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#1554: HomePod discontinued, AirPods Max review, is it safe to upgrade to Big Sur?

Apple is discontinuing the original HomePod but will focus its efforts on the HomePod mini. Originally starting at $349, the HomePod struggled to compete against Amazon’s Alexa devices, most of which are $100 or less. However, a high price tag seemingly hasn’t slowed the adoption of another Apple audio product, the AirPods Max headphones. Julio Ojeda-Zapata lets you know if they’re worth the $549 asking price. Finally, if you’re wondering when it will be safe to upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur, Adam Engst offers his insights and why it might be time to take the leap. Notable Mac app releases this week include Photoshop 22.3, Bookends 13.5.2, CorelDRAW 2021, and SoundSource 5.3.2.

Julio Ojeda-Zapata 11 comments

Apple’s AirPods Max Headphones Are Pricey but Good

You would pay dearly for Apple’s AirPods Max headphones, which at $549 exceed the cost of rival products by $200 or more. But Julio Ojeda-Zapata came away impressed with their stylishness, ruggedness, audio quality, active noise cancellation, design flourishes, and integration with Apple’s ecosystem. They have flaws, but none are deal-breakers.

Adam Engst 86 comments

Is It Safe to Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur?

Should you upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur from a previous version of macOS? Only you can answer that question for sure, but Adam Engst has upgraded his primary Mac with no significant problems. Our recommendation is that it should now be safe to upgrade, though you might want to wait for macOS 11.3, due soon.

Watchlist

Photoshop 22.3 No comments

Photoshop 22.3

Provides a speedier native version for M1-based Macs. ($20.99 monthly Creative Cloud subscription, free update for subscribers, macOS 10.15+)

Bookends 13.5.2 No comments

Bookends 13.5.2

Updates the reference management tool with modernized and streamlined code. ($59.99 new, free update, 95.1 MB, macOS 10.13+)

CorelDRAW 2021 1 comment

CorelDRAW 2021

Major upgrade for the vector illustration app with new collaboration features and a more flexible design space. ($499 new, 2 MB, macOS 10.15+)

SoundSource 5.3.2 No comments

SoundSource 5.3.2

Updates the Audio Capture Engine to version 11.7 to improve drift correction and upgrade the sample rate converter. ($39 new, free update, 25.4 MB, macOS 10.13+)

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