On Gear Live: Geared Up: Hot New Apple Watch Features Coming to watchOS 7 & More Apple Rumors w/ Guest Jon Prosser

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TCL Cut the Cord Day Giveaway

TCL, America's fastest-growing TV brand, is celebrating National Cut the Cord Day by giving away 7 huge prize packages - all featuring its fantastic line of smart 4K Roku TVs. Each day, between July 1st and 6th 7, there will be seven winners chosen to win each days prize package - and each day the prizes get more and more elaborate. On July 7th, one grand prize winner will be chosen to talk away with a 75-inch TCL 6-Series, TCL Alto 7+ sound bar, Mohu Blade Premium OTA antenna, Tablo Dual Lite OTA DVR, along with gift cards for YouTube TV, Showtime, and FandangoNow.

Why does TCL celebrate National Cut the Cord Day? Well, the company is always about providing great calue to their customers, and doing away with a monthly cable bill without having to give up access to your favorite shows is absolutely a good move. TCL TVs feature Roku's smart TV platform built-in, right out of the box, so you can instantly access all your favorite streaming TV apps like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and many more. In fact, Roku has over 5,000 streaming apps and thousands upon thousands of pieces of content to watch. Additionally, TCL TVs pack in a TV tuner, so all you need to do is connect an OTA antenna to access your local channels at no cost.

Head on over to the TCL Cut the Cord Day Giveaway page in order to enter, and to learn more about cutting the cord from cable! Here's a look at some of TCL's product line:


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Nintendo Switch Mini vs Switch

This week on Geared Up, we talk about the latest rumors say that Microsoft is working on a new secret new foldable Surface tablet device that will be able to run Android apps and iCloud services, with a stripped down Windows Core OS - this will likely be more of a mobile device than a laptop, with LTE and 5G options available. This reminds me of the Microsoft Courier project from back in 2009 - take a look at the embedded video below!

Nintendo is ready to release two new updates to the Nintendo Switch lineup. First, a new miniature version of the popular Switch console that will likely be the successor to the Nintendo 3DS. In addition, there will be a more powerful Nintendo Switch "Pro" that will be 4K-capable when docked, with an upgrade to a 1080p display on the Switch unit itself.

Apple and Spotify's battle intensifies in court, with the two companies going back-and-forth in a public battle.

Finally, we also talk about the death of YouTube creator, Etika, and the state of mental health of content creators in this day and age.

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LINKS MENTIONED IN THE SHOW

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

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


Apple Mac Pro and Pro XDR Display

E3 2019 is in the books, and Microsoft Xbox came out swinging! In this episode of Geared Up, we talk about all the big announcements coming out of the Xbox E3 keynote.

First up, Project Scarlett - the all-new next-generation Xbox console that will be launching toward the end of 2020. Microsoft says Project Scarlett will be four times more powerful than the Xbox One X (currently, the most powerful game console on the market.) Additionally, the company announced and demo'd Project Xcloud. Xcloud goes into beta in October and allows gamers to play their Xbox games anywhere they have WiFi or cell connectivity.

In addition to all the Xbox news, we pick up where we left off in the last episode to talk in depth about the upcoming Apple Mac Pro.

I also mentioned the new Ecobee Smart Thermostat that I've been testing - here's the video if you want to check it out:

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 and Xbox.


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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.


iPadOS features

The iPad now gets its own dedicated version of iOS, which Apple is calling iPadOS - here are some of the highlight iPadOS features, announced during WWDC 2019:

  • You can now pin widgets to the home screen
  • Slide-over now gets a card interface for multitaking, similar to what you get on an iPhone
  • Split-View now allows for multi-window capability. So you can have two instances of the same app side-by-side. Examples shown were apps like Pages, Notes, and Microsoft Word. You can have multiple apps side by side within multitasking as well.
  • The Files app now supports folder sharing,SMB network shares, and thumb drive, external hard drive, and SD card support.
  • Safari on iPad is now a desktop browser rather than mobile browser, so you get the full desktop-class experience on the iPad. This includes 30 keyboard shortcuts, a download manager, and more.
  • Fonts management
  • Text editing is improved. Use the scroll indicator to drag directly to an area in a document. Text selection now works with a tap and drag. Three-finger pinch for copy, and three-finger expand for paste, with three-finger swipe to undo.
  • Apple Pencil latency has been improved from 20ms down to 9ms, making it even more responsive. Drag your pencil up from the corner of the screen to immediately go into markup mode no matter where you are.

iOS 13 features

During today's WWDC 2019 keynote, Apple announced iOS 13, the next major release of its major mobile operating system platform.

  • iOS 13 is even faster and performance has been tuned across the board. This results in 50% smaller app downloads, 60% smaller app updates, and 2x faster app launching than in iOS 12.
  • Dark Mode was announced for iOS 13, a feature that users have been asking for for years. We saw Notes, Messages, News, Music, Photos, and other Apple apps in dark mode.
  • Swipe gesture support is added to the keyboard
  • New share sheet will offer suggestions when it finds people in photos, and offer people you typically share with.
  • Apple Music now supports time-synced lyrics
  • New apps - Notes gets a gallery view and shared folders, Safari, Mail
  • New Reminders app will recognize what you type, keep smart lists, allows for tagging people, and more
  • Maps are being rebuilt from the ground-up, completely rolled out in the US by the end of 2019. Collections allows you to save a bunch of locations in a folder. New Look Around feature brings Street View functionality to Apple Maps. You'll be able to share an up-to-date ETA with friends going forward.
  • Privacy: You can now grant apps access to your location just once. Wi-Fi & Bluetooth backdoor tracking is shut off. New Sign In with Apple allows you to sign into Web sites without being tracked the way you are with Facebook and Google sign ins - you can choose what info you provide to an app. If you give them email access, Apple will give them a fake email that forwards to your real email.
  • HomeKit: Apple announces HomeKit Secure Video - videos are analyzed in your home instead of in the cloud, using iPad, Apple TV, HomePod, and more.
  • Messages: You can share your name and photo in Messages, which lets you control who sees your name and picture.
  • New Memoji options let you add eye shadow, lipstick, piercings, teeth, earrings, hair, hats, glasses, AirPods, and more. Memoji Stickers will take your Memoji and add a bunch of expressions that can be used on any device with an A9 processor or later.
  • Camera: New High Key Mono portrait lighting effect. You can also move the lights closer or further away from your subject when in Portrait Lighting mode.
  • Photos: New photo editing tools in Photos allow you to adjust your pictures in new ways. Apple also says these same effects can be used with videos as well - filters and effects are supported. Browsing large photo libraries is now easier as Apple intelligently hides duplicates, receipts, whiteboards, etc. You can still get to them, but they won't show up right in the main library. Apple will also let you sort by year, month, days, and All Photos, making it really easy to browse the greatest hits of your photo library.
  • AirPods: Siri can instantly read you your new messages as they arrive, and you can respond with your voice right away. New Audio Sharing feature allows you to share audio with a friend.
  • HomePod: Apple brings Handoff to HomePod. Bring your phone near a HomePod to have it continue your music, phone call, podcast, etc. right where you left off. HomePod will also recognize who's talking and personalize its response, giving it multi-user support, including for apps like Music, Notes, Messages, Reminders, and more.
  • CarPlay: Siri will work with third-party apps like Pandora and Waze in the car.
  • Siri now sounds a lot more natural with cadence and emphasis, using Neural TTS. The voice is now completely generated in software rather than using clips from a voice actor.
  • You'll also be able to sent calls from unknown callers directly to voicemail.

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.


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.


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.


Home is the Key Habitat for Humanity

I often spend time talking about smart homes and amazing smart home tech, voice assistants, and other ways to use new digital technology to control and manage your home from the palm of your hand or with the sound of your voice. It’s futuristic and fun, but it’s also a privilege. I’m fully aware of the position I’m in as a tech expert and reviewer as someone who gets to play with these fantastic toys early and often - but even more so, to be able to live comfortably without having to worry about having a place to call home, or how I am going to pay the next month’s mortgage or rent bill. However, this is not the case for many, many people, and that’s why I’ve teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to shed some light on the affordable housing crisis that we’re seeing here in the USA and to let you know about the Home is the Key campaign.

What does the word “home” mean to you? What thoughts and feelings does it bring to your mind? As I’ve been thinking about this over the past couple of weeks, I never settle on just one thought. First, I think of the home I grew up in as a kid with my family, full of love, great food, laughter, support, and plenty of harmless sibling rivalry to go around. It’s the home where I came from, and the place where I felt safe to try new things, fail at things, and plant the seeds of where I wanted to go as an adult. It was a very important place for me, especially, as a child who grew up in the foster care system to finally have a place - a home and a family - to call my own. I’d seen both sides of the fence - As a child I’d been homeless, I’d lived in poverty, I’d moved from place to place, and at the end I found that true “home.”

Click to continue reading Home is the Key: Helping America’s Housing Crisis #HomeIsTheKey


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