Additional Tidbits for Apple’s October 2018 Event

Since Apple’s “There’s More in the Making” event additional details have come out about some of Apple’s products. Alongside the new information there were some details I did not include within my post about the event, but that were announce during the keynote. Let us start with Apple and Recycling.

Recycling

It should be no surprise that Apple is focused on creating environmental-friendly products. During the keynote Apple provided some information about the MacBook Air and the 2018 Mac mini. The information provided is that the cases for these two products are now made from recycled Aluminum. Apple indicated that the recycled aluminum is from the shavings made during the manufacturing of the iPad. What this means is that by recycling aluminum, it does not have to be mined.

Apple is able to do this because their metallurgy team is able to create an alloy from these shavings that is just as tough and still meets the visual standards that users have come to expect from Apple.

Alongside this, the plastic within the Mac mini is highly recycled. Again, this means new plastics do not need to be created just to build the products. And with the expectation that there will be a large number of new Mac minis ordered, this is good news for the environment.

iPad Pro Memory

The 2018 iPad Pros all have at least 4GB of memory, with the exception of the 1TB models. The 1TB models have 6GB of memory. From what can be derived, the extra memory in the 1TB models are needed for the T2 chip to be able to manage the 1TB of storage.

iPad Pro and Apps

The new rounded Liquid Retina display on the 2018 iPad Pros means that developers will need to update their apps. Specifically, developers will need to link their apps against iOS 12.1. If you have been using iOS for any length of time, you have likely noticed that not all applications get updated immediately. In most cases this is not a problem, however the new rounded corners means that apps that have not been updated will be presented with black bars around the app. This technique is similar to how any screen change has been handled in the past.

There is something in particular to note about the 2018 iPad Pros and Split Screen. If you are using two apps that have been updated to support iOS 12.1, it will look normal. However, if you are using one app that as been updated and another that has not, both apps will be shown with black bars above and below the applications. While this may be annoying, particularly for those applications that may take a bit longer to update.

Microphone Security

All portable Macs with the T2 Chip, which include the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air there is a new security feature with the microphone. When you portable Mac is asleep the T2 chip will cut off the microphone. This is not just a software switch, but instead it is a physical hardware switch. The same is not done for the FaceTime camera, because when your Mac is closed the view is obscured enough so that nothing is visible. Here is a quote from the “T2 Security Chip Overview“, quote

“All Mac portables with the Apple T2 Security Chip feature a hardware disconnect that ensures that the microphone is disabled whenever the lid 

is closed. This disconnect is implemented in hardware alone, and therefore prevents any software, even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip, from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed.”

This is a great security measure and no matter what your microphone will not be useable by anyone while the lid is closed.

iOS 12.1

iOS 12.1 was also released last week. The update includes a slew of new features, most notably Group FaceTime. With Group FaceTime you can chat with up to 32 people simultaneously. Video capabilities are limited to the iPhone 6s and later, and the iPad Air 2 and newer. Even though FaceTime Video is only available on these devices, audio-only Group FaceTime is available on all devices that support iOS 12.

Along with Group FaceTime, is something that users are more likely to use, Emoji. iOS 12.1 has 70 new Emoji. Some of the new Emoji include a bagel, additional hair colors, and additional faces.

Apple Pencil

With the 2018 iPad Pros, a new Apple Pencil was released. Many new products do not work with older products, and the No. 2 Pencil does not work with the older 12.9-inch iPad Pros. However, it is common that older products work with thew newer products. This is not the case with the first Apple Pencil and the 2018 iPad Pros. The 2018 iPad Pros will only work the No. 2 Apple Pencil. This will add some additional cost to those buying a new iPad Pro, if they want to use the Apple Pencil.

Closing Thoughts

Those are the additional items that have been discovered. It is likely that even more will be discovered as time goes on. I have ordered a new iPad Pro, and once I have had enough time with it, I will provide my review of it.