Windows Alternative to Mac Apps

What if you wanted to move away from the Mac ecosystem and go back to Windows? The applications you used in macOS, do they have good alternatives on Windows?

Lets find out!

Most of the apps I suggest costs a bit of money, but I haven’t got paid to recommend these.

Time MachineBvckup 2 – A lightweight and fast backup app for Windows. It keeps a folder or hard drive in sync and thats it. It doesn’t make it bootable or anything like that. But that is how I like it. I just want backup of my data. An OS I can always reinstall myself.

Apple MailMailbird – You could use Outlook or Thunderbird, but I think Microsofts e-mail client are too bloated with too many features. Mailbird is simple and lightweight e-mail client for Windows with good support for multiple e-mail accounts.

Apple Photos – I use Adobe Lightroom but that is because I use a DSLR that shoots RAW files and Apple Photos doesn’t handle that in a good way. To organize my photos from a mobile device on Windows I would try Google Photos.

SafariGoogle Chrome – Chrome is the first thing I install on a new Windows system to browse the Internet.

If you are heavily invested in iCloud stuff you could always use Apples web applications on icloud.com. You have access to contacts, calendar, pages, numbers, keynote etc. If you have a lot of documents and media stored there the website can be used in a transition process over to Windows.

This list is by far not complete, the suggestions above are the ones I think are worth talking about. Leave a comment below if you have something to add.

Tim Cook Says Pro Users are Important to Apple

In the recent shareholder meeting with Apple Tim Cook reassured investors that pro users are very important to Apple. He also said “Don’t think something we’ve done or something that we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere”

Many feel that questioning Apples priorities considering the lack of updates mainly to their desktop lineup of computers are needed. Especially considering the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro who have had many years without updates.

If people are afraid that Apple is going to abandon desktop devices they should re-assess that fear. Tim also answered this to a question if they where going to merge the macOS and iOS ecosystem:

“Expect us to do more and more where people will view it as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement – the Mac does so much more,” he said. “To merge these worlds, you would lose the simplicity of one, and the power of the other.”

So there you have it, Apple won’t abandon the Pro market. What do you think? Can you do your professional work on the current Mac lineup?

Source: The Loop

MacBook Pro 15-inch (2016) – Review with Benchmarks (Lightroom, 3DMark, SSD Speed, etc)

I can’t use this computer for the things I do, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. Lets find out what this new wonder from Apple can do.

15 inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar

An update to the MacBook Pro lineup was long overdue. When Apple finally released the redesigned and radically changed laptop it sparked some controversy as it always does when Apple release something new.

  • Only 16GB RAM
  • No Magsafe port
  • Only USB-C (Thunderbolt 3)
  • SSD Soldered on the motherboard

It even went so far that Apple reduced price on their adapters and new displays to somewhat meet the criticism.

So with the dust settled, how does this computer really work and perform? I have used it extensively for both work and at home for about a month and here I share my highly personal opinions about this device. (That means you may disagree, and that is just fine).

Design / Build Quality

As always from Apple the build quality is top notch. It feels like a solid and well built product. The aluminum enclosure gives it a sturdy and exclusive look, it feels like this is something that can last for years. Compared to previous models this one is thinner, and it is noticeable when you pick it up and carry it.

Ports

MacBook Pro USB-C and MiniJack Port

Apple got rid of all ports and replaced them with high-speed USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports and one minijack. I welcome these ports, its about time we got some high speed I/O and USB-C / thunderbolt 3 is great for that. The only thing I miss is the MagSafe-port. Now you have to yank the cable out of the port while you hold the laptop, but with MagSafe you could just break it off and go. I guess Apple felt that more high-speed ports was worth the tradeoff compared to the convenience with MagSafe.

Display

13 and 15 inch MacBook Pro

This is by far the best display I have ever seen in a laptop. It supports wide color gamut (P3) on its LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2880-by-1800 native resolution. macOS then scales the interface so it looks like 1680 x 1050 resolution.

Keyboard and Touch Bar

The Touch Bar is a cool thing, but I think it will take some time for people to get used to it. The thing I find most convenient with it is the Touch ID. Using my finger instead of typing the password to login is cool. Other than that I find myself not looking down on it that much. So I am not sure how useful it will be. At its default setup it requires an extra «click» for me to adjust volume and screen brightness but that can be solved with third party apps.

The trackpad is huge but as I am writing this my hands rest on the top corners of the trackpad and it works fine. No accidental clicks so far so the palm rejection AI is working very well.

The keyboard and keys feels weird, in a good sense. They give a distinct response when typing, but they are definitely more noisy compared to the older MacBook Pro. Still, I think they are pretty good to type on but you probably have to get used to it.

Performance & Benchmarks

Here are benchmarks to give you RAW data on how this computer performs. If you are missing a test. Leave a comment below and I might update this review to include new tests.

  • Model: MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2016)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6820HQ
  • Memory: 16GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
  • AMD Radeon Pro 455

Cinebench (macOS Sierra)

OpenGL: 78.68 fps
CPU: 682 cb

CineBench MacBook Pro 2016

Geekbench (macOS Sierra)

Single-Core Score: 4272
Multi-Core Score: 13324

Geekbench MacBook Pro 2016

Diablo 3 (macOS Sierra)

Although Diablo 3 is an older game, it works pretty good on the MacBook Pro 15-Inch Late 2016. Check out the 10 minute video below of some gameplay where I have it connected to a 1440p external display.

3DMark (Windows 10 Pro in Bootcamp)

I could only run the demo version of 3D Mark, I haven’t bought the full version.

Result: 1276

3D Mark MacBook Pro 2016

Metro Last Light Redux (Windows 10 in Bootcamp)

Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Quality: Medium
SSAA: Off
Texture filtering: AF 4X
Motion Blur: Off
Tesselation: Normal
VSync: Off
Advanced PhysX: Off

Avg FPS: 50.67

Lightroom Image Export (macOS Sierra)

Version: 2015.8 Release / Camera Raw 9.8

Exporting 52 RAW files to full size jpeg / 100% quality. File size is about 40-45MB for each RAW file and the files are placed on the internal storage.

  • Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Late 2016 – 3 minute and 33 seconds
  • Windows 10 PC / Intel 5820k CPU on mechanical hard drive – 3 minutes and 13 seconds
  • Windows 10 PC / Intel 5820k CPU on Samsung 950 Pro SSD – 2 minutes and 40 seconds

It looks like the Windows 10 PC wins the image export test, even when using a mechanical hard drive! Very strange.

Lightroom Image Import (macOS Sierra)

Version 2015.10.1 / Camera Raw 9.10.1

Importing 222 RAW files (about 10GB) from a Nikon D810 and building 1:1 Previews.

Importing from SD card using Sandisk USB-C SD Card Reader. Importing to an external USB3 hard drive containing a WD 4TB 7200RPM black drive.

  • Importing 222 RAW Files (10GB) – 5 minutes and 27 seconds
  • Building 1:1 previews of 222 RAW files (10GB) – 16 minutes and 32 seconds

SSD Benchmark

Ironically I had to reboot into Windows 10 to get the correct results from benchmarking the internal SSD.

Crystaldiskmark MacBook Pro 2016

3006 MB/s read and 2238 MB/s write are great results. However the Samsung 960 Pro have up to 3500 MB/s read.

Closing thoughts

I wouldn’t have bought this computer myself, my employer helps paying for it. Performance wise it doesn’t quite work good enough with the stuff I do. Recording display while doing music production is too much for it. I also occasionally game, and for that a PC is the best option.

Still there are a lot of things to like with this device and I am sure it will be a great choice for a lot of people.

Super Mario Run for iPhone and iPad Out Now!

Are you ready to play the beloved Mario character on your iPad or iPhone? Super Mario Run was just released by Nintendo and is available from the App Store. While it is free to download and try a few stages the price is $9.99 for the game and you have to pay for it in-app.

It is as always easy to download an iOS app. Just download Super Mario Run from the App Store and try it out yourself.

See below for some screenshots I took. Click on them for a bigger version.

Super Mario Run Super Mario Run Super Mario Run Super Mario Run Super Mario Run Super Mario Run

Mario will automatically run forward and you have to touch the screen to make him jump. This way you can play the game with only one hand.

 

Remove Duplicate Files on Your Mac

I like keeping things tidy, both in my home and on my computers. A cluttered and unorganised life is undesirable. Even though I have good control of most aspects I still found duplicate files on my Mac while running a quick check using Gemini II from MacPaw.

So after a scan of duplicate files on my already pretty clean Mac the first result is this:

gemini scan completed

Even though I run a tight system it still found 9,49GB of data that potentially could be removed. 1,33GB was automatically selected. Control freak as I am I want to see what happens when using third party software so I clicked the Review Results and got this:

gemini review results

As you can see in the screenshot above it found two video file on two places. The photo library and in a local folder. In this case Gemini II automatically selected the local copy to delete and keep the file in the photo library. Normally this is probably fine, but in this case I want to keep the local file instead and delete the one in the photo library.

You can check out and download Gemini II here: The stellar duplicate finder. Locates and removes identical and similar files on your Mac.

The software also have a section where it checks for similar files. It could be a series of similar photos for example that is not an exact match, but I would advise to you to be cautious when deleting similar files. It is always wise to have a recent backup before deleting files on your system.

If you need to clean out your Mac even more check out 9 Ways To Free Up Space And Clean Macs. Where you have free options and paid options available to your disposal.

MacBook Pro Docking and USB-C Dongles

With Apples move to USB-C only on their laptops you may need some adapters until manufacturers hop on the far superior USB-C standard. The most basic adapter almost everyone probably needs is the USB-C to USB adapter.

USB-C to USB adapters

Apple makes one that looks like this:

apple usb-c to usb adapter

Currently they price the USB-C to USB adapter at $9 but that is only out 2016, after that the price will go up to the original price. You can get it at Amazon.

Another best selling adapter is the nonda USB-C to USB 3.0. Looks like this:

nonda usb-c to usb 3.0

You can get this one at Amazon as well. It currently sits as #1 best seller in the USB adapter category. It is very small and neat, they also sell them in different colors so it matches the color on your apple laptop. If you are planning to use multiple of these make sure they are able to fit side by side. The Apple branded adapter shown above is certainly able to do that.

USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 adapters

When I am at work I use a Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock with my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013). With that dock I just have to connect one thunderbolt 2 cable and I have everything I need. When the new 2016 model arrives it won’t work. To get it working I don’t have to buy a new docking station. The Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter will get it working again. Looks like this:

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter

MacBook Pro Docking Stations

As I said above I use the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express HD Dock and it has worked very well for me a few years. What I didn’t know was that I could not use all outputs on it at the same time. They state that it works with dual displays but under some conditions, namely this:

“Note about dual displays: At least one display has to be Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 technology-ready. For displays that are not Thunderbolt technology-ready, the Thunderbolt port is backwards compatible with Mini DisplayPort. The dock supports either HDMI or Mini DisplayPort, but not both. The dock supports only one display at 4K cinema resolution.”

I was planning to use one Mini DisplayPort to DVI and one HDMI but that didn’t work with this dock. So make sure you really check the specs and the fine print of the dock you are buying first.

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A Professional Talks About The New MacBook Pro

The release of the new MacBook Pros have been controversial to say the least. With people complaining about missing ports, AMD GPUs, only 16GB RAM and high prices.

I am sure a lot of the complaints can be justified to some degree, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test it out yet so can’t chime in on that yet.

Thomas Grove Carter, a professional editor at Trim Editing in London just got his device and shares some thoughts in a new article:

Apparently he is able to do his paid work which includes cutting high end commercials in 5k ProRes, music videos and films on this MacBook Pro.

I am sure I am going to be able to do my music production with Ableton Live and some photo editing using Lightroom as well. Then again, I am no professional.

Apple Will Use Their Own CPU for Macs In the Future

Just think about it for a second. Apple really like their end-to-end control of everything. Nowadays they are dependant of Intel to release CPUs before they can update their computer lineup. What if Apple could make their own CPU instead? If so, they could tailor macOS to work as efficiently as possible on that architecture. They already do this with CPUs in iOS devices and this is what they will use as an argument when they “sell in” this new transition. When they control everything down to the chips in their computers they can do whatever they want.

The lines that define a desktop and a portable computer is already fading. Especially considering the latest notebook release where they again included iOS features in their Macs. (Touch ID, Retina Touchbar, Apple Pay, iMessage etc.). The performance you get from a laptop is enough for 95% of users out there and those are the ones Apple is catering for.

Apple have done this before. When they switched from PowerPC to Intel. The reason for switching according to Steve Jobs was that Intel had the strongest CPU roadmap for Apple to make personal computers for the next ten years. This happened in 2005, as of this writing its over ten years ago.

I think the computers Apple just recently released are the latest one carrying an Intel CPU. If Apple could get their own silicon in there they wouldn’t be so dependant on Intel or AMD to get their CPUs and GPUs ready.

As time progresses the technology just get better and better. It is just a matter of time until Intel gets some competition again.

MacBook Pro with Retina Touchbar and Touch ID Released

13 and 15 inch MacBook Pro

Apple just released their updated MacBook Pro lineup. The big thing now is the retina Touchbar which replaces the function keys we have lived with for an eternity. With this, the key bar is able to change its function and form depending on type of application you currently have open.

This opens up new possibilities to control complex applications with customisable quick access to tools.

A Touch ID sensor is included as well so you can unlock the computer the same way you unlock your iPhone. It is also possible to use with Apple Pay. If you share the computer with others and have multiple user accounts you can just use your finger to login to another account on the Mac.

Naturally the new notebooks have gotten a spec bump with Skylake processors from Intel. As for graphics you can opt for a higher end version with graphics from AMD on the 15 Inch version. The lower end 13-Inch includes built-in graphics from Intel.

Design

Smaller and lighter, as always. A new smaller hinge and the new butterfly keyboard used in the twelve inch MacBook is what you get here. Although improved. This is the first time they release it in another color: Spacegrey.

15 inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar

13 inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar

Specifications 15-Inch MacBook Pro

Processor

  • 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

Graphics

  • Radeon Pro 450

RAM

  • 16GB memory

Storage

  • SSD: 256GB up to 2TB / 3GB/s

Display

  • 2880 x 1800 “retina” Display
  • 67% Brighter
  • 25% more colors

Ports & Features

  • Retina Touchbar
  • Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

Specifications 13-Inch MacBook Pro with Touchbar

Processor

  • 2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

Graphics

  • Intel Iris 550

RAM

  • 8GB memory

Storage

  • SSD: From 256GB / 3GB/s

Display

  • 2560 x 1600

Ports & Features

  • Retina Touchbar
  • Touch ID
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports

Specifications 13-Inch MacBook Pro without Touchbar

Apple have released a 13-Inch model without the toolbar, it have the regular function keys instead and some lower specifications. This will be a solid choice for schools and others that have tight budget restrictions.

Processor

  • 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5

Graphics

  • Intel Iris 550

RAM

  • 8GB memory

Storage

  • SSD: From 256GB / 3GB/s

Display

  • 2560 x 1600

Ports & Features

  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

Review

I don’t have access to new hardware from Apple right away. A review from all about apple will come, but not before I get my hands on one. This will probably be around new year 2017. I plan to review every aspect of the device, but if you have anything specific you want me to review leave a comment about it below.

Where to buy?

Directly from the Apple Store is one option, this way you buy it directly from Apple and that is the most preferred option in my opinion. However you can also get them from Amazon, they usually have a little discount compared to the Apple Store. And if you buy it from Amazon you also support this website as I get a little kickback from each sale.