Soundbyte 324 – February 2022

ChristopherNews, SoundByte

In this issue

  • February Meeting
  • Get snapping, its competition time!
  • Staying safe from stalkers
  • Building the future – Swift Playgrounds
  • Buildings of the future – what’s new in HomeKit?
  • Here comes USB4 on Apple Silicon
  • Offers for members.

February meeting

Join LMUG on Monday, February 14th at 7pm for our February meeting. Will meet again in Zoom and our topic this month is Find My (Apple’s location tracking software). We will have a demonstration and discussion about AirTags, the best ways to use them and the Find My software. Details on joining the meeting will be in the email that this Soundbyte came with.

Don’t forget to follow LMUG on twitter and in our podcast Brew & Byte. The latest podcast episode looks at the latest stories and rumours around Apple!

Get Snapping, its competition time

Shot on iPhone BillBoard (c)

Its coming around to that time of year when billboards are filled with ’shot on iPhone’ photos. Did you know that having your photo displayed on these boards is a prize for winning an Apple photography competition? This year’s contest focuses on macro photography using the iPhone 13 Pro, which has macro capabilities in its camera system. The deadline for entry is February 16, 2022. Note that this contest is open only to photos taken with iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max – make sure you have read the rules!

If you need some inspriation, have a look at the National Trust’s tips for winter photographs. If you are simply inspired to take some photos, maybe its time to review the photo apps on your Mac. The technology here has improved by leaps and bounds with the implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Check out the latest apps on Fix the Photo here.

Staying safe from Stalkers

Location sharing on an iPhone

Did you get an Apple AirTag for Christmas? Similar to previous trackers like Tile, there is an ever present risk of these being mis-used to track people, especially women, as a prelude to thefts or worse crimes. With Apple entering the field with AirTags, the profile of these crimes have gone up and up. Apple have responsed with a new Personal Safety User Guide which includes a page on AirTag and the alerts to watch out for, to protect yourself.

Building the future – Swift Playgrounds

If you have children in your family, maybe they are lucky enough to have an iPad? Did you know they could use it to learn how to make iPhone apps? Something that seems almost impossible to master has been turned into a puzzle game and learning experience by Apple. Its called Swift Playgrounds and it runs on iPad and Macs. Have a look into the latest version here, which adds the ability to create apps or take a look at the video below explaining Apple Playgrounds from a child’s perspective:

Buildings of the future – what’s new in HomeKit?

Alexa this Alexa that, its been a hard road for HomeKit as Amazon, Zigbee and other smart home products that don’t work with HomeKit have dominated the market. Is that about to change this year? Have a look at what was announced at the annual CES technology show here:

If you feel like 2022 might be the year to invest in making your home HomeKit smart (don’t forget that LMUG members get 25% off Eve Home products! -ED), take a look at how this British YouTuber has transformed his house here:

Here comes USB4 on Apple Silicon

Most people are only vaguely aware of the USB standards. There are two main plug types. The rectangular one, which was the original USB1, which got faster with USB2 (Apple forked this one off to make the rounded rectangle Lightning connector). It then got faster again and gained a blue insert as USB3. Shortly afterwards, USB3 gained a new connector, the rounded hollow rectangleUSB type C connector. [Get to the point!-ED].

On the latest Apple Silicon Macs, Apple has implemented the latest version of USB: USB4. This now offers up to 40Gbs speed, which is on a par with ThunderBolt! Will you need to upgrade your USB hub to take advantage of this performance. Almost certainly, but is it worth it? Have a look at this review of one below:

Speaking of Apple Silicon, some good or bad news, depending on your perspective. It looks like NVidia’s purchase of the the ARM company is falling through due to resistance from the regulators. Let’s hope this British company finds a safe home and future.

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
  • 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!