Apple's macOS

Apple’s macOS 11 Big Sur marks the end of OS X, not the Mac – AppleInsider

Apple’s slickly produced WWDC20 keynote didn’t directly emphasize it, but the new macOS Big Sur that will ship to the public this fall is officially “macOS 11,” marking an end to the twenty-year progression of “Mac OS X” branding. But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the Mac.

Turn it up to 11

Apple’s first beta of macOS Big Sur was made available to developer program members with the version designation of “10.16,” which is what one might expect from the successor to last year’s Mac OS 10.15 Catalina. But Apple likes to switch things up and keep things interesting.

Big Sur beta

The Big Sur beta was originally called 10.16

In this case, the move to macOS 11 was a subtle reveal. Speaking from the hands-on area of the Steve Jobs Theater during the WWDC20 keynote, Apple’s head of software Craig Federighi showed screenshots that indicated the new release was finally pushing past the big “X” that has defined the Mac experience for 20 years.

Apple’s fresh 2020 update to its developer Human Interface Guidelines now consistently refers to Big Sur as “macOS 11,” rather than being another incremented version of the “Mac OS X” brand that first shipped as a public beta in 2000 and as an initial “Mac OS X 10.0” public release in 2001.

Across the last two decades, Apple has released major new versions of its modern OS for the Mac at regular intervals. Since 2016, it has deemphasized the Roman numeral “X,” shifting its marketing name to simply “macOS.” It has also increasingly capitalized on its annually changing “code name” assigned to each release — first big cats, then places in California — relegating the actual version number increasingly out of prominent view.

The move beyond “X” to 11 may seem concerningly ominous, but it really just reflects a series of moves Apple has made to better align its work on the Mac desktop with its mobile platforms. After 14 years of iOS releases, we are now getting a simple, streamlined annual version number for the Mac as well.

The Mac isn’t going away, it’s catching up

A number of observers have suggested that Apple is losing its interest in the Mac platform, and fear that Apple is making plans to replace its 35-year-old, conventional computing platform with, effectively, a scaled-up version of iPadOS. They cite developments such as Catalyst, which helps developers bring their existing OS code to the Mac, or the new move to Apple Silicon Macs, which will enable future hardware to run iOS software without any modification.

Some have pointed to the new UI refinements in Big Sur that look like a modern departure from the traditional Mac appearance with its squared panels, rigid alignments, and more dramatic contrasting of dark monochrome regions. The default Big Sur desktop in the first beta makes the new, updated appearance took particularly radical due to its use of intense colors (below). Is this the end of the beloved Macintosh? Is it becoming “just a big iPod touch”?

Big Sur beta desktop

Change the default wallpaper (above) to the photo of California’s Big Sur (top) and the whole thing looks less foreign and garish

I don’t think so. Instead, I think the changes Apple is making to the Mac are in the right direction, even if they do touch that part of the brain that incites fear and concern simply because things are new, different, and slightly less familiar. There are some transition issues and rough edges— like the brand new Battery panel that replaces the confusing old mess of “Energy Saver”— but this is the first developer beta. Things are still in flux and changes are being hammered out.

Big Sur Battery panel

Did Apple hire Google’s emoji team to draw up this weird condom battery?

Rather than being disgruntled that some things on the Mac are changing and — horrors! — reflecting the work Apple’s already done for iPadOS, it’s useful to look at things from the other direction. For years, the Mac has received less of Apple’s attention and resources simply because the market opportunities afforded by iPhones and iPad were vastly larger.

Over the last decade, the work needed to deliver leading smartphone and tablet technology was urgent, while the Mac mostly just needed refinements to keep it comfortably competitive with commodity PCs and netbooks. Three years ago, Apple was consumed with reinventing iPhone X, and since then it has focused on differentiating and radically enhancing its “new” iPadOS platform.

Back to the Mac

The new Big Sur borrows a series of familiar, functional improvements from Apple’s years of work that focused on iOS. One great example is the new Control Center, which brings the same clean, intuitive, configurable layout of quick settings to the Mac.

Control Center in Big Sur

Big Sur’s new iOS-inspired Control Center is beautiful and brilliant

One of Apple’s biggest efforts in last year’s macOS Catalina was to break up its monolithic iTunes into a series of modern, streamlined apps, reflecting how things worked under iOS. In our review of Catalina, one of the problems we noted was the increasing lack of visual and user interface consistency across its various bundled apps, a gap that kept growing as batches of new apps with their own fresh interface style erupted with each new release.

Certain older apps looked like they were stuck in different points of the past because they literally were. As Apple’s internal development tools kept changing over the years, some of the oldest code remained difficult to modernize or harmonize with the rest of the system.

Instead of spending the last couple years working to bring various old macOS components up to date with the Mojave appearance, Apple instead began charting out a much bolder and material leap: a jump to its own Apple Silicon at the lowest layer of the stack, as well as a radical new approach to building high-level appearance and behavior in the new Swift UI. In tandem, Apple also introduced Catalyst as a way to bring existing iOS code to the Mac.

All three represent huge investments in enhancing the Mac platform and preparing it for the future. They expand the library of software that Macs can run while transferring and adapting some of the tremendously valuable UI work already performed for mobile devices to desktop Mac systems tuned to handle larger and more complex tasks. These changes actually make the Mac more commercially relevant and a stronger platform.

Critics have fixated on niggling appearance issues in the initial Catalyst apps and worried that the cherished Mac look and feel was going away. The truth is: it is. The Mac is increasingly modernizing, leveraging new, more flexible code that supports features ranging from accessibility and internationalization to Dark Mode. Mac stalwarts might be tempted to blame the iPad or iOS, but the real force for change is Swift UI, Catalyst, Symbols, and other modern UI techniques and technology that simply appeared on iPad and iPhone first because they were receiving the most attention from Apple.

Apple Music Big Sur

Big Sur borrows tech from iOS, such as Symbols, to enhance the Mac and make it more consistent

It’s fine to critically examine the visual changes Apple is introducing in Big Sur, but consider evaluating these as inherently positive changes that are not yet finalized. The impact of Big Sur changes may seem more radical simply because they are more consistently applied across the entire macOS than in previous releases. That in itself indicates that rather than just being an arbitrary “new look” for new apps, the changes are a more fundamental rethinking of how to keep software modern and maintainable, and therefore more consistent.

At WWDC20, Apple has devoted a lot of work to show developers how they can leverage the latest tools, particularly Swift UI, to create clean app interfaces that are uncluttered, consistent, and intuitive to use, while also supporting modern functionality and being prepared to adapt to future OS features as they are delivered.

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Apple's walled

Apple’s walled garden just got higher on its iPhones, iPads and Macs – CNET


Apple’s making changes to its iOS software to answer long-standing requests.

Angela Lang/CNET

The tech industry often refers to Apple’s ecosystem of devices as a “walled garden,” an idyllic world of tech where each of the company’s devices work together because Apple controls intricate details of how they work. In a few months, that wall will get a bit higher.

Sometime this fall, the tech giant will release iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and MacOS Big Sur, the software that powers its iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, respectively. The company has added new features to the software, which will be free to existing device owners, offering both convenience and an even greater pull to bring you even deeper into Apple’s world. 

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The “Sign In with Apple” feature, introduced a year ago, will more closely connect with apps to allow you to create accounts, sign up for new apps and log into existing apps using your Apple ID. Apple’s also got a virtual car keys feature that creates a digital key to unlock and start your car with just your phone. And if you want, you can share those car keys with friends through Apple’s encrypted iMessage service. 

Speaking of messages, that app has new features too, making group chats more appealing by offering threaded conversations as in Facebook and Slack, as well as the ability to grab someone’s attention by writing their name.

“Today, the world is counting on all of us and on the products and experiences that we create to move forward,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said Monday during the livestreamed keynote at his company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short. “We have not stopped innovating, doing the work that will enrich people’s lives for years to come.”

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WWDC 2020’s biggest announcements


Apple’s efforts to tighten the connections among its services is nothing new, but the announcements the company made Monday bring that interoperability to a level users haven’t experienced before. Apple’s efforts to control the experience on its devices has helped it to build well-regarded software to power popular devices like the Mac computers, iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches. But increasingly, you need to either go all-in on Apple devices, or risk missing out on many of the key benefits. 


This could be your next car key.


At the same time, governments around the world have been questioning the ways the company wields that power, potentially shutting out rivals. The European Union has opened two investigations into how Apple treats outside developers. Apple also hasn’t made key popular technology, like the iMessage encrypted chat service, available to phones powered by Google’s Android software.

“Apple has always wanted to build this world that people want to live in,” said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst now at Technalysis Research. What’s unclear is whether Apple’s latest features are enough to convince people to commit to only Apple. 

The company did quietly open up two key elements of iOS, with the next version allowing you to change the default email and browser on your iPhone. Apple never mentioned the capability during the keynote, with the revelation coming in one of the presentation slides. 

The number of people who have iPhones, iPads and Mac computers is small, O’Donnell said, noting that many more people have an iPhone and a computer made by different company. But as Apple continues adding features that competitors have had for years, such as small apps known as widgets on its home screen, or threaded conversations in its messages app, more people might be wooed over to the company’s side.

“You do spend so much of your time with these devices,” he added.

Read more: iPhone’s radical new home screen changes aren’t on by default. What you need to know

Not just features

The biggest news out of Apple’s event Monday wasn’t the new features for its iPhones, but rather the changes coming to the company’s Mac computers. 

Apple said that starting in the fall, it will begin selling computers powered by chips with designs similar to those in the iPhone and iPad. These chips, the latest of which have names like A13 Bionic, initially appeared in the first iPads in 2010. Apple said its chips today are more than 100 times faster than those original chips.

Beyond that, by building its own chips for its computers, Apple is able to fine-tune its software even more to provide an optimal experience.

“Most important, this means that iOS and iPadOS applications will be able to run natively on MacOS in the future, making it easier for Apple’s 23 million developer partners to create applications across all Apple products,” Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty wrote in a note to investors after the announcement Monday.

For consumers, this means the opportunity to bring some of the apps they already use on their iPhones onto Macs, giving them incentive to look at other Apple hardware. 

Mobile future

For years, industry watchers have wondered whether Apple would eventually marry its ultra-portable iPad tablet with the MacBook laptop. Apple has routinely dismissed the idea, despite positive reviews for Microsoft’s Surface laptops, which popularized the idea of a computer-tablet hybrid.

But with iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and MacOS Big Sur, Apple’s effectively married them anyway. By making its new Mac computers capable of running iPhone and iPad apps, few things are left separating the Mac from its mobile cousins. The Mac has more storage, and it’s designed to perform more advanced tasks like professional video editing and graphics design, but other than that, a touchscreen and some extra ports, they’re not that different anymore.


Apple’s more tightly connecting its phones, computers and tablets.


Apple even made this point by rebuilding its Maps app on the Mac using its iPhone and iPad app as its base. The company did the same with its Messages app. “It’s a full-fledged Mac app that runs natively and is designed in a way that’s true to the Mac,” Apple software head Craig Federighi said during the company’s presentation.

For Apple, tying its devices even tighter together, and building that wall ever higher, is just the latest way to guarantee as good an experience as it can.

“From the very beginning, the Mac redefined the entire computer industry. The Mac has always been about innovation and boldly pushing things forward, embracing big changes to stay at the forefront of personal computing,” Cook said. “We haven’t stopped innovating.”

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'drumroll Apple's

Apple’s ‘drumroll begins’ for 5G iPhone 12 super-cycle, says analyst – AppleInsider

Investment bank Wedbush is predicting that the “iPhone 12” will launch at about the same time that the iPhone X did, and despite coronavirus challenges, 5G will induce a super-cycle for Apple in 2020 and 2021.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives says that Apple’s supply chain has normalized ahead of expectations after coronavirus snarled production earlier in 2020. Ives adds that the normalization puts “Cook & Co. back in the drivers seat to launch this 5G cycle in this typical September timeframe.”

Although there have been “previous reports speculating that the iPhone 12” will launch similarly to how the iPhone X rolled out, Ives now fully expects Apple to debut the lineup in late September and ship out in early October. That’s in-line with its usual timeframe, and Wedbush based its current forecast on recent supply chain checks.

As with past “iPhone 12” rumors, Ives is expecting Apple to launch four iPhone models with a mix of 4G and 5G compatibility across the lineup. At least one of those devices could sport a sub-$1,000 price tag despite 5G support.

On the 5G topic, Ives said that there will likely be both U.S. and non-U.S. versions of the 5G iPhone, with only some models sporting faster mmWave 5G support. The analyst added that Apple appears to have “ironed out” technology wrinkles with 5G, further corroborating that 2020’s pivotal launch will go over smoothly.

Beyond production issues, there have also been some hints that weakened demand could throw the late 2020 iPhone lineup off Apple’s usual schedule.

However, Ives expects Apple to be on the verge of entering a super-cycle due to 5G. Wedbush is estimating that 350 million of Apple’s current 950 million iPhones are in an upgrade window, and that lower price tags on some models could catalyze upgrades. That is driving the investment bank’s longer-term bullish thesis, despite the “dark COVID-19 backdrop and a soft macro.”

Wedbush’s supply chains checks agree with rumors that the “iPhone 12” will launch without EarPods in the box. Ives expects that to drive demand for AirPods, which are on a trajectory to sell 85 million units in 2020. That’s up from 65 million in 2019.

Going into WWDC 2020, Ives expects Apple to show off new operating systems like iOS 14, announce a move to ARM-based Mac chips, and drop “some breadcrumbs” about “Apple Glass” or other AR and wearable developments.

Wedbush’s 12-month Apple price target remains at $375 from a week prior. Apple’s stock is trading at $351.95 on Tuesday morning, up 2.67%.

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Apple's latest

Apple’s latest iPad mini drops to $349 at Amazon – Engadget

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. If you buy something through one of the links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s now a little easier to get a small tablet that still packs a punch. Amazon is selling Apple’s current-generation iPad mini with 64GB of storage for $349, or $50 below the official price. You’ll get $50 off the price if you want 256GB of storage or LTE, too. This is close to the lowest price we’ve seen, and should make the iPad mini easier to justify versus the larger but slower 10.2-inch iPad.

Buy iPad mini (64GB WiFi) on Amazon – $349

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Apple's First

Apple’s First MacBook Pro With a Retina Display Will Become ‘Obsolete’ in 30 Days – MacRumors

If you are still hanging on to a Mid 2012 model of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display, and require a new battery or other repairs, be sure to book an appointment with a service provider as soon as possible.

In an internal memo today, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that this particular MacBook Pro model will be marked as “obsolete” worldwide on June 30, 2020, just over eight years after its release. In a support document, Apple notes that obsolete products are no longer eligible for hardware service, with “no exceptions.”

Apple already classified the 2012 MacBook Pro as “vintage” in 2018, but it has still continued to service the notebook as part of a pilot program, subject to parts availability. With the 2012 MacBook Pro transitioning to “obsolete” status at the end of this month, it would appear that the notebook will no longer be eligible for any official repairs.

Of course, if you own a 2012 MacBook Pro, there is nothing stopping you from following one of iFixit’s many do-it-yourself repair guides. Independent repair shops are another avenue, although many do not use official Apple parts.

In addition to being the first MacBook Pro with a Retina display, the 2012 model had a much slimmer design compared to previous models, after Apple removed the built-in Ethernet port and optical disc drive for CDs/DVDs. It still had a wide array of I/O, however, including pairs of Thunderbolt and USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card slot.

Top Stories

Apple Doubles the Price of RAM Upgrade on Entry-Level 13-Inch MacBook Pro

Saturday May 30, 2020 4:00 pm PDT by

Apple today doubled the price for upgrading the RAM on the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, with customers in the United States now being charged $200 to move from 8GB to 16GB compared to the previous $100 upgrade price. Similar increases are seen in other countries, such as moving from €125 to €250 in Germany and from £100 to £200 in the United Kingdom.
Current pricing on RAM upgrade for …

8 Mac Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know

Friday May 29, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by

There are tons of hidden features and shortcuts for Macs that Apple has built into macOS over the years, ranging from shortcuts to keyboard commands to other little hacks to make Mac usage just a bit simpler. In our latest YouTube video, we highlighted several of these tips and tricks, and some of them might just be new to you.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Tr…

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished iPhone XR Models

Thursday May 28, 2020 9:50 pm PDT by

Apple today began selling certified refurbished iPhone XR models in select colors and capacities for the first time in the United States. Refurbished iPhone XR models are priced at a roughly 16 percent discount compared to current pricing on brand-new units, knocking $100–120 off of the regular price.
In addition to the 64GB and 128GB capacities matching current brand-new iPhone XR models, …

Top Stories: macOS 10.15.5, New Powerbeats Pro Colors, iPhone 12 and 13 Rumors, and More

This week saw an interesting mix of news and rumors on the Apple front, led by the release of macOS 10.15.5, which brings a new battery health feature to newer Mac notebooks, while we also saw the official announcement of new colors for the Powerbeats Pro earphones.
On the rumor front, we heard a few tidbits about not just this year’s iPhone 12 but also next year’s iPhone, while we saw…

Powerbeats Pro Debut in Four New Colors: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue

Friday May 29, 2020 10:00 am PDT by

Following a couple of leaks in recent weeks, Beats today is officially announcing four new colors for its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones: Spring Yellow, Cloud Pink, Lava Red, and Glacier Blue. The new earphones will go on sale June 9 and sell for the same $249.95 price as the existing color options.
Aside from the colors, the new Powerbeats Pro models are otherwise identical to the…

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by

With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions.
Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when…

Leaker Shares Details on ‘iPhone 13’ Camera [Updated]

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by

The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn’t out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13’s camera setup.
A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel…

More Photos and Video of Apple’s Redesigned Leather Loop Watch Band Surface

Thursday May 28, 2020 10:50 am PDT by

Images of a new version of the Leather Loop that Apple appears to have in development surfaced yesterday, and today, Vietnamese site has shared additional photos and videos that give us a clearer picture of what to expect from the new band.
The bands come in colors that include red, hot pink, blue, black, and brown, with some of the bands featuring different colored accents at the…

Tile Writes to EU Accusing Apple of Abuse of Power

Bluetooth accessory maker Tile has written to the European Union accusing Apple of abuse of power and of illegally favoring its own products.
According to a report by Financial Times, in a letter sent on Tuesday to the European Commissioner for Competition, the accessory maker said that Apple is making it harder for users to use Tile products on iPhone because it has its own rival Find My…

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Apple's Review

Review: Apple’s entry-level 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is yesterday’s tech for today’s prices – AppleInsider

Since the 2017 revision, the 13-inch MacBook Pro line has been a tale of two computers, and the 2020 refresh is no exception. But, there are some interesting “updates” in the new model, that puzzle us, and make us wonder why they were made.

For this review, we’re specifically looking at the entry-level 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro with an 8th Gen 1.4GHz Core i5 processor that can Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz (the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro can also be configured with an 8th Gen 1.7GHz quad-core Core i7 with a Turbo Boost speed of 4.5GHz). There is a giant difference between the MacBook Pro that has the eighth-generation Intel processor, versus the tenth generation. Enough of one, in fact, that they warrant a separate examination.

While we’ll be briefly discussing the higher-end models today, we’ll be reviewing the higher-end 10th generation model a bit later as there are sufficient differences.

Not the refresh that was expected

Many users had hoped to see Apple move to a 14-inch design for the smaller MacBook Pro, adopting a similar design aesthetic as Apple had for the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro that became the 16-inch. That hasn’t — yet — come to pass and instead we got another iteration on the existing MacBook Pro design.

The refresh still has the gorgeous P3 wide color gamut Retina display, two Thunderbolt three ports on the entry-level model we’re discussing here, a headphone jack, the contested Touch Bar, and the same 720p camera that has been maligned for years.

Many things, Apple chose not to update. Wi-Fi is still only 802.11ac and not Wi-Fi 6 that the iPhone first brought to Apple products. Most devices and routers don’t support Wi-Fi 6 at the moment but for a machine destined to last for at least six years, Wi-Fi 6 should be included. At least it has Bluetooth 5, though.

The exterior looks the same, though it did increase in weight from 3.02 pounds to 3.11 pounds and thickness from .59 inches to .61 inches. This has everything to do with the new keyboard.

The 13.3-inch refresh doesn’t belie a 14-inch redesign, it just isn’t here yet. Recent rumors point to early 2021 as the timeframe for the updated aesthetic.

Apple’s Magic Keyboard

Apple has updated the keyboard design. After several false starts, Apple’s kicked its butterfly switch mechanisms to the curb in favor of Apple’s latest version of a scissor-switch design.

The previous butterfly keyboard was divisive, to say the least, but it had few staunch advocates. Between it and the Touch Bar, we believe that Apple was trying to migrate users to a more iPad-like experience for typing on the Mac. It appears to have not gone that well.

We have spoken at some length on the updated Magic Keyboard again, and again. It still has a full millimeter of key travel. It still feels more responsive to type on and not all that different from the 16-inch MacBook Pro which also has Apple’s Magic Keyboard embedded into its aluminum body.

We truly do like the feel of the updated keyboard. While the extra key travel at times makes us feel like we are slightly slower than on the previous design that we’ve been hammering away on for nearly five years, it is an improvement. It isn’t enough to cause us to trip up while typing that often, and is enough to make the keys feel more responsive when depressed.

Aside from moving to the Magic Keyboard, other changes are also notable. Specifically, Apple has included a standalone physical escape key and also returned the inverted “T” design for the arrow keys. Depending on a user’s work, these may be more impactful than a shift from the previous-gen keyboard.

Upgraded internals

We’re just going to come out and say it — we’re not impressed with the lower-end of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. While the high-end 13-inch models were improved with the tenth-generation Intel processors, the entry-level units got stuck with the same eighth-generation chips as the 2019 models.

We see the impacts of this choice in performance. Our 1.4GHz quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor model obviously scored the same as the 2019 model with the same chip. The entry 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019) scored 942 and 3913 on the Geekbench 5.1.1 single and multi-core tests while the 2020 model earned a 948 and a 4015.

In the Cinebench R20 benchmark, the fans barely spun up, not kicking in until two thirds through the test. They were audible, but not as loud as Apple’s laptop fans used to be. Monitoring with Intel Power Gadget, the 13-inch MacBook Pro was able to maintain its clock speed without unnecessarily throttling down. In the test it scored 1588 points.

There is a degree of variance in these tests. While the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro scores mildly higher, on average, they are identical for all intents and purposes.

Apple increased the storage capacities, thankfully. Doubling the capacities across the line. It now starts at 256GB and the low-end options can be upgraded to 2TB. Twice what they previously started at and were capped at. In terms of speed, we were averaging around 1250 megabytes per second for write speeds and 1600 megabytes per second for read speeds using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

For comparison, the 16-inch MacBook Pro at just about any capacity will peak at 3150 megabytes per second read speeds, and about 2900 megabytes per second write speeds. The 2020 MacBook Air delivers about 1250 megabytes per second read, and 1000 megabytes per second write.

Memory too is the same as last year, starting at 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3. Graphics as well sticking around, relying on the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645.

Entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro versus high-end

This year, more than ever, there is a distinction between the entry-level units and the upper-level units. They are physically differentiated by the number of Thunderbolt 3 ports. The entry-level has two while the upper-end has four. As we’ve mentioned, we will review the higher-end machine soon, but to give you an idea of the differences, we wanted to touch on them quickly.

The high-end units have the aforementioned tenth generation Intel chips rather than the older eighth generation. They use faster 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory, start at 16GB, and can be updated to 32GB. Internal storage can be maxed out at 4TB.

Because of those tenth generation chips, the 2020 high-end model has better graphics than the 2019 refresh, and this 2020 low-end MacBook Pro. On the high end, a 6K display such as the Pro Display XDR can be driven, with this model only able to connect to a 5K external display.

Should you buy the entry-level 13-inch 2020 MacBook Pro?

This new 13-inch MacBook Pro for 2020 is… fine. It is, in a vacuum, a solid machine. But in the ladder that is Apple’s portable Mac lineup, it is an extra rung.

The newest MacBook Air is a more enticing option versus the 13-inch MacBook Pro at the low-end. It is cheaper, slimmer, and more portable. Not to mention, the MacBook Air has those updated tenth generation Intel processors that the entry-level MacBook Pro lacks.

Users who are dead-set on picking up an entry-level MacBook Pro are buying it for a few reasons. Compared to the Air, it is very slightly more capable and does come with the Touch Bar — but if the latter is a bonus varies very much user to user. Compared to the previous-gen MacBook Pro it also has beam-forming microphones, Dolby Atmos support on tiny speakers, as well as better value with the doubled internal storage capacities.

Those aren’t inherently bad reasons to buy the machine, but the MacBook Air is a better value overall, and the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro has more to offer.

If we weren’t comparing this to the MacBook Air, if it existed in an ideal vacuum, we’d give this machine a four out of five for its design, feature set, and performance. But with the MacBook Air in such close proximity, occupying the same market segment, the entry-level Pro doesn’t warrant more than a 3.5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

New 2020 13″ MacBook Pro deals

Apple’s brand-new 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro is already on sale, with exclusive coupon discounts of up to $200 off, plus bonus savings on AppleCare.

If, after reading this 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro review, you want to pick up a system for yourself, check out the deals in the AppleInsider 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro Price Guide.

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Apple's online-only

WWDC 2020 date set: Apple’s (online-only) developer conference starts June 22 – CNET


Apple’s WWDC will be rather different as millions shelter in place.

James Martin/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, one of its biggest events of the year, is shifting online and will be held on June 22, amid concerns about the novel coronavirus and social distancing measures that continue to be extended throughout Silicon Valley. Apple also said that WWDC will be free for all developers to access via its developer app and website.

Apple earlier announced that the event, which typically takes place in early June and reveals new software for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers, would transition to being online-only as its native San Francisco Bay Area began instituting lockdowns. CNET’s global team will cover WWDC, as well as other conferences that have shifted online, just as we always do — by providing real-time updates, commentary and analysis you can only get here.

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Apple’s Swift coding challenge for students will headline…


Apple is just the latest in a string of companies shifting or canceling events as the coronavirus has spread around the world. The virus, for which there is no approved vaccine or cure, has killed more than 250,000 people worldwide, and infected more than 3.6 million people. Other companies like the internet giants Facebook and Google have also canceled their respective developer events, which were planned for the spring. Large organizations too have scuttled their plans, including the annual SXSW music and tech festival in Texas and the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Even Disneyland shut down.

Though Apple typically focuses on new software at its WWDC event each year, including updates to its iOS and MacOS operating systems, it does sometimes introduce devices as well. Last year, it unveiled its new $5,999 Mac Pro desktop and $4,999 Apple Pro Display XDR, aimed at professional artists, editors and coders.

Apple typically sponsors over 300 students from around the world to come to California for WWDC, based on a coding contest. This year, it’s doing a Swift Student Challenge instead, and the winning students will get WWDC swag.

Apple’s been holding WWDC at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center since 2017, which it moved to after outgrowing the space at San Francisco’s Moscone West. When the company announced plans to move WWDC online-only in March, it committed $1 million to local San Jose organizations to offset revenue lost from moving to the online-only format this year.

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Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh could bring more memory and storage – TechRadar India

13-inch MacBook Pro

(Image credit: Future)

At this point it seems inevitable that Apple is going to refresh its 13-inch MacBook Pro line in the same way that it recently did with the 16-inch models we saw last year, and new leaks hint that more memory and more storage are on the way too.

Trusted tipster @_rogame revealed on Twitter that a model with 32GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD storage space is in the pipeline, which is an impressively high-end configuration for Apple’s smallest Pro laptop.

At the moment, the 13-inch MacBook Pro configurations top out at 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage space, so we would be getting double the amount in both cases – a notable upgrade.

As always, bear in mind that even leaks from reputable tipsters can sometimes be wide of the mark. It’s possible that Apple will change its plans and tweak the available RAM and SSD options before launch day.

New config tested (2020 13″ Macbook Pro)> i7-1068NG7 2.3GHz base 4.1GHz boost> 32GB of RAM> 4TB SSD 29, 2020

We’ve actually seen the 32GB RAM configuration before, in a previous leak from the same source. On this configuration at least, the computer is reportedly powered by a 10th-generation  Intel Core i7-1068NG7 processor.

Then there’s the screen. The 16-inch MacBook Pro managed to fit a bigger display inside a similar-sized chassis, and it’s hoped that the smaller model will do the same – perhaps upping the screen size to 14 inches. This is still far from definite, however.

What seems more certain is that Apple will use its new and improved scissor switch keyboard on the 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh, which should be enough to put its long-standing keyboard issues to bed.

The big reveal for these new laptops could happen as early as next month, according to reports, and we already have a long trail of rumors and speculation leading up to the launch. If you want the top-spec version, you’d better start saving.

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Apple's iPhone

Apple’s iPhone sales got hit by the coronavirus. Now we’ll learn how bad – CNET


Experts say we’re just starting to understand the economic toll of the coronavirus.

Angela Lang/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

When Apple warned in February that the coronavirus would take a toll on the company’s sales and iPhone supply, it was a surprise. We knew the virus, which causes a disease called COVID-19, was ravaging life inside China and some of Europe. But it hadn’t yet severely disrupted life in the US.

Two months later, nearly 1 million cases have been confirmed in the US, and many people face ever-lengthening state-mandated lockdowns until enough widespread disease testing can happen. Medical authorities have confirmed at least 211,000 deaths and more than 3 million cases around the globe, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University & Medicine.

On Thursday, Apple will go from ringing the alarm to sharing the details when it releases its fiscal second-quarter results. Unlike in years past, investors have no idea what to expect. Many companies have withdrawn any guidance they gave to Wall Street, merely saying they won’t meet whatever numbers they’d offered before.

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In Apple’s case, the iPhone maker earlier expected to tally sales between $63 billion and $67 billion, even with early warning signs of the coronavirus showing disruption to manufacturing and supplies throughout China in December and January.

“Do the numbers even matter?” wrote Toni Sacconaghi, a longtime Apple analyst at AllianceBernstein, in a note to investors. He added that he doesn’t have much conviction in forecasts, in part because “everyone knows that the fiscal second quarter results will not be good.”

He also expects that “the worst is likely yet to come.”

Whatever Apple says will be interpreted as a bellwether, as the iPhone maker is one of the world’s most highly valued tech companies. Its sales and profits dwarf those of most other companies. Additionally, the $220 billion that Apple has in the bank makes it larger than the gross domestic product of many countries, including Greece, New Zealand and Panama.

No one questions whether Apple will weather the coronavirus and its economic fallout, just as the company easily survived the recession a decade ago. But in trying to forecast what the next year looks like, Apple analysts use words like “economic abyss,””dark days ahead” and “dark valley.”

Yahoo says analysts on average expect Apple to report profits of $2.28 per share from $54.7 billion in sales, a drop of more than 5% from the same time a year ago.

“The negative impact of COVID-19-driven global social distancing on the broader economy and several of our companies’ end markets has been severe,” wrote analysts at Goldman Sachs. The firm also downgraded Apple’s stock to “sell,” in part because it believes other analyst estimates are too optimistic.

Apple declined to comment ahead of its earnings.


Angela Lang/CNET

Apple’s 5G future

Though Apple did release a new MacBook AiriPad Pro, Magic Keyboard and well-timed $400 iPhone SE, none of that will matter much to Apple watchers. The biggest question on everyone’s mind will be the next iPhone, which is expected in the fall.

The rumor mill increasingly points to an iPhone that will include 5G wireless technology. This new cellular signal promises download speeds 10 to 100 times speedier than what we have now.

That’s part of why nearly every new phone this year has 5G built into it, or will offer a 5G variant. That includes the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G, the LG V60 ThinQ 5G and the OnePlus 8. Aside from many having a conspicuous “5G” attached to their names, all these phones tend to also carry a premium. The $699 OnePlus 8, however, shows prices are coming down.

While the next iPhone is expected to have 5G too, the larger question is when. There’s an increasing drumbeat of rumors saying the 2020 iPhone may be delayed by manufacturing slowdowns and supply shortages linked to the coronavirus. One report in Nikkei, citing anonymous sources with “direct knowledge” of Apple’s internal discussions, said the phone may be delayed “by months.” The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, said Monday its sources peg the delay at about a month.

Unfortunately even for Apple, analysts say it’s unlikely anyone will truly know whether the iPhone will be delayed until closer to launch date. And even if it does launch on time, or slightly later, nearly all experts agree the company will have limited supplies at first.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who’s notoriously tight-lipped, will likely stick to generalities about how great the product lineup looks for the future when he speaks with analysts on a conference call following his company’s earnings announcement Thursday. But it’s also an opportunity for him to signal how one of the world’s biggest companies is navigating one of the worst health catastrophes in generations.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty, for one, told investors in a memo last week that it’s likely Apple will figure out how to help make the iPhone 5G device a hit. “Apple took its medicine early,” she said.

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Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the unofficial album of the pandemic. – Slate

An album recorded at home, about feeling trapped, has found an unexpected resonance.

Fiona Apple performs at Newmark Theater in Portland, Oregon, in 2src13.

Natalie Behring/Getty Images

At the moment when much of the world is isolating indoors, Fiona Apple has come to break us out. Much of Fetch the Bolt Cutters, Apple’s first album in eight years and only her third in 20, was recorded in her home, its songs built up from clattering percussion tracks that sound as if they could have been pulled together using household objects. Barking dogs and the occasional mewing cat—sounds that have lately become more familiar to many of us than ever—barge in as if she’s left the studio door ajar, and sometimes strange, unidentifiable sounds leak in at the edges, as if her neighbors have left the TV on too loud. It’s an album about confinement, but also about escaping from it, and how even when you’re alone, by circumstance or by choice, the world is never far away.

In a New Yorker profile last month, Emily Nussbaum wrote that Apple “rarely leaves her tranquil house, in Venice Beach, other than to take early-morning walks on the beach with [her dog] Mercy.” Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ title comes from a scene in the British crime show The Fall, and the lyrics to the song “Heavy Balloon” were inspired by the Showtime series The Affair, which means Fiona Apple has been spending the past eight years the way you and I have been spending the past month: sitting inside and binge-watching TV. She’s also been stewing over her past, like the childhood bully who taunts her in “Shameika,” or the “cool kids” in the title track who “voted to get rid of me” and “stole my fun.” But she’s not just perseverating or picking at old wounds. She’s writing as someone who’s learned that the only way out is through, and even after decades, it can feel like the journey is just beginning.

Apple has been hinting at Bolt Cutters’ release for a year, so it can’t really be classed with the recent boomlet in socially isolated art, but her decision to release it when so many artists have pushed their spring releases to fall feels both generous and purposeful, and the reaction has been gratitude verging on canonization. I had to scour my social feeds for so much as a single hedged comment about the album, which Pitchfork awarded a perfect 10.0—only the 12th time that’s happened on an album’s initial release. (Notably, one of the other instances was Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which was released on Sept. 18, 2001, and, like Bolt Cutters, was an album that landed in the midst of a national crisis it seemed inadvertently made for.) From its ominous title and garish cover art on down, Bolt Cutters doesn’t feel like an album that wants to be universally beloved: It’s prickly and off-putting and proud of it. On “Under the Table,” Apple sings about being the ill-behaved guest at a dinner party, the one who has a little too much to drink and starts shooting off at the mouth. But at this point, we’re just happy to have guests, even imaginary ones, and in an emergency, the battle-worn Apple, recounting war stories and full of righteous anger, can make for an oddly comforting presence. “I’m pissed off, funny, and warm,” she rhymes. “I’m a good man in a storm.”

Gathering under one roof to share art with strangers has become a virtual impossibility, and the one Hollywood movie released in the past month has been Trolls World Tour, which is more like a device for subduing children for two hours than something we can take to our collective hearts. Fetch the Bolt Cutters is a salve that meets that unspoken need, willed into mass-art status by the hunger to have something we can share besides uncertainty and fear. Like Tiger King, it’s something that would have been a big deal at any time but feels many times bigger because of the void into which it’s emerged.

Like Tiger King, it’s something that would have been a big deal at any time but feels many times bigger because of the void into which it’s emerged.

Listening to Fetch the Bolt Cutters as I walked around my neighborhood Friday morning, past the shuttered stores and the people in masks, what kept striking me was not what the album says so much as how it sounds, somehow claustrophobic and roomy at the same time. You can hear the space around the instruments, like the echoing drums in “Rack of His” (which inverts the “nice rack” catcall to make it about a man’s guitar collection) or the syncopated snare of “Relay.” On “Newspaper,” a muffled dog bark and what could be the low rumble of a furnace pick up a lazy drumbeat, and then Apple starts humming wordlessly over the top, as if she’s composing the song on the spot over her morning coffee. As revealing as it was to watch Taylor Swift in Miss Americana composing songs in a tiny studio with a single collaborator, it’s also striking how little of that intimacy is polished out of the final product. Apple’s album has a sense of place, as if she’s let you into her home so she doesn’t have to leave it. (It’s telling that Nussbaum’s profile features a moment where Apple is displeased that a recording features too much compression, which tends to increase a song’s punch but makes it sound less lifelike.) The producer Steve Albini once said that few things sounds better than a drum being hit in an empty room, and Bolt Cutters is full of that sound, of rhythms banging off the walls and crashing into each other. The album makes reference to physical abuse and sexual assault, but the betrayal that gets played out at full song length is on “Drumset,” when she returns home to find that her drummer has left and taken her drum kit with her.

On Bolt Cutters, melodies drop in like unexpected guests and leave just as abruptly, sometimes shifting multiple times in the course of a single song. It’s like those dreams where you find a new room in your own house, one that’s always been there but you’ve somehow never seen. The moment you feel like you know where you are, the place changes again. But Apple finds her bearings, if only by getting dragged so far down there’s only one way left to go. “I’ve been in here too long,” she sings on the title track, and if we don’t yet know when we’ll get to throw open our own doors, at least it’s good to hear from someone who knows how to get out when it’s time.

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