Macworld January 2020

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United States
12 Issues

in this issue

6 min
why the 16-inch macbook pro is a repudiation of the ‘ive doctrine’

It’s not the first and it won’t be the last, but the recent announcement of the 16-inch MacBook Pro (see page 74) is probably the clearest sign thus far that Apple has changed its priorities when it comes to the Mac. It’s a process that’s been visible in public for a couple of years now, and it’s not quite done—but here in the latter half of 2019, we’re getting our clearest look at a company that got out of sync with some of its most important customers and has realized it needs to change some of its assumptions about product design. TWEAKING JOBS’S LAW Apple is clearly guided, at least in part, by a design philosophy that considers size and weight to be the enemy of good. I like to call this Jobs’s…

4 min
the new macbook pro is nice, but it’s missing a few things i still want

Apple finally took the wraps off the long-rumored 16-inch MacBook Pro (see page 74), and it ushered in a new era for the highest-end Mac notebook you can buy. Most notably, it brings a much-needed change to the keyboard, eschewing the maligned butterfly mechanism for more traditional scissor keys that should be quieter and more reliable than recent models. But along with a bigger screen, better speakers, and more battery, the new MacBook Pro still feels like an iterative update rather than a transformative one. Yes, it introduces a new screen size for the first time in years and retires a model that’s been in existence for more than a decade, but aside from some extra pixels, the new notebook doesn’t really break the mold or offer much in the way…

6 min
tim cook: bullish on china and apple’s holiday prospects

I’ve been covering Apple’s quarterly financial results—including the obligatory conference call between Apple executives and Wall Street analysts—for years now. And yet I never mention Apple’s head of investor relations, Nancy Paxton, who appears on every call to warn of forward-looking statements and introduce the analysts. Paxton is retiring in December and this was her 93rd and final earnings call, and if anything deserves applause, it’s sitting through 93 of these things. But I keep listening, because amid the scripted declarations about how great Apple’s latest quarter was—this one was Apple’s best fiscal fourth quarter ever—Apple’s executives will give you a few tidbits about how they view their business that’s just not available anywhere else. Here’s what we learned this quarter. HOLIDAY QUARTER, DREAM OR DISASTER? A record for Apple’s fourth fiscal quarter…

6 min
tech lessons from 72 hours without electricity

In late October, my house lost power and internet for three days, part of a larger story involving nearby fires and poorly maintained electrical infrastructure in California. Over those 72 hours and the ones that directly preceded and followed them, I spent a lot of time thinking about how best to deal with technology when faced with a blackout. Here’s what I learned. BACKUP BATTERIES ARE ESSENTIAL If you don’t own any backup batteries to charge your devices, get some. They’re useful when traveling—I always bring at least one with me fully charged when I go on a trip, so I don’t end up in an unfamiliar city without a fully functional iPhone. I have two 10,000 mAh batteries with two USB ports, capable of charging an iPhone several times. Just in case…

3 min
roxio toast 18 pro: lacks a compelling reason to upgrade from version 17

Although we live in a world dominated by streaming media, many consumers still prefer the old-school charm of optical discs for archiving cherished memories. Whether it’s a wedding video, family vacation, or other life event, it can be handy to create a Blu-ray Disc or DVD you can stash on a shelf or hand off to friends and loved ones. BURNT TOAST When it comes to burning optical discs, Roxio has catered to Mac users longer than most anyone else. It’s a tradition that continues—for better or worse—with the release of Toast 18. Available in standard ($100) or Pro ($150) editions, the core Toast Titanium app has remained largely unchanged in recent years, aside from much-needed 64-bit compatibility and dark mode support. Unless you don’t own the previous version and have money to…

3 min
netnewswire 5: venerable mac rss news reader goes back to basics

I’ve been an ardent fan of RSS news readers for a long time, but lately find it easier to consume information on Twitter in bite-sized chunks; you can browse headlines in near real-time, clicking links to read full articles of interest from a web browser. A well-designed reader app does the same, but once you add an avalanche of feeds, it becomes time-consuming to slog through the digital noise every day. When I heard Mac reader app NetNewsWire had been resurrected by the original developer, it felt like a good time to dust off my feeds and give RSS another shot. COMING HOME NetNewsWire 5 is the latest incarnation of an application dating back to 2002, when developer Brent Simmons unveiled what would soon become one of the most popular Mac news readers.…