December 22, 2020
Fitness Plus from Apple
Tried this out over the last week.
Disappointing initially that none of the Workout routines were either Audio Described or had another way of finding out what actual exercises were being performed, I decided for now just to do my own exercises, and use the training and rest times in each Workout.
As there is no actual exercises to do I the Treadmill or Bike Workouts, these worked as expected.
If you use the Apple TV with the Apple Watch, your real time data comes up on the screen so you can monitor and see how others have gone with this particular workout.
You can just use fitness Plus int eh Fitness app on iOS without the Appel Watch, follow along with each routine, but you won’t get any direct data from your Apple Watch.
I think if you had a treadmill, bike or rowing machine, these weekly pre-recorded workouts with the trainer, and great music are fine. Otherwise, perhaps not.
At least you can try it out for 1 month free or 3 months if you buy an Apple Watch. After that, it is $14.95 per month.
New Head Phones from Apple - AirPods Max
Cost: $895.00 Australian.
Brief Product Description:
Apple’s over the ear version of the AirPods Pro with a lot of great features and sound. Stainless steel head band with mesh canopy, aluminium ear cups, and magnetically removable/replaceable ear cup fabric cushions. Two easy access controls, Digital Crown to control media/Siri, and Noise Control for Noise Cancellation, and Transparency Mode.
What you Get in the Box:
Smart case (AirPods Max already inserted in to the case).
Lightning to USBC cable.
Getting started guide.
Lightning to 3.5mm TRS audio cable.
Note - plug AirPods Max in to chargers that you would usually plug your iPhone in to.
Audio cable is to allow AirPods Max to be plugged in to older devices purely for getting audio out of them, can’t use Siri etc with this cable plugged in.
Physical description and Details of the Head Phones:
Stainless steel frame head band with a soft to touch and stretchy canopy
to take weight off top of head.
Telescoping stainless steel ear cup arms to adjust ear cups to fit over ears.
Brushed aluminium rectangular ear cups with rounded corners.
Stainless steel had band colour to match iPhone 12 colour, and ear cups colour to match iPad Air or MacBook colour.
Ear cup cushions magnetically attached to ear cups, and can be replaced.
Sensors to detect if AirPods max removed from head and will stop media, continuing once head set back on.
When taken off, both ear cups can be rotated 90 degrees to lay flat or to be inserted in to the smart case.
When wearing the head set, ear cups rotate slightly for a better and more comfortable fit.
9 microphones spread over both ear cups to deal with calls, noise/transparency modes, and wind noise reduction.
Each ear cup also contains the H1 chip and 10 core audio computational processor.
What they Sound Like:
Music is absolutely brilliant with individual instruments almost having their own space.
Spacial audio sound is amazing with the music surrounding the listener.
Not basie at all, only when music calls for it.
Excellent with Head Phone Accommodations that you can truly customise the sound.
Lovely to listen to audio books or podcasts.
Phone calls are clear, and callers report ease of listening. Video conferencing services such as Zoom worked just as well with audio quality.
Noise reduction even better than that of the AirPods Pro, this goes the same for the transparency mode.
VoiceOver is just as responsive with the AirPods Max as it is with the AirPods Pro.
Hey Siri is very responsive.
Extremely responsive with VoiceOver on iOS or Mac.
Very comfortable to wear, even though weight is 380 grams. As reviewer is a voiceOver user, wearing the head set all day is not an issue at all.
Telescoping arms allow the perfect position to be set, and take a little effort to adjust when is great as they then do not shorten or lengthen.
Ear cups feel very comfortable over ears, and do not seem to cause sweating etc.
When the AirPods Max are placed in to the Smart Case, magnets in the case put the head set in to a low power mode.
Instant reconnection to an Apple device when placed back on the head. Just simply convenient to turn a dial or press a button.
Easy to locate and use the Digital Crown (volume etc), and Noise Control buttons.
Easy to locate lightning port for charging or plugging in the not supplied audio cable. There is a notch in the smart case to allow a lightning cable to be plugged in to the head set as well.
The aluminium ear cups feel smooth and cool to the touch.
Unlike some head phone cushions, these cushions have a whole magnetic housing which magnetically clips in to the ear cups.
Works with Find My.
Like with AirPods Pro, when playing media or dictating, AirPods Max does not turn this off when using Siri, which it does on Mac OS.
When plugging head set in to a 20W UsBC fast charger, 1.5hours of battery is gained within 5 minutes.
When plugged in to a standard iPhone charger (not a fast charger), from 0 to 95% is achieved in 2hrs.
The aluminium used in the ear cups is the same in the iPod air or MacBook Pros, and is quite durable.
The not supplied Lightning to 3.5MM audio jack cable is purely to connect the head set to older 3.5MM audio devices and offers no benefit besides the physical connection.
Hey Siri and Announce Messages by Siri is also available.
Points to consider:
Note - a few software issues, but the hardware is excellent, software can be improved upon.
Supply own charger.
Supply own audio cable.
The 3.5MM audio cable takes its volume from the device, not the head set, maximum volume therefore on such devices such as the Victor Reader Stream, Victor Trek or the Envoy Connect are about half the volume that the AirPods can put out at maximum volume.
Head set is not water proof.
Smart case doesn’t offer that much protection especially if they are placed in a bag etc.
How durable the mesh is at the top of the head set remains to be seen.
Given the cost, strongly suggest Apple Care.
Reviewer would suggest these are more for office/home use, rather than being out in the community.
Discussion of the AirPods Max from the Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast:
AirPods Max page
Things to Keep you Occupied over the Break
You can find these podcasts on your smart speakers by simply saying the name with Play Podcast:
Daily Tech News Show
Dot To Dot.
Double Tap Canada.
Download this show.
iSee Using Various Technologies from a blind persons perspective.
MacCast for Mac Geeks.
Mosen At Large.
Talking Tech Vision Australia
Tech Doctor Blog and Podcast.
This Week In Tech.
Great Audible Listens (my top 14 Series):
Series - The Demon Accords by Jon Conroe.
Series - Death’s Mantel by Harmon Cooper.
Series - The Keeper Chronicles by JA Andrews.
Series - The Wandering Inn by Pirate Aba.
Series - Chaos Seeds by Aleron Kong.
Series - King’s Dark Tidings by Kel Cade.
Series - The Castes and the Outcastes by Davis Ashura.
Series - Sentinels of Creation by Robert W. Ross.
Series - Dragon Blood by Lindsay Buroker.
Series - The Unbelievable Mr BrownStone by Michael Anderle.
Series - Alison Brownstone by Judy Berens, Martha Carr, and Michael Anderle.
Series - Nightlord by Garon Whited.
Series - The Enslaved Chronicles - by R. K. Thorne.
Series - Hellequin Chronicles by Steve McHugh.
Most of the time these days you can find both Audible and Kindle versions of the same book. However, sometimes a new series may not yet be recorded on Audible or fully complete, in this case, I turn to Kindle books, I just find it nicer to llisten to a good Human Narrator.
One series which there is only one book in Audible is the Edge by Ilona Andrews so I’ve stuck it here as an example.
Series — the Edge by Ilona Andrews.
Of course, you can also check out books on the Vision Australia library.
You can find these radio stations n on your smart speakers by simply saying the name with Play StationName:
Vision Australia Radio Melbourne.
Vision Australia Radio Adelaide.
Any radio station around the world.
With a smart speaker, you can play any type of music you like: Artist, track name, Album or category.
These are played through music subscription services such as Apple Music, Spotify etc on your Nest Audio, Amazon Echo Dot or HomePod mini.
Where to get Help During the Break with Tech Issues
Apple Accessibility support - 1300 365 083.
Microsoft Disability Support - 1800 280 300.q
Remember Aira, and Be My Eyes.
Google Help Desk via the Be My Eyes app.