Thursday Morning News

dsc05657-1440x960Before we get into Ars Technica’s review of the new MacBook Pro, can we decide on a name for the 13-inch model without the Touch Bar? The internet seems to have settled on MacBook Pro Escape, which makes a lot of sense given that it’s the model with an actual escape key, but the touch-less model also reflects the Touch Bar-less nature. Just so long as we’re not calling it Apple’s official name of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports. I’ll probably use all three terms interchangeably.

Anyway, Ars Technica’s review of the MacBook Pro Escape says it’s mostly an expensive MacBook Air. There are minor differences besides the obvious lack of Touch Bar and Touch ID on the MacBook Pro Escape, but at the end of the day, the MacBook Pro Escape occupies a strange position in Apple’s lineup. Despite its lack of bells and whistles, it’s not the cheapest 13-inch MacBook Pro, but it’s also pricier than a MacBook Air to give some pause.

In an interview with The Independent, Apple’s SVP Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller comments on many things. There’s the Apple philosophy of making the Mac and iOS experiences distinctly different, removing the SD card slot in favour of wireless transfer mechanisms, and the fact that despite all of the criticism levelled at the new MacBook Pro, the new models have seen more orders than any other pro notebook before.

Marco Arment’s commentary says Apple should be designing for the future and accommodating the reality of the present. He says that although it’s great that the new MacBook Pro has four USB-C ports, having only USB-C ports presents an interesting dilemma for those of us that need to connect things. Although you can get a USB-C to Lightning cable, Apple doesn’t make enough USB-C adapters at the moment for things to be dongle-city.

I’ve heard optical output as one of the reasons Apple has decided to keep the headphone jack around on the new MacBook Pros. Apple’s specs page tells us that there’s no optical output from the headphone jack, and System Profiler confirms the lack of optical out. If you’re counting, that’s yet another pro feature dropped from the so-called MacBook Pro.

9to5Mac says people are complaining about the wrong things with the new MacBook Pro. The loss of MagSafe sucks, but there’s no denying the functional advantages of USB-C over the single-purpose MagSafe, especially when it comes to both data and power transfer. Given that Apple’s MacBook has a single USB-C port, it also seemed unlikely Apple was going to release a machine with USB-C and USB-A.

Flash storage upgrades are also cheaper on other Macs. Ars notes up to $100 off flash storage upgrades for the MacBook Air, iMac, Mac Pro, and older MacBook Pros.

A rumour claims Apple are considering augmented reality for its self-driving car system, but honestly the rumours surrounding Apple’s car project are so sketchy at this point that it’s hard to separate truth from fiction.

A new report says Apple’s manufacturing partner Foxconn are testing wireless charging for future iPhone models. Whether the feature will be included with the next iPhone will mostly depend on yields, however.

Besides new emoji, new features in the iOS 10.2 public beta include new wallpaper, a new screen effect for the “celebrate” message type, a few extra camera settings, and more.

Apple’s latest iPhone ad is Dive, which shows us the story of stereo speakers on the new iPhone 7.

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