The latest news, tips, reviews, and rumors for Apple’s MacBook Air laptops.

13" MacBook Wish List and Why Bitcoin Uses So Much Electricity - ACM 446

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Rumor has it that Apple is going to release a new entry level 13″ MacBook. Bryan and Jeff discuss how it might fit in Apple’s Mac product line, and what they would like to see in such a device. They also talk about Bitcoin mining and why it uses so much electricity, as well as the roles cryptocurrencies could play in our lives.

Leather MacBook Sleeves from Woolnut

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

I’m a sucker for nice leather, especially for my Apple devices. There’s a company called Woolnut making nice MacBook sleeves. I haven’t tested them yet, but Jeff Gamet and I have a couple of them on the way, and I’m looking forward to it. They make different sleeves for MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro (including with Touch Bar), starting at €68 (US$78). Sleeves are made from full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather, and the interior of the sleeve is wool. They also make leather wallet cases for iPhone.

Leather MacBook Sleeves from Woolnut

New Macs at WWDC, Apple vs Diabetes, Lattice Data - ACM 411

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

This could be the year Apple breaks form and introduces new hardware at WWDC, and Bryan and Jeff explain why. They also discuss Apple’s big bets on an even bigger future and the importance of AI, neural nets, and machine learning.

Freshen Up Your Older Mac and Make It Feel New

· Jeff Butts · Tips

older Mac

When a new version of macOS comes out, many people are tempted to get the latest and greatest Mac to go with it. You don’t have to do that in most cases, though. Jeff Butts shows us how a few timely upgrades can make an older Mac feel like new again.

Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

Defy Apple and Add a Touchscreen to Your MacBook with AirBar

· Jim Tanous · Cool Stuff Found

Apple recently doubled-down on its refusal to add a touchscreen to its MacBook line, but if you’re starting 2017 with a bit of Microsoft Surface envy, you’ll soon be able to turn your MacBook Air’s display into a touchscreen, regardless of what Jony Ive thinks. AirBar is a USB-powered sensor that attaches to the bottom of your screen and enables touch interactions right on the display thanks to the company’s “zForce AIR” light field technology. The company is launching support for the MacBook Air first with support for other models to follow. Interested users can sign up at the company’s website to be notified once pre-orders go live in March. There’s no word on pricing but AirBar already sells a version for Windows laptops for $69.

Apple Discontinues 11-inch MacBook Air, MagSafe Now on Death Row

· Jeff Gamet · Product News

11-inch MacBook Air discontinued after

Farewell, 11-inch MacBook Air, we knew you well. Apple dropped the diminutive Mac laptop from its online store on Thursday following the “hello again” event where new Retina MacBook Pro models were introduced. The 13-inch MacBook Air is still available, but now the 12-inch MacBook is the smallest screen laptop Apple offers.

MacBook Pro Refresh May Still Happen in October

· Jeff Gamet · Product News

New Retina MacBook Pro models in late October 2016

If you’re counting on an major refresh for the MacBook Pro in October, don’t give up hope yet. A new report says updated models are still on the way and they’ll launch before the end of the month.

My Fantasy Wish List for Apple's October Event

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Wish list.

It’s one thing to make sober, informed predictions about what Apple may announce next. But, this time, John just wants to have fun and provide his fantasy wish list for an Apple event in October. What would have John giggling with delight?  Read on to find out.

Blood in the Macintosh Water: Apple's Competitors Now Sense Weakness

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

Apple’s competitors are sensing Macintosh weakness and are making bold moves. The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March, 2015. The Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini are very long of tooth. The latest iMac is coming up on a year old, and only the MacBook looks fresh. Soon, there may be much blood in the water.