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  • Elgato Stream Deck review: A Mac accessory you didn't realize you need

    I have other ElGato gear like the CamLink and the Key Lights, and they’re mostly good products. But I could not justify a Stream Deck. I don’t think the value is really there. I mean come on, all that money for just 12 buttons? With a USB-A cable that doesn’t plug directly into most current Macs? That the article says needs to be plugged directly into a Mac, when many Macs only have as few as 2 USB-C ports? (I run everything through the USB ports on my hub so I only have to plug 1 cable into my Mac) With no HomeKit integration whatsoever, a big complaint of mine with their wireless Key Lights?

    For those who have an iPad or iPhone, there are many better solutions that cost much less. I use Touch Portal, an iOS app offering a fully configurable programmable grid of buttons to control everything from OBS to Photoshop. You can set up many more buttons, they don’t have to be square, and can be much bigger than on a Stream Deck. As an iPad app, it works wirelessly, not using up any USB ports. The article says the StreamDeck doesn’t travel well, but Touch Portal is not a bulky box, it travels as thin as the iPad it is on. Sure there is a Stream Deck app, but Touch Portal is a cheap no subscription price. The iPad is already on my desk, the StreamDeck would compete for the space on my desk. The ONLY thing Touch Portal gives up to Stream Deck is the tactile feel of the real buttons. In all other respects, if you have an iOS  device, an app like Touch Portal is a much better deal.
  • Introduced on January 9, 2007, the iPhone was the 'computer for the rest of us'

    Samsung had been making smart phones since the 90's and later the things like the Palm Treo refined the product.  The only thing the iPhone really introduced was the larger screen and replacing the stylus with a finger.
    That is factually incorrect. The iPhone introduced several innovations that are not covered by your comment.
    The stylus was not merely replaced by “a finger.” The iPhone screen supported multi-touch gestures. That was huge. Nobody else had it. Because, the entire concept of multi-touch was just a tech demo that wowed everybody a year earlier (watch the 2006 TED talk video of it by Jeff Han) and that used an entire table. Everybody who saw that talk assumed multi-touch desktop screens would not be a reality for a few years. Yet 12-13 months later, here is Apple giving you a handset! A single point stylus cannot match multi-touch.

    Some other iPhone innovations were not in the hardware but were purely Apple recognizing that the entire ecosystem needed a major overhaul to really unleash the potential of the device. Before the iPhone, the OS and apps were controlled by the carriers. Nobody thought much about OS updates for their phones, especially major OS upgrades that would radically improve the phone. That came with iPhone, because Apple took the unprecedented step to negotiate ownership and control of the phone OS. The only reason the carriers agreed was they thought the iPhone was going to be some niche that would not affect the industry much, but when the iPhone blew up, the carriers found they did not have control over this hugely successful device, and Apple suddenly had all this leverage that Samsung etc. did not. Similarly, when the iPhone finally allowed apps, Apple took the unprecedented step of wresting apps away from the carriers.

    You might nitpick a point or two here and there, but the fact is that with the iPhone you had an overall new combination of innovation found nowhere else: A multitouch display, an OS that would get significant fixes and upgrades, and later a wide selection of third party apps that was not under the control of the any individual mobile carrier.
  • Review: The M1 MacBook Air is nearly as transformative as the original

    AppleInsider is somehow one of my favorite Mac sites, yet here I am again commenting about the technical quality of a review.

    No one should be using superlatives to describe the "doubled" SSD speed of the MacBook Air. It is not a result of achievement, it is only a result of catching up! MacBook Pros and other Macs have, for several years now, achieved the very same SSD scores as the M1 Air, so the SSD speed of the M1 Air is absolutely unremarkable. Why do less informed journalists crow about "blistering" "remarkable" M1 SSD speeds? Because they are only comparing it to the old Intel Air, which has been using an older controller that was only half as fast as other Macs and Intel laptops too. It's nice that the M1 Air is in the 2500MB/sec range, 2020, that is exactly where it is supposed to be if it wants to compete.

    Also, the review insufficiently differentiates between the Air and the 13" M1 MB Pro. It isn't just a matter of the 13" M1 MBP being "a hair faster." As other, better reviews pointed out, the entire difference Is in heat management and throttling, which is not borne out until you do a long enough test, which the review doesn't mention ever doing. At full tilt, the M1 remarkably does not throttle until about 10 minutes. For most Mac users that is all they need. For Mac users who will run the CPU at full tilt for more than 10 minutes, that is the reason you buy the Pro, its fan prevents throttling and will sustain extended high loads better. If extended high loads are not part of the use case, the Air is a better deal because its M1 can cope with short periods of high CPU usage without throttling, far better than anything Intel has.

    The M1 Air is absolutely a killer deal for the price, just not for the reasons in the review.
  • Apple debuts new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 chip

    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    So we pay the same price as the lame Intel MBA, but now we get an 8-core CPU, an 8-core GPU, much longer battery life, much cooler operation meaning maybe less throttling for much faster sustained performance?

    What a...disappointment...?
  • The best mobile SSDs for iPad Pro compared

    phred said:
    What are the transfer speeds of the drives? Will they work with other ipads, such as mini 5?       
    We have all the transfer speeds listed in the article. And they may work with different iPads using a Lightning to USB adapter. 
    It's worse than that. The article says "For those who are looking for more, there is also the Glyph Atom SSD Pro. This newer version of this drive has 2800 megabytes per second read speeds and 2600 megabytes per second write speeds." Now hold on here...those speeds are twice what is possible on an iPad Pro, if I'm right that the iPad Pro supports 10Gb/sec USB 3.2 Gen 2. Sure enough, I looked up the Glyph Atom Pro and it is Thunderbolt 3 only. You can use it on a Mac, but this article is about iPads.

    This same mistake was made by commenter Seanismorris above, recommending a Samsung X5 which is Thunderbolt-only, good luck with that on your iPad...

    It's pretty clear how the transfer rates break down in the article. Any drive around 500MB/sec is limited by SATA, any drive around 1000MB/sec is NVMe limited to the 10Gb/sec of USB 3.2 Gen 2, and any drive well above 1000GB/sec is NVMe using Thunderbolt 3 and not appropriate to mention in this article.

    I am also disappointed that the article didn't involve real-world tests, since actual results often vary from what the manufacturer claims. And if they had actually been tested, it would have been more obvious that a drive mentioned simply wouldn't work with an iPad.

    Incidentally, the one I bought is an Oyen Digital Helix Dura, a long slim NVMe USB-C drive not mentioned in the article. In tests it does about 925MB/sec for both read and write. But with all these drives, real world speeds are somewhat lower due to overhead.

    All in all I agree with Marc G that the article demonstrates technical and editorial sloppiness.