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Forget The New MacBook Pro, Apple Has Bigger Plans – Forbes

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Updated Tuesday 26th October; article originally posted 23rd October.

Are Apple’s new MacBook Pro really your best choice for a macOS laptop, or does have Tim Cook and his team have something better? 

Update: Tuesday 26th October: While the MacBook Air is not going to come with all of the same hardware features of the latest MacBook Pro laptops (such as the aforementioned fast charging option for the battery), there is one area when the MacBook Air will have parity with the latest and greatest MacBook Pro features. The operating system.

As the week started, Apple released macOS 12, known as macOS Monterey. The MacBook Pro ships with this version of the OS. In addition to that, the OS is available to install on a wider range of Mac hardware, including the M1-powered MacBook Air currently on sale for $999… almost half the price of the entry-level 14-inch MacBook Pro.

And macOS Monterey is no slouch. Juli Clover picks out some of the highlights over on MacRumors, such as the enhanced AirPlay options which brings your iPhone and iPad closer to the desk-bound Macs:

“With enhanced AirPlay support on the Mac, content from an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌ can be AirPlayed to the display of a Mac, something that wasn’t possible before. ‌AirPlay‌ to Mac also works with Mac-to-Mac transfers so you can display one Mac’s screen on another.”

All of those key software features (and more) are available on 2020’s MacBook Air right now. They’ll be found in the box with the upcoming MacBook Air in 2022. If the new Pro software is catching your eye, but the price is too steep, then Apple has already rolled the changes into a much better choice for you. The MacBook Pro is just one part of a much larger plan.

Update: Monday 25th October: Last week’s MacBook Pro is not the only new macBook laptop under development. With a new MacBook Air expected early next year, there’s a lot to consider, especially when you look at the specs Apple will be offering. The details on the new hardware come from noted Apple watcher DylanDK on Twitter:

“The upcoming MacBook (Air) will release in the middle of 2022. It will have MagSafe, a 1080p webcam, USB C ports, a 30W power adapter, and no fans. There will be color options similar to the iMac 24. The bezels and keyboard will be an off white with full sized function keys.”

While these details don’t quite match up to the advertised features on the new MacBook Pro laptops announced last week, there are some important points to note. The first is that the Touch Bar is definitely being scrubbed from the MacBook platform. With the return to function keys, the MacBook Air keyboard is, like the MacBook Pro, returning to the 2015 layout.

The 30W adaptor suggests that fast charging will not be available in the box, although as we’ve seen with the MacBook Pro, Apple is quite happy to charge you $150 for a fast charger for the Pro. Maybe the same will be true of the MacBook Air.

Finally we have the note on the color, with the MacBook Air set to follow the pastel shades of the iMac, which in turn echoed the vibrant colors of the iBook. Of course there’s one other design cue that’s going to make it over, and Jon Prosser, along with RendersByIan, has the concept imagery showing the full awkward glory of a MacBook Air with a notched screen.

While the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro designs certainly update the macOS platform, Apple has focused on creating a machine better suited for professionals needing power and flexibility – the “Pro” moniker feels relevant again. More than ever, these high-end laptops are not for everyone. Put aside the “new and shiny” thoughts and you’ll find some better choices in Apple’s portfolio for an all-rounder macOS laptop.

First up is the price. The entry level 14-inch MacBook Pro comes in at $1999 plus tax for the model with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage. As always you can bump up both the processor speed and the processor architecture (from the M1 Pro to the M1 Max), the available memory, and available storage. Max out all your options and you are looking at $5,899 with M1 Max and 32-core GPU, 64 GB of RAM and 8 TB of storage.

Keep that in mind, because these MacBook Pro laptops are very much targeted towards users who need an excess of power – media professionals and developers being two of the markets. They are going to look at those base specs and think “nope, I need more”.

If you’re looking at those specs and thinking they are more than enough for the job you want, then perhaps the new MacBook Pro hardware is simply overpowered. The current M1 powered MacBook Air, with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage comes in at $1,399. Is the extra inch of screen and spare headroom in the processor worth $600? 

You also should think about the future of the MacBook Air.

Information from the supply chain suggests that the new design and technology in the MacBook Pro – most notably the miniLED screen with the curious choice of a notch – is destined for next year’s MacBook Air. Given Apple’s historic trend of keeping the ‘first’ MacBook in the portfolio at $999, I’d expect the next Air, with all the design benefits (and the notch) in the MacBook Pro to match that price.

Don’t forget just how accomplished the M1 powered MacBook Air has been. It has been more than enough for an army of early adopters, even in the entry level 8 GB RAM 256 GB storage version. Now take that, add in the new features on show in the MacBook Pro, and’ve got yourself a combination that feels perfectly suited for the consumer market.

Finally, on a more practical front, the new MacBook Pro laptops are already listed as being on backorder (ie out of stock) for up to six weeks. You already have a built in buffer to take your time and carefully consider if the new MacBook Pro laptops are right for you.

If you don’t need the excessive levels of power, if you are looking for a more affordable MacBook laptop, and if you need a new MacBook right now, the MacBook Pro is not for you. Whether you go with the current MacBook Air, or wait to see just how much of the new technology and design shows up in the next-generation Air, the answer is not always to go for a Pro.

Now read about the MacBook Pro’s stramash over SD card, HDMI ports, and fast chargers…

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Twitter is testing a new way to let you add content warnings to posts – The Verge

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Twitter is piloting a new feature that will let users add specific content warnings to individual photos and videos sent out in tweets. The platform noted that the feature would be available to “some” users during the test.

Although Twitter currently has a way to add content warnings to tweets, the only way to do it is to add the warning to all your tweets. In other words, every photo or video you post will have a content warning, regardless of whether it contains sensitive material or not. The new feature it’s testing lets you add the warning to single tweets and apply specific categories to that warning.

As shown in the video that Twitter posted, it appears that when you’re editing an image or video, tapping the flag icon on the bottom right corner of the toolbar lets you add a content warning. The next screen lets you categorize the warning, with choices including “nudity,” “violence,” or “sensitive.” Once you post the tweet, the image or video will appear blurred out, and it’s overlaid with a content warning that explains why you flagged it. Users can click through the warning if they want to view the content.

If you fail to flag content when you post sensitive material, Twitter will — as it has already been doing — rely on user reports to decide whether or not your content should have a warning. In addition to its content warning experiment, Twitter announced yesterday that it’s trying out a “human-first” way to handle the reporting process. Instead of asking the user what rules the tweet is breaking, it will give the user the chance to describe what exactly happened, and based on that response, it will determine a specific violation.

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iOS 15.2 will help you spot third-party iPhone parts – Yahoo Canada Finance

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Apple’s seeming about-face on repairability will soon help you spot less-than-honest iPhone repair shops and part sellers. As Gizmodo notes, Apple has revealed iOS 15.2’s settings will include a “parts and service history” section (under General > About) that indicates not only whether the battery, camera and display have been replaced, but will indicate whether or not they’re officially sanctioned Apple parts. If a component is listed as an “unknown part,” it’s either unofficial, an already-used part from another iPhone or malfunctioning.

Just how much you’ll learn depends on your iPhone model. Anyone using an iPhone XR, XS or second-generation iPhone SE can only tell if the battery has been replaced. You’ll need an iPhone 11 or newer to also find out if there’s a display swap, and an iPhone 12 or later to know if the camera has been replaced. Apple stressed that these alerts won’t prevent you from using your device — you’re fine if you’re comfortable using unofficial parts and losing warranty coverage.

iOS 15.2 currently exists as a release candidate for developers, suggesting the finished version will be available relatively soon. It’s not yet clear if iPad owners will see a corresponding part history feature at some point.

The “unknown part” label might not thrill advocates for third-party component options. Apple clearly wants you to use official parts, and that means either taking it in for authorized service or (in 2022) buying parts from Apple. This might help you catch shops lying about the quality of their parts, though, and could be useful if you repair an iPhone yourself and want to be sure your fixes went smoothly.

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iOS 15.2 will help you spot third-party iPhone parts – Engadget

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Apple’s seeming about-face on repairability will soon help you spot less-than-honest iPhone repair shops and part sellers. As Gizmodo notes, Apple has revealed iOS 15.2’s settings will include a “parts and service history” section (under General > About) that indicates not only whether the battery, camera and display have been replaced, but will indicate whether or not they’re officially sanctioned Apple parts. If a component is listed as an “unknown part,” it’s either unofficial, an already-used part from another iPhone or malfunctioning.

Just how much you’ll learn depends on your iPhone model. Anyone using an iPhone XR, XS or second-generation iPhone SE can only tell if the battery has been replaced. You’ll need an iPhone 11 or newer to also find out if there’s a display swap, and an iPhone 12 or later to know if the camera has been replaced. Apple stressed that these alerts won’t prevent you from using your device — you’re fine if you’re comfortable using unofficial parts and losing warranty coverage.

iOS 15.2 currently exists as a release candidate for developers, suggesting the finished version will be available relatively soon. It’s not yet clear if iPad owners will see a corresponding part history feature at some point.

The “unknown part” label might not thrill advocates for third-party component options. Apple clearly wants you to use official parts, and that means either taking it in for authorized service or (in 2022) buying parts from Apple. This might help you catch shops lying about the quality of their parts, though, and could be useful if you repair an iPhone yourself and want to be sure your fixes went smoothly.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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