This is Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Touch ID & more!

“The Mac is more than a product to us. It’s a testament to everything we do and create at Apple,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at today’s “Hello again” Mac event as he unveiled long-expected updates to Pro notebooks. The new MacBook Pro has, as rumored, a programmable OLED touch bar substituting the function key row, called Touch Bar.

There’s also a Touch ID sensor powered by a new Apple-designed T1 chip. Like its predecessor, the new MacBook Pro comes in 13 and 15-inch flavors and each is available in Silver or Space Gray finish. hello again event macbook pro compare

The notebooks have a 2x larger trackpad with ForceTouch haptic feedback (46 percent larger on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and twice as large on the 15-inch MacBook Pro) and are driven by Intel’s latest Skylake chips with faster graphics. The iconic glowing Apple logo on the lid is gone, however, like on the existing twelve-inch MacBook.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at three pounds, almost half a pound lighter than the previous generation. It’s seventeen percent thinner and has 25 percent less volume than the previous-generation MacBook Pro.

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The 15-incher weighs in at 4 pounds, is fourteen percent thinner and has twenty percent less volume. The biggest news is the new Touch Bar feature. Touch Bar, as mentioned, provides one-touch access to all of the functions previously provided by dedicated hardware function keys, and then some more.

hello again event macbook pro touch bar

When you’re multitasking, Touch Bar shortcuts change depending on the app being used. It’s great that Touch Bar provides autocorrect suggestion when typing on the keyboard, has a dedicated Siri button and even suggests emoji replacements.

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In fact, it provides a dedicated interface for browsing all your emoji by category, frequently used and more—by way of swiping. In other apps, Touch Bar lets you create new tabs, manage your windows and more.

In Photos, as another example, a photo strip is rendered on the Touch Bar so you can quickly select an image to work with. You can even rotate photos, make color adjustments and more, right on the Touch Bar.

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In the Finder, you can customize any toolbar features like the screenshot control to appear on the Touch Bar simply by dragging an item from the toolbar down until it drops on Touch Bar. And when customizing Touch Bar, the icons wiggle like on iOS.

Touch Bar has controls for iWork apps, iTunes, Terminal and other Apple apps, with a developer API available to enable custom shortcuts in third-party apps.

Both machines have a second-generation Touch ID with sapphire crystal protection. With a fingerprint scan, customers can unlock their Mac, switch user accounts and authenticate Apple Pay purchases on the web. “Touch ID enables a quick, accurate reading of your fingerprint and uses sophisticated algorithms to recognize and match it with the Secure Enclave in the new Apple T1 chip,” Apple said.

hello again event macbook pro touch id

The Mac’s Touch ID sensor is powered by a brand new Apple-designed chip, called the T1, which has a Secure Enclave to support strong security and privacy like on iPhone.

Compared to the previous generation, the new MacBook Pro’s Retina screen is 67 brighter, has 67 percent greater contrast and gives you 25 percent more colors while consuming thirty percent less power than before.

It is the first Mac notebook display to support a wider color gamut. Both new machines have four Thunderbolt 3 ports providing a whopping 30GB/s bandwidth and allowing users to drive a 5K display and power their MacBook Pro with a single cable.

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The new Thunderbolt standard is port-compatible with USB-C (also known as USB 3.1 Generation 2), meaning all your USB-C devices can be connected to the new MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt ports. Thunderbolt 3 also supports the DisplayPort 1.2 video interconnect standard.

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Any of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports can be used as a USB-C charging port. In fact, any of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports can be Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or Display Port without any adapter, or become HDMI or VGA with an adapter.

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The 13-inch model comes with either Intel’s dual-core Core i5 or i7 with a 2,133 MHz memory, integrated Intel Iris graphics with 64 megabytes of eDRAM that’s two times faster on average or 103 percent faster in gaming and 76 percent faster in video editing and 3D graphics. The SSD in the 13-incher provides a throughput of 3.1 Gb/s.

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As for the more powerful 15-incher model, it’s powered by Intel’s sixth-generation quad-core Core i7 processor with faster 2,1333MHz memory and discreet Radeon Pro graphics that’s part of AMD’s new 14-nanometer Polaris architecture. You can outfit the graphics card with up to four gigabytes of dedicated video RAM.

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Graphics on the 15-inch MacBook Pro is up to 2.4 faster than the previous-generation MacBook Pro with 60 percent faster gaming, 57 percent faster video editing and 130 percent faster 3D graphics. As for the SSD, the 15-inch MacBook Pro can be outfitted with up to 2TB FusionDrive while the SSD provides a throughout of 3.1 GB/s.

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Last but not least, both new MacBook Pros have an all-new speaker design with twice the dynamic range of the previous generation. Battery? You get a ten-hour battery life.

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The machines are available for pre-order today from Apple.com, Apple retail stores and authorized resellers, shipping in 2-3 weeks. The standard 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, Touch ID and Touch Bar costs $1,799.

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The flagship 15-incher with a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB RAM, discreet AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics, 256GB SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, Touch ID and Touch Bar will set you back $2,399.

hello again event macbook pro prices

For MacBook Air fans, Apple has created a 13-inch MacBook Pro model without Touch Bar and Touch ID and with the familiar row of function hardware keys. That machine, priced at $1,4999, ships today.

It’s powered by a 2 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, has 8 GB of RAM, integrated Intel Iris 540 graphics, two Thunderbolt 3 ports rather than four and comes with 256GB SSD.

The current MacBook Air continues to be available without a hardware refresh. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/macbookpro.

By the way, this week mark’s 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook, the PowerBook, which defined the modern notebook with a matrix-dot display and a keyboard-forward design that created room for a trackpad and other features.

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Apple releases iOS 10.1, macOS Sierra 10.12.1, watchOS 3.1 and tvOS 10.0.1 with bug fixes and improvements!

 

Apple on Monday pushed out the iOS 10.1 software update for iPhone and iPad. The release comes after more than a month of beta testing, and it includes various improvements and one major new user-facing feature: Portrait mode, which is exclusive to the dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus.

First introduced at Apple’s iPhone event in September, Portrait mode is a new setting in the stock Camera app that uses the 7 Plus’ wide angle lens to gather perspective data for a photo. This allows the handset to take photos with a depth-of-field, or ‘bokeh,’ effect with blurry backgrounds.

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In addition to Portrait mode, iOS 10.1 also includes the ability to reduce motion while retaining the various iOS 10 iMessage features. The new toggle labeled “Auto-play Message effects” can be found in General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. You’ll also see a new Replay option in Messages.

iOS 10.1 also comes with transit directions for users in Japan.

Rounding out the update is the usual stack of bug fixes and improvements. To install the update, open the Settings app and select General > Software Update.

iOS 10.1 full release notes

Camera and Photos

  • Introduces Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus that creates a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background (beta)
  • People names in the Photos app are saved in iCloud backups
  • Fixes an issue where opening the Camera app would show a blurred or flashing screen for some users
  • Fixes an issue that caused Photos to quit for some users when turning on iCloud Photo Library
  • Improved the display of wide color gamut photos in the grid views of the Photos app

Maps

  • Transit support for every major train, subway, ferry, and national bus line, as well as local bus systems for Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya
  • Sign-based transit navigation including layouts of all underground structures and walkways that connect large transit stations
  • Transit fare comparison when viewing alternative transit routes

Messages

  • New option to replay bubble and full screen effects
  • Messages effects can play with Reduce Motion enabled
  • Fixes an issue that could lead to contact names appearing incorrectly in Messages
  • Addresses an issue where Messages could open to a white screen
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent the report junk option from displaying with unknown senders
  • Fixes an issue where videos captured and sent in the Messages app could be missing audio

Apple Watch

  • Adds distance and average pace to workout summaries in the Activity app for outdoor wheelchair run pace and outdoor wheelchair walk pace
  • Fixes issues that may have prevented Music playlists from syncing to Apple Watch
  • Addresses an issue that was preventing invitations and data to appear in Activity Sharing
  • Fixes an issue that was allowing Activity Sharing to update over cellular when manually disabled
  • Resolves an issue that was causing some third-party apps to crash when inputting text

Other improvements and fixes

  • Improves Bluetooth connectivity with 3rd party accessories
  • Improves AirPlay Mirroring performance when waking a device from sleep
  • Fixes an issue where playback would not work for iTunes purchased content when the “Show iTunes Purchases” setting is turned off
  • Fixes an issue where certain selfie apps and face filters used with the FaceTime HD Camera on iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus did not display a live preview
  • Fixes an issue in Health where individual strokes are converted to separate characters when using the Chinese handwriting keyboard
  • Improves performance of sharing websites from Safari to Messages
  • Fixes an issue in Safari that caused web previews in tab view to not display correctly
  • Fixes an issue that caused certain Mail messages to be reformatted with very small text
  • Fixes an issue that caused some HTML email to be formatted incorrectly
  • Fixes an issue that in some cases caused the search field to disappear in Mail
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent Today View Widgets from updating when launched
  • Fixes an issue where Weather widget sometimes failed to load data
  • Fixes an issue on iPhone 7 where Home Button click settings would not appear in search results
  • Fixes an issue that prevented spam alert extensions from blocking calls
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent alarm sounds from going off
  • Fixes an issue where audio playback via Bluetooth would cause the Taptic engine to stop providing feedback for some users
  • Resolves an issue preventing some users from restoring from iCloud Backup

iOS 10.1 is compatible with iPad 4 and above, iPhone 5 and above, and iPod Touch 6G.

In addition to iOS 10.1, Apple on Monday released updates for its other 3 growing software platforms. After a month of beta testing, macOS Sierra 10.12.1, watchOS 3.1 and tvOS 10.0.1 are now available to the public and can be installed via their respective over-the-air Update mechanisms.

Unlike iOS 10.1, these updates don’t include any significant user-facing features or changes. They’re mostly focused on “bug fixes and improvements,” with tvOS patching a coloring issue with the “Hold To Dictate” text, and macOS Sierra 10.12.1 bringing about fixes for a number of known bugs:

– Adds an automatic smart album in Photos for Depth Effect images taken on iPhone 7 Plus

– Improves the compatibility of Microsoft Office when using iCloud Desktop and Documents

– Fixes an issue that may prevent Mail from updating when using a Microsoft Exchange account

– Fixes an issue that caused text to sometimes paste incorrectly when using Universal Clipboard

– Improves reliability of Auto Unlock with Apple Watch

– Improves security and stability in Safari

It’s also been discovered that macOS 10.12.1 includes support for new Mac hardware, which Apple is expected to unveil at its October 27 event, so stay tuned for that.

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Samsung “paying extra careful attention” to Galaxy S8 development due to “huge changes”

Unperturbed by its ill-fated Note 7 flagship, which Samsung has now permanently stopped building due to ongoing battery woes, development of a next-generation Galaxy smartphone is in full swing. Reportedly, the troubled South Korean company is “paying extra careful attention” towards the development of the Galaxy S8.

That’s not just because of quality control issues with the Note 7, but also due to the fact that the Galaxy S8 packs in some “huge” hardware and design changes, according to a new report Tuesday from Korean news site ET News.

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“Due to the issues with the Note 7, Samsung Electronics is paying extra careful attention towards development of Galaxy S8,” reads the Korean report.

According to the report, the S8 should have the features Apple is expected to engineer into its Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year, including a bezel-free curved screen with a redesigned Home button/fingerprint reader embedded underneath the glass panel, a dual-lens camera out the back and Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 830 chip.

Basically, Samsung is planning to fill all of the Galaxy S8’s front display with just the screen, just like Apple is expected to do with the next iPhone, as imagined by the below concept rendering.

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“It is heard that Samsung Electronics is planning to eliminate even top and bottom edges of display for Galaxy S8,” creating a full-screen smartphone.

The side bezels should be made even skinnier than on current Galaxies by increasing the curvature of both edges of the AMOLED display. Samsung’s display-making arm should play an important role in volume production of that screen.

As for the Galaxy S8’s dual-cameras, Samsung is currently deciding whether to use all-in-one dual-cameras or separated dual-cameras, said a representative for a component industry. All-in-one dual-cameras have two lenses and a module versus separated dual-cameras that have two separate modules.

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Samsung’s dual-cameras will be used to capture depth of field photos akin to the iPhone 7 Plus and are said to be 16 megapixels and eight megapixels versus a pair of 12-megapixel cameras on Apple’s phone.

As for the device’s brains, Samsung’s foundry business is said to start volume production of the Snapdragon 830 chip on a 10-nanometer FinFET process at the end of this year at the earliest, beating rival TSMC. Like the current Galaxy, certain S8 models will use Samsung’s next-generation Exynos chip in place of the Qualcomm one.

The previously rumored Exynos 8995 chip is said to incorporate a 16-nanometer Mali-G71 GPU manufactured by ARM, which appears to be a direct successor to the T880 model found within the Exynos 8990 that’s being used in the Galaxy S7 series and the ill-fated Note 7.

Using ARM’s new Bifrost architecture developed with 4K display and virtual reality applications in mind, the GPU should be almost twice as fast as its predecessor.

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Digital Music News recently heard from sources that Samsung Mobile’s leadership is considering removing the 3.55mm headphone jack from the Galaxy S8.

The next Galaxy is expected to release in the first quarter of next year. For what it’s worth, we know from a leaked invite that the next Samsung Unpacked event will be taking place at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on February 26.

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Samsung permanently discontinues the Galaxy Note7

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Samsung has announced that it is ending the production of the Galaxy Note7 and permanently discontinuing it worldwide.

The decision comes immediately after the company issued a press release asking users to power down all original and replaced Note7 units, and for retailers and career partners to stop sales and exchanges of the smartphone.

“We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation.” said Samsung in a statement yesterday.

The decision to end the Note7 production is the final step in a rather tumultuous journey. After being announced back in August and being met with generally positive reviews, the Note7 first came under fire — quite literally — after reports of units exploding surfaced on the internet. After 35 cases had been reported, Samsung issued an official recall of the device, which sent everyone in a tizzy and airlines and airport authorities calling for an official ban on usage of the device in several countries.

Samsung did what it could, replacing not just the affected but every Note7 it sold and issuing a new device with an updated battery pack and a green battery indicator so the customers and authorities alike could tell them apart. It even restricted the older devices from charging beyond 60% so people who hadn’t replaced theirs yet wouldn’t overcharge them.

But after the replacement units also started catching fire, most notably one on a Southwest Airlines flight 994 from Louisville to Baltimore, which had to be evacuated when a passenger’s replacement Note7 caught fire, Samsung eventually asked everyone to power them down. And finally did what was inevitable and, some might argue, what should have been done from the beginning, pulled the plug entirely on the Note7.

We are waiting to hear from Samsung on how it plans to proceed with existing Note7 devices that are out there and also how it deals with customers who have pending orders.

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If you use these features in Chrome you should get a Chromebook before 2018!

Google announced that it’s planning to phase out support for its browser-based Chrome apps for every single OS except – of course – Chrome OS proper. That means no Chrome apps will be available to download on Windows, Mac or Linux starting the second half of 2017, and in early 2018, existing apps won’t load at all on those platforms.

The reason? People just didn’t use them. According to Google:

There are two types of Chrome apps: packaged apps and hosted apps. Today, approximately 1 percent of users on Windows, Mac, and Linux actively use Chrome packaged apps, and most hosted apps are already implemented as regular web apps.

Instead, Google will be doubling down on extensions and themes, which are getting a more prominent showcase in the Chrome Web Store.

The company says the Web has matured enough to support experiences that used to require dedicated offline apps, such as sending notifications or connecting to hardware. Still, the company is keeping native apps on Chrome OS, saying they play a “critical role,” — clearly there is some advantage to them, but that’s simply by virtue that Chrome OS can only run Chrome apps.

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