The Unabashedly-Pro Edition Tuesday, October 26, 2021

14-inch MacBook Pro Review: A Mac Pro In Your Backpack, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The new MacBook Pro brings power previously only available to a high-end Mac Pro to the form of a laptop. Its ports give it versatility. Its display offers extended dynamic range and high frame rates, all in a clamshell you can close and stuff in your backpack.

It’s not cheap. No, it’s not. But that’s okay. In fact, even that fact follows from one of the most important lessons Apple has learned in the last five years: The MacBook Pro is a tool for professional users, and it needs to be built with their needs in mind.

The 2021 14-Inch MacBook Pro, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The differences between a MacBook Pro and MacBook Air should not be subtle. Let the truck be a truck, true to its purpose. Let the MacBook Pro be unabashedly pro.

14-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro) Review: Life Just Keeps Getting Better For Mac Users, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Since I’m so used to the iPhone notch, adjusting to the MacBook Pro’s notch was not an issue. I barely noticed it while using the laptop every day, and it doesn’t infringe on the workspace below, so nothing is really lost. However, overcrowded menu bars and lengthy menu items are going to be a big issue for a lot of users.

Apple's M1 Pro, M1 Max SoCs Investigated: New Performance And Efficiency Heights, by Andrei Frumusanu, AnandTech

The M1 was a very straightforward jump from a mobile platform to a laptop/desktop platform, but it was undeniably a chip that was oriented towards much lower power devices, with thermal limits. The M1 impressed in single-threaded performance, but still clearly lagged behind the competition in overall performance.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max change the narrative completely – these designs feel like truly SoCs that have been made with power users in mind, with Apple increasing the performance metrics in all vectors. We expected large performance jumps, but we didn’t expect the some of the monstrous increases that the new chips are able to achieve.


Apple AirPods (Third-gen) Review: New Design, Same Appeal, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple says it conducted a ton of user research when designing the third-generation AirPods, involving thousands of ear scans, heat maps, and so on. And at least in my case, something about the new shape definitely works better. They’re staying put so well that I no longer feel the same anxiety about them tumbling onto the ground and down a sewer grate.

Are The Apple Third Generation Air Pods Worth It?, by Ali Finney, Well+Good

Couple that with the new ergonomic design which mimics the natural curvature of the ear, and a shortening of the stem, and you're basically set up for success while exercising.

Apple’s New AirPods Are Pandemic-Proof, by Katie Notopoulos, BuzzFeed News

Apple, as it always does, has packed a bunch of new advancements into its entry-level earbuds, but the most important is the simplest: They're less apt to get pulled out when you put on or take off your face mask.

Apple AirPods (2021) Review, by B. Steele, Engadget

I don’t want to mince words here: the new AirPods sound so much better than the previous two versions. Like almost night and day better. Apple didn’t make any significant changes to sound quality from the first model to the 2019 version. But for gen three, Apple paired a custom driver with a high-dynamic-range amplifier to improve the audio chops. The company says that the duo work together to produce “rich consistent bass” and “crisp, clean” highs. From the moment I fired up the first song, this was all immediately evident. I don’t think I’ve ever audibly said “woah” with the first note from a guitar on any review unit, but given how average older AirPods sound, it was involuntary this time.

AirPods 3 Features First Water-Resistant AirPods Charging Case, by Hartley Charlton, MacRumors

Apple promoted the sweat and water-resistance of the third-generation AirPods with the device’s announcement last week, but the IPX4 rating applies to both the earbuds and the charging case.

OS Updates

macOS Monterey: The MacStories Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Monterey’s focus is all about system apps, a topic near and dear to me. With the technical building blocks in place and a refined design out of the way, Monterey is one of the most tangible, user-facing payoffs of the past three years of transition. More than ever before, Apple is advancing system apps across all of its platforms at the same time. Finally, everything is everywhere.

However, as much as it pleases me to see the groundwork laid in years past pay dividends in the form of new features being rolled out simultaneously on all platforms, Monterey’s payoff isn’t an unqualified success. Every OS release has its rough spots, but this year, Shortcuts is especially rough. As optimistic and excited as I remain for Shortcuts to be the future of automation on the Mac, it’s too frustrating to use at launch. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed any upside using Shortcuts on my Mac, and it has improved over the course of the beta period, but it still gets in my way more often than it should.

Some Monterey Features Of Note, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Today marks the release of the latest iteration of macOS, Monterey. The usual disclaimers apply. If you have production software on your Mac that you use to pay for your shoes, you should seriously check all of that out before installing this update. That said, I’ve been running the beta for months, and it’s been largely stable (except for Shortcuts, explained further below). Once you get it installed, there are several features that I found delightful through the beta.

Apple Releases iOS And iPadOS 15.1 With SharePlay, Safari For iPad Fixes, Shortcuts Improvements, And More, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Alongside macOS Monterey, Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 15.1 – the first major updates to the operating systems introduced last month. Don’t expect a large collection of changes from this release, though: 15.1 mostly focuses on enabling SharePlay (which was announced at WWDC, then postponed to a later release a few months ago), rolling Safari back to a reasonable design, and bringing a few tweaks for the Camera app and spatial audio.

Apple Fitness+ Users Can Now Work Out With Friends And Family Using SharePlay, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Using SharePlay, Apple Fitness+ users can work out with friends and family members over FaceTime. Apple says that this is a good way to help people “stay motivated and accountable on their fitness journey.”

Here Are Some Of The Best SharePlay Apps For iOS 15.1 And iPadOS 15.1, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple offers their own apps for SharePlay like TV and Fitness, but there are a plethora of third-party apps with SharePlay support available to download right now.

Lossless Audio And Dolby Atmos Support Come To HomePod With 15.1 Software Update, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Lossless Audio is available on both the ‌HomePod‌ and ‌HomePod mini‌, while Spatial Audio is available on the larger-sized and now-discontinued ‌HomePod‌.


Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.6.1 With Security Fixes, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

According to Apple’s release notes, the update “improves the security of macOS” and is recommended for all users.

You're Not Making The Most Of Your iPhone Camera, by Khamosh Pathak, LifeHacker

While you might be familiar enough with the basics, like switching to portrait mode or shooting a panorama, we’ll walk through some of the other options you might not be taking advantage of.

Pixelmator Pro Adds Full Support For macOS Monterey, Featuring 28 Shortcuts Actions, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

This version brings full support for macOS Monterey, including a library of Shortcuts actions, and takes full advantage of the power of the latest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the new MacBook Pros.

Ulysses Adds Shortcuts And Quick Notes Integration With macOS Monterey Release, More, by José Adorno, 9to5Mac

The app features a streamlined toolset that covers the entire writing process, and it’s also clean and simple to use across all platforms.

Anker Debuts New MagGo MagSafe Accessory Collection For iPhone 13, by Blair Altland, 9to5Toys

The most exciting of these new debuts in my opinion falls to the Anker MagGo Battery Stand, which arrives as the next iteration of the brand’s popular MagSafe power bank that’s already on the market. [...] Where it mixes things up is the actual design, delivering a foldout stand that can prop up your iPhone 13 while charging.


Applications Open For Next Apple Entrepreneur Camp, by AppleInsider

Part of Apple's $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, the Apple Entrepreneur Camp supports developers, business owners and founders as they build the next generation of apps.


I Was Hacked. The Spyware Used Against Me Makes Us All Vulnerable., by Ben Hubbard, New York Times

Now, I limit the information I keep on my phone. I store sensitive contacts offline. I encourage people to use Signal, an encrypted messaging app, so that if a hacker makes it in, there won’t be much to find.

Bottom of the Page

My ears are fine with the new AirPods 3. To me, they are as comfortable as the previous AirPods. I don't need to stock up on AirPods 2. :-)


Thanks for reading.