Archive for September 12, 2018

So…. What Did Apple Announce At Their Fall Keynote?

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 12, 2018 by itnerd

Well, if you want to see the entire keynote, you can click here to see the entire keynote. But if you’re someone who wants to see the highlights, here they are:

  • Apple Watch Series 4: Available in 40mm and 44mm sizes, it has a number of next-generation medical heart detection features approved by the FDA. That will give users in the US to start with ECG functionality, the ability to detect low heart rhythm with background detection for atrial fibrillation, and low heart rate monitoring to detect very low blood flow from the heart. It has a digital crown with haptic feedback, a bigger and louder speaker, and improved microphone placement. Battery life is better as well, and it comes with a 64 bit processor and fall detection. GPS and GPS + Cellular versions are available. Pre orders start on Friday, September 14, with availability beginning Friday, September 21.
  • watchOS 5 will be available on Monday, September 17 along with iOS 12 and tvOS 12.
  • macOS Mojave will be available on Monday September 24.
  • iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max: Both models have an edge-to-edge OLED display, greatly reduced bezels, and a “notch” that houses the front-facing TrueDepth Camera system. The Xs is 5.8″ and the Xs Max is 6.5″. It has an A12 Bionic chip that makes everything from Face ID faster to giving the new dual 12MP camera incredible capabilities. It uses LTE Advanced for faster download speeds and introduces Dual SIM through the combined use of a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. Better battery life and it comes in 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB sizes. You can pre order them on Friday, September 14 and get them in store on Friday, September 21.
  • iPhone Xr: Featuring an edge-to-edge “Liquid Retina” LCD 6.1″ display with wide color and True Tone support. It uses LTE Advanced for faster download speeds and introduces Dual SIM through the combined use of a nano-SIM and digital eSIM. It uses the same A12 Bionic processor as the iPhone Xs and Xs Max and features many of the same features. It will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB sizes and be available for preorder on Friday, October 19 and in stores beginning Friday, October 26.

Apple also usually quietly adds or discontinues items as well. I’ll be watching for what those are and I will update this page accordingly. Right now, I can see that the iPhone X and iPhone 6s has been discontinued. But I am sure there will be more to come.

UPDATE: The Apple HomePod will also get an update that will give it new functionality and languages. Expect to see it on Monday, September 17th.

UPDATE #2: It now seems that AppleCare+ for iPhone has added a new theft and loss option along with monthly payments. The Apple Watch lineup drops the ceramic Edition models. The Series 3 is still around and it drops in price.

UPDATE #3Apple’s AirPods site has seen significant changes. The mention of AirPods with a wireless charging case has been changed to “currently unavailable”. What’s also weird is that any attempt to search for AirPower which is Apple’s wireless charging mat that was promised a year ago will come up empty. Apple didn’t mention it in the keynote today and it appears that Apple is trying to rewrite history by erasing it from their website.

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Rogers To FINALLY Offer eSIM Support For Apple Watch Users

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 12, 2018 by itnerd

I just finished watching the Apple event where the new Apple Watch Series 4 was announced along with the iPhone Xr, Xs and Xs Max phones. And one thing popped up that will be of interest to Canadians. Unlike last year where Rogers was missing from the list of supported carriers of the Apple Watch Series 3, Rogers was finally listed as a supported carrier for the Series 4 which implies they now have support for eSIM technology. Here’s the proof:

Better late than never I suppose. I say that because so many Rogers customers left Rogers for Bell or Telus primarily because of how poorly Rogers handled this. Myself included.

Now one thing to keep in mind is that the support eSIM not only is relevant for Apple Watch users, but it is relevant for iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr users as well as those phones use eSIM technology. Thus Rogers was likely forced to do this.

As I type this, there are no details. As in price or when it will be available. Thus stay tuned to this page for updates as I get them.

UPDATE: iPhone In Canada is reporting that one of the key features of the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max which is dual SIM technology which uses a physical SIM and the built in eSIM technology is only going to be supported by Bell when those phones are launched. That’s going to be disappointing to Rogers customers. And perhaps Telus users as well. So it seems it may not the good news that Rogers customers are looking for.

UPDATE #2: Another data point is that Apple lists Rogers as supporting carrier for the Apple Watch here.

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However, there is still no announcement from Rogers of any sort. This is perplexing as this is a chance for Canada’s largest telco to make up for almost a year of negative press and they are not taking it. Bizarre.

UPDATE #2: A reader pinged Rogers about this via Twitter and got this response:

Hmmm…. This is plausible. Given this which is showing up intermittently on Rogers.com:

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When I clicked learn more, it takes me to a page for me to sign up for email updates…. For the iPhone Xs. Weird. And I say that it is showing up intermittently because if you refresh enough times you may or may not see this. My guess is that Rogers is still trying to get their messaging straight on this.

UPDATE #3: A reader found this page on Rogers.com with instructions on how to set up your Apple Watch with LTE for cellular usage. As I type this, it’s clear that it is still under construction. But it’s the clearest indication yet that this is finally happening. Though it would be nice if Rogers would just serve up a real announcement with pricing. That would really be welcome.

UPDATE #4: If I bothered to page through the instructions found on this page I would have seen this:

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So based on this screen shot it looks like you will need a Share Everything plan. That isn’t a shock as that’s in line with Bell and Telus. And you will pay an extra $10 a month which is $5 more expensive than Bell, but in line with Telus. Although Telus gives you 1GB of data as part of their Apple Watch plan. Bell doesn’t give you any data and there’s no clue if the boys in red are going to do the same thing as Telus or will they go the Bell route. And Rogers gets to extract an extra $30 from your pocket as a one time connection fee. Lovely. So now we have some idea of what Rogers has planned. It would be nice if they would just come out with a statement a lay it all out for us.

UPDATE #5: Rogers has finally posted pricing on their website. In a bit of a surprise to me, they offer up plans for $10 a month with or without a Share Everything plan.

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Rogers is also serving up 1GB of data as part of the plan and it looks like they will be giving you three months for free. If Rogers offered this up at this time last year, I would have stayed with them and not moved to Telus. Apparently this all kicks off on September 17th and you’ll need a Apple Watch running watchOS 5 to make this all work.

Review: Rudy Project Tralyx XL Sunglasses

Posted in Commentary, Products with tags on September 12, 2018 by itnerd

I’ll say this up front. Of all of the Rudy Project kit that my wife and I have received, the Rudy Project Tralyx XL sunglasses are simply outstanding. But before I get to why I feel that way, let me show you what they look like.

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The Tralyx sunglasses come in three sizes. The Tralyx Slim which is on the smaller side, the Tralyx XL which is on the larger side and is what you see pictured above, and the Tralyx which is between the two in terms of size. That’s important to point out because depending on your face size and shape, you may need to try on all three until you get the coverage for you eyes that you’re looking for. In my case, that was the Tralyx XL. The lens that you see above is the photochromic lens that goes from clear (about 74% light transmission) to black (about 9% light transmission) depending on the lighting conditions. In other words, the brighter the sunlight, the darker the lens gets. That’s handy for me as I usually am out on my bike doing a training after 5PM on the weekdays. Which means that I am using returning home when the sun starts to set as it will ensure that I can still see while protecting my eyes. You’ll also notice a blue lens inside the case. That’s the multi laser blue lens that I will use when I am cross country skiing this winter as it is designed to enhance contrast which is extremely handy on a cross country ski trail.

One big plus to the Tralyx XL is ventilation:

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Ventilation ports abound on the frame and on the lenses. This will ensure that the sunglasses will never fog up regardless of weather conditions of how hard you are working. Another big plus is the adjustability. The nose piece is extremely adjustable, and the arms are made of a flexible rubber that not only grips but adjusts accordingly to your head. That means that you can make the Tralyx XL fit you perfectly with or without a bike helmet. Which is something that I could not get with my now Craiglisted Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses.

While I did do a couple of training rides with these sunglasses, they were battle tested so to speak in the Epic Tour ride in Milton Ontario by riding the 80K even (which was actually 85K). They performed extremely well as the weather changed from completely overcast to having sunny breaks, and it was extremely windy as well. Not that the wind was an issue  as the Tralyx XL protected my eyes from the wind and debris that was around late in the ride. That isn’t a surprise as these sunglasses have been battle tested by professional cycling teams such as Bahrain Merida, Lotto Soudal, and Trek-Segafredo. In the case of the latter, Trek-Segafredo rider John Degenkolb pulled off an emotional win on stage 9 of the Tour De France which was run over very dusty, rough and dangerous cobblestones of Northern France. If the Tralyx XL are good enough for him in that harsh environment, as well as for some of the best bike racers in the world, they’re good enough for you.

The Tralyx XL start at $249.99 USD. Other Tralyx variants start at $224.99 USD. They come in a variety of lens colors to suit your use case, and frame colors to suit your fashion needs. While you can get them on Rudy Project’s website, I do suggest that you go to a local Rudy Project dealer and try them on for yourself and see what works for you. I think you’ll find that these sunglasses are outstanding and you’ll be taking home a pair.