Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on videoconferencing:

Elgato’s new Neo lineup makes video calls and content creation easy


Elago Neo devices
The family of Elago Neo devices could help newbies create great content, and look and sound good on calls.
Photo: Elgato

The new Elgato Neo range of devices — condenser microphone, webcam, LED key light, capture card and stream deck — simplifies video calls, content creation and video streaming for newbies, the company said Thursday. The gear also looks good doing it, with a unified white design across all five devices.

All the Neo products are compatible with iPad, making them an excellent choice for creators who use their tablets for content creation.

New Elgato Facecam ups picture quality at lower price


Elgato Facecam Mk.2
With new HDR color technology, better light sensitivity and a new privacy shutter, Facecam Mk.2 is a formidable webcam.
Photo: Elgato

The new Elgato Facecam Mk.2, successor to the company’s popular Facecam webcam for creators and streamers, just came out. Improved picture quality, a new privacy shutter and other enhancements appear to make it a worthy upgrade. And that’s especially true because it carries a lower price than Facecam did at its launch.

Save a couple hundred bucks on Microsoft Audio Dock


Microsoft Audio Dock
At these prices, you might as well try it.
Photo: Microsoft

If you take a lot of calls via Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom — and if you like to save big on gear — new discounts on the Microsoft Audio Dock might be hard to pass up. You can get up to 86% off the normal $250 price.

Both Amazon and its bargain site Woot! offer deep cuts on the price. The lower price is just $35.

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Anker’s new video bar webcam lights you up on calls


AnkerWork's B600 video bar is a webcam with mics that lights you up on calls.
AnkerWork's B600 video bar is a webcam with mics that lights you up on calls.
Photo: AnkerWork

Like a lot of companies showing their wares at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Anker is addressing today’s hybrid WFH culture with new gear. Through its AnkerWork division, it rolled out a video bar webcam with sound to help improve your video calls. Through its Nebula brand come a couple of crowd-funded premium laser projectors. And the company had a few other items, as well.

Logitech gets down to business with Zone wireless and wired earbuds


Aimed at business users, the Logitech Zone True Wireless Earbuds should be out in fall 2021.
Aimed at business users, the Logitech Zone True Wireless Earbuds should be out in fall 2021.
Photo: Logitech

Today Logitech launched two sets of earbuds aimed at helping professionals connect in hybrid remote and onsite workplaces. Its Zone True Wireless and Zone Wired earbuds are the first targeted for certification “by all three major cloud video conferencing platforms: Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and Zoom Video Communications,” the company said.

Make your FaceTime calls look like a million bucks with this $27 lighting rig


Brighten your face during video calls with U-Stream
Avoid the Zoom of doom! Brighten your face during video calls with U-Stream.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

It’s 2021, which means many of us have been working remotely for nearly a full year. With the dawn of a new year, you might also be thinking about sprucing up your home office.

There are plenty of ways to do this. Upgrading to a larger monitor can boost your productivity. Alternatively, you can upgrade peripherals like your mouse, keyboard and headphones to make your daily experience more enjoyable.

But if you’re looking for an easy, affordable upgrade that makes you look good on those unavoidable FaceTime or Zoom calls, this $26.99 lighting prop by Aduro is a worthwhile addition.

Google Meet adding blurred backgrounds, images, and other new features


Google Meet 1
Google Meet's new features will help it to better take on Zoom.
Photo: Google Meet

Thanks to people working from home and coronavirus lockdown, 2020 has been the year of videoconferencing apps — and Google Meet is adding a few new features to try and take on rival Zoom.

According to a new report from 9to5Google, Google Meet is working on new features that will allow users to add images or blur the background of their video calls. This is a feature that already exists for Zoom and Skype users, although this will be the first time it’s available on Google meet.

5 ways to look great on a video call


Lighting? Check. Clothes? Maybe. Teeth? Absolutely! Flattering angle? Nope. Use these videoconferencing tips to look your best on calls.
Lighting? Check. Clothes? Maybe. Teeth? Absolutely! Flattering angle? Nope.
Photo: Austin Distel/Unsplash

Whether you’re working from home, hanging out with friends on group FaceTime, or attending events remotely, you’re probably using video calling a lot more than you ever have before. While you probably make the effort to present yourself well in real-life meatspace, on Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, I bet you look terrible.

Fear not. Today we’ll see five ways to make sure you look great on a video call.

Give your videoconferencing calls killer audio quality


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.)

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


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.

KUBI: The Web-Controlled Stand For Hands-Free Video Chats [Deals]



If you’ve been looking for an innovative and versatile stand for your tablet, then look no further because Cult of Mac Deals has a great offer lined up for you. It’s called KUBI.

The KUBI has two things really going for it right off the bat: a quality design and an amazing user experience. It allows you to connect with anyone via video conferencing and it also gives you the freedom to look around the room in real-time, which truly makes using KUBI a one-of-a-kind experience. The other things it has going for it is the pre-sales price we’ve got here at Cult of Mac Deals – only $259.

Brabus iBusiness 2.0 Revises the iPad Car


Brabus iBusiness 2.0

If you haven’t scored your iPad 2 yet, and are also looking for some sporty wheels, high-end Mercedes-Benz customizer Brabus has the package for you. Updating their iBusiness package that we reported on last year, the new version modernizes hardware and ups the specs for this next (fast) lap around the sun.

The iBusiness 2.0 package is available for all S-class models. A pair of iPad 2s on adjustable keyboard trays are installed front and center (in the rear seats). These are married to a trunk-mounted Mac mini with internet access and a 15″ widescreen display – in addition to the seatback headrest displays! Videoconferencing, in-flight television and passenger control of many vehicle functions are possible. A 64GB iPod Classic helps keep your tunes accessible, and WiFi and USB link it all together.

The demo model isn’t too shabby in the automotive department either: the Brabus 800 iBusiness 2.0 is housed in a Mecerdes S600 sedan that has 788 horsepower, goes 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, and comes with rear privacy curtains and an optional Yachting wood trim package. Sweet.

Considering how much time I would spend in this car, there seem to be a shortage of cupholders…

[via Motor Trend]

Woah! 200 Million FaceTime Devices In 2012, Analyst Predicts



We’ll all be videoconferencing like crazy in 2012, predicts Barclay’s analyst Ben Reitzes.

By the end of 2012, Apple’s installed base of FaceTime devices will exceed 200 million, Reitzes predicts.

That’s based on more than 85 million FaceTime-enabled devices by the end of 2011:

  • 50 million FaceTime iPhones
  • 15 million FaceTime iPods
  • 12 million FaceTime Macs
  • 10 million FaceTime iPads

In 2012, Apple’s video conferencing platform will only gather momentum, driven by what he’s calling the “FaceTime networking effect.”

“While Android and competitive devices either have or are working toward incorporating a similar feature, we believe this particular feature benefits from Apple’s vertically integrated model,” Reitzes said. “Experiences across disparate hardware platforms tend to vary–with Apple’s one of the most reliable in our trials. Also, this feature allows Apple to mine the millions of iTunes users who have Apple ID’s–and provide an attractive feature across devices that can be put into use immediately. We believe the ‘FaceTime networking effect’ could enhance a halo effect on Macs and iPads as the feature becomes available.”

AllThingsD: 200 Million FaceTime-Enabled Devices in 2012?