Give your videoconferencing calls killer audio quality

By

Not every videoconference audio setup has to be as janky as this.
Not every videoconference audio setup has to be as janky as this.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

You’ve probably made more video calls in the last few weeks than you’ve made in the previous few years combined. And if they were on your iPhone or iPad, then they probably sounded great. But what if you’re using a Mac, with its prehistoric mics1?

No worries. Through the magic of technology, you can use a better mic with your Mac’s Skype or FaceTime. (As a bonus, it also might make you feel more comfortable during videoconferences.)

5 Zoom alternatives to keep you connected during COVID-19 crisis

By

Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing. Check out these Zoom alternatives, including Houseparty.
Zoom definitely isn't your only option for videoconferencing.
Photo: Life on Air

Zoom might be the best video-conferencing app, but that’s a bit like saying Facebook is the best social network. It might be true 1, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel dirty if you use it. Despite a seemingly never-ending stream of privacy violations, security holes and utter disregard for its customers, Zoom is still being used as the de facto standard video conferencing and broadcasting tool during the COVID-19 crisis.

We’ve already seen the problems with Zoom. And we’ve also shown you how to protect yourself if you choose to use Zoom despite the company’s many privacy missteps. (Zoom pledged to do better this week.) But what about other services you could rely on during the coronavirus shutdown? Read on. We have five great Zoom alternatives you can use.

Using Zoom? Take these steps to protect your privacy [Updated]

By

yoga class zoom
Zoom lets you keep attending your local yoga class, but at what cost?
Photo: Anupam Mahapatra/Unsplash

Video-conferencing tool Zoom is seeing a surge in use during the coronavirus pandemic, due to people being stuck at home and unable to meet in meatspace groups. I’ve read about people using Zoom to drop in on yoga and pilates classes, as well as for more usual business-related activities.

ConnectionOpen is like Skype for musicians

By

ConnectionOpen Marshall amp and guitar player
ConnectionOpen lets musicians collaborate over the internet.
Photo: Daniel Chekalov/Unsplash

If you sit in front of an iPad typing up Apple-related how-tos all day long, then working from home is no problem. In fact, it’s simply the next step up from “working from bed.” But for some professions, like musicians, working from home is difficult if not impossible. You might have a home studio, but you still need to get the band together to record them.

Or do you? ConnectionOpen is an app that lets musicians play together over the internet. The wild thing is, it’s a standard plugin for Logic, Ableton, Pro Tools and other audio-editing apps. And now, it’s also available for the iPad.

Skype brings new screen sharing feature to Android and iOS

By

Skype screen sharing
Screen sharing can be useful for all kinds of things.
Photo: Microsoft

Skype’s new screen sharing feature is now officially available on Android and iOS.

The update makes it possible to share a view of your device’s screen over a Skype video call — and to see someone else’s. It’s great for collaborating with colleagues or helping friends troubleshoot a problem.

Lume Cube Air VC brings pro lighting to FaceTime calls

By

Lume cube
Lume Cube Air VC packs a ton of lumens in a small package.
Photo: Lume Cube

CES 2019 bug Lume Cube, makers of some of the world’s brightest tiny lights, wants to put an end to poorly-lit FaceTime calls with its clever new lighting attachment.

The Lume Cube Air VC lighting kit made its debut at CES 2019 today, offering smartphone and laptop users a single solution to brighten up any setting where you might want to have a quick video call.

How to record podcasts on iPad part II: The apps

By

The iPad has some amazing tools for recording podcasts.
The iPad has some amazing tools for recording podcasts.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In part one of this series, we saw how to record remote podcasts using only iOS. It requires using your iPhone to place the FaceTime or Skype call, but you end up with a great result. That post covered the setup. Today, we’ll see how the recording and editing parts work, using AUM and Ferrite on the iPad.