It’s been a week filled with new Apple hardware, with entirely new iMacs, new iPad Pros, and even a new iPhone, albeit just a new color purple. Apple also announced a new version of podcasts – a subscription service. Meanwhile, NASA’s Mars rover made oxygen on the Red Planet, the Signal messaging app hacked and Mortal combat is also, well, back. And if you’re buying a mirrorless camera, we’ve updated our guide for 2021.
– Mat Smith
The new 24-inch model is only slightly larger than the last 21.5-inch.
Apple’s M1 chip is finally making its way to iMacs, along with many other long overdue upgrades. The new design has much thinner bezels on their Retina 4.5K displays, as well as a completely flat rear case. The new iMacs feature updated 1080p FaceTime cameras with larger image sensors. They will be able to work with the M1 processor to manage white balance, noise reduction and exposure settings. There are also three microphones that can use beamforming to reduce background noise.
The new 24-inch iMac starts at $ 1,299 with a 7-core GPU. The more powerful 8-core GPU, with three USB 3 ports, starts at $ 1,499. Continue reading.
More money is good, but only if you can order it.
At Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday, alongside all this hardware, the company confirmed that it will soon be offering paid subscriptions for podcasts – a potentially significant change for the ever-growing industry.
Starting next month, podcasters can set their own price, and Apple will take 30% of the first year of each subscription, dropping to 15% thereafter. Apple is touting the service as a way for creators to offer vanilla paywall, early access, or one-off premium content. This is arguably a big change from one of the biggest podcast players. James Trew breaks it down. Continue reading.
There are more than just drone test flights.
Along with a family portrait of its robotic siblings, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab has equipped Perseverance with an instrument called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment or MOXIE for short. On April 20, he succeeded in extracting carbon dioxide from the planet’s atmosphere and converting it into oxygen.
The toaster-sized tool allowed Perseverance to separate oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules by heating the gas to around 1,470 degrees Fahrenheit and creating carbon monoxide as a byproduct. When the instrument was first tested, it produced about five grams of oxygen, enough to give an isolated astronaut about 10 minutes of breathing air in his suit. Continue reading.
They may look familiar, but what’s inside is very different.
We did mention the addition of the M1 chip, but when it comes to the larger 12.9in model, the screen technology is perhaps a bigger change. It has a Liquid Retina XDR panel, with a new mini-LED backlight system. Since each lighting element is much smaller, this means more tightly controlled lighting for better contrast and significantly higher overall brightness. The new, larger iPad Pro can reach 1,000 nits of brightness, down from just 600 nits in last year’s model.
With the M1 chip inside both iPad Pro models, these are iPads that truly deliver desktop power. To top it off, the new iPad Pro’s USB-C port doubles as a Thunderbolt port with USB 4.0 support. Apple says the bandwidth for wired connections peaks at around 40 Gbps, ensuring that power users with high-speed external storage should be happy. Both models will be up for pre-order on April 30. Continue reading.
The company can update its email application to prevent future attempts.
After cellphone hacking company Cellebrite said it had found a way to access the secure messaging app Signal, the company said it did the same in retaliation. App creator Moxie Marlinspike claimed his team obtained the Cellebrite hack kit and discovered several vulnerabilities. He added that Signal may well update its app to thwart any attempts by law enforcement to hack it. Continue reading.
Or you can buy a four-pack for $ 99.
Apple Airtags have landed. The key chains can be personalized with engravings of characters, letters and emoji, while there will also be a Hermès edition if you are feeling particularly glamorous. You’ll be able to use the Find My app to locate your AirTag, and any Apple phone with a U1 chip (like the iPhone 11 and 12 series) can give you AR overlays to direct you to your lost item.
The company calls this feature Precision Finding, which combines data from the camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, and ARKit, along with ultra-wideband technology, to narrow down your lost item. When your belongings are further away, Apple says it will use the Find My network, which approaches one billion devices, to locate it. It will detect bluetooth signals from lost AirTags and “transmit the location to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.” We have already given them a quick test, too much. Continue reading.
But wait, there’s more …
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