This week on The Wrap, find out what’s coming for the iPhone, iPad, and what Apple Music subscribers now get for free. Plus we’ll review Sony’s latest pair of truly wireless earphones that may well be the new benchmark. All in five.
This week on The Wrap, find out what’s coming for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, plus what Apple Music subscribers now get for free. Plus we’ll review Sony’s latest pair of truly wireless earphones that may well be the new benchmark. All in five.
It’s near the middle of June and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and this week, you can expect a lot of Apple news, thanks in part to the Worldwide Developers Conference, which was online this week, and delivered a lot of Apple.
You might call it The Big Apple, even though this news was direct from California, so clearly not the same thing.
But there’s big news with Apple talking up what you can expect on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even the Watch, plus a little something more for your ears.
On the iPhone, if you have one, you can expect the next version of iOS, iOS 15, to let you scan the text from photos, and then search that across your phone. Snap a recipe or something with a phone number, and your iPhone will know what to do with it.
Apple is also rolling out a focus mode to keep you, well, focused, and if you have a new car, you might even be able to use your iPhone as your car keys shortly, too.
Plus there’s something there to let you share what you’re doing with friends.
Throughout this whole isolation thing, we’ve had to learn to live away from each other, but Apple’s SharePlay will bring togetherness experiences back using a phone, and also using an iPad, which will see the same feature. In fact, it will be shared across phone, tablet, and Mac, so you can share music, movies, TV shows, and even apps.
There’s a little more happening on the tablet and Mac with accessories on a MacBook working across both thanks to a feature called “Universal Control”. That’ll connect accessories between the two, while Apple will let you make iPhone and iPad apps from inside an iPad, something you’ll do it from within Swift Playgrounds, the app that teaches kids to code.
MacOS will get that Focus thing and a way to program macros with Shortcuts, something already on the phone, as well as a new version of Safari with tab groups, while FaceTime will blur the background and clean up your sound.
And the Apple Watch will soon track sleeping respiratory rate and have a new portrait watch face, plus a home app to let you talk to a network.
It’s an assortment of bits and pieces, though we might be more excited for what Apple Music unleashed this week, with both high-res lossless and Dolby Atmos surround sound music added free to Apple Music. You have to pay extra for that on Tidal, but Apple is doing it for free, which is a win in our books.
For those not down with the jargon, lossless is basically a high res file for people who want more audio quality, while Atmos offers a more spacious sound for the music you love. The track list isn’t big to begin with, but it’ll grow, and could change the way you listen to your music.
And that’s not all that happened this week, because if you own a recent Google Pixel phone, there’s something a little bit extra for you as well.
Owners of the Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 4a with 5G, and Pixel 5 now have support for an astrophotography night sky mode that also captures a video, something new giving you a little bit extra of an evening you decide to spend some time taking photos of.
That’ll roll out shortly, as will new TVs from Hisense, with 4K, 8K, and Mini LED screens on the way. There are a few models coming, with one getting an 85 inch 4K TV down to below four thousand, while Hisense’s 2021 8K TVs will start from the five K mark.
And there were a couple of audio gadgets announced this week, ideal for folks who might be eyeing new earphones.
High-end brand Final announced something a little more low-end for most folks, announcing it was bringing its “A-g” brand locally, with a pair of noise cancelling headphones and a pair of truly wireless. They both come in under $200, though the truly wireless Ag TWS04K aims to get attention with one feature alone. While there’s no noise cancelling tech here, it comes with a staggering 180 hours of battery life.
If you want noise cancelling, you might want to turn to the Sony WF-1000XM4, which was announced this week, and something we’re reviewing right now.
And these come with high expectations, because we’ve called the XM3 the best earphones for two years in a row.
The new pair, the XM4 comes, with a more bulbous design that mightn’t fit your ears, but does an extraordinary job for sound. They’re warm and brilliant, and the noise cancelling is solid too. The transparency mode might be among the best we’ve heard, and basically gives you a personal soundtrack while listening to the world.
They’re also smaller than before, with a case that supports wireless charging, and provides a total of 24 hours of life.
In fact, Sony’s WF-1000XM4 are better in just about every way, though the fit can be hard. They do come with a new foam material for tips, but you still might need to spend some time getting them right.
But they are the best so far and easily the new benchmark.
For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found every week at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap, and take care.