Episode 187: Apple Introduces More Accessibility, Amazon and Tile Hit the Sidewalk, and Hating Trampolines

Android 15 Talkback Updates

Marc Aflalo and Shaun Preece are back with all the latest tech news in this week’s Double Tap Canada. And as Steven is still off relaxing, ahem, sorry I mean recuperating, it’s down to Marc to tell us all what new tech he’s bought this week. Spoiler alert: he’s extremely impressed with the new iPad and Apple TV.

Next up it’s on to music news. Apple have now confirmed the rumours that they are indeed going to be offering loss-less audio on their Apple Music service. This is obviously great news for the audiophiles out there but, in a surprising twist, it turns out Apple’s own premium headphones, the AirPods Max, are not able to support loss-less audio. On the same theme, there is also news that Bose has entered the hearing aid market with their SoundControl hearing aids. With Bose’s proven track record when it comes to quality audio and with the SoundControl hearing aids being FDA approved and priced far lower than the competition, could this be the start of some positive disruption to the hearing aid market?

Back to Apple, now with some genuinely great news when it comes to accessibility. Apple announced a number of software updates that will bring new features and improvements to their customers. First up is a new app called SignTime. This gives hearing impaired customers remote access to a sign language interpreter without the need to book ahead. It’s a service aimed at customers visiting an Apple Store or requiring any customer support, and is a very welcome addition. There’s also a major update coming to the Apple Watch which will allow the use of hand gestures, such as clenching the fist or performing a pinch motion, to control the watch. One example included the ability to answer an incoming call by simply clenching your fist twice. And that’s not all, there’s also promised improvements to VoiceOver in the form of photo descriptions and the ability to set display accommodations per individual app, improvements to Switch control that allows the use of sounds to control cursor movement, and more. For anyone feeling that accessibility is always pushed to the background, it’s great to see just how much work Apple is putting into making their devices usable by everyone.

In other news, Amazon has teamed up with Tile in an effort to offer an alternative to the recently released Apple AirTags. One of the main selling points of the AirTags is that, because of the amount of Apple devices out there, if you do lose something, there’s a good chance that its location will be picked up and relayed to you by someone walking past with an iPhone, etc. Well, by teaming up with Amazon, if a Tile tracker is reported as lost then it’s location can be found by its new ability to connect to the Amazon Sidewalk network. This is a new feature found in Amazon’s smart speakers, which allows devices to connect to the Internet through any of the millions of smart speakers out there in people’s houses. Competition is always good, and it’s going to be interesting to see how well this new collaboration works.

Of course, there’s much more talk too, such as Marc’s new gaming laptop, the dream of a M1 powered Apple Watches, old man vaccinations and why trampolines are terrible… Welcome to Double Tap Canada!

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