In ITy Bytes 23 May

  • Apple widens MacBook #keyboardgate repair program;
  • Bose releases Rose Gold QC 35 II Bluetooth ANC headphones;
  • Bose Frames coming June 13;
  • More 5G phones coming;
  • Just how much do tech giants know about you?

ITy Bytes 23 May

Apple widens MacBook #keyboardgate repair program

Apple has quietly expanded its MacBook, Air and Pro keyboard replacement to cover almost any fault with its ‘butterfly’ keyboard and widened the model range to include MacBook’s from early 2015 to 2019.

ITy Bytes 23 May

The new service program as of 21 May (here) also covers for four years after purchase

  • Letters or characters repeat unexpectedly
  • Letters or characters do not appear
  • Key(s) feel “sticky” or do not respond in a consistent manner

But customers also report that there are other issues that Apple must (and should) cover. These include individual keys ‘tilting’, keycaps coming off and not staying on and a new symptom – keyboard lag (which could simply be letters not appearing ‘promptly’.

Judging by the number of faulty MacBook keyboards GadgetGuy has seen this is going to be a significant issue.

Apple’s limit to four-years replacement could also arbitrarily limit the scope of Australian Consumer Law (and I am sure that is not its intention in this global announcement) – especially for earlier MacBooks with the Butterfly 1 or 2 keyboards.

The catch 22 is that any repair usually involves replacing the entire keyboard ‘deck’ and to date, Apple is using the same potentially flawed keyboards so the issue may not go away. Analysts are shouting that replacing a faulty keyboard with a potentially faulty one cruels re-sale value of an expensive MacBook.

GadgetGuy’s advice – if you have a MacBook and it has exhibited any keyboard issues get to an Apple repair centre ASAP.

Bose releases Rose Gold QC 35 II Bluetooth ANC headphones

We love the honesty of the press release – “There are no new features for the limited-edition product, it is rather a new colour addition.”

Channel Seven’s GadgetGuy Val Quinn loves these, and they are his constant travelling companion. Review here.

ITy Bytes 23 May

 The Bose QuietComfort, 35 II Limited Edition Rose Gold Bluetooth noise, cancelling headphones are $499.95.

Bose Frames coming June 13

GadgetGuy will be covering the Australian Launch on 5 June so stay tuned. In essence Bose Frames (US site here) are cool looking sunglasses that combine the functionality and performance of wireless headphones, and the world’s first audio augmented reality platform along with the new, globally available Bose Frames Lens Collection, a set of gradient and mirrored lenses that can be easily switched to customise their style, change colours, and reduce glare.

Bose Frames are Bose AR compatible — the first commercial product embedded with the Bose audio augmented reality platform.  Unlike other augmented reality glasses and platforms, Bose AR doesn’t change what you see, integrate an obtrusive camera lens, or require your phone’s camera to superimpose objects in your sightline.  Instead, it knows where you are and what you’re facing using a 9-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device — and automatically adds a layer of audio through Bose AR apps, connecting that place and time to endless possibilities for travel, learning, entertainment, gaming, and more.  It’s all accessible through the ease of downloading and listening, making Bose Frames better over time.

Mehul Trivedi, director of Bose Frames, said

“Frames are both magical and practical. With the new lens options, they’re more versatile premium sunglasses.  But when you turn them on, they function like headphones, instantly connecting to your phone, contacts, the web, and all its audible content.  Frames have taken the wearable category by storm since their U.S. release six months ago, and we’re really excited to bring their ground-breaking performance — and new accessories — to people all over the world.”

Bose Frames are available from 13 June and come in Matte Black and two universal styles — the larger (Alto) and smaller (Rondo).  Cost is $299.9.  The Bose Frames Lens Collection non-polarised and polarised lenses cost $29.95 and $49.  Bose AR is in the Bose Connect app at Google Play and the iOS App Store. 

ITy Bytes 23 May

Stay tuned for more on these cool shades with attitude.

More 5G phones coming

LG to launch V50 ThinQ 5G phone on Tuesday 5 June. Global website here and it looks like a high-specified and well-made device.

It has a 6.4-inch OLED screen, 6/128GB RAM/Storage, Snapdragon 855, X50 modem and three rear cameras

ITy Bytes 23 May

OPPO is launching its Reno 5G (global website here) and in true OPPO style has some lovely  colours and finishes as well as its famous 10X periscope zoom offering 16-160mm focal length, 48MP main camera, Dual OIS and all the AI smarts like Ultra Night Mode 2.0 and AI Portrait optimisation, beautification, Dazzle colour, 5 bokeh pre-sets. Early indications are that it will blitz the DxoMark – yet again.

To top it off it has a 6.6” AMOLED screen, 8GB/256GB RAM/Storage, Snapdragon 855, X50 5G modem and all the bells and whistles.

ITy Bytes 23 May

OPPO is not subject to the US Presidential Executive Order technology bans as some other Chinese handset makers are.

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G launch is 28 May. Preliminary details here.

HTC is launching its 5G modem next week. Stay tuned.

 And before you get caught up in 5G Hype read our GadgetGuy 5G guide here.

Just how much do tech giants know about you?

Too much if you use the Who’s Watching You study and tool by vpnMentor.

 Secrets hiding in the T&C’s include:  

  • Location – All 6 of the main dating apps, such as Tinder, Hinge and Happn, continue to track your location when the app is not in use, and Hinge and Tinder even ignore the “Do Not Track” instruction.
  • Your Messages – Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram use the information you share on their messaging services, while Twitter and Spotify openly state they have access to any messages sent on their platforms.
  • Device Information – Google and Amazon keep hold of voice recordings from searches and Alexa, respectively, while Apple Music tracks phone calls and emails on the devices.
  • Contacts – so they can link you to others and market to them as well
ITy Bytes 23 May

Online daters beware – one of the key discoveries revealed that those dating sites within the Match.com umbrella (Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid and Plentyoffish) all share any data share with each other.  All also share data with dating app Hinge that states user data is accessible on a need-to-know basis by Hinge personnel, rather than completely anonymised.