Latest news, tips, reviews, and rumors about all things MacBook Pro.

Apple's TV App Reveals its Plight with Television Industry

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

CW app on Apple TV doesn't require cable subscription

From time to time, we’ve seem articles that explain Apple’s plight with its TV business. But John has found a splendidly complete diagnosis at The Verge  for this week’s focus. It examines the deepest motivations of Apple, it’s clash with the entertainment industry, its successes and failures, and how that has, in turn, affected Apple TV software design and customer perceptions.

Minix NEO C Mini USB-C to HDMI: Low Cost, Low Weight

· John Martellaro · Quick Look Review

Minix NEO C Mini

The Minix NEO C Mini is the little brother of the USB-C NEO C Multiport Adapter Dock previously reviewed. This smaller, less expensive model supports only pass-through power, HDMI (UHD) and two USB-A ports. It’s also half the price. John liked it a lot and highly recommends it for the Apple MacBook and new 2016 MacBook Pro.

Play Pac-Man on your MacBook Pro Touch Bar

· Jeff Gamet · Cool Stuff Found

The Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro may be functional, but it can be fun, too. Henry Franks makes that point perfectly with his Pac-Man clone, called Pac-Bar, for the Touch Bar. It’s just like the classic arcade game, complete with Pac-Man and his “wokka-wokka” munching sound, ghosts, and music. The maze is a little limited since you can only go left or right, although the intersections do jump you to either end of the Touch Bar. You’ll need to use your MacBook Pro’s arrow keys to play—sorry, no touch controls here. Click the Clone or download button on Henry’s Github page get Pac-Bar.

Play Pac-Man on your MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Turn Your MacBook Pro Touch Bar into a Piano

· Jeff Gamet · 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

· Bryan Chaffin · 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

· Jeff Gamet · 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

· Jim Tanous · 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?

· John Martellaro · 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.

Plugable Claims New MacBook Pro Doesn't Recognize Some Thunderbolt 3 Docks

· Bryan Chaffin · Product News

A woman using Touch Bar on MacBook Pro

Device maker Plugable said Thursday that Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is incompatible with Thunderbolt 3 docks that use a particular Texas Instrument chip. If accurate, it means at least some early Thunderbolt 3 docks already on the market will not work with Apple’s newest Mac laptop.

Function Key MacBook Pro Teardown Shows Smaller Battery, Removable SSD

· Jeff Gamet · News

13inch Retina MacBook Pro tear down

It doesn’t take long after a new Apple product launch for iFixit to strip it down to its frame, and that’s exactly what happened with the late 2016 Retina MacBook Pro with function keys. Inside they found a smaller battery, removable custom SSD, and more.

How to Re-enable the Startup Chime on Late 2016 MacBook Pro Models

· Jeff Gamet · Quick Tip

Re-enabling the new MacBook Pro startup chime

The new 15-inch and 13-inch Touch Bar Retina MacBook Pro, along with their 13-inch function key sibling, do away with the Mac startup chime. Turns out the chime isn’t gone, but is only disabled—and it’s easy to re-enable with a quick trip to the Terminal. Read on to learn how.

Apple Kills Start Up Chime in New MacBook Pro Models

· Jeff Gamet · 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

· John Kheit · 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

· Jeff Gamet · 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

· John Martellaro · 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

· 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.

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

· Bryan Chaffin · 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

· John Martellaro · 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

· Jeff Gamet · 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.