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

The Wrap – Urgent updates & wet speakers

This week on The Wrap, we’ll talk updates aplenty for iPhone and Android, plus look at accessories for both and check out a couple of new wireless speakers, too. All in five.

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Near the end of August 2022, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and if you’re listening to this podcast on an iPhone, an iPad, or even a Mac, I want you to stop what you’re doing and check out the settings screen on your device. Don’t stop listening – we’ll talk you through it – but just stop using your device for whatever reason, head to settings, and make sure you’re running the latest version that you can.

There’s a pretty good reason why, because a major vulnerability has popped up for iPhone owners, iPad owners, and Mac owners using the current macOS Monterey, and it’s a doozy. An exploit potentially allowing hackers to gain access to your device remotely is currently doing the rounds, exploiting the web view technology Apple uses, and is out there in the crowd.

That’s bad. But the good news is Apple has patched it, so if you haven’t done this over the past few days, or you can’t recall the last time you updated your device, head to settings and get the latest update rolling. It’s just one thing you can do to keep your device safe.

Android owners, this is one instance you don’t have to worry so much, but it’s a message for every phone and tablet and computer owner all the time: check for updates regularly, because updates aren’t just about features, but also making sure everything is patched and friendly and working and great.

But they are about features, and off the back of Google releasing Android 13 to Pixel phones this week, the first batch of Android devices to get version 13 not made by Google seems to be Oppo, with releases rolling out now.

It’ll start with this year’s flagship, the Oppo Find X5 and Find X5 Pro, with more to come later on. It’s quite a long roll out, with phones seeing updates through to next year, but it’s the first Android 13 release schedule we’ve seen of any maker, outside Google, of course.

If you own a Samsung, a Motorola, a Realme, HMD Nokia, TCL, Alcatel, Vivo, or really anyone else you can find with an Android phone, there’s no release schedule yet, it seems, but it will happen. Eventually.

Also on the horizon are updates to hardware, with most of this week being in accessories for your life. Not so much phones and such – Apple will probably have an iPhone 14, an Apple Watch, and an iPad in the coming weeks. No, right now the focus is on accessories and such, plus stuff for your ears.

Take what Mophie is getting into, which is G-A-N, or more specifically Gallium Nitride. The idea is to replace silicon in the charging bricks you use for a phone, tablet, or computer, and allow them to get more compact.

Gallium Nitride or “GaN” popped up a couple of years ago, and we’ve been seeing it gradually rolled out to more devices. Apple uses GaN in the chargers for its recent MacBook models, and you might even see it in high-end phones.

Mophie is adding to the pile with an assortment of four, ranging from 30 watts to a staggering 120 watts, basically offering more power in a smaller size to take with you to go.

We also checked out a charging gadget from Belkin this week, the long named Boost Charge Pro 3 in 1 with MagSafe 15 watts, which is a neat little stand for people living in the iPhone world, offering a charging stand for an Apple Watch, a wireless charging pad for a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro, and a MagSafe charging stand for one of the recent iPhone models.

At around two hundred dollars, we found it a worthy addition to a bedside if you happen to live in an Apple mobile world, but if you’re an Android user, you may want to consider something else, as this won’t charge much.

It’s a totally different thing with speakers, which are compatible with pretty much everything. As long as you have Bluetooth on your phone, tablet, or computer, you can use a wireless speaker, no specific platform needed.

That’s the case with the latest from Ultimate Ears, as the Wonderboom 2 becomes the Wonderboom 3, and good luck telling the difference.

It looks the same, comes with the same plus and minus volume buttons, and offers the same water resistance and ability to float, with the main difference being a little more Bluetooth range and an hour more of battery life.

We checked out another wireless speaker this week which was similar, but a little more premium, coming in the Bose SoundLink Flex, a speaker made in the shape of a bit of a bar that comes with a position-based technology to pick up on whether the speaker is lying flat or positioned up.

We found differences in how the speaker sounded whether flat or upright, but the sound quality was fairly strong overall, with some obvious bass and good mids, while the highs managed to shine, as well.

The SoundLink Flex has more going for than just being balanced, with a durable design, water resistance rating, ten hours of battery life, and a cute little fabric to loop to let you hold the speaker up.

It’s not alone in this way, and both the UE Boom 3 and the Sonos Roam offer much the same, but Bose’s SoundLink Flex still does a solid job for 250 dollars if you’re going looking for adventure.

Of course, there’s probably still more on the way, and with IFA around the corner, we’re expecting more speakers to be announced shortly alongside other bits and pieces, as well.

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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