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We are back.
What's going on?
Brian Tong here and welcome to the Apple Byte.
It's so good to be back for all the good and bad inside the world of Apple.
After CS and then I took a little break, a little swim with a whale shark in Cabo.
But what a week to come back to with plenty of meaty news.
Now the home pod gets an official February 9th release date.
With preorders this Friday on January the 26th, and we'll get to that.
But let's start with the latest from Apple.
Now, the Cupertino kids posted a preview of iOS 11.3 that brings new features.
And it just makes me sad that the first thing they led with is animojis.
I know they're fun.
But come on, this is iOS 11.3.
Now AR kit 1.5 comes to the party.
It can now recognize vertical services like walls and doors and can place virtual objects on them.
It previously could only really handle horizontal places like a flat table so this is an important upgrade.
Business chat will come to select apps like Lowes or Wells Fargo.
That will let you directly chat to businesses through the messages app.
The Health App will be able to view health records from specific medical providers and the most important feature that gets buried like more than halfway down iOS 11.3 will show you your battery health and recommend if your battery needs to be serviced, you'll also be able to see if Apple power management feature, you know that thing that throttles your phones performance is active and it'll give you the option to turn it off.
I know you might not still like this, but if they're at least giving users these options, that's a good Apple.
Of course it is, that's also after they were exposed for doing it, so you know a little give and take.
All right, iCloud messages looks like it's making an appearance in the iOS 11.3 beta for developers but Apple didn't mention it, it appears to be back for testing and evaluation purposes.
And where is AiPlay 2 that brings multi-room audio, these were features touted back in June of last year, like last year.
Major features in iOS 11 and we're still waiting almost eight months later, you know what that's a bad Apple [UNKNOWN] Yeah, the first one of 2018.
Now the developer beta is out with a public beta coming shortly.
Which now leads us to the home pot.
And no, I'm not throwing out any bad apples at it Just yet.
Apple announced the HomePod preorders will again open this Friday on January the 26th in the US, UK and Australia for 349 US dollars.
Now France and Germany will get it later this spring, but there's been no announced timeframe for other countries like Canada.
But you know what, you guys still have great maple syrup.
Now AppleCare will be $39 and will cover the HomePod for two years.
You'll have to pay an additional $39 each time you damage it.
And it can have up to two damage incidents, similar to the iPhone and other AppleCare products.
But Apple's press release really tells us everything we need to know about it.
onLaunch, there will be no multi-user support, none.
But an even bigger fail, no multi-room audio support.
So why was this product delayed again?
They talked up having stereo sound, come on, with two HomePods when they announce it but that feature won't be available onLaunch.
So again, what was the delay for?
Apple has touted it as the best sounding smart speaker and we'll see if it is.
But if you're looking for something really special from the home pod, the only thing it has a chance of doing better than the Amazon Echo or the Google Home, even the Sonos One is sounding better.
Its behind feature-wise in every other way from Siri, Smart Home device compatibility, third party music services, and apps or smart skills.
Like we know you're coming late to the smart super party You delayed the launch to fine tune it, but in the past you would at least bring something compelling to the table.
This is truly a speaker for the hardcore Apple enthusiast right now, and it's arguably Apple's weakest entry into an established market that we've ever seen.
And yeah now, it's that time, that's a bad apple.
Now, will it get better?
Yes, it will.
But there has been this really bad pattern that Apple's now establishing as their identity and brand.
Showcase a product early, promise new features, and then release an incomplete product, and use roughly 6 months or even more to finally get it up to speed knowing That your royal family is probably gonna it anyways.
Like they did this with the Apple [UNKNOWN] three witches finally a product that I can get behind.
The Apple TV promised to bring us [UNKNOWN] utmost in a software update but let's see.
We are still waiting close to five for it.
We talked about iOS 11 already and it's [UNKNOWN], and guess who's next in line, The HomePod.
And, you know what?
I'm not hating on Apple, but this is, honestly, just wake up!
This is the new Apple, and it hurts, as someone who knows how great they used to be.
A lot of you complain that, come on, get a host who likes Apple.
But it's because you just have no idea how great this company used to be.
Now, our HomePod review will be coming out once I get it, and I hope they can impress me.
Because, right now, I'm not so sure for $349.
Now we can't have a show without iPhone X rumors.
In the latest ones KGI Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo got people's heads spinning claiming Apple will discontinue the current iPhone X instead of lowering its price.
And potentially cannibalizing sales within iPhone X, that is 899 or cheaper in 2018.
Now if this is true.
That would mean Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup would consist of an updated second gen 5.8" iPhone 10.
The rumored, larger 6.5" iPhone 10 Plus, and then this rumored midrange 6.1" LCD based screen iPhone.
The Commercial Times reports that the 6.1" will have an even more advanced LCD screen compared to past ones, with a cutout for the TrueDepth Camera system that I won't complain about so you won't keep ready get over it in the comments.
So think about more basically seven months away from the next iPhone announcements.
And check this out, I don't know how you all feel about this, but I mean Apple is kinda trolling the Apple Byte.
After they released this ad during our break.
Like she's in the tree almost the entire time and I'm almost positive like they released this as response to a YouTube show because they're always watching a show about apple on YouTube.
Yeah, that's it.
Alright that's gonna do it for this week show if you're [UNKNOWN] the homepod I'll see you there.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at briantong, thanks guys for watching we'll catch up next time for the Bite of the Apple.
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