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  1. Say hello to machines with plenty of ports, MagSafe charging, and a refreshed pair of AirPods. iPhones and iPads shared the limelight on Apple's virtual stage in September, but the company's October “Unleashed” event focused on all things Mac. Today, Apple announced a redesigned MacBook Pro in two sizes, both of which are powered by its newest M1 Pro or M1 Max chips. Apple also took the wraps off its third-generation AirPods. If you didn't catch the event, here's everything Apple announced. Two New Powerful In-House Chips Photograph: Apple It's been more than a year since Apple announced it was swapping Intel chips for its very own in-house silicon: the M1, which powers both the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Succeeding the M1 are not one but two new chips: the M1 Pro and M1 Max. Photograph: Apple The M1 Pro has a 10-core CPU (up from eight cores on the M1), with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores. For graphics, the M1 Pro offers an up to 16-core GPU (with up to 32 GB of unified memory) that's twice as fast as the M1. Meanwhile, the M1 Max features the same 10-core CPU coupled with a 32-core GPU (with support for up to 64 GB of unified memory). Apple claims both the M1 Pro and M1 Max are up to 70 percent faster than last year's M1, and graphics-wise, the M1 Pro is two times faster and the M1 Max is four times faster. The power of the M1 Pro and Max remains to be seen, but it's safe to say these chipsets are what on-the-go content creators, video editors, and graphic designers (who rely on their MacBook Pros to accomplish intensive tasks) have been waiting for since Apple started moving away from Intel. New MacBook Pro, Two Sizes Photograph: Apple Apple went all-in with its MacBook Pro redesign. It comes in a 14- or 16-inch chassis, with slightly larger screen sizes at 14.2 inches and 16.2 inches, respectively. Both feature a Liquid Retina XDR screen with Apple's Mini LED display technology, which debuted in this year's 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It doesn't produce as deep blacks as OLED panels, like on the iPhone, but it comes very close and maintains incredible levels of brightness with punchy colors. WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu says he preferred watching movies on the iPad Pro with Mini LED over the larger LCD screen in Apple's 2021 iMac. It comes complete with ProMotion (as seen on the iPhone 13 Pro and 2017 iPad Pro), which is Apple's 120-Hz refresh rate technology that makes content on the screen look much smoother. You can read more about how it works here. On top of the screen is a notch that houses a 1080p camera for video calls, with a wider aperture that allows in more light, so expect better video call performance in dim rooms. But unlike the notch in the iPhone, there's no TrueDepth camera system here, which means no support for Face ID. There is a Touch ID sensor on the keyboard, so you can still lock and unlock the MacBook Pro with your fingerprint. Apple also bid adieu to the Touch Bar, replacing it with physical keys instead, a startling admission that its vision for the elongated digital screen didn't go the way it hoped. Photograph: Apple But the most exciting upgrade to the MacBook Pro is arguably the return of the ports. There's an HDMI port, three USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an SD card slot, and a high-impedance headphone jack. So, yes, feel free to throw all those ugly dongles in the trash. Even better, Apple also brought back MagSafe to its MacBooks for the first time since 2017. It's not an accessory ecosystem like with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineup, but the charger connects to the dedicated port magnetically like in the days of old. You can still charge via the USB-C ports. Both MacBook Pros also pack studio-quality mics and a six-speaker sound system that consists of two tweets and four woofers that offer 80 percent more bass. As for battery life, Apple claims the 14-inch MacBook Pro offers up to 17 hours of video playback, while the 16-inch model hits 21 hours. You can fast charge these devices too, gaining up to 50 percent battery in just 30 minutes. The base version of the MacBook Pro (for both sizes) comes with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. The 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 while the 16 inch is $2,499. Both models are currently available for preorder and go on sale on October 26. You can choose whether you want the M1 Pro or upgrade to the M1 Max if you need the extra power. The highest-tier configuration for the 16-incher brings the total to a whopping $6,099. Apple also confirmed via its press release that its latest operating system, MacOS Monterey, will be available for download on October 25. AirPods 3 Photograph: Apple The new, third generation of Apple’s standard AirPods comes two years after the release of AirPods Pro and a little over a year after the release of the AirPods Max. The old AirPods aren't our favorites. They're not very ergonomic, nor are they great for workouts because they lack the security of silicone eartips and an IP rating against water or dust. The lack of tips also meant you didn’t get a perfect seal in your ears all the time, allowing sound to leak out to the outside world at higher volumes. This new version comes with a lower distortion dynamic driver for better bass and crisper high-end, but once again lacks eartips. Apple says the slightly redesigned earbuds, which look a bit more curvy and ergonomic, will fit much better than the previous version. We'll see for ourselves. Thankfully, they now come with sweat and water resistance, so you can finally work out in AirPods without worrying about breaking them. The addition of spatial audio, which was previously reserved for the AirPods Max and AirPods Pro models, is also great. Spatial audio on standard AirPods means you can watch movies in Dolby Atmos, providing a more immersive experience (a few music artists also mix in Atmos, but not many). Photograph: Apple Apple increased battery life from 5 hours to 6, with the ability to charge with a MagSafe charger wirelessly. It charges quickly, so five minutes plugged in will get you an hour of juice. That’s all well and good, but 6 hours remains relatively mid-tier battery life in the wireless headphone market, especially without noise-canceling on board. The latest model from Jabra, for example, comes with 8 hours and the same quick-charge feature. The new AirPods are currently available for $179, which begs the question: Why not spend $20 more on a pair of AirPods Pro? Well, you can. But Apple also seems to have added MagSafe to the AirPods Pro's case. If you don't care for it, the original AirPods Pro retails for less than $199. Apple Music Voice Plan Photograph: Apple One of the weirder announcements was Apple's new voice-only subscription plan for Apple Music. For $5 per month, subscribers can opt to abandon any visual interface for Apple’s popular streaming service and access their favorite artists and bespoke playlists exclusively via voice control with Siri. It sounds odd at a first glance, but it's a decent option for anyone who loves internet radio like Pandora, or for anyone looking for specific genres of music rather than scrolling through infinite artists and playlists on their phone. You're paying half the price of the standard subscription. New HomePod Mini Colors Photograph: Apple Tired of staring at your boring gray HomePod Mini? Apple has some good news for you. It now comes in three fun colors: orange, blue, and yellow. Too bad they won't do anything new. Apple didn't spell out any new features for the Siri-powered bowl, but at least it has the same $99 price. Everything Apple Announced Today—Including a New MacBook Pro (May require free registration to view)
  2. The Mac rumors have been abound Apple has announced an event for October 18th, with a video containing the title “Unleashed.” If you’ve been watching the rumor mill, it won’t come as a surprise — the company still has a lot of products that are expected to come out this year but haven’t shown up in an Apple keynote. Chief among those are new, more powerful MacBook Pros, which will follow the incredible Apple Silicon-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro that launched last November. The company is also expected to release new AirPods, and it’s got an entire OS that was announced but hasn’t shipped. Read on for a deep dive into the rumors surrounding these products and more. Redesigned MacBook Pros Most of the rumors about the event concern redesigned MacBook Pros, which are expected to feature 14- and 16-inch screens, along with a new Apple processor. Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo (who have pretty solid track records when it comes to rumors) have both said that the laptops will feature iPhone 12-esque flat sides with a redesigned MagSafe charging port and that they’ll no longer have the Touch Bar that’s been a staple of many MacBook Pros since 2016. Apple is also rumored to be bringing ports back to its laptops with the redesign. The new MacBooks Pros may include an SD card reader and HDMI and MagSafe ports, which will be familiar (and possibly beloved) by people who miss the days when MacBooks had more than one type of port. Mark Gurman reports that the laptops will be powered by new chips, which are expected to be more powerful variants of the M1 processor found in today’s computers. The “M1X” (or M2, or whatever name Apple actually goes with) is expected to have more high-performance cores than its predecessor (eight instead of four) and even offer a choice of 16 or 32 graphics cores (compared to the M1’s seven or eight). What’s still unclear is whether the new processor will do away with any of the seeming limitations of the M1: none of the Apple Silicon Macs are configurable with more than 16GB of RAM or 2TB of storage, they can’t run more than two displays, and none of them have more than two Thunderbolt ports (the iMac has at most two Thunderbolt ports and two USB-C ports). Traditionally, the higher-end MacBook Pros have four Thunderbolt ports, though the inclusion of MagSafe and HDMI may make that less necessary. The configuration screen for an Intel-based MacBook Pro. Just having options for graphics cores would be much easier to explain to new buyers than Turbo Boosts and base clocks. If you’re thinking, “Wow, these new computers sound like everything I ever could’ve wanted,” you’re not alone — a lot of people are hyped about the rumors (though it’s worth keeping in mind that those don’t always pan out). If it turns out that Apple has taken all of the community’s feedback to heart, the chip shortage could make these laptops hot-ticket items for quite a while. A Pro Mac Mini Gurman also recently reported that a more powerful Mac mini would be coming soon, featuring the same processor found in the updated MacBook Pros and more ports than are currently available on the M1-powered Mini. It’s an interesting rumor because the M1 Mini has one of the widest port selections available on an M1 Mac with USB-A, HDMI, two Thunderbolt ports, and optional 10-gigabit ethernet. But the 2018 Intel-based version, which a lot of people think of as the Mac Mini Pro (in part due to its space grey color), has all of that plus two more Thunderbolt ports. For those looking for a powerful Apple-powered desktop, a replacement for the 2018 Mac Mini could be a great option, given the lack of rumors about a 27-inch iMac. Apple is still selling the Intel-powered 2018 Mac Mini. New AirPods Gurman, Kuo, and Nikkei have all reported that Apple is working on a follow-up to its regular, non-Pro AirPods and have said that the headphones will feature the shorter stems found on their more expensive counterparts. It feels like AirPods would’ve fit in better at Apple’s iPhone event, but given that they were absent, we may end up seeing them on the 18th. There is also always the (hilarious) possibility that Apple just announces them via press release like it did the AirPods Pro and Max, but with how popular the original ones were, it feels like their successors should get some event time. Apple announced macOS Monterey in June. Image: Apple A macOS Monterey release date Apple has released iOS and iPadOS 15, but macOS Monterey, which was announced alongside them, is still in beta. It would be a bit strange if Apple released new Macs that were running macOS Big Sur out of the box, especially given that Monterey was announced about three months ago at WWDC. If Apple doesn’t announce that the new version of macOS is shipping with the redesigned MacBook Pros, I’ll be pretty surprised. Apple’s October ‘Unleashed’ event: what to expect
  3. The event kicks off at 11AM ET / 8AM PT on September 22nd September 22nd officially marks the first day of fall, and with it gadget season. Like in previous years, Microsoft is getting into the mix with its forthcoming Surface event, where we anticipate the company will announce a slew of products during its livestream presentation on Wednesday at 11AM ET / 8AM PT. Microsoft has been building up plenty of momentum recently with the impending launch of Windows 11. And with the new operating system set to launch on October 5th, it’s only natural to showcase it with new devices. The reports and leaks seem to indicate that we may see updates to Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Surface Book, Surface Go, and Surface Duo lines. Many details of the Surface Pro 8 have already leaked, including its new Intel 11th Gen processor, 120Hz display, and switch to Thunderbolt ports. While less early info has surfaced on the Book and Go refreshes, the former is slotted to have a significant design overhaul while the latter will most likely see its changes happen on the inside. Beyond Windows 11 devices, Microsoft is expected to announce a successor to the dual-screen Surface Duo. The leaks for the Duo 2 began earlier in the summer, promising an internal spec bump and a new triple-camera setup in addition to some smaller design tweaks. The big questions around the Duo 2 are in software and support, as the original Duo’s stagnation — it’s still stuck on Android 10 when Android 12 is around the corner — and slow sales have landed it in the clearance sections of many retailers. Regardless of whether Microsoft actually proves its Android chops with the Duo 2 or launches any surprises with its new flagships for Windows 11, we’ll be watching live and keeping you updated here as new products are announced. Microsoft’s Surface hardware event: rumors, news, and announcements
  4. Apple will stream a new product-unveiling event this coming Tuesday, September 14, at 10 am PDT, the company announced today. Invitations went out to press this morning, and marketing SVP Greg Joswiak tweeted a short video teasing the event as well. You can see the image and copy that accompanied the invitation above. As usual, the invitation doesn't reveal much about what to expect. It does note that the event will be an online video stream and not an in-person gathering. That said, we know more or less what to expect. Apple has held an event like this during the same week every year for a while now, and the announcements have always focused primarily on two products: the iPhone and the Apple Watch. This year, rumors abound of an updated version of Apple's AirPods wireless earbuds, too. The new iPhones are expected to come in the same four sizes as last year's models: 5.4 and 6.1 inches for the standard iPhone, and 6.1 and 6.7 inches for the "Pro" models, which have to date included improved camera systems and more expensive materials. Each of the new phones is expected to come with a new, faster A15 processor designed by Apple. Some leakers have claimed that there will be a smaller notch in the screen than other recent iPhones and that at least some of the new phones will sport 120 Hz displays similar to the iPad Pro and some high-end Android smartphones. The new Apple Watch isn't expected to have any major new sensors, but it is due for a modest redesign. While there have been several reliable reports that Apple is also preparing to release new Macs and iPads, the company has in the past often announced those products at another event later in the year, so as not to steal thunder from the iPhone, arguably Apple's most important product. New iPhones also herald the release of a new version of iOS. Apple teased iOS 15 at its developer conference earlier this year. It's currently in beta, but we wouldn't be surprised to see a Golden Master release candidate hit in close proximity to the event. As always, we'll be covering the event live next Tuesday. California streaming: Apple’s next big event is on September 14
  5. Intel’s own website leaks Tiger Lake CPU event happening in early September With a possible GPU briefing next week Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A few weeks ago, Intel teased that “something big” is happening on September 2nd. Now, thanks to the event calendar on the company’s own investor relations site (and eagle-eyed Twitter user @SteakisGood for spotting it), we have confirmation that this is when Intel plans to talk more about its 10nm 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs, the ones featuring its anticipated Xe graphics. Acer has already promised machines that feature the new processor, so perhaps we’ll hear more about OEM support. Mark your calendar. Intel has already marked its own (and forgot to hide it) Another notable date on the calendar is even sooner. Next week, on August 13th, Intel is hosting an event called “Updates from our Chief Architect, Raja Koduri.” We suspect the company will be providing more details about its first discrete GPU, the DG1, which it announced back at CES 2020. Intel didn’t have much to share at CES about when we can expect to see the DG1 arrive in devices, but apparently this could now happen very soon. Intel’s own website leaks Tiger Lake CPU event happening in early September
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