Archive for the ‘Mac’ Category

Guidemaster: Ars picks the best wireless keyboards you can buy in 2019

May 17th, 2019
Guidemaster: Ars picks the best wireless keyboards you can buy in 2019

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino)

Sometimes the default just doesn't cut it, and that's often true when it comes to keyboards. Whether you're working on a desktop or a laptop, the keyboard you were given or the keyboard built into the machine may not be the best for your working style. If that's the case, you may benefit from re-organizing your workspace to fit a wireless keyboard that connects to your machine via Bluetooth or a USB receiver.

But there are scores of wireless keyboards to choose from these days. Big PC companies as well as big accessory manufacturers all make wireless keyboards for various kinds of uses from stationary desk typing to on-the-go working. Luckily, we recently dove into the vast world of wireless keyboards head first. Maybe a modern wireless keyboard will never be as beloved as your old Model M, but there are good options out there—and here's the info you'll need to make your buying decisions easier.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

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Posted in accessories, Features, guidemaster, key travel, Keyboards, keys, Mac, pc, Tech, Wireless keyboards | Comments (0)

Apple releases iOS 12.3, macOS 10.14.5, watchOS 5.2.1, and tvOS 12.3

May 13th, 2019
A man walks in front of a giant video display onstage.

Enlarge / Apple announced some of these features at its services-and-TV-focused event on March 25. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

Today, Apple began rolling out new versions of its iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS operating systems for iPhones and iPads, Macs, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs, respectively.

The updates are largely focused on the video services that Apple announced at its March 25 event—namely, a revamped Apple TV app, Apple TV Channels, and an expansion of AirPlay 2 to devices produced by Apple's partners. A handful of bug fixes, performance optimizations, and other small tweaks are also included in the updates.

And no doubt deliberately timed with these updates, AirPlay 2 and Apple TV app support has finally rolled out to supporting Samsung TVs as planned. Apple says they'll roll out to supporting LG, VIZIO, and Sony smart TVs "later this year."

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Posted in apple, Apple TV, apple tv 4k, apple watch, iOS, iOS 12, iOS 12.3, iphone, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.14.5, macOS Mojave, Samsung, Tech, tvos, tvOS 12, tvOS 12.3, watchos, watchOS 5, watchOS 5.2.1 | Comments (0)

Blackmagic eGPU Pro mini-review: Quiet, fast, and extremely expensive—like a Mac

April 26th, 2019

There are many criticisms of Apple's Mac products, but one of the most commonly cited is that they often don't have graphics power that's comparable to what you'd see in similarly priced Windows machines. Unfortunately, the company currently offers no desktop tower in which you could, say, slot two super-powerful gaming graphics cards, either.

Some of that could change soon when Apple moves to its own silicon on Macs or when it introduces a new Mac Pro. But for now, the company's official answer to this line of criticism is doubling down on external GPU support in macOS. Support for this began during the High Sierra cycle and was expanded upon in some helpful ways in last year's Mojave OS release.

In addition to providing software support for eGPUs, Apple has developed what is more or less its official-ish eGPU solution, in much the same that a couple of LG's monitors have been Apple's recommended external displays for a while now. The company did so by partnering with hardware-maker Blackmagic Design, an Australia-based company that specializes in products for video professionals. The first eGPU from Blackmagic included an AMD Radeon Pro 580 and was priced at $699. We reviewed it late last summer and found that—while it was quiet and easy-to-use, and the GPU was a big upgrade over the integrated graphics in many Macs—we wished a higher-end GPU option was offered for creative professionals and hardcore gamers who needed more.

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Posted in AMD, Blackmagic Design, Blackmagic eGPU, Blackmagic eGPU Pro, EGPU, Features, Mac, MacBook Pro, Tech | Comments (0)

Two reports describe major new iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 features

April 16th, 2019
The front of the 2019 iPad Air

Enlarge / The front of the 2019 iPad Air. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Two reports by Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac citing "people familiar with the development" of both macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 may have revealed some notable new features in Apple's operating systems for Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

In the first report, published yesterday, Rambo describes new additions in iOS 13, which has long been expected to be a major release after iOS 12 was focused on improving performance and reliability.

The report says that iPads running iOS 13 will support multiple windows: "Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely." Users will be able to stack the cards or dismiss them with a gesture.

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Posted in iOS, iOS 13, ipad, iphone, Mac, MacOS, macOS 10.15, Tech | Comments (0)

Visual Studio 2019 goes live with C++, Python shared editing

April 2nd, 2019
OK, so Visual Studio's always gonna look like Visual Studio. But the eagle-eyed will spot a few differences. There's the menus-in-title bar at the top. There's the message "No issues found" in the status bar, showing that background code analysis has found no problems with my code. Bottom left, to the left of the "Ready" text, is the new background task status indicator that provides more information about things like scanning code to build IntelliSense information. There's a (not visible) GitHub tab in the Solution Explorer panel that's used for the new Pull Request integration. And, of course, there's the Live Share button top right.

Enlarge / OK, so Visual Studio's always gonna look like Visual Studio. But the eagle-eyed will spot a few differences. There's the menus-in-title bar at the top. There's the message "No issues found" in the status bar, showing that background code analysis has found no problems with my code. Bottom left, to the left of the "Ready" text, is the new background task status indicator that provides more information about things like scanning code to build IntelliSense information. There's a (not visible) GitHub tab in the Solution Explorer panel that's used for the new Pull Request integration. And, of course, there's the Live Share button top right.

A new version of Microsoft's integrated development environment (IDE) goes live today with the release of Visual Studio 2019 and its cousin Visual Studio 2019 for Mac.

Visual Studio is in a bit of a strange position, and it would be fair for developers to ask why this branded release even exists. Visual Studio 2017 has received nine point releases and countless patch releases since its release two years ago. Each of these releases has brought a mix of new features and bug fixes, and for Visual Studio users, the experience feels comparable to that of, say, Google Chrome, where each new version brings a steady flow of incrementally improved features and fixes.

Indeed, this iterative, incremental model is the one that Microsoft is pushing (and using) for services such as Azure DevOps and is comparable to the continuous development we see for Office 365, which is updated monthly, and the free and open source Visual Studio Code, which also has monthly iterations. With this development process in place, one wonders why we'd bother with "Visual Studio 2019" at all; let's just have "Visual Studio" and keep on updating it forever.

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Posted in C#, development, JavaScript, Mac, microsoft, Open Source, Python, Tech, typescript, visual studio | Comments (0)

Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

February 20th, 2019
Apple reportedly planning to combine iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps by 2021

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

A new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggests that Apple is serious about combining apps across the iOS and macOS App Stores. The iPhone make is reportedly planning on expanding Project Marzipan, a multistep initiative that will allow developers to create an app only once and have it work across iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices. Apple may reveal the first steps of this program as early as June 2019 at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

We first heard about Marzipan back in 2017, but this is the first hint of Apple's tentative schedule for its rollout and application. The company may debut an SDK later this year that will allow developers to port iPad apps to Mac computers. While they will still have to submit two separate apps to the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store, the SDK reportedly makes it so developers only have to write the underlying code once.

By next year, Apple plans to expand the SDK to include iPhone apps, meaning developers could port iPhone apps to Macs in the same way. By 2021, developers may be able to merge iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps, creating one application that works across all of those Apple devices (what the report calls a "single binary"). At this stage, developers will not have to submit multiple versions of apps to different app stores—and Apple may be able to merge its separate stores into one, all-encompassing app store.

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Posted in apple, iOS, ios apps, ipad, iphone, Mac, Mac Pro, MacOS, project marzipan, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple says iPhones were down 15% last quarter, but everything else was up 19%

January 30th, 2019
Close-up image of phones prominently displayed on a wooden table in a brightly lit, streetside store.

Enlarge / iPhones are seen at an Apple Store in Tianjin, China. (credit: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Apple today shared its fiscal first-quarter revenue with shareholders. As investors feared and as previously warned, Apple posted revenue of $84.3 billion for the quarter ending in December, missing revenue expectations in the quarter by around $4 billion.

CEO Tim Cook primarily credited macroeconomic conditions in China and their impact on iPhone sales in that region for the failure to meet expectations. That said, the company reported that every part of its business besides the iPhone was up year over year, as was overall revenue in the United States and Europe. The quarter was its second best ever in terms of revenue.

Investors were waiting for the report with bated breath after the company announced earlier this year that it expected to miss its revenue target for the quarter. Apple stock has taken a considerable tumble in recent months thanks to fears about smartphone market saturation, trade tensions between the United States and China, and other unfavorable market conditions in China.

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Posted in apple, apple music, Apple TV, apple watch, earnings, iphone, Mac, Stocks, Tech | Comments (0)

Microsoft Office is now available in the Mac App Store

January 26th, 2019
Promotional graphics used for Office 365 in Apple's Mac App Store.

Enlarge / Promotional graphics used for Office 365 in Apple's Mac App Store. (credit: Apple)

The suite of Microsoft Office applications is now available for download directly in Apple's Mac App Store for the first time. Previously, Mac users had to download the applications from Microsoft's website.

The apps included are: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, and OneDrive. You can download them individually, or as part of a bundle.

Office 365 is subscription based. That means the software package is free to download, but you'll have to pay a subscription fee to get any use out of it. Users have the option of subscribing through their Apple accounts, which plays into Apple's efforts to convince app developers to use subscription models on its platforms to bolster reliable revenue.

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Posted in apple, Mac, Mac App Store, Mac apps, microsoft, Microsoft office, Office 365, productivity, Tech | Comments (0)

Apple releases iOS 12.1.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1

December 5th, 2018
The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio.

Enlarge / The 2018, 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple simultaneously released minor software updates for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TV boxes today with iOS 12.1.1, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1.

The focus is on bug fixes and security, so none of them introduce major new features. But iOS comes closest by expanding the haptic touch feature on iPhone XR to notification previews, making it possible to hide the sidebar in the iPad's news app while in landscape orientation, and by bringing a couple of improvements to FaceTime—namely, the ability to capture Live Photos (those brief animated pictures) from a two-person FaceTime call and a one-tap way to flip between the rear and front cameras during a call.

Just note that to take a Live Photo during a FaceTime call, the person on the other end has to have the feature enabled. The toggle is located in the FaceTime panel in the Settings app.

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Posted in apple, Apple TV, apple tv 4k, iOS, iOS 12.1.1, Mac, MacOS, macOS Mojave, macOS Mojave 10.14.2, operating system, Tech, tvos, tvOS 12.1.1 | Comments (0)

While iPhone sales remain stagnant, Apple services hit $10 billion in revenue

November 1st, 2018
One of several styled Apple logos associated with the October 30 event.

Enlarge / One of several styled Apple logos associated with the October 30 event. (credit: Apple)

Apple announced on its earnings call today that it had surpassed its revenue estimates for Q4 2018. The iPhone maker boasted $62.9 billion in revenue, slightly more than the $60-62 billion it previously estimated, as well as $14.1 billion in profit, up from $11.5 billion in the previous quarter.

"We're thrilled to report another record-breaking quarter that caps a tremendous fiscal 2018, the year in which we shipped our two billionth iOS device, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the App Store, and achieved the strongest revenue and earnings in Apple's history,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Apple sold 46.8 million iPhones, 9.6 million iPads, and 5.2 million Macs in the final quarter of 2018. While that represents a 14 percent increase in iPhone sales when compared to last quarter, it's about the same number of iPhones sold this time last year. However, year-over-year revenue from iPhone sales was up by 29 percent, thanks to the increase in iPhone prices.

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Posted in apple, iOS, ipad, iphone, Mac, MacOS, Q4 2018, quarterly earnings, Tech | Comments (0)