Allison interviews Alan Jacobson from Satechi about a range of products all matched to the colors and finishes of Apple’s MacBook, MacBook Pro and iPhone. Alan described a power strip, dock, headphones, headphone stand, Apple Watch charging stand, numeric keypad, mousepad, laptop stand, USB-C disk enclosure, magnetic phone mount and bluetooth presenter, all offered in aluminum, space gray, gold and rose gold colors. The setting is the CES Conference show floor.
Mikah Sargent, senior editor at Mobile Nations and podcaster at RelayFM joins us to compare and contrast how Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon help with home automation and other tasks around the house. He has a vast array of Home Automation devices from Hue lights to Eve sensors to an Ecobee thermostat to an August smart lock so he’s got the experience. I found Mikah’s intelligent commentary combined with his light humor to be a delightful combination.
Allison interviews Ashton Good from Kwikset about their new Premis line of smart locks for home use. Premis smart locks have a capacitive touchscreen and allow you to control and monitor lock status from anywhere using the Premis iOS app and an Apple TV. Premis locks are HomeKit compatible and use Apple’s approved end-to-end encryption to ensure security. The setting is the CES Conference show floor.
I’ve mentioned many times that I got really lucky in the husband department. Last week highlights that. Steve gets up pretty early (especially for a retired guy) and when the AirPods went on sale early one morning, he immediately ordered me a set before the ship dates moved out to January. They arrived a day early, on the 20th and he didn’t make me wait till Christmas to open them.
The promise of the AirPods is many fold. One aspect is that they’re supposed to make pairing much easier. Let’s see if Apple really got rid of this major annoyance. We’ll start with the first experience of opening them up.
Packaging and Setup
People seem to be getting disenchanted with Apple in some ways but it’s indisputable that they do packaging like no one else. The AirPods come in a very small plastic case that acts as the charger. I was really surprised at how small it is, It’s about 2 x 1.5 x .75 inches. It looked a lot bigger in the photos I saw ahead of time. Remember the case itself charges the AirPods, so It has a Lightning port on the bottom.
When I got the 2016 Touch Bar 15″ MacBook Pro, it was only about a month after I’d done an involuntary nuke and pave on my 2013 MacBook Pro. For those unfamiliar with the term nuke and pave, that’s when you erase everything, including the operating system, and then install everything from scratch. You can drag your documents over from a backup or another Mac, but you don’t bring over network settings or license files or any customizations you’ve made.
I have lauded the benefits of a nuke and pave over the years on the podcast and I’m a huge believer in doing it around once a year. It’s painful and time consuming (think days before everything is back to “just so”) but the advantages of speed and freed up disk space are enormous. Your Mac will feel like it did when it was new.
Before I go on this particular rant, I want to make sure to state that I have been incredibly blessed in my life in every way and that I realize this is a petty and small problem I feel compelled to describe to you.
When it comes to ordering Apple gear, I fell like the cartoon character Ziggy. Remember him? He’s the guy for whom everything seems to go wrong.
If you’ve been listening for a long time, you’ll remember when the iPhone 4 first came out. Rather than have it delivered to my house, I pre-ordered and got up at the crack of dawn and stood in line outside the Apple Store at 6:30 am. But while everyone who chose home delivery happily got theirs throughout the day, it took TEN HOURS for me to get my phone.
This week we’ve got the Mini Metro iOS and Mac game review by Allister Jenks, tutorials on how to turn off NAT-PMP and UPnP on your router so you don’t become part of the botnet, Trekz Titanium Headphone review from AfterShokz by Bart Busschots, a handy diagram to explain the crazy new lineup of MacBooks Pro, and a review of CarPlay by Dorothy R.
As soon as Allison heard I had a new car that included CarPlay, she had to know more. All the details, in their technical glory. Specifically a NosillaCast review. So before I could even get started, I had to define …
The problem to be solved: how to make better use of my phone while driving when my car only has an Aux connection and no BlueTooth.
Solution: Buy a new car with CarPlay.
I am now the owner of a new Volkswagen. While I am sorry to leave my Civic behind, I love all the new technology. Especially Apple CarPlay, which promises to marry my phone and car, leaving me with a smooth uninterrupted experience. I should point out that Hubs has a new car too. A Ford with CarPlay. So we’ve been able to exchange notes on what’s the same and what isn’t. But, it seems pretty consistent. CarPlay is CarPlay, no matter which car it runs on.
After the big Apple announcement, I sang the virtues of the new MacBook Pro. However, there appears to be some confusion about all of the different models Apple introduced. Dave Hamilton expressed consternation on the Mac Geek Gab about how much harder Apple has made it to choose the right model.
I thought to myself, how hard could this be? I decided to make a simple diagram to help people choose. I did make the diagram, but it’s anything but simple!
Let’s start with what to call these different models. Apple calls the big MacBook Pro simply “MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016)”. Ok, that’s easy enough. But the two 13″ models have a TON of differences between them which really muddies up the naming. Apple chose to name the two models:
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
While the name is clumsy, you can actually pick up a Late 2016 13″ MacBook Pro and tell them apart simply by counting the Thunderbolt 3 ports. But for our diagram we need to understand all of the differences.
Something appears to be fishy with Apple’s databases, based on my story of how someone else’s credit card got into my account. Mark Pouley of Twin Lakes Images gives a great review of the Easy Pill medication tracker and reminder for iOS. I’ll tell you why I think doing a clean install of your OS from time to time and not using Migration Assistant is a good idea, but I’ll follow that up with all the little fiddly bits I’ve had to modify to get things running again. Bart Busschots is back with Security Bits where he gives us an update on the security of the Internet of Things and more information that’s been coming out, along with all of the rest of this week’s security news.