I recently learned that I can add a Logitech Harmony Hub, Logitech Harmony Companion or Logitech Harmony Elite to HomeKit, with the help of Homebridge. This meant that I would be able to control my TV, AV receiver, and Apple TV with my voice my HomePod and/or Siri.
I recently had a problem with my Control key which I finally fixed by taking out the vacuum cleaner and sucking substantial debris1 out from under it. Today, the Space bar will not register keystrokes on its right half.
(A few minutes later.)
Seems to be working fine again, after thoroughly vacuuming it at max power.
I am not happy with this keyboard and I refuse to buy another MacBook until they fix this issue with a completely new design — silicon
condoms membranes are not enough.
- A speck of dust. ↩
I’ve always really enjoyed using the iPad as a secondary device but the new iPads Pro take things to a whole new level.
I just can’t get enough of that gorgeous new screen.
There’s one thing about the new iPads Pro that I haven’t seen anyone else mention — they’re just so cool to both use and look at. Like the iPhone X, they are futuristic… and available today.
They might not add a lot of value compared to the previous models, in terms of usability (apart from Pencil users), but I’m glad I got one.
As soon as all the rumours started consolidating around the new design of Apple’s tablets, I knew I was going to get a new iPad this year. I chose the 11-inch model with 64 GB of flash storage and LTE.
Since the iPad Pro reviews have started to trickle out yesterday, I was looking for a comparison between the on-screen keyboards. I own a 10.5-inch iPad and will be switching to the 11-inch model tomorrow (hopefully, if there are no delays!), but I couldn’t wait. Luckily Steve Troughton-Smith had the simulator handy and helped me out1.
Above is the 10.5-inch keyboard in portait orientation, while the new 11-inch edition is below. You can click the images to load them full-screen and use the arrow keys (or swipe on them) to navigate between the two.
Make of this what you will but I can’t say that those additional keys are useful for the way I use my iPad. I’ll find out soon enough, but I am curious if it will be more comfortable to thumb-type on than the older one.
- Thanks Steve! ↩
Apple recently unveiled new Macs, iPhones, and iPads. They are continuing their trend to increase ASPs and milking their customers. This is a hostile practice towards its users and completely unacceptable to me personally. I compiled a list of things which the company should remedy below, before it’s too late.
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.