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October 19, 2021

☕ Good morning! Paula here again, but Nick's back at the helm tomorrow. Our neighbor just got a puppy, so I think I know what I'm doing with the rest of Tuesday!

Apple's new MacBook Pro kicks things up a notch
MacBook Pro 2021 Specs and Features

Apple’s Unleashed event yesterday launched a new redesigned MacBook Pro, two new chips, the AirPods 3, and a couple of extra surprises.

  • Rumors and leaks were mostly on point: We saw the new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros, with more ports, a row of full-height function keys, and significantly reduced borders…
  • And that notch made an appearance, housing the new webcam with 1080p resolution, a wider aperture, and a larger image sensor.
  • Apple also added ProMotion to the MacBook Pro, with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate depending on what you’re doing.
  • There’s also MagSafe 3 charging with fast charging up to 50% in 30 minutes.
  • Both models are available with a choice of the latest M1 Pro or M1 Max chips — more on those in a moment — and up to 64GB of RAM.
  • Pricing for the 14″ MacBook Pro starts at $1,999, while the 16″ Pro starts from $2,499, available to order now with shipping October 25.

Missed the event? Catch-up with the MacBook Pro specs and all the other announcements.

Apple M1 Max Specs and Features

What else was new?

We also saw two new chips: the M1 Pro and M1 Max. 

  • In a nutshell, the Pro is faster than last year’s M1 chip, and the Max is, well, faster than the Pro.
  • Essentially, the M1 Pro has a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU, with support for up to 32GB of RAM, while the M1 Max has the same 10-c0re CPU but a 32-core GPU and support for up to 64GB of RAM.

And Apple fulfilled our expectations with the Airpods 3 too:

AirPods 3
  • The 3rd-gen AirPods look like the AirPods Pro with improved sound quality, adaptive EQ, and support for spatial audio.
  • They’re available to order now for $179.
  • But the kicker here is they’re sweat and water-resistant, so you can finally take them to the gym or on your run without worrying.
  • There’s also a new MagSafe charging case, which makes sense.

Meanwhile, the HomePod Mini got some new colors: The orange one is a standout.


📱 It’s Pixel 6 launch day at 1PM ET: We’ve already seen the first retail unboxing and leaked prices, now all that’s left to do is wait… (Android Authority).

📦 Google aims to double smartphone output with new Pixel 6: It’s asked suppliers to produce over seven million units (Nikkei Asia).

🔋 Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Part 2 is tomorrow at 10AM ET: Nothing’s confirmed yet, but we’re likely to see new colors or customization options for the Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 (Android Authority).

🍏 A piece of cloth to polish your new Apple devices will cost you $19: Seems a bit much, but maybe if you’re already dropping almost $2,000 on a new MacBook Pro… (The Verge).

🕹️ Valve bans NFTs, Blockchain games on digital distribution service: Steam’s notifying creators it’s kicking Blockchain games from its platform (Axios) while Valve’s “Deck Verified” program evaluates which games are ready for Steam Deck (Ars Technica).

🕸️ Myth, busted: Spider silk might not have antibiotic properties at all: It’s still amazingly tough, but won’t cure what ails you (Ars Technica).

🎮 Sony is testing a PS5 feature that automatically uploads captures to your phone: Only in Canada and Japan, for now, hopefully rolling out to the US and UK soon  (GamesRadar).

🤖 This Raspberry Pi add-on lets you control Lego robots: The Build HAT has four ports to control Lego Education’s Spike components and there’s a Python library too. (The Verge).

🚀 Hear sounds from Mars captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover: The mission’s recorded almost five hours of sounds that make you feel like you’re really there (NASA).

🐎 Horseback riding is more dangerous than football, according to new study: It’s also more dangerous than skiing and auto racing, but you can pretend to be a cowboy, so there’s that (Gizmodo). 

Chart Tuesday

Here’s a look at mobile traffic worldwide in an infographic from Visual Capitalist that’s pretty interesting:

  • Video’s driving global internet traffic, accounting for 49% of total mobile downstream traffic worldwide.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter make up just 19% of mobile downstream traffic.
  • Marketplace apps like Google Play and iTunes account for just 6.3% of total mobile downstream traffic.

You can see the full version of the infographic and more details over at Visual Capitalist.

Have a great week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor

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