On Gear Live: Geared Up: Apple cancels AirPower, Top 5 HomeKit Smart Devices!

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Apple Cancels AirPower

Apple has cancelled the long-awaited AirPower wireless charging mat, and I go over what went wrong and why it was an uphill battle from the beginning.

I also bring you a look at my top 5 favorite HomeKit-compatible smart home devices. These all work with Siri and Apple devices, but if you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, each one will be compatible with your home too!

Lastly, I talk about the upcoming Sega Genesis Mini retro gaming console, including when we can expect it to be released and which games will be included - all in this episode of Geared Up!

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 the latest smart home devices.


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Apple TV+

Apple unveiled a host of new services at their March 25th event this week (be sure to check out my full wrap-up video of the Apple event!), and we take a look at each one in this episode of Geared Up!

  • Apple TV+ is the company's new original TV and movie subscription service.
  • Apple Card is a credit card from Apple that aims to change the way consumers use and view credit cards and their financial data.
  • Apple News+ is a new subscription news service that gives you unlimited access to over 300 magazines and newspapers for a flat monthly fee.
  • Apple Arcade is a subscription gaming service with 100 exclusive games for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac.

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 its new services.

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What is Apple TV+?

Apple finally unveiled details about its subscription video streaming service, Apple TV+, at its It's Show Time Apple Event today. There were several components to the Apple TV+ announcement, starting with an updated TV app for the Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even smart TVs and competing streaming sticks.

The TV app is free to use, and aims to bring in content from all of your favorite channels and apps (no Netflix, though,) all into one interface. Part of this is a new feature called Apple TV Channels, where you can choose to add free and pay services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, CBS All Access, and more and watch all content right there. Apple handles the actual video streams, guaranteeing picture quality and sound will both be top-notch. The new TV app, which drops in May, will also provide customized and personalized recommendations for shows it thinks you'll want to watch, based on your viewing habits. Apple says processing is done locally on your devices, and your viewing remains completely private.

As far as the content play, Apple TV+ will introduce a bunch of original programming that will be part of the service. Several Hollywood stars and personalities took the stage to talk about their prohects today, including Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, Jason Momoa, Kumail Nanijani, J.J. Abrams, Sara Bareilles, Big Bird, and Oprah Winfrey. Apple is said to be spending roughly $2 billion on original content this year which it hopes will be able to set them apart from services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and similar.

Click to continue reading Apple TV+: Apple’s new video subscription service announced


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Apple Arcade lineup

During today's It's Show Time Apple Event, Apple showed off its new video game service - Apple Arcade. Apple Arcade is a game subscription service that provides users with access to over 100 games that are exclusive to the service - that's right, the entire catalogue is not only exclusive to iOS and macOS, but exclusive to the Apple Arcade service itself. Rather than another game streaming service like Google Stadia, Apple Arcade users install their games through the App Store, so that they can be played anywhere without the need for an Internet connection.

Apple showed various games which include familiar franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, and mentioned that we will see original titles from Will Wright, SEGA, Cartoon Network, Konami, LEGO, and more. More than just selecting games for the service, Apple is also helping with the development costs of the games as well.

Apple Arcade will launch this fall in over 150 countries, with pricing to be announced later (we assume at Apple's annual September event.)


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.


Apple News+ subscription

During today's It's Show Time Apple Event, the company unveiled Apple News+, an all-you-can-eat subscription news service that gives you unlimited access to newspapers and magazines. Apple News+ is found within the Apple News app itself, which ships on all iOS and macOS devices. Some of the notable inclusions in Apple News+ are the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, Bazaar, InStyle, Sports Illustrated, and more. In all, there are over 300 magazines that will be available with a single subscription. 

As Apple noted on stage, none of the publications get your personal information. Privacy is paramount, and even Apple doesn't know which magazines or articles you choose to read.

Apple News+ will cost $9.99 per month, and in a great move, it is available for families for no extra charge which means that same $10 allows you and up to 5 other family members to access the service. You can access Apple News+ starting today, and the first month is free.

What do you think? Will you be giving Apple News+ a shot?


This week Apple announced a slew of new hardware products with the return of the iPad Air, an update to the iPad mini, new AirPods, and spec bumps for the iMac. In addition, Google revealed their vision for the future of gaming - it's cloud-based, and it's called Stadia.

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 Google.


Check out my Serena Shades by Lutron review - these are smart shades for smart homes that have been installed here in my home, and in this episode of Geared Up I bring you my thoughts. I use Serena Shades HomeKit integration for controlling them in my home, but there is also Serena Shades Alexa integration, along with Google Assistant, making them very versatile. Head to 16:15 in the video for the full rundown!

Subscribe to the Geared Up podcast for free:

Also, Apple is getting ready to launch new services - a video streaming service that will compete with Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now, and Hulu is one, and the other is a news subscription service that will give you access to a bunch of newspapers and magazines for one monthly fee. The Apple event takes place on March 25th, and we talk about what we expect to see and how it'll change the industry.

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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:


As part of CES 2019, I spent a lot of time with Panasonic (they were one of our sponsors this year,) checking out a bunch of their current and future tech innovations. We shot a video that teased the top 5 tech that we were going to be exploring in the booth, (don't miss the Harley Davidson electric motorcycle!) Here's the breakdown:

  1. Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle
  2. Panasonic Projection Mapping and Real-Time Tracking
  3. Panasonic CIRRUS Intelligent Transportation Solution
  4. Human Characteristic Sensing and AI
  5. SPACe_C eMobility Concept 48v ePowertrain platform
  6. ELS Studio 3D Premium Audio System (bonus!)

Click to continue reading Panasonic Lumix S1, Harley-Davidson LiveWire and more from Panasonic’s CES 2019 booth!


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