Previewed at WWDC, launching in the fall.
To give us a better look at the new third-generation butterfly keyboard included in the new 2018 machines and how it works, iFixit has done a much deeper dive, exposing the keyboard to debris to test it out.
iFixit exposed the keyboard to a powdered paint additive that glows, allowing the site to track where and how dust accumulates. On the 2018 MacBook Pro keyboard, the dust settled at the edges of the membrane, leaving the butterfly mechanism of the keys protected. The same test was performed on the 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard, demonstrating less protection.
Lo and behold, the dust is safely sequestered at the edges of the membrane, leaving the mechanism fairly sheltered. The holes in the membrane allow the keycap clips to pass through, but are covered by the cap itself, blocking dust ingress. The previous-gen butterfly keys are far less protected, and are almost immediately flooded with our glowing granules.With a combination of a lot of dust and aggressive typing, the dust did penetrate the membrane-covered key clips, hitting the top of the switch, suggesting that there's still a small potential for failure. iFixit was indeed able to cause the keyboard to fail by adding "a few poorly placed particles" of sand.
While the silicone membrane does not appear to be impenetrable, and there's no way to tell how the barrier will hold up over time as iFixit points out, it's still more protection than offered in earlier versions of the butterfly keyboard.
Following the dust test, iFixit did a more extensive teardown of the new keyboard, tearing it apart layer by layer. After a grueling experience pulling it apart, which explains why Apple has to replace the entire top case when installing a new keyboard, iFixit found that the silicone barrier is a single die-cut and molded sheet.
The keycaps on the keyboard have also been slightly redesigned, measuring in at 1.25mm thickness compared to 1.5mm thickness in the 2017 MacBook Pro, which iFixit suggests is to give the keys room to travel with the addition of the membrane.
The spacebar has been redesigned, with a keycap that easily separates from the butterfly mechanism, a departure from earlier models where the spacebar was more difficult to remove. All of the keys, spacebar included, were easier to remove and harder to ruin, in iFixit's testing.
Apple has not publicly confirmed that the new third-generation butterfly keyboard was introduced to enhance reliability and to cut down on the the key failures that were seen in 2016 and 2017 machines, though the company has informed Apple Authorized Service Providers that this is the case.
Instead, in its 2018 MacBook Pro marketing materials, Apple claims the new silicone barrier was added to introduce a quieter typing experience, an issue that few people seem to have had with the original keyboards.
Apple first announced the new flagship store in December, set to be built at Federation Square, a shopping center, public square, and mixed-used space in the heart of Melbourne.
The construction of the new store calls for the demolition of the well-known Yarra building, which has infuriated Melbourne residents and led to major protests suggesting the public space should not be given over to a corporation.
Melbourne's City Council in February backed a motion to lobby for a new store design due to both the backlash and the dissatisfaction with Apple's planned store design, which has been described as a "Pizza Hut pagoda."
The new design plan, created following a series of design workshops that included Federation Square Management, the Victorian Government, the Melbourne City Council, and Apple, features a building with a simpler, more streamlined look that better fits in with the Federation Square aesthetic.
The pagoda-style roof has been abandoned in favor of a flatter design that will house solar panels. The design offers 500 square meters of new public space, more outdoor shading, a better connection to the Yarra river, and plans for cultural events.
Apple's revamped design is part of a "broader reimagining" of Federation Square, which includes the new Digital Facade on the Transport Building and the new Melbourne Metro Train Station entrance.
According to Federation Square CEO Jonathan Tribe, the new store design is "consistent with Federations Square's Civic and Cultural Charter, which recognises Melbourne's pre-eminence as a centre for creativity and innovation." The Federation Square leadership expects the Apple Store to boost visitor numbers, bringing an additional two million people to Federation Square each year.
Current plans continue to call for the destruction of the Yarra building, so it's not clear if Melbourne residents will be satisfied with Apple's planned changes. At the very least, the new design is less intrusive, which could win acceptance from protestors.
Apple Confirms 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Has 'Membrane' to 'Prevent Debris From Entering the Butterfly Mechanism'
The relevant excerpt from Canadian and European versions of Apple's internal 2018 MacBook Pro Service Readiness Guide:
Keyboard and KeycapsWhile the U.S. version of this Service Readiness Guide does not mention the membrane, it contains a link to a separate internal document titled "Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018)" that does:
The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping.
Caution: The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism. Be careful not to tear the membrane. A torn membrane will result in a top case replacement.In its teardown of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar last week, the repair experts at iFixit were first to discover the thin, silicone barrier underneath the keycaps, and theorized that it was to prevent dust indeed. Apple filed a patent for a contaminant-resistant MacBook keyboard back in 2016.
Publicly, Apple has only confirmed that 2018 MacBook Pro models feature an "improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing," but many suspected that the silicon membrane was actually to prevent "contaminant ingress," fancy speak for the crumbs from your sandwich that you ate at your desk for lunch.
Following years of anecdotal complaints from customers, and a few class action lawsuits, Apple initiated a worldwide service program last month, offering free repairs of 2015-and-later MacBook and 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro keyboards, which are equipped with low-profile butterfly switch mechanisms.
We've already reported about the service program in more detail, but the gist is that those particular MacBook and MacBook Pro models can experience issues with sticky, unresponsive, or inconsistently functioning keys when small particles like dust or crumbs get stuck underneath the shallower keycaps.
Apple confirmed to MacRumors that third-generation keyboards will not be offered as replacements under its service program for 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro second-generation keyboard repairs, likely due to a tweaked top case design.
We've reached out to Apple for comment.
2018 models ship with Intel's eighth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, which both support up to 16 PCI Express lanes, providing enough bandwidth for maximum data transfer speeds up to 40Gb/s on all four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
2016 and 2017 models of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar could be configured with sixth- and seventh-generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, which supported up to 12 PCI Express lanes, limiting full speeds to the two left-side Thunderbolt 3 ports, with reduced bandwidth on the right-side ports.
Now, users have the freedom to plug higher-performance peripherals into any Thunderbolt 3 port they desire without compromise.
All three generations of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar have always had four full-speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys has only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, both full speed.
Gruber created Siri alongside Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, releasing the original Siri as an app on the iOS App Store in 2010. Apple acquired Siri two months later, and Cheyer, Kittlaus, and Gruber all joined the company at that time.
Kittlaus left Apple in 2011 and Cheyer left in 2012, and the duo teamed up again to create Viv, a new artificial intelligence project that was acquired by Samsung in 2016. Samsung used Viv to create Bixby, its current AI assistant platform.
Gruber stayed on at Apple for several years after the other two Siri co-founders departed, but with his retirement, none of the original Siri creators are left at Apple.
Apple's Siri team is going through a leadership change at the moment with the May hiring of John Giannandrea, former head of Google's search and artificial intelligence unit.
Apple just last week updated its leadership page to add Giannandrea, who is now serving as Apple's chief of machine learning and AI strategy. Giannandrea is leading Apple's AI and machine learning teams, and Apple has combined its Core ML and Siri teams under him.
Prior to Giannandrea's hiring, Siri development was overseen by software engineering chief Craig Federighi, who took over from Eddy Cue in 2017. Apple has been facing increasing criticism over Siri's capabilities compared to other AI-based personal assistants in recent years, with many suggesting Siri has serious shortcomings compared to options from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.
Apple in iOS 12 introduced major improvements to Siri through a new Siri Shortcuts feature that's coming in iOS 12, which is designed to let users create multi-step tasks using both first and third-party apps that can be activated through Siri.
Along with Gruber, Apple's head of search, Vipul Ved Prakash, has also left the company, according to The Information. Prakash joined Apple when his company, Topsy, was acquired in 2013. His search team was also within the Siri group.
We picked up one of the new Blackmagic eGPUs to check out its design and the performance that it offers when paired with one of Apple's Macs.
The Blackmagic eGPU is equipped with a Radeon Pro 580 GPU, which was first introduced by AMD in June 2017. It features 8GB VRAM, and it is the same graphics card used in the high-end 2017 iMac.
You can connect the Blackmagic eGPU to any Mac that includes support for Thunderbolt 3, which includes the 2016 and later MacBook Pro models and iMac models produced in 2017.
Design wise, the Blackmagic eGPU features a futuristic looking aluminum enclosure that fits well on a desktop. A thermal grille allows for efficient heat dissipation, letting the included fan run lower, so it's as quiet as 18db.
It includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, 4 USB 3.1 ports for connecting accessories, an HDMI port, and 85W of power delivery, so it can also power a MacBook Pro when connected. It is the first eGPU that offers support for the LG UltraFine 5K display.
Unfortunately, the Blackmagic eGPU is not upgradeable, so you're not going to be able to swap out the included graphics card for an upgraded version in the future, which is one of the major downsides to the accessory.
Compared to the graphics cards available in the 2016 and later MacBook Pro models, the Blackmagic eGPU offers much faster performance for tasks like gaming, VR experiences, and graphics-intensive creative work like video editing, 3D graphics work, and more.
In Apple's testing, the Blackmagic eGPU was twice as fast at many tasks as the GPU in the 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro, and 6 to 7 times faster than the built-in GPU in the 13-inch 2018 MacBook Pro. In our own testing with a 15-inch MacBook Pro from 2016, the Blackmagic eGPU offered impressive speeds in OpenCL and Metal tests.
The Blackmagic eGPU is available exclusively from Apple for $699. There appears to be a bit of a backlog, and orders placed today won't deliver until August 9 at the earliest.
What do you think of the Blackmagic eGPU? Do you plan on buying one? Let us know in the comments.
Corning Debuts Gorilla Glass 6 With 'Unprecedented' Multi-Drop Protection That Could Be Used in Future iPhones
According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 6 is its most durable cover glass to date, made of a new material that's been engineered to stand up to more than one drop. The average person drops their smartphone seven times a year, making multi-drop durability a key feature Corning wanted to improve.
Devices using Gorilla Glass 6 were able to withstand 15 drops from one meter onto rough surfaces, which is up to two times better than Gorilla Glass 5, which Corning has been offering to its partners since 2016. Competitive glass compositions like soda lime and aluminosilicate, did not survive the first drop, says Corning.
"Gorilla Glass 6 is an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5. This enables Gorilla Glass 6 to be more resistant to damage," said Dr. Jaymin Amin, vice president of technology and product development, Corning Gorilla Glass and Corning Specialty Materials. "Moreover, with breaks during drops being a probabilistic event, the added compression helps increase, on average, the likelihood of survival through multiple drop events."The higher durability of Corning's new Gorilla Glass product was engineered with all-glass smartphone designs in mind, like the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus, offering optical clarity, touch sensitivity, scratch resistance, efficient wireless charging, and enhanced durability.
Gorilla Glass 6 is likely to make its way into future iPhones, and could even perhaps be included in the 2018 iPhone lineup, depending on when Corning provided details on the new product to Apple.
Corning has been a longtime Apple supplier, with Gorilla Glass used in devices across Apple's product lineup. In May of 2017, Corning even became the first benefactor of Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund, receiving $200 million for research and development and new glass processing equipment.
Corning says its Gorilla Glass 6 is being evaluated "by multiple customers" and the first smartphones and devices using Gorilla Glass 6 are expected to reach the market in the next several months.
Beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program will receive the iOS 12 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.
Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple's beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas. Before installing a beta, make sure to create a full encrypted iTunes backup or an iCloud backup and be sure to install iOS 12 on a secondary device because beta software is not always stable and can include bugs.
The new iOS 12 beta in particular introduces new issues with Screen Time, the App Store, and Siri Shortcuts, according to Apple's release notes for the developer beta. Apps in the App Store might fail to download properly the first time, Screen Time data might not sync between devices, and Siri Shortcuts might not work properly on CarPlay and HomePod, as well as if a device is locked. The cellular status bar on the iPhone X can also be inaccurate.
iOS 12 brings Group FaceTime, local multiplayer shared AR experiences, new Animoji, and a Memoji feature that's designed to let you create a personalized Animoji that looks just like you.
Animoji, stickers, text, and more can be used in FaceTime and the Messages app, and there's a new Screen Time feature to help customers understand and manage the amount of time they're spending on their iOS devices. There are options to limit app time and Screen Time also includes comprehensive parental control tools.
New Do Not Disturb features make it easier to manage notifications, as do interactive notification options and notification grouping.
Siri has been improved in iOS 12 with Siri Shortcuts for creating time-saving automations, and Siri is also smarter and able to provide info on motorsports, food, and celebrities. Later in the year, Apple will launch a Shortcuts app so you can create your own shortcuts.
Under-the-hood improvements to iOS 12 will make everyday tasks on the iPhone and iPad faster and more responsive, with the camera launching up to 70 percent faster and the keyboard showing up to 50 percent faster.
iOS 12 also includes a rebuilt Maps app with a new Apple-designed Maps engine that's available in the San Francisco Bay Area at the current time. While limited to the San Francisco area at this time, the features will roll out to Northern California in the fall before expanding to additional locations across the United States in late 2018 and 2019.
The revamped Maps app displays foliage, pools, buildings, pedestrian pathways, and other map elements more accurately, and it brings improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, construction, and more.
iOS 12 will be available to developers and public beta testers as a beta for the next two months to allow Apple to work out bugs and other issues ahead of a fall launch alongside new iPhones.
Update: In the third public beta (and fourth developer beta) the new Apple Maps app is now available for all of Northern California.
Faster 18W USB-C Charger Expected to Be Bundled With 2018 iPhones Might Not Be Sold Separately Initially
Japanese blog Mac Otakara reports that Apple's suppliers are likely only able to manufacture enough chargers for inclusion with 2018 iPhones, suggesting that Apple may hold off on selling them as a standalone accessory until some point after the smartphones launch, although exactly when remains to be seen.
Earlier this month, photos of an alleged prototype of the new power adapter surfaced, revealing its slightly bulkier, rounder shaped plastic casing compared to the current 5W power adapter. The design in the photos is mostly consistent with CAD drawings and renders of the adapter that surfaced earlier this year.
The charger would connect to iPhones with a USB-C to Lightning cable, also expected to be included in the box. At 18W, it would be able to charge compatible iPhones at least twice as fast as the 5W adapter.
MacRumors tested the iPhone X with various third-party 18W wired chargers last year, for example, and found that the device reached a 79 percent charge after one hour. With a 5W charger, the iPhone X only reached a 39 percent charge in that time. We explained our methodology in detail in that article.
Apple sells its 5W power adapter, which has a USB-A port, for $19 as a standalone product in the United States.
True Tone automatically adjusts the white balance of the MacBook Pro display to match the color temperature of the light around you, which, as Apple says, provides a more natural viewing experience. The feature is similar to Night Shift, but more dynamic, continuously adapting to the surrounding environment.
If you are standing in a dimly lit room with incandescent light bulbs, for example, the display would appear warmer and yellower. If you are standing outside on a cloudy day, the display would appear cooler and bluer.
We've received many questions about how True Tone is enabled on the new MacBook Pro, and we've sought out some answers from Apple.
Apple says the new MacBook Pro has a multi-channel ambient light sensor, next to the FaceTime HD camera, that can assess brightness as well as color temperature, adding that the display should be open to enable that functionality. Apple added that True Tone does not use the FaceTime HD camera for its operation.
Apple says the ambient light sensor in previous-generation MacBook Pro models can only assess brightness, suggesting that True Tone is not a feature that can be enabled on older machines through a future software update.
The information also suggests that True Tone will only work on the LG UltraFine 4K, LG UltraFine 5K, and Thunderbolt Display when the display on a connected MacBook Pro is open, rather than in closed-display aka clamshell mode. Apple did not directly confirm this, though, so we'll be testing to see.
True Tone can help reduce eye strain, so it's a feature worth considering if you purchase the new MacBook Pro. It can be enabled or disabled in System Preferences under Displays, alongside options for Night Shift and auto-brightness.
True Tone can also be enabled on the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, 9.7-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the 2017 model 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Update: As we suspected, True Tone does not work on external displays when the connected MacBook Pro is in clamshell mode.
Eric Slivka contributed to this report.
In a notice distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, however, Apple says it "incorrectly classified" the notebook as vintage or obsolete on June 30, and revised the date to December 31, 2018.
The full-length internal document, obtained from multiple sources:
In a Service News article published in May 2018, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) was incorrectly classified as vintage in the state of California (U.S.) and country of Turkey and obsolete worldwide (except for California and Turkey) on June 30, 2018.Apple has yet to remove the notebook from its public-facing vintage and obsolete products list, as shown below.
Please note that the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) will not become vintage in California (U.S.) and Turkey and obsolete in all other countries until the end of December 2018.
Apple apologizes for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Apple considers a product to be vintage or obsolete, depending on the region, when at least five years have passed since the product was last manufactured. When this happens, Apple and Apple Authorized Service Providers stop offering hardware service, like repairs, except in California and Turkey by law.
All in all, if you're still using this particular MacBook Pro, it turns out you still have a little under six months of hardware support remaining from the Genius Bar and certified repair shops. So, if you've been looking to get that battery replaced, or otherwise, it would be best to do so sooner rather than later.
Beyond that date, you're on your own. Fortunately, the repair experts at iFixit offer many do-it-yourself guides and replacement parts.
In the video, a customer at the "Ingenius" bar that resembles an Apple Store asks about the iPhone X's download speeds compared to the Galaxy S9's speeds, leaving the Apple retail employee unable to respond.
Customer: So the iPhone X doesn't have the fastest download speeds.
Genius: It is faster than the iPhone 8.
Customer: But the download speeds aren't faster than the Galaxy S9. I thought it was the "smartphone of the future."
Samsung's new video, and its Galaxy S9 website, are touting its LTE performance scores on Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence Data from February to April 2018. Ookla, for those unfamiliar, uses real-world user-submitted speed test results and aggregates LTE speeds from a variety of devices.
In Ookla's spring speed tests, the Galaxy S9, which is equipped with Qualcomm's X20 LTE chip, was 37 percent faster than the iPhone X and 43 percent faster than the iPhone 8, on average.
The iPhone X is equipped with either Qualcomm's Snapdragon X16 or Intel's XMM7480 LTE chip, depending on model, which does indeed have lower theoretical maximum download speeds than the X20. While the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are faster than the current iPhones when it comes to download speeds, rumors suggest Apple is making improvements with its 2018 iPhone lineup.
Apple is planning to introduce improved antenna technology for faster connection speeds, along with dual-SIM dual standby functionality. Apple's new iPhones may use Intel's XMM 7560 and Qualcomm's X20 chips, both of which are faster than the LTE chips in the current iPhone X.