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Hey everyone, this is Sanjeev from Techkle. Welcome to this week’s episode of TNBT where we will cover the latest Tech news and updates.
TNBT Episode Summary
Usually, this quarter is remarkably busy for the companies as they try to launch final product lines of the year. Last month was no different with Apple, Google, Facebook producing big announcements. We will talk about all those new releases in this month episode of TNBT.
Last month was only the start with the launch of iPhone 13 and new iPhone 13 Accessories. This month we not only have the new product announcement, but we also have some software releases including Windows 11 and macOS Monterey which brings many new features to the latest devices.
Apple New MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max
So, let’s start with one of the biggest releases of the year. After a wait for almost a year for the MacBook Pro’s with M1 chip, Apple finally unveiled them in the October event.
They have produced two different chips in addition to already released M1 chip – M1 Pro and M1 Max. Along with the two new chips, we now have new MacBook 14-inch and MacBook 16-inch models which utilizes those new chips. Both machines configuration starts with M1 Pro chip and can be customized to use M1 Max at the higher end models.
Both chips are powerful with the System-on-a-Chip (SOC) architecture similar to M1 chip and build with industry leading 5-nanometer process. They introduce this architecture first time to the pro models with M1 Pro and M1 Max Chip.
M1 Pro and M1 Max Specifications
One of the best parts of moving to new architecture is faster memory access which means CPU and GPU can access the same memory. This will remove the need to duplicate the data when shifting process between CPU and GPU. It will result in faster process execution and overall performance improvement of the machine.
Another important aspect which we have seen from the M1 chip is increased battery life. Even with increased CPU performance the overall consumption of power is much less. Apple has provided a chart which talks about CPU performance versus raw power uses. You can look at the chart in the show notes to understand the performance output.
M1 Pro is available with up to 32GB integrated memory while M1 Max can be configured up to 64GB of unified memory. Since the unified memory will be shared between CPU and GPU, it can even compete with the graphics performance of external GPU cards.
You can check the GPU performance chart in the show notes.
RIP Touch Bar
One of the major changes in the MacBook Pro design is missing Touch Bar. Apple has launched the Touch Bar in 2016 with MacBook Pro and after being available for almost 5 years it has decided to sunset this feature.
Personally, I am using MacBook Pro 16-inch 2019 model and very rarely I have used the Touch Bar available on the MacBook. So, if I have not noticed the available feature so much, I don’t think I am going to miss it much.
It has some nice use cases but for most part you need to keep an eye on the Touch Bar to keep checking the changing suggestions. Most of the pro users like me use keyboard to type while keeping the eyes on the screen, which means I miss many of the suggestions unless, I am aware that there will be a setting on the Touch Bar which I am looking for.
This means most of the time spelling suggestions are of no use as I must keep an eye on the Touch Bar. Spelling suggestion on the screen while typing is much more useful since they can be applied easily with Tab or Enter key.
Apple also realized that Touch Bar is not serving much of the purpose while increasing the cost of the MacBook due to touch screen and additional components. So, with this year MacBook Pro models, they have removed the Touch Bar.
ProRes Media Engine
The new chips also bring ProRes media engine to Pro machines which means editing video on the machines will be a breeze. The export video options, and multi-stream editing will become easier with the help of these new chips.
Even between M1 Pro and M1 Max, M1 Max delivers twice the performance for video encoding. That doesn’t mean M1 Pro is a slouch either, it offers a superior performance over other laptop processors.
Apple has brought back most of the Ports which was removed from MacBook’s for last few years. So, you will get HDMI port, SD card reader and thunderbolt ports along with MagSafe charger. Though this year MacBook’s models are bit thicker but most of the sleeves for MacBook should work fine.
The higher power of GPU matched with reduce battery consumption means you can work more on these machines while keeping the machine on the juice. The new MacBook’s are a powerhouse compared to last generation of Intel based machines.
macOS Monterey Release
Apple also released macOS Monterey along with the new MacBook Pro’s. macOS Monterey comes with SharePlay, Safari redesign, FaceTime Web Invites, Focus Mode, Quick Notes etc.
There are many new features in the new OS update for the Apple laptops. One of the main things I am interested about is FaceTime Invite links. It means that people on the web can join your FaceTime calls. This is as close as you get for FaceTime on other platforms.
I don’t think many people from other platform would like to initiate the FaceTime call since there are already many other options. With this open invite option your friend who doesn’t own Apple device can join the group calls.
iCloud+ is getting some much needed revamped in this release also. Till now Apple allowed to use either iCloud email ID as Apple email address but with this release, iCloud+ members can bring in their own domain. So, you can create a family domain and share that domain with your family. All your family member can use that domain name to create email IDs.
iCloud Private Relay is another feature which is a private VPN for iCloud+ members. All the traffic will be sent to Apple servers before asking the site to send the respond. This will increase the privacy for the people as the sites can’t track the origin of the requests. The feature is still in BETA and worked upon, but people can enable it in the iCloud settings to experience it.
AirPods 3 Launch
Apple also launched the updated version of their wireless headphones for iPhone – AirPods 3. AirPods 3 replaces the AirPods 2 in the lineup with the design language of AirPods Pro.
AirPods 3 also brings the Spatial audio to the economic model from the AirPods Pro. You can enjoy the surround sound with Apple Music or with your movies on this model.
The battery life is also enhanced on the new model which will provide 6 hours of playtime on the single charge and 30 hours with the case. The AirPods 3 is priced at $179 while the AirPods Pro will be available at $249.
Though AirPods Pro also got a upgraded case with MagSafe compatibility which will make it easy to charge with MagSafe chargers. My Personal advice for people to look for the old stock of AirPods Pro with non-MagSafe case. The model should sell to an awfully close price of AirPods 3 and provides active noise cancellation along with Spatial audio.
Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro
So, this brings us to our next topic of Google’s latest release of Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Google has announced the latest iterations of its Pixel series phone with its own developed chip called Tensor.
This is Google first attempt to build a custom mobile chip and from the initial reviews it look like the chip can compete with the premium smartphones chip in the market. It has on device machine learning and neural processing, custom image signal processor, on device context hub with reduced battery consumption.
The device is available at two different models – Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The different between those devices is Adaptive Display Rate where Pro can use the refresh rates up to 120Hz. Pixel 6 Pro also comes with 12GB RAM rather than 8GB RAM.
The Camera module is similar in both the phones, but the Pixel 6 Pro carries an extra Telephoto lens with triple camera setup. So, most of the pics from the camera will look similar expect Portraits. The additional camera also brings increased digital zoom in the Pro model.
Main 50MP wide angle camera paired with Google Tensor Image processing capabilities can click some good pictures. The night mode images are also improved, and you can get some good shots even in dark places.
For the normal users Pixel 6 is a good model which provides amazing day to day experience. So, if you are looking for a premium Android smartphone, this can be a suitable candidate.
Windows 11 Release
Microsoft also had a release in October with the latest version of Windows 11. Though most of the updates are related to UI refinement but there are some functionality improvements also.
For example, Windows 11 allows you to install the Android application on your desktop. This means you can easily use millions of applications available on the Android PlayStore with Windows 11. There are already some unofficial efforts to install PlayStore on Windows 11 which will make it even easier to install the applications.
The main UI refinements makes it more in line of MacBooks with clean interface, crisp icons, and ability to manage multiple virtual desktops. So, the UI interface brings a lot of improvement along with more tight integration with services like Microsoft Teams.
You can start the Teams call from the Windows TaskBar, which hopefully will increase the Team adoption in general public. It already is one of the good enterprise tools for the video conferencing.
Windows 10 will be supported till 2025, so there is no need to upgrade right away. But if not having access to Android apps is deal breaking, you can upgrade to Windows 11.
Facebook Inc Rename to Meta
In an official announcement from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is changing its name to Meta (Short for MetaVerse). According to them, it better represents the company strategy going forward.
The social network names will remain same while the parent company name will be changed to Meta. So you will still see Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram but they will mention From Meta rather than Facebook.
The idea of Metaverse is to create a virtual world where people will join using augmented reality or virtual reality devices to spend time. They are planning to spend over $10 Billion this year on setting up the virtual world.
The virtual world where people are free to do anything, buy virtual good, attend parties, or just take a stroll across a clean beach. The idea is to give people a virtual world where they can spend time and enjoy. So they are trying to create an experience for users with newer technologies which can keep their user base. We need to see how successful they would be.
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