The new MacBook Pro has USB-C ports for everything – power, I/O, and graphics. And although USB-C ought to support HDMI monitors just fine, I’ve found that it doesn’t work all that well with my 15″ MacBook Pro. I recommend sticking with DisplayPort until Apple resolves the issues.
As I transition to the 2016 MacBook Pro, I’m finding myself enjoying many aspects but disappointed by the maturity of the software on this new hardware base. My latest little annoyance is that the built-in “FaceTime HD” webcam didn’t work. Happily it’s a quick fix, but it’s another disappointment that it didn’t work out of the box!
So you bought a late-2016 MacBook Pro? Congratulations! So did I! But how will you connect your favorite monitor, hard drives, and other accessories to those pesky new USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports? Read on for my “survival guide”, listing the essential cables and accessories you should (and shouldn’t) buy to go with your new MacBook Pro!
Did you buy the new MacBook or MacBook Pro? Maybe the Google Pixel? You’re about to enter a world of confusion thanks to those new “USB-C” ports. See, that simple-looking port hides a world of complexity, and the (thankful) backward-compatibility uses different kinds of cables for different tasks. Shoppers have to be very careful to buy exactly the right cable for their devices!
It’s become routine: Each new update of Mac OS X macOS breaks third-party drivers and applications. This time it’s many popular third-party USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet adapters that don’t work. But have no fear! It’s a simple fix!
Although not discussed in today’s keynote, Apple is adding a new “universal” filesystem to iOS and macOS. Apple File System (APFS) will likely replace HFS+ as the default filesystem for Macintosh computers, iPads, and iPhones and brings a wealth of modern features. But judging from the initial developer documentation, that’s not going to happen for a few more years. And there’s still much confusion about how APFS and CoreStorage, introduced in Mac OS X 10.7, will interact.
I love watches and technology, so I was thrilled to hear about the creation of a “horological smart watch” base by the Swiss watchmaking industry. One of the first examples of this new breed is the just-released Mondaine Helvetica Smart. I purchased one of these watches, the limited-edition “1 of 1957” variety, and have had a chance to evaluate it both as a watch and a gadget.
If you’re using a Mac desktop with a bluetooth trackpad or mouse, you might have come across a chicken-and-egg issue: How do you enable Bluetooth when it’s turned off? Luckily, if you have keyboard access, there is a way to do it!
UASP has a lot of promise, bringing SCSI performance and features to the ever-expanding world of USB storage devices. But support has been haphazard, especially for Mac OS X and Linux, and this limits its impact. It would be nice if storage vendors could work with operating system developers to better support this storage protocol.
4K video is still in its infancy, but Mac users are clamoring for high-resolution external displays. Many Macs have the ability to drive a 4K display, but it’s not easy to get it to work with older hardware. Here’s how I connected a 4K Dell P2715Q display to may 2012 Retina MacBook Pro, one of the first 4K-capable Macs.