iACast 156 – Go Big Or Go HomePod Mini

Show Description

On this episode, Michael, Taylor, and Jason discuss Apple’s discontinuation of the original HomePod, and iMac Pro.

News

Apple discontinues the original HomePod and iMac Pro. For more info, see the links in the show description.

Evidence that supports the eminent a-rival of Apple’s AirTags was Found in the Find My app in the iOS 14.5 beta.

Hims has launched the BrailleSense 6.

Google released the Android 12 technical preview.

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Picks

Jason: TalkBack version 9.1.

Taylor: GeneratePress

Michael: The Expeditionary Force Book Series

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Show Transcription

MICHAEL: Hello, everyone and welcome to another episode of the IA cast. All right, with me today, I have the usual group. We have Taylor Arndt,

TAYLOR: Hello, everyone,

MICHAEL: and Jason Earls.

JASON: Hello, everybody.

MICHAEL: All right, we have a great episode for you today. And you know, we’ve been gone for a few weeks. We had a kind of a crazy storm And then we wanted to get back on a regular schedule. So, we’re back with a new episode to talk about all the interesting news that’s happened recently and some rumors and news and a bunch of different things that have happened. So, let’s jump right into it. Our main topic for today is the first news item, and that’s the HomePod being discontinued. And I have very mixed opinions on this.

JASON: I do too. I kind of understand why Apple discontinued the HomePod. Also, they discontinued the HomePod! It’s okay, HomePod buddy, I still love you! As I pat my HomePod.

MICHAEL: Didn’t we have a hashtag for a while, pet the HomePod?

JASON: I think we did.

TAYLOR: Hilarious.

JASON: I was just trying not to pat the screen because I didn’t want music to happen, but that would have actually been really funny.

MICHAEL: I think I have a picture of headphones sitting on a HomePod.

JASON: Oh, yeah! The Andrea Cans!

MICHAEL: Yeah, yeah.

JASON: But yeah, on one hand, I understand why they did it because it was at launch a what, $350 Smart speaker that couldn’t do terribly much more than play music. I mean yes, it sounded good, But you know, it’s not what people were looking for in their smart speakers. Especially considering the likes of the Echo devices, the Google Home Hubs or Homes at the time. And you know, the HomePod’s been around for like 4 years. So, in one respect, I kind of understand it. And you know, the HomePod Mini does have some features that the big HomePod doesn’t have regarding the U1 chip and everything. But at the same time, the HomePod does sound so good! And as good as the Mini is and as great sales figures as the Mini is because of its price point and everything, you can’t argue that it just does not sound as good as the big HomePod.

TAYLOR: Right. But I think if we’re thinking about it, the majority of consumers, they may not be in depth with audio and they may not understand that the HomePod sounds the way it is and that they want to pay for that. Because a lot of them just want to listen to music, and they want it to be portable. And so, that’s where I think it’s coming down to. Like, I understand why they they discontinued it, but yeah, it’s kind of sad. I mean personally, I don’t have a big HomePod, but that’s because in a small apartment, I just don’t have a lot of room.

JASON: Right. And, you know, they did say that they are still going to push out software updates for the big HomePods and support the Apple Care which is good because I just got Apple Care last year.

TAYLOR: Oh, that would stink otherwise.

JASON: Right? But like, I really want them to come out with a bigger HomePod for 199. That’s what I’m hoping for, even though they publicly said to I think it was like iMore or whatever that they were in fact focusing their efforts on HomePod Mini. Because let’s think about it like this, the big HomePod — you know, Apple slash the price to 299, right? So, for $200. You could get two HomePod mini for less money than one bigger HomePod. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s going to have the bigger, basier sound of the HomePod, but at least you would get stereo audio and stuff.

MICHAEL: Well, let’s leave this part for the end because we’re already kind of diving in.

JASON: I know right? I like, I got thoughts I’m sorry.

MICHAEL: But the other bit of news is the iMac Pro completely was discontinued and they’re only selling them while supplies last

JASON:That I’m not sad about.

MICHAEL: In a way, I am. I think it was a great product, but I think we’re about to see something new come from Apple. And as usual, we will be doing a live stream of that event. At least that’s the plan. We’ll be doing a live stream of the Apple event when it happens later this month. Because we do know for certain, right, that there is an apple event?

JASON: I don’t think we do know for certain. I just think speculations hide that there may be one, at least last I checked. But March 23 is the rumored date for the Apple event. I also haven’t really looked at the news today. So things may have changed. But last I knew it was a hypothetical thing at this point. I mean, a highly likely thing at this point.

MICHAEL: And I think it’s because they’re discontinuing these devices and the fact that we have so much information in the code about our next topic, and that’s potential AirTags coming soon. Because there’s mention of them in the find my app.

TAYLOR: Yes, there is.

MICHAEL: On the beta

TAYLOR: Which is awesome because I’ve saw YouTube videos. Obviously, I don’t have the beta myself, but I’ve seen YouTube videos that have mentioned it. Obviously, when you’re on to prepare for the podcast just kind of looking at all the news. And but yeah, definitely pretty cool. And hopefully, hopefully they work. I mean, Tile’s nice, but it’d be nice to have something built in and integrated for finding stuff.

JASON: Right, and I guess Apple’s opening up the FindMy protocol so that companies like Tile could take advantage of it as well. And it’s nice to see that they are opening up more of their frameworks and things.

MICHAEL: Well, and I think that’s because there’s been so much blame for antitrust and things between them and Google and things like that, that they’re trying to make sure that they stay open —

JASON: ahead of that, Yeah.

MICHAEL: Because Google’s had a lot of problems with that because they’re in everything. The last bit of news that we have is, and I won’t make any jokes, Jason, I won’t do it, I won’t do it. Those will be left for off the podcast, the BrailleSense 6. And I only make this joke because if you want to learn more, head to hims-inc.com/bs.6 . And I’m not kidding. Take all the jokes from that you can.

JASON: Exactly.

MICHAEL: Basically, we have the BrailleSense 6, and it was announced this week at CSUN. From what I’ve been able to tell, it was one of the biggest announcements because there weren’t a lot of announcements this week. And the BrailleSense 6 dropped the Polaris naming. And it’s Android 10, 120 Gigs of hard drive space, 80211AC wireless, a battery that while under load will drain 21% in an hour and a half if doing the max amount of work. That’s the only battery statistic we can get. It has SD card slot, it has two USBA ports, a two USBC ports, a headphone jack, supports microphone, The, what is that called, Jason?

JASON: I think it’s TRRS, actually, I believe is the technical standard which is basically what this microphone that I’m using is, which is, think the older headphone jacks on the iPhones or the the headphone jack on the Mac. So it’s that single microphone combo jack.

MICHAEL: And it has all that, it has new software installed. And the person doing the presentation was using Zoom on the BrailleSense. So that’s pretty promising. The only concerns I have are if it’s going to get Android 11 and up, and how well the software is going to work because the Polaris had a lot of issues with deleting documents and things like that.

JASON: Yeah, the BrailleSense Polaris is a very interesting device. I think it also actually Michael, in addition to the headphone jack, I think they said it also has a stereo line in Port as well. So you could connect music things to it, you know, binaural microphones really would work I would imagine to it.

MICHAEL: Nice!

JASON: Did you mention that it has 6 Gigs of RAM?

MICHAEL: No, I did not.

TAYLOR: Nope, you didn’t

JASON: So yeah, it’s got six Gigs of RAM, an 8 core CPU. I don’t remember if they announced the clock speeds of it, but —

MICHAEL: It didn’t.

JASON: So, it really does seem like a very interesting device and —

MICHAEL: And it’s gonna cost 5799, come out in June.

TAYLOR: Yeah. Wow. That’s a lot of money.

JASON: So we do know, the battery will be user replaceable though because they talked about that at the CSUN announcement I think

MICHAEL: they do offer financing and trade ins for your older devices, so those are options to get you a lot closer in price to those devices. So

JASON: Yeah, it’s a very interesting device. I do worry what the battery life is really going to be like,

TAYLOR: Right, and also if it can — like some note takers have a problem where they fall behind mainstream. And so that’s the other concern too, is that like, you buy the $6,000 device almost. Well, it’s already running two versions behind of Android almost at this point. 12 is beta. So that’s the other thing too. These notetakers I mean, they’re great for what they are, but you know, it’s a specialized thing, and they’re not always up to date.

JASON: Like I said to you guys, I think off the show, if I were to get a note taker, it would probably be the BrailleSense. You know, the BrailleSense 6. It’s so weird that they don’t have a name for it now.

TAYLOR: I know.

MICHAEL: Alright, you know, and we could have a whole episode on notetakers, but I think we would want to have somebody on that can talk more about Braille and mainstream versus notetaker because I think that would be a very cool discussion. So

TAYLOR: Yes.

JASON: Yeah, I do too. Because I mean, I’ve used the BrailleSense in the past, but the BrailleSense I used was, I think, even before the U2. So, it was definitely not any of the Android based BrailleSense devices. So

MICHAEL: Another thing that’s happened, the last news topic I really could think about, is Android 12 is in technical preview. We really haven’t talked about that. And I hear it brings a whole lot of user interface changes, but not a lot of — you’re not going to be able to notice it very much with Talkback.

JASON: Yeah, that’s true. I have been playing a little bit with the beta. After a couple false starts, I eventually got it on my Pixel. I accidentally installed the version of Android, that AOSP version, so it didn’t actually have a screen reader which is why I wasn’t getting speech.

TAYLOR: Oh, no. How did you fix that?

JASON: I pre flashed it —

MICHAEL: Very carefully.

JASON: I was —

TAYLOR: Yeah, very carefully.

JASON: Yeah, very carefully. So yeah, I reflashed it, because you can actually go to the Google developer site, and you can actually use their online flash tool, and it will basically do all the work for you

MICHAEL: Online? That’s cool!

JASON: It downloads the image to the device, you have to enable some things like OAM Unlock, and whatnot, it’ll download the image to the device, and it will tell you when it’s safe to unplug your phone at which point it should be booting into the beta of Android.

MICHAEL: That’s fancy.

JASON: I know.

MICHAEL: And talk about the security implications there. I mean, it’s Google, and they have all the security keys and all that. But could you imagine if somebody were to spoof that, and be able to put a knot legit version of Android from a website?

JASON: Yeah, I know. I did actually think about that. And then I stopped thinking about it.

TAYLOR: That might have been a good idea.

JASON: But like I said, I do have Android 12 installed. I don’t notice too much of a difference. Although honestly, my Pixels not my primary driver, my primary driver’s my iPhone. So what I can say though, is that 12 does seem to be relatively stable. And along with the introduction of Talkback 9.1 which is not specific to Android 12, I do think that the Android experience is going to improve a bit which is nice and awesome to see.

MICHAEL: Yeah. So, it’s really cool that, you know, we have the ability to flash these devices remotely. I think it’s really neat. But we’ll have more information about what’s in the beta for Android 12 in a future episode, but I think it’s really cool that we have the ability to do that, and to try these things before they come out, you know, iOS, Android, Windows through the Windows Insider program, and things like that.

JASON: I think the one thing that was kind of annoying to me though is — and maybe it’s just I did it in a way that made this happen. But it ended up forcing me to reset my phone to flash the version of Android 12 on to it. And of course, when I had the version without talkback, I didn’t mind resetting my phone. And I think if you downgrade back to Android 11, I believe it will make you reset as well. They do tell you that. So

MICHAEL: you know, I love how my watch made a noise even though I have — typically if I mute my phone, my watch will mute with it, but not this time.

JASON: Oh, interesting.

MICHAEL: Yeah, usually it mirrors but not this time, that’s interesting. All right, so for our ad part of the show today, I want to talk to you guys about app development services that’s offered by iAccessibility. iAccessibility offers app development services for iOS and Android at $50 an hour where we will build your app from the ground up based on your website or however, whatever app you’re trying to build. And the app will be accessible and usable by all users. Unless it’s a game that you really need specific use cases. We’ll still try to make it as accessible as possible, though. So,, we’ve built apps like VO Starter, we’ve built apps like Pocket Braille, Blind Bargains, ACB Link, And that’s just a few of the different apps on a lot of platforms that have been created. So $50 an hour minimum of $1,000 and you can have your app in the iOS and Google Play app stores. So you can go to iaccessibility.net to learn more, and we will be promoting that more on the website. So, people look out and we’ll have more information. So thanks for listening to the iACast. And now on to our main topic for today. And we’ve already talked a little bit about that, and it’s Apple discontinuing products like the HomePod. And you guys, I — this is — I feel like this is the most products that Apple’s discontinued at one time. And you know, Microsoft has done it. I mean, they discontinued a whole store line. Google, Google is the project killer, they are known for that. Do you guys think Apple’s kind of jumping on board that train,

JASON: I think in a way they are. I really think what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to streamline their product line, and you know, not have so many variations of things around. Especially in the case of the iMac Pro. I keep wanting to call it the MacBook Pro. That is a different product. But the iMac Pro because they really want us all to move over to Apple silicon, which, you know, I’m personally fine with. So I really think that’s part of it. And, you know, as far as the HomePod, I like to think that they have something new planned to replace this beautiful, soft, lovely mesh, big HomePod that I’m totally like rubbing a finger against right now because it just, it’s fun!

MICHAEL: Hashtag pet the HomePod.

JASON: Exactly. But you know, I really hope that they do have something to replace the bigger HomePod with at some point soon. Because, yeah.

TAYLOR: Yeah. So the thing with that is that, I think, like I said, a lot of these companies are doing that right now. They’re just trying to streamline. And you know, Google has been doing it for years. Microsoft kills things. But Apple, like I said, this is really a first. They don’t really do this all that often. And so, either one of two things, they either have a lot more products coming and they need to get rid of stuff, or they’re just trying to streamline because a COVID and everything, obviously, but we’ve been in COVID for over a year now. So who knows. You know, they’re just trying to get things streamline. Or if they are trying to add new products, but they need to get rid of some first.

MICHAEL: And it might be — it might just be that they don’t plan to update. Oh, well, actually, you know what? I think the Home Pod runs on the processor that the iPhone seven runs on. Isn’t it, Jason?

JASON: The big HomePod? Yeah, it’s the A8.

MICHAEL: Oh, wow. And I think that’s the next on the chopping block this year, guys.

TAYLOR: iPhone seven, you think next?

JASON: I think well, the seven has the A9, right?

MICHAEL: I don’t remember —

JASON: No, wait a minute. No, I think the A8 is from the iPhone 6. Actually.

MICHAEL: But I remember the 6S is the last version — iOS runs on the 6S. And so I bet the iPhone seven will be the final version that 15 will run on.

JASON: Oh, that’s possible. I mean, at the same time, they did actually change the foundation according to some tech sites. They did change the foundation of what HomePod OS was. So for a while it was based on a foundation of iOS. And then I don’t remember when this happened. But supposedly they ended up changing the foundation from iOS to TV OS so that it wouldn’t have as much code and things in in the OS that isn’t really needed and used by the HomePod. So I was kind of not expecting to see the cancellation of the big HomePod for another year or two yet. I was a bit surprised. But maybe — I mean, I was going to say maybe this has something to do too, with the silicon chip shortage. But that would probably be more to do with the Mac, I would think maybe then the homePod.

MICHAEL: Well, it’s interesting because I’m wondering if they’re going to rename the HomePod Mini eventually to something else. Or if we’re going to have the HomePod Pro, come out and then put a new device in later on in the HomePod category

JASON: Right, or the HomePod Max.

TAYLOR: Right, or the HomePod Pro Max.

JASON: I don’t think they’ll do Pro — well, I lie, 12 Pro. —

MICHAEL: If you think about it, on the Mac, we don’t have a MacBook, we have the Mac Mini, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. We don’t have a Mac Book or the Mac.

TAYLOR: Oh, right.

MICHAEL: So that might be kind of the landscape we’re looking at for HomePod for a while.

JASON: Maybe.

MICHAEL: Because if you notice the mac book that came out like 2015-2016–

JASON: 2015-2016, I think 2016, yeah.

MICHAEL: It was short lived as well. So you know we have the air and the pro that are still around but the flagship name was was discontinued quick on that line too. So that’s kind of interesting to think about.

JASON: Yeah, it really is. And I think the one thing that’s keeping me from being complete and utter 100% distraught that the big HomePod is being discontinued is just the fact that the — and I think I said this before, that Apple did say that they are still going to issue software updates for the big home pods for the time being, and supported still through Apple Care.

MICHAEL: I’m wondering if you put two HomePod minis in a room, if you get the same quality sound as one big HomePod,

JASON: I think you would get the same overall quality sound, because the HomePod Mini does seem like it sounds very similar to the big HomePod just without that deep low bass that the big ones can hit.

MICHAEL: Yeah. And I don’t know, it’s to the point where when we look at these devices, it’s hard to it’s, and you know, maybe I’m just, my train of thought just keeps going all over the place. But the more I think about things, maybe this is a way for tech companies to dispel rumors and leaks by just saying, we’re going to discontinue this, we’re going to change this. And so it kind of throws people off to know what the next step is going to be.

JASON: Yeah, maybe. I think though, in the case of the iMac pro being discontinued, we all know, it’s most likely going to be because we’re going to be seeing an apple silicon based iMac. Now whether we see that on March 23, which I personally don’t think we’ll see. I will say that on the show. And I’ll be very happy to be wrong. But I don’t think we’re going to see that on the 23rd.

MICHAEL: I think we will, I think that’s going to be the focus is iMacs this year.

JASON: I don’t know, I think we might see things about AirTags and iPad pros and stuff, but we’ll see. If I’m wrong. I’ll be happy.

Michael: See, maybe we need to come up with the accessibility pool. Because what I think we’re gonna see and take your bets people.

TAYLOR: Okay,

MICHAEL: I think we’re gonna see iMacs, colored iMacs, I don’t think we’re gonna see iPads just yet. But that’s just me. Now, in saying that, iPads have come out in March before. So it’s not out of the norm. But IMAX used to be used for education as well. And so if they bring out the colored iMacs like they had for education in the past and kind of marketed towards that, I could definitely see that being a march thing. And plus, iPad Pro has typically has an 18 month life cycle. It’s only been 11 months since iPads have come out. So in other words, this is Michael trying to say please let my iPad be relevant in April.

TAYLOR: Well, I have to agree with Jason on this one, Michael. Because, like I said, with all the evidence and stuff, I think it’s gonna be AirTags and stuff. But again, if I’m wrong, I’ll be more than happy to admit it. But I really think I have to agree with Jason, Michael.

MICHAEL: And who knows, we may see all these things. I doubt it but

TAYLOR: That’d crazy.

JASON: no, you know what’s really gonna happen. Apple’s not actually going to have a product event on the 23rd, they’re going to just announced their new products quietly on their site. And then we’ll all be wrong.

MICHAEL: And it could happen, it could happen.

JASON: I do think though regardless, as sad as I am to see the big HomePod be discontinued, and like I said, me personally, I’m not terribly upset about the iMac pros cancellation and we’re excited because, you know, that just tells me to watch out for the iMac. Not that I’m going to get one but it’s still always fun to see what they’re going to come out with. I still enjoy my HomePod. You know, I still plan on using it until something happens. Like, if nothing else using it until Apple decides they’re not going to update it anymore. Whenever that may be, so.

MICHAEL: Well, and that shows me that them discontinuing these things that just, especially on the iMac side it means that they have something new coming around the corner and they may decide that the pro line of iMac just isn’t needed anymore because of what the A1 and A1x will do for these devices. I mean —

JASON: You mean the M1?

MICHAEL: Yeah, the M1.

JASON: It’s a processor, Michael it’s not steak sauce.

TAYLOR & MICHAEL: Right.

MICHAEL: That needs to be the name of an episode sometime. Our previous episode title we came up with it is going to be it.

JASON: Yeah, but that would be hilarious. 156 It’s a processor not steak sauce.

MICHAEL: All right. And you know, I wonder if that’s why they started with a4S.

JASON: I don’t know.

MICHAEL: Because Could you imagine Apple naming, now introducing our first processor line, the A1.

JASON: and then Could you imagine the hilarity in covering the lawsuits, if that would even happen. That’d be funny.

MICHAEL: Anyway, would that’d be a coprocessor for for Intel the A1 because it has to go along with it to make it better?

TAYLOR: I don’t know, would it be? That’s your call.

MICHAEL: I mean, if we’re comparing Intel to steak there would be A1 processor from Apple to

JASON: They’ll call it, I don’t know, I was gonna say steak Lake, but that just sounds weird. Dinner Lake,

MICHAEL: Dinner lake. All right, out there. There you go Intel. When you come out with that chip that everybody wants just say time for dinner. Like,

JASON: Exactly.

MICHAEL: Anyway, I think this is the most jokes we’ve told in a podcast. And I really think that the M1X will really be like, there’s no pro version of that, there’s no way to up the process or on that. So there’s, on the Intel iMacs, you can get i5, I7, I9, and you have the better display on the Pro, which they can still do the better display. But if the display is already going to be amazing in these new iMacs with the new chips, then they don’t have a need to do that. So, there may not need to be an iMac pro because the new iMac will just be able to boast that it’s pro already with the built in Apple silicon.

JASON: And that was kind of my thinking, when I first read about the cancellation of the iMac Pro, I was actually thinking as you were talking and I don’t really think Apple’s gonna do this, if they came out with instead of the M1x. Or the M1 2, having the M1 Pro, but I really don’t think they would do that, considering they already have products in their pro line that have the M1 and that would confuse people.

MICHAEL: Right. But, you know, I just think that they’re going to, I think that they — now that we’re looking at coming slowly out of COVID, they’re going to be looking for the best way to sell their products. And if you could just say, look at the shiny new products we have in our stores aren’t aren’t these amazing, people are going to want them and especially if they start doing these colors, like they’ve shown on concept art and things like that, that that are rumored, that’s just going to be amazing.

JASON: I mean, look at how popular the new Macs have been already, you know, because working from home and they’ve got that long battery life and the slightly upgraded camera because of the ISP

MICHAEL: And you know, I’m doing all this on an M1 Mac, the recording and Zoom, and all that. And I keep telling people it’s the better of the two machines. I mean, this is still a terrible camera, but I’m looking at my face on here. And it looks a lot better than my other Mac did, by far. So Apple has really gone a long way with what they’re doing. All right, do you guys have any final comments we want to give before we wrap up today?

JASON: Steak!

MICHAEL: Yes.

TAYLOR: Oh my God!

JASON: No, I’m kidding. But you know, it’s very interesting to see these product cancellations. I keep flitting between I’m sad, especially for the HomePod. And it’s because there’s going to be something new, like, a lot of me is just like, This has to because there’s something new. So it’s going to be very interesting to see what actually ends up happening.

MICHAEL: Well, you know, the interesting thing, I want to point this out. The interesting thing about the home pod Mini is you don’t need to plug those into the wall.

JASON: Right.

MICHAEL: And that’s really interesting. I mean, you could build a USBC — you could buy a USBC hub, plug it into the wall and have five home pod minis hooked up to that thing —

TAYLOR: In a power strip. Yeah.

MICHAEL: Well, not even a power strip, just a USBC hub.

TAYLOR: Oh, wow. Oh, yeah because it doesn’t even plug in to the wall. Wow, I’m not thinking

JASON: Or a battery pack.

MICHAEL: Yeah, you could hook it up to a battery pack. And so that makes it almost more usable than the echo.

TAYLOR: Yes, Yes!

MICHAEL: And so I think that’s why Apple really wants to focus on that because they’re like, there’s so much possibility here.

TAYLOR: I wouldn’t blame them.

MICHAEL: I mean, it sounds better than any echo. I’m sure. I don’t know, I haven’t heard one yet. But

JASON: Review say they do.

MICHAEL: So, you know you put a few in a room. You’re gonna get good audio. The only thing that you can’t do is use the standard stereo speaker — or TV speakers.

JASON: You can, they just won’t — I just don’t think they’ll do Dolby Atmos and stuff that the big HomePods do.

MICHAEL: How would you do — oh, well, Apple TV speakers, but how would you use the standard TV speakers?

JASON: Oh, okay. Yeah, I misheard. I thought you said Apple TV. Yeah, you can’t use Well, you can’t even use a big HomePod as a standard TV speaker. So that’s not

MICHAEL: It’s not new. Could you imagine if they came out with the HomePod sub where you had 2 of the apple speakers of the homepod minis as your regular speakers? Now, that’s a possibility.

JASON: That’s actually funny that you mentioned that because I was talking to somebody pre show about that. And what they had said is, Apple comes out with this sub and then gives it 2 USB C ports so that you can plug two HomePods directly into the wall or something. I don’t know if that is what they’re going to do. But that would certainly be interesting. It’ll definitely help with the idea of, I want to have stereo speakers, but I need two outlets if they decided to go that route. So who knows?

MICHAEL: Yeah, I’m really excited to see what they do. I mean, if they bring out a HomePod sub, I will press that Buy button immediately. I’m not kidding that if they did that, you know, I would buy a home pod sub. And it kind of makes sense, guys, I think that’s actually probably what they’re going to do. Because it would make money for them. If you had to buy two HomePod Minis and A HomePod sub. Let’s price the sub at $200. They’re making $50 more off of you then if you bought one HomePod. Now, granted, they’re not going to make 600 or $700 if you had to buy two regular HomePods. But, who’s gonna do that anyway?

TAYLOR: Right.

JASON: Yeah, that’s true. I think though, the only downside to this is, as it stands right now, if you were looking to buy HomePods, new, that would do Dolby Atmos, you can’t, because that was a feature specific to the bigger HomePods. And I don’t know if it’s because the eight is more powerful than the S5 or whatever CPU the minis have inside, I think it’s the S5 or if it’s just that the Mini. , I mean, the big HomePod has more microphones, and it’s not limited to the chip. But as of right now, you can’t buy new home pods directly from Apple. If you want to do Dolby Atmos.

MICHAEL: actually you can for right now during the time of this recording, but.

JASON: I didn’t even see a link in the store for the HomePod when I last looked.

MICHAEL: So I just looked, and they’re still in the Apple Store app for 299. You can pick either one.

JASON: Oh, they have the Space Gray ones back?

MICHAEL: Yeah, they’re showing both of them, at least when I looked it showed a picture showing both of them.

JASON: Oh, that’s interesting, because I knew for a while that they only had the white ones around. And it’s very interesting then that I couldn’t get to them. Because on the Apple Store, on Apple’s website, if you wanted to see the HomePods, the only way it was able to find them is by going under the Apple Music link. And they talked about the HomePods and the AirPods and the AirPods Max. The only HomePod they listed was the HomePod Mini. Whereas the big HomePod used to be there. So that’s interesting that they still show up in the Apple Store —

MICHAEL: Yep, they are in the Aplle Store app. Yeah.

JASON: And of course you can buy them from other retailers. It’s not just Apple that sells the HomePods but

MICHAEL: And since they’re discontinued, I would wait so you can get them from Best Buy or somewhere else where they will be much cheaper.

TAYLOR: Yep.

JASON: Just keep in mind, if you’re going to go that route, that we don’t know how long Apple is going to support the big HomePods with software updates, even — All we know is that they are still going to support them.

MICHAEL: Alright, well, that’s gonna do it for our show today. Jason, to end us off for today, where can people find you online? And what’s your pick?

JASON: So my pick is, funnily enough, not an Apple product, but rather a Google product.

MICHAEL: Ah, just wait. It’ll be discontinued at some point.

TAYLOR: Probably Well, next week.

JASON: Specifically, my pick is talkback version 9.1. And I pick it because it enhances talkback by allowing you to use multi finger gestures. Finally, it has a Braille keyboard. Although, the Braille keyboards been there since 8.4 I think it was? But I really find I like the multi finger gestures. I like the new unified talkback menu. And it’s just, I just love this version of talkback compared to the older ones, because I can disable the angular gestures and the proximity sensor silencing speech. I can turn that off now because you can now tap with two fingers to pause speech.

MICHAEL: Oh, that’s fantastic.

JASON: And the magic tap gesture for iOS users is there. And so it’s really nice. You know, they don’t have the rotor as such. I mean, you can’t rotate two fingers on the screen or whatever, but they definitely do have an easy way to navigate, granularity and stuff now and it’s all customized Pretty much. So talkback 9.1 it’s pretty nice. So that is my pick. As far as where people can find me, you can find me producing content for iAccessibility, you can email me at Jason@iaccessibility.net. And you can also follow me on twitter at jde 1. I know that I have been giving my Facebook out in past episodes, I have decided that I will no longer give that out. I no longer have the app installed. So yeah, those are the ways you can follow me, find me email emailing me and following me on on Twitter. And if you catch me in clubhouse, then feel free to say hi,

MICHAEL: All right, Taylor, what’s your pick for the week? And where can people find you online?

TAYLOR: Okay, so my pick is a little technical. So I’m going to explain it. I pick generate press. And for those who don’t know, Generatepress is a WordPress theme. And a WordPress theme is basically a thing that will help enhance the visuals of your site. So it basically helps make your site look the way it looks. In a short version. I mean, like a short description. So what it will do is it is really awesome, because you can customize every part of your site. And the cool part is that it’s fully accessible. There are two versions free and premium. The free theme is literally just you go download it from wordpress.org theme directory, and the paid one is a paid plugin. I believe it’s 59 a year or what? I can’t rember the lifetime of like 249 lifetime Michael?

MICHAEL: I didn’t see a life. Yeah, I think it’s 250 lifetime

TAYLOR: Okay, so I really love Generatepress thanks to Michael Babcock and dimasi Thomas for mentioning those to me in a Clubhouse room. Where you can find me online, I’m all over the web. Literally, I have a YouTube channel that I would like you guys to check out, Taylor’s Tech Talks. And that also has a podcast now. So if you like hearing from me, you can hear from me and both of those places. I also am on Twitter and clubhouse you can email me at Taylor@iAccessibility.net. And follow me on Twitter, Taylor_arndt22. And I am also producing content for iAccessibility.

MICHAEL: Alright, so my pick for this week is a book series I’m reading called Expeditionary Force. And the first book in this series is called Columbus Day. The author is, I believe his name is Craig allanson. And he he has written several books in this series. And it’s an awesome, awesome book series, The sci fi series about aliens taking over Earth, and about how humanity kind of steals a ship and goes out in the galaxy to kind of protect Earth. So there’s an AI That’s hilarious. And I’m not going to give anything more away about the series. But check it out. Highly recommend it. I’m on the third book right now. And I’ve been reading it for about two weeks and each books about 15 hours on Audible. So that tells you how dedicated to this series I am. So highly recommend it. As for where you can find me. You can find me producing content for iAccessibility. You can email me at mikedoise@iAccessibility.net. I’m Mike, always on Twitter, and on Facebook, just search for Michael Doise. And you go to Michaeldoise.com from my website, and I have a YouTube channel that I’m trying to make time to work on. And you know, I have content everywhere. And yeah, just very excited to be on clubhouse. I’m there as well. So find me on clubhouse. Just search for Michael Doise, and we even now, here’s an announcement. We have a club. We’re all fancy and everything we have the iAccessibility network club. In fact, after this recording, we will be on clubhouse doing a after episode kind of a discussion to talk about these things. So come hang out with us on clubhouse as we talk about today’s episode. So we hope that you have enjoyed this episode of the IiACast. And we’ll be back in two weeks for another episode. And it’s been awesome getting to talk about all these things with you guys, Jason and Taylor. Want to thank everybody that’s been on the stream and everybody that will listen once the episode comes out. And we will be back next time for new episodes. So until then, take care and keep playing with new technology.

JASON: This show has been brought to you by the IACast Network. We love hearing from you. Email us at feedback@iaccessibility.net. Got twitter? Follow us at iaccessibility1. Facebook, search for IAccessibility. Download our free apps for IOS and Android and keep up with all of our content at iaccessibility.net. If you’d like to donate to our show, hit the payPal button on our website, and get early access to our outtakes with a donation at patrion.com/iacast. Thanks for listening

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