Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, April 24. 

1. Apple dropping Intel by 2021: Bloomberg

15 inch Macbook Pro product shot

Bloomberg reports Apple will be aiming to offer its MacBook range with its own ARM-based chips starting in 2021. That leaves Intel out in the cold, in theory, but this has been talked about since the start of the last decade, and we last reported on it in February this year.

Now, though, more specific details have emerged that paints a picture of a 2021 debut for Apple-made chips in all of its iOS and MacBook products.

Key new details of the codenamed ‘Kalamata project’ from the report: 

  • Mac processors will be based on the A14 in the next iPhone, but with likely more cores (moving from four in an iPad Pro to eight performance cores and four energy-efficient cores, for 12 total CPU cores in the Mac).
  • They’ll be made with TSMC’s 5nm production technique.
  • Macs will still run the macOS operating system, rather than the iOS software of the iPhone and iPad.
  • A unified chip design will cause short-term problems as Apple needs to reconfigure hardware and software from Intel’s x86 processors. Essentially, software not specifically made for the new hardware won’t work, unless Apple works on emulation
  • Bloomberg writes: “Apple is exploring tools that will ensure apps developed for older Intel-based Macs still work on the new machines.”
  • But supporting developers who will need grapple with new processor architecture for Mac software is going to be hugely important to making the Apple ecosystem better than anywhere else. Bootcamp does a great job of that for now, for MacBook owners.
  • Apple first partnered with Intel in 2005, having finally moved on from Apple-IBM-Motorola alliance PowerPC chip design.
  • My Twitter feed went from “wake me up when it happens” to “oh, it seems this is serious now.”
  • It’s going to happen. But 2021? Who knows.
  • And I don’t know when we can stop bringing this up, but Bloomberg’s tech reporting is still weirdly damaged by The Big Hack report from October, 2018, which remains vehemently denied, refuted, and by all and sundry, but Bloomberg has been silent ever since: it’s still live today, with no corrections or retractions.
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook directly said that the story was “100 percent a lie” which is …strong. You just never see that kind of thing.

2. Android 11 Developer Preview 3 is out now, likely the last developer-only release before wider betas start, maybe on May 12, the previous date of Google I/O? Big new features: auto revoke permissions for apps you haven’t used in a while, remove persistent notifications, better app menus, resize picture-in-picture windows, take easier screenshots, and lots of developer under-the-hood updates (Android Authority).


3. The LG Velvet is launching on May 7  (Android Authority).


4. Good news: The FCC voted to free up 1,200MHz of additional bandwidth which gives rise to 6GHz Wi-Fi, or next-gen Wi-Fi 6E products (CNET).


5. AmazonBasics are Amazon-branded products that tend to focus closely on popular items being bought on Amazon Marketplace, which is not its store but its platform. They’ve been uncannily targeted, and often are useful, cheaper options that leave competitors struggling on price and prominence on Amazon.com. It’s fine to offer private-label products, as most big stores do to an extent.

But Amazon’s potential advantage is having access to third-party seller data, thereby understanding product popularity to an extent other retailers never would. Amazon executives, though, told Congress it doesn’t use data it collects on third-party brands. New Wall Street Journal reporting, though, indicates otherwise: “Yet interviews with more than 20 former employees of Amazon’s private-label business and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal reveal that employees did just that.” Messy (WSJ).


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