Tag Archives: Mac

I Need a New Mac and Apple Doesn’t Want to Sell Me One

My MacBook Pro is over 7 years old now. I’m a software engineer, and I like to do my own design work for small projects. I’m also a fan of photography, and need a machine powerful enough to process large images. I even occasionally make and edit videos. Basically, I desperately need a new, far more powerful, computer. Through upgrades, my 7 year old machine has gotten upgraded memory and a solid state drive, which is why it’s been able to stay relevant for so long. But now it’s too old to keep up, the processor has been pushed to its limits, and even with more memory and a faster drive, it’s finally starting to feel sluggish. Software demands have finally outpaced what I was able to do for this plucky little machine. What do I replace it with? What could last me 5-6 years and provide the power I need? Can it also be portable?

No, not if I want to buy any of Apple’s disappointing computers.

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Pro iMac Coming Soon, Won’t be a Touchscreen iMac with Apple Pencil Support.

Apple should make a touchscreen iMac and a professional display with Apple Pencil support, that’s a fact. The demand for such products is high, with most design professionals purchasing Wacom tablets and displays to use with their Macs, making the iMac obsolete for designers. If Apple’s iMac came with Apple Pencil support, the computer could take on not only Wacom, but Microsoft’s Surface Studio as well. Apple’s also working on an in-house professional display for their Mac Pro and other Mac computers. This display would be a perfect candidate for Apple Pencil support, which would give serious design and video professionals the touchscreen precision that is currently only found on Apple’s iPad Pro tablets. But, just as Apple has resisted creating any truly professional hardware until the outcry became deafening, so too have they ignored requests for precision and design focused hardware. There is some good news though. While we’ll have to wait at least a year for the new Mac Pro, we won’t have to wait as long for a professional focused iMac, even if it won’t be exactly what we’re clamoring for. Apple has pledged to release an iMac made for professionals, and we can likely expect it by the end of the year. 
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Apple Redesigning the Mac Pro

Photo Source: MacWorld

The cylindrical Mac Pro was revealed in 2013, and has only received one recent minor update since, and not one that brings it up to more modern desktop computers, but not quite at the forefront of technology. This has lead professional Mac users to abandon the platform for Windows PCs, build hackintoshes, or wait patiently without buying anything. These options are obviously not preferred by Apple, but what could they expect? The iMac, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro fall short of professional expectations, and the Mac Pro is just too old and too expensive. Apple heard the criticisms levied against them since the release of the unimpressive MacBook Pro, and actually decided to do something about it. They changed course and began working on a more modular Mac Pro, one that would be easier to upgrade, a more traditional Mac Pro, like the PowerMacs and Mac Pro tower that came before it. Perhaps strangest of all, this isn’t a rumor. Apple’s own Phil Schiller described the upcoming Mac Pro upgrade himself, and even promised a new display to go with it. 

“We are completely rethinking the Mac Pro. Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now.”

-Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller.

It seems Apple has finally realized that professionals want computing power, upgradeability, and repairability above all other things, a modular system with power. 
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Apple is Fighting ‘Right to Repair’ Laws

The inside of a 2016 MacBook Pro

Image credit: iFixit

When Donald Trump tried to ban Muslim immigrants from 7 countries from entering the United States, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was quick to speak out against it. Apple was also there at Pride last year and the year before, holding their rainbow Apple banner high. Cook has stated that Apple will never become a place where discrimination is acceptable, no matter what the laws in the U.S. look like in a few years. However, there’s one place where they’re against consumers’ rights, and that’s the right to repair their equipment themselves or wherever they’d like. Apple wants to force users to come to them for repairs, and doesn’t want them upgrading their devices. Their extremely slim iOS devices, and Macs with soldered and glued parts are proof that, even if Apple doesn’t get to keep the right to force customers to come to them, they won’t easily or reasonably be able to do anything else with their devices anyway.
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Apple’s New iPad Pro Ads Feel Like a Blast from the Past

For a while in the mid 2000’s, Apple commercials had some serious bite. Apple had just switched to Intel processors in their Macs and released revolutionary new Macs. The commercials tore apart Windows PCs for being bulky, boring, uninspired, and virus-ridden. Apple revealed four new iPad Pro ads that show ways the iPad Pro beats traditional PCs, and, one could argue, even how the iPad Pro is a better computer for most people, instead of a traditional Mac. 

Of course, since Apple hasn’t updated their Mac desktops in years, and has had some disappointing MacBook updates, so it’s not hard to see how the iPad Pro could compete with a Mac. Perhaps this is a sign that Apple doesn’t want to. Check out the rest of Apple’s new ads below, which seem to bring some humor back into Apple’s commercials. 
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Apple CEO Says New Mac Desktops on the Way

Seven years is a long time in tech, but my MacBook Pro will soon be 7 years old. It’s not too bad, thanks to some RAM upgrades and a solid state drive, but it’s certainly nowhere near the performance of even Apple’s low-end MacBook Pros. I had been considering getting a new one in 2017, maybe in 2018, if I can’t budget it this coming year. However, while the new MacBook Pro has a surprisingly delightful keyboard and the Touch Bar is a fun toy, the new MacBook Pro just isn’t for me. It can’t be upgraded or serviced and I don’t have a single USB-C item. Instead, I have items that use USB-A, Firewire 800, SD cards, Ethernet ports, Display Ports, and surely more. If I got a portable computer, I’d want it to be actually portable, not require a few dongles just to hook up to my iPhone on the train, my camera in the park, or my monitor at work. I don’t want to need a dongle or two just to connect a mouse and keyboard, for crying out loud. So, I began thinking about my needs. The iPad supports RAW photos now, so I can use that in the field for photography. I can manage emails, Jenkins servers, review GitHub, and even SSH from my iPad, so I can do some work. Perhaps what I need is a desktop.

But looking at desktop Mac computers is also a disappointing journey. 

Right now, the “best” Mac would likely be the 5k iMac. That computer, however, is already over a year old. The usual Mac powerhouse, the Mac Pro, is over 1,000 days old. The inexpensive Mac Mini? Almost 800 days old. These are devices that should be updated yearly, if not twice a year, but here they are, gathering dust on Apple’s shelves. 

As a Mac fan, I was beginning to lose hope. Would Apple never again make a computer that’s for me? Maybe you’ve been worried about the same thing. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, may be able to put those fears to rest. 
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The Mac App Store is Full of Scams

Most of these are nothing close to what you were looking for. Many are scams.

Yesterday, I wrote about Facebook’s efforts to control their fake news epidemic. Today, that theme continues (apparently). Apple, like Facebook, needs to regain control of their App Store. Due to the nature of the Mac App Store, many developers simply can’t have their apps on the store or do not want to sell their apps through Apple’s store. There are many reasons for this, the sandboxing restrictions placed on apps, subscription costs, or expensive apps that would have to give 30% to Apple. App developers have to raise prices to make a profit on App Store sales, and they end up seeing fewer customers. Basically, except for small apps, indie developers, and apps that fit within Apple’s strict guidelines, the Mac App Store isn’t a good way to distribute apps. Still, customers often look to the Mac App Store for apps before searching elsewhere online, and, as a result, they often find an app category that Apple has somehow allowed on the store: scams. A search for popular applications like the Adobe Creative Suite or Microsoft Office means finding apps that pretend to do the function of these apps, but are actually template packs, themes, filters, or some other “extension” that really isn’t what the customer was looking for. 

The sad thing is, if Apple gets rid of their scam apps, they may have only a diminutive number of real apps left, and Apple takes a 30% cut of every scam. They might not eliminate scams for some time. Here’s how you can protect yourself. 
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