If you still have a flip phone – and many people do – you’re likely on a 3G cellular network. It’s the same for anybody with an ancient smartphone. So, if you’ve been putting off that new phone purchase since, say 2010, it’s time to stop procrastinating.Continue reading
5G and the FAA
Verizon, AT&T and the FAA started off the new year by agreeing to cut the strength of 5G signals around airports. That’s because the carriers’ 5G signals interfere with certain instruments on airplanes, such as altimeters which are used to guide planes to safe landings.Continue reading
The Many Flavors of 5G
The Many Flavors of 5G
Cell phone manufacturers and carriers don’t make a big deal about it in their ads – yet – but there are several types of 5G service out there. If you’re buying a new phone and have specific needs for blazing super-hot speed, you ought to know something about the available levels of 5G service.
iPhone 12: It’s Here
iPhone 12 has arrived, and it could be in your hands (or mine) in less than two weeks. As with every Apple product rollout, this one is shrouded in secrecy and pierced by leaks. You can get the official info from the online presentation – Hi, Speed – from Apple Park.
By the time you read this, you may have already seen the presentation, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Regardless, here’s what we’re zeroing in on from what we’ve seen. iPhone 12 pre-orders could begin this Friday, and the first shipments could happen on October 23.
Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch models will be higher-end devices with triple-lens cameras, while the 5.4 and 6.1-inch models will be lower-end iPhones with dual-lens cameras and a more affordable price tag. All iPhones in 2020 are expected to feature OLED display technology regardless of price. There were rumors that 120Hz displays could be included within the high-end iPhone 12 models, but more recent rumors indicate Apple will wait until 2021 to unveil the feature.
Reports indicate that Apple will take the plunge into 5G capability, but it’s possible that only one model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will offer the fastest possible speeds. That makes sense; its 6.7-inch size will be able to house the antenna and slower-draining battery to provide the performance. iPhone is likely to have several ranges of 5G service with all the modems in the phone coming from Qualcomm.
With 5G still early in its development and deployment, we’ll need to wait to make better use of it, but the new iPhone 12 will be ready for at least some of it. Another futuristic twist will be LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). It uses lasers to judge distances and depth, and it’s big news for augmented reality (AR) and, to a lesser extent, photography. One can only wonder what it might open for new experiences on iPhones and iPads – and Apple Glasses.
But so much for the future. For the here and now, let’s review the expected specs and pricing for the four likely versions of the iPhone 12. All will have the new A14 processor and a minimum of 128GB storage, which is critical for all the apps we expect to use and high-image photos and videos we’ll want to take.
- iPhone 12 mini will be considered the entry-level iPhone 12 with a 5.4-inch OLED panel with a rumored resolution of 2340×1080 pixels and Y-OCTA technology, which means that the touch sensor is integrated directly into the display. Like the iPhone 11, this model will rely on dual rear cameras, losing the telephoto in the Pro versions. It comes with 4GB of RAM. Estimated price: $699
- iPhone 12 with its 6.1-inch will have the larger screen and battery size, and its OLED panel will have 2532×1170 resolution. It also has 4G of RAM. Estimated price: $799
- iPhone 12 Pro is expected to have a 6.1-inch flexible OLED screen and could be the first phone to feature 10-bit color support with its 2532×1170 resolution along with Y-OCTA technology. Its screen may support a 120Hz refresh rate. It comes with 6G of RAM. Look for storage options up to 512GB. It could have three rear lenses, highlighted by a 64MP main sensor, plus a LiDAR time-of-flight sensor that will improve performance of AR apps. Estimated price: $1049
- iPhone 12 Pro Max will be the same as the iPhone 12 Pro with a bigger 6.7-inch OLED screen and higher resolution at 2778×1824 pixels. A 120Hz refresh rate is also possible. Estimated price: $1149
We think the specs for each of the new iPhone 12s should hold pretty close to rumor reports. We’ve already seen some of the new features through the recent release of the iOS 14 operating system for iPhones and iPads – which coincided with the new iPad Air and 8th Generation last month. The pricing may be different. There will also be variations based on the storage capacity you choose.
If you drop down to 64GB on the iPhone 12 Mini or iPhone 12, you can save $50, which is probably false economy. Moving up to 256GB will likely add $100 to the base prices, and it may be worth the money. For the Pro and Pro Max models, going to 256GB will add $100, and going to 512GB will add $200.
While we’re on the subject of Apple upgrades, we’re expecting an upgrade to macOS Big Sur. It could be part of today’s announcements. The current version of macOS Catalina (10.15) is supported across every model line of Mac laptop and desktop, but only going back as far as 2012. With the release of Big Sur, Mac users will still see plenty of Intel-based Macs supported, but not as many as Catalina. It’s one of the big questions we have because many of our clients use Windows-based Microsoft 365 (Office) on their Macs. It’s likely that newer devices, like the iMac Pro and the MacBook will see all models supported, but products with longer legacies, like the Mac mini and the MacBook Air will see a lot of products missing out on support for Big Sur.
Releasing the new OS for Mac along with the new iPhone rollout would make a lot of sense, especially leading into the holiday shopping season. Apple already rolled out the new iPads and Apple Watch, along with OS upgrades for those products, the iPhone and Apple TV+.
Watch our social media for comments on the new Apple devices and operating systems. We can help you with OS updates and custom-configuring both the new operating systems and new devices. Once we see each of the new phones’ properties and prices, we’ll be able to guide you in selecting a new phone that’s right for you. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it.
New Shortages Popping Up
Late last year and early this year, we warned of Intel chip shortages, which made it difficult to get new computers for those who needed them to run Windows 10. Now, we have other shortages, compounded by some Apple decisions. So, who’s coming up short? It could be Apple.
Getting Apple stuff for our clients is becoming more challenging for the more expensive, high-end devices. The wait can be up to two weeks for things we used to get right away, and some of that is because of varying store hours.
One of our clients is waiting for a Mac with an SSD hard drive and a 27-inch monitor. It’s a combination that’s out of the ordinary, but it was never a problem to walk out of the store with that system. Now, we’re hoping the wait is only two weeks.
Looking ahead, Apple is expected to start making its own chips later this year for the 2021 Macs. It’s a logical move for the company, which is looking for more end-to-end control of its systems. Whether they’ll be able to produce enough chips because of COVID-19 concerns is one thing. Another thing is that when it drops the Intel chips (which could free up chip production for Windows-based computers), we think it may become harder to run Windows software on a Mac.
This has the effect of drawing a new line in the “cybersand” when it comes to compatibility, and that could be a problem in the business world. A lot of business applications are written for Windows, but the Apple platform has been able to accommodate them. For Mac fans, it’s the best of both worlds. But unless the app developers and Apple can up with apps for the platform, there’s another issue to add to our woes.
For those of you sticking with Windows systems, you can expect Intel’s supply problems to persist through the rest of this year. That is forcing some manufacturers to switch to AMD chips to meet the demand for their products. We’re still a fan of Intel chips, but if you need a new computer, we can certainly take a look at the AMD-equipped machines and see which one can work for you.
On the phone front, Apple is beating the drums for the iPhone 12, and it’s scheduled for release in the fall. Football is also scheduled for this fall, but we live in unusual times. Since all we can deal with at this time are rumors and speculations, this is expected to be the first year that Apple introduces 5G support in the iPhone. This will allow the new phones to connect to much faster networks. While all the phones will have 5G connectivity, we don’t know if all models will have super-fast mmWave support in all countries. Of course, if you can’t travel, you can hold on to your current phone or, if you must upgrade a phone within your family or business, you can go with any of the less expensive iPhones, which are more than serviceable, and upgrade later.
While we don’t have a crystal ball, we can discuss your current and future computer and phone needs and help you find the best solution for your needs. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it.
The 5G Promise
5G is just about here, and the telecom carriers are pushing it out. Android devices, made by numerous manufacturers, are about to come on the market – even if networks are in the development stage. Rumors abound that Apple will hold back until 2020 to introduce 5G devices, and that’s a good decision for a number of reasons.Continue reading
Security Not Top-of-Mind at CES
It’s fair to say I was disappointed when talking to IoT device manufacturers at CES in Las Vegas last month. Security was not the big thing on their minds. And except for a TV screen that you can roll up like paper (which I couldn’t see at the show), there wasn’t anything I wanted to bring home and install.
The lack of emphasis on security was baffling, especially when you consider that a lot of companies at CES were talking about AI (artificial intelligence) and 5G networks. The latter are the newer, faster wireless data networks that will play an important role, along with AI, in the next generation of the IoT, especially autonomous vehicles (AVs), which are expected to be an established mode of transportation in the next 10 years. We’re simply going to require more data at a faster speed to make AVs work.
However, it seems that AI – and maybe 5G – was more concerned with what we’ll be running to the store to buy instead of how we’ll get there. Samsung, which makes refrigerators, among other appliances, started to show off Bigsby, its version of Alexa. And when you combine it with a smart refrigerator, this new power team can create a shopping list for you. You can even use voice commands for your washing machine. OK…
There is still a big push to get more devices into the home, and we certainly have more than our share in ours. We find the ones we have to be either great conveniences or highly useful. We just wish that the manufacturers were paying more attention to security, especially with hacking and information theft so prevalent. However, nothing stood out like that TV that rolls up. I really would have liked to be able to see it, even if I couldn’t buy it.
On the other hand, one of the more ridiculous things I saw was either a blanket or mattress pad with dual temperature control and a discounted price of $2,000. Sony also had a Walkman that weighed 5 pounds and had a heftier price tag: $2,500. Sony said there’s a market for it: audiophiles who want high-quality sound.
Speaking of sound, I took note of Panasonic’s automotive offerings, though none was available for consumer purchase. Rather, it seems that the automotive manufacturers are going to rely more on electronics manufacturers and the mobile operating systems to provide the devices and infrastructure for in-car infotainment systems. As part of that trend, we note that Toyota is dropping its plan to introduce a proprietary infotainment system.
We applaud Toyota’s decision for three reasons:
- In-car systems from the automakers don’t work well.
- Each in-car system has its own way of displaying and using information, and that can be confusing for people who drive multiple cars, including rental cars, where roads and a car’s system are unfamiliar.
- Because they are built into the car, it’s difficult to update them in a timely manner.
Just about all manufacturers offer connectivity to either Apple or Android in-car systems – or both – throughout their product lines. Our devices are already customized for driving directions and play lists, and we know how to use them. We also can make our devices secure in the same way we update our OS and applications on our computers.
I think some exciting new products and changes in the way we use technology are a year or two away, but that doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands. If you need a new IoT product now, we can help you we can help you select and install one for today – and make sure it’s secure – and see how it could fit your future needs. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us to talk about it.