Maccast Members 2017.01.03 - Favorite things of 2016
- Homebridge finally made my Homekit devices integrate.
- Added plug-ins for my Nest and Sonos, though the Sonos one is VERY limited.
- Nice to know that I can bridge other non-HomeKit devices.
- It’s kinda nerdy and let’s me tinker with my Raspberry Pi.
- Gonna try setting up as a Docker instance on my Synology DiskStation too.
4th Gen Apple TV
- OK, cheating on this one a little since it came out at the end of 2015
- But, it really has started to become more central to my TV viewing in 2016
- The Siri remote has become more useful as Apple has added more command and more “Channels” have become integrated
- I’m learning to like the new TV app, though it has a way to go.
- I’ll elaborate on the next Maccast, but basically it’s the class bad UI in an Apple Media app
- Also the lack of support for important Apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s absence from the platform
- It’s finally beginning to be something I’ll game on regularly
- The Nimbus Steel Series controller is still incredible.
Spigen style ring
- I’m amazed at how useful the simple little Spigen style ring really is.
- I get more comments about this than any other case or accessory I’ve ever used with my iPhone
- Still think it looks like a bathtub drain plug pull stuck to the back of the iPhone
- Ring that attaches using a gel like pad. Holds strong, but can be removed and re-applied
- I have it stuck to the back of my Apple leather case. It comes off without leaving residue, but will discolor the leather.
- Let’s you slip your finger though so you can loosely grip the iPhone without concern that you’ll drop it (extends your reach)
- Also acts as a kickstand
- Comes with a clip to hook it to your car’s dashboard too.
- Spigen sells it for USD $24.99 which is outrageous. Can find it on Amazon for USD $14.99, and maybe even lower elsewhere.
- Easy to forget that this iPhone was launched in March of 2016
- This was a brilliant move by Apple.
- The iPhone “slide” in sales may have been a landslide without the iPhone SE
- An “entry” level device that also had large appeal to existing users who didn’t like the “gigantiPhone” trend.
- I see SEs all over the place and I think it brought many more new customers to Apple’s ecosystem
- That means more products and services sold in the future.
- Not sure that enough people have given this device the credit it deserves.
- My interview with Brian Roemmele
- I found Brian because of his awesome PayFinders app
- After talking with him I began to really understand what a future of computing without screens, or at least without screens as we know them today, might look like.
- If you’re interested in the future of voice first interface, voice commerce, AR and VR then you should follow Brian’s twitter and Medium posts
- Similar to my growing love of the Apple TV
- I have become dependent on Apple Music for my non-podcast audio entertainment
- Apple has done a great job, in my opinion, of figuring out what I like and making recommendations
- My favorite new feature this year has by far been the For You, “My Favorites Mix” (Wednesdays) and the “My New Music Mix” (Fridays)
- Also the daily Playlist recommendations, though some have begun to get repetitive.
- I also like playlists by genre.
- I am actually discovering new music and artists via these playlists and because it’s Apple Music once I have I can explore the artists and their full albums.
- I’m really convinced that one of the keys was me making the active effort to “love” the tracks I discovered that I liked.
Anker SoundSync Drive
- Another little product that ha be come part of my daily routine
- This one is a little more utilitarian and out of necessity
- I will say it’s more “good” than great, but at USD $22 bucks the Anker Sound Sync Drive let’s be continue to use my iPhone 7 with the AUX jack in my car
- It provides a Bluetooth audio interface
- For me it’s been 95 percent reliable and the sound is good. Not really any dropouts and only the occasional issue
- The one area it falls a bit flat is as a handsfree mic for taking Phone calls
- My final pick though solves that beautifully
- Could be the best thing of the year.
- AirPods sound way better then I thought they would. An audiophile will likely think their crap, but for the “rest of us” the sound is very good.
- Yes, they are expensive, but like a lot of fine things you’re paying for the finer details
- The charging case and pairing with iOS devices is a truly magical experience.
- You’ll get obsessed with flicking open the case lid to get the charging panel to appear
- That is sometimes flaky for me I’ll admit.
- Some have reported battery issues, but my experience has been great.
- I’ve paired them with all my iOS devices, my Mac, and Apple TV.
- No issue switching sources, which is trouble I’ve had with my other bluetooth headphones.
- Removing one to pause, again magical.
- Siri controls can be a hassle, especially the double-tap to activate (no UI). The Apple Watch really takes care of this and it’s not a HUGE deal if you have to pull out your phone.
- I have had a couple of occasions of misplacing them (case and all), but not issues losing them from my ears. I have dropped them while removing from the case.
Wishes for 2017
- Hope for more focus on the OS, bigger features all around and ones that are not just for the newest devices.
- More updates to Mac hardware
- New Intel Processors announced at CES this week should make that happen
- I expect new iMacs and updates to the Macbooks and MacBook Pros.
- Not sure about the Mac mini, Mac Pro, or Macbook Air.
- BIG push to make Siri more intelligent and pro-active. Needs to be able to do a lot more without having to fall back on “I found this for you on the web”
- Siri could be an AMAZING voice first interface, it’s time to make that happen.
- Over all “more” stuff. Apple was a little boring in 2016, it’s time to bring back the excitement.