Connected #273: Come on, Guys, Let’s Go to the Station »

This week on Connected:

Stephen and Myke are joined by John Voorhees to talk about the new Mac Pro, then Federico reflects on the 5th anniversary of Shortcuts.

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On Cleaning the Pro Display XDR »

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

According to an Apple support document, the Pro Display XDR with nano-texture glass must be cleaned only with the dry polishing cloth that Apple provides. No water or liquids should be used to clean the glass.

Apple warns that Pro Display XDR owners should never use any other cloths to clean the glass, and if the included dry polishing cloth is lost, Apple Support should be contacted so another cloth can be ordered. There’s no word yet on what Apple is charging for replacement cleaning cloths.

My guess is that most cloths would get torn up and maybe leave bits of lint embedded in the nano-texture glass.

iOS, iPadOS and tvOS 13.3 Released »

Ryan Christoffel has details, but this is the most important thing:

When visiting Settings ⇾ General ⇾ Keyboard, at the bottom of the screen there’s now a toggle that can be used to remove Memoji stickers from the emoji keyboard altogether. Once removed, they can still be accessed from the iMessage app row that lines the top of the standard keyboard inside Messages.

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.2 

The update includes the following fixes and enhancements:

Apple News

  • New layout for Apple News + stories from The Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers

Stocks:

  • Get links to related stories or more stories from the same publication at the end of an article
  • “Breaking” and “Developing” labels for Top Stories
  • Stories from Apple News are now available in Canada in English and French
  • This update also includes the following bug fixes and improvements:

Music:

  • Restores the column browser view for managing the music library
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent album artwork from appearing
  • Fixes an issue that may reset music equalizer settings during playback

iTunes Remote:

  • Adds support for using an iPhone or iPad to remotely control the Music and TV apps on a Mac

Photos:

  • Resolves an issue that may cause some .AVI and .MP4 files to appear as unsupported
  • Fixes an issue that prevents newly created folders from appearing in Albums view
  • Addresses an issue where manually sorted images in an album may be printed or exported out of order
  • Fixes an issue that prevents the zoom-to-crop tool from working in a print preview

Mail:

  • Addresses an issue that may cause Mail Preferences to open with a blank window
  • Resolves an issue that may prevent using undo from retrieving deleted mail

Other:

  • Improves the reliability of syncing books and audiobooks to your iPad or iPhone through Finder
  • Fixes an issue where reminders may be out of order in the Today smart list in the Reminders app
  • Resolves an issue that may cause slow typing performance in the Notes app

2019 Mac Pro Orders Are Open »

The Mac Pro is back. Apple is finally delivering on a promise it made back in April 2017. Here’s John Gruber, writing at the time:

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

At the time, Apple said the new machine would “not ship this year,” and later said it was “a 2019 product.” At WWDC this year, Apple finally showed off the machine.

Today, several reviewers have been able to share their thoughts on the new Mac Pro:

Don’t miss episode 514 of Mac Power Users, where David and I interviewed Thomas Grove Carter, a video editor who has been using Final Cut Pro X on the 2019 Mac Pro with the Pro Display XDR for several weeks.

In addition to reviews dropping, Apple has finally shown its hand when it comes to pricing. As we knew at WWDC, the Mac Pro starts at $5,999 with the following specs:

  • 3.5GHz 8‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.0GHz
  • 32GB (4x8GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Stainless steel frame with feet
  • Magic Mouse 2
  • Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad

For comparison, my $4,999 iMac Pro stacks up this way:

  • 3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W CPU with 4.2 GHz Turbo Boost
  • Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB HBM2 memory
  • 32GB 2666MHz ECC RAM
  • 1 TB SSD with T2 encryption

… and it comes with a 5K display, complete with wide color support.1

So yeah, there’s no way around it. The Mac Pro is an expensive computer. And because we have to, a fully-loaded Mac Pro will run you over $53,000.If I wanted wheels on it, it’d be an extra $400. It seems that you have to choose if you want wheels or feet at time of purchase.

AppleCare is a cheap $299, and the rack-mountable Mac Pro starts at $6,499 and is not available yet. Customers will be able to buy kits of RAM, additional GPUs and the Afterburner card to install on their own, but that page doesn’t seem to be live yet. Update: Some Mac Pro accessories are showing up on this page.

The Mac Pro isn’t the most expensive Mac on sale without reason. Its power, flexibility and upgradability are unmatched, even by the old Mac Pro towers. It’s a return to form for a machine that many people will use to do the best creative work of their lives. It’s a finely-crafted tool, designed for users who need the most out of a box running macOS.

I was impressed when I saw it at WWDC, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one at some point in the future. The Mac Pro is not for everyone, but for those who need it, today’s a great day. Long live the cheese grater.


  1. The Pro Display XDR, with stand, costs $5,999 a full $1,000 more than the iMac Pro on my desk. To be fair, I think most Mac Pro customers will end up with the $1,299 LG UltraFine 5K Display. Very few need the Pro Display XDR, and I think Apple knows they’ve created a very niche product. 

Mac Power Users #514: Apple is Listening — The 2019 Mac Pro, with Thomas Grove Carter »

The Mac Pro preorders are live, reviews are up and we have a special episode of Mac Power Users that is live now:

David and Stephen interview Thomas Grove Carter, a video editor who has been using Final Cut Pro X on the 2019 Mac Pro with the Pro Display XDR. They talk about the power of the new machine, it’s flexibility and how it unlocks new types of workflows for video editors.

Thomas was great to talk to, and it’s clear to me how this computer and display can change the workflows of video editors around the world. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s for you, today is a good day.

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Drafts for Mac Ships with Actions »

Rosemary Orchard, writing at MacStories:

An action is something you can add to Drafts to give yourself a button (and optionally a keyboard shortcut) to do something. What that something is, is entirely up to you. From integrations with WordPress and Dropbox, to scripting and custom HTML previews, the combination of steps you can combine to do your bidding is positively mindboggling.

Drafts for Mac ships with five action groups, which by themselves greatly increase the power of the app; these include: Basic, Editing, Markdown, Tools, and Processing. The names of these groups are fairly self-explanatory, and they deliver plenty of punch so you can easily do more with Drafts – even without looking into the wealth of actions available in the action directory.

Drafts is crazy powerful, and I’m excited to see it bloom into a full-blown Mac app its iOS most important features.

Apple’s ‘The Morning Show’ Picks up Golden Globe Nominations »

Apple PR:

Apple today received its first-ever Golden Globe nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), including Best Television Series, Drama, for Apple’s global hit “The Morning Show” and dual nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama, for “The Morning Show” stars and executive producers Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The awards will be presented at the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 5, 2020.

With today’s nominations for “The Morning Show,” Apple TV+ became the first streaming platform to receive recognition from the HFPA in its launch year, with the service launching only one month ago. These are also the first drama TV actress nominations for both Aniston and Witherspoon. Aniston is now only the fourth person in history to receive Golden Globe nominations for both TV Comedy and Drama, Lead Actress.

My wife and I are three episodes into The Morning Show, and we’re enjoying it more than I thought I would. Anniston and Witherspoon are a fun duo, and I’m a sucker for any TV show about a TV show that happens inside the TV show.

The only other show I’ve seen on Apple TV+ is For All Mankind, which I am loving. Given that I have a tiny Apollo CSM tattooed on my arm, it shouldn’t be a surprise, I suppose. That said, the acting and writing are simply fantastic. The most recent two episodes have been especially breathtaking at moments.