This Week's SponsorUnite 4 - Turn websites into apps on your Mac.
By Jason Snell
April 21, 2021 5:14 PM PT
Though the products themselves will mostly not be appearing until late May, Apple’s latest set of announcements is now in the rear-view mirror. And I’m struck by how much both the iMac and the iPad Pro roll-outs are really part of the larger story of the Mac’s transition to Apple silicon.
The Mac’s transition continues
The new 24-inch M1 iMac is exciting because it’s the first new Mac to debut since Apple unveiled the first Macs running Apple silicon last fall. That said, this feels more like an echo of that event rather than an entirely new chapter in the transition.
Essentially, the M1 iMac, M1 MacBook Air, and M1 Mac mini are the same computer. Sure, there are slight tech-spec variations here and there, but for the most part these four computers will all perform similarly. They’re just shaped differently to fit into different ecological niches.
We might want to get used to this.…
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Apple announced a new remote and some other things.
Apple’s latest Apple TV update, our thoughts on the new iPad Pro, whether we customize our hardware, and where our first AirTags are going.
By Jason Snell for Macworld
Nobody needed to convince me that Apple’s at the top of its game when it comes to designing iPad hardware. The 2018 iPad Pro was so fast that more than two years later, it can handle more or less anything that you can throw at it. The 2020 iPad Pro was essentially the same speed—and it didn’t matter.
So here comes the 2021 iPad Pro, which is an even more extreme dunk in terms of features. Adding an M1 processor isn’t going to add the same boost as it did on the Mac side, because the iPad Pro was always powered by an energy-efficient Apple processor. But it’s still an upgrade of two processor generations, and that matters. A new display on the larger model allows Apple to set a new standard for brightness and dynamic range. Thunderbolt accelerates the iPad’s connectivity with other devices.
And yet, in 2021, it feels like the same story: Apple killed it on the hardware side, and the software…well, the software lags behind, to put it nicely. Apple built a spectacular sports car, but where are the roads to drive it on?
By Jason Snell
April 20, 2021 7:03 PM PT
The original iMac was all about colors. The first one was blindingly Bondi blue, and the follow-ups all came in various shades and designs. It was a computer you didn’t just buy to use, but to see.
When the G3 iMac left the scene, so did color. The iPod had taken the iMac’s lead and there were colorful iPod models for years, but the next generations of iMac were pale white plastic before shifting to silver aluminum. The Mac was drained of color, with an occasional darker gray or even more rarely, gold.
It’s been two decades since Apple rolled out a line of iMacs in an array of colors, but here we are: The new 24-inch M1 iMac has been announced, and it comes in what my Upgrade podcast pal Myke Hurley called “six colors and not a color.” Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Purple, Blue—all colors—and the supreme Apple not-a-color, Silver. One iMac, seven color options. What an embarrassment of riches.
New iMacs and iPads! The long-anticipated debut of AirTags! Podcast subscriptions! A new Apple TV remote! Ted Lasso’s secret shortbread recipe! Fresh from viewing Apple’s latest event, Jason and Myke break down all the announcements.
By Dan Moren
April 20, 2021 12:09 PM PT
While you’re caught up in the whirlwind of an Apple event, it can be easy to fixate on what’s being said on stage. But with just about an hour of screen time, Apple’s certainly not going to talk about every little detail of its new announcements, which is why we all spend a lot of time combing the company’s website for the little tidbits that it doesn’t talk about. Here are a few significant things that I’ve found so far.
April 16, 2021 3:00 PM PT
My thanks to Rogue Amoeba, the very first Six Colors sponsor, for once again sponsoring Six Colors this week!
Rogue Amoeba’s Mac utility Loopback makes it trivial to pass audio from one application to another on your Mac. Whether that’s playing a recording into Zoom, adding sound effects into a podcast, or include music into a streamed event, Loopback gives you the power to do it with just a few clicks.
Loopback’s magic is that it creates virtual audio devices, which merge audio from multiple applications and input devices into a single source. Then you can just select them in any audio app on your Mac. It’s incredibly powerful. And Loopback’s intuitive wire-based interface makes it easy to understand what sound is flowing where.
I use Loopback for podcasts (letting me play a live soundboard for my guests), and for live streaming tabletop gaming on YouTube (mixing my microphone with the output of a Zoom call). Loopback can probably help you, too. Through April 30, Six Colors readers can save 21% with coupon code SIXLB.
Emergency draft! In this bonus episode, Jason and Myke predict what will happen at Tuesday’s Apple media event. Will there be new iPad Pro models, and if so, will new accessories accompany them? Will we finally see a new iMac design? What other unexpected announcements might await us?
By Dan Moren
April 16, 2021 7:24 AM PT
I was frankly flabbergasted to see a post on The Verge this morning, reporting that Amazon has—finally!—added the ability to show the cover of whatever you’re currently reading on your Kindle’s lock screen.
Let me tell you: there was much rejoicing. Users have clamored for this feature for a very long time—even those who didn’t have the Special Offers option that shows ads on the lock screen were stuck with the company’s wallpaper options.
There are, of course, a few caveats to this feature: first, you’ll need to have a supported Kindle device, which includes the Kindle (8th, 10th generation), Kindle Paperwhite (7th, 10th gen), Kindle Oasis (8th, 9th, 10th gen), and Kindle Voyage (7th gen). You’ll also probably need to be on the latest firmware version.
Second, if you do have Special Offers, you’ll need to pay the $20 to remove it from your device.1
Finally, I had to restart my Kindle for the option to show up in Settings > Device Options, and even then it took a couple of lock-unlock cycles for it to show up on the screen. But voila, there it is! It’s almost like a real virtual book now, huh?
- The Verge also says that some people have had luck calling Amazon customer support and asking nicely. I just forked over the $20. ↩
[Dan Moren is the official Dan of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at email@example.com. His latest novel, The Aleph Extraction, is out now and available in fine book stores everywhere, so be sure to pick up a copy.]