Turn Your MacBook Pro Touch Bar into a Piano

· · Cool Stuff Found

Turning your new MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar into a piano may not be practical but it is pretty cool, and that’s exactly what Touch Bar Piano does. The app lets you choose between 128 different instruments, and you can play chords, too. Touch Bar Piano is a free download, and while it isn’t the same as using an actual piano, it’s a cool example of the creative ideas developers are finding for the Touch Bar.

HyperDrive USB-C Hub for MacBook Pro Raises $341K on Kickstarter

· · Cool Stuff Found

There’s a project on Kickstarter called HyperDrive that raised more than $341,000 in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. It’s a USB-C hub from Sanho for MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It’s similar to the 5-in-1 HyperDrive from the same company we had a deal on a few days ago, but this new one in development has even more ports. All told, it has HDMI, USB 3.1 x 2, microSD/SD, Thunderbolt 3, and USB-C. It’s designed to plug into both your MacBook Pro USB-C ports and take the place of any dongles you might need. As of this writing, there are still a few pledge slots for $69 that will net you one, but those are going fast. Sanho has blown by its funding goal of $100,000 by 3X, and there’s still 39 days to go on the campaign. Clearly, there’s a demand for this product in the Mac community. Check out the promo video.

 

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

· · Cool Stuff Found

Smile’s PDFpen and PDFpen Pro gained Retina MacBook Pro Touch Bar support on Tuesday so users can edit documents with finger taps, and PDFpen Pro users can edit Table of Contents, too. PDFpen and PDFpen Pro are PDF document editing and creation apps. Users can add and remove pages from documents, edit text, and and remove images, create PDF forms, OCR scanned text, sync files via iCloud and Dropbox, and more. PDFpen 8.3 costs US$74.95 and PDFpen Pro 8.3 is priced at $124.95. The updates are free for version 8.x users.

PDFpen 8.3 gets MacBook Pro Touch Bar Support

2016 MacBook Pro vs. 1989 Macintosh Portable: FIGHT

· · Cool Stuff Found

Think the 2016 MacBook Pro is overpriced and underpowered? Check out this comparison video of Apple’s latest laptop with the company’s first portable computer, 1989’s Macintosh Portable. While far from an in-depth technical analysis, the video offers some nice HD shots of how design at Apple has changed over the past 27 years. Bonus points for the Jean-Louis Gassée archival footage.

Why Is There So Much Pain Extracting Truth From Apple?

· · Particle Debris

Apple Media Invitation

Astonishingly, Apple creates unnecessary problems for itself. Locked in the old era, modern Apple executive thinking continues to focus on drama while excising important elements of its vision. That leads to pain, criticism, and disaffection with Apple.  It wouldn’t be hard to avoid all that these days. John explains.

Apple Kills Start Up Chime in New MacBook Pro Models

· · News

No more startup chime for new Retina MacBook Pro models

Apple has been on a killing spree of sorts with its new MacBook Pro models. The physical Escape key and function keys are gone, the traditional USB A and mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 2 ports are gone, the SD Card slot and MagSafe are gone, and the iconic startup chime is missing, too. It’s sad to see—or hear—the startup chime go, but it seems Apple has a reason for axing the sound.

Apple Has Missed the Plot

· · Devil's Advocate

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar DJ demo at

John Kheit thinks Apple has lost the plot about what users need in Apple devices, especially with creative pros. He argues that Microsoft nailed it with Surface Studio, while Apple’s new MacBook Pro is a far cry from a pro Mac.

Here's What You Need to Know About USB-C and Thunderbolt 3

· · News

Touch Bar Retina MacBook Pro with USB-C ports

The MacBook introduced USB-C to Apple’s laptop lineup in 2015, and the just announced Retina MacBook Pro with Touch Bar gives us Thunderbolt 3—which looks exactly like USB-C. Not sure what the differences are and how they affect you? Read on to learn more.

Microsoft Takes Apple by Surprise, Pours on the Heat

· · Columns & Opinions

The contrast between Microsoft’s October 26 event and Apple’s October 27 event has the PC industry in a buzz. Observers who have been diehard Apple fans are casting jealous eyes towards the new Microsoft products. Meanwhile, some observers who have been against Apple for political reasons are making some solid observations that don’t have the traditional earmarks of being self-serving and misinformed. John explores.

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

· · 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.

Apple Unveils Thinner MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Touch ID, More

· · Analysis

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar

Apple used its “hello again” event to introduce new MacBook Pro models Thursday. Smaller, thinner, and featuring four Thunderbolt 3 ports, the signature feature is a “Touch Bar,” a Multi-Touch, Retina Display strip above the keyboard that offers users context-aware controls, keys, and other user-interface features.

Apple's 'Hello Again' Event Wasn't About the Mac After All

· · Editorial

2016 MacBook Pro

During Apple’s “Hello Again” event, Apple spent an hour and 25 minutes talking about several cool things. The new MacBook Pros are very nice—but they were the only major Mac announcement.  In contrast, the event tagline suggested that Apple would say something important about the “Mac” as a product. Instead, the vacuum persisted and Apple elected to take a stand, instead. on how it sees the MacBook Pro catering to the pro market with the Touch Bar.

How to Add a Physical Escape Key to the New MacBook Pro

· · Quick Tip

macOS Sierra 10.12.1 Keyboard settings for remapping modifier keys

The Escape key has been on our keyboards practically since the beginning of time—even the Apple II had one. That’s changing with tomorrow’s MacBook Pro refresh and its Magic Toolbar. The physical Escape key is going virtual, but Apple is including a way to let other keys handle its task.

macOS Sierra 10.12.1 Leaks New MacBook Pro Images

· · News

MacBook Pro with Magic Toolbar and Apple Pay

Apple seems to have tipped its hand and accidentally revealed the upcoming Retina MacBook Pro in Monday’s macOS Sierra 10.12.1 update. Photos showing the soon to be announced MacBook Pro with a touch sensitive OLED function strip were buried in the macOS update, which is about a close to a pre-event confirmation Apple will get.

MacBook Pro's Function Touch Strip Called Magic Toolbar

· · News

MacBook, silver

We already have the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, and soon we’ll have the Magic Toolbar, too. A just uncovered trademark filing seems to confirm the MacBook Pro really is getting a touch sensitive bar to replace the keyboard’s row of function keys.

E Ink Keyboard MacBook Pros Aren't a Sure Thing

· · Analysis

Sonder E Ink keyboard in MacBook Pro

A report last week suggested Apple will ditch the MacBook Pro’s traditional keyboard for an E Ink version with keys that dynamically change based on the app being used. Now the Wall Street Journal is chiming is saying it has sources confirming Apple’s plan. That makes it more likely an E Ink keyboard is coming, but it still isn’t a sure thing.