Marshall adds Minor III and Motif A.N.C. earbuds

Marshall Motif A.N.C.

Marshall Headphones always had a confusing line-up of earbuds. This is getting better now. I was disappointed by the tiny Mode II because I could not get a proper seal and thus no bass, but the two new models are solid entries.

The Minor III is an AirPods clone with a dark bad-ass design. You pair them, you stick them in, you play music. That’s it. No settings, no app, nothing. They play up to 5 hours, are IPX3 rated and you can recharge them from the case four times. They have one microphone each for phone calls, you can use either one or both, and they have touch control for music and call control. The left one works exactly like the right one. Like the AirPods they do not seal the ear canal, so the bass volume is somewhat limited but in true Marshall style, they can get really loud.

Marshall Minor III

Motif A.N.C. is a different beast. They seal the ear canal like AirPods Pro, they have ANC and transparency, and you can configure them in an app. I had a perfect seal with the medium size ear gels. If you don’t hear a thumping bass, try other sizes. This is really important and was the source of my frustration with the Mode II.

Battery life depends on ANC use: 4.5 hours without, up to 6 hours with. The case will recharge for a total playtime of 20 or 26 hours respectively. The buds are IPX5 rated, the case only IPX4. Both earbuds have two microphones each for ANC and one microphone each for voice pickup, which gets augmented by one of the ANC mics for beamforming.

Marshall Motif A.N.C.

The Motif earbuds are clearly my favorite of the two since I can make them mine through customization. Touch control can be turned off, custom touch actions on both ears let you control different aspects, they have a five band equalizer and three profiles. Clever: you can charge to only 80% for a prolonged battery life.

Both cases can be charged with USB-C or on a Qi inductive pad. The earbuds connect via Bluetooth 5.1, the smarter Motif buds use an additional Low Energy connection for control. The sound on both is solid, the matte black color is a welcome departure from the AirPods white. What I actually like best is the fat stem that provides a good grip. The case however feels cheap because the hinge does not open or close as solid as competing earbuds.

Marshall Mode II, Minor III, Motif A.N.C.

I am a huge fan of the Major IV on-ears and the Monitor II A.N.C. over-ears. The true wireless line-up is less convincing. List prices for the three products is 179 Eur for the Mode II, 129 Eur for the Minor III and 199 Eur for the Motif A.N.C. There isn’t much you can design-wise with earbuds that mostly disappear in your ears, but Marshall did a good job on the new earbuds. Mode II is tiny and did not work for me. The other two do work but they do not earn the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award like the Major IV and Monitor II A.N.C. did. My favorite Marshall product remains the Stockwell II portable speaker.

Skype Universal Translator for Voice and Video Calls

While we love that you have so much fun during your Skype calls, sometimes the time comes when you need an incredibly practical feature to use — Skype Universal Translator.

If you’ve ever seen the television show Star Trek, you might have seen Captain Kirk talking with a being from another planet using a marvelous device called the Universal Translator. You might have thought, “Wow, I wish I could have something like that in real life!” Well now your wish has come true!

With Universal Translator, you can communicate with anyone in any language, on a landline or a video call. Low-cost calls with a real-time translator on top, we love bringing that science fiction from Star Trek to reality!

I thought that Skype was going away with the move to Teams. But that is only Skype for Business. For consumers, Microsoft is doubling down. And as you know, I am a huge fan.

Read the whole thing so see what is coming.

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iPhone 13 Pro vs iPhone 12 Pro :: First impressions

I am moving my stuff from an iPhone 12 Pro to an iPhone 13 Pro. And I am shooting some quick photos with a Fujifilm camera. I apologize for the bad photo quality, but I cannot shoot the iPhones with the iPhones. We will return to the old quality after this. 🙂

Here are some quick observations:

I knew that the new camera is bigger than the old camera. I did not imagine how much larger it is. Very hard to see in a photo, I used perspective to make the difference more pronounced. Just by looking at the camera I know which iPhone I am holding.

Although the iPhones look very similar at first glance, the iPhone 13 Pro is noticeably thicker and heavier. All buttons have moved slightly towards the bottom and that is a very good thing for my fingers. Also, the SIM card slot has moved quite a lot towards the bottom left side, but I only touch that twice, when I put the card in and when I finally remove it.

The bigger camera, the thicker case, the moved buttons all mean you cannot use an old case. That was to be expected.

I use a MagSafe Duo charger and I was worried it would collide with the new camera hump, but it does not. It has actually become easier to put the phone down on the charger. Just place it face up, a little bit too high, and then draw towards you. Bamm. I always have to do this in complete darkness and it worked better on the first try then did after months with the iPhone 12 Pro.

However, if you get the Apple leather case, you will get a collision between the high lip that protects the camera and the Duo charger. The normal MagSafe works just fine.

This collision is purely cosmetic. The charger works just fine and it does not apply to me since I have used the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro without a case, and will also do the same with the iPhone 13 Pro.

This is just a first impressions before getting too much use out of the iPhone. I only got it yesterday but I am already liking it. Moving data and apps from one phone to the other was a breeze. The only thing that always worries me is the TAN generator one of my bank uses. You have to enroll it again on the new phone. For those who don’t move iPhones as often as I do: you basically place the old phone next to the new one and follow the default options. After that it moves the data, reinstalls the apps, pairs the Apple Watch and the Apple headphones. Only the information stored in the secure element needs to be recreated.

The mother of all iPhone camera reviews

We’ve spent the last week in southern Tanzania, exploring this vast natural habitat and capturing all its beauty with the iPhone 13 Pro’s camera. As I watched Apple’s keynote about this year’s iPhone release, I was most excited about the new macro capability, increased telephoto zoom, and Cinematic mode.

Check this out. I do not want to spoil the pleasure with just one photo. You have to see it yourself.

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Microsoft stellt neue Surface-Geräte vor

Microsoft hat heute eine Reihe neuer Surface Produkte vorgestellt. Das innovativste war sicherlich der Surface Laptop Studio, ein Laptop, bei dem sich die Tastatur hinter dem Bildschirm verstecken lässt. Der Bildschirm bewegt sich dabei ähnlich wie beim Desktop Studio. Ich bin noch nicht sicher, ob das ein Design für mich ist, aber ich finde die Innovation sehr cool. Erinnert ein wenig an das iPad Magic Keyboard, kann aber mehr. Etwas merkwürdig ist der Sockel, aber das ist wohl der Power geschuldet.

Surface Pro 8 ist die größte Überarbeitung der Surface Pro-Reihe und gleicht mit den beiden Thunderbolt-Ports dem Surface Pro X, das vor zwei Jahren vorgestellt wurde, hat aber die Lüftungsschlitze, die ein ARM-Prozessor nicht braucht.

Für beide gibt es einen neuen Surface Pen, der induktiv geladen wird und ein haptisches Feedback liefert. Dazu gibt es eine Überarbeitung des Surface Go. Das Surface Pro X bekommt ein neues Wifi-Modell mit einem günstigeren Einstiegspreis.

Surface Duo, das Android-Gerät mit zwei Bildschirmen, fand ich letztes Jahr sehr interessant, aber auch zu langsam. Als Surface Duo 2 bekommt es mit dem SD888 nun ein Chipset, das dem Preis angemessen ist. Dafür gibt es nun 5G-Support, NFC für kontaktloses Zahlen, eine Triple-Kamera und neben dem weißen auch ein schwarzes Modell.

  • Das Surface Go 3 wird ab dem 5. Oktober 2021 – zusammen mit Windows 11 – verfügbar sein (ab 439 Euro für Consumer)
  • Das Surface Duo 2 kommt zum 21. Oktober 2021 (ab 1.599 Euro für Consumer)
  • Das Surface Pro 8 kommt zum 28. Oktober 2021 (ab 1.179 Euro für Consumer) und im kommenden Jahr für Firmenkunden

Alle weiteren Surface Produkte kommen Anfang 2022.

Surface Pro (2017) muss bei mir wohl aufs Altenteil, weil es von Windows 11 nicht mehr offiziell unterstützt wird. Und ich kann einfach nicht zurück auf Windows 10. Dafür läuft mein Surface Pro X nun mit Windows 11 und 64bit-Emulation erst so richtig rund. Ein Intel Surface Pro kommt mir wohl auch nur noch ohne Lüfter ins Haus. In der Vergangenheit gab es das beim Modell mit Core i5.

Can I undo this iPadOS 15 change?

Multiasking in iPad OS has always been difficult. Now Apple wants to make it simpler by offering a three dot handle at the top of the screen that let’s you drag apps. Unfortunately some apps have another handle right at the top as well, for instance the Apple Music app. If I want to drag down this shade, it was always easy on iPadOS 14. Now I more often than not hit the multitasking control instead of the shade handle.

Is there any way to disable this new control? I would really like to get back to the prior behaviour.

The problem with Facebook is Facebook

The company’s own research reveals that Instagram harms teens, that it can’t control anti-vax misinformation, and that there is a secret double standard for VIPs. In short, the problem with Facebook is Facebook

Siva Vaidhyanathan

There is only one cure. Stop using it, and everything else they own.

Don’t be as stupid as the next addict: “I can control it”. No, you can’t.

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Getting rid of OneDrive notifications

Grumpy mode on. Why does every app need to bother me with unimportant events? Yeah, cool, I shot some photos 365 days ago. Big deal. For a while I have been dismissing these messages, but eventually I was fed up. Yes, I could turn off all notifications, but I want to know when an editor starts working on my manuscript or when I deleted a large number of files. Time to hunt for the options. I now have disabled “OneDrive creates a photo album for me” and “I Have Memories From This Day”?

Do you notice how the last option is all capitalized and the others are not? This seems like a hot new feature somebody squeezed in. Next up: find out how I can disable the automatic creation of albums. Yeeez. You are a file replication service. I don’t want to talk to you, ever. Just do your thing and replicated files.

Grumpy mode off.