New Final Cut Pro update brings Mac Studio support, Voice Isolation, and more

Apple has released the next version of Final Cut Pro, version 10.6.2, and introduces a host of new improvements and new features, including optimizations for Mac Studio workstations, and introduces new Duplicate Detection and Voice Isolation features.

For the Mac Studio, the new update is somewhat vague other than indicating that there have been optimizations for playback and graphics performance on both the M1 Max and M1 Ultra versions of the Mac Studio, but users should see an overall improvement in performance.

Duplicate detection, as the name suggests, searches for duplicate ranges within the timeline and marks the clips for easier editing, something that would be especially helpful for long-form content. 

Meanwhile, Voice Isolation, as the name suggests, is a feature that uses machine learning to isolate voice frequencies from other sounds in the background.

Other improvements to Final Cut Pro include updates to its companion apps Motion and Compressor, various updates to Tracker Options/Object Tracker, and other performance and reliability enhancements. 

iMovie has also been updated to its 3.0 version, which adds Storyboards and Magic Movie features.

The full release notes for the update are:

Via 9to5mac

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Home Widget brings a feature that I hoped would come in iOS 16

During the first few months of the pandemic in 2020 when the UK was in lockdown, I decided to finally follow through with some plans for the house to help make some appliances easier to manage.

The first easy win in this was smart lights. Over a weekend, I replaced every light that we used across the house with a smart one that would be available to manage over Apple's Home app, or Amazon's Alexa as a way to command the lights in the living room.

But while Apple's Home app, in which you can manage all of your lights and other smart home appliances, was easy enough to use, it's never had widgets, which has always baffled me.

Widgets first arrived in iOS 14 back in 2020, but it's taken an innovative app called Home Widget to lessen my annoyance with the lack of a Home one. Now, I've got a bunch of widgets on my home screen for my lights, without opening a single app.

Let there be (smart) light

Home Widget app in iOS

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Available for free, alongside an in-app purchase of $ 8.99 / £8.99 / AU$ 10.99 to let you create an unlimited amount of widgets, the app will monitor every smart appliance that's connected to your iPhone, and these will show in the app.

After this, you can create different panels for the lights or other appliances in your home, alongside choosing the colors, icons, and more.

Once you're done, you can place them on your iPhone or iPad home screen. Pressing one of these will either switch on or off what you've selected, without having to go into an app like Apple's Home.

Yes, this may sound very obvious to those who don't have smart lights in their home that manage them through an iPhone, but after two years of using the Home app, it's always felt off that a tentpole iOS feature that Apple has been showcasing since 2020, is nowhere to be found in its own Home app.

But Home Widget does it well, especially in how easy it is to manage your widgets. There's also a nice touch of the app showing all the widgets you've made on its launch screen, in a Tetris layout.

The app recently updated to 1.2, which brings support for HomeKit cameras, battery sensors, the color of your lights, and more.

Regardless of whether Apple brings widgets to its Home app in the future, perhaps at WWDC 2022, Home Widget is already a favorite and scratches a big itch that I've had for my house for two years.

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Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Windows 11 update finally brings tabs and other features to File Explorer

Having been accessible through a tool in recent Insider builds, tabs for File Explorer are now available to all users in an update to Windows 11, rolling out from today alongside other features for the app.

The ability to have multiple tabs open in a single File Explorer window, similar to a web browser, is something that users, this writer included, have been wanting for years. It's felt like an obvious feature for the file manager to have, as we've all been in the situation where we've had to have multiple windows open to drag and drop files between folders.

As macOS has had tabbed windows in its Finder app since 10.9 Mavericks, it's a relief to see this feature cross over to Windows 11, however late this may feel to some.

But there's also other features arriving for the app, such as file suggestions and a new home page.


Analysis: It's about time

A homepage for File Explorer sounds strange at first, but it makes sense as an app that you most likely check every day on your PC. If you use Microsoft Edge or Apple's Safari web browser, you'll find some familiarity here, as they both feature a start page that shows your Favorite links, the latest news and more.

The same concept could work well for File Explorer, except for the latest news. Many users have network drives attached, and cloud storage folders that are prevalent in their Explorer sidebars. To have another easy method of reaching these will be welcome.

But the main feature for File Explorer will be tabs regardless. Having used the feature through ViveTool and following the steps to enable them in an Insider Build, which showcases features under development, it works as well as a web browser.

It's surprising to see this feature arrive so soon, especially with rumors that Windows 11's next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2, is on track to be released in the second half of 2022. It makes us wonder if major updates are becoming a thing of the past for Microsoft, and instead, we're seeing major updates across the year.

With Windows Media Player and now improvements to the Start menu and File Explorer already appearing, we may be seeing the start of a reworked update process for Windows 11, without any of us knowing.

And if that's the case, we're all for it, and only makes us want Apple to do the same and move away from its major yearly releases.

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Five new features that iOS 15.4 brings to your iPhone and iPad

With Apple announcing its Mac Studio, the iPhone SE 3, the Studio Display, and more at its March 2022 event, the release for iOS 15.4 has followed a week after, available for your iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, and above.

iOS 15 was released in September 2021, and it brought SharePlay, widgets to iPadOS, Focus modes, and more, all focusing on a theme of productivity.

But Apple has been full steam ahead with .1 updates since then, as 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 have all brought bug fixes and refinements to your iPhone and iPad.

With this in mind, here are five features that you can get acquainted with as iOS 15.4 downloads to your device.

1. Face ID with a mask

iOS 15.4 FaceID Mask

(Image credit: Future)

While Apple introduced a feature that would allow your Apple Watch to authenticate you by unlocking your phone, it wasn't helpful to those who didn't own a watch.

With iOS 15.4, you can enable an additional feature where you will be asked to scan your face while wearing a mask. The Face ID hardware will then recognize your eyes and facial features to unlock your phone instead.

2. Universal Control with iPadOS 15.4

Universal Control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

This is something that was announced at WWDC in 2021, Apple's yearly developer conference, but it was delayed from the latter half of 2021 to the release of iPadOS 15.4.

As long as you have a certain iPad model and a Mac running macOS 12.3 Monterey, you can use your mouse cursor across both devices, so you can drag and drop your content seamlessly.

If you're struggling to set Universal Control up, we've got a guide to help out with that.

3. New Emoji

iOS 15.4 Emoji

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A new update wouldn't be the same without new emoji, and this time there's a bunch you can use.

From a salute to different genders being pregnant, alongside many new hand gestures, there's plenty to choose from for your WhatsApp and Twitter messages.

4. Better anti-stalking measures for AirTag

iOS 15.4 AirTags

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When you set up a new AirTag in iOS 15.4, you will be greeted with a pop-up explaining that it's a crime to use it to track people, making users aware of its misuses across the world so far.

There's also better ways to manage its Notifications through the Find My app, so you can configure when the time-tracking alerts will arrive, alongside deciding whether to deliver all of its notifications right away or at a certain time of day.

5. Notes in iCloud Keychain

iOS 15.4 iCloud Keychain

(Image credit: TechRadar)

You've been able to save and sync your passwords in iCloud since 2019 with the release of iOS 13. But 15.4 allows you to add notes to your custom iCloud passwords through iCloud Keychain.

While it sounds like a small feature, it's significant due to other password apps having this for a number of years, and the ease of adding some extra reminders in these sections can help, especially if you have multiple accounts for the same site.

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Five new features that iOS 15.4 brings to your iPhone and iPad

With Apple announcing its Mac Studio, the iPhone SE 3, the Studio Display, and more at its March 2022 event, the release for iOS 15.4 has followed a week after, available for your iPhone SE, iPhone 6S, and above.

iOS 15 was released in September 2021, and it brought SharePlay, widgets to iPadOS, Focus modes, and more, all focusing on a theme of productivity.

But Apple has been full steam ahead with .1 updates since then, as 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3 have all brought bug fixes and refinements to your iPhone and iPad.

With this in mind, here are five features that you can get acquainted with as iOS 15.4 downloads to your device.

1. Face ID with a mask

iOS 15.4 FaceID Mask

(Image credit: Future)

While Apple introduced a feature that would allow your Apple Watch to authenticate you by unlocking your phone, it wasn't helpful to those who didn't own a watch.

With iOS 15.4, you can enable an additional feature where you will be asked to scan your face while wearing a mask. The Face ID hardware will then recognize your eyes and facial features to unlock your phone instead.

2. Universal Control with iPadOS 15.4

Universal Control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

This is something that was announced at WWDC in 2021, Apple's yearly developer conference, but it was delayed from the latter half of 2021 to the release of iPadOS 15.4.

As long as you have a certain iPad model and a Mac running macOS 12.3 Monterey, you can use your mouse cursor across both devices, so you can drag and drop your content seamlessly.

If you're struggling to set Universal Control up, we've got a guide to help out with that.

3. New Emoji

iOS 15.4 Emoji

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A new update wouldn't be the same without new emoji, and this time there's a bunch you can use.

From a salute to different genders being pregnant, alongside many new hand gestures, there's plenty to choose from for your WhatsApp and Twitter messages.

4. Better anti-stalking measures for AirTag

iOS 15.4 AirTags

(Image credit: TechRadar)

When you set up a new AirTag in iOS 15.4, you will be greeted with a pop-up explaining that it's a crime to use it to track people, making users aware of its misuses across the world so far.

There's also better ways to manage its Notifications through the Find My app, so you can configure when the time-tracking alerts will arrive, alongside deciding whether to deliver all of its notifications right away or at a certain time of day.

5. Notes in iCloud Keychain

iOS 15.4 iCloud Keychain

(Image credit: TechRadar)

You've been able to save and sync your passwords in iCloud since 2019 with the release of iOS 13. But 15.4 allows you to add notes to your custom iCloud passwords through iCloud Keychain.

While it sounds like a small feature, it's significant due to other password apps having this for a number of years, and the ease of adding some extra reminders in these sections can help, especially if you have multiple accounts for the same site.

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Windows 11 update brings back Movie Maker as ClipChamp

Microsoft released a new preview build of Windows 11 on March 9, where it announced a surprise new app called ClipChamp.

This allows you to create videos, edit video clips, and gives you access to plenty of stock photos and videos that you can use for your projects.

ClipChamp is rolling out to users who are on Windows Insider build 22572 and above. If you've not signed up to be a Windows Insider to help test early versions of Windows 11, this app should appear later this year in the upcoming 'Sun Valley 2' update.

It looks as though Microsoft is looking through its back catalog of apps, such as Paint and Windows Media Player, and seeing what could work in 2022. In some ways, ClipChamp is the return of the iconic Movie Maker, and looks to appease casual users who just want to edit clips on the fly, or make their home movies look a little more professional.


Analysis: What's old is new again

Windows Movie Maker on Windows XP

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has been both reviving its apps for Windows 11, and refreshing others that have not been updated in years, such as Paint and Snipping Tool.

Movie Maker was a useful tool back in the days of Windows XP in 2001, where you could place random transitions and effects over your photos and videos, then share it through MSN Messenger.

It launched with Windows Me in 2000, a short-lived upgrade to Windows 98, and was supported until 2014, but Movie Maker hadn't seen any major new features since 2007. With the increase of other apps and websites that could edit video, alongside being able to do the same features on social media apps on your smartphones, Movie Maker faded into irrelevance.

However, nostalgia is powerful thing, and many of us fondly remember the apps that we used to have as part of our childhoods, and for some, Movie Maker is a big part of this. There are most likely users out there who have videography careers in 2022 thanks to Movie Maker introducing them to video editing when they were younger.

ClipChamp looks to do the same for users in Windows 11, with a modern design that is reminiscent of Movie Maker, all while bringing modern features.

Via Windows Blog

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Chrome 98 brings better screenshot support and a privacy guide

Another month brings a new version of Google’s web browser, with Chrome 98 showcasing a bunch of features that are hidden behind a flag.

A privacy guide gives you a better understanding of the sites that have been tracking you for example, alongside a better screenshot function that’s been in development since 2021. Chrome should have updated itself automatically, but you can check by going to About Google Chrome and seeing if it’s either at version 98 or if it’s in the midst of being updated.

For the time being, however, these need to be enabled through the flag feature. This hides experimental features under development, but by going to chrome://flags, you can enable the screenshot and privacy guide function that Google Chrome 98 brings.

With Chrome being released on a monthly schedule, and version 100 being on track to be released in March, there are features being brought to the forefront to better help users, rather than the incremental background updates that are invisible to the casual user. But it shouldn’t be long until we see the privacy guide appear without having to be enabled through a flag. 


Analysis: Google, let’s refine the flags page at last

The flag feature has been in Chrome for as long as the web browser has been released to users. Since 2010, the feature was renamed from Labs to Flags, where the experimental features have remained at chrome://flags.

But the way of navigating these flags has always been a struggle, as you can use a search engine to find a feature, but there’s currently no way of filtering the flags that are enabled. It’s either scrolling up or scrolling down to find these.

Google Chrome flag page

(Image credit: Google)

While Google maintains that this is strictly for power users and developers, having to enable a better screenshot function in Chrome 98 seems pointless for these types of users. It would be great to see a refresh of the flags page, with screenshots for each flag, alongside a way of displaying what flags have been enabled so far.

As we’re heading into triple figures in March with version 100, it could be a nice touch to see this page be modernized for the next 100 updates that Chrome is inevitably going to get.

In recent releases, we’ve seen improvements to the engine that powers Chrome and how it displays web pages, but it would be encouraging to see more features be showcased on the flag page, for the casual user instead.

We’re heading into an age where the web browser is going to be used for much more than work and gaming, as Opera has currently showcased. To appeal to users of features that they can switch on and off by themselves while explaining the benefits could be a good next step for Chrome going forward.

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Aerial 3.0 brings Apple TV screensavers to your Mac… in HDR

A macOS app called Aerial has been updated with new screensaver options, alongside featuring HDR, integration with Spotify and Apple Music, and much more.

New screensavers from Apple have trickled out in recent years, with the latest one being the ‘hello’ logo that’s appeared on the redesigned iMac 24-inch (2021) models. But while AppleTV has had attractive flyover screensavers that show a view of certain cities, they’ve never moved over to other Apple devices.

Thanks to Aerial, you can now get similar screensavers for your Mac. It offers plenty of customization options, including the ability to create playlists and display certain overlays such as weather, battery status, timers, and more.

For version 3.0, the 16 screensavers from tvOS 15 can be used on your Mac, such as Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon, Torres del Paine in Chile, and others.


Analysis: A welcome macOS 13 addition

Configuring Aerial in System Preferences > Desktop and Screen Saver is an easy affair, where you can tailor these to your location, the time of day, or to a certain order. 

There are also custom flyover screensavers from Jetson Creative, all free to use, alongside picking other screensavers from tvOS 10 and above.

Aerial app on macOS

(Image credit: Aerial)

Using these on the recently-released MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021) in HDR makes the screensavers look absolutely fantastic.

Seeing landscapes from locations such as Scotland, Florida, and others really showcases the quality of the new MacBooks’ screens. Combine that with the customization options on offer, and it makes you wonder why Apple hasn’t officially brought these screensavers to macOS.

Aerial 3 on macOS

(Image credit: Aerial)

Screensavers have been a constant feature in computers since the first ever one, created by John Socha in 1983, with an app called ScrnSave. 

There’s a good chance you’ll have seen a screensaver full of pipes, or one where you’re walking through a house. But with advances in display technology, from CRT to LCD monitors, they have diminished in use in recent years.

But with apps like Aerial and official features from Apple, there’s an opportunity for screensavers to return in a big way again. Not just for macOS, but for Windows 11 as well. Perhaps remakes of the pipes and houses screensavers from the mid-nineties, alongside methods to download more screensavers from the Microsoft Store.

But in the meantime, Aerial does a great job of showcasing how screensavers can thrive in 2022, and what Apple and Microsoft could do for future updates of macOS and Windows.

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