Apple to live stream their September 10th iPhone Event on YouTube for first time!

In a surprise move, Apple have just posted that they will, outside of the usual Apple.com as well as Apple TV, that they will, for the first time, we allowing users to livestream the Apple Event via YouTube.

Whilst the idea isn’t that amazing, it does open up the possibility for more users to watch the Event, such as Android or Windows devices, which previously didn’t play too well with Apple’s HTML5 Streaming on it’s website, likely due to some custom WebKit elements.

The Apple Event is expected to debut the next flagship iPhone models, possibly some new Apple Watch designs, and more. You’ll be able to watch the Event, either via Apple or YouTube via the below;

EE bows down to pressure from Vodafone and Three, finally offering Unlimited Data Plans for 4G, and, more importantly, 5G!

Competition is really starting to begin in the UK since Vodafone started offering truly Unlimited Plans, a move naturally following Three who had previously offered Unlimited for some time. EE, however, hasn’t offered an Unlimited Plan for a good while, not since it was created via the Orange and T-Mobile merger, so news that the network will be offering Unlimited, is a pretty big deal!

However, how does this compare, and what’s O2 being doing, let’s have a look at all offerings and we’ll summarise.

Three

Three has always offered Unlimited Data, minus one off moment, so it’s no surprise the Carrier is offering 5G and they’re certainly offering it for a great price! The problem with Three, and likely why they offer it for this price, is Three has a wide reputation for being, easily, the least available network in the UK for coverage.

Three do offer the same Unlimited Data plan on a 30 day roll-over plan for, still a very cheap, just £26, which is still less than any of the rivals offer Unlimited Data. As with all the upcoming, the Unlimited Data Plans come with Personal Hotspot capability and standard Calls and Texts, with exception of premium rate numbers and MMS.

One thing that’s incredible, is that they include 5G when it rolls out in your area, if not already there now, just a shame about Three’s real-world network availability.

Vodafone

Vodafone has done Unlimited like no other Carrier we’re about to mention, Vodafone offer Unlimited Data, which includes standard Calls and Texts, but based on speed tiers and extras for the end result. The price above is the £30 standard to get the same as Three offer, strictly Unlimited Data, Calls and Texts at the best speed, which like Three includes 5G.

For a network as vastly available as Vodafone, this is a big deal, especially as Vodafone are the Network typically considered on the pricey side, however it’s IMPORTANT TO CHECK WHICH UNLIMITED PLAN YOU GET, we can’t stress that more, and we’ll do so in a simple speed and price stat below on a 12 month SIM Only plan;

  • UNLIMITED LITE = £23 / Max speed 2mbps
  • UNLIMITED = £26 / Max speed 10mbps
  • UNLIMITED MAX = £30 / Fastest speed available with no cap including 5G

(All plans above are an extra £2 for 30-day rolling)

So, it goes without saying, only consider plans with Unlimited Max. All Vodafone’s non-Unlimited plans don’t have speed caps either, only the “Unlimited Lite” and “Unlimited”.

Unlimited or Unlimited Max With Entertainment 

Vodafone also offer Unlimited Data plans with Entertainment as an additional price, the standard £26 Unlimited Plan becomes £32, and Unlimited Max becomes £36, but what do you get, well, your choice of one of these;

  • Amazon Prime Video – The same £5.99 plan
  • Spotify Premium
  • NOW TV – One plan
  • Sky Sports Mobile TV

EE

This is where things get really interesting. For those who saw EE’s initial launch 5G Plans and prices, we won’t hide anything, EE 5G launched with £32 being the cheapest price with a 20GB Data Cap, prices risen to £47 for 40GB, not decent prices at all.

Now, however things are a lot more rosy, however EE is the only Carrier NOT offering 5G inclusive in existing 4G plans like Vodafone and Three, so you will have to specifically choose a 5G plan, if you want one.

EE will offer unlimited 4G for £34 for 12 months, which is great for EE, but remember it’s not 5G, none of EE’s Swappable Benefits (we’ll get to those) and a data cap of 60mbps on the download, which, we won’t lie, is still pretty decent. You can get 2 Swappable Benefits on that for £39.

For 5G, you can finally go Unlimited on EE 5G plans, which trust us is vitally important, and EE will offer you truly Unlimited 5G for £44 per month with 3 Swappable Benefits. Granted, that’s still pretty pricey, but if you actually care about the 3 Swappable Benefits, they could pay for themselves. What are Swappable Benefits, well let’s have a look;

EE Swappable Benefits;

EE’s Swappable Benefits are actually pretty decent, and are one of the reasons EE justifies their price tag on their new highly improved plans, whether they’re worth it will be up to you, as for 5G they’re not option, but here’s what they offer;

  • Amazon Prime Video – The same £5.99 plan
  • EE Video Data Pass – Services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BT Sport and Amazon Prime Video won’t use up your data plan, separately available for £8.99
  • EE Music Data Pass – Services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer won’t use up your data plan, separately available for £7.99
  • Roam Further Pass – Allows inclusive roaming data (for now EU included) to further locations such as USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, separately available for £10
  • BT Sport
  • EE Gamer’s Data Pass – Games such as Pokémon GO, Harry Potter Wizards Unite, FIFA and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes won’t use up your data plan.

It’s worth noting, we’re talking about Unlimited Data Plans, so unless you choose Prime Video, Rome Further or BT Sport, you’re hardly going to benefit, but for plans that are Limited, these are pretty decent.

O2 … where are you?

O2 currently are yet to offer 5G, with an expected launch this November. For now, however, the highest plan O2 offer is 120GB of data for £30, 12 months. We guess time will tell whether O2 will offer Unlimited at all, never mind 5G, but for now there’s just the three to choose from.

UPDATE 13/09 = O2 have finally announced Unlimited Data on their 4G for £35, making them the most expensive for the service, however for more on this and their 5G plans, click here!

Summary – Which offers the best?

As with everything, it depends. If you live in an area, and will always be in an area, where you can get decent Three service, for the price they offer, it’s a no brainer. However, most don’t, which puts the option to Vodafone and EE.

Both Vodafone and EE are seemingly comparable for what they offer as additional benefits, whilst Vodafone is the better for price, after Three, offering Unlimited 5G for £30 (or £32 30-day), they also offer for just £32, the option to include service for just £2 more. However, EE offer a lot more inclusive, but if you read between the lines, EE don’t offer much for Unlimited users, as 3 of their 6 Swappable Benefits are to help against running out of data, they’re amazing if you aren’t Unlimited, but if you are, you’re not left with much, and if you want Amazon it’s straight up cheaper to go Vodafone for the same deal, which settles that then.

Best Network and Plan for Unlimited Data (with 5G) = Vodafone

…however

Best Network and Plan for Unlimited Data (with 5G) for those subscribers to Prime, BT Sport and like to travel = EE

Best Network and Plan for Unlimited Data (with 5G) at the best price, but maybe not availability = Three

Apple Card not recommended near Denim, Leather (like a Wallet) or loose change … wait, what?!

When Apple launched the Apple Pay service, the company branded it as their steps to replace the Wallet, however, few years later here Apple are with something for your Wallet … however, maybe your Wallet isn’t the place you’d think it would be for the Apple Card, as in the perfect place to put it.

Apple Card is essentially a Goldman Sachs Credit Card, with added Apple bonuses, and what’s arguably one of the most simplest Banking app experience. It’s also a Titanium card, which is bound to get you those looks, what it’s not however, it seems, is practically made.

As noted on a Support page by Apple, on cleaning the Card, a basic thing to offer, let’s be fair, let’s just say Apple definitely reveal a collection of the Apple Cards, shall we say, vulnerabilities. Whilst, naturally any Credit / Debit Card isn’t indestructible, they’re about to seem it in comparison to what Apple claims you should avoid your Apple Card from;

  1. Avoid Leather – According to Apple, ‘Some fabrics, like leather and denim, might cause permanent discoloration that will not wash off’. Yeah, so one of the most popular materials used for Wallets, is not recommended for Apple Card
  2. Avoid other Cards – According to Apple, storing your Apple Card around other Cards could result in permanent scratches
  3. Avoid loose change – Same as Cards really, loose change can cause permanent scratches. I mean, who has loose change in a Wallet…right?
  4. Avoid magnets – Turns out, if you store your Apple Card near magnets, or some metallic straps, it could cause them to become demagnetised
  5. Hard surfaces or materials – This ones a bit more understandable. If the Apple Card is exposed to hard surfaces or materials, it’s possible the coating could get damaged.

Whilst it’s a stretch to say any of them are a common factor with your run-of-the-mill Credit Cards, it’s hard to say that it’s something we’ve had to worry about before, and it definitely makes that magic, eye catching appeal of the Apple Card, just vanish in array of WTF. It begs the question on whether Apple actually tested the Apple Card, as based on all this, it’s clear it’s just a fashion statement with a Card as a disguise.

You can find out more about the Apple Card on Apple’s US website below (as it’s currently US only), or check out the amazing Apple Support page we’re referring to below that.

Apple Card

Apple Support – How to clean your Apple Card

 

Google breaks tradition with Android 10 and we don’t like it!

Google have now finally revealed the name of the next version of Android Q, which begs the obvious question, what dessert have Google chosen this time, something exotic … well, not exactly.

Android 10

Android Q, as it’s been known so far, is Android version 10.0, and as a result it’s now going to be know as Android 10 … no really, that’s the name! Now, you might be there thinking what’s the problem, but the problem is simple. For starters, let’s run over the previous versions of Android;

  • A = Alpha
  • B = Beta
  • C = Cupcake
  • D = Donut
  • E = Eclair
  • F = Froyo
  • G = Gingerbreak
  • H = Honeycomb
  • I = Ice Cream Sandwich
  • J = Jellybean
  • K = Kitkat
  • L = Lollipop
  • M = Marshmallow
  • N = Nougat
  • O = Oreo
  • P = Pie
  • Q = … 10

In fact, it’s more than that, it’s not even going to be Q at all. Guess, Google was scared of running out of letters? To be fair, there’s a lot more difficult letters for desserts, including Q, but that’s no excuse to lose such a charming attribute. The dessert names also gave Android personality, one of the rare instances where it almost made Android less nerdy, the irony about this is the redesigned Font and reduction of the robot is supposed to give Android personality.

But, it’s more than that, as you can see from above, the different versions of Android all have their own corresponding Android Statues at Google HQ, it’s hardly going to look impressive just hosting a 10.

Aren’t you just over-reacting?

Maybe, but this is the end of a legacy. We were all waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the name of the next version of Android, and so to find out it’s simply going to be “Android 10” it’s such a let down, it’s one thing which mere-mortals always talk about when it comes to Android, it was one of the fun factors.

What do you think about Google going back to a more normal OS numbering, we think it’s a shame to see it go, but, as with everything, we’ll get over it.

Samsung announce the Galaxy Note 10 with new 10+ variant

Here it is, Samsung have finally announced the Galaxy Note 10, or should we say they’ve announced a pair of Galaxy Note 10 devices, as this is the first Galaxy Note device with two size options. The Note 10 devices are naturally packed to the punch with the latest specifications and feature the closest Samsung has got to a truly bezel-less display, though the obvious chin still bothers us, like it always does.

The base Note 10 device features a 6.3 inch AMOLED “Cinematic Infinity Display”, but if that’s clearly too small for you, there’s now a Galaxy Note 10+ featuring a 6.8 inch AMOLED “Cinematic Infinity Display”. What’s disappointing about the Note 10 is when you look at the base Note 10, the 6.3 inch display is 2280 x 1080, yes it’s literally a Full HD display at 6.3 inches … which for Samsung, just seems incredibly disappointing. If you do want to step things up to a more traditional resolution, you can get a more Samsung like resolution on the 6.8 inch display with a 3040 x 1440 display. As is the thing with Samsung phones now, the device has a Hole Punch Camera at the front, though now in a much better place, top and centre.

One thing you won’t find on the Galaxy Note 10 is a Headphone Jack … I know Samsung too, though it’s worth noting the Galaxy Fold didn’t have one either. Authentication is done on the Note 10 via a fairly insecure facial recognition or the in-display Fingerprint scanner

The Galaxy Note 10 devices naturally feature the S-pen, which does a bunch of things which the average users will use for at least, maybe, a month. Sorry, we know some like it, but it’s definitely a minor feature.

The devices are equipped with 7-nanometer 64-bit Octa-core processors, though disappointingly the base and plus models have different specs, which we’re not a fan of, the base Note 10 features 8GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage, whereas Note 10+ features 12GB RAM and up to 512GB internal storage. To maintain performance, Samsung claim the Note 10 devices feature “the world’s slimmest vapour chamber cooling system”.

Camera wise, you’ve three of them on the Note 10 and four of them on the Note 10+, because more Cameras equals more cares … right?! Main sensor is a 16MP Ultra Wide Angle Camera, followed by an additional Wide Angle, and a third telephoto Camera. The Note 10+ changes this with the addition of a DepthVision Camera.

Battery wise, you’ve a 3,500mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 10, and a 4,300mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 10+. Other features include super fast charging with 45W wired charging capability for the Note 10+, Wireless PowerShare for charging other Qi-based wireless chargers with the Galaxy Note 10, and 5G options for fast speeds. The Galaxy Note 10+ is available in a 5G variant for those who want 5G speeds, and the LTE models offer up to 2Gb/s download speeds and 150Mb/s upload speeds, though currently only available on select networks, such as Verizon in the US.

Samsung is offering the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ in Aura Glow, Aura White and Aura Black. The Galaxy Note 10 is priced starting at $949.99 (yes the one with a 1080p display, ok we’ll stop, just a dig at those who bantered on the XR), while Galaxy Note 10+ pricing starts at $1099.99. Samsung will begin selling the Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ on August 23, with pre-orders set to kick off on August 8. The Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, priced at $1,299.99, will be a Verizon exclusive at launch.

Samsung Galaxy Fold is apparently all fixed, and, ready for September release!

Galaxy Fold press image

Samsung sure know taught everyone how to get bad press when you want it with the Galaxy Fold, a product which is fairly obvious simply wasn’t ready when announced. Now, however, Samsung claim the device is ready for release, and are promising a, limited at first, launch of the device this coming September.

MKBHD removes the protector

To say the initial release of the Galaxy Fold didn’t go to plan, is a massive understatement, making the press attention from the Note 7 look tame, but if Samsung really have corrected things, that’s great, though it just shows how pressured the company were to release the device, likely to one-up Huawei, who, at the time, were promising an earlier release of their Mate X, something ironically itself has been delayed as well (though Huawei haven’t exactly had a smooth few months).

Whilst the promise of the Fold remains the same, it remains to be seen how Samsung have rectified the many issues the device had from launch. We already know that Samsung have rectified the protective layer at the top of the screen, as shown in the picture below, which was far too easy to both remove and just looked like a regular fingerprint sensor.

The last major issue with the Fold was generally to do with the device both attracting, and having too many exposed areas for muck to get inside, time will tell how Samsung has rectified this, and for nearly $2,000 we certainly hope they have rectified everything.

Apple acquires Intel’s modem business!

Despite fixing recent qualms with Qualcomm, which initially began the switch to Intel modems in iPhones, Apple have now acquired Intel’s modem business for $1BN USD. This won’t just mean Apple could continue work that Intel started in modems, but will also include 2,200 Intel employees, all of which will join Apple. The deal also extends to the bigger picture, being Intel’s intellectual property.

Intel’s Bob Swan had this to say on the deal;

This agreement enables us to focus on developing technology for the 5G network while retaining critical intellectual property and modem technology that our team has created. We’re looking forward to putting our full effort into 5G where it most closely aligns with the needs of our global customer base, including network operators, telecommunications equipment manufacturers and cloud service providers – Bob Swan, CEO Intel

Apple’s SVP, Johny Srouji had this to say on the deal;

We’ve worked with Intel for many years and know this team shares Apple’s passion for designing technologies that deliver the world’s best experiences for our users – Johny Srouji, SVP Apple

It’s worth noting that, after the acquisition completed, Apple will overnight become a pretty major modem company, not just including the fact they will acquire over 17,000 wireless network technology patents, and we all know how much companies love to flaunt their patents … in all seriousness though, this will be a big deal for the future of modem operations, something which Apple themselves will be able to develop for devices beyond just the iPhone.

Whilst Apple are going to be returning to use Qualcomm modems, as agreed with the settlement, Apple’s acquisition of Intel’s modem business is about the bigger picture, the future involving 5G and it should be worth watching this space.

Apple updates MacBook Air line, adds new lower tier Pros and straight up ditches the 12 inch!

Apple have made quite a few behind the scene changes to their Mac notebook line, and whilst none of them will make them any better, in terms of the immensely flawed keyboard design, which still needs a rethink, though if rumours are to be believed that may be coming in the next year or so, they do at least give you a bit more of a clearer direction.

MacBook … what MacBook?

…yeah, this one stings a little. We loved the 12 inch MacBook, but it’s fair to say it lacked a sense of punch. Whether it was an issue with Intels lack of Core M advancements, sales, or whether this is just a ruse whilst Apple plan the first infamous ARM based Mac, guess time will tell, but this is one thing we’re sad to see go.

MacBook Air

We’re gonna be honest with you, we still prefer the older Air, and this update doesn’t change that too much. But, despite this, it’s fairly simple to see why. When Apple updated the MacBook Air, it realistically was just a bigger 12 inch MacBook, though now that is gone, and Apple have taken the price down a bit, it’s now a bit more of a clearer choice.

The only major downside to Apple’s decisions with the 12 inch and the Air, is that Apple now no longer have a compact Notebook, sure the  dimensions have gone down thanks to bezel shrinking from the “butterfly keyboard” updates, though we kind of wish Apple would bring back the old 11 inch MacBook Air.

Apple have added True Tone to the MacBook Air, which, whilst isn’t as useful as on a Smartphone, is there as an option for those who desire.

Now starting at £1099, the new MacBook Air is now packing a 1.6Ghz Dual-Core 8th gen Intel Core i5 Processor, 8GB RAM, Touch ID and a rather tiny 128GB SSD, which can be doubled in capacity in the £1299 model.

MacBook Pro

This is less of an “updated” MacBook Pro, but Apple have definitely made some changes to the options you have, or at least in the 13 inch. Whilst the £1799 and higher configurations are literally unchanged, which makes sense, as they just were changed recently, Apple have added some lower tier options, all of which are now all-in on the Touchbar, so sorry to those who don’t like the Touchbar.

Apple previously had a MacBook Pro without Touchbar, which was less, but also you got less as it hasn’t had much of any update, now, Apple is doing this.

You now still get a Quad Core 8th gen Intel Core i5 MacBook Pro with Touchbar, T2 Chip and all the benefits on the more expensive model for now £1299, though there are some things that limit things slightly, namely the clock speed and a few others. A measly, on paper, 1.4GHz clock speed for the 8th gen i5 is listed, though it does Turbo close to the higher speed model and being Quad Core is a big step up from the prior non-Touchbar model. Other than that, its similar to Apple’s higher end 13 inch Pros, just with a tiny 128GB SSD for the £1299 model and 256GB for a new £1499, however at that point it’s questionable whether you’d be better going for the normal £1799 model, as you only have 2 Thunderbolt ports on the lower price model, rather than 3, a slightly worse integrated graphics and clockspeed on the CPU, so to us, only the £1299 is the one worth considering on the new updates.

Summary of the updates

Most people have had a lot of praise for these updates, whilst we’re not quite in that camp, we’re certainly not going to complain about price reductions.

It is important to note that NONE of these updated Macs have the rumoured update to the keyboard design Apple are expected to do, though they are at least using Apple’s latest “attempt” at the butterfly mechanism, but naturally worth keeping in mind.

Our take on the new Mac Pro

Apple are a very unique company, they’re both the most loved and mocked company we’re aware of, in some cases at the same time. They’ve a loyal faithful, and those who pretty seem to live to hate anything they do, and this has not been demonstrated more so with the response to this, the new 2019 Mac Pro.

The new Mac Pro, is a result of Apple’s long struggle to replace the previous “trash-can” Mac Pro, which Apple themselves admitted was a misstep. The new Mac Pro returns the upgradability of the older Mac Pro, though also comes with some rather, let’s say, divisive design choices.

What Apple haven’t disappointed on is the performance potential of the Mac Pro. Whilst Apple still insist on using Intel’s Xeon workstation CPUs for any “pro” desktop Mac, we’d rather they at least offered the option for the more consumer friendly i Series of Intel CPUs, or anything from AMDs lineup for that matter, especially as they’ve built an ARM processor just for video rendering, a task which would be aided by the use of Intels quick sync, which isn’t present in Xeon, but that’s Apple. You can configure the Mac Pro oddly starting at 8-core, which sure is a lot, but it’s also what the lower cost iMac Pro features, but it does climb up to a beefy 24-core processor.

Apple have also redefined what we come to expect in terms of RAM expectancy, as you can literally purchase (or will be able to) a Mac Pro with 1.5TB … yes terabyte, of RAM!

Unfortunately, the Mac Pro starts at £6,000* with a rather disappointing starting spec, just looking at the 256GB SSD is enough to make you question a lot, especially when the base iMac Pro comes with 1TB SSD.

However, that isn’t really what the Mac Pro is about, though it’s a disappointing base.

The hot word for this years Mac Pro, from the start, was “modular”. Whilst we wouldn’t agree on the full level, it certainly is expandable, and a lot of this is due to the return of PCI, all 8 of them, made up of 1 half length slot, 3 single slots, and 4 double wide. All of these feature a more than adequate power supply to boot.

Apple + AMD = The world’s most powerful Graphics card

One of the biggest requests by many with the Mac Pro is ironic when you think about it, as it still uses Intel processors and AMD graphics, when most would like the option of AMD processors and Nvidia graphics, but what can you do. The bigger side of the story is with the Graphics, as whilst AMD is doing incredible work in the CPU space, they’re still always the second best in Graphics, though Apple have teamed up with AMD to try and make the most powerful “graphics card” in the world, branded the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II. The Radeon Pro Vega II has 32GB of AMDs fast graphics memory, but they haven’t stopped there, Apple are giving you the option to include two, or four with enough power to offer the full power of 128GB of graphics memory.

The GPU however needs a hand, so it’s led to Apple building a whole new way of upgrades in the future, called MPX. With the Radeon card, the MPX model allows it to get more power than from a regular PCI-3 slot, which combined with Apple’s ARM processor used for processing video encoding, together in the MPX model, then allows the phrase “world’s most powerful graphics card”.

Naturally, it’s unclear how a regular AMD Radeon Pro Vega II would compare to Nvidia’s RTX 2080i, but for now at least, AMD and Apple have the ingredients for the fastest Graphics card, just hopefully they’ve got all the Drivers figured out, not just for macOS, but Windows on Boot Camp as you already know, folk are going to test these for Gaming.

==

Our take on the Mac Pro (rant and analysis)

To properly understand the pressure Apple had with the Mac Pro, you’ve to look back a couple generations to the last Mac Pro, which at the time was comfortably referred to as the cheese-grater … oh the irony. Was it the quietest computer in the world, of course not, but one thing it did right, was accessibility and upgradability. You could get a Mac Pro tower for, with inflation, around £2,600, which honestly is close to where Apple should be pricing the base model Mac Pro here. Like the new Mac Pro, you could configure it for days and spend well in to car money, it’s expected it would be even more so with this Mac Pro, but one thing we’re not too sure about in relation to this Mac Pro, is as time goes by.

You can get a second hand Mac Pro (last generation cheese-grater), and if you max it out, like Luke Miani did on YouTube, you can still 9 years after it’s release build a Mac that’s faster than anything Apple sell today … no really. In fact, you can go further with a simple mod to the Motherboard and Power Supply, which will allow near-to PCI-3 performance, allowing, like Luke did, to run an AMD Radeon VI Graphics Card, so yeah, you can take these still very far. Rewind back to the “trash-can” Mac Pro, and that’s stuck where it is, that’s one of the biggest fears with the just announced Mac Pro, and this is where some concerns are lying.

Obviously upgradability moving forward depends on many factors, some of which of course are unavoidable, such as changes in architecture, but from what we can see from what we know (so far) about the Mac Pro, it doesn’t have as much access to components like the CPU in order to upgrade those in the future, something which has being an important factor to keeping the older Mac Pro’s alive.

However, the market Apple are targeting with the Mac Pro this year is very convoluted. Apple are branding it as a high end Pro desktop set for things end users would never need, in terms of the performance, mostly as a defense for the price tag, however that doesn’t change the fact the low end is over-priced, and going forward this most likely won’t have as much flexibility as the older Mac Pro, Apple’s choice to target the higher end Pro market, is clearly an inkling that the level of maintenance from the older “cheese-grater” Mac Pro is probably not necessary as those kind of users would probably just buy another going forward, which is a shame.

Apple need a Mac mini that’s good again … a Mac Pro mini?!

The ironic thing about the Pro market focus on the Mac Pro, is that the loudest voices crying for a Mac Pro update, weren’t even that market. Obviously it was fairly important Apple did address this market as it remains a big profit margin for the company, and those rely on Mac only applications, such as Logic, Final Cut Pro X and more, but, it’s more end users who were looking for Apple to deliver a powerful Tower.

The only real option Apple offer users is the Mac mini, which when it comes with a Core i3 for nearly £800, it’s quite an insult. Whilst the upper level Core i5 model (or configurable i7) are decent performers, and full power Thunderbolt 3 opens the doors for things such as high speed eGPUs, it’s still incredibly over-priced for what it is, despite it’s actually decent design for what it offers.

What Apple need is more of a Mac Pro mini. A large Tower, one which could fit, power and cool a full size and single PCI expansion, AND offer the 4K / 5K iMac level of specifications. This, quite honestly, would be the one gap missing in Apple’s lineup. The Mac Mini is great, but overpriced and doesn’t offer enough, but the Mac Pro is too much and out of consumer price range, so this would fill a very open void in Apple’s market. But, Apple don’t seem to have the same level of care for the Mac they used to, especially with iOS devices leading Apple’s future, and with the iPadOS variant of iOS bridging the iPad/Mac gap more.

Our summary of the Mac Pro

It’s the most powerful Mac in history, it needed to be, it’ll be one of the most powerful (if maxed out) PCs in history, it needed to be, but it’s targeting a very fragmented audience and further exposes Apple’s lack of consumer grade desktop for those who like to use their own equipment.

Apple reportedly in talks to bring OLED displays to iPad and Mac for first time!

Whilst OLED technology is now the norm on Apple’s flagship iPhone models, it’s a notable absence on the companies other devices, but this may be about to change if a report is to be believed.

Just like with the iPhone, Apple is choosing Samsung for the displays, which could be included in a future iPad Pro, or most likely inside the expected future 16 inch MacBook Pro expected.

Apple’s less than expected sales of OLED iPhone’s is having a knock on effect

The story, however, isn’t that simple. Apple is naturally in a contract with Samsung when it comes to delivering the OLED displays that are supplied in the companies flagship, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, as well as the previous iPhone X (which is still available at select retailers). The big issue, however, has been in demand by Samsung to pay a penalty to them due to much lower than expected sales in iPhone models, which has naturally had a knock on effect on Samsung’s business, as well as the fact Apple have sold more iPhone XR models, which don’t use Samsung’s OLED displays but an LCD.

Whilst it’s disappointing that iPhone sales haven’t been as high as normal, the idea of an OLED iPad, or MacBook laptop is definitely something we doubt anyone would really complain about. There’s already a number of OLED laptops out there, and all have beautiful displays, which almost make Apple’s retina displays on Macs look fairly outdated, and it’s not hard to imagine how even more sleek the iPad Pro would look supporting an OLED panel.

For now, though, time will tell what Apple do, though with demand from Samsung to find some use for the OLED investment made, it’s not too far fetched to expect not only an OLED iPhone XR later this year, but the use of OLED in more devices.

OnePlus 7 series bridge gap between affordable flagship and premium flagship!

It’s hard to deny that when it comes to companies that have being impressing us over the last few years in the Android space, that OnePlus wouldn’t be near top of that list. The companies ability to make “affordable flagships” that are also actually decent Smartphones is really incredible.

This year, however, with the OnePlus 7, it looks like this may becoming a slight decline from the affordable side of things, though the result of a premium Smartphone from OnePlus is nothing short of impressive.

Two sides of the OnePlus 7

As OnePlus is a company people have become to expect a certain budget from, the company has taken a rather smart approach when it comes to their line, and that’s by starting a OnePlus 7 series of devices. OnePlus have announced the regular OnePlus 7, as a incremental update to the companies 6T, with the same flagship insides, but then they’ve put out all the stops for the companies new more premium flagship, the OnePlus 7 Pro. The company also has plans for a 5G version coming as well.

OnePlus 7 Pro

Whilst the regular OnePlus 7, which we’ll touch on later, will be enough for most, it’s clear where all the companies efforts have gone this year, the OnePlus 7 Pro. Even including far more expensive flagships from the likes of Samsung, it’s hard to deny the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t just fit in that crowd now, but even offers things those don’t. However, the comparison against Samsung isn’t a difficult one when you check the front design of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Whilst Samsung didn’t “invent” the idea of curved displays at the front, it’s hard not to think Samsung Galaxy when you look at the sides of the device. That’s definitely not a bad thing, don’t get us wrong, but it’s rather funny how this has become to be.

Specifications range from the expected, to the crazy. The expected Snapdragon 855 is of course included in the device, Wi-Fi AC and Bluetooth 5, then we touch on two things, RAM and display. OnePlus always overkill when it comes to RAM, but the idea of up to 12GB of RAM on a Smartphone is definitely just one for the spec-sheet folk, but … guess it’s future proof? Where OnePlus have really pushed it out of the park is the display.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, like it’s predecessors features an OLED display, however where OnePlus have really gone above and beyond is in the refresh rate. Whilst this won’t be beating the 120Hz displays of Apple’s iPad Pro or Razer Phone, this phone does feature the largest currently possible refresh rate from an OLED Display, 90Hz. Whilst it may, initially, seem like you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between the refresh rates, just remember that’s a 50% increase in frames rendered on the display, plus when you consider Android’s already fluid animations, thanks in part to OnePlus’s more minimal Oxygen OS skin on Android, the end result is great. The display is also much more higher end than normal on a OnePlus display, with. 3120 x 1440 display, though with a 6.67 inch, this isn’t a small device, no matter how many bezels they want to shrink.

Speaking of which, this is another area the OnePlus 7 Pro display goes above and beyond, as it’s most likely one of the highest screen to body ratios you’re going to find on a Smartphone. This is mostly thanks to the inclusion of a motorised hidden Camera at the top of the device, though, yes, it does still have a chin which hurts our OCD as it was so close, but still impressive none the less.

OnePlus certainly aren’t “the first” to do this, but the effect of a pop-up Camera, you can’t deny, is still pretty incredible. Whilst it is more moving parts, which does create a sense of fragility to the device, it does allow the OnePlus 7 Pro to be one of not many Smartphones today with no notch, with the top of the displays edge being barely enough for the earpiece. As always with this solutions, the question of durability over time is still in doubt, whether things can get caught inside the mechanism, time will tell on that.

The pop up Camera isn’t the only Camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company has also adopted a triple Camera system at the back. Despite this, however, it’s still a OnePlus phone when it comes to the Camera, which is to say it’s decent, but nothing too special, even if it is 48MP. Camera focus naturally on zoom.

Price and Summary of OnePlus 7 Pro

Probably the only things you won’t find when it comes to the OnePlus 7 Pro, is any form of Water resistance, and Wireless Charging. Now, for us, the lack of Wireless Charging is the killer in this one, especially as Water resistance is rarely utilised, but the fact that this, and, maybe, not the best Camera, are the only things we can take away from the OnePlus 7 Pro as cons, it just shows how great this phone is.

Comes at a cost though, though still a lot less than competing flagships, starting at just £649, this will get you 128GB of Storage and 6GB of RAM, though you might as well realistically go for the £699 model, which will double storage to 256GB and give you 8GB of RAM. The top spec £799 model which gives you 12GB of RAM, which even that is cheaper, or just about in line, with most flagships base models.

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But, it doesn’t stop there, OnePlus also have the regular OnePlus 7;

This is the regular OnePlus 7, which will probably go down as one of quietest released flagships of 2019, likely due to the headline attention of the 7 Pro … suppose even we’re placing it low down on the list, yet this is our more favoured version.

The OnePlus 7 features the same Snapdragon 855, though backed up with 6 or  8GB of RAM, the same 48MP main Camera and just the one secondary Camera. The OnePlus 7 also features Stereo Speakers and the almost signature Teardrop notch up top.

The display on the regular OnePlus 7 is more inline with what you’d expect from the 6T, an OLED panel, regular 60Hz here, with a more 1080p line resolution. The display is also flat, not curved.

Other than that, though, the display and Camera, this is pretty much the same flagship in terms of internals and overall experience, which is actually pretty incredible considering this starts at £499. But, do remember, for that, you’re most likely going to have it mistaken for a 6T, though like the 6T, this is a great priced Smartphone.

OnePlus 7 is priced at £499 for 128GB and 6GB of RAM, with the option to upgrade to 256GB of Storage and 8GB of RAM for £549.

Apple updates the iPod touch with a faster processor, more storage and yes, a price hike!

Apple today made some quiet updates to their iPod touch line, the last remaining Apple iPod product. The iPod touch, in terms of design, hasn’t changed since it went 4 inch back with the 5th generation, and things sure haven’t changed in this one either, same design, ramped up internals.

To call this a minor update, would be an understatement, you can separate the changes in to two things … three, I guess, if you want to count the slight increase in price thanks to the changes. Probably the biggest indication that Apple really haven’t changed the design, you will still find a 3.5mm headphone jack on this, though we suppose it is an iPod.

A10 Fusion

The previous iPod touch was stuck on the Apple A8 processor, however, Apple have now updated the device with the A10 Fusion processor, which debuted first in the iPhone 7. What’s interesting about this, is it means the iPod touch is now the most powerful 4 inch iOS device, a position previously held by the iPhone SE. The continued question surrounding whether Apple support devices like the SE is almost back in to focus with the update to the iPod touch, though we still doubt Apple would drop support that close.

Apple promises 2X CPU, 3X Graphics and support for AR for the first time on the iPod touch, making it the lowest priced ARKit device as well.

Storage up to 256GB

Whilst you can buy the new iPod touch in a base 32GB configuration, and the same 128GB configuration is available as before, the iPod touch has FINALLY reached a storage option higher than the, almost ancient history, iPod classic which offered 160GB, you can now go all the way to 256GB on the new iPod touch.

It’ll cost you, in fact you’ll be approaching iPhone pricing, but, it’s important to remember what market the iPod touch is perfect for. The iPod touch is perfect for kids, those that just want a gaming iOS device, a useful beta dev kit and more, where an iPhone isn’t the best choice.

Price and Summary

£199 for 32GB

£299 for 128GB

£399 for 256GB

Whilst the iPod touch update definitely looks disappointing at best next to the myriad of fan mock-ups, despite how unreasonable they were. Though, even so, we were expecting a bit more of an upgrade. The update just seems to be one to keep it around, rather than one that shows much care, though it most likely will satisfy enough it’s market.

The iPod touch launches Friday and is available to order today, though some retailers may have it earlier.