eXtensions - Thursday 10 December 2020
Thursday Notes: M-series Macs and Related Ideas; Titan Awakes; F*ceB**k Legal Woes
By Graham K. Rogers
I have two MacBook Pro computers and a MacBook Air which was bought as an emergency standby a few months ago. The screen on my 13" MacBook Pro had broken when I moved to a new condo and the repair was going to take a couple of weeks. I needed to have a fully working Mac with me for work and for my own writing. I picked up a basic MacBook Air and used that: highly recommended. I also have an older Mac mini which sits on my desk at work. This still chugs along and is a back up of the back up just in case anything ever happens. I have plenty of Macs right now and should probably think about divesting myself of one or even two.
The reply only took a day or so and they thanked me for getting in touch, adding that they would love to make Pixelmator Photo available on Mac one day but it will have to wait a little longer. That was followed by the :) typed smiley which put me into speculation mode. Is that a "watch this space", or is that a suggestion of "this year, next year, sometime, never"; or even coming soon. I hope the latter. The app has been a good experience on the iPad Pro (and the iPad) but I would love to see that Aperture-like interface on my Macs.
This week I came across another explanation of how to put iPad apps onto the new Macs by William Gallagher (AppleInsider), using Apple Configurator or iMazing which had been mention by other sources. Early in the article there was an explanation of why some developers are not allowing their apps to be made available in the App Store, which would be my preferred way of installation (and why I asked Pixelmator - above). There were sound reasons: "[developers are] not going to enable you to run an iOS app on your M1 Mac if it isn't going to work. Nor if its interface is so tied to gestures like swiping and pinching that it isn't very good on a Mac." He added, "a developer is also not going to enable it until they're ready" which is quite sound as no developer wants to have their apps working in a situation where they are not at their best. I am just going to have to be patient.
I needed some clear time in which to download this - I was surprised it was not included with the Big Sur installation - and see how a couple of my apps would run. In the end it was not a large download, and this tells me that the components were already available with the Big Sur installation, but needed an internet connection. This connection may have been either to download a final install component or to send a confirmation to Apple that all was above board. It is not available for the Intel Mac of course. There are almost certainly more technical reasons, but when I agreed to the download it was all done in seconds. I tried a number of the apps that had signaled Rosetta was needed and they worked just like they had before.
I am finding that Time Machine backups seem to be faster with Big Sur, but dismounting - or ejecting - the disk takes up to a minute on the Intel Mac, but it is a little quicker on the M-1 Macs.
The favorites must be the iMacs and an expanded MacBook Pro lineup. William Gallagher (AppleInsider) suggests the expansion plans could include a 32-core MacPro as well as other Macs. My acquaintance who bought the M-1 Mac mini is delighted with the device and says that it works really fast, even with Adobe Premiere which he uses in preference to Final Cut. Others have used the Apple software and say that it is fast and smooth.
Apple Silicon: the M-1 - Image courtesy of Apple
A couple of days after this report, Intel's Gregory Bryant was interviewed and (as reported by Stephen Warwick, iMore) says he feels "very good competitively about competition from Apple silicon and rivals like AMD." Bryant says that competition is expected and healthy. He is confident about the current lineup, particularly the 11th generation core products
In a report that I found in Patently Apple, that must be linked to the appointment, there are indications from Taiwan that Titan is moving to "a new phase" which makes sense. Particularly interesting is the comment that Apple is "opening a plant in the U.S. and [will] begin preliminary talks with the observing global auto electronics supply chain (sic)." It is expected that Apple will tap TSMC for the chips for this project (Evan Selleck, iDownloadBlog)
I note in another report that Rivian (the company whose EVs featured in the AppleTV+ docu-series Long Way Up with Ewan McGregor's electric Harley-Davidsons) are installing a series of charging stations at sites that are not in what are considered normal locations. They already have some in South America. These new ones are compared to the VolksWagen and Tesla strategies of providing chargers in non-standard locations. An article on this by Kristen Korosec (TechCrunch) has much useful information. Whether Apple's moves as outlined in Patently Apple are actually related to Rivian, Volkswagen or Tesla (probably not) is not known, but my money would be on Rivian.
While I am still waiting for this to appear here, the Apple Watch ECG feature goes live in Taiwan on Dec. 15 Mikey Campbell AppleInsider). It is also expected to surface in Japan sometime soon, but not in Thailand.
I later also saw a report on this in the Irish Independent (Adrian Weckler) which added that "has put aside €302m for possible fines from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner", noting that Facebook reported €34.4 billion last year in Ireland. If that is anything like Apple this could indicate its income in Europe.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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