New MacBook Pro
This week, Apple announced a new update to its MacBook Pro 13’ model line. The major updates include 10th-gen “Icy Lake” Intel processors, Intel Iris Plus graphics, and twice the amount storage for base configurations. All-in-all the release sounds pretty good until you look into the details.
First, the 10th-gen Intel processors are limited to the third base model of the 13” MacBook Pros, starting at $1799.00. If you are a student or working in education, you can get it slightly discounted at $1699.00. If you are planning to do basic office work on your MacBook Pro or some light multimedia creation, the $1299.00 or $1399.00 base models are sufficient; however, you do end up only getting 8th-gen Intel processors and only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which is used by the power cable. Seeing as the 8th-gen Intel processors were released between 2017 and 2018, making them quite old in technological years. While the lower tier models should be supported for a while by Apple’s MacOS updates, the cost-to-performance ratio is considerably higher when comparing offerings from the premium lines manufactured by Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Apple has not really been known for being including the latest processors in their products, but I personally have found the MacOS support quite long.
Second, the 32GB of RAM is only an option on the aforementioned $1799.00 model. The higher priced model shifts from the 2133MHz LPDDR3 RAM found in the two lower tiers to newer 3733MHz LPDDR4X, most likely providing substantial performance improvements. I personally would avoid the lower end models, as I would not want to pay over $1000 for older technology. If you really want a MacBook at the smaller screen size, the MacBook Air offers 10th-gen Intel processors and LPDDR4X RAM; however, performance will probably be lacking for moderate multimedia work.
Third and last of all, the MacBook Pro has now been updated with the new Magic Keyboard. With this update, all of Apple’s products now have the new Magic Keyboard and the return of the inverted T arrow-keys layout. All three tiers of the 13’ line have this option. I prefer the feel of the Magic Keyboard over the butterfly keyboard, which was plagued by reliability issues since its introduction.
My overall recommendation is saving up for the $1799.00 to get best return-on-investment, when considering the age of the technology found in the lower models; for cost-conscious buyers, the MacBook Air offers newer technology at a lower price, while the lower tier MacBook Pros charge a premium for old processors and a only two Thunderbolt 3 ports.
New iOS Updates
Based on research on the newest iOS release (iOS 13.4.1), the newest iOS update appears to fix some issues that involved crashing loops for iOS 13.4 users and fixing some security issues such as VPN authentication problems, Face ID, and Touch ID. Battery life issues present in the previous version also seems to be fixed.
Apple has announced that iOS 13.5 is coming, which may provide more fixes. The iOS 13.5 release is currently in Beta 4.
As I have not used iOS 13 at all (personal iPhone is not supported), I can only provide recommendations based on basic research. As it stands, the iOS update 13.4.1 seems to fix problems and does not appear to introduce any major issues, so it appears to be safe for installation. I always suggest performing an iCloud backup as well as a backup through iTunes or Apple Music prior to any updates to prevent data loss.
I hope this has been helpful and informative. Thanks for visiting.
My preliminary analysis for the iPhone and iPad operating systems is that users should not update to the iPadOS 13.4 or iOS 13.4. Issues encountered by writers for Tom's Guide and Forbes include Bluetooth connectivity issues, a VPN security flaw, cellular connectivity issues, opening and updating apps, and problems with the Control Center. Now, I myself have not had any firsthand experience with these problems (I'm still running iOS 12.4.5 on an iPhone 6), but I cannot recommend to any users of the iPhone or iPad to upgrade until further reports show that these issues are fixed.
See the below resources for more information:
Tom's Guide Report
I’ll preface this by saying that I have been using MacOS Sierra until now, so any of the features that were part of High Sierra may be new to me personally.
MacOS Mojave (10.14) is Apple’s latest Mac operating system (OS) for 2018. Some of biggest features Apple announced include:
Compatible Macs include:
After a poor experience with High Sierra and the beta of Mojave (audio and photo editing apps that I depend on failed to install and/or launch on both OSs), I was initially hesitant to install Apple’s latest offering. I looked into a couple reviews and saw that most installations of the OS were relatively error-free. So, I decided to try it.
First, I backed up my computer, a base-model MacBook Pro (mid 2012). Always backup your system before any major update. It will save you a lot of time and frustration if anything goes wrong during the installation process. Apple’s Time Machine and Carbon Copy Cloner are two great apps to use.
I downloaded Install Disk Creator to create bootable USB drives for both MacOS Sierra and MacOS Mojave. MacOS Sierra is no longer available to download from the App Store, but you can still find it on Apple’s support website.
After booting from the USB 3.0 flash drive, it took about an hour to install. Rather than do a clean install, I opted for a traditional update. I am still running on a traditional spinning drive; SSD users should see a shorter period of downtime. I would get an SSD, but I use about 1.3 TBs in my laptop alone, so it is cost prohibitive at the moment.
Two Days In
*Security Note: Patrick Wardle, a security researcher, has discovered a security flaw in the public release of MacOS Moajve. Read more
Good and Neutral Thoughts
Startup time seems roughly the same (30-45 secs). Apps launch at a moderate speed. For its age, my MacBook Pro runs pretty smoothly. Some of this could be contributed to Apple's new proprietary file system, Apple File System (APFS). I have kept my external drives formatted in HFS+ for backwards-compatibility.
Logic Pro X opened and all of my plug-ins ran. Kontakt 5, Izotope Ozone 8, Neutron 2, and RX 6 are my favored plug-ins. I exported a 45 minute audio track with five third-party plug-ins running without any problems.
Day-to-day work is the same. No crashes or freezes (yet). I find Dark Mode comfortable to work with. I hated the iTunes 11 update when Apple removed the dark mode. I had held off as long as I could until my iPad updated to iOS 7, which forced me to update iTunes. Since then, I have waited until Apple released a new dark mode, and they didn’t disappoint.
Finder is pleasant to maneuver in Dark Mode as well. Finder Gallery View is very handy, with EXIF data appearing for photos right in Finder. So, I no longer have to open Lightroom or Preview to see the shutter speed or ISO setting my DSLR. Good job, Apple.
Dynamic Desktop is neat, but I use a custom wallpaper at the moment. Stacks is irrelevant to my workflow; I always keep my desktop clear of Aliases (macOS equivalent of Window’s Shortcuts) and files, folders, and unnecessary clutter. Spotlight is friend here, macOS users.
OS updates are now moved to System Preferences, just as they are in iOS. A nice feature that keeps app updates separate from macOS updates. You can allow for auto-updates, which, for the majority of non-pro users, I would recommend: this keeps your system the most secure.
News, Homekit, Voice Memos, and Stocks are nice additions to the macOS ecosystem. My personal favorites are News and Stocks, which can be customized like their iOS counterparts for tailored content delivery.
Thankfully, 32-bit apps still work, but this is the OS that Apple will be supporting them. I still use 32-bit apps like XLD and Subler for lossless audio conversion and video remuxing, respectively. I am hoping that developers are able to move over to a 64-bit architecture. If you use freeware or donationware from open-source developers, support them by sending a donation to help them in their development. Keeping up with the advancements of computers is time-consuming, and I am sure the smaller developers would appreciate more people supporting their work.
When I launched Fidelia (a lossless audio player), the new security preferences panel kicked and asked for authorization. Other third-party apps also triggered this notification popup. I like that Apple is increasing security, but I’ll have to get used to the constant authorizing of third-party programs.
Only a few programs are optimized for Dark Mode at the moment. Hopefully more developers will bring this alternative view to their programs.
Other than those issues, I have not noticed any degradation to my workflow.
Mojave is a a welcome upgrade that introduces some refreshment to the Mac interface. The Dark Mode and Stacks features will certainly help users. Bringing more iOS apps to macOS allows for a more seamless experience in the Apple ecosystem.
If you’re unsure about compatibility or just nervous about a new OS, waiting a month or two won’t hurt. By then, any major bugs should be smoothed out and more apps should have transitioned to Mojave.
If you enjoy the latest features, upgrading to macOS Mojave is highly recommended. The tweaks that Apple introduced this time are worth the minimal time and effort.
Thanks for reading.
Jacob Zozzaro, Manager
SDG Computer Solutions, LLC
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