John Voorhees

2758 posts on MacStories since November 2015

John is MacStories’ Managing Editor and has been writing about Apple and apps since joining the team in 2015. He is also Federico’s business partner and co-hosts two MacStories podcasts: AppStories, which covers the world of apps and MacStories Unwind, which explores the fun differences between American and Italian culture and recommends media to listeners.

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Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive Announce an Upcoming Vision Pro Project Based on the ‘What If…?’ Series

Source: The Walt Disney Company.

Source: The Walt Disney Company.

Today, Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive announced What If…? – An Immersive Story for Disney+ subscriber on the Apple Vision Pro. What If…? is Marvel Studios’ animated series that considers what might occur if major events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe turned out differently. Drawing on the animated series, the creators say:

Fans will be invited to step inside the Multiverse like never before and have the chance to dive into an immersive, narrative-driven and innovative story in mixed reality.

![](https://cdn.macstories.net/whatifimmersive_screenshot_watcherinfinitystone-1440x810-1715184370919.png)

Executive producer Brad Winderbaum adds that:

What If…? the animated series as well as the comic book has always been about looking over the horizon into realities that have yet to be conceived. What If…? – An Immersive Story takes this one step further and actually allows you to visit these strange new worlds, not as a Watcher but as an actual participant. The creative work on this project is nothing less than stellar and we could not be more excited for fans to interact firsthand with some of their favorite Marvel heroes.

There’s not a lot of detail on the special hour-long project yet, but Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive promise more details soon. Still, it’s good to see Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive are working on this. The interactive content for the Vision Pro has been sparse since its launch, so hopefully, this is a sign that the market is big enough to support more interactive content, and the Vision Pro will be expanding to other countries soon.

I appreciate the advance notice, too. I’ve had the What If…? series in my queue for a while, and now I have another reason to check it out.


Apple’s May 2024 Let Loose Event: All The Small Things

Apple’s presentation moved fast yesterday, and since the event concluded, more details have emerged about everything announced. We’ve been combing Apple’s product pages, social media, and other sources to learn more about everything announced, which we’ve collected below:

  • Chance Miller of 9to5Mac, reporting based on a memo sent to Apple Store employees that Apple will no longer include stickers in the boxes with the iPads introduced yesterday. Instead, retail stores will have a small number of stickers on hand for customers who ask for them.
  • One of the first things I noticed in yesterday’s video presentation was that Tim Cook’s shoes were different somehow. The detail wasn’t enough to identify them from the streamed video, but it turns out that they were Nike Air Max 1 ‘86’s that were ‘Made on iPad,’ which was embroidered on the tongue of the shoes. Apple has published a Reel on Instagram showing the shoes sketched on an iPad.
  • MacRumors reports that the new iPad Pros support lower refresh rates but not the iPhone Pro’s always-on feature. Nonetheless, the lower refresh rate support should help the iPad Pros extend battery life depending on how the iPad is used.
  • As I first learned from MKBHD’s iPad Pro first impressions video, the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro includes a 60W USB-C charging port, which is a significant increase from the previous model.
  • As Dan Moren explained on Six Colors, Apple appears to be binning the M4 chips in the new iPad Pro models with the 1TB and 2TB storage tiers sporting an additional performance core.
  • The Verge reported that the new iPads have eliminated physical SIM cards in favor of eSIMs, which is likely a space-saving measure.

You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Apple’s May 2024 Let Loose Event: By the Numbers

Today’s Let Loose online Apple event was packed with facts, figures, and statistics throughout the presentation and elsewhere. We’ve pulled together the highlights.

iPad Pro

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • The new iPad Pro’s GPU is 10x faster than the original model and 4x faster than the M2 iPad Pro
  • The M4 chip is 50% faster than the M2
  • The M4’s 16-core Neural Engine is 60x faster than the original Neural Engine
  • The M4 uses a 2nd generation 3nm process
  • The M4 features 28 billion transistors
Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • Apple has improved the thermal performance of the iPad Pro by 20% compared to the previous model
  • The Neural Engine can handle 38 trillion operations per second
  • The unified memory bandwidth is 120GB/s
  • The iPad Pro display supports 1000 nits of brightness for SDR and HDR content and 1600 nits peak brightness for HDR
  • Storage capacities range from 256GB to 2TB
  • The Wi-Fi version of the 11” iPad Pro is .98 pound (444 grams), and the 13” model is 1.28 pounds (579 grams). Adding cellular adds 2 grams to the 11” model and 3 grams to the 13” version.
Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • The 256 and 512GB models have 8GB of RAM, while the 1TB and 2TB models have 16GB of RAM
  • The new models support Bluetooth 5.3
  • The 11” iPad Pro is 5.3mm thick, and the 13” model is 5.1mm thick
  • It’s possible to spend $3,077 on a fully-spec’d 13” iPad Pro with Apple Pencil Pro and Magic Keyboard for iPad

iPad Air

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

  • There’s a new 13” model
  • The M2 chip in the new Air is 50% faster than the M1 and 3x faster than the iPad Air with the A12 Bionic chip
  • The iPad Air can be configured with up to 1TB of storage
  • The front and back cameras both have 12MP sensors
  • There are 4 colors available, 2 of which are new
  • The 11” Air is 1.02 pounds, and the 13” model is 1.36 pounds, both of which are heavier than their iPad Pro counterparts
  • Both models are 6.1mm thick
  • The 11” iPad Air maxes out at 500 nits of brightness and the 13” model at 600 nits for a 100-nit difference

Accessories and Other

Look at that beautiful row of function keys.

Look at that beautiful row of function keys.

  • The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro has a 14-key function row
  • The price of the existing 10th generation iPad was reduced to $349
  • Apple paid 0 tributes to Warren Buffet’s Paper Wizard

You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Final Cut Pro 2 and Logic Pro 2 for iPad Updated Along with Their Mac Counterparts

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Last year at this time, I beta-tested Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro for iPad. I was impressed with both and found editing podcasts in Logic Pro for iPad surprisingly easy. That said, both apps were still limited compared to what their sibling versions could do on the Mac. With today’s update, Apple appears to be pushing both apps much further into ‘Pro’ territory than ever before, undoubtedly thanks to the M4 chip inside the new iPad Pros.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

In what I think is a first for one of its iPadOS apps, Apple has given Final Cut Pro for iPad a version number. One of the most impressive features shown off today was Live Multicam, which supports up to four simultaneous live camera feeds:

Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 delivers Live Multicam, an innovative new solution for users to capture up to four different angles of a single scene, whether working with their own devices or collaborating with others. Live Multicam connects wirelessly via Final Cut Camera, a new video capture app, enabling users to view up to four iPhone or iPad devices and providing a director’s view of each camera in real time. Each live camera feed can have settings adjusted right from Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 to easily dial in exposure, focus, zoom, and more for the perfect shot. Editable preview clips are immediately passed through to Final Cut Pro for iPad and replaced with full-resolution files in the background, so users can seamlessly move from production to editing.

Final Cut Camera is a separate new app for the iPhone and iPad that works with Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 to feed each video stream to an iPad for real-time, wireless capture.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

The app also offers greater storage flexibility, allowing videographers to edit projects on an external drive. Here’s how Apple describes it in its press release:

For even more storage flexibility, Final Cut Pro for iPad 2 now supports external projects, letting users easily create or open projects on an external storage device and import media without taking up space on their iPad. Editors can quickly hand off external projects to another editor or take them into Final Cut Pro for Mac; create new projects on external storage; and seamlessly import high-resolution files and professional codecs like ProRes and Log.

Additionally, the update adds new color-grading presets, text titles, and soundtracks. Final Cut Pro for Mac is being updated to version 10.8, which includes new AI features and organizational tools.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Logic Pro has been updated for the iPad and Mac, too, with several features, including:

…Session Players, which expand the popular Drummer capabilities in Logic Pro to include a new Bass Player and Keyboard Player; Stem Splitter, to extract and work with individual parts of a single audio recording; and ChromaGlow, to instantly add warmth to tracks.

The common thread among these updates that Apple highlighted is the apps’ reliance on AI and machine learning to make complex edits to compositions.

Apple says that Final Cut Pro for iPad 2, Final Cut Camera, and Final Cut Pro for Mac 10.8 will be available later this spring, while Logic Pro for iPad 2 and Logic Pro for Mac 11 will be available on the App Store starting Monday, May 13.


You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Apple Expands the iPad Air Lineup

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

The big news for the new iPad Air is that it comes in two sizes now: 11” and a new 13” model. The Air has also upgraded from the M1 to the M2 chip and moved the front-facing camera to the landscape side of the tablet, and it has higher storage configurations, works with the new Apple Pencil Pro, and comes in new colors.

A new blue and purple join starlight and space gray.

A new blue and purple join starlight and space gray.

Before today’s announcement, the iPad Air was close enough in specs to an 11” iPad Pro that the two felt like fraternal twins. With today’s update, though, the iPad Air is more versatile and better differentiated from the iPad Pro models despite the fact that both models now come in identical sizes.

There’s now a more substantial difference between the chips used in Air and Pro models. The M2 in the Air is a healthy step forward that Apple says makes it 50% faster than the M1 model. Like the iPad Pros, anyone who has used an iPad for video conferences will appreciate that the Air’s front-facing camera is on the landscape edge of the device. The Air also works with the Apple Pencil Pro.

The new iPad Air works with the existing model of Magic Keyboard.

The new iPad Air works with the existing model of Magic Keyboard.

However, the new iPad Air is not compatible with the new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro. Instead, it works with the existing Magic Keyboard. The iPad Air’s storage configurations aren’t as expansive as the iPad Pro, either, topping out at 1TB, although that configuration and the 512GB version are new to the Air. Meanwhile, the base configuration has been doubled to 128 GB. Apple also introduced new blue and purple Airs that join the starlight and space gray models.

Source: Apple

Source: Apple

I like what Apple has done with the Air a lot. The updates address the most glaring shortcomings of the tablet while clarifying how it differs from the iPad Pro, which should reduce customer confusion. Personally, I’m more interested in the iPad Pro, but the Air has grown into an impressive laptop alternative of its own, filling a MacBook Air-like role in comparison to the iPad Pro, which has MacBook Pro vibes now.

The 11” iPad Air starts at $599, with the 13” version starting at $799. Both models can be ordered today with deliveries starting May 15th.


You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Apple Reveals New Keyboards and the Apple Pencil Pro

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Along with the iPad Pros, Apple today introduced new keyboards and an Apple Pencil Pro.

The new Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro, at long last, has a function row of half-height keys similar to what you’d find on a Mac. The trackpad is bigger, the palm rest is aluminum, and the whole thing is thinner and lighter than before, which are all great additions. The keyboards come in black (with a black aluminum palm rest) and white (with a silver palm rest). What hasn’t changed is the cantilevered design of the keyboard, which some had predicted would be replaced by a more laptop-like hinge.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

There’s a new Smart Folio for iPad Pro, too. According to Apple’s press release:

The new Smart Folio for iPad Pro attaches magnetically and now supports multiple viewing angles for greater flexibility. Available in black, white, and denim, it complements the colors of the new iPad Pro.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

The new Apple Pencil Pro sounds as though it’s a big step forward. There’s a sensor in the device’s barrel so that, with a squeeze, users can summon a tool palette on the iPad Pro or iPad Air. The new Pencil also incorporates haptics, allowing it to provide a bit of feedback when a user squeezes the Pencil. There’s even a built-in gyroscope that senses when the barrel is rotated, which can be used to rotate brushes and onscreen objects. The rotation functionality is incorporated into the hover feature, allowing users to see the rotation of a brush before placing the Pencil on the screen, for example. The new model Pencil also supports Find My. As before, the new Apple Pencil Pro connects to the iPad Pro magnetically for pairing, charging, and storing.

I like the look of the Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Pro a lot. The previous Magic Keyboard always felt too cramped, and it was frustrating to not have function keys. And, although I’m not a heavy Apple Pencil user, I’m excited to see how developers implement the new Pro features.

The new Smart Folio comes in black, white, and denim and is $79 for the 11” iPads and $99 for the 13” iPads. The new Magic Keyboard comes in white and black and is $299 for the 11” iPad Pro and $349 for the 13” iPad Pro, with $20 off those prices for education customers. The Apple Pencil Pro is $129 and $119 for education customers.


You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Apple Announces New 11” and 13” iPad Pros

At its Let Loose video event today, Apple introduced new 11” and 13” iPad Pros. Both models come in Silver and Space Black and feature OLED displays, the M4 chip, and more. Based on the specs Apple shared, both iPad Pro models appear to be significant upgrades over the existing M2 models.

The Design

Apple has made its thinest device ever with the iPad Pro. The 11” model is 5.3 mm thick, and the 13” model is 5.1 mm thick. That’s a remarkably thin device, achieved though a combination of new display technology and power efficiency, which allow it to use a smaller battery.

The Display

It’s not surprising that the new iPad Pros have OLED displays. That’s been rumored for a while. However, Apple says these are the most advanced OLED displays available.

The display, which Apple calls Ultra Retina XDR, is made from two OLED panels, allowing the device to achieve higher brightness than a single-panel setup. So in addition to the deeper blacks and high-contrast that OLED typically achieves, Apple says the new iPad Pros will support 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness for SDR and HDR content and 1,600 nits peak for HDR.

A nano-textured display is also available for the first time in the 1TB and 2TB configurations of both iPad Pros.

The M4 Chip

The new iPad Pros are the first devices made by Apple to include the new M4 chipset, skipping the M3 generation altogether. Apple says that the M4, which is built with a second-generation 3-nanometer process, builds on the technologies found in the M3 chips, including features like Dynamic Caching and hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing that were only available on certain Macs before.

The 256GB and 512GB configurations of the new iPad Pro include a 9-core CPU with three performance cores and six efficiency cores. Those models also have a 10-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine. The 1TB and 2TB models add one performance core to the CPU but have the same GPU and Neural Engine.

Apple spent a lot of time talking about the M4 and its ability to handle difficult AI tasks, pointing out that the latest Neural Engine can handle 38 trillion operations per second. The company says that’s 60x faster than its first Neural Engine in the A11 Bionic chip. Apple also claims that the Neural Engine is faster than any equivalent chip in PCs, implying that it’s the rest of the AI industry catching up to it and not the other way around.

Cameras

The front camera has been moved to the landscape side of the iPad Pro, which will make video conferencing less awkward. Plus, there’s a new Adaptive True Tone flash that removes shadows by taking multiple exposures of documents when scanning, and neither model includes an Ultra Wide camera anymore.

I’m excited about the new iPad Pro. It remains to be seen how the advances in hardware translate into everyday experiences, but it’s still good to see Apple pushing the iPad’s capabilities forward aggressively, which should encourage developers to push the boundaries of what is possible with a tablet.

The new 11” iPad Pro starts at $999, and the 13” model starts at $1,299. Both models can be ordered today and ship next week.


You can follow all of our May 2024 Apple event coverage through our May 2024 Apple event hub or subscribe to the dedicated May 2024 Apple event RSS feed.


Apple’s May 2024 Let Loose Event: Replay Today’s Keynote

If you didn’t follow the livestream of today’s ‘Let Loose’ Apple event, you can replay it on Apple’s Events site or YouTube.

The keynote video can be streamed here and on the Apple TV using the TV app. A high-quality version will also be available through Apple Podcasts as a video and audio podcast. An American Sign Language version of the event keynote is available on the Apple Events page too.

We’ll be adding links to the product videos released by Apple today as they appear on YouTube after the break.

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Screens 5.2 Adds Support for the Vision Pro and Other Features

Screens by Edovia is a screen-sharing app that lets you control your computer from another device, and today, version 5.2 is out with an excellent set of updates that improve the app’s performance and usability. However, the biggest change is that Screens now works on the Vision Pro, which is a big deal for anyone managing computers remotely.

I’m a longtime Screens user, but I was initially skeptical about using it with the Vision Pro. How useful or easy-to-use would Screens be when running on the device? The answer is ‘very.’ The Vision Pro version of Screens is a terrific addition to the previously-released iPhone, iPad, and Mac versions, and combined with the other changes in version 5.2, this is a bigger update than the point release might suggest.

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