The Listening-to-Customers Edition Saturday, October 30, 2021

MacBook Pro 2021 Review: Nearly Perfect Back-to-the-Future Laptops, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

“We’re constantly listening to our customers and with this new lineup of MacBook Pros we decided to make some changes as we do a lot on the Mac,” Tom Boger, Apple’s Vice President of Mac and iPad Product Marketing, told me.

Run that through the executive-to-English translator and it comes out pretty clear: We were wrong.

But the backtracking is only part of what makes these new $1,999-and-up laptops such a pleasure to use: It’s Apple’s move from Intel chips to its very own M1 Pro and M1 Max that wowed me in my last two weeks of testing.

Apple MacBook Pro 14 And 16 Review: Return To Form, by Nilay Patel and Monica Chin, The Verge

Let’s start simply: the new MacBook Pros with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are incredible — the fastest laptops we’ve ever tested in some tasks, with some of the longest battery life we’ve ever seen. Apple’s big bet on moving away from Intel CPUs and AMD GPUs in favor of its own Apple Silicon chips is paying off in meaningful ways, and if you can afford one of these machines, you will be very happy with them. They’re great.

That said, the new MacBook Pros are not without their quirks, and the Mac software ecosystem is still catching up to Apple Silicon in general and Apple’s pro hardware GPU ideas in particular. So things aren’t quite as simple as our first impression of the MacBook Air with an M1 chip last year — depending on your needs and the tools you use, the Mac software ecosystem might not let you actually get the most out of these machines for a while yet.

Smooth 120Hz Scrolling Not Currently Supported By Many Mac Apps, Including Safari, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Through testing on the new MacBook Pro, Catalyst apps generally run at 120Hz as you would expect, as they appear to inherit the iOS behaviors directly. Full-screen games and Metal apps can also render at the full 120Hz. The problem is day-to-day standard Mac apps mostly do not.

On Health

Apple Watch Study Provides An Unprecedented Look At The Health Status Of A Diverse Patient Population, by Kelly Malcom, Michigan Medicine

Researchers in the health and wellness space have typically relied on people to report their personal health data, like activity levels, heart rate or blood pressure, during brief snapshots in time.

Wearable health devices, such as the popular Apple Watch, have changed the game, surfacing meaningful data that can paint a more complete picture of daily life and resulting health and disease for clinicians.


Apple Fifth Avenue Now Offering Same-day In-store AirPods Engraving, by Parker Ortolani, 9to5Mac

Apple is offering engraving in the Fifth Avenue store for the second generation AirPods, the new third generation AirPods, and the AirPods Pro. According to a specialist in the store, the process takes about 20 minutes.

Apple’s Most Back-Ordered New Product Is Not What You Expect, by Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times

An Apple official said in an interview, based on the condition that The New York Times not quote or identify her, that the company was not surprised by the demand for the Polishing Cloth. The official said the cloth was very effective and had been designed to be special, including a custom light gray color. Apple said the cloth was made of a nonwoven microfiber but declined to elaborate.

Apple's Mail App Is Actually Useful Now: 10 Things To Try, by Lance Whitney, PC Magazine

Now, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 bring new privacy features to better protect your mail account. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Apple Mail on your mobile device.


Apple Objects To Links To Outside Payments Ahead Of Epic Games Hearing, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple on Friday for the first time signaled that its strongest objections are to the requirements to allow buttons and links that provide a "mechanism" for outside payments. The filing provided the first suggestion that Apple objects less strongly to allowing developers to provide information about other ways to pay.

Apple Now Calls Itself A Gaming Company Fighting With Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

In a regulatory filing on Friday, the company said its products compete as gaming platform against traditional game companies like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Previously, Apple said it only competed with Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows.

Apple Chip Shortage Will End, But U.S.-China Supply Chain 'Train Wreck' Is Coming, by Eric Rosenbaum, CNBC

The semiconductor chip shortage is old news, but when the second-largest public company in the history of the U.S. stock market says it just left $6 billion in potential sales on the table as a result of limited chip supply — as Apple just did — it reinforces why the U.S. economy needs to rethink how it sources its semiconducting technology so that doesn't happen again.

Bottom of the Page

After many days on Big Sur, I've managed to train Spotlight to understand that when I type "te", I meant "terminal". I only want "Microsoft Teams" when I type "tea".

And right after I upgraded to Monterey, Spotlight immediately forgot all these, and gave me "Microsoft Teams" when I type "te".


Thanks for reading.