Macworld July 2020

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

6 min
what will the arm mac lineup look like when it’s released?

For a company with a reputation for sudden bursts of industry-shaking creativity, Apple’s pretty conservative most of the time. The company has a years-long product pipeline, and while we’re beginning to anticipate the 2020 iPhone, its hardware engineers are finishing work on the 2021 model while its component designers are pondering the chips and sensors that will power the device into the mid-2020s. For so many of Apple’s product choices, a decision now is likely to be a decision that sticks for years to come. Think of how many years it took for the company to backtrack on the butterfly keyboard in the MacBook line, even after it was obvious that it had made a mistake. More to the point, consider the continued existence of the low-end, two-port version of the…

1 min
apple requires masks and temperature checks as u.s. stores begin to reopen

If the Apple Store near you has reopened, it won’t be business as usual. Apple has implemented a series of guidelines to keep customers and employees safe as it navigates a world still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus. First and foremost, Apple is requiring face coverings “for all of our teams and customers,” which will be provided if needed. Additionally, temperature checks will be conducted at the entrance and “posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms—like cough or fever—or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID-19.” Apple will also be following social distancing guidelines, so the stores will be a lot less crowded than they usually are. Apple will be limiting occupancy and giving everybody lots of room, while adhering to strict “one-on-one, personalized service…

2 min
apple’s ‘biggest update’ to logic pro x in years brings live loops

Recently, Apple unveiled what it’s calling “the biggest update to Logic since the launch of Logic Pro X” in 2013, bringing it more in line with GarageBand while also adding powerful sampling, sequencing, and editing tools. Most notably, the X.5 update brings “a professional version” of GarageBand’s Live Loops that debuted in January 2016. As one of GarageBand’s most popular features, Live Loops let musicians “play, edit, and arrange musical ideas in real-time” by either selecting from a library of instruments and pre-recorded cells or creating their own sounds. Live Loops works the same on Logic Pro X as it does on GarageBand, though tracks can be “further refined using all of the professional production features in Logic.” To complement Live Loops, Apple is also rolling out a feature called Remix FM,…

3 min
having problems with bluetooth audio quality on a mac? here are ways to fix it.

Audio quality via a Bluetooth device can be a great mystery, partly because Bluetooth only mandates in its basic audio standard, A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile), a low-quality audio encoding algorithm. An audio encoder takes a data stream and transforms it into whatever the best or agreed-upon quality both sides can take, often limited by the particular chips on each device and bandwidth available. That means that the lowest-common denominator may prevail, even when both the sending and receiving devices have a variety of higher-quality options available that don’t match up or aren’t correctly invoked. Depending on a host of factors, both a Bluetooth streaming device (sending or receiving audio) and a Mac may agree on an encoder that makes music sound like it’s playing over a landline telephone call. That shouldn’t…

5 min
major security flaw found in thunderbolt macs and pcs: should you be worried?

Security researcher Björn Ruytenberg with the Eindhoven University of Technology recently published a report detailing a series of serious security vulnerabilities in Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3, collectively called “Thunderspy.” They affect every single computer with a Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 port, including old-style port connectors and new Type-C connectors, whether the computers are running Windows, Linux, or macOS. How badly does this security flaw impact Mac users? Should you freak out about someone hacking into your MacBook the next time you get up from your desk to refill your coffee? SEVEN THUNDERSPY VULNERABILITIES Ruytenberg describes seven vulnerabilities in his paper. They are as follows. 1. Inadequate firmware verification schemes.2. Weak device authentication scheme.3. Use of unauthenticated device metadata.4. Backwards compatibility.5. Use of unauthenticated controller configurations.6. SPI flash interface deficiencies.7. No Thunderbolt security…

4 min
avg antivirus for mac: a good free option

Free third-party antivirus software often involves a trade-off. You receive only basic protection—a term that means different things to different companies—as well as semi-regular “encouragement” to upgrade to a paid suite. AVG AntiVirus Free for Mac offers very basic protection, but isn’t too terrible about encouraging upgrades. The suite protects against viruses, secures your desktop email, your web browsing, and that’s it. Those are the essentials, however, which go a long way toward keeping your computer safe. AVG’s protection is top notch. AV-Test looked at it in December, and it had a 100 percent protection rate from 145 samples. AVG for Windows had the same score from AV-Test’s 0-day, web and email threats, as well as the widespread and prevalent malware test. AV Comparatives’ most recent Mac test was in June 2019. AVG…