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.

 

Install macOS Cleanly Can Solve Problems

Occasionally a clean install of macOS is the only thing that can solve problems with your Mac. This because it is difficult to pinpoint exactly whats causing issues with your system. In addition: if you have tried the suggestions in the articles below. Its probably time to try this last step: a clean install of macOS. I know the hassle to do this, especially if you have years of data laying around. Still, its probably less work to do a reinstall comparing to sending it off to someone. The positive aspect of doing this is that your system will feel fresh and new again.

Try the suggestions in these articles before you do a clean install. Or jump down to Preparing to install macOS to get started now.

Preparing to install macOS

There are things you should have ready or at least thought about before you embark on a clean install.

  • Backup your data, I suggest use an external hard-drive
  • Check App Compatibility
  • Have Install DVD, USB Stick or Internet Installation ready
  • Mac OS X Compatibility Guide (Supported macOS for your Mac)

Backup your data

This is a given, always backup your data. I assume you read this article because you want to solve a problem with your Mac. Therefore I won’t tell you to use time-machine to create your backup this time. My goal of this article is to get your reinstalled system to be as lean and untouched as possible while retaining as much as possible of your data. Although I recommend using time machine to do your backups. However, if you have a software issue with your system there is a risk that time machine brings that issue over to your new installation with its backup.

When your system is reinstalled, data copied over and made sure is working correctly. Then go ahead and start using Time Machine for your new backups.

For now, I want you to prepare an external hard drive, copy all of your personal data from your user folder (pictures, music, downloads, documents, desktop etc) over to that drive.

Amazon have a huge selection of cheap external hard drives. Make sure to get one with a little more capacity than your Macs drive. Disk utility, a tool in the /Applications/Utilities folder can show you the size of your internal drive. You might as well find it because you are going to use it later on if you follow this article.

In the backup, do not forget things such as browser bookmarks, notes, archived e-mails. Obscure apps you never are able to find again. If you have saved files outside of your user folder, make sure to include that as well.

Some applications are back-up-able by just coping the application file itself from the Applications folder. This usually works with simple apps. Software suites like Adobe or Microsoft Office often need to be re-installed again.

Check App Compatibility

Are you coming from an old version of Mac OS X and use older software you have to make sure the apps you want to use works on the version of macOS you plan to install. This is done with a quick google search. If not, you need to research and find out if there are new versions available. Or maybe there are some good open source alternatives available now.

Make sure you have original installation media for apps you are using, or have a way of getting hold of software before you initiate a clean install of macOS. Its not always as easy as just coping the application over unfortunately.

Install DVD, USB or Internet installation?

If your backup is ready now is the time to figure out how you should install macOS fresh. In my opinion a fresh install includes formatting your hard drive, wiping everything on it and starting the installation.

If your system is somewhat working, or if you have access to another Mac I would download the latest available installation from the App Store. I would close the installer that opens after downloading and create an installation USB stick using the free software: DiskMaker X. You will need an 8GB+ USB stick for this step. We don’t want to install macOS over an already problematic installation. We want to format, and do a clean install.

Make sure to unplug any backup hard drive connected to your Mac! Only connect the USB stick you just created. You don’t want to accidentally delete your backup drive when installing, right?

Restart your Mac while holding the Option (⌥) key down. After a while you should be able to start up from the usb stick you just created.

Erase and repartition your drive

When you are in the installation you should be able to find utilities and disk utility. From there you should create a new partition / wipe your hard drive.

install macOS disk utility

A Warning: Erasing your drive destroys all data on that drive. Make absolutely sure that your backup is alright. Again, remember to have your backup drive disconnected while you do this to prevent accidentally formatting your backup drive.

  • Click on View and select Show All Devices.
  • Click the device in the sidebar you want to format and click erase.
  • Give it a name, for example Macintosh HD.
  • In the map-popup menu select GUID Partition Map.
  • Click erase, then Done.

Exit out of disk utility and you can proceed with the installation of macOS.

Internet Recovery

You can initiate Internet recovery if you don’t have access to a working Mac or are unable to create USB stick. This installation routine will download the macOS version that came shipped with your Mac. Meaning if you want to upgrade to a newer version you will have to do that through App Store after installing via Internet Recovery. You can go ahead and upgrade directly from macOS at this time, after you have made a clean installation it should be fine.

To initiate an internet recovery: Restart, hold down the Command (⌘) Option (⌥)R key combination immediately upon restarting. When you see a spinning globe you can release the keys and let it load, it may take a good while as it has to download several GBs of data. I recommend doing this with an ethernet cable connected to your router if you can. It works on WiFi as well though.

Installation DVDs

You can buy the installation DVDs directly from Apple. As of this writing its still possible to buy Snow Leopard directly from Apple. Go to the online store and search for it. You can get installation DVDs from amazon and probably eBay as well.

To start up from a DVD you hold the key pressed during startup. This tells the Mac to boot from the DVD.

Post Installation Steps

When you have created your user account and are inside a new, freshly installed system. The first thing you should do is to update your system by starting App Store, and let it update.

If your system is older, click the Apple symbol  in the menubar and update from there.

When everything is up to date, and your system is running alright my recommendation is that you try using it for a while before copying over your backup. If things are running smoothly then you can go ahead and copy over your personal files and the data you backed up earlier.

Check again if you can access and use everything. If thats the case I recommend formatting the external drive you used, and configure it as a Time Machine backup drive instead.

When you have a new system up and running I recommend checking out the articles below:

Intels Sunny Cove Architecture may come to a Mac near you

Intel released their new 10nm-based architecture called ‘Sunny Cove’ today. This could be new CPU candidates for upcoming unreleased 2019 MacBooks from Apple.

As with every new generation Intel claim these chips will offer even greater performance with reduced power loads. Machine learning, AI and cryptography will also be faster on these CPUs. We have heard talks about the 10nm architecture since 2015, but manufacturing problems have prevented release until now.

The current generation (late 2018) MacBook Pros use 8th Generation Intel Core CPUs with a 14 nm-based architecture.

This doesn’t confirm that Apple will use sunny cove in new Macs, but its a likely choice. We could see the end of Intel CPUs in at least Apples lower end laptop products. Considering Apples own A12 Bionic chip shows impressive performance numbers even outnumber some laptops today.

Mac Role Playing Games: Divinity: Original Sin 2 is Coming!

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

If you watched the Apple event where they released new Macs and iPad Pros they also had a section showing the critically acclaimed role playing game Divinity: Original Sin 2. It turns out the game is on its way to the Mac and not in a small way. This will not be a poorly and sloppy port, It will take advantage of many Apple technologies such as making it a 64-bit, Metal native game.

Divinity Original Sin 2 reveal

Just check out this spec list.

  • 64-bit Metal 1.2 support
  • eGPU support (10.13+ only)
  • V-sync support (10.13+ only)
  • MacOS Support for 10.13 and 10.14 macOS with potential for (10.12 support likely but still in the works)
  • Support for Apple MFI controllers and rumbling support on selected controllers
  • MacBook TouchBar support
  • MacBook trackpad and selected gestures support

Divinity: Original Sin 2 have sold over 2 million copies. Its one of the most highly rated role playing games and could easily be the best RPG on the Mac. Apples Metal Team is working with the developer to bring this game to the Mac. Planned release is Q1 2019.

The game will support iCloud backups, but not only that you will be able to cross-play between Windows and macOS.

Torchlight 1 & 2

You should check out a game called Torchlight. It’s an action RPG game developed by people who previously have worked on Diablo, Diablo II, Mythos etc. The music is composed by the original author that made the music for Diablo.

Somewhat cartoonish graphics but it works, and the game isn’t so demanding for your computer. You don’t need the most high-end gaming rig to play this game. I have played the game and it is pretty nice. You can download it from the Steam client.

Torchlight 2 is also out.

Eschalon: Book 1, 2 & 3

Eschalon is an old-school style fantasy RPG. The game-play perspective is in third person. You guide your character around towns and dungeons. Fighting monsters and picking up treasures while all other elements of a good old RPG are there. Many reviewers give this game high ratings. This is not an old game, it is just developed in that particular style.

Diablo III

Who doesn’t know about this game? Diablo 3 is available through battle.net. You can watch a video below where I test it on a MacBook Pro 2016 w/ Radeon Pro 455 in (2560 x 1440).

My favourite apps for macOS

My absolute favourite app for macOS has to be Magnet. Its a window manager for macOS that works in a lot of similar ways to the native Windows manager. Drag a window to the right or left of your screen and it resizes the application in half. Making room for an application next to it. Or drag the window to the top, to maximize it. It is a great way of keeping the workspace organized.

Its a cheap application and you can get it from the app store in macOS.

Another great way of getting new apps to your mac is by using the service Setapp. They often add new applications to their constant growing catalog. This way you are getting more value for your money with time.

Setapp is an subscription service ($9.99 /mo) that gives you access to a huge list of well known apps. A free 7-day trial is available so you can check it out without paying anything.

My favourite apps available in Setapp

  • BetterTouchTool: Customize input on your Mac! – BetterTouchTool makes the touchbar on the Mac laptops actually usable. You can for example have live update of your cryptocurrency price (if you are into that).

These are apps I actually like and use myself. Check out SetApp: Your Shortcut To Prime Apps For Mac. to see for yourself and try out their 7-day free trial.

What are your favourite apps for macOS?

Prepare for macOS Mojave with CleanMyMacX (Review)

macOS Mojave is right around the corner and before you update its a good idea to clean your system. I have used computers for a long time so I have experience in keeping my systems up and running without issues. To my surprise, CleanMyMac X found a lot of data (26GB!) to clean & remove from my MacBook Pro. 26GB in data stored on your Macs super fast SSD is a lot of money, considering how expensive storage is on Macs nowadays.

Cleaners like this has in the past had some bad rep, but CleanMyMacX is not one of them! The developer: MacPaw makes other applications like Setapp, Gemini and other known highly rated applications.

Using this software is a very simple way of keeping your Mac clean. As you will see in the screenshots below.

Smart Scan

clean my mac x smart scan

clean my Mac x smart scan

As you can see in the images above it found a lot of data lying around that isn’t needed. Data such as system logs, user cache, old updates etc. While you absolutely could go into these folders yourself and delete the files its convenient to have an application that does this for you. You could also drill down into the folders to see exactly what the software removes so you have full control.

CleanMyMacX have an improved algorithm for finding junk that doesn’t need to be on your Mac. Saving you precious time. MacPaw have created a reliable Safety Database that prevents cleaning mishaps and carefully treats all user data. CleanMyMac doesn’t delete any of your personal files or useful app data unless you want it.

New Features

I have been using Clean My Mac for a few years now and it has never done anything bad to my system. The screenshots above are true screenshots from my own system and I have used the computer for a week after running the cleaning it and it still works as good. No issues, no slowdown, no bloat.

Other than cleaning your Mac it has a Malware scanner that checks for malware and adware. It can also check and update apps installed outside of the Mac App Store.

One thing I really liked is the updated menu bar where you see information about your system such as available storage (even on the bootcamp drive!). Available memory that you can free up with a click. CPU load, network usage and battery status.

You can also see your dropbox usage there if you have it. I don’t, I use google drive and iCloud.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, you could go into all these folders and delete files yourself. However you have to have knowledge about your system and you have to know exactly what to remove. If you use CleanMyMacX you don’t have to worry about that.

I recommend this software. I never really thought I would use something like this myself but clearly its a time saver so for me its worth it. The retail price is about $90 for a one-time purchase or $40 per year for a subscription. Its a bit pricey perhaps, but it does a good job. And again, do not confuse CleanMyMac X with other bad cleaners out there. If you want one, this is the one to get.

This post may contain affiliate links.

iOS 12 performance is great, tested with iPhone 5s

Apple have received some criticism due to slowdowns on older iPhones. When the battery can’t keep the charge anymore, the CPU is clocked down to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Pair this with new iOS releases that allegedly slows down older devices.

A slower CPU clock reduce the performance of the device and it may seem more sluggish and slow to use. This is why apple released the iPhone battery replacement program where you get the battery replaced for $29 for eligible devices through December 31, 2018.

With all of the above said, testing reports of iOS 12 claims it performs very well on older devices. The interface feels more fluid, and most of the lag you could feel in older iOS versions are gone. This is great news for people that use devices a few years old.

If money is tight, a cheap battery replacement combined with iOS 12 should breathe some new life into your device. This is really good news economical wise and I am sure Apple will get some positive PR score on this.

iPhone 5s iOS 12 Speed Test

I decided to do some un-scientific test between the latest iOS 11, and iOS 12 to see how much faster it feels on the oldest supported device. My trusty iPhone 5s was fished up from the drawer, charged to 100% and got to do some work again.

iOS 11.4.1 (15G77)

iOS 11 – Geekbench 2:
Single-Core: 1279 / Multi-Core: 2227

iOS 11 – JetStream JavaScript Benchmark:
Score: 53.093

iOS 11 – 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme:
Score: 809

iOS 12 – Geekbench 2:
Single-Core: 1327 / Multi-Core: 2273

iOS 12 – JetStream JavaScript Benchmark:
Score: 56.110

iOS 12 – 3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme:
Score: 812

Results

We can clearly see that iOS 12 scores better.

The interface overall feels more responsive compared to iOS 11. The keyboard pops up faster, the camera starts faster, apps load a little faster and most things generally feels snappy. The iPhone 5s felt usable again and not that laggy compared to before. The benchmarks above also show that it is faster.

In addition to the results above I am currently using an iPhone 6s as my daily driver until the Xs Max arrives and I must say it really feels like a new phone again. Apple have done something this time and it certainly shows. If you haven’t already, go and update to iOS 12 now!

2019 iPhone X Models Allegedly Uncovered

In a video we see the 2019 models of iPhone X Apple is planning to release at the end of this summer. Apple usually refresh their iPhones each year around this time.

2019 iPhone
Image Source: MKBHD

Marques Brownlee who is better known by his youtube handle: MKBHD just released a new video where he shows off three different models at different sizes. 

The biggest device sports a 6.5 Inch OLED display. A bigger version of the current iPhone X. Do you think Apple will slap a Plus behind the name? Or will they call it iPhone 11, 9? Xs?

Black, white and a new gold color will be available to choose from. Everything is a rumor though, and we can’t be sure until september when Apple have its event.