New Macs Come with Smarter Audio Device Support »

Paul Kafasis on the Rogue Amoeba blog, on a neat trick provided by Apple’s T2 chip:

On older Macs, the headphone jack and the internal speakers are essentially separate ports on a single output device, and only one of these ports is allowed to be active at a time. Because of this, audio can be sent to either the built-in speakers, or the headphone jack, but not to both. As well, if anything is connected to the headphone jack, the OS shuts off the built-in speaker completely.

With these new Macs, there are actually two distinct output devices. The headphone jack and the internal speakers are separate devices, completely independent from one another.

This makes T2-equipped Macs a lot more flexible for audio professionals, but I still miss the line in jack.

Inside Apple’s New Macs 

The 2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini are out in the world, and that means we know a lot more about what’s going on under the hood of these new machines.

iFixit has taken apart the new notebook, and there are a few interesting things to note:

  • It has the exact same keyboard as the 2018 MacBook Pros, membrane and all.
  • The battery can be replaced separate from the top case, unlike other modern Mac notebooks.
  • It does indeed have a fan.

The group has also taken apart the new Mac mini, as Quinn at Snazzy Labs:

In his video, Quinn shows how to upgrade the RAM. It’s not nearly as easy as it used to be, and should only be done by people who have been trained to do so, or who really know what they are doing.

Like the Air, the SSD modules are part of the logic board in the Mini. Welcome to the T2 era.

On the A12X »

Samuel Axon over at Ars Technica got to sit down with Apple’s Anand Shimpi1 Marketing Phil Schiller to talk about the silicon powering the new iPad Pro. It’s a fascinating read and shows how deep Apple is into this world.

Intel should feel nervous.

  1. Of AnandTech fame. 

Connected #217: A Brief Moment in 1995 »

This week’s show is a busy one. We shared our initial reactions to the new iPad Pros, talked about working on iOS and why it makes some people so angry, and then I shared a bit about installing a CarPlay receiver in my pickup truck:

Federico looks back on his PowerBook 165, Myke sends a tweet and Stephen goes for a drive with Siri.

My thanks to our sponsors this week:

  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code CONNECTED at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
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  • 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.

New Mac Benchmarks Surface 

Benchmarks from the 2018 MacBook Air are trickling out, and they are about what I expected. The machine is faster than the 12-inch MacBook, but not as quick as the entry-level MacBook Pro. Juli Clover has the numbers over at MacRumors:

Single-Core Performance:

  • 2018 MacBook Air – 4248
  • 2017 MacBook Air – 3335
  • 1.4GHz 2017 MacBook – 3925
  • 1.3GHz 2017 MacBook – 3630
  • 1.2GHz 2017 MacBook – 3527
  • 2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro – 4504
  • 2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro – 4314

Multi-Core Performance:

  • 2018 MacBook Air – 7828
  • 2017 MacBook Air – 6119
  • 1.4GHz 2017 MacBook – 7567
  • 1.3GHz 2017 MacBook – 6974
  • 1.2GHz 2017 MacBook – 6654
  • 2.3GHz 2018 MacBook Pro – 16464
  • 2.3GHz 2017 MacBook Pro – 9071

While the new Air does use a MacBook-class CPU, it’s rated for 7W, not 5 like the MacBook, which is good news. I think the Air is a safe recommendation for students and home users, or anyone else without a crazy workload.

Then there’s the case of the Mac mini. A 3.2GHz 6-core i7 has been taken for a spin through Geekbench:

The Mac mini also closely matches the 2013 Mac Pro models when it comes to multi-core performance and exceeds them when it comes to single-core performance. With the exception of the iMac Pro, it outperforms 2017 iMac models, which were not refreshed this year.

Holy moly.