Liftoff #155: Apollo 15 »

In our on-going series of marking the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo missions, we’ve arrived to Apollo 15:

As the first J mission, Apollo 15 marked a new era of broader discovery and scientific work on the lunar surface. David Scott, Alfred M. Worden, James Irwin worked to further our understanding of the moon, and were the center of a bit of a scandal after splashdown.

The legacy of Apollo 15 is … complex, but I’m glad Jason and I were able to get into it.

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Monterey Beta 4 Brings Live Text Feature to Intel Macs »

Live Text is the feature that lets users copy text out of pictures was announced as an Apple silicon-only addition to macOS, but it seems that Apple has changed its tune:

It seems that because the Mac doesn’t need to do this live with a camera like an iPhone or iPad does, Apple could make it work on Intel processors after all, in the background on stored images. Moreover, this is supported on all Intel Macs that can run Monterey, not just those with a T1 or T2 chip inside.

Jason Snell has more:

My understanding is that on Intel Macs, Apple is using GPU-based processing power to do the analysis of the images. Unlike iPhones and iPads, which are commonly used to take pictures which might immediately need to be analyzed for Live Text, on the Mac there’s a little more leeway for slightly less-than-instantaneous processing of text.

That said, my understanding is that Live Text—on M1 or Intel—is never intended to present any sign that you need to wait while text is being processed. The feature should be identical on both architectures.

It seems likely that this feature was original targeted for both architectures, and then disabled on Intel Macs in early betas because it just wasn’t good enough to release. Its appearance in this beta is perhaps a positive sign that Apple isn’t rushing Intel Macs into obsolescense.

Kbase Article of the Week: How to Tell if 802.11n-enabling Software is Installed »

A select number of Macs came with 802.11n-capable hardware built-in, but required a software update to connect to wireless networks at that speed. The machines that could be updated included:

  • MacBook Pro with Intel Core 2 Duo
  • MacBook with Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Mac Pro with AirPort Extreme option
  • iMac with Intel Core 2 Duo (except the 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac)

This support document helped users determine if they were ready to go. The installer was easy to get:

The Apple Extreme 802.11n Enabler for Mac is available at the Apple Store Online or on the disc that comes with the Airport Extreme (802.11n) Base station.

Apple charged $1.99 for it on the App Store. At the Genius Bar, we just installed it whenever we came across a machine that could run it.

Sponsor: Switch to iPad »

The iPad is a truly magical piece of glass. It’s the primary computer for many. That’s why Thord D. Hedengren started Switch to iPad, a weekly newsletter about making the switch to a better computing life.

Switch to iPad isn’t just for those who have made the switch from a traditional computer to a more versatile one. It’s a newsletter about getting the most out of your iPad.

Switch to iPad

So far, Thord has discussed things like note-taking, developing and designing on an iPad, email apps, games, and a lot more. At the time of writing, there are 56 issues of Switch to iPad sitting in the archive. That’s more than 60,000 words about the iPad, right there.

Many of those words are free to read, but the majority requires a paid subscription. Supporting Switch to iPad costs $5/month or $50/year, but 512 Pixels readers can try it free for 14 days, no strings attached, using this link.

Take a look at Switch to iPad, read a couple of issues and if it’s your cup of tea, consider a subscription.

Mac Power Users #598: Home Networking »

This week on the show, David Sparks and I talk about what goes into designing and maintaining reliable wired and wireless networks, and give some advice if you’re looking to upgrade yours.

On More Power Users, we catch up on Apple Car rumors and wonder what Apple could be up to.

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One Week Left on my Calendar Kickstarter »

What an amazing three weeks! I’ve been hard at work polishing details and working on photos. I’ve also been focusing on the stickers for backers of the “Get It All” pledge level.

And they are amazing:

Stickers

The artwork is by my buddy Jelly, who also did the avatar I use on Twitter and other websites. I love the personality in the stickers, and I simply cannot pick a favorite. I can’t wait to see photos of them on other people’s laptops.

If you haven’t pledged on the campaign, you’ve got just 7 days left.

Rumor States Apple Testing New External Display with Apple Silicon Inside »

For years, Mac users have wanted Apple to ship an external display that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Filipe EspĂłsito at 9to5 Mac has some good news on that front:

The new display is being developed under the codename J327, but at this point, details about technical specifications are unclear. According to sources, this display will have an Apple-made SoC, which right now is the A13 Bionic chip — the same one used in the iPhone 11 lineup.

Having an Apple silicon SoC inside the display is interesting. EspĂłsito goes on to say that it will be used to speed up machine learning tasks and even act as an external GPU for the connected Mac:

Today’s report from 9to5Mac’s sources suggests that Apple has not given up on its plans to launch an external display with some sort of SoC, at least internally. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer’s internal chip.

Apple could also combine the power of the display SoC with the Mac’s SoC to provide even more performance for running intensive graphic tasks. Another possibility is to use this SoC to add some smart features to the Pro Display XDR, such as AirPlay.

That gets this new display dangerously near Duo Dock territory, which would surprise me.

It’s possible that this A13 could just be the brains of the display, especially if it can be used as a hub for accessories. After all, the old Thunderbolt Display had a tiny computer inside, as does the Pro Display XDR.

This theory makes more sense to me than the former, especially when considering the longevity of external displays. At some point, the extra oomph something like the A13 or even M1 could add to a connected Mac would be eclipsed by the natural evolution of Mac hardware.

Connected #355: Roast my Menu Bar »

This time on the show:

Myke has questions about the Apple Watch, Stephen holds an unboxing and Federico has a new computer. Then, judging others based on the menu bar of their Mac.

On Connected Pro, we spoke about breaking up with a professional and counting words in iOS reviews.

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