It’s become no secret that I, along with countless others, am absolutely in love with my AirPods. I’ve only had them for a couple of weeks, but I’ve already built a habit of keeping them in my ears for hours on end, switching between my iPhone and Mac to catch up on podcasts, listen to music, and watch YouTube videos.
And while one of the best parts of AirPods is that they are already set up on all your iCloud devices after the first pairing, the need to dive into the Bluetooth menus to connect them on the Mac can waste a frustrating few seconds. For a much quicker and more convenient switching process, I’ve been using Tooth Fairy on the Mac.
Interesting findings by Steve Troughton-Smith: the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro appears to be running on a variant of watchOS under the hood, with the T1 SoC handling security (primarily) for Touch ID as well as the bridge between macOS and the Touch Bar (over a USB connection).
This lines up with what I heard ahead of the event – that Apple would embed a SoC reminiscent of the Apple Watch S1 in the new MacBook Pros – but the implications of what Apple did with the T1 chip and the Touch Bar run deeper than I expected.
For one, macOS can now leverage years of security that went into honing the Secure Enclave and Touch ID on iOS – all while working with an ARM architecture inside the MacBook Pro instead of x86. And it even seems like the T1 is driving the iSight camera (for security purposes) and that it may render certain UI elements on the Touch Bar directly instead of delegating that to macOS (again, for security). And when macOS isn't running, watchOS alone can render UI on the Touch Bar (likely for Boot Camp).
It's fascinating to think that part of watchOS (which has been optimized for low power consumption and lightweight touch UIs) is being used to power a marquee hardware feature of the new MacBook Pros. And even more intriguing is the idea of watchOS and years of investment in iOS security helping make Macs more secure – it's not too absurd to imagine that future T-series chips may drive security of other Mac input methods.
I collected some of the most interesting tweets about this below, so you can read the technical bits for yourself.
At Apple's "Hello Again" keynote Thursday, the company continued its tradition of letting the public in on its most important figures. Whether it was a recap of user and sales numbers or figures regarding the new products, Apple gave us plenty of numbers to digest.
Here's a list of significant facts and figures from Apple.
13-Inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
- 14.9 mm thick
- 23% less volume than previous generation
- 3 pounds
- 2x faster graphics
- Up to 2x faster storage
- 103% faster gaming performance
- 76% faster video editing performance
- 76% faster 3D graphics performance
- Starts at $1799
13-Inch MacBook Pro
- 13% smaller in volume than the MacBook Air
- 12% thinner than the MacBook Air
- Starts at $1499
15-Inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
- 15.5 mm thick
- 20% less volume than previous generation
- 4 pounds
- 2.3x faster graphics
- 130% faster 3D graphics performance
- 60% faster gaming performance
- Can power 2 5K displays
- Starts at $2399
MacBook Pro Displays
- 67% brighter
- 67% higher contrast ratio
- 25% more colors
MacBook Pro Bodies
- 2x larger trackpad
- 2nd-generation butterfly switches
- 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 13-inch and 15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros
- 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 13-inch MacBook Pro
- 400 million have "viewed and enjoyed" Memories on iPhone
- 60% of iOS users are on iOS 10, with 32% on iOS 9
- Currently, there are over 1600 apps from video content providers on Apple TV
- There are over 8000 Apple TV apps in the App Store
- This is the 25th anniversary of Apple's first notebook, the PowerBook
You can also follow all of the MacStories coverage of today's Apple's keynote through our October 27 Keynote hub , or subscribe to the dedicated October 27 Keynote RSS feed.
PDF Expert launched on the Mac last November, and in my initial review I was pretty effusive, impressed at the level of functionality, polish, and speed for an initial release. At the time I even called it "a better Preview for PDFs", and had made PDF Expert the default application for viewing PDFs on my Mac. Nine months later, and it all still rings true. Better yet, Readdle is today launching a big version 2 update for PDF Expert which makes it an even better and more powerful app. Now you can now edit text, images, and outlines in PDFs, as well as password-protect your PDFs in PDF Expert 2.
Mac Power Users co-host David Sparks has released his latest MacSparky publication:
The Hazel Video Field Guide. Hazel is one of my favorite automation tools, and was recently updated to version 4. I bought it before I even downloaded the new version. That’s how great of a tool it is.
As David says: “The thing I love about Hazel is the way it can turn mere mortals into automation gods. Anybody can do this. You don't need a lick of programming knowledge.” He’s right. Hazel is easier than Folder Actions, and a lot more powerful too. If you can write Mail.app rules, you can automate your Mac with Hazel.
But what if you’ve never used Hazel and want to jump right in and learn the best of what it has to offer? That’s where David comes in. In almost 2.5 hours of video, David will walk you through Hazel, showing you everything from the basics to more advanced features using AppleScript. I’ve been using Hazel for years and would call myself a power user, but I learned some new tricks from David in this guide.
Hazel is one of the first utilities that I install when I get a new Mac. Judging from the Noodlesoft forums, there are many people who use Hazel far more heavily than I do, but it is no less important to my Mac setup. By automating what would otherwise be repetitive file management tasks, Hazel helps keep me focused on more important tasks. Today, Hazel 4 was released with new features and refinements that bring new power and convenience to an already exceptional app.
A few weeks ago on the Accidental Tech Podcast, Casey reminded me that it’s possible to customize the icons shown for hard drives. I knew this, but hadn’t done it in a long time. John chided Casey for not continuing this habit, but I felt just as guilty. I enjoy it, it's easy to do, so why not do it?
BitTorrent Sync (or “BTS” for short) is a newer player in the space of personal file syncing compared to Dropbox or Google Drive, but it has some power and flexibility that I have not found anywhere else. Today I want to tell you about the first of what I suspect will eventually be a series of posts about “How I Use BTS” over the coming months.
Apple has today updated its MacBook line with faster processors, an extra hour of battery life and the option to pick a Rose Gold finish. The MacBook now comes with the sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processors that go up to 1.3GHz, with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1GHz. It also now comes with faster PCIe-based flash storage and faster 1866MHz memory.
“MacBook is the thinnest and lightest Mac we have ever made and it’s our vision for the future of the notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are going to love this update to MacBook, with the latest processors, faster graphics, faster flash storage, longer battery life and a beautiful rose gold finish.”
Graphics performance has also been improved by up to 25 percent on the refreshed MacBooks as a result of the inclusion of an Intel HD Graphics 515 card. With the improved battery life, the refreshed MacBook should last up to 10 hours for web browsing and up to 11 hours of movie playback.
US Prices for the MacBook are unchanged and start at $1,299 for a MacBook with a 1.1 GHz Intel Core m3 processor, 8GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage.
The MacBook Air has also received a minor refresh, with 8GB of memory now standard across all configurations of the 13-inch MacBook Air.
You can read Apple's full press release here.