This episode of the Maccast is brought to you by ZocDoc. More on them later in the show.
Apple’s “Far Out” Event
Apple Watch Series 8
Small feature improvements with no real size or design changes
New women’s health features using new temperature sensors one in the bottom and one at the screen
Allows women to track their ovulation cycle
It’s not clear if the sensor can be used for other temperature tracking applcations outside of this.
There’s also an improved accelerometer that can detect high g-forces that’s enabling a new crash detection feature
There’s a new low-power mode (enabled by watchOS 9) that can extend the 18 hour battery life to up to 36 hours
because this feature is software based it’ll work on any Apple Watch that can run watchOS 9. Meaning Apple Watch Series 4 and later
watchOS 9 will be released Monday September 12th
Works by temporarily disabling or limiting some sensors and features while keeping features like activity tracking still active.
The cellular models now offer international roaming
Nike Apple Watch Faces will be available to all Apple Watch models on watchOS 9
In the Fall Fitness+ will be available to use without an Apple Watch
Aluminum: midnight, starlight, silver, and (PRODUCT) RED
Stainless steel: silver, gold, and graphite;
Prices start at $399 for GPS and $499 for cellular
Apple Watch SE
Design remains mostly the same, but has the updated S8 chip
Has a color matched nylon back, instead of metal. Apple says to reduce weight?
There is no ECG app or blood oxygen sensor, but does offer the new car crash detection
Also gets the international roaming and Low Power Mode.
Colors: Silver, Midnight, and Starlight
Starts at $249 for the GPS model and $299 for the cellular
Apple discontinued selling the USD $199 Apple Watch Series 3, so the new lower priced SE 2 is the new “low cost” option.
Apple Watch Ultra
Arguably the star of the show was the new “extreme” Apple Watch Ultra
The firs major redesign and rethinking of the Apple Watch
Larger 49mm design with a titanium case. Larger chunkier digital crown. And a dedicated programmable “action” button
Raised flat sapphire crystal display
Cellular features are standard
Up to two times brighter display (2000 nits)
36 hour battery life and will be capable of up to 60 hours with a new low-power battery optimization setting coming in the fall
reduced frequency of GPS and heart rate readings
Better 3 mic array for making calls in extreme environments
Dual-frequency GPS with the ability to add waypoints
“Red” display “night mode”
86 decibel siren built-in
WR100 level water resistance rating. Can get time underwater and depth readings and more.
It has a a water resistance rating of 100 meters
And can be used for recreational scuba diving to 40 meters
All the other new features from the Apple Watch Series 8
Cool new bands that are customized by activity. Alpine Loop (hiking), Ocean Loop (diving), and Trail Loop (running)
The bands will fit 44mm and 45mm Apple Watches
Also all existing bands that fit 44mm and 45mm Apple Watches will work with the Ultra
The pricing was surprising to me, starting at USD $799.00
Same price as the 45mm stainless steel model with cellular
Delivery times quickly slipped into mid-October, from Sept 23rd release
If you get one, get AppleCare. Any repair, outside a $99 battery replacement will run you USD $499 otherwise.
Air Pods Pro 2
Upgraded H2 chip
new low-distortion audio driver and custom amplifier
Touch controls in the stem to allow volume control
But they still have stems
New XS ear tip option
Up to 2x better noise cancellation
Personalized spatial audio, with an ear scan using your iPhone
Adaptive transparency mode, reduce loud sounds
One hour more battery life, up to 6 hours. And up to 30 hours on the battery case, up from 24
Big updates in the charging case
Has a speaker for “Find My Support”, with sounds for pairing and charging
IPX4 rating for sweat resistance
Lanyard loop, lanyard not included
Still has a Lightning connector, a bit disappointing. And wireless charging (can use Apple Watch or MagSafe charger, as well as Qi chargers )
Same price, $249 and shipping September 23rd
One thing that the new Air Pods Pro did not bring was support for Apple Lossless audio.
AirPods Pro 2 do have support for Bluetooth 5.3, but it’s not clear if Apple is supporting LE Audio
Allows for better audio quality at lower bitrates, improved battery for audio playback, multi-stream audio, and connect to multiple source devices at the same time (no need to switch between iPhone and Mac for example)
Since iPad OS and Mac OS Ventura wont be out until October, features like personal spatial audio and Find My won’t work with iPads or Macs until the fall
Apple is now offering the 3rd generation AirPods with a non-wireless charging case for USD $10 less at USD $169
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
New size, 6.7-inch along with the iPhone which is still at 6.1-inch
The iPhone mini is “not quite dead yet”
Apple is still selling the iPhone 13 mini starting at a reduced price of USD $599 in the US
Overall design is pretty much exactly the same as the iPhone 13s
Features the same 6-core A15 Bionic chip that was used in the iPhone 13 Pro models
Brighter display with peak brightness up to 1200 nits
Larger sensor in the 12-mega pixel man camera for better low-light performance and now has auto-focus on the front camera
Improvements made to Apple’s “Deep Fusion” image processing pipeline and they are now calling it the ‘Photonic Engine’
Improved battery life, up to an hour longer than the iPhone 13
US Models will only offer eSIM
Adding an emergency SOS satellite feature
Developed an way to find and track satellites without needing a big antenna
Should allow, in many emergency situations, to send small SOS text messages to the service within several minutes
Will be provided in the Fall (November) with the first two years of service provided for free
Service will reportedly be provided by Globalstar
The feature will work in the US and Canada, even for international travelers except for customers from China mainland, Hong Kong, or Macao as the service is not offered there.
It will also not be available if you are above 62° latitude, which includes parts of northern Canada and Alaska
The new iPhones also have the newer accelerometers an support the Car Crash detection feature
Support Wi-Fi 6, but not the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard
New models have 6GB of RAM up from 4GB in the Phone 13 models
Colors include, midnight, starlight, blue, purple and red
Upgraded cameras, better battery life, and satellite connectivity
Pricing for iPhone 14 starts at $799 and for the Plus $899. iPhone 14 will ship September 16th and the Plus models in October on the 7th
With starting pricing has remained the same in the US (and China) but have increased in many other countries like the UK, Europe, Japan, and others.
But be careful when you read reports that the prices are X dollars higher than in the US. US prices don’t include tax, where as many other countries include VAT.
Also… many countries also have heavy import taxes.
Finally there are exchange rates and at the moment the US dollar remains fairly strong.
iOS 16 will be launched on September 12th
AppleCare+ for iPhone now supports “unlimited” accidental damage repairs. There is a a separate Theft and Loss AppleCare+ plan, that covers two incidents of loss or theft
There is a new accessibility feature for iPhone 14 that adds a startup and shutdown sound
Probably enabled by a new boot ROM in the iPhone 14 models
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
As expected Apple saved the big updates and enhancements for their Pro models
It comes with all the enhancements form the iPhone 14s, plus more
Overall the design and sizes of the iPhone 14 Pros stayed true to the previous generation iPhone 13 Pros
Except the “notch”
Apple did not do the rumored pill + punch hole, but rather gave us the “Dynamic Island”
Overall the pill is 30 percent smaller than the notch.
It expands to give new UI elements on the sides that indicate app statuses.
You can tap and hold to bring up interactive elements and information
Works with most of Apple’s existing apps and is open to 3rd party apps via APIs
While it is technically smaller than the notch I think having it detached from the edge makes it feel more intrusive in a way. Especially when viewing full screen content like videos.
Two times brighter display (up to 2,000 nits) and it offers an always on feature.
Shows time, widgets, and Live Activities
Uses Apple’s newest A16 4nm processor
Early benchmarks seem to indicate about an 11 percent single core and 17 percent multi-core improvement in performance over the A15 Bionic
Wide angle camera has been updated with a 48MP sensor
It is quad-pixel so will pixel bin down to 12MP for better low-light shots and performance
Adds the ability for a new 2x zoom option that uses the center pixels n the sensor.
Can get the full 48MP performance if you shoot in Apple ProRAW. They will also take up 3 times the storage space, so something to consider.
Also has an updated ultra-wide camera, improved telephoto, long with a bigger, brighter, smarter flash
New action mode video image stabilization. Think “Stedicam” without the hardware.
Better GPS accuracy with the same dual-frequency GPS that Apple has in the new Apple Watch Ultra
New Space Black and Deep Purple colors along with the Silver and Gold.
Starting pricing remains the same in the US, staring at $999 for the iPhone 14 Pro and $1,099 for the Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro model arrive September 16th
Pre-orders had some hiccups for some and items quickly went into delayed shipping dates with Pro models quickly slipping into October
Apple TV+ gains marketshare
New data from JustWatch covering January 2021 through August 2022 indicates that Apple TV+ has increased it’s portion of the global streaming market to 6 percent, that’s a growth of 29 percent over the period
This means Apple is catching up to HBO Max which has about a 7 percent share
The report also shows that it’s the longtime players like Amazon and Netflix are losing share to the new comers like Apple TV+ and Disney+
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Floor Plan apps
Recommendation from Robert. He says most people can use these apps for free without having to pay for additional options or subscriptions
Sounds like when the battery is low Apple might not change the public key on the AirTag as frequently meaning that the AirTag would be more likely to have the same identifier or a longer period of time making it easier to identify the same AirTag over time.
For the tracking over bluetooth… I think this is probably related to a couple things…
Ultra-wideband uses more power, so if the battery is low maybe they fallback to bluetooth
Normally only you can read or track the AirTags that are paired to your device. Unless it’s in “lost” mode. Apple might allow the “lost mode” to turn on if the battery is low assuming you might not have access any more as a last ditch effort for it to be found before the battery dies?
If you change the battery in your AirTag and it doesn’t work it might be because of the bitterant coatings being added on some batteries
Get batteries without a coating or remove the coating with an alcohol wipe
Thing of the Moment: Soundform Connect
So this is interesting timing…
I had a listener Michael who has an Airport Express hooked up to an old stereo in my bedroom in order to Airplay music
Michael says over the years the AirPort Express has become less and less reliable and obviously you can no longer update them as Apple discontinued the product back in 2018
So he’s looking for a replacement and asks if the HomePod mini is the best option?
Now obviously you can’t use the HomePod mini as a AirPort Express replacement to airplay through the old stereo, but the HomePod mini is a great speaker.
There is also [Airfoil](https://rogueamoeba.com/airfoil/mac/) and AirFoil Satellite, so with satellite you could use an old iPhone, Mac, Android device, or Windows PC as a “receiver” for the audio from a Mac or iOS device
But in the same week Jay emailed me with an update on his use of the Audiocast product that was an option I suggested a while back and an Airport Express alternative
They had been working fine, but when Jay added some HomePod Minis to his set-up the Audiocast speakers had a slight delay.
He found the Belkin SoundForm Connect AirPlay 2 which solves the delay issues and also integrates with HomeKit