The Mac-World Edition Tuesday, November 6, 2018

MacBook Air Review: Center Of The Mac World?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Still, Apple has placed the MacBook Air back where it spent the first part of this decade: firmly at the center of the Apple laptop universe. It’s not the cheapest or fastest or lightest laptop, but it’s the lowest-priced Retina Mac and it’s powerful and flexible enough to serve the needs of the broad audience for consumer Macs. The new geographic center of the Mac is once again where it’s been for most of this decade: It’s the MacBook Air.

MacBook Air Review, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

There’s no doubt the new Air marks a sizable update. It’s pricier, too, though Apple’s kept things more in check here than with the Mac Mini. With all of its upgrades and lower price point to boot, the Air is the clear pick over the 12-inch MacBook in practically every way.

As a matter of fact, barring some major future upgrade, the 12-inch likely isn’t long for this world. And that’s perfectly fine. The new Air is very clearly the better buy.

Review: Apple MacBook Air, by Lauren Goode, Wired

In the time since Apple first released the MacBook Air, the whole PC industry has tried to push the boundaries on what "thin and light" means for laptops. Sure, there have been some awkward results (does anyone actually bend their laptop back into a tablet?) and aggressive marketing pushes (see: Ultrabooks). There have also been some really nice premium laptops launched in the non-Apple PC world.

Apple has heard the calls for a newer, better MacBook Air, and it has answered. Thank goodness for that. But one might get the sneaking suspicion, as she stares at the gorgeous, liquid-looking display of this new machine, that such a laptop could have arrived two years ago. Or more. The new MacBook Air is not pure innovation; it's an incantation composed to make you think it is.

The 2018 Retina MacBook Air, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

A lot of people are looking at the lineup as it stands today thinking they must be missing something, because it seems obvious that most people looking for a MacBook in this price range should buy the new MacBook Air. They’re not missing anything. The new Air is exactly that: the MacBook most people should buy, and exactly the MacBook everyone has been asking Apple to make.

Apple MacBook Air (2018) Review: The Present Of Computing, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

People like the Mac. It’s great to have a computer that does all of the computer stuff you want in a way you’re familiar with. Until recently, the best computer for most people was the MacBook Air, and Apple took way too long to update it. So people have been waiting. And waiting.

Now, the wait is over. But if you were hoping that lightning would strike twice and this new MacBook Air would be as revolutionary as the old MacBook Air, well, it’s not. It’s basically a MacBook that finally includes all of the stuff that has been happening with laptops for the past few years. It is on par with the rest of the laptop world, but it hasn’t moved beyond it. Sometimes that means the fan is going to spin up on you.

Big Mini

Mac Mini 2018 Review: The Swiss Army Knife Of Macs Returns, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

This new Mac mini is exactly what it needs to be. Today the Mac mini is about flexibility and filling niches. This update allows it to span a wide range from basic server needs all the way up to high-end applications that require a great deal of processor power, fast storage, ultra-fast networking, and even beyond (via Thunderbolt 3). The high-end configurations might actually provide enough power for people to consider them over buying the Mac Pro, whenever it comes out. It remains to be seen just what ground the Mac Pro will cover, and what its starting price might be. The Mac mini may have just become the best (and best value) tool for somewhat high-end jobs that don’t require Xeon processors in large enclosures.

What is the Mac mini? It’s what you make of it. With this new update, it is once again a Mac that can be applied to whatever situations warrant it, hiding in cramped dark spaces or driving multiple monitors and extensive add-on accessories.

Mac Mini Review, by Brian Heagter, TechCrunch

The Mac Mini is undoubtedly a powerful upgrade over its predecessor and an interesting glimpse into the future of the Mac ecosystem. Along with the product’s pro ambitions, however, comes a significantly higher price tag, starting at $799. The Mini is still the best-priced gateway into a desktop Mac ecosystem, but the definition of entry-level has clearly shifted for Apple since the last ‘go round.


Apple's New Hardware With The T2 Security Chip Will Currently Block Linux From Booting, by Michael Larabel, Phoronix

Apple's T2 security chip being embedded into their newest products provides a secure enclave, APFS storage encryption, UEFI Secure Boot validation, Touch ID handling, a hardware microphone disconnect on lid close, and other security tasks. The T2 restricts the boot process quite a bit and verifies each step of the process using crypto keys signed by Apple.


Apple Rolls Out watchOS 5.1.1 After Earlier Apple Watch Bricking Issues, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Apple has rolled out watchOS 5.1.1, less than a week after the company pulled its immediate predecessor, watchOS 5.1, following reports that the software was bricking some Apple Watches.

The update also includes bug fixes for the Walkie-Talkie app and an additional issue where some Activity rewards were not displayed.

Grab Apple’s Artsy 2018 iPad Pro Wallpapers, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

With every new Apple device comes a fresh collection of wallpapers. The recently-announced iPad Pro models are no exception. And you don’t have to buy a new tablet to get these images for your device because they’ve been posted online.

Apple Debuts New Single Tour And Double Tour Hermès Apple Watch Bands, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple this morning added two Apple Watch Hermès Bands to its online store, introducing Double Tour and Single Tour bands in a new three-color Amber/Capucine/Rose Azalée configuration.


Language Server Protocol, by

This is arguably the most important decision Apple has made for Swift since releasing the language as open source in 2014. It’s a big deal for app developers, and it’s an even bigger deal for Swift developers on other platforms.

To understand why, this week’s article will take a look at what problem the Language Server Protocol solves, how it works, and what it’s long-term impacts may be.


Apple Reaffirms Support For Paris Climate Agreement, by Katie Collins, CNET

Apple reaffirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change with a senior company official telling the Web Summit in Lisbon that the iPhone maker could continue to profit while being environmentally responsible.

"The air we breathe and the planet we leave to our children doesn't belong to any one party, it doesn't belong to any one ideology -- it belongs to all of us, and governments should be the allies in our work," Lisa Jackson, Apple's head of environment, policy and social initiatives, told an arena full of tech leaders. "At Apple we supported and we continue to support the Paris climate agreement."

Is The Era Of Voice Texting Upon Us?, by Alyssa Bereznak, The Ringer

Against all odds, voicemail has made a slow but miraculous comeback in a more digestible form. But many of the same millennials who were taught to unconditionally hate the medium are now incensed at its return. The voice text is now one of our most divisive forms of digital communication.

Make People Valuable Again, by Vint Cerf and David Nordfors, TechCrunch

The problem today, we suggest, is that our innovation economy is not primarily about making people more valuable; it is instead about reducing costs.

The main danger is easy to summarize: when workers are seen as a cost (which is now the case), cost-saving, efficient technologies will compete to lower their cost and thereby their value. The “better” the innovation, the lower their value. People are struggling to stay valuable in a changing world, and innovation is not helping them, except for the chosen few. The need to be valued and to be in demand are part of our human nature. Innovation can, and should, make people more valuable.

The economy is about people who need, want, and value each other. When we need each other more, the economy can grow. When we need each other less, it shrinks. We need innovation that makes people need each other more.

Here's Why [Insert Thing Here] Is Not a Password Killer, by Troy Hunt

Despite it's many flaws, the one thing that the humble password has going for it over technically superior alternatives is that everyone understands how to use it. Everyone.

This is where we need to recognise that decisions around things like auth schemes go well beyond technology merits alone. Arguably, the same could be said about any security control and I've made the point many times before that these things need to be looked at from a very balanced viewpoint. There are merits and there are deficiencies and unless you can recognise both (regardless of how much you agree with them), it's going to be hard to arrive at the best outcome.

Bottom of the Page

When I replace my current MacBook Pro, which I hope doesn't need to happen yet for a long time, I think I will want the Mac Mini. The laptop is mostly used at my desk nowadays, and my portable needs are mostly fulfilled by the iPad anyway. The Mac Mini, it sounds like, is built to last. And long-lasting is what I want out of my Mac, now that I'm being tempted to upgrade my iPhone and iPad every other year. :-)


Thanks for reading.