• The new M1 iMac is a great family computer. I’m not bothered with the bezel and chin, but I can’t decide which color to get 😅. Excited to get one as soon as it is available here, and I’m still planning to buy the M2 MacBook Pro in a couple of years.

  • Mac Mondays: MacBook Pro Rumors

    I’ve been sharing previously my plans about replacing my 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro on this blog: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

    But the latest Mac rumors from Bloomberg have completely changed my plans and I am happy about it. I’m going to keep it simple for myself: I’m buying an Apple Silicon Macbook Pro.

    I still love the MacBook Pro. I’ve owned one a 2009 13-inch unibody model, the 2012 15-inch Retina screen model, and this 2017 one, which is the worst. A keyboard that fails, Touch Bar that causes problems, worst battery life experience. These are the three reasons that made me consider buying an iMac or a Mac Mini or even the M1 MacBook Air. But I felt like it was a compromise. I’d like to own an iMac or a Mac Mini at some part of my life, maybe when I’ve got money to burn, but I’m just more of MacBook Pro kind of guy.

    Everyone is excited that Apple might be abandoning the current MacBook Pro design and go back the one that is popular amongst its customers.

    (Sharing the info from MacRumors because Bloomberg has damn paywall) > The upcoming MacBook Pro models will feature the most significant design overhaul to the MacBook Pro line that we’ve seen since 2016, and the updated machines will also address complaints that users have had with the MacBook Pro for years by bringing back older features that include MagSafe, more ports, and physical function keys. >… > Along with a flat-edged design, the revamped MacBook Pro models could have more ports than prior models, including an SD card slot, and Apple is expected to return to MagSafe connectors rather than opting for charging over USB-C. The new MacBook Pro models will also do away with the Touch Bar that Apple first debuted in 2016, with Apple instead opting for physical function keys.

    I’m not excited about design overhauls but this isn’t really an overhaul. Apple is going back to the pre-2016 designs. I’m definitely excited MagSafe will be back. Physical function keys means no more Touch Bar? Yes, please! I thought I was happy with just all USB-C ports but I got tired of bringing cables and dongles. I’d be happy if it would have 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, and surpisingly, an SD card slot. A friend explained to me that we can use SD card slots as portable storage drives for documents/photos/videos, I was pissed I never thought of that. However, I’d be fine if Apple still kept USB-C only.

    (From Bloomberg) > Apple has also developed underlying Mac support for both cellular connectivity — the ability for Macs to connect to the internet via smartphone networks — and Face ID, the company’s facial recognition system. But neither feature appears to be coming soon. To that end, Face ID had originally been planned to arrive in this year’s iMac redesign, but it’s now unlikely to be included in the first iteration of the new design.

    And that is the best thing about my situation, I can wait!

    I can wait for the 13-inch/14-inch Apple Silicon MacBoook Pro with the great battery life, great perfromance, MagSafe, a variety of ports, no Touch Bar, cellular connectivity, and Face ID to come out in 2022.

    I know these are still rumors. But in all my years of following Apple, these rumors are never far off. If not all them come true, I’d still be content.

    And it does help that this 2017 MacBook Pro that I’m writing this post on started to run normally the past few weeks. I think this one just wants to help me do what I need it to do, and get me to that point where it can retire.

  • Mac Mondays: The M1 iMac is worth the wait.

    This tweet by Jonathan Morrison about how good the iMac’s display panel has absolutely convinced me to hold off on buying the M1 Mac Mini. I’ve been browsing 4k and 5k monitors last weekend and I didn’t feel comfortable spending a lot of money for them.

    Now, the iMac is a beautiful machine. I always check them out whenever I’m in one of our authorized seller’s stores. The look of the iMac is so recognizable, so iconic, and so pleasing to look at that I can set it up with an aesthetically nice desk and chair at home and it would look like part of the decor. I can’t imagine doing that with a 4k/5k monitor. Any monitors that could rival the iMac’s beauty would probably cost more than the iMac and that doesn’t make sense for me.

    The M1 iMac (or M1X/M1Z/M2/whatever) is probably 8-10 months away from being announced. I believe we will see the new iMac, higher-end MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro at next year’s WWDC.

    The new iMac will have better SoC, have a better cooling system, cheaper cost than Intel Macs, better I/O, higher RAM and SSD storage options, and hopefully Super Retina XDR displays. It’s going to be worth the wait.

  • Mac Mondays: Decisions, decisions.

    The first batch of Apple Silicon Macs are here! and that means my quest to find my next Mac begins.

    I previously wrote that I am considering the iMac to replace my MacBook Pro as my main computer but the new M1 Mac Mini and MacBook Air have made me reconsider, and here’s why:

    ##Mac Mini + Good performance? ☑️ + No battery health to worry about? ☑️ + Works with my current monitor, mechanical keyboard, and mouse? ☑️ + Cheaper? ☑️☑️☑️

    To be honest, if this was available here on the same day it launched in the US then I would have purchased it at once. But my biggest issue to resolve before owning an iMac or a Mac Mini is not related to the actual computers - it’s space! I don’t know where I can put a workstation in my home! 😅. This dilemma is making me think if I should seriously look at the two laptop options. I mean, I appreciate that I can write this article on the bed, in the dark, while my wife and daughter are sleeping next to me.

    ##MacBook Pro + Touch bar still there? Moving on then…

    ##MacBook Air + I’ve always been curious about the Air’s lightweight nature. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only MacBook Pro owner that wishes the Pros have the Air form factor. 😆 + Outstanding performance benchmarks taken last week and you can get similar performance as a current MacBook Pro (in theory, I know. I’m aware that MacBook Pro can sustain performance longer). ☑️ + No Touch bar! ☑️ + Also still cheaper! ☑️

    This is a very enticing option if I want to remain on a mobile setup and I sincerely believe the M1 Air can now be seriously considered as a developer machine. But frankly, there’s no real need for me to have a laptop. My Mac is a personal device that I will only use whenever I am home. I also expect the current pandemic situation to last well into next year, and owning a brand new laptop seems so unnecessary and impractical.

    Anyway, do I seem to be rambling? Well, I’ve been pondering Air vs Mini arguments the whole week since the announcement. It’s a good thing these are not yet available here because impulsive buying + buyer’s remorse are some of my worst habits. If anyone reading this would like to offer their suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it. 😀

  • Mac Mondays - One More Thing

    I’m really excited for next week’s Apple Event! There’s no way this event isn’t about the new Apple Silicon Macs. But based on the latest reports and rumors from Bloomberg: >Apple and overseas suppliers are ramping up production of three new Mac laptops with Apple processors: new 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 13-inch MacBook Air, according to people familiar with the matter. Beyond the processor switch, the devices won’t have significant design changes.

    I’ve shared in a previous Mac Mondays post that I am preparing to upgrade soon from my 2017 13-inch Macbook Pro to an iMac and if this report turns out to be true, I would have to holding on the my MBP a bit longer.

    However, that might not be such a bad thing. Because of COVID, I’m going to be working from home until 2021. I normally work inside our bedroom (it’s the only place I can still fit my desk) but I occasionally work on the couch and dinner table as well. I have a toddler that I want to spend as much time as I can even if I’m just in the same room as her. I re-discovered this luxury of mobility because I use a MBP. If I switch to an iMac or a Mac Mini, I would always be stuck in a room or I need to be on a desk. We will be moving to a new house in 2-3 years and based on our initial visits, it seems that our work area would be in one of the rooms on the second floor. I spend a lot of time in front of my computer but as the head of my family, I am not comfortable sitting in a room alone for many hours while my family is bonding in the living room or the dining room. I could find a small corner in the living room to fit my desk in, but my wife and I both agree it seems out of place based on what we envision our home layout would be. It just makes more sense to have a laptop so that I can just bring it wherever I want.

    I’m still leaning towards buying an Apple Silicon iMac in the future, and I will be waiting until they are announced. But if the Apple Silicon Macbook Pros have great battery life like iPad Pros and iPhone Pros with the Neural Engine adapting to your laptop usage, and are significantly cheaper as expected, you might see me ditch my iMac plans in an instant.

  • Mac Mondays - WWDC 2020

    Lots of great announcements and new features from today’s #WWDC keynote and PSotU! I would have been clapping during my favorite parts if it weren’t for my wife and daughter sleeping right beside me 😄.

    macOS 11 Big Sur (of course we should start with the Mac)

    • ARM…err sorry, Apple Silicon Macs! I’m hoping the rumors are true that an iMac is one of the first offerings but I believe they will start with a Macbook Pro. I’m still planning to get an iMac to replace my Macbook as my main computer and I’m happy to wait until that is available next year.
    • The new design seems to be a precursor if an impending merge of iPadOS and macOS. I feel like the pieces are slowly falling into place.

    iOS 14

    • Widgets! Can’t wait to see what widgets I get out of Things 3, Deliveries, Apollo for Reddit, CocoaHub, NetNewsWire, and Overcast. My home screen will probably end up full of widgets and the only apps would Safari + messaging apps on the dock 😅.
    • App Library is something I’ve wanted but never realized until today. I’ve never been a fan of App folders, I actually use 3 pages to “categorize” my apps: Most used, Apple stock apps, and other apps I need for some niche situations. Having all those tucked away in a library and having my home screen just be my main widgets and apps is a great minimalistic experience for me. Siri Suggestions have been working OK for me in this case but only because my iPhone habits are very consistent.
    • Really happy about the pinned contacts in Messages. I don’t get to use a lot of iMessage here in my country but I do get a lot of spam and unknown numbers. Having my loved one’s contact pinned at the top makes it a little bit easier to send them a message.
    • I asked for setting default apps but I was asking for Reminders/Calendar apps. Hopefully that will come next year.
    • App Clips are a great idea…if you live in a first world country. We still don’t have Apple Pay and detailed Apple Maps. The mobile user base is about 60-70% Android. I’ll be a lot more excited about this when I migrate to another country 😆.

    watchOS 7

    • Yey a sleep tracking app! Check that off my wishlist!

    iPadOS 14

    • Sidebars and Menus? Again, convergence with macOS. It’s coming.
    • Sadly, still no Xcode for iPad. But with macOS Big Sur able to run iOS/iPadOS apps straight from the App Store, is it possible to do the reverse for macOS apps? There might be a workaround there.
  • What I’m hoping to see from today’s keynote:

    Apple addressing the App Store problems raised by developers.

    And what I’m hoping from the new software: 1. Low Power mode on Macbooks 2. Xcode for iPad (3 years and counting…) 3. Set preferred default apps on iOS 4. Sleep tracking app

  • Mac Mondays - Is it time to ditch my Macbook Pro?

    I’ve been getting anxious with my Macbook Pro over the past few weeks due to some very disheartening experiences.

    First, my space bar has been double-spacing more than usual. I’ve had letter keys get stuck or break entirely on me but I’ve never been annoyed so much as compared to a malfunctioning space bar. At work, I have to always edit out the extra spaces on emails and messaging apps and in turn consumes a few extra seconds of your work day.

    Second, I noticed that the battery life has gone down to 89% of the orginal capacity and runs about 4-5 hours on my normal work usage. I do understand this is normal, but my older 2012 15-inch Macbook Pro took 5 years to degrade to the same capacity compared to only 2 years for this 13-inch. Is it because of the smaller battery? I don’t know but it is so annoying that you know that this fairly new machine is getting older faster than you expect.

    Lastly, the Touch Bar crashed the Macbook Pro. Crashed my Mac. It is very frustrating to type those three words because ever since owning a Macbook Pro since 2009 I have never experienced a crash. I was just trying to lower the volume and then I saw a screen I have never seen before that basically says “your Mac restarted because it crashed”. Though this one I might blame on Catalina, having experienced all these three things gave me so much grief that I started to question if the Macbook Pro is still worth my money.

    The answer is probably Yes or Maybe. But my heart right now says No.

    Then I listened to the 357th episode of the ATP where I heard Marco saying that his 2017 iMac Pro was a very reliable machine. I then realized that using an iMac would help me avoid all these problems I just had.

    Bad keyboard? You can buy a good third-party keyboard. Horrible battery life? Don’t need to care for one on an iMac. Touch Bar crashing? Not on an iMac.

    Of course I’d be sacrificing mobility, but I always use my Macbook Pro at home anyway and I can’t bring my own device at work. So I don’t have a valid reason (yet) why I would need to use a laptop. I opened the Apple Store app and chose this configuration if ever I would buy an iMac at this very instant:

    • 27-inch iMac (bigger screen is better)
    • 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor (getting the latest CPUs but the cheapest option)
    • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory (so that I don’t need to worry about upgrades)
    • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory (default is fine for me)
    • 1TB SSD storage (coming from the MBP I can’t go back to spinning disks)
    • Magic Keyboard + Magic Track Pad (my wife likes the Track Pad but I prefer using a mouse)

    The total amount of this configuration is about $240 more than a 16-inch Macbook Pro with almost the same specs. That is not a big difference for me and the fact that I can share this with my wife just makes it more practical. It’s starting to look like the iMac is a smart choice for my needs. Now the twist is I don’t want to buy one yet since I still have 7-months of Apple Care on this Macbook Pro and I’d like to wait until we move in to our new house around late 2022/early 2023. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the iMac for the next few years while slowly saving up for that moment where you know you’re buying the best iMac you can buy at the time.

  • Mac Mondays - No, I don't need the new Macbook Pro

    So Apple finally fixed the keyboard problems on the MacBook Pro. Based on all the videos and reviews I’ve seen so far, it seems like upgrading to this model is a no-brainer.

    So what do I do with my 2017 13-inch MBP with Touch bar and butterfly keyboard?

    Sell it? I would feel really bad selling this to someone knowing they could have a terrible time with this machine. This particular machine went through a screen replacement due to black horizontal lines that appeared on the lower edge, and keyboard replacement due to the butterfly keyboard issues that we all know by now.

    I think the “morally” right thing to do is just keep this machine. It would be great if Apple offered a trade-in program for MBP models that has the butterfly keyboard, but they’d never do that.

    So if I’m forced to keep this machine, I might as well wait for ARM Macs that has all-day battery life and cellular connectivity.

  • Mac Mondays - Catalina Upgrade Experience

    I recently upgraded to Catalina on my Macbook Pro and unfortunately, this is the first time I had some issues doing a macOS upgrade.

    First is the installation process itself. I always opt for a clean install using a USB drive, it’s a way to get rid of the clutter on my Mac. This time though, I had my first attempt freeze and I had to restart my Mac. I personally get paranoid about things like that, so I had to repeat erasing the drive, and starting the install process again.

    Second issue I had was my iCloud Drive did not sync immediately. If you view it on the Finder, my iCloud Drive would only show empty Desktop and Document sub-folders and with an iCloud icon that indicates “Waiting for upload”. I did a quick search on why this happened, and found others who experienced the same issue. Sadly, the solution was to just wait.

    The last issue is that my Apple ID could not sign in to both Music and TV apps. If I enter my Apple ID credentials, nothing happens. Another quick search shows that this is another known issue, and the workarounds are annoying to do (1, 2). Apparently, not signing in to your Apple ID during the Catalina installation process is a way to avoid this problem.

    I’ve never been one to be cynical about Apple’s software quality but this is very disappointing.

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