The WWDC Keynote is tomorrow, and predictions are everywhere. Although, just like mine, most seem to be nothing more than guesses. Some may be more educated than others, but it feels like there is even less solid information out there this year than last, and that’s saying something. Apple may struggle keeping hardware a secret, but they seem to have the software side down on lockdown.
I’ve covered predictions relating to Siri, the iPad Pro, the Apple Watch, iOS 12, and Services over the last three weeks. Now, as we enter the final stretch toward the big event, here are some of the best of the rest that I hope we will see tomorrow.
There have been several reports that a less expensive HomePod is coming on the heels of the original’s release earlier this year. While Apple offering a product that costs less than the current HomePod’s $349 seems like a no-brainer at some point, I have already stated my personal opinion that it is too early for Apple to make this move. If Apple doesn’t push Siri and its capabilities to power an intelligent speaker forward first, they risk a more affordable HomePod falling flat. That could really stunt the future potential of their efforts in a category that is still in its infancy.
I’ve been wondering where Apple would go next with wearables. Today, we have a report from the ever-busy Ming-Chi Quo indicting that Apple will be following up their very successful AirPods with a brand new set of Apple-branded over-the-ear headphones.
There are plenty of great articles around pointing out some of the best iOS and general tech deals coming up over the next few days. If that is more what you are after, take a look at BGR’s or The Huffington Post’s Apple Black Friday Deals Articles. For this Holiday Gift Guide, I’m going to focus less on what sales are out there, and more on potential gifts that can fill various needs for the iOS users in your life.
The first wave of iPhone Xs will be here in just three short days. Time is growing short to finish up preparations that require purchases, so let’s take a look at two more areas that some of you will want to address before your X arrives. Screen protectors have been with us since the first iPhone, and with the price of screen replacements only going up (which I touched on in my installment on AppleCare+), they make more sense than ever. As for headphones, earbuds, aux cords, etc, this won’t be a problem for any of you who are coming from an iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. However, the rest of you need to consider the fact that the X will likely be your first phone without a built-in headphone jack. Let’s take a look at some of your options.
I didnâ€™t pick up an iPhone 7 after its announcement, but I was still quite excited by the announcement of the W1 chip thatâ€™s going into the AirPods and other Beats products. Bluetooth devices with the W1 chip have a few interesting features:
- theyâ€™re more power efficient
- they fast-charge, a few minutes can get you hours of battery life
- you can pair them with an iPhone by just holding them near it and tapping on a prompt
- once paired with an iPhone, W1-equipped headphones will auto-pair with all Apple devices via iCloud
This last point really got me excited, and that was the bit of Apple Magic Iâ€™d been hoping to see. Iâ€™ve been using wireless headphones for about two or three years now (first with the Sony MDR-10rBT and then the Jaybird Bluebuds X), and I really canâ€™t go back to using wired headphones on-the-go. Iâ€™ll use them at home, but Iâ€™ve become spoiled enough that the wires are insufferably inconvenient when I step outside of my house.
I know that wireless still costs in terms of sound quality, and Iâ€™m very willing to make that tradeoff, but thereâ€™s a limit to that. I bought the Beats Solo3 soon after they came out. They were hilariously expensive at $380 CAD (including tax), but I really wanted the convenience that Apple was touting with the W1.