Wednesday Morning News

mvlahbmfvwevet3aThe teardown of the MacBook Pro Escape shows off the internals of the new machine, and that’s about it. The MacBook Pro with function keys (otherwise known as the touchless MacBook Pro, or more officially “MacBook Pro 13-inch, Late 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 Ports”, for those playing at home) has had minor changes to the internal layout compared to previous machines, but there’s nothing that’s completely unfamiliar, earning it a repairability score of 2 out of 10.

What it does have is a ridiculously fast SSD. Early benchmarks show read speeds of up to 3.1 GB/s, with writes just above 2.1 GB/s. It’s definitely faster than the SSD included in the Retina MacBook, although it’s not quite as fast as the screamer that comes with the Late 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Everyone’s favourite analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is already looking towards next year’s MacBook Pros. Assuming Apple even release an updated model next year, Kuo says that we’ll see a price drop as well as the option for 32GB RAM, based on Intel’s roadmaps for processor parts.

Speaking of price drops, rumour has it that Apple is looking into dropping the price of Apple Music. New pricing for Apple’s streaming music service could drop by as much as 20%, although it remains to be seen how much of that we’ll see here in Australia thanks to currency differences.

Sources say Apple’s AirPods are still set to launch this year, after Apple announced a delay due to the wireless earbuds not being ready. This apparently debunks an earlier rumour that claimed AirPods would not ship until early next year.

Griffin’s iTrip Clip Bluetooth Headphone Adapter looks like exactly the ticket for adding wireless support to your favourite cans. I’ve been thinking about upgrading my Bose QC25s to the newer Bluetooth QC35s, but maybe I’ll just pick up one of these instead.

Also in new accessories is the Belkin’s latest version of their Thunderbolt express dock. The Thunderbolt 3 version has mostly the same design as the previous two, only with USB-C ports instead of the mini-DisplayPort connector.

Joe Cieplinski’s thoughts on the Apple event from last week include some well-reasoned commentary on the death of the MacBook Air and the overall requirements of people using sub-$1000 computers as being the ideal owners for iPads. Cieplinski also gets points for his recent post on taking the enthusiasm out of tech, where he compares the magic of Thunderbolt 3 and its universal connector to the Flinstones-era technology of FireWire.

Apple has released the first beta of iOS 10.2 to members of its public beta testing program. While there don’t seem to be any major feature added in this release, what we do get is some updated Emoji.

Which brings us to the last item of this morning’s news. Emojipedia has a first look at all the new emoji included in iOS 10.2, which includes a shrug, avocado, and perhaps most importantly of all, bacon. RIP, Vine.

Notable Replies

  1. hawker says:

    Problem is iPads haven’t really caught up to be low end laptops and the price is still a bit too high. But that would make sense why Apple isn’t focusing on the MacBook Air much. I still think it’s a big hole in the market they’re missing though, not to bring up old arguments, but really, make a low end MacBook air. just one level, cheap and I think it would cater well to the low end market (sort of like the low end iMac).

  2. I disagree with the part about iPads not catching up to low-end laptops. If you’re talking about basic web browsing + email usage on a low-end laptop, those are two functions iPads are great at. Sure, the iPad doesn’t run OS X, but you have apps for all your favourite document editors, and the plethora of apps available in the App Store means there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do more with an iPad than you would with, say, one of the Retina MacBook.

    And let’s not forget that the iPad Pro has the Apple Pencil drawcard, either.

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