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Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 30 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals

Category: Mac & macOS

Glenn Fleishman 8 comments

Emulation, Virtualization, and Rosetta 2: A Blend of Old, New, and Yet To Come

Rosetta 2 for Apple silicon Macs is the latest in a line of emulators and virtual machines that Apple has released to provide continuity across hardware and operating system transitions. What’s next to come? A full Intel chip emulator for Apple’s M-series ARM chips? We’ll see.

Glenn Fleishman 44 comments

An External SSD Gave My iMac a New Lease on Life

Prices for SSDs and Thunderbolt 3 enclosures have plummeted, so Glenn Fleishman finally bit the bullet to upgrade the storage for his lagging 2017 iMac. Doing so probably extended the useful lifespan of his iMac by years.

Josh Centers 34 comments

Mac OS X at 20: The OS That Changed Everything

Mac OS X is now 20 years old, and the operating system that once seemed like it was from 20 years in the future is more relevant now than ever before.

Josh Centers 4 comments

Class-Action Lawsuit: Apple Knew Butterfly Keyboards Were Faulty

A seven-state class-action lawsuit against Apple over faulty butterfly keyboards cites an unnamed executive who likened the keyboard revisions to putting lipstick on a pig.

Adam Engst 86 comments

Is It Safe to Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur?

Should you upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur from a previous version of macOS? Only you can answer that question for sure, but Adam Engst has upgraded his primary Mac with no significant problems. Our recommendation is that it should now be safe to upgrade, though you might want to wait for macOS 11.3, due soon.

Josh Centers 18 comments

iOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4.1, macOS 11.2.3 Big Sur, and watchOS 7.3.2 Address WebKit Security Vulnerability

Apple has updated most of its major operating systems to address what would seem to be a severe WebKit vulnerability.

Josh Centers 5 comments

Apple Discontinues the iMac Pro

Just over three years since its introduction, Apple has quietly discontinued the iMac Pro. You can buy one while supplies last, but the performance of Apple silicon makes that a questionable investment.

Adam Engst 10 comments

Are Cheap MagSafe-Like Adapters for USB-C Worthwhile?

Adam Engst loves his M1-based MacBook Air but is missing the stellar user experience of the old MagSafe charging technology from his old 2012 MacBook Air. He found a cheap magnetic charging solution from various Chinese manufacturers. 

Adam Engst 48 comments

macOS 11.2.2 Protects MacBook Pro and MacBook Air from Non-Compliant USB-C Hubs and Docks

Some third-party, non-compliant, powered USB-C hubs and docks are bricking recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models. Apple has updated Big Sur to prevent the problem; the question is if Macs running Catalina or Mojave might still be at risk.

Josh Centers 36 comments

New Model M Is an American-Made Keyboard That Puts a Spring Back in Your Typing

The classic IBM Model M keyboard has been reborn in Kentucky, and you can even get one that’s customized for the Mac.

Adam Engst 28 comments

Ensure Sufficient Free Space before Upgrading to Big Sur

If you initiate an upgrade to Big Sur from a previous version of macOS but don’t have sufficient free space—at least 35.5 GB—you could end up in a Boot Recovery Assistant loop that can be exceedingly difficult to escape. Never update macOS without enough space or a current backup!

Josh Centers 5 comments

Apple Replacing Some Batteries in 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro Models

If your 2016 or 2017 MacBook Pro won’t charge past 1%, Apple will replace the battery for free, and the company recommends installing macOS 11.2.1 Big Sur or macOS Catalina 10.15.7 Supplemental Update to prevent it from happening to other devices.

Adam Engst 3 comments

macOS 11.2.1 Big Sur Fixes MacBook Pro Charging Bug and sudo Vulnerability

Apple has updated macOS 11 Big Sur to fix a single bug and block three security vulnerabilities. It’s not an urgent install for most people.

Josh Centers 36 comments

macOS 11.2 Big Sur Improves Bluetooth, Squashes Bugs

Apple has released macOS 11.2 Big Sur to stamp out a handful of miscellaneous bugs and close numerous security holes.

Josh Centers 8 comments

Why Are Webcams So Lousy?

Why does the image quality from computer webcams compare so poorly to even the front-facing cameras on old iPhones? Jeff Carlson explores the economics of webcams and points out all the ways they’re bad.