Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
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The Wrap – Big screens, free WiFi, and ANC

This week on The Wrap, we’ll check out some truly big screens coming to cashed up living rooms and desks, plus look at new noise cancelling earphones, PlayStation price rises, Apple rumours, and what Telstra’s phone boxes will give you for free. All in five.

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It’s the very end of August and almost spring, and you’re tuned into The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and with August now out of the way, it’s time to consider September, also known by many as the start of spring. Or what we in the tech world like to call it, the time when Apple looks set to release products.

In the next week, that’s exactly what you can expect, as Apple confirms rumours of a September 7 US launch for a new iPhone 14 range, and it will likely be accompanied by some other bits and pieces, as well.

We can more or less rely on the idea of a new Apple Watch or two or three – there’s a rumour of an “extreme” model in the pipeline – but the rumours are also hot for a new generation of iPad and iPad Pro, plus maybe some new noise cancelling AirPods Pro, given that they’re about three years old now.

In short, if you’re considering buying Apple gear, maybe wait until the middle of next week, and be sure to check our site at pickr dot com dot au or the wrap dot com dot au for more when it happens.

There is more happening, of course, so this show isn’t just about the iPhone.

But there is news about phones, with payphones in spotlight, as Telstra finds a use for its twelve thousand strong pay phone network. Those phone boxes mightn’t get quite the use they once did, but they’re still important to some, and if you hang around one, you might even find free wireless internet, thanks to an initiative Telstra has switched on.

Telstra phone boxes already offered free calls, and now they’re waking up to free WiFi, too, with three thousand switching on free WiFi last week, with the remaining nine thousand or so set to offer free wireless internet in the next year or so.

Something for nothing is great, but something for more money, a little less so.

That’s what’s happening with Sony’s PlayStation 5, if you can even find it. Never mind that the console is rare enough in stores, but Sony has also added to the cost of the PS5 in Australia and much of the rest of the world this week, costing fifty bucks more for each edition, now at $650 for the digital edition and $800 for the model with a Blu-ray drive.

They’ll still be less expensive than some new gear on the way, as LG preps a massive 45 inch UltraGear OLED monitor for gamers at IFA, and Samsung readies a massive 55 inch Odyssey Ark Mini LED monitor for gamers, as well.

Neither one comes with a price in Australia, but you can very likely file them in the category of “if you have to ask”, and you can fill in the rest.

They’re not the only big screens, either. LG has a positively massive TV on the way in another gadget set to be shown at IFA, arriving in 97 inch OLED TV.

It’ll form a part of LG’s G-series OLED TVs, which means it’ll very likely be a 4K OLED display, just one measuring a massive 2.46 metres diagonally. That is definitely a huge TV, and one that we’re sure the price will be just as big for.

LG Australia hasn’t talked up a price yet, but with the 83 inch version costing 13 grand locally, we’re guessing this new model will hit somewhere between 20 and 30 grand. In short, if you want to see this screen, find some rich friends.

For everyone else, we’re looking at earphones at a more wallet friendly price.

There’s a new model popping up in Australia this week, as Anker’s Soundcore brand pops up locally, getting a 130 dollar pair of noise cancelling earphones in with the Space A40, a pair we can’t wait to try.

Before then, we have a review of Google’s latest, the Pixel Buds Pro, and these are finally an attempt at noise cancellation from the maker of the Pixel phone, plus the Pixel Buds.

These come in costing just shy of three hundred dollars in Australia, and they’re earphones that slip in nicely and kind of just sit in your ears, blocking the world while you tune out to your tunes, or even podcasts like this.

They offer touch controls and a very small amount of water resistance, and they sound quite good, too. You’ll find fairly balanced audio, a good transparency mode, and decent noise cancellation, plus near 30 hours of battery life.

What you won’t find is an app that makes the Pixel Buds Pro customisable on anything other than Android, which is kind of like the problem Apple’s AirPods Pro have on Android. Both work on each other’s phones, but neither offers customisation or an app on the other. It’s frustrating.

There’s also nothing particularly special about the Pixel Buds Pro. They do a good job, and a three hundred bucks, they’re basically Google’s AirPods Pro for Android, but there are so many better pairs of noise cancelling earphones out there that it’s hard to say “get these” over any other great pair.

These compete with some great choices from Beats, Jabra, Sennheiser, and Sony, and so while these are good, we think you can probably do better.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found each week at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get podcasts from. For now, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Stay safe, stay sane, and take care.

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