eXtensions - Wednesday 6 April 2022
Wednesday Review: WWDC in June; Open Season for Speculation; Mac Pro Mysteries; Oscars, Netflix and Apple
By Graham K. Rogers
This will open the doors to so much speculation and rumor that it may be difficult to separate truth from fiction. The rumor-mongers have spoiled the fun and these days, unless there is some solid support, I close my eyes and ears to what is often wrong. Where were the rumors about the M1 Ultra, for example? All the so-called experts missed that. I will wait for the event itself and at the WWDC keynote presentation I will look for the slide that has all the new features that are included but not announced. That will reveal much about what is coming.
I do not usually try to parse the meaning of the email announcement, but with the "Call to Code" subheading and the image sent out with it that looks remarkably similar to birds that fly past my condo in the evening, I expect that Swift will be to the fore in early June.
WWDC Image Courtesy of Apple
In MacWorld, the Macalope (well worth reading for the way things are put into context and egos are deflated) also examines the negatives of the iPhone SE, noting first that, "expectations for third-generation iPhone SE sales were high. Very high. Because they were set that way. Set that way by stories that Apple could win over up to 1.4 billion Android users with the device." That is a bit lIke Wall Street penalizing Apple for failing to reach Wall Street targets even when Apple beats its own. The Macalope adds, "our good friends at Nikkei Asia are back with more tales of iPhone production cuts to astonish. Nikkei is the same outfit that four years ago told us Apple was cutting iPhone X production by a whopping 50 percent because it was such a loser. The iPhone X, as you may recall, went on to sell extremely well."
Current MacPro - Images courtesy of Apple
This applies to the M1 chip, but the M2 is not yet out, so Apple might have another trick up its sleeve with regard to options. Andrew Zuo makes some comments on the problem of graphics cards which looks at Apple silicon but focuses mainly on the graphics. I disagree with some of his ideas, but he confirms some of the difficulties I had understanding how the SoC might work with the concept of an expandable Mac Pro. As a reminder, Juli Clover (MacRumors) has a useful summary of the entire M1 series. Jason Snell (MacWorld) also looks at some of the unknowns concerning the upcoming Mac Pro and the M2 chips in an article: After the M1, these intriguing Apple silicon mysteries still remain. Like I did, he wonders how Apple is going to update the Mac Pro within the parameters of Apple silicon yet still retain a device that was traditionally upgradable in certain ways: all speculation but with some good analysis behind it.
With the technological leapfrogging that is a feature of computer developments, Intel is now claiming it has the world's fastest chip (Jaron Schneider, PetaPixel). That may be, but with 150W power, I would think the heat was world class too. There are some impressive figures, but it reminds me of the days when clock speeds were used as the main measure of a chip's expected performance. Apple's Motorola (and later PowerPC) chips never matched the Intel speeds, but how much more productive they were, especially not having to rely on Windows? With the Apple silicon SoC approach, the efficiency is part of the architecture and is not dependent on motherboard and graphics add-ons. Fewer cores and less memory may still produce a more efficient computer if the engineers know how to use it.
Mac Studio - Image Courtesy of Apple
Looking through these and other online comments it seemed as if some problems with video controllers, related to USB-C and Bluetooth had been addressed. I connected the older Logitech webcam that had stopped working with the arrival of Monterey. Initially I used the camera on the MacBook Pro, but then bought a newer Logitech webcam with a USB-C cable. With the 12.3.1 update I tried the older camera again once I had found the USB to USB-C adapter. To my surprise it worked right away. I tried with FaceTime that was one of the apps I wanted it for and there was no hesitation.
Logitech Webcam replacing older version (right)
I forgot about the Apple TV update as I was keen to watch the new arrivals: the latest episodes of WeCrashed and Severance, as well as the first episodes of Slow Horses although I only watched the first - bedtime. I watched episode 2 at lunchtime Saturday after the tvOS update. All the updates this time apart from the TV app were problem free and there were noticeable improvements with Monterey. The update to tvOS had changed the TV button again and I was initially unable to get out of AppleTV (I had to use the Menu button). When connecting the Bluetooth speaker I saw that the Home button had two options. I played around with that until it was responding how I wanted. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Following the announcement of WWDC a host of beta updates were released Wednesday morning here. At WWDC we will be looking forward to iOS 16 and macOS 13 whatever its name is.
As had been speculated in a number of online sources, the effects on Smith are going to be far greater than he anticipated. MacDaily News (and others) report that both Netflix and Apple are pulling out of projects that were to have included Smith. Both had been expected to bid for a film about his life, but that is now in doubt as it appears both have pulled their bids. MacDaily News also mentions Emancipation, a drama about slavery in which Smith was to have appeared, but there is no information about that moving forward (or not).
iTunes Movies list in Thailand teases CODA
The song for this is interesting in a couple of ways. Written by Mick Jagger who at 76 has remarkable staying power, it is not part of the Rolling Stones song list, but was written by the singer after composer Daniel Pemberton contacted him. With Covid making direct meetings hard, they worked separately, with Jagger using his iPhone 13 and the pair meeting through Zoom (Oliver Haslam, iMore). Also interesting is the name of the writer for the series, which is based on a novel by Mick Herron: Will Smith. Surely not? Looking at the series and the previous work of this Oscar-winning actor, it was clear that the styles were different. This Will Smith is William James Smith from Hampshire in England. He was also a writer for American programs Veep and Avenue 5, with some good British credits too: The Thick of It, Time Trumpet and others.
It is also reported that Harrison Ford, whom Patently Apple calls a "One-time great" is to star in a new Apple series, Shrinking. This is not about size, but refers to a slang term for psychologists. The series looks at the way that one of the partners in a practice changes his own methods which affects patients and those around him. I sense some ethical issues will be aired here.
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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