Wednesday December 12, 2018 11:35 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Intel today introduced Sunny Cove, its next-generation processor microarchitecture designed to increase performance and power efficiency.
Sunny Cove microarchitecture, built on a 10nm process, will be the basis for Intel's next-generation Core and Xeon processors later next year according to the company, making them appropriate for potential 2019 models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac mini.
Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors. Gen11 graphics will support 4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power situations and feature Intel's Adaptive Sync technology for smoother gaming.
Intel did not provide a comparison of Gen11 and Gen10 graphics, paired with Cannon Lake-based processors.
For those who are ever-confused by Intel's roadmap, it is believed that Sunny Cove processors paired with Gen11 graphics will be called Ice Lake, which succeeds Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, and Cannon Lake.
Intel reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020, providing Apple with another option beyond its current provider AMD and former provider Nvidia for future MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.
Intel has essentially been iterating on its Skylake microarchitecture since 2015, so it is refreshing that the chipmaker is finally moving on to something new. But with rumors of Macs switching to custom ARM-based processors as early as 2020, it might not be long after Sunny Cove that Apple moves on too.
Wednesday November 14, 2018 6:58 am PST by Eric Slivka
In what is likely the result of a bug, a number of SSD custom-built configuration options have disappeared from Apple's 27-inch iMac lineup in its online store, with 1 TB and 2 TB options now missing entirely.
On the 27-inch iMac, available storage upgrades have varied depending on which stock configuration is used as the starting point, with the low-end and middle-tier models allowing customers to select from 256 GB, 512 GB, or 1 TB of SSD storage as upgrades from the standard 1 TB Fusion Drives, while the high-end model allowed for upgrading to 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB of SSD storage from the standard 2 TB Fusion Drive.
As of today, however, the available SSD options on the 27-inch iMac lineup in Apple's online store are much more limited and somewhat conflicting depending on the starting configuration. On the low-end model, 256 GB is now the only SSD upgrade option available, while on the middle-tier model Apple is showing no SSD options at all. For the high-end configuration, only a 512 GB SSD option is available.
While the change is consistent across Apple's online stores in multiple countries, the Apple Store iOS app continues to show all of the usual SSD options.
The 21-inch iMac is also unaffected in either the online store or the app, with Apple offering up to 512 GB or 1 TB of SSD storage depending on starting configuration, and it makes little sense for the 21-inch model to offer better SSD options than its larger sibling.
As a result, this is very likely a bug with Apple's online store that should be fixed relatively shortly.
Update 4:15 PM: Apple says this is indeed an error and is fixing the issue.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 7:06 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple held a second hardware-centric fall event this morning in New York City, where the company launched updated iPad Pro models, a refreshed version of the MacBook Air, and a new Mac mini.
Prior to the event, though, there were rumors suggesting we'd also see some other products that didn't end up making an appearance.
Rumors suggested Apple was working on updated iMac models with new processors, but it doesn't look like the iMac lineup is going to get a 2018 refresh at this point.
There wasn't a lot of detail on what to expect from a new iMac, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo did say Apple was working on a version with an upgraded processor and a "significant display performance upgrade."
With no new iMac making an appearance at today's event, we don't know when we'll see an updated version.
Prior to today's event, there was a lot of confusion over a rumored lower-cost notebook, which turned out to be a MacBook Air. It wasn't clear if the device would be in the MacBook Air or the MacBook family for good reason - it was rumored to be a 13-inch machine with a MacBook Air style design, a lower price tag, and a Retina display.
Those options turned out to be true, and the new MacBook Air is slimmer with thinner bezels, a faster processor, built-in Touch ID, and a Retina display, the feature previously differentiating the MacBook Air from the 12-inch MacBook.
Now that this new $1,199 MacBook Air with 8th-Gen Intel processors, Touch ID, T2 chip, and a slimmer chassis exists, it's not entirely clear what Apple plans to do with the 12-inch MacBook lineup, which starts at just $100 more.
There were rumors the 12-inch MacBook lineup would also be updated at today's event, but it wasn't refreshed.
Is this the end of the MacBook? It's not clear what Apple has in store for its thinnest, lightest machine, nor when it might see an update. With faster 8th-Gen processors and a Retina display in the new MacBook Air, the only real distinguishing feature between the MacBook and the MacBook Air is the MacBook's smaller size.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said just ahead of Apple's event that a new iPad mini is in the works, but he wasn't sure if it would be included in the October 30th product unveilings. As it turns out, it wasn't, and if a new iPad mini is in development, there's no word on when we'll see it launch.
AirPower and AirPods
There was some speculation that Apple could still debut the AirPower charging mat and compatible AirPods at its October event, but that didn't happen.
We have no idea when we might expect to see the AirPower launch, if it is indeed still in the works, nor when Apple will launch updated AirPods. At this point, it looks like we may not see these products until sometime in 2019.
We were hoping to get a little peek at Apple's work on its promised high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that Apple is developing for release in 2019, but it looks like we're going to have a longer wait to get our first glimpse at Apple's pro-focused machine.
Missing iPhone XR Cases and iPad Smart Covers
It's still not clear why Apple hasn't introduced cases for the iPhone XR, especially after mentioning special clear cases for the device in the iPhone XR press release in some countries, but following today's event, there's still no sign of Apple-designed iPhone XR cases.
Apple also did not introduce new Smart Covers for its updated 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, but there are new Smart Folio options and the new Smart Keyboard Folio.
Friday October 26, 2018 2:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
While Apple introduced iPhones back in September, there are still a number of products that the company is planning to refresh before the end of the year, necessitating a second fall 2018 event, set to be held on Tuesday, October 30 in New York City.
Apple's October event will focus on the iPad and the Mac, and below, we've rounded up everything we expect to see along with a few other products that might possibly make an appearance at the keynote.
Apple is working on updated iPad Pro models that adopt an iPhone XS-style design with slimmer bezels and no Home button, with the iPads instead set to gain a TrueDepth camera system that will replace Touch ID with Face ID for biometric authentication purposes. The design of the iPad Pro has been confirmed by Apple in several leaked icons discovered in iOS 12.
Though the iPhone XS uses a notch for the TrueDepth camera, the upcoming iPad Pro models are expected to feature slim top, bottom, and side bezels all around the display. Apple is not planning to use an OLED display for the new iPads due to cost and production issues.
2018 iPad Pro mockup via iDropNews
Recent CAD drawings sourced from a case maker along with additional leaks have given us some insight into the dimensions of the new iPad Pro models. The smaller iPad Pro is expected to be 7 inches wide (178.52mm) and 9.7 inches tall (247.64mm), while the larger model will be 8.5 inches wide (215mm) and 11 inches tall (280.66mm).
The smaller of the two iPad Pro models may be as thin as 5.86mm, and it's not clear how thick the larger iPad Pro model will be. It could be as thin, or somewhat thicker like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Bezels for both iPad Pro models could measure in at around 6mm at the top, bottom, and sides.
Based on multiple leaks, Apple is apparently relocating the magnetic Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models from the side to the bottom near the Lightning port, which could perhaps require a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. It's not clear why Apple is making this change, and it's not known if Apple is indeed releasing a new Smart Keyboard that connects differently.
Originally, it was thought that Apple was relocating the connector because Face ID would be limited to portrait orientation since that's the way it works on the iPhone, but code in iOS 12.1 suggests that after being set up vertically, Face ID will work on the iPad in both portrait and landscape modes.
Design wise, the new iPad Pro models are said to feature a "diamond cut" at both the front and the back, which suggests the tablets could have a design similar to the iPhone SE with beveled edges. Antenna lines on the device may also be located at the top and bottom, similar to the iPhone 7, rather than in a block at the top.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
There are other major changes in store for the iPad Pro. Apple is said to be planning to eliminate the headphone jack from the iPad lineup like it did in the iPhone starting with the iPhone 7, and it's rumored to use a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port.
A USB-C port would allow for faster charging and new functionality not possible via Lightning such as the ability to drive a 4K monitor.
Inside, the new iPad Pro models are said to be equipped with an A12X Bionic processor that's even faster than the A12 chip in the new iPhone lineup.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
Alongside new iPad Pro models, Apple is said to be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil with a new design.
Little detail is known about the new Apple Pencil, but it could feature an AirPods-like pairing experience with the ability to switch the Apple Pencil between devices without the need to plug it into a Lightning port.
It will attach magnetically to the side of the new iPad Pro models, and it is said to feature a new charging method, though there are no details on what that charging method might be. It's possible the accessory will charge wirelessly when docked to the iPad Pro, with Apple eliminating the Lightning port.
Rumors have also suggested new Apple Pencil will support tap and swipe gestures, which would allow iPad Pro users to do things like change the size or color of a brush within a sketching app using the sides of the Apple Pencil.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is working on an upgraded iPad mini that features an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, which suggests it will be more affordable than the current version.
Kuo wasn't entirely sure if Apple plans to release the iPad mini at its October event or at a later date in 2018 or early 2019, but there's a possibility it will be unveiled alongside new iPad Pro models.
We don't have any other information about the new iPad mini at this point in time, but it sounds like it's not going to get the same design refinements that are coming to Apple's iPad Pro lineup.
Apple has a 13-inch MacBook Air replacement in the works, which has been the subject of rumors for more than a year now. It's still not clear whether Apple plans to label the machine as MacBook Air or a MacBook, but some concrete details about the upcoming notebook can be gleaned from everything we've heard.
Positioned as an entry-level low-cost machine in Apple's product lineup, the notebook will be 13 inches in size and it will feature a Retina display. It is said to be similar in design to the current 13-inch MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels.
It's not entirely clear how Apple will distinguish this machine from the 12-inch MacBook if it's going to be a MacBook Air with a Retina display, but if the design is similar to the current MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook will still be Apple's lightest machine, justifying its higher price tag.
Various pricing rumors have suggested that it could be available for anywhere from $799 to $1,200, but the most reliable source, Bloomberg, believes it will cost under $1,000.
Whiskey Lake chips appropriate for a MacBook Air-like machine were announced by Intel in August, and so Apple could potentially be planning to use these chips in the device.
Regardless of whether the rumored lower-cost 13-inch notebook is positioned as a MacBook Air or a MacBook, rumors suggest Apple is planning to maintain the 12-inch MacBook lineup and a MacBook refresh is said to be in the works.
Upgraded 12-inch MacBooks are likely to feature Intel's 8th-generation Amber Lake Y-series processors, announced in August. These chips bring processor and battery improvements, so new MacBooks could offer both faster performance and longer battery life.
Aside from upgraded Intel chips, there's been little information on what else Apple might add to a refreshed MacBook lineup.
Apple refreshes its iMac lineup on a regular basis, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that an updated model is in the works and set to launch at Apple's October 30th event.
We're expecting new iMacs that feature upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors, improved GPUs, and perhaps the adoption of the T2 chip that was introduced in the iMac Pro and has since been added to the MacBook Pro.
Apple is working on a refreshed version of the Mac mini that's focused on the pro user base. The upgraded device will feature new storage and processor options, and because Apple is aiming it at pro users, some models could be more expensive than previous Mac mini products.
We don't have a lot of additional information available on what to expect from the Mac mini, but one rumor suggested the higher-end model "won't be so mini anymore," hinting at one configuration with a larger size to accommodate higher-end components.
Given that the new Mac mini is going to be a pro-focused machine, it's not clear what chips it will adopt, but Intel this year has announced 8th-generation processors appropriate for both desktop and notebook machines. Past Mac mini models have used the same chips as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple may be planning to opt for more powerful chips for a pro Mac mini model.
Apple last year announced work on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Apple has said this new, redesigned Mac Pro will launch at some point in 2019, but in the past, the company has provided us with early previews and the work on the Mac Pro is no secret, so it's possible we'll get a little taste of what to expect at this fall Mac-focused event.
As should come as no surprise, Apple is working on a next-generation iMac Pro model, which Bloomberg confirmed this afternoon. There are no new chips available that would be appropriate for an upgraded iMac Pro right now, but it's possible Apple will give us some details on when we can expect a refreshed iMac Pro machine.
AirPower and AirPods
We're still waiting on the AirPower, the three-device charging mat that Apple introduced in September 2017. When it made its debut, Apple said it would launch at some point in 2018, and we've got a few months to go, so it could potentially make an appearance at the October event.
We're not counting on it though, as Apple made no mention of the AirPower at its September iPhone-focused event, where a launch would have made more sense.
The AirPower is designed to charge the Apple Watch (Series 3 and 4), glass-backed iPhones, and AirPods all at the same time, with a wireless charging case required to enable wireless charging for the AirPods.
Alongside the AirPower, Apple is supposed to be introducing a new AirPods Charging Case that adds wireless charging to the earbuds, so if we see the launch of the AirPower, AirPods are likely to launch alongside it.
In addition to wireless charging, refreshed AirPods could gain an upgraded wireless chip that supports hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality. With "Hey Siri" support, AirPod owners will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
Existing AirPods Charging Case next to redesigned AirPods Charging Case with wireless charging capabilities
No other major changes are rumored for the AirPods this year, but there have been some hints that Apple is working on a set of Apple-branded high-end over-ear headphones that could launch in late 2018 at the earliest, so we may see a mention of them. Rumors on a launch date have been mixed, though, so Apple may not be ready to debut these until 2019.
Apple's event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, three hours earlier than events are normally held. This year's event is happening earlier because it's taking place on the East Coast instead of the West Coast.
Apple is planning to live stream the product unveilings on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV.
For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, along with continuing coverage over the course of the next few weeks.
What are you most looking forward to seeing Apple introduce this year? Let us know in the comments.
Wednesday October 24, 2018 3:43 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple has registered new Macs with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) this week, indicating that new models and refreshes could be just around the corner. The filings, discovered by MySmartPrice and French website Consomac, are legally required for any devices with encryption sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
The Mac model numbers are A1347, A1418, A1419, A1481, A1862, A1993, A2115, A2116, A1466, A1534, A1708, A1932, A1989, A1990. Some of the numbers refer to existing models that are being updated in the registry to merely indicate they come with the latest macOS Mojave operating system, but four of the numbers currently don't have counterparts in Apple's Mac lineup. Some have also appeared in Eurasia filings earlier this year.
Apple is expected to to introduce a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook at its October 30 event in New York City. The more affordable Mac would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air, and while details have been scant about the rumored machine, it could turn out to belong to the 12-inch MacBook family.
It's not known what the rumored 13-inch MacBook would be priced at, but the MacBook Air sells for $999, a price point Apple has thus far been unable to match with the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.
The Mac mini, which has not been updated for more than 1,400 days, is also expected to be refreshed this month, for the first time since 2014. We don't know a lot about what to expect for the Mac mini update, but upgraded internals and faster processors are a dead cert.
Apple's iMac range is also due at least a refresh, with current models on sale having not been updated in the last 505 days. It's not inconceivable that Apple also plans to give its MacBook Pro lineup a processor bump.
Meanwhile, new iPad Pro models announced at the event are expected to adopt an iPhone X-style design with no Home button, slimmer bezels, and a TrueDepth camera system that will enable Face ID for biometric authentication, while a new updated iPad mini could also feature.
Apple's New York City event on Tuesday, October 30 will take place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House, kicking off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Apple typically streams the event live on its website and on Apple TV, but for those who are unable to watch, MacRumors will be providing full event coverage both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Tuesday October 2, 2018 9:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has notified Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers that its inventory of displays for Late 2014 and Mid 2015 models of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is constrained until mid to late December, according to an internal service document obtained by MacRumors today.
As a result, if a customer with one of those iMac models requires a display repair due to accidental damage, Apple has instructed its service providers to offer a free repair if the customer is willing to wait until mid to late December.
If a customer is unable to wait, Apple will offer a functionally equivalent 2017 model 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display to be paid for by the customer, minus a $600 or local equivalent discount. The Late 2014 or Mid 2015 iMac must be returned to Apple — the customer will never get it back.
For example, if a customer takes a base model Late 2014 5K iMac with a damaged display to an Apple Store in the United States, and declines to wait until December for a repair, the Genius Bar is instructed to offer the customer a base model 2017 5K iMac for $1,199, down from its original price of $1,799.
Note that the 2017 models will be Customer Replacement Units, or CRUs, but it's unclear if they will be refurbished or brand new.
In order to qualify, the iMac must be out-of-warranty. If the iMac is still covered by AppleCare+ or Apple's standard one-year warranty, Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers are instructed to proceed with a standard repair. Note that only Late 2014 and Mid 2015 models are eligible — no others.
Unsurprisingly, Apple says any iMac with excessive or catastrophic damage as a result of reckless, abusive, or purposeful conduct is ineligible for a free repair. This includes any iMac that has been crushed or bent, or partially or fully submerged in liquid. This isn't a free 2014-to-2017 iMac upgrade program.
This procedure is to be followed by Apple Store and Apple Authorized Service Provider locations worldwide until display inventory is restored. Non-end users with two or more eligible iMacs with a damaged display are not eligible to claim a free repair to prevent resellers from abusing the offer.
All of this information comes from an internal Apple document obtained by MacRumors from multiple reliable sources, but we can't guarantee this procedure will be offered by all service providers. We also can't guarantee that all Apple employees or technicians will be aware of or acknowledge this temporary policy.
Wednesday August 15, 2018 4:00 am PDT by Juli Clover
On August 15, 1998, Apple officially released the first iMac, the candy-colored gumdrop-shaped iMac G3, launching a desktop machine that has continued to be updated and revised over the years.
Designed by Apple design chief Jony Ive, the iMac G3 was unique among computers at the time for its unusual shape, the use of translucent plastics that allowed the internals to be visible, and the bright colors that Apple adopted.
"This is iMac. The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool," said Jobs when introducing the iMac G3.
Apple's first iMac, which sold for $1,299 at launch, came equipped with a 233 - 700MHz PowerPC 750 G3 processor, 4GB of storage, a 15-inch CRT, a CD-ROM drive, and an ATI graphics card, components that don't sound impressive today but made for a powerful, well-rounded machine, that, in combination with the design, made the iMac a best seller.
At launch, and in the years following its release, Apple released the iMac G3 in a slew of shades that include the famous Bondi Blue, Blueberry, Grape, Graphite, Indigo, Lime, Sage, Strawberry, Ruby, Snow, Tangerine, and two patterned colors, Blue Dalmatian and Flower Power.
If you live near Michigan, all 13 colors of the original iMac G3 are on display at the Henry Ford Museum in a popup collection called "Looking Through Things," which has been introduced in celebration of the iMac's anniversary.
The iMac G3 was introduced just a year after Steve Jobs returned to lead Apple, and it came at a time when the company was still struggling and trying to find its footing. By 1999, Apple saw its first quarter profits more than triple, with the jump attributed to sales of the new iMac.
Apple in May celebrated the anniversary of the debut of the iMac G3, which, while launched in August, was first introduced by Jobs in May 1998.
20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers. pic.twitter.com/GbKno7YBHl
Since the iMac G3's 1998 debut, Apple has introduced several revisions to the desktop machine, launching design revisions in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, and 2015.
Today, the iMac is available in 21.5 and 27-inch size options, with 4K and 5K Retina displays, respectively. Kaby Lake chips, AMD graphics, and super fast SSDs are included.
We also have an iMac Pro, a workstation class machine aimed at Apple's professional users with a unique Space Gray body, Xeon processors with up to 18 cores, Radeon Pro Vega graphics, and up to 4TB of SSD storage.
We're still expecting refreshed iMac models in 2018. There's no word on when the next design change is coming, but in 2018, Apple is expected to add 8th-generation Coffee Lake chips and other internal improvements that make a great desktop machine even better.
Wednesday July 11, 2018 10:14 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is working on updates across its entire product line for the second half of 2018, according to a new investor's note shared this morning by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with refreshes expected for iPhone, iPad, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Apple Watch.
Much of what Kuo has to share has been mentioned before, but he provides a nice overview of what we can expect to see this fall along with some interesting new tidbits on Apple's upcoming product lineup.
iPhone - There are three iPhones in the works, two OLED models in 5.8 and 6.5-inch sizes and one lower-cost LED model that will be available in a 6.1-inch size. All three will feature Face ID and upgraded A12 processors. While the two OLED models will have dual-lens cameras, the lower-cost model will feature a single-lens camera.
iPad Pro - Apple is working on two new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that are equipped with a full-screen design similar to the iPhone X and no Home button, with Apple to replace Touch ID with Face ID.
Mac mini - Kuo didn't have a lot of information to share on the Mac mini, but he says a processor upgrade is expected. The Mac mini has not been updated for more than 1,300 days, aka over 3 and a half years. It's not clear if additional upgrades will be included, such as a redesigned chassis, but at least some kind of refresh is on the horizon.
MacBook Pro - Processor upgrades expected.
MacBook - Processor upgrades expected.
New Low-Priced Notebook - Kuo believes Apple is designing a new low-priced notebook. He originally said that this would be in the MacBook Air family, but now has changed his mind. Previous rumors have suggested this machine could be a 12-inch MacBook, so Apple may be planning to expand the MacBook lineup with an additional low-cost option to replace the MacBook Air.
iMac - Kuo says to expect a significant display performance upgrade, but he does not go into detail about what this will entail and we haven't heard additional iMac rumors at this time. He says the iMac, like other Macs, will get a processor refresh.
Apple Watch - Apple is working on two new Apple Watch models for 2018 that will have bigger displays and enhanced heart rate detection features. The two Apple Watch models will measure in at 1.57 inches (39.9mm) and 1.78 inches (45.2mm), roughly 15 percent bigger than in the current models. Rumors have not been clear on whether the Apple Watch itself will be larger or if the bigger display will come from a reduction in bezels.
Kuo wraps up his note with a prediction that the highly-anticipated AirPods and the AirPower will go into mass production in the third quarter of 2018, suggesting a late fall launch. Apple first announced the AirPower in the fall of 2017, but has reportedly run into some problems with production. Recent rumors have said Apple is aiming for a September launch for the AirPower.
Kuo doesn't provide details on when we might see refreshes to Apple's other product lines, but the company could be planning to launch all of the new products at its annual September event, which is typically held during the first or second week of September.
In the past, Apple has also held separate October events when there is a heavy fall product lineup to unveil, so Macs and iPads could also come in that month.
Tuesday June 5, 2018 6:50 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Yesterday at WWDC 2018, Apple revealed macOS Mojave, which is set to bring users a Dark Mode, redesigned Mac App Store, organizable Stacks, streamlined screenshots, and more when it launches wide in the fall. Alongside the new features, Apple has confirmed that it is deprecating OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) and OpenCL (Open Computing Language) in favor of Metal.
This means that apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will still run in Mojave, but they will no longer be updated after macOS 10.14 launches. Apple encourages games and "graphics-intensive apps" built with OpenGL to adopt Metal ahead of Mojave's launch, and apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks "should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders."
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is one of the latest Mac games to run on Metal
Launched four years ago, Metal is Apple's own 3D graphic and programming interface that combines the functions of OpenGL and OpenCL under a singular API. In explaining the move of deprecating the "legacy technologies" of OpenGL and OpenCL, Apple said that "Metal avoids the overhead inherent in legacy technologies and exposes the latest graphics processing functionality" of GPUs found in devices across iOS, macOS, and tvOS.
Although Apple's decision to deprecate the older technology in favor of its own graphics API may not be surprising, some game developers have begun criticizing Apple for the move, particularly how it affects the future of gaming on Mac. Notably, OpenGL is an open-source, cross-platform solution that made it simple for developers to build games on both Mac and PC at the same time, providing some parity to a platform that many have agreed is lacking as a gaming hub.
Since "many games and apps continue to use OpenGL," particularly those that released prior to Metal in 2014, the shift to Metal-focused development is leaving Mac developers worried about any potential to grow as a gaming platform (via PC Gamer). Game developer Sam Loeschen tweeted that he feels "conflicted" about the decision, calling Metal a "really, really good" graphics API but admitting that "this decision alienates macOS further as a gaming platform."
Speaking with PC Gamer, game designer Rami Ismail said that while "it's not doomsday," it appears that Apple is preparing for such an occasion in regards to fully terminating OpenGL/OpenCL on Mac. He explained that for now, "the worst that's going to happen" is that parts of old apps will "break," and pointed out that lacking a single cross-platform graphics API is a "pain" and "not very good for developer confidence" in Apple.
"With deprecation, abandonment can vary from 'soon' to 'never', so until we have information on that, we can't really say," he said. "All we know is Apple seems to have shown intent to rid itself of OpenGL in favor of its own graphics API, Metal. The problem with Metal is very similar to the problem with DirectX: it's not cross-platform.
"It's not doomsday, it's more like Apple building a giant EMP machine and saying 'we might or might not use this.' The worst that's going to happen is old stuff will break, and our engines and libraries will grow a bit to support both Direct3D and Metal. Not having a clear guideline for future actions Apple might take in this regard isn't very good for developer confidence, I'd guess, and not having a single cross-platform graphics API is just a pain."
More developers and programmers chimed in on the news to PC Gamer, including Alex Austin, who ultimately said that while he likes to develop on Mac to "support fans if I can," he's most likely "not going to spend any time on Metal because Macs are a pretty small percentage of the market and really probably not worth it even now."
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the late Steve Jobs introducing the iMac, in what has become a defining moment in Apple's storied history. Apple CEO Tim Cook commemorated the occasion on Twitter today.
20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers. pic.twitter.com/GbKno7YBHl
"This is iMac," said Jobs, who had returned to the helm of Apple as interim CEO just eight months prior, after being ousted from the company twelve years earlier. A large crowd erupted with applause at the Flint Center, the same theater where Jobs unveiled the original Macintosh back in 1984.
The excitement centered upon the fact that the iMac didn't look anything like other desktop PCs of the time. This wasn't a typical boxy monitor-and-tower in dull beige. This was an all-in-one machine with curvy, translucent plastic, first in bondi blue, and later in several other colors of the rainbow.
Jobs was as charismatic as always on stage:
This is iMac. The whole thing is translucent. You can see into it. It's so cool. We've got stereo speakers on the front. We've got infrared right up here. We've got the CD-ROM drive right in the middle. We've got dual stereo headphone jacks. We've got the coolest mouse on the planet right here. All of the connectors are inside one beautiful little door here—the Ethernet, the USB stuff. Around the back, we've got a really great handle here. The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys, by the way.
iMac was all about getting everyday people connected to the internet. In fact, the letter I in iMac stood for internet, according to Ken Segall, the creative director who came up with the name for the computer. It also stood for individual, instruct, inform, and inspire, according to Apple's presentation.
More importantly, the iMac was a turning point for Apple, a company that had lost its direction by the mid-1990s. Apple was hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, had a bloated product lineup with over a dozen Macintosh models, and seemed to lack a clear plan forward. That is, until Jobs stepped in.
Jobs aimed to simplify Apple's product lineup with a four-quadrant product matrix, with one desktop computer and one portable computer for consumers and professionals respectively. iMac filled the consumer-desktop quadrant.
Jobs in Apple's press release for the iMac:
We designed iMac to deliver the things consumers care about most—the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of the Mac. iMac is next year's computer for $1299; not last year's computer for $999.
Today we brought romance and innovation back into the industry. iMac reminds everyone of what Apple stands for.
The original iMac pioneered many industry firsts such as USB, FireWire, and quiet fan-less operation, and while the removal of the floppy drive and legacy ports was controversial, the computer ultimately pushed the industry forward.
The original iMac's tech specs:
PowerPC G3 processor clocked at 233MHz
15-inch display with 1,024×768 resolution
Two USB ports and Ethernet with a built-in software modem
4GB hard drive
32MB of RAM, expandable to 128MB
24x CD-ROM drive
Built-in stereo speakers with SRS sound
Apple-designed USB keyboard and mouse
Mac OS 8.1
The strategy was effective, as the iMac kickstarted Apple's return to profitability, just months after it flirted with potential bankruptcy. iMac sales topped 278,000 units in the first six weeks, and in October 1998, Apple reported earnings of $106 million in its fourth quarter, contributing to its first profitable year since 1995.
The naming scheme lived on with the iPod in 2001, iPhone in 2007, and iPad in 2010, products that led Apple to become the world's most valuable company.
The success of the iMac was due in part to a significant marketing campaign developed by ad agency TBWA/Chiat/Day. The ads, both in print and video form, focused on the iMac's design and the simplicity of both setting it up and connecting to the internet. A few of the spots featured actor Jeff Goldblum.
A sampling of taglines from the campaign:
Sorry, no beige.
Chic. Not geek.
No artificial colors.
The rebirth of cool.
The most colorful way to the Internet.
Family vehicles for the information superhighway.
The thrill of surfing. The agony of choosing a color.
The most dramatically new Macintosh since the original.
In the two decades since, the iMac has undergone several revisions, keeping up with rapid technological advancements. Over those years, Apple's attention to both design and function hasn't wavered.
In 2002, the iMac received its first significant redesign, with a thin flat-panel display affixed to a white semicircular base with a cantilevered metal arm. In 2004, Apple integrated the main logic board, optical drive, and other components behind the display, allowing for a thinner aluminum stand.
In 2007, Apple ditched white plastic and gave the iMac an aluminum enclosure backed by black plastic. A model with a complete aluminum unibody enclosure was released in 2009, and slimmed down in 2012. In 2014, the iMac gained 4K and 5K Retina displays. And, in 2017, the powerful iMac Pro was released.
It is 1998, though, that will always be remembered as the year Apple started a new chapter of success. Happy birthday to the iMac.
The most notable new chip is the first-ever Core i9 processor for notebooks. With six cores and 12 threads, Intel says the Core i9 is the highest-performance notebook processor it has ever designed. The H-series processor has a 2.9GHz base clock speed with a Turbo Boost frequency of up to 4.8GHz.
Given the Core i9 is a 45W chip, it is appropriate for the high-end 15-inch MacBook Pro and could be included in a refreshed version of the notebook as early as this year. Apple last updated the MacBook Pro lineup with Kaby Lake processors at WWDC in June 2017, so a Core i9 model could debut at WWDC 2018.
Of note, while the Core i9 processor allows for systems with up to 32GB of RAM, this is unlikely to apply to the next MacBook Pro, since low-power DDR4 RAM is still not supported. Back in 2016, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller said 32GB of standard DDR4 RAM would compromise battery life.
The eighth-generation Core processor family also includes new quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors with base clock speeds between 2.3GHz and 2.7GHz and integrated Iris Plus graphics. These 28W chips, part of the U-series, are suitable for future 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini models.
Intel says the new Core i9, i7, and i5 processors for notebooks are based on its Coffee Lake platform and leverage its 14nm++ manufacturing process, enabling the chips to deliver up to 41 percent more frames per second in gameplay or edit 4K video up to 59 percent faster than the previous generation with the same discrete graphics, based on its internal benchmark testing.
As with Intel's Kaby Lake Refresh processors introduced last August, these new Coffee Lake chips pave the way for a quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro should Apple choose to release one. The current lineup is limited to dual-core models.
Intel also expanded its lineup of eighth-generation Core processors for desktops today after an initial rollout last October. Two chips suitable for future 4K and 5K standard iMac models include six-core Core i5-8600 and Core i5-8500 chips with base clock speeds of 3.1GHz and 3.0GHz respectively.
The desktop lineup also includes six lower-power 35W chips with four or six cores and base clock speeds between 2.1GHz and 3.2GHz. While the current Mac mini lineup uses 28W chips, previous generations have used up to 45W chips, so the 35W processors could be suitable for future Mac mini models.
All in all, Intel has potentially laid the groundwork for a high-performance, top-of-the-line 15-inch MacBook Pro, quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro models, a long-overdue Mac mini refresh, and updated iMacs as early as this year.
Looking further ahead, Bloomberg News on Monday reported that Apple plans to design and use its own processors for Macs starting as early as 2020. Intel shares saw their biggest price drop in two years following the report.
Tuesday February 27, 2018 6:03 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple today internally announced it is launching a new pilot program that will permit Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers to continue offering repair service for 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac models released in mid 2011, despite the fact they will be classified as vintage starting next month.
The pilot program will be available in the United States only between March 1, 2018 and August 31, 2018, subject to parts availability from Apple, according to the company's internal memo obtained by MacRumors. After the pilot ends, repairs will only be available in California and Turkey, as required by law.
Apple and Authorized Service Providers can usually repair an iMac's display and hinge, logic board, graphics card, hard drive or SSD, power supply, and other components, although the exact availability of replacement parts remains to be seen. It's unclear if RAM and storage upgrades will continue to be offered.
Apple typically offers repairs and replacement parts for a Mac until five years after it is no longer manufactured. Mid 2011 iMac models are now approaching this cutoff, as the last education-only configuration was discontinued in March 2013, but these machines will now remain eligible for service for an additional six months.
Apple didn't specify if the pilot program will eventually expand to other vintage products, or whether it will be available outside of the United States.
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