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

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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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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 Microsoft, Apple, and Nintendo.


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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.


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.


Latest Gear Live Videos

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


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.


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


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