Apple Back to School 2021 (Singapore)

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Apple’s Back to School program is back in Singapore for 2021. Comes with the usual free AirPods, and 20% off AppleCare+.

Honestly speaking ever since they switched from giving Beats full size headphones to AirPods I find the offering much weaker than before, especially since they were giving away Beats Studio 3s in some countries before the AirPods offer started.

Nevertheless it is still the best deal locally if you are eligible, and happen to need a new Mac or iPad Pro/Air at the present moment.

Check out the promotion here.

Apple Announced the “Apple Watch International Collection Bands” aka Olympics Bands

Apple Watch Int Collection

During the last Olympics in 2016, Apple has released a collection of limited edition Olympics woven nylon Apple Watch bands, and the expectation was that they will do the same for the 2020 Olympics as well. Of course the COVID-19 pandemic happened and the Olympics were delayed by a year, so Apple could not released their limited edition bands last year and many thought that they would be cancelled. Leaks of unreleased bands surfaced online as well.

Apple Watch Int Collection

Fret not, Apple has now introduced what they now call the “Apple Watch International Collection” set of Apple Watch Sport Loops, and instead of restricting them to pop-up Apple Stores in the host country like in 2016, the whole collection is now online and available for anyone to order (since most of the world will not be able to enter Japan) at the usual 69 Singapore Dollars.

Apple Watch Int Collection

There are a bunch of nice colors, like the Jamaica one, that I like and will be looking at picking up. Will you be buying one? They are supposed to be limited, but like Black Unity Sport Band, it is likely that stocks will be available for the next few months at least (depending on the specific color I suppose).

Shop the International Collection here.

The AirPods Max (Sky Blue) – Unboxing and a Short Review

AirPods Max Sky Blue

I know this is way past the AirPods Max’s launch period, but I was not able to have access to one until very recently. I have been testing it heavily for more than a week already, and I can not find anything bad about it (other than the price, which obviously is going to be higher than the flimsy plasticky headphones that the tech community are familiar with).

It is way more comfortable than all the full size headphones I have, the sound quality is great, and most importantly spatial audio and the transparency mode is way beyond what the competition can offer.

No doubt that it will be an expensive purchase, even with the recent discounts, but the AirPods Max will be well worth your money, especially in a year when most have all the time at home to enjoy the Max.

Comfort

I tend to have problems with wearing full size headphones. The cushion headbands on those put pressure on the top of my head andI will feel a dull pain on my head after wearing headphones for a hour or so. Not so with the AirPods Max. The mash headband does not feel like it is there at all, even after two or more hours. Normal headphones’ ear pads usually puts pressure on the side of my ears and makes my ears feel like they are suffocating, the fabric earpads on the Max for some reason do not do the same, my ears feel like they can breath.

Sound Quality

Way better than both the Bose QuietComfort 25 and 35 (Bose headphones have terrible sound), and the Sony XM3s (I have not tested the XM4s, but I have heard that the sound is similar). Some reviewers prefer a punchier and more “exciting” sound (that the Sonys provide by its default sound signature), and thus rated the Max’s sound as not as good. However, if you use an iOS device, you can use the headphone accommodations settings to tune to sound into something similar to the Sonys, I recommend the “Slight – Brightness” setting.

Headphone Accomodations

You can access the headphone accommodations setting in Settings > Accessibility > AirPods>AirPods Max (or the name of your AirPods) > Audio Accessibility Settings > Headphone Accommodations > Custom Audio Setup.

Cons

The aluminium ear cups are so nice and they feel like they can be accidentally scratched if you were not paying attention. You will likely need to buy covers for them to feel at ease. Also there is simply no way to have a pure analog input into the AirPods Max, even with the Apple 30USD cable. If you want to use this with your high-end DAC it is a no go.

Unboxing

Here are the unboxing pictures.

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The MacRyu Podcast Episode 2: The M1 iPad Pros, 24 inch iMacs started shipping! And some other worthless tidbits

May was a slow month. The M1 iPad Pros finally shipped, and Ryu is excited about the 12.9 inch one. 24 inch iMacs are nice, Apple TV and iOS 14.6 are boring. And he waits for WWDC.

Follow the MacRyu Podcast on the following podcast platforms;

Apple Announces 2021 Pride Bands for Apple Watch

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OMFG.

The braided solo loop version is extremely nice.

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I personally hated the solo loops and the braided solo loops for their inability to adjust, and sworn off buying them previously, but it looks like I may have to eat my words just for this once. Will have to go into store to test my sizing though, which is a pain in the arse.

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Apple also announced the Nike+ Sport Loop version, which looks uninspired and reused the design from one of their previous pride bands (Woven Nylon 2018).

The Braided Solo Loop is available for 149SGD, and the Nike+ Sport Loop is available for 69SGD.

In other news, Apple also announced Apple Music is getting Hi-Res.

The Apple iPhone 12 mini Silicone Case with MagSafe – Capri Blue

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Capri Blue is my favorite color from the current Spring 2021 release of Apple accessories, and I could not help myself from buying one of the silicon cases for my iPhone 12 mini.

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Here it is. This is how the blue looks indoors. For photos of how Capri Blue looks like brighter (Apple Store level) lighting, check out my previous post.

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Here is a comparison of the Capri Blue Silicon Case with the Dark Navy Silicon Case I am currently using on my iPhone 12 mini.

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And here it is installed on my iPhone 12 mini, charging on the MagSafe puck.

Pixelmator Pro is 50% Off Right Now!

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Pixelmator Pro, easily the most native image manipulation app on macOS, is now on sale for 50% off. It is not often that Pixelmator Pro goes on sale, and 50% is the biggest discount that I have tracked so far.

Buy it from the Mac App Store.

First Look at the Purple iPhone 12 and the Spring 2021 Apple Accessories

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The shade of purple on the new Purple iPhone 12 is just such a fantastic color. In the whole iPhone 12 and 12 Pro lineup there is no other color that comes close to it. As mentioned in a previous post, if Apple had released this color on launch day I would not have picked blue for my iPhone 12 mini. The blue for the 12 mini is decent, but it is way too dark for my liking. I prefer something brighter or visually more striking than a dark shade of blue for my main iPhone. As far as blue on iPhones go nothing has beaten the blue on the iPhone XR even today.

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But Apple also just released what was probably the best shade of blue for its accessories since they started making accessories seriously half a decade ago.

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Capri Blue, which is probably best described as a more saturated version of Surf Blue, is my favorite shade of blue that Apple has released so far. It joins Amethyst as the most popular colors for official accessories this season.

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Unlike Amethyst, however, Capri Blue is available on the Apple Watch Sport Band as well, so it is a double whammy of accessories to buy for blue lovers this time around.

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Amethyst, along with its leather variant Dark Violet, was released to compliment the Purple iPhone 12 and 12 mini, and looks superb, probably only the second best purple Apple has ever released for accessories, after Ultra Violet a few years ago. Dark Violet, on the other hand, is disappointing. Purple dye on leather is probably way too hard to do correctly.

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I also managed to take a look at the various official AirTag accessories, including the Hermès ones. I have to say, they do not feel any different in quality from the Apple leather accessories, and unless you really want Hermès, the official Apple ones will feel as premium.

Listen to my discussion of the latest Apple accessories on my brand new podcast, the MacRyu Podcast, available on the following platforms.

Unboxing my Engraved Apple AirTag

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Almost one week after the launch of the AirTag, mine is finally here. Having my order engraved meant that I will definitely not be receiving my order on launch day, as the item will be shipped from China on the 30th of April, instead of being shipped from Apple’s Singapore warehouses.

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The shiny stainless steel of past Apple iPods ia back!

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There is just the AirTag and some documentation inside.

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The box the single AirTag pack comes in is the same size as the box for the MagSafe charging puck.

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You have to choose an emoji to represent the AirTag on the map in Find My.

Despite the additional delay, everyone buying an AirTag directly from the Apple Online Store should have the AirTag engraved, especially with an emoji mixed in. You will be asked to select an emoji during the AirTag pairing process for the purpose of identifying the AirTag in Find My, so engraving with at least an emoji will help to mark the AirTag physically.

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This shiny back itself is worth the 45SGD.

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Sorry I prefer not to expose what I engraved.

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A closing look at the AirTag without its plastic wrapping.

Unlike the laser engraving on iPods and iPads, which are tiny enough to be insignificant (yet causing a significant drop in their resale value), the engraving option on the AirTag is essential to the design of the AirTag. The plain white circle side of the AirTag is an empty canvas where your personal design (albeit with a maximum of 4 characters/3 emoji) will go on. You pay the same whether you get your AirTag engraved or not, so definitely choose to have it engraved unless there are discounts for unmarked ones. I mean, nobody buys a notebook and leave it empty for its lifespan.

I talked about the AirTags and the other new products Apple introduced at their Spring Loaded event on my brand new podcast, the MacRyu Podcast, which is now available on Apple Podcasts. You can also subscribe using one of the links below or by adding the RSS link directly to your podcast player.

Introducing the MacRyu Podcast

The MacRyu Podcast Episode One: Apple’s Spring Loaded Event, iOS 14.5 and macOS 11.3

Finally.

The MacRyu Podcast is now a reality.

Unlike ExFAT, the MacRyu Podcast is hosted only by myself and marks the first time i am podcasting in the one person format. The podcast has been planned for a while, but everytime i think about talking to myself to the micrpphone makes me procastinate. Not anymore.

The MacRyu Podcast will be published on a regular schedule, with one episode per month at (he start of each month. I will be mainly covering and talking about the main Apple news from the previous month. There may also be additional episodes if and when Apple hold events or releases new products.

Episode One is online since Monday morning, but I had originally wanted to wait until it is published in Apple Podcasts to post this, but has now changed my mind. The Anchor.fm web player is embedded at the end of this post, and i will update it to the Apple Podcast one when that is ready. You are currently able to search and subscribe to the podcast in Anchor.fm, PocketCasts, and (fucking) Spotify. Or add the show directly to your podcast app using the RSS link here:
https://anchor.fm/s/29a6b20/podcast/rss.

UPDATE: WE ARE NOW ON APPLE PODCASTS!!!!!!!!!!




About MacRyu.com

MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

About Sponsored Posts

MacRyu is welcoming sponsored posts to offset the cost of hosting this site. Do email Ryu to make a fair offer, we will be most willing to consider your offer. COVID-19 has not been kind, and MacRyu appreciates all help to keep the site running.

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