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

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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.

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


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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


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.


Latest Gear Live Videos

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.

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


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


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!

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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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