eXtensions - Monday 18 October 2021


Monday Notes: Down the Road a-Piece

By Graham K. Rogers


A few hours before the Apple Unleashed event I have a few notes on possibilities and probabilities. Most pundits expect 14" and 16" MacBook Pro computers and there is late information that the M-Series ships could be designated Pro and Max. There is some good support for this.

With Ted Lasso now ended, I ran through The Morning Show and the latest episode of Foundation on Friday. Just before bedtime, I noticed that there was a documentary on The Velvet Underground on Apple TV+. I had owned the banana album in the 1970s although this was not my prime listening. There was something compelling about the music though. Out of interest I started watching the documentary on the iPad and was hooked. As it was late, I saved the rest for the next evening and enjoyed this historical episode, particularly the input from John Cale and Jonathan Richman.

There was also an interview with the maker of the documentary, Tod Haynes, on Slate (Sam Adams). This filled in a lot of information about the making of the documentary and the philosophy behind it. Shortly, Apple will be releasing a number of other movies and series that I will be interested in viewing, like Invasion, Finch, Swagger and The Line (Jason Cross, MacWorld)

MacBook Pro

Before the Apple Unleashed event announcements that will be coming in a few hours I have put down some ideas about what might be expected at the event. A lot of speculation is unfounded rumor, based on little but what someone wants and I will have some comments later in the week on what I want for the iPad Pro. However, some speculation does have factual support and three items caught my eye over th weekend about what the new MacBook Pro models would have. As a note, the expected MacBook Pro at Apple's Unleashed video event is itself speculation, although supported by a number of fact based inputs. It is the most likely device (or devices - there are rumored to be a couple of models) from Apple's promise to move all of the Macs to Apple silicon, despite Intel hoping that if they improve their products Apple will return: that bus has gone.

The MacBook Pro announcement is expected to be about 14" and 16" devices. Some support for this came from Mark Gurman, who had picked up information from a developer who had seen 3024-by-1964 and 3456-by-2234 resolutions in analytics. That would seem to be a reasonable assumption supporting the two devices. Another rumor that appeared over the weekend is less strong and concerns a "notch" (like the iPhone) that will be on the new Macs because of the thinness of the bezels surrounding the displays.

However, a report from Juli Clover (MacRumors) has a look at the original source of this rumor, which appeared in August, although it seems to have flown under the radar since. Not only does the source discuss the notch, but comments on other features that the device that was seen then had. As Juli Clover writes, some of the schematics came from April, but "there's a chance that Apple changed design directions and does not plan to release MacBook Pro models that feature a notch, but there is overwhelming evidence that it was at least considered." While those resolutions support a probability, these are possibilities and filed under, We shall see.

In his newsletter, Mark Gurman also puts forwards the ideas that there will be a return to the MagSafe connectors which were sorely missed, although mercifully I have not tripped on a wire since USB-C became standard on the Macs. He also suggests that the TouchBar will be removed. I will be sorry to see this go. I do find it of assistance, particularly if writing, when suggestions appear (there is a similar feature at the bottom of the screen of the iPad Pro that saves me a lot of time when working. I also use the TouchBar for other controls so it has never been a redundant feature for me.

A third rumor concerns the naming conventions of the new chips that would have to be used in these upcoming Macs. There are different versions of the M1 chip in the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iPad Pro, like the A15 in the iPhone and iPad mini: tuned for each device. Some rumors have suggested that the new chip would be the M1-X as this is a naming convention Apple has used for A-series chips (as well as Bionic). As the new Macs would have to be more powerful in a number of ways, the extensibility of these processors suggests that there should be more cores, more support for memory (currently 16GB) and increased graphics capabilities. A rumor at the weekend, supported by information from logs suggests that the new M-series processors will have Pro and Max in the name. So where would the M2 fit in a future hierarchy?

Although the Macs are favorite for the Unleashed event, it is not easy to second-guess Apple despite what some pundits claim. There may well be other products, including Macs or accessories, although there has been one persistent rumor about the next iteration of AirPods.

Apple AirPods - Image courtesy of Apple

I will not watch the Event live: it is past my bedtime. I used to do this, but with hundreds of others watching and putting out information, it seems pointless with a small readership. I will pick up the news about the announcements tomorrow morning when I wake up, look at the specifications, watch a recording of the event after lunch, digest the information and start to jot down some notes. I will make a more sober comment later in the week.

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)



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2021