MyAppleMenu - Tue, Oct 13, 2015

Tue, Oct 13, 2015The 4K-Retina-iMac Edition

The Inside Story Of Apple’s New iMacs, by Steven Levy, Medium

The suspect mouse sound stirred consternation and late nights in the maze of workspaces located in a nondescript office building a few miles away from Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters. This is the Input Design Lab, though employees refer to the venue as Vallco Parkway, the street where it’s sited. Behind doors that outsiders rarely venture past are an array of exotic machines, many custom-tuned, that measure and test the latest Apple wares. These were put to use to fix the problem.

The culprit appeared to be the little polycarbonate runners on the bottom of the mouse. “We changed the foot architecture,” says Bergeron, Apple’s VP for Ecosystem Products and Technologies. (Translation: you pound on her keyboards.) “And it changed the friction characteristics of the sound.”

“When we did the previous mouse we spent so much time dialing those feet, the material, the geometry, everything, so that it sounds good and feels good when you move it on the table,” says Ternus, whose title is VP for Mac, iPad, Ecosystem and Audio Engineering. “But then you change the mass of the product and you change the resonant frequency of the product and all of a sudden the feet that we loved weren’t great anymore. They weren’t what we wanted.”

Apple Launches New Retina 4K 21.5-Inch iMac, All 27-Inch iMacs Now Feature Retina 5K Displays, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The 4K Retina iMac features a 4096 x 2304 resolution display, totalling over 9 million pixels. The displays feature a P3 color gamut, which features 25 % large color space for more detailed and more life-like image reproduction. Internally, the 4K iMac features a fifth-generation Intel Core processor with updated Intel Iris Pro graphics, priced from $1499.

Apple Goes all-Retina For Its 27-Inch Skylake iMac Refresh, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

This year, the entire lineup is getting a refresh—not only is there a new 4K model of the 21.5-inch iMac, but all of the 27-inch non-Retina iMacs are being replaced by 5K Retina models. The 27-inch models are also getting some nice internal upgrades, including quad-core Intel Skylake CPUs, new dedicated AMD Radeon GPUs, and faster PCI Express SSDs and Fusion Drive configurations.

iMac With 4K Retina Display Review: A High-Resolution Desktop Mac For The Masses, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It offers a lot of screen space but isn’t awkward to maneuver around a table top. The prices on the three models are more reasonable though you’ll want to upgrade the hard drive to a Fusion Drive or pure flash storage if it fits within your budget.

Same Design, New Insides, Better Screen: 21.5-Inch 4K Retina iMac Reviewed, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The best thing about the 4K iMac is that you don't have to use a gigantic 27-inch model if you want to get a Retina display. There are plenty of people who prefer the larger screen, but for those who find it intimidating or just too big for their workspace, the 4K model is here and it's waiting with open arms. The more-than-doubled resolution and Retina scaling modes give it more multitasking potential than the non-Retina iMacs too.

But screen size aside, the 21.5-inch iMacs are inferior to the new 27-inch models in many ways. It's typical for the smaller iMacs to have smaller build-to-order storage options and weaker GPUs, but in this case Apple has entirely removed dedicated GPUs from the equation and isn't offering 1TB SSD upgrades or 3TB Fusion Drive upgrades (though this may be due to space limitations inside the smaller case). Even worse, Intel's frustrating release calendar means that the 21.5-inch models are now a full CPU architecture refresh behind the 27-inch models, and the 4K model won't even have the option of upgrading to Skylake until early in 2016.

Then there are the frustrating choices Apple has made across the lineup: No Thunderbolt 3 or USB Type-C even though those technologies are apparently ready to go, and no standard Fusion Drive or SSD in any but the top-end 27-inch iMacs.

More Magic

Apple Launches Larger Magic Trackpad 2 With Force Touch, Magic Mouse 2 & Magic Keyboard, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

The new keyboard and trackpad have an updated design to accommodate improved keys on the keyboard and Force Touch on the trackpad, while the mouse has been redesigned internally. All three devices work on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that juice up via a standard USB Lightning cable:

Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, And Magic Trackpad 2 FAQ: Everything You Need To Know, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Apple Magic Keyboard Review, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The Magic Keyboard’s key travel is about 1mm, less than that on the old Apple keyboards. But typing on it feels much better than the MacBook’s keyboard did. It’s hard to explain typing feel in words, and people can have dramatically different tastes when it comes to keyboards. In general, I’d say I like it. It may well be better than the older model, but it’s definitely different. There’s less travel, but more key stability.

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 Review, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I like that it’s got more surface, that it brings Force Touch to the desktop for the first time, and that it’s rechargeable (and supports the same plug-to-pair feature as the Magic Mouse 2 and the Magic Keyboard, so you don’t have to fiddle with Bluetooth settings in order to pair it with your Mac). It brings all the goodness of Apple’s laptop trackpads to the desktop. I’d never go back to a mouse, or a trackball, ever again.

Mini-Review: Apple’s New Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, And Magic Trackpad 2, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Accessories are great additions to the new iMacs, but pricey standalone upgrades.


Apple E-Book Antitrust Monitoring May End After Rocky Course,by Pamela A Maclean, Bloomberg

The government on Monday recommended that the monitoring not be extended. In a letter to the Manhattan federal judge who found in 2013 that Apple illegally conspired with publishers to set e-book prices, the U.S. said Apple has “now implemented meaningful antitrust policies, procedures, and training programs that were obviously lacking at the time Apple participated in and facilitated the horizontal price-fixing conspiracy found by this court.”

The Justice Department said Apple “never embraced a cooperative working relationship with the monitor.” Apple acknowledged its relationship with the monitor was “rocky at times,” but disagreed that it wasn’t willing to cooperate.

Removing Content

Apple Draws Cloudy Line On Use Of Root Certs In Mobile Apps, by Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service

Yoon said his company fully disclosed to users how it was blocking ads within a few SSL/TLS protected services and did not retain any traffic from users' devices. But he acknowledged Apple's public justification for removing Choice.

"To be fair, to get rid of the root cert is safer, but we didn't think we were being unsafe," Yoon said.

Apple News Censorship Reminds Us How Fleeting Digital Content Is, by Nathaniel Mott, GigaOM

When companies demonstrate their willingness to pull those digital products, either because they’re afraid of losing access to their second-most valuable market or because the item shouldn’t have been listed in its marketplace to begin with, those fears rise to the forefront. Apple just reminded the world how fleeting digital content can be, especially when it’s distributed via third parties.


Samsung Vs. TSMC: Comparing The Battery Life Of Two Apple A9s, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

So there are definitely circumstances under which the TSMC phone will last longer than the Samsung phone, but it's not a universal problem. A Samsung chip that's mostly idling or even one under modest CPU and GPU load, though, is going to behave in just about the same way as a TSMC chip. And the kinds of CPU-intensive work that the Samsung chip seems to struggle with just aren't that common on smartphones. Most of the time, iPhone 6S battery life should be similar no matter which chip your phone is using.

This App Is Building A Giant Network For Free Messaging, by Liz Stinson, Wired

The big idea is that instead of relying on a centralized ISP or telecom company to provide service, people are able to build their own decentralized network that can grow as large as there are people who have the app downloaded. In the case of FireChat, these messages end up in either a massive group chat or can be encrypted and delivered as a private message by hopping from phone to phone until it reaches its intended recipient.

How To Get Text Messages For Two-Factor Authentication Without A Phone Number, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld


Apple Supporting Refugee Crisis Aid Efforts With Exclusive Imagine Dragons Single, All Proceeds Go To Charity, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

To help with the international refugee crisis happening right now, Apple and the band Imagine Dragons have collaborated on an exclusive charity single, called “I Was Me”. All proceeds of the song sales go to the UN Refugee Agency to support relief efforts. In addition, SAP will be donating an additional 10 cents per download for the first 5 million iTunes downloads. The Imagine Dragons track is exclusive to iTunes and available worldwide.

Mobile Is Not A Neutral Platform, by Benedict Evans

The crucial change is that Netscape or Internet Explorer did not shape which websites you visited (though toolbars tried to) and they didn't do things that changed how user acquisition or retention worked online. Apple and Google do that all the time, both consciously and unconsciously - it's inherent in what an actual operation system means. Some of this is simple evolution, and often collaborative - the emergence of deep links is a good example of this. But some of it isn't.

New Apple Watch Ads: A Midcourse Correction, by Ken Segall's Observatory

The simple truth is, the first Watch campaign was soft and fuzzy — long on emotion and short on lust. Way too many people reacted to those spots by saying “I still don’t get why I’d want one.”

The new campaign is not only 100x more clear—it actually gives the Watch a personality.

All The Reasons You (Probably) Won’t Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Sports, by Drew Harwell, Washington Post

First, let's get a few basics out of the way: Daily-fantasy sports is betting, full stop. If bettors don't want to lose money, there are plenty of places they can keep it nice and cozy somewhere else. Lots of people win, and lots of people lose but still have fun anyway.

But the game's structure and fairness isn't just a cause of concern for new players. It also presents a potential minefield for the billion-dollar sites' corporate leaders and investors, whose success depends on persuading players to keep coming back to play.


I use a Mac laptop. With a built-in trackpad. So, what excuse can I make to myself to buy the new Magic Trackpad, except to force touch everything?


I don't like Bluetooth. In fact (and this really happened), this morning, my bluetooth earphone lost the pairing with my iPhone again. And it seems that the only way to fix this problem is to re-pair them from scratch.

So, I do wish the new magic keyboard, mouse, and trackpad will work as wired peripherals instead of over bluetooth when it is plugged in to USB.

Oh well.


Thanks for reading.