Archive for June 2019 - Page 1


    Apple Previews the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR


    At the WWDC 2019 Keynote Apple unveiled a whole lot with their operating systems, tvOS, watchOs, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. However, they also showed a preview of the all new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Let us look at each of these in turn. These will not be super in-depth dives into the products, but just a general overview.

    Mac Pro

    The Mac Pro has always been for the most power hungry of applications. This could be anything from video editing to audio production or even building machine learning models. The Mac Pro is not designed to be a consumer device, not in the slightest.

    The Mac Pro has an all new chassis. It is made of Stainless Steel and should accommodate a variety of different components. The front and back of the case have vents that are designed to allow air to flow over the components. The cooling with will be needed.

    The Mac Pro is designed to be a powerhouse. To this end it comes with a variety of processor options. This ranges from an 8-core processor up to a 28-core processor. The different options are 8, 12, 16, 24, and 28-core options. The base speeds are 3.5GHz, 3.3GHz, 3.2GHz, 2.7GHz, and 2.5GHz, respectively. The turbo speeds are 4.4GHz, except for the 8-core which tops out at 4.0GHz.

    The motherboard consists of eight PCI Express slots. This includes four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots, and one half-length slot, which is pre-configured with Apple's own I/O card.

    One of the main uses of the Mac Pro is for use with graphically heavy tasks. This includes video editing. The Mac Pro has you covered there too. Apple has created a new module, called the Mac Pro Expansion Module, or MPX Module.

    MPX Module

    The MPX Module is designed to provide even more power, up to 500 Watts. This is done by taking a standard PCI Express and adding a second connector to integrate thunderbolt and provide even more capabilities. You then take the connector and connect a second graphics for even more processing. Yes, you can get two Radeon Pro Vega II graphics cards in a single MPX module. You can even have two of these modules in the Mac Pro.

    The three options available for graphics cards are the Radeon Pro 580X, the Radeon Pro Vega II, and the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo.

    There is even more graphics processing available with the Mac Pro with a new product called Afterburner


    Afterburner is an Apple-designed hardware accelerator with over one million logic cells that can process up to 6.3 billion pixels per second. What does this mean? It means that you can process three streams of 8K ProRes RAW or 12 streams of 4K ProRes Raw, simultaneously.


    The Mac Pro come with 256GB of storage standard, but can be configured for 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB. All of this is encrypted with the built-in T2 Security Chip. So everything will be more secure, to the booting of macOS to the items stored on the Mac Pro.


    The Mac Pro comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and two 10Gb Ethernet ports. It should also be noted that there is in fact a 3.5mm Headphone connection should you require one. It also comes with 802.11AC wireless, and Bluetooth 5.0.


    One topic we have not looked at is the amount of memory that the Mac Pro can have. It can be configured for up to 1.5TB of ECC memory. The 8, 12, and 16-core processors can support up to 1TB, while the 24-core and 28-core processors can support the 1.5TB. All of this memory runs at 2933MHz, except for the 8-core which is 2666MHz. All of the RAM is DDR4.

    In order to be able to power everything in the Mac Pro it comes with a 1.4 Kilowatt power supply. This should be able to handle pretty much everything that you can include in the Mac Pro.

    Dimensions and Weight

    The Mac Pro is not a small machine. It is approximately 21-inches tall by 18 inches deep by 8.6 inches wide. For the more metric minded this is 53cm tall, 45cm deep, and 22cm wide. If you include the optional wheels the height comes to 21.9 inches, or approximately 56cm tall.

    The Mac Pro comes in at almost 40 pounds, or 18 kilograms. This is not a light machine.

    The base Price of the Mac Pro is $5999. This is for an 8-core machine with 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage.

    To go with the new Mac Pro is a whole new Display, the Pro Display XDR.

    Pro Display HDR

    When Apple discontinued the Cinema Display line, it was presumed that Apple would get out of the display business, except for its own integrated displays. This was the original plan, however when it came to building a new Mac Pro, they had to have a display to go with it.

    The Pro Display XDR is a behemoth. It is a 32-inch display Retina 6K Display. It can support up to 1600 nits of brightness with a contrast ratio of 1 million to 1.

    The Pro Display XDR goes beyond traditional High Dynamic Range and provides even more. It does this by providing 1000 nits of full-screen sustained brightness. You get 10-bit color and the P3 wide-color gamut for those times when you need to have just the right color. There is also a wider viewing angle than most displays, which Apple states is 25x better for off-axis contrast as compared to a typical LCD.

    One area that can become problematic for users is glare. To work against this Apple has crated a Matte version of its display that includes an etched Nano-texture glass which will reduce the glare and significantly reduce the hazing that can be seen with other matte finishes.

    Each display is calibrate at the factor and should produce the best image possible.

    There is some connectivity on the Pro Display XDR as well. It includes one Thunderbolt 3/USB-C port, and three USB-C ports. The Thunderbolt port is so you can connect it to your Mac and the USB-C ports allow you to charge and connect devices. These devices will only run at USB2 speeds though, not USB3. This means that you can use the Display for expansion or connecting other accessories.

    One accessory for the Pro Display XDR is the stand. The Pro Stand can be adjusted for height, tile, and it can even rotate so you can view something in Portrait if you need to.

    The Pro Display XDR starts at $4999, that is without the Pro Stand, which is another $999. The Matte Finish for the Mac Pro display is $5999. The VESA mount is $199.

    Closing Thoughts

    The Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are not meant for consumers, and the prices reflect this. The Mac Pro is designed to allow professionals get the most out of their machines. The range of options, along with the modularity, means that professionals will be able to configure their Mac Pro to their exact needs, from the most basic to the most extreme.

    The Pro Display XDR is the monitor of monitors. It supports a whole range of capabilities, including 10-bit color, P3 Color Display, and the price reflects that.

    If you were to get a base model Mac Pro, a Pro Display XDR with the Stand, it will set you back almost $12,000 and that's just the base price. It goes up from there. For those who need it, it looks like the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR will be a great solution. They should both be available this fall.


    My WWDC 2019 Predictions: Recap


    WWDC 2019 has a whole ton of new features, you can read about all of those is my recap with what Apple announced. Instead with this post we will look at how I did with my predictions. Let us start with my tvOS predictions.

    tvOS Predictions

    tvOS only got a few updates, but they were ones that users had wanted.

    tvOS – More game features — 85%
    We did get some new game features, specifically game controller support for the Xbox One S controller and the Playstation DualShock 4 controller. This will be great for games on tvOS. These will also be supported on iOS and iPadOS. So I got this one correct.

    tvOS – Save specific screensavers — 5%
    We did not get any way to save a specific screensaver, but we did get more screensavers. So I missed on this one.

    tvOS – Multiple User support — 5%
    Shockingly, we did actually get multiple user support on tvOS. So I did get this one correct, even though I did not expect it.

    For tvOS, I got 66% correct, because 2 out of 3 is not that bad. Let us move onto watchOS.

    watchOS Predictions

    watchOS – Standalone App Store — 85%
    I did get this one correct with the inclusion of an App Store on the Watch, due to standalone apps coming.

    watchOS – Now Playing complication for the Infograph Modular watch face — 30%
    I do not know if we got the Now Playing complication or not, as I have not installed watchOS 6 on my Apple Watch. I am going to say we did not, so I did not get this one correct.

    watchOS – New watch face — 95%
    We did get a bunch of new watch faces. In fact, according to Apple there are more new watch faces than were in the original Apple Watch. So I got this one right.

    Just like with tvOS, I got 2 out of 3 correct, again this is 66%. Let us now turn to macOS.

    macOS Predictions

    macOS 10.15 is a big update, not necessarily in terms of features, but in terms of what this all means.

    macOS – iPad apps coming to the Mac — 95%
    iPad apps are actually coming to the Mac, as long as a developer adds support for their apps on the Mac.

    macOS – Screen Time on the Mac — 95%
    Screen Time is coming to the Mac and this is a good thing for everyone to be able to get a full look at how you are spending time in front of screens.

    macOS – Mac Pro Preview — 75%
    We did get a preview of the Mac Pro that is coming in the fall. I was right on this one.

    macOS – New Display Preview — 75%
    Just like the Mac Pro, we did get a preview of the Pro Display HDR.

    macOS – Named macOS Tahoe — 10%
    I was wrong on the name for macOS 10.15. The name is macOS Catalina.

    For macOS I got 4 out of 5 guesses correct, so 80%.

    iOS Predictions

    iOS – Elimination of support for A7-based devices — 95%
    iOS 13 does remove support for A7 devices, so I got this one correct.

    iOS – Additional Screen Time enhancements — 90%
    We did not get any additional Screen Time enhancements, as far as I can tell. So I was wrong about this one.

    iOS – Dark Mode on iOS — 90%
    iOS 13 does include a Dark Mode, and looks fantastic.

    iOS – Multiple Instances/Windows for apps — 75%
    iPadOS 13 includes support that allows multiple windows from a single app. This will help people with productivity.

    Services/Siri – Siri synchronization — 60%
    We did not get synchronization of data with Siri. So I did not get this one correct.

    iOS – Developer control of Screen Time — 50%
    Developers do not have any control over Screen time, so I did not get this one right.

    iOS – Additional Developer tools on iOS — 25%
    There were no additional developer tools on iOS, so I missed on this one too.

    iOS – Radically Different iPad Layout — 15%
    The iPad on iPadOS 13 did get a significantly different layout. This does include Today Widgets being on the home screen and the ability. So I got this one correct.

    iOS – Elimination of support for A8-based devices — 10%
    I could TECHNICALLY say this was is correct, because the A8 Processor is not supported, but I did not get this right. You can install iPadOS 13 on the iPad Air 2, which has an A8X, not an A8.

    iOS – Interface Builder on iPad — 5%
    As much as I would have liked this, we did not get Interface Builder on the iPad.

    For iOS, I got a total of 4 out of 10, so this brought down my average.


    Out of 21 total predictions, I got 12 correct, or 57.14% correct. This is fewer predictions than I would have liked, but it is not easy to guess what Apple will do.


    Apple's WWDC 2019 Announcements Recap


    Today Apple held their World Wide Developer Conference keynote. The keynote was a long one that was brimming with a look at the new features of each of their operating systems. Let us look at these in the order they were announced, starting with tvOS.


    tvOS is Apple's large-screen operating system, specifically designed for the Apple TV. tvOS just received an update with the new TV App. Even though it just received an updated app, tvOS is not sitting still. In fact, tvOS 13 will add a few new features that will be great for all sorts of users.

    When you first start your Apple TV with tvOS 13, you will see a redesigned home screen. This home screen will show movie and tv show previews for your "Up Next" queue.

    The first addition is great for families, multi-user support. You will now be able to switch users on the Apple TV so that you can get a personalized experience with it. This includes "Up Next", Music, and any other recommendations. You can switch users by using the new Control Center, which is available by swiping from the right.

    One of the iconic features of tvOS are the screensavers. There will be some new screensavers, but instead of being aerial views, these will actually be underwater shots. I think these are going to be a good change of pace for the Apple TV.

    One of the areas that Apple is hoping users to use their Apple TV is with gaming; specifically with Apple Arcade. When it comes to gaming there is one thing that you absolutely need to have a great gaming experience and that is a controller. Apple is bringing support for two of the most popular game controllers, the Xbox One Controller and the Playstation DualShock 4 controller. These will be able to be paired with an Apple TV so you can use them to play games on the Apple TV.

    tvOS may not be getting a ton of new features, but it is getting some much needed ones.


    watchOS 6 will bring a few new features that will be very welcome. The Apple Watch is a very personal device. One of the ways that you are able to customize the watch is through the Watch Face you use.

    Watch Faces

    watchOS 6 will bring a few new watch. Some of the new Watch Faces that you can choose from are a Gradient, which will change as the day progresses. There is a "Large Numerals" watch face which will, as the name suggests, will show large numbers. The Large Numerals face will also allow a couple of complications. There is a new Digital Face, which will provide a large time display with multiple complications. There is also a new California Dial, which alternates between Arabic and Roman numerals. The last new watch face is a Solar Face, which will show the sun's position throughout the day.

    There are still additional watch faces. The newest face is is a Modular Compact face. This watch face includes rich

    One last ability for watchOS, which is reminiscent of many time keeping items is that the Apple Watch will now provide you with a haptic chimes on the hour. If the sound is on, you will also get audio feedback.

    Apps on watchOS

    There are also a few new apps that will be coming to watchOS 6. The first of these apps is an Audiobooks app. This will allow you to continue listening to the audiobooks that have been purchased from iTunes.

    There are those instances when you are out and about and you think of a really great idea and you want to record it in some manner. If you are not in a position to be able to type it out using your iPhone, you can now use the Voice Memos app to watchOS, so you can record your memos and they will synchronize to the rest of your devices.

    The last app that is available within watchOS is a calculator app. The app will allow you to do calculations on the go, but it will also allow you to split the view with others in your group.

    There is one last thing about apps on watchOS. Apps can now be entirely independent. This means that you will no longer need to install an iPhone app just to install an Apple Watch app.

    The ability to install apps by themselves on the Apple Watch means that there is also an App Store on the Apple Watch. With the app you can view Editor’s choices, preview apps, and even purchase apps directly from an Apple Watch. Now you will not need to use a keyboard on the Apple Watch, because you can use Siri or dictation to find the apps you are looking to install.

    The inclusion of additional apps as well as app independence will be great for the platform there are some additional changes to one area where there is a major focus, Health and Fitness.

    Health and Fitness

    Tracking health is an important thing for everyone to do. However, this is not always easy to do. There is one additional app that relates to health and fitness that is on watchOS 6. It is designed for use by half of the population, specifically women. The app is designed to allow women to track their menstruation cycles.

    The Cycle Tracking app will allow a woman to record aspects of her monthly cycle to help create an idea of what is normal for her. Some of the aspects that you can track include symptoms, amount of bleeding, headaches as well as cramping.

    The Cycle Tracking app will also allow predict your fertility window, so you will be aware.

    The Cycle Tracking features are not just available on watchOS, they are also available within the Health app on iOS so more women will be able to track their monthly cycles.

    This is a great step forward in being all inclusive when it comes to health.

    There is another app that is available in watchOS that will help everyone to protect an aspect of their health that they may take for granted, their hearing. Noise is something that most people encounter every day and may not think about, except when it interferes with things that we are attempting to accomplish.

    When you encounter loud noises for extended periods of time this can have a detrimental effect. Most notably hearing loss. In order to help us identify when we are in an excessively loud environment, Apple has included a new app in watchOS 6 called ‘Noise’.

    Noise will run in the background and check periodically to see if you are in a noisy environment. If you are, then it will alert you to this fact so you can take the proper precautions. All of the noise detection and processing is done on your Apple Watch and it is not sent to Apple nor are any of the detections saved in any way.

    Now that we have covered watchOS, let us move to iOS.


    iOS is Apple’s largest platform with over 1 billion devices that are running iOS. iOS 13 is a huge update for users. Just like with iOS 12, iOS 13 isF significantly faster. In fact it is up to 2x faster and FaceID is up to 30% faster. Besides the operating system being faster, the apps that you download will actually be smaller. Downloads are now up to 50% smaller and app updates are up to 60% smaller. This means that you will use less data.

    The most noticeable change in iOS 13, and one that users have wanted, is a Dark Mode. Dark Mode is just like it is on macOS where the entire operating system will request the dark mode for all apps. You can switch between light mode and dark mode. iOS is now also using a "Card" view instead of a full screen overlay, so this will help you know where you are at.

    There are a few additional changes in iOS like a new Share Sheet. The new Share Sheet will provide sharing options, including photos, and you can even share with a single tap. There are a few other changes, for Music you can now follow the lyrics while playing a song. Safari has a new Text size option, which is available on a per-website basis.

    There are a few privacy additions that have been added. The first is with you being able to control when an app can use your location. You will be able to allow an app to use your location only during a session. If the same app requests your location again in the future, you will be prompted again. This allows you to decide when to share your location. A second privacy item is called "Sign in with Apple".

    Apple now has its own option for allowing you to sign in to a service. You can use your Apple ID to sign in. While apps have to incorporate it, when they do you will have full control over how much information you share. You can decide to share your email address, or you can decide not to. If you decide to not share your email address a random, service-specific, email address will be generated for you. This email address will be a private relay that will take any incoming emails from the service and send them to your actual email address with the service never getting your actual email address. Again, this allows you to control who sees your information and who does not.

    Messages is one of the most used applications on iOS. There are some enhancements to messages as well. You are now able to decide who to share your name and photo with. This is done on a per-message thread basis. So if you do not want to share your information, you do not have to.

    On the topic of photos, you can now do some additional customizations to your Memoji. These include eye shadow, lipstick, piercings, the look of your teeth, additional hair styles, more hats, and even additional glasses. If you are so inclined you can choose to add AirPods to your Memoji as well. That is not all for your Memoji though. You will now also be able to get a sticker pack of your memoji. This means that you can use your memoji on all of your devices, provided they are run-in an A9 processor or later.


    Photos provides a new layout for looking at your photos. It will also remove duplicates and clutter while you are looking at your photos. There are some new editing options, but the biggest will be to rotate a video. Any of the effects that you can do on a single photo you can now also apply to video as well.

    There is another large update, and this one is to the iPad.


    The iPad has received a significant update, it is now a distinct platform. iPadOS is designed specifically for the iPad. This includes additional features specifically designed for iPad, like having your Today View widgets pinned to the side of your apps so they are always visible while in landscape view.

    Besides Today View, you can now have multiple windows from the same app running and within multiple spaces. This means that you can have two notes side by side, or two safari windows, or even notes and mail or any other apps that support it. On your home screen within iPadOS, by default there are more icons on the screen, specifically six per row instead of the standard five.

    There are now also some new system-wide gestures for copy, paste, undo and redo. These are all three finger gestures. Three finger pinch will copy, while three finger spread will paste. three finger swipe left will undo, and three finger swipe right will redo.


    With the iPad being more than just a consumption device, that means that additional features are needed for file management. On iPadOS this is done using the Files app. The Files apps has gained a bunch of new features. There is a new view, the "Column View". This is similar to the Column View on macOS where you can easily view a hierarchy of files. You can also see metadata about a file or folder and perform some basic actions like rotating an image and making a PDF.

    Besides being able to view your files differently, you can also share an iCloud Folder, which will be great for collaborative projects. Files can now natively connect to SMB file shares, which means that if you have a Windows device you will be able to connect to it from right within the Files app. That is not the only way to get files into the Files app, you can now connected a thumb drive, SD Card, or external hard drive and and import the files directly into your Files app. If you are importing files from an SD Card you can also select which app to import the files into, meaning that you can bypass Photos app entirely and import them into another app.


    Safari is an app that no one can survive without. With iPadOS Safari gets a Desktop-Class experience. What this means is that instead of always getting the mobile layout for a website, you will more likely get the desktop layout. This is great for sites that automatically push you toward the mobile version, just because you are running iOS.

    Besides getting the proper site, you will also be able to manage your downloads in Safari on iPadOS and there are 30 keyboard shortcuts that you can use within Safari.

    Apple Pencil

    The Apple Pencil is a great tool for accomplishing work on the iPad. Apple has reduced the latency of the Apple Pencil from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds. This is a 55% reduction in the lag between when you perform an action and when it is displayed on screen. This will mean that actions you take will feel almost instantaneous.

    There are some tools for developers too, like the new PencilKit API will allow them to incorporate the same Apple Pencil functionality within their apps.

    Those are the highlights for iPadOS, let us move onto macOS.


    The latest version of macOS changes a lot of things about macOS. First off, the name. macOS 10.15 is called macOS Catalina. macOS Catalina brings an end to a couple of different eras. The first is that the operating system partition will be read-only, which will protect the system from any malicious software. The second, and a much bigger change for users is the elimination of iTunes.

    iTunes Replacement

    iTunes, as we know it, is going away. It is being replaced by four different apps. Music, Podcasts, TV, and Finder; yes you read that correctly.

    The new Music app will allow you to manage your music, including synchronizing the data to your iOS devices. Music on macOS will also bring lyric synchronization to the Mac so you can sing along with your favorite songs.

    The Podcasts app will provide a dedicate podcast listening experience. One feature of Podcasts is the new search, which will use machine learning to index the contents of spoken content so you can find any podcast with just a few clicks.

    The TV app is just like that one iOS and tvOS and will allow you to watch any of your Apple TV Channels, purchased movies or television shows all from within the TV app. Content within the TV app will be able to play 4K HDR using HR10 or Vision and support for Dolby Atmos is also built-in, so you can watch 4K content if you have a capable Mac.

    Finder is actually how you manage your iOS devices. This is where you perform update, backups, and the like. The best part of this is that when you plug in your iOS device guess what happens...NOTHING. There are no apps that open, it just appears in the sidebar of Finder.

    Other macOS Features

    There is a new feature for macOS that involves your iPad, that feature is called SideCar. With SideCar you can use your iPad as a secondary display. You can connect the iPad via a cable or wirelessly.

    Activation lock will allow any Mac with a T2 security chip to act like iOS device and will not allow anyone to boot it without you typing in your password. The operating system will not even load up. This makes the idea of stealing a Mac even less attractive.

    Project Catalyst

    Last year Apple announced that they would be bringing the ability to run some apps from iOS on the Mac. They have done so with Project Catalyst. Come the fall you will be seeing some iPad apps available on macOS, if the app developers do the work. This means that some of your favorite iPad apps will be available on the Mac. An app that Apple mentioned was the Twitter app, so we may be seeing that this fall.

    Closing Thoughts

    Today Apple unveiled a whole lot of new features across all of their platforms. One of the big things mentioned is privacy. This is exhibited through the new ability to select whether to share your location with an app on iOS, or the ability to not provide your email to a service through the "Sign In with Apple" feature.

    tvOS brings a new look and feel, with support for multiple users all of whom will get personalized recommendations, "Up Next" queue, and your own music library. tvOS will also bring support for the two main console controllers, the Xbox One and the Playstation DualShock 4 for the Apple Arcade. The new screensavers will allow you to take a look at the life that we do not see often, ocean life.

    watchOS 6 brings a slew of new Watch faces, including a Gradient face, Large Numerals face, a new Digital face, the California Dial, and Solar Face. watchOS 6 also includes a calculator app, an audiobooks app, voice memos, an all new Cycle Tracking app for women, and the new Noise app will help everyone with protect their hearing. Apps on watchOS can now be independent and will not require an iPhone app. watchOS will also get its own App Store, which you can use to install apps directly on the watch.

    iOS 13 brings even faster performance than iOS 12, including faster Face ID, and even smaller app downloads. iOS 13 also bring an all new Dark Mode which means you can make your content pop. The new Share Sheet will provide suggestions. Music will synchronize lyrics to what you are listening to. With iOS 13 you can also customize your Memoji even more and you can use your Memoji with stickers everywhere.

    The iPad has seen a significant update with its own operating system, iPadOS. iPadOS 13 brings all of the same as iOS 13 and its own features. With iPadOS you can run multiple windows of the same app, provided a developer adds support. The Files app now supports iCloud Folder Sharing, SMB file sharing, and even USB and SD Cards. Safari on iPadOS also gets some additional features, like showing you the desktop site views, a download manager, and many shortcuts.

    From what we have seen so far, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, macOS Catalina, iOS 13, and iPadOS 13 all look like quality updates. All of the operating systems will be available as updates in the fall. There are many many more features that have not been covered. There is one last item that was announced was a preview. It was for the Mac Pro, which will be covered in another posting soon.