Soundbyte 322 – December 2021

ChristopherNews, SoundByte

Merry Christmas and welcome to Soundbyte!

In this issue:

  • Christmas Party and Quiz
  • Picking your MacBook
  • Right to repair latest
  • Can the iPad mini be your next iPhone?
  • On-going disruption in PCs
  • Smartphone cameras vs reality
  • Offers for Members

Christmas Party and Quiz

Join us on Monday December 13 at 7pm in Zoom for our monthly meeting. Due to Omicron, we will be online only this month.

We’ll start with our usual round up of what’s happened this month in Newsbyte. Then, our quizmaster Martin will host our annual Christmas Quiz! Questions will be on general knowledge and Apple trivia. When you join the meeting, Martin will place you into a team led by a committee member and the winning team members will win an Apple Gift Card, just in time for Christmas shopping. Please feel free to have some seasonal drinks and food during the meeting to get into the mood.

Apple AirPods

We will also run a raffle to win a set of Apple AirPods (3rd Generation).

Look in the email this Soundbyte came with for the Zoom invite.

Picking your MacBook

Apple has had an amazing response from professionals to its new line up of professional Mac Book Pros. They truly deliver most of the power of the Mac Pro with its Pro Retina display in a portable device costing thousands of pounds less.

This power is of most use to video and 3D graphics professionals. Take a look at the video below to see the sort of projects where the MacBook Pro is making a splash.

But for some, as important as this power is, the ability to carry around the laptop without getting backache from the weight is as big a priority. This is one of the most exciting features of the new MacBook Pro range. The smaller 14-inch MacBook Pro has the same processors and graphics options, and the same Liquid Retina display as the heavier 16-inch. This sounds too good to be true, and some developers have been in a quandary as to which size to buy. Are there really no differences and do you even need a Pro MacBook?

Have a look at this buying guide before you add a MacBook Pro to your Christmas list:

And if you’re still not sure about the exact specifications to order, have a look at this review, which dives deeper still:

Right to repair latest

Apple enables the right-to-repair certain parts of the iPhone and M1 Macs

In a dramatic move, Apple has launched a Self-Repair Service. This means if you damage your phone by dropping it and cracking the screen, you can repair it yourself. That is if you have the confidence to open up your iPhone or Mac [not me, I’ll get a technician – ED]. This is expected to come to countries outside of the United States (hopefully including the UK) next year. Have a look at the full details on 9to5mac.

Can the iPad mini be your next iPhone?

When the iPad got a 3G connection, this meant you could access the web on the move and in our new normal, join video calls as well. In the meantime, you must have noticed the trend for phones to get bigger and bigger. You can see this clearly in the current Apple line-up and the competitors.

  • iPhone 13 mini screen is a pocketable 5.4 inches.
  • The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a purse friendly 6.7 inch screen.
  • The Samsung Galaxy Fold has a two-handed 7.6 inch screen
  • The iPad mini is not dramatically bigger at 8.3 inches.

So if you skate to where the puck is going, can you make it work? Well…someone tried, have a look below:

On-going disruption in PCs

Mediatek ARM processor
Mediatek Processor

Avid Soundbyte readers [who? – ED] might recall this Future Shock article from December 2020. It predicted that the PC market would not be able to tolerate the M1 chips’ lower power, longer battery life, quieter and yet more powerful performance.

While intel is hitting back with new hybrid chip designs, some PC makers are wanting to get on the ARM bandwagon. But they need faster chips than we’ve seen so far from Qualcomm. It looks like this might be about to change and this could have side-benefits for Mac users wanting to run Windows. Have a look at the story on XDA.

Smartphone cameras vs reality

One of the important camera updates this year has been the implementation of AI to ensure smartphone cameras correctly adjust for skin tones. But smart cameras have been doing a lot more than that, even since the original iPhone, combining multiple frames and lenses together to create impossible effects (also called “great photos”). Have a look at what’s really going on behind the curtain in this video below:

Offers for members

Find below the special offers available to our paying members. Access these from our website in the members section.

  • 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!