Wi-Fi October 30

AAPL: 119.50

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Apple plans to start selling the 12.9-inch iPad Pro on Wednesday, November 11th via both its physical retail and online stores, according to multiple sources. Apple previously only said that the large tablet would become available during the month of November, a couple of months after the introduction in early September. The iPad Pro’s marquee accessories, the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, will also become available for purchase on November 11th. The iPad Pro starts at $799 and comes in both 32GB and 128GB configurations with WiFi only. An LTE-compatible version comes exclusively in the 128GB configuration and costs upwards of $1000. We reported earlier this week that Apple’s support staff is scheduled to complete iPad Pro training by November 6th, less than a week prior to the launch.

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Wi-Fi October 26

AAPL: 115.28

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Wi-Fi calling – the iPhone feature Apple introduced in iOS 8 – is a really handy feature, routing phone calls over Wi-Fi when the mobile signal is poor or non-existent. There’s just one problem: it’s illegal for U.S. carriers to support the feature because it breaks the TTY text-chat protocol used by some hearing-impaired users. AT&T asked the FCC to grant it a waiver to switch on the service, and now Verizon has done the same.

The two companies have, however, adopted different positions on the service …  expand full story

Wi-Fi September 28

AAPL: 112.44

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Five years in the making and fifteen months since its last speaker release, all-in-one speaker maker Sonos is ready to unveil its next flagship speaker to the world with the all-new Play:5. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Play:5 is the same name as the previous flagship home speaker from Sonos before today. With its name unchanged, then what exactly is different with the latest premium connected speaker from Sonos? For starters there’s a streamlined design with a new input method for controlling playback. Sonically, the new Play:5 delivers an array of sound with volume that easily fills a sizable room.

And alongside the new Play:5, Sonos is releasing a new speaker calibration tool called Trueplay. Using the built-in mic on your iPhone or iPad, intelligent algorithms, and a bouncy sci-fi tone, Trueplay enables Sonos speaker owners to enhance their speakers to deliver enhanced sound in the home regardless of speaker placement. Current Sonos customers will be happy to learn that Trueplay isn’t just coming to the latest connected speaker either… expand full story


If you ever use your iPhone on poor-quality WiFi networks, you may want to check your mobile data usage. As Quartz noted, a new feature introduced with iOS 9 is leading some people to see dramatic increases in their mobile data usage.

Wi-Fi Assist means that iOS recognizes slow WiFi and supplements it with mobile data. Great for ensuring your browsing experience doesn’t suffer, but it can come at a cost, with some users reporting that their iPhone is now using literally gigabytes more mobile data since upgrading. Unless you have unlimited data, that can get expensive.

Wi-Fi Assist is on by default, and rather hidden away in Settings, so here’s how to switch it off …  expand full story

Wi-Fi August 26

AAPL: 109.69

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I love AirPlay. It’s simple and elegant. It also means that my elderly but much-loved B&O Ouverture hifi system (with BeoLab 6000 speakers) – which is actually so old that it has a cassette deck – needed only a low-cost WiFi audio receiver to allow it to wirelessly stream music from my MacBook Pro. One $40 add-on and a 20-year-old hifi became bang up to date in its capabilities.

With my particular setup, AirPlay does exactly what we expect of Apple products: It Just Works. I open iTunes, select ‘B&O’ from the speaker output menu, and anything I play in iTunes – whether from my own music library or streamed from Apple Music – plays through the hifi, while system sounds continue to play through the Mac speakers. My partner can stream her own music from her iPad or iPhone just as readily.

I’d previously tried a Bluetooth audio receiver, and the difference between that and AirPlay is night and day. No pairing. No worries about distance. No interference when someone walks between the Mac and hifi. No system sounds emerging at deafening volumes though my hifi speakers.

But despite my own happy experience of it, AirPlay is not without its problems …  expand full story

Wi-Fi July 22

If you were wondering why manufacturers seemed to be rather slow in launching HomeKit-compatible devices, it may all be down to Apple’s stringent security requirements. Forbes reports that manufacturers are finding it hard to incorporate the extremely secure encryption standards demanded by Apple in order to achieve MFi certification for their products.

Apple is requiring device makers using both WiFi and Bluetooth LE to use complicated encryption with 3072-bit keys, as well as the super secure Curve25519, which is an elliptic curve used for digital signatures and exchanging encrypted keys.

While mains-powered WiFi kit is coping, the processing workload in battery-powered Bluetooth LE devices is leading to extremely slow response times, say manufacturers …  expand full story


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