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Old 10-30-2019, 06:11 PM   #1
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New hardware

Well, it looks like the rumors of new Apple hardware such as a new MacBook or new iPad Pro haven't panned out for October. We did get a new noise cancelling AirPods though. I suspect that with AppleTV+ going live on Friday, no new hardware until next year, at least none that hasn't already been announced.

It really does sound like Apple is starting to focus more on services. I guess I can understand that since we are starting to move into the realm of good enough with Apple devices. My current iPad Pro is a gen 2, i.e. 2017 iPad pro. I was a bit concerned over the battery starting to wear out, but coconut battery says that the battery is at 95%. That extra 5% shouldn't make much of a difference over the course of the day. The rumor was that the next iPad Pro would have the same camera as the current iPhone. A cool new camera and 1TB would be enough for me to pull the trigger. Of course, I'm only using half the capacity of my current 512 GB available. Frankly, I would rather have that sort of capacity on an iPhone since iPads don't work with CarPlay.
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Old 10-30-2019, 11:23 PM   #2
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I am looking to replace my 1st gen FireTV with something that can do AirPlay 2 (neither Apple or Amazon has mentioned that an update is in the works so I assume that is not imminent). So I was hoping there would be a new AppleTV coming out along with launch of AppleTV+, maybe something with an upgraded chip that would be better for Arcade and gaming users more generally.

As it is, I can probably justify getting (another) AppleTV, as new purchase includes a year of AppleTV+, which I was planning to do anyway. Not interested in Roku, which would be the only other option (apart from getting another TV, which I don’t need).

The ‘new iPad Pro this fall’ rumors never made sense to me. iPad models are usually on longer refresh cycle than iPhones, as people keep them longer, so I’m guessing we might see them in the spring. I also have 2nd gen iPad Pro, and am saving up for 4th gen if it is enticing enough. Better camera isn’t that important to me but I wouldn’t complain if it had one.

The other rumor was a lower cost HomePod, but no sign of that.

Last edited by tomsem; 10-30-2019 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:57 AM   #3
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I am looking to replace my 1st gen FireTV with something that can do AirPlay 2 (neither Apple or Amazon has mentioned that an update is in the works so I assume that is not imminent). So I was hoping there would be a new AppleTV coming out along with launch of AppleTV+, maybe something with an upgraded chip that would be better for Arcade and gaming users more generally.

As it is, I can probably justify getting (another) AppleTV, as new purchase includes a year of AppleTV+, which I was planning to do anyway. Not interested in Roku, which would be the only other option (apart from getting another TV, which I don’t need).

The ‘new iPad Pro this fall’ rumors never made sense to me. iPad models are usually on longer refresh cycle than iPhones, as people keep them longer, so I’m guessing we might see them in the spring. I also have 2nd gen iPad Pro, and am saving up for 4th gen if it is enticing enough. Better camera isn’t that important to me but I wouldn’t complain if it had one.

The other rumor was a lower cost HomePod, but no sign of that.
They are really pushing Arcade. I can't really say that I'm all that interested in a gaming service, but I'm certainly not part of the target audience for that. I do find it interesting that buying a new Apple TV or iPhone gets you a year of AppleTV+. but buying a new iPad doesn't.

I do wonder a bit if they will include the enhanced resolution screen with the iPad Pro when it finally comes out. That could make a big difference when it comes to reading ebooks or watching movies for that matter.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:28 PM   #4
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Well I’m sure a lot of people are excited about the new Apple services, after all, Apple is grooming them to be excited about those services. I’m cold on all of their services.

I couldn't care less about Apple TV+. An overpriced and pathetically small catalog bit a TV fluff that is clearly marketed for people 1/3 to 1/2 my age. I’m glad some people are excited about it, but I’m not. It will take years to get much of a catalog built up, and then it likely will never appeal to my age group.

I’ve never cared for Apple Music. Thankfully there are plenty of alternatives out there, but currently I don’t stream any of the paid music services.

Apple Arcade is the least attractive to me. Definitely not meant for old farts like me, even though we were around during the pinball machine heyday! Yep I dropped many a quarter into those tilt machines in the 1970s and early 1980s. But at the time my generation was inventing the home PC about that same time, the computers just didn't have the power, speed, or storage capability to compete against pinball machines. I remember seeing games like Donkey Kong and going meh! The graphics were 2D and blocky. They were certainly more exciting (less boring) than Pong had been in the 1970s, but not by much. So I never got into them. BTW, I grew up, as most people are inclined to do, and such games and pinball machines became past memories. By the time I was in graduate school I had long since outgrown such teenage activities.

And therein lies the major issue with me and the Apple of today. They are catering to the entertainment hunger of younger folks and getting away from the folks who want solid, better than average, cutting edge computers, phones, and tablets. I understand that is where they think the money is, but I don’t really care about how much money Apple makes. I care about the devices, and I prefer said devices not to be loaded down with service oriented stuff. The one thing I always hated about Windows PCs was that most of them came preloaded with a bunch of garbage apps that were difficult to get rid of and that were typically of little or no use. Most of those apps were designed to get more money out of us via subscriptions. Now Apple has gone in that direction too. That sickens me...
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
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I can't really say that I'm sickened by a company trying to appeal to a market segment that I'm not part of. Based on some of the things you say, I suspect there isn't much of an age difference between us. I like iCloud and Apple Music. It solves a problem for me (i.e. fitting all my music on my smart phone) and I can use Apple Music to listen to music I like, not just what is currently popular. I've actually started to listen to music that was a bit before my time, like the James Gang and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

There are a number of aspects of Apple that doesn't appeal to me. Anyone who reads the audiobook forums has likely seen my long posts of my frustration with how Apple (and Audible) handle audiobooks and listening to them. I have no real interest in Apple TV+ since most of the series aren't my cup of tea. I'm a lot more likely to subscribe to Disney.

I think that Amazon has it right in their approach which is to have a yearly subscription and tie a bunch of services to it. Yea, I don't use Prime music, but I do occasionally use Prime video and use the delivery benefits a lot.

I don't particularly like Apple's approach that seems like it's starting to nickle and dime me to death. I see signs that Apple is losing their way a bit with regard to being customer experience focused. Perhaps at some point, I'll move to a platform that suits my needs better, but right now, none of the other platforms is an improvement, IMPO. I still like their hardware a lot and programming for it appeals to me.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:50 PM   #6
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This is from Apple’s site. It is included with new iPad and Mac sales:

Quote:
With purchase
1 year included
Get Apple TV+ for a year when you purchase a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV.
Also, if you have Family Sharing set up, the subscription is shared (unlike Arcade or in-app subscriptions).

Last edited by tomsem; 10-31-2019 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:16 PM   #7
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Among the products Apple creates are shares of Apple stock. Shareholders love subscriptions.

Look at what happened with ADBE and ADSK when they moved to subscription models and away from the uncertainty of upgrade revenue. Of course those companies, like Apple, do not rely solely on subscriptions, but it does help ameliorate shareholder worries about, say, how the next hardware product(s) will do.
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Old 11-01-2019, 02:27 PM   #8
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This is from Apple’s site. It is included with new iPad and Mac sales:



Also, if you have Family Sharing set up, the subscription is shared (unlike Arcade or in-app subscriptions).
I guess I will find out. I picked up a new iPad Pro today. The old one wasn't holding a charge well. I had noticed it a week or two ago, but it's got more obvious. This morning I started reading on my iPad after charging it over night, getting it to 100%. Within an hour it was down to 80%. I did all the reset things that one does to get rid of apps that have run wild.
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:29 PM   #9
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This is from Apple’s site. It is included with new iPad and Mac sales:



Also, if you have Family Sharing set up, the subscription is shared (unlike Arcade or in-app subscriptions).
Yep, you were right. One year subscription to Apple TV+ with the iPad.
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Old 11-04-2019, 04:11 PM   #10
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Well...I bought a new iPad Mini and new Airpods this spring and a new iPhone this fall. And if I hadn't just bought the Airpods Gen 2, I'd definitely be buying the new Airpods Pro.

I'm not sure where anyone would get the notion that Apple is ONLY focusing on services. We didn't get a separate Oct. hardware event, but they released the Airpods Pro without an event and have committed to releasing the Mac Pro "in the fall". I'm not in the target market for that hardware, but what they showed in June was quite impressive.

We got the usual (at least last few years) 3 new iPhones and a new Apple Watch.

I too was surprised that a new Apple Tv didn't accompany the launch of the AppleTv+ service.

New Mac refreshes occurred over the summer without a lot of fan fare.

The iMac Pro is a little long in the tooth at 2 years...but I think most of the Apple line is relatively recently refreshed.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:32 AM   #11
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I was wrong about nuances of Family Sharing: it applies to all of Apple’s subscriptions except for Apple Music (so: Arcade, News+, AppleTV+, iCloud).

At any rate, after discovering that the Apple TV app in Amazon App Store does not work on my 1st generation FireTV, and most likely AirPlay 2 will never arrive on it either, I have dumped it and bought another Apple TV 4K. I think I’m done with Amazon hardware, apart from keeping a couple of Kindles around.

I’m very happy with the new configuration: I can add in my HomePod to fill in with the sound bar (there’s a ‘calibrate’ step for this in Apple TV), it sounds great, and where I previously suffered with a pitiful 3rd party AirPlay app on FireTV, I can finally AirPlay the way Apple and God intended, and 12 months of AppleTV+ included. Between that, Netflix, Amazon Prime, a recent HBO subscription, not sure when I will get back to reading ebooks!

Both AppleTV and HomePod are on 13.2 (no issues with the update on the latter). tvOS 13.2 seems a little more polished than 13 was, and I’ve been waiting for ‘handoff’ and voice profiles on the HomePod since they were announced.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:23 AM   #12
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Well...I bought a new iPad Mini and new Airpods this spring and a new iPhone this fall. And if I hadn't just bought the Airpods Gen 2, I'd definitely be buying the new Airpods Pro.

I'm not sure where anyone would get the notion that Apple is ONLY focusing on services. We didn't get a separate Oct. hardware event, but they released the Airpods Pro without an event and have committed to releasing the Mac Pro "in the fall". I'm not in the target market for that hardware, but what they showed in June was quite impressive.

We got the usual (at least last few years) 3 new iPhones and a new Apple Watch.

I too was surprised that a new Apple Tv didn't accompany the launch of the AppleTv+ service.

New Mac refreshes occurred over the summer without a lot of fan fare.

The iMac Pro is a little long in the tooth at 2 years...but I think most of the Apple line is relatively recently refreshed.
I did pick up a pair of the AirPod Pro at the same time I got my iPad Pro. They are nice and do just the right level of noise canceling for when I want to block out distracting noise by still be aware of my surroundings. I have another pair of noise canceling earphones for when I totally want to block out my surroundings.

I read somewhere that Apple's basic philosophy for upgrades for most of their hardware is incremental improvements so the buyer gets something that is pretty close to top of the line. The iPhone still gets some big improvements, but most of the others it's more incremental. I think there are very few pieces of hardware that are on a two year replacement cycle for consumers. I can remember when people replaced their computers every two years because processor speeds where changing that fast. The smartphones where like that for a long while. These days, my iPhone 8 Plus works just fine for me even though it's two years old. There is a difference between it and the 11, but it's incremental.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:28 AM   #13
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I was wrong about nuances of Family Sharing: it applies to all of Apple’s subscriptions except for Apple Music (so: Arcade, News+, AppleTV+, iCloud).

At any rate, after discovering that the Apple TV app in Amazon App Store does not work on my 1st generation FireTV, and most likely AirPlay 2 will never arrive on it either, I have dumped it and bought another Apple TV 4K. I think I’m done with Amazon hardware, apart from keeping a couple of Kindles around.

I’m very happy with the new configuration: I can add in my HomePod to fill in with the sound bar (there’s a ‘calibrate’ step for this in Apple TV), it sounds great, and where I previously suffered with a pitiful 3rd party AirPlay app on FireTV, I can finally AirPlay the way Apple and God intended, and 12 months of AppleTV+ included. Between that, Netflix, Amazon Prime, a recent HBO subscription, not sure when I will get back to reading ebooks!

Both AppleTV and HomePod are on 13.2 (no issues with the update on the latter). tvOS 13.2 seems a little more polished than 13 was, and I’ve been waiting for ‘handoff’ and voice profiles on the HomePod since they were announced.
I've been giving some thought to getting a HomePod as well. I've got a receiver with nice speakers, but it can be an annoyance cycling through the sound settings to figure out what's the best for listening to the current program. Plus with a herd of cats, speaker wire has a way of getting pulled out of the speakers.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:04 AM   #14
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I really like my home pod. As an Apple user and Apple Music subscriber...it's great sound for the money.

As a "smart speaker" -- it's over priced and way over engineered.

Delivering "audiophile sound quality in a small package" it's an amazing feat at the price.

Thing is...it's all about the small things...the sound of the base when volume is low...and how soft you can talk and Siri still hear you despite playing loud music.

Waiting for the day when I buy the second one and can pair them.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:34 PM   #15
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... I do find it interesting that buying a new Apple TV or iPhone gets you a year of AppleTV+. but buying a new iPad doesn't.
I bought the new iPad Air after I sold my 12.9" Pro, and I have a year of AppleTV+ (which is going to have to get better, for me to pay for it at the end of the year)
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