Images of new MacBook Pro with Magic Toolbar leaked in macOS Sierra

Juli Clover, MacRumors:

In addition to confirming that such a product is in the works, the images give us our first full look at the redesigned MacBook Pro ahead of its launch. An OLED touch panel is located on top of the keyboard, where the function keys would normally be placed, and it very clearly supports Touch ID, as it is seen used with Apple Pay.

Someone at Apple is getting fired.

I’m intrigued by the Magic Toolbar and how Apple’s going to pitch it on Thursday. Apple has decided that the entire function row is dispensable enough to replace entirely with custom UI in certain cases, as seen in the leaked images. In situations where an app is showing custom controls on the Toolbar, how does a user access music playback controls, or brightness controls, or the escape key? My guess is the Magic Toolbar will house a macOS version of Control Center that can be summoned at any time.

As for the new MacBook Pro itself, I must say I’m impressed with the redesign. Smaller footprint means smaller bezel around the display and less aluminum around the keyboard, plus a new hinge, new speakers, the new butterfly-mechanism keyboard, San Francisco all over, and Touch ID. Hot damn.

‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ Trailer

Words can not describe how excited I am for these new episodes, and how emotional I felt watching this trailer for the first time. There’s so much to digest in here: Lorelai questioning her happiness, Rory searching for her place in the world, and Emily struggling with losing her partner. Luke still trying to be the voice of reason. Taylor still running the town with an iron fist. Lane still drumming. Sookie still making a delicious mess in the Dragonfly’s kitchen.

I’m not sure why Gilmore Girls means so much to me or why I loved the original show so much. Maybe it’s just that the show was so smart, funny, emotional, and relatable. Maybe it’s that the Gilmore Girls world always felt so real and alive; a fictional universe you could imagine actually living in.

Either way, I’m so excited to go back to Stars Hollow on November 25th.

Crazy Rumour: Robert Scoble predicts see-through iPhone with AR features in 2017

Robert Scoble on his Medium blog:

The next iPhone will be, I am told, a clear piece of glass (er, Gorilla Glass sandwich with other polycarbonates for being pretty shatter resistant if dropped) with a next-generation OLED screen (I have several sources confirming this). You pop it into a headset which has eye sensors on it, which enables the next iPhone to have a higher apparent frame rate and polygon count than a PC with a Nvidia 1080 card in it… The clear iPhone will put holograms on top of the real world like Microsoft HoloLens does.

Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha.

I’d love to know who his “sources” are on this, but it seems completely unfeasible for 2017. Still, it’s fun to imagine, isn’t it?

Nintendo Switch: First Thoughts

For a long time I considered myself a diehard Nintendo fan. Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Link, Pikachu, and the rest of their friends have been with me practically since I was born. To this day the video games I’m most interested in playing still come from Nintendo.

However in recent years I’ve grown increasingly disenchanted with Nintendo. Their latest games for the Wii U (and, to a lesser extent, the 3DS) have been uninspired ports, HD remakes, and “mini-game” experiences billed as major titles (Mario Maker, Metroid Prime: Federation Force, and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer come to mind). We’ve known for nearly two years that Nintendo was working on their next console – the mysterious “NX” – but as I got more frustrated with the company I once held so dear, I became increasingly skeptical of their ability to deliver an exciting new console.

Last Thursday, Nintendo finally unveiled the “NX”, officially called Nintendo Switch, and they surprised the hell out of me. Confirming rumours, the Switch is a home console and handheld all in one, and it doesn’t look like a toy. I’m in, Nintendo. So. Damn. In.

The Trailer

With Wii U, Nintendo fumbled their marketing message right out of the gate. The public never really understood what the Wii U was (a new controller for the Wii, right?), Nintendo was never able to make a game that really demonstrated why the Wii U GamePad was necessary, and third-party developers understandably gave up supporting the console as its sales numbers deflated.

Conversely, Nintendo delivered a simple message in the Switch reveal trailer: home console games that you can take anywhere. Freedom to play. It’s a simple, understandable message and they nailed it. Not all that revolutionary from a technical perspective, yet it’s never been done this way before in the consumer gaming world.

Sure, some of Nintendo’s real-world examples in the trailer are a tad outlandish (“Let’s stop playing real basketball and play virtual basketball on our Switches instead!”) but the trailer accomplished its goal of visualizing how and where you can play the Switch.

The System

When rumours started swirling that NX would be a home/handheld hybrid console, I had tons of questions and concerns about how Nintendo would pull that off. In hindsight, it makes perfect sense to put all (or most) of the power in the handheld device, and dock it to the TV for at-home play. I just wasn’t sure if Nintendo could fit a modern gaming processor, presumably one capable of rendering better looking graphics than the Wii U, into a handheld. That’s a question we still won’t fully know the answer to until Nintendo reveals more about the custom NVIDIA chip powering the Switch.

Regardless, I love what I’ve seen of the Nintendo Switch so far. I think the system in handheld mode looks really beautiful, and I’m glad it looks more like a gadget than a toy. The Switch Dock isn’t the prettiest piece of kit; I wish it was a little sleeker seeing as it will have to be front-and-centre on my TV stand so I can dock and undock my Switch as needed.

The Switch has so many cool little features that I can’t mention them all here. Some standouts for me:

  • Joy-Cons are a cool idea, but look too tiny to be comfortable for extended play sessions. I’ll be leaning on the Grip and Pro controllers a lot. Also, I fully expect some additional Joy-Cons with different buttons or colours by Holiday 2017. No way Nintendo will miss out on that obvious accessory market.
  • Kickstand is a big plus for portable play, glad they thought of that.
  • The Grip controller is adorable – sad puppy, amirite? Pro controller looks great too; better grips and offset analog sticks are big improvements over the Wii U Pro controller. And translucent plastic? ADORE!
  • My best guess is the Switch screen is around 6.2 or 6.5 inches. I think the display just looks bigger because of the large bezel around it and the 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • Game Cards instead of discs is obvious for anything with a handheld component. It should mean faster load times for games, too. I hope Nintendo have been able to cram a lot of storage into these cards, while also keeping the component cost low for developers. Is that too much to ask?

The Haters

If your response to the Switch is something along the lines of “Nintendo should just make games for the iPhone” or “Why didn’t Nintendo just make a hardware controller for tablets?”, please stop talking about Nintendo. You don’t understand the gaming industry.

Nintendo is doing smartphone games, and they’re going to be successful. But a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can’t exist on a smartphone or tablet. Phones and tablets aren’t powerful enough, and that style of game is too deep and expensive to succeed in an App Store market. Likewise, nobody would buy an expensive Nintendo controller or snap-on accessory for their smart device. Those already exist and I don’t know anyone who owns one. Just like Apple builds their own hardware to run their software, Nintendo needs to build and sell the hardware that will run their games.


Nintendo reconfirmed that the Switch will launch globally in March 2017, and it sounds like we won’t be getting anymore info about the system until January. That won’t stop me from speculating on all the details Nintendo have yet to announce.

  • Price: I’m guessing $299, but $349 wouldn’t surprise me either. I think $399 is out of the question, as that’s the same starting price as the PS4 Pro which is decidedly more powerful.
  • Bundle: I’m leaning toward one bundle at launch, so Nintendo can keep their marketing simple. Switch console with left and right Joy-Cons, Switch Dock with all the necessary cables, Joy-Con Grip controller, and that’s it. No pack-in game, and Switch Pro controller sold separately.
  • Launch Titles: Breath of the Wild is practically confirmed for launch. Based on what was shown in the trailer, I’d say updated Splatoon and Mario Kart 9 are likely to be there at launch as well. I expect that new 3D Mario game shortly after launch, though if they can make it for day one that would be a hell of a lineup.

KGI: New MacBook and MacBook Pro announced next week, no iMac or 5K display

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

Reliable Apple analyst KGI has published a report on Saturday outlining their predictions for Apple’s Mac roadmap ahead of the media event on October 27th. The report says that Apple will launch three new MacBooks at the event, a new 13 inch MacBook, a new 13 inch MacBook Pro and a new 15 inch MacBook Pro. It goes on to say that new iMacs and the Apple external display will not be shipping this year; those should be expected in the first half of 2017.

Surprising to hear that the iMac won't be getting an update this week. I figured a minor revision was a given. The new external Retina display not coming until next year makes sense, but I know some Pros will be disappointed by that.

Guess the 27th really is a laptop focused event! Excited to see what Apple announces, though I really just want my AirPods.

Apple’s Car Project Shifts Gears

Mark Gurman and Alex Webb, Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project…

New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future…

If Twitter reactions are any indication, many people are confused by this news. This does not mean Apple have scaled back their automotive ambitions forever; rather they’ve realized that the Project Titan teams were focused on the wrong things at the wrong time.

From what we’ve heard about Titan so far, it seemed as though Apple had teams working on everything from self-driving software, to automotive engineering, to industrial design. Instead of splitting focus, Apple can now devote all their resources to developing, refining, and perfecting their self-driving platform and software, the most important goal toward building a self-driving vehicle. If the Titan team can accomplish much of that by their late 2017 deadline (as Bloomberg reports), thereby improving the viability of Apple building and shipping their own car, management can choose to re-vitalize their engineering and design teams, and explore the possibility of partnering with established car makers to license the self-driving platform.

Don’t read this as the death of the Apple Car just yet.

KGI: Apple Watch 2 this Fall with GPS, same design

Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider:

[KGI analyst Ming-Chi] Kuo believes Apple is planning to launch two new Apple Watch versions in the second half of 2016, both of which offer moderate improvements over their predecessor. The first unit will be an iterative upgrade on the original Apple Watch and is expected to sport the same aesthetics, but with improved intervals like a TSMC processor built on the 16nm process. Waterproofing should also be slightly improved.

A second version, dubbed “Apple Watch 2,” is also expected to share the same general design as current models, but will include a GPS radio and barometer for improved geolocation capabilities. A higher capacity battery will be included to power the advanced components, but its size will prohibit Apple’s usual generational device slimming.

Finally some news on a new Apple Watch! An update to the original Watch is an interesting idea, but I’m not sure I believe it despite Kuo’s great track record. I can only imagine Apple keeping the original Watch Sport hardware on the market and dropping the price, with no internal changes.

As for the Watch 2, an identical or similar design (maintaining band compatibility) with upgraded internals and added sensors sounds about right to me, and pretty much what I’m hoping for as an every day Apple Watch wearer. I’m looking to upgrade from a Sport to a Stainless Steel model this Fall, and all I need to make that a worthwhile upgrade is a faster CPU to improve performance. I love wearing my Apple Watch, and the improvements coming in watchOS 3 paired with an updated processor would finally make it a more useful device.

While redesigned hardware would be nice in terms of making a big splash, I expect Apple will continue their trend of new body colours, new bands, and perhaps new metal finishes for the Watch 2 to satisfy the fashion perspective. I think that will be enough for now.

Gurman: New iPhone to Have Dual Camera but No Headphone Jack

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

The standout features will be a dual-camera system on the larger iPhone, a re-engineered home button that responds to pressure with a vibrating sensation rather than a true physical click and the removal of the devices’ headphone jack, said the people, who didn’t want to be identified discussing unannounced features. Apple declined to comment.

If Mark reports it, it’s as good as confirmed. I’m increasingly curious about what these new iPhones will be called. With a design so similar to the 6/6s family, I can’t see them earning a “7” moniker. 6SE is too long and weird, but possible. And will the larger 5.5-inch version be called Plus or Pro?

Either way, I can say for certain that I won’t be upgrading my iPhone this year. It’ll be tough, if the dual-camera setup delivers a huge improvement to low-light photos and zoom capabilities, and the addition of a second speaker would be a lovely improvement too. But I’m content to spend the next year with my iPhone 6s Plus, and keep my fingers crossed for an amazing 10th anniversary iPhone in 2017.

As for the headphone jack, I predict Lightning EarPods in the box, an inexpensive Lightning to 3.5mm adapter available separately, and premium wireless “AirPods” as an upsell – which I’ll definitely buy. Because I’m a sucker.

Funny Women Are So Purse

sopurse_16x9I haven’t posted about So Purse on here yet, so allow me to introduce my latest podcast project. My friend Michael and I adopted the phrase “so purse” to refer to things that were beyond awesome or cool. We decided to start a podcast by the same name, devoted to talking about life and the things we love.

We’ve released four episodes so far, with the latest being all about our favourite funny women. From actresses like Leslie Jones and Kristen Wiig, to stand-up comedians like Kathy Griffin and Amy Schumer. We love hilarious, kick-ass women. Give it a listen if you’re so inclined, and feel free to let me know on Twitter what you think of the show. I hope you love it.

Clockwork Synergy’s Pride band for Apple Watch


I immediately fell in love with the rainbow Watch band Apple gifted to their employees at San Francisco Pride this year. While Apple is unlikely to ever sell that band to the public, an accessory company called Clockwork Synergy have just launched their own Pride band for Apple Watch that looks very similar to Apple’s version. It’s gorgeous and I ordered one immediately. Can’t wait to wear this at next year’s Toronto Pride and on those days when I’m feeling a little extra gay. 😁

(via. 9to5Mac)