Apple Updates MacBook Pro and Fixes Keyboards

Apple recently released an update to their MacBook Pro lineup. This update covers the 13 and 15 – inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar.

You can now equip the 15 inch model with up to 8 core i9, 2,4GHz with turbo-boost up to 5,0GHz.

The 13 inch model is getting a few speed bumps: 2,3GHz to 2,4GHz and a new maxed out model with 2,7GHz. They are still keeping the four core eight generation cpu for the 13 inch model.

Design wise there are no changes compared to earlier models. (There are some rumors floating around that Apple works on a 16 to 16.5-inch MacBook Pro for possible release 2019.)

The 13 Inch with no touch bar did not get any updates at this time of writing.

Keyboard Fixes

Whats more interesting is that Apple have made modifications to their keyboards again. The updated MacBook Pro models come with a new version of their butterfly-keyboard. Apple have replaced the material to something more reliable. It remains to be seen if this so called new material will fix the keyboard issues or if its just marketing speak. Something Apple is extremely good at.

If you already have a 15 and 13 Inch with keyboard issues you should be able to replace the keyboard with an updated version on some models. Apple have increased their keyboard repair program to cover basically all macs from 2015 with butterfly keyboard issues.

Purgeable Space – How To Manually Make It Really Free

Update: This may not work with AFPS filesystems. See comment nr 2 below this post.

From macOS Sierra, Apple introduced some space-saving features in their OS. One of those features are saving content in the cloud. When you turn this feature on it can save photos, movies, email attachments, and other files that you seldom use in iCloud. The file will stay the same place on your computer, but download at demand when you need it. Purgeable space are files that are safely stored in iCloud and can be deleted on your physical drive by the system.

I decided to really test this feature.

I have a big photo collection from over 10 years, its about 850GB in RAW files. I wanted to have every file available to me when I use the laptop and not having to drag an external drive along. The only problem is that SSD storage is extremely expensive so the laptop I use have 512GB internally.

So I started Apple photos and started importing photos (using this script: Import Folders Into macOS Photos). It started to upload the images to iCloud, but after a while I got messages about the drive being full and the upload stopped. I had to delete some files in the library to get it to upload again. When the initial 350GB upload was done I expected to get some more free space because I had turned on “Optimize Mac Storage” in Apple Photos. But I never got more than about 12GB free.

purgeable space

I let the computer sit for an entire day, but the available space remained the same. (Around 12GB). That didn’t cut it when I still had 400GB to upload. So I started searching the web about how to free purgeable space, but as I have found out the OS itself controls this. Meaning you can’t set a target size yourself. However you can fool the system by coping large files to the drive.

What I would do is use a termal command you see in the selection below:

mkfile terminal command

So this creates a 20GB file but I had to wait until Apple Photos app had finished uploading. I then proceeded to duplicate this file a few times. After that I deleted the files I made and doing this gave me more “real” free storage. So now I could upload the rest of my images.

I believe that when you do this, it makes the system think that you suddenly need a lot of storage and it will free up purgeable space for you. But I am not entirely sure how the process work to be honest here.

Another way to force remove Purgeable space on Mac

You can use a mac maintenance application like Clean My Mac X to do it for you. This app is made by the same people that develop Gemini 2: The Duplicate Finder, currently rated as “editors choice” in the App Store. A lot of mac claners are pretty fishy, but Clean My Mac X is legit and will work fine. You can read more about it here: Prepare for macOS Mojave with CleanMyMacX (Review). It has a lot of other cleaning features in addition to cleaning purgable space.

The link to CleanMyMac X is an affiliate link, and purchasing the software will give me a small percentage of the sale to help paying to run this site.

clean my mac x purgable space section

 

This is why I am stepping away from Macs for a while

This video from Linus Tech Tips clearly summarize my personal thoughts about Apple hardware in its current form.

Yes, the hardware is sexy, yes macOS is great. However the performance is sub-par, and Apple designs themselves into a thermal corner.

This is why I use a PC for music production. The Mac I have is demoted to writing text, youtube watching and organization.

Check the video below for more information.

 

iMac Updated with 8-core 9th-Gen Intel CPUs

Apple just updated their iMac lineup with faster Radeon Pro Vega graphics, and 9th-gen Intel CPUs.

You can configure the 27‑inch iMac with 5k up to:

  • 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB of HBM2 memory
  • 2TB SSD storage or 3TB Fusion Drive

As of this writing you will have to give $5,249 to Apple for the above 27-inch configuration.

You can configure the 21.5‑inch iMac with 4K up to:

  • 3.2GHz 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz
  • 32GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • Radeon Pro Vega 20 with 4GB of HBM2 memory
  • 1TB SSD storage or 1TB Fusion Drive

iMac

As of this writing you will have to give $3,349 to Apple for the above 21.5-inch configuration.

You can of course opt for lower specs to save some money. If you go for 16GB memory on the 27-inch instead of 64, it will cost you “only” $2,899.

Design and display-wise it is still the same as the 2012-model. Silver is the only color available as space-grey is reserved for the iMac Pro.

These iMacs doesn’t have any T-series chip as the iMac pro has.

iMac Pro

Apple also updated the iMac pro with the possibility to add 256GB RAM, and an Radeon Pro Vega 64X option.

Install macOS on Older Unsupported Macs

With the free tool macOS Patcher from dosdude1.com its possible to install a version of macOS that your Mac officially doesn’t support. This is a video that shows you the installation process on a white MacBook from 2010.

After install we test common use cases such as watching youtube, Netflix and surfing the internet. Lets find out how an almost ten year old computer holds up today shall we!

 

Install macOS Mojave on Older Macs

Apple have released macOS Mojave, and if you would like to install it on a unsupported system, check the tool below.

Obviously no warranty or support are given for this tool.

Install macOS Sierra on Older Macs

If you are sitting there with your old Mac feeling left out in the cold there is a way to shoehorn macOS Sierra onto your ageing computer.

Check out the macOS Sierra Patcher Tool for Unsupported Macs. And follow the instructions. This is of course not endorsed or supported by Apple in any way.

Flexgate – a new MacBook Pro Problem?

I don’t like to use that word, but since people are searching for it I guess I have to … flexgate. Apple may have a new big problem on their hands. That said, it could also be blown out of proportions. As it sometimes is with these issues.

The popular teardown site ifixit have recently posted an blog article claiming that the new MacBook Pros flex cables wears out prematurely and it could cause display problems. Especially if the display is opened above a 40 degree angle.

This is where the word flexgate comes from. A stupid word if you ask me, but the «flex» part relates to the cable that connects the display to the logic board. Its a thin and brittle cable that apparently breaks over time. 

flexgate
Image shows flex cable and daughter board included with the display assembly. Image credit: ifixit.com

If you need to fix the display outside of your warranty period you are looking at 600 USD repair (at best) because those cables are integrated into the display assembly and doesn’t come as a single part. If Apple doesn’t release a repair program as they did with the “staingate” issue.

Adding this problem to already existing issues makes you wonder if the radical design-change of the USB-C equipped MacBook Pro really was a smart move?

I know for a fact that a lot of people still hold onto their 15 rMBP. Imagine the performance you could have in those machines today if Apple just kept the same form factor and instead focused their efforts on improving performance.

Apart from flexgate we have the issues below as well:

  • Keyboard / TopCase issues.

Countless reports of keyboards having all sorts of issues with keypresses. Apple happily replace the top-case but the problem re appears after a while. What about those that live in countries with poor consumer protection? In worst case they have to expect an expensive service later down the line. Servicing a premium product already marked up pretty high. And only after one year. 

  • Thermal throttling issues.

These laptops are so thin, the cooling solution just isn’t equipped to remove the heat these CPUs produce. Even if Apple shoehorn a top tier CPUs in these machines it doesn’t matter if the cooling solution isn’t up to the task. This has been demonstrated countless times in many Apple products. Especially when the updated model with an intel i9 CPU hit the market. It did throttle so bad that Apple had to release a firmware fix for it. But not before countless people had reported on the issue.

Do you think this is an issue that is blown out of proportions, or is there some substance to it? Are you affected by this? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

AirPower may Release Soon

It has been a while now since Apple teased their charging mat for devices such as iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. The release was anticipated in 2018 but due to issues the release was postponed.

airpower

Airpower is a charging mat that when released is able to charge iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods simultaneously.

Allegedly sources in Asia says Pegatron is set to produce the charging mat 21. Jan so maybe we will see it in stores soon.

IINA a modern media player for macOS, good VLC alternative

IINA is now available. A modern media player crafted for macOS and a good alternative to VLC. The app is from the ground up developed to make use of modern technologies and frameworks available in macOS such as Force Touch, Touch Bar, and Picture-in-Picture.

Plays anything

Just as the open source alternative VLC, IINA plays almost everything you throw at it. It uses the open source media player mpv and supports youtube-dl, via extensions it supports various one click streaming.

Open source

IINA is under active development using the modern Swift programming language. Its free and open-sourced under the GPLv3 license.

Go check it out yourself here: IINA