My new Apple Watch finally made it onto my wrist yesterday. I’m going straight from a steel Series 0 in Space Black to the aluminium Nike+ 44 mm in Space Grey, so this is going to be a huge jump in terms of… everything basically. I’ve only been using the new one for a few hours, but here are a few quick notes on the things I’ve already noticed…
I was hopeful for new iPads at this event but given how big of an impression the Apple Watch Series 4 made on me, I’m not feeling let down. I will, however, complain about the prices because I consider them to be absurd. Not by much but nevertheless… absurd.
As expected, the #ThrottleGate controversy is being looked into by anyone who has their hands on the new MacBook Pros.
John Poole on Geekbench’s blog, running a CPU-only test:
Why does this test not replicate the throttling seen in other tests? Part of the issue is the test themselves. Premiere uses both the CPU and the GPU, while Geekbench only uses the CPU.
The i7 ran at an average 3.0-3.1 GHz, which is above the CPUs base 2.6 GHz frequency, but below the advertised 4.0 GHz Turbo Boost for 6 cores. So is it throttling or is the test just not maximizing load on the CPU?
Jeff Benjamin, for 9to5Mac, ran a test based on Final Cut Pro X:
Leaving the Core-i9 configured as default, I exported the video in 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Throttling was definitely noticeable during the export, as you can see from the following chart created from Intel Power Gadget log data.
Curiously, when he set the CPU to utilize only four cores, it was faster than when using all six.
Mike Wuerthele, for AppleInsider, opted for Cinebench 15:
We shifted to a different benchmark for our own series of tests. Using Cinebench 15, we ran 10 total runs on the i9 MacBook Pro.
Immediately after starting the first test, the CPU clock speed shot up to 4.17 GHz. It rapidly drops to 3.86GHz until it hits the chip critical temperature of 100C. It then drops nearly immediately to 2.57GHz and also nearly immediately drops to 84C.
The speed of the processor varied between 2.33GHz and 2.9GHz generally, with one profound dip to 2.02GHz, and then the range drops to a peak of 2.65Ghz.
I think it’s same to assume that all MacBook Pros will throttle under load, especially when both the CPU and GPU are being taxed. A potential solution for this problem is running an eGPU, which should help (in addition to being significantly faster than the one on-board). Surprisingly, an iMac Pro may not solve everyone’s problems when it comes to video editing — it was a slower in 9to5Mac’s test than the MacBook Pro:
Xeon CPUs lack onboard hardware video encoding, dubbed Intel Quick Sync Video. So even though the iMac Pro runs circles around the MacBook Pro from a thermal perspective, it doesn’t really matter in this test.
I received a Surface Book 2 review unit yesterday, in the larger 15-inch size. It has a Core i7, 16 gigs of RAM, a 256 GB SSD, and an NVIDIA GTX 1060, which is more than sufficient for many. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing a full review here but I am very impressed with this machine (if you can read Polish, make sure to take a look over here, for my daily diary).
Apple released the updated MacBook Pros a few days ago, over which I’ve been gathering my thoughts on them. I’ll try to be as objective as possible, but since I don’t believe the future of the Touch Bar or even like it personally, I’ll probably be a bit harsh on some aspects.
Benjamin Mayo detailed Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest report about this year’s iPhones being available in various new colours, akin to what they did with the iPhone 5C with bright greens, yellows, blues, etc. The flagship iPhones have only come in white/silver, black/grey, gold, and rose gold. Oh, and (RED) of course…
My 42 mm Pride Edition woven nylon band arrived today. Naturally I immediately attached it to my Space Black Series 0 Apple Watch and I love it!
I’m currently having another mechanical keyboard phase, looking at the various options out there. I would love a Bluetooth keyboard that I could use with both my Mac and iPad. These are hard to come by and I haven’t found anything if interest, apart from the Matias Laptop Pro. I’m holding off on it because of its substantial height.
This is a LifeZone CLS with lubed 62 gram vintage blacks and I’m completely smitten by its song, as the owner’s hands glide over the keys.
Apple launched a new battery replacement program for the late 2016 13″ MacBook Pros (the ones without the Touch Bar), because it could expand due to the “failure of a component”.
I don’t believe I mentioned this for a while, but I still absolutely adore my late 2016 13″ MacBook Pro Escape1 despite people having problems with the keyboards. The screen is especially gorgeous.
- This is the one without the Touch Bar. I had two of those. I did not like them one bit — the Touch Bar and battery life were the sole reasons for my negative attitude towards them. ↩
I discovered an interesting tidbit regarding setting the HomePod’s volume:
- The buttons on top of the HomePod change the volume in 5% increments on each tap.
- The voice command “Hey Siri, louder / quieter”, “Hey Siri, increase / decrease the volume”, etc. changes the volume in 10% increments.
Also, Siri really shouldn’t need to hear the “Hey” in “Hey Siri” every single time I need something from her.
“Siri, just do it.”
I said I wouldn’t get the iPhone X, but I did. That was an exception since the deal I got on it was too good to pass up and I ended up paying less than for a new iPhone 8. I did not expect to get as good a deal on the HomePod. To be quite frank, it wasn’t even close percentage-wise to the aforementioned one, but I still went for it, figuring I could sell it on if didn’t satisfy my needs.
It hasn’t blown me away so far, but it’s only been an hour or so, so here’s keeping my fingers crossed.
I recently purchased a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2, to avoid having dirty air in my apartment. Unfortunately, this product does not integrate with HomeKit. I am generally averse to having my “connected” home accessible from the internet, but I did want to use the HomeKit automation features. Setting this whole thing up just for one air purifier did seem like a lot of hassle, until I found out (from Steven Troughton-Smith) that you can get a Raspberry Pi Zero W with a camera module, which also works under HomeKit. Two-in-one? No need to ask me twice.
These past two or three days have been full of false information and a lot of pointless outrage at the news that “Apple is intentionally slowing down iPhones to get people to buy new ones”.
I’ll try to set the record straight…
Steven did a little sleuthing over the weekend, poking around the HomePod firmware…
I can confirm reports that HomePod’s firmware reveals the existence of upcoming iPhone’s infra-red face unlock in BiometricKit and elsewhere pic.twitter.com/yLsgCx7OTZ
— Steve T-S (@stroughtonsmith) July 31, 2017
Pearl ID and BiometricKit found, but still no word whether the iPhone 8/Pro (or whatever else Apple will call it) will have Touch ID along facial recognition.
Me too. New bezel-less form factor as well pic.twitter.com/Y0RrSOk2OO
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) July 31, 2017
Guilherme Rambo also found an image representing the new iPhone, which Steven confirmed, along with its D22 code name.
Someone at Apple is going to have an angry phone call today…
Sadly, the iPod Nano and Shuffle were both removed from Apple.com. The iPod brand still lives on, in the form of the iPod touch in 32 GB and 128 GB flavours. I kept hoping Apple would release an iPod Nano with Apple Music support in some form, even if it didn’t have a modem — it appears that those dreams won’t come true.
Some of you have asked about my exact Hackintosh spec, so here it is.
I’m a bit disappointed with Apple’s announcements today, especially about the lack of any new iPads or substantial updates to the existing line-up. I was hoping for a 7.9″ iPad Pro and Display P3 on the 12.9″ model. The new 9.7″ iPad however…
The new AirPods perfectly encapsulate the magical experience that only Apple is capable of creating. Open the case in which they are stored1 — a pop-up appears on your iPhone, asking if you’d like to pair them. Do it again, anytime in the future — you can quickly check your battery status. Play some music on your iPad2 — hear it in your AirPods, despite not having paired them with that device. Mac? Same thing.
The AirPods are now available for purchase from Apple. I was set to order a pair — their functionality is almost perfect for what I want to use them for — but then I read the fine print.
Today is the seventh day that I have spent with my MacBook Pro. I set it up as new and have been unable to get more than 6 hours of battery life when using it lightly (Safari, Tweetbot, and Ulysses). When using Photoshop and Lightroom, I cannot seem to pass the two-hour barrier. I do not find this acceptable and it seems that I am not the only one having problems.
I had a strange dream last night, and the new 13″ MacBook Pro was the main actor…
This question seems to of concern to a lot of people each year. The same question was asked when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus debuted, and again a year later, during the 6S and 6S Plus launch. This year things are a bit different though — the specs of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are much closer to each other in two important regards. So which one should you choose?