Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Apple held its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) last week in San Jose. If you didn’t catch the live stream or watch the replay of last Monday’s keynote, here are the things I found encouraging (or at least interesting).
At least half of the 2+ hour keynote was devoted to the next generation of Apple operating systems for iDevices, Apple Watches, and Macs. So, that’s where I’ll start.
The most notable features in iOS 13, at least for me, were Dark Mode; a revamped Photos app with on-device machine learning to organize your photos intelligently; an all-new Maps experience promising richer details and better road coverage; and Sign In with Apple, a new way to quickly sign into apps and websites.
I’m stoked that Sign In with Apple includes a way to keep your real email address private by generating a unique random email address for each login.
iOS 13 will be faster and more responsive with improved app launch times, reduced app download sizes, and even faster recognition by Face ID. And a new spin-off version called iPadOS will bring more powerful multitasking, desktop-class browsing, easier text selection and editing, and other exclusive features to the iPad.
That all sounds good to me, but only time will tell.
For what it’s worth, I’m running it on my iPhone 8 Plus while I work on iPhone For Dummies 13th Edition, and, so far, I like most of what I’ve seen.
watchOS 6 will add menstrual cycle tracking, real-time sound measurement with alerts, improved activity tracking with trend analysis, an App Store on your Apple Watch (no iPhone needed), and for the first time, the ability to run apps exclusively on your Apple Watch with no companion iPhone app needed!
I haven’t installed it yet and probably won’t (as I don’t have a spare Apple Watch).
macOS Catalina will offer myriad improvements over macOS Mojave, but two of them really sang to me: The demise of iTunes and a new feature dubbed Sidecar.
iTunes will be replaced by three all-new apps, which Apple claims will, “greatly simplify and improve the way we discover and enjoy music, TV shows, movies and podcasts.” We’ll see about that, but they can’t be any worse than iTunes.
The Sidecar feature will let your iPad act as an extended display and/or high-precision drawing tablet for your Mac. I love this feature and have used it for years via third party apps like LunaDisplay and Duet, which are now “Sherlocked.” (If you don’t know what being Sherlocked means, just ask any long-time Mac user…)
One more thing: To celebrate Apple coming to its senses by killing off iTunes at long last, I’m re-releasing my 2016 hit single—iTunes Must Die—as a free download.
For Pros Only
Finally, the good news for professional Mac users is that Apple showed off the long-awaited Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
The new Mac Pro is the most powerful and expandable Mac ever, featuring Intel Xeon CPUs with up to 28 cores; 12 DIMM slots for up to 1.5TB of memory (the most ever in any Mac); eight PCI Express slots; two Thunderbolt 3 ports; and two USB 3 ports.
Pro Display XDR is the largest Retina Display ever, a 32-inch, 6K display with more than 20 million pixels and 40 percent more screen real estate than a Retina 5K display, wide color gamut, and 10-bit color (over 1 billion colors), and a new matte option with glass etched at the nanometer level for low reflectivity and less glare.
The bad news is that these Pro products are professionally-priced. The Mac Pro starts at $5,999, but could easily run you another $5,000 or $10,000 with RAM, storage, graphics, and CPU upgrades.
The Pro Display XDR is $4,999 (standard glass) or $5,999 (nano-texture glass). Surprisingly, if you want the nifty-looking display stand, it’s a $999 option.
I lust for both the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR. Although I probably don’t need that much oomph for the work I do, I’d buy them both in a heartbeat if I were a rich man.