Soundbyte 316 – June 2021

ChristopherNews, SoundByte

Welcome to Soundbyte! In this issue:

  • June Meeting
  • Mac OS Monterey and WWDC
  • Spatial Audio comes to Apple Music
  • Apple TV colours – too good to be true?
  • Apple for Kids
  • New features for people with disabilities
  • The extreme power of GarageBand
  • Adding style to your spreadsheets
  • Using artificial intelligence to improve your photos
  • Discounts and Special Offers for Members

June Meeting

Join us next Monday, June 21 at 7pm for our monthly (online) meet up. Please note the change in date to allow a special guest presenter to join us.

This month we will be joined by the celebrated writer William Gallagher – writer; YouTuber; Doctor Who script writer and lead writer for apple William will present an in-depth look at the software releases announced earlier this month at WWDC (Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference).

Check the members email for the link to the meeting. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Brew and Byte Podcast, now with chapter markings so you can skip to the part of the conversation that interests you the most. Check out the latest episode on the show notes page for Brew and Byte!

COVID regulations permitting, we are also hoping to be able to announce an outside summer party in July. Keep watch for updates.

Mac OS Monterey and WWDC

Apple announced updates to its main software operating systems: iOS; iPadOS; WatchOS and a new macOS called macOS Monterey. We will discuss these in more depth at our next meeting, but some of the highlights of Monterey include:

  • Improvements to FaceTime to improve the video quality; enable watch parties where everyone can watch the same show and (finally) widen access to anyone you invite with a weblink.
  • Universal control, where you can seamlessly use you Mac and iPad at the same time with the same mouse.
  • Shortcuts, which replace and augment Automator automated actions.
  • ICloud+ for everyone who pays for extra storage, the new features include privacy focused browsing that hides your tracks from advertisers and Hide My Email, which does the same for your emails.

Something to bear in mind is which Macs will run Monterey, as this has changed. The full list is here. One area of controversy is that some of the features in Monterey like Portrait mode in FaceTime are not available on intel Macs. It only works on new Macs with the Apple M1 chip. Renie Richie runs down the what’s and whys here:

There will be a public beta and developers are already installing it to test their software. Unless you can afford to lose all your files, we strongly advise that you don’t do this, but instead, wait for the official release, which is due later this year. Related to this, if you have an M1 mac, you need to know about the changes to recovery and limitations in the unlikely event that your internal SSD fails.

Watch the Wall Street Journal’s summary of everything Apple announced below:

Spatial Audio comes to Apple Music

Apple has once again combined software and hardware in a new way to create a radical product. Spatial audio is being added to Apple Music. Unlike high-definition or lossless audio, where only a few people can hear the difference, Dolby Atmos (the software) enables the music producer to place sounds and instruments in different places on stage (e.g replicating the live performance), while Apple AirPods (the hardware) will present the sound in a way that simulates you being on that stage. This new product will be free to Apple Music subscribers. Unfortunately, Spatial audio music will not be available to iTunes Match customers, nor will it be available in music purchased from the iTunes Store. [I hope that changes – ED].

To get Spatial audio you will need Apple AirPods. A cheaper way in, is to buy from Apple’s Beats by Dr Dre brand, where you can buy some Beats Flex ear buds with the same W1 chip inside (as in AirPods) that is needed for Spatial audio, These are just £50. If you have old PowerBeats, you might be able to fund them from a class action settlement Apple has made. Check out this BBC article to see if it affects you. Apple also announced lossless music in Apple Music (also free to subscribers). Do all AirPods support both Spatial and lossless music? Apple Insider has a video here which tries to clarify which does what.

Apple TV colours – too good to be true?

If you have a recent iPhone and an Apple TV, have you paired up the two, to calibrate the colours in your Apple TV? Did you notice a difference? [I didn’t -ED]. Is it any good if you do? Snazzylabs has tested this out, watch on:

Apple for Kids

If you have children or grand-children, or nieces or nephews, you’ll probably want to know that Apple had a new kids page. Despite the name, its not really for children, its for their parents: Apple for Kids.

New Features for people with disabilities

Would it be helpful if you could use sign language at the Apple store? How about if you can operate an Apple Watch by twitching your fingers. Check Apple’s news page to see the amazing new features for people with disabilities that Apple are introducing.

The extreme power of GarageBand

If you have enjoyed the recent Star Wars tv show, the Mandalorian, you’ll know one of the best things about it, is the atmospheric, out of this world theme tune. Did you know you could re-create it on your iPhone in GarageBand? With some extreme talent it is possible – watch on:

Adding style to your spreadsheets

If there’s one strength of Apple’s Numbers spreadsheet, it is that, unlike Excel, the default colours look great. But if you want to change the colours, you might hit some limitations. If this is something you need, you have to read this workflow and solution from Six Colors. It might help!

Using artificial intelligence to improve your photos

What can artificial intelligence do for your photos? It can identify the sky and change the colour. It can find the outline of a shape for you. But what if your photo has noise speckles all over it? That’s much harder to fix without ruining your photo…until now. Have a look at how DXO PureRaw’s Deep Prime technology improves these high ISO/noise images. Amazing!

Discounts and Special Offers for Members

Please find below this month’s special offers for our paying members. Access these offers through the members section of the LMUG website.

Find below this months special offers for our paying members. Access these offers through the members section of the LMUG website.

  • Free Lessons for Apple User Groups from Dan’s Tutorials
  • Eve Products: 25% Discount
  • TechTool Pro: 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!