The new Apple TV 4k hit the streets this week and the reviews are coming in
Just a refresher on the refresh
New A15 bionic chip
4GB of RAM
Slimmer and lighter design, no fan
Added support for HDR10+ (in addition to Dolby Vision which was previously supported)
USB-C charging in Siri Remote
Lower pricing. $129 USD for 64GB model (no Thread) and $149 USD for 128GB model
So what do they like?
Performance, while not ground breaking, is noted as “snappier”
The not so great
People still seem to dis the remotes, though standardizing on USB-C is nice
Would have nice to have built in a U1 chip and Find My support
Not an earth shattering upgrade
New Quick Media Switching (QMS_VRR) coming later in a software update
It solve an issue that can happen when you have the ‘Match Content’ for frame rates turned on. Currently there is a temporary screen blackout that happens when switching between content that has different frame rates
This only applies to frame rate switching though. You’ll still have the issue when switching content color spaces, say from standard- to high-dynamic range content.
This is also a future proofing measure. As the Verge points out there aren’t any TVs on the market that support QMS VRR at the moment.
Apple seems to have moved “Up Next” to the second row in the Apple TV app interface
At first the change was reported as “upcoming” in the tvOS, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS betas, but it seems like Apple might have done the swap in the server side
They now seem to be highlighting “Featured” content in the first row
This is annoying as I think it was great that Apple kept your content “you” focused rather than shilling their own stuff first.
Hoping they hear some feedback from consumers and at least maybe make this a setting users can control.
Apple will build out a live TV ad network for it’s 2023 live streaming deal with MLS Soccer according to Bloomberg
Apple starts streaming games on Apple TV+ in February and is reportedly in discussions with advertising partners now
Apple plans to offer three tiers of MLS service and reportedly all will have advertising
There will be a dedicated MLS package, content for paid TV+ subscriptions, and some free Apple TV+ games.
Then new ad network is part of Apple’s larger push into advertising according to the report
Estimates are that Apple generates roughly $4 billion a year from ads currently, but hope to grow that to at least $10 billion
Apple acknowledges iPhone delays
Apple has had to make an unusual public statement that they expect iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max shipments to be lower then they were hoping for in the coming months
The issue is temporary COVID-19 restrictions in China that are impacting the main Foxconn factory where the iPhone models are assembled.
In the statement Apple said they are “prioritizing the health and safety of the workers in our supply chain” and thus are experiencing “significantly reduced capacity”. They are warning customers that they “will experience longer wait times to receive their new products.”
Recent reports had claimed capacity at the facility might be reduced by as much as 30 percent.
Right now deliver wait times on iPhone 14 Pro models are hovering around 3-4 weeks so I assume we can expect that to go even longer.
So if you’re planning Apple devices as gifts this holiday season I would say get your orders in sooner than later.
Apple has been looking to get ahead of regional delays like this by expanding manufacturing to other regions like Brazil, Taiwan, and India, but it’s not happening soon enough
Recently Apple and Foxconn spun up iPhone manufacturing in India
And this past week there were reports from Bloomberg that Apple supplier Pegatron would ramp up iPhone 14 production in India as well
Apple’s hope is to shift about 25 percent of it’s iPhone production to India by 2025 with a longer goal, according to Ming-Chi Kuo, of getting India production to 40-45 percent
Possible ‘Hey-less’ Siri
Are you ready for a “hey-less” Siri?
In his recent newsletter Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says Apple’s engineers are working on a version of Siri that can better understand words and phrases without needing to use a “Hey” to invoke the voice assistant
Reportedly the hope is you’d just be able to say, “Siri”
This feels like a daunting task and in fact Gurman notes that the challenge “requires a significant amount of AI training and underlying engineering work.”
As such he says Apple is hoping to roll out the feature sometime in 2023 or possibly 2024
The report also says Apple is working to better integrate Siri into apps and 3rd party services
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Digging into Matter
So Matter, a new Smarthome device standard backed by Apple, Google, Amazon and hundreds of other companies holds the promise of cleaning up messy smarthome compatibility issues
It’s great that it’s here, but there are some things to know…
The TLDR; is that it will help, but it’s not happening overnight.
Apple is supporting it in the latest OSs for iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Apple Watch, and Mac
It’s a new certification that devices will need to go through
Look for the “matter” logo and branding
Older devices “might” be supported via software updates
Up to the maker to push out new firmware and not all older devices will be updated
Also most older devices will support Matter over Wi-fi, not Thread
Devices may also still have their separate certifications and developers can build on “unique” features that exist outside the Matter specs
Means that all “Matter” supported devices will work with the features supported by the Matter spec regardless of platform, but that we still can have “Works with Alexa” devices that have Alexa features that don’t work with HomeKit and vice versa.
Apple was involved and lended a lot to the security and privacy portion of the Matter spec from HomeKit, so