The Monthly - July 2023
What we published in June, our thoughts on Apple's Vision Pro headset, a new update to the Apple HomePod, review follow-ups on the Logitech Lift Mouse and iPad Pro, plus deal alerts.
A Note from Josh
Thanks for reading the third edition of the monthly! I was out in Hawaii on vacation for a big chunk of last month, so this newsletter will be a bit lighter than usual.
Which phone do you think did better capturing the sunset?
E like me ka mahalo may no kou kāko’o!
(As always, thank you for your support!)
Videos We Published - June 2023
Kindle Scribe Review - 6 Months Later
Purchase a Kindle Scribe (Affiliate Link)
Don’t Judge Apple’s Vision Pro too quickly (We turned our Hot Take this month into it’s own video)
Bose Quite Comfort II Earbuds Review - 6 Months Later
Purchase the Bose Quiet Comfort II Earbuds (Affiliate Link)
Purchase the Sony WF1000-XM4s (Affiliate Link)
Logitech Lift Mouse
I’ve had the Logitech Lift Vertical Mouse for about a year and a half. Recently I noticed the matte finish starting to wear away at the place where I place my thumb on the mouse, which is a bit of a bummer.
Overall, I’ve been really happy with the mouse and I love its ergonomic shape. I just wish the quality and materials held up a bit better.
Apple iPad Pro
When the redesigned iPad Pro came out with a new Liquid Retina XDR display, I panned the screen. The Liquid Retina XDR display uses what’s called Mini-Led display technology. The display has over 10,000 mini-LED backlights that turn on on and off based on what the display is showing. When the display shows a dark area or completely black screen, the LEDs behind that area of the screen will completely turn off. This helps increase the contrast of the picture, however there is one downside with this approach: blooming.
Purchase an iPad Pro (Affiliate Link)
Blooming occurs when a light part of the display is close to a part that’s completely dark, so think the Star Wars crawl or white text on a black background. The lighter parts of the screen will glow into the darker parts in a way that doesn’t look quite right.
When I first got an iPad Pro with this new display technology, I could immediately notice the blooming, however, I shouldn’t have made such a big deal about it. While my original point about OLED screen technology being superior in picture quality is still true, the Mini-LED display has been fine for the past two years.
And not only is it fine, it’s actually great in certain use cases, like flying on a plane for example. In that environment, you’ll have glare and potentially bright lighting conditions that can impact the picture quality of whatever you’re watching. With Mini-LED, the screen can reach a peak brightness of 1600 nits. That’s much brighter than what you would have gotten in 2021 with a OLED panel and far brighter than the standard LED backlit screen that comes with most iPads.
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Don’t Judge Apple’s Vision Pro Headset Too Quickly
The Metaverse was a term popularized during the pandemic when Facebook changed its name to Meta. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and current CEO of Meta, explained the change was a reflection of his long-term strategy for the company, which involved building technology to create virtual social worlds where people can connect with each other.
More than a year and a half since that name change, Apple announced its new $3,499 Apple Vision Pro spatial computer. Not once did they utter the word “Metaverse” or even “Virtual Reality” (VR) during the keynote announcing the device.
Apple’s HomePod should be less walled off thanks to new software
Apple went through so many announcements at this year’s WWDC that it was easy to miss them. One important update that you might have missed involves AirPlay and HomePods. I’m still reviewing Apple’s latest generation HomePod, but I’ve reviewed the HomePod Mini that came out a few years ago. One of the most frustrating things about Apple’s smart speakers is the lack of music service support. You’re really just stuck using Apple Music.
That will change later this year. Soon you’ll be able to tell Siri to “Play Meltdown by Nial Horan on YouTube Music in Josh’s Bedroom” for example. This will work on an individual AirPlay 2 speaker or a group of them. In my Bedroom for example, Siri can play music on not only my HomePod, but on my Sonos Era 100s, Sonos Moves and Sonos Era 300 (I’m aware I have too many speakers in my bedroom).
Here’s how this new feature works. Siri on the HomePod will look for either an iPad or iPhone on the same WiFi Network as your HomePod. Siri will check to see if the music service you asked for is installed on your other Apple device, and if it is, it’ll play the media you requested.
You’ll also be able to tell Siri you like a particular track, add the music playing to your library and many other types of services will be supported like Podcast, Meditation, and Radio apps.
Cancel Me Now: I wear toe socks
I jumped on the barefoot shoe trend a few years back and one of the best parts of these shoe designs is how free your feet feel when you’re walking in them, especially when you aren’t wearing socks. As I got used to that feeling and then switched back to my normal socks and shoes, my toes felt way too constrained. It felt like I was putting my toes in a straight jacket (I also have large feet, so finding socks that are the right size is difficult to begin with).
I searched around the internet for a solution and came across, yes, toe socks. If I wanted to wear socks but have my toes feel free, this seemed like my only option.
Injinji Run Original Weight No-Show (Affiliate Link)
I finally splurged on a few pairs of good quality toe socks like those from Injinji, which are kinda pricey. Injinji isn’t a sponsor, they’re just the brand I went with after seeing people recommend them on Reddit and other sites.
After wearing these socks for over 6 months, I can definitely state I will not be going back to regular socks. My feet finally feel free while wearing socks! I can wiggle my toes and I’m more comfortable wearing socks for longer periods of time. It’s one of those purchases where I’m kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
People think toe socks are weird and make fun of them, but that’s purely a cultural stigma. In terms of design and usability view, toe socks make sense. They’re like gloves for your feet, while regular socks are like mittens — they just don’t feel as good.
Sometimes I see products that I’ve reviewed and recommended go on sale. When that happens I’ll bring them to your attention in this section.
Amazon Eero Pro 6 mesh Wi-Fi 6 router (25% off) (Affiliate Link)
To view all of the products we recommend, visit our Amazon storefront
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