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Hands-on with the new Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

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These two entry-level Apple laptops get spec upgrades and, in one case, an important price cut.

Apple kicked off the back-to-school season with some pretty significant changes to the MacBook lineup on Tuesday. There were price cuts, trickle-down features and a few quiet cancellations, including the old, pre-redesign MacBook Air and the cult favorite 12-inch MacBook

Getting an update are the MacBook Air and the lowest-end version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. For the Air, that’s a significant point, as the system received its largest overhaul in a decade just last year. 

Both new MacBooks have arrived in the CNET Labs for review. Our testing is ongoing, but here’s an early look at some of the initial results and our first hands-on impressions. 

The new MacBook Air doesn’t look any different, but it adds Apple’s True Tone display, which can adjust the screen’s color temperature based on the ambient lighting. It’s already found on iPad Pro, recent iPhones and some MacBook Pros. 

But more important than that, the starting price has been cut by $100, from $1,199 to $1,099 (£1,099, AU$1,699). That’s still not the classic MacBook Air price of $999, but it’s getting closer and students can get it for $999. 

More consequential are the changes to the 13-inch MacBook Pro. That $1,299 model was a favorite for some, as it excluded the Touch Bar found in more-expensive MacBook Pros. Now you can no longer avoid the Touch Bar, but it’s included for the same $1,299 price, along with the TouchID fingerprint reader and T2 security chip. 

It also jumps from an older dual-core Intel CPU to a newer quad-core version, so the least expensive Pro feels more like, well, a Pro. Case in point, we ran the new quad-core 13-inch MacBook Pro against an older dual-core version. Yes, the eighth-gen chips have an advantage over the seventh-gen ones, but the difference between the two base models is huge. 

GEEKBENCH 4 (MULTICORE)

MacBook Pro 13-inch (quad-core, 2019)16949MacBook Pro 13-inch (dual-core, 2017)9032

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance

CINEBENCH R15 CPU (MULTICORE)

MacBook Pro 13-inch (quad-core, 2019)647MacBook Pro 13-inch (dual-core, 2017)381

NOTE:

 Longer bars indicate better performance

SYSTEM CONFIGURATIONS

MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019)MacOS Mojave 10.14.5; 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-8257; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1536MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645; 256GB SSD
MacBook Pro 13-inch (2017)MacOS Sierra 10.12.6; 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-7267; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz, 1536MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650; 256GB SSD

We’re currently testing both the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, and will report full benchmark results, including battery life, in upcoming reviews. While the Pro is getting a big speed boost, I wouldn’t expect any real change in the MacBook Air performance — the biggest move there is the price. 

We tested 5G speeds in 13 cities. Here’s what we found: Faster speed versus more coverage. That’s the most important issue for 5G networks today.

We drowned AirPods, Powerbeats Pro and Galaxy Buds: We sprayed them, dunked them and even put them through the wash to find out which one of these three wireless earphones can handle the most water.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/hands-on-with-the-new-apple-macbook-air-and-macbook-pro/

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Softwares

Microsoft is starting to force-update Windows 10 machines from version 1803 to 1903

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Microsoft has been known to force its Windows 10 users to update their machines; much to the chagrin of many customers. Though Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates are usually fine and relatively stable, they do sometimes bring sweeping changes that can frustrate users or even cause performance issues and outright data loss.

With this volatility and unpredictability in mind, it’s perhaps understandable that many users would try to avoid updating their machines for as long as possible. For several individuals, that means sticking to Windows 10’s 1803 update, which came out around mid-2018.

Unfortunately for those folks, Microsoft has had enough of their reluctance to update and has opted to take matters into its own hands. Starting now, the tech giant will be force-updating computers running Windows 10 version 1803 to the latest version of the OS, which is the Windows 10 May 2019 update (version 1903). Microsoft says its reasoning primarily stems from a desire to keep user systems secure.

“Keeping these devices both supported and receiving monthly updates is critical to device security and ecosystem health,” the tech giant wrote in a support article announcement. “Based on the large number of devices running the April 2018 Update, that will reach the end of 18 months of service on November 12, 2019, we are starting the update process now for Home and Pro editions to help ensure adequate time for a smooth update process.”

Though some users will undoubtedly feel they know their machines and their potential security risks better than Microsoft does, there is no clear way to opt-out of this update — short of using software like ShutUp10 to disable the functionality entirely (which can carry its own risks).

The good news is, Windows 10 version 1903 seems to be relatively stable so far and perhaps a bit ironically, it even includes some helpful new update control features. For example, the ability to “defer” updates was once a Pro-exclusive option, but all May 2019 update users will be able to utilize a similar functionality now. Specifically, Windows 10 version 1903 lets you push updates back up to 5 times, for 5 days each (up to 35 days in total).

Source: https://www.techspot.com/news/81005-microsoft-starting-force-update-windows-10-machines-version.html

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Softwares

iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 developer beta 4 are now available to download

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The fast and furious pace of iOS beta releases continues unabated this week with the rollout of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 developer beta 4. We’re hopeful that this release is less problematic than the last, as Apple ended up mysteriously delaying the launch of the second public beta and then re-seeding the developer beta a full week later. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s hard to imagine that beta 4 will run into similar issues.

We still don’t know exactly what this latest beta contains, but considering how messy the last beta was, it might be a good idea to update soon, as Apple has presumably fixed much of what ailed the last beta.

If you watched Apple’s WWDC keynote, you know about all the highlights of iOS 13, including new features like Dark Mode, a redesigned volume HUD, a new Reminders app, and plenty of performance enhancements. It’s not really a massive overhaul, but it appears to address many pain points of earlier releases without trying to fix anything that wasn’t broken. That said, keep in mind that this is just a beta, and there will be issues.

Here’s the full list of compatible devices that will run iOS 13, if you’re thinking about downloading the beta:

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3rd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air 3rd generation
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad 6th generation
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad mini 5th generation
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPod touch 7th generation

iOS 13 will launch in full this fall alongside the next generation of iPhone models.

Source: https://bgr.com/2019/07/17/ios-13-beta-4-download-beta-profile/

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Mobile Phones

New leak seems to confirm the iPhone 11’s biggest design change

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We have just two more months to go until Apple unveils the iPhone 11, which means we’re going to see more and more leaks in the coming weeks as the iPhone 11, 11 Max, and 11R (or whatever Apple ends up calling them) head to production. But we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this year’s iPhones when it comes to design, and now we have a brand new leak that supports all the previous design leaks

All three iPhone 11 models will have a square-shaped camera module on the back that will contain three lenses on the iPhone 11 and 11 Max,  and two lenses on the iPhone 11R. That camera design will force Apple to make some changes you’ll never see because they’ll be inside the phone. Apple had to figure out how to add that extra lens without affecting the battery life of its new phones, and a leak tells us what that might entail.

According to the following image that someone on SlashLeaks sourced from Facebook, the iPhone 11 will have an I-shaped logic board rather than an L-shaped one, as was the case with the previous iPhone generation.

Image Source: Facebook

Below, you’ll find an image from iFixit’s iPhone XS teardown that shows the design and location of the logic board in last year’s flagship iPhone. You’ll also notice that the battery in the iPhone XS phones features an L-shaped design. While you’re at it, check out the SIM tray’s placement relative to the logic board and the battery:

Image Source: iFixit

As you can see, the logic board is placed on the same side as the rear camera, but it doesn’t go all the way down to the bottom of the phone. Moreover, Apple used the space available between the dual camera and the battery for the logic board. That space will now be occupied by an extra camera on the iPhone 11.

Image Source: iFixit

The size of this leaked iPhone 11 logic board isn’t mentioned and it’s unclear whether it’ll stretch from the top all the way to the bottom of the phone. If it’s indeed taller than the iPhone XS logic board, then the iPhone 11’s battery will also have an I-shape design, being placed right next to the logic board on the left side of the phone. However, let’s not forget that the SIM tray should also be placed on the right side of the phone, eating some of the space that could be used by the logic board. With all that in mind, the SIM tray slot might be placed lower on the right side of the iPhone 11 than it is on current models.

The leak also indicates the logic boards are in the making at Apple’s suppliers, which means the iPhone 11 supply chain is already shipping parts to Apple’s assembler Foxconn. That said, it’s still only a leak that won’t be confirmed until iFixit tears down the iPhone 11 phones after they’re released.

Source: https://bgr.com/2019/07/08/iphone-11-vs-iphone-xs-leak-suggests-a-big-camera-design-change/

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