Archive for May 2023 - Page 1


    Thoughts on Apple's CarPlay

    A photo of the Now Playing screen in CarPlay that is showing the song

    If you have been reading this site for any length of time, it is probably evident that I replace my desktops, laptops, iPads, and iPhones a lot more often than I do my car. To illustrate my point, between my last two car purchases I have purchased the following items: three Mac Laptops, four Mac Desktops, eight iPads, and 16 iPhones. I suspect that this is similar to others, but not likely to the same degree.

    After more than 18 months of research, and weighing out numerous possibilities (yes, that includes the use of a spreadsheet with various columns), earlier this month I purchased a brand new car. According to a May 15th, 2023 press release from S&P Global Mobility, the national average for the length of time that people are holding onto their cars has increased to 12.5 years, at least in the United States. The length of time between my last two car purchases is more than 15 years, so it is definitely longer than the current average.

    When you upgrade from a car that is more than 15 years old, the technology upgrades can be substantial, and that is absolutely the case for me. Just a few examples of things that my new car has, that were not even possible since my last car purchase includes: blind-side monitoring, lane assist, media controls right on the steering wheel, and a rear backup camera, this last one is now required by law now, but it definitely was not an option on my old car.

    In terms of more relevant technology to this post, my previous car was sufficiently old that it did have a CD-player, without a tape player, but it did not have Bluetooth nor did it even have an auxiliary jack. This meant that I could not plug in anything into the stereo to listen to audio, except via CD or using the radio. In order to be able to listen to what I wanted, I had to use a variety of different cable configurations to be able to use my iPod, Zune, or iPhone. Common among all of my usages was an FM transmitter, which would allow me to listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts. Let us look at the various models that I had purchased over the years.

    FM Transmitters

    Marketing photos for the three Griffin FM Transmitters that I have purchased

    In case you are not aware, an FM transmitter works by emitting a signal on a certain FM frequency that you can choose from within a certain range. Once you have set the frequency on the transmitter, you then tune your radio to the same frequency. Once your radio is tuned you should be able to hear the audio from the device connected to the FM transmitter. This configuration should work for any FM receiver, but it the most common use case is within cars. One of the downsides of this was that because it was radio, it would be susceptible to interference from other transmitters. These transmitters could be other cars or even stores that were transmitting on the same frequency.

    Over the years I have purchased a few different FM transmitters, the first was the Griffin iTrip 9871-TRP30. I do not exactly recall when I purchased this, but it was likely in 2005 when I got my first iPod mini. This was an FM transmitter that plugged directly into the dock connector, and it was powered from your iPod. You could also use a mini-USB cable to power and charge the iPod. it would not work with the iPhone, if you attempted to use it with an iPhone you would get this screen with a message that states:

    This accessory is not made to work with iPhone

    Would you like to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference?

    You will not be able to make or receive calls.
    Photo of an original iPhone with a Griffin iTrip plugged in with a message on the iPhone that states

    Because it would not work with the iPhone, I eventually ended up buying a different FM transmitter. The second one I purchased was the Griffin iTrip 9501-TRIPCB. I purchased this in February of 2007 and it too was designed for devices with the 30-pin connector, and as far as I recall, this one worked with the iPhone as well as with an iPod, but I cannot be certain and none of my online research mentioned compatibility with the iPhone. I used this until it broke a couple of years later when I purchased a third version of the Griffin iTrip.

    This model was the "Griffin iTrip Universal FM Transmitter and Charger", specifically the 7259-TRIPUNP. This model was different in that it had a headphone jack as the connector, and not a 30-pin connector. The "Universal" nature was due to the headphone jack connection, which allowed you to use it regardless of devices, provided the device has a headphone jack, or you can connect it to a headphone jack somehow.

    I vastly preferred this last Griffin FM transmitter over the others. I bought the Griffin iTrip Universal in 2009, and I ended up purchasing no fewer than 7 of them over the years, after they kept breaking mostly due to wear and tear, or me accidentally breaking them. In fact, the last time I purchased them (in 2015), I actually bought two, one to replace the one that was flaking out, as well as a spare, just in case anything would have happened to the one replacement. I did this because it had been discontinued I was not sure I would be able to replace it again. I still have the spare, and because I had the spare I did not end up needing it. The headphone jack on the latter model made everything a bit more flexible and it did not limit you to a specific connector type like the previous ones.

    My final configuration for being able to charge and listen to audio at the same time was to use a Belkin Rockstar Lightning + Charger connected to my iPhone's lightning port, a lightning to headphone adapter to the headphone jack on the iTrip, and a lightning to USB-A cable that would work for charging. This configuration allowed me to both charge my iPhone as well as listen to audio while driving. This configuration is now moot with my new car.

    I only had a few requirements for my new car, and one of them was to have CarPlay in it. While other things like a sun/moon roof were negotiable, CarPlay was not. I would prefer to have wireless CarPlay, but even wired CarPlay was acceptable. Ultimately, my car only has wired CarPlay, but I am okay with this. I know I can get Wireless CarPlay dongle, but I doubt that I will be doing that, unless they significantly improve. Before I delve into my thoughts on CarPlay, let us look a brief history of CarPlay.

    Brief History of CarPlay

    If you were to look back to 2007 at the introduction of the iPhone, you would be hard pressed to guess how the iPhone would change things and what trajectory it would ultimately take. While it took about 3 months to sell 1 million iPhones, it has grown to be one of the most popular devices in the world. Over the last 16 years the capabilities of the iPhone have increased significantly not only to new cameras, machine learning, and millions of apps, but in also being able to provide functionality beyond the phone, like within a car using a feature called CarPlay.

    In 2014 Apple announced a whole new way of using your iPhone while in your car, that feature was initially marketed as "iOS in the Car", but ultimately this got renamed to CarPlay. CarPlay effectively projects a version of your iPhone screen onto a display in your car. This can be done via a cable or wirelessly, depending on the capabilities of your car. CarPlay is not a system that just any developer can create for. They must request approval (via an entitlement) from Apple that will allow their app to be used on CarPlay.

    CarPlay Capabilities

    Given the environment for CarPlay, not every app is suitable for CarPlay, in fact there are really only a handful of different types of apps that can be used with CarPlay. The possible type of applications includes:

    • Navigation
    • Audio
    • Messaging
    • Calendar
    • Charging Station Locators

    My new car is not an electric vehicle, but I did consider purchasing one, so I do not have any experience with any of the charging station locator apps, but let us look at the other categories, starting with Navigation.


    Many cars have their own navigation systems and while these are generally good for roads that do not change, they are not easy to keep up to date. There is an adage in Illinois, there are only two season, Winter and construction". This adage is definitely correct, because there is almost always construction happening somewhere. With construction, quite often there can be new route patterns and these can change on a daily basis. Many built-in navigation systems quickly becoming out of date, and even if you are able to update the information, it is often out of date before you update. Conversely, many iOS mapping applications can provide real-time information like traffic, alternate routes, and even red light cameras, or general slowdowns that may be up ahead.

    I do not often have a reason to get directions, however there are instances where it is helpful, particularly if you know of a specific location's general area, but not which turn to take to easily get to your destination. I will say that having a display to be able to easily see the route is a significant improvement over having to figure out when it is safe to glance at my phone. Even when I did use navigation I would often rely on my Apple Watch to provide haptic feedback on which direction to turn.


    Right before I start driving I try to figure out what I want to listen to during my drive. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook, other times I listen to a podcast, and yet in other instances I end up listening to music. Sometimes, the distance I am going ends up making the determination of what type of audio I will end up listening to. For shorter rides it may be music, or a podcast, and for longer drives it may be an audiobook or podcast, but it all depends.

    Photo of the CarPlay interface for the Overcast app.

    For my audio listening I use Apple Music for music, Overcast for podcasts, and Audible for audiobooks. Each of these apps works with CarPlay, so I can use any of these apps to listen to audio. Even though this is possible, I often end up just using the "Now Playing" screen. The Now Playing screen is very similar to that of the "Now Playing" widget on Apple Watch. When this is shown on screen, the current audio that is being played will be shown regardless of the app. I prefer to use this screen since it provides a consistent interface for all types of audio.

    Photo of the CarPlay interface for the Now Playing screen.


    CarPlay does have the option for being able to answer phone calls or send messages. It is not likely that I will be using these because I do not think it is appropriate to interact with these while driving because they can be too distracting. I have actually disabled the "Announce Messages" and I have not enabled phone calls to be answered while I am driving.

    Other Items

    There are a couple of other areas that I want to highlight, but they do not fit in the items above, so they will get their own category. These items are Siri and Settings.


    If you ask almost anybody, Siri is not the best voice assistant on the market. Most of the time I do not have any issues with Siri, but part of that may be because I do not use it all that often. However, while in the car Siri plays an important part in maintaining your hands on the wheel and paying attention to the road. When I have used the phrase "Hey Siri" in the car it is absolutely instantaneous, regardless of the ambient noise that may be in the background. When I ask Siri to play a song, it does not hesistate and it plays the actual song. Part of the speed may be that I typically only listen to my downloaded music, so it does not have to stream it from anywhere.

    Earlier I mentioned that I have media controls on the steering wheel and one of these is a "Voice" button. If I am using CarPlay I can press the "voice" button on the steering wheel to bring up Siri. If I am not, then it will bring up the car's native voice interface, but I never use this.

    Settings/App Order

    One of my initial things that I was going to mention for improvement is a way to re-arrange the apps, but this is provided for by going to Settings -> General -> CarPlay on an iPhone that is paired with a vehicle. Here you can add, remove, and re-arrange the order that apps appear. I initially thought that this was not possible because it could not be done on the screen within the car, but then it occurred to me that CarPlay has to work across a variety of screens and systems, so Apple would not be able to expect the screen to be able to support re-arranging, so instead it is done via Settings. Furthermore, one should not be re-arranging apps while driving.

    There is a Settings app while you are using CarPlay, and there is one option that is nice to see, Dark Mode. You do have the option of either "Automatically" having the screen show in light mode or dark mode, depending on time of day, or "Always Dark". I am a bit confused as to why "Always Light" is not an option, but this could be due to the fact that at night having a light screen may be too distracting while driving.

    Photo of the CarPlay interface for the Appearance screen within Settings.

    On the topic of improvements, let us move to things that I would like to see.

    Features I would like to see

    Even though I have only been using CarPlay in my car for only a short time, there are a couple of features that I would like to see added. These are additional wallpapers, improved app selection, and additional displayed information.


    While you are within CarPlay, if you navigate to the Settings app, there is an option for selecting a Wallpaper. These Wallpapers are the same as those available on iOS and include both light mode and dark mode variations. You can see what this looks like below.

    Photo of the CarPlay interface for the Wallpapers screen within Settings.

    What I would like to see is additional options, possibly even using photos from one’s Photo library. Even if this had to be done from within Settings on an iPhone would be sufficient. Additionally, it would be a welcome update even if the photo itself ended up being significantly blurred as to not provide a distraction.,Allowing people to choose a custom photo would add a bit of personalization to their CarPlay experience.

    Improved App Selection

    The CarPlay interface is effectively a grid of icons, and this approach makes sense because you do not want to be using the screen while driving. However, what might be nice is the ability to have your apps along the bottom of the screen, like the Dock on the iPhone, instead of along the left side of the screen. Now that I think about this, it might make more sense to keep it the way it is since the current location is closer to the driver and minimizes the amount of time the driver's hands would have to be off of the wheel.

    Additional Information

    On the Apple CarPlay website, there is currently a graphic that shows an example of what the Next Generation CarPlay interface may look like. In that graphic, there is a screen that shows the grid of apps, but next to it is the current weather. I would not expect the current CarPlay to be able to display this, particularly given on the size of may screens in cars today. But what might be useful would be have a spot on the screen, or even a widget, that shows the current temperature. Just like the Wallpapers, this would be helpful even if it had to be configured within CarPlay Settings on a paired iPhone.

    Example of the 'Next Generation' CarPlay from Apple's website that shows additional information like the weather, as well as controls for systems in the car

    Closing Thoughts

    Overall, I like using CarPlay. My in-car infotainment system is, to put it mildly, basic. It provides Bluetooth connectivity, but that is it. There is no navigation, but I am completely okay with this. The manufacturer of my car has opted to support CarPlay. I actually appreciate the fact that there is nothing else on the system because I would not end up using the features and it would probably just add additional cost.

    I would like to see a couple of additional features, like an option for custom wallpapers from one’s photo library, possibly improved app selection with a dock on the bottom, or even an option for such, and additional information like outside temperature. It is possible that we will see these additions in CarPlay in the future, but it is also possible that any additions will be limited to the "Next Generation CarPlay". As I write this we are just a week away from Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference 23 (WWDC), so if there are any improvements they will likely be announced during the keynote.


    Going Back to the 2nd Generation AirPods in Some Situations

    A photo of the top view of the 2nd Generation AirPods being shown in their case with the top open and leaning against their original packaging.

    As you might have been able to surmise from my posts on this site, I primarily use Apple hardware and software. I do have a couple of linux servers, and a Raspberry Pi, but my day to day computer is a Mac . I have been using Apple products since 2005 when I purchased my first iPod, the 1st generation iPad Nano. In the interim time, I have purchased innumerable iPods, iPhones, Macs, iPads, and Apple headphones. Back in 2016 with the release of the 1st generation AirPods, I purchased a pair eventually purchased a pair of 2nd generation AirPods in March of 2019, and a 3rd generation in October of 2021.

    The first and second generation AirPods had the same shape, but the 2nd generation provided things like "Hey Siri”, improved Bluetooth support and an "Announce Messages” features. In order to perform any actions wit the first and second generation AirPods you had to tap on the AirPod itself. Many found this disconcerting to do. The 3rd generation AirPods were an entirely different shape, included Spatial Audio and Head Tracking, controls on the stems instead of tapping the AirPods, and a charging case that is Qi compatible. You can read my review.

    I should explain when I use which headphones. Throughout most of the day I am using my Beats Solo Pro, again you can read my review of those. I use the Beats Solo Pros because they are comfortable for all day usage, and even after 3 and half years, they still have all day battery life. Since I use the Beats Solo Pros most of the time, I have been using the 3rd generation AirPods when I go out for a walk or while I am out running errands. I do like the small size of the 3rd generation AirPods so they fit in my pocket, they are not heavy, so when out exercising it is not a problem to carry them the entire time.

    One thing mentioned in my review of the 3rd generation AirPods is that they did not fit in my ears, at least when compared to the 2nd generation AirPods. Initially this was not a problem, but over time it has become increasingly annoying having to readjust the right headphone over and over. So about six weeks ago, I opted to use my 2nd generation AirPods on my walk. Immediately after putting them in my ears, I realized why I liked these better.

    First, they fit better. I do not have to adjust them once I put them in, this is a big plus. Secondly, the sound is louder, including more bass, when compared to the 3rd germination AirPods when set to the same volume level. I suspect that this is due to the 2nd generation fitting better and the sound being directed into my ear canal instead of bouncing around. So, it looks like I am going to use my 2nd generation AirPods instead of my 3rd generation at least while exercising. When I am out running errands, I do still bring my 3rd generation AirPods along and use those. The reason for this is first, to still be able to use them, but secondly I do not spend a lot of time in any one store while out running errands, so the amount of time that I have to fiddle with them is minimized.

    What I would like to see is Apple rename have a line of AirPods (maybe AirPods Air?) that retains the shape of the 2nd generation AirPods but includes some features of the 3rd generation AirPods, even if the only change was being able to use the stems of the AirPods to activate functions. This arrangement alone would be a nice upgrade. If Apple also had an option for a wireless case and USB-C instead of lightning, it would be a welcome upgrade. I am doubting that we will see this, but it would be nice to have, particularly for those whose ears are the wrong shape for being able to comfortably use the 3rd generation AirPods.


    Apple Announces WWDC 23 Keynote and State of the Union

    WWDC 2023 Event Announcement header

    Even thought many people already expected it, Apple has confirmed that it will hold its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote on June 5th at 10am Pacific time, or 1pm Eastern time. It will be available to watch via Apple's website, YouTube, the Apple Developer app or, the Apple TV app. You can also watch it after the keynote.

    Also occuring on June 5th, this time at 1:30 Pacific time, or 4:30 Eastern time, is the Platforms State of the Union. The Platforms State of the Union is geared towards developers and goes more deeply into the nerdier aspects of the platform updates.

    WWDC23 will have 175 in-depth videos that developers can watch throughout the week of WWDC, so you can learn more about the features, frameworks, and get some code examples to see how to implement the features.

    We are only 13 days away from the WWDC keynote, so we shall see what Apple announces for its latest operating systems. I will be posting my wish list before the keynote and I will have a recap after the keynote to summarize what Apple shows off.

    Source: Apple Newsroom


    My Book Pricing and Removing Older Books from Sale

    Covers of my books for iOS 11, iOS 12, iOS 13, iOS 14, macOS High Sierra, macOS Mojave, macOS Catalina, and macOS Big Sur arranged in a grid with iOS books on top and macOS Books on the bottom.

    Over the last few years the price of many services and products has increased. Even large companies are not immune to this, and in the last week Amazon has begun sending out emails to those who use their paperback and hardcover service, Kindle Direct Publishing. The email that they sent out indicates that the pricing of printed books will be increasing.

    What this means is that the price for my books will be going up. This is necessary if I want to make any profit at all. Therefore, the price of the paperback version of iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 for Users and Developers has increased from $14.99 to $18.99. Similarly, the hardcover version has increased from $44.99 to $49.99.

    The prices of my book iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS Monterey, and watchOS 8 for Users and Developers will remain the same at $14.99 for the paperback and $39.99 for the hardcover. The reason that these are staying the same is due to fact that these are not available for "expanded distribution", which means that prices can be lower.

    Beyond the pricing changes, I have also made the decision to remove the older paperback and hardcover titles. The reason for this is that they do not generally sell once a newer book is released. It should be noted that this does not affect the ePub versions of these books. They will remain available for purchase. This change only affects the physical versions of the books. The complete list of books being removed are:

    These older titles will be removed from sale in early June, so if you want to get a physical copy of any of my older books, be sure to order them today. Again, this change only affects the physical books and not the e-books. Those will continue to be available.


    Apple Previews Accessibility Features Coming Later This Year

    Assistive Access showing the grid layout on an iPad, and the list view on iPhone as a feature coming to iOS and iPadOS later in 2023.

    No product from any single company is going to be perfect for every consumer of said product. Additionally, each user is unique and not likely to be similar to any other user. Some users may need additional accomodations. These accomodations could be due to physical, cognitive, or even visual needs. In order to help their ecosystem be useable by everyone Apple has put forth tremendous effort into accessibility.

    Accessibility for Apple is not just an afterthought, but it is built into every operating system that Apple ships. Furthermore, it is not a set of features that Apple adds once and does not improve upon. To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which is May 18th, Apple has previewed a set of new accessibility features coming to its operating systems later this year. The features that will be coming are:

    • Point and Speak in Detection Mode in Magnifier
    • Assistive Access
    • Live Speech and Personal Voice

    Let us look at each of these in turn, starting with Point and Speak in Detection Mode in Magnifier.

    Point and Speak in Detection Mode in Magnifier

    There are those who may have vision problems and have been able to benefit from a feature called Magnifier. Magnifier will, as the name suggests, magnify the view of what is being shown on an iPhone's screen. While being able to increase the size of what is being shown this is only a first step. Later this year Magnifier will be able to have the app detect text and then it will speak it out loud to the user. This will help users be able to easily understand the text on signs, appliance buttons, and a myriad of other items.

    Assistive Access

    The Calls app within Assistive Access on an iPhone

    There are many people within the world who have mobility issues, either temporary issues or even permanent issues. For these users beign able to use an iPhone or iPad can be quite difficult, particularly if the touch targets are smaller and more difficult to precisely touch. For those who can benefit from it, Assistive Access can be quite useful.

    From Apple's press release:

    Assistive Access uses innovations in design to distill apps and experiences to their essential features in order to lighten cognitive load. The feature reflects feedback from people with cognitive disabilities and their trusted supporters — focusing on the activities they enjoy — and that are foundational to iPhone and iPad: connecting with loved ones, capturing and enjoying photos, and listening to music.

    Assitive Access will create a very easy to use interface with large buttons to easily access the primary featuers that a user might need to access. As an example, Assistive Access combines the Phone and FaceTime into a single app that will allow users to easily contact someone, wheether it be via a phone or via FaceTime. This will be a boon for those with mobility issues and allow them to easily access the functions of their phone that they need to access.

    Live Speech and Personal Voice

    Live Speech showing text that will be spoken out loud on the Lock Screen of an iPhone

    Live Speech and Personal Voice is a forthcoming feature that will allow users to type out what they want to say and have it spoken out loud. This may be during a phone calls, FaceTime calls, or even in-person conversations. For some adding this feature, as outlined above, might be enough. But it goes further. From Apple's press release:

    For users at risk of losing their ability to speak — such as those with a recent diagnosis of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or other conditions that can progressively impact speaking ability — Personal Voice is a simple and secure way to create a voice that sounds like them.

    Users can create a Personal Voice by reading along with a randomized set of text prompts to record 15 minutes of audio on iPhone or iPad. This speech accessibility feature uses on-device machine learning to keep users’ information private and secure, and integrates seamlessly with Live Speech so users can speak with their Personal Voice when connecting with loved ones.

    Additional Features

    The items outlined above are just the beginning. Apple has also outlined a number of additional features coming. These include:

    • Deaf or hard-of-hearing users can pair Made for iPhone hearing devices directly to Mac and customize them for their hearing comfort.3 Voice Control adds phonetic suggestions for text editing so users who type with their voice can choose the right word out of several that might sound alike, like “do,” “due,” and “dew.”4 Additionally, with Voice Control Guide, users can learn tips and tricks about using voice commands as an alternative to touch and typing across iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
    • Users with physical and motor disabilities who use Switch Control can turn any switch into a virtual game controller to play their favorite games on iPhone and iPad.
    • For users with low vision, Text Size is now easier to adjust across Mac apps such as Finder, Messages, Mail, Calendar, and Notes.
    • Users who are sensitive to rapid animations can automatically pause images with moving elements, such as GIFs, in Messages and Safari.
    • For VoiceOver users, Siri voices sound natural and expressive even at high rates of speech feedback; users can also customize the rate at which Siri speaks to them, with options ranging from 0.8x to 2x.

    Closing Thoughts

    Accessibility is a large aspect to Apple's operating systems that allow users, particularly those who need some sort of accomodation, to be able to customize their devices to work in a manner that functions best for them. In order for any operating system to be successful, Accessiblity cannot be something that is bolted on after the fact. It has to be a primary concern and should be able to help users create the best experience for their needs.

    The three features highlighted above, "Point and Speak in Detection Mode in Magnifier", "Assistive Access", "Live Speech and Personal Voice" are just the latest in the line of accessibility features across iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. I suspect that we will see many more accessibility features being added in the future.

    Source: Apple Newsroom.


    4077: An Unofficial M*A*S*H Trivia Game 1.3.0 Now Available

    Cover for the app 4077: An Unofficial M*A*S*H Trivia app.

    The surgeons behind the game have been busy and have had added only one new feature and fixed one small bug. The new feature is that questions for 3 are now in the app. This brings the total number of questions to 1793 for seasons 1 to 3. There are now 1,793 questions for all three seasons.

    There was an infection in the app that caused the wrong information to be shown on the "About" screen for the latest season and episode, but this has been sewn up and fixed.

    If there are any issues, be sure to email support. This is can be done via the "About" screen.


    Apple Announces Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for the iPad

    Final Cut Pro for iPad showing a video timeline and Logic Pro for iPad showing tracklist with a keyboard.

    The place within Apple's ecosystem has changed over its 13-year lifetime. It started out as a much larger iPhone, but it has progressed to its own place within the ecosystem, including its own operating system. One area where power users have indicated that the iPad has been lacking is with "Pro" apps from Apple. Today, that has changed, because Apple has announced both Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro are coming to the iPad. Both apps will be available on May 23rd, 2023 in the App Store.

    Final Cut Pro

    Final Cut Pro for iPad that is showing a multicam view with the timeline editor

    Final Cut Pro on the iPad brings an app that professionals are accustomed to right on their iPad. Final Cut Pro for iPad utilizes multi-touch gestures to allow creatives to create, record, edit, and publish all from your iPad. While editing you make frame-accurate edits with just your finger as well as with the Apple Pencil.

    If you have an Apple Pencil you can use a feature called "Live Drawing" to write directly on top of video content. If you have an iPad Pro with M2 you can use the Apple Pencil hover capability to quickly scrub through your timeline to preview footage without needing to touch the screen.

    The Apple Pencil is great, but sometimes you just need to use keyboard shortcuts, and that is possible if you have either a Smart Keyboard or Magic Keyboard attached (and presumably any keyboard connected with Bluetooth) to perform actions using keyboard shortcuts.

    More and more videos are utilizing High Dynamic Range, or HDR, technologies to provide even better color. If you have a compatible 12.9-inch iPad Pro, you will be able to use Reference Mode on the iPad to get accurate colors for your video. Beyond this, if you have a multicam setup, you can view and edit these right on your iPad, M2 iPad users can also do all of this in ProRes on their devices.

    Final Cut Pro for iPad also includes the ability to add effects, backgrounds, and soundtracks do you video. If you need to remove a background, there is a new Screen Removal Mask feature which will allow you to replace the background.

    If you need to import media, this can be done using either Files or Photos. Any media you import will be saved directly within your Final Cut Pro project. Final Cut Pro on iPad can also import files from iMovie on iOS. As for exporting, you can export projects to your Mac, but you cannot import projects from your Mac to the iPad.


    Final Cut Pro requires iPadOS 16.4, or later, and will work on any iPad with an M1 or newer. This means that you will need a 12.9-inch iPad Pro (5th or 6th generation) or 11-inch iPad Pro (3rd or 4th generation) in order to run Final Cut Pro.

    You can learn more about Final Cut Pro on the iPad by visiting the Final Cut for iPad website.

    Logic Pro

    Logic Pro for iPad that is showing the sound browser on the left and tracks on the right

    Logic Pro is designed to allow the creation of music, sound efforts, or any other audio that one can conceive.

    Logic Pro for iPad utilizes the multi-touch gestures to quickly allow you to play software instruments, interact with controls, and use standard multi-touch gestures. These gestures include pinch to zoom, swiping to scroll just like you would with almost any other iPad app.

    Just like Final Cut Pro you can use the Apple Pencil with Logic Pro to do some precise editing or you can use the Apple Pencil to draw track automations to get just the right sound. Also like Final Cut Pro, if you prefer keyboard shortcuts these should also work with a Smart Keyboard or Magic Keyboard (again presumably it will work with any bluetooth connected keyboard) to perform the same actions as on the Mac.

    One of the features of Logic Pro is the ability to browse the sound library. This is included with Logic Pro for iPad and you can browse everything in one location and quickly filter the list to get just the item you are looking for.

    One of the more professional features of Logic Pro for iPad is the "Pro Mixer". The Pro Mixer emulates a physical mixer and provides you with faders, channel strips, pan controls, plugins, and even automation so you can get just the right sound for your tracks. And since Logic Pro utilizes multi-touch, you can move multiple faders simultaneously. Logic Pro for iPad does allow you to move projects easily between the iPad and the Mac. You can also export songs in a variety of compressed and lossless audio formats. You can even export your finished track from Logic Pro and import it into Final Cut Pro. If you have a Garageband for iOS project, you can import it into Logic Pro for iPad, but you cannot export it back out.


    Logic Pro requires iPadOS 16.4, or later, and will work on any iPad with an A12 Bionic or newer. If you have one of the iPads below, Logic Pro should work for you.

    • 11-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation or later)
    • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (4th generation or later)
    • iPad (8th generation or later)
    • iPad Air (4th generation or later)

    You can learn more about Final Cut Pro on the iPad by visiting the Logic Pro for iPad website.


    One of the biggest changes with the iPad versions of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro, as compared to the Mac versions, is the pricing. Both of the iPad versions are subscriptions, $4.99 per month or $49 per year, without any option of having a one-time purchase. The Mac versions of Final Cut Pro is $299.99 and Logic Pro is $199.99.

    There has been some discussion regarding the iPad apps being subscriptions, with individuals on both sides. Some of the pushback has been due to subscription fatigue and everything being having a subscription. At the same time, some have mentioned that having the monthly subscription pricing could bring more people into using the apps, given that they can subscribe for a while and then cancel without needing to put down so much up front for an app where they might only have an need.

    There is a one-month free-trial for both applications, so you can try them before you commit to a subscription.

    Closing Thoughts

    When someone uses "FINALLY", to signify that something has happened, it is often not an appropriate use. However, in this case I think it is appropriate for people to use it, particularly since many professional users have been wanting Apple's '"Pro" apps to be available on the iPad.

    It seems as though Apple has utilized the features of the iPad to bring pretty good versions of Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro to the iPad. Utilizing features like multi-touch to allow pinch to zoom and using Apple Pencil to allow precise editing should go a long way for users.

    For many creatives having either Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro available on their iPad will go a long way to helping them create, edit, and share their creations. Some may balk at the pricing, but others will welcome it as a way of being able to do what they need while on the go or just on a platform where they feel most comfortable.

    I am not one who uses Final Cut Pro or Logic Pro, not even on the Mac, so I am not the target market for these. I do not think I will be downloading or subscribing, but these are definitely apps that many will use. I hope this is just the start of what Apple has planned for their "Pro" apps and the iPad. I also hope that these apps will not suffer a "set it and forget it" approach that seems to plague many of the features on the Mac, but that is a whole other topic.

    Source: Apple Newsroom.


    Apple Introduces a New Apple Watch Pride Band

    Apple's 2023 Pride Edition iOS wallpaper and accompanying Apple Watch Face and Pride Sport Band

    Each year Apple introduces a new Apple Watch band with matching iPhone wallpaper, and Apple Watch face, in support of the LGBTQ+ community. Today has announced its most recent band and this year it is a sport band.

    Apple's press release states:

    Inspired by the strength and beauty of the LGBTQ+ community, the new Sport Band design showcases the original pride flag rainbow colors and five others — black and brown symbolize Black and Latin communities, in addition to those who have passed away from or are living with HIV/AIDS, while light blue, pink, and white represent transgender and nonbinary individuals.

    This year’s design integrates a joyful rainbow of geometric shapes on a white base, which are compression-molded into the final band. In the forming process, the base material flows around each individual shape, creating small variations in their layout. No two bands are exactly alike, reflecting the individuality of all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

    The new Apple Watch band will be available to order on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023 and will be in Apple stores starting on May 24th, 2023 for $49. The Pride Edition Sport Band will be available in 41mm and 45mm versions and will be compatible with Apple Watch Series 3 and later.

    The accompanying wallpaper and watch face will be available next week with the release of iOS 16.5 and watchOS 9.5 respectively.

    Below are a couple of screenshots of the new iOS wallpaper in dark mode.

    2023 Pride Edition Wallpaper on a Home screen2023 Pride Edition Wallpaper while the lock screen is locked and the screen is on

    Source: Apple Newsroom.


    Reading List for April 2023

    Covers for the books Wordslut, Console Wars, and New Arcadia: Revolution

    Spring of 2023 is in full swing, and it is time for April's reading list. In April I managed to listened to 19 titles, of which one three of them were new. I will highlight all three this month.

    The first title is "Wordslut: A Feminists Guide to Taking Back the English Language" by Amanda Montell.

    A brash, enlightening, and wildly entertaining feminist look at gendered language and the way it shapes us.

    The word bitch conjures many images, but it is most often meant to describe an unpleasant woman. Even before its usage to mean “a female canine,” bitch didn’t refer to women at all—it originated as a gender-neutral word for “genitalia.” A perfectly innocuous word devolving into an insult directed at females is the case for tons more terms, including hussy, which simply meant “housewife”; and slut, which meant “an untidy person” and was also used to describe men. These are just a few of history’s many English slurs hurled at women.

    Amanda Montell, reporter and feminist linguist, deconstructs language—from insults, cursing, gossip, and catcalling to grammar and pronunciation patterns—to reveal the ways it has been used for centuries to keep women and other marginalized genders from power. Ever wonder why so many people are annoyed when women speak with vocal fry or use like as filler? Or why certain gender-neutral terms stick and others don’t? Or where stereotypes of how women and men speak come from in the first place?

    Montell effortlessly moves between history, science, and popular culture to explore these questions—and how we can use the answers to affect real social change. Montell’s irresistible humor shines through, making linguistics not only approachable but downright hilarious and profound. Wordslut gets to the heart of our language, marvels at its elasticity, and sheds much-needed light on the biases that shadow women in our culture and our consciousness.

    The second title I want to highlight is Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

    Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

    In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

    The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

    Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

    The last title I want to highlight is a sequal. The title is New Arcadia: Revolution (New Arcadia Book 2)

    In the not-so-distant future, a deadly plague has forced billions into their homes, and locked them up tight. Hope may soon arrive in the form of an effective new cure from the mega-global Chum Corporation, but not before they decide their customers are ready for it.

    That’s why they’ve created New Arcadia—a real-as-life virtual-reality game designed to bring the isolated people of the world together again.

    After its successful launch in New Arcadia: Stage One, the game is being updated and expanded with a new rhythm-game mechanic to bring players together on the dance floor. No longer just for 1990s arcade fighting-game fans, all ages are being welcomed to the virtual party now.

    For Prime Beta Tester John Chambers and his friends in New Arcadia, the stakes have never been higher. As the original players of the game, they feel a duty to ensure the new arrivals in New Arcadia adapt successfully to the world and prove to the Chum Corporation that people are ready to come together again in real life.

    But there are other players within the game who have a more sinister objective—and they’ll do anything to ensure that the online experiment of New Arcadia is doomed to disaster and the people of the world continue to languish in solitude for a long, long time.

    To succeed, John and his friends will have to conquer the mean streets of New Arcadia. And kill it on the dance floor.

    I am not sure how many titles I will end up listening to in April, I am sure there will be at least a few, but beyond that I do not know how many titles.

    Note, the links below contain affiliate links and I get a small commission if you purchase something.
    Title Author First Listen Amazon Apple
    Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams No Amazon Apple
    Wordslut: A Feminists Guide to Taking Back the English Language Amanda Montell Yes Amazon Apple
    A Painted House John Grisham No Amazon Apple
    Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations (Great Courses) Brian M. Fagan No Amazon Apple
    Turning Points in American History (Great Courses) Edward T. O’Donnell No Amazon Apple
    The Great Escape Paul Brickhill No Amazon Apple
    Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation Blake J. Harris Yes Amazon Apple
    Band of Brothers Stephen E. Ambrose No Amazon Apple
    The Event (The Event Book 1) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    New Threat (The Event Book 2) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    New World (The Event Book 3) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
    New Arcadia: Stage One (New Arcadia Book 1) Eric Jason Martin No Amazon Apple
    New Arcadia: Revolution (New Arcadia Book 2) Eric Jason Martin Yes Amazon Apple
    Vicarious Rhett C. Bruno No Amazon Apple
    Pilot X (Pilot X Book 1) Tom Merritt No Amazon Apple
    Orion Colony (Orion Colony Book 1) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
    Orion Uncharted (Orion Colony Book 2) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
    Orion Awakened (Orion Colony Book 3) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
    Orion Protected (Orion Colony Book 4) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
    Total   19    

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