It all started with a YouTuber, classic tale these days.
Dave Lee did some testing with his Core i9 2018 MacBook Pro and noticed that when doing intensive video work the Core i9 was not giving the performance he would expect
What it looked like was happening was that the processors were being throttled, in some cases to the point where the machine wasn't even maintaining even the base clock speed.
His conclusion was that Apple's thin design and the cooling solution was so bad that it was impacting the performance.
As you might imagine this ignited a firestorm with some calling it "Throttlegate"
Several other outlets ran similar tests and seemingly confirmed that as the temps rose there was some serious throttling happening.
Later posters on Reddit claimed the issue was not caused by thermal throttling of the processor itself, but rather by power throttling of the voltage regulator module (VRM).
Something they claimed could be fixed in software.
Basically Apple set the internal power limits incorrectly for the power draw of the new CPU
Sure enough Apple reached out to the original YouTuber and worked with him and their team to identify and fix the issue.
They sent out a patch, macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update, and testing seems to confirm things are better
Apple said, "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,"
The bug affects the Core i9, Core i7, and the 13-inch models
Apple stood behind the performance benchmarks on its website saying the bug only happens under the right combination of workloads and in all of their testing, they never encountered the problem.
They don't believe most people using the MacBook Pro probably wouldn’t have seen the bug manifest itself at all. Still it's fixed now and we can move on.
There is also a new JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, as discovered by iFixit.
This is part of the "Titan Ridge" family from Intel.
The chip is listed as being compatible with DisplayPort 1.4, but that doesn't mean your 2018 MacBook Pro does.
MacRumors asked Apple about it and while the new 15-inch MacBook Pro theoretically supports DisplayPort 1.4 it still can't drive an 8K display.
Both models have the same external display compatibility as the previous gen.
Up to two 5K displays or up to four 4K displays on the 15-inch model, and up to one 5K display or up to two 4K displays on the 13-inch model.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro has full speed Thunderbolt 3 ports all around
Prior models had two full speed ports and two reduced speed ports
The new 8th gen Intel GPUs are responsible for the change because they can provide 16 PCI-e lanes where the processors used in the prior gen of the 13-inch could only provide 12 PCI-e lanes.
The missing "data-recovery" port
Apple has a special tool that connects to recover data from a machine with a failed logic board, but one that still has working SSDs
That port is not present on the 2018 models
One more reason for being better about backing up.
Apple might limit USB-C fast charging
One of the rumors about the 2018 iPhones that some people are excited about is that Apple could include an 18W USB-C fast charger in the box.
In fact this week they are saying in the box could be the only way you'll get it
Mac Otakara is reporting that to factories contracted to crate the charging adapters will just barely be able to produce enough to support Apple's needs for in the box
That means that if you want a second wall wart at launch you're likely going to be out of luck
For sure you'll be able to buy one eventually, but if could be a few weeks before that happens.
There might also be some issues getting any third party USB-C to lightning cables.
There's a new lightning chip and it won't even go into the MFi certification program until November or December
Even after it's approved just four MFi-certified manufacturing plants have been approved to produce the part.
Mac Otakara is also claiming third-party fast chargers may require USB-C Authentication in order to charge at full speed.
If not certified charging would be limited to 2.5W
It's a way to protect non-compliant USB chargers and maliciously embedded hardware or software in USB devices
Of course the media will imply it's Apple's way of forcing you to only buy their "expensive" chargers or to "extort" high licensing fees from their third party suppliers
Apple has more autonomous cars on CA roads
Last time we checked in with them was in May when they had 55 self-driving cars and 83 authorized drivers on the roads in California
Records filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles now say Apple is up to 66 cars with 111 registered drivers.
Apple doesn't have a driverless car permit, so the cars do have a "driver" (and I believe two people) running testing.
What Apple's doing with all these test is unclear. We do know thy are looking at and building "autonomous" systems
We also think they have a deal in place with Volkswagen to create autonomous T6 Transport vans to shuttle employees to and from their campus.
Beyond that…? You know my theory, car as a service. They could then sell other services, like information service and entertainment around that.
More rugged glass in your next iPhone?
Corning has shown off it's latest generation of Gorilla Glass, Gorilla Glass 6
Their claim, "unprecedented protection against multiple drops" and also that your device will more likely survive drops from even grater heights.
They claim the average person drops their smartphone seven times a year, so it was something they wanted to address.
They say, ""Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5."
At this point it's possible Apple could already have access to the new glass, they have a good standing relationship with Corning, but we don't know for sure.
But they have said they expect Gorilla Glass 6 devices to reach the market in the next several months.
In May of last year Apple also gave Corning $200 million from their Advanced Manufacturing Fund to aid them in research and development.
Surprise, keyboard membranes block debris
MacRumors received internal documents distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers from multiple sources that indicate the membrane in the new MacBook Pros is designed to "prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism."
The language showed up in the Canadian and European versions of Apple's internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide.
The US version doesn't mention the membrane, but does have a link to a second document, "Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018)", that does mention the keycaps membrane and says it's purpose is to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism
Apple has not commented on the new keyboard design other then to say it has been redesigned to be quieter.
They also have said the stuck and malfunctioning keys on the earlier 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro models only effect a "tiny tiny" fraction of all customers.
Key(s) feel "sticky" or do not respond in a consistent manner
On impacted models for up to 4 years after the first retail sale of the unit
Testing done by iFixit seems to confirm the new membrane does a good, if not perfect job, in keeping out dust
It blocks most contaminants, but there are still holes in the to membrane to allow the keycap clips to attach.
Particles can get into those holes and that can cause keys to break or become unreliable.
Your odds of avoiding issues with the new models will be better, but not 100 percent guaranteed
New HomePod features this Fall
The French Apple publication, iGeneration, is claiming more calling functionality will come to HomePod with iOS 12 this Fall
Details come from a private beta seeded to Apple employees.
You’ll be able to use HomePod to make phone calls, answer a call, redial a number, search your call log, listen to messages on your voicemail, or make an emergency call.
They were less sure if FaceTime Audio would be supported
They buried the lead, set multiple timers
Another featured mention is the ability to search for a song based on its lyrics.
Other features they are reporting are more information about food and nutrition, and public figures. The ability to change the wi-fi network without resetting the HomePod, and use FindMyiPhone from the HomePod.
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