Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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Adobe After Effects gets native Apple M1 support at last

Adobe has announced native Apple M1 silicon support, hopefully meaning faster launch and rendering times for motion designers and video creators. 

In benchmark tests released by the company, running After Effects on a high-end M1 Ultra Mac is now up to three times as fast, and those using the video effects software on standard M1-powered devices should see performance jump to double the speed.  

According to Adobe, the power boost makes it easy for motion designers, “to explore ideas and iterate more quickly on their compositions.” 

Adobe benchmarks for M1 support

(Image credit: Adobe)

 What else is new in Adobe After Effects? 

Native support for Apple’s proprietary chip is just part of a wider package that’s being deployed by Adobe as it looks to better supply users across the world. 

 – After Effects and Premiere Pro subscribers now get free access to the Frame.io remote video collaboration service , which comes built into both the VFX tool and Adobe’s much-loved video editing software

– With 3D making (yet another) comeback, Extended Viewer and Binning Indicators for 3D layers now make it easier for designers to visualize compositions and move through three-dimensional spaces in real-time. 

– Scene Edit Detection finally makes the jump from Premiere Pro to After Effects. Powered by Adobe Sensei’s machine learning and AI, the new tool intelligently detects cut points in rendered footage and adds markers at edit points for more efficient creations. 

 The need for speed

Adobe clearly feels the need for speed – only last year, the software house unveiled Multi-Frame Rendering, boosting speeds by up to four times. This latest update continues a drive to improve motion graphics software performance and delivery for VFX artists. 

However, Adobe warns that certain new features and functionalities will be limited or unavailable when using incompatible third-party plugins, or plugins that aren’t ported for Apple silicon, with users seeing a warning pop up when the VFX tool spots an issue at launch. 

Adobe also confirmed users can even use older versions of Adobe After Effects on M1 chips – but you’ll need Apple’s Rosetta 2 emulation software to get it running. 

The After Effects 22.3 update, which launches today (April 12 2022), is available to all users via a staggered roll-out from the Creative Cloud desktop app.

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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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Android app support in Windows 11 comes with a few nasty surprises

One of the most exciting new features coming to Windows 11 is its ability to run Android apps, but Microsoft has revealed a few requirements that may dampen people’s enthusiasm.

According to Microsoft’s new FAQ for the feature, if you want Android apps to run on your PC, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to do so.

So, you’ll need to have a device that runs Windows 11 version 21H2, or later, which is the version that introduces the new feature.

You’ll also need a solid state drive (SSD) and have a modern x64 or ARM64 processor. While these requirements aren’t too bad, and most people running Windows 11 will have them, things then become a little trickier.

Microsoft says you need 8GB of RAM minimum, but16GB is recommended. That 16GB recommendation is quite surprising for a feature we wouldn’t have thought was too demanding (these are apps that are supposed to run on smartphones, after all).

However, the 8GB minimum setting means people running Windows 11 on devices with 4GB of RAM – which is technically possible – won’t be able to use this feature. So low-powered, older, or embedded devices, which may have benefitted the most from getting Android apps, will be left out.

You’ll also need to turn on the Virtual Machine Platform, which is a setting found in Windows 11’s Control Panel.

There’s also one final requirement that may annoy people. As we’ve reported before, Windows 11 uses the Amazon Store for Android apps, rather than Google’s own Play Store.

This means you don’t get the vast collection of apps that you’d find in the Play Store. Nor can you use Play Store credit to buy apps, and any apps or games you’ve bought on your Android devices through the Play Store will need to be re-bought.

You’ll also need an Amazon account as well. While many people probably already have one, due to the popularity of the online store, there will be plenty of people who don’t want an Amazon account for various reasons. Having to sign up for yet another account you don’t want may be too much of an ask.


Analysis: Does this kill the Android app hype in Windows 11?

Are these requirements enough to kill off some people’s excitement for getting Android apps in Windows 11? While the potential of having thousands of apps instantly available in Windows 11, and which can be installed via the Microsoft Store like other Windows 11 apps, remains exciting, we have to admit having our hype has reduced a bit.

The 8GB RAM requirement, for example, means that hopes of making an old, less powerful, Windows 11 device essentially an Android tablet, are less likely now.

Microsoft’s decision to go with the Amazon Appstore also continues to baffle and annoy. Many of us will have a large library of Android apps installed on our devices, and the thought that we’d have to pay for certain apps and games again because we bought them through Google Play instantly puts a damper on things.

If you want to give Android apps a go in Windows 11, you can download the Windows 11 KB5010414 update, which is an optional update that adds an early look at how Android apps will be integrated into the operating system. At the moment, this feature is only available in the US.

Via WindowsLatest

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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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Windows 11 update will introduce support for Android apps

Microsoft has outlined the next big steps for Windows 11, and that includes Android apps coming to the OS next month, albeit still in testing.

Panos Panay, Chief Product Officer (Windows + Devices) at Microsoft, spilled all the details in a blog post, explaining first and foremost that there would be a public preview of Android apps in February.

If you’ve been following the progress of Windows 11, then you’ll realize that support for native Android apps arrived in testing for Windows Insiders (in the US) back in October 2021. A public preview means it’s come to the release version of Windows 11, but there may be some flakiness evident given that it is still in beta form.

Panay also highlighted various taskbar improvements, including “call mute and unmute, easier window sharing and bringing weather to the taskbar”, although of course we’ve already seen the latter happen in testing (the infamous weather widget returned with a preview build in December).

Finally, Panay mentioned that two core apps which have been redesigned, namely Notepad and Media Player, would both soon be debuting in the finished version of Windows 11.

The Chief Product Officer also revealed that with Windows now on some 1.4 billion devices across the globe, Microsoft has “seen strong demand and preference for Windows 11”, with users accepting the upgrade when offered at double the rate at which Windows 10 accrued new recruits. Although of course shifting from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was a much bigger change – Windows 11 is really quite similar to Windows 10, when you get down to it, so it’s less of a leap for folks to make.

Panay also observed that: “Windows 11 has the highest quality scores and product satisfaction of any version of Windows we’ve ever shipped.”


Analysis: Better late than never

Android apps were one of the big new features touted for Windows 11, but disappointingly didn’t turn up at launch (in fact, when they didn’t appear in later testing phases pre-release, it soon became clear enough that they wouldn’t arrive for kick-off). Better late than never, then, and it’s still exciting to finally get native Android apps on the Windows 11 desktop – even if the applications are limited to those delivered from the Amazon App Store (via the Microsoft Store).

The next step, of course, is not just these Android apps, but games from the Google Play Games store, which will be delivered to Windows 11 and 10 systems in the form of an app that’s due to arrive at some point this year. The idea is to be able to seamlessly switch between your phone and desktop with the progress you’ve made in whatever mobile game you’re playing maintained across platforms – pretty neat, huh?

It’s also good that more core Windows apps are getting the redesign treatment in Windows 11, and we’ve already seen the likes of the new Notepad in testing, complete with a Fluent Design makeover, dark mode compatibility, and more, making this dated application look a lot more at home in the new OS.

We can expect more of these default Windows 11 apps to benefit from an overhaul as the year rolls on, no doubt, although this piecemeal approach adds to the overall feeling of Windows 11 having been released very much as a work in progress.

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Google Drive for desktop finally has full Apple M1 Mac support

In the latest update to its cloud storage service, Google has added full support for Apple M1 Macs to Google Drive for desktop.

With the release of version 52.0 of Google Drive for desktop, Mac users with a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini or iMac running Apple silicon can now take full advantage of the search giant's new unified client.

Google's new unified client also offers improved support for Apple's Photo Library including media that is synced with iCloud as part of Google Photos.

Google Drive for desktop

After years of maintaining two separate clients in the form of Backup and Sync for consumers and Drive File Stream for businesses, Google decided to merge them into one offering back in July.

While Backup and Sync gained “improved Apple M1 support” at the beginning of this year, Drive File Stream only added “open beta” support for Apple Silicon in February. An update in May brought improvements in regard to Apple M1 support though it was still a beta.

In addition to M1 Mac support, the latest Google Drive update also offers improved accessibility for folders and files created offline, support for some cameras to back up to Drive for desktop, the ability to manage and purchase additional cloud storage from within the client, improved sync performance when connecting to a network after working offline and other improvements.

Now that Google no longer has to maintain two separate clients, expect updates to Google Drive for desktop to begin rolling out at a faster pace.

Via 9to5Google

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