The Sound-Samples Edition Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Siri Can Now Play Animal Sounds And More, by Mitchell Clark, The Verge

With yesterday’s release of iOS 14.3, Siri got a new trick: the ability to play real-world sound samples on command. Ask “Hey Siri, what does _____ sound like?” and it will start playing the sound for you.

WatchOS 7.2 Released Today, Including Support For Apple Fitness+, by Jim Salter, Ars Technica

WatchOS 7.2 includes support for Fitness+, Apple's new subscription-based fitness service, as well as new cardio fitness notifications.

Powerful and Approachable

ProRAW Is Here!, by Austin Mann

I suggest turning on ProRAW when you are shooting in extreme conditions of any kinds (extremely low light, extremely high dynamic range with super bright highlights and dark shadows, mixed light temperatures, and so on). Also, use ProRAW if you plan on enlarging the images (on screen or in print).

And try flipping on ProRAW any time you are shooting and something just doesn’t look quite right. For example, although Smart HDR has gotten so much better, we’ve all seen how it sometimes renders skin tones or pink clouds in kind of weird ways. Any time you see something that looks unnatural or just inaccurate, switch to ProRAW. This will reduce the computational decisions your iPhone is making and give you as much control as possible.

Understanding ProRAW, by Ben Sandofsky, Halide

As we dug deeper into ProRAW, we realized it about much more than making RAW more powerful. It’s about making RAW approachable. ProRAW could very well change how everyone shoots and edit photos, beginners and experts like.

To understand what makes it so special, the first half of this post explains how a digital camera develops a photo. Then we go on to explain the strengths and weaknesses of traditional RAWs. Finally, we dive into what’s unique about ProRAW, how it changes the game, and its few remaining drawbacks.

Halide Mark II Update Brings ProRAW Support For iPhone 12 Pro Line, by Brent Dirks, AppAdvice

With ProRAW, photographers can capture RAW photos that also go through iPhone image processing.


macOS Big Sur: Using APFS On A Time Machine Drive Has Some Catches, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

While APFS has advantages for SSD-based storage, there really aren’t any for hard disk drives, the most likely kind of drive used for large-capacity backup drives. I would set up any new Time Machine volume formatted with APFS, but not convert an old one from HFS+.

Review: Zendure SuperBase 500 Is Our Go-to Power Accessory, by Wesley Hilliard, AppleInsider

The Zendure SuperBase 500 is a massive power station that can power up to nine devices at once and includes all the ports you need including fast USB-C ports and dual AC outlets.

Sonnet Introduces Two Higher-powered Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Breakaway Boxes For Intel Macs, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The Sonnet eGPU Breakaway Boxes are built to be future proof with a 750W power supply, which is often the limiting factor when upgrading a GPU.


I Suppose A Roman à Clef About A Design-Obsessed California Computer Maker Is Off The Table Too, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

My point here isn’t to dispute the basic reporting that Cook nixed the show, but to observe that what Smith reported is really just the setup, not the complete story, and the rest of the story would be interesting to know — both to satisfy our (or least my) gossipy curiosity, and as insight into Tim Cook’s largely opaque mindset. He’s a hard man to read.

Behold, The Majesty Of HBO Max In Full-screen Mode On An M1 Mac, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The result is a “full screen” app that’s locked to the iPad’s 4:3 display orientation.

Facebook Attacks Apple’s iOS Changes In Full-Page Newspaper Ads, by Kurt Wagner, Bloomberg

The ads, slated to run in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, carry the headline “We’re standing up to Apple for small businesses everywhere.” They home in on upcoming changes to Apple’s iOS 14 operating system that will curb the ability of companies like Facebook to gather data about mobile users and ply them with advertising.

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