This week on The Wrap, we’ll let Apple tracks us with the AirTag and finally (finally) check our heart with the now-approved ECG on the Australian Apple Watch, plus check out what’s new in computers, scams, and more, all in five.
It’s the end of April and practically the beginning of May — yep, we’re there already — and you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology round up, and while this week was a touch quieter than the big shindig Apple threw for spring in the US and autumn on our side of the world, tech is still happening, and happening plenty.
Starting with Samsung, which had its own shindig this week, which it said ahead of time would see the most powerful Galaxy would be coming. And it did, kinda, but it wasn’t what we expected.
While a new high-end foldable is probably still on the cards, that didn’t come. Instead, Samsung has laptops on the way with Intel inside, complete with 5G, WiFi 6e, and AMOLED screens. It seems the most powerful Galaxy isn’t a phone, but rather a laptop, and one using an Intel chip.
The announcement was mostly focused on other parts of the world, though, with no word from Samsung Australia yet on whether the Galaxy Book Pro range will launch locally.
Fortunately, there’s plenty of other computers coming here, so even if we miss out on Samsung’s, there’s yet more on the way. A new MacBook Pro line is rumoured to launch later this year with a new variation of Apple’s crazy fast chip, the M1, possibly called the M2, and that’s not all.
Dell has a new detachable laptop built in the same way as Microsoft’s Surface, but with a screen supporting super thin bezels coming in the Latitude 7320, plus more is expected in the coming weeks. Computex is typically where Intel launches its new chips, and while Computex 2020 was cancelled for the obvious reasons everyone is tired of talking about, Computex 2021 is back in in early June. That means you can probably expect a bunch of new computers announced in June and July, and sales on all the older gear coming up shortly, too.
It’s not just computers, though. There’s a new robotic vacuum from Ecovacs in the Deebot T9 Plus, which can leave your home smelling a bit better thanks to a fragrance compartment, Arlo has a new indoor security camera ideal for giving you notifications about events happening to your home or even inside your home, and Sony has new speakers made to make a big impact on a future party, because you can have those again real soon.
And there’s a lot happening on the scam front, because we just can’t have nice things anymore.
Honestly, it seems like every week, we’re hearing about a new scam, and this week security experts piped in to tell us that not only were tax scams ramping up — because tax season would be kicking in momentarily — more Australians than ever are dealing with cybercrime. We’re all dealing with it so much that it’s estimated to have seen three billion dollars lost in Australia alone in the past year.
We’ve seen a few new scams this week, including one where scammers try to get you to call them for a quote-unquote refund on a product — because that’s believable — as well as a type of malware that can steal digital currency if you happen to be a cryptocurrency investor.
It seems there’s plenty to be on the watch for, but there is at least good news for people with a different kind of watch: the Apple Watch.
If you own an Apple Watch Series 4, Series 5, or Series 6, and you live in Australia, you now have access to the electrocardiograph, the ECG technology. With the release of iOS 14.5, Apple has switched on a way to track your heart’s electrical activity, something other parts of the world has seen for a few years now, but that Australia didn’t. But the tech has now been approved by the TGA, and that’s good news if you want to check your ECG, and if you want to get irregular heart notifications, both of which are switched on, among other things.
One of those other things is support for the Apple AirTag, which also launched this week. Available for $45 in Australia or in a four pack for $149, it’s Apple’s take on tracking, basically giving you the ability to find other things in your life that aren’t gadgets if they go missing.
It means you can leave a tracker inside a bag or clip it to one, and if you can’t find it, you’ll not only get a map leading you to it, but iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 owners will see their phones turn into a sort of a personal GPS, finding their way to it.
The location technology isn’t going to track you, though, so take off that tinfoil hat. Rather, AirTags talk to other iPhones in the background to understand where AirTags are. It happens without phones knowing it, and everything is encrypted, basically giving you a system to rely on for tracking your devices.
That’s possibly one of the better aspects of the AirTag, because while there are other similar gadgets out there, by leveraging just how many iPhones are out there, the Apple AirTag locating network is very, very strong.
The best part is that it’s just so easy to use. You’ll need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to set it up, but it’s pretty much just that. It’s so easy, works well, and is easy to recommend, especially if you’re prone to losing things.
Unfortunately, we’ve just found the end of this show, so 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.