ChannelLife New Zealand logo
Industry insider news for New Zealand's technology resellers
Story image

Apple turns the volume up a notch on AirPods, HomePod mini & Apple Music

Tue 19 Oct 2021

Today’s Apple announcements may bring music to Apple fans’ ears, with audio taking a huge focus in this month’s product announcements. This time around, the AirPods, HomePod and Apple Music get their turn in the spotlight. Here are the main takeaways.

Five years after Apple unveiled the very first generation of its signature white AirPods, they’re back - and might be - better, although the proof will be in the listening experience. 

The company has revealed the third generation of the little white buds, which feature a new ‘lightweight’ design and shorter stem for ear comfort, as well as IPX4 sweat and water resistance.

Apple’s H1 chip and acoustic system round out an adaptive EQ with the option of Dolby Atmos and dynamic head tracking. And in an effort to play catch-up to other audio brands, Apple has included a skin detection sensor which can tell if the AirPods are in a user’s ears, on the table, or somewhere else. AirPods are also covered by the Find My network so users can track their missing buds.

The AirPods will last six hours of listening time and four hours of talk time - Apple claims this is an hour more than the previous generation of AirPod.  AirPods also support MagSafe wireless charging.

The Airpods (3rd Generation) are available for NZ$329 from Apple starting today, and from stores from 26 October.  

In the spirit of all things audio, we’re mentioning HomePod mini briefly, mainly because they’ll soon be available in blue, orange and yellow as well as the standard white and space grey. 

HomePod mini will also include new features such as multi-user voice configuration support for Siri, automatic Siri volume, more Siri voice options, the ability to pair with Apple TV 4K, Apple TV controls, sounds, and connection to the Find My network.

The new HomePod mini colours will be available for NZ$159 through the Apple Store and authorised resellers from November.

And to top the entire music experience off, Apple is adding a new subscription tier within Apple Music. The Apple Music Voice Plan brings in Siri to help users navigate Apple Music’s catalogue, which tops 85 million songs, according to Apple.

Users can now ask Siri to start their Apple Music Voice trial. Once signed up, users can ask Siri to play playlists or certain types of music (Apple’s example is ‘Play something chill’).

Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats, Oliver Schusser, says Apple Music and Siri just work naturally together.

“With Siri actively used on hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, we are thrilled to add this new plan that delivers an effortless music experience just by using your voice and makes Apple Music accessible to even more people around the world.”

The Apple Music Voice Plan will be priced at NZ$7.49 inc. GST per month. It will be available ‘later this spring’ in selected countries and regions, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Dynabook
Dynabook refreshes Portégé X30L series with the Portégé X30L-K
The new model contains hybrid-architecture Intel 12th Gen Core P-Series 28W processor options, Wi-Fi 6E, along with Intel Iris Xe graphics.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Omnichannel
Lexmark launches A/NZ first with retail publishing solution
Lexmark, a global imaging and IoT solutions leader, launched its Publishing Platform for Retail (PPR) in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
GapMaps
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Cloud Security
Aqua Security createa unified scanner for cloud native security
“By integrating more cloud native scanning targets into Trivy, such as Kubernetes, we are simplifying cloud native security."
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: Technics EAH-A800 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
Designed in Osaka, Japan, these headphones just exude quality. They aren’t heavy, but they feel well built and solid.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Wireless
Hands-on review: HyperX Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and HyperX Pulsefire XL Mat
With its lightweight Pulsefire Haste wireless mouse and RGB lit Pulsefire XL Mat, HyperX sets out to up your game and add a little colour to your desktop.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Gaming
Hands-on review: WD_Black SN770 NVMe SSD Game Drive
Western Digital expands its WD_Black range of NVMe solid-state drives with the WD_Black SN770 Game Drive.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
Microsoft
Elevation of Privilege the top 2021 Microsoft vulnerability
BeyondTrust has released its 2022 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Report, finding that Elevation of Privilege is the top vulnerability category for the second consecutive year.
Story image
Phishing
WhatsApp and QR codes the next scam threat - report
KnowBe4 has warned it expects to see an increase in QR Codes and the WhatsApp chat platform being used for phishing and other scams. 
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Getac
Getac and Optalert expand partnership to promote industrial safety
Getac’s ZX70 Android tablets will be used to support Optalert’s Eagle Industrial early-warning drowsiness detection system for use in mining and transportation.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Training
Delinea enhances partner experience with new training initiatives
Delinea has announced a range of training and certification initiatives to help scale the capacity of VARs, System Integrators, MSPs and MSSPs to meet the demand for PAM solutions.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Ransomware
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
Microsoft
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
Malware
'Alarming' rise in ransomware threats - Verizon report
As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful.
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.