Soundbyte 298 – December 2019

ChristopherNews, SoundByte

Welcome to Soundbyte and hello to our new readers!

In this issue:

  • December meeting
  • New MacBook Pro released!
  • Latest news on the new Mac Pro
  • Express payments on London Transport
  • Mac OS Catalina workarounds
  • The best folding phone yet?
  • Shot on iPhone
  • The best Apps And games of 2019
  • Down the rabbit hole on Apple trivia
  • Special Offers for members

December meeting

Our next meeting is on Monday December 9th. Come in from the cold winter air and take part in our annual Christmas Quiz!

We will have small teams battling it out over general knowledge and Apple trivia. Join any table, all members are welcome and winning teams will get prizes. Also this month we are running a special offer for new members. Join LMUG on the night for just £10.

Finally, no LMUG Christmas quiz would be complete without our delicious free buffet dinner. Meat and veggie options will be available. Please buy your drinks from the bar upstairs.

If you missed our November meeting on Apple hardware, rewatch our livestream of the event here (starts at 15:40 mins):

New MacBook Pro released!

MacBook Pro 16-inch

Apple has released a completely new MacBook Pro. Developed in conjunction with their professional workflow testing team it answers a number of complaints from professionals users. Much faster performance, a bigger screen, much better audio and a new more reliable keyboard. Two high profile Apple Users, John Gruber and Marco Arment posted their thoughts here and here.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, was interviewed about it:

It’s not all plain sailing though. A controversial feature is that the forward looking design of the PowerBook only has Thunderbolt ports. This means you need to plug in a dongle if you need to use a SD card or HDMI cable. Those with memories of the first iMac back in 1998, which only had 2 USB ports, may anticipate the reaction. A professional photographer rants below:

A quick note on MacBook Pro, if you have a 13-inch MacBook Pro, there have been some issues with 2019 models shutting down unexpectedly. Apple has posted some advice here.

Finally, did you know that despite the high prices, Apple loses money with its in-house repairs? How is this possible? Cynical, awkward truth or just capitalism? Read here and decide for yourself.

Latest news on the new Mac Pro

Apple has confirmed that the new Mac Pro is coming this month. It has already been spied in the studio of a famous DJ. For North American customers, it’s also made in the United States. This has attracted the attention of Donald Trump who visited and seemed to think he was opening the factory (it opened in 2013).

Express payments on London Transport

Apple Pay improvements at TfL

Some quick news from London Transport. There is a new feature in iOS 13 where you can use Apple Pay on public transit without using your fingerprint or face to authenticate the payment. I turned on this feature weeks ago and was annoyed that it didn’t work. But it turns out it simply wasn’t yet enabled. It’s now super quick to pay in London with Apple Pay. See the announcement and explanation here.

Mac OS Catalina workarounds

If you haven’t upgraded yet to macOS Catalina you’re not alone. A number of LMUG users have reported concerns about older software that might not work and devices that might not work.

Two new solutions have come about that may offer some relief. The first is a piece of software called Retroactive that can modify your 32-bit applications like iPhoto or Aperture to enable it to work on Catalina. The other is from a company called VueScan, who have reversed engineered over 6000 scanner drivers to enable them to work on Catalina where otherwise they might not.

A great new feature in Catalina is the ability to use an iPad as an extended monitor. But what if you don’t have an iPad, what if you have a cheaper Android tablet? Well before Catalina, there was a program called a Duet Display which also enabled you to use an iPad as an external monitor. They have now added Android support so you can use an Android tablet instead. Read more here.

If you need to go back to an earlier version of macOS, you might be out of luck. Apple digitally signs it’s operating systems and if it stops signing them they might not install. but there is a workaround. Read here.

The best folding phone yet?

Some people are calling the Samsung Galaxy Fold the best new technology of 2019. It is a folding phone that folds out into a tablet. It is great technology, but is it a great product? If not, that is a good reason why Apple doesn’t make one. But some people are looking at the latest entrant into the market and wondering if Motorola have got it right. Have a look at this surprising development.

Shot on iPhone

Speaking of amazing products, the iPhone 11 Pro has some incredible cameras. How good? Have a look at this movie below shot entirely on the iPhone. The quality is breathtaking.

The best apps and games of 2019

Apple have just run an awards ceremony to announce the best apps and games in the App Store in 2019. Have a look at who won here.

Down the rabbit hole on Apple trivia

Finally, this video is unlikely to (but who knows it might!) help you, with the LMUG Christmas quiz. Watch below to learn 60 trivial facts about Apple.

Special Offers for members

Thank you for reading this far in Soundbyte, I hope you enjoyed it. Here are the special offers this month for LMUG members. Find the code to access these offers on our website.

  • Special Offer: Eve Products: 25% Discount
  • Special Offer: MacCleanse 8 Software: 20% Discount
  • Special Offer: TechTool Pro 11: 50% Discount
  • Special Offer: TidBITS Content Network: Trial Offer
  • Special Offer – EverWeb by RAGE Software: 50% Discount
  • Special Offer – Take Control Books: 30% Discount on All eBooks
  • Special Offer – Teams ID, a Password Manager for Teams: 33% Discount
  • Special Offer – Eltima Software: Up to 60% Off OS X Apps
  • Special Offer – Opus ][ Complete Collection: 25% Discount
  • Special Offer – AgileBits 1Password 7 Subscription: 25% Discount
  • Special Offer – Noteboom Tutorials: 33% Off Annual Memberships
  • Special Offer – Que Publishing Products: 35-45% Discount