This episode of the Maccast is brought to you by Zocdoc. More on them later in the show.
New M3 Macs
Apple had it’s scary fast, scary fast event. Some of you may have already heard my reactions and first impressions on the [Mac Geek Gab](https://macgeekgab.com) podcast with Dave Hamilton and Jeff Gamet
They announced new macs with M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max processors.
The M3 chip has up to an 8-core CPU and up to a 10-core GPU and supports up to 24GB of unified memory
M3 Pro chip has up to a 12-core CPU and up to a 18-core GPU and supports up to 36GB of unified memory
The M3 Pro has lower memory bandwidth than the previous M2 Pro. 150GB/s vs 200GB/s previously
The cores on the 12-core CPU model also changed vs the 12-core M2 Pro. The 12-core has 6 performance cores and 6 efficiency cores, where the M2 Pro had 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
Both level of the M3 Pro also come with fewer GPU cores than the M2 PROs did. 14-core GPU on the 11 core CPU M3 (vs 16 previously) and 18-core GPU on the 12 core CPU M3 (vs 19 previously)
M3 Max chip has up to a 16-core CPU and up to a 40-core GPU and supports up to 128GB of unified memory
Has up to 400GB/s memory bandwidth, but that is in the pricier 16-core CPU chip. The 14-core version offers only 300GB/s of memory bandwidth
M3 GPUs are based on the A17 Pro, so all get hardware-accelerated ray-tracing support
Early Geekbench scores
Seem to indicate about a 20% multicore performance increase for the M3 vs M2
The scores for the M3 Pro, vs the M2 Pro, were not quite as good. Showing roughly a 6% performance increase in multicore scores
M3 Max is about 45% faster than the M2 Max in multicore scores and roughly matching the M2 Ultra scores
New MacBook Pros
All 14-inch and 16-inch models got upgrades
The base 14-inch M3 model replaces the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
The M3 model still will only support one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz
It also comes at a lower starting price, but with only 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage
Early real world tests are showing the 8GB models to be hindered in performance vs M3 machines upgraded to 16GB, but the upgrades are expensive
16GB is USD $200 more, and 24GB will run you USD $400 more
At that point it’s likely worth spending the USD $1999 for the M3 Pro model to get 18GB or RAM, more storage, more ports, etc.
All models now feature Liquid Retina XDR displays
Updated Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
The M3 Pro and M3 Max models are available in a new Space Black color.
The 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro starts at $1,599, the 14-inch M3 Pro MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,499
New 24-inch iMacs
Same colors and designs now offered with the M3 chip
Also updated Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.
The Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Mouse are still using Lightning connectors
Still only supports one external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz
M3 iMac starts at $1,299 for the two Thunderbolt port model and $1,499 for the model with two Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3 ports
Apple confirmed to “The Verge” and other media outlets that they have no plans to release a new 27-inch iMac with Apple silicon.
There have been rumors from Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo that Apple could introduce a 32-inch iMac with mini-LED backlighting possibly around late 2024 or 2025
Apple 2023 Q4 earnings results
$89.50 billion in revenue vs $90.15 billion for the same quarter a year ago, but still beating analyst expectations
$43.8 billion from iPhone
$22.3 billion from services
$9.3 billion from wearables and home
$7.6 billion from Mac
$6.4 billion from iPad.
Also, despite the lower revenue net quarterly profits were up, $23.0 billion vs $20.7 billion for the same period last year.
For the full fiscal year, Apple had $383.3 billion in sales and $97.0 billion in net income, down slightly from $394.3 billion in sales and $99.8 billion in net income for last year.
Apple goes bug hunting
Mark Gurman says that last month Apple’s teams finished the first versions of iOS 18, macOS 15, and watchOS 11
Normally they’d move right on to working on the next versions, but Apple had them pause to focus on bug fix and performance fixes. Not new features.
One notable rumored new feature in iOS 18 is going to be Apple’s release of features using generative AI according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman
One highlight is a "smarter version of Siri"
Gurman says Apple is still considering if it will limit generative AI to on-device processing, use the cloud, or take on a hybrid approach
At least on Twitter leaker claims Apple plans a hybrid approach so that they can roll the features out to many more existing devices using the cloud and take advantage of the hardware on newer devices, like the next iPhone 16s, to use on-device processing.
Last week we also got some updates that addressed some nagging software issues
watchOS 10.1.1 fixed a bug that was causing some Apple Watch models to drain battery more quickly than expected.
iOS & iPadOS 17.1.1 fixed some bugs where NFC features would stop functioning after wireless charging in some cars and a bug where the Weather Lock Screen widget may not correctly display snow
macOS Sonoma 14.1.1 and HomePod 17.1.1 were also released providing important bug fixes and security updates
Vision Pro sneak peek
Some members of the media were allowed to capture and view their own Spatial videos
The feature to record and capture spatial video was recently enabled on iPhone 15 Pro model with iOS 17.2 beta.
Spatial videos are recorded in 1080p at 30 fps
And Apple recommends using landscape orientation and stabilization for the best results
One minute of video takes up 130MB of storage space.
Reporters for “The Wall Street Journal”, “The Street”, and “CNET” all got a sneak peek.
All three commented on the incredible reality created by the format and seemed impressed though did not concerns over the limited access to the technology due to the USD $3500 price tag on the new Vision Pro with is due out in early 2024.
In tvOS 17.2 beta some movies have started showing a “3D” icon that looks like the silhouette of the Vision Pro
So far it looks like it’s on about 20 titles from studios like Universal and Dreamworks, like Jurassic World Dominion, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda 3, Pacific Rim Uprising, and more
tvOS 17.2 is also going to phase out the dedicated iTunes Movie Store app and move the functionality into the TV app
Tim Cook said in the recent earning call that they would be brining Apple Vision Pro out, “in our stores only” and that “…it will be a very different process than the normal grab-and-go kind of process.”
They want to, at first, really control the buying experience
Macrumors claims the next-gen VisionPro is codenamed “Alaska”
They note the design will be largely similar to the soon to be released version
There could be a new speaker system
They also mention notable changes to the strap designs
Sensors would include a compass, ambient light sensor, magnetometer, and gyroscope
Other hardware components mentioned are two micro-OLED displays, a TrueDepth camera, four computer vision cameras, two RGB cameras, two infrared illuminators for low light, and semi-automatic inter-pupillary distance adjustment.
They say the new model could come with a lower price and should enter product validation testing (PVT) sometime in 2025 which means a possible late 2025 or early 2026 release date.
iPad updates planned for 2024
According to a few sources Apple plans to update the entire iPad line-up in 2024
Is that really news? I guess since they skipped 2023 updates?
They say the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, and entry-level iPad will all get some upgrades.
Ming-Chi Kuo thinks the iPad Air will get a larger 12.9-inch version, the iPad Pros will get OLED displays, and the iPad mini and entry level iPad will see updates as well.
Kuo believes Apple will start in early 2024 with the updates to the iPad Air. Followed by M3 iPad Pro updates in the second quarter which will offer a new chassis along with the OLED displays. And then later in the year we’ll get the updates to the entry level iPad and the iPad mini
Macrumors is also expecting that we’ll see an updated iPhone SE 4 model in March
The rumor believes the design will be very similar to the iPhone 14 finally dropping the Home Button
It would still only offer a single lens rear camera, but at 48-megapixels
It will also use USB-C instead of Lightning
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Feedback, commentary, opinions
External disk cataloging
A listener asked about making a searchable index of external drives and I had a hard time finding the perfect solution
Christopher says he’s been using it for years and has cataloged dozens of hard drives with it.
He says the NeoFinder catalog can even show you thumbnails of documents, images, videos, etc. so you can identify the correct file before you go looking for that drive to attach.
Miles says he too has used it for year and that it simply works, and is fast and thorough.
A single user license is USD $39.99
USB-C Dock vs Hub
Fred is upgrading his 2013 MacBook Air with a shiny new 14 inch MacBook Pro M3.
He’s looking at the connectivity and says he wants to connect some USB devices and a monitor and possibly have Ethernet.
But says he’s looking at docs and hubs and has become totally confused
“I DON’T need power upstream, as the Air has it’s own MagSafe power port (right???)”
There’s also a huge variation in pricing between the two, so what does he need?
The main advantage of a “dock” is that it basically can provide a one cable connection to your Mac.
You attach all your accessories to it. Monitors, usb devices, Ethernet, etc. Then just connect the Thunderbolt cable to your MacBook Air an it provides everything, including power which is why you want the upstream power.
Docks are more expensive because of all the extra functionality.
If all you want is a simple hub to connect USB devices and you’re OK with connecting extra cables for power, networking, etc then you can save money.
Personally I have both a dock, for at home at my desk and a simple USB 4 port hub for when I travel.
More Time Machine space
James has been using a single 8TB Time Machine drive to backup his Macbook Air and some external drives
2TB SSD on MacBook Air (1.1TB free)
8TB External Data Drive (With 3.2 TB free)
2TB External SSD (500gb free)
He started to get an out of storage space warning from Time Machine as it was out of free space and couldn’t backup.
So he bought and added a new 6TB drive and set it up for Time Machine hoping that would add an additional 6TB of space, but he still is getting the out of space warning from the 8TB drive.
He says, “I was under the impression that Time Machine allows for multiple drives for backups but am I missing something here? Is there something I need to do?"
Unfortunately Time Machine cannot be setup to “span” multiple drive and treat it as a single data destination.
What you will need to do is divide and conquer by excluding some drives from the 8TB Time Machine and then doing the opposite on the 6TB drive.
I would say use the new 6TB to backup the 2TB SSD on MacBook Air drive and the 2TB External SSD. And leave the 8TB External Data Drive on the 8TB Time Machine.
Luckily this is fairly easy to do
Cha cha changes
Announcing the end of the Maccast and move to Mac Geek Gab.
The last Maccast will be December 13th 2023, 19 years to the day of the launch of the first show.
Please subscribe to the [Mac Geek Gab](https://macgeekgab.com), if you are not already, to continue to get my take of the latest happening in the Mac community.