The Wrap – September 21, 2018

It’s Apple iPhone launch day, but you don’t necessarily need the new phones, so find out what iOS 12 will give an older iPhone today. Plus what new phones are coming from Oppo and Samsung, and the news on Sony’s new PlayStation. All that on The Wrap.

Transcript

For the week ending September 21, 2018, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round-up, and on this Friday, if you’re up early enough and waiting in line in front of an Apple Store, go home. No one does this anymore, and you can get the new iPhone delivered. The lines are no longer a major drawcard, even if the new phones being released today are.

Yes, it’s iPhone day, with two new iPhones landing in stores from today.

Every major Australian telco has them, and while the biggest one costs a little more than one of Apple’s thinnest Macs, it’s likely to be one of the hottest phones of the year.

So what’s it like? Well, we should have our review this time next week, but the feeling right now is that it’s the best iPhone Apple has made yet, an unsurprising fact since each new generation is better than the last.

Part of what makes this iPhone great is the software, and this week, every iPhone — even the old ones — has new software waiting for them, as iOS 12 goes final, ready and downloadable on iPhones released from as far back as five years ago.

Yes, iOS 12 is here, and it brings quite a few things, including more augmented reality love and new versions of apps like Apple News and Apple Books.

It also brings a delightful new feature called “Screen Time”, which not only tracks your screen usage, but if you have other iPhones and iPads in a family — say for your kids — it will track their screen usage, as well, and even lock them out when you tell Apple it’s time for bed. No more Fortnight at night if you say so.

While your kids try to work out how you did that, iOS 12 will be doing other things, such as speeding up little parts of the phone, with improvements in older phones.

It’s not the only OS update Apple has this week, with watchOS 5 out, too. Shock horror, there’s a new Apple Watch this week, the Series 4, and this update is kind of for that, but it will add features on older Apple Watch models, too, such as bring more fitness tracking, better Siri support, and even allow you to talk directly to other Apple Watches simply pressing a button for a Walkie Talkie.

Apple wasn’t the only one offering features this week, with features from quite a few companies and products.

For instance, if you’re an ANZ customer, you now have a special feature for smartphone and smartwatch banking where you can use your device as a debit card and pull money out at an ANZ ATM. While some banks still haven’t managed to get a single platform on board, ANZ not only has all of them, but a way to let you get cash, because sometimes, you still need it.

Oppo released a new version of its all-screen phone, the Find X, and while the phone is already quite new, the updated version gains a feature that makes it charge faster than any other phone, doing it in 35 minutes.

Battery life is a sticking point with phones, so Oppo’s take on giving not just a bigger battery but a new, faster charging method is very interesting, though it will cost you either $1299 for the 256GB Find X or just shy of two grand for the 512GB Lamborghini model.

And Samsung added three cameras to a phone this week, joining Huawei’s P20 Pro with a three camera phone.

We’re not sure if Australia will see it, but the Samsung Galaxy A7 has three on the back, with one of them being an ultra-wide camera, kind of like what LG does in its phones. We’ll let you know if this one ever comes to Australia, because being a Galaxy A series, it just might.

It’s not even Samsung’s last phone of the year, with one more set to be announced October 11.

And October is going to be a busy month, what with new Microsoft Surfaces, a new Google Pixel or two, something new from Huawei, this new Samsung phone, and the iPhone XR, not to mention the expectation of a new full-screen iPad with less bezels than ever before.

It is going to be very busy and very exciting for phones and computers.

But believe it or not, we’re looking forward to something that is neither: it’s a tiny retro PlayStation!

This week, Sony announced a compact edition of its first console, the PlayStation. Not the 2, 3, 4 PSP, or Vita, but the original, and it’s tiny and pre-loaded with games. Twenty of them.

It still looks like the PlayStation, though, and it has an HDMI port, as well as $150 price tag, potentially making it a Christmas item not just for gamers keen to see a taste of the old school, but for oldies keen to relive the past.

I could never afford the PlayStation when I was young, and played it in stores, so for me, it’ll be like rekindling those moments, but for more than five minutes at a time.

Kind of like this show, because it’s a five minute show. Which is also now out of time.

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 we’ll be back next week more technology in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

Until then, have a great week and a great weekend, whichever comes first, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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