The Swing-its-Own-Chips Edition Friday, December 16, 2022

Where Are All The New Macs, by Monica Chin, The Verge

What’s the holdup? Covid has certainly made this year’s assembly landscape somewhat unpredictable for Apple and its partners leading to factory shutdowns during various parts of the year. Supply chains have also been a giant shrug emoji in recent times, leading to delays across sectors. I imagine that these circumstances have had something to do with the slower release cycles we’re seeing, though I can only speculate.

What is clear right now is: Apple hasn’t yet been able to swing its own chips in a very high-end system. The Mac Studio is powerful, of course, and an absolutely stellar device. But the audience it’s serving is not quite the same as the Mac Pro’s audience.

Apple Missed Its Two-year Goal For The Apple Silicon Transition, But Does It Matter?, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

I think it’s also important to zoom out and look at the big picture. The Apple Silicon transition was announced in June 2020, just a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Apple’s supply chain has experienced numerous disruptions that undoubtedly impacted the Apple Silicon transition.

When supply and production are constrained, Apple has to make decisions about which Macs it prioritizes. The Mac Pro is undoubtedly at the bottom of the totem poll.

Calling 911

Their Car Fell 300 Feet Into A Canyon. A New iPhone Satellite SOS System Likely Saved Them, by Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times

Luckily for the couple, Cloe Fields said she had recently switched her phone’s service provider and got an upgrade to the iPhone 14, which she was thankful to learn came equipped with a new emergency SOS system that uses crash detection and satellite technology.

Even before she and her boyfriend tried to call 911, which probably wouldn’t have been possible from their location, her phone had alerted local emergency responders of their crash and location.

Apple Devices’ New Collision Feature Triggering False Alarms For Emergency Help, by Carrie Tait, The Globe and Mail

The string of false alarms are prompting search-and-rescue teams to press Apple to tweak the crash detection system, which was first unveiled in September. They argue that errors such as the ones reported in the past few days put time, money and lives at risk.


“We’ve been waiting for the Apple problem,” Kyle Hale, the manager of Golden and District Search and Rescue (GADSAR), said in an interview Tuesday. “We kind of anticipated [Sunday’s call] being a false activation, but we had to resource it, so we got in a helicopter and flew 40 minutes out into the middle of nowhere.”


Redesigned Apple Maps Experience Expands To Users In These Five Countries, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a press release today, the company announced that the new Apple Maps experience is now available in the Netherlands, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Belkin Releases New iPhone Continuity Camera MagSafe Mount For External Displays And iMac, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Belkin’s Continuity Camera mounts exist as a way to attach your iPhone to the top of your Mac using the iPhone’s MagSafe technology. This new model is designed for “Mac desktops,” which includes things like the 24-inch iMac, the Studio Display, and the Pro Display XDR. Belkin says it should be “compatible with most external displays and monitors.”

Pixelmator Photo Adds New Tools To Enhance Sharpness And Shadow Detail In Your Images, Launches 50% Off Holiday Sale, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The app uses ‘texture-aware’ algorithms to help optimize for clarity. The tools palette exposes two simple sliders, one for Clarity and one for Texture. Drag the sliders to increase the intensity of the algorithmic effect being applied to the image.

TripMode 3.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update adds a bandwidth monitor for tracking the upload and download speed of your apps in real-time (helpful for identifying piggy apps), introduces an always-on mode to force TripMode to filter and block traffic on any network, and adds privacy preferences to protect your privacy on shared computers.

Art Text 4.2, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

BeLight Software has issued Art Text 4.2, adding a text animation feature that gives life to both 2D and 3D typography.

Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball Review: Fully Loaded, But Not For Beginners, by Catherine Cargill, AppleInsider

This high-performance trackball with slick movement and precision control is perfect for those who and already comfortable with a trackball. It is a good fit professional users who perform heavy video editing or extremely detailed design work.


Apple, Google, And Mozilla Collaborating On Speedometer 3 Development, by Abner Li, 9to5Google

Speedometer is a browser benchmark that measures responsiveness by simulating user interactions on demo web applications. Introduced by Apple’s WebKit team, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are now partnering on the development of Speedometer 3.


A Top Chinese AirPod Maker Is Following Apple As It Shifts Its Supply Chain Away From The Mainland, by Gregor Stuart Hunter, Hunter

The willingness of Chinese suppliers to follow the tech giant beyond the mainland’s borders provides Apple immediate respite from some of the headaches of doing business in China—COVID lockdowns and supply chain snarls—and lets Apple give the appearance of turning away from China amid fraught relations between Washington and Beijing.

But the shift to India and Vietnam brings headaches too, including rickety infrastructure and unfamiliar working cultures. And in the long run, Apple’s continued reliance on Chinese suppliers—even if their manufacturing takes place outside of China—leaves the Cupertino giant vulnerable to U.S. policies aimed at knee-capping China’s technological advancement.

Bottom of the Page

The more we wait, the more we expect the Mac Pro to be really magical.


Thanks for reading.