Apple released updated versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros with new M2 processors
M2 Pro has a 10 or 12-core CPU and the Max has a 12-core CPU. The are using the 2nd gen 5nm process
Pro has up to a 19 core GPU with up to 32 GB of unified RAM and the Max up to 38 cores and up to 96GB of RAM. 200GB/s of unified memory bandwidth in the Pro, but up to 400GB/s in the Max
Design and displays remain exactly the same. Liquid Retina XDR Display with mini-LED backlighting and ProMotion up to 120Hz
Up to 8TB of storage
Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, and HDMI 2.1 with 8K support. Up to 22 hours of battery life.
Apple needs to release new frameworks before 3rd party developers can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E.
6E offers higher speeds, lower latency, and less interference
Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, MagSafe 3 for charging, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, and a six-speaker sound system.
Pricing starts at $1,999 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro and at $2,499 for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
New Mac mini with M2 and M2 Pro options
Starting at $599 USD a new lower price for the M2 version and the Pro version starts at $1299 USD
Base model is 10-core CPU, 16-core GPU, 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD. M2 Pro chip is a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU, with up to 32 GB RAM.
Base model M2 version has an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 256 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM.
Two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, one HDMI port (2.0), Gigabit Ethernet (10 Gigabit option), and a headphone jack. The Pro version has two more Thunderbolt 4 ports
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
The M2 Mac mini supports two displays still, but you can use Thunderbolt for both displays if you want
One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt
One display with up to 5K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt or One display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz over HDMI
The M2 Pro version will support up to 3 displays
Up to three displays: Two displays with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 60Hz over HDMI
Up to two displays: One display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz over Thunderbolt and one display with up to 4K resolution at 144Hz over HDMI
One display: Up to 8K resolution at 60Hz or 4K resolution at 240Hz over HDMI
It’s not a huge concern for most users as SSD performance is extremely fast regardless… but for those who care…
The base storage configurations on both the Mac mini (256GB) and the MacBook Pros (512GB) do have slightly lower SSD speeds than the previous equivalent storage M1 machines
This is due to offering single 256 GB and 512GB NAND flash chips, vs two chips in the previous models
Apple also discontinued the Intel version of the Mac mini and also the M1 version.
So where does that leave the MacStudio?
It’s still the choice for professionals who need the absolute Mac in performance, more IO, and more Displays.
For the rest… a Mac mini M2 could likely fit the bill.
It’s expected that the Mac Pro, when it arrives, could take the place of the Mac Studio. Though Apple might have canned the “Extreme” M-Series chip, so “Ultra” could be the top.
There are also questions from analysts like Gurman on whether the new Pro will have upgradeable GPUs
Reports from DigiTimes that Apple plans a 3nm M3 version of the MacBook Air for release in the second half of the year.
Big HomePod is back
Apple’s calling it a new generation of the original HomePod, but it feels awfully familiar
Size is slightly “chubbier” (0.2 inches shorter) and the Space Grey is now “Midnight” (slight blue tint)
It uses an S7 processor instead of an A-Series, like the previous version
Has 5 tweeters, instead of 7. Four microphones, instead of 6
Doe have a U1 chip and support for Matter
It has a removable power cord (for real this time)
Adds a temperature and humidity sensor. Also, in the future, sound recognition for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms that sends a notification to your iPhone
These were also enabled in the HomePod mini with the latest software update
Base is slightly redesigned, but can still leave permanent stains on wood surfaces (especially the white)
The new HomePod will not stereo pair with the original HomePod. You must have two devices of the same generation
Bloomberg claims Apple is working on other smart home products
A home hub display, like a dumbed down iPad, that has home controls for your smart devices. Also FaceTime. Would have mounts with magnets for wall or stand mounting.
Also they still say Apple is exploring a device that would combine Apple TV, a HomePod, and a FaceTime camera
They also say an updated Apple TV is in the works for early in 2024. Design will remain the same with an updated processor and support for 8K streaming.
Gurman said Apple doesn’t appear to be actively developing an updated version of the HomePod mini at this time
Ming-Chi Kuo predicts a HomePod mini update in the second half of 2024. He also predicts updates for AirPods Max 2 and a "low-cost version" of Apple's AirPods around the same timeframe
HomePod Mini pricing increased in in Austria, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain by 10€ and 10£ in the UK
Apple Q1 2023 results
These are the numbers for the last quarter of 2022, so Apple’s “holiday” quarter
Revenue of $117.2 billion and net quarterly profit of $30.0 billion. Basically down about 5 percent from last year.
For individual product categories:
iPhone: $65.78 billion (vs. $71.63 billion), down about 8 percent
According to Cook, hit by supply chain issues.
Mac: $7.74 billion (vs. $10.85 billion), down 29 percent
Likely hurt by the delayed release of the Mac mini and MacBook Pros
iPad: $9.40 billion (vs. $7.25 billion), up 30 percent
Wearables, home, and accessories: $13.48 billion (vs. $14.70 billion), down about 8 percent
Services: $20.78 billion (vs. $19.5 billion), up 6 percent
Apple exploring more affordable headset
From “The Information"
Apple engineers looking at ways to create a more affordable version of their rumored $3K+ AR/VR headset
The first version will “test the limits” of what consumers are willing to pay. Apple is reportedly wanting a device priced in the range of current iPhone pricing. So $800 to $1,600 USD.
Might need to reduce the quality of the components like the 8K displays or 4K Micro-LED panels. Not use H2 chip. Could use lower end processors, so maybe not M2, but M1? Less expensive build materials.
Ming-Chi Quo had previously noted Apple was targeting a cheaper version of the product by 2025
Gurman claims Apple has up their AR “glasses” project on “indefinite hold” so they can focus on getting to a more affordable version of the AR/VR headset
For the first version of the headset Bloomberg says a big selling point will be Apple’s focus on eye movement and hand tracking as ways to control the device vs external controllers
You’ll be able to simply look at elements on the display to select them and use hand gestures like pinching to interact with elements.
Will use a combination of external cameras and internal sensors to pull off the magic
He says it will have a familiar iOS like interface with a home screen, app icons, and customizable widgets
Video conferencing with fully rendered face and body for one on one chats, but emoji like avatars for multi person FaceTime
Working on media content with partners like Disney and Dolby and Apple TV+ shows will be adapted for an immersive big screen experience in virtual environments like space or the desert
For text input you’ll rely on dictation and Siri though Apple is supposedly working on a “air typing” keyboard interface but it’s not expected to be perfected before launch.
Still concerning in my mind is the reports of Apple needing to use a tethered external battery pack and still achieving only a two-hour battery life. Feels like a non-starter to me considering the rumored USD $3000 or more price tag
On the software side we’re getting reports from sites like “The Information” that Apple want to let users use Siri to help them develop apps for the headset without the need for coding.
Creating objects and elements that can act with and react to real objects in your environment
They also are focusing on health and wellness applications like meditation and exercise
Plus looking at interactive books, like Dr. Seuss’ book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”. Where you talk through the book and it blends the books environment with the real world.
OLED iPad not out yet
Let’s keep repeating this rumor until it’s true
From the “ET News” out of Korea… Apple still wants to release OLED versions of the iPad and the MacBook Pro
2024 is NOW the target date for iPads and 2026 for MacBook Pros
The ET report claims the panels for iPad will be 11 inches and 12.9 inches, but previous leaks from display analyst Ross Young had claimed the displays would be a little larger at 11.1 and 13-inches.
Mark Gurman at Bloomberg also seems to believe 2024 could be the year for an OLED iPad Pro along with an “updated redesign” of the iPad Pro lineup.
In what would be a “major” redesign, Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted he expects Apple to release an “all-new design foldable iPad" in 2024. Also claims it would have a lightweight carbon fiber kickstand
No new iPad updates this year
Will have an iPad mini update in early 2024 as well
Gurman and Ross Young both claim they’ve not heard of development of a “foldable” iPad coming in 2024, though Young still thinks Apple could be developing a 20.5-inch foldable notebook possibly for release by 2025
Next iPhone with “thinner” bezels
According to Twitter leaker ShrimpApplePro
Similar to the Apple Watch.
Screen sizes and overall design would remain the same.
Rumors that it might also get Wi-Fi 6E (and I assume Bluetooth 5.3)
Kuo says Apple ha paused development on their own WiFi chip to focus o their next gen 3nm processor designs.
So Broadcom would likely continue supplying wifi chip for Apple for now
At least one leaker has claimed wiFi 6E could be limited to only the Pro models
iOS 16.3 fixed an issue where horizontal lines flash across the screen on some iPhone 14 Pro Max devices when powered on or unlocked.
Rumors of an Apple Watch Ultra with a 10% larger display and likely pushing the device over 50mm in 2024. Also that the display could be Apple’s first to use microLED technology
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
Feedback on Noco Battery Starter
This “thing of the moment” generated a lot of feedback
Daniel points out that, depending on your situation, it might be worth doing some research on the smaller lithium ion boosters, like the Noco, and larger bulkier lead acid battery boosters. Specifically, if you need something that might deliver more versatility and higher cold cranking amps (CCA) ratings.
Mike points out that in addition to a jump starter, it might also be worth looking at a battery charger. In cold environments especially… the weather can effect the battery and you might need to charge it up.
Finally… I mentioned that in addition to jumpstarting, the Noco can also be used as a battery to charge devices like your iPhone. Robert points out that for size and the amount of power other “battery packs” might be a better choice as the actual charging capacity is much lower than portable battery packs designed and sold explicitly for powering smartphones.
Out of memory? Maybe your email
We covered this a ways back and I thought it had mostly sorted itself out.
When Apple first released their M1 machines there were reports of users getting “Out of memory” errors from apps
I have a 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro I use for work and I’ve never encountered the error.
Louis wrote in this week and was seeing this on his Mac Studio with 32GB or RAM
What he notice was it would occur when the Mac was sleeping with Mail running and when he’d wake it in the morning he’d have the error.
Looking at Activity Monitor it seemed to be the “contactsd” process that would eat-up all the RAM
You’d still need to schedule the CRON shortcut to run at a frequency, but then you can have a single “crontab” style text that gets parsed on that schedule. So you can setup multiple shortcuts to be automated and manage all the automations in a single file.