Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman and Alex Webb said on Tuesday that Apple will launch new MacBooks at its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June. Unnamed sources said Apple will bump the processor in its MacBook Pro to Intel’s Kaby Lake. The company will also introduce a faster MacBook and maybe even a faster MacBook Air. Mr. Gurman is almost always right, and I hope he nailed it with this one. Updated MacBook Pros just 10 months after they were introduced would go a long ways to convincing us that Apple is as committed to the Mac as it says it is. The same goes for the other two models.
Tim Cook’s 2017 charity auction for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights set a record Tuesday when it closed at $688,999. That’s more than the $605,00 a coffee date with Mr. Cook fetched in 2013, and well north of the $515,000 Mr. Cook’s auction raised in 2016. Charitybuzz, which conducted the auction, shows the “lot” of Mr. Cook closed, but MacRumors caught the action at the end, when it hit $688,999 with 30 bids. Mr. Cook has used his fame as Apple CEO to raise money for the RFK Center since 2013, but this is the first year the resulting hour with Mr. Cook will take place in the brand new Apple Park. Congrats to the winner!
Apple has posted some of the third party events that take place during its own World Wide Developer Conference. The Apple Developer Connection has a new Beyond WWDC list that includes events like AltConf 2017, The Talk Show with John Gruber Live, CocoaConf Next Door, Layers, the App Camp for Girls benefit with James Dempsey and the Breakpoints. and one of our favorites, Jim Dalrymple’s Beard Bash.
A new report backs up what we’ve been saying since March: the iPad mini is a dead man walking. The iPhone 7 Plus has apparently usurped the iPad mini’s place in Apple’s tablet lineup, but there isn’t any word yet on when it’ll be retired.
In addition to a new developer release of Sierra, Apple also seeded developer releases of iOS 10.3.3, watchOS 3.2.3, tvOS 10.2.2. All three releases are most likely going to be bug releases, and they come just one day after final versions of their predecessors.
Apple released the first developer release of macOS Sierra 10.12.6 on Tuesday, just one day after shipping macOS Sierra 10.12.5. The company didn’t announce any new features in the release, and it’s likely to be another maintenance release ahead of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference in June.
Starting on June 15, Apple will require third-party apps that use iCloud to use app specific passwords that the user sets up. This also means that you must be using two-factor authentication for your Apple ID. Andrew Orr tells us what this means for you.
A new report is in line with our belief that the iPad mini is in its final days. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on the pending demise of Apple’s smallest iPad model, and on the company’s tablet strategy in general. They also look at what Michael Lombardo potentially joining the company could mean for its original TV show and movie plans.
Apple is apparently courting former HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo to head up its original TV programming for Apple Music. He’s the guy who was responsible for shows such as The Newsroom, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, and Game of Thrones, and Apple no doubt wants to replicate that success with its own streaming shows.
We have a deal on Disconnect, a VPN service that specializes in tracker blocking. Our deal is for a one year subscription for $19 (regular price is $50), and it’s good for use on up to three devices. Check out the details on the deal listing.
Using iCloud Drive? Then you need to know how to download all of your Pages, Numbers, or Keynote files to your iOS devices automatically. This’ll definitely save you some headaches if you need access to your spreadsheets when you head out into an area with sketchy cell coverage!
Apple’s iBooks is offering 30 mystery novels for $3.99 or less, all of them past winners of the Edgar Awards. The Edgars—short for the Edgar Allan Poe Awards—are handed out by the Mystery Writers of America, an author’s guild. The sale is promoting eight 2017 Edgar winners (from $2.99 to $20.99) and 21 nominees (from $3.99 to $14.99), but the 30 past winners are all on sale. Authors in the sale catalog include Eliot Pattison, Otto Penzier, Allison Gaylin, S.J. Rozan, Melanie Rehak, James Patterson, and some fellow named Michael Crichton (A Case of Need), and many more.
Apple reportedly has plans to bring blood glucose monitoring to the Apple Watch, and the company wants to launch a line of specialized function smart watchbands for the device, too. Details—like when the new features will come—are pretty scarce right now, but the idea is interesting.
Speedifier is a Mac app that lets you control video speed in Safari for HTML5 videos. You can use the extension on any on any website. Speedifier was developed by Arno Appenzeller, a part-time Mac and iOS indie developer from Germany. Andrew Orr reviews the app to test it out.
Now that Apple has committed to a new Mac Pro, prosumers are salivating at the thought of what Apple might deliver. And the thinking also seems to be bleeding over into the iMacs (with Xeon CPUs) and MacBook Pros, high-end Macs that’ll have to carry our most demanding computational loads for awhile. Particle Debris points to two articles by Mac experts. One asks how the competition is doing against Apple’s laptops and the other has a focus on raw laptop speed.
Apple published a new iPhone 7 Plus video to its YouTube channel on Monday. The spot shows a barber shop using iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait Mode camera to promote its business. It’s a charming pitch directly demonstrating a practical way for someone to use the feature in their business. The imagery is compelling and the message is accessible. The soundtrack is “Fantastic Man” by William Onyeabor, an artist who recorded in the ’70s and early ’80s.
Dr. Kelly Holley-Bockelmann is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University. Her research specialty is black holes and gravitational waves. For as long as she can remember, she wanted to be an astrophysicist. In our interview she tells the story about, as a teenager, lying in a field under dark Montana skies and gazing at the Milky Way (the edge of our galaxy). She wondered about all those stars and planets and whether there were other civilizations out there looking up at their own starry skies. It was transformative. Today, she uses a Mac and supercomputers to study how black holes generate ripples in the fabric of spacetime and deepen our astronomical understanding and perspective. Kelly, her students and associates are also devoted Mac users, and she tells me why.
With connected devices and voice assistants becoming more common in our households, children are seeing them as friends. Sometimes, they might even see the device as a trusted confidant. Could that encourage legislators to make the devices report child abuse? Jeff Butts has been thinking hard about that, and suggests it might not be a terrible idea.
Apple squashed 30 security holes in macOS Sierra with the release of macOS 10.12.5 on Monday. The company’s security notes indicate the update addressed a wide variety of issues in its Mac operating system, many of which are serious. Apple included the same fixes in separate security updates for El Capitan and Yosemite.