David Lewis Talking Tech & Audio

Air Tags, Apple Music & iOS news

a round-up of this week’s Apple news including news on AirTags

(11th February 2022)

Air Tag

Air Tags

After much unwanted attention and stories of malicious misuse, Air Tag, this week, got their biggest update yet, so much so, it almost feels like a brand-new product launch.

It seems as if Apple has listened to the stories of Air Tag being used to stalk people, rather than track down lost keys, wallets, and bags with some major updates. Firstly, when setting up Air Tag, a stern, on screen privacy message will clearly warn you that misuse will not be tolerated and in any such instances, Apple will fully cooperate with law enforcement. In and of itself, not much I am aware, but that is only the first of numerous steps taken. Let’s not forget, if your intention was always to use AirTags for stalking, it is about the worse device you could possibly choose, as they are registered to your device and Apple ID. Precision Finding was until now, solely only able to be used to find your tags, but with this update, if notified that an unwanted tag is following you, you can now use Precision Finding to locate it.

There have been numerous tories of Air Tag speakers being disabled to prevent audio warnings from being heard. To circumnavigate that, a message will now be displayed along with the louder audio warnings too. And finally, you’ll be notified sooner if an unidentified tag is nearby. Apple, understandably, are not releasing how soon, but it seems as if it will be within 30 minutes or so. All great steps forward, I am sure you’ll agree.

iOS & iPad 15.3.1

Move on…nothing to read about here, just two very minor security fixes as we wait for 15.4 update due in March which will herald the exciting stuff such as Face ID, Universal Control and some new emojis.

Spring event

As yet, still unconfirmed by Apple themselves, but there seems to be good reason to believe it will be going ahead Tuesday 8th March. The products expected to be announced are only a new iPad Air and the iPhone SE 5G. Excited….not so much!

Supply chain easing

One thing that should be making Apple smile, is that one of their key suppliers, Foxconn, anticipate supply issues greatly easing this year. According to a Bloomberg report, the largest assembler of both iPhones & iPads say signs are encouraging that there should be a marked improvement in parts shortages, such as chips etc during 2022.

Apple Music subscription changes

Apple Music has been in our midst since 2015. One factor that has always helped set it apart, was the initial free, three-month trial period. Well, Apple feels that they are now well enough established in the music streaming marketplace and that is finally to be waived. New users will now only get one month free, after which auto-renewal payments will kick in. Buyers of Beats products, AirPods Gen 3, AirPods Max, AirPods Pro and HomePod will, however, still be entitled to the existing six-month trial.

In associated music streaming news, Apple have shown their hand and given us more details about the soon-to-be launched classical only music streaming service. Rumours started to circulate last year, when Apple acquired Primephonic. In the latest Apple Music beta release within AndroidOS, Apple Classical can now be found. Expect to see it on iOS later this year. Pricing is yet to be decided, or whether it will simply be part of the standard subscription.

AirPods Max redesign?

There are few leaks about AirPods Max 2 circulating, but a newly granted patent to Apple could give us a clue of the way things are heading…possibly! It seems the digital crown could soon become a thing of the past as touch control gestures make their way to AirPod Max 2. Touch controls on AirPods Max 2 could make it easier to jump songs, invoke Siri, turn the volume up or down, and more.

AR/VR headset developments

Apple themselves seemed to have confirmed a new piece of software named RealityOS. The software can be found in the App Store logs. The OS has its own binaries and operating system. There will also be a simulator for developers which will enable developers to work out the coding and X codes, helping them to see how it will look and function. But, if you are eagerly awaiting an Apple AR/VR future, not wanting to put too much of a dampener on it….they’re likely to cost between £2000 – £3000. Still tempted?

New UAE Apple Store

Apple has their eyes set on opening another store in the UAE. Following on from the ‘reimagining’ of its Yas Mall store, it seems the next one will be in the business and luxury hotel region on Al Maryah Island. Its official line, as of now, is that it is ‘too soon’, but it will be happening. Currently, the site is in a wrap based on images of pearls & pearl divers.

And finally….

Apple this week announced stunning sales figures from the recent Holiday Season. A report this week shows they shipped and sold 40 million iPhones! For context, the Samsung Galaxy S1 series of flagship phones sold 20 -25 million…for the entireyear. The iPhone 13, which was only released in the autumn of 2021 sold almost twice that amount in a quarter of the time!!

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 11, 2022.

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