It’s a bit like designing a four-storey train knowing full well that it won’t fit under any existing bridges without substantial modification to the bridges.
But then again, if even if you could listen to lossless audio, would you really be able to tell the difference? And given that Apple’s own headphone range (which is primarily wireless now) is intended to be used on the move – you’re effectively competing against environmental/background noise anyway.
No, the lossless format is really intended for those with decent audio equipment where you can plug it into an Apple TV or Mac (or even an iPhone). Maybe there’s potential for third-party manufacturers to make iPhone Lightning docks with the right gubbins that can output good quality Apple Lossless music.
I’m personally looking forward to seeing what they can do with the Dolby Atmos based Spatial Audio which IS supported by existing Apple headphones. It works really well and look forward to wider adoption.
I’m quite convinced that the NHS vaccine online booking service was designed for car drivers. Those people with easy access to cars. I’m trying like mad to get an appointment, but there are none available in less than a 15-mile radius at a place which makes it near impossible to get to with public transport. When a location does turn up that’s closer – you MUST arrange the second appointment at the same time and often – in fact 99% of the time – you can’t go back to the same place as the first appointment and you have to travel even further away to get there.
Don’t think I’m ungrateful for getting a free vaccine, but it’s no bloody good to me if I have to go considerably out of my way to get it. I’d be happy to pay £100 to get the damn thing locally (with an option of which vaccine, if possible). But there doesn’t appear to be a way of doing this.
And what also gets me is that the UK government wants to get things as close to normal as possible in June when there are still many people trying to get their first vaccine. Transmission rates will, hopefully, be down because there will be many people who have had the vaccine, but the risk remains – especially with regards to some of the different mutant strains. I have a strong feeling that without further controls, things are going to escalate out of control again – complacency is going to bugger things up.
I’ll keep checking the online booking system daily, as I do, to try and find something reasonably suitable that I can either take public transport to, or an taxi/Uber. But the availability of vaccination centres appears to be incredibly slim.
Apple, my favourite technology company and bruiser of bank balances, has released something that should help me never forget where I’ve put important things such as my keys, wallet and backpack/baggage. And if I do lose them, hopefully retrieve them without screaming blue bloody murder. I am, of course, talking about the all new Apple AirTag.
The AirTag is a small round device, not much bigger than a 10 pence piece that fits inside a plastic holder. Within the holder lies the magical guts of the beast that provides Bluetooth and Ultrawide Band radios to help you locate it if you happen to misplace whatever it’s attached to. There’s also a CR2032 battery which lasts about a year before it’ll need replacing (and to do so is easy enough, apply some pressure to the shiny side, twist counter cloockwise and pop off the lid – replace battery and pop the lid back on).
And that’s it. It just sits there, idle, until you want to find whatever the AirTag is attached to. In my case, a leather keyring that’s attached to my house keys. If I misplace them, I just need to open the Find My app on the iPhone and if they’re nearby, I can use the iPhone to locate them – it’ll throw up an arrow and distance measurement and I can move around until I find it. Or I can get the AirTag to play a sound.
If I REALLY misplace my keys (which I did do a few years ago – leaving them at home and locking myself out the house, although until I got the locksmith to let me back in, I wasn’t sure whether I had left them at home or had lost them on the way to work), I can place them in Lost mode which uses the network the iPhones and iPads to let me find it on Apple Maps so I can go and retrieve it. Meanwhile, if the device is Lost mode, anybody coming across an AirTag can scan it, and if you allow the system to do, allow the finder to contact you. Of course, this being Apple, privacy is paramount and there are a number of techniques built into the system to prevent people from getting your details or placing an AirTag on you to track you.
It’s an intriguing system and I’ve bought another four to add to my bags and wallet too. Speaking of wallet, I’ve opted to try and Apple MagSafe wallet which allows me to hold three cards in a secure magnetic wallet that attaches to the back of the iPhone. It doesn’t slip off easily and requires a bit of force to remove – but it does save me a bit of pocket space: I rarely carry cash and payments are usually contactless via the iPhone.