Category Archives: Apple

Apple Unveiled its Studio Display

Apple announced its Studio Display. The all-new Studio Display perfectly complements Mac Studio and also beautifully pairs with any Mac. In a class of its own, it features a gorgeous 27-inch 5K Retina screen, plus sensational camera and audio, delivering that integrated experience Mac users love.

Slim Aluminum Design

Studio Display brings a stunning all-screen design with narrow borders and a refined, all-aluminum enclosure that houses an advanced set of features in a slim profile. Its built-in stand allows the user to tilt the display up to 30 degrees,

To meet the needs of a variety of workplaces, Studio Display also offers a tilt-and height-adjustable stand option with a counterbalancing arm that makes the display feel weightless as it is adjusted. A VESA mount adapter option is also available, and supports landscape or portrait orientation for even more flexibility.

Immersive 27-inch 5K Retina Display

Studio Display features a 27-inch 5K Retina screen with over 14.7 million pixels. With 600 nits of brightness, P3 wide color, and support for over one billion colors, images come to life with spectacular detail. True Tone technology automatically adjusts the display’s color temperature as the environment changes for a more natural viewing experience.

An industry-leading anti-reflective coating enables incredibly low reflectivity for better comfort and readability. And for workspaces with bright light sources, including sunlight, Studio Display offers an innovative nano-texture glass option. Nano-texture glass, first introduced on Pro Display XDR, scatters light to further minimize glare while delivering outstanding image quality.

Sensational Camera and Audio System

Featuring the A13 Bionic chip, Studio Display delivers amazing experiences with its highly advanced camera and audio system. The ultimate video conferencing display, it includes a 12MP Ultra Wide camera with Center Stage, a feature that automatically keeps users centered in the frame as they move around for even more engaging video calls.

Studio Display also includes a studio-quality, three-way microphone array with an especially low noise floor for crystal-clear calls and voice recordings. It also features a high fidelity six-speaker sound system, the best ever created for Mac, delivering an unbelievable listening experience.

Four force-canceling woofers minimize distortion and produce bold, articulate bass, and two high-performance tweeters create accurate miss and crisp highs. The speakers also support spacial audio for music and video with Dolby Atmos, creating a truly cinematic viewing experience. Altogether, Studio Display has the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display.

Seamless Connectivity

Studio Display has three USB-C ports that deliver speeds up to 10Gb/s to connect high-speed peripherals, storage, and networking right into the display. A Thunderbolt port enables users to connect Studio Display and any connected peripherals to their Mac with a single cable.

The same cable also delivers 96W of power to a Mac notebook, allowing Studio Display to even fast-charge a 14-inch MacBook Pro. And up to three Studio Displays can be connected to MacBook Pro, creating a powerful edit bay or animation workspace.

Apple Introduces the Mac Studio

Apple introduced Mac Studio. It will be available starting March 18, 2022, and is priced starting at $1,999. Mac Studio is 7.7” across and 3.7” tall.

Mac Studio is an entirely new Mac desktop. It packed outrageous performance, extensive connectivity, and new capabilities into an unbelievably compact form, putting everything you need within easy reach and transforming any space into a studio. And it all starts with your choice of the ferociously fast M1 Max of the all-new M1 Ultra – the most powerful chip ever in a personal computer.

The incredible power and efficiency of Apple silicon has allowed us to completely reimagine the high performance desktop. The design inspiration for Mac Studio was simple: to let M1 Max or M1 Ultra – and your creativity – run completely unrestrained, within the smallest possible footprint. It fits perfectly under most displays, putting prodigious power and connectivity at arm’s reach, right on our desk.

Within the 7.7-inch square Mac Studio enclosure lies a groundbreaking thermal system designed to let M1 Max or M1 Ultra fly through heavy workloads at screaming-fast speeds – and say whisper quiet.

Mac Studio lets you create the studio of your dreams with an array of 12 high-performance ports, located front and back for convenient access. Easily connect – and disconnect – your camera, external storage, and other devices from the front. See the bigger picture by plugging in up to four Pro Display XDRs and one 4K TV. There’s also a headphone jack with advanced support for high-impedance headphones or line out for amplified speakers.

The front of the Mac Studio has two USB-C or Thunderbolt 4 ports and 1 SDXC port. The back of the Mac Studio has four Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 HDMI port, 1 10GB Ethernet port 1 3.5 mm port, two USB-A ports and a headphone jack.

The M1 Max brings power to tackle challenges of almost any size. Whether you’re running multiple apps, sorting and editing thousands of photos, recording and mixing professional-quality music, or discovering a new exoplanet, the screaming-fast M1 Max has your back.

M1 Max has:

Up to 2.5X faster CPU performance
Up to 3.5x faster GBU performance
Up to 2.2x faster machine learning

Built from two M1 Max chips, M1 Ultra lets you power through workflows on an unprecedented scale. So you can run complex particle simulations or work with massive 3D environments that were previously impossible to render. And with twice the media engine resources, M1 Ultra can support up to 18 streams of 8K ProRes 422 video playback – something no other personal computer can do.

M1 Max has:

Up to 3.8x faster CPU performance
Up to 4.5x faster GBU performance
Up to 3.9x faster machine learning

Apple Unveils the M1 Ultra Chip

Apple announced M1 Ultra, the next giant leap for Apple silicon and the Mac. Featuring UltraFusion – Apple’s innovative packaging architecture that interconnects the die of two M1 Max chips to create a system on a chip (SoC) with unprecedented levels of performance and capabilities – M1 Ultra delivers breathtaking computing power to the new Mac Studio while maintaining industry-leading performance per watt.

The new SoC consists of 114 billion transistors, the most ever in a personal computer chip. M1 Ultra can be configured with up to 128GB of high-bandwidth, low-latency unified memory that can be accessed by the 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine, providing astonishing performance for developers compiling code, artists working in huge 3D environments the were previously impossible to render, and video professionals who can transcode video to ProRes up to 5.6x faster than with a 28-core MacPro with Afterburner.

Groundbreaking UltraFusion Architecture

The foundation for M1 Ultra is the extremely powerful and power-efficient M1 Max. To build M1 Ultra, the die of two M1 Max are connected using UltraFusion, Apple’s custom-built packaging architecture. The most common way to scale performance is to connect two chips through a motherboard, which typically brings significant trade-offs, including increased latency, reduced bandwidth, and increased power consumption.

However, Apple’s innovative UltraFusion uses a silicon interposer that connects the chips across more than 10,000 signals, providing a massive 2.5TB/s of low latency, inter-processor bandwidth – more than 4x the bandwidth of the leading multi-chip interconnect technology. This enables M1 Ultra to behave and be recognized by software as one chip, so developers don’t need to rewrite code to take advantage of its performance. There’s never been anything like it.

Unprecedented Performance and Power Efficiency

M1 Ultra feature an extraordinary powerful 20-core CPU with 16 high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. It delivers 90 percent higher multi-threaded performance than the fastest available 16-core PC desktop chip in the same power envelope. Additionally, M1 Ultra reached the PC chip’s peak performance using 100 fewer watts.

That astounding efficiency means less energy is consumed and fans run quietly, even as apps like Logic Pro rip through demanding workflows, such as processing massive amounts of virtual instruments, audio plug-ins, and effects.

macOS and Apps Scale Up to M1 Ultra

Deep integration between hardware and software has always been at the heart of the Mac experience. macOS Monterey has been designed for Apple silicon, taking advantage of M1 Ultra’s huge increases in CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth. Developer technologies like Metal let apps take full advantage of the new chip, and optimizations in Core ML utilize the new 32-core Neural Engine, so machine learning models run faster than ever.

Apple Cracks Down On Dating Apps Using Alternative Payment Systems

Apple will charge dating app developers in The Netherlands, who are using an alternative payment system, a “reduced” commission that is set at 27% net of tax 9to5Mac reported. Apple typically charges 30% commission on purchases made using its In-App Purchase system.

According to 9to5Mac, the 27% commission was something Apple had to do to comply with a ruling from The Netherland Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Apple is still going to charge a commission on these purchases regardless. In short, Apple is doing the bare minimum of what The Netherland authorities required. 9to5Mac also reported that Apple is appealing the decision on the grounds of customer safety.

Apple provided information on its Developer blog with more specific details. It includes the following:

…Apple allows developers distributing dating apps on the Netherlands App Store to choose to do one of the following: 1) continue using Apple’s in-app purchase system, 2) use a third-party payment system within the app, or 3) include an in-app link directing users to the developer’s website to complete a purchase…

Apple notes that developers of dating apps (again, specifically in The Netherlands) who want to continue using Apple’s in-app purchase system may do so and no further action is needed. Things get complicated for those who want to use a different payment system. There appear to be a lot of hoops for developers of dating apps to jump through. If they get through all that, their dating app will still only be available on the App Store in the Netherlands.

Among those “hoops” involves requiring developers to provide a report to Apple reporting each sale of digital goods and content that has been provided monthly within 15 calendar days following the end of Apple’s fiscal month. Qualifying developers will receive an invoice based on reporting and will be required to remit payment to Apple for the amount invoiced within 45 days following the end of Apple’s fiscal month.

Overall, it sounds like Apple is intentionally making it harder for dating app developers in The Netherlands, who want to use a third-party payment system, to make money. They would have to pay Apple a commission price that is just barely under Apple’s typical commission price. Their dating app would only be available through The Netherlands App Store, further reducing the amount of people who could find it.

Apple will Release Some New Features in iOS 15.2

Bloomberg reported that when Apple releases iOS 15.2, it will come with new features, including scanning for nude photos sent to or from children in Messages. This feature was originally announced in August of 2021, and it was seen as controversial by some.

At that time, Apple attempted to explain that its child safety features were to enable parents to play a more informed role in helping their children navigate communication online. The goal was to prevent children from encountering CSAM through Messenger from photos in iCloud. This alarmed privacy experts, and Apple delayed adding this feature.

Bloomberg explains what to expect from this feature in iOS 15.2:

The image detection works like this: Child-owned iPhones, iPads and Macs will analyze incoming and outgoing images received and sent through the Messages app to detect nudity. If the system finds a nude image, the picture will appear blurred, and the child will be warned before viewing it. If children attempt to send a nude image, they will also be warned.

According to Bloomberg, the child will be able to contact a parent though the Messages app about the situation, but parents won’t automatically receive a notification. That is a change from the initial approach announced in August, where children who attempted to open the blurred photo, or send a nude photo, would trigger Messages to inform their parents about it.

This feature only works on a family-sharing account, and only if parents enable it.

Macworld reported that Apple’s App Privacy Report should be appearing in iPhones and iPads when 15.2 updates. It will show a detailed view of how apps are using your data and sensors.

This will be a very popular feature with consumers who don’t want the apps they use to steal their data, or to sell it to third-parties. Apps that rely on sneakily grabbing people’s data will hate this feature. Be ready for some of your apps to try and convince to let them take your data.

According to Macworld, another new feature is Digital Legacy. It was designed to make things simpler for those who are trying to access a loved one’s Apple ID after their death. It allows users to specify a person as a Legacy Contact, who will then be able to request access to the deceased person’s Apple account using a recovery code.

Appeals Court Granted a Stay on Part of Epic v. Apple Ruling

An appeals court has paused one of the most consequential parts of the Epic v. Apple ruling, placing a stay on the enforcement of the injunction issued by the lower court, The Verge reported. According to The Verge, the stay allows Apple to maintain its IAP system as the sole source of in-app payments on iOS, despite the district court’s earlier ruling that the exclusive arrangement is illegal.

The Verge embedded a copy of the ruling into their article. From the ruling:

…Apple has demonstrated, at minimum, that its appeal raises serious questions on the merits of the district court’s determination that Epic Games, Inc., failed to show Apple’s conduct violated any antitrust laws but did not show that the same conduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law… Apple has also made a sufficient showing irreparable harm, … and that the remaining factors weigh in favor of staying part.. of the injunction and maintaining the status quo pending appeal.

The Court wrote: “Therefore we grant Apple’s motion to stay part(i) of paragraph (1) of the permanent injunction. The stay will remain in effect until the mandate issues in this appeal. The existing briefing schedule remains in place.”

The New York Times reported: “If the appeals court had not ruled, Apple on Thursday would have had to start allowing companies to include links within their apps directing customers to outside websites where they can pay for those companies’ services or subscriptions. That would have prevented Apple from taking a cut of up to 30 percent on those transactions.”

The New York Times also reported: “In a brief document, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote that Apple could wait to make any changes until the appeals process for the Epic lawsuit concluded, which could take more than a year.”

Given this information, it appears that the Epic v. Apple case could continue to drag on through the courts an indeterminate amount of time. The outcome of the case could change is it works its way through the courts.

Apple to Pay $29.9M to Workers Over After-Hours Bag Checks

Apple Inc. agreed to pay $29.9 million to employees at its stores who were forced to submit to security bag checks – off the clock — when they left work after or during their shifts, Bloomberg reported.

The lawsuit only covered workers at California’s 52 Apple stores. The class includes 14,683 workers; each will get $1,286 from the settlement, the lawyers said in the court filing.

The name of the lawsuit is Frlekin v. Apple Inc. It is not a new lawsuit. According to Bloomberg, the class-action lawsuit was filed in 2013, in which a group of workers claimed that Apple was violating California law by not paying them for the time it took to check their bags. Apple countered that claim by stating that the bag searches were necessary to make sure workers were not hiding stolen electronic devices in their bags. Apple argued in court that anyone who didn’t like the policy could choose not to bring bags to work.

This lawsuit is specific to California Apple Stores. Apple should have known better than to make its workers wait around – off the clock and unpaid – for someone to check their bags. In February of 2020, Los Angeles Times reported that Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in a decision that an industrial wage order defines hours as “the time during which an employee is subject to the control of an employer, and includes all the time the employee is suffered or permitted to work, whether or not required to do so.”

Los Angeles Times also reported that the California Supreme Court unanimously decided that California law requires Apple Inc. to pay its workers for being searched before they leave retail stores.

The good news is that these workers are going to get paid for the time they were required to stand around waiting for their bags to be checked (without pay). Unfortunately, I don’t think all states have the law that California has (requiring workers to be paid for their time). So it is possible that Apple, or other companies, in other states, may attempt to force security checks on their workers without having to pay them for their time.

According to Bloomberg, Apple said that it discontinued the bag check policy in 2015.