it would be rolling out Apple Music to additional countries next year.

Sad face for us, but other things have come out.

Razer has a new ultra-portable 13 inch laptop on the way for just under $2500, while HTC and McLaren teamed up for a special edition of the Vive VR headset that costs about the same.

And there was one other high-priced gadget we checked out, with Apple’s iPad Pro for 2018 reviewed this week.

There are two models this year, with either the 11 inch packed in the same 10.5 inch size from last year, or a new 12.9 inch model. We checked out the bigger of the two, and found the iPad Pro was positively massive, offering a lovely almost 13 inch screen in a metal encased body reminiscent of the first iPad.

Inside is one of Apple’s best set of specs, and the performance is something to be envied. While you might question whether iOS is the best operating system for work, we found making a compromise on app was all we needed to do, and the system really handled itself well.

Between the great specs and great screen, the 2018 iPad Pro was easy to get used to, once you got over the lack of a fingerprint sensor.

That’s one of the big changes, because like the iPhone XS and XS Max, there’s a Face ID sensor to log you in by face and face alone. You’ll get over that, and you’ll also get over the charge port, which is now USB Type C.

Which earns a big “finally” from us, because Type C is more capable. It’s power, it’s charge, and it’s data. You can plug cameras directly in and move images over, because we sure did.

About the only major complaint we have is that high price, because it is not cheap. The 2018 iPad Pro starts at over a thousand, and can hit as high as just under three grand. And if you break the screen, it’s a thousand bucks.

This is not a cheap tablet. Not by a long shot.

But it is the best tablet we’ve ever reviewed, and offers a fantastic experience geared at people looking for the best, not to mention a focus on the creative. That new Apple Pencil helps that, as does the great keyboard, which we wrote the review on.

If you have the money, Apple’s iPad Pro is an exceptional tablet, you just have to be cool with spending that money, because… yeah. It carries a high price. Unlike this show, which is free to listen to, and is also over.

So you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup.

The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One and Apple Podcasts, and will be back next week for more technology heard in the space of five, but until then, have a great week. We’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

Comments