Rumor: Apple to incorporate next-gen ARM-based processor into future Macs to handle low-power functions

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Date: Thursday, February 2nd, 2017, 05:46
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Processors, Rumor, Touch Bar, Touch ID

This is pretty nifty.

Apple is apparently developing an ARM-based chip for its Mac products that would “take on more of the functionality” handled by Intel processors.

In development since last year, the chip, codenamed T310, is said to be similar to the chip used to power the Touch Bar in the new 2016 Macbook Pro. It’s built using ARM technology and will work with the standard Intel processor, handling “Power Nap” low-power mode functionality.

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Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro notebooks banned from some state bar exams, security concern cited

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Date: Wednesday, February 1st, 2017, 05:53
Category: Legal, MacBook Pro, News, security, Touch Bar

If you have a new Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro notebook and are looking to take the bar exam, you might need to leave the notebook behind.

According to an announcement from testing software company ExamSoft, the Touch Bar’s predictive text feature could compromise “exam integrity.”

For law students looking to take the North Carolina bar exam, test proctors have been instructed to keep a look out for models with the Touch Bar and technicians will be on hand to ensure the feature is disabled. Test takers will be approved to use the laptops provided they followed ExamSoft’s helpful instructions for reverting the Touch Bar back to a row of standard function keys.

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Apple releases macOS Sierra 10.12.3 update

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Date: Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, 05:56
Category: macOS, News, Sierra, Software, Touch Bar

It’s not a huge update, but it might help out a bit.

On Monday, Apple released macOS Sierra 10.12.3, the newest version of its macOS 10.12 operating system.

The update, which weighs in as a 1.05 gigabyte download via the App Store, adds the following fixes and changes:

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Consumer Reports retests 2016 MacBook Pro, now recommends the notebooks

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Date: Friday, January 13th, 2017, 05:17
Category: battery, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, Touch Bar

Following a retest, Consumer Reports has given the 2016 MacBook Pro its recommendation.

The change comes after retests wherein the publication and Apple worked together. fter becoming aware of a Safari bug that may have impacted results, Consumer Reports recently started retesting on a newer build of macOS Sierra in which the bug was supposedly fixed.

Following the original tests, Consumer Reports cited that the notebook’s battery life was too varied to recommend the machines. Apple argued the point as well as the fact that the specific tests CR had run they uncovered an “obscure and intermittent” bug within Safari.

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Apple’s market share grows in Q4 2016 following launch of MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

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Date: Thursday, January 12th, 2017, 05:57
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, retail, Uncategorized

Apple apparently gained some market share in the fourth quarter of 2016 thanks to the refreshed MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar built in.

The latest data from research firms Gartner and IDC show Apple gaining ground in the PC industry, despite the market continuing to slow as a whole. IDC’s new data shows that 70.2 million PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016, marking a 1.5 percent year-on-year decline, but showing a continued stabilization of the market.

For the year, IDC says that PC shipments hit 260 million, down 5.7 percent compared to 2015. Worldwide, Apple saw its marketshare rise from 7.4 percent in Q4 2015 to 7.5 percent, though overall shipments fell by .9 percent for the year as a whole. Overall, Apple ranks as the fourth largest PC vendor worldwide, with Lenovo coming in at the top, followed by HP and Dell.

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Apple, Consumer Reports find smoking gun that caused variable life in initial review

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Date: Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, 05:41
Category: battery, Developer, Hardware, MacBook Pro, News

Apple and Consumer Reports may have figured out what caused the poor battery test results that Consumer Reports highlighted during its review.

On Tuesday, both companies released reports stating that a developer setting had been activated that typical users don’t use during testing, and also that the same setting has a bug that affects performance.

In its review of the MacBook Pro, Consumer Reports said its battery life test results varied wildly, from 4 hours to 19 hours. Consumer Reports explained on its website that its notebook battery tests do not necessarily reflect real-world usage; instead, tests are designed to be consistent across different notebook for comparison’s sake. In the case of the MacBook Pro, Consumer Reports’ battery tests uses Safari in Developer mode, which is not the default setting.

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MacBook Pro, backpack may have saved passenger’s life in Fort Lauderdale shooting spree

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Date: Friday, January 6th, 2017, 22:38
Category: MacBook Pro, News

A MacBook Pro inside a backpack might have saved a passenger’s life in the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting this afternoon that left five dead and eight wounded.

“The backpack saved my life,” Steve Frappier said, speaking on CNN’s “AC360.” “[I] dropped and the backpack was still on my back and I was turned in such a way where that at one point when the shooter shot toward my direction … there was a bullet that ricocheted.”

Frappier, who described himself as sheltered on the ground “like a tortoise with the packpack on me” when the bullet struck, said the bullet ricocheted around the backpack and the notebook.

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Intel announces new Kaby Lake processors, upgraded Macs likely in 2017

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Date: Wednesday, January 4th, 2017, 05:34
Category: Hardware, iMac, Intel, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, News, Processors

Over at CES, Intel formally announced its full lineup of 7th-generation Intel Core processors, known as Kaby Lake. Kaby Lake low-power Y-Series and U-Series processors were announced in late August, but today’s unveiling covers notebook and desktop chips that could be destined for many future Apple Macs.

The new processors are built using the “14nm+” process and introduce new optimizations as compared to the previous 14nm Broadwell and Skylake chips.

The company has cited that “Kaby Lake” will bring “double digit productivity performance increases” of up to 20 percent for gaming notebooks and 25 percent for desktops, compared to 2013 Haswell chips from Intel’s prior release cycle. With 4K and 360 degree content, customers can expect up to 65 percent faster performance on notebooks. Enhanced security, a new media engine, and improvements in VR and gaming are all advertised features.

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Apple to give away Product (RED) Beats Solo3 headphones in select Asian markets as part of Chinese New Year promotion

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Date: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017, 05:19
Category: Hardware, News, retail

If you’re in the Asian markets, this could be nifty.

As part of upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, Apple on Monday announced customers in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore will receive a pair of Beats Solo3 wireless headphones with the purchase of select Mac and iPhone products as part of a one-day sale.

The sale offers a Product (RED) variety of the headphones, the color red specializing good luck and prosperity in many Asian cultures, and is a common sight around the new year.

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MacBook Pro 2016 Review – It’s going back (Updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2016, 15:41
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, Review, Uncategorized

My 2016 MacBook Pro is going back.

I can’t think of the last time I returned a new Mac. I’m a textbook early adopter and have always purchased new Macs (especially notebooks) day and date when they come out.

Like most Mac users on the planet, I eagerly awaited Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro refresh – 500 days in the making. I chose the 13-inch MacBook Pro (over the larger, 15-inch) to replace an aging MacBook Air 13-inch in my fleet.

I ordered mine (MBP 13.3 Space Gray, 256GB, S3136LL/A) on October 27, 2016 and it arrived on November 18, 2016.

My use case

Laptops, like mobile phones, are extremely personal devices. Your mileage will vary.

My 13-inch MBP is primarily for use on my lap. I have a large monitor/keyboard/mouse setup (when I need it) at home and work, so I don’t need the largest screen possible on my laptop.

I also use it on the couch, in my recliner, at the kitchen table, coffee shop, shuttle bus, airplane, train, and Uber. I value light weight over tons of ports. I prefer the 13-inch model over the 15-inch because I commute by bicycle and the 13-inch weighs a pound less:

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch – 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
  • MacBook Pro 15-inch – 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)

While not quite my “weekend/vacation” laptop (the minimalist MacBook 12-inch would be better there), my MBP13 isn’t my workhorse/power user Mac either (I need discrete graphics for that), so it’s somewhere in between. I’m looking for a MacBook with a better screen to replace my MacBook Air 13-inch.

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