Which MacBook to Buy?

which macbook to buy

Knowing which macbook to buy isn’t easy so let me give you some pointers to help you in the decision process. Bying a new Mac is for most people a big investment and getting the right computer for your use is essential.

What you need to think about is your usage. Do you travel a lot and need something that weighs little? Maybe you prefer using laptops but don’t need it to be light and easy to carry?

You also need to think about form factor versus performance. If you want something small and light you have to realise that the performance is generally lower on smaller lighter machines.

macbook logic board

When a MacBook logic board is so small that it fits in the palm of your hand, it is obvious that they need to use lower performing components to fit all of that in a small space. Some compromises always have to be made.

The list below sorts the different MacBooks by performance only, the slowest on top and fastest on bottom. Use it as a rule of thumb when deciding which macbook to buy. Exceptions to a list like this always exist.

  • 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display
  • MacBook Air
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Many of the models above can be configured with faster processors, more RAM and more storage. Your budget is the deciding factor here.

So that means if you want the highest performing MacBook the 15-inch MacBook Pro with retina display is a good choice. If you need more portability but still something that performs good the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is a great choice.

If portability is extremely important for you but not performance, take a look at the 12-inch MacBook or the MacBook Air.

How much performance do I need?

If you do standard office work any of these computers will be able to handle it without any issues. With standard office work I mean things like reading e-mail, surfing the web, spreadsheets. Listening to music, streaming a video, communication. These tasks are not demanding. Computers have come to a point now where basically any computer is able to do tasks like this.

When we begin talking about image editing, video editing, music production and gaming you will benefit from more performance. Because those tasks demand more from the computer compared to office work. That doesn’t mean slower performing Macs won’t be able to handle stuff like that, it just means it may be a bit slower in doing so.

When you are deciding which macbook to buy, take what I have said above into consideration before you spend hard earned money. Make sure to select the right amount of RAM, storage and CPU when you order because that is more or less impossible to upgrade later on todays Macs.

Clear (Allegedly) Photo of iPhone 7 Enclosure

I dont usually post rumours around here and especially not “leaks” with blurry pictures. But this one from the site Nowhereelse.fr caught my attention. Apparently they have a clear image of the allegedly yet to be released iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 Back

Image Copyright: http://www.nowhereelse.fr

Notable changes compared to 6 / 6S is a larger cutout for the camera. Increased sensor size maybe? Also the white rubber antenna bands have changed slightly.

We are not seeing the charge plug, but I suspect they have removed the audio jack as many other sites have talked about.

With all rumours, take it with a huge bucket of salt.

Are you going to upgrade to iPhone 7?

macOS Sierra Unveiled with Release Date. Beta Now Available!

 

 

macOS Sierra

At the world wide developers conference Apple today unvailed macOS Sierra. They are getting rid of the X to provide a more coherent naming scheme of their software along all different platforms.

A lot of new features are introduced as always. The ones who grabbed my attention was the following:

  • Siri integrated in macOS
  • Auto unlock your mac with Apple Watch
  • Copy paste from Mac to iOS device and vice versa.
  • Optimized storage (store files not used automatically in iCloud)
  • Desktop and documents folder in iCloud, access them everywhere.

iMessage got new emojis and effects. Not really interesting for me but I suppose it will be a big hit. Apple Music was updated with a new redesign. Interface updates like tabs, picture-in picture.

macOS Sierra Release Date

If you register as an developer you can download the developer preview today if you want. Mind you that this is a preview and things most probably will break. Dont use it on a production system.

With that said you can sign up to the Apple Beta Software Program where you will be able to enroll your device in the beta program. This is free of charge by the way. Feel free to sign up if you want to test-drive macOS Sierra.

The finished release will be fall this year.

The System Requirements

To run this system you need the following hardware.

  • MacBook – Late 2009 and later
  • iMac – Late 2009 and later
  • MacBook Air – 2010 and later
  • MacBook Pro – 2010 and later
  • Mac Mini – 2010 and later
  • Mac Pro – 2010 and later

What do you think about this? Share your thoughs in the comments.

5 Ways to Fix MacBook Overheating

MacBook overheating is often caused by software that stops responding. Its easy to check and fix by yourself. This is how you do it:

1. Activity Monitor

macbook overheating

Activity monitor is found in your Applications/Utilities folder. (Or just search for it with spotlight). When you open this app you should see something resembling the window you see above.

Now click on where it says: %CPU to sort the list. You should now see the name of the process that are using up your computers resources. If you want, click on that process and force quit it.

But wait!

Maybe the computer actually have a reason for working hard? Make sure you dont just kill a process that are doing something important. If you dont know what the process does, just do a quick Google search of the process name and you will find out what it is before you kill it off.

Maybe you imported a lot of pictures from your vacation into Photos from your DSLR camera? Even though it seems like everything is imported, photos may do some background work on its own. This is true for other apps as well.

2. Clean and check for malware

As I said above. Macbook overheating is mostly caused by software. Try to keep your computer in shape and dont click on everything you see on the Internet without a critical eye. Make sure to check my other articles on 9 Ways To Free Up Space And Clean Macs and Slow Mac Performance? 12 Great Tips!. I have a lot of suggestions of both paid and free software you can use to try combat this issue. See tip Nr. 9 in the Slow Mac article, specifically the section about SMC reset.

3. Gaming, Video Rendering, Image Processing, Audio Work… it WILL tax the CPU

Maybe you are doing work that demands a lot from your computer. If that is the case maybe the heat it produces is perfectly normal. If you are gaming or doing media work like video rendering or image editing it will most probably make your mac very hot. Especially right under the display above the keyboard. Where the vents are.

Remember that the Apple MacBooks and Pros have a very thin design packing powerful CPUs. The heat has to go somewhere.

4. Macbook overheating due to dust and dirt

Dust in your computer and especially in the fans will make it hotter. You could try removing dust and dirt using a little brush. Compressed air is another option but you have to be very careful with that. It can potentially damage components, and make sure the compressed air doesn’t spit out any water. Liquid damage in your Macbook Pro isn’t fun. I can’t stress this enough, make sure you check that!

Check the vents, on the retina MacBook Pro its located under the display and above the keyboard. In the hinge area. You probably have to tilt the computer a bit towards you to see it.

macbook pro vent

The Retina MacBook Pro also have vents on the underside, they can quickly gather dust and dirt as well. They look like this:

retina macbook pro bottom vent

Be careful when cleaning these areas.

5. Advanced Tip – Reapply thermal compound

thermal compound

This should be an last resort but in some reports re applying the thermal compound have reduced the temperature significantly. Check https://www.ifixit.com for guides on how to open your particular model. They also have all special tools you need for sale, to open certain macs. In most cases you just have to remove the bottom case (thats easy), then remove the heat sink, clean the CPU(s) and heat sink with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) Wipes, apply new thermal paste, slap the bottom case on and you are ready to go.

But, re-applying thermal paste is not something an regular user does. By doing this you will also most certainly void your warranty. Especially if you damage something, and spare parts for Macs are extremely expensive. Its not difficult but some computer hardware experience is good to have.

Hope this little guide helped prevent your MacBook from overheating. 🙂

How To Develop iPhone Apps Using Swift

Developing for the iPhone is fun and rewarding. Apple gives you the complete package you need to be successful for free. The only thing you need to bring is inspiration, dedication, your brain and original good content that will entertain and please users so that they buy your app. Oh, and a Mac of course.

Apple have created a programming language called Swift and they have a fantastic site that more or less hold your hands and show you how to develop iPhone apps. Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift).

To get started you only need to download Xcode, download it using App Store. Search for Xcode. You can also learn the basics of coding with your iPad now using Swift Playgrounds.

So, is iOS development really for you?

We have seen many examples of people creating simple games, simple apps that earns them huge incomes. And these are just regular people, just like you and me. Some of them haven’t turned 18 yet. There is no reason you cant do the same.

As the guy who made flappy bird. Simple game, simple mechanics but it got extremely popular. So popular in fact that the creator actually pulled the game from the store after a while. He didn’t like all the attention and wanted to live a simple life. Think about that for a while.

If you have coding skills, and want to put it to good use, and maybe earn something with it too if you are lucky. Why not code for iOS? If others can do it, you can too! You just have to decide that this WILL work, no matter what. Start out with the guide from Apple as I mentioned above. It will give you a good start.

You dont even need to have an iOS device to begin coding for it, because the software (Xcode) contains emulators that shows you the end result. Of course, its always best to test on real hardware but you can start developing without.

Swift Playgrounds

swift playgrounds

With Swift Playgrounds for the iPad anyone can learn how to code. Apple may hint that this app is for kids but really its not. I remember when I was taking a few coding classes in school many years ago. It was difficult and hard to understand, and I was so lucky to be able to have the opportunity as well. I would love to have access to something like this to help me.

Swift Playgrounds idea is to make coding more accessible and easier to get into with instant visual feedback. I think this is a great way to get involved in tech. Learning one programming language makes it easier to learn another one as well. Where in my view an iPad always have been a device to consume stuff on. Now it can be a device where you create something on. Which is fantastic. I will certainly introduce my kids to this.

Swift playgrounds is a free download when iOS 10 is released.

iPhone App Development on PC (Windows)

Developing apps for iPhone requires a Mac, or lets say Mac OS. As we all know Apple aren’t known for their cheap computers. However you dont need the latest 15″ retina MBP with dedicated GPU and 1TB SSD. Its nice to have, but you can go a long way with an used macbook air, or mac mini while you are learning.

If you really want to use a PC the Hackintosh is an option to explore. tonymacx86 have proven builds you can put together yourself. Tools and guides to get you up and running. This site has been around for years and have a proven and solid track record. Best of all, their tools are free to use.

You can follow this guide from MacBreaker if you want to try instilling Mac OS Virtualbox: How to install OS X Yosemite in Virtualbox with Yosemite Zone.

So get out there and make the next killer iOS app! With the tools mentioned in this post you should be able to. 🙂

9 Ways To Free Up Space And Clean Macs

Here are some suggestions on how to clean Macs hard drive and get some more free space on your mac running OS X.

A full hard drive can be one of many reasons your mac is running slow. Knowing how to find files that take up unneeded space isn’t always easy but there are tools available to help out with this. Both free and paid ones.

However before we get to that lets do some easy and simple tasks first, shall we?

1. Empty the trashcan

When you delete a file on your Mac, it gets placed in the trashcan. This is a security feature if you accidentally delete a file. To really get the file deleted and reclaim the space it took, you need to empty the trashcan. Do so by right-clicking or holding cmd while clicking on the trash can icon. Select “empty trashcan” from the menu that pops up.

empty trash mac

2. Photos have a trashcan as well

If you delete images from Photos they will be placed in an internal trash can in Photos and deleted automatically after a month or so. To delete the files now you need to find “Recently Deleted” in Photos.

If you dont see “Recently Deleted”, you probably have the side-bar turned off. Turn it on by having the Photos application open and press the following keys at the same time: alt cmd S

Find “Recently Deleted” in the sidebar, and click the Delete All button at the top right corner in the Photos app. Easy! Oh, and if you accidentally deleted an image, here is where you can restore it. Consider it a bonus tips.

recently deleted

3. Check the Applications folder

Do you really use all applications? Take a look in your Applications folder and see if you have something that you dont use anymore. Installation image files like “Install OS X El Capitan” often take over 5GB of storage and can be safely removed. Or put the file on an external hard drive if you need it at a later date. They are only used to install your system and isn’t needed when your system is up and running.

applications

Also, do not forget to empty the trashcan when you have deleted something. 😉

4. Check the Downloads folder

Everything you download with Safari will by default be stored in the Download folder. Make sure you clean it up once in a while and delete files you dont need anymore. For example installation files for Applications. Not needed after the Application is installed on your system and you can always download it again if you have to.

5. Free Cleaning Tools

Here are some free cleaning tools for your Mac you can try out. They all work pretty good and are able to remove a lot of un-needed files.

CCleaner – This can clean your Internet Cache from Safari, Firefox or Chrome (among other things). You can reclaim a few MB to a few GBs. I got 1,4 GB removed and most of that was Internet cache, not bad.

Onyx – Onyx have been around for a long time but always gets updated when new OS X releases ship. This is a good and safe tool to run. Dont be afraid of all the options, just use the default settings and run through them. It shouldn’t hurt your OS X installation.

Monolingual – Useful tool for removing unnecessary language resources from OS X. You can get a few hundred MB back if you use this.

6. Clean My Mac

This is a tool you have to pay for but it is very good. I consider myself an advanced user and are able to remove most files by myself, but this tool really gets deep in there and remove things even I didn’t think about. If you dont want to do all this yourself and just want an extremely easy and convenient way of getting more space this is the tool you should buy.

After running Onyx, CCleaner and doing the things mentioned above I did a run of Clean My Mac and this was the result:

clean my mac

Over 10GB more of data to remove. Interesting. So what does it remove? Here is a short breakdown of it.

System Junk

  • Outdated cache files
  • Old logs
  • Extra application binaries
  • Broken app data

Photo Junk

  • Photo cache files
  • Faces cache

Mail Attachments

  • Locally stored attachments
  • Recoverable mail downloads

(Any of the removed files can be restored by accessing Mail again.)

iTunes Junk

  • Old iOS device backups
  • Used iOS software update files
  • Copies of iOS apps stored on your Mac
  • Broken iTunes downloads

Trash Bins

  • Contents of your main trash bin
  • Mail and photo library trash

This amounted to 10+ GB for me and that is pretty significant.

Not only that, it can also uninstall applications for you and show you things you maybe forgot, like I did.

clean my mac

17GB of firmware files lying around from work. I dont need old firmware files.

Get Clean My Mac now, and by doing so you are directly supporting me and this website. The free version will scan your system just as the paid version and it will show you everything you can remove, but it has a 500MB limit.

7. Move Your Photos Library to External Hard Drive

If you have a lot of photos it can take up a significant chunk of your available storage. Depending on how many photos you have and what camera you use of course. To reduce this you have a few options. The most obvious one is to delete images you dont need or want and the most easy one. Just remember to delete the trash as well!

Buy an external hard drive and copy your Photos library over to that hard drive. When you have copied the file over to the new hard drive. Hold the alt key down while you click on the Photos icon. You should now be able to choose a new library. Navigate to the library on the external drive and bang, there you go. You should be able to delete the library on your main drive now. But be sure its really there! And backup everything before you make big changes.

change photo library

Having to use an external drive could be an hassle, especially if you use one of the laptops Apple makes. If you upgrade your iCloud storage plan you could have all your images stored there. Then go into the photos settings and turn on “Optimize Mac Storage”. It will store the full resolution images in iCloud and locally on your Mac if you have room for it. It is a pretty neat feature actually but it needs some time to adjust itself to your system. And you have to pay for iCloud storage. It does its magic work in the background though.

I have tried it, and it works. But I would like to adjust how much available space it should target for. We have no option for that yet, and I dont believe Apple will add it.

8. Move Your iTunes Library to External Hard Drive

You can move the iTunes library as well in the same manner as I mentioned above. Copy the entire iTunes folder to another place. Then hold the alt key down while clicking the iTunes icon and navigate to the new library. Easy.

9. Disable Time Machine local snapshots

If you use Time Machine as a backup solution thats good, but it also stores some of its backups to your startup drive called snapshots.

If you have your backup drive occasionally disconnected and move around a lot time machine snapshots may start to fill up your drive. With that said though, they will automatically be removed if your storage gets low so think of this as an last resort. Backup is important.

If you still want to disable this you have to start terminal from Applications/Utilities/Terminal

Type this is in the terminal: sudo tmutil disablelocal and hit enter. Then enter your password and your are done.

Summary

So there you have it. I hope some of these suggestions helps you reclaim some space on your Apple device. Its not always easy to know where to look. The last option is to wipe your hard drive and do a clean re-install of your system and selectively put the data back. A tedious and time consuming job but sometimes it just the best thing to do.

Do you have any suggestions on how to free up space that I didn’t think about? Please leave a comment below. Also if this helped you I appreciate some feedback as well.

CleanMyMac 2 Hard Drive Diet

Problems Installing Older OS X Versions?

I had to load an older OS X system onto one of our Macs at work but I couldn’t for the life of me get it to install. In this case it was OS X Mavericks but this solution is applicable for Yosemite or other versions as well I belive.

I had made an official USB installation disk with the app downloaded from the App Store and following the instructions from apple to make the drive: Create a bootable installer for OS X. So everything should be as genuine as possible, right?

When I started the install and right after selecting the hard drive to install to it started complaining. The message may look something like: This copy of the Install OS X Yosemite (or Mavericks, Mountain Lion, etc) application cant be verified. It may have been corrupted or tampered with during downloading. 

The reason for this is certificate issues at Apples end. To get the install going again you just have to change the system date. In the OS X Installer find Utilities > Terminal. In the terminal window type: date 0201010116 and press Return. This will change the date on your mac to a date that allows the install to continue.

When the install is done, you can change the date back to what it should be in system preferences.

Hope this helps, I really scratched my head and wasted several hours before I got this to work again.

Apple Recalls Duckhead Adapters

Apple recalls duckhead adapters sold with MacBook laptops and iPads. A design flaw that could potentially lead to electrical shock is the reason for this recall. A lot of Apple products have this duckhead plug so this is a fairly big recall!

Still, only 12 known cases according to Apple exists.

Check the image below, to see if your duckhead is affected. The Redesigned has the EUR marking and is safe to use.

Duckhead Adapter Recall

Please note this is only for the plug, the adapter itself is good. 

duckhead adapter

More information: Apple AC Wall Plug Adapter Exchange Program

 

Slow Mac Performance? 12 Great Tips!

Trying to solve slow mac performance? Your Mac isn’t what it used to be, it starts to feel sluggish, slow and unresponsive? Sometimes when this happen people go out and buy a new computer or learns to live with it. Buying a new computer is probably not a smart move to make especially if you can easily fix the issue yourself. You should at least exhaust all options before you decide to go that route. Thats why I wrote this little guide.

Quick Tip: Check if your device is covered by some of Apples Repair Programs.

1. Restart your Mac

Granted the Mac can be turned on for weeks or months without any serious problems, every now and then a restart is recommended. It is usually applications that “leak” memory that in the end makes the computer feel slow and sluggish. So if you haven’t already please start this guide with a restart of your computer. I promise this guide will be here when you come back online again.

restart-mac

2. Check your Startup Items

login-items

When you install applications during the time you use your Mac some of them may add themselves in Startup Items. This causes them to start at every login and thus take up a little memory and a little CPU usage. If you do the following: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. You will see how many startup items you have. If you want to remove some of them just click the name of the startup item and then hit the minus button. Just make sure you know what you remove so you do not remove any critical system component.

3. Clean up in System Preferences

system prefs other

While we still have System Preferences open take a look under the section called Other (or at the bottom section). If you have a lot of items down there there is a chance that some of them is not in use by you. They might be left overs from some application you tried out, or something else. You should clean out these too. In most cases you can turn it off from the preference pane itself. If that doesn’t work you will need to remove it from the folder ~/Library/PreferencePanes.

4. Make Time Machine backup when YOU want

Time Machine is a good backup solution. But it backups every single hour and especially if you work on heavy files it will create some noticeable slow Mac performance when it starts the backup process. Time Machine doesn’t have settings that can enable you to start the backup off working hours but there are people that have solved this problem. The free app TimeMachineEditor will help you with that. I have tried it myself and it works just as advertised. Take care while messing with the backup though. Even though this app is working as it should and have done so for many years it is still third party. Meaning Apple could make some changes to Time Machine in the future that may break the settings and in worst case disable your backups. So make 100% sure that your backups are there.

5. Clean up your hard drive

Eventually your hard drive will fill up, it doesn’t matter how big it is. Many people experience this and many also ask themselves where all the free space have gone? Maybe your Photos library starts to grow? Maybe you are editing videos that take up a lot of space. Or you might have a lot of downloaded stuff you never got around to delete. Your Mac works best with a little free space to work with. It use a part of that free space as virtual memory and that memory is important for your Mac to work optimally. Please make sure to delete unneeded files and also remember to empty your trash! If you forget to empty the trash you will still have the free space problem and slow Mac performance.

Buy Clean My Mac to clean your Mac automatically in an very easy and safe way. Also read my extended article on how to reclaim more space on your mac. Where I also review the software I suggest you buy above. Its a free download so you can see how it works on your system before you buy anything. And, no. This is not one of those “bad” cleaners out there.

With that said, we have free options as well, so continue to scroll down and check out those first if you want. 🙂

6. Download Onyx or CCleaner (it is free)

Onyx verifies the Startup Disk and the structure of its System files, it also allows you to run miscellaneous tasks of system maintenance. It can clean the cache, repair system permissions and also execute maintenance scripts. This tool is old and trusted among many Mac users.

Onyx

Another good cleanup tool is CCleaner. I use this tool to clean up Windows computers and now its available for Mac users. These two tools may overlap some but you won’t do anything wrong if you try both.

7. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac (it is free)

Malwarebytes Anti malware

Maybe you have clicked on something that you shouldn’t click on and your computer got some adware slowing it down? Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a free (accepts donations) application that scans your computer for known adware and removes it.

8. Keep your Mac up to date

Once in a while Apple releases software updates. It is wise to install these because they often contain improvements. It can be security improvements or performance enhancements that can solve slow Mac performance in some cases. Even firmware updates in some cases. Also check if you can download updates to your already installed third party applications, this can also improve performance and stability.

9. Try a PRAM and a SMC Reset

PRAM Reset

If you dont know what is wrong with your Mac and just want to try something. Do a PRAM reset. This will not damage your computer or remove anything from your hard drive. But it may solve strange problems.

Do this:

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command (⌘), Option, P, and R. You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in the last step
  • Turn on the computer.
  • Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.

Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.

Release the keys and check if this mac troubleshooting tip solved the problem.

SMC Reset

SMC Reset

Another thing you could try is an SMC reset. Especially if your laptop have problems accepting power or wont charge. Strange fan behavior or low performance.

  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Plug in the power adapter to a power source and to your Mac.
  • On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time. (it should NOT boot) but the LED on your MagSafe adapter may change.
  • Power on the computer.

10. Reinstall your OS / Install the newest OS X, its free!

If nothing of the above helps maybe a full format of your hard drive and a reinstall of the OS may be the only viable solution. If you have a fairly new Mac (2010 – 2011 ish) you should be able to start from the recovery partition if you hold CMD and R when you restart. From there you can reinstall OS X. (You can also try forcing Internet Recovery by pressing Command + Option + R) before the boot sound.

What you could do is start up from Internet Recovery and hold Command + Option + R when you boot. When you see the spinning globe you can let go. Let it load and reinstall OS X this way. When your computer and account is set up. Open App Store and update to the newest OS X available for you. Even if you have a old Mac it may be able to upgrade to a newer version of OS X.

11. Bad HardDrive?

If your computer is very slow it can also be a symptom of a hard drive that is going bad especially if it makes strange noises. This applies to all types of computers not only Macs. Make sure to check the hard drive using Disk Utility and if it finds any errors make sure to backup what you can right away.

12. 13-Inch MacBook Pro (non-retina) slow.

MacBook Pro non-retina

If your 13 inch macbook pro is slow, you have replaced the hard drive and still have problems? Try getting a new SATA cable for it and replace that. You find it on ebay.

13. RAM / SSD Upgrade

Max out the RAM in your computer, especially if you run a lot of apps at the same time. Another extremely recommended option is to replace the hard drive inside your Mac to an SSD. If you havent tried SSD yet do it! It will blow your mind in terms of speed and it can breathe new life into older computers for sure. Solving slow mac performance using money to buy new hardware is one option of course. But you should try the others first. (Although SSD is extremely nice to have, you never want to go back!). Nowadays most macs are delivered with SSDs though.

I hope this guide helps you to get your Mac in shape. If you liked this guide, it will really help me and this site if you share it with others on Facebook, twitter etc. You will find the buttons for that below. Take your pick! Thanks. 🙂

CleanMyMac 2 Hard Drive Diet