iPhone 12 Event Logo

Apple Product Release iPhone 12, HomePod min, MagSafe Accessories

Well, I messed up and bought the iPhone 11 just weeks before the announcement of the iPhone 12. I knew I should have looked it up, and I would have either saved some money or gotten a better phone for the same price. The “event” is for this year’s iPhone refresh, and in lame CCP Virus style, it was just a pre-produced video very well done using the space ship campus as a set. I looked up the leaks the night before and returned my iPhone 11, and with the friendly Pacific time zone they used meant I could sleep in before the announcement video.

Apple HomePod mini
Apple HomePod mini

They started the video with the second of the least exciting product in my mind. The HomePod mini is a HomePod but smaller, around the size of a softball. They claim it has great sound, along with a set of updated voice commands. They spent a reasonable amount of time talking about using it as an intercom between a family with the mini’s around a house and connecting to family members using other Apple products. The option to have two of these in a room for better sound was interesting. If they get the option for the HomePod to switch from different pods as you go from room to room, that would be slick, but it’s not ready yet. With a more reasonable price of $99, I expect many people to pick the mini up for Christmas presents.

Apple iPhone 12
iPhone 12

The big star of this show was the iPhone 12 in a few different sizes and features combinations. All of the 12 models will have 5G wireless networking. They brought out Verizon to pimp their network. They claimed “4.0Gbps” using millimeter-wave radios. These 58Ghz radios only work in the open air, and I have had experience working near gear like that technology in the 60Ghz range that gives me headaches. It’s “turning the frogs” type stuff. If they use more frequency bands with better radios, then you should see better speeds. They even have some software that only turns on the 5G radio when you are actually using a lot of data and puts everything else through LTE to save battery.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro

Next, they are offering two sizes under both the normal 12 model and the 12 pro model. The iPhone 12 has a 6.1” OLED display, and a new iPhone 12 mini with a 5.4” OLED display. I am guessing the demand for an updated smaller phone for people who only have skinny jeans or kids and women was high enough for them to get one out. Over on the Pro line, you get iPhone 12 Pro with a 6.1” OLED display and the iPhone 12 Pro Max with a 6.7” OLED display. All of these have their “Super Retina XDR” marketing, but the OLED displays should look really nice up close.

Apple A14 Chip
Apple A14 Chip

All of the phones got a new processer chip, the A14 that is supposed to be super much better than anyone else. (Lol, the spell checker didn’t like that sentence.) Basically, smaller transistors let them put more power into the chip with better GPU, image processing, machine learning, and lower power. With Apple controlling everything, just expect everything to be just a little more snappy and work without a problem. They use this chip to do a lot of work to make taking photos look better along with recording videos.

Apple iPhone 12 Cameras Lens
iPhone 12 Camera Lens

That takes us to the cameras. A lot of time was spent showing the camera on both lines of phones. Things like better low light photos and video with improved sensors and lens systems, then sending the image to be processed using HDR with the fancy new A14 chip. The standard 12 has a wide and ultra-wide and front camera. All use the extra processing for better photos from the front.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Cameras
iPhone 12 Pro Cameras

The 12 Pro has a wide, ultra-wide, telephoto, front, and they added LiDAR to help with low light photos and video. The LiDAR can also be used for 3D scanning, but they mostly push it for pictures. On the 12 Pro Max, they also increased the wide camera’s size for even better video. Also, in the 12 Pros, you can use ProRAW along with the image processing and video recording in Dolby Vision. There was a few bits in there about how you could use the 12 Pros cameras to record movies, but we know most people will just be recording random stuff in their lives.

Apple iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Glass
iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Glass

The normal 12 is aluminum with thinner bezels and glass front and back. The 12 Pro is stainless steel with glass front and back. There are some different colors for both lines. Normal has black, white, red, light green, and navy blue. Pro has graphite, white, gold, and pacific blue. They also kept up with the waterproofing, making the pro line even more sealed, so you won’t have to worry about dumping your water on it. Both phones come with a new glass called “Ceramic Shield.” It is some new way of hardening the glass while keeping it clear. They still sell cases that I will get into later, so even they think you need something to protect your phone from falling and breaking.

Apple iPhone 12 smaller box with no accessories
iPhone 12 smaller box with no accessories

That takes us to accessories, and they are cheaping out and not giving you as many. The claim is it will save all kinds of waste, and they can make the packaging smaller (my iPhone 11 had a lot of extra space under the power adapter they could have already gotten rid of). The phone will now only come with a USB-C to Lightning cable, rather than make everyone happy and use a USB-C connector like everyone else. The headphones and charger are gone, and they are pushing for “just use the ones you already have” or buy the AirPods that make them a lot of money.

Apple iPhone 12 MagSafe Case and Wallet
iPhone 12 MagSafe Case and Wallet

They are getting one thing right with charging. They now improved the wireless charging to “snap” or MagSafe to your phone. So you get a better charge, and it let them use the magnets to sell magnetic cases for protection and a magnetic card wallet. There were images of a new multi-device charger for all things Apple and an in-car charger, but those are not on the website or talked about much.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Colors
iPhone 12 Pro Colors

So the big take away, don’t buy a new phone a week before they announce a new one. The new iPhone 12 now has “5G”, some improvements to cameras, processers, and charging, all in a smaller box. I have set my 11 up to be returned, and I will be getting the iPhone 12 Pro Max because I like all the extra screen size, memory, and cameras. They are not releasing the Pro Max and mini for another month. They gave no reason for that. Some rumor sites even talked about how this release is way late too. Below is a table of prices and release dates for sizes. If you want to support my site and help me pay for gadgets, take a look at my Savings & Support Page for ways to help.

ModelPrice / StoragePrice / StoragePrice / StorageScreen SizeOrder Date
12 mini$749 / 64GB$779 / 128GB$879 / 256GB5.4 inch11/06/2020
12 normal$829 / 64GB$879 / 128GB$979 / 256GB6.1 inch10/16/2020
12 Pro$999 / 128GB$1099 / 256GB$1299 / 512GB6.1 inch10/16/2020
12 Pro Max$1099 / 128GB$1199 / 256GB$1399 / 512GB6.9 inch11/06/2020
HomePod mini$9911/16/2020

Apple September 2020 Product Update

Just a few years ago, I would not care all that much about the latest Apple Update. But now that I have a selection of their products based on the company, I used to work for having almost everything they could Apple. I switched / was given a few devices, and now I am happy with Apple.

Now that that is out of the way, Apple had an update of mostly “consumer products. These are the Watch 6, Watch SE, iPad Air, iPad, Fitness+, and Apple One. No phone, no laptops, no proline, and not all that much changed.

Apple Watch 6
Apple Watch 6

Watch 6 is more or less a processer update, with a new oxygen sensor and the regular software update. There was some mention of a brighter display but nothing on battery life. They did take the hardware of the Watch 3 and added a few updates and slapped Watch SE on it. Watch 4 is discontinued but not Watch 3 for whatever reason also. I have the Watch 4, the beta worked just fine, and I do not see a reason to update for at least another year.

Apple Watch SE
Apple Watch SE

The Family Setup for Watch is nice if you have kids, but it needs a separate data plan. It looks like you can do it on the GPS version. This also does not work with older models. I just got my kids some Garmin bands, and they seem happy with them without running around with an expensive watch on a younger kid. My wife might want one if we were to get on board with the Fitness+ because it is required to have a Watch.

Apple Fitness+
Apple Fitness+

So, about Fitness+, it seems to be a workout video service that takes real-time data from the watch and combines it into the videos to help you work out better. It does require an Apple Watch and another Apple screen to play like an iPad, iPhone, or Apple TV. The price is a little high at $9.99, but there are ways to make it less, and with governments keeping gyms close, those types of people are happy to move their money into this. There should be different workouts that do need equipment but its cool for workout people.

Apple iPad Air 2020
Apple iPad Air

Moving along to the iPad Air, it gets a new processer and some new colors. The fingerprint reader is now in the power button, and the second generation Pencell works with this one along with a new style folio keyboard. With USB-C it but not as good of a screen, it would be hard to justify the iPad Pro 11 inch over this for most people.

Apple iPad 8th Generation
Apple iPad 8th Generation

The standard iPad also got updated with an updated processer, and that is all. The price is fair if you want a solid tablet. I learned that after going thought several Android tablets with myself and my kids. But this update is not anything significant. It is just the new one you want to get if you were getting another one. Even the price is the same.

Apple One Services
Apple One

Finally, Apple One. The Apple subscription bundle service. This seems right for a family because you get Music, Arcade, storage space, and TV for five people for $20 a month. That storage is shared, and TV is useless in my experience. I would like to see some of these services get better but meh. If my entire family were all on Apple devices, I would jump at it, but Spotify family plan is still okay, I don’t use iCloud for anything, and the kids do use Arcade for games sometimes. If you jump up to $30 a month, it includes the Fitness+ and News+, so you’re getting News+ for free at that point plus 2TB of storage, so it is good if your family is already invested.

Apple Recap September 2020

This update does not have me running out, wait we cannot do that, clicking buy on their website because I am okay with what I have, not being the Apple fanboy that needs the newest thing. If you want the most recent, the only thing I see most of them getting is a Watch 6 and Apple One subscription with Fitness+ rolled together to save a few bucks and have the workouts. I read one comment on a video about this, and it was making fun of Apple saying something along the lines of “Tim Cook: Guys we are out of ideas, what do we do” then the reply “Let’s make more watch band colors.” Obviously, this is not the most significant update this time. New iPhones and AirPods, along with laptops, will get people excited. I do not think the lack of updates has too much to do with COVID, as most of these people sit at desks looking at computers designing things already, moving to use FaceTime more shouldn’t have limited their work.

Tek4.ME My New Technology Blog

A few weeks ago I quit my normal crummy job that wasn’t helping me with my goal of working with computers, technology, or the internet. I had gotten my degree as an Information System Administrator but the job market for IT workers is very hard because there aren’t that many jobs where I live, but I had a few ideas on how I can still have an income.

First I have done some service calls for a company installing Internet, and those pay good for the work, I also have some friends that has been offering to get me doing the service calls they do but in my area. Because these calls aren’t consistent I plan to do some other stuff with my time when I’m not just taking care of my kids.

So my plan is to write on my Technology and Gadget blog Tek4.ME as much as I can. It will have topics such as news about upcoming Apple, Microsoft, Google, and other Companies new products and services. The blog will also have tips and tricks for best using your technology and online services. Some of the articles already up include my Hands on Review of the Nexus 7, information on why YouTube won’t be part of iOS 6, and what’s new in Windows Essentials 2012.

Finally I would also like to start building a few websites a month; this would be things like setting up and building a site using WordPress or Drupal for any type of business or organization. If interested check out more information at Grand Junction Computers web site.

Please follow us on RSS, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook for all the updates!

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CES 2012 Pre-Thoughts

CES is coming for 2012 and I like to see what comes from the show. Last year it was all about 3D TVs and Android Tablets. This year it looks like tablets and apps on TVs will be some of the big things. I’m sure they will have more 3D TV but some without glasses but I don’t care because I can’t see the 3D.

Android Tablets were big last year but the ones that did come out in 2011 were flops and the main reason was that they were trying to do the old computer trick of having spec wars and charging too much. The iPad dose so good because it is not that expensive and is somewhat of a good device that has a sexy or prestige factor that the Android tablets lack because of marketing by Apple.

If they can make new tablets with Android 4.0 that are good specs and don’t cost over $500-600 then they may work out but if they want to sell lots they need to have it be good spec, Android 4.0 and cost less than $350.

As for the TVs with apps, it looks like they will be running Google TV aka Android TV, but the mistake that the companies are going to make is putting skins on them, they need to look and feel the same. Also Google and the TV companies will need to make deals to get the content producers to make apps to put their content on the system.

With Microsoft also pulling out I don’t see much coming from them, probably some new looks at Windows 8 and a recap of the new video options on Xbox 360. And I’m sure Sony and Nintendo will save most of their big things for games for E3 were I’m sure Microsoft will still have a big setup to pimp there Xbox stuff.

This year I will probably keep looking over some of the blog sites, and check out Twit.tv they have the most raw unorganized look from the floor as if you were there. CNet has some good stuff but it is more organized and almost too setup only with big names.

Roku for Cheep New Prices

Get RokuLooks like the Roku box has a new lower price, I’m sure this is because of the Apple TV coming out. I would still recommend Roku to any one who has Netflix over some of the other boxes. If you have a TV like the Vizio new sets that have Netflix built-in then you are only missing a few of the things Roku dose.

But I would have to say that amount and quality of Roku channels are getting bigger and better. All they relay need is a YouTube and Hulu channel and it would be a gold player. Maybe if they could add the ability to stream content from a PC with the media sharing stuff that would be sweet but Netflix has added so much more content (movies, tv shows) that it’s almost dumb to have movies and such on your computer.

So what does the pricing look like will here it goes:

Image Product Old Price New Price
Roku SD $79.99 $59.99
Roku HD Roku HD $99.99 $69.99
Roku HD-XR Roku HD-XR $129.99 $99.99

From the price standpoint and what it does I would say go all out and get the Roku HD-XR and drop one of these babies on to your TV setup.

So if you are looking to get one of these boxes or a Netflix setup go over to our Savings & Support page and help us keep the site up.

New iPods, AppleTV and iTunes Update

Steve Jobs iPod Event 9/1/2010
Steve Jobs iPod Event 9/1/2010

Well I watched the Apple iPod update tonight and I have to say I was very disappointed. Not that I like Apple products that much to begin with. But first the good stuff.

The iPods, they looked better than the last one like they always do, but there is nothing new about them except that nano version with the touch screen. The screen on a small device is cool but I have had a few iPod nanos and they were nice to just put in your pocket and play stuff, adding a touch screen makes it more complex and doesn’t make it any better. Adding recording video to the iPod Touch is cool and I wouldn’t mind one since it’s not an iPhone, but I would rather spend my money on an Android small tablet like one of the 7 inch ones that are coming out.

iTunes update not much to say but o look they changed the icon since they never sold CDs there they thought to take that out. Must have been one of those great ideas Steve had. And other than the cover where the name of the album was is something that Windows Media Player had for a long time great idea stolen again. Almost forgot this but they added Twitter into iTunes but you can’t do anything but use it in iTunes another rip-off.

Finally they rebuilt the Apple TV to be well a Roku device with some of the extra stuff and they make more money off of the stuff you rent. Ok well they do have a very few differences, such as YouTube, and playing stuff from your device but that’s not that cool unless you have been keeping up on getting the new Apple devices. This is one of those things you even look at and say “wow that looks and sounds just like a Roku and I have had mine for over 2 years!”

So to sum up the Apple stuff for this month so we can stop talking about it. New iPods, little changes in iTunes, and a rip-off of the Ruko and it will be out soon all ready for the holidays! You can just tell how excited I am.