Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Pro

The Particle Debris article of the week comes from Jason Cross at Macworld.

What Intel’s new Ice Lake chips could mean for future MacBooks

This article explains: “Intel just launched its 10th-generation mobile CPUs. Here’s what you can expect if and when Apple puts them in its laptops.”

Here’s the gist. Intel has just launched its 10th generation Core processors, code named Ice Lake. They’ll feature a 10 nm process, and they should be ready for PCs in the last calendar quarter of 2019. Some of these CPUs are likely to show up in future MacBook Pros.

Often, a MacBook refresh featuring new Intel processors hits the market between three and six months after the first Windows laptops. If that holds true again, we can expect 10th-generation processors to arrive in MacBooks in the spring or summer of 2020.

It doesn’t appear, as a result, that they’ll be ready for Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro, rumored for October.

Ice Lake. Image credit: Intel

If you’d like to check out a shorter, summary article, Ben Lovejoy at 9to5Mac summarizes. “Intel’s Ice Lake chips likely to dramatically boost Mac video processing.” There is technical information in all  these articles that will help you be much better informed about your CPU choices in the future.

Things to look for as you read.

  • Graphics performance
  • Wi-Fi 6 support
  • Multi-core performance
  • Encryption and video compression speed

And then there’s this bolt from the blue at Cult of Mac. “Apple could introduce cellular 5G MacBooks in 2020.

iPhones may not be the only 5G-enabled product Apple introduces next year. According to a new report [DigiTimes], Apple is planning its first ever cellular MacBooks for launch during the second half of 2020.

When combined with previous rumors that Apple will dump the plagued Butterfly keyboard mechanism, these new MacBooks should be just about spectacular.

More News Debris

• Want a quick list of macOS apps that are incompatible with macOS Catalina?
Steve Moser has a summary list of some popular apps plus a pointer to Apple’s own list of 235 incompatible apps. It’s not too early to start replacing your legacy 32-bit apps. Catalina should be out in late September.

Catalina is due in late September.  if tradition holds.

• The FCC now has the authority to deal with spoofed text messages. See this at engadget . “FCC bans spoofed text messages and international robocalls.

This week the FCC voted to approve rules that ban spoofing text messages and international robocalls. The new rules close long-standing loopholes in the Truth in Caller ID Act, which banned spoofing domestic calls but made it hard for the FCC to combat malicious text messages and calls coming from overseas. The FCC now has the legal authority to punish the “bad actors” behind these scams.

• The Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update just released does more than just resolve a sleep issue. The Eclectic Light Company explains. “Mojave 10.14.6 Supplemental Update does bring some EFI updates.” This is just another example of why you should always apply the latest patches from Apple.

• Chrome, version 76, introduced some problematic changes to the URL presentation that seem ill-advised from a user awareness and security perspective. Davey Winder at Forbes explains. “Has Chrome 76 Given Billions Of Google Users An Incentive To Use Firefox Instead?” [Never mind that he violates Betteridge’s Law in the title.]

• What’s the most common privacy mistake people make? See: “A professional hacker reveals the top security mistake people make online — and it’s something you probably do every day.

• Finally, it’s time to read up on TOF sensors, something that might be in your next iPhone. “The Next iPhone Might Have a Time-of-Flight Sensor—but What the Heck Is That?

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article(s) of the week followed by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weeks.

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Maybe the new 16′ Mac’s Pro will carry ARM processors?!


Whenever I use my 2012 “retina” MacBook Pro I am shocked at how much better the old chiclet-style keyboard is for typing on compared to the current butterfly design, which is almost painful in comparison (and of course I’ve had it replaced twice after key failures so they tell me I have the “improved” version now.)

I welcome the return to a keyboard with better key travel and improved reliability. And a trackpad with palm rejection that actually works properly!


re: Ice Lake chips

i love the optimism shown here, but the days are long gone that Apple tries to have the latest chips – that’s Jobs thinking, and we’re under Cook-thinking now

Sounds like the old Microsoft line of “this version is crap, but the next version will be really great”.

Same story for iPhones, too. Next year’s will be sooooo much better.

bah humbug!


I don’t care about Ice Lake. I do care about: keyboard that actually works; trackpad with palm rejection that actually works; physical ESC key; 64GB RAM; 16″ screen with minimal bezel to provide a larger screen without greatly increasing the form factor.

Lee Dronick

Question for folks who are knowledgeable on phone tech. Can software detect that the caller ID is spoofed. It was my understanding that call can have two metadata things, the spoofed ID and the real number. If so then the call could be flagged.


I don’t think the iPhone receives enough information to determine whether the caller ID information is valid or spoofed. However, carriers are slowly implementing the SHAKEN/STIRRED protocol which authenticates numbers and is intended to prevent spoofing.

iOS 13 will also have a whitelist option allowing you to send unknown numbers directly to voicemail.


The last thing I want in a MacBook is a cellular connection. That would mean I couldn’t lock down the MacBook, security wise, at all. Anything that has a cellular connection or possible to have one with a built-in SIM, is a listening device and you have no privacy (personal experience). Hopefully it is like the iPad, optional only. I would be fine with that lineup.


The same argument applies to BlueTooth and Wi-Fi, unfortunately.

If the radios are on, then you can be tracked based on your BlueTooth and Wi-Fi hardware addresses, and the system can transmit information to third parties. Apple has mitigated the privacy issues somewhat by using random hardware addresses for Wi-Fi probes, but turning the radio off is more effective.


Yes, I agree but Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be shut off and not turned on by someone outside nearly as easily (they have to be within range to start with). Cellular is different and is long range with absolute trust in the network when it is on (StingRay etc.), letting them do whatever they want and listen all they want. It is way worse from a security stand point. It would actually prevent me from buying a new one if it is not an option.


I’ll never totally understand why people keep dumping on the butterfly keyboard — or at least why it’s a go-to derogation for pundits. I’ve had two MacBook Pro’s (2016 & 2018) with it, and it’s far and away one of the best keyboards I’ve ever used. By comparison the keyboard on my 2009 (which the 2016 replaced) was one of the absolute worst; mushy and wobbly – did not like typing on that Mac at all. So if that’s what people are supposed to look forward to — regressing to wobbly keys with mushy feedback — that is very sad… Read more »

Lee Dronick

The FCC isn’t fighting this fight alone, though. Last week, the House passed a bipartisan bill that requires carriers to authenticate every call and to offer opt-out blocking for free.

They got to get robocalls and text under control, it is has gotten to the point that my default ringtone is a silent one; family and friends get custom audible ringtones.


All of these tools look good, but what are they actually going to do? File an injunction against some boiler-room operation in Byelorussia or Moldova? The scammers will just laugh, that is if they pay any attention at all. Block IP addresses when they use remote bots that change them regularly? I mean this is all fine, but I question how effective the FCC can be. They don’t have the reach to get these guys where they live.


I agree geoduck. In Canada we have a whole system for reporting these kinds of calls but overseas is practically impossible to control, unless the government over there will work with the Canadian Government to shut them down (they have done a few raids in India). We still get “This is Microsoft, I am seeing your computer… Blah, blah, blah.” India calls. This is years after this system has been in place. Doesn’t really help unless you have a real scam centre call coming from Canada or the US, which, as usual, we don’t.

Lee Dronick

My question right now is how the word audible in my post become a link when I didn’t make it a link.


That sounds like the malicious web advertising approach pioneered by intellitxt/vibrant media and formerly used on TMO and other sites, turning normal words into spammy links without your request or permission. However I think TMO stopped using it, as it doesn’t show up for me anymore. Make sure you haven’t installed any malware-like advertising extensions for your browser or computer.

Lee Dronick

I have not installed any advertising extensions onto my iPad or my Mac


That is a great idea! I have all of my calls on silent/vibrate but I think assigning unknown calls to a “silent” vibrate is an excellent approach.

Can you set the Apple watch to silent/no-vibrate notification as well?

Lee Dronick

I created a silent ringtone in GarageBand. I did it a few years ago, but I think I just recorded silence by having the microphone turned down.

I don’t think that we can selectively set Apple Watch notifications for contacts.