Tag Archives: MacOS

Late 2016 MacBook Event Recap

“Hello Again” it’s happy time again in Cupertino with another event from Apple all about their infamous Mac product line.  We’ve been expecting a lot, hearing a little through the rumor mill and more — but what did we actually get?
General Updates
Let’s start with a review of what’s been happening in the world of Apple.  iPhone is doing extremely well with adoption of iOS 10 already at 60%.  Recent updates have enabled portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Pay in Japan.  Additionally, on October 28th a new Nike branded Apple Watch (announced in September) will be available.  Apple TV now has 8000 apps available to it’s userbase with the popular game, Minecraft, coming to the big screen soon.  New features that are slated to hit boxes before the end of the year are Twitter integration into NFL and NBA coverage, which features a picture in picture styled approached that delivers rich Twitter content regarding the event that’s happening on the large portion of your screen.  A new app called “TV”, which will be coming to the Apple TV, iPhone and iPad seeks to bring into focus all things that you are watching across all of your apps so that you have a centralized “hub” for your media content and new ways to discover content that you may be unaware of.
But you want to hear about shiny new MacBooks, huh?  Well you’ve drug it out of me…
MacBook Updates
The new 2016 MacBook Pro will come in two sizes, 13″ and 15″ featuring a beautiful aluminum unibody design in silver and space gray color options.  As with other items in the Apple lineup, the screen will feature a wide color gamut resulting in a more vibrant and accurate display.  Important to note is that these are some of the thinnest and lightest laptops ever made by Apple with the 13″ MacBook Pro weighing 3 pounds and the 15″ weighing 4 pounds respectively while shaving up to 3 mm of the thickness with the lid closed.
Specs of Late 2016 MacBook Pro lineup as of October, 2016.
Specs of Late 2016 MacBook Pro lineup as of October, 2016.
With new internals that match the sophisticated look, there is also a new feature called “Touch Bar”, which replaces the standard function keys on the two top-end models of the MacBook Pro.  The new notebooks will utilize AMD’s Radeon Pro graphics architecture (15″ model) , which is built to improve upon performance achieved by the last generation MacBook Pro line.  With all of these new features squeezed into a smaller more lightweight body, battery life will not be sacrificed as users can still expect to get 10 hours on the device.  Prices of all MacBook Pro models are shown below.
Late 2016 MacBook lineup as of October, 2016.
Prices of Late 2016 MacBook lineup as of October, 2016.
Touch Bar
Touch Bar is a new spin on the standard row of function keys that we’ve been used to for years — and this spin isn’t a bad one (or at least not awful).
MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
MacBook Pro Touch Bar.
Touch Bar acts as functions keys; however, it is dynamic and shifts to help you control whatever app you are currently in.  If you are editing clips using Final Cut Pro, Touch Bar can allow you to trim clips, scrub the timeline and more.  For those who love to work in Adobe Photoshop, Touch Bar can apply filters, navigate between layers and scrub through all recent changes to your project.  Additionally, for the deejays out there, Touch Bar can completely change the workflow of mixing and take your abilities to a new and different level.  In addition, built into the bar is TouchID, which can be used for Apple Pay.  Finally, for all of the power users, Touch Bar can be completely (yes, completely) customized to your liking by simply dragging a new icon onto the bar from the screen of the MacBook using the trackpad.

Product Video (Source: Apple, Youtube)

Bottom line:  This is a solid update for the MacBook line.  Some are left wondering where are updates to the iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro — yes, I am part of that group.  I wonder if the Touchbar wouldn’t be more useful at the bottom of the keyboard so that the user doesn’t have to constantly reach to the top of the keyboard.

What to expect from the 9/7 Apple Event

We’ve been waiting for an announcement that we knew was coming and it is now confirmed since the invites are out.  The question is, is the cat out of the bag or does Apple have something up it’s sleeve at this point?
iPhone 7/7Plus
The iPhone has been a staple device in the lives on many for nearly 10 years and this year is no different.  With subtle changes expected to be coming to the exterior and a new A10 chip powering it to make iOS even faster, this is surely going to be a spectacular decice.  Additionally, rumors suggest that the iPhone 7 Plus model will contain a dual camera setup to be able to capture depth information similar to that of modern DSLR cameras — this is a big deal.  A very big deal.  Lastly, let’s talk about the elephant in the room….the lack of a headphone jack. Sorry kids, this is nothing to write home about.  Supposedly the device is shipping with wireless “air pods” instead of the cabled mess that you’d normally receive.
I will not miss the 3.5mm jack.
Preview iOS 10 here: 
The bustle has been “new MacBook Pros, new MacBook Pros” since Apple’s WWDC event where they were not released to the surprise of many.  According to many sources, Apple was waiting on the Kaby Lake processors from Intel.  There should be large changes to the MacBook Pro line with faster processors and a new macOS Sierra to power them.
Preview macOS Sierra here: 
Apple Watch 2 is the buzz.  Thinner, lighter and a bigger battery should power watchOS 3.  Take a look at highlights of watchOS 3 here here (Source: iMore).

My favorite productivity apps 2016!

Why do we have computers in our pockets if we cannot increase our productivity?  I am all for having a fun game or two, but if your device is just sitting in your pocket collecting dust — then perhaps you should switch back to a feature-phone, eh?
Whether you use Android or iOS, the big players in the productivity app arena are the same and here I will highlight the best cross-platform apps for you to choose from!

  1. EverNote.  This utility of all utilities is probably the best swiss army knife of note taking applications there is on the market today.  With the ability to clip from websites, send notes via email or phone, adding voice to notes, advanced collaboration features — this one app simply has and does it all!  See the power here –> 
  2. TickTick.  Need a to do list application?  This is for you.  Google sign in, sync accross multiple devices, web interface and multiple lists that you can track — need I say more? 
  3. Buffer.  Have multiple social media accounts that you want to manage and manipulate at one centralized location?  Buffer has the tools to allow you to do that.  In addition, you can track the success of what you share and schedule when your posts go out!  Nothing short of excellent. 
  4. LastPass.  Password managers are abundant nowadays, but with password generation built in and over the top security being used to secure your credentials, look no further.  The iOS app even allows for unlocking the password vault with TouchID to ensure the most security on your device. 
  5. BetterNet.  What is BetterNet?  It is a cross-platform VPN client that will secure your data as it’s transferred over the internet.  More important is that you secure yourself when you are on a network that you are not familiar with (ie. Starbucks Wifi, Airport Wifi, etc) as these are breeding grounds for attack.  Some believe that VPN does not work and does not conceal you data, tell the non-believers that they are 100% wrong not even ISPs can tell what you are sending because it is through a secure tunnel.  (end points does not equal packets)  Want to know why you should have and utilize VPN? 

These top productivity tools are sure to brighten your technological day!  All of these have equal iOS, Android and Chrome counterparts!!

Go forth and be productive!!