The One-More-Thing Edition Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Apple M1 Chip Powers New MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, And Mac Mini, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

The wait is over. At its live-streamed “One More Thing” event, Apple introduced M1, the first Apple silicon chip to power a production Mac. (You’re excused if you thought Apple had already used that letter, because it did, for the M-series motion coprocessors.) Without missing a beat in the tight 45-minute presentation, Tim Cook and company then unveiled the first three models in the Mac lineup to take advantage of that chip: the MacBook Air, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the Mac mini.

The Biggest Difference Between The New MacBook Air And MacBook Pro Is A Fan, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Each computer has the same exact processor [...], which can theoretically run at the same speed — but the fan in the MacBook Pro and Mac mini lets them sustain peak performance for longer.

Quick Hits From Apple’s Mac Event, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

The base level MacBook Air, the one that starts at $999, is the only of the new Macs to sport a 7-core GPU, instead of the 8-core graphics processor found in every other M1 capable Mac. The consensus seems to be that these chips are ‘binned’, which is to say, are chips where one graphics core didn’t quite pass muster and thus are used for cheaper models, a fairly common practice in computing.

MacBook Air Gets Dedicated Dictation, Spotlight And Do Not Disturb Function Keys, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple has tweaked the function key layout on its new M1 MacBook Air, swapping Launchpad and keyboard brightness for Dictation, Spotlight, and Do Not Disturb.

Apple Brings Back The PC Guy To Boast About M1 Performance, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

In the short video, Hodgman’s put-upon PC reacts to the announcement of Apple’s new M1 powered Macs, complaining about the improved performance and battery life that the new chip purportedly offers on the updated Macs, compared to what PCs can do.

Chip Number One

Apple Announces The Apple Silicon M1: Ditching X86 - What To Expect, Based On A14, by Andrei Frumusanu, AnandTech

Apple claims the M1 to be the fastest CPU in the world. Given our data on the A14, beating all of Intel’s designs, and just falling short of AMD’s newest 5950X Zen3 – a higher clocked Firestorm above 3GHz, the 50% larger L2 cache, and an unleashed TDP, we can certainly believe Apple and the M1 to be able to achieve that claim.

This moment has been brewing for years now, and the new Apple Silicon is both shocking, but also very much expected. In the coming weeks we’ll be trying to get our hands on the new hardware and verify Apple’s claims.

Dial ‘M1’ For Murder, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

So yeah, the makers of PC laptops should be terrified by all of this. It’s like when Steve Jobs took the original MacBook Air out of the manilla envelope — except the inverse. The form factor there glossed over what was a fairly sub-par machine. Here, the form factor is dated because everyone copied it. But the performance is the showstopper. And it’s going to be a lot harder to copy. Microsoft should be rushing to acquire a chip maker. And Intel should be… hoping Microsoft calls.

Two Days To Big Sur

macOS 11 Big Sur Launches On November 12, by Samuel Axon and Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica

Big Sur introduces a notable visual redesign for the user interface and many apps, including an iOS- and iPadOS-like notification center panel on the desktop. Some parts of Big Sur, like a new version of Safari, have already been released to users running Catalina.

macOS 11 Big Sur Arrives Thursday, Delay Upgrades, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

So our advice is to stick with your current version of macOS for now, while Apple, Mac developers, and the Mac community figure out how to sand down the rough edges in everyday Big Sur use.


Apple Updates Its Apple Watch Solo Loop And Sport Bands With New Colors, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

These include a new bright orange called Kumquat, a shade of blue called Northern Blue that resembles the new iPhone 12 Pro color, and a dark purple named Plum.

Nanoleaf Debuts HomeKit Essentials Bulb And Lightstrip, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Shortly after unveiling its HomeKit-enabled Shapes Triangles and Mini Triangles in October, Nanoleaf has debuted its new Essentials Smart Color Changing LED Bulb and LED Lightstrip. The new products will launch exclusively at Apple, don’t require a hub, and have compelling features like HomeKit and Thread support.

Rogue Amoeba Audio Apps Now Compatible With macOS Big Sur Ahead Of Public Release, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Big Sur makes a variety of under-the-hood changes to macOS, but Rogue Amoeba has now updated its entire lineup of applications to accommodate those changes.


Apple Rejected Sticker Apps That Promoted Mask-wearing, But It’s Reinstating Them Now, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

It’s not quite clear why they were rejected to begin with, but Apple says it’s been careful only to let medical institutions and official health agencies mention “COVID-19” in their app names or metadata (which opportunists might try to get their apps to appear higher in search).

Bottom of the Page

I was just a little surprised that there is a new M1 Mac mini announced, but there isn't a new iMac. If Apple can get the M1 into both the MacBook Air and the lower-end MacBook Pro, surely the lower-end iMac should be a viable candidate too?

Unless, of course, Apple is planning a redesign of the iMac.


Thanks for reading.