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Before Apple TV, There Was This Bizarre Apple Product

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Before Apple TV, There Was This Bizarre Apple Product

Apple TV with remote

Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

Apple is arguably the most successful company in history, having created some of the most popular products of all time. Its run of hits started with the launch of the famous Bondi Blue iMac back in 1998 and continued when Apple launched the iPod a few years later in 2001. Much of its recent success can be attributed to the iPhone, although the iPad and Apple Watch are also the most popular products in their respective categories. However, its foundational success dates back to the launch of the Apple 2 in 1977, which came in a number of different versions over the years while it racked up around 6 million sales (via CNBC).

For all of its successes, however, Apple has had some very public missteps along the way. Of course, it was on the verge of bankruptcy at one point before Steve Jobs famously returned to the company in 1997 to save it more than a decade after the board fired him in 1985. Jobs oversaw one or two of those blunders, including the infamous iPhone 4 launch which was marred by Antennagate, one of the biggest disasters in the company’s history. An older and lesser-known hiccup — but one fascinating nonetheless — was the failed launch of the Apple Macintosh TV, which was a precursor to Apple’s later, more successful, TV efforts.

The Apple Macintosh TV

Macintosh TV

Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock

The Apple Macintosh TV went on sale in 1993 with a hefty price tag of $2,099 — that’s the equivalent of more than $4,200 in 2022. It was effectively a variant of the Macintosh LC 520 that immediately captivated the Mac community with its slick black case and built-in TV tuner card. The model had a port on the rear of the device that allowed users to plug their TV antenna or cable service directly into it. The Mac TV included one of Apple’s first television remotes and allowed users to change channels, control volume, and perform the other typical functions you’d expect at the time. In many ways, it was ahead of its time, but like many good ideas that go by the wayside, it wasn’t especially well executed.

Although the Macintosh TV had a dazzling 14-inch Sony-sourced Trinitron monitor and was powered by a state-of-the-art 32 MHz Motorola 68030 CPU, it was actually slower than the 25 MHz Macintosh LC 520 because it used a slow 16 MHz data bus and had an 8 MB RAM ceiling. By adding a TV tuner card, the model lost its only upgrade port, limiting its versatility while its graphics performance was also stunted at just 8-bits (although the TV tuner was a full 16-bit system). While it offered an enticing glimpse at the future of multimedia consumption on computers in the living room, the company ended up shipping only 10,000 units and the model was pulled from sale just six months after its launch, according to Ars Technica.

Apple TV and Apple TV+ deliver on the dream

Apple TV+ on television

Ivan Marc/Shutterstock

Of course, today Apple’s TV ambitions are on much firmer ground when compared with the Macintosh TV. The company launched its first Apple TV set-top-box back in September 2006. While it wasn’t a Mac computer, it ran a variant of the iPhone’s operating system that Apple now calls tvOS, before also later adopting Apple’s custom Arm-based iPhone SoCs. While never a breakout hit for the company in the same way that the Mac or iPhone was, the Apple TV got users increasingly accustomed to the idea of TV as an app. It also fulfilled the Macintosh TV’s dream of bringing TV to the living room.

The Apple TV also eventually helped lay the foundation of the Apple TV+ service, which is Apple’s homegrown original content platform for episodic TV shows, films, and documentaries. It’s hard to imagine anyone at Apple fostering ambitions of creating its original content at the time the Macintosh TV was born, but it seems Apple has always been destined to be involved in the space in some way. After all, when founder Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997, his own film studio, Pixar, was enjoying the afterglow of its smash-hit movie “Toy Story,” which had been released to critical acclaim and commercial success in 1995. Jobs ended up selling Pixar to Disney in 2006 in a deal worth $7 billion (via CNBC). It’s fitting that the Disney app now also finds a place on the Apple TV.






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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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