Mac Power Users #475: Something Smells Funny »

This week on MPU:

The guys work their way through some feedback, Stephen has feelings about his Apple Watch and David has switched notes apps … again.

This was my first “feedback” episode of MPU, and I had a lot of fun with David on it.

My thanks to our sponsors:

  • The Omni Group: We’re passionate about productivity for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
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  • Luna Display: The only hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac. Use promo code POWER at checkout for 10% off.
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The Late 2012 iMacs »

Yours truly, over at MacStories:

The recent iMac updates brought additional power and flexibility to Apple’s all-in-one desktop, but didn’t redesign or modernize the iMac as we’ve known it for many years.

As the 21.5- and 27-inch machines are here to stay for at least a while longer, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the first of their kind, introduced at a press event in October 2012.

On Time Tracking »

I went into 2019 with a lot of plates in the air, and a lot of change, having joined Mac Power Users. My schedule felt chaotic, so I restarted time tracking, something I haven’t done since 2015 when I first went independent with Relay FM.

My app of choice for this has been Toggl, but the tools aren’t the point; knowing how your time is spent is.

My friend Quinn Rose has been going though something similar, as she recently wrote:

Since I actually know how long tasks take me, I’m better at planning my days. Noticing where I was productive and where tracking dropped off helped me realize that I’m not very productive in the evening, so now I exercise after work instead of before, which increases my overall productive time and helps me get to the gym more consistently. Also, instead of wildly overestimating my ability to get things done, I’m checking off my full to-do list more days than not. I’m actually filling a work day and understanding when is best to be productive, instead of trying to “power through” a task even when I’m uninspired and distracted.

One thing I have noticed, even a few weeks in, is that my work feels more focused. I have a tendency to hop around from one task to another to another, sometimes in rapid succession. When I have to start and stop timers, it makes me settle into a specific task for longer, and I think that’s better for my brain, despite it being a little unnatural still. There’s a lot to this, and I’m still learning, but it’s been interesting. Here’s Quinn again:

Some time tracking tools automatically track what you do on your computer, which would certainly be even more accurate than the program I’m using now. However, even though Toggl can’t tell if I’m on Twitter, the timer forces me to actively choose to work or not work. If that timer is running but I’m on Instagram, I know that I’m cheating. It’s a neat psychological tool for holding myself accountable.

While I’m just a few weeks into this new habit, I am already reaping benefits from it. If you feel overwhelmed or overworked, having real data can help you make better decisions, and that is never a bad thing.

Kbase Article of the Week: MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 »

I had forgotten all about this:

Apple has discovered that a small percentage of flash storage drives in these MacBook Air models have an issue that may result in data loss. This update tests your drive and, in the majority of cases, installs new firmware to resolve the issue. If your drive cannot be updated, Apple will replace it, free of charge.

This firmware update is recommended for MacBook Air (mid 2012) models.

Eventually, Apple opened a Repair Extension Program for some of these machines.

Apple Announces New AirPods with ‘Hey Siri’ Support, Better Talk Time and Optional Wireless Charging Case »

Good news if your AirPods are slowly dying:

The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free “Hey Siri.” AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new Wireless Charging Case for convenient charging at home and on the go.

Here’s a bit more on the H1 chip, which replaces the W1 in the old models:

Powered by the all-new Apple H1 headphone chip, AirPods deliver a faster and more stable wireless connection to your devices — up to 2x faster when switching between active devices, and a 1.5x faster connection time for phone calls. The H1 chip also drives voice-enabled Siri access and delivers up to 30 percent lower gaming latency. So whether you’re playing games, listening to music, or enjoying podcasts, you’ll experience higher-quality sound.

I assume this chip will slowly replace the W1, and I would love to know why they changed the brand.

The case is perhaps even more interesting. Again, from the press release:

The new AirPods come with either the standard charging case or the new Wireless Charging Case. Each case holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of total listening time, ensuring AirPods are charged and ready to go whenever you are. The Wireless Charging Case is designed to offer the freedom of wireless charging with Qi-compatible charging solutions. An LED light indicator located on the front of the case conveniently shows the charge status with just a glance. Existing AirPods customers can purchase the standalone Wireless Charging Case.

Notably, there’s not a single mention of AirPower, despite a recent report from Guilherme Rambo saying support for the ill-fated charging mat is more robust than ever in the latest iOS 12.2 beta.

Then there’s this:

The new AirPods with the traditional case will be $159;1 $199 will get you a pair with the wireless charging case. If you want the case for your old busted AirPods, that will be $79.

  1. The same price as the originals. 

Connected #235: Stephen’s Hellish Nightmare of Dates »

Busy, busy week:

The boys take some time to mark National Ravioli Day, then dive into Apple’s new iPads and iMacs before making predictions for the company’s upcoming media event.

I am either going to dominate those predictions or lose by a mile.

My thanks to our sponsors this week:

  • eero: Never think about WiFi again. Get $100 off the ‘Eero base unit and 2 beacons package’, and a year of eero Plus.
  • Pingdom: Start monitoring your websites and servers today. Use offer code CONNECTED to get 30% off.
  • Luna Display: The only hardware solution that turns your iPad into a wireless display for your Mac. Use promo code CONNECTED at checkout for 10% off.

Apple Tweaks iMac Pro Options (Updated) »

In addition to the iMac changes, Apple has quietly adjusted many options for the iMac Pro, as Joe Rossignol reports:

Alongside a spec bump to standard iMac models, Apple today quietly added 256GB RAM and Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics options to the iMac Pro.

Upgrading to 256GB of 2,666MHz DDR4 ECC memory will set you back a steep $5,200, more than the $4,999 price of the base iMac Pro itself. Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics can be added for $700. Both are configure-to-order options.

Prices on RAM amounts, SSD capacities and the Vega Pro 64 GPU have dropped as well:

I dig it.

Updated: Prices for RAM and storage on a bunch of other Macs have been lowered as well.

Upgrade #237: New iMacs, iPads, and the 2019 March Event Draft »

There’s a big episode of Jason Snell and Myke Hurley’s Upgrade podcast hot off the presses:

After nearly two years, Apple has released new iMacs, and Jason has an exclusive interview with Apple’s iMac product manager, Colleen Novielli. We also discuss the surprising new iPad Air and iPad mini announcements, and then it’s time for another Upgrade draft, as we make our choices for what will be on stage at Apple’s services event next Monday!