On Gear Live: Geared Up: Microsoft’s Mystery Foldable Surface Tablet, Updated Nintendo Switch Mini, & Apple vs Spotify Intensifies!

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The Death of the Xbox

On this week's Geared Up, we talk about the two new Nintendo Switch consoles that were announced this past week - the Nintendo Switch Lite and the Nintendo Switch with refreshed battery. In the case of the Switch Lite, we are getting a new handheld-only portable console with a cheaper price and some caveats. Over on the standard Switch front, we were expecting a pro version of the Switch as well, but instead got the same hardware with increased battery life.

Apple has significantly changed its laptop computer lineup with the release of a cheaper MacBook Air and the addition of premium features on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro while simultaneously killing the 12-inch MacBook and the older entry-level MacBook Air. We go over why this actually provides clarity for anyone looking to buy an Apple laptop.

Samsung will be announcing the Galaxy Note 10 at an event on August 7th at the Barclays Center, and rumors and dropping left and right about the new flagship devices in the weeks leading up to the reveal. The latest focuses on a very unique feature for the Note 10 battery that may make charging anxiety a thing of the past!

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Nintendo, Apple, and Samsung.

Gallery: Geared Up: New Nintendo Switch Consoles, Apple Kills the MacBook, & Galaxy Note 10 Crazy Battery!


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The Death of the Xbox

On this week's Geared Up, we talk about the upcoming Amazon Prime Day, celebrating Amazon's 25th anniversary. I bring you my tips on finding the best Prime Day deals, while naming a couple of my favorite Prime Day launch deals (which you can find right now - the Anker PowerPort Atom III and the Jabra Elite 85h headphones!) This year Amazon is extending Prime Day to be a two-day shopping event, which means competing retailers are also preparing their own deals to steal away some attention.

High-quality video game streaming is nearly here, with early launches of both Microsoft Project xCloud (an Xbox streaming service,) and Google Stadia both taking place in the fall of 2019. A listener asked if the fact that people will be able to stream their games to any device - from web browser, to smartphone to smart TV and more - spells the end of the Xbox and PlayStation dedicated video game consoles as we know them. I weigh in with my thoughts, along with my impressions of using Project xCloud (which you can see in the video embedded below!)

Samsung sent out invites for its Galaxy Unpacked event, which takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on August 7th. This will be where the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 will make its debut, and we should likely hear news of updated launch plans for the Samsung Galaxy Fold as well. I discuss the expected features and specs for the new Samsung flagship smartphone.

Finally, I also talk about Jony Ive leaving Apple and what his departure means for the future of the company as many wonder if the iconic designs that Apple is known for will suffer as a result.

SPONSOR: National Car Rental. Go National. Go like a pro.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Amazon, Apple, and Samsung.

Gallery: Geared Up: The Death of the Xbox, Amazon Prime Day 2019 Deals, & Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Rumors!


iOS 13 features WWDC recap

It was a huge news week in the world of Apple, as the company took the stage at WWDC 2019 to show the world what's coming next for all of its major software platforms. In this episode of Geared Up, we talk about all the big announcments coming out of WWDC. These include:

  • The new iOS 13 features (including the long-awaited Dark Mode!)
  • The future of macOS Catalina with iPad apps running on the Mac
  • How the iPad is becoming more of more of a laptop replacement with the dedicated iPadOS
  • How the Apple Watch will continue to help you become healthier in watchOS 6

In addition, we answer listener-submitted questions as well. If you're looking for news and commentary on the new Mac Pro, we'll be covering that on next week's show!

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Apple.

Gallery: Geared Up: Apple’s new iOS 13, macOS Catalina, iPadOS, and Apple Watch updates!


iOS 13 Leaked Dark Mode screenshots
(Photo Credit: 9to5Mac)

This week we have a couple of big leaks out of Apple that give us a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming iOS 13 and macOS 10.15, including the impending death of iTunes as Apple splits the iconic music player up.

Apple has released updated 2019 MacBook Pros with faster processors and upgraded keyboard, and we talk about what's changed and how much they cost.

We also go over the keyboard woes Apple has experienced, along with the new Keyboard Service Program. Apple will now replace your faulty keyboard up to 4 years after purchase.

Finally, I answer your questions about the OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone, how my Tesla Model 3 is holding up, how to pick between older flagships and new mid-range smartphones, and more!

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Apple, Tesla, and OnePlus 7.

Gallery: Geared Up: Huge Apple Leaks, Tesla Model 3, New MacBook Pros, and more!


Google Pixel 3a

The Google I/O 2019 keynote took place yesterday, and I bring you a recap of the news, including my thoughts on the newly announced Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL mid-range smartphones. Will Google's strategy of shipping a budget phone with one of the best cameras out there pay off?

We also talk about the leaked iOS 13 features report from Bloomberg, and we've got a lot to talk about here. If you've been wondering what can we expect from Apple's next major software release for the iPhone and iPad, this is what you've been waiting for.

Google announced new features coming for Google Duplex, and we talk about how the Google Assistant will be able to help you even more in the coming months. At Google I/O, we got a demo where the Google Assistant fills in everything on the web automatically and allows you to confirm and leaves you in control of the flow after asking “Hey Google, Book a National Car Rental for my upcoming trip.” The Assistant understood the dates of the trip and the vehicle preferences based on confirmations found in Gmail and the users Google calendar. Google Duplex on the Web is coming later this year.

This isn’t something that’s exclusive to National Car Rental or anything, but apparently Google used them as the example because their back end for booking vehicles didn’t require any extra engineering work due to National’s web and mobile platforms already being engineered to allow these newer technologies to work with them now, today. That said, you can imagine in the near future doing something similar with movie tickets, restaurant reservations, or really anything where you have to fill out forms and make choices. The Google Assistant can fill out the forms and make the choices that it knows you’d like based on the context it has about you already, and all you need to do is take a look at the choice it made and confirm them in a matter of seconds. It's cool and exciting, and we discuss it in further detail. All this and more on this episode of Geared Up!

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Google and Apple.

Gallery: Google Pixel 3a Thoughts, iOS 13 Leaked Features, & Google Duplex on the Web - Geared Up!


Samsung Galaxy Fold delay

What happened to the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold? I bring you a look at the device from teaser all the way through to the delay - find out about the launch and the missteps of the first smartphone with a foldable display that was set to ship last week and got pulled at the last minute.

We also talk about what to expect with the new iPhone 11, including major upgrades to the cameras.

Lastly, iOS apps are coming to the Mac with macOS 10.15. What does this mean for the future of Apple's desktop operating system? All that on this episode of Geared Up!

SPONSOR: National Car Rental - skip the line with the Emerald Club. Go National. Go Like a Pro.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Listen to this episode of the Geared Up podcast for analysis of the latest from Samsung and Apple.

Gallery: The Samsung Galaxy Fold Delay Saga - Geared Up!


Apple Card credit card

During today's It's Show Time Apple Event, the company announced Apple Card, a brand new credit card that promises to change the way consumers work with credit cards. Apple says it is focusing on simple, instant applications, no fees ever, lower interest rates, and better rewards. In order to sign up, users use the Apple Wallet app in the iPhone, and instantly upon approval they get a digital card that is ready to use in their wallet. You'll be able to track purchases, check balances, make payments, and more right from the app.

As for bonuses, Apple is introducing Daily Cash. You get 3% cash back when buying from Apple (including Apple Store, App Store, etc.,) 2% cash back when you use your Apple Card through Apple Pay, and 1% cash back when you use your physical card (and by the way, the physical Apple Card is forged from titanium!) Daily Cash is instantly accessible to be used for whatever you'd like - pay your balance, buy apps, send the cash to friends, spend it, etc.

Focusing on privacy, “Apple doesn’t know what you bought, where you bought it, and how much you paid for it,” says Jennifer Bailey, VP of Apple Pay. All the spending tracking and other information is stored directly on the device, not Apple’s servers. Apple also says “Goldman Sachs will never sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising,” either.

Gallery: Apple Card: Apple announces its own credit card with a focus on privacy


In this episode of Geared Up, Andru Edwards and Starla Sampaco discuss the FaceTime bug that allowed iPhone users to eavesdrop on the person they called, reports of a new gaming subscription service from Apple, the minimalist phone trend, signs of new iPads and a seventh-generation iPod touch, and a foldable phone from Samsung. Plus, if you're doing some last-minute TV shopping ahead of Super Bowl Sunday, Andru has some recommendations for you.

Listen to the episode in the player below or subscribe to Geared Up in your favorite podcast app to listen on the go:

Gallery: Geared Up: FaceTime eavesdropping bug, minimalist phones, and rumored Apple gaming subscription service


WWDC iOS 12

During today's WWDC 2018 keynote, Apple announced the next generation of its mobile software in iOS 12. Here are the biggest points of news for iOS 12:

PERFORMANCE

  • Apple is doubling down on performance with the aim of making devices faster and more devices
  • iOS 12 will be available on all the same devices that support iOS 11 - this includes devices that shipped back in 2013.
  • Apps launch twice as fast on devices running iOS 12 on even the oldest devices

AUGMENTED REALITY

  • A major update in iOS 12 is more AR support. Adobe took the stage to introduced simplified tools that will allow developers to create better AR experiences.
  • There's a new file format for AR, called USDZ, created in collaboration with Pixar.
  • A new app, Measure, will allow you to take measurements in real-time using an iOS device with AR. A demo was shown measuring a suitcase using just an iPhone X.
  • Support for shared experiences is announced - multiple users can see the same AR environment in real-time. This allows developers to create worlds that people can all see simultaneously.
  • LEGO took the stage to demo a shared AR LEGO app

PHOTOS

  • The Photos app gets new updates and features, starting with search. Search Suggestions will highlight things like key moments, places you've taken photos, business names, and events like concerts and sporting events. You can search for multiple terms, like surfing and vacation, to drill down into your library.
  • Effect suggestions give you reccomendations to edits you can make to your photos to make them even better.
  • Sharing suggestions will find people in your photos and allow you to share them with the folks who are in them. Shared photos are full resolution.
  • When you share, the receiver will also be given a suggestion to share photos from the same event with you.

SIRI

  • Siri Shortcuts allows you to pull in specific tasks from your apps. An example given was "I lost my keys" to have Siri activate your Tile hardware.
  • You can create your own Siri Shortcuts as well, so you can put together your own shortcut phrases.
  • A demo was shown using Siri Shortcuts - the user said "travel plans" and got their hotel reservation with an image, address, and check-in time from Siri
  • A "Heading Home" shortcut is able to set the home thermostat, play a podcast, send an ETA to a contact, and turn on a HomeKit fan. Very impressive stuff.

APPS

  • The News app gets an updated sidebar to make navigation easier
  • The Stocks app gets more granular vision to see stock performance. Apple News stories are now integrated into the Stocks app as well, giving you business news on the stocks that you follow.
  • The Stocks app now comes to iPad with iOS 12.
  • Voice Memos app also comes to iPad with iOS 12, with iCloud support built-in for syncing across devices.
  • iBooks becomes Apple Books with a redesigned app.
  • In iOS 12, CarPlay will support third-party navigation apps.

DIGITAL HEALTH

  • Do Not Disturb is updated to hide notifications at night, and in the morning hides notifications until you specify that you want to see them.
  • Do Not Disturb allows you to choose much more granular timeframes rather than just optimized for overnight.
  • Notifications can be turned on or off on a per-app basis right from the lock screen
  • Notifications can now be grouped by app, topic, or thread. With a swipe, you can dismiss an entire group of notifications.
  • A new feature called Screentime offers reports, giving a weekly summary that shows how you used your iOS device. This shows how much time you spend in each app, how often per hour you pick up your phone, and which apps are sending you the most notifications.
  • App Limits allows you to set a limited amount of time that you'd like to use specific apps per day. 
  • Kids get activity reports too, and parents get reports on their own devices of their kids usage. Parents can also create downtime periods and app limits. This is setup through the Family Sharing interfaces.

MESSAGES

  • Animoji now support tongue detection for sticking tongues out
  • New ghost, koala, tiger, and T-Rex Animoji characters
  • Apple announces Memoji, allowing you to create your own customized 3D emoji character that looks like you
  • Memoji has a slick creator app to design your character
  • The Messages camera now includes effects, filters, stickers, and even Animoji and Memoji right in the camera

FACETIME

  • Apple announces Group FaceTime, which allows you to chat with up to 32 simultaneous participants
  • You can use both audio or video
  • FaceTime is integrated into Messages, allowing you to quickly do a Group FaceTime right from a group chat
  • A demo is shown, and as people speak, they become bigger on screen, or you can choose who to bring front and center
  • The same effects mentioned above in Messages also applies to the FaceTime camera

Improved performance, new AR experiences, digital health, improved Messages, Group FaceTime, and more. That's iOS 12.

Gallery: WWDC 2018: Apple announces iOS 12


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