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!!!!!!!!!!

This Tweet is Pure Genius

In case you don’t understand the context, here is what happened earlier today.

Fuck DHH. And Spotify and Match Group and Tile. Because they are just nothing more than a bunch of evil, greedy people that the world does not need in this day and age.

Should you preorder or buy the 24 inch M1 iMac?

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It is only less than an hour before preorders for the new 24 inch M1 iMac start. Have you decided if you are going to buy one?

First things first. Uninformed outlets (including the idiots whom MacWorld UK pay to write their trashy articles) think that Apple shrunk the 27 inch iMac to 24 inches and gave it a low end processor, making it a “down grade” in their eyes.

That is not the case.

The new 24 inch iMac is a replacement for the 21.5 inch iMac, which was always a low end computer filled with low end parts to meet a price point. If you are a current 27 inch iMac user (like myself) you should wait for now.

If you were already thinking of buying a desktop Mac and price is more important than more performance and the absolutely biggest screen size, then the 24 inch iMac is a no brainer (unless of course, you prefer to use your current monitor to save some money or you hate all-in-ones).

The 24 inch is an absolute steal. You get power that’s better than the majority of intel Macs being sold until today, all at a starting price that is only 50 USD more than the 12.9 inch M1 iPad Pro (which comes with no accessories).

Of course you should really buy at least the mid range model to enjoy the benefits of the new system, like the TouchID keyboard and the power adapter with built in Ethernet. But if you prefer to save some money the entry model is definitely as powerful as the other two models. You just will not have the choice of purple, yellow or orange colours if one of those is what you wanted to go for.

If you are a first time Mac desktop user and wonder if the iMac will last you long enough to make your investment worth it, here is an example – my first iMac is the 2007 model, and it is still being used today. Macs are built to last, and the massive performance overhead of all the M1 Macs ensure that you will have them at a usable performance level for probably way longer than the latest Intel Macs (or any x86 machine, for that matter).

The final question is, of course, what colour will you pick? (I pick purple, because while I cannot decide between blue and purple, purple is limited to online sales and only reserved for the higher grade models).

Things to note when using Unlock with Apple Watch (with your FaceID iPhone)

By now you should have heard and seen the news about the lifesaving feature in iOS 14.5 – Unlock with Apple Watch. In this age where masks are compulsory, FaceID is a pain when you are outdoors. With iOS 14.5 and a compatible Apple Watch (Series 3 and above), you can now unlock your iPhone even when masked.

Steps to enable Unlock with Apple Watch

  1. Make sure your Apple Watch (only works with Series 3 and onwards, and SE) is on watchOS 7.4. If not, follow instructions to install watchOS 7.4 on your watch first.
  2. Next, go to your iPhone Settings > FaceID and Passcode, and make sure the Apple Watch setting you want to use “Unlock with Apple Watch” with is turned on. If you have “Update Needed” beside your inactive (currently not connected) Apple Watch shown, even though that particular watch is already updated, there is no need to worry. It seems to be a bug. Once the watch is connected it goes away.
  3. Tap on “Turn on” for the following prompt
  4. Enjoy!
  5. Every time you unlock your iPhone, your Apple Watch will provide haptic feedback as well as a prompt to lock the iPhone down if the unlock is unwanted.

Things to take note of

Does Not Work for Authenticating Apple Pay 

It will not work for authenticating Apple Pay to pay with your iPhone. You still have to enter your iPhone’s passcode. But since you are already wearing your Apple Watch you should just use that instead. If Apple Pay has yet to be set up on your Apple Watch, set it up now. Remember that you need add the same credit card to the iPhone and Apple Watch separate, the card you have in your iPhone doesn’t appear in the Watch automatically.

Unlock will Fail if the Connection to your Watch is Weak

This is the case especially for iPhones with multiple Apple Watches paired. Sometimes the auto switching can fail or even when the correct watch is shown as connected, the Bluetooth connection might be weak. The easiest way to test this is by going into the Watch app on your iPhone and setting a random “as your current watch face”. If the watch face on your Apple Watch does not change  immediately then the connection is not working normally. Usually it will resolve by itself in a few minutes. Sometimes it requires you to reboot both your iPhone and your Apple Watch.

Does not Work for iCloud Keychain or when FaceID is Set to Unlock/Login into Apps

If you have previously set FaceID as a quick way to login or unlock certain apps (bank apps, payment apps, etc), Unlock with Apple Watch will not unlock your app. It is strictly for unlocking the iPhone only. This means it will not work when you are trying to unlock your PayLah! app to pay at Daiso or if you are trying to login to Health Buddy by authenticating with the Singpass app. If you have not set FaceID to unlock those apps then you will need the relevant passwords you set for those apps. Or you can just enter your iPhone’s passcode. Either way it is still friction in the usage process, and prevents the some people from using those apps when they are outside for fear of CCTVs catching their passwords/codes.

Conclusion

I am trying to think of more negative points for Unlock with Apple Watch all while typing this on a train ride, but I really can not find any. This is the feature we needed all along for the past 12 months, and while it is a year late I am glad we got this after all. With the rumors of the next iPhone getting under display TouchID going away somewhat, Unlock with Apple Watch is definitely needed to survive the pandemic days going forward.

For those with older Apple Watches (Series 0, 1 and 2), while it is possible to use your Apple Watch with iOS 14, the Unlock with Apple Watch feature is a watchOS 7.4 feature. Since Series 1 and 2 can only run watchOS 6, maybe it is time to consider buying a new Apple Watch. Amazon US has the latest Series 6 40mm Product RED Apple Watch at 100USD off its MSRP of 399USD.

A Blast from the Past – Apple Smart Case for iPad Air (Blue) [MF050ZM/A]

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One upon a time, Apple made accessories for its iPhone and iPad lines, as a small sideline to complement device sales. As such, most of the earlier offerings were limited to smaller ranges of color choices, unlike the big range of offerings every season of today’s Apple.

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The leather covers always feel much better than the silicon ones
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This leather back is something you won’t find on Apple’s iPad accessories anymore

Since the iPad 2, the iPad had always have the Smart Cover accessory, a magnetic display cover that triggers the sleep wake function every time you undo the flap. When the iPad Air (and iPad Mini) was released, Apple introduced an all-in-one solution for the iPad – the iPad Smart Case. It covers the display as well as protect the body of the iPad, and is made of leather. People either loved the iPad Smart Case, hated its high price and weakness against the elements (since it is leather).

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The microfibre lined inside
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The insides of both the cover and the body are color matched

With the introduction of the iPad Pro, Apple stopped making all-in-one iPad protection. It replaced the Smart Case with the “Silicon Case”, which was really just a silicon back cover intended to be used with a separate Smart Cover. This increased the cost of total protection from 119 SGD for the iPad Smart Case to 99 SGD for the Silicon Case, and an additional 75 SGD for the Smart Case. Furthermore, despite paying over 50 SGD more, the Smart Cover+Silicon Case combination is made from silicon instead of premium leather, and is a lot heavier than the Smart Case.

The Silicon Case did not find any lovers, as most iPad owners opt to buy third party back covers that are more rigid and cost way less. Apple eventually discontinued the Silicon Case as well.

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The antenna area
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iPad Smart Case”

The iPad Smart Case I have here is for the original iPad Air (the very one I bought on its launch day when iStudio tried to scam Apple fans who queued up through the night by forcing bundles on them if they want the iPads). It is officially in “Blue”, though the actual shade of blue is closer to today’s Northern Blue than Blue Gen 1 and Blue Gen 2 (from the Apple Watch bands). Unfortunately I had to discard the packaging as it was dirty (it lived in a warehouse for half a decade or more), and forgot to take photos of it. Nevertheless the Smart Case is spotlessly clean.

The iPad Air meant to go inside this case is still housed within a ESR case, and in the possession of my parents. I will retrieve it someday.

How to Fix A Glowing White Spot on the 10.5-inch or 12.9 inch iPad Pro

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Do you have a glowing white spot at the location about 3 or 4 inches above your home button on your 10.5 inch or 12.9 inch (1st and 2nd Gen) iPad Pro?

This is a problem caused by the display cable underneath pushing against the back of the display, creating a pressure point. It is only found on the first and second generation 12.9 inch iPad Pro, and the 10.5 inch iPad Pro (and iPad Air) as the 10.5 inch iPad has a similar design/layout as that of the original 12.9 inch iPad Pros. This issue has also spawned an entire thread on MacRumors forums, and caused agony for a lot of owners.

Unless you purchased your iPad from old stock and have Applecare, it is likely that they are no longer covered by Apple’s warranty. If you do not notice the spot or are not bothered by it, then that is the best scenario. Do not do anything about it. However, if you cannot stand the sight of the white spot when your the majority of your display is white or light coloured, then maybe try out this possible solution.

Warning, due to the possibility that some display glass might be weak from a previous drop, or that the strength of some suction cups might be too strong, MacRyu is definitely not responsible for any possible breakage to your iPad.

This method also does not work on iPads with screen protectors installed as only the screen protector will be lifted (or broken) when you try to pull off the suction cup.

Finally, this method will not work for every iPad with the problem. It is only good to try if you are very very bothered by the white spot.

  1. Find a suction cup, something from Daiso will do. Preferably it should be at least 3 to 4 cm wide.
  2. Stick it to the area of the display where the spot is.
  3. Pull the suction cup up straight away from the display, slowly.
  4. Please use your judgement, stop once you think there is any danger of breaking your iPad display.

The lifting of the iPad display with the suction cup sometimes pull the display away very slightly, enough to relieve the pressure point caused by the display cable underneath. It may come back in the future if you excert pressure on the iPad somehow (eg. by holding it with one hand in landscape, or not using a sturdy case and putting it in a bag where books can cause pressure). It is a design flaw, which is likely why Apple moved away from the design as soon as it could.

Beats Flex Now Back at 40USD!

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Just days after my Flame Blue Beats Flex post, the Beats Flex price on Amazon US has now dropped back to 40 USD (roughly 53.90 SGD), which is about 20 SGD cheaper than what you will pay for it if you buy it locally in Singapore. The price is available for all colours except Cloud Grey.

Click here to purchase it from Amazon US.

Want a review of the Beats Flex? It’s here.

Beats Flex in Flame Blue

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Early this year Beats finally released the last two colours of the Beats Flex line – Flame Blue and Smoke Grey. Flame Blue was always my first choice of colour for the Beats Flex, but as it was not available at launch I bought the Beats Black color instead. Today I am finally able to take a look at the Flame Blue colorway.

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The compact Beats Flex packaging

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The blue is stunning!

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Minimal instructions

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The usual accessories

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All the available tips

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In action

There is absolutely no difference in functionality and sound quality to the Beats Black version I bought last year during the launch, so check out the review if you need a refresher. Basically it is pretty decent for the price, and should be your first choice if you want to use bluetooth earphones/IEMs on iOS on a budget.

If you don’t mind forwarding from the United States, they are available on Amazon US for 49.88USD right now, which is very slightly cheaper than the local price. Sometimes they can go as low as 20% off as well.




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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