In This Issue


40% install target for COVIDSafe is bullshit and the iOS version doesn’t work properly

Well, well, well - the 40% target for installs of COVIDSafe set by government as the benchmark required for things to re-open is absolute horseshit. The acting health department secretary was asked how the 40% target came about in a Senate enquiry yesterday and she said that the health department never informed ministers it needs 40% uptake and neither has it done any modelling around app take-up required, simply saying that "I'd take 10% and if it gets to 40% and beyond I'd be delighted. Every upload and use is a benefit. The more people who use the app, the better data we have to assist that process".

At the same hearing, the boss of the DTA said that the performance of the iOS version of COVIDSafe was "highly variable" and that "it progressively deteriorates and the quality of the connection is not as good as you get to a point where the phone is locked and the app is running in the background" - i.e: the iOS version of COVIDSafe is ratshit and practically useless.

Microsoft gives some love to the less popular Surface family products

Microsoft dropped some updates to the Surface product line overnight. The little Surface Go has a less crap CPU (maxes out with a m3-8100Y) and a bigger screen (10.5") in the same size chassis. The Surface Book 3 keeps the same form factor and refreshes the insides with a faster CPU and better GPU. I forgot Microsoft make Surface branded headphones, but they got updated with longer battery life, improved sound quality and a different colour. The Surface Earbuds announced months ago are finally on sale and are basically Microsoft's take on the AirPods. Finally, there's a new Surface Dock with more ports and a faster charging rate. It's quite chunky so there's a USB-C travel hub too that costs less and is smaller (but with fewer ports).

New Sonos soundbar with Dolby Atmos support & some other Sonos updates

Sonos is releasing a new soundbar called the Arc (A$1,399), replacing the Playbar and Playbase. It supports Dolby Atmos, but I'm skeptical of how well it replicates the sounds made by a proper surround system without physical speakers circling you. I reviwed a Sennheiser AMBEO soundbar that supports Atmos, costs twice as much as the Arc and it was useless for anything other than stereo sound. Like other Sonos soundbars though, you can use a bunch of One/One SL speakers as wireless surrounds which would make a huge difference. Also like other Sonos soundbars, it doesn't have Bluetooth (just AirPlay 2, not even Chromecast) and only has a single HDMI port. Sonos also announced mild updates to the Play:5 (now called the Sonos Five), the Sonos Sub and teased the all new "S2" app coming June 8th.

Not News

Facebook screwed up and hundreds of iOS apps failed to load as a result

For a few hours heaps of flagship iOS apps like Spotify, TikTok, Pinterest, Tinder, and more wouldn't load because part of the Facebook SDK integrated into so many apps shit the bed. I don't quite understand what stuffed up exactly, but whatever it was ran on Facebook's servers and when Facebook pushed an update to that code, it results in iOS apps that integrated the code (which loads stuff from Facebook's servers) to crap out. When Facebook reverted the change the apps worked again. Normally apps integrate Facebook's SDK to either allow logging in via Facebook and/or tracking user activity to see if the ads they ran on Facebook were successful in getting people to use the app. Apparently people that blocked Facebook's domains via DNS were able to open their apps just fine.


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