One day after seeding iOS 15.6 beta 1 to developers, Apple is now releasing the public beta version to users enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program. Alongside the first public beta of iOS 15.6, Apple is also making available the new versions of tvOS 15.6, macOS 12.5, and watchOS 8.7.
Today’s iOS 15.6 beta 1 build is 19G5027e. Different from past versions, Apple hasn’t made available any important features so far. This will likely be the latest iOS 15 major update before the release of iOS 16 later in the fall.
Here’s what Apple announced with iOS 15.5 early this week:
Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card
Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones
Fixes an issue where home automation, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail.
Alongside iOS 15.6 beta 1, Apple is also seeding macOS 12.5 beta 1 (build 21G5027d), tvOS 15.6 beta 1(build 19M5027c), and watchOS 8.7 beta 1 (build 19U5027c) to public testers.
In a few weeks from now, Apple will hold its WWDC 2022 event, where the company will announce the next milestone for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Rumors so far believe iOS 16 will bring nice improvements.
According to recent rumors, iOS 16 is expected to bring significant improvements to notifications as well as a new interface for iPadOS multitasking. Reported earlier this year that Apple has been working on adding expanded settings for Focus Mode in iOS 16.
With the latest version of macOS, dubbed Monterey, one of the apps that saw a handful of upgrades was Reminders. A once rather basic task and to-do application, Reminders is now a powerhouse application with new features include Smart List, tags, and more. Head below for a deeper look at these new features.
The new features in Reminders
First off, the Reminders app in macOS Monterey is the first version to support tags. As the name implies, tags allow you to organize and categorize your reminders and tasks. This means you can tag tasks with bits of information to help you keep track of categories, groups, and more.
Tags are a fast and flexible way to organize your reminders. Add one or more tags, like #errands, to your reminders to make them easy to search and filter for across your Reminders lists.
In macOS Monterey, you can add tags to your tasks when you create them. Simply look for the “Add Tags” field when creating a new reminder.
But while tags themselves are a notable addition to the Reminders application, they are really powerful when combined with Smart Lists.
Without a doubt, the biggest new addition to the Reminders app in macOS Monterey is a new feature that Apple is calling Smart Lists. Essentially, Smart Lists are a way to create custom lists that include reminders that meet certain criteria.
Here’s how Apple explains the feature:
Create your own Smart Lists to automatically include reminders that matter most to you by selecting for tags, dates, times, locations, flags, and priority. Choose more than one tag (such as #gardening and #errands) and combine them with other setting filters for more specific lists.
So how does this work in practice? It’s actually not as complex as it might sound. In the Reminders app on your Mac, you can start by clicking the “Add List” button, just like you would for creating any sort of to-do list. While you’re creating your list, look for the “Make into Smart List” checkbox.
Once you select this checkbox, you can select criteria for your Smart List. The criteria can be different tags, the due date for the task, the time, the priority, the location, and whether or not the task is flagged. Once you’ve done this, the Reminders will automatically create a Smart List of the tasks that meet your defined criteria.
Once you’ve created a custom Smart List in the Reminders app, it will sync to your other Apple devices and be added to the app’s sidebar. In the sidebar, it will be denoted with a small gear icon in the bottom-right corner, indicating that it is a Smart List.
And while Smart Lists and tags are the top new features of the Reminders app in macOS Monterey, there’s more to try out:
A Tag Browser in the sidebar lets you click any tag or combination of tags to quickly view tagged reminders.
Access quick options to easily delete your completed reminders.
Choose tags, flags, priority, and people you message with from the Quick Toolbar when creating a reminder.
Type more advanced phrases to create reminder settings. Try something like “Jog every other morning” for a specific, recurring reminder.
Apple has officially unveiled the next-generation Apple Silicon chip. Dubbed the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the Apple says that these chips were created for the next-generation MacBook Pro by scaling up M1’s architecture to create a “far more powerful chip.”
Here are the specs of the M1 Pro, as announced by Apple’s Johnny Srouji during today’s event:
200GB/s memory bandwidth
Up to 32GB of unified memory
2x more transistors than M1
70% faster than M1
Up to 10-core CPU
Up to 16-core GPU
Support for up to 2 external displays
And for the M1 Max:
400GB/s memory bandwidth
57 billion transistors
Up to 64GB of unified memory
Up to 70% less power consumption
Support for up to four external displays
Apple says that these new chips will power the future of the “Pro” lineup among the Mac…still waiting for details on that, though.
You can ensure your data remains safe through erasure.
One of the most powerful features added years ago to macOS and iOS was Find My iPhone—and iPad and Mac. The iCloud-connected service lets you track an accidentally misplaced item and potentially recover a stolen one. With the service active on a device, you can use Find My for macOS, iOS, or iPadOS or via iCloud.com to erase your computer, phone, or tablet or to queue an erasure signal for the next time the device is on the Internet. iPhones and iPads with a Secure Enclave and Macs with FileVault enabled simply delete the encryption keys for storage. This renders the data irretrievable. (It doesn’t affect your local or iCloud backups, so don’t worry.) On a Mac with a T2 Security Chip or M1 Apple silicon, disk encryption is always enabled even if FileVault isn’t, allowing Secure Enclave to destroy the disk encryption keys instantly even with FileVault disabled. Pre-Secure Enclave iPhones and iPads and Macs that predate the T2 Security chip and have FileVault disabled take longer to delete files, as each byte of data has to be overwritten. If you’re not sure whether your iPhone, iPad, or Intel Mac has a Secure Enclave, consult the list Apple provides here. You can determine if FileVault is enabled by going to the Security & Privacy preference pane’s FileVault tab.
How to erase a device
Apple warns you about the consequences when you’re about to erase your Mac remotely.
Apple’s tweaked the process slightly for its native apps but left iCloud.com virtually untouched for years. In macOS, iOS, or iPadOS, launch the Find My app. Tap the Devices tab and then tap your hardware. (If you have Family Sharing enabled, you can also see the devices of family members.) On an iPhone or iPad, tap Erase This Device and follow the prompts. On a Mac, right-click the device and select Erase This Device.
With iCloud.com, log in to your account and click the Find iPhone link—no “My” in there. Enter your iCloud password again if prompted. Click the All Devices menu and select your hardware:
For a Mac, click Erase Mac and follow prompts; you’ll note the text says it “may take up to a day to complete,” the worst-case example for a hard-drive-equipped Mac without FileVault enabled and neither a T2 nor M1 chip.
For an iPhone or iPad, just click Erase iPhone or Erase iPad.
If the device is connected to the internet via whatever method it has at its disposal—Wi-Fi, cellular, tethering, a…dial-up modem—erasure begins immediately after the Mac receives the signal relayed via Apple’s servers. In the cases noted above, the drive or flash storage almost instantly becomes irretrievable.
The erase command is queued by Apple, so if the device ever is briefly back on the internet, it erases itself. Once your device starts wiping its data, finding its location via Find My is no longer possible.
For devices that ne’er-do-wells have taken offline or put in a metal box, they may never return online to receive an erase command. But for iPhones, iPads, and Macs with a Secure Enclave, the stored data can’t be interacted with unless someone also obtained the password. (For a running Mac, there might be cracks that work, but it’s unlikely; if powered down and FileVault is enabled, effectively impossible.)
Find My lets you see all your devices and select among them for several purposes—including erasure.
It can be wiped, which securely removes your data—and then Activation Lock kicks, a part of Find My. (Macs have a few additional requirements.) Activation Lock prevents an erased device from being set up again without knowing the iCloud password associated with the account that turned on Find My on it.
Criminal groups have apparently figured out ways to bypass Activation Lock in at least some cases, but those methods still require erasing the device, so your data remains inaccessible.
A future of remote erasure?
I can imagine a future in which the Find My Network could be used to trigger erasure, too. Right now, the system is used entirely as a passive relay: an AirTag tracker and most Apple devices can broadcast their position over Bluetooth in a carefully encrypted manner. Nearby Macs, iPhones, and iPads with Find My Network enabled relay this data via Apple so you can get updates about location without the party relaying it knowing who you are or which device is transmitting.
But AirTags point the way to a potential two-way process. If Apple determines an AirTag has been traveling with you and you’re not the owner of it, you’re presented with a dialog on an iPhone or iPad that lets you play a sound. That command is passed via Bluetooth.
An iPhone that spots an unknown AirTag traveling with it over time can send a signal to prompt an action on the AirTag.
that preserves privacy and yet could be turned to device erasure, too. In Apple and Google’s joint notification system, your smartphone recorded all specially formatted Bluetooth signals around you and retained for those a period of time; this is quite similar to the signals emitted for the Find My Network by Apple devices.
If someone who had been near you receives a COVID diagnosis and enters a code into their smartphone provided by their healthcare provider, the encrypted Bluetooth IDs associated would then be uploaded to a database that all devices in your region or country regularly downloaded and compared to stored IDs.
Now, consider this: what if you could report your device as stolen and that you wanted it erased. That signal would then be distributed in encrypted form across all Apple hardware in your area or an expanded region. If any of those devices picked up an encrypted Bluetooth signal that matched, they could transmit a similarly encrypted erasure instruction. Thieves try to disable all the wireless on a device, but Bluetooth is often harder to block than Wi-Fi or cellular.
The safeguards around this would have to be strong, but it’s not far-fetched—just far-reaching!
Following the announcement of the new M1 iPad Pro and M1 iMac on Tuesday, Apple executives John Ternus and Greg Joswiak have sat down with the Independent for an in-depth interview. The two Apple executives spoke in the interview about Apple’s plans for the iPad and Mac, the new features of the 2021 iPad Pro, and more.
On merging the iPad and Mac
The most notable comments during the interview came from Joswiak, who serves as Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. When asked about the future of the iPad and Mac, as the lines start to blur in terms of power, Joswiak explained that Apple has no plans to merge the two platforms.
“There’s two conflicting stories people like to tell about the iPad and Mac,” says Joz, as he starts on a clarification that will lead him at one point to apologise for his passion. “On the one hand, people say that they are in conflict with each other. That somebody has to decide whether they want a Mac, or they want an iPad.
“Or people say that we’re merging them into one: that there’s really this grand conspiracy we have, to eliminate the two categories and make them one.
“And the reality is neither is true. We’re quite proud of the fact that we work really, really hard to create the best products in their respective category.”
(Joz, however, is reluctant to name the category he’s talking about: he jokes that he “can’t even stand using” the word, because the “iPad is better than tablets”. “I hate to diminish it by calling it the category name,” he says.)
Ternus, who is Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, echoed Joswiak’s sentiment. He explained that Apple does not look at things with the lens limiting what one device can do in order to note “step on the toes” of another device.
“But we’re just going to keep making them better. And we’re not going to get all caught up in, you know, theories around merging or anything like that.”
“We don’t think about well, we’re going to limit what this device can do because we don’t want to step on the toes of this [other] one or anything like that,” he says. “We’re pushing to make the best Mac we can make; we’re pushing to make the best iPad we can make. And people choose.
“A lot of people have run both. And they have workflows that span both – some people, for a particular task, prefer one versus the other.
On the new iPad Pro’s M1 chip
When asked about the M1 processor in the new iPad Pro and the software part of that story, Joswiak explained that Apple has “provided that performance even before the need was there.”
“It needs to exist first, right? You can’t have an app that requires more performance than the system’s capable of – then it doesn’t work. So you need to have the system be ahead of the apps.
Joswiak went on to list examples of powerful third-party apps from companies like Adobe and Affinity, but he wouldn’t say whether Apple was working on its own ways to tap into the new power of the M1:
(When asked again, the morning after the reveal, whether Apple is one of those developers that is planning to take advantage of the extra headroom with its professional app, Joz jokes that he’s not going to let something like that slip out.)
Joswiak also explained that this gives users more headroom and ensures their new iPad Pro purchase “isn’t going to be immediately obsolete.”
On mini-LED in the new iPad Pro
Terns also provided some interesting detail on the mini-LED display in the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. He explained that one of the biggest undertakings in this process was shrinking the display technology — which is also used in the Pro Display XDR — into the 12.9-inch form factor.
“Shrinking it was a huge undertaking,” says Ternus. “If you just look at the two products, obviously the iPad is a lot thinner than a Pro Display XDR, and the way the architecture works – you have the LED backlight behind the display.
As you shrink it down, you necessarily need to add more LEDs; you need to kind of increase the density, because you don’t have as much room for mixing the light and creating zones.
From the very beginning it was: how do we create a backlight with sufficient density? So we had to design a new LED. We had to to design the process for putting down 10,000 LEDs on this backlight in this incredibly precise manner.”
Ternus and Joswiak also noted that one of the reasons Apple is able to make technological leaps like this is because it develops so much of the technology in-house.
On the new Center Stage front-facing camera technology in the iPad
One of the most interesting new features of the 2021 iPad Pro is something called Center Stage. The new iPad Pros pack a 12MP Ultra Wide camera sensor on the front, and Apple is using this to follow users during video chats to ensure that they are always in the frame.
“One of the things that I found really cool about it is – spending all this time in these meetings, you sit a lot,” says Ternus. “And it’s so liberating to be able to just stand up and stay framed in the image, and stretch and move around and sit down,” he says, noting that it is a neat way to still be able to close rings on the Apple Watch.
“And one of the things I found sometimes is in group scenarios – you may be FaceTiming with your family and be able to get the family in the frame, or those kind of things, I think are going to be really, really big and powerful. It’s certainly an amazing technology for the times we’re in.”
One of the most attractive features of the popular password manager LastPass is that, if you choose to, you can use it pretty effectively without paying a dime. That comes to an end in March, as LastPass has just announced that its free tier will be restricted to only one device type starting next month.
LastPass works across nearly every platform, from Android to iOS to Windows to Mac, and that’s what makes it useful. For the most part, the services we use today are available on multiple platforms, so being able to use the service on both your mobile phone and your desktop/laptop computer is crucial to most users.
Starting on March 16, 2021, LastPass will start restricting its free service to only one device type, meaning those who sign up will be required to pick between accessing the service on their computer or their smartphone. The latter also includes LastPass access on tablets (iPads) and smartwatches. You’ll pick an “active device type” to decide on where you’ll use the service. For current free users, the first device type you log in to after March 16 will set your active type. You’ll have three chances to pick between device types before the choice is locked in. After that, you’ll need to sign up for LastPass Premium to access the service on two different platforms.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16 will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass.
Further, LastPass will also restrict some support options starting on May 17. Email support, most notably, will be restricted only to Premium customers and those with a LastPass family account. Free users will then be limited only to the LastPass Support Center for self-help resources.
Changes to LastPass Free
You’re spending more time online than ever before. Work. School. Connecting with family and friends. Each week, millions of LastPass users add millions of new passwords, notes, files, payment cards and more to their encrypted vault. We love being a part of the security routines of more than 20 million users across the world. As our community of users continues to grow, we need to adapt our offerings to keep up with the constantly evolving digital world. With that, we have some changes to our LastPass Free offering.
Here’s What’s Changing
We’re making changes to how Free users access LastPass across device types. LastPass offers access across two device types – computers (including all browsers running on desktops and laptops) or mobiledevices (including mobile phones, smart watches, and tablets). Starting March 16th, 2021, LastPass Free will only include access on unlimited devices of one type.
To further clarify what we mean by active device type, we’ve included two examples below:
Sarah is a Free user with Computers as her active device type. She can use LastPass on her laptop, desktop and her dad’s laptop (anyone’s computer!), but she can’t use LastPass on her phone, tablet, or smart watchunless she upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
Steve is a Free user with MobileDevices as his active device type. He can use LastPass on his iPhone, Android work phone, tablet, and smart watch, but he can’t use LastPass on his desktop or laptop unless he upgrades to LastPass Premium, which has unlimited device type access.
As a Free user, your first login on or after March 16th will set your active device type. You’ll have three opportunities to switch your active device type to explore what’s right for you. Please note, that all of your devices sync automatically, so you’ll never lose access to anything stored in your vault or be locked out of your account, regardless of whether you use computer or mobile devices to access LastPass. Learn more about device types in our Support Center.
In addition to this change, as of May 17th, 2021, email support will only be available for Premium and Families customers. LastPass Free users will always have access to our Support Center which has a robust library of self-help resources available 24/7 plus access to our LastPass Community, which is actively monitored by LastPass specialists. Free users will continue to receive email support for technical issues until May 16th to assist through the transition of selecting an active device type. Learn more about our customer support offerings in ourSupport Center.
LastPass Premium is your single and secure one-stop shop to your digital life. It includes dark web monitoring, emergency access, unlimited device type access, a security score dashboard, dedicated personal support, advanced multi-factor authentication and more. At only $3 per month (billed annually), LastPass Premium enables you to not only store your passwords but also protect your digital life, which is more important than ever in this new era of working from anywhere. As a current Free user, you can upgrade to Premium now for an exclusive, limited time discount and receive Premium for $2.25 per month (billed annually). *
Next Steps for Free Users
We understand how much you rely on LastPass in your daily life, so we wanted to let you know well in advance and give you resources to make this adjustment easier. Here’s what you need to know:
Whether you continue using LastPass Free on one device type, or across all your devices types with LastPass Premium, we’re committed to offering you a best-in-class password management experience. We sincerely thank you for continuing to be part of our LastPass community.
*Additional Terms and Conditions: Advertised price valid for new users on their first year of LastPass Premium. Price not valid for renewals or existing customers and cannot be used for other LastPass plans, products or services.
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini are now powered by M1, Apple’s revolutionary chip.
A new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini powered by M1, Apple’s breakthrough chip for the Mac
Cupertino, California — On a momentous day for the Mac, Apple introduced a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini powered by the revolutionary M1, the first in a family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac. By far the most powerful chip Apple has ever made, M1 transforms the Mac experience. With its industry-leading performance per watt, together with macOS Big Sur, M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU, up to 6x faster GPU, up to 15x faster machine learning (ML) capabilities, and battery life up to 2x longer than before. And with M1 and Big Sur, users get access to the biggest collection of apps ever for Mac. With amazing performance and remarkable new features, the new lineup of M1-powered Macs are an incredible value, and all are available to order today.
“The introduction of three new Macs featuring Apple’s breakthrough M1 chip represents a bold change that was years in the making, and marks a truly historic day for the Mac and for Apple,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “M1 is by far the most powerful chip we’ve ever created, and combined with Big Sur, delivers mind-blowing performance, extraordinary battery life, and access to more software and apps than ever before. We can’t wait for our customers to experience this new generation of Mac, and we have no doubt it will help them continue to change the world.”
With M1, the Mac delivers unprecedented levels of performance, extraordinary battery life, and access to more software than ever.
MacBook Air: A Thin and Light Powerhouse
MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular Mac and the world’s best-selling 13-inch notebook. With the M1 chip, MacBook Air speeds through everything from editing family photos to exporting videos for the web. The powerful 8-core CPU performs up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation. With up to an 8-core GPU, graphics are up to 5x faster, the biggest leap ever for MacBook Air, so immersive, graphics-intensive games run at significantly higher frame rates. ML workloads are up to 9x faster, so apps that use ML-based features like face recognition or object detection can do so in a fraction of the time. The M1 chip’s storage controller and latest flash technology deliver up to 2x faster SSD performance, so previewing massive images or importing large files is faster than ever. And in MacBook Air, M1 is faster than the chips in 98 percent of PC laptops sold in the past year.
With the industry-leading power efficiency of M1, MacBook Air also delivers this performance in a fanless design, which means no matter what users are doing, it remains completely silent. And the new MacBook Air features extraordinary battery life, with up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback — the longest battery life ever on a MacBook Air.
MacBook Air with M1 is an absolute powerhouse of performance and thin-and-light portability.
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered MacBook Air can:
Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster.
Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster.
For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
Watch more movies and TV shows with up to 18 hours of battery life, the longest ever on MacBook Air.
Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a single charge.
With M1, MacBook Air users can fly through projects in iMovie, exporting projects up to 3x faster.
With up to 18 hours of battery life, MacBook Air users can watch even more of their favorite movies and TV shows on a single charge.
On the new MacBook Air, FaceTime and video calls can go up to twice as long.
Other new features in MacBook Air include Apple’s latest image signal processor (ISP) in the M1 chip, which improves camera image quality with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto white balance and ML-enhanced face detection so users look their best during video calls. Support for P3 wide color results in an even more vibrant, true-to-life Retina display. The Secure Enclave in M1, combined with Big Sur, delivers best-in-class security with features like Touch ID, which makes it easy to unlock MacBook Air and make secure online purchases using Apple Pay with the touch of a finger. And Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster wireless performance, while two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support allow for connectivity to a wide range of peripherals.
With its sleek wedge-shaped design, stunning Retina display, Magic Keyboard, and astonishing level of performance thanks to M1, the new MacBook Air once again redefines what a thin and light notebook can do. And it is still just $999, and $899 for education.
Support for P3 wide color makes the Retina display on MacBook Air even more vibrant and true to life.
13-inch MacBook Pro: Even More Powerful and Even More Pro
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s most popular pro notebook. Students use it to power through college, and pros use it to channel their creativity. With the M1 chip and Big Sur, the 13-inch MacBook Pro becomes even more powerful and even more pro. The 8-core CPU, when paired with the MacBook Pro’s active cooling system, is up to 2.8x faster than the previous generation, delivering game-changing performance when compiling code, transcoding video, editing high-resolution photos, and more. The 8-core GPU is up to 5x faster, allowing users to enjoy super smooth graphics performance whether they are designing a graphics-intensive game or a new product. And with M1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class. ML is up to 11x faster, and for on-device ML tasks that use the Neural Engine, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is now the world’s fastest compact pro notebook. With up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to a staggering 20 hours of video playback, MacBook Pro delivers up to twice the battery life of the previous generation and the longest battery life ever on a Mac.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 delivers game-changing performance and the longest battery life ever on a Mac.
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro can:
Build code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster.
Render a complex 3D title in Final Cut Pro up to 5.9x faster.
Fluidly design intricate game scenes in Unity Editor up to 3.5x faster.
Perform ML tasks in Create ML up to 11x faster.
Separate out beats, instrumentals, and vocal tracks from a recording in real time in djay Pro AI, thanks to the amazing performance of the Neural Engine.
Play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video in DaVinci Resolve without dropping a single frame.
Compile four times as much code on a single charge, thanks to the game-changing performance per watt of the M1 chip.
With M1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 2.8x faster so users can compile code with incredible ease.
With the amazing performance of the M1 chip’s Neural Engine, users can perform machine learning tasks up to 11x faster than before.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro can play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video without dropping a single frame.
Other new features in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro include studio-quality mics for super clear recordings and calls, and Apple’s latest camera ISP in the M1 chip enables sharper images and more detail in shadows and highlights on video calls. The new MacBook Pro also delivers best-in-class security with the Secure Enclave in M1 and Touch ID. And it features two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support to connect to more peripherals than ever, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution.
With its amazing performance and unbelievable battery life, combined with its gorgeous Retina display, Magic Keyboard, and 3-pound compact design, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the ultimate expression of what the M1 chip can do. And it is available for the same starting price of just $1,299, and $1,199 for education.
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is the ultimate expression of what the M1 chip can do.
Mac mini: Staggering Performance and an Ultracompact Design
Mac mini is Apple’s most versatile computer, and now with M1, it packs a staggering amount of performance and incredible new features in such a compact design. M1 brings an 8-core CPU with up to 3x faster performance than the previous generation, dramatically accelerating demanding workloads, from compiling a million lines of code to building enormous multitrack music projects. An 8-core GPU delivers up to a massive 6x increase in graphics performance, allowing Mac mini to tackle performance-intensive tasks like complex 3D rendering with ease. ML workloads also take a quantum leap forward with up to 15x faster performance over the previous generation. And when compared to the best-selling Windows desktop in its price range, the Mac mini is just one-tenth the size, yet delivers up to 5x faster performance.
The new Mac mini packs a staggering amount of performance into its ultracompact design.
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered Mac mini can:
Compile code in Xcode up to 3x faster.
Play a graphics-intensive game like “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” with up to 4x higher frame rates.
Render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6x faster.
Take music production to new levels by using up to 3x as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro.
Magically increase the resolution of a photo in Pixelmator Pro up to 15x faster.
Utilize ML frameworks like TensorFlow or Create ML, now accelerated by the M1 chip.
With 3x faster performance, Mac mini dramatically accelerates demanding workflows like compiling code in Xcode.
With M1, graphics-intensive gaming on Mac mini is better than ever with up to 4x higher frame rates.
The new Mac mini takes music production to new levels, enabling up to 3x as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro.
Mac mini also features an advanced thermal design to sustain its breakthrough performance while staying cool and quiet, support for up to two displays including Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution, and Wi-Fi 6 for faster wireless performance and the Secure Enclave in M1 for best-in-class security.
With M1 and Big Sur, Mac mini represents a massive shift in what an ultrasmall desktop can do. Far more versatile and far more capable than ever, Mac mini is now available for just $699, $100 less than the previous-generation quad-core model.
macOS Big Sur
With Big Sur and M1, Mac users can run a greater range of apps than ever before. All of Apple’s Mac software is now Universal and runs natively for M1 systems. Existing Mac apps that have not been updated to Universal will run seamlessly with Apple’s Rosetta 2 technology. And iPhone and iPad apps can now run directly on the Mac. Additionally, the foundations of Big Sur are optimized to unlock the power of M1, including developer technologies from Metal for graphics to Core ML for machine learning.
macOS Big Sur is engineered to take full advantage of the M1 chip in the new Mac lineup.
Pricing and Availability
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 are available to order today on apple.com and in the Apple Store app. They will begin arriving to customers and will be in select Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers starting next week. The new MacBook Air starts at $999 (US), and $899 (US)for education; the new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 (US), and $1,199 (US) for education; and the new Mac mini starts at $699 (US),and $679 (US)for education.
Customers are able to find the same great shopping and support services at apple.com/shop, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations. Customers can get shopping help from Apple Specialists, choose monthly financing options, trade in eligible devices, and get Support services and no-contact delivery or Apple Store pickup options. Customers are encouraged to check apple.com/retail for more information on the health and safety measures in place, and the services available, at their local store.
Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options, and accessories are available online at apple.com/mac.
In the past, we’ve told Apple World Today readers about PDFelement, a powerful tool for creating, editing and annotating PDF documents. The app is developed and supported by Wondershare, which has recently released PDFelement 7, the latest generation of this popular software. Download a copy today to see why PDFelement is the most popular PDF editor on the Mac App Store.
The free trial evaluation copy of PDFelement adds a watermark, but otherwise functions identically to the paid version.
The fact that PDFelement is the best-selling PDF editor in the world is one reason why you should consider this app for your PDF needs, but there are more reasons than that. It’s also less expensive than its competitors, with volume licensing and educational discounts available. The app is easy to install and set up — using the power of the Mac App Store — in minutes.
Activation of the Pro features of PDFelement 7 is done through registration and a simple in-app purchase. Flexible licensing with either perpetual license ownership or yearly plan leasing is available.
What’s New In PDFelement 7
PDFelement 7 builds on the power and success of PDFelement 6, and now is even easier to use with an all-new user interface. Securing, modifying and sharing documents is now much more simple to accomplish.
Launch PDFelement 7 for Mac and you’ll see a clean interface with a list of your most recent documents. All those documents are one click away from editing, annotating, and sharing.
During testing of PDFelement 7 for this article, we found the page menu display (see image above) to greatly speed up the process of reordering pages in a PDF file. The pages of a document are presented in a grid format, and the user can then drag and drop images to reorder them or rotate them to change orientation.
Behind the clean, intuitive user interface of PDFelement 7 is a set of features that is ready for any size business, whether a one-person operation or large enterprise. Adding or changing headings and footers, editing text, and other document modifications are done much faster than in the previous version. Customized annotations and Bates numbering are now part of the new PDFelement.
Now that we’ve looked at the new features of PDFelement 7, let’s take a look at what it can do for you.
For many people, it all starts with creating new PDF files for distribution to customers, readers or friends. You can actually create new PDFs from a scanner. Take an existing paper form, scan it, and then perform optical character recognition (OCR – a feature of PDFelement Pro) to either generate editable text or make a searchable text image.
Want to archive old documents by scanning them into PDF files? PDFelement can save PDF files in the PDF/A format that is designed especially for archiving and long-term preservation of electronic documents. It does this by embedding all of the information required to display the document in its original form into the PDF file.
Whether you’re using PDFelement on Mac or Windows, you get the same functionalities and experience, making it easy to support users in cross-platform environments. It also supports ten separate languages — English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and Chinese. This feature alone makes PDFelement indispensable in global enterprises.
PDFelement 7 for Mac makes editing PDF documents simple. Whether the text inside a PDF requires editing, or it’s the images, pages, links, backgrounds, watermarks, headers or footers that need a fix, PDFelement has the tools you need to make a PDF perfect.
For text, PDFelement has both paragraph and single-line editing modes, with font type, size and style being easily adjustable. Images are just as easy to edit. Need to add, copy and paste an image? Consider it done! How about extracting an image from an existing PDF to be used in another document? It’s easy with PDFelement. Cropping and rotating images takes no time and effort at all.
PDF Annotation And Sharing
When you’re working on a group project, PDF annotation tools are a must. PDFelement’s toolset gives editors the ability to add fills, highlight text, draw on images and text, create and use stamps, and leave comments for future reference or rework.
Sharing sensitive PDF content can expose data to others and create privacy issues. That’s why PDFelement has the ability to lock down PDF content with passwords and permissions. Your documents can be shared immediately to Dropbox or Google Drive, or sent to others through email and messaging.
Should you need to pull data from PDF forms into a spreadsheet for analysis, PDFelement is there to turn a slow manual process into a speedy and automated batch process.
Try PDFelement 7 For Mac Today
Remember, PDFelement 7 for Mac is free to try. Just download a copy from the Mac App Store, and within minutes you’ll be trying out the world’s most popular PDF editor.
Wondershare also makes PDFelement versions for iPhone and iPad, the perfect mobile companion to the Mac version. You’ll be able to create, edit, annotate and share PDFs from anywhere.
The Image Capture app comes pre-installed with every Mac, allowing users to easily import photos and videos from other devices.
How Apple is filling your hard drive with empty data.
Apples Image Capture.app is a very nice and simple tool to transfer photos from attached cameras to your Mac without the need to use heavy and slow launching apps like Apples “Fotos.app”.
Most unfortunately, in every single release since Mac OS X 10.10, Apple has added a lot of very embarrassing bugs to Image Capture.
Some of them got quickly fixed after we told Apple about them, but at the same time, Apple was very busy adding new bugs.
By pure chance, we have discovered a very disturbing bug recently that is able to quickly fill your macOS volumes with empty data.
Here is what happens.
If you connect an iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and use Image Capture to transfer the photos you took with the device to the Mac, you have the option to convert the HEIC photos taken by iOS to more standard JPG files. This requires you to uncheck the “Keep Originals” option in the settings for that iOS device, as shown here.
More specifically, the issue only affects users who import photos from an iPhone or iPad using Image Capture. Let’s say you want to manually transfer photos from your iPhone to a Mac via USB, and your photos are saved with the High Efficiency option (which is basically the HEIF format).
By unchecking the “Keep originals” option, macOS converts all HEIF image files to JPG automatically as you might expect.
The problem discovered by the NeoFinder team is that the Mac adds 1.5MB of empty data to each converted photo, making the imported files larger for no reason. By looking inside these photos through a Hex-Editor, you can find a section full of zeroes, which results in unnecessarily larger files.
With that said, if you import 1,000 images from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac using the Image Capture app, the bug will take up an additional 1.5GB of storage — which can be a lot for someone who owns a MacBook with 128GB of storage.
Apples Image Capture will then happily convert the HEIF files to JPG format for you, when they are copied to your Mac.
But what is also does is to add 1.5 MB of totally empty data to every single photo file it creates!
We found that massive bug by pure chance when working on further improving the metadata editing capabilities in NeoFinder, using a so-called Hex-Editor “Hex Fiend“.
Here is how the end of every single JPG file created by Apples buggy Image Capture.app looks like:
Apple has already been notified about the problem, but we don’t know when the company plans to release a macOS update to fix that bug. Until then, users can try the latest beta version of the Graphic Converter app, which removes the unwanted empty data from the JPG files. Of course, this is a colossal waste of space, especially considering that Apple is seriously still selling new Macs with a ridiculously tiny 128 GB internal SSD. Such a small disk is quickly filled with totally wasted empty data.
With just 1000 photos, for example, this bug eats 1.5 GB off your precious and very expensive SSD disk space.
We have notified Apple of this new bug that was already present in macOS 10.14.6, and maybe they will fix it this time without adding yet additional new bugs in the process.
Apple quietly added a new privacy feature to the latest iPad Pro, borrowing a MacBook security feature to help prevent eavesdropping on its 2020 tablets. With the launch of the 2018 MacBook range and the introduction of the Apple T2 security chip, closing the lid of the notebooks automatically disconnects the hardware microphones.
That way, in addition to the webcam obviously being covered, it means extra reassurance that apps and services aren’t secretly listening in through the microphones. Turns out, Apple has decided to so the same thing for its most expensive tablets, too.
An updated version of the Apple Platform Security document details the change. “iPad models beginning in 2020 also feature the hardware microphone disconnect,” it explains. “When an MFI compliant case (including those sold by Apple) is attached to the iPad and closed, the microphone is disconnected in hardware, preventing microphone audio data being made available to any software—even with root or kernel privileges in iPadOS or in case the firmware is compromised.”
As the document makes clear, you’ll need a specific type of case in order for this to work: one with MFI certification. That obviously means Apple’s own cases, like the Smart Keyboard Folio currently available and, come May, the new Magic Keyboard for iPad. However there are plenty of third-party cases that are also MFI compliant.
Logitech, for instance, has several keyboard cases that work with the iPad Pro if you want easier text entry than the iPadOS on-screen keyboard. Alternately, if you don’t need the physical keyboard – and the thickness that brings – there are cases from Otterbox, for example, that will lock and unlock the iPad Pro when closed and opened. They’ll also trigger the new hardware microphone disconnect in the process.
Digital eavesdropping has been long been a concern, but attention has ramped up in recent weeks as more people rely on devices like iPads to work from home. Video calling apps like Zoom have found themselves suddenly popular outside of their traditional enterprise audience, but that surge in users has also helped highlight security shortcomings. While Apple does have its approvals process to try to ensure software which makes it to the App Store isn’t also quietly tapping into hardware it shouldn’t, hardware disconnect for the microphone on the iPad Pro is another step for those particularly concerned about privacy.