Posts

apple

Apple Officially Retires Lighting Charger for iPhones To Adopt USB-C Charging

With the announcement of the iPhone 15 at Apple’s annual keynote conference, the company announced that they are officially retiring the iPhone’s lightning charger to adopt the USB-C charging technology that it has for its other devices.

macbook

Apple Is Reportedly Bringing Touchscreens to MacBooks As Early As 2025

According to a report by Bloomberg, Apple is working on adding OLED touchscreens to MacBooks as early as 2025. In the past, the Cupertino company refrained from adding the feature to its MacBook product line, even as its competitors widely embraced the tablet-computer model.

Bloomberg released the report on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. Apple has added touchscreens to its other products, such as phones, tablets and smartwatches. However, many Apple execs did not support adding the capability to its MacBook line.

At a 2010 apple event, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs expressed that he found the concept of a laptop with a touchscreen tiring for a user.

“We’ve done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn’t work. Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical. It gives a great demo, but after a short period, you start to fatigue, and after an extended period, your arm wants to fall off. It doesn’t work; it’s ergonomically terrible.

Embed from Getty Images

In 2012, his successor as CEO, Tim Cook, ridiculed Microsoft for merging its tablets and laptops, comparing the move to fusing a toaster and a refrigerator.

In 2021, Apple hardware engineering SVP John Ternus said that the company made the “world’s best touch computer on an iPad.”

“It’s totally optimized for that. And the Mac is totally optimized for indirect input. We haven’t really felt a reason to change that.”

Even while it’s unclear whether Apple will release the touchscreen laptop, doing so would help the company meet the changing needs of its customers and boost sales of its Mac computers.

Apple’s defiance of its co-founder’s vision is likely due to the increasing number of competitors providing touchscreen laptops, including Dell, Lenovo, HP, Samsung and Microsoft. 

Tablet and laptop customers can find what they are looking for in several of these brands’ laptops thanks to their 360-degree hinges and multipurpose features.

Embed from Getty Images

Apple had reservations that adding touchscreens to its Mac product line may cut into iPad sales, which declined in previous years.

However, Bloomberg reports that laptop sales have brought in more revenue. Therefore, it is not surprising that Apple has decided to use touchscreens. Interest in Apple computers has been growing due to Apple’s inclusion of its new in-house processor that improved battery life and performance. MacBook revenue increased 14% in Apple’s 2022 fiscal year to $40.1 billion. 

David McQueen, research director at ABI Research, commented that the distinction between high-end iPads and MacBooks is becoming increasingly hazy thanks to new chips, battery life, and thinner designs. 

By using an Apple Pencil with a 12.9-inch iPad Pro attached to a Magic Keyboard, there is “not much to tell it apart from a laptop experience,” according to McQueen.

“The market has embraced 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrids, and maybe now Apple sees the rationale for also adding one to its armory.”

Apple Logo

Apple Reveals New 14″ and 16″ MacBooks, AirPods, And Music Streaming Plan

On Monday, Apple held their “Unleashed” virtual event, and unveiled a number of new and updated products. The belle of the ball was the new MacBook Pro laptops that use M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which the company couldn’t help but fluster over.

According to Apple, the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips help by providing more CPU and GPU cores, faster graphic processing, increased memory bandwidth and unified memory, and are a major step up from Apple chips.

The MacBooks will come in two screen sizes – 14-inch, which will retail for about $1,999; and 16-inch, which will retail for a hefty $2,499. Those are incredible jumps up from previous versions, such as the MacBook Pro 13″ ($1,299) and the MacBook Air ($999).

The MacBooks see increases in features such as battery life (21 hours, which is disappointingly only up one hour from the MacBook Pro 13″) and graphics. They will also have denser screens, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot – which many are happy to see return. The MacBooks will also utilize a MagSafe magnetic connecter.

Embed from Getty Images

Apple also made several additions to the keyboard. TouchID has a ring that allows for easier unlocking, and the power button will have a fingerprint sensor. Webcam capabilities have also been dialed up a notch, with an 1080p FaceTime camera, far superior to the 13″‘s 720p scopes.

However, those who are prone to drops, beware: the laptops will be heavier than previous versions, with the 14-inch coming in at 3.5 pounds and the 16-inch weighing 4.7 pounds.

Apple’s third-generation AirPods will go for around $179 – $50 more than their second-generation AirPods, but still $70 less than the AirPod Pros. The AirPods (which also utilize MagSafe along with the case) are sweat and water resistant, have greater battery life than prior versions, and possess “spatial audio.”

As NBC News notes, Apple’s add-ons, such as the AirPods, have since become some of the tech titan’s biggest holiday sellers – which could be a solid reason for Apple junkies to pre-order them now in order to avoid any potential shortages.

The AirPods, like the MacBooks, are now available to pre-order and will be made available in-store starting on Oct. 26.

Apple also announced a $4.99 monthly subscription for Apple Music titled “Voice Plan.” That makes it $5 less than either Apple’s regular music subscription plan or Spotify’s subscription cost. However, as with anything cheaper, there are limitations. CNBC reported that users can only access the “Voice Plan” through Siri, and that it doesn’t have spatial audio.

Embed from Getty Images

According to Digital Music News, in a survey that was conducted in Jan. 2021, the most popular streaming platform among all U.S. adult age demographics was YouTube, with Spotify decently behind in second (the only category that possessed a close margin between YouTube and Spotify was adults 18-34).

Meanwhile, Apple Music sat in fifth place among all demographics, while not standing out in any particular bracket, either. Perhaps the lower-cost plan could help them make up some ground in the music streaming industry.

Apple’s $99 HomePod Mini speaker (An Alexa-style device), which was unveiled around this time last year, will now come in new colors – orange, blue, and yellow. The new editions will be made available sometime in November.

Previously, the only colors the HomePod Mini speaker came in were white and dark grey. This continues Apple’s age-old tactic of re-releasing older products in newer colors.

Last year, Apple obliterated Wall Street estimates for their holiday 2020 quarter. They fetched a record total of $111.4 billion, well above the projections of $103.3 billion. That was also up 21% from the same quarter in 2019. Suffice to say, it’s not unreasonable to expect Apple to once again break the bank.

Apple MacBook

Apple Releases New 16 Inch MacBook Pro

Apple is known as one of the top tech companies on the planet. Every year they attempt, and often succeed, at topping themselves from the year prior in terms of personal device innovation. iPhone’s become thinner, and contain the most powerful camera in any cell phone on the market, AirPods have become a trailblazer in terms of wireless headphone technology, and now the coveted MacBook Pro is becoming the largest personal computer the company has ever made. Standing in at a whopping 16 inches in length, and 4.3 pounds in weight, it surely is the Andre The Giant of the laptop world. 

Besides the obvious size change, the one thing tech geeks all across the globe were looking at in this annual computer upgrade was at the keyboard design. Within the past few MacBook models, Apple has implemented a newer and sleeker “butterfly keyboard” design. The name refers to the way in which the keys sit in the keyboard themselves. Standard laptop keys tend to have a little bit of a raise above the keyboard surface, which results in a more powerful and loud “click” as you type. Recently, Apple made their MacBook’s with the “butterfly” design, which refers to the way in which the underside of the keys actually sit more in the keyboard itself, as opposed to resting above it like in standard models. The concept of this design allows for a much thinner keyboard look, less of a loud click, and an overall smoother typing experience. However, individuals were quick to renounce Apple for this choice, as butterfly keyboard designs have been scrutinized in the past based on how easily dust or food particles can get stuck under the keys, making it quite difficult to actually type, and Apple’s design was no different. So when the company announced the new 16 inch giants would revert back to a more standard keyboard design, tech enthusiasts were thrilled. 

Embed from Getty Images

Besides these upgrades in size and keyboard stamina, the laptop also now contains a 100WH battery which Apple claims will give you up to 11 hours of non stop use. The battery itself is also the Federal Aviation Administration’s limit for laptops that are allowed on planes, according to the Verge. Tech expert reviewer Dieter Bohn also discussed how the speakers on this massive laptop are the best Apple has ever done with their computer’s sound systems. 

“The 16-inch MacBook Pro can maintain higher speeds than before and, I think, more importantly, it does so consistently. That all happens, thanks to some design changes that Apple made: it added a larger heat sink, changed the fan design to move more air, made the whole thing slightly thicker, and even rearranged the logic board to optimize for heat dispersal. Apple claims that all of these changes allow it to push 12W more power though the processor under load,” said Bohn

Embed from Getty Images

The laptop itself is also an obvious giant. This is important for anyone to note on the market for a new laptop. The new large design allows for a slightly bigger high definition screen resolution, quality “surround sound” esque speaker performance, and improved keyboard layout and design. The speakers themselves are claimed to be the best laptop speakers on the market currently (Verge). However, that improved sound does mean that it is rather heavier than previous models, and if you think the extra inch of surface area would make a difference in terms of travel, compared to last years model, you’d be correct. If you’re the type of commuter who travels with their commuters in their backpack every day, you’re more than likely to get used to the extra weight, however, should you have to? Especially for a more expensive price. 

The new MacBook Pro starts at $2,400. For reference the much smaller 11 inch MacBook Air starts at $1100, and the standard 13 inch MacBook Pro starts at $1300. That’s one thousand dollars more for an extra three inches of screen space. The new Pro is larger, contains amazing sound quality, a more traditional keyboard design, and all the other perks of a standard current Apple laptop. It truly is up to the individual buyer and their intended use for the computer to determine if that would actually be worth it or not.