Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – New MacBooks, USB iPhones, and Sony’s headphones

This week on The Wrap, hear about the latest MacBooks, what’s coming in iOS 16 on your iPhone, plus how those iPhones will change thanks to a decision in Europe. And we’ll see if the last best noise cancelling headphones are still the best with a review of Sony’s WH-1000XM5 all in five.

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For the middle of June 2022, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and we hope you’ve had a nice weekend, maybe a long weekend, but the past week has been so big on tech news, we really can’t waste another moment, so let’s get stuck into your five minutes of tech.

Starting with what might have been on everyone’s mind: Apple.

It lasted a few days, but all the juicy tidbits happened in the beginning, as Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference WWDC kicked off, pretty much confirming one of the major announcements we had been not-so-subtly hinting to you about. Laptops. Apple has them, and has been upgrading them, so we hope you held back a laptop purchase until, well, now, because there are more options.

One of Apple’s biggest announcements from the conference was its first, with news of its new M2 chip following on from the M1 from two years ago. You can still find the M1 and variants of it around the place, and it’s in one of our favourite laptops, the M1 MacBook Air.

That’ll still be a part of Apple’s laptop line-up, and arguably its least expensive model at $1500 locally. But for just a little more at 1900 dollars, Apple has a redesigned MacBook Air with a look more like the Pro computers from last year, and with a slightly bigger screen, support for the MagSafe dock connector, and that new chip.

The new chip is the sequel to the M1, and will be called the M2. It’s slightly faster than what’s in the other Air, offers more memory support boosting from 16GB max to 24GB, and is apparently similar to a 10-core PC chip in a smaller size with less needed power. That could make the new Air a real portable force to be reckoned with, but it won’t be the only M2 system out there.

While there’s no word on whether the M1 Mac Mini will see an M2 sequel, the 13 inch MacBook Pro will be around, even if it’s a little more confusing. Priced a little higher, it follows the same design as its predecessor, keeps the OLED touch bar and gets a bigger battery, starting from just under two grand. The 13 inch MacBook Pro seems confusing, because the new Air like last time will probably be the one folks consider, but basically it’s a version of that with a little more cooling, built for people who want the performance of a MacBook Pro, but not necessarily the cost.

That’s not the only big Apple announcements, either. There’s a new ace version of macOS in Ventura, plus new watch faces watchOS 9, and the 16th version of iOS and iPadOS will arrive later this year, too, getting improvements to multitasking, international translation on video when you pause what you watch, changes to how spatial audio works if you have the right headphones, and a lock screen on the iPhone that’s a whole lot more customisable.

It’s not unlike what Android owners have had for ages, but it will mean more fonts, clocks, and ways to make your lock screen pretty, even timing it to match whatever focus mode you might be in.

And while we’re focused on the iPhone, let’s talk about how that looks set to change, because you know that plug port at the bottom? That’s probably going to change for good very soon.

Apple’s Lightning port is now ten years old, and there’s another port everyone else is using: USB C. In fact, it’s used so much that the EU has decided to make Type C USB the one port type devices need to use from 2024 onwards. That’ll include Apple, suggesting that the maker of the iPhone will make its phones with USB C specifically for Europe – which is unlikely – or that everyone will get USB iPhones in the next two years.

Seriously, Lightning is 10 years old this year. We wouldn’t be shocked if at the launch of the iPhone 14, Apple made a point about that and switched it to USB C to mark that 10 year anniversary.

But right now, we’re reviewing something phone related, but only in the name. Headphones, specifically, as we look at Sony’s WH-1000XM5, the fifth iteration of Sony’s noise cancelling headphones, and its most expensive yet.

Priced between 550 and 650 in Australia, they’re the highest priced Sony noise cancellers so far, and they sound just as good as they ever did. Expect a warm, rich sound with plenty of bass, and some of the best cancellation to date.

These things are just stellar, with a new design making them among the comfiest headphones around. There’s a touchpad to control things, a good 30 hours of battery life, and some adaptive cancellation.

So are they worth the price? Maybe. The problem with the XM5 is not much is really new. Not that they needed anything, because they’re still great, but they just make their predecessors a better value.

The XM5 are clearly the new best, but if you found the XM4 for less, they’d be just as amazing for less money, too.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found each week at Listener, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. 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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