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Written by Romain Dillet

Antescofo’s Metronaut adds an orchestra when you play music

Meet Metronaut, an app for smartphones and tablets that could change the way you play classical music. The startup behind the app, Antescofo, raised a $4.5 million funding round (€4 million) and has attracted 160,000 downloads.

Daphni and OneRagTime are leading the round, with Nobuyuki Idei, Yann LeCun, Sophie Gasperment and Thibault Viort also participating.

Metronaut lets you play a music instrument with a professional orchestra playing all the other instruments with you. It isn’t just an audio player — the app leverages your device microphone to listen to your music and adjust the tempo of the other instruments.

The startup has recorded professional musicians in a studio so that you can play the flute without hearing the flute coming out of your speakers or headphones.

And if you still need to practice, you can set your own tempo while you learn your part — nothing will be distorted. You can record your performance, annotate the score and track your progress.

The company is betting on a freemium model. You can download the app for free and play for 10 minutes per month. If you want to experience the app without any limit, you need to buy a monthly subscription for $10 per month.

While the app works with dozens of instruments, most people use it to play the piano, the violin or the flute. Singers can also use the app.

And content is key with this service. People will keep subscribing if there’s enough content for their own instruments in the catalog. So let’s see if Antescofo is going to use today’s funding round to record even more content and turn the app into an essential service for musicians.

VPN protocol WireGuard now has an official macOS app

WireGuard could be the most promising VPN protocol in years. It lets you establish a connection with a VPN server that is supposed to be faster, more secure and more flexible at the same time. The developers launched a brand new app in the Mac App Store today.

WireGuard isn’t a VPN service, it’s a VPN protocol, just like OpenVPN or IPsec. The best thing about it is that it can maintain a VPN connection even if you change your Wi-Fi network, plug in an Ethernet cable or your laptop goes to sleep.

But if you want to use WireGuard for your VPN connection you need to have a VPN server that supports it, and a device that supports connecting to it. You can already download the WireGuard app on Android and iOS, but today’s release is all about macOS.

The team behind WireGuard has been working on a macOS implementation for a while. But it wasn’t as straightforward as an app. You could install WireGuard-tools using Homebrew and then establish a connection using a command line in the Terminal.

It’s much easier now, as you just have to download an app in the Mac App Store and add your server profile. The app is a drop-down menu in the menu bar. You can manage your tunnel and activate on-demand connections for some scenarios. For instance, you could choose to activate your VPN exclusively if you’re connected to the internet using Wi-Fi, and not Ethernet.

I tried the app and it’s as snappy and reliable as expected. The app leverages Apple’s standard Network Extension API to add VPN tunnels to the network panel in the settings.

If you want to try WireGuard yourself, I recommend building your own VPN server using Algo VPN. Don’t trust any VPN company that sells you a subscription or lets you access free VPN servers. A VPN company can see all your internet traffic on their own servers, which is a big security risk.

Assume that those companies analyze your browsing habits, sell them to advertisers, inject their own ads on non-secure pages or steal your identity. The worst of them can hand to authorities a ton of data about your online life.

They lie in privacy policies and often don’t even have an About page with the names of people working for those companies. They spend a ton of money buying reviews and endorsements. You should avoid VPN companies at all costs.

If you absolutely need a VPN server because you can’t trust the Wi-Fi network or you’re traveling to a country with censored websites, make sure you trust the server.

Apple could release a 16-inch MacBook Pro and a 31-inch 6K display

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is quite reliable when it comes to Apple’s road map. And he shared a ton of information over the weekend in a new report obtained by 9to5mac. In 2019, you can expect a bigger MacBook Pro, a new display and upgrades to iPhones, iPads and AirPods.

Let’s start with the Mac. According to Kuo, Apple has been working on a MacBook Pro with an all-new design. It’s unclear if those future models will retain the same keyboard, as many users have been complaining about the reliability of the butterfly keyboard.

But Kuo learned there will be a bigger model, with a 16 to 16.5-inch display. Let’s hope that Apple is going to trim down the bezels around the display.

TechCrunch already reported that Apple will release a new Mac Pro in 2019. But Kuo believes the company is also going to release a high-end display to go with this Mac Pro. It could be a gigantic 31.6-inch display with a 6K resolution.

When it comes to iPhones, Kuo believes that Apple will release three models just like in 2018. They should retain the same screen sizes and Lightning connector. Some models may have three camera sensors on the back of the device. Face ID and wireless charging could both receive an upgrade with bilateral wireless charging.

It means that you could charge a second device using your phone, which is a great idea when you know that updated AirPods with a wireless charging case are also coming in 2019.

On the iPad front, the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad could become a 10.2-inch iPad with slimmer bezels. iPad Pro models will receive an update with faster processors.

As previously reported, a new iPad mini is still on the road map, as well as an updated iPod touch. Finally, it sounds like the Apple Watch might only receive a minor update with ECG coming to international markets as well as a return of the ceramic option for the next version of the Apple Watch.