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Dan Moren for Macworld
December 13, 2019 5:46 AM PT
At long last, some two and a half years after Apple declared itself serious about enticing professionals back to the Mac, the Mac Pro is finally here. It joins the iMac Pro and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro as a triptych of attractive options for professional Mac users. That’s great.
But while Apple was focused on the professional market, its consumer-facing options have languished a bit. It’s not that the MacBook Air, the iMac, and Mac mini aren’t perfectly serviceable machines, but they could all use a little bit of love—especially after all the attention that’s recently been lavished on their pro-level counterparts. The consumer Macs may lack the high margins of the pro market, but they more than make up for it in terms of volume.
December 11, 2019 3:41 PM PT
This week, on the 30-minute tech podcast that watchmakers adore, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Lory Gil and Rene Ritchie to discuss how we keep our tech clean, our strategies for traveling with tech internationally, the next steps for Apple’s consumer Mac lineup, and how we talk about (and cover) tech rumors.
Jason Snell for Macworld
December 11, 2019 8:42 AM PT
Does Apple think that a single port is still one port too many? That’s a possibility according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a relatively reliable source on Apple’s supply-chain plans, who reports that in 2021 Apple will launch a high-end iPhone without a Lightning connector.
Apple pushing Lightning out of the equation isn’t surprising—the USB-C port on the iPad Pro could be a portent for such a move—but that’s not what Kuo is actually suggesting. He’s suggesting the Lightning port will be removed, to be replaced by a “completely wireless experience.”
I want to laugh this report off, but I can’t. This is the company that deleted the headphone jack on the iPhone a few years ago—a move that seemed far-fetched when it was rumored, and was absolutely true. Fool me once, shame on me—this time I’m going to take this report seriously.
December 11, 2019 7:30 AM PT
This week on the irreverent tech show that recorded slightly ahead of the Mac Pro release, we talk about Apple’s most expensive new computer before we delve straight into our litany of complaints about everything from Bluetooth pairing on cars to iPad multitasking to iCloud storage. But at least John has some happy thoughts about finding photos.
By Jason Snell
December 10, 2019 5:19 PM PT
One of my biggest complaints about macOS Catalina was that in the translation of iTunes into Music, TV, and Podcasts, my preferred way of navigating my music library—the three-paned Column Browser—was removed:
It was ugly but functional, and let me do things like quickly focus on a specific album or artist, or shuffle through an arbitrary set of albums in a temporary, impromptu playlist.
I’m happy to report that as of today, the macOS 10.5.2 update returns the Column Browser, which as far as I can tell works just as it did in iTunes. I can select an artist, a couple of albums, start playing, click the shuffle button—and music will shuffle between all the items in my selection. Perfect.
I’m not sure who at Apple was behind this decision to revive the column browser, but thank you, Mysterious Benefactor.
By Dan Moren
December 10, 2019 1:34 PM PT
iOS 13.3 is out today with some minor changes, but one that may come as a welcome improvement to many is the ability to hide Memoji and Animoji stickers from your device’s keyboard.
Since the addition of Memoji stickers in iOS 13, they’ve lurked off to the left hand side of your keyboard, shifting the more useful “Frequently Used” section further down. That was the case even if you didn’t use Memoji or Animoji stickers.
In iOS 13.3 you can banish them back to the nether realm from whence they came. Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard, scroll all the way down, and turn off Memoji Stickers. Then, the next time you open your emoji keyboard, you’ll be back to having your Frequently Used emoji at the top of the heap.
December 9, 2019 12:09 PM PT
Rumors of a forthcoming iPhone without any lightning or USB ports make us ponder why Apple would consider such a move and what its ramifications would be. Also, Apple basks in Golden Globe nominations and steps into movie-industry controversy and Jason explains why most people don’t need a Mac Pro.
Dan Moren for Macworld
December 6, 2019 6:43 AM PT
It hasn’t even been three months since the release of Apple’s latest iPhone lineup and already the rumor mill is working overtime on what might arrive in the company’s smartphones next year and, believe it or not, the year after that.
Even if the iPhone is making up a smaller percentage of Apple’s revenue these days, it hasn’t ceased being the product that defines Apple, meaning speculation remains at peak levels. And all the smartwatches, streaming services, and fancy wireless headphones aren’t going to be changing that calculus anytime soon.
Certainly the next iPhone is still a way off, but it’s worth taking a moment to look at this latest round of rumors and think critically about what they might portend—even if they don’t end up coming true.
December 5, 2019 10:38 AM PT
This week, on the irreverent tech show that’s primed for the holiday season, we discuss the deals we took advantage of on the recent shopstravaganza holiday. Lex has a beef about Apple Card, John’s got some questions about Apple Arcade, and Dan is having CarPlay problems. But no one’s in the market for a cyber truck.
Jason Snell for Macworld
December 4, 2019 11:34 AM PT
The new Mac Pro is coming very, very soon—in the next couple of weeks, if we hold Apple to the astronomical definition of “coming this fall.” It’s safe to say that this is the most anticipated Mac in history—if only because its existence was pre-announced more than two and a half years ago, with the specifics following six months ago.
The Mac Pro is important and it’s platform defining. And unless you’re someone in the extreme high end of the Mac market, you will never use one. It’s a bundle of contradictions bult on a precision stainless steel space frame and sheathed in a machined aluminum housing.
December 4, 2019 10:37 AM PT
This week, on the 30-minute show where the bells, the bells are ringing, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Aleen Simms and James Thomson to discuss our favorite tech gifts, given and received; our guesses for the future of the HomePod; what we do with all our photos; and how we unplug on vacation. Plus, a special holiday-music-themed bonus topic.
By Jason Snell
December 2, 2019 2:50 PM PT
[This post is adapted from an item from the November Six Colors members-only newsletter. Become a subscriber today to support the site and get access to our monthly newsletter, a members-only podcast, and more.]
When I was a kid, I loved, loved the Sears Wish Book. It was a catalog full of toys and games and pajamas and other stuff kids might want to put on their gift-request lists. I can still smell the ink on the paper of the Wish Book. I want that Star Wars toy and this video game and, no, I don’t want that pillow, c’mon mom, who wants a pillow for Christmas?
Clearly someone at Amazon has been thinking of the power of colorful print catalogs to promote products, because last month, we got an 89-page catalog from Amazon in our mailbox, titled “Play Together: Amazon’s Ultimate Wish List for Kids!”
Play Together is an attempt to replicate the old Wish Book and the somewhat more modern Toys R Us catalog. Instead of circling things with a pen, you can get out the Amazon app and hold the camera over any product to have it automatically recognized. This catalog is beautiful, and fun to leaf through, and Amazon obviously hopes it will drive enough sales to make it all worthwhile.
Problem: The Play Together catalog is delightfully full of toys for kids from toddlers up to preteens. My children are 18 and 15.
We live in a world where we can legitimately be concerned that Target knows you’re pregnant before you do based on changes in your buying habits in its stores. Big data is everywhere, and it’s invasive. Most of us tech savvy people would list invasive collection of personal data high on our list of problems facing the tech industry and society at large.
I take the fact that Amazon’s Play Together catalog is sitting on my desk right now as a hint that while these tech giants are collecting an awful lot of data, they’re not (yet?) consistently using it well.
If you looked at my family’s buying history for the past two decades, you could come up with a pretty good estimate for the ages of our children based on what we bought and when we bought it. So why did Amazon waste its money sending us a catalog targeted at kids that are the wrong age?
Yes, the catalog is addressed to my wife, who occasionally buys something for her job as a children’s librarian. It’s possible that some innocuous purchase in the last year was enough to put us on Amazon’s list. But if that’s true, isn’t that just more evidence that Amazon is doing a bad job of using the massive amount of data it has collected on us? Surely a single purchase here or there isn’t enough to override the mountain of data that says we’ve got a couple of teenagers.
I don’t know if this is good news or bad news, but I think it’s worth noting that just because these days it’s standard practice to aggregate as much information about customers as possible doesn’t mean that information is used, or used well. It’s a good idea to be wary that your information may be collected and used against you—but will it?
A week later, we got another Amazon catalog in the mail. This one was called Holiday Together, and featured clothing and accessories targeted at adults and families. I thought it was a much better match, until I looked at the mailing label, which read, “Tiff Arment c/o Jason Snell.”
This summer Tiff Arment shipped some La Croix directly to my house for an episode of the Top Four podcast. Why in the world would Amazon consider some fizzy water shipments enough data to decide that this alternate shipping address is the one they should send a catalog to? Did Tiff’s purchase habits commingle with my zip code and address to create a single, perfect target for Holiday Together?
Forget it, it’s Amazontown. But keep this in mind: Maybe Amazon isn’t nearly as smart as we (and they) think it is.
December 2, 2019 12:19 PM PT
November 29, 2019 8:45 AM PT
This week, on the irreverent tech show where we’re not above crass commercialism, we take a trip down technology memory lane to our formative years with computers, then discuss the continuation of everything sad for Apple this month, and finally try to end the show about four different times.