Nomad, one of my favorite companies producing Apple-centric accessories, has launched a new version of its Base One and Base One Max MagSafe chargers in a beautiful gold colorway. These high quality official MagSafe chargers were initially available in both carbide and silver color options.
The Base One is a solo MagSafe charger that provides charging speeds up to 15W (you’ll need to provide your own 30W or higher USB-C power adapter). Of course, it’s also Qi-enabled, so it will work with any Qi-device, not just iPhones. The unit features a beautiful weighted metal & elevated glass design, and is a definite step up from Apple’s standard MagSafe charger, or even the Apple MagSafe Duo, which is prone to yellowing over time.
If you’re interested in charging both your Apple Watch and your iPhone simultaneously, the Base One Max features the same MagSafe charger with weighted metal body and elevated glass panel alongside a soft-touch Apple Watch charging base.
Base One is available for $99.95 and Base One Max is available for $149.95. The prices are higher than some third-party MagSafe options, but the build quality and design of Nomad’s options are second-to-none.
As I noted at the outset, I’ve been a fan of Nomad gear since it was primarily known for its Horween leather cases. Even though it has expanded its portfolio to other areas, design has remained a top priority. I’ll try to get a hands-on video of the Base One or Base One Max if I get the opportunity.
iOS 16 developer beta 4 (and public beta 2) was recently released, and it is one of the more feature-laden updates that we’ve seen thus far. Included in the update are significant changes to the way that editing and deleting iMessages in the Messages app works, updates to the Now Playing album artwork UI on the Lock Screen, updates to Home Screen wallpaper customization, and much more.
One of the coolest additions to iOS 16 is the Control Nearby Devices feature. This accessibility option, which apparently was burried deeper in iOS settings on previous betas, has now graduated to the root of Accessibility. Found in Settings → Accessibility → Control Nearby Devices allows you to connect to and control a nearby iOS device wirelessly, assuming it’s also running iOS 16.
Thus far, Control Nearby Devices lets users invoke the Home Screen, App Switcher, Notification Center, Control Center, and Siri on a nearby device wirelessly. Additional options are found for controlling media playback, including play/pause, previous or next track, and volume up or volume down. What’s cool is that I was able to connect to my iPad Pro while the device had its display turned off, and I was still able to connect to the device, and control music playback wirelessly.
Although limited at this stage, Control Nearby Devices is a promising new accessibility feature that will hopefully grow beyond the few options that it has today. It would be awesome to have an Apple TV Remote experience of sorts for controlling devices remotely, providing a sort of virtual mouse experience to have more fine-grained control over an iPad or iPhone.
Taking this idea even further, I would love to see a full Remote Desktop experience available to control other devices, mixing elements of SharePlay with remote control. Perhaps Control Nearby Devices will graduate beyond being just an Accessibility feature and a develop into a full-on utility for iOS users? Obviously that’s just wishful conjecture at this stage.
Keep in mind that this is a beta feature, so it’s not a guarantee that we’ll see it in future beta releases and/or in the final shipping version of iOS 16 later this year.
What do you think? You can watch my full walkthrough of iOS 16 beta 4 in the video embed above, but if you’d like to jump directly to my brief demonstration of Control Nearby Devices, you can find it timestamped here.
Today Apple released iOS 15.6 to the public. The update, while not loaded with a lot of user-facing features, comes bundled with a decent helping of bug fixes and security update.
iOS 15.6 also addresses the issue with the Music app reappearing in its default location in the Dock, kicking out whatever app was in that position. People automatically assumed that this was Apple doing something malicious to promote Apple Music, but it was just a bug. This bug, among several others, has been fixed in iOS 15.6
If you’re already running the iOS 15.6 RC version 2, you can rest easy knowing that it and the publicly-released version are identical.
LumaTouch just released the latest version of its award-winning video editing software, LumaFusion. This update — version 3.1 — is huge, and brings forth scopes, featuring real-time histograms, waveforms and vectorscopes.
Scopes are handy monitoring tools that pro users have been clamoring for. Critical for measuring color, highlights, and shadows, they are especially helpful when monitoring and grading HDR content. But scopes aren’t the only new feature to come, as I showcase in my hands-on LumaFusion 3.1 video walkthrough.
You can find the new scopes feature by double-tapping on a clip in the timeline to open the Clip Editor. While inside the Clip Editor, tap the Color & Effects tab at the bottom of the interface then tap the Scopes button in the upper left-hand corner.
By default, LumaFusion presents all three video scopes at once: histogram, waveform, and vectorsope. Each scope features a chevron button that allows you to further customize its features.
For histograms, users have the option of displaying an overlay of all three color channels, or a horizontal or vertical parade. Users can also toggle individual red, green, or blue color channels, along with a luminance channel.
The waveform graph allows you to switch between YCbCr luma or chroma values, and RGB with options to toggle individual channels, while the vectorscope is built for color correction, and allows users to toggle the skin tone line via settings.
The video scopes panel can be enlarged by using the slider at the top of the interface, which, after a certain size, will begin to obscure the video preview.
Finally, if you long-press the Scopes button in the upper left-hand corner, you can customize the scopes view. In all there are six different views to choose from, the default 3-up view, a 2-up view, a 1-up view, and a pair of 2-up views with one large scope and one smaller scope.
Overall, the new scopes feature is a welcomed addition that allows you to gain real-time insight into color and luminance values of your footage. Of course, scopes work great within SDR color spaces, but since LumaFusion already handles working with HDR content like a champ, it comes as no surprise that scopes play nice within an HDR color space as well.
The only downside, if you can even call it that, is that scopes are only viewable while within the Clip Editor for an individual clip, and disappear when closing the Color & Effects tab. In future versions, it would be great if you could keep the scopes viewable while on the project timeline and customize their location around the interface. But as a free update for people that already own LumaFusion, it’s really hard to complain about gaining such a valuable new feature for free.
Multiple LUTs and effects
LUTs provide a great way to customize the look of your footage, but up until now LumaFusion only supported adding one LUT per clip. In version 3.1, this restriction has been removed, and users can now add multiple LUTs to a clip.
In addition to the ability to add multiple LUTs, version 1.3 makes it possible to add multiple effects, even multiple instances of the same effect. You can also rearrange the order of the LUTs and effects in effects list.
Improved drag and drop and timeline lasso selection
LumaFusion 3.1 now features a visual lasso for selecting items, making timeline selection easier than before. There’s also improved drag and drop that allows you to simply drag an item like a photo, video, title, or transition and drop it to the timeline naturally without any pauses.
Reorder audio effects
A new drag handle will now appear in the audio effects lists when adding more than one effect. With the ability to change the order of the effects, users gain more control over critical audio adjustments.
Automated Project Backups
Automated project backup management now stores current backups, plus one per day for the last 30 days, and one per month for prior months.
New Import and Restore feature
Found directly within the Project Manager interface, LumaFusion 3.1 makes it easy to find and restore automatic project backups.
Expanded keyboard shortcut support
Lots of additional keyboard shortcuts have been added to LumaFusion 3.1, speeding up editing for power users. New shortcuts are available for importing media, select and deselect all items in the browser, adding transitions, viewing clip info, zoom (!) in and out, switching to the full screen viewer, adding markers, hiding and muting tracks, and switching between any of the six available UI layouts.
One of the biggest missing features in the LumaFusion workflow up until now was the availability of scopes. Now that LumaTouch has added this feature, it’s become an even more compelling option for both in-studio and on-the-go workflows pro workflows.
In addition to all of the aforementioned features, LumaTouch has made improvements to the UI styling, added support for personal and team folders with DropBox accounts that have Team Spaces enabled, improved clip representation on the timeline, along with dozens of additional smaller improvements.
If you already own LumaFusion, version 3.1 is a free update that’s available now on the App Store. LumaFusion is built with the touch screen iPad and iPhone interface in mind, but is also compatible with Apple Silicon-enabled Macs. New customers can purchase LumaFusion today for $29.99, and to be honest, I simply can’t recommend it enough.
Before installing the iOS 16 public beta, the first thing that I highly recommend doing is backing up your iPhone to your Mac prior to upgrading to iOS 16. This makes it so that you can easily downgrade back to iOS 15 should the need arise, and you can retain all of your apps and data with ease via the backup.
Step 1: Connect iPhone to Mac
Connect your iPhone to your Mac via a Lightning to USB cable.
Step 2: Establish trust on iPhone
If this is your first time connecting your iPhone physically to your Mac, you’ll need to approve the Trust prompt that appears upon connection, and enter your iPhone’s passcode to confirm.
Step 3: Open Finder and navigate to iPhone under Locations
On your Mac, open the Finder, and navigate to the name of your iPhone under the Locations heading in the Finder’s side bar.
Step 4: Establish trust on Mac
You’ll next be required to establish a trust relationship to your iPhone via your Mac. Tap the blue Trust button that appears in the Finder to establish the trust pair.
Step 5: Backup iOS 15
Under the General tab, you’ll see a Backups section. Check the box that says Back up all of the data on your iPhone to this Mac.
Check the box next to Encyrpt local backup, and enter a new password to protect your iPhone backup. You’ll need to verify the password your choose. Be sure to check the box next to Remember this password in my keychain to have macOS save your password.
Click the Set Password button.
The backup should commence, and depending on how much data there is to back up, it could take a while so exercise patience.
Step 6: Archive your backup
Once the backup is completed, click the Manage Backups button to view your latest backup.
Right click on the backup and choose Archive to archive the backup and prevent it from being overwritten by a future backup.
Scroll down and click the Sign Up button if this is your first time registering on Apple’s Beta Software Program website. Otherwise, click Sign in to sign in with your Apple ID.
Step 9: Download profile
On the Guide for Public Betas page, ensure that iOS is selected, and scroll down until your see Step 2, Install profile. Tap the blue Download profile button, and click Allow on the prompt that follows.
Close Safari, and open the Settings app. At the top of the Settings app, beneath your iCloud panel, you should see a Profile Downloaded shortcut panel. Tap Profile Downloaded, and you’ll be taken to the Install Profile prompt under VPN & Device Management.
Tap the Install button in the upper right-hand corner and enter your device passcode to confirm.
Tap Install again in the upper right-hand corner, followed by the Install button at the bottom of the interface.
You’ll now be prompted to restart your device to apply the changes. Tap Restart to commence with the restart.
Step 10: Install iOS 16 public beta
Once your iPhone reboots, open Settings → General → Software Update, and iOS will check for a new update and find the iOS 16 Public Beta. It may take some time to download the update, which is several gigabytes in size. Once the download is completed, tap Install Now to proceed with the update. The update will take several minutes to install, and you’ll be met with the iOS “Hello” screen upon successful installation.
Congratulations, you have now installed the iOS 16 Public Beta on your iPhone.
How to downgrade iOS 16 to iOS 15
Step 1: Disable Find My iPhone
Go to Settings → iCloud → Find My → Find My iPhone, and disable Find My iPhone.
Step 2: Connect iPhone to Mac
Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning to USB cable.
Step 3: Put iPhone into Recovery Mode
To put your iPhone into Recovery Mode, do the following in quick succession:
Press Volume Up and release
Press Volume Down and release
Press and hold the Side button
Continue to hold the Side button until you see the connect to computer screen. This screen indicates that you’ve successfully entered Recovery Mode.
Step 4: Restore iOS 15 using Finder
A Finder window should appear indicating that your iPhone needs to be updated or restored. Click the Restore button and then click Restore and Update.
Click the Next button that appears on the release notes for iOS 15 or current public version of iOS. Click Agree on the Safety Info screen, and the restore process will begin.
Step 5: Restore iOS backup using Finder
Once your iPhone is restored, step through the iOS setup process until you arrive on the Apps & Data screen. From there, tap Restore from Mac or PC. The Connected to Computer screen should appear on your iPhone.
Open Finder on your Mac, and navigate to your iPhone under Locations in the side bar. Select Restore from this backup, and select the backup that was made earlier. Click Continue and enter the password to unlock your backup and click Restore.
Your iPhone should now begin the restore process. Once completed, apps and data will continue downloading in the background.
The steps for both upgrading to iOS 16 public beta, and downgrading from iOS 16 back to iOS 15 are fairly straightforward and easy to do. The hardest part is the wait involved when performing steps like downloading iOS 16 beta. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @JeffBenjam.
This is a particularly interesting question in relation to the 2022 13-inch MacBook Pro, because this computer is nearly identical to the 2020 model with the exception of Apple’s new M2 system on a chip. In my eyes, this new MacBook Pro exists for a few key reasons:
Apple sells a lot of 13-inch MacBook Pro machines
The previous 13-inch MacBook Pro is approaching two years old in November, and was due for a refresh
This is Apple’s entry-level “Pro” MacBook, and at $1299, its base configuration is $700 cheaper than the base model 14-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chip
R&D and manufacturing costs are minimized since this design has been used before
There’s no complex explanation here — Apple sells a lot of 13-inch MacBook Pro computers, so it was updated with Apple’s new M2 chip in order to keep selling more.
Who is it for?
I look at the MacBook Pro similarly to how I look at fleet vehicles. They are able to do the job, but don’t bring a lot of added bells and whistles to the table. The M2 MacBook Pro does the job, featuring a new “engine” with higher performance than its predecessor, but it’s not at all exciting, and saves all of the fancy stuff — XDR display, MagSafe, SD Card slot, extra Thunderbolt port — for its bigger siblings.
If you need a new MacBook, then the 2022 MacBook Pro is among the cheapest that you can buy brand new. It also comes with M2 Apple Silicon that should last plenty of generations of software updates going into the future.
“If you need a new MacBook, then the 2022 MacBook Pro is among the cheapest that you can buy brand new”
The chassis on this MacBook Pro — both inside and outside — is indistinguishable from its predecessor. It features the same I/O, including two Thunderbolt USB4 ports located on the left side of the machine, and the same 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side.
The screen is also identical to the previous model. It features the same 13.3-inch IPS display with 2560-by-1600 native resolution, along with other familiar specs: 500 nits of brightness, wide color support, and True Tone for accurate white balance in ambient light.
The 2022 MacBook Pro also ensures that the controversial Touch Bar remains available on a brand new Apple laptop for at least one more generation. The Touch Bar, which has received a lukewarm response since its debut back in 2016, has been eliminated on all of Apple’s laptops with updated designs starting with last year’s 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro releases.
With all of that being said, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is still a beautifully-designed laptop, and in most cases puts PC designs to shame. Just because it isn’t the latest and greatest design doesn’t automatically make it bad. 2020’s MacBook Pro blew everyone’s mind with how good it was, and that was mostly owed to Apple Silicon. For the most part, the same rings true with the M2-powered MacBook Pro.
The most important 2022 MacBook Pro feature is easily the Apple M2 Chip, which makes its worldwide debut in this machine. The M2 is the follow-up to the venerable M1 chip, the first such in-house-designed chip for Macs, and an utter game-changer performance-wise when compared to Intel chips.
The M2 builds on the M1 in several key ways. The M2 uses the same 5nm process, but features a noteworthy increase in transistors going from 16 million on the M1 to 20 million on the M2. The M2 features an 8-core CPU paired with a 10-Core GPU — two additional GPU cores than its predecessor.
The 16-core Neural Engine is now more capable than before. The upgraded Neural Engine can now perform 15.8 trillion operations per second which is a sizable step above the 11 trillion ops on the two-year-ago model.
Finally, the M2 features faster memory, with 100GB/s memory bandwidth versus roughly 70GB/s with M1. And buyers can configure up to 40% more unified memory than before, with users presented with an 8, 16, and new 24 GB build-to-order option. Although a far cry from the 64GB option on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, when coupled with the additional bandwidth, having 8GB of extra memory headroom will make a difference for video workflows, 3D rendering, virtualization, etc. when compared to M1.
One of the biggest weaknesses of the 13-inch MacBook Pro only affects the base model with 256GB of SSD storage. As revealed by Max Tech, Apple is using a single 256GB NAND module in its base model MacBook Pro instead of two 128GB NAND modules in parallel like it did in the M1-powered base machine. This change results in slower SSD speeds than the previous 13-inch base model MacBook Pro.
On one hand that is a problem, because the MacBook Pro should be at least as fast as its predecessor across the board. In terms of SSD speed for the base $1299 configuration with 256GB of storage, that is not the case.
Of course, one could make the argument that those who are concerned with the speed of the SSD wouldn’t be opting for the base configuration anyway, and I agree with this to an extent. The audience for this baseline MacBook Pro is generally not the same audience that cares about SSD performance beyond the fact that it be fast enough to do basic tasks competently, such as launching apps.
However, as others have said, I think this means that Apple should have simply set the new baseline at 512GB if doing otherwise yields performance that is demonstrably slower than its predecessor.
The other big weakness is that, because this machine isn’t powered by the higher end Pro and/or Max variants of the M2 chip, there’s not enough bandwidth to support more more than two Thunderbolt ports, which are located solely on the left-side of the machine. As someone who frequently interfaces with Thunderbolt and USB-C peripherals, this is a big downside for me, but your experience may vary.
At $1299 for the base model, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is easily the most affordable brand new MacBook Pro that you can purchase today. The higher-end 14-inch model starts at $1999, a $700 increase over the baseline 13-inch version. Hence, in terms of value when compared to the 14-inch model, there is a substantial amount of money to be saved.
If you’re coming from an Intel MacBook, then the M2 MacBook Pro will, like its predecessor, blow you away. The performance and battery life runs circles around MacBook Pro models with Intel chips. For those making the move from Intel hardware, you will be downright thrilled with the upgrade.
However, when compared to the previous M1 MacBook Pro, value is limited. For starters, you get a slower SSD in the base model, and outside of the M2 performance increases and build-to-order memory upgrade, it’s more or less the exact same machine design-wise and feature wise. With these things in mind, I’d say that the 2022 MacBook Pro provides a wide range of value propositions for perspective buyers.
The 2022 MacBook Pro is about as vanilla as it gets when it comes to Apple laptops. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the M2 chip that powers the machine is extremely capable, and will be a huge upgrade for those coming from Intel-powered MacBooks.
But if you already have 2020’s MacBook Pro or MacBook Air with the M1 chip, the upgrade is considerably less compelling. If I were looking to upgrade to the latest Apple Silicon, I’d instead wait for the M2-powered MacBook Air refresh that’s scheduled to come available later this month.
Despite being rated for two hours less battery life than the MacBook Pro, I think the upcoming MacBook Air is hands-down the better computer for the majority of users at this price tier. With the 2022 MacBook Air, you get all of the following advantages over the MacBook Pro:
Brand new thinner design (0.44 inch vs 0.61 inches)
Slightly larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display
Much thinner bezels
Lighter chassis (2.7 pounds vs 3.0 pounds)
Silent, fanless design
New exciting color options (Starlight and Midnight)
MagSafe 3 support
1080p FaceTime HD Camera
Full-size function keys
No Touch Bar (for those that hate it)
$100 cheaper for base model
Advantages of the MacBook Pro:
Active cooling for less throttling
67W USB-C Power Adapter vs 30W
Battery life (20 vs 18)
Touch Bar (for those that like it)
Stereo speakers with high dynamic range
Studio-quality three-mic array
In my opinion, none of those advantages add up to make the MacBook Pro a better machine than the MacBook Air, but if you really value the Touch Bar, or you value battery life over anything else, then those are areas you might possibly consider when making a decision. Personally, despite having not yet tested the MacBook Air, I think the decision is a no-brainer: skip the MacBook Pro, get the MacBook Air.