Soundbyte 311 – January 2021

ChristopherNews

The first web page

Happy New Year! And Happy 30th birthday to the World Wide Web (which was created on a NeXT computer, the predecessor to today’s macOS)!

In this issue:

  • January Meetup
  • Apple Silicon transition
  • AirPods Max
  • ’Fix’ Big Sur
  • PSA: iPhone and other issues
  • Citymapper expands
  • Brexit and privacy
  • Podcast Update
  • COVID news
  • Offers for members

January Meetup

Join us on Monday January 11 at 7pm in Zoom for our monthly meeting. We’ll start with our usual round-up of what’s happened this month in Newsbyte. Then, we will talk about M1 Macs: what’s different about them; what they are like to use; whether you should upgrade and your questions. Look in the email this Soundbyte came with for the Zoom invite.

Apple Silicon transition

Apple’s transition from Intel processors to its own Apple Silicon processors continues to cause shockwave after shockwave. As mentioned in the last issue, this is a major change with Apple switching to processors similar to those used in iPhones and iPad, but with more power than the MacBook Air, Pro and Mac Minis, they are replacing. There have been a plethora of reviews from all angles and as before, professionals might want to wait for the programs they use to be updated (check here for a tracker).

Following news last month of a developer hacking Windows to work on a new M1 Mac, it is now possible to run a full version of Windows 10 on the new Macs using Parallels by joining the the Windows Insider Program. It is a test programme, so this bleeding-edge version of Windows 10 may be very buggy. Bear in mind also that this will be the ARM rather than regular Intel version of Windows, so there will be added incompatibilities. We are still some way away from comprehensive support… Watch the video below to see it in action on an M1 MacBook Air.

Although the Apple Silicon chips were designed in California, they are based on the ARM design. But what is ARM? You might be surprised to learn that it is a close relative of the BBC Micro. Click the image below for a quick history lesson.

The BBC Micro Computer

AirPods Max

Airpods Max comes in five colours

Apple delivered a late surprise last year by announcing the AirPods Max. Costing £550, which is more than their competitors, these have a unique design and technologies. They have separate computer audio chips in each ear for superior sound; noise cancelling and transparent audio (so you can hear or block outside noises when needed) and removable ear cups! If you’re interested, read the What Hi-FI review here.

‘Fix’ Big Sur

How are you getting along with the latest version of macOS? If you are longing to tweak how it looks, watch the video below for some ideas.

PSA: iPhone and other issues

Public service announcements! The first one is for iPhone 11 users. There have been some reports of touch display issues. Check the Apple website for the replacement program if you are affected.

If you have Apple’s AirPods Pro earbuds, be aware that there have been some issues reported. If you have these, Apple will repair them free of change.

Citymapper expands

Citymapper now covers 90% of the UK!

Good news if you travel and use Citymapper to find the fastest ways to move around in cities. Citymapper has expanded to cover 90% of public transport in the UK. Click the image above for details.

Brexit and privacy

Businesses are going to take some time to figure out the ins and outs of the new Cooperation and Trade Agreement with the European Union. One of the questions that wasn’t answered until the deal was published was how privacy and the EU rules would carry-over. There is a 4-month grace period while the EU decides on whether UK companies can handle EU citizens data, but other international companies are moving ahead with changing how they handle and protect UK citizens’ data. Google has already decided to shift UK users on the the same terms as United States citizens and FaceBook has announced it is following suit. We await to learn what the implications will be, if any.

A new concern has arisen from research into popular URL shorteners like TinyURL. Beware and avoid using them if you can! These can include hidden trackers to let advertisers monitor which web sites you visit. Meanwhile, Google has been fined £91m by the French privacy regulator for its ad-tracking activities.

Podcast Update

“ The Brew & Byte Show “

 – Episode 8 – Flash in the Pan …  is now available here

Happy New Year to all our Listeners and thanks for joining us in 2021! Jumping into a new show, the panel discuss the latest Apple news from over the holidays period, Steve Jobs got his wish and what a hack!. We also included our suggestions for your must have installs…. 

COVID news

As we await the vaccine roll-out, there’s some good news for users on older devices. Apple has implemented COVID exposure notifications (which hopefully will work with the NHS app) on older devices like the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Series 2. Read Tidbits here for details. Apple has also taken a pro-active stance against reckless activity through the App Store. They have banned an app promoting private parties that breach pandemic rules. Please stay safe, we will all meet again once this is over and we are vaccinated, I have no doubt.

Offers for members

Find below this month‘s special offers. As usual these discounts are only available with paid memberships and can be accessed via the website in the members area.

  • Eve Products: 25% Discount
  • TechTool Pro 11: 50% Discount
  • AgileBits 1Password 7: 25% Discount
  • MacCleanse 8 Software: 20% Discount
  • EverWeb by RAGE Software: 50% Discount 
  • Opus ][ Complete Collection: 25% Discount
  • Que Publishing Products: 35-45% Discount
  • Take Control Books: 30% Discount on All eBooks
  • Teams ID, a Password Manager for Teams: 33% Discount
  • TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals: Get a free month of tips and articles!