The MacValley blog
Welcome to the MacValley blog, your first stop for all the latest MacValley news and views.
The MacValley blog
Editor: Tom Briant
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Apple — New Products — Full Announcement
New version iOS 10.1
New Watch OS 3
New Nike Plus version of the Apple Watch
New version of Apple TV
New Macbook Pro (26 minutes into the video — if you want to skip the other stuff)
Three models of new MacBook Pro, including prices — 75 to 79 minutes into the video.
MacBook Pro Review: The Air Apparent
I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The good news: Apple has finally updated its Pro laptop line with some genuinely new and powerful options.
The bad news? Apple isn’t just giving, it’s also taking away.
The new MacBook Pro is precision engineering at its absolute finest.
I wrote this entire review on the 2016 MacBook Pro and I frankly don’t want to go back to typing on my Air. It’s a universally better experience.
The absolute biggest upgrade is the display. The new Pro’s 2560 x 1600 display is gorgeous, from literally any angle, and it matches the wider color gamut of the latest iPhone 7 models and Apple’s 5K iMac.
It has a much more powerful processor and smoother graphics to go along with a significantly improved keyboard and a titanic trackpad.
While the display, build quality, and looks of the new MacBook Pro are beyond reproach, they’re no longer beyond the competition.
First Look: The no-Touch Bar MacBook Pro still delivers speed, style
For price-conscious buyers, this model still represents a good choice.
At $1,499, the base model's price lines up well in Apple's notebook strategy, as it costs a couple of hundred dollars more than the MacBook, and it's $300 less than the cheapest MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar.
Interesting list of pros and cons.
Hands on: MacBook Pro review
To say the new MacBook Pro is a massive improvement over the previous model would be an understatement. It's more portable and more powerful, not to mention more enjoyable to use. But it's tough to justify the premium for that Touch Bar, no matter how cool it is.
AW comment: The video in this article merely repeats Apple info.
This article includes a price list for all three of the new MacBook Pro models.
Apple’s new MacBook Pro is expertly timed
It takes skill to pick the right new technology just as it’s becoming economically viable.
Example: Just when larger capacitive touchscreens were becoming viable, Apple struck. That’s as true of the iPhone in 2007 as it is of the iPad in 2010.
There’s no doubt that Apple deliberately shifted its schedule so that its downbeat earnings call could get buried in enthusiastic coverage of the MacBook Pro with a shiny new touch strip.
New MacBook Pro Hands-on: Touch Bar Is NOT a Gimmick
The MacBook Pro is supposed to be for serious work, but the new Touch Bar is a lot of fun. Actually, it's a lot more than that. After spending just 20 minutes with the new 13-inch ($1,799) and 15-inch ($2,399) models, I've found it be a real time-saver.
Apple MacBook Pro (2016) hands-on review
It’s been four long years since the MacBook Pro saw a major update, and even that one - the Retina Display - was seen as very overdue when it arrived.
It’s going to take some mental recalibration to get used to the new Touch Bar controls, but my first impressions are that once you do, you’ll notice a genuine increase in overall productivity.
The Force Touch trackpad is also way larger than that of the previous model, so gesture controls don’t have to be cramped affairs. In fact, the new MacBook Pro is probably going to be the first MacBook you can comfortably use without having to reach for a mouse just because you feel restricted.
The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar Solves a Nonexistent Problem
The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar is a pathetic stopgap to having a full touch screen, but fanboys will probably love it.
AW comment: The author of this article has been one of Apple’s most annoying critics for decades.
Apple cuts USB-C adapter prices in response to MacBook Pro complaints
Apple is cutting prices for all of its USB-C adapters following a week of complaints about the MacBook Pro’s inconvenient port situation.
The new MacBook Pro only has USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 ports, so the vast majority of the peripherals people use today will need adapters to work. Someday, all those devices will likely use USB-C, but that day is not today and the Pro users interested in Apple’s new computers have been vocal about the problem.
Apple provides a soft(er) landing for MacBook Pro buyers with deep discounts on peripherals and dongles
Apple is addressing the sudden and wide inexplicable fear of dongles driven by the MacBook Pro’s USB-C only approach with a store-wide discount on adapters.
The discounts range from 20%-40% on a variety of Apple and third-party products from both Apple’s online and retail stores.
Apple is ditching its iconic startup chime with the new MacBook Pro
While the Apple product line has changed drastically since 1998, there’s one thing that has remained the same: the chime that signals that your computer is booting up. But with the new MacBook Pro, the distinctive, F-sharp major startup chime is no more.
Using iMac As Monitor Requires Very Specific Cable
To use the new 27-inch iMac as an external monitor requires a very specific cable to work: a Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable, to be exact.
It does not work with a HDMI cable or a DVI cable, even when they are strung between a pair of Apple-branded Mini DisplayPort adapters.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about the issue on the web and even at Apple’s retail stores.
Apple’s Future HQ — November Update
Apple’s Future HQ — Official Video
10 paid iPhone apps on sale for free for a limited time
10 hidden iPhone gestures you probably don’t know about
Is Jailbreaking My New Apple iPhone 7 a Good Idea?
Well, that’s a tricky question to answer. We will list a few advantages followed by some disadvantages.
One thing is for sure, if you care for security and privacy more than anything else, you’d definitely want to stay away from jailbreaking your iPhone.
AW comment: For most people, jailbreaking is more trouble than it’s worth.
But if you’re a nerd, it may be worthwhile.
Here’s a video of an iPhone being jail-broken, presumably by the person(s) who wrote the software.
That software has not been publicly released, so you can’t jailbreak your iPhone yet.
And it’s anyone’s guess when (or even if) it will be released.
Apple takes more than 100 percent of smartphone profits after Samsung's Galaxy recall
A new estimate shows Apple took 103.6 percent of the profits from all smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2016.
How is that even possible, you might be wondering? Well, the fact that the smartphone industry continues to operate largely at a loss means that Apple can manage to capture profits beyond the 100 percent mark.
Forget market share, Apple’s iPhone is still making the most money by far
“Tim Long estimates that Apple accounted for 103.6% of smartphone industry operating profits in the third quarter,” Investor’s Business Daily reports.”Its share is over 100% because other vendors lost money in the business, resulting in Apple having more smartphone profit than the industry netted overall. In the year-earlier period, Apple grabbed 90% of smartphone profits, Long said in a research report Thursday.”
If Android manufacturers are still struggling to turn a profit when they’re dominating from a marketshare perspective, one has to wonder if any company will ever be able to come close to catching up to Apple.
Microsoft Designed the Touch Bar Long Before Apple's MacBook Pro
Microsoft started developing the technology, but later stopped in 2009.
The reason? Microsoft didn’t sell computers then.
Now, though, Microsoft is decidedly in the hardware game,and many say the company’s Surface event last month overshadowed Apple’s Mac show.
MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar tech was a Microsoft idea first
Apple might have just gotten to the Touch Bar with its new MacBook Pro, but according to a new report, Microsoft was working on similar adaptive keyboard technology as early as 1999.
Ultimately, the job of the successful tech company is not just to be first with a particular idea, but to implement it in a way that makes sense at a time that fits with user requirements.
Why I like Windows 10 a lot more than the latest, greatest Apple MacOS
Apple’s recipe for success has become boring
Apple had long been a tech design keystone in both hardware (predominantly) and software (more or less), but seeing what Google was aiming at made Apple’s new software approach seem childish to my eyes.
And, beware: I say ‘childish’ not because of its execution — an entirely different matter — but rather in its scope. From that moment on I started reading about this upcoming post-mobile “cross war” between the two behemoths: is Google going to become good at design before Apple nails services? Almost 30 months later, I honestly feel like the answer to that question is yes.
Microsoft has also gotten much more aggressive at Apple’s own hardware game, in fact: look at Surface. They may have not cracked it with the first iterations — or, arguably, yet — but the Pro 3 and Pro 4 are fantastic devices. Bold, ambitious, beautiful and new, dare I say. Rings a bell?
I feel like Apple has, at least partially, lost its way.
Has Apple become boring?
Two authors debate.
We put Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana through a marathon of tests to see who's winning the virtual assistant race — here's what we found
None of them are at a place we could comfortably call "good." There is a ton of work to be done.
The problems here are large and sweeping.
All that said, if I had to take one, I'll give Google Assistant the slight edge.
How smartphone light affects your brain and body
The light from a smartphone has a similar effect to the sight of the morning sun, which causes the brain to stop producing melatonin, a hormone that gives your body "time to sleep" cues.
This can lead to sleep problems and even health problems.
Facebook is finally getting serious about its ‘Snapchat problem’
Snapchat represents an existential threat to Facebook because it has managed to redefine how people share through photos and videos. While Facebook has become an essential utility for connecting people, Snapchat has popularized a new way of communicating that's highly visual, ephemeral, and fun.
If it's too late for Facebook to own Snapchat, then it's going to do the next best thing: copy it.
Federal officials approved broad new privacy ruleson Thursday that prevent companies like AT&T and Comcast from collecting and giving out digital information about individuals — such as the websites they visited and the apps they used — in a move that creates landmark protections for internet users.
By a 3-to-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission clearly took the side of consumers. The new rules require broadband providers to obtain permission from subscribers to gather and give out data on their web browsing, app use, location and financial information. Currently, broadband providers can track users unless those individuals tell them to stop.
How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth
For years, technologists and other utopians have argued that online news would be a boon to democracy. That has not been the case.
The root of the problem with online news is something that initially sounds great: We have a lot more media to choose from.
Psychologists and other social scientists have repeatedly shown that when confronted with diverse information choices, people rarely act like rational, civic-minded automatons. Instead, we are roiled by preconceptions and biases, and we usually do what feels easiest — we gorge on information that confirms our ideas, and we shun what does not.
We all tend to filter documentary evidence through our own biases.
Today dozens of news outlets routinely fact-check the candidates and much else online, but the endeavor has proved largely ineffective against a tide of fakery.