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Apple Mac

Apple Event Roundup: Macs

Today Apple announced held their October event, “There’s More in the Making”. This was held in Brooklyn, New York. Apple announced a bunch of new products. Let us look at each of them, starting with the Macs.

MacBook Air

Back in 2010 Apple unveiled a brand new product, a very thin, very light, and all-flash laptop. They named it the MacBook Air. Since its introduction it has been the same general shape. Today Apple unveiled a brand new MacBook Air. The new MacBook Air sports an 8th Generation Dual-Core Intel i5 processor that runs at 1.6GHz. with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz.

The MacBook Air comes with two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. These are both along the left side of the machine. The biggest change to the MacBook Air is the brand new Retina display, which is the first time there has been a Retina display on the MacBook Air. The display is edge to edge and has a

The MacBook Air also comes with 8GB of memory standard and 128GB of flash storage. The memory can be configured up to 16GB and the flash can be upgraded to 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB.

The new MacBook Air starts at $1199, which is $200 more than the older MacBook Air, which is still on sale. The new MacBook Air comes in three colors, Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. You can order the new MacBook Air today, and it will ship next week. Let us now turn to another new Mac, one that has been a long time coming.

Mac mini

The Mac mini was introduced back in early 2005. At its initial release, and with subsequent updates it was positioned as an entry-level Mac that would be great for new Mac users to bring your existing keyboard, display, and mouse and replace your old device. The Mac mini has not been updated since October of 2014, so four years old. Today, that has changed with a brand new update.

The new Mac mini has all re-designed internals. This start with the all new flash-only storage options. These options are 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

To go along with the flash options, there are some additional memory options as well. 8GB is standard, but you can configure 16GB, 32GB, or even 64GB of memory.

The Mac mini comes in two models, the entry level, which sports a 3.6GHz quad-core 8th Generation Core i3 processor, and the higher-end model has a 3.0GHz six-core 8th Generation Core i5 Processor. Yes, you read that correctly, a six core processor. You can configure either model with a 3.2GHz six-core Intel Core i7 processor if you want.

There is one last configurable option. The Mac mini comes with a standard Gigabit ethernet port, but you can configure a 10-gigabit ethernet network adapter that is capable of running at 1Gbps, 2.5Gbps, or 5Gbps. This option does cost $100 more, but if you need it, you can configure it.

The last new feature of the Mac mini is the case. Since its initial release the Mac mini has been Silver in color. The new Mac mini no longer come in silver, it comes in Space Gray, and it only comes in Space Gray. The new color looks really good and will be welcome by man.

The new Mac mini comes with a slew of ports. In fact it has four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, 1 HDMI 2.0 port, one ethernet port, one 3.5mm headphone jack, and two USB 3, traditional USB A ports. It also comes with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0.

The new Mac mini starts at $799. You can order it today and it will ship next week.

The new MacBook Air and Mac mini are great updates to machines that have been a long time coming and will be welcome to users who are looking to upgrade their existing machines.

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Apple iOS iTunes Mac

Apple iTunes Affiliate Program Changes

Earlier this week Apple sent out an email to affiliate members indicating some changes that will be taking place as of October 1st. Here is the email that was sent:

Thank you for participating in the affiliate program for apps. With the launch of the new App Store on both iOS and macOS and their increased methods of app discovery, we will be removing apps from the affiliate program. Starting on October 1st, 2018, commissions for iOS and Mac apps and in-app content will be removed from the program. All other content types (music, movies, books, and TV) remain in the affiliate program.

This will have some impact on some websites who rely on affiliate links from iOS apps, Mac apps, and in-app purchases to run their business. At least there is some heads up on this. This has been preceded by Apple reducing the payout from 7% to 2.5%. So it was inevitable that this would be the case that these would be removed.

I am not impact much by this because the website does not rely on affiliate links. I am curious to see how long the affiliate program lasts overall. I would not be surprised if it goes away in the future. It may take a couple of years, but it is possible that it will be stopped in the future.

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Apple Mac macOS

2018 MacBook Pro Thermal Bug

I did not write about this last week when it happened, because it appears as though there is a barrage of negative stories about Apple and with everything going on the world, who needs additional stories to get riled up about. Last week Dave Lee posted a video that showed that the Core i9 model of the 2018 MacBook Pro was throttling down its CPU under heavy loads. If you were to buy one of these computers, you would expect it to work really well, regardless of how much load the computer was under.

When the video was released many were skeptical that this was actually the case, and if it was indeed the case, that it was a design flaw with the MacBook Pro. It appears as though it is not a design flaw, but in fact it is a bug with the new 2018 MacBook Pros. Here is Apple’s statement:

Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we’ve identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today’s macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems. Customers can expect the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to be up to 70% faster, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to be up to 2X faster, as shown in the performance results on our website.

This means that it is not the hardware itself that was the issue, but in fact it is software related. It is good to see that Apple took this seriously and found the cause of the issue. This bug affects the 13-inch models as well as the Core i7 and Core i9 15-inch models. It is highly recommended that you get the supplemental update to fix the issue. You can download it via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store, or by downloading it directly from Apple’s support page.

Via Six Colors.

Categories
Apple Mac

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Today Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar line. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros with Touch Bar have been updated. The 13-inch sports 2.3GHz quad-core 8th Generation Core i5 processors,Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 graphics, and 8GB of RAM. The 13-inch with Touch Bar is configurable with a 2.7GHz processor and up to 16GB of RAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar still starts at 256GB of storage and can be configured with 512GB, 1TB, or 2GB. The 13-inch model starts at $1799 and goes up to $3699, at the top end.

The 15-inch model has a bit beefier specs. The 15-inch sports a 2.2GHz 6-core 8th Generation Core i7 Processor, Radeon 555X with 4GB of video memory, 256G of storage, and 16GB of memory. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can be configured with a 2.9GHz 6-core processor, 32GB of RAM, a Radeon Pro 560X, and up to 4TB of storage. Yes, 4TB. The price ranges from $2399 to $6699 for a fully loaded model.

All 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models come with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a brand new T2 processor, which supports “Hey Siri”, and the Retina Displays are now True Tone displays. The biggest question is the keyboard. The 2018 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar has a third-generation keyboard, which is quieter than previous models. It is presumed that the new keyboards will not experience the same issues as the previous models, but that is not known yet and only time will be able to tell us for sure whether or not they are improved.

These are the first True Tone displays on a MacBook Pro. True Tone is a screen technology that will look at the colors in the room and it will automatically adjust the color profile so it will look best in all lighting conditions. True Tone already exists on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, the 2nd Generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the iPhone X. It is good to see True Tone come to the MacBook Pro line.

There are a couple of other things to note. The first is that the old 2015 MacBook Pro that Apple was selling, is no longer available. Similarly, 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bar have not been updated. These are still the same as before. Similarly, there have not been any other laptop updates.

Along with the new MacBook Pros, there is also a new external graphical processing unit (eGPU), the BlackMagic eGPU. The BlackMagic eGPU has a Radeon Pro 580 graphics processor with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port. This is $699 and will work with any Mac that has a Thunderbolt 3 port.

It is good to see Apple update the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. The specs will definitely be welcome, in particular the 6-core processors in the 15-inch models. The ability to choose up to 4TB of storage and 32GB will be great for those users who need that much storage and memory. If you really need the external graphical processing, it is great to see new hardware for those users as well. You can order the 2018 MacBook Pros today.

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Apple Mac

MacBook and MacBook Pro Keyboard Repair Program

Late on Friday Apple announced that they are creating a Keyboard Service Program for a range of their laptops. There have been many reports of users having keys that stick, letters not being shown, or a key that gets repeatedly pressed even if you only press a key once.

The list of affected computers are:

  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12­-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-­inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13­-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-­inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-­inch, 2017)

If you have one of these laptops and are experiencing any of the keyboard issues, you can contact Apple, or Apple Authorized Reseller, and setup an appointment. If you have already paid to have your keyboard fixed, you can get a refund.

It is good that Apple has recognized that this is an issue but this is not new. This has been going on for over three years and this way overdue. What is worse is that if you got any dust under the keys, they would stop working and the “fix” to use compressed air at a 75 degree angle is not acceptable for most users.

I hope that any future updates to the keyboard will not have these issues, but there have not been any updates since last summer. Only time will be able to tell if this was a small time-frame where laptop keyboards were problematic or if this is an on-going issue.

Source: Apple.